This is my response to Rosemarie Urquico’s “Date a Girl Who Reads”. Her line at the bottom seemed to be begging for a response to me. I’m thinking that I might do a few of these (cooking, teaching, singing, taking photos, playing an instrument, dancing) if people like this one. If you like it enough to share it, please send people to my page. It’s the polite thing to do really.
Date a Girl Who Writes
|“writing home” by Daniel F. Gerhartz
Date a girl who writes. Date a girl who spends her money on notebooks, pens, and Scrivener. She has ink on her fingers, notebooks in her bag, and a faraway look in her eyes. Find yourself a girl who is taken with the formation of every letter, adores how letters become words, and uses those words to express her heart.
Find a girl who writes. She’ll be the one sitting quietly and observing all others at a party. She’ll be the girl scribbling madly in teahouse, coffee shop, or room full of strangers. Her mug of coffee or tea will be slowly going cold on her table, because really, the second pen touches paper or fingers touch keys, nothing else matters.
You see the girl lovingly fingering the spines of the tomes in the bookstore? You see the girl lost in the library? The one who traces the words on a page with her finger? She’s the writer. The girl who was so inspired by the stories of others that she began crafting sentences of her own.
Tell her what you really think of Poe, Tolkien, Murakami, and Joyce. Ask her about Oz. Ask her about Wonderland. Ask her if she loves Alice or ever wanted to be Alice. She is the girl who becomes so lost in the worlds authors create that she has to build her own. Her world may be filled with skyscrapers tall. A world of horror and Gothic darkness. Of dragons and epic heroes. Of fancy dresses and old world politics. Of science gone awry. Or mythology come to life. If you see her writing furiously, pouring words onto the page, sit down and talk to her. She may not notice you at first. But if you buy her another cup of her favourite drink and ask her what she is working on, she will be delighted and slightly embarrassed that you have noticed how far off she was. Ask her about the world she has created and the characters that people it. She will be flustered and trip over the words that flow from her tongue, but she’ll be happy. Trying to explain a world is like that.
It’s easy to date a girl who writes. Buy her notebooks and literature for her birthday. Buy her ink and matching pens for Christmas. For anniversaries give her a day where all she has to do is write, while you bring her food and drinks, leaving the phone unplugged. It will show her that you care and she will be happy to spend dessert with you. Give her the gift of words in letters, poems, and songs. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, and Cummings, but more importantly, give her the words from your heart. Let her know that you understand that for her, words can be love and should be love. Understand that she knows the worlds inside her aren’t real, but that when she writes she is touching something greater than herself for a little while. She will try to be like her favourite characters, just a smidgen. She will see aspects of her favourite characters in you.
If you lie to her, never do it through omission. Use your words and if she understands syntax, she will recognize your need to tell a story, to hide for a time. Behind words are other, more telling things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world and she will find the nugget of truth all your stories are based on.
Fail her, but always keep trying. A girl who writes knows that heroes are the people who fall and get up time and time again. She will know that you can always write a sequel and be the hero ever after. If you fail her and give up or treat her roughly, she will know what to do. She knows that life is meant to have a villain or two and she will be the heroine of her own life.
Why be frightened of everything you are not? The girl who writes knows that people develop. She has hundreds of characters in her head that grow and change as her words caress paper. She watches the development of real life people every day to learn about how people grow so those fictional souls from her mind will ring true. She will see your potential.
If you find a girl who writes, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM, crying over her manuscript make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours, but she will always come back to you. She will talk as if the characters in her book are real, because for her, they are. Understand that she does not always know what will happen when she writes. If a character she loves is in pain or dies suddenly, to her it is the loss of a friend or family member without warning. Comfort her and let her use her words—or not—until the sorrow passes.
You will propose. Over tea or coffee. Over drinks. Over Skype. At a concert. At a baseball game. In Italy. In the woods. On a plane. On a ship. On the living room couch. And when she says yes, you will smile so wide that you will wonder why your face is not splitting open to reveal the inner you and the heart pounding within your chest.
She will write the story of your lives. Pieces of you will wind up in her characters. You will have children with beautiful names and unusual viewpoints. She will introduce them to Horton and Reepicheep, to Coraline and Nancy Drew. She will introduce them to far off lands that only she knows. She will help them to create lands of their own and they will spend their lives with the fantastical creatures of their minds, creating worlds more amazing than Terebithia and places more wondrous than Hogwarts.
You will walk through the winter together and she will tell you of the adventures that she dreamt last night while the snow crunches under your feet. You will amble through the spring and she will tell you about the growth of people and places that you will never see. You will frolic through the summer and she will tell you of the castles she has made in the sky and of far-flung oceans that lap upon distant shores. And when winter comes again, her dreams will be real for you and you will feel as if you know the places that cannot be.
You will go on grand adventures with her because in order to create new places, cultures, people, and animals one must see what exists in this world. You will travel as a couple and as a family. You will see great works of art. Buildings that have stood for thousands of years or were completed only yesterday. Famous plays and great actors on stages known by all. The smallest flower bud and fields full of blossoms. Cities where people are transported by cars, trains, and gondolas. Places where roads are blacktop and others where roads are waterways. Leafy, lush jungles with monkeys and evergreen forests with owls. Savannahs with roaming giraffes and plains covered in corn. You will see them all.
Date a girl who writes because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can create adventure. A girl who can describe a colour with a thousand examples and the perfect phrase. If you cannot give her the words of your heart or let her syllables slide into your soul, you are better off alone. If you want the world and all the worlds beyond it, date a girl who writes.