I have revealed a lot of secrets in this blog over the past year, and I’m quite certain that those faithful readers who have been with me since the beginning now know more about me than they ever needed or wanted to know. In fact, it’s possible that some readers have abandoned me out of fear that future revelations will simply be more than their weak constitutions can handle.
For the rest of you, though, in appreciation of your bravely sticking around, I am about to reveal to you and you alone the juiciest tidbit, the best-kept secret of all. Are you ready? Brace yourself . . .
I am a geek.
There. I said it. The secret is out, and I feel such sweet relief in not having to keep it hidden any longer. Now you can be honest with me–are you shocked by this revelation, or have you been harboring secret suspicions all along?
When I was growing up, being labeled a “geek” (i.e., a nerd with social skills) was a bad thing; rarely did a geek even acknowledge such status, and then only in whispers to other geeks. Sometimes we stared blindly at the chalkboard rather than donning our “Coke bottle” glasses, and we never, never revealed our test scores out of fear that one of the failing jocks would realize we were the ones who set the grading curve. We tried desperately–and often failed miserably–to conceal our “geekiness” to prevent being ridiculed, possibly beaten up, and definitely copied from on algebra tests.
And then a beautiful thing happened. Computers–which had been around for decades–went mainstream, and soon people were not only learning how to use them but were also buying them to have as their very own. Smart guys like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates were becoming multi-bazillionaires, and suddenly it was okay to be a geek and to wear that label proudly.
Obviously, not all geeks are computer geniuses; there are other distinguishing characteristics that are usually easily identifiable. As evidence of my own geeky status, I offer to you the following proof:
- My junior year in high school I received the “History Award,” my senior year I was president of the Library Club, and my idea of a wild Friday night was cruising through A&W and asking for a squirt of vanilla AND a squirt of cherry in my Coke. Those facts alone should be enough to erase any doubts you might have had, but since that was a LONG time ago, I will continue and offer more current documentation.
- A visit to Barnes and Noble sends me into a giddy frenzy, and discovering that one of my favorite authors has a new release is sheer, heart-pounding ecstasy.
- Sometimes when I have nothing else to do, I will thumb through a dictionary or thesaurus, looking for words I’ve never seen before in my quest to someday know every word in the English language.
- One of my favorite movies is “Napoleon Dynamite” (“Tina, you fat lard, come get some DINNER!”); another favorite is “The Princess Bride” (“My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die!”)
- Some of my clothes are older than my children.
- Sick friends often consult me about their symptoms–not because of my training in the medical field (of which I have none) but rather because of my extensive research on WebMD and mayoclinic.com.
- Whenever I buy items on sale, I always do the calculations in my head before I get to the cash register just to be sure the computer doesn’t cheat me (sometimes it does).
- I say things like “gosh darn it” and “dadgummit.”
- I’ve never grown squash and cucumbers before this summer, and I really, really want to take pictures of them and post them on Facebook.
- I like learning new things just for the sake of learning. Tonight, for example, I paused the microwave while defrosting meat, and I noticed when I hit “resume,” the turntable–which had been rotating clockwise–started rotating counter-clockwise instead. I hit the “pause” button again to see what would happen; the turntable reverted to rotating clockwise. I paused several more times, and each time the turntable rotated in the opposite direction. Fascinating. Naturally, I had to Google immediately to find out why this was happening.
- I want to study Latin.
- Sometimes I send emails to myself, reminding me to complete a certain task. And I often write reminders on sticky notes that I place on my computer screen (check email!), my steering wheel (pay electric!), and my wallet (buy milk and coffee!).
- I have spent way too much time fantasizing about world domination and contemplating the possibilities of time travel.
- Every Saturday morning I compile a list of chores I need to complete before day’s end, and I frequently add items that I’ve actually already done just so I can have the pleasure of marking them off the list and feeling like I’ve already accomplished something.
- (Sometimes I like wearing granny underpants.)
- Every time I read graffiti on a bathroom stall, my fingers are itching to pull out a marker from my purse to correct the grammar and spelling (and to make the drawings more anatomically correct).
- Billboards with misspelled words on them are a major pet peeve of mine, and I will refuse to frequent any business with misspellings in its advertising.
- I have no idea what “kernel level audit trails” are, but I do know what WYSIWYG, USB and http mean–does that count for anything?
- Sometimes I put my lunch leftovers in my purse. Sometimes I forget about them.
- I read the ingredient labels on everything, just to see if I can pronounce all the words. Shampoo bottles are my favorites.
- I like to read poetry from the 19th century.
- I am too chicken to get a real tattoo because of my fear of needles. If I could somehow overcome that fear, though, Shakespeare would be forever emblazoned across my backside. I’m torn between “There is no darkness but ignorance” (from Twelfth Night, Act IV, scene II) and “Boldness be my friend” (from Cymbeline, Act I, scene VI). I’m leaning toward the latter simply because I think fewer letters would mean fewer needle pricks.
- Final, definitive proof–I have a list of “My Top 21 Favorite Words” (21 instead of 20 because I think odd numbers are cooler than even numbers!). Some of these words I like because of their meaning, but some I like just because of the way they roll off my tongue. Here’s my list, in random order:
- bodacious (which always makes me think of An Officer and a Gentleman–and makes me giggle)
- onomatopoeia (best spelling bee word ever!)
- rapscallion (which makes me think of Jack Sparrow–which makes me think of Johnny Depp–which makes me giggle)
- sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia (pronounced just like it looks)
Yep, I’m a geek–and proud of it. And I’m willing to bet that at least a few readers recognize themselves in some of the above items–am I right? In a recent CNN article, Scott Kaufman, the CEO of Geeknet (the company that owns Geek.com) claimed that geeks will “define this decade.” Our time has come. Tomorrow (July 13) is actually “Embrace Your Geekness Day,” the perfect opportunity for all the rest of you to release your inner geek–let it out and let it shine. Proudly.