The wonderful thing about a hefty amount of geek/nerd culture is that it is super-optimistic. John Green, author of A Fault In Our Stars, says that nerds are basically people who are “unironically enthusiastic … too enthusiastic about the miracle of human consciousness.” Which is awesome!
The first time I hung out with my now-boyfriend, I totally melted over the fact that he got really, really jazzed pantomiming a stack that extended from hip-height to chin-height to illustrate how many books you can get for ten dollars at library book sales. As a little geekling, I learned to love guys like this by the examples that cartoons, TV shows, video games, movies, and books made for me of enthusiastic, caring dudes. Without further ado, my top five formative geek crushes...
Trent Lane was Daria’s best friend Jane’s older brother, which in itself seems like a pretty big draw for little geeklings -- who didn’t, at some point, crush on a friend’s sibling? Except no one I knew had an older brother who was in a band, which, when I was ten, seemed like the one and only thing anyone should ever choose to do with their lives. Add on the fact that Trent genuinely cares about not only his sister, but also Daria, who otherwise was frequently the object of male ridicule or male idiocy; then sprinkle it with his naïve artist’s idealism and his deadpan observations, and you’ve got a recipe for 100 percent geekling infatuation.
My friend and I saw "Fellowship of the Ring" nine times in theaters, and later wrote a list of potential male boyfriends of whom we approved for the other, granting, of course, that she didn’t marry Orlando Bloom and I didn’t marry Elijah Wood. Looking back on it now, in retrospect I’d go with Sam Gamgee -- but when I was 14, there was nothing hotter than a giant pair of blue eyes and the will to sacrifice oneself for the greater good.
Because duh. Han Solo is every nerdy little girl’s first encounter with the archetype of The Rebel, and it’s for that reason (along with Harrison Ford’s rugged good looks) that a lot of people I know would place him at number one. Han isn’t just a rebel, of course -- he’s a rebel with a heart of gold, who falls in love and finds himself wearing his heart on his sleeve unawares. There is nothing cuter in all of film history than Han and Leia’s “I love you,” “I know” moment.
FOX IS RIGHT! Heh. (Seriously, though, the Speedo.) Fox Mulder’s core virtue is, as Scully points out repeatedly over "The X-Files" series, the strength of his beliefs. He’s willing to put forth seemingly crazy possibilities in the face of total disbelief on the part of his colleagues and is unafraid to question convention if it means getting to the bottom of a case, but he’s also self-aware enough to have a good sense of humor about his reputation. Furthermore, he’s an insanely talented agent, and he does everything he does out of love for other people.
Link is the almost-mute star of Nintendo’s Zelda game series -- and I’m talking specifically about Link from the greatest videogame of all time, Ocarina of Time on N64. It was released when I was 11, and my dad, my sister and I spent an exorbitant amount of bonding time playing OOT with each other -- my sister and dad did the adventuring and boss-slaying, and I did the puzzle-solving.
In the Zelda story, Link is a reluctant hero, one small individual who takes up the call to save the world. He earns what he gets -- he starts with very little and makes the most of it, finds weapons and learns to master them, gets new skills as the story progresses, builds his health, makes friends, and does favors for them no matter how annoying they are (I’m looking at you, Princess Ruto). It’s just a bonus that he’s deadly with a sword, has magic, and looks hot in tight pants. Think about it -- who wouldn’t want to date someone like that?
Reprinted with permission from The Frisky. Want more?