This past weekend we had our students from church over to the house. At some point during the night one student insinuated ( or maybe flat out stated) that I was a bit of a nerdy person. I was not offended. I had heard this before and at the age of thirty-one readily accepted the truth of the statement. I am a bit of a nerd, and always have been. I just didn't always know it.
I went to a very small high school where everyone hung out with everyone. When there are only ten people in your graduating class you are forced to have social interactioins with everyone despite perceived status. So honestly, I just never even thought about "cool" in high school. From my high school puddle I jumped straight to a ginormous lake. A 14,000 person lake. Again, I really didn't think about social status. There were way too many people for that to even be relevant. But, I built a little friend group. They were hilarious, fun, and creative ladies. We had an awesome time together. It would be these same ladies that would open my eyes.
It was a regular old weeknight, and we sat in my dormroom playing a board game ( that probably should have been my first clue). In this particular game you describe people using provided adjectives. When it came time to describe me I was bewildered to see that ALL of my friends had chosen Cheesy. I, of course, had chosen Hilarious...... cause I am. They all assured me that we were all cheesy in a lovable dorky way. My confused expression and breathless stutters prompted one friend to quietly ask, " oh honey, you didn't think we were the cool kids did you?" I sat there mouth gaping and simply nodded. I felt like the main character who just learned they were adopted. Past moments swirled through my head: making up dance routines to Debbie Gibson songs. My bedroom walls covered in posters of the Beatles, Cary Grant, William Holden, and Jimmy Stewart ( sigh). The coolest party I had ever been to was hosted by parents. I had only been to parties that used words like "hosted". A flash of me tumbling down a hill after falling off my bike two days before Senior Prom.
My eyes were open, and sadly the world made more sense now. I was not the Kelly Kapowski. I was the female Screech.
This might have been a devastating blow for some, but I was surrounded by friends who assured me we shared this common bond. Instead of clawing against it, I embraced it.
My college years were spent laughing, making up stupid dances, campus water balloon fights, midnight hide and go seek, 80s movies marathons, a 21st birthday rootbeer kegger, and thousands of Cheesy inside jokes. I loved every lame minute.
And I still do.
You can call me lame, cheesy or nerdy... but I know it's really just code for Awesome.