[This essay is copyrighted by Jennifer Brozek, 1997. It may be saved, downloaded, or distributed from this page providing that the author's name and this notice remain attached to the essay. Please do not alter the text in any way. "Please remember that this is based on my own personal experience of Geek guys across 15 states and 2 continents. Not every Geek guy will be as described. Share and enjoy." - JLB]
Not So Bad After All
Actually, the title is a bit misleading. I think Geek guys are cool as 'just friends' or as a boyfriend. I have associated with Geek guys (and girls) all my life and have been richer for it. There are a number of reasons for this. (Yes, my boyfriend is a Geek and proud of it. So am I.)
Geek Guys are smart, loyal, interesting, have an cool sense of humor and are very creative. Parents love them, too.
No two Geek guys are exactly the same. And you wouldn't want that in any case. It's their individuality and endearing (odd) quirks that make you love them. However, while they -are- different, they have a lot of things in common. Listed below are some of things I've found that they do have in common. These are some of (the many) things that make a Geek guy a real treasure.
How does it work?
They love to take things apart to see how the parts work together or just to see what's inside. It doesn't matter if they can put it back together or not. If they can, (usually with screws left over) that's a plus... if not, it goes into the 'cool stuff' pile to be cannibalized later. Cannibalized for what? Who knows. See Creativity.
All Geek guys love and own toys. Be they the cheap Fast Food toys from a children's meal or vintage props still in the original packing. These toys usually adorn the work space/office/computer area and are set up in a particular manner. This is called a Geekosphere. A Geek guy's Geekosphere is sacred. It is a plus to be able to identify each toy. And if you cannot identify one, you should ask, if you are interested in the answer. He will be able to tell you everything about it and why it has a spot within his Geekosphere.
Geek guys love to make things. Be it a drawing, a map of a Game Dungeon, Maze or Land, a prop for a Sci-fi convention or a `thingie' that lights up. Whatever it is, your Geek guy will put a lot of effort into it.... criticizing it is a bad thing, UNLESS, you can constructively point out a flaw in the design and offer a solution. Geek guys love it when you are interested in their fun. Also, you will learn things about stuff you never knew existed. Check out a Geek guy's website. You will find some of the most outrageous, obscure stuff you never thought of.
Science Fiction/Fantasy Conventions
Geek guys can be found in droves at one of these conventions. They buy their favorite toys, game with old and new friends alike, go to the 'Behind the Scenes' panels, listen to their favorite Sci-fi/Fantasy Author/Actor speak and are very social in general. A Geek guy is in his element at a Sci-fi/Fantasy convention. He will have no problem dressing in costume, debating the issues in his favorite TV show/movie or comparing and contrasting the abilities of various characters from different genres. He is 'The Man' at a convention. (He usually has some of the coolest and neatest and oddest props/toys/costume/etc...)
Gaming and role playing
Lots of Geek guys love to 'game' or 'role-play.' Be it AD&D, Top Secret, Call of Cthulu, Marvel Superhero, any of the White Wolf, World of Darkness genre or perhaps a homemade system. They live their lives vicariously through their characters. You can learn a lot about what a Geek guy thinks by watching him game. Role playing opens up the whole world to the Geek guy (and a Geek girl for that matter). He can be whatever he wants. The Villain. The Hero. The Smart Guy. The Spy. And he usually has an interesting, if less-than-direct, method to solve the problem at hand, get the prize and win the girl. The perfect place to view Geek guys in RP action is Gaming Convention. There, you have hundreds of Geeks guys strutting their stuff.
Now, this is THE place for a Geek guy. They can be anyone or anything they wish. They can chat on IRC (Internet Relay Chat). They can show their insight on a BBS or Newsgroup. They can be a Hero or Villain and beat the heck out of monsters or other players in an online Internet game like Diablo or Meridian 59. They can build entire worlds and role-play on a MUCKS (Multi-User Created Kingdoms). The Net lets the mind free of the barriers of Reality. There are very few social drawbacks on the Net. Your shy Geek guy has time to think of just the right witty line to woo the heroine or cut down a net.tomcat in defense of a lady.
Geek guys and a challenge
No challenge can be turned away. Ever. Be it an intellectual challenge or a physical challenge. Geek guys will rise to the occasion. They may have to call Brazil to get the answer to a question or not sleep for 3 days writing a program or playing a video game or break their thumb opening something but they will prevail! I have known a Geek guy who spent a week finding out the name of the Actor of an obscure character in a commercial that was seen 25 years ago because he was challenged to. He prevailed. I have seen a Geek guy spend hours taking something apart to fix it when he could have gone to the store and spent $5 for a replacement item because he 'should be able to fix it, d*mmit!' He prevailed. I've seen a Geek guy tear apart his computer and put it back together to get a piece of hardware working. It was a challenge. He prevailed. I have seen two Geek guys square off over a video game. It's an impressive sight. Yes, challenges are irresistible to a Geek guy and watching them and their intense concentration on the challenge at hand is truly a sight worth seeing.
The Geek guy often has an obscure, twisted sense of humor. It's usually laced with a bit of sarcasm and is full of little known references... unless, of course, he is among other Geek pals, who will know exactly what he's talking about. Many times, the humor is quite disgusting but amusing. Often times, a Geek guy will put himself down in his humor. Geek guys can laugh at themselves as much as they laugh at the world in general.
Casual, comfortable and 'wearable.' A Geek guy usually lives in jeans and a T-shirt. Occasionally, he'll throw on an oxford type shirt or sweater. What's important is that he is comfortable. Period. (Note: The wardrobe of a Geek guy can vary widely, from sweats to jeans to dockers. It depends on the Geek guy himself.) If he's comfortable, he is free to let himself concentrate on whatever it is that he is working on. Glasses and a 'no fuss' hair style are often common.
Geek guys and a mystery
Like challenges, mysteries are siren songs to a Geek guy. They must know how something works. They must open that door, press the red button. Geek guys can be worse than a cat. However, their intelligence will help them solve the mystery and put things back together once they've torn it apart to look at the insides. Mysteries are not as intensive as challenges. They don't need to be solved immediately but they will always be in the back of the brain. Once a Geek guy latches onto a mystery, it may take time, but he will unlock it to his satisfaction.
This can be anything. In fact, what makes this a common element among Geek guys, is their love of music and variety of it. Everything from Rock to Alternative to Classical to Oldies to Opera to Folk music. One thing I have seen is a tendency to dislike Country music. I'm not quite sure why this is. Most Geek guys own at least one instrument, even if they don't play it. Some plink and others are darn good.
In my experience, a Geek guy's diet consists mostly of sugar, junk food and anything microwaveable. Now, this isn't to say that a Geek guy can't cook. Far from it. A lot of Geek guys can cook and cook well. They just don't have the time or desire to do so... Esp. if they are on-line, working on a project or going to/are at a Game. However, if they want to impress someone, they will go all out. I'm a good cook and I've been impressed with some of the spreads my Geek buddies have laid out.
Geek guys make the best friends. They are usually fairly shy and have a small but close knit group of friends. If you make friends with a Geek guy, cherish him. You have a treasure. Not only is he a likable guy, he is loyal and steady. He is someone you can count on in times of need or frustration. He is a good listener and will help you solve a problem if you ask. Geek guys don't make friends easily but once they do, they will go through Hell and High Water for you. You should do the same for him.
This is usually what set your average Geek guy apart in the first place. He was smart. Smarter than the rest of the kids. He knows things. He can tell you how something works. He can help you understand something you don't. He can broaden your horizons. He's great at trivia games or helping you figure out your computer or the newest piece of software. This same intelligence that has created the misfit of the Geek Guy, is the same intelligence that has created computers, the TV, email, video games, found cures for diseases, and many, many, many other inventions/cures. It has made life in general what it is today.
Parents love Geek guys
Geek guys seem like wholesome, responsible, potential breadwinners who will be polite, courteous and gentlemanly with their daughter on a date. The Geek guy is someone that Fathers can quiz on intellectual situations and Mothers can talk to without being uncomfortable. Geek guys usually have no problem relating to parents or family pets. They will spend hours talking to parents about anything and everything.
Geek guys are romantic
Yes, Geek guys are the hopeful romantics of the world. They want to be the Knight in shining armor, the poet of love, the bearer of gifts. He will bring you flowers and candy on Valentine's Day. He will remember your birthday. He will take you out to dinner in a nice restaurant. Of course, his gifts and tokens of affection might not be of the everyday variety. The flowers may be via computer, the gift may be a heart sculpture made of microchips or a new screen saver with pictures of you and him together on it, the poetry may be full of odd phrasing comparing you to a computer or a piece of hardware, but the candy will be candy and you will have to share. *grin* No matter what you receive or how you receive it, your Geek guy will have only the best and most hopeful romantic thoughts in his head for you.
Geek guys are passionate about pleasure
When I was talking about Parents and the Geek guy, I said that "Geek guys seem like wholesome, responsible, potential breadwinners who will be polite, courteous and gentlemanly with their daughter on a date." While this is true, when the Geek guy and his date/gal pal/Significant Other are on their date/watching TV/etc... and are in the back seat of the car (or where ever they are in private), when the glasses come off, watch out. A Geek guy is very passionate and has a hidden wild streak. He is very eager to please and be pleased. If you have a fantasy... he will try to fulfill it, especially if the fantasy involves role-playing. And your Geek guy probably has a couple of fantasies that would make a sailor blush. Ask, you might be surprised. Geek guys can be serious hedonists.
Geek guys generally tend to the technical occupations. Computer Programmers, Engineers, Software/Hardware Quality Assurance, Hardware Engineers, System Administration, Tech Support. The list goes on. Sometimes, you'll see a Geek guy in a writer's or Editor's position. If the Geek guy is still in college, he is usually working in the college computer lab, grading papers or being the Professor's teaching assistant. As the world becomes more and more technical, the need for the Geek guy grows. They are the only ones who know how things work. Something to remember.
Where the Geek guy hangs out
Actually, Geek guys hang out everywhere: Music stores, the workplace, the movies, a friend's house, concerts, conventions, gaming or book stores, Malls, local 24 hour restaurants. The thing is, Geek guys have been so abused and maligned and ignored for so long, people no longer see them. Oh, people may see a Geek guy (or group of Geek guys) with their eyes but they don't notice them. Geek guys are everywhere. Stop and look around you sometime. You'll see what I mean.
There. Done. I hope you enjoyed this. Now that you've read all of it, I suppose you are wondering why I wrote it to begin with. Well, the answer is simple. I've known and liked Geek guys all my life. I was sent an essay that was supposed to be a humorous guide to Geek men for women. Unfortunately, I found it rather condescending, mean and exploitative towards the Geek guy. I wrote the Geek guy who sent it to me, pointing out how it was mildly amusing but that was lacking in many of the basic fundamentals of Geek guys in general. Then I wrote up some examples (Re: How does it work, Toys and Creativity.)
By the time I was done sending off the email, I had decided to write this. The extremely positive response from my Geek guy friend on what little I had written in the email made me even more determined to do so. I wanted people to see what I see when I encounter a Geek guy. I know Geek guys aren't perfect. Far from it. But their faults have been pointed out a lot more than their good attributes. That's why only the good things are pointed out in this essay. Geek guys are sweet, lovable, intelligent, creative, funny and definitely worth getting to know. Take the time to talk to one. You'll be glad you did.