08.13.2008

Job Description: Married Geek with Children

My Dad's a Geek OnesiesWhile on an eight-hour road trip with my wife, two children, and mother-in-law, this post sprung into my brain fully-formed.  It’s an excerpt from a job description for potential married geeks with children.

<<Excerpt>>

JOB DESCRIPTION

Position: Married Geek with Children

Section: Time Commitment

Applicant Prerequisites:

  1. Applicant must have at least 25 years experience in geekery.  Interests to include (but not limited to): comic books; role-playing; video games; action figures; surfing the web; science fiction movies, TV, and novels; and movie/TV tie-in novels.
  2. Applicants must be married to a non-geek.  Applicants whose spousal unit qualifies as a geek may be considered, however, several of the restrictions outlined below may not apply.
  3. Applicants should have at least two children (some of which may be live-in step-children).  Applicants with only one child will be considered, however, until the number of children equal or exceed the number of parents the full-blown “children effect” is not as substantial.

Applicants must be willing to meet the following requirements:

Applicant is expected to give up most available geekery time.  Applicant must be willing to sacrifice geek-related activities in exchange for: chasing after children; helping with the dishes; bathing children; tucking children in bed; and all-around household chores.  Examples of lost geekery time include:

  • Coming home after a long day at work, sitting down with an enormous bowl of Mac & Cheese and playing video games all night long. This will no longer be acceptable.
  • Seeing geek-related movies on opening night in a sold-out movie theater.  Unless the spousal unit has a trusted babysitter, this is an activity for “remember when” discussions.
  • Long leisurely visits to the comic book store will be infrequent going forward.  No more three hour discussions with comic shop employees as to who would win in a fight, Thor or Superman.  Applicant’s comic shop visits going forward will require careful planning and execution.  Economical usage of time is recommended; visit the comic book store during lunch hours, while out running errands for spousal unit, or take a few pico-seconds to stop by on the way home from work.  It’s recommended the applicants not take children to the comic shop unless the applicant wishes to spend the entire visit chasing the children or purchasing some outrageously over-priced action figure for the child.

“Alone Time” Addendum

“Alone Time” definition: The highly unusual instances (nearly mythical) in which the applicant find themselves without children, spousal unit, and/or personal/professional duties to perform.  Applicant must accept the only “alone time” they will have for the rest of their lives will most likely occur in one of the following places/circumstances:

  1. In the bathroom - Whether it be using the toilet or taking a shower, this is one of the only times the applicant will be allowed to be alone.  Applicants are strongly recommended to read comic books or novels during toilet usage.  It may be the only time you get for reading the whole week.  Warning: this “alone time” may be interrupted by two-year old children banging on the bathroom door because they think it’s funny.
  2. In the car – When not transporting children to or from daycare/school, the applicant may find themselves alone in the car.  Applicants are strongly recommended to use this time to their best advantage.  Recommended usage includes listening to applicant’s favorite songs, calling old geek friends who never hear from the applicant anymore, or listening to audio books/radio plays.  Warning: this “alone time” may be interrupted by the spousal unit calling on the cell phone.  Spousal units always seem to know when the applicant is alone in the car.  Said spousal units apparently believe it’s their duty to call the applicant simply because the applicant doesn’t have anyone to talk to in the car.  In order to maximize this infrequent “alone time”, it’s recommended the applicant not answer the cell phone, later claiming it was set to ”vibrate” and they didn’t notice.
  3. After everyone goes to sleep – Once the children and spousal unit have fallen asleep, the applicant may find themselves with available time.  It’s highly recommended the applicant spend this time on the computer, watching TV, or reading comic books/novels.  Utilization of this “alone time”  may result in the applicant going to sleep at 2:30am.  Many applicants find the sacrifice of sleep in exchange for maintaining geek-cred to be worthwhile.  Warning: this “alone time” may be interrupted by sleep-walking eight year olds; two years suffering from night terrors; or spousal units awakening and confronting the applicant with questions like, “When are you coming to bed?” or “What are you doing up so late?”
  4. Mother-in-law visits – This is the holy grail of “alone time”.  On rare occasion, the spousal unit will take the children to the mother-in-law’s place of residence for a visit.  If the mother-in-law lives out of town, these visits may include overnight arrangements.  Applicants are strongly recommended to make the best usage of this time.  Potential usages include: applicant hanging out with old geek friends they haven’t seen since they had children; going to geek-related movies; renting geek-related movies they missed in the theater while eating absurd amounts of bad Chinese take-out; and marathon comic book reading sessions/video game playing sessions.  Warning: applicants that are fortunate enough to experience “alone time” as a result of a Mother-in-law visit should prepare themselves for the resulting application of “guilt-trip 1.0″.  The “guilt-trip 1.0″ application will be initiated by the spousal unit because the applicant didn’t travel to the Mother-in-law’s residence with the spousal unit.  It’s recommended the applicant allow the application of ”guilt trip 1.0″ to run it’s course, but simply purge any resulting emotions once the discussion is complete.  WARNING: If the spousal unit detects compatibility errors with ”guilt trip 1.0″, it may diminish the frequency of future Mother-in-law visits.

<<End Excerpt>>

This excerpt was simply the section on “Time Commitment”.  Other sections include, “Financial Impact of Children and Spousal Unit on Available Geekery Funds”, ”It Really is Wonderful to Have Children… Seriously”, and “Conversational Geek”.  In the “Conversational Geek” section you’ll learn things like:

  • Encouraging your children to refer to automobile acceleration as ”warp speed” or “hyperspace”.
  • The challenges of explaining to a small child why Batman and Spider-Man will never team-up in a movie.
  • If you find yourself explaining to your non-geek spouse the Star Trek timeline in regard to the original series, Next Generation, and Enterprise … you must realize they aren’t listening; they are just humoring you.

If you have any further documentation for this job description, please feel free to share!

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11 Responses to “Job Description: Married Geek with Children”

  1. Extra Gravy Says:

    My daughter has the outfit pictured :-)

  2. Erika Says:

    Best. Post. EVER! I’m still laughing.

  3. Patrick Says:

    Per the Mother-in-law visits: an acceptible substitute to this, for those whose mothers-in-law live locally, is to become close friends with the father-in-law (for geek dads).

    Including, but not limited to, sharing the same interests, affiliations, or hobbies as the father in law. This will allow for extended periods of additional guy time- and possibly even some geekery.

    Great entry. Pretty spot on- although I would quibble over the two-child minimum. :-)

  4. Thomas Fuhs Says:

    Yup, sub out “gaming” and/or “Sci Fi” for “comics” & I’m totally there. Thing is, will they make a “My MOM is a geek” for my daughter’s future offspring?

  5. Shag Says:

    Tommy – There you go!

  6. Shag Says:

    Pat – Thanks for the comment! Good suggestion.

    Also, back when I only had one child (step-son), I would’ve totally agreed with you about one child. The logical expectation is that an additional child would only be double the stress (or perhaps even less thanks to economies of scale). Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way in real life (at least for many of us). Two children is at least three times as challenging as one child. I never would have believed it if I wasn’t living it. :)

    Thanks again for the feedback!

    Shag

  7. Shag Says:

    Okay, you simply must read my friend Erika’s follow-up to this! She describes some of her own challenges and gives some fantastic subsequent rules. Check it out at “I don’t read my blog either”

  8. Theresa McCampbell Says:

    I just read this and was cracking up the whole time (which I’m sure the people sleeping in the other room didn’t appreciate, but what can you do!).

    The best part though, was the “explaining to a small child why Batman and Spider-Man will never team up” part at the end – it reminded me of a few weeks ago, and I felt compelled to share. I was at Olive Garden with my parents for my birthday, and I saw a little boy playing with action figures a few tables down. I was watching him play with delight (I don’t see kids with afs much anymore) until I saw the figures that were fighting were Batman and the Green Goblin. I felt like it was my duty as a geek to go over there and explain to him why that fight would never actually happen. (I didn’t, of course – my parents thought I was nuts when I pointed out the kid and his toys.)

    I know the reply is several days late in posting, but I thought you’d get at least a chuckle out of it.

  9. Shag Says:

    Theresa – I’m glad you stopped by! That Olive Garden story is too funny! I know exactly the gut feeling you are talking about to correct the child .

    Take care!
    Shag

  10. Hunkburger Says:

    Nice post. “Alone time” hit particularly close to home being a relatively new father. My commute to work has essentially cut me off from the outside world as I prefer to listen to podcasts than the news radio station. Apparently the Olympics are in China now? My wife complains about the stacks of random comics found in the cabinet underneath the sink in our bathrooms. I have some at the in-laws as well. Be prepared! You should also reap the benefits of surprise opportunites for alone time. Such as when your spouse becomes part of a wedding party and you are not. Huzzah! Evenings of planning showers and other intricate wedding details that your opinion is not even considered. “Please let me get out of your hair. No, no, no don’t mind me. I’ll just go upstairs and read while. You have fun.” You’ve never seen a man run up the stairs with an armful of trade paperbacks so quickly in your entire life.

  11. D18Matt Says:

    So sad. So true. I only have the one kid, though, so that must be why i can still sneak in the occasional geekery.

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