Hi — I don’t think we’ve been properly introduced. Allow me to attend to that detail for you, now:
I’m a mom who simultaneously and equally loves zombies, Jane Austen, Dungeons and Dragons, and video games, and my dorkitude doesn’t end there. Believe me.
While I’ve grown quite comfortable in my own skin in my 30-something years on this planet, my mega nerd status tends to make other moms look at me funny, and whisper questioningly to their like-minded, normal mom-friends as I walk by in my “you had me at ‘let’s go get tacos’” tee-shirt. Which, by the way, I gleefully found and subsequently purchased at Value Village, where I buy so many of my favourite clothes, because where else can you find old Nirvana shirts that aren’t $80 retro pieces at fancy vintage boutiques? Anyway, I digress.
Now, I have the interwebs — I know I’m not the only mom-nerd out there, but where are my people? I see you ladies, popping up online, posting emojis and gifs that are perfection on my favourite Firefly fan page, shamelessly stalking Nathan Fillion right alongside me, but where are you in the flesh?
It’s oh, so lonely over here, in my awesome taco shirt.
What do other moms even do, anyway, in their spare time? Pilates, maybe. Or perhaps they socialize with other trendy moms in trendy coffee shops that I never go into because I’m too shy to order my dolce cinnamon latte thingie.
(That’s what drive-thrus are for.)
I have no idea, but I do know that I don’t get invited to these outings. I don’t stick out like a sore thumb, honestly: my hair is my natural colour, with a few sneaky greys coming through that I can’t be bothered to worry about, and I wear pants and everything. Just like everyone else, mostly. And yet, it’s like they can spot me a mile away, as I walk my child to school every day, with all the other moms, and kiss my baby goodbye. Maybe it actually is the taco shirt thing, I don’t know. But whatever it is, they see me coming and avoid me like the nerd that we all know I am.
Recently, my husband and I decided to do the “normal” married couple thing, and we invited a couple we know and both actually get along with over to our house for dinner. The wife of this twosome is someone I really like and want to be buddies with, and there’s a touch of nerd in her, as she, too, enjoys fantasy novels, so I was hopeful that we’d be able to get to know each other better over this visit. We bonded a bit over our mutual love for magical creatures, sure, but, like all new relationships I try to build on, there wasn’t much hope of digging deeper. I will continue to try, but I can sense the disappointment in the wind.
And it sucks, because she’s really very cool. But I, sadly, am not cool, not even in the nerdy version of the word. It’s a friendship that was doomed from the start.
I tend to get along great with husbands, however, and it is no different with this couple. This makes me less popular with wives, as you can imagine, so that’s never a great result. Sure, I end up with a new D&D buddy, but there’s something to be said for having a great girlfriend to talk to from time to time, because frankly, I don’t want to just talk shop all the time.
I’m still a woman, after all. I crave a connection.
I’m also an introvert who, if I’ve been lucky enough to be invited to your house, will likely be that weirdo in the corner of your kitchen getting her nostrils cleaned out by your family dog, or playing Lego with your 8 year old, or watching your fish be fish. Adults are scary, and as an extremely invasive person who detests small talk of any kind and would rather listen to you talk about the things that matter to you, I can be scary, too.
My daughter, on the other hand, is a social butterfly, and while she’s inherited a smidgen of her mother’s nerdy qualities, it somehow comes across as endearing when she brings out the odd Star Wars quote or points out the particular qualities of a dire wolf versus a werewolf. Honestly I’m relieved by her social gracefulness, and I hope my 18 month old son fares as well as she has, although right now he bears a shocking resemblance to Garth from Wayne’s World, so he might be a lost cause. Bless his little heart.
I can help him navigate the awkwardness that he’s inherited, of course, as an expert in that area, but being a unicorn like my daughter would have made things easier on him.
I get it. I really, really do. I know my fellow nerdy moms and I are weird, sometimes, and that we tend to enjoy fictional, fantastical characters and worlds more than the one we live in, but can you blame us? The world as we know it is a shit-storm, and no one can agree on which part is the shit. What a mess.
And here’s the thing: you’ll never meet a mom who is more wholesome and loving than the nerdy mom. Nerds are notoriously accepting of all kinds of people, after all, and even your weirdest quirks are likely nothing compared to our wookie mug collections or custom painted wood elf figurines. It’s also likely that the nerd mom, who may not be toting the latest Coach bag or using the hippest stroller on the market, is going to make you feel more comfortable being yourself than those trendy moms — and yes, I know they look so cool and shiny. It’s what’s underneath that counts, or so my mom has told me.
So don’t leave that adorable little nerd hanging — throw her a bone. You might just make a friend for life.
And if not, she or someone very close to her can probably fix your computer problems, so it’s good to keep her around, just in case.