Friday, September 6, 2013

I Am a Nerd.

I'm a nerd.

I've known I've been a nerd for a long, long time. Oh, sure, there was that time in sixth grade when I thought I might win the "best dressed" award because I had a Star Wars shirt for every day of the week. I didn't know then. (I didn't win, either.)

I think it was in junior high when I realized I was a nerd. And I was ashamed of it. That's when I quit collecting comic books (the first time.) I was afraid that one of the "cool" kids might see me sifting through the comic book racks at the drug stores and grocery stores of Pocatello, and think that I was some kind of loser. (At the time, I thought comic books were perceived to be for littler kids, not "hip" and "with-it" junior high schoolers.)

I started back in to collecting comic books when I was a junior or senior in high school. By then I knew I was a nerd, and so did pretty much everyone else.

So, twenty-something years later when I started dating the woman who would become The Wife, I was unquestionably, no doubt about it, abso-freaking-tively a nerd. And I was fine with that.

The Wife fancied herself a nerd, too. And so, we had to ask the question: Which one of us was the bigger nerd?

She had some pretty good credentials. For one thing, she had her ham radio license. (Pretty nerdy!) To be fair, it wasn't something she had sought out. Getting her ham radio license was something that was strongly encouraged by her dad. (He has definite nerdish tendencies.) (Sorry, PopPop, but it's true.) But, even though it wasn't her idea, a ham radio license is still a ham radio license.

The Wife's other best nerd qualification is that she is a junior high school math teacher. That is very nerdish! In fact, since we've been married there have been a few times when I have caught her doing math that was not for one of the classes she is teaching or for one of the classes she is taking.

Soak that in for a second. In other words: Sometimes she does math just for the fun of it!!! (Nerd alert!!!)

She makes a strong case. But, it flounders when compared to mine.

My basic nerd credentials can be pointed out in three easy ways:

1: I wear a calculator watch!

My "nerd watch" will even do tricks. Turn it upside down and it says "hellooo!"
Many, many years ago, my sister got me a Casio calculator watch for my birthday or Christmas (I forget which.) I'm guessing this is because she loves me, and she thinks I'm a nerd. (Look at it. This is definitely something you would only give to someone you thought of as a nerd.)

I immediately liked it. It has time, calculator, alarm, and stop-watch functions! I liked it so much that when it came time to get a new watch (because the watchband broke; the watches themselves are nearly indestructible), I bought another one just like it. And, I've been doing so for the past 20 years! (Every time I have to get a new watch I'm a little surprised to find they still make the exact same model. I'm glad they do. I'd be lost without it.)

2: I have a large comic book collection. Several thousand comic books.
Captain America enjoying the view in the comic book closet.

Oh, don't worry, it's not a particularly valuable comic book collection. That's because they aren't in pristine condition. You see, I would actually read the comic books when I bought them! I didn't just bag them and board them and keep them hermetically sealed (on Funk and Wagnall's porch) so they would stay in mint (or near mint) condition. (Oops.)

C: I've been to more than one Star Trek convention. 

You can go to one Star Trek convention and say you are just going to make fun of the nerds, but if you go to more than one, you are not fooling anyone: you are a nerd.

When I was living in Idaho, my friends and I drove down to Salt Lake City to see George "Oh my!" Takei (Mr. Sulu) at a Star Trek convention. We had a good time, but I figured that it would be a "once," and that I was done with Star Trek conventions.

But then, a few years later, it was announced that William Shatner was coming to Pocatello, Idaho! If William Shatner comes to Pocatello, you have to go see him, don't you? (At least, that's what I thought. Most other people disagreed, because there weren't many people there to see The Shat. It was not a well attended Star Trek convention. On the plus side, I can say I saw William Shatner at his only ever appearance in Pocatello, 'cause I'm sure he ain't ever going back.)

That pushed me up to two Star Trek conventions, and sealed my nerd qualifications.

So, despite her best efforts, The Wife couldn't come close to stacking up against my nerd credentials. (And that's without even bringing out my trump card: I was a 40 year-old virgin.)

When the announcement came this summer that Salt Lake City was getting its first Comic Con, The Wife was unimpressed. She wondered aloud who would want to go to such a thing. Meanwhile, when I heard the announcement, I was intrigued and voiced that I might actually be interested in attending.

My in-laws were there when The Wife and I voiced these opinions, and, about a week later, I had myself a three-day pass to Comic Con as a birthday present from my in-laws! As the build-up continued to Comic Con, and as more and more guests were announced, The Wife continued to show absolutely no interest in attending. (Although her attitude changed a little bit when they announced that Dean Cain would be there.)

If you look at the evidence, it's pretty clear that The Wife and I are both nerds. We're just different kinds of nerds. I am most definitely a Comic Book Nerd. So, I'll be going to Comic Con this weekend, and I'm sure I'll be reporting about it here in the next few days. Because that's what I do.

Because I'm a nerd.

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