August 6, 2009

Things That Make Me A Bad Boyfriend: I Will Drag You To Civil War Battlefields

For our second installment of "Things That Make Me A Bad Boyfriend," I thought we'd steer in a direction that is much less controversial, but infinitely more boring.

I hope you didn't have any plans on Saturday, because if I was your boyfriend, there's a good chance I'd be waking you up at 9:00am to drive out to a living history event at a nearby Civil War battlefield.

I feel like most guys have their own "nerd shit." Some guys nerd out about college football, some guys are way into cars, some guys can quote lines from any comedy movie released in the last 20 years. This is some Level 1 nerdery. I'm on Level 5.

I am a history nerd. Instead of swooning over the Twilight series, you'll usually find me reading a history book. And, more often than not, I'm reading about the Civil War.

Now, I kinda have a geographic excuse. I live in Richmond, VA, the capital of the Confederacy. The large majority of the intense battles of the Civil War happened within a 100-mile radius of my apartment. It's interesting stuff! But here's where it sucks for you:
  • On a regular basis, I will invite you to come along with me to various living history events, lectures, and maybe even a few re-enactments. You might think this is cute at first, and then you'll see how into it I am, and once the chills of embarrassment subside, all that's going to be left is sheer annoyance.
  • Instead of a weekend getaway to the beach or to New York City, I'm going to propose a roadtrip to Gettysburg and Antietam. The entire drive I will share Civil War anecdotes with you. I might even make you listen to an audiobook about the battles--or Phil Collins albums, but that's an entirely different blog entry.
  • I will bring up Civil War historical references while we're at the bar with your friends. It will usually start with "Did you know..." and will end with all your friends thinking you're dating a TOTAL FUCKING WEIRDO.
If that's not enough, this will definitely scare you: When I first started seriously getting interested in the Civil War, the one question everyone asked me was whether or not I would ever participate in a re-enactment. My first reaction was "Oh no, no...I'm not THAT into it." But as time goes by, and as I see the direction I'm heading in, well, I can totally see myself as a 40-year-old dude with a gnarly Civil War beard, camping out with other Civil War history dorks and shooting rifles in a field. So, if you read all this and don't think that my Civil War habits are annoying, brace yourself for some Level 10 nerdery in about ten years or so.

So basically, unless you're a National Parks Service employee or someone who is already a Civil War re-enactor (hoop skirts! yowza!), you're probably going to think I'm a bad boyfriend.

[After praising Phil for having the most perfect profile picture ever, we lassoed him into being a guest contributor. He loves illegal bonfires, Big Gulps, and daydreaming about his upcoming trip to Iceland. Check him out here.]


Jon K said...

I don't know much about this Civil War stuff, but consider me a brother-in-arms in defense of all things Phil Collins. I saw Genesis when I was 4 years old, and I brag about that shit almost daily.

Emily said...

You know, honestly, not so bad. Chicks geek out too.

Sarah said...

As a frequenent RenFair goer, I understand.

LizardQueen said...

I once had to go to a few days long work thang in Gettysburg. As a Philadelphian working with the state dept of ed at the time I was always sarcastically joking about the "glamorous" places we'd go on work trips ie. harrisburg, state college, gettysburg... But turns out, gettysburg rocks! I LOVED it. The battlefield is fascinating and beautiful. Even if you don't love history (which is generally pretty fascinating I think) there are some simply beautiful places to walk and this one awesome lookout... The second time I went to the battlefield (yes I went twice) it was just getting dark and as we looked out from the high point over the vista it was covered in twinkling fireflies. I am now convinced that it's a magical place. I kind of want to be proposed to in that exact spot someday.

And for those of you who don't like history OR nature, there's evidently tons of ghost activity there (was pretty spooky at night) and some kickass outlets nearby. I got two pairs of adidas for like 50 bucks and a replacement bowl for my pro kitchenaid mixer. Among lots of other kitchen stuff, that's where I def geek out.

gretchen said...

I could think of worse things...

Katie D. said...

My boyfriend is a history nerd too! He is always trying to drag me to reinactments and museums and make me read history books. It's cute until he finally talks me into doing one or more of these things again and I remember how much fun I didn't have last time.

Jen B. said...

I'm in love a little bit.

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