Uber has a variety of online friends that he IM’s with or chat’s over Skype via microphone. He was sharing with me one of his conversations this week with an online acquaintance. Uber was lamenting to him about the transfer rate of a specific MMORPG game download. After pouring his heart out to this guy about the trials and tribulations of online gaming, he was disappointed with the response from the other side of the computer. “Sorry, Man. I don’t speak ‘video game’.”
It happens all the time to us. Just when we think someone finally “gets” us and what we’re about at the Techie household, they will give one of us that look that means – – just exactly which asteroid did you ride in on?? Sigh. It can be so discouraging to feel like the fat chick forced to guest-star on Desperate Housewives (and by fat I mean size 8, of course). Or like the girl-turned-guy who has to go on Oprah to explain why he is the only man alive not freaking out that there is going to be a human being expelled from his body in the near future. These are people who turn heads and draw stares because of who they are. And we empathize.
I’ve had a few folks over the years write us off just for being homeschoolers. Now don’t get me wrong…a few homeschoolers have probably justified the stereotype over the years. But most of us aren’t fanatical polygamous Mormon’s who close ourselves off from the world and choose to marry off our preteens to Viagra candidates. Most of us are just parents that for some reason or other have chosen to educate our children at home because we believe it is in their best interest.
Uber and H-T have it the toughest, though. They are at that delightful age where even wearing the wrong socks can be considered grounds for raised eyebrows and not-so-covert stares and whispers. Fortunately for Uber, he has surrounded himself with an equally tech-obsessed group of compadres who think it is perfectly normal to talk for two hours on the phone about the possibility of a new generation of Pokemon being released. He doesn’t usually hit the ridicule wall until he makes the mistaken attempt to strike up conversation with someone outside his circle. That’s when he will get shanghied with some “out there” question such as who his pick for the Superbowl is, and he will answer something like “I dunno. The Atlanta Braves seem pretty good this year.”
H-T is pretty much oblivious to his geek status. He lives in the world of dinosaurs, Jedi Masters, and comic book super heroes. He only comes to the real world long enough to wolf down some food, brush his teeth, and take his vitamins. The fact that people in the grocery store look with disdain at his new “Indiana Jones” fedora makes very little matter to him. He is comfortable in his own skin, or as he would say, “at one with the Force.” Unless you have news for him about the next Jurassic Park installment, he can take you or leave you. Ridicule is lost on him. Lucky booger.
The hard fact of life is that people aren’t always gonna get us. We’re a little nerdy, a little left of center, a little quirky. We probably even deserve some of the strange looks that come our way. But I comfort myself that though we may not be conventional, there is always someone even more peculiar to help take the pressure off. Thank goodness for the pregnant men of the world. Long may they reign!