March 30, 2008

Dating (Social Customs)

Dating (Social Customs) is an approved Library of Congress structured subject heading. I am trying to do some fun spinster librarian cataloging homework and if I've learned nothing else in the last two hours, that little tidbit of information is burned into my brain.

And speaking of dating, I saw a hilarious essay in the New York Times that had my dating style perfectly pegged - It's Not You, It's Your Books - proving that spinster librarian is so the right career choice for me! The essay is short and I think worth a read, but to sum up, it talks about people who discriminate in their dating selection based on literary preferences. "...reading habits can be a rough indicator of other qualities. 'It tells something about ... their level of intellectual curiosity, what their style is. It speaks to class, educational level.'" The essay goes on to talk about literary deal breakers, how "Naming a favorite book or author can be fraught. Go too low, and you risk looking dumb. Go too high, and you risk looking like a bore — or a phony."

It's funny that on the first few dates, people usually trot out the lists of books they've recently read to their suitor, eloquently monologuing on the literary virtues of this work or that. By the time you're in the relationship phase, it becomes increasingly hard to form a complete sentence in conversation with your significant other.
"Wanna go eat?"
"Yeah."
Stimulating conversation indeed! I often remember something Nora Ephron said in the director's commentary of You've Got Mail about how when we make lists of qualities we want in a partner, we essentially make lists describing ourselves. We also go on to make statements like "I could never be with anyone who..." I've finished that sentence with
  • isn't a musician.
  • doesn't speak Spanish.
  • liked that movie.
  • wants to be a doctor.
  • wants to go back to the days of slavery. (Darned magnanimous of me!)
That is like me to demand my personal perception of perfection from a date, when I am oh so lacking myself. I noticed this sign at an airport security point on my trip last week showing how one should and should not pack. I couldn't help but muse aloud that the picture on the left represented Chet and the picture on the right was me. He agreed. Ouch. And it's pretty much a microcosm of my life and not just my luggage.

Related: Leave your nipple rings at home
In purely happy dating news, little sister went and caught herself a man and is gettin' hitched. I'm glad you two are around to show us how this social custom of dating is successfully done. I'll be happy to pull all the books on weddings from the stacks for you.

Coming soon: stories and pictures from my voyage to the Orient.

1 comment:

Auntie said...

I'm count it a great blessing that Uncle doesn't opine on my literary taste or move around my stacks of reading.

His only comment is "Maybe we need more shelves for cookbooks..."

He's a keeper.

And we NEVER share the same suitcase. Luggage-on-the-Left Auntie and Luggage-on-the-Right Uncle have a Separation Policy.

Looking forward to your travelogue.