So imagine yourself sitting in a bar, let’s make it a wine bar or a 5-star hotel bar, not a dive bar. Next to you is someone you find very attractive, physically attractive because you don’t know anything more about this person. You want to strike up a conversation but you don’t want to sound creepy or so lame that this person glares at you and says, “Really? Is that your best line?” You definitely want to avoid any political comment like the plague it is. You think that a comment about the wine or a memory about your travels would be a good start, but you immediately toss that away as too pedantic, encouraging nothing but an eye roll and a smirk. So you do the obvious and confess to this very attractive person that you have been trying to think of the perfect opening line, and you ask, “How does someone like me meet and get to know someone like you?”
To your surprise, this very attractive person responds favorably and with a smile which displays sincerity and a perfect set of teeth, “There is no harm in a good conversation.”
Your ensuing conversation evolves into discussions about wines and travels and continues innocent enough until this very attractive person asks you a question that floats out over the pheromones dancing to the piano music and bar chatter that has suddenly grown louder. “So have you read any good books lately? I’m looking for a recommendation.”
You feel an inner gasp as you realize that this is a loaded question, a make it or break it question. It crosses your mind that the question is a set-up. If you say, “Oh, I’m too busy to read books,” the conversation will end abruptly as you watch this very attractive person shift two bar stools away and out of your life. You begin to have doubts. Did you hear correctly? Did this person ask about your astrological sign, whom you voted for in the last election, are you a religious person? No, you heard correctly. Remember this is an upscale bar. People are different - intelligent, discerning, motivated, and not at all desperate to find a mate because they are doing well enough on their own.
You hope that this question means that this very attractive person just wants to get to know you better. Will your answer stir further conversation? Are you even ready to discuss the books you have read? Or the authors? What do your answers say about you? Don’t worry, the only person judging you is that very attractive person sitting in your imagination.