Monday, August 10, 2009

We arrived, and I didn't even realize it

Between driver’s ed and college enrollment, we realized it’s time to teach GeekBoy about the real world. Except for school, he’s been living mostly in his computer and his imagination most of his life. That was okay, but it’s time and he’s ready, so the lessons have begun. He’s learning to drive (dear God!). He enrolled in his college classes online, ordered his textbooks, and paid his fees with his new bank card. He’s never bought anything at the store, so he’s learning to buy groceries and order burgers at the drive-thru. He’s learned to cook beef stroganoff and tuna casserole.

As we’re doing all this, he’s turning 18, and I realized today that my role has changed. I’ve always been the guardian-dragon, standing between him and the world, keeping away people and things he couldn’t handle, only letting them through a little at a time as he was ready. Now he’s ready, and I can just teach him things. He doesn’t need a dragon anymore. He just needs a guide. How cool is that??

Sheldon vs Leonard

We watch “Big Bang Theory” a little differently here. I’ve told people that our goal is to move toward Leonard, and away from Sheldon. That makes sense to everyone who’s watched the show and knows GeekBoy.

Taking a 17-year-old who qualifies for Mensa to the grocery store and discovering that he has no idea what green onions are (because he never paid attention to what you call those things) is a little…frustrating? disconcerting? funny? All of the above. Watching him try to find the celery when he’s standing right in front of it is actually entertaining, because he gets the joke, too. He finally threw up his hands and said, “I really suck at this, don’t I?” After I explained the difference between celery and celery hearts, he started telling me about a documentary he’d watched about social networks and connections. He was still telling me about it when we arrived in the meat department, but he paused long enough to point out the chicken leg quarters that I’d been looking for. Then he continued with his explanation about Kevin Bacon and mailing a package from Africa to New York and how that applies to networks. I put several packages of meat in our cart, and he asked, “Are you finished shopping? Because you’re supposed to buy meat last so it doesn’t get warm and cause food poisoning.” I told him he was channeling Sheldon again.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Not to mention, too many passwords to remember!

I wrote this as my inaugural post on Facebook, because I was freaking out, just a little. Now I'm pasting it here, which seems kind of warped and just proves my point, sort of.

I remember George Carlin doing a routine about "stuff," where you take a smaller version of your stuff when you go on vacation, and a portion of that stuff when you go out for the day while you're on vacation...I keep thinking of that as I try to figure out this whole Facebook thing.

Just how much of "me" can people stand? I can be really annoying (not on purpose), sometimes I'm funny (not always intentionally), sometimes I'm just boring. I try really hard not to show the goofy stuff to people until they know me, because I don't want them to think I'm idiot. A dork, yes, but not an idiot.

On Twitter, the people who follow me don't know my real name, even though some of us have been "talking" for years on one site or another. I can complain about family and coworkers, talk about my job, post when I can't legally drive, etc., and not worry about offending anyone. I can admit to the alarming amount of Stargate trivia I have in my brain. We know each other, and there's no image to uphold. That's kind of the point.

On yet another site, I have some things I wrote a few years ago that I don't think anybody remembers are there, and I'm okay with that. Some of it's kind of personal, and I only give out the URLs to people I'm pretty sure won't laugh (except when they're supposed to). Although technically anyone can read it, it's unlikely anyone I know would find it unless I gave them the address.

On my (mostly abandoned) blog, some people who read it actually know me, and I keep that in mind. I've written some things there that are actually pretty good, and I have sort of poked fun at some relatives before, but I keep in mind that both family and coworkers could possibly read it.

On my high school classmates' site, I pretty much say what I want, because they already know I'm a dork, and I figure they're either laughing with me or they just delete my posts without reading them. They can tell when I'm being silly and when I'm serious, and they give me the benefit of the doubt. I really like it there.

Pretty much everyone I've ever met, a lot of the people I work with, and everyone I'm related to seems to be on Facebook. That's a little intimidating. I don't have to "friend" all of them, but what's the point of being here then? Some of them don't know the true extent of my goofiness, and maybe I'd like to keep it that way. Maybe this is the place to share photos and watch my manners. Maybe I won't worry about it. I haven't decided.

There is the question of how many versions of myself I can keep track of. And whether it's a sign of serious mental problems when you have that many versions of yourself to start with. Maybe I need to consolidate some of my versions.

Facebook is really complicated.