Geek Out Online » Blog Archive » The Geek Life – How to Be a Geek in Public and Still Have Friends

The Geek Life – How to Be a Geek in Public and Still Have Friends



Posted by Steve

Tomorrow I’m going to begin posting full reviews of Smallville episodes as we look at the third episode of the season, “Fierce.”  Then this weekend, expect the third episode of Geek Out Loud where we’ll talk about those pictures that leaked from THE DARK KNIGHT, Superman in court, Heroes, Smallville, and more.

Today, an issue close to my heart. 

All of my close friends know that I’m a geek.  I don’t try to hide it from them.  If there is a superhero movie that is coming out, all of my friends call me to ask questions about the characters.  One of the primary questions I get goes something like this, “Does this happen in the comics?”

The problem with a question like that?  If you know comics at all, you know that it is nigh impossible to do in two hours or so what a comic book has done over 30, 40 or even almost 70 years worth of publishing on a monthly basis.

Many geeks find themselves frustrated by the lack of knowledge and appreciation for all things geekdom by casual fans.   Thus is born, the stereotypical geek that is frowned upon by most of society.  You know, the guy spends every waking moment thinking about sci fi and superheroes, who never bathes, plays every RPG out there, and The truth is even other geeks look at some geeks and shake their heads at just how much of a loser the geek is.So my friends, I felt like I should step in.  I have compiled a list of tips to help the geek survive in a world of people who are either only casual fans or who barely know of the things we geeks are so passionate about.

So, if you’re a geek and you’re wondering why the only friends you have are kind of nerdy, be willing to take an honest look at yourself and begin to implement these simple tips.  Here we go:

Tip #1 – If you’re not asked, don’t tell. – The biggest mistake many geeks make is to corner people into conversations that they never asked to be a part of and know very little about.  This is a sure fire way to make people want to get away from you. 

Tip #2 – If you ARE asked, don’t tell all. – I know, I know, you want your friends to understand that Venom had his beginnings as a replacement costume for Spider-Man while Spidey and the other heroes were on Battleworld during the Secret Wars.   And I understand that you want to express to people that Wolverine wasn’t originally in the X-Men, but his first appearance came in The Incredible Hulk #181, where he was being used by the Canadian government to try to take down the Hulk.  Oh, and I’m sure you want all of your friends to know that The Silver Surfer isn’t the only herald of Galactus ever to be seen in the comics.  There’s Nova, Terrax, Firelord, and others.  But they don’t care!  If you start to go into the minutia of 30 to 50 years of history, you’re gonna lose ’em.  And again, they’re gonna want to get out of the convo.  Which is always weird, for the talker and the talkee.

Tip #3 – Diversify your wardrobe –  I love my Superman T-shirts.  I love my Star Wars T-shirts.  I love any of my clothing that pertains to my geekiness.  Guess what?  I have clothes that don’t have anything to do with a superhero, movie, or videogame.  And it’s ok.  In fact, if you wear non-geek wardrobe, when you do put on that Greatest American Hero T-shirt, your friends will smile and enjoy the nostalgic feeling they get from being around you.  If you merely rotate between Superman, Green Lantern, Flash, Spider-Man, Batman, and assorted other geek shirts, your friends are going to think that you really want to be a super hero, or that you think you’re actually a superhero.

Tip #4 – Bathe – Everyday.  When you use the shampoo, don’t be afraid to rinse and repeat.  It shouldn’t have to be said, but sadly, I’ve been around the guys who thought it was more important to get past that next level than to take a shower before heading out.

Tip #5 – If someone likes it, don’t rain on their parade – It doesn’t matter how bad you think Fantastic Four stunk, there are people who really enjoyed it.  That doesn’t make them lepers.  It makes them fans of a film.  It doesn’t matter how much you hated X-Men 3, there are people who liked it.   Don’t belittle them, scoff at them, or make it your goal in life to convince them that they are wrong.  Just express your opinion of distaste and a little bit as to why (adhering to tips 1 and 2) and leave it at that.  This way, they’ll actually think they can hang out with you at the movies again…unless you tell them that you got kicked out of the Ghost Rider screening for shouting obsenities at the screen as you hurled your drink at Nic Cage’s head.

Tip # 6 – Just because someone is wearing a Superman T-Shirt, that doesn’t make them a geek – Be careful.   Don’t assume that someone is a geek just because of a tattoo, car tag or T-shirt. I too think that someone should have to undergo a rigorous test and review before tatting up with the S-shield or putting on the shirt, but this is America and product exploitation is what we’re all about, so if their money’s good anyone can abuse a super hero symbol.  So tread carefully into conversations with potential geek posers.

Tip #7 – Don’t turn your office space into a museum – a few tasteful collectibles that you are ok with getting a little banged up is the way to go.  Don’t cause your co-workers to avoid you because you find yourself constantly yelling, “Don’t touch that!”  Also, the more collectibles you have in your office space, the more prone you make yourself to pranks from those co-workers who are bitter that “Coach didn’t put me in back in 1982.”

Tip #8 – It’s ok to be LESS of a geek than someone else – Don’t feel threatened if someone knows a little more than you do.  Instead of trying to geek up and strut your intimate knowledge of Go-Bots, just step back and let them show off.  Enjoy not being the biggest loser in the room for once.

Tip #9 – It’s not worth fighting over –   Plain and simple, if you like it, you like it.  Other’s don’t have to.  Instead of getting upset over someone having a different opinion than you, just have a good time talking about your different points of view.  Remember, we’re all in this geek thing together….except for Trekkies…you guys are losers.

On a serious note, value people more than posessions.  Toys will break, comics will tear, and movies will come and go.  Invest more in people than you do in your collection and you will enjoy true friendship.  My best friends know that I’m a geek and they even just let me geek out with them sometimes, but my hope is that they know I think they’re more important than my Master Replicas Force F/X Lightsaber.  Well, maybe JUST AS important…

3 Responses to “The Geek Life – How to Be a Geek in Public and Still Have Friends”

  1. Ansley Says:

    Just a few things:

    1. Thanks for being comfortable enough around our family to geek out once in a while. I appreciate the occasional geek out!

    2. I apologize for all the times we have ever said, “Did that happen in the comics?” I now realize the error of our ways and also how much you must really like us. You never have been condescending about that…NEVAH!

    3. Thank you for the Superman T-shirts you gave us a few Christmases (is that a word?) ago. I now realize you were silently telling us, “You are worthy to wear these shirts.” (insert sniff and single tear)

    4. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for always being clean around us. I have never thought you were one of those that only bathed occasionally. Thanks for your consistency in that area of your life!

    Much love from the fam!

  2. Adele Says:

    Okay I loved this blog. Having increased in geekiness with every year I realise that I am beginning to take on these traits. I don’t do the whole Playstation or Xbox deal but I would much rather watch another movie than wash my hair.
    I tell people much too much about anything that I have the slightest knowledge regarding. I AM that annoying person cornering someone in a room or badgering them in the car talking about the merits of Smallville, Wolverine: Origins or the latest podcast I have listened to.
    I sadly possess no Superhero t-shirts but saw one I loved last week. I resisted buying it as I am a am a proud geek but do I need to fly the flag as part of my wardrobe? The answer is no.
    Thanks Steve for talking about our precious geekdom with the humour it deserves.

  3. BigBallerJu Says:

    I loved what you said here man. Its awesome. I’m the type that hangs out and stuff but you would never know I have geek in me. I think everybody has a geek in them. I felt you on this. I hope you mention this in the next podcast. Good job

Leave a Reply