Below is a picture of my husband. We’ll call him Hoyt, which is what he goes by for a good three or four hours every day since he discovered what the head-shaking pundits call “World of Warcrack,” also known as WoW.
Hoyt describes himself as a “shy, Level 28 Night Elf Hunter who likes to hang out around Darkshore helping his fellow Guards of Valor Guildies.” I know Hoyt best, however, as the man who sits to the right of me on the couch every night.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not one of those wives who shakes her finger at her husband and says he can’t play his games. If I were, our living room wouldn’t be filled with every gaming system known to man, and I also wouldn’t be a champion Wii tennis pro in my own right. No, what I’m worried about is this: has my husband always been a nerd or did I make him this way?
It’s the age-old chicken and the egg question. Did Hoyt’s passion for Halo and Guitar Hero and World of Warcraft start because of me and my lifelong nerdness? Or was it always there, lying dormant beneath what seemed to be a hockey-loving, baseball-cap wearing, loud-music listening, fast car-driving All-American man exterior?
He claims he was always a nerd, but I don’t know if I buy it. Sure, when he was little he used to shoot his Chewbacca action figures into the air and he probably read the occasional comic book, and yeah, he has SuperMario World completely memorized, which is freaky to this day. But I tend to think that our proximity over the years has taken his latent nerd gene and sent it to levels he never would have imagined before we met. I know it’s true for me. He’s helped unleash new facets of my personality, like my sports-loving gene. He's made me face the fact that I might like Metallica and gotten me to enjoy movies with zombies in them, so the proximity theory makes sense to me. Besides, I like the idea – if two people can’t raise their nerd flag high with each other, than what’s the point of togetherness anyway? Sometimes you need that other person to brag to about slaying your undead demonoids or hash out whether President Roslin’s one of the Final Five. Forget all that Hallmark stuff about roses and teddy bears. This is how the system should work.
Of course, before I wrap this up and put a big bow on it, I should point out that Hoyt has made a World of Warcrack character for our cat. Yes, our cat. And he calls other players who won’t fight him “carebears.” I think this is ridiculously funny. So, while I may feel just a wee bit of guilt for making him nerdy, I’m still gonna laugh at him every damn chance I get.