Since my rather sociological observation on Geek dating habits last week, I realized that a need exists in the world regarding more research on this topic. A brief review of existing literature to augment my (erstwhile) ideas to supplement my first-hand experience observing Geeks in Geekdom, from the disinterested perspective of a non-geek, revealed a misdirected focus in said critical analysis of this highly misunderstood and somewhat neglected species.
Moreover, a few brave voices from Geekdom (in the form of comments and other indicators) that were able to rise above the clamour and noise of long preserved stereotypes, on both sides, to reach the Geek researcher’s ivory tower compelled me to think about the following question:
Even if the common woman (oops, didn’t mean that kind of common woman) did reach out to the Geek, how would the Geek, the semi Geek, the uber Geek, and the ultra Geek not manage to chase her away? What pearls of wisdom can I share to bring about mutual intelligibility?
Consider a few common ways in which both Geeks and non-geeks convey meaning but to different ends.
The smile.There are many reasons why a woman may smile at you.
Try to get to the bottom of this. Read some research on why some women will stretch their facial muscles and perform this phenomenon called a smile.
For example, she may have been smiling because she saw a human-looking character in a hoodie walking on the road. Or, it may have been a smile of encouragement regarding the performance of a simple task.
Do not assume that this is an attempt to encourage you to ask her on a date all of a sudden.
Some inhabitants of Geekdom may assume that a woman is in love with them simply based on a smile. Do not succumb to that temptation.
Moreover, do not decide to confess your ideas regarding the woman’s smile based affection to someone you know.
Resist the urge to ask a friend for advice.
Assuming you are a true Geek, this friend will be the denizen of a lab and conversation will take place at twelve in the night over a cup of vending machine coffee next to the microscope. Such a natural habitat, imbued with coffee odour and chemical vapour prompts the brain to become imaginative.
Now, the other denizens of a lab, as eager as you for any news from non-geekdom, will embellish and enhance the semiotics of that smile (something more commonly termed gossip in the common world).
Now, say, being encouraged by the effects of that smile, magnified exponentially by this atmosphere, you decide to shoot off an email.
There are two different kinds of Geek email composers according to my observations. One set is under the impression that all parts of speech that do not bear the burden of conveying absolute facts are unnecessary and can be dispensed with–replaced by ellipses. This set of Geeks also feel that most words more than three letters long can be reduced to an acronym. Sometimes, this set will be tempted to write an email such as the following:
Hi. Remember me. . . saw u at SU Sat. . . u in Eng dept?. . . loved english in high school. . .
so u write novels? My favorite author is shakes pear
Now such an email, and hence our Joe, takes on some risks. (a) The lady may not remember bestowing that smile three days ago, leave alone the pleasure of Joe’s company. (b) she may be familiar with the Anjou pear, the Bartlett pear or the prickly pear at the grocery store but her lack of familiarity with the particular fruit you mentioned might make the deal fall through.
All it takes is an unfortunate space and a missing letter to change success to failure.
Remember an acronym from your own world: WYSIWYG.
Grammar, vocabulary and no abbreviations. Important.
Now there is a second class of Geeks who may be over-precise with words.
Consider a possibility where this girl actually responds. She sees you in the bus on the way home and remarks: “Oh, you’re in the electrical engineering department? My plug burnt out last night.” And then she looks at you expectantly.
You’re supposed to say ” Oh, really? How about I come by tomorrow evening? ”
Not “I’m not an electrician.”
Another tip: If you figure out a way to join a women’s studies course, a book club, or a drama class in order to meet non-geeks, sure, go ahead.
But if you’re only planning to read the wikipedia page on the topic of the day, or quote a few lines from brainy quotes dot com, forget it.
Last one: Having failed at meeting women in real life, some Geeks will create an online profile. Now some gifted geeks, having written one too many resumes, will start like this:
“I am a dynamic, multifaceted, goal oriented, driven individual. My skill set includes hiking and biking and DIY projects.”
Ahh, goal orientedness. Not so popular with women.