This piece has existed for a while, but has lately been circulating Tumblr and Facebook more and more frequently. It appears to be a variant of Rosemarie Urquico’s “You Should Date A Girl Who Reads” (which is an awesome little piece, go read it).
Note: I could be (and [hopefully] likely am) completely misinterpreting the work, and if so, please correct me and if possible, explain the “correct” interpretation (if there is one officially sanctioned by the author). In fact, I’m still confused as to the tone and message of the piece.
Again, for the record, I’m assuming this work isn’t satire or heavily sarcastic throughout (hence the note above), and that reading means reading books (rather than reading people, etc.)
If that’s incorrect, you can stop reading if you want.
Alright then, let’s take it from the top.
Date a girl who doesn’t read. Find her in the weary squalor of a Midwestern bar. Find her in the smoke, drunken sweat, and varicolored light of an upscale nightclub. Wherever you find her, find her smiling. Make sure that it lingers when the people that are talking to her look away. Engage her with unsentimental trivialities. Use pick-up lines and laugh inwardly.
Wait, so when a girl is in a bar, smiling (even shortly after people look away), and responds to casual small talk (and perhaps pick-up lines), she’s an illiterate? No, I know that the author is not saying all girls who fit the qualities I just said are illiterate, but this sure as hell seems to be implying that a girl who does those things does not read (at least prolifically).
Also, what the hell is wrong with “engaging her with unsentimental trivialities,” seeing as I’m pretty sure 99% of people would be kinda creeped out if you immediately started talking to/asking a stranger about personal stuff (which is mostly sentimental stuff)?
Kiss her in the rain under the weak glow of a streetlamp because you’ve seen it in film. Remark at its lack of significance. Take her to your apartment. Dispatch with making love. Fuck her.
So if you do cheesy romance at all, even for fun, that’s apparently bad. And if you screw her afterwards, that’s also clearly indicative of a shitty relationship that will leave both of you unsatisfied (as implied later on). Man what? Because girls who read totally would hate those things forever and never do them because reasons.
Find shared interests and common ground like sushi, and folk music. Build an impenetrable bastion upon that ground. Make it sacred. Retreat into it every time the air gets stale, or the evenings get long. Talk about nothing of significance. Do little thinking. Let the months pass unnoticed. Ask her to move in. Let her decorate. Get into fights about inconsequential things like how the fucking shower curtain needs to be closed so that it doesn’t fucking collect mold.
Because if your girl doesn’t read, and you only have some common interests that aren’t reading, the relationship will stagnate and then fights about inconsequential things will occur. And fights about inconsequential things totally don’t occur when you date a girl who reads because reasons.
Take her to dinner on the forty-fifth floor at a restaurant far beyond your means. Make sure there is a beautiful view of the city. Sheepishly ask a waiter to bring her a glass of champagne with a modest ring in it. When she notices, propose to her with all of the enthusiasm and sincerity you can muster. Do not be overly concerned if you feel your heart leap through a pane of sheet glass. For that matter, do not be overly concerned if you cannot feel it at all. If there is applause, let it stagnate. If she cries, smile as if you’ve never been happier. If she doesn’t, smile all the same.
Is there any goddamn reason why these are exclusive to girls who don’t read? What the hell is the cutoff for “enough reading” and how is that not entirely subjective? Is this just a shitty strawman, or am I being duped by next-level satire and/or sarcasm? I genuinely am not sure (although I lean towards the former).
Let the years pass unnoticed. Get a career, not a job. Buy a house. Have two striking children. Try to raise them well. Fail, frequently. Lapse into a bored indifference. Lapse into an indifferent sadness. Have a mid-life crisis. Grow old. Wonder at your lack of achievement. Feel sometimes contented, but mostly vacant and ethereal. Feel, during walks, as if you might never return, or as if you might blow away on the wind. Contract a terminal illness. Die, but only after you observe that the girl who didn’t read never made your heart oscillate with any significant passion, that no one will write the story of your lives, and that she will die, too, with only a mild and tempered regret that nothing ever came of her capacity to love.
I’m really hoping this is satire or sarcasm or there’s some next level alternative meaning I’m not getting, because there is so much wrong in this paragraph.
First off, again, how are those things magically prevented if a girl reads? I’ve already asked the “how much is enough” and “who the hell sets the line” questions, but seriously man.
Second, who the hell is to say that just because a girl doesn’t read means that she didn’t make you feel loved or passionate? That’s incredibly inaccurate, seeing as plenty of people have fallen in deep and passionate love over history when the girl didn’t know how to read. But those apparently didn’t exist?
Third, even if your girl reads, how does that ensure that the story of your life will be written? Does every literate girl who ends up married write a friggin’ autobiography of their life and a biography of yours? Are the other partners simply incapable of writing their own stories?
Finally, there’s the idea that if a girl doesn’t read, nothing ever comes from her capacity to love. Again, this is historically and anecdotally provable to be bullshit (much like the second point).
I’ll note that this paragraph especially makes me feel like this piece is satire or very sarcastic.
But, moving on.
Alright, it’s 3AM, I’m tired, and as I read this piece, I’m getting more and more confused as to its meaning and tone.
I spent too much time on this, didn’t I.