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A GIRL'S GUIDE TO GEEK GUYS

                                       
  By Mikki Halpin and Victoria Maat

     So, your crush on the bass player from Vibrating Sandbox has finally
     died a whimpering death and you're wondering where to go from here.
     All the scenester dudes are either dating a series of
     interchangeable high-school riot grrrls in baby doll dresses and an
     overdose of manic panic, or permanently shacked up with some bitter
     old lady who pays all the bills. Which will it be, a wifely prison
     or a humiliating one night stand? Into this void of potential mates
     comes a man you may not have considered before, a man of substance,
     quietude and stability, a cerebral creature with a culture all his
     own. In short, a geek.
     

   Why Geek Dudes Rule
   
   They are generally available.
   
   Other women will tend not to steal them.
   
   They can fix things.
   
   Your parents will love them.
   
   They're smart.


   Where The Geek Dude Lurks
   While they are often into alternative music, geek dudes tend not to go
   to shows too often. Instead you'll find them hanging out with their
   friends, discussing the latest hardware revolution or perfecting their
   Bill Gates impressions. You know how some people wear t-shirts with
   their favorite bands on them, thus showing that they went to certain
   shows? Well, geek dudes wear t-shirts with the logos of different
   software companies on them, thus showing that they are up on the
   latest, um, releases. A small, though convivial, rivalry may be
   detected here amongst the geek dudes. Try wearing one yourself and see
   if he strikes up a conversation.
   
   Of course the best way to meet a geek dude is through the Internet.
   All geeks harbor a secret fantasy about meeting some girl in
   cyberspace, carrying on an e-mail romance in which he has the chance
   to combine an activity he is comfortable with, computing, with one he
   is very uncomfortable with, socializing. To many geek dudes,
   cyberdating is just an advanced form of some kind of video game, but
   they are frustrated by a lack of players. Their lack is your strength.

   Imprinting
   You might notice that these men harbor some strange ideas about how
   the world works and some particularly strange ideas about women. There
   is a reason for this. Because they've had limited interpersonal
   experience, geek dudes must look elsewhere for behavior models.
   Lacking a real world social milieu, geeks often go through a
   transference stage with such narratives, and try to model their
   interactions on them. Thus, certain media images and themes come to
   have an overly cathected, metaphorized reality to them, while the rest
   of us view such programming as mere entertainment. Case in point, our
   next topic....
   

   The Trek factor
   If you're not up on your Star Trek, you can forget about getting or
   keeping a geek dude. And I'm not just talking vintage-era Captain Kirk
   and Spock either. You've got to be up on your The Next Generation ,
   your Deep Space Nine, your Voyager. Armed with your own knowledge of
   Federation policies, you can better gauge when and how to act. For
   extra help in learning how to relate in their own language, check out
   the Klingon Language Institute.

     Once You've Nabbed Him
     Of course, catching that geek guy is only half the battle. Keeping
     him by your side is another story altogether. I was privileged to
     speak with Miss Victoria Maat, who not only got herself a geek guy
     but was also clever enough to marry him just a few short months ago.
     She interrupted her newlywed bliss to give us a few tips on the care
     and feeding of a geek man:
     
     Geeks are sensitive and caring lovers and husbands. If you can hang
     with the techno-lifestyle, they make the best mates. They are the
     most attractive people, not flashy or hunky, but the kind who get
     cuter and more alluring over time (I told you she was a newlywed).
     Definitely give geeks a chance.

   Geek Cuisine
   Geeks tend towards packaged, junk foods since they prefer to work and
   think and aren't all that into cooking for themselves. Make sure that
   your geek understands that you are not merely a replicator, and
   provide him with home cooked food. A batch of chocolate chip cookies
   will let him know that you love him. You do have to monitor your geek
   for weight gain; however, remember that most of their days are spent
   sitting and staring at a monitor.
   
   Geek Lifestyle
   The geek dude has long work habits and tends to bring his work home
   with him. He seems permanently connected to his hard disk. You must at
   least appear interested in his work. Generally, a solid understanding
   of the computer is a must; if you cannot master this, you should at
   least be able to talk the talk. Remember most geeks are anal and they
   get stressed about details which appear insignificant. Be
   understanding, put on your best Deanna Troi face (see above) and
   empathize.
   
   To relax, geeks love to play the latest computer games. Let him play
   Myst or Chuck Yeager's Air Combat for hours if he wants to. Act
   concerned if he's stuck or has just been ambushed by three MiGs. My
   geek loves to try to help people on the Internet who say that they are
   stuck in Myst. He comes up with clever riddles instead of directing
   them point blank. Geeks also like to go to sci-fi and Japanese
   animated movies, again, a basically harmless vent for your man.

     Geek Buddies
     Many geeks extend their work friendships into what they jokingly
     refer to as RL (Real Life, also known as "that big room with the
     ceiling that is sometimes blue and sometimes black with little
     lights"). The greatest thing about your geek's buddies is that you
     can feel secure in setting them up with your girlfriends. They may
     feel awkward around females at first, so don't overwhelm them. In
     time they will come out of their shell and realize that you are into
     the same things they are.

     Post-It Note
     I thank Victoria for the above advice. I must say that when she read
     my draft of the piece, before writing her section, she asked her
     husband which one he thought she was more like, Deanna or Beverly.
     Howard, the devil, immediately replied that he had always thought
     Victoria was actually most like Ensign Ro Laren, a cute character
     with a slight authority problem who is always had trouble (this is
     fairly apt). This exchange is interesting for several reasons:
     
     Howard had already thought about who she was most like.
     
     He could summon up characters from seasons past with ease.
     
     Victoria actually knew who he meant.
     
     Folks, I think this marriage will last.

     One Last Thing
     Because they have been so abused and ignored by society, many geeks
     have gone underground. You may actually know some and just haven't
     noticed them. They often feel resentful, and misunderstood, and it
     is important to realize this as you grow closer to them. Don't ever
     try to force the issue, or make crazy demands that he choose between
     his computer and you. Remember, his computer has been there for him
     his whole life; you are a new interloper he hasn't quite grasped
     yet.
     
     Geek dudes thrive on mystery and love challenges and intellectual
     puzzles. Don't you consider yourself one? Wouldn't you like a little
     intellectual stimulation or your own? We thought so.
     
     Happy Hunting!
     


     Copyright  1995 Bunnyhop. Reprinted with permission.



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