Re: Parents just don't understand.

1

Why does she make her girlfriend go visit her parents if they don't treat her well? Even leaving aside everything else, I don't get that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 5:50 AM
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It may be well-trod territory, but in my experience it is very specific fact-based.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 6:08 AM
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I'm angling for a spot on the Least Helpful podium this year.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 6:09 AM
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1: It may be a lousy thing to do, but it makes perfect sense to me. The parents are being passive-aggressively hostile, rather than openly hostile, so having the girlfriend not show up for visits means that the girlfriend is the badly-mannered jerk rather than the parents. The three options are (1) what Alice is doing, which is hard on her and the girlfriend, but keeps all the conflict under the rug and doesn't give the parents any objective bad behavior to object to; (2) having the girlfriend avoid the parents, which in one sense is easier on her, but also sets her up as the bad guy who's trying to separate Alice from her parents; or (3) full-scale blowup, where Alice says she won't associate with her parents until they behave themselves. (3) is probably the right thing to do, but it's hard. Between (1) and (2), it's hard to choose which is better, objectively.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 6:15 AM
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I don't see how having Alice's girlfriend (who I'm going to call Flo because I watched a lot of TV in the 70s) not coming to visit makes Flo the bad guy. It's a pattern you see in plenty of heterosexual relationships also.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 6:19 AM
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Once she's come to visit ever, not showing up on future visits (without a good excuse) looks like "I'm not visiting you because I don't like you." Don't you think?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 6:24 AM
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Right. Isn't that pretty much normal?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 6:26 AM
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7: I guess my instinct is that where there's not another moral issue in play (that is, that the parents are being shitty out of homophobia rather than out of ordinary bad family dynamics), a partner has a certain responsibility to suck it up and manage a certain amount of subtle ill-treatment in the interests of family harmony.

Believing this may be why my family relationships are as fraught with tension as they are.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 6:35 AM
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Is that the conventional wisdom, to cut off all contact? I've seen (unfortunately) the reverse: cut off all contact with the kid when s/he comes out.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 6:39 AM
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I don't know if it's conventional wisdom, but it's Dan Savage's advice for exactly this situation: adult child comes out, parents don't cut off contact but are (over the long term) jerks about it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 6:42 AM
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Having the girlfriend avoid the parents has an aspect of giving in, almost as if Alice is accepting that there is something shameful going on.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 6:46 AM
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manage a certain amount of subtle ill-treatment in the interests of family harmony.

I agree with that, but I'd say a wedding or funeral every half dozen years or so is enough.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 6:47 AM
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I am aligned with Moby on this one. I've basically cut off a brother because he is a rightwing asshole, but he was a rightwing asshole for decades before I finally got sick of it, and even now I just avoid the hell out of him.

Lacking more information, I don't see that Alice has any obligation to anyone here besides herself and her significant other. She should do whatever works for them. I don't like this, though:

the conventional wisdom goes that you must cutoff all contact with your parents, because that's the only leverage you have with them

Cut them off if you don't want to tolerate the abuse any more. Don't cut them off with the expectation that it will change their behavior. It's not up to you to turn your parents into non-assholes.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 6:53 AM
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If no one went to family gatherings because they were awkward and full of buried hostility, there would be no family gatherings.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 6:57 AM
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14. And in many cases this would be a good thing, no?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 7:08 AM
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A family gathering seems a different thing than a visit to the parents. To me it implies a larger number of people are present and relatively short duration. Going to somebody's house for a visit can leave you pretty close to trapped in some circumstances.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 7:09 AM
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Cut them off if you don't want to tolerate the abuse any more. Don't cut them off with the expectation that it will change their behavior. It's not up to you to turn your parents into non-assholes.

I do entirely agree with this, and should have phrased the OP to include this. And it came up in the conversation with Alice. Alice's response is that she believes the parents will in fact grow old and die without changing, and she can't bear the idea of losing them. She also readily admits that it's loyalty to the old family lovingness, and not because the current situation is meaningful or satisfying in any way. Ie she's willing to tolerate the abuse.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 7:16 AM
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10: But isn't he the spokesperson for all gay people?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 7:17 AM
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I am so torn about this kind of thing. In almost any relationship, I'm very attached to avoidance; if someone's making you unhappy, the thing to do is to get away from them.

But with family... doesn't everyone's family make them unhappy sometimes? If you cut them off for it at anything but a wildly severe level, I'd think lots of people would end up with no family contact at all.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 7:23 AM
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18: Smearcase, DNF the troll!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 7:24 AM
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Is that the conventional wisdom, to cut off all contact?

I thought "drone strike" was the conventional wisdom.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 7:30 AM
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If no one went to family gatherings because they were awkward and full of buried hostility, there would be no family gatherings.

Rob is correct.

I'm on Team Bring Flo, unless it is too painful for Flo. Flo is part of her life. If mom and dad want to see Alice, then they have to deal with short visits and Flo coming to town.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 7:39 AM
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What if Flo is expected to visit every month?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 7:43 AM
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I'm on Team Bring Flo, unless it is too painful for Flo. Flo is part of her life. If mom and dad want to see Alice, then they have to deal with short visits and Flo coming to town.

I'm not disagreeing about the right course of action (I don't know what the right course of action is). But this makes it sound like bringing Flo is hard on the parents, rather than hard on Flo, and I think that's backwards -- they get a chance to (deniably) snipe at her and express how unhappy they are about their daughter being a lesbian, while she gets to sit there and be a punching bag. They get to be shitty, and she has to take it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 7:47 AM
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I think it is in fact very hard on Flo. I'm personally on team cut-off contact, but mostly I'm also hyper-aware that it's easy for me to say, from this comfortable distance, and a whole 'nother thing to actually have to carry it out.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 7:49 AM
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If there are siblings involved that could make things easier. Stay at a sibling's house so they parents don't have any "not under our roof issues." Plus that way there's some leverage where if the parents are being assholes they can leave.

I assume that if and when my brother has a serious boyfriend they'll stay at my other brother's house and that'll help smooth things over. (I'm also prepared to make my own threats to get him invited to things.)


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 7:51 AM
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Going to somebody's house for a visit can leave you pretty close to trapped in some circumstances.

Yes. Especially if you go to visit someone in an area with inadequate public transportation and you don't have a car, i.e. you fly or take a train and get picked up.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 7:54 AM
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27 was I.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 7:54 AM
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(I'm also prepared to make my own threats to get him invited to things.)

This seems likely to be really helpful -- solidarity from everyone in the family who isn't being a jerk.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 7:56 AM
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I too am on team cut-off, or possibly significantly reduce (Thanksgiving and birthdays only?) contact. A lot of people here seem to be proceeding from the position that family get-togethers are necessarily a Good Thing, to be protected irrespective of the state of the relationships, and I simply don't see that.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 7:56 AM
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I get along fine with my fiancée's parents and she gets along fine with mine*, but even if we didn't, this situation would never be a problem for us because we live in DC, my parents live in Vermont, and her parents live in California. Casual visits don't happen. Thanksgiving and Christmas is it. We'd like to see them more, but we also like to travel to other places when we can and my job is kind of stingy with time off and plane tickets cost money, so we usually have to pick and choose. Last year we went out west for Christmas and up north for Thanksgiving. The year before that, we went out west for Thanksgiving and went our separate ways for Christmas. If one of us didn't get along with the others' parents, it would be very easy to manage the issue diplomatically: we'd just take shorter vacations and go our separate ways more often.

But then, "become more distant both physically and emotionally," even though it is technically a successful way to reduce social friction, is probably not the kind of advice your friend would welcome.

* Not that getting-along-with is a fair analogy for homophobia, of course, but anyways.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 7:57 AM
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If mom and dad want to see Alice, then they have to deal with short visits and Flo coming to town.

Any case like this is fact-specific, as I've heard the lawyers say, but I'm not inclined to judge the parents too harshly here. The parents are being subjected to an offspring's behavior that is wildly at variance with what they find acceptable, but they are still tolerating visits.

I recognize the problem with that analysis: It puts the parents' preferences on an equal footing with those of Alice and Flo, where the parents are, in fact, bigots. Rob in 14, as amended by chris in 15, is the right way to think of this.



Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 7:57 AM
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If you cut them off for it at anything but a wildly severe level, I'd think lots of people would end up with no family contact at all.

But not approving of / acknowledging that Alice and Flo are in a relationship isn't just background-level disapproval everyone can choke down: it's rejecting something central to who they are, why they're together, why Flo might come to family gatherings at all. Whether to cut off contact seems like a pragmatic question, but I would certainly understand it, and same with, say, keeping contact but not visiting.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 7:58 AM
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34

23 wins.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 7:59 AM
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Rob is correct.

But chris y asks a good question too.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:00 AM
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They do live about 900 miles away from each other, so there aren't casual visits involved. But the parents' town is exceedingly isolated, like in 27.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:03 AM
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33: It's all terribly fact-specific, is the thing; drawing the line between being cold out of bigotry and cold out of just generally not getting along with a child's partner is going to be hard, at least sometimes. If the parents are playing the plausible-deniability game well enough (or, which is not entirely impossible for at least some people in a similar situation, the child is reading ordinary parent-child relationship difficulties as homophobic when they're not actually), the right thing to do is going to be obscure.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:04 AM
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One complication that damns the parents, IME, is that they've become exceedingly fundamentalist since she first came out to them, years and years ago. The rabid extremism is a relatively recent development, and they used to be more tolerant-acting. To me, that feels like a real fuck-you.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:07 AM
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11: This strikes me as plausible. Staying away proves that Alice is in the wrong; going shows that she's still their daughter, is being the bigger person about all this, etc.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:10 AM
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37: Well, if this is accurate (e.a.):

cold-to-rude about anything concerning being gay or her longterm girlfriend.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:10 AM
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Like others, I haven't found that there is conventional wisdom one way or the other on this. Fuck Dan Savage.

pf is right about this:

Lacking more information, I don't see that Alice has any obligation to anyone here besides herself and her significant other. She should do whatever works for them.

and this:

Cut them off if you don't want to tolerate the abuse any more. Don't cut them off with the expectation that it will change their behavior. It's not up to you to turn your parents into non-assholes.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:11 AM
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Alice is exceedingly scared to do this, because she thinks it will de-stabilize her father, and that he's got too many risk factors for suicide. (Family history, depression, etc.)

I think this is central. Were Alice looking for advice from total strangers, I'd suggest she needs to have someone help her evaluate whether this is a real source of her ambivalence.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:14 AM
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There's also not going but inviting the parents for visits. Then the difficult decision is on the parents, things are easier because it's easier to be in your home town, and maybe the parents will think its bad to be rude to your hosts.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:14 AM
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Oh, Alice is almost certainly right about what's going on, really. But the expression of it could be pretty subtle -- cold to rude, given that Flo is apparently invited for visits, doesn't sound like "Do you and that painted Jezebel you violate the laws of God with want pancakes or eggs for breakfast this morning?" which would be easy to draw a line in the sand about, it sounds like dirty looks and lack of enthusiasm in making social chat on relationship-related subjects. If the parents are playing plausible deniability games, there's going to be difficulty about making the parents admit what they're doing with sufficient clarity to demand they quit it.

The right thing to do might easily be to withdraw, but I think there's a good chance that there's no way to get everyone involved to agree that "We're withdrawing until you quit being cold and rude," because the parents won't agree on what they're doing.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:16 AM
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We need to think long term, here. What if Alice at some point decides to have kids? (Either with Flo, or a later partner.) Her parents are going to want to see their grandchildren, and I'm not sure that simply being bigoted is reason enough to cut people off from their grandchildren.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:17 AM
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I guess the traditional approach here is to have a baby. It's a "get out of travel free" card, makes the parents desperate for contact, and lets you say "you will show respect for your grand child's mother."


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:18 AM
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I'm not sure that simply being bigoted is reason enough to cut people off from their grandchildren.

If it's good enough to cut someone off from their kids, it's good enough to cut them off from the grandkids. When exactly that's true, again, is going to be fact-specific.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:19 AM
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36: If the goal, is to avoid severing relations, then I think that renting a car is probably a good thing to do.
When I go to Canada, that's what I'm faced with. It's not as bad since the father is only mildly bigoted and it's not directed at me, e.g. those blacks in South Africa weren't ready for apartheid to end; it went too quickly, it used to be a safe country with good hospitals etc. Some homophobia too.

We are, however, likely to get a lecture about how irresponsible it is to rent a car. (I'd like to go to Toronto and be able to drive around their "city.") I have been hearing indirectly about comments about my student loans. Things like, it's really irresponsible of her not to spend every last dime paying them down, shouldn't go out to visit my relatives to go skiing. And this--despite the fact that I work for a non-profit and can get them forgiven after 10 years.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:20 AM
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If the parents are playing plausible deniability games, there's going to be difficulty about making the parents admit what they're doing with sufficient clarity to demand they quit it.

Alice is certainly troubled by this tendency of them to act right on the edge of what's acceptable. Ie "What do I say - you must believe differently in your heart of hearts?"


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:20 AM
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Do I know my unhealthy family dynamics? Sure do.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:22 AM
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Having the girlfriend avoid the parents has an aspect of giving in, almost as if Alice is accepting that there is something shameful going on.

I don't think that Alice should worry about what her parents think or feel. She should base her decision on how they act and on what feels less terrible for her & Flo.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:23 AM
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13.last is correct. Trying to change your parents is not a healthy situation to be in. At the same time, cutting off contact often "works"; that is, the parents end up changing. It's a major disruption in the family system, sort of a reset button for a family system that's in some kind of awful state because of years of nasty behavior and unspoken resentments. The thing is, you can't predict what the new state of the system will be after the reset. Also, it changes the child as well as the parents. So it's a situation where Dan Savage is quite wrong (he thinks cutting off contact is a negotiation tactic, and that contact between a queer child and homophobic parents is a good that can be bargained for), but the basic tactic often works anyway.

More concretely: I went through years of coldness from my parents regarding not just my sexual orientation but also my leaving their faith. They didn't want to hear about my social life, let alone my romantic life. And because I'm a good kid, an oldest child who did everything right, I basically played along. Eventually I decided the role-playing was too painful for me, and so I explained that to my parents and cut off contact with them for about a year and a half. During that time, I came to understand more about my own need for their approval and my participation in the unhealthy silence we had developed between us. Eventually, they made some peace offerings, and we're now back in touch. They came to my graduation and were quite nice to Mister Smearcase; they were also much better with my brother's girlfriend than they had previously been. At the same time, I think something has probably been permanently changed or lost for each of us -- some sort of unselfconscious intimacy and dependance between child and parent that continued even during the bad years. It was breaking off that intimacy that allowed us to rebuild our relationships in a healthier form, but it's an intimacy that I don't expect to ever get back.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:24 AM
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51 is also correct.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:24 AM
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"Do you and that painted Jezebel you violate the laws of God with want pancakes or eggs for breakfast this morning?"

"Why can't you bring home a nice butch like the Johnson's daughter next door?"


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:25 AM
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43: Sometimes people make excuses about how it's difficult for them to travel.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:26 AM
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Are her parents from the school of gritting teeth and praying for the daughter to get her head on straight, and until then icily refusing to acknowledge the nature of the relationship, because to acknowledge is to approve? It's really no good when both sides are enduring the present in the confidence that something will fall out of the sky (straightness descends or the parents relent) to relieve all this suffering, and those things are opposite things.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:26 AM
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It's really no good when both sides are enduring the present in the confidence that something will fall out of the sky

Lightning bolt! Lightning bolt!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:27 AM
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The problem with everyone shitting on Dan Savage is that it's hard for me to find podcasts that I enjoy jogging to, and his is sufficiently salacious to hold my interest.

New Rule: If you're going to rip on Dan Savage, you have to recommend an alternate podcast for me.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:28 AM
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Are her parents from the school of gritting teeth and praying for the daughter to get her head on straight, and until then icily refusing to acknowledge the nature of the relationship, because to acknowledge is to approve?

Yes, exactly.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:29 AM
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Oh, if they're literally refusing to acknowledge that the woman Alice keeps bringing on visits is her partner, that's not nearly as plausibly deniable as I was thinking it might be. That'd be easy (um, not easy, but clear?) to draw a line in the sand over.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:30 AM
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Too bad the parents aren't Catholic now that Francis has gone all soft on the queer question:

"If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?"

Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:31 AM
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58: Right. I've got ten hours a week of commute that I need podcasts for, and Savage fills an important niche of being about an hour long and salaciously amusing. (Can't read because I'm knitting, and there's something I don't like about audiobooks.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:32 AM
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Can we call the parents Vera and Mel? It would just make me laugh is all.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:35 AM
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I'm not sure that simply being bigoted is reason enough to cut people off from their grandchildren.

In the 10 days or so between knowing Mara existed and having her move in with us, my mother told me that she was alarmed that Mara wasn't going to a "traditional" family since she was so young and vulnerable, though she'd seemed supportive of us fostering or potentially adopting teens. We were absolutely prepared to cut my parents' access to Mara off if that attitude continued, because being a grandparent doesn't get her off the hook of not respecting our family. However, Mara arrived and was spectacularly awesome and my mom fell in love with her immediately and has been a wonderful and even helpful grandparent to Mara and the three kids we've had with us since.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:35 AM
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I'm not sure that simply being bigoted is reason enough to cut people off from their grandchildren.

I'm entirely sure that it is. It doesn't make it mandatory, but it makes it an option that couldn't be reasonably disputed by anyone outside the situation.

Remember that we're not just talking about bigotry, but bigotry against the grandchild's parents. Personally, I'd cut my parents off in a heartbeat - and came close to it once in a somewhat analagous (but much less severe) situation involving my sister. And I'm really quite fond of my parents.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:36 AM
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52 is great, and really interesting. The last bit is familiar to me, in a smaller degree. About a year and a half ago, in the middle of a fun conversation with my mother, she seemed to think I was about to come out to her, and she stopped me cold and informed me that she had no interest in knowing anything personal about me.

Since then, I barely talk to my parents, even though I've moved much closer to them. I don't tell them anything at all about anything "personal" and, when we do talk, it's 100% about them or my work. The last time my mom was in town she started weeping about how I don't talk about "boys" to her. I don't remember ever doing that, but now that I don't talk to her about anything, she fills all those silences with, I guess, lesbian sex?

I'm sad to lose that intimacy, but it was hard having an open communication about everything and then carefully scalpeling anything that might upset them. I'm out at my job (in part because there are basically zero queer role models on a campus that has like 20% queer students), and to everyone else I know. But I feel like my folks have basically said they don't want to know me. So they don't.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:36 AM
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63: I insist that we do.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:36 AM
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Hey Thorn, how do you like being my poster child for gay parents raising adopted and foster kids, such that when NPR covers the show "The Fosters", I make the leap that I ought to bring it up to you?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:38 AM
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61: He's said nice things about atheists who do good works, too. If he can just merge the two into a new soundbite, I'll be golden!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:39 AM
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I don't know exactly if 60 is right. I haven't actually been there. I just think the quote from 59 describes Vera and Mel's internal state.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:41 AM
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68: As long as your OTHER friends in interracial lesbian relationships raising a blended foster/adoptive family together and having loving-but-stressful misunderstandings don't mind, that works for me! (And I didn't know NPR had discussed it. I'm excited it's being picked up for another season and hope they'll slow the pace a bit and make it less Very Special Episode-y. But I like it a lot, even though I never get to see the start of the episodes because Nia has a hard time falling asleep on Mondays and I'm always still sitting with her. I guess tonight's the season finale.)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:43 AM
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I knew a lesbian prof from my undergrad who introduced me at her house to her cohabitating partner of 15 years as "my roommate" (one bed, pictures of snuggling next to it), apparently because the professor's mother was in town and that's just how they do it. Mom is very emotionally close to her daughter because she fully maintains the belief that she and the woman she sleeps with are really close roommates.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:44 AM
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66. But I feel like my folks have basically said they don't want to know me. So they don't.

Right. I think an important part of this is recognizing the limits of one's own control of the situation. Maybe it could be helpful to point out to one's parents how their behavior is damaging to your relationship, but maybe not.

Either way, your parents are agents. They aren't passive objects that you act upon. You don't get to tell them how to live or think. The most you can do is inform them of the consequences of behaving a particular way, and that's only helpful if you're giving them information they didn't already have.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:45 AM
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69: Pope Ratzinger was the one who surprisingly said something accepting about condoms for disease prevention, right? Or do I have my sequence of events screwed up?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:45 AM
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69: I got a nice opportunity to be the model-minority atheist yesterday - someone asked my denomination during my volunteer work and was surprised at the answer given the nature of the work (helping disabled people get to church services).


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:45 AM
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74: I think wrt sex workers in Africa, yes.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:46 AM
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Do you need to revisit 70 with a few slashes?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:46 AM
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61: the mormons have kinda softened, too, right?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:47 AM
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76: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alice_%28TV_series%29


Posted by: Natilo Paennom | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:47 AM
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77: I think we can all agree that slashing Mel and Vera would be extreme and inappropriate.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:47 AM
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77: See 63.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:48 AM
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NOM NOM DINER FOOD


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:48 AM
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I cut my father off for over a year for different reasons (he was actually entirely reasonable when I came out to my parents several years before that) and my experience was similar to Bave's.

My dad eventually visited my therapist twice with me, which did nothing to change him but allowed me to detach from him in a healthy way.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:48 AM
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I meant 77 -- what is the pwnage penalty for referring to the wrong comment?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:49 AM
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Alice's son was played by Nancy McKeon's brother! Small world, or something.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:49 AM
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I'm kinda torn about kinda liking the new pope. On the one hand he seems like a great pope, on the other hand he's still the pope and he seems to have done some bad shit. But he's very likable.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:50 AM
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Flo's real name was Polly Holliday! Omg, I want my pseud's pseud to be Polly Holliday.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:51 AM
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On the one hand he seems like a great pope, on the other hand he's still the pope and he seems to have done some bad shit. But he's very likable.

They said the same thing about Alexander VI.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:52 AM
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"Great Pope" is pretty faint praise. Apparent sincerity in being against the molestation of children is pretty much all it takes to be a great Pope.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:55 AM
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But, back on-topic, I guess I would be on Team Passive Aggressive Right Back Atchya, staying true to my MN roots. I've never seen exactly this situation play out -- just don't know enough people with fundy parents, or at least with fundy parents that they haven't cut off contact with already/for other reasons. But yeah, I mean, if this hostility is below the Jezebel level, I'd personally be inclined to just grin and bear it during infrequent visits and then laugh/complain about it at the bar once you're back home. That might not be the most emotionally healthy procedure, but it seems like it would be the least aggregate sturm und drang in the long run.

Also, I am glad Bave's parents were nice to Smearcase, because I was getting ready to be viscerally outraged at them if they were not. It was a real emotional roller coaster ride over the course of that comment.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:55 AM
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I do entirely agree with this, and should have phrased the OP to include this. And it came up in the conversation with Alice. Alice's response is that she believes the parents will in fact grow old and die without changing, and she can't bear the idea of losing them. She also readily admits that it's loyalty to the old family lovingness, and not because the current situation is meaningful or satisfying in any way. Ie she's willing to tolerate the abuse.

To return to an earlier fork in the conversation - I'm on team "accept that this process involves some losses, inconsistencies and morally unacceptable aspects and do whatever is the least traumatic".

There's a sort of advice-column conventional wisdom that I really don't like, where one talks a lot about "boundaries", "respect" and "self care" and attempts to impose a moralized template on complex human behavior. Like you're letting the side down for all gay people everywhere if you don't cut your parents off, or somehow it's immoral to decide that you'll put up with unpleasant behavior in the interests of something else, or that it's impossible to acknowledge that all the choices are bad and your "least bad" may not be the same as everyone else's.

If Alice and Flo really, truly accept that the parents are going to be shitty and they'd rather endure the shittiness than than pain of cutting off the parents, I don't think that's wrong or insufficiently self-actualized or whatever. I also don't think that they should need to confront Dan Savage's neoliberal notions of the self in addition to dealing with their own real and complex concerns.

I do think that it's important to examine carefully just why cutting off the parents seems unacceptable. Is it truly because of the relationship, love, complexity, etc, or is it because Alice fears "being a bad child" or has never really been able to stand up to the parents? If it's about Alice's own fear of confrontation or fear of being bad, then cutting the parents off seems like a good step. If it's about the actual relationship with the parents, then it seems reasonable to put up with the whole situation given that they want to put up with it.

In short, I think that focusing on whether the parents are moral/immoral is the wrong thing - the thing to look at is what motivates Alice and Flo, and what they can be truly at ease with.

I think folks get very anxious to put a simple template on how GLBTQ kids "should" relate to family - and it ends up being a template that is really white, Western and middle class, and relies on a notion of the individual that doesn't match a lot of people's lived experience. (I was just reading a good essay by a young Vietnamese queer person about how they felt that their relationship with their community and family wasn't well-described by conventional "coming out" versus "closeted" narratives...now, when I read it, the essay seemed to be dancing around a lot of stuff about fears of rejection and the ways that white supremacy/colonialism contours homophobia, but it seemed like the essay was basically saying "I can be painlessly queer in my community, have my partner recognized as my partner and stay close to my family, but there's certain types of "coming out"/boat-rocking that would actually be really destructive and violate all kinds of forms of community and I think it's okay that I don't want to do that".)

A disclosure: my parents have, like AWB's mother, made it very clear that they don't want to hear any of that stuff from me - to the point where my parents have literally observed someone shouting homophobic insults at me and then deny that this was what happened. For reasons personal to me, my life as it is today and my upbringing, I am okay with compartmentalizing my relationship with my parents. I wish it weren't this way, but it's not a dealbreaker. (Sex, relationships and bodies are not things my family talks about at all in any case so it's not like my mother would ever want me to talk about "boys" with her - both parents would be horrified and embarrassed if I talked about romantic interests; my parents are loving toward me in all other ways; my parents have a lot of personal baggage and health struggles themselves - basically, for me this is completely in line with general family dynamics.) I wouldn't actually suggest that this is the ideal way to run a railroad, or expect any other person to feel cool with such a situation - but honestly, I eventually realized that the only reason it bothered me was guilt over being "insufficiently queer" and letting the side down by not confronting my parents about this stuff. Then I decided that hell, I'm not going to run my life based on activist guilt anymore, and I stopped caring. So in my experience, it's been much better to figure out what I need rather than try to run it through "how should queer people act" or "what does Dan Savage say about boundaries" filters.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 9:01 AM
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"Polly Holliday" sounds like a bunch of swingers on vacation.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 9:04 AM
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I saw Polly Holliday in a John Guare play in 1998. I have a weird affection for Alice so this was exciting. Once I got a disc of episodes from Netlifx and boy are they awful. But they're all good actors. Linda Lavin has been in lots of stuff on Broadway and has a Tony. Beth Howland created the role of Amy in Sondheim's Company and is very wonderful on the cast album.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 9:05 AM
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There was an episode of Alice in which Mel bragged about having gotten a great deal on some plates from a restaurant that was closing. The restaurant was called Watanabe's and the plates were marked with a big "W." Turn it upside down and it's an "M." Cue laugh track.

The next day at school I excitedly told my friend Ken Watanabe about the amazing coincidence, whereupon he told me that Watanabe was pretty much the Japanese version of Smith.

And then I found 5 yen.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 9:06 AM
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The new Pope is a PR genius. Unfortunately, the Catholic hierarchy's problems extend beyond bad public relations.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 9:08 AM
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Better take those 5 yen to the police. Japan doesn't have "finders keepers."


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 9:17 AM
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And yes, Ma and Pa Dee were totally nice to me, and I assume it took some real effort, and I'm very grateful to them for being so and to Bave for doing a lot to get them to deal rightly with him, which extended to me. (I did my part by being so incredibly fucking charming they had no choice but to like me.)


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 9:18 AM
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96: I once found a $20 that the previous person had left in an ATM. I tried to return it to the bank, figuring they could just look up who used the ATM before me and put it in their account, but they said they couldn't -- I didn't really get why -- and I should just keep it.

So I really did find 4 x 5 dollars.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 9:22 AM
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So, the effortless exercise of your normal level of charm?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 9:23 AM
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99 to 97. To 98, since Stanley started with the 'five dollars' thing, I have twice found five dollar bills: once in a locker room, and once on the sidewalk. I found this much more thrilling than finding a twenty would have been: both times my thought was "I did! I really did!"


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 9:25 AM
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The only time I ever found paper money it was floating in Lake Michigan. I assumed somebody forgot to pat down the guy when they put cement shoes on him.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 9:26 AM
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since Stanley started with the 'five dollars' thing, I have twice found five dollar bills

Wait, you really twice found five dollar-bills (which is what counts)? Or do you just mean you twice found single five-dollar bills? Which, meh.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 9:31 AM
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(which is what counts)

If you're going to change the rules like that, I don't want to play anymore.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 9:33 AM
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The contours of morality and noteworthiness which characterize urpleworld continue to intrigue despite only being seen through blog comments darkly.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 9:34 AM
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68, 71: I have been watching and every single time I think, hmm, I wonder what Thorn thinks about this? I enjoy ABC Family.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 9:45 AM
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52 and 91 are both very interesting; thanks. (Do you remember where you read that essay, Frowner?) And 66 sounds terrible. As does the situation in the OP!

I have no useful advice, but wish the best for everyone.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 10:14 AM
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Speaking of non-sequiturs, the new google 7" tablet might just be the best thing in the history of things.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 10:15 AM
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I'm on team cut Vera and Mel totally off.

Full disclosure: I've cut most of my family off, for various reasons related to them being abusive, dysfunctional asshats, so bear that in mind.

Mel's a grown-ass man. If he's depressed and suicidal, it's kind of up to him to get treatment. His daughter might feel sad about it, but she can't save him. He has to save himself.

Right now, Mel and Vera are doing their best to fuck up their child's life. Apparently they have adopted a destructive religion *just* *so* they can fuck up their child's life more effectively.

Just because someone is related to you doesn't mean you need to let them have access to you.

Alice should run and not look back.


Posted by: delagar | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 10:26 AM
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72: to her cohabitating partner of 15 years as "my roommate"

I'm still a bit conflicted about a pair of extended family obituaries from earlier this year. Although clearly what one chooses to say (or in the event choose to not mention at all*) about a cohabitant of over 40 years is one's choice. Just found it a bit sad.

*And the funerals themselves were not thus constrained.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 11:50 AM
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There's probably more de-closeted obits every day though -- that's certainly what it seems like from my observations.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 11:57 AM
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I'm still waiting for obits like the British get where they call the dead guy an asshole.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 12:04 PM
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111: You mean like: "He did not suffer fools gladly."


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 12:13 PM
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111: Somewhat covering both categories, the NYTimes updated the original Ed Koch obit (which already mentioned the persistent questions about his sexual orientation) to include criticism of his stance on the AIDs crisis.

Mr. Koch was also harshly criticized for what was called his slow, inadequate response to the AIDS crisis in the 1980s. Hundreds of New Yorkers were desperately ill and dying in a baffling public health emergency. (By the end of his mayoralty, more than 5,000 AIDS patients had died in New York City.) Critics, especially in the gay community, accused him of being a closeted gay man reluctant to confront the crisis for fear of being exposed.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 12:30 PM
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I'm not sure that simply being bigoted is reason enough to cut people off from their grandchildren.

That's *insanely* wrong. Adults have little enough defense against bigotry like that coming from family. It's criminal to poison children with it. Why should ill-behaved grandparents have any right to see grandkids at all?


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 12:55 PM
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I'm mostly on team run the hell away (108) and don't look back, though I agree also largely with 91.
One thing that hasn't been mentioned (though it's suggested in 91): if Alice and Flo are, as OP suggests, long-term committed relationship, this is --and has to be, imho, a *joint* decision. [Whether Alice visits on her own, if she and Flo decide joint visits are not going to happen, that imho, could be her decision] The very worst would be for Alice to treat the decision about whether to go as one for her to make, and then try to cajole or persuade Flo of (whether it's going together or not-- depending on the particulars, I can easily imagine Flo thinking either 'screw those crazy bigots, why am I being asked to put up with this shit?' or 'screw those crazy bigots, why should I *not* go with Alice if we're together)


Posted by: backwardsinheels | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 1:11 PM
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Catching up on the thread, I don't have much to add but . . .

If you're going to rip on Dan Savage, you have to recommend an alternate podcast for me.

I have been meaning to mention this podcast as something unfogged-appropriate. It was recommended to me and, while I'm not not much of a podcast listener, I did enjoy the this episode. Probably it isn't salacious enough to be good for commuting, but hopefully worth knowing about anyway.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 1:38 PM
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Backwardsinheels speaks sense. I'm slowly coming around to the position of 108. I think family ties should not be broken lightly but abusive religious belief is one of the reasons I find compelling. There's no negotiating respectful peace with someone trying to save you from eternal damnation.

Also, while I'm being all agreeable and shit, 114 is right.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 1:50 PM
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Wow, I have lived a situation very similar to AWB and Frowner ("if you're going to date women, I don't want to hear anything about it" - followed by me not telling them anything about my personal life at all), and it's interesting to know there are others who have lived/are living that painful reality. Being bi, I eventually found someone of the opposite sex and now we can all pretend I was always straight. Far from ideal, but I've decided that's what I want to live with.

And yes, deliberately not sharing one's life with one's parents, even when not deliberately cutting off contact, definitely weirds the dynamics. Once you're not sharing anything important, what is there left to talk about? Small talk, and...that's it. I guess it doesn't help that my professional life is not exactly straightforward either.


Posted by: parodie | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 2:05 PM
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118: Yeah, I've mostly men, so it's been easy for them to pretend, too. But I haven't been in a relationship in several years now, so they are nervous, and should be.

But I've also thought about this w/r/t their racism. My parents are the sort of people for whom it's appalling to bring up their racism to me, because they've hid it so carefully all my life. But in situations when I've gotten close to non-white people, especially black people, they've clarified that they know it's wrong but they would definitely be really shitty to any black man I would date, so I should just throw the net out again and get a white one. It would just be easier for them. Also, no Japanese men, please.

I'm horrified that this is their real hidden position on things. I should choose to be with men, and with white men, not because they want me to be homophobic or racist myself--and they would be horrified if I were either--but in order to make them feel more comfortable and not remind them of their own bigotry, which is embarrassing for them.

I have wondered how much I have made sexual/romantic decisions on this basis. I can't think of an example when it was just because of my parents' disapproval, but certainly I have thought, "And there's one less disgusting conversation I have to have with my parents." And that makes me ashamed.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 2:54 PM
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I've successfully negotiated respectful peace with people trying to save me from eternal damnation. The key is having nice parents who think the best way to save you from eternal damnation is by being loving. (Doesn't stop there from being problems sometimes, but I think it's easy to overstate the extent to which fundamentalism actually requires being an asshole.)


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 3:05 PM
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My boyfriend's mother likes to warn me that he's very secretive and operates on a need-to-know basis. It used to make me kind of paranoid, since I thought he was relatively unguarded. As it turns out, her reacting poorly to truthful information meant she got less and less of it. Smart boyfriend. They speak weekly, mostly discussing the weather and trivia.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 3:15 PM
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There's a huge difference between people's stated before-the-fact beliefs on this kind of thing and their actual practice after the fact, and it's always a mistake to take officially stated ideology as a guide to behavior. Which cuts both ways -- you can have (and I've seen) nominally officially totally liberal parents freak out at their kid's black partner, or their coming out, and it's made all the worse by the fact that in that situation the parent isn't even up front about it. You can also have the reverse, the nominally conservative religious dad who in practice is welcoming and loving to their kid post coming-out.

I actually don't know what I'd do if my daughter said she wanted to marry a libertarian. I'd probably be really disappointed and angry, but then work my way around to it if the person wasn't totally unbearable in person.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 3:19 PM
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Or, put differently, there are so many things going on in these dynamics that it's probably mostly always a mistake to think that ideology alone will be enough to sink (or conversely to make work) the parent-child relationship. Or what 2 says.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 3:22 PM
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I actually don't know what I'd do if my daughter said she wanted to marry a libertarian.

Push for legislation to forbid it?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 3:34 PM
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Surely you'll try re-education camp first?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 3:37 PM
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Can we call the parents Vera and Mel? It would just make me laugh is all.

:(((


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 3:37 PM
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I actually don't know what I'd do if my daughter said she wanted to marry a libertarian. I'd probably be really disappointed and angry, but then work my way around to it if the person wasn't totally unbearable in person.

Aren't you surrounded by virtually nothing but libertarians at your Rational Caveman Workout sessions?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 3:46 PM
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Nobody's a libertarian, that I know of. The people who are vaguely political are all lefties, and there are a lot of (also pretty left wing) cops, but most are totally apolitical.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 3:49 PM
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Libertarians think they are apolitical.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 3:56 PM
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OT: Collard chips are even better than kale chips.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 3:57 PM
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While visiting a few years back, my daughter's then-boyfriend started spouting 911 Truther stuff. He was kind of a libertarian too, I think.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 4:00 PM
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So in my experience, it's been much better to figure out what I need rather than try to run it through ... "what does Dan Savage say ..." filters.

One of the reasons Dan Savage was valuable for me was, I think, precisely the moment when I developed this attitude. Although he is, as people here often say, overly contractual and perhaps even leaning over into libertarian-land, as I grew up without really discussing relationships or sexuality with people around me, even getting to the point of thinking of those subjects as things in which negotiation between two people with possibly different desires was very important. Eventually, his faults and the fact, too, that he often admits that he writes and speaks while stoned or drunk, behaves like an idiot and gives bad advice, allowed me to feel freer about having opinions of my own about what was ok or right in a given situation.
Discussions here probably helped, too.


Posted by: Awl | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 4:06 PM
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Bave's 52 is unexpectedly heartwarming.


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 5:44 PM
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Am I the only one for whom it's news that Bave and Mister Smearcase are (apparently?) in a relationship? I must have missed that thread.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 6:10 PM
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Also, I think Blume married some guy from here.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 6:24 PM
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urple-- me too. clearly I must lurk more often here. 120-- right. and easy to underestimate how much of a bigoted asshole people one can be without being fundies.
also, thx togolosh
Does anyone else wonder whether father of Alice is none-too-subtly using his unstable mental condition to manipulate Alice into playing along with family hostility against her beloved?


Posted by: backwardsinheels | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 6:26 PM
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136.last: Yes, but I always found it funny when Red Foxx did that with the "heart attacks" on Sanford and Son.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 6:31 PM
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137-- true. (I'd forgotten about that) I suspect this version is somewhat less humorous.


Posted by: backwardsinheels | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 6:34 PM
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Obviously. Because if both parents are still alive, there can be no, "This is the big one, Vera! I'm coming to join you..."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 6:44 PM
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well, yes, you got me there...


Posted by: backwardsinheels | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 6:45 PM
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I am very much on the side of 115--that this has to be a joint decision.

My last serious relationship, with the Iranian-American guy, ran into this. His relatives were, in fact, pretty toxic, but when our relationship was going well, he was being pretty good about braving things out with them. To be honest, I really wanted to be with someone who had made peace in some way with his family.

He had cut contact with them in the past, and was always threatening to do so with them in the future.

And here's the thing--he also suggested that I do so with my own family. He perceived rivalries and inhibitions that were probably there but didn't merit, in my mind, the family death penalty. That ended up being a breaking point (one of many, but an important one).

People's tolerances and attachments are different. I found it very important to be with someone who got along with and forgave their parents (as we all must). I am not interested in spending the rest of my life in solitary defiance.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 7:31 PM
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I've gotten some pushback, so I want to defend my claim that being a bigot is not enough to justify cutting someone off from their grandchildren.

All four of my grandparents were horribly racist. A lot of people my age have racist grandparents from their generation (the so-called "greatest generation.") Heebie has mentioned this about her grandparents.

My parents caused a big fight by inviting Jewish people to their wedding. The wedding was held at the country club my grandparents belonged to, which was at the time still "restricted."

As far as I can tell, the deal my parents struck with their parents included a basic provision: don't say racist crap in front of our children. I have an incredibly vivid memory of sitting down to play with my paternal grandmother and having her begin with "eenie meenie miney mo." She didn't say "catch a tiger by the toe," however. She used the n-word, which was how she learned it. My brother and I stared at her in shock. If I recall correctly, she simply left the room out of embarrassment.

Alice's situation might be different, because she is actually the target of her parents bigotry. Still, I can't help but think that grandparents should be cut a little slack for being moral fossils sometimes.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 7:55 PM
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So, my wife is running a kiddie sport league and this week has seen two of her volunteers arrested for felonies. And I can't make too many jokes because I guess that isn't supportive. Or maybe murder and child endangerment aren't funny.


Posted by: Gerald Ford | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 7:58 PM
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Yipes. Does this have to do with the big FBI child trafficking bust? (I'd say that I was hoping not, but I guess if there is murder involved, it is already as bad as it can get.)


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:03 PM
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kiddie sport

The most dangerous game.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:05 PM
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145 was great, though truthfully it's not the most dangerous game.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:09 PM
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144: Just a domestic murder and ordinary neglect of their own kid.


Posted by: Gerald Ford | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:10 PM
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The one wasn't poisoning, was it?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:11 PM
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Be quiet you.


Posted by: Gerald Ford | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:13 PM
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Well that turns out to be pretty googleable.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:17 PM
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I am from France.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:18 PM
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Somebody should have googled "murder weapons that aren't comically easy to trace."


Posted by: Gerald Ford | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:24 PM
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That's not in the FAQ for the gulliblespouses.com forums.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:27 PM
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Well, that was on the border between shocking, horrifying, and pathetic.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 8:39 PM
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Lead coffin inside stone coffin at King Richard burial site. Not having watched the right movies, they appear to be set on opening it.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 9:15 PM
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155: "The remains of King Richard III were lost for centuries beneath a parking lot in Leicester, England"

A centuries-old parking lot? That's quite a discovery!


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 9:18 PM
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157

Interesting. It appears the coffin wasn't Richard's own (they already found him) but someone buried in the same area somewhat earlier.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 9:26 PM
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158

do-do do-do


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 9:29 PM
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159

To Preserve Man


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-29-13 9:51 PM
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160

I actually don't know what I'd do if my daughter said she wanted to marry a libertarian.

Well I'm liberal but to a degree-
I want everybody to be free,
But if you think I'll let Barry Goldwater
Move in next door and marry my daughter,
You must think I'm crazy!
I wouldn't let him for all the farms in Cuba.


Posted by: Robert Zimmerman | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 1:29 AM
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A centuries-old parking lot? That's quite a discovery!

Why? There were wheeled vehicles centuries ago. They needed to be parked somewhere. They had parking lots on the outskirts of ancient Rome as part of their congestion-reducing park and ride scheme - private wheeled vehicles weren't allowed in during daylight hours, so you would park up your currus and continue in a litter or a chair.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 3:28 AM
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162

161 for best set of random facts on the blogs this morning.


Posted by: backwardsinheels | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 8:10 AM
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163

161: the Latin for park&ride is consistere et portari


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 9:18 AM
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164

162 is correct.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 9:21 AM
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165

It's actually a centuries-old car park.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 9:31 AM
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I think 142 isn't satisfactory for the OP because (as I read it) the parents have been getting absolutely, not just relatively, more bigoted and intolerant. Moving slowly from one's childhood assumptions is more tolerable than doubling down on them.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 10:25 AM
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"I actually don't know what I'd do if my daughter said she wanted to marry a libertarian."

My kid has actually been running quizzes like this on me lately. "Mom, will you love me no matter what I do? Like -- what if I marry a REPUBLICAN? Would you still love me THEN?"


Posted by: delagar | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 1:22 PM
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what if I marry a REPUBLICAN? Would you still love me THEN?"

"Honey, I'd love you no matter which party your late husband used to vote for."


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 2:02 AM
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