“Not OK, Cupid”

Did you guys hear the most recent episode of This American Life? The first act is called Not OK, Cupid. It’s an excerpt from BJ Novak’s new book of short stories, One More Thing.

This was a terrific piece of fiction, with excellent acting from Alison Brie and Tunde Adebimpe. My only complaint is that I get a little sick of “Not OK, Cupid” and “OkStupid” as names for stuff that discuss OkCupid, because well, I see a LOT of them. :) But most people aren’t online dating coaches, so you’re probably not overwhelmed by that trend, haha.

Go listen and then read the next section so you don’t get spoilered. Are you done listening? OK. Now let’s pick it apart like geeks:

  • The core failing of Julie is that she was so focused on *seeming* like a worthwhile person to date (flirting, cupping her hands, pretending she knew things when she didn’t) that she failed to actively evaluate her date for potential red flags or deal-breakers. She didn’t come from a place of balance; she came from a place of needing to be liked, without worrying about what SHE liked. (Although, to be fair, she sure seemed to like him here.)
  • Yes, this is fiction, but we can commend Julie for being open-minded to dating someone who initially might not have seemed like he would be a good fit. After all, they clearly had a nice time; they ordered dessert, right? :)
  • The warlord wasn’t overly condescending when Julie asked him questions that might have made her seem like an airhead. (His use of her name feels a tiny bit talk-down-like, but the content of his replies really wasn’t so I chalk this up to making for more interesting writing/radio, you know?) He patiently explains the concepts and engages with her in discussion, and they seem to have plenty to connect about despite his warlordiness. He could have written her off for being uninformed, but he stuck it out and found that he connected with her pretty well once that gap had been filled.
  • OK but don’t actually date warlords. You heard it here first, kids.

And hey, here’s a striking picture of BJ Novak, shot by Jennifer Rocholl and published on A Cup of Jo:

Shot by Jennifer Rocholl

Oh, and if you want to watch the video trailer for this book, go for it. It’s long but worth watching to the end. (Also, video book trailers? Is that a thing now? Should I even say the “video” part if “trailer” sort of implies it, even though I feel like it’s worth calling out since books don’t usually get video treatment like this as far as I know/knew? Crap, I am never going to finish my book, am I?)

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