Re: "We've got seventeen cats IN YOUR FACE."

1

And xkcd has already covered this.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 6:15 AM
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Well, how about that.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 6:17 AM
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I would like to see the "The Aristocrats" joke interpreted in these stick-figure decals on a Honda Odyssey. Get on it, Mineshaft.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 6:21 AM
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3: Well I was just about to ask for a ruling on whether this example (The Ass Family) from this page ("Adorable Stick Family Decals") was a hack, internal sabotage or innocent whimsy taken to a weird place (like some of the church signs).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 6:30 AM
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I don't know if that's a supported way to femme-up an Android character. Besides, the ambiguity is part of the fun, as on this shirt.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 6:30 AM
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5 was me.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 6:32 AM
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Why is it "android" anyway? Why not "anthropoid"? After all, they're not specifically man-shaped, they're pretty asexual.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 6:36 AM
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Why isn't it a squid? Speciesists.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 6:38 AM
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1: One frequently considers adding the xkcd guy to the list of exceptions to one's steadfast policy of non-violence, along with Jonah Goldberg. Christ, what an asshole.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 6:39 AM
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The ones that have become all the rage in our area is your kids name and number with a sports or high school logo. And often quite large-sized ones.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 6:39 AM
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You hurt the xkcd guy, Flippanter, I will cut you.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 6:39 AM
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And often quite large-sized ones.

A lot of high school athletes are big for their age.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 6:40 AM
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On the main family decals website, it has an image of four skulls-and-crossbones with either mohawks or bows indicating gender, but from far away, I bet it really looks like, "I killed this whole family dead!"


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 6:40 AM
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11: Yeah, it's not like he's the dean of a third-tier law school or something.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 6:42 AM
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I don't get what's so "Christ, what an asshole" about the comic in 1?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 6:44 AM
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Why isn't it a squid?

Now I'm imagining a stick family running in terror from Cthulu.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 6:44 AM
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15: They sold their children.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 6:46 AM
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3: I've seen those in the wild, Stormcrow. Hope that makes you feel better.

I have to admit I get a little happy when I see a family logo with two moms or two dads, but that's largely because I think it must annoy a lot of the people with straight family decals.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 6:47 AM
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15: Because it implies that if you don't have children, you just bound around in piles of free money, which is such a funny joke in this economy? Also, because taxes are higher for people without children? And, in addition to not coming home to any sweet kisses from little people who basically have to love you until you're dead, you're also constantly told you're not a real person unless you want to have children?

I don't mean to start this fight again because, obviously, if I thought having kids was such a great idea, I'd do it, but as a single person whose employment is incredibly shaky and unpredictable, and who has no secondary means of support for financial or child-rearing options, it's not really something I could even think about doing, and, no, I don't just sit around counting all the free dollars I get extra for not having to buy diapers or clothes for small ones.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 6:50 AM
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19: But think how awesome if you took your current situation, and added a kid! That's some financial security right there.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 6:52 AM
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I prefer the answer in 17.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 6:53 AM
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17 seems like a stretch. I was interpreting it more like 19.

The butt of the joke is the parents, not the childless, no?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 6:53 AM
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Unless 17 was itself the joke. In which case, that's funny!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 6:54 AM
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not coming home to any sweet kisses from little people who basically have to love you until you're dead

Maybe I *should* get a dog.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 6:54 AM
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20: Well, exactly, and think about how many people choose not to have kids because they're too fucking poor to do it. Hm, I wonder if having kids is a completely free choice that has nothing whatsoever to do with financial stability, hm.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 6:54 AM
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sweet kisses from little people who basically have to love you until you're dead

Alternating with slamming doors and screams that they hate you and you're the worst parent in the world and they just can't wait until you're dead because you stirred the milk into the oatmeal instead of letting them do it.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 6:55 AM
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22: I couldn't figure that out, myself. The only people I've seen linking to this comic approvingly on FB have children, like as a self-deprecating ha ha we'd be so rich without these damn kids. But there is the eternal grass-is-greener problem where none of us would actually trade lives with each other, but we still figure the other side is getting the sweet end of the deal.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 6:58 AM
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Even if these stickers are in bad taste, I'm still O.K. with Truck Nutz, right?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:00 AM
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26: If they eat oatmeal, I think you can call that a win.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:01 AM
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26: I know that it's hard. I don't mean to suggest having kids is all happiness and light and joy. I find it way too stressful to be around kids for long, even ones I love, because of this kind of stuff. And I admire parents for figuring out how to do it. Not having kids does mean that I have more free time, more quiet, the ability to get drunk and not come home if I don't want to, that kind of stuff. But it does not mean that I am rich.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:02 AM
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18: 3: I've seen those in the wild, Stormcrow. Hope that makes you feel better.

I'm guessing you picked up my reference to JMcQ's comment rather than my own. So if you've seen the Aristocrats joke spelled out in stickers that is one thing, and if you've seen the "Ass Family" that is another. Not sure exactly how knowing either actually exist would make me feel.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:06 AM
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Wow. I find the xkcd comic funny, if only because my wife and I constantly make rueful jokes about how we'd be able to afford Shiny Object X if it weren't for the damn kids. I mean, if you can't laugh at yourself...

It honestly never occurred to me that it would be somehow offensive to the childless, or that the implication is that, of course all childless people literally have bags of money lying around.


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:08 AM
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But it does not mean that I am rich.

I don't mean to be a jerk about this, but it does mean that you've got more disposable income than you would have, all else being equal, if you had kids. They really are a huge expense, and one that you can't walk away from.

That doesn't make you, or any other childless person, rich, of course. But it means that as between any two people in the same position job/income-wise, the one with the kids has less money to spend on themselves.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:09 AM
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We have to keep our bags of money in a cabinet with a child-proof handle.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:10 AM
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The Tedra-Bitch used to argue, back when she had a blog, that having children shouldn't be viewed as a lifestyle choice so much as a typical mammalian function. So, for instance, employers should allow for their employees having children the way they allow for eating and going to the bathroom.

I think there is something right about this. There's a big fork in the road where some people have children and others don't, but which way you go is just as likely to be a product of external factors as it is rational choice. This isn't poor planning. Its just life.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:10 AM
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Moby understands.


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:12 AM
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As far as I know, Randall Munroe is single and childless. I'd assumed that he made the cartoon because he was irritated by the family decals. I can see how they come across as boasting.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:12 AM
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This thread can only possibly end in a beketchupping.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:14 AM
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The only people I've seen linking to this comic approvingly on FB have children, like as a self-deprecating ha ha we'd be so rich without these damn kids. But there is the eternal grass-is-greener problem where none of us would actually trade lives with each other, but we still figure the other side is getting the sweet end of the deal.

Well, yes. Clearly you're able to read and understand the cartoon. What's the cause of offense here?

you're also constantly told you're not a real person unless you want to have children?

See, that's something you're bringing to the comic. It's not there.

but as a single person whose employment is incredibly shaky and unpredictable, and who has no secondary means of support for financial or child-rearing options, it's not really something I could even think about doing, and, no, I don't just sit around counting all the free dollars I get extra for not having to buy diapers or clothes for small ones.

But you do seem to count your extra career freedom, and you seem to prize it even more than money.

Guess what? Like any big life choice, having kids involves making sacrifices. I could trivialize the choices you've made by suggesting that your choices comes with no sacrifices. But trivializing other peoples' sacrifices seems like an asshole move to me.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:14 AM
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I hate to violate off-blog communications, but AWB takes baths in money.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:14 AM
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Rather than interpreting the comic as saying that most childless people are rich, or that childless people on average have more disposable income, I think it makes more sense just to say that this couple, had they chosen not to have children but kept the same careers, would have had more disposable income. I think that idea is a safe bet.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:15 AM
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Same goes for Stanley: How do you think he affords all of those expensive vegetarian meals??


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:15 AM
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26: I still have unresolved oatmeal consistency related issues. I repudiate the soup-y oatmeal of my heritage. You're not the boss of me, and so on, et cetera.


Posted by: AlfiG | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:16 AM
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Why isn't it a squid? Speciesists.

ISTR that squid have like thousands of offspring at a time, let them drift off into the blue where most of them are eaten, and then die young.

32 and 37 are, I believe, the right interpretation.

Now I'm imagining a stick family running in terror from Cthulhu.

Shub-Niggurath, OTOH, has to have an especially large van just to fit all the stickers on.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:20 AM
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41 I will agree with! And I think that's why the cartoon seems "funny" to people who have children, because they're imagining themselves without children, not other childless people. I am willing to recognize the benefits to my time and energy that not having children offers. The only thing I'm objecting to here is the implication that not having children means you have money, when, obviously, financial stability is quite often part of what enables some people to have and care for a family.

Yes, it would be nice if we could all treat child-rearing as a mammalian function. But given the wide split between people who have health insurance and those who don't, those who have stable employment and those who don't, having a child would be, for a non-trivial percentage of the population, practically catastrophic.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:23 AM
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But trivializing other peoples' sacrifices seems like an asshole move to me.

To continue that theme, I remember being vexed at the movie "A Chorus Line" when they changed the meaning of the song "What I Did For Love" to be about some relationship, rather than about work.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:24 AM
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As far as I know, Randall Munroe is single and childless.

Wikipedia sez: In October of 2010 Munroe's fiancée was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. This affected both the rate of publication and the content of his comic strip. In September of 2011 Munroe married her.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:25 AM
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But there is the eternal grass-is-greener problem where none of us would actually trade lives with each other, but we still figure the other side is getting the sweet end of the deal.
This is exactly the sort of allocative problem that could be addressed by more liquidity and less regulation in the child market. I feel certain that Matthew Yglesias would agree.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:26 AM
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47: Then he's the one with the pile of money! Let's get him!


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:27 AM
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I definitely consider one of the benefits of not having kids to be that I'll have way more money throughout my life. It's not the main benefit, but it is a benefit. That's hundreds of thousands of dollars I'll have to spend on other things.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:28 AM
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Also, 41 is right. If this were about poor families they wouldn't have fancy cars with fucking decals.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:29 AM
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31: Sorry. I've seen the Ass Family, not an Aristocrats version. I initially typed this comment with all my fingers on wrong letters and almost left it for added inscrutability but figured I manage to be unclear well enough on my own.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:30 AM
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45: You know there are single moms, right? Even single moms with no career prospects? Single moms who make less money than you do now?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:31 AM
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Yes, it would be nice if we could all treat child-rearing as a mammalian function. But given the wide split between people who have health insurance and those who don't, those who have stable employment and those who don't, having a child would be, for a non-trivial percentage of the population, practically catastrophic.

Does this actually result in childlessness, though? You're childless, as I understand it, not because you're poor but because you're in a relationship/lifestyle choice place where having kids isn't something that makes sense for you (I would have said just that you don't want kids, but it's more complicated than that -- it's your whole life-structure). Because you don't have a lot of spare money, you think of kids as an expense that would be catastrophic, as if that were an independent reason not to have kids.

But in practice, people in the lowest income tiers, people significantly poorer than you are, have kids as much as anyone else. Kids aren't a luxury for the affluent, they're an expense that hits regardless of economic status. Often a chosen expense, but not one that's conventionally not chosen because it's unaffordable.

If you're looking at that comic and seeing affluent people who can afford kids in opposition to poor people who are childless because they can't afford kids, I think you're seeing a dynamic that doesn't operate in the real world.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:31 AM
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Or what Walt said.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:32 AM
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53:

And single dads!! Hello!?!?!?!

Why not use "single parents"?!!?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:33 AM
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56: Nobody makes a sticker for just one dad and a kid.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:34 AM
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I'll stand firm against any implication that all childless people ought to be rich by dint of their childlessness. I just don't think that's what the comic is about.

I have no idea what the point of those stickers is supposed to be, though. I find them, as a rule, insufferable. (Except for the cars that show a single adult and a few animals. Those just make me a little sad.)


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:35 AM
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TV has taught me that being a single mom is a tragedy, but being a single dad is a farce.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:35 AM
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You could imagine this strip without the pile of money but having very different cars. I suppose that's less funny, as the humor comes from having a decal pile of cash.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:35 AM
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58: Aren't they the same sort of thing as college stickers? This is us! These are our affiliations! I mostly hate them all (I do have a soft spot for "My border collie is smarter than your honor student.").


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:37 AM
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What about parents whose children are dead? That makes the comic seem less funny.

But what about the ones whose children are dead but as a result they were awarded a large amount of money in a lawsuit? Still not funny I guess.


Posted by: Disingenuous Bastard | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:38 AM
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61: Fair point. In fact, I was going to say that I don't understand the impulse to put any kind of sticker on the back of a car, but I realized our cars have a sticker from our alma mater on the back. I ban myself.


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:38 AM
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One of our neighbors has "I'm proud of my vegetarian child!" which makes me laugh every time, though that's probably not the intention. I think it's the same family that has "TV is gooder than books."


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:39 AM
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What about parents whose children are dead?

I think they sell the little strike-out symbols to stick over the decals.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:40 AM
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I couldn't be un-ironic enough to put stickers like these on a car, but I do kind of admire people who are.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:40 AM
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53: Of course I know them! They're my friends! And yes, having kids has been brutally difficult for them, especially as they try to pursue further education and job prospects, and every day they worry about whether they're giving their kid enough time, energy, education, stimulation, etc. Just because I'm saying we can't assume that childless people are rich doesn't mean I'm assuming that all parents started off rich. But yeah, I would say that most people I know either married someone with money or waited until they had stable employment with health insurance before having a family because it's just too fucking difficult to be a single parent on a $15K/year adjunct job with no health insurance in NYC.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:41 AM
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"My border collie is smarter than your honor student."

Certainly less aggressive than the "My kid sells drugs to your honor student" that I've seen.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:42 AM
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My daughter likes to draw "this is my family" drawings that look like the stickers. Whenever she's mad at us, she draws one where she's frowning, but we're all smiling apparently because we're amoral monsters who are indifferent to her pain.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:42 AM
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They're my friends!

And if they have jobs like yours, you have more disposable income than they do. That's all the comic says.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:43 AM
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Speaking of family paintings, when I was married, we had a painting of our family and our house done by a local artist. The yard was filled with exotic animals.

After the divorce, my ex painted a donkey over top of me.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:46 AM
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Did she have a professional do it, or do it herself? Because it'd be really funny with a yard full of realistic animals, and one stick-figure donkey in heavy black paint.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:47 AM
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After the divorce, my ex painted a donkey over top of me.

Depending on what you mean by "over top," that sounds either overly cruel or a reasonable fix.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:50 AM
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my ex painted a donkey over top of me

This is open to multiple interpretations, with varying degrees of hostility.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:50 AM
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most people I know either married someone with money or waited until they had stable employment with health insurance before having a family

At the risk of stating the obvious, A lot of people have children when they can easily afford it and then see their income shrink to a point where they can't. It's just not possible to generalize about people's child-having choices.

After the divorce, my ex painted a donkey over top of me.

Ouch, but awesome.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:50 AM
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OT: NY lawyer...works at agency...?

http://gawker.com/5841357/ny-lawyer-with-sexxxy-side-business-suspended-from-job


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:51 AM
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From the stairs in our house, there is a little opening in the wall that lets you look down into the living room. I always wanted to cover the opening with glass and put up a zoo-style sign showing us sitting on the couch and describing our habitat and diet.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:52 AM
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It doesn't seem to me that there's a strong correlation between having kids and having secure long-term employment among people I know. I know a fair number of people who had kids in grad school or as postdocs, and even a few people who had kids as undergrads.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:52 AM
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74: Get out of my mind.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:53 AM
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The painting was by a well-known local artist with a very distinct style. She was actually working for him, and the donkey did not look out of place.


She was very proud of herself and tells everyone about it, including me.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:53 AM
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76: It's already been linked, and I don't know her. I can't quite figure out why they suspended her -- that sounds like expressive conduct to me. I suppose it's near enough prostitution that it's reasonable to check and see if she's breaking any laws.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:54 AM
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77: That would be awesome! The donkey painting of will's family is also awesome and I assume he doesn't mind that we're laughing at it. If only it could hit the flickr stream!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:56 AM
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And surely outside of UMC circles, having kids without being completely confident about future employment and insurance is the norm?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:56 AM
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78: I would guess that there's probably a point of uncertainty/low income where a childless person would stick it out in academia because their lower expenses would make it workable, but a single parent or one whose partner wasn't a source of income would drop out and find a different, more secure job (or not, but drop out of academia anyway). So you might not see broke parents staying in academia long term, in the same way you'd see broke singles -- the uncertainty would be a luxury the parents couldn't afford.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:57 AM
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Unrelatedly: "Qwikster"? Really?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:57 AM
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I think the sticker decal thing is largely a Latino thing. Could be wrong.

I've seen single Dad and single Mom ones. I like those.

Can we all agree that whatever its deep hidden meaning, the comic isn't funny?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:58 AM
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I'm sure she will let me take a picture of it if I ask. I dont mind the laughing. sniffle.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:58 AM
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81: Oh, I should have read it -- the problem's not the S&M, the problem is the rule against unapproved moonlighting.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:58 AM
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81: I think the story should be viewed with this in mind. New York State has been one of the few arms of government interested in cracking down on the finance industry, so I'm sure lots of people are gunning for them.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:59 AM
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86.3: Yes.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 8:01 AM
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Yeah, I like a lot of Xkcd, but this one didn't get a giggle.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 8:02 AM
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80: Certainly much better than burning your face out with cigarettes. I still remember that her charity was art for the homeless. Very Lindsay and Tobias Fünke.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 8:04 AM
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84: Everyone I know who quit because they wanted a higher income was single and childless and went into finance. Anyway, the people with kids weren't broke; usually the worst case, income-wise, was a couple with two grad-student incomes, which puts them in the ballpark of US median-household income. I'm just saying that they didn't wait for secure employment; very few people I know seem to hold off on children until they feel completely secure about their long-term financial status.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 8:04 AM
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93: Oh, I'm speculating. I'm just thinking of someone literally in AWB's position, where she's been scraping by on not-enough adjunct money for years until this new job that pays a civilized salary. My guess is that you don't see people with kids in literally that spot often at all, because the sane thing to do would be to give up and go try to find work as a admin, or something with a paycheck.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 8:07 AM
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Certainly much better than burning your face out with cigarettes.

Unless you pay a member of the New York bar just for that very thing.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 8:09 AM
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She was very proud of herself and tells everyone about it, including me.

A buddy of mine was on a road trip, and when he returned, his wife had left with their son, and had cleaned out their home of every possession of theirs, except a mirror.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 8:10 AM
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96: The mirror wasn't worth much or was there symbolism involved?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 8:12 AM
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98

96: Oof. (Cruel, but was it all apt?)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 8:13 AM
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Mrs Salmond and I have been coming round to the idea of family-starting in the immediate future, and have now discovered she has really shitty maternity leave provision. This has put a big fucking spanner in the works as we simply cannot live on my salary plus the minimum statutory maternity pay. Not as in 'we couldn't take the holidays we'd like, or buying all kinds of fancy shit' but as in 'the combined income would be less than the bills we have to pay come what may.' Which is fucking infuriating.


Posted by: Alex Salmond | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 8:13 AM
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Certainly much better than burning your face out with cigarettes. I still remember that her charity was art for the homeless. Very Lindsay and Tobias Fünke.

Exactly.

She has moved on to running farmer's markets.



Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 8:14 AM
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97: He took it as an indication that she wanted him to know who was responsible for this. (And that's how I took it, too, when he described it.) He never asked her, though.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 8:14 AM
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Not to be too confessional, but 96 basically happened to me. A lot more than the mirror was left, though. OTOH, now everything's fine.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 8:15 AM
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99: The odds of this would be really low in the US, but do you have any kind of paternity leave available? If she could take the shitty amount of leave she gets, and then go back to work while you go out on your leave and handle the childcare, that might get you through it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 8:15 AM
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I have a gross taste in my mouth.


Posted by: Pauly Shore | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 8:18 AM
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I would think that if you are going to up and leave your house to a former partner who is away and uninformed, you should be expected to leave a couple of pans, their grooming products, a couple of rolls of paper towels, and some food.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 8:19 AM
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98: He told me this story 25 years after the fact, and by then, he was on good terms with the ex- and son. He told the story with the same sort of pride that I sense behind will's story. ("See how clever the woman I married was?")

When I knew him, he was, in fact, one of the best people I've ever known, but perhaps too devoted to his low-paying profession to be a good husband and father back in the day. I knew his second family - a wife and two more sons, all of whom were terrific - but in those latter days, it was perhaps more socially acceptable for his wife to make the real money in the family.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 8:20 AM
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99: Ugh, I'm really sorry. That's a shitty spot.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 8:21 AM
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I would get 2 weeks as standard, plus could claim an extra 6 weeks, but only after my wife went back to work, and only after she'd taken a minimum of 20 weeks maternity leave. I'm not American. The nom-de-president may give a clue.


Posted by: Alex Salmond | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 8:22 AM
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108: For me, "spanner" was the clue. Best of lucking working things through.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 8:23 AM
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108: No, I know you're in the UK, I was thinking that you might have better benefits than I'd expect someone in the US to have. (Your writing style's fairly distinctive.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 8:24 AM
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105: An egg, a paper cup, a bean thing, and some frozen breastmilk?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 8:24 AM
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107 to 104.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 8:25 AM
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We fall nicely in the salary hole between the lower bound, where we'd be able to claim state benefits, and the sort of individual incomes where we can afford to live on just one of our salaries. What's absurd is we both earn considerably more than the UK median salary, but combined bills are more than one of our salaries [or the approx 1.2 of our salaries we'd get]. And that doesn't include things like food or other little luxuries like clothes.


Posted by: Alex Salmond | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 8:27 AM
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111 brings back one of the happiest memories of my time here.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 8:28 AM
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114: The best pot luck ever.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 8:29 AM
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I feel like such the privileged tool at the moment (I used this handle on another thread recently). My wife only gets FMLA leave for maternity and has to take her vacation+sick leave concurrently. So ~3 months off, probably half of that unpaid. She's aiming to get 3 more months of entirely unpaid leave, but it's questionable whether her employer will grant it. In contrast, I get two months of paid parental leave. Not an arrangement that really makes sense in a civilized world, so I suppose we aren't in one.


Posted by: Thomas Jefferson | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 8:29 AM
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Is it just the real-estate horror of living in London, or is there something else that might be more flexible than you think on initial review?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 8:32 AM
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116: Some states allow a new mother to get temporary disability insurance (TDI) for a few weeks, which helped my wife extend her maternity leave to an extravagant stretch. Dunno if that could apply to you?


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 8:32 AM
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Well, the "tool" bit is that we can probably swing 3 or 6 months without her salary without serious difficulty, as we're inadvertently living the male-primary-breadwinner dream. The only problem is whether she'll be able to get as much time off as she'd like, paid or otherwise. It all feels ass-backwards.


Posted by: Thomas Jefferson | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 8:37 AM
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Partly high rental costs, partly savage commuting costs. Both could be altered a bit, but there's a lower bound on the rental costs we couldn't really go below. We could move back to some village outside the town I work, for 6 months, say, and just about sort of get by, I suppose. The combined saving in rent and commuting would probably make it financially possible, even if it'd be a bit miserable and penny pinching. If my wife was getting the sort of maternity leave entitlement she'd get working for my employer, we could manage quite easily. I think we both expected, since she is decently paid and relatively senior [she's in a management position] at her employer that her maternity provision would be broadly similar. But turns out not.

So, we either explore that option, or I find a better paid job [which I should probably be doing anyway]. However, it's not exactly happy days out there in the employment market.


Posted by: Alex Salmond | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 8:40 AM
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It all feels ass-backwards.

If it is a breech birth, you should probably go to a doctor or something.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 8:40 AM
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Could someone with appropriate rights change the attribution on that last comment?


Posted by: Alex Salmond | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 8:40 AM
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121 was me.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 8:41 AM
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122: I can't do it from work -- someone else step in?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 8:42 AM
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120: Savings in commuting might also just make life more pleasant.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 8:42 AM
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123: You really didn't need to clarify that, Moby. We could tell.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 8:43 AM
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re: 125

In one sense, yes, but it'd also mean moving further from friends and family. And would probably also mean another move, with all the attendant expense when Mrs Salmond returns to work as the commute is do-able the way I do it, but would not really be do-able in the reverse.


Posted by: Alex Salmond | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 8:44 AM
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I feel incredible loyalty to the multinational that employs me because of the policy that treats all relationships at parity regardless of legal standing in particular locations, so I was able to take the same parental leave as my coworker after she gave birth when Mara moved in with us (eight or nine weeks and could have been more unpaid) even though she was just in a foster placement at the time and I was honest that I would not be the one legally adopting her when the time came. I hate that there's such irregularity on a policy with such a huge impact.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 8:47 AM
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Not that Alex Salmond's situation is resolved, but here's a different dilemma:

Very dear friend is engaged. Sold her house, bought a house w/ fiance. She just informed me that he said he doesn't want any more kids. (He has a 4 year old.) She very much wants children.

Should I give my opinion that she should end this engagement?

She has a whole gamut of fears about getting too old to have children, and never finding someone to marry, and she is 35. Obviously she is more likely to have children if she breaks up with him and tries to find someone new, but that is probably terrifying.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 8:58 AM
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Should I give my opinion that she should end this engagement?

I think it's fine to offer the opinion, but be prepared for it to be ignored. Once that train is rolling down the track (and if they've bought a house together, it's rolling at high speed), it's really, really difficult to jump off.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 9:02 AM
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Obviously she is more likely to have children if she breaks up with him and tries to find someone new,

What makes this a really hard question is that that's not obvious to me. I'd say that if she sticks with him, and keeps working on him to change his mind, there's a fair shot that they'll have kids together. I'd also say that that sounds like a terrible marriage -- I wouldn't do it even if I wanted kids and was afraid of not having them, because the downsides of wheedling your spouse into a major life decision they don't want to make are huge. But IME, it's a fairly good bet that it would work.

So, who knows? Depends on what she really wants most.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 9:04 AM
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129:

It seems to me that she should have had the children conversation much earlier in the relationship. If you have strong feelings about the issue, why wouldnt you have a very clear conversation??

I guess if he has a 4 year old, then he probably hasnt been broken up from that kid's mom for very long. But that isnt a topic for assumptions.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 9:05 AM
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129: Unless she never discussed this with him before, that means he waited until she gave up her residence to let her know his views on kids were not what she wanted. She should stab him.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 9:06 AM
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133:


Or, like LB is advising, he said "i dont want kids," but she has thought he would change his mind.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 9:07 AM
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I wouldn't say I'm advising it -- it's something I wouldn't do myself. Just noting that I think it's something that would work, if she's willing to exchange that sort of marriage for getting pregnant.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 9:09 AM
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134: That would be true. I was reading "just informed" as "just learned" but that isn't required.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 9:10 AM
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My wife only gets FMLA leave for maternity

Remember, you can't spell FMLA without FML!


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 9:11 AM
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@129

Yeah. Getting as far as being engaged and buying a house together without sorting out the kids/no kids issue sounds like poor planning on both their parts or perhaps disingenuousness on his, if he earlier let on that he might be OK with more kids and sprung this on her.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 9:12 AM
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Having small children in your late 30s/early 40s is so much more exhausting than I ever imagined that I would never recommend it to anybody. Not that it's remotely possible to convince anybody standing on the other side of the divide.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 9:13 AM
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139: I never had small children at any other age, so I can't compare.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 9:14 AM
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139: I'm viscerally convinced of it. I love my children dearly, but the thought of a "whoops" pregnancy now sounds ghastly. I really like having kids who already know how to chop an onion if necessary. And my IUD is ten years old, so I need to get it pulled -- I don't know if I can get another one immediately, or if I'm stuck with some lousier method of BC.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 9:17 AM
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Also exhausting in your late 30s/early 40s? Hauling around bags of money.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 9:17 AM
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If he said "Im not sure I want more kids," and now says, "no kids." - her fault


With having kids and exclusive dating, dont make assumptions.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 9:18 AM
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Hauling around bags of money.

I think if you get a vasectomy, you're hauling around bags full of sperm and eventually your balls explode.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 9:19 AM
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I was 29 when my first was born; 37 and 39 for the next two. I recognize that part of the difference is that single children are way less than half the work of multiple children, and I got a quiet and extraordinarily easy child to start with. And like LB, I love my kids with all my heart. But I'm nowhere near as patient or energetic as I was a decade ago and it's a fairly constant source of nagging guilt.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 9:22 AM
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On the original topic, I don't think I've ever seen these decals. I guess it's not regional, as Halford has seen them, so maybe they've gotten more popular since I've been out of the US.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 9:22 AM
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143: If she's been saying "I unequivocally want kids, my life will be incomplete without them," and he's been saying "I'm not really sure", and has now upgraded to "Hell, no" is it all her fault? I think that'd be on him in part, and would be somewhat stab-worthy.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 9:23 AM
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85: I assume the name Qwikster was chosen because someone wants that side of the company and everyone who works there to die.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 9:25 AM
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I got a quiet and extraordinarily easy child to start with.

My sister got one of those, but I didn't. But then my sister was a quiet child and I wasn't.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 9:25 AM
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A buddy of mine was on a road trip, and when he returned, his wife had left with their son, and had cleaned out their home of every possession of theirs, except a mirror.

Reminds me of this song (only, it sounds, less angry).


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 9:28 AM
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If she's been saying "I unequivocally want kids, my life will be incomplete without them," and he's been saying "I'm not really sure", and has now upgraded to "Hell, no" is it all her fault? I think that'd be on him in part, and would be somewhat stab-worthy.

What?!?!

She needs a "yes." Nothing less will do.

"I'm not really sure" is definitely not a yes.

Anything less than a clear yes is a no.



Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 9:32 AM
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Per 150:

They took my saddle in Houston,
Broke my leg in Santa Fe.
Lost my wife and a girlfriend,
Somewhere along the way.
I'll be lookin' for eight
When they pull that gate
And I hope that judge ain't blind.
Amarillo by morning
Amarillo's on my mind.

(Terry Stafford/P. Fraser), as sung by George Strait


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 9:37 AM
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Bumpity bump bump bump.


Posted by: Pauly Shore | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 9:39 AM
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It made me think of "That Ain't No Way To Go" by Brooks and Dunn.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 9:39 AM
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And thanks, all, for the discussion. I'm finding it useful.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 9:40 AM
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151: Man, I don't see it that way. If she's been clear about what she needs from the relationship, and he's been ambiguous, it's his responsibility not to let things get too enmeshed (buying real estate, for example) unless he either thinks he can do what she needs or he resolves the ambiguity first. (The 'If' is important, of course. If they've both been ambiguous, that's poor communication on both sides. If he's been clear all along, than she screwed up.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 9:44 AM
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||

So it turns out that one of the people who started in my program this year (although not as a degree candidate; it's a different program for people who need a leg up to apply to schools, I guess?) started a hedge fund that pioneered a type of tax-avoiding investment structure for working with a particular plenty-evil industry. He seems like a nice guy, and doesn't, like, flaunt his hundreds of millions, or anything (well, okay, he showed up at a grad student party in his Aston Martin), but wow: I've never actually known somebody that evil before!

|>


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 9:46 AM
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The real estate bit scares me. We joke that it would be a whole lot easier for us to get out of our marriage than it would be to get out of the house and mortgage.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 9:47 AM
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Isn't it easier to get that leg-up by making a donation?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 9:48 AM
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Isn't the traditional thing to do in that situation to get "accidentally" knocked up?


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 9:48 AM
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We're all paid off in three and a half years! We'll probably need to slap a new mortgage on for college, but we'll be free and clear for a bit.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 9:48 AM
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159: he seems to be pretty serious about actually pursuing a degree program in this area, and he hasn't taken any of the relevant prerequisites. For all I know he's also made donations.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 9:49 AM
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If she's been clear about what she needs from the relationship, and he's been ambiguous, it's his responsibility not to let things get too enmeshed (buying real estate, for example) unless he either thinks he can do what she needs or he resolves the ambiguity first.

Why? She is the one who wants to change their status from childless to having children.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 9:49 AM
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I'm with will on this, LB. If you have a non-negotiable demand/need, you can't take ambiguity for an answer. Not that it helps either of them now: the question where to go today is no-fault.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 9:51 AM
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I've never actually known somebody that evil before!

That's nothing. I once knew somebody who worked to get Obama elected.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 9:52 AM
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129: presuming that this is not an evangelical born again couple who aren't having sex, I think your friend should get herself pregnant and see what he says then. Worst case is that she's single with clear path to having a baby, which for a lot of people is a lot better than being single without.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 9:52 AM
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160: good lad. I have your back, in the forthcoming shower of moral oppprobrium.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 9:54 AM
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It's entirely possible that both made mistakes, him for evasive ambiguity and her for not pinning him down. But firming up his mind conveniently after she's committed?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 9:55 AM
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163, 164: Because presumably they're not in an antagonistic relationship -- they should be fond of each other. If he knows what she needs, and he knows he's not going to (or thinks he won't) give it to her, and that she has a limited and at this point fairly short period for getting it, stringing her along with ambiguity is doing her a real injury. "You fucked up, you trusted me [not to do something that would hurt you]" is not a defense that leaves the speaker looking good.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 9:56 AM
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I'm with will on this, LB.

From the facts given, they're both really fucked-up, communication-wise.

If someone was lying, that's a different thing, though.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 9:56 AM
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If he's that adamant that he doesn't want kids, he should be taking his own steps to make sure that that doesn't happen. It's not like there's a shortage of options for him.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 9:57 AM
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144 to 171.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 9:57 AM
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166: A middle ground would be the announcement: "I'm not using birth control". Let him use condoms or stop having sex from an informed basis, but put the onus on him.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 9:58 AM
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It sounds like it was disclosed as they were closing on the house, and enough money/momentum was sunk that they went through with it. Now they're arguing a lot and it sounds really stressful. It sounds like they're operating under "she is planning on not having kids" but from knowing her, this is a really devastating concession for her to make.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 9:59 AM
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It's entirely possible that both made mistakes, him for evasive ambiguity and her for not pinning him down. But firming up his mind conveniently after she's committed?

I was being generous to her. I'm willing to bet that if he were asked, he would say that he told her "I really do not think I want kids."

Which she heard as "I'm really not sure."

Maybe she is the one throwing down the gaunlet now that they bought a house together.



Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 9:59 AM
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174: She should just stab him, somewhere non-vital. In the long run, it will be less painful for everybody involved and probably cheaper.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 10:00 AM
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176: If she stabs him in the balls, maybe she can get a sperm sample.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 10:01 AM
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TV has taught me that being a single mom is a tragedy, but being a single dad is a farce.

But I've taught you that being a single mom is a farce, too, right? Right?!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 10:01 AM
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I agree with 170. But as will says, he's the one content with the status quo and she isn't. And she, as we understand it, really isn't.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 10:01 AM
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177: Clearly we have different definitions of "vital."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 10:02 AM
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stringing her along with ambiguity is doing her a real injury.


She is the only one who can be injured?

He isnt injured if she shames him into having a child he didnt want to have?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 10:02 AM
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180: How can they be vital? I'm managing just fine without them.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 10:02 AM
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For a divorcee is it better to have a single stick figure or two with one crossed out? Maybe two with one crossed out and a pile of money that's on fire?


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 10:04 AM
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I'm not saying it's *moral*, just that it's traditional. It also seems to work in practice.

Of course, he has options that would avoid this possibility. He could get a vasectomy now. Not wanting a kid and having sex with a woman who wants a kid and is responsible for birth control is idiotic. The person who wants x should be the one responsible for x.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 10:05 AM
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174 -- That's so sad. And arguing now seems awfully counter-productive if she's hoping to change his mind.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 10:05 AM
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Authorial intent is a pernicious fantasy, of course, and the author who interprets himself ought to stop reading n+1 and writing for The Awl and get some air, but one would attribute the venom of one's 9 to, in roughly the following order of relevance: (i) the speculation that the xkcd tool would eagerly condemn the hypothetical person who made other major life decisions (e.g., college concentration, career, pastime) on the basis of the income, disposable or other, associated therewith; (ii) the explicit statement that money is superior to children; (iii) the implicit assumption that the readers of xkcd are all the sort of hipster tools who make a show of sniffing and eye-rolling at children in public;* and (iv) the interpretation of vehement public anti-child rhetoric as a particularly ugly sort of conspicuous consumption.

But I don't necessarily disagree with, inter alia, 19 and 35.

* I'm sure I have mentioned how much I enjoy seeing this sort of display in galleries full of paintings of the Madonna and Child.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 10:05 AM
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181: I don't know what I've said that would make you think he can't be injured, or that being pressured into having a child he doesn't want wouldn't be an injury. What I said is that if she's been clear, he was responsible for also being clear before getting too enmeshed; that getting her in a position where she's losing limited time to find some way of having kids is a real injury and the sort of thing that one shouldn't do to someone one cares about.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 10:06 AM
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Since we are talking about tricks, I think he should get a vasectomy and not tell her.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 10:06 AM
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Also, if he waited until then to spring the news on her, I think it's fair for her to get "accidentally" knocked up. It's not really more immoral than what he did.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 10:06 AM
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188: "I'm icing my crotch down to get ready for hockey season."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 10:07 AM
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the sort of thing that one shouldn't do to someone one cares about.

So you would agree that pressuring someone to have a child when they dont think that want to have one is "the sort of thing one shouldn't do to someone one cares about"?



Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 10:09 AM
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I wonder who put down how much of the downpayment; could she walk away from him without a major financial loss?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 10:10 AM
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191: What an annoying rhetorical move -- you think A, so you would agree that totally unrelated B?

No, I don't think that negotiating with a partner over whether the two of you will have children is an injury to them. If they're committed to 'No', then you can find out and leave them. If they're not committed, then it's not an injury to talk it through.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 10:12 AM
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Anyway, off to watch someone else swim.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 10:12 AM
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i and ii seem contradictory. You're attributing an implicit statement to him that contradicts the explicit statement that you attribute to him.

iii seems to be belied by the fact that the people who seem amused are the ones with kids; the ones not amused are the ones without. (AWB explained this above in her comment about self-deprecating parents.)

All of this is incorrect because it falsely suggests the author is taking sides in a parent vs. nonparent conflict. In fact, it's pretty clear he isn't talking about any such conflict at all. And if he were talking about that, iii would contradict iv, because iii puts the author on a different side of the alleged conflict.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 10:14 AM
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195 to 186, of course.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 10:15 AM
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Honestly, it takes two to tango for a communication mishap that severe. Absent outright lying, I have a hard time blaming either one.

I'm also glad to see that my mind instantly went to the same place as Dsquared. She should just get married and knocked up. Worst case, she's got a kid, plus child support, plus whatever else she can get from the divorce, and can still try to meet someone. Best case, the guy decides he likes the kid after all and they live happily ever after. If she really wants kids, this may be preferable to reentering the dating market or waiting until she's in her 40s to have her kid.

I would not actually give this advice in person, however.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 10:15 AM
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We could call it the "Voldemort's Mom" strategy.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 10:18 AM
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197: I know a woman who followed this advice, except it was with her fourth child. That situation did not end well.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 10:19 AM
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I can think of worse worse cases than can Halford, apparently.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 10:21 AM
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Voldematernal strategy?


Posted by: Crpytpci ned | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 10:22 AM
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199: Fool me once ...


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 10:22 AM
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I think of 173 as a wurst case scenario.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 10:24 AM
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Well, the strategy depends on his not being an abusive monster, of course, and being financially stable. But he's already got one kid and they're buying a house, so.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 10:25 AM
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195: I don't think i and ii are inconsistent; "they're laughing, aren't they?" isn't inconsistent with the xkcd guy assuming iii, not least because 9 doesn't say "Christ, what assholes"; I think the xkcd guy is alluding to the activity described in iv, not least because almost everyone who takes that position would argue that they were just joking.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 10:26 AM
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The guy should call it off, of course. Sounds like his life partner is going to be spending a lot of time over the next decade being angry, sad, or both. A pretty stiff price to pay for misunderstanding how important this was to her.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 10:27 AM
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Doubling their fun: splitting up the assets of an umarried couple is far worse than a divorce in VA.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 10:30 AM
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the strategy depends on his not being an abusive monster

Failing which, marrying him at all seems a really bad idea.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 10:30 AM
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I concur with 206. One hates to repeat a cliché, but, having achieved self-evidently lambent success, personal and professional, I feel confident dispensing advice to all quarters, and communication is essential to healthy and successful relationship.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 10:30 AM
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Oh, I mean, 206 is actually the right strategy for both of them. But 197.2 isn't that terrible either. Single motherhood -- not that bad, sometimes better than non-motherhood!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 10:34 AM
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[I assume they are fond of each other, and that neither has been acting in bad faith. Obviously, if either assumption is wrong, the decision what to do now is a lot easier: ditch the damn thing.]


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 10:35 AM
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210:

The underlying assumption is that having a child is a good thing and that nothing REALLY negative occurs for him in having a child when he doesnt want to have a child.

Having children = good

Not having children = bad thing


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 10:36 AM
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211: I speculate that this is the sort of situation in which the absent scienter is the very point.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 10:37 AM
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She could try to have a child through ivf, but then she would not get child support.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 10:37 AM
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The real estate bit scares me. We joke that it would be a whole lot easier for us to get out of our marriage than it would be to get out of the house and mortgage.

You joke, but I'd bet Will would concur that this is very, very often the reality.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 10:43 AM
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214: Society has effectively decided that if a guy has certain types of sex, he has to be aware that such an occurance is possible. That does result in some harm to some men, but any other way seems much, much worse.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 10:43 AM
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That is, has to be aware that paying child support could result.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 10:44 AM
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And that's why this woman should PROFIT from society's effective decision.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 10:45 AM
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Unless the guy is really rich, I doubt she'll pass the break even point.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 10:47 AM
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I'm kidding. Anyhow, it's obviously an evil move to have a sneak pregnancy. But, if she's desperate for a kid, maybe it's the right move; the costs may be less than she thinks.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 10:51 AM
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I really feel like it would help a lot of women I know if they didn't feel so stigmatized by the IVF route. I know the expense and effort involved would be huge, but that's not what's keeping them from discounting it right off the bat.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 10:53 AM
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Being actually serious, 221 is absolutely true.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 10:56 AM
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Being actually serious, 221 is absolutely true.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 10:56 AM
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I invite all the Randall-Munroe-haters to write three comic strips a week for six years, put them up on the web, and let us analyze them for All The Ways In Which You're An Asshole.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 11:00 AM
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||
Can someone point me to the post where Heebs linked to a site that sells art posters that all cost $40 or something? Probably last fall it was.

|>


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 11:00 AM
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I invite all the Randall-Munroe-haters to write three comic strips a week for six years, put them up on the web, and let us analyze them for All The Ways In Which You're An Asshole.

Wenn der Autor dem Kritiker gar nichts mehr zu antworten weiß, so sagt er ihm gern: Du kannst es doch nicht besser machen. Das ist eben, als wenn ein dogmatischer Philosoph dem Skeptiker vorwerfen wollte, daß er kein System erfinden könne.


Posted by: Friedrich Schlegel | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 11:06 AM
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@224

I've never understood the intensity of the XKCD hate in some quarters.

I mean, the strip can be hit-and-miss, but it's still just geeky stick figure comics for crying out loud.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 11:08 AM
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225: I think it was 20 by 200.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 11:09 AM
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224: And I invite all the Ayn Rand-haters to write their own 1200-page novel of ideas ..........ummm, on second thought I withdraw the invitation.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 11:11 AM
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226: Sure, but I'm not talking about quantity or quality of the work per se, or degree of artistic achievement; I'm talking about drawing conclusions about Munroe's personality on the basis of a subset of a subset of the things Munroe finds amusing.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 11:12 AM
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230: If you read 224 carefully, I think you will see that you (as authors so often do!) have misinterpreted it.

On its own, 230 does make a valid point however.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 11:14 AM
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I'm talking about drawing conclusions about Munroe's personality on the basis of a subset of a subset of the things Munroe finds amusing.

Comity!

But I win because I draw conclusions about, too, people who find amusing the things that the xkcd guy finds amusing.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 11:24 AM
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But I win because I draw conclusions about, too, people who find amusing the things that the xkcd guy finds amusing and post them on the Internet 3 times a week for six years.

I look forward to Stick Figure Unfogged in Web 3.0.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 11:26 AM
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But I win because I draw conclusions about, too, people who find amusing the things that the xkcd guy finds amusing.

Or do we all win, because we draw conclusions about you, because of this?

Actually, I'm pretty sure we all lose.



Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 11:30 AM
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It's really weird to me how non-motherhood is being viewed in this thread as so incredibly awful and terrible. (This comment occasioned specifically by 210.last.)

That is all.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 11:34 AM
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\0/
  |
/ \

Flippanter, I conclude.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 11:35 AM
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235: No it's not. It's being viewed as something is a big deal *to people who want it*.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 11:36 AM
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Yes, I view nonmotherhood as incredibly awful and terrible. Sucks to be you, Parsimon!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 11:37 AM
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231: Assuming you mean 226 not 224: since I don't speak German and ran it through Google Translate to get the gist, I would be surprised if I didn't misinterpret it.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 11:38 AM
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Pity those of us who can never hope to be mothers.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 11:39 AM
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233. Oh god. Now I want to do this. A little animated stick figure Mineshaft cocktail party. When a commenter first enters a thread, a stick figure will walk on stage and emit a little speech bubble; after they don't respond to anything for N comments, they walk off...


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 11:40 AM
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If nobody has to run and get pregnant right now, I'm trying to decide if I should try a half marathon or not. My time in my usual 3.4 mile run is has dropped by about two minutes in the last month and I'm getting to where I can run the whole thing. Anyway, I've met my running goal and need a new one and was thinking a half marathon might be possible.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 11:41 AM
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Or am I just going to stress facture my hip since I'm 40 and overweight.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 11:43 AM
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242:

Absolutely, Moby. Do it. It is a great goal. Your city probably has training teams to help you do it.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 11:44 AM
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My city is always trying to improve people, the fuckers. They won't get me. If I can't improve myself, I'm not going to improve.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 11:46 AM
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I haven't caught up yet, but the people saying worst case of getting "accidentally" pregnant is single and child support lack imagination. Worst case is that he comes around to wanting another kid, but does not want to be with her, then long, drawn out, bitter custody battle, kid grows up around near constant fighting.

(Based on a true story.)


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 11:49 AM
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242: Also, I have found that getting to the point where one can run 5 miles regularly and without complaint is a bigger hurdle to clear than those after. So basically you are almost there.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 11:53 AM
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237: Sure, okay. Of course I understand that it's a big deal to people who want it very desperately, but I have trouble wrapping my head around the idea that if it doesn't pan out, you don't just move on in one way or another, in a sort of, "Wow, life happens" way.

Not to say I don't fully get why Heebie's friend's situation is a bummer: she and her beau should have clarified this situation long ago. Communication!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 11:53 AM
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You might shoot for a 10K first, Since you seem to be fond of round numbers.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 11:57 AM
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He said 3.4, not 3.14.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 11:58 AM
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248:

It seems clear though that her not having a child is viewed as being worse than him having another child.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 11:59 AM
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247: One day, I ran about 4.5 miles, but that is the most I've gone at one go.

249: I didn't set out to run 3.4 miles. I picked a path that I got used to running and it just happened to be 1.7 miles.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 12:00 PM
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Oh, come on. Sometimes it's a Toyota Siena. (pwned, I'm sure but too lazy to check and too old to care)


Posted by: spaz | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 12:04 PM
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You can totally do a half marathon and it's a great goal. Just do the thing where you do a relatively short run (maybe the 1.7) daily, and then a longer run on the weekend, adding distance a little bit at a time until you're close to the 1/2 marathon. If you're worried about injury, you might look at technique; try not to land with your heel. I did this 6 years ago when I was prett overweight and it worked fine.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 12:05 PM
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I'm worried about injury because my freakishly thin cousin hurt his hip. On the other hand, he was probably covering 30 miles a week.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 12:09 PM
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I think I get what Parsimon is saying: not having kids if you want them is considered to be a worse thing by an order of magnitude than not getting various other things you might want. The extent of this seems a little nuts if you don't want kids, but maybe I'm being tautological.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 12:09 PM
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I was 29 when my first was born; 37 and 39 for the next two.

Sucker. I was 21 and 23 for mine. Which at the time seemed like insanity but now that I'm 35 I realize the awesomeness. You already expect to be poor in your early 20's and my ability to tolerate sleep deprivation was way higher. And let's not forget "both might be out of the house when I'm 42".


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 12:12 PM
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251: Apparently so.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 12:16 PM
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There are training guides for people who generally don't run who decide they want to train for a marathon. There's probably something out there for people who don't want to run that far. Below about 18-20 miles, you won't have to face the so-called "wall", which is what sets marathons and longer distances apart.

Given enough lead time, it really shouldn't be too difficult to work yourself up into half-marathon shape. You probably shouldn't take athletic advice from me, as I haven't run consistently in over a decade and have failed a couple of times in attempts to start again (current problem: heel injury), but your training should probably have one long run day per week where you slowly approach the half-marathon distance. At the least, you'll get a better idea of how realistic your goal is.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 12:20 PM
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256: The extent of this seems a little nuts if you don't want kids

It also seems weird if you discover that you can't have kids, or that kids simply aren't going to happen. I fully grasp that this can be devastating to greater and lesser degree depending on the extent to which one was banking one's life on it.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 12:23 PM
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236: Having just gone through a friend's trip photos and deleted all the images of me, I think my head is grossly more disproportionately huge than that.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 12:31 PM
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261: Does the wingsuit compensate for that feature? Maybe little wingsuits, one for each ear to help prop you up?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 12:33 PM
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262: It's an aftermarket option, like Yosemite Sam mud flaps.

Have I mentioned seeing the guys wingsuiting in L/auterbr/unnen the other day? That is very, very appealing dangerous.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 12:35 PM
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OT: It sounds like someone might finally be interested in buying the house we're no longer living in, though I realize many things can happen before all's said and done. We've definitely been banking our life on being able to go down to one mortgage within the next nine months, and sooner would be so much better.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 12:39 PM
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Below about 18-20 miles, you won't have to face the so-called "wall", which is what sets marathons and longer distances apart.

Until recently, my wall was at about 1.2 miles. But I am always able to tough it out and do the whole two miles.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 12:50 PM
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great news, Thorn!


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 12:51 PM
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265: Yes, I ignored that because I had a wall nearly every time I run.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 12:57 PM
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250 deserves more recognition; high-larious.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 1:02 PM
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The marathon wall, as I understand it, assumes you've already been training and are in shape for a long run. Of course everyone has a lower limit if they're not at that point. Maybe it's physiologically the same thing. But I've never read any running advice about how to get beyond the e mile wall when training for a πk.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 1:09 PM
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229: CALL ME HANS CASTORP


Posted by: Opinionated Thomas Mann | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 1:11 PM
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268: pi-larious?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 1:13 PM
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π is deprecated.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 1:40 PM
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Today is Talk Like a Pi-rate Day, after all.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 1:47 PM
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273 pi arrrrrrr squared?


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 1:50 PM
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|| I liked this article. Even if it could use a little editing . . .|>


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 1:51 PM
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You know what? Farts! HA!


Posted by: Pauly Shore | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 1:58 PM
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273: The university's email login page has a pirate flag. I thought the page had been hacked.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 2:00 PM
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Tau! Tau!


Posted by: JP Piratecrow | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 2:08 PM
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278: [or insert your own better parrot joke here, haters]


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 2:10 PM
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Or not.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 2:24 PM
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A pirate walks into a bar without a bird on his shoulder and says, "I'm looking for the man who shot macaw."

Wait. That's not funny.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 2:29 PM
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Wait. That's not funny.

True. But it might still be funnier.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 2:36 PM
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How boring would it be if I proposed that, instead of getting secretly knocked up, the couple attempt to listen to each other's desires around having children in a spirit of empathy and openness, validating one another's stress around finances and property but trying to separate them out from the child issue?

It seems entirely non-obvious how flexible the man especially is on this point, given the existence of the 4-year-old. And it also feels like he'll be the most flexible if she approaches it in the spirit of trying to understand what she didn't figure out earlier.

The whoops pregnancy seems like the sort of thing you can say "not the end of the world" to but feels like bad advice going into the situation.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 2:53 PM
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283.1: Like that ever works.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 3:06 PM
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Counterpoint: she should start sleeping with other men and make it clear that it's a race to her womb.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 3:08 PM
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It seems clear though that her not having a child is viewed as being worse than him having another child.

D'you know what? That's basically true. Personally I don't really understand how any man capable of financially supporting them would not want more babies. They're great, they represent the increase of one's steading/tribe/whatever, and you don't even have to go through the bother of passing them through a genital organ too small for them to fit through.

And it also feels like he'll be the most flexible if she approaches it in the spirit of trying to understand what she didn't figure out earlier.

Nah, he will be most flexible of all if she presents it to him as either a massive "what-ho, I'm preggers!" fait accompli, or as a Lysistrata ultimatum.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 3:10 PM
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The real life version of this story will involve a marriage, then a divorce with no children conceived during the marriage. Then, he will get someone else pregnant.

I see nothing but heartbreak for her.

Is he even divorced from the mother of his 4 year old?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 3:12 PM
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I want a reality TV show called "Race to Her Womb."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 3:13 PM
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The real life version of this story will involve a marriage, then a divorce with no children conceived during the marriage.

Thus my revision of an old joke:

Q: How do you make a marriage last?

A: Make the baby first.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 3:13 PM
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That's basically true. Personally I don't really understand how any man capable of financially supporting them would not want more babies. They're great, they represent the increase of one's steading/tribe/whatever, and you don't even have to go through the bother of passing them through a genital organ too small for them to fit through.

For me, I completely agree. Love, love, love my kids and cannot imagine how life is worth living without them.

But, others feel differently. Since he has one already, he knows what being a parent is like.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 3:16 PM
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She should definitely be investigating all possible sperm sources.

IVF shouldnt be shameful.

Of course, you can also parent children through other means.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 3:20 PM
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One of my friends is doing the IVF thing at the moment. I don't think the problem is so much "shameful" as "absurdly inconvenient and extortionately expensive"


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 3:24 PM
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Wait a minute -- I've got what to do, if the guy has money. She uses the guilt of "I'm giving up my baby dream to marry you" to negotiate an extraordinarily generous pre-nup providing for a large lump-sum payment. Then, the sneak pregnancy. Then, as soon as she decides she needs to divorce, she takes the lump sum payment and flees to Argentina with the kid, where she's like "try to get custody now, bhortch" and dates hot Argentinian dudes.

Come on, that's a better plan than some emotionally honest conversation nonsense.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 3:24 PM
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293.last: That "emotional honesty" was just obvious trolling.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 3:30 PM
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By the way, I'm offering up the strategy in 293 for Parsimon, as well. It will get you out of your horrible childless existence!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 3:40 PM
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141: I love my children dearly, but the thought of a "whoops" pregnancy now sounds ghastly.

I have distinct memories of the between the birth of our third child (I would have been 36) and the implementation of a more permanent fix as being a time of great anxiety on that front. In fact much more anxiety than at much earlier periods of my life (although not necessarily more warranted).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 3:46 PM
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295: Oh, cut it out. I'd use stronger language if I thought there was any point to it.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 3:59 PM
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It seems clear though that her not having a child is viewed as being worse than him having another child.

That's not really my issue -- I can see very strongly not wanting to have kids. What gets me on a side in this situation is that ambiguity and putting the decision off strongly favor the person who doesn't want kids, because if the decision gets put off long enough, the option goes away. Given that, I think anyone in a relationship heading towards marriage or similar levels of commitment with a woman over thirty or so who doesn't decide whether or not he wants kids with her and communicate that decision clearly is doing something cruel, unless he knows that she doesn't want kids.

Nothing wrong at all with not wanting kids. But keeping someone hanging around thinking that you're open to the idea, if you're not, while the clock is ticking on her time to leave you and have kids with someone else, is shitty.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 4:05 PM
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Well, from the perspective of an entitled asshole who hates the childless, it's both parties' responsibility to have the conversation about kids.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 4:14 PM
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She should definitely be investigating all possible sperm sources.

Even redheads?


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 4:15 PM
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Surely only as a last resort.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 4:20 PM
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it's both parties' responsibility to have the conversation about kids.

Sure, but it's hard to have a conversation with someone who's avoiding it, and avoidance helps one side and hurts the other. If they never have the conversation, the one who wants kids is screwed, and the other one's fine. If they both care about each other's best interests, I think that puts an extra onus of full disclosure on someone who doesn't want kids.

I've got friends where something like this happened; the plan was always to have kids, and they put it off and put it off, and in her late thirties she decided she didn't want to (and in retrospect she probably made that decision earlier and didn't communicate it for a while). The marriage lasted, and in theory he could have left her and had kids with a younger woman, so she didn't actually take away his only chance of having kids -- he gave that up as a possibility to stay married to her. But he's very sad about it, and I think the degree to which she strung him along made it more painful.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 4:23 PM
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I don't want kids now--which is what my BF wants as well--but I sometimes feel like it was a choice I didn't make. Just an acknowledgement of my own fucked-up-edness. There's a part of me that's a tiny bit jealous of alameida for getting her shit together enough to have kids.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 4:25 PM
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That's a tragic situation (genuinely. really) but one of the life lessons I think I've learned is that communication problems are almost never unilateral. If he really wanted kids, he had a responsibility to say "I want kids, and you need to tell me you're OK with that, and when.". If they had that conversation, she said yes, and then she changed her mind, absolutely 100% blame her. But if not, everyone is responsie when something isn't communicated fully.

The above was sincere (I feel like at this point we need a "sincerity" tag).


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 4:28 PM
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It's not completely clear to me from the description of the situation that she had made her position clear, while he had not. If she had, in more than a vague 'I wouldn't mind having kids one of these days' way, then yeah, he's a jerk. She now has to decide just how important having children is to her, whether it's essential or merely a wouldn't-be-bad thing; and again, it's not clear to me that she has decided on that yet. The fact that he has (apparently?) closed off the option is unfortunate, and something many women necessarily take seriously as they age. In any event, obviously these people need to talk, and it may not be the case that they're both firm in their desires.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 4:28 PM
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300, 301: Hey!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 4:29 PM
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To avoid confusion, and possible attacks from Parsimon, 304 is to 302. Nothing at all tragic about being childless, for whatever reason, if that's what you want or where you are.

Sincerity tag!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 4:30 PM
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305 concerning the original couple heebie described.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 4:31 PM
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Sugar writes a beautiful column about the risks a woman takes in deciding whether to have kids on her own.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 4:32 PM
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306: I'm a ginger myself.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 4:32 PM
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LB at 298: I think anyone in a relationship heading towards marriage or similar levels of commitment with a woman over thirty or so who doesn't decide whether or not he wants kids with her and communicate that decision clearly is doing something cruel, unless he knows that she doesn't want kids.

That is an awfully draconian standard, which would, to be frank, have a terrible impact on my dating life.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 4:36 PM
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and possible attacks from Parsimon

Will you cut that out? Really. My 235 had mentioned your 210 simply because it was the most recent comment in the thread to suggest that something might be better than non-motherhood. I stepped in to say that non-motherhood wasn't necessarily that bad, and pointed to your comment as a referent in case anyone didn't know the sort of sentiment I was referring to. Okay? That was all. And I never called you an entitled asshole, so you can stop gathering these assorted affronts and stringing them together as though you're the most misunderstood man on the planet blog.

Sheesh.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 4:37 PM
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312 --ok, that's fine. Sorry.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 4:41 PM
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310: I was, but I outgrew it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 4:46 PM
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311: Maybe I overstated what I was thinking some? Marriage or equivalent level of commitment leaves a lot of room for less serious dating, at least in my head, and "I don't want to have kids with you" from a man leaves you the option of saying "Fine with me", "Fine for now, but I'm probably out of here sometime on that basis" or "I'm out of here." I don't think that conversation should have a negative impact on anyone who isn't trying to extend a relationship under, um, false pretenses sounds more consciously wrongful than I think people usually mean to be, but that kind of thing.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 4:52 PM
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If he really wanted kids, he had a responsibility to say "I want kids, and you need to tell me you're OK with that, and when.". If they had that conversation, she said yes, and then she changed her mind, absolutely 100% blame her.

I hate to say 100% blame her, I think she felt bowled over by his intensity on the subject and went along with him, and just put it off and put it off until she finally said it wasn't going to happen. But close to 100% blame her; she certainly made plans and then changed.

But even for a similar couple where one person communicated their position clearly, and the other avoided or evaded, I have a hard time seeing that as an equal failure of communication on both sides. It's hard to make someone tell you where they stand if they're trying not to.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 5:01 PM
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LB, get on the pill for a month or so and get yourself to the ob gyn asap for a new Paraguard. The family planning person advised me to use condoms for a couple of days once I got my copper IUD inserted or to stay on the pill through the end of the week/cycle.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 5:01 PM
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I've still got the old one in; I just don't know yet if I can go straight from IUD to IUD, or if I need an interregnum.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 5:03 PM
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[A] relationship heading towards marriage or similar levels of commitment with a woman over thirty or so....

I both envy and am more than slightly mystified by the thought that there exist people who are not too removed from themselves to apprehend their emotional and romantic lives so clearly, but it also occurs to me that, after one* reaches a certain age, the anxiety that used to attend matters like "Do you like me? I like you" and birth control spreads to the issues of marriage and kids, with all the avoiding and failing-to-address-until-too-late that entails.

* Please consider the white flag waved w/r/t applicability to non-heterosexual relationships.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 5:03 PM
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I think you can go straight. Probably easier to dilate and get the one out and the other in at at the same time. Just take some ibuprophen.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 5:05 PM
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Huh. If that works, then why would you have to pull the old one? Does it corrode away to nothingness? Come to think, I suppose that's perfectly possible, a little piece of copper spending a decade in a saline environment.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 5:08 PM
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316 -- We're now in the realm of very small differences, but as a general rule if your partner is being vague and evasive about something important to you, and you let it slide, then, sadly, that's your fault* as well. Otherwise the evasive party gets the message that vagueness and evasion is fine.

* I don't mean in the sense of deep moral blameworthiness, just in the sense that both people have a responsibility to communicate about what's important to either one.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 5:08 PM
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319 is an impressively roundabout comment.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 5:10 PM
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But, you don't have to be vague and evasive to change your mind. That is when you need to stab someone. How else do you know they really changed their mind as opposed to being a deceitful asshole the whole time? If you stab them and they feel bad about changing their mind, the victim impact statement at your sentencing will be milder.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 5:13 PM
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303: My understanding is that no one actually has their shit together enough to have kids. Or to start a small business. Or much of anything else.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 5:19 PM
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323: I always think I'm as direct and pointed as an arrow, but people have been disagreeing for an awfully long time.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 5:21 PM
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Moby, is everything OK? Your comments seem unusually stabbing-positive today.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 5:24 PM
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What's impressive is that Flippanter's ex can finish his sentences. But I believe I've said that before.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 5:28 PM
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I'm fine. Just in a stab-centric mood.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 5:28 PM
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One speculates that it is easier to complete another person's sentences if the two of you are avoiding talking about the same thing.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 5:31 PM
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What's impressive is that Flippanter's ex can finish his sentences.
Someone needs to.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 5:33 PM
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Racist.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 5:37 PM
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I was also just suggesting the pill to prop it up until you get your new one.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 5:41 PM
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Isn't it hard to stack pills that high?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 5:46 PM
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LB: The Paragard insert on their website says that you should have it removed after 10 years and, if you and your healthcare provider agree, have a new one inserted at the same visit.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 5:55 PM
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334 made me laugh. Understandably, I think. Okay, silly fit giggle.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 5:57 PM
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318: a non-impregnum interregnum.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 5:57 PM
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335: Sweet. I've been vaguely dreading dealing with this, but not enough to look it up.

IUD -- best birth control ever. No stress, no worry, nothing to remember.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 6:02 PM
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Is this still the running thread? I'm training for a 6.5-mile nighttime run in a month, starting today, after not having run in a few years, and I'm a bit nervous. I went through a time when I was running 5k every day, but I don't think I ever ran more than 5 miles at once. I'm training with some friends, but I can tell they're in much better shape for it than I am so I'm afraid of slowing them down.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 6:05 PM
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I don't mind running after dark, which is good because I find it hard to get out before 8:00.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 6:09 PM
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But, I'm thinking that I won't try for a half marathon, but I will try for a 10K in the spring. That seems about right.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 6:10 PM
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Oh try for the half marathon, not the 10K. You can get them changed in the same visit (I may have missed something above).


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:16 PM
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What do you all have to run from?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:19 PM
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An emotional honest conversation Bears


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:25 PM
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.Also, middle age the guy checking receipts at Best Buy.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:38 PM
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I think there will be costumes. Everyone at my race will be in front of me, so I guess they will be running from whatever hideous form I take.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 7:51 PM
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I ordered some barefoot shoes yesterday. They're not the kind with articulated toes, but I expect you people will still mock me, and that's perfectly fair.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 8:01 PM
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I am trying to think of how you could use your costume to win. Maybe attach a giant tail of money to your back.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 8:02 PM
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I have a 3-year mandatory regime change, comparatively lame, but yeah, they wait till you're having you're period, yank the old one out (not so bad) and shove the new one up there (OW. for 1 second only) best birth control ever.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 8:03 PM
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346: I think there will be costumes.

Why not A White Bear?


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 8:13 PM
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348: Katamari Damacy.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 8:30 PM
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351: Dammit! Now I've got that song in my head.


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 9:25 PM
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My IUD is the best birth control ever because it's one of the ones that turns off your period. I got it to make scheduling fieldwork easier, but there are other advantages. For one thing, my blood pressure is up to 101/60, though much of that may be grad school.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 9:29 PM
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I dislike the Android sticker in the OP. I disapprove of the female always being the marked gender.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 9:30 PM
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my blood pressure is up to 101/60

up? Wow.

(I managed to get my blood pressure down to that level a while back, but then I'd get woozy whenever I stood up too quickly. At that point my doctor was happy to take me off of one of the meds I was on. I can't imagine what it'd be like to live with lower blood pressure than that.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 10:28 PM
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Is it having a sperm donor (which doesn't necessarily require IVF, does it?) that is stigmatized, or the IVF itself? Maybe I'm thinking about this wrongly, I associate IVF with female infertility.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 10:47 PM
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Family gossip has it that my grandmother decided at 30 that she wanted to have a kid and then picked out someone to be the father. A few years after my dad was born, she told the father about him.


Posted by: dewitt clinton | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 10:52 PM
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I know I've said before that I hated hated hated having my Mirena put in. That was 4 years ago, and it's supposed to be removed after 5. There's a small part of my brain already fretting about that, and I'm not going to be getting another one. So C has the next year to get his arse in gear and get a vasectomy sorted out. He seems to be coming round to the idea. A whoops! now would be Bad.

Mr Salmond, that's a shitty situation. Any way you can live on beans/work overtime/sell your body for a while and save some money beforehand?


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 09-19-11 11:13 PM
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Josh: Well, I got up slowly. Oddly, low blood pressurer doesn't seem to be officially dangerous, although the falling-down-dizzy might be. I couldn't believe that regular loss of blood to the brain was a Good Thing.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 1:07 AM
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Is this still the running thread?

Running very fast is indeed a form of birth control.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 2:12 AM
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I don't like the chemical parts of the pill, so I like have the copper 7, it's only copper doing the work of making my womb inhospitable. I was on the pill for years but feel it exacerbated depression sometimes. still, I'm kind of jealous of the "I'm only going to have my period twice this year" fun of birth control my sister has. it's honestly just a giant pain and nothing good can be said about it. describing it to your daughters is kind of, eh, it's hard to sell. of course, there are glorious "thank the dear lord I'm not pregnant" moments, so it's not as though it's never completely fabulous to get your period. harder to advertise this awesome feature to 10-year-olds though. my 7-year-old has gone back to being a girl, after being a boy for like 8 months, but insists she never wants to grow boobs or get her period, ever. she wishes to remain 7. or androgynous. or a boy. unclear.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 3:46 AM
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bostoniangirl: I did have a window of sort of having my shit together in my late 20s/early 30s after I gave up heroin and hadn't yet become a full-blown alcoholic. I always planned to have children; I would have had them sooner by "accidentally" forgetting to take my birth control, thus forcing my emotionally distant bf to stay with me, except I couldn't quit drugs and I would feel like an asshole shooting up when I was all pregnant, wouldn't I? even my dealer would give me shit, probably. so, more like some shit just happened, then some other stuff. I would have gotten kids by hook or by crook, but I'm happy to have with with someone I love, who is a great father. but I don't think it can be called an organizational strategy or anything. I just "decided to get pregnant."


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 3:52 AM
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decided together with the father, of course, this is a crucial element.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 3:54 AM
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Sure, but it's hard to have a conversation with someone who's avoiding it, and avoidance helps one side and hurts the other. If they never have the conversation, the one who wants kids is screwed, and the other one's fine.

But he isnt avoiding the conversation.

"I'm really not sure" is a perfectly legitimate answer.

It just isnt the answer that she wants. Should he say "no" or "yes" when his answer is "I'm not really sure."?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 5:40 AM
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I have thought about getting the copper IUD, as I'm also bad bad bad with hormones, but my periods/cramps are pretty debilitating already. Luckily, I never have sex with men, it seems. Or unluckily? If I were getting laid, the trouble of one or the other might seem worth it. But suffering horrible BC side effects while celibate is too bitter.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 5:44 AM
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But he isnt avoiding the conversation.

Neither one of us actually has any knowledge of what communications they've had. You could be guessing right, but you don't know. I've stated everything I've said about the couple in the initial post in the conditional, to acknowledge that I don't know either.

But I do think that "I'm really not sure," without more, is a shitty answer, and not 'perfectly legitimate' even if true, when delivered to a woman who wants kids and has a limited number of fertile years left (again, say, over thirty). Anything you say in a committed relationship comes with a strong implicit "Trust me, I'm not going to hurt you," and if what you're saying means "I don't know, there's a real possibility I'm going to hurt you badly, I haven't made my mind up yet," any way of saying it that's not explicit on that point is deceptive. This is a standard I'd only hold someone to in a loving relationship of course -- if the standard we're applying is arms-length contractual negotiations, sure, she's completely responsible for not making any assumptions that he's looking out for her interests at all. But if that's the standard we're applying, I think both parties should be running for the horizon rather than getting married.

And if "I'm really not sure" includes as a possibility "I'm going to waffle about this until you're thirty-eight, and then tell you I'm never going to have kids. Breaking up the marriage should take a year or two, and then have fun trying to find someone to get pregnant with in your early forties with your last maybe a year or so of fertility," that's the kind of thing that I think it's shitty not to explicitly identify as a real possibility.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 6:01 AM
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So C has the next year to get his arse in gear and get a vasectomy sorted out. He seems to be coming round to the idea.

It's awesome. A bit of soreness but it's an excuse to take a few days off of work and sit around with wine and codeine.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 6:09 AM
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There is an argument to be made that, in the reproductive sector, "I'm not sure" means "No, not with you, but I don't want to get yelled at/stabbed."


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 6:10 AM
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368:

These conversations can be really painful. I have a hard time faulting a guy who says he doesnt know.

Her burden is then to decide whether she wants the relationship even if it means no kids. Bc I am not really sure is a no.

Who doesnt have these conversations? Isnt this fairly basic dating conversation?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 6:17 AM
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Who doesnt have these conversations?

Assholes, drunks, and the confused. In other words, nearly everybody.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 6:19 AM
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368: Sure. That makes it a shitty thing people do for understandable reasons when they're in a bad relationship they should get out of. Still shitty, though.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 6:19 AM
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I agree that it is wrong to say "I'm not sure" if the answer is no.

I've been in these situations. BR was in her mid-30s when we started dating. The woman I dated before her was in her upper 30s. You have to reach common ground or split up.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 6:24 AM
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366: When someone says, about children, "I'm not really sure", they are saying, as clear as you please, that at some point in the future they may decide not to have kids. There's no difference at all between "I'm not really sure" and what you propose:

"I don't know, there's a real possibility I'm going to hurt you badly, I haven't made my mind up yet,"

Upon being told this, some women are going to choose to push the issue, and some aren't. I'd recommend pushing the issue, but the woman involved saw it differently.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 6:35 AM
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365: I've also always had terribly heavy bleeding and painful cramps, so I was dubious, and the first three months were like someone was shooting a motherfucking re-make of "carrrie" in my cooter. but it tapered off after that and is, if anything, lighter now, though slightly changed: taper on and off, rather than come out fighting and taper off; marginally longer overall. so, marginally less oral sex. only you can weigh the factors.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 6:38 AM
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[T]he first three months were like someone was shooting a motherfucking re-make of "carrrie" in my cooter.

I've never liked Brian de Palma, but even he must have some boundaries.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 6:43 AM
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you may overestimate him.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 6:45 AM
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like someone was shooting a motherfucking re-make of "carrrie" in my cooter

If we did shoot a remake of Carrie in your cooter, who would get the Piper Laurie role?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 6:47 AM
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We need to get these details ironed out, so we can move on to casting the remake of All That Jazz in Labs' colon.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 6:50 AM
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like someone was shooting a motherfucking re-make of "carrrie" in my cooter.

This made me laugh.

Carrie is often remade in my house. My daughter always gets her period at my house. Always.

She thinks it is funny to pull her pad out of her underwear. There will be blood.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 6:52 AM
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would the pill be bad for her, will? because she seems like a good candidate for one of those one or two periods-a-year formulations.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 7:16 AM
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She was on depo for a while, but we didnt like it. She still had break-through bleeding.

She is probably going to have a little operation this year.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 7:20 AM
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BR does the have-a-couple periods a year program.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 7:21 AM
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good luck on the surgery. I can't see her getting her period as anything but a horrible pain for all involved. well, maybe she's having fun painting the walls but it doesn't sound very nice for anyone else.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 7:25 AM
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Thanks. She is getting a little better about it.

But, the pad pull-out is a pain. And my son isnt always helpful about taking it from her when she tries to hand it to him.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 7:30 AM
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373: Eh. That still sounds like an arms-length negotiating standard -- "My current position might be okay for you, or might hurt you badly. If you're trusting me to resolve the ambiguity in a way that keeps you from getting hurt, you're a fool." I mean, maybe trusting a life partner to do their best to keep you from getting hurt by something in their control is foolish, but I'd hate to not live that way.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 7:32 AM
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384: I just saw on a shelf somewhere for the first time recently disposable period panties -- an integral pad, but the whole thing is disposable. If you can find them, they might make the process a little easier, because she wouldn't be able to pull them off as easily. I don't remember a brand name -- I'll google.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 7:35 AM
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Not sure if this is what I saw, but this kind of thing.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 7:37 AM
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that could be awesome just so you don't fuck up really cute pairs of panties. but if you ever wore them it would definitely be the night you got hit on by jude law.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 7:39 AM
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Thanks, LB. Those look interesting.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 7:43 AM
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but if you ever wore them it would definitely be the night you got hit on by jude law.

So you ditch them!



Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 7:44 AM
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that could, potentially be a selling point!


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 7:44 AM
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AWB, the Mirena is far more recommended over here than just copper, and my gynae consultant friend convinced me that it was the one to choose out of the two. The hormone dose is so low and so localised that it causes far less problems than e.g. the Pill. And I guess if it sucks you can just have it removed again. I have no periods. It's quite nice.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 7:50 AM
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387: One's collection of light blue boxer shorts seems so boring.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 7:51 AM
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390 - but then you're being chatted up by Jude Law, you've chucked your knickers away and you're still on your period. Sounds messy.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 7:52 AM
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Maybe Jude Law is into that sort of thing.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 7:53 AM
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I wouldn't put it past him.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 7:53 AM
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Maybe Jude Law is into that sort of thing.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 7:54 AM
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393: If you want to feel pretty, no one can stop you from wearing any underwear you like.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 7:54 AM
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Are you really going to warn him ahead of time?

Better to ask for forgiveness than permission?

"I didnt realize!"


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 7:55 AM
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I guess you just have to time it right. And preferably not be at your own house.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 8:01 AM
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397: I mean, if it works for Kotsko, why not Jude Law?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 8:01 AM
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In my polling of people I've been out with, everyone who wanted kids said so, clearly, right away, on the first date, as if to say, "This is what I am interested in, and even if it's not with you or even soon, I do at some point aspire to be a parent." I try to be as clear as I can as soon as I can that I have no such aspirations at all. I really don't know that I've ever been out with someone who said, "I don't know... not yet, maybe..." How old are we talking here? If a dude is in his 30's and "doesn't know" if he wants kids, that's a sign to me of someone who needs to get his head on straight real fucking fast. (If he does want kids, why is he dating someone he doesn't want to reproduce with? If he doesn't, why is he dating someone who wants kids? Either way, he's setting himself up for a trainwreck, probably because he likes trainwrecks.)


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 8:03 AM
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Shit, wrong thread. :-(


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 8:05 AM
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Or not. Never mind. I'm confused by life. :-(


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 8:05 AM
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No, this is the right thread, you just need to look up some. This is decals, parenting decisions, birth control, and menstruation. The other thread is gossip, bears, and heroic blondes/horses.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 8:06 AM
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I don't know why people find this place confusing.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 8:07 AM
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406: Until you learn the color-coding system, it is confusing.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 8:10 AM
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If a dude is in his 30's and "doesn't know" if he wants kids, that's a sign to me of someone who needs to get his head on straight real fucking fast. (If he does want kids, why is he dating someone he doesn't want to reproduce with? If he doesn't, why is he dating someone who wants kids? Either way, he's setting himself up for a trainwreck, probably because he likes trainwrecks.)

What!?!? Why is HE a trainwreck??

A guy in his 30s has to know definitely whether he wants kids?

For each of these questions, you could switch it to her.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 8:15 AM
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408: She didn't say he's a trainwreck, but that's beside the point. If he's dating in his age cohort and hasn't confronted the issue of having kids and sorted it out, he's guilty of being clueless in a way that's likely to cause harm or at least confusion.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 8:25 AM
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385:

373: Eh. That still sounds like an arms-length negotiating standard -- "My current position might be okay for you, or might hurt you badly. If you're trusting me to resolve the ambiguity in a way that keeps you from getting hurt, you're a fool."

I can't see any other responsibility that he has beyond telling the truth. It's possible that where you see this as a negotiation, I see it as a conversation.

When asked this question, he's basically got three choices: yes, no and I'm not sure. If the last is accurate, would you really recommend that he choose one of the other two?

We can turn this around the other way. Having been told that her fiancee is dubious on the subject of kids, she sticks with him, thus assuring him that his uncertainty isn't a dealbreaker.

She agreed to marry the guy based on an (apparently*) false acceptance of his uncertainty. She's got a lot of culpability here.

*This view carries some assumptions, of course, but I think in 366, you're willing to stipulate those assumptions.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 8:25 AM
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Agreed that you could switch all those questions to her. But I have found that guys in their 30s who "don't know" about kids are often coming to that point differently than women who say the same thing. It's much more likely to be something like "I dunno, haven't thought about it much" than an expression of a considered ambivalence.

And sure, there are also women in the "dunno, haven't thought about it" category. But given biology, and the incredible prevalence of fertility/ticking clock messages in popular culture, it does seem less common.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 8:26 AM
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he's guilty of being clueless

A more succinct version of my 411.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 8:27 AM
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409:

He has confronted the issue and decided that he isnt sure. How is that clueless? Why does he need to get his head on straight?

He doesnt have to decide by a certain age.

She does. If she knows that she does not want to be in a relationship unless she is going to have kids, then she needs certainty.

She is the one with a need for a certain answer. If she doesnt have that certain answer, then she needs to move on.

She is the clueless one. She needs an answer. She doent have it. And she doesnt make a change.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 8:30 AM
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In Heebie's example, he already has one child. (Since it is a 4 year old, I am wondering how long this couple has actually been together.)


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 8:33 AM
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We can turn this around the other way. Having been told that her fiancee is dubious on the subject of kids, she sticks with him, thus assuring him that his uncertainty isn't a dealbreaker.

She agreed to marry the guy based on an (apparently*) false acceptance of his uncertainty. She's got a lot of culpability here.

I agree. She seems to be the one changing the terms of the relationship.

"I want to marry you even if we don't have children."


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 8:36 AM
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I think part of what's confusing here is that "not wanting to have kids" and "wanting to not have kids" are very different things. I think many people's assumption is that when a man says they're not sure they mean they might mean the former, not that they might mean the latter. Hence LB's point of view that if a man might have the latter point of view he should make that clear.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 8:43 AM
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Hey, I'm one of those guys who's in his (late) 30s and doesn't know if he wants kids. I don't think I'm clueless!

(Okay, more accurately I'm open to the possibility, and very much aware of how big an issue it is for women in their late 30s and early 40s. It's part of the reason that when I had my dating profile up I was looking for women who were 35 and under: I wanted to be able to establish a relationship with someone without having to address the kids issue immediately. Of course that then makes me one of the assholes who make dating difficult for women over 35. I haven't figured out a good solution to that problem.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 8:43 AM
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For example, when I say I don't want kids what I mean is that I don't have a strong desire for kids and that I don't want to be the main care provider for a young kid. I don't mean that if I were in a serious relationship with a woman who really wanted kids I might dig my heals in and say no. (Of course, I'm married to someone who actively doesn't want kids, and so all this is moot.)


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 8:50 AM
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You could fix the problem by dating only women who are 20 and under.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 8:50 AM
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419 to 417.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 8:51 AM
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Running-wise, I have my 9th of the 9 required NY Road Runners' races to get automatic entry into the 2012 NY Marathon (so over a year away) coming up this weekend, but I've never run a race longer than a half marathon (and that only once, in May 2010), so I'll have to see how the training goes.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 8:52 AM
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419 to 421.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 9:06 AM
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419 TO EVERYTHING!


Posted by: OPINIONATED EPHEBOPHILE | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 9:08 AM
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412, 413, 415: All of that is fine, if he doesn't have any responsibility to protect her from harm. The harm here is leaving her in uncertainty while he closes off her other options.

If his position on kids is "Definitely not now, maybe never, I can't promise I'll decide soon or ever. Don't marry me if you can't give up the idea of kids," I think he's got an affirmative responsibility to make sure she understands that, rather than leaving her thinking "Not now, but I'll know soon enough that waiting won't fuck you over."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 9:09 AM
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Of course that then makes me one of the assholes who make dating difficult for women over 35. I haven't figured out a good solution to that problem.

Filter based on "wants kids".

The consumer model of dating comes through again!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 9:16 AM
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Dating consumers is actually not very fun.


Posted by: Male Praying Mantis | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 9:20 AM
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Oh wait, you said you weren't entirely sure where you came down on the kids question. Well, I'll solve that problem for you. Sure, you should have kids.

I'll now inform other unfogged people I've met in person whether they should have kids:

ogged: yes.
otto von bisquick: no.
sifu: yes.
mrh: no more than he already has.
kotsko: definitely not.
blume: no.
awb: she will never be fulfilled without children.
x. trapnel: probably not.
fontana: yes.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 9:22 AM
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425: I don't see how that solves my problem. If I look for women over 35 who want kids, I'm going to be faced with making a decision in short order. If I look for women over 35 who don't want kids, I'm locking myself out from the possibility of having them. (And IME even women who say they don't want kids have second thoughts when they get to their late 30s.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 9:22 AM
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Have you tried going to a meet up with nosflow?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 9:24 AM
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Josh, I already realized that and solved your problem again in 427.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 9:25 AM
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I have! This has so far failed to resolve my problems.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 9:26 AM
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The consumer model of dating comes through again!

Eh, that's what makes the situation hard to begin with. If you're at a certain place in your life where a certain type of person is going to be more compatible (say, women who are not looking to answer the kids question right away), and you manage to meet someone who's compatible with you in that way, awesome! It's when you have to codify it and present yourself as looking for someone to fit in this little niche that it starts seeming somehow assholish. (Even if it's not. Not calling you an asshole, Josh!) Online dating is weird and hard that way.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 9:27 AM
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Elbee, you're really dug in on this, I see, but really now. A man who hasn't decided whether he wants more kids should have decided when he will decide?

As presented, HG's friend has a deep and long standing concern. No matter how partners relate, leaving a deep and longstanding concern ambiguous, or relying on a presumption that 'surely if this man I'm dating didn't share my deep and longstanding -- and yet unarticulated -- concern, the decent thing would be for him to tell me, and so therefore he must share it,' is negligent enough that she bears a lot of responsibility for the sadness and anger she is experiencing. No matter what the relationship is, if something is really important to you, you have to say so. Assuming that it's just as important to the other, or that he should guess and defer, is a recipe for exactly this disaster.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 9:27 AM
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It's when you have to codify it and present yourself as looking for someone to fit in this little niche that it starts seeming somehow assholish.

This somehow-assholishness was meant to be implicit in "consumer model of dating". (There's also the assholishness of surveying listings and, like, picking someone out, even if only to contact.)


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 9:28 AM
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433 -- Not that blame has anything to do with deciding how to handle the future. (Absent bad faith.)


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 9:28 AM
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Have you tried going to a meet up with nosflow?

The two of them could adopt a child together!


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 9:30 AM
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Just decide. You're not suddenly going to gain clarity someday. Big decisions have too many upsides and downsides for our decision modules to handle. Just decide and let your rationalization module get working.

(Remember that there are 3 options here: want kids, don't want kids, and willing to do whichever if it makes my partner happy.)


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 9:31 AM
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I don't think nosflow's ready to be a father.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 9:32 AM
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I am perfectly content to be merely an uncle.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 9:32 AM
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You do seem avuncular.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 9:32 AM
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If his position on kids is "Definitely not now, maybe never, I can't promise I'll decide soon or ever. Don't marry me if you can't give up the idea of kids," I think he's got an affirmative responsibility to make sure she understands that, rather than leaving her thinking "Not now, but I'll know soon enough that waiting won't fuck you over."

And she has an affirmative responsibility to convey: I won't marry you if you don't want kids. It appears from heebie's description that even now she has failed to do this.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 9:33 AM
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i dont envy those who are forced to navigate these issues.

I know plenty of people who stuck it out long enough to have some kids even though they knew they would divorce.

I remember the dating world and all the possiblities:
1. Is it bad that I already have kids?
2. Does she want more kids?
3. Does she have kids?
4. are out kids compatible?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 9:35 AM
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4. are out kids compatible?

Maybe, but don't you think it would be weird if your kids dated each other?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 9:36 AM
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are out kids compatible?

His kid is four. I don't think that is possible yet.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 9:36 AM
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My joke was different.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 9:37 AM
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443: My friend's sister married their step-brother. They met as young teens -- so like Greg and Marcia.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 9:37 AM
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Not calling you an asshole, Josh!

No, it's okay! I realize that I'm part of the problem. It's just frustrating that there's no easy way to explain to people looking at my profile "these are my closely-considered reasons for setting my preferred age range the way I have, and I'm sorry for the effect it has on you".


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 9:39 AM
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My friend's sister married their step-brother.

"[T]heir"? I think by this point in the sentence we've figured out that your friend's sister is a woman.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 9:40 AM
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446. Like Henry and Clara Rathbone.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 9:42 AM
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448: Plural. The step-brother of my friend and her sister.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 9:44 AM
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(Remember that there are 3 options here: want kids, don't want kids, and willing to do whichever if it makes my partner happy.)

Four: Not sure.



Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 9:46 AM
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Five: didn't want kids and then one turrned up accidentally and it's great!


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 9:47 AM
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451 is not a decision!


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 9:47 AM
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Ha! We made nosflow say "uncle".


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 9:49 AM
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453: option =/= decision


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 10:00 AM
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I'm really starting to warm to the idea of having kids. They keep your yard tidy (and can even be rented out to the neighbors to landscape for some extra guilt-free income). They produce milk that can be turned into delicious cheese. Then one day, you have some curry.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 10:02 AM
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I agree with pf and Carp's 433.

I am also like Josh.

I have no idea if I want to have (more) kids. The one that I've got is already incredibly exhausting, but also incredibly wonderful. Frankly, I don't think I'll have perspective on another kid until the current kid is older. If I make that very clear to the person I'm dating, and make clear that there's a risk (if the person is in their mid 30s or above) involved in dating me that wouldn't be present with a guy who is sure that he wants to have kids, what other responsibility do I have?

446 is wonderfully pervy.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 10:04 AM
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446 would have required a very careful best man to make a toast at the wedding.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 10:06 AM
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My advice was to make a decision. I was giving the options that are deciding. Not deciding is exactly what I wasn't advising. You're more than welcome to disagree with my advice, but that response is just confusing the matter.

452, on the other hand, does go nicely with the point I was trying to make. We're much better at rationalizing than deciding. If not knowing is causing you problems, just decide. If not knowing doesn't bother you, then let someone else decide. Either way once you know the answer you'll be able to justify it.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 10:11 AM
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459 is weird advice. Obviously, biology forces the issue at some point, for women much earlier than for men. But I don't see why "I'm not ready to decide, one way or another, right now, and I realize the risks that causes" isn't also a valid position.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 10:14 AM
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441: And she has an affirmative responsibility to convey: I won't marry you if you don't want kids.

The lack of parallelism is that (under the assumption, contrary to CCarp, that she's conveyed that she does want kids. If she hasn't communicated that, that's her problem) her failure to give him an ultimatum doesn't do him any harm -- leaving the issue unresolved doesn't close off his options at all. Her 'responsibility' there isn't to him -- she's not hurting him. Any failure of 'responsibility' in this regard is a failure of her responsibility to protect herself against him.

His responsibility, on the other hand, is not to hurt her by implicitly asking her to trust him and wait while he makes a decision, and then waste time she can't make up. If she'd be a fool to trust that he's going to come around rather than stringing her along until it's too late, he's being cruel if he doesn't do what's reasonably necessary to make her understand that. (And of course, 'reasonably necessary' is slippery; I can easily imagine a couple where I would think that all reasonably necessary disclosures had been made, and the person who wanted kids just wasn't listening.)

In any actual case between two actual people, of course, exactly what's been communicated is going to be very individually different, and no one but the people involved will really be able to judge what's been said.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 10:16 AM
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If indecision is making his dating life complicated, then I think he should consider just deciding. I think there's a lot of comfort in just making a decision between unclear options.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 10:17 AM
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To be clear, my advice here is practical, not moral. There's nothing *wrong* with not deciding morally, I just think that it's better practically for living one's life to just make a decision so you can then worry about other things.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 10:19 AM
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457, 460: "I know I don't want to have [more] kids right now, and there's a strong possibility I will never want to have [more] kids. I could change my mind, but if you really want kids, you shouldn't count on me, because for now the answer is no," or an equivalent, sounds like full disclosure to me. I wouldn't think someone who said that was doing anything wrong.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 10:19 AM
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I eat kitty litter sometimes.


Posted by: Pauly Shore | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 10:23 AM
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nosflow, should I have kids?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 10:34 AM
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If indecision is making his dating life complicated, then I think he should consider just deciding.

This assumes that he hasnt considered deciding.

Deciding whether you want to have kids isnt like picking which movie to see.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 10:35 AM
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I have insufficient data to answer that question.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 10:35 AM
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Also, you should make career decisions for all of us while you're at it. Neb Nosflow, Life-Planner For Hire.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 10:35 AM
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There's nothing *wrong* with not deciding morally....

Debatable.


Posted by: OPINIONATED POST-KIERKEGAARD EUROPEAN PHILOSOPHERS | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 10:37 AM
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Of course not. Picking which movie to see is something where you can gather relevant information and where there might be a right answer. Picking which movie to see is the sort of decision problem that our brains can handle by weighing pros and cons. Picking which movie to see is something where waiting might make the answer more clear (e.g. maybe in two hours you'll realize that you're really in the mood for a comedy).

Deciding whether to have kids is, like all life-long commitments, jumping into an unknown abyss. Any decision like that is something you know you'll sometimes regret and sometimes be happy about, and you won't have any idea whether it's the "right" decision because it's too big a change to your life to accurately imagine the other outcome.

At some point you just have to decide, and I'm a little skeptical that waiting really makes that much of a difference. (Maybe it's clearer in one direction after waiting two years, but that doesn't mean it won't swing back after another two years.)


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 10:40 AM
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Essear, you should become a quant.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 10:41 AM
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His responsibility, on the other hand, is not to hurt her by implicitly asking her to trust him and wait while he makes a decision, and then waste time she can't make up. If she'd be a fool to trust that he's going to come around rather than stringing her along until it's too late, he's being cruel if he doesn't do what's reasonably necessary to make her understand that. (And of course, 'reasonably necessary' is slippery; I can easily imagine a couple where I would think that all reasonably necessary disclosures had been made, and the person who wanted kids just wasn't listening.)

I really think this is a stretch. "Stringing her along"?? "make her understand"??

Is she a child? I am surprised that you appear to be advocating such a position regarding male-female relations.



Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 10:42 AM
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Not wanting to date women in certain age ranges because you aren't sure if you want any kids is one thing. Not wanting to date women in certain age ranges because you think you might want more kids seems like another thing entirely. When's the cutoff on only dating 35-and-unders? 70? Could still have kids then.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 10:43 AM
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I certainly hope 471 is based on sound neuroscience.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 10:44 AM
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s/our brains/we/ in 471 and we don't have to worry about 475, and it becomes more accurate into the bargain!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 10:45 AM
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I certainly hope 472 is based on sound neuroscience.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 10:50 AM
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"I know I don't want to have [more] kids right now, and there's a strong possibility I will never want to have [more] kids. I could change my mind, but if you really want kids, you shouldn't count on me, because for now the answer is no,"

and this is different from "I'm really not sure I want kids."???


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 10:51 AM
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461: You assume that the man has no interest in a continued relationship with her - that it's okay for her to jerk him around about the continuing viability of their relationship because there's nothing at stake for him. That's not right.

And saying that she has failed to protect herself against him assumes a fact that is fairly directly contradicted by heebie. The woman may, in fact, be willing to stay with him absent new children. She certainly has been willing so far.

And as for "reasonably necessary," I still don't get what information he is failing to convey by saying "I don't know." If she wanted a sense of his timetable for deciding, she would only need to ask. If she didn't want that - and my guess is that she didn't - she could *not* ask. It's up to her to decide what she needs in these circumstances. He can't do that for her.

Things like this don't happen unless both parties are really, really invested in kicking the can down the road and not making a decision.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 10:52 AM
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480

475: Me too!

(I mean it's definitely vaguely based on some neuroscience I vaguely remember. But I have no idea how sound it is. It certainly agrees with how I feel like my brain works. And it's consistent with the fact that we often make decisions before we're conscious of making them, so "rationalization" of decisions is something we're extremely good at.)


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 10:53 AM
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It certainly agrees with how I feel like my brain works.

Not generally a useful way to evaluate neuroscience.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 10:56 AM
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Right, but a great way to evaluate which neuroscience I hope is sound!


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 10:58 AM
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I can't tell if 474 is calling me an asshole or not.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 11:01 AM
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I am not sure why any sane man who doesnt want kids would date a woman under 40.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 11:05 AM
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Huh. I didn't mean it to, but now in retrsopect I can't figure it out either. I guess canonically you have until you're 56.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 11:05 AM
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I'm just starting to get the picture that people have no fucking clue what they want at all, or how any of their actions might relate to or result in either getting something they want or not.

The story I was telling about the guy with whom I went on a date who did not smile, make eye contact, or respond to any question or statement I made at all, and then invited his ex-girlfriend on the date, so he could pet her hair and, when she went to the bathroom, tell me he hates her, but loves her, but hates her mostly, and then texted me from a bathroom in the bar later to say he was getting a BJ from a random girl, so fuck off and the ex-gf would take me home? He's been texting me constantly since that night. "What's up" "Good morning" blah blah.

Finally, yesterday, he texts, "I just want u 2 b honest with me. r u disenchanted? i just want 2 no how u feel. tell me 2 stop bothering u if u want." And I say, I just think we'd both be better off continuing our search elsewhere, but good luck!

For the rest of the day, I get hateful texts about how that cunt the ex-gf must have poisoned me against him, and how he's glad we're not friends since I'm such a stupid bitch.

All I keep thinking is, absolutely 0% of this guy's actions made any sign that he thought any positive things about my looks, my conversation, my interests, anything. He could not have been colder and more insulting. And now he's appalled and shocked that I don't want to date him?

At any rate, I have a park date with the ex-gf in a few minutes.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 11:06 AM
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then texted me from a bathroom in the bar later to say he was getting a BJ from a random girl

I bet she wishes she'd have played the regular lottery.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 11:09 AM
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On a more serious note, don't ever go anywhere private with that guy.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 11:10 AM
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473: I am surprised that you appear to be advocating such a position regarding male-female relations.

I've given up on being surprised by what you think the implications are of things I say.

479.1: The difference is that delay, ambiguity, or confusion doesn't make a man with a strong interest in remaining in a relationship with a woman who wants kids, despite the fact that he doesn't and may never, any worse off; in fact, if you see it as a hostile, arms-length negotiation, they all strengthen his negotiating position, because the more time that passes, the less viable her options for leaving him and finding someone else to have kids with are. The possible downside for him is that they will break up sometime -- now or later. Failing to resolve the issue indefinitely gets him what he wants.

I think anyone who's treating a committed relationship as a hostile, arms-length negotiation is doing a bad thing, of course.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 11:12 AM
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486: I guess that ruins my theory that the plan was for you to hook up with the gf all along!

(The theory was that gf was "bi-curious", but scared to actually respond to a personal herself, so planned this with the guy -- who screened you, and then arranged for the two of you to meet. Really, it makes a lot more sense than the truth, doesn't it?)


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 11:13 AM
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I just want u 2 b honest with me. r u disenchanted?


Posted by: MAX WEBER'S 13 YEAR OLD NIECE | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 11:13 AM
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486: I should have said how great the initial story was. And now a second date!


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 11:13 AM
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r u disenchanted?

This is perfect.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 11:13 AM
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490 is genius.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 11:14 AM
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I am not sure why any sane man who doesnt want kids would date a woman under 40.

Because he's 20 himself?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 11:17 AM
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Something to figure out about this woman before you get too deeply involved with her, though: why the hell was she dating that guy long enough to be called his 'ex'?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 11:17 AM
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Of course, given how he's holding out for you after your disaster of a date, maybe they went out twice and he thinks she was his girlfriend.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 11:20 AM
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were u evr enchanted in 1st place?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 11:20 AM
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494: Thanks! But I thought it was mostly evidence that I've watched too many soaps.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 11:20 AM
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I missed the part in the original story about the guy texting you while getting a BJ from a random person. That really ratchets up the weirdness of the tale.

Before it was "this guy was being a douche to me, so I slept with his ex-girlfriend." Now it's "I met a psychotic asshole, and then I wound up with his ex-girlfriend."


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 11:21 AM
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I've given up on being surprised by what you think the implications are of things I say.

I am not trying to be insulting. It is just the "make her understand" seems so paternalistic. It seems to reduce her to someone with less cognition.

But, as I said in 478, I am not sure what the difference between what you say is ok and what he said.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 11:21 AM
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It's always hard to be sure from shortened versions of stories, but it sure makes it seem like he ways stringer her along with "maybe" until he could sucker her into a big commitment (the house or marriage) and then it'd be too late and he'd get exactly what he wanted (marrying her, no new kids) without her knowing what she was getting into pre-commitment.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 11:25 AM
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502: People have been known to act that way, right?

It puzzles me. "You're stuck with me now! It doesn't matter how miserable you are, you're stuck with me, FOREVER!" [evil laugh]


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 11:31 AM
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But, as I said in 478, I am not sure what the difference between what you say is ok and what he said.

The difference, as you point out, is paternalism. The woman is willing to kick the can down the road, but LB judges this (rightly, I think) as an inappropriate decision. Therefore, it's up to him as someone who cares for her to ignore her wishes and force the issue to the extent possible.

Given the woman's position, though, it's hard to see the result being any different. Under our assumed set of circumstances, I don't believe she can now tell herself "I entered into this uncertain situation without understanding the potential consequences."


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 11:35 AM
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I am not trying to be insulting.

Okay, now I'm surprised. If you weren't going for that effect, it's possible that some reconsideration of your prose style might be useful to you.

If you read what I said in context there, I don't think it sounds paternalistic at all. (In case you don't want to bother scrolling up, here it is again with what seem to me like the particularly relevant bits in bold this time: he's being cruel if he doesn't do what's reasonably necessary to make her understand that. (And of course, 'reasonably necessary' is slippery; I can easily imagine a couple where I would think that all reasonably necessary disclosures had been made, and the person who wanted kids just wasn't listening.)

I am not sure what the difference between what you say is ok and what he said.

Again, we don't know what he or she (if we're talking about the couple in H-G's comment) said about anything ever. We're both making shit up. I've been trying to do that explicitly, and talk about what I think are the rights and wrongs of specific hypotheticals.

I do think "I don't know if I want kids" is insufficient disclosure in a committed relationship with a woman who explicitly wants kids, because everything you say in a committed relationship comes with a strong implicit "I'm looking out for your and your interests, and I'm not going to let you get hurt if I can avoid it." Which turns an ambiguous "I don't know if I want" into something much closer to "but we'll work it out somehow in a way you can live with". And if you're in a position where you can't stand by that implicit statement -- say, you think it's a real possibility that you're never going to want kids, regardless of how much your partner wants them -- I think you've got a responsibility to make the fact that you really might be going to hurt your partner explicit.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 11:36 AM
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I'm guessing 497 is the case. She's been very polite about it. She didn't want to be shitty about him while she still didn't know if it was a romantic scenario. But I also get the sense from her that she is kind of stuck in a dead-end job in a town with very few non-psycho single men. We're going for a walk today and will probably talk about our feelings and shit. Girls, man. (I'm actually being kind of good about it I think! I am proud of myself!)

The guy is super-weird. Frankly, I thought the not-really-responding to me when we met was just nervousness, intimidation, etc. He's not an idiot, and apparently has friends and interests. He's just the kind of guy who thinks his impersonation of a Philly "ghetto" type is going to be just the sort of thing that will make a college professor think he is cool and smart. Then he plays the persecution card and shows pictures of his adorable 5-year-old.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 11:36 AM
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505 works, mostly, to 504 as well.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 11:37 AM
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427: Thanks for the advice. (And the Sifu/Blume bit was clever, you sly fox.)

I was hoping my anxiety over aging would diminish with turning 31, but I'm now realizing that I ought to figure out this "having kids" thing. Ugh.

443/446 Maybe, but don't you think it would be weird if your kids dated each other?

This was also the main plotline running through Türkisch für Anfänger, a Brady-bunch-esque German sitcom that added a German Multi-Kulti twist (free-spirited ethnic-German single mother psychologist marries somewhat button-downed single-father Turkish-German policeman; mother's daughter and father's son fall for each other). You can see the first episode (with subtitles!) on Youtube!


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 11:38 AM
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Well obviously if she told him that it would be personally devastating to not even try to have children, and he didn't tell her that he wasn't anywhere near that place, that would be bad faith. At the death penalty level. Nothing from HG suggests that this is the case.


Posted by: CCarp | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 11:43 AM
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"I know I don't want to have [more] kids right now, and there's a strong possibility I will never want to have [more] kids. I could change my mind, but if you really want kids, you shouldn't count on me, because for now the answer is no,"

and this is different from "I'm really not sure I want kids."???

505 doesnt answer this question.

And I read what you wrote earlier and again in 505. It feels still feels paternalistic.


You didnt explain the difference in the statement you said was ok and what he said.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 11:44 AM
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509: HG's post didn't have a whole lot of details of any sort -- I don't think there's a lot of profit in arguing what the history of that couple's communications is most likely to have been; he could be an asshole, or she could be an idiot, we don't have any way to know. I've been arguing hypotheticals all along.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 11:46 AM
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510: I can't get it clearer for you than the last paragraph of 505. If that doesn't come through, I don't know what to tell you.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 11:47 AM
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486: Stories like that give me flashbacks.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 11:48 AM
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How often have you texted while involved in a sexual act?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 11:49 AM
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Machete don't text.


Posted by: OPINIONATED MACHETE | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 11:50 AM
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I agree with Helpy-Chalk that the BJ bit makes the story weirder and the guy much creepier.

And 491 was great.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 11:50 AM
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I will be sure to find out details to clarify this debate, asap.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 11:51 AM
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A man who hasn't decided whether he wants more kids should have decided when he will decide

Pretty much. Her biological deadline is imposing secondary deadlines on him (if he values her happiness in this matter). Sucks, but so does the initial biological deadline.



Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 11:54 AM
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512:

Right. Bc it is my reading comprehension at fault. Got it.

My quote from you is the same statement as what he said. You could retract that if you want as not really what you meant.

You put the responsibility on him, not her. He is supposed to "make her understand."


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 11:54 AM
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519: Like I said, other than what I said in the last paragraph of 505, I don't know how else to get my point across. I doubt I'm going to convince you of anything, but if you wanted me to keep trying, and there was anything in 505 you wanted me to explain further or expand on, I'd be happy to.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 11:56 AM
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And re: 471 -- Edna Ullm/ann-Mar/galit wrote a bit on this, from a not-very-empirical philosophical perspective, and, as I recall, agreed with UPETGI. This article is the one that gets cited a lot, though it's mostly about very small decisions, and only in the end analogizes it to big existential ones; this one might be more on-point, but I haven't read it.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 11:58 AM
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Totally with Elbee and more directly, Unfoggetarian. He's already got a kid, she wants kids (because she doesn't have any), he was *apparently* non-committal, and now they're going in on a house and suddenly he's all like 'I don't want anymore kids'. I have done seen this movie before.

Absent some clear information indicating otherwise, he's pulling a power play on here. (Why not continue being non-committal?) He may have been consciously unclear, but I very much much doubt he just up and suddenly decided he doesn't want kids right when he's going in on a new house. The timing is all weird.

Additionally, she may have been way into the guy, so she was idiotically willing to interpret his non-committal statements on kids as 'eventually yes'.

It's also possible that he didn't want kids all along and her being all bright and happy about the house and filling it with babies prompted his conscience to start functioning properly.

Whatever: she has one move and either he doesn't think she'll do it, or she's afraid to have the whole thing go toes up, but all she can do here is tell him that she wants kids, and if he isn't willing for her to have a rugrat too, then there's no way in hell she's going to take care of his kid and his house for fucking nothing.

max
['Throw the live grenade right back to him.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 11:58 AM
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486--A person once asked me to be straightforward and say "no" nicely if I wasn't interested; my reply was nice, straightforward and expressed lack of interest; that person responded positively, and once only, to my reply.

This is probably the most unusual sequence of events that has ever happened to me.


Posted by: (dammit Jim I'm a) lurker | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 12:08 PM
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You put the responsibility on him, not her. He is supposed to "make her understand."

Yes, because he is the one who's position isn't clear, and she is the one who will pay greater costs. Given that they're in a relationship, he's supposed to be concerned about costs that she will pay. She could also demand more certainty, and should. But she can't "make him understand" more than she has: that she wants kids. (Presumably. We have no idea what the actual couple is doing.)


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 12:09 PM
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He's not an idiot ... He's just the kind of guy who thinks his impersonation of a Philly "ghetto" type is going to be just the sort of thing that will make a college professor think he is cool and smart.

Try again.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 12:13 PM
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Given that they're in a relationship, he's supposed to be concerned about costs that she will pay.

The words: "The punctilio of an honor the most sensitive" seem apropos. Not that a romantic relationship is a business partnership, but it's not less than a business partnership.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 12:13 PM
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524:

Not liking his position does not make it unclear.

She bought a house with him when he had not committed to having children.

By doing so, she explicitly agreed to continue the relationship even if they didnt have children. If she didnt want the relationship unless they were going to have children, she shouldnt have bought the house. Did she buy it with him hoping to change his mind? That makes him the asshole?


It seems like a lot of this is based on the implication of bad faith on his part and that he is an ahole for not giving her a child.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 12:14 PM
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(Presumably. We have no idea what the actual couple is doing.)

At this point, we might as well drop the disclaimers. I think we've all agreed on the scenario we want to discuss. When heebie comes back with more info, then we can discuss that scenario.

Given that they're in a relationship, he's supposed to be concerned about costs that she will pay.

Sure, but even if you could expect him to be more concerned about her well-being than she is, you can't expect him to have a clearer idea of her best interests than she does.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 12:17 PM
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511 -- Looks more to me that you're arguing tautologies.

524 -- Obviously, if you assume that she communicated clearly to him, and that he deceived her, by act or omission, then her fault isn't in being deceived, it's in going through with purchase and then marriage with someone who lies to her. I'm not looking for an excuse to blame her, really I'm not. It is a fact, though, that from where the sun now stands, she bears primary responsibility for her happiness in life.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 12:18 PM
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The words: "The punctilio of an honor the most sensitive" seem apropos.

Gosh, do I have to get into another argument? That has got to be one of the most meaningless, incomprehensible and annoying phrases in the history of law or well anythign. We are all screwed if we are looking to apply the law of fiduciary duty for relationship advice.

With Heebie's friends, we have no idea what happened. But I'll stick with my general rule: in couples, absent outright lying, communication problems are not unilateral mistakes, they involve two people. Would they have been better off if he'd been more direct? Sure. If she'd been more direct? Sure. Whatever communication dynamic allowed that directness not to happen can probably be "blamed" (in a practical, not a moral sense, I'm not calling anyone a moral monster) on both of them and how they talk to each other. I believe I have 90% of wishy washy marriage counselors on my side on this.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 12:18 PM
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Show of hands: who believes that AWB's date was actually getting a BJ from some random girl?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 12:21 PM
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90% of wishy washy marriage counselors on my side on this.

90 percent recommend plastic surgery and pretending to be other people.

And lots of travel for work.



Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 12:23 PM
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If he was getting a bj, he would have sent a picture. That is what a decent person would have done.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 12:24 PM
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531: It's none of our business if AWB went out with Robert Plant in 1973.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 12:24 PM
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522, 527: I think it's possible to be a little more charitable about the behavior of both people. They are in love. They want to be together. They are both really eager to paper over differences that would keep them from being together. This happens all the time.

But marriage, like the impending gallows, focuses the mind. One of them (finally!) forces the issue, and they both get a little clarity.

(Do we know, heebie, which one forced the issue? Did he volunteer this info, or did she demand it?)


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 12:25 PM
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531: Clearly not.


Posted by: Rance | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 12:26 PM
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I'm actually very puzzled about how you could get to the closing of buying a house without the issue resolving itself beforehand, unless someone was lying or someone else was really culpably oblivious. How could you look at houses without explicitly talking about how many bedrooms you were going to need, and why?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 12:27 PM
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531: Either way, its a weird thing to say. If the BJ was real, he was being insulting to two women. If he made up the story of a BJ, he was just being extra insulting to AWB.

I might be snitty about this though, because I realized just now that if I tried to pull off a move like that, I would have to ask my partner to stop and explain to me how the cell phone works.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 12:28 PM
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bedrooms

I thought about this also. However, otherwise reasonable people can be funny about homes and cars; if they're somewhere where land is cheap, everything is too big. Garage in front or back or no slpit-levels!!! may be a more sensitive topic than how many bedrooms.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 12:31 PM
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535 to 537, but yeah.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 12:31 PM
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I'm actually very puzzled about how you could get to the closing of buying a house without the issue resolving itself beforehand

Home buying by non-married couples drives me crazy.

They typically have no earthly idea about what will happen if they break up. Or they have vastly different, yet unspoken, ideas about what should happen.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 12:31 PM
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A friend of mine back in grad school went through the Catholic pre-marriage thing and he said that it was really quite shocking just how few of the other couples had given serious thought and discussion to money, kids, etc.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 12:32 PM
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538.2: Don't feel bad, rob! So would 1973 Robert Plant!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 12:35 PM
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542: What do people believe marriage is for? Mumble mumble godless culture mumble post-industrial alienation mumble narcissism mumble?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 12:36 PM
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544: Don't you believe in LOVE?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 12:38 PM
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Robert Plant

Seems more like Vanilla Ice or a better read version of a minor character from the second year of The Wire.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 12:40 PM
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545: "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things."


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 12:44 PM
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547: I will forever associate the end of that quotation with Obama's inaugural.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 12:47 PM
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|| When Australian relatives send hoodies with animal ears, they are KANGAROO ears. I am so excited.|>


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 12:48 PM
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Do these hoodies have a single, large pocket on the front?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 12:51 PM
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550: Of course! (The tshirt has a koala, but it isn't quite as exciting.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 12:53 PM
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519: Bc it is my reading comprehension at fault.

Are there other blogs where insulting someone's reading comprehension is probably the meanest thing you can say to them?

Also, I believe the BJ in 486 was about as real as something analogously improbable.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 12:53 PM
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548: It's a little threadbare with use, but one can't deny the quality of 1 Corinthians. The next line is my favorite, pace all the bad stuff about Paul and the Pauline letters that fills the annals of Biblical criticism: "For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known."

549: I saw wild kangaroos in Australia last year. I was so gratified.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 12:53 PM
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551: Koalas are totally exciting: they're all so hopped up on eucalyptus leaves they have the strength of ten Crocodile Hunters.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 12:54 PM
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553.2: Of course you were! A friend was just complaining that he lived in Antarctica for a year and never saw a penguin -- it just seems wrong.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 12:57 PM
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That's a lot better than our native 'possum hoody.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 12:57 PM
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Sorry to switch back to birth control, but after last year's surgery to scoop out uterine polyps I'm back to bleeding far more than my little low-blood-pressure self can tolerate happily. My lazy plan has been to keep tolerating that crankily, but the surgeon's suggestion was that if bleeding recurred I should go on pills. I really don't want to, but I don't need the birth-controlling component and wonder if I should just do it or see if something else like Mirena or just NuvaRing might work. Is it still hard for women who've never given birth to convince a doctor to insert an IUD? Any advice?


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 1:05 PM
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557: Of course, YMMV, but I was just talking to someone who got a tubal ligation even though she answered one of the screening questions "wrong" [i.e. she said she would likely regret the decision at some point in the future]. She also mentioned a mutual acquaintance who had had the same procedure, even though she was childless and in her early 20s, by dint of insisting to the doctor that she was crazy, like REALLY CRAZY, and didn't want to inflict that on kids, and if they didn't give her what she wanted, she would just go doctor shopping all over town until she found someone who would.

So I dunno, maybe you just have to be forceful, or crazy-looking, when you talk to them.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 1:14 PM
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They women without children get Mirena -- see BG upthread.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 1:22 PM
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560

er . . . "let" I guess.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 1:25 PM
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561

557: Yeah, I think the 'no IUDs for women without kids' is Dalkon Shield hangover -- I just heard somewhere that there's no detectible higher rate of infertility from Paragard or Mirena. So if you've got a gyno who's reasonable at all, the combination of lesbian-not-planning-to-bear-children and there's-no-real-risk-anyway should get you a Mirena.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 1:28 PM
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559: I know someone else who's managed (and in Boston, no less!) but it took a lot of wrangling with her doctors before they'd agree, which is not something I'd particularly enjoy. In my case, I think doctors would be open to the idea that since my tailbone curves in to the point where it would pose a danger to an enlarged uterus, I'm not at much risk of wanting to put a baby in that inhospitable spot. I realize that the qualms were something about uterine size in the first place, though, so I'm sure the answer is that I'll have to ask my doctor and see what I can get.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 1:28 PM
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557: I don't have the Mirena; I have the copper IUD. My sleep doctor told me not to get one because so many of her firends were infertile from the Dalkon Shield.

But my other doctors weren't. My PCP practices at a women only practice though and told me that if the ob gyn within the hospital to whom she referred me gave me any trouble that I should call her back.

Planned Parenthood would give you no trouble at all. Don't know what the situation is in the South in other settings. There's a livejournal forum devoted to IUDs. They might have good resources for your area.

My first attempt didn't work, so I was referred to a family planning specialist who used the RU-486 drug buccally rather than vaginally and had a whole hot water pad set up. The resident actually did it and it wasn't bad at all.

The first attempt was not good.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 2:01 PM
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564

OT: The young Claudia Cardinale was maddeningly hot.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 2:12 PM
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565

564: just with makeup, or even without it?


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 3:12 PM
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566

She looked pretty good with a kitty. So did Zelda Fitzgerald.


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 3:23 PM
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567

She looked pretty good with a kitty. So did Zelda Fitzgerald.


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 3:23 PM
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568

So good, I had to say it twice.


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 3:24 PM
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569

I feel that way about Monica Vitti. Whenever she is on screen, I can't decide whether I want to be her, or fuck her, or just watch her pick out shoes for about eight hours.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 3:36 PM
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570

Zelda's cat looks slightly throttled. And I can't think of when I've seen a picture of Zelda -- she kind of reminds me of some English actress whose name I can't place who was in a bunch of 70s and 80s English sitcoms. The rich wife on Good Neighbors?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 3:48 PM
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571

Penelope Keith.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 3:53 PM
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572

569: Modesty Blaise is not a very good movie, but it's very watchable.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 3:55 PM
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573

Oh, and of course the BJ wasn't real. I think it fits with the weird pattern of inviting the ex-gf in the hopes that one of us would be driven mad with jealousy (while actually doing something that anyone in their right mind would take as a sign of nearly incredible hostility). I went for a hike with the ex-gf today and apparently after I told him we should probably continue looking elsewhere, he called her and screamed at her for being a cunt who blew up his spot with me.

I hate dating.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 4:12 PM
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574

Also, I asked her what was up with that, and it turns out she'd just gotten out of an emotionally abusive relationship, and he, meanwhile, was on good behavior and actually trying to show her a good time and have fun. They dated very briefly and it destroyed his life when she broke it off, blah blah blah.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 4:15 PM
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564: Yes. I had a pair of sunglasses I dubbed my "Claudia Cardinale" glasses, but the sea took them from me. I picked out a new pair the next week and found out that their model name was "Anouk Aimée."


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 4:18 PM
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576

I hate dating.

Makes for good stories, though.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 4:25 PM
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577

574: What did she break off?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 4:25 PM
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578

God yes, re: Monica Vitti.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 5:10 PM
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579

564: You know who else was smoking? Anna Maria Pierangeli. (I'd never heard of her until the other night, when I randomly stumbled on the tumblr that photo's from; it's dedicated entirely to her.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 5:48 PM
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580

I hate dating.

I think the Ex once remarked, when we passed a billboard advertising some now-forgotten reality show and its "dating expert" hostess, that the definition of dating expertise is not having to do it anymore.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 5:59 PM
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581

580: I guess if your goal is to get into a couple and then die, I suppose so. That's not my goal.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 6:09 PM
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582

That depends on what you think the entelechy of the dater is.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 6:10 PM
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583

I've been looking for that clip from The Leopard where Claudia Cardinale comes in from the rain and is standing in the doorway dripping and breasts heaving, but I can only find little snippets of it.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 6:35 PM
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584

Date or not, Mr. Bond—I expect you to die.


Posted by: A. Goldfinger | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 6:39 PM
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585

583: dammit.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 6:46 PM
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586

Regarding communicating wishes about having children I sort of agree with LB. The issue is, if you are really undecided about whether you want more children and you marry someone with a strong opinion then you should go along with their wishes (as with any other marital decision where one person has a strong preference and the other doesn't). So a don't know could suggest you would be willing to go along with your spouse's wishes. Of course you could argue that in context (where you know your partner strongly wants children) a don't know really means I don't want children but might (or might not) end up willing to have children to accomodate you. But I think this needs to be made explicit.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 7:14 PM
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thorn: the difficulty is getting the IUD through your never-dilated cervix; they do have new models made for women who have never given birth vaginally and although my friend seemed to think it was more painful to insert than mine was, it was still momentary and not just godawful. I think you could reasonably hit your doctor up for some valium and a percodan 3 hours before.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 7:39 PM
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588

aww, flippanter and I have the same king james bible quote! but I don't think he's made up his mind about whether he wants to have children, so...


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 7:49 PM
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589

Hang on, so in this thread it's okay to discuss how hot people are, but in the other thread it's not? Or is it just drunk 20 year olds who can't discuss hotness?


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 11:40 PM
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590

re: 589

Maybe it's OK for us to discuss who's hot, because we are men and women of the world, and shit? Not hypocritical at all, oh no...


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-20-11 11:57 PM
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591

589, 590: Claudia Cardinale, etc, are professionally hot. It's OK to discuss that.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-21-11 2:06 AM
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592

Oh right, silly me. What about bike riders? I mean, if they didn't want people to look at them they wouldn't be cycling all over the country dressed in lycra ...


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 09-21-11 2:49 AM
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593

592: It is a rare cyclist whose presence comprises the fraught mystery and solemn ethereality of S.na Cardinale.

588: "Don't we all already have a Child, in Baby Jesus?" typed the Reverend Ricky Bobby, D.D.*

* "Look, I like the Christmas Jesus best, and I'm sayin' grace. When you say grace, you can say it to Grownup Jesus or Teenage Jesus or Bearded Jesus or whoever you want."


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-21-11 3:01 AM
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592: in my personal experience, most people (pedestrians and drivers) don't even notice bike riders, whatever they're wearing. My pleasure at not being objectified is slightly marred by my irritation at repeatedly nearly being killed.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-21-11 3:10 AM
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re: 502

Clearly there is a lycra exemption. I've just been in Genoa at the European championships for the martial art I do, and you'll pry my right to discreetly objectify lycra-clad women from my cold dead hands.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-21-11 3:43 AM
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596

I might try a Lady Godiva round Reading one day ... see if that helps.

But anyway, I was talking about professional bike riders. If they're getting the roads closed for them, then surely it's ok to objectify them? And if one happened to find oneself in a London square next to where they were getting changed out of said Lycra into jeans and T-shirts in the open air, then is it acceptable to (discreetly) watch?


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 09-21-11 3:45 AM
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597

I'm glad we're both discreet!


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 09-21-11 3:45 AM
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598

Surely the point of 589 is that it's OK to objectify them as long as you objectify them all equally. A fair day's ogle for a fair day's Lycra should be your principle.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-21-11 3:50 AM
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599

Shit. That's never going to work. I mean, I can try, but I do have a favourite.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 09-21-11 3:54 AM
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600

re: 597

Yes!

At the world championships last year the moustachioed ring director pulled us aside before one series of fights and gave us a solemn warning. When translated, it turned out he was warning us that as this was an under 48kg [or maybe a 48-52] women's match, so not to be distracted by the loveliness of the people involved.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-21-11 3:54 AM
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600: I am puzzled as to the relevance of the moustache here.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-21-11 3:57 AM
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re: 600

Heh. He looks like some Professeur Calculus caricature of the aging boxe f. judge. Big grey walrus moustache. So the comment re: ogling was very French.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-21-11 4:02 AM
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603

Professor Calculus, who, of course, knew s/avate. It all makes sense...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Calculus_savate.png


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-21-11 4:21 AM
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589: To be humorless about it (and of course not speaking for humorless feminists generally) I don't see anything wrong with enjoying looking at attractive people (as long as you're not annoying them with it). I start getting my humorless going at discussions of why someone isn't really attractive enough for a discerning person to enjoy looking at -- if someone doesn't appeal to you, go look at something else.

So, this thread, not so much a problem, Heebie's college kids, kind of jerks. They're kids, and hopefully they'll grow out of it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-21-11 4:34 AM
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592: Why, as a pedestrian, just last night I noticed a bicyclist who was not only wearing lycra but also had only one arm, the other lycra sleeve tied off at the shoulder. That may have made him more noticeable than the average bicyclist, though.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-21-11 5:25 AM
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606

as a pedestrian, just last night I noticed a bicyclist

The bicyclists of the world thank you. More like Thorn please, and fewer trying to kill themselves by flinging them under my front wheel as though I were some sort of environmentally responsible Juggernaut.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-21-11 5:50 AM
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607

As a frequent pedestrian, I wish that cyclists who decide they need to ride on the sidewalk don't rely on lycra to be noticed. I can't see in back of me and I often can't hear a bike over heavy traffic (and heavy traffic is usually the reason the bike is on the sidewalk). A bell would work great. You certainly can't count on me holding to a straight line down the sidewalk unless I know someone is about to overtake me.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-21-11 6:09 AM
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608

607 is entirely correct.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-21-11 6:13 AM
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609

A bell would work great

Abel would work great, too, except for, um. Oops.


Posted by: Cain | Link to this comment | 09-21-11 6:15 AM
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610

Did you get all settled yet?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-21-11 6:21 AM
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611

Round here there are about equal numbers of people cycling on the pavement as on the road. All the ones on the road look like decent citizens and all the ones on the pavement are 20something boys looking as if they're on their way either to or from a dealer. I never move out of their way, and try to point out that there is a road just next to us. I have asked a couple if they are scared to use the road. C tells me I'll get punched one day, but it's SO FUCKING ANNOYING.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 09-21-11 6:31 AM
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I don't mind the bikes on the stretch of sidewalk where I usually see them. I just want notice. I do see people bike on the road there, but I wouldn't do it and don't blame anybody who doesn't want to.

It's a long bridge, very heavily traveled, the road has no shoulder at all, the cars go close to 50 mph, there is no reasonable alternative route, and the bridge is between the park with all the bike trails and the place where the undergraduates all live.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-21-11 6:39 AM
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613

the road has no shoulder at all, the cars go close to 50 mph

TAKE THE LANE. Then the cars won't go 50 mph anymore.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-21-11 6:40 AM
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614

Anybody who bikes it does take the lane. I'm sure it is safer than trying to ride on the shoulder. I'd rather drive a burning Pinto that ride that stretch on a bike.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-21-11 6:47 AM
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615

my only complaint is that I just don't see enough ogle-worthy men IRL. up your game, dudes. or rather, up your game, straight dudes.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 09-21-11 7:57 AM
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616

and flippanter, couldn't you at least decide when to decide? it's for the children, you know.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 09-21-11 8:05 AM
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615 -- To hear my wife and our young (30) house guest tell, this doesn't seem to be an issue hereabouts. Well, obviously it's an issue here in the house, but they've had some successful ogling (and this weekend are going on a wilderness photography class with, inter alia, an object of such) about town.

We're heading for Helena shortly: I'll try to post an update from Last Chance Gulch.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-21-11 8:12 AM
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618

At the start of hot yoga, I am usually happy about all the beautiful people in the class.

But, within about 15 min, I have mostly forgotten about the beauty and am mostly just hot and too focused on how to freakin get my body in some approximation of the correct position.

About 30 mins after the class, I remember that there were some attractive women in the class.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-21-11 8:38 AM
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619

Also, I was reminded about my poor phyical conditon when two young, fit men came to class and my friend happily exclaimed, "Finally, some eye candy!"


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-21-11 8:40 AM
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620

Heh. There are a lot of ridiculously fit and attractive people doing the martial arty thing. A couple of the top Euro people are also working models. Makes schlubby fat shites like me feel a bit out of place.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-21-11 8:45 AM
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621

I wonder what it's like to supermodel/rockstar hot but then flame out. One of the bands I play with infrequently has a frontman who's young (25) and hot by some set of indie-rock standards (er, aloof, skinny dude with unkempt hair and deep, earnest, brown eyes), and he certainly seems to enjoy the, uh, benefits.

I kinda suspect it might be a bit jarring for him to realize, at some hypothetical point in the future, that he's no longer as young and hot as used to be. And I imagine that has to be kind of devastating, all his musical talents (and he really is phenomenally good) notwithstanding.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-21-11 9:30 AM
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622

Stanley, do you also wonder what it's like to have your number of orgasms fall from it's astronomical peak?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-21-11 9:33 AM
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623

621: I wonder what it's like to supermodel/rockstar hot but then flame out.

I'll post about it when it happens.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-21-11 9:34 AM
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624

or rather, up your game, straight dudes.

Homophobe!


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 09-21-11 9:36 AM
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625

621: That's why it is important to become rich and famous. That way the "benefits" continue after the loss of youth and beauty.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-21-11 9:39 AM
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626

my only complaint is that I just don't see enough ogle-worthy men IRL.

Actually I'll be visiting Narnia in a few months. Just sayin'.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-21-11 9:41 AM
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627

624: I misinterpreted 615


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 09-21-11 9:42 AM
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628

622: I'm unencumbered by such concerns.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-21-11 9:56 AM
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629

615, 616: I can comb my hair or I can be decisive. Not both.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-21-11 5:34 PM
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630

wait, ajay, but really? because I'll take you ton eat somewhere; I've done it for nameless lurkers before, I can certainly do it for so respected a member of the community as yourself.


Posted by: alameidaa | Link to this comment | 09-21-11 9:00 PM
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631

ton s/b to, though we will eat a ton.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 09-21-11 9:00 PM
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632

I recently saw a travel/food show about Narnia. It made me very hungry. Except for the bone soup. That did not make me hungry.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-22-11 5:48 AM
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