20 June 2009

Reading the Classics for Marital Fun

Yesterday I told you how I got an idea from THIS SITE for doing Grace in the Small Things. I have another idea I stole from that same site that I want to share today. Susan, the lovely lady who writes that blog will probably think I'm a stalker. Or just a loser that reads her blog and tries to be like her.

Really, I'm not a stalker and I don't want to be like her. She lives in Oklahoma. Nuff said. But I like a lot of her ideas!

She recently told about how she and her husband are reading through the classics together, and then they go on dates and discuss them. Or something like that. I totally love this idea.

First, understand that I majored in English Lit in college. My husband majored in History, before he went on to higher degrees in Computer Science and other such geek-related things. But suffice it to say that when we met - on our blind date - one of the first things we realized we LIKED about each other was the fact that we both like to read.

On that first date, which began awkwardly, as many blind dates do, we spent much of the day in historic Williamsburg, Virginia. We had lunch, browsed the shops, unsuccessfully dodged a thunderstorm, and ended up in a cute little bookshop with old, squeaky wooden floors (the best kind). What before had been forced small talk, suddenly became enthusiasm about this book or that. "Have you read this?" "Yes! I love that one!" "How about this one?" "Really, YOU have read that? Wow." "Oh, you'd love this one." And on it went.

In fact, I think that's probably when I started to fall in love with him, as he was the first guy I'd gone out with who had actually read an entire book. A guy with a brain - yay!

Fast forward nearly 18 years from that blind date - - and we're still reading a LOT. So many times I've read a book that I've wanted him to read, but he never gets around to it. Other times he has suggested books to me that I just sort of ignored, politely. Many times we HAVE read what the other suggested, but not always.

When I heard about how Susan and her husband are reading through the classics together, I thought, "How perfect for us!" Both of us have read many of the classics, but not all. And definitely not all the same ones. In fact, in discussing what we could read together first, I discovered the shocking revelation that my dear husband had never read Mark Twain. This is a man who is patriotic, manly, and tough. He serves in the U.S. Navy and John Wayne is his hero. So when I found out he hadn't read Mark Twain, I said the one thing I knew he would understand... "How UN-American!"

Needless to say, Tom Sawyer was our first classic to read together. We were going to begin with Huck Finn, but my daughter reminded me that Tom Sawyer came first. Although I had accused my husband of being un-American, apparently, my memory was faulty and I was no better. I hadn't read it since high school, and it was like reading it for the very first time.

And funny, we didn't have an official discussion about the book. We didn't sit by the fire with wine and cheese, intelligently discussing the merits of Mark Twain. We just read it at about the same time, and we laughed about it together. We laughed a lot. Then we went out on a date and talked about basketball. And our kids. And our budget. And food. We sort of have relationship A.D.D. like that.

Next we're reading Robinson Crusoe. Somehow I missed that one in all my many readings. Does that make me un-American? And honestly, even though we just decided on this next book a few days ago, I can't remember if my husband said whether he has read it or not. I'm just hoping I can remember to pick it up at the library on Monday, so we can get started. I also hope I can finish the other book I'm reading before then, so I can focus on one thing at a time.

And now that I've brought this up, I could go on and on and ON about the books I've read, the books I'm reading now, and the books I want to read. But I'll stop.

For now.

Copyright © 2009 - Paulla Estes


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Jeff said...

How would missing Robinson Crusoe make you unAmerican? Daniel Defoe was an English writer.