I have to admit this whole ‘dress like a nerd” thing is hitting a nerve with me. I hate to channel the millennials and be offended by everything but it’s just too much like it was in school when they start with the stereotypes. Those people being othered were my people.
I had very few friends in high school and I mostly liked it that way because I had been miserable in Junior High. I think my parents may have suspected or not but they sure kept me busy with activities outside of school all the way into High School. I stayed in Camp Fire way past the time most people had dropped out until my sophomore year in High School when there was no group to join nearby any longer. Some how that led me to be dropped into Junior Achievement and start Candystriping and that didn’t count Church activities like choir, Bell Choir and Bible Study after School and being in school choir and Latin Club.
And when I wasn’t being kept busy I was reading every spare moment or working on needlework projects and designs. By High School I had learned to ignore the teasing and had decided they didn’t matter to me, most of the time. When my brother got to High School 2 years after me all of a sudden I was included with his friends my Senior year. (Our high school was 10-12th grade then) Cam was a band and orchestra geek, a Boy Scout and in Latin too. Somehow in my Senior year, I had a circle of people around me and we added some from A Cappella Choir like Clayton and a few girls that were enamoured of my brother and his friends. Which looking back was pretty funny because most of the guys in the group that the girls were following came out of the closet after graduation. Jerry became a designer, Tony was a pianist for the Opera. Cam became a bank manager before he got cancer but the rest of the guys were fairly stereotypical and we were nerds. And because we travelled in a huge pod we confused the hell out of people because they assumed we were dating each other and we’d go to the movies together but always sat with different people in the group. Now I know that the guys were trying not to be with any one girl and out themselves, I just thought for once it was fun to have friends.
Those of us that weren’t in the marching band comprised the majority of the Pep Squad with the two school mascots. I look back at that yearbook picture and besides the Latin Club and the Science and Computer Clubs and the AV team, there wasn’t a bigger group of nerds in school. We happily did all the shit work the Drill Team and the cheerleaders were too good for and dumbly did it with no complaint. We painted all the signs and did all the things before games that actually involved work, including an enormous paint fight with purple and white paint that year before homecoming and hiking up in the middle of the night to defend the ‘H’ that was limed on the mountain above school. Got threatened by some old man with a shotgun but did it anyway.
We didn’t dress in the height of fashion. None of us cared to or could afford to and some of the girls including myself made some of our clothes. Those of us in Latin Club thought drilling for the next convention was fun and Latin Club had some cache because we won the state sweepstakes every year and were the only language classes that got to travel because of the Annual JCL convention. (Junior Classical League). We were the only nerds that got featured in the Purple Press, the school newspaper. How nerdy were we? I won a first, two seconds and a third in Roman History and Daily Life in competition over 4 years and a second my Senior year in writing Latin poetry.
So this nerd thing is bugging me. I don’t want to dress in pulled up pants, suspenders and a bowtie. I don’t want to put tape on the bridge of my glasses. That alone brings back horrid memories of the time my best friend and I broke our glasses on purpose. I don’t remember why K did it but I did it because mom had bought pink glasses frames and because I had drops in my eyes I couldn’t really see what she had chosen for my next frames at that visit to the eye doctors. I hated pink and she knew it but it was her last attempt at making me a girly girl. I was horrified when I saw them. So K and I made a pact to break our glasses and we thought if we broke the bridge our parents would replace them but noooo our parents decided to punish us. K’s dad was a dentist and glued our glasses back together with huge hunks of pink dental cement. The stuff you make dentures with. It was ugly and we had to wear it to school for months before we could get new frames.
That was almost as bad as the time I complained about having to wear saddle shoes all the time because they had corrective braces and heels so mom got paint and painted the damn things royal blue so they didn’t look bright white and blue.
I do not need to relive the horrors of my childhood, thank you very much. I may outsmart them and go as a Ravenclaw witch which is suitably nerdy but not horrifyingly like my childhood.
Edit: A navy blue sweater vest, Ravenclaw pocket patch to put on it and a navy striped tie have now been ordered from Amazon. dark pants and tennies and one of my besoms and I think I have this nailed. That way I’m a witch and no one who doesn’t already know has to know anything more. Oh and if it isn’t over 90 degrees that day, my reversible cape, blue on one side and black velvet on the other.
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