Almost all the employees at our start-up are computer programmers. Some of them are nerd stereotypes (says the man typing at his blog on a Sunday afternoon) and others are pretty damn hip. Oscar, the hippest one, turned 40 this week and had a birthday party this Saturday night.
In Oscar's spare time, when he's not writing software, he's an artist and a DJ. So, he held his party at a club here in SF with a dance floor and a DJ booth. Obviously that type of place is not my natural habitat, but what the hell. How often does Oscar turn 40? I threw on my nicest jeans, a black shirt, and my least lame shoes. I checked myself in the mirror and rated myself a solid "meh". I wasn't going to pass for cool, but I wasn't over-dressed either, which I knew was even less cool.
Turns out, ha ha, the majority of the guys there were all wearing sport coat or jackets or whatever you call the thing you'd wear with a suit when you aren't wearing a suit. Some guys were wearing hip ones, others were wearing traditional ones, and a few more were wearing ironic ones. Me? I was the dork in the short sleeve shirt. Nice.
While at the party I chatted briefly with Oscar's wife, who is not a computer programmer but seems quite nice anyway. I complimented her on organizing a hip party.
"YEAH, THIS IS PRETTY COOL," I yelled over the music. "OSCAR IS LIKE THE COOLEST GUY I KNOW."
She eyed me skeptically. "Oscar is probably the nerdiest person I know."
"REALLY? WOW! I'D SAY THAT HE AND JAY ARE MY COOLEST FRIENDS," I shouted, referring to our common long-time friend, Jay.
"Oh yeah, Jay. HE'S the nerdiest person I know, Oscar is second." she answered.
"I DON'T GET OUT MUCH!" I explained loudly.
But it was pretty fun hanging out in a club on a Saturday night. People were friendly and the music was toe tappingly thumpy. I made sure to drink plenty in case a group situation pressured me onto the dance floor. Thankfully there was always at least one other person around who politely claimed to be too tired to dance, which prevented me from having to lurch around the dance floor in an awkward impression of a rhythmless computer programmer pretending to dance.
Happy birthday, Oscar!