You know, one of the problems with being lazy and asking other people to do your work for you is that you let things slide. My amazing brother-in-law (who averages about ten favors for me a day) pretty much set up this website and, after putting everything in place, suggested I go back through and add, edit, subtract, change, etc. to make it what I want it to be. I forgot to do any of that, just started adding to it, and now realize that this page has been simply a description of the book Modern Love with no explanation of my involvement in it for way too long.
So here’s the story: a few years ago, I read a couple of Modern Love columns (in the Sunday New York Times style section) and got inspired, so I sat down and wrote a piece about how my son with autism was entering his dating years and all the fears and hopes that brought out in me. I sent it in as a blind submission. Soon after, Daniel Jones, the editor of the column, contacted me and told me he was interested in running the piece in just a few weeks. He helped me rewrite it to conform a little more to New York Times rules and his own sense of how the column needed to be (took out my four-letter words, damn it) and it appeared in print as “Adolescence without a Roadmap” on October, 2005.
I was just organizing my files yesterday and was reminded of how many people wrote me after the article appeared to say that I had touched a nerve–in a good way. Many parents related to that desperate longing for your child to experience romance and love along with his peers, no matter what his disability. And that huge response had a lot to do with Lynn Koegel’s and my decision to write an entire book about adolescents, teenagers, and young adults on the spectrum. (Growing up on the Spectrum, due out from Viking/Penguin March, 2009).
Daniel Jones included that piece in his Modern Love collection, described below.
Modern Love: 50 True and Extraordinary Tales of Desire, Deceit, and Devotion
50 Irresistible True Accounts of Love in the Twenty-first Century.
A young woman wryly describes a relationship that races from start to finish almost entirely via text messages.
A Casanova is jilted after an idyllic three weeks and learns the hard way that the woman is, well, just not that into him.
An overweight woman in a sexless marriage wrestles with the rules of desire.
A young man recounts the high-wire act of sharing the woman he loves with both her husband and another boyfriend.
A female sergeant in the Missouri National Guard, fresh from Iraq, tells what she is not supposed to tell about the woman she is not allowed to love.
These are just a few of the people whose stories are included in Modern Love, a collection of the fifty most revealing, funny, stirring essays from the New York Times’s popular “Modern Love” column. Editor Daniel Jones has arranged these tales to capture the ebb and flow of relationships, from seeking love and tying the knot to having children and finding love that endures. (Cynics and melancholics can skip right to the section on splitting up.) Taken together, these essays show through a modern lens how love drives, haunts, and enriches us.
For anyone who’s loved, lost, stalked an ex, or made a lasting connection, and for the voyeur in all of us, Modern Love is the perfect match.