Sunday, February 13, 2011

Not a Nerd? I Beg to Differ

This December my wife (i.e., "Bride of Atomic Spud") and I will have been married for 10 years. For these ten years, and for the preceding four years of our courtship (which were interrupted by my freshman year at BYU and the two years I was on an LDS mission in Mexico), I've been trying to convince my wife of the self-evident truth that she is a nerd. However, she maintains that she's merely lived with a nerd so long that she's familiar with our behavior and interests. I really don't believe the "when in Rome" defense holds up to scrutiny since her nerdy propensities are simply too deeply ingrained. Below I present the evidence:

1) Recognition of nerd arcana:
The other day I told her that I wanted her to watch a trailer. I didn't tell her what the movie was but she got it within the first few seconds:

Immediately upon seeing the wheelchair she said, "Oh, it's an X-men movie." Who else but a nerd would instantly recognize Professor Xavier's wheelchair?

She also notices Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy jokes (e.g., the appearance of "42" on shows like Big Bang Theory) and recognizes Star Wars and Star Trek references.

2) Interest in nerdy television shows:
One of my wife's favorite shows on TV is Eureka. She has also enjoyed marathons of shows like Firefly, Star Trek: Enterprise, Heroes, and Big Bang Theory. Like I said before, she does indeed understand just about every reference and joke in Big Bang Theory. The only "normal" show she really watches is House and even that could be considered to be nerdy in the medical sense.

3) Interest in science fiction and fantasy movies:
I've mentioned before that my wife keeps watching chick flicks and keeps ending up disappointed. However, a list of relatively recent movies that she actually enjoyed includes X-Men Origins: Wolverine (she especially liked the climatic destruction of a nuclear plant's cooling tower), Star Trek (the death of Captain Kirk's father actually made her cry), Iron Man and Iron Man 2, and The Dark Knight (the finale elicited a "wow" from her). I really can't remember the last chick flick she actually enjoyed, let alone one that got a "wow" from her.

[Update: 6/1/12]
And I can't go without mentioning how much she liked the other Avengers-related movies: Captain America, Thor, and especially The Avengers itself. I hadn't seen her that excited for a movie in years. Well, I guess she was extremely excited to see The Hunger Games, but that's a dystopian sci-fi story about a post-apocalyptic death sport, so it doesn't really support her claims of not being a nerd.

4) Interest in science fiction and fantasy literature:
She read the entire Space Odyssey series while in high school. Last year she read my copy of World War Z before I did and enjoyed it. She has a hard time getting through Jane Austen's books but devours Orson Scott Card's novels. Like chick flicks, my wife has a hard time getting through chick lit but burns through science fiction and fantasy novels like there's no tomorrow.

A partial list of books that she's recently read and enjoyed includes I Am Number Four (a sci-fi novel with superpowered aliens living among humans), Hunger: A Gone Novel (a sci-fi story where juveniles try to survive in a world where all adults have mysteriously disappeared), and Pathfinder (yet another sci-fi book where one character has the ability to see the paths of any living thing and another character can change the flow of time). She's read more dystopian future novels than I ever have.

5) Computers and electronics
She was surfing the 'Net at the age of six, back when it consisted entirely of bulletin boards. She even still remembers the DOS commands. Her pride and joy in junior high was her calculator watch. In 2009 the gift she most wanted for her birthday/Christmas was a laptop. She envies my new Casio Atomic Solar watch and is disappointed that they don't seem to make a watch with identical features in a more feminine design. Although I theoretically like the idea, she's the one who's pushing to get the 55" 3D television with all the fancy features.

6) Interest in nerdy academic subjects:
My wife was a mathematics enthusiast in school. She loved arithmetic and algebra and took calculus in high school (few students took calculus in our high school). Nowadays she handles all our finances and maintains an extensive spreadsheet detailing where all our money goes. It's accurate to the cent.

She was a member of our high school academic league (a kind of group Jeopardy!), of which I was the team captain. In fact, it was through the team that we really got to know each other. Today we have more than a dozen versions of Trivial Pursuit (she does remarkably well on the Star Wars version).

7) And the biggest indicator of all...
She married me. No woman who is willing to marry such a nerd can ever deny being one herself. And the fact that she allows me to influence our only son just clinches it:


  1. You should have been a lawyer. You presented your case very well. I find your wife guilty as charged. And I can't believe you two have been married 10 years. I remember when you both were in high school. My how time flies.

  2. Being a nerd is not a bad thing, Especially when your beautiful and smart just like your wonderful wife. You're a lucky man!

  3. Hi James,

    Your nerdly proclivity toward science fiction is what brings me to your blog today. :) I arrange book reviews for authors, and wonder if you would like to chat with me about getting on my reviewer list. I'm sorry to leave all this in a comment - I didn't see a contact link. Please drop me a note -

    PS - Idaho Potatoes are the only true potatoes. Just sayin'.

  4. She's smart and observant...but not a nerd, I agree with her about living amongst them you become acquainted with their habits. I am not a sports fanatic but its amazing after living with one for so long how much information I know. Besides I classify a nerd as one who has no social skills, your wife doesn't fall into that category at all!! I love sci fi too!!!

  5. I would have to say the nerdiest thing about me is that I think this post is sweet. You dedicated a whole post to me, that must be my Valentine! :)

  6. I'm with the wife on this one. I have a lot of the same interests as her, but I don't consider myself a nerd. I considered myself well versed in pop culture is all. And who wouldn't know that was an x-men movie trailer? The wheels of the wheelchair say it all.

  7. I have to disagree with one of your points ... Well, at least point out that it probably doesn't carry as much weight as you expect. Chick flicks don't usually have the goal of "Wow", but usually more "Aww". Just sayin'. And congrats on nearing 10 years!!!



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