(no subject)

Dr. Ernest N. Prabhakar (ernest@alumni.caltech.edu)
Mon, 19 Aug 96 23:07:38 -0700


I noticed you have a copy of my and Victoria's article "A Girl's Guide to
Geek Guys" up on your website..... it's fine--At this point I have given up
on trying to deal with the republishing! but I would like to ask you to
please put a sentence or something somewhere that mentions I now have a book
out based on the article. It's called The Geek Handbook. You can link to the
Amazon page for the book, or to the book website http://www.thegeekhandbook.com. I
can also send you a little gif of the logo if you like.


Mikki Halpin

I'm sure this is old, but I haven't seen it FoRKed before, and it
truly is brilliant. Adam, want to get your fiancee to comment?

-- Ernie P.

A Girl's Guide to Geek Guys - By Mikki Halpin and Victoria Maat

So, your crush on the bass player from Vibrating Sandbox has finally
died a whimpering death and you're wondering where to go from here.
All the sinister dudes are either dating a series of interchangeable
high-school riot girls in baby doll dresses and an overdose of manic
panic, or permanently shacked up with some bitter old lady who pays
all the bills. Which will it be, a wifely prison or a humiliating
one-night stand? Into this void of potential mates comes a man you may
not have considered before, a man of substance, quietude and
stability, a cerebral creature with a culture all his own. In short
... a geek.

1. Why Geek Dudes Rule

They are generally available. Other women will tend not to
steal them. They can fix things. Your parents will love them.
They're smart.

2. Where The Geek Dude Lurks

While they are often into alternative music, geek dudes tend not to
go to shows too often. Instead you'll find them hanging out with their
friends, discussing the latest hardware revolution or perfecting
their Bill Gates impressions. You know how some people wear t-shirts
with their favorite bands on them, thus showing that they went to
certain shows? Well, geek dudes wear t-shirts with the logos of
different software companies on them, thus showing that they are up on
the latest ... um, uh ... releases. A small, though convivial,
rivalry may be detected here amongst the geek dudes. Try wearing one
yourself and see if he strikes up a conversation. Of course the best
way to meet a geek dude is through the Internet. All geeks harbor a
secret fantasy about meeting some girl in cyberspace, carrying on an
e-mail romance in which he has the chance to combine an activity he is
comfortable with, computing, with one he is very uncomfortable with,
socializing. To many geek dudes, cyberdating is just an advanced form
of some kind of video game, but they are frustrated by a lack of
players. Their lack is your strength.

3. Imprinting

You might notice that these men harbor some strange ideas about how
the world works and some particularly strange ideas about women. There
is a reason for this. Because they've had limited interpersonal
experience, geek dudes must look elsewhere for behavior models.
Lacking a real world social milieu, geeks often go through a
transference stage with such narratives, and try to model their
interactions on them. Thus, certain media images and themes come to
have an overly cathected, metaphorized reality to them, while the rest
of us view such programming as mere entertainment. Case in point, our
next topic....

4. The Trek Factor

If you're not up on your Star Trek, you can forget about getting or
keeping a geek dude. And I'm not just talking vintage-era Captain Kirk
and Spock either. You've got to be up on your The Next Generation,
your Deep Space Nine, your Babylon 5. Armed with your own knowledge
of Federation policies, you can better gauge when and how to act. The
sexual politics of Star Trek are pretty blunt: the men run the
technology and the ship, and the women are caretakers (a doctor and a
counselor). Note the sexual tensions on the bridge of the Enterprise:
the women, in skin tight uniforms, and with luxuriant, flowing hair.
The men, often balding, and sporting some sort of permanently attached
computer auxiliary. This world metaphorizes the fantasies of the geek
dude, who sees himself in those geeky-but-heroic male officers and
who secretly desires a sexy, smart Deanna or Bev to come along and
deferentially accept him for who he is. If you are willing to accept
that this is his starting point for reality, you are ready for a geek

5. Once You've Nabbed Him

Of course, catching that geek guy is only half the battle. Keeping
him by your side is another story altogether. I was privileged to
speak with Miss Victoria Maat, who not only got herself a geek guy but
was also clever enough to marry him just a few short months ago. She
interrupted her newlywed bliss to give us a few tips on the care and
feeding of a geek man: "Geeks are sensitive and caring lovers and
husbands. If you can hang with the techno-lifestyle, they make the
best mates. They are the most attractive people, not flashy or hunky,
but the kind who get cuter and more alluring over time (I told you she
was a newlywed). Definitely give geeks a chance."

6. Geek Cuisine

Geeks tend towards packaged, junk foods since they prefer to work and
think and aren't all that into cooking for themselves. Make sure that
your geek understands that you are not merely a replicator, and
provide him with home cooked food. A batch of chocolate chip cookies
will let him know that you love him. You do have to monitor your geek
for weight gain; however, remember that most of their days are spent
sitting and staring at a monitor.

7. Geek Lifestyle

The geek dude has long work habits and tends to bring his work home
with him. He seems permanently connected to his hard disk. You must at
least appear interested in his work. Generally, a solid understanding
of the computer is a must; if you cannot master this, you should at
least be able to talk the talk. Remember most geeks are anal and they
get stressed about details which appear insignificant. Be
understanding, put on your best Deanna Troi face (see above) and
empathize. To relax, geeks love to play the latest computer games.
Let him play Myst or Chuck Yeager's Air Combat for hours if he wants
to. Act concerned if he's stuck or has just been ambushed by three
MiGs. My geek loves to try to help people on the Internet who say that
they are stuck in Myst. He comes up with clever riddles instead of
directing them point blank. Geeks also like to go to sci-fi and
Japanese animated movies; again, a basically harmless vent for your

8. Geek Buddies

Many geeks extend their work friendships into what they jokingly
refer to as RL (Real Life, also known as "that big room with the
ceiling that is sometimes blue and sometimes black with little
lights"). The greatest thing about your geek's buddies is that you can
feel secure in setting them up with your girlfriends. They may feel
awkward around females at first, so don't overwhelm them. In time they
will come out of their shell and realize that you are into the same
things they are.

9. Post-It Note

I thank Victoria for the above advice. I must say that when she read
my draft of the piece, before writing her section, she asked her
husband which one he thought she was more like, Deanna or Beverly.
Howard, the devil, immediately replied that he had always thought
Victoria was actually most like Ensign Ro Laren, a cute character with
a slight authority problem who is always in trouble (this is fairly
apt). This exchange is interesting for several reasons:

Howard had already thought about who she was most like. He could
summon up characters from seasons past with ease. Victoria actually
knew who he meant. Folks, I think this marriage will last.

10. One Last Thing

Because they have been so abused and ignored by society, many geeks
have gone underground. You may actually know some and just haven't
noticed them. They often feel resentful, and misunderstood, and it is
important to realize this as you grow closer to them. Don't ever try
to force the issue, or make crazy demands that he choose between his
computer and you. Remember, his computer has been there for him his
whole life; you are a new interloper he hasn't quite grasped yet.