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February 14, 2007

Valentine's Day linkfest

For me, every day is Valentine's Day, but for you less romantic souls, here's my roundup of love-related articles:

1. Remember that bogus article in the New York Times about how a majority of women are now unmarried? The one that tried to show how low the institution of marriage has sunk by citing figures that included 15-year-old unmarried "women"? The one that lumped together with teens and other never-married women people like my mother, who's unmarried now because she was widowed after 55 years of marriage? I discussed it here.

You may or may not have noticed that on Sunday, the New York Times's public editor, Byron Calame, did a number on it. Brutal. (via Hot Air)

2. Among the other gratuitous changes I'm making in blog-related matters, I "upgraded" from standard hotmail to Windows Live Mail. Why I did this I don't really know. Standard hotmail may be pretty lame. It doesn't format very well, for example. But Windows Live Mail seems like bloatware, loading painfully slowly, despite my fast connection. And when you get there, MS dropped the one useful feature of standard hotmail -- the listing of messages from your contacts. Worse, you enter to a portal chock full of useless articles . . . which I'm going to link to here.

First, about a week ago, there was a link to an article advising women how to make their move (on a man). The tips are pathetic, and I won't bother to quote them. Then, another link was to an article advising men how to ask her out. Best advice to men: "At the dog park: 'My hound is too shy to ask your pup for a date, so I’ll speak up instead. Care to grab a biscuit and a latté?'" I'm willing to make fun of this, but face it: I don't speak from great experience; as I've mentioned in the past, I went pretty much overnight from being socially retarded to finding the woman of my dreams.

At least, there was a section for "faith-based" dating. One article in that section is called "Will God provide a partner?" On the surface, it sounds a little like this joke. Not that I should joke about it, considering my own story is as close as possible to having God provide me with a partner.

3. On Sunday, the editor of the Modern Love column in the New York Times's Sunday Styles section had a column of his own discussing some of the many submissions he's received. The most depressing thing about it was a section called "How to Get Married While Remaining Single." Here's his summary:

Hardly a week passes when I don’t hear from someone stewing about the anticipated gains and losses of marriage: how to handle the last name, the loss of personal space and identity, the permanent end to sex with others, the problematic vocabulary (“wife,” “husband,” “until death”), the merging of finances and religions, the issue of marrying when gays can’t, the questionable necessity of marriage in the first place.
Maybe marriage has gone to hell, after all. On the other hand, maybe it's just the self-absorbed twits who read and want to write for the Modern Love column.

4. Last year, I quoted a Miss Manners column on Valentine's Day. This year's Miss Manners column has another amusing question and answer. The question concerns the pressing issue of how a woman should tell a man she likes that he kisses like a diseased squid. OK, she doesn't say exactly that; she's more polite: "What is the best way to go about telling this potential future mate that he does not please me when he kisses me, and the best way to remedy the situation?" Miss Manners responds: "Honesty is a perfectly horrid policy if it means telling a gentleman that his kisses are unappealing. He is not likely to inflict them on you again. What you can do is to assume a mischievous look and whisper, 'May I show you how I want to kiss you?' He will then be only too happy to allow you to give instructions and demonstrate what you mean."

5. There's an unbelievable wealth of crappy or depressing stuff published at this time of the year, but I'm sure you've found most of it yourself. I couldn't even bring myself to read it.