When I was in college, I grew to despise fraternity boys and everything they represented. I hated their attire, their haircuts, their way of life, their drinking, the way they treated their waitress (i.e. me), the way they treated their friends, their girlfriends, the way the acted on the streets after the bars let out and I tried to walk home after a long shift at the Diner. Through the years, I grew to dislike them and avoided them like the plague. The geeks became the boys I wanted to be around.
After all, it’s impossible to ignore the boy who, after seeing the same girl park her bike outside The Creamery every Tuesday and Thursday, finally leaves a daisy and a $1.99 (in exact change) in the basket of a girl’s bike with a note attached that reads:
Buy yourself an ice cream cone.
How can you make fun of something like that? How can you ignore it? Pick-up lines that include ice cream are impossible to ignore.
It’s impossible to not enjoy a party thrown by a bunch of people who tell you to pick a character from an episode of Star Trek and should the cut out of a paper mustache, attached randomly to a TV screen, land on your character, you have to drink. (But if it landed on Marina Sirtis it was considered a social as she already sort of had her own.)
I have hundreds of stories and memories surrounding these people. They made up my college life. They gave it color and meaning. They gave me somewhere to go and ears to complain to. They set the standard I would carry for the rest of my days. And they made me understand my brothers more, who happen to be two of the biggest geeks around.
Yesterday, Toby’s boss called him from the Boston office. Toby was on another call at the time discussing a job with a client. His boss left a message. The following message made me cherish the people Toby Joe now work for and left me feeling secure in knowing that I married the right person.
Hey, uh, Toby? This is Brad. Hey. So… I… uh… I had a dream last night and there was a software program in the dream. I want to discuss it with you. I want you to build it. OK? Give me a call back.
I no longer hate fraternity boys. It was the college thing to do during one of those “Us Against Them” eras. But there isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t rediscover how thankful I am for all the geeky people, the ones on the sidelines, pulling the curtains, mixing the tracks, making it all work. I love the quiet ones who make things tick, the ones who were teased just enough in life to give them the most amazing sense of humor and deliver them a level of compassion necessary to make this planet better. Just thinking about them all makes me smile.