Re: Just Because

1

So, how did you go about breaking up with that girl in your junior year of high school?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 8:13 AM
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Did it involve putting glue on her, and/or calling her "blacky"?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 8:14 AM
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So did Stanley just break up with someone?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 8:16 AM
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"I don't love you enough," she said, and moved out of our apartment across the street.

Gosh, remembering that sucks. I think I'll go home and break stuff.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 8:22 AM
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I have a feeling that apo is going to "win" this contest.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 8:23 AM
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I can't immediately remember any bad break-ups at all. Ones where I was saddened, certainly, but not in a way that stuck with me.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 8:26 AM
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1/2: I thought it involved shooting a fire extinguisher into her face when she climbed into his car.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 8:27 AM
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This thread goes with "worst thing you've ever done" into the pile of 'stories I'm not telling.'

I've got a nice breakup story -- in high school, I dated a guy who I'd been really close friends with since seventh grade for about six months in eleventh grade. Much as I adored him, actually dating him annoyed the bejesus out of me. So one day I settled down for a long relationship talk intended to let him down easy and not hurt his feelings as I broke up with him, which involved a lot of hedging and easing into the subject. While in the midst of all the hedging, I noticed that he was doing the same thing -- apparently I'd been irritating him as much as he'd been irritating me.

So we mutually dumped each other, and stayed friends. (It got moderately tiresome that he went on to be quite the successful little harlot, while I didn't date again in high school really, but those are the breaks.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 8:33 AM
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3: Nope! I'm quite happily coupled-up. The idea occured to me in reading the recent personals threads.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 8:35 AM
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First long term relationship, first long distance relationship, most absurd break up ever. After a not-quite-year together, he called one night and in the course of what seemed at first a normal conversation starts talking about how he's glad we are friends, and it's such a nice friendship, and it's good when people can be friends. And I pause, attempt to process, ask "Er, what do you mean 'friends'?" And he talks some more about the virtues of friendship and being friends and I'm such a good friend. So I ask more directly, "Um, are you breaking up with me?" And he kind of rambles about how, well, maybe there've been some romantic undertones, but really, we've just been friends all along, so it's not really breaking up.

I point out that I am, at the time of the call, wearing a ring he had given me a month or so before engraved with the word "forever" and that I have a box full of letters in which he has professed his eternal love and discussed what we should name our future children and where we will live and so forth. I suggest that such details, together with the obscene long-distance telephone bills of the past year, had led me to believe perhaps there was more of a relationship, maybe? Which he eventually acknowledges, then clarifies that perhaps "just friends" would be a better idea.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 8:37 AM
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Oh, my. What a tool.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 8:39 AM
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1,2,7: If people decide they'd rather not discuss, even presidentially, the awful things they've done or had done to them, then can this please become the "guess what horrible thing ogged did in high school" thread?

For my part, I've always been dumped with a fair amount of class, and I'm pretty sure there's nobody out there with serious grievances against me.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 8:42 AM
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ring he had given me a month or so before engraved with the word "forever"

You should have dumped him right there.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 8:42 AM
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14

Nothing in my trivially boring sexual history could possibly be of interest to anybody, including break-ups, but can I take this opportunity to ask the younger set if it is now considered OK to dump somebody by SMS, or do I just know a disproportionate number of complete jerks?


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 8:45 AM
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Never broken up myself, but my brother in law, when he was in high school, both asked a girl out and then dumped her via the ubiquitous mix tape.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 8:47 AM
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14: People who date the kind of people who communicate by SMS ought to know what they've got coming.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 8:47 AM
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but can I take this opportunity to ask the younger set if it is now considered OK to dump somebody by SMS, or do I just know a disproportionate number of complete jerks?

You Europeans do a lot more SMSing than we do, so can't rightly say.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 8:47 AM
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Better break up story. Dated a guy in high school not all that seriously whose family adored me. I think he may have broken up with me by just not calling anymore, which was a weird strategy given that I was/am friends with his sister and was at their house all the damn time. So, I'm sitting around the kitchen table one day with his sister, his mom and his aunt being an appropriately forlorn teenager grappling with rejection when his mom looks at me sympathetically and announces. "You can do way better than him anyway." His aunt and sister offer their agreement.

Not too shockingly, he confided years later that he broke it off because he was not comfortable with the feeling that his family liked me better than him.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 8:48 AM
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Honest-to-goodness best SMS I've ever received from an ex-: "U R ded 2 me."


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 8:49 AM
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You can actually dump someone via mix tape, and the point will come across? What a great idea.

I've always liked angry or scornful kiss-off songs - made a list of good ones recently.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 8:49 AM
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A friend of mine was dumped via text message by her short-term girlfriend last autumn and opinion was pretty universal that it was a shitty, spineless way to go about it.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 8:50 AM
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he may have broken up with me by just not calling anymore

I've done that. I still feel a little bad about it.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 8:52 AM
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10: Got a little ahead of himself, didn't he?

It occurs to me that most breakup stories will involve situations where there'll be plenty of hurt, maybe never gotten over, but early enough in life that "moving out" will be the only tedious part of follow-through.

Thing about breakups is that they are just that, and when they're over they're over. When we use that word for a marriage, we're just being conventional. No doubt sometimes there is a moment when one or both parties know the marriage is over, but except when there are no children, never was much life together, and the parties have long since lived apart (I proved up a few of those) it's never over.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 8:52 AM
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20- I think he included a verbal intro to make it clear.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 8:52 AM
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13: Actually, should have dumped him when he started going on about how Atlas Shrugged changed his life. Or the day he told me, "You know, Rush Limbaugh's actually kind of entertaining." Or perhaps the day I mentioned I was dating him to a mutual acquaintance, who looked very confused and asked, "But isn't he gay?"

Hindsight and all that...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 8:53 AM
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14: I was dumped by email one time. I was not happy about it.

Another time, I went over to a girl's house planning to break up with her. She was chopping vegetables for dinner and, being a student, didn't have any good knives. So as I was girding myself for the talk, she said "Wait one minute, chopping these vegetables would be much easier with one of my machetes." And went and got one.

I didn't break up with her right then. I did tell my roommate to be sure to lock the door.


Posted by: ptm | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 8:53 AM
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So SMS is some sort of acronym for text-messaging? And here I've been pondering whether breaking up with someone by Shockingly Molesting her Sister was ever acceptable. (I was tending towards "no".)


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 8:54 AM
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Short Message System, I believe.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 8:54 AM
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10: One of my good friends gave his wife a ring that says "friends" for Christmas. Seven months later, she's still showing it to people and laughing at him.


Posted by: ptm | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 8:56 AM
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Oops, service, not system.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 8:57 AM
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I never really got the 'how could you break up with someone by [medium]?' complaint. It's all words. If the complaint is that it was overly brusque, or there was insufficient explanation, or something, I could see that, but surely you can be brusque and enigmatic on the phone, or in person.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 8:57 AM
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Isn't the idea that it's hard *not* to be brusque and enigmatic by SMS?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 8:59 AM
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It's the courtesy of thing. You can type a text message in about five seconds and not feel any of the emotional reaction. In person, at least you show up and look the person in the face.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 8:59 AM
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29: I'd give him one back that said "Cheers", but that involves a Brit colloquialism which wouldn't necessarily work.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 8:59 AM
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35

Ned, you should post that list. In the meantime, my nomination: "He's a Dick," by Golden Smog.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 8:59 AM
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36

Forgot to add to 33 that now we know that LB is also a robot.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:00 AM
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Mostly that I don't know from text messaging. I was thinking more of email -- if a handwritten letter is acceptable, why not email? Is phone all right?

A 'no, you must break up face to face' rule I could see, but once you're allowing remote breakups, I can't see where to draw the line.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:02 AM
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LB has a point the medium doesn't necessarily dictate whether you are being weaselly about the breakup.

A friend of mine actually wrote a breakup e-mail that was more kind, thoughtful, and honest than she would have been face-to-face. Some people are just better in one medium than another.

That said, I knew her ex pretty well and I think he would have preferred face-to-face.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:03 AM
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If you're ever going to break up with your long distance girlfriend, don't wait until you're on campus, having driven 1000 miles to go to a game she's paid for, to mention you don't think she's attractive any more and you really don't want to bother to come see her, especially when she's been so excited to come and see you and hang out with all of her friends and walk around the lakes with you...

Have the balls to mention it, say, when she can still rip up your ticket.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:06 AM
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he may have broken up with me by just not calling anymore

Two good friends were dating - a somewhat lengthy and somewhat stormy relationship - and he broke up with her by not calling her any more.

Months later, each of them separately showed up at my apartment, unannounced. It was their first communication since he stopped calling.

They were chatting in low voices, amicably it seemed, when she took her glass of water and dumped it over his head.

She apologized profusely (to me) afterwards. I told her that: 1.) She hadn't done anything to me 2.) He had it coming and 3.) It was actually pretty funny.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:06 AM
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I've always liked angry or scornful kiss-off songs

Heh. An ex broke up with me by playing Ani DiFranco's "You Had Time:"

"How can I go home
with nothing to say?
I know you're going to look at me that way."

'Tis a pretty sad, and final, song (also including the line, "The only one who really loves me is you").

Actually, it was the 2nd, or 3rd break-up, though. I'd broken up with him, to much protest, a year prior, we each dated others for a year, then we got back together for another year, then the song. No protest from me.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:07 AM
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42

Breakups should be face-to-face unless, like in 39, breaking up face-to-face would require so much travel or money that it would make the person more upset that you waited to do so.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:08 AM
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I feel like I hijacked a few threads into worst-breakup territory as it was happening, so I will just add the details, previously undisclosed I believe, that on the night it all went down, I encased my wedding ring in a ball of clear plastic tape and gave it to a friend for safekeeping. Then we destroyed my TV in the street behind my house and took pictures of it.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:09 AM
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When I was 23, and very flighty, I got into a relationship with a guy maybe four years older than me who started talking marriage after four months. Being terminally silly, I actually entertained the notion that I could marry him and move to Texas (we were both living in NYC at the time). When he flew his parents up from Texas to have dinner with me, I got a little anxious; and when I saw his parents' relationship--his father called his mother "princess"; his mother practically cut his father's meat for him--I completely freaked out and dumped him by the restrooms of the very nice restaurant he'd taken us to. To his unbelievable credit, he actually asked (after a lot of lip biting and "can't you just think about this a little longer?") if I would be okay getting home, or did I need cab fare? That was ten years ago, and I still cringe every single time I think what an unbelievably cruel, thoughtless creature I was.


Posted by: I am evil | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:11 AM
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Breaking up by email or text message substantially limits the possibility of break-up sex, which is probably best in the long run.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:12 AM
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I'm not sure I understand why break-ups should be face-to-face? The phone seems fine to me.

Requiring face-to-face breakups is demanding a little too much intimacy for some cicurmstances. You may as well require that all break-ups occur mid-coitus.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:13 AM
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42: gets it right.


Posted by: soubzriquet | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:13 AM
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And no, text message breakup is not permitted.

Shopping for shoes, however, is always a good idea, retail therapy or no.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:14 AM
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Ben Fold's "Song for the Dumped" is most to the purpose.

Wish I hadn't bought you dinner
Right before you dumped me
on your front porch
Give me my money back
Give me my money back
You bitch
I want my money back
and don't forget
to give me back my black T-Shirt

Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:14 AM
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I was 28, Sylvie* was 31. I was already planning to break up with her when she found out she was pregnant. Stayed together long enough to persuade her, against her better instincts, that an abortion was the right decision. Informed her a few weeks later that I would be making a trip to visit Alice*. At that point I didn't have a romantic relationship with Alice, but I had indications that one might develop. It did.

Aggravating circumstance: I had sex with Sylvie several times subseqent to the breakup.

Mitigating factor: I ended up marrying Alice and remaining faithful to her.

*Names changed to protect the innocent


Posted by: James Madison | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:14 AM
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51

I love that song. FUCK YOU, TOO.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:15 AM
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Should be "Ben Folds's." And I, personally, am still short one black T-shirt and one denim jacket, as well as one irreplaceable bootleg of the Amnesty International benefit concert from 1986 or so, which had Lou Reed doing a rocking version of "Walk on the Wild Side" on it. Dammit.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:16 AM
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I broke up with a girl in my last year of grad school. It was well handled on the face of it; I was not into her that much, and pining for an ex who was making motions about starting things up again, so I told her we had to talk, gave her the news; she got stony-faced, and told me to leave so she could cry.

Of course, this was after she had gotten back from a long Thanksgiving with her family where she had told them all that she thought she had found someone special and that she thought she was in love. We hadn't had piv sex before Thanksgiving, because (to my retroactive amazement) I didn't really want to. We did (once) upon her return, and its unremarkableness (especially compared with the ex) only confirmed that I shouldn't be dating her, which provoked the breakup talk.

I still can't listen to Norah Jones, whose first album she played four times in a row the morning after the first-sex-night, all while I was slowly realizing that I had really screwed up.

I didn't get back with my ex. The still-seething dumpee tried to pull a confusing revenge-fuck scheme at my going-away party six months later, which despite my being nominally into after being tipped off by her best friend, I unwittingly thwarted by drinking far too much, leaving her (again) unsatisfied.

Remarkably, my judgment became much better once I left grad school.



Posted by: Gerald Ford | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:16 AM
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I've had the usual screaming rows followed by tears, recriminations and then breakups. Despite the temporary nastiness of all of these break-ups I've never really broken up with any girlfriend and not (eventually) ended up as friends.

One particularly messy breakup involved finding out my girlfriend, with whom I'd been living for three years, had 'fallen in love' with a married guy at work. We broke up, so she could pursue this new relationship. However, we had to keep living together for a month while looking for new places o live, so we were still living together while she was going out on sneaky dates with this man.

Two weeks after we'd stopped living together, and immediately after the first time they had sex [they hadn't while we were still living under the same roof] she phoned to tell me it had all been a terrible mistake, he was going back to his wife, and she wanted me back. This was followed by months of her coming round to my place whenever she got drunk trying to win me round. My *new* girlfriend was surprisingly understanding about this.

I am still with that new girlfriend, seven years later.


Posted by: John F Kennedy | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:17 AM
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Oooh, oooh, I have another one! At last, my worthless love life is serving a purpose!

This barely qualifies as a "break up," as I only dated the guy in question for maybe two weeks. But, when a week and a half into seeing each other he starts going on about being soul mates and such, I gently told him that, no, no we weren't and maybe we should "just be friends."

Then I got laryngitis a few days later, but he kept coming over because he wanted to talk, didn't understand what went wrong. And being the soft-hearted gal that I am, I tried to patiently explain to him basic concepts such as professing your undying love a week and a half into a relationship tends to freak people out. Painfully wheezing this point out, hours on end, while he kept saying he just didn't understand and thought we had a connection. Until finally my cat, who was far less patient than I, silently crept up like a little wisp of fog and sunk his sweet little teeth into the guy's arm. I did all I could not to immediately burst out laughing, and told him it seemed maybe it was time for him to go. The end.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:17 AM
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36: LB just has...different...ideas about breaking up/the end of a relationships. I surmise that LB thinks that if she arranged for her SO to find her nailing his father, that would be acceptable. Other things that are surprisingly acceptable to LB: seducing you to kill her husband to free her from him and meeting the requirements to get the insurance bonus for the murder.

LB isn't a robot; she's a femme fatale.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:18 AM
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51: yeah, for a piano band, they can do excellent surly rock. "One Angry Dwarf" is pretty useful for those "I made good you haters!" moments in life.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:18 AM
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42: Hey, he could have made the trip here. Or, say, when I picked him before we drove out to Big Game, he could have said, hey babe, we need to talk, which would have sucked, but it would have been better than it happening in the living room of my friend's house.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:18 AM
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59

I dumped a girl in Reno just to watch her cry.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:18 AM
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I believe, that on the night it all went down, I encased my wedding ring in a ball of clear plastic tape and gave it to a friend for safekeeping.

I pawned mine, and used the proceeds to buy a nice Chinese dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, alone.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:18 AM
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56: Where did this little black hat with the nose-length veil I'm suddenly wearing come from?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:19 AM
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Dude, the tell is the lighting. Very glamorous, lots of shadow.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:24 AM
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Oh. Forgot one. This may be identity revealing, but fuck it.

When I was 17, I had a 24 year old girlfriend. We'd been going out about 6 months and I had slowly come to realise that we really weren't suited. All we had going for us was the sex, which was totally wild and hot, but other than that, we had almost nothing in common. So, we had the talk. It all went well, we agreed to break up in a civilised manner. She asked me if I would explain to her four year-old daughter, who liked me a lot, why I might not be coming round so much. Fine, we agreed I'd do this the next morning.

However, next morning I woke up to find that she'd already told the daughter that I didn't like them any more (!) and the daughter was distraught. So I found myself walking out of their house at 6am into a huge rainstorm with the sound of a hysterical four year old screaming in the background.

She (the girlfriend) also turned up drunk at my house late at night for a few months until my mother (this isn't covering me with glory) warned her off.

Weirdly, she and I also eventually ended up fairly friendly.


Posted by: John F Kennedy | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:26 AM
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One of my exes tried to get pregnant during break-up sex. I had no idea that a condom could be removed that way; it was actually pretty impressive, setting aside the fact that it was a batshit crazy thing to do.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:26 AM
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You don't address a femme fatale as "dude," Tim. "Doll" is the preferred term.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:26 AM
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66

Thinking back, I've never actually broken up with anyone other than my wife. All my other relationships just faded away, when one person or the other moved and both of us knew without saying anything that neither of us had any interest in trying to make a long-distance go of it. I've broken up five or six times with my wife, although once since we married. None of those were especially bad breakups, though. Certainly not text-messages, or anything horrible like that.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:27 AM
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67

Split up with X with whom I was living - fairly mutual at the time, it'd been coming. He didn't move out for another couple of months, and it wasn't too bad. I'd arranged with a friend Y for him to move in once X had gone, and was having 'thoughts' about Y. Pretty much as soon as he moved in we got together and about a month later decided to get married.

One night soon after, realised I should tell X, so phoned him, got his flatmate (another friend) and told him with appropriate excitement, then got X on the phone and completely fucked up telling him appropriately at all, if indeed there is any appropriate fashion.

Got married 2 months after that and 3 days after our wedding X killed himself. Hmmm, guilt anyone?

(Really not my fault though, as his brother then killed himself as well 6 months later. Fucked up family.)


Posted by: no way | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:27 AM
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The third sentence of 66 should have an "only" between "although" and "once".


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:28 AM
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re: 64

Yeah, that has happened to me too. She stopped taking the pill for several weeks, invited me round to her place to 'talk'. Luckily no pregnancy ensued.


Posted by: John F Kennedy | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:29 AM
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67 wins. Damn.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:30 AM
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67: Jesus tapdancing Christ, that's rough on all concerned.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:33 AM
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72

Is 63 ID revealing because 17 + 24 is only legal in a limited number of states?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:34 AM
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Have I got a book for you, O poster of 67!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:34 AM
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11: Di Kotimy's beau had a sort of grand but inhuman magnificence, like Genghis Khan. The "forever" ring was such a nice touch.

Second-hand stories:

A. A guy I knew with no real career plans followed his GF cross-country to grad school. After a year or so she said, "I don't really think that I need someone like you in my life". Another Genghis Khan type.

B. My neighbor here just fell in love with a magical woman who maxed his credit cards, got him to quit his job to retire with an inadequate pension, moved in and out of his house in a rage five times, and finally called 9/11 and accuse him of assaulting her. He had to spend tw nights in jail and was barred from his house for two days. Right now he's filing bankruptcy and defaulting on his house payments.

My own bitter stories are two initial rejections and a bad marriage follwed by a bad custody-sharing. I did jilt my Chinese girlfriend when I was 38 because by that time I didn't trust myself to be good to her.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:37 AM
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I broke up with my first serious boyfriend when I realized that I wasn't as straight as I had first surmised (and did it appropriately, in person, and he was about as understanding as one might expect a person to reasonably be given the circumstances). Which seems reasonable, but gets more absurd as I add layers: we were in undergrad, and had just moved into a house (with other housemates), where we lived together - awkwardly - for the rest of the year, and at the time of the breakup I was really just breaking up with him so I could date a girl. A girl I'd met at girl scout camp (we were counsellors).

In retrospect, I am shocked he could be civil to me at all. This is really not a recommended practice.


Posted by: Margaret Thatcher | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:37 AM
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re: 72

No. I have mentioned it under non-presidential cover before (without mentioning the breakup).


Posted by: John F Kennedy | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:39 AM
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I once broke up with a guy by phone (he lived in another city) the night before he was to come to town for a delayed Valentine's Day celebration and my birthday. In the course of the very painful conversation, I found out he'd of course already bought flowers and chocolates. In my defense, the relationship was doomed at that point, even though we'd kept it going on a surface level. And at least I waited until after Valentine's Day, although not until after we'd celebrated it together. Ugh.


Posted by: James Buchanan | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:40 AM
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"and finally called 9/11 and accuse him of assaulting her."
People still use that as an excuse for all kinds of bad acts.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:40 AM
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Girl Scout camps teem with predatory lesbian counselors. Probably its best that they prey on one another.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:43 AM
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75: It's surprisingly easy to be civil to someone when the video sales are covering your rent and all incidental booze expenses.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:43 AM
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79: Go on...


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:45 AM
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I'd been seeing a guy for about a month, and we came back to my apartment. He broke up with me in one sentence, and then fell asleep in my bed. I was infuriated that he was happily sleeping, so I went and got a glass of water and poured it in his ear.

He woke up, and was really angry, which made me feel better. Then we both went to sleep and he left in the morning.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:47 AM
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81: The National Review took care of that one:

So why isn't the Girl Scouts, like the Boy Scouts, being sued and protested against for not allowing lesbian Scout leaders? Because they have them. The Girl Scouts does not have "a discrimination policy," as they like to put it -- Girl Scouts doors are open to all, gay Scout leaders and girls.

Girl Scout policy forbids sex on Girl Scouts time. But the book On My Honor: Lesbians Reflect on Their Scouting Experience, published in 1997, is filled with coming-of-age stories sparked by gay encounters in the Girl Scouts.

Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:47 AM
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so I went and got a glass of water and poured it in his ear.

As if one might be poisoned through the ear!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:48 AM
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83: Interesting. Is that published by Tales of the Convent School Ltd.?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:49 AM
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No, by Madwoman Press.

But then you weren't really asking, were you.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:50 AM
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He broke up with me in one sentence, and then fell asleep in my bed.

This sounds like an excellent way to wake up without a penis.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:50 AM
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OFE, thanks for the e-mail.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:51 AM
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Years ago, I went with a girlfriend of three years to a family wedding (my side). Several of my relatives inquired whether we were going to be next. We spent the drive back (I-95, much of it on the New Jersey Turnpike) having an intense relationship talk about whether we *were* headed for being married, and broke up (broadly speaking, at my initiative) when we got home.

I do not recommend having intense relationship talks at I-95 traffic speed and density.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:52 AM
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But the editor of that collection also, twelve years prior, put out a collection called Lesbian Nuns: Breaking Silence.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:52 AM
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64: Similarly, an ex once attempted to get me pregnant during break up sex. The nausea of extended anxiety is remarkably difficult to distinguish from morning sickness. The good folks at EPT, however, made a fortune off me for a couple of weeks.


Posted by: Madeleine Albright | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:52 AM
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I had a friend's marriage break up at our Christmas tree-trimming party (kinda -- in and around our tree-trimming party) a couple of years back. A very good longterm friend of mine (A, because the pronouns are going to make the story unreadable) had been married for about six months to a charming and friendly but kind of narcissistic Actor/Producer type. A was in her first year as a NYC teacher, and it was killing her; she was also selling tickets and throwing parties for his theater group. She had also busted him making out on the couch with a member of the theater group, but it had been glossed over with 'Actors are like that -- we're very expressive' or something.

A ended up falling for another teacher at her school, and told Actor Man that she was leaving him for the other teacher the morning before our party. She did not show up at the party, but Actor Man did, in the hopes of either finding her or cementing his position with us, as friends of the marriage, as warm and friendly and forgiving and open to any way to heal the marriage. Also at the party were some other very old friends of A's, including a friend of hers since high school then dating an exboyfriend of A's who still had warm feelings for A.

The three of them (Actor Man, A's old friend, and A's ex-boyfriend) ended up smoking tensely in our bedroom for most of the party, emerging occasionally for beer or snacks, while all the other guests, mostly neighbors or parents of the kids' friends, wondered what on earth was going on.

Not a successful party.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:53 AM
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My worst breakup (where I was not the one doing the breaking up) was chronicled online by my ex-, 8+ years later. I know it was the 'worst' because she said it was. Ah high school! So much useless angst.


Posted by: arthegall | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:53 AM
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nausea of extended anxiety

Hoo-boy, that was a tense couple of weeks.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:54 AM
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Ben, I thought your Reno line was very funny.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:56 AM
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18: "You can do way better than him anyway."

I've heard that kind of story several times, including cases when the family keeps in touch with the ex after the breakup, but loses touch with the blood relation.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:57 AM
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I have broken up with three or four different people by sitting them down calmly and saying, "You really don't like me as much as you say you do. Look at how unhappy you are around me! Wouldn't life be easier for you if we broke up?" They cry, and try to convince me I'm wrong, and then realize they're miserable.

And of course, for the, like, two of you who didn't hear this when it happened, my ex Max broke up with me after two and a half years (that were still going very well) with a one-sentence email saying "I thought I'd have more to say than this, but two and a half years is too long for me to be in a relationship." He never replied to my calm response, and I never heard from or saw him again.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:57 AM
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Thanks heebie.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:57 AM
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Having been around situations kind of like 97a, I find the trouble there is distinguishing "Look at how unhappy you are around me!" from "Look at how unhappy you are!". What about the people who are miserable with you, and more miserable without?


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 10:01 AM
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I think I presidentially mentioned before that an ex broke up with me by e-mail after 12 years. I probably didn't say that the e-mail also included a "don't ring me to try and talk about it" line. I didn't stay friends with this person.

Some else did give me the heave by text message but I'd only been seeing them for about two months so I considered it a bit rude rather than beyond the pale.


Posted by: Chester A Arthur | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 10:03 AM
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Bobbitting is supposed to be a common breakup practice in SE Asia (as my friend's Cambodian wife informed him). In Taiwan tearing the guy's clothes to shreds or pouring gasoline on him and setting him on fire were not exactly common, but not strange.

These weren't dating relationships, though, the way we think of it. Rejected women are in a very bad place in Chinese society.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 10:03 AM
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I dated a girl for about a month many years ago who spoke about her most recent ex pretty much daily. I mentioned mine one night in passing, and not in a positive way either. Girl freaks out, talks about how I'm obviously still in love with my ex and I can't stop talking about her and I can't live without her.

So, we'd had a conversation the day before about how she was late for her period, and how she'd get it taken care of if it turned out she was pregnant. Anyway, about 30 seconds into the freakout from nowhere, girl stormed out of my apartment with the parting words, "If I'm pregnant, you're paying half!"

Still the most exciting breakup line I've ever experienced.


Posted by: Joe Drymala | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 10:05 AM
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so I went and got a glass of water and poured it in his ear.

Yay!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 10:05 AM
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Another friend's girlfriend broke up with him by laving town with another guy with no forwarding address -- a guywho had just sold my friend a car which turned out to be a complete lemon.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 10:05 AM
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99: With most of them, I really wouldn't know. I seem to have two different potential effects on the men I date. Being around me either sends them into a spiral of intense self-loathing or makes them so deeply calm and content it feels like boredom. I'm really easygoing and nice to the people I date, and it can create strong unpredictable reactions.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 10:06 AM
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A friend of mine lived with a musician bf for a couple of years until he broke up by calling her while on tour and telling her abruptly to pack up her stuff and move out before he got back.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 10:09 AM
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I'm waiting to see the first break-up via Unfogged comment. Better or worse than text message?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 10:12 AM
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Catherine, I've had enough with your teasing. We're through.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 10:13 AM
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Cripes, the pregnancy thing weirds me out a lot. Pants, if y'all really do have a Seekrit Gay Indoctrination camp, I'd like to sign up.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 10:21 AM
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My understanding is that Pants gets a toaster for each recruit.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 10:22 AM
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What would you do with so many toasters?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 10:23 AM
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Seriously, Tim? That's all it took?


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 10:25 AM
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105: The "I'm too nice" theory reminds me of something. What could it be? Ah, yes...

Smithers: What would each of you say is your worst quality?
Man 1: Well, I am a workaholic.
Man 2: I push myself too hard.
Homer: Well, it takes me a long time to learn anything, I'm kind of a goof-off...


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 10:25 AM
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111: You'd be surprised at how much toast they go through at SGI Camp.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 10:27 AM
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112: Call it the straw that arched the camel's back. No doubt I'll find that gay people suck, too, and end up in Emerson's Army of Acquiescent Despair.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 10:28 AM
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113: You caught me. I'm hoping y'all will give me a promotion.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 10:29 AM
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I've broken up with someone by not calling. At the time, I hadn't even decided it was a breakup. That decision came about three weeks after I last saw her. By that time, I thought calling to tell her would be kind of awkward.

I have since reformed from my thoughtless and cruel ways, and now feel pretty bad about that.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 10:30 AM
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116: They say Machine Gun Kelly was nice, too, unless he happened to have a machine gun in his hands.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 10:32 AM
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I'm ashamed to say I broke up with my first ever girlfriend by just not calling. It came back to bite me on the ass when we hooked up again a year and a half later and she used that as a reason not to get back together with me. Karma!

My worst breakup story isn't really bad because of the breakup itself, but rather the twelve months of drama because of the triangle involved. Seven years later there are still aftershocks.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 10:35 AM
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Once, I was seeing a guy who was totally wrong for me, and I kept saying so. He kept inviting me to do stuff, and I kept politely saying no. So finally I sent him an email that was just strings of crazy, disconnected things ending with "I AM COMPLETELY MOTHERFUCKING INSANE AND YOU WANT NO PART OF THIS." He responded, "I have never been more aroused in my life. Please come over right now." I just stopped responding then.

IME, being mean doesn't communicate any more clearly than by being nice. Not communicating at all is sometimes the only option.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 10:42 AM
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118: Or a shiv. (This way to the cafeteria!)


Posted by: arthegall | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 10:44 AM
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Well, I normally might not have posted here, but after someone else mentioned a (close to) Valentine's Day breakup in 77, how can I not?

My ex and I had two breakups. The first, in early January of that year, was average -- not great, not terrible. We had been growing apart, I said we should break up, we talked, we both cried, we agreed to stay friends, and then we went back to her place for the night as had been originally planned, because we were going to keep being friends and after all, neither of us had to go anywhere in the morning. After more talking that night, we agreed that breaking up was not right for us.

Right around a month later -- on the Tuesday after Valentine's Day, to be exact -- we talked by IM, since by then I was back at school in another state. It was initiated by her this time, and it was very similar in content, but was much more cheerful on both our ends. More cheerful at the time, that is. Over the next couple days, though, it sank in, and it certainly wasn't helped by her professions of love for a guy she had been "just friends" with for months. On Thursday, we spoke again, and it came out that she had had sex with him several times. She was so distraught and mad at herself for cheating on me that she talked about killing herself. I took that seriously, and while talking to her, I had the guys in the dorm room next to mine call two different neighbors of hers to make sure she didn't do anything self-destructive while we were talking, or something. That was just the first of many ways I mishandled things with relationships in general and with her in particular since the breakup.


Posted by: Calvin Coolidge | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 10:48 AM
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Oh yeah, more memories:

I broke up with a guy on Valentine's day. I knew it was coming, and I couldn't handle the insincerity of pretending to be mushy.

I broke up with a guy in college, around Halloween. Over Christmas break he drove from Michigan to Florida and showed up on my parent's doorstep unannounced. That really, really sucked. (My dad told him he could sleep on the couch for one night and then needed to leave.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 10:52 AM
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115: do they ever!

Sorry, had to.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 10:59 AM
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My break-up from my longest relationship was very bizarre. I have now discovered that very long relationships usually hiccup to an end, rather than having a clean break, like I did. I was dating this guy for four years, went to a college that was beneath me so we could be together, lived together for a while, etc. We thought we were going to get married, soulmates, all that nonsense (I was 17 when I started dating him, ok?). I was pretty unhappy for the last year of the relationship, and then one day I went over to his house for sex, and I walked into his room. I hadn't planned on breaking up with him that day, but was going to do it soon. When I walked in he said "is there something wrong?" I said "yeah." He said "are you breaking up with me?" I said "yeah." Then we sat and watched Seinfeld, I cried, I gave him his keys, and went and got a sandwich from Sonic. We never kissed, hugged, or had sex again, although we did see each other at band practice for the next month before they decided to kick me out.

He moped around his house being miserable, writing me emails saying he'd never love anyone again &c for about two months, at which time he started dating someone else. They got married a couple weeks ago.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 11:03 AM
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Hi m. leblanc! How's studying or dod you take the Bar exam already?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 11:06 AM
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I had been dating a girl for close to a year, but had never really developed strong feelings for her. We had made plans to go to a party up in the mountains, but they were almost derailed because she'd been calling around to everybody in our social circle and telling them the party wasn't happening after all. When we arrived, the only people who had actually showed up were the subset of my friends that really didn't like her. She immediately got so drunk that she bit me (hard!) on the arm, and then spent the rest of the weekend drinking alone in our cabin. She didn't understand why I broke up with her when we got home, and spent the next several months convinced that I was secretly planning to blackmail her with pictures of the bite mark on my arm.


Posted by: Ulysses S. Grant | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 11:10 AM
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Batshit insane girlfriend no. 1, aka the Antichrist (not the one who tried to get pregnant), showed up early one morning post-breakup, ostensibly to use the phone (she lived nearby, and her phone service had been cut off). She was semi-hysterical, having just missed a flight home for Christmas, and when she saw the name and phone number of a long-ago ex next to my phone, she kicked me in the mouth as I was lying in bed. She called me at my parents' place a couple times over the holidays to threaten suicide.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 11:21 AM
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she kicked me in the mouth

My first serious girlfriend once slapped me so hard my head rang, she was annoyed because I was unhappy at the fact that she was sitting on some other guy's knee. Being stupid and 16, I told her to do it again, and she did. That relationship lasted another 2 months.


Posted by: John F Kennedy | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 11:24 AM
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126: Hi! Studying is fine, just excruciatingly boring. I've taken up doing free legal work for my old clinic professor so my brain doesn't rot. T minus 19 days.

I don't have internet at home any more, which makes for a lot more studying and a lot less internet bloggy fun times.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 11:28 AM
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I've mentioned this before, but the Antichrist also cuffed me so hard on the ear she ruptured my eardrum. Somehow, the breakup took months.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 11:28 AM
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You people are all insane.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 11:31 AM
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I can't hear you, Labs. Try talking into my good ear.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 11:33 AM
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Studying is fine, just excruciatingly boring. I've taken up doing free legal work for my old clinic professor so my brain doesn't rot. T minus 19 days.

Ah I remember those days. Good luck with the studying and the exam, m. leblanc.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 11:33 AM
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Pants, I'm telling you: now's the time for a recruiting drive.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 11:34 AM
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Tim, you don't actually need an invitation. Just ask.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 11:35 AM
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I have broken up with a girlfriend via voicemail. Perhaps not my finest hour, but in my defense we were not terribly serious anyway, and she was hard to get a hold of. We were pleasant to each other the one time we saw each other after that fact.

In college, I broke up with a girlfriend via the accepted, normal way: face-to-face, and everything. She clearly had no idea it was coming, thought it was because she wasn't doing the right stuff in bed (not the case -- I was having some difficulties which were entirely inexperience-related), and burst into tears, and then I spent the next hour uncomfortably trying to be supportive of her as she wept on my bed. Awkward. We stayed friends, she went on to get into a great relationship with another guy, and I went on to ask myself how I could have been so neurotic as to break up with her.

One girlfriend just sort of stopped returning my calls (and I'm fine with that when it's like, you've had a few dates, but we'd probably been too long together for that to be acceptable). So I eventually left her a voice-mail that said, "I take it I'm dumped. Okay, well, have a nice life." She kept randomly texting me to wish me happy holidays on holidays, and at one point emailed me out-of-the-blue to find out if I was still unemployed, and she had just been laid off and (I hypothesize) wanted someone to hang out with/hook up with during the workweek. I was employed, and nothing came of it.

This one's second-hand: A happy little college kid and his girlfriend go to a New Year's party. College boy thinks everything's going great. The countdown happens. Midnight. He leans in for the kiss -- she leans away and says, "We should talk."


Posted by: John Quincy Adams | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 11:37 AM
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Tim's coyness is a well-known problem, slol.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 11:38 AM
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I once wrote frightening verse to a bucktoothed girl in Luxembourg.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 11:38 AM
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My first girlfriend was Indian, with very conservative parents. This left her with some very puzzling ideas about sex. Namely, she didn't have a very firm grasp on what it was. I realized this after breaking up with her, when she launched a pressure campaign to get me to pay for her morning after pill. "But," I said, "we never had sex!" Didn't matter. She was going to follow me home from school every day until I paid up.


Posted by: Ulysses S. Grant | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 11:39 AM
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Do they make morning after eyedrops for, you know, eyebabies?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 11:40 AM
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Apropos.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 11:47 AM
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When I was in 10th grade, a girl pulled the the "I'm gay" card on me. I got ROYALLY pissed and walked straight out of the school building and chain smoked like five cigarettes. I later got the bright idea to try and set her up with one of my older lesbian friends to call her out on her bullshit -- it totally worked.


Posted by: Dijon Bray | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 11:50 AM
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-- it totally worked.

Do you mean that it worked to call her out on her bullshit, or are you saying that the setup was successful?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 11:54 AM
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Or both: she admitted she wasn't a lesbian but was still forced into gay sex slavery?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 11:56 AM
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(After y'all hated on my profile, I finally wrote one that's fairly cute and funny. Thank you.)


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 11:58 AM
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59 is very funny.

I was once left with four hungry kids and a crop in the field.


Posted by: reuben | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 11:59 AM
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I once dated a woman named Ruby who, despite my most hearfelt pleas, took her love to town.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 12:06 PM
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Me being bad:

I broke up with Mr. B. on Valentine's Day, from England, on the phone. Not sure if it's a defense or an additional condemnation that I didn't *know* it was V. Day. After I did it he said, hurt, "I thought you were calling b/c it's V. Day." I said, "oh shit, it is?"

Mr. B. being bad:

He was dating some other chick while he lived in Sacramento (I was half a continent away, we were both allowed to date other people). I went home for the summer, and he couldn't see me on weekends b/c he had plans with her. I got annoyed. Finally he had a free evening, I drove up, he broke up with me, I drove back at 2 am hitting 110 mph on the I-5 while screaming and punching the roof of the car.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 12:12 PM
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Ned, you should post that list. In the meantime, my nomination: "He's a Dick," by Golden Smog.

"One Day", The Fall
"Headshrinker", Oasis
"You Suck", The Murmurs
"The Best of Jill Hives", Guided by Voices (at least I think that's what that song is about)

The only other one I can think of now is "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right".

Basically I find them interesting because I think contempt is an underutilized emotion in popular songs.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 12:14 PM
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Way to integrate the driving-too-fast thread, b.

I've certainly had my share of inappropriate automotive behavior during and after breakups. Hit 90 on Fell St. in San Francisco at one point. In my defense, she was really pretty mean to me.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 12:17 PM
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Amazingly, I didn't even get a ticket. I remember thinking at the time that if a cop pulled me over I'd probably scream at him and end up in jail.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 12:20 PM
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Mr. B. being bad:

From your description, I'm not seeing what he did that was bad.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 12:20 PM
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The only other one I can think of now is "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right".

The final verse of that song was the text of my suicide note when I attempted to do the deed.

When my little brother was in Jr. High he broke up with a girl and then played her "Bark at the Moon".


Posted by: Clownaesthesiologist | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 12:21 PM
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I was this girl's first boyfriend, sophomore year of college. She was a very sardonic girl who intentionally showed no emotion and had a really unpredictable sense of humor. As far as I could tell she broke up with me because she had really strong feelings that having suddenly become a sexual person was totally out of character for her. She said her friends were all surprised at how fast it happened, and she felt embarrassed around them when she thought about me, and she felt embarrassed around me when she thought of her friends. It seemed like it had been going well, but then after a couple sexual encounters she freaked out. "THIS ISN'T WHO I'VE BEEN ALL MY LIFE. I NEED SOME TIME TO GET USED TO THIS."

About 3 months later she was much more comfortable with her second boyfriend, and had some new friends.


Posted by: Kazys Grinius | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 12:25 PM
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From your description, I'm not seeing what he did that was bad.

I think she means that he was wrong to spend weeks waiting for her to be available to drive up and see him, only to break up with her after she had gone to all the effort of driving there.

So this would be a situation where depersonalizing the breakup would be the right thing to do.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 12:26 PM
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154: You should totally sue Dylan then for stealing your words.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 12:26 PM
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153: Kinda what 156 said, but more, really, that it was cool for him to date this other chick, but not cool for him to decide that he wanted to break up with me because of her. You have to have *principles* if you're going to do this open relationship shit, you know?

(And before you make fun of me, think about it: it's okay that I have a boyfriend as long as Mr. B.'s cool with it, right? But if I dumped him for the boyfriend, then y'all would (rightly) think I was a shit.)


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 12:30 PM
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157 gets the arrow of time backwards.


Posted by: Clownaesthesiologist | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 12:30 PM
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158: Sounds like something my friends the swingers would say.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 12:35 PM
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158: but wait a minute, isn't that the kind of thing that happens in every single open relationship ever?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 12:38 PM
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I'm sorry SCMT but my recruitment days were over five years ago. I've got some extra toasters you can have but they're about it. Besides, why rely on an agent? This is a DIY age. Read some wikipedia, do some web searches and put yourself on the market. Think of the savings in brokerage fees.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 12:43 PM
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Worst breakup. We'd been together for years, but were drifting apart in our interests, such that sex was becoming mechanical, a sort of wait-until-it's-over experience -- an incipient death-knell for me.

I cheated on him, and not far from home, but rather close. He discovered it when he found my diaphragm (this was years ago) missing while I was out of town for the weekend; he then read through my journal and found his evidence.

He phoned me at work to say that I should come home immediately after work. Okay; when I arrived, he slapped me, split my lip, told me I was an "evil person," took my house and car keys (jointly-owned car) and threw me out of the house, locking the door behind me.

Needless to say, I continue to carry guilt, shame, puzzlement about my egregious behavior. I apologized to him in a variety of ways -- none accepted, bare tolerance at best. A week or so later I was admitted to the house to pick up my stuff, which he'd thrown willy-nilly onto the side porch, complete with torn-up photographs. Some of the latter I still have.

I've never been so ashamed of myself in my life. But you know, this isn't a cheating-on story, really a break-up story. I figured out a while ago that I did that in order to blow up something that I couldn't find another way to end. Fucking idiot.


Posted by: Jane Adams | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 12:44 PM
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"This is a DIY age."

Sigh... Tell me about it.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 12:50 PM
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163: I reckon it's sexist of me to think so, but while women who are cheated can go all Donna Elvira/She-Hulk, men ought to coldly pull themselves together and walk out without incident.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 12:51 PM
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161: I hope not.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 12:52 PM
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Contempt is an underutilized emotion in popular songs.

Young feller, Mick Jagger and Bob Dylan are before your time, but you oughta look them up. "Idiot Wind" isn't a very good song, but it gets the idea across.

There's some kind of downward progression between "Ghosts of electricity hang in the bones of her face" and "Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your teeth". Not the same woman, however.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 12:54 PM
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163, 165: He split your lip and locked you out of your own home and car, and *you* continue to carry guilt, shame and puzzlement? This is so wrong. Not that cheating is good, or an advisable solution to relationship problems, or anything. But holy shit.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 12:56 PM
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I noticed at the ceremony, your corrupt ways had finally made you blind
I can't remember your face anymore, your mouth has changed,
your eyes don't look into mine


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 12:56 PM
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163: I don't particularly agree. If he'd done that, it might not have fully registered with me how unforgiveable (yes) what I'd done was. There's a level on which I don't care what the explanation was: I hurt him very badly. If I was (apparently) too fucked up to see that in advance, well.

The lying is much, much worse than the cheating.

But fwiw, my mother agreed with you: she found his slapping me that hard to be simply beyond the pale.


Posted by: Jane Adams | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 12:59 PM
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167: Sure, but you don't see enough of that nowadays.

I had a discussion once in which we tried to think of a hit song, ANY hit song, from the past ten years, by a white rock band whose lyrics didn't consist of whining or otherwise saying "Woe is me". It was harder than we expected, and every counterexample we could think of was a band with an unusual amount of rap or dance-music influence.

It was almost as hard, but not impossible to think of a hit rap song whose lyrics didn't consist of boasting.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:00 PM
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171.2: no kidding.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:02 PM
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I'm musing on the fact that so many of the guys in this thread have had women smack them.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:02 PM
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Speaking of Dylan, "Positively 4th Street" would probably be the best break-up song for certain especially bitter break-ups.


Posted by: Clownaesthesiologist | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:02 PM
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It does seem surprising that there would be so much more violence by women against men in our milieu here than vice versa.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:03 PM
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I've had a woman smack me, but I wasn't dating her. As far as I can remember I've never had somebody I was dating hit me.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:04 PM
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163, so sad. Ouch, ouch, ouch.


Posted by: Counterfly | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:04 PM
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162: That's the kind of attitude that's going to keep the Gay American electoral numbers around 4% rather than 40%.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:06 PM
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171 -- "So You Think You're in Love" and "Creeped Out" were both (so I understand) fairly successful in the college radio market. Lily-white band, little hip-hop influence, non-whiny songs.


Posted by: Clownaesthesiologist | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:06 PM
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It does seem surprising that there would be so much more violence by women against men in our milieu here than vice versa.

Is that a joke?


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:07 PM
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175: Surprising? Really? In such a congregation of tough Joss Whedon-fan gals and highly self-conscious wusses, modern American liberal plumage?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:07 PM
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Not really -- I'd expect that there are a lot more women who think of slapping someone as pretty much the same thing as shouting at them: an expression of emotion, but not something you think of as likely to cause injury. The reason you don't slap someone is that it's really rude, not that you might hurt them. Men are a lot more likely to think of hitting someone as something serious.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:09 PM
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168: No, no, listen. This is why I almost didn't relate this.

I'm ashamed because I violated the principles he & I shared: honesty, no hiding, no fucked-up shenanigans, communicate communicate. His own family taught me these things; I was as a daughter to them.

His slapping me was hurt. Locking me out of the house & car was ... the message was that my behavior was unacceptable, hurting a loved one so badly when it obviously was going to result in that was not going to be accepted or forgiven. Harsh, yes, but I was being thrown out of the commons.

I'm puzzled by what the hell I thought I was doing.

Just locally, he was physically ill in the aftermath, throwing up, unable to eat. Dealing with me in the house would have been intolerable. We had talked about getting married, after all.


Posted by: Jane Adams | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:09 PM
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"She's Your Lover Now" is a pretty fine entry in the category of Dylan kiss-off songs.


Posted by: too tired to work | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:10 PM
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175: Hardly. What's surprising is that the guys seem to take it as a matter of course--bad behavior, but not worth getting up in arms about. That and the fact that I kinda feel the same way. I can't decide if this is wrong (I'll cop it it's being a double standard), or if it's about the issue of relative sense of threat and safety, or if it's (as I'd like to think, though these are murky waters) a recognition that there *is* a difference between "real" abuse and a bad, but not exactly criminal, outburst in the midst of high feelings.

Obviously busting someone's eardrum is over the line. But, though it's best for purposes of policy to say hitting is a no-no, period, I kind of suspect that well, intimate relationships *can* be highly emotional and y'know, people can lose it, and if it only happens once and no one gets really hurt, y'know, water under the bridge.

Or am I rationalizing my own incredible sexism?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:10 PM
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Well the women here do have all kinds of stories about being with bad men. But apparently not violent men.

Since it seems like every woman has significant experience with being sexually harassed on the street (I still find that baffling; not since early in high school have I seen that happen), I thought there might also be more domestic violence than a sensitive fellow like I would have imagined.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:12 PM
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Or am I rationalizing my own incredible sexism?

Yes. My personal belief is that there's ever anything more than token violence in a relationship, you should walk. But I didn't always think that way, so I think your explanation isn't uncommon.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:15 PM
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But, though it's best for purposes of policy to say hitting is a no-no, period, I kind of suspect that well, intimate relationships *can* be highly emotional and y'know, people can lose it, and if it only happens once and no one gets really hurt, y'know, water under the bridge.

Or am I rationalizing my own incredible sexism?

I think the second question can be answered entirely by whether you're willing to apply the "if it only happens once and no one gets really hurt" standard to male-on-female violence, as well. (Which obviously as LB notes generally has a greater chance of crossing over into "someone really gets hurt" territory, but, you know, we're I asking about the theoretical case.)


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:15 PM
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I definitely have a double standard. When that girl smacked me I refused to hit her back. But really, if I hit her it would have hurt a hell of a lot more than her hitting me did, so I'm not sure if it's sexist, or just an awareness that I'm a strong guy, and hitting somebody weaker than myself is a shitty thing to do.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:15 PM
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167: John, I think your boomer credentials may have to be revoked.

You attempted to quote Dylan:
"Ghosts of electricity hang in the bones of her face" -- aargh!

"The ghost of electricity howls in the bones of her face" a little better, no?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:17 PM
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I am guessing a lot of us have been victims of domestic violence. But who wants to be a downer?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:17 PM
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185: I don't think you're rationalizing sexism. But part of it is sexist and part of it is so deeply ingrained sexism that it's really hard to get past. Aside from the fact that no violence occurs in a vacuum (i.e., there's a lot more of 'don't hit girls' than 'don't hit', so overcoming the former probably means more rage), there's usually a pretty signficant size difference. We're a bit extreme, but shivbunny has about 80 pounds on me; I haul off and hit him, unless I'm aiming for a weak spot, I probably don't really hurt him. Were he to hit me, I'd be in a lot of pain.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:17 PM
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What Tweety said. I could have snapped the Antichrist like a twig; it didn't seem fair. I did grab her and hold her down on the floor until she calmed down.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:18 PM
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But who wants to be a downer?

AHEM ........IS THIS NOT THE BAD BREAKUP THREAD?


Posted by: OPINIONATED GRANDMA | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:18 PM
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I had something snarky to say, but 185 confronted it well enough and I'm placated. As recounted before, a woman once got mad enough at me to hit and throw things at me, but ineptly, and our size and strength disparity was enormous.

I was shocked, and shaking afterwards because of the violence of her feeling, but not while she was actually attacking me, when I was almost laughing. Never in danger. And she was mad as hell, not coldly attacking me when I was vulnerable.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:19 PM
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I've beaten the living shit out of a couple walls in the course of various relationships ending. I tried to beat the living shit out of a doorframe once, but I'd have to say it won that fight.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:19 PM
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194: I've been waiting for the "things we've endured repeatedly in relationships without breaking up like a sensible person" thread.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:20 PM
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I once kicked a girlfriend in the shins, literally under the table, in an attempt to get her to stop telling an embarrassing story about me. Not only did she keep telling the story, but she had no idea what I was trying to convey with the kick, and was mad at me afterwards.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:20 PM
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Addendum to 197: ...which would make it the "good break-up" thread.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:21 PM
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Emotions may run high, and perhaps higher as gender roles depart from tradition, but hitting women isn't acceptable, no matter how much of a sunken-chested, bangs-wearing emo wimp one may be.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:22 PM
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I'll cop it it's being a double standard.

The toughest race/gender lesson for a literal-minded white guy like me was to learn that there is a difference between identical treatment and equal treatment.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:23 PM
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198 reminds me of something....in real life it's almost impossible to convey any kind of nonverbal signal aside from a simple hand gesture, no matter how obvious such signals may seem in movies.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:23 PM
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197: oh my could I rock some presidentiality in that thread.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:24 PM
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What about a weak guy hitting a strong woman?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:24 PM
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Yeah, I think the physical disparity thing is obviously a big deal. But 183's kind of what I'm getting at. And I don't think that 187 is really contradicting what I'm saying (even if Tim thinks it is)--obviously, if there's "more than token violence" you should walk (although it's not difficult to imagine being in love with someone who is violent, and for that and a ton of other reasons, not walking, blah blah). I'm thinking about the "I cheated and he/she smacked me" kind of thing.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:24 PM
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How about this: You shouldn't hit somebody who you can easily hurt, but who can't easily hurt you.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:26 PM
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186: It's hard to know if there's in fact less domestic violence or if it's a matter of how we define it or if it's a matter of it just not getting talked about.

There's bitchphd's rationalization in 185 that it's not so significant if it's just once and in high emotion. I do agree that's something a couple could get past -- if truly, just once, and all that -- but I'd still call it domestic violence. And you probably don't talk about it in those circumstances because, you know, if you stay together you don't go around telling folks your partner once hit you.

The situation I mentioned in 91 sits in my mind as a form of domestic violence. Consensual sex, not consensual keep going without a condom after being reminded one would be required. But, no blood or bruises or threats, so not exactly what you conventionally think of as domestic violence.

And of course there's that tendency of victims to not see DV as DV because they've been convinced they deserve it. And thus are not likely to tell the tales for fear of revealing their sense that they deserve it.

Okay, done reacting. Please resume funny break-up stories!


Posted by: Madeleine Albright | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:26 PM
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204: Some kinds of weakness are worse than others.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:26 PM
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It's a weird issue. I'm with Tim on the 'more than token violence is a reason to walk', but also kind of with B on hitting someone when very angry doesn't necessarily make you the worst person in the world. Like, Jane's ex -- while hitting someone (other than self defense) is pretty much always wrong, and hitting someone and expecting them to stay with you is fucked up, I don't think she's insane for taking it as a measure of his hurt, rather than as proof that he was always a monster.

On the double-standard issue, it's weird. It's hard for me not to interpret most violence coming from a woman directed at a man as 'token' -- even if we're talking about blows of equal force, the fact that the man is probably much stronger means that any violence includes an implicit threat of injury that doesn't operate in the other direction. But I hate the social implications of that, so I end up thinking that violence should be regarded as equally unacceptable in either direction, even if the reason for that is a social fiction.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:27 PM
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198 cracks me up. Mr. B. is SO bad at those non-verbal signals. He's got a tendency to say, out loud, things like "what? Is something wrong."

No, no, dear. Please continue DRAWING ATTENTION TO SOMETHING I'D RATHER NOT HAVE ATTENTION DRAWN TO IT.

Thank you.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:27 PM
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I'm thinking about the "I cheated and he/she smacked me" kind of thing.

I wonder what the dynamics of violence are in same-sex relationships.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:31 PM
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201: I'm very "easy answer" on physical violence. If a black guy hits a white guy, I'm actually OK with the white guy hitting him back. As a general rule, I think that once someone lays his hands on you in a meaningfully violent way, (a) your response is dealer's choice, (b) it is almost always better to just walk away if you can, whether the attacker be male or female, and whatever the relationship between you, and (c) there are really strong social taboos about a man hitting a woman for really, really good reasons; I'm very, very glad of them, and happy to have them folded into the male response to female violence even if it means a free pass for women who get violent.

I'm pretty anti-violence, though. In my (limited) experience, that stuff ramps up pretty quickly.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:32 PM
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The other day I saw a guy get punched in the face by his girlfriend as he was making out with another girl. I had absolutely no problem with it, and in fact found it kind of satisfying in a karmic way. If a guy had done that to his girlfriend, I would probably either intervene or call the police. So okay, double standard, and probably sexist. Does that make me wrong, though?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:32 PM
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I had a couple of friends who had been together eight years and were about to get married when the woman showed up to a coffee date with several bruises on her legs. I asked her WTF, and she said she gave as good as she got, that they'd been beating the shit out of each other pretty regularly for years. They're comparably strong, so she kept saying it was okay.

But it really wasn't. They were working out a lot of anger about sexual and emotional problems by kicking the shit out of each other, not talking about it. She told me they hadn't had a conversation about their sexual disfunction ever, because it was easier just to fight everything out.

They decided it wouldn't be that way when they were married, and started talking through things, like negotiating an open relationship. AFAIK, they've stopped beating each other up, at least.

I really don't think similar muscle mass makes violence a reasonable method of dealing with relationship problems.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:33 PM
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It's not just about the size difference, though I'm sure everyone knows that. I've been hit by two women, but both were my size, and hit like, well, girls. If I'd have hit them, well... guys tend to know that what ends with your hand starts in your toes and works its way up. Most of us have been taught how to hit, and have practiced it on each other (even if only as children). My fear is that my unconscious knowledge that it's the legs and ass that drive a good punch, and that your whole body goes into it, would accidentally come to fruition in a slap. Even as I imagine doing it, I can feel my hips and shoulders turning to get that extra bit of torque - not because I would want to or need to, but because that's just what my body knows to do.

So while I'm not in principle against slapping a woman who's my size (please someone email that line to my mother), in practice I think it's a line that's best not crossed, because rather than being an expression of hurt, it would become a vehicle of hurt. (Whereas when a woman hits a man, it's probably less about really hurting him - with exceptions, of course - and more about signifying her pain and anger.)

I could be compeltely wrong about that last bit, of course.


Posted by: reuben | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:35 PM
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212 seems like a good summation of how I think about things, as well.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:35 PM
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211: From most of the lesbian relationships I know, especially between younger women, the "we're the same size" thing has been an excuse for the kind of constant violence my het friends practiced in 214. I don't know how many times I had to pick up one of my lesbian friends from her apartment at 3am and let her have at my medicine cabinet, but it was far too many.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:35 PM
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I had a discussion once in which we tried to think of a hit song, ANY hit song, from the past ten years, by a white rock band whose lyrics didn't consist of whining or otherwise saying "Woe is me".

Schism?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:35 PM
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I have a black belt in Tae Kwon Do (though I'm so many years out of practice that maybe I should demote myself a couple ranks in conversation), so the violence taboos are a little skewed in my head. I think I'm not very willing to hit anyone because of all that stuff about violence being the last resort and the responsibility of being able to do genuine damage and all that shit, but I think I'm equally willing to hit men or women because they were equally willing to hit me during all those years of classes. Most women in my life haven't been the stereotypical shrinking violets (some have, though), so that reinforced the same standard as Tae Kwon Do, or at least didn't contradict it.

Thankfully, this has never been put to the test in a relationship, so it's pretty hypothetical. I think I agree with the "if it only happens once and no one gets really hurt" standard in theory. In practice, though, how often is it really just once?


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:36 PM
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Yeah. I think the double-standard (or, at least a very high taboo on men hitting women) is justified by the strength disparity. In the interests of justice, I'd like to see a similarly high taboo on women hitting men, but the stakes really aren't the same.

And if we're talking about real self defense, anyone's allowed to hit anyone as much as necessary to protect themselves.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:36 PM
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211: I've known gay couples that got in pretty vicious physical fights that, in the retelling, sounded more like barroom brawls than what you'd ordinarily think of as a domestic dispute. Not a good thing.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:39 PM
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Can I just mention that it kind of cracks me up that this thread has evolved to "chick punching: pro or con?"

Con! Con, dammit! Con!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:40 PM
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Chick punching: con
Kitten punching: pro


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:41 PM
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I'm thinking about the "I cheated and he/she smacked me" kind of thing.

Thank you. Along with 191, 186, 185 and various others: reading my ex's slap (which happened to split my lip) as domestic violence is utterly wrong. Were we to have gotten back together, I suppose I might have addressed it. As it stood, it was very, very clear that there was no reconciliation in the air; that was part of the point. I never sought it. I'm not sure I'd have wanted it either, but not because of the slap.

But domestic violence? Nah. If nothing else, that guy was smaller than me. Perhaps stronger, but smaller, or at least equally-sized. Also a lover, not a violent person. It never occurred to me to be afraid of him.


Posted by: Jane Adams | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:41 PM
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222: Join the club. I feel like I've wandered into a meeting of the NFL Players Association.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:41 PM
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C'mon, everybody's con except in real self-defense; there's no real disagreement here.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:41 PM
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Oooh, do I hear a shout out to Galaxy Quest in 202?


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:42 PM
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226: Where's Vox Day when we need him?


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:44 PM
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224 is nuanced and correct.


Posted by: reuben | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:44 PM
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It is a weird issue for a hardline feminist, because it's an area where the biological differences really come into play. I get used to arguing the 'there's no reason to think differences aren't all socialized' line in mental issues, and then I get off-balance trying to figure out what's just and equitable where the biological differences are undeniably real and significant.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:45 PM
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The taboo on men hitting women is pretty strong in many places (around here, for example), but not universal. There are also many guys who think that sometimes you have to physically "put them in their place". I'd like to see a study of that. (My friend who got busted for domestic assault was especially unhappy because he is very proud of the fact that he's never hit a woman).

BTW, the relationship and dating experience here is really highly atypical of American society as a whole. For example, people here poo-poo the idea that straight men should make more money than their partners and that women marry (and date) partly for money, but that's taken for granted by most people, M or F. (This may be changing, but not as fast as people think).


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:46 PM
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has anyone here ever broken up from a romantic but non-sexual relationship? e.g. hs sweethearts who didn't go 'all the way'?

nah, me neither.

my query is just: is the peculiar intensity and wrench of break-ups a function of having shared a sexual bond, or would it be equally rough with someone you'd never slept with?

certainly there can be emotional devastation without sexual abandonment/betrayal/rejection/jealousy. for that matter,there can be sexual abandonment/etc., without any previous sex.

so it's not like breaking up after a non-sexual relationship would be all hearts and rainbows.

still i wonder: was breaking up the same before we all slept with each other? better? worse?


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:49 PM
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I once kicked a girlfriend in the shins, literally under the table, in an attempt to get her to stop telling an embarrassing story about me. Not only did she keep telling the story, but she had no idea what I was trying to convey with the kick, and was mad at me afterwards.

One time my dad was telling a story or talking about some topic my mom didn't want him talking about, and she kicked him under the table to try to get him to stop, to which he responded with perfect cluelessness by asking, "Why are you kicking me?"


Posted by: My Alter Ego | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:50 PM
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Busy beating up Goldberg with his cock, I expect.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:50 PM
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I get used to arguing the 'there's no reason to think differences aren't all socialized' line in mental issues

You do? No reason? "There's no reason to think the differences between men and women's brains explain anything about what they achieve in the modern world" I get, but no reason to think there's any biological difference? That seems like it flies in the face of quite a bit of perfectly good science.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:50 PM
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233: Did she slap him?


Posted by: reuben | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:51 PM
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My funniest breakup (perhaps a chaser for the domestic violence stuff): I got ignore-dumped by a guy I hadn't been seeing very long, which was odd/insulting. I had left my umbrella, to which I was oddly attached at the time, at his apt. It's a tired cliche to leave stuff at someone's house so you have to go back, and if I did that subconsciously I'm a total dork, but in my defense it was raining when I got there and wasn't when I left. Anyway. After I sufficiently got the hint about the ignore-dumping, I decided I wanted my umbrella back, so I emailed him telling him that I didn't care about whatever transpired between us but please give me back the umbrella. There were a number of ways he could have done this without having to see me; I lived in a doorman building for christ's sake. But he chose to priority mail it to me, from Brooklyn to Manhattan. With no note or anything, just an umbrella in a box. With delivery confirmation. Ouch.


Posted by: rhymeswithmaria | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:51 PM
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224: I guess where I get stuck on that is in seeing the cheating/lying as "unforgiveable" but the splitting of the lip as an understandable expression of hurt. I can accept the latter in the sense of everyone fucks up sometimes when their emotions get the better of them, I just don't get why the violence is more forgiveable than the cheating.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:52 PM
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232: IMX, breakups can be bad whether there's been sex or there's not been sex.. But you don't get to fake or threaten pregnancy if you've never had sex, so all in all, less drama.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:52 PM
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230: Undeniable by sane people, perhaps. I'm still bemused about an online argument I got into years ago in which a variety of people told me that I was crazy to think that men had, on average, noticeably more upper-body strength than women.

Anyhow, chick-punching: con.


Posted by: Epoch | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:53 PM
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235:

I would agree with the following amended version of LB's principle:

for any given alleged difference, there is no reason, prior to doing a lot of research, to think it is not the result of socialization.

i.e., as a methodological principle, opt for socialization first until shown otherwise.

and, sure, you are right that there are some differences where the amount of research is getting pretty definitive in showing a non-social origin for some particular differences.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:53 PM
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211: I have zero first-hand experience of same-sex DV. It's very rarely talked about but what I've seen discussed of it has been aware of the fact that often the victims falsely think it shouldn't be a problem or they shouldn't need help or that looking for outside assistance is somehow weakness because, hey, they're "equals," right?

I'll tell you, though, that my anecdotal experience is that the vast majority of people in same-sex relationships find the concept absolutely abhorrent. That doesn't mean it doesn't happen or that it happens with less frequency (I have no idea how the numbers compare), it just means I'm friends with people who find it unacceptable behavior. I've had relatives who were victims of DV and I've yet to see any of the signals amongst my queer friends so I like to think I'm not just ignorant of it going on around me.

I do know that there is someone fairly high profile in the NC queer activism community who is rumored to have habitually beaten a former lover and that person is pretty socially shunned by those who are/were friends with the victim. I like to think this has made said activist's career more difficult but I don't know whether that's in fact the case. That the victim and the perpetrator were friends-of-friends-of-a-partner and all I've ever heard was at best muttered should be an indicator of how little it gets discussed.

Bottom line, those who would educate us about it are few and far between and I expect it is drastically under-reported, especially among male victims of male partners given the fucked up machismo programming with which it would conflict, and as a result conversations about it are equally inadequate. I know that there's a DV awareness booth at Pride every year but I've never really checked it out because I have never been the victim of DV and I've never even considered perpetrating it. I'm a big guy so I have some trouble imagining someone thinking I'd be a soft target but at the same time I can't imagine initiating violence. I imagine there are people there every year who would benefit from some of the information to be found there but Pride is a mighty public place to have that conversation and so they likely avoid it.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:55 PM
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235: Oh, I'm arguing that a difference that makes no difference is no difference, and that none of the average differences in male and female brains have been causually connected to behavioral differences. That there's no reason to believe that behavioral differences aren't mostly or completely socialized, rather than biologically constrained.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:55 PM
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236: Not that I know of.


Posted by: My Alter Ego | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:55 PM
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has anyone here ever broken up from a romantic but non-sexual relationship? e.g. hs sweethearts who didn't go 'all the way'?

My one hs "dating relationship" -- unconsummated, did not really merit the descriptor but was important in my little world, I've posted about it here at least once and probably more -- ended with a "Dear John" letter from her to me.


Posted by: Clownaesthesiologist | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:55 PM
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140 to 239.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:55 PM
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and, sure, you are right that there are some differences where the amount of research is getting pretty definitive in showing a non-social origin for some particular differences.

Really? Behavioral differences? If you could find me some links, this is the sort of thing I'm interested in.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:56 PM
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232: Someone upthread related a story about breaking up with a naive girlfriend who wanted the morning after pill despite a lack of sex in the relationship.

I broke up with a highschool girlfriend with whom I had been completely smitten, but never had sex with. It was low-drama (I told her that it wasn't working out and that she didn't feel for me the same way I did for her; proving my thesis, she was unaffected), but pretty much as gut-wrenching as most of my other breakups.


Posted by: Epoch | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:57 PM
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232: As I've recounted before, the roughness alluded to in 195 was precisely a "didn't go all the way" situation; that seems to be what the anger was about.

And I'm presuming a lot of the high school stories here are the same.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:58 PM
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238: Not to put words in Mrs. Adams' mouth, but violence may easily be more forgivable because it's not premeditated, presumably. The devil is in the details blah blah blah, but if someone is in a really traumatized state of mind and impulsively hits the person who caused it, that's bad, but maybe not as bad as deciding to have sex with someone else and going through with it. And yes, I feel odd taking this position.


Posted by: Calvin Coolidge | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:58 PM
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247:
isn't there that stuff about object-manipulation abilities? not as though one's ability to visualize a cube being rotated is all that fascinating in itself, but that's the kind of stuff i had in mind.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 1:59 PM
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215: I suspect this is true, as a general rule, but not something one would want to state as a blanket fact, iykwim.

I remember my mom getting so pissed off when the little boy across the street hit me and his mom came over to tell us that she'd given him what for because he hit a girl. Mom's point was that my being a girl was irrelevant; he shouldn't have been hitting *anyone*. Which is the message I'm giving PK, along with "especially not someone who's younger or smaller or weaker than you."

I do think that the "never hit a woman" thing folds back, for a lot of guys, into a sense of grievance and unfairness about double standards. I get why the double standard exists (and I kind of buy into it, obviously) but I'm also a little uncomfortable with it, at least for that reason, no matter how reasonable it is with regard to facts.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:01 PM
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but violence may easily be more forgivable because it's not premeditated, presumably.

Soo disagree with this.

Yeah. I think the double-standard (or, at least a very high taboo on men hitting women) is justified by the strength disparity.

Disagree with that too.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:02 PM
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I agree with the second sentence of 243, especially the "mostly". That said, there are behavioral differences between genders in animals that can hardly be said to have acquired them through socialization, so it seems sort of strange to me to think that humans wouldn't have the same kind of thing going on at an underlying level. This has approximately zero relevance to what men and women can, should, or want to do with themselves or their lives in the current day.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:04 PM
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I had a h.s. boyfriend who kind of specialized in popping girls' cherries (I can't believe I just wrote that, but, well, he did). He dumped a girl he was flirting on and off with after she slept with him and started dating me; once his dick had been in my pussy, he dumped me. About a month later he was trying to date my sister, and I had a fucking fit.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:05 PM
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251: That's a (small) measured behavioral difference -- AFAIK no one's tied it to genetic, rather than socialized, differences between men and women.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:05 PM
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232: The guy who "didn't break up" with me in 10 was a romantic but not sexual relationship (which perhaps leads one to wonder where the kids we were naming were going to come from, but that's neither here nor there). Far, far more emotionally devastating at the time then the break up of the relationship with the rebound guy, who was, oh, so very much a sexual relationship.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:05 PM
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252: I do think that the "never hit a woman" thing folds back, for a lot of guys, into a sense of grievance and unfairness about double standards.

I don't understand this. Not hitting women isn't a matter of contract, social or otherwise.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:09 PM
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254: Oh, it's not terribly unlikely, but that's still a long way from saying that any given behavioral difference in humans has actually been shown to be genetically based rather than socialized. And of course, while there are plenty of animals with gender differences in behavior, there are also plenty of animals where those differences are small or non-existent.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:10 PM
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It's also a mistake to hit guys who are bigger and tougher than you. The range of permissible hittees is tiny.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:10 PM
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My first boyfriend, who wouldn't go "all the way" with me, broke up with me after four months and it was devastating. I cried for weeks; I still haven't cried that much about anything since. My second boyfriend, who was also (weirdly) into fooling around but not fucking, moved away after nine months and I was just relieved. I think the sex you have or don't have has less to do with the pain than, like, the total amount of relationship experience you have, and how you feel about each other, which, IME, isn't in a direct relationship with the sex you have.

That said, I've stayed in some really uncomfortable relationship situations because I would miss the sex too much to leave. I didn't end up crying about that, but definitely whining a lot.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:11 PM
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Me: Yeah. I think the double-standard (or, at least a very high taboo on men hitting women) is justified by the strength disparity.

Tim: Disagree with that too.

What's the disagreement? That line, with the followup about how I thought for social reasons the taboo should be equally as high for women hitting men, was intended specifically to express agreement with your "there are really strong social taboos about a man hitting a woman for really, really good reasons; I'm very, very glad of them, and happy to have them folded into the male response to female violence even if it means a free pass for women who get violent."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:12 PM
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Or I guess I should say way too many factors go into break-up pain to make it predictable. I had a one-night set-up date with a guy who didn't want to have sex, just fool around a lot, and although the fooling around was categorically terrible (bad kisser, etc.), I was really really sad when he didn't want to see me again. But I was really hard-up that summer.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:13 PM
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232: I don't think the intensity is related to having had sex. The breakup of the first real relationship I had was easily the most traumatic one, and there hadn't been any sex (I hesitate to call it "non-sexual", because that implies to me that the desire wasn't there, which wasn't true). That could easily be about first versus later, having been a learning experience, and so on. After that, though, it seems like everything that got past a first date had sex involved before one could declare it a relationship, so it's hard to figure out.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:15 PM
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255: have you seen Kids?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:17 PM
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AWB, you've dated the strangest pool of guys ever. Do you live in an emo factory?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:17 PM
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my First Love (i cringe, but it's true), whom i've been dating for a year at this point, tells me that he's not sure if we should stay together or not. he says he needs a week to think about it, and then he'll let me know.

!!

i call him back the next day and break up with him.

he later wanted to get back together, and tried actively for a good 4 or 5 months. this involved leaving cigarettes, ouzo, and one lilac branches at my door -- except that he was trying to leave the lilacs secretly, and i showed up mid-process, so he ran to hide in the closet where all the dorm garbage cans are hidden, and yet -- yet -- unfortunately i was on my way to throw out the leftovers from a gathering/party i had just thrown. so... i open the door to the garbage area... and there is my ex, clutching lilacs, crouching behind the garbage cans, chin to chest and bicycle helmet down over his forehead to avoid eye contact...


Posted by: Marie Curie | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:18 PM
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266: It was an engineering school.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:18 PM
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So, yes.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:18 PM
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Consensual sex, not consensual keep going without a condom after being reminded one would be required. But, no blood or bruises or threats, so not exactly what you conventionally think of as domestic violence.

I would think of it as rape, though I realize that this is unconventional of me. But what else would you call it?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:19 PM
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267 is truly an awesome tableau.


Posted by: Clownaesthesiologist | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:21 PM
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258: Don't understand as in "what are you talking about, this is unclear" or as in "I know, but those guys are idiots"?

The lilac story is adorable, I have to say.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:22 PM
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270 is perhaps non consensus opinion—certainly not in any legal sense—but not that unconventional here, I think. I'd call that rape too.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:23 PM
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259: Part of the problem seems to be that the hypothesized behavior ('men ignore women because their hearing dips in the range of female voices') as popularized is always something so traditionally sexist as to be risible.

I haven't heard it argued, for example, that women are naturally better problem-solvers than men because they have less upper body strength, and thus have to survey climbing courses carefully and plan their route to compensate.

I mean, I'm sure there are biological differences caused by magic hormones in the brain. We can change the brain with pills, after all. But I suspect, with narrowed eye, any claim that links genetics with behavior together, especially if it involves things that have only existed since 1975.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:24 PM
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I'm late to this, but White Bear is right upthread that the main reason to say "no hitting, ever" in relationships isn't that someone will get hurt physically, but because that much anger needs to be talked about, or the relationship is doomed or doomed to unhappiness.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:24 PM
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260: That, however, is a practical rule rather than a moral one.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:25 PM
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274 -- My little sister has only existed since 1975 -- you got something against her, huh?


Posted by: Clownaesthesiologist | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:26 PM
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On the "boys shouldn't hit girls" thing, where are we on the "boys hitting their mamas" question?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:26 PM
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They shouldn't, but below a certain age they inevitably will.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:27 PM
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278: In favor of it; but strongly opposed to "girls hitting their daddies".


Posted by: Clownaesthesiologist | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:28 PM
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274.2: I have heard it argued that women are better at finding things in a crowded visual field, so that's something.

But yeah, anything that links biological differences with modern behavior is inherently suspect. Control for what, now?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:28 PM
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"Yay! I found a way to make mama say ouch! Rock and roll!"

Direct quote.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:28 PM
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In college, at the begining of the semester, I dated a girl a couple of times. Nothing too serious. She lived an hour away. We drifted apart. I ran into her 6 weeks later at a football game while she was with another guy.

About a month later, she sent me a letter suggesting that we shouldn't date anymore.

Um, yeah, I thought that happened a while ago.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:29 PM
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270: You are quite possibly correct on this, in a sense. But it seems awkward to describe it that way when the situation wasn't: "Please stop," "I'll stop when I'm finished," but "Hey, we need protection," "Mmmm hmmm," "Shouldn't you get a condom?" "Oops, too late."

That actually seems like a pretty shitty distinction, having written it, given that I am pretty certain "oops" was the intention all along. But, you know, underscores the original point made by myself and others that seeing oneself as a victim is exceedingly uncomfortable.


Posted by: Madeleine Albright | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:29 PM
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the main reason to say "no hitting, ever" in relationships isn't that someone will get hurt physically

I actually think that is in fact a big part of it. Domestic violence escalates pretty often, and it's not hard to get to a level where serious injury is a real risk.


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:29 PM
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278: hefty jail time is in order.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:30 PM
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282, that would start to be a worry when he enters puberty.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:30 PM
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286: He laughs at me when I threaten to lock him in a box, the little shit.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:31 PM
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My first serious gf and I dater for about 1 1 /2 years. The relationship was winding down and I wanted to break up. But, we couldnt see each other for a month or so due to schedules (different schools/swim meets).

She came to see me for the weekend. Valentines Day was the first day of the weekend. I had a choice. Break up on Valentine's Day or spend the weekend, then break up.

I chose Valentine's Day.

But, we have remained friends.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:31 PM
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I believe parents and children should not hit each other if there is a power imbalance in the relationship.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:32 PM
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All the complaints around my house are about boys biting their mamas, not hitting. But I we'll have to deal with that one soon enough.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:32 PM
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My daughter beats the hell out of me sometimes. It isnt fun.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:33 PM
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I get off-balance trying to figure out what's just and equitable where the biological differences are undeniably real and significant.

It's very difficult. But chivalry, properly understood, does not conflict with feminism. Or so I would argue.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:33 PM
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Cigarettes, ouzo, and lilacs? You should've taken him back.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:34 PM
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291: My sister's first non-nonsense word was 'ouch', occasioned by her habit of pulling herself up into standing on my mother's lap and then grabbing my mother's nose. 'Ouch,' my mom would say calmly, and pull sister's hand away.

The result, of course, was a baby grabbing her mother's nose and saying 'ouuch', in the manner of E.T.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:35 PM
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It's very difficult. But chivalry, properly understood, does not conflict with feminism. Or so I would argue.

I have NEVER heard any description of chivalry in which this would be true.

Gotta go do some flow cytometry now. Feel free to discuss this. Make the coffee. Donut the donuts.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:35 PM
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232 - my breakup that hurt the most was with someone I never slept with. Others were more dramatic, but that was the most painful.


Posted by: ptm | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:36 PM
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294: Why don't you just describe the relationship from your point of view, ben? First of all, why were you wearing the helmet indoors?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:36 PM
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What's the word on beating up your commenters?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:37 PM
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297: Well, obviously. I mean, you hadn't scored yet.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:37 PM
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284:

the behavior described may or may not count as rape, but it is certainly more despicable than some things i would clearly count as rape.

like, really, really despicable.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:38 PM
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299: only ones that are bigger than you. Which means Labs is probably out of luck.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:39 PM
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299: Who you gonna beat up, swimmer boy? Half of your commentariat is into martial arts.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:39 PM
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299: Rumble in the East Bay on Saturday!


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:39 PM
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What's the word on beating up your commenters?

If it's consensual and respectful, and there's a safe word, I think it's ok.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:39 PM
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What's the word on beating up your commenters?

If you guys go all Fight Club at the meetup, I'm going to be really pissed I missed it.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:41 PM
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The telltale cuts and bruises of an Unfogged meetup...


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:42 PM
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Me, too. I don't think we have to worry about them starting a Project Mayhem. It might be Project Inoffensive Posturing and Actress Pics.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:44 PM
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Is my story in 155 common? It was extremely surprising, but then later it seemed very logical.


Posted by: Kazys Grinius | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:44 PM
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It's okay if, when you bite their torso, you give them a disease.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:44 PM
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310, we're talking about Fight Club, not the new Palahniuk novel.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:46 PM
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Sucks to your Fight Club-mar.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:49 PM
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309: Um, not quite that extremely, but I can empathize with your girlfriend. I come off (and did even more so in high school and college) as very cool and self-controlled, and not at all prone to emotional disturbance. The downside of that is that when I was actually emotionally offbalance, as one tends to be in one's first couple of relationships, I didn't really have a lot of skills for projecting the fact that I was feeling unsteady and could use some support. This left me acting awfully weird at times.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:49 PM
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My Alter Ego in 233,

One time my dad was telling a story or talking about some topic my mom didn't want him talking about, and she kicked him under the table to try to get him to stop, to which he responded with perfect cluelessness by asking, "Why are you kicking me?"

That does display a high level of cluelessness, but there are different things that shin-kicking can signify. One could be having dinner with some racist asshole telling offensive jokes, and it could mean, "It's time to get away from this jerk."


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:55 PM
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jane addams, your story is going to make me cry!

of course cheating is not the most ethical thing to do. but in response, this guy hit you hard enough to split your lip, locked you out of your home and joint car, tore your photographs, and threw your things on the porch. it's not just locking you out of the commons - it's a desire to break or trash you, symbolically. and it is not okay!

it is not okay!

your first apology to him is appropriate, maybe the second one too, but any more to someone who behaves as poorly as that???

one wrong does not entitle the other person to behave even worse. there is no reason to internalize his anger against you.

i am sorry i am saying things you do not want to hear, but this makes me so angry! what a bully! time for me to leave the thread!

i hope you are not in contact with him now.


Posted by: shocked person | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:55 PM
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That does display a high level of cluelessness, but there are different things that shin-kicking can signify. One could be having dinner with some racist asshole telling offensive jokes, and it could mean, "It's time to get away from this jerk."

The trick is to simultaneously kick the asshole to get him to stop embarrassing himself, and kick one's partner to get her to leave.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:56 PM
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One could be having dinner with some racist asshole telling offensive jokes, and it could mean, "It's time to get away from this jerk."

In which case you *still* don't want to say out loud "why are you kicking me?"


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:57 PM
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64: "break-up sex"?

Obviously, I've been doing this break-up thing all wrong.

Re: boys & girls & violence, there's something mysterious about a girlfriend who thinks it's *not* violent to physically prevent you from leaving the apartment -- like, grabbing you & not letting you go. But there were so many *other* signs there, it's ridiculous.


Posted by: Anderson | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 2:57 PM
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I dunno, shocked person, the reaction seems pretty understandable all around.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 3:08 PM
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hmm. violence.

in two (at least) of my most long-term relationships, we've joke-wrestled. it's sort of fun at first, but there's always a very sobering moment in there for both of us when the boyfriend in question begins to put some serious effort and very quickly pins me in such a way that i clearly am not able to get out of it.

the thing that is interesting to me, is that it is very emotionally sobering for both of us - visibly for the men too.


Posted by: mmf! | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 3:10 PM
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Surely others around here are familiar with the idea of break-up sex. It can be intense, given the raw emotions, but in retrospect, I wouldn't call it healthy.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 3:11 PM
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I have NEVER heard any description of chivalry in which this would be true.

Here are positions that I think are central to chivalry and at least reasonable options for a feminist:

-Finding it loathsome to molest a woman who has passed out.
-Thinking it's not as bad for a woman to hit a man as for a man to hit a woman.
-Holding doors open for women and stuff like that.
-Being generous/helpful with women in ways that you would not with a man.

Obviously, there is a built-in patronizing attitude that goes with some folks' idea of chivalry, but in response to LB's dilemma, I wanted to distinguish between that sort of attitude and "chivalry, properly understood."


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 3:13 PM
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296: "Live pure, speak true, right wrong, follow the King" - accept a certain liberal democratic ideal as the modern equivalent of "king," and it seems like this ought to be pretty consistent with feminism. Of course, this is no guaranty that it will be approved, or thought fun and cool, by individual feminists.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 3:13 PM
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321: Hmmm. Perhaps "break up sex" is the wrong term. Maybe it ought to be called "delusional temporary-second-thoughts-about-whether-to-really-break-up sex." But that's sort of a mouthful.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 3:15 PM
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Holding doors open for women and stuff like that.

At Tulane, I had to work to keep myself from holding doors open for feminist friends; it made them mad.

Of course, now that they're not 20 anymore, they might have changed their minds on the patriarchal villainy thereof.


Posted by: Anderson | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 3:16 PM
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322a: As opposed to when they're awake?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 3:19 PM
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Perhaps "break up sex" is the wrong term. Maybe it ought to be called "delusional temporary-second-thoughts-about-whether-to-really-break-up sex." But that's sort of a mouthful.

I can't help suspecting that one person is thinking "maybe this will win him/her back" and the other is thinking "cool, I get laid one more time!"


Posted by: Anderson | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 3:19 PM
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-Finding it loathsome to molest a woman who has passed out.

This counts as chivalry now?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 3:20 PM
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Allah F. Christ, this thread is terrifying. I thought my meager handful of love/hate quadrangles and awkward make-up threesomes made for bad break-ups, but holy fucking god, after reading the stories here I think I'm sufficiently chastened to sign up for Emerson's religion.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 3:22 PM
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I consider it an act of chivalry every time I pass a woman on the street without kidnapping and raping her.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 3:23 PM
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270 and 273: Was it the woman who removed the condom? I think B's right to say that that's an unconventional definition of rape.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 3:23 PM
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Break-up sex. (SFW except for, uh, it's cartoons.)


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 3:24 PM
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Was it the woman who removed the condom?

No, that was Sylvia Plath, not the Antichrist.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 3:26 PM
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Don't you harsh on Plath, now.


Posted by: Anderson | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 3:30 PM
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Oh, the nickname doesn't reflect my feelings about Plath -- the gf in question wrote self-indulgent poetry and used this strange accent when she read it aloud, an accent I later realized, after hearing a recording of Plath, was modeled on hers.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 3:38 PM
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Unless your gf was from Massachusetts trying to sound British, which would mean she came by it honestly.


Posted by: Anderson | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 3:40 PM
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The door thing really is irritating. I know it's well meant, but it means that I have to stop and wait and get out of the way so that some guy can open the door for me (yes, ideally he'd be smooth enough that he could open the door without getting in my way, but they never are.) And it means that I have to be edgy every time I'm walking toward a door with a man around, because I'm neither expecting it to be opened for me nor do I want to be rude if the guy tries to be polite by getting the door, so I have to figure out which way he's going to jump.

Likewise with chivalry generally. Help when you need it is a wonderful thing -- symbolic help when you don't is just annoying.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 3:40 PM
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315: shocked person announced that s/he was leaving the thread, but for what it's worth, I've heard that message before: that his hitting me trumped in awfulness anything else, that I've adopted a victim's perspective when I examine my own behavior, and so on. I don't buy it.

The truth is that I don't even specifically remember the face-slapping resulting in a split lip. It's my mom who kept reminding me of that.

The experience (memory) is my own, and I'll do with it, learn from it, what I will, which in this case is: you don't cheat on people. Not because it's "wrong," but because it hurts them very badly. I may have been stupid about that once, but not again.


Posted by: Jane Adams | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 3:42 PM
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Here are positions that I think are central to chivalry civility:

-Finding it loathsome to molest a woman who has passed out person.
-Holding doors open for women people carrying heavy objects and/or small children


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 3:44 PM
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336: No, she was a self-invented, Holly Golightly kind of character. And I was a fool, but I'm better now.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 3:44 PM
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Ned - for your break-up mix-tape list - "Every Day I Love You Less and Less" by the Kaiser Chiefs.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 3:46 PM
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337: Hey, it's tricky for us too: we're not supposed to walk in front of you, "ladies first" and all that, but then we have to somehow skip ahead to the door. Hence the lack of smoothness that you detect.

Here in the South, women generally expect that the guy with them will be opening the door, so it works a bit easier.


Posted by: Anderson | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 3:46 PM
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Minivet says:

322a: As opposed to when they're awake?

And ogged adds:

This counts as chivalry now?

And others weigh in, too.

So okay, okay, bad choice of words. And yes, my underlying concept is a bit blurry, even to me. And LB makes an important point when she distinguishes holding doors as assistance and holding doors as ritual.

But surely you get what I'm going for, here: That male feminism (as we know, not an oxymyoron) and chivalry (again: properly understood) can have in common genuine respect for women.

Or am I just digging myself in deeper here? Am I trying to make the word "chivalry" do work that it wasn't meant for?


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 3:49 PM
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342: Yeah, see, when guys insist on walking two steps behind, I tend to assume it's because they are checking out my ass, not because they are being chivalrous. And when I get to the door first, and they refuse to go through, because "ladies first" and all that, I suspect it's because they are afraid I might try to check out their ass. Which is true only a very small percentage of the time.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 3:49 PM
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Opening doors for women (who aren't carrying heavy object, etc.) is clearly sexist. I will however generally give my seat on the subway or bus to a woman. But only an attractive one.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 3:50 PM
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Which is true only a very small percentage of the time.

Well, no, actually we're doing that too.


Posted by: Anderson | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 3:51 PM
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345: Which is problematic, because when no one offers up a seat to me on the subway or bus, I'm never sure if it's because they are respecting me as a feminist or because I am not attractive.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 3:52 PM
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Am I trying to make the word "chivalry" do work that it wasn't meant for?

Well, kinda. Being decent to people who need help is a good thing to do, and I suppose you could call it chivalry, but the word generally means the ritualistic deference to women that gets annoying. Saving the door-opening for people with packages is, IMO, a better idea.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 3:54 PM
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347: clearly you should ride the subway with me sometime, and observe whether I offer you my seat. Problem solved!


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 3:54 PM
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347: it *could* be that your ass is easier to check out when you're standing ...

But nah. The real 3d option is "they're jerks." Unless you're in a subway car full of 80-year-olds, or Xmas shoppers laden with packages, etc.


Posted by: Anderson | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 3:55 PM
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Where I work, guys always let the ladies off the elevator first. Who among you objects?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 3:55 PM
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338: Maybe it's just the tone of the thread, but your comments read like you're still beating yourself up a lot more than you should. Cheating isn't unforgiveable, especially not cheating in the dying days of a relationship you can't figure out how to end. Really, I don't think much of anything people can do to each other is unforgiveable. You acted badly, he reacted badly. Both actions and reactions are controllable.


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 3:56 PM
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351: You must work in my building. Again, I'm assuming the real motive is ass-checking-out opportunities, which I'm surprisingly okay with. But it frankly gets a bit tedious when the guys back everything up trying to rearrange themselves so the women get off first. Really, just get out of the elevator already so you can get to the door and hold it for me.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 3:59 PM
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352: well put, DaveL.


Posted by: mmf! | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 4:02 PM
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351: It's not a tragedy, and if everyone's doing it that one's pretty harmless. But in my office building, the men are about 50/50 chivalrous waiters and the more sensible 'closest to the door gets off first' types, and I have to watch which way they're going to jump so I neither trip over them or delay things by not assuming they'll give way to me.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 4:03 PM
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To be honest, the guys always do check out the woman's ass, but I (and, I assume, they) would let her off first regardless. There are some awkward shufflings occasionally, but hey, everything has a price.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 4:04 PM
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345: Huh. Other than when I was very pregnant, I don't think anyone's ever offered me a seat on the subway. You really still do that for women who aren't injured or infirm?

Weird.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 4:04 PM
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The norm here is so well-established that it would be rude to get off before the women. IN FACT, one time I got into a full elevator, got a call that I had to take, spoke in very low tones, and got off to get out of the way, only to hear some fucktard old guy behind me say "I guess chivalry really is dead." I should have run him through with my sword just to prove him wrong.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 4:06 PM
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Where I work, guys always let the ladies off the elevator first. Who among you objects?

Phew. For a minute I was afraid I was all alone on this one, but ogged's got my back. And nobody has ever accused ogged of being a sexist, right?


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 4:06 PM
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You really still do that for women who aren't injured or infirm?

I did when I went to school in NYC, but as I've confessed, I'm a Southerner.

It always felt weird to be sitting down while there's a woman having to stand up.


Posted by: Anderson | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 4:07 PM
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352: There was something bugging me about Madame President Adams' story, but I couldn't put my finger on it. You've articulated it exactly.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 4:08 PM
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What's the disagreement? That line, with the followup about how I thought for social reasons the taboo should be equally as high for women hitting men, was intended specifically to express agreement with your "there are really strong social taboos about a man hitting a woman for really, really good reasons...."

I read the "justified" in line with B's distinction between men not hitting women as a moral issue and men not hitting men as a pragmatic issue. There is no individual or class of individuals whom I'm will to grant a moral right to assault me without expecting the same back. For me both are pragmatic choices. There are good reasons for society to assume very bad things about men who hit women, and so I approve of those assumptions. Pragmatically, that might mean that you don't hit a woman when she hits you because you don't want to take the reputational hit. Similarly, I have a near-limbic aversion to hitting a woman. There are good reasons to maintain that sort of instinct, including the (often) absence of calculation that a guy I hit might hit me again, and win. It's worth a certain cost to maintain the strength of that aversion. I'm fine with that. But it's a pragmatic choice, not a moral one.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 4:08 PM
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Huh. I admittedly will give up my seat to an old woman and very rarely to an old man, but I kind of figure the old man would be insulted. But I've really never seen a young woman get offered a seat on the subway by a man she wasn't with.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 4:09 PM
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. Again, I'm assuming the real motive is ass-checking-out opportunities, which I'm surprisingly okay with.

That's good, because that's why we do it half the time. The other half: plausible deniability.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 4:10 PM
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You can't offer your seat to very attractive women, or to women who look like feminists (oh yeah, you can tell), because they'll take it the wrong way. Everyone else, you can be polite to.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 4:11 PM
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But I've really never seen a young woman get offered a seat on the subway by a man she wasn't with.

Hm, now that you mention it, I think I did stay seated for un-burdened females who were standing with their male companions ... chivalry seemed to raise issues there.


Posted by: Anderson | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 4:11 PM
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It's not really chivalry, it's just part of my general policy of being friendly (to attractive women).


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 4:12 PM
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362: Well, yeah. I was agreeing with you that the taboo on male-on-female violence was necessary because of the strength differential, and then went on to say that a symmetrical taboo on violence in the other direction was necessary for social reasons, although saying that it's necessary for moral reasons works for me as well.

(I'm still going to find myself weighting violations of the taboo in terms of what the injury was, or the realistic threat of injury, which is going to make male-on-female violations generally more severe. But in principle the taboo should be symmetrical.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 4:17 PM
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367: Well, nothing wrong with that so long as you're civil about it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 4:18 PM
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351 and 353: I'm always a bit put out by men who exit elevators first when there's only the two of us, or one guy and a couple girls, or whatever. But that could be just because men annoy me in general.

the gf in question wrote self-indulgent poetry and used this strange accent when she read it aloud, an accent I later realized, after hearing a recording of Plath, was modeled on hers.

I'm pleased to have this anecdote to refer to next time I run into some guy wondering why all women want to date jerks. "See?" I'll say. "It's because nice guys are fooled by this bullshit."


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 4:22 PM
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The norm here is so well-established that it would be rude to get off before the women.

Before in time, or before in space? You might get arrested for the latter.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 4:23 PM
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371: You might get arrested for the former, too, in a public elevator.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 4:26 PM
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369: of course there's something wrong with it. But it's sort of automatic sometimes.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 4:29 PM
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Who said I was a nice guy, B? You take that back!


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 4:30 PM
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Look, go along with it for the sake of argument, okay? Jeez.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 4:34 PM
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But that could be just because men annoy me in general.

The men who wait for you probably are doing it just to spite you. Oh, and to check out your ass.


Posted by: Anderson | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 4:38 PM
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Well, you can't blame them for the latter, certainly.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 4:41 PM
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I've been on the tube when about 8 1/2 months pregnant, and not been offered a seat. But out of London, it's different, I've been offered seats by many different people on various buses and trains. And I offer seats to anyone who looks like they might appreciate it more than me.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 4:42 PM
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I'm actually surprised that Ogged's workplace is so civil, b/c I had experiences similar to Asilon's when I was pg. And I remember nursing *standing up* during an Easter mass, for god's sake, when PK was about six months old and weighed something like 80 lbs.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 4:44 PM
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379: Giving up a seat on the subway costs something (you have to stand up). Letting a woman get off the elevator before you is free, unless your schedule is tight down to the second. I'm not surprised the cheaper expression of chivalry is the one that's still pretty common.

(This sounds like I'm objecting to the death of chivalry. I'm not -- I want it dead. I still want pregnant women and old or injured people to get to sit down preferentially, but not healthy and unburdened women. But given that it's dying, it makes sense that the last vestiges would be the cost-free gestures.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 4:48 PM
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Would you take a seat if someone offered it to you, LB?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 4:50 PM
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I'm not surprised the cheaper expression of chivalry is the one that's still pretty common.

I am just because I've noticed that very few men seem to actually know that rule. I.e., it's rare that a guy on an elevator will let me exit first.

It's probably because I look like a feminist, though.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 4:50 PM
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Pregnant, I would, and did, in a heartbeat. Likewise, I'd be grateful if I were carrying heavy stuff.

Just standing there? It never happens so I'd be a little flummoxed -- I'd probably give a quick look around for someone older or more burdened to offer it to, and then take it so as not to be a jerk to someone who was trying to be nice. But I'm honestly unsure of what I'd do.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 4:55 PM
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I have absolutely never, EVER, even considered that letting a woman off the elevator first is one of the rules of politeness. I've never seen anyone do it (that is, go out of his way to do it, such that I would notice), and I've never heard anyone mention it before. Very weird.

I stand up on the bus if there's an old woman who needs to sit down. Same thing for an old man. Not a young woman. Unless she's pregnant.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 4:57 PM
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Ned is my people. Yay, Ned!


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 4:58 PM
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Elevator exits: I think it's annoying when someone who is closer to the door makes me get off first.

Seat-relinquishing: I've had people offer me their ereseats multiple times. And I'm young and obviously in good health, and not pregnant. The thing I try to do and wish that people would start thinking of as chivalrous (and so do it) is helping people with rolly-carts or strollers get onto the bus. Single-handedly hoisting a stroller into a bus is a pain in the ass, and I never see anyone helping these mothers do it. So I try whenever I can. Actually I jump at an opportunity to give up my seat. I figure I'm young, I'm healthy, why should men get to have all the fun of feeling like you're doing a little something nice for someone?

Actually, this is what annoys me about chivalry that doesn't often get talked about. It's like only men get to have the pleasure of performing these nice little gestures. Why should I not get to occasionally hold a door for someone, or let someone get on the bus before me? It makes me feel good, and I like doing it. But no, if I do the little hand-holding-out that says "go ahead, you go first" to a dude, he automatically wants to let me go ahead first (and will often refuse to go ahead of me), whereas if I had done nothing they'd be pushing to get on ahead of me. It's total bullshit. I should get to be nice, too.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 4:59 PM
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383: I usually smile and say "thanks, I'm okay." Unless I'm riding to the end of the line or exhausted, in which case I take it and say thanks.

And if that makes me a traitor to the cause, so be it! Anyway, sitting down you're less likely to get groped by some jerk in the crowd.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 4:59 PM
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Ned just wasn't raised right, LB.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:02 PM
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I very rarely sit down on the bus, both because I feel it's my duty as a healthy young-ish man, and because looking up at people weirds me out.

That said, I also get a fair amount of shit for being insufficiently chivalrous (not paying for coffee, whatever.) I get less going the other way, but it's more intense, so I just continue muddling along.


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:04 PM
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The thing I try to do and wish that people would start thinking of as chivalrous (and so do it) is helping people with rolly-carts or strollers get onto the bus. Single-handedly hoisting a stroller into a bus is a pain in the ass, and I never see anyone helping these mothers do it.

Hey, me too. After two pregnancies on the subway, involving a lot of people getting up for me (we've talked about this before. Pregnant women in NY, if you want to sit down, look for a black or Latino teenager, the tougher looking the better, and stand where they can see you. Men in suits will not notice you, and will not get up. Likewise with most women. Minority teens will notice you, and will get up) I figure I'm pretty seriously in debt, so I watch for people struggling with strollers like a hawk so that I can pay back a little. And it is fun getting to be the helpful rescuey person.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:04 PM
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I also look forward to seeing who offers who seats at the meetup. And who buys pitchers.


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:05 PM
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Are all the men in your building immigrants, Ogged? Because I seriously think the elevator rule is one American guys don't know.

386 kind of surprises me. I thought guys had gotten to the point where a woman saying "you first" was cool--at least, I seldom run into someone who wants to make a point of refusing. And I agree, it *is* a nice feeling to be all polite n shit.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:05 PM
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I seldom run into someone who wants to make a point of refusing.

Most, say, youngish white dudes won't make a point of refusing, but I have found older and/or non-white, or Southern dudes will. So goes my unofficial research.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:08 PM
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Because I seriously think the elevator rule is one American guys don't know.

Bullpucky. Mostly regular white guys, some of your Jewish lawyer-types, with a fair helping of fratty white guys. I honestly think I've never seen the women not be let off first (except for the one time when I killed chivalry).


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:09 PM
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On behalf of all well-brung-up American guys, let me say that of course we know the elevator rule, which is only a sub-species of the general rule: "ladies first." Sheesh.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:09 PM
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390: LB, can you confirm my belief that on the A train, no one helps people with kids until you're north of the park? I was quite astonished at the marked difference back when I was visiting my Inwood friend and helping her schlep my godson around town.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:10 PM
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386 -- Yeah, I've gotten it, too, where the guy absolutely refuses to go through the door that I chivalrously hold for him because I got there first. It's just a tad silly.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:12 PM
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Bullpucky. Mostly regular white guys, some of your Jewish lawyer-types, with a fair helping of fratty white guys. I honestly think I've never seen the women not be let off first (except for the one time when I killed chivalry).

Seriously, I have never seen the women be let off first. I've never heard of this in my life.

Are you in some milieu where everyone always gets off on the same floor? In my experience it's been much more important that the people near the front of the door get out of the way if they aren't getting off at that particular floor. To further break it down so that women have to squeeze out before men, no matter who's closer to the door, sounds laughable.

Also, the only time I've seen a man stand up on the bus for a woman who was under 30 years old, the man was at least 50 years old. Old habits die hard.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:14 PM
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394, 395: Okay, okay! I just haven't noticed that men know that rule, is all I'm saying. I'm glad there are a few of you left, even though (it hardly needs to be said), I, personally, think stepping off the elevator first when you're on a phone, or when it's crowded and you happen to have been the last on, is only right and sensible.

The obvious rule is, or should be, that harmless politenesses are charming unless they're awkwardly performed, in which case they become ridiculous. And that not knowing them isn't a big deal, except when it overlaps (as it too often does) with having poor manners in general.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:15 PM
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Oh, I fully support ogged in killing chivalry.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:16 PM
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On behalf of all well-brung-up American guys, let me say that of course we know the elevator rule, which is only a sub-species of the general rule: "ladies first."

Well, sure, if the elevator has three people on it and they're all getting off at the same floor, then it's a subset of that rule.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:16 PM
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I should note that I also always let other guys off the elevator first, and not just because Labs is gay. And, of course, in Iran, if you get off before someone who is older than you, you might as well throw yourself into traffic for all the dishonor you've brought on the family name. There, people will actually put their hand on your back and force you to go ahead of them, which doesn't mean that you can't slip your arm under their arm and force them through first at the last moment! I'm 100% serious about this.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:17 PM
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Okay, okay! I just haven't noticed that men know that rule, is all I'm saying. I'm glad there are a few of you left

Why? What does it matter who gets off the elevator first? This seems much less helpful to the woman than standing up on the subway would be.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:17 PM
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396: Kind of, but that's also when the train empties out some, allowing more civilized behavior.

397: Okay, here's where I confess that door-holding (including refusals to accept reciprocal door holding) annoys me a little more than it should. I know mostly guys are just expressing 'having been brought up right', or trying to be nice, or whatever, and the hostile reaction I have is almost certainly unfair. But there is something about having someone do me an annoying and useless favor, like diving in front of you to open a door, that makes me mutter to myself "Okay, you just got in my way, and I owe you for this? Now I get to be in your debt, because you annoyed me? Fuck that." And the 'refusing a held door' reaction, which I've gotten a fair amount myself, feels like more of the same: "Fuck you, lady, I'm not going to owe you jack."

I realize that feeling this way is simply proof that I'm a bad, hostile person, and I do try not to take it out on people.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:19 PM
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:Again, I'm assuming the real motive is ass-checking-out opportunities, which I'm surprisingly okay with"

Di Kotimy and Heebie are happy with their butts. Excellent.

My parents taught me to hold the door for others, regardless of gender. So I hold doors for others, male or female. Checking a woman's butt out is just added benefit.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:19 PM
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I want you all to know that this discussion has given me an absolute complex about Saturday.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:19 PM
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I feel exactly the same as 404b. I actively avoid holding the door open for people unless they look like they actually need help, because it annoys me when other people hold the door open for me. The longer they stand there holding the door (upper limit here is about 10 seconds), the more annoying it is. I just know that what's going through their head is "This guy owes me a 'Thank you' for this." Why? Just keep walking! Go ahead!


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:20 PM
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402:

It is the same way at my office. Men subtlely or not so subtlely maneuver themselves so that you have to get off the elevator before they do.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:21 PM
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What does it matter who gets off the elevator first?

Okay, honestly, this is a dumb question. If the door starts to slide closed, the last person off is going to have to catch it and perhaps hold it for others. Which, especially if/when ladies wore heels and clothing made of delicate, dry-clean-only fabrics, would have been quite polite to spare them doing.

like diving in front of you to open a door

See, that falls under the grouping of "doing it clumsily, so please don't bother." But really there are guys who know how to do it well, and maybe I'm a sucker (or less athletic and therefore wimpier than LB), but I'm cool with that.

I do always sort of internally smile when I hold the door for my boyfriend b/c he's carrying the groceries or whatever, though. He's far too polite to make an issue of it at all, but I know that it makes him cringe inside just a tiny bit.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:23 PM
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Jesus, these are just little courtesies that people do each other: "I see you, I acknowledge your presence, I enact this gesture to affirm our goodwill and humanity." It can be ever so slightly inconvenient at times, but still "useful" or "worthwhile," or however it is you capitalist running dogs gauge value.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:24 PM
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I've never heard of the elevator rule. I do often gesture people -- and probably particularly smaller people, and thus probably particularly women -- ahead of me in getting off the elevator, but that's basically so that we don't run into each other trying to get through the door as I am a. big enough that I worry I might knock down smaller people and b. adverse to casual contact with strangers.

But only within reason. Basically, the people nearest the door should go through first. You only start getting fancy in either situations where who's nearer is somewhat ambiguous, or so as to avoid breaking up groups of people who are with each other. In either case, whatever the gender of the other parties, they go first.


Posted by: Epoch | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:24 PM
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I guess my problem is that I can't imagine why somebody would do something that makes no sense and slightly inconveniences himself while not benefitting anyone else. Obviously the answer is "force of habit" or "he was brought up by his parents to do it". Meanwhile I hardly ever do anything in social interactions through force of habit. Everything is a conscious decision. I need to be more charitable to those who do things that make no sense out of force of habit.;


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:24 PM
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My mother insists that I hold doors for her (and walk on the outside). This leads to an interesting problem: with doors that open inwards, it is, of course, trivial to hold it open for someone without obstructing the path through. But if the door opens outward, the only way to hold the door without also going through the door is to awkwardly push it back with your entire arm, which involves both foregoing torque and blocking, if only a little, the doorway itself. Much simpler, IMO, to go through and hold it at the other end: then, though, you get castigated for having gone through first.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:25 PM
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Which, especially if/when ladies wore heels and clothing made of delicate, dry-clean-only fabrics, would have been quite polite to spare them doing.

I usually don't encounter (in my building) a woman wearing heels and a dress in the average month.

I can see where the situation would be different when women are accoutered in a way that signifies "would appreciate chivalry, thanks".


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:27 PM
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And there's an exception for 'natural' door holding -- when the layout is such that it makes sense for one person to hold the door for the other. That doesn't annoy me, and I do it for other people.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:27 PM
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To my mind, though, the only use of these door-related rules is using them to create temporarily amusing situations in which two people (IME this only happens with other guys) absolutely refuse to go through the door before the other. The last time this happened it was fortunately a double-door situation, so we solved it by going through the doorway diagonally, each through the door held open by the other.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:27 PM
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"two people" s/b "each of two people".


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:28 PM
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Hey ben, if you're going to switch "two people" to "each of two people", you need to switch "refuse" to "refuses".

PWNEDANTRY


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:30 PM
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Nonetheless, the way you hold an elevator door is to block it with your forearm. Which is fine, but if the door's particularly strong, can be difficult for some women, what with the torque problem Ben pointed out above.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:31 PM
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At least now "before the other" makes sense.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:31 PM
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416's awesome. I always sort of enjoy doing that dance with people, and I tend to very slightly exaggerate the second door holding (if it's mine) and/or the "thank you"/"why thank you" exchange that inevitably results. So amusing.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:32 PM
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419: Dude, you have some brutal elevators where you work. The ones I'm used to sense you and bounce off.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:32 PM
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I think that we've established that the men letting women off elevators first were checking out Heebie's famous ass (TM), not B's. Someone was going to have to tell B sooner or later.

Some kinds of chivalry are consistent with bad behavior toward women who step out of line and are fair game (sluts, trash, uppity women, etc.) It's a complete system with prescribed roles for everyone.

I don't think that the "never hit a woman" rule is chivalry. The guys I know who hold to that principle are not especially likely to do the other chivalric things.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:32 PM
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Also, should we maybe put Ned in the "robot" category with pdf? (As opposed to the "evil robot" category, which belongs to Shearer alone).


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:34 PM
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Ned's astonishment at the elevator rule reminds me: one time in college I was walking along a sidewalk with a girl, who I later found out had thought it extraordinarily rude of me (and on this basis decided not to date me, which is a shame, because she was very attractive) that I had been walking on the inside half of the sidewalk, leaving her to walk on the half nearest the street. I had literally never before heard of the "men walk near the street" rule, and was completely oblivious to the fact that she was apparantly seething the whole time. Which she hid well.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:35 PM
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422: Where I used to work, yeah. And they would often slam closed before you could step from where you were waiting into the damn elevator. The regular doors between buildings were shockingly heavy, as well.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:36 PM
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I've never heard of that one either (well, I've heard of it, but only in old books. I've never known anyone to observe it.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:36 PM
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425: See, that's dumb. If it was that big a deal, there are ways of trading places without making a big stink about it.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:37 PM
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I've never heard of that one either (well, I've heard of it, but only in old books. I've never known anyone to observe it.)

SOMEONE didn't read 413.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:39 PM
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I bet that some of the letting women sit chivalry is cootie-oriented. Perhaps standing female butts are more toxic than sitting ones. Same way that women are forbidden to go down in mines or out on fishing boats.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:40 PM
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428: well, see, mid-way through the walk she broke down and said, somewhat desparately, "can I walk on the inside of the sidewalk, please??" And I sort of confusedly said "yes, sure, of course", and we switched places. But by that time she'd decided I was a mannerless brute, and it was over.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:41 PM
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Brock, I'm all for chivalry, I'm even for patriarchy, but that's a crazy woman, right there.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:42 PM
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See, if she was going to be all girly about it, she should have used a girly trick, like falling behind and pretending to adjust the strap of her shoe or something, then just smoothly shifting to the inside of the sidewalk as she rejoined you.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:43 PM
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Ned:
Seriously, I have never seen the women be let off first. I've never heard of this in my life.

And ogged:
I honestly think I've never seen the women not be let off first

Puzzling. My experience matches ogged's, though.

I became aware of this rule when I was in my mid-20s - because it finally dawned on me that every other guy did this. I was mortified.

And yes, I get into "you first" situations with other men - but I'm obviously not the alpha male that ogged is, because I'm willing to let them go last without much fight.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:44 PM
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I really really cannot be doing with this chivalry bollocks. General politeness, helpfulness, generosity of spirit - yes. But based on vague old-fashioned ideas of men and women - really, no. If I worked in ogged's building, by about day 3, I'd be at the back of the lift muttering "for fuck's sake get the fuck out".


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:44 PM
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My guess is that this is happening all around Ned but he just doesn't realize.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:45 PM
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When it comes to unknown rules of etiquette, nothing beats traffic. Lots of times people are just assholes, but lots of other times what looks like asshole behavior is just following a different set of rules for how you're supposed to drive.


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:45 PM
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Okay, I can work with Ned and asilon. The rest of you, stay away from me.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:45 PM
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I'd be at the back of the lift muttering "for fuck's sake get the fuck out"

I'm sure some of the women are thinking this, but there's no way to know, and I'd rather be thought sexist than rude, so I err on that side.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:46 PM
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Yeah, well, when it comes to driving you follow the goddamn laws, which are in your handy-dandy driver's handbook, available for free from the local licensing agency.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:46 PM
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436: This is probably the case. I bet a man who didn't know the rule wouldn't notice it in my building, because it's not universal enough that he'd get snarled at for screwing up.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:47 PM
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I'd rather be thought sexist than rude

hahahahahahaha!


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:47 PM
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I've heard of the sidewalk rule. As with other arcane rules of chivalry, people who care about it really fucking care about it.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:48 PM
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And the elevator thing has to depend on how full the elevator is. If it's full, those closest to the door get out first. If not, ladies first is one rule, but if you're directly between someone else and the door, you get out first.


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:49 PM
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No driver in Palo Alto has the first clue regarding proper stop sign etiquette. It's astonishing.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:51 PM
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I'd rather be thought sexist than rude

Yeah, that's kinda clear. I'd rather be thought modern and enlightened than a throwback - but that's just me.

(I'm teasing rather than just being mean, but I can't be bothered to rewrite that so it comes across that way without the use of semi colons and brackets.)


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:52 PM
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I walk on the outside of the pavement with my children, mostly. A man doing it for a women really is a relic from the olden days of muddy roads though, isn't it?


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:53 PM
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I'd rather be thought modern and enlightened

Like...Mao???


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:53 PM
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440: Lots of places where that doesn't really help. Merging situations are a prime example, especially where strict adherence to what the law says (yield to the person in the favored land) would mean that nobody in the disfavored lane ever goes.


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:55 PM
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I don't observe the walk-near-the-road rule. If I'm with someone I know well, I'll reconfigure to take the side nearest the crazy person on the upcoming street corner, but that's about it.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:55 PM
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OT: I once had a violent falling-out with a Cambodian prostitute who was living with me. Not sure that it counts as a proper breakup, though. For example, I ended up paying her as well as a policeman.


Posted by: Michael Vanderwheel, B.A. | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:55 PM
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Like...Mao???

Revolution is not a dinner party at which anyone cares from which side which course is served or cleared.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:56 PM
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I will exit the elevator at the time, and in the manner, that best allows me to hold the door for people, and I don't want no guff about it.

Also, I hold open doors for everybody, but generally avoid leaping in front of them to manage it.

Also, I prefer to walk neither ahead of nor behind, but next to people, so I can hear what the hell they're saying.

Also, I honor my heraldic lineage by engaging in honorable combat to reclaim the holy land from the Moorish hordes.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:58 PM
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Vanderwheel is redeemed. 451 is great.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:59 PM
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I honor my heraldic lineage by yelling peoples' names whenever they enter a room I occupy.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 5:59 PM
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447: Ah, that makes more sense. I was wondering if it had something to do with ideas about men being better able to take the blow when a car careens onto the sidewalk.


Posted by: JGO | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:00 PM
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What about the back-to-the-street rule, while eating in a restaurant? Do men pay any attention to that rule any more? I admit that I hate it, because I *like* being able to look out the window.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:00 PM
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445: Speaking as a driver in Palo Alto I, er, might resent that remark. What do you consider to be proper stop sign etiquette?


Posted by: Epoch | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:02 PM
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I thought that one was 'women get to sit with their backs to the wall of the restaurant' without reference to the window. But I'm the last person to ask about properly chivalrous manners.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:02 PM
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But there is something about having someone do me an annoying and useless favor, like diving in front of you to open a door, that makes me mutter to myself "Okay, you just got in my way, and I owe you for this?

I hypothesize that this is annoying because, in about 1% of cases, if you don't smile at the guy, you'll get a snarky comment. As if you owe them the smile as a thank-you.

And as far as the elevators: I can't believe nobody has mentioned the phenomenon of the man-who-stands-near-the-door-and-won't-exit-first, even in a crowded elevator, thus forcing women to brush against him as they exit. Pah.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:02 PM
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Like...Mao???

Ah, so you've seen the photos of my family in our utility clothing?


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:03 PM
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What about the back-to-the-street rule, while eating in a restaurant?

Wait, what? I've known groups of guys to argue over who gets to sit in the gunfighter's chair, but I've never heard of this rule. Who is supposed to sit where, and why?


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:04 PM
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I can't believe nobody has mentioned the phenomenon of the man-who-stands-near-the-door-and-won't-exit-first, even in a crowded elevator, thus forcing women to brush against him as they exit.

The ideal solution to this problem is either a frosty "excuse me, please" or else shoulder-checking the guy as you brush past.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:04 PM
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456: Well, that's my irrational thought when I'm with my kids. Don't think that's how it started though!


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:05 PM
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I unthinkingly violated the elevator rule a couple of days ago -- unthinking until I was halfway into the step, and couldn't reverse course without being obvious. Felt kind of funny. The women in my office let me hold the door without fuss -- they seem to view me as a relic, so I get a pass on these things.

What I wanted to mention, though, is a breakup story from an old friend. He'd put his name on a waiting list for a once-in-a-lifetime kind of trip, and after several years, it came up. For various reasons, he couldn't go, and suggested that the woman he was living with (they'd been together a couple of years) go. She called from the road, having met someone on the trip: Be out of my house when we get back.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:05 PM
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463 - Or tread on his foot. Especially if you're wearing those heels mentioned earlier.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:06 PM
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I have recently detected an annoying tendency in myself to walk swiftly up to a door, then at the last minute realize that I was about to cut someone off who would have ordinarily beaten me to the door, then deferentially say, "Please, after you."


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:06 PM
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445: Speaking as a driver in Palo Alto I, er, might resent that remark. What do you consider to be proper stop sign etiquette?

First and foremost, you let all the cars that were already at the sign in the other-directional lanes when you pulled up to it in your lane go before you go. The only exceptions are if the person on the far side is going straight, and you are going straight or turning right, or, depending on the streets, if the person on the far side is turning left and you are also turning left. Then you can go when that person goes. (Pedestrians are a further complication and an example of how context-sensitive these things are; it takes judgment that surpasses being set forth in a finite number of rules, but most people in PA just ain't got it, so far as I can tell.) I constantly see people edging out and attempting to follow close behind someone who just went, upsetting the plans of others who have been waiting courteously, etc. I'm not the only one who thinks this, too.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:08 PM
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459, 457 -- The rule is that the woman gets the better view. This is kind of obvious, isn't it?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:08 PM
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464: I'm the same way with PK, absolutely.

I'm thinking actually I got the dining rule wrong, and the lady is supposed to be the one with the view. I can't remember, because Mr. B. always hogs the best seat, whether I'm annoyed at him on personally, or on principle.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:08 PM
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It's not just olden-days muddy roads, of course--in the rain, cars still splash in puddles.

I would think with kids it'd be more about better preventing them from running (or tripping and falling) out into the street.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:09 PM
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The woman is supposed to get the view. A rule I generally observe.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:11 PM
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I wish I understood 455. It seems like it must be funny.

463: or just goose him.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:11 PM
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OT: Man, it's a weird feeling realizing that you did something all wrong a couple of years ago and no one noticed. Third-party subpoenas have to be served personally, rather than by mail, according to the treatise I'm reading. I've sent out a whole bunch by mail in the past, and never been told to go soak my head as I should have been.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:11 PM
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468: So at a four-way stop, if there are three cars in line to go north when you get to the stop sign going west, you'd wait for all three to go through before proceeding?


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:11 PM
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468: Okay, that's what I'd call not so much "Stop sign etiquette" as "the law, and you'll get a ticket if you break it."

That said, in these days of ubiquitous traffic lights, I find that I'm losing my instincts for stop signs. I'll come up to my turn at an intersection, look around, and realize I have no idea what order we all arrived in, and, as such, who has right of way. I like to think I handle those situations with circumspect caution, allowing others to take the right of way if it's theirs, but honestly, who knows?


Posted by: Epoch | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:11 PM
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The boyfriend, who inevitably knows these things, says generally one seats the woman facing the dining room or the door. I'm sure this is yet another rule that I horrify him by breaking, come to think of it, because my favored seat in the restaurant he works at is one where my back's to the door (and, come to think of it, the window).


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:12 PM
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Also, all the way upthread to people will actually put their hand on your back

What part of your back? In American culture the guiding-with-the-hand-on-the-small-of-the-back is such a proprietary gesture. I can't think of a single instance I've seen that was neither romantic/possessive nor parental/possessive.

Are you talking about a different part of the back, or does back-touching mean something different in Iran?

On preview: Oh, I would have assumed the opposite - - the man needed the better view so as to be able to protect. Or something like that.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:12 PM
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468: So at a four-way stop, if there are three cars in line to go north when you get to the stop sign going west, you'd wait for all three to go through before proceeding?

"At the sign" means at the sign, not "in line for the sign". I would wait for the first one to go, then go.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:13 PM
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471.1 - yeah, but in practice modern drains make that a fairly infrequent occurrence.

471.2 - tripping and falling, yes. But it's also deeper and less logical.

The rule is that the woman gets the better view. This is kind of obvious, isn't it?

Obvious in what way???

I usually *take* the best view, but that's because I'm not very nice.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:13 PM
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473: Heralds announce people.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:14 PM
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Wow, CharleyCarp, 465 is really something. Who are these people who do things like this? It strikes me as not only rude, but kind of immoral. There's also something just aesthetically absurd about it. I mean, I can imagine hooking up with someone on a trip, but telling the live-in partner to get out of the house before one's return seems unreal to me.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:14 PM
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483

If I am with a woman and we come across a puddle, I will throw her coat over it so her feet don't get muddy.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:15 PM
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484

469:

Of course. But, nice people observe always give their companion the better view, regardless of the gender of their companion. Common decency dictates that you allow others the preferable seat, the more safe walking route, and the opportunity to exit first (unless exiting into danger).


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:16 PM
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485

483: I thought i was supposed to throw my coat over the puddle? Have I been doing it wrong?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:16 PM
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486

480: The bf, who I really wish would participate in these threads, says his theory is that "women or anyone, I guess, likes to see what's going on," whereas a guy "needs only to stare deeply in her eyes."

I can't help it, I'm a total sucker for this shit.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:16 PM
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487

469:

Of course. But, nice people always give their companion the better view, regardless of the gender of their companion. Common decency dictates that you allow others the preferable seat, the more safe walking route, and the opportunity to exit first (unless exiting into danger).


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:16 PM
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488

479: OK, you're not nuts.

There's a heavily-used five way stop near my house. It works amazingly well most of the time, probably because most of the people who use it use it a lot.


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:18 PM
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489

Also what will said, twice.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:18 PM
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490

But then no one would ever sit down or leave anywhere or anything - why is it fair that someone gets to claim the moral high ground?


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:19 PM
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482 -- He was still pretty shook up about it telling me 6 months later. I've never met someone with worse luck with women, although he's just the sweetest guy ever.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:19 PM
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I'm with will on the common decency.

And as for this: his theory is that "women or anyone, I guess, likes to see what's going on,"

See, that makes sense, except it's a total contradiction to the fight over the gunfighter's chair. Right? I mean, if you're being chivalrous enough to give your date the best seat, aren't you also the kind of guy who thinks that he should be doing the protecting? And therefore would need the seat that affords the best view of the room/street/potential leaping lizards apt to attack you?


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:19 PM
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493

486 - that's what I'd tell my dining partner, if he ever complained. And then next time wear a lower-cut top.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:20 PM
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494

My gf is horrible about letting others have the more preferable _______. I am always yelling at her "Stop trying to take the little claw!!!"


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:20 PM
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495

494: Wait, what's she doing wrong? She's letting someone else take the good bit -- that's right, right?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:21 PM
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496

The more cynical might suggest that a man shouldn't be checking out other women in the restaurant, because his motives are no doubt impure, while women can be entrusted with this opportunity because they will not take advantage of it.


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:22 PM
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497

Lizard:

nothing. But, she should get the big claw some days.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:24 PM
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498

481: oh. That kind of heraldic. You say "hark", I can only hope?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:25 PM
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499

C'mon Will, she's only doing what you said people *should* do in 484/7!

496 - mmmm, sure. Ahem.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:25 PM
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500

You need to be quicker snatching the little claw, I guess.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:26 PM
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501

500:

Good point, but she distracts me with the low cut top.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:27 PM
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502

I am always yelling at her "Stop trying to take the little claw!!!"

Yeah, I admit this can be annoying. Sometimes the ex would ostentatiously take the smaller piece and hold it up in triumph, while I had to take the larger piece, in violation of all I know and hold dear.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:27 PM
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503

Continuing the OT digression from 474: I feel better now -- at least courts appear to be split on whether service by mail of a Rule 45 subpoena is sufficient. But in the Ninth Circuit, it looks like you have to serve personally.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:29 PM
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504

I only hold doors open for people if they are carrying shit. Although occasionally i'll do it, then fall behind a woman and just wait for her to open the door for me. Since invariably she'll just stand there awkwardly i'll make fun of her for being a psoilled princess then.

i find it interesting i'm neither particularly chivalrous or feminst.

manners seem like a class thing, to me.


Posted by: y isn't the | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:29 PM
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505

If you're a male reviewing a restaurant, you get to violate that rule, because you need to take in the details -- JRoth can corroborate, I'm sure. But whatever, the best seat is the one facing me, so who cares?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:29 PM
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506

502: You know, there's being polite, and there's being a control freak. She wants the little piece, let her have the little piece.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:30 PM
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507

I was both proud of her and mad at her today. We ordered sushi. The normal amount of sushi. In the middle of dinner, I had to take my daughter to bed.

When I came back, my gf had wolfed down more than her normal share of sushi, leaving me with the small claw.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:30 PM
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508

She wants the little piece, let her have the little piece.

This is why Al Qaeda hates you.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:32 PM
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509

Third-party subpoenas have to be served personally, rather than by mail, according to the treatise I'm reading.

Especially if that treatise is titled "Federal Rules of Civil Procedure"?

I suspect that most 3d-party targets of subpoenas either (1) don't have lawyers to tell them these things, or (2) have lawyers who tell them what it will cost them to contest the service, upon which they say "to hell with it."

Of course, always remember: when serving subpoenas, always serve the females first, or it's invalid. Mott v. Hoople, 238 U.S. 572.


Posted by: Anderson | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:34 PM
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510

I've never met someone with worse luck with women, although he's just the sweetest guy ever.

They can smell that a mile away, man.


Posted by: Anderson | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:36 PM
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511

Yeah, the Rule doesn't say personally, it says "by delivering a copy." Courts are split on whether personal service is required, although admittedly the weight of them come down on yes.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:37 PM
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512

507: you find clawed sushi where, exactly?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:38 PM
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513

Stop signs, i used to have a plan figured out. I think i just go on instinct now. I'm always right though.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:39 PM
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514

504 was me, sorry.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:40 PM
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511: I confess to being personally familiar only with the 5th Circuit's way of looking at it, but "delivering" is such unusual language in the Rules that personal service seems the only plausible reading. Particularly when you think what the penalties are to a 3d party for blowing off a subpoena, there are good reasons not to let anything but personal service do.

Now I'm going to have to go look at Wright & Miller -- or is that what you're looking at?


Posted by: Anderson | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:42 PM
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490: Hence the gendered rules, Asilon. You can't have it both ways.

The problem with the taking-the-little-claw thing (my mother in law does this constantly, and it's annoying) is that somehow when women do this it often comes across as martyrdom rather than manners. Like, obviously with children you make sure they have enough to eat, even if that means giving them half your meal, but with another adult, especially if you're the one treating (which usually is the man, not that this should be a hard and fast rule), if you don't get enough you simply order more, dammit.

The gunfighter's chair thing is ridiculous. In civilized society, which is where these rules operate, we don't assume that someone's going to walk into the restaurant and start shooting, or that women are going to need protecting while you're out having a meal.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:43 PM
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517

That is the treatise in question. It's firm in stating that personal service is required, but there are a fair number of cases in the footnotes going the other way.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:44 PM
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518

Also, LB's right about 502. The entire point of good manners, old-fashioned or otherwise, is to make other people comfortable. If you insist on having the little claw, or on leaping to open the door, you're just showing off and you deserve to have someone make star-nosed mole hands at you.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:45 PM
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519

How is it rediculous? Its the same as all the other status games that consume most of people's free time.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:45 PM
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520

Huh, my father used to observe the man-walks-on-street-side-of-sidewalk rule. Ancient history. I haven't thought about it in over a decade, though I admit that, when walking with him, it was second nature to make the adjustment.

Perhaps I do it unthinkingly now.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:46 PM
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521

When my college girlfriends were visiting last week, we had civilized who-picks-up-the-check battles constantly. But then we're all very male-identified like that.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:47 PM
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522

Oh, the 'who picks up the check' is even worse, because noone wants to chat about $$


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:49 PM
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523

Yeah, there are a lot of insane decisions in the footnotes to almost any section of Wright & Miller. "But see Mott v. Hoople, 238 U.S. 572 (holding service invalid where male was served before female)."

More seriously, those all appear to be district courts, except that weird Iraqi thing. Having written astonishingly bad stuff while interning for a district court, & seen it published, I shun those decisions except where they have the virtue of supporting my client's position -- and even then ...


Posted by: Anderson | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:53 PM
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524

490: Hence the gendered rules, Asilon. You can't have it both ways.

So it only seems as if they're trying to be nice and polite to women, but really they're polishing their halos and giving themselves pats on the back? That sucks.

G'night all.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:53 PM
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525

524: Exactly like LeBlanc said upthread, yup.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:54 PM
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526

523: Oh, I'm happy with the 'personal service is necessary' rule -- our client was served by mail. I'm just feeling dim in retrospect for having sent out about thirty subpoenas a couple of years ago, all wrong.

(And also feeling dim because I told the partner I'm looking this up for that I was reasonably certain of the answer.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:56 PM
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527

524, 525: Yep. That's what annoys me about the whole mess.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:56 PM
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528

Some of the best I ever hear: always offer to pick up the check, but only offer once. Always demur when somebody else offers, but only the first time.

With my friends we generally trade off on check-taking, with the poorer people at the table generally exempted. Figuring out everybody's share is such a hassle anyhow.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 6:57 PM
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529

I was being cynical in 525. Of course there are guys who are jerks about Deferring to the Ladies but there are plenty of polite men who have good manners. It's usually the jerks who will defer only when they want to make a point, and will then do it pointedly.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 7:00 PM
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530

The worst though is people who want to split evenly, when they got a full meal, and i only got a drink.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 7:01 PM
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531

One time my mom got kinda upset about me not holding the door for her or some similar pseudo-faux-pas and i went off about maxism or something and then we didn't really talk for a few hours.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 7:03 PM
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532

Some of the best advice, that is.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 7:04 PM
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533

It is good advice. I admit that I sometimes have a little problem with being clumsy on the manners front. But I was hosting, and I didn't want them to feel obligated, y'know?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 7:07 PM
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534

Also, i REALLY like finding ways of subtly fucking withi people without tripping the 'impolite' sensors. Such as walking on the left side of a hallway. People keep expecting you to move over to the right side, but when you don't its like their brain got fried.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 7:11 PM
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535

534: And you wonder why your friends insist on splitting the tab evenly when they ate a full meal and you only had a drink? Looks like you need to step up your game.


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 7:14 PM
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536

534: Stay the hell away from me or I'll hurt you.

(Oh, probably not, I'm harmless and nonviolent. But I'll hate you a lot if you do that sort of thing around me. Walk on the right. If you're on an escalator, stand on the right, walk on the left.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 7:15 PM
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537

534: I do that all the time when driving. What fun!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 7:17 PM
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538

534: That is just dickish. I'd bodyslam you. Is that what maxism is?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 7:20 PM
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539

you guys make me giggle.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 7:20 PM
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540

Did Max bodyslam you a lot, AWB?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 7:21 PM
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541

noone every has initiated physical contact because of this. like i said, people's brains quit working. They don't have negative reactions.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 7:21 PM
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542

I consider myself doing a charitable good: people's lives move so much faster as adults because they are used to things, and have instinctive responses; when we were kids, everything was new and weird so time went slower. I'm prolonging people's lives.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 7:22 PM
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543

I see people doing that sort of thing, and I hate them. That's a negative reaction. And I hate them thoughtfully and individually, with the full usage of my brain.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 7:23 PM
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544

542: Sorry, but if you're even a little bit serious about any of this, you're a grade A asshole.


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 7:24 PM
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545

I think they probably do have negative reactions, actually.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 7:25 PM
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546

I consider myself doing a charitable good

Oh, please. You're entertaining yourself by goosing people.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 7:25 PM
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547

It's the sort of thing 15-year-old tourist boys do on 34th St. just to shake up this old town, right before they tell a businesswoman to "Smile!!" And plastic bags floating through the air are the most beautiful thing in the world, if you think about it!


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 7:25 PM
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548

Oh, please. You're entertaining yourself by goosing people.

In, what it pains me to admit, is classic unfogged-commenter tradition. Bastard.


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 7:27 PM
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549

Damn, you guys are harsh. Not wrong, but harsh.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 7:27 PM
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550

oooooh, lets talk abotu the assholes who tell women to smile. Generally, waht they are doing isn't all that different from being friendly. But instead of being funny, they're very incompetently trying to get smiles by demanding them. The instinct that getting people to smile is a good thing, is a good thing. "Hey, SMILE" guys are just socially inept.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 7:29 PM
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551

Likewise, jabbing your fork repeatedly in the eye of the person you're dining with? Sadly clumsy, but no more.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 7:30 PM
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552

It's pretty different from being friendly, actually. It's actively aggressive, and they deserve to be smacked.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 7:30 PM
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553

545: okay, herald.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 7:34 PM
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554

Aggressive (intrusive) from the recipeients point of view? Yes. And socially inept are probably more likely to have hatred for others. But making conversation with strangers is agressive in its own way. I'm talking from a 3rd person perspective, not the effect on the victim.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 7:34 PM
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555

554: See, the thing that you're not getting is that intentionally causing discomfort for strangers who haven't done anything to you is always and only an asshole move. There is no explanation that makes it anything other than an asshole move.


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 7:37 PM
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556

554: Okay, not to get all lecturey on you, because everyone's jumped your shit already in this thread, but the claim to objectivity you're making is nonsense. You're lending credence to the "smile!" person's implied claim--that they're only being friendly!--but insisting that the spoken to person's viewpoint is entirely personal. Even though you say that making conversation with strangers is aggressive.

Which no, conversation isn't aggressive. Bossing strangers is aggressive, though, as is directly challenging someone--which is why most people, walking along the street, will avert their gaze from others they pass, or at most smile or say "hello"--acts that clearly signal peaceful intentions and submissiveness.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 7:39 PM
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557

I had a friend who was convinced he was shaking people out of their complacency every time he did something annoying. Turns out he was just an asshole. Go figure!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 7:42 PM
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558

intentionally causing discomfort for strangers who haven't done anything to you is always and only an asshole move.

What about that guy who nailed his "sculpture" of a red glove to the traffic island across from the Flatiron Building? Yoyo, was that you? Because the two of you seem to think alike.

The glove guy was supposed to be an artist, so I guess Yoyo is doing performance art. As is whoever beats him up. That will enhance Yoyo's sensations.


Posted by: Anderson | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 7:42 PM
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559

maybe objectivity isn't quite the right word. But 'aggressive' suggests something abotu the perp's mindset, when i don't think its really accurate. My guess is that mostly people who do this shit, unlike say catcallers, have somewhate benign intentions, poorly executed.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 7:43 PM
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560

I don't aim for mere annoyance; i aim for the bizarre and incomprehensible.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 7:45 PM
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561

'aggressive' suggests something abotu the perp's mindset

Whatever, no it doesn't.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 7:45 PM
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562

561: oh. i may have misunderstood your complaint then.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 7:47 PM
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563

536: I was recently somewhere - Denver airport, I think - where nobody was observing escalator protocol. Standing on the left! With their luggage at their side! Drove me batty. It was nice to get back to somewhere civilized where people take escalators as part of their daily travels and have internalized this kind of thing.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 7:51 PM
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564

Speaking of subpoenas, there's something to be said for dressing so fugly that the server won't come near you. Didn't work here, though.


Posted by: Anderson | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 7:54 PM
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565

I would argue that teaching social skills to everyone would really hlep cut down on that sort of obnoxious behaviour


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 7:56 PM
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566

Denver is full of libertarians who would probably quote Ayn Rand at you on why they absolutely MUST stand wherever they wish on the escalator, or else the liberal tyrants will have WON!

Or at least, so I imagine.


Posted by: Anderson | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 7:59 PM
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567

565: So you're coming out in favor of universal kindergarten? You might be just a little late on that one.


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 8:01 PM
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568

Dave, feeling a li'l cranky?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 8:08 PM
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569

Eh, maybe I am. I'd like to think that the problem is people saying stupid stuff, but I have a feeling that happens more often than I react this way.


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 8:20 PM
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570

120 is perfect.

146: Please, please say the new (cute! funny!) profile includes the words "I AM COMPLETELY MOTHERFUCKING INSANE AND YOU WANT NO PART OF THIS."


Posted by: HC | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 8:20 PM
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571

I walk on the outside of the pavement with my children, mostly. A man doing it for a women really is a relic from the olden days of muddy roads though, isn't it?

I've heard that it's a relic from the even older days when the WOMAN was supposed to walk closer to the road so the man would be more at risk for garbage being dropped out of windows.

The boyfriend, who inevitably knows these things, says generally one seats the woman facing the dining room or the door. I'm sure this is yet another rule that I horrify him by breaking, come to think of it, because my favored seat in the restaurant he works at is one where my back's to the door (and, come to think of it, the window).

I just let my fiancee pick where to sit. She almost always sits with her back to the window or the wall or whatever. This is because
A) the seat by the wall is usually a padded bench, while the seat facing the wall is usually an unpadded chair.
B) in most restaurants in America if you are facing the window you are looking out onto a desolate parking lot or a boring street with random people, while if you are facing into the restaurant itself you get to see the nice décor of the restaurant and be more immersed in the ambience.

O why am I sane, while the world all around me is not?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 8:22 PM
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572

Dammit I even included the accent aigue, only to be tripped up by the spelling of "ambiance". Well, that's pwnedantry for you.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 8:24 PM
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573

I'm wondering what kind of lame district court decisions you guys are seeing that allow service by mail.

Back on topic, now that I think about it, I ended up getting married as a result of a botched break up.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 8:37 PM
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574

the accent ague isn't showing up on my computer.

Windwos XP

Firefox 2.whateveristhelateestupdate


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 8:52 PM
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575

573 Isn't that taking break up sex to a bit of an extreme?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 8:58 PM
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576

I mostly prefer the passive breakups where you just quit contacting the other person. I'm too levelheaded to get into arguements.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 8:59 PM
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577

575 -- Much lamer than that (as you can see from the link).


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:13 PM
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578

That's a great story.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:19 PM
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579

And filled with typos, too.

No really, what courts have said that mail service is OK?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:26 PM
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580

That is good, Charley.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:26 PM
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581

That is good, Charley.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:27 PM
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582

There's an SDNY case. Admittedly, it's one of those "Well, the 2d Cir. hasn't spoken on this, but seems to me" cases that's just begging to be overruled, but it's out there.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:29 PM
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583

That is good, Charley.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:30 PM
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584

That is good, Charley.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:31 PM
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585

That sucks, Charley.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:33 PM
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586

That boof, Charley.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 5-07 9:36 PM
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587

Lots of interesting stuff above.

I generally hold the door for everyone, male or female, and I'm generally really polite irrespective of gender. Ditto things like getting off a lift, I'd tend to hold back for others to go first, male or female. I do actually tend to do the 'walking on the street side' thing but that's because I've had a couple of ex-g/friends who cared about that sort of thing. My wife, on the other hand, doesn't care which side I walk as long as I am not shading her from the sun. I walk on the 'dark' side.

There are times when 'chivalry' becomes entirely real. When you are on a night or evening bus (whether in London or in Glasgow), for example, there are really good reasons why the man sits on the aisle side and the woman at the window. Ditto in certain bars, where the guy really ought to be the one sitting on the 'outside'.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07- 6-07 12:43 AM
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588

On the other hand, re: hitting women:

http://tinyurl.com/2hfhnw


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07- 6-07 12:51 AM
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589

No really, what courts have said that mail service is OK?

Mostly Westlaw cites to unpublished ops, though there were a couple that made the F.R.D., a process I need to find out about -- for some reason, the F.R.D. cite always makes me go "hm," tho probably these were selected b/c they were such outliers. God knows how cases actually get published there. Anyway, district courts are retarded. You should've seen me explaining that you don't add the 3 days for mailing after the receipt of a pleading, for removal-deadline purposes. I lost that, too. Stupid bastard.

My personal favorite in W&M is the discussion of how, 70 years after the FRCP, we *STILL* have no agreed method of how to count the 3 extra days from mailing. There are, like, three different methods. If I moved to a different circuit, that would be the first thing I looked up.


Posted by: Anderson | Link to this comment | 07- 6-07 7:11 AM
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590

LB and Anderson -- you are making me feel both paranoid and reassured. Paranoid that I've messed/will mess something like this up down the line. Reassured that smarter people than I get tripped up by such things.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07- 6-07 8:40 AM
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591

LB may be smarter than you are, but definitely not me -- I don't even know how to exit an elevator properly.

Being a rules geek is the kind of thing that makes people perceive one as smart, b/c they figure that only someone smart would latch onto something so dull. However, some of us are just dull.


Posted by: Anderson | Link to this comment | 07- 6-07 8:55 AM
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592

534: Stay the fuck out of L.A. I, unlike LB, will actually hurt you.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 07- 6-07 9:07 AM
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593

it would be rude to get off before the women

This is really the only chivalry you need to care about.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 07- 6-07 9:22 AM
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594

And yet, there are women who would argue that even this chivalry is unnecessary:

http://www.unfogged.com/archives/comments_7043.html#574692

Ensuring that everyone gets off when and where they need to is really all that chivalry ought require.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07- 6-07 9:42 AM
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595

589 -- I once got West to publish an opinion that the judge hadn't designated for publication. Send a letter explaining how your case is an important development in the law, and they'll look at it.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07- 6-07 1:17 PM
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596

today i walked down to the end of the urinal line to piss right next to the guy who was already there, and then i started talking to him.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 07- 6-07 2:16 PM
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597

I have to admit that that's hilarious.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 6-07 2:21 PM
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598

190
167: John, I think your boomer credentials may have to be revoked.

You attempted to quote Dylan:
"Ghosts of electricity hang in the bones of her face" -- aargh!

"The ghost of electricity howls in the bones of her face" a little better, no?


It may be better but it ain't right.
You've both lost your sense of euphony.
It's actually "Ghost electricity howls in the bones of her face" and I can't hear it any other way.


Posted by: dave heasman | Link to this comment | 07- 6-07 5:07 PM
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599

I been to sugar town, I shook that sugar down.


Posted by: Clownaesthesiologist | Link to this comment | 07- 6-07 5:14 PM
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600

I can't imagine anyone is still slogging through this thread, but I must say YAY! to m.leblanc for her comment (below) about why shouldn't women get to be nice, too? I've been trying to explain this to male friends for years. Down here in TX, it's even worse. Last time I tried to hold a door for a man he said that his mother would roll over in her grave if he let a woman hold the door for him and I said that *my mother* would roll over in hers if I gave in to such an argument and he finally went through.

386: Actually, this is what annoys me about chivalry that doesn't often get talked about. It's like only men get to have the pleasure of performing these nice little gestures. Why should I not get to occasionally hold a door for someone, or let someone get on the bus before me? It makes me feel good, and I like doing it. But no, if I do the little hand-holding-out that says "go ahead, you go first" to a dude, he automatically wants to let me go ahead first (and will often refuse to go ahead of me), whereas if I had done nothing they'd be pushing to get on ahead of me. It's total bullshit. I should get to be nice, too.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 07- 6-07 5:27 PM
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601

its htat process whereby the unusual, thoughtful guesture turns into a social requirement that is downright evil.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 07- 6-07 6:35 PM
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602

601 Social custom is the only way we can make sense of the behavior of others. Otherwise, it's just a Hobbesian nightmare, where people are sidling up to you while you're peeing and making conversation.

(I had a case where the guy on the other side had sidled up to my guy while he was peeing, taking the next urinal, immediately before the conduct that was at issue. It was correctly thought by all that this was sufficiently provocative that the mere recounting of it delegitimized the other guy's account of the subsequent interaction.)

600 et al. To come back to the everyone should be courteous point, I agree. The rule, though, is and should be that if the relationship between two people is unequal in some way -- socially, economically, physically -- then the person in the power position owes the person in the non-power position the courtesy. Obviously, there's nothing wrong with allowing a my secretary to hold the door for me, but we all understand that unless business calls for it, I am obliged to make the first move to open the door for her.

I haven't arrived at a door at the same time as, or ridden an elevator with, the chairwoman of our firm. I think I'd tend to yield, and I think she'd let me. I also think it wouldn't be strange for her to make the move, as it would be if my secretary did it.

(I've droned on long enough that there's no sense in stopping now. The first time I visited my wife's home village, I was given a lecture on the necessity of greeting every single person I meet on the sidewalk, and the rules regarding who must initiate the greeting. I usually hold up my end, when the rules require that I go first -- lest I bring shame on all associated with me and get an elbow in the ribs to boot.)


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07- 6-07 7:20 PM
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