The romantic history of a nerdette

7 Jun

There’s no point denying it. I am a nerd of the bookish persuasion. I was one of those conscientious kids, developing scoliosis from carrying around too many books. My taste in literature and music wasn’t quite in step with my peers. My eternal battle with acne and the inability to put together a decent outfit disqualified me from being cool. Luckily I had enough self awareness to realise this and in many ways relinquished myself to it. But in short, I felt I had nothing to say that would interest guys my age.

manMap seeks book nerdsIt was a blessing I went to a single sex school. There was no pressure to impress anyone. I dreamed that one day I’d meet a nerd like myself. I’d glimpse him in a corner somewhere, nose to page hoping to avoid the scorn of the cool girls. I’d psyche myself up, walk over and ask him what he was reading, only to discover it was my favourite book (I knew this was a long shot. I’m yet to meet a man who loves Room with a view the way I do).

It never happened, but I entered my uni years filled with optimism. I was studying writing after all. Surely my classes would be filled with row upon row of nerds like myself. And in one of those rows I might find him. But then I discovered an awful truth. Most of the people in my course were mature-age. The uni had only accepted a handful of school-leavers. And of the few guys, most were either taken, gay or way too cool for me.

After graduating, I hoped work might provide the elusive doorway to the opposite sex. I’ve met some wonderful people working in publishing, people who don’t think I’m slightly odd. But sadly, most of these people are women. And many of them single like me. And so, it was with mixed feeling that I made an important discovery on Friday night. 

The week had been pleasantly smooth: one big job finished at work, a cosy beverage at Grandma’s, delightful dinner with wing-girls at a new noodle bar, productive round of workshopping at my writing group and the purchase of a new book. By Friday evening, I felt like nothing lay between me and a successful round of mapping. But of course, there’s always the danger of A Bad Venue.

First stop: The London, Paddington. Empty and scarily well lit. Second stop: The Royal Hotel. Also empty. Third stop: Durty Nelly’s. Busier but not optimal, an uncomfortable number of women.

Nearing 7pm, I was starting to think the clear winter’s night was going to waste when I found myself at the well-packed Beresford. Always mindful that I run the risk of getting thrown out, I headed to the courtyard and away from the diligent eyes of the bouncers. After surveying every guy who wasn’t obviously gay or on a date, I decided a quick round inside wouldn’t hurt. If I got thrown out, it wouldn’t matter. I already had a healthy bundle of completed surveys in my handbag. Two guys were just settling into a table with their pints as I approached. What happened next will renew your faith in chivalry. I smiled and said hello and one of the guys said, “Oh I’m sorry, did you want this table?” Hurrah, I thought, here sit kind, decent men. Modern Mr Darcys. I asked them if they were single, thinking such nice guys must be firmly attached. But they were both available. Double hurrah! I asked them if they belonged to any social groups which meet regularly. One played tennis. The other spoke words that would make any single nerdette swoon. He was part of a men’s only book group.  

Surveys filled, I hurried off into the night, head filled with images of men sitting on comfy lounges discussing themes and character development. Mecca, I thought, If only I knew where they met.

But then I got cranky (partly because I was hungry). How could the man-nerds of Sydney be so cruel? Since adolescence I’d been searching for men who read. Now they were sectioning themselves off from their female equivalents. Were they afraid we’d force them to read chick lit or emasculate them with tea and iced vovos? I wished I’d ignored my hunger pains and thought to ask the surveyee before I’d left. On behalf of all the nerdettes out there, I’ll try my best to track down the exclusive book groups. They may not let us in, but we can always loiter by the door.

PS. Over 80% of the surveyed guys at the Beresford were single. Worth a visit ladies!


9 Responses to “The romantic history of a nerdette”

  1. The T June 8, 2011 at 1:18 am #

    I love one of your tags to this post ; “man drought”….we feel the same way about you women… not enough of you single girls out there…


    • Lucie Stevens June 13, 2011 at 3:36 pm #

      There’s lots of us T – we’re probably just not brave enough to talk to you because we’re really good at being insecure. You should make a single girl’s day by saying hi to her!

  2. Stuart June 8, 2011 at 11:08 am #

    Tangentially related: a couple who are good friends of mine on arriving for dinner had to explain that they were already a few drinks ahead. When asked for details they advised that they had spent the (Sunday) afternoon on a ‘reading date’. None of us had ever heard of this so asked for details. They explained that a reading date for them entails going to a city hotel on a wintery afternoon, preferably one with attractive interior design, and ideally a fireplace. They then order a bottle of wine, read their books and enjoy the ambiance. Once the bottle is finished, move on to the next venue!

    • Lucie Stevens June 13, 2011 at 3:37 pm #

      Stuart this is a lovely idea! I know a few couples who’d love to do this, particular over the next few months. I’ll pass it on. Thanks for letting us know!

  3. The T June 13, 2011 at 9:17 pm #

    My wonderful Lucie…. you must not read my blog… I am in love with all women….LOVE them… i always attempt to empower them instead of holding them down… I have found the most amazing women out there are those who are empowered and happy…they always seem to return the favor…

    I hope you have an amazing week!


  4. Simon April 30, 2013 at 12:12 pm #

    Do you mind if I quote a couple of your posts as long
    as I provide credit and sources back to your website?
    My website is in the exact same area of interest as yours and my
    users would certainly benefit from some of the information you provide here.
    Please let me know if this alright with you. Thanks!

    • Lucie Stevens May 5, 2013 at 8:48 pm #

      Hi Simon,
      Could you please send me a link to your website so I can have a look before I decide?
      Many thanks,


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