I’ve lived in Chicago exactly one year. That’s 12 months. 365 days. 8,760 hours. 525,600 minutes. (which doesn’t really sound like many minutes …)
Although I’ve become a semi-savvy CTA user, a bike rider, an amateur (experimental and not that good) cook, a new restaurant obsessor, a microbrew freak, a recycler, a traffic connoisseur, a local volunteer, a Tony’s shopper, an amazon lover, a neglector of loud city sounds (well … I have developed an ambivalence for noise pollution I suppose … as ambulance #4 rolls by my windows whilst I type) … I’ve still been unable to shake my destiny for lifelong nerdism.
No matter what I do or where I go in this city, I consistently feel like the queen of dorks. I will say that I’ve never lacked confidence (see running blog post … i.e. trying out for the pom-pom squad as a chubby adolescent with two left feet), but living here definitely transformed my “medium-sized crustacean in a friendly and surprisingly talented puddle” mentality to “single-celled organism in a vast body of glorious superstar water” mindset.
Let me provide a few examples.
1. Not only is my bike a rather-upright and comfortable contraption (unlike the “cool” road bike models prevalent in my neighborhood), my helmet resembles an empty fish bowl that sits 2 inches too high on my think-tank … making my head appear large enough to host its own weather system(s).
2. I have homemade bangs (I haven’t found a reasonable beauty-parlor nearby yet … and my kitchen scissors are the next best thing). Sometimes, right after I give my bangs a nice choparooski, I slightly resemble Georgie Porgie (puddin’ pie) or that dude who stuck his thumb in a pie. Either way, I look like someone with something to do with a pie and ABCs… an unfortunate nerd who should be constantly reciting nursery rhymes whilst eating cherry filling.
2a. I say “beauty parlor”
3. I like bad 80s movies and sometimes feel that I would rather watch them than the indie/foreign flicks with oodles of awards and thumbs-ups. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy quality films too … but sometimes I just want to be entertained. Sometimes I crave big hair, keyboards, The Cars, crummy sound tracks that never exit the brain and jokes that don’t need to include bodily noises/sexual references to be hilarious. Examples: Overboard, Earth Girls Are Easy, Troop Beverly Hills, High Spirits, Big Trouble In Little China, UHF, Big Business, Short Circuit, The Last Unicorn, Drop Dead Fred … I could go on forever…
4. I wear makeup. Apparently, in this neighborhood, makeup is a sign of materialism and shallowness. Interesting perspective, but my eyeliner is doing you a favor, punks. You don’t want to see these eyeballs clean.
5. I drive a KIA. Not only that, it’s an SUV. I feel like a complete a-hole every time I hop in.
6. I work in marketing and George Carlin hates me for that. Here, one must be one or more of the following to be cool: artist, musician, video producer, architect, actor/actress, director, chef, social worker, poet, writer, coffee shop owner, vegetarian, vegan or bike repair-person.
7. I have a blog.
8. I listen to Owl City when I run sometimes. Also Enya. Occasionally Yanni. Just kidding. Sort of. But not really.
9. I smile in pictures. This is death to cool in the hipster world.
10. I post photo albums on Facebook. Also, I tweet.
11. I like American / velveeta cheese. And typing that out made me hungry.
12. I have a sweet SLR camera but have no idea how to use it.
13. I feel like high-fiving someone when I successfully parallel park.
14. My obsession with my cat drives me to: let him have my pillow, drink my milk when I’m not done with it, sit on my chair when I’m not done sitting in it, walk on my computer as I attempt to use it.
15. I feel like high-fiving fellow runners when I run past them on Logan Boulevard.
16. I can speak fluent Ewok.
17. I use a Crest SpinBrush (r) and tell everyone about it.
18. I make terrible / boring lists explaining why I’m a destined nerd.
19. I went to Medieval Times for my 28th birthday.
20. I think Lady Gaga is awesome.