Surviving Holiday Small Talk When You’re a Geek
The holidays are a joyous time, but they can be difficult, especially when you’re a geek. It’s not that it’s harder for geeks to cook a turkey or trim a tree, but that it’s harder for us to survive the small talk at all those parties. We want to talk about the Doctor Who 50th anniversary episode, but everyone else wants to talk about football.
I learned something a few years back about being the biggest geek in the room. I will feel like an odd duck no matter how hard I try to fit in with the normals. I can only feign an interest in Dancing With the Stars or Glee for so long.
Someone will eventually notice that I’m being polite and then they will make an effort to draw me into the conversation. They often do this knowing me well enough to know that they’ll be clueless one once I open my mouth because they are not a geek.
What to do?!
Once upon a time I would have tried very hard to find some common ground. As you might imagine, it was a bit like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Or a unicorn. Or Carl on that stupid farm. Now that I’m an older and wiser geek, I handle things differently. Now, I let my geek flag fly.
This Thanksgiving I will be talking about Doctor Who and Dracula and driving cars. I will talk about how much I loved all the sly references in the 50th, especially River’s red shoes. I will talk about how much I adore the slightly demented, sexy, industrialist that is Dracula and I will talk about the thrill of putting the pedal to the metal in a 429 horsepower car.
Because, hide it or not, I am a geek. Much like Popeye, I am what I am and pretending otherwise for the sake of polite conversation just isn’t worth it. It’s harder trying to fit in, than it is to joyfully stand out. And isn’t joy what the holidays are all about?
So, this year when your Uncle starts talking football or Susie from accounting starts talking about Real Housewives of Somewhere at the office party, take a deep breath, and start talking about what you love.
Let that geek flag joyously fly!