Wednesday, September 14, 2005

To Geekdom and Back

Hello Ladies! This picture was taken during the peak of my life. Notice the arrogant pose. That look of disinteresst. I knew I was the shit! From kindergarten to the 3rd grade I ruled the roost. I bullied the younger kids. The girls all wanted me to be Luke Skywalker to their Leia, which was ridiculous and creepy considering how that turned out. Besides, everyone knew Solo was the man, so I had to be Han. I had the cool toys, the cool clothes, and sweet ass bedroom loft all to myself. Even at church, I was the crème de la crème of the bunch. My Dad had helped started the church, so I got in on the ground floor. Again, I was the shit. Then it all went awry. It began with two events. First, there was my 9th birthday party. My Mom planned this lavish party, and I invited everyone. Unknown to me there was one problem. My best friend at the time, Brent was held back to repeat the 2nd grade. We went to the same school and church, so we always hung out. It got to the point were I was being called Brent and he Brad. Of course, I invited him first. I was later made aware by another friend of mine what an error of judgment this was. In fact, I was told that if I didn’t revoke my party invitation to Brent nobody else would come. I didn’t revoke the invitation but my “cool kid” card was. Only four kids I think showed up, but I’d rather had them then a bunch of kids wanting free cake. I still remember us modifying my new race track to see how far we could launch the cars.

The second thing that happened was my parents divorced. Any ego or confidence I had left was completely wiped out by that event. As the case with a lot of kids, moving to a new place, new school, and with no friends can screw you up. The preference towards Star Wars, G. I. Joe, and buliding forts was a hinderence. What didn’t help either was that I didn’t have my Mom to dress me anymore.That’s the best way I can explain the picture to the right. The one nice thing was that if it got too sunny I could just close the drapes to my haircut.

Five years later and things didn’t get any better. Again I had to move. This time it was back to Ohio. I thought for a moment that I would be able to get back together with my previous friends. A few of them were going to my new high school, and we started going to the same church. How wrong I was. I wasn’t the “Good friend” Brad anymore. I was the “I kind of remember you” Brad. It was also at this point that I spent most of my time buried in comic books, and listening to Weird Al. I was also the son of a teacher, which meant I was never invited to parties or other social events. So I collected my comic books, went to my art house movies, and worked as a janitor to pay for it all. I at least had my Mom in town who worked hard to improve my fashion sense. It didn’t really take till college though.

I was still a hopeless cause till my fourth year of undergrad (there would be five years total). It was then that I realized how to turn my shyness into the appearance of cool, and to not give a rat’s ass. I may have been too shy to talk. But, if you just lean back in your chair, and have the look of disinterest on your face, it appears you don’t give a shit and would rather be somewhere else. I relied on this numerous times till I worked through the overbearing shyness. I also stopped caring that I was apparently the only die hard Neil Diamond fan, or that I would get in trouble for seeing movies, or that jeans weren’t allowed to be worn in class. It took awhile but this was a big step. I stopped trying to be everything to everyone in an effort to make friends. If you didn’t care, or you thought I was weird, I didn’t care. I didn’t regain my lost coolness, but I didn’t care about the geek part. Grunge hitting the airwaves, and the underground becoming mainstream in the 90’s, also helped too. This was evident, when at my five year high school reunion I had numerous people talking about the comic books they are reading. These were the same people who laughed at my speech on “Comic Books Aren’t for Kids Anymore.”

That leads us up to present day. I dress a little better. Some people think I’m cool. I can function socially in a group of five or more. But, I’m still that shy skinny punk who needs a sign from God in order to kiss a girl. I guess I never got back from geekdom hell, I just learned to make it home, and enjoy the compant of my fellow inmates.


Bradford said...

I apologize now for completely ripping off-I mean artistically borrowing MOL Jr's post topic. I was going to use the fact that I've been sick that past few days as an excuse, but then I realized I didn't really care.

MOL Junior said...

no need to apologize - i was honored! besides i'm sure someone has done it before me.

great post, obviously since you read mine i can relate.