Not everyone is a nerd.
While not a perfect statement, it is important to remember that not everyone you meet on a daily basis is going to be able to catch your subtle (or notso subtle) references to that think that gets your proverbial nerd gears going. It’s not their fault and it isn’t your fault; nerds (as a proverbial whole) are people too which means that our interests vary greatly across the board.
I am not saying that speech has to be self-regulated and kept to the blandest and vaguest topics to assure neutrality and ease of dialogue. How boring would that be?
If you are one of the lucky few who gets to spend her day in a job or environment full of people who have a shared passion and set of jargon that you do: congratulations! I am envious (no really, I am) because that would be cool. Probably a little vanilla after a while, but it is nice when your co-workers pop up with a new interest that varies from the group norm. But work days eventually come to close and one must venture out into the sprawling uncontrolled world.
From simple activities like grocery shopping or walking a dog, opportunities for interaction sprout around every and any corner. No matter how truthful and relevant your reference to Mordor when talking about world events may be, one must remember that sometimes people just won’t get it. So let it go. It’s okay to laugh at your own corny jokes, but don’t push the issue. It is one thing to say something off-kilter (not matter how appropriate it is); it is quite another to get offended and horrified when no one understands your own genius.
Just remember all of the times that your eyes have started to glaze over because of what someone else was rambling about. It happens to the best of us. It is not a sign that there is something wrong with other people, but rather a tidbit that should be enjoyed. That old lady that always talks to you about her cats could be a huge Cagney & Lacey fanatic. The mailman? In love with romance novels. Bob, the hottie who lives upstairs: lover of HGTV. Just don’t judge a nerd book by its cover.
So next time you’re talking about how you’re buying Hpnotiq to make your own Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster and the clerk is starting to look at you like you’ve been sampling the punch already just remember to smile, take a deep breathe and move on to geekier pastures. Just don’t forget to pay.