Don’t judge me, but I have a confession to make. I…. watch Baggage, hosted by the one, the only: Jerry Springer. I usually find it on television somewhere when I’m up at 3 a.m. and have no desire to go to sleep (You know, because 3 in the morning isn’t late enough already).
If you don’t know what it is, Baggage is a show where a lovely lady or a kind gentleman is seeking love and decides the best way to do this is to go on a game show (Naturally). Three eligible men or women are then lined up ready to be picked by the first woman or man to go on a date with. The catch of this game is that those three contestants all have dark or weird secrets. Basically, they all come with “baggage” and then must reveal their naughty secrets to the other and hope not to be eliminated.
The reason I bring all this up is that last night I caught an episode. A lovely lady looking for love stands up on the podium and announces that she is looking for a sweet, nerdy, quirky guy to go out on a date with. It was the nerdy part that caught my attention. I watched the show, and it was exactly what I feared. When this beautiful young woman claimed she wanted a nerd, she didn’t actually mean it. What she wanted was this:
But certainly not an actual nerd. This is how the show went. Three guys went up and revealed their baggage. One was eliminated. The remaining two revealed all three pieces of baggage.
Guy #1‘s baggage: was 35 years old and had never had a real job & had his parents pay for everything, powdered his junk every day, and couldn’t help snooping through his past girlfriend’s diaries and email.
Guy #2‘s baggage: made clothes out of duct tape, was in a polka band, and has a low labido due to growing up with a very “liberated” mother.
Guy #1 couldn’t stop talking about how he likes to work with kids and how he was a camp counselor (for four months. Only four months. Seriously, the way he kept bringing it up it sounded like he’d been doing it for years. He wouldn’t shut up. It’s was clearly a ploy to try and snag the woman’s heart).
Guy #2 was a quirky, kind, adorable nerd who likes to explore new places and go on roadtrips. He even quoted Star Wars.
Both were physically attractive (though, Guy #2 was actually more handsome than Guy #1, in my opinion.)
All these things I tell you because from the first moment I met these contestants, I was rooting with Guy #2. I wanted him for myself. The man was adorable. He was exactly what this woman had described before the show had ever started. He was genuine and compassionate and silly and lovable. I think we can tell where this is going.
She didn’t pick him.
Of COURSE she didn’t pick him. He was the NERD.
But wait, didn’t she say she wanted a nerd? From the first moment that word escaped her lips I knew, I KNEW, she was not going to pick the nerd because she didn’t really want a nerd.
I am really tired of this new “nerd” kick that has been floating around, because it hasn’t changed anything. Nerds are not cool. They aren’t by definition. This new-age “cool nerd” thing is simply just another costume for cool, popular, well-adjusted people to like Star Wars or play video games and wear thick glasses and then call themselves by a different name.
Us actual nerds, the people who deserve this name, who have earned the title, are still the socially awkward, ill-adjusted, introverted, and unsociable on the bottom of the societal totem pole. And that’s fine. That’s where we’ve always been. We’re in our basements, our apartments, our nerd lairs and batcaves. The problem is when people like this hot woman claim they desire nerds when they actually do not. You know not the meaning of the word.
Sure, say you want the nerdy guy and then choose the untrustworthy, email-snooping, unemployed junk-powderer. (Right, I’m sure the cute nerd with duct tape lederhosen and a polka band was so much worse than that long-haired creep.) Just stop lying to yourself about wanting a nerd. Because you don’t. You’ve proven that. You sully the good name of Nerd by even uttering it from your perfect baby-pink lips.
To some, the title of nerd is an insult to designate superiority and inferiority. To others, it’s an honor to be earned and treasured. You disrespect everyone when you throw the word around as casually as “totes”, “lol”, or “cray cray”. And it’s pissing me off.