Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Conversion to Geekdom

A line was crossed the other day in our house. A point beyond which there is no turning back. My wife has finally admitted she is a geek.
Oh, the signs were always there – she’s had a fondness for video games and the latest techno toys ever since she moved to Canada as a teen. She’s watched many sci-fi movies like “Serenity” and enjoyed them immensely. But so do a lot of people who we wouldn’t normally consider to be geeks. But more signs have started to creep in over the past few years. She now watches a number of sci-fi TV shows, including “Dr. Who”, “Heroes” and “Battlestar Galactica”. Sure, she started watching because I had them on, but now she seeks them out on her own and is rather put out if she misses episodes. She’s also started to read SF. Traditionally, she’s a mystery fan, which is fine, but a while back, she picked up one of my Bradbury books, and now and again she’ll venture into other strange territories on my sci-fi bookshelves.
You could have said she was a geek at that point, but there was one crucial last step she had to take to reach the conversion threshold. That happened two weeks ago when she came with me to White Dwarf Books one afternoon. Glancing at the stacks, her eye caught on a copy of Rob Grant’s newest: “Fat” (okay, not the best piece of the genre ever written, but it’s sci-fi, so I’m not complaining). She read the back cover, flipped through the pages, brought it up to the counter and bought it herself.
All without any comment, suggestion or otherwise interference from me.
And that’s the important milestone, when a soon-to-be-geek takes that first step without any outside influence to actively pursue and purchase a sci-fi book. It’s an internal admission of the worthiness of sci-fi and a motivation that will continue at its own pace.
I just stood there and watched in quietly amused triumph. I felt like Darth Vader would have if Luke had crossed over to the Dark Side.
Oh sure, she denied the change when we got home. She fought it and fumed and made up excuses like anyone who doesn’t want to acknowledge a long-buried lifestyle truth. Finally though, this past Sunday, she came out of the closet. Sure, her admission was piled high with blame focused squarely at me, but it was an admission none-the-less.
“Honey,” she said, “You’ve turned me into a geek.”
Ah, sweet satisfaction!
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