I feel like being nerd is not about the superficial quality; it's about how nerds approach life. It's much more emotional and mental than it is you're some fat guy living in your mom's basement, which I think is just a hacky stereotype.
It's a dark, cool, quiet place. A basement in your soul. And that place can sometimes be dangerous to the human mind. I can open the door and enter that darkness, but I have to be very careful. I can find my story there. Then I bring that thing to the surface, into the real world.
For every veteran who goes through a divorce, a wife goes through one, too. For every veteran alone in the basement, there is a wife upstairs, bewildered, isolated and in despair from the dark clouds of war that hangs over family life.
When I was about five my dad built a stage for me in our basement. A full stage, with a curtain, a backdrop and a dressing room. There were three colored spotlights - a red one, a white one, and a blue one. Blue was for nighttime scenes, and red was for when we were in hell. If the neighborhood kids wanted to use the stage, they had to incorporate me into the play.
I think it is love of that blue vault of sky that becomes your playground if, and only if, you are a fighter pilot. You don't understand it if you fly from A to B in straight and level, and merely climb and descend. You're moving through the basement of that bolt of blue.