by Lindsay Weiss
My husband is (and always has been) a geek. I’m not sure he would own up to it, but the signs are there:
- He was in the jazz band in high school. (Note: this does not necessarily make someone a geek, but the fact that said person still brags about his status as First Chair Saxophone does.)
- He still wears the same jeans he wore as First Chair Saxophone.
- He is a chemical engineer. As such, he gets excited when we’re driving down the highway and (gasp!) spot a power plant. Faster than you can say kilowatt, we’ve pulled over and so he can describe, in detail, exactly how the gas turbines power the plant. Yawn. “Is there a Starbucks around here?” I’ll reply.
- He wears socks with sandals…white socks, brown sandals.
- He has the exact same haircut as when he was First Chair Saxophone.
I knew all of these things before I married him. And, to be fair, I was a geek too. He had jazz band; I had concert choir. He wore cargo pants; I wore “mom” jeans (in high school). He obsessed about how machines work; I obsessed about being on Broadway. Two geeks in a pod. But Jeff’s nerdy tendencies reinforced a theory I have always had: geeks make the best husbands (and fathers). Perhaps it’s because they’ve never had their egos inflated. Perhaps it’s because they know what it’s like when people are not kind. Or perhaps they’re just pre-wired with good hearts…for whatever reason, the geeks of yesteryear seem to be some of the most caring, nurturing (and smart to boot) spouses I know.
So it should come as no surprise that I’ve taken it upon myself to encourage a new generation of geeks to embrace their status. Last year, on a field trip with my daughter I met one of her preschool classmates – a little boy named Max. Max was tall and wiry, with hair that defied styling, and he wore thick, wire-rimmed glasses. He was a honey of a boy – sweet, funny, and loved to give hugs. But Max was fairly awkward, and, as I sat with him on my lap that day, it took every ounce of restraint I had not to tell him:
Max, it might be a rough road for you for a while. Kids can be mean. Teenagers can be even meaner. But don’t worry…you are going to have an amazing wife and beautiful children one day. And you will be smart and accomplished and will really make a difference in the world.
And you will be so glad you are who you are.
But instead I just gave him a big hug, and looked him right in the eye and said “Max, you are AWESOME!”
And then I came home and told my husband how lucky I am to have him. After all, how many gals can say they’re lucky enough to marry the First Chair Saxophone?
I hit the geekpot. And I wouldn’t have it any other way…