Modern Romance, by Aziz Ansari


Two and a half stars, read in 2015.

I think the existence of this book is almost more interesting than any of the information inside it, which is interesting, but most of which I somehow already knew or suspected (except the actual data, obviously). It’s not a humor book, although it’s written in a funny way because look who the author is. It’s an actual nonfiction book based on sociological research, including focus groups and interviews with experts in the field. This would probably also have been more personally intriguing if I were single, but as it is, I’m currently feeling excellent about not having to date anymore. God, dating is awful.

Anyway, here are basically the funniest parts of the book:

One girl raved about a nice voice mail a guy had recently left her. I kindly requested she play it and heard this gem: “Hey, Lydia. It’s Sam. Just calling to say what’s up. Gimme a ring when you get a chance.”


I pleaded to know what was so great about this. She sweetly recalled that “he remembered my name, he said hi, and he told me to call him back.”

Never mind the fact that what she described was the content of LITERALLY EVERY VOICE MAIL IN HISTORY. Name, hello, please call back. Not really a boatload of charm on display. To fail this test, a guy would have to leave a message that said: “No greeting. This is a man. I don’t remember you. End communication.”

Start doing even the slightest research into Japan and love, and you’ll quickly find sensational articles describing a full-blown crisis. According to demographers, journalists, and even the Japanese government, it’s a hot potato.

Sorry, I needed another word for “crisis,” and when I entered the word “crisis” into, it suggested “hot potato” as a synonym. I could not write this book without letting you know that lists “hot potato” as a synonym for “crisis.”

And then this piece of information, which is sort of bonkers: People who own iPhones are twice as likely to sext as people who own Android phones. Why?? I’m really curious about this, but there wasn’t any reasoning offered in the book. Off to search the Google.

If you’re interested in reading very colloquially-written analysis of current relationship trends, this is a quick read, and easy to skim when you feel like it.

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