Back when I was in college I decided to do this thing where I would just agree to a date with anyone. I didn’t really know what I liked or even who I was so who was I to judge anyone without at least having a real conversation with them?
One morning, this incredibly handsome guy bumped into me outside of the library, spilling my coffee to the ground. At which point I looked down and whispered “I’ll miss you.” as tears proceeded to roll down my face. This is not a joke. “I’m so sorry. Wait, did you just talk to your coffee? Oh my god, you’re crying. I am so sorry.” He rambled all at once. “It’s fine, I’m sorry for the crying thing…my eyes just…kinda…leak,” I said. It was true. They did. They still do. “It’s just so early and I am SO not in my bed.”
He smiled at me and offered to get me another coffee. This is coffee we are talking about so of course I let him. He even got me a larger size for the inconvenience. I’m pretty sure he only did any of this since we were mere steps from the coffee shop inside of the library, but that is beside the point. I met a guy. At the library. And he bought me coffee. And in a building surrounded by books, he asked me out to dinner while I stared at his cheekbones.
So fast forward to the night that we actually go out. He took me out to eat and while I don’t remember where we ate or what we ordered, I remember that the restaurant was really nice and that I had never been there and I am pretty sure that I never went there again. Give me a break, it was a long time ago. We talked about our classes, how much he missed his dog that had to stay back home with his parents, fairly typical stuff. And then I asked him.
“So what kind of books do you like?”
“I don’t,” he answered quickly and with a smirk.
“I just don’t really enjoy reading. I try to avoid it at all costs. It’s so boring.”
“Didn’t you say that you’re a History major? Isn’t reading something you kind of HAVE to do?”
“Well that doesn’t mean I like it. I’m not going to be one of those nerds who takes a book with me everywhere that I go.”
I pulled a copy of Jane Eyre out of my purse, stood up, and left. That’s the only time I have ever just walked out halfway through a date and looking back I kind of feel like I should at least have given him the courtesy of finishing dinner. I never saw him again and that’s fine with me. What isn’t fine with me is that my need to defend books led to me eating a granola bar while I walked to a friend’s dorm in the rain.