As I draw on to the end of my fifth decade, I’m feeling reflective. Indulge me in a little reminiscence, and by all means come to my birthday party.
The insufferable nerdiness of being
At ten years of age, I was a big nerd. Big? Sure, I was almost five feet tall. But the true magnitude of my nerdiness was measured in other ways.
Other kids wanted to be firefighters or race car drivers. I wanted to be nuclear physicist. I could tell you anything you wanted to know about electrons, protons, and neutrons. My 4th grade science fair project on atomic fission won a blue ribbon.
I had 50 cents to my name, which I kept in a little safe labeled Fort Knox. On the side of the safe, I had one of those molded rubber fridge magnets, a yellow one picturing a lightbulb, with the slogan, “Whatever Turns You On.”
It was the 1970s, after all. I made ten in ’77, the same year the Sex Pistols came out with Never Mind the Bollocks. But I didn’t know anything about that until later.
I was into planets and space exploration. When the rings of Uranus were discovered in March of ’77, that made my diary. When I discovered a discrepancy between our textbook and my Dad’s Time-Life encyclopedia regarding the number of moons orbiting Saturn, I confronted my fourth grade science teacher. She just stared at me.
A huge, insufferable nerd. I haven’t changed much over the years.