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"the one"

Remember dating? I’m old (31), and I’ve been married for a long time (10 years!), but I still remember dating. You’d get all ready, try to look nice, wait at the door (or go pick the person up and stand at the door waiting for them to open it). And waiting for that door to open, whichever side you were on, you’d wonder how things were going to go. Was this going to be “the one”?

I don’t necessarily mean “the one” as in “the one you’re going to spend the rest of your life with” (although that is certainly something that I can and did think). Often it was just a blank question…”Are you the one…” and almost anything could go in those blanks: Are you the one who will make me laugh so hard I cry? Are you the one who will give me a compliment so kind and genuine that I will think about it years later, when neither of us know where the other is? Are you the one who will make me forget about that other one?

You try not to think: Are you the one who will break my heart? or Are you the one who will make so many clever–to you–innuendoes that I start keeping a tally and thinking about how at least this date will be a funny conversation for later? You try to have hope. That’s why you keep opening (or knocking on) that door when you’re dating.

So. I’m certainly not the first person to use the dating/reading analogy. But this is how I feel about a new book. I always hope it’s going to be “the one.” I don’t know what one. The one I read until the pages are worn and tired, although the story never will be. The one I like so much I don’t ever read again in later years, for fear I will find it different now that I am different. The one that is just decadent and fun to read. The one that makes me laugh when I needed it. The one that makes me want to write. The one that makes my child smile.

So, happy holidays to everyone out there in readerland. May there be books in your future, and may you find “the one” too.

There were some great questions in the comments–which I promise to answer in one of my posts in January. Thanks for asking them. I feel so fancy having actual questions to answer.

+ comments (8)
  • Heather Moore
    December 22, 2009

    I can definitely relate. Recently a friend lent me a book that she raved about. I was excited to read it, thinking it would be “the one.” But it wasn’t–at least not for me 🙂

  • becca
    December 22, 2009

    Great thoughts. If you find “the one” book for vacationing, let me know!

  • Rachel Coleman
    December 22, 2009

    I am always looking for “the one”. The best thing about books is that, unlike dates, when you find a great one you want to share it with everyone else.

    And somehow I forgot to comment on your last post, which I loved. Making time to write is the hardest part of being a writer for me.

    I have to keep reminding myself that in another year all my kids will be in school and there will be more time for writing without feeling like I am neglecting something more important.

    I am curious about your writing process and would find anything you post about it fascinating. Do you outline? How many drafts do you write? Do you edit as you go along? Or are you like me: just get the first draft over with and then go back and fix everything? These are the things I wonder about. And also, if I am normal for wondering about these things.

  • Sandy Shin
    December 22, 2009

    Thanks for sharing this. I really like the dating/reading analogy. I don’t always start out writing a book thinking it’s “the one,” but I have done so on occasions. I haven’t found it yet, but I’m searching, and trying to keep the current relationship going, because who knows? Maybe it’ll turn out to be “the one” after all. :>

  • Erin Summerill
    December 23, 2009

    You’re the one for me baby! (That’s an update to our totally awkward email thread. ha ha snort)

    Really, I love it when I come across a book that GRIPS me and I think about it for days and weeks later.

    My favorite trilogy of all time is “The Theif, The Queen of Attolia, and The King of Attolia.” They are awesome.

  • shelli johannes wells
    December 23, 2009

    so did you know your book was “the one”. Im afraid I think every book of mine is “the one.” Kinda like when you dated a guy and were like “oh yeah, he is the one!” Then you break up and he’s a jerk and you think. “Why did I ever think that?” 😉 Happy holidays!

  • Kayla
    December 28, 2009

    I feel like I am dating all over again with my new love of books. I will let you know when I come across the one that makes me have butterflies again!

  • Danielle Rousseau
    January 20, 2012

    Hi! I love you books and have recommended them to a student to use for our state UIL contest. In order for her to use your work, she has to have official documentation giving your year of birth. Is there anywhere I can obtain a copy of this information, without being a total creep!? Here is the link to the UIL website so you can see what I’m referring to. She would like to read from Matched for Category A.


    Thank you!!

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