Today I was asked if I have a Tribe. Not a Native American tribe, although I was an Indian Princess back in the day and my tribe then was Sioux. We used to go camping with our fathers and hunt for snipes. One time, my tribe walked across a frozen lake and left large pictures by moving the snow around with our feet. It was fun.
However, in this case, I think that I do have a tribe. In fact, I think I belong to a couple of tribes, but one of those tribes is definitely the Tribe of Nerds. I get a large number of responses by non-tribe members to calling myself a nerd. Typically, people say, “Well, you aren’t really a nerd” or “But you’re okay with that” as if “nerd” is in and of itself an insult. Maybe it has been used that way by others, but in my tribe, it’s not an insult. It means that I belong with this tribe. It signifies that I am part of a collection of others who get me; a group of nerds.
It’s always interesting to find other members of my tribe. I’m a fairly obvious member. I wear mainly t-shirts with nerdy things on them. Today I’m being a Disney nerd since I’ll be going there on Friday, so my shirt is a lightning hidden Mickey. I also wear Mario, Firefly, Hobbit, Star Wars, Star Trek, etc. I am also fairly certain that I can’t speak for much more than two minutes without mentioning something from scifi, fantasy, gaming, or science. I am a super-obvious member of the Nerd Tribe. However, I have many friends and colleagues who are non-obvious members of my tribe. Sometimes, I find our because they comment on my shirts. Sometimes, it’s because they have a poster or other item in their office that I notice.
My favorite way to find a fellow member of the Nerd Tribe, though, is during conversation. It happened tonight with a new friend that I had over for dinner. We had never discussed nerd topics previously, so I wasn’t sure, but she immediately jumped on some of the basic references that I made to things like Star Wars and The Hobbit. It was so great finding a new member of my Tribe and welcoming them into my division of the group.
Thanks to all of you for being part of my tribe! Have you welcomed any new members into the tribe lately?