You Should Date an Illiterate Girl by Charles Warnke

Now you can become a a global superstar via youtube. You can be a global supermodel by being spotted in Primark. But can you become a globally renowned writer online?

There seem to be enough forums that allow such a person to come into being: tumblrs, blogspots, and wordpress accounts can get thousands of followers. Hypothetically speaking if one account was a writer and said writer had a thousand followers then voila, a writer has every potential of being born. In steps Charles Warnke.

Now I stumbled upon the below story in a quote on a popular tumblr account, and while he has other stories, the reason I chose this one is solely because it his most popular. It’s a short story, could almost be a blog post however on first reading I certainly didn’t read it within the contexts of a blog. Instead it was a short but bittersweet account of a broken hearted guy. I put the blog link at the bottom of the page, it’s interesting to follow his thoughts on the process of writing.

Maybe the blurry lines of what makes literature just got a little fuzzier. . .

You Should Date an Illiterate Girl

by Charles Warnke


Date a girl who doesn’t read. Find her in the weary squalor of a Midwestern bar. Find her in the smoke, drunken sweat, and varicolored light of an upscale nightclub. Wherever you find her, find her smiling. Make sure that it lingers when the people that are talking to her look away. Engage her with unsentimental trivialities. Use pick-up lines and laugh inwardly. Take her outside when the night overstays its welcome. Ignore the palpable weight of fatigue. Kiss her in the rain under the weak glow of a streetlamp because you’ve seen it in film. Remark at its lack of significance. Take her to your apartment. Dispatch with making love. Fuck her.

Let the anxious contract you’ve unwittingly written evolve slowly and uncomfortably into a relationship. Find shared interests and common ground like sushi, and folk music. Build an impenetrable bastion upon that ground. Make it sacred. Retreat into it every time the air gets stale, or the evenings get long. Talk about nothing of significance. Do little thinking. Let the months pass unnoticed. Ask her to move in. Let her decorate. Get into fights about inconsequential things like how the fucking shower curtain needs to be closed so that it doesn’t fucking collect mold. Let a year pass unnoticed. Begin to notice.

Figure that you should probably get married because you will have wasted a lot of time otherwise. Take her to dinner on the forty-fifth floor at a restaurant far beyond your means. Make sure there is a beautiful view of the city. Sheepishly ask a waiter to bring her a glass of champagne with a modest ring in it. When she notices, propose to her with all of the enthusiasm and sincerity you can muster. Do not be overly concerned if you feel your heart leap through a pane of sheet glass. For that matter, do not be overly concerned if you cannot feel it at all. If there is applause, let it stagnate. If she cries, smile as if you’ve never been happier. If she doesn’t, smile all the same.

Let the years pass unnoticed. Get a career, not a job. Buy a house. Have two striking children. Try to raise them well. Fail, frequently. Lapse into a bored indifference. Lapse into an indifferent sadness. Have a mid-life crisis. Grow old. Wonder at your lack of achievement. Feel sometimes contented, but mostly vacant and ethereal. Feel, during walks, as if you might never return, or as if you might blow away on the wind. Contract a terminal illness. Die, but only after you observe that the girl who didn’t read never made your heart oscillate with any significant passion, that no one will write the story of your lives, and that she will die, too, with only a mild and tempered regret that nothing ever came of her capacity to love.

where this piece was taken:

the main site:
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3 Responses to You Should Date an Illiterate Girl by Charles Warnke

  1. Terri-Jane says:

    Aah, I much prefer the original, though I have no idea who it’s by:

    Date a Girl who Reads
    If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2am clutching a book to her chest, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are. Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable… but If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.

    Terri-Jane x

  2. Jon says:

    Two things:
    1) The story has an entire second page that you didn’t post.
    2): Terri-Jane. Date a Girl Who Reads is a response to Warnke’s, not the original. It’s also terrible.

  3. ryepdx says:

    As I understand it, Charles’ piece (which is here only reproduced in part… the second half is missing) preceded “Date a Girl Who Reads.” But I could be wrong.

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