By Sonja Nikcevic
Some time ago, a certain, mysterious Rosemarie Urquico posted an inspiring, literary insight into why you, and everyone else in the world should date a girl who reads. And suddenly, without warning, the Internet exploded. The post went viral in the astounding Internet-hype way that seems to have become commonplace in recent society. Girls and women all over the world paused their lonely, or not so lonely, exciting or everyday, book-loving lives and recognized themselves in Urquico’s words. I’m not ashamed to admit I was one of them. Below is an extract, so you can keep up:
And with those words, the overused stereotype of the weird, nerdy, anti-social bookworm magically transformed into one of an attractive, quirky, unpretentious dreamer. Reading no longer meant being a nerd, it carried the romantic notion of living more lives than one. Now, while I’ve lived more lives and read more books than I can count, and was touched that the Internet regarded me as date-worthy, something about the hysteria irked me. Just as with issues of body weight, as a society we only seem to be able to shake off one label by manifesting another. You’re no longer a nerd if you read, but if you by chance pass up reading a book for watching a movie, listening to music or reading a newspaper, you’re just vain and uncultured and cold. While this was by no means the author’s intent, it’s an afterthought that is there and lingering and that inspired a whole new wave of Internet activity.
First was the reply from Charles Warnke ‘Date a Girl Who Does Not Read’, which title aside, is even more insulting to girls who might not list books as their best friend. It implies, not only that dating such a girl will only ever give you a mediocre life, but that these girls will never truly fill their “capacity to love”. It goes on beyond literary leanings to mildly insult those who dream of a house, marriage and kids – these are not the hopes of a true dreamer, but of a mere mortal destined for a life that is passionless and bland, indifferent and sad. Stereotypes and labeling – we just can’t seem to stop.
Just as the dust seemed to settle on random posts defining your gender and interests, or telling you who to date, this popped up. Dear world, don’t date a girl who travels because she’s way too cool, and way too much of a hippie for you and your boring job and everyday life. A girl who travels is fleeting and unpredictable like the wind, and would never dream of having a steady job because it would mean ‘working her ass off for someone else’s dream’ and being a corporate slave. She also doesn’t own a watch because watches are for robots obsessed with the mundane who don’t dive or do yoga or go with the flow.
The traveler girl inside of me wanted to scream. The trend of glorifying one lifestyle by belittling another has gone too far. A love for travel does not and should not exclude the love for dinner and a movie or concerts and clubs. Not owning a watch or holding down a job isn’t “dancing to the beat of your own drum”, it’s usually just being irresponsible. Usually. But I’m not one to generalize, like all the posts mentioned above seem to have done. Dear world, and dear Internet, read or don’t read, travel or don’t, but don’t generalize and judge in order to justify your own life. Live it with the confidence of not belittling others.
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