Since all of us are married guys, CT came up with the idea to hear from the wives of the Nerd Lunch crew. What is like to be married to a grown man who buys action figures? When did these ladies figure out that the pile of oddly shaped dice were not leftovers from a European version of Monopoly? Why would they fall for someone who considers gyros and Mountain Dew to be haute cuisine? These are just some of the questions we’re hoping to illuminate in these posts. Today Dr. Mrs. Jeeg joins us with her take. — Jeeg
Jeeg is a nerd. He loves Dungeons & Dragons, Star Trek, Futurama, the old WWF (not the World Wildlife Fund), Magnum, P.I., The Young and the Restless, and Maude. He can talk computer lingo till the Angry Birds come home. He knows all the scientific names for our pet rat’s medications, and he understands which one does what. He lives in fear that one of our children will be sporty and will want Jeeg to teach her/him to play ball.
He’s a nerd, and I love him.
When we first dated, he hid some of his nerdiness from me. But he veiled his references to D&D to no avail. I come from a nerdy family. My parents and aunts and uncles didn’t play D&D — they made up their own role-playing games. All of my siblings and I and both my parents read and write science fiction and fantasy. My brother draws fantasy art. (How many times have I had to tell him, “Women don’t really look like that, you know”? Also, “Her shirt would only cling like that if it was wet,” and “She looks cold.”) It was a special evening when Jeeg felt comfortable enough with me to not only show me his special bag of D&D dice, but also to let me touch them. I, a mere woman.
I grabbed all the dice and cackled, until Jeeg held out the empty bag with a dry “I think that’s enough for now. We don’t want to overheat you.”
I suppose I was uniquely prepared to appreciate and desire a nerd husband. I tended to shy away from dating athletic males — they also tended to shy away from dating me. One thing I have never been shy about is telling people when I am smarter than they are, or at least that I am right and they are wrong. This happens more often than you might think. Most men, especially athletic men, don’t respond well.
I tested Jeeg’s mettle on our first lunch date. He voiced an opinion, and I told him that actually, a recent study with a large sample size suggested that his view was wrong. He said, “Interesting.” When I got back to my computer, I emailed him a link to said study. He emailed me back right away — no, not to tell me where to get off. He said, “You have excellent research skills.”
From then on, I was hooked on Jeeg.
To tell the truth, I do not understand why people think being a nerd is bad. Some nerds are irritatingly pedantic about their interests, but so are a lot of non-nerds, so I can’t agree that being an irritating pedant is a core characteristic of nerdiness. In fact, Jeeg plays off his nerdiness by pretending to be a D&D pedant: every fantasy-based movie or TV show we watch must conform to the D&D versions of mythological creatures, or he points out repeatedly how they are wrong about vampires / zombies / naiads / giants / warlocks / druids / elves (Note from Jeeg: What the heck is a naiad?). Most of the time, this makes me laugh. Most of the time.
But I really don’t get why nerdiness is supposed to be bad. Nerds are smart, quick, witty, passionate, imaginative, and colorful, as well as brave and honest about what they really, really enjoy. I find that people who try to be like other mainstreamers end up succeeding; they become just like everyone else in the main herd, with no funny little individual hooks to catch my interest. The color greige might be terribly sophisticated, but there’s no joy in it.
I was surprised that I had to spell it out to Jeeg a few days ago. I thought that, after three years of dating me and four of being married to me, he would have picked up on the fact that I value his nerdiness very highly. It is the key characteristic (or set of characteristics) that prepared him to be my mate, in every sense of the word. If he were not a nerd, he would not have been worthy to be my husband.
Fortunately for me and my sex life, Jeeg is a nerd, through and through. I adore him. I only hope he’ll stay that way.
Jeeg here again. Let this be proof that there indeed is a lid to every pot. I’m grateful that my particular lid digs fantasy novels, Britcoms, Jackie Chan movies, and was more than willing to watch all 173 episodes of Deep Space Nine on DVD. And yes, I am a sexual Tyrannosaurus.