My mom always told me to marry a nerd. I thought this was sort of silly advice, ’cause nerds were, well you know, nerdy. Then I found a box of old photos of my parents and I understood. My mom was a blonde knockout and she, in every photo, was swooning over this awkward gawky guy with bad hair and a toothy grin. The lady practiced what she preached.
My parents have had a very long and idyllic marriage. I’ve never witnessed them fight, they hold hands and kiss frequently, and they are about to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary. Since I’ve spent so many years blatantly ignoring her advice, I think it’s time I examine my own fear of the nerd.
By my definition, a nerd is someone who is socially awkward, quotes facts and figures that no one cares about, possibly has a facial tic, is obsessed with something annoying like comic books or the periodic table, and uses obnoxious words like verisimilitude while looking at you with sorrowful eyes ’cause he can tell you don’t know what it means. A nerd can’t wait for you to leave the house so he can get back to playing stupid video games with robot aliens in them. But the truth is, none of these things describe my dad.
When pressed, my mom told me her definition of a nerd was someone that had a big heart and knew how lucky he was to be dating you. It was someone that had great friends, humility, and an ego that was in check. Someone with a lot of interests and a life of his own.
Hmm. The sad part is that I’ve dated many attractive guys, from actors and writers, to an actual male model, and the one thing that remains the same is the inflated ego. So I ask, can you be both attractive and nerdy? Attractive boys tend to think they are deserving of the hottest piece, the next best thing, and never really appreciate the great thing that is staring them in the face (hello, me!). So, while I spent many years wrinkling my nose at my mom’s advice, I now know that she is onto something very important.
For me, there’s nothing trendier right now than nerdy men. I’m hitting up all the libraries, chess stores in the West Village, and of course, Comic-con. I’m searching for the awkward dates and bad first kisses, ’cause pretty boys just aren’t going to make the cut.
Emily Freda Foster is a writer, producer and esteemed tap dancer. Follow her on twitter here.
Image via MarieClaire.com