in which my wife is nerd-adjacent and comedy ensues

I came across a bunch of posts that I'd marked as drafts, but never published. Most of them are ideas that never turned into actual posts, or things I wrote and decided not to post for some reason I've since forgotten.

This one was originally written in November of 2009. I'm not sure why I left it unpublished for over two years.

"Hey," I said to Anne while we stood in the kitchen last night, "remember that song from Avenue Q, 'The Internet is for Porn'?"

She made a gruff Muppet voice and sang, "The Internet is for porn, the Internet is for porn … porn, porn, porn." She stirred whatever was on the stove and said, "that song?"

"Yeah. That song."

I put my hands in my pockets, and leaned back on my heels, striking my famous I'm-so-proud-of-what-I'm-about-to-tell-you posture.

"I ordered a T-shirt last week, and it says 'The Holodeck is for porn' on it!" I smiled and waited for her to join me in laughter.

At first, all she did was blink. Then, she frowned, like she was trying to solve a puzzle. Finally, she just cocked her head to one side and looked at me like I had spoken in some foreign language, which I guess I had.

"You, um . . . you don't know what the holodeck is, do you?"

"I know that it's from Star Trek," she offered, helpfully.

I told her what the holodeck does, and how it works, doing my best not to speak in geek, which as it turns out is very difficult to do when you are describing the primary functions and inner workings of the freakin' holodeck.

"So, you see," I concluded, "if the holodeck was real, everyone would use it for porn, and that's why that T-shirt is so funny."

"…okay…"

We looked at each other for a few seconds.

I said, "I can't believe you've been married to me for ten years, and this is the first time we've ever talked about the holodeck."

"Yeah, I don't know how we managed that."

Sometime during the two years since we had this conversation, something changed for Anne. I honestly think it was when she got an iPhone, and was able to have quick and instant access to the sort of technology I've embraced since before we met. She's made friends who are into the same sort of sci-fi and fantasy that I'm into, and I guess she's just absorbed the things we love by being geek-adjacent all the time.

I don't think I'll be able to convince her to watch Game of Thrones or Doctor Who with me, and it's unlikely she'll want to read a stack of comic books every Wednesday like I do… but she knows what the holodeck is, and she agrees with me that it's for porn.

So… baby steps. Baby steps.

73 thoughts on “in which my wife is nerd-adjacent and comedy ensues”

  1. Wait one minute, there, buster.
    I’m pretty sure that pornographic material would, at a certain point, be in violation of the holodeck’s safety protocols.
    So…technically, that old t-shirt is wrong.
    I’m going to make a t-shirt that says “This t-shirt is less deceptive than Mrs. Wheaton’s husband’s t-shirt from two years ago.”
    And then I’m starting my own t-shirt slogan business.

  2. I love following Anne on twitter and I think her nerdiness is increasing more and more. But seriously–she’s not hooked on David Tennant as The Doctor? Really? Keep working on her . . .

  3. Personally, I liked Eccleston better than Tennant, so I hope you tried him, too, AND Baker, who, after all, started the first Dr. Who craze in the US.
    I cannot cope with the idea of being married to a non-geek. Fortunately, my husband is one, so all is well. We are the opposite of you; married 9 years before we had kids…they are 6 and 3 now. Love them, but miss the old days a lot, too!

  4. Having been a die hard Whovian since about 5 years old, it pained me when my husband refused to even try to understand why I adored the Doctor in all its low budget glory. After 10 years of marriage, I chose to take the long route when I decided he needed to understand my geekdom better. He’s also a literary snob and I’m a genre fiction writer so I knew I had to do something if I ever wanted to have his support as I worked on my WIP. I did what any smart girl would do.
    I made him read Neil Gaiman.
    He fell in love with Neil Gaiman’s American Gods and then Anansi Boys. I gently revealed to him all the movies he’d seen that were based on Neil Gaiman books. Torchwood also came to Showtime at this point and he was all about watching this shiny, new, highly Americanized, non-low budget spin-off of Doctor Who. “Explain Torchwood and how it relates to Doctor Who to me,” he asked after the season finished. *Note: I had to tell him how much better Children of Earth was when it came to Torchwood.*
    Then I mentioned that Neil Gaiman wrote an episode of Doctor Who, which, by the way, I still have on the DVR. “You should totally watch it with me!”
    And he did.
    And he loved it.
    That is my story of how I got my husband to love Doctor Who with me. He is now through to season 5 or 6 on Netflix and trying to catch up to where we are now. Take the scenic route and go through Neil Gaiman. It takes longer but your wife will be primed to overlook the things she probably might find hokey right now if you pair it with something she can relate to and love. ;)

  5. No doubt Holodeck porn programs account for some major resource drainage throughout the Federation if not the entire galaxy in the ST universe, but let’s remember that wherever humans and new technology meet, plenty of other less creative and more annoying uses will emerge once most people have figured out how to have sex with it.
    Within six months of its debut the following would have to have happened somewhere:
    – 3-D Fan Fiction;
    – A Starfleeet Academy dean who cracked down on an out-of-control Star Frat woke up in a Gorn Brothel, his hand lying in a holographic bowl of warm water and his image and his shame captured for posterity;
    – Space nerds got killed in an over-designed Medieval LARP program;
    – A “Mail-order Bride” business distributed a live-action catalog of Orion green babes made up entirely of holograms—not one of which was based on an actual person;
    – Two words: “Holo Memes.”

  6. No doubt Holodeck porn programs account for some major resource drainage throughout the Federation if not the entire galaxy in the ST universe, but let’s remember that wherever humans and new technology meet, plenty of other less creative and more annoying uses will emerge once most people have figured out how to have sex with it.
    Within six months of its debut the following would have to have happened somewhere:
    – 3-D Fan Fiction;
    – A Starfleeet Academy dean who cracked down on an out-of-control Star Frat woke up in a Gorn Brothel, his hand lying in a holographic bowl of warm water and his image and his shame captured for posterity;
    – Space nerds got killed in an over-designed Medieval LARP program;
    – A “Mail-order Bride” business distributed a live-action catalog of Orion green babes made up entirely of holograms—not one of which was based on an actual person;
    – Two words: “Holo Memes.”

  7. My wife has long said she’s absorbing my Geek/Nerdness by osmosis. So much so that she’s actually better then me at some computer stuff and much more knowledgeable about TV & Movies. But then she’s a librarian by training, so finding and learning information is in her DNA.

  8. So over years of marriage, your wife has absorbed some of your geekiness. I’d love to know what traits of hers you’ve picked up! What has she got you into that you didn’t even know was out there?

  9. Wil,
    I can’t help but I might be able to make you feel (sorta) better. My parents will celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary this July. My Dad has long given up on his dream to have a wife who enjoys the nerdy things he does. Now, one of his favorite bands of all time is the Moody Blues. My Mom is more the John Tesh, Yanni sort of girl. So Dad, naturally, assumed that she hated the Moody Blues (and he was right)… then one day, shortly after their 25th wedding anniversary, she drops a bomb on the house. “You know, I think I’d like to go see the Moody Blues when they come to town this summer.” After we picked my Dad up off the floor, he ran out and bought tickets. I guess the point of this little story is that it may take time but you will eventually lure Anne to our nerdly dark side. It’ll be like the tectonic plates shifting, slow and steady and then one day BAM! she’ll surprise you with something completely nerdy.

  10. I can’t get over the fact that it took you 10 years before you had a holodeck conversation. My husband is sadly not a nerd and we’ve had many in our 7 years together. Come to think of it, I think they were mostly about holodeck sex, thus proving your point.

  11. On Doctor Who, I’d have her watch “School Reunion.” It’s not the best episode by far, but if you can’t hook her in to at least watching more with the look that Tennant’s Doctor gives Sarah Jane the first time he sees her, then she’s a lost cause. And I’ve only been watching Who since the reboot, so there’s no nostalgia for Sarah Jane factored in there. He just melts you in that scene.
    The boyo and I are both geeks, though not in the same way. He’s more of a D&D, video game, board game kind of geek and I’m more a sci-fi/fantasy tv/books geek. So we make fun of each other. I’ll often give him the loser-sign on my forehead as he’s walking out to his twice-weekly D&D game, and he makes fun of me for bursting into tears in the movie theater the first time the camera panned around to show the Enterprise in the recent remake of Star Trek. I’ve got him watching DS9 with me, but it was the reruns of original Trek that hooked me in back when I was a kid and so that show is my fandom. I can’t get him to watch that one with me though, the effects and the slower pacing bug him, given that right about the time I was getting into original Trek he was being born. ;)

  12. It works both ways! I’m not sure if you’d call it “mechanic-adjacent,” but my brother’s hobby is cars. He’s a licensed car salesman and does a lot of his own mechanic work. After decades of listening to him talk cars, I don’t have much trouble communicating with my mechanic.
    (You may be surprised with Doctor Who. It’s been known to draw in the non-geeks.)

  13. That’s like my husband and D&D, he has to explain everything :o I would suggest giving her the Game of Thrones books, admittedly I seem to be more geeky than she is but the Game of Thrones books are much more intricate (and awesome:)
    Or suggest Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch as an opening into Neil Gaiman :)

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