ByÂ Adya Vac:
The title does say it eh? So here I was, on Facebook, (once again), when I saw this. And I absolutely fell in love with it.
Lets face it, you, just like me and millions of fellow bookworms, have at some point in your life, thought along these lines. Or should I say fantasized? And now I shall put it down in words, and hope, that humankind heeds!
Now the question here is, why would anyone ask someone out by offering to buy a beer/drink?
Asking someone out on a date, as individualistic as it seems, is undeniably a social event, however small. Be it a one time thing, a fling, an affair, a serious relationship, marriage, or even plain friendship, it’s a brick in the structure of society. No wonder then that Wikipedia tells me that Beer is considered to be a social lubricant in many cultures around the world. And why not, in a world that’s becoming increasingly smaller in terms of communication, beer/alcohol not only makes you feel good, albeit tipsy, but helps in losing those inhibitions that many of us have about meeting new people and doing new things. And well, argumentatively, depending on the amount of beer consumed, it also helps us lose inhibitions about say, driving into a wall, calling up an ex and screaming/weeping, talking loudly to the extent that people think you might be hallucinating about more people being around you when there are only about three, dressing up like you always wanted to but the end result being a hilarious mismatch, fighting with total strangers about the silliest things, talking to inanimate objects, the list of which simply can not be put down here, telling an absolutely random crowd your deepest (and darkest) secrets, and this and that. And just in case you didn’t notice, the above things are not exactly social in nature. So, this has left me confounded about why beer is considered a must at social events of most kinds.
Now since I said social events, let me identify the occasions to drink; like drinking when you’re sad and utterly depressed, or drinking when you’re happy or totally exhilarated. Or drinking when someone is born, or when someone close to you dies (“No offense”). Birthdays, funerals, anniversaries, promotions, just fired, breakups, new years, weddings, exams, fights! Phew, need I say more? Oh wait, there’s more, you drink when you want to ask some out.
And now the last thing on the beer/alcohol ‘defending’ argument. Losing inhibitions are something that can be quite beneficial, but what does it say about us? It says that we almost survive on beer. That would still be ok. But we don’t regret our actions after getting drunk, on water, do we? Do you know or rather recall the aftermath of drinking? I’m quite sure that there is no person, who drinks on a more or less regular basis, or has had drinks as less as about 4-5 times, has never had a single incident or moment that they don’t regret. A few examples of those I already put up in the beginning. And the icing on the cake? The dreaded blackouts of course. Or even those tiny little gaping holes in our memory that are realised the next morning with or without the hangover.
I guess you’re now thinking what on earth am I trying to say. So lets get to that.
Everything said and done, it’s a statistical fact that most people we ask out, or are asked out by, though maybe remembered, don’t really have an impact on us, of any kind. We only manage to recall names and/or faces. Only a handful of people remain in our memories and still less in our lives.
Now think about books. You read a book, and you immediately have an opinion. Even before you complete it. Very similar to having opinions about people. But a book is honest in itself. There are no secrets. No ‘inhibitions’. And most importantly, though this might be a frustrating thing at times, the books stay with us. The story, the characters, however ludicrous, illogical, irritating, are stuck in our heads. And there is the fact that books force us to think, to step outside the box. People do that too sometimes. Then what is the difference?
A book lover is used to thinking on tangents, about different things, and has a vivid imagination. So, we are used to being uncomfortable about and around characters. While other people may walk away from ‘weird’ books, we stay hooked. This attitude also transfers to instances when we meet people. But have you ever tried reading a book while you were drunk? Doesn’t work out that well, does it? Then how can it work out when you meet new people? Plus, a lot of us drink at social events just so we can make it out alive, meaning we try to numb ourselves to make us oblivious of our surroundings, and people. So then, do we want to take the risk of anesthetizing ourselves to the possibility of interacting with a fascinating personality?
‘The biggest compliment anyone can give me is to read a book I recommend to them’
Finally then, am I saying if you ask anyone of us out by saying ‘Hey, can I buy you a book?’, a date is fixed? No, but your chances will really escalate. Imagine this, before you know it, both of you will start talking about the book. It doesn’t matter whether the book(s) is one that only one of you have read or both, you will share, propose, advocate, uphold, downgrade many books, thoughts and ideas. They say clothes, food, habits etc. can give us an insight about a person. I say if you know what books are someone’s favorites, you know a lot about them. So, when you’re buying someone a book, or even when you start a conversation with a book, you’re sharing a part of your soul. And, that is undoubtedly a lot better than sharing a drink. At least for the book club.
What if you two don’t click? Well, then you just had a conversation over book(s) and ideas that you won’t ever forget. You have in all likelihood learned at least one new thing, which you will always associate with that person, who asked you out, or you asked out, by this new crazy but a really great idea of buying them a book.