I have a confession to make. I am a nerd. I know, I know. You never would have guessed, based on my witty insights on such topics as Rainer Maria Rilke and grief and couches that look like a cervix, but it’s definitely true.
Other Half is more on the social side. He loves to talk to people and go places and do things. I, on the other hand, never go anywhere without my Kindle or a paperback book stuffed into my purse. As a matter of fact, I buy my purses based on whether or not they are big enough for books. My mom used to call me Rory because of that. (If you’re wondering, the Frye hobo is big enough for my book, my kindle, my planner, and my MacBook).
Growing up, I don’t think I felt like a nerd. I was the smart girl, but I still had friends and fun and laughed a lot. But as I went to college and then started working, I discovered more about what I like. And what I like is knowing things and reading things and taking them apart to figure out how they tick.
Working in healthcare, you interact with people all day long. You smile and you answer questions and you think about things and you try to put your best foot forward. And then, if you’re an introvert like me, you come home next level tired. Like, desperately in need of staring at the wall in a quiet room tired. Not physically, but mentally.
Last night, I was looking forward to coming home from work so that I could sit in the hideous chair and read. That’s all I wanted out of life. Other Half made dinner, Mary Ann was out of town, and Benjamin Button had already run off to play video games. I sat down in my chair and had this huge wave of happiness at the thought of reading in the soft and the quiet. .
Other Half sits down and says, “You want to watch a movie? We can turn off this show and you can pick something out.” This is a big deal— having control of the remote. All day long he has to fight the kids for 30 minutes of peace to watch one show, and he was giving me his quiet happy time. He even scrolled through movies he knew I would like, which he would hate (The Wedding Planner, Sex and the City 2, the new Jurassic Park cartoon on Netflix), but I just couldn’t do it.
You know why? This is the part where I prove to you that I’m a nerd.
All day long I had been looking forward to starting a new book. And that book was Madeleine Albright’s memoir. There, I said it. (Stop judging me. I don’t judge you for how you relax. And the beauty of reading on a Kindle is that you can’t judge me for what I read because you don’t know what it is unless I tell you).
A few minutes later he says, “You enjoying your book?”
“Yep,” I say.
Awkward silence while I keep reading..,,, “What are you reading?”
“Madeleine Albright’s memoir of her time as Secretary of State.”
More awkward silence. Then, “Oh…..why?”
“Because I think it’s interesting. It’s history. I was homeschooled so I didn’t take a good history class in high school like you did, and I’m going back to fill in the gaps in what I know.”
More awkward silence, silent judgement, and I’m pretty sure silent introspection on how he ended up married to someone whose Idea of a good time is reading Madeleine Albright’s memoir on a Saturday night. Not even the newest one. The one from 2003.
You know what? I love books. All the books. I love the ideas and the word choices. I have a love affair with words and with silence and with this hideous bean bag chair. Sometimes I read cardiology books and take notes on things I don’t know because I’m genuinely interested. And sometimes I read poetry. And sometimes I read about Hebrew words. And not a day goes by that I don’t listen to an audiobook in my Jeep. And when I was in college I made a character map just to be able to keep up with the relationships in Carry Me Like Water, which I would have done even if I wasn’t reading that book for a class because I just need to understand things. You know why?
Because I’m a nerd. And I’m OK with that. I like being a nerd. And the good news is, according to My Friend, nerds rule the world.