Nerd Love, Day 6: Adirondack Lily and the Stealth Nerd

lily of the adirondacks Make no mistake: my friend, Lily, is as gorgeous as they come. And I'm not just talking inner beauty; I mean angel face, non-stop bod, the whole ball o' wax.

And yet...

Lily is a nerd. Not an honorary nerd, either: a full-on, piano-playin', pie-bakin', own-clothes-makin', Feynman-readin' N-E-R-D.

The nerds, they are everywhere, you see. That whole tape-on-the-glasses-bridge thing? Dunzo. Lily has a bitchin' pair of high-end ironic nerd glasses, but she can go deep-normie-cover in contact lenses and Hollywood actress drag. You can't tell the nerds from the civilians anymore, friends. Such is the beauty of the nerd camo that has been embraced by the hipster-ati. Who's a nerd? Who's just playing one on TV?

I'm certainly not telling. My ability to make a living depends largely on keeping people guessing.

But here's a clue: check what's in their homes. Check their homes, period. It's a good bet you'll find weirdly obsessive streaks: excessive clutches of stringed instruments, five shelves of South American poetry, too much software, too much hardware, too much, too many, too too too-doo.

How to discern between nerds and their de trop and ordinary Ammurricans and theirs? Nerd-i-mi-bilia is not available on QVC. Nerds are not trend-meisters or herd members; even in their obsessive overconsumption they flit about the fringe. They are gamers, but crazy-smart; they score off the charts in standardized tests but play in jug bands.

Nerds defy classification. This is why previous eras with their rigid strata were a little hard on nerds, and why we are all breathing a bit easier now. Never before in history has it been so sweet to be a nerd.

Even a nerd in deep cover, with fedora and six-shooter, knee-deep in snow and particleboard cabin construction, in the middle of an Adirondack winter...

xxx c