In which a tourist ALMOST becomes a jongleur and sings my praises

My city is currently inundated with tourists for the Cherry Blossom Festival. Hotel prices are sky high, public trashcans are overflowing, and sidewalks, escalators, and the metro are clogged with (rage inducing) foot-traffic-jams. That being said – I love being asked for directions and recommendations, I feel like a cool, important, city girl…like they could tell I was a DC native and NOT a touron.

But when I was waiting on the platform for the metro after work and a nice British tourist man separated himself from his pack to ask what I was reading, why did my stomach drop to the floor?

Because this was the cover:


I did not want to show him even though:

A) I should not be embarrassed to be caught reading what is obviously a romance novel, there is nothing wrong with reading them (but I still am, sigh, as much as I champion the genre I haven’t gotten over the stereotype myself)

B) It’s not like I am ever going to see him again

C) The cover could have been much much much MUCH worse, as in the ye olde bodice ripper covers of yore.

Case in point (yes I have read this book) –


What really made me pissed was of all the rotten timing! Last week I was reading C.S. Forester’s Horatio Hornblower Series, who according to my Googling is the second most popular British literary character only to Sherlocke Holmes. What horrible luck :( I could have flipped the cover of my book over to him and shown him THIS:


Le sigh.

So I didn’t show him the cover and I responded with, “Nothing really, just a bit of fluff for the commute.” And that was the end of that.

But we COULD HAVE had a huge conversation about Midshipman Hornblower and I could have wow-ed him with my well-read fabulosity for an American and my knowledge of British literature, history, films, and authors. Yes I would have done all of that obvi. And then he would have told all his mates about the awesomeness of American women and I would be a legend.

Instead of getting back to the hott sexxoring scene of Daphne and Rupert in Mr. Impossible I spent the next 15 minutes making up how the conversation with the British man and I would have gone, and how he would sing my praises throughout the land like a jongleur of olde and my genius would live immortally.

Do you think I have an active imagination much?

But it was not to be. Drat.


10 Responses

  1. I have to admit, I’m glad you don’t *just* read romance!

    Have you read any Patrick O’Brien?

  2. I would have reacted the same way. Don’t worry there is always next commute!

  3. Ooooh you just stole my idea of my next blog post! Haha, I was going to compare them next.

    I only slogged through the first Patrick O’Brian book, I liked Horation Hornblower MUCH better. But I do love the Sharpe’s Rifles books by Bernard Cornwell, have you read those? I bought almost ALL of them and used all my allowance on that series for years.

    I read Patrick O’Brian and Bernard Cornwell in elementary and middle school as they were my dad’s favorite books and I wanted to have something in common with him and for him to be proud of my reading.

    I like to think that my reading habits are very diverse, check out me finished reading list on the side bar. But romance is definitely the staple of my diverse diet.

  4. Perhaps it’s time to start carrying a back-up book in your bag. Just in case this man happened to be a billionaire, looking for a new assistant.

  5. All I ever notice about your sidebar is how I’m not on your blogroll. ::sniff::

  6. Jessica: you’re right, i will think positive, but to have passed up such a perfect chance, arrgh.

    Danni: hiiii!!!!! you are a brilliant schemer, i heart your plan. although i don’t know how many billionaires ride the dc metro

    Malnurtured Snay: you’re in my google reader though!

  7. […] 8, 2009 at 8:55 AM (Uncategorized) Yesterday I wrote about how I was THISCLOSEto making a new British bffon the metro, but my reading selection was a day late and a book short. […]

  8. Aw, hell, I still blush and stammer too when caught with some of those covers. Actually, now I pretty much keep to paranormal short story anthologies when I’m reading in public (except beach reads which get a cover anyhow). Doesn’t seem to matter if they are romances, everyone just sees words like “vampire”, “supernatural” or “paranormal” and they either say “Oooo, sounds good!” or they sort of raise their eyebrows and back slowly away from the weird lady. ;-D

  9. Bev: glad to know i’m not alone! but people’s reactions (positive or negative) to what we’re reading are always fun because at least it opens the door for a dialogue about books, i suppose that’s why they ask!

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