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Sometimes when there is nothing much going on in the world and your section has already profiled the senior senator from Hawaii, it can be helpful to take a walk down the hall to the archives morgue, find a bound volume from some random year of that earlier simpler age when people still read newspapers even if it was just “Personality Parade”, figure out how to remove it from the shelf without sustaining any head injuries, and draw inspiration from history because after all as some famous politician said once said of the “past”, it hasn’t even truly “passed” or anyway something like that.

Moving on though, so Style writer Lois Romano found a story she had written in 1982 called “Love and the Litmus Test” about her personal so-called “dating dealbreakers.” It was illustrated with a Cathy comic! This is of course what they call “timeless” story line, but leave it to the Post to figure out a way to revitalize it with an indisputably “Century 21.0”  twist, like that movie 10 Things I Hate About Youdid with that medieval play it was based on (except I think that movie was actually made in the 19th century? but let’s not split hairs.) Anyway I know you will not believe how Lois Romano managed to pull this off so I am just going to tell you: she talked to her kids. Both of them! But it was 20-year-old Jenna who provided the most definitive anecdotal evidence of what, about love and courtship and the human condition, has changed since the first wave of leggings wearers was on the prowl. The ultimate literary bonerkiller these days, for instance, turns out to be…literature itself!

“I just don’t care if guys read books. I actually think there may be a difference between my generation and [24-year-old- Kristen’s. Even Kristen didn’t grow up with computers in the same way I did. . . . You wrote about checking out what guys have on their bookshelves — whether they have the right kind of literature. No one looks at that anymore. Everything is available on ebrary. A lot of guys now don’t even have bookshelves. Books are a hassle to move. I want a bookshelf because they’re good furniture pieces.”

And also, “words”:

My 20-year-old daughter informed me that she recently dumped a guy because when she asked him the meaning of a word, he said, “Are you serious?”

“That was it. It’s like a huge test for me. . . . It told me he felt intellectually superior to me,” explained Jenna, a pre-med sophomore at George Washington University.

Hahaha, and of course there is no way he could have actually been intellectually superior to Jenna Holmes, because I saw on Facebook that she is also a graduate of Sidwell Friends, which is so good at educating young people it doesn’t even need any help from Michelle Rhee.