All guys have some level of geekiness. All guys really should. There's nothing to be ashamed of here, just one area of life where a guy is really really interested and doesn't shut up.
For some, the most socially acceptable geek outlet is sports. Many guys can recite statistics from players for their entire careers starting with college through the pros. They even get together and form fantasy leagues, which is just a whole other level of geekery.
For others, it's cars. I know guys who can give specific parts and calibrations of specific models of cars. We're talking really obscure information. Like Marissa Tomei in My Cousin Vinny. These guys get together under the hoods of cars and talk about other cars for hours on end.
Tools. Exercise. Movies. Music. Classic TV shows. Food. Comic books. Bicycles. Model airplanes and trains. Travel. Star Wars. Running. Video games. Computers. Politics. Money. Cooking. Knitting. Blogs. Books. Battlestar Galactica.
The list continues to weird levels, and there's nothing inherently wrong with that.
Writer Sarah Vowell--who was the voice of angsty teenage daughter Violet Parr in The Incredibles--gave this insight to geeks and nerds of all kinds:
Being a nerd, which is to say going to far and caring too much about a subject, is the best way to make friends I know. For me, the spark that turns an acquaintance into a friend has usually been kindled by some shared enthusiasm like detective novels or Ulysses S. Grant.Because of weird interests, kids make friends. It isn't that we have to try to imbue our own preferences on them, but try to understand the strange interests they develop. Right now, my 4-year old is a walking encyclopedia of animal facts: The cheetah can run 70 miles per hour; the Peregrine Falcon is the fastest bird in the world; bats use echolocation--yes, my 4-year-old understands echolocation.
But who knows what kinds of nerdiness he'll develop later?
Last month, I was painting a house with my friend Missionary Mitch. Here is a brief transcript of a conversation we had which brought out one of my Geek areas from my youth:
"Roger, do you know Star Trek?"
"Are you familiar with The Next Generation?"
"Well I've been watching the series on Netflix and I'm in the middle of a two-parter called Birthright, and..."
"Oh, the one where the Enterprise is docked at Deep Space Nine and some alien tells Worf that his father is still alive and living in a Romulan prison, but when Worf gets there he finds that really the Klingons and Romulans are living in peace, but then he starts an uprising among the younger members of the colony who then want to learn of their Klingon heritage."
(Missionary Mitch stared at me.)
"Yeah, Missionary Mitch, you have no idea who you're dealing with here."
That day, I became his new best friend. But this is the face I get from my wife:
You don't have to understand Geekdom--just embrace it.