Re: Pitching woo

1

My parents were in their 30s when they met. They were married and had me in a little over a year.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 6:56 AM
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If it were true that people get better at detecting compatibility, there should be a detectable effect on expected lifetime of marriages ending in divorce intiated by younger people vs initiated by older people.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 7:42 AM
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I concur with this generalization, largely.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 7:43 AM
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2: confounding factor: maybe people aged 45 are less likely to get divorced than those aged 25 because a 45 year old is less likely to be able to remarry than a 25 year old.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 7:45 AM
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Anecdata: Pretty near every couple I know (real life, non-imaginary) who married when both were in their 20s are now divorced. The folks who married in their 30s have a much better, if still imperfect, record.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 7:45 AM
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I'm in my 30's and am utterly inefficient. Anecdata.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 7:48 AM
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Pretty near every couple I know (real life, non-imaginary) who married when both were in their 20s are now divorced

Same here, though I'm not seeing particularly better judgment exhibited as my friends age.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 7:49 AM
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If it were true that people get better at detecting compatibility, there should be a detectable effect on expected lifetime of marriages ending in divorce intiated by younger people vs initiated by older people.

I'm claiming that generally of couples in their twenties, some take years and then get married, and some take years and then break up. Whereas couples in their thirties are more likely to boil the process down to a couple months.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 7:50 AM
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6: I don't think that's true at all. Your last relationship was intense and real, but once it was over, it did not drag on for years.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 7:50 AM
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9: This is, in fact, untrue. Not truly over...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 7:51 AM
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@2

Data here:

http://www.divorcerate.org/

It looks like you're correct.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 7:53 AM
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We were in our 30s. We dated for 9 months before we decided to get married, and then another year before we actually did. We turned out not to be that efficient at identifying incompatibilities.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 7:53 AM
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Related anecdata in my social circle: All of my Jewish acquaintances who married under about 30 married outside of the tribe (this group includes me). All who married above 30 married within the tribe.


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 7:58 AM
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Same anecdata on efficiency, although with a couple of counterexamples of older-than-twentysomethings who are inefficient. I think the efficiency comes from a clear vision not so much of the partner you want, but of the type of relationship you want: you can see pretty quickly if a prospect is looking to establish the same sort of thing, charge ahead if so, and walk away friends if not.

The twentysomething bumbling around isn't so much "Do I like this person enough" as defining what a relationship with you is going to be like by trial and error. Once you know that, determining compatibility doesn't take long.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 7:59 AM
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I noticed when dating around that it was a terrible idea to date women in their early 30s, for precisely this reason. No I'm not particularly interested in getting married in 11 months.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 8:04 AM
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I find this post* enormously depressing for some reason.

* As, to be fair, most posts touching the whole vast emotional continent of love and marriage.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 8:35 AM
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I have not dated since turning 30 two years ago. Perhaps we'll just call it hyperefficient?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 8:47 AM
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17 was me. In some sense, I'm not joking. I can see what's going to annoy me about people, so I don't bother. I also know that when I'm actually in a relationship, I develop a lot of affection for people and can't see what's so bad about them. In my 30's, that just seems too sad to go through again.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 8:49 AM
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18: Amen, sister. Stay the course!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 8:51 AM
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I do think it's fair to call that hyper-efficient. That doesn't imply that you wouldn't recognize someone you are highly compatible with, if they come along, and get into a relationship with them.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 8:56 AM
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Is it really that they're more efficient at recognizing compatibility? Or are standards lowered as child-bearing deadlines are approached?


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 8:56 AM
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Have some faith in love. I married at 25, my marriage is terrible but not over yet. I still think that compassion for and openness to other people is very important. There's a transforming power in letting other people in, however flawed they may be. Predicting other people's responses and your own reaction to them, that just hasn't worked out well for me. (That is, I can do it succesfully, but it's an emotionally barren habit)


Posted by: Abe Lincoln | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 8:59 AM
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21: Don't think so, because I see men getting efficient in the same way without the same sort of hard deadline, and I've seen the same sort of efficiency in late-forty/fifty-somethings, rather than a reversion to twentysomething dithering.

18: Yeah, I think "I can see what's going to annoy me about people so I don't bother" is exactly the sort of thing we're talking out. You may have a search image that rules out either everyone or almost everyone, but if you ran into someone not ruled out, I bet it wouldn't take any time at all for it to go someplace.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 9:00 AM
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I have identified a few people in the past few years who are compatible with me, but inaccessible. I try to be aware when things like that happen. The likelihood of such a thing happening with me and someone who lives where I live who is not married is pretty small, but I like to be alive to the possibility.

I also find that, while I used to really actually need to get laid, which tends to cloud one's judgment (not boyfriend material, but not bad! one thinks) about how one expects to be talked to, the pointed cruelty of men in casual sex situations has become too much to put up with. They say a woman's libido increases as she enters her 30's, but I've had to learn not to pay attention to it.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 9:04 AM
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22: Hang in there. I've seen troubled marriages recover and flourish. If you still have faith, that alone is a hugely positive sign.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 9:05 AM
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24 was me again. Clicking "Remember."


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 9:07 AM
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They say a woman's libido increases as she enters her 30's, but I've had to learn not to pay attention to it.

At the same time, a woman's willingness to put up with a bunch of bullshit decreases proportionally. Older friends at work talk a lot about how as they age they are less and less inhibited about speaking their minds.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 9:08 AM
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I see men getting efficient in the same way without the same sort of hard deadline

The deadline isn't quite as hard, but believe me it's still there. Becoming a father after your early 40s is still possible, but it means you have to make other choices about the kind of relationship you want; you're not going to be with someone who's particularly close to your own age, or who's likely to be your equal in other ways. If those things are important to you, there's a ton of deadline pressure.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 9:10 AM
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Hm. I think I became extremely efficient at gauging compatibility in my 30s (or so it seemed to me, anyway) and then looked like a crazy person sometimes for being like "OK SO THAT WENT WELL WHAT'S NEXT?" after a few dates.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 9:14 AM
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I'll just chime in here that while infants are relatively easy, toddler-to-kindergarten aged children are designed to live with young adults and will absolutely wear you the fuck out in your 40s.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 9:19 AM
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Soon they'll be doing chores.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 9:20 AM
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16: ...go together like a vast emotional horse and carriage


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 9:20 AM
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28 gets it right. I think there's a lot of pressure, all of it understandable, some of it more legitimate than not, to (a) enter into adulthood and (b) have kids in one's early 30s, that affects both sexes and definitely increases pressure to get married and have kids quickly. It's commonly ascribed to biology for women but I think it's better described as social pressure that affects both sexes.

Thinking about it, that's different from just being able to recognize people who you might be compatible with more quickly, I think.

Both could be true at once, of course -- that is, people in their thirties could be under pressure to get together quickly and be more efficient at recognizing compatibility. But I think the former is more often the cause of the fast early-30s relationship than the latter. Certainly I've seen a kind of wild-eyed pressure towards fast commitment from both men and women around that age.

And, personally, I'm still not sure that I'm more knowledgeable about compatability now than I was 20 years ago, despite dating a lot and having had a bunch of relationships. I guess it's easier to see obvious incompatibilities, but in many ways I'm less picky now than I was then. On the other hand, I have no interest in ever getting married again (though I do like being in relationships, and am in fact in a great one now) so I'm a lot more relaxed about compatibility issues.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 9:21 AM
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I hope to discover there's a certain age you get to when people stop thinking you win something by being cold. Maybe 50's? Maybe I should start dating guys in their 50's?


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 9:23 AM
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30 gets it right and I've only got the one.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 9:23 AM
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I hope to discover there's a certain age you get to when people stop thinking you win something by being cold.

And here's to the non-romantic corollary to this as well. I think I am the only person on the planet who doesn't pretend not to remember people. I have a really good memory for names and faces, and I remember everybody. I get that not everyone shares this dubious skill, but, hey, I'm just not buying you don't remember anyone you've ever met in your life. Seriously -- all my friends do this, and I guess it is all tied up with the notion that giving a shit is a crime.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 9:28 AM
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36: Do you also get upset when they can't understand Ancient Greek?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 9:31 AM
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36: Oh my God, yes. I never get this one right. Am I allowed to recognize people when I see them on the street?


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 9:34 AM
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I have a really good memory for names and faces, and I remember everybody.

Politicians do this. It's one of their tricks to get elected. I question not remembering anyone you've actually interacted with seriously, but putting a name to them, even if you ever knew it, is another question. I think some people pretend not to know who the fuck you are because they think it's politer than admitting that they know you perfectly well but have no idea what you're called.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 9:35 AM
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Do you also get upset when they can't understand Ancient Greek?

This is a crime against nature (which I commit all the time, because I've forgotten it all).


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 9:36 AM
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I sometimes pretend not to remember someone, but not in a cold way. More that it appears they don't remember me, and so let's have a new warm friendly connection.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 9:36 AM
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I get that not everyone shares this dubious skill, but, hey, I'm just not buying you don't remember anyone you've ever met in your life.

Oh, god, I can never socialize with you. I don't remember anyone, ever, even people I like. I introduced myself to someone recently, who I've been around in the same social circle with, but hadn't actually ever met. Except that right after I introduced myself, I suddenly thought that i had met him before, and had forgotten it. And I'm still not sure.

I know it seems incredibly rude, but I'm just awful at names and faces.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 9:37 AM
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Am I allowed to recognize people when I see them on the street?

Surely better than giving them the cut direct?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 9:37 AM
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I think some people pretend not to know who the fuck you are because they think it's politer than admitting that they know you perfectly well but have no idea what you're called.

I get myself in a spot sometimes where someone looks kind of familiar, but I can't be sure if they really are familiar or if it's just that they look vaguely like either someone I've met or like some actor that I'm not consciously remembering. And so I make eye contact, 'recognize' them, and am then paralyzed with fear that I'm about to accost a perfect stranger.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 9:39 AM
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I'm not quite 30 (I will be this year), but my current courtship (that'll end in marriage before the year is out)* is definitely incredibly different than that of my friends, all of whom met their permanent partner in their 20s and generally waited years to get married, except for the heavily religious, who got married quickly. I'd also say that he and I knew very quickly that we were compatible, in a way neither of us had experienced before. So, anecdata in support of heebie!

*This could put me in Halford's scary category of 30-year-old women, but the timing was largely directed by circumstances outside of our control rather than some burning social need to marry and procreate because we both hit 30.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 9:40 AM
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I know it seems incredibly rude, but I'm just awful at names and faces.

My problem is that I'm awful with names but good with faces. When I'm faced with the story in 42.1 (happens frequently), I usually do the "I've seen you around, but not sure we've ever actually been introduced" routine, the almost inevitable result of which is learning that we have in fact previously been introduced.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 9:40 AM
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42: I'm glad I'm not the only one. I have difficulty remembering colleagues I've written papers with.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 9:41 AM
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I'm bad with names and faces as well. I keep resolving to use mnemonics when I meet people, but I forget to use the damn things. And fuck you people who change your hairstyle.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 9:41 AM
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I usually do the "I've seen you around, but not sure we've ever actually been introduced" routine, the almost inevitable result of which is learning that we have in fact previously been introduced.

"No we haven't been introduced. You picked me up all by yourself, and in the morning you were all, 'When can I see you again?'"


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 9:45 AM
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I often don't remember names in social settings, but if I put my mind to it I can memorize all 120 of my students' names in the first week. The worst is when you don't remember people's names upon being introduced, and then later you have a really long, intense conversation or realize you have a ton in common and then you feel way too awkward asking the person's name again. Like, oh, now that it turns out you're a Laurence Sterne fan I care about who you are. It's dickish. I usually try to pull the person who introduced us aside.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 9:45 AM
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I usually do the "I've seen you around, but not sure we've ever actually been introduced" routine, the almost inevitable result of which is that my children are now trying to have me committed.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 9:45 AM
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I am much, much, much better with names than with faces. Hand me a list of names and I'll be able to remember where and when I interacted with people up to 20 years ago, with a fairly high degree of accuracy.

Faces, on the other hand, exhaust me. Years and years of practice have not made me better at recognizing emotions nor at remembering individuals. I have failed to recognize co-workers on the street, and I'm in a very small office.

The major problem I tend to have is that people who have seen me speak or give a presentation very often come up to me and begin an enthusiastic conversation, and I have no idea who they are. It often takes a while to clarify that there is no way I could have known who they are.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 9:46 AM
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52.last happens to me a lot too. I did a lot of acting in high school and still get approached by people who saw me in a play and think I ought to recognize them. As head of my student association in grad school, I was very friendly while welcoming new students in a little talk, so people I have never met will just come up to me and start asking personal questions about how things are going. It can be a little jarring.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 9:50 AM
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50. "Look, I'm really sorry, but I don't think I got your name properly when we were introduced, " is in fact a perfectly OK thing to say to somebody and can save a world of grief in personal and professional situations.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 9:51 AM
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It had never occurred to me that there might be a practice of feigning nonrecognition. How would I notice it?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 9:51 AM
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How many of these people who don't recognize me are in fact snubbing me?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 9:53 AM
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What I wish there was some way to get across believably is that there's no real correlation between how interesting I found you when we met and how likely I am to recognize you a week later. I'm perfectly capable of having an intense, engaged conversation with someone and then walking past them, either oblivious or with a vague sense of familiarity but nothing to hook it on to, a week later. But if something tipped me off (like, the other person saying hi and mentioning the conversation), I'd be thinking "Oh, it's you! I know you, you're great!"


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 9:58 AM
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54: True. However, "Look, I'm really sorry but you've lived next door to me for two years and despite our irregular, but occasionally lengthy, conversations and the fact that you clearly know the names of my whole family, I've never been able to remember you by a name other than 'the one with the nice legs'," doesn't work as well.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 9:58 AM
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If she's lived next door then her name is on the letterbox. You know my methods, Moby; apply them.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 10:01 AM
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One of the nice things about dating similarly aged women in your 40s is that, for the most part, the issue of kids is settled. They have kids and dont want more mostly. Or dont have kids and dont want more.

Sure, there are some who have kids in their 40s. (cough, cough) But the percentage is much smaller.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 10:02 AM
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Somewhat related, a recently divorced client just met the man of her dreams and intends on getting married soon. She said "You are going to be mad at me!"

I said, "No, no, no!! Marry early and often!"


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 10:03 AM
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||

Hey Brooklynites, City Limits is starting a new all-Brooklyn news site with funding from the Knight Foundation.

Placeholder website.

||>


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 10:04 AM
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I used to be really good at remembering names, but that was back in school. Since then it's turned out that I can only remember someone's name if I know their first and last name both. In social situations there's almost no way to find out someone's last name unless they give me their email address, so I forget the first name as well.

I hope to discover there's a certain age you get to when people stop thinking you win something by being cold. Maybe 50's? Maybe I should start dating guys in their 50's?

Hurry up and move away from NYC.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 10:04 AM
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59: My street is old enough that we don't have letter boxes. They shove the mail through a flap right into the house.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 10:05 AM
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Normally I can narrow someone's name down to three or four options. But then this leads to having two or more people who are all "either Linda, Julia, or Diana". Then I get accused of thinking Linda and Julia are the same person. No, I know who you are, I just don't know what your name is. Knowing the last name tends to cement the first name into place.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 10:08 AM
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Hmm. Where does getting together in our mid-20s and then not getting married until our mid-30s put us? I guess that's the first bucket, really.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 10:09 AM
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64: that flap is a "letterbox".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 10:13 AM
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Context is helpful of course. LB I think the time I ran into you on the subway after we had met only a time or two I saw a flash of unrecognition when I said hello and quickly mentioned unfogged or something just in case!

Usually one can fake one's way out of that panicky moment but I've flat-out failed a time or two. One time I ended up just sputtering "I'm sorry, do I know you?" which was fairly embarrassing. (Friend of then-bf. Had met him twice. Didn't realize he was meeting us, bf hadn't showed yet, I had no inkling who the guy was.)


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 10:14 AM
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67: People put their names right there on the flap?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 10:15 AM
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On or near, sure.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 10:17 AM
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People stopped doing that in the 80s.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 10:18 AM
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I think the time I ran into you on the subway after we had met only a time or two I saw a flash of unrecognition when I said hello and quickly mentioned unfogged or something just in case!

Busted. You did look familiar, but I had no idea where I knew you from until you said Unfogged.

Three or four conversations at fairly close intervals and I start being able to recognize people for real, but short of that I'm screwed.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 10:19 AM
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Not very busted, since I'm exactly the same 80% of the time.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 10:48 AM
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I say we return to heraldry for all and make it required. If when you were introduced to someone, they were wearing a brightly colored coat of arms somewhere about them that was visible at all future meetings, there wouldn't be any difficulty.

I suppose nametags might work too.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 10:55 AM
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I am a stickler for wearing my name tag at conferences. I would wear one always if it wouldn't look dumb. Nobody ever understands when I say my name. It is so easy if they can surreptitiously glance back at my name tag from time to time.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 11:01 AM
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Bionics is going to solve this problem.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 11:03 AM
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I may have become more efficient about knowing what sort of person I actually do get along with (as opposed to the sort of person that I think I ought to get along with), but I've also mostly abandoned the idea that my romantic life is going to have a predictable arc.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 11:10 AM
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So what is with online dating replies that have lols at my jokes and detailed replies to my questions, but no questions or jokes in reply? Extremely nice rejection? An uncharming form of narcissism?


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 11:11 AM
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I have such a freakishly good memory for faces (not, alas, names) that I often pretend not to have recognized people b/c I think it would be creepy to admit to how I have recognized them - i.e., 'We were in the same room for a total of 5 minutes at a party 2 years ago...'


Posted by: julia f | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 11:36 AM
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79: This reminded me of a Saturday Night Live sketch in which Paul Simon had sucn an incredible memory for faces that he recognized a person that was in the crowd at his Central Park concert. The punchline was that then Art Garfunkel appeared, and Paul had no recollection of him at all.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 11:40 AM
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It took me a while to realize that Garfunkle and Oates didn't just combine names from two other famous duos. They had taken the name of the weak second fiddle in each case.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 11:49 AM
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If when you were introduced to someone, they were wearing a brightly colored coat of arms somewhere about them that was visible at all future meetings, there wouldn't be any difficulty.

In related news, I am the only man in the conference room whose panoply includes a pocket square.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 1:12 PM
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Most men don't even have a panoply.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 1:14 PM
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Ladies....


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 1:22 PM
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Yes, I imagine most men do not


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 1:22 PM
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Most men don't even have a pedant.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 1:56 PM
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I find the word "woo" annoying, for no apparent reason. Also I do not fluently, natively produce the loud "woo!" noise one is supposed to produce at concerts. I can fake it once in a while but have to laugh afterwards as if to say "no, I know--not very convincing. I'm only kidding, really."


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 2:03 PM
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I usually do the "I've seen you around, but not sure we've ever actually been introduced" routine, the almost inevitable result of which is learning that we have in fact previously been introduced.

I say, "I'm sorry, of course I know who you are, please tell me your name again." The other person will follow your cue for how awkward to feel, so if I say it easily, I'll get the answer as easily. Then I say my name, in case they were also struggling for it.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 3:04 PM
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79: Sometimes this is me, and I just play it up. Ah yes, George Smellumfeet. We've been introduced a few times; perhaps you don't remember me, and that's fine.

I did this to a colleague in my field who is too famous to have to remember the small people. Every time he pretends not to know me, I remind him that he once ate my apricot rugelach, and then he remembers just fine. IYKWIMAITYD.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 3:13 PM
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90

I.e., one can use it in professional situations to be semi-absurdly gracious in the face of someone else being rude, as well as emphasizing the fact that you have a perfect memory and are used to putting up with people who don't.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 3:15 PM
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91

Woo.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 3:15 PM
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92

Woo.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 3:18 PM
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93

And here I was just thinking of Merle Haggard.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 3:24 PM
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94

Woo! Wooo!!!


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 3:28 PM
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95

Jada Pinkett was Woo.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 3:45 PM
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96

Woo!


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 3:49 PM
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97

Hah, my high school EVERYTHING was "woo" , because the name of our town began with "Woo".


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 4:18 PM
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Sometimes in college I got my hair cut at the Goodall Wooten aka The Woo. It was staffed by gruff ex-marines. One time I was just like "do whatever" and at some point he says he is giving me a Caesar cut (which everyone had that year and which would have looked awful on me) and I protest and say do something else. So at the end I have just sort of an ungepotchket haircut and I say "uh, what's this?" and he says "modified Caesar cut," which now strikes me as hilarious but didn't at the time.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 4:47 PM
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79: My husband can't do this either because he remembers very specific contextual details about people. So if he spoke, it would be something like "Yes, I remember you, we met two years ago when you were wearing that purple sweater with the hole in the elbow."

This also means that you can't give him normal directions on the grid like drive to 300 S 3300 W. You have to say things like drive down the street with the 2100 number and take a left when you see the sign of a giant holding the muffler sign.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 5:06 PM
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100

IME, Germans don't often do the thing where they can't be bothered to remember you as a form of demonstrating social superiority. I've even on more than one occasion met Germans at conferences my department was hosting who could already identify all the department's graduate students because they had read all the profiles on the website ahead of time, and had no shame about admitting the fact.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 5:13 PM
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101

I don't really get what 'woo' means in that HIMYM clip.


Posted by: trapnel | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 5:33 PM
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102

100 was my experience, too. Professors at my program approached me because they learned my face and what I was working on.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 5:49 PM
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103

(In Germany, not in the US.)


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 5:50 PM
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104

Speaking of recognition, today one of the older people in the conference room asked me where I went to school, an amusingly, transparently old-fashioned way of determining whether I was entitled to my seat at the table. (Perhaps I should take it as a nod to my youthful appearance, rather than my boyish demeanor.) I like to think I acquitted myself well enough in the meeting that later he came up and we exchanged some mutually complimentary anecdotes, but still.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 6:01 PM
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104: I was once asked, by a fancy member of my field at a fancy dinner, how much time I had spent in jail. (Fine, I had cracked a pruno joke, but was it really that convincing?!)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 6:05 PM
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106

105: Was the questioner Swedish or trying to reverse a very old joke?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 6:16 PM
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13.1 is true of my first marriage and 13.2 is true of my second. Twenties, exogamous, thirties, endogamous.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 6:25 PM
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108

106: I don't know the joke! No, he was a stereotypical Cambridge don.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 6:32 PM
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108: If you say "Yale" in an exaggerated Swedish accent, it sounds like "jail" (or "gaol" in the British idiom).


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 6:37 PM
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Something something Yale sucks something something.

105: Neoconservatives like to a tell the story of the ex-convict visitor to the University of Chicago who said, of Leo Strauss, that he "look[ed] like a man planning a break."


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 6:44 PM
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99: You have to say things like drive down the street with the 2100 number and take a left when you see the sign of a giant holding the muffler sign.

This is normal, isn't it? I recently couldn't find my friend's side street -- off an admittedly busy street with numerous small side streets every 50 yards, all looking roughly the same -- because it was supposed to be opposite the little pet food store with the white "Pet Food" sign overhanging. But no, that store has closed, so I was rudderless.

I go through that "I've met you before, but have no idea who you are" thing often enough that I thought I just had a problem. The solution is to say roughly that: "I ... know you, but remind me of your name?" [flash hopefully charming, agreeable, dazzling smile]


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 6:52 PM
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101: the exclamation frequently uttered by those wearing tiny cowboy hats or taking shots in the afternoon.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 7:04 PM
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I really can't remember names at all. Or the people attached to them. But this isn't exactly a mystery; I'm drinking too much in the social situations where I meet people.


Posted by: trapnel | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 7:26 PM
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My building numbers the mailboxes differently than the apartments, possibly because it's actually a set of buildings but there's only one mailroom. The result is that I'm never quite sure what my actual apartment number is since I haven't "used" it since I moved in last year. I just go to the door that's mine and open it.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 7:59 PM
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I've mentioned this before, but my trick for re-catching the name of someone whose name I've failed to catch the first ten times is to introduce them to a someone whose name I do know.

Me: "Oh, by the way: Have you met Phyllis?"
[Unnamed person]: "Nice to meet you. I'm Pedro."
Me: [to self] "Aha! Pedro! Remember this time, foolio."


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 8:52 PM
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I do the scary, know too much about someone thing too - I just can't help but file away personal details. For the most part I do pretty well with names and faces, but I've found that over the years I have a very difficult time recognizing students out of context.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08-10-11 8:54 PM
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50, 57, 79:

Huh. I guess there are people who actually get upset if you can't remember their name. I suppose I hide it well enough, or at least maneuver around it well enough that they feel awkward bringing it up.

Anyway, I literally don't care when people forget my name (or even get it wrong), I'm just flattered when they remember something important about me (something I said or did).

I find it annoying when people apologize for forgetting my name. It feels exactly as weird as someone apologizing for forgetting my address, phone number, or the make and model of my car; who cares? If you need to know, you can ask!


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 08-11-11 5:06 AM
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There have been a few people that just couldn't remember meeting me at all, which was a little surprising. One of them was just really offensive-I was a friend of her bf, met her like 5 times before she started to recognize me. More than that before she remembered my name.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 08-11-11 5:44 AM
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I think she was maybe doing a weird status thing. She (being attractive) and I (not) had little basis for peer interaction besides knowing a few of the same people (all generally above averag).


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 08-11-11 6:13 AM
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I am getting a kick out of imagining Stanley referring to himself in his own mind as "foolio."


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08-11-11 6:19 AM
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As long as he keeps him imaginary pants on.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-11-11 6:26 AM
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