from my bookshelf: modern love, edited by daniel jones


this book is a collection of essays featured in the new york times “modern love” column. “love” is defined broadly and the stories are about everything (adoption, marriage, dating, and friendship, to name a few). some highlights include a date that takes place in the emergency room, a young woman who gains an unexpected lifelong friend from her doorman, and a woman with bipolar disorder who struggles in the dating world until she can be honest with others and herself about what she is going through. the essays have also been converted into a show on amazon prime.


“There is never a good time to fall off your couch into a martini glass, nick a major blood vessel, and begin losing a dangerous amount of blood, but having this happen in the middle of a promising date is an especially bad time.”

“Notes are cute when you still have braces and are just discovering lip gloss and boys. Notes are different when you’re leaving them on a mahogany desk with an ashtray and a glass paperweight.”

“There are easier ways to heal a marriage than by getting cancer. But that is how it was for us.”

“Maybe DJ’s mother knew she was going to self-destruct and loved DJ so much that she wanted to make sure he wouldn’t get hurt. She left him somewhere safe, with parent she chose for him, even though it broke her heart to give him away, because she knew that if he were close she would hurt him, too. Sometimes I wonder if this answer will be good enough for DJ when he asks why his mother couldn’t hold it together just enough to stay in the world for him. I kind of doubt it.”

“This was how we had come to view our marriage, as a penguin marriage, a partnership devoted to raising children. We had hoped to stick it out until they left the nest, but now it looked as if that would be impossible. So we were just having a last look.”

“But for a stay-at-home mom like me, divorce isn’t just divorce. It’s more like divorce plus being fired from a job, because you can no longer afford to keep your job at home, the one you gave up your career for.”

“Jess and I work as a couple because we like spending time together. I suppose it doesn’t hurt that I happen to be the father of her child.”

“There were no patterns for how to do this, how to hold each other safely and fully after a lifetime apart. We could not plot out the future. We were a family. We loved each other. We needed each other. That was our only map.”