Monthly Archives: May 2009

Credit-crunch dating

Thanks to my good friend JSL for spotting this hilarious skit over on the Onion:

But a word of warning to those girlfriends for whom it’s not yet time: a gloomy economy puts extra temptation in the way of chaste intentions.

Be on your guard, girls (and boys), and watch out for cost-cutting invitations along the lines of an intimate dinner for two at theirs rather than at that new corner bistro, or an impromtu sleepover (you’ll get your very own side of the bed!) to avoid a taxi splurge.

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Filed under Romance, Sex

She’s old-fashioned

Topping my tower of must-reads just now is Sarah Dunn’s endearing new novel, Secrets to Happiness (Little, Brown, $23.99).

The story of a thirtyish screenwriter and novelist named Holly Frick, it flits around Manhattan, charting her somewhat disjointed romantic and artistic (mis)adventures. Secrets

Before you get the wrong idea, know that Holly abhors the term ‘chick lit.’

There is unexpected depth to the book’s comic appeal. As Jincy Willett pointed out in her New York Times review, ‘In a world — fictional and non- — where doing a good thing gets you accused of having a messiah complex, and doing whatever you want is justified as following your path, Holly never stops trying to figure out where her duty lies.

‘Underneath it all — the sex, the shopping, the city — she’s an old-fashioned heroine.’

Let’s hear it for Holly and her old-fashioned sisters!

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Filed under Things literary

‘Modern Love’ Mayday

In casting off our sexual inhibitions, have we become more inhibited romantically?

It’s a question I pondered plenty during my chaste year, and the New York Times‘s latest ‘Modern Love’ essay has me thinking about it again.

The column offers a weekly glug of reality romance for those who find the happily-ever-after of ‘Vows’ too sugary. May 1st’s was written by Alexis Schaitkin and described how, as a young teacher far from home, she became the object of a Thai student’s florid affections.

He left gifts on her desk, wrote her poems, sent midnight texts. After she returned to New York, he stepped up his verbal courtship via instant messages – several each day.

Having discouraged him but from the start, Schaitkin got firm when he confessed that he wanted her to be the mother of his children. He promptly vanished, leaving her mind turning on dark scenarios. After all, hadn’t he said he couldn’t live without her?

The episode made her realise something. Never mind corny, his epistolary devotion had struck her as ’emasculating, oversweet and maudlin’ at the time. But in its absence, she began to see it differently.

As she says, ‘Maybe this expressiveness seems strange to us, or pathetic. But it has something to teach us, too, about the note of cowardice embedded in our romantic culture, about the intensity of emotion we have a right to, about everything we could say, but don’t.’

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Filed under Romance