This week marks eight years of wedded bliss between me and The Wife With One F. Despite ups and downs and all-arounds we've managed to hold together by holding onto each other. Every day is like living inside Everclear's "Learning How to Smile," and I am eternally grateful for that.
Among her many admirable qualities, my wife is a completely unashamed geek. To define that, she is a person passionately obsessed with various bits of niche pop culture.., at least obsessed enough to tattoo references to them on her body. Whipping out the Delirium on her shoulder is a pretty handy tool when comic nerds get together and play "Who Likes Neil Gaiman More?"
I love my wife's geekiness with true abandon, and here's why.
Geeks Know How to Dream: When you have a geek, what you're really talking about is someone that can appreciate art. It's just that nine out of ten times it's art that the mainstream world has decided just doesn't count as much as say, Rembrandt. Maybe they're right, but I've never seen a single painting in the MFAH I loved more than an Alex Ross superhero picture.
To a geek, something like a comic book or a video game becomes elevated. Toys and idle fantasies ascend to the level of inspiration and scripture. They'll watch an episode of Doctor Who and see something so universally wonderful that the idea that it's "just a TV show" means nothing to them.
That translates into real life. When you take trivial things as iconic and impossibly wonderful, you're in essence defying the idea of class and place. Sure, I know a few geeks that hoard and huddle in a corner looking for safety in their anime collection, but most of them draw strength from their interests and do things like, I don't know, invent Facebook.
Geeks Always Have Something to Talk About: Now, we should all take a moment in our romantic relationships to realistically gauge the level of interest our significant other has in listening to us talk about the wicked new Magic: The Gathering deck we built. That said, you know what's worse than a person who won't stop going on about Buffy and Angel's relationship? Someone who has nothing to say.
Geeks are interested. That's what defines them. They read a comic, watch a show, or play a game and their natural curiosity is so powerful that they just keep on going until they have this huge wealth of knowledge. A driven, intellectually curious person is always better than some dishrag partner who never has any opinion as to what movie to see or what to play on the radio. It can get annoying, though, but that's OK because...
Geeks Know How to Give You Space: Every person I know with a video game or comic obsession developed that obsession while still in school. It's understandable. You're young and full of energy, you have ample free time, and while your money is probably limited it is entirely yours. Blow your entire McDonald's paycheck on the full Uncharted series and played it non-stop over a July weekend? What's to stop you except basic bodily functions?
Because of those formative years and the personal nature of fandom, a geek perfectly understands that sometimes a person just wants to disappear under a blanket and read a Timothy Zahn Star Wars novel for a while. They've got their own personal monkey with a cape on their back, anyway, and they'll be fine with amusing themselves catching up on Supergirl for a bit. Geeks know how important it is to let a person go do their thing when they need to.
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Geeks Are Easy to Shop For: Here is a question I have never, ever asked myself in 13 years of dating and marriage to the Wife With One F; "What would she like for her birthday/Christmas/Mother's Day/Etc." This problem does not exist for a geek. Between Etsy, eBay, and officially licensed merchandise you will never, ever be without something amazing that will make their eyes glow when they open the gift-wrap.
Sure, my wife loves traditional presents as well. She likes jewelry and nice dinners and shoes and stuff like that. Everyone does. That said, I have never seen her happier to receive a present than when I revealed matching hand-etched Tardis wine glasses I had personalized to read "We'll Never Stop" and "Running Together."
You don't get those moments from people whose hobbies are things like line dancing.
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A Geek's Passion Can Change Your Life: When I met my wife I was a 19-year-old professional wrestling fan from East Houston with an imagination so small I honestly thought The Blair Witch Project was real.
Then I met The Future Wife With One F... and nothing was ever the same. She showed me Sandman and suddenly I could see a world of all possible gods and the nature of change and the power of dreams. We snuggled watching Twin Peaks, and I learned to see the world broken down into its images and symbols and meanings. I asked her what the hell My Neighbor Totoro was, and after watching it I knew the true definition of magic.
Literally every single thing I have written for you fine folks in the pixels of the Houston Press had its inception if the passionate geekery of the girl I fell in love with 13 years ago. I hope you find your own nerds to nuzzle, because it's the best thing in the world. Happy anniversary, Pookie.