If there’s a geek on your holiday shopping list, chances are you’ll be stopping at the comic or game store for a gift for him. While you’re there you may bump into him buying a gift for you, even if you’re not a geek yourself. Especially if you’re not a geek yourself.
The sworn enemy of the geek is the evangelical Christian, but like Batman and the Joker, Indiana Jones and Belloq, or Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi, they are very alike, two sides of the same coin. One of the many things they have in common is the idea that the best gift they can give to someone who doesn’t share their belief is something that will hopefully encourage him to share their belief. So the geek will be giving comics, toys, or games to every man, woman, and child they have to buy Christmas presents for.
An uncharitable soul might attribute this to the idea that geeks, having little sense of empathy, can’t imagine what another person might like. Since they themselves aren’t interested in sports or pop music, surely nobody else can be either. However, this is not completely the case. The actual reason is not that the geek can’t understand someone being interested in those things and wanting presents of that type, the truth is that the geek takes pity on people who have those interests, and wishes to broaden and mature the tastes of those people beyond such pedestrian trifles.
To a geek, there’s no such thing as a person who doesn’t like comics. There are only people who haven’t read the right comics. A few geeks will even make a token effort of buying you a comic book that is aimed towards a particular genre or subject matter that you’re interested in, instead of something they thought was pretty good. If you’re interested in classical music, for example, you can expect maybe a comic book adaptation of an opera or a volume of a manga about a girl with a magic cello. The geek might try to find you a painted miniature of a bard, or a card game involving musical instruments. What you should not expect from the geek is a classical recording of any type.
Keep in mind that when you are shopping for the geek, be very careful. There will be many angry message board and blog posts from geeks who just can’t believe that a well-meaning relative would buy them a “For Better or For Worse” collection because they “like comics”. The geek will wonder how the relative could be so thoughtless, especially after the geek gave them a burned Slam Dunk anime DVD he downloaded because he knew the relative liked watching basketball.
Should you receive one of these gifts from a geek, simply say how much you look forward to reading it or watching it or playing it or putting it on a shelf and looking at it and move on. It’s the thought that counts, and believe it or not, there really is some thought behind it other than, “Anyone who is not currently reading manga should begin reading manga because I like reading manga.” Don’t worry about the geek asking you later if you enjoyed it or what you thought of it; the idea of doing so will not occur to him.
Since it’s a way to do their holiday shopping without ever having to stray too far from their familiar territory, geeks LOVE Trying to Enlist Non-Geeks Via Christmas Presents!