One of the worst things about being a nerdette is that we carry our obliviousness regarding social boundaries with us into adulthood. We spend most of our early years figuring out how to be comfortable in our own skins and making peace with the fact that we favor cuddling up against a book instead of a football player (unless he is a preppy and wears soft sweaters, rugby shirts, flannel, and plays soccer instead of football…sigh…sorry for my lapse into New England nostalgia).
Society has become much more accepting of nerdettes so in a way it’s easier to be one now, but in a way not, because being nerdy has become more sexy. I don’t know when this happened or how (or sometimes even why). As much as it pains me to say, such a development brings with it certain difficulties for us geeks.
You see, we lived as outliers in some respect, even if we were liked (“She is soooo nice!!”). And in doing so, we developed compassion for kids like us, who were awkward and thought too much and asked too many questions about life and over-stepped personal boundaries in our incessant quest for insight into others (and the universe). So when we encounter someone as an adult who seems to perhaps cross the line into our “safe space”, we give him/her the benefit of the doubt. And that’s where the trouble begins.
Nerdettes are simply ill-equipped to discern which newcomers in our social circles are friends versus creepers. We suck ass at it! We try to be NICE. Why? Because not everyone was to us. So we don’t want to be like those assholes, we don’t want to be the baddies, we prefer to be the…goodies? (That sounds weird, but maybe it’s because I’m not British.) We want to be compassionate and kind, understanding and accepting of all.
So, please let this nerdette convey a message to others like me, especially those who are entering adulthood: stop being so damn, freaking nice. Just stop. STOP.
You will inevitably encounter some guy who seems weird and quirky, but harmless. He will pester you with strange questions and requests. This person will attempt to engage you in conversations about topics that you find interesting because people like him unfortunately are also kind of dorky and know all sorts of trivia that you find interesting. He will be annoying, but you will not be able to deter or shake him off because he is not directly threatening.
He may call with random observations about life and if he does, he will ask you what you think about them. And you, being you, will always respond because you are answering the question itself, not him, forgetting that there is an actual person on the other end of the line, or text, or email, or whatever. And when you’re done, you will think to yourself, “Why did I just do that? I told myself not to engage him anymore!!” and you will be mad and frustrated at yourself instead of him.
He will make you severely uncomfortable and you will want to get away from him whenever you see him, but your stupid brain will excuse the skeeviness you feel by rationalizing that he is just socially backward.
When you describe his behavior to others, they may say dumb crap like, “Awww, he sounds cute!” or “He just has a crush on you!”. Don’t listen to them. Because, my dear, you have just described a creeper.
Cut him off. Before he becomes a stalker. Because the only thing worse than a creeper is a stalker. You do not want that shit.
People who were dorks, geeks, or nerds – however you classify it – as children are pre-programmed when they morph into adults to be nice to others who don’t fit in. That’s all well and good, but allow me to sound a note of caution: there is such a thing as being too nice. Cut those creeper suckers off. I say this from years of unfortunate experience, from a perspective that automatically utilizes logic in evaluating others’ behavior instead of gut instinct. It is a weakness in nerdettes. Trust me. If someone is creeping you out, cut him out right now.