A Geeky Kind of Love

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My Mom always said I would marry an accountant or an engineer. As a kid, I didn’t have a clue what either of those professions entailed, but they sounded pretty boring to me.

Whaddayknow? I married an engineer. And he isn’t boring. He is brilliant and fascinating and he has an unexpected, dry sense of humour that sometimes leaves me paralytic with laughter (ROFL, if you must know). But he is… well, how to put this? A nerdy kind of awesome.

I think my Mom identified some strong geeky tendencies in me as a kid, and foresaw that I was more likely to meet my match in Algebra than in Art class. She was right. My husband went above and beyond expectations though, as this anecdote illustrates: In the first months of our marriage, he started a PhD in Engineering. After about a week of classwork, I asked him how his courses were going. “Good,” he said, “and we even get to do some of our work in R, which is my favorite programming language.”

Hello, WHAT??

Not only did he know a programming “language”, but it turns out he knew enough of them to have chosen a favorite?! The man I had married just 8 months earlier had a host of wonderful qualities, AND now it turned out he was multi-lingual in the way of computers? Wow. Just, Wow.

And thus began the process of learning to love my geek. I loved him, yes – but I had much to learn about HOW to love him. Loving one another, belonging to each other, commits us to being students of our beloved. Love requires us to observe, to understand, to learn what makes the other tick. It means learning what kind of peanut butter they like, how they like their backs scratched, when they need to be alone, or when they need to hear a corny joke. It means, to use the popular phrase, learning their love language.

I knew I had struck gold when I came across this T-shirt at thinkgeek.com:


The text reads:
roses are #FF0000
violets are #0000FF
all my base
are belong to you

The first time I saw the shirt, I stared cross-eyed at it, trying to decipher its meaning. My husband, however, took one look at it and burst out laughing. When he finally recovered from his tears, he translated for me: #FF0000 is programming code for Red. #0000FF is code for Blue, and the final line was a play on a line from an early computer game which was so badly translated that it became famously hilarious. In a crucial scene of the game, the aliens (or whoever), take over the space command center and issue this ominous proclamation: “All your base are belong to us.”

Lingerie stand aside: if ever there was an “I am YOURS” statement to make to a computer nerd, this shirt was it. I ordered it, and wear it from time to time. It makes my husband feel loved, and it also allows me to identify Com Sci major at 50 paces when I walk around downtown. If a guy sees the shirt and busts up laughing, you can bet your bottom dollar he’s a computer geek too.

I love my geek, and I got the T-shirt to prove it. To paraphrase that wise old romantic, King Solomon:

“My beloved is mine, and I am his. All my base are belong to him” (Song of Songs 2:17)

What about you? What funny (haha funny or strange funny) ways do you show your beloveds that you love them? I’d love to read your comment!

This is Day 2 of 31 Days of Belonging. Stay tuned for tomorrow!

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26 thoughts on “A Geeky Kind of Love”

  1. I love this! I still remember talking about the men we loved (well, I wasn’t sure I really truly loved mine yet!) and you told me about discovering that J was, in fact, not boring at all. That encouraged me to look past my own beloved’s engineering bent 🙂 And any time I don any Trojan wear he knows he is very much loved!

    1. I think j appreciates that love gesture too – and I think it takes a special love and knowledge by our husbands to know that what we are doing is DELIBERATELY not stressing for their sake (rather than just being naturally water-off-a-ducks-back-ish!)

  2. I can envision that conversation about the T-shirt quite vividly, Bronwyn, particularly the part about him cracking up. Funny geeky stuff!

  3. Sean loves Fantasy Football and I have learned that instead of rolling my eyes and sighing audibly, to initiate questions about how “his team” is doing “this week” and to spend a few minutes with him looking at the computer screen with all the scores on it while he explains it to me in great detail. It’s not the way that I would choose to spend my time, but I know that it means a lot to him 🙂 Fun post Bronwyn!!

  4. I think it’s hilarious you think “geeky” equals Algebra rather than Art. You, apparently, need to meet a few of my friends. 🙂 (which, come to think of it, would be rather nice!)

  5. I have to admit…I thought the t-shirt was funny too. My day job is network administration. My beautiful new bride (3 months on 10/6) is a counseling major. Her eyes gloss over when I start talking about things that happen at work. On the other hand my eyes gloss over when she talks about the part of the brain that handles learning and development. We are learning to speak the same language though. That’s the fun of life’s journey together. Each milestone that you reach is another memory that you can cherish together.

    1. what a happy and encouraging comment! (And who knew? A network administrator? I hope those network users appreciate the shepherd they have in their midst)

  6. Dear Bronwyn,

    I, and along with several others you know, LOVE your husband before you met him, and we knew that whoever ended up marrying him would be a FABULOUS, WONDERFUL, and GOD-FEARING woman. We are so glad that you two are together, and are raising three adorable, lovely kids.

    I *heart* geekiness. 🙂

  7. I think I may have to buy that shirt and copy you… Because my husband thinks its HILARIOUS!!! I pay attention to the daily slashdot update and try to comment at least every other time. 🙂 I also pay enough attention to his research that at a conference, I was able to explain to his coworker that his graph was displaying historesis in toxin-antitoxin systems.

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  10. Bronwyn, Love this, just saw this when it was linked to another website. I’m the geek in my marriage, thought I might marry the computer guy…soo…how do I love my teacher/sports fanatic hubby well? It’s pretty hard sometimes?

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