I’ve read this post at least a thousand times already. And this somewhat reminds me of my self, who really loves to write, ever since grade school. Who kept a little diary and bits of paper with writings on it on a shoe box. Who used to have ink smudges on calluses on my fingers. I used to stare at nothingness and observe people, and sometimes write about them. Oh how I wish I still have those papers on my shoe box back home. 🙂
Date a girl who writes. Date a girl who spends her money not only on a single, definite collection or passion like “clothes only” or “books alone” but on a variety of things—-from a quirky shirt made by 4-6 year old children at a local orphanage, a lavender scarf woven by a mother of eight who has been a widow since half of her kids were able to understand that their father will never come back, a spur-of-the-moment trip to a far flung island whose caves are said to be haunted by a sea nymph, a 5 o’clock am breakfast in a 50-year old Chinese restaurant on a dusty corner on a downtown boulevard which serves the best friend rice… the list can go on and on. And notice that every time she spends, what she buys are not only the items or the experience but also the tiny details and countless stories of lives and experiences that she can weave perfectly into words.
Find a girl who writes. You know that she does because she carries around with her a handy notepad with torn papers and stick-on notes inserted in between its pages, and these are filled with random writings, often unfinished, jotted down poems, half-finished essays, a what seems to be a first sentence of a supposed to be short story, a quotation from a book, or simply just a word that evokes a lot of meaning.. The writings are not that too organized nor the handwriting too intelligible because most of the time, the string of her thoughts are faster than what her hands can muster.
Look at the hands. You can almost always pinpoint a writer by her hands. You see the girl with the smudges and smears and lines of ink on her hands, most especially in between her fingers? That’s the writer. Don’t get her wrong. She would also sometimes wonder why she couldn’t seem to get away from those ink smudges no matter how many times she would wash and scrub her hands in a day but she would end up pacifying herself that it’s a reality that she has to deal with. Look closely at the weird girl who has chipped fingernails and crooked middle and pointing fingers on her dominant hand. If you get the chance to hold her hand one day, you’ll surely feel a small, single calloused spot on the side of the last joint of her middle finger. That’s the writer. It’s the result of the love affair of her fingers with a pen or the way she would sometimes pound (Take note: pound, not type.) on the keyboard keys, very much like a pianist who is passionately absorbed, lost in his own music.
She’s the girl who would absent-mindedly stare outside the window for most of the time while you’re relating to her what you feel is one turning point in your life and when she does this, you would sometimes get a strong desire to pound on her and tell her to pay attention. Don’t be hurt by her seemingly lack of attention or interest. Don’t worry. She’s one master of multi-tasking. I tell you, you would be surprised when all of a sudden, she would turn to you, remark on what you’ve said with words that hold the deepest sense of meaning and you would further be amazed at how she would matter-of-factly tell you how your smile became somewhat crooked at one point of your story or how a single crease of line crossed your forehead at another point. Now, who’s not paying attention, huh? Do not ever, not even for a second be deceived that she’s not paying attention when she appears like her mind is elsewhere but with you. During those times, her mind is actually in full gear and she would surprise you that she can take account of your story in toto with the right details, including the life dilemma of the old man on the other table across yours which she just heard in passing while listening to yours.
Let her know what you really think of her writing. Talk about one of her poems over a cup of coffee and insert how this particular cup of coffee is special because it was planted and harvested by a certain native tribe in the southern part of the country. You’ll surely get her attention with that. Find time to read her works even those which are written on the side of her textbooks if you happen to come across with them and you would realize her great sensitivity and the special way she looks at life with a certain degree of passion.
Critic her works, don’t be afraid. She will welcome it with a humility that would make you realize that her writing is pushing her to take a great risk of exposing and baring her soul and her heart, piece by piece, fragment by fragment, to differing opinions and views.
Don’t hesitate to disagree with some of her ideas or opinions. Instead of being disappointed, she would greatly appreciate it for she understands that a great piece of writing stimulates ideas and reactions, may it be positive or negative.
It might appear difficult to date a girl who writes because of her unpredictable nature, varied taste, and wide range of experiences that she’s exposing herself into, but I’ll tell you, she’s one of the persons who are easy to be pleased and stimulated. The only key is your resourcefulness and imagination.
Yes, give her some gifts, you cannot do away with it, but don’t give her just the item or the thing. Give her the story and the words and the emotions behind these gifts. Present to her a bouquet of inexpensive flowers and her blush would be priceless because you bought it with her in mind and knowing that the money you spent will be used by a 10-year old kid to buy a new pair of blue slippers to replace the ones with holes on both of the soles. On your date, bring her to dinner on a food cart in one of the old streets downtown without worrying of being called jologs and tell her the story of the vendor who has to sell the fishballs and the kikiam that you’re eating to compensate for his allowance the following day at the local college. Give her the stories and the gifts of words, the dramas, and the funny anecdotes and you would surely move a mile deeper into her heart.
Tell her the truth no matter how ugly or painful you may think it is. She can surely take it, coupled with a poignant smile. She has heard a lot of truths in her lifetime—truths that would make other people cringe. However, she understands that behind those truths expressed in words are sometimes honorable intentions and motivations that have just somehow swayed out of the context. It will never be the end of the world to her.
Don’t get her too comfortable with your presence. Stimulate her even if your effort would at times fail. She understands failure much like she would sometimes purposely lead her characters to fail and doom for she knows that this gives substance and twist to the story, for without it, her write-up would be bland and unimaginative.
If you find a girl who writes, don’t be daunted by her seeming complexity. Keep her close. When you receive a call at 2 o’clock am and you realize that it’s her voice on the other line asking you about a certain word which is already at the tip of her tongue but she couldn’t seem to gather her thoughts completely because she just woke up due to a strong need to put to writing an idea that passed her mind while in the middle of her slumber. Don’t tell her to go back to sleep. Help her think of the right word, noting that her voice is enough to erase your irritation of being woken up and is stronger than a cup of coffee in keeping you wide awake. Who knows, she might be using you as the hero in the short story that she is currently brewing up or better yet, she is in fact writing about a vision of your life together.
You will start to write letters, the real kind, in long hand and expect to see it several years after—-yellowed pages and dog-eared, evidences of having been read for several times. You would start reading Keats and memorize some of her own original poems, reading it to her on a warm night and wonder how you ever thought before that reading poems nowadays is too gooey , when it’s the most romantic and natural thing for you to do.
Learn to ride with her quirkiness and crazy ideas and you would realize that it’s like a whiff of fresh air into your life. On the other hand, in moments when she is in deep thought, try to call her back into the dimension that you are in by your assertiveness and by balancing her silence with your thoughtful comedic acts. Don’t hesitate to break her occasional silences. Introduce and relearn with her the pleasure of experiencing the lighter stuffs in life. When she is having one of her moods during a writer’s block, take the pen out of her hand and hold it tightly with yours—-crooked, calloused fingers and all.
You will declare your love to her in the craziest way you’ve never thought possible—-in a rusty carnival ride, in the middle of a mardi gras, while walking on a wooden plank to the pump boat that would bring you to another island escapade. or probably when there’s a thunderstorm coupled with streaks of lightning and you just find yourself dumbfounded, mesmerized with her complete focus on the natural phenomena in front of her that would lead other people into shrieking, while she gazes at it intently, keeping to mind the exact color at the moment of the streaking of the lightning across the sky and the distinct sound of the thunder so she can write about it perfectly lest she needs this particular scene in her next write-up.
Life with her would be one great adventure with moments of tenderness for she understands the balance of her elements. You will at times want to throttle her, but most of the time, you would roll with her while laughing so uninhibitedly and you will smile so hard ’til your jaws ache and will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled all over your chest yet. She will ask you to write with her the story of your life together, carefully balancing the elements of love, happiness, excitement, conflict, suspense and of course, the happily ever after. And take note, this is open to editing and proofreading.
Do not expect her to be the conventional partner that you could tie on the bed post. Ask the man who tried. For anytime, she may decide to study ballet, or learn digital photography, or join the peace corps. But expect her to love you with the passion that is only equal or even more than what you give her for she is sensitive when it comes to this matter. You will have adorable, intelligent, yet quirky kids with names that have individual stories of their own. She will introduce the children to a world in which there is a balance of magic and the occasional painful truths.
Date a girl who writes because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can introduce you to seeing life in a different light and loving it with a passion like the way you look at her when you think (remember the warning about not believing even for an instance that she’s unaware?) she’s unaware that you’re lovingly gazing at her. If you can only give her monotony, and half-baked decisions of embracing her totality, then you’re better off alone.
If you want the worlds beyond ours and the worlds beyond those still, date a girl who writes.
- And there actually is a response to this Date a Girl Who Reads. Read it here.