The husband is not a reader. And while I’ve come to accept this fact after years of being together, at the beginning of our blossoming romance it used to bother the heck out of me. You know how we women are right, we’re so sure we can change our men to fit into a mould we’d like of them? Well today I’m wise enough to know that this possibility is a lie we tell ourselves, but back then the hopelessly naive girl in me got carried away with a fantasy of the two of us stretched out lazily on a strip of grass at the park and caressing pages of a book in our hands under a sunny sky, each in our own world but synced in intellectual harmony.
I pestered him to pick a book from my well-stocked library. Smart chap that he was, he picked the thinnest one, hoping to breeze through it and then shut me up. Turned out it was Kahlil Gibran’s ‘The Prophet’. Content that he was now watering his soul with something that wasn’t an Archie comic or the Tabloid, I let him be.
Suffice to say my meddling bore unfavorable consequences. The enlightened fool starting quoting Gibran to get away with stuff. When I’d hold his hand at the movies, he’d suddenly declare, “Let there be space in our togetherness’ and with a twisted grin lean away and blissfully indulge in his tub of popcorn, thoroughly enjoying not having me leach on to him. When his mother tried telling him to eat lunch at home instead of tucking in to junk food at cafeterias, he’d solemnly tell her, “Your children are not your children. They come through you, not from you.” She’d stare into space, perplexed and wondering what happened to the son who was now spouting wisdom instead of the usual walking away routine he pulled.
It was the first of many relationship lessons I’ve learnt along the way; it’s best to let people be, even if it means having to read your book alone.