Consumables #141 Reading: Modern Romance

This weekend was slow and sultry, and as such I didn’t venture too far from home all weekend. I had a bit of an intense work week and felt quite dipped in overtaxed glaze by Friday, so I was ready to marinate in some 90 degree weather and shush my brain up. We did end up going to a cornhole party, where it turns out I do not suck as bad at that game than in years past, which makes sense because what is cornhole but a game built for the antique human. We played a few games, ate some potato salad, and chatted with friends until after the sun went down and we continued to sit in our lawn chairs to become All-You-Can-Eat mosquito smorgasbord. I love summer.

I have a friend who I know through this here blog, and she’s one of the few blog friends that I have connected with for years but have yet to meet in person. Through our correspondence over the years, we took the blog friendship to the next level. To use dating parlance, blog-related comments was first base, emailing was second, and becoming Facebook friends takes it to third. Yeah, that’s right, I just equated Facebook friending to getting handsy below the equator. DEAL WITH IT. Anyway, we have been friends for years. I knew her before she had kids, and now she has two little school age kiddos. I consider her a friend, no less a friend than someone I’ve met in the flesh. She lives in the Midwest, in a state I haven’t visited since high school and I don’t know if and when we’ll ever meet each others’ faces.

One day I commented on something on her Facebook page, and someone else commented after me, and I was like WAIT A HOT MINUTE, because I knew this other commenter from a completely separate part of my life. Commenter was a friend of my friend in Seattle, and I was dying to know how these two random people knew each other. This weekend, Commenter was at the cornhole party, and I got a chance to ask her. Her answer? They are blog friends. Have been for years. Huh. The internets are so cuckoo.

I recently read Modern Romance, by Aziz Ansari. Unlike the proliferation of books written by tv comedy people (hi Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Nick Offerman, Mindy Kaling, et al), this one is less a humor book and more a sociology book that’s written with a funny tone. Ansari teams up with a sociologist from NYU (and talks with many more sociologists) to explore dating and relationships in the digital age. They did tons of focus groups around the world and combed through existing studies to explore questions like: what are behavioral differences between relationships that start out online versus in person? How is communication affected by the proliferation of texting? I found the whole thing totally fascinating (despite a few unfortunate fat jokes- ugh, Aziz, I love you but you gotta interrogate your fat jokes and then stop that). Although the book is about romantic relationships, I found a lot of it relevant to friendships as well. As a person who has found several of my very favorite people through this blog, I can vouch for the realness of online connection. If you’re interested in learning more about this topic plus getting some yuks out of it, read Ansari.

Here’s my current summer jam while I am feeling slow and sultry, y’all.

Summertime, by Vince Staples

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One comment

  1. I have heard from MANY esteemed friends (yourself now included) that “Modern Romance” is both highly interesting and entertaining. Adding it to my list!

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