I’m great at Bumble. Trust me. I win hugely at Bumble. All you have to do is wait for your friend to leave their phone unattended, figure out their password, and message Bollywood lyrics to as many men as possible, as quickly as possible, before said friend notices. Nothing to it. You just sit back and watch your little Polish companion get inundated with questions about Bollywood movies she has never, and will never see, for the rest of the evening.
Now that my asshole tendencies are out in the open, it should be no surprise that my friends threaten to make me dating profiles of my own all the time as revenge, but it’s just really not for me. I don’t want to sound misanthropic and say “I don’t like people in person, so why would I like them online?”, because I do sincerely love people.
I will talk to pretty much any stranger, as long as they’re not asking me for money or if I “have a minute for Greenpeace”, but I just don’t typically love people enough to become romantically involved with them. Especially over the internet (at least I imagine). I’d rather be pleasantly surprised to meet someone I have a genuine connection with, because it doesn’t happen every day, or even often, and when it does, I trust myself to recognize it as something special.
What I actually need help with, and will gladly accept help with, via the all knowing Internet, is getting set up with a good book. My latest obsession has been the NY Times Match Book column written by Nicole Lamy, who matches readers with perfect books for them, based on their requests and preferences, and it is seriously the BEST idea I’ve EVER heard of.
If the fact that we share the same name isn’t a sign that this website is meant for me, I discovered it while Googling my other latest obsession, author Maggie Nelson, who has made multiple appearances in Match Book suggestions. Insert shameless plug asking Ms. Nelson to be my personal mentor and role model here: Even though I once published a joke on the internet comparing Spivak to Taylor Swift, which is sacrilegious to literature, I know, if you could just be to me what Jan from ‘The Office’ is to the girls on ‘The Bold Type’ I promise to be as emotionally invested in not letting you down as they are. I solemnly swear on my copy of Bluets.
Speaking of not letting people down, I wonder if Match Book is anything like Millionaire Match Maker, and if so, what are the rules? What is the bibliophile equivalent of no sex until monogamy? Am I not allowed to smell the book until I buy it? Can I not fold the pages until I’ve written my name (and phone number in case it gets lost) in the front cover? Either way I’m willing to commit.
When I imagine someone giving me the perfect book, I legit get goosebumps, and picture The Neverending Story. Basically my ideal way to spend a shitty day would be in a dusty school attic reading books meant just for me in 80s sweats on a gymnastics mat, and honestly, if I could afford to not work, that’s how I’d hibernate through all of Chicago winter.
What would my perfect book look like? It would have to have some sort of love story, or at least feelings of the romantic sort. It would need to be witty and humorous, but also make me cry. I’d want it to be gigantic – a motherfucking tome, but not the kind you have to take a break from for a month because it got too slow.
The perfect book should just flow naturally, like a really good conversation spanning several glasses of wine. It should not take itself too seriously, knowing how to be light and frivolous, but also speak to those deepest, most private thoughts and struggles every person experiences in their own inner life.
Would I even be ready for this perfect book? Or would it ruin all average books for me? Books that are just fine or good for a laugh, those easy reads for a vacation on the beach. Or even really good books that have cultural currency, but aren’t necessarily soul or earth shattering.
I had a teacher in high school who told us she read Pride and Prejudice all the way through at least once every year. Maybe that’s what this perfect book would be for me. The one I never got tired of reading. I guess that would come in handy for me, because I have the wildest imagination, and my bookshelf is basically my most prized possession, so I have thought more than once to myself that if my apartment was on fire, I’d definitely try to save my favorites, except I’d only have so much room in my arms, which is why this scenario gives me so much anxiety.
TL;DR? I’m emailing Match Book because I can live without dating, but I basically need books every day of my life, and I’m much less likely to die in a fire if I have a favorite.