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Flash Fiction

Plovember 14: Nerd Life

A child wants what she sees and cannot have,

but that is not the end.

Forever creative, she makes what she sees

and in the end,

becomes a joke to those

who actually have.

Head held high, she strides through life,

defiant and not caring on the outside

yet bleeding from the soul on the inside.


A woman wants what she sees and cannot have,

but that is not the end.

Yearning to fill an emotional need with material satisfaction,

she shortcuts to get something like what she sees.

The knock-offs fall apart,

exposing the lie

or the truth:

She couldn’t afford the real thing

and in the end,

becomes the joke to those

who actually have.

Head held high, she strides through life,

defiant and happy

because she figured out how to be content

in her own nerdy skin.

Like so many children, I wanted the things I couldn’t have. I went through a spell with mechanical pencils; I blame my dad, who used them for work but wouldn’t let me have his (they were quite fancy, which made them even more desirable). Other students had them but when it came time to buy school supplies, I was always told I had to get the standard pencils that had to be sharpened. I did love my Ticonderogas, but still.

As a pre-teen I wanted a certain brand of sneakers that were quite expensive. Again with the ‘no way’ response when I asked. I tried disguising the cheap, five-and-dime shoes my mom had purchased that year, to no avail. ‘Nerd’ was probably the kindest name I was called.

Fast forward to adulthood and for a time, I hadn’t quite learned my lesson. I had a spell of designer bag envy. There was something about those supple leather crap carriers that drew me, yet in my heart of hearts, there was no way I could justify paying thousands of dollars. Particularly since, in truth, I was a ‘put it in my pockets’ sort of girl. However, I wanted what I wanted and looked for shortcuts. Call the knock-off brigade. And you know how that usually turns out — insignias fall off, buckles or latches break, or more like it, the people who can actually purchase such baubles can spot the difference from miles away.

I woke up one day to realize I didn’t need any of that to be okay.

I was okay, just the way I was.

I realized that most of the people I saw with those pencils, sneakers, or handbags couldn’t reimage computers, rewire a house for sound, or write strange tales.

But I could.

And do.

I realized that most of those people who had those things would, even today, call me a nerd.

And I am.

But what fun I have being one.

Be who you are. Love who you are. Any less would be selling yourself short. And that would be a shame.

Full disclosure #1: my uncle’s wife once called me eccentric when I was a child; as a young adult, she gave me a small Louis Vuitton bag and I was in hog heaven. The strap broke recently (I’ve had it for nearly 30 years) and I threw it away.

Full disclosure #2: I discovered that ‘real’ (as in ‘authentic’) expensive sneakers aren’t supposed to be hip — they are supposed to serve a purpose.

Finally, full disclosure #3: I still love (and on occasion buy) mechanical pencils …






  1. Firewaves21 November 14, 2016 10:44 pm

    Good for you. I have learned some of those same lessons. Another lesson I learned is that it’s okay to pay a lot for quality, and for things that have purpose. I did once buy a purse Dooney & Burke don’t know if I spelled it right. I still have it, it is the most money I have ever spent on a purse. I didn’t buy it for the name though, I bought it because it was round, purple, with rainbow letters and zippers. 😉

    • AR Neal November 15, 2016 9:05 am

      I love it! Yes — quality and glitz combined? Can’t beat that! 🙂

  2. Lyn November 15, 2016 12:26 am

    All I ever wanted when I was a kid was a pair of jeans. My mother refused to let me have a pair. She thought I was too much of a tomboy as it was. I still don’t have a pair of jeans, but when I lose the 30kg so I can have a knee replacement, I will buy myself a pair of jeans. LOL I have no interest in in handbags, purses or shoes 🙂

    • AR Neal November 15, 2016 9:11 am

      You’ll get there! I’ve been a jeans wearer all my life; as a kid, I was chubby so I had to wear the ‘uncool’ jeans. I once bought a pair of custom jeans and after I dropped some weight, they didn’t fit anymore. In fact, the only reason I got them was because I had a coupon and they weren’t all that great anyway. Over the past couple of years, I’ve lost about 27kg so I know what you mean. I’ve bought clothing I wouldn’t dream of wearing 🙂

      • Lyn November 15, 2016 1:28 pm

        LOL I can hardly wait 😀

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