Conversations with the Reading Public
Things I get asked a lot:
"But why are they gay?"
Why wouldn't they be?
"Do you think they'll make it into a movie?"
Think? Not in a million years. Hope? Maybe in a million years.
"Is it like The Notebook?"
That was a new one for me. It's been fourteen (14!!!!!) years since Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams made Canadians proud and melted our hearts. In the ensuing decade and a half, its place in those same organs has faded, to the point where I had to think about that question for a minute.
Here's what happened. I've even written it out in handy scripted format so that when Hollywood comes to make my biopic, it's all set!
Setting: Allison, a romance writer on the eve of her first book's publication, goes to the bank. A young man in a suit is working the customer service desk.
Young man: Can I help you?
Allison: Yes. I need to talk to someone about some changes my accounts.
Young man: One moment. I'll find someone to help you.
Allison has a seat in a generic leather chair. Pause. A moment later, a nearly identical (but not the same) young man appears from one of the offices. He is young, probably 23, and wears the Canadian banker's Friday uniform: khakis, shirt and tie, wooly sweater.
Young man #2: Can I help you?
Allison: Yes, I need to make some changes to my accounts.
The young man #2 and Allison go to his office. She describes what he wants. He opens his computer and clicks through a number of screens.
Young man #2: What's your occupation?
Allison: I write romance novels.
Young man #2: (pause) Like 50 Shades of Grey?
Allison: Not like 50 Shades of Grey
More clicking on the keyboard.
Young man #2: Like The Notebook?
Allison: (pause) A bit like The Notebook.
Young man #2: What's your book about?
Allison: It's about people falling in love in a small town.
Young man #2: The Notebook is in a small town! In North Carolina! Have you read The Notebook? I've read all of Nicholas Spark's books!
Never, in my entire life, did I expect this young man wax enthusiastic over Nicholas Sparks and his oeuvre (true story: I'm a sucker for all those movies. A Walk to Remember is my catnip in every way). He'd even gotten his girlfriend to read a few! The obvious moral of this story is never judge a reader by his wooly sweater.
Also, the bonus content to this scene is almost as adorable as the original exchange.
Young man #2: (pushing a pad of post-it notes towards Allison) Can you write down the name of your book for me? I'll look it up online when I get home!
Allison: (writing down the information) That's really nice of you. I should mention that my characters are gay; I know that's not what everyone wants to read about.
Young man #2: That's amazing! My sister is gay! I'll buy her a copy!
You guys. I might have found my dream banker.
Parth, if you're reading this, you made my morning.