I admit it, I have a tendency to use the terms “geek” and “nerd” interchangeably but there is a difference. The simplest definition I have found is in this cartoon on Great White Snark. Based on this definition, I am a geek.
I love video games, action movies, and books among other things. Pull up a chair—I’ll be glad to sit down and talk your ear off about my favorite fandoms. Sadly, I have few people to discuss these topics with. Like most adults, I spend a good portion of my days at work. My coworkers, most of whom are my age, don’t get me at all. I am definitely the odd woman out. (At least my twenty-something coworkers think I’m cool. They think it’s awesome that I’m a gamer.)
But, over the last few years, I have stumbled across a recurring phenomenon I just don’t understand. For most of my adult life, my work days have been spent in cubicles. However, four years ago, I wound up with a private office—a wonderful thing for an introvert like me. Even better, my office has shelves I personalized with photos of my family, and of course, my geek stuff. Passersby and customers frequently comment on my things. Some have no idea what it is and have questions. Others recognize some of the items and also have questions such as “Is that a Master Chief helmet? Do you play Halo?” Then they notice the Boba Fett helmet. “You like Star Wars too?” I assure them that yes, I play Halo and other games, and yes, I like Star Wars, and Star Trek among other things. I usually end the conversation with the statement that “I’m just a geek.” This pronouncement is always met by the response “Oh. That’s okay.”
Well, duh. Of course it’s okay. I wasn’t apologizing nor will I. I’m proud of my geekiness. For heaven’s sake, I have a tattoo featuring a Playstation controller on my back. (I’m seriously considering a second geek tattoo as well.) It would be one thing if only one or two people made that response but it’s every single one. I’m baffled as to why. Can you explain it to me?
Are you a nerd or a geek or neither?