“Waking up hungover on a weekday solidifies for a few brief moments the deep-seated fear that I will never be a functioning adult.”
In 2011, recently single and having trouble getting over her ex, 26 year old Tiffany Peón decided she needed to do something to help her move on. Inspiration struck, and she decided to start a new project on her blog, chronicling her adventures trying out fourteen of the web’s best (OK Cupid/Match.com) worst (Darwin Dating) and weirdest (Atlasphere) dating sites. Drinking My Way Through 14 Dating Websites is the Kindle Single that summarizes that adventure.
I have a confession, fellow readers. I am a complete sucker for non-fiction gimmicks. Are you going to follow all the edicts of the Bible to the letter for a year? I will read that. Will you spend a year applying the latest research about the psychology of happiness to your own life? I’m in. Did you start a multi-year project to read and blog about every book on the Times 100? I will eat up every step of that journey. So when I was looking for some short fiction and non-fiction to review this month, I couldn’t resist finding out what sort of hilarity was going to ensue from this adventure into the brave, terrifying world of meeting people from the internet.
I thought that the short form would be a good fit for Peón’s experiment, as I might not have been willing to commit to a full-length book about dating websites. However, 70 pages of shenanigans sounded like a bit of light reading that would be right up my alley. Surprisingly then, a lot of the stories felt rushed and abbreviated, and might have benefited from a few more details. Understandably, Peón has removed most of the original posts from her blog, so I wasn’t able to do much in the way of comparison to see how much she had to edit down her original material for this short. The well-fleshed out anecdotes are humourous, but others come across as cursory summaries, just covering the bases of some of the sites. Of course, sometimes it’s just that real life doesn’t work out like a fictional comedy. Her date from Atlasphere, the Randian/Objectivist site, turns out to be completely normal and nice. And then Peón gets back together with her ex part way through the experiment, though she decides to carry on, sapping some of the tension from the narrative. Ultimately, this is one of the cases where the potential for a humourous outcome was greater than what the writer actually experience. She wrings some decent laughs out of it, but I was hoping for more.
Required Reading was recently featured on Book Bloggers International. If you missed it, you can find the profile here.