Since I'm a lover of literature, I'm also often a lover of the people who write literature.*
And in recent weeks, I've developed a random crush on one of them--a young male novelist, whose third book recently came out.
At this point--because I don't want the guy to know some crazy blogger lady is into him--I'm not going to tell you his name. I will tell you that he's in his late 30's; that some of my Facebook friends know him**; that he looks quite cute in his pictures. I've never met him. I became aware of him after reading a glowing New York Times Book Review piece about his new novel. And then, a day or two after that, I heard him being a complete mensch on some Fordham University station (which I usually listen to in my car, because they have a great jazz show). A completely clueless college student was interviewing him, and it was clear that while she was an adoring fan, she was also completely out of her element. (Honestly, not to sound like a jerk or anything, but I was shocked she was even on the air--that's how bad she was.) As she fumbled question after question, he gently did his best to give interesting answers to questions that were often barely comprehensible.*** He came off as so incredibly sweet and thoughtful and smart that I thought, Boy, do I hope I run into this guy at the next cocktail gathering!
The following week, I noticed a number of my friends had RSVP-ed on Facebook to his book party at Book Court, and I was tempted to crash, but felt too shy. I haven't even read his book yet, but I'm already too intimidated to write to him. I think about all he's accomplished--three acclaimed novels, already! and I have yet to publish one!--and I feel like I don't measure up. I just don't feel worthy.
This gets to one of my deep issues: I constantly feel ashamed of myself--like I'm not successful enough, pretty enough or smart enough to date people I'm attracted to. It's an issue that comes up all the time with my shrink. Whenever I meet a cute guy--at a party, for instance--I almost immediately decide he probably doesn't think I'm that cute; and once I hear about all his career accomplishments, I'm convinced he'll think I'm a slacker; and as the conversation continues, I feel more and more sure I'm not funny or brilliant enough to hold his interest ...
I know I need to figure out a way to believe--as Stuart Smalley would put it--that I'm good enough, smart enough, and doggone it, that people like me. And no amount of anyone else telling me I'm all right is going to help unless I change from within. So I'll keep you posted on my efforts to figure out how to do that.
Meantime, maybe I should just suck it up and email the dude. What do I have to lose, right? (Also ... think you can guess who my crush is?)
PS: Wonderland: I love the story about your bro! How cool is he?
And Lady Rae: I think your advice is smart ... but I'm still not sure I can go for it ... tho my gym crush did just text asking when we were going to hang out. Eek!
Tamm-o-mile: I love that you dated Peruvian soccer player: very hot. I don't really listen to heavy metal but here are my picks for hottest indie-rock dudes:
*Note to self: Must do future post on my biggest literary crushes. But I'll blow my wad a little right now and say Jonathan Franzen would definitely be at the top of the list.
***I recall her saying something to him like "One thing I've noticed about your books: They all have narrators!" Um, okay? So does every single book ever written! But then the poor novelist guy managed to respond to her comment in a way that completely lacked condescension.