Friday, August 10, 2007

Jocks versus Nerds

I read somewhere, a while ago, that we never really outgrow our high school roles -- the two labels that separate us there.

Jocks grow up to be conservative, CEO or Archie Bunker types -- they seal big deals or drive bulldozers, smoke cigars, slap backs and scorn literature and the fine arts.

Nerds grow up to be liberal -- professors, protestors and such.

Granted, it is a sweeping generalization.

But I thought about it yesterday. A big guy, a former sports writer who used to work where I used to work, caught up with me. He remembered me but I had no clue, no memory of him at all.

Seems he's applying for work within the organization where I work. He wanted to come into my office and against my better judgment, I let him. Whereupon he told a "dirty joke" about a former coworker and then proceeded, during the course of an hour of largely solo speech, to chuckle and guffaw his way through some mildly racist commentary -- how he thinks he's going to survive with that attitude in a city that is 90 percent black, I don't know -- while I sat there very uncomfortable.

He wasn't trying to be mean. He was just being himself -- a big, hearty, crude, slap-on-the-back jock. I wasn't trying to be cold or prudish, just myself, a bite-my-tongue nerd.


...Kat said...

Does the Flat Rock Journal provide info on dealing with the Urban Scene's own "poisonous critters"?

By the way, I have had numerous encounters here with Mr
(and Mrs.)

Open Grove Claudia said...

Oh dear, I do hope we grow out of our high school roles. I was that girl, you know, the one everyone knew, never had a date, never went to school, but still did well. Oh... (cringe)

Sorry about the guy. It sounds very uncomfortable.

I guess there should be a rule: "never let a guy in your office who thinks he knows you but you don't remember"

Molly said...

It is a sweeping generalization, but as usual, there's more than a grain of truth in it. Unknot your tongue next time and tell him not to let the door hit him in the hindquarters!

Molly said...

It is a sweeping generalization, but as usual, there's more than a grain of truth in it. Unknot your tongue next time and tell him not to let the door hit him in the hindquarters!

Molly said...

BTW, I was afraid of this!Are you trying to get the whole school tittering behind my back with the MMM? Yes, I was one of the did you know? Not tongue-tied though!

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

I really wish that intelligence was not associated with nerdiness.

Stereotypes drive me crazy.

However... there may be something to it... it isn't without some kind of base.

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

Rebecca said...

While I was in advanced and AP classes in high school, I did not fit with the nerds...too course, too rebellious. Too academic to fit with the jocks, and I wasn't athletic then. I am grateful that those labels no longer apply. I can be athletic, intelligent, base and refined as it suits me, and be loved just the same. My politics, likewise, depends on the issue. Though I must say, while I might let a swear word slip, it would never occur to me to tell an off color joke in a new professional environment which could embarrass the person who brought me in.

eastcoastdweller said...

Molly: MMM? Mongolian Marshmallow Munchers? Melancholy Mysterious Marsupials?

All: I'm not sure that I agree with that article completely, for I don't quite fit either one of those roles.

Sure, I was never into sports in school but I lifted weights and I could hold my own and I kept up with personal hygiene. I never played chess or wore a pocket protector. And my two best friends were big, beefy, sports-loving guys who were both quite smart.

There are some things that I am liberal about, and some things that I am conservative about.

I spent today in an art museum. Tomorrow I might go see the Simpsons Movie.

Sometimes I can be loud and guffawy, too; other times quiet and somewhat shy.

eastcoastdweller said...

Oh, that MMM! As in Marvelous, etc.
YOu acronymized my adjectives! And I'm a little slow to catch on tonight.

chipazoid said...

Heh, most of the cool kids I know have turned into mistresses, eloped or are working their asses off in some dead end clerical job.