Adonis Diaries

Archive for January 4th, 2014

On “Geek” Versus “Nerd”

Slackpropagation by burrsettles

Note: I was browsing the Editors’ Picks for 2013 and decided to re-post this selected pick

To many people, “geek” and “nerd” are synonyms, but in fact they are a little different.

Consider the phrase “sports geek” — an occasional substitute for “jock” and perhaps the arch-rival of a “nerd” in high-school folklore.

If “geek” and “nerd” are synonyms, then “sports geek” might be an oxymoron. (Furthermore, “sports nerd” either doesn’t compute or means something else.)

In my mind, “geek” and “nerd” are related, but capture different dimensions of an intense dedication to a subject:

  • geek – An enthusiast of a particular topic or field. Geeks are “collection” oriented, gathering facts and mementos related to their subject of interest. They are obsessed with the newest, coolest, trendiest things that their subject has to offer.
  • nerd A studious intellectual of a particular topic or field. Nerds are “achievement” oriented, and focus their efforts on acquiring knowledge and skill over trivia and memorabilia.

Or, to put it pictorially à la The Simpsons: geeknerd-simpsons

Both are dedicated to their subjects, and sometimes socially awkward.

The distinction is that geeks are fans of their subjects, and nerds are practitioners of their fields of interest.

A computer geek might read Wired and tap the Silicon Valley rumor-mill for leads on the next hot-new-thing.

computer nerd might read CLRS and keep an eye out for clever new ways of applying Dijkstra’s algorithm.

Note that, while not synonyms, they are not necessarily distinct either: many geeks are also nerds and vice versa. (I have strong doubt about this versa for nerds)

An Experiment

Do I have any evidence for this contrast?

By the way, this viewpoint dates back to a grad-school conversation with fellow geek/nerd Bryan Barnes, now a physicist at NIST.

The Wiktionary entries for “geek” and “nerd“ lend some credence to my position, but I’d like something a bit more empirical…

“You shall know a word by the company it keeps” ~ J.R. Firth (1957)

To characterize the similarities and differences between “geek” and “nerd,” maybe we can find the other words that tend to keep them company, and see if these linguistic companions support my point of view?

Data and Method

(Note: If you’re neither a geek nor a nerd, don’t be scared by the math. It’s not too bad… or you can probably just skip to the “Results” subsection below…)

I analyzed two sources of Twitter data, since it’s readily available and pretty geeky/nerdy to boot.

This includes a background corpus of 2.6 million tweets via the streaming API from between December 6, 2012, and January 3, 2013.

I also sampled tweets via the search API matching the query terms “geek” and “nerd” during the same time period (38.8k and 30.6k total, respectively). Yes, yes, yes… I collected all the data six months ago but just now got around to crunching the numbers. It’s been a busy year!

A great little statistic for measuring how much company two words tend to keep is pointwise mutual information (PMI). It’s commonly used in the information retrieval literature to measure the co-occurrence of words and phrases in text, and it also turns out to be a good predictor of how humans evaluate semantic word similarity (Recchia & Jones, 2009) and topic model quality (Newman & al., 2010).

For two words w and v, the PMI is given by:

{\rm pmi}(w;v) = \log\frac{p(w,v)}{p(w)p(v)} = \log p(w|v) - \log p(w) ,

where in this case p(\cdot) is the probability of the word(s) in question appearing in a random tweet, as estimated from the data. For instance, if we let v = “geek,” we compute the log-probability of a word w in the “geek” search corpus, and subtract the log-probability of w in the background corpus.


The PMI statistic measures a kind of correlation: a positive PMI score for two words means they ”keep great company,” a negative score means they tend to keep their distance, and a score close to zero means they bump into each other more or less at random.

With that in mind, here is a scatterplot of various words according to their PMI scores for both “geek” and “nerd” on different axes (ignoring words with negative PMI, and treating #hashtags as distinct): geeknerd-plot-01

Many people have asked for a high-res PDF of this plot, so here you go.

Moving up the vertical axis, words become more geeky (“#music” → “#gadget” → “#cosplay”), and moving left to right they become more nerdy (“education” → “grammar” → “neuroscience”).

Words along the diagonal are similarly geeky and nerdy, including social (“#awkward”, “weirdo”), mainstream tech (“#computers”, “#microsoft”), and sci-fi/fantasy terms (“doctorwho,” ”#the hobbit”).

Words in the lower-left (“chores,” “vegetables,” “boobies”) aren’t really associated with either, while those in the upper-right (“#avengers”, “#gamer”, “#glasses”) are strongly tied to both.

Orange words are more geeky than nerdy, and blue words are the opposite. Some observations:

  • Collections are geeky. All derivatives of the word “collect” (“collection,” “collectables”, etc.) are orange. As are “boxset” and “#original,” which imply a taste for completeness and authenticity.
  • Academic fields are nerdy“math”, “#history,” “physics,” “biology,” “neuroscience,” “biochemistry,” etc. Other academic words (“thesis”, “#studymode”) and institutions (“harvard”, “oxford”) are also blue.
  • The science & technology words differ. General terms (“#computers,” “#bigdata”) are on the diagonal — similarly geeky and nerdy.
  • As you splay up toward more geeky, though, you see products, startups, brands, and more cultish technologies (“#apple”, “#linux”).
  • As you splay down toward more nerdy you see more methodologies (“calculus”).
  • #Hashtags are geeky. OK, sure, hashtags are all over the place. But they do tend toward the upper-left. And since hashtags are “#trendy,” I take it to mean that geeks are into trends. (I take this one back. The average PMI score for all hashtags is 0.74 with “geek” but 0.73 with “nerd.” The difference isn’t statistically significant using a paired t-test or Wilcoxon test, or practically significant using a common-sense test.)
  • Hobbies: compare the more geeky pastimes (“#toys,” “#manga”) with the more nerdy ones (“chess,” “sudoku”).
  • Brains: the word “intelligence” may be geeky, but “education,” “intellectual,” and “#smartypants” are nerdy.
  • Reading: “#books” are nerdy, but “ebooks” and “ibooks” are geeky.
  • Pop culture vs. high culture: “#shiny” and “#trendy” are super-geeky, but (curiously) “cellist” is the nerdiest

The list goes on. If you want to poke around yourself, download the raw PMI scores (4.2mb) and let me know in the comments what you find.

Since many people have asked: I computed PMI for all words appearing in the search tweets with “geek” and “nerd” (millions) and then manually scanned roughly 7,500 words with positive PMI scores for both. The scatterplot contains about 300 words that I hand-picked because they made sense.

(Update: I learned that Olivia Culpo — a self-described “cellist nerd” — was crowned Miss Universe on December 20, 2012. The event was heavily tweeted smack in the middle of my data collection, so that probably explains the correlation between “cellist” and “nerd” here. It also underscores the limitations of time-sensitive data.)


In broad strokes, it seems to me that geeky words are more about stuff (e.g., “#stuff”), while nerdy words are more about ideas (e.g., “hypothesis”).

Geeks are fans, and fans collect stuff; nerds are practitioners, and practitioners play with ideas.

Of course, geeks can collect ideas and nerds play with stuff, too. Plus, they aren’t two distinct personalities as much as different aspects of personality. Generally, the data seem to affirm my thinking.

I wonder how similar the results would be if you applied this method to the Google Books Ngrams corpus, or something more general instead of a niche media like Twitter.

I also wonder what other questions might be answered with this kind of analysis (for example, my wife and I have a perennial disagreement over which word is wetter: “moist” vs. “damp.”).

Finally, when I mentioned to a friend that I was going to write up this post, she said “Well, I guess we know which one you are.” But do we really? I may be a science nerd, but I’m probably a music geek

Update (June 25, 2013):

Woah. This has gotten more attention than I ever anticipated. A few impressions.

(1) Prior to writing this, I had no idea there was a “geek vs. nerd” holy war in certain corners of the Internet; fueling these flamewars was certainly not my intent. Lighten up!

(2) I fear I’ll be better known for this diversion than for any of my “real” research. To be clear: this was a fun way to kill a few hours on a Saturday afternoon, not necessarily my best science. I think the writeup here is sound and self-evident, but I’m the first to acknowledge that there are better corpora, methods, and analysis techniques — which could use a grant, grad student, and/or more than an afternoon — for uncovering this all-important “Truth.”

(3) For those interested in the etymologies of “geek” and “nerd,” I found this cool writeup.

Note 2: Do you agree on the correspondence of these old and new technologies?

Vintage Social Networking at Wrong Hands

Canadian cartoonist John Atkinson created this light-hearted cartoon commenting on social media, online publishing, and the internet of today.

Instead Of Getting Engaged Before You’re 23: What 23 activities to do before then?

Two posts were selected as top in December and January, written by two women of same age (23) related to getting engaged or married before 23. One of the women is “happily” married.

The first post is from   and the second from The Life of a Flower Girl

Re-posting , selected as one of the top posts this month.

“As 2013 wraps up, I’ve been noticing more and more people getting engaged and/or married under the age of 23.

I get it.

It’s cold outside… you want to cuddle and talk about your feelings… life after graduation is a tough transition… so why not just cut to the chase and get married, right?  It’s hip. It’s cool.

You get to wear clothing that wouldn’t normally be socially acceptable at the dive bar you frequent with the $5 beers.  Eff it. YOLO. YOMO! You only marry once…

Oh wait.

23 Things To Do Instead Of Getting Engaged Before You’re 23


The divorce rate for young couples is more than twice the national average. Divorce is no longer a staple in a midlife crisis, but rather, something that SEVENTEEN Magazine should probably be printing on. Headlines could read,

“How to budget for your prom AND your wedding in the same year!”

“What’s HOT: Kids raising Kids.”

“Why your Mom doesn’t really know what she’s talking about.”

Because at the age of 22, I have no idea who I am, what I’m doing, and who I’ll be doing it with for the next year… let alone for the rest of my life.  And that’s awesome.

Some day, I want to get married too.

I want a floor length dress with a ton of cleavage.  I want it to be in Asia, with Ethiopian food, and a filthy scotch selection to calm my nerves when I inevitably start to panic and hyperventilate.

But WANT and NEED are two entirely different things. I NEED to develop MY dreams and MYSELF before I can truly be the type of woman you WANT to marry.

What inspired me to scribble down my feelings (so many feelings!) is The Facebook.

I’m seeing all of these notifications that “X and Y” have joined in matrimony and instantly, these waves of anxiety start to flow over me.  Should I be thinking about marriage?

I’ve never even had a serious boy friend? Is there something wrong with me? WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME AND WHY HAS NO ONE TOLD ME ABOUT IT FOR ALL THESE YEARS!?

But then I look at my life, my relationships, and my future… and I realize that, I’m fucking awesome.  It literally isn’t me, it’s them.

I have begun to notice a common thread amongst all these young unions: inexperience. 

Inexperience with dating, traveling, risks, higher education, career direction, SEX, solitude, religious exploration, etc… and it’s insane that I have already experienced more of the world in the last 22 years than my married peers will ever experience in their life.

I can’t help but feel like a lot of these unions are a cop-out.

It is a way for young people to hide behind a significant other instead of dealing with life’s highs and lows on their own. It’s a safety blanket.

It’s an admission that the world is just too big and scary to deal with it on your own; thus, you now have someone that is legally obligated to support you till one of you dies or files for divorce.

Which could be tomorrow, because the LGTBQ community isn’t ruining the sanctity of marriage, the Kardashian family is.

If your love is truly eternal, what’s the rush?

If it’s real, that person will continue to be committed to you 2 months from now, 2 years from now, and 2 decades from now. Grow, learn, travel, party, cuddle, read, explore. Do. Freaking. Something… other than “settle down” at 23 with a white picket fence.

Because you owe it to yourself.  You are a human being that deserves to thrive inside AND outside of a relationship.

We are not our parent’s generation.  I’m tired of hearing about how “my mom and dad got married young and X, Y and Z” because they were raised with a completely different set of values, priorities, and without the anxieties and adulterous risks that comes with the worldwide web.  I’m speaking directly to the Millennial generation.

Millennials deserve the opportunity to develop ourselves, alone.

I recognize that my opinion is not going to be popular on The Facebook… especially amongst those who fall into the “under 23” category.

I would be confused if I didn’t receive some sort of online backlash or a loss of friends on The Facebook.  Some how… I will move forward.

But in the words of my 15 year-old sister, “Sorry I’m not sorry.”

Sure.  Some days I wake up and stare at my ceiling thinking: “I’m single as fuck.”

But then I realize that those friends are going to get knocked up and fat soon in retrospect, who really is winning here? I’m in China. I’m having the best time of my life. I am responsible for my own happiness.

Please enjoy these 23 things to do instead of getting engaged before you’re 23.

1. Get a passport.

2. Find your “thing.”

3. Make out with a stranger.

4. Adopt a pet.

5. Start a band.

6. Make a cake. Make a second cake. Have your cake and eat it too.

7. Get a tattoo. It’s more permanent than a marriage.

8. Explore a new religion.

9. Start a small business.

10.Cut your hair.

11. Date two people at once and see how long it takes to blow up in your face.

12. Build something with your hands.

13. Accomplish a Pinterest project.

14. Join the Peace Corps.

15. Disappoint your parents.

16. Watch GIRLS, over and over again.

17. Eat a jar of Nutella in one sitting.

18. Make strangers feel uncomfortable in public places.

19. Sign up for CrossFit.

20. Hangout naked in front of a window.

21. Write your feelings down in a blog.

22. Be selfish.

23. Come with me to the Philippines for Chinese New Year.

… because at the end of the day, I just gotta wander onwards.

Wishing everyone whiskey and wanderlust during the holidays.

Note: The Life of a Flower Girl replied, and was also selected as one of the top posts this January:

“The truth about getting engaged before you’re 23. 

I don’t typically read the numerous articles that flood my facebook feeds, but i have seen an increasing number of friends posting an article that i eventually just had to read. it’s titled “23 Things To Do Instead Of Getting Engaged Before You’re 23″ written by a single girl named vanessa elizabeth.

seeing as how i was married at the age of 20, i was curious what i was supposedly missing out on so i had a read. and needless to say, i was quite surprised and disappointed.

if you haven’t already read it i suggest you do, because i’m going to do a lot of referencing here. i don’t typically blog about opinions either but i felt so strongly after reading this article that i had to throw in my two cents.

i admire anyone with an adventurous personality and desire to try new things & discover themselves, married or not.

i respect that everyone has different hopes & dreams, and gets to different places at different times in their lives. but the author of this article clearly does not. she permeates bitterness towards marriage.

this article is a complete slap in the face to anyone who has chosen to marry young.

i am utterly confused as to why this article has become so popular. i have seen numerous single AND married friends posting it with a caption like ‘this is awesome!’ and i am utterly baffled.

i get the appeal: everyone wants to have an exciting life of adventure. no one wants to be boring or complacent. everyone has a bucket list and lists are fun and we all feel good when we accomplish things.

but this article isn’t really about that. it’s literally just about bashing marriage. and it’s quite irritating.

this article made me sad because it paints being married young in such a negative light. it suggests that from the moment you say ‘i do’, your life is on a downward spiral of boredom, complacency, and unhappiness. that your love is more of a cop-out than a commitment and that marriage doesn’t mean much anymore.

i’m just here to tell you THAT IS REALY NOT TRUE. i’m here to paint a picture of two twenty-somethings falling crazy in love, tying the knot & having the times of their lives.

since when does marriage mean “settling down with a white picket fence”?

this is not the leave it to beaver era, housewives don’t have to stay home cleaning & cooking while the husbands go to the office unless that’s what they want to do.

for me, marriage means getting to have all sorts of wacky adventures WITH my best friend. it means exploring new places & traveling & having someone to share the memories and the laughter with.

it means lying in bed at the end of the day and having someone to reminisce with.

it means having someone to help me find myself.

having a teammate in life is not a bad thing. it’s not a “cop-out” or a “safety blanket”. it doesn’t make you weak and it doesn’t mean you’re looking for someone to hide behind “instead of dealing with life’s highs and lows” on your own.

it means building a new life with someone else as a team.

it means sharing hopes and dreams and responsibilities. it means braving life together, having someone on your team to encourage you through the lows and to celebrate with through the highs.

people were made to love other people. i don’t know when self-reliance became cool, but it’s selfish and it’s not very realistic and it’s not how we were made.

there’s no shame in loving someone and choosing to share your life with them.

there’s no shame in needing other people to lean on. there’s nothing lame about wanting to “cuddle and talk about your feelings”. who doesn’t love a good cuddle? my husband and i do it all the time, it’s great. we were not made to tackle life alone, we all want to be part of a team. that’s what marriage essentially is: a team.

for those of you who think marriage is a burden and should be left to the old people: being married young is a blast. an absolute blast. i’m not kidding, i would even go so far as to say it is a party!

i was proposed to on the stage of a show at a music festival at the age of 20. i was married 2 months later in a hay field surrounded by flowers and family and musicians and our closest friends.

leading up to our wedding, we had no plan. no place to live. no white picket fence waiting for us. we ended up up and moving from our small hometowns to a new city a week after our wedding.

talk about the ultimate adventure: no jobs, no friends nearby… just a big shining city & two best friends exploring it. a year has passed, and i have yet to become bored. we have so much fun together. comic collecting, thrift store foraging, lego building, road trips, camping expeditions, wilderness wandering & city street exploring. tattoos and pokemon games and music festivals and movie marathons and cartoon watching and popcorn and wine.

staying up late discussing the existence of dinosaurs and our dreams. game nights and tickle fights and minecraft dates and spending a whole day doing absolutely nothing productive. from tackling craft projects to tackling new recipes to tackling new towns to tackling each other…

we are doing. freaking. everything.

do i feel like i’ve missed out anything by not staying single? nope.

i would have missed out on all sorts of new adventures and laughs and memories if i had. there are a lot of things you can’t really do by yourself, such as camping in the wilderness in moose country far from civilization and cell phone range, or meandering the downtown streets alone in the starry but also very dark night.

you can’t whip out your pokemon deck and play a game with yourself. the options for travel and tattooing and collection-building are significantly more broad when you have two salaries saving up instead of one. and nights alone are significantly lacking in conversation.

i had some crazy fun adventures while i was single, and i still look back on them fondly. but i’m not close to the people i shared them with anymore & there’s no one to say ‘hey, remember that time when we…’.

being married means that from here on out, i have a partner in crime.

someone to be my right hand man on every adventure, someone to laugh with when everything goes terribly wrong, and someone to help me remember every detail in all the years to come.

do i feel like i didn’t get a chance to find myself before marrying someone else?

i spent the first 20 years of my life figuring out who i was and how to feel good in my own skin. it wasn’t until i figured out who i really was that i met someone who loved me for me. now i have someone to grow with me, to encourage me to be myself.

i have so much in common with my husband, but i also have so much to learn from him. he’s much more patient and calm and less of a worrier than i am.

he’s introduced me to the world of video games and the star wars trilogy. he now knows the difference between a poppy and a peony and frequently uses the word swicky and 1920′s slang.

together we’ve discovered cooking and comic books and what putting someone else first and biting your tongue really means. we’ve acquired new hobbies and interests and been introduced to new things because being married means you’re constantly learning from each other and growing together.

at the age of 20, i didn’t need 10 more years to figure out what i wanted from life before i decided to share it with someone else. some people do, and that’s perfectly fine, but i didn’t.

age isn’t the main factor in making life choices. i’m 22 years old. i am finished with my schooling, i operate a successful floral design business, i’m married to my best friend, we’ve been on tons of adventures together, and we’re making plans to buy a house.

i’ve accomplished a lot in my 22 years & i’m proud of it. most people my age are still in college pursuing their dreams & careers, but i was fortunate enough to figure out exactly what my passion was at the age of 18 & jump right in.

i had no desire or need to attend a four year college because i knew that flowers were my passion, i had schooling in my field, and i wanted to jump right into getting hands on experience so i could start my own business.

at the age of 20 i knew what i wanted from life. i wanted to move to a new place, start a business, explore new territory, travel the country.

i had a dream of finding someone to share all my adventures and memories with, and when i found that someone, i had nothing holding me back. i was my best self & i was ready for the next chapter in my life to begin. the author of the article may say “if your love is truly eternal, what’s the rush?”.

i say if your love is truly eternal, WHY WAIT? if you know you’ve met the one for you and you’ve got yourselves together, why not jump in to a lifetime of love and wild adventures together? what the heck are you waiting for?! life is short!

whenever i meet new people, they are consistently astounded at all i’ve accomplished at the age of 22. most of the time they either laugh because they literally think i’m kidding or for some inexplicable reason lying about my age.

i simply smile & tell them it really doesn’t matter how old you are, age is just a number. it just matters what you’ve experienced and how you’ve grown and where you’re at in your life.

i think it’s a splendid idea to make a list of things you’d like to accomplish on your own. we do all “deserve the opportunity to develop ourselves, alone” and i encourage everyone who’s single to do just that. there are things i wanted to accomplish while i was single and i am proud to say i did them.

i finished college, i found my passion in flowers & landed a job getting as much experience as i could. i went to guatemala to help rebuild homes and love on little kids and gained a new perspective & appreciation for life. i lived by myself, i spent a lot of time growing myself and growing my faith.

i learned how to be independent and manage my money and make myself meals and try new things. it’s good to get yourself in order before you marry, to be confident in yourself and stable in your life and learn how to “thrive”.

i think that’s a really important time in your life. spend time in solitude, have fun, stay up all night with your friends, do silly things.

but why the perspective that you have to accomplish all the fun & exciting things while you’re single, because once you’re married it’s all downhill from there? the author says “i have already experienced more of the world in the last 22 years than my married peers will ever experience in their life.” this statement absolutely baffles and irritates me.

why the idea that once you’re married, the fun stops? it’s so silly it actually makes me laugh.

i’m literally laughing and shaking my head. some people want to get married & settle down & have a “white picket fence” life. and good for them, if that makes them happy then that’s awesome! for real!

but i guarantee that my husband and i have and will embark on our fair share of adventures in our life together, and who are you to say we won’t? for me marriage was the ultimate adventure, a brand new challenge, the start of a life full of making new memories.

as for the list of 23 things, i couldn’t help but laugh as i read it. i asked myself: are there really single people out there striving to complete all these things because they think once they’re married the window of opportunity is closed?

i have a passport, and can’t wait to use it to explore the world with my best friend. adventures are better when you have someone you love to share them with. i have found my “thing” and i love having someone to encourage me to keep pursuing it. i have made more than my fair share of cakes & had someone to help me eat them, too. i have started my own business, and been thankful i have a sidekick behind me for moral support and heavy lifting and to double check my taxes.

i’ve blogged my heart out and i’ve eaten plenty of nutella, though we much prefer an entire jar of peanut butter with a bag of chocolate chips and two spoons. you’ll feel less lonely/guilty when someone else is doing it too.

i’ve cut more than 12 inches off my hair, not to mention i’ve also experimented with dreads & dyed it purple. i’ve adopted a pet and have literally made a list of future pets we’d like to own (hairless cat may or may not be the current pet of debate).

i’ve built many things with my hands & finished many a pinterest project (and both are much more successful when you’ve got someone around with a creative eye and a nice collection of power tools). i’ve made many a stranger feel awkward in public and let me tell you, it’s a heck of a lot more fun when you’ve got someone to laugh at them with.

i don’t like the label of religion, but i can say i’ve explored my faith and my relationship with god more deeply than i could by myself. i’ve got someone to keep me accountable & challenge me and grow with me. i’ve been selfish, we all have since birth, though it’s not something i would ever strive to be or recommend anyone try to be in any situation because it’s not nice and you will get no satisfaction from it.

selfishness is a great way to make a marriage not work. rather than disappointing my parents, i’ve made them proud in my choice in a quality husband and my accomplishments and that makes me happy.

i don’t hang out in front of the windows naked because i live in the city and that’s how you a. get stalkers or b. get your neighbors to call the police on you (that’s really a poor choice overall), but when you’re married you can not wear pants or a bra around the house & be commended for it and that’s pretty awesome.

you could say i’ve started a little two-man band where we rock out to our favorite tunes at the top of our lungs in the car. not to mention when my husband plays zelda’s lullaby and the batman theme song on the guitar in the living room.

i’ve remained faithful to my husband & i’m proud of that. i’ve never made out with a stranger because making out with my husband is far less meaningless and gross. i feel that trying to “date two people at once and see how long it takes to blow up in your face” is a rather immature and quite frankly wrong thing to do, not to mention dating one person was enough work, why try to struggle with two?

i have no desire to date around because that was the most frustrating time of my life. having your heart broken sucks & it’s a heck of a lot harder to figure out who you are when you’re constantly trying to impress someone new.

my first tattoo was my wedding ring, because i believe marriage is just as permanent as ink.

my point here is that none of the things on that list that are actually worth doing are things that you can’t do when you’re married.

in my experience, all the things on that list are a heck of a lot more fun done with your best friend.

i’m not yet “knocked up and fat”. i have enjoyed over a year of kid-free marriage and don’t have plans of pregnancy anytime soon. it’s not like the second you say ‘i do’ you have to start having kids, despite what is apparently popular belief. taking some time to enjoy each other’s company before you bring more company into the world is a great & super fun start to a marriage.

when we do have kids, i will be thrilled because that’s a whole new adventure to tackle together. i’m pumped to have little curly haired star wars quoting munchkins with a complete knowledge of flower types and video games running around my house someday. i love kids. i love the laughter & joy & chaos & excuse to go to the zoo they bring.

having kids doesn’t mean you have to start acting like an adult & stop having fun. it means you have an excuse to do exactly the opposite. it means new adventures.

plain and simple: if “getting knocked up and fat” is your description of pregnancy then you’re clearly not ready to be impregnated and that is perfectly a-okay. not everyone wants to/is cut out to be a parent, and that’s just fine. but some people are ready for parenthood in their twenties, so by all means, reproduce!

i know many twenty-something parents who are super cool. they love their lives & wouldn’t have done it any other way. more power to them. i have a ton of respect for them & how fantastic a job they’ve done at raising some awesome kids. when did parenthood turn into simply getting “knocked up and fat”?

the miracle of a baby & learning how in the world you are supposed to take care of them is a pretty neat adventure if you ask me. that’s perfectly fine if having kids isn’t something that sounds appealing to you. then don’t have any. but have a little respect.

looking past the insults and the misconceptions and the items on the list, a lingering problem here is this: since when does being a ‘millennial’ mean having no morals?

the values and priorities that i was raised with are exactly the same as my parents before me and their parents before them. loving the lord, loving people, loving life, and knowing the difference between right & wrong isn’t something that just went out of style when the internet showed up. the background music has changed, but the words are still the same.

it’s true, it’s harder to have morals & stand up for what’s right because we are burdened with the “anxieties and adulterous risks that come with the worldwide web”. but that doesn’t make anyone with a back bone & a set of strong morals outdated & lame. i don’t feel any regret because the author of the article has slept with more men than i have.

i feel sad that she doesn’t get to experience what being in a relationship where you’ve only shared that with each other feels like. cause i’m telling you, it feels pretty awesome. she’s the one missing out here. whoever came up with the idea that married sex is boring is in for a real treat if they ever find the love of their life. there actually a variety of legit scientific studies that have been done showing how much more sex married people have & how much more they enjoy it. so bam.

you wonder why the divorce rate is higher now than ever? because morals have been thrown out the window. people just jump into marriage with the attitude that it doesn’t have to be forever, i can do whatever i want and cheat on my spouse and it’s okay if i change my mind. our society has ruined the sanctity of marriage, and that’s too bad.

i’m just here to say marriage still means something to some of us out here. to point out a different perspective.

marriage at a young age isn’t something new. maybe we just notice it more these days because there’s facebook and we can creep on any/all of our classmates years after we’ve kept in touch. maybe we have more access to knowledge and education and people are figuring out who they are sooner.

maybe people are realizing that life is short & seizing opportunities. i’d like to think that most people aren’t getting married because “it’s hip. it’s cool.” i don’t really think it’s perceived as either of those things. according to this article it most certainly isn’t. i have plenty of friends who think i’m weird for being married.

the majority of my classmates won’t be thinking about marriage for years. and that’s okay. you’re ready when you’re ready, be it in your twenties or your forties. i don’t think marriage is a trend that goes in and out of style.

there are plenty of people who get married for the wrong reasons, but there are also plenty who get married for the right ones. working as a floral designer who caters towards younger couples means i have come into contact with far more soon-to-be young married couples than the average gal. and i can honestly say my faith in marriage still meaning something is sound.

every single couple i have worked with are madly in love with each other for all the right reasons. every single one of them had goals and had found their passion, from photographer to musician to teacher to pastor to the medical field. they are all mature and well-rounded individuals with tons of life experience.

and not one of them is currently living a 1950′ s cookie cutter married life. they’ve all embarked on their own adventures & done what they love. i have complete and solid faith in the magic and beauty of love and marriage.

i’m not here to insult anyone (including the author) who chooses to stay single because rock on if you’re loving it and having the time of your life. we all need to stop insulting each other and take a whack at loving each other instead. i’m not here to say if you’re not married by the time you’re 25 that something is wrong with you. quite the contrary actually, everyone is different & everyone is ready for different things at different times.

keep loving people & growing yourself & trusting the lord with your life until that someone comes along, be it tomorrow or 10 years from now. we’re all allowed to make our own life choices, that’s the beauty of living in a free country. i’m not here to argue that my life is better than yours. that’s the exact attitude i’m trying to extinguish.

i’m just here to defend marriage.

to tell you that it still means something, regardless of age. to defend morals & prove that there are still people out there who believe in right and wrong and staying faithful to your spouse and committing to a marriage for life. to say that married life doesn’t have to be the “white picket fence” it’s painted out to be and to debunk the myth that it’s the end of all your fun. to share my story in hopes that it encourages someone out there questioning marriage.

to paint a picture of a crazy and unpredictable adventure-filled life with my best friend by my side that started at the age of 20.

with love,

the flower girl.




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