Monday, August 12, 2013

Nerds, baby! An Absolute Rewind....

Nerds rule!  And no, I'm not talking about the candy!

Here's the thing--if I could go back to my teens years and do one thing different, I would pay closer attention to the guys considered "nerds" and less attention to...well, the guys I did pay attention to.

I hate that teen me was so shallow.  And yep, I admit that I was.  I dated guys who were hot, buff, and exciting.  It didn't matter that I had absolutely nothing in common with them--that they weren't in any of my advanced placement or honors classes with me, or that they didn't share any of my passions (nor did I share any of theirs).

Whereas those skinny, shy, nerdy boys who sat beside me in my advanced/honors classes?  The guys who just might have understood my obsession with the Civil War and books and ballet and classical music?  I considered them "just friends."  Certainly not dating material.  Sure, I gave them rides to school and waved hello in the hallways and was perfectly nice to them.  But date them?  Not a chance.

And you know what?  I seriously missed out.  On finding someone who shared my interests.  On finding someone who would have treated me like a queen rather than someone who thought I should consider myself lucky to breathe the same air as them.  On, I don't know, maybe some intellectual stimulation?

Seriously, what was I thinking?

With my adult perspective, I can now see that those guys I dated in high school peaked in high school.  That was it for them--the best they were ever going to be.  Whereas those nerds?  Many of them were simply diamonds in the rough, on their way to better things.  For many of them, high school was probably their lowest point.

Case in point:  nerdy boy who lived down the street from me.  Super skinny, short, somewhat dorky haircut.  In the band.  Eagle Scout.  He didn't have a car, so I drove him to school.  He was in most of my classes, and we were friendly enough.  He was sweet, shy, and people claimed he had a crush on me.  Hard to tell, because he didn't say much to me (though he did blush a lot).  I specifically remember my dad saying "Why can't you date guys like him?!"

He went to the Naval Academy, where he was a nationally ranked windsurfer.  He grew up.  He became a Navy jet pilot (think Top Gun!)--and morphed into this really buff, really good-looking, smart, successful man.  Because that's what nerds do! (at least, some of them).  

So yeah.  I'd tell my teen self to date those boys.  I mean, I'm pretty sure that there would still have been plenty of teen angst in my life, but I have no doubt that I'd save myself a ton of heartache.

What about you?  If you could go back to your teen self and do one thing different, what would it be?


Jennifer McGowan said...

Wow! What a great question. Honestly, for me it would be "don't date at all. just don't do it." :)

I really was not equipped to make good decisions as a sophomore. As you guys know, my father passed away when I was fifteen, and neither my sister NOR brother had ever really dated. So I made terrible, terrible, BAD dating choices. Like guys who resulted in me saying: "Um, I'll just walk home two miles by myself on this country road instead of sitting here any more with you". When I finally found a group of smart, funny, nice and genuinely cute guys as Junior in high school, I'm sure my entire family breathed a sigh of relief.

So I would say to my teen self: there is NO RUSH. A bad choice is infinitely worse than not dating. Really and truly.

Kristi Cook said...

<<A bad choice is infinitely worse than not dating. <<

This is SO true, Jennifer! Actually, I say the same thing about agents, too...(LOL!)

Marni Bates said...

See, I wish I had known how to flirt! Some of those nerdy boys were pretty cute, but I had zero game.

*glances at coating of mac and cheese powder on face*

Some things don't change. :D


Kimberly said...

It's hard to recognize the potential in people at that age. We're all so shallow and attracted to that same sense of shallow in others. I think it's truly part of maturing. I just wish I could go back in some other girl's super hot body and kiss some nerdy guy senseless in the hallway in front of everyone. I was more the semi-cute girl-next-door-type, so I probably wouldn't have made the same impression--lol.
I ended up marrying someone that I wouldn't have looked at twice in high school, so I'm glad I grew up before I met him. :-)

Kristi Cook said...

Same here, Kimberly! Actually, when I first met my husband (we were camp counselors together), I wrote home to my mom that I'd met this "really weird guy," LOL! Imagine her surprise a couple weeks later when I wrote home and said I was madly in love with him!