We had many good meals in India, my father and I. Every single one of them—truly every single one—included laughter and interesting conversation, and 98 percent included tasty vittles. (The missing two percent is thanks to a stop at a roadside tourist hall, the sort of place where big white busses full of Americans and Germans pull up, happy to order from a menu full of Anglicized dishes with wan and muddled flavors.)
Deal-breakers help us make decisions about people quickly, so we don't waste time on those who are not really suited to us. But what if she had decided that his having no books and being seemingly uninterested in reading was a deal-breaker? What if receiving a nod when she alluded to some obscure passage had won out over what would eventually blossom into this?