Re: Speaking of Coetzee

1

I sometimes wonder how many of these cases -- and god knows there are lots -- are old goats and how many are old fools.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 11:12 AM
horizontal rule
2

Was he making a real move on her, or was it an ill-advised attempt at a kiss-on-the-cheek greeting? Creepy either way, but rather more so in the former case than in the latter.


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 11:17 AM
horizontal rule
3

Wait, which line was you and which line was the undergrad?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 11:17 AM
horizontal rule
4

1: Is there a meaningful difference?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 11:19 AM
horizontal rule
5

4: Oh, sure there is.

What's the institutional reaction to something like this? Not, without more details, that I think it should be anything in particular, but does the 'Don't sexually harass the students' committee snap into action and assemble a file leading to dismissal, or is moderate pursuit of undergraduates still winked at? Or, to put it another way, is he significantly in trouble if she mentions this to someone in administration?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 11:21 AM
horizontal rule
6

1: I was wondering just this.

4: Yes.

5: Oh stop. The student needs a recommendation. Also, it wasn't quid pro quo at all, there's no direct institutionally recognized grading/supervisory relationship-- which means that teh sexx0r would be within the institution's policies-- and it's not a pattern of behavior.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 11:31 AM
horizontal rule
7

You answered 1, 4, and 5, but not 3. I wanna know whether senior professors are trying to sex up our Labs!


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 11:36 AM
horizontal rule
8

Dude, not saying he should be fired, asking. One hears a certain amount of 'It'd be as much as my job is worth to look a millisecond too long at an attractive undergrad' from academics these days, and I was wondering how that played out for real.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 11:37 AM
horizontal rule
9

8: It's way exaggerated. One doesn't want to be gossiped about, but the actual risk of losing one's job is pretty slim. Not if you're an adjunct, and if you're untenured and have a rep that could be a problem, but actual instances of people losing their jobs over this stuff are pretty low.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 11:41 AM
horizontal rule
10

8: I think a lot of claims about overzealous HR departments are overstated. It's pretty hard to fire someone with tenure and it's hard to fire GOod Old X, our colleague for lo these many years. For one-time, ambiguous situations like this it would be talking-to in most cases.

Here, though, I *am* curious about how it would play out if the student made a big deal of it. As I said, the faculty member isn't teaching her and isn't advising her formally, so I'm not sure what the force of the complaint would be.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 11:43 AM
horizontal rule
11

Yeah, that's the thing, isn't it? In a sense, this isn't a problem: the student is basically an adult, she's surely dealt with unwanted passes before and will again, the guy doesn't have a habit of doing it or any power over her, she can just tell him to piss off.

I think the problem is less an academic one than a larger feminist one buried in that "she's surely dealt with unwanted passes before and will again." The only thing that makes academia special in this regard is that there's a constant supply of young people being taught that even those who should know better will act like assholes around girls.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 11:47 AM
horizontal rule
12

11: would the feminist argument be that women should never have to deal with unwanted passes? That seems like a fairly high bar for men to clear? I'll go ahead and assume that the point is that guys shouldn't act like assholes around girls.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 11:49 AM
horizontal rule
13

And I'm still wondering about 2. I had a law school professor who was uncomfortably touchy, but in a reasonably social way -- hand on the shoulder, social kiss on the cheek when meeting in non-class related circumstances -- but didn't convey 'making a pass', more just a slightly skeezy impression that he was putting on a really warm, affectionate persona because he got off on touching his female students. But this was clearly nothing that was a big deal or that anyone bothered complaining about formally, just mildly distasteful. Making a pass is wildly different.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 11:49 AM
horizontal rule
14

I agree with 12. "acting like an asshole" =/= "making an unwanted pass".


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 11:55 AM
horizontal rule
15

11, 12: Huh. In the workplace, I'm mostly all about 'people make passes, they're all adults, you say yes or no and if it stops there life goes on.' And I suppose I'd say the same thing about a Chemistry prof hitting on a History major. But the 'favorite professor'/'mentor' thing annoys me, even if it's not a tight enough academic connection to be prohibited by school rules. But maybe I'm just being prissy.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 11:55 AM
horizontal rule
16

Oh, I think it's kind of gross, and I think the guy was acting like kind of an ass. Just curious about the larger implications of B's statement.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 11:58 AM
horizontal rule
17

But if I were a much older professor who was interested in not acting like an asshole, I would think to myself, "Hm, I'd better require fairly strong signals from a much younger person who is a student and to whom I am a mentor before making a pass." That wouldn't elimiate every awkward encounter, but it would certainly cut down on them. Seriously, the way my father tells it from his brief time in academia, nubile young things who wanted to hook up with professors weren't exactly shy about it, so there's minimal need to fear a missed opportunity.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 11:59 AM
horizontal rule
18

15: Well this is where the goat/fool question comes in: is this something Prof X regularly chances his arm at with undergrads who he knows reasonably well, or has he transformed into a great moon-cow over some kid who has no idea that every little thing she says or does is being accumulated into a body of evidence in support of the idea that she has fallen for him.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:00 PM
horizontal rule
19

"Hm, I'd better require fairly strong signals from a much younger person who is a student and to whom I am a mentor before making a pass."

See moon-cow issue above. You'd be amazed what some people can interpret as a "strong signal."


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:01 PM
horizontal rule
20

transformed into a great moon-cow

This is wonderful.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:02 PM
horizontal rule
21

19: how about `We should hook up when you aren't my professor any more.' Does that count?


Posted by: soubzriquet | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:04 PM
horizontal rule
22

15/12: No, the feminist point is that we tend to excuse/allow men to make passes in situations where they ought not--e.g., "favorite professor/mentor"--and men tend to excuse/allow themselves to do so. After all, "you never know," and that Male Sex Drive trumps everything. The solution would be for guys to learn, as women have, how to hide or control that impulse when it's inappropriate.

And I say this as someone who has Behaved Badly in much the same way, which I ought not have done. On the other hand, I think women behaving badly is not (at this point in history) a problem in the way men behaving badly, because it's simply far less common and therefore easier for young men to treat as flattering/"just an unwanted pass" rather than a central fact of their role in the world.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:05 PM
horizontal rule
23

But I'm interested in how a well-meaning sort of person might prevent himself from acting like an asshole, not discerning the motives of already-existing assholes. It's true that in some cases, even a well-meaning person will be all wishful about every little word/gesture/action on the part of love-object. But many, many of us can control this impulse almost all the time, and I would argue that bringing the entitlement/moon-cowness thing to full consciousness among many professors would stop much of the behavior, if only because their desire not to be known as creepy old men (and hence ridiculous and pathetic) will probably trump their desire for nubile flesh.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:07 PM
horizontal rule
24

17 is correct. 18 still makes me want to know what the meaningful distinction is. I'm thinking from the pov of the student here, by the way, because I think her experience of the thing is the one that matters.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:07 PM
horizontal rule
25

The solution would be for the guys who do this to learn, as the women who have learned this have, how to hide or control that impulse when it's inappropriate.

Fair enough.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:08 PM
horizontal rule
26

All this talk about making a pass ignores the fact that even in a world of equals, making a pass at someone by flat-out going in for the kiss, out of the blue, is shitty and kind of creepy.

For passes to be non-objectionable, they should not be ones that get all up in someone's personal space.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:08 PM
horizontal rule
27

23 exactly.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:09 PM
horizontal rule
28

26: there's that. Actually my first thought reading this post was "why is it that creepy old dudes are so totally unable to be suave about it?"


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:10 PM
horizontal rule
29

Oh, this is much worse than your average unwanted sexual advance, I think. If a male prof./advisor/mentor type did this to me (even in the absence of a possibility of quid pro quo) I'd be horrified, because it makes you wonder whether the whole intellectual/professional connection was in fact based on his hope that he could score with a younger woman.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:11 PM
horizontal rule
30

teh sexx0r would be within the institution's policies

Faculty Handbook, Labs U, Chapter 1. When teh sexx0r is okay.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:11 PM
horizontal rule
31

26 is correct too.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:11 PM
horizontal rule
32

Yeah I know you're only thinking of the student's pov, but I don't think you can properly characterize the interaction without taking into account what both people think is happening. This is not to say, btw, that one motivation rather than another can absolve one of blame for making an unwanted pass/harassing someone/etc.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:11 PM
horizontal rule
33

In a post titled "Speaking of Coetzee", it seems only fair (to the author, not the Professor) to consider both points of view.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:13 PM
horizontal rule
34

The ones that are suave don't come off as creepy in the same way. It's not as if (as Frowner alludes to) there aren't professor/student relationships in which the students participate enthusiastically, and I'd say that professors in such relationships are sometimes, maybe usually, but not always doing something wrong. But the ones that just look creepy are the non-suave ones.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:13 PM
horizontal rule
35

29: Bingo. And it's the sort of thing that leads one to keep potential mentors at arms length in future, which is so good for one's professional development generally.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:15 PM
horizontal rule
36

26 is a good point.

I think 29 is good too. There is a fundamental difference I think between some faculty member hitting on unrelated students (no professional relationship whatsoever) and the same thing happening when there has been (or will be) such a relationship. It runs a real risk of undermining professionalism.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:15 PM
horizontal rule
37

Why is it not stone-cold clear that macking on the students is tacky, and you shouldn't do the tacky thing, even if you won't get fired for it?


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:16 PM
horizontal rule
38

34: that's the thing, though, they are creepy! I would even say this schlump is rendered somewhat more harmless (not blameless, obviously) by his clumsy ineptitude.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:16 PM
horizontal rule
39

Slol, my institution was founded by Gob Bluth. "You're all tapped out? Check your P&T requirements, assistant profs-- you're teaching at Fuck College!"


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:17 PM
horizontal rule
40

Why is it not stone-cold clear that macking on the students is tacky, and you shouldn't do the tacky thing, even if you won't get fired for it?

Because there is no end to the middle-aged Professorial capacity for self-deception.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:17 PM
horizontal rule
41

As a woman who's experienced a lot of inappropriate passes, I still got naughty with a then-former, adult student. I was the one who worried about the reprocussions for him and called it off, though.


Posted by: Nancy Reagan | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:18 PM
horizontal rule
42

29 exactly. And that's why I think the student's point of view is the one that matters here--because in the world where young women learn that they are Sexual Objects no matter what context they're operating in, men with authority in arenas that are explicitly supposed to be about something other than sex have responsibilities to not do that sort of thing. Especially if they are *teachers*.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:19 PM
horizontal rule
43

37: I agree, slol, but what a WASP thing to say. Are those Hickey Freeman jeans you're wearing?


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:19 PM
horizontal rule
44

37 gets it right. It was a terrible mistake during a bad time for me.


Posted by: Nancy Reagan | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:19 PM
horizontal rule
45

38: Weeell, I don't know. Part of 'suave' is being sensitive enough not to make a pass that's going to shock or repulse the recipient. A more 'suave' approach might have been genuinely less creepy, in that he wouldn't have made the pass because he would have figured out it was going to be unwelcome. (The problem of successful macking on willing undergraduates is a different and more complex one. Still tacky, at the least.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:19 PM
horizontal rule
46

37: Basically right. I suppose there are grey areas involving ex students, and involving say (typically) junior faculty and graduate students in other departments, etc.

I've been hit on by students a few times and while it's always been a bit awkward to deal with, I've somehow never found myself thinking `hmmm, maybe this would be ok'.


Posted by: soubzriquet | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:20 PM
horizontal rule
47

I agree, slol, but what a WASP thing to say. Are those Hickey Freeman jeans you're wearing?

L. L. Bean. Hey, I come by it honestly.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:21 PM
horizontal rule
48

O cripes, and a red polo shirt.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:21 PM
horizontal rule
49

it's not a pattern of behavior.

How would you know? (Or more to the point, how does the student know?)


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:21 PM
horizontal rule
50

47: I think they have a 12-step for that now.


Posted by: soubzriquet | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:21 PM
horizontal rule
51

Slol comes out as a supporter of both the war and LNS.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:22 PM
horizontal rule
52

No socks with the loafers?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:23 PM
horizontal rule
53

It seems to me that a lot of our conversations about academia come down to when you can fire someone, as if that's the only way to motivate people. I suspect even with academics there are other factors at work.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:23 PM
horizontal rule
54

Can I add fuel to the fire by noting that the student is older than the prototypical undergraduate, has been at parties with this faculty member, and has smoked

marihuana

with him?

Unrelated: Thomas Fehlmann gets it done.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:24 PM
horizontal rule
55

Why is it not stone-cold clear that macking on the students is tacky, and you shouldn't do the tacky thing, even if you won't get fired for it?

Because there is no end to the middle-aged Professorial capacity for self-deception.

True, but I still think that this has a lot to do with gender. We're generally agreed as a culture that old women macking on younger men is tacky. Whereas old men macking on young women we tend to condemn clumsily, casting about for ways to explain it as predatory or threatening.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:25 PM
horizontal rule
56

51: aw, c'mon, don't pick on slol. This site's about as WASPy as can be. Even ogged is kind of a WASP, in some ways.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:25 PM
horizontal rule
57

54: still totally gross. On the other hand, an undergrad approximately junior faculty age-appropriate hitting on other undergrads? Perfectly okay.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:27 PM
horizontal rule
58

It's okay, Tweety. Labs is just getting some of his own back from me and is entitled to more than a few cheap shots in this department.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:28 PM
horizontal rule
59

We're generally agreed as a culture that old women macking on younger men is tacky.

We have? Nobody told me.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:28 PM
horizontal rule
60

Agree with slol in #37 and and our Yemeni friend in #59.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:30 PM
horizontal rule
61

Seriously, y'all, Substantially Older hitting on Younger is almost always a bad idea. I cannot get over how many men well into middle age remain convinced that they are all deathlessly attractive (for themselves alone, no less) to women in their early twenties. When I consider how much virtually-constant guilt and shame I felt while having a crush on someone in their twenties while myself having reached the advanced age of 32! And how my disengagement from that crush was mostly about the terrible fear of accidentally making myself ridiculous or embarassing Crush Object with my elderly attentions!


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:30 PM
horizontal rule
62

My student was older than I was, but it was still wrong.


Posted by: Nancy Reagan | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:31 PM
horizontal rule
63

54: See? If only we had better inhibitions about being tacky, these things wouldn't matter.

Now that we've solved the immediate problem of the post, I would dearly welcome a discussion of how to understand/retain/reinforce an aversion to bad-tackiness (macking on students, say) without embracing full-on pinch-assed WASPishness.

Because I admit that I have been tacky on occasion, and would like to stop, but no way am I going to start buying clothes from LL Bean.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:31 PM
horizontal rule
64

57: I know you're kidding, but I'd really kind of agree. I think an awful lot of the discomfort with relationships across age differences is really discomfort about status differences, and age gets much much less important when the people involved know each other in a context in which they're formally equal.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:32 PM
horizontal rule
65

B's a special adviser to Team Cougar on the The Bachelor.

54 isn't meant to de-gross the situation, and I agree it's gross; just (I think) part of an explanation (not justification!) for why Professor McOld thought he might be doing the right thing.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:32 PM
horizontal rule
66

Labs' little blockquote flourish was a nice touch.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:33 PM
horizontal rule
67

64: I'm glad you "know" I'm kidding.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:35 PM
horizontal rule
68

B's a special adviser to Team Cougar on the The Bachelor.

So nice.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:35 PM
horizontal rule
69

I cannot get over how many men well into middle age remain convinced that they are all deathlessly attractive (for themselves alone, no less) to women in their early twenties.

People work hard to ignore the fact they are aging, and have an image of themselves that gets increasingly out of date -- especially if they are single.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:35 PM
horizontal rule
70

When I said you were kidding, I didn't mean to imply that you weren't actually hitting on your classmates.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:36 PM
horizontal rule
71

Ooh, 64 is good. That helps with my 63 problem.

Also, shut up, Labs.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:37 PM
horizontal rule
72

57 nails it. a 10 or 20 year difference between tenured professors getting together, say, really isn't the same thing as if one was a prof. and one was a student. There are other reasons you might question the wisdom of too large an age gap, but the most immediate concerns seem to be about imbalance of power.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:37 PM
horizontal rule
73

bah. 72 was to 64, not 57.


Posted by: soubzriquet | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:37 PM
horizontal rule
74

69: but then they buy a red ferrari convertible an it's all good again.


Posted by: soubzriquet | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:39 PM
horizontal rule
75

True fact: wife #1 was hit on by her undergrad "mentor" while she was doing her Masters at a different Univ. Her loving husband was serving overseas in a war zone, so Prof. Creepy thought she needed some special attention.

Is it the fact that we get older every year, but the freshmen are always 18? Sic transit and all that.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:40 PM
horizontal rule
76

Now that we've solved the immediate problem of the post, I would dearly welcome a discussion of how to understand/retain/reinforce an aversion to bad-tackiness (macking on students, say) without embracing full-on pinch-assed WASPishness.

Occasional readings of The Lecturer's Tale as a reminder not to turn into Victoria Victorinix or Morton Weissman, as appropriate?


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:40 PM
horizontal rule
77

Oh good, another deeply earnest discussion about norms.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:40 PM
horizontal rule
78

70: ok, good. Seriously, my social world is such that I'm not really around that many people my own age (except you geezers: thanks, pretend internet friends!). On the other hand, normal-college-age kids are, like, totally kids. It's not an easy problem to solve. "Unemployed thirty-something undergrad seeks intelligent, professional woman for keggers and discount matinees" does not a compelling personal ad make.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:42 PM
horizontal rule
79

I know, I shouldn't carp. Be the thread you wish to see in the word, and all that. I'm banninated.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:42 PM
horizontal rule
80

75: Ooo, there's a whole bunch of extra tacky points on that one.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:42 PM
horizontal rule
81

69: But not people, men. Our culture is constantly at work on women to remind us that once we're older than, what, 25 or so then the bloom is irretrievably off the rose. I've considered myself (in addition to too fat and too plain) too old for attractiveness since I was out of college, and particularly since I hit my late twenties. There would be no way that I--or, I think, most women--would fail to consider our age when hitting on someone. If anything, as you may gather, I think women often over-consider their age.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:43 PM
horizontal rule
82

69: But not people, men.

Yeah.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:45 PM
horizontal rule
83

76: Damn, I think I meant Penelope O., not Victoria.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:46 PM
horizontal rule
84

I know, I shouldn't carp.

Heebie hates that sort of thing.

78: Age-appropriate grad students in different departments? Showing up at the right departmental events to meet people might be complicated, but there might be a reasonable way.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:46 PM
horizontal rule
85

78: You should totally run that add.

For what it's worth, I went to undergrad quite late also (and single). My solution was to take honors in two disciplines, pretty much negating the need for any social life. I hope you find a better one. Seriously though, I did end up meeting some grad students, you should try this.


Posted by: soubzriquet | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:46 PM
horizontal rule
86

I" cannot get over how many men well into middle age remain convinced that they are all deathlessly attractive (for themselves alone, no less) to women in their early twenties."

I think the problem is books. I've recently read 2 acclaimed contemporary literary novels in which the young female protagonist has a passionate love affair with her best friend's dad. In both the age difference has to be at least 30 years and the young woman is portrayed as desperately in love with the older man. And both novels were written by women.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:49 PM
horizontal rule
87

My solution has been to hang out at one of the two places on campus where they serve alcohol, which tends to weed out the youngest, at least. Most grad students here spend 18 hours a day in the lab, which means they're somewhat hard to find, let alone get to know.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:49 PM
horizontal rule
88

81: That makes sense. Ironically, for just those reasons, in our culture if the older woman is hitting on the younger man it is often seen as attractive (although not necessarily appropriate), because it means she is confident and hasn't fallen victim to the unnecessary insecurities that you talk about.

Meanwhile when a man does it it is almost always seen as being out of arrogance or obliviousness.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:50 PM
horizontal rule
89

87: There are grad students in departments other than lab sciences.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:51 PM
horizontal rule
90

78: Oh come on. Date the transfer students or something--they may be more or less the same age as the "traditional" undergrads but they're surely much more your peers.

81: Frowner's right. Obviously I make passes at younger guys, but I'm self-conscious about it to the point where my self-consciousness becomes a thing--I think I'm totally over-compensating. What I want is a decent damn rule of thumb so that I can be a happy cougar, indifferent to sexist nonsense about sell-by dates, without crossing the tacky line. Cats don't like being tacky.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:51 PM
horizontal rule
91

What I want is a decent damn rule of thumb so that I can be a happy cougar, indifferent to sexist nonsense about sell-by dates,

OK, the rule is, "Don't do it at work."


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:53 PM
horizontal rule
92

90: No one in your professional field who isn't formally your peer, and if someone outside it is a lot poorer than you are, keep the socializing on a level that he can afford to pick up half of. Other than that, go crazy. Rowr.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:54 PM
horizontal rule
93

91:

Does "behind the dumpster" still count as "at work"?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:54 PM
horizontal rule
94

88: It's not ironic. It's because men don't deal with being hit on or ogled in every aspect of their lives every damn day, so being hit on by an older woman isn't just *one more situation where they have to fend off someone who doesn't have a decent sense of boundaries,* and they're free to respond to the individual, being flattered or revolted depending.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:55 PM
horizontal rule
95

90.1 has figured out my general strategy.

89: not that many of them here. But yes, I know a lot of them, since they tend to hang out at the same place I do (near the beer taps, natch).


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:55 PM
horizontal rule
96

Does "behind the dumpster" still count as "at work"?

I dunno, are you a garbage man?


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:55 PM
horizontal rule
97

91: Agree with that, too. Aren't these all sort of basic understandings we have? Or is the problem that they are basic understandings, but that they're guidelines developed by prudes? (Genuine question. I fall into the prude category.)


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:56 PM
horizontal rule
98

91, 92: Awesome, thanks.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:57 PM
horizontal rule
99

97: I think 'absolutely nothing at work' is unnecessarily prudish, particularly given the amount of time most people spend at work these days.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:59 PM
horizontal rule
100

98: Another suggestion -- make sure he is at least 18.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 12:59 PM
horizontal rule
101

87: There are grad students in departments other than lab sciences.

Yeah, in the library.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 1:01 PM
horizontal rule
102

I think by the time professor was smoking pot with undergraduate, we're already way into the territory of creepy. And not in the prof's class, not being supervised by the prof, doesn't make for not-having-a-prof/student relationship. If as was stated, the student is looking for a recc from the prof, then they have a professor/student relationship and it needs to be left at that and that alone. Just NO macking. or maybe I should change my name to crankyoldmarriedlesbian. otoh, I get cheek-kissed all the time in greeting, esp. in non-U.S. contexts, and never thought a thing of it-- kind of surprised people here seem to think otherwise.


Posted by: actualifanonlesbian | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 1:02 PM
horizontal rule
103

80. The level of tacky goes up even further when one is informed that Prof. Creepy is married to a prof in a related discipline, and wife #1 thought of Prof. Mrs. Creepy as a confidant.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 1:02 PM
horizontal rule
104

otoh, I get cheek-kissed all the time in greeting, esp. in non-U.S. contexts, and never thought a thing of it-- kind of surprised people here seem to think otherwise.

I've never seen anyone do that. I would be surprised if it was coming from someone who was not European.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 1:04 PM
horizontal rule
105

104: There is a pretty strong north america/ europe divide on that one. Notwithstanding certain pathetic socialites in (eastern particularly) US, afaics.


Posted by: soubzriquet | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 1:06 PM
horizontal rule
106

Can WASPiness be rescued from LNS and the present administration?


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 1:07 PM
horizontal rule
107

What? The present administration is a bunch of rough-hewn Texans! If you tried to invite George W. Bush to Kennebunkport like certain other presidents I could name, he'd punch you in the face.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 1:09 PM
horizontal rule
108

No. We hereby forbid the further breeding of golden retrievers.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 1:10 PM
horizontal rule
109

105: I'm in a social group that's half-and-half cheek-kissy for greetings, some people do and some don't. Mostly, I'd rather not, which means that I'm always feeling standoffish when someone else leans in for the (perfectly ordinary) cheek kiss. Not socialites, particularly, but New Yorkers.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 1:10 PM
horizontal rule
110

109: boy, you'd have a hell of a time around my huggy California friends.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 1:11 PM
horizontal rule
111

Oh, I don't mind it, and if everyone does it doesn't bother me. But enough people I know don't cheek-kiss that I generally don't lean in first, and then I feel as if I'm being all cold and standoffish. This has been another visit to LB's neuroses.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 1:12 PM
horizontal rule
112

99: What about "if s/he's really, really hot"?


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 1:13 PM
horizontal rule
113

109: I've never lived in NY, maybe it's more general there. I've only run into it coming from americans using it as a class tell.


Posted by: soubzriquet | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 1:16 PM
horizontal rule
114

I'm not a New Yorker, but it is true I hang around a lot of Europeans. And New Yorkers--but none who are or fancy themselves socialites.
what's the reference to golden retrievers? damn. I clearly missed something.


Posted by: actualifanonlesbian | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 1:16 PM
horizontal rule
115

101

87: There are grad students in departments other than lab sciences.

Yeah, in the library.

I have been successfully chatted up in the library.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 1:21 PM
horizontal rule
116

108 was to 106.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 1:26 PM
horizontal rule
117

I did my BA and MA at a teacher-student-sex-friendly campus. When I first found out one of my friends (19) was blowing a prof, which is why she couldn't take his classes, I thought it was pretty creepy. And when a prof came onto me when I was 19, that, also was creepy. But when I was an MA student, flirty "I'd so do you" talk between profs and students was extremely common.

But now I'm at a school where the grad students don't even flirt with each other, lest a breath of impropriety waft through the halls. Lots of drugs, yes, but no flirting, between anyone, ever. The students are generally a lot safer in this environment, and you can concentrate more easily on work, but what has been lost?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 1:29 PM
horizontal rule
118

116- oh!


Posted by: actualifanonlesbian | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 1:30 PM
horizontal rule
119

Going all the way back up to 6 -- "The student needs a recommendation. Also, it wasn't quid pro quo at all." I have real trouble with these sentences. She needs a recommendation. Maybe there was no *explicit* quid pro quo. But somehow methinks that when you sit down to lunch with Prof. Mc Creepy to request a recommendation and he attempts to kiss you, there's at least an ambiguous/implied quid pro quo in there. Not saying evidence sufficient to convict, but the quid pro quo is sort of implicit in the imbalance of power.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 1:32 PM
horizontal rule
120

awb-- really, what has been lost?? I'm all for sex, but geez, it doesn't have to be w/one of the grad students or profs in your own dept.
Also, I wonder how lesbians, or for that matter, anyone who just doesn't feel like talking that way, in your former dept (if there were any) felt about the "I'd so do you" talk. I know if it'd been me, it would have felt pretty damn awkward-- just another way to feel an outsider.


Posted by: actualifanonlesbian | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 1:34 PM
horizontal rule
121

120: I was kidding, mostly.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 1:45 PM
horizontal rule
122

apologies awb. clearly, I need a nap.


Posted by: actualifanonlesbian | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 1:49 PM
horizontal rule
123

And most of the flirting at Previous School was queer, actually.

I often say it's a relief not to be concerned about that kind of stuff at My School, and it is. It's just odd, when one is hard up for sex, to look around at a sea of attractive, mostly bisexual, brilliant, thoughtful people--my peers, not profs--and think, "I can't fuck any of these people without creating a scandal."


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 1:49 PM
horizontal rule
124

Di, this is not what happened at all, from how I understand the story:

But somehow methinks that when you sit down to lunch with Prof. Mc Creepy to request a recommendation and he attempts to kiss you

The rec wasn't a subject of conversation at all; it's just a fact that the student would, eventually, like a letter from McX. To take action, the institution would have to demonstrate what I think isn't even true, namely, that McX was tying the contents of the rec and the sex together in some way. My point in 6 is that the student is in a really bad position to press any kind of claim here, because the good will she needs can't be demanded.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 1:49 PM
horizontal rule
125

123: I'm all for the idea that grad students shouldn't be discouraged in having a lot of sex. Amongst themselves, or with outsiders, at least. Not with undergraduates or professors. And preferably not in the halls.


Posted by: soubzriquet | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 1:51 PM
horizontal rule
126

This isn't meant as a guilt trip at all, I'm just nosy -- why'd she tell you? Was it pure "OMG, this was so gross", or was there an overtone of "Prof. Labs, can you somehow make Prof X. recognize the error of his ways?"


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 1:52 PM
horizontal rule
127

There was no such overtone, LB.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 1:54 PM
horizontal rule
128

Were there other overtones? Did she dim the lights when she told you?


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 1:55 PM
horizontal rule
129

I've been made clumsy passes at by a prof who I needed recs from. It was awkward, but we got along well enough that we could later get a beer and laugh about it. "Dude, you are the most ridiculous flirt," etc. If she can maintain the friendship without leaving the event unspoken, it might even help her rec. But it's a crap position to be in if your friendship can't bear the pass or if it feels like pressure.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 1:56 PM
horizontal rule
130

FL: yeah, but the fact that she's in a really bad position b/c she needs the rec is something any prof who isn't entirely brain dead can figure out, and ought to be expected to figure out, and furthermore, is that feature of their relationship which makes theirs definitively a prof/student relationship irrespective of anything else. which is why, as you said, ick.


Posted by: actualifanonlesbian | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 1:56 PM
horizontal rule
131

125-- ever been in the position of trying to deal with mess resulting from bad-breakup amongst one's graduate students? I have. repeatedly. And have seen female students, in particular, lose incredibly valuable time to degree trying to cope with the fall-out. I don't think there should be rules, but whenever one of my grad students asks, I advise looking outside dept for sex and/or romance.


Posted by: actualifanonlesbian | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 2:01 PM
horizontal rule
132

130: the actual case is not so clear, because the applications are in the future, it's unclear if this prof knows about grad school plans, and she certainly hasn't asked for the letter yet.

I'm not sure of my exact wording earlier on the thread, and I'm too lazy to check, but when I say "not in a prof-student relationship" I mean "in the sense relevant to the institution's policies, which prohibit romantic relationships between faculty and *students they are currently grading/assessing*." There are ick-relevant facts, and HR-relevant facts, and in this case they come apart.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 2:01 PM
horizontal rule
133

120: I'm always fairly uncomfortable with the whole "Oh, colleague, I'd do you" kind of talk. It's fun and flattering if you're hearing that a lot and everyone wants to get into your personal pants because you're just so cute and brilliant and everything, but since I've never been in that fortunate position I'd rather be able to pretend, at work, that my fuckability isn't of major concern to my colleagues. That's, to me, another problem with the "oh, can't I sleep with one of my hott, nubile students?"...it's a reminder to your not-hott/less nubile students that they will never be able instantly to catch a professor's attention because of their adorability. When I watched my cuter classmates get lots of attention in a classroom setting from professors, I felt like shit, honestly.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 2:02 PM
horizontal rule
134

125: sure, I should have emphasized more the *outsiders* (outside the department, outside the school) part. This is a variation of the age-old `don't date people you work with', and your advice is sound if not always followed, I'm sure. And the more time intensive your work/school life is, the harder it is to date outside your group.

My point was more that AWB seems to be describing an environment that is pretty repressive about this sort of thing, and I think in that case the cure may be worse than the disease.


Posted by: soubzriquet | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 2:05 PM
horizontal rule
135

As a sophomore, I was hit on by our College Democrats adviser--not a professor, but a 30-something alum--in a manner so unsuave that even I, one of the unsuavist of my generation, could see just how unsuave it was. One night, on the way back from a meeting which had deteriorated into a discussion of Tolkien, he invited me to his place to see his first editions. And, well, if it got too late, I could just spend the night, he said. I was a bit flattered, actually, but, yeah, right. This man went on to have a minor political career, but I imagine him now saying to some guy "You know, you look a lot like Harry Potter."


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 2:07 PM
horizontal rule
136

That's not that bad -- being obvious is a good thing, so you can turn down the pass before you're in his house at midnight.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 2:09 PM
horizontal rule
137

When I watched my cuter classmates get lots of attention in a classroom setting from professors, I felt like shit, honestly

I believe this, it makes all kinds of sense, and I'm sure it happens all the time, but I never noticed it. Probably too obtuse.

AWB has written before about the erotic in the student-teacher relationship, and I know this must be very common, but I have never felt it, nor observed it. I've never been a teacher, and then I'm sure I would.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 2:10 PM
horizontal rule
138

134- I just don't know that the cure is worse than the disease in this kind of case. My own grad dpt transformed, while I was there, from a everyone-fucks-everyone to a 'we don't do that' and the latter was better; much less melodrama, less weidness for the few like myself who just weren't inclined to say "i'd so do you" to any man in the dept (or woman, but there were very few of those). Newbies would come in and bemoan what they thought a prudish norm, but they weren't there when there was no norm against fucking people in the dept. Now I hear things have gone back to the way they were when I arrived, and all the old melodrama and weirdness has returned with it (something I've heard more than once from students trying to transfer)


Posted by: actualifanonlesbian | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 2:15 PM
horizontal rule
139

That's, to me, another problem with the "oh, can't I sleep with one of my hott, nubile students?"...it's a reminder to your not-hott/less nubile students that they will never be able instantly to catch a professor's attention because of their adorability.

Yep. As I think Clive James remarks somewhere, student/professor relationships are generally unfair to the screwed and unscrewed alike.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 2:20 PM
horizontal rule
140

When I watched my cuter classmates get lots of attention in a classroom setting from professors, I felt like shit, honestly.

I tend to be pretty neutral about this sort of stuff I think, but do remember having a bit of cognitive dissonance about it once. We tend to have fairly low percentages of women in our classes; not as bad as some disciplines, but not nearly balanced. Because of this, I try to be careful about classroom environment (thinking about the students behaviour, not just mine) and discourage anything that might be discouraging to women in the class. I had one class where the best student also happened to be quite a beautiful girl. So I had to wonder what the impression others in the class would have. She was well prepared and asked questions (which is sometimes like pulling teeth) so I would interact with her in class as much as anyone, at least. I realized I didn't know if another student in the class would pick up on the fact she was on top of the material, or would assume something else. I started to de-emphasize her role in classroom interactions a bit, but I don't know that this was the right thing to do, either.


Posted by: soubzriquet | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 2:20 PM
horizontal rule
141

Not that you did anything wrong, but that's depressing.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 2:24 PM
horizontal rule
142

139 is right.


Posted by: actualifanonlesbian | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 2:25 PM
horizontal rule
143

136. Yeah. Credit where it's due. I think I said something like "Well, I'd love to see them, but I should get back to my dorm."


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 2:25 PM
horizontal rule
144

133: Hmm. I'm not so sure it's "fun and flattering if you're hearing that a lot and everyone wants to get into your personal pants because you're just so cute and brilliant and everything." It's actually alot more flattering (in a professional and/or academic setting, anyway) when people want to get into your actual work product* because you're just so brilliant and everything. When they have a hard time getting past your pants, it's rather annoying.

* Sentences like these make being a lawyer annoying -- I really wanted to say "get into your briefs," but that wasn't capturing the point so good...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 2:30 PM
horizontal rule
145

137: I dunno, I'm uneasy with very literal talk of the erotic content of teaching (In the abstract, of course, it's a commonplace). Professors wouldn't be so thrilled, seriously, if students they didn't find cute were hanging on their every word, obsessively attending office hours, and doing their best to generate erotic tension, so what it all seems to boil down to, to me, is "sexy students should be able to flirt with sexy professors regardless of any other consequences for the class as a whole; those who are left out should just deal, and if you're not Teh Sexy too bad for you."


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 2:30 PM
horizontal rule
146

140: I think, seriously, that the smartest talkiest students (like Frowner, at least at St. Mediocre where I took my degree) often need to be discouraged from dominating the class. It's rather like the matter of nubility: students who are smart but unconfident, students who want to practice argumentation, students who have opinions that are worthwhile even if they aren't the Best Ever...those students can get really demoralized by the constant yak yak yak of various Cleverboots-types. It was really hard for me to learn to be quiet in class, but I think it was probably the most important thing I learned.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 2:34 PM
horizontal rule
147

145- also, if you are 'teh sexy' or might be, but would rather profs & peers engage with you about your work then you're a prude, or 'one of those', and at any rate, not worth engaging with at all. That, irl, is what I've seen happen in sexualized depts where people talk regularly of wanting to 'do one another'.


Posted by: actualifanonlesbian | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 2:36 PM
horizontal rule
148

That, irl, is what I've seen happen in sexualized depts where people talk regularly of wanting to 'do one another'.

I know of a case where a woman giving a presentation to such a Dept (not her own, not her discipline) had her audience of academics break down in hysterics when she began a talk with the words "My work straddles two areas." She was genuinely nonplussed, and then appalled. Junior High with Tenure.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 2:42 PM
horizontal rule
149

146: But as an instructor, you do lean on those people when the alternative is for class sessions to be endless rounds of "okay, anybody?" You can revert somewhat to pure-lecture technique, but that's annoying when you're explicitly supposed to be leading a post-lecture breakout session. Middle ground is hard.

I've been in classes where it felt like it was really just the prof and two or three students having a conversation, and the rest of the class were spectators. It would probably be better if everyone were involved, but I don't think that was on offer.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 2:44 PM
horizontal rule
150

gonerill-- exactly. And as though there isn't enough already that makes this 'junior high with tenure'.


Posted by: actualifanonlesbian | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 2:45 PM
horizontal rule
151

In my department there are at least five grad-student-on-grad-student couples, all of whom met in the department. The concept of a grad student with a professor sounds totally ridiculous, though. (and not just because every single professor is married) These are the sciences.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 2:52 PM
horizontal rule
152

I've been in classes where it felt like it was really just the prof and two or three students having a conversation, and the rest of the class were spectators. It would probably be better if everyone were involved, but I don't think that was on offer.

In that situation the (possibly temporary) creation of a "raise your hand to be called on" rule may work wonders. Then the professor can consciously call on people who aren't the Talkative Brilliant Talkers Who Are Fanboys Of The Professor And She Of Them.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 2:53 PM
horizontal rule
153

Saying that grad students in the sciences ought not date each other seems like it would lead to a heck of a lot of childless scientists. These people don't get out much.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 2:54 PM
horizontal rule
154

Also, the concept of "eros" between the student and professor is laughable in any science class. Or math or statistics or economics. But not judo.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 2:57 PM
horizontal rule
155

149: Well, in my own case (blushes) I was quietly told by the professor to stop talking so much. (With, actually, the result that there were a lot lot lot of silences, which made me feel a little better. In fact, I'm not sure that the horrible shaming of the private-talk-with-Frowner-the-freshman was actually a good idea.)

But I think a little bit of meta-conversation class discussion might help...that way, the chatty kids wouldn't feel targeted, and at least a few of the less-chatty would probably be motivated. Not that then every single person would talk, but it would probably help a bit. And I think it would help a lot in the long term, as people had a chance to reflect.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 2:57 PM
horizontal rule
156

S/b "meta conversation about class discussion".


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 2:59 PM
horizontal rule
157

Law school was lousy that way -- most of the classes consisted of three or four people allowed by the professor to pontificate at will, and thirty or forty who might get to talk if they left their hands up for long enough. I was generally in the small group, but it still seemed wildly unfair.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 3:00 PM
horizontal rule
158

What I want is a decent damn rule of thumb so that I can be a happy cougar, indifferent to sexist nonsense about sell-by dates, without crossing the tacky line.

The line is half your age, plus seven years.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 3:00 PM
horizontal rule
159

Calling on people & allowing them to pass worked reasonably well. Though you could get a string of "pass" in a row, esp. if the class was generally hostile to the professor. In general even a flawed lecture-with-discussion worked better for me than pure lecture--even if I was fuming about some idiot from the Fed Society who dominated the discussion, I was still more engaged than I tend to be at a straight up lecture.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 3:06 PM
horizontal rule
160

146: I agree. I think it is somewhat separable from what I was talking about. I've had classes where I've had to shut down a particular student or two from dominating the class. This situation was different, I thought.


Posted by: soubzriquet | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 3:12 PM
horizontal rule
161

154: You'd think so, wouldn't you? But it isn't true.


Posted by: soubzriquet | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 3:12 PM
horizontal rule
162

161 continued: ... but it clearly isn't a hotbed.


Posted by: soubzriquet | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 3:13 PM
horizontal rule
163

What I want is a decent damn rule of thumb so that I can be a happy cougar, indifferent to sexist nonsense about sell-by dates, without crossing the tacky line.

B, are you serious about this?

First of all, shed the "cougar" language. That already buys into the suggestion that there's something tacky about older-women/younger-men relationships.

I dunno (well, I do) what you and Frowner are on about here: if a woman and a man who happens to be younger are attracted to each other, things may follow.

Isn't it the same as any nascent relationship? Suggestions fall out of the woodwork. Except when you're talking about aggressively hitting on someone who otherwise hasn't given you any signals; which I guess is what you're talking about.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 3:18 PM
horizontal rule
164

House style!

I dunno (well, I do) what you and Frowner are on about here: if a woman and a man who happens to be younger are attracted to each other, things may follow.

This suggests a degree of ease, self-confidence and transparency that almost never characterizes my relationships. I mean, whenever I get involved with someone there's a huge vast quantity of time and care involved in revealing that we are interested in each other, so that no one will be embarrassed if one person is but the other isn't. And--being me--there's also a great deal of second-guessing, of the "what if he thinks we're going out for a drink as friends" variety. And then there's the whole "well he/she seems interested, but what if this is just stupidity/wishful thinking on my part?"

Now, you might say that I should just be direct, but that isn't going to happen in this lifetime. So if someone is more than a couple of years younger than me I assume that there is no way they could possibly be interested, and indeed am myself ultra-punctilious about not-doing-anything-that-could-suggest-interest, because I don't want to Make A Scene.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 3:25 PM
horizontal rule
165

Hence, the social utility of heavy drinking, without which no one would ever understand anyone else!

(No, wrong, bad. But it can clarify matters.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 3:28 PM
horizontal rule
166

165: well if nothing else, the heavy drinking can short circuit the whole huge vast quantity of time Frowner talks about in 164. Then people can get straight to the important business of the day: misery and rejection.


Posted by: soubzriquet | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 3:34 PM
horizontal rule
167

shed the "cougar" language. That already buys into the suggestion that there's something tacky about older-women/younger-men relationships.

Next you'll be telling me to change my username.

Except when you're talking about aggressively hitting on someone who otherwise hasn't given you any signals; which I guess is what you're talking about.

Absolutely. I'm unequivocally pro-sexual harassment, legally prosecutable or not. And as I've already made clear, I think that making a pass at someone who *has* given you signals is perfectly fine, even especially if that person is, say, an undergraduate in your class or your intern or your kid's best friend. Those flirtatiously seductive male Lolitas know *exactly* what they're doing.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 3:40 PM
horizontal rule
168

Nearly 200 comments and no one has yet corrected Labs? It's "Speaking of Goatse", Gayatollah.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 3:42 PM
horizontal rule
169

I should also say to 164, that the eerie similarities continue. I don't think I've ever gotten involved with anyone without a months-long period of ambiguous mutual longing on both sides. But I'm notoriously insane.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 3:51 PM
horizontal rule
170

LB is my science-fiction twin! That's what I like about the internets....there may only be one other person with my exact neuroses in these United States, but by damn at least I know who it is!

Although I find that I kind of like longing. It's easier, though, to enjoy longing when you're in a steady but (formally though not in practice) non-monogamous relationship.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 4:07 PM
horizontal rule
171

I'm unequivocally pro-sexual harassment

Heh. Heh?

Well, whatever. I understand what Frowner & LB are referring to, and when I was younger, I was more likely to go in for that long-term fear and longing. It can be delicious.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 4:07 PM
horizontal rule
172

But I'm notoriously insane

<bookmarking comment for use in future disagreements with LB....>


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 4:12 PM
horizontal rule
173

I took the bus last weekend and let me tell you that sucked ass. Im am so driving/flying next time.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 4:17 PM
horizontal rule
174

To 164 and 169:

Has either of you encountered those guys Megan once wrote about, who are attentive to women and manage to put them at ease, and who somehow manage to bypass a lot of the hesitations that build up on both sides? Directed at you?

I was shy and inhibited as a rule, but there were magic times, which gave me a sense of possibility, where things clicked really fast. Ever felt that?


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 4:17 PM
horizontal rule
175

Megan talks about those guys a lot, but I don't think I've ever met one of them.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 4:20 PM
horizontal rule
176

They're not paying attention to you, Teo.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 4:20 PM
horizontal rule
177

Don't worry, Teo. It can happen to you! Those guys will notice you eventually.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 4:21 PM
horizontal rule
178

Just try not to come off as too smart. Dudes hate that.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 4:21 PM
horizontal rule
179

I have decided that I hate the house style. It's slow to copy everything and make italics instead of typing a number.

I was shy and inhibited as a rule, but there were magic times, which gave me a sense of possibility, where things clicked really fast. Ever felt that?

You don't understand--first there's the "click" then there's the months of longing and wondering if you somehow could have imagined it. Really, truly slick men don't go for me nor I for them, though.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 4:22 PM
horizontal rule
180

I have decided that I hate the house style.

An appropriately Unfoggedian sentiment.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 4:25 PM
horizontal rule
181

I can only seem to hook up with dudes when we're both really really easy. If he makes a show of coyness at all, it's over; I'm not going to go around harassing innocent dudes who want to emerge with their sweet chastity intact. Therefore, longing has never, not once, led to sex in my very limited and idiosyncratic experience.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 4:25 PM
horizontal rule
182

unfogged doesn't need a house style.

i'm not sure it could handle a house band.


Posted by: soubzriquet | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 4:26 PM
horizontal rule
183

I can't imagine how 181 coexists with "I only hook up with dudes who apologize for their inadequate manhoods".


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 4:27 PM
horizontal rule
184

dudes who want to emerge with their sweet chastity intact

Who are these dudes? AWB are you sure you don't live in, like, Victorian England?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 4:27 PM
horizontal rule
185

What's your house Chablis?


Posted by: James Buckley | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 4:27 PM
horizontal rule
186

I'm inclined to be jealous—I've even resented JM's roomate, a loathsome creature, for his success—but Megan's description was very positive, and "slick" is not how I would characterize it.

And I've been "on," and know what it feels like; there's "click" and then there's "click-click-click."


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 4:30 PM
horizontal rule
187

183, 184: I think the link here is that the only dudes I end up sleeping with these days are wilting lilies. AWB: Wilts Lilies.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 4:30 PM
horizontal rule
188

Presumably those aren't "Wilt's Lillies?"


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 4:32 PM
horizontal rule
189

I don't want to evoke unpleasant memories, but "no-spark" was not so described here. Don't disappoint us!


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 4:32 PM
horizontal rule
190

189: No-spark did not apologize for his equipment, but, although he was comfortable around me, he was extremely reserved, often coy, and fairly submissive. I may have fucked that situation up by not being dommy enough, in retrospect.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 4:34 PM
horizontal rule
191

Has either of you encountered those guys Megan once wrote about, who are attentive to women and manage to put them at ease, and who somehow manage to bypass a lot of the hesitations that build up on both sides? Directed at you?

To me you are describing a type of ladies' man (manifestly distinct from a womanizer). Someone with a very high degree of interpersonal intelligence, who uses that ease and fluency to build rapport without being creepy or pushy.

It's almost like having perfect pitch, where "perfect" means "in this time and place, with this person" and "pitch" means "conversational rhythm and body language."*

It's a really remarkable and somewhat rare skill, but yes, I've definitely seen it.

*Yes, yes, double entendres up the wazoo there.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 4:46 PM
horizontal rule
192

I guess when I've encountered that, it hasn't looked like me-directed skill so much as an inner calm and poise. He's being himself, which makes it easier to be myself. We're both being ourselves, and this highly facilitates getting it on.

When I've been in situations when someone is very me-directed, and I'm very him-directed (or her-directed), this feels a little hostile and higher-stakes, and it usually ends in denial from one side or the other.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 4:50 PM
horizontal rule
193

good god no wonder the birth rate is through the floor.

What I want is a decent damn rule of thumb so that I can be a happy cougar, indifferent to sexist nonsense about sell-by dates,

"kick out the jams, motherfuckers" has served me well for the last five years as the comments policy of D^2 Digest and I recommend it as a policy for most other areas, apart from foreign wars.

in related news, the sexy are going to get more sex, and one does not have to be a die-hard evolutionary psychologist to think that there's not really very much that can be done about that.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 5:09 PM
horizontal rule
194

the sexy are going to get more sex, and one does not have to be a die-hard evolutionary psychologist to think that there's not really very much that can be done about that.

I guess Blair really did kill the socialist ethic.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 5:11 PM
horizontal rule
195

The Edge of Skeeventeen:

[slol stands by elevator, holding bouquet of flowers bought for Mrs. slol]

Secretary, wandering by: Someone's going to feel lucky tonight!


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 5:22 PM
horizontal rule
196

In high school days, my friend and I were standing in the lobby of my building when a thirty-something couple came in. A few minutes later, the man came back out. "Not tonight, eh?" said my friend. I've always admired him for that one. (Turned out the couple were married and the guy was just fetching something, but still.)


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 5:25 PM
horizontal rule
197

Turned out the couple were married

And he bothered to explain that before or after he smacked your friend upside the head?


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 5:26 PM
horizontal rule
198

I figured that out later; the guy just ignored us, the bastard.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 5:27 PM
horizontal rule
199

[slol stands by elevator, holding bouquet of flowers bought for Mrs. slol]

Last time I saw a similar tableau, the man in question was asked: "What did you do wrong?"

Answer: You don't even want to know.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 5:28 PM
horizontal rule
200

I didn't do anything wrong. This time.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 5:32 PM
horizontal rule
201

196: I once interviewed a (male) witness at 10:30 pm in an Extended Stay Deluxe near the airport. Got quite a look from the clerk at the desk.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 5:34 PM
horizontal rule
202

191: I've known guys who had that kind of demeanor, but they generally turned out to be really misogynistic and disdainful of women's interest in them. Puzzling, but there it is.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 5:40 PM
horizontal rule
203

I've known guys who had that kind of demeanor, but they generally turned out to be really misogynistic and disdainful of women's interest in them. Puzzling, but there it is.

Right, to me those guys fit under the "womanizer" umbrella. Successful at the manipulation, if somewhat superficially, but with a undercurrent of hating women rather than genuinely liking them.*

*N.b. Personality description can be repeated as appropriate with different genders/sexual orientations.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 5:43 PM
horizontal rule
204

I've met some of the type to which IDP refers who are not complete dickheads like my roommate. Even run off for a pleasurable night with a couple of them.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 5:49 PM
horizontal rule
205

But But But

I may not be young any more, but I'm wiser, understand women much better, know what I want (and have realistic expectations), have more money, and power.

And these sweet young things these days will do things the gals would never do when I was young. It says so in all the magazines.


Posted by: Old Moon Cow | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 5:53 PM
horizontal rule
206

78: Tweety, have you seen Kicking and Screaming? The Eric Stoltze character Chet may be one on whom to model your future exploits.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 6:04 PM
horizontal rule
207

You know you're macking a mockery of the house rules, Wrongshore.

I have not seen Kicking and Screaming, no, but it's hard for me to imagine ever modelling myself on Eric Stoltz. Buckaroo Banzai, yes. Humbert Humbert? I'd have to say maybe. Eric Stoltz? No way. Although his Pulp Fiction character was kind of endearing.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 6:07 PM
horizontal rule
208

macking a mockery

Freud you delectable minx, you've done it again.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 6:07 PM
horizontal rule
209

Dude, try the pdf23ds plugin. That shit leaves the house style in the dust.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 6:12 PM
horizontal rule
210

wrongshore:

How did you do?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 6:18 PM
horizontal rule
211

I met a guy like IDP describes once. Met the first time, click. Ran into each other a second time, click, click, clickety click. Left the country the next day and my love life went straight to hell.

Moral of the story: Don't travel.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 7:24 PM
horizontal rule
212

I guess when I've encountered that, it hasn't looked like me-directed skill so much as an inner calm and poise. He's being himself, which makes it easier to be myself. We're both being ourselves, and this highly facilitates getting it on.

This is so wrong. "Being yourself" can certainly be attractive, but the perfect pitch Witt's describing requires a great deal of conscious cultivation. And is no less charming for that. Probably it's more charming, even.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 7:31 PM
horizontal rule
213

212: "being yourself" can involve working quite hard to create an image, after all.

Didn't somebody on this blog once say it was all about confidence?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 7:35 PM
horizontal rule
214

Forget charming, try Eric Love, and I quote:

"You have to look at why sex was created," Eric Love, the director of the East Texas Abstinence Program, ... "Sex was designed to bond two people together."

To make the point, Mr. Love grabbed a tape dispenser and snapped off two fresh pieces. He slapped them to his filing cabinet and the floor; they trapped dirt, lint, a small metal bolt.
"Now when it comes time for them to get married, the marriage pulls apart so easily," he said, trying to unite the grimy strips. "Why? Because they gave the stickiness away."

Damn, I wish I could be that smooth.


Posted by: Roamsedge | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 7:59 PM
horizontal rule
215

214: So the point is that my divorce would have been less wrenching if I'd just given a little more of the stickiness away before getting married, right? Had I only known!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 8:05 PM
horizontal rule
216

soubz in 166: 165: well if nothing else, the heavy drinking can short circuit the whole huge vast quantity of time Frowner talks about in 164. Then people can get straight to the important business of the day: misery and rejection.

This is so very true.

I am slowly clearing my head of my feelings for John--the bit about misery and rejection revived them--but the comments about dating peers and co-workers did remind me of one thing. He met his ex-girlfriend in his residency class, and although they both went into different specialties, I can't help but think that the break-up was made harder by the fact that they both work at the same hospital. Maybe they don't have to see each other, I don't know.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 8:06 PM
horizontal rule
217

216 was I.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 8:07 PM
horizontal rule
218

215: Yes, apparently so. Though I am unclear as to the quantity of "more".


Posted by: Roamsedge | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 8:20 PM
horizontal rule
219

My sister saved all her stickiness for a charming sociopath. Bad move, sister!

She makes her living counseling ex cons and druggies now, though, so she learned something. They send her the tough guys and she turns them to jelly.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 8:23 PM
horizontal rule
220

I think I told you all about the graduate student who hit on me when I was a Freshman in college. It was seriously creepy. He wasn't teaching me, but he was teaching friends of mine, and he was probably in his early thirties. He was in the Government department and in my 6 person 4th semester Greek class, and we used to chat before class. He was really just taking the class for fun, he would say, though he would pretend that learnign Greek was work-related. There was some Plato in hsi dissertation.

He propositioned me by returning a piece of paper with a poem attached. He had composed Homeric-style verse praising my hair, and he invited me to his house for dinner. He wrote out his telephone number in Roman numerals.

I was seriously creeped out. I never responded directly, but I did avoid showing up to class early and never sat next to him.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 8:26 PM
horizontal rule
221

It warms my heart to think that I'm some 22 year-old lifeguard's creepy-early-thirties guy story.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 8:28 PM
horizontal rule
222

"being yourself" can involve working quite hard to create an image, after all.

True if yourself = psychotically insecure. Avoid at all costs.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 8:29 PM
horizontal rule
223

"...he was all hairy, and he had this huge scar. I get the shivers just thinking about it."


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 8:35 PM
horizontal rule
224

He wrote out his telephone number in Roman numerals.

Unsuaviter in modo, dorkiter in re.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 8:35 PM
horizontal rule
225

"...and he was there every single day. Dude, get a life!"

"He probably went there to hit on you guys. So gross."

"Totally."

"He probably lives with him mom."

"Heh. And I almost went out with him! I didn't know!"

"That's so scary."


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 8:37 PM
horizontal rule
226

"...he was all hairy, and he had this huge scar. I get the shivers just thinking about it."

or

"His name was Harry and he had this huge scar. I get shivers just thinking about it."


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 8:38 PM
horizontal rule
227

"They kept telling him to put his wand away. It was so embarrassing."


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 8:39 PM
horizontal rule
228

"...and he was there every single day. Dude, get a life!"

This dialog is obviously an extract from a fantasy of yours. A relative of the humiliated cuckold genre.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 8:40 PM
horizontal rule
229

225: Like you rate that high. "There was this creepy older guy, and I thought he liked me, but he was so ineffectual about it. I think maybe he's gay. Is your uncle still single?"


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 8:41 PM
horizontal rule
230

"They kept telling him to put his wand away. It was so embarrassing."

"And then I said, 'It's leviOHsa, not leviosAH.' He never did get it, though."


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 8:44 PM
horizontal rule
231

215 is awesome. Probably the definitive response.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 8:46 PM
horizontal rule
232

So the point is that my divorce would have been less wrenching if I'd just given a little more of the stickiness away before getting married, right? Had I only known!

Or, as Woody Allen says in his 60s standup about divorcing his wife in New York (when infidelity was the only valid grounds), "So the Bible says Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery, but New York State says you have to."


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 8:50 PM
horizontal rule
233

I thought the key paragraph from the article in 214 was this:

Mr. Rector says viewing abstinence primarily through the lens of public health distracted the focus from marriage. "Once you understand that that's the principal issue," he said, "you understand that handing out condoms to a 17-year-old is utterly irrelevant."

NYT reporter editorializing aside, this is pretty remarkable. The focus is not on public health? Dude, I don't know about you, but public health -- broadly defined -- is the only reason I think government should be funding anybody to talk to teenagers about sex.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 8:52 PM
horizontal rule
234

The most important aspect of public health is MORAL HEALTH, Witt.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 8:58 PM
horizontal rule
235

"He probably lives with him mom."

"probably lives with him mom."

"with him mom"

"him mom"

"him mom"

(I should really have posted this in the House Style thread, but...)


Posted by: Lunar Rockette | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 9:03 PM
horizontal rule
236

I found sexual debut a comical expression.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 9:07 PM
horizontal rule
237

210: (How did you do?) It was a tight game but I came in third. Email me for more.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 9:08 PM
horizontal rule
238

The most important aspect of public health is MORAL HEALTH

Wait, I'm sorry, who are you? And more importantly, what have you done with the woman who posted the kick-butt political to-do list yesterday?


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 9:09 PM
horizontal rule
239

OT: moving sucks.

Carry on with the morality or whatever.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 9:10 PM
horizontal rule
240

moving sucks

That's just because you saved too much stickiness for the current home. Just rip the tape off quickly.

(Yes, I'm mostly just commenting now because I learned how to do italics. Unfogged is so educational!)


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 9:14 PM
horizontal rule
241

Tried Bold Yet?


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 9:20 PM
horizontal rule
242

Bold?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 9:21 PM
horizontal rule
243

?dloB sdrawkcaB rO


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 9:21 PM
horizontal rule
244

Now you're just being silly.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 9:22 PM
horizontal rule
245

Test


Posted by: Lunar Rockette | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 9:24 PM
horizontal rule
246

BOLD AND ITALICS IS TOO MUCH IS JUST RIGHT


Posted by: OPINIONATED GRANDMA | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 9:24 PM
horizontal rule
247

Oh dear, strikethrough! How do I do strikethrough?!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 9:27 PM
horizontal rule
248

strike, /strike strikes through your message


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 9:30 PM
horizontal rule
249

I DEMAND THE ABILITY TO DEFINE FONT SIZE


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 9:39 PM
horizontal rule
250

OGGED WILL RUE THE DAY


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 9:40 PM
horizontal rule
251

My head is fuzzy spinning.

Can I simultaneously multi-format?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 9:44 PM
horizontal rule
252

Whoa.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 9:45 PM
horizontal rule
253

BOLD ITALIC BLOCKQUOTE


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 9:47 PM
horizontal rule
254

ZOMG


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 9:48 PM
horizontal rule
255

Hang it all, I deman d that we be able to use (font) tags to change the color of the text. That G in 254 was #FF1CAE!


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 9:49 PM
horizontal rule
256

Aw, c'mon!

block?!

I'm gonna be hungover by morning...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 9:50 PM
horizontal rule
257

Color and size, I'm telling you. Also, while we're at it, typeface!


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 9:56 PM
horizontal rule
258

No, color and size would just be too much. Way too much.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 9:57 PM
horizontal rule
259

255: That's a mind searingly bright color.


Posted by: Roamsedge | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 9:59 PM
horizontal rule
260

I ♥ different fonts.


Posted by: Jesus Weeping Meta-Christ on the Cross | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 10:00 PM
horizontal rule
261

Crap, I gotta figure out how to do that.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 10:02 PM
horizontal rule
262

I wondered if there were a way to do that


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 10:04 PM
horizontal rule
263

♥ ♣ ♦ ♫ ♪ Ӓ


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 10:08 PM
horizontal rule
264

Let's get small


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 10:09 PM
horizontal rule
265

ڤ گ ں ۅ ې ک


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 10:09 PM
horizontal rule
266

ל ם מ כ


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 10:11 PM
horizontal rule
267WHO STOLE THE COOKIES
from
the
cookie
jar

?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 10:12 PM
horizontal rule
268

We can use <small> tags but not <font> tags? Zounds.

What about <big>, is that a tag?

<bigger>?

<bigger>?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 10:15 PM
horizontal rule
269

This has become the blog equivalent of King of Hearts, with ogged in the Alan Bates role.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 10:17 PM
horizontal rule
270
And finally...
blockquote and pre simultaneously

Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 10:17 PM
horizontal rule
271

Hmm


Posted by: Roamsedge | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 10:18 PM
horizontal rule
272

And all the while he was hoping to be Alan Bates in The Go-Between.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 10:18 PM
horizontal rule
273

269: Unf as the keeper of the asylum?


Posted by: Roamsedge | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 10:19 PM
horizontal rule
274

OGGED WILL RUE THE DAY

I suspect he's ruing away already, given the recent comments.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 10:20 PM
horizontal rule
275

So big!


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 10:21 PM
horizontal rule
276

Asylum, Romper Room -- there's a fine line.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 10:22 PM
horizontal rule
277

THANKS EVERYONE

THIS IS HOW I WILL NOW COMMENT


Posted by: OPINIONATED GRANDMA | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 10:22 PM
horizontal rule
278

this could get out of hand


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 10:24 PM
horizontal rule
279

PLEASE EDIT 277 TO HAVE 4 <BIG> TAGS INSTEAD OF ONE


Posted by: OPINIONATED GRANDMA | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 10:25 PM
horizontal rule
280

So what's house style for quoting 279?


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 10:26 PM
horizontal rule
281

278 completely cracked me up.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 10:26 PM
horizontal rule
282

278 completely cracked me up.

Of course I meant to say that

278 completely cracked me up


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 10:28 PM
horizontal rule
283

can you read this?


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 10:30 PM
horizontal rule
284

You have until comment 300 to play with. Knock yourselves out. Don't try to wander into any other threads, either.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 10:31 PM
horizontal rule
285

this?


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 10:31 PM
horizontal rule
286

Uh oh, daddy's here.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 10:31 PM
horizontal rule
287
Sorry dad, we'll be quiet.

Posted by: OPINIONATED GRANDMA | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 10:33 PM
horizontal rule
288
NOT

Posted by: | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 10:33 PM
horizontal rule
289

If I were a bigger man, I wouldn't point out that I was totally right in 274 when I said:

OGGED WILL RUE THE DAY
I suspect he's ruing away already, given the recent comments.

Note correct House Style, minus the big thing, which, c'mon, had to try it once.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 10:34 PM
horizontal rule
290

Woe is me that the blink tag is not supported.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 10:35 PM
horizontal rule
291

Some people are no fun


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 10:36 PM
horizontal rule
292

I wanted to tell ogged, in Hebrew, that he was wedded to me according to the laws of Moses & Israel, but I don't think I can manage it before 300.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 10:36 PM
horizontal rule
293

Zø MG
OH NOZE!!!

..


Posted by: Nevermind | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 10:36 PM
horizontal rule
294

this remains amusing


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 10:38 PM
horizontal rule
295

Don't try to wander into any other threads, either.

In other words, please make this entire site descend into total typographical mayhem. Probably too late to redact.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 10:39 PM
horizontal rule
296

psst....get ready guys


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 10:39 PM
horizontal rule
297

That does it. Everyone out of the pool!


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 10:39 PM
horizontal rule
298

here it comes


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 10:39 PM
horizontal rule
299

WMYBSALB


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 10:40 PM
horizontal rule
300
300!

Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 10:40 PM
horizontal rule
301

A Picksburgher closes it out?


Posted by: Roamsedge | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 10:41 PM
horizontal rule
302

I am totally laughing REALLY LOUD right now.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 10:41 PM
horizontal rule
303

great!


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 10:41 PM
horizontal rule
304

BEN-
HUR


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 10:42 PM
horizontal rule
305

Drat!


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 10:42 PM
horizontal rule
306

And now that I don't have to babysit you lot, I'm going offline. Tell it to the wind!


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 10:42 PM
horizontal rule
307

Woe is me that the blink tag is not supported.

ITYM "marquee".


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 10:42 PM
horizontal rule
308

Aw, you're really no fun ogged. That was a work of beauty. Put it back!


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 10:43 PM
horizontal rule
309

You can simulate blink with marquee, after all, but not vice versa.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 10:43 PM
horizontal rule
310

BTW, Cryptic, what is Cleveland's finest?


Posted by: Roamsedge | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 10:43 PM
horizontal rule
311

ں ڹ ڸ

so there.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 10:43 PM
horizontal rule
312

Geez. Harsh toke.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 10:44 PM
horizontal rule
313
finest what?

Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 10:44 PM
horizontal rule
314

Just wait until everyone else shows up and wants to know what they missed. Ogged's gonna rue tomorrow, too.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 10:44 PM
horizontal rule
315

Attica! Attica!


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 10:44 PM
horizontal rule
316

Ogged: I'm going offline

Pssst! w-lfs-n! Come over here! I have an idea!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 10:44 PM
horizontal rule
317

w-lfs-n's the original little bitch, he won't do it.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 10:48 PM
horizontal rule
318
I move that the upcoming meetup be boycotted in support of our noble and tireless friend me, whose creative expression has been heavy-handedly and arbitrarily silenced..

Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 10:50 PM
horizontal rule
319

I saw it. Damn, I wish that I'd done some sort of save click thing so that teh screen image would be saved for posterity.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 10:51 PM
horizontal rule
320

313: Umm, you mentioned here something about it. Just curious, for the next time I'm in the 'burgh.


Posted by: Roamsedge | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 10:51 PM
horizontal rule
321

Oh, well, you can get it in many cities near Cleveland. I was referring to Great Lakes Brewery's Holy Moses White Ale. In the summer, that is. To be replaced in the winter with Great Lakes' Brewery's Edmund Fitzgerald Porter.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 10:53 PM
horizontal rule
322

321: Thanks. I'll forward to local contacts and remember for my next visit. Much as I like pumping Iron, it would be nice to bring something else out to the country folk.


Posted by: Roamsedge | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 10:57 PM
horizontal rule
323

ூ ஹ


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 10:59 PM
horizontal rule
324

You can simulate blink with marquee, after all, but not vice versa.

If by "simulate", you mean "do something else entirely", then sure. In my world, though, blinking text and scrolling text are not the same thing.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 11:04 PM
horizontal rule
325

If by "simulate", you mean "do something else entirely", then sure. In my world, though, blinking text and scrolling text are not the same thing.

I seen it done on Metafilter. Some guy tinkered with the parameters on <marquee> so that what was displayed was indistinguishable from blinking text.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 11:08 PM
horizontal rule
326

I just put my face right up on the monitor and blink rapidly while staring at a word. It's great fun.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 11:10 PM
horizontal rule
327

326: put my face right up on the monitor and blink rapidly

Made me think of this.


Posted by: Roamsedge | Link to this comment | 07-18-07 11:37 PM
horizontal rule
328

Oh, my head hurts. How many formatting tags did I try last night?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-19-07 3:35 AM
horizontal rule
329

328: Oh, my head hurts. How many formatting tags did I try last night?

You don't want to know. But it was when the formatting tags came off that things got really wild. Naked comments, human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together - mass hysteria.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-19-07 4:20 AM
horizontal rule
330

was this whole thread just restating: its awkward to realize that people play vairious roles in life, but noone is really very good at seeing people only through the role they are trying to play at the moment?


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 07-19-07 4:03 PM
horizontal rule
331

[i]164: "I mean, whenever I get involved with someone there's a huge vast quantity of time and care involved in revealing that we are interested in each other"[/i]

THats just spreading the embarrasment out over such a long period its too small to notice during any one slice of time. Just rip the bandaid off.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 07-19-07 4:14 PM
horizontal rule
332

196: "In high school days, my friend and I were standing in the lobby of my building when a thirty-something couple came in. A few minutes later, the man came back out. "Not tonight, eh?" said my friend. I've always admired him for that one. (Turned out the couple were married and the guy was just fetching something, but still.)"

This was the kind of thing you guys were saying makes me an asshole last week.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 07-19-07 4:20 PM
horizontal rule
333

"being yourself" just means you're so practiced at being smooth you don't even have to think about it any more


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 07-19-07 4:22 PM
horizontal rule
334

i hate being late to hte party.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 07-19-07 5:01 PM
horizontal rule