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How to be a Nerdy Girl by Allison Hambrick

Wait until you know someone to let your interests show. Mostly everyone will assume you’re lying. They’ll say it’s to get a guy to like you or to fit in. Don’t be surprised when none of your girlfriends will go to a Thursday night premiere of whatever Marvel movie is coming out this week. You’ll have to make a choice: go by yourself or go with the guys from your biology class who only invited you because they like how your ‘Her Universe’ dress clings to your body.

When you get there, don’t be surprised that there are one hundred sweaty guys in logo t-shirts and three women, two of which are moms dropping off their sons. You’ll have to pay for your refreshments, or one of your “friends” will try and make the movie a date. They will eat your popcorn, and they won’t ask first. Don’t comment on the movie or the comic it’s based on; they don’t care what you have to say. If you do speak, be prepared to hear a chorus of voices saying that you’re wrong, only for someone to say the same thing five minutes later and be praised for it.

The next time a convention rolls into town — think twice before you go. Don’t go by yourself, and only wear a costume if you’re prepared for unwanted attention. People will take pictures with you — and of you. Even if you go dressed as a dementor, some guy will realize it’s a girl under your thick, black cloak and cop a feel while posing for a picture. You can tell security, but the man will deny it, and you’ll be the difficult one. If you get to meet your favorite celebrity, don’t talk to anyone in line unless they have kids.

If they’re a parent, the other person is likely to be respectful of you, your opinions, and your space. They have kids to watch after, and bickering with you is too much work after a long, fun day of toting their kids from line to line in a claustrophobic convention hall. If there aren’t any parents in line, and you feel the need to socialize, find another woman in costume, preferably someone with a better costume than yours. If you talk to someone who’s in a lower quality costume than you, it’s likely that she’ll be curt and dismissive of what you have to say. If you talk to someone in a higher quality costume than you, she’ll be more open and willing to commensurate with you because she knows she looks better.

Don’t start a conversation with a man unless he’s retirement age. Some will be creepy, but most will be nice and open to your opinions. A younger man will fight every word you say because obviously a girl must be wrong. It doesn’t matter how big your comic collection is or whether or not you can name every iteration of the Doctor and his respective companions; you’re a girl.