Jilara (jilara) wrote,
Jilara
jilara

On Being a Geek Girl

(reprinted from my wordpress blog account, since they don't set up to send essays to LJ, which is a pity)

I’m old enough that I can find it amusing that geek girls are something that the mainstream seems to find creepy. I am, and always have been a geek girl. I grew up watching Star Trek and making Emma Peel my role model, was an honors student and president of the Science Club. When I got to college, I found My People. The Electronics Club was full of folks who could quote episodes, chapter and verse, and everyone loved Monty Python (which I then discovered, thanks to my electronics geek boyfriend). I sat at simulators and crashed the Lunar Entry Module more times than I want to contemplate. I wirewrapped for my boyfriend. I tutored Computer Science students in correct English by diagramming sentences using computer flow chart methodology. Though a biology student, I learned about computers by hanging out with the best and brightest, some of whom were boy wonders who went on to help found companies. My then-boyfriend ended up working for NASA. And I went on to a career in tech, not in biology as I had once expected.

Along the way, I met programmers by day who were medievalists by night, weekend warriors who reenacted history in a variety of time periods, and who sung, played instruments, and punned unrepentantly. We recognized each other as kindred, and talked for endless hours/days/months about everything interesting in the world. We dressed up in what other people thought were odd costumes, and read lots of science fiction. We fought and drank and made passionate love with people with amazing smarts, and led amazing lives.

And mine continues to be amazing. But I have recently discovered that there are still people out there with nothing better to do with their lives than make fun of people who are interesting and creative and having infinitely more fun with life than they could ever dream of. Poor fools. Their entertainment seems to consist of watching tv and adopting a superior tone on the internet, in groups like Reddit, mocking geeks/nerds/dorks and their activities. Wow, I thought all this went out with Usenet and alt.flamewars. I am learning new slang, too, words like “neckbeard” and strange references to someone named Tobias.

And I’m chuckling, because they’ve never stood under a filled sail, watching dolphins escort their Tall Ship out the Golden Gate. They’ve never fired on a 50-gun Civil War cannon line at a recreation of the Battle of Gettysburg. They’ve never drunk a toast of atholbrose to a departed comrad in the darkness of the night at Renaissance Faire. They’ve never carressed naked flesh by firelight, while drums pounded in the distance. They’ve never had to pull a vintage airplane out of an induced stall, and felt the G-forces of a loop-the-loop. They’ve never danced a Castle Waltz with their partner almost painted onto their body. They’ve never partied like it’s 1925 at the Valhalla and Tallack mansions at South Lake Tahoe, complete with vintage cars. They’ve never felt the smack of live steel against live steel, or used a sabre to behead hapless vegetables from horseback. They’ve never felt the gratifying mule-kick of firing a Martini-Henry, legendary gun of the Zulu Wars. Poor sods. I’ve gotten together with fellow geeks and done all this and more.

And I’ve dated some amazing men along the way, from a city planner to an Air Force crew chief, from a costume designer who could pass for Oscar Wilde to a private investigator, from a former State Assemblyman to an expert on nanotechnology. I’ve been on TV, just because I do what I do. I was a cougar long before anyone coined the term. And I ended up marrying an amazing geek soulmate, who loves to dress in top hats, and kilts, and waxes his moustache. Who will discuss John Stewart Mill with me, and could spend weeks in the Smithsonian, or get into the philosophical basis behind government economics, and supports me in all my efforts to make the world a better place for every element of humanity, even those who do not understand us.

It must be rough, being one of the mainstream masses, with little to do except hang out online and make snide cracks about those of us who live life to the fullest. I just thank god that their lives aren’t mine

“No memories I’ll sell/’Til I toast with a drunken angel/On the merry side of Hell.” –Michael Longcor, “Drunken Angel”
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