For the majority of my life, people have referred to me as Andrew, Andy, or Geimer. Usually, my close friends and family called me Andy, and everyone else called me Andrew.
During my college years, however, I was a part of a group of particularly nerdy friends who bestowed nicknames on each other. There was Moose, Cage, The Bulge, Starship, and Deuce. After a particular nerdy conversation, where we compared our group to the crew of the USS Enterprise, it was established that I was the Bones of our group. And so, henceforth, I became known as “Bones”.
I often explain this with a comparison to when the show Sex and the City was very popular, and many groups of girl friends compared themselves to the metropolitan cast of characters.
“You’re the Samantha of our group!”
“I'm such a Carrie!”
For me, it was a much nerdier version of that, but with guys and Star Trek.
At first, it was just a nickname that was used by my group of friends, but when I started working in the film industry, the nickname followed me.
While I was interviewing to work on an independent feature that was shooting in town, the producer asked me if I had any nicknames, and I reluctantly told him that my friends called my “Bones”. I was reluctant because I was just starting out and I feared that the name was somehow unprofessional or sounded stupid. However, upon revealing this piece of information, the producer’s eyes lit up and he said, “Seriously? That’s perfect! I call Anthony, our Director of Cinematography, Spock!”
And so I became known, throughout the crew, as “Bones” or “Mr. Bones”. My wife, Sara, (who was only my girlfriend at the time) became affectionately known as “Mrs. Bones”, after we got engaged during the production.
When I began teaching, I started out teaching alongside Deuce, a member of those nerdy group of college friends. He began introducing me to the students as “Bones”, and so the nickname followed me, yet again.
I’ve learned to embrace the moniker. Now, students across campus know me as “Bones”. On the first day of classes, I still introduce myself as, “Andrew Geimer, but everyone calls me Bones”.
Whenever I’m walking around campus, going to and from class, I frequently hear shouts of, “Boooones!!” from down the hallways or across the parking lots.
And it makes me smile every time.
~ Andrew (but you can call me “Bones”)