I had a fit of giggles last night.
It started by complaining about Chris alienating books completely because he is stubbornly drawing the line between my identity and his. I have a gut feeling that he’s doing it more out of stubbornness than actual hatred of books. I mean, who the hell hates books? Reading only has positive effects. It improves your vocabulary and enhances creative thinking. No one has died or contracted a terminal illness because of books. (Unless you read bodice-ripping, Fabio-on-the-cover types.) Plus they can be an endless source of discussions, arguments and violent reactions over coffee or tea.
So when he says, “I am not a reader, you are,” I think it really means, “I am stubbornly holding my ground and insisting that we should keep our hobbies and interests separate so I will steadfastly refuse to do anything you like to do even upon the pain of death because I am A MAN. *flexes biceps*“
Very impressive. But I think my arms are more toned, hun.
So what brought about this argument? I’ve always dreamed of having a significant other who’s as into literature so it can be a fodder for conversation after we’ve exhausted everything else. Since that obviously cannot happen unless Chris’ mind is taken over by a book-loving parasite, I’m hoping to at least inspire him to read a few books, praying that he’ll find a genre he likes. I am an intensely wide reader of both fiction and non-fiction and read everything from contemporary to sci-fi, from philosophy to history, from fantasy to old classics, from poetry to thrillers, from Homer to Jeffrey Archer, from The Smithsonian Magazine to Bergdorf Blondes. I’ve even read a horde of Judith MacNaught and Jude Deveraux stuff when I was a young, misguided teen so I’m not just versed with Asimov’s laws of robotics, I can tell you that helpless heroines get forced into marriages with Scottish lairds who can speak Gaelic in bed. *shudders* In short, I think I’m a pretty good source of recommendations from most genres.
I understand that Chris does most of his reading about current events online. But I do that, too. And CNN.com does not encourage imaginative possibilities. So I decided to take it slow. What’s the harm in encouraging him to read a book every quarter? Even that would be better than nothing. Last year, I asked him to read The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho — something ambiguous, relaxing and so undeniably good that it cannot fail to touch you no matter how hard-hearted you are. He promised to go to Barnes and Noble because I endlessly bitched about it. I even sent him an electronic version of it, which he can read on the computer via Kindle for PC if he’s really more comfortable with reading on screen than holding a paperback.
Out of frustration and annoyance that he has taken a year without even looking at the title, I told him that he is a pig-headed, stubborn male and that he’ll probably insist on not reading a book and even if someone threatens me at knife-point and my life depended on whether he reads a book NOW, he’d simply say, “No, no, I’m not a reader.”
Then, for some reason, I went from angry to giggly. Every time I looked at Chris, I would collapse in laughter. Full, rambunctious laughter. This lasted for 15 minutes or so with me wheezing in between until I had to force myself to stop.
So what’s the point of all this? My point is that I agreed to go fishing with him even if I think it’s so mind-numbingly boring and I offered to help with the gardening even if I’m afraid of the sun and normally refuse to get another tan over my natural tan. I’m also okay with doing the mowing, vacuuming and cleaning the gutter as long as he does the laundry, disinfecting, and dog feeding and bathing. I even hesitantly agreed to carry half of the groceries even if I lived my life holding only a loaf of bread as my dad and brother always do the heavy lifting. I’ve even accepted the fact that I will always live in suburbs even if I long to be in the city and have always lived in the middle of a busy, noisy city. I like having 24/7 supermarkets, coffee shops and fast foods — all within walking distance, preferably with wide sidewalks with people on it even at midnight, just in case I crave Big Macs at 2:00 am. Dark, quiet neighborhoods give me the willies. Lawns are alien to me. Lastly, I’m even willing to endure hours of football during Superbowl season as long as I’m not in the same room as the TV.
You see? I’m compromising because I’m a NICE person. (hahaha!) *pokes* And I ask him to read a single, thin novel, which is inspiring, romantic, philosophical and educational at the same time and he acts like I’m asking him to move a mountain or two. Or, worse, wear a kilt. *gripes*