Re: And, no, odd people who keep asking, I did not "get any good pain meds" out of it.

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It sounds to me like the problem is that you didn't get any good pain meds out if. Pain can be pretty incapacitating, especially after your body determines that the crisis is over and it's safe to collapse.


Posted by: apk01004 | Link to this comment | 11-17-09 6:16 PM
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*out of it*


Posted by: apk01004 | Link to this comment | 11-17-09 6:16 PM
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1: Huh. Could be. I was kind of surprised, because last time I had a tooth yanked they gave me some super powerful hydrocodone-ish thing. This time it was just some big dose of ibuprofen and a "have a nice day at work!"

(Since it wasn't explicit: The weird thing about the people asking about the pain meds isn't the asking per se. It's that it's been a really common question even for relative strangers. Like the barista at the coffeeshop who asked me the meds question, after I explained why I was face-swelly.)


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-17-09 6:22 PM
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1 gets it exactly right. I had a great time when I got my wisdom teeth out (four at once).


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-17-09 6:26 PM
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4.2 probably answers 3.2: for a lot of people, their only experience with the fun times to be had on pain meds is when they get their wisdom teeth out. If you're all floaty and cheerful on vicodin for four days that's what you remember of the experience.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-17-09 6:27 PM
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Seriously, you need way better pain meds than ibuprofin. I think I was in bed for a day or so at least after my extraction. Pleasantly out of it all the time. (But still some pain.) Same for my daughter when she had hers out. Get something!


Posted by: jackie | Link to this comment | 11-17-09 6:29 PM
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I got hydrocodone when I got mine out and it sucked--little pain relief, and it made me extremely irritable and moody. I took like two of them and then my family forced me to quit and take nothing. I don't have that reaction to vicodin, which is lovely.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-17-09 6:30 PM
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Vicodin is just hydrocodone + Tylenol, I think. Maybe your post-wisdom-tooth hydrocodone dosage was just inadequate to the task at hand.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11-17-09 6:34 PM
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I don't even remember what they gave me. Vicodin and something else. Good times.

That dentist was great, actually; knocked me out and gave me NOS during the procedure. I seriously don't remember a fuckin' thing except wheeeeeeeeeeehahoohahheyahahoooo.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-17-09 6:35 PM
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And then being in pain + just a little out of it from the hydrocodone = engrumpifying.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11-17-09 6:35 PM
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I wonder if the dentist is reluctant to give out the stronger stuff due to abuse. When I worked in a bar part-time, a fellow bartender found out that I was getting oral surgery for something and really excitedly advised me to exaggerate how concerned I was about pain. Something like, "Just keep mentioning the word 'pain'; you'll get more drugs!" Which I thought was kind of a weird approach.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-17-09 6:35 PM
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11: probably, but that's shitty. Wouldn't surprise me if you got profiled due to your age and general hipsteriness worldliness.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-17-09 6:37 PM
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The doctor I saw after I broke my collarbone wouldn't give me any prescription pain meds. That was wildly shitty, I tell you what.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-17-09 6:38 PM
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Percodan. That's what I got. Which led me to (temporarily) comprehend that soap operas were profound.


Posted by: jackie | Link to this comment | 11-17-09 6:38 PM
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||

OK, this isn't intended as a cute kid story: I"m puzzled. I just told Iris, "Go," as in "to your room." She bounds off saying, in kid sing-song, "You said G-O. Geo-metrical, geo-metrical...." What the heck is that all about?

|>


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-17-09 6:43 PM
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OK, wait, she just called out, "Daddy, I know what geometrical means. It means shapes."

Which I suspect puts her in the A-B range of Heebie's students.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-17-09 6:44 PM
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Yeah, it's weird. I've had a PA throw vicodin at me for basically muscle strain and then a doc in the same practice group didn't want he to get anything for the shingles. "Yeah, it's normal to have excruciating pain. Sometimes ibuprofen isn't enough." "Um, do you think maybe...?"


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-17-09 6:52 PM
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Further explanation: her math teacher apparently told them that G-O starts geometrical, or something to that effect.

It's so weird getting her curriculum through this one-step, but very unreliable, game of Telephone.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-17-09 6:56 PM
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In fairness to the doc, I had had that previous and relatively unproblematic wisdom tooth out before, and I'm pretty sure I did go to work that same day, somewhat surprised at the painlessness of having a tooth removed.

This experience was much different, and eekbeat just reminded me that I couldn't sleep well all week long leading up to the extraction. So this from apk in #1 seems likely as to explaining the energy drain:

especially after your body determines that the crisis is over and it's safe to collapse.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-17-09 6:56 PM
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I wonder if the dentist is reluctant to give out the stronger stuff due to abuse.

I really hate that this is so much of an issue. I had a maddening dental interaction back in law school: I had a deep cavity in a wisdom tooth back in law school and asked the dentist if it didn't make sense to just pull it rather than filling it, but he said no, it's a perfectly good tooth, leave it in. So he filled it, and three weeks later, on a Friday, I have an excruciating toothache. I call him, and he says "Huh, I guess the cavity was too deep. Yeah, you should get it pulled. I don't do extractions, but you can make an appointment with this other guy on Monday." I point out that I'm in pain, and he sends me to a third dentist who works weekends.

I get to the third dentist, and he doesn't do extractions. He does root canals. So I explain that I'm not getting a root canal on a goddam wisdom tooth, but I'm in a lot of pain, and I can't get it extracted until Monday. He suggested I take Tylenol.

So I spent the weekend curled up in a ball taking Tylenol and weeping with pain. Fuckers.

(Then, on Monday, I got the tooth pulled in the morning, took a lot of codeine, and then remembered I was on call in Labor Law class in the afternoon. I don't remember it well, but I'm told I was rivetingly disinhibited: on topic, but expansive, discursive, and taking no guff from the professor.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-17-09 7:08 PM
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If you're all floaty and cheerful on vicodin for four days that's what you remember of the experience.

How much do you have to take to get floaty? I'm taking the 750/7.5 dose after root canal work and it's not doing much. The pain level is okay but I'm not defying gravity at all. I'm not all that large, it's not a mass effect.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 11-17-09 7:13 PM
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I'm not the most drug-experienced person, but reactions to opiates/painkillers seem to be really individual.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-17-09 7:21 PM
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I'm always a bit surprised? resentful? intrigued? when people talk about being all floaty. My experiences with "good" pain drugs has been invariably nauseated and maybe drowsy. Woo hoo...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-17-09 7:23 PM
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I wouldn't use the word 'floaty', but in my limited experience with opiates, I get very very happy, in a relaxed kind of way. That's a class of drug I'm never doing recreationally, because I really like them a lot.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-17-09 7:28 PM
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I'm told I was rivetingly disinhibited: on topic, but expansive, discursive, and taking no guff from the professor.)

I'm not sure it's the codeine (if that's what you were suggesting), but rather the pain. I've felt overly snippy in general the past week (including in comments here!) while being in pain.

The aforementioned barista told me it was okay to be snippy based on having my tooth out, after I responded with an apparently resounding "NOPE!" after her inquiry as to whether I'd gotten the milk I needed before the carafe ran out. I was pretty embarrassed.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-17-09 7:28 PM
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19: I think that's right. I'm surprised the doc advised that you go to work. Not that you would be incapable of it, but you needed to crash, man, for a little while anyway. Like, the rest of the day.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-17-09 7:32 PM
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How old are you, Stanley? Because I think you're not that old, but still, you're not 22, are you?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-17-09 7:36 PM
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25.nope cracked me up. I've caught myself doing shit like that a few times, and it's really embarrassing.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-17-09 7:39 PM
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27: I'm 27 and according to wikipedia born in the same month and year that:

The DeLorean Car Factory in Belfast [was] put into receivership.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-17-09 7:41 PM
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25: Couldn't have been the pain -- once the tooth was out and I had the painkillers, I was feeling extremely fine, no pain at all. As I said above, opiates hit me really hard.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-17-09 7:43 PM
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I wonder if the dentist is reluctant to give out the stronger stuff due to abuse.

You betcha. Especially Oxy, which can fetch up to a buck a milligram on the street.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11-17-09 7:44 PM
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29: Though you are still a young man, I figure your crashing completely for a day after the extraction is completely normal. Relax.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-17-09 7:50 PM
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32: I assure you that me and my roommate's cat have been lazily hanging out all day. Apparently, cats will just sit at the foot of the bed all day long and pretend to commiserate while occasionally asking for food and/or water..


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-17-09 7:54 PM
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Dude! You speak cat now!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-17-09 7:56 PM
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An unexpected side effect, to be sure.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-17-09 8:00 PM
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I talked to someone who sees a number of chronic pain cases, and he said your experience isn't odd at all. In particular, he suggested that the pain you experienced could have made your body generate a lot of cortisol and adrenaline, as it would in a high-stress situation, which would then have tired you out. (He even mentioned public speaking as one situation where this happens, before I said your work day included a lot of talking.)


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11-17-09 8:10 PM
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35: Allowing yourself to be free to laze about for an entire day is a good thing. It'll straighten itself out and you'll be bounding about in no time, if that's what you wish.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-17-09 8:12 PM
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36-7: Thanks! I've a gig in DC this weekend, so I'm appreciative. Right now, hitting drums hurts my head.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-17-09 8:16 PM
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Also, the experience of being put out, headache-wise, for a week, even with pretty good dental coverage, was a helpful reminder that anyone opposing universal coverage in this country is a big ol' bucket of turds.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-17-09 8:19 PM
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38: Pish. That's like 4 days from now. Maybe you shouldn't work tomorrow either. I plead oral surgery!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-17-09 8:21 PM
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38. Where are you playing?


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 11-17-09 8:28 PM
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40: I'm hesitant to burn vacation time (which is the same as sick time*), because I have actual future vacation plans with eekbeat. So if I feel okay, I'm going in.

41: Red and Black, Friday night.

*Yes, this policy is fucked up.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-17-09 8:35 PM
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I still have all four wisdom teeth. My childhood dentist was either a visionary or deluded in a fortuitous way. He said my mouth was so small that I would have to get my wisdom teeth out once they came-in. I'm guessing that applies to nearly everybody. This guy went further and noted that I had four other teeth (bicuspids?) that were generally weaker teeth than wisdom teeth and very easy to remove what with being near the front of the mouth and all. So, those teeth were removed and, like the Clovis people, my wisdom teeth moved into an environment with plenty of space.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-17-09 9:39 PM
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Getting my wisdom teeth removed was completely painless for me. (Except for a few excruciating minutes just as the anesthesia was wearing off.) I guess this is unusual.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11-17-09 9:40 PM
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OT: The increasingly baroque specificity of Netflix's recommended categories needs to end!


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 11-17-09 9:54 PM
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45: Maybe that's my fault. I tried to get them to create a separate category for movies that show Rachel Weisz topless.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-17-09 10:00 PM
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But what if a new critically-acclaimed gritty movie of the 1940s starring Humphrey Bogart is released and Netflix doesn't tell me about it?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11-17-09 10:01 PM
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47: You might just have to watch a Visually Stunning Fight-the-System Movie Based On Real Life instead.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 11-17-09 10:08 PM
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46: Stop reading the archives, MH.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11-17-09 10:20 PM
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That was a good thread.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-17-09 10:22 PM
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SRTFA?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-17-09 10:24 PM
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It's been nagging my thoughts all day. Any other ideas?

It's possible the second dentist was a bit of a butcher. Or if it is the same guy that he botched it a little this time or it was a harder case. Some variation is to be expected.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 11-17-09 10:45 PM
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yeah, the greater important put on stopping addict than on treating pain is very maddening.

i remember feeling pretty good after getting mine out, and thinking i was ok i went to the gym. after a few sets i got really nauseuated.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 11-17-09 11:35 PM
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We've discussed this before, but in the UK at least, doctors aren't especially keen to give out strong pain medication.* US people always seem to get strong stuff handed out like sweeties [or that's the anecdotal impression].

I had neck surgery last year which went wrong and I was in and out of hospital for a couple of weeks with post-op problems. I was given codeine and acetaminophen; in doses basically no different from what I could have bought over the counter.** I suspect if I'd been in the US I'd have had something else. When I had a root canal recently I was given nothing at all.

* except with really really severe pain, like some cancer, where they happily give you heroin.
** to be fair to the doctors/nurses, for me that was actually enough most of the time and I find acetaminophen quite effective generally.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 12:11 AM
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I'm hesitant to burn vacation time (which is the same as sick time*)

Yes. Fucked up. I read somewhere the other day that the United States is one of only 5 countries in the world* that doesn't have statutory sick leave. The others being Lesotho, Swaziland, Liberia and PNG.

*Not sure I actually believe this. There may have been a law made in Somalia at some time in the past which allowed for it, but its status these days would be a bit moot, I'm guessing.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 1:11 AM
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When I had my wisdom teeth out, I was off work for a week and in terrible pain for at least three days. Then again, mine were growing sideways (wtf?) into the next teeth and apparently they had to smash them up to get them out. So the idea that you might want to visit a gym on the day you had them out is somewhat alien to me.


Posted by: Heloise | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 1:53 AM
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Non-obligatory archive link.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 2:24 AM
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If you're all floaty and cheerful on vicodin for four days that's what you remember of the experience

I got some pretty strong pain meds when I had all four wisdom teeth out, and while they were fun, what I remember of the experience is having to rinse my mouth with warm salt water regularly for two weeks. That was not fun.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 2:35 AM
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56: but at least you got prescription painkillers!

A few years ago my mum broke her shoulder at the neck of the joint, while on a visit to Oxford; they don't set that sort of fracture, just give you a sling, and she was in a lot of pain. The hospital suggested paracetamol (ie aceteminowotsit). Three days later after much begging my GP handed out diazepam and all was well.

(To be specific, the diazepam was for my mum, though I think all would have been well if she'd stayed on the paracetamol and I'd taken the diazepam.)


Posted by: Abelard | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 2:59 AM
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54: in my experience there's certainly a difference between the UK and France on this one - your Frenchman regards a visit to the doctor as a waste if he doesn't come away with at least two different sorts of pillules, while the UK tends to keep the good stuff for agonal patients in order to Build Character in the rest of us. When I got slightly smashed in France I got three different sorts of extremely strong painkiller - "zis one, one time every day, and zis one, three times, after the meals, and zis one, if you have pain, or whenever you want."


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 3:56 AM
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Oh, there's definitely a difference. Last time i saw the statistics, the French were prescribed four times as many drugs per capita as Brits. I think Germany was twice as many, but I'm not certain. There's also some really interesting research on nation-specific conditions which I can't find right now - ie diagnoses with prescribed treatements that are simply not considered to be illnesses anywhere else.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 4:29 AM
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diagnoses with prescribed treatements that are simply not considered to be illnesses anywhere else.

Is there any truth in the calumny that the single most common cause of absence from work due to sickness in France is crise de foie?


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 4:35 AM
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Contrast with the Vatican, where the commonest cause of absence from work is crise de foi...


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 4:40 AM
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zis one, if you have pain, or whenever you want.

What a great country.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 4:47 AM
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re: 61

I've written a little bit about that in my doctoral thesis. I can't remember many examples off hand, but it's true that in some countries, for example, low blood pressure is treated, whereas in the UK it isn't.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 4:54 AM
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61: like ennui, or weltschmertz


Posted by: turgid jacobian | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 5:01 AM
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61: like ennui, or weltschmertz


Posted by: turgid jacobian | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 5:01 AM
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And, of course, there are lots of examples of conditions that are rarely diagnosed in one place and commonly diagnosed in others. All the nice controversial psychiatric diagnoses are like that: ADHD, MPD and other dissociative disorders, etc.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 5:06 AM
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Drapetomania, antisocial tendencies, slow-onset schizophrenia, excited delirium...


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 5:19 AM
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|| OT: Judicial news: Good and bad.

Good: "Controversial" David Hamilton nomination clears filibuster 70-29.

Bad: Admin still against Don Siegleman (Admittedly it might just be on the narrower point being appealed to the Supreme Court.) But both US Attorneys nominated for Alabama are on "holds' from Sessions and other asshole Alabama senator. Which leads to:

Really Bad: 33 of 90 US Attorneys nominated, 17 confirmed. Republican War on Governance is still winning. Obama Admin and mainstream press are complicit.
|>


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 5:22 AM
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re: 69

I don't think drapetomania has been diagnosed for ... a while. One day I'll get 'Dacre syndrome' introduced ...


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 5:26 AM
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Would that be a condition caused by consumption of the Daily Mail, or the condition that causes the Daily Mail to do what it does?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 5:31 AM
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Good: "Controversial" David Hamilton nomination clears filibuster 70-29.

Yeah, I had my eye on that one. My favorite part:

At the center of the Republican attack are several rulings made by Hamilton as a federal judge. In 2005, he ordered the Indiana House of Representatives to stop opening their legislative sessions with a prayer because the offered prayer was overwhelmingly a Christian prayer and thus violated the Establishment Clause, he said.

Yeah, gosh, golly, what a jerk.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 5:34 AM
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My Grek friend says that over there you get a suppository for everything. Bit of cough? Stick this up your bum.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 5:35 AM
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Hmm, Grek. Greek, obv. (I am ill, and want drugs.)


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 5:36 AM
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re: 72

I had the former in mind, but the latter could be interesting, too.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 5:36 AM
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74: Good to see the old stereotypes still operating.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 5:48 AM
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73: Maybe the vote will make the Obama admin be a bit less cautious in even just naming people to positions (the scrutiny and some "missteps" in other positions have reportedly left them extremely cautious in doing so).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 5:50 AM
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...low blood pressure is treated, whereas in the UK it isn't.

If it gets low enough, you fall over. Hitting the ground will cause pain, getting your heart going harder and your blood pressure back up.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 6:10 AM
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Scene from a British doctor's office:

Mr. Johnson, you have low blood pressure. As long as you avoid stuffed chairs, mattresses, and bounce houses, you'll be fine.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 6:26 AM
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74 - I am so ill (I feel really stoned, which is weird) that I can't work out whether you are accusing me of racism or making a 2000 year old joke.

And jesus fuck, I have 4 extra 12 year olds staying the night tonight. Need to vacuum and buy food.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 6:31 AM
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I knew a guy who was told by his doctor that he had low blood pressure, and asked if he should be worried about it. The doctor said, "Oh, no, you'll probably live to be a hundred, only you'll never feel very well." End of consultation.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 6:46 AM
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I have a family history of low blood pressure, so I'm following a high-fat, high-salt diet plan in an attempt to get back up to normal.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 6:52 AM
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74 would be a great way to stop patients pestering their doctors into prescribing the latest heavily-advertised drug.

"Calm down. It's just a cold. Go home and get some rest and drink plenty of fluids."
"No, dammit, I want antibiotics!"
"OK, I'm writing you a scrip for antibiotics. Shove eight of these up your arse every day."
"... or maybe I'll give that rest thing a try."


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 6:56 AM
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||So I have a blind date later with a guy who seems pretty fun and with whom I'm being fixed up by friends whose judgment I trust.

Only problem with that is that I realized yesterday all too clearly that I am, in fact, sort of a little in love with someone who sort of loves me a little right back.

Only problem with *that* is that he's sort of a little married and whatever else you might say about me, I am not a homewrecker.

Only problem with that is that, if I were truly sure I could make him happy for the long haul, I'm pretty sure I'd just go right ahead and homewreck. I'm not really so principled as I'd like to believe.

But I'm not sure so I told him we can't be friends anymore because it's not good for either of us. Which seems like the right thing to do but which sucks so very much.

Which brings me back to the blind date and the desparate prayer that there will be an intensely distracting amount of chemistry. Which seems more than a little unfair to the blind date. |>


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 7:05 AM
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85. Fuck that, there's nothing good there at all, is there. So sorry. And good luck with the blind date.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 7:10 AM
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Explain the situation up front to the blind date finishing with , "So I'm counting on you to provide a distracting amount of chemistry". Then liveblog it from there.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 7:13 AM
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85: Those are the types of problems that can cause the sort of stress crucial to avoiding deadly scourge of low blood pressure.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 7:13 AM
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Sounds like it might be beneficial to the blind date.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 7:20 AM
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Trying to date somebody married would be tricky because you can't really stand outside their window with a boom box held-up in the air.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 7:21 AM
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Wives are so touchy about that.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 7:26 AM
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I don't even own a boombox.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 7:27 AM
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81: Actually, I was trying to make the 2000 old joke.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 7:34 AM
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85: Oh, man oh man. That sucks. But not homewrecking is really an excellent principle to stand by.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 7:36 AM
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Yes, choosing to be a bastard is never a strong moral stance to take. [Sorry]


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 7:38 AM
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95 is pretty solid. I'm sorry that it'll hurt for a while and you'll miss him. In the long run, though, it feels pretty good to know you live by your principles. And, if you guys are sufficiently motivated, there are paths to being together that don't involve cheating. (That is out of your hands, though.)


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 7:42 AM
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Perhaps, ironically, all the more so knowing that they've spent the past several years working through the fallout from her infidelity.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 7:43 AM
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Well, yeah. Not to give false hope, because I don't think there is much of any, but if the home is such that wrecking it would have been a good solution for anyone, odds are it'll wreck itself without your assistance. At which point your options would be different.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 7:44 AM
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98: You're right, you're right. I know you're right.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 7:48 AM
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You should see the boots I'm wearing.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 7:53 AM
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One of these days those boots will walk all over you.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 8:02 AM
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Explain again why cheating in a dead marriage is wrong?


Posted by: Abe Lincoln | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 8:09 AM
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I read somewhere the other day that the United States is one of only 5 countries in the world* that doesn't have statutory sick leave.

Or any leave.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 8:10 AM
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Failure to mutually agree that the marriage is dead first?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 8:11 AM
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Because if it's truly dead all concerned to have it put to its final rest honorably.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 8:17 AM
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102: Because you still sleep in the same house, so she can kill you in your sleep and make it look like an accident.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 8:17 AM
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Having open discussions usually makes fragile situations worse-- who benefits exactly from the "there's nothing here anymore" conversation? Not the kids, unless home is disastrous. The kids don't care if the parents are happy.

Are there any kids?


Posted by: Abe Lincoln | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 8:20 AM
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The kids don't care if the parents are happy.
Holy crap is this ever wrong.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 8:20 AM
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The kids don't care if the parents are happy.

Yes they do. They may not realise it, but it's extremely stressful living in a house where all the adults are unhappy most of the time.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 8:22 AM
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Yep, as a child of a peaceful and mostly stable but very unhappy marriage, it's tense and awful. I'm not sure that I'd have been happier if my parents had divorced (my guess is probably no) but unhappiness can really suck all the oxygen out of a house.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 8:24 AM
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unhappiness can really suck all the oxygen out of a house.

And it won't even set-off the CO detector.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 8:25 AM
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There are no kids. But that's really beside the point. I really don't want to love someone who is going home to someone else every night.


Posted by: The 85th President | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 8:26 AM
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93 - Phew! Otherwise, I might have cried.

Anon - sorry, but like others have said, if it's wreckable it doesn't need you to do it. Hope the blind date is fucking gorgeous.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 8:27 AM
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And he, to his credit, does not want to live dishonestly. Neither of us really wants to walk away from the friendship, either. But I see no other safe option.


Posted by: The 85th President | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 8:29 AM
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And he, to his credit, does not want to live dishonestly.

So, both of you know how the other feels? Then that makes walking away not just the right thing to do, but the only sensible thing to do.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 8:33 AM
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Having open discussions usually makes fragile situations worse.

This true, I think, mostly in the sense that it forces you to actually confront and deal with the issues. Having our feelings out in the open sure as hell has made things worse, for now. But it's not like we didn't have a clue, at some level, and all that did was create an ongoing low-level uneasiness.


Posted by: The 85th President | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 8:34 AM
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Oh man, is that ever rough. Anyone here have supportive (or unsupportive but interesting) stories of walking away from someone you love? (Romantic love)

I've walked away from people who I was involved with, but not totally in love with, and it usually took being furious with them. I've pined after people who did not want to be with me, but that doesn't take any willpower.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 8:46 AM
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But yes, 85, that is what you should do.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 8:47 AM
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There are workable arrangements other than the stupid romantic script that we are sold by Madison Avenue. The idea of true love, harmonious monogamous marriage, and the larger model of the One True Path of Love are as much about selling crap as they are about how people really relate to each other.

That said, being held apart by some external factor makes it a lot easier to let emotions run free - if there is a real potential for being together I at least am much more guarded. I don't know if that's a factor, but I figured I'd mention it.

While I am generally in agreement with ttaM's 95, driving a stake into the heart of a necrotic marriage doesn't make you a bastard. It hurts people and violates social norms, but it's not malicious and it trades chronic misery for acute short term pain. Probably the best thing my (horrible) ex ever did for me was fuck another man. Killed a marriage that could have dragged on for years in mutual misery.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 8:48 AM
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If you need more encouragement not to wreck the home, act one of this episode of This American Life might help. The wages of homewrecking are getting shut out of a bromance, apparently.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 8:49 AM
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Or wait, no, the wages of homewreckage are bromance. Which I guess in your case means you would end up super good friends with his current wife whilst failing to get laid.

So, maybe a good option if you like her.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 8:51 AM
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Oh, 117.1 would be excellent indeed. Ideally, heartwarming tales of how you were glad you walked away because you were freed to give the blind date the fair chance he deserved and in the end you were able to resume a healthy friendship that did not transgress boundaries or violate anyone's trust.


Posted by: The 85th President | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 8:54 AM
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Also, thank you all, truly. I am feeling a lot better about my decision and stronger in my resolve. Which will make the date much more enjoyable.


Posted by: The 85th President | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 9:06 AM
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Sometimes having a chorus-conscience is an amazingly powerful thing. There are so many of my fringey principles which I hadn't thought fully thought out pre-Unfogged, which I now feel strongly about.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 9:08 AM
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123: If it doesn't go well, you can always cook the other guy's bunny rabbits.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 9:12 AM
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Aside from considerations of whether it's right or wrong (which will always be situation-dependent; ethical absolutes are a sucker's game), the bigger warning is that dying marriages aren't quite dead yet. And even if they are 100% absolutely going to die and soon, the death throes can still get very ugly and complicated and very last place on earth you want to be is involved in somebody else's divorce.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 9:15 AM
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Yeah, what apo said. I was on the 'cheating, not always and absolutely the worst thing you can do' bench in that old argument, and Tologosh is right: especially when there aren't kids, there are certainly marriages where both parties would be better off if they broke up. But I don't think there's any way to make that judgment for someone else's marriage, especially when you're an interested party, and I really don't think there's much chance of it turning out well for you long term.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 9:19 AM
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...and very last place on earth you want to be is involved in somebody else's divorce.

Unless you are a divorce lawyer.



Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 9:22 AM
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Along with calls of walking away from love, anyone have stories of being the outsider in an extra-marital affair? Preferably sordid ones that help cement 85's resolve.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 9:23 AM
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129: If nobody has any real stories, I could paste in some of the relevant portions of my "Carolyn in the City"/"Mad About You" fan fiction.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 9:37 AM
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129: Apparently, no one else has ever walked away from love and all the extra-marital affairs resulted in blissful happiness.


Posted by: The 85th President | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 9:38 AM
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The link in 120 has all the stories, I'm telling you.

It includes the pertinent information that extra-marital affairs that result in blissful happiness still result in the blissful couple coming off like giant dickheads in the Vows column.

So many reasons to stay away.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 9:41 AM
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131: This is the kind of topic that gives people anonymity -related nervousness. Give it a day or so and see if some dead presidents show up after they get to a public computer at the library to comment from.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 9:44 AM
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129: My story wouldn't help.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 9:46 AM
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132: ...result in the blissful couple coming off like giant dickheads in the Vows column.

That usually happens anyway.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 9:47 AM
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Or the fragile veil of anonymity is insufficient for this level of confession. Another trust-tester would be anecdotes of professional misjudgement, one's own and those of one's identifiable colleagues or superiors.

pwnd by 129.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 9:48 AM
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Apparently, no one else has ever walked away from love and all the extra-marital affairs resulted in blissful happiness.

Well, there was this one time when I was running an American bar in Morocco...


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 9:49 AM
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Damn it. I really should have posted that as OPINIONATED RICK.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 9:50 AM
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In my first year of college, I had a short relationship with a guy (who had a long-distance girlfriend), and pined after him for the rest of my first year, after it ended.
During our second year, we slept together while a different girlfriend of his was pregnant. I felt intense shame about that.
Once the baby was born, and he and the girlfriend were broken up again, we took up again for a third time. In other words, for the first honest time. After a little while I ended it and started dating someone else.

This is the closest I've gotten to the requested stories.


Posted by: College-age president | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 9:50 AM
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136: Okay, anecdotes about your identifiable colleagues' affairs then!!


Posted by: The 85th President | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 9:53 AM
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anyone have stories of being the outsider in an extra-marital affair? Preferably sordid ones that help cement 85's resolve.

OH BOY, WHERE DO I START?


Posted by: OPINIONATED TRISTAN | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 9:56 AM
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I agree with 126 and 127. On the other hand, my ex is apparently quite happy with the guy she cheated with, though I have no way of being sure that her accounts are honest.

The safe course is obviously to walk away. Unless there is something spectacular about Mr Married that's the smart move. Getting clobbered by divorce shrapnel is no fun.

I know people who've been the third party in an affair, and a fairly common them is the married person idealizing the person they are cheating with and projecting all the desirable elements missing from the spouse onto them. Then the marriage ends and the cheater discovers that the person they are now with is actually just as human as the former spouse.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 10:02 AM
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Here's a sordid one: A few years ago, in a moment of drunken misjudgment with several complicating and extenuating factors, I got involved with one (the male) half of a married couple I was friends with. It lasted a couple of months; we both experienced a lot of complicated feelings, including love. Their marriage had its problems but was far from dead, and the two of us decided we had to end the affair. We remained friends for a couple of years -- until he decided to tell his wife about everything. She freaked out, their marriage nearly fell apart, and my friendships with both husband and wife are in ashes after some really nasty escalations of hurt feelings and hurtful actions revolving around mutual friends.


Posted by: Some Prez or Other | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 10:05 AM
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I know without question that it's best not to pursue an affair. I keep trying to convince myself that there is some conceivable way of remaining friends knowing what we now know.


Posted by: The 85th President | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 10:06 AM
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144: Probably not while you're still really hungry to be friends. When the bloom is off the rose, then sure.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 10:07 AM
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My experience suggests no, or at least not without a great deal of emotional turmoil.


Posted by: Millard Fillmore | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 10:08 AM
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144: One of you could stop bathing or gain a few hundred pounds or something.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 10:08 AM
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Well, I sort of have, although it was probably too soon to call it love. Whatever, I walked away to avoid being involved in an extra-marital affair, and later it became clear that she was as mad as a box of ferrets. So outcome excellent, thank you.

I doubt if this is what you're looking for, though.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 10:08 AM
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127

... and I really don't think there's much chance of it turning out well for you long term.

It might be beneficial to society for people to believe this but I am not sure it is actually true. I think there are a fair number of cases where people successfully swipe someone else's spouse.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 10:15 AM
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Wearing those t-shirts with the wolves howling at the moon is another good way to stop love in its tracks.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 10:17 AM
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149: Quiet you.


Posted by: Opinionated Angelina | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 10:17 AM
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149: Regardless of the general principles, it's probably true in this case. 143 seems like a real possibility.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 10:24 AM
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some conceivable way of remaining friends knowing what we now know.

You guys can hold that option open, and I'm friends with guys that I've pined for in the past, but as you already know, it is pretty painful to do that while the romantic feelings are still active. One thing I try to realize is that if you decided to take a year hiatus (for example), that year would fly by. Doesn't seem like it, but if your good friend said he were going to work in DC for the year (for example), that year would be over in a flash. Same is true for a friendship break. It doesn't have to be hostile, you can comfort yourself with his good regard, but it'll be easier if it is complete. In a year, re-assess.

Sars at Tomato Nation says that if one person has romantic feelings, it isn't a friendship. That's a pretty stark rule, but I've found it handy before.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 10:25 AM
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Shit, I'd already negotiated myself down to two months! A year?!!


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 10:27 AM
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You're the one who knows the situation and how long you hold on to someone. My crushes have a ridiculously long half-life, so maybe my time estimations are off.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 10:31 AM
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I'll get over that guy from 8th grade any day now.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 10:32 AM
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as mad as a box of ferrets


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 10:35 AM
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I'm facebook friends now with an 8th grade crush. Its kinda sweet, really.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 10:35 AM
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158: You might want to phrase that a bit more carefully.


Posted by: OPINIONATED CHRIS HANSEN | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 10:38 AM
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I had a very pleasant and intense fling with a woman who was in a long term serious relationship. They were on different continents which helped. I don't feel much in the way of guilt at the idea sleeping with someone who is in a relationship unless I'm friends the boyfriend/husband. I figure it's an issue for the woman's conscience not mine. Wouldn't hit on someone in a relationship without very strong signals that she's open to it, but that's about it. Never cheated on a girlfriend but have been cheated on a couple times, and while I was very angry at the gf, I didn't have any strong feelings about the other person.

So my view would depend on how well you know the wife.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 10:42 AM
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I really don't understand the concept of a "crush" to begin with, in sense that I encountered when I heard someone say "Damn, why didn't I have a crush on you at the same time you had a crush on me?".

If I'm attracted to you, I will continue to be attracted to you unless you become a very different person somehow.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 10:44 AM
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You don't get a period of intense focus on the person, during which the person's every move is more fascinating than anything and must be decoded? 'Cause that can either be encouraged and changed into something mutual and supported and relaxed, or it can go unfed and eventually die out for lack of input. But it is too all-consuming to persist as indefinite attraction.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 10:52 AM
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I don't feel much in the way of guilt at the idea sleeping with someone who is in a relationship unless I'm friends the boyfriend/husband. I figure it's an issue for the woman's conscience not mine.

I was dating a woman who had previously made something of a practice of having affairs with married guys, and she said exactly the same thing -- no guilt, it's the guys choice. But she said she would never cheat on her own partner. I claimed/believed that her moral stance was internally inconsistent, and her previous guilt-free clandestine affairs with married men made me trust her fidelity to me less. Is this reasonable, or is it caused by being overeducated in Kantian universalitistic moral principles?


Posted by: DeadPrez | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 11:04 AM
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Is this reasonable, or is it caused by being overeducated in Kantian universalitistic moral principles?

You say that like it is a bad thing. Obviously it is a sign of moral maturity that you are able to consistently apply principles even when you don't feel the emotional impact of the decision as strongly.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 11:11 AM
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I claimed/believed that her moral stance was internally inconsistent, and her previous guilt-free clandestine affairs with married men made me trust her fidelity to me less.

I'd say that either you're right, or it's a sign of contempt for her married-man partners: she wouldn't do something as sleazy as cheat, but she doesn't mind screwing someone that sleazy. At which point I'd wonder whether the fact that she didn't think much of them says anything about how she feels about you. That sounds like I've drawn the conclusion already, but mostly I mean I really would wonder.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 11:12 AM
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165

I'd say that either you're right, or it's a sign of contempt for her married-man partners: she wouldn't do something as sleazy as cheat, but she doesn't mind screwing someone that sleazy. ...

Or maybe she thinks it's worse for a woman to cheat than a man? Or maybe she finds cheating personally unappealing but not particularly morally wrong?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 11:38 AM
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165 Or maybe her criteria for hooking up with someone are: I'm attracted and he's fun to hang out with. Just because you might not want to have a serious long term relationship with someone doesn't mean a casual affair is out of the question.

163 No, you're not right. FWIW the ex who had difficulty keeping faithful, albeit only in long distance situations, had a thing against sleeping with folks who were in relationships.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 11:39 AM
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167: Yeah, certainly I'm not sure about what's going on. The reaction I'm having is something along the lines of "If you're fond of someone, you don't want to participate in causing them to do something you think of as wrong. Therefore, either she didn't think her married partners were doing anything wrong, or she wasn't fond of them. And there's something vaguely displeasing about being in an extended relationship, even if it's more casual than serious, with someone you're not fond of." But that's obviously not a necessary conclusion -- the first sentence and the last could both perfectly well be idiosyncracies of my own.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 11:49 AM
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Happily married, crushing like Megan. Old and new. I can maintain friendships just fine, obviously easier without showing too many cards. Someone who paid enough attention could probably figure it out, but they'd have to already be more interested than most people think they ought to get before they'd get to that.

There a whole world of things I can't have, and the love of X just another such thing. Unrequited love doesn't bother me either: love is a great feeling, and the objects of it are uniformly terrific people to know.


Posted by: Silent Cal | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 12:07 PM
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Sars at Tomato Nation says that if one person has romantic feelings, it isn't a friendship. That's a pretty stark rule, but I've found it handy before.

Nonsense. A little unspoken attraction here and there keeps life interesting.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 12:08 PM
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168: There's a certain thrill in doing something you believe is wrong that I think overwhelms that line of thinking for some. Of course there are also people with firmly stated moral codes that they are adept at lawyering for loopholes if the code gets in the way of something they want. My ex was like that.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 12:16 PM
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169-170: My guess is that y'all have the protection of a really strong sense of priorities. You can give yourself some latitude in feelings you never intend to act on if you are sure that your goals and boundaries are in favor of your marriage. If your situation is murkier, rules do some of that same work.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 12:21 PM
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162: I've had a crush on this one for like 5 years now. I hate to think that dooms the friendship, but it probably does. I have a huge problem with unrequited love.


Posted by: 85 | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 12:23 PM
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172: Nah, not priorities, romantic incompetence. If I could never figure out how to convert a friendship to something romantic when I was free to do so, I'm not too worried that I'm going to somehow do it now when there are actual reasons not to.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 12:24 PM
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I have a huge problem with unrequited love.

In that you are prone to it? Or that it really pisses you off to find yourself acting it out again?

(I do both, so I'm asking sympathetically.)


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 12:29 PM
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174: Drunken, heart-felt confessions didn't work?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 12:31 PM
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175: In that I find it an utterly unbearable state. I can't really say it pisses me off to find it has persisted, just makes me really sad. I can't really imagine what it would be like to, like Cal in 169, be happily committed to one person, but then maintain a friendship with someone I was crushing on.


Posted by: 85 | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 12:34 PM
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174: J. Alfred?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 12:36 PM
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176: Damn, I should have tried that.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 12:37 PM
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178: If the pseud fits....


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 12:38 PM
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Of course there are also people with firmly stated moral codes that they are adept at lawyering for loopholes if the code gets in the way of something they want. My ex was like that.

most people with firmly stated moral codes are like this.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 12:41 PM
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179: It never did work for me. Apparently I go from 'drunk enough to lower inhibitions on discussion of personal feelings' to 'drunk enough to be personally offensive' in about two or three sips of wine.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 12:42 PM
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As the mystics say of overcoming fear of death, being in a stable relationship is certainly liberating to the imagination, and to the heart. I'm sure, 85, it's a lot harder to have such a crush when you're also alone. Having one while in a relationship just makes you rich.


Posted by: Silent Cal | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 12:50 PM
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love is a great feeling

I strongly disagree with this one as well.


Posted by: The 85th President | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 12:53 PM
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I'm facebook friends now with an 8th grade crush.

How that elephant got in my pants, I'll nevah know.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 12:54 PM
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I'm sure, 85, it's a lot harder to have such a crush when you're also alone. Having one while in a relationship just makes you rich.

Or incredibly selfish. (But I am engaging a bit of transference now, I'm sure you don't personally deserve that.) Being alone has honestly never bothered me; if it did, I wouldn't be.


Posted by: The 85th President | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 12:56 PM
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||

Man, Southerners are chatty. I just got off the phone with a guy who does the same thing I do in NC, who wanted to know something about a case I'd worked on because he had a similar one. I didn't have much useful to tell him, but the conversation took twenty minutes -- if I'd been the one with the question, it would have been over in three.

OTOH, he seems like a lovely person, and I now plan to stop in and say hi if I'm ever in NC.

|>


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 12:57 PM
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184 huh. Guess I can't imagine your life either.


Posted by: Silent Cal | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 12:58 PM
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As the mystics say of overcoming fear of death, being in a stable relationship is certainly liberating to the imagination, and to the heart.

Facets of the same thing, I think. If you're trying to make sure that you're on the perfect path, looking down a different one is scary. But if you're trying to live a decent life rather than a perfect one, the existence of other attractive paths doesn't mean that you've blown it by being on the one you're on.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 12:59 PM
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I had friendship with a married woman that turned into love. Nothing physical ever happened, and we walked away with her marriage still in place. Well, technically, we walked away, came back together, walked away, then came back together, then walked away again. Her husband's realization that something was going on was ultimately what we needed to separate ourselves.

Even without sex, your emotional energy gets spent with that person instead of other relationships.

I strongly believe that you can love more than one person. But, it is not easy.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 1:00 PM
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188: What I mean by that is that love is a very demanding emotion. Infatuation feels good. Love means making hard choices, self-sacrifice in service of the best interests of the one you love.


Posted by: The 85th President | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 1:01 PM
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Apparently I go from 'drunk enough to lower inhibitions on discussion of personal feelings' to 'drunk enough to be personally offensive' in about two or three sips of wine.

Remember, profess your passionate love and profound personal connection to her before you show her your penis.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 1:01 PM
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How are you supposed to have a profound personal connection without using your penis?


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 1:04 PM
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I strongly believe that you can love more than one person. But, it is not easy.

This one I do agree with, though I very much doubt I'd be capable of it personally.


Posted by: The 85th President | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 1:04 PM
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Unless, of course, your penis is just that compelling.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 1:04 PM
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Remember, profess your passionate love and profound personal connection to her before you show her your penis.

Do you draw Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal IRL?


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 1:04 PM
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192: Even more importantly, before you show your penis to the waitress.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 1:05 PM
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Damn, I gotta write all this stuff down. Life is complicated.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 1:06 PM
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195 to 194, and I again agree.


Posted by: The 85th President | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 1:06 PM
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||

And now he has sent me three identical emails thanking me for my help.

|>


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 1:11 PM
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I have to start getting work done. I've been stalled all week, and I'm really not being productive.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 1:14 PM
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Love means making hard choices, self-sacrifice in service of the best interests of the one you love.

I really don't mean to be rude, and I'm terribly sympathetic to your situation, but this has the ring of the martyr. Love does not have to be about this at all; sometimes it is about taking risks and going for it, even if it might end in disaster (cue other Hallmark cliches). It seems to me that looking at it this way might lead to more unrequited love affairs than not; if you're always thinking they'd be better off without you (and of course this might very well be the case in the story of the married man), is it possible that you're sort of stopping the love affair before it has a chance to get off the ground, thus leaving them unrequited?*

*As with any and all speculation on someone's personal life, I submit that I might be fully wrong and I seriously don't mean offense.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 1:14 PM
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Will loves both his children, anyone can love more than one sibling, parents, grandparents, life-long friends. Your feelings for each come in and out of focus and vary in intensity from day to day. How you act on them depends both, as you say, on the needs of the beloved, but also on the needs of the other beloveds. One can prioritize: my wife over my mother, for example, no matter what the issue is.

Leaving most loves unarticulated and unrequited is certainly the prudent course for me, but I'd be sad not to have had the intensity of feeling for a number of women who are or have been in my life.


Posted by: Silent Cal | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 1:17 PM
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203 gets it exactly right.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 1:19 PM
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203 thirded.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 1:21 PM
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Love means never having to say "I'll kill you if you squeal"


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 1:22 PM
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Love means never having to play Sorry.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 1:24 PM
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Love means never having to wear a sari.


Posted by: pain perdu | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 1:25 PM
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How are you supposed to have a profound personal connection without using your penis?

Profess your undying love here.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 1:27 PM
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Love means never having to cede the Saar, eh?


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 1:30 PM
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202: No, you're right. That was a bit too absolute a statement. But you can't love someone and then do what's best for you to their detriment. Quite frankly, I do believe he would be better off with me. But I think he also needs to work through his marriage without my input or interference. He needs to go home and talk to her about his relationship with his dad or about office politics or whatever else and figure out if he's getting a real emotional and intellectual connection out of it and if he's really, truly up for several more decades of the status quo. He needs to decide for himself whether he is okay with the thought that of spending the rest of his life being "not miserable" with someone. I honestly don't know. I think we could be intensely happy together, but it's also quite possible that we could be intensely happy only for a little while and if he left a stable if not exactly happy marriage for me and then found himself alone as a result, he'd hate me for it and I could not bear that. (So maybe it's not so selfless after all.) Of course, the marriage could also fester for a few more years, die an inevitable death, and then he could hate me for not having taken the chance. Mostly, I took that hard (snippy) stance because I picture him thinking something like what Cal said -- that it's just a fucking blast to be happily married and cultivate my love for him for kicks and so I got angry at him via Cal or Cal via him. Honestly, if he is feeling good about things, I'll hate him for it.

is it possible that you're sort of stopping the love affair before it has a chance to get off the ground, thus leaving them unrequited?

Yes, this is sadly entirely possible. It sort of terrifies me to feel this much.


Posted by: The 85th President | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 1:32 PM
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Love means never having a gay safari.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 1:35 PM
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Love means Space Invaders on Atari.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 1:39 PM
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Leaving most loves unarticulated and unrequited is certainly the prudent course for me, but I'd be sad not to have had the intensity of feeling for a number of women who are or have been in my life.

Yes. I will now pronounce a firm and fast rule that unarticulated and unrequited love can be lovely. But it is always and everywhere wrong and cruel to articulate a love that you are unable to consummate.


Posted by: The 85th President | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 1:39 PM
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203 203'd.

Love means never having a seance, Ari.


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 1:39 PM
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Sorry, 85, to have made a bad day worse.


Posted by: Silent Cal | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 1:41 PM
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But you can't love someone and then do what's best for you to their detriment.

BULLSHIT.


Posted by: OPINIONATED LITERATURE | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 1:43 PM
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Love those fava beans with zatar, oui?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 1:44 PM
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And Cal, I apologize in advance and in retrospect for reading everything you have said and will say in this thread as the voice of the beloved.


Posted by: The 85th President | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 1:44 PM
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But it is always and everywhere wrong and cruel to articulate a love that you are unable to consummate.

What your friend did and said in this unconsummated affair might or might not have been proper, 85, but you can't elevate "don't lead me on" to a high moral precept. The kind of love that can lead a man to break his marriage vow and abandon the life he knows does not spring Zeus-like into existence. Without some latitude to test, explore, see what develops, it's unlikely that your friendship would have progressed to the point where you would even see a realistic shot at a relationship with him.


Posted by: pain perdu | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 1:47 PM
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The kind of love that can lead a man to break his marriage vow and abandon the life he knows does not spring Zeus-like into existence.

That's a pretty low bar. Dude fucked a swan.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 1:48 PM
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You fuck one swan...


Posted by: OPINIONATED ZEUS | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 1:49 PM
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But it is always and everywhere wrong and cruel to articulate a love that you are unable to consummate.

This made me think of Jake and Brett in The Sun Also Rises. I can't remember -- does he ever tell her that he loves her?



Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 1:52 PM
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But it is always and everywhere wrong and cruel to articulate a love that you are unable to consummate.

This made me think of Jake and Brett in The Sun Also Rises. I can't remember -- does he ever tell her that he loves her?



Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 1:52 PM
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Upon reflection, 220 is borderline should-have-gone-presidential.


Posted by: pp | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 1:52 PM
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Eh, what could possibly go wrong with posting one's reflections on marriage here?


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 1:53 PM
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what could possibly go wrong with posting one's reflections on marriage here

RTFA


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 1:59 PM
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211: That makes perfect sense to me. Sorry you're in a bad position, truly.

On the other hand, I'm having one of those days where I think people are really truly nice and wonderful. Thank you, neighbor boy who wandered out of your house with tools in hand to help (ok, do it for me) change a tire.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 2:00 PM
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RTFA

Why, do they have a link to Standpipe's other blog?


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 2:00 PM
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Nicely done, 222.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 2:02 PM
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49, 227: Discuss between yourselves.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 2:03 PM
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230: Is there a certain technique that swans like better than others?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 2:06 PM
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232: First you show them your penis.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 2:09 PM
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COME TO THINK OF IT, THIS IS SLANDER. I NEVER FUCKED A SWAN. LEDA, ON THE OTHER HAND... BITCH IS A TOTAL SWANFUCKER.


Posted by: OPINIONATED ZEUS | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 2:11 PM
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220: I understand this. Of course the feelings developed over a good long period of time and by the time they were put on the table it would be absurd to claim they took either of us completely by surprise. But (overinterpreting and extrapolating from Cal's comment) if his motivation in putting things out on the table was to stroke his ego by confirming that I was indeed hot for him, while feeling safe and secure in his not miserable marriage, then that was truly an enormously dickish and selfish thing to do. I may, of course, be actively convincing myself that this is so in an effort to curb the pining.


Posted by: The 85th President | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 2:12 PM
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Zeus makes a good point.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 2:14 PM
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He might have lots of reasons for putting things out on the table, some of which are sincere and good, some of which are unarticulated and self-serving. Pick the ones that help you through this.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 2:16 PM
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selfish thing

These are rarely solitary.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 2:18 PM
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Is there a certain technique that swans like better than others?

Not sure about that, but there are techniques they distinctly dislike.


Posted by: pain perdu | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 2:19 PM
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235: Is it possible he wanted his feelings out on the table in order to pursue them in a way that, were they not reciprocated, would be least offensive?


Posted by: uh, Ford | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 2:28 PM
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235, 237: Over time, I've come to regret the greatest unrequited love of my youth less for what I missed out on and more for what I may have communicated to her by never summoning the courage to say what I felt.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 2:28 PM
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240: I'm not at all sure I follow. The feelings *are* reciprocated. He's just not in any position to follow through on them.


Posted by: 85 | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 2:36 PM
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241:I never had difficulty expressing my feelings, but I learned my unrequited loves were always much more fun before I told the beloved.

Don't tell Anne Hathaway.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 2:40 PM
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Don't tell Anne Hathaway.

No shit. She's got some very good lawyers.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 2:42 PM
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Well but did he know they were reciprocated? Sometimes we share in order to learn. Who knows what he was thinking but that is one possibility.


Posted by: Madox Ford | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 2:44 PM
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more for what I may have communicated to her by never summoning the courage to say what I felt.

What do you think you may have communicated? That you were a hopeless dork? Or that you were gay?

Or... that she's wasn't lovable?

Sorry if it sounds like I'm teasing you -- I could really be talking about myself.



Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 2:51 PM
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Okay, so he wanted to confirm that I reciprocated feelings knowing he couldn't finish what he started? Or what? He wanted to figure out how I felt so he could factor that in to his evaluation of what he wanted to do next?


Posted by: 85 | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 2:52 PM
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Love means never having a gay safari.

Bear hunts are totally cool, though.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 2:56 PM
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But seriously guys, what can you say about a twenty-five-year-old girl who died? I always get tongue-tied in those situations.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 2:59 PM
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248: Not just about the hunting, of course.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 3:01 PM
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Anyone here have supportive (or unsupportive but interesting) stories of walking away from someone you love? (Romantic love)

I'm only just starting to read this thread, but my supportive story is that I've been the married man on the other side of a situation exactly as described in 85. Walking away (which she did, not me) hurt like hell for a while, but it was absolutely the right thing to do.


Posted by: William Jefferson Clinton | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 3:02 PM
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I think you've told that story under your real name. (Or, rather, under your usual fake name.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 3:03 PM
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245: I don't know, but it's possible he decided he was in the position to act and decided to go the talky route to save face if he were wrong, i.e., if feelings were not reciprocated. Not very dashing I'd have to agree, but saves him from the very possible shame & embarrassment of being a married dude making an unwanted pass at a friend.


Posted by: FMF | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 3:03 PM
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252: I'd rather stay presidential, if that's okay.


Posted by: William Jefferson Clinton | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 3:08 PM
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So great. Instead he is a married man who has told his friend that he loves her and is intensely attracted to her, but oh yeah he's still working on that marriage thing so, opps, maybe I shouldn't have said anything.


Posted by: 85 | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 3:08 PM
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Certainly, 252 was kind of jerky of me. I just had a 'wait, I've heard that one' moment.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 3:08 PM
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Bill, are you and Hillary happy now? Were you ever able to return to a friendship with the other woman?


Posted by: 85 | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 3:11 PM
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You're the one who knows and likes him. None of us has, or can have, the vaguest idea what he's doing with his life and relationships. Maybe he's a jerk. Maybe he thought he owed you honesty. Maybe he's an idiot. These are not mutually exclusive.

He lost the friendship, and I think even the married romantics on the thread seem to be supportive of the decision you've made. I know I am: you've made perfectly clear that you can't go on with him as things now stand.

It sounds to me -- and it's easy to misread people on the fucking internet -- that hunting for a motive is an unproductive exercise at this point. Maybe the better bet is moving on, for now, and see where you are, and how important it is to understand why things happened as they did, some weeks hence.


Posted by: Silent Cal | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 3:14 PM
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It sounds to me -- and it's easy to misread people on the fucking internet -- that hunting for a motive is an unproductive exercise at this point. Maybe the better bet is moving on, for now, and see where you are, and how important it is to understand why things happened as they did, some weeks hence.

I'm sure this is true. And I'm probably just tormenting myself. But he's not the only one that lost the friendship and this, more than anything, hurts like hell. Even if it is the right decision. I'm probably looking for reasons to be angry now.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 3:19 PM
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247

Okay, so he wanted to confirm that I reciprocated feelings knowing he couldn't finish what he started? Or what? ...

Maybe he was hoping you would tell him you didn't think of him in that way and that would help him get over his crush. Maybe you should have told him that anyway.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 3:23 PM
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What do you think you may have communicated? That you were a hopeless dork? Or that you were gay?

Or... that she's wasn't lovable?

That I didn't think she was good enough/smart enough, basically. The truth was closer to the opposite; I couldn't really believe that she could have any interest in me, despite a certain amount of evidence to the contrary. But it probably wasn't as clear to her as it was to me that all of the banter started from the premise that while I was gaga over her smarts and personality, she was too attractive to have any interest in me.

Yes, being down on yourself can cause you to be pretty shitty to other people too.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 3:24 PM
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Perhaps, at the end of the day, the answer is right there in comment 1.


Posted by: 85 | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 3:25 PM
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260: Right, then I would still have been tormented, but he would be able to go on as if nothing had changed.


Posted by: 85 | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 3:28 PM
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259: Well but maybe the internets can help somehow. Concordcet and all that. There's so many of us, if he's a jerk, we can figure it out with a little additional information. The talk, I assume, was at least face to face?


Posted by: Madox Ford | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 3:29 PM
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Ditto to 251. It happened to me three years ago, still hurts, and I still feel like a dog for behaving the way I did. The marriage is over now without acrimony, thankfully.

Apo's advice in 126 is absolutely correct.


Posted by: toops | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 3:30 PM
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hunting for a motive is an unproductive exercise

I prefer to arbitrarily supply motives. You may never know the real one, so go with something satisfying to you.

(You probably want to figure out his motive so you can bargain with it. But you can't really do that, even though it is such a compelling thought-pattern. This also gets to my resolution a couple years back that "There is no Why in dating". There's no Why. You never know their reasons; you maybe don't want to know the reason; their reasons can be entirely different from your guesses; your own reasons are obscure to you; it isn't any clearer when it goes right. There's just no satisfaction from "Why". It was a hard lesson to absorb, but now I'm pretty good at abandoning the train of thought that starts with Why.)


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 3:31 PM
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Face to face, then a heartfelt letter, then face to face some more. I told him over the phone that I needed to walk away from the friendship and he talked me out of it because I wanted to be talked out of it, frankly. Then I screwed up my courage again and sent him a text that I really, really meant it. And he is respecting that.


Posted by: 85 | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 3:32 PM
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266: Aha! Bargaining! I knew there was a stage I wasn't thinking of. Thanks.


Posted by: 85 | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 3:34 PM
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And his message the whole time is I have the hottz4u but oh no, we can't do anything about it? My guess is he wants to do something about it. Whether you should is a different question, but I don't think this is just about him feeling special.


Posted by: FMF | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 3:39 PM
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Zeus makes a good point.

It was really a weird scene back then.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 3:43 PM
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Swan story potentially relevant on several levels.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 3:53 PM
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The sentimental education in this thread is bringing me down.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 3:53 PM
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267: All that just now? Like, you were moved to action from this thread?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 3:55 PM
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256: It's not a big deal, I just didn't really want you to follow up with a link. I can't stop you, of course.

257: Yes to the first question. On the second, after the initial hiatus we returned to an uncomfortably stiff, relatively distant friendship for a while. Then she moved away, and we're no longer in touch.


Posted by: William Jefferson Clinton | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 3:57 PM
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269:

I have the hottz4u.

OMG I shouldn't have gone there, I can't go there. I would never be good enough for you in the long run. And oh yeah I don't want to get a divorce. Your friendship is one of the best things that ever happened to me please don't hate me.

Look! We're drinking coffee like normal people! We can be friends! You are so beautiful. Ack, sorry, shouldn't have said that. Friends, we will be friends!


Posted by: 85 | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 3:58 PM
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273: it's possible this belongs on standpipe's other blog, but I think 267 was in response to 264.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 3:58 PM
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Wow. I'd like to think I sounded less pathetic than 275, but I guess it's not likely.


Posted by: William Jefferson Clinton | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 4:01 PM
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276: Yes.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 4:02 PM
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275: It's possible that the dude self-hates. Immediately after making his confession he assumed it was badly taken.


Posted by: FMF | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 4:04 PM
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277: To be fair, 275.2 took up two typewritten pages and I'm perhaps inclined to characterize it less generously than I actually did when I read it for real.


Posted by: 85 | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 4:06 PM
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I still want to touch you, I'm just no longer in touch with you.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 4:06 PM
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277: The pain means that the love is working!*

* Also applicable to Christian agape.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 4:08 PM
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279: That's possible and I think partly true. But in between 275.1 and 275.2 were 48 hours, my okay I have the hottz4u2 so what next?, and (after an uncertain response) my if you are still working on your marriage this is probably pretty asinine.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 4:09 PM
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I can't believe it took me all the way to comment 280 to figure out who 85 is.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 4:10 PM
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OMG I shouldn't have gone there, I can't go there. I would never be good enough for you in the long run. And oh yeah I don't want to get a divorce. Your friendship is one of the best things that ever happened to me please don't hate me.

Look! We're drinking coffee like normal people! We can be friends! You are so beautiful. Ack, sorry, shouldn't have said that. Friends, we will be friends!

Interesting. I've said the first paragraph before (though not married, just involved). But with the intention of implying "And my uncontrollable attraction to you is why we can't be friends anymore", not the exact opposite.


Posted by: Wilfrid Laurier | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 4:10 PM
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284: Super Brock. Spare me my dignity, please.


Posted by: 85 | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 4:11 PM
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Have we got a ton of new commenters that are able to do an excellent job catching on to the tone of this place? How are there so many new handles lately?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 4:14 PM
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It's SuperBrock!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 4:15 PM
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"Lieutenant SuperBrock, someone has gone presidential or otherwise pseudonymous with respect to matters of a highly personal nature!"

"I guess someone's looking for..."

[Sunglasses.]

"... a presidential detail."

[Roger Daltrey.]


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 4:22 PM
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286: of course. I was mostly just amused at my own slowness. I was terrible at that guess-the-handle-change day.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 4:27 PM
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Heh. I haven't figured it out and probably never will. I'm terrible at that stuff. I probably know about a third of the gossip and the old threads and the continuity that goes on around here.

On the other hand, I'm sure that same trait is why I'm on the edge of my seat, wondering whether the underdogs will Win The Finals for movie after movie. So that's useful.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 4:32 PM
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I'm probably too principled to check the IP addresses and figure it out that way. Probably.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 4:37 PM
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No, really I wouldn't, because I want people to feel free to share here. It's much more interesting if people are willing to tell secrets than if the risk of us peeking created a hostile atmosphere. Please keep sharing recklessly.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 4:41 PM
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Besides, nobody would know if you did it and said you wouldn't, so why spill the beans?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 4:43 PM
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HEY EVERYBODY 85 IS SIFU sometimes I lose control.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 4:46 PM
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I haven't figured it out, but then I wasn't really thinking about it until I saw 280 and then I felt stupid. Anyway, 85, my sympathies. It will go away about the same as a regular break-up, I'd think. Separation from the object will help. Most important is the willingness to let the feelings go (that sounds so new-agey but I can't find a better way to describe it).

Once upon a time on a Usenet group I frequented there was guy who used to refer occasionally to his broken heart and how he still felt exactly the same as he had at the start of the breakup. Eventually it reached the point where they had been split up as long as they had been going out (6 years, I think) and he was still the same. He had clearly hugged his grief to him the whole time.

I went through a bad break up a few years later and I was determined not to be like him. It was hard though because sometimes your grief is all you have left and you don't want to give it up.


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 4:56 PM
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Actually, 284 should be retracted. Thinking about it more, there's a good chance my hunch was wrong.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 5:03 PM
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Don't let 295 throw you off.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 5:07 PM
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I think 85 is a woman.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 5:09 PM
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299: Does it alter the analysis any if that guess is wrong? Discuss.


Posted by: 85 | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 5:11 PM
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Based on my decades of reading mystery stories in which the least likely character always dunnit, I'm going with '85 is Emerson in the Conservatory, with the candlestick as inamorata'


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 5:13 PM
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It's obviously Bob, tired of discussing Mad Men.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 5:13 PM
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Well, then the husband dude is closeted and confused about his identity and the marriage is even more burdened, all of which adds up to even more swirly drama, which is all the more reason to avoid.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 5:17 PM
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Also, for those keeping score at home... I believe with the ambiguous and plausibly deniable threat to tell his wife, we have moved officially from denial and bargaining into the anger round.


Posted by: 85 | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 5:19 PM
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I vote for moving to the coffee-ice-cream and brownies round. Now is the time for outrageous self-indulgence.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 5:22 PM
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I was leaning more toward scotch and cigarettes. But brownies sound good, too.


Posted by: 85 | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 5:26 PM
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Once upon a time on a Usenet group I frequented there was guy who used to refer occasionally to his broken heart and how he still felt exactly the same as he had at the start of the breakup. ... He had clearly hugged his grief to him the whole time.

I was never on Usenet.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 5:30 PM
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85, I'm very late to this, and haven't read absolutely all of the intervening comments, but, well, I've dated a lot of married/involved people, and I have these reports:

(1) Nothing is ever about you in the relationship, ever. It seems like someone who is in another relationship must be really crazy about you to throw away their monogamy and all that, but it's not about you. If the primary emotional relationship is with someone else, you are merely an adjunct to that drama.

(2) Even if the person is already in the process of divorce, even if they have separated, (1) is still true.

(3) Even if the couple is non-monogamous and they both regularly see other people, (1) is still true. You will have times when you want to see them, and you always, always mean nothing if their partner decides to keep them from seeing you.

(4) Even people who love you insanely, and are so crazy about you they risk everything else in their lives for you--if they won't break up with their partner for you, and even if they actually do break up with their partner for you, they don't actually have like 1/10 of the investment of their relationship for you as you have for them.

This is not to say I haven't very much enjoyed relationships with people in other couples. I've obviously, subconsciously at least, sought them out, in part because I don't really want things to be about me with another person. (I'm married to my work, blah blah blah.) But it's really painful to watch your boyfriend put his (hated!) ex-wife in front of you all the time, or your girlfriend put her (totally ok with your relationship!) husband in front of you all the time, or your I-wish-I-could-only-be-with-you best friend refuse to break up with his jealous girlfriend.

And yes, it's really hard to go around dating new people when this is your situation, because, goddamn it, someone thinks you're that interesting and important and sexy, and here's this stranger who expects you to fucking prove yourself? Ugh! It's awful. But although I can imagine myself wanting to date people, I have learned that no matter what the situation is with a new person, I am no longer interested in being everyone's #2. #2 always means there's a #1 who hates you, even if they try to be cool about it, and your partner has to negotiate that by making you feel like shit.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 5:32 PM
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304: I believe with the ambiguous and plausibly deniable threat to tell his wife

Wait, he made an ambiguous and plausibly deniable threat to tell his wife? I may have missed an earlier part of the story.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 5:38 PM
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I should also say that I've never minded dating someone who's seeing other people, but if the other partner is monogamous or jealous and even slightly more involved, I will be the one dismissed. I'd love to hear from people who've had wonderful, fulfilling relationships as #2, who themselves don't have a #1, but I don't know of any.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 5:38 PM
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Once upon a time on a Usenet group I frequented there was guy who used to refer occasionally to his broken heart and how he still felt exactly the same as he had at the start of the breakup. Eventually it reached the point where they had been split up as long as they had been going out (6 years, I think) and he was still the same.

Hah, I was just thinking about that guy recently and wondering what ever happened to him.

He had clearly hugged his grief to him the whole time.

All the while telling everyone who ever mentioned it that no, he wasn't depressed, goddammit, and even if he was that was okay.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 5:39 PM
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Plus, if you (assuming a female here) get murdered by the wife while dating somebody married, there is a very strong danger that they will make a Lifetime Movie about this. Sure, you will probably be portrayed by somebody hot, but the wife will be played by Meredith Baxter Birney and no starlet willing to do a Lifetime Movie will have the acting chops to make the character based on you look good.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 5:39 PM
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308: On the other hand, the lying and sneaking around make adultery filthy fun.

On yet a third hand, the lying and sneaking around may make you feel (i) very, very guilty about messing up someone else's marriage, (ii) incapable of -- or, for extra credit, undeserving of -- the more profound intimacy that you believe that somebody you love would deserve and that, in the wet ashes that you once called a heart, you still covet, and (iii) ashamed of the incapability noted in(ii).


Posted by: Woodrow Wilson | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 5:42 PM
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310: I was that for about a year while primary BF was out of the country, with an interlude at christmas when she visited him. Best relationship of my life, and she's still a close friend, one of the first I reached out to when my marriage came unglued. Primary BF and her had a don't ask don't tell policy w.r.t. to other partners, and an understanding that while they were in the same place they were exclusive. In her words "out of town doesn't count."

Sort of on the boundaries of what you are talking about, but still, it's a thing.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 6:00 PM
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the lying and sneaking around make adultery filthy fun.

That's true, but you know, if one or the other party to the extra-relationship affair cares deeply about, or loves, his or her spouse/partner, it can be very seriously not worth it.

If you get caught, anyway. I've been on both ends: cheated on, and cheated. It came out both times, and both times I or my partner was fucking devastated, physically ill. I realize it doesn't always go that way, as some upthread have attested.

But honestly, I will never hurt someone I love that badly again. Also, haven't we had this thread before? I recall saying at least once before that it's the lying that's most hurtful.

This is from the perspective of the person in the long-term relationship, however; it may not speak to 85's scenario, except insofar as she/he might consider what's going on in beloved's mind.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 6:10 PM
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309: No, I did. He violated the "not friends" boundary and called. I made a nasty jab about how would she feel about this here letter? Like HG with IP addresses, I never would. Probably not.


Posted by: 85 | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 6:12 PM
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the lying and sneaking around make adultery filthy fun.

You can keep the lying and sneaking without cheating if you sneak away to have sex with your partner at a party after first lying to the hosts about needing to get keys from your coat pocket or something.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 6:14 PM
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316: Maybe you need to block his calls at this point. Is it reasonable to say that you're not yourself at this time?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 6:15 PM
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318 is immensely reasonable.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 6:21 PM
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316: Putting the larger moral issues to one side, he's being a complete shit. Not backing off and leaving you alone at your request puts you in an awful emotional position -- you've just told him you love him, you can't have him, and he's making you wallow in it. While actually telling his wife would be too rotten to do, I would work on getting over this by being enraged at how little consideration he's showing for you.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 6:25 PM
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320: I can do that!


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 6:33 PM
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316: sounds familiar. He wants to allow himself the luxury of his fantasy life with you; support for AWB's (1). You are doing the right thing by getting angry and staying away. At this point, you can't expect emotional support from him; whatever friendship is not functioning, though it might be possible to resuscitate it sometime in the future when everything has cooled off and he's worked out whatever he needs to in his marriage.


Posted by: Some Prez or Other | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 6:35 PM
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I would work on getting over this by being enraged

Heh. 85 may be enraged enough as it is.

Chances are both 85 and the beloved are completely decent people who are in a kerfuffle because of that thing, you know ... desire, thwarted. Grown adults can do all kinds of things in that situation. He calls her knowing he shouldn't, she 'theatens' to tell his wife.

I dunno, it seems completely understandable, but in the non-kerfuffle world, people would want to calm down and breathe and go do something else for a while. NOT feed their rage.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 6:37 PM
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This is not about adultery, but you know what truly, truly sucks almost as much as being broken up with? The TIME SUCK of writing an OK Cupid profile and answering all those goddamned questions and then knowing you're signing up for the equivalent of another course as you mine through profiles and try to write flirtatious emails back and forth. PAIN. PAIN. And gah, this is only the first stop on the way to Eharmony. My heart is already broken, and now my brain will be too.


Posted by: Ruth Bader Ginsburg | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 6:46 PM
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On the other other other hand... Feeding the rage does make choosing not to be his friend more palatable. Selfish bastard!


Posted by: 85 | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 6:46 PM
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Maybe he's being a shit, or maybe his emotions just have the best of him; he imagined things going one way and now they are going another way, that is, very very badly. He wants to talk his way out of it but he can't, so he's just staring at his cell phone and now, maybe, ok, I'll try one more time. The take-away from this is that talking about it never, ever works.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 6:46 PM
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324: I gave up about three questions into the Nerve or Match questionnaire, hating myself even more for having failed.


Posted by: Woodrow Wilson | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 6:48 PM
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I already recommended emotional binge eating and got back confirmation that drinking is planned (hopefully to excess). What other coping strategies does a person need?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 6:49 PM
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I feel the wind knocked out of me. I was feeling all empowered and ANGRY and ready to "move on" a few hours ago, and now, the sad task of trying to market myself and find someone new makes me want to give up and crawl back to a safe, comfortable place--like two months ago, when I thought I was loved and thought that that part of my life was figured out.

One of my friends recently got laid off from a job he loved, after he came back from his honeymoon. He compared our situations, saying that we both have to pretend to be excited about looking for something new, and believe that we'll find something even better. Oh, the delusions we need in order to survive the day to day.


Posted by: Ruth Bader Ginsburg | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 6:53 PM
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I think that I've been partnered longer than internet dating services have existed. Now I feel old.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 6:54 PM
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328: I try to work it off at the gym. Clean and jerk that heartache, scrape your knuckles on loneliness.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 6:54 PM
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323, 325: Mmm. I was encouraging rage as a route to disengagement, rather than in itself. It's hard to disengage from someone you have warm feelings for if they're pursuing you. He's probably not innately a bad person, just being shitty in the moment.

Still, if you've decided against homewrecking, you really have to get away from him, and if he won't let you do it by mutual agreement that it's the best thing, rage works.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 6:55 PM
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330: I think they existed when I met Buck, but they weren't ordinary yet. I do feel like a bit of a dinosaur.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 6:56 PM
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Quick question: if I go the lazy route and repost a profile from 2 years ago, and someone recognizes it, does it reflect weirdly on me or them?


Posted by: Ruth Bader Ginsburg | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 6:57 PM
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334: Them.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 6:58 PM
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I'm generally out of my depth here, but I do want to dispute 308.1, at least slightly: it depends on your history with Involved Person whether or not your relationship with Involved Person is about you two or about them two. Much of the time I was with BOGF, I was in various stages of semi-relationship with My Greatest Regret, but it really wasn't about BOGF: I had known and dated MGR before I ever considered BOGF as a romantic figure, and that relationship persisted. It was massively fraught due to BOGF, but it really wasn't about her. Indeed, in retrospect, I probably overestimated the extent to which it was about BOGF, because it made sense that I was cheating because I had problems with BOGF. But I can tell you, 10 years later, I was cheating because MGR and I had a lot in common and had fun together and uncanny physical chemistry (never consummated! Hence MGR). BOGF was just a (very) unfortunate obstacle.

Anyway, this probably doesn't apply to 85, and 308.1 is certainly a good rule of thumb. But it's probably not absolute.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 6:59 PM
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333.last: That's just the not being able to do pullups talking.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 7:00 PM
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desire, thwarted

This, yes, this is what happened, and it's the bloke's fault for trying to talk it out. And what can 85 do now? Nothing, go ahead and be angry. If he's not a shit he's inept and that's reason enough because his ineptitude caused pain.

I recommend booze, Mad Men, Cloud Atlas, one of those Age of Empires computer games.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 7:01 PM
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329: Holy crap, trying to market yourself when you want to do no such thing doesn't seem productive. Is single life that bad?

It's not the same as being laid off from a job, is it? There's an analogy ban here, you know.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 7:02 PM
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RBG -- so sorry. That is definitely not fun. You and I should go have drinks.


Posted by: 85 | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 7:02 PM
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336 written before I caught up on just how toolish Involved Person has been to 85. Definitely about them, not about you. Ugh.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 7:02 PM
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I'm generally out of my depth here...

Are we not supposed to comment if we don't know anything about the topic? I've been doing this all wrong.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 7:02 PM
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334: Them, definitely.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 7:03 PM
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also: running, unfogged, Frank O'Hara, going to bars, Preston Sturges movies.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 7:05 PM
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Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 7:06 PM
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I think they existed when I met Buck, but they weren't ordinary yet.

Wait, are internet dating services considered ordinary these days? (I know there are people here who use them, but I think of blog commenters as an unrepresentatively "online" demographic. I'm wondering about perceptions among the broader population.)


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 7:07 PM
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I think they're pretty ordinary -- I have an early 20s relative who's very much not the hypereducated Unfogged type who's married to a man she met online.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 7:09 PM
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346: Most of my friends who have gotten married recently met first through a dating service. But still, not really fully representative of the larger spectrum.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 7:09 PM
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(1) find a package, (2) add bright paper, (3) string


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 7:09 PM
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338: text, I disagree: he's not inept, though he may be failing in the graceful, dignified exeunt realm. He made a mistake in calling, presumably because he's having a hard time. That's all. Maybe he's figured it out now.

I can't bring myself to agree that trying to talk is awful awful horrible and what a bad stupid person he is.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 7:10 PM
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349: It's "brown, paper packages tied-up with string." We did it in a high school. I was a Nazi (because I can't sing), but I remember the lyrics.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 7:11 PM
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85: word. Would totally drink with you. In fact, I think I will pour myself a drink right now!


Posted by: Ruth Bader Ginsburg | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 7:14 PM
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You could listen to the Dance Hall Crashers for inspiration.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 7:17 PM
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Well I was never a nazi and I only know the lyrics so well.

On the trying to talk thing, it really is always a bad idea. I know this from my awkward youth. It doesn't make him a bad person, but what is she to do now? A worse person would have just acted, and then we'd be reading salacious gossip and at least for now there would be fewer hurt feelings. If 85 shares the letter, there will be the maximum amount of pain in exchange for the minimum amount of pleasure that could have resulted from this situation.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 7:19 PM
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Unfortunately, one of the dozen words that I had to say was one that I could never remember how to pronounce. (Anschluss)


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 7:21 PM
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Yay!! And FWIW, single life can be fabulous. I was really rather happy with it until friends suddenly started setting up blind dates and confessing their love and such. (Blind date, BTW, lovely though I was probably less charming than usual what with being preoccupied. Will see again!)


Posted by: 352 | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 7:25 PM
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@129

I've been the outsider in two affairs. Both dead marriages, both discreet, in both cases they had children. No harm done, and a good time was had by all. I generally agree with Dan Savage on this one, i.e. in a dead/sexless marriage it's okay to get a little something on the side discreetly. But that's not the same as falling in love and wishing he/she were married to you. And it's probably not very helpful.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 7:28 PM
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354: This isn't really computing for me. If 85 shares the letter, she's a jerk, big time. Sorry, but I'd consider that out of bounds. Certainly sharing the letter just because the guy called her in the wake of a disturbing chain of events is absurdly vindictive.

What she's to do now is walk away for a while. Both parties are upset.

We'll have to agree to disagree -- with love! -- on the advisability of talking in general.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 7:31 PM
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How can you mispronounce Anschluss?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 7:35 PM
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Holy crap, trying to market yourself when you want to do no such thing doesn't seem productive. Is single life that bad?

When you don't want to be single, and you're tired of frikkin waiting around for some suitable person to come into your life, online dating is something you can do to at least feel like you're being proactive.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 7:35 PM
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love is a great feeling

The latest Achewood has a delightfully depressing take on love.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 7:36 PM
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Crap, how'd I screw that up? achewood.com


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 7:37 PM
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359: I was 17 and never heard any German. Also, nobody but me ever noticed I was saying it wrong. I knew I was saying it wrong only because I knew I kept saying it different ways.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 7:38 PM
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361: Jesus Christ that's grim.


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 7:39 PM
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361 is really great.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 7:41 PM
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356 to 352


Posted by: 85 | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 7:41 PM
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358: Agree to disagree. Believe me, I'd prefer to live in the talking-it-out-works bizarro universe. In this universe what we need are excellent hand signals.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 7:47 PM
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358: no, of course. I know that. Passive-aggressive veiled threats are shitty, too. I never claimed to be a good person.


Posted by: 85 | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 7:48 PM
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360: Oh, sure. It was just that RBG said in 329 that it's been two months. I must be getting old.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 7:49 PM
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In this universe what we need are excellent hand signals.

This sounds creepy while I meant it to be absurd and charming. What we need are big balloons filled with ice-cream and party hats.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 7:54 PM
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369: I know it's only been two months. Being single isn't bad. I've kept busy with work, school, friends, volunteering. It's hoping he'll come back that's bad. He will or he won't, I will or won't want him to if he does. But feeling like I'm waiting for that is awful, when everything else in my life is moving on (friends, fellowship applications, etc.)


Posted by: Ruth Bader Ginsburg | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 7:59 PM
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370: It was absurd and charming. I squelched the urge to make lewd remarks. Because I'm decorous like that.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 8:06 PM
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369: I'm pretty sure we're all getting old.

I like this new comment number as pseudonym scheme. I feel like there's a most excellent Turing Machine or computability theory joke to be made in light of such practice, but someone more clever than I would have to come up with it.

Oh, and perhaps I shouldn't be joking around in the midst of so much emotional sturm und drang. Condolences to 85 and Ruth.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 8:06 PM
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He will or he won't, I will or won't want him to if he does.

He won't, you will, don't.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 8:06 PM
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Oh, and perhaps I shouldn't be joking around in the midst of so much emotional sturm und drang

Yeah, that's my bit.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 8:07 PM
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Just use the old profile. Team Ruth!


Posted by: Amber | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 8:07 PM
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Oh, and perhaps I shouldn't be joking around in the midst of so much emotional sturm und drang

I must have misunderstood this whole Unfogged thing all this time.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 8:15 PM
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@365

Yeah, the last three panels pretty much perfectly sum up any second thoughts I've had about relationships.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 8:15 PM
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Even if you rewrite the profile, at least use the old account so that you don't have to reänswer all the damn match questions.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 8:15 PM
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379: Totally deleted the old profile one year into relationship to Show Commitment. I don't regret that, and thankfully have the old profile I sent to friends for editing suggestions. But damn it, I am STILL the Sonnet! Stupid questionnaires that map onto stereotypes.


Posted by: Ruth Bader Ginsburg | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 8:19 PM
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I am with Amber: Go Team Ruth! Use the old profile! Just do it!


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 8:20 PM
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I keep taking so long to get around to replying to messages on Okcupid that I discover the people who sent them no longer have accounts.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 8:22 PM
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You're driving them away essear.

Also, are you still in Cambridge? What's that about?

Or wait that came out wrong. Are you still in Cambridge? Meetup!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 8:24 PM
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Dear Mrs. X,

How was your wedding? You're probably surprised to be hearing from me, but your OkCupid message really intrigued me, and I was wondering....

Yours, essear


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 8:25 PM
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No, I was only there yesterday. Went to sleep just after posting the comment indicating I was there, got up at 5 AM to catch an early train back. Should have had a meetup; it would have been better than the infinitely awkward encounter that I had with someone I briefly dated, earlier yesterday evening.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 8:27 PM
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Maybe we can write Ruth's profile for her!


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 8:27 PM
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384 cont: Just wanted to mention how great your profile picture looks.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 8:27 PM
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387: Forbidden!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 8:28 PM
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I wish OK Cupid had been around when I was dating. It looks like it was more fun. Honestly, if crazyblinddate had existed a year earlier, I woulda been a master of it.

DISCLAIMER: I am very happy with the outcome of my online dating experience.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 8:29 PM
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Copy and paste the link?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 8:30 PM
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390: Yeah, that works, as it generally does in such circumstances.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 8:31 PM
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I don't get it.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 8:33 PM
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Great, start 'em young.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 8:33 PM
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Mrs X, Madame X -- it's close enough.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 8:34 PM
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Is OKcupid the go-to place for online dating that has any chance of success? I thought there was some other place (not eHarmony) -- it had a vaguely elitist-sounding name, but I forget now what it was. Swashbucklers? Smartasses?

Oh. Nerve dot com, I think. Is that around or helpful any more?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 8:36 PM
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How old is the old profile? I can't imagine a profile of me from more than a year ago reflecting who I am and what I want now. And my guess is that you want him to come back but don't actually want him back. Nothing more satisfying than to have them crawl back realizing they've made a horrible mistake and telling them it's too late jerk!


Posted by: 85 | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 8:36 PM
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To clarify the unfortunate syntax in 385: the awkward encounter was yesterday evening; the brief dating was over a year ago. Note to self (and others): never date someone in the same field who you can't avoid interacting with on a semi-regular basis for the rest of your life, especially if she's going to hold a grudge.

I should allow more time to actually enjoy Boston/Cambridge, the next time I go. This was a very rushed trip. Two talks. I usually try to at least spare a few hours to go to the MFA when I'm in Boston.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 8:37 PM
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I found OKCupid a lot more helpful than Nerve. That might be largely a function of age; Nerve seemed like it didn't have that many people in my age group, but OKCupid had plenty.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 8:38 PM
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I assume Nerve is still around, although I've never actually checked.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 8:39 PM
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Did she heckle you, essear?


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 8:41 PM
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(1) find a package, (2) add bright paper, (3) string

Cut a hole in the box?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 8:43 PM
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401: you are sixteen, going on seventeen ooohhhh that's my dick in a box!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 8:44 PM
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400: No, that might have actually been fun. (And maybe it would have helped keep the famous person who slept through most of my talk awake....)


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 8:45 PM
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398: So Nerve is for older people, meaning the older-than-20s set, I take it.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 8:49 PM
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I am racking my brain to remember what your expertise is, essear. Is it public knowledge?


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 8:49 PM
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404: That was my impression at the time, more or less (maybe more like over-25, though). It may not have been totally accurate.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 8:50 PM
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And maybe it would have helped keep the famous person who slept through most of my talk awake....

Affleck had a long night, man.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 8:52 PM
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I parsed 405 as Will asking if esssear was an expert in the field of public knowledge.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 8:53 PM
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that darn elephant got in my pajamas again!


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 8:54 PM
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405: Theoretical physics. (More specifically, things like this and this.)


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 8:56 PM
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Affleck had a long night, man.

I had a moment of thinking "but he isn't at BU anymore, and at any rate he mostly does condensed matter these days, and how do you know who he is, anyway?"


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 8:57 PM
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406: Which makes OKCupid friendly to under-25s, which means, uh. Okay!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 8:58 PM
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Okcupid seems to have quite a few people in their late 20s and early 30s, also. I don't know when the distribution really starts falling off; I tend to screen by age when searching.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 8:59 PM
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412: Indeed.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 8:59 PM
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Yeah, OKCupid seems to have a pretty broad age range. It was more that Nerve seemed to have a relatively narrow one.

There may also have been a geographical issue. Nerve seems like more of a big-city thing.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 9:01 PM
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Damn. I thought I'd successfully figured out who essear was from this thread and some googling, but now I think I'm wrong.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 9:01 PM
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I thought the big-city version was Noive.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 9:01 PM
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417: No, that's the NYC-specific version.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 9:03 PM
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416: It should be pretty trivial to figure out from this thread. Oh well.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 9:04 PM
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I'm 35 and I've been having a good time on OK Cupid; too many interesting guys for my limited free time, actually. Of course I have all sorts of anxiety interacting with strangers, but that's not OK Cupid's fault, or the Internet's.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 9:04 PM
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The french version is Nouvre.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 9:04 PM
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Although I should note that the "potential matches" OKCupid shows me have have much higher compatibility ratings now that Brooklyn is within my local area. Over 90%! I never used to see any above 75 or so.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 9:05 PM
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So where do the people older than early 30s go? MatureSingles or WhatTheFuckYesIKnowButWhyNot?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 9:07 PM
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In fact, minimal Googling based on this thread and a few clicks can lead people to a document containing my cell phone number. If I start getting strange phone calls, I'll blame Sifu.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 9:07 PM
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Yeah, Brooklyn is awesome like that. Of course, tomorrow I'm going out with a guy who lives in Inwood (a.k.a. "I can see Russia from my house!").


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 9:08 PM
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So where do the people older than early 30s go?

Match.com, I think. Maybe eHarmony.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 9:08 PM
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The french version is Nouvre.

Oh? In Baltimore, it's Nouvriole.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 9:09 PM
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425: I refer to it as "The Frozen North" up here.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 9:10 PM
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I get one 97% match within 5 miles of where I live, and I think I recognize her as someone who used to live in the apartment next to mine in one of the U of C dorms. I'm pretty sure we're not actually very compatible, assuming I'm not confused about who this is.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 9:11 PM
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419: I have a guess, but it's not that trivial.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 9:11 PM
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Ah, okay, I was right. Now it's trivial!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 9:13 PM
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After looking to see where "Inwood" is...

What the heck is going on here?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 9:13 PM
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Edit: I forgot about the "satellite" part of Google maps. Train yard, duh.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 9:14 PM
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The highest match I see using the settings mine happens to be on right now is 95%. That person is in Philadelphia, though; I've still got it set to a 100-mile radius, which is kind of ridiculous in this context.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 9:15 PM
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I have a guess, but it's not that trivial.

The rhythm of this line puts the song Invisible Touch in my ear.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 9:15 PM
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433: And I can literally see it from here.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 9:17 PM
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More on-topic: I've never as a third-party person watched a break-up as first-hand as I've been watching my recent roommates parting ways. It's heart-wrenching to watch these two people I know and care about untangle their affairs and make missteps in the process, but I adopted an early Swiss-feeling stance: neutral; will listen; not offering advice; but, seriously, will listen.

Apo's got some adage in the archives about how no one knows as much about what's going on as the two (or more?) people involved in a relationship, and that's kept me relatively sane.

So, basically, whatever apo says, do that.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 9:18 PM
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Switching to a 25-mile radius, I get a couple over 90%. Switching to 50 miles, I get dozens.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 9:20 PM
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438: Would they have matched you with the woman at the park, the lovely liaison you blogged here? Just curious about these things and how they work (how well they work).


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 9:31 PM
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438: You're into couples now, teo?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 9:33 PM
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439: Good question. Probably not, given that she's a bit outside the age range I usually search on, but it'd be interesting to see what rating it would give.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 9:34 PM
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441 to 440.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 9:42 PM
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441: Watch out! Teo is doing science!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 9:43 PM
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Seriously, though, one of the reasons I resist these online dating places is that I have trouble imagining how I would construct parameters.

What is it: age range. Okay, that's reasonable, I guess mostly. Height, weight? Activity level? (athletic vs. couch-potato? is there a category for medium, medium-low, medium-high?) Um, areas of interest?

I mean, does it say: I'm an intellectual, I just am, but I have a wicked sense of humor although some people don't get it, and uh, let's see, I'm 5'6" or 5'7" depending on whether I'm slouching. Oh! Also leftist.

I just don't see how that's helpful in screening, particularly, because it must describe a million people.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 9:51 PM
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I just tried to see if I could find her on OKCupid, but she doesn't seem to be on there (or she was rated as less than a 50% match with me, which seems unlikely given, well, you know).

I just don't see how that's helpful in screening, particularly, because it must describe a million people.

The nice thing about OKCupid is that you answer a bunch of questions about your opinions and stuff, and it uses some algorithm to come up with predicted compatibility probabilities. Other sites do this differently, but yeah, with all of them it's often a bit of a crapshoot.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 9:55 PM
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444: On Okcupid, you answer a large number of questions and it builds some sort of "match percentage" based on your answers. You don't choose parameters, really, aside from age and gender and sexual orientation.

Its "match percentage" may or may not correlate well with compatibility. One thing that's very clear is that if I look at people with low match percentages, their profiles tend to be poorly written and ungrammatical, so at least for me it seems to have constructed a measure that correlates highly with level of education. This, of course, doesn't guarantee much about compatibility, but it is a useful screening technique.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 9:57 PM
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"Useful" in the sense that I occasionally exchange an amusing message or two and then fail to go on an actual date.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 9:58 PM
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I just don't see how that's helpful in screening, particularly, because it must describe a million people.

One thing I would never have predicted before doing it was that seeing other people's mundane preferences is very useful. Somewhere in the archives are buried my comments about weeding out men who only want to date white women, who want to date women who are at least five years younger than them, who list only hair/eye color and build as preferences (if you're putting a default 4'-8' as your height preference, then you're not seriously looking for anything other than an extremely casual sex partner), etc.

You would think that the 5-6 categories that most people have preferences about would be banal, but they aren't.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 10:07 PM
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Whoops, I mean that you might think the *answers* to those 5-6 common categories are banal, but they aren't. They're pretty telling.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 10:07 PM
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||

I'm feeling pretty hungry. I had a light-to-medium dinner at ~7 pm (5.5 hours ago) and nothing since. But I should just go to bed, right? No good can come of eating when I'll be in bed shortly. Right? Because the fridge is full of tasty things (I'd probably have spinach lasagna).

|>


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 10:07 PM
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446.2: That's interesting; it sounds at least from that as though they're trying to match like with like. Which is fair enough, though of course one doesn't necessarily want to go out with one's clone.

Still, though. Thanks teo and essear.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 10:09 PM
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448: Yes, I can see that. I'm not really expecting to investigate online dating sites any time soon, but you never know, and in the meantime it's sometimes a little stunning to me how many people seem to date from them almost exclusively.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 10:14 PM
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451.1: IIRC, you give both your answer to the questions and the answer you would prefer your match to have, which need not be identical.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 10:15 PM
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451: OKC, at least, asks you the question, but also asks you how your "ideal match" would answer the question, and then asks you how important their answer is to you. So it doesn't assume that a good match is someone who thinks exactly like you in all ways, unless you tell it that's what you want.

{Rubber stamp!}


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 10:15 PM
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it's sometimes a little stunning to me how many people seem to date from them almost exclusively.

For people who don't have large social circles to draw from they're a godsend.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 10:18 PM
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Essear-pwned. But I added value.

it's sometimes a little stunning to me how many people seem to date from them almost exclusively

Once, wondering whether I was imagining things, I actually kept track of the number of single, age-eligible men I encountered in my daily life. It turned out I was not imagining things.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 10:18 PM
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if you're putting a default 4'-8' as your height preference, then you're not seriously looking for anything other than an extremely casual sex partner

Wait, really? I'd probably answer the question that way just because specifying a preferred height seems sort of creepily like creating a video game avatar. Same for eye/hair color; who actually cares about that stuff?


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 10:25 PM
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So, basically, whatever apo says, do that.

And then call Stanley for bail money.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 10:29 PM
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Same for eye/hair color; who actually cares about that stuff?

See, you think this, and I think this, and the people who don't think this will helpfully reveal themselves on those questions.

And men who can't be bothered to think for five seconds about whether they really, truly, would be fine with dating a 4'8" or 6' 2" woman are also highly unlikely, IME, to be a good fit for me. NPI.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 10:31 PM
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458: I might not pay, but I'd come get you. I'm loyal but kind of poor.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 10:37 PM
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And men who can't be bothered to think for five seconds about whether they really, truly, would be fine with dating a 4'8" or 6' 2" woman
I don't think that implication follows.


Posted by: wispa | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 10:40 PM
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Yeah, I gotta say, I've got like, no height preference, when it comes down to it. I've happily crushed on/dated men between 5'4 and 6'4.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 10:43 PM
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And can't imagine ruling out people above or below that range, either. Gentlemen....


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 10:44 PM
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And men who can't be bothered to think for five seconds about whether they really, truly, would be fine with dating a 4'8" or 6' 2" woman are also highly unlikely, IME, to be a good fit for me

I'd think the exact opposite. I don't know any 4'8" or 6'2" women, why should I be prejudiced against them?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 10:47 PM
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Not sure what this says about me, but while I have very strong hair colour preferences and moderate weight ones I don't care at all about eye colour and I'm not sure I have a height preference - I know that on the very rare occasions I've met women that are my height 6'2") or taller I've found it a bit weird but that's about it. Even hair colour isn't completely absolute, I've met women with the wrong hair colour that I find attractive, it just doesn't happen often.

What I would agree with is that someone who only has a brief outline of their own and desired physical characteristics is either just looking for a fuck or ambivalent enough about the internet dating thing to have been unable to put together a decent profile


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 10:48 PM
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whether they really, truly, would be fine with dating a 4'8" or 6' 2" woman

I'm laughing because my brother went from one of those to the other (more or less) pretty much sequentially. That's a totally unexceptional height range to be comfortable with. And once you're ok with that, seems sort of picayune to specifically rule out the 0.1% or whatever of the population that's above or below those marks.


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 10:48 PM
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I find it really hard to answer those sort of questions. Yes, I'm irrationally attracted to men with curly hair. (I bet they don't even ask that, do they?) But that doesn't really have any bearing at all on how happy I think I could be with someone; it's just a small, of no importance sort of thing.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 10:51 PM
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463
Unfogged being an occasionally grammar/spelling Nazi type of place, it behooves me to point out that you spelled that wrong, it should be "Gentlemennz"


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 10:53 PM
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"Gentlemennz"

I knew I was doing it wrong.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 10:54 PM
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It's not the pieces that matter, it's how well they fit together.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 10:57 PM
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461: I'm making a claim based on my experience. I'm happy to believe that my experience is not fully representative, but numerous go-rounds of thinking a person who has unspecified height preferences is pleasantly open-minded, only to discover that they're actually indiscriminate, changed my default assumption.

Likewise, interacting with people who put down a certain range but haven't thought it through can really be unpleasant. Again, in the archives are several stories about men who claimed to be fine with 6' tall women and yet reacted visibly (and vocally) to 5'8" me. Er, dude, I've given you every possible signal that I'm a calm, friendly grown-up who will go away quietly if you decide you're not interested. Perhaps there's no chemistry; perhaps you've changed your mind; perhaps I'm just not what you want. But if you say I'm too tall for you, absent other evidence, I'm going to take you at your word.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 11:06 PM
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456.last: I'm a little late seeing that comment, but yeah, you do have a point.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 11:07 PM
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So y'all are talking about how to navigate the unspoken signals in internet dating now. I thought the world wasn't done yet with navigating the signals in flesh-world dating.

Also, teraz is a harsh task-master. The horror of being unable to put together a decent profile indeed!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 11:19 PM
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Same for eye/hair color; who actually cares about that stuff?

I have definite hair color preferences, but they fall into the category of "nice to have" not "dealbreaker". Not, by far, anywhere near the most important things I look for, but I do pay attention to them.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 11:21 PM
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One of the positive things about getting older is that there are more beautiful women out there every year.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 11:34 PM
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I'm going to break out and say it:

Some of you sound like you're shopping! For a toy, or an accessory, or an accoutrement, or a well-fitting garment! Jesus christ!

Okay, that's out of my system enough now that you don't even have to yell at me for saying it.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 11:42 PM
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476: When you haven't even met the other person, what's wrong with that? (It's a problem if you act that way *after* you meet someone, but beforehand?)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 11:44 PM
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476: Right, because no one could possibly find another human being attractive in any way without totally understanding their SOUL, man.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 11:47 PM
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I'm impressed that parsimon can post so many comments disdaining the entire concept of online dating profiles, in the absence of anyone else joining in to agree with her.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11-18-09 11:50 PM
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I'll join in to agree with her, more or less. The Internet dating thing is utterly foreign to me. I suppose I feel about it the same way that teo feels about music and birds.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 12:02 AM
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I sometimes feel frustrated by being in a long-distance relationship, but then I also feel intense relief that I am not monitoring every woman I meet for clues to see if romance could blossom. In the entire three years that I've been in a long-distance relationship, I think I've met exactly two women who I could plausibly believe to be flirting with me. Which means that almost all romance-sign clue-monitoring, which I am not taking the trouble to engage in now, would have been fruitless and eventually frustrating. So I can see the appeal of, in a parallel universe where I was single, creating a profile to be looked at by female people in a similar situation to me.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 12:11 AM
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So how does non-Internet dating work, anyway? I take it the idea is that you meet someone who stops by, say, your bookshop (supposing you were the kind of person who has an "open shop"), and you chat and the guy decides he thinks you're cute and interesting and asks if you want to have coffee later that day? And if you share his interest, you agree? Then love blossoms or it doesn't, rinse-repeat?

Yeah, I don't seem to be in those situations much. Somehow spending much of the day working alone in a dark room on the eight behind two layers of RFID-opened doors doesn't lead to a lot of serendipitous Hollywood "meet cute" moments. So, like Blume says somewhere above, when fortune doesn't strike, you make an effort rather than waiting around. (Or if you're like me, you create a profile and then never actually do anything with it, because you used up all your initiative on the profile, and really, you say to yourself, don't you have to get a lot of your shit in order before you're much of a catch, anyway?)

Internet dating may seem foreign but I don't see why it need be: you're just getting an explicit statement of openness to meeting people up front, and get up front certain information about the potential date that might otherwise dribble out over a much longer period. It's just an attempt to accelerate the filtering process that presumably goes on in the many failed interactions, dates, and relationships of all those folks who are lucky enough to meet "normally", and to increase the likelihood of a successful match by providing easy access to a wider pool of potential mates.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 12:21 AM
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Because I live in NYC and am a stereotype, OKCupid has like a billion 90%+ matches for me, who all love Achewood, Tristram Shandy, and Hume. Seriously. About half of the guys who have contacted me are married dudes in "open relationships," and I've said, well, hey, thanks, man, but I'm really making an effort to date single people right now. But despite my having told it that I'm generally interested in men my age-ish or older, I keep getting these 25, 26-year-old dudes. They seem very bright and all of that. (No, I did not go out again with that actually-quite delightful boy who turned a bit psycho.) I wouldn't rule it out.

Dating in the city in general is already a lot like personals dating, in that you can forge a real connection with people and you don't necessarily see them again because everyone's so picky, including me. It is already a bit too much like shopping. (Oh, this coat is nice and warm and I really like the style and price, but... I'll keep looking just because I can.) I don't particularly like shopping, either, in part because I don't like feeling that way myself, that I'm this super-picky person, or that I can easily just hang someone/something back on the shelf.

Generally, I just really like being single. My life is really busy and full of things to do. I meet people a lot in my work, and making friends feels a lot more natural and less fraught than all this people-hunting stuff. But I do feel like I get better about being open to people without feeling the compulsion to impress them or make them like me, so sometimes it seems appropriate to give things a go again.

On the positive side, to parsimon's concerns about it, meeting a lot of strangers can be really good for the soul in that, while a lot of people are disappointing, quite a surprising number are actually really wonderful, even if it's not a good match. It makes you confront the fact that there are all these people walking around you that have complex thoughts and feelings and interests, who are honest or thoughtful or caring, who want some of the same things you want. You don't get that from profile-browsing, but from actually meeting people. That part about stranger-dating is good for the soul.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 3:18 AM
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I found my brief venture into internet dating remarkably parallel to my limited ventures into real world dating. In both cases I have an obnoxious defensive reflex of leading with, "I have a daughter and she's fabulous and I will always love her more than I love you!" (I suppose trying to date me as a single mom would be a lot like dating an Involved Person, come to think of it. Per all the advice above, probably a bad idea even though you know the sex would be great.). Online and off, I tend to attract the interest of/get matched with dweeby types I'm not willing to give a chance. I really wish I liked dating more.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 4:52 AM
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Height. What a thing.

One of my favorite people from my last job is short, under 5' I'm sure, probably not quite as short as 4'8" (but I haven't measured.) Lovely person. I walk around the streets of Amsterdam, and brrriing, brriing there's a 6' blonde on a bicycle. Yow. Did she smile at me?

We all know Witt as an intellectual and moral entity. Some of us have had the opportunity to interact with her personally. It's hard to argue about taste, but really now, someone who wouldn't want to be friends with Witt because she's 5'8" definitely needs to recheck their settings.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 4:56 AM
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We should switch, Di. You can take some arrogant pretty boys off my hands and I'll take your dweebs.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 4:59 AM
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Meh. I'll give you the dweebs gratis. Sometimes, I go to sleep alone and wish it were otherwise. But when I wake alone in the. Morning, I realize I wouldn't have it any other way.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 5:43 AM
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485: For most men, it seems to be a shorter than me v. taller than me issue, which in your case doesn't apply in the range you've described. Still something people should get over, but I don't think you're quite sympathizing with why people care.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 5:43 AM
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I always thought the fun part about dating was meeting different kinds of people.

The crazy ones provide you with the best stories. The normal ones get to tell their friends about how crazy you are. Win-win.

I am not tall. My first serious gf was a 6' tall half japanese woman. I went out with a 5' tall woman in college a little bit. Neither height bothered me.

Loneliness is sucky, but having some time to yourself isnt all bad.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 5:49 AM
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OT Pain Question for LB and alameida (if she's around). Sorry if this is too much information. I'm getting an IUD inserted. The OB/GYN has prescribed misoprostol to take vaginally the night before to soften the uterus, and she recommended that I take ibuprofen and tylenol beforehand. I've been thinking about taking aleve instead because of the longer half life.

Of course, it's bound to b emor epainful for me, since I've never been pregnant, but what did you do for pain relief? I'm not sure what doses to take. I can call, of course, but as long as a Idon't take too much acetominophin I'm not too worried about overdosing on NSAIDs over the course of a day or two.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 6:00 AM
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488 -- No I understand exactly. But if a hang-up about height is precluding compelling personages at the non-freakish height of 5'8", one might really want to try to deal with that.

Not in the market obviously, but what gives me pause when I think about you folks dealing with online dating is that there's no way my wife would end up picking me through some kind of profile match. Not in 1980 and not today.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 6:10 AM
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Dating people who are taller than 9' is impractical if you hope to ride tandem bicycles.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 6:20 AM
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488. People are hung up about height, and often not in a good way. I'm 5'3", so basically if I discounted partners taller than me I'd have had an even harder time than I did, even though men are "supposed" to be the taller one in heterosexual relationships. Eventually I settled down with somebody eight inches taller than me. Big hairy deal.

And we get remarks from complete strangers, or we did before we were visibly entering our dotage. Often quite rude and crude remarks, usually but not always from men. Mostly such remarks are negative, but I've also had a few equally offensive comments along the lines of, "Props to a little runt like you for pulling a nice Junoesque piece of tail like that."

What is the matter with these people?


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 6:25 AM
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One of the things I like about OKCupid's setup is that it sort of sidelines things like height, income, body type, etc. The main tool for browsing profiles quickly doesn't even display any of that stuff until you look more closely at the profile. And even the full profile doesn't focus on those things as much as on the writing and questionnaire stuff.

On Nerve, you used to be able to see what the other person's search requirements were, which made me sort of paranoid. Like, I shouldn't contact that guy because clearly he's much more interested in an athletic woman who doesn't necessarily have much education. Or I'd go out with someone, knowing they probably wouldn't like me. OKC doesn't tell you what people want unless they say it in their profile. It results in a much broader variety of responses, but that doesn't seem like a bad thing, necessarily.

About height, I've almost always dated men not much taller than me. (I'm 5'6".) I've been out with a few very tall men, but they have a tendency to pat me on the head. There's something sort of nicely conspiratorial about dating someone close to your own height.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 6:26 AM
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We've discussed height several times, There's a couple of lengthy past threads on the topic. I've mentioned before that people's [and by people I mean women] perception of what's average is quite skewed. I know any number of women who won't date 'short men', by which they mean men under 6ft. I'm 5ft 10+ and have been described as short a couple of times.

I don't think I've ever been out with anyone taller than about 5ft 8, but that's not through any conscious plan.

What is the matter with these people?

Four letter word, beginning with 'c', the lot of them.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 6:50 AM
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1. Witt's 5'8" seems more like 6'5" because she is so intimidating.

2. It is deliciously ironic how many people want others to look beyond their own appearance, yet will not give someone else a chance because of their appearance, or some other superficial thing.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 6:53 AM
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Somewhat related, the Virginia Court of Appeals just reversed gave their ok to calling someone a "f______ b_____" or a "c___".


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 6:55 AM
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dsquared and others should be happy:

http://www.courts.state.va.us/opinions/opncavwp/1349082.pdf


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 6:57 AM
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For me, anyway, there is something of a dominance submissiveness vibe to height differences. I sort of abhor feeling like the dominant one and so "short" men, however personally compelling, are a turn off for me. Of course, I seem to have a formidable list of deal-breakers these days, so perhaps that's just another excuse designed to ensure I continue waking up alone.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 7:00 AM
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It would be a lot more fun to come up with a deal-breaker after 4 or 5 weeks.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 7:05 AM
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If you take the time to get to know people, you can find a deal-breaker that won't seem as shallow when you describe it. Like tall people, most short people are deeply annoying in some way or another.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 7:08 AM
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"At first, I was not going to date you because you are too short. I'm so glad I wasn't as superficial because now I can reject you for picking your nose when you think nobody is looking. Either learn better manners or get better peripheral vision."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 7:11 AM
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Sure, but if I take 4 or 5 weeks to find a non-shallow deal-breaker, *emotions* might come into play. And that is so messy!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 7:11 AM
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It's also 4 or 5 weeks in which somebody can find a deal-breaker about you.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 7:14 AM
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503:

Isnt there an actual divorce decree with a finding of fact that your heart is "black as coal and as cold as ice"? See Kotimy v. Kotimy, 666 Ill. Ct of App. 999, 1001-1002 (2006).


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 7:16 AM
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Now you're catching on!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 7:16 AM
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490: I'm no use, because I didn't think insertion was that bad -- no pain medication at all, and it was a quick Ow Ow Ow experience that was over and fine in under thirty seconds. My midwife might have been unusually skillful, or I just got lucky.

Asilon, OTOH, who doesn't seem like the sort of person to be wimpy about pain at all, thought it hurt a hell of a lot, so YMMV all over the place. If you get troublesome menstrual cramps, maybe medicate for a peak bad-cramp experience?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 7:18 AM
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I have to admit, I find the idea of 'deal-breakers' a bit confusing. I find specific individuals really hot, and not hot-at-all, and can be just as driven by entirely superficial appearance as the next person, but I can't think of many things that would constitute prima facie in advance 'deal-breakers'.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 7:25 AM
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Part of what makes people so weird about the height thing is that the average height difference makes straight couples very likely to be compliant with the 'men in a couple have to be taller' rule without anyone having to actively rule anyone else out -- the pattern gets reinforced all the time without working at it. At 5'7", I don't think I've ever ruled anyone out based on height, but OTOH the shortest guy I ever dated was right about my height: maybe shorter than me, but if he was, barely -- most men are taller than I am. So it usually only comes up as a seriously active issue for distinctly tall women and short men.

I have no idea what I'd do with a computer dating profile if I had occasion for one -- it's not that I don't have physical preferences, but they're all overrideable for someone I actually like. Do any of these sites have a way to say "These criteria define my 'type', but if the substantive bit of the profile sounds appealing, I'm flexible"?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 7:26 AM
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Heh. Apparently I am ttaM.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 7:26 AM
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I could never quite bring myself to date somebody with a hook for a head.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 7:27 AM
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Uh, 506 to 504. 505 was reversed, with a divided court holding that I am "pure as fresh fallen snow and warm as a burst of sunshine in the spring". 777 Ill. S. Ct 316 (2006). The dissent noted that both the majority and the court below overlooked that I am "an unattainable siren possessed of irresistable but perilous charms."


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 7:27 AM
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Think of the stories they could tell.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 7:27 AM
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The person with a hook for a head, rather than the Illinois Supreme Court, of course.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 7:29 AM
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514: what's the difference, really, in this fallen, sorry, reality show of a country.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 7:30 AM
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Sifu is mixing threads.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 7:31 AM
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I did date a shorter guy briefly in my immediate post-divorce blowing off steam phase. He was unbelievably hot and wonderfully distracting. But also, turns out, a raging alcoholic with a criminal record. So, you know, Moby is right that less shallow deal breakers can usually be found.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 7:34 AM
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514: Right. We successfully managed to get all the good stories placed under seal.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 7:37 AM
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a raging alcoholic with a criminal record

Unattainable sirens with irresistable charms'll do that to some men, regardless of height.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 7:40 AM
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But also, turns out, a raging alcoholic with a criminal record.

Oh, now that's a deal-breaker?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 7:43 AM
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512: may it please the court, I submit that if you subject some pure fresh fallen snow to a burst of spring sunshine, what you end up with is a drip.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 7:44 AM
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There's just no pleasing some people, Sifu.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 7:44 AM
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521 -- Or avalanche danger, depending.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 7:46 AM
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520:

Speaking as a professional, no.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 7:47 AM
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521:

Or, hopefully, a huge wet spot.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 7:48 AM
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523: hott.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 7:48 AM
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526: At that point, isn't the danger flooding?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 7:52 AM
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Off to swim...?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 8:21 AM
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Is it just me who would far rather be rejected for some really stupid shallow thing than for something deep and intrinsic to my character?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 8:29 AM
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529: No.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 8:30 AM
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I guess the preference expressed here is not to be rejected at all, but frankly, I'd rather know if someone is only dating me because they're really, really trying not to be deeply bothered by something about the way I look. I figure, if it bothers you, it bothers you, and that in itself tells me something intrinsic to your character that I need to know.

Many years ago, I was really close friends with a guy I worked with who was absolutely mad about me--came to my office all the time, laughed with me, followed me around campus when I did errands and stuff. He even told me he was sort of in love with me. But he couldn't date me, he said, because he's just terrified of fat people. He's tried therapy and stuff, but all he's figured out is that he seems to be unable to shake the sense that fat is contagious, and that he could end up fat, and then he'd have to kill himself. So for a while he tried to get me to diet, work out all the time, etc. And I kept saying, dude, I am not the one who needs to change. I may not be in the best shape anyone's ever been in, but it's not my fault you have this phobia, and I'm sorry our relationship has made you confront that so painfully. But I don't want to date someone who is choking down revulsion for me.

He was the one who came out of that situation feeling bad about himself.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 8:40 AM
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Yep; the tragedy of the objectively fairly attractive girl who nonetheless can't get a date. I cleverly dressed badly enough enough in high school and college that I could blame my lack of action on my fashion sense, rather than my personality.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 8:40 AM
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Yeah, I'm sure the flip side of this is that it's easier, in one sense, to offer guys the plain opportunity to reject me for being large-ish rather than for being crazy.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 8:42 AM
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Huh. On the one hand, that does seem like TMI on his part. On the other hand, I can see how being rejected for clearly insane reasons would be less depressing than the alternative.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 8:43 AM
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he's just terrified of fat people

Lucky for him they're usually easy to outrun.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 8:43 AM
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he's just terrified of fat people

So he should be.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 8:46 AM
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I can see how being rejected for clearly insane reasons would be less depressing than the alternative.

Isn't this what everyone tells themselves? "Crazy bitch dumped me just 'cos I'm a raging alcoholic with a criminal record. Can you believe it?"


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 8:47 AM
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The subconscious fear that she's single because she ATE HER PREVIOUS BOYFRIEND.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 8:47 AM
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he could end up fat, and then he'd have to kill himself

I think we all can guess what the relationship gods have in store for this fellow. Seen a picture of him lately?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 8:50 AM
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539: Well, since I moved away, he cheated on his anorexic fiancée with a friend of mine (also thin), the fiancée dumped him, and since then he's been mostly single and continually losing muscle mass, I think due to dieting more and working out less.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 8:53 AM
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AWB, why were you dating Jonah Goldberg in the first place?


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 8:53 AM
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I know it's fucked up to be all "oh poor dude sick with patriarchal expectations!" and stuff, but I do genuinely feel bad for pathologically shallow people. I've known a lot of them, and IME they're always really deeply miserable, much more unhappy than the people they reject.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 8:56 AM
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543

I choose to believe that most bad behavior is self-punishing to some extent or other. I think it's even mostly true.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 8:58 AM
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535: Rule #1: Cardio.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 9:00 AM
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542: I feel sorry for the people they don't reject.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 9:01 AM
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Other sites do this differently, but yeah, with all of them it's often a bit of a crapshoot.
That's interesting that so many of them do that; JDate, the only one I've used, basically functions as a social networking site. There's no questionnaire or anything like that, and all the filtering's done by the users.


Posted by: the Other Paul | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 9:02 AM
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543: YOU KEEP RIGHT ON BELIEVING THAT WHILE I EAT THESE HUNDRED DOLLAR BILLS.


Posted by: OPINIONATED DICK CHENEY | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 9:04 AM
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535: clearly apo hasn't dated many offensive linemen.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 9:04 AM
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A lot of us of, erm, well-padded proportions are _very_ fast over the first 50 metres or so.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 9:04 AM
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542: I tend to feel this way as well, and then waste perfectly good emotional energy trying to heal miserable little sad sacks who are too broken to I've anything back.

543: I wish I believed this, but both personally and professionally I see that more often than not bad behavior has no consequences for the bad actor.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 9:07 AM
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Making fear a completely appropriate response.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 9:07 AM
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545: OMG, me too. I met this guy's fiancée at a party two years into our friendship. She shows up at my house, grabs me and gives me a hug, saying she feels like we're sisters, she knows so much about me, thinks I must be amazing. I'm standing there sort of shocked, saying, "Um, I didn't catch your name. Who are you here with?" I had no idea he was even dating anyone.

I don't think it was just that he didn't want me to stop flirting with him at work. He really genuinely seemed to dislike her and disrespect her, and to exclusively be dating her due to the fact that she was thin. It made me sad for her, because she actually seemed pretty great. I'm glad she's moved on.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 9:08 AM
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bad behavior has no consequences for the bad actor.

Eh, at the very least they're stuck being like that. The worst person I've ever worked for, and probably the worst person I've ever met, was immensely successful professionally and seemed to be doing fine personally.

On the other hand, I wouldn't be him for the amount of money he made plus all the tea in China.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 9:11 AM
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Swift, Hume, and Ray Smuckles are all heavy.

I feel sorry for the people they don't reject. Achewood again.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 9:11 AM
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Revisiting the 85 issue, from my armchair it sounds like maybe the guy in question doesn't feel like he really has good grounds to end his current relationship, even though he's not particularly happy in it. And by good grounds I mean a reason that squares with his self-image as a nice, decent, person.

So "Meh, but I'm not miserable" may not seem to him to be a decent reason to end things, but "I'm madly, passionately in love with someone else" might be, and he's trying that out.

Obviously, this is just a variant of the "it's about his relationship, not you". And also obviously, he's not treating 85 decently, and needs to be made to realize that.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 9:16 AM
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Actually, he's not treating his current partner decently either.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 9:19 AM
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556: I was going to say it's not even kind to himself, but I think it's possibly quite common for narcissists to put ego above happiness.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 9:23 AM
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I also want 543 to be true. The thing that I'm afraid of is that they don't know what they're missing, so they don't live in constant awareness that their ways are self-punishing.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 9:31 AM
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Eh, at the very least they're stuck being like that.

This is mostly what I mean. And, yeah, Cheney, but every good rule of thumb needs a Cheney-sized exception or two.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 9:32 AM
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clearly apo hasn't dated many offensive linemen

Depends on your definition of dating.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 9:33 AM
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558: It's possible that most pathologically shallow people just surround themselves with people who fulfill their stereotypes so they don't have to confront it, but others, perhaps those who are either much more or much less aware of their shallowness, are more likely to run into people they are painfully aware they know they'd love, but force themselves to reject.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 9:37 AM
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560: "run away from"


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 9:38 AM
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560 - maybe he limits himself to inoffensive ones. Which would be the sensible thing to do, I suppose.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 9:39 AM
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563: I understand there are many fine people working for the telephone company.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 9:42 AM
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I feel lucky I'm not aware of those people when I meet them. I probably throw them into the There's-No-Why- In-Dating bin, and never find out what happened.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 9:43 AM
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566

564: And they need you more than want you, and they want you for all time.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 9:46 AM
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567

I probably throw them into the There's-No-Why- In-Dating bin, and never find out what happened.

Compost, surely.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 9:51 AM
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568

Apo has been spending an inordinate amount of time in Wichita lately, come to think of it.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 9:52 AM
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566: But can he put it in the bedroom? Can he put it in the hall? Can he put it in the bathroom, or hang it on the wall?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 9:55 AM
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570

Bang goes my mental image of him as a rhinestone cowboy.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 9:55 AM
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570: Some people call him "The Space Cowboy".


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 9:58 AM
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571: He is very heavily armed and legged.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 10:04 AM
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573

Rule #1: Cardio.

My thoughts exactly.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 10:44 AM
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574

573: Zombity!


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 10:52 AM
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575

The subconscious fear that she's single because she ATE HER PREVIOUS BOYFRIEND.

At theMineshaft Kebab Stand


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 1:10 PM
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575: Shish!


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 1:13 PM
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577

BG - as LB says, I found it grim (and I've had 4 unmedicated births and can cope at the dentist). Largely because the applicator thing didn't work properly and it had to be done twice, but I was already hating it before that. And I like to tell myself that my GP was probably rubbish, and I am planning to go to the Family Planning Clinic when the time comes to have it taken out (three years. I'm not getting another one) in the hope that they will be more experienced.

Anyway, I took ibuprofen before I went (in hindsight would have taken paracetamol as well) and alternated ibuprofen and paracetamol for a few days afterwards. I would have taken more if I'd had it. 'They' say you can expect cramps for up to a month afterwards, which I found to be true.

The majority of friends I've spoken to say it was fine, but I know a couple more who have had a bad time. They are all mothers though, but you've got a good chance of sailing through it.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 4:11 PM
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578

Am I the only one who thinks Dick Cheney is probably miserable, though not for the right reasons and not enough. W, on the other hand...


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 4:37 PM
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W is probably not miserable at all?


Posted by: Di kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 6:16 PM
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Probably. He seems too comfortable with his station in life.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11-19-09 6:45 PM
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I found the insertion fine, like LB: owowow for like 4 seconds and then it was all over, but of course I've given birth. I find it can be a good idea to be really open with your doctor about your fear that it's going to hurt badly; even paranoid doctors may relent in that situation and give you 1 valium and 1 percoset to take an hour before. if you just repeat that you're really anxious, etc., and flat out ask if they can do anything about it they often will. it's not like giving someone one or two tablets is going to lead to becoming a DEA hit-list pill mill.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 11-20-09 1:56 AM
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