The Geek’s Guide to Dating – READALONG Pt. 4

geeksWhen Lori and Drew both ended up with copies of The Geek’s Guide to Dating, a brilliantly insane idea struck.  While they both love books and are self-professed geeks, their lives are otherwise almost diametrically opposed:  Boy vs girl – check. Young twenty-something vs late thirty-something – check. Recently single vs long time couple – check. No kids vs kids – check. 
And so a read-along was proposed, with a running email conversation, as they delved into one man’s guide to love in the time of geek.

In this installment, Chapters 4 & 5 – Converse, FIRST DATE!, mixtapes and god-we’re-old…
(Read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 first!)

RB: I don’t have a ton to say about Chap 4.  Maybe its just because I’ve always liked dressing well or that my parents have always encouraged it – but I was wearing bowties before they became “cool” (i’ve actually backed off because they’re so “cool” these days, which makes me sound WAY more hipster than I actually am), I wear vests and nice shoes and smart shirts and blazers and so on a regular basis.  So I’ll say that C4 didn’t feel like I needed to hear it – although at the same time I’m so sure that so many people (no offense to geekdom-at-large) do….

TNBBC: The C4 dress code thing was cool for me. I guess I kinda dig that guys even think THAT much about appearances that it would necessitate a whole section in a date book. I’m not a dress-up kinda girl. I live in converse and jeans when I’m not at work. I don’t spend hours in front the mirror styling my hair and applying make-up so I don’t want a high maintenance kind of guy. I wouldn’t be comfortable on a date where I had to put THAT much effort in getting ready for fear of my man looking better than me. That being said, I do like my man to look semi-sharp while showing off his personality. Dark jeans with clean converse, a sorta dressy jacket over a cool tshirt or vest over tshirt would suit me totally fine (and no, my hubby doesn’t dress like that. To be honest, he HATES converse. A huge sad in my life, for sure).
And ok, two things I have to disagree with: Women finding red on a man attractive? Not this one! I dig blues and greens and find them to be much sexier on a guy than red. Ew. Not a fan. And the whole study he quoted that state women like the smell of black licorice when he was discussing cologne/smells? Yuck. Who are these women? I can’t even…

And a clean car… an absolute must. I would assume a dude keeps his car the same way he keeps his bathroom or bedroom. Intimate spaces need to be clean! A major turn off if I have to fight to find feet space amongst food wrappers and other misc junk!

RB: I’m sorry your hubby is a no-Converse guy.  I’ve finally worn through the most recent pair of my low-tops and very seriously need to get a new pair (I was doing a complicated duct-tape patch job on a few sole-holes for a spell where I just needed the shoes to complete the look… which makes it sound like I put more into my appearance than I actually do; there are just days where you know you need your Chucks!).
Oh and yeah, I don’t know what’s up with the smell thing.  I’m very particular about the colognes I’ve used over the years and not a one has ever smelled remotely like the awfulness that is black licorice.  And I’m often told I smell good.  So, Mr. Smith, I’d like to see your research findings….

I blasted through C5 on the train home from work – and definitely got a couple of stares from laughing.  SO GOOD, this chapter was.  I also thoroughly appreciated the BSG references, as I am a massive fan of that reimagined series.  But anyway, to the matter at hand:


No matter how many first dates I go on, they’re always nerve-wracking.  And I like that he doesn’t try to be like “yeah, no sweat, you’ll be fine” but instead is pretty honest about “yep, it can be next-to-terrifying, so let’s talk through it.”  The Choose-Your-Own-Adventure was nice, if a liiiiiiittle simplistic… I don’t know how I feel about some of the easy no-go answers (sometimes geeking out for a minute, even intensely, and then bashfully saying “oh, sorry, I just, uhhh, I’m a crazy person” can be endearing, if you’re with the right kind of girl) but for the most part, I liked the route he took the ‘date’ down.  Especially the bill-paying bit. I’m old school chivalrous and basically never want to let a date pay for anything, despite the fact that in my dating career I have been: a high schooler, a poor starving college student, and am currently, essentially, a poor starving artist.  And I’ve never meant it as anything other than “I want to do this because I’ve been taught that this is the gallant thing to do” – and when I’ve had the fun argument about splitting it, about who gets what when… I dunno, I find that endearing.  It’s another part of learning to be with someone – and I’m okay eating ramen and oatmeal when I’m home by myself for the rest of the week if it means I got to take a girl out to a nice dinner or something.

TNBBC:  I haven’t had a first date in.. since.. I hooked up with my husband, so.. you know.. in like FOREVER. I don’t even remember what the whole anxiety-excitement-butterflies-in-your-stomach-so-sick-you-might-throw-up feels like anymore (except, I guess I kinda do if I can describe it like that, right?!) I suppose my being a married old fart made that section of the book a little less relevant and relatable, but I did enjoy his tips and methodical approach to the whole CYOA thing. That was kind of cute and totally geeky. And yea, I totally dug the Troubleshooting part – I think my date is a man! Gulp!

RB: That troubleshooting bit was hilarious.  That was the moment where I had to put the book away because it was a crowded rush hour train and the suits were less than pleased that I was enjoying my evening.

TNBBC: I really dug the questions he listed, the ones you can ask on a date that will help you get an idea of her personality and her thought processes without the questions being too pointed or creepy. But the whole Kissing 101, I think I could’ve done without that. For no other reason than it was just one of the more intimate tips Eric’s given so far and it felt a wee bit too personal. I dunno.

RB: Good point about the Kissing 101 thing – that was a little more… intimate than we’ve gotten so far – and admittedly one of those things that I’m like “wait, you’re… why do you need to know how to do this?” and then I realize that no matter how geeky/nerdy I might consider myself……………………… there are far more, far geekier/nerdier people than I.  Many of them.
So yeah, that was weird.

TNBBC: I can see what you mean about “geekier” less experienced dudes needing to know how to appropriately handle a first kiss but still, something felt so off with that one little part compared to the rest of the book. I was terrified he was going to give us a similar sex tutorial (not really, but really)… so Phew! Thanks for sparing us that one, Eric!

RB: Ditto! The mixtape, also, was amazing. And really spot on, too – that mix would absolutely put me in the right headspace (although I’d probably have a bit less game music and more… music music.  Not to belittle game soundtracks, as they are amazing.  Butee’s also SO right on with the Daft Punk soundtrack from the last TRON movie – that soundtrack is just… that thing blows my mind – so whatever, it’s a good mix.

He’s hitting on a very ‘geek’ thing without even really addressing it here: I miss the making of mix CDs (I’m dating myself too, I guess, by saying CD instead of tape…) – a Spotify mix (cool as they are) or a flash drive just isn’t quite the same thing.  Same with books, though – the tactile nature of it vs. the ethereal… The last mix CD I made for a girl was in college, I think – I used to print labels and do a whole thing… ahhh, those were the days.

TNBBC: You’re afraid of dating YOURSELF by calling them mixed CD’s… how old is that going to make me when I tell you last year I finally went ahead and tossed ALL OF MY OLD CASSETTES, including the katrillion mixed tapes I had made when I was younger. I used to LOVE making mixed tapes. When I was in high school, that was one of my favorite things to do. My gal pals and guy pals and I would pass them around like crazy. That’s how you discovered new music back then. Oh, and also by watching Alternative Nation on MTV – back when MTV played actual music videos. Le sigh.

RB: Good lord, the days of MTV playing music videos… hell, the days of music videos in general.  I see them still, sometimes, on pitchfork and stuff – or for a band I know that I like anyway.  But that was a damned art form and now it’s just… I dunno, something else that lives on YouTube.  Sigh.
I’m excited to see the beyond thunderdome of the next chapter… that’s always the fun bit, the next step…


  1. Pingback: The Geek’s Guide to Dating – READALONG Pt. 5 | Raging Biblio-holism

  2. I put another comment on TNBBC, but this is actually my favorite segment of this readalong.
    – I’m now not sure if I want to read the kissing bit, or if I’m morbidly drawn to it.
    – Agree with both of you on the Converse. My husband was wearing Cons when I first met him, with little vampire teeth drawn on the front with pen. I remember this 12 years later.
    – Also agree on black licorice. Gross. I don’t even like the taste, let alone the smell. The smell of LAUNDRY on a guy? Or um.. SOAP? Indicators a guy can DO laundry, and washes regularly? That goes a long way.
    – My husband is obsessed with the Daft Punk soundtrack from TRON. I was starting to get sick of it, but then thank god, Daft Punk put out another album. The Oblivion soundtrack has a similar vibe in my mind, but husband thinks it’s subpar because it’s not Daft Punk. Which he can tell.
    – I still make mixed CDs! I don’t CARE if it’s old fashioned now, that’s how I roll. I also refuse to through out the mix tapes people gave me. Even if I have nothing to play them on now.

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