An Ode to My Husband, The Total, Utter Geek

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 – 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.

17 replies on “An Ode to My Husband, The Total, Utter Geek”

My husband and I have separate geek interests, with a fair amount of overlap. Like, we each found enough to keep us blissfully geeked out for three days at Comic Con, but it wasn’t necessarily all the same stuff. There seems to be this whole swing towards “geek girls are awesome” movement, which is great, but my husband wins because he loved a geek girl long before it was cool.

I love being in a relationship with someone who is smart and well-read about things I know less about. My fiance is a political theory Phd, while I’m getting mine in bioanthropology, and some of my favorite times are the nights we stay up late drinking and talking theory, or science, or politics. We plan on writing an academic article together someday. Yay for geek love!

I am totally with you as someone who is in love with a nerd. We recently had a conversation where I was talking about how the development of different languages in interesting and that I just find it fascinating that there’s no universal language. Mr. F looked shocked and goes, “There is one though! MATH is the universal language!” On this most recent 3-day weekend he watched the entire first season, plus some of the second, of Star Trek TNG…and when I opened up my laptop I saw that he had been looking for info on HD episodes of Star Trek.
I love him, he’s so sweet and so nerdy. They are the best!

Your husband rocks!
I LOVED Cave of Forgotten Dreams (except for the end bit with the crocodiles – sometimes Herzog shouldn’t be allowed to tangent) and the way the painters used the contours of the walls is incredible. I adored the bison with multiple pairs of legs to simulate running.

What I adore about my geek/nerd/dork is that his interests are so different from mine. While I obsess about anything biology/literature/sartorially based, he loves physics/engineering/space/cheese-making. The dude’s so smart and because it’s in areas that I’m dumb, I’m always learning.

Yeah, the crocodile bit got a little kooky. Did the soundtrack bother you at all? I found it SO distracting at times that it was frustrating me since I felt like it was taking away from the amazing visuals. And that bison was epic, so fascinating to see how the artists were developing their vision. I just ordered Jon a book on the caves so he can plan out his tattoo.

I love the differences in our passions, too. He has made me so much more interested in politics and science stuff, and we get into the most exhilarating discussions/debates about so many things. I also love it when he will bust out some random fashion knowledge that he has picked up from me.

YES. I would so love to meet the perfect geek for me. :) I love them all.

And it wasn’t until my last relationship ended that I realized it was consuming who I was. I was not myself with him, I was becoming what the relationship needed to be (if that makes sense). Now, finding what makes ME truly happy has been enlightening and hopefully will in turn help me find the one who also likes finding what makes them truly happy. No matter what that may be (I’m now not ashamed to say I love comic books and have always had a quiet passion for them). I don’t mind that the someone may prefer Stargate while I devour BSG – the dinner conversations would certainly be lively.

There is also this site – geek2geek or some such that is a dating site for geeks seeking geeks. For those so inclined, I recommend it. My friend used it to find her current boyfriend and I haven’t seen a better fitting couple in a long time. (online dating is not my thing, personally, but for others – it could be just the ticket)

That makes perfect sense. If it is at all encouraging, that is exactly how my relationship before Jon was. I became unrecognizable to myself. It took me way too long to end it, but after I did, I was finally able to get to a place within myself that made me ready to share my life with someone else, but it was a pretty rough few years.

Fly your geek flag high and proud!! Do I have Buffy action figures prominently displayed in my home? Yes, yes I do. Do I have an 8′ tall knight in my living room? But of course. Anyone who would make you feel silly or embarrassed about the stuff you love sucks and needs to be kicked in the shins.

(First of all – I love that Persephone is a place where the writer actively responds to the readers – too fun!)

Thanks, I was kinda mad at myself for a while, thinking Why did I lose myself? Why was I hiding my trekness (among other things)? Star Trek is the Greatest! But, I’m not mad any more and am quite happy having marathon runs of TNG with a friend. :)

I asked for an Appa Flying Bison for Christmas but no one knew what I was talking about… :( I will just have to find one myself.

I figure it will be a while before I find the right person but you know: older, wiser. There is no rush. As as Thom York has often said, true love waits. :)

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