Quit shoving books down your pants, Becky

Dear 19-year-old Becky,


Hey, that’s a great tan on your legs.  It totally matches your shoulders.  You don’t look at all like someone grabbed two different Lego people and forced their mismatched halves together.

Okay, quit shooting me dirty looks.  Whatever, you’re me.  I get to pick on you all I want. That said, there is a point to this, you know. I didn’t just come here to make fun of you. I wanted to let you know that I see you.  Yes, you.  You are on your first cruise, and you’re in the prime of your youth.  I’m looking back through the photos today, and I assure you:  YOU ARE NOT FAT.


As far as I can tell, you are composed of about 90% legs and 10% flat belly, but eh.  I’m not gonna argue with you, because we both know you’ll never hear me, so I might as well get down to business.

Dude.  You are on a cruise, you’re single, you’re totally hot, you’re laying in a gorgeous little black bathing suit on the sands of a Mexican beach…….

And you’ve got your nose stuffed in a book.

Here’s the thing:  I know what book you’re reading.  That’s Outlander, isn’t it?  No, don’t even bother trying to hide it under the towel – we both know you stole it out of the ship’s library.  Yes, yes, I know you didn’t “steal” it – I know you’re going to “give it right back”, so it’s not “technically stealing”. Although, now that we’re on the subject….

DUDE.  You have got to quit shoving books down your pants to steal them, even if you’ve rationalized the theft in your mind.  I mean, really. Think about it for a second.  Do you realize how socially inept you’re being?    Let’s not even talk about the fact that yes, it is stealing.  No, this point is non-negotiable.  If you’re not supposed to take it and you do, then it’s stealing.  It doesn’t matter if you do give it right back to the library, which is the only place you steal books from.  It’s still stealing.  It’s going to take you three or four more years before you realize what a jerk thing that is to do to your favorite place in the entire world and you leave your life of crime behind.

It’s just… morality issue aside, how do you even consider all the possibilities of how to steal something, and then decide that cramming it down your pants is the way to go?  Are you for real?

Look, I’m older than you and I’ve learned a few things over the past few years so let me  tell you something: just tuck the book under your arm and walk off like the badass mofo you are.  Nobody cares.  Everyone’s as caught up in their own lives as you are with yours, and they really. Don’t. Care.

So quit jamming books down your pants and waddling off with them like a gimpy penguin.  It’s not cool, man. Books don’t deserve that.  The person who reads that book next doesn’t deserve it either.

Alright, back to my main point.  Where was I?

Ah, yes.

So you’re 19, single, hot, and on a Mexican beach.  You’re taking a break from a cruise filled with other single, hot young guys…. and you have your nose stuffed in a book? I know you’re feeling guilty about that – like you’re wasting this cruise  by spending the whole time reading, and let me tell you something….


Holy crap, isn’t that, like, the most amazing book ever?


It’s still your most-favoritest-book-ever, even though it’s almost 15 years later!  I know you’re worried that you’re not gonna finish it in time and that you’ll actually have to consider for-real, legitimately stealing the book because you don’t have a job and your library card has a bunch of fines on it again, but dont’ worry.   You actually creep back to the library and pull an all nighter and finish it somewhere around 6 or 7 the next evening.  Also, you’re doing the right thing in not speed-reading through it.  Keep savoring those words.  There’s only one “first time”, you know?

Here’s the super cool part.  Brace yourself, because this is really good.  In about 15 years… YOU’RE GOING TO MEET THE AUTHOR, AND TAKE A PICTURE WITH HER BUTT, AND IT WILL BE AMAZING.

RIGHT?!  You live in Oregon, you own a 16.2 Andalusian cross, you’re becoming a for-real writer, and YOU ACTUALLY MEET DIANA GABALDON’S BUTT.

I know.  Life turns out pretty awesome for us, doesn’t it?

Okay, I can see that you’re actually really busy making awesome decisions so I’ll let you get back to reading, just…. Look, 19-year-old-Becky, even if you won’t believe me that you’re not fat, please believe me that you’re totally making the right decision.  You’re not “wasting” your cruise time at all.  That is such an awesome book.