When you think “nerd” what comes to mind? How do you define it?

I was recently called a nerd.

Yes.

Me.

I know…

Cool, urbane, chic, witty, tea drinking, Masterpiece Theater watching, book a week reader….

A nerd…

But do you know why I was called a nerd?

I mean really, it could be any of those things- I realize that I do have some hobbies/traits that can be considered “nerdy”, yet, it wasn’t for any of the things these things that the word “nerd” was tossed in my direction.

It was because I was carrying my dog.

Betty tends to exhaust herself when we go to the park. Often, when we are walking home, she just plops her little body on the sidewalk. You would think she weighed 800 pounds instead of eight the way she just becomes immobile. She is unmovable by leash.

And because I was carrying my dog, this couple passed me and I heard them say to one another:

Who carries their dog. What a nerd.

My first reaction was saying %%^$% you to them, but I try not to curse before 10am

I turned around and looked at them and I then wanted to say; Have you looked in a mirror lately? But I’m trying to only say nasty things to people on alternate Thursdays…

Because really, if I were to be uncharitable…I could have further commented on their clothing, their general demeanor, or their uncoolness….

But I’m trying to be nice…

So I ask the unanswerable question: Why do people feel the need to comment about others?

I was minding my own business, not harming anyone, just carrying my dog…

Is that really something that should be commented on- loud enough for me to hear it?

Do people really think they’re “better” than someone else?

Didn’t this behavior end in high school?

In a world where we are supposed to respect what people do, who people are, why are we still so mean to one another?

94 thoughts on “Nerd

  1. No words. Read this and thought. Good for you. Processing an interaction with a couple of @@#$%. That little ditty they taught us when we were little about sticks and stones..I realized as an adult, that poem is not accurate. Words are powerful. Period. Both to heal, encourage, etc. and to cut down, kill and maim. Your response was more mature than mine would have been. Bless you LA. DM

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    1. I don’t know how mature I was…but it’s just so annoying. Is the goal to be kind and respectful, or to just be a tool? I wish I knew…

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  2. Excellent point, I am often called a nerd and a loser – both badges I wear with pride cause I am being me. Last I checked this is a country built on individual freedom and I am exercising my right as are you. Why are people rude, nasty ignorant – social media and news agencies. It all started years ago when the TV news broadcasts when from a service to a profit center. They needed viewership so the commercials would pay them for their time and how do you do that – SENSASIONALISM. Then there is politics but I can’t go there. Healthy debate and acceptance of alternative opinions are the casualties.

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    1. Yet….and this is what makes me mad….we are also saying that we should respect everyone’s individuality. Are we only supposed to respect it if it’s about the topic du jour?

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      1. No, to each their own on all things as long as the “things” does not negatively impact my life or cause me to change how I live to conform to yours. If you want to color your dog’s fur and make it pink – have at it, if you want to ban all dogs over 10 pounds because they intimidate you – we gotta problem.

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    2. Yeah. I really don’t understand WHY people have to be rude. Seriously. It tends to either start eating me up with self hate or makes me incredibly angry. I really know the meaning of “if you can’t say anything nice…”

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  3. I am a nerd, and proud of it! To me it is like someone saying that I am different than they are. Well, hell yes, I am different. I am the only one of me and that’s the best I can be.

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  4. Okay, that was mean, and uncalled for. And people carry their dogs, jeez.
    I had the nerd label throughout high school and now, I don’t really mind.
    But it just sucks to judge people and make comments about them that are totally uncool.
    Why do people feel the need to do that?

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  5. Funny, as a retired computer science prof, to me the term ‘nerd’ is one of respect for all the wonderful techie-oriented people of all ages who develop and maintain our electronic devices, apps, all our online possibilities, etc. So you should just have said, “Thanks!” 😏 And unless those people were teenagers in that stressful stage of life where fitting in is paramount, they were just losers!! Good time to take the high road. 😊

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  6. Didn’t we just have a similar discussion about respect and maturity and in your face behaviors?? Weren’t you the one who reminded me just how many “tools” there are running around out there?? Remember, this is the norm now.

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  7. All good questions with no answers, except maybe we are deeply flawed human beings. It takes constant effort to climb out of these flaws. The couple you encountered were lazying around at the bottom of theirs.

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  8. Aww, see? THIS IS WHY WE SHOULD NEVER LEAVE THE HOUSE.

    Kidding.

    I was called a nerd all my entire high school career because I was in marching band. When I wasn’t referred to as a geek. So, you’re in good company.

    I have several theories about why they were mean, but the bottom line is that they are projecting their own insecurities and judgements onto you. Not of themselves as “nerds,” but of what they think you are, what you represent, or even what they think they are.

    As I always say, don’t take anything personally. It’s never about you.

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  9. What an odd moniker to use for someone who they see carrying a dog. Really? Certainly not the proper use of the word. And good for you for not taking the bait to retaliate in kind because there are certainly some who aren’t worth the breath, nor energy associated with it.
    However, I am finding that people are just spewing their views without taking the time to be kind, to see the full picture and instead drop to criticize immediately instead of asking (why does your dog need to be carried-even though it’s none of their business). Just go about your merry way LA and continue on! If you’re a nerd, then I am proud to be a nerd too as I love our community!

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  10. Not an answerable question. We like to label, frequently incorrectly. I called someone an asshole yesterday (not that he could hear me, though I wouldn’t have cared), because he was driving way too fast on a curve on our narrow gravel road and almost hit us. Speed limit 15. Was I wrong?

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    1. In that case no. Because you didn’t say it to him. What you say when others can’t hear doesn’t count. That’s my rule. It’s ok to get things out when you’re in your private space

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  11. I’m not an advocate to violence, but their is certainly a benefit to receiving a punch in the mouth at an early age while one is being a jerk. Sounds like those two people probably have gone through life getting a trophy just for showing up.

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  12. What I’ve learned from judgmental people is even though they appear to be judging you, unfairly I might add, they’re really talking about themselves. It’s not about you at all, they’re judging themselves and scapegoating you. It’s unkind and BTW I find you very chic! C

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  13. Oh, how unkind! But, I notice in your story that they didn’t have a dog. Their loss not to understand the beauty of canine love and acceptance. No wonder they are cranky!

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  14. What would they say about people who walk their dog in a stroller? I can’t get used to finding it normal, but, in South Florida, it is! On Tue, Aug 17, 2021 at 8:05 AM Waking up on the Wrong Side of 50 wrote:

    > LA posted: ” When you think “nerd” what comes to mind? How do you define > it? I was recently called a nerd. Yes. Me. I know… Cool, urbane, chic, > witty, tea drinking, Masterpiece Theater watching, book a week reader…. A > nerd… But do you know” >

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  15. I totally get this. Benny has done the “I’m done and I’m not moving” stance a few times. I can’t stand around on the street waiting for him to make up his mind to move – LOL.

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  16. Why bother what a couple of ignorant (insert own preferred word here) think about you? Their problem, not yours.

    You have enough to worry about with the mini-Cerberus. By the way, I have a new invention in mind – a small sized dog harness with the handle from an attache case attached so you can pick it up and carry when necessary.

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  17. Because people seem to be the only thing in society that never truly evolve. Nerdy for holding a dog ? Naw..Rich and Snobby is the image that pops into my head from cinema. I wouldn’t stoop to calling you that LA, if anything I would think something might be wrong with your dog. People say crap all the time without thinking or just to be mean. Kinda like people yelling at me from a car saying the obvious “Boy are you fat!”

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  18. I guess they wanted to make a lousy comment about a stranger to make themselves feel better somehow? Because that always works… 🙄

    I would call you a nerd because of your interests, but I am a nerd, too.

    And can you blame Betty for taking it easy after a long walk? She’s so tiny!

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  19. Yes, I think you are a nerd. You are interesting, thought provoking, whimsical, love the theater!! I think to be called a nerd at our age is actually an awesome compliment! You aren’t dull or just plain beige. To me being called a nerd at this age means TO BE COLORFUL!!! Junior high I would’ve wept in the corner, though!

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  20. 🤔We humans do like to pop people into a comfortable catagory, I’ve always thought you a leading character from a NY Woody Allen movie comes to mind, an Annie Hall. A cool, urbane, witty, sophisticated woman……… Confidently opionated, a lady who knows a thing or two when we taking Art

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  21. I ask myself this question all the time because it hurts when people make judgements or assumptions about me especially when they don’t know me…I have tried to use it as a learning opportunity and a reminder to check myself when I find myself commenting or attempting to label people (I am not always successful)..I also try to remind myself in the moment that someone that exhibits closed minded judgmental behaviour is not worth my time (again, I am not always successful).

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  22. Your questions are perfect. I used to tell my kids when they were in school that all of the middle school/high school meanness would disappear when they went to college. It seems I was wrong. BTW, my daughter has a little dog, and she just plops too when she is tired. She gets carried a little ways and then is good to go again. Little dogs exert a lot of energy and walk a lot of steps to keep up with their people.

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  23. Ummmmm, not nerdy to carry a dog…just sayin. What does a need look like? Me! Haha. People compel themselves to make comments to make themselves feel better about their lot in life, how they feel on the inside, etc. When this happens to me today, regardless of the topic, I just know it has nothing to do with me. It’s their projection.

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  24. I prefer the word geek, but I’ll proudly own being a nerd. Not entirely sure how either relates to carrying a small dog, but whatever. I would have said thank you to them, then asked if they actually understood what the word meant! I’m really not known for keeping my mouth shut in situations like this😁

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  25. “What kind of person doesn’t know what a nerd is? An idiot that’s who…and we don’t believe anything an idiot says.” I would have turned around, followed them for a moment and asked my dog that out loud. Then I would have answered myself and then turned around and continued on. But that’s just me. You were mature and good for you. 🙂 Mona

    Liked by 1 person

  26. May I point to my comments on your previous post and say judge not lest ye be judged?

    At the same time I say we are each entitled to our own opinion and it doesn’t mean that’s the way the person/thing we’re commenting on is actually that way. It’s often just the way we see it on the surface with little knowledge of surrounding facts and circumstances.

    Finally, I wouldn’t refer to someone who carries their dog as a nerd. I reserve that term for people who are really smart and/or just appear that way. I would refer to someone in your situation as a dog mommy who treats their dog like a real baby and spoils their pet sometimes even more than their own human baby. I can say this because that’s how my sister, who made the decision to be childless because she didn’t think she had what it takes i.e. the discipline and patience, to raise a child, actually treats her senior dog.

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