The all new dating game 1988
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.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.
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.
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.
He asked her to help him choose a couch and then spooned with her on all the floor models. As we learn from the podcast “Reply All,” which reported the tale, Suzanne was not the only woman on whom John had chosen to bestow his favor.
Six months into their relationship, she discovered that he was seeing half a dozen other women, one of whom he’d been stringing along for two years.