While NYC-based designers and friends Jessica Walsh and Timothy Goodman completed their experiment “40 Days of Dating” last summer, devoted readers (into the millions) who followed every bit of documentation are all dying to know: what happened next? (Spoiler alert: Walsh found the right person on OKCupid and married him last month.)
The two thoughtful guinea pigs have expanded their short-term project into a detailed book that retrospectively analyzes the experiment—a true case study, as those in the industry are familiar with. “Working on the book helped us really find closure,” Goodman tells CH. “We never truly had time to let the dust settle after the experiment. We immediately started designing the blog together, to releasing it and reliving it all over again, to all the media attention and Hollywood, etc. There were a lot of blurred lines, and things weren’t always very smooth with our relationship. When it came time to start authoring the book, last winter, we finally had perspective.”
To spread some cheer among their fellow New Yorkers as Valentine’s Day creeps ever closer, Walsh and Goodman have decided to hide 400 books throughout the city and surprise some lucky people this weekend. “They won’t really be hidden,” says Goodman. “The point is that they will just be randomly in different places where people can find them: sitting on a park bench, on a subway seat, on a chair in a cafe, or maybe even in weird or funny places like under a car tire or on the ledge of a glass poster case in the subway.” Each will hold a different suggestion for a date—and cash to cover it: think salsa lessons, helicopter rides or a glass of wine. Consider it a swift kick in the butt for the lazy, and a push off the cliff for the hesitant.
“Creating this helped our friendship flourish again,” Goodman continues. “Now we’re closer than ever, and we’re also in the middle of another crazy experiment that’s going to be similar to 40 Days. It’ll be a social experiment looking at a lot of our habits and fears and our insecurities, and how we can change that and start a dialogue about these universal emotions and experiences we all go through. It’s similar in execution: a blog that mixes video and writing and artwork, but obviously the topic is very different from dating.”
The book “40 Days of Dating” is available from Amazon for $19; a copy—or a quick scan through the blog—might come in handy; the first clue is that they’ll be hiding many of the books in date spots visited during the experiment.
Images courtesy of Jessica Walsh and Timothy Goodman