February 12, 2009

A Guide to Geeks: Is that necessary?

I was going to try to spiff up a list of Valentine's gifts for your significant nerdy other, so I went to the fabulous thinkgeek.com to look for some ideas.  As I have mentioned before, it is a great site.  

I go to the suggested Valentine's Day gifts page, and I found this book.

First thought, to be honest: "Cute!"
Second thought: "Wait a sec, really?  A guide to dating a geek?  Like it's that hard?"

It is a humorous idea, that is if you're that kind of girlfriend who feels her significant other's hobbies are just too odd to even get into.  A chick like me, however, is kinda... well, dare I say offended that someone feels this is necessary?

I've been on an "offended" kick to be honest, especially since game politics can't seem to stop talking about Resident Evil 5's racist images.  Maybe I'm just in that mind set.  But there are a few things I would like to gripe about, if you care to read on.

Number One: Why are geeks so different than any other guy?
This is something that I dont' get.  From what I found, every guy that I know has some hobby that they LOVE to invest a ton of time in.  Whether it's football, music, video games, or any other hobby, guys tend to choose a thing or two that they like and then stick with it.  Geek hobbies are not any different, just possibly a bit more foreign to some people.  Which leads to the next question...

Number Two: Why don't you just ask your boyfriend about his interests?
Seriously, communication people!  Essential for any good relationship.  Maybe instead of investigating about your boyfriend's hobby behind his back, why not ask him?  Since it's his hobby, he'd probably love to talk to you about it until your ears fall off.  Maybe you could even, I don't know, try out a game or watch a movie and see if you may like it too.  You may have some hidden nerd potential.  And if you feel like you can't have a conversation about your boyfriend's interests, dump him and get another one.

Number Three: Are geeks such a burden?
Okay, this may be the joking part of the game, but sometimes I get the feeling that the "general populous" (aka people who say they are normal but are actually dirty freaks on the inside) finds there is something defective in geeky hobbies.  I can't say I'm into anime without people asking if I live in my parents basement.  And if I mention my boyfriend is off playing Guild Wars, a lot of other women look at me sympathetically, as if he's cheating on me.  Uh, no.  It's just like if you're married to someone into football and you're not.  You just hang out with your friends on game day while he stays home rooting for his home team.
To be honest, in my relationship I'm the football enthused one when I have the time, The Boyfriend is not a sports person as all.  I find that funny.

Number Four: Why so gender specific?
This is the question where you can tell I am a liberal arts student.  Why is it that it's the girl that needs to learn on how to "cope" with her new geek boyfriend?  What if a guy was dating a geek girl and had no idea why she was totally into the X-Men?  What if it was a gay or lesbian couple?  Would it change much?  For the information in this book, probably not.  Or lack of useful information it seems.

Look, if you suck at relationships, no book about geeks is going to help you understand your significant other regardless of whether or not they've reached level 80 on WoW.  Being a good partner will help with any hobby gaps.  As long as there isn't a big difference in values (for example, "You can't have a fiction girlfriend in Vampire!  I'm jealous."  "But it's just a game!"), then any relationship can get over a couple different preferences in extracurricular activities.


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  2. I'm guessing the book was just somebody who had a cutesy idea they figured they could cash in on. If people are actually looking to "how-to" books for relationships strategies, there's a larger issue at hand.
    If you want to be offended at something, be offended that a book publisher actually gave money to someone for this idea. People like us have all sorts of actually useful ideas and nobody wants to give us a penny.
    Remember: trite and dumb product = huge amounts of money to be made from trite and dumb people.