None of us expected it. I think I fit into the “us” of yesteryear. We were cliquish, never intentionally mean, but felt that sports, dirty words, spitballs, chasing girls, ogling cars, and driving the nuns and our parents crazy, was somehow the winning ticket for success in life; at least elementary school life. We all got pretty good grades, we had no choice; our parents would kick our asses if we didn’t turn in our homework and bring home “A’s” and “B’s.”
The few guys and gals that didn’t quite “fit-in” were nerds.
It wasn’t a kind name-tag, it was a slur. We envied their brains but laughed at their weaknesses in sports, spitballs, dirty words, chasing girls and ogling cars. They just wouldn’t take their eyes out of their books and wouldn’t let go of their chess pieces.
In high school, the cream rose to the top. The nerds got more respect, but never acceptance. After high school we didn’t see much of them. Most of “us” went to our local state universities, community colleges and trade schools. We got good jobs, made pretty good wages and raised our families. We pushed our kids into sports to re-live our fantasy life through them and sometimes didn’t pay as close attention to their grades as our parents did to ours. It seemed more important to score a touchdown or make prom queen.
Our nerdy classmates went off on scholarship to the better schools and were at the forefront of transistors, micro waves, bar code scanners and other hardware that made life efficient and convenient. But they also got married and raised families. Most of them married other nerds and had lots of baby nerds. Then the grandbaby nerds came into the world. Then, the world changed in that one generation.
Now we can’t live without them. They have turned our comic books into movies, given us mobile devices that run our lives, video games to turn our brains to mush and made their grandfather’s “Buck Rogers” dreams a reality.