As I’ve said several times in the past, I’m really into The Big Bang Theory, it’s got to be one of the most realistic shows relating to nerd/geek culture out there, in spite of the haters trying to say it’s “blackface for nerds.” As realistic as I think the show and its characters are, I have to say the one relationship in the series that isn’t very realistic is the one that the show was sold on for the longest time, and that’s the relationship between Leonard and Penny. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that a geeky/homely man couldn’t get the prom queen and that you shouldn’t try such things (if that’s what you want to go for). I’m saying that you should be more realistic and honest with yourself when it comes to
finding someone to be with. The head cheerleader or the queen bee might be beautiful and she might be the object of desire for the geeks and the pretty boys alike, and is like the ultimate trophy, ESPECIALLY if you’ve always been a geek or an outcast, but at the end of the day, that’s all she really is, a trophy (and I don’t think I need to give y’all a lecture on how objectifying women is wrong).
As I’ve said before, I’ve been with a decent number of women in my mid-to-late twenties, and a couple of them would even be considered “mainstream beautiful.” One of them had even done some amateur modeling before I got with her. As I’ve said before, I truly believe that (almost) any guy could get (almost) any woman out there, whether you look like Ryan Gosling or Jonah Hill. Thing is though, keeping them is a different story.
Seven years ago, after I split up with my second ex-fiancee,* I got set up on a date with a nice girl who had done some amateur modeling and actually WAS a cheerleader in high school and in college. She was beautiful, funny and charming and we were both Poli-Sci majors when we were in college, but the thing is, we really had zilch in common. She was a nice, wholesome, Jewish girl during the week, but once the weekend hit, she hit the bars and clubs hard and that was what she was into. Now, I’ve hit the bars hard myself in my early twenties, but once I got to my late twenties, I kind of settled into my “geeky old man” thing where I liked to spend my spare time watching movies at home and playing videogames and reading comics. I mean, I can go to a bar or club every so often, I’m not THAT much of a geeky shut-in, but making that my lifestyle is just something I’m not into and that was what kind of sunk that relationship.
Most of the time I make it a point to date nerdy/geeky girls. That’s not to say if I met a more “mainstream” girl sometime that I’d shun her (because no straight man would), but when it really comes to being happy, I want someone who won’t look at me like some sort of freaky weirdo for making a Star Wars reference. I think it’s better to find someone who can say “That’s cool,” if you buy action figures or comics instead of giving you that look like you’re some kind of social leaper for being able to tell someone the difference between Star Trek and Stargate.
Again, I’m not saying that opposites don’t attract every so often because they do, I’m just saying that in the geek world, I’ve never really seen it happen.
As to how this relates to me, I can tell you that the last person I was in a relationship with, Madison, was, by even the most superficial person’s standards, really quite beautiful. She was half Japanese with some Hispanic roots as well and she was stunning, in a more natural kind of a way. She was also quite snobby, snotty and she acted like she had her head up her ass most of the time. She also had just gotten out of a three-year relationship where she dated a guy who looked like a cross between Bradley Cooper and the preppy douchebag guy from Mystic Pizza.
And whenever she introduced me to her friends from Seattle, they all either looked like that guy or like they had stepped out of the Suits show.
Don’t get me wrong though, she was geeky in her own way, but the problem was we were different kinds of geeks. That is to say she was a geek for environmental science and politics, but she wasn’t into comics, science-fiction, videogames or anything else that I was really into. Ultimately, over this last weekend, we pretty much ended things. I didn’t really want to be in an open relationship and she wanted to get back with her on-again/off-again guy of the last three years.
You would think I would be sad about that but I’m not, because I was finally able to get something started with someone who has been really special to me for the past five years. Someone who was, until now, a dear friend of mine who is awesome. Her name is Kara and she’s my kind of a person. She’s by her own admission, a geeky tomboy and a bit of a weekend stoner (again, by her own admission) who could DEFINITELY stand her ground in any Star Wars trivia game. Yes she’s a bit of a womanchild but she also has a pretty good job (as an IT) and she is, aside from being a weekend stoner, pretty clean-cut and wholesome (but not so wholesome that I couldn’t pull of a great dirty joke or two or twelve). She’s also very cute and pretty, but in an approachable kind of a way, not in an intimidating way (like the aforementioned cheerleader types).
When I’m around her I never have to explain my geeky references or pretend to be interested in wine or who was in the latest Forbes magazine or who just bought a new Audi. And ultimately that’s what it’s all about. A trophy might look good on your shelf but you can’t play videogames with it or talk about how much you think Batman kicks ass and Aquaman sucks.
So Leonard and Penny might make for a cute couple on TV, but in real life I think something like Raj and Lucy would be something more realistic that we should all aim for.