Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Geeks in Conflict

Our beloved David Tennant (Dr. Who)

My husband John and I are geeks, and proud of it.  Knowing one is a geek means that there are several channels on television where we will find something to watch:  National Geographic, History, Discovery, Sci-Fi, and any channel that shows repeats of Star Trek: the Next Generation or the Original, and Doctor Who.  Life is simplified in many ways, just knowing these few channels.

However, this geek-hood has brought out some problems in our relationship. 

I am a quiet person who can spend a whole day without talking or watching television.  My husband is a babbler, who talks even when he is alone, and must have the television on whenever he is home.  Normally, we balance each other out.  But geek-ness has stirred up some problems.
Yes, empirical formulas

A wormhole
When we watch a show on—oh, I don’t know—say, wormholes and empirical formulas, or the history of the Hale telescope, or maybe the particle collider and anti-matter…when the show is over for hours or maybe even days, my husband is still thinking about it.  Not only is John still thinking about it, he wants to discuss it with me, and share his observations & thoughts about it.  

It is what it is.
Obviously, this is a one-sided discussion, an inequality, if you like.  I listen to him for minutes, maybe as long as five whole minutes.  But somewhere in that time frame, a hand reaches up to a switch in my brain and clicks it to “off”.  Then I am blankly looking at him, nodding as if I understand and care.  In a short while, I start looking around the room.  After that, I go to the bathroom.

Add caption
Bless his heart.  He knows what is happening, but the enthusiastic desire to teach and share his passions in life override that part in his brain that should have an on/off switch but doesn’t.

Yesterday was prime.  We were watching a track event with javelin throws and such.  John started talking about how certain animals could be trained to excel at these track events.  He speculated about cheetahs in sprints, gazelles in the hurdles, gorillas in shot-put, and…I stopped listening.   Only after a few minutes, did I realize he was asking me, “What do you think?”
1980 - awesome movie

Blank, I gazed at him and tried to rebuild the sentences building up to that question.  The only thing I could come up with, as that hand in my brain struggled to find the switch and turn it on, was, “Well, John.  The only things animals are really interested in are eating and mating…”  Then I looked at him, seeing if that was a good answer.  John, ever so much like our granddaughter Sunshine, nodded and said, “That’s probably right.”

Then John got up and went to the bathroom. 


  1. Hilarious....hubby and I have such different interests and I can tell when he's thrown the switch and give him a quick "reboot" but he can't seem to determine when I've thrown mine (thank goodness). Mine too, just constantly babbles away.

  2. Ha! I love this. It's great that you balance one another out. Hooray for the many kinds of 'geek'.

  3. Just loved this post! A wonderful compromise.

  4. Susan, we might be living parallel lives! We too are geeks and Mountain Man is the same...many a conversation has ended with me 'running to the bathroom'...:) I loved this post!!

  5. You can pay attention to his conversation a whole 5 minutes. Wow, that is a good marriage!

  6. This is one of my favorite posts EVER! Guys (especially husbands) can be hilarious ;)

    P.S. I've never watched "Star Trek: the Next Generation," but it's on Netflix, so I'll watch it tonight. I'm so excited :0)

  7. Oh I can relate!!!! My husband thinks that he needs to explain how things work all the time in addition to telling a story. I get that blank look too, but then again I have seen that look on him when I am telling him one of my fabulous it be that I am boring him?........NAAAAAAAAAAAAA.
    Great post!
    Blessings, Joanne

  8. LOL. He would be a great character for a book! I tell ya, you can't think this up in fiction. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Just to balance the equation, my wife and I are the same but reversed, I can spend all day in silence and not give it a thought, it is I that reaches for the light switch. Strange thing is its me that blogs, perhaps us quiet once prefer the written word ??

    RJR Daydreamer


Go won' t hurt...I'd love to hear what you think!