Saturday, April 5, 2008

Today's column

Nerds in love

On one of those smart-alecky T-shirts sold in Target, there's a silhouette of a bride and groom. The caption: "Game Over."

I laughed when I saw that. My fianc�e Katrina guffawed and said, "That's mean."

I met Katrina in college, when we were both 20 . We discovered we had a mutual love of Rockapella, the group that sang the theme song for the Where in the World is Carmen San Diego show. We both liked to jog. And we both liked to talk on instant messenger � a lot, as it turned out.

It was very much an Internet romance, at first.

Fast forward: We had been in our relationship two years and things were going well. We'd moved in together, were finishing up our last semesters of college and trying to figure out what we wanted to do with our lives. I felt almost certain I didn't want any more school � she wanted to work.

We were both contemplating the great plunge off the Grand Canyon wall into the unknown when we saw the "E3" convention on the G4 channel. Between finishing high school and finishing college, I'd lost track of video games. I still played them, but was more likely to play things I'd liked in high school.

Katrina remembered her days playing "Dance Dance Revolution" for the PlayStation. I wanted to buy "Grand Theft Auto" and live out some thuggish fantasy. Together, we bought and purchased the newer slimmer model of the PlayStation 2. She played through "Final Fantasy VII" for the first time � I reached new heights of criminal glory.

We both graduated and got jobs � the real kind. We both went to our first Dragon*Con together after we moved to Anniston. We started saying things gamers say to each other as taunts � "ownt" and "pwnd"� and have spent long hours glued to our computer screens, catching up on the dubbed versions of our favorite anime.

As you're reading this, I'm probably a little nervous, adjusting my tuxedo, carefully arranging the hairs on my head. My whole family is here in Wetumpka, and friends too. Thinking about five years in this relationship, with this woman I fell in love with when we were young outgoing college students, I pause. For me the wedding is like an inventory of our small accomplishments.

Got degrees? Check. Jobs? Ditto. Are we in good health? Except for the regular fast food snacking, yes. Are we ready? Katrina and I are really two separate but equal ends of the nerdosphere, I've learned.

Between the two of us, we can keep the house from burning down with all of our high-tech stuff plugged into the wall. We laugh, we cry, and pay the bills while racing towards an uncertain finish before time is up. We are playing life in co-op mode.

Right now I'm probably contemplating my left ring finger, focusing on the space where I've never placed a piece of jewelry in my life. The inscription in my ring says "ownt." Her's says "pwnd."


Chris Pittman said...

Congratulations to the both of you! It's good to see that other people in this city know about Rockapella. I still shout out "Hit it Rockapella" sometimes, much to the confusion of the people around me.

Dan Whisenhunt said...

Yeah. We event went so far as to see them in concert. It was surreal, but fun.

Katrina Junkin said...