Bad social criticism ‘r’ us

Kay Hymowitz’s piece on dating in the City Journal reminds me in one way of a horrible newsmagazine story in the late 1980s or early 1990s, one that proclaimed certainty that women who were single in their early 30s were doomed never to marry. In another way, it reminds me of Sex and the City: this bears no resemblance to the New Yorkers I personally know, many of whom have been in monogamous relationships quite happily or otherwise are dating without displaying the angst for the world. And it is in the display where this article reminds me of the selectivity bias in whoever calls the Laura Schlessinger show: “Hi, Doctor Laura, I love your show and I love my kids and I am my kid’s mom, and my moral dilemma is whether it’s okay to let this cute ex-con sleep in my house on the couch when my 12-year-old is in the house, and I know that manslaughter isn’t good but it isn’t murder, either, and we’re just dating and I’ve just let him peck me on the cheek.” Thank you, Kay Hymowitz, for your interviewees’ TMI. Next time, if I want rigor with the salaciousness, I’ll at least head to Lillian Rubin’s Erotic Wars.

Dear people who are dating and don’t have it together enough to know what you want, explain it, and then accept the choices potential or real dates make in response: it’s just a phase you’re going through, called “life.” Don’t worry: it’ll be over before you know it, but in the meantime, make the best choices you can.