One of the most perfect stories to illustrate what a complete geek my husband is took place a few weeks ago while we were in Boston for my little brother’s graduation.
He had been longing to see Werner Herzog’s Cave of Forgotten Dreams for months. It only played briefly in our area of California and we had been unable to see it. While we were in Boston, we had an evening off from family activities and found out it was playing in a theater in Boston, so we hopped on the subway and headed over. Upon arriving at the 12-theater multiplex and seeing the lobby full of people, my husband became instantly bereft because he was convinced the movie we were there to see was sold out. He was sure that the lobby full of teenagers and 20- somethings were not there to see the other movies playing, such as The Hangover Part II, Bridesmaids, or any of the other big-budget films opening that week, but rather the documentary about 35,000 year-old cave paintings in France narrated by Herzog. So deep runs my love’s geekiness that he thinks everyone is as into the random things he finds fascinating. The movie was, of course, not sold out, and I teased him mercilessly as we sat in the half empty theater in which we, in our early 30s, were probably the youngest in the room by a solid 20 years. The caves in the movie are amazing and the artwork done tens of thousands of years ago is so well preserved it looked like the artists had done them yesterday. I would venture that most people who have seen the film are duly awed by the grandness of timeline and detail of design; I don’t know that many would come to the same realization that Jon did – he had finally found the next thing he wanted to tattoo onto his body. While initially desiring a chest piece, we discussed using the curve of his shoulder and arm to more closely imitate how the ancient artists used the variations in the rock to give life to their work. Please tell me this isn’t geeky. And also adorable.
This is not his first tattoo, nor will it be his last. Across his back, in 8″ high lettering he designed, he has the word “Geek.” On his right forearm, he has Drake’s Equation. He is saving the space on his left forearm for when the Large Hadron Collider spits out its major equation. I admire greatly the thought he has put into what he is willing to permanently etch onto his body; two of my tattoos are utterly meaningless to me and will be covered up as soon as money allows, so it’s nice that one of us has some restraint when it comes to lifelong decision making skills. His geekiness, of course, does not end or begin at his tattoos, though. He fills up our DVR with episodes of Nova and whatever The Science Channel has to offer. He voraciously consumes information about such an incredible spread of topics that I have no idea how his brain contains it all. I often find myself saying, “I have no idea what any of the words you just said mean.” One would think that would make me feel stupid, but instead it makes me happy, happy to know that the person I have entered into this partnership with will not only challenge himself on a daily basis, but challenge me as well. It drives me to learn more, to read more, to find topics to discuss with him and to have long debates about.
When he works on his sculptures, he is meticulous about detail. When he decided to start doing black widow spiders, he wasn’t satisfied with books on the anatomy, so he captured specimens and got a high-powered microscope so that they would be as anatomically correct as they could possibly be. He is constantly on the lookout for new “girls” to use for muses, which is a search I let him do on his own as it fills me with the complete heebie-jeebies. Just the fact that they are around in sealed containers, dead, scares the crap out of me. The results, however, are breathtaking. I have been taken to task for suprising people with pictures of giant spiders, so if you’re interested, go here – http://www.jonrobertsondesign.com/slideshows/spiders/spiders.html. When he started designing tattoo machines, it wasn’t enough for them to be beautiful pieces of art, he had to design the mechanics and geometry to make them run spectacularly as well. He is so freaking smart that it blows my mind, not just sometimes, but just about every single day.
So many articles about relationships focus on such superficial nonsense. The best relationship advice I can dole out? Find yourself a geek. Or a nerd. Perhaps a dork. Someone who is into odd little things that you have never heard of. Someone who will obsess about the outcome of their favorite geeky TV show. Someone who is smart, someone who is funny, someone who is weird. Looks will fade, bodies will change, hair will fall out (or grow from new and unsightly places), but brains last, get better, and keep you on your toes. I know I preach to the choir of you clever, bookish folks out their on this, but I know I don’t celebrate the fact that I have and awesome geek in my life enough, that I take for granted how much I learn from him, and I forget how BORED I was in so many previous relationships because having him in my life now has pushed all those memories to the far reaches of my mind. So tonight, if you love a geek, go home and give them some sugar. If you have yet to find your geek, go out and talk to the awkward guy or gal in the corner of the bar or coffee shop and see if they share your fascination with Buffy or Dr. Who or Game of Thrones. Or if you aren’t interested in finding a geek partner at the moment, indulge your own inner geek and have a weekend marathon of Mythbusters or something. Celebrate what we thought we were supposed to be ashamed of or ostracized for as kids, and realize that it’s the geeks who truly rock the house and rule the world.