Amanda Marcotte at Slate posted today about an article that went up on the New York Times website yesterday, called Perfect 10? Never Mind That. Ask Her for Her Credit Score.
As she nibbled on strawberry shortcake, Jessica LaShawn, a flight attendant from Chicago, tried not to get ahead of herself and imagine this first date turning into another and another, and maybe, at some point, a glimmering diamond ring and happily ever after.
She simply couldn’t help it, though. After all, he was tall, from a religious family, raised by his grandparents just as she was, worked in finance and even had great teeth.
So, this is the kind of article we're talking about -- the kind where a pretty date renders a woman unable to think about anything other than marriage. The whole tone of the article reminds me of advice columns that dwell on differences in weight, idiosyncrasies in fashion choices, the wrong perfume, the wrong kind of smile, ordering the wrong food. I guess, now, we have that kind of fear-mongering about financial inadequacy, too.
The article argues that one's credit score has become such a major consideration in dating that it's common for people to ask about it on the first date. The NYT writer cites a website, datemycreditscore.com, which has a comment on the front page suggesting that people stop kidding themselves -- "can u truly love someone with a 500 credit score? [...] the answer is no,[1. sic.]" writes jbubbly, the only person whose comments are featured in the recent activity, last updated 22 months ago. (This website totally captures the zeitgeist, right?)
Marcotte's article in Slate points out the many ways in which this article is not representative of a real reality, it's just a paranoid inflation of fringe, antisocial behavior by a handful of people reacting to an oppressively financial culture. Marcotte writes,
Of course, a trend story that relies heavily on interviews with a mere 50 online daters does not an actual trend make. While there does seem to be an uptick in Americans piously telling each other to focus on the pragmatic and financial when dating, most people—including Mitt Romney—reserve the right to priortize love when it comes to their own living rooms and bedrooms.