My Monday Must-Read this week is a book that I’m a little nervous about sharing because it means sharing a few personal things with you guys. The book: Never Have I Ever (My life so far without a date) by Katie Heaney.
I picked up this book as I was browsing selections at a local superstore one day, read the back cover and decided I must read this book. I have to admit I bought the e-book because I figured I could disguise what I was reading better that way than if I was walking around with “My life without a date” on my book cover. (I was a little embarrassed to be reading something that so obviously declared my single-dom.)
I had reached that point in my mid-20s where it felt like every single one of my friends was happy in their own various stages of relationships. Except me.
“Don’t worry, your time will come,” they who were happy in their relationships would tell me. In your mid-20s, when you’ve never really done the whole dating thing, you begin to worry. The people who try to comfort you really don’t understand because they don’t know what that feels like. They’ve been in relationships. They don’t know the conflicting emotions of holding on to hope that your match is out there and the slow realization that maybe they’re not.
I felt completely alone in this feeling. Nobody got me. I was trying to articulate something and I couldn’t.
Then, I read this:
“People have interesting reactions when you tell them you’ve never had a boyfriend and you’re over the age of twenty-one…My darling, patient friends tell me that I’m still single only because I’m picky, and because I haven’t met the right person yet. This would feel truer if I hadn’t been shut down by quite so many wrong people that I, despite my allegedly high standards, chased after… I am at the point in my life where I no longer know another person in my shoes.”
Katie Heaney got it.
She got me. She WAS me. She was saying things I was thinking, but in a far more eloquent way. For most of the book, it was like she reached into my head and grabbed my thoughts, spruced them up and put them on a page.
I laughed throughout this book as Heaney described the various stages of having a crush on a guy. Including the part where he completely ignores the fact that you exist.
The part that stuck with me the most was from the first few chapters. Heaney wrote about lighthouses, using them as a metaphor for the girls that get the guys and the other girls, the ones like me, who are kinda just there.
Heaney’s synopsis: there are lighthouses and then there’s the Bermuda Triangle. Here’s a few quotes that sum up the metaphor better than I could:
“Lighthouse people are magnetic and luminescent, so much so that even when one sailor manages to row all the way to land and climbs up into the lighthouse, the rest of the sailors will stay out there on the water, waiting for their chance to come to shore.”
About Bermuda Triangles: “The Bermuda Triangle is so far from sailors’ minds that it isn’t even really on the map. They’d rather not even think about it… Sailors hear bad things about it. They’d rather just go around it, staying as far away as humanly possible.”
And more about the Bermuda Triangles (I am a Bermuda Triangle, can you tell?): “(Bermuda) doesn’t mean to do any harm, and it’s actually pretty nice once you get to know it. It’s just that Bermuda doesn’t know how to handle itself when somebody sails into its territory, because that hardly ever happens. It hasn’t had much chance to practice and it’s used to things going a certain way.”
I read these passages and felt so relieved. She got it. The feeling about those other girls and then me being different was there on the page, looking right at me.
I loved this book. I go back and look at the passages I marked when I’m having one of those moments where I feel alone. Just to remind myself I’m not.
I HIGHLY recommend this book. Even if you aren’t in the single category, it’s still a fun read that will remind you of when you were.