Re: Even the losers

1

Pwned by the OKCupid blog


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 6:12 AM
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Actually, having read the NYT story, they are not describing the same phenomenon as OKCupid. But they're even more pwned. By, like, Pride and Prejudice.


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 6:21 AM
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Didn't read any of the articles (that's cheating), but: based on that description, uniqueness is just the difference between the market value and the value the observer assesses. So, people like to start relationships with people that they see as undervalued by the market, and we're all just Buffettian value analysis investors.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 6:21 AM
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I felt that Jammies was hugely undervalued and worth a longterm investment.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 6:23 AM
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Great. He'll balance out the deadbeats in our blended lovers derivative product.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 6:25 AM
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when a friend shared this on Facebook, I remarked that it was a cool paper, but this is one of those cases where it's very obvious why doing a study in a college undergrad population only allows very limited inference from it. Frankly, I think people should have to move a little beyond that level before they either get into JPSP or publish op-eds in the NYT, although the ev-psych people don't either.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 6:30 AM
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I remember commenting, probably about seven years ago, that whatever idea I had of an attractive person tended to evaporate when actually talking to them. It works both ways: women I might have noticed on and off for months can become uninteresting in less than a minute, and others who didn't stand out particularly can come to life, like a light has been switched on or suddenly a view passes from black and white to color.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 6:35 AM
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7 is true for me in the getting more attractive sense. The pretty folks with personalities I don't find congenial remain physically pleasing; I just try to avoid conversation.

Also, I guess this would be the thread where Megan susses out the ways in which Eggplant is unique in a good way?


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 6:55 AM
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7 is very true for me and a big part of why I don't go for celebrities, as I know I've said before.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 6:57 AM
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One recent study of a representative SAMPLE OF ADOLESCENTS found that only 6 percent reported that they and their partners formed a romantic relationship soon after meeting.

Yelling mine. I stopped reading there.

Anyway, this doesn't seem all that interesting. There are people who are varying degrees of "a catch" and everyone has their quirks; it's a commonplace that we fall in love with the quirks, no? A more interesting study would 1) include goddamn adults (college students don't count) and 2) have people rate their own mate value, have other people rate that person's mate value, and then compare that to the assessed mate value of their actual mates. It might be the case that uniqueness is important, but I'd bet (no, I'd hypothesize) that people's mate's mate value falls within a pretty narrow range from their own (whether their own self-reported or assessed value, it would be interesting to find out).


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 7:11 AM
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Eh, the 6% of adolescents study isn't the main point of the article at all. The main part is about college students, natch.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 7:14 AM
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Over time, pretty much everyone is going to show you both flattering and unflattering looks. The stunning climb off their pedestals, and the plain become noticeable.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 7:14 AM
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That makes it sound like it's just reversion to the mean. But people can drift away from the mean over time and become increasingly attractive or repulsive.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 7:18 AM
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12 applies far beyond physical appearance.

'Noticeable' is kind of offensive, and yet, as someone in the 'nothing special' appearance category, I feel ok using it.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 7:19 AM
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There is definitely a dialectic between how you perceive someone physically and what you believe about them personally. I've definitely experienced switching from perceiving someone as nondescript to seeing them as cute as a button, based simply on reading something the wrote. Conversely, Ann Coulter gets more hideous every time I look at her.

I think with celebrities and other people we only see pictures of, there is a fair amount of filling in personality traits based on a combination of stereotypes and wishful thinking. Also, mistaking them for the character they play. Which is why I'm certain Rashida Jones would totally make a great cuddle friend.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 7:20 AM
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13 -- I apply fairly loose and charitable standards, I think, and so "mean" is pleasantly attractive: it takes a pretty big shock to knock someone away from that in a negative direction.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 7:23 AM
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Ann Coulter gets more hideous every time I look at her

This is actually happening.

adolescents study isn't the main point of the article at all

No, but they advance it without qualification as if it tells us something about relationships. Sentence: burned on a pyre of their own data. ASSUMING THERE'S ENOUGH TO LIGHT.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 7:27 AM
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The pretty folks with personalities I don't find congenial remain physically pleasing

Sure, but if someone's appearance suggested other qualities--own fault, I know but the kind of projection I'm prone to--then the effect can be dramatic.

Looking back, what I'm dreading is the possibility my disappointment might have been all-to-easy to read. Couldn't have been pleasant, hope it was just weird.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 7:35 AM
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-to- s.b. -too-


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 7:36 AM
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I'm going to sound meaner than everyone else when I say that ordinary looking people I develop a dislike for become physically repugnant, right? Goodlooking enough, they stay attractive whether or not I can stand them, but that's a high bar to pass.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 7:44 AM
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20: Basically the same for me, though I wouldn't go as far as "repugnant." Their attractiveness does sometimes go way down.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 7:50 AM
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20 is alien to me. Pretty is pretty even if it's ugly on the inside. I think Michelle Malkin is kind of hot, for example. As is Pamela Geller. Both are evil, but I still see them as hot.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 7:53 AM
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But on the OP, something like the uniqueness mechanism has to be going on, or everyone but the ridiculously beautiful would be disappointed and unhappy all the time, no? I mean, say the dominant force in how people felt about romantic partners were mate-value as measured by consensus. Someone who's a four out of ten wouldn't prefer other fours, they'd be unhappily settling for other fours, miserably eyeing the 5-10s who wouldn't look at them. The only people who'd be satisfied would be the tens paired with tens.

But in real life, people are mostly pleased with the partners they end up with, and I think it's about focusing on the unique qualities of their partners that they value highly but aren't worth much on the 'market'. Doesn't mean that there isn't still a rough sorting by consensus mate-value, but it's not what feels important from within the relationship.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 7:55 AM
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There's a difference between pretty-in-a-photo and would-I-want-to-put-my-body-near-the-person. A repulsive person may still get acknowledgment from me that they're pretty in a photo, but on the latter test I'd recoil away.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 7:55 AM
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I'm imagining you all (in turn) having sex with Megyn Kelly now. Some of you are liking it.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 7:57 AM
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And there's a breakline, over which someone's attractive enough that disliking them doesn't affect it. Michelle Malkin is genuinely very pretty; I don't know what Pam Gellar looks like offhand, but probably the same.

The effect I'm thinking about really works on ordinary looking people, who can flip from ordinary to wildly appealing or kind of stomach-turningly repugnant based on what I think of them.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 7:58 AM
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This conversation is coming remarkable close to that line about "hate-masturbated to that hot Fox News presenter" in the liberal dude erotica.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 8:02 AM
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And there's a breakline, over which someone's attractive enough that disliking them doesn't affect it. Michelle Malkin is genuinely very pretty; I don't know what Pam Gellar looks like offhand, but probably the same.

I think we can safely assume that any woman who's strongly appeals to the the Fox News audience is going to be highly conventionally attractive.

Exception: Orly Taitz (I guess she plays more the "iconoclastic intellectual" role)


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 8:03 AM
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26 first paragraph, last sentence, after semicolon may be the wrongest thing ever said in all human history. Even the part before semicolon gets it wrong, but after hoo boy is that wrong.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 8:03 AM
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24 I can relate to. I would not want to cuddle up to Malkin or Geller.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 8:04 AM
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I don't think Pam Geller would have me, unless she's got some kind of Strom thing going on.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 8:08 AM
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No, repugnant requires more feeling about it than I can summon. Few people are repugnant to me even when I hate them. Ordinary, from someone from whom I'd hoped for more, is bad enough.

I remember LB and Cala, at least were amused when I described my ideal as looking like Lisa Edelstein. I was disappointed in a young woman who looked like that once, and I realized I was imputing intellectual and even moral qualities to an impression based on appearance. Deserved to be disappointed.

I seem to have been on an unconscious program to re-enact The Way We Were.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 8:10 AM
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Pam Geller is 55 years old, you guys!


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 8:10 AM
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Seriously, unless you literally live on Monster Island and/or your other choice is to have sex with a star faced mole, Geller and Malkin are not attractive.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 8:11 AM
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33 Hey!

34 -- I haven't spent enough time with either G or M for them to progress northward towards the mean, and northward it would be. I am not going to.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 8:16 AM
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Sure, Carp, but what's the hottest kind of mole?


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 8:17 AM
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8: Oh god, I have to be unique now too?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 8:18 AM
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38

Rosa's, I have to say.

Did you eat there when last in DC?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 8:20 AM
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39

31: Take heart; if every homophobe has repressed homosexual tendencies, perhaps you have a chance with Islamaphobes.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 8:22 AM
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22, 34: See, consensus evaluation of attractiveness is overrated. Tologosh sees Geller's unique appeal, which Halford is blind to. (I had forgotten who Geller was completely -- had to google her.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 8:22 AM
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37: Why not? Everyone else is.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 8:22 AM
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Oops. I wrote this several hours ago and then got called away. Posting now without having read the thread.

****
There is a thread of something interesting there, but it's lost in the irritatingness of the op-ed. Seriously, they're going to cite a study of adolescents?

Also, the terminology is awful. "Uniqueness" is not even a vaguely accurate name for what they're trying to describe, which seems to be something more like "Person-specific appeal."

In other words, it's not an innate, unchangeable quality *of yours,* it's a changeable quality that is generated *through interactions*

/grouch

/not grouchy at you, h-g. I know feeding the blog is hard!



Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 8:24 AM
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There's a video that I saw in maybe 2005 of Pam Geller singing "don't you wish your girlfriend was hot like me" to Islamic fundamentalists that is seared in my brain as the least attractive thing ever. If you watch it three times in a row you become incapable of having sex forever.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 8:28 AM
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(I had forgotten who Geller was completely -- had to google her.)

I'd never seen a picture, I think until I googled her just now. I'd find her attractive without knowing anything about her, but of course I do.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 8:31 AM
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43: Oh, god, I had forgotten. Now I will never forgive you, Halford!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 8:32 AM
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Also, the terminology is awful. "Uniqueness" is not even a vaguely accurate name for what they're trying to describe, which seems to be something more like "Person-specific appeal."

In other words, it's not an innate, unchangeable quality *of yours,* it's a changeable quality that is generated *through interactions*

Although, I think there is a sense in which people have more or less of the quality they're calling uniqueness -- people whose final appeal, after acquaintanceship, moves a great deal one way or the other from their curb appeal. Some people, you meet them, and their good and bad qualities are all out there immediately. Others swing wildly on getting to know them.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 8:37 AM
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47

This thread title has given me the worst earworm ever.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 8:40 AM
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47: Hey, that's my theme song!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 8:41 AM
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You're saying there's a consensus about uniqueness, that it's just long-term mating value? That's not the impression that I got from the link. I thought it was the idiosyncratic "do I fit with them like puzzle pieces" chemistry. (That makes it sound more bi-directional than it has to be, of course. Puzzle pieces can be unrequited.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 8:41 AM
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46: I disagree. I don't think everyone "reads" people the same way, or with the same degree of comfort and fluency. Sure, there are people for whom *I* think "their good and bad qualities are all out there immediately" but I know just from simple conversations with my colleagues that they often do not feel that way about the very same people that I am talking about.

Naturally, I feel that I'm right. It's a giant blinking red warning flag! How could you not see it?!

More seriously, I am actually not convinced that all qualities are necessarily "good" or "bad." Some are, obviously -- unreliability is rarely a desirable trait. But things like "spontaneousness" are really very much in the eye of the beholder.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 8:43 AM
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Naturally, I feel that I'm right. It's a giant blinking red warning flag! How could you not see it?!

And yet, when you write something like that in the wedding guest book and it turns out you were correct, nobody ever gives you credit.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 8:45 AM
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49 to me? No, I meant more that some people are quirkier than others, in ways that are either going to be appealing or unappealing based on individual reactions. So, someone who I'm thinking of as having more 'uniqueness' will have the variability of people's reactions to them go way up after some acquaintance. The initial consensus rating might be a five with very little spread, but after getting to know the person, the variability of the ratings would go way up. So, like you said with the puzzle pieces.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 8:46 AM
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51: Cassandra had it rough too.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 8:47 AM
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It seems obvious that it takes time and repeated interactions to figure out whether a potential partner is going to satisfy the needs created by one's own particular flavors of codependency and neurosis. (Or, of course, come agonizingly close to satisfying them, yet fail; we have to consider all the possibilities.) I don't really see why this is op-ed material.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 8:56 AM
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Have you see what Brooks is writing? They obviously need any material they can get on the editorial page.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 8:59 AM
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38 -- On reflection, the correct answer is Xochitl.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 9:00 AM
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50. I am with Witt on this. Judging people from outside, even after you ostensibly get to know them, is pretty hard. Imagining that you understand someone else is dangerous.

This is especially true when interacting with other people over what amounts to recreation-- only by seeing choices that are unpleasant or that really affect others is it possible to judge character. In atomized, isolated modern life, the closest one comes to this with a casual acquaintance is whether they were rude to a waiter or sound like a blowhard when they discuss politics or foreigners or something.

Work interactions are a little different-- you learn whether people are aggressive or meticulous, but those are IMO more matters of style than substance-- professionally important, sure, but really central.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 9:02 AM
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56: Exactly the sort of reevaluation this post encourages, right?


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 9:04 AM
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There are two reliably excellent DC taco trucks, Meylun and the impossibly named Chilango. Different vibe than the nice sitdown places, but either of them are great. Escabeche de cebolla.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 9:07 AM
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It seems obvious that it takes time and repeated interactions to figure out whether a potential partner is going to satisfy the needs created by one's own particular flavors of codependency and neurosis.

Sure, but is it obvious that's what most people do? Doesn't it seem like a fair number of people just think "Oh my god, he/she is so gorgeous! And he/she has a job! And he/she likes me! I'm in love!" or some variant of this?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 9:09 AM
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Seriously, unless you literally live on Monster Island and/or your other choice is to have sex with a star faced mole, Geller and Malkin are not attractive.

Haven't your standards been hopelessly skewed by your job, though?


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 9:22 AM
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First day of professional school met (among many other people, of course) one fellow student and one faculty member and in each instance had a very similar reaction: whoah, this person is a trouble/drama magnet! Steer clear! Sure, and sadly, enough, they managed to find each other and the resulting encounter caused a huge scandal that incinerated the faculty member's career qua faculty and can't have been good for the prospects of the student. Faculty member unquestionably more blameworthy given power/age differential, even under his version of events, yet sadly as I recall vastly more sympathy for him than student. At any rate, have always been struck by the clarity with which they both telegraphed TROUBLE on first impression. Also, how completely plausible I found both their versions of the ill-starred night in question, to the point that I had no difficultly imagining that each of them really deeply believed his/her respective and mutually irreconcilable versions.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 9:22 AM
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Does it count as uniqueness for a person to have a uniquely repellent demeanor?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 9:27 AM
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43 sounds awful, but is it less sexy than the video of Malkin in her cheerleader outfit. Almost pitiable, that one.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 9:28 AM
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57, 60: Sounds like someone needs to watch Frozen again.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 9:28 AM
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60: I guess, but it seems odd. What do they do if they wind up with someone who isn't like their mother at all?


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 9:28 AM
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64: Oh my god it is so much worse than the cheerleader video. The cheerleader thing is cute by comparison.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 9:30 AM
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65: I haven't even seen it once. Sometimes it's hard to persuade my stepdaughter to watch a new movie.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 9:34 AM
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whoah, this person is a trouble/drama magnet! Steer clear!

I have a strong sense of that in people (I believe) and then I follow through by avoiding them. This is a big part of why my life is placid like a cow in knee-high pasture.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 11:25 AM
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Eggplant, is it time for a check-in?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 11:26 AM
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62/69: What do you see that lets you recognize such people? I've got a blind spot for this, which ends in either my backing away quickly or the boyfriend suggesting kindly but strongly that I disengage once he's got a firm sense that someone is going to be troublesome. (I don't usually get enmeshed in the trouble, but some folks can be exhausting.)


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 11:35 AM
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Someone monopolizing attention in an ungenerous way. (I don't mean someone who is charismatic but still aware of other people.)

People who cannot give solid linear narratives. I noticed this one because if they can't put events in order, they'll believe their own rationalizations.

Someone to whom too many bad things happen, especially if that person doesn't understand what caused them.

Manic crazy-eyes.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 11:43 AM
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72: This looks accurate but unnecessarily negative to me? I very often like high-drama people, as long as the friendship is such that I can insulate myself from the actual drama bits of it. They tend to have good stories and get into interesting situations.

On point 1, I'd say someone who draws a disproportionate amount of attention, doesn't have to be ungenerous. Point 2, I think I'd put this as tells stories with key points about people's motivations either missing or not getting enough emphasis. Point 3, yep. And point 4, I wouldn't say manic crazy eyes, but there's stuff about the demeanor. Putting it together, someone who's either missing some skills or lacking some motivation to do the standard drama minimization that most people do as a matter of course.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 11:52 AM
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--Lips move when they read.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 11:55 AM
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|| I just got an email from the Governor:

Today, four committed Montana couples filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn Montana's prohibition against same-sex marriage. Montanans cherish our freedom and recognize the individual dignity of every one of us.

The time has come for our state to recognize and celebrate - not discriminate against - two people who love one another, are committed to each other, and want to spend their lives together.

I look forward to a future where all Montanans have the opportunity to marry the person they love, just as Lisa and I did almost 15 years ago. We are on the path to greater understanding and equality, and we will all be better for it.

It's not a surprise, of course, but always nice to see stuff move in the right direction. |>


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 11:57 AM
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I have extremely limited patience with this kind of person.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 11:58 AM
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77

Could be that I've got the filter set too fine. But plenty of people make it through, so I can afford to lose a few false negatives.

I came to the criteria in 2 when I was interviewing people about Los Osos. What I noticed what that the craziest of the crowd literally could not tell me the story in order. I'd prompt, what happened next, and they were unable to tell it to me without getting into some other point they wanted to make. I'd put everything they had told me into consecutive order and they could not, literally were unable, to tell it back to me. I mean this precisely: they could not order events in time. Now when I see that, I disengage.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 11:59 AM
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I guess, I know the 'cannot order events in time' type, but those people I think of as past high-drama into really, really a mess.

And on the 'too many bad things happen to them' front, that sounds sort of like 'they're doing it to themselves', and that's not quite right. It's more that they're lacking the kind of self-defense skills that have the rest of us avoiding bad situations without even thinking about it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 12:03 PM
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I'm pretty sure my 74 would cover Megan's 77.

My real method is this, and I bow to none of you facebooking/meeting up social butterflies in avoiding making friends: hold back from everyone until someone does something that would make you feel comfortable describing them as "genuinely decent." Be friends with that person.

LB will be like, "But those people aren't entertaining!" Go watch a movie, user.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 12:06 PM
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I think various kinds of predators leave secret marks on people that only other predators can see, like hobo signs, describing how to take advantage of this person.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 12:09 PM
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72 is great. I think most people pick up on 1 and 4 immediately; if someone is obviously a drama queen with crazy eyes, they are obviously a drama queen with crazy eyes. Points 2 and 3 are more subtle but also more common and important; lack of ability to produce a linear narrative is common, but sometimes seems forgiveable in the moment, and too many bad things is always an indicator but often difficult to read over natural human sympathy. But no linear narrative and constant bad things without understanding as to why really are good core indicators of trouble.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 12:12 PM
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The "too many bad things happen to the person" also indicates that they're not aware of the sort of conversational filter that other people use with acquaintances. That is, a person with good judgement may have experienced a shit-ton of bad things, but they don't share them willy-nilly on the first meeting.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 12:13 PM
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But being high drama doesn't make you a bad person. A bad person to depend on, maybe; a bad person to have around when you want calm, sure. But you can be genuinely decent and still inexplicably bad at dodging messy situations (or past bad at dodging all the way to inexplicably drawn to messy situations).


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 12:13 PM
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Some people clearly need to scratch an unhealthy itch. Well, all of us need that to a certain extent but for some drama is the only effective backscratcher. When this gets confused with charisma by lots of people, back away.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 12:13 PM
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80: do you think they do this consciously or subconsciously? Any specific examples?

I'm with LB - high-drama friends are a wonderful thing as long as they're respectful about not dragging you into their drama.


Posted by: dz | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 12:14 PM
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My real method is this, and I bow to none of you facebooking/meeting up social butterflies in avoiding making friends: hold back from everyone until someone does something that would make you feel comfortable describing them as "genuinely decent." Be friends with that person.

I'll be friendly with anyone, but I've got a very firm "Oh, you're in my arm's-length category" that I will set someone down in, in a heartbeat.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 12:15 PM
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83 -- not as bad as in evil. But certainly someone who goes into the high drama, high potential problems, don't get closely involved or take too seriously zone.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 12:16 PM
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88

High drama people are way better as friends of friends than as friends.


Posted by: CCarp | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 12:18 PM
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They're not necessarily bad people, but I really really do not enjoy their company.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 12:18 PM
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I don't need friends to provide drama. The passersby on the corner where I live provide plenty of drama, generally right after 2am on Friday and Saturday nights.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 12:19 PM
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And it's not "high" drama if they're not getting their friends involved.


Posted by: CCarp | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 12:20 PM
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83 - I don't owe friendship to every good person. 'Good person, brings drama' is still a category that excludes people from my friendship.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 12:21 PM
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72 could well be my wife describing my mom. My mom loves to talk and is basically visual-- her superficial impression formed upon seeing something trumps basically all other sources of knowledge.

She doesn't exactly attract trouble, but she's not much of a planner. But she means well, is full of empathy, often makes reasonable decisions. Kind of frustrating for real-time interaction sometimes, though.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 12:21 PM
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And it's not "high" drama if they're not getting their friends involved.

They only involve other people with the friend's cooperation. They'd never get me involved, even if I'm forced to be in the same social circle. I just don't enjoy their company. Why yes, I am thinking of a couple specific people.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 12:25 PM
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I actually like and am often entertained by high drama people, but spotting the warning signs Megan lists is still really important. Proceed with caution.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 12:27 PM
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I like intense, high-energy, lots-going-on people just fine. But that is not the same as high drama.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 12:29 PM
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This is actually a really eye-opening conversation for me because doing foster care involves so much drama, kid drama, family drama, your peers who have new kids coming in and out of their homes, whatnot. I am probably the worst person about bringing drama here and I wouldn't have thought of myself as drama-prone before this. And yet when I talk to the people in my world now, I'm usually hearing about who's going to have to move where because there's just too much drama in the house right now and who deleted whose facebook page and is sleeping with so-and-so. I wonder if that's one of the things making me more unpleasant, that I've had to cut the calm people out of my life to deal with the dramatic ones.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 12:30 PM
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I have a fairly high drama friend who tries to drag me into his drama occasionally. I respond by ignoring the attempt as if it never happened. It's the only way to maintain a connection without getting dragged into it, and the guy is reasonably nice when not doing the drama thing.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 12:31 PM
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Helpful, although I guess I'm trying to retrofit some folks into these rules and they don't quite fit. I'm thinking of a particular acquaintance who eventually fit all those rules but started off seeming pretty reasonable, fun even. It took a year or so before crazy eyes showed up. In fairness to my poor radar, it's entirely possible it was a grad school mental health disaster rather than a true personality issue, although it's been years since she dropped out, and by all appearances (from far away), she seems to have plateaued at crazy/delusional.

My secret to avoiding personal disasters is to be utterly open about 90-95% of my life (with large dollops of not taking myself too seriously). The other 5% might well go with me to the grave. The problem comes in when folks confuse openness for intimacy. For example, my mother's illness is something I tell basically anyone if it comes up. It's a fairly straightforward fact. It's not an invitation to my innermost circle.

80: Years ago, I suspected that some people broadcast vulnerabilities they aren't aware of on a frequency not everyone receives. Yours sounds less judgmental than mine.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 12:33 PM
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72 is a great list. The event ordering point in particular is something I've never really thought about but it seems right to me. However I'm often pretty bad about ordering events if I'm excited or tired or drunk, so perhaps I induce more dramu than I realize.

97: Bringing drama here is like what LB said in 73.1; we're well insulated from any effects so it's not really bad in any way, especially if it helps you. The worst it could be is boring, but you're always interesting and often insightful.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 12:37 PM
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||

My co-author's writing is driving me up the wall, with lots of incredibly long, unnecessarily complicated and wordy sentences. I'm rephrasing almost everything just to get through the damn paper, in course of LaTeXing it up. I'm kind of worried about offending her. I'm hoping this paper gathered dust for long enough that it won't be glaringly obvious.

|>


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 12:37 PM
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I think that's true, about some people broadcasting vulnerabilities they aren't aware of. As far as I can tell, I don't and there's a whole category of interactions that just pass me by. My experience of that sort of thing is "but that just never happens", which would more properly be "but that just never happens to me."


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 12:38 PM
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However I'm often pretty bad about ordering events if I'm excited or tired or drunk, so perhaps I induce more dramu than I realize.

Naw. Not being able to put events in order isn't what causes drama. What causes drama is that person's willingness to believe after-the-fact rationalizations, because the drama-causer doesn't have integrity about what came first.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 12:41 PM
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The egg, obviously.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 12:42 PM
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This thread is reminding me of the time Megan dropped a flaming couch on Catherine's head, and were all like, "why did you do that?" and she was all, "hey, fun."


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 12:45 PM
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I think 72, especially as modified by 103, is describing a species of "drama" that doesn't exhaust the term. I am thinking in particular of an ex (how many people in this part of the thread are thinking about exes? go on, raise your hands) whom I would consider emotionally and socially generous, a rigorous thinker, and deeply contemplative regarding the reasons things happened to her (with the help of a therapist). Also, no anomalous eye movement. And yet...


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 12:59 PM
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and deeply contemplative regarding the reasons things happened to her (with the help of a therapist)

Are you sure this isn't "deeply contemplative because she needed to consciously theorize the sort of self-protection most people do on autopilot"? The high-drama people I know and like think about what happens to them, they just don't automatically avoid situations that are going to go bad.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 1:03 PM
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Yeah, I suppose a lack of built-in emotional-self-protection mechanisms would probably be a pretty good capsule description. (And would have applied more than a bit to me as well at the time, to be fair. Ah, youth! I just wasn't social enough for it to have any really spectacular results.)


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 1:12 PM
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The particular variety of drama generating/attracting I was referring to is when you can sense the person constructing the narrative in real time. All charismatic people do this to some extent, we find them compelling because we all need narrative more than oxygen. When the motivation behind a charismatic person's narrative construction is clearly coming from an unhealthy place, retreat.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 1:17 PM
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I doubt this is precisely relevant, but whatever:

As I believe I've mentioned before, I never really noticed that my HS GF's (one year) younger sister was significantly more attractive until I stopped dating the GF, at which point I was bewildered that I had missed this seemingly obvious fact*.

What's interesting is that I recently saw a picture of the two of them on FB, from just a few years ago, and istm that the GF is now prettier (although maybe it's just that one pic), and I can't figure out how/why (both look remarkably unchanged, frankly).

*I don't think this was an emotional reaction to being dumped; I was still quite fond of the GF. The sister was similar in appearance, just a slightly more voluptuous version


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 2:52 PM
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Doesn't it seem like a fair number of people just think "Oh my god, he/she is so gorgeous! And he/she has a job! And he/she likes me! I'm in love!" or some variant of this?

Low-drama reorders it: "He/she likes me! And he/she has a job! Oh my god, he/she is so gorgeous! I'm in love!"


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 5:29 PM
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70: Oh man, it's not going well. I decided to view the list as aspirational, composed of qualities I'm occasionally able to evince, and that worked for a few days until my brain decided that attempts to recite it or add items were prompts to wonder which of my qualities lead me to become socially isolated.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 5:58 PM
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(Other than crazy eyes, I think I'll be able to hit every other point in 72 right now.)
It's currently problematic because my main non-familial relationship (pathetically, my dog walking friend) is ebbing with her acquisition of a boyfriend. I'm finding myself worrying over why she never invited me into her fairly active social life, a resentment I'd thought I'd gotten over.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 6:04 PM
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Can we write your Ok Cupid profile? Or can Smearcase?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 6:11 PM
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I dunno, wasn't one of the items that Smearcase may be a better reader than Eggplant but not by much? He may not be flattered enough to get involved.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 6:18 PM
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Smearcase writes a good Ok Cupid profile, IIRC.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 6:19 PM
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Smearcase, if memory serves, is one of two of my friends to have been Reader Match of the Week* more than once. Am I wrong?

*There was paper once.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 6:22 PM
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114: Are you suggesting I shouldn't use 72?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 6:42 PM
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Which is why I'm certain Rashida Jones would totally make a great cuddle friend.

She lived down the hall from me my Freshman year of college, and was in my Freshman Expository Writing class. Not so much on the great cuddle friend thing.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 6:49 PM
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I really don't want to, but I may have to sign up for online dating now that I'm out of my usual excuses not to, which mostly boil down to being not far from moving somewhere else. Also, moving across the country probably put a stop to something that might have developed with less distance, but wasn't really going anywhere quickly either.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 7:03 PM
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Okay, Smearcase will write Eggplant's profile and Eggplant will write fake accent's and LB will figure out how to get more people involved and turn it in a tontine so she can finally be satisfied because she's run one.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 7:05 PM
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Any online dating process where only the ultimate survivor of the group gets laid seems less than ideal.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 7:09 PM
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I don't see what the problem is. Just watch the scene in Say Anything where John Cusack talks to Ione Skye's dad and adapt it a bit.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 7:10 PM
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122: Maybe getting married rather than laid as the final prize?

113.2: Maybe she doesn't mix friend groups and it has nothing to do with you?


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 7:13 PM
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Whoops. That would be more respectable, yes. This is going to be a virtuous online dating tontine, dammit.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 7:21 PM
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Still, a slow and uncertain method of getting to the altar. I really think that tontines may not be the way to go here.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 7:22 PM
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127

If I remember high school, unplanned pregnancy worked very fast.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 7:25 PM
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I wasn't thinking of virtue - more of an everybody can be a winner (at least for a little while) scenario.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 7:27 PM
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124.2: That's what I've told myself, and it may even be true! And I know my lack of social life isn't at all her responsibility. My resentment isn't very defensible.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 7:28 PM
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Not much of a tontine, then.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 7:29 PM
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Fine, LB, I was just trying to make you happy! Get your own tontine!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 7:32 PM
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Maybe something in a tartine would work better? Online dating organized around sandwich exchange?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 7:34 PM
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130: I think I wasn't clear - marriage as the final prize for the lone survivor, but everybody gets laid as frequently as they like along the way - I didn't think members were supposed to suffer while they waited for their ship to come in. I don't know what the required investment would be for that, though - cash for dowry? Cash for ceremony/honeymoon? It's not like everyone could chip in a woman to have a winner-take-all harem. Agreed that there might be a better way to organize competitive dating.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 7:38 PM
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Everyone chips in a kidney or something, the organizers stitch the contributions together into some reasonable facsimile of a potential spouse, and last survivor marries it? That'd be fairly tontine-like. Also, kind of gothic horror -- one pictures a rash if suicides among participants so as not to be the last left alive.

I'm not being helpful, am I?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 7:43 PM
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Instead of putting much effort into a profile, why not just flip through the profiles of women until you get one wearing a catsuit?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 7:44 PM
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And Eggplant, it sounds as if you do have a list of positive qualities worked out. (Were the cookies you were making with the browned butter on it? Because a propensity to make cookies with browned butter seems worth listing.) So, now onto Megan's next step, whatever that is.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 7:46 PM
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134: Very nice.
135: That might limit your options to folks who rendezvous at their local (or private) dungeon. What if you just want coffee?


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 7:47 PM
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135: No, you see in 1995 it was perfectly normal. Wearing a catsuit now would just be weird.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 7:48 PM
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There's probably a 2014 equivalent.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 7:56 PM
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Doge-suit?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 7:57 PM
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A dirndl and trucker hat?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 7:58 PM
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Is Doge-cosplay a thing? I guess it probably is. I wouldn't call it "perfectly normal," though.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 7:59 PM
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Why did I think googling "internet catsuit" was going to be informative here, I wonder.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 8:00 PM
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I still haven't hit 2048 in doge or regular play.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 8:00 PM
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Robe and wizard hat?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 8:04 PM
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A romper and a German opera hat with the horns?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 8:23 PM
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La doge vita


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 8:28 PM
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We're still telling Eggplant to look for ads where a woman is wearing this stuff? Because frankly, I think the tontine sounded likelier.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 8:29 PM
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Is there a Tin Tin story about a tontine?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 8:32 PM
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I just realized I've been reading "tagine" for "tontine." LB's kidney plan didn't help.

When several people can't find a date, isn't the obvious solution to date each other? They could even do it long distance and just see each other on Unfogged.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 8:35 PM
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Was the catsuit leather? Inquiring minds want to know.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 8:36 PM
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Here's a tontine-like dating scheme: at the beginning, everyone makes a profile, and whenever someone gets married or otherwise leaves the group, his/her profile is inherited by the remaining members, i.e., anyone who responds to that profile gets forwarded to the group.


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 8:38 PM
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Was the catsuit leather?

Don't ask these questions if you want to be able to sleep at night. She said it was wool and had integrated shoes.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 8:39 PM
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I guess it could have been a latex catsuit as well. Tarantino was big in the 90s, and everyone wanted to either have a gimp or dress like one. Good times.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 8:39 PM
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Doge seeks lolcat to X all the Y, because romance. No gifs.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 8:51 PM
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155 wins.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 8:52 PM
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||
The NYT does a profile but doesn't get around to mentioning the skunks: "Inwood: Always on the Brink of Coolness".

In the last few years, Inwood has been inundated with new places to eat -- as well as bike shops, wine shops and a Starbucks.

Inundated with a Starbucks!
|>


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 8:52 PM
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I had a 1024, a 512, and a 256. I still lost.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 8:53 PM
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Very win.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 8:53 PM
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RobeCoins. Always already with the wizard hat.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 11:44 PM
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A don't-go-in-the-basement tontine would kill people as they got laid and then marry the last two survivors to each other. If they're in the Wrong Box, all the better.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05-21-14 11:58 PM
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153: this is not a catsuit. It is a onesie. The single most distressing popular culture trend to hit the West since Edward I's expulsion of the Jews from England in 1295. The damn things were everywhere a couple of years ago; I even saw off-duty troops wearing them on an Army base.

I think the tontine is the wrong way to go. We need to set up a securitised dating pool. Pool investors a, b, c, d, e will, collectively, date underlying members 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Investor a, who holds the super-senior tranche, will pay a lot more into the dating fund (which pays for the dinners, movies etc) than investor e who holds the equity tranche, but the underlying members agree that, if they wish to break up with anyone, they will break up with e first.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-22-14 1:00 AM
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If I remember high school, unplanned pregnancy worked very fast.

As my grandma always said, "just because he's the father of your baby doesn't mean you have to marry him"

I definitely find that people get more or less attractive based on personality, to the point that I rarely find someone all that attractive until I get to know them. OTOH, I have very close friends of the opposite sex whom I think very highly of but am not in the slightest attracted to. I also apparently have a specific physical type. I can easily acknowledge that someone that doesn't fit the type is extremely good looking, but it usually doesn't do it for me personally.*

*I had a longstanding crush (2 years) on a friend who didn't fit the type but was nonetheless very good looking. When it seemed like he was possibly making a move, in that exact moment momentarily lost interest in him. Immediately afterward, I was sexually attracted to him again, so I don't know what that was all about. Ironically, I'm pretty sure everyone else assumed we were having a torrid affair.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 05-22-14 2:05 AM
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162: Dibs on representing the investors in the litigation over whether the pool organizers conducted reasonable diligence into the hotness of 2, crazy-eyes of 4, or inability of 5 to put events in linear order.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 05-22-14 4:55 AM
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Inundated with a Starbucks!

They do leave that tap running all day.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-22-14 5:24 AM
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My actual thought on reading it was that finding it noteworthy that the neighborhood now has a Starbucks was a form of understated NYTimesian snark.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-22-14 6:41 AM
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162: If you're looking for a dating-related investment opportunity, you could set up a prediction market. Investors a,b,c,d subsidize the dating activities of participants 1,2,3,4, and in return, investors have access to all communications between the dating participants, and make bets on how long their relationships will last.


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 05-22-14 7:04 AM
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Bizarrely, the Starbucks, while brand new, somehow looks sketchier rather than less sketchy than the small businesses around it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-22-14 7:49 AM
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163: Why? did you build him up, Buttercup?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-22-14 7:56 AM
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168:

Are you looking at picture, or basing that on having been there?

I can well believe it, btw. Probably one of my least-favorite American Institutions. It's possible that on some days the NRA and the Federalist Society rate higher in my estimation.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 05-22-14 7:59 AM
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169 is great.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-22-14 8:03 AM
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I still haven't hit 2048 in doge or regular play.

I'm still addicted to DIVE. It is now my default idle time/hanging on a conference call time filler*. My new pretend-to-start-programming-again project would be to write an "AI" for it.

*Although playing it mindlessly doesn't really yield satisfying results. One time I tried something off-the-wall which failed spectacularly and yielded a quite low score of ~100. Made me curious about low scores and for a while my on-the-phone-twiddling mode was to try for low scores. I subsequently got a few in the 80s until I ripped off what was to me an astonishingly low score of 43** (screenshot in the flickr pool--I like the pattern).

**I had never really looked at the scoring algorithm before and sort of assumed it was just the sum of the values on the tiles since it basically scaled that way and I had never really checked. But you actually get the lower value tile when you merge tiles plus the value of any factor you "eliminate" or "vanquish."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-22-14 8:11 AM
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As long as you are wasting time in a more mindful way that I am.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-22-14 8:13 AM
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It's two doors down from Bobby the butcher, where we buy meat when we're feeling rich. That whole block is on the sketchy side, visually, and somehow the Starbucks looked beat-up and disreputable immediately.

Also, that article is weird. The bike store has been there for ages -- certainly more than a decade, and I actually don't recall it showing up, so it might have been there since before we came to the neighborhood in 1997. Likewise with the good wine store -- it was always there, and always much better than you'd expect given the neighborhood. I think they had a catalog/online/delivery business, and were in Inwood because the storage space was cheap. So, these are not recent changes at all.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-22-14 8:13 AM
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173: I do like to set my sights low.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-22-14 8:16 AM
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169 is indeed awesomely great.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 05-22-14 8:55 AM
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It must have been difficult to save comment 169 for the perfect time, knowing its moment might never come. Well done.


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 05-22-14 6:26 PM
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