Re: Fallback positions

1

I've only read the link, and not the stuff linked in the link, but it looks like more women would rather be single than be traditional housewives. That's not the same as preferring divorce.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 6:15 AM
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Or maybe I should say rather that the chart doesn't seem to back the language of the post.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 6:17 AM
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Lee and I are part of a longitudinal study of adopting parents, many of whom are gay. And so every year we have to talk to researchers about our ideal preferred breakdown of labor and our actual one. I was sort of surprised that Lee would prefer to work part-time, but I don't think her preference would be to do childcare. I don't mind the setup we have now (where most days I can drop Nia at school at 7:45 and pick her up between 4 and 6) but it would be nice to be home during the day more to cook and get little cleaning jobs done and have some time to myself without all the noise. We've got a good enough system for now, I think.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 6:18 AM
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Oh yeah, I was getting hung up on that, too. "Would I want to stay home? Hell no. Would I actually divorce Jammies over it? I can't imagine him putting that kind of ultimatum to me in a unilateral dictatorship way that would make me feel like I needed to divorce him"


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 6:18 AM
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4: Yes. I think the question makes it impossible to separate the "I don't want to stay home" from the "I married an asshole" elements.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 6:23 AM
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I dislike the study's assumption that you can't have one spouse at home and also have an "equal partnership". Or maybe that was just some bad phrasing by the journalist.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 6:32 AM
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Would a word like 'symmetrical/asymmetrical' be less offensive? A breadwinner/SAH marriage can be 'equal' in the mutual respect/personal worth sense, but once you're looking at specific axes of measurement (time spent on parenting tasks; financial autonomy; and so on) you're getting into asymmetries/inequalities that I think it's a mistake to elide.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 6:39 AM
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It doesn't seem to be possible to look at the original research without buying the book, and it does seem like the author of the blog post sort of dropped divorce in there.

That said, this is evocative of some couples I know, where the dude is more comfortable with a neotraditional arrangement (and has a high-time, high-stress job), but what seems to end up happening in practice is that the dude works all the time and the woman basically works and does child care semi-indendently. It is not obviously terribly optimal from the outside but nobody's talking about getting divorced.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 6:50 AM
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And I'd join the criticisms in the comments at the link that the study would have gotten more interesting results if the questions were gender-neutral. If you asked people whether they'd rather be in a symmetrical/egalitarian marriage, a breadwinner/SAH marriage as the breadwinner, a breadwinner/SAH marriage as the SAH, or single, while I'd expect more women than men to rate being a SAH more highly, I'd expect the overall order of preference to be the same for both genders.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 6:52 AM
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do they not hand out valium at the dr.'s anymore in america? has the war on drugs worked in this respect? or xanax?


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 6:53 AM
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8: I've already bought my book for the week.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 6:53 AM
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I'm not seeing valium on the street but xanax is everywhere.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 7:01 AM
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This stuff is interesting to speculate about because there are a lot of "do not discuss" taboos involved.

My wife is basically on the same career track I am, but three years behind. Therefore the next time we move, the homo economicus would say it should be for my job rather than hers, since I'm qualified for higher-paying jobs. This will reinforce the pattern. Theoretically path dependence will eventually lead to me having a way better job than her, mostly just because she's younger.

What would it be like if she was the one who was 3 years ahead of me? Would I feel doomed by a future of being marginalized by my wife's superior earning power? A lot of men who could not have imagine themselves feeling resentful in that scenario, end up feeling resentful. Or would I still feel that general norms of sexism in hiring, promotion, etc. will lead to me eventually getting a better job than her? Would that make me feel good or bad?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 7:01 AM
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Do you have to keep moving in your field?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 7:05 AM
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My wife is basically on the same career track I am, but three years behind. Therefore the next time we move, the homo economicus would say it should be for my job rather than hers, since I'm qualified for higher-paying jobs. This will reinforce the pattern. Theoretically path dependence will eventually lead to me having a way better job than her, mostly just because she's younger.

This conflict (moving, or not, for somebody's job or the other) ended up ruining my parents' marriage (I mean, I think it was the whole story, but) as they had moved to [ shitty small New England city without much going on ] for my mom's work, with the understanding that next time they moved it would be for my dad's career. Then, by the time that came up, my mom's career was totally taking off in [ SSNECWMGO ] so she didn't feel like it made sense for her to move. He moved to [ much bigger city ] for a job, she stayed put, things fell apart. Then, later, she moved to Boston and he eventually moved back to be near me, at what I suspect was some cost to his career prospects.

No idea what lesson there is to be taken from this, except maybe "never move for work", but that doesn't seem terribly practical.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 7:11 AM
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13.3: Another asymmetrical pattern that I think tends to show up is that when you have a couple that's initially intending to symmetrically weight both careers, and the man's career has an initial advantage (like yours), homo economicus/path dependence takes over, and the couple continues to prioritize the man's career. Where the woman's career is initially better paying/higher prestige, whatever, I've seen more consciously egalitarian decision making, where the couple is willing to take some net immediate economic damage by prioritizing the man's career so that the couple can restore professional equality.

In the first case, there are sensible economic reasons for the decision, in the second, there are principled equality-based reasons, but I have the impression (based on no data) that which value controls what's happening changes depending on how the genders work out.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 7:14 AM
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Hah. 16 crossed with 15, but I think 15 fits the pattern I'm describing (as a breakdown case): homo economicus-style valuing a woman's career over a man's is marriage-ending, whereas the reverse case is how things just sort of naturally happen.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 7:17 AM
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(and of course any individual marriage has much more going on in it than just one thing.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 7:18 AM
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13

... Therefore the next time we move, the homo economicus would say it should be for my job rather than hers, since I'm qualified for higher-paying jobs. ...

This isn't actually true. It would depend on your respective long term potentials and on which move would best optimize your combined career prospects.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 7:18 AM
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We know one couple where the dad is currently stay-at-home and the mom is the sole breadwinner; he has been sort of half-assedly looking for a job (having recently received an advanced degree of the type increasingly unworth the paper upon which they are printed) but they are about to move to one of those [ SSNECWMGO ] type places for her career, which will presumably not make that any easier. On the other hand, I think he sort of loves to stay home, as long as he doesn't have to get too crazy about cleaning, and any push towards a more ambitious career on his part has mostly come from his wife (she, for instance, was a strong motivating force behind his returning to school).

I know another couple in that situation, where the dad was like "wait, I could just stop going to my stupid job and hang out at home with the kids, and I'll get praise for it? I will do this thing."


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 7:20 AM
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||

NMM2 Reg Presley (NSFW)

|>


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 7:22 AM
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"wait, I could just stop going to my stupid job and hang out at home with the kids, and I'll get praise for it? I will do this thing."
This is totally me. I just need to find some kids.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 7:24 AM
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Predictions are hard, especially when they're about the future. But with ten marriages like that, and ten marriages with SAH women, I'd expect more of the men to be seriously back in the workforce at a higher paid/more prestigious level than the women a decade from now.

As the result of mutual decision making and all that, within a marriage it's hard to tell if anyone's getting a bad deal, people making different choices aren't necessarily being oppressed. But I have the impression that more mutual couple work goes into investing in a stalled male career than a stalled female career.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 7:25 AM
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I'll be your kid, Eggplant! I hardly ever poop myself.


Posted by: Awl | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 7:27 AM
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18: eh, my description was fairly reductive just based on what I know about the situation (as a four-year-old I wasn't following the details too closely as they happened). I wouldn't necessarily buy reducing it further to a case of that specific pathology. (For instance, if you were to name the member of the couple most troubled by the asymmetry in professional achievement, you might not get that one right.)


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 7:27 AM
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7

It seems to me (never having been married of course) that one of the advantages of marriage is that you can pair with someone with complementary (rather than identical) strengths and weaknesses so I don't see why a symmetric marriage should be ideal.

16

... Where the woman's career is initially better paying/higher prestige, whatever, I've seen more consciously egalitarian decision making, where the couple is willing to take some net immediate economic damage by prioritizing the man's career so that the couple can restore professional equality.

In particular I don't see maintaining professional equality as making sense if it means holding back the spouse with better prospects. There is an issue of course if the more ambitious spouse is also the less talented.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 7:29 AM
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(For instance, if you were to name the member of the couple most troubled by the asymmetry in professional achievement, you might not get that one right.)

Oh, I think a lot of gender-asymmetrical decision-making is driven by women as much as men. We all grow up in the same society, with the same values. Women might end up systematically dispreferring the way the sum of all the decisions based on conventional gender roles turn out, but that doesn't mean we're not likely to be applying the same sort of asymmetrical decision rules just like men are.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 7:32 AM
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I moved twice for my wife's career, the second time resentfully. We had discussed moving once for her and then once for me. After the first move, the second move was the economically rational choice on economic grounds, but still fuck a load of that shit.


Posted by: Chester A. Arthur | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 7:35 AM
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26

...There is an issue of course if the more ambitious spouse is also the less talented.

Actually there are likely to be issues as long as both spouses are ambitious careerwise (and in conflicting careers) so perhaps they shouldn't marry each other. Although there are advantages of course to marrying someone you understand.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 7:37 AM
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Yes!!!

I spend a fair amount of my weeks working on issues related to people moving. People are often pissed off that they are not free to move far away (with the children) from the other parent of their children so that they can take a new job.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 7:38 AM
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28

... We had discussed moving once for her and then once for me. ...

I suspect this sort of deal often doesn't work out and is perhaps better avoided.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 7:41 AM
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I've moved repeatedly for rtfs' work, but being a computer programmer makes that easier -- I've been working for the same company, modulo corporate acquisitions, since... 2007, I think? Despite moving cross-country twice in that span. We have friends in the area who are in exactly the same situation: she's an academic, he's a computer programmer working remotely.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 7:42 AM
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I had to stay home with sick 3 year old two days last week, and I could never do that full time- he's the most demanding of our kids, both age and personality-wise (yes, more demanding than the 5-month old.)
We didn't move for my career exactly although that's how we chose where to initially settle. I'm limited to a relatively small number of metro areas whereas wife is in a career with jobs anywhere. But I think it's bullshit that people in my field are paid a multiple of her salary- I've jokingly said that she should come work for me, she's a lot smarter than a lot of the people I've hired. Then we agreed that would be a terrible horrible no good very bad idea.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 7:43 AM
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-- I agree with 1; the study seems to show that most women would rather be single mothers than be stay-at-home housewives. This is not the same as "they would rather get divorced". The author could just as accurately have written a post saying that, faced with a husband who wants them to be a housewife or work part-time, three quarters of women said they would murder him. ("Did you ever consider divorce?" "Divorce, never. But murder, often.)

-- There is surely quite a big difference between "stay at home housewife" and "part time job" - but the research seems to chuck both of those in the bucket marked "neotraditional". Everyone from Defrosted 1950s Woman to, say, a lawyer who has gone down to a shorter week because she has a young child falls into this category. But would 3/4 of women really prefer to be single parents, working full time, than be married and working three days a week?

-- And I agree with 9 that it would have been very interesting to see the gender-reversed versions as well.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 8:00 AM
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I think a huge number of parents would appreciate career-track jobs that were actually 30 hours a week. With the free market operating so frictionlessly, such a thing will be widely available any minute now.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 8:05 AM
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Move to France, you commie!


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 8:08 AM
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35: why limit it to parents? Sounds pretty good for the childless too...


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 8:08 AM
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I have my kids on Tues and Thurs and every other friday to monday am. (My ex has Mon and Weds and every other friday to mon am.)

When my daughter has a seizure on Tues or Thurs, I have to stop work. "Sorry, client. gotta go." I have to leave work by 5 pm on Tues and Thurs. (Often earlier due to child care arrangements.)

For many men, it has simply never crossed their mind that they would be the one who sacrifices work time for their kids. For many women, they grow up thinking that they will make that sacrifice. I think that is changing rapidly, but I have that conversation with clients regularly.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 8:12 AM
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True. I'd enjoy such a thing, childlessly.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 8:12 AM
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Maybe all business will cut worker hours in order to duck benefits, and then that will become the norm, and then we'll be forced to provide universal free health care and benefits but the reduced hours will stay intact. Next, profit and ponies.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 8:13 AM
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40:

The women-folk will take care of the pony though, right?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 8:15 AM
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I forgot to mention that when I was home with kid last week I called in to a meeting and in the middle of it he ran in yelling, "I have to go pooooooop!" Unfortunately the phone I was on doesn't have a mute button. Our project manager records the meetings on a Livescribe so now it's preserved forever.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 8:15 AM
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42:

That is awesome. I hope you obtain a copy of that so you can pull it out at his wedding.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 8:17 AM
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Aaaaaaaarg I wish I could find the CT post this post is reminding me of; someone (for some reason I defaulted to thinking Farrell?) said he begins some classes by asking everyone how they imagine themselves career/relationwise in $years, and how they imagine some of their friends? Or something? And many of the guys imagine asymmetrical relationships with themselves as the breadwinner, and few of the girls imagine themselves in asymmetrical relationships with themselves not as the breadwinner, but do imagine many of their acquaintances so situated? Or something????


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 8:34 AM
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Hey it occurs to me that I know a couple that just divorced because the dude decided that, now that his career had reached a certain point, it was time to move to the burbs and have babies that his wife could quit (or scale back) her job to stay home and take care of. That's less neo-traditional than echt-traditional, though.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 8:40 AM
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5 to 45.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 8:42 AM
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True. He wasn't as much of an asshole when she was supporting him, though.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 8:45 AM
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48

44: this one?


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 8:48 AM
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Probably a constant level of assholiness, but he was saving it. I'm personally saving all my assholiness for the nursing home because I'd rather dump it on strangers.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 8:48 AM
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49: That sort of thing can lead to hemorrhoids and anal fissures.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 8:52 AM
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Some of the best child rearing arrangements I've seen come from divorced parents who still get along well. Something like 3-4 adults who split 50% time with 2-3 kids, with the added advantage of twice the extended support system (e.g. more friends & grandmothers to watch a kid a short notice).

Everyone gets lots of kid time, but also lots of non-kid time. It works so well, sometimes I wonder if it would be worth considering setting up intentionally...


Posted by: A Lea. Toric | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 8:52 AM
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51: I've thought that myself -- that if you could separate out the practicalities of joint custody where everyone lives close from the emotional fallout of a marriage breakup, that it looks like a very practical and humane way of managing childrearing. (Except the commuting for the kid. That seems stressy, although I'm not sure how much of it is innate commuting stress and how much is that handoffs are where parents come into conflict.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 8:57 AM
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51: Sarah Hrdy is all over that - not specifically divorce, but the importance of alloparenting. (Grandparents, parents' siblings etc).


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 8:58 AM
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If it were not for child support, custody battles would be "No! You take the kids!"


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 8:59 AM
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When I die, I will bequeath my fortune to support research into a method of producin' humans quietly and unobtrusively from eggs. All parental responsibility to devolve upon the incubator.


Posted by: Opinionated Lord Peter Wimsey | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 9:04 AM
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Not that I wrote 55, but I just read that line over the weekend. It's in The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 9:05 AM
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57

I love my husband and my children and I don't want to get divorced but a growing part of me really wants to have separate households. Or, at least, a small apartment to escape to from time to time.


Posted by: Martha Jefferson | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 9:06 AM
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Yeah if the parents are getting along well and are both functional, no problem. How many married couples does that describe, I wonder?

One arrangement that would maximise stability for kids in a breakup is: kids stay in family home, parents alternate shuttling in and out. Basically nobody does this, though. I don't know whether expense or controlling living space particulars is the main issue. Probably money.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 9:06 AM
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Alternating kid time and non-kid time is great. But it's pretty difficult even if people are well intentioned and mellow to manage child rearing of a single kid in separate households.

Really, it's like a lot of alternative/communal living ideas -- if everyone gets along well, having a big group of friends all live together in a big house is the best thing ever. But it only takes a little but of conflict and all of a sudden people are arguing about lists of rules, fighting over who pays for what, and leaving passive aggressive notes about leftover hair in the shower drain.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 9:07 AM
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48: yes! Henry, Harry, what's the difference?

Everyone, look at that link, if you thought the post was interesting.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 9:08 AM
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Or, at least, a small apartment to escape to from time to time.

I'll bet you could find a bunch of similarly-inclined people to enter into some sort of time-sharing arrangement to meet this need.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 9:10 AM
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59 - My college roommate's parents actually lived such a commune, but when all the communards' kids started getting to an age when they discovered that they had different philosophies of child-rearing, they made the sensible decision to shut the thing down rather than flip out and murder one another for their failures in parenting.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 9:11 AM
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And it was linked here -- I remember we had a comment thread on it. Linked by you, in fact.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 9:11 AM
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I'm Hank's biggest booster.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 9:15 AM
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51 Some of the best child rearing arrangements I've seen come from divorced parents who still get along well.

But, also, some of the worst.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 9:15 AM
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From divorced parents who don't get along well, that is. Presumably this is hard to figure out in advance.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 9:16 AM
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66: It probably depends on how many times the name "Hooters" appears in the filing.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 9:17 AM
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It seems to me (never having been married of course) that one of the advantages of marriage is that you can pair with someone with complementary (rather than identical) strengths and weaknesses so I don't see why a symmetric marriage should be ideal.

This is an argument for traditional/neotraditional marriage, and there's something to it; division of labor and all that. The problem with it is that, if we're talking about the sort of complementarity that we are talking about: more focus on achievement in the paid workforce as opposed to more focus on domesticity, there aren't that many people who consistently prefer the domestic role. 'Traditional' marriage with a focus on paid work for the man and domesticity for the woman was enforced with a lot of obstacles for women attempting to focus on achievement in the workforce, and people making choices now are still working off the remnants of that system, rather than following their bliss.

Ideally, someone who really wants a high powered career would find a partner who really wanted to be a caretaker. But it's a hard matching problem -- there are simply a lot more of the first than of the second.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 9:18 AM
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||

Exciting new male-female dynamic: 55-year-old woman disturbed by 19-year-old man masturbating to her

|>


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 9:18 AM
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Young couples on the verge of marriage would do well to consider that, should they be planning on having children and divorcing.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 9:18 AM
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Is there any statistically perceptible incidence of un-romantically-involved parents who go into it intentionally meaning to coparent in separate households? Two single people having a kid together? Coldbloodedly, it seems like something at least some people would want to do. In practice, I've never heard of it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 9:23 AM
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70 to 66. Also, am I the only one who objects to this child-"rearing" jargon? When I have children I won't put them at the rear of anything (except to put them in the rear seat of the car, because they'll be at the forefront of my mind as far as safety!). Child-fronting, that's for me.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 9:27 AM
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Didn't Douglas Adams have something in one of his books about how aliens studied the human race and determined that no less than 6 individuals are required for successful procreation?
I highly recommend having a PANK living downstairs.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 9:28 AM
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71 -- Not quite the same thing, but I know a family where a gay man (intentionally) fathered a child with 1/2 of a lesbian couple, and they (intentionally) set things up in advance such that the father and two mothers would share custody and child-rearing among the two households. The kid is now about ten and things seem to have gone absolutely swimmingly from the outside, but I also get the impression that the lesbian couple is very much in charge and that in cases of conflict the default is that their decision prevails.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 9:29 AM
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PANK?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 9:29 AM
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71 sounds like, say, King Edward VII. Marry for dynastic reasons, bang out a kid or two, then separate palaces and (pretty much) separate lives.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 9:30 AM
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71. John Edwards and Rachida Dati. Maybe Britney Spears or January Jones.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 9:31 AM
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Is there any statistically perceptible incidence of un-romantically-involved parents who go into it intentionally meaning to coparent in separate households? Two single people having a kid together? Coldbloodedly, it seems like something at least some people would want to do. In practice, I've never heard of it.

There was a movie about that last year, starring Adam Scott. Maybe life will imitate art.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 9:31 AM
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74: I'd count that as the same thing, actually. So it happens at least sometimes.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 9:31 AM
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72: the whole condition first language is a problem, too. It's not "a child". It's a person with childishness.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 9:32 AM
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PANK?

Parent-Assisting North Korean. A sort of cut-price refugee nanny who teaches your kids mass gymnastics and goose-stepping.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 9:32 AM
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PANK


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 9:32 AM
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John Edwards and Rachida Dati. Maybe Britney Spears or January Jones.

My God, he got around, didn't he?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 9:33 AM
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What about a PUNK?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 9:33 AM
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Persons of Unusual No-Kidness? I don't think they exist.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 9:34 AM
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RRRAAAAAAAGGGGHHHH


Posted by: Opinionated Childless Person | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 9:34 AM
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I think they focused on PANK first based on the gender assumption that women like taking care of kids/spending money on them more.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 9:35 AM
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Buck's best friend in high school had a resident PUNK. Early programmer dude, very weird, liked hanging out with his nephews and their friends and introducing them to culture and technology.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 9:38 AM
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Didn't Douglas Adams have something in one of his books about how aliens studied the human race and determined that no less than 6 individuals are required for successful procreation?

No, I think you're thinking of William Tenn's "Venus and the Seven Sexes".

||

Good to see ScarJo keeping alive the hot ____ image, even though I can't quite figure out what should be substituted for ____ here.

|>


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 9:38 AM
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I've thought that myself -- that if you could separate out the practicalities of joint custody where everyone lives close from the emotional fallout of a marriage breakup, that it looks like a very practical and humane way of managing childrearing.

Hippie (please excuse the terrible colors on that page).


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 9:39 AM
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woman?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 9:39 AM
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91 to 89.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 9:40 AM
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LW is referring to nesting. It rarely works well for more than 4-6 months, if that. I have seen a huge increase in it, mostly due to financial circumstances.

I want to push back against the term "get along well." It is sometimes used to imply that parents have to like each other in order to co-parent well. That thought does a disservice to people.

Divorced couples often need good structure and good support, Good fences make good neighbors. If you help them learn to focus on process, they can be successful co-parents. (Even when they hate each other.)


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 9:41 AM
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I am now on the committee that creates the trainings foster parents have to attend to keep up their certification (though none of my trainings will be mandatory) and we're focusing this year on the idea of shared parenting and making it work when you may not like the other person (parent or the state and its representatives) and I think will is as wise as would be expected.

Mara has been complaining lately about not wanting to live with two moms. I pressed her on the point and she decided she wanted me to move out and her dad to move in with Lee so she could have a mom and dad and they'd both have brown skin like her. While this is never going to happen, the potential for a reality tv show premise seems high.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 9:44 AM
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I know that I have pimped this out before:

http://www.collaborativepractice.com/

People are often assholes. But, people are often unsuccessful because they have never been taught how to co-parent from two separate households. It really isnt as easy as "If they are just nice people who care about the kids, they will get along well." That is ridiculous.

Most people think that they care about their own kids. It is the other person who is being a jerk.

I love this article: He who cast the first stone probably didnt.
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/24/opinion/24gilbert.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 9:47 AM
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91: That's your comment 24 in the CT thread?


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 9:47 AM
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96: Who can say after all those years?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 9:51 AM
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but really, my women


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 9:52 AM
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Ideally, someone who really wants a high powered career would find a partner who really wanted to be a caretaker. But it's a hard matching problem -- there are simply a lot more of the first than of the second.

Do you think so? "High-powered" makes it a debatable proposition. Job/career that "earns me money, gets me out of the house, allows me to talk to grown-ups, and/or gives me a feeling of accomplishment unrelated to diapers" I would buy. Maybe "high-powered" carries a different connotation for you.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 9:59 AM
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High-powered was the wrong word for what I meant, which was something more like "not as a default treated as less important than domestic caretaking." Closer to what you said.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 10:02 AM
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Ideally, someone who really wants a high powered career would find a partner who really wanted to be a caretaker. But it's a hard matching problem -- there are simply a lot more of the first than of the second.

I'm not sure that's true. I suspect a lot more people would be happy with a less high powered life if they could make enough money or otherwise acquire the things they need for a decent (not extravagant, but secure and all basic needs met) standard of living. Also, our society is insane. It wouldn't take much of a shift I think for people to start reporting different preferences.

I'd be quite happy working less, fwiw. I don't have any great ambitions. I'd like to do useful and interesting work, and get paid enough money (as a family) to live an OK standard of life, with a small amount left over for toys (adult and child) and a bit of leisure. If I could do that working half the week, I would.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 10:02 AM
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101.last: Right on.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 10:06 AM
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101: Well, right, I'm usually arguing the hardline gender egalitarian position in this sort of discussion, and I haven't personally got much of a work-ethic or much in the way of professional ambition. (A giant ego -- I need everyone around me to believe that I'm the smartest person in the room -- but while that looks like ambition in some contexts, it's not really the same thing). If I thought it were responsible and compatible with practical considerations, I'd be perfectly happy not working and doing a lot more elaborate cooking.

But, given the whole sense of responsibility/practical considerations, I'd find a division of labor where I was expected to foreground domestic caretaking over professional achievement strongly undesirable.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 10:08 AM
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(A giant ego -- I need everyone around me to believe that I'm the smartest person in the room -- but while that looks like ambition in some contexts, it's not really the same thing)

The phrase I use to describe myself is, "competitive but not ambitious." I don't know if that just sounds better than "a giant ego" or if it is a different but related dynamic.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 10:10 AM
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I'd find a division of labor where I was expected to foreground domestic caretaking over professional achievement strongly undesirable.

I didn't finish this -- I should have gone on to say that I think that preference is pretty broadly shared.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 10:12 AM
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We have two couples we spend time with who have small kids, and neither of them have a traditional or neo-traditional setup.

In one couple, the father is a stay at home dad. He works in a traditional male profession with shift working -- skilled machinist -- but he doesn't earn enough for it to make economic sense for him to work. His wife works in the City. So he does the odd casual shift when there's a nice bonus to be earned, but is otherwise a full time child carer. The other couple, one works night shifts, so only does three days a week and is at home the other four, and the other works four days a week. So they only need to pay for a couple of days child care a week, and they split the rest.

I think of the traditional family structure as being much more a thing for wealthier people. It's certainly never been a thing in my extended family, even going back forty years or more.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 10:14 AM
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re: 103/104

Yeah. I think that's a common Unfogged personality type. I hate to lose arguments. I hate being wrong.* I have a massive fucking chip on my shoulder about being 'disrespected', especially at work, but I don't much care about formal status or ascending a career ladder.

* I'm never wrong.**
** Only sort of kidding, slightly.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 10:16 AM
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I don't actually much mind being wrong, which is good because I do it a fair amount. I hate being right and being unable to convince people that I think of as reasonable of the merits of my position.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 10:19 AM
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Oh yeah, that last drives me to distraction. On the 'never wrong' thing, I mean, if I choose to argue with someone about something (especially at work) I'm never wrong. Partly because I'm fairly easy going (professionally), so if I'm arguing about it I have probably thought about it enough to be reasonably sure I'm right. Also, because I am generally better at the whole 'winning intellectual arguments' thing than most of my colleagues. So the outcome will either be a discussion in which they admit I'm right, or the scenario you describe, which only normally happens with the asshole-level management class.

OTOH, I'm quite happy to admit to being wrong in petty marital arguments or the like.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 10:24 AM
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I need everyone around me to believe that I'm the smartest person in the room

This plays out differently on an eclectic web magazine than during decisions that allocate resources-- for instance which new place is better, whether moving is a good idea, or how to deal with friction between a kid and a teacher. I think that a pretty rare arrangement is breadwinner who cedes decisionmaking authority at home.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 10:26 AM
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I think that a pretty rare arrangement is breadwinner who cedes decisionmaking authority at home.

I don't think it is rare at all. In the families of mill workers, miners, etc., back in the day, the usual pattern was to give the whole pay to the wife (minus an allowance for the husband to go drinking).


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 10:29 AM
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I think that a pretty rare arrangement is breadwinner who cedes decisionmaking authority at home.

Not in traditional working class households. Where the division is fairly clear. Man makes money (assuming the mother is in a lower paid or part-time job). Woman makes all decisions about everything else.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 10:30 AM
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Pwned (dammit) by Moby.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 10:30 AM
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I don't mind being wrong, in fact, it's kind of nice because it means I'm about to learn something. What drives me crazy is other people being wrong.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 10:32 AM
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Even though I'm double pwned (despite not having actually posted anything), I'd still like credit for 111.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 10:33 AM
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71: My friend Amanda.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 10:33 AM
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114: Nicely put. Yes.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 10:33 AM
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I don't mind being wrong and am happy to admit it -- and apologize -- when I am. And I don't mind when other people are wrong -- even if they won't admit it. What I mind is people who are stridently, adamantly, self-righteously wrong. That gets under my skin and angries up my blood.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 10:36 AM
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Though I'm working on letting it go. I wish my happier place were a bit happier. And had better lighting.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 10:37 AM
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I don't mind being wrong, in fact, it's kind of nice because it means I'm about to learn something.

I've gotten much better about this as I've gotten older.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 10:38 AM
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118, 119: Bill again?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 10:39 AM
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I also can't stand people who are right and overly smug or self-righteous about their rightness.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 10:39 AM
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This is the thread about things I don't like, right?


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 10:39 AM
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111, 112: I meant who decides when there's conflict? Wife gets to decide that no, going against the wishes of father-in-law is OK, or daughter's schooling takes precedence over buying a car? How much of a drinking allowance? If there's harmony about what the decisions are, then the house runs itself while the family's unicorn frolics. Maybe that harmony's typical. hard for me to imagine, though.

Having responsibility for the accounts is not the same thing as having authority.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 10:39 AM
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How much of a drinking allowance?

Doesn't matter. It's always too small.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 10:44 AM
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But, we are indeed talking about families without so many choices as you might see today (because they were mostly close to broke all the time and because of extreme social constraint).


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 10:48 AM
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I'm not ambitious and don't care about being right. I just want the trappings of power, like subordinates who are terrified of saying no to me and a Pagani Huayra. Is that so much to ask?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 10:49 AM
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Yeah, I probably just don't know how to think about happy families. All principals agreeing on what to do in an atmosphere of mutual respect and affection seems like a much bigger change from every family that I understand than something as mundane as income distribution.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 10:51 AM
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I also can't stand people who are right and overly smug or self-righteous about their rightness.

people who are wrong about a lot of things are also capable of those qualities, aren't they?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 10:54 AM
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It's not like anybody had a family meeting and decided that mining coal was the way to self-fulfillment. Income distribution, or that they had an income to distribute, was not mundane for nearly everybody involved.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 10:56 AM
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129: I thought I covered that in 118, but maybe not.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 10:57 AM
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I think you've covered it elsewhere too, VW.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 10:58 AM
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130. I meant the income distribution between partners. The blue collar guys I knew were for the most part either abusive, or they left their families if life at home became uncomfortable, like if someone wanted to change the channel on the TV while they were in the room. This detour into Frank McCourt's life with Loretta Lynn is probably a sidetrack.

I was interested to read that Kitty Wells, who sang so nicely about heartbreak and infidelity, had a long and outwardly happy marriage.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 11:03 AM
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132: ah, my mistake for having replied to you, then. Lesson learned!


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 11:05 AM
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133: I know that happened, but the ones that stayed together without abuse had (most of the time) a common pattern of separate spheres of influence.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 11:06 AM
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Oh, hey, VW, I have an idea for a retirement project, and seek advice-- there's a very nice history written in 1910 about a Bohemian castle in the 1600s. I would like to translate it, and for the translation to find its (tiny) audience. Is self-publishing via Gutenberg best?


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 11:13 AM
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You could just email it directly to Emerson.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 11:15 AM
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I don't want power or to be right. I want to be left alone at home, to myself, for an entire day, once a week. Also I want an awesome natural metabolism.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 11:16 AM
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My natural metabolism is awesome if I were trying to survive a famine.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 11:17 AM
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Or produce Swedish Fish-flavored human bacon.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 11:21 AM
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I want to be left alone at home, to myself,

Oh, man, the last couple of years when the kids have been old enough to wander around to their friends' houses? Ours is the preferred location for Newt's friends to hang out playing Minecraft together on weekends. And I really approve of the kids having friends over, and I like the individual boys. But having a houseful of kids, even when they don't expect anything of me, in the part of the week that I think of as devoted to taking afternoon naps and possibly vaguely vacuuming something drives me nuts.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 11:22 AM
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136: I'm told that it is, yes, but I don't really know for sure.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 11:22 AM
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140: I AM INTRIGUED BY YOUR OPINIONS AND WOULD LIKE TO SUBSCRIBE TO YOUR NEWSLETTER.


Posted by: OPINIONATED CANNIBAL | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 11:23 AM
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121: I just say this. No, I love Bill, though he's back at it today, and he seems to be getting grumpier.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 11:24 AM
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A bit late to this thread... Also, I suspect that my wife (in her 60s) & I (50s) are older than most here, but...

In response to Cryptic Ned:

When we left graduate school about 25 years ago, we had to be in the same location, what with 1 kid and another on the way. As a good feminist, I thought it right to go for her best offer (esp. since I did not realize that my best was comparable to hers, and we figured that we could move in a few years (for mine). But with that first decision, it turned out we were pretty much locked in, something that didn't surprise me all that much but did her. She has the the hot-shot career and mine never really took off; the differences had something to do with personal traits and abilities, but a lot of it was also that first decision. The parenting was overall equal, though I took primary responsibility for things like (most) homework assistance, extra-curriculars and summer-camps.

The worst of it, from my perspective, was that she was furious with me for several years when she realized (a couple of years later than I) that my career was going nowhere. If the kids had been grown at that point, the marriage would not have survived. She felt that I was slacking off and was not happy that she was the primary breadwinner, though would have been comfortable if I had been. At this point, she earns about 4-5 times what I do.

Is that something that still bothers many white-collar women, or it that have those of you whom I should be shoing off my lawn don't care about?


Posted by: marcel | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 11:24 AM
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Is that something that still bothers many white-collar women

Probably more than none? I think Di Kotimy here had a period where her ex was unemployed that involved some difficulty, but that was complicated by the fact that (a) he sounded like a world-class horror generally and (b) he was particularly resentful of picking up domestic slack during that period.

But the two female breadwinner couples I know best, it's not at all a visible issue.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 11:31 AM
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From the CT post neb references:

One of the first times I taught about the gendered division of labour in my Contemporary Moral Issues course, a student articulately challenged the relevance of the issue to her. [...] My student said this research was not relevant to her generation.

This is such a college student thing to think. I certainly thought similar things when I was that age.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 11:33 AM
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145 is a fascinating story.

I do want to know more about what was going on which caused you to say, "If the kids had been grown at that point, the marriage would not have survived."

This is partially just nosiness on my part, so feel free to not elaborate. But it makes me think that one of the smartest things I've heard about long term marriages is that it isn't uncommon to have moments when it feels like the relationship won't survive -- when one or both of you think, "I can't imagine making these compromises forever, and I can't see how I can stay with this person and break out of this dynamic." And then, if you stay together, sometimes it gets better.

So I am curious about that process by which people feel like they are heading apart, stay together, and work it out.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 11:35 AM
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It's true, I think, that things are changing in a more egalitarian direction. Occasionally I'll notice myself sounding as if there hadn't been any progress since, say, the '80s, and I think that's wrong: you get enough lip service to an ideal of equal opportunity, and you do get a fair amount of practical progress.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 11:36 AM
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I'm sure there is progress, and I realize also that I'm a generation older than current college students. But to think they won't have to deal with it just strikes me as incredibly naïve.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 11:46 AM
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Hey, hey, you're a half-generation older than current college students. I'm a generation older than they are, and I think I've got about ten years on you.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 11:47 AM
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Either way, I think the proposition that college students are naive isn't really going to be controversial.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 11:50 AM
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It's true, I think, that things are changing in a more egalitarian direction.

Where are my charts on income and wealth inequality, union membership, social position of members of Congress, etc? Yup, the bourgeois and petty bourgeois think they are better off.

||

Callinicos, from Neil Davidson's history of the analysis.
We have moved to the "consequentialist" position.

Bourgeois revolutions must be understood, not as revolutions consciously made by capitalists, but as revolutions which promote capitalism. The emphasis should shift from the class which makes a bourgeois revolution to the effects of such a revolution "to the class which benefits from it. More specifically, a bourgeois revolution is a political transformation "a change in state power, which is the precondition for large-scale capital accumulation and the establishment of the bourgeoisie as the dominant class. This definition requires then, a political change with certain effects. It says nothing about the social forces which carry through the transformation.

Hmmm, so the various "social revolutions" of the 60s may actually have been a bourgeois revolution, or counter-revolution with a delay in implementation, against the working (and service) classes.

Who are not way way more equal these days

|>


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 11:58 AM
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138, 141: I suspect that we'll be asked in 2 weeks to commit to adopting Nia, and the thing that scares me the most is that she really, deeply needs/wants to have some friend around at all times. She'll certainly settle for Mara, but she'd be happier if I could manage three playdates a week or something, and that's just way beyond my sanity limits. That doesn't seem like a good enough reason to say she'd be better off in another family and I don't think I'll actually say that, but I'm definitely aware of the mismatch and feel bad about it.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 11:58 AM
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145, 146: But generally, I think there's a pattern in a lot of gender issues where there's a traditional asymmetry. Lots of people who think of themselves as feminist or otherwise in favor of gender inequality are comfortable with: the traditional asymmetry, so long as everyone involved is happy about it, as reflecting the choices of the individuals involved; some of the traditional asymmetry, but much less than the traditional amount; or something pretty close to perfect symmetry. Flip the direction of the symmetry at all, though, and it's surprisingly likely to freak people out whether they're male or female and even if they think of themselves as in favor of gender equality.

Name changes, for a trivial example, are like that. Traditional, woman changes name to man's, isn't particularly odd. Man keeps his name unaltered, woman hyphenates, kids get man's name, also not weird. Man and woman each keep name, kids get man's name. also normal. All of those are asymmetrical in the traditional direction. Perfect symmetry comes off as a bit "Wow, that's hardcore": Buck and I mutually hyphenated, and gave the kids the hyphenated name, and we get comments. Man changing his name to the woman's, though, is very rare and the state of Florida freaks out and tries to arrest you for it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 12:01 PM
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110, 112: The separate-spheres model is pretty much the one that my wife and I use, although neither of us is from a traditional working class background. We do generally deliberate over big-ticket purchases jointly (I tend to be pretty deferential even on those). I don't think it's too unequal in practice except (and this is a big except) that it's hard to ignore the extent to which we are tracking (some) traditional gender roles.

124: Is there really such a thing as ultimate authority in a marriage? I would say everything's a negotiation. You can reach agreement, or disagree while staying married (which usually requires some sort of de facto tacit agreement even while people disagree in principle), or escalate the conflict to the point of separation or divorce.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 12:01 PM
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I just want the trappings of power, like subordinates who are terrified of saying no to me and a Pagani Huayra.

Top ten things I imagine a Pagani Huayra might be:

1. Motorcycle
2. Cigar
3. Car
4. One of those super-expensive European rifles
5. Large South American rodent
6. Breed of llama or alpaca
7. Aperitif
8. Central Asian dagger or melee weapon
9. Israeli supermodel (not sure why there would be more than one with the same name)
10. MMA fighter (there might be more than one with the same name, if it's like the Gracie family)


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 12:01 PM
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Huh. 151 sounds right to me except that I'm surprised that mutual hyphenation gets a "wow."


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 12:04 PM
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156.last: Unless you include murder, your list isn't' exhaustive.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 12:05 PM
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I like extra apostrophes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 12:06 PM
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158: Not particularly negative comments, but people fairly often notice it and say something. And a surprising number of people see us with matching names and assume that he was born Fotherington-Smythe and I changed. (We may get more comments because our order is unconventional: he's Fotherington, I'm Smythe. I actually hadn't realized there was a conventional order, we did it for euphony, but apparently people expect the man's name last.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 12:08 PM
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127: I see someone else was watching Top Gear last night.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 12:09 PM
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158 to 155, of course, not 151 (though LB obviously caught the typo).


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 12:10 PM
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Is there really such a thing as ultimate authority in a marriage? I would say everything's a negotiation. You can reach agreement, or disagree while staying married (which usually requires some sort of de facto tacit agreement even while people disagree in principle), or escalate the conflict to the point of separation or divorce.

One way asymmetries of power can show up is in who feels empowered to escalate more frequently without fearing the consequences. That is, if either party can leave freely, then as you say everything's a negotiation and if they're still together, both parties have in some sense agreed to everything. But if one party is consistently willing to say my way or the highway, and the other party doesn't walk out, the party that escalates is going to get their preferences served more of the time. Even if you can describe that as mutual agreement, there's a power differential there.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 12:11 PM
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157: You've got to admire the kind of dedication to the blog that led Ned to put together this list rather then just google the term like everybody else.

Except for 9 (the words don't look like Hebrew) they all seem plausible.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 12:12 PM
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162 -- you know it! That thing haunts my dreams.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 12:13 PM
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157: I can't help feel it should be something in reverse. A Ryahrin, a gap, a plan, an alp - a Pagani Huayra!


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 12:16 PM
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+u


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 12:17 PM
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||

MPs have voted for the gay marriage bill by 400 to 175 - a majority of 225.

Dragged kicking and screaming into the 20th (sic) century

|>


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 12:18 PM
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But if one party is consistently willing to say my way or the highway, and the other party doesn't walk out, the party that escalates is going to get their preferences served more of the time.

Marriage, interpreted by a WalMart executive.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 12:19 PM
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Woohoo, UK!


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 12:20 PM
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I think you mean 21st century.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 12:21 PM
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Ok, I'm going to describe our arrangement because I don't know if it's traditional or egalitarian or something else, it seems to be a mix of things, and some of it causes tension because I do fewer things more frequently and she does more things but less often so sometimes we both feel like our tasks are unequal in favor of the other-
I make 75% of the income, manage bills and most finances, get up to deal with screaming kid at night (except for feeding the baby, I go get her and attach to wife as necessary), feed kids in morning, take the kids to school bus/preschool in the morning, pack lunches, do dishes and daily cleanup, bathe kids and put them to bed, do shopping, take them to weekend extracurriculars, do usual manly house maintenance (mow lawn, shovel snow, take out garbage, fix things, gardening)
She takes the baby to daycare in the morning (that will change next year when I'll have all 4 in the morning), picks up kids, manages their school related things and extracurriculars (swimming, sports), manages some finance (college funds, donations), manages family stuff (presents, Bdays, vacations), does the weekly/monthly cleaning (scrubbing kitchen, bathrooms, ~80% of laundry), plans dinners (actually cooking it is mixed depending on schedules), and other kid things (clothes shopping).
There are more often times when I'm traveling or working late that she'll have to take my tasks than vice versa- she went to a conference once, I have 2-3 per year, every couple weeks I have to help with afternoon pickup.
I feel like there's some traditional things there like me doing finance, her organizing most of what kids are doing, but I'm the one responsible for physically enabling them to do it. But the real split seems to be I do daily stuff, she does longer term planning/maintenance.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 12:26 PM
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164.2: Oh, certainly. There is a lot of room for power dynamics (and therefore, I agree, for inequality) in a negotiation -- including a marriage to the extent you conceive it as a negotiation. I would even say it is practically impossible to avoid them; the best you can do is to be sensitive to them.

(And this plays out in a really "traditional" model as the fact that the wife's alternative to staying married will often be economic hardship for herself and the couple's children, if any.)

I was responding to what I took as the implication that when there is a dispute it is necessarily resolved by someone and that someone is the ultimate authority. I may have been overreading 124.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 12:29 PM
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Why would anyone be terrified of saying no to a car?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 12:32 PM
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175: You talk to your car?


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 12:35 PM
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I just meant in 124 that the payables clerk in a household is not the decision-maker, or at least not necessarily. The handful of blue-collar women without jobs I've known were not empowered partners, but they weren't happy either.

I find it hard to generalize about this subject much, pretty much anything outside of direct experience seems like unfounded generalizing to me, so I'm out.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 12:38 PM
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1) My last line above, Is that something that still bothers many white-collar women, or it that have those of you whom I should be shoing off my lawn don't care about? was pretty badly garbled. I meant to say,

Is that something that still bothers many white-collar women, or is it something that those of you whom I should be shooing off my lawn don't care about?

NickS asked me to elaborate on this statement: If the kids had been grown at that point, the marriage would not have survived.

Once I stopped being depressed about the situation (at least 2 years), I got really angry right back at her. The only thing that kept me from walking out the door was the kids and the effect that that would have had on them.

We were in counseling on and off for 6-7 years, during which time things improved, but were still kind of miserable. At some point pretty well into it, probably when both kids were in HS (and the older one was a year or so from going off to college), I said in one of the sessions that unless things were a lot better by the time the younger one left for college, I would not be too far behind her out the door. The effect on the kids wouldn't have been wonderful, but at some point, the balance between what's good for the kids and what's good for the parent (abstracting from the impact on the parent of the kids' wellbeing) begins to shift and the parent's well being starts coming more and more to the fore. That, anyway, was my thinking.

That was 10-11 years ago and brought my wife up short. Although I still have my moments when I think a very very long, solo hike on the Appalachian Trail might be optimal, I'm still around and that's most likely the way things will stay.


Posted by: marcel | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 12:41 PM
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146: shiv is thinking of being a SAHD when the kid shows up. My sense is that this is a huge issue, but not one much talked about, because one is supposed to recognize one's extraordinary luck in having a partner that doesn't expect you to quit your job when the baby shows up.

It's tough because it's hard not to internalize expectations. It's also hard on the guy. What, you don't do anything?

155: And yet something like only 5% of women don't change their names, and when I tried to get a rebate for our furnace installation, it took the company an extra two months because shiv had ordered the furnace, but the rebate is through the utility company, and the utility contract is in my name.

Like Blume, I expect that the college students will find it relevant when while everybody is going on expressing how equal and supportive they are, it turns out that it just makes so much sense for the girls to quit their jobs once the baby shows up.

So, progress sometimes feels like it means "we think really hard about the options before defaulting into traditional roles."


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 12:46 PM
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As for being wrong, I hate it. This is why I never say anything. That's only a slight exagerration - I'm much more argumentative online, less than average here but probably more than average for people in general, than I am in person, because it's harder to look things up and hyperlink my sources in in-person discussions.

As for work distribution in a couple, I wouldn't want to be completely jobless, but I think I'd be happy enough to work part-time and/or from home and do most of the homemaking if it ever came up. I think I already do most of the cooking, although definitely not most of the cleaning. I admit it's easy to say when it's hypothetical, though.

As for hyphenation, I think my fiancée was a tiny bit surprised, maybe even disappointed, when I expressed opposition to hyphenating ours, but I've been talking for years about dropping part of my name, so I'm not interested in switching to a different hyphenation, sorry. I hadn't known there was a standard order to combine names, but my parents did it in the same order as LB's parents, so I guess that's N=2.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 12:47 PM
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||

Two amusing things: I've noticed, on a faculty webpage at my institution, a link to a "Tenure-Track Handbook". Upon clicking the link, one is greeted with an error message saying "The file you are looking for may not exist." Nearby there is a link to "Resources for New Assistant and Associate Professors". It goes to a webpage written in Comic Sans.

It kind of seems like they're sending a message....

|>


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 12:48 PM
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173: At that level of detail, there's really no way to tell without being there, but it certainly looks like you're doing a very reasonable share (as in, very plausibly more than half) of the domestic load. The only thing that looks as if it might be meaningfully not egalitarian is the afterschool pickup: that one of her tasks is responsibility for the kids during conventional working hours is the sort of thing that can really affect a worklife. But it's something that someone has to be doing, so just because she's doing it doesn't mean she's oppressed, and for all I know it's had no effect on her job.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 12:50 PM
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As for being wrong, I hate it. This is why I never say anything.

I imagine this as the beginning to a short story or novella.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 12:51 PM
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I feel like I should have something to say to the OP since I'm dating someone who is going to move far away for her career in several months. She doesn't think this has to end our relationship, but I think it inevitably will, even if we were to decide to attempt a long-distance thing for a while. I'm not necessarily completely committed to trying to keep my current job in the long-term, but I can't imagine following her to where she's moving, because I don't see sufficiently rewarding job opportunities there. So I guess I have my head buried in the sand for now.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 12:52 PM
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175: some cars are just terrifying. In a mostly good way.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 12:53 PM
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So, progress sometimes feels like it means "we think really hard about the options before defaulting into traditional roles."

There's a lot of that, but I think there's also something happening where 1% of the population used to buck tradition, and it's creeping up to 5%, and then 10%... not that the millennium has come, but that there's a little more room for outlaws.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 12:54 PM
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You talk to your car?

neb is... Michael Knight.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 12:55 PM
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184: Mmm. I'm friends with a young couple, and she's applying to professional school: two in the US, and one in the UK. He's a mobile programmer-type, so he'd follow her happily to either of the US locations, but if she only gets into the UK school, they've got a conflicty decision to make. (I'm not sure why leaving the country is a problem for him in terms of working remotely, but it appears to be.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 12:56 PM
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I want to be left alone at home, to myself, for an entire day, once a week.

I have Wed-Fri as my days off and during the school year the wife and kids head out for school at 7 or so. It's glorious.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 12:57 PM
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Fortunately that's not something we've had to deal with much- she just went back to work full time 18 months ago, and in that time the kids have been very robust (hybrid vigor!) Last week was the first time it came up as described in 33, actually, and we didn't argue about it but were individually stressed about each having important things at work we shouldn't miss. Kid was sick 2 days and sent home early a third- I stayed home one day, we split the other day, and she picked up midday when he was sent home (but that's because she has the car, I didn't want to bike a feverish kid in 20 degree weather.) Also she has used up all her sick days on maternity leave so it costs about equal amounts if she stays home or we get a babysitter, whereas I have unlimited as-necessary sick days including caring for sick family members.
Annoying side note- the preschool called to say he had a fever, and she showed up to get him and they seemed surprised she had come- apparently 101 is the send-home limit and he was only ~100 so it was just a notification thing but they didn't make that clear so she left work early for no reason.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 12:58 PM
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Oh, I had the impression from what you said that she was picking up the schoolage kids after school -- that she'd arranged her work schedule to end at 3:00 or whenever. If they're in care during working hours generally, I misunderstood.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 1:00 PM
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Let's talk about me more!
I got into undergrad then grad schools on the west coast but didn't seriously consider them because of our relationship (which at the time of undergrad decision was 5 months in high school) so I guess that's me sort of compromising career for location, although I never fully considered the relative merits of the schools because of that so maybe it wasn't a sacrifice at all.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 1:01 PM
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Oh, no, they're in afterschool programs (which she researched & signed them up) until she's finished at work. Now, arguably people hang out/socialize/discuss professional stuff at work and she has to rush out the door and miss that so it's a little unequal in that way.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 1:04 PM
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Whereas we're all going to Meadhall at 4 today to celebrate the end of one of our projects.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 1:05 PM
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Me me me me!


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 1:05 PM
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SP, I think a lot of it has to do with which tasks each of you find the most annoying and time-sucking. It sounds like you're just juggling a lot no matter what (getting 4 kids ready and off to school???) and some of that is going to be painful and annoying regardless of who does it. It sounds like you have something that at least mostly works.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 1:12 PM
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SP, please feel free to consider this thread your chance to experience a traditional marriage.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 1:13 PM
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164

This book is good on power dynamics in relationships

http://www.amazon.com/The-Passion-Paradox-Patterns-Relationships/dp/0553295047/ref=tmm_mmp_title_0


Posted by: Lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 1:17 PM
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Jammies and my situation is definitely unequal, with him doing more of the work. We split the morning routine about 50-50. He picks up the kids most days while I get dinner going. I generally do meal planning, he does the lion's share of laundry and dishes, which is way more work by any standard.

Mostly this is because he has more energy than me. I've said elsewhere that when it comes to parenting, I have more patience but less endurance, whereas he has less patience but more endurance.

Where it shows up mostly is when he'll take both kids to the park, or both kids to go grocery shopping, while I silently thank my lucky stars that I can be by myself.

OTOH, he can work from home periodically. During the summer, I do more of the work, because duh.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 1:35 PM
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164: I've never read the book, but from the reviews it sounds like something Thomas Schelling could have written.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 1:39 PM
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200 to 198, not 164.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 1:39 PM
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198: Buck and I used to be definitely unequal, with him doing more domestic work. My hours have gotten shorter and his longer though, and we're probably 50-50 now, although shamefully we've gotten to a more equal split largely by dropping our standards rather than by my stepping up much.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 1:42 PM
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she just went back to work full time 18 months ago

Is this a typo? Isn't the littlest one about 6 months old?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 1:45 PM
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Or maybe not, if she went back full time, and then took normal maternity leave from her full time job. Carry on!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 1:47 PM
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Was home with the older kids, only working part time until 18 month ago, worked full time for a year, started this school year on maternity leave, now back at work. So the described division of labor didn't apply to when the other kids were younger.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 1:48 PM
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194: Did you reserve the conference room?


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 1:52 PM
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Conference room plus part of the area next to it!


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 2:03 PM
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And a whole buffet of their food offerings.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 2:16 PM
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PORK RINDSPLOSION!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 2:27 PM
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Who's up for going and sneaking into SP's work function?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 2:27 PM
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Delurking...

This is interesting for me, because my relationship is asymmetric in the opposite of the usual way: I (female, academic) am the full-time breadwinner, and partner (male, former academic who quit to solve the two-body problem, and because he was beginning to loathe academia) is currently a stay at home artist who eventually intends to sell paintings but is still building up a portfolio. [I do think he can do it based on talent, but am not sure how the marketing himself part will go.]

Anyway, this situation worked for us very well, until I had a baby about 4 months ago. Now it's breaking a bit. The plan had been for him to be a SAHD, but that's difficult because of breastfeeding (which works very well for us in every other way). And, more importantly, it turns out that being at home with the kid drives him crazy a lot faster than it does me. He just does not have much of a nurturing instinct (a surprise to us, because he does when it comes to cats). He is miserable to the point that if he had to be the primary caregiver as much as originally planned, I would seriously fear he would become depressed and the resentment would build, with possible really bad consequences for our marriage.

Now we are cobbling something together with part-time daycare and him caring for the baby part-time, and me officially working fewer hours (like that matters in academia, ha!) and trying to cram more work in at odd times when the baby is asleep. That's not really sustainable but I hope that as my son gets older and more interesting / independent it will not be as much of an issue.

But. Yeah, interesting how gender has played a role in all of this. I suspect that if I were male and he were female, even if he were just as miserable, the response to the situation on both of our parts would not have been the same.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 2:40 PM
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Oops, sorry, that previous comment was by me. Not that you've seen this name before anyway.


Posted by: Forza | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 2:41 PM
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He just does not have much of a nurturing instinct (a surprise to us, because he does when it comes to cats).

Cats are pretty much the exact opposite of babies in every respect but size. That's why cats, without exception, try to kill babies.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 2:44 PM
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212: Oh, good, I was just going to snarl at you for not signing 211. Have a fruit basket.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 2:46 PM
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Anyway, most of new parenthood consists of resetting your expectations. Everybody is driven crazy at some point or another.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 2:47 PM
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Thanks for the fruit. :)

And, re: 213, that is what he maintains - that cats are totally unlike babies, especially with respect to things like noise and quantity of poo. Plus they have cute paws. To which I saw, babies have cute hands with little fingers! And we are at an impasse.


Posted by: Forza | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 2:49 PM
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And not so much in relation to the gender equality issues, but specifically with your situation, the demands of infant/toddler/preschooler care change so fast that it's plausible that your husband might be happier as a SAHD next year. A four-month old isn't much like an eight-month-old or an eighteen-month-old.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 2:49 PM
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217 is what I was trying to get at with 215.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 2:50 PM
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For example, with a toddler, the cat can't really kill them except while they are sleeping, so you don't need to be as alert.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 2:51 PM
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215, 217: That is what we are hoping.

On the other hand, we knew he didn't like babies in the abstract much, but everyone said that it's different when it's your own. Turns out that so far it hasn't been! So we are afraid to hope or count on that too much.


Posted by: Forza | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 2:53 PM
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You could try making the baby more fun, like by taping it to a remote controlled car.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 2:54 PM
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Ohh or a quadrotor!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 2:55 PM
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220: Maybe I'd like it.


Posted by: Opinionated Mailman | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 2:56 PM
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219: We actually put a net around the crib so the cat wouldn't kill the baby while it slept. Then the cat discovered how to jump on and then claw the net in just the way necessary to tear it. Now the cat is prohibited from entering the baby's room while he is asleep.


Posted by: Forza | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 2:56 PM
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So many sliders!


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 3:00 PM
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And if you're rugby-playing Forza, you're not delurking, because I remember you. If you're not rugby-playing Forza, on the other hand, funny coincidence. Does it mean something?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 3:01 PM
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I've always found the "but it's different when it's your own" sentiment to be baffling. I just don't care that much about ownership in other situations, and I don't see why kids would be any different. (Though of course, I'm happy to admit that many people do feel differently about their own stuff.)


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 3:07 PM
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Yeah, I'm rugby-playing Forza. Didn't think anyone would remember me so this still counted as delurking.


Posted by: Forza | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 3:10 PM
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I think "your own" in that sentence is not quite meant in the same way as owning something like a car or even a pet.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 3:11 PM
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227: so what if you replaced "baby" in "it's different when it's your own" with, say, "arm", as opposed to, say, "stereo"?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 3:11 PM
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Pwned! We share everything.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 3:12 PM
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227: The theory I've heard is "genes! evolution! caring about one's own DNA!" or something like that. Which, maybe both you and my partner are unusually unselfish evolutionarily speaking.


Posted by: Forza | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 3:12 PM
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Lots of things are different when it's your own arm.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 3:12 PM
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227: Part of it's skill-building. I never liked babies much until I had one, and was nervous and unsure of myself when Sally was an infant. Second time through with Newt, I was all "Oh, I know how these things work! They're great!" So, not so much that they were mine, but that because they were mine I spent enough time with them to get skilled enough to enjoy them.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 3:13 PM
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232: or robots! But not the kind that feel paternal fondness towards stereos.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 3:13 PM
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||

Is it unreasonable for me to be getting increasingly bent out of shape about a collaborator systematically going through the draft of our paper and changing all my sentences of the form "[Punchline], because [boring details]" to "Because [boring details], [punchline]"? Also changing things like "In order for [X] to happen, [Y] must do [Z]" to just "[Y] does [Z]". I'm sitting here repeatedly diffing the files as the Dropbox is updated and getting more and more annoyed at every one of these. I guess they shouldn't be a big deal, but almost every change seems to me to decrease the clarity and readability of the paper.

I should just work alone.

|>


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 3:18 PM
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234 is definitely something I understand. Though with babies, I find them pretty boring in doses of more than a few minutes, whereas with say 2-year olds I'm just as useless knowledge-wise but I actually think they're interesting. So I don't think that's the issue for me with babies.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 3:19 PM
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234 is my experience, too. The first one was really hard, the second was really fun.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 3:21 PM
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217 was definitely our experience (by which I mostly mean my wife's experience as a SAHM with our first child). Baby -- wow, that was hard and draining work, but gradually less so over time. Toddler -- awesome, and increasingly so over time.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 3:21 PM
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It's also weird to me that people never say "Oh you don't like teenagers? It'll be different when they're your own."


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 3:22 PM
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Oh god am I not a toddler person.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 3:22 PM
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236: it would be much easier to petulantly back out the changes if you were using git.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 3:24 PM
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The good thing about babies is that you can perform experiments and mess with their heads, right?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 3:25 PM
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234 makes sense to me. I was second oldest of five kids so never felt particularly out of my depth in other than the normal ways. I think my partner does feel more out of his depth, even though I think he is also naturally better than I am in some respects.

But on the other hand I don't think that is the main thing going on with him. I think, like 237 & 238, my son is just too boring still.


Posted by: Forza | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 3:26 PM
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On the main point, we had an interesting equitable (or rather non-equitable) career issue last year. I needed to move for my job, but luckily had several options. Since I was making RWM move for my job, I would have been happy to let her pick between the good options. But on the other hand, she wasn't going to have a job lined up in any of the places, and so felt that it should be basically my decision.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 3:27 PM
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It's also weird to me that people never say "Oh you don't like teenagers? It'll be different when they're your own."

I actually often like teenagers and find them fairly easy to talk to, (or clearly communicating that they don't feel like talking). I'm sure I will want to throttle my own, but I don't feel like Teenagerhood will play against my strengths quite like Toddlerhood.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 3:27 PM
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FWIW, essear, I would be upset too.

My attitude is, when co-writing a paper with a colleague, whoever is the first author gets to be the one to keep their writing tics.


Posted by: Forza | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 3:28 PM
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243: Yes, but the experiments you can do at 18 months are way more interesting than the ones at 6 months.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 3:28 PM
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Then at about 30 months they start experimenting on you.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 3:30 PM
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246: See I like teenagers, and assume that if I were to have kids (purely counterfactually, since we're not) I would mostly enjoy them as teenagers. Part of this is probably that my parents and I got along quite well when I was a teenager (much better than say when I was 10), but part of it is that I think I'd get along fine with teenage kids for *precisely the same reasons* that a baby "being mine" wouldn't make me like them more.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 3:32 PM
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I think, like 237 & 238, my son is just too boring still.

Four months is literally right around when they start waking up and turning into people -- newborns are little automata, but somewhere around three months the light comes on and you can see them trying to communicate.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 3:33 PM
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It's sad but true that you just can't keep collaborating with someone whose writing style is sufficiently different. It's fine if one person cares about things that the other person doesn't care about (e.g., I can collaborate with people who care about putting commas in the right places), but if you have conflicting opinions about what kinds of exposition is clear and readable then it's doomed. Just struggle through this paper, and then in the future either don't collaborate or collaborate with the understanding that one or the other of you is doing the writing.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 3:36 PM
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251: The end of the 4th trimester.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 3:36 PM
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Also unsurprisingly, I'm much better at toddlers than I used to be, just like babies. I can now talk to generic small children that aren't mine.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 3:38 PM
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Boring infants are awesome because you can play online and easily do your own thing, and all that cuddling to boot.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 3:39 PM
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249: Way before that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 3:44 PM
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I suspect something like Forza's situation may be in my future. Mrs. K-sky earns about 4 times as much as I do, and she would like 6 months of maternity leave. Plus, she's much more interested in staying home with the baby than I am (and, as noted, nursing reinforces that for a newborn). So I should really find a way to earn some scratch.

Hopefully I'll move the ball forward on this show-biz thing at some point. Some sort of backup plan might be wise.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 3:55 PM
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243: Given the closeness in age of the Unfoggedecababysplosion, we should really set something up.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 3:56 PM
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The premise is a little strange for me, personally, having never had a committed relationship with someone who would have been capable of supporting me as a housewife. (I mean, UNG figured out the skill after I kicked him off the gravy train. but before that....) I have much resentment of this state of affairs. I'd like to not have to work for awhile.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 3:58 PM
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Hopefully I'll move the ball forward on this show-biz thing at some point. Some sort of backup plan might be wise.

Just check things out thoroughly if the ad says they're hiring "dancers".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 3:58 PM
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Four months is literally right around when they start waking up and turning into people -- newborns are little automata, but somewhere around three months the light comes on and you can see them trying to communicate.

Oh, he's definitely finally turning into a person. A very high-energy person, too. Unfortunately he is not yet enough of one for my husband to find that exciting. It's way better than it was, though. And I'm pretty thrilled with the little guy.


Posted by: Forza | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 3:59 PM
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My attitude is, when co-writing a paper with a colleague, whoever is the first author gets to be the one to keep their writing tics.

We don't have "first author" in our field. Alphabetical order, always.

The editing battle is just the latest minor skirmish in a completely demoralizing project where the results are really interesting but the collaborative process is so broken that we're all miserable.

The bigger problem is this collaborator wrote an entire section of the paper about unnecessary, irrelevant results that are used to "motivate" the rest and that are going to make all the readers think we did something much less interesting than what we actually did. And when I say "wrote", I mean "demanded that a postdoc write, over the objections of everyone else including that postdoc".

With any other collaborator I've ever had I would try to sit down and talk about these things, but that's not an option here.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 4:15 PM
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I feel like there's a puppy/flea or puppy/heartworm joke in there somewhere.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 4:19 PM
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This is what you get for using your Ouija board to communicate with Annie Jump Cannon, Essear. Although I'm impressed that you hooked it up to Dropbox.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 4:19 PM
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So weird, we're all about first authorship. I had a guy in my group one time upset because he was 12th and thought he should be 11th.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 4:19 PM
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Alphabetical order, always.

I'm undoubtedly corrupted by the standards of my profession, but writing style on joint work is one of the places where a little hierarchy actually smooths things out a little. Senior person prevails (unless too busy to care), junior person seethes.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 4:19 PM
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262: Can you somehow split it into two papers? One of which you decide not to care about, and the other of which you think is good?


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 4:21 PM
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Meanwhile, I am looking at the homework for this class I am taking, and it is terrifying. Do I really want this much math in my life?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 4:22 PM
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268 continued: this is the homework the professor described as "unusually easy", too.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 4:23 PM
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There's a hilarious paper about trying to sort out which subfields of CS are more math-y vs. more science-y based on whether they use alphabetical ordering or not.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 4:24 PM
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Oh, senior person is prevailing, all right. I'm not even getting into the worst of it.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 4:25 PM
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Senior person has to maintain their reputation for being brutally terrible to work with and dramatically lacking in social graces somehow.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 4:26 PM
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262: Hm, assuming you can't just reason with this collaborator (which it seems you can't), is there any chance you can use the review process to sort him out?

In other words, submit the paper for review as is, and hope the reviewers make enough comments about unclarity or needing to motivate it better that you can use them to get your way? I suppose the double dangers are either the reviewers not making those comments, or those flaws being enough that the paper is rejected rather than just returned for revision...


Posted by: Forza | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 4:32 PM
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273: No, no one will ever read the published version anyway. Plus I seem to be getting increasingly stupid reviewers lately.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 4:35 PM
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272: If only there was some effective way to communicating that reputation to the incoming grad students. Otherwise said colleague's students will keep asking me to translate their vague instructions into concrete things they can actually work on.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 4:38 PM
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Me me me me!

Sorry.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 4:38 PM
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Four months is literally right around when they start waking up and turning into people -- newborns are little automata, but somewhere around three months the light comes on and you can see them trying to communicate.

My guy is a bit over six months and the lights have definitely gone on in a sense...we used to call him 'little alien' and now he is human. But the problem is he has turned into a human being whose sole apparent interest is jamming things in his mouth. Well, that and elimination of various kinds.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 4:45 PM
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Forza, it's a truism that men on the whole engage much more with babies once they can interact more. I've got anecdata either way, but I don't think your partner is alone.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 4:47 PM
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271: Ah, the alphabetical order thing is merely a thin facade of egalitarianism. See, now that I can understand.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 4:49 PM
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68

... there aren't that many people who consistently prefer the domestic role. ...

Ideally, someone who really wants a high powered career would find a partner who really wanted to be a caretaker. But it's a hard matching problem -- there are simply a lot more of the first than of the second.

I don't think this is right, it may be true for people attending elite colleges but I don't think it is true for the population as a whole. The problem is the high powered career types don't want an average spouse who is content to be a caretaker, they want someone who is also smart and talented (so they are interesting to talk to and so their kids get good genes) but willing to devote themselves to their spouse's career.

And on the other side average caretaker types want a spouse who can easily support them (which means quite a bit above average economically).

So it is the added constraints which make this a somewhat rare match.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 6:31 PM
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107

... I hate being wrong ...

Ditto. Enough so I that devote considerable effort to avoiding being wrong.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 6:43 PM
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if you have conflicting opinions about what kinds of exposition is clear and readable then it's doomed. Just struggle through this paper, and then in the future either don't collaborate or collaborate with the understanding that one or the other of you is doing the writing.

Oh man, I wish I could emblazon this somewhere.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 6:58 PM
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changing all my sentences of the form "[Punchline], because [boring details]" to "Because [boring details], [punchline]"?

I realize this is not possible in your situation, but what I usually do in this situation is have a frank discussion with my co-writing partner about the audience we're imagining: "It's my experience that people follow the argument much better if you give them a hook to hang the thought on, and then fill in the details. If you start with the details, they're skimming trying to get to the point, and they lose track much more easily."

This doesn't always work, mind you. My working hypothesis is that for people who read entire sentences as a gestalt, the concept of people who get lost between the begin and end of sentences is really, really hard to grasp.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 7:03 PM
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Beginning! Beginning!


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 7:03 PM
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Witt, did essear sneeze on you? Something's going around today.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 7:20 PM
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278: Yup. The early "Cry-Input-Output-Sleep" loop became boring almost immediately. Once the kids started reacting to other things I could start relating to them.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 02- 5-13 7:35 PM
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I think a huge number of parents would appreciate career-track jobs that were actually 30 hours a week.

A lot of my thirtysomething and fortysomething coworkers with young kids work that way, which is becoming increasingly common in the Netherlands, where both partners work four days a week.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 02- 6-13 12:47 AM
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Sarah Hrdy is all over that - not specifically divorce, but the importance of alloparenting. (Grandparents, parents' siblings etc).

Another thing we've increasingly seen happening in the Netherlands over the past decade, as "professional" childcare is too expensive, government subsidy for same has been cut while informal grandparent arrangments have been encouraged by not taxing babysit money.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 02- 6-13 1:56 AM
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a human being whose sole apparent interest is jamming things in his mouth

In his mouth is cool, you can reach them. Wait till things start disappearing up his nose or into his middle ear.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02- 6-13 3:53 AM
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281.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02- 6-13 3:56 AM
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Wait till things start disappearing up his nose or into his middle ear.

A friend of mine from school, when he was in his mid 20s, and when he was already a 'serious businessperson' thought it'd be funny at an Indian restaurant to perform a 'joke' with the small metallic looking mint balls they served at the end of the meal.

So he put one in his left ear, with the idea that he'd then tilt his head and drop one into his right ear, and it'd fall out as if it has passed through his head.

So, he dropped in the mint, and nothing happened. He then tilted his head the other way, to try to get the mint he'd dropped in to fall out, succeeding at the same time to make the other mint [nestling in his outer left ear] drop deep inside the left.

He then had to go to his doctor explaining he had a small mint stuck in his right ear. The doctor went through the process of getting it out, all the time shaking his head and grumbling at a grown man getting a mint stuck in his ear. Only for my mate to explain, when he'd finished, that, erm, there was an identical mint, stuck in the other ear.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02- 6-13 5:19 AM
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At least the doctor didn't have too up the ICD-9 code again.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-13 6:19 AM
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-o


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-13 6:19 AM
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291 made me laugh out loud, also the colleagues with whom I have just shared it. The consensus is that your friend is probably an advisory member of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee "because they are just the kind of people who would do stuff like that" and they also have a well-known fondness for curry.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02- 6-13 6:36 AM
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291 reminds of the German joke about the Bavarian who's ironing when the phone rings, and absent-mindedly puts the hot iron to their ear instead of the phone.

Later, at the hospital, they ask the Bavarian what happened to the other ear, to which they respond that of course they had to call an ambulance.

The unlikely bit in the version I know in the original German is that it's a male Bavarian and there's no way one of those would be ironing in Real Life.

(Later, at the hospital: the best way to start a sentence and get people's attention.)


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 02- 6-13 7:07 AM
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291: My one kid just had to go to the emergency room in the last week or so to get an earbud removed from his ear which somehow became detached from its wire and nestled down. Upon hearing that story, I had to come clean about the time I was idly picking my ear with the end of a ballpoint pen with a cap (gross, I know). And you don't need Paul Harvey to tell you the rest of that story. Just one ear, however, and only one person at the hospital gave me the "never put anything smaller than your elbow" in your ear line.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 6-13 7:16 AM
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I put Q-tips in my ear after every shower. I don't press them into the back of the ear canal, but around the sides.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-13 7:18 AM
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My most exciting random knock on my apartment door story was two older women who started asking where the office was, but I don't know after that because I fainted and subsequently came to lying across the threshold with no one in sight. (Related here before with a bit more context, I believe.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 6-13 7:21 AM
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297: How many can you fit?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 6-13 7:22 AM
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To this day, you're too disoriented to put it in the right thread.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-13 7:22 AM
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297: I did the same not an hour or so ago. It's a Pittsburgh just about everyone in the fricking world thing.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 6-13 7:23 AM
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299: I used to get swimmer's ear all the time before I started drying my ears.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-13 7:23 AM
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There's more than one thread?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 6-13 7:23 AM
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299: Apo also thinks you're too chicken to lick a metal signpost.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 6-13 7:24 AM
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286: We used to refer to that loop as the "ESP loop" - eat, sleep, poop.


Posted by: Dave W. | Link to this comment | 02- 6-13 8:45 AM
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I just found an ICD-9 code with explanatory examples including "Foreign object [bean] [marble] in nose."


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02- 6-13 11:07 AM
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