The Book Store Date

So I had another goofy comic planned for today’s post, but alas! I am lame. (Actually, I had a bunch of family and social obligations that I forgot about which ate up considerable time once remembered.)

I generally try to keep my internet presence pretty professional. I don’t engage in political or moral debates. I don’t post a bazillion pictures of my kids (or other animals). Unless they’re bookly oriented, I usually keep my opinions to myself. But I can pretend that, at least this once, my personal life has literary relevance. For Fond Husband and I have engaged in: A BOOK STORE DATE.

A friend of mine offered to take the kids so that we could sneak out on a rare and a beautiful thing: an evening as adults. We had originally planned to go to a local production of As You Like It, but the late hour and the threat of rain convinced us otherwise. So husband suggested we go to a bookstore. (This is why I married him. Also, he is the closest I will ever get to a real-life Spiderman. And that is important to me.) As fun as being in a bookstore is, I figured the date could use a little more backbone and so I decided to make a game of it. (I thought I was really clever when I came up with this, but a quick Google search will reveal that a hundred other people came up with it first. Huzzah for original thinking? I don’t care; it was still fun.)

First, I made a list of six things that could be done pretty quickly in a book store. Behold:

1. Find a recipe to try next week.
2. Take a 5 minute quiz from the study guide section.
3. Read chapter 1 of a classic (without letting the other see it) until the other figures out what it is.
4. Take a personality test.
5. Find a favorite childhood book to share.
6. Split up and find a book that makes you think of your spouse.

I packed this list with a little spare paper, a six-sided die, and a pen. And romance waited in the wings! Or at least stupid fun. We got all gussied up, scarfed some Thai food, and headed to the biggest bookstore in town. Husband seemed a little skeptical, a bit curious, and perfectly willing to give it a try. He’s wonderfully indulgent like that. With a roll of the die, we were off.

We had so much fun running around that book store. I didn’t know how it would turn out, but it was great. I’d arranged it into a dice game so that we could cut and run when we were out of time, but Husband really wanted to finish the whole game, so we ended up doing a lot of I’m-not-really-running-but-I-am running and speed reading. (Good thing this wasn’t a library.) We ate up nearly two hours in that shop and had a great time. In addition to shelling out for dinner, I found myself coveting at least four books by the end of the evening, but it’s easily a free date for people with more self-control.

The final analysis: I’m a winner! I suspect he was going easy on me, especially with the GRE questions, but I still came out the victor in this super-duper competitive game. (Of course, he got ice cream at the end and, due to a dairy intolerance, all I got was a sudoku puzzle and a glass of water, so I suppose he has his own triumphs to tally.)

So there you have it! In case there was ever any doubt, we’re nerds. (I wonder if the romance genre has a nerd subgenre. What would you call that? Nerdmance? Oo, nerdmancy… so magical…) By next week, I’ll definitely have the comic ready for your viewing pleasure, but until then, have a happy last few days of Camp NaNoWriMo and keep being awesome!

For the curious, here’s the final tally:

1. Recipe: Grilled Sweet Potatoes (I’m not listing the whole recipe, but, trust me, it looks delicious.)
2. GRE Practice test- Robert (3 correct), Jill (4 correct)
3. Classics quiz- Robert (20 seconds: Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea, by Jules Verne); Jill (9 seconds: Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austin)
4. Personality quiz- Robert (slightly introverted, average emotionality), Jill (slightly extroverted, steady emotionality)
5. Childhood book- Robert (The Tripods, by John Christopher), Jill (The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein)
6. Spouse book- Robert on Jill (The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford Dictionary, by Simon Winchester), Jill on Robert (The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality, by His Holiness, the Dalai Lama)

We’d like to do a similar date in the future, so if you have any suggestions for later incarnations, please share in the comments!

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