About two years ago a co-worker of mine started dating this lovely young woman. Let’s call my co-worker Shep and his new girlfriend Eunice. Despite being a software engineer, Shep was able to catch the eye of Eunice even though she did not partake in any nerdy nor geeky activities. She worked in an industry that was predominantly women. Her female friends were mostly like her, pretty, stylish, and hip. Shep, I admit, isn’t like your typical software engineer, so as a couple they didn’t seem mismatched in the slightest.

The interesting part of their relationship happened when it was after work or on the weekends. Often, Shep would be out on the town with our co-workers. We’d be having a great time at a bar or restaurant and then Shep would call Eunice to get her to drop by if she had been doing her own thing socially earlier in the evening. I distinctly remember the first time this happened. Eunice had been out with her friends and she explained to them that her boyfriend was somewhere else and she was going to see him now. She then convinced her friends to join her. I am certain she did not explain to her friends the exact situation they were about to get into.

I remember the exact moment Eunice and her friends arrived to join us. There they were, a group of beautiful young ladies, coming to join a bunch of dudes who worked in game development, mostly of the software engineering variety. Along with my keen sense of where the nearest fried chicken is, I also have a keen sense of the social awkwardness of any situation. It was at this moment, I realized this was going to be a gong show for however long these girls were going to stick around.

The girls were dressed for the bar, meaning they looked great, sexy even. Most of the dudes in our party were wearing t-shirts, some of which proclaimed a few slogans or lines from video games of various genres. The girls looked clean and fresh-faced. A few dudes had unkempt facial hair. If it weren’t for both Shep and Eunice, these two groups of people normally would not have mixed in the wild, yet here we were, some artificial force pushing together a layer of oil and water together.

Everyone that had arrived managed to get a seat but it was clear there was a divide between Eunice’s friends on one side and our twenty-sided die on our side. I could see the looks on the faces of the girls as they realized what they had gotten themselves into. The look that said, “we have gone out to have fun but we are now sitting at a bar with nerds and geeks of the highest order”. Eunice on the other hand, was fine, because she was now with Shep, so she was happy. My memory of what happened after that is a bit hazy. I believe the ladies ordered at least one round of drinks but the evening was not memorable beyond what I had just described.

The situation repeated itself perhaps two or three more times as I believe different friends of Eunice’s accompanied her to join us on various evenings out. I remember the last time I ever saw Eunice’s friends come out with her when we were around. It was a Friday night and someone had organized a huge social event at a bar for the entire gaming industry in Vancouver. So the concentration of nerds and geeks at this place was higher than normal. Eunice and her friends showed up a few hours into the event. I don’t think her friends lasted ten minutes at this thing. They took a look around the room and quickly realized this was not a normal bar crowd.

Unfortunately, Shep and Eunice aren’t dating any more so we won’t be seeing more episodes of awkwardness. It’s a shame because it became quite entertaining for me after a while.

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