There are a lot of things one doesn’t realize when he/she signs the dotted line of the marriage license. Daniel and I didn’t realize the implications of the crazy collision between introvert versus extrovert. Nor did we understand how one partner’s obsessive compulsive tendencies would cause the other partner stress and vice versa. Also, we didn’t know that one of us preferring to sleep with a sound machine on would bring forth snide remarks and nasty glares from the other partner (you can’t see those glares in the dark, but you can feel them).
One of the biggest aspects of marriage I didn’t understand 10 years ago was how marrying a geek would completely alter my life. My man is a self-professed, professional geek. He’s good at it too. In order to build my case, I need to give you a little background information. Daniel went to college at small school known for its engineering courses. It was not uncommon for him to spend hours on a Saturday afternoon working on one calculus problem. Daniel graduated with honors with a degree in computer science and electrical engineering coupled with a math minor.
After graduation, Daniel has spent the past almost 10 years working as a software developer. If he comes home from work in the middle of a problem, I know with certainty that supper conversation will be almost incoherent (maybe I exaggerate… a little) and that I will find him at the computer later that evening until the problem is fixed—sometimes at 2am. If per chance he doesn’t solve the problem before coming to bed, it’s not unusual for him to emerge from the shower exclaiming “Eureka! I’ve got it!” Ok, I’ve never heard him say “Eureka,” but you get my point. The man lives and breathes computer problems.
Another sign that I live with a professional geek is that we don’t have a regular alarm clock/iPod docking station like I’m told most people have. We have a “squeezebox” which is an alarm clock that communicates and shares music files with our ipods and our main computer. After five years of owning it, I still do not know how to set the alarm on the squeezebox even though Daniel has shown me at least five times.
Finally, in his spare time Daniel is developing his own text editor. Also, he has contributed multiple software programs to the open source community, which may be the reason he has had several job offers from companies we’ve never heard of without Daniel initiating interest in the job to begin with (nope, not moving to Norfolk).
One of the first experiences I had with Daniel’s geekdom came when I was in college. He visited my dorm and proceeded to delete program after program from my computer.
“Do you use this?” he would ask me.
“No… but…” I’d reply.
Delete… delete… delete… until I was almost in tears, very sure that my computer would never run correctly again, that after he walked out the door in two hours I would never find my 80 page (not an exaggeration) articulation paper due in a matter of days.
Well, guess what… my computer was fine. Everything was still there; my paper was turned in on time. I didn’t know enough at the time to decipher whether or not my computer ran any faster after it had been purged of all the “fluff” (deciphering a fast computer from a slow computer is a skill I’ve honed over the years since I’m repeatedly asked if our computer is running better after Daniel tweaks it), but my computer didn’t crash or burst into flames like I was expecting it to.
Ever since then, I’ve pretty much trusted Daniel to do whatever he wants with the technology in our house—I should say I have happily, gleefully, ecstatically! trusted him. Whenever there’s a manual involved, I automatically hand it to Daniel… not a details girl when it comes to remotes, iPods, switches and wires.
So for those of you who do not get to experience real, live, 100% pure geekdom first-hand, stay tuned for my top 5s of living with a geek. (I know—you’re sitting on the edge of your seats!)
** And yes, those chocolate bars mentioned last March are STILL sitting on Daniel’s desk as seen in the top picture, although he has actually started eating one of them. Not sure if this is a sign of a geek or of super human powers which I have yet to uncover.**