The Long-Winded Preamble On Why I'm Writing This
You can skip this and get right to the Geek Date Ideas.
None of us ever get famous for what we want to be famous for...
I spend five years of my life pounding on desks until they break, trying to preach core messages and truths - they get ignored. But I post some silly little bit of frippery just to lighten the mood for a minute? That gets the world's attention, and I'll never live it down. Oy vey, ye web schlemiels, vy you are so exasperating, you drive me to Yiddish?
Over five years ago, I posted One for the ladies: How to date a geek guy? Not even in the top 90% of my most thoughtful work. Well, somehow, through extended linking and Google-bombing, I have accidentally become the Internet's expert on geek dating. That damn post gets more hits than everything else in this blog put together.
But, uh, folks? I've now been happily married for 18+ years. So I'm a little bit out of the loop on the dating thing by now, OK? I still remember something about fork etiquette at a restaurant and that you're not supposed to initiate bondage play on the first date, but otherwise, were I (Heavens forbid!!!) single at this moment, I would either have to remain a bachelor for the rest of my existence or auction myself off on eBay (winning bid $1.50? WTF?).
OK, so, finally, at goddamn last, I can tell you that I get some 50 search hits per week for "geek date ideas". Google keeps sendin' 'em and there ain't no geek date ideas here. So what'cha gonna do? You gonna post a list o' geek date ideas, so people at least have some page to land on and at least they got something for the hit, right? You see how nice I am? No wonder I've stayed married 18 years!
Go to a museum
Number one recommendation, without a doubt. None of us ever get out to museums as often as we'd like, and then as soon as you're in the door you're all "this is nice, we should do this more often." Science museums are the best, because they're geared towards kids with lots of hands-on stuff to play with. If you both have to drag each other away from playing with the exhibits, get married immediately. At the gift shop at the end, you can buy each other Mensa-level wooden puzzles and those stinky rubber lizards. If there's no science museum, well, art ones are nice too. Most geeks at least have some appreciation of history, so a historic museum is fun too.
Or the zoo
Second to museums for high-brow amusement is the zoo. What geek doesn't like animals? Zoos make fun dates because it's something different you haven't done in a while, it's kinda science-y, you can each fawn over your favorite exotic animal (every time I have visited the zoo, all the reptiles act like they want to follow me home), and in case you have some romantic aspirations for later in the evening, the occasional humping wallaby pair will be more than happy to provide some inspiration.
Plain old day at the library
What with Kindle books and the Internet in every home, libraries are almost becoming nostalgic. But geeks, by definition, cram books, so you'll both have something to talk about. Note, I didn't say you each had to check out a stack. Just browse for fun. Find out if you read the same authors. Better yet, check out one book for each other that the other must read.
Attend a convention
Any convention centered around any interest or hobby you both share will do. It doesn't have to be a Trekcon or comic books. Coin and stamp collector's conventions are a perfectly geeky pursuit, I assure you.
Shop in the Bohemian district
Quaint little bookshops with hard-to-find titles, vintage clothing stores with outrageous outfits, thrift stores filled with goofy junk, antique stores with a basement full of fascinating treasures, music stores that cater to your bizarre tastes, and so on. Every major city has that one "village" neighborhood. And of course, lunch or dinner at that ridiculously tiny cafe where all the hipsters hang out and grumble over coffee that's strong enough to dissolve lead.
(Bad) Movie night at your place
Forget the movie theater, unless it happens to be showing a major sci-fi or superhero flick, and even then... Nope, rent a stack of flicks for home over popcorn, but it can be either time-worn geek classics that you can relive together, or really awful, obscure, off-beat genre titles you've never heard of. A Z-list horror movie that's more fun to make fun of than it is to watch works wonders here.
Hiking (picnic optional)
Got some woods and a trail? It's been noted many times that when geeks do practice athletic pursuits, it's usually non-competitive things like surfing, mountain climbing, and so on. A hike in the woods, with perhaps a cooler with a hand-packed lunch, sounds so refreshing right now, doesn't it?
Can be video games, but really, you both play video games all the time or you wouldn't be here, right? So match wits over a chess board, have a spicy game of Monopoly where the loser can do special favors to pay off their debt, or drag out the poly-hexy-dodacahera-gonal dice for an old-fashioned dungeon romp.
Hang out and work on a project together
Can be your latest, mad-science, Mentos-and-Coke-powered robot kit or an all-night web design session... that doesn't sound romantic until you consider that you can snuggle together with laptops checking modules in and out of Git. Or whatever - who says a geek project can't be needlepoint, or reupholstering an ottoman, or planting zucchini? Just remember, anybody can be pleasant on a dinner-and-a-movie date, but a couple that can get a website launched without killing each other is truly compatible.
Pull off a social engineering hack together
Oooooh! For the daring geek couple. Infiltrate a culture neither of you belong in and see if you can con the members into accepting you as native. Confuse the devil out of a random passerby by both pretending to know them from way back. Go to the local jail and visit one random prisoner, whoever's name you can guess first. Show up at a sporting event and pretend to be press, see who you can get to grant you an interview. Go door to door witnessing for Cthulhu. Pretend to be time travelers and run up to people on the street asking them what year it is. You get the idea.
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