Valentine’s Day Edition

Last week Chris and Dan debated this generation’s Star Wars but they throw us for a loop and instead talk about how their nerdiness affects their relationships for Valentine’s Day.


Chris: We’re in a special position today, seeing as how the previous episode of No Right Answer ended on our first cliffhanger to our first three-way debate. Because of that, we can’t really talk about what our opponents should have said seeing as how there’s a good chance they’ll actually have the argument we bring up, or it’ll give away what was actually said (if we could remember half of the nonsense we spew of course).

Instead of fumbling through a conundrum like that, Dan, or possibly Kyle … meh, I made the suggestion to write about how our significant others have embraced our dorkiness and fueled it, either through acceptance or active participation. It works so perfectly seeing as how tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, a wonderful day that’s just there and makes for a good excuse to buy a friggin’ ice cream cake shaped like a heart (ice cream cakes suck, but friggin’ ice cream cakes are amazing).

My wife, who we’ll call Sharayah because she likes to be referred to by her real name, will fight with me tooth and nail about whether she’s a dork or not. There’s no argument that I fall gracefully into that category, but she finds something socially wrong about her being a dork as well. Were I to implement the tactics that I use against Kyle and Dan on a weekly basis … well I might be looking at the end of my marriage, but I could at least make a strong case for why we fit together well.

For instance, a few months before our wedding she came to me all excited, wanting to show me the cake toppers. She hands me an envelop and I pour out Mario, Princess Peach, and a handful of other Mario universe characters, immediately learning that she fully intends to have these decorating the cake at the event that tells people we love each other forever. Keep in mind, I did not tell her to get these; she just knew. Sold.

This may have been a mistake on her part as it convinced me that she now must have an interest in every single game I’ve ever played, leading me to try and force her to play every single game I’ve ever played. Thus far I’ve had some minor victories with games such as Chrono Trigger and Super Mario RPG, and she did play Link’s Awakening, my very first Zelda game and the exact cart I played (which is just some sort of kinky hotness right there).

And even more magically, we managed to get 100% completion on New Super Mario Bros Wii without either of us packing our bags and staying at a parent’s house to let our emotions cool down. If that doesn’t prove we were meant to be together through sickness and health, though 1ups and whatthehellwhydidyouthrowmeintolavajustthere, then nothing will.

Plus, I’ve never finished Yoshi’s Island with 100%, yet she can school the best of you on red coin and flower hunting. So happy I tricked this woman into marrying me!


Kyle: Romance is a funny thing. In my experience with my fiancee, Rosely, it always turns out that romance is about 30% of what you see in movies and other media. The further 70% is two people trying really hard to accommodate each other’s quirks.

The simple stuff, like her fascination with turtles or my predilection toward bad sci-fi, is dealt with along the road. But there are watershed moments where we know that we are made for each other.

For instance, our first date was the classic “movie and meal” scenario. Given the option of a romantic comedy or an animated penguin fiasco, Rosely chose the Stephen King supernatural thriller. Awesome.

Things escalated when I loaned her my copy of Watchmen and found out that not only did she enjoy it, she missed her train stop because she didn’t look up from it for the better part of an hour.

But the big watershed moment, oddly enough (and convenient as hell for this article) was on a Valentine’s Day, several years ago. The unpleasant rigmarole of shopping for someone is usually wasted on the two of us. Instead, we just ask each other for several options to choose from.

On the year in question, Rosely asked me what I could really use. Being me, I listed off books, DVDs, and several video games that I was in the market for. When I told her about my growing collection of DS games, she got interested and took my DS Lite for a spin. No less than three hours later, she had her heart set on a lime green DS Lite bundled with Personal Trainer: Cooking.

You all got that? Not jewelry, not flowers, not even macaroni art. My lady wanted a handheld, and the first thing that she wanted to do with it upon receiving it? She wanted to link up with mine and play Lego Star Wars co-op.

To hell with Nicholas Sparks. That’s romance, or at least it’s the kind of romance that I appreciate. Now, if only I could get her into Dr. Who, and get her to play Portal 2 with me.

Well, maybe I’m just greedy.

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Dan: So which is more unexpected, that your favorite debonnaire debaters decided to do a romance-themed No Right Explanation, or that all three of us have either wives or fiancés? I am proud to live in an age where being a nerd or a dork doesn’t immediately mean that you are alone in your parent’s basement on Saturday nights. As the other two heroes have done before me, I will impart a few stories about how geek culture not only didn’t keep me from the girl of my dreams, it actually brought us together.

First off, one must look no farther than the couple theme Halloween costumes that we have chosen over the years. We have been Mal and Inara from Firefly, Gomez and Morticia Addams, Jack and Jill after the fall (think bruised and bloody), and one year where our costumes didn’t match, I went as a Ghostbuster and she went as Poison Ivy. This was the Poison Ivy from Arkham Asylum, not the visual murder that was the fourth film. We always have fun with geek costumes, and that trend should continue. Most recently, I was Tony Stark and she was a little sister from Bioshock. Weird pairing, I know, but it worked.

It’s important to be able to be your own geeky self around your woman (or man), and even more important that they join in. The couple that geeks together, keeps together. Yes, I wrote that and no, you can not have it without giving me credit.

Now it’s no small secret that I have a man-crush on Bruce Campbell. Not only are his movies (the ones that had theatrical releases, not the TV ones) fantastic, he is an all-around cool guy. I even went so far as to make the Mojito my drink of choice because his character on Burn Notice prefers them. I hate gin, yet somehow seeing Brucy ordering up the drink makes it taste sweet in my mouth. My wife doesn’t discourage this crush, in fact she regularly goes along with it, going so far as to stand in line for over two hours just so I could get an autograph. That’s devotion.

She’s played Portal 2 co-op with me even though she didn’t like it, just so I could see what happened. She’s gone into a Lego store with me just because she knows I love them. Come to think of it, she does a lot of stuff she doesn’t want to do in order to make me happy. Hmmm.

I think I need to go buy more flowers. Excuse me…

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Daniel Epstein
Father, filmmaker, and writer. Once he won an Emmy, but it wasn't for being a father or writing.