Valentine’s Day, Nerd Style!
UPDATE: More Valentine’s Day goodness! Some friends and I just launched http://whyiloveyou.co/ (“Why I Love You”) – a simple service to let you send messages to your loved one! Read more about it here and sign up and try it! And now, back to your regularly scheduled nerd-valentine post…
I’m continuing the semi-off-topic posts for just one more. I’ll be back to normal after this, I promise.
Valentine’s Day is the quintessential “Hallmark holiday“. But Hallmark has done a great job: our “significant others” continue to expect something for Valentine’s Day, even though they acknowledge that it’s a made-up holiday.
When I was dating my wife in college, I had a great combination of free time and resources. I worked in what was called the Educational Technology Center (ETC). That means I had a near unlimited supply of “arts and crafts” stuff, computer labs with Corel Draw and Photoshop, audio and video editing equipment, and lots more. It was fantastic. My time at the ETC helped form me for the future, both in mentorship from my boss and in the well-rounded experiences it gave me that have served my career in software development well.
But I digress. This isn’t about me, it’s about my wife, Mindy.
Because of my situation, I was able to produce an inordinate amount of creative gifts for my future wife. When the real world hit, however, that creative gift giving slowed waaaaaay down. Like a screeching stop kind of slowing down. And now, having two kids that are almost 2 and 4, my creativity operates more in line with the evolutionary theory of Punctuated Equilibrium than anything else: long periods of non-creative gifts like flowers, etc. and punctuated “spikes” of creative thoughtful gifts.
This Valentine’s Day, I decided to spend some time and combine the nerd part of me with the romantic part and hit a “punk eek” spike (“punctuated equilibrium” == “punk eek” … get it? It’s how all the cool kids say it.)
Warning: don’t try this at home, kids! I’m a trained professional. Mixing different aspects of your personality can have catastrophic effects.
I don’t care who you are, when you spend the large portion of your day with two small children and have limited contact with other adults, it can drive you crazy if you’re not careful. Heck it can drive you crazy even if you are careful! For that reason, I work hard to give Mindy a break from the kids when I get home, and throughout the evening, while balancing time for her, and time all together.
So, playing off that, I created a 7th grade science fair project depicting an experiment where I hold constant everything except “my actions when I arrive home from work”, and I measure Mindy’s response.
My hypothesis is that if I help with the kids when I get home from work, Mindy will be happier than if I sit on the couch, or check my email. Turns out my hypothesis was correct. (Shocking!)
Now that I’ve wasted your time, reader, this entire post is to say that I love you, Mindy. Even on a made-up holiday that’s been invented by the corpor…. whatever. You’re amazing, and I love you!
How about you, reader? What have you done that’s creative? Have you successfully combined geeky/nerdy and creative/cool? How do you show your significant other they’re special?