Geeks Unite!: My Life at The Loser Lunch Table
Some of you kids may have had anxiety about school starting. Maybe you hate math. Maybe you’re not a fashionista. Maybe you resent that you didn’t get picked Homecoming queen because a little snit named Amber Dawn told everyone she heard that on dates, you were so scared of “the kiss” you needed a pair of “starting blocks” for your 100-yard sprint to the front door. You know, theoretically.
Maybe you’re just a nerd like I was.
I had Full Metal Jacket braces with big silver bands around each tooth and long, scraggly hair parted down the middle with bangs that were always growing out. And even now, I wonder why my parents let me get wire-rim glasses that darkened to a weird gray color in the sun. Sorry, Ma, but maybe the dork doesn’t fall too far from the tree. Word.
I read the Hobbit and Narnia series before they were semi-cool movies, as well as Star Trek books, which were never cool. And I had a crush on William Shatner in his skinny Star Fleet pants. He was swagadelic way back when Johnny Depp was just a tot running with his little scissorhands and learning his girlie pirate flourishes.
My parents noticed I was on the geeky side so we had a meeting.
“Honey, we know you want to fit in . . . ,” they began.
Next, they could’ve suggested something normal like, “Why don’t you meet with Christy and smoke a few Marlboros behind the gym?”
No, MY parents said, “Why don’t you join a bowling league?”
That totally scored me a prime seat at the lunch table—with the hopelessly geeky Fantasy World of Warcraft society.
So I joined the bowling league and brought my new geek friend, the Grand Supreme Orc Warlord with me. And I took bowling very seriously, since you ask.
Once Christy asked me over, and I stated, “No, I’m going to work on my hook ball because lately my curve hasn’t been high and tight.”
Her eyes spoke volumes, as if I were Mork and she were, well . . . anyone.
Finally, after seventh grade, my latent cool gene engaged, or maybe I just developed a couple of decent curve balls. Go figure. Maybe the long summers envelop a girl in a cocoon of baby oil, iodine, and White Rain hairspray, and what emerges is a sunburned redneck in daisy dukes who can thoroughly beat her boyfriend’s butt at bowling.
I believe we all agree bowling is a metaphor for life. Sometimes you don’t need finesse. You can just throw it hard and get a strike.
You don’t have to be perfect with a 300 game. Then people expect it all the time.
And you can start off stinking pretty bad, but wind up with the high score.
There will always be 300-games and fashionistas. But we geeks are a band of brothers you can count on to help you endure the Amber Dawns and loser lunch tables. Brothers who, through ironic twists of fate, have now become the Mean Girls’ nerdy, well-paid bosses. Like my geeky, old bowling buddy, Vestis Millennial—Fantasy World of Warcraft’s Grand Supreme Orc Warlord. To his big-shot business buddies, he’s just Bill. Bill Gates.