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    Monday, November 28, 2005

    "Modern Love"

    NYT is filled with sick puppies. "Modern Love" hosts many of the worst culprits of the Times Style Section. And that's saying something. This week, Raya Kuzyk actually seems to brag about her innovative (despite my having seen it on a Kinkos commercial about a decade ago) manner of breaking up with her sort-of boyfriend (who just so happened to be engaged to someone else):

    So when my last relationship started going bad, I decided I would come better prepared to the breakup by working out my delivery in advance. I began by jotting my relationship-related grievances onto a legal pad. Because this turned into an exercise of procrastination, months flew by until suddenly I had a new problem.

    Though I had postponed the inevitable long enough to be certain that I was doing the right thing, I had also drawn it out to the point where human decency (and dating etiquette) called for a sensitively handled breakup. A breakup of a higher standard than the one to which I would have been held had I ended our relationship when I first realized we had no future. ...

    started having to rely on mathematical symbols and contrived a Pantone color chart system that reflected the range of my moods in his company. (To convey the magnitude of the project, lilac and heliotrope were two colors on which I commonly relied.) Soon I had filled my entire legal pad and turned to using scraps of paper I found around the apartment.

    Every time Nick would leave the dinner table to answer his cellphone or disengage himself from a conversation to send an e-mail message on his BlackBerry, I would tear a sheet of paper from my appointment book or swoop in on a napkin and write down something new.

    Finally, to contain the mess of notes I had scribbled, I stapled them to the sheets of my legal pad until I was left with a fat fan of mismatched papers: a rounded, tattered orb.

    At a loss at what to do next, I called my sister, Tamara.

    "That's great that you're putting so much thought into it," she said.

    "Only I'm having trouble quantifying things," I confessed. "I've got more charts and graphs than I do complete sentences."

    "Well, it's still helped you put things in perspective, hasn't it?"

    A thought struck me then. "You know, I'm really tempted to just PowerPoint the whole thing."

    No need to continue. Only a "writer from Brooklyn" (okay, Manhattanites, Jersey City folks, Astoria-dwellers, and even residents of Hoboken) could get so gross and then write about it like, "Aren't I ever so amusing?!"

    "Modern Love" is a really terrifying parade of urban "intellectual" misfits who need to make their hook-ups and break-ups somehow "modern" (in the fakest of ways) to find meaning in their utter pathos.

    Sometimes I can't believe I still read the Style section, but it's like "Growing up Gotti" or "Boy Meets Boy"- so gross, so stupid, so irresistable to hate.


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