Every so often, one of his paramours would catch on and alert the others.
Then he’d block them all on social media and begin the whole thing again.
In our consumer society, love is perpetually for sale; dating is what it takes to close the deal.
Her second conclusion is that the way we consume love changes to reflect the economy of the times.
The process of testing out potential mates, and of being tested by them in turn, can be gruelling, bewildering, humiliating.
Using another metaphor, Weigel compares the experience to being cast in a bad piece of experimental theatre: “You and a partner showed up every night with different, conflicting scripts.
In one sense, this is a story about the exploitative possibilities of online matchmaking: the opportunities to flagrantly misrepresent oneself, the ease of trawling for specific targets.
It trained women “in how to be if we wanted to be wanted.”Hence “Labor of Love,” an exploration of that training, in which Weigel reaches two main conclusions.So they went out, to parks and dance halls, saloons and restaurants, nickelodeons and penny arcades—to the streets themselves, teeming centers of working-class social life—where they could have a good time and meet men on their own. The term “date” originated as slang referring to a woman’s date book, and showed up in print in 1896, in “Stories of the Streets and Town,” a column that offered middle-class readers a taste of working-class life.Artie, a young clerk, confronts a girlfriend who’s been giving him the slip: “I s’pose the other boy’s fillin’ all my dates? A later column reports Artie’s admiring observation that a certain girl’s date book was so full she had to keep it “on the Double Entry System.”Not surprisingly, these new female freedoms came with a catch.All of them had received the couch-spooning treatment.John was a champion girlfriend accumulator, the ringmaster of a romantic circus that only he could see.