Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Struggles of a Mixed Marriage

If you read parenting blogs, and judging by the fact that you’re looking at these words right now—you do, you can learn about a lot of different kinds of relationships. But there is one type in particular that I think has been overlooked. It is one that is fraught with its own unique struggles and complications. One that I know a lot about, and feel needs to be addressed.

I have a mixed marriage.

WonderWife™ and I share an intimate and fulfilling union. There are enough things that we enjoy together that we barely notice our differences. That was until we had kids. Before getting pregnant, we talked a lot about raising a family and it was clear that our parenting styles matched. But we overlooked one major issue and now we are facing serious choices about how to raise our children.

You see, I am a geek and she is not.

I am a pop culture sponge, who makes plans a month in advance to make sure “Iron Man” is seen on opening weekend. I can liberally quote “The Simpsons”, and I often do. I aspire to be a Mythbuster and I don’t see the downside in staying up late watching a marathon of “Battlestar Galactica” on DVD. I know who watches the Watchmen. My wife does none of this. In fact, WonderWife™ has very little interest in the things that I love most. She has come to tolerate me thrashing about the living room playing Guitar Hero, or spending the greater part of the evening researching which is the very best flat screen TV on the market. None of this is a surprise to her. So when she rolls her eyes and mutters “geek” to me while I’m engrossed in “The Venture Brothers” I remind her that she picked me and she married me. She tells me that someday, she’s going to let our kids open up all of my mint-in-box action figures. But this is just her way of saying, “I love you”, much like the second grade boy who pulls a girl’s pigtails to get her attention.

There was a period when I was remorseful about not marrying one of my kind. But I’ve come to learn that marrying a non-geek (or “normie” as we like to call you) comes with a certain degree of freedom. She’s a homebody who doesn’t care if I spend Friday night drinking Red Bull and watching horror movies with the guys. There is no pressure for us to hire a babysitter so that we can see “The Dark Knight” in Imax.

What we didn’t stop to think about was what our mixed marriage would to do our kids. Do we choose their paths for them, or wait until they are old enough to decide for themselves? And if we do choose for them, how could we pick which side? Will they start to ask questions like, “Why does Daddy believe in the Force and Mommy does not?” Should they use a Mac or a PC? Will they agree to spend our family vacation at Comic Con? These are all big issues and we have yet to figure out the answers.

Each day becomes a silent struggle for control of the kids’ will. My son, the Bean, is just over three and I have been trying to subtly woo him into the geek life for the better part of a year. Instead of the standard Mr. Potato Head, I bought him a Darth Tater. Although he has never seen “The Simpsons”, he can point out Homer on a TV shirt. He has a Star Wars cape and a Mr. Fantastic t-shirt. It’s too early to tell where he will fall, but I was encouraged at his glee towards my friend’s voice-activated R2-D2.

I’ve come to accept that there are just some things that I will never have. During Halloween, I found myself staring longingly at a couple who dressed up their infant as Yoda, knowing that such an act would be forbidden in my family. But these are the sacrifices one makes for love.

Although WonderWife™ and I are different, we have a strong bond and a solid relationship. We both adore our kids and have each promised to support them, no matter which side they ultimately choose.

But it would be awesome if they were into “Lord of the Rings.”


It's Just Me said...

dearest does that with hunting and our kids. i have to say that i hope they take it up so i can have two weekends off a year!

Emmy said...

We are different flavors of geek in our house. I'm the techie one, while he is the sci-fi, comic book kind. The running joke is that if we ever divorce, I will be demanding every other comic book in his collection just to destroy his carefully put together arcs. And I admit, I have threatened to let the kids play with his "collectable action figures" still in the box.

If it helps, the kids seem to be gravitating to his side. My oldest is helplessly addicted to Star Wars and wants to be a Jedi for Halloween.

Multi-tasking Mommy said...

You should talk to my hubby, SciFi Dad! We are exactly the SAME way. Although, admittedly, I do watch the geek movies with him and honestly, some of them I really like! As far as our children, I keep trying to convince him to let them choose their interests, but insisted on buying Little Man (5 months old) a plush Boba Fet (I won't think I spelled that right), what am I to do?

Anonymous said...

As someone who loves sci-fi and whose wife doesn't, I thought this blogpost was hilarious....

Irish Gumbo said...

Aw, mannnnnn....Darth Tater! Now i want one...

SciFi Dad said...

My wife should at least know it's Boba Fett, and for that I am embarrassed. In all fairness, she will watch the movies, but only one she has grown attached to is The Punisher (Tom Jane version).

My daughter has been asking for the Artoo Potatoo, but I think we'll wait and get the set (including the Spud Trooper) for my son.

Red from Ktown said...

Wow. Great! But ya know, when the title said "Mixed Marriage" this is not the definition that I was expecting.

I agree, it's hard to not have others in the house get as excited as you are about things. But luckily, you meet in the middle (or her side, I mean) and make it work!!!

Sass said...

I'm cracking up at this.

Great post!

skywind said...

In fact, mixed marriages are also quite good, at least the child is smart. As someone else how to say, let them go. The total should not put their mouth on it give seam. "Battlestar Galactica" I also saw, up to now did not run. Very good story, that is too long. :)

Health is the Greatest Happiness & The World at The Present

Mama Dawg said...

As a single mom, it falls to me to make sure my kid is well rounded.

However, I can not for the life of me talk her into watching The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

The most she'll do right now is Buffy, Angel and Charmed.

Blogging Mama Andrea said...

This is so funny. I've been wondering lately what influences my childhood had on me and what influences my children's childhood will have on who they become.

Currently I have sassy future geographer or astronaut in my 7 yr old. His sister, at 2, either will fulfill her dream as a human mop or a golden globe winner for a drama series. I'd say they both take after their father.

I don't think either one is like me at all or shares my love of great books. They'd both rather watch Disney.

Anonymous said...

That is too funny my man!! I love the post.

I consider myself a bit geeky, not I don't know if I have ever read a comic...or watched a full episode of Simpsons or Star Trek. I went to Comic Con twice for work and WILL NEVER go back.

I do love gadgets, planning, TV, movies, video games (at which...I destroy the kids), etc.

Not full on...but I have some geeky qualities.

Just A Chic... said...

Lord, oh man...let me tell you...

He's 36, he goes to the premier of every comic book turned movie there is. (He used to go to see the SAME movie at least 3 times until I through a hissy and started making him wait for the DVD.) He's a Press Ganger for Privateer Press and will soon be going away on a vacation to Seattle by himself to take part in some geeks-r-us convention having to do with Privateer Press. He plays WOW religiously. He spends 1000's of dollars every year on gaming stuff.

When we first got together, his ENTIRE bedroom walls were covered in "action figures" that were still in the original boxes.

On Tuesday and Saturday every week you will find him at one of the local gaming stores running tournaments. On Sundays he's at another gaming store doing RPG's.

We have 3 girls. And although they all show a certain amount of interest in his "hobby" they all get equally annoyed with it as I do because they feel second best to his gaming addiction.


rohansmom said...

I'm the geek in our house, while my husband is the artist. I often daydream about reading LOTR with my son when he's older.

Super Mega Dad said...

We're a mixed marriage as well. I felt pretty lucky that I was able to drag her to watch Lord of the Rings and have her actually enjoy it.

My proudest daddy moment? Having my two year old daughter running arond the house screaming DOHHHH! DOHHHH! DOHHHH! A tear came to my eye on that one. They grow up so fast! I'm currently teaching her to say "Respect my AUTHORITEE!"

Barney said...

Show them the both of both worlds.. maybe if you two are lucky.. you will have a "normie geek"... a child who will grow to have the best of both worlds and can walk down that road right down the damn middle!!!!

Brandy said...

I think your son will choose his own path, because you might not know it but I'm sure WonderMom is also filling his head with things she enjoys. You know what us "normies" do.

Cute post!

Daddy Geek Boy said...

Brandy...Oh I KNOW that WonderWife™ is filling his head with things she enjoys. But the Force is strong with him and I believe that he will align himself with me.

I'm also starting to work on my daughter too. It would help me out a great deal if the geeks were the majority in my house.

Tiffany said...

I not sure what the hell you would call me and hubby. I guess hubby is stuck in the 80's and he really sucks at Guitar Hero. While I'M fucking awesome at it and am teaching my kid that Halloween is the best day ever and horror movies rock. I might regret it though if my kid becomes a serial killer dressed in 80's gear. I'll just take my chances.

Sugee Andersyn said...

lol that was a great post. I'd dress my kids up like Yoda, if I had any.

Amorous Rocker said...

I'm a geek and so is my boyfriend, lol. I think a vacation at ComicCon would rock. Thrashing around with Guitar Hero or Rock Band is a perfectly acceptable way to spend an evening. And IMAX? I love thee.

Great post!

dizzy mom said...

You are so lucky she loves you. I'm just saying...don't fuck it up. I don't know if anyone else is immune to such geekiness.

ZenMom said...

I giggled all the way through this. :)

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