July 29, 2016: The Day I Learned My BFF Has Weird Taste in Men (Part 1)

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Dear Diary,

Though last Friday I asked Will to tell me the absolute truth about my last manuscript, I secretly hoped the "absolute truth" would be that the book is perfect and there's not a single thing I could do to improve it.

Like every writer, when I ask for constructive criticism I really mean, "Please gush about how brilliant I am." We all know, intellectually, that criticism of our work isn't a personal attack on us as artists, but it's so difficult to separate the two. When a reader says, "There is this one tiny flaw in your story," we hear, "You'd better pick up knitting or something, because this writing hobby isn't working out."

I did try my hand at knitting once, in college. I made approximately one inch of a scarf before I gave up and went to the mall to buy one instead. We all have our talents, and doing handicrafts isn't mine. So I'd better make this writing hobby work, even if I'm not actually the best wordsmith in the universe, and my stories aren't flawless, and Will is a big old meanie for pointing that out!

This morning I met Will again at Mirror Pond. This is not unusual because every morning I meet Will at Mirror Pond. We don't plan to hang out or anything; it just sort of...happens.

Since moving out of my parents' house, I've fallen into a routine: eat breakfast with Charlotte, go for a swim at the Juniper Fitness Center, and then take my laptop to the Crow's Feet Commons to search for jobs. Having a predictable schedule like this makes me feel less like a powerless seahorse tumbling around in the vast ocean, and more like a responsible adult with commitments and goals and stuff.

Because Will is an actual responsible adult with commitments and goals and stuff, he also has a predictable schedule. That schedule includes taking a lunch break at approximately 11:30 a.m. to walk around the downtown area, buy food, eat the food, and return to work before 12:30. That's how he ended up at Annie's Books the other week, and it's how he ends up sitting across from me every weekday at our picnic table by Mirror Pond.

Luckily for me, the food Will has been buying of late has not been to his taste, and I get to eat it all. He keeps going to bakeries and ordering new pastries to try, but they're inevitably too sweet for him, and he gives them away.

I have wondered why he keeps buying sugary pastries when he doesn't like sweet things. Why doesn't he try savory foods instead? But over the past week, I've learned that Will is a lot sillier than he looks.

For one thing, he's a compulsive flirt. In every conversation, Will sneaks in at least one comment that's too smooth by half. Now that I think about it, he's always been a bit of a Casanova. We'd known each other just long enough to match names to faces when he dropped the line: "I don't have much dating experience, so perhaps you could teach me." At the time I thought he was being sarcastic, but it turns out he's actually a player in a square's clothing.

It's a good thing I'm smart enough to know he's just messing around. I wonder how many poor girls have thought Will was hitting on them and got their hopes up. When George teased Will about "breaking hearts," I thought he was only ribbing his bro about his good looks. Now I suspect Will has a history of accidentally seducing people with his heart-fluttering jokes.

Another silly thing about Will: he's one of those men who wear the same favorite outfit over and over. Dad is the same way. He has a beloved white golf shirt that he's worn to death, and he gets fussy when Mom tries to replace it. No matter how many nice new shirts she entices him with, if the white golf shirt is tolerably clean, Dad will insist on wearing it.

Will's equivalent of Dad's white golf shirt is the blue polo shirt he wore to Charles' housewarming party. On the days he goes to court he wears a suit, but on every other day he wears his blue polo shirt. I've seen it three times this week.

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