I’ve been wanting to read The Rosie Project for some time. I even got myself a library card for the sake of reading it but I just didn’t. When I found a second-hand copy of it at Salvation Army shop, I thought, it was time…
The Rosie Project is witty and the lead character reminded me of a few people. Actually, he is a combination of a geek friend, my editor-in-chief and a Russian guy whom I recently met. To be more precise, that geek friend represents Don’s pleasantly cute side of his personality. Our friend is extremely smart but different and clumsy in social situations. My editor-in-chief back in Turkey also takes notes whilst watching a movie, like Don, even if he’s watching it at a theatre and it’s dark. For some reason, he is still single. Shocking! The Russian guy is also quite bright but he represents Don’s unpleasant side.And that’s the reason why I do not have plans of catching up with him again.
Here’s my favourite bits and pieces from The Rosie Project:
All ice-cream tastes essentially the same, due to chilling of the tastebuds. This is especially true of fruit flavours.
Her red hair was spiky like some new species of cactus.
But I’m not good at understanding what other people want.’
‘Tell me something I don’t know,’ said Rosie for no obvious reason.
I quickly searched my mind for an interesting fact.
‘Ahhh…The testicles of drone bees and wasp spiders explode during sex.’
If you really love someone,’ Claudia continued, ‘you have to be prepared to accept them as they are. Maybe you hope that one day they get a wake-up call and make the changes for their own reasons.
Restaurants are minefields for the socially inept.
How can you tell if someone is a vegan? Just wait ten minutes and they’ll tell you.
Why do we focus on certain things at the expense of others? We will risk our lives to save a person from drowning, yet not make a donation that could save dozens of children from starvation.
Standardised Meal System
1. No need to accumulate recipe books.
2. Standard shopping list—hence very efficient shopping.
3. Almost zero waste—nothing in the refrigerator or pantry unless required for one of the recipes.
4. Diet planned and nutritionally balanced in advance.
5. No time wasted wondering what to cook.
6. No mistakes, no unpleasant surprises.
7. Excellent food, superior to most restaurants at a much lower price (see point 3).
8. Minimal cognitive load required.
The first candidate was Dr Peter Enticott, who lived locally. The other, Alan McPhee, had died from prostate cancer, which was good news for Rosie, as, lacking a prostate gland, she could not inherit it. Apparently he had been an oncologist, but had not detected the cancer in himself, a not-uncommon scenario. Humans often fail to see what is close to them and obvious to others.
The Porsche would be the perfect vehicle to lend to someone you did not like.
I was not sure how well I could imitate a regular human being, but I agreed to the walk.
‘You gave him alcohol?’ I presumed this was in violation of his personal or religious standards.
‘Maybe he’ll miss out on his seventy-two virgins.’
I was familiar with this religious theory. My public position, as negotiated with the Dean, is that I regard all non-science based beliefs as having equal merit. But I found this one curious.
Feel! Feel, feel, feel! Feelings were disrupting my sense of well-being.
I am perfectly happy to detect, recognise and analyse emotions. This is a useful skill and I would like to be better at it.
I diagnosed brain overload and set up a spreadsheet to analyse the situation.
My concern was more with social faux pas. It would be terrible to lose the perfect relationship because I failed to detect sarcasm or looked into her eyes for greater or less than the conventional period of time.
I had an immediate negative reaction to him. I am generally not competent at assessing other humans, except through the content of their conversation or written communication.
‘You want to share a taxi?’ asked Rosie.
It seemed a sensible use of fossil fuel.
We had both drunk a substantial quantity of champagne, and alcohol is notorious for encouraging unwise decisions about sex.
‘The one time you think before you speak is the one time you shouldn’t have.’
Freyberg is not fine. But if it’s Freyberg it would explain why my mother kept mum. No pun intended.
I now believe that virtually all my problems could be attributed to my brain being configured differently from those of the majority of humans.
Take notice of your emotions as well as logic. Emotions have their own logic.
‘You’re in a different place, you’re in different clothes. When the medieval pilgrims used to arrive at Santiago after walking hundreds of kilometres they burned their clothes to symbolise that they’d changed. I’m not asking you to burn your clothes—yet.
My original schedule specified a steakhouse, but now that we were in the pattern of eating together, I would need to select a restaurant suitable for a sustainable-seafood-eating ‘vegetarian’.
I didn’t have years. But I am a quick learner and was in human-sponge mode.