I am a geek.
Harry Anderson of “Night Court” fame once told of the origin of the word geek. He said it was what they called the circus performer who bit the heads off of chickens.
Today’s version of a geek is much more friendly. The “I Geek…” program that has been so well promoted has really helped with that. Geek more refers to something that you have a keen interest in. I also think the show “Big Bang Theory” has a lot to do with it. I love that show. Geeks trying to relate to people who aren’t. It’s kind of like my life. It’s almost cool to be a geek these days, depending on what kind of geek you are.
I am a geek on several levels.
The version that most people know me as is the band geek. The music geek. I was in marching band and LOVED it. Symphonic Band, Orchestra, Pep Band. My life in high school revolved around instrumental music. I had a hard time understanding that other people didn’t enjoy it like I did, like my high school boyfriend (he quit band-he rolled his eyes when I talked about it. No wonder we broke up.) I was good at it because I worked hard-it didn’t come naturally for me. I was so jealous of my friends that were naturally so good they got to do things like All-State Band and the State Fair Band. In college I was in those things and then expanded into vocal music. I played in the municipal band and the regional symphony. For a while I was a music teacher. Now I’m now. That’s another post.
Then there are the other layers of geek. I like movies. I like some TV. I love Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Superheroes. The original Star Wars movies are still some of my all time favorites-there was a time when I could recite “The Empire Strikes Back” word for word. My son has all the action figures that I had as a child (sorry collectors, they are not still in the boxes). I get excited when there I find “Star Trek: TNG” on TV. I went to “Star Trek: Nemesis” on opening night. When I went to the new Star Trek movie, I almost cried when it was over because I never wanted it to end. I waited in almost painful anticipation for the Avengers movie to be released. Harry Potter was magical to me-I saw the movies wishing that there had been such a thing when I was a kid.
I have not read “50 Shades of Gray”, though I did check out an excerpt online because I wanted to know what the hell everyone was talking about (It’s PORN! I’m sorry, that is porn.) I have however read most of Robert Heinlein’s vast collection. Alan Dean Foster, JR Tolkien, Brian Daley, Isaac Asimov, those are all very familiar names to me. I used to read a book a day. I was a little bookworm as a child. I am trying very hard to get back to reading something that isn’t a magazine article these days-but when you have kids it’s hard!
But not all the geeks like the same stuff. For the record, I’ve seen a little of Dr Who, but never got into it. Never seen Babylon 5. Saw the Stargate movie-never seen the show. Watched some of Battlestar Galactica, but kept forgetting it was on (if it wasn’t for my DVR, I probably wouldn’t know when anything was on. Again, another post). Watched Smallville for a spell, then lost interest. I don’t get into the whole Twilight/Vampire thing-though I have really enjoyed Being Human on the Sci-Fi channel. Oh I’m sorry, it’s Sy-Fy. Never quite understood why they changed the spelling-just how stupid do they think people are?
When we moved back to the Midwest after years of being a military family I started to get embarrassed about the things I liked. For years I pretended that I had no interest in the stuff. Mainly because I liked guys and I wanted one to like me back. Thank goodness I finally met my husband. I married him because I could be myself around him, and he likes the same stuff I do-movies, sci-fi, books, music, etc. We often speak in TV or movie quotes at home. Let’s face it, he’s the Band Geek who never joined the band (I love the American Pie movies, and there is a good reason why). Yes I am in a Geek Marriage. But that’s ok.
He is a geek in more ways than I. For example, he is a science geek. He took Quantum Physics FOR FUN. He also loves video games. He plays World of Warcraft and City of Heroes. We have every older video gaming system they made, including an Atari and a 3DO. I think he salivates whenever we pass a Gamestop. And he loves Comic Books-he takes my kids to the comic book store for fun. He is currently designing metal signs for people’s cubicles at work based up their interests. When his is complete, the world will stop and take notice. That’s because it’s the Iron Man face, complete with a replica of an arc reactor that lights up. He wants to be able to take it out and wear it. I’m glad they embrace his weirdness at work… I tease him about it, but I love it.
I’m so glad he has found his niche. His love of sports (mainly football-once again, that’s another post) is something that is very relatable to others. Outside of our family it’s hard for me to relate to other people that like the same things I do. I guess because I’m a girl. I’m still seen as the odd girl. Quiet until you get to know me, developing the social anxiety hasn’t helped! I remember vividly a few years ago when I was working with kids in a local after school program. My boss told an entire room of people right in front of me how I’m kind of odd, and that was good because I could relate to the weird kids. I wasn’t sure whether to be embarrassed or proud at that moment.
My husband has never been embarrassed of his interests. He proudly lets people know what he likes. He wears Star Wars and Star Trek t-shirts. He lends out the movies he really likes to people who haven’t been exposed to the stuff. I’m still embarrassed to show up the book that I’m currently reading in public-it’s the very first book ever written based upon “Star Trek: TNG”.
Part of my goal now that I have more time to devote to being myself is getting to the point that I’m ok with being me. Learning to embrace Geekdom, and learning about what is actually interesting about me being, well ME. Developing the part that counts, the part on the inside, and stop worrying so darn much about what other people think! So if you are offended that I am, well, such a GEEK, then stop reading my blog!!!
Not everyone is as fortunate as I am to have found a partner in Geekdom as I have. Oh boy, my kids are DOOMED! Again, that’s another post…