I posted this on facebook awhile back, tagging many people including some of you. So, I realize the hypercritical nature of what I am about to say.
A few bosses ago, I had a General Manager constantly assuring myself and my co-workers, “I’m the fun boss! I’m a hard worker and will buss tables and do whatever is needed! I have a great attitude! I’m this and that and wonderful and I am going to define myself to you over and over because the reality is I am a drunk who will be passed out on my desk every morning and I want you to see me as I want to be seen and not how I actually behave.” OK, I made the last one up, but that was the only true part of the quotation.
While I do believe it is important for individuals to assert themselves, one trait I find highly annoying is over-defining oneself in order to have everyone know what they are. If my old boss was what he said, he wouldn’t have to tell me, I would see it.
My reaction is similar when I hear people tell me “I’m a jock/rebel/etc.” One would think it’s a trait that ends with high school, or even in college. I once dated someone who always told me they were a socially awkward nerd…over and over and over. After getting to know this person I realized they engaged in activities one might consider nerdy, but they also were a social butterfly and had far more close friends than most people I know.
So, this whole Geek Pride Day thing…I don’t buy it. Do you really need to tell people you are? It’s not like Gay Pride Day. If you are gay, you’re gay. I believe geek is a matter of opinion and in recent years grasping onto that title has become the savior of those who once maybe felt as an outcast and now have the hipster geeky trend on which to fall back.
Let’s see what the dictionary says about the word, “geek.”
- A person regarded as foolish, inept, or clumsy.
- A person who is single-minded or accomplished in scientific or technical pursuits but is felt to be socially inept.
My guess is the single minded definition is the one people are after when they call you or I or whoever a geek. There’s also a manifesto posted for Geek Pride Day:
- The right to be even geekier.
- The right to not leave your house.
- The right to not like football or any other sport.
- The right to associate with other nerds.
- The right to have few friends (or none at all).
- The right to have as many geeky friends as you want.
- The right to be out of style.
- The right to be overweight and near-sighted.
- The right to show off your geekiness.
- The right to take over the world.
- Be a geek, no matter what.
- Try to be nerdier than anyone else.
- If there is a discussion about something geeky, you must give your opinion.
- To save and protect all geeky material.
- Do everything you can to show off geeky stuff as a “museum of geekiness.”
- Don’t be a generalized geek. You must specialize in something.
- Attend every nerdy movie on opening night and buy every geeky book before anyone else.
- Wait in line on every opening night. If you can go in costume or at least with a related T-shirt, all the better.
- Don’t waste your time on anything not related to geekdom.
- Try to take over the world!
Is it me, or are they trying too hard? I don’t know. I guess if you’re geeky, it’s going to show. If you need to tell me you’re geeky in an in-yo-face sort of way, no matter how close you fit the definition, you are just going to annoy people who would rather hear about your life than how you perceive yourself.