Robin and I have been watching Freaks and Geeks on DVD from the library. It’s a TV show set in 1980 that lasted one season in 1999-2000 that’s about two traditionally ostracized groups of kids in high school. One group represents the stoner/smoker/hang-out-under-the-bleachers type–the Freaks. The other group are the nerdy D&D/straight-As/bad-at-sports type–the Geeks.
My brother said I should watch it and that it represented our high school experience really well. Other than being a tad 7-10 years earlier than when we went to high school and the fact that we didn’t really interact with the “freak” group (a better description might be punk and maybe nowadays goth, but I’m just pulling that out of my ass) and that I don’t think we were nearly as girl-obsessed as the guys in the show… yeah, we were geeks. But we knew that already…
While watching the show, I kept thinking… wow, those guys are really, really geeky. We weren’t that bad… but then three things happened in the show, and it was just too funny/coincidental to ignore…
1. A couple of weeks before we saw the show, I posited to Robin that the way to tell if you are in love with someone versus just lusting after him or her is to ask yourself this question: would you mind sharing with the person your most disgusting bathroom habits? If you wouldn’t mind.. as in the idea doesn’t completely shatter your world-view and you think you would still have a great relationship with that person… well, then you’re in love. If, however, taking a dump, snotting in to the sink, or just plain ol farting in front of this person would seriously hamper your chances with this person, then give it up… it ain’t worth it, and if you are like me and in a long-term committed relationship, take joy in the fact that you’ve found someone to share your bathroom confidential (tho we still feel weird about the taking a dump thing–and I think that is healthy dammit).
Bill from the show said almost the exact same thing… well, not the bathroom part, but the farting-in-front-of-someone part.
2. In one episode, a new girl transfered into the high school, and she started hanging out with the geeks. She was really into the same things they were into like rocket launching, and she was really cute. Then they took her to an all-you-can-eat rib place and she tackled the job of eating as much as possible with gusto. When this happened, I said, “OMG, who could NOT be in love with this girl?”
Then Bill from the show said the same thing.
3. In the last episode, the geeks keep making fun of Bill whose thief characters kept dying in their D&D campaign. Finally, when they get together to play, it is revealed that they kept dying from falling into a well trying to steal loot.
I cried when I laughed. Wasn’t my character, and it wasn’t a well, but yeah… that happened to my group, too!
Were we really that geeky? Yeah, I guess we were, but in my defense, I still believe that classifying kids into set cliques does not adequately represent the high school experience. Sure, we were geeky, but to varying degrees, and there were others who did not hang out with us who were far geekier. I point to Napoleon Dynamite. Think of him drawing that Liger and his general not caring what the world thinks about him attitude. We had someone in our high school who also didn’t care. He told us to call him “Winged Cat” because he was really into planes and he was really into cats. We, on the other hand, cared how others perceived us. Maybe that was our mistake… maybe we shouldn’t have. But, yeah, we were geeks.