Yesterday I had brunch with five friends of mine from college, three of whom I haven’t seen in years and years.

I was enjoying myself tremendously on several levels–discussing Russian politics, parenting, and of course, old times, when suddenly one friend stood up and opened his sweater to show off his t-shirt to another friend. It was a Doctor Who t-shirt.

Now, when I was in college, I wasn’t especially into sci-fi. I enjoyed Star Wars as much as the next guy (and the next guy was a high-level geek) but other than that, it just wasn’t my thing. But here were old friends discussing something they had loved for a long time that I’ve more recently come to enjoy. It was like a kind of validation. We were friends for other reasons, of course, but we had this in common, underneath, the whole time.

And then we went to a dinner at our Ethical Culture Society, where we were welcomed by and had interesting conversations with a whole group of people who haven’t known us long, but who want to know us and welcome us and learn from us. When I told them I blog about being a nerdy parent, someone said, “Welcome to the world of nerdy parents!”

Being a nerd is a complicated thing, but it is a thing that joins interesting people in exciting ways. I love having new interests that connect me to new friends and cement my friendships with old friends.