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Taffy Brodesser-Akner writing about The Rules is a gift we don’t deserve.

Jessie Gaynor

May 14, 2019, 1:20pm

It’s always a good day when a new Taffy Brodesser-Akner enters the world. I will read anything Brodesser-Akner—master profiler and debut novelist(!)—writes, but her piece in the New York Times today, “Stuff Your ‘Rules,” is especially My Jam. I love all media about dating and relationships, from rom-coms to advice columns to podcasts in which people discuss the minutia of their courting. Here, Brodesser-Akner writes about the 1995 dating guide/trainwreck The Rules, which advised women to “get a nose job; color your gray; grow your hair long,” to cut down on talking so as to remain mysterious, and more generally to hang back so men would want to “hunt” (marry) you. “The Rules was supposed to be a cure for who we actually were,” Brodesser-Akner writes.

It’s a beautifully written article, and a masterful tie-in with her upcoming novel, Fleishman Is in Trouble, whose protagonist is a newly-separated 41-year-old navigating, among other things, the world of dating apps (sold! At any price!).

Sometimes I love the internet. Of course, if I want the internet to love me back, it’s imperative that I never, ever make the first move.

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