I have a confession to make. It's time to come out of the nerd closet...
I'm a HUGE nerd. At least in the way society typically defines a nerd.
I've noticed it more and more as I've gotten older, I've been more accepting of my nerdiness. Obviously, I've always been a nerd in the academic sense - English nerd (now teacher), drama club member, honors classes, fairly high GPA in high school and college, hung out with the band geeks and Magic-players (while never playing music or Magic myself), and being mocked by the popular girls behind my back. It never really bothered me, though - because while the popular kids mostly ignored me, a few found me (intentionally) funny and for the most part I noticed that my peers generally liked me. I wasn't as socially active as I would've liked, but for the most part I look back on my middle and high school years with general fondness. (College, on the other hand...)
Anyways, as I got older, I noticed that I was a HUGE pop-culture enthusiast. Entertainment Weekly is my bible, and I had to take a break from gossip sites and magazines because it was getting ridiculous. Also, my movie tastes tended toward the cult favorites as well as the popular movies. Being interested in popular culture isn't necessarily nerdy, I realize, but when you're known by friends AND family as the Trivia Queen - to the point where people fear NOT being on your team for Scene It! - then it's officially a nerdy thing. ;p
Then there's my comic book fandom. Yup, I read comic books. Now, I don't read a ton of the superhero ones (although "Daredevil" is my favorite, but I'm woefully behind - I still haven't finished Bendis' last run before Brubaker took over!), but I am a regular reader of "Fables". Seriously, "Fables" is the one I pimp the hardest. I also like "Runaways", "Y: The Last Man" (It's completed, HIGHLY recommend), and then there's a ton of webcomics that I read. The list is pretty long. Oh, and then there's graphic novels... I'm actually planning to attend my first official comic-con the first weekend of October. I wanted to go to WonderCon this year, but we couldn't afford it at the time. APE seems like a good place to start, plus my FAVORITE graphic novelist, Craig Thompson, will be there and I'm a little afraid I might cry when I meet him, he's that amazing. I'll also get to see one of my favorite comic strip writers, Keith Knight, too... I've actually considered attending several of his appearances, but I've always wussed out because he seems SO cool and I'm so NOT cool, haha. Of course, the fact that I'd be meeting him at a COMIC CONVENTION is completely lost on me.
Now what's really making me say, "Ok, I'm not just a girl with nerd qualities, I'm a straight-up NERD" is that I've recently fallen into... gaming. Not video games, ROLE PLAYING GAMES.
Yes, I'm in a gaming group. Even better... I FREAKING LOVE IT. OMG it is SO MUCH FUN.
Now, I'm trying to argue that I like it so much because it's social and I've been fortunate to have a great group of guys for my first group, but... I like the fantasy elements. I like that my character is a half-elf sorceress and that I got to create a background story for her. It's like a social "Choose Your Own Adventure" book - and I loved those books as a kid. It's PERFECT for me. I've seriously played it almost every Saturday, and I'm having a blast. The Hubs just LAUGHS at me. He has nerd elements, but he's not as nerdy as I am.
I'd probably be more "ashamed" of all these things if my friends didn't also have similar interests (how do you think I got involved in the gaming group? ;p), and if I didn't realize that WHO GIVES A CRAP ABOUT THIS? I'm damn near 30! Do people still have so little to focus on that they'll judge me by my hobbies? I also craft and play ukulele.
Not to mention, I'm married, socially functional, and a cute girl. The last one alone excuses me from most judgment, at least from guys. ;p