Re: That's Just The Way We Are

1

Aww.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05- 5-14 7:48 PM
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We've established many times on this site that I'm painfully white in many ways, but that's not really how I feel, and that "we" of his was something of an epiphany--that's the difference between a first-generation (or 1.5 generation) immigrant, and a second generation immigrant.

My dad, was just talking about how growing up as 2nd generation (his parents were both born in the country to parents who had immigrated as adults) he did not feel part of the culture -- and how, looking back on it, his parents were never really in a position to act as guides to integrating into the culture because they were figuring it out themselves.

True to the OP, I have my own issues and felt pretty removed from the broader culture growing up, but clearly different issues than he had.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05- 5-14 8:04 PM
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my kids might have issues, but they sure won't be the same issues I had.
Right, what with the hunter-killer robots.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 05- 5-14 8:07 PM
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Hey, I'm fine with being treated like a lady. Admittedly, I get a little disoriented trying to pass as one.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 5-14 9:03 PM
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I'd forgotten -- 1.5th generation means your parents immigrated when you were a little kid?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 05- 5-14 9:07 PM
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This thread, ultimately: racist or super-racist?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 05- 5-14 9:08 PM
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It's issues all the way down through the generations.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05- 5-14 9:21 PM
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6: That than which nothing more racist can be conceived.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05- 5-14 10:12 PM
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On the other hand, an Arab-American southern gentleman is a pretty good way to make wingnut heads explode, so there's that.


Posted by: DaveLHI | Link to this comment | 05- 5-14 10:50 PM
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He probably votes Republican, though.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05- 5-14 11:03 PM
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4: I hope you have trained Buck to say "that's no lady; that's my wife!" at appropriate times.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05- 5-14 11:07 PM
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Like when hipster waiters flirt with you.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05- 5-14 11:31 PM
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This could have been uncomfortable, but he was Joe [Obviously Arab Name], and was just looking for a brother

A Persian brother. Later at the block party they met a Jew and beat the shit out of befriended him, and thus were the seeds of peace in the Middle East first sown in 'Bama.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 12:40 AM
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How old were you when you came to the US? I was born right after my parents arrived and have always felt somewhat different because home was very Polish, and starting from age five I'd regularly get sent off to hang out in Poland for summers. Moving to Geneva only accentuated that feeling of otherness, at least for a while. My childlike reaction was to refuse to speak to my parents in English or French even if guests were around. That faded as Geneva became home, but I do occasionally wonder whether the one-two thing of being raised explicitly non-American and then moving to another country made it more difficult to fully feel part of any culture.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 1:23 AM
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I thought First Gen = the immigrants, Second Gen = the locally born children of immigrants and so on.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 1:24 AM
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My adviser is a fourth or fifth generation Japanese-American. He didn't know any Asian people growing up in NJ in the 40s and 50s, and is terrible at telling them apart. He's prone to calling himself a "banana". He doesn't have a Jersey accent, but I think maybe he used to. It must have been fascinating (if, presumably, not entirely pleasant) to have the looks-different-and-has-a-funny-name experience almost totally divorced from anything meaningfully related to the immigrant experience (I think he did meet family from Japan along the way, because I suppose if you emigrate from Japan to New York in the 1890s like his great-grandfather did, keeping some close ties back home might be necessary for your sanity).


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 3:58 AM
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7 is excellent.

First Gen = the immigrants, Second Gen = the locally born children of immigrants

Correct; and some people use 1.5 for people who immigrated as children.

How old were you when you came to the US?

5.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 4:25 AM
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Now I know how old ogged is. Roughly.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 5:03 AM
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41, brother Hick.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 5:16 AM
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Then my historic-based assumption on the timing was wrong.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 5:18 AM
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Probably should have been "historically-based" or "history-based."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 5:18 AM
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14: I have several friends who identify as having been third culture kids for similar reasons. Alameida's girls might someday.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 5:37 AM
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On the other hand, an Arab-American southern gentleman is a pretty good way to make wingnut heads explode, so there's that.

Not really. It's a good way for them to show how not-racist they are. See Herman Cain.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 5:38 AM
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22 - Might your girls identify in a similar way?


Posted by: Rance | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 5:56 AM
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25

Rance. Long time, no see.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 6:02 AM
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24: Not exactly, because Mara is literally in the same town as her parents and thus attending the same school as she would have. I do think there are going to be ways in which they identify as racially black and culturally biracial. Having Lee in the family changes the dynamic compared to transracially adopted children with two white parents.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 6:05 AM
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So, you never took calculus.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 6:18 AM
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It's not too late.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 6:23 AM
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AB (born in Germany to German father, American mother, came to US at 3) always felt slightly out of place culturally, but it's as much as anything because both of her parents were/are culturally out of place - no popular music, zero interest in sport, self-identification as non-mainstream. Oh, and they lived in the South - first 'bama, then the rural edge of NoVa (her HS was, literally, in the middle of a corn field) - so the adjacent versions of America were extra-noncosmopolitan.

She tells how her dad asked her, when she was about 18, whether she felt American or German, and his evident disappointment when she said American. He always harbored a hope that maybe she'd meet a nice German boy and end up back in the old country (to which he has retired). No dice.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 6:25 AM
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I was joking with my wife the other day, that xelA is going to grow up with two 'foreign' parents.* And then I remembered that I was actually born less than 10 miles from where we now live.

* which would be entirely normal for the area.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 6:27 AM
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We've established many times on this site that I'm painfully white in many ways, but that's not really how I feel,

This is exactly what a white person would say.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 6:29 AM
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I was joking with my wife the other day, that xelA is going to grow up with two 'foreign' parents.* And then I remembered that I was actually born less than 10 miles from where we now live.

I wonder how my brother broaches this topic with his children, as a dual-citizen born in a third country, whose parents no longer have the nationality of their birth. At least on his side of the family, you have to go back three generations to find someone who was born in the country of their nationality. And they're all dead.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 6:42 AM
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In a lot of ways I identify as African but when I'm there I'm definitely American. There's nothing about me that would obviously identify me as anything but a regular UMC white guy, but I have little quirks that are African.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 6:52 AM
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34

Like blessing the rains.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 7:00 AM
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I knew, in principle, that there had to be a non-racist joke there.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 7:14 AM
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Identity's a pretty complicated thing, with Venn diagrams in every dimension.

Sifu's adviser, like everyone else, had 8 great-grandparents. And shares only 25% of the narrative stream with his four unrelated (to each other) classes of second cousins.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 7:18 AM
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Sifu's adviser, like everyone else, had 8 great-grandparents.

It hasn't been that long ago when cousin marriage was common even in the U.S.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 7:21 AM
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On the other hand, an Arab-American southern gentleman is a pretty good way to make wingnut heads explode, so there's that.

The Arab and Southern Gentleman Looney-Tunes-style stereotypes are pretty compatible in a lot of ways.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 7:24 AM
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Sifu's adviser, like everyone else, had 8 great-grandparents. And shares only 25% of the narrative stream with his four unrelated (to each other) classes of second cousins.

True! Which is one of the reasons I've been fascinated to the degree that all his (close and/or lineal) family that I've heard about have been Japanese-American. Musta been a pretty close-knit community, except then why was he living in Jersey in a place where he didn't know any Japanese people besides his parents? Very mysterious.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 7:27 AM
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37: I can't remember if I have fourteen great-great grandparents or a maximum of thirty great-great-great-grandparents.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 7:29 AM
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As I've mentioned repeatedly over the time I've spent with you folks, I've been working for the last 13 or 14 years at locating all of my fourth cousins. It's very high quality procrastination.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 7:33 AM
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except then why was he living in Jersey in a place where he didn't know any Japanese people besides his parents?

I get the sense that this is a recurring immigrant pattern, in which at some point some enterprising member of the community will make a leap into the unknown, with 3 outcomes: failure* and return, pioneering (in which more community members follow), or assimilation. It sounds as if the advisor's family ended up in a gap, not quite assimilating, but no one else followed, either.

But anyway, this is why you get random concentrations of minor ethnicities in various places - a very small group will go to a new places for some contingent reason, and if it works, word gets back and more follow. Hmong in Minnesota, Bhutanese/Nepalese in Pittsburgh, Dominican (I think?) in Dover, NJ (probably 20 miles from any other significant Hispanic population, in lily-white Morris Co.).

*different kinds - economic, social, cultural


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 7:35 AM
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I have 18 first cousins. I don't even have any idea how many second cousins I have.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 7:36 AM
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... some enterprising member of the community will make a leap into the unknown, with 3 outcomes: failure* and return, pioneering (in which more community members follow), or assimilation cannibalism.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 7:39 AM
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45

Which isn't unrelated to why no food will ever be called a "Doner Kebab" in the United States.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 7:42 AM
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46

I would imagine that my lot haven't been immigrants since they stopped being Scots (originally Irish) living in Ireland, and became Scots (living in brackets) in Scotland, in roughly 400 AD.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 7:49 AM
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Dominican (I think?) in Dover, NJ (probably 20 miles from any other significant Hispanic population, in lily-white Morris Co.)

In the eighties, I think Dover was heavily Puerto Rican -- Buck's parents worked in factories around there, enough that its Hispanicness figures in stories. Might be Dominican now, though.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 7:53 AM
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The same is also true of internal migration. In my home town most of the black people came from a single county in South Carolina. Presumably similar patterns hold elsewhere for the great migration.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 7:55 AM
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First Gen = the immigrants, Second Gen = the locally born children of immigrants

I don't think this is consistent. I remember looking it up at some point and seeing that some people use "first gen" to refer to the first generation born in this country.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 8:08 AM
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Don't forget all the Kurds in Nashville!

I have (or had, before some died) 60 first cousins. The only person I know with more is one of my cousins.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 8:10 AM
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re: 46

On my Dad's side, I'm not even clear if they were Scots, who stopped being Irish in 400AD. Or Scots who had been Irish until the 19th century, or Scots who had stopped being Irish in 400AD, and then gone back to Ireland, at some point in the 17th or 18th centuries, and then come back to Scotland in the 19th century. As far as I can tell, the surname is common in Ulster, and in Lanarkshire/Ayrshire, for very small values of common. With a bit of ricocheting back and forth. And there's at least one adoption in the preceding couple of generations, so if it's genetics, who knows.*

My wife's family, have been in the same Czech village for a long time. Although it's hard to know quite how long. Her great grandfather, I think, built the house her parents live in.

* although the adoption was from another Glasgow family, who were distantly related. So it's not going to alter the 'Scottish/Irish' basics.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 8:10 AM
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47: No, that's probably right. My recollection was Puerto Rican, but I was worried that was based on faintly racist uncertainty*, and I know that there are/were multiple Dominican restaurants.

*that is, a town full of Spanish-speakers in northern NJ was likely to be PR, rather than having a basis for that. It was a couple towns over (and in a slightly inconvenient direction), so we never interacted with it much


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 8:18 AM
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50.2 boggles my mind.

I have 6 first cousins, 3 on each side. I have not seen any of them since...1998? 4 of them I haven't seen since '82 or '84. There must be some second cousins out there, but I know that my dad's dad had 2 childless* brothers, and my mom didn't have many aunts or uncles either (one aunt I'm aware of).

The whole extended family concept is alien to my upbringing, but AB's in touch with all sorts of cousins on both sides of the Atlantic, so that's kind of nice.

*or wait, maybe just sonless? I can't recall whether it's that those lines died out completely, or just the last name


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 8:23 AM
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I'm less close to my cousins now, but grew up with some subset of them around constantly. I'm pretty confident I could name them all off the top of my head. My kids, on the other hand, have two cousins.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 8:27 AM
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My kid has only two cousins also.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 8:28 AM
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Zardoz has zero first cousins. I wouldn't be surprised if she eventually had as many as two, but more than that seems unlikely.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 8:31 AM
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Mine have three, and that's a hard limit at this point, I believe. They've got four first cousins once removed, though (that is, their first cousins are old enough to reproduce) with two more on the way.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 8:32 AM
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She has eight second cousins, if I'm counting right. Nine? Ten if you can have step second cousins.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 8:33 AM
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They've got four first cousins once removed, though (that is, their first cousins are old enough to reproduce)

It really is a frustrating feature of the English language that the n removed variable is unsigned.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 8:34 AM
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58 was off by at least two. Ten minimum.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 8:34 AM
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I have 3 cousins. My brother and the 3 cousins and I were all together last summer, at my uncle's 80th. My kids have 2, plus 2 step. My brother is unlikely to reproduce. C is quite close with one set of his second cousins (his dad was an only child but grew up very close to his eldest first cousin), and my cousin in Canada and I are keen that our children grow up knowing each other as well as second cousins in different countries can.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 8:35 AM
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I've got a first cousin that is grandparent to a kid that I think is older than my own.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 8:35 AM
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When I was in college, my parents divorced and remarried, I went from having one single first cousin to having 37 first cousins. Those marriages ended and I am back to having one first cousin.

My sister and I realized a couple years ago to although we are all paired, there is not one married adult in our family. Parents, no. Me and my siblings, no. Cousin, no. Not a marriage in the lot.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 8:37 AM
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xelA has six first cousins. I can't imaging he'll have any more, as my sister is 40, and I don't think planning any more kids, and my wife's siblings are all older than her. My brother doesn't seem like he'll have kids, although it's possible.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 8:38 AM
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I have an illegitimate second cousin that I only found out about a few years ago. He's like 70 or something.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 8:38 AM
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I have no first cousins. Never lived anywhere close to my seconds. My wife and my kids have and are close to their firsts, in the in-and-out-of-each-other's-houses way. Their relationship with their firsts on my side has that distant, removed quality typical of my family.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 8:40 AM
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Is this the thread where I get to complain about cousins? I have only 3 first cousins, and we're their only first cousins as well. Along with their parents, they all declined to come to my wedding for, as near as I can tell, religious reasons. Except for my one cousin, my favorite, who was nice enough to get in touch when she received the invitation to tell me how excited she was etc., but the timing was bad for her to make it. The other cousins never replied to the RSVP (though they finally did to the follow up email asking for a reply as I had to finalize the guest list, etc.). Their parents did send back the RSVP card, just checking "Will not attend" and no other words at all. So, now, all these fuckers are coming to town for a family reunion this summer. I only recently decided to show up, as I was holding a grudge. I'm still holding a grudge, but feel slightly better. (My husband was included after my name on an x-mas card from the aunt and uncle this year, so I feel like that was at least some effort in recognizing my marriage?) And, then I recently found out that I was invited to another wedding out of town that will overlap with most of this reunion. So I still have time to decide whether to make a big deal about, "Oh, I'm so sorry to not be able to spend (more) time with you... I'm going to watch good friends get married [despite whatever your stupid god thinks]." Yes, still holding a grudge.


Posted by: Rance | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 8:44 AM
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I've got seven first cousins, and am not really in contact with any of them. (Well, one's an FB friend, who just liked the pictures of me on the bike tour. But that's as much as I've been in contact since my uncle died a few years back.)

I feel kind of bad about this, they're all very nice people, but I don't see it changing. Oh, if the FB friend one were local, I'd like to see him more, but probably not the rest of them.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 8:48 AM
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I have one (living) first cousin, and used to have two. Although she is older, and my Dad and her were raised more or less as siblings. I have no idea how many more distant cousins. My maternal grandfather was one of eleven, and my maternal grandmother was one of twelve, I think. So the extended family [with whom we are only slightly in touch] is quite big.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 8:49 AM
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67: That's perfectly fair. If they couldn't show up to your wedding for some reason other than being jerks, under the circumstances it was on them to be explicit about that.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 8:50 AM
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67: Is this newish? If so, congratulations.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 8:51 AM
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My kids have no cousins through me and I don't even know how to measure it on Lee's side since she was adopted by her grandparents. I'd certainly count her bio-half-sister's daughter, but legally it's the bio-half-sister who's a cousin to them. Mara has at least a dozen nieces and nephews and at some point I need to get names because surely some of them go to her school, but we haven't met any of their dads yet. We know I think 10 of her cousins, 6 of Nia's, and know of 4 for Selah.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 8:56 AM
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71 - Not newish, really. Fall of 2012 was the big event.

70 - Total jerks! Though I would imagine likewise having a hard time being explicit about any of this to their face(s). Instead, I guess I can smile politely and not have any conversations that approach anything meaningful.


Posted by: Rance | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 9:08 AM
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Oh, I think "Sorry, can't make it to your reunion, it's less important to me than my friends' wedding," gets your point across implicitly but clearly.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 9:10 AM
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He didn't know any Asian people growing up in NJ in the 40s and 50s, and is terrible at telling them apart

According to an Indonesian woman I met in Tokyo (who was always taken for Japanese), so are Japanese in Japan.

I also met there an American nisei named Mike Tanaka or some such who spoke no Japanese, and it was fascinating to watch his interactions with (Japanese) people who assumed he was Japanese. It just didn't compute that he could look like that and only speak English. Total befuddlement.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 9:11 AM
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I do like 74. And at this point, outstandingly true....
Though I have a hard time thinking I could actually say it's less important, even though I would be telegraphing that if I said I couldn't make it.

I might be able to take part of a brief part of the reunion, but for certain I'll get to miss the bulk of it. To go to another wedding as the reason pleases me.

I'm still conflicted as to whether invite everyone to my house for dinner the day people arrive. Part of it would be to show them that, hey look, this homo has grown up, has a nice house and can entertain a big group.


Posted by: Rance | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 9:18 AM
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76: I like the minireunion-then-wedding plan. I also had a little moment of mental triumph while hosting Easter for the family and thinking about how my mom wouldn't let my brother go to his friend's big brother's apartment to play because the big brother was cohabiting with a girlfriend and the moral hazard was too great. I'm really glad my mom decided to step up as a grandparent despite hating the sin, and she is too and very much enjoys the girls.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 9:23 AM
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If you like entertaining big groups, and you think there's real potential that your family may get their heads straight and step away from being bigots in future, I'd do it. It both keeps lines of communication open and lets you make it clear that you're not the jerk in this situation. But that would depend completely on whether you'd actually enjoy the evening.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 9:24 AM
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46 -- Finding 4th cousins means tracing forward from the 16 pairs that make up one's fifth generation ancestors. In my case, 2 of the 16 are Scots -- one pair lived in Newburgh (man managed farm for someone else) and the other moved around a little bit near Crieff (man worked in construction). Obviously, I'm a descendant of emigrants -- each pair had 4 children, one of whom from each married each other, and then moved to Boston -- but I've been impressed just how many of the children or grandchildren of the two pairs emigrated. Definitely more descendants from one of the pairs live in Texas than anywhere else, and there are clumps of folks in tidewater Virginia, central Ohio, eastern Australia, Winnipeg, and Cape Town. A small minority still live in Scotland (mostly Clydebank). The other pair has more descendants in Scotland (Aberdeen, mostly), but it's not half, and not as many as live in Canada.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 10:04 AM
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In contrast, from one of my 16 pairs who lived in Quebec, easily 90% of descendants are living there still.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 10:05 AM
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76: could you quickly scrounge up some giant Tom of Finland murals just to twist the knife a little?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 10:06 AM
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With 2nd-generation Asian-Americans, there's a lot of signalling and counter-signalling going on, because one often wants to distinguish oneself from more recent immigrants, while maintaining some connection to one's original culture. It's pretty fucked up, to be honest.

I also met there an American nisei named Mike Tanaka or some such who spoke no Japanese, and it was fascinating to watch his interactions with (Japanese) people who assumed he was Japanese. It just didn't compute that he could look like that and only speak English. Total befuddlement.

Yup, this happens to me in Asian countries, and it is super awkward.


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 10:11 AM
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I went to the campus bookstore and saw what I figured must be a mother with her daughter scouting things out for the daughter to enroll in the fall. The mother was wearing niqab and the daughter had none plus was wearing yoga pants. That must have been quite the generational difference. Maybe it was the grandmother, not the mother. That might make more sense.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 10:12 AM
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75, 82: my adviser has the same issue in Japan, with the compounding awkwardness that his (caucasian) wife does speak Japanese. Boy does that confuse 'em.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 10:14 AM
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Due to a string of divorces and remarriages on the paternal side, I started life with 4 grandmothers and 3 grandfathers. Now I'm down to 2 grandmothers. (No similar proliferation among aunts and uncles, though - they're either married or once-married-and-divorced.)


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 10:25 AM
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81: What was just linked all over the place -- was it Tom of Finland stamps? Maybe from actual Finland?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 10:42 AM
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Iris knows her second cousins who live in a tiny town in rural Austria better than she'll ever know any of her relations on my side (not counting my dad and uncle, the latter of whom is local-ish). There's just a big SES/cultural gap, and no particular reason to close it. AB would like to visit the upper Midwest sometime, and fold a trip to Wisconsin to see one set of my cousins into that (why not?), but I can't imagine ever going to Vegas to meet those cousins. I suppose I'll see them at my uncle's funeral. That will be weird. Especially since I'm pretty sure I see him more than they do.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 10:42 AM
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I have something like 40 first cousins. I'm sure I couldn't name them all.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 10:44 AM
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86: yeah.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 10:46 AM
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86: I believe so.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 10:55 AM
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Somebody should photoshop in some toothpaste and make "Tom's of Finland, Maine."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 10:56 AM
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One thing about 4th cousins; whatever estrangements and disputes there were in 1850 or 1920 or whatever are completely gone. There's politics between living people -- siblings or first cousins mostly -- but no one gives a shit about stuff that mattered a century ago. And many like to share narratives about it.

I wonder whether people having 40 or 60 first cousins have 2,500 fourth cousins, or whether it's more like 500.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 10:56 AM
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I have (or had, before some died) 60 first cousins.

How many on each side of the family? I fall short on total number of first cousins, but it's close, and all of mine are on my father's side, so I might yet hold the high score for most first cousins on one side of the family.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 11:33 AM
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So competitive! Just remember that my cousin has, I think, over 100, so we're strictly JV. Mine are pretty evenly distributed. Each parent had several siblings, almost all of whom had many kids.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 11:37 AM
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I grew up with a lot of Catholic friends with over 100 first cousins, though it's sort of cheating that several of my friends were from a family of 14 (and their cousins on two different sides, now that I think about it.) My parents are each one of seven, but I only have four on one side, all singletons plus I guess one unacknowledged child an uncle had I'm not sure I'm supposed to know about, and then the other side has three in one family, two in another, and one in a third, for a grand total of 10 cousins for me, 14 in our generation just like in the last.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 11:41 AM
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91: Hey-hey.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 11:45 AM
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Everything exists on the internet.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 11:48 AM
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shiv has a giant crazy family tree, including lots and lots of cousins. I have seven cousins. The Calabat has one.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 11:52 AM
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I know a family with 23 kids, but even there they would need to average over 4 kids/sibling to get to 100 first cousins (assuming one of the 23 kids marries an only child), or 2 kids/sibling to get to 50 first cousins produced by this family alone. 100 first cousins is a shitload of first cousins.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 11:53 AM
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My boyfriend's family all lives in a small area of New Jersey. The family Christmas party was easily 200 people. The weird part is, they mostly don't seem to have any idea how they're actually related -- my boyfriend has people he refers to as his "cousin" who are actually his mother's second cousin's ex-husband's niece. The only way to figure out the exact relation is to interview the elders of the tribe, because they know who their grandchildren are, and be prepared to take notes. The family does not distinguish between first cousins, second cousins, and not-actually-cousins-at-all, and seem to think it's strange that anyone would.


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 11:58 AM
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Italian-American, Catholic, probably not actually mobsters despite tendency to introduce people with just "This is Joe, he's family."


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 12:00 PM
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The weird part is, they mostly don't seem to have any idea how they're actually related

Still, a DNA-test theme seems wrong for a family Christmas party.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 12:05 PM
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It seems odd for a Catholic family, but I had as many first cousins as siblings (four of each; my parents each had just one sibling).


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 12:11 PM
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100 -- The narrative stream is more important than the genetic stream. Unless you're looking for someone to donate organs or something.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 12:18 PM
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The weird part is, they mostly don't seem to have any idea how they're actually related

I don't really find that so weird.

On preview, what CharleyCarp said.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 12:37 PM
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The weird part is, they mostly don't seem to have any idea how they're actually related

I think that tends to happen when the generations get crossed, like when you've got aunts and uncles the same or close to the same age as your cousins. Is that the case with your boyfriend's family?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 12:57 PM
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I have, now I count, ten first cousins. One is a retired professor of sociology who stopped speaking to her family at all in the Sixties (I was told once because she was told by our grandmother that she really would enjoy talking to me). One of her half-sisters developed MS a year before her mother was diagnosed with the same disease. One works for the same company as I do. One is a schizophrenic last heard of in Sydney who on his last visit to knife crime island kicked his mother's cat to death and attempted to elope to Paris with her carer. One has severe Down's syndrome and has been in a home since forever (I have never met this one).
And people ask where writers get their stories from.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 1:09 PM
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like when you've got aunts and uncles the same or close to the same age as your cousins

I was gonna respond that I'm in this situation: I have an uncle, two cousins, and a brother, all of whom are about my age, and all of whom now have kids who are roughly the same age. So at family gatherings, there are ten kids running around playing, and people tend to throw around "aunt/uncle" or "cousin" pretty loosely. And really, if a kid comes up to me and is like, "Do you wanna play Legos?" I'm like, "Shit yeah, Legos!" not "Wait, are you...once-removed or my great aunt?"


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 1:15 PM
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Don't teach the little kids to say "shit." Their teachers will give their moms shit about it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 1:20 PM
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I guess it's weird to me because my family is very dispersed (well, across the US at least) and contact is determined by closeness of relationship. Aunts, uncles, and first cousins give/get Christmas cards, invited to weddings, visits every couple of years, etc. I know their addresses and occupations. Second cousins I might have met once, if one of us happened to be in the other's town for a conference or whatever, maybe at a funeral. More remote relations I've probably never heard of.

106, I have no idea because I don't know who is really an aunt and who is really a cousin.


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 1:23 PM
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The weird part is, they mostly don't seem to have any idea how they're actually related

Someone in my family once developed a numeric code for use on name tags at family reunions, so it's easy to tell the degree of consanguinity. I'm not joking. And if anyone makes the obvious joke alluding to my geographic heritage, be assured I will cut you.



Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 1:24 PM
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the obvious joke alluding to my geographic heritage, be assured I will cut you. make you squeal like a pig.

Fixed that for you.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 1:32 PM
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Sounds like something somebody who has worked in consulting would think up.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 1:32 PM
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113: actually, it was a guy with a PhD who works in the federal bureacracy.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 1:41 PM
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A rape joke and an ethnic slur all rolled into one! How funny!


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 1:48 PM
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Ph.D. isn't an ethnicity.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 1:49 PM
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I like to think of it as a line from a Burt Reynolds movie.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 1:55 PM
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116: boy does that mess up my plan.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 1:57 PM
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If it isn't strictly genocide, you want nothing to do with it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 1:58 PM
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Baz Luhrmann's strictly genocide


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 2:00 PM
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||

Kevin Durant's remarks accepting the MVP are remarkable.

(The family thread seems like the right place for this).

|>


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 2:37 PM
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The guy who was arrested for threatening people in the park while holding an axe decided to skip this bus. Hopefully, not because it doesn't go near a store that sells axes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 2:40 PM
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14 1st cousins who as far as I can remember had 20-25 kids.

1 dead in 20s from breast cancer, but she may not have really been blood...shotgun marriage in 1965...loved her anyway

1 2nd cousin (child of a cousin) in prison for rape. Never met him.

All else healthy, middle-class and trouble-free without even our fair share of divorces, auto accidents, or heart conditions.

I have had little to no contact for thirty years. An occasional email. But there has been little to say.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 2:48 PM
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Don't teach the little kids to say "shit." Their teachers will give their moms shit about it.

Our rule was that we didn't care much about profanity as long as it was grammatically correct and socially appropriate. He learned pretty fast how to make that work and none of the goofs were particularly mortifying. It may help that neither of us gives a shit if the sort of people who get worked up about profanity think we're bad parents.


Posted by: DaveLHI | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 3:21 PM
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We have had no luck at all with "socially appropriate."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 3:30 PM
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It's possible that we have loose views of what's socially appropriate. What I mean is that his use of profanity was pretty much in line with the rest of his presentation as an only child who spent lots of time talking with adults.


Posted by: DaveLHI | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 3:33 PM
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Our rule is you can use private words in private, which means only family and not at the dinner table. As far as private words go, they know the adult ones but haven't adopted them particularly much. Hawaii uses "goddamnit" sometimes but for the most part they're happiest to stick with pee and poop.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 3:33 PM
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There was the time at about age four when the kid used "goddamnit" with precisely my intonation while on a walk with his grandmother. Busted! [She thought it was funny/cute/nothing my grandson does could possibly be wrong.]


Posted by: DaveLHI | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 3:36 PM
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The boyfriend's father had a particular stock phrase "Goddamnsonuvabitch" for when he was frustrated. Apparently, the boyfriend was trying to hang Xmas ornaments as a very small child (barely talking), struggled with one that kept sliding off, and broke out his dad's phrase rendered as "Goddamn some of a bitch." Apparently, his grandfather (who was watching him) thought it was hilarious, but his parents were mortified.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 3:40 PM
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That's the advantage of not using English at home. Your kid's teachers are unlikely to blink at 'gowno' or 'cholera'. Extra advantage, your kid will find it easier to swear in front of you since you will be less sensitized to the words they pick up at school. It was very annoying when my parents finally got an intuitive enough feel for French and started complaining when I used bad words.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 3:41 PM
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Have I mentioned that I have colleagues that say "dadgum" completely sincerely?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 3:48 PM
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Like, when they're actually frustrated.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 3:48 PM
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I associate "dadgum" with Roy Williams.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 3:52 PM
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That would almost be worth living in Texas for. Do they say "Consarn it all" and refer to any troublesome organism as a varmint?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 3:56 PM
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My kids swear exactly like I do, which is probably somewhat too much for polite company. I exhort them not to shock people who aren't sweary, and I haven't noticed them being too bad around other adults.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 3:57 PM
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My son and his classmates say "dagnabbit," I think at the suggestion of a teacher.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 4:02 PM
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130: Amusingly, his grandparents switched from English to Polish for arguing or cursing, so those (and food) are the only Polish words he recognizes.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 4:04 PM
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I have 28 first cousins, 4 on one side and 24 on the other sides. I also know a lot of my second cousins and quite a few of my third cousins.


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 4:06 PM
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It's possible that we have loose views of what's socially appropriate.

Possibly, but it took great effort to get my son to stop telling strangers that they should quit smoking and to not loudly point out various visible oddities about the bodies of people passing by. Just the other day he said, "I know a bad word." I said, "What word?" He said "Motherfucker."

Anyway, I've been just outright forbidding entire topics of conversation regardless of context.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 4:07 PM
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Also, the fart jokes don't stop. But, I can't shake the feeling that one is somehow my fault.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 4:08 PM
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"Just keep quiet until you leave for college, ok?"


Posted by: DaveLHI | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 4:09 PM
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"Motherfucker."

"Oh come on, everybody knows that one. Surprise me."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 4:12 PM
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That put an end to Family Tarantino Movie Night.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 4:16 PM
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I need to listen for "consarn it all". It seems equally plausible that I've heard it or that I haven't.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 4:22 PM
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At cinco de mayo at crossfit, someone brought in a crockpot of quiche-egg-paleo glop and we all pretended it hit the spot. A new person was lurking around the edges, so as I passed by them, I invited them to get a plate and join in. Only I was horrified at what came out of my mouth, which was, "Git yourself a plate!" Written out it doesn't look horrifyingly Texan, but it really is.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 4:26 PM
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I think country folk say varmint. Not sure on vittles.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 4:27 PM
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You could say "yunz" instead of "y'all" if you are worried about sounding too Texan.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 4:32 PM
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Nobody says vittles unless they have a Gabby Hayes fetish.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 4:32 PM
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I am unwilling to say y'all. The whole y'all conversation where everyone marvels how perfectly it fills a needed second person collective annoys me. Either use it unconsciously or don't use it at all.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 4:36 PM
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I think what I actually said was "Git yerself a plate!" It had an awful twang.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 4:38 PM
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149: In my experience, people who use y'll use it for singular and plural.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 4:42 PM
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+a


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 4:44 PM
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Silly, all y'all is the plural.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 4:49 PM
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It kind of annoys me when people say things like "phooey!" and "darn!" If you don't like swearing, don't swear! Moreover, if you have enough self-control that you can swap in some nonsense word like "phooey," then you're not really that upset, and you don't need to say anything. "Phooey" is you pretending to swear, unnecessarily. That's even worse than using a proper swear word in a situation that warrants it. [end rant]


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 4:54 PM
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Iris long ago scolded us for saying "fricking", because she despises Henry Frick like any honest worker would she knew it was code for a seriously bad word. This was cute at 6, but she still wants to hold us to this. Frickin' A.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 4:57 PM
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Fiddlesticks.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 4:57 PM
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149 kind of shocks me, just because it only took about 4 years in Miami - hardly a Southern place - for y'all to become natural. How H-B has lived most of her life in the true south without adapting it baffles me.

That said, in 20+ years I've never said "yinz" without implicit quotes. I actually have complicated feelings about the local accent/dialect.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 5:00 PM
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I think I said it semi-inconsciously growing up, and then got immediately fawned over for it in michigan and quickly cut it out. Then in Austin, there were so many transplants and it always sounded clunky to my ear when they tried to toss y'all around. So, nope.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 5:04 PM
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The local accent is horrible, but dying.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 5:04 PM
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159 is a less tolerant gloss on 157.last.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 5:08 PM
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154: I love them for that reason. In a world where there basically isn't any reason to not actually swear, they're so gloriously pointless and wonderful.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 5:09 PM
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There are some fun fake swear words in Spanish, and they're best executed with a slow, dramatic delivery, so it sounds like you're coming with a swear word until the last second. The two I've heard most often: caracoles (snails!) for carajo and miércoles (Wednesday!) for mierda.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 5:45 PM
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Shut the front door!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 5:47 PM
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Back the truck up!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 5:48 PM
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Rent a sensible compact car!


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 5:50 PM
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I may not have understood the game.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 5:54 PM
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154: Because I was raised by people who really didn't swear, the swear words I have internalized deep in the primitive parts of my brain are "Sugar" and "Fudge". Under normal circumstances, I swear like a sane person, but real pain or genuine startlement will draw a spontaneous "Sugar!"


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 6:21 PM
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167: I decided, because I was a weird kid, that I would abstain entirely from swearing. This lasted until I was, I dunno, eleven or twelve, maybe? My parents would get really exasperated with me and try and get me to swear. Anyhoo (speaking of words that grate for some people) I have definitely found myself spontaneously saying things like "gosh-fucking-darnit" or "clusterfudge".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 6:25 PM
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I remember trying to say shit and fuck at the same time, because if those were the worst individually, then shfuickt must be synergistically worse.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 6:29 PM
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163/164: "Fantastic casserole!"

Also topical.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 6:33 PM
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"Sugar" was my mother's substitute, for when she was frustrated. Until now, I'd never heard of another person using it. She had to be really angry to use the real word, but she did occasionally. My father never swore that I can remember.

I use the familiar ones, very sparingly. More than once I've heard people observe that it stands out that I don't swear, although I don't know why it should. In the Army, sure, there it stood out a mile, but in ordinary speech?


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 6:52 PM
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I have gotten into the habit of saying "Dagnabbit" a lot, pretty sincerely. I aspire to get "Zounds" into general rotation, but it hasn't stuck as well.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 7:28 PM
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I liked the swear that my Quebecois friend uses, Tabernacle (English translation, since I don't know how to spell in French). I know it has something to do with the church, which may have heightened my like of it.


Posted by: Rance | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 7:57 PM
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It's the small, (usually) golden cabinet at the front of the church.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 8:01 PM
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And why is that a swear? Don't know, but I still like it.


Posted by: Rance | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 8:03 PM
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There is also calice! -- a thing conveniently kept in the tabernacle!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 8:05 PM
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Because French people enjoy sacrilege the way British people enjoy poop and testicles for their swearing.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 8:05 PM
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Its always in an exasperated way, or what a load of bullshit is the context I've derived. Plus with the accent, its treatment magnific.


Posted by: Rance | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 8:05 PM
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Is the calice the same as chalice? I could see liking that too. Like, give me that f****** chalice. I need a drink.


Posted by: Rance | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 8:07 PM
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I'm already a bit drunk, because Squirrel Cage.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 8:09 PM
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I'd been staying away because CO isn't good for running.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 8:12 PM
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I used to work with an Iraqi dude who contended, with some plausibility, that Iraqi Arabic has the richest swearing vocabulary of any language or dialect. The phonology alone was amazingly well suited to swearing. And the translations would make a sailor blush: things like "I shit in your mother's breastmilk".


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 8:27 PM
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I use the familiar ones, very sparingly. More than once I've heard people observe that it stands out that I don't swear, although I don't know why it should

I also don't swear very often. I don't think anybody's commented on it except to express surprise when I do swear -- but I also think that fits my general demeanor, so people just lump it in with my general oddness.

Interestingly when I do swear it isn't reflective of particular emotional extremity, or exceptional circumstances; I just occasionally feel like a particular phrase calls for it.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 8:40 PM
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I have something like 40 first cousins. I'm sure I couldn't name them all.

I too have about 40 first cousins, and I'm pretty sure I could name them all. I also have second cousins and first cousins once removed who seem like first cousins (like close family, I mean). Ah, the ties that bind, and choke.

(Most of my male cousins aren't really into the new social media, but one reason why I don't post more often to fb is that so many of my female cousins are there. And holy crap, are they nosy. They follow my posts; they comment on my comments. The cognitive, and cultural, dissonance is sometimes a bit much for me. It's like: "Smash the patriarchy!" followed by "Aw, dear God, what a sweet baby! the wee cherub, he's the picture of his father...").


Posted by: Just Plain Jane | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 8:45 PM
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Have I mentioned that I have colleagues that say "dadgum" completely sincerely?

A guy I went through academy with does this, and he's in his twenties. Cracks me up every time. Not from TX though, I think NM?

My older daughter has latched onto "Awww nuts" which also makes me laugh.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 9:20 PM
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My most annoying something-cousin on facebook is annoying me extra because I'm not entirely sure what her relationship to me is. It's not what she said, but I think she assumed I was up a generation and we're actually in the same generation, except I'm not boringly Catholic and obsessed with our ancestor's jewelry I supposedly have but actually don't. Facebook has been fantastic for the second cousins I used to see at Christmas growing up and now don't since none of us travel back to our grandparents' places regularly, and some of them are doing interesting things these days.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 9:21 PM
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things like "I shit in your mother's breastmilk"

I can't remember if it's from one country in particular, but I've heard "I shit in the milk of your whore mother" in Spanish. The origin of the milk goes unspecified.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 10:08 PM
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Which isn't unrelated to why no food will ever be called a "Doner Kebab" in the United States.

Especially not in Alamogordo, NM.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 10:25 PM
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Sounds like a fascinating place. Did you eat there on your cross-country trip?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 10:37 PM
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I did not, but wish I had. It was on the road to White Sands and I'd already eaten by the time I went by on the way in. That was my go-to fast food when I was traveling around Central Europe a decade ago so I'm sorry I didn't know it was there. I suspect the location may have to do with the military base and Americans having been stationed in Germany.

Looking at their hours, they were probably closed when I left White Sands, but since there was a minor sandstorm (not kidding, unfortunately) brewing and my eyes/contact lenses got really irritated, I headed straight back to my motel to wash my eyes out instead of stopping to see if they were open.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 11:00 PM
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That's too bad. It looks like they hadn't yet opened the last time I was down there. I'll try to check it out whenever I'm in that area again.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 11:18 PM
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On the swear word subthread, I may have confessed this before, but I once got in trouble as a kid when I learned some "bad words" in Spanish from other kids in my Spanish class in the way that kids like to share that sort of thing under the table, and I really thought of them as just "bad words" in a generic way - "hey, I know some bad words in another language, isn't that cool?" - until it was made clear to me that you should basically never use a word that can translate to "whore" unless you're really just swearing idly. I had no idea it was so serious up to that point - I had learned the literal translation as "prostitute", but somehow had not made the connection to "whore", which I had been taught was an English word I shouldn't use* - and the thing I feel the worst about is that I deflected some of the reprimand by claiming that the other student had called me names too when I was the only one who'd done anything wrong. Although based on usage examples I'd just* learned I may have thought I was using a word that is functionally similar to saying "fuck", which I guess isn't much better but is less of a personal insult. Anyway, a little knowledge of profanity is a dangerous thing.

*It's possible I learned this without knowing what it actually meant. I distinctly remember once saying the word "horror" and my mom saying, "what did you just say?" and then not really explaining what she thought she'd heard.

**I think this may have been practically the next class period after learning the word. Within a day or two of learning it.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05- 6-14 11:51 PM
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"Sugar" was my mother's substitute, for when she was frustrated. Until now, I'd never heard of another person using it.

My dad also says that sometimes, or at least he did when I was growing up. It was a conscious revision - "Shhh-ugar!" I use it too sometimes in that way.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05- 7-14 6:36 AM
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I have seven first cousins who have seven kids so far and I miss them terribly! it's one of the things I hate about narnia and also miss now that my g-dad's place in east hampton is sold because I could go stay there in the summer and see them all. most of my second/second once-removed?? etc cousins too. except not my favorite set (these are my mom's first cousins, and their children who were always my cousins) who lived in california, as does one of my first cousins, but I would tend to see him in NYC periodically. I haven't seen his wife whom I like a lot or kids in ages though. it sucks. I like my great-aunt and uncle!

re: swearing, I managed to convince my children that they were not permitted to swear even though grownups were because RULES. also, judiciously applied terrifying glares. neither swears in regular conversation, even with friends. girl x was recently in a dorm for a week on a field trip to indonesia (like how you do) and when she got back she said, "mom, the girls used the worst language ever! I couldn't believe it! it was horrible." me: "you know I talk like that IRL when you're not here, right?" her: "I don't think this bad." me: "ooooh, I do."


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 05- 7-14 8:07 PM
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