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Geek love

Do we choose our obsessions or do they choose us?

Before the internet, cell phones, cable television and Activia, there were two telephone numbers anyone could dial — sans area code — that provided weather and time.   When I was a child, I had four telephone numbers memorized – my home, my best friend’s, weather and time.

At the tone, the time will be 4:42….BEEP

I called weather everyday, sometimes several times a day, when hazardous storms were brewing.  When my family traveled to New England to visit our relations, I sheepishly asked my mother to ask her mother for the local number for Boston weather.  Like a 12 year old boy tossed a stack of porn, I rotary dialed the unfamiliar digits and listened in.  It is was different, yet the same…

Let’s not mince words – I was a geek.  A bushy haired, baby fat geek who loved time and weather.  That’s adorable, right?  Maybe to parents.  Not to boys…

I didn’t know it at the time but a few hundred miles to the north of Time and Weather Command Central with Cathleen Carr was an even geekier faux-meteorologist at work in his bedroom.  Peter charted storms on government-issued weather maps that he acquired via self-addressed stamped envelopes from the National Weather Service.  Alone, in his bed, Peter turned on his shortwave weather radio and matched the coordinates robotically announced by the automated voice to his map.

Taking geekiness to new heights, when an especially destructive hurricane was forming, Peter would tape record the weather report, convinced that documentation was necessary for historical purposes.

I guess he hadn’t discovered porn yet.

On our first date, I noticed that Peter was wearing a waterproof watch that not only kept time but also tracked the tide.  Very impressive. As our relationship progressed, we discovered our mutual love of weather and quickly built Time and Weather Command Central with Cathleen and Peter.  We are currently tracking Hurricane Danielle and Tropical Depression Seven in the Atlantic by way of the National Hurricane Center.   Could get interesting, folks…

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Physical and emotional chemistry is a mysterious hodgepodge of subtle and not so subtle factors: pheromones, looks, class, religion, education, etc.  But, let’s not forget the important role our inner geek plays in snagging a mate.  What is that super dorky side of your personality that you’ve been keeping under wraps?  If you’re single, have you worked your inner geek on the dating scene?  If you’re coupled, have you and your partner found everlasting joy through your version of weather maps?  I would love to hear from readers, if for no other reason than to know I’m not alone.

-Cathleen Carr

Your comments

  1. mariadfalcon says:

    Hey, Ms.C, I use to do that when I was a child…….I did it because I had nothing else to do. I do remember doing this daily and frequently…………… But, not with Keith…my boyfriend of 11 years….

  2. Anne says:

    My husband and I joke that we almost can’t wait to get to a nursing home (we’re only in our 30s) so we can have all the time in the world to sit and do crosswords together.

  3. My geekiness began in 1980 when I took my first computer programming class. I got my first computer in 1983. With the computer desk and “letter-quality” printer, it cost $10,000. As a freelance writer for the local paper, I wanted to submit my stories electronically, but the paper was still using typewriters!

    I remember getting into a political fight when trying out the first form of “chat.” I chatted with an author whom I later saw on TV.

    Later, working in a p.r. agency, we had this giant book called “Media Map,” with info on all the tech columnists. I fell in love with my future husband because he was a SYNDICATED tech columnist. I figured that beat every techie in the book. And his bio was so quirky.

    My job was to call writers like him to get them interested in accounting software. He never was, but we fell in love on the phone and wrote for two years before meeting. I was more nervous making that first call than I had been calling a Nobel Laureate. To me, a tech journalist was more impressive than the President. He said he could get me on this thing called “The Internet.” (At the time, you needed a researcher’s credentials.) I swooned.

    • cathleen carr says:

      Tech columnist…I feel like you guys should write a screenplay based on your courtship. There’s something intriguing about new love developing alongside the internet age. Maybe add a murder to shake things up?
      I love how incredibly geeky you are!

  4. Courtney says:

    When my husband and I started dating, we knew we had a lot of geek things in common, but when I one day revealed I used to watch a lot of old Doctor Who episodes on PBS, a door opened: he’s a closeted Doctor Who geek. He hadn’t really watched the show in years, but now we watch old and new shows together. He’s introduced me to the world of graphic novels, too, and I’ve hooked him on a number of TV shows. I think we actually have made each other geekier by being together, but I guess that’s what it’s all about.

    I’m pregnant, and we wonder if our geekiness will rub off on the little one, or if he’ll turn Alex P. Keaton on us and run the other way.

  5. Sara says:

    When I first met my husband, we flirted in the language of our respective sciences (marine biology for me, entomology for him.) I was thrilled by the idea that he sometimes worked in a quarantine lab. He also worked with gypsy moth pheromones, and in those first days of going out with each other he warned me that since I was spending so much time around him, that I too would become irresistible to the moths. Each time I was out in the field and a moth would flutter its way over to me it was a reminder of his presence in my life, like I was marked. It still happens to this day, and I still smile every time.

  6. cathleen carr says:

    Update via Time and Weather Command Center with Cathleen and Peter:

    Tropical Depression Seven has officially formed into a storm called Earle. Too Earle-y to tell if he will come close to land.

    And we’re out!

  7. Paula says:

    My current BF and I found during our early dating days that we both have an exaggerated appreciation for a very nice box, whether cardboard or wood as well as product packaging. We’re both suckers for a well-shaped glass bottle or prismatic jelly jar. He completely understands when I buy something i don’t need because I loved the feel of the container in my hand.

  8. Von says:

    Wow Cathleen! Maybe it runs in the family! I loved the weather and drove the family crazy making predictions. I wanted to be a meteorologist till I found out I had to have a lot of math. Then Andy came along and loved the sky. , telescopes and we both check the Nat. Weather Service for hurricane info. Andy turned me onto science fiction and we watch shows about astronomy, earth sciences and oceanography. We’ve gotten up in the middle of the night to lay out in the yard or drive to dark areas and look for meteor showers and comets. It’ll be 41 years of marriage on 8/29 and 6 years of dating that we have been geeky together. It makes for a fun life together. And I still check the weather.

  9. Kristina Omohundro says:

    Mitch and I look up cute animal things on the internet and then snuggle as we watch them. Yesterday we looked at dogs for maybe an hour, decided we like Plott Hounds and then we went to bed. I don’t know if that’s dorky or just disgusting. But there. I said it.

  10. Nothing beats finding some useful information, for my research, keep em coming.