You Should Date An Illiterate Boy


This is a response to “You Should Date An Illiterate Girl.”

Date a boy who doesn’t read. Find him throwing pebbles shirtless on a riverbank, winking in your direction. His flawless body doesn’t leave room, or want, for mental capacity. Allow him to flatter you in his approach. Smile bashfully. After a day of boasting skin-deep perfection, walk home with him. Along the way, allow him to use any cheap rendition of a romantic movie line to ease you into a comfortable mood. Upon arriving at the apartment he shares with his mother, give yourself to him completely before knowing his last name.

Move in with him and begin a miserable relationship with his supercilious mother. Allow him to become accustomed to the unhealthy, overindulged serving of fulfilled expectations at his beck and call. Get through each day with mutual appreciation of sci-fi flicks and take-out. Push aside your books and aspirations for his sake. After all, you love him. Well, you love his charm if nothing else and who would give up the chance to bear his beautiful children? Allow him to become set in his ways as you know that he knows all about the long line of girls who really believe he is Prince Charming.

Allow some time to pass and the relationship to settle into a stagnate monotony. Allow the pangs of boredom to stir up a desire for something new. Plan a wedding. As you walk down the aisle, it is apparent to everybody in the room, especially him, that your smile is a plaster. At the reception, make a toast that is as insincere as the smile on his face, going on about your hopes for the future. His toast reads more like a list of expectations at your expense. Let him drink his beer as you look down on the wedding ring you begged him to buy you. Resent it.

Sleep through the years. Become dependent on your children in ways that they could never depend on you. Live vicariously through them. When your daughter receives her University degree, meets a deserving man, and goes on to conquer the world, be happy for her. Be sad too. Be sad that you gave up the opportunity to live life as a challenge. Go home to the man who has changed incalculably in his appearance since that summer you first met, but who hasn’t changed at all otherwise. Allow him to die comfortably in your arms, while you die as lonely a widow as you were a wife.

Do those things, dammit, because nothing sucks worse than a man who reads. Do it I say, because a man who forces you to think and feel and search will make life with any other man seem like a prison. Do it, because a man who reads possesses the ability to take your heart captive and any man who holds your heart has the ability to crush it. A man who reads lays claim to a vocabulary that enables him to understand you when you can’t understand yourself. A vocabulary, dammit, that makes your life meaningless without him.

Do it, because a man who reads understands composition. He knows the true prose of your speech and pries it out of you. He settles for nothing less than perfection and rewards you with affection of the heart, soul, body, and mind. A man who reads understands that in all great pieces of literature, there is a steady expression of emotion that makes the heart yearn for more. A man who reads makes you realize the fault in any unlearned boy. He forces you to become your best and if you aren’t willing to achieve greatness he unwittingly makes you realize that you deserve nothing more than the illiterate boy. He understands that composition must uphold the rhythm and cadence of a life well lived.

Date a boy who doesn’t read, because the man who reads knows too well the importance of plot. He frames life’s plot-lines and erases any meaningless line without delay. The man who reads will wait patiently for the pinnacle and throw aside any false maiden. He will only fight a dragon when he meets the damsel worth risking his neck for and views all others as chaff for the wind.

Don’t date a man who reads because men who read are the storytellers. They lead their lives valiantly and without hesitation. The man who reads has written his story in ink and has left no room for revision. He demands his story to be filled with meaning and legacy. He expects an epic journey from life.

You, the man who reads, force me to become the best I can be. But I am weak and I will fail you, because I am afraid of bravery. You will accept nothing less than passion, and perfection, and a life worthy of being storied, while I accept a melancholy life, which promises security without fulfillment. And I hate you. I really, really, really hate you.