I remember telling a friend that I don’t remember much from my childhood which prompted him to ask, “were you a gamer?”
That’s my roundabout way of introducing that I don’t remember much from my childhood. I spent most of my time playing video games and watching early YouTube (By the way, rewatching Freeman’s Mind, and it still holds up).
The few memories I have from my childhood were either really embarrassing or physically painful. A random example from both categories would be when I got hit by a Frisbee in front of a girl I thought was cute. I don't usually find girls cute, so the timing of the Frisbee couldn't have been better.
A lot of the embarrassing moments stemmed from the fact that I was a nerd during the days when being a nerd wasn’t cool. I mean it’s still not cool. But the cool people were able to appropriate it, so it’s a little more acceptable now which could be an entire essay if I wanted it to be.
Anyway, I wasn’t just a nerd, I reached borderline autism levels of nerd. I can vividly remember my second-grade teacher asking us what “elder” meant to which I answered. The way I answered though was using Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg as an example and how there is a present of chicken elders in the game (Yes, I said this out loud as a child). The response was a collective laugh from everyone including the teacher. It’s telling why I didn’t get a decent self-esteem until I graduated college.
Anyway, it wasn’t all embarrassment and getting hit by Frisbees. Recently, I remembered an incident in 3rd grade where my autism paid off.
It was an English lesson. I don’t honestly remember what the lesson was, so let’s assume it was about dangling modifiers.
So we were learning about dangling modifiers, when the teacher asked the class to come up with a premise to make a story off of. The class thought for a second, but they didn’t think fast enough. I, however, instinctively shot my hand up, because I had an idea.
The teacher called my name, and I suggested we do something about Sonic the Hedgehog.
Before anyone could react, another seconded the idea. I guess it was another like-minded nerdy kid. And before you know it, we were coming up with a fan fiction about how Sonic the freaking Hedgehog defeated Dr. Eggman and his dangling modifiers.
That’s all I could remember from that day. Looking back, in a 2018 world, I find that memory utterly hilarious.
It’s stories like these that keep me from being insecure by how nerdy my brain can be. Nowadays I am sometimes self-conscious by my overly analytical answers and my constant references to slightly obscure video games or cartoons. I’d still be laughed out of a room if I referenced fucking Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg today. But stories like that remind me that even that has power in some way. It’s how I am, and sometimes I need to be reminded of that.
I may not be regularly bullied or knocked by Frisbees, but life is still hard, harder in fact. It’s the reality of adult life, so any encouragement of our quirks is appreciated.