Guten morgen! Guten nacht! Guten… afternooten!
It has been an incredibly un-called for (41) days of winter since Nerding My Wife last reared its shiny silver head, and only a few seconds since I made a poor joke about a Zooey Deschanel movie title. I blame the holidays for the lack of content in recent weeks. And Words With Friends. And my burning need to win games against Anne Wheaton. Remember the days before Words With Friends when people actually got work done? Me neither. But who would want to? Seriously people, get with the program. This is what we do now. This is why we are here. It’s all about getting two intersecting J words connecting at that little orange box of heaven labeled TW.
Laura has also started playing, so good for her. She’s awesome.
We visited her parents over the holidays. They live a little shy of two hours away, which gives us some quality car time together as long as I can manage to keep her awake. The drive is pretty easy. The dogs sleep in the back seat, except for the one inevitable moment during every trip when Luna barks AS LOUD AND AS SUDDENLY AS POSSIBLE to scare the living hell out of us, then goes back to sleep. Laura and I don’t play any stupid car games based on the radio or license plates or street signs. We chat, which makes us happy, and we sing songs.
On our recent trip, she loaded up the Dr. Horrible soundtrack.
“Let’s practice our harmony,” she said, turning on “My Eyes.”
“Is that something regular people say?” she asked.
Nonetheless, we sing, and pretend we’re as good as NPH and Felicia. I seriously assume we are not.
I was given The Wesley Crushers t-shirt from Big Bang Theory by my mother, which was ultra cute.
I also received an RC helicopter from Laura which has caused Luna to knock most of the ornaments off the bottom of the Christmas tree as she runs and barks in extreme fear of its aerial torment. Additionally, I got Saints Row: The Third, which when opened, encouraged Laura to say “Oh, I like to watch you play Saints Row.”
You may have watched me play 1 and 2, but with that statement, I’m going to get YOU to play this one, little girl.
Laura is one of those people who thinks they can’t play games because they “don’t know the controls.” The only Xbox360 she’s experienced is the point-and-click CSI games, where I admit it’s awesome fun to mock whoever fails badly at doing Marg Helgenberger’s Catherine Willows voice, but isn’t really “gaming.” She hasn’t actively tried to play anything since the NES, where she was one of those people who moved their entire arms up and down and shook their bodies all around trying to make Mario jump. It’s like watching a wounded rabbit try and escape traffic.
The book Alyssa sent me is chock-full of all sorts of random facts and things that range from strange historical tidbits to chess techniques to speaking Klingon to other nonsense. I already knew that 17th-century French composer Jean-Baptiste Lully died from a gangrenous wound after he stabbed himself in the foot while tapping a long staff like a metronome, but alas, it’s in the book. The idea seems to be that if you remember everything within, you can hold your own against any type of nerd. It encompasses all facets of nerd-dom, since none of us but Wil Wheaton are fluent in all respects. Which got me thinking…
I’ve been having trouble defining how to nerd my wife, and whether or not filling up the “nerd glasses meter” makes any sense. It’s not like there is a checklist you have to hit to be a nerd (aside from watching Star Wars at least once at some point in your life, whether you like it or not, which she hasn’t freaking done yet.) Some people are book nerds, some are roleplaying nerds. Some like WoW and some like checkers. Some like math and science, others like literature and drama. Some of us play video games, others build paper airplanes. Some listen to Morcheeba and some to Frontalot. And one group might not know anything about another, but that’s okay. Together we are a community, we share a respect for the passions and interests of others, and that mutual admiration is what keeps us together and builds friendships. So how do I know when Laura is a nerd? And how do I know she isn’t already? And why am I trying to quantify it?
This led me to a realization. None of this is really about making her a nerd. To the average person, I’m sure she always was. And she always will be in her own way, just like the rest of us. Nerding My Wife has always been less about making her a nerd and more about trying to develop her interests in all the niche things I am very passionate about, so that I can share them with her. It’s about combining her interests with my own nerdy style. It’s about giving things a try, breaking the stigmas and misconceptions she has had about certain things and helping her realize how awesome they really are. We are very much the same person, but over the years there has been a set of things that she just didn’t understand. While she’s always respected my interests and (obviously) encouraged them, she didn’t always share them. And in my opinion, no matter how much you enjoy something, you never enjoy it as much as you do when shared with a loved one. And that’s what Nerding My Wife is really about. Not defining people, not changing behaviors, but sharing and embracing a culture and different art forms and media that aren’t always the “coolest.”
And to that, I’ve been doing very well.
Things I used to have to do on my own are slowly being shared with my favorite person. Now, on the occasions when I watch aliens kidnap Picard and replace him with a duplicate that sends the Enterprise to a pulsar and she’s there watching with me, even if she doesn’t really understand what’s going on, well…
I’m really glad we make time to practice our harmony.