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The Geek Mystique

February 27, 2009

750My name is Sylvia Winchester and I’m a geekaholic. I’d join the support group if I could find the classroom where meetings are held somewhere along the miles of maze-like, subterranean corridors at MIT.

You may wonder what the draw is, though the attraction is clear as glass to me. Is it:

  •  the wide-rimmed retrosexual glasses?
  •  the ironic tees written in binary code?
  •  the cowlick that was captured on each and every picture day, K-12?

Yes, ibid, and ditto. Throw in a prominent nose and a penchant for dorky word play and mama is ready to pounce. These man-boys are like catnip covered kryptonite for me. Me. Ow. In fact, my latest lingering infatuation was with one such gent.

We met online – of course. Gianni initiated our correspondence a few months prior and I eventually got around to answering him. Emails were exchanged before speaking on the phone. We agreed that our romance would begin where all epic summer romances should: in a gourmet ice cream shop. My expectations were low and I was pleased to find that the yield was high. Who knew a vegetarian polyglot would float my boat?

The quirky cadence of his almost imperceptible Canadian accent immediately put me at ease. Ice cream led to coffee, and before I knew it we were smooching on a grassy knoll at sunset overlooking the cityscape. We stopped kissing long enough to grab dinner. Minutes after I dropped him at home, he called to ask for a second date. How about now?

Within an hour, he biked to my place with a bottle of rioja. At some point, I initiated a round of the name-game by throwing out the first name of a friend who had gone to his alma mater. Having realized how silly that sounds when you’re talking about a sizable university, I stopped myself mid sentence. (“You’re from New York, eh? Do you know my friend John?”)
Gianni said he thinks he that knew my friend.
<pause>…before I mentioned a last name.</pause>

Apparently, my picture had popped up on his (now our) friend’s Facebook page the week before. He also sheepishly confessed to writing to me a few times over the years on other dating sites, with no response. I hadn’t made the connection until he said something, but I vaguely remembered the emails. I also made a mental note to scrap any and all screening protocols that didn’t flag this guy as a hot prospect.

Later that night, we headed to his place to watch TV on his large-screened Apple command center, fully appointed with a networked Mini, iPod Touch and recently released MacBook Air. We laughed uncontrollably as we scrolled through each and every post on In the wee hours of the morning, his browser ended up at a venerable classic: He read the entries aloud, like a bedtime story, as I drifted off to sleep. We were two really weird peas snuggled up in a pod.

At the crack of noon, he walked me to my car. I should have known I was in trouble when he collided head-on with the telephone pole in front of his house as he glanced back at me with goofy grin and googley eyes. It was sweet, innocent, and about time for me to fall for a nice, gentle guy with an impressively low carbon footprint.

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