In the Beginning

People say that life is the thing, but I prefer reading. – Logan Pearsall Smith

Way back in the mists of the Before Time, when a telephone was attached to the wall with a wire and had a real bell inside, before the tubes of the internet, before TiVo or Netflix or personal computers, we were young.

The men in my family have all had to be pursued by the women they married. My mom, being a traditionalist, got pregnant. My sister-in-law, if I have the story right, used her iron determination and played D&D with a bunch of dorky college guys because one of them was my brother. And my daughter-in-law pretended an interest in working on greasy muscle cars (which is hilarious) to try to get through to my clueless son. Rick did not get this memo, and pursued me hard.

Rick and I had been friends a while and he was trying to figure out how to get me to go out with him for reals, not just hang out as friends. (My little tablet has trouble keeping up with my typing and put “fries” in there instead of “friends.” I almost left it, because it is funny, but then you’d be confused. And since it’s not funny to explain a joke, it’s still not funny, except to me.)

So anyway, we were fries. (Still funny) Just to be clear here, I am a geek, a dork AND a nerd. And, as you shall see, an idiot. My geek interests were pretty obvious. I had a respectably large collection of cheap science fiction paperbacks. Also, one of my prized possessions was this big print of a fairy on a unicorn with a rainbow-y background. I bought her straight from the artist. On layaway, because I could not afford fifty dollars. So it was clear to Rick that if he wanted to impress me he could either become some kind of scientist (seriously implausible) or write a geeky book.

I was so stupid, you guys. I thought he really wanted to write a book. This is because nineteen year old girls have less sense than a concussed duckling (FACT). Please reference the fairy picture story above. Even the artist was surprised that I wanted to buy it so bad. (“Really? You want this one?” I am not making this up.)

And so Rick wrote a fantasy book, by hand on notebook paper. As often as he could, every night if he could manage it, he showed me what he’d written so far and we’d talk about the story, what to do next, what to fix. It was about this group of guys who found themselves actually in the D&D game they’d been playing. Hey, at the time it was a pretty original idea. He had bad handwriting, so he had to sit close to help me read it…

Once he finished the story, and he did finish it, all the way to “The End,” he set it aside. Never looked at it again. It had reached its audience and he was content. We still have that book in its old blue denim binder.

Pretty unique, don’t you think, to woo a girl by writing a book?

PS: He says he really DID want to write a book. Excuse me. Do I look nineteen to you?

Remember, readers make better partners,

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