Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Geeks Get Girls?

I’m a big nerd. Or maybe a big geek; there’s some debate about the difference between the two. Anyway, what I mean is the following:

  • I like science and technology. In fact, I have a pair of advanced degrees in engineering.
  • I enjoy science fiction and fantasy.
  • I have a few technical skills not found in the general populace.
  • I use scientific methods and terms in my everyday life and conversation.

These characteristics are not generally associated with being a babe magnet. Thus, you may not be surprised to learn that, despite my mother’s insistence that I’m quite a catch, I’ve never been what you’d call a ladies’ man.

Most of my friends belong to the same category. In fact, if anything, I’m less of a science nerd than they are, because they are all smarter and more productive than I. Imagine my surprise then, as the following events unfolded:

  • In early 2005, Ketan announced his engagement to the ever-so-cute Patricia. (I say “announced,” but Ketan never actually told me. After I heard through the grapevine [Patricia-Melinda-Alison-Michael] I called him for an ostensibly ordinary what’s-new-with-you conversation, he made no mention of the big news. I’m still amazed about that. And flummoxed. Can you tell I’m amazed and flummoxed?) A month later, they were married. That’s right: one month. And it was an Indian wedding; in this context “Indian” means “huge.” I think every Indian American on the East Coast was at the reception.
  • Brian proposed to Kristan at CLEO in May, and they’ll be wed in June of this year. The fact that Brian proposed at a technical conference should give you some indication of how much of a nerd he is. However, the fact that Kristan was also attending should indicate how perfect a match they are, as should the fact that they have virtually the same job. Their wedding is schedule for June, so it will make a good run-through for my own.
  • Just a month or so ago, Todd informed everyone that he and Laura will be wed sometime this fall.

That’s right: including me, 4 former members of my grad-school research group will be married in a period of about 18 months. And 3 of us will be married within a 6-month period. Additionally, two of my science-geek friends, Nick and Greg, were already married when I met them.

What’s the explanation for this? Here are my hypotheses:
  • The women in this country have lost their minds.
  • There’s something in the water, perhaps placed there as part of some geek conspiracy to get women.
  • The rapture is near.
  • It’s somehow become hip to be square?

Well, it can’t be either of the first two reasons. You see, in addition to all the marryin’ I mentioned above, Alison’s friends Laura and Kristin each have been or will be married this year. As you might guess by their names, these two, though science nerds in their own rights, are women. I don’t think the third hypothesis is correct, because I’m not a Christian. So, by process of elimination, geek chic is the explanation. As a geek, I say, “Rock on!"


  1. Anonymous2:36 AM

    That's a lot of information in one burst. Incroyable. I'm not married yet... But I have two children, does that count ?


    PS: Anyone going to CLEO this year ? I am.

  2. Marc,

    Sacre bleu! I haven't heard from you in such a long time.

    Yes, that counts. The two children are incontrovertable evidence that you get girls. Or at least 1 girl. How old are the tykes now, anyway?

  3. Oh, and I'm not going to CLEO this year. My funding situation is in flux, to say the least.

  4. Anonymous10:58 AM

    Folks, you have just witnessed how misinformation begins . . .

    To set the record straight: I did not propose at a technical conference. I proposed one evening in a nice hotel during a week we were both attending a technical conference during the day. The coincidence between the marriage proposal and the conference was purely due to necessity.

    To address industrialstrengthscienceboy’s query, I think nothing is out of the ordinary here. A high percentage of female PhD physicists with marry males PhD physicists. (This leads to the well documented “Two-body problem” http://physicsweb.org/articles/world/14/10/10.) This percentage is probably true for other fields as well.

    My better half is definitely going to CLEO; I will probably go as well. We have a couple papers to present.

  5. Anonymous11:01 AM

    The "tykes" (I have to verify the real meaning of this) Remi and Julie, are 3.5 and 2 respectively. Remi is going to school, and Julie is just beginning to talk, they form a quite funny pair.

    tyke: mongrel, cur, bastard, country bumpkin, boor.

    Oh wait: [US] mischievous... that must be it.

  6. tyke, noun, a small child.