2015: Modern Romance

"Oh shit! Thanks for buying my book. That money is MINE. But I worked really hard on it and I think you'll enjoy it."

Modern Romance, Aziz Ansari 

I like Aziz Ansari - I loved him on Parks and Recreation (well, I loved everyone on Parks), and I've watched a few of his standup specials, so I when I saw his book on the 7 day loan shelf at the library I thought I'd grab it, figuring it would be a Mindy Kaling/Tina Fey breezy read.  And while the book was pretty enjoyable, it wasn't really what I had expected.  I knew that Ansari had started to explore issue of modern love and it's nuances in his stand up (I highly recommend his Madison Square Garden special that's available on Netflix), and duh, I read the title of this book, so I thought it would just be his thoughts on like, texting on dates, and dick pics - i.e. the stuff of his stand up. 

Not so! He actually worked to write his book! He got a real sociologist and did all this research - focus groups and surveys and a big subbreddit to actually parse issues of modern dating.  Like how people meet now, and how they communicate, and how on-line dating works.  And how, in the past, people just basically looked around, found someone they were pretty sure wasn't a murderer (who lived nearby, probably), and then hoped for the best.  And now we have so many choices - but we are also so much more picky, because we think we need to find our ultimate soul mate.  And he's got numbers and charts to back him up! And it's still reasonably funny, particularly if you read it in an Aziz voice in your head.

I was pretty fascinated by the whole thing.  As an old married lady who met her husband in college and basically pestered him until he fell in love with her - but who also is pretty sure that I have found my soulmate - I thought that the issues he raised were so so interesting, if a little scary (it definitely made me feel like a smug married).  It's still a pretty fast read (and if I am to be honest I was reading it and sorting out my linen closet at the same time, so it's not, like taxing) but I think he grapples with some real issues facing young single people today.  And even offers advice at the end, if that's your bag.  A fun read.

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017