A Girl's Guide to Geek Guys
    By Mikki Halpin and Victoria Maat

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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 sinister dudes are either dating a series of interchangeable
high-school riot girls 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 Babylon 5.  Armed with your own knowledge of
Federation policies, you can better gauge when and how to act.  The
sexual politics of Star Trek are pretty blunt: the men run the
technology and the ship, and the women are caretakers (a doctor and a
counselor).  Note the sexual tensions on the bridge of the Enterprise:
the women, in skin tight uniforms, and with luxuriant, flowing hair.
The men, often balding, and sporting some sort of permanently attached
computer auxiliary.  This world metaphorizes the fantasies of the geek
dude, who sees himself in the geeky-but-heroic male officers and who
secretly desires a sexy, smart, Deanna or Bev to come along and
deferentially accept him for who he is.  If you are willing to accept
that this is his starting point for reality, you are ready for a geek
relationship.


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.

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