It’s inevitable that kids try to avoid the things their parents love as a way to assert their individuality (or whatever reason psychologists give; I don’t know, I’m just an engineer). Both my parents were huge sports fans. Huge. They loved baseball, american football, basketball, and, while they didn’t follow them, could enjoy other sporting events if nothing else was available (Hockey, Olympics, etc). They didn’t like soccer because they had both grown up in the generation where soccer was uncool and they still shared that bias against it. That is probably why the only sport I chose to play growing up was soccer. My parents were thrilled (actually they were; anything to get my butt out of the house and running around).

In order to be a counter-point to my parent’s outwardly jock-ish nature, I ultimately became a geek. Most of the things I enjoy, they can’t understand why anyone would find them fun. They /sorta/ get video games. My dad used to like some first person shooters and my mother enjoys puzzle games like Tetris and Doctor Mario, but neither really understands my passion for them. They entirely don’t understand my love of P&P gaming, and I don’t blame them. Often times I don’t understand my love of it. And my other pursuits (comics, sci-fi, etc) are of equal mystery to them.

In this way, Tron is doomed to not be a geek; initially. He’ll see his parents geeking out with our hobbies and think “Ew, my parents do those things! How uncool!” and pick something else, like sports or cars, to devote his free-time to. Perhaps it’s natural that he do so.

However, despite my effort to differentiate myself from my parents, the older I get the more I’ve begun to echo them. My father is a huge woodworker/project oriented guy. He’s always got something to work on, and if he can do something himself, he will. Looking at my huge project list I realize that I’ve inevitably followed in those footsteps. I may never share his love of sports, but my constant search for craft and woodworking projects echo his love of building very closely.

Similarly, my mother loves to read. If she’s got a spare moment, she usually uses it to read. While I may not read nearly as much as she does (and not nearly as much as I used to), I do love a good book. Often the books I really like are ones that she ends up liking; which makes buying her gifts easier because I can just get her books that I’ve loved that she doesn’t have yet.

Tron may never share my love of video games (which is fine because that means I won’t have to share), but it’s almost inevitable that he’s going to become a geek of some sort. Even it it’s not until he’s almost thirty. One day he’ll be sitting with his wife/husband/cat watching TV and see the old ruse where the protagonist ducks into a doorway to escape pursuit. He’ll turn to his spouse/cat and say, “Looks like those guys failed their spot roll.” It’ll be that moment when he realizes that he cannot escape the geek.

-Confusion is a state of mind, or is it?

Advertisements