Today, Park Bench reader and guest columnnist Meghann describes the beauty of nerd kismet:
I like making new friends. My newest new friend was made this past Friday night. My boyfriend introduced me to Deanna after a few weeks of telling me how smart she is and how well we’ll get along. (One of my favorite things about my boyfriend is how he’ll describe a woman’s intelligence before her beauty. And also how often he tells me I’m smart.) He said Deanna and I have plenty of stuff in common like theatre, beer appreciation, and wearing glasses. I’ve dated people I knew less about. Most of all, he wanted us to talk because I am about to apply to grad school for directing, and she recently graduated from Columbia with a degree in…directing – so clearly, we have plenty to talk about.
I met up with my boyfriend and Deanna late on Friday night at a bar. I immediately liked her warmth, open attitude and humor. We had a nice time playing "getting to know you" and I thought perhaps this would be a theatre acquaintance to cultivate. And then something happened that cemented our burgeoning friendship. At a lull in the conversation, my boyfriend said something that changed the way I thought of Deanna forever.
In the past five or so years, I’ve learned that there is a moment in every new friendship where the topic comes up. Usually I will be the one to bring it up, casually at first so as not to cause alarm if the new friend is not receptive to the idea. You have to sort of slip it into conversation with an acquaintance to test the waters. I’ve had the embarrassment of coming on too strong only to find the other party repulsed and judgmental. But it’s always a wonderful feeling when the other person brings it up first. It’s a feeling of solidarity, of knowing what you’re about. Then you launch into those sometimes hours-long conversations without rest.
Which is exactly what happened when my boyfriend said, “You know, Deanna is a huge Harry Potter fan.”
My eyes got wide, more beers were ordered, and we launched into a passionate discussion of Bill and Fleur’s upcoming wedding. I bounced my theories off of her, they ganged up on me about Sirius Black, we speculated about how long the last book will be, and spent the rest of the evening in Nerd Heaven.
You know Nerd Heaven, right? That’s the place where you are safe to discuss how much you wish the magic was real when the youngest in your party is entering her late 20s. And this past Friday night, Nerd Heaven was the first three stools near the door in Skinners on Market Street in Philadelphia.