I recently made a trip to my hometown and spent an afternoon wandering in one of the handful of bookstores. Bookstores are the perfect way to pass time. I can look at new books, old books, sale books, picture books. Stumbling across books I’ve already read is like saying hello to an old friend, while new books always seem to hold the promise of adventure.
Bookstores are also a fabulous place to people watch (which is one of my top five favorite activities). You always see the students frantically searching every available study guide for one particular subject, moms attempting to find one book their kid will read, artsy types hunkered down with huge folios. Then there are the couples….
I love the couples that go to a bookstore for a date, in fact, I’ve taken many dates to bookstores to see how compatible our tastes were. I’m not arguing that every relationship needs to be based on reading compatibility (especially when you consider all the other glorious things you can have in common with another person, or the fact that literacy is a huge issue in this country). Not reading for fun is a deal breaker for me because so much of my life has revolved around the written word.
So it pained me on a personal level to see two sets of couples have the following interactions in the stacks. Both couples were high school aged, male and female, with the female taking a bigger interest in the books. One girl was on the floor, surrounded by mini-stacks of books she was avidly comparing and sorting through. Her boyfriend made it very clear that he was bored (saying, “I’M BORED! C’MON” many times). It saddened me so much to see her eventually leave with none of the books she had so eagerly taken from the shelves.
The other couple had a similar interaction. The guy tried to drag his girlfriend by the hand toward the door, half-laughing, half-frustrated with her. She kept saying she was on her way, but would get distracted by a book she’d see. Every time she stopped he made it clear he was not pleased that she was keeping him from leaving. She too left with nothing (even though she put up a good fight in the discount section).
I was sad for both ladies because I’ve known that feeling. I’ve dated guys (self-described journalists in fact!) that absolutely hated to go to bookstores with me. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t date someone that hates bookstores, I am saying you shouldn’t date someone that doesn’t value what you do. The Bianca five years ago was dragged out of many bookstores by shitty boyfriends. The Bianca of today would say, “No, you are not taking me away from the place that brings me joy. If you can’t find value in the things I hold dear then we can’t be together.”
So this is my call to action. If you love something, whether it be books, cooking, movies, hoola-hooping, etc. and your significant other makes fun of you for it or tries to take you away from it, then ditch them. You deserve to sit curled up with someone who can appreciate the things you love.
-Admin B is a journalist, filmmaker and nerd.