Re: Lovelives

1

The blog's getting old. Ten is, like, thirty-thousand in blog-years.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 1:58 PM
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Someone doesn't find me as persuasive as I do. Is that a problem the Mineshaft can address?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 1:58 PM
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Have you tried kissing the Blarney Stone, to up the persuasiveness? Going to Ireland might be a bit much, but there's any number of ginmills in NY you could smooch.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:00 PM
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Persuade yourself?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:00 PM
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Ha.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:02 PM
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Going to Ireland might be a bit much, but there's any number of ginmills in NY you could smooch.

Classy girls don't kiss in bars.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:02 PM
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You know this how, Moby?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:04 PM
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I heard it on a CD.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:06 PM
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Have you tried taking them for lunch?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:07 PM
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If I wanted music at lunch, I'd probably put it on an iPod.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:09 PM
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I got remarried over the summer. I didn't mention it here because I didn't want to disappoint the single ladies around, but it's true. Anyhow I'm already providing the extraordinarily mediocre husbanding for which I'm well known.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:10 PM
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Does she do Crossfit? Or eat grains?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:11 PM
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You're a role model, Halford.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:11 PM
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Oh wow, congratulations, Halford!


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:12 PM
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You didn't mention getting married? That's low key. Congratulations.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:12 PM
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The only fitting Mrs. Halford.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:13 PM
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Congratulations, but completely orthogonal to the topic.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:13 PM
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I thought he had mentioned it in passing. Didn't you?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:14 PM
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Give it time.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:14 PM
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Give it time.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:14 PM
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21

Does anyone have advice on opening a jar? I'm usually the one in the relationship who's good at it but these chicken breasts aren't going to simmer themselves and I'm stuck. Lee does some weird thing with a knife that always sounded sketchy and seldom seems to work. Maybe she'll be home in time.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:15 PM
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Run hot water over the top so the metal lid expands a little.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:16 PM
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Thorn--poke a hole in the lid with the tip of the knife.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:16 PM
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A sauce jar? Just hit it sharply (but with something relatively soft like the butt of your hand) on the bottom of the jar. Or run the lid under hot water.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:16 PM
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Rubber gloves, and hold it below your waistline as you're trying to turn it. And why are you buying chicken breasts in a jar?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:17 PM
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gently break the seal between lid and jar with a bottle opener or the tip of a butter knife. You'll hear a sound. Then it wrists open easily, might not reseal.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:18 PM
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Rubber gloves, and hold it below your waistline as you're trying to turn it.

At least somebody remembers this is a sex thread.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:18 PM
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I use a method I learned from watching Olympic weightlifting.

1. Close your eyes and visualize yourself opening the jar.

2. Open the jar!

Truthfully, this doesn't work all the time, but it has worked on occassion.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:18 PM
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Step 2 is completely failure proof.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:19 PM
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The chicken breasts are in the pan cooking and the garlic sauce is in a jar because I have an excuse to be a lazy cook. I will try hot water first and move on from there. I used to have a little grippy plastic thing that was great, like that hideous pocked stuff you're supposed to put at the bottom of drawers, but Lee threw it away. Mostly I use peep's method, more or less.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:20 PM
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27: Come to think, the thread has just recapitulated the blog. A quick transition from sex to annoying domesticity. If I'd only come in early to shout at baa about piles of burning bodies, it'd be perfect.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:20 PM
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And it was supposed to be a joke about how the useful thing about a relationship is the second pair of hands for things like jar-opening, but I really haven't been able to open the jar.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:21 PM
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I do spend a fair amount of time addressing Buck as "Tall Man" or "Strong Fingers", to indicate what I need him to do next. I've got terrible grip strength -- I'm fairly strong otherwise, but things like jar opening that are literally about the strength of your fingers I'm useless.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:24 PM
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Bang the edge of the lid against a table or counter top several times, rotating the jar a little between hits so that you bang around the circumference of it, roughly. That usually breaks the seal for me.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:25 PM
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But I shouldn't be commenting in this thread at all, coming up on my sixteenth wedding anniversary as I am. I only vaguely remember dating, not that it happened much while I was in the room.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:25 PM
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I also just fucked up Rice-a-Roni, which I was making as a special treat for Lee to show that I do in fact respect that she has preferences about things like fake rice. I hope it tastes okay without browned vermicelli, because throwing the spice pack into the butter ruined that one. At least now everyone knows not to heed my advice!

Heating the jar and then imagining myself opening it worked. I mean, both I imagined it and I opened it. My life is so interesting, you guys!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:26 PM
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I also just fucked up Rice-a-Roni, which I was making as a special treat for Lee to show that I do in fact respect that she has preferences about things like fake rice. I hope it tastes okay without browned vermicelli, because throwing the spice pack into the butter ruined that one. At least now everyone knows not to heed my advice!

Heating the jar and then imagining myself opening it worked. I mean, both I imagined it and I opened it. My life is so interesting, you guys!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:26 PM
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And if that doesn't work, just smash the jar down into a big pot and pick out the glass shards.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:26 PM
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39

Never mind.


Posted by: Emily Litellostropher | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:28 PM
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I thought it would take longer for the sex-life thread to turn into a thread about Rice-a-Roni.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:28 PM
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to show that I do in fact respect that she has preferences about things like fake rice.

Long-term relationships can achieve a Byzantine level of complexity.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:29 PM
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Also, the baby is still sleeping. I am going to be able to go out and play trivia with my friend once I get her to bed tonight, which would normally happen in 90 minutes but obviously since she's still sleeping probably won't. I think that means I'm going to be so late I should just cancel, which means I'll get in trouble with my counselor for not going out even though I promised I'd prioritize time for myself. I have failed at getting up early to have time to read and at just about everything that isn't child care. Argh. I am making this the baseline so that other relationships can look better by comparison.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:32 PM
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43

Recognizing that the obvious advice to leave Lee with a wakeful baby isn't as easy as it looks from here, man, that sounds rough. But don't layer on worrying about your counselor's disapproval on top of it -- you're paying her to help you, not to make you feel worse.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:34 PM
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44

play trivia with my friend once I get her to bed tonight

I've played trivia with friends lots of times, but never in bed.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:36 PM
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45

43.last: Oh, I don't actually feel guilty about it, but it's just pretty stupid and bad if I can't even do the really basic self-care stuff I promised to do. And I can't do it because Lee has become a basket case and hates me but is maybe getting better these last few days. Eventually she'll be able to put all three kids to bed, which I guarantee is not very hard since I've had to do it plenty of days since we've had three kids, but both last week and this week were apparently more than she could bear. On the plus side, she's taking over general putting-baby-to-bed since I do it for the two naps and since it's basically snuggly fun, though with a fair amount of yelling.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:37 PM
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44: Ask the Mineshaft for advice, dude. This is not the help-Thorn-write-better open thread.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:38 PM
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47

This has to do with marriage, not sex. But wtf.

I'm going up for promotion, which requires me to do a fuckton of extra work.

My significant other swore he would help out by taking over most of the housework, shopping, et cetera, and by dogging the kid into doing more than her share too.

He is not coming through.

What are my options, y'all? (A) Start a big fight which will take more psychic energy than I have available at the moment (B) Sulk (C) Move into a garage apartment, because fuck this shit (D) Get over it

(E) ???


Posted by: delagar | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:40 PM
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48

Playing trivia in bed could come up on a dating thread, although I'd think that having gotten to that point would indicate that things were pretty relaxed.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:40 PM
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I commented last year looking for advice about how to negotiate an arrangement with my husband that allows me to have sex with someone else. Our relationship has not gone well over the intervening time period so an extramarital affair, even one that accepted by everyone, probably isn't a possibility right now.

Which is unfortunate because I finally met someone who I'd like to have sex with. So, assuming my marriage improves, how does one go about setting up this thing on the side?


Posted by: Hillary Clinton | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:41 PM
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(E) Just Don't Do It. Do what you can, and what's minimally necessary to keep the kid indoors and fed, and other than that let it all go. Don't fight about it, just abandon standards of civilized living. Takeout is your friend, as is drycleaning.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:42 PM
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I visit my girlfriend in her new rust-belt home this past weekend. Everything there is very cheap and strangely empty. She seems content with it for now, I think? I couldn't imagine ever moving there.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:42 PM
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What are my options, y'all?

Someone covered this in our new-faculty thing this afternoon: hire someone to do your cleaning and grocery shopping and laundry and maybe even cooking.

They later said that finding the money for this is much easier after tenure. Gee, thanks.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:44 PM
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43: Teach Mara and Nia how to put the baby to bed. Then, teach them to mix you a nice cocktail and quiz you on trivia. That should get you at least a B+ in therapy.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:44 PM
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So, assuming my marriage improves, how does one go about setting up this thing on the side?

Start by talking about how the French are so much more civilized than we are about that sort of thing -- look at Mitterand's funeral, with his wife and mistress standing supportively together? Seriously, I have no idea.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:45 PM
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51 visit s/b visited


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:47 PM
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Mrs. Clinton probably discussed this last year, but if the relationship is going badly, and she's met someone else she'd like to have sex with, I'm not really understanding the long-term future of the marriage.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:51 PM
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47: Good luck on the promotion. I kind of agree with survival mode. Give up on husband; it just takes mental energy renegotiating and reminding and fuming. I assume there is stuff the kid can do (litterboxes & laundry?). Also, for food, variety is not your friend. If you can stand it, one of you (obviously him) should make two huge vats of food whenever there's the most free time. One is lunch, one is dinner. Anyone who complains can plan, shop, and prepare their own. I don't know how much cleaning you normally do chez delagar, but I bet everything except dishes can wait a few months.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:51 PM
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coming up on my sixteenth wedding anniversary as I am. I only vaguely remember dating

Word. We passed our 16th a few months ago. Dating again would be kind of awful.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:52 PM
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59

Things were going poorly about six months ago but have improved greatly since then. Not to the point where something on the side is a possibility right at this moment but probably a possibility in 3 to 6 months if things continue to go well.


Posted by: Hillary Clinton | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:54 PM
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That's a point.

What I was thinking was more, if having sex with someone else is something that's important enough to you that you've been planning/seriously thinking about it for a year, and you think your marriage could have lasted through it when things were going better, maybe you should just bring it up now anyway. I tend to think of most complicated and obscure problems as being like oldfashioned TV sets, in that while you can't always fix them by whacking them on the side really hard, if you haven't got any better ideas it's worth a shot.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:54 PM
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61

Was that a banned analogy? I meant it as more of a metaphor.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:55 PM
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and 60.1 was to 56. I have a hearing tomorrow, which leads to compulsive commenting while I prep.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:56 PM
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63

My love and sex lives are going quite well lately, thanks for asking!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 2:57 PM
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64

I wonder what neb's love and sex lives are like?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 3:00 PM
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I guess the question was about dating and sex lives rather than love and sex lives, but the phrase "dating life" is not very familiar to me.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 3:00 PM
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Yeah, I'm having trouble following your logic. I'm sure the commentariat will respond that this is perfectly terrible advice, but here goes anyhow. Just go get laid and get it over with. It's a separate issue from whether you want to continue being married. And if it would damage it now, it's going to damage it in the future as well.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 3:01 PM
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59: It's funny how different people are. I can't imagine having marital problems where I thought I could predict what things were going to be like three to six months out -- any problem I had that level of understanding of, I'd think I could get it worked out without waiting. I suppose if the timing were a result of outside circumstances, but I still don't really get it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 3:02 PM
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That is, I want to get the marriage just healthy enough to have an affair doesn't seem like a winning long-term strategy.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 3:02 PM
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I like y'all's advice. The kid can and will do dishes and the cats, we can eat frozen food / Chinese takeout / cereal, and I'll just say fuck the rest.

A solution I can live with.


Posted by: delagar | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 3:04 PM
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Oh, hey, Lee figured out on her own that it was sort of ridiculous to ask me to stay in so she could slack off and watch tv, and so I get to go out and she'll see that bedtime is generally not so difficult. Or else it will be awful and I'll never be able to go out again, but at least I'll get tonight.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 3:04 PM
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66: I can see some possible logic -- if she doesn't want to do it without telling her husband, and doesn't want to end the marriage, then "Everything's great, I love you, I want to stay married, I'd also like to screw Bob here as an experiment if that's all right with you," seems more convincing than "I know we're having trouble, I hope the marriage can be saved, oh, and I'd like to screw Bob, but that has no relationship to how invested I am in the marriage." The latter situation sounds much more like "This is over and I'm telling you in gradual stages" than the former.

I'm not sure it works; I wouldn't be sure of anything. But if that's what Hillary's thinking, I can follow it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 3:05 PM
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70: Lee FTW!


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 3:06 PM
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"I want to work things out with you so I can have sex with him" doesn't seem like a winning reason for working on a marriage.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 3:06 PM
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74

Well, still no dating or sex for me as lo these many years. Unrequited crush of a few months ago kinda got me to take some baby steps. Signed up or re-signed really, for OkCupid. So far a few messages which I should reply to but they're not from the ones I might like. Yes I know I should do more but my last attempt to make the moves failed spectacularly - I really need some basic indication that the person finds me attractive.


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 3:15 PM
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Here is the thread where it initially came up.

The situation at that time was that he had casually indicated that he would be ok with me having a thing on the side but it was hypothetical at that point because there wasn't anyone I wanted to have sex with. Our relationship worsened after that and it didn't really make sense to waste energy pursuing this hypothetical situation instead of working on the marriage. But now things have improved quite a bit and close enough to the point where I was last year that I'm now thinking seriously about the side thing again. The added difference is that there is an actual person I'm interested in at this point.


Posted by: Hillary Clinton | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 3:19 PM
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Not much, Bill.

Things are better here (with the odd brief shitty bit) - not great, but improved. We had a few days away just the two of us this summer, and I wasn't dreading it, and it was ... nice. We're back to the friendly housemates stage, rather than housemates who are sick of each other. But haven't really got any further than housemates, iykwimaityd.

I dunno, it's a bit boring, which is I guess better than awful, but the prospect of another thirty years of it doesn't fill me with joy. And I'd always thought that if things got too bad, I'd run away to be with Halford, but I've just crossed that one off my list.

Congratulations, you secretive fucker.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 3:26 PM
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75: Players who wear tennis skirts wear what looks like a bikini bottom under the skirt (either over or without underwear). They put the ball under the spandex. No pockets unless they've changed since I played.

If they're high schoolers, it already looks creepy.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 3:28 PM
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And Thorn, hope you are heading out soon, glad Lee stepped up.

Delagar, good luck with working on your promotion.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 3:30 PM
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79

Intern-age or older.


Posted by: Bill C | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 3:31 PM
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80

Then you have my blessing. Wear a baseball cap.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 3:34 PM
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I still crack up at a joke apo made way back when that women will be sad when the eliminate the men, and they have no one left to open jars and kill bugs.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 3:36 PM
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When C and I moved in he already owned a gizmo for opening jars. So as long as I keep that when I eliminate him, I'll be fine. Bugs I deal with by myself.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 3:40 PM
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C is a goddamn fool. I monopolize the bug-killing expertise in my family just so I don't suffer the same fate. Also, I'm the one who throws out moldy things.

Marriage sure is glamorous.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 3:42 PM
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Among the many reasons that young children are hell on a sex life, having your day and sleep schedules shifted an hour or so away from your partner is not helping any (complicated work/daycare logistics).


Posted by: George Washington | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 3:43 PM
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Jar opening: Get one of these twisters. We had one growing up and it was the sort of thing I was puzzled to learn that everyone didn't own.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 3:45 PM
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63 is worthless without pics details.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 3:54 PM
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Or at least some ASCII art.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 3:55 PM
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87: unless it involves a chicken.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 4:02 PM
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Hey, speaking of sex lives, has this come up here yet?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 4:10 PM
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67: I met a nice young lady and we dig each other.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 4:13 PM
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s/6/8/


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 4:14 PM
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The essay in 90 feels familiar to me. I remember asking a guy what the payoff was, and he replied, "The element of surprise." I'm not sure how to take that.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 4:34 PM
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and he replied, "The element of surprise."

So I ripped his dick off. Surprise!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 4:41 PM
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I would think it's related to that you can't tickle yourself.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 4:41 PM
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90: I preferred the Garfunkel & Oates version.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 4:41 PM
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How did you meet her, Ben?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 4:44 PM
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On the internet.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 4:46 PM
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christianmingle.com?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 4:47 PM
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If there are any single lurkers, I think they probably left after reading the first 40 or so comments.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 4:48 PM
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The thing linked in 90 doesn't actually make much sense to me, coming from a straight woman. I mean, presumably she's having sex with men who are requesting/apparently enjoying hand jobs, and she's arguing that they shouldn't want her to jerk them off, they should do it themselves? If she doesn't want to because it's boring/annoying/leads to RSI, that's one thing, but presumably the dude getting jerked off is the best judge of what he wants.

I could see an article from a straight man, saying something similar: "Laydeez, don't think giving me a hand job is doing me any favors, I'm better at it than you are. I want contact with mucous membranes or nothing!" He'd be in a position to know if hand jobs were or weren't desirable. But as written, it seems off.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 4:49 PM
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91: Exciting! Yay for Neb!

I am applying for permanent residency, and the thought that, however unlikely, my application might be denied and my cosy and happy life here would be destroyed is filling me with some serious existential dread. (Everything will be fine, really, but I can't quite convince myself of this.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 4:52 PM
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cosy

Just point them at the change in spelling.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 4:58 PM
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I think I may have always spelled that one "wrong", but it is getting more natural.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 5:00 PM
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Poor Buck has been writing for publications on both sides of the Atlantic for twenty years or so, and the flipflopping back and forth between American and British English drives him nuts. (Although it should be easier in future, he just dropped his UK job in favor of another American one.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 5:04 PM
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So no longer biting the hand that feeds IT?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 5:14 PM
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Indeed. If his new gig blows up, which it might, it's a startup, there's a good chance he'll be back, though. The relationship was severed with tears and hugs all around.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 5:20 PM
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76: If you can find an attractive woman who would like to bang your husband you're set. Post a picture in the flickr pool and let the single ladies of the mineshaft have at it.

More seriously, I don't envy your position, or your husband's. I'm perfectly down in theory with the idea of giving a partner a hall pass or making some similar arrangement, but if a request were to come right when things were rough I'd be inclined to point to door. If you think your marriage is worth holding on to I think you either need to suck it up and let this opportunity pass or plan on having a lot of long and possibly unpleasant conversations with the husband.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 5:31 PM
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108

Oh hey, I forgot that trivia night is Tuesday and presumably stood up my friend last night because of that. I did go out and have two drinks and still got back in time to so far put two of three to bed, with requests from Mara that I be downstairs in ten minutes to make sure she gets off to dreamland. I pretty much feel like an idiot on all fronts, but I'm very grateful to Lee that she tried and that I got 45 minutes of being reminded that adults aren't necessarily any more engaging to talk to than the wee folk are.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 5:39 PM
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109

Soooo, Ben. Tell us more, much more.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 5:47 PM
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110

Be specific, JM.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 5:51 PM
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111

111: When do we get to meet her?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 5:52 PM
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112

Were lipograms involved at any stage of establishing the relationship?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 5:55 PM
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113

Do you have butterflies?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 5:55 PM
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114

Have you given her a hickey?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 5:56 PM
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115

Are you Facebook lovers?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 5:56 PM
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116

Have you shared a plate of spaghetti consisting of exactly one strand?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 5:57 PM
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117

Do you LIKE like her?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 5:57 PM
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118

113 is actually a question I was going to ask in earnest.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 5:58 PM
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119

Which base are we talking here?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 5:58 PM
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120

Have you met her besties?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 5:59 PM
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121

119: Who says I'm not earnest?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 5:59 PM
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120: Flared, one hopes. Safety first.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 5:59 PM
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123

And her breasties?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 5:59 PM
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124

Do you get a lot of annoying questions about her?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 6:00 PM
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125

Does she know about us?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 6:00 PM
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126

Would ogged approve of her?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 6:00 PM
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127

Do the curtains match the drapes?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 6:01 PM
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128

Is she an angel in the kitchen?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 6:01 PM
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129

What do her parents do?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 6:02 PM
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130

Did she skip a grade?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 6:02 PM
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131

Does:
a) she play the bass?
and/or
b) her job involve wielding a whistle at a swimming pool or other aquatic venue?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 6:02 PM
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132

Is it safe?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 6:03 PM
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133

How well did she do on the charts on the GRE?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 6:03 PM
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134

Does she appreciate the stacking of rocks?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 6:05 PM
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135

What's her explanation for the image reversal in mirrors?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 6:06 PM
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136

||

Oh hey, 134 reminds me. I saw this today and thought of you all. In Nature, note.

|>


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 6:07 PM
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137

128: Carpet/curtains?


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 6:07 PM
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138

Why must everybody laugh at my mighty sword?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 6:07 PM
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139

Does the carpet match the subfloor?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 6:08 PM
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140

85: I have no idea how or why people manage to have a second child.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 6:09 PM
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141

Why does she keep commenting on Unfogged, despite having been repeatedly banned?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 6:11 PM
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142

I NEVER THOUGHT A LINE PLOT WITH A NOMINAL X VARIABLE WOULD HAPPEN TO ME...


Posted by: OPINIONATED CONTRIBUTOR TO "LETTERS TO NATURE" | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 6:11 PM
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141: Having two close in age is a tad hellacious early on but it pays off later on when they have each other to run around and play with instead of harassing you.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 6:13 PM
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144

Does she close quotes before or after the period?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 6:13 PM
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145

144: But how did you DO it?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 6:14 PM
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146

That would be in the butt, Bob.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 6:15 PM
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147

gswift has butt babies?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 6:15 PM
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148

I just got an "If we get married..." text. Yeah, okay dear. If that happens.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 6:20 PM
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149

Mrs. Clinton,

My experience with open relationships is they happen to end with the nuclear implosion of the original relationship, usually with much more pain and awkwardness than the breakup would have caused originally. Theoretically I know they can be done successfully, but every time I've tried it or someone I know has tried it, it would have been far better off to end the original relationship then and there and just moved on to someone or something else.

I'm finally getting divorced, something I should have done 2 years ago, but it turns out it's actually very hard to divorce someone on the opposite side of the world who is only minimally cooperative. I would have thought living several continents away would be a point in favor of divorce, but it turns out that's not so much the case. Anyways, now it turns out I might be living in the same country as my ex, but this isn't making it easier, probably because it's not the country I'm getting divorced in. It also turns out divorce is surprisingly hard. I successfully sued a former landlord in small claims court on my own following instructions from the court website, and I do my own taxes every year with no help, but the divorce instructions are extremely byzantine and seems like they're designed to make you need a lawyer, even with the easiest possible scenario (no kids, no shared assets or debt). My current partner, who I've been dating for almost 2 years, is getting less and less patient with the fact I'm still married to someone else, which I completely understand, but at the same time, getting divorced is a PITA. And I don't even have any contentious issues, just the paperwork. Though a part of me is afraid my ex will refuse to get anything notarized, because he'll have to make an appointment at his home country's consulate to do so, and that requires effort, something he's not so great at.


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 6:21 PM
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150

149 brings to mind many, many questions.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 6:22 PM
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138: Such a dirty mind.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 6:24 PM
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152

Always get it up for the touch of the other kind


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 6:27 PM
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150: Sorry to hear it Britta. Good luck with the process. I got lucky and had no joint property -- summary dissolution was all I needed.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 6:27 PM
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154

Poverty, hooray.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 6:30 PM
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155

Neb is capable of love?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 6:33 PM
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156

Of making it.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 6:34 PM
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157

Sweet, sweet, it.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 6:34 PM
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He makes it in the morning,
and in the afternoon.
He makes it in the evening
and underneath the mooooooon....
Skidamarinky-dinky-dink Neb makes love!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 6:36 PM
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159

He makes it out of nothing at all.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 6:36 PM
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160

nothing at all.

nothing at all.

nothing at all.

nothing at all.

Stupid sexy nosflownders.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 6:38 PM
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161

Stupid broken italic tag, also.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 6:38 PM
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162

There's a "Take It to the Limit" joke in here somewhere.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 6:43 PM
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163

163: Well, it's like a lady getting out of a car -- sometimes you see it, sometimes you don't.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 6:49 PM
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164

148: When your kid gets older you'll find yourself thinking of her as a turd on a regular basis.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 7:00 PM
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165

"Take It to the Limit"


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 7:15 PM
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166

Every time I see the thread title in small font on the phone, I think it says "Lovelines".


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 7:27 PM
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167

Love lines breeding hand in hand.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 7:52 PM
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168

I had the "open relationship" talk with my girlfriend a couple of months ago.

To get there, I had to figure out that the main thing holding me back from moving toward marriage was regret that I'd never given myself the chance to experience casual dating & sex outside a long-term committed exclusive relationship - and had only had a couple of those.

I'm a naturally curious person - the kind who looked at college course catalogs and tried to figure out how many semesters it would take to take all the courses. Each relationship I've had taught me a lot and helped me become a better person and learn more about myself and about how to be a goid friend and lover, and I think I deprived myself of the ability to learn about myself and what kinds of relationships I wanted by trial-and-error, because I had this idea that I was supposed to want a certain kind of relationship, and that if I'm a good person that's what I have to want, and if I didn't get a girlfriend quick I'd die alone.

I count myself incredibly lucky that with such a shitty search method I found a wonderful girlfriend who makes me better at things and is interested in working on becoming better together and in actually thinking things through when they're not working, etc. But she's pretty conventional about sex in some ways, and I'd assumed that bringing up the topic would end in a decisive rejection that would possibly end the relationship. Which would make me sad, because I love my girlfriend, and also in the long run I'm unlikely to do much better, even before you subtract search costs.

Now, this sort of thing is hard to talk about because it's hard to think about because there aren't really many available role models or examples of healthy alternative relationships. (Though I started thinking that we really needed to have a talk soon when we were watching Mad Men with a couple of friends and one of them remarked that early-seasons Don Draper is a little sympathetic in his cheating because there's no language for what he wants, but in later seasons he's a contemptible loser because he knows about swingers etc. but still goes for lying and cheating instead.) And I knew some people doing the polyamory thing where basically everyone dates everyone, so that's what I thought I wanted. And what I asked for at first. And predictably my girlfriend didn't like it at all.

Then after thinking about it for a couple of weeks, she brought up the subject again, and said, in effect, "Based on what you specifically said about what you want, I think you're just asking for an open relationship. And I think I'm okay with that. I think that separately you also want to become closer with some of your friends, which obviously I'd also support." So it turns out that honesty was the best policy, at least so far.

The downside is that she very specifically said she doesn't want to know the details, which makes it feel a little bit like I'm lying to her even though I'm not, but we had a talk about that and we're working things out.

We also had a talk about the future & marriage and kids, neither of us wants kids until we can afford to pay someone to do the miserable parts (or at least have space to host an au pair), and she doesn't object (yet) to my desire to have three if we have any, on the "replacements plus a spare" principle, so no one kid gets undue pressure to fulfill all our (really, my) expectations.


Posted by: President Merkin Muffley | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 7:52 PM
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169

What do you expect from kids such that you foresee the need for a spare one?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 8:10 PM
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170

I hope it isn't industrial piece work.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 8:13 PM
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171

Ok, here's my question for the mineshaft.

This bracelet was on my girlfriend's wishlist for a while, so I bought a Tiffany's gift card at a discount and used it to buy the bracelet for her birthday in early August.

She loved it and basically never took it off, she even slept and showered wearing it. Then one day she lost it. It must have broken and fallen off.

There is still some money on the Tiffany's gift card.

Do I:

1) Get her another one for Hannukah
2) Get her something else to replace it
3) Forget the whole thing
4) ???


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 8:13 PM
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172

Tomorrow is the last day of Sukkot. Why not get her one for that?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 8:15 PM
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173

170: One might not give me grandchildren, for example. Frankly, if I could skip kids and go straight to grandkids I would be happier.

Or one might turn out to be a happy underachiever.

One might turn out to be stupid, or an Austrian-economics libertarian or other ideologue, or in some other way unlikeable.

Any of these things would be easier to accept if I had two more children. And I don't want disappointment to color my interactions with my kids. Therefore I need three.


Posted by: President Merkin Muffley | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 8:19 PM
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174

Or is that one of the sad holidays? ("We didn't even have a roof back then and the dessert sun is hot")


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 8:20 PM
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175

175: It's neither sad nor a gift-giving holiday. I suppose I could get her a bracelet with a citron or a heart of palm on it.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 8:22 PM
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176

Yeah, give her a citron. Way better.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 8:23 PM
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177

174: What if two turn out stupid and drag the third one down?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 8:27 PM
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178

"Citron" sounds like a replacement for a clockwork orange. A digital orange.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 8:28 PM
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179

Citrus medica var. sarcodactylis is fucking creepy. Something to serve at your Cthulu-themed Sukkot parties, I guess.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 8:33 PM
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180

"Lovelines"

JD if you need a fishing partner, please let me know.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 8:34 PM
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181

Look at the Baldwins. If they'd have stopped at one, I think there would have been less disappointment.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 8:34 PM
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182

178: It's about reasonable risk reduction, not total safety.


Posted by: President Merkin Muffley | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 8:36 PM
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183

In my personal, non-internet vicarious experience (that is to say, I've never tried one, but know people who have) the "open relationship" has an exactly 0% success rate -- that is, it has never ever, ever, ever, ever worked for anyone I've known personally, and has always been a sign that a relationship is really just about to end. I know that the internet is chock full of people who are willing to give you counter-examples, but I've never seen it personally.

I have known a few people who have made a willful ignorance/never discuss it cheating policy "work" in the sense that the relationship seems to continue for a very long time and to not be (from the outside) totally horrible despite what feels like pretty obvious adultery. But also plenty of relationships where cheating has ended in total disaster.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 8:36 PM
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184

180: Cthulhu isn't kosher.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 8:37 PM
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185

I don't think it's necessarily you-eating-Cthulu that it pays to be concerned about.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 8:48 PM
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186

Citrus medica var. sarcodactylis is fucking creepy.

Hey, that's buddha's hand you're talking about.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 8:50 PM
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187

I've known of open relationships that worked, but not many. I was in one in for a while and they definitely don't work for me. The relationship didn't implode as a result of it, in fact it lasted for many years afterwords, but the mutual bitterness it left poisoned things for quite some time. (This applies only to serious relationships, if I'm not in love I genuinely don't care.) But here are signs that it might work for you.

1) Whenever you heard a friend or acquaintance expressing pain or anger over a cheating partner, you offered your sympathy while privately thinking 'what's the big deal, why does he/she give a damn'. (Sort of the way I'd feel about someone complaining that their b/gf isn't holding up their side of the agreement to vacuum the house once a week rather than every month or not leave dirty laundry on the floor).

2) Your partner feels the same way.

3) You don't need to do the slightest bit of persuading or

4) If you do, you know that you'll be able to not only switch back to closed the moment your partner says that's what they want, but also express sincere remorse.

If your partner is against it, getting him/her laid is unlikely to work in changing his/her mind. I know of a case where a friend of mine was in one where it was only open because for her it was a non-negotiable condition. His pain and resentment was poisoning their relationship. When he went to spend a few months on business in her home town she quietly got her BFF to seduce him in order for him to see the light. Unfortunately for her, the only reason the seduction was successful was because the boyfriend thought that fucking her BFF would make her understand how painful it was and agree to change things.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 9:11 PM
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188

184: Uh oh. Objectively that's bad news for me.

On the other hand, what it feels like from the inside is that I'm learning to finally be honest about what I want, and that I'm communicating better and more often with my girlfriend (although we've also made some other changes in our life to talk with each other more often and more mindfully). We're talking more openly about life goals, about what's working, and about what isn't, and it's great!


Posted by: President Merkin Muffley | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 9:14 PM
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189

188: Thanks for the checklist. This is slightly better news.

1) This is pretty much the way I feel. I have never had first-order sympathy for jealousy or pain about cheating. I sympathize on the more abstract level - I understand what it is to trust someone to behave in a certain way, only to find that they have behaved in a different way. But I find it hard to really care about who's allowed to have sex with whom.

2) She hates the idea of "cheating," but didn't seem particularly upset about the idea of an open relationship. I think a big part of it is the implied betrayal of trust, which is not a factor if it's discussed and agreed to in advance. I can't get inside her head, and in particular can't know how much of what she says is how she really feels and how much is what she thinks she ought to feel, but she's probably somewhere between me and a typical person on this.

What she's said is that she's more worried that I'll fall in love with someone else and leave the relationship because of that, which (a) I think is pretty unlikely and (b) insofar as it is possible, it is also possible without an open relationship (she actually brought that point up).

3) I didn't really have to argue or speak persuasively on purpose, I just explained what I wanted and why. She thought about it for a couple weeks (during which I let the topic drop, so as not to apply undue pressure) and said OK with some qualifications.

It's possible that there was some implicit pressure, since I did say that this would make it easier for me to commit in other ways, which she wants, but she's said explicitly that she does not think of this as a quid pro quo.

4) Likely. Depending on exactly what "remorse" means. I won't lie and say I acted wrongly if I don't think I did, but I'd certainly be sorry to have caused pain.


Posted by: President Merkin Muffley | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 9:38 PM
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190

186: I AM THE ONE WHO EATS


Posted by: OPINIONATED JEWISH WALTER WHITE | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 9:41 PM
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191

...she quietly got her BFF to seduce him in order for him to see the light.

Friends help you move, best friends help you move bodies, BFF help you by moving their own bodies.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 9:42 PM
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192

I know a couple who apparently had an open relationship but apparently also were in denial at that time that they were in a relationship. I don't know if either ever used the openness but after a certain point of not sleeping with anyone else they came to the conclusion they really were a couple and then they got married.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 9:50 PM
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193

Boy, I sure can identify with a lot of the stuff in 169. Except for the part about actually finding a great girlfriend, of course. I don't have any advice, but I can imagine exactly how you feel and I sympathize.

I do have advice for 172, though. Get her another one.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 9:59 PM
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194

It's neither sad nor a gift-giving holiday.

It's my dad's Yahrzeit, so it's kind of sad for me. Not generally a sad holiday, though, of course.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 10:00 PM
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195

Anyway, my own dating life remains nonexistent as ever (though my general social prospects have been improving lately). I did get a message on OkCupid recently that's turned into an interesting back-and-forth, so there's that.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 10:11 PM
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196

I just got home from a second date. I can't tell if I'm not interested in her because she isn't interested in me, or vice-versa. Either way, no third date is forthcoming.


Posted by: Light Rail Tycoon | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 10:41 PM
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197

To the extent I thought something might be going somewhere, distance is proving to be too much to move beyond. It's too bad that not rushing into things is something we have in common.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 10:47 PM
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198

And speaking of OkCupid, I just stumbled across the profile of someone I know through work.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 10:49 PM
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199

A dating thread. Can I throw this in here? (Congrats to Halford and nosflow.)

In friendship, I have had rotten luck with women. I'm starting to think that this really is related to "not having any luck with women" romantically (also kind of true). For over a decade, my closest friends, including my husband, have almost all been guys. I have a few long-term female friends, but there just seems to be this insurmountable distance; I don't think any of them would count me among their close friends. I've also had a large number of past close friendships with women explode on me and dissolve -- some of that was mostly my fault, but I can't (although I've certainly tried) claim responsibility for all of it.

I suppose I don't need to have any close female friends, but it bothers me in principle and I'm lonely in practice. More generally I'd like socializing with other women to be pretty comfortable and not the current teeth-gritting ordeal of awkwardness (sorry, everyone I just had dinner with). More more generally: I'd like to be able to relate to both men and women equally well, as a human being, because a) understanding and sympathy shouldn't be limited to one gender and b) if I have to be Alice Sheldon, I'd like more literary success.

But... there's probably no point to this. It seems possible to give advice to a sympathetic but hapless guy about how to get along better with women, and not all that advice is purely sexual. I don't know if it's possible to give parallel advice to someone in this position. I can't just ask "hey, ladies, what do you look for in your friends?" So you may prefer to talk about the problem of friend-seeking in middle age more generally...


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 10:51 PM
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200

I don't have any real advice, lk, but I have heard other women voice the exact same concern, so I can at least say you're not alone in your predicament.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 10:58 PM
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201

I also agree that it's probably closely related to the dating-related problems that people talk about more frequently.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 10:59 PM
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202

The dyadic pairing off thing plus the fact that people are assholes makes forming and maintaining friendships in general a problem after about 30 (he said, writing in the office). I'd say on average women seem to do a better job at it than men but it probably sucks across the board. Most likely you just happened to have a bunch of guy friends when our good ole buddy adulthood showed up and shut down the friendmaking party.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 11:03 PM
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203

So what you're saying, Halford, is that I have about another year to make some friends before dooming myself to eternal loneliness? Sounds reasonable enough.

(Also congrats on the marriage.)


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 11:06 PM
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204

All the girls in my life are twelve. They're totally into me.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 11:10 PM
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205

You may want to make friends with foolishmortal, Teo. He's in One Direction, probably has a lot of money, and seems like a cool guy to hang out with.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 11:13 PM
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206

I dunno, that doesn't seem like the best life ever.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 11:15 PM
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207

It would take like 3 seconds of googling to see if the major dating sites have a remotely successful friend-matching service, right? You'd think some of those people would think of the poor thirtysomethings.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 11:16 PM
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208

You certainly can indicate that you're just looking for friends on them, and people do.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 11:20 PM
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209

I have no idea how successful they are, though.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 11:20 PM
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Maybe its just a taboo that will fall away, but an online friend-finding site seems even more scarily pathetic than online dating. HEY GUYS WHO WANTS TO HANG OUT LET'S BE FRIENDS. I dunno, maybe I'll start OK Loser and make my fortune. Anyhow, I've made a lot of new friends through my hobby, fantasy dictatorship.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 11:25 PM
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211 was me.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 11:25 PM
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I hate to break it to you, but those crocodiles are just pretending to be your friends.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 11:28 PM
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Yeah, I wonder. Maybe people who have found romantic bliss on those sites would return to them in search of platonic bliss; I generally forget that they even exist, because I got to bypass all that by being, as you all are, a savvy and sensitive reader of weblogs. I'll tell the story sometime, but not before I've gone to sleep tonight.

(ETA: I think the market would be for matching people with unusually like-minded, trustable friends for long-term support and heart-to-heart talks, not just for finding people to hang out with. Those relationships can be as hard to find as romantic partnerships, and as bound up in the myth that if it doesn't arise spontaneously it's all bullshit. I don't know what hip, ironic name you'd give it, but I think there'd be a market. Fixtrovert?)


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 11:34 PM
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Holy shit, Halford, congrats.

Congrats to Neb, too!

Iberian Beauty and I have been dating for a bit over 6 months now, and it continues to go very well indeed.

My life's pretty much just programming bootcamp (Minesweeper on Monday, Chess yesterday and today, Checkers tomorrow!) & sickeningly-adorable domesticity these days. No time even for Unfogged. Crazy, I know.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 11:54 PM
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Congrats, trapnel!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 11:54 PM
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In my personal, non-internet vicarious experience (that is to say, I've never tried one, but know people who have) the "open relationship" has an exactly 0% success rate -- that is, it has never ever, ever, ever, ever worked for anyone I've known personally, and has always been a sign that a relationship is really just about to end. I know that the internet is chock full of people who are willing to give you counter-examples, but I've never seen it personally.

Yeah. I've been in two open relationships myself. The first I was the cheater, and with exactly the same justifications 169 gave. I thought I was with my partner-for-life, but wanted to explore/too young to settle down, etc. It turns out I was in a romantically finished relationship and to naive/deluded to see it, so I caused a lot of unnecessary and undeserved pain to my very nice now ex-boyfriend, and dragged something out that wasn't working for many months. The second time I was the cheat-ee. In this case, it turns out I was just with a jerk who would have cheated anyways (he cheated by violating all the terms of our open relationship, and admitted that he would have slept around even if we hadn't had an open relationship). This isn't really the fault of the open relationship, but in retrospect it clouded how much of a jerk he really was, hence dragging out the relationship. What's common with my friends is that usually person A talks person B into it, and then person B actually finds someone else before person A. Then, either 1) person A flies into a jealous rage and realizes they can't deal with person B sleeping around, and the open relationship hadn't materialized as they expected, or 2) person B falls in love with other person, and then either breaks it off with Person A, or just feels really shitty and the relationship spirals into dysfunction.

I'm not really a jealous person and the thought of the person I'm with having casual sex with someone else doesn't bother me, but I've found it's hard to have sex with another person more than a few times and keep it completely casual. I know some people can, so maybe it works for them? Generally though, usually 1) the open relationship is way more successful for one person than the other, which causes hard feelings, and/or 2) one person realizes there are better options somewhere else, which leads to the end of the relationship, usually in a kind of awful way. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but I feel like if you're feeling like your partner is not enough, then it's probably a sign that you might not be all that satisfied with the relationship, even if you think you are.


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 11:54 PM
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Halford, Congrats. That was a shock to me, because I thought you said that you were sure that you weren't interested in marriage.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 3:01 AM
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I know multiple people who have succeeded in having open relationships. One of my closest friends has been in an open relationship for like 20 years.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 3:48 AM
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I can't believe that I'm the first to suggest that Hillary RTFA. There's plenty of stuff about open relationships there with a focus on one formerly prolific commenter.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 4:22 AM
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I know multiple people who have succeeded in having open relationships.

It takes at least three people to make on successful open relationship.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 5:12 AM
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Also congrats to Halford and Nosflow. And maybe to Pres. Muffley, if things work out?


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 5:13 AM
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There's no "I" in threesome.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 5:21 AM
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172, definitely replace it, but with the value-added suggestion to make future loss less likely. The loops that connect the catch to the bracelet links are often thin and easily bent (literally weak links). A jeweler can easily replace them with slightly thicker and stronger loops and be sure the loops on the catch are closed securely. It shouldn't be expensive, maybe $30.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 5:43 AM
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I'm going to die miserable and alone.


Posted by: Roger the Cabin Boy | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 5:56 AM
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But leave a beautiful corpse.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 6:08 AM
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Also, there's no "I" in death.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 6:08 AM
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I am become dith, destroyer of wurlz.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 6:14 AM
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226. +s


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 6:19 AM
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I'm going to die miserable and alone.

Most likely!

The question is how are you going to live.


Posted by: Opinionated Self-Help Guru | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 6:25 AM
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If you work at it, you can live miserable and in a group.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 6:27 AM
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The question is how are you going to live.

Screaming and yelling, like the passengers in my grandfather's car.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 6:27 AM
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the passengers in my grandfather's car

That's an intense metaphor for dith.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 6:30 AM
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how does one go about setting up this thing on the side?

Adulterer here. Is the guy interested in you, and is he single? If noncommitally interested, talk to him frankly. If that's hard, flirt discreetly and directly and see if he responds. If you're hoping for more than a one- or few-time thing, I don't think it'll work well if he's single, different priorities and different outlooks, inevitably.

His mental stability and general level of responsibility are important, and usually people who are stable and responsible don't want to participate.


Posted by: Abe Lincoln | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 6:35 AM
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I live mostly pretty content actually.


Posted by: Roger the Cabin Boy | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 6:48 AM
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His mental stability and general level of responsibility are important, and usually people who are stable and responsible don't want to participate.

Open relationships are like NASCAR, bungee jumping, and parachuting.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 6:48 AM
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I think Abe is flirting with Hillary.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 6:49 AM
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online friend-finding site

How about one where the online friends hardly ever actually see each other in real life, but mostly just blather in comment boxes?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 6:50 AM
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Congratulations to Halford.

So that's why you didn't make it to unfoggedecacon. A better excuse than I have.

I'm afraid I can add nothing to the open relationship discussion.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 6:51 AM
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whoops, 238 was me.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 6:52 AM
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Based on my observations, I would say that successful open relationships work for couples who process everything excessively, since you need to be willing to talk about your feelings constantly before any emotions spin out of control. Heebie's family would be great at open relationships.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 6:57 AM
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Congratulations, Halford!

extraordinarily mediocre husbanding

This phrase intrigues me. I can't decide if it means you've already gone back to hookers and blow, or if it means you don't pay attention when your wife tells you about her day.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 7:02 AM
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There's no "I" in threesome.

However, me comes at the end.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 7:03 AM
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He's married and I don't know if he's interested other than that he generally likes me as a person. I'd prefer someone married or partnered because negotiating a side thing with someone for whom it might be a main thing seems unappealing, as you've suggested. He does appear to be stable and responsible so that might be a deal killer. But I'm also stable and responsible and I want this thing enough to pursue it, so.

Day-to-day I'm not tempted to cheat. I've never cheated on my current partner or any other partner I've had. But when I try to picture being with just him for decades and decades it seems impossible. Being up-front about it with each other (not necessarily open, I think we'd take more of a don't ask don't tell approach) seems better than doing something rash. It's possible that even a planned and openish arrangement isn't workable and I have to resign myself mediocre sex for the rest of my life.


Posted by: Hillary Clinton | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 7:03 AM
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234 JFK would have been a more appropriate presidential pseud.


Posted by: John Wilkes Booth | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 7:04 AM
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or if it means you don't pay attention when your wife tells you about her day.

Most people spend most of the day doing pretty much the same thing they did the day before (weekends excepted) and meeting with the same small set of people. All I did was ask for a brief couple of paragraphs that might constitute things so normal that they didn't need to be mentioned so we could be more efficient in conversation. And now I'm the asshole.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 7:05 AM
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Should have posted 243 as OPINIONATED COOKIE MONSTER.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 7:07 AM
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244: Mediocre sex, hmm? I'd be willing to agree to some kind of open relationship if my partner wanted more varied sex, but I'd feel so humiliated and enraged if I found out it was because he wanted better sex. I don't know if I'm alone in drawing that distinction, though.

(Oh, and congratulations, Halford! You don't know me, but I'm very happy for you!)


Posted by: Mme. Merle | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 7:11 AM
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224: Thanks, good to know. Do you have a recommendation nearby?

Alternately, I already have a reason to go by Bensons to get my watch battery replaced.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 7:14 AM
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I'm assuming that Halford did it in response to having been secretly persuaded by Upetgi(9)'s arguments in the fractious parental rights thread.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 7:21 AM
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Also, does the clasp in the bracelet I linked to look like one of the weak ones?


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 7:23 AM
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244. Great. If you want to know whether he's interested, just ask him, or stand too close when you're alone. I doubt he'll tell anyone if he's not interested and he thinks well of you. It might take him a while to work out what he wants to do.

No idea about marriage advice, because no idea about your marriage. Kids? Everywhere that I know, denial and omission or lies are the way people cheat.


Posted by: Abe Lincoln | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 7:25 AM
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195: Sorry for your loss - that's tough. My grandmother died on Purim, so ever since that's been a bittersweet day for my dad. I never really knew her, she had advanced dementia by the time I was old enough to retain memories of seeing her. But we saw her frequently anyway, and I remember her.

I should have said that it's not sad by virtue of being Sukkot, but may or may not be sad for other reasons.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 7:27 AM
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245. Abe was gloomy and Mary Todd was a real handful. JFK maybe-- apparently in physical pain a lot and pretty secretive. But Abe's writing suggests someone more likeable than Profiles in Courage, much as I agree with many of the sentiments in JFKs book.


Posted by: Abe Lincoln | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 7:34 AM
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252.last: Psst. Don't forget me.


Posted by: Opinionated obsfucation | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 7:38 AM
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254: Ted Sorensen wrote that anyway. Nebraska FTW.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 7:40 AM
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Sorensen went to school in Lincoln and Kennedy was shot while riding a Lincoln. The coincidences are always there.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 7:42 AM
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249/251, No suggestions for a local jeweler. I had it done for some of my mother's stuff that had been through multiple (unhelpful) repairs. It's a little hard to see in the linked picture, but the pieces I'd be suspicious of (and maybe described poorly in the previous) are the three thin and larger loops right off the clasp (one to the left and two on the right), not the clasp itself. When you get the bracelet, look to see whether you can see a joint in the metal. That's what can pull apart over time. If so, I'd get them replaced with smaller/thicker rings. If you can't see the joint of anything near the clasp, then it was probably just bad luck.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 7:49 AM
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244: But when I try to picture being with just him for decades and decades it seems impossible.

Looking back on it, this was one of the problems with my ex. Adequate but routine sex. Never again. I can wank better than she fucked.

Good luck, Hillary. From what I've seen the way these things can be made to work is by having explicit and often discussed rules or by mutual willful ignorance. I knew a couple that had an implicit rule that out of town doesn't count, and that worked very well for them becuase it limited the potential for competition with the primary relationship. I know of another couple who renegotiate things pretty much all the time, and it works for them but is really time consuming.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 7:52 AM
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251: I'll be honest: the bracelet itself looks pretty weak. BUT I GUESS IT ISN'T FOR ME.

But... there's probably no point to this. It seems possible to give advice to a sympathetic but hapless guy about how to get along better with women, and not all that advice is purely sexual. I don't know if it's possible to give parallel advice to someone in this position. I can't just ask "hey, ladies, what do you look for in your friends?

I used to think and even be slightly concerned that it seemed that all of my new friends were women, and I was making no new male friends. I solved this problem by not making any new friends at all.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 8:03 AM
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So I guess you're not quite done researching the answers to all those questions. Or maybe we are to be blessed with a FPP on the topic!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 8:09 AM
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I knew a couple that had an implicit rule that out of town doesn't count...

They'd have to be careful not to violate the Mann Act.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 8:11 AM
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If you're crossing state lines, just be sure to have everybody go in their own car.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 8:12 AM
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As far as the mediocre sex goes, we've talked about it at length and have tried new things and it will get better for awhile but then it always reverts back to boring sex. This cycle has gone on for years and at some point I decided that I needed to either resign myself to a lifetime of unsatisfying sex or pursue something else. Yes, there are kids, which is why divorce is so unappealing but so is being in a relationship where the sex only gets one of us off (him).


Posted by: Hillary Clinton | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 8:14 AM
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It's amusing to read popular historical attempts to characterize the Abraham Lincolns' marriage in terms that early 21st century Americans of the book/magazine-reading classes will be provoked into grudge and shrill dudgeon by appreciate. The takeaway seems to be that while it's tough to build a case that a secular saint was mean to his wife, that damn sure isn't going to stop anybody from trying.

Something Eleanor Roosevelt exacting revenge by means of feeding FDR wretched food something.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 8:26 AM
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264. Sympathies on a tough situation. Household civility holding up OK? I feel your pain, even if saying it is out of character.

265. Mary Todd Lincoln was alternately unresponsive to normal social communication, on damaging and irrational shopping sprees, or intensely into some spiritual flake. My life isn't nearly as difficult as Abe's.


Posted by: Abe Lincoln | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 8:41 AM
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Hillary, I'm trying to read between lines here, which is always a dicey proposition. But I don't get the sense that you really want to stay in this marriage. Sure, kids, but speaking as a guy with children from a couple of marriages: kids aren't a good reason to stay in a marriage that you've already checked out of mentally. They're a popular reason, to be sure, and ending a marriage is a particularly unpleasant undertaking even under the best of circumstances. But from the limited info you've given, I'm skeptical of the long-term viability.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 8:50 AM
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267: We're certainly not soulmates or even particularly emotional close but we do get along quite well and enjoy each other's company most of the time. Our day-to-day lives are mostly pleasant if not particularly fulfilling in any deeper way.


Posted by: Hillary Clinton | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 8:55 AM
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Checking out in practice will be hard on kids. Checking out emotionally can allow preserving an appearance of normal life, which is enough 4 days out of 5. Also, both dissatisfied spouses get to be a part of their kids' lives every day, rather than part-time. I think this is a common situation, not discussed for shame, like money troubles or sickness.

The ideal that spouses should be happy with each other is very nice, but doesn't carry much weight in making choices.


Posted by: Abe Lincoln | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 8:58 AM
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All right, this seems like the appropriate thread to get some Mineshaftian advice. A few years ago, I had a borderline adulterous relationship with a woman I'll call Dilsia (I'm married, she is not). We parted as friends before things got out of hand.

I recently learned that Dilsia is pregnant. To the best of my knowledge, she is not in a relationship. In a couple of weeks, I expect to see her. I am dying to know who the father is, and I can't think of a diplomatic way to inquire. N.B. Dilsia is childless and past her peak fertility years, so I can't rule out the possibility that a turkey baster was involved. On the other hand, she comes from a conservative Catholic milieu, and she has told me that she would not have an abortion if she accidentally became pregnant.

Any advice on how I pry this information out of her? I'm 99% over her, but still attached enough to feel pangs of regret and jealousy that she is reproducing with someone else.


Posted by: William Henry Harrison | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 9:00 AM
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Were you ever drunk enough around her that she might think that you might think you had sex with her even if you didn't? That way, you'd have a reason for asking.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 9:04 AM
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Also, Mary Todd's post-divorce problems will cost my offspring. Keeping her propped up now is a lot easier while cohabiting.


Posted by: Abe Lincoln | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 9:04 AM
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Yeah, familiar. My ex and I never really fought about anything, and I was devastated when she decided she wanted out (even though I was really not getting what I wanted out of the marriage). In retrospect, though, we've managed to stay really close friends and raise an exceptionally well-adjusted and untroubled son. Had we stayed married, I suspect we'd still rarely fight but would have some serious resentment in each direction and wouldn't have as good a friendship as we do. (Not that I can know that for sure, or that my marriage is any kind of template for yours, of course.)


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 9:04 AM
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Hilary, I thought by "mediocre sex" you meant, "no longer as thrilling as when we first met." If what you meant is, "I'm not having orgasms and he doesn't seem interested in changing that," well, that's a much more serious problem. And for whatever the opinion of an anonymous person on the internet is worth, it's a problem that would go far to justifying either divorce or an affair.


Posted by: Mme. Merle | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 9:04 AM
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I can see being delighted to learn that a good friend is pregnant, wistful to learn that a previous love is pregnant, but I can't see why the identity of the father matters to you? Presumably, she'll mention it when you talk about the pregnancy, but if not, why do you care?


Posted by: Mme. Merle | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 9:07 AM
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Any advice on how I pry this information out of her?

"I know this is kind of a rude question, but who's the father?" I guarantee you won't be the first one to have asked.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 9:09 AM
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but if not, why do you care?

See 270.last. I want to know who to be jealous of.



Posted by: William Henry Harrison | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 9:12 AM
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"I know this is a rude question, but could you make me a list of all the men you know who seem romantically interested in you and are more attractive/better endowed/smarter/more charming than I am."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 9:14 AM
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270: If you were close enough to characterize your past relationship as borderline adulterous, I don't think that flat-out asking about the identity of the father of her unborn child is beyond the bounds of decorum. It would seem more weird not to ask, wouldn't it?


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 9:15 AM
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Just COOKIE MONSTER.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 9:15 AM
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Further to 279, if you guys are on basically good terms, just come clean and she'll probably find it flattering: "Out of residual regret and jealousy, could you satisfy my curiosity? I want all the best for you, but I'm dying to know how it got there."


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 9:17 AM
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It would seem more weird not to ask, wouldn't it?

That's my take as well.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 9:18 AM
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if you guys are on basically good terms, just come clean and she'll probably find it flattering: "Out of residual regret and jealousy, could you satisfy my curiosity? I want all the best for you, but I'm dying to know how it got there."

This might be the solution. We were close enough that she could disclose to me (after the quasi-adulterous period, but before she was pregnant) that she would contemplate getting pregnant outside of a relationship so she doesn't miss her sell-by date. I raised my hand and said "If you need a volunteer", and we both laughed over it.

...AAANND holy shit am I glad I just noticed I had accidentally signed my regular pseud to this post.



Posted by: William Henry Harrison | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 9:27 AM
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How about saying that you're getting a baby gift and need to know the last name for the monogram?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 9:27 AM
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"Not your last name. The real last name."


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 9:29 AM
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"Assume an all encompassing patriarchy. What would the last name be then?"


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 9:30 AM
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"Tell me the name of the philandering cad who sired your bastard child, so that I may challenge him to a duel! Tell me!"


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 9:37 AM
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"My name is William Henry Harrison! You fucked my would-be paramour! Prepare to die!"


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 9:47 AM
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Pres Harrison, you might get where you want to go by asking if the father is going to be involved, and if not, what's the best way you can help D with her impending single motherhood. Your curiosity probably isn't among the top ten things she's thinking about.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 9:55 AM
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Abe, if I may ask, was your adultery planned or did it just sort of happening initially and you've continued it because it's worked out ok for you? Does your partner have any sense of what's going on?

I'm still at the point where I can't imagine divorcing him over this. Bill seems fine with the situation, his main gripe being that he wishes we had more boring sex, and the children are doing well, so mostly it's me that is suffering. Maybe I'll get to the point where divorce feels like the only option but for now I'm trying to figure out how make myself happier while minimizing the harm to everyone else.


Posted by: Hillary Clinton | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 10:03 AM
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But she's pretty conventional about sex in some ways

Ugh, I hate that. Listen, ladies: vaginas are so 1995. No one's even interested anymore. For the internet porn generation, it's all blowjobs and buttsex.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 10:03 AM
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his main gripe being that he wishes we had more boring sex

More sex of the sort that you find boring? Or does he want the sex to be more boring than it currently is?


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 10:14 AM
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Pres Harrison, you might get where you want to go by asking if the father is going to be involved, and if not, what's the best way you can help D with her impending single motherhood.

The first part is promising, the second not so much. Not only does Dilsia live far away in a place with a comprehensive welfare state, in her career she is the lone woman in a senior position in an organization that is acutely embarrassed by the gender imbalance. I heard directly from another senior person in her organization (from whom I first learned that Dilsia is pregnant) that he personally has been tasked by the highest authorities in their organization with making sure that Dilsia gets every possible assistance to be able to continue her career there. In short, if she has any problems as a single mother, they aren't ones that I can help with.



Posted by: William Henry Harrison | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 10:14 AM
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291:

"Does anyone just fuck anymore? It's all up the ass, come on her face, make her gag, slap her around now. Seriously, porn used to be kinda fun, but it's like we're in a spiral of degradation."


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 10:15 AM
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You could try to be an emotional support to her. Lots of people like emotional support for some reason.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 10:16 AM
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Before following the link in 294, I figured it was Louis CK. I believe I have solved a great mystery.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 10:17 AM
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292: The former. More frequent sex of the sort that I find boring. We currently have boring sex about two times a week and he'd like to have boring sex five times a week.


Posted by: Hillary Clinton | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 10:20 AM
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How on earth would you find the time with kids at home?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 10:22 AM
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297: I assume you've asked him whether maybe 2 or 3 of those times could be more interesting sex?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 10:23 AM
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Bill seems fine with the situation, his main gripe being that he wishes we had more boring sex, and the children are doing well, so mostly it's me that is suffering.

Then I'm going to re-recommend just going ahead and having the side action surreptitiously. In my observation, it tends to result in increased action at home as well. Pump-priming or some such.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 10:25 AM
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299: See 264. Everyone seems to assume that lack of communication is the main reason for bad sex. We've communicated ourselves to death and it still isn't any better.


Posted by: Hillary Clinton | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 10:25 AM
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"I think I might be in the mood to have sex more often if ___________". Could you fill in the blank with something other than "I were having sex with someone other than you"?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 10:25 AM
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It sounds to me like the problem with this sex is not the fact that it is boring per se, in the sense that it is vanilla, but that it (really, he) doesn't get you off. I mean, would you hate having quickies with someone you found hotter?


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 10:27 AM
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"I think I might be in the mood to have sex more often if I could be absolutely sure that the non-trivial zeros of the Riemann zeta function all have real part one half."


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 10:27 AM
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303 posted before I saw 302. Yeah, that.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 10:27 AM
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I guess I don't really understand what "it will get better for awhile but then it always reverts back to boring sex" means, in concrete terms. You'll be having actually satisfying sex for a while, but then he stops doing whatever it was that you found satisfying?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 10:28 AM
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Pump-priming or some such.

That was covered in 90.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 10:28 AM
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303: It's both vanilla and doesn't get me off. I'd be fine with the vanilla part if I could get off, say, 50% of the time. It's about 5% of the time as it is.


Posted by: Hillary Clinton | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 10:29 AM
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290. They all just sort of happened, some I started one I didn't. It's not a great way to see someone. I basically see it as an alternative to solitude, a least bad choice. One my wife pretty much knew about, though she never walked in on anything, the others no.


Posted by: Abe Lincoln | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 10:31 AM
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Okay. There are two possibilities. Either the two of you aren't communicating as clearly with each other about this as you seem to think you are. Or the relationship is doomed.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 10:32 AM
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308: Yeah, I'm saying, the "boring" characterization might be misleading -- or maybe it's just that it leads me to the same confusion as 306. Also/anyway, I have a feeling that it is going to be hard to find sex super hot if you feel contemptuous about it and him. (Not that you are bad for feeling that way! the heart contempts what it contempts! but it's not a turn on.)


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 10:32 AM
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306: Yes. He puts in effort for awhile but then stops once it seems like the extra effort has paid off and he doesn't feel like he has to do the special stuff anymore. Like, "things weren't going so well so I tried extra hard to make them good and now that they're good I don't have to worry about doing the extra things that made them good."


Posted by: Hillary Clinton | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 10:32 AM
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310 to 312.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 10:35 AM
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Is the special stuff specifically sexual, or peripheral?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 10:35 AM
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To be fair, even a partial proof of the Riemann hypothesis is a pretty heroic effort.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 10:36 AM
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Most guys just think about baseball.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 10:36 AM
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316: Dude, I don't want to fall asleep before I finish.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 10:39 AM
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"Special stuff" covers a lot of ground. Are we talking "pay attention to where I like to be touched" and "pace things in a way where I will have time to be aroused" kind of things, or are we talking about things that take quite a bit of planning and energy? Are they things that turn him off? Also, what happens when he stops doing it? Do you say, hey, slow down! how about a little Special Stuff, or... what? I guess I'm having trouble understanding how it fits together.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 10:39 AM
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300.last: A friend who is having an emotional affair told me that he's observed more emotional connection with his spouse as a result. People are weird.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 10:39 AM
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"Special stuff" covers a lot of ground.

I think it varies by diet and how long since the TiVo was reset.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 10:41 AM
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or are we talking about things that take quite a bit of planning and energy?

"No, I need four fucking 60 kilowatt generator trailers, I need them at this location, and I need them by eleven tonight. Do you want my goddamned business or not? Yes, I can strengthen the bridge supports for your precious trucks."


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 10:44 AM
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I'm suddenly thinking that Hilary has a very specific and very athletic fetish. Like: I can only get off with guys who have just run five miles.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 10:45 AM
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"I think I might be in the mood to have sex more often if I could be absolutely sure that the non-trivial zeros of the Riemann zeta function all have real part one half. repeatedly accelerated away from you to almost the speed of light and then came back".


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 10:46 AM
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Or: Now hold still for fifteen minutes.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 10:46 AM
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3232: a dessicated corpse fetish? Kinky.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 10:47 AM
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Or does he want the sex to be more boring than it currently is?

If something is boring after two minutes, try it for four. If still boring, then eight. Then sixteen. Then thirty-two. Eventually one discovers that it is not boring at all.


Posted by: John Cage | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 10:47 AM
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Step 1: Say you're into bondage
Step 2: Tie up partner
Step 3: Leave and have sex with somebody else


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 10:47 AM
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327 reminds me of a phonologically implausible scene from Cigarettes.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 10:50 AM
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Are we all reading the post title as "Lovelies" or just me? I keep thinking, "Why did I call it that?"


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 10:54 AM
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312: That sucks. It sounds like a "no stuff without special stuff" ultimatum is in order.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 10:55 AM
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329: I keep doing so.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 10:58 AM
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Bill seems fine with the situation, his main gripe being that he wishes we had more boring sex

Here's the part that I'm not getting: You are in a relationship that involves non-orgasmic sex (for you), and you perceive the problem as being a lack of variety as opposed to a lack of adequacy. Would non-orgasmic sex with someone else ameliorate your problem?


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 10:58 AM
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The extra stuff doesn't involve anything special. Just the typical stuff beyond PIV sex you would expect of someone with a female sex partner.


Posted by: Hillary Clinton | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 11:01 AM
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Does he know about the clitoris?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 11:02 AM
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That's only in the American League, urple.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 11:03 AM
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333: You mean emotional support or oral?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 11:04 AM
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335: The "Designated Clitor."


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 11:05 AM
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Is he a selfish asshole in other areas of life, or just in bed?


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 11:06 AM
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332 written before I read 303, which is the same question.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 11:06 AM
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Uhhhhhh--Not explain in an overbearing tone of voice, but there's an emotional component to sex. It's something that two people do together, cooperatively.

Even if everything in a shared life is benign, a partner that causes a response of "oh, it's you" or a worse one, talking about who does what for longer isn't going to help.


Posted by: Abe Lincoln | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 11:07 AM
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Baseball doesn't need to stay ever the same. It has changed many times in the past. To keep living, it will keep changing. Introducing a clitoris to the National League is simply a bad change. It isn't bad because pitcher at-bats are so very cool--though sometimes they are!
I can sympathize with the groaning over frequent plate appearances by a .130 hitter, and not just because I watch Ike Davis. The bigger issue--the far bigger issue--is that the clitoris takes the already questionable trend of player specialization and makes it official and permanent. But first let's talk about pitchers hitting.
I'm looking at the 2011 stats. Pitchers hit .128 overall that year - .112 in the American League, .142 in the National League. That's a pretty huge 30-point difference, and would seem to support the old adage that practice makes less abysmal. Will the average pitcher ever again be a decent hitter? Probably not. People like to point out that many pitchers were offensive studs in high school, which is true. It's also true that 99% of high school studs fail to develop into major-league-caliber hitters.
But pitchers could certainly hit better than .142 if they had more regular opportunities to develop the skill, which they don't, because of clitoris creep in lower-level baseball. So long as we're talking about rule changes, here's one: Ban the clitoris in the N.C.A.A. and on the farm. Put an end to the self-fulfilling crisis. It might not produce many good-hitting pitchers, but it would help close the gap, which is all that's necessary, if it's even necessary. I fail to see the big problem, really, or at least a big enough problem to justify the more radical change premised by the clitoris.
Which is this: The clitoris teaches us that men who can play just 50% of baseball are real baseball players deserving of not only roster spots, but everyday play, and without penalty. Men who have grown too old or fat to field, men who are just lousy at fielding, men who have no reflexes, no throwing arm, no speed, or are Lucas Duda can be used 162 times without cost.
This is not the same as pitchers being crappy hitters. A National League team takes its lumps for that, judging that the superiority of a pitcher's contribution outweighs his offensive suckitude. It should be just the same with big fat sluggers. I hope big fat sluggers never perish from this earth, but if they're going to suck at defense, that should hurt. They should have to be so special that a team is willing to white-knuckle it through their play at first base or save them a roster spot just to pinch hit. Because you know what? When someone can pull that off, it's beautiful. He's a unique player, a pitcher in reverse. It's not beautiful, though, to allow a whole category of sub-Giambis to huddle under their team's basket and never have to run the court. It's decadent.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 11:07 AM
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I'm going to stand by 310.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 11:13 AM
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217: It seems like you're implying that in an open relationship someone must be cheating. I find that hard to understand, if things are discussed and agreed to in advance.

291: Much, much more old-fashioned than that. (Not that she thinks that certain things are wrong, she's just not interested.)

It would be nice, for example, to once in my life fuck someone who has ever fucked someone else. Or to be with someone interested in receiving oral sex. Or in giving it. Or a bunch of other things.

For those wondering how to make friends, or friends of a certain sort, the usual method is to make acquaintances, then invite them to hang out or for some sort of shared group activity. Such as amateur sports. Or happy hour. Or chess club. If the person is a good friend-candidate they will have some interests in common with you. If they are interested in being friends they will accept even invitations they are only marginally interested in.

Then the next step is to suggest some 1-on-1 bonding time, like attending a ballgame or hiking or going shooting at the range or going to a noise music show.

It's also allowed to just say, "I'm looking for more and better friends, let's hang out more."


Posted by: President Merkin Muffley | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 11:22 AM
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333 is great because now everyone is wondering what the typical stuff is.

I agree with everyone who is saying that you likely just aren't sexually attracted to this guy. Also, he might not be that attracted to you, which could also be causing the problem. Communication is great but it's going to hit a wall if the real message is "I'm just not into you."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 11:28 AM
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She's much more old-fashioned than vaginal sex?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 11:37 AM
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he might not be that attracted to you

I dunno. Maybe. But by the First Lady's report, they're having sex about twice a week (which is a LOT of unsatisfying sex) and he'd prefer it closer to 5x/week. I guess he could be closing his eyes and pretending she's Miley Cyrus or nosflow or somebody, but sounds like something else is at work here.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 11:41 AM
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333 is great because now everyone is wondering what the typical stuff is.

No, I'm sure "emotional support" and "oral" pretty much cover it.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 11:41 AM
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I don't understand why being into each other sexually is all that relevant here. If you like someone, whether or not you're super into them, and you're doing any activity with them it should matter to you whether they're having a good time. If you care about someone, and you're having sex with them, you're either going to care whether they're getting off or you're an asshole.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 11:44 AM
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345: She's into mitosis, obviously.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 11:47 AM
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Or cloacal sex.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 11:47 AM
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346 - Yeah, who knows, you're probably right. I guess what I was trying to say is that he may be sufficiently attracted for "you get me off" sex but that for whatever reason (including maybe picking up on the vibe of contempt, or the emotional problems, or whatever) he's also not attracted enough to really be into the sex, if you see what I mean. But who knows.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 11:48 AM
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lur key, you are looking for friends and have a new guitar. Is there a women's guitar class near you or something like that? Cheesy shared interests can help, though I'm the last person to be asking about how to make good friends.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 11:49 AM
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I do think MAE's no more stuff without special stuff rule is appropriate, and that was actually the sort of thing I meant in raising the possibility that you aren't communicating as clearly with each other about this as you seem to think you are. That ultimatum should make it clear that the special stuff is really vitally important to you. If he gets that message and just doesn't care, then he's an asshole and the relationship is doomed.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 11:50 AM
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345: Much more old fashioned than merely eschewing a sex life that consists exclusively of "blowjobs and buttsex" in favor of something involving the vagina.


Posted by: President Merkin Muffley | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 11:51 AM
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She's much more old-fashioned than vaginal sex?

Samesies!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 11:52 AM
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I want answers to the questions in comment 12.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 11:53 AM
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No and right now only quinoa and amaranth.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 11:59 AM
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We're currently doing a "challenge" version of my diet which I'm playing at the "advanced" level and she's at "intermediate." The "advanced" level has required giving up my old buddy alcohol (plus dairy, plus anything with any sugar at all in it including bacon) and let me tell you that it sucks.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 12:00 PM
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I want answers in the questions in 113 to 142.

Especially 142.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 12:01 PM
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358: It can't be impossible to find bacon without sugar, can it?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 12:02 PM
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142 definitely deserved more acclaim than it received.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 12:04 PM
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It's pretty hard given the constraints of the diet. Even the bacon that says "0 grams sugar" has added sugars in it, plus the diet requires giving up nitrates (including chemically identical "celery salt" nitrates). My sugar-free home cured bacon would work, but I haven't made it yet.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 12:04 PM
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Wow, a sex thread that almost immediately turned into a food thread but then turned back into a sex thread. You people still have some life in you.

kids aren't a good reason to stay in a marriage that you've already checked out of mentally. They're a popular reason, to be sure, and ending a marriage is a particularly unpleasant undertaking even under the best of circumstances.

Apo is wise. And condolences to Britta. I am in the final phase of my Incredible Slow-Motion Divorce, and despite enormous stress it's gone pretty well. I'm back in my house (which I get to keep), she found a place of her own close by, and most important, our daughters are dealing with the transition fabulously. I'm refraining from saying "I told you so", but my conviction that we would all be better off is what prompted me to initiate the break, and we are, in most respects. As for the other relationship and sex stuff, well, um, hooboy, this is some fantastic late-season baseball, isn't it?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 12:05 PM
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"Hooray Pirates," he said, completely missing the point.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 12:06 PM
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No, that's exactly the point.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 12:08 PM
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Nothing to see here! The AL wild card race is down to the wire!


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 12:09 PM
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our daughters are dealing with the transition fabulously

Kids are way more adaptable and resilient than adults. Glad to hear y'all were able to make the best of it.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 12:12 PM
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361: I didn't even see that. It is well done.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 12:14 PM
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361 is true.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 12:15 PM
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I didn't even get 142. I mean, I got who it was referring to, but not why. But now I do. Get it, I mean.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 12:40 PM
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Apo is indeed wise. I had basically resigned myself to getting along but not much more than that because of my kid as well. I probably would have described things as not ideal but, you know, fine, and was also devastated when my wife announced she wanted to divorce. Among other things, I didn't want to not wake up with my son every single morning, but well before we signed the papers I came around to the idea that it was absolutely the right thing to do. Mainly due to the feeling that a burden I hadn't been aware I was laboring under had been lifted. It turned out it was taking more energy than I would have thought to maintain the feeling that things were good enough. We got through the mechanics pretty amicably as these things go, still get along well, and are working reasonably cooperatively to keep raising a great kid. I get less but more intense and focused time with him, which is not such a bad trade, and the fact that I'm significantly happier presumably makes me an even better dad.

And it turns out I have a great new relationship.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 12:42 PM
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I maybe still don't get 142, if there's something about it that's funny.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 12:52 PM
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Baseball, hooray!


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 1:02 PM
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372: You just have to read it the right way.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 1:07 PM
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Halford, if I may ask, are you on the increasingly strict regime because you have body goals that you haven't met yet? Are you in a fat-loss phase? Building phase? Generally feeling energetic and springy?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 1:07 PM
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372: A certain female banned commenter may have once shown up unexpectedly on nosflow's doorstep.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 1:08 PM
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BEETLEJUICE! BEETLEJUICE! BEETLEJUICE!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 1:22 PM
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At times like this, it would be useful if Standpipe's blog were an actual thing.

Speaking of which, what has become of dear old Standpipe? Why does the Standpipeself no longer grace our threads with its presence?


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 1:31 PM
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He has a life outside of us.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 1:38 PM
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And it turns out I have a great new relationship.

DAMN STRAIGHT.


Posted by: OPINIONATED JMO | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 1:44 PM
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344: I'm not sure how "he's just not attracted to you" applies to a more than ten year relationship. We were attracted to each other at some point and the sex was enjoyable enough that I was willing to marry and have children with him. In hindsight, I think the excitement of the newness of the relationship was what made the sex ok in the beginning. We hadn't been together all too long before the child birthing and raising part of our relationship came along. It wasn't until the youngest was no longer a baby and we settled into the new and potentially decades long phase of middle-age child rearing that I really realized that I hadn't been satisfied by sex with him in a while. It's been a few years since that realization and we've been working on it but it hasn't gotten better in any sustained way.

But, yeah, most likely we're doomed.


Posted by: Hillary Clinton | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 2:16 PM
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197 reminds me of a series of dates I had in Chicago with someone from an online personal ad. At the end of the first one, it was clear to me that the guy was 100% uninterested. I wasn't especially into it, myself, but the guy seemed perfectly interesting objectively and was cute, and I guess I sent him some kind of "gosh, funny little world, isn't it?" note about how he seemed swell and yet how we were clearly not having a second date and he emailed back yeah, I seemed swell too and wasn't it odd? So we tried it one more time and then I think a third, and I can remember on that last date sitting in a cafe on Damen, and it was raining, and at the end we were both clearly staring at the rain, waiting fervently for it to end so we could leave. This was actually just the extreme form of what a lot of my attempts at dating in Chicago were like, come to think of it.

What an amusing thread, and how sad that I mostly missed it on account of moving across the country (which is how MY dating life is going, thank you very much.*)

*but seriously, neb, I know I'm not the world's most masculine man but stop referring to me as a lady!


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 2:26 PM
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In the long run, we're all sexually disappointing to somebody.


Posted by: Opinionated Keynes | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 2:31 PM
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Should I stop calling you young, too, Smearcase?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 2:32 PM
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I know I'm not the world's most masculine man . . .

... But I know what I am and I'm glad I'm a man,


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 2:40 PM
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Yeah. Going through my head too.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 2:44 PM
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But so is No-Sflo. N-O-Sfl-O, No-Sflo.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 2:45 PM
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340: Is your implication that I'm too contemptuous of him or him of me, or both? I feel like my willingness to have regular sex with him even though I know it will not end in a partner-induced orgasm is a sign that I'm willing to work on it. And I do try and make it enjoyable, as much as is possible, for myself but masturbating while having sex gets old (or as I said boring) after a while.

Not that I'm a perfect partner but I feel like I'm at my limit in terms of what I can give. I'm sure he's picking up on that.


Posted by: Hillary Clinton | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 2:53 PM
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I picked up a copy of The Chicago Reader today and read Savage Love despite my mixed feelings about Dan Savage. He quoted this from Andrew Sullivan:

"There's nothing like dating or fucking a person of another background, race, or class to help you see the humanity in everyone," Andrew wrote. "How do you get scared of generic young black men when you've danced with them all night long?... In that sense, I've always felt that being gay was a real moral blessing. I could have been so much worse a human being if I'd been straight."

What a smug sack of shit.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 3:03 PM
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That should have pause play.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 3:04 PM
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"I'm not cheating on you, I'm trying to be less racist."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 3:09 PM
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generic young black men

I'm picturing them all in white T-shirts with black block lettering on them.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 3:48 PM
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Before marriage and kids I had frequent sex with all kinds of attractive and enthusiastic partners. Post marriage and kids, maybe two or three times a month, with a partner who is willing but not necessarily enthusiastic (although orgasmic). I married someone who I liked/enjoyed/respected but just doesn't value sex as much as I do. Be warned, kiddies (not that there are many impressionable young people left on our aging blog).


Posted by: Woodrow Wilson | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 3:50 PM
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393

I feel like my willingness to have regular sex with him even though I know it will not end in a partner-induced orgasm is a sign that I'm willing to work on it.

This looks to me* like a sign that you've given up working on it.

*Speaking in my official role as an imaginary person on the internet who has no real idea of what's going on with you.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 3:51 PM
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"I'm not cheating on you, I'm trying to be less racist."

"Really, baby, I think you need to check your privilege."


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 3:52 PM
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395

389: he could have been worse?!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 3:54 PM
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396

I'm picturing them all in white T-shirts with black block lettering on them.

It's always the black block lettering with you, isn't it? It's sad, really.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 3:56 PM
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396: Would he have been worse or better if he'd had chainsaw hands?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 4:00 PM
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398

OT: I ain't never enjoyed no fancypants egg-headed conservatory education, but at least I recognize the opening riff to "Life in the Fast Lane."


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 4:04 PM
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398: "how do you get scared of giant, whirlidng knives when you've nearly cut your own head off every day of my life? In that sense, I've always felt that having chainsaw hands is a real moral blessing. I could have been so much worse and had so many more limbs if I'd had dextronormative arm-appendages."


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 4:23 PM
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400

Gotta call that an improvement, overall.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 4:28 PM
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401

Had sex a few times for the first time in 7 years (since high school) last spring, decided I preferred masturbation to sex. I'm hetero, in terms of attraction, but since I do have attraction I don't think I'd qualify as asexual, just an "odd duck" I guess. Can't very well talk to any friends about it, as I've asked (other friends, different circle) in the past, "hey, any of y'all prefer taking care of yourself to doing it with a partner?" and I was nigh crucified by their disbelieving stares. Of course I also recently left a paralegal position to become NEET (living with a parent) so I'd have more time to read and watch films & television... so I'm definitely in the long tail of some distribution.

People are strange, some more than others. I do miss Emerson in the comments as well.


Posted by: Lurker since '06 | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 4:30 PM
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402

400 was clearly written by somebody who does not have English as a first language. Or who is really sleepy and on an iPad.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 4:31 PM
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403

Hillary please tell us what your orgasms are actually like, when you have them.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 4:47 PM
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404

Hillary, a book that has been recommended here-abouts is Passionate Marriage by David Schnarch. It sounds to me like you guys are communicating better about your athletic demands from sex than your emotional ones. Schnarch can be insightful about where sexual disconnect and unbalanced expectations affect a relationship.

To me it also sounds like apo's right -- that this is a relationship that has wound down. It's not at all surprising that it's convivial; my first wife and I thought that our conviviality was evidence in support of continuing our marriage, and we were simply wrong.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 5:13 PM
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405

Among other things, I didn't want to not wake up with my son every single morning

I wonder if I'd have gone through with it if I hadn't had reasonable assurance that I'd have primary custody.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 5:22 PM
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402: I hope you have a trust fund or something.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 6:22 PM
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407

I don't know what it's like to be a single adult. I've been seamlessly partnered since the age of 16. At no time during that period have I had a partner with whom I did not regularly sexually engage. This means that, for my entire adult life, the only times I've been without a sexual partner is when either a partner or I have been out of town. The longest that's ever been was about three weeks. So, that's the longest period of time (since the age of 16) that I've been without sex. And based on those experiences, I don't know how single* people tolerate it for any serious length of time without losing their sanity. Masturbation is just so incredibly boring. Maybe you get used to it after I while. (I was certainly used to it when I was 13, but masturbation never meaningfully reduced how very badly I wanted to be having sex with someone else.)

So, in some sense, I guess I've been lucky. On the other hand, this seems like sort of an essential element of being human that I've missed. It's like eating all the time and never knowing hunger.

(*Or sexless coupled people.)


Posted by: Anon | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 6:29 PM
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389: I have such conflicted feelings about Sullivan. He was an irresponsible playboy for quite a while, but he's not alone in that. I take his point in the quoted segment -- I wonder when it was written, though.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 6:32 PM
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409

It's like eating all the time and never knowing hunger.

Yeah, that must really suck. You poor, poor thing.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 6:34 PM
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410

People who want to be sympathetic to Sullivan's point without co-signing this dumb phrasing of it should read Samuel Delany's Times Squares Red Times Square Blue, which is smart and good as well as pertinent.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 6:36 PM
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410: I wasn't asking for sympathy. Sorry if that read wrong. It just feels weird to not experience something that literally everyone else I know (who talks about it) experiences. Obviously, my time is not yet up, and my day may yet come.


Posted by: Anon | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 6:41 PM
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412

(Maybe I shouldn't have used the analogy. The analogy was not well considered, and probably unhelpful.)


Posted by: Anon | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 6:42 PM
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413

The analogy was not well considered, and probably unhelpful.

The ban is there for a reason.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 6:43 PM
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414

What I'm wondering after reading 408 is how old you are.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 6:44 PM
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415

34.


Posted by: Anon | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 6:46 PM
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416

Nice streak.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 6:49 PM
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417

Almost as long as the Pirate's losing season streak.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 6:52 PM
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418

I"m kind of like 408 except with pork rinds.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 6:55 PM
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419

Are you going to pitch some kind of protection racket? Nice streak you got there, wouldn't want nothing to happen to it, wouldja?


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 6:56 PM
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420

That's a lot of pork rinds.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 6:56 PM
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421

You have sex with pork rinds?


Posted by: Anon | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 6:56 PM
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422

Don't fuck pork rinds.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 6:56 PM
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423

D'oh.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 6:58 PM
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424

421: Do you need a new one each time?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 7:03 PM
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425

Surely they wear out eventually.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 7:04 PM
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426

I've never tried. And don't call me Shirley.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 7:15 PM
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427

411: Thanks for the pointer, Thorn.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 7:15 PM
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428

428 to 426, somehow.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 7:21 PM
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429

Is this a good thread for me to vent about something? I hope so.

So over the past few years, there has grown up between me and my parents a pretty big communication wall. They overreact and freak out about every little detail from my life, so we maintain a mostly one-way communication line. I hear about all their shit and I never tell them anything. When I accidentally do tell them something, like, oh, hey, I got bit by a spider last week, I hear about it for months. "And THEN you went and got BITTEN by a SPIDER and we didn't KNOW for four or five DAYS. Have you called an exterminator? Well, I called an exterminator and made you an appointment" etc. Lots of fucking meddling and hysteria and self-pity and accusations, about everything.

So I broke my foot a few weeks ago and had to have surgery. I'm in a boot now, supposed to use crutches, but am off them most of the time. I thought maybe I could get into shoes by this weekend when my dad wanted to come up and visit for his birthday. I never had said anything to them about the foot because see above.

I just called and told them I hurt my foot because I really can't get a shoe on and the boot is obvious. My mother immediately freaked the fuck out, brought up the fucking SPIDER thing, shrieked about it, etc. My father gets on the phone and assures me he's really glad to come up and see me, and that no one is mad at me.

But that's not true. This is going to be one of those things that is told and retold and screamed and rescreamed for fucking years. Probably it will follow me the rest of my life.

I know it's evil and wrong, but sometimes I am very very very tired of having a mother.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 7:21 PM
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430

Never be alone again.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 7:22 PM
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431

Also, my sympathies to Emir for the situation described in 74.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 7:22 PM
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432

I forget how old I was before I learned that a pork rind was an actual part of a formerly living pig. I know I was in college.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 7:23 PM
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433

Is this a good thread for me to vent about something?

Always already. And my sympathies on that situation, which sucks.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 7:25 PM
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432: Mine too.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 7:25 PM
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435

Catching up with the salacious Unfogged threat is like finishing the stupid checkers project I disastrously overengineered.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 7:28 PM
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Oh, this is the sex thread. I have fooled around with a couple of pillow princesses (they like to receive, but not, apparently, give), but haven't had sex in years. I have gotten amazingly talented at masturbation.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 7:30 PM
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437

It's certainly salacious, but I wouldn't say it's all that threatening.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 7:30 PM
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432: Mine too.

Yes, yes, I sympathize with your situation, too, Teo. Sheesh. (Kidding! Sorry!)


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 7:30 PM
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439

437: Wait, what about that handsome slutty guy you were talking about a few weeks ago?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 7:31 PM
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440: We made out and fooled around, but I'd count him in the pillow princess category. He didn't even try to do anything for me.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 7:32 PM
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439: Laugh it up, dude, but someday your beauty is going to return to Iberia, and then you'll be back with the rest of us.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 7:32 PM
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442

441: That... doesn't sound very slutty, or nice. I'm sure he's handsome, though.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 7:33 PM
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443

(Also kidding in 442, of course.)


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 7:34 PM
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444

443: Eh, we're just not sexually compatible. The women I slept with were also nice and slutty, but we're not oriented the right way for anything I'd want to repeat. I don't think there is a categorical imperative for good fucking. HSG and I have stayed very close friends, and he was one of the people who took care of me after my surgery.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 7:35 PM
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445: Well, that's good to hear. It's too bad you still remain unsatisfied sexually, though.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 7:38 PM
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446

Also, I gather that people have this attitude toward me, as someone who studies the history of sexuality, that it's my job to do everything because what do they know? Maybe it's intimidating? That's obviously stupid, and a sure way to be a total disappointment, but no one ever tries with me. That's why I stopped having sex.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 7:38 PM
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447

That's why I stopped having sex.

Alright, I now don't get it. What does "the women I slept with" (445) mean? Why do you say in 437 in that "you haven't had sex in years"? It sounds like you've had some sex.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 7:45 PM
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Gah, that is stupid, and must be really frustrating. Have people actually told you this, or have you gathered it from their actions?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 7:46 PM
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449

It sounds like I've been unclear. I have literally gotten into bed with a few people, two women and one man, in the past few years, but no one has expressed the least interest in giving me any pleasure at all. They just want to lay back and let me to stuff to them, and then roll over and go to sleep. That was not far from how things were going when I was actively seeking out sexual partners. There's obviously some signal I'm giving that makes it seem like it's not worth trying or something, but I just haven't really had the stomach to start anything with anyone when it seems like all the "sex" available to me is people being super passive in bed.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 7:52 PM
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450

It doesn't feel like sex if I'm doing everything myself. But that's partially just how I'm oriented. I like sex partners to be partners, equals in effort and interest.

There's another new person in town who seems sort of interested in me, and he's really great and nice and sexy and all that, but I just don't have the stomach for it for some reason.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 7:55 PM
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450: I see. Okay. I don't know what to say about the passivity, other than that I'd give up at that point. As you say. I've broken up with people under those circumstances, as I'm sure have we all.

I dunno - hang in there, and don't push, wait*, and try to connect on other levels.

*This was a message an ex-lover had posted to himself above his computer years ago: "Don't push. Wait." I was interested to see his memo to himself.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 8:06 PM
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Sorry to hear that, AWB, although it's not a surprise given what you've said. People's sexual motivations are often mysterious to me, and the situations you describe are just that. If you're potentially only going to get one chance to make out with or have sex with someone, wouldn't you want to make it memorable or enjoyable for that person? Trading off more on who's active and who's passive in a long-term relationship makes more sense, but it seems not just selfish but short-sighted otherwise.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 8:07 PM
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453

Laugh it up, dude, but someday your beauty is going to return to Iberia, and then you'll be back with the rest of us.

Probably not to Iberia, given economic conditions and so on, but this is definitely a concern. That said, following her to wherever she lands a job as a PI has gone unthinkable to, well, thinkable.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 8:11 PM
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454

Goddamnit. "Gone from unthinkable to, well, thinkable," obvs.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 8:12 PM
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455

That said, following her to wherever she lands a job as a PI has gone unthinkable to, well, thinkable.

You mean now that you're acquiring some marketable skills?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 8:16 PM
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456

Trapnel's dating a private investigator? That's so cool.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 9:05 PM
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457

Only until he finds out she's been spying on him the whole time on behalf of someone else.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 9:06 PM
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458

Maybe she can help some people described here find the missing clitoris.

Way back to 375: mostly to see if I can and it helps to feel better, plus a bit of trying to get even more paleofit.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 9:09 PM
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459

I'll report something I'm feeling a little ambivalent about.

I recently met someone. We're both pretty tender and interested in taking things slow, we said even before meeting, although I feel like I am the person enforcing boundaries. So far we've seen each other four times, I think, unless there is a fifth I am forgetting. In many ways, save one, if I described him out loud I think, wow, someone made a person for me. He went to math grad school for a while, but dropped out and now is a programmer. He is gently nerdy and a passionate teacher. On our third date we got into a conversation about amplitude modulated signals and he was desperately engaged in making me understand and really, really didn't want to stop until I did, in a way that reminds me so much of my still-beloved now-long-ex-boyfriend that it makes me start to cry when I think of it. He used to be a burner. He loves theater and cried and cried at Natasha and Pierre, which I still haven't seen. He's bi and used to be poly, but is done with the latter now. He also used to be in the BDSM scene, but he's done with that too. He is very anti-rape not just in his express commitments, but in his behavior; he was faultlessly energetic about checking in during our one extended sexual encounter. He has some unfinished fiction projects laying about. He's definitely very smart, and as far as I can tell, very kind. It's easy and comfortable to talk to him. He's funny in a gentle way.

So here's what I'm ambivalent about, which is mostly not a character trait, although it's related to one. He's really not very attractive. I am past any feeling that it bothers me that he doesn't have an attractive face; I want to kiss him and that's enough to make his face attractive to me. But he's quite overweight, which is something that doesn't always bother me when I feel like it's well-scaffolded by the kind of muscles an active person who really likes food has, but I don't get the sense that he's active at all. I'm in this weird position of feeling ambivalently attracted to him; I want to be near him and touch him, but when I do touch him I wish his body felt different; I want to feel muscles.

It also bothers me thinking of settling in with someone who doesn't care about exercising. I am much less active than I used to be because of joint problems, but I'm actively working on trying to fix it and find the things I can do. I'm apartment hunting and living near a gym with nice no-impact weight lifting and yoga classes is a priority for me in that search. I'm hoping that when my insurance kicks in in October I'll be able to really get treated and maybe all the way healed. I'd like someone who wanted to go on hiking vacations with me. I also think not exercising is potentially pissing away your health, longevity, and functional old age, and it makes me nervous to think of my partner not taking basic precautionary steps to protect the kind of life we could live together as we got older.

But the issue is mostly aesthetic. Maybe I'll just get over it. Or maybe some other problem will present itself and I won't have to deal with this ambivalence. I enjoyed the quite-a-bit-of-the-way-to-sex we had.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 9:23 PM
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You're a brave man. I've cut way back on my flour, sugar, etc in the last few years but it's been solely to avoid weight gain with my alcohol intake.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 9:27 PM
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461

I am so glad that "Iberian Beauty" has stuck.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 9:27 PM
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462

Thanks for the condolences. Being divorced from this guy will be nothing but joy and sparkles. Though mainly I'm annoyed at how complicated the process is, and kind of embarrassed that I have to get divorced in the first place, because even at the time of the wedding I could see it was probably a bad idea, but for various reasons that in retrospect seem unimportant went through with it anyways.

AWB

That's really annoying. What would happen if you hooked up again with one of the passive people, but just lay there doing nothing and wait to see if they get the hint? If nothing happens, I'd cross them off the list, but maybe they can be trained?

343

Open relationships aren't cheating and in theory there is a very bright line between the two, but I find it's hard to maintain in practice. I go with the Dan Savage def. of cheating, which is cheating is doing what isn't something that's been agreed on beforehand and wouldn't be ok with the other person. My experience with open relationships is they never fit neatly into the box or live up to the pre-expectations. E.g., if one rule is casual sex is ok, but no emotions, one person develops emotions for the other person. Or if you agree to share all the details, one person lies about what they've done, initially to spare feelings or hide minor fudging of the rules, and then is spirals out from there. Even if there isn't anything that is strictly cheating in terms of doing something not allowed and/or lying about activities, the messy situations created can be similar to the emotional fallout of cheating, with people being hurt in similar ways and turning into jealous wrecks. I find it's more common with men, who picture an open relationship meaning that they get to hook up with more woman and still have their girlfriend. When they realize it also means their girlfriend is out hooking up and having better sex with other men, often they find it much harder to handle. (Not saying this is always the case, or would be the case for you, just it happens to be true of many of the men I've known who've pushed for open relationships.) In your case, it sounds like you and your girlfriend aren't really sexually compatible, and you might be better off finding someone else, even if she's great in other ways. I'm not saying an open relationship is a bad idea--it could end up being a somewhat low risk way to find someone else--I just would be prepared for the case that the open relationship will very likely lead to the end of your current relationship.


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 9:27 PM
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463

461 to 459.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 9:28 PM
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464

If you enjoyed the QABOTWTS you had, it sounds like you are in some functional sense attracted to him...do you not want to be seen with someone you consider objectively not attractive? That's how the situation would almost automatically read if the genders were reversed, I think. And the list of good qualities is pretty long.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 9:38 PM
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Too late, gswift. We all know you're the fat guy Tia's been dating.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 9:40 PM
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460: Have you talked to him about this? Maybe he would be willing to start working out if you suggested it.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 9:46 PM
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463.2: That's the thing about one-night stands. You can't really ask for anything.

With the other potentially interesting person in town, there is probably more possibility of negotiating a decent sexual relationship, but probably not. Part of my ambivalence is sexual disappointment, but a much bigger part of it is that I'm still quite hung up on the shy gentleman discussed a few times previous, who now has some bizarre long-distance relationship that makes me sad. Their offices are practically next door to one another. They're sort of friends, I guess, but it feels weird, especially because all the new people in my life are so physically affectionate, and my shy friend never figured out how to give or receive with me that way.

There's no reason for me to feel like I'm being unfaithful to a relationship I'm not in, but that's almost exactly what it feels like. Whenever I was really dating someone, I never had the urge to fuck anyone else. And now, even though I'm not dating anyone, I have that same feeling, like, why would I want to do that?


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 9:47 PM
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If you enjoyed the QABOTWTS you had, it sounds like you are in some functional sense attracted to him

That's why I said I was ambivalently attracted to him.

do you not want to be seen with someone you consider objectively not attractive?

I'm pretty sure this is not the problem. I mean, I enjoy the status that comes with walking around with someone you know other people are admiring. I'm not sure I have precisely zero of this feeling. But I don't think I would treat it as a serious obstacle. It's more that on close contact I'm ambivalent about his body. I don't think I could put it in more detailed or specific terms without it being shaming.

467: It's far, far too early to be having conversations about things that should change. It's also really hard to envision how that conversation could go. I have perfectly legitimate concerns about him not sharing my values about health and activity alongside the worry that I don't like his body enough, something I ought to keep to myself.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 9:55 PM
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460: My inclination in similar situations is to learn to associate the sex I'm enjoying with the aesthetic quality that I'm getting used to. One can end up having quite broad sexual tastes pretty fast that way.

But then, I've never had sex with a fat man. I'm often attracted to fat men, but they don't seem to like me. Fat women like me plenty and I associate that with good sexual times.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 9:56 PM
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It's far, far too early to be having conversations about things that should change. It's also really hard to envision how that conversation could go. I have perfectly legitimate concerns about him not sharing my values about health and activity alongside the worry that I don't like his body enough, something I ought to keep to myself.

I dunno, IME people seem to talk about working out and so forth all the time, in all sorts of different situations. (Which I actually find kind of weird, but whatever.) Couldn't you at least find a way to bring up how this is important to you, personally, and see how he reacts?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-26-13 9:59 PM
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What I have relearned in the last couple of months is the difference it makes for someone actually to want, to enjoy, and to relish sex. Intimacy too, since I can't easily disentangle the two. In my experience limited there is no sex further detached from emotion than the stuff you do towards the end of a dying marraige. And, OK, it was three years ago that my wife decided she's had enough to last a lifetime, though she felt no need to talk about this decision or anything like that, oh no. I was just supposed to understand it osmotically and inhale the fragrance of her wisdom.



Posted by: Kind Edward VII | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 2:06 AM
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472

There is a frog-boiling aspect to the withering of a sexual relationship. Each successive worsening seems entirely normal. It would violate the analogy ban to say it's like having your cock freeze off. So I won't. But nothing shivers. It just shrinks grows brittle, like a cashew nut and then one day, when fish it out to pee, the damn thing breaks off in your hand and you look for a moment at this useless object then chuck it i the bowl.

"What's for supper, dear?" you call as the echoes of the flush die away.


Posted by: King Edward VII | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 2:11 AM
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473

389 reminds me of Fran Lebowitz' "Notes on Trick". What a prat.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 2:38 AM
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474

I was once present when the poet was asked by someone, 'Sophocles, how are you in sex? Can you still have intercourse with a woman?'

'Silence, man,' he said. 'Most joyfully did I escape it, as though I had run away from a sort of frenzied and savage master.' I thought at the time that he had spoken well and I still do.


Posted by: Cephalus | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 2:40 AM
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EDguy here. Things are actually feeling pretty good for us right now. Work with our new kink-positive marriage counselor is going really well. I'm continuing to feel an afterglow of hope that my wife was willing to give this a shot, and optimism that we will be able to make more progress. Plus "jai-alai" is now back on the menu after several years, and my wife has now acknowledged both to me and to our counselor that she does enjoy and get turned on by it, which gives me confidence that it's back to being a permanent part of our love life. So I'm feeling good about actually getting something that I really want, instead of just extremely watered-down versions of stuff I hope might grow into something I want someday. And my wife is feeling a lot less pressure, knowing that we are able to do something we both enjoy together, which has led to more openness to experiment a bit sexually.
I'm hoping that we can use this period of feeling good about each other to talk about some of the more difficult stuff, like the idea of open marriage, before it becomes an urgent discussion. My goal for the rest of this year is to see if we can get to the point (in counseling) of having a generic discussion involving open marriage without having it trigger an emotional meltdown. Actually negotiating some kind of an open marriage or trying to do it are much further off, if we ever get that far. But I'd like to be able to at least discuss some possibilities I envision (in the abstract, not involving specific people) and see if any of them seem like something she might maybe come to be ok with at some indefinite point in the future. I think that part of her immediate reaction is based on what she imagines that kind of relationship would be like, without having ever heard specifics of what I might have in mind.
With our previous counselor, every time I tried to bring the subject up, we got sidetracked into meta-discussions of why I wanted to bring the subject up when I knew it was painful to my wife. With our current counselor, we both feel far more comfortable discussing details of our sex life, we are currently in a more comfortable state together (as I noted above), and our counselor has previous experience working with poly and poly/monogamous couples, which I'm hopeful will let her advise us about how such relationships work (or don't). I don't know how it will all play out, but I'm hopeful we can get to the point of having some productive discussions, regardless of how it ultimately works out.
Needless to say, I'm very sympathetic to Hillary's situation above. I've struggled through similar issues over the years, but with more orgasms and less frequent sex. (As in "a few times a year" infrequent for several years, though things are getting better on that front.) I hope you're able to work things out in some mutually acceptable manner.


Posted by: EDguy | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 2:51 AM
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Argh - the paragraph spacing got lost in the cut-and-paste of my last comment. Meanwhile, here's another comment that I originally started writing for Tia's Fake/Real thread a couple of months ago (comment numbers are references to that thread). Life got massively busy before I could finish it (and then the thread diverted into a discussion about cat hoarding). Seems like this might be a good time to share it:

The whole discussion about private fantasies (in 59, 100, 102, etc.) hits home for me. One of the big issues in my marriage is that my wife finds most of my sexual fantasies repulsive, even some that were the basis for little sex games we used to enjoy together. That, I think, was part of her big turn against kink after our son was born, aside from just generally getting more conservative sexually as she thought of herself more as mom than lover.

In the first few years after our son was born, we didn't often have time or energy for anything elaborate sexually. So I would sometimes ask her to relate a fantasy to me verbally during sex, especially if I was having trouble reaching orgasm. (We take turns with our orgasms, since she doesn't come through p-i-v sex, so I wasn't asking for something that would distract her from her own orgasm.) Over time, she got less and less comfortable with this, and finally told me that she wanted two days warning before I asked for a verbal fantasy, so she would have time to brace herself. I told her that if it was that distressing to her, I didn't want to ask.

We haven't done it since. We experimented a little bit many years later with her relating a memory of a romantic weekend together, just to try to work through her concerns about verbalization during sex independent of her concerns about the content, and that went ok. But she's still really uncomfortable doing anything fictional, even with complete control over the content.

I think part of the reason she got so uncomfortable about verbalizing my fantasies is that acting out a sex game together allowed her to put her own interpretation on what we were doing and focus on her own reactions, while verbalizing a fantasy for my benefit required her to see the fantasy from my perspective and become aware of what details were turning me on. That awareness led to a sense of wrongness, revulsion, and disgust. I'm hoping that we may finally be able to work through some of those feelings with the help of our new marriage counselor, who is someone with whom we both have been much more comfortable talking about our sex life in detail than we ever were with our previous counselor, and is specifically kink-positive.

But in any case, ever since we have established the existence of that revulsion reaction years ago (which led us into our first, failed, attempt at marriage counseling, years before our more recent experience of the last 9+ years), I have generally kept my fantasies to myself during sex, and used them internally when I'm having trouble getting turned on or reaching orgasm during intercourse. It does bother me that I have to keep them to myself. For one thing, it's more mental work to have to do the whole thing inside my head rather than having my partner help me with it, and I feel like it turns sex into something where I'm often withdrawing into myself, rather than being drawn out of myself by something we are doing together. I really miss the feelings of intimacy that the latter provided, back in our prime.

I think a lot of this stuff has been at the root of why it's been so hard to find satisfactory solutions to our issues over the years. Couples can find acceptable compromises to their differences if one partner really wants something the other is neutral to "meh" about. That's the sort of thing you can trade off against something the other partner really wants, or just offer as a gift to your partner even if it doesn't do anything much for you. It's much harder to find any sort of workable compromise when one partner really wants something the other is actively repulsed by. This might even (though this is pretty speculative on my part at this point) have played a role in why we've found it so hard to discuss extra-marital solutions. If you recognize your partner's desires as legitimate desires that you don't personally want to gratify, you might be more willing to discuss other ways of scratching those particular itches than if you are feeling deep-down that those are illegitimate desires that no one should have.


Posted by: EDguy | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 3:25 AM
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402 [Lurker since '06 ]: Can't very well talk to any friends about it, as I've asked (other friends, different circle) in the past, "hey, any of y'all prefer taking care of yourself to doing it with a partner?" and I was nigh crucified by their disbelieving stares.

A thing to remember about sex: Everybody lies about it in social settings. Especially in person social settings. But to some degree even when commenting anonymously, or double-anonymously. And many of us lie to ourselves about it as well, of course.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 3:29 AM
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One of my favorite quotes about sex is Reggie Jackson's "Hitting is better than sex." (I misremembered it as "hitting home runs"). Since we are insecure half-bright monkeys the acceptable response at the time was to express incredulity or mockery even though I'm sure he spoke honestly and vast numbers of people have some activity of which they could say the same thing--you know, the kinds of things that tend to be driven by sublimated sexual energy...

This is one area of life where the veldt* is all over our ass.

*More properly the veldt plus a long history of this massively important biological function being shaping and being shaped by important social institutions. No wonder the toothpaste tube leaks around the edges.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 4:35 AM
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No wonder the toothpaste tube leaks around the edges.

I don't understand this idiom. What kind of shitty toothpaste do you buy?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 4:44 AM
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Lots of things are better than orgasms, and last longer, too. But nothing much is better than loving or even affectionate and attentive sex. Not even trout fishing - except in Lapland, when the mosquitoes make any kind of activity involving naked flesh extremely unwise. Probably also true in Minnesota, which would explain Emerson.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 4:46 AM
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480: It's probably one left over from before my time. although I do recall the tubes of my youth sometimes developing leaks.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 4:49 AM
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Sometimes I miss the tubes of yesteryear. (Some parts NSFW.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 4:54 AM
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But nothing much is better than loving or even affectionate and attentive sex,

I feel like putting in a word for a certain kind of exuberant sex with strangers that happens when you're younger than I am now, as...not a good permanent substitute for loving/affectionate sex, but not really lesser than it either, and not something I'd happily have done without in my life.


Posted by: President Everyone Always Knows Who I Am | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 5:54 AM
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If you have sex with strangers in their place, you can wait until they fall asleep and weaken the edges of their toothpaste tubes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 5:58 AM
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mostly to see if I can and it helps to feel better, plus a bit of trying to get even more paleofit.

This is a goal you might want to be cautious of achieving. What if it works and you do feel perceptibly better? Then you have to keep maintaining that much discipline to keep feeling that good. (I am mostly thinking of how incredible I felt when I was competition-ready, and that I had to work out 20+ hours a week to feel like that. But it was disappointing not to feel like that, but I couldn't keep working out that much.) It can be a ratchet and a trap.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 6:21 AM
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I spent last night sitting on the lawn playing with a stray kitten I'd lured in, listening to my neighbors have really loud sex. That's about as much action as I've gotten in quite a while.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 6:23 AM
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with a stray kitten I'd lured in

"The kitten kept trying to leave, but they weren't finished yet."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 6:33 AM
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Hillary Clinton's posts are making me think couples counseling. Really, they're making me think in that I'm-someone-on-the-internet-who-doesn't-know-you kind of way that the marriage should probably come to an end, but it seems like counselling should either help fix things if they're fixable, or talk the two of you into getting away from each other if they aren't.

But the way you're talking about your sex life, whether you're being fair or even if you aren't but that's how you're perceiving things, makes it sound tolerable over any given period of a couple of weeks, but grindingly miserable generally. You've talked about what it takes to get you off, he'll do it for a little while, and then gives up and goes back to having sex with you that he knows you're not enjoying? I would think that either has to get fixed somehow (he starts behaving better, he agrees to open the marriage, something) or the two of you should go your separate ways.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 6:34 AM
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Of course, I say that flippantly because I'm not in your shoes. Buck and I are doing nicely in that regard, but I admit that if we weren't, but were getting along fine otherwise, the prospect of actually getting a divorce sounds so defeatingly complicated and unpleasant that I can't imagine why anyone does it if they think they have any other option they could live with at all.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 6:37 AM
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I bet if you worked at it in flippancy counseling, you could say that even if you were in Hillary's shoes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 6:39 AM
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It might take a long time. I was flippant a lot as a kid.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 6:46 AM
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489: I'm-someone-on-the-internet-who-doesn't-know-you kind of way

Since I recently re-read it (and I have no words of my own for most things), I am reminded of the following from Lucky Jim on Jim's learning from a colleague's wife that they have an open relationship. Dixon fell silent again, reflecting, not for the first time, that he knew nothing whatsoever about other people or their lives.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 6:49 AM
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I share some of EDguy's experience with verbal fantasies (or more accurately just verbalization during sex). But I have done far less than he in attempting to address it in my relationship; instead accepting retreat into my own mind. There is an alternate world where I have a talky/talky-accepting partner (or a even a string of them) but that ain't this world. Nor does not stand out particularly from the myriad other imagined alternate worlds in which things sexual or non-sexual are improved in other specific ways. I find the poignancy of life resides in the accumulation of them, not in the specifics of any one of them.


Posted by: President Man | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 6:52 AM
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I'm confused at a point in Hillary's story. Is the problem that you're not getting off during sex, or *he's* not getting you off during sex (you're touching yourself)? To me those seem like very very different issues. The former would make him an asshole, while the latter seems much more workable. I think I'd misread something earlier that made me think the former, but some of your later comments have made me think the latter.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 7:33 AM
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488 is very lolworthy.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 7:40 AM
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I think the latter (that Hillary can get herself off during the unsatisfying sex they're having) is what she said, but it still sounds pretty bad. To sum up what I think she described, his attitude is "What I'm doing with you gets me off and doesn't do much for you. I know how to make it better for you, and I'll do it sometimes, but as a general rule I won't. But if you can figure out how to get yourself off without my help, I'm not stopping you -- your pleasure isn't my problem, but I'm not actively opposed to it. And I'd like this sex that I enjoy and you don't to happen more frequently."

And while sex like that doesn't sound miserable on an occasional basis -- sometimes things are going to be all about one partner -- the general attitude sounds miserable. I might have overread what Hillary described, and even if I'm reading her right, she could be being unfair. But if that's how she's perceiving things, that's a relationship that needs to get fixed or ended pretty badly.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 7:50 AM
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That is, the former would be "sex he knows you're not enjoying" while the latter would be sex he should know you're bored with, not because it's obviously unenjoyable, but because you've told months ago that you found it boring. The latter makes it sound like a situation where communication and compromise could make legitimate progress, while the former just makes him sound like a complete asshole.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 7:50 AM
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489: We've done counseling and it did help. I don't think I have an expectation that we will ever have a wonderfully connected relationship but I'm not sure that is even a realistic expectation. If I knew with certainty that getting divorced meant that there was a good chance that I would have a relationship like that, then I would seriously consider it. What seems more likely is that a divorce would result in a loss of companionship and regular sex, as mediocre and unsatisfying as it is. The way it is now I have an enjoyable companion and do get to have sex regularly (which is important to me even if it is not at all an ideal situation, it would be hard for me to go without sex altogether).

I guess that is why having another partner is so appealing to me. It means I can be assured of the regular companionship that I get in my marriage but also get, one hopes, to experience more enjoyable sex.


Posted by: Hillary Clinton | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 8:00 AM
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Is the problem that you're not getting off during sex, or *he's* not getting you off during sex (you're touching yourself)? To me those seem like very very different issues.

That's interesting. To me they don't seem like very different issues at all.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 8:01 AM
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Allow me to extend my sympathies to fellow monarch Edward VII. I know of what you speak, sir.


Posted by: Good King Richard | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 8:07 AM
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497: This describes the situation pretty much exactly. I am able to get off when we have sex but almost always of my own doing (there are a few times a year where that is not the case). His attitude is that, hey, we're both getting off, and since I'm the expert of my own body I probably know what to do better than him and doesn't want to let me down.

I'm making him sound terrible and he's really not but he does lack the patience to do things the way I like. Yes, we've had many, very detailed conversations about what I need and immediately following those conversations he's usually willing to put in the extra effort but as a matter of course he is not. When we talk about how rushed things are after the fact his excuse is usually that he is so excited to have sex with me that he ends coming too quickly.

I don't think the issue is that he's not attracted to me. He is constantly asking me to have sex and I am constantly turning him down which I feel bad about but there really is a limit to how much mediocre sex I can tolerate.


Posted by: Hillary Clinton | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 8:08 AM
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Is "Good King Richard" a thing?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 8:21 AM
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She did say that she's getting off during sex about 5% of the time. Which makes it sound pretty severe.

She also said that there are concrete things she has told him make the sex better for her, and that he has in the past done them and they did make the sex better for her, but he stops, and that the cycle has repeated enough times that she's giving up on it.

(Banned analogy here -- you know what this sounds like to me, to make it concrete? Flipping the parties, as if the only sex she was interested in was him performing oral on her. On occasion, she could be persuaded to do something different, but as a general rule, one-way oral was the only sex she was up for. Now, in any individual encounter, that might be fine for both parties, I can imagine people for whom it would be a mutually satisfying sex life, but for most men over an extended period of time, I'd think that would be miserably unsatisfying even if he could jerk off during.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 8:22 AM
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Oh, crossed with Hillary who can speak to her own experience better than I can.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 8:23 AM
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I'm a human being, not a thing, you insensitive clod!

But yes, it's a thing; a specific and somewhat obscure thing, but a pre-existing thing nonetheless.


Posted by: Good King Richard | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 8:24 AM
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Spice up your sex life by getting a good deal on an architectural penis.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 8:26 AM
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I certainly agree that sex where one person only ever gets off by touching themself is boring and makes the other person a bad lover. But I don't think the mere fact that the moment of orgasm someone touching themself automatically turns the whole sex act into sex that's "all about one partner." There's any number of reasons (position, timing, preference that the partner's hand be elsewhere, etc.) for a woman to be touching herself at the moment of climax. Those don't seem to be the reasons here, but nonetheless to me that moves him from "history's greatest monster" to "thoughtless and lazy." Still a huge problem, but not as awful as I thought he was before.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 8:30 AM
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More to 495: I do agree with you that as a general matter, a woman saying "I can only get off during sex with my partner if I touch myself" wouldn't either make me think anything bad at all about her partner or about the sex they were having -- some people work like that, and it works for them. What seems lousy about Hillary's situation is that he's not interested in being involved in getting her off. (Man, you repeat a euphemism often enough and it gets meaningless. Off of what?)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 8:31 AM
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So wait, the dude is just habitually wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am, occasionally more attentive but not usually and asks for more? Your husband is Pauly Shore. Oh wait now I understand your pseud.

Treat him badly, being nice isn't working. Cheat on him ostentatiously with someone who will make him question his own worth, Mutombo if you can manage it. Discuss his defincies with a friend on the phone where he can "accidentally" hear you.


Posted by: Abe Lincoln | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 8:31 AM
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509 to 508, but I think answers it: "I touch myself to get off during sex because that's what works for me" can work great. "I touch myself to get off during sex because my partner can't be bothered" sounds awful.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 8:32 AM
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"I touch myself to get off during sex because my partner's penis is so long he can't reach me with his hands" sounds better.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 8:34 AM
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502: What's his response to the idea that after he comes sex still keeps going until you're satisfied? It seems like that'd be a time when he'd be in a grateful mood and not be in any hurry.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 8:37 AM
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He's definitely more thoughtless and lazy, with a big helping of self-doubt thrown in. There have been a few times when we've tried new things and it hasn't worked out perfectly and my response is that we'll keep trying and his is that he gives up because he is a failure.


Posted by: Hillary Clinton | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 8:38 AM
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511: Comity!


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 8:38 AM
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513: I would guess that the answer to that is generally contained in "Yes, we've had many, very detailed conversations about what I need and immediately following those conversations he's usually willing to put in the extra effort but as a matter of course he is not."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 8:40 AM
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513: Once he's done, we're done. Nothing's happens once he's done. That when I finish myself off.


Posted by: Hillary Clinton | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 8:42 AM
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516: I'm sure you're right, but it just seemed weird to me that his excuse seemed not to even imagine the possibility of afterplay.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 8:43 AM
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Treat him badly, being nice isn't working.

I highly doubt this will lead to anything remotely positive, especially given 514. You have my sympathy, HRC. This sounds like a no-win situation.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 8:43 AM
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512 I want to connect this somehow to that weird annoying story about how in heaven everyone is feeding each other but then somehow that seems to involve a lot of autofellatio in hell and that just can't be right.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 8:44 AM
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Since I'm putting it all out there, I guess I should say that we had a particularly bad sexual encounter a couple of years ago that left me unable to fully trust him. We've talked about it quite a bit since then and he feels really bad about it but it continues to limit our sexual relationship in some ways.


Posted by: Hillary Clinton | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 8:45 AM
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520: That's a vivid image.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 8:46 AM
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517: Now that's squarely back in history's greatest monster territory.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 8:47 AM
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I'm reminded of Roald Dahl's The Great Switcheroo.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 8:47 AM
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I return to the idea of a "no stuff without special stuff" ultimatum. Or rather, he needs to be disabused of the notion that what you're asking for is "special stuff." He needs to get the idea into his head that these things are non-optional—they're simply the things you must do as a considerate partner if you want to have an ongoing sexual relationship with a woman.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 8:48 AM
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My report:

I've been a single guy for about a year. I've dated various women. I've been purposefully avoiding becoming a bf, and trying to be very clear that I want to date multiple people. It can be difficult, and I've probably missed out on some possible more serious relationships with awesome women bc of that.

I've regretted ending my last serious relationship. Maybe ending it was for the best, but I regret not working on it more in the year or so prior to ending it. She was/is a remarkable woman and we failed at working on our relationship.

I have not done any internet dating. I've enjoyed spending time with some smart, interesting women over the last year. It seems like there are a lot of them out there.

My life might change fairly dramatically in the next month as my kid might go live elsewhere. I am finding the prospect of living totally alone a little unsettling.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 8:52 AM
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524: I never heard of that one before. I suppose there's a good reason it isn't in a collection with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 8:53 AM
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a particularly bad sexual encounter a couple of years ago that left me unable to fully trust him

With each other or involving an outside party?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 8:53 AM
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With each other.


Posted by: Hillary Clinton | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 8:54 AM
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You know what I find myself thinking? For lots of people, sex really isn't like pizza.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 8:58 AM
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Except for the mozzarella, it really isn't.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 8:59 AM
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I dunno, it's something tempting that can ruin your life and make you both weak and repulsive to others. Sounds about right.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 9:00 AM
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Suddenly, I feel bad for the new Mrs. Halford.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 9:01 AM
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The unsympathetic read is that he's a selfish asshole. Taking your "I'm making him sound terrible and he's really not" at face value, the more sympathetic read is that he's got insecurities that make doing whatever it is that you're wanting more difficult for him than you think it is, or perhaps your conversations aren't as clear to him as you think they are, or perhaps etc. All of this points to therapy as a potential solution. If he's a selfish asshole, it may help clarify that. If he's not, it may help clarify what the problem is and point towards solutions.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 9:03 AM
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526: I'm sorry to hear troubling news. I have a feeling your best work is ahead of you, if you will forgive my rank speculation.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 9:03 AM
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530, 531: Hey baby, why don't you come to my place and let me stuff your crust.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 9:07 AM
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Corn meal only works as a lubricant for one of the two.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 9:09 AM
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537 reminds me of this throwback thread.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 9:11 AM
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making me think couples counseling

Seriously, has that ever done anything but delay the inevitable?


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 9:16 AM
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534: Yeah. I was thinking about couples counseling because it sounds as if you've communicated the hell out of the problem already and he's either not really hearing you, or he's not communicating what's getting in the way of solving it. So you either need to accept the situation (which sounds awful), end the relationship (which doesn't sound like what you want to do), or find some new and different communication tools, the only one of which I can think of offhand is a third party to act as an honest broker.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 9:17 AM
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539: as mentioned many times in TFA by apo (at least) it has often smoothed the inevitable.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 9:17 AM
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539: What I've heard from a number of people is that it smoothed the exit process, which sounds valuable in itself.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 9:18 AM
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Hillary -- because I'm cripplingly nosy, what was bad that's getting better, such that you were thinking about talking about an open relationship in three to six months? It sounds like the sex isn't on an upward trajectory, so that wouldn't have been it.

Because honestly, from the way you've described the sex, while I sort of think it sounds relationship-ending, I also sort of think that if everything else was great, I could imagine managing like that for a long time because of aversion to giving up everything else good about the relationship. Layer much in the way of other problems on top of it, though...


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 9:23 AM
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Yeah, I can't point to many relationships that it has saved, but lots of instances where it created a safe space to negotiate an exit that didn't involve being at one another's throats and using custody/property arrangements as weapons.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 9:24 AM
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I can imagine that broaching the subject of an outside partner might improve things on the thoughtless and lazy front, but be a complete disaster on the self-confidence front. And I'm having difficulty imagining that not bleeding over into everything else.

Not that an old long-married thoughtless lazy fat guy knows much about anything.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 9:27 AM
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543: Six to nine months ago we were openly antagonistic towards each other and not on speaking terms. Now we've returned to a state of general day-to-day pleasantness and cooperation.


Posted by: Hillary Clinton | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 9:29 AM
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546

Even an expensive counselor is going to be cheaper than two lawyers.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 9:29 AM
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And the money spent on counseling (mostly covered by insurance!) is probably what kept us from having to spend any money at all on dueling divorce lawyers (sorry, Will).


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 9:29 AM
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Pwnt!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 9:29 AM
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549

541, 542, 544 express the accepted Unfogged wisdom, but 476 shows another possibilty.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 9:30 AM
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550

I forgot the part about health insurance.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 9:30 AM
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On sex being pizza: I am on record as drawing an analogy, as comestibles which can be shared.

On couples counseling: I dunno, it hasn't worked for me, even with a counselor I liked.

On talking during sex: It all depends on how it's done. Talking which cannot be genuine ruins sex. Fantasizing is fine but fantasizing about fantasizing makes me tune-out or lose my erection. If HC's specific type of talk is turning her partner off, and she can't do without it, then there's probably not much that can be done, and apologies all around to the new Mrs. Halford.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 9:31 AM
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546: I'm mindreading from minimal information here. But given that you're saying that things are improving rather than that you've addressed whatever it was you were openly hostile about and it's resolved, I'm guessing that whatever it is isn't resolved, just in a less acute phase. Which makes me think, again, that counseling, with the hope of fixing stuff but with the recognition that maybe it's over, might be a good idea.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 9:33 AM
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||

Why watch Games of Thrones when I can just keep up on gossip from the two side-by-side day care cooperatives? Just as much intrigue, just as many weird names, much less beheading.

|>


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 9:38 AM
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554

much less beheading

You answered your own question.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 9:39 AM
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554: Nudity / graphic sex?


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 9:40 AM
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554: So far.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 9:40 AM
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Just curious HC: What brought on the antagonism?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 9:40 AM
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Sex sometimes leads to being concerned with gossip from day care cooperatives.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 9:41 AM
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Yeah, we're probably doomed. We've been in and out of counseling a few times and have experienced at least some benefit from it. Per 499, I'm not quite ready to accept what seems like a grim life of solitude post-divorce so we'll probably keep going as we have been for awhile and maybe longer. I think if I was getting something on the side I would be able to continue on almost indefinitely.


Posted by: Hillary Clinton | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 9:42 AM
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Once he's done, we're done. Nothing's happens once he's done. That when I finish myself off.

This makes him sound more on the selfish asshole side. There's no way he would give you a hand job after he's done? Or do you not want that? Or is this where he halfheartedly offers and then does a poor job and pouts and gives up if you try to give him some direction, leaving you to finish yourself off?


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 9:44 AM
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OT: A million times ARG to academic faculty who send emails and post on Facebook reminding everyone in the field to please send their very best grad students to apply for their tenure-track position, as if there aren't quite a few years' worth of PhD-holding people who graduated during the OMGCRISIS years and have been moving from place to place gaining experience that it turns out will be held against us because everyone likes the smell of a fresh new PhD without the work-sweat stink on them. I don't think what they mean to say is that people like me won't be considered; it's just that, as usual, no one thinks of us when they imagine their new colleague.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 9:44 AM
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Actually, it's orgasms that are like pizza.


Posted by: Opinionated Woody Allen | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 9:45 AM
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563

Sex is like a hoagie.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 9:48 AM
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Hillary, I am going to suggest that you give more serious thought (as in, planning in a detailed way how things might work) to ending the marriage. My guess is that sleeping with someone else will make you feel much better in lots of ways, but seeing what you're missing out on in your marriage might just push you to end it. Frankly, I'm kind of pissed on your behalf. I'm glad things are improving, but I think you've gotten used to lousy as normal. You're not asking for anything odd or difficult, and your husband can't be bothered to spend, what, an extra five minutes twice a week to please you?


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 9:49 AM
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552: Back in the day* National Lampoon ran a decent little piece which as I recall mockingly contrasted sexual mores/practices across different socio-economic classes. One of the the items was sex talk, with the "jokes" premised on vocabulary and level of enthusiasm. I'll just say that aspects of it rang true (and are inter-related).

So, what I'd like to do is have everyone post how they refer out loud to their (and optionally their partner's) sexual organs:
1) formally, 2) casually, 3) leading up to sex, 4) during early foreplay, 5) during late foreplay, 6) in extremis, 7) in afterglow.

*It may have been the "Heterosexulaity" issue.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 9:51 AM
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564: Sex is like a hoagie.

What you get out of it depends on what the counterperson at Subway puts into it.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 9:52 AM
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567

1) formally Countess?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 9:53 AM
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566: Also what you call the act itself, and not any significant changes in vocabulary used over the couse of your life. Also note what you are wearing.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 9:54 AM
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568: You refer to your dick as "Countess'?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 9:54 AM
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560 sounds like* what's really going on -- you don't like being married to this guy, don't want to go through the pain of a divorce, and are hoping that having sex with other people on the side will square the circle reasonably. That sounds pretty unlikely to work -- even if you could manage juggling the multiple balls in the air that the open relationship/consistent adultery requires, I doubt that it would actually solve your problem or give you much satisfaction. Just hunkering down and focusing on this guy's sexual technique seems even less likely to work.

Honestly, as someone who has been divorced (twice, ladies, and trying to avoid #3) it's not that bad, or at least doesn't have to be that bad, at least absent some genuinely terrible partner/kid/financial constraints. My advice is to get into counseling again with the idea of either hope-against-hope improving things or, more realistically a relatively amicable break-up. Of course, that's a least-bad option and not exactly good news, but it at least gives you the potential of escaping from a shitty situation, instead of just accepting that you'll be condemned to it forever.

*(I am just some dude on the internet who doesn't know anything, and would be likely to give shitty advice even if I did know something)


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 9:54 AM
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560: Whoops, I'd missed 499. You know, what's going to follow is probably terrible advice, and when I say "what I'd do" what I mean is that I have no idea what I'd actually do. But given the point you're at, I think I'd just tell him you were opening the marriage: "We've talked about our sexual problems. You have a sex life, I don't, what I have is permission to masturbate, and you haven't responded adequately to extended efforts from me to improve the sex we're having. I'm going to have sex with other people -- I'll take input from you on how that happens, but it's going to. Other than that I like being married to you, and I'd like to stay married, and I don't mind continuing to have sex with you the way you like, but I understand that this may be relationship-ending for you. Whatever you decide, we'll make work out, hopefully with a minimum of rancor."

And let the chips fall where they may. (Obviously, that wording is insanely brusque, no-one would ever actually have a relationship discussion like that, but as a summary of something that would take several hours and a bottle of wine, that sort of thing.) I mean, you sound like you're justified in giving up on working through the sex problems with him (or that your beliefs are such that you think you are, which means pretty much the same thing in terms of moving on to a different solution).

I think that conversation would probably end the marriage, but it's a way to rip off the band-aid, and maybe you'd end up in something happily open. It must work for someone.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 9:55 AM
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I was going with the "optional" part.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 9:55 AM
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560: grim life of solitude post-divorce

I think this is unneccessarily bleak. If you absolutely need to be around people all the time it may be the case, but chances are you'll quickly learn to love the freedom. It can be lonely some times, but nowhere near as lonely as feeling alone with another person right beside you.

Also you can go on many hot dates and test drive the performance of various guys, reporting back to The Mineshaft from time to time.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 9:55 AM
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574

My penis is a Viscount.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 9:56 AM
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Yeah, "grim life of solitude" is almost certainly wrong, unless you live in a remote settlement in the middle of the Australian outback that you can never or something. Not saying that the divorce won't be painful, but sounds like you don't have a lot of good options.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 9:58 AM
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a remote settlement in the middle of the Australian outback

This is sort of like where I live!


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 9:59 AM
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576 may be glib. Older, overweight women who aren't invested in looking sleek and manicured, who maybe live in a small town, might have a different experience than 30-some-odd Crossfit lawyers in LA. Not that I know anything about HC, but I remember an old conversation where I got schooled on why "go online!" doesn't necessarily lead to romance for older not-thin women.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 10:02 AM
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The point of counseling is to avoid making bold moves like 572, or at least make them in a context where there's less likelihood of them leading immediately to really acrimonious filings from divorce lawyers. I'd tread very carefully, with the idea that things are about to go south for good and that you need to navigate that separation carefully and thoughtfully, especially since there are kids involved.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 10:04 AM
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"grim life of solitude" is almost certainly wrong

I second this. There are a whopping lot of divorced people out there, and most of them still want to have sex.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 10:05 AM
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579 is probably (and when I say probably, I mean almost certainly) sensible, I was mostly reacting to the thought that they've tried counselling and it's resulted in the problems continuing to drag along.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 10:06 AM
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578: Maybe. I know that not everyone is as mind-blowingly attractive to the opposite sex as I am. But, put slightly differently, if you're capable of arranging for adulterous sex/finding sexual partners in an open marriage, you're almost certainly not going to be condemned forever to a sexless life just by virtue of being divorced.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 10:06 AM
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And most of them weren't divorced by somebody else who thought they were bad at sex. Probably.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 10:06 AM
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To 578, if she thinks she's got decent hookup possibilities, she's probably also got decent dating prospects.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 10:06 AM
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584

583 to 580.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 10:07 AM
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585

Sex is like a hoagie.

In Western Massachusetts, they call it a grinder if it's hot.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 10:09 AM
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Yeah, I don't think she's doomed to never having sex again. But there's a high probability of finding at least one intermediate relationship where the sex is gratisfying, but you wouldn't want to hunker down with the person, and you need to have some sense that you're okay on your own.

None of this is exactly relevant.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 10:10 AM
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I've known lots of people where counseling helped.

The line between a tolerable marriage and an intolerable one is very thin.

Very small changes can bring you back to tolerable.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 10:10 AM
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Although divorce often dramatically improves your sex life.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 10:12 AM
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Yeah, will, as an actual divorce lawyer who sees the fallout, what is your advice on the reasonably-convivial/friendly-but-no-passion marriage vs. divorce choice? Must come up a ton.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 10:20 AM
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Is it acceptable to say I think I'm pretty damn hot and I don't have any worries about finding people to have sex with? I'm more worried about finding someone I would also enjoy enough that I would want to be in a relationship with him. I would be fine with casual sex for awhile but ultimately I want to be in a relationship and that's the part I don't feel so confident about.


Posted by: Hillary Clinton | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 10:22 AM
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Honestly, I don't know you, so I don't know what the issues are likely to be. But if the relationship you've got seems good enough to worry about losing it, and if you're confident about being able to date generally, I would say that your chances of finding something that good or better are pretty good. I mean, your standards in that regard don't seem unreasonably high at all.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 10:24 AM
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590:

I asked them why they want to get divorced. We discuss the pros and the cons. Usually, this comes up during discussions about support and dividing assets.

"Have you looked at where you can afford to live?" aka "Will your parents let you sleep on their sofa?" What expenses are you going to eliminate?

We talk about how this is a chance to start over. You can start over in your marriage or away from your marriage.

I tell them that they can't really evaluate such a division while they are banging someone else. We discuss that it is easy to like someone else when you are just banging them, and not worrying about joint bills and/or bored with them.

Then, I encourage them to get a good therapist.



Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 10:27 AM
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591 is almost certainly a miscalculation, IMO. It's not that hard to find a relationship partner (not saying it's easy, but it's certainly not a desperate or impossible thing to find and there are lots of people out there).

Honestly, just acknowledging that it's possible and thinkable to get out of that marriage without it ruining your life forever or condemning you to solitude might be healthy, even if you do stay in the marriage. People don't react well to situations they find hopeless.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 10:28 AM
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591/2:

I've been reading this convos as if LB is HC.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 10:29 AM
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Oh, if I were in HC's shoes, I'd be much more worried about my capacity to find people to have sex with. Not so much out of disbelief in my physical capacity to attract -- all sorts of people manage to find sex partners -- as disbelief in my ability to convince myself to leave the apartment and talk to anyone, ever.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 10:31 AM
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the reasonably-convivial/friendly-but-no-passion marriage vs. divorce choice

Speaking as one who has chosen the former over the latter, it is for me the lesser by far of two evils. But I can easily imagine people in circumstances different than mine for whom the reverse would be true.


Posted by: Good King Richard | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 10:31 AM
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I think I'm pretty damn hot and I don't have any worries about finding people to have sex with

So you're new here, are you?


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 10:35 AM
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596: the tone is certainly not you.

There is a lot to be said for long-term companionship. Someone who has your back, even though they may not give you hot orgasms. Someone else to provide financial support means a lot. If one of you has financial troubles, the other can help keep you off the street.

Marriage is only recently a thing allegedly about love and lasting a long time. It was about property and sustanance. Plus, one of you was going to die by 35 so marriages didn't last so long.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 10:37 AM
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Is 599.last true? I thought life expectancy was never so terrible for people who survived to an age when they could marry.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 10:41 AM
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But it sounds like HC hasn't given up on the idea of a relationship generally. Just (essentially) on ever being happy in a relationship with her current partner. It seems pretty reasonably likely that, at least after some time, she could find a new relationship, or marriage, with someone else.

599.last is wrong as stated, though the parts about it being primarily about property and support are certainly true. I mean, most of being "married" (as opposed to just in a long term committed relationship) still is about property rights.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 10:46 AM
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I think 591 is a reasonable concern. Sex is easy to get but relationships are hard. It's hard to find someone compatible; even if the actual partner you have is not completely compatible chances are good that they are more compatible than the majority of others out there. ALso, you have thrown out the shared history.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 10:47 AM
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602

Tenancy by the entirety. Hooray!


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 10:48 AM
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603

602 is generally right, but we're talking about a relationship that's already gone through an extended period of open hostility, and has the sex problems we've been talking about. Just the sex, I'd be kind of nodding along. The bad sex plus the open hostility? A relationship at least that good, I think her odds are pretty high.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 10:49 AM
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Speaking as one who has chosen the former over the latter, it is for me the lesser by far of two evils.

Likewise for me, though I'm not completely confident it's the right choice. When I'm feeling uncharitable, I characterize my married life as me working my ass off to support her life of leisure while we barely scrape by financially and don't have sex. The consolation is that I have a stable life in a house I love with children I love. The only thing that changes after the divorce is that I have to work even harder to support her while I live in some shitty apartment and she gets the kids. And probably still don't have much sex, either.


Posted by: Mike Dukakis | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 10:52 AM
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600: Truthiness. In a Humpty Dumpty sense. Or, no.

More importantly, if your spouse just happens to die, you will feel less pain: http://news.vcu.edu/article/Widows_widowers_emotionally_inoculated_against_chronic_pain


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 10:53 AM
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Men are not going to get crazy better at sex over time in a relationship. They are about as good at sex at the beginning as they are ever going to be. Women's decline in interest in sex over the relationship is a problem for men on the left side of the sexual skills bell curve.

I never hear people say that they were in Hillary Clinton's situation and then they stared to do X and it all got better.


Posted by: jimmy carter | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 10:54 AM
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605: This sounds really unhappy.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 10:58 AM
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More 608: That is, it hits a bit of an emotional hot-button for me, the idea of being resented like that. I find the fact that while I may be a lousy roommate, and untidy, and a bad housekeeper, and sort of depressive, and not the most fun, at least I'm self-supporting very comforting. Without a steady paycheck, I'd be flagellating myself constantly to be the charmingest partner on the face of the earth, and it's just not in me.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 11:02 AM
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608: on a good day (i.e. no open bilateral hostility), the house and the kids are enough. Not what I necessarily want out of life, but not obviously inferior to the alternative, either.


Posted by: Mike Dukakis | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 11:07 AM
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When I'm feeling uncharitable, I characterize my married life as me working my ass off to support her life of leisure while we barely scrape by financially and don't have sex.

Wow, it's like looking in a mirror.

For me, the downside of divorce is that it would be emotionally and psychologically devastating for her, and given that I'm actually in love with her and the rest of our relationship is pretty damned good, there's no way I could bring myself to inflict that kind of blow on her. The lack of sex is frustrating as hell, but we're working on it, and there is the possibility of improvement there.


Posted by: Good King Richard | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 11:08 AM
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Yeah, I too find that I have an emotional hot button related to ideas of being resented/tolerated/etc. It just seems awful and dehumanizing all around. I'm sorry things are sucky for you and your partners, unhappily partnered people!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 11:08 AM
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612

Everybody resents me but my wife. I assume.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 11:15 AM
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613

613: I don't resent you, Moby.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 11:16 AM
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614: Also, in case you're not sure, I am not your wife.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 11:17 AM
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Everybody who has met me IRL.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 11:17 AM
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616

Will I wish you worked more often in my jurisdiction.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 11:20 AM
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616: The men-all-want-to-be-and-women-all-wish- they-were-your-wife type resentment?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 11:20 AM
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618 take 2:

616: The men-all-want-to-be-you-and-women-all-wish-they-were-your-wife type resentment?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 11:21 AM
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Men are not going to get crazy better at sex over time in a relationship. They are about as good at sex at the beginning as they are ever going to be.

Not necessarily true. If the guy has had few previous partners and/or limited prior experience, there is plenty of room for improvement.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 11:21 AM
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620

My dog doesn't resent me. I feel confident about that.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 11:22 AM
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621

But nothing much is better than loving or even affectionate and attentive sex.

Intimacy too, since I can't easily disentangle the two.

I recently had a much-hoped-for relationship come apart over this, or at least mostly over this. When she became uninterested in sex, for her it was just a normal decline in libido. For me it was a huge loss of more than just sex, it was the whole package including intimacy and romance. I spent a year in anguish over it before deciding that I couldn't maintain a long-term relationship without that intimacy, because my previous relationship had been unhappy for the same reason. I still have this nagging doubt that I'm being shallow or that my needs are somehow pathological, but I just couldn't do it. And then I found five dollars someone just barely within the half-plus-seven zone whose appetite for sex and intimacy pretty much exactly matches mine.


Posted by: Mitterand | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 12:13 PM
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A good friend just got divorced, not by choice, moved into a small apartment and now acts so deliriously happy about the situation that I worry he might be suffering a mental breakdown. Either that or his marriage was really oppressively miserable and I just didn't realize it. The things he seems happy about seem insane. His life is now 1,000 times improved because, look, there's a basketball hoop right at the back of the apartment complex, and he can go down and shoot baskets by himself for hours whenever he wants to...? And eat frozen pizza every night, with his very favorite toppings...?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 1:14 PM
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623

(623 wasn't intended to be directly responsive to anything, just vaguely on-topic.)


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 1:17 PM
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624

I am actually worried about him, though.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 1:18 PM
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623: Yes, that kind of sounds like the prelude to when your friend suddenly breaks down and starts crying like a baby that his life is ruined, and that you need to persuade his wife to take him back.

Unfortunately, everything I know about life I learned from sitcoms.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 1:22 PM
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Which served as good training when a lovable, joke-cracking space alien crash landed in your backyard and moved in with your family.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 1:40 PM
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627

I think you can pull an awful lot of happiness from being out of a situation where you're in trouble all the time, even if it's not particularly obviously violent trouble. If he'd been tiptoeing around trying not to piss his wife off for a long time, being able to do minor harmless things without worrying about anyone's reaction seems like it could fuel a fair amount of delight.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 1:43 PM
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or his marriage was really oppressively miserable and I just didn't realize it.

My guess is this. I mean, the spouse ended things for some reason, and he could easily have been completely rocked when the applecart got inverted and now be finding joy in the freedom from the tension/badness.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 1:49 PM
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629

Yeah, 628 is basically what he says. But he never seemed unhappy before.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 1:50 PM
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630

Heh:
http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2013/09/26/scott-township-concrete-posts-the-talk-of-the-town/


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 2:01 PM
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623: Is your friend actually Milhous's dad?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 2:02 PM
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631: "When you really look at all four close together, they look like male body parts, which I don't think is appropriate," says Glendale resident Pat Martin.

They only look like penises when you look at all four together? Wow, sounds like Pat Martin really knows how to party.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 2:12 PM
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599: Definitely. A few years back, I made a list of seven reasons why I wanted to stay in the marriage for now in spite of the sexual difficulties. #1 was "because I genuinely think this is in the best interests of our son" and #2 was "because I love her," but some of the others were a bit more pragmatic/selfish. #5 covered a bunch of financial concerns, especially health insurance. She's got the stable job with the good health coverage; mine has been a lot more up-and-down (4 years out of the last 15 without benefits; currently a good job with not-so-great coverage). I told myself that lack of good sex wasn't going to kill me, but lack of affordable health coverage damn near might. (And yes, I'm aware that one can try to work that into divorce proceedings, but there is a lot that can go wrong there.) Let's just say that before the recent upturn in our relationship, I wanted to see how the ACA health exchanges were going to roll out before making any final decisions.


Posted by: EDguy | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 2:28 PM
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634.last: THANKS, OBAMACARE!


Posted by: Kermit Roosevelt, Jr. | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 5:06 PM
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623:

A lot of people enjoy the sense of relief of not having the pressure of a big house and lots of bills.

A small place with no yard to keep up. There is a lot to be said for fewer responsibilities regarding material things.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 6:28 PM
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635: On a semi-serious note, one of the points that the cuntfucks from cuntfuckistan love to harp upon is how liberal policies always punish innovation and entrepreneurship. But holy mother of God in the current system is there any greater disincentive for many people to go out on and try something on their own than fears about health insurance coverage? This aspect has not sufficiently thrown into the faces of the goober caucus, and I think something need to be done about that.


Posted by: Outraged Citizen | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 6:29 PM
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636: You sound like a Machiavellian corporate recruiter trying to convince someone to take a job at 40% of market pay rates.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 6:31 PM
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637: That's what I meant about freedom in the Obamacare thread -- which is over there, though.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 6:41 PM
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Hillary, I know I'm mostly reading my own romantic history into this, but what's his understanding of his role? Does he realize how he's letting you down and just blame you for not accepting that when he's done he's done, or expect that any sane and sensible person would be satisfied with what he has to offer or what? I have so much trouble understanding that mindset because I don't think I could easily play that role, and I've had too many occasions to think about it.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 6:42 PM
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639: But 634 and 635 were over here.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 6:44 PM
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628 and 636 speak to a real thing: If urple's friend had been tiptoeing around and putting a brave, robust face on it (which is truly an awful thing and makes people profoundly unhappy)*, it is not surprising that he'd be stunned and thrilled by his new circumstances.

* Some may recall my recent fuss over a family household in which the wife always makes dinner every night, and makes lunch for them when they're both home, and makes his lunch for him -- leaving it on the counter wrapped in plastic -- when she's going out.

That husband is, I think, ambivalent about it all: on the one hand, sure, it's great to be fed as though you live in a restaurant. On the other hand, he's received an assignment: this is what you are to eat. It's a bit pushy, day after day after day. On the other other hand, would he want to give up such a degree of caretaking?

But urple says the friend was divorced not by choice.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 6:57 PM
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I really have no idea. Where's B Wo these days?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 7:08 PM
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597, 605: Waving at you through the mirror. Although my spouse works, his habits re money -- spending it, lying about it -- have me in a constant low-grade tailspin. Divorce is something I fantasize about, if I can ever earn enough to pay for it.


Posted by: Elizabeth Warren | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 7:09 PM
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637: This was a disincentive for me when I was considering setting up my own company. Health insurance is a big deal to me as I have multiple preexisting conditions. The complexity of dealing with health insurance on top of all the other shit that goes with running your own business was just too much. Maybe it's a cop-out, but it was enough to discourage me. Single payer FTW.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 7:34 PM
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644: Divorce is something I fantasize about, if I can ever earn enough to pay for it.

I confess that this is one of the reasons I've declined to get married, despite two long-term relationships that could have resulted in marriage. It's just not likely I'd be able to absorb the cost of dissolving the alliance, should it come. That sounds so grim.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 7:49 PM
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645: Togolosh, has your calculus changed in the advent of the ACA?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 7:52 PM
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The key is to marry someone rich for ten years (in California) while doing as little as possible, and then get divorced. That is totally a sweet way to get cash with maximum laziness.*

*nb, not why I got remarried


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 8:02 PM
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She's a lucky one, regardless. Congrats.


Posted by: Elizabeth Warren | Link to this comment | 09-27-13 9:22 PM
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My sympathies, Senator Warren. Kitty and I have made some progress recently after I opened up about the extreme level of daily anxiety I feel about our meager level of savings (relative to my income; we're still comparatively well off) and the looming expense of college, retirement, etc. She is taking steps to rein in (ahem) the cost of her extremely expensive hobby. She says she will get a job, but I'll believe it when I see it; there's always a reason why right now isn't a good time. *Sigh*. The fact that this arrangement would only make a divorce settlement worse for me (per Halford's 648) is not lost on me.


Posted by: Mike Dukakis | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 3:32 AM
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Sitting here on the couch with our canine friend, it occurs to me that if Kitty and I did ever get divorced (which neither of us really wants, by the way, and we have a pretty good track record of muddling through; but if we ever did...), we would probably settle the property and child custody issues pretty amicably, but the fight over custody of the dog could get nasty. She would have to yield in the end, though, because everyone in the family knows that he likes me best.


Posted by: Mike Dukakis | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 3:46 AM
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The fact that this arrangement would only make a divorce settlement worse for me (per Halford's 648) is not lost on me.

This was a big worry for me, too, way back when. I was amazed for a long time after pulling the trigger how much better off I was financially, despite having all the same bills and one less income. Of course, I didn't have to worry about child support or alimony. Is there a way to shift to separate finances? Having control over your financial situation, especially when it is something that gives you so much anxiety, could perhaps go a long way toward a happier relationship.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 3:52 AM
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So, basically, what you guys are all sharing about the money worries made the whole "if we get married" text mentioned above super unwelcome. It's taken a few days to figure that out. Things have been great on a number of levels. But financially? He makes UNG look like Warren Fucking Buffet. Which is going to make for an uncomfortable "where do you think this is headed?" talk.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 4:24 AM
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653. Separate finances, really. It alleviates one source of stress to an incredible degree. We've kept our own accounts and savings, and whereas we've had plenty of ups and downs, and even financial ups and downs, we've never had financial recriminations. I have no idea what Mrs y's current balances are, but we've agreed what she pays for and what I pay for, and as long as it happens, it's all good.

OTOH, most of our friends whose relationships have exploded in middle age, it's because one of them has been irresponsible with money and dragged the other one down with them.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 5:21 AM
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Relatedly: I loved this.


Posted by: Mike Dukakis | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 5:49 AM
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Divorce is something I fantasize about, if I can ever earn enough to pay for it.

Seriously, there are websites with concrete steps of how to squirrel away money secretly so that you can start financing a divorce/short-term life afterwards. The tip I remember is that you can buy pre-paid Visa cards at the grocery store, since the itemized grocery bill doesn't show up anywhere your spouse might see it. Or take cash out until you get enough to open up a new checking account in your name only. That sort of thing. The tone of the websites are often pitched at abused women whose partners might get violent if they found out, but I bet there are scads of people who need the basic advice even though explicit violence isn't hanging over their head.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 6:42 AM
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623: I'd assume that the "friend" was you, except that there haven't been any posts on how to cook a frozen pizza with no oven and a styrofoam cup.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 7:27 AM
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That was me.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 7:32 AM
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This thread is very depressing.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 7:43 AM
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True, but at least it let me realizei could be a much shittier spouse and probably stay married.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 7:57 AM
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Part of my brain wonders "Is my marriage the convivial kind that ought to be divorcing? Or the convivial kind that ought to be envied?" In a lot of ways, these might be identical except for the how the participants experience them.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 8:03 AM
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Di"s gentleman called must only ever be known as Warren Fucking Buffett from now on.
It would make for a wonderfully perverted IQ test: UNG WFB what comes next in this sequence?


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 8:13 AM
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520 was getting at that sort of thing, maybe.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 8:13 AM
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My brain wonders, 'What does heebie even mean by the first kind of convivial?"


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 8:13 AM
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663 to 661.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 8:14 AM
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This fall marks the ten year anniversary since I have been with anyone.


Posted by: Woodrow Wilson | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 8:14 AM
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656-- those are all good ways to have a court (justifiably) punish you for concealing assets.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 8:15 AM
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Huh, I suppose so. It just seems like such a vicious cycle, though - it costs money to undertake a divorce, and that's exactly what you can't accumulate within the marriage to the particular spouse.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 8:21 AM
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664: Why me? Aren't there a lot of people in this thread who described their terrible marriage as convivial?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 8:23 AM
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This thread has left me clinging to Buck for security like a monkey on a tree branch. Everyone's marriage is imperfect, but talking about other people's leaves me thinking that the alternative possibilities out there are not attractive.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 8:25 AM
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It's usually a problem resolved by making the earning spouse pay for the non-earning spouse's divorce lawyer, plus payments before spousal support, etc.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 8:29 AM
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667, 668: If the problem is that one spouse is consistently draining squandering money so that the couple can't build up enough assets to make it through the process of divorcing, I'd think it would be perfectly legit to secretly start accumulating funds, so long as you disclosed them/threw them back into the pot for the purpose of division of marital assets when the divorce occurred.

It'd be illegitimate to squirrel away funds and think you were going to be able to keep everything you'd hidden after a divorce, but if you can't save anything without hiding it from your spouse, squirreling secretly would at least let you keep half of what you'd saved.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 8:30 AM
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s/b draining


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 8:31 AM
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Since school started, I've developed an insatiable hunger for quiet time away from all people. In general, I'm neither an introvert nor extrovert exactly, but the quiet-alone-time side of me is being massively deprived.

It's easy to recognize the problem, but it's also easy to forget that I know what the problem is, and to start trying on everything else as a culprit: is it my students? Is it Jammies? Am I sleepy? Am I overwhelmed? Etc. Reading this thread kept making me wonder "Is it Jammies?" (At the moment, he took the older two grocery shopping, and I'm alone in the house, and Jammies is really the sun that makes everything turn.)

Last night was particularly horrible. To celebrate friend's GRE being over, we all went out to dinner. She picked an awful quasi-nice restaurant. They stuck us in a party room (wisely, since there were 9 kids under age 9.) The party room was so echo-y and small and the service was slow and I wanted to murder the entire experience. Frazzled.

Anyway, right now the house is silent and I'm grading tests and drinking coffee.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 8:31 AM
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Last night I dreamt that we were cleaning out my grandmother's apartment (a real-life event) and came across a poster-photo-collage made for Ogged by commenters, upon his departure. As in, he'd inhabited the apartment before my grandmother, and left behind this goodbye-collage when he'd moved out, five years ago. It had all these high school style BFF!! photos of individuals from the Mineshaft. I was really excited to post the collage to the flickr pool.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 8:40 AM
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Finding quiet time is genuinely tough. I often bike alone, rather than with my usual group, because then I can think. Unfortunately, I'm afraid that I'm oing to have to give up biking for limp-related reasons. But then I suppose I'll have quiet time when I go for limps walks, so that will help. Anyway, the dinner you describe, heebie, is enough to make me break out in hives.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 8:41 AM
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Would a recumbent be better for limpcycling?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 8:43 AM
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Or a circular track?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 8:45 AM
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668: Ding ding ding. And you pretty well pegged me* with the description in 578; I need to search TFA to see if there were any suggested workarounds.
* It was a bit uncomfortable, but I'm getting used to it.


Posted by: Elizabeth Warren | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 8:45 AM
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677: nope. It would probably be worse, actually, as sitting is especially bad for me. Honestly, it's not the end of the world. I'm only annoyed that I managed to claw and scratch my way back into really decent biking shape, only to learn that biking probably isn't going to be part of my life in the future. That said, I might be wrong. It's just that I spent a week on the road, away from the bike but doing all sorts of things that should have been bad for me but didn't seem to cause me any problems, and now, despite all that travel and sitting and whatnot, I actually feel much better than I have in a really long time. The obvious variable is the bike. Coupled with the fact that the PT woman told me to give up the bike -- before my surgery, so this was a long time ago -- I'm a bit concerned. Still and all, I didn't mean to inject bikes into the sex/divorce/food thread.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 8:50 AM
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And I'm off to go ride. We'll see if I feel worse later today. Science!


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 8:51 AM
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I really count on my commute for a small bit of quiet time, which means turning off the news and sitting in solitude, or it doesn't help. Running used to count, but I basically am doing crossfit and soccer exclusively these days.

Nothing is as wonderful as being home alone, but that's hard to arrange.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 8:54 AM
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Sorry, this is now the solitude thread. Shhh!


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 8:57 AM
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I just got the nicest note from my grad student who got a job in Narnia. He's loving it there, and his wife got a great job at the Four Seasons. They have gobs of money now, a nice place to live, tons of time to do research and read books and go for walks, and wild boars and monkeys roam around the campus where he teaches. This is a very happy ending to a very tortuous saga.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 9:03 AM
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Why are people glaring at me? Oh, right, this is the quiet car solitude thread.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 9:04 AM
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I'm having that midlife non-crisis where you realize all the lives you'll never lead and all the doors that were closed to create this (very wonderful but specific) life.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 9:08 AM
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Solidarity-tude.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 9:09 AM
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I am in Reno if any of you presidents need me to pick up a divorce for you. I think they make them in to-go cups here, like hurricanes in New Orleans.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 9:11 AM
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686: oh, I did that one six or so months ago. It -- that sense of foreclosed possibility -- was pretty upsetting. But then I decided that I like my life a lot; that I wouldn't, even if I had a working time machine (it's almost done!), do very many things differently; and that I should, rather than contemplating the past, focus on becoming a better person in the time that I have left to me.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 9:14 AM
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With the vitamin D?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 9:15 AM
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I kind of love Reno. The mountains east of Reno even more, but Reno is unexpectedly great.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 9:15 AM
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688: you should probably kill a man, for the canonical reason.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 9:15 AM
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Trying to become a better person has mostly turned out to mean working more, unfortunately, which is almost painfully stupid. I suppose I'll wait for New Year's, resolve to change things, and then give up and accept that I like my life enough I'm so lazy that contemplating change is a mistake.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 9:18 AM
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I just noticed, at the other place, that someone I kind of know got married last weekend. After 19 years together. Pic posted shows 99.44% pure joy (Dancing, in wedding attire, from the knees down. Both people well off the ground.). Which is, you know, more than a little bit infectious.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 9:21 AM
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686, 689: Yep. Been there, doing that. Life is good, I have no concrete ideas for anything I'd want to change, but it's certainly confining-feeling knowing that nothing major is going to change in any good way in the foreseeable future.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 9:23 AM
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655 -> 694.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 9:29 AM
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695 -- Yeah, but these feelings are often an illusion. Look back 10 years: pretty different, right? OK, just to see that it's not just an artifact of age, pick someone you know well who's 10-15 years older, and look at where they were ten years ago.

Life actually changes quite a bit. For good and ill. Some changes are intentional, some accidental, some incremental, some sudden. The one thing we can be sure of is that we're wrong about our futures.

(Which is, of course, no reason not to dance with one's feet off the ground.)


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 9:30 AM
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696 -- Yeah, I saw that and liked it too. But, you know, just because it looks joyful on the internet doesn't mean it isn't.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 9:32 AM
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It's all about anticipation, though. Living anticipating a giant change will make time seem precious/slow. Living with no change in sight seems tunnel-ish and monotonously slow.

Also 10-15 years is a really long time. To live through.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 9:34 AM
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Man, does 699.1 get it right.

heebie, on the lack of quiet time front, maybe you've already had this discussion with Jammies, but: I found with my ex-before-last that simply explaining that I need a certain amount of solitary time in order to avoid being irritable allowed me to then sometimes say, "Nah, I'd like some alone time this afternoon/evening."

Then I could bow out of various activities from time to time. "Alone time" seemed like the key phrase: how can anyone object to a stated desire for that?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 9:47 AM
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655 is great.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 9:51 AM
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Some timeless wisdom: http://ia700804.us.archive.org/26/items/PMW2011-11-11.PMW2011-11-11_Matrix/PMW2011-11-11_Matrix_set_02_02.mp3


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 9:55 AM
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Oh, Jammies knows. And does a ton to facilitate my alone time. That's why he takes the kids groshry shopping, for example. There's a running joke that I hate fun, and then I joke back that I love hating fun because it allows me to stay home from so many activities.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 10:01 AM
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More Appalachian wisdom: http://archive.org/download/PMW2011-11-11.PMW2011-11-11_Matrix/PMW2011-11-11_Matrix_set_02_09.mp3


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 10:01 AM
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698: Yes, I know. However:

1) I am a bad person.

2) My marriage has been relatively free of major marital stress, but one thing that has boiled up from time to time is my wife's tendency to negatively compare us to a "good parts" version of all of the lives of everyone we know. Back in the day I used to call it living against the Christmas letters. A very minor complaint in the context of a thread like this, but one that makes something like 655 rparticularly resonate for me.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 10:14 AM
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We've talked about it before, but Facebook (which has its pluses) really, often, is in a lot of ways like constantly getting Christmas letters from the kind of people who write Christmas letters. Humblebrag meets cute family pictures. So if your adverse to that kind of thing it gets pretty wearisome. Except John Emerson, who always has something interesting to say/a bizarre animal picture taken from a Turkish website. On the other hand it's often nice to get Christmas letters from people you haven't seen for a while.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 10:21 AM
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-d!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 10:22 AM
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702: Oh, that's lovely. But I can't tell what/who it is. Have you heard that some people are putting out a remake album of Dark Side of the Moon? Different artists doing each piece, in a variety of styles from gospel to blues to jazz and so on -- heard a radio segment about it recently. I can't for the life of me remember who the coordinating musician was. A woman.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 10:27 AM
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Humblebrag meets cute family pictures.

My favorite recent humblebrag was a non-math friend who commented on a mathy post "I can't even keep up with my son's fourth grade math book!"

...her son is only in third grade.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 10:32 AM
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709: Subtly done.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 10:36 AM
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703: groshry shopping

Heh. Was the pronunciation of something like "grocery" included in that dialect quiz? It's come to my attention that increasing numbers of speakers -- I notice it mostly on the radio -- pronounce an "s" as an "sh".

It chiefly occurs with words including the "str" string. So "struggling" is "shtruggling", and "distracted" is "dishtracted". This is becoming really widespread, it seems to me; hopefully I'll stop noticing it soon.

I hadn't noticed the "c" to "sh" in grocery. You hear that with some people pronouncing "sociology" as "soshiology", but I figured that was explained by the root "social".


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 10:39 AM
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I've been saying "Parshimon" for years.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 10:45 AM
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The humbelbrag mentioned in 709 is, indeed, very deft. And I share Halford's sense that facebook has become a near-perfect system to deliver pixelated fodder to the screens of insecure people everywhere. The extent to which success in our culture hinges on some combination of strong networks and a willingness to shamelessly self-promote is both pretty dispiriting and on full display on facebook.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 10:45 AM
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708 -- Poor Man's Whiskey is the band. On Youtube, you can find them playing the whole thing dressed in Wizard of Oz costumes.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 10:45 AM
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What several of you are describing as midlife crisis I view as coming into the promised land. Stable careers with the kids in high school and nothing on the horizon except increasing income and free time for hobbies and travel? Hell yes. Giant change can suck it.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 10:46 AM
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I didn't really need to split that infinitive, did I? I suppose I should post something to facebook about the error, making it subtly clear that such mistakes are very rare indeed for a person of my erudition. If I could work something in about what I had for lunch, a cat pic, and some mention of an individual or group doing something politically contemptible -- so that I and my "friends" could distance ourselves, with our outrage, from such savagery -- it would be the ur facebook post. I'll get to work.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 10:49 AM
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Stable careers with the kids in high school and nothing on the horizon except increasing income and free time for hobbies and travel?

It sounds like you're responding to me, except for the increasing income and free time part.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 10:49 AM
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Still, I love seeing pictures of my friends' kids on facebook. And sometimes people, especially Emerson, post interesting stuff/pictures of Turkish marsupials.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 10:50 AM
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718

706: A thing that has made me tend to take such things in a more forgiving spirit is understanding that such things are often done from a position of weakness rather than strength. The two* most notorious Christmas letter-writers I knew both had serious mental breakdowns in later years.

*The one doesn't really count as his Christmas letters were not the one bit typical, but rather a vivid accounting of the year's event in his rather unorthodox family. The most notorious included a vivid description of his wife's miscarriage ("gouts of red blood on the kitchen floor"). About the most nakedly brilliant person I know, he rebounded from breakdown and divorce, and is now retired and married to a very wealthy widow. I see him from time to time at the symphony and he has generally just returned from some fabulous foreign trip.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 10:51 AM
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719

I think I'm just an asshole who projects unhappiness lurking whenever someone seems like they're trying too hard.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 10:52 AM
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720

While it's true that a lot of the kinds of things people are saying here under presidentiality aren't going to get into their Xmas letters or on their FB posts, the same things are also pretty much concealed from nearly everyone who knows them. It's a perverse curmudgeon who complains that people aren't being intimate enough with people they're not close enough to to be intimate with.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 10:53 AM
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721

714: Okey-doke. My tolerance for bluegrass is limited - I wasn't so down with the thing in 704 once the banjo and lyrics got going, but I don't at all say that's an objective criticism. Just personal preference.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 10:54 AM
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722

While it's true that a lot of the kinds of things people are saying here under presidentiality aren't going to get into their Xmas letters or on their FB posts, the same things are also pretty much concealed from nearly everyone who knows them.

There's a lot of distance in between those two extremes. It's only intimate when someone shares both the bitter and the better. That said, most of my FB friends do so.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 10:56 AM
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723

713: The extent to which success in our culture hinges on some combination of strong networks and a willingness to shamelessly self-promote is both pretty dispiriting and on full display on facebook.

Tyler Cowen can tell you all about how awesome it's going to be.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 10:56 AM
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724

Let's do Von Wafer Facebook posts.

"My new office. And here I thought being tenured would count for something in life."

"The cat curled up on the manuscript of my new book. I fear it will not be as well-received as my last one was."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 10:58 AM
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725

Yes Charley, you are in fact the anti-perverse curmudgeon. I don't mean that in too mean of a way, but here's where I will reveal that my (no longer) secret blog nickname for you is Dr. Pangloss.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 11:02 AM
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726

A couple of my close friends know the gory details of my marriage and sex life but beyond that I'm sure my relationship looks as rosy any other. The main reaction I've received to divulging that I'd like to get some on the side is disbelief that I have the time and mental energy to focus on sex. Most of my female friends with children are in fallow points in their sex lives and can't really relate to what I'm experiencing.

If anything good comes of my rotten marriage it will be that all of you can feel better about the more humdrum imperfections in your own relationships.


Posted by: Hillary Clinton | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 11:04 AM
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727

717: Ha, yeah, the small kids are going to kill that for a while but it'll come.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 11:05 AM
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728

725: [picture of kale salad, fresh bread, and a kitten]

Lunch was great! Unfortunately, the pile of the rug in my new office irritates my limp, but not nearly so much as this comment [url], denigrating the rights of [insert obscure Native group that only I and three people in my field have heard of], that I read on the Des Moines Cornholer website.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 11:08 AM
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729

What I really meant to say is that heebie's 723.1 is correct.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 11:10 AM
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730

I've also got a FB friend who loves to say things like "I really got going in my precalculus lector and ended up teaching them about tensors! They actually got it!" or some bullshit. But before FB he'd just say such things outloud, in the course of small talk.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 11:11 AM
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731

JP and heebie's insecurities let us show you them.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 11:14 AM
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732

When I was a kid, my father would read Christmas letters aloud over dinner, along with his interpretation of their subtext. Announcements of a new job for an eldest son would be followed by a parenthetical like "about time, kid's 28 and has never worked full time. Maybe he'll move out someday." I hope I'm more generous than that.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 11:14 AM
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733

You know what gets the alone time? Having Wed-Fri off. It's glorious.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 11:16 AM
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734

712: I've been saying "Parshimon" for years.

Oh, I should make clear that I wasn't criticizing at all: lots of people say "groshry" or "groshery", and I do too sometimes depending on my environment. I was just reminded of the "str" to "shtr" thing, which has been cropping up a lot lately.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 11:16 AM
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735

732: I guess I should speak for myself. And my wife since she never reads this and certainly wouldn't post on it (thank God, probably*).

*She'd not take offense, but probably just be annoyed and mortified by my assholishness.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 11:17 AM
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736

Objectively, I have plenty of time for solitude, but the lack of solitude at work is really getting to me. I go to my office and have a steady stream of meetings and don't do any research at all, and then I go home and feel too tired and just zone out and watch TV or read blogs. So I'm basically not getting any work done, except to the extent that teaching and meeting with people counts as work, which of course it doesn't.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 11:18 AM
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737

I was just reminded of the "str" to "shtr" thing, which has been cropping up a lot lately.

Maybe you moved to Germany and didn't notice.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 11:19 AM
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738

Most of my facebook activity consists of things like drunken posts on my brother's wall questioning his youngest boy's paternity because of his resemblance to a certain cast member on Swamp People.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 11:21 AM
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739

Many of my FB posts appear to be straight-up brags, but about shit so stupid I'm not sure anybody could feel insecure. (I got use a fast computer! I went to a restaurant that shows cricket on TV!)


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 11:23 AM
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740

Most of my FB feed is you people, tbh. On the whole there are lots of fascinating links about the many ways the world is going to hell. Sometimes there are cute children.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 11:23 AM
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741

740: I do that too, and I think it's fine. But it does communicate "I find pleasure in the mundane!" which is not all that different from "behold the beautiful family!" to someone feeling bad about life. In other words, I think that's the good part of FB but it's inextricably also the bad part.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 11:26 AM
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742

738: Eh? Is that a German thing?

Trying now to think of a German word with "str" that's pronounced as "shtr", but coming up empty. Because I don't speak German, only read it at grade school level.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 11:27 AM
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743

But my most unhappy period was pre-facebook, and any old thing reminded me of my unhappiness. It's hard to say that it was all the fault of Sifu's crickets.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 11:27 AM
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744

Braggadocio is always bad.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 11:29 AM
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745

743: Mostly just "st" and "sp", right? Maybe only in certain accents/dialects.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 11:29 AM
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746

Oh, awesome: from the Merriam-Webster definition of braggadocio:

Related words: oratory, rhapsody, rhetoric; pomposity, turgidity, wind; bloviation, verbosity, windiness; babble, blab, chatter, drivel, gabble, gibber, gibberish, jabber, prattle; jawing, patter, prating, yammering; egotism, self-conceit, self-importance, swagger, vaunt

Elephant Talk.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 11:33 AM
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747

Shtrange.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 11:33 AM
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748

682: Nothing is as wonderful as being home alone,

Right. You can masturbate in peace.


Posted by: President Man | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 11:34 AM
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749

The first 25 or so things currently posted by my FB friends, categorized:

8 linking to amusing/interesting articles
1 bragging about wife's volunteer work
1 bragging about former student's movie
1 bragging about own movie
2 commenting on view from train
1 "I'm in Paris!" photo
2 "I'm picking apples!" photos
1 "I'm in Wisconsin!" photo
1 bragging in German about visiting Vienna
1 bragging about TechCrunch post about their app or something
1 wistful post about tacos
2 long winded rants
1 dog photo
1 "I ate delicious tapas!" photo
1 "wish me luck on the GRE" post


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 11:35 AM
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750

Shexy.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 11:35 AM
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751

746: "sp", okay, like "spreche" is "shpreche". I see. Thanks.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 11:36 AM
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752

Shprexy.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 11:43 AM
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753

745: thanks for the help.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 11:48 AM
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754

I'm really great at braggadocio.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 11:54 AM
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755

I'm great at self-deprecation.


Posted by: vw | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 12:06 PM
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756

But certainly not really great at it.


Posted by: vw | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 12:07 PM
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757

Not trying to say that people shouldn't post, or even brag (sometimes, often, people are happy to hear about tour good news!) on FB. Just that it's a very particular kind of communication style that seems perfectly designed to play into some of the broad tendencies VW mentions above.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 12:10 PM
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758

752: And "Sprockets" is "Schprockets."

I would like to see someone get wistful about tacos.

I was going to post yesterday that I accidentally put an unsolvable problem on a logic test. Would that have balanced out the bragging of FB?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 12:10 PM
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759

Y, alternately you are a tour manager.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 12:12 PM
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760

||

There was just a really interesting thing on the TED Radio Hour -- a TED talk -- on the importance of bees to food propagation. Apparently the wings of bumblebees vibrate at just the right frequency to pollinate tomatoes. Like so:

Tomatoes, and also blueberries and azaleas, make it hard for pollinators to reach the pollen. Their anthers, the flower part that holds the pollen, don't split open exposing the pollen and giving flower visitors easy access to it. Instead, they keep their treasure encased with only a small opening at their tips through which the tiny grains can escape if handled properly. Bumble bees are pros at this task. They cling to the flower and give it a skillful shake by shivering their entire little bodies emitting a sound in middle-C, just the right kind of vibration to knock off the pollen grains and send them flying.

Wow. The key. Of C.

|>


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 12:14 PM
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761

Certain people in my FB feed are bragging about having super-long robot arms.

Can't blame them, really.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 12:22 PM
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762

Right. You can masturbate in peace.

I have stopped doing that almost completely. I don't know what it means.


Posted by: President Other Man | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 12:27 PM
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763

762: Actual robot arms? My regular ones are longer than normal but I've always seen that as more apelike than futuristic.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 12:29 PM
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764

People are bragging about masturbating with robot arms?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 12:30 PM
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765

I have stopped doing that almost completely. I don't know what it means.

That it's too difficult to do with the super-long robotic arms?


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 12:31 PM
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766

763: Even if you've perfect autofellatio it is still technically masturbation.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 12:41 PM
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767

Trying now to think of a German word with "str" that's pronounced as "shtr", but coming up empty.

Streife, Strumpf, Stress, Streik, strikt, streichen, strapazieren...

Maybe only in certain accents/dialects.

Pretty much all of them except the Hanoverian one.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 12:42 PM
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768

"Alone time" seemed like the key phrase:

Yes, that's one I use quite a bit.

There's a running joke that I hate fun,

Oh, hey, that's me as well. I also "hate fun."

I'm having that midlife non-crisis where you realize all the lives you'll never lead and all the doors that were closed to create this (very wonderful but specific) life.

I just had a birthday recently and I've been settling into that feeling -- for better or worse, this is my life, and it is what it is. But for that's most positive. I look back at what I was like at 14 (or 24) and I have to say that where I've ended up is pretty good. Not perfect, and it's impossible to know what the range out of outcomes actually looks like. But if I had to guess I think my current life is well above the median outcome if you had tried to project my life 20 or 25 years ago.

There was nothing wrong with my life at 14, I was smart, reasonably well education, middle class, etc . . . but I was also shy, somewhat lonely, and prone to finding the world frightening, disturbing, or overwhelming, and all of that has gotten better.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 1:12 PM
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769

768: Point taken. Still, when an American says, say, "The students are shtruggling," I don't know what to make of it.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 1:30 PM
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770

761: It would be cool, or at least satisfying on some level, if buzz pollination occurred at middle C, but a) the commonly accepted standard frequency of middle C is arbitrary, and b) other sources (e.g.) suggest that bumblebees vibrate in the E-G# range.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 1:34 PM
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771

NB: If someone says they went to a Mexican restaurant in Orofino Idaho, they are not bragging.


Posted by: DP | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 1:41 PM
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772

771: the commonly accepted standard frequency of middle C is arbitrary

I wondered about that! I'm afraid I'm laughing over this: I mean, shit, what is middle C exactly? And probably bumblebees vary, like .. as you tell me now, maybe they're at G-sharp.

Still. Bees are very important, noble creatures. The woman who was giving the TED talk said she specifically kept her yard/grounds in such a way as to nurture bees, and it's important to recognize the real world value in that.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 2:05 PM
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773

I'm kind of OK with the world food system being destroyed so long as bees suffer. Fuck bees, those sting-prone dicks.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 2:08 PM
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774

758: Look, I have a cute cat, and I refuse to pretend otherwise. And if I can't make the rest of the world laugh at him, how else am I supposed to win?


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 2:08 PM
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775

Tuning has tended to creep up over time; putting A at 440 Hz is quite a bit higher in pitch than what was traditionally done historically.

I was trying to remember where I learned about the LaRouchite crusade to lower concert pitch, but probably it was somewhere here in TFA.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 2:18 PM
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776

Since it's an arbitrary choice, you could definitely choose the bumblebee as your standard. Just try to market it to orchestras: "bumblebee tuning".


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 2:23 PM
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777

776: there y'go.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 2:25 PM
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778

This whole facebook subthread is a humblebrag. "Facebook is so terrible for reminding me that I have so many friends with apparently stable work and family lives!"


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 2:26 PM
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779

774: I just get heartfelt about these things sometimes.

Congratulations on your wedding, Halford. May it be happy and strong.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 2:28 PM
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780

777 would have been so much better if I'd gone with "a bumblebee tuner". Oh well.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 2:29 PM
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781

771:Embarrasingly, my natural frequency is actually a perfect orchestral 440 A. #bumblebrag


Posted by: Opinionated Humblebee | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 2:46 PM
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782

Humblebee bumblebrag is going to be cracking me up all night.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 3:27 PM
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783

Pretty much all of them except the Hanoverian one.

This is where I insert the FB-style humblebrag about how the sht-/st- thing really tripped me up when I was learning Dutch.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 4:06 PM
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784

784: Also the "sch" thing when learning Dutch (or, in my case, Afrikaans). [Is there a word for humblebragging oneupsmanship?]


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 4:41 PM
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785

Somebody needs to claim responsibility for 782.


Posted by: vw | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 5:03 PM
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786

Of maybe Tweety already has?


Posted by: vw | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 5:03 PM
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787

No, I must humbledeny.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 5:08 PM
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788

Wasn't me. I put my email on the "opinionated" ones that don't suck.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 5:11 PM
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789

My Facebook feed has a lot of people sharing humdrum happy moments, talking about the good things in their lives and bragging, either humbly or otherwise. This is why I like Facebook.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 5:23 PM
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790

But then I decided that I like my life a lot; that I wouldn't, even if I had a working time machine (it's almost done!), do very many things differently; and that I should, rather than contemplating the past, focus on becoming a better person in the time that I have left to me.

My life is going quite well these days, but sweet christ I would do everything differently if I could go back in time. That said, yes, contemplating the past is not helpful. (Although sort of a professional obligation for you, right, VW?)


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 5:27 PM
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791

He's obviously not required to be helpful.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 5:44 PM
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792

or, in my case, Afrikaans

Racist.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 5:46 PM
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793

But then I decided that I like my life a lot; that I wouldn't, even if I had a working time machine (it's almost done!), do very many things differently; and that I should, rather than contemplating the past, focus on becoming a bethotter person in the time that I have left to me.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 5:50 PM
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794

I'm sorry. Am I commenting on Unfogged? What I meant to say was: I don't even own a Facebook.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 5:52 PM
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795

Tonight I am so grateful I'm partnered because stomach bugs. This is awful but would be so much worse if I hadn't had immediate backup.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 6:42 PM
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796

Backup isn't entirely unambiguous in that sentence. Hope you feel better soon.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 6:46 PM
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797

Eww, no, I am glad I could wake Lee from her nap and let her know what I'd done and what she'd have to do for themrest of the evening before collapsing. I even managed to get people to take the big girls from mid-morning to mid-afternoon tomorrow so I can rest. And if my version is like the one Mara had yesterday, the agony should ease in a few more hours. I'm just hoping and hoping the baby won't catch it.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 7:11 PM
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798

So why aren't we talking about the looming government shutdown?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 7:14 PM
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799

Because we're sexually frustrated and sexual satisfied, depending.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 7:21 PM
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800

+ly


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 7:21 PM
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801

Outrage fatigue. I'm viewing it from the inside and I find it QUITE depressing.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 7:21 PM
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802

I'm assuming you've just confessed to being a member of Congress.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 7:22 PM
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803

No, the part that will shut down.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 7:25 PM
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804

Confessing to being a member of Congress is the kind of thing one should really just send to postsecret.

Also, "member" and "congress" can totally be on topic in a sex thread. Maybe it already was, and the comments were coded.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 7:26 PM
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805

Anyhow, I'm sure science funding is safe.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 7:26 PM
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806

I don't feel like I have much to say about the shutdown that I didn't have to say back in 2011. I was wrong in thinking they'd really allow a default back then. Mostly I've dropped almost all news consuming since I started work and I now live in a place that feels disconnected from the rest of the country, in large part because it's economically dominated by a private institution.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 7:26 PM
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807

You can't beat tradition. Go with "piano player in a whorehouse."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 7:26 PM
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808

Actually we have a grant due the 8th and have been trying to figure out if we should hurry up and send it or wait for things to hopefully come back.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 7:27 PM
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809

Recommend hurrying. On the backend, missing a due date is a really easy way to reduce your workload. Which might be super important given reduced workFORCE, which seems awfully likely.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 7:28 PM
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810

Yeah. Not quite in my court right now. We'll see!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 7:30 PM
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811

My only thought about the shutdown is that I'm glad I'm not a federal employee. State government has its frustrations, but it's nowhere near as bad as this sort of thing.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 7:40 PM
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812

Part of the basis for that being the fact that I was a quasi-federal employee the last time we did this, and it was really annoying.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 7:42 PM
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813

I would like to see someone get wistful about tacos.

I am wistful about tacos. The food where I live sucks. It is maybe the worst food in China.


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 7:42 PM
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814

I know multiple people who claim that the worst food in China is better than 95% of the food in the US.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 7:43 PM
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815

China doesn't have good Mexican food?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 7:43 PM
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816

I still can't get over the hurdle of Republicans being outraged over their own version of how to fix healthcare.

I know: intellectual honesty doesn't count for squat. But it was their idea in the first place. I wish the media would repeat this fact over and over and over again.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 7:47 PM
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817

Looks like last year I got approval to turn my pre-proposal into a full proposal in early October. I guess that'll be delayed this year. Not like they're likely to fund me anyway, given what a disaster my attempt last year was.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 7:48 PM
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818

They only came up with the idea to forestall anything better. They never intended for it to actually be enacted.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 7:48 PM
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819

China isn't Long Beach.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 7:49 PM
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820

818: Did it cause Hurricane Sandy?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 7:52 PM
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821

Anyway, following on 813 (and more relevant to the OP), today was National Public Lands Day and I went to a volunteer event sponsored by the alumni association of the organization through which I did my Park Service internships. It was fun, and the people were interesting. There were even some cute girls, one of whom in particular seemed pretty into me.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 7:58 PM
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822

Text her a cock pic. She'll know you mean business.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 8:02 PM
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823

Or that you're running for mayor of NYC.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 8:02 PM
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824

Suggestion noted.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 8:03 PM
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825

Carlos Danger, putting the "gross" in "peligroso"


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 8:09 PM
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826

I'm not sure that Alaskan girls are actually that impressed by NYC mayoral candidates, though.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 8:11 PM
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827

823: Get it critiqued first, though. (Why are you at work right now? No, you shouldn't click the link there.)


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 8:14 PM
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828

828: Very helpful.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 8:16 PM
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829

I failed to go to a happy hour on Friday where I could have met more people who work here doing similar kinds of work to what I do, most of whom are likely to not be single or within a decade of my age. In my defense, I didn't really feel like going. I'd probably have gone had someone been heading there from work at the time I left, but I ended up having to stay late.

I also went to something a couple weeks ago that turned out to be a few people sitting in a coffee shop typing on their laptops and not really talking. I just can't get that kind of social experience at home.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 8:17 PM
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830

Those critiques are actually pretty great.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 8:21 PM
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831

831: yeah genuinely thoughtful and not at all mean spirited.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 8:27 PM
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832

I found her Facebook profile, which indicates that she's straight and single, so that's a good sign.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 9:31 PM
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833

In other FB sleuthing I also found Boss Niece's profile, which is actually weird because it doesn't come up if I search for her name directly. I guess maybe there's now an option to not show up in searches by people who don't know you, or something.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 9:33 PM
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834

I know multiple people who claim that the worst food in China is better than 95% of the food in the US.

Those people have clearly never been to Anhui.

I once had Mexican food in Qingdao, China. It was at a place called Sombreros or Tortillas or something like that. They served set meals, which consisted of a burrito, Mexican rice, fruit salad, and tea. (Quotations around almost all those terms). The Mexican rice consisted of Chinese-style fried rice (peas, egg, carrot, sausage) with what tasted like canned chili on top. The burrito was a tortilla with the fried rice and chili inside it, and the fruit salad was standard Asian fruit salad with mayonnaise, and the tea was black tea. It wasn't totally awful, but not really Mexican food. Surprisingly, they also had really good pico de gallo that they served with corn chips, which I guess shouldn't be too surprising because tomatoes, onions, hot peppers, and cilantro are all common Chinese food ingredients. Probably the worst ethnic food I've had in China was Indian food though. I went with an Indian friend who was actually insulted at how bad of an interpretation of Indian cuisine it was.


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 9:57 PM
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835

Oh humblebee was me.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 10:04 PM
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836

Those people have clearly never been to Anhui.

Heh. My girlfriend is from Wuhu in Anhui, and has a pretty low opinion of American cuisine, although not as extreme as that of some people I know who are from Shanghai. Is Anhui food unusually bad?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 10:08 PM
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837

It looks like they really are going to shut it down this time.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 10:31 PM
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838

Although I see that the House has passed a bill to continue military pay during a shutdown. Can't the Senate just amend that bill to include a clean CR? They wouldn't be voting against continuing military pay . . .


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 10:47 PM
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839

Even if they could do that, though, it would have to go to conference, where the House could presumably still derail it.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 10:50 PM
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840

Plus there's just so little time left to get anything done.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 10:51 PM
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841

Heh. My girlfriend is from Wuhu in Anhui, and has a pretty low opinion of American cuisine, although not as extreme as that of some people I know who are from Shanghai. Is Anhui food unusually bad?

Heh. Well, I think so, and so does everyone I know in China not from Anhui. Probably someone from Anhui thinks their food is great. I'm in southern Anhui (Huizhou area), so the food is probably a bit different from that in Wuhu, but I feel safe generalizing over all of Anhui. Shanghai does have good food, though Shanghainese are also famous for being snobs. But I've found that there's very little overlap in what I think tastes good and what the people around me taste good. If I think something is gross, people will probably like it. If I think it's great, they'll probably think it's gross. The one crossover hit I've found is Ants on a Log (celery, peanut butter, and raisins). It's now the gold standard of foreign cuisine. I made homemade chocolate pudding from scratch for the yoga students, and as one of them said, "This is ok, but it's no ants on a log."


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 09-28-13 11:37 PM
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842

Okay, I sent her a message.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-29-13 12:47 AM
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843

Also I just got a message on OKC from a ranger at Denali asking about my NPS background. She's cute, but Denali is pretty far away.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-29-13 12:58 AM
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844

843: Hooray! (Which is not not a hooray to 844, actually, but I don't feel like deleting while previewing.)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-29-13 1:12 AM
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845

Apparently the message went to her "Other" folder, because I'm not already friends with her, but she also has it set so that I can't send her a friend request either. So, we'll see if she ever gets it.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-29-13 1:15 AM
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845: Don't worry, the girl in 843 is of much more interest to me than the one in 844. (Also, hope you're feeling better.)


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-29-13 1:27 AM
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847

I've read that the food in Nanjing and Yangzhou is quite good, though I haven't personally had it. I suppose while they're Anhui adjacent, they might well be quite different. (I've been on a reading-about-Chinese-food spree, so obviously I'm an expert.) I really want to go to Sichuan. I just need to prepare myself to eat all the bits I don't usually enjoy.

And yay, teo! Feel better soon, Thorn.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09-29-13 4:07 AM
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848

840 -- They can't go to conference, on anything, so they'd have to ignore it. No cheating on shutdowns!


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-29-13 5:19 AM
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849

I'm feeling somewhat better, but it's awful to be sick and taking care of kids. We think the baby might be getting the bug, which terrifies me but I can google how to look for signs of dehydration and so on. And it may have just been a normal baby thing, not a sign of illness. She seems chipper and was happy to eat. Mara was super resilient when she was sick, so I don't know if it's because I'm old or because I've been exhausted lately that it hit me hardest. Of course I'd rather it beme than one of the kids, and I just hope Lee doesn't get it since she's an awful patient and because I wouldn't wish this on anyone.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-29-13 5:48 AM
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850

Wikipedia says Anhui is the "Appalachia of China" which suggests the food isn't the best.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-29-13 6:40 AM
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Although our Appalachia isn't known for its poor cuisine. That's reserved for the hallowed jello casseroles and such of the midwest 60s housewives.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-29-13 6:51 AM
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852

I was in mainland China in 1992, which is like 1000 years ago in China years, and the food was uniformly horrendous, absolutely the worst food I've ever had in any country, rich or poor. With one exception at a fancy hotel in Shanghai. I assume that's now cometely changed with prosperity but there is no way that a 30 year old Chinese person grew up with better food than what's available in the US.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-29-13 7:35 AM
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853

Racist

For the record, I don't actually speak Afrikaans (or just enough to surprise the unwary, anyway). Also, not that anyone cares, but the aforementioned "sch" issue really applies to Dutch more than to Afrikaans, which generally uses "sk" for that phoneme.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-29-13 8:25 AM
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822: did my Park Service internships

A friend of my son's just stayed with us for a couple of days on his way back East after being an NPS intern at Fort Benton in Montana. Sounded like he mostly enjoyed it, but Chaco was surely a better gig. (Now CC is really going to be on me.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-29-13 8:55 AM
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855

I didn't know Fort Benton even had a NPS presence. It's this, I guess.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-29-13 9:59 AM
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856

856: I think so; really just a launching point for folks doing the Missouri Breaks.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-29-13 10:07 AM
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857

Hmm...today I am on the front page of the newspaper apparently professing my love for the local cuisine and appealing to Chinese housewives to teach me how to cook the local delicacies so I can prepare them for my husband. I do enjoy reading the flowery, somewhat saccharine quotes I give in perfect Chinese.

Anyways, local delicacies include hairy tofu and stinky fish (like stinky tofu, but fish instead). Also popular are turnips, frogs, bony perch-like river fish, this brownish vegetable that cooks down to mush and tastes musty. It's not that the food is inedible, it's just that none of it is very good. Being of Norwegian background, I am not unsympathetic to people being enthusiastic about a local cuisine which which is, objectively speaking, terrible.* That doesn't mean I want to eat someone else's awful cuisine on a daily basis though.

*Given how Scandinavian food has somehow managed to become chic, maybe I will start a minimalist Huizhou (the hui part of Anhui) restaurant involving $20 cocktails.


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 09-29-13 10:40 AM
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I'm not sure these comparisons between Chinese and American food make any sense unless one is severely limiting what one considers as "Chinese" food and also has some restriction on what kind of food providers one is talking about (e.g. urban restaurants vs rural village cafe). There is way more variation of local cuisines within China than there is in America. In Xinjiang the food resembles that of Afghanistan more than that of the coastal Chinese provinces. Quality-wise, I had really terrible food all the time when I lived in a rural village in Guangxi for two weeks. On the other end of the spectrum, I think Sichuan, Cantonese, Fujian and Shanghainese cuisine can be extremely good, and it seems implausible to me that you can't find good restaurants serving these cuisines in Mainland China (I've only been to their overseas offshoots).


Posted by: Ponder Stibbons | Link to this comment | 09-29-13 10:45 AM
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The most vociferously anti-American-food Chinese people I know are partly that way because there are entire categories of our food that they find a priori disgusting. They consider sandwiches and salads especially revolting. In the case of salads, it's because the ingredients aren't cooked. Something similar is going on with the hatred for cold sandwiches, I think, but I haven't understood why it extends to things like hamburgers.

I wonder if partly it's a food-safety sort of thing, like the Shanghainese guy I know who will only order meat well-done and then complain that it has no flavor, but insists that it's uncivilized to order meat that's less fully cooked. This basically excludes any cuisine in which meat is not cut up into small pieces before being cooked from consideration.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-29-13 11:01 AM
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860

That guy in particular likes to give speeches about how Americans are barbarians who are thousands of years behind the Chinese in learning to use fire, and he's only kind-of joking.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-29-13 11:03 AM
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861

855, 856: Looks like that's actually a BLM site, not NPS.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-29-13 12:27 PM
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862

NMM to Marcella Hazan. Her Essentials of Italian cooking is absolutely amazing. Might well be the most useful cookbook I've seen.

As for the Chinese people who hate food in America, I wonder what they'd think of Western food meccas like France or Italy. If, as I suspect and essear suggests, they just don't like non-Chinese food and can't be bothered to learn, then they're not really any different from some French dude saying there's no such thing as good food in China. Fuck em.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-29-13 12:36 PM
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862: My wife just said he was in fact a BLM intern. I don't always listen very closely.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-29-13 1:17 PM
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864

If we go next year for that canoe trip we cancelled this summer -- on account of my back injury -- you should assume that mention of a visit to Fort Benton (including this BLM site) is not bragging.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-29-13 1:31 PM
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865

When I got home just now, a little girl wandered down the hall and I wondered who we had invited over, and then realized it was Hokey Pokey (wearing a dress, but he's been wearing it all day.) It was strange to have a moment so disorienting as to realize the stranger walking towards you is actually your kid.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-29-13 2:05 PM
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866

The cat's in the cradle....


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-29-13 2:07 PM
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867

"My boy was just like me..."?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-29-13 2:28 PM
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868

I'm Cat Stevens, so it's just where my thoughts go.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-29-13 2:30 PM
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869

You wear dresses sometimes, right?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-29-13 2:30 PM
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870

I do! I just wasn't sure if that was the joke Mobes was making or not. Or if it was about not recognizing your kid.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-29-13 2:34 PM
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871

(Although not very often, because I'm neurotic about the sensation of my own skin on my own skin.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-29-13 2:35 PM
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872

Or if it was about not recognizing your kid.

That's kind of what the song is about, isn't it? I never listened the whole way through because I was always spending too much time with my dad and/or son.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-29-13 2:41 PM
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873

869: YOU KNOW NOTHING OF MY WORK.


Posted by: OPINIONATED HARRY CHAPIN | Link to this comment | 09-29-13 2:42 PM
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874

874 is right, thank goodness.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-29-13 2:45 PM
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875

I thought the song was actually more about recognizing your kid too much.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-29-13 2:51 PM
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876

Teo for the deep Harry Chapin analysis win.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-29-13 2:54 PM
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877

Now if only that girl would write me back.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-29-13 2:55 PM
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878

Oops. I missed 874. Still, good work, teo.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-29-13 2:56 PM
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879

878: Maybe if you explained the song to her?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-29-13 2:59 PM
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880

Nah, Facebook probably just deletes that sort of message outright.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-29-13 3:01 PM
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881

That mellow-thighed chick just wrote me back out of place.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-29-13 3:02 PM
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882

That's so mellowbrow.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-29-13 3:05 PM
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883

"In Fort Benton explaining 'Cat's In The Cradle' to some German tourists. ... In their regional dialect."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-29-13 3:06 PM
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884

I play it on a middletron.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-29-13 3:07 PM
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885

Folktron.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-29-13 3:09 PM
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886

I'm pretty sure I saw Harry Chapin on TV doing Last Train to Nuremberg. CitC was a pretty big step down kind of middlebrow after that.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-29-13 3:17 PM
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887

Chex in the City?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-29-13 3:18 PM
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888

Middle to low-brow, depending on what you're calling "the City."


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-29-13 3:23 PM
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889

Was his version better than The Monkees'?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-29-13 3:25 PM
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890

It was a lot more passionate than Pete Seeger's studio version, I can tell you that.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-29-13 3:30 PM
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891

(The internet shows no sign of this, and HC's life is pretty well documented. Huh.)


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-29-13 3:40 PM
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892

You hit the nail on the head. That helped me a lot. I would like to share with you a great service to fill a form online. Maybe you would be interested in an online service with a ton of Form templates (tax, real estate, legal, business, insurance forms, etc..) I used it to fill out NY Divorce Instructions.


Posted by: avis widner | Link to this comment | 09- 6-15 11:17 PM
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