I am a self-proclaimed dork. I pride myself on my nerdiness and will often pit myself against other nerds in a nerd-off. I have rarely been beaten. Nevertheless, I find my nerdiness being challenged from all sides and by many unlikely people.
For my seventh grade class panoramic picture, I held my calculator (an HP 48G) up to my chest so it could be in the picture. When the picture was released to the student body, I was amazed at how many threats, including death threats, were made against me for my outrageous display of nerdiness. Of course, this only made me feel better about displaying my captivating mistress, Isabel.
Now, everyone from doctors and lawyers to real estate agents, construction workers and self-important mid-level nobodies in lame dead-end jobs carry a host of incredibly nerdy devices on themselves in ways that even I have to laugh at. I see people carrying giant pocket PCs in hip holsters. Holsters! Before, if I saw someone wearing their palm pilot or calculator in a holster, I had to suppress the urge to give them a wedgie. (I assume the holster is necessary to be competitive when facing off against other nerds-in-denial in quickdraw contests.) Even worse than the holster is the wireless headset. I'm not opposed to the idea of a wireless headset per se. However, I am opposed to people wearing them all of the time. I can think of nothing nerdier than walking around in public with a big ear/mouthpiece awkwardly sticking out of your head. Even I want to punch people like that, and not just for the rudeness factor. I wonder how many people would stop doing it if they realized that it is the realization of technology from Star Trek.
I suppose that I'm just bitter because my societal niche is being coopted. I define myself by my nerdiness and now I'm being surpassed by the same people that I resented for getting ahead in life by making fun of my nerdiness. Alas, being a nerd, I should have seen it coming. After taking away my joy, my security, my interests, and my self-esteem, it is only fitting that they should take away my identity. But I will press on, because in the end, my calculator is still way, way, way, way, better than my BlackBerry. Way better.