So, a quick look around the Internet and it seems like plenty of people think they have us Nerd Girls pegged. Well, not so fast. Time to bust some of the biggest Nerd Girl myths:
1. All Nerd Girls Love the Same Nerdy Things
I guess the whole point of calling someone a 'nerd' is to define and categorize them, and, yes, there are some things Nerd Girls do share - we tend to be intelligent, aware, and passionate - but beyond that, all bets are off.
There's something in us Nerd Girls that makes us want to take our interests as far as we can, to plow through obstacles and challenge ourselves. But what are those interests? Could be anything. Beads. Renewable Energy. Insects. Words. You name it.
Nerdiness, I suppose, is an attitude and an approach to life. And those things we fill our life with? Well, those are the things that help define us as individuals and prevent us from being walking stereotypes.
2. All Nerd Girls Want to Be Taken to the Science Museum
I happen to love museums, but (as alluded to above) I love plenty of other things, too. So, where do Nerd Girls want to be taken on dates?
Can we even answer that question? Or is it too much like asking where tall girls, or college students, or Roman Catholics would want to go?
My guess is that planning a date for a Nerd Girl has got to be pretty challenging. The dinner and a movie stand-by might fly once in a while, but we want something more stimulating and creative than that. And no, it doesn't need to involve numbers, or equations, or dusty tomes, but there's no reason why it couldn't. (I recently found myself very excited about this place called Sprout.)
We just want an experience that opens up the world in some way, shows us something new, and gets us excited. Whether that's bungee jumping or cloud computing or Mary Cassatt, then we can go to dinner and actually have some shared story to talk about - which is way better than making small talk about how long it took us to get ready or how hot the weather is.
3. Nerd Girls Don't Care About Girly Things
There they go again! Trying to pigeon-hole us.
Like any group of girls, some of us love our designer shoes (like SJP's Manola Blahniks), and some of us love handbags. Some of us don't.
Me? I love the idea of looking great, and I think I'm pretty capable, but, truth be told, somedays I get caught up in some exciting idea and before I know it, it's time for lunch and I still look like I just rolled out of bed. (Did you read Lois Lowry's Anastasia Krupnik as a kid? My favorite part of the book is when Lowry tells us that Anastasia's father is an English professor who writes poetry and her mother is an artist who forgets to do the laundry, which is why they both wear socks that don't match.)
There are no fashion qualifications - at either end of the spectrum - to be a Nerd Girl.
You just have to be yourself.
Love shoes. Love high heels. Love comfortable shoes. Love bare feet. Love whatever you want - just love it.
4. Nerd Girls Are Anti-Social
Disclaimer: Okay, I personally cheer for Thoreau when he says, "I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion." I just like to be alone occasionally. I can't think otherwise - too much people-time and my brain starts to spin like a washing machine.
I know it seems like I keep coming back to this, but I am sure that Nerd Girls run the gamut of personalities. Now, that said, I have read that most people who would classify themselves as nerds do generally score an I on the Myers-Brigg test. Not too surprising that many Nerd Girls like to have time to think and process, but don't worry, E's, you're far from disqualified from the group.
And one more almost-related thing about this whole anti-social bit...
Our original nerds hail from a time when computers meant FORTRAN, or 80 column punch cards, or UNIVAC - in other words, these nerds plugged away while the rest of the world didn't get what on earth they were doing or what on earth they could possibly like about all that cubicle time.
But, ahh, the beautiful irony - today, thanks to those pioneering nerds of yesteryear, we have the Internet, cell phones, texting, video cameras, digital cameras, laptops, video editing software, YouTube, Facebook, blogs, iPods, iPads, and Wii... to name a few.
I love that our "anti-social" nerds-of-the-past laid the groundwork for all the cool tech toys that have completely revamped the social landscape.