10/29/13

Literate Woman . . .

A book in the hands of a woman with her own sense
of style? RUN! You might just like her!
I'll push aside the normal trappings of my blog posts for a day to talk about something actually important - women. No. Not in some "we should covet, acquire, collect, and dismiss them" way but in a "there are two types of girls in this world way" (if my Grandmother Coyle were still alive I would clarify that there are MILLIONS of "types" of "girls" in this world but she's not and she would not accept any crap I tried to tell her anyway). But - for sake of argument, let's assume there are just two types of women in this world.

First . . . read this. Go ahead. I'll wait. Take your time. It is totally worth it.

Okay. You back? Good. Whadya' think? Oh. You didn't read it? No? You just want me to paraphrase and summarize? Okay. Fine. You win . . . sorta' and you are "girl number one". (The two types of girls are those that read and those that don't).

So, this guy Charles Warnke has written his ass off in a piece about why you should NOT date a girl who reads (he uses girl not in a condescending way but in a way that makes a point - calm down, empowered womyn of the world). His argument is simple . . . if you get caught up with a girl that has put her nose in a book once or twice in her life she is going to be way, way more difficult to fool or simply apease for the rest of your life than a simpler woman who is happy with whatever life you might carve out and whatever promises you might make or keep - and if you fall short? Eh. She won't really know there is anything better out there.

But a woman who reads, as Warnke's closes the piece . . .
"You, the girl who reads, make me want to be everything that I am not. But I am weak and I will fail you, because you have dreamed, properly, of someone who is better than I am. You will not accept the life of which I spoke at the beginning of this piece. You will accept nothing less than passion, and perfection, and a life worthy of being told. So out with you, girl who reads. Take the next southbound train and take your Hemingway with you. Or, perhaps, stay and save my life." 
It is a weird thing to think about all the things that make a woman who she is or is not (and that makes her attractive or not) and what makes a man who he is or is not (and that makes him attractive or not) and then to ponder all the things that might make the woman and the man (or the man and the man, or the woman and the woman - calm down, empowered homosexuals of the world) then find each other attractive or be disinterested in each other.

I had someone tell me the other day they actually think boobs are a hugely important thing for me in a woman. WHAT?! I mean, sure - they are great - but really?! I'm allegedly that simple? I'm somehow that plain? Am I the illiterate BOY that Warnke would warn women about? No. No chance. I read at least 26 books every year - I read blogs, periodicals, websites, e-mails, short stories, plays, and - recently -  Judaica, and the Torah on top of it. I'm not "that guy" that thinks a woman is her body at all. Sorry to burst your bubbles, smaller "chested" women - you're not off the hook that easily (smile). More importantly I'm a large, balding, divorced man. You think I can even lift the stones inside this glass abode? Nope.

But lots of people don't live in glass houses. Lots of people are in homes made of concrete and forged steel. Those people can afford to be simple. They can afford to be superficial. They can, frankly, afford to forgo the challenge of a demanding, dream-fueled, and adventurous partner because they look good enough for someone more vapid to desire them back. But MOST of the people I know (and maybe my social circle is just too "literate" for its own good) are attractive enough to be simple in their preferences but are, more importantly, evolved enough to understand and appreciate the complexity that comes with a "literate" partner.

But what if everything that was or was not attractive or love-inspiring about a person was ONE factor? Eye color? Contact lenses. Hair color? Dye. Chin(s)? Plastic surgery. Number of limbs? Stuff happens. But something mental . . . something emotional . . . something about the ability to see and process and dream and have expectations and to know what it is like to have them dashed . . . that is something, right? That is something that you could put a weight on. If I had to pick ONE attribute about a woman that I would find attractive it is her mind and the things that fuel and fill it so - yeah - I vote LITERACY as the most important thing in the world of choosing a partner.

I like minds and brains and emotions and challenge. I like acuity. I like complexity. I like challenge. I don't know if (and doubt that) I'll ever have any "real" or "romantic" relationships again but I know that, if I do, it will be with a woman who loves me "for me" almost as much as she loves to read for her. My life is already full of wonderful female friends that carry these traits (and books) so a woman would have to exceed that "minimal" bar of exceptionally well read women to stand out.

I've honestly never found a woman attractive that didn't have a swollen brain between her glorious, gently drooped dear lobes. My ex-wife read. She dreamed. She had expectations. She had context. She's not even the only smart woman I've fallen under the spell of . . . as my shrink once joked I have a way, way higher rate of PhDs, MDs ,and JDs in my history than the average man.

If I were a simple man - it would be a question of library card, not bra size.