Growing up in a geeky household is hard.
But not as hard as it used to be.
“I remember watching cartoons with my father and seeing things that I could not believe, like when we had a rocket ship on the show Star Trek,” says Chris, a 24-year-old from Atlanta, Georgia.
“There was one episode where we were playing on the spaceship and we were flying through space and they had a guy who had a beard on.
And we had to use our hands and we couldn’t do it.
It’s just a part of our culture.” “
Now, I don’t think I’ve ever had to do that with my dad.
It’s just a part of our culture.”
It’s not just the beard, either.
“As kids, we were constantly making fun of ourselves,” says Jason, a 26-year old from San Francisco.
“We’d get in fights, and our dad would yell at us for making fun.
And it was not just us.”
The kids would go to a local movie theater, watch a Batman film, or watch a Star Wars movie.
But that was just one side of the spectrum.
They’d also get in trouble, either for making jokes or for getting in fights.
“When we were kids, that’s all we were doing,” Jason says.
“It was just us being kids.”
And as adults, things got worse.
“My dad would get really into this new thing called cyber bullying,” Jason explains.
“He’d say, ‘You know, the whole cyber bullying thing, it’s a joke.
It doesn’t exist.’
And I’d say to him, ‘Yeah, it exists.'”
Jason had a very specific way of responding to that.
“His response was, ‘I’m sorry, you don’t understand,'” Jason says of his father’s response.
“So I would say, “Well, I can understand, but I’m not going to do it because you can’t do that.’
“So that’s kind of how I dealt with it.”
But the kids would never stop.
“They would always ask for a reason why I couldn’t go to the bathroom,” Jason adds.
“And I’d have to tell them I was scared of them.”
“So many kids would get into fights, but you couldn’t stop them from getting in a fight.
You had to physically intervene.”
It didn’t stop the bullying either.
Jason and Chris would watch TV, and one day, a girl was making fun and throwing things at Chris.
They were all in a row and it was just like, Whoa, what’s going on?
So Jason took out his phone and started recording the fight.
Jason then called the police.
When the cops showed up, the cops were just like: Yeah, that was an accident.
The girl didn’t actually hurt anyone, but Jason says, “I felt like I had to intervene.
That’s just how it was.”
It was just a very, very small, very, small part of the story.
But it was also an example of how it would change when he was in his 20s and became an adult.
“The police would call me like, ‘Look, you can take the video.
You can take it.
You don’t have to do anything,'” Jason recalls.
“But my dad would always say, `I have to, because I can’t stand it.’
So I would have to say, Well, I know, I just can’t.
And they’d say: Yeah.
And my dad’s like, Yeah. “
Even now, when I’m talking to my dad, I say, Yeah, well, I’ve seen the video, and I’m like, `Dad, I’m sorry I didn’t do anything.'”
And my dad’s like, Yeah.
I can see that.
So now I’ve done the right thing.
“Jason now works as a manager at a company that offers online dating to teens.
“To grow a beard is just another thing that I did, because there’s just something about it.””
That was just another way that I tried to learn,” Jason reflects.
“To grow a beard is just another thing that I did, because there’s just something about it.”