Ketubahs for Geeks & Nerds: A Meditation On Geekiness & Nerdom

Here at Ketubah HQ, we few, we happy few, we members of Team Ketubah will proudly show our sleeves to the world and announce, We Are Nerds. We are nerds and we make nerdy Ketubahs; we are geeks, and we make geeky ketubahs. But above all, we are proud to be Nerds and in particular, proud to be Ketubah Nerds! Go Ketubah Nerds!

Of course, as nerds, making such declarations is fraught with subtle implications that we need to talk about, for the nerd leaves nothing left unsaid unless it is unthought.

The first question this brings up is, what, indeed, is a nerd and, in particular, what is a nerd in the context of ketubah-making?

A nerd, I — a very proud nerd! and a Jewish nerd (someone not from Long Island would thing these two words might be redundant!) — would define it as, is someone whose inner-life is so rich that he doesn’t have a sense of social conventions that other people (at least, people other than our close cousins with autism!) have.

Our disregard for social convention is a key part of what inspires our creativity. Key Ketubah references here: while the entire Ketubah world followed the convention of making Ketubot that look like our grandmother’s art, we — being nerds and thus lacking our understanding of the conventions! — started creating out there, over the top art for Ketubahs. The ultimate chutzpah: we are indeed Jewish after all!

Our nerdiness, in other words, drives our creativity.

Now here is where it gets particularly interesting: nerds tend to be interested in broadly similar topics. Topics that usually involve, getting to the bottom of things, figuring out how things work.

We’ve definitely been doing this for the Ketubah world. We even use Ancient Aramaic in our studio! V’Keninah, anyone? :)

As a result, we tend to create ketubot on what are often nerdy themes: our subway ketubahs, for example. And no comment on our unicorn Ketubah! (That was a commissioned one originally! I promise!).

But this begs the question: nerd or geek? As you can tell from reading the above, we have a preference for seeing ourselves as nerds. Nina might see herself as a geek (she spends a disproportionate amount of her non-work, non-shabbas time figuring out cool technological everything with her husband; want more information? Ask her!). The geek is probably similar to the nerd with this difference: the nerd just doesn’t “get” accepted social conventions or skills; the geek does–and he explicitly rejects them.

Not quite the schlemiel and the schlamazal (the first spills his soup; the second gets soup spilled on him), but something like that. But we promise not to spill any soup onto your Ketubah!

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