It was about two weeks into our relationship when I asked my girlfriend the ego boosting question that most men ask just after just meeting their partner.
“So, what was it that attracted you to me?”
We were walking along London's South Bank, it was a beautiful late summers evening, everyone was out in short sleeves, all tanned and happy. It was a lovely night.
She paused for a moment, and then said “Well, you weren’t bad looking……….”
I mentally high fived myself for being such a good looking devil.
“….you made me laugh…….”
I mentally high fived myself again for being such an amusing bastard.
“….and I have always liked geeky men.”
I mentally high fived myself for- Hang on, what did she just say?
“I’m….what?” I spluttered in a mixture of indignation and hurt.
“Geeky men. I’ve always liked geeky men.” she replied, obviously not seeing my distress.
The huge KLANG I heard was the sound of my smile falling from my face and hitting the ground in a pair of two downturned lips.
“Kates, I am not geeky. I’m cool, I’m Daddy Cool.”
“Daddy Cool is a long stretch. Don’t worry, geeky is fine. I like geek. Geek chic and all that?”
I swiftly moved the conversation on to safer territory, but her statement played out over and over in my head.
Geeky. Geeky. Geeky. Geeky. Geeky. Geeky. Geeky. Geeky. Geeky. Geeky. Geeky. Geeky.
As I lay awake that night, I began to analyse myself once more (long term readers will know that I do this quite a lot. In fact, if you were to give me a skip filled with entrails, major organs, limbs, and a fairly stupid looking head, I could probably knock up a decent replica of myself in about 20 minutes).
OK, so I may not wear woolly hats in summer, sit in funky coffee shops, tapping away on my laptop writing the last great American novel, or go to nightclubs that were so exclusive, you actually have to contact the dead via an Ouija board to locate the address, but surely I wasn’t geeky?
Over the course of our relationship, I have tried to justify the geeky tag.
“Is it because I’m always reading?” I asked her one time.
“God no! I love it that you read. That's one of the things we have in common.” she replied.
A year later.
“Is it because i have an almost encyclopaedic knowledge of useless information?” I asked.
*This bit is sadly true. I do. It never helped me in school though. I couldn’t tell you who our fifth monarch was, but I could tell you who played Neil in The Office (Patrick Baladi). This also makes me a one stop mine of information for my friends to settle an argument.
“Dan, who directed Ghostbusters?”
“Thanks mate. Bye”
It also makes me good at pub quizzes*
“No, the useless information thing is handy.” Kates replied.
Another year later.
“Is it because I play computer games?” By now the desperation was evident in my voice.
“You have to admit, the incident with the “cans” was pretty geeky?” she said, laughing.
And she was right, of course. One time, Kates was asleep on my sofa, so I decided to pop on my PC and play some Call of Duty. Not wanting to wake her, I put on my huge funky headphones that I normally use for some late night gaming, funky headphones she would never see because they make me look a total dick whilst wearing them. When I powered up and checked online, I could see that my nemesis, nOObkiller1995, was on as well.
“Payback bitch.” I muttered, hunched over my keyboard, ready for the fight.
Sadly for me, nOObkiller1995 was a German kid who absolutely slaughtered me every time our paths crossed. So this time I was out for revenge. And revenge would be mine. Oh yes, it would be mine.
So of course, as soon as I joined the game, the little bastard shot me in the head.
LOLZ. YOU DEAD scrawled across my screen.
I finally managed to have him cornered though, trapped in a burnt out building with no escape. I stalked him through the rooms, and was just getting ready to finally finish him and send him abusive messages like, SUCK MY BALZ, BIATCH! , when a hand fell on my shoulder.
“NABAJA! What the f**k?” I screamed out in terror, turning round to see if the zombie apocalypse had actually happened and they had finally got me.
“What are you doing?” Kates asked, standing sleepily beside me. “And what the hell are you wearing on your head?”
I suddenly realized that I was sitting in the dark, playing a computer game and muttering obscenities at a 12 year old German kid, whilst wearing the world’s largest headphones on my head. I heard the word geek whisper in my head.
“These are my cans” I muttered in embarrassment, whilst on the screen, nOObkiller1995 stabbed me in the heart with his knife, and then emptied the whole clip of his AK-47 in my prone body whilst jumping up and down with joy, just to rub it in.
HAHA YOU LOOZ! mocked me from the screen, while my girlfriend mocked me from behind.
Sometimes life can be very cruel.
So finally, after much soul searching, I came to accept that I am actually a bit geeky.
“Your right, I am a geek. I’m king of the geeks. Other geeks worship at my geeky throne. I accept who I am now.” I finally told Kates, after many years of self analysis.
“And I wouldn’t want you any other way.” she replied, kissing me on the cheek.
And that somehow makes it all worthwhile.
Plus, at least I’m not a nerd. Now that would be embarrassing.