When geeks marry

I try very hard not to be a geek, but sometimes I can’t help it: like Eddie Izzard, I get techno-lust when it comes to gadgets. I’m also a closet gamer: I don’t play games very often but from time to time, I’ll become obsessed with a particular game (Doom, System Shock 2, Half-Life, Deus Ex, Halo, Doom III) and play it until my fingers bleed. I’m well aware that non-geeks might disapprove of such anti-social interests, and as my wife is about as un-geek as you can get (she has a social life, for starters) I’ve made an effort to hide that part of my personality from her.

It turns out that my wife, too, is a geek. Oh, she might not seem like one, but trust me, she is.

It started with the iPod – a pink, girlie iPod mini, to be precise. My wife believes it’s the greatest invention of all time, and these days she’d rather rip CDs and build iTunes playlists than shop (although her geek credentials are ruined somewhat because when she’s loaded up the iPod, she actually goes outside and does keep-fit things instead of moping around the flat, listening to Radiohead like a real geek would do). She likes it so much she’s bought me one: a silver one, so it matches my PowerBook.

As if that wasn’t enough, we finally had the Xbox conversation. I want one, mainly to play Halo and from November, Halo 2. I expected a rough ride because for many women, computers and consoles are fine provided they’re not in the front room. So I was a bit taken aback when she said it was a great idea: we could get some two-player things, and it would keep us out of the pub.

I was quite pleased by that, but part of me was horrified by the thought of nights spent playing twee, cute platformers and other girl-friendly games. I tried to hide that, and suggested a few titles that I thought she might like (and which I knew I’d loathe). Her reply? Sod that. I want to play Halo.

It turns out my wife has a secret past: she was a teenage gamer, and there’s nothing she likes better than meeting new and interesting aliens, and blowing them to pieces with heavy artillery. So the Xbox and Halo arrives tomorrow, and I need to go and get a second controller so she can man the guns while I drive the warthog over space aliens.

I’ve unleashed a monster.





0 responses to “When geeks marry”

  1. Anonymous

    Lucky git. Some of us have to wait till there’s something (usually bad crime stuff) on terrestrial TV before they can pack their wife upstairs and gain use of the telly. Or have to endure tutting when making a good headshot in XIII. Or her waiting for the the exact moment you turn into a corner in a racing game to walk past. Or in the middle of an online game (which you can’t pause) either phoning to “chat” or deciding that this is the perfect moment to discuss cheese. Even tried the cutesy platformy type, but she can’t be bothered. And then if I go upstairs and use the much inferior PC to play games I get accused of ignoring her. I suppose it’s hard to make her accept this new fangled gaming thing as she didn’t even have a VCR until 1995. Which brings me to the gadget thing. How can I possibly get any new gadgets when she always asks the unanswerable questions. “But why do you need it?”, “No, really, what’s wrong with the old one?”, ad infinitum.

    Grrr…. ;-)

  2. I’d recommend bribery. You may find that if you purchase an inspector Morse DVD every time you need a new gadget, it may be enough of a distraction from your unneccessary (to her) and essential (to you) new toy.