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The Column

I'm a Spazz, You're a Spazz
3/9/03

A few days ago, I noticed that the date was 03/03/03. My first thought was, "hey, that's pretty cool." My second thought was, "man, I need a life." In some senses, I am a giant dork. This is most certainly one of them.

I used to look forward to every January 9th, because the date would be something like 1/9/97. My favorite times of the day are 12:34 and 1:23, and I even get excited when I notice the clock has hit 2:22. The be-all end-all of coincidental time has happened twice in my life - August 8th, 1988, and September 9th, 1999. Something that special won't happen again until November 11th, 2011. Just think - it could be 11:11 on 11/11/11. Twice in the same day!

I'll admit it - I think stuff like that is cool. Though I shouldn't use the word cool - maybe "neat," "keen," or "swell" would be more appropriate. Those are words my parents are more likely to use, which makes sense since doing anything that dorky is something people my age pretend is exclusive to our parents.

But we're all tremendous dorks in one way or another. I had a friend in college that epitomized the traditional definition of cool. He got tons of girls, stayed out late partying, knew almost everyone on campus, and could hold his liquor like no one else I've met, before or since. But if you got him into a conversation about computer science, his eyes would light up.

We don't become our parents as we get older. We were always our parents. To some, this is a very upsetting revelation. I'm sure I will get many letters telling me how unlike your parents you are. But you know who else writes angry letters to columnists? Your parents.

Dorkiness is not just limited to the fans of Star Trek and Dungeons and Dragons. Any obsession has a component of dork involved. Watching a football game on a Sunday is usually seen as pretty cool. But how many of you have fantasy teams? Dorky. The Simpsons are undeniably cool. But when you can quote any line in any episode, that is, well, kind of dorky. For a guy, a magazine like Maxim is pretty damn cool. Writing in to them once a week in the vain hope that you'll win the caption contest? Pretty damn dorky.

I have a fantasy football team, know every line in every Simpsons episode, and the only thing stopping me from writing in to Maxim is the fact that I write for them. I guess writing for Maxim is pretty cool. But telling people I write for Maxim? Pretty dorky.

Think about your life for a moment. Do you separate your t-shirts into piles based on their color? Do you keep the bills in your wallet in descending numerical order? Do you read newspaper columns about why you're dorkier than you think? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you're not only dorky, you're human.

Everyone has a side to them that appreciates order and knowledge. Well, everyone who has the mental capacity to read an 800-word column without stopping for air or a dictionary. As you age, you don't change - the perception around you does. I've often heard stories about how in high school, the crew that started off as popular wasn't as popular towards the end. It's because people around you begin having the courage to admit that they post to internet bulletin boards, that they schedule detailed itineraries of their road trips, and that they kept the beads from the time they went to Mardi Gras three years ago, in order to save the 50 cents it'd cost to buy new ones in case they ever go back. You know you do it. So do I.

I am physically fit. I wear a black leather jacket. I was president of my fraternity. But I am the first to admit that I, like everyone else, am a big, big dork. I schedule my life through my palm pilot, I prefer conversations on the meaning of life to those on how drunk I am, and I keep my CDs in alphabetical order. And in the past few years, I've even started to willingly spend time with my parents. But not while they're writing angry letters to columnists, because I don't want to interrupt them.

So befriend your deep-down dweeb. Embrace your secret spaz. Welcome your disguised dip. And love the part of you that could come up with three separate alliterative sentences to describe hidden ways of being a loser.

But not for the next two minutes. It's 12:33, and I'd rather not be distracted.

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