They get some real winners over at Modern Love

The worst newspaper column in the world has produced another gem. Check this line out:

Jen was very low maintenance and probably didn’t care which ring I proposed with, but I had already told her about the bigger one. I often divulged early on with women that my grandfather had left me a large rock, thinking that it offset some of my sketchier qualities, like the fact that I eventually wanted to quit my job as a lawyer and write fiction full time.

How is that fucked up? Let me count the ways.

1. Of course he’d be a lawyer.

2. Quitting the law for something more fulfilling = sketchy? Damn. I’d better get my beige trenchcoat and start riding the subways now.

3. Having a “large rock” offsets sketchiness? What kind of women exactly are you trying to date, dude?

Oh, wait, we know what kind of women he’s trying to date.

When I saw Jen later that day, I floated a test balloon by mentioning my other grandmother’s smaller diamond. “But I’m not definitely proposing,” I added.

She held my face as if I were a little boy. “I want a commitment,” she said. “It’s not about jewelry.”

I smiled.

But that night she ran into the bedroom and cried, “I don’t want the small ring!”

“I thought you didn’t care about jewelry.”

“I would be fine with a dot of a diamond,” she said, “but it makes me feel strange to know there are two rings and you and your family decided to give me the small one.”

Those two are obviously meant for one another. I hope they’ll be very happy together. Please please oh please lord oh please oh lord please oh lord lord don’t let them breed.

This is all Phoebe’s fault for linking the column, as well as writing a cool blog that I read regularly. And now I’m contributing to the problem. This is how “spectator slowing” starts.*

Friends don’t let friends read Modern Love.

* Does anyone outside of LA ever say “spectator slowing?” It’s the traffic jam one gets when there’s a wreck off the side of the road, not actually blocking traffic, but all the dumbass lookie-loos slow down to see.

Edit: So, the actual column is about this guy’s parents, and how they tried to foist a smaller ring on him rather than the one his grandfather wanted him to have. Which leads to two more questions:

1. What kind of parents must these people be? It doesn’t sound like they needed the ring, or even did anything with it but keep it in a safe deposit box, so it’s not like a “we’re poor and were going to hock that” issue. They’re just mean.

2. What kind of son must this guy be, to embarrass his own parents in the New York Times? Can you imagine? (I guess that’s the TMI zeitgeist at work.)

It sounds like the prayer for infertility really should have been directed one generation back.


11 Responses to “They get some real winners over at Modern Love”

  1. Amber Says:

    We say rubbernecking.

  2. Paul Gowder Says:

    That’s much pithier, more figurative, and less bureaucratese-sounding. LA got gypped. So much for the car culture.

  3. Mike Says:

    Those are bad people who deserve each other.

    I don’t get the obsession with diamonds. “Ooooooh, a shiny rock. Wooooooooow.”

    To the extent you want to show off/signal that you have coin, why not just get a synthetic stone?

    Does the same job.

    Because those stones aren’t “real”? Real what – shiny rocks?

  4. belle lettre Says:

    I hate everyone in that column. This is worse than when they invited college kids to write their stupid naive epiphanies.

  5. Phoebe Says:

    Maybe this was my misunderstanding of the column, but I didn’t hate Jen. I took her interest in the larger ring not as a desire for a particular diamond but as the normal response to someone telling you, ‘I have one thing that’s awesome and another that’s less so, and guess which you’re getting.’

    As for Mr. “Sketchy” himself, the column’s author seems to be one of those men convinced of women’s materialism, independent of how materialistic the real-life women he interacts with are. There are, unfortunately, men who insist that Woman wants shiny objects, fancy dinners, and to be a housewife, and that she seeks out men according to their ability to provide the above. Such a man thinks Woman Wants Lawyer; what the actual woman in his life wants is overshadowed by this assumption.

  6. Paul Gowder Says:

    You might be right there about Jen, I’m not sure — I imagine this guy is such an unreliable reporter that there’s no way to tell what she really said or what her motives are.

  7. Amber Says:

    I tended to agree with Phoebe re: Jen.

  8. Boston Says:

    Breed, baby, breed!

  9. Paul Gowder Says:

    hmm… to re-read the column with a little more charity for Jen and see if I still dislike her too, or save myself the agony of being exposed to that guy’s words yet again?

  10. Mike Says:

    I still hate Jen. She is a bad person. Plus, look at who her fiance is. Yes, if you knowingly marry someone like that guy, you are guilty by association.

  11. Stinky70 Says:

    And when the problems occur, it was the fault of the builders. ,

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