<.< >.> I have a confession to make...I once read a book in order to talk to a boy. *grasp* *horror* *shock* Okay, so maybe not. Maybe this happens more often than I realize, but as a teenage girl who thought of boys as either good friends or a nuisance, it was a huge deal to me at the time. Perhaps I should explain a little back-story first. (And yes, this post has relevance to today specifically.)
I have always loved fantasy books. It stems from my love of fairy tales as a small child, which then lead to a love of mythology and all things fantasy. When I was younger, one of my favorite book series as "The Chronicles of Narnia" by C.S. Lewis. (They still are a favorite of mine.) My dad had older copies from when he was younger that I use to read all the time. Then one day he showed me a copy of "The Hobbit" by J.R.R. Tolkien and told me I should read it. I tried...but I never finished it despite watching the old animated version whenever it came on TV. (It's vastly different from the book version, but at the time I didn't realize so I thought I knew what happened in the book.) Flash forward to my sophomore year of high school when my nerdy theatre teacher decided to perform a play adaption of "The Hobbit" (which was also vastly different from the book as I later found out).
I was super excited, so I auditioned...and per usual, I was cast as an actor and as part of the technical crew. (I played a dwarf...a male dwarf complete with fake beard, hair, nose, and all.) The whole rehearsal/performance period is still one of my cherished memories from high school, though mostly it was because of all the fantasy conversations my friends had during rehearsals or backstage. And of course, this play also sparked many epic Tolkien conversations between my best friends (all male) of which I was completely confused. So wanting to keep me rank as "one of the guys", I started to research Tolkien and his books.
O.O The guy created an entire worlds, mythologies, and even languages for his stories! And he knew C.S. Lewis! (Oh, how did I miss that piece of knowledge with my love of C.S. Lewis.) So I quickly found my dad's old copies of "The Lord of the Rings" books and told myself I would start reading over the winter break...only I didn't. I did what I usually do and set the books down, got distracted by something else, and forgot where those books ended up. But when the semester started up again, I figured everyone would be done with fantasy talks and move onto the next play...which turned out to be a "little mermaid" type of fantasy play.
But I could talk about fairy tales (Grimm, Anderson, Disney, and everything in between)! I was safe to join into conversations again! Then I met a boy...a very special boy. ^_^ You see, I was cast as the stage manager for the "little mermaid" type play and I knew everyone on the cast and crew list except for the assistant stage manger. But one of my guy friends (I refer to him often as my "big brother" though we aren't related) knew the boy and assured him he was cool. They had known each other for years, and my "big brother" was surprised he and I had never meet each other over the years. So, after school that day, my "bb" pulled me into the theatre to meet my assistant.
Standing in the room, talking with a few other people, stood a tall, shaggy-brown-haired boy wearing big framed glasses, pens in his t-shirt pocket, and hiking boots. My first thought: "he looks so nerdy"...which was instantly followed by: "and he's soooooo cute!!!!!! *internal girly scream*" For the record, I never did the "girly-scream-over-boy" thing. It wasn't a part of my cool nerdy tomboy style. (Again, boys were friends or nuisances, end of discussion.) But here I was, heart racing, insides squirming, over a guy I would be working with very closely for the next three months. O.o
So yeah...my first meeting with "the boy" ended quickly since we had our first read-through to do and I continuously reminded myself that I was "just one of the guys," not some boy-crazy-girly-girl. (This is how I thought as a fifteen-year-old tomboy.) Rehearsal started that next day and I desperately tried to think of something to talk about with "the boy". Then I noticed his book...a fantasy book...and struck up a conversation. It turned out we liked a lot of the same books, movies, TV shows, etc. Then he mentioned "The Hobbit" play and how he like Tolkien...followed by "have you read of The Lord of the Rings trilogy?"
Ummm...needless to say I went home, immediately found those books, and started reading them so I could talk to "the boy" about them. Of course, once I started reading "The Fellowship of the Ring," I realized that I really liked it. Really! So, while I may have intended to read it first to talk with my guy friends and then to talk to a cute boy, in the end, I read it because I thoroughly enjoyed the story, characters, details, and writing. It's funny how things you do expecting one outcome can often lead to a greater outcome than you original thought. I read a book to talk to a boy and ended up finding one of my favorite authors.
Oh and what ever happened to that nerdy boy I crushed on my sophomore year, you ask? *smirk* Three-and-a-half years later, he proposed to me in front of the Norte Dame de Paris while we were sightseeing in France. Today is our 8-year anniversary (hence the relevance I mentioned above), and come January we will have known each other for 10 years. Some people can read books about a romance, but how often can you say you read a book that cause a romance?
(Notice my signature ending above? It's one of the elven languages Tolkien created. Yeah, I'm a nerd! But what makes it better...my fiancee has a ring with elvish writing on it as his engagement ring. The script reads along the line of "one ring to show my love, one ring to bind us..." Yeah, we're both nerds!)