- Date someone who thinks Jackass is poetry. Who finds inspiration in beer commercials and Victoria Secret ads. Someone who considers catalogues literature. Someone who doesn’t have time for the news.
- Date a man who misuses pronouns. Whose constant misspellings fly in the face of his word processor’s wavy red lines. Who thinks that “explain” begins with the third-to-last letter in the alphabet. Who doesn’t know there are three different “theirs,” and two types of “your.”
- Date a man who still wants to be Batman. Who thinks graphic novels are the same as actual ones. The type of man who goes out for groceries and comes home with a Playstation. Who has twelve different games on his Ipad, and not a single book. Who list Avatar as his favorite movie. Who thinks Chaucer is something on which you rest a cup.
- Date a man with brains as bare as his bookshelves. Find him at the back of a sticky, smelly, flat-screened bar. Flirt with him, but don’t scare him. Smile at him from across the row of microbrews. Let him buy you a drink with too much sugar. Let him take you to dinner, and never offer to pay.
- Listen ardently to stories about frat boys and sports teams. Speak in short sentences. Nod and smile. Forgive the lack of syntax in his attempts to woo you. Romeo, after all, had Shakespeare, whereas the illiterate man must rely on the cheap syllogisms of free internet porn.
I like sexy.
You are sexy.
I like you.
- Kiss him anyway. Fuck him anyway. Don’t worry about the lack of food in your apartment, he wont’ be spending the night.
- Keep up like this for ages. Let him move in and not pay rent. Don’t look far beyond that physical connection. Don’t search for a light behind his eyes. Know that you’re probably not exclusive. Don’t be exclusive. Understand that once your looks are gone, he will be too.
- And when he does leave, just replace him. Men like this are cheap and easy to find. Change the sheets and get a new haircut. Take a shower, and start again.
- Illiterate men are quickly gotten over.
- Illiterate men really are the better choice.
- Because a man who reads will break you. He is expensive. He will bankrupt your heart. A literate man will seduce you with help from Shelley and Keats. He will dazzle you with the fervor of Hemingway and Poe. He’ll talk too much, like Dickens. He’ll blur the line between story and truth.
- This type of man knows his way around a hardback, his hands well-practiced at massaging its spine. He relishes the joy of flipping pages. There’s smudges on the edges, from constant, sweaty use. He knows when to plow through to the next chapter. He knows when to stop, and set things aside.
- Don’t date a man who sees you as the hero of his story. Who calls you Elizabeth or Scout. Don’t date a man who gets dramatic irony. Who seeks an argument’s speedy denouement. Don’t date your intellectual equal. Don’t date a man who can articulate, succinctly, what he wants.
- What he wants is nothing less than storied. What he wants is a life worth writing about. He sees himself in Moriarty and Gatsby. He sees you both in the Iliad and Don Juan. He will sacrifice your happiness for the story. He knows that sometimes tragedy is the only way out.
- Date an illiterate man, not a well-read one. Avoid tweed blazers and heavy-shoulder bags. Stay out of the few remaining bookstores. Steer clear of museums and lecture halls. An illiterate man may put you on a pedestal, but a literate one will place you in his pages — a far loftier distinction and far more treacherous fall
So begone you, hunkered down at the bus stop with Holden Caulfield. Get lost, guy drinking coffee with Miss Havisham and Pip. I am no Holly Golightly. I am not your Jane Eyre. Don’t save me from the burning of Atlanta. Don’t go out and conquer Troy in my name. I am not one of those women perfectly drawn in pen and ink. I am just a woman, and I cannot compete.
So take the next northbound train and take your Robert Frost with you.
I hate you. I really, really, really do.