Re: Ask The Mineshaft: What Time Is It?

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Have the kid now. People raise kids just fine on less disposable income than a two-lawyer family has after student loans. You'll end up spending less on the kid in the early years than you would otherwise, but they'll never know the difference.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 12:07 PM
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It's funny that the question is essentially about pacing. Ahem.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 12:07 PM
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Maybe my hair contained my ability to resist posting.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 12:09 PM
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Commenter,

Sorry, everyone here had kids a few years ago. That's when you were supposed to do it and you missed your chance. No kids for you.

All best,
FPS


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 12:11 PM
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There is never a "right" time to have kids, but there can be a "wrong" time. Waiting for the right time will mean that you have to play catch when you're too old to see, and get wheeled into Junior's high school graduation.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 12:11 PM
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I'm the commenter for this question. I was also wondering how many women in peoples' experience actually go from being completely career oriented pre-baby to wanting to be a stay-at-home mom or at least less career oriented post-baby. Right now I want kids but I love my career and I can't imagine ever giving it up. But then people will stay in their snotty infinite wisdom, "Oh you'll change your mind once you have kids."


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 12:12 PM
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I think that mostly happens to people who either (a) really don't like working or (b) have a miserable childcare situation. Heck, I don't like working but having kids hasn't made me want to quit more than pre-kid bone-laziness did.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 12:14 PM
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Liz- I've known both those who go immediately back to work and those who give up brilliant careers to change diapers. I have no way to predict which you will be. Probably neither do you.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 12:17 PM
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It's always the wrong time to have kids. Always. If you want them, just accept that you're going to be hugely inconvenienced for the next 20 years and get started.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 12:21 PM
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But then people will stay in their snotty infinite wisdom, "Oh you'll change your mind once you have kids."

This drives me crazy. Even if it's true for some people. Certainly is not true for me. Although I wish I could work 30 hours a week.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 12:22 PM
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But who doesn't?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 12:22 PM
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considered paying off all their student loans before having kids. I'm already 30, so I wouldn't consider waiting past 35

The fact that you've phrased this in a way that implies that you could pay off all your student loans in five years, or likely something less, makes me want to sob. Or drink. Or get drunk and sob.

Regardless, have kids, unless you either don't want kids or you don't really like your husband that much, in which case don't. Those are both good reasons. Above a certain threshold (that you're way above), finances really aren't.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 12:23 PM
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11: I'd prefer 15-20.

Although I'm definitely the sort of person who would be quite happy with zero, so perhaps I'm not a good measure.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 12:25 PM
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I will say that you will be less career oriented after having kids, or at least less solely career oriented after having kids, just in that you'll have a new giant responsibility that's engaging and time-consuming. If you've got a finite amount of time and attention, it's going to come from somewhere.

But that's very different from saying that you're going to not be involved with or focusing on your career just because you've had kids.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 12:26 PM
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13: Zero would be nice. I could do nothing useful at all for the rest of my life and enjoy it a great deal.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 12:27 PM
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One more voice for how hard it is to predict how you'll feel about an actual kid rather than a theoretical one. For me, childrearing is the greatest joy of all, which was quite a surprise. Having a kid places real stress on a DINK lifestyle though, new conflicts show up in marriages pretty often.

Don't sweat the money.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 12:27 PM
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The sooner the better. Kids are a far more rewarding experience in times of good health and high energy, which correlates rather closely with non-elderliness. Careers go on forever, or can stop and start again later if you so choose, or can stop and not be missed. Also 1 and 5.

(says the guy in the couple who married at 24, got an official semi-infertility diagnosis at 28, attempted various treatments for several more years, adopted at 40, and whose male half experienced complete major organ failure while teaching tricycle riding. YMMV.)


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 12:30 PM
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10: I know. I mean, I don't think it's true because I know myself but what can you say when the premise is that you can't know?

So the plan right now is to pay down the debt, have kids and then replace the money that was going to student loans with childcare expenses and private school. It all seems reasonable until I think about how your fertility dwindles once you hit 30.

Plus, being a lawyer is not nearly as secure as it used to be. Just the other day I talked to a guy who graduated one year after me who couldn't find a job out of law school. So he went back for more education, which means that he won't be starting to pay back loans for years.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 12:30 PM
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Everyone here gets it right. Kids are a big burden but your law school loans won't make a big difference. The ONLY reason I would even think about this issue is if you are in a place where,for whatever reason, you really don't want to send the kids to public schools,and the student loan payments are the difference between being able to afford the tuition and not. Even then, you're probably better off either moving or figuring out a way to reduce your loan payment (assuming you otherwise want to have kids now).


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 12:32 PM
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12: We'll have the high-interest loans paid off within five years. I have about 50k in debt with a 3-4% interest rate, so I'm happy paying the minimum balance on that for the remaining 27 years.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 12:34 PM
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To get all psychotherapisty -- finances (in your position) aren't a reason to put off having kids. But the fact that you and your partner seem to have decided that they are a reason to put it off makes me wonder if there's some non-financial ambivalence about jumping into parenthood. The only good reason to have kids is that you really want them; if you're not sure, you've got time to put it off. Thirty's nothing.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 12:36 PM
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Thirty's nothing.

This should probably be qualified by asking how many kids you think you might want.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 12:38 PM
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The only good reason to have kids is that you really want them

I wanted kids, but the ones I got are defective. I'd like to trade them in for some shiny new ones, without the attitude, if possible.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 12:39 PM
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22: My friend who became super religious didn't get married til she was 30 and managed to squeeze in (out?) 6.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 12:40 PM
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9 gets it pretty much right, as usual. Having said that, as a lawyer and the husband of a professional, I'll chime in.

My wife and I talked a LOT about this issue, even before we were married & got pregnant. I originally thought I'd quit my legal job & stay home with whatever children we were blessed to have, and my wife had never really considered the possibility. But I got a new job that I REALLY loved before our daughter was born, so ultimately we decided that I wouldn't stay home.

My wife (not a lawyer but a high-powered business type, and Apo stop your snickering right NOW) has never seriously considered staying home with our daughter, although there are certainly times when the thought crosses her mind.

Which I guess is a long way of saying what others have already said -- there's no way to know how the experience of parenthood will change what you want out the whole work/life balance equation. If you want children, set about to having them, and you'll figure out what happens next. Everybody does.

And good luck. You'll need it. :)


Posted by: NCProsecutor | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 12:40 PM
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Although I'm definitely the sort of person who would be quite happy with zero, so perhaps I'm not a good measure.

Zero would be nice. I could do nothing useful at all for the rest of my life and enjoy it a great deal.

Actually, I'm pretty content with zero (and self-directed projects) during summer vacations, too. But that is only because Hawaiian Punch still goes to daycare. I would go fucking nuts as a stay-at-home parent.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 12:40 PM
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I think a more salient question is "what sort of cultural influences could I expose my children to at an early age to ensure that they do not become lawyers?"

I kid, of course. You guys are alright. It's those other lawyers who are jerks.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 12:40 PM
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21: I am very ambivalent, but I think it's mostly financial. This is the first time that I've felt financially secure. We used to live in California where things are so expensive that I felt like we were one catastrophe away from being bankrupt. Now that we've moved and bought a house with a reasonable mortgage, things finally feel stable.

But having kids would make me feel unstable again. What if my boss decides that I'm a different person and I lose my job? What if one of us is laid off? I've seen too many people get laid off after 9/11 and this past recession to ever feel safe.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 12:42 PM
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what sort of cultural influences could I expose my children to at an early age to ensure that they do not become lawyers?

Me. So far we seem to have an architect and a chef.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 12:42 PM
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26: I would go fucking nuts as a stay-at-home parent.

That's why God invented Valium.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 12:43 PM
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Hmm, looks like my comment at 25 was poorly edited, and that a phrase that I tried to cut and paste got copied and pasted instead. Please overlook it, m'kay?


Posted by: NCProsecutor | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 12:44 PM
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I don't have kids, and I tend to agree with others that it's a separate question.

But I did resolve to pay off my student loans by the time I was 30. This was partly just my anxiety about debt, but partly because both of my co-clerks were older than me and had had brief careers before they went to law school. So I decided that if I wanted to change careers I should give myself a clean slate to make that possible. (This may be another way of saying that I have personal anxiety about debt.)

As it happens, 10 years later I am still practicing law, but my co-clerks are not.


Posted by: tulip | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 12:45 PM
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29: I wanted to be an architect. Instead I became a loser who works in the non-profit arts community.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 12:45 PM
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Noah has decided that he's going to be a scuba diver when he grows up. I have no idea why. Cassidy insists she's going to be a father.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 12:46 PM
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28: If you decide to wait for total job/financial security, you're actually deciding not to have children. Because there's no such thing as total security.


Posted by: NCProsecutor | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 12:47 PM
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What if my boss decides that I'm a different person and I lose my job? What if one of us is laid off?

You'll manage -- people do. Guessing at your finances from two-lawyers-with-good-jobs, people raise families just fine on a quarter of your household income. If all you're worrying about is money, relax.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 12:48 PM
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28 makes it sound to me as though you should wait a couple or five years before the kids, in order to stabilize financial security. I'm having trouble imagining that 34 or so is a huge problem in terms of fertility.

Really, as LB said, 30 is nothing.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 12:48 PM
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28: In my experience as a 30-year-old trying to have kids, it's just absolutely fucking terrifying at times and I think you have to accept that as part of the territory. I worry a lot about finances, what could happen in the future, definitely whether I'm actually mature and responsible enough to make this work. But I think those kinds of worries are more about me and my own personality than about any future kid. IANAL and so on, but I can't imagine ever feeling totally financially secure or waiting for perfection, because I know both that something could always change and that I'll always expect the worst at times. I just try to remember to accept the good and hopeful stuff too.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 12:49 PM
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That's why God invented Valium.

I would have been one drugged 50s housewife.

Actually, my mom's aunt was a lawyer in the 30s and 40s who at some point couldn't find work anymore, due to being a woman, and became a housewife, and became very depressed, and hung herself. In her 8 year old son's closet. Who is the one who found her. Sordid times!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 12:49 PM
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Noah has decided that he's going to be a scuba diver when he grows up

Jacques Cousteau or Navy SEAL?


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 12:50 PM
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36.last: Yes, my advice to people is just be pretty damn sure you actually want children, period. Then have them ASAP (barring significant extenuating circumstances).

(Also pretty much follows from 9.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 12:51 PM
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Clearly Noah should be an underwater archaeologist.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 12:52 PM
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Did anyone make sure to travel and do other things that are harder with kids before having them? It appears that your life is over once the kids come, so I'd like to minimize regrets.

And I'm only planning on two kids, so that helps the timing a bit.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 12:52 PM
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43: I'm going to be rather blunt here. If you are *significantly* worried about not being able to travel once you have kids: Don't have them.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 12:54 PM
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Did anyone make sure to travel and do other things that are harder with kids before having them?

We didn't. On the other hand, we're on a tight-ish schedule for medical reasons.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 12:54 PM
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It appears that your life is over once the kids come, so I'd like to minimize regrets.

Seriously, no. Your life is different, things are less convenient, and all that. But it's not over. There is still all sorts of self-indulgent fun to be had.

If the sort of changes that children are going to make in your life feel like 'over' to you, again, that sounds like non-financial uncertainty about whether you want to do it. I'd talk to some real people who who know you about your feelings here -- while the collective wisdom of the Mineshaft is aweinspiring, we don't know everything.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 12:56 PM
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44: Oh, it's not significant. I'd like to take a trip to Europe first and visit a few more spots around the US, but that's about it. My husband is concerned about feeling tied down, so I'd like to hit some things on a checklist to remind him about later.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 12:57 PM
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times of good health and high energy
Bummer for the people who are already chronically tired and ill by the time they hit 25.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 12:57 PM
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Did anyone make sure to travel and do other things that are harder with kids before having them

That is only an issue with really young kids. You can take ten year olds anywhere. Except into the bar.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 12:57 PM
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Hah -- Jacquie Cousteau (that is, marine biologist with a focus on scubadiving with dolphins) is Sally's alternative to being an architect.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 12:58 PM
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My wife and I have trying for 18 months and are well into the territory of unexplained infertility. We've already done one round of IUI and have been waiting for schedules to permit a second.

I was at a party last night and my wife was at some sort of mind-body-awareness group for women dealing with infertility. It was a loud party and I didn't notice for a while that she'd called me eight times and sent me text messages saying I NEED YOU TO COME HOME NOW.

The test says yes! I haven't told a soul yet, so presidentianomymous for the time being.


Posted by: Millard Fillmore | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 12:58 PM
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It appears that your life is over once the kids come

I'm not sure what exactly "appears" means in this sentence. If it means that's your impression or that's how you feel, then I'm not at all sure why you want kids. (Why do you want kids?) It didn't "appear" that way to me, before I had kids (although of course it's true that people travelled and went to nice restaurants and had sex and slept and generally did lots of fun things less than before they had kids).


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 12:59 PM
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Oh, congratulations, Fillmores! I hope to hear more when this can be public!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 12:59 PM
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51: Congratulations!!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 1:00 PM
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Seriously, no. Your life is different, things are less convenient, and all that. But it's not over. There is still all sorts of self-indulgent fun to be had.

Ditto this!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 1:01 PM
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50: Super ultra congratulations! Yaaaayyyy.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 1:01 PM
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so I'd like to hit some things on a checklist to remind him about later

Again, if someone's attitude is that his children are depriving him of living a "real" life, I don't think having a bunch of great "pre-kid" memories to look back on would be all that helpful.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 1:02 PM
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Here's my read on the situation:

Whenever I've lectured my students about, say, the need to study, the A students get super anxious and overly take my words to heart, and the D and F students disregard what I'm saying.

There's a lot of lecturing out there about how much work parenting will be, and LizSpigot is an A student.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 1:02 PM
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51: Oh hurray hurray HURRAY! Good luck and good health to you & your family.


Posted by: NCProsecutor | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 1:03 PM
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Yes, kids will likely mean the suburbs.

My 9-year old is a better travel companion than most of my fussy-ass coevals, has been for a few years. Gets impatient in bookshops and galleries, and can't go out at night in the same way, but is otherwise just fine.

The idea of minimizing regrets is an illusion I think, like being smart enough or capable enough. The goal is always a little farther away, or you stop caring regardless of actual circumstances.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 1:04 PM
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56 to 51, obviously, not that I have anything against the deep blue sea.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 1:05 PM
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51: Hurray! Congratulations!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 1:09 PM
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51: Congrats!!!

58: Thanks Heebie! I feel much better reading this.

55: I hope it goes the way that your life has. I read your blog all the time and you guys are so happy. Your baby was an addition, not a new burden. And you manage to live that way in California, which I thought was an impossible place to have kids.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 1:10 PM
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63 was me.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 1:11 PM
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52: Yes. I use "appears" to mean that people say this often. From my perspective, I feel like most of what I do is work and go home, with the occasional trip to a park. So adding kids to that scenario seems to me like it wouldn't change a thing. All it changes is your perception that you can fly to Rome for a weekend.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 1:13 PM
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I'll be blunt here as well: it sounds to me as though LizSpigot doesn't feel ready for this, and should therefore do a few things for a few years before committing.

Having children isn't an assignment.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 1:16 PM
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51: Woooooooo!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 1:22 PM
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66: I think that's fair. I'm not ready, but I feel like I should be now that I have the husband and the house. Nearly everyone I went to high school with already has kids so I feel like I've been left behind.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 1:23 PM
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51: Woohoo! Congratulations!


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 1:24 PM
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Having children isn't an assignment

Oh yeah? Which part of Genesis 1:28 didn't you understand?


Posted by: Adam and Eve | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 1:25 PM
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OK, 68 is REALLY not a good reason to have kids.

With that said, kids are great and a big enough life change so that who knows how you'll feel. Plus, sometimes they show up unexpectedly.

And, congratulations, last Whig president!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 1:27 PM
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68: Okay. You've said it: you're not ready. So don't push it. The idea that 'everybody else' has done it is for the birds. It is not an assignment! Three of my dozen closest college friends had kids at age 37 or so; a couple of others haven't had any. There are no rules on this kind of thing. You know yourself best; don't counter your own self.

And really, I think that 30 is not remotely close to the time to start worrying about fertility.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 1:32 PM
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63.3: Wow, thank you so much. I'm hugely flattered.

If it makes you feel any better about feeling maybe almost but not quite ready, I'm very happy with the way things worked out, timing-wise, with respect to my own maturity. I'm much more relaxed and easygoing about all the uncertainty that goes with parenting now than I was a couple of years ago, and also a lot more comfortable with the not entirely internally consistent quality of my career ambition/lack thereof.

I'm also glad we didn't wait much longer and weren't forced to wait longer by the whims of biology. Of course we were extremely lucky to be able to reproduce exactly when it struck our fancy.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 1:32 PM
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I get the feeling a lot of people's economic expectations solidify a little higher than they would have imagined once they have kids. Maybe I'm still reacting badly to the conversation with my friend, a marvellous, intelligent person who told me that he had to get a better job (within the context of investment banking, already) because in the Hong Kong expat community, if your kids can't get married at The Four Seasons, you are Doing It Wrong.

Parenting threads make me wonder how I got wired with no interest in this endeavor whatsoever. It's a slightly defensive feeling but I try not to be an asshole because of it.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 1:35 PM
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Yay Fillmores!

Two contradictory observations:
- I've known a lot of people who were woeful at predicting how they would feel about becoming parents, in both directions: "Oh wow this amazing new being I just want to stay and watch every minute of their lives what do you mean go back to work?" and the flip side "Oh wow you mean having a husband and baby isn't actually everything I want and darn it I miss paid work and I'm going back." Hard to know which one you will be.

- I think the threshold for major life decisions is knowing yourself well enough to know what you will regret more. In this case, fertility is not a guarantee at any age. If you suspect that you will painfully regret not having biological kids, then have them now and to hell with the debt. If you suspect that your personality will more regret not having gotten something else resolved (debt anxiety, big adventure travel), do that -- being aware it's not a guarantee that you get to have bio kids later.



Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 1:36 PM
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we were extremely lucky to be able to reproduce exactly when it struck our fancy.

This is the problem with Abstinence Sex Ed. Telling 14 year olds that they WILL get pregnant when they have sex when they know that is not the case, just the most likely.

Every culture has some sort of fertility god, no?


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 1:38 PM
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And really, I think that 30 is not remotely close to the time to start worrying about fertility.

The point of worrying about fertility at 30 is not "oh god, I am practically menopausal" but rather "gee, if we do have trouble conceiving, there could be a multi-year gap between getting started and having an actual baby."


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 1:39 PM
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knowing yourself well enough to know what you will regret more

I'm skeptical that this is at all knowable, per your previous paragraph. Having kids--especially the first one--is a leap of faith. Kinda like the old saying about battleplans lasting until the moment you encounter the enemy. I know that as advice, this is about as helpful and comforting as a wire monkey, but there it is.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 1:43 PM
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how I got wired with no interest in this endeavor whatsoever.

Not being interested in parenting makes all sorts of more sense than the alternative -- it's an immense amount of trouble and expense with no way to back out of it. The only reasons to have kids are purely irrational.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 1:45 PM
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as helpful and comforting as a wire monkey,

I suddenly want to start a mommyblog called Wiremonkeymom.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 1:46 PM
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"We will begin the assault on our children with waves of bombers. By the time the panzer divisions reach them, they will have suffered tremendously, and likely give up even before our waves of battle-hardened shock troops reach their redoubt. Look! Even now the first tanks are breaching their defens... OH GOD! THE CUTE! THE CUTE! IT CRUSHES US! FALL BACK! FALL BACK!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 1:46 PM
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What 78 said.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 1:46 PM
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79: 10 solid years of near-guaranteed Scrabble victories is hardly an irrational reason.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 1:48 PM
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My feeling is that you should start trying now (or just stop trying to prevent) given the uncertainties of possible divorce, infertility, and the end time being near.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 1:51 PM
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83: Don't forget the slave labor.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 1:52 PM
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I never had much interest in parenting (although I did have a very vague sense of "wanting a kid someday") and now it's by far the thing I get the most enjoyment from in life, though it's not easy. On the other hand, there are plenty of people who are obsessed with kids and then find them totally disappointing and unfulfilling. So who knows! Or, what Apo and Witt said. Wait, why isn't Witt offline vigorously mastrubating to Roy Hallyday?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 1:52 PM
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Put another way, parenting is a crazy leap into the abyss. Once you jump in, you have no idea what the fall will be like.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 1:53 PM
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"gee, if we do have trouble conceiving, there could be a multi-year gap between getting started and having an actual baby."

Yes to this, and also bear in mind that if money is a major concern, you'll want to know about reproduction issues as early as possible, because assistance (and adoption) can get expensive.

I never had much interest in parenting (although I did have a very vague sense of "wanting a kid someday") and now it's by far the thing I get the most enjoyment from in life, though it's not easy.

My thoughts exactly.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 1:55 PM
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86:

Hello?!?!?! I am certain that Witt can multitask.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 1:55 PM
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78/80: It made me think of that experiment and then gave me a sad.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 1:56 PM
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She could just be taking a break between, um, innings.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 1:57 PM
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what sort of cultural influences could I expose my children to at an early age to ensure that they do not become lawyers?

Me.

Not to derail the thread, but this made me curious how many people here do work that is similar to the work that their parents did when they were growing up.

For myself there are many ways in which the structure of my life is clearly influenced by my parents, including the way that I approach my work, but the actual work itself is pretty different.

Thinking about that also made me reflect on just how different this part of the country was back when my parents moved here (with a small child and no job).


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 2:05 PM
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86: So who knows!

I'll drop this in a minute, I promise, but really this seems glib: of course you don't know how you're going to respond to being a parent in the event, but that's surely not a good enough reason to go ahead and do it, just because you can't know in advance how you'll respond. You can make some informed guesses.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 2:06 PM
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Roy Hallyday

Insert your own "Amen (Bang Bang)" joke.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 2:07 PM
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It's funny -- I didn't so much want to have kids, as know that I planned to have them. Like, I never thought about how great kids would be, or how much I wanted them, it was just clearly something I was going to do. (Having dinner with Buck after he asked me to marry him, one of us said (I can't remember who) "We can finally talk about having kids now!" We'd both been working on not scaring the other one off.)

They've been great, but none of the things that turned out great about them were anything I'd been specifically looking forward to.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 2:11 PM
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Oh damn it. Well, almost no one's mastrubated to old Johnny H since about 1980, so he could probably use some love too.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 2:12 PM
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if we do have trouble conceiving
Nothing like, oops, getting that figured out in advance.


Posted by: WH Taft | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 2:15 PM
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95: LB, did your coworkers treat you differently after you came back from maternity leave? I know you were in private practice before, but I can't remember if you had Sally in law school.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 2:17 PM
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It's a slightly defensive feeling but I try not to be an asshole because of it.

I also have no desire to have kids. It always surprises me the large percent of people that say they do. If dating sites are to be believed I think over 95% of women want kids.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 2:19 PM
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I had Sally literally the day after taking the bar exam. So I had my job offer already, just didn't start work until January -- I never worked as a lawyer before having kids.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 2:21 PM
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You can get a vague idea of your potential fertility by having your cycle day 3 FSH tested. Also, if you've ever had chlamydia, you should find out if your fallopian tubes are patent.

Many women can get pregnant naturally at 35.

Some need assistance, which is expensive. Off the top of my head, I would say an IUI cycle with Follistim would run about $5000 and IVF is around $12-15,000 without ICSI or PGD. Multiple attempts are often, and perhaps I should say usually, necessary. Donor egg is more like $30,000 but often works on the first try.

Some women who wait too long will never become mothers.

Your odds at 30 are much better than at 35. Your chance of being fertile is higher and your risk of miscarriage, genetic abnormalities, other congenital abnormalities, and pregnancy difficulties all increase as you age.

When I worked at an infertility practice, the only women with excellent insurance coverage for infertility were the lawyers. Apparently since lawyers often wait until it's too late, it seems to have become part of a competitive benefits package.


Posted by: Shamhat | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 2:22 PM
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99: I was just thinking about this as well.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 2:22 PM
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She could just be taking a break between, um, innings.

Or maybe she has a designated hitter.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 2:25 PM
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100: Wow! I would be incredibly nervous worrying about going into labor before (or during!) the bar exam. Bravo.

So were people surprised when you started your first day having had a baby in the interim? I'm guessing that you weren't pregnant when you interviewed.

101.5 I worry a great deal about the genetic abnormalities. I'm ashamed to say that I wouldn't handle that well at all.

101.6 This is so true. My former boss' wife had all her IVF covered so she only paid a $10 copay per Dr.'s visit. And she had triplets so at the end there were daily appointments. They were very very pleased with the health insurance coverage.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 2:28 PM
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Yaaaaaay, the Fillmores! That is wonderful, wonderful news.

I can't count how many times my mother told me (in an always-use-protection-dear way) that I was sure to be super fertile because she'd gotten pregnant in the first month of trying every time. We're a year in, and the invasive tests begin next week. I am kicking myself for not having begun this process sooner.


Posted by: Grace Coolidge | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 2:33 PM
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99 is reassuring to me. So many people do want them you begin to feel like a bit of a misfit toy. Sometimes to be a bitter old thing I lament how adopty the gays have gotten because there was a time that queerness kind of excused you from the whole conversation.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 2:43 PM
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I am 44, and I recall that when I was younger there was talk of a "biological clock" that would kick in when a woman turns 35, at which point the hormones would push us to start looking for a father for our children. I think we internalized the concept that 35 was a good time to start thinking about it. If only the magic number had been 27!

I recently took care of a 42 year old woman who had terminated her first IVF pregnancy (after 2 cycles) due to a chromosomal abnormality, and became pregnant with twins after another 2 cycles. Her water broke at 22 weeks and she had a D & E (which could also be labeled partial birth abortion depending on how the babies end up positioned). She doesn't have any frozen embryos or any more credit. She will probably never have children.

Of course, on the UES of Manhattan, most of our labor and delivery clientele is women over 35. And many of them have uncomplicated pregnancies, and depending on the doctor they choose, vaginal births. It can happen!


Posted by: Shamhat | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 2:46 PM
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107.2 That is heartbreaking. At that stage she could feel them kicking, right?


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 2:50 PM
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6
But then people will stay in their snotty infinite wisdom, "Oh you'll change your mind once you have kids."
43
It appears that your life is over once the kids come, so I'd like to minimize regrets.
68
Nearly everyone I went to high school with already has kids so I feel like I've been left behind.

Personally, I advise you not to have kids now, because it's generally a bad idea for junior high school students to have kids and that seems to be your level of emotional maturity.

Sorry to be the one dick here, and of course it's entirely possible that I'm being too harsh and/or completely misjudging LizSpigot to begin with, but in this thread she looks like she is worried about the wrong things and wants children for the wrong reasons. Doing the math on student loan interest rates is not seeing the forest for the trees.

Also, um, congratulations to the Fillmores, and good luck to the Coolidges. Hey, you never know, maybe it will all work out.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 2:50 PM
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I am 44, and I recall that when I was younger there was talk of a "biological clock" that would kick in when a woman turns 35, at which point the hormones would push us to start looking for a father for our children.

Somewhat relatedly, here I am at 36 still trying to figure out if I want kids or not, and whenever I bring up the subject it's immediately met with "oh, but it's so much easier for guys, you can just find a younger woman". Right, because so many women in their late 20s or early 30s want to go out with someone in his late 30s. (I mean, yeah, it's easier for men than it is for women, but it's still not uncomplicated.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 2:51 PM
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106: That's interesting; I've always thought of the heterosexual world as being very, very heavily child-raising dominated, but yeah: now the homosexual world is joining as well, which is fine of course, but does redraw the landscape a bit.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 2:53 PM
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109: Excuse me for wanting to provide my children with the financially stable household that I never had. I guess that is junior high thinking.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 2:57 PM
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in their late 20s or early 30s want to go out with someone in his late 30s

Eh, many of my friends ended up with people 5-10 years older. Just start pursuing all those 27-year-olds that populate OK Cupid.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 2:58 PM
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99 is reassuring to me.

If you need further reassurance, I've never really wanted/considered kids either.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 3:02 PM
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113, 110: Men winding up with women 5-10 years younger isn't very unusual, yeah. Better get crackin', though, Josh, if you're serious about the kids. You'll need a breeder younger than, say, 34.

That's only partly a joke; PGD has spoken in this vein before. It's a concern for some 40ish childless men.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 3:06 PM
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Just start pursuing all those 27-year-olds that populate OK Cupid.

Nobody wants to be the creepy old guy skeeving on younger women, though.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 3:06 PM
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One of the biggest reasons I wanted kids is because I love the idea of having adult children. I'm very much enjoying the kid part, but for some reason I'm totally infatuated with the idea of having adult children.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 3:07 PM
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116: You're 36? That's really not old enough to fall into creepy old guy category. I will say this as a representative of the late 20s group.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 3:10 PM
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You're 36? That's really not old enough to fall into creepy old guy category. I will say this as a representative of the late 20s group.

I feel creepy messaging anyone under 25 and I am 30.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 3:12 PM
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||

Hey all,

I can now get you on the Flickr group myself, if you've been jonesing. Shoot me an email. (My unfogged address is prickly; heebie dot geebie at gmail is more reliable.)

|>


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 3:12 PM
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It can happen!

My wife was less than a month shy of her 40th birthday when she had our son, who was conceived in the ordinary course, so it definitely can. I was still of two minds about it going in, but fatherhood is definitely the best thing about my life, and if I'd waited until I felt absolutely certain, I'd probably still be waiting. On the other hand, I'm pretty sure I would have found it a much rougher transition a few years earlier. (Though travel, e.g., isn't necessarily that much harder: my son and I have in fact flown to Europe for the weekend.)


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 3:12 PM
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101.last is pretty interesting.
109 is nuts. I think that historically as well as now most people don't particularly want kids when they have them, but do fine anyway. Ambivalence before the fact is normal.
112 explains the interest in finances. FWIW, kids are much more responsive to a sense of security in the home and neighborhood than to actual plenty or want. Money troubles causing arguments is the problem for kids, along with neighborhoods where there are safety problems.

Save a cite to 116 for when you enthuse about your date's rack later.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 3:14 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 3:14 PM
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You guys I'm a 33 year old woman and single (and hot!) and I want kids. Is it too late for me? I don't have any debt. Hey, Josh, how's it going.

But I want the option to have them more than I definitely want them, is the tricky thing. I certainly want a family; some little maniacs who will keep me on my toes. But I'm exhausted and longing for my quiet home whenever I visit my sister who has three under the age of 3.


Posted by: yrsyn | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 3:15 PM
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117: I'm more looking forward to being a crusty-but-lovable grandpa.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 3:15 PM
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119: There's a big difference in the 20-25 age group and the 25-30 age group, in my opinion. (Cause yeah, I'm 29, and I wouldn't be comfortable with a 23-24 year old, but 36 sounds about right, Josh gentlemen.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 3:15 PM
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But I'm exhausted and longing for my quiet home whenever I visit my sister who has three under the age of 3.

Yes, but, holy crap, three kids under age three.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 3:17 PM
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it's generally a bad idea for junior high school students to have kids and that seems to be your level of emotional maturity

Dude. I know you said it yourself, but yeah, you're being a dick.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 3:17 PM
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Nobody wants to be the creepy old guy skeeving on younger women, though.

x.trapnel begs to differ!


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 3:22 PM
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||
Fuck. We knew this was coming but just got official word that we're definitely not going to be parenting Colton, the one who lives in Austin. He's got some stuff coming up that he could have avoided by saying he was being adopted, but that was the final straw that made him decide he's going to stay there and fight through it. Just sent him a facebook message about how much we love and respect him and how he shouldn't feel guilty because he thinks he hurt us (which he does now and which is keeping him from contacting us) but ugh. After all the stress we've had this week already with the other teen boy we're not parenting, this is just kind of a lot.

Anyway, please, back to talking about children people get the normal way! I already know I have sympathy and support here, and I'm so grateful for that.
|>


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 3:22 PM
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Oh, Thorn, I'm so sorry to hear that.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 3:24 PM
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130: Damn. I'm sorry.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 3:29 PM
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130: Thorn, I'm so sorry.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 3:33 PM
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128: Thanks for making that doubly explicit.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 3:33 PM
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134: parsimon, you seem to be having a few empathy problems yourself in this thread.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 3:35 PM
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130: Thorn, I'm so sorry to hear that. If Colton thinks that was the best decision for him, all there is is to support him in it. You and Lee and doing the best work in the world.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 3:41 PM
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136 to 135.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 3:43 PM
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130: I'm so sorry, Thorn. That sucks. (And you've been really remarkably and admirably great with both Colton and Rowan.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 3:50 PM
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138: I'm not going to claim great-person status. We lucked into some incredibly lovable kids who've been so easy to care about. (Well, okay, I even cared about and sympathized with LeeLee the compulsive liar, but didn't want her in our home full-time!) In some ways we feel really unlucky and left out that we've been at this for two years and, hello, it's not as if there are that many other people asking for black boys as a first choice, but then again what we've done has worked out for the people who needed it and I do believe that we are not the most important ones in the equation. It sucks for us, but I'm so proud of both boys for using their voices and trusting that truth will win out in the courts and, honestly, for letting us love them and be proud of them!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 4:02 PM
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Jesus, I had an unplanned kid when I was 20, another when I was 22, and from reading this thread it appears that it was less heartache and stress than planning it out. Wasn't easy at times but the world did not end.

The apostropher has it right. No one feels ready. Sane two person two income household? Way ahead of most, I'd say.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 4:03 PM
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104: Oh, it wasn't planned that way, and I was sure I was going to end up going into labor either just before or during the exam. My job knew, both because I wanted to explain why I was starting late, and because I wanted to explain why I might flunk. It worked out well, but it wasn't a good plan, or really a plan at all.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 4:11 PM
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140: I have a good friends who had unplanned ones at about 18 & 21 and a planned one at 26. As the husband describes it, "We were stupid and broke but had a lot of energy and turns out that works pretty well with young kids." And they are now getting the last laugh with grown kids by the time they were in their late 40s.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 4:13 PM
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And another jeez, Cyrus, what's up with that? to 109.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 4:17 PM
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141: But what a great story! I believe I now recall you mentioning in some thread that you had to use the bathroom many times during the exam.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 4:29 PM
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Sorry to hear that, Thorn.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 4:32 PM
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I've been surprised by how many women in their late 20s are explicitly interested in older men -- there are a lot of, say, 26 year olds who say they're looking for men aged 29-43, or similar ranges.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 4:33 PM
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Apo gives great advice above. Having had two children in our mid-30s, ms bill and I were just talking about how we could have used whatever energy we had in our 20s to deal with our loveable but exhausting kids. But we weren't ready for them then, so by definition it wasn't the right time. When we did have them was, by default, the "right time." Kudos to ms LizSpigot for being open and vulnerable enough to present this question to the MS and to follow up -- thoughtful responses and some important announcements too.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 4:33 PM
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On OkCupid profiles, I mean.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 4:33 PM
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144: Right, I called ahead for a seat by the bathrooms, and was in a row with five other hugely pregnant women, and one very confused guy.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 4:35 PM
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Bummer, Thorn!

My daughter was born in March of the year I took the bar. I took care of her full-time from May-the third week of June when I was supposedly studying for the bar. Fun times.

I have mentioned this before, but nothing is better than kids. Nothing. I'm biased, I realize.

I cannot imagine life without kids.

But, I do respect people who decide not to have them.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 4:42 PM
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At 42, I guess I am in the creepy old man category now.

I run with two 24 year old single girls. They agreed that no sane man should date them as they are roller coasters of emotion.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 4:46 PM
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Yay, Filmores! So sorry, Thorn. Boo, Cyrus. And let me add to the voices that say you're *never* ready--until you're staring your kid in the eyes and realizing you would cut out your own kidney for this little creature, you just don't have any sense of what sacrifices you're ready to make. I was laid off a year after my second daughter was born--never during the ensuing two years before I found steady employment did it cross my mind that we should have waited. Have the kids now--it will all work out.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 4:48 PM
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To 143 and earlier, since people keep on bringing it up, I'll elaborate: 6 and 68 look to me like an excessive amount of concern with appearances. Who cares about people being snotty? Despite what 112 said, I have no problem with financial planning. Finance away! But unless you owe money to "nearly everyone I went to high school with" or vice versa, why does their opinion matter?

That being said, even if it would turn out that I had some kind of germ of a good idea, I obviously was way too rude about it, especially in this context, so I won't try to defend my earlier comment beyond this. Mea culpa. Sorry.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 4:50 PM
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Well now I feel like a dick for piling on.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 4:59 PM
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153: Oh, okay. You're reading it wrong (or I'm expressing it wrong). I don't care at all about the opinion of people I went to high school with. I feel like I'm missing out for myself. And I'm not paying off my debts to show off to anyone. It's all about financial stability. But yes, I will admit to not liking people that act superior simply because they've had kids and I haven't.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 5:00 PM
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Well, I am off to view the debate between the two Utah candidates for governor. Go slightly less conservative "Democrat" who would pass for a Republican in any coastal state!

Thanks everyone for your advice! I feel less anxious now.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 5:02 PM
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Graciously done, Cyrus.

Not to be pessimistic or scaremongering, but I've seen so many friends and acquaintances *not* have the babies/children they were hoping and planning for, that, if you are pretty sure you do want to be pregnant some time in the next 5 years, I think I would be inclined to say forget about contraception and see what happens.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 5:04 PM
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153: I think you misread Liz -- she talked about feeling left behind by her peer group, but not because she cared about their opinions or that people would be snotty, just that they were in a life stage she hadn't entered.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 5:04 PM
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But yes, I will admit to not liking people that act superior simply because they've had kids and I haven't.

Agreed! Being a parent doesnt make someone any less of a jerk or grant them special privileges.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 5:04 PM
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Oh, I'm pwned all over the place.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 5:05 PM
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157:

Yes.

And mostly, have lots of sex.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 5:05 PM
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As is becoming my obnoxious habit, I'm responding to the OP first and catching up on this thread on the way home...

So first question: Are you already a partner? If not, how close do you think you are (if that's even a goal)? If you can make a mad push across that finish line in the next year or two, I'd say do that first. If you're not looking at that, or it's a more distant goal, go make a baby RIGHT NOW. The time off for maternity leave and the productivity hit of adjusting to childcare arrangements will take you off that track for a bit. Accept that this will be the case and factor into your planning as you see fit. This may be unimportant to you, but if it's something you feel strongly about, it seems like a bigger factor to me than student loans.

As for student loans, I've been a lawyer for more than a decade, had negligible loans to begin with, and still have 5 years left. They were at a great rate (and are consolidated with those of an ex husband, so I'm now tied to the timetable) and they really haven't posed any problems.

Despite the conventional wisdom, babies really aren't terribly expensive -- unless you *need* the stroller with better shocks than my car and the elaborately decorated nursery and whatever else people spend a fortune on. I took the bar 8 months pregnant with Rory, started my first job 6 months later, and we lived off my single income until she was 6. (He worked when I was home with Rory, at a salary of around $25K, and we made ends meet and took nice vacations and did not rack up any debt (other than the student loans). It's super possible, and I think much, much easier before you get accustomed to fancy things. (I couldn't possibly live on $25K now, but that's because I've gotten fat and spoiled.)

Any time is a good time for babies if you want them and are excited to welcome them into your life.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 5:07 PM
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Oh Thorn. I'm so sorry.


Posted by: Gabardine Bathyscaphe | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 5:11 PM
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Oh, Thorn, that's terrible. (I see the situation with Rowan has reached some kind of closure that's good for him, and I'm glad to hear that.)


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 5:16 PM
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Thanks, all!


Posted by: Millard Fillmore | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 5:45 PM
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FWIW, my wife had her first @ 38 and second @ 40. She was very insistent on pre-marital birth control, due to all the women in her family being very fertile. She was right.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 5:51 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 6:58 PM
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Oh, Thorn. I'm so sorry. You are responding to all this so gracefully.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 6:59 PM
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44 so I'd like to hit some things on a checklist to remind him about later
but then there could be doubts about the paternity.


Posted by: Econolicious | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 7:20 PM
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Everything in this thread is wise, though much of the advice is contradictory. Even Cyrus is redeemed by his apology/clarification.

I think LB offers the Rosetta Stone for this thread in 79:

The only reasons to have kids are purely irrational.

Having kids is about desire. Desire isn't rational, but our lives would be impoverished without it. If you want kids now, you should have them. You don't need other people to tell you what you want (but you do have to take into account the desires of your partner).


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 7:45 PM
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In chronological order:

86: If you're going to partake of Unfogged traditions, kindly do so correctly. I thought you were saying he was dead.

92: Not to derail the thread, but this made me curious how many people here do work that is similar to the work that their parents did when they were growing up. For myself there are many ways in which the structure of my life is clearly influenced by my parents, including the way that I approach my work, but the actual work itself is pretty different.

Your last sentence, exactly.

103: I'm ashamed of you, apo. Don't you know the DH is a crime against humanity America's Favorite Sport?

kids are much more responsive to a sense of security in the home and neighborhood than to actual plenty or want. Money troubles causing arguments is the problem for kids, along with neighborhoods where there are safety problems.

I agree with this almost 100%. Fed, clothed, housed and loved is a lot more important than the rest. It's hard for me to understand people who view, e.g., single bedrooms as a requirement for a happy childhood. And I say that as someone who really, really likes her space and privacy.

And Thorn, I'm so sorry. It's like you're having to do some of the biggest sacrifices of parenthood right up front. Doesn't seem fair, even if it is ultimately the best for the young people.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 7:45 PM
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Thorn, I don't know what I can usefully say, but everything you've done is admirable, and I'm sorry things didn't work out the way you'd have preferred.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 7:47 PM
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Thorn, that blows. So sorry.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 7:58 PM
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Thorn, I am so sorry to hear about the adoption falling through.

What you and your partner did for Rowan in providing a loving home, was what he needed so he could do so well in court. I hope that he stays connected to you. I know that people vary, but I am very involved with my last foster family. They are so important to me (and vice versa).


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 8:12 PM
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e.g., single bedrooms as a requirement for a happy childhood.

Heh, I made my kids share until my older hit 7th grade despite us buying a house with plenty of bedrooms back in 2001.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 8:16 PM
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So sorry, Thorn.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 8:29 PM
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Thorn, it may be that I'm about to repeat what Witt just said, but it seems to me that the choices you're making lately, and the way that you're handling the repercussions of those choices, suggest that you're going to be a great parent. I can't tell you how impressed I am from afar and how confident I am that whoever you end up parenting is going to be a very lucky indeed.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 8:32 PM
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So sorry. And what ari and md said.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 8:58 PM
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ari gets it exactly right, except for that stray "a" in the last sentence.

That really sucks Thorn and I'm so sorry. As many have said you seem to be handling it really well (I recommend Thorn's blog post about it, and her blog in general, to anyone who hasn't clicked through).

And Cyrus, this thread will never get to 1,000 if you don't retrench and double down and start flinging insults at everyone who called you out. What are you trying to do, break the blog? (But seriously, as asilon said, graciously done).


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 9:13 PM
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So now that OkCupid lets you see people's answers to specific questions, I'm really appalled by the fraction of otherwise sane-sounding people who answer "Would the world be a better place if people with low IQs were not allowed to reproduce?" with "Yes". It's horrifying. Apparently there are eugenicists lurking around every corner.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 9:37 PM
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Agreed.

Also, most of the questions are extremely ill-posed in the first place and have answers which are neither mutually exclusive nor jointly exhaustive.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 9:42 PM
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180: I'm more horrified that so many people don't seem to understand regression to the mean.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 9:42 PM
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Now I want to submit the question "Would the world be a better place if people who don't understand basic statistics were not allowed to reproduce?"


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 9:44 PM
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But if you eliminated all the low-iq people, Josh, the mean would go up.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 9:45 PM
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Now I want to submit the question "Would the world be a better place if people who don't understand basic statistics were not allowed to reproduce?"

Lamarckian, huh.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 9:46 PM
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What if they were taxed via unrelenting lottery ads, with proceeds funding stats classes? Where I live, there is synthetic horse racing in the carryout beer shanties-- computer generated images of horses "racing" every 15 mins or whatever. Always an interested audience of 3-6 dudes, never women.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 10:01 PM
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Thorn, so sorry.

||

I'm making dinner tomorrow for friends. I worked up a menu based on what I bought yesterday at the farmers market (thus the squash, kale, and such - none of it was bought with a cohesive meal in mind). I make simple vegetarian meals for myself all the time but I'm never sure about larger meals, so I'm looking for approval or suggestions for improvement from our vegetarian brethren.

Roasted Cherry Tomatoes & Caramelized Onions Tart
Spinach Pomegranate Salad w/ Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette
Barley and Kale Gratin
Spicy Roasted Squash
Caramelized Apple Tart with Cinnamon Custard

Also, I want the oven fairy to come and give me a second oven.

|>


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 10- 7-10 11:33 PM
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Thorn, I agree with Witt, md, ari, and others about how impressed I am with how you are handling your situation.

They certainly carry you with them, whether they are aware of it ot not.

Ill add my on parenting bit. My daughter had a small seizure a little bit ago (had an earlier one at 400 pm). I'm now stuck in the bed with her in a reverse spoon (butt to butt, feet to feet). Every time I try to get up, she wakes up from her fitful sleep and demands that I get back in bed. Oddly enough, she always sleeps better when we snuggle our feet together. (It is REALLY hard to sleep while trying to keep both feet bottoms against both of her feet bottoms!)


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 1:02 AM
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just wanted to add my sympathies, thorn. you are being awesome.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 3:54 AM
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My sympathies as well, Thorn. Something I was thinking about Rowan -- with a decent foster care placement, and you and Lee still in his life, he's got a safe place to live, and someone to go to for care and help if something goes wrong with his foster care placement. I wonder if preserving you as a sort of safety net was (unconsciously?) part of his motivation for staying with the other placement -- he knew you'd be there for him whether or not he was living with you, but didn't think the other family would do the same, so this is a way not to have all of his eggs in the same basket.

If that's part of what's going on with him, I think he's showing a remarkable capacity to find ways to protect himself, and you and Lee are doing a great thing for him in giving him a sense of security.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 5:21 AM
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LB, I definitely think that's part of it. He didn't get a choice in where he went and it's still more rural than he'd prefer. He did ask us if he could be with us by his birthday and we said no (because we had to get Colton stabilized if that was going to happen) and so he chose to move to another family rather than stay where he was or wait for us.

Realistically, he's probably going to come back to this area after he ages out because he's a city boy and this place is what he's known. It helps me to know that he'll have a safe spot and supportive connections in us here whatever happens. He may well end up here before he turns 18, in which case we'd push for adoption so he could take advantage of free tuition at Lee's school. But he knows and really believes that there will always be a place for him with us, one way or another. We're family of a sort.

md20/400, I really appreciate what you shared. I do know this kind of ongoing connection happens sometimes, though probably not as often as it should. It really helped to see that it's been meaningful for you to have ongoing connections. I do believe this will be the case for Rowan. For a long time, we were the only adults in his life who weren't being paid to interact with him, and I know that had an impact on him because he's mentioned it. After a year, it's clear he knows he can rely on us and trust us and I think he needs that.

And thanks, everyone. I'm still a little weepy even though I can see how all this has upsides for the boys even if I think we could be better for them. I guess it's fair for me to be selfish and petulant too.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 6:41 AM
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187: Approval from this vegetarian!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 6:56 AM
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187: Would you share your gratin recipe? My husband loves kale and I never know what to do with it.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 7:19 AM
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187: That meal sounds awesome, Paren.
188: Your dedication is inspiring, will. Good luck with the continued foot snuggling.
191: It's more than fair for you to be selfish and petulant too.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 7:20 AM
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193: what, tired of KALE CHIPS?!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 7:23 AM
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This vegetarian also says NOMNOMNOMNOMNOMNOM.

Access to two ovens is like the greatest thing ever when you need it. The house we rented this summer had two kitchens which is kind of perfect when cooking for 10 people.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 7:32 AM
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193: The second recipe on this page is a pretty good gratin recipe for any kind of greens.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 7:33 AM
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(It is REALLY hard to sleep while trying to keep both feet bottoms against both of her feet bottoms!)

Bokomaru? Am I remembering my Vonnegut correctly?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 7:39 AM
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198: Yes! Cat's Cradle. (Embarrassingly, I remember doing that with a really cute boy at a party in 9th grade. He played water polo for Lawrenceville. Speaking of nomnomnom.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 7:51 AM
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We will touch our feet, yes,
Yes, for all we're worth,
And we will love each other, yes,
Yes, like we love our Mother Earth.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 8:29 AM
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195: Alas, no kale chips in the house. So far the only thing I've enjoyed with kale were Thai wraps with kale serving at the wrap. Kale is such a tough material that it works quite well!

197: Thanks! Do you think that I could pick and choose between both recipes and replace the eggs in the second recipe with the potatoes from the first recipe? I don't eat eggs. Or would potatoes and kale be weird together?


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 8:44 AM
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The eggs are an important part of the second recipe -- it's almost quiche. So, I think potatoes and kale together would be fine (better than fine -- potatoes mashed with finely chopped kale are delicious), but leaving the eggs out is going to mess with the recipe enough that you're probably better off not thinking of it as a recipe any more, and just improvising.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 8:50 AM
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Also, 201.1 -- this sounds as if you missed the great internet homemade kale chip craze (like, you sound as if kale chips are something you buy, not something you make). If that's right, and you haven't tried making them, try these/. Easy, and really nice.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 8:52 AM
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Kale and potato gratin, no eggs.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 8:54 AM
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Thanks for the votes of approval. I shall now carry forward with the cooking. That is, if I can get over my surprise that my previously thought to be a boy cat is actually a girl, and if he (she) comes back from the neutering (spaying) in decent enough shape that I don't have to fuss over him (her).

201: Do you have Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone? That's where I got the recipe from; I can write it out if you don't. I don't believe there are eggs, but there is cheese.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 9:03 AM
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Kale, no eggs, kale, kale, potato gratin and kale.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 9:04 AM
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203: Yes, I was thinking I had eaten kale chips in part of the craze where people made vegetables and potato variants into chips. Like beets and taro root chips. But you're talking about something completely different.

204: Thanks! That looks really good.

I'm a vegetarian and am always looking for new recipes. I can't believe I waited until last month to buy Mark Bittman's "How to Cook Everything Vegetarian."


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 9:08 AM
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LizSpigot, lacinato kale works great as a salad as well. Shred and toss with a lemon juice/olive oil dressing, ricotta salata, and currants.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 9:13 AM
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208: Wow, clearly I was struggling with my recipe problem alone for too long! I should have asked Unfogged long ago because these recipes are great. Thanks Mr. Blandings!


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 9:32 AM
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My favorite thing about lacinato kale, because my life is driven in all ways by my laziness, is that it pulls right off its main stem.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 9:48 AM
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I am so not in a position to have children, by which I mean that I don't have the emotional resources. I'm not even sure that I want to, but at 35 I probably do need to start thinking that the choice is being made.

My great-grandmother had her only son at the age of 40 in 1910 in the pre-IVF era. There may be hope, but 4-5 years ago doesn't seem that long, and I'm not sure how much more ready I would be in 3-4 years either.

A friend of mine who had sworn off kids got married a few years ago to her best friend from forever and had one at 40. I don't know if she got fertility treatments.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 10:00 AM
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198/199:

I've forgotten the details of the ceremony. I now have the soul of an 18 year old girl, right?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 11:30 AM
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210: My favorite thing about lacinato kale, because my life is driven in all ways by my laziness, is that it pulls right off its main stem.

Yes!! I love that.

Kale Kale Kale. My diet now basically consists of large quantities of meat leavened with kale. For some reason, I just don't get sick of the kale -- I personally consume about 3-4 pounds of the stuff weekly. I tried switching in some spinach, chard, or collard greens but they just don't do the trick.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 11:43 AM
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213: If it wasn't for the meat I would be sure you were one of my long-lost bunnies. Juniper?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 11:46 AM
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So, McGregor, we meet again. This time it will be different.


Posted by: PETER ROBERT HALFORD RABBIT | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 11:49 AM
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215: I am put in mind of this t-shirt.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 11:53 AM
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PETER ROBERT HALFORD RABBIT Page 8


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 11:58 AM
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I had french fries and a generic Nestle Crisp* for lunch. I think I'd do very poorly at the caveman diet thing.

*Band candy sale at work.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 12:11 PM
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Do you have Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone?

A must!


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 12:12 PM
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218: Generic Nestle Crunch. Sorry. Label confusion.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 12:13 PM
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219 seconded!

I too love kale, much more than other greens. Distinct preference for the lacinato kind, but less about ease (I somehow didn't realize I could rip it off the stem - I've always cut it!) and more about taste and texture. (I used to like chard too but I got too much of it with my CSA and overdosed.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 12:17 PM
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For lunch Halford devoured the bloody, just-dead body of a squirrel he'd hunted down.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 12:18 PM
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I get to pick up an entire butchered lamb this afternoon. This is by far the highlight of my week.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 12:25 PM
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For lunch Halford devoured the bloody, just-dead body of a squirrel Celtics fan he'd hunted down.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 12:25 PM
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my surprise that my previously thought to be a boy cat is actually a girl

If I'm recalling correctly, (), the cat can keep the same name, which would now be a kinda-quirky but cute girl-cat name, yes?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 12:30 PM
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223 is pretty sweet. I just got an offer to buy a fractional share of a soon to be butchered pig, which I am really excited about.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 12:30 PM
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224: that bummed about Shaq?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 12:32 PM
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a fractional share of a soon to be butchered pig

A pig like that you don't kill all at once.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 12:35 PM
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Honestly, I kid, but the truth is that I can't really get it up to hate the Celtics that much anymore. My fan rivalries are kind of running on fumes -- I watched the Giants/Braves game yesterday and had to consciously stop myself from thinking "Lincecum really is pretty fun to watch" (not that any Giants fan would ever be reciprocally gracious). Perhaps I'm growing to be more motivated by love than by hate, which would be an interesting change.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 12:37 PM
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Juniper had this in common with ()'s cat. We thought he was a girl. We figured out he was a boy when he started running around us in circles and peeing on our feet.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 12:38 PM
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229: Unfogged is unmanning you!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 12:39 PM
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231: Quick, Halford! Go run circles around some people and pee on their feet! MAN UP!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 12:43 PM
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226: What fraction did they offer you? The fifth quarter?


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 12:43 PM
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I am terribly jealous about people's shares of lambs and pigs. I just don't have the freezer space; a friend of mine runs a grass-fed beef operation and even though he's willing to sell 25 pound shares it's still almost too much for my freezer. (I know, I know, just split it with someone else.)

And yes, Stanley, you're right - I named the cat Charlie, thinking it was a boy, but I think that can stand as, as you say, a quirky girl's name. (In fact, I got the news while I was on the phone with my mom, who repeated it loudly, only to get back the slightly day dreamy response from her husband that he had once known a woman named Charlie, who was blond...and about then my mom cut him off.)

This is not the first pet I've had with a case of mistaken gender; our first rabbit was supposed to be a boy but was instead a girl, and a cat I helped raise turned out to be a boy when the vet had said it was a girl. (The rabbit's name stayed as Hobbit, that being a gender-neutral name in my opinion; the cat went from Artemis to Artie.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 12:46 PM
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What fraction did they offer you? The fifth quarter?

When I pick up my lamb I am asking if I can get this if I call ahead in the future.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 12:47 PM
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My fan rivalries are kind of running on fumes

A friend of friend came over to our place once to watch a Bulls/Jazz finals game (since we had the appropriate cable channel). While my friends and I all hollered at the tv variations on "You suck, Malone!" this friend of a friend calmly instructed us that no, Karl Malone was actually considered to be a very talented basketball player. OK, then!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 12:49 PM
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232: I knew 230 and 231 were linked! Thanks, Stanley!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 12:49 PM
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Charlie, ... but I think that can stand as, as you say, a quirky girl's name

Of course you can


Posted by: Bobby Short | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 12:52 PM
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205: Sorry, I missed your comment because it was posted around the same time as mine. I don't have it, but with two recommendations from Unfogged, I'm sold and will buy it today.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 12:53 PM
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234 - You could have said that "Artemis" was an homage to (male) protagonist of the terrible Artemis Fowl series of children's books.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 12:54 PM
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239: No worries! It has more than just two endorsements from the commentariat; I know AWB always enthusiastically recommends it as well. (I have too many Deborah Madison cookbooks - if that were possible - now. The Greens is also fun to cook from, but like many restaurant cookbooks the recipes tend towards the needlessly complicated* at times.)

*I'm lazy.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 12:56 PM
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241: I made a very easy, hippie-ish/wholesome thing from the Greens cookbook just last night. (Buckwheat noodles with lentils and chard.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 12:58 PM
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240: Ooh, that did not occur to me. I was at university with a music conservatory when we had this kitten; we just told everyone he was named after Artie Shaw.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 12:58 PM
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238: The '80's really were the worst of times. Can anyone figure out the lyrics at the end? It sounds like, "the more you tease [or cheat], the more you bleed," but that seems unlikely.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 1:00 PM
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||

Just been and bollocked my crazy noise-sensitive neighbour. She put one too many snide fucking notes through the door about us running the washing machine late at night. After we've had half a dozen conversations about it.*

Genuinely angry, so her and her husband were given a clear statement of my position.**

Arrrgh.
>

* we don't run it at night, she's either hearing it from the flat above her or she's mental ...

** that it's turning into harassment, and I won't fucking stand for it again.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 1:00 PM
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243: You could've said, "His full name is Artie Shpaw."


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 1:01 PM
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242: Ooh, that sounds good. I should have made an addendum in my comment that this is not true of many or most of the recipes in the book; it's my own fault for picking out the complicated ones! Mostly, I was just trying to say that it's not as focused on home cooking as Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. As is perhaps obvious from the titles.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 1:01 PM
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Not been as obviously angry with someone I'm not related to for years.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 1:07 PM
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248: That would make me insane, too.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 1:17 PM
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245: Sounds incredibly annoying, so I hope 'bollocked' means something bad.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 1:19 PM
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I was visibly pretty angry, although still very polite. I just hope they don't go all sneaky-bourgeois on me and start lying to the building management.

She's been at our door four or five times in a couple of months, and this is the second time we've had a copy of the building rules through the door with sections circled and highlighted. I'm pretty sure she's telling people we make lots of noise at night in our kitchen. The even crazier thing, they have a 3-bedroom flat and no kids at home, but choose to sleep in the small rear bedroom that adjoins our flat [at the approximately 12ft section which is the only place the flats overlap]. Fucksake.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 1:21 PM
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http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=bollock&defid=1350300


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 1:22 PM
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245, 248: Maybe the solution is for you to have very loud late night sex to drown out the sound of the washing machine.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 1:23 PM
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re: 253

Heh. Cold hard floors, all seems like effort.

OTOH, I do have a fucking big guitar amp. But it's loud enough that people passing overhead in flights from Heathrow could probably hear it, it may be overkill.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 1:25 PM
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I hope 'bollocked' means something bad.

Potentially painful, certainly.

Yesterday Comcast had a crew out on our street to do tree-trimming around their cables, involving blindingly bright spotlights, chainsaws and a massive chipper—at four in the fucking morning. Stuxnet designers, please turn your attention to Comcast.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 1:25 PM
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251: Well, perhaps, and this would be bourgeois, but not sneaky, you could write her a letter, which you cc to the building managers, outlining her complaints to you and your simple answer that you do not do this? And write something about how this answers her concerns clearly and finally?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 1:26 PM
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re: 256

Something like that would be the next step, yeah. I think her husband was somewhat embarrassed, so he may persuade her to give it a rest.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 1:31 PM
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241: I gave up on cookbooks for awhile because I couldn't find a vegetarian cookbook that was simple. I started with Veganomicon, which has delicious recipes but they all take at least an hour and involve spices that you will never use again.

The Mark Bittman cookbook is great so far because it has very simple recipes that don't take too long.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 1:32 PM
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ttaM: If she sounded like a more reasonable person, I might recommend arranging for her to be in her apartment the next time you do laundry (during normal hours), so you could prove that it's not your machine(s) she's hearing. But I doubt that would mollify her, based on your description.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 1:33 PM
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re: 259

I've offered that several times. I've also offered that she can come and check when she hears it late at night, and assured her I wouldn't be annoyed if it sets her mind at rest it's not us.

Her: "But it's very late."
Me: "Look, if it's our washing machine, I'd be up, doing laundry, no? Please feel free to come and knock."

She has actually heard ours once, during normal hours, and told me then that it didn't sound like the noise she hears at night. So fuck-knows...


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 1:35 PM
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Something like that would be the next step, yeah.

Or you could remind them that where you're from, disputes like that are resolved with fists and chivs.

In other British news, Puttenham. So much for "no sex please, we're British".


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 1:35 PM
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244: I'm pretty sure it's actually "The more you tease, the more you please!" which is still vile.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 1:37 PM
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The link in 261 actually seems to capture prevalent attitudes in Britain pretty well, better than I'd have expected from the NYT. (There aren't really many doggers around, but it's true nobody much cares.)


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 1:45 PM
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re: 261.1

Well, yes, tbh. Although I've not really lived anywhere like that for more than 10 years. So I'm becoming assimilated into the SWPL world. I didn't use the word 'fuck' once.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 1:47 PM
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Also, ttaM has my sympathy. Nutso neighbours are a pain in the arse; we once caught the woman next door on her hands and knees looking through the cat flap. Nobody could think of anything to say.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 1:48 PM
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we once caught the woman next door on her hands and knees looking through the cat flap

There's a dogging joke to be made about that, maybe, but not by me.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 1:53 PM
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I know this is a long shot, but I wonder if Ttam's neighbor's name is Olga? When I lived in Switzerland there was an English woman who lived next to me and who was absolutely fucking insane about noise, claiming to hear all kinds of things and slipping notes under my door with underlined portions of the building rules. It's eerily similar. If it's not the same person, perhaps you could figure out a way for the two of them to be sent together to live permanently on some isolated rock in the Shetland Isles.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 1:53 PM
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262: Gross.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 1:56 PM
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265: "meow?"


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 1:58 PM
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||

I'm home sick from work. (Doc says not strep; just allergy-related post-nasal drip/cough/sore throat.) So I'm all, hey, I'll make something easy and mildly indulgent, like a frozen pizza.

Guess who didn't take the cardboard disc out from under the pizza before putting it in the oven?

|>


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 2:08 PM
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Guess who didn't take the cardboard disc out from under the pizza before putting it in the oven?

ttaM's goddamn neighbor.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 2:11 PM
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re: 267

I don't know her first name. She's Chinese, but obviously a long term British resident -- her husband is English, and they are both middle-aged.

I was pretty angry, but I'm being made to feel guilty by them for noise we aren't making. To the point where I'n paranoid about running a tap late at night, or making a cup of tea. So, the straw met the camel's back.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 2:12 PM
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272: I you have a camel in there, maybe your neighbor has a point.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 2:15 PM
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I'm confused. Was the camel trying to push it's nose in through the cat flap?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 2:16 PM
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270: I've that (though not this time, I believe). It's not as tasty as you might think.

I'm a big fan of the Field of Greens book, especially for soups. If you edit out the recipe-specific homemade stocks and the twelve kinds of fresh herbs you're expected to have on hand at all times, the recipes are quite approachable.


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 2:17 PM
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Sigh. "done that"
I even previewed.


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 2:17 PM
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It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a catflap...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 2:21 PM
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277: By the way, Di, I meant to respond to your question earlier but didn't. I'm not trying to change the thread but I feel rude not answering you. I hope to make partner in two years, but I'm not in a traditional Biglaw firm, so it could easily work out differently.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 2:29 PM
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OT:
Has dr. oudemia been called to account for this?


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 2:31 PM
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No worries, Liz! It was mostly a rhetorical question anyway.

Also, OT, but tangentially on the subject of babies, I'm personally starting to think the appeal of celibacy/not-dating is wearing off...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 2:35 PM
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...gentlemenz.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 2:37 PM
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I'm personally starting to think the appeal of celibacy/not-dating is wearing off...

Stage three cougar alert!!


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 2:38 PM
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265: Nutso neighbours are a pain in the arse

We've had two of those downstairs at different times over the last 15 years, w/ complaints, cops, deliberate noise-making, etc.

I'm halfway convinced there's something to the idea of short-range telepathy 'cause they stopped just about the time I was seriously considering serious criminal acts.

Why very noise-sensitive people move into bottom floor apartments is still a complete mystery tho', as is their moving near an airport or freeway. Those are never the only options in a city the size of L.A.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 2:42 PM
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I did consider making a cougar (as in the cat) costume for Halloween.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 2:46 PM
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283.last Exactly! I'm a light sleeper and I learned my lesson in college when the new upstairs neighbors were chefs that came up at 3 a.m. every night and blasted their horrible German techno music. I've selected only top-floor apartments ever since.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 2:48 PM
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284: You could be a Mercury Cougar.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 2:49 PM
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279: Noooooo! I am a victim, like everyone else! Otherwise I would have cooked myself up a brand new tragedian!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 2:50 PM
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286: Now that was a car that didn't age well.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 2:53 PM
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287: Ah, so you're pleading bottom of the pyramid scheme, or "caryatid" as we've been tricked into thinking of it.


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 3:02 PM
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"The more you [ ], the more you believe "your a charlie girl"


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 3:11 PM
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Reading 253 makes me wonder if she meant "running your washing machine" as a polite euphemism. I mean, 260 makes so much more sense if you interpret it that way.

For awhile when I first moved into my apartment I was terribly jealous of the neighbor couple whom I assumed were having sex every night. Then they moved out, and I realized the knocking was way too regular and mechanical, and had to be something else.

Belated condolences to Thorn, congratulations to Fillmore, and a shout-out of solidarity with 99.


Posted by: persistently visible | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 3:18 PM
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Friends of mine thought they had two girl rabbits. They found out that one was a boy 6 weeks ago when the other one had babies. And then more babies 2 weeks ago (because they can mate immediately after birth, or retain sperm from the other time, or something). So if anyone in south-east England wants a rabbit, I know some nice ones ...


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 3:24 PM
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291.2: Not necessarily (and not necessarily safe for work).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 3:28 PM
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292: Just wait till the first of the month and toss two at every person who says, "Rabbit rabbit!"


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 3:33 PM
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292: Ship them to Australia.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 3:35 PM
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For lunch Halford devoured the bloody, just-dead body of a squirrel he'd hunted down.

This is funny because my brother (who I believe lives in the same general area as Halford) has a landlord fond of shooting the feral squirrels who wander into his yard with a BB gun to make stew, which he then shares with my brother. This leads to jokes about the sense of terroir one experiences when eating the local squirrel meat. "Ah, yes! I can almost taste the alley dumpster!"


Posted by: toops | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 3:42 PM
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re: 291

Heh, no, it's not a euphemism, although she has given me a blow-by-blow of when we've turned on and off taps, and boiled kettles and things, and made sure she knows I know she can hear every word we say in the kitchen.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 5:15 PM
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||Well then. Some right neighborly advice. Next door neighbor just gave me a helpful tip (should I ever remarry). If your husband comes home piss drunk and expecting sex, what you've gotta do is just take a real long time in the bathroom and he will be passed out by the time you get to bed. Laydeez.|>


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 5:23 PM
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I know this thread is dead, but I made this tonight with grilled lamb loin chops and so tasty.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 7:21 PM
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Nice. Are they setting you up with offal?


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 8:42 PM
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Nice. Are they setting you up with offal?

The person that was there when I picked up the lamb didn't really know much about the process so I am going to have to email the head guy and see.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 8:45 PM
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301: email the headcheese guy and see.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 9:38 PM
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OT (Insofar sas this thread is on topic):

Thanks to everyone who mentioned Bettye LaVette a few weeks back. I had never heard of her, but Googled based on the recommendation and got tickets to see her. Holy smokes, may I have 1/10th the verve and power when I am 64 years old.

(It was a split bill with Marc Cohn, who I wouldn't have gone out of my way to see, but who was terrific. His band was also several notches above hers.)


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 10:12 PM
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233: my JHS football coach had a different interpretation of 'the fifth quarter.' That was the end of practice (or games we lost) when we'd run just one more set of windsprints. Similar concentration on intestines, I guess.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 10- 8-10 11:37 PM
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Are they setting you up with offal?

That sounds like the wurst blind date ever.


Posted by: persistently visible | Link to this comment | 10- 9-10 12:06 AM
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Are they setting you up with offal?
That sounds like the wurst blind date ever.

That's what you get when you date brats.

max
['Especially ones that don't know how to play the kielbasa.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 10- 9-10 2:20 AM
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Googled based on the recommendation and got tickets to see her

Good for you, Witt! Yeah, she's incredible live and if you haven't heard her 2007 album Scene of the Crime, it's awesome.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 9-10 2:54 AM
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292. I have a good recipe for rabbit and prune terrine if your mates can be bothered to wait till they're a bit bigger.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10- 9-10 6:42 AM
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The Mine Shaft says: about time to get the miners out.


Posted by: Earnest O'Nest | Link to this comment | 10- 9-10 7:05 AM
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309: I saw that news.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10- 9-10 10:36 AM
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308 - heh, they're vegetarian - one is almost vegan, but in his youth (before he turned to hunt sabbing and so on), he used to breed rabbits to sell as eaters, and still gets a rather wistful look on his face at the thought of rabbit and pork pie!


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 10- 9-10 3:30 PM
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