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This Blerd’s Getting Married

I’m getting married next week.

Bam, there it is.

So much going on in those few words.

It has that standing-on-the-edge-of-a-cliff kind of feeling to it.

That last – hold on, phone’s ringing, it’s the fiancee with the final dollar figure for the wedding/reception site – bit of the roller coaster inching upward before the giant, hair-raising dive.

The countdown on the shuttle before they light the rockets to lift us into space. Opening night and Oscar night in the same moment. When the lights dim at the rock show.

It’s been a long, long time since I’ve been this excited and tired at the same time.

That’s how it should be, I think, after 650 days of planning since I proposed to Rosemary on Christmas Day 2010.

The great thing is that I am marrying another nerd.

While I know that seems logical, that does not detract from the difficulty of the task. Sure, nerds do date, despite all stereotypes. But nerds come in many flavors and styles, and you have to find someone with whom you ride the same nerd wavelength.


Those geekdoms can’t come into conflict too much.

Sure, liberals and conservatives get married all the time and don’t discuss politics, but for the most part they don’t keep election posters and Bill Clinton action figures. I can’t really imagine a hardcore Star Wars fan getting together with a Trekker.

As with any marriage, you want to be able to enjoy some things together.

I think it’s tougher with nerds, however, because each nerd is so passionate about his or her specific geekdoms, and you’d better be ready to accept that. So many geekdoms at war with each other, usually by the yardstick of “that goes too far” or “that’s too geeky, even for me.”

It’s geek bigotry.

You judge people by their geekdoms, making your own class system and ghettos of geeks. And because much geekdom never leaves that adolescent realm of thinking what you like matters so much that you can form opinions of people who like other stuff, it’s hard to shake geek bigotry.

And I’ll confess to some of my geek bigotry right now. I’m a comic book geek, so I spent a lot of time in the church of long boxes and bags and boards. And I looked at the role-playing game geeks and said, “that’s too geeky, even for me.”

RPGs to me sat even a few rungs lower than superhero comics.

Superheroes were juvenile and dark basement, but pretty much everyone knew something about superheroes and liked one. Magic and fantasy reeked of the darkest of dark basements, oily hair and wearing T-shirts of a wolf howling at the moon. So even though these days I am far more tolerant of different geek stuff, I doubt I could have married an RPG woman.

This wedding cake would give you -3 in Honeymoon Antics

Rosemary and I like a lot of the same nerdy stuff.

Comic books, superhero/sci-fi action movies, stand-up comics, ’80s New Wave, pin-ups and pop-art kitsch, and lots of Comedy Central. We met at a garage rock concert, and on our first date we saw 28 Days Later and went to the comic book store.

And so, their love began…

But we also don’t like enough of the same things so that we had a billion duplicates of videos and stuff when we moved in together. She enjoys silly Lifetime movies with “dog” in the title, I like NFL football. I tap out when she’s watching Doctor Who and Mad Men, she find something else to do when I’m listening to Bjork albums or watching Deadwood.

We really try hard not to force our fandom on each other. We’ve been together nine years, and I’ve seen 2-3 chick flicks in that time. She loves Love, Actually. I’ve never seen it. I bought it for her on video, and still never seen it. And that’s OK. We have many other things to do together.

I’d like to think that all my years of geeky pop culture absorption has taught me some good lessons about marriage as I start my own. But really, I don’t know.

If it did, I would want:

  • The mutual respect, fearsome partnership, fanciful romance and fiery sexuality of The Cosby Show‘s Cliff and Claire Huxtable (and, oddly enough, their real-life dopplegangers, Barack and Michelle Obama
  • The adventurousness and geek-chic of Ralph Dibny and his wife, Sue, on his crimefighting detective capers as The Elongated Man
  • The glee on Herman Munster’s face when Lily pecks his cheek in the opening credits
  • The bravery of Han Solo walking into the carbonite freeze in hopes that it keeps Leia alive in The Empire Strikes Back
  • The wherewithal of Married … with Children‘s Al and Peg Bundy, because even when beaten down, they were devoted (and there’s gotta be a reason Peg kept chasing him for sex all the time, right?)
  • The style and envy-inducing coolness of David Bowie and Iman

But ultimately, I want us to be ourselves. Our best selves, together and with each other. And when we take the rings, speak the oath and are transformed by those magic words, we also share a secret.

No, not that we’re Green Lanterns.

If we WERE Green Lanterns, it would be a hell of a wedding party

It’s the secret of ourselves.

The secret that only she and I truly know what we’ve done to get here. Only she and I know the full costs we’ve paid for what we will gain that day.

Only she and I know the price of this priceless thing.

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