It has recently come to my attention that my status as a nerd may be in question. Apparently, according to some of my fellow humans, my inherent female-ness exempts me from certifiable nerddom.
Where were these authority figures while I was withering away in nerdy, socially-awkward seventh-grade misery? Where were they in high school while I was desperately trying to prove I wasn’t a nerd, to tell me I had nothing to worry about because it wasn’t physically possible for me to be one anyways?
I suppose I should be celebrating my newfound freedom, running towards the welcoming embrace of the cool kids with arms outstretched. But, as it happens, I’ve grown rather attached to the label. So, in solidarity with the ladies featured on a recent music video by “The Doubleclicks,” I hereby present a selection of my Nerd Credentials in order to possibly retain at least an honorary membership in this exclusive branch of the Pen 15 club:
- When I was little, I successfully bribed my babysitter to let me stay up past my bedtime, by promising to show him my secrets… in Super Mario World.
- In elementary school, I was a member of a small, contraband POG gambling ring that met illegally behind the baseball diamond.
- When my dad and former stepmom split their possessions in my early teen years, the thing I was most sad about her taking was the Sega Genesis.
- In middle school, when the boy of my dreams, who was coincidentally the boy of almost every girl in my grade’s dreams, asked me the question “Will you go out with me?” I responded, “Where? You mean, outside?” (This has nothing to do with nerdy pursuits but everything to do with having the essence of a nerd.)
- In high school, when a friend of mine told me his girlfriend made him choose between her and Zelda, and he chose Zelda, I gave him a high five.
- On Halloween, I went to school dressed in a handmade Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle costume. In university. When almost no one else dressed up. Two years in a row. (I had initially intended to go the full four, as a different turtle each year, but due to unfortunate circumstances the costume was lost forever).
- A boy once tried to win my heart by giving me the Chrono Trigger soundtrack for my birthday. I had no intention of giving him my heart, but I gleefully and guiltlessly accepted the gift anyways.
- On my wedding day, my husband and I bounced out at the end of the ceremony to the 8-Bit Mario theme. With matching Game Boy Colours in our hands, an impromptu gift from one of our wedding officiators.
- My first published article (outside of my university newspaper, that is) was entitled “Rise of the Nerds.” My first published cover article, written for a Christian publication, was about why there are probably video games in heaven.
- I once spent an entire weekend, while holed up in my apartment due to a typhoon, building a Gundam model.
- My favourite history book is the Silmarillion.
- I have been to the Nagoya World Cosplay Summit , the Amusement Operator’s Union exhibition, and Tokyo Game Show. As press.
- When I see kids while walking in a mall or otherwise crowded area, I walk a little slower and a little closer, in hopes of catching their Miis on Streetpass.
- Possibly the biggest idealogical difference my marriage suffers from is Star Wars (me) vs. Star Trek (him).
- And finally, I never go anywhere without a towel.
Well, it’s not an exhaustive list, but it’ll have to do. I’m a little worried, though – I can’t speak Elvish (although I have beaten Zelda: Ocarina of Time in Japanese), and I can count the Pokemon characters I know on one hand (although I once won a Star Wars character-naming duel against my youth group’s top Star Wars enthusiast). I might not make the cut.
Oh well, I’ve come this far so I might as well pack up my application for Officially Sanctioned Nerdiness and send it off to the powers that be, praying they’ll consider me. So, who do I send this thing to, anyways?
“There are no fake geeks, only real jerks.” – From the Doubleclicks video