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.”
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!