Re: Don't care if it's limbless, long as it has a penis.

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The one aspect that especially irritates me is when people say "I want a girl until puberty, and then I'd rather have a boy."

People seriously say this? Bizarre.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06-27-10 7:05 PM
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They say it jokingly, but yes.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-27-10 7:08 PM
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1: you usually hear just the opposite from defrocked priests.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-27-10 7:09 PM
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army/fight 'em boy crap

Having now seen Batman through the eyes of a four year old boy, I have to say that it sucks ass, but less so than Superman.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-27-10 7:10 PM
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defrocked priests s/b republican lawmakers.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-27-10 7:10 PM
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I want a girl until puberty, and then I'd rather have a boy."

I don't know if I've ever heard it in those words, but I've heard that kind of sentiment from both men and women. (Girls are difficult because you have to be afraid that they might start to have sex!111!!!)


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06-27-10 7:14 PM
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(Girls are difficult because you have to be afraid that they might start to have sex!111!!!)

I think the general idea is that boys get into all kinds of trouble, but there's really only one way for a girl to Get Into Trouble.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 06-27-10 7:19 PM
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Anyway, the whole thing seems sexist.

It does indeed. Though I'd call it just heavily gendered rather than downright sexist. This is odd: "a daughter's your daughter for all of your life; a son is your son until he finds a wife"

Do people really feel that way? Yeah, I imagine many do. Bummer!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-27-10 7:23 PM
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Do people really feel that way?

The sons families don't want it to be that way. The idea is that the women's ties to her family will be stronger than her husband's, and he'll accomodate, at the expense of his own family of origin's togetherness.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-27-10 7:25 PM
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9: I tried to keep closer ties to my family, but my wife and mother fight. My suspicion is that the fights are started by my wife intentionally for the sole purpose making us visit my family less. That's certainly been the effect.


Posted by: James Earl Carter | Link to this comment | 06-27-10 7:35 PM
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The sentiment in 7 shows an alarming unfamiliarity with teenage girls.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 06-27-10 7:53 PM
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Ooh, this has been a big topic of conversation in our household since the kind of parenting we're trying to do requires writing down your preferences as to race/age/gender of the child. And my partner is totally, totally into the idea of having a boy, to the point where I've given up fighting her on it. (Interestingly, she recently became really taken with a certain little girl whose profile we got and who needs to be in an all-female home, so who knows?) I was mostly annoyed because her initial response was, "Well, with a girl you have to always worry that she'll get pregnant," to which my immediate response was, "Well, who do you think gets those girls pregnant?"

But I'm also sympathetic to the idea that it's easier in certain respects to parent a teen boy when you're starting to parent that child in his or her teens. The stereotype in the adoption community is that girls tend to have very difficult teens where they fight against their mothers especially and act out, but then they become very close to their mothers as they get older. Boys, on the other hand, are able to attach although they do stupid things as teens, but then they tend to melt down after they move out of the home and blunder through their 20s. I don't think this tells us anything about any particular child, but I do admit I've used it to mentally justify going along with the preference for boys. Since we're open to LGBT kids, though, and seem to be getting more interest from workers about those sorts of placements, I don't even know how the experiences other parents have would translate into what we'd face.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06-27-10 7:54 PM
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And for the record, our age range has moved from a preference for young school age to my preference now for low teens. My partner would really prefer a black-white biracial child both for what I see as somewhat colorist reasons and more because I think she wants a child to plausibly belong to either of us. Still, we have a preference for black children because they're overrepresented in the system and because we can keep them in touch with black community and identity stuff better than a lot of the other families who adopt can. We still send out our file on a number of white kids, but not many Latin@ because we aren't strongly connected with that community here and so I don't think our active cultural competency is great, though we've had better connections in the past.

I do realize that by the time people are pregnant, their preferences for age and race of their children are prety ridiculous. I guess technically gender preferences are just as irrelevant, but I doubt people think of it that way.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06-27-10 7:59 PM
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I haven't noticed that women are closer to their mothers than men are -- rather the opposite. In general people seem to have a little more to work out with their same-sex parent.

The social precocity of girls and their relative lack of rambunctiousness compared to boys are especially salient when you've got working parents dealing with young kids. It's also possible that there are broader reasons for favoring girls related to the argument made in this article , which also makes a big point of the parental preference for girls.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 06-27-10 8:00 PM
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14.2 gets it right.

With children being a luxury item people don't want children who will demand a lot of attention by unpredictable behavior when they are still dependents. If children are thought to be important to support parents in their dotage, as in many civilizations, parents prefer boys.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-27-10 8:05 PM
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The sentiment in 7 shows an alarming unfamiliarity with teenage girls.

It's not my sentiment.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 06-27-10 8:09 PM
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With children being a luxury item people don't want children who will demand a lot of attention by unpredictable behavior when they are still dependents.

Which are supposed to be the predictable dependents?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-27-10 8:21 PM
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In retrospect, what I really wanted was children of either sex who would skip over being three years old altogether.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-27-10 8:37 PM
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my husband had a strong preference for a girl, while I was pretty neutral, and for the second child we were fine either way (although I was more inclined to want one of each). The stereotype that as younger children girls are easier to deal with appears to be entirely true, but as to whether this is due to the intensive differing socialization of boys and girls or some innate qualities I don't know. certainly as a teen babysitter I charged higher rates for boys, with a premium for a family with three boys whom I used to babysit, and the rates were always gratefully paid. in my own family it has been my mom who took care of both elderly parents, while the sons provided management of people hired for the task and annoying opinions, with almost none of the adult diaper-changing aspects of the job.

when we went to see toy story 3 yesterday there was this several minute-long, incredibly sad public service video in which an elderly mom lies dying in the hospital, with her son providing gentle, intimate care. there were flashbacks to the mom living with the family and being a total pain in the ass, demanding fish congee when the daughter-in-law has already cooked something else, yelling that she didn't want to live there and wanted to go home to her own flat (implicitly now sold), with the 11-year-old son looking on. then in the hospital he asks, if grandma was so mean to you and mom, why are you so sad? and then there is a flashback to the old mother when she was young, running through the rain with her feverish child in her arms, and singing him a lullaby while they wait in the crowded anteroom of old tan tock seng hospital. blunt takeaway, actually written on the screen: how you care for the elder generation is what your children will do for you, teach them well. harsh but strangely moving, and very weird as a PSA.
site
, worth a look for the weirdness and james dobson lovin'.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 06-27-10 8:58 PM
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how you care for the elder generation is what your children will do for you, teach them well.

Nice.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-27-10 9:02 PM
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yeah, true, right? I'm on the hook for some serious work. and it is true that I'd way rather do it for my mom than my mother-in-law, that's just life. I'll be willing to do the latter if it comes to that, but would find it more difficult. I feel that if either or my parents or husband X's parents can no longer be on their own we've pretty much got to have them live with us. I don't hold with no nursing homes.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 06-27-10 9:17 PM
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and with that, I'm off to swim check someone out of rehab and take them to an AA meeting!


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 06-27-10 9:18 PM
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I think I'd be a decent foster parent for a little kid. I've never aspired to raise anyone to adulthood, and I seriously believe in the power of way too much love, respect, and books. If I were ever financially stable enough to have more than one bedroom, I'd consider it.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-27-10 10:05 PM
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he'll accomodate

spineless bastard, as pointed out in 10. Older people ask for more than they need, definitely, and pretty often need boundaries to be set for them; that doesn't need to be harsh. I don't have a magic solution for the in-law problem; don't punt on relationships, otherwise your spouse will in fact run your life, I guess. My son and I visit my parents alone whenever possible, and I actively work to keep everyone separate when they visit here-- kind of a pain, but better than the alternatives.

as for the example-to-your kids dimension of caring for your parents, I definitely see that in my own life. I will tell me kid that I love my folks when they're being pains-in-the-ass, definitely never complain to him. I also don't excuse the most petulant behavior from adults. I doubt it will actually do much good-- family dynamics can IMO retard the development of wisdom, but not accelerate it.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 06-27-10 10:41 PM
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I was going to post the article in 14. I think it is true that women have had noticably shittier lives in the past. I think that is the root of the traditional preference for sons. That has changed enough for a preference for daughters to develop. I think this preference is new.


Posted by: Lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 06-27-10 11:01 PM
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I think the general idea is that boys get into all kinds of trouble, but there's really only one way for a girl to Get Into Trouble

I'm guessing that folks here are of the sort that by some point in their kids years will take the attitude towards sex of 'important decision blah, be sure your ready blah, blah, PROTECTION, let's talk about it... ok, have fun and don't lets discuss the details'. But the gf/bf's parents might not have the same attitude, and this is more likely if it's a gf. The gf, knowing your views might ask for help in getting on the pill behind the back of her parents.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 06-27-10 11:55 PM
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My experience was the opposite, in that my brother got sex ed from my parents and I didn't. Of course, he was datable at that age and I wasn't, but I did have to ask him about safe sex since no one ever told me.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 12:12 AM
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I don't think either my sister or I got sex education from our parents, although things like The Joy of Sex, and Our Bodies, Ourselves were on the family bookshelves, and our parents were non-prudish hippies. I'm sure if we'd asked any questions would have been happily answered in as non-awkward a way as possible. What I certainly do remember is little or no difference in how my sister and I were treated in terms of bringing partners home. In fact, my sister may have had that fractionally easier, as I was the oldest and had to plough that particular furrow first, iyswim.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 12:39 AM
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I think the only one of mine that I really had a preference for was the last. I felt like I *should* want a boy, so as to have 2 girls close in age, and then 2 boys close in age, thus providing my son with a playmate. But secretly I wanted a girl because my other girls were so great.

C never thought he cared about having a son until he got one.

I've heard people saying, like alameida, that girls are easier, and also people claiming that boys are easier (because girls are so bitchy and so on). I think it's mostly bollocks.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 12:56 AM
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My parents say they'd still feel weird about housing me and a partner together in their home. When I was dating a man 20 years older than me (I was 24-26) they said it was the main reason they never invited us to visit as a couple. On one hand, they couldn't imagine telling a grown man what to do, and on the other, they couldn't let me have a partner I wasn't married to in my bed under their roof. Being my parents must be hard.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 1:00 AM
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I don't know if they'd feel differently about it now that I'm 30 and far too old to be sneaking around to have sex in my parents' house.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 1:02 AM
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I'm not too old to be sneaking around having sex in your parents' house. What's their address?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 4:15 AM
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When I was pregnant with our first, I really wanted a boy, specifically because I've never been much of a girly-girl myself and kind of dreaded the thought of being inundated with frilly pink princess crap. With our second, I relaxed a little and would have been happy either way, but I'm ultimately glad we've got the symmetry of one kid of each gender. (And since we did have a boy first, and no baby shower the second time around, the frilly pink onslaught was quite a bit weaker than it could have been.)

Wrt family dynamics, is it really all that rare to get along with one's in-laws? I suppose, anecdotally, I know more people who at best tolerate their in-laws than people who have a good relationship with theirs, but I just figured my sample size was small.


Posted by: Bonsaisue | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 5:19 AM
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I wouldn't have called it a strong preference for having a girl, but before I had kids I felt as if I had strong opinions about what parts of the way girls are thought of and treated I thought were okay, and what parts I wanted to react pretty strongly against. I felt as I understood the issues, whereas with parenting boys I wasn't quite sure what was going on. And this has been reinforced by the fact that Sally's much more strongly like my family -- she can be surly and difficult, but it's a sort of surly difficultness I remember from the inside. Newt's in many ways an easier kid overall, but he surprises me more; he's not another one turned out of the Breath mold.

With teenagerhood coming up quickly, I still kind of feel the same -- there's stuff I feel as if I know how to teach Sally, and problems I'm expecting to help her get through. Newt, it's going to be improv -- I won't know what the issues are until they hit.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 5:21 AM
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Funny thing about inlaws, is that I get along fine with mine, and both Buck and I have problems with my mother, and yet we still spend more time with my parents than his. Half is just that we live closer to mine, and half is that mine seem to have more energy invested in the relationship -- to see his parents, we have to shlep out there, every time. Mine come and see us, or we do stuff together.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 5:25 AM
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I think it's mostly bollocks.

That sums it up for us. The X and I had one of each and neither one was particularly difficult. I didn't care what flavor we got while the X wanted a girl in the mix. Having them close in age did indeed provide the in-house playmate. That was great during the rain, cold, and flu season.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 5:29 AM
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We did what Thorn's doing, didn't specify a gender and got both. They are now almost teenagers.

I expected to talk explicitly about sex with my kids. My mother was like that with us and it seemed best. It works with my daughter, but my son gets stuck on the dirty scandalousness of it all every time.


Posted by: Shadrack | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 6:02 AM
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I too have heard the "girls are easier till puberty" thing from a number of sources. I was hoping we'd get one of each but it seems we'll be having two boys. Having a girl would certainly have been more a step into the unknown for me. I know what to do with a boy, whereas I'd find getting into, say, pink princess crap more challenging. I assume that parenting could attenuate the influence of gender norms, though on the flip side there is the argument for fitting in. Not that it matters now; I'm happy to kick a football around all day, and young Gusty is as well.

Did alameida's link in 19 work for anyone? I got a "Service Unavailable" message. I like to think Unfogged caused such a flood of traffic that we've crashed their server, but... I doubt it.


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 6:03 AM
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I don't think many of my male friends were as difficult as teenagers as some of my female friends and relatives. It's a small miracle that a couple of girls of my acquaintance made it to adulthood -- not because they were out doing risky things, but because of just quite how actively horrible they were to their families.

Most of my male friends did stupid and/or dangerous shit but I don't remember any of them being as consciously malicious and vile to their own 'loved ones'.

Usual caveats re: sample-sets etc apply.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 6:05 AM
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34.2: My worry is that I won't know what to do with either of our kids when they hit teenagerhood. I watched my sister deal with a lot of Girl!Drama to which I just couldn't relate. Not to say I didn't have drama of my own, and I'm mostly exaggerating my level of worry, but I figure I get a pass on the boy stuff, not being a boy myself and not having any brothers; TJ can take the reins there. But there's no excuse if I screw up the handling of the girl stuff.

(Yes, it's entirely possible our lass will be a little tomboy like I was, and my worries will be unfounded, but it's never that easy, is it?)


Posted by: Bonsaisue | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 6:05 AM
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the site actually seems shut down from my end too.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 6:48 AM
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I get along okay with my inlaws. (They've been divorced for 30 year - FIL is married to the woman he left MIL for, MIL was married but was widowed 12 years ago.) They both live about 4 miles from us, and I like them all although they certainly have many things about them that annoy me.

MIL is a loopy alcoholic (high functioning, but she's never going to be asked to babysit!) who will never ever initiate contact in case she invites us round and we say no. So we see her when we get round to it and then she complains it's been weeks and weeks since the last time.

FIL and stepMIL can be really irritating, but they are good grandparents, which counts for a lot. In fact FIL has just driven over to take Kid B to an art club this afternoon because Kids C and D were being stubborn and really didn't want to go, so Kid B phoned him. So that's good. I always feel a bit awkward asking them for those kind of favours though, whereas I would have dumped Kids C and D on my own mother with no qualms.

C gets on very well indeed with my parents, because they are very nice people.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 6:50 AM
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I guess the finding your own gender easier to deal with because you know what they're about is generally true too. I'm quite happy to talk periods etc with my girls, but I am definitely delegating wet dreams and so on to C.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 6:55 AM
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My in-laws and I don't share a language.* Which in some ways makes things easier, but also means that I can't back my wife up when she's getting shit from them. On the other hand, my wife suspects that's maybe a blessing, as her parents don't handle serious disagreement well, and the sort of argument-pwn that I'd unleash on them would not go down well, at all, whereas my own family is much more open to argument.**

I think my wife gets on OK with my parents but she doesn't see them more than once a year, for a few hours at a time, so it's not really ever been an issue. We do see my sister fairly regularly though, and they get on well.

* I can function in Czech at the 'pass the salt, please', or 'mmm, this beer is nice and cold, thank you' level, but not at the level that enables conversation.
** we aren't a particularly argumentative family, but both of my parents are able to handle arguments of principle, or factual/philosophical disagreement without it being a personal thing.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 6:57 AM
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My in-laws are great. My own parents are probably a little more difficult, but I'm close with them and Jammies is generally easy-going. Both sets live very far away, though, which totally sucks. I really wish we lived near a set.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 7:00 AM
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For in-laws I didn't have a gender-preference, but I ended up with one of each, which is totally fine.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 7:00 AM
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what I really wanted was children of either sex who would skip over being three years old

Oh, man, I love three-year-olds. Everyone else is all "but they're so bratty! and obnoxious! and irritating!" And I'm all "yes, but in such hilarious predictable ways that you don't have to take personally!"

Plus you can put them in time out and hold them there if necessary. You can't do that with, like, bratty obnoxious adults. Or, I mean, Megan and LB probably could, but I can't.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 7:11 AM
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My parents say they'd still feel weird about housing me and a partner together in their home.

Sifu and I slept in different rooms at my parents' house even after we were engaged. If they're against premarital sex, that's just how it's gonna be.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 7:12 AM
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If they're against premarital sex, that's just how it's gonna be.

My mother even called my grandmother (her MIL) to tell her not to let Lee share a room with me when we visited. Like sharp-tongued 80something Catholics can't speak up for themselves if they have a problem? We did end up sleeping in separate beds there but in the same room, and my grandmother went out of her way to make it clear how much she likes us as a couple and that it's good for kids to have two mothers "because they get double the hugs," though I'm not sure she ever hugged her own children. My stupid mom! But she and my dad are the ones who are local and he's cool, so we spend some time with them.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 7:17 AM
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I (supposedly) seem to set parents at their ease, I've had a couple of exes tell me that I'm the first boyfriend their parents ever let spend the night. I suspect that might just have been because I was the first one they ever asked their parents about, but who knows.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 7:21 AM
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That wouldn't have been some prohibition against pre-marital sex thing, but just a "not under my own roof", thing.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 7:21 AM
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My extended family has decided to send my 16-year-old cousin and her 16-year-old boyfriend to stay with me for 10 days in July. It's unclear to me what (if any) sort of supervisory role I'm supposed to be taking, here. But the guest bed is in the TV room and the TV room doesn't have a door, so I'm sure that will keep them on their best behavior, right? Maybe I'll leave some condoms in a bowl, sort of half-decorative-half-functional?


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 7:30 AM
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I got a urinary tract infection in high school and had no idea what was going on, except I was in excruciating pain, and my medical dad asked if I'd had sex, which I admitted, and he promptly diagnosed me. That was very embarrassing to me, but I was really glad to get treatment.

Since high school, visiting with boyfriends and sharing a bed has not been a big deal.

Jammies' sister was totes scandalized when we took a shower together at her parents' house. She was like 25 years old at the time. What a prude. We used to shower together all the time just to be practical and expedient, not to bump and grind, before Hawaiian Punch.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 7:32 AM
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I get along fine with my in-laws; they come here to stay a month with us each year for the past few years, which makes me rate myself pretty high on in-law tolerance. they start to get on my nerves eventually, but they'd be way easier to live with than my dad.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 7:32 AM
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Maybe I'll leave some condoms in a bowl, sort of half-decorative-half-functional?

Half M&Ms, half condoms, so that it looks like you just happened to leave it laying about?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 7:33 AM
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My daughter (24! today!) and bf are visiting. I just wish they'd get up and let their pet bunny out of her cage.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 7:35 AM
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53: Bumping 'n' grinding never works well in the shower, IME. Running water = no lubrication.

52: I'm sure they'll get it on every chance they get! Make lots of noise before entering the TV room, is my suggestion.


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 7:36 AM
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Bumping 'n' grinding never works well in the shower, IME. Running water = no lubrication.

I know this. But I could put you in touch with Jammies' puritanical sister if you want.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 7:39 AM
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I got a urinary tract infection in high school and had no idea what was going on, except I was in excruciating pain, and my medical dad asked if I'd had sex, which I admitted, and he promptly diagnosed me.

This happened to a friend of mine. Basically she peed herself all the way home to NC after a trip to visit her boyfriend in MA. She was baffled and told her mother, who said, "When I was your age we called that 'Honeymooners' Disease.'"


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 7:43 AM
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58: You can just pass on my observation so she knows that standards were upheld.


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 7:43 AM
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I dated a girl who lived with her parents some distance away when I was 18. I have to say that the enforced sneaking around led to the development of useful skills, and a greater understanding of the geography of the Sonoma valley than would otherwise have resulted.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 7:44 AM
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See, I've got stupid liberal Unitarian parents and look at me: no knowledge of Sonoma whatsoever.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 7:47 AM
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(I was certain I'd told this story before, but I can't find it in the hoohole.) The third boyfriend I brought home to meet my parents during college was someone I was actually having sex with, and my parents were weirdly undiligent about policing us, the way they had been (needlessly) with the previous two. They left the house to go to the store or something and we (stupidly) decided to fuck in the shower. At a crucial moment, Will reached up and snapped the shower head clean off. A second later, we hear the garage door and start frantically getting dressed and toweling off.

When my parents walked in the door, we were both sitting primly next to each other on the couch, dripping wet. I figured it was pretty obvious what was going on, so while we were all nervously staring at each other, I said, "Will broke the shower head."

Dad said, "I'll fix it this afternoon."

We never spoke of this again.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 7:49 AM
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Oh, man, I love three-year-olds.

If I were deaf, I might find three-year-olds more tolerable as well.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 8:04 AM
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But three year olds seem so advanced! You can talk with them, and they can talk back to you! What could go wrong?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 8:07 AM
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Goal!


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 8:12 AM
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Nah, three year olds are pretty easy to defend. Plus, very few of them understand offsides very well.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 8:13 AM
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Insert - - above.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 8:14 AM
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I think my own preference for a girl was shaped in good part by a sense that I knew better/would be more free to eschew gender norming with a girl. Girl playing with trucks/tools/soccer balls = cool! Boy playing with dolls/dress-up/Etc. = lots of nervous fidgeting.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 8:16 AM
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If I were deaf, I might find three-year-olds more tolerable as well.
Their parents usually tell me that this is why I like them, too. Apparently there is a lot of high-pitched whining?

A few days ago:

Fletcher: (long, incomprehensible narrative about something)
Cecily: Fletcher, do you ever stop talking?
F: Yes! Yes I do stop talking!
C: Oh yeah? I've never seen it.
F: Me too! I never see it too!
(narrative resumes)


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 8:31 AM
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[W]omen value the relationship they have with their mother....

Really? I don't discount the issue of sample bias, but the women to whom I have been closest have almost all had ... problematic relationships with their mothers.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 8:33 AM
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Three-year-olds are excruciatingly cute. Cute goes pretty far with me.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 8:34 AM
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My brother was throwing a tantrum in the supermarket about that sort of age:

Mum: "Stop that! you are embarrassing yourself"
Brother: "No I'm not, I'm embarrassing you"

and her face was shut ...


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 8:38 AM
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Apparently there is a lot of high-pitched whining?

Alternating with high-pitched screaming, yes.

excruciatingly cute

Believe me, if they weren't so cute, the rest stops and public parks would be filled with strays.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 8:38 AM
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I find 5 much more unbearable than 3. At 5 they're much more calculating, and much better liars.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 8:39 AM
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problematic relationships with their mothers

Often, these women do not particularly want kids.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 8:39 AM
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53, 59: In defense of confused virginal teen girls everywhere, I had a couple of excruciating urinary tract infections at that age that had nothing at all to do with intercourse (one before I'd ever had sex, one when it had been over a year since the last time). So, if your daughters are coming to you with help with symptoms, the "I know what you've been doing" reaction isn't a slam-dunk.

69: Yeah, we had a bit of that reaction. Managed to keep a lid on it pretty well, but there was something there to keep a lid on.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 8:41 AM
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75: As I currently have one of each, I find I can usually reason and bargain with the 5-year-old, whereas the little one is just pure, unyielding id. Like the 5-year-old was a couple years ago.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 8:43 AM
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My parents say they'd still feel weird about housing me and a partner together in their home.

This was a point of disconnect between me and eekbeat. She was insulted when I told her my mom would insist we sleep in different rooms, as if it were a sign my parents didn't endorse our couplehood (in reality, it's just residual Catholic voodoo whatever).

At her parents' house, we were placed in separate rooms and ended up sleeping together (as in, co-sleeping; not bumping uglies) anyway, and no mention was made even though it was flatly obvious.

In sum, I conclude people are weirdly hung-up about sex and relationships.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 8:46 AM
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Often, these women do not particularly want kids.

This doesn't hold for women I know at all.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 8:52 AM
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I never slept in a 2-person bed at home as a teenager or college student. Neither did any girl I might have slept with. The point was moot.

My parents never told me anything about sex because I was obviously incredibly un-impulsive. I've never seen them kissing except like on New Years Eve so I am really shy about making things clear publicly as well.

80: I thought he meant they had mothers who didn't want kids.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 8:53 AM
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80, 81: I read it like Blume, and am also a counterexample (although I do occasionally worry that something bizarre will happen to me during my children's teen years, making me difficult to deal with in the way that my mother is, and her mother was. But it didn't put me off having kids.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 8:55 AM
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On the what-parents-told-me-about-sex front, my dad said nothing and my mom offered a pretty vague but persistent, "If you ever have any questions, definitely feel free to ask."

Luckily, Question Time was unnecessary, since I attended middle school.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 8:57 AM
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Either I'm terrible at reasoning and bargaining, or it's just your bad genes coming out, apo.

Actually, is there some secret I don't know? All interactions with my daughter short of "let's go get ice cream" seem to end with screaming and a time out.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 8:58 AM
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Some kids are just like that, and mostly they grow out of it if you keep on treating them reasonably. There might be stuff you're doing wrong, or that you could do differently with more success, but the fact that you're having a hard time doesn't prove it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 9:04 AM
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No, I meant that women who did not get along with their mothers often react by not being family-centric themselves IME. Not always, but I've noticed it more than once.

Though I know one woman where the relationship with the mother is in fact bad, but the daughter doted on her mom and is herself an extremely devoted mother, so obviously not a general rule.

In my mind there are two big complications in considering how past family history affects parenting style:

First, generalized dysfunction (hard to keep a job or relationship) affects whether one can parent, and upbringing can have an effect there.
Second, lots of strong personality traits are heritable-- grandad's OCD, bipolar rages, or depression can show up in his kids, and this similarity affects whether and how the kids go into childrearing.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 9:04 AM
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84: you could just spend all your time getting ice cream.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 9:07 AM
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Daughter, bf, and bunny.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 9:09 AM
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Second, lots of strong personality traits are heritable-- grandad's OCD, bipolar rages, or depression can show up in his kids, and this similarity affects whether and how the kids go into childrearing.

Indeed. I thought that my brother and I had had uniquely miserable childhoods until our cousins on our mother's side starting killing themselves.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 9:10 AM
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And Flippanter demonstrates how he came up with his pseud!

All interactions with my daughter short of "let's go get ice cream" seem to end with screaming and a time out.

Mine's 13 and that's pretty much how it goes with her. She could probably also start an argument over what flavour ice cream and where to get it.

(I love moaning about my teenager - makes me feel like a proper parent! I enjoy it much more than complaining about sleepless nights and so on. Can't wait until I can tell her her boyfriend can't sleep in the same room as her!)


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 9:20 AM
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That's a beautiful bunny, Charley.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 9:23 AM
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Hey, Asilon, I just tried to email you and it bounced. (The address I had was yourfirstname@yourlinkedblog'sdomain.co.uk.) Email me at ElizardB@hotmail.com if you would?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 9:30 AM
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That's a beautiful bunny, Charley.

So to speak.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 9:34 AM
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OT: interesting gun case decided just decided. http://www.scotuswiki.com/index.php?title=McDonald%2C_et_al._v._City_of_Chicago


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 9:35 AM
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I just wish they'd get up and let their pet bunny out of her cage.

Now at least I understand what this euphemism means.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 9:43 AM
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OT: Hey nerds, what smartphone should I buy? This list offers quite a few to me at nice prices like "free," but I've never owned one before. Should I try to get an Android?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 10:02 AM
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Not a direct answer to a reasonable question, but well-intended unsolicited advice-- this kind of thing always works out well.

When I considered a powerful telephone, the #1 consideration was battery life. It quickly became apparent that I would need multiple chargers and to monitor the health of my giant tamagotchi. Crappy phones need to be charged every few days, and that fits my life well.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 10:09 AM
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Yeah, battery life on these things seems really pathetic. As it is I often lose power on my phone, and it's annoying to charge every three days or so. With a smartphone, it seems people are complaining that you're lucky to get 12 hours out of it.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 10:13 AM
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I can assure you that an iPhone has enough battery life to refresh Unfogged for over eight hours.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 10:19 AM
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I've been nurturing a growing lust for Sprint's Evo 4G based solely on the ad campaign. It has a stand! You can stand it up! I find it hilarious that they call out this feature.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 10:24 AM
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I find if I don't use my iPhone at all the battery life is OK [if I just need it with me for emergencies or quick calls], but with heavy use [lots of emailing, game playing, browsing etc] it really needs charged daily, or every 2 days at best. I suspect that's par for the course for most smartphones.

My old K800i, on the other hand, lasted forever.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 10:27 AM
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I generally am lame at gadgets, but I've been really happy with my Mophie Iphone battery case. It works well as a protective case and contains an extra battery that pretty much doubles the Iphone battery life. For me, it turned battery issues with the Iphone from a significant annoyance to something I don't worry much about -- even I can handle charging for a few hours every two days. Plus my phone looks like an Imperial Stormtrooper.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 10:34 AM
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102: So, you're not looking for a droid?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 10:50 AM
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*rimshot*


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 10:56 AM
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LB - have emailed.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 10:59 AM
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We used to shower together all the time just to be practical and expedient

This never works for me. I could see this working in a shower that was large enough to make solo-showering downright wasteful, but in a normal-sized shower, eveyone just gets in everyone else's way.

Girl playing with trucks/tools/soccer balls = cool! Boy playing with dolls/dress-up/Etc. = lots of nervous fidgeting.

My wife, who wanted a girl, has spent the entirety of my sons' lives pushing "girl" toys and activities on them. So it's largely ballet classes instead of more traditional sports, and dolls and dress-up and "tea-party" sets instead of balls and blocks and whatever else little boys traditionally play with (I don't even know, since we don't have any). It's not clear exactly what her end-game strategy is with all this. And I don't care about any of it in itself, but her relentlessness about it is incredibly annoying. Just let them play with whatever they want! But no, we have to fight against the broader cultural gender narratives, or something. This would be far more credible if I believed for a second that she wouldn't also be playing with the dolls if we had a daughter. But she'd be doing the "girly" stuff with a daughter, too, as she occasionally even acknowledges. She just likes that stuff better.

For their part, when they're not wrestling with one another (or tearing apart our furniture), the boys mostly play with sticks and rocks in the back yard, etc. By far their most common activity is digging for worms.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 11:01 AM
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So it's largely ballet classes instead of more traditional sports, and dolls and dress-up and "tea-party" sets instead of balls and blocks

A friend of mine, who has two sons, has a non-ironic monologue about how great a parent she'd be if one of the sons turned out gay. It would not be a stretch to say that she's rooting for this outcome. Mostly for reasons (1) and (2) in the OP, I think.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 11:04 AM
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107: Well, yeah, that's an obviously desirable outcome (in my wife's view), as she acklowedges, but I don't think she thinks she's under any delusion that she's going to cause that to happen by enrolling the kids in dance classes.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 11:09 AM
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(Although what's most clear is that her reason for wanting a girl was almost entirely (3) from the OP.)


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 11:10 AM
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Hey, AWB, I think you'd make a great foster parent. All the self-awareness stuff you're doing now (and I hope that doesn't sound dismissive; I'm your age and in the midst of it myself) makes a great platform for the kind of empathy and distance needed.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 11:10 AM
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I don't think I would ever encourage any future male sprouts of mine to take up traditionally feminine activities, as they will have a hard enough time fitting in. I don't need to add toeshoes and tights to their likely problems.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 11:10 AM
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My brother and I were briefly convinced to do ballet as kids based solely on the fact that, "Hey, did you know Mike Ditka had the 1985 Chicago Bears doing ballet? Well, he did."


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 11:14 AM
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My brothers were briefly bribed into ballet with cold hard cash, and I was forced against my will, and without bribery. I might have liked it just fine - I really liked gymnastics when I was little - except that nothing could trump an opinion held by one of my brothers.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 11:20 AM
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Male ballet dancers are ludicrously good atheletes, and ballet is probably better much better training for later sports than, say, T-Ball or AYSO soccer.

My general reaction to 106-107 is a strong That Is Fucking Ridiculous. But, as a straight wide guy, I'm also a little uncomfortable developing that reaction into an argument.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 11:21 AM
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I don't think any of my brothers ever did ballet, but there are lots of photos (and videos) of them being dressed up in drag, with wigs and makeup etc, from ages 2-ish and up. Aw, older sisters are so much fun to play with!


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 11:22 AM
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You aren't that wide, Halford.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 11:33 AM
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Well, they're not actually in ballet yet, since they're still a little young for it. And, for more or less the reasons in 111, I'm hoping that they'll have independantly developed feelings about it by the time they would otherwise be old enough, since I don't think it's anything she'd try to force them to do against their stated objection--she more just talks up that sort of thing in a way designed to make it seem fun and interesting. Ultimately, I wouldn't really care if they tried it and liked it, it's just irritating to think there's a thumb on the scale.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 11:36 AM
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independantly developed feelings

Negative feelings, that was supposed to say.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 11:37 AM
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Oh fuck. The funny thing is when typing that comment I thought "wait, why am I putting "white" in here, that's totally irrelevant to the issue" and then hit "post" anyway. Fortunately, I've granted myself immunity from all anxiety over grammar and spelling anxiety for all comments I make with the IPhone. Which is a good reason for getting one!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 11:38 AM
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Male ballet dancers are ludicrously good atheletes, and ballet is probably better much better training for later sports than, say, T-Ball or AYSO soccer.

Male ballet dancers are indeed incredible athletes. However, the ballet culture (at the elite levels) is entirely more fucked up and damaging than anything traditional sports have to offer.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 11:39 AM
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You're pretty white, Halford.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 11:40 AM
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116/119: I thought you were making a "straight but not narrow" reference.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 11:40 AM
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I don't think it's anything she'd try to force them to do against their stated objection--she more just talks up that sort of thing in a way designed to make it seem fun and interesting. Ultimately, I wouldn't really care if they tried it and liked it, it's just irritating to think there's a thumb on the scale.

This doesn't sound terribly relentless; parents put thumbs on the scale all the time. I can think of stuff in terms of pushing stereotypically feminine activities on boys that I'd think of as damaging or at least really weird, but some dolls and toy dishes for preschool boys is pretty harmless.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 11:45 AM
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Male ballet dancers are ludicrously good atheletes

All professional dancers are ludicrously good athletes.

(Depending of course on what we mean by "athletes". They're in great shape, and can do some amazing physical feats.)


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 11:46 AM
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Ballet is both the most girly and the most Commie thing a fellow can do. I went to a ballet last year and the names in the program looked like:

Jennifer A--------
Jessica B-------
Jessica C---------
Maria D--------
Kathleen E--------
Holly F----------
Patricia G---------
Jennifer H----------
Liz I-------------

paired up with
Ruslan A--------
Evgeny B--------
Sergei C--------
Sergei D--------
Istvan E---------
Arpad F---------
Gyorgy G----------
Dmitri H--------
Milorad I----------


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 11:46 AM
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However, the ballet culture (at the elite levels) is entirely more fucked up and damaging than anything traditional sports have to offer.

This is true for men in ballet?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 11:47 AM
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My mom, in an effort to strike a blow for gender equity, gave me all sorts of dolls and so on to play with as a kid, which I completely ignored in favor of anything that could plausibly act like a truck. Hard to fault her for trying, though.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 11:48 AM
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Ballet culture is totally fucked up, sure, but the men get less of the eating disorders and hyper-competitiveness.

If your sons turn out to be straight, you should know that male dancers get mad chicks. Beautiful neurotic dancer chicks.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 11:48 AM
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More true for women, but pretty weird all the way around. I should note that 100% of my knowledge of this comes second-hand from a single source, so weight appropriately.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 11:50 AM
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you should know that male dancers get mad chicks

Didn't we have this conversation recently? You're right of course, although there's probably not more than one in a hundred male dancers who are interested.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 11:51 AM
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Sergei and Istvan might be interested.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 11:52 AM
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129: But "weight appropriately" has warped meanings in the ballet context.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 11:52 AM
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My comments are Balanchine.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 11:54 AM
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I think an interesting question is whether teaching boys dancing (not necessarily ballet) from, say, ages 6-12 (roughly, the little league period) builds a better background for playing traditionally male sports than t-ball/little league/pee-wee football/AYSO. I'd bet the answer to that question is "yes" although admittedly I don't have any evidence at all to back this up. Mostly because you'd be building strength, flexibility, and endurance that you could apply to a broad range of sports, rather than just learning to whack the ball and run around and whatever.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 11:55 AM
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So it's largely ballet classes instead of more traditional sports, and dolls and dress-up and "tea-party" sets instead of balls and blocks

My 4 year old boy is way into lady gaga and hairdressing. He is my 4th kid so I can't get too worked up about it. Lady gaga is understandable because of the youtube. The hairdressing thing is apparently due to the hairdresser on "what not to wear".

He also will go to firefox, type in "cake games" and play one of the many cake based flash games for hours at a time. We have password protected the computer.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 11:56 AM
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I thought you were making a "straight but not narrow" reference.

I was puzzling through a reference to "High, Wide, and Handsome".


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 11:56 AM
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My ballet-dancer-math-grad-student friend and I have observed that the dominant gender - women in ballet, men in math - sometimes falls prey to this idiotic "I spotted a diamond in the rough!" approach to the rare specimen of the opposite sex.

In other words, every girl in math I've known has had this experience: math guy insinuates to her that she must think she's really awkward and ugly, since she's in math, but he has noticed that she's actually hot! And she should be really grateful for him for seeing through the stereotype!

So friend says it happens in ballet, too, where girls think they're the first one ever to notice that the ripped, athletic, straight male dancer is actually hot!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 11:57 AM
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High, Wide and Handsome: The Apostropher Story


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 11:57 AM
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I would guess no, actually. Strength, flexibility, and endurance are all great, but literal ball skills are important too, and a kid who comes in late with weak throwing/catching/kicking is unlikely to catch up. Newt, previously kind of indifferent, has this year decided he wants to take soccer seriously, and we've got him in an intensive soccer camp for a couple of weeks over the summer to get to the point where he doesn't suck so badly that he's never allowed to get near the ball.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 11:58 AM
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134: Mmm, maybe. More broadly applicable, perhaps, but bad habits in throwing or swinging mechanics are hard to break once they're established. I'd guess it would be an excellent complement, but not really a replacement.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 11:59 AM
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needs charged

Stop fucking with us or the trainspotting dialogue will be cut-and-pasted.

ballet v normal sports:
Are you martians? The point of kid sports is not to play competitive 10-y.o. ball sports, but to learn how to play fair and to keep going when you lose. Also to make friends and find a use for the sugar rush that does not damage furniture.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 11:59 AM
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139 to 134, and I should say that Newt's strong, fit, and flexible from taekwondo, which is pretty similar to dance for these purposes -- he's just not good at ball sports.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 11:59 AM
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Mostly because you'd be building strength, flexibility, and endurance that you could apply to a broad range of sports, rather than just learning to whack the ball and run around and whatever.

A lot of what is learned in sports training is specific to that sport.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 11:59 AM
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I'm sure that ballet is a good basis for all sort of other physical activity. I did ballet and soccer and basketball and softball and volleyball and all sorts of obstacle course and rowing and ropeclimbing crap for Sea Scouts. The ballet gave me a really good all-round athleticism. Now actual skill with a ball or competitive drive to get a goal---that ballet never gave me. I still tend to flinch away rather than catch balls.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 11:59 AM
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Yeah, I still don't have reflexive ball skills, and the other thing you wouldn't get from anything but playing is field sense. I was a pretty decent defender in Ultimate, had a good sense where the person I was covering was going to move next, but I never saw the whole field or plays develop the way that people with good field sense did.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 12:05 PM
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And my father, who was a semi-pro hockey player in his youth, could no longer stand to watch my soccer games by the time I was about eight or ten.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 12:05 PM
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137: Ha. A close friend of mine in college was known to all the guys on campus as "Math Babe." Like me, she had made many young life decisions based on the probability that she would be surrounded by dudes and get laid a lot--even left ballet for percussion when she realized the latter would offer more chances for sex. During college, though, despite constant efforts, she never had a date with any of the guys from orchestra or her classes, and had to find off-campus sources for sex. This was Nerd U., after all.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 12:06 PM
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obstacle course

I'm going to assume, moving forward, that Jackmormon was on American Gladiator.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 12:11 PM
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^s


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 12:14 PM
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"needs changed" was a huge signifier of the local dialect in my midwestern flatland college town. I got kind of nostalgic reading it, although I found it hilarious that ttaM would be the source.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 12:15 PM
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Huh. My parents went the everything approach for my various sorts of training:

ballet
tap
gymnastics
swimming
softball
tennis
bowling
golf
football
basketball
piano

Dress-up and makeup and dolls I took care of on my own; my parents' deal was that I'd try each of these things, and I could quit them after a certain point if I really didn't have a taste for them.

I stuck with gymnastics, tennis and piano the longest. And I should say that the football and basketball were just my dad teaching me the basics. We had to make a deal about my quitting piano; that was a little fraught.

I note that the obviously missing angles in that list are martial arts; and things like camping! Damn, parents, why didn't you ever take us camping? Not on the radar, I guess. I learned that on my own.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 12:53 PM
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I just recalled that my mom fleetingly tried to get my brother and me into Riverdance-style Irish dancing. Man, am I glad she got off that hobby horse relatively quickly.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 12:59 PM
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Stanley, but boys don't even have to wear the ridiculous wigs! But yeah, I'm glad my parents went with violin rather than Irish dancing for me when I was 3 and decisions were being made for me.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 1:04 PM
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Violin at 3? Damn. Mine would love a violin, I'm sure, but I can't imagine the instrument would last ten minutes. If the kids somehow managed not to break it, the noises that would surely be coming from it would mean I'd have to "accidentally" break it myself, I'm certain.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 1:08 PM
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151: Wow. The only sports my parents wanted me to do were swimming and sailing. We're not a very sporty family, so my mom merely insisted that I be able to go near water and not drown, and my dad wanted something we could do together that allowed him to teach me all manner of useful little skills like knots and woodworking. I took up Karate on my own initiative. Also ballroom dancing, but that one didn't get very far after I stupidly broke up with my girlfriend and stopped going to classes so I wouldn't have to dance with her.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 1:09 PM
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154: Nah, at 3 I had a fake violin made out of a butter box and a ruler. Maybe by 4 I had a real one, but I was also a huge nerd with tons of guilt that would have kept me from misusing just about anything. My brothers didn't start lessons until something more like 5. We started out following the Suzuki method, but then our teachers split away, which is good because it means I can read music easily (though I'm not sure my brothers can, which is odd since they started on it younger).


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 1:13 PM
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3 is not very common, but Suzuki method teachers have a pretty good track record around that age. But, yeah, the sounds toddlers produce can grate.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 1:14 PM
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157 crossed with 156. You do eventually learn to read sheet music, and I like the emphasis on memorization (I think it helps to internalize the music).


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 1:18 PM
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155: I know. In retrospect, that roster of activities seems, shall we say, pushy. It's how my parents were with these things. I don't know if they were reaching wildly and just didn't know what to do, or what. My dad was a military man, and into sports, so he felt that an acquaintance with the rudiments of throwing, catching and hitting a softball (baseball), dribbling a basketball and doing a lay-up, and etc. were obvious. I don't fault him. I know roughly about golf, with the drivers and irons and such; I used to caddy for my dad. Putting I thought was fun.

It hasn't served me ill, and I was fairly outspoken when I became sick of something. I'm pretty glad about the gymnastics, swimming, piano.

Mostly I regret the absence of other kinds of things: woodworking! Camping, as I said. Maybe we could have banged on some drums. Maybe we could have done more hand-work (though I did learn to sew). My parents had an obvious emphasis, which didn't turn out to be the kinds of things I find most interesting.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 1:28 PM
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I have some WASPy friends who are 4 brothers, each one was supposed to be a girl. It was the father, actually, who just would not give up: the mother was perfectly happy with a brood of boys. I know a lot of only child girls, but few only child boys--it seems someone always wanted to try for the girl at least once. Surprisingly enough, I even see this pattern in India, despite all the statistics to the contrary, which is probably a measure of the class and liberality of the social network I connect to: there are a lot of the same fears that people have already listed, with less of the worry about pregnancy, and more of the worry about how to protect them from assault on the girl-side, and a big fear of misbehavior, disobedience, criminality and eventual alienation/hen-peckedness on the boy-side. (I'd say my mother's big fear of our teen years were not that we'd Get Into Trouble on our own, because she correctly determined that her iron grip and values enforcement would completely and perfectly dissuade us from even attempting to Get Into Trouble, but of our walking around and being abducted or assaulted. She was and is still always very worried about this, and the only time she seriously seems to wish she had also had a son was when we are single and have no male to escort us around the world. She is always extremely suspicious of Strange Men) Traditionally, of course, it was the exact opposite: a boy stayed with his family his whole life, and was devoted in particular to the care of his mother, while a girl left at marriage and might never been seen again. I think now there's a notion that girls are more likely to feel strongly that modernization/westernization should not include nursing homes, and so there's more reliance on them to take care of their elders. I've also noticed that here, first generation Indian-American parents with only sons are more likely to be unhappy with the idea of intermarriage than first generation parents with only daughters. It's like the mothers of daughters trust their daughters to keep up the Indianness regardless of the husband, but the mothers of sons don't trust them.


Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 1:28 PM
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My parents let me do pretty much whatever activities I wanted to, as long as they didn't have to get involved. They'd give me rides if I needed, and pay for it (within reason), but that was it. They brought books to recitals and swim meets and sat in the back row, reading. I was always appalled by my friends who would be punished for not practicing enough, or who didn't even really want to be doing the activity in the first place but had to because their mom said- it all seemed very stressful and weird.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 1:30 PM
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53,59--I'll reiterate 77, because I've had painful UTIs my entire life, though of course my parents knew that and so would never have suddenly jumped to the conclusion that I was getting it on. Unfortunately my boyfriend's doctor father did not know that, which was the extremely embarrassing way I found out about the term "honeymooner's disease."


Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 1:33 PM
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I had terrible UTIs as a little child, up through age 12 or so, and then not again until I started having sex, for about a year. I haven't had one since I was 20, thank God.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 1:35 PM
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...doing a lay-up...

My mom (72 y.o.) is a better basketball player than I am. Some time after I left home she decided that what was needed to keep teen boys away from sex and drugs was an simple game with positive role models (yeah, I know) so she started a basketball program at my old school. She even convinced some guys from the then-Charlotte Hornets to come out and hold little basketball camp thingies.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 1:38 PM
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then-Charlotte Hornets

When I was in Charlotte earlier this year, I revealed my utter ignorance of most-things-NBA when I asked someone where the Hornets played.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 1:41 PM
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Oh, and on the boy/girl thing, my mom says she had no preference one way or the other but was 100% sure I was a girl, based on the way she was carrying me (whatever this means; I've heard other people refer to it, too, but I'm at a loss), going as far as choosing a name, which she later told me. What I'm saying is, if you have a daughter and you want to name her after my would-be girl name, you should name her Maureen Elizabeth.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 1:44 PM
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166: Carrying means the shape of the pregnancy lump -- I think high up is supposed to be a boy, and girls hang lower. It's a common belief, but I don't think there's anything in it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 1:46 PM
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164: I hope that was the Muggsy Bogues years.


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 1:49 PM
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164: so she started a basketball program at my old school

That is excellent, togolosh! Togolosh's mom.

In other news, Stanley needs to know that he's secretly Maureen now. From time to time, in my mind. It's a lovely name.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 2:09 PM
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Secretly Maureen sounds the name of an alternataive band from the mid-90s.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 2:11 PM
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Is that a problem?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 2:13 PM
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Not at all. I was just amused.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 2:14 PM
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Damn, parents, why didn't you ever take us camping?

I always wanted my parents to take us camping. My dad would say, "I camped out for over a year in the army, don't need to do that ever again." I think part of the obsession with it for me was that there was a Boy Scout troupe that met at and had many members from my church, and they were talking about camping all the time. At that age I didn't get that if your parents weren't the kind of people who camp already, it would be kind of a big deal to acquire the gear (not to mention know-how) to do it.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 2:19 PM
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"Secretly, Maureen …" sounds akin to "Meanwhile, back at the ranch …".


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 2:20 PM
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I thought my family had camping cred until I learned that our drive-up-and-set-up-a-tent camping experience was a far cry from what most people considered camping. On the other hand, I did go to an actual Meatballs-/Salute Your Shorts-style camp (which I can recommend; it wasn't all weird-o over-the-top Jesus-y which I had worried about).


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 2:26 PM
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"I camped out for over a year in the army, don't need to do that ever again."

"But daaaaaaad, I want people to shoooooot at uuuuuuuus!"


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 2:28 PM
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a Boy Scout troupe

I could never get the Miming and Tumbling badge.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 2:29 PM
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I went to a really serious we-are-about-nature camp where each of the cabins (10 or so campers plus two counselors) took a 5 day wilderness camping trip, either hiking, canoeing, or sailing (in open-top sailboats with oars but no motors). I went on two of these trips, one of which was fun, but one of which was a horrific slog along the Maine coast with no wind (so we had to row the whole time) and constant cold rain. Camping when you and all of your clothes and possessions are soaking wet: not that fun!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 2:31 PM
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"I camped out for over a year in the army, don't need to do that ever again."

I honestly never thought of that. Maybe that's why my parents -- my dad (served in Vietnam) -- didn't even have camping on the agenda, ever.

Also the equipment and gear angle. I'd assumed, in thinking about it as years pass, that they just didn't have the skill-set in place, which is fine. Put it all together, and it's understandable that they weren't set up for it in any way. I learned later on my own; it's not like it's a parent's responsibility to introduce everything.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 2:34 PM
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Secret Maureen sounds like an imaginary girlfriend. Or a long-lost gnostic gospel.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 2:35 PM
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178: My one bad boating experience at camp was on the last day. There was this massive relay race involving all the different activities of the camp, pitting all the different houses against one another. My leg of the race was as part of a canoe team to go across Lake Echon (nicknamed "Lake Exxon" because it smelled totally scummy and was super algae-ridden). One of the single biggest fears at the camp was falling in to that lake, so of course we managed to tip our canoe mid-lake. Splash! Goo! Gross.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 2:44 PM
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Camping when you and all of your clothes and possessions are soaking wet: not that fun! character-building!

I did a lot of serious camping when I was a kid, which I generally enjoyed, but there were enough episodes like Sifu's that I should apparently have a much better character than I do. I'm looking forward to my son being old enough to camp with me, which I can only assume means he will have less than no interest in it.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 2:47 PM
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169: There may be some truth to the theory you mention. There's a book on mothers as culture-keepers in multicultural families that I keep meaning to read, but since I haven't read it yet I can't really comment.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 2:52 PM
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183 to 160, Ile's comment.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 2:52 PM
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What a lucky kid Calvin is! I never got to do this stuff when I was his age.


Posted by: Calvin's Dad | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 2:52 PM
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no wind (so we had to row the whole time)

That gets old fast, I'd imagine.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 2:58 PM
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I'll tell ya, rowing an eight person open wooden boat with seven other eleven-year-olds for ten hours a day and then camping with all of your possessions and your tent soaked through? Definitely character building. Whether that character is actively murderous or not is, I suppose, a little less clear.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 3:00 PM
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My summer camp was not particularly character building. Notably, my bunkmate was the son of C/hong, of C/heech and. But I was too young to derive any pleasure, much less any drugs, from this fact. And then I found five dollars.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 3:03 PM
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Also, I went to an amazing (since deceased) progressive day camp that was devoted to showcasing the "four cultures" of Los Angeles: Mexican, Jewish, Japanese, and African-American. The camp was founded about 1965, when those really were the four cultures.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 3:05 PM
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184: that sounds need, if you remember a title or author, please share.


Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 3:12 PM
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I thought my family had camping cred until I learned that our drive-up-and-set-up-a-tent camping experience was a far cry from what most people considered camping.

What? That's nonsense; drive up and set up a tent is great, as long as it's not super crowded. No one likes to carry heavy shit for long distances.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 3:13 PM
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I FEEL SO ERASED.


Posted by: OPINIONATED APPALACHIAN TRAIL THRUHIKER | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 3:15 PM
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What? That's nonsense; drive up and set up a tent is great

It may be great but it's also bull fucking shit!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 3:19 PM
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I don't mind if there's a little path from the parking lot to your site. Say up to a quarter mile. But who would want to camp anywhere where it's not relatively easy to bring a cooler of beer?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 3:21 PM
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Sergei and Istvan might be interested.

Ruslan is only interested in Ludmila.

Actually, I never had any mental association between ballet and Hungarians, just Slavs. I can't say I ever paid much attention to ballet though, except the one dancer I tried to date when I was making a giant mess of my social life, back when I had more of a social life to make a giant mess of.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 3:21 PM
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The drive-up camping mention reminds me of a book or series of books that I read around fifth grade. There are two brothers on vacation with their family in Florida? Maybe. And they're in a camper and they have these two large ridiculous plants that they take with them everywhere, rolling 'em about on skateboards.

Does anyone know what book I'm talking about? It's driving me nuts.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 3:22 PM
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That's why you need a mule, heebie. Or a robot mule.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 3:22 PM
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To smuggle drugs to the campsite?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 3:23 PM
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That's nonsense; drive up and set up a tent is great, as long as it's not super crowded.

Indeed. This is the main type of camping my family always did, and also the type I would do from time to time with friends in high school. Backpacking is okay, but I've found it's rarely worth the trouble.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 3:25 PM
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Heebie is right: car camping totally counts.

I'm a little disturbed by the concept of thumbs on the scales for purposes other than improving the kids' chances for a happy and successful life.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 3:27 PM
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ages 6-12 (roughly, the little league period) builds a better background for playing traditionally male sports

If you are talking baseball, this is wrong. the problem is that baseball is no fun/boring without a skill set that takes years to develop. You have a better case with American football and basketball.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 3:28 PM
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I'm planning on putting my thumb on the scale that my kids shouldn't move far away from me. I haven't figured out how to do it, but I'm good at complaining, so I'll start there.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 3:29 PM
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I haven't figured out how to do it, but I'm good at complaining

That'll keep her close by.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 3:30 PM
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184: It's by Heather Jacobson and is called Culture Keeping. Apparently it's mostly about white adoptive mothers, but my friend's review made me think there was more about other kinds of mixed-race families too.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 3:30 PM
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202: your answer is in the post title.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 3:39 PM
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But I don't want to put a penis on Hawaiian Punch.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 3:52 PM
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It's like that movie, Donging Helena.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 3:53 PM
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196: The Plant That Ate Dirty Socks!


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 3:54 PM
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Would it have to be on her, or could she just keep it in a nice box?


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 3:59 PM
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Maybe you could take the humane approach and just use one of those electric fence things.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 4:00 PM
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If no one is miserable, it isn't really camping.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 4:07 PM
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Jesus Christ 209 is disturbing. This is a toddler we're talking about. A penis in her nice box?? You're a sick fuck.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 4:09 PM
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It's like Brock's never even heard "Dick In A Box".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 4:18 PM
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196: The Plant That Ate Dirty Socks!

Holy shit, yes! jms, you win the internet today. Thanks.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 4:19 PM
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So "thumb on the scale" is a euphemism for "toddler penis in a box"? You all are inscrutable.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 4:21 PM
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I did pretty much all possible outdoorsy activities as a young person. Car-camping, backpacking, canoe-camping. My parents still can't believe that I want to live in a city and keep suggesting that in time I'll realize that I want to be a little closer to them nature, in the West.

148.--I'm going to assume, moving forward, that Jackmormon was on American Gladiator.

Actually it was a standard Marine Corps obstacle course at a Navy base. The part where you shimmy under 6" netting always sucked, but I gotta tell you that the balance beam and the 6-foot wall are pretty much pieces of cake for a ballet dancer. I think that Marines leap at the wall, get a grip on the top, and do a pull-up; I would leap at the wall, get an ankle over the top, and do a leg-based pull-up.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 4:27 PM
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||

For Moby and JRoth.

|>


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 4:28 PM
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215: I think the euphemism works better in the other direction. E.g., Mrs. Landers is putting a toddler penis in a box to encourage traditionally "girly" activities for my boys.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 4:28 PM
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I'm sure that ballet is a good basis for all sort of other physical activity.

At a climbing camp our instructor had had a group from the Zurich ballet a few weeks earlier. They were all complete beginners but he said they had the most aptitude for it of anyone he'd ever taught.

And folks, I've done roadside camping, I've done the vacation on a campground, and I've done backpacking. Not at all the same thing. There is something pretty great about being several days difficult hiking from the nearest other human being. That said, I strongly recommend the campgrounds in Florence and Sorrento. Drop dead gorgeous locations - terraced on a steep slope with perfect panoramic views within walking distance of the main stuff. A hell of a lot cheaper and nicer than a low end hotel.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 5:02 PM
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car camping totally counts

Of course it does. There's another kind? Seriously, though, what I like about camping is the making-do with cooking and with stuff in general. Car-camping still allows for exercises in efficiency, conserving water, multiple-use clothing and cooking gear, getting used to over being a little dirty; not to mention fires! Starting them, maintaining them. Did I mention cooking with them? I hope nobody camps with charcoal, because that's right out.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 5:03 PM
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217: Where has JRoth been, anyway?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 5:10 PM
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not to mention fires! Starting them, maintaining them.

Which one probably shouldn't do, really. Bring a stove.

One thing car camping doesn't really let you do is get an appreciable distance away from places you can get to by car.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 5:11 PM
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221: Violation of sanctity, but he's on vacation.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 5:14 PM
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I think that Marines leap at the wall, get a grip on the top, and do a pull-up; I would leap at the wall, get an ankle over the top, and do a leg-based pull-up

That is called the "college boy roll" by the Drill Instructors.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 5:16 PM
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224: Is that supposed to be pejorative in a haha-done-like-an-ivory-tower-wimp sort of way?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 5:18 PM
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When you're seriously bendy and strong, though, it's just as fast to go leg-first.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 5:20 PM
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Yep.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 5:20 PM
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Not that Drill Instructors have ever been noted for their reasonability.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 5:23 PM
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done-like-an-ivory-tower-wimp

True fact: many of the techniques disparaged at Officer Candidate School were the instructed methods at Recruit Depot, Parris Island. For "safety reasons".


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 5:25 PM
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222: Which one probably shouldn't do, really. Bring a stove.

On the east coast, a fire (in an established fire pit) isn't too much of a problem; we don't have as much of the dryness problem as the west coast. Many camping sites still have fire pits; some have mounted iron boxes that are amenable to a wood fire within.

I've camped my way across the U.S. in many a place that was pretty remote, even though I drove up to it via dirt road, so it wasn't quite necessary to hike in order to be an appreciable distance away from civilization. I know it's not the same, but really, with a good map, you can get a good distance away via car.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 5:27 PM
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It would take me like twenty years to get over a 6-foot wall if I had to use just my arms. I didn't even need a running start to swing my leg up onto it.

We rarely won in the drill event, despite our excellent coordination etc., because as the all-girls team from [famously liberal town in the East Bay], we disdained pretending to have Southern accents when calling cadence or barking orders. The retired Marines who ran these events had a marked preference for 1) Southern accents, real or feigned, or 2) perky, flirty deferent women.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 5:35 PM
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Not that Drill Instructors have ever been noted for their reasonability.

Are you quitting on me? Well, are you? Then quit, you slimy fucking walrus-looking piece of shit! Get the fuck off of my obstacle! Get the fuck down off of my obstacle! NOW! MOVE IT! Or I'm going to rip your balls off, so you cannot contaminate the rest of the world! I will motivate you, Private Pyle, IF IT SHORT-DICKS EVERY CANNIBAL ON THE CONGO!


Posted by: Gunnery Sergeant Hartman | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 5:35 PM
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a 5 day wilderness camping trip, either hiking, canoeing, or sailing (in open-top sailboats with oars but no motors). I went on two of these trips, one of which was fun, but one of which was a horrific slog along the Maine coast with no wind (so we had to row the whole time) and constant cold rain

This sounds like my Outward Bound experience, if you replace "5" with "28" and include the three-day solo with a virtual fast. Despite that, I'm still glad I did it.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 5:37 PM
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Further to 233: And wandering through Bar Harbor at the height of tourist season after not having bathed in 3 weeks.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 5:38 PM
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233, 234: A virtual fast? Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha sigh.

Vogue's Hamish Bowles did suprisingly well at BOSS, according to my friends there.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 6:09 PM
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235.2: I thought you meant Hugo, and was like, "Well, why wouldn't he?" and "Flippanter has friends who are up on Hugo Boss scuttlebutt?"


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 6:14 PM
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With a name like Hamish Bowles I assume he's a posh Brit? In which case, doing well at arduous physical shit would be par for the course.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 6:15 PM
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re: ballet

My former kickboxing instructor went to a couple of 'adult ballet' classes. She's hilarious disparaging about her fellow classmates attitude to her. She's about 5ft 9, weighed about 125lbs at the time and is pretty 'femme', and, to hear her tell it, they treated like she was some sort of monstrous troglodyte.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 6:18 PM
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235: That sounds like it's trying to accomplish something different than Outward Bound is.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 6:20 PM
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236: I think Hugo Boss is dead.

237: I don't know how posh he is -- I can never tell, actually -- but he's a dandy of the old school. I've seen him on Park Avenue wearing exquisite but ridiculous suits coloured colored purple, lime, etc.

One of my FB friends is the "the etiolated figure and Merlin beard of a conscript in a Civil War daguerreotype" that Bowles describes in the article; he was very amused by that description.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 6:21 PM
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223: Thats no excuse.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 6:27 PM
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240.1: Like 50 years ago. And yet the company that bears his name lives on.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 6:38 PM
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re: 240

I'm going by the general rule that people with names like Hamish, Fraser, Farquar, Angus, and the like -- if they aren't from some picturesque but shitty wee hamlet deep in the teuchter parts of Scotland -- are usually posh. Either posh Scots, or posh English with some sort of distant Scots ancestry; which is about as posh as it gets.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 6:38 PM
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teuchter parts

Translation, please?


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 7:00 PM
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I'm not sure, but I think he was calling them inbred hicks.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 7:06 PM
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243: Actually, all of those names, with the exception of "Angus" (which I always associate with the National Lampoon True Facts issue in which appeared a photograph of a "Black Angus Steakhouse" neon sign where the "g" had burnt out), all code as African-American to me. (For obvious who-owned-big-plantations reasons)


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 7:38 PM
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I'm pretty sure we've discussed BOSS before. In any case, I find it odd the way they seem to associate what they do with the Anasazi when there's very little connection that I can discern.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 8:19 PM
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all of those names . . . code as African-American to me.

Hamish? Farquar? As first names?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 8:21 PM
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My friends Angus Og and Oor Wullie are always doing these ultramarathon things. I think they're fops.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 8:21 PM
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except for angus they sound like rich oil sheik london playboy types to me


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 8:31 PM
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Farquar just sounds like a cruel joke to me.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 9:12 PM
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This is odd: "a daughter's your daughter for all of your life; a son is your son until he finds a wife"

My parents say this in reverse, actually: "a son is a son till he takes him a wife, but a daughter's a daughter all the days of her life."

No doubt it is changing even as I write this, but I have to say that, over the years, I've seen more evidence in support of the above than I wish were the case. When I worked at a nursing home (some years ago now, admittedly), I was struck by the gender imbalance in care/concern for elders: it was (overall, though with some notable exceptions, of course) daughters, and also daughters-in-law, who visited regularly, got involved, made pests of themselves (a good thing, of course!) advocating for better care, and etc. The expectations were (still are?) different, of course: a son could show up at Easter and Christmas with a box of chocolates and consider his duty duly discharged, whereas a daughter was expected to be there in a more everyday fashion to look after the quotidian detail. I still see a lot of this in my extended family, actually.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 9:22 PM
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Eggplant, I forgot to agree with you that regular Suzuki does indeed teach sight-reading. I just started doing it earlier than I would have if we'd stuck with the program. I was pretty lazy and uninspired when it came to practicing, so I was never an excellent violinist, but it's interesting to me that when I've come back to it as an adult I actually have better technique than I did as a teen taking lessons. I do think the early ear training is a huge help in understanding and experiencing music in general.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06-29-10 6:29 AM
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252 is my impression, too. Caring falls to women much more than men, regardless of exactly who is being cared for.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06-29-10 7:05 AM
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I do think the early ear training is a huge help in understanding and experiencing music in general.
This is definitely true. There's quite a bit of research to back this up.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06-29-10 7:17 AM
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actual butt-wiping has devolved solely on female relatives IME. it rests on an unstated notion that girls/women aren't grossed-out by various things. I had to explain to my brother that we were just as grossed-out as them but were soldiering on regardless.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 06-29-10 7:20 AM
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actual butt-wiping

I read this a couple times as "actual butt-whipping" and was all, "Damn, alameida's crew rolls fucking hard, right?"


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06-29-10 7:26 AM
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actual butt-wiping has devolved solely on female relatives IME. it rests on an unstated notion that girls/women aren't grossed-out by various things.

Men handle any bugs and rodents that get into the house; women handle the elderly butt-wiping. I'm not sure about your particular family, but I'd say this phenomenon generally has more to do with traditional notions of men's and women's "work" (and--correlated--of men's and women's temperments) than with any ideas about who is grossed out by what.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06-29-10 7:40 AM
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Who wipes the rodents' butts?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-29-10 7:44 AM
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Ask not by whom the rodent's butt is wiped. It is wiped by thee.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 06-29-10 7:54 AM
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Like anyone gives a rat's ass.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-29-10 8:13 AM
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I just realized that my family is almost completely the opposite of the son-til-wife-daughter-for-life idea, at least so far. My grandfather took care of his mother, my stepdad took care of his, my uncle's taking care of my grandpa, and all three of my brothers stayed way closer to home than me or my sister (we both fled to coasts immediately after high school and neither of us have lived anywhere near home, since).

Then again, my parents keep moving to other continents, so they really can't expect us to hang around and keep them company.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 06-29-10 8:24 AM
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257: terrorist fist bump dap


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 06-29-10 9:29 AM
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In my family, individual circumstances seem to have bucked the overall trend of elderly care. My mother lives a thousand miles away from where her mother had retired (and she was an army brat, so I don't think we can read too much into that; moving long distances was routine for her while growing up) but my mother's brother was in the same state as their mother, so my mother's brother did most of the day-to-day or week-to-week stuff. And my dad is the only lawyer among his siblings and my mother's siblings and cousins, so he took care of most of the estate planning and long-term care and stuff for my four grandparents and some other elderly relatives as well. The moral of this story is, ladies with legal degress should leave the country if they don't want to be stuck taking care of their parents.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 06-29-10 9:36 AM
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I'll be hurt if my parents eventually retire and move near one of my brothers instead of me. They are evasive on the topic, because they've always longed to move back to California, where the middle brother is. But I'm serious; after his disses and my loyalty, I'll be pissed.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-29-10 9:40 AM
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258: I have mouse shit that I've been avoiding cleaning. It's in the basement on top of the acoustical tiles. I also know that a mouse died in the cold air return. He's been in there since February. It better be a mouse.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-29-10 9:56 AM
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A supply of work gloves makes this kind of cleanup less nasty.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 06-29-10 10:03 AM
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shit, forgot to change sig to Heloise.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 06-29-10 10:03 AM
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266: I assume all of your children are accounted for?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 06-29-10 10:06 AM
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256: Even for babies?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 06-29-10 10:06 AM
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I'll be hurt if my parents eventually retire and move near one of my brothers instead of me.

But... you live in Texas.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 06-29-10 10:34 AM
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It's true. But it's me!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-29-10 10:37 AM
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271 gets it right.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-29-10 11:06 AM
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But I live in a very nice part of Texas! Plus 272.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-29-10 11:08 AM
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You all will be cursed with kids who make you retire to Houston.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-29-10 11:09 AM
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a very nice part of Texas = has Lyla Garrity in it.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06-29-10 11:12 AM
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By the time I retire there will have been wars over the water supply all over the earth and Houston will be down to its circa-1880 population.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-29-10 11:12 AM
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Be the change you expect to see in the world, Ned.

Also, a water shortage will not exactly be a big problem for Houston.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-29-10 11:36 AM
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270 - C claimed not to know how to change a nappy and still deep down believes that pregnant women are given secret nappy-changing tutorials.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 06-29-10 11:38 AM
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Austin/Texas Hill Country could be a quite nice place to retire. (But I'd want to have a summer escape location.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-29-10 11:45 AM
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What if you lose your penis ?


Posted by: Mummy of Pharoah Tutankhamen | Link to this comment | 06-29-10 12:38 PM
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WILL NO ONE RELEASE MY SECOND CHAKRA ENERGY? LINDA CAN'T, AND NOW TIPPER WON'T. I NEED SOME RELIEF HERE, PEOPLE!


Posted by: OPINIONATED AL GORE | Link to this comment | 06-29-10 12:51 PM
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You might have the recognition of the Academy, but at least I can recognize "Not a prostitute."


Posted by: Tipper | Link to this comment | 06-29-10 1:08 PM
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at least I can recognize "Not a prostitute."

ALL THAT BABY BATTER CLOUDED MY JUDGMENT. I HAVE NEEDS, WOMAN!


Posted by: OPINIONATED AL GORE | Link to this comment | 06-29-10 1:11 PM
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Your needs and $2.50 will get you a remaindered copy of Earth in Balance.


Posted by: Tipper | Link to this comment | 06-29-10 1:13 PM
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actual butt-wiping has devolved solely on female relatives IME
I have to give my brothers credit for this not being at all true in our family. It was nearly always a two or three person job anyway as my father was a heavy man and quite immobilised by the stroke. I do remember from twenty years previously that my granny kind of preferred me to help with the toilet stuff rather than my older brother if possible (we were teens).

"how you care for the elder generation is what your children will do for you, teach them well"
Both my parents were heavily involved in caring for their elderly parents. I'm sure it affected the things we just took for granted when our turn came.


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 06-29-10 1:33 PM
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I know it's not the same, but really, with a good map, you can get a good distance away via car.

not even close to the same. For one thing, your car is there.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 06-29-10 6:24 PM
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Is your car that disturbing?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-29-10 6:28 PM
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My car is fine, but my garage smelled funny. Apparently, a mouse can climb into a five gallon bucket, but getting out isn't so easy. The bucket was old, but still in very good shape. My neighbor made fun of me, but I offered the bucket to her and she said no.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-29-10 6:33 PM
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My neighbor made fun of me for throwing the bucket in the trash. Just to be complete.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-29-10 6:34 PM
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In general, I would not recommend camping in your garage, anyway.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-29-10 6:35 PM
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You can hide your car behind some bushes, or over yonder, if it's a problem (actually, it's not entirely uncommon for the car to be over yonder, rather apart from the camp, anyway). It's not like the fact that your car is there means that you're jumping in it every day to drive somewhere. You park it, you unload it, you set up camp and you stay awhile! It's different from hiking-camping, but I really don't find it troublesome; it's the setting up camp and staying a while that I desire.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-29-10 6:35 PM
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If you really can't deal with your car being there, find a nice isolated camping spot with a great view, unpack all your gear, set up the tent, and push the car off a cliff.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-29-10 6:37 PM
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291: Not until it has had a chance to air out.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-29-10 6:39 PM
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293: You have it backwards. What you want to do is, you yourself jump off the cliff, because then it's shadier than being on a cliff. Plus you get the nice climb back up when you're done, which is good exercise.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06-29-10 6:39 PM
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Drive to the camp site, unload all your stuff and your family, drive home again and then jog back to the campsite. To get home, reverse the process.

(If you can't jog that far, borrow a horse.)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06-30-10 2:30 AM
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