How not to respond to a bad date

I know someone's favorite book!

Two months ago, Kelly Murphy reviewed her experience trying out the free n+1 personals date for us, in which she muses on the lessons learned from pinning her romantic hopes on a hypothetical well-read, charming young Brooklyn literary type that turned out … not so good, or even that literary. The subject of the date wrote a response. A very long, seven-part long response. We think he meant for n+1 to publish it, which they didn’t. But now he posted it on the internet for you all to consume. Warning: it contains phrases such as: “I alone, still too neurasthenic, still unrecovered from 6th-grade repression, am too nervous for a fling, have remained too young too long.” Not to discourage young writers, but pro tip fellas: a little self awareness goes a long way.

14 Comment

  • Amazing(ly awful). Kelly Murphy. Heartbreaker.

  • how can a person be diachronic?

  • This will win her over for sure.

  • To be fair, this was not his response to a bad date. It was his response to someone writing publicly about that bad date. But, hey, pretentiously snarking on him for being pretentious is classy and not at all hypocritical.

  • So who wants to go out with me? I promise I’ll keep my post-date whining to five headings or fewer.

  • Okay, not getting at all why Brokelyn is dogging on this guy: “Not to discourage young writers, but pro tip fellas: a little self awareness goes a long way.”

    His post is actually very thoughtful and self-reflective. It’s long, but it’s also well-written. And he’s generally very positive about Kelly in it.

    “Kelly, reading what must have been an awkward email after the
    publication of her article, responded in a civil and mature way that
    only increased my opinion of her. She is intelligent, perceptive, and on
    the night I met her approached beautiful. Most all, though, Kelly is
    brave: brave enough to list herself on N+1 personals, brave enough to
    meet someone like me for drinks, brave enough to write about it
    afterwards.

    I, in contrast, was not proud of my own behavior. Although I take issue
    with certain points of Kelly’s rendering (be assured that for every
    story told about myself a similar one was told by her), the fact remains
    that I was not quite who I wished to be. Here I would prefer to be
    self-incriminating. I alone, still too neurasthenic, still unrecovered from 6th-grade
    repression, am too nervous for a fling, have remained too young too
    long. These women deserve better. The last, perhaps, is unassailable–but
    evidence for the first—for I alone—is lacking.”

    Maybe he’s too analytic and bookish for her, but not seeing why he deserves the critique above.

    As for Kelly’s original post, there’s nothing unusual about meeting someone from an online personal ad and realizing they’re not the person we’ve created in our minds.

    • I am grateful that such thoughtful, reasonable people read Brokelyn. Please make sure to tell your friends about us, Breukelyne. (Isn’t that a small city outside Boston? Should we start a Brokeline blog?)

  • Pro tip:  Use your reflexive pronouns reflexively.  I notice it every time you (the hypothetical you) fuck it up.  

  • This guy may write in a very fanciful style and have some imaginative opinions, but Tim Donnelly and Kelly Murphy seem to have overlooked the fact that they publicly humiliated him in print, triggering this response. The man is obviously fairly shy with low self-confidence. That wasn’t to Ms Murphy’s taste, and fair enough. Making him the identifiable subject of a ‘terrible date’ article – then getting your fellow writer to ridicule him again for trying, very awkwardly, to give his side of things (which you refused), seems callous. I wouldn’t do that to my worst enemy, let alone someone who was just a little boring on a date. Perhaps you could have instead offered to help him craft his response into something more presentable instead of passing it around the office? Is there not a little bit of human kindness in Brooklyn underneath all that hipster irony?