|My wife's chalkboard menu for the series finale of BSG|
How does this relate to "RPGs, Comics, Fantasy, Science-Fiction, and Other Geek Stuff", as claimed in the title of my blog? Well, the thing is... my wife's geek-quotient has gone up exponentially since I met her nearly 15 years ago.
When we met, it was coming off of a rash of horrible bad dates for me. I was getting a little fed up with the whole process. So, when Jody (my future wife) asked me to tell her a little bit about myself, I just decided to go for broke and tell her exactly what I was like. I figured, better to get this stuff out of the way now, and be upfront, than have it pop up later over time and have her decide at that point that she hadn't signed up for this. I was giving her a very easy out.
"I'm a geek," I said. "I watch Star Trek. I read comics and paint miniature figures that I use in war games. I played D&D growing up." [I wasn't in a current campaign at the time].
"Which Star Trek?" she said.
"Uh... what do you mean?"
"Which Star Trek? Next Gen?"
"Uh, yeah. Next Gen. I like Next Gen."
"I love Next Gen!" she said.
I was hooked, although I would later find out that her geek-cred pretty much started and stopped at Star Trek: TNG. Or, so I thought.
As the years went on, I decided to let Jody peak into the world of my geekdom by telling her about my years-in-the-making D&D homebrew campaign setting, which at the time was being turned into a septet of very terrible novels written by my friend Mike and me. I remember the first time I took her to a game store and the look of fear in her eyes as she entered into the dank cellar of cheetos, black t-shirts, and man-funk. We visited one of the most famous comic books stores on Melrose Avenue, conveniently located (for me) close to a place where Jody liked to shop for clothes and shoes and ponies and stickers and whatever it is that girls like to shop for.
And, through it all, Jody was patient and even showed interested in some of my hobbies. Then, a very strange thing happened. I think that some of my geekiness rubbed off on her (insert obligatory "that's what she said" joke here).
You see, Jody was always the one that my friends claimed gave the rest of them hope. "If Martin can land a chick as cool as Jody, then there's hope for the rest of us! Maybe we're not so geeky after all." Life was good.
But then Jody turned. I don't remember exactly when it started, but I do remember when I first realized it. We were on a trip up North to the Bay Area-ish (I don't really think you can call Morgan Hill, which is South of San Jose, the "Bay Area", but that's an old argument that I'm not likely to win any time soon) to visit Jody's family for Thanksgiving, shortly after we were married. I remember we were listening to Christmas music in the car to pass the time, and "Hark the Herald Angels" came on.
"Do you hear them? The angels? They're harkening," Jody said, in a very excited, kid-like voice. "They're... Harkonen. You know, like House Harkonen? From Dune?"
Now, even if you haven't read Dune, you just know that's gotta be a really deep pull. I have card-carrying geek friends whose geek credentials are impeccable that couldn't have made a Dune reference like that in a million years.
That's when I knew that I had married the perfect woman.
Years went by, and we shared many geek moments together. We watched Star Trek: Voyager through its last season, as well as Star Trek: Enterprise, Buffy, Angel... really, too many genre shows to count. She even made me watch NBC's The Cape. When the BSG series finale aired, we had all of our friends over to dinner, and Jody decorated our kitchen chalkboard menu with a BSG theme.
When I started my D&D campaign back in May of 2001, Jody was there with her half-elven rogue named Sebastian (who was actually a girl, but whose father made her dress up as a man to avoid being found by... "bad guys").
And the comics... oh, don't get me started on the comics. Jody decided to get into X-Men, which really lead her to an appreciation of all things Marvel, particularly the Avengers, in addition to X-Men. We saw Spider-Man 2 at the Midnight showing on opening night. Jody set up TiVo season passes for Justice League, Justice League Unlimited, Teen Titans, and Young Justice. We've seen every comic-book movie so far this year, including Green Lantern, last night. At work, she got pegged to help out on an Acura tie-in with the Thor movie (Acura is the official car of S.H.I.E.L.D., and one of my wife's clients at her ad agency). She's known as "the comics expert" since she knows more about Marvel comics than pretty much anyone else at her agency.
For her birthday, in addition to a few other gifts, I got her graphic novel collections of Thor (his original appearance in Journey into Mystery comics from the 1960s) and the classic X-Men: Dark Phoenix saga, which every self-respecting X-Men fan should put on their "to read immediately" list.
What's my point to all this? Really nothing other than to once again wish my wife a "Happy Birthday" and to take a moment to appreciate the fact that I'm lucky I ended up with someone who not only tolerates my hobbies and interests, but she shares them with me. That's something that's pretty rare to come by.