Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Apply Within

My friend Shag wrote this brilliant post about the requirements for geeks who are married with children. It’s a thing of beauty, and boy, could I relate. Proper geekdom requires a level of obsession (and funding) that is usually incompatible with the life of domesticated parent. For example, I have a modest stack of new comics in my car, but I won’t be able to read them anytime soon. When I get home, the kids are going to want, you know, attention, and then my husband will expect me to listen while he recaps his day. Go figure.

Even if I do get 20 minutes of alone time, one of my children will see me reading a comic book and attempt to hijack the action. And if you’ve picked up a comic book lately, you know that many of them are inappropriate for young children. That’s why taking them to the comic book store is such a nightmare, because they don’t always distinguish between “Tiny Titans” and “The Slow, Bloody Death of J’onn J’onzz: Book 1.”

My son has the attention span of a fruit bat, so when he asks me to read one of my kid-friendly comics to him, he inevitably skips 6 panels ahead (“Why is Batman yelling at Robin like that?”), asks a random question (“Does Wonder Woman Speak Spanish?”), or mimicks the action. Sometimes he’ll go the other extreme and actually chide me for skipping a “Kra-KOOM!” or a “Fwooosh!”

His sister usually attempts a bait-and-switch. If I'm engrossed in “Final Crisis,” that’s her chance to grab a “Betty & Veronica” book and sweetly ask if we can “read this one instead.” You can’t fully appreciate how lame Archie comics are until you’ve read them aloud as an adult. Every plot is the same: Reggie is an asshole. Archie is an idiot with commitment issues. Jughead is closeted.

Anyway, Shag covered the bases extremely well, but I thought of three additional job requirements:

1. Applicant must have a high tolerance for geek ignorance among his/her family members. When applicant's non-geek spouse refers to Black Canary's husband as "Green Lantern" instead of "Green Arrow," applicant must resist the urge to sigh and sharply correct him/her.

2. Applicant must be willing to hunt down accurate comics-themed costumes for his/her children, even if that means fighting the hordes at Wal-Mart for the last Wonder Woman costume in a size 2-4T. If essential accessories are missing, such as the golden lasso, applicant must be willing to make his/her own. If applicant has more than one child, costume team-ups (Batman/Robin, Shazam/Mary Marvel, Hawk/Dove) are strongly encouraged.

3. Applicant must make sure that his/her children understand the original "Star Wars" trilogy's vast superiority to the prequels. References to "Anakin" and "Qui-Gon" as favorite characters are to be discouraged with repeated viewings of "The Empire Strikes Back."


Sghoul said...

As an aquantence of many geek/parents I must say that parent-geeks are no fun. You always have to worry about spoilering everything, they are years behind on games and movies. And they can rarely get together to do geek stuff.

What's worse is they always seem to marry non-geeks.

The Irredeemable Shag said...

LOL! We are totally on the same wavelength about family/kids! Thanks for the shout out about my post!

By the way, in addition to Reggie being an asshole, Veronica is a satanic tease!

And I love your brilliant additions to the list! Love them!

Personally, I'm dreading the day my step-son refers to "Return of the Jedi" as "Episode 6". I know it's coming... I know it's coming... I'm just not ready for it.

The Irredeemable Shag

E. Peterman said...

Geeks need non-geek spouses for balance. Otherwise, we would spend all our money on comic-cons and never go outdoors. Plus, the non-geek spouse needs to be active and sociable. I'm pretty current on my flicks and even saw "Dark Knight" opening weekend, but we have a deep bench of babysitters. Shag, I tip my hat to you! Awesome, awesome post. As usual.

Serv said...

Love the Star Wars addition...Shag, take note that is a MUST ADD!