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I wonder if things have changed now that nerds are kinda cool. Or are they? I don't know. It's 2015 now. There's a thing called "geek chic". There are shows like The IT Crowd and Big Bang Theory. Some of the richest men in the world are from the computing industry... Bill Gates, the Apple guys who are still alive. Maybe guys who spend way too much time are their arduino projects are just chick magnets now like nobody'd believe, they're all suave and experienced and unreachable. If that's true, then let this be a time capsule entry... if it's not true, then let it apply to EVERYBODY now.

When I was in high school I was just starting to learn BASIC, javascript, and HTML. I was barely online. But I knew guys who were. They learned BASIC in the second grade, they bragged. They totally intimidated me out of getting a CS degree... but I only drifted into engineering, so not a total loss to STEM.

I wanted to be them. But more than that... I wanted them.

So someone asked me recently (and by recently I mean "in yesterday's lj entry") if I'd ever pined away unrequited for someone who did not love me back. Yes I have! But the thing with me, was it was always for computer nerds, and it made my feelings even more confusing because when a computer nerd doesn't ask you out you can't just wonder if he's "not that into you".

you also wonder if he's so obsessed with technology he's not into GIRLS period.

And you wonder if he's SECRETLY into you but since he's never had a girlfriend, he doesn't know how to flirt back.

I had several crushes in high school that went on way too long. Looking back, maybe they weren't into me. Okay probably they weren't into me. I was too tall and awkward and not terribly attractive. But it took me extra long to figure out. One guy I was obsessed with for like two years... finally we got to cuddle at a camping trip. It went nowhere from there.

There was this movie Angus about this nerdy guy who was in love with the most popular pretty girl in school and the point of the movie was that she just didn't see his inner coolness, so sad. Everyone liked it. It was "so deep". The soundtrack was great. I hated that movie. I was like you know what Angus, there's probably some nerdy girl who likes you... why is it that since you're a guy, you're entitled to the prom queen if you've got some ounce of inner beauty? where are the normal girls in these stories? Why is it okay for you to only pay attention to a girl who's stereotypically beautiful, then turn around and tell girls in general they're all shallow for looking past you?

I wasn't sure if this movie was totally sexist (looking back - yes it was) or a sign to me that I just needed to work REALLY HARD to let these guys know I was interested, because they are busy looking for the short busty cheerleaders, I don't even exist in their worlds, but if I did they'd be happy! right?!

In college I finally had boyfriends. My first few boyfriends were not total nerds... they'd had girlfriends. It was the start of understanding what a relationship feels like when the other person cares. Then I started back to flirting with computer nerds, this time getting some of them to actually be interested in me. Maybe it worked because we were older.

Shoot I have to conclude this sad rambling.

To the nerdgirls: You're wonderful and the right guys will see it. Don't let these nerds confuse you. Don't obsess on them. Be around them, be there for them, don't expect much.

To the nerdboys: Be honest as early and as often as possible. If a girl in your class asks you over for C++ tutoring way too often and wears perfume when you meet up in the lab but she's not your type or you'd rather play minecraft or whatever, it's okay! Talk about another girl you like so she gets SOME hint at least of where she stands.

To everyone: high school just sucks, so much, doesn't it. I just remembered that. I am so happy to be 35.

Posts from This Journal by “geek culture” Tag

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
timprov
Sep. 27th, 2015 06:49 pm (UTC)
If somebody asks me over for C++ tutoring and wears perfume to the lab, my first assumption is always going to be that she needs help with C++ and likes perfume. (I've known very few women who were both interested in C++ and not good at learning it, but that's probably variance. Although mostly women don't learn C++ purely because they want to be perceived as badass, which guys do, or at least did 18 years ago.)

Using your words, on the other hand, can be quite effective.
sandokai
Sep. 27th, 2015 07:10 pm (UTC)
It kind of sucks that our kids have to go through middle and high school. I wish we could give them enough wisdom that they won't suffer so much, but I don't know if that is possible for parents to do....
lantairvlea
Sep. 29th, 2015 02:58 am (UTC)
I'm sure we (parents of all generations, have two toddlers myself) all try, but I doubt the teenagers listen very well to that wisdom.

Granted I think I did okay through Jr. High and High School, but I know a lot of people don't do so well. It may have also helped that I only had half days my Jr. and Sr. year and was talking college classes that last year instead of the normal High School fare for my core classes and was just at the school for my electives... that and zero interest in even contemplating anything remotely close to a romantic relationship. That probably helped too.
fansee
Sep. 27th, 2015 10:16 pm (UTC)

I was the penultimate unpopular girl in my very small high school. The most unpopular girl was stricken with a HUGE, disfiguring bust. ALL the guys were more popular than the two of us.


Are you surprised that today, 60 years later, I still depend on my ability to make people laugh?

rai_key
Sep. 28th, 2015 12:56 am (UTC)

I was intimidated after starting a CS degree.  It's difficult work.  There were almost no women in college CS classes.  I think maybe so, I worked with several nerdy guys and they were almost all taken long before we met.  I'm more of a liberal arts nerd, but they tolerated me and my short lived interest in computers.  Eh, it might be a trend, I know that happened with punk.  I unfortunately got genuinely interested right when the barbie types did.  I hate it when subcultures get trendy, because then a whole ton of people misunderstand it and make the reals look like sheep. It was always cool to be a nerd and most people appreciate nerds once we pass a certain age, whether tv makes a show about it or not.  It's good you are a real nerd and always will be.  

petrini1
Sep. 29th, 2015 02:00 am (UTC)
You are so right about teen relationships in movies (heck, adult relationships too). Either the guy and girl are both movie-star gorgeous, or he's nerdy and she's everyone's choice for Hottest Girl on Campus. And of course he gets the girl in the end.

Movies seldom show normal-looking girls who end up with movie-star-looking guys. At most, we see some size-0 supermodel with the perfect oval face, and we're supposed to accept that everyone else in movieland thinks she's ugly and unpopular...because she has pulled her perfect, shiny hair back into a tight ponytail and has put on a pair of glasses. Of course, she will be transformed into a beauty in the end, just by letting down her hair and taking off her specs. Because a girl with glasses can't possibly be considered beautiful in movieland.

We need more women directing films, financing films, writing films, and running film studios. Too much male fantasy going on.

microxcuts
Sep. 30th, 2015 06:52 pm (UTC)
At university (CS) I understood that my nerdiness (which made me look lame at high school) is attractive to the nerd boys. Probably because there weren't many other girls at uni and because I fit some panic pixie dream girl stereotypes.

Anyway, back in middle school being a nerd was a bad thing and everybody made fun of nerds. And now - it's trendy. Like, people would proudly wear, for example, a t-shirt with "NERD" written on it.
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