Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Fiction Or Non-Fiction

So I was at the bus stop about a week or so ago (the last time I officially posted - sorry about that - hopefully there will now be a run on topics for a few days) waiting for the bus in the late evening. As I wait, a woman who appears to be about my age (maybe a little older) starts talking to me.

It was my fault really. I had the perfect conversation starter with me. A book. Anyway, this woman started, without much prodding (actually with none at all really) to talk to me about the book a little, but quickly segued onto the topic she really was angling at I think and then got around to a quickish version of her life (the men part anyway). I guess the life story via men part did tie into the book I had a bit. I was reading "The Fat Girl's Guide To Life" by Wendy Shanker.

At the start of the conversation (I was going to put conversation in quotes but the truth is after awhile I did participate a bit, if only not to be rude, as she wasn't "that bad") she asked what I was reading and I told her. Then, so as not to invite any conversation on weight (mine or otherwise) I pointed out that I wasn't reading it for any special reason other than it caught my eye on one of those library miscellaneous featured book tables.

Well, it seemed I was mostly successful at avoiding the "fat girl" conversation (at the time anyway) as she rather abruptly jumped into a conversation about the author Nora Roberts, who is a romance writer I think. I didn't bother to ask and that was not her main point in bringing her up.

It seems this lady wanted to talk about how she actually knew Nora Roberts when she was growing up. In Edmonton. This being unusual as Nora Roberts (Roberts not actually being her true name either it seems) claims to have been born in New York. Well, according to this lady, her last name was actually Gerritsen or something similiar and she lived on 106 St/Ave (not sure which) in Edmonton.

Apparently, she either played with or babysat her as a youngster. Probably babysat, as it was at this point I found out that the woman I was talking to was considerably older than me and that Nora Roberts was about 10 years older than me and this woman 10 (9 actually - that part I remember for some reason) years older than her.

So the conversation (at this time mostly monologue) went on about how the now Roberts had decided that to have a writing career it would somehow sound better if she was from New York. Sometime in the middle of all of this Nora Roberts talk I did contribute that I mostly read non-fiction. Mostly hoping to avoid a big conversation about NR. It half worked. I thought the conversation I had been trying to avoid would center around her works - of which I could give a rat's ass! LOL. So on that level, operation successful.

What I did find out, in hearing about NR's personal life was that, apparently if I eventually want to turn this blog into a book or just write some kind of a book in general I should move to New York and lie about my hometown, my name and apparently my age too (this also came up).

But back to my telling the woman that I read non-fiction primarilly. She seemed a bit taken aback by that statement - almost becoming appologetic about reading fiction. I have to say I was both embarrassed (for lack of a better word) and gratified (also for lack of a better word) by this seeming mostly non-verbal response.

Mainly because it seems that, to me anyway, true readers like reading fiction alot more than I do so it was nice but a bit, as I said before, embarrassing to have someone actually seem intimidated by myself, as a reader of non-fiction. As high-falutin as it seemed to be, in her mind anyway, at that point.
I swear I did nothing to encourage that response. I said I prefered non-fiction in the most matter-of-fact ways. Also, after I got that response I did feel bad enough for her seeming inferiority complex that I lightly and quickly said that it was just a personal preference.

Well, the conversation eventually turned to age, weight, men and money (all related btw). I won't go into that for the most part, as it doesn't make my point, which I do actually sort of have! One thing I will say about the rest of the conversation though, is that for someone so eager to talk about a pet conversation (NR) and her life in general as relates to the subjects I mentioned which made her, at least originally, seem a little sad/off (I am probably being thought of the exact same way at times by some strangers I encounter,too - LOL) she did have a final thought that seemed very worthwhile and in keeping with the subject of the book that started the whole conversation.

Since I have no intention of finding someone to marry/have some great romance with I admit I didn't commit it to memory faithfully but it went something like this... don't worry about what you look like so much and be careful in choosing the person that you plan to marry (she regretted herself not being more practical - ie. going for the money more).

Well, I promised (in a way, of sorts) a point. That is simply, minus the filler of our conversation that I had the mixed blessing of being able to intimidate someone with my reading choices. And I must say, even though it was slightly embarrassing, I rather enjoyed it too. LOL. Snobs of the world unite.


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