Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Fort, Sweet Fort

When I was younger I made forts. Not tree forts or bush forts – I left those up to my brothers whose trusty hands were more agile at wielding a hammer and saw– no, I built blanket forts. I built them in various places: my bedroom, around the pool table, in my 6th grade class….

These forts had three purposes: a nifty reading space, a nonjudgmental eating area, and awesomeness. Well two weekends ago my roommates and I were in the mood for reading, eating, and awesomeness. Our inspiration for the architecture was a mix between the inside of a genie’s lamp and an ancient concubine’s living space.

So how did this idea come to fruition, well I’ll tell you. Friday found us without plans and with an unquenchable desire to lounge. For each of us could not remember the last time we were left to read, to relax, and to be.

And so the fort came into existence. A place where problems were checked at the silky fold and we entered into a relaxing reality overflowing with desserts and literature…ok we also had what could be defined as the dumbest action movie courtesy of one Taylor Lautner.

What was a fun adventure for a lonely Friday night turned into a four day state of being. We sacrificed parties, homework, and hygiene, but by golly we were happy. We were happy.

But this way of life could not exist in the real world. Reality pushed against the blankets whispering “you’re going to fail your classes” “you should really be on a date” and “you should take that movie back before you get charged for late fees…” We ignored the whispers for as long as possible and then we gave in and the fort came down. Here are some photo's before the demolition.

The entrance to The Fort and yes, that is a fish tank and yes, I still haven't gotten over my fear of fish...

The ceiling: as you can see we have utilized our chandelier and it has proven a useful tool in keeping the walls up.

I wish there was a picture of the fort before we slept in got o so messy after the first night.

Now whenever we think back on the fort we let out a blissful sigh and say in hushed reverent tones“oh fort, sweet fort.” Our fort was more than a child’s game, it was a way of life. We slept and read and lived and laughed within those cotton walls and we will forever be grateful for the time spent within them. Long live our fort.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Just a little something I found...

Date a Girl Who Reads
by Rosemarie Urquico
{with minor changes by Lora Patterson}

Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes. She has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was eight.

Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag. She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she finds the book she wants. You see the weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a second hand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow.

She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her cup of caramel apple spice, the caramel is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.

Buy her another cup.

Let her know what you really think of The Picture of Dorian Grey. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.

It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas, and for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry, in prose. Give her Shakespeare, Hugo, Austen, Wilde, Lewis. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does. She has to give it a shot somehow.

Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.
Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who understand that all things will come to end. That you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.

Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series.

If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching Harry Potter to her chest and weeping, make her chocolate milk. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.

You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or in Italy on a Gondola ride. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.

You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to Roald Dahl and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Emerson under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.

Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.

Or better yet, date a girl who writes.

Although this is far from a ploy to get me married, you do have to admit it presents my attributes impeccably.... kidding of course. But it should be incentive for all to pick up a book and get to it!

Happy Thursday!