Remember when you were a kid and it was easy to meet other geeks?
Jamie and I have known each other since grade school. For awhile, I knew him simply as the kid who was always late for the bus. One day, though, we were seated at the same table. We were each drawing. I was working on some giant starship fight scene involving the U.S.S. Enterprise and a war group of three Klingon D-7s. As I illustrated phaser-fire lancing out from the Constitution Class Federation Cruiser shearing the nacelle from the lead Klingon ship, I verbalized the imagined explosion.
Jamie looked up from his skecth, “You make sound effects when you draw, too?”
And we’ve been friends ever since.
It was easy to pick out my friend Gary. The Tom Baker Doctor Who scarf was a dead give-a-way.
As we get older and enter into the business world, it’s less appropriate to wear your geek on your sleeve, or wrapped around your neck. The sad truth is that if you want to be taken seriously in the corporate world, you have to let people get to know your career persona before you come out of the closet to them as huge frikkin’ geek. Otherwise, you run the risk of being disregarded in terms of skills beyond chukkin’ dice and layin’ the smackdown in Halo.
It’s a cautious courtship.
For instance… My partner in crime, Paul, and I have known each other for four years both of us working for the same organization. Brother Paul was a project manager with whom I collaborated frequently. We worked together for six months or so, always visiting in a friendly fashion, before we came out of the closet to each other.
From time to time, I had an inkling about him… but nothing concrete.
Remarking on his weekend plans one day, he offered that he was “…Going to go see X-Men 3 this weekend.”
Fortunately, superhero movies have really become safe to chat about amongst polite company. It proved to be our opportunity to go all on geek. We started slow probing each other’s geek in tentative, furtive strokes.
From superhero films, we transitioned to comic books. Paul’s a big DC guy. I’m more of a Marvel. We found our common ground in Walking Dead.
We’re both Trek nerds – and I think we are in agreement here – that Deep Space Nine is the superior series among the post-TOS shows. He likes Babylon 5 a lot more than I do, but we both adore Buffy, Angel, and Firefly.
Haunted houses are freaky cool, we agree.
Paul and I are peas in a pod.
I share this because I don’t think it’s the norm.
Sure, you can meet other geeks online in forums and on Twitter. There’s something to be said though for making that friend at work. y’know? There are so many barriers traveling amongst the Normals, wrapped in the cloak of the mundane as we are. It’s hard to make that acquaintance when you’re all growed up.
So tell me, how do you meet your geek?