Re: Besides This Site, Of Course

1

No answers, but I have a question. How would one insert "fastidious" into their profile? (Are they still called profiles?)


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 8:42 AM
horizontal rule
2

How would one insert "fastidious" into their profile?

"Perfidious is sexy. Fastidious is sexier"?


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 8:44 AM
horizontal rule
3

2 is fabulous. I would respond to that one.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 8:47 AM
horizontal rule
4

My advice is to avoid Club Penguin. Sure, it sound great, but it's full of producers for Dateline NBC.


Posted by: Tom | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 8:49 AM
horizontal rule
5

Webkinz, on the other hand? Teh hottt.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 8:50 AM
horizontal rule
6

Pros and cons?

Pros
Cons


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 8:50 AM
horizontal rule
7

From my unscientific sampling, Nerve is good for everything from casual dates to semi-long-term relationships, and tends to cater to people in their mid-20's to mid-40's with education and high confidence. You can see who's viewing your profile and send winks, and then there is sometimes a monetary thing if you want to contact someone (though I've only used the free points).

I got on OKCupid for a few weeks this summer to see what happened. It's fun to take the tests, and the site does more active matchmaking for you, but the crowd is quite a bit younger, and the "who's stalking me?" feature creeped me out. It's a bit more like a romantic version of Facebook, with less dating-centric profiles.

Match.com is for people who can't spell and want a soulmate.

eHarmony is for Christians who want to get married.

True claims to be highly organized matchmaking, but all the ads feature humongoid tits in bikinis, sending me a very mixed signal.

Lavalife? I can't figure out what their deal is.

Of course, these days, I'm just trying to pick people up in bars the old-fashioned way.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 8:52 AM
horizontal rule
8

I had rapid success on salon (spring street network). It seems to have a good mix of horndogs and partner-seekers, you can pay a la carte, and it all comes with a coating of urbane froth.

I also signed up for JDate, but I was too flinty to actually buy a service plan, which you need even to see the email you've received. I found my current girlfriend by skipping her the first time on salon, then being intrigued by finding her again on JDate, and going back to her profile on salon.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 8:55 AM
horizontal rule
9

Becks:

You mean, other than Unfogged, right?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 8:56 AM
horizontal rule
10

I know we've had this discussion before, but for the record, even though AWB is partly joking, I'm given to understand that her caricatures of Match.com and eHarmony are off the mark. I know smart people who've had good luck with each of those.

I still think Lovetastic is the best dating site I've seen, but it's homos only.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 8:56 AM
horizontal rule
11

I liked Craigslist pretty well, just because the totally free-form nature of it means you get a TON of shitty, shitty ads and then a few that are just like, whoa, awesome. Because 99% of people can't write. Anyway, I had a few pretty good relationships that started from posting/responding to CL ads, and some hott hott sex.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 8:57 AM
horizontal rule
12

It is always shocking how the smart, beautiful people have such good luck on internet dating sites.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 8:58 AM
horizontal rule
13

signed up for JDate, but I was too flinty to actually buy a service plan

You'd think JDate would have foreseen this problem.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 8:59 AM
horizontal rule
14

Note that AWB and I have precisely synonymous descriptions of spring street networks (nerve=salon=ssn).

"casual dates to semi-long-term relationships" = "good mix of horndogs and partner-seekers"

"people in their mid-20's to mid-40's with education and high confidence" = "coating of urbane froth"

"there is sometimes a monetary thing" = "you can pay a la carte".


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 8:59 AM
horizontal rule
15

Of course, these days, I'm just trying to pick people up in bars the old-fashioned way.

I've heard this from a lot of people. It's so like me to finally consider giving it a shot once it's Over.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:00 AM
horizontal rule
16

As a matter of course, one should avoid equallyyoked.com , where they seem to have either no understanding of the English language, or an amazing keen perception of the nature of long-term relationships. (of course, I realize it's a Biblical metaphor, but really, are agricultural metaphors, however scriptural, the best for dating?)


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:00 AM
horizontal rule
17

7, 10: Ogged is more tolerant of Christians who can't spell and want a soulmate than AWB is. Kansas is full of such people, and she hasn't recovered yet.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:01 AM
horizontal rule
18

I can't believe I set up 13 in absolute innocence. That's what happens when I go on Unfogged before having my daily cuppa the blood of christian children.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:01 AM
horizontal rule
19

The other fun part about Craigslist is that many of the ads are truly, truly entertaining, if only in a sick, creepy, and bizarre way, say like this one that is like ten down in the list.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:01 AM
horizontal rule
20

Deeplyplowed.com is the perfect site for women who know exactly what they want.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:02 AM
horizontal rule
21

Years back, a friend had amazing success with the 'click here to meet me' feature on hotornot.com. He was an ordinary looking guy [not ugly, just normal] but he had one really handsome photo of himself on there. Not a dating site, as such, though.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:06 AM
horizontal rule
22

19 is butterfly kisses all over again. You've got to dance with the creepy to express genuine emotion, m. leblanc.

Or did you just find it creepy that he closed with "my daughter and I" instead of "my daughter and me"?

Or, finally, that he's clearly using some poor nymphet from a modeling agency to score with mommies manquees.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:06 AM
horizontal rule
23

I used to have hopes for online but bars are like a million times better.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:07 AM
horizontal rule
24

I hate to say it, but I don't think 19 is that creepy. I think he's kind of being honest about pretty normal emotions.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:08 AM
horizontal rule
25

Yeah, and I shouldn't sound so positive about Nerve, either. It's pretty much always the same guys who have been on there for years, and I haven't had much luck with it this year, perhaps because I've gotten less interested in sex with people I'm not fond of. But online dating can be a really neat way to learn what a variety of people are out there, and to meet people you wouldn't in other walks of life.

The big problem for me with online dating is that half of the guys get way too emotionally invested in the idea of me either before meeting me or before we really know each other, and this wears me the fuck out. The other half act like I'm utterly disposable and replaceable in such a big city, which is kinda true, but I'd appreciate a heads-up, like "Hey, I don't want to see you again, but thanks!" as opposed to an abrupt silence. As we all know from the internets, people don't know how much to invest in people whom they don't know from some "real-life" context, and that investment can be very uneven.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:09 AM
horizontal rule
26

I think he's kind of being honest about pretty normal emotions.

This is practically the definition of creepy.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:10 AM
horizontal rule
27

Don't date anyone internationally. Check for papers.

Uh, other than that, I'm trying to get my sister to sign up for eHarmony.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:11 AM
horizontal rule
28

This is practically the definition of creepy.

Hmm. What's your definition of "definition"?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:11 AM
horizontal rule
29

Nerve (back in the day! and then later under Spring Street) was okay, though as a male using it, I had the usual problem that you have to send out something like 40 replies to ads to get one response back, and then build from there. I haven't used them since their more recent corporate reshuffling, though.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:13 AM
horizontal rule
30

What's your definition of "definition"?

"To all intensive purposes."


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:13 AM
horizontal rule
31

And Becks, if you want to go cruising in bars with me, we should totally try it! I've never gone to a bar with the intention of meeting people before. (Honestly, I'm fabulous at meeting people in a professional context, but the idea of talking to strangers without a reason makes me nervous.)


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:14 AM
horizontal rule
32

Silly. The phrase is "To all intents and purposes." I win on a technicality.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:15 AM
horizontal rule
33

I heart Goneril.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:15 AM
horizontal rule
34

Am I the only one who has never tried such a site? The idea seems overwhelmingly ... unsympathetic. Anyone worth meeting isn't a product to be advertised or an audience to be advertised to, I figure, but the fact that athletic shoes and heaps of books take up more of the square footage of my apartment than actual furniture may disqualify me from judging.

Alternatively: it's not that I hate people, but I seem to feel better when only a few know how to find me.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:19 AM
horizontal rule
35

What's your definition of "heart"?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:22 AM
horizontal rule
36

When my credit card number was stolen recently, the most interesting fraudulent charge was a subscription to JDate. But we stopped payment, so the pool there is smaller by one.

*formerly a longer name


Posted by: unimaginative* | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:22 AM
horizontal rule
37

35: "Throw organ meat at." Why? Is there some idiomatic meaning?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:23 AM
horizontal rule
38

34: I think some of us have our reasons. It's really hard for me to date people from my real life, partially because my grad school seems to have an unofficial "no dating other students" policy, and partially because people who know me well have a hard time seeing me as a potential partner because I'm extremely independent. Online personals can be pretty unsympathetic, but so is getting rejected by your friends because they "respect" you too much to date you.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:25 AM
horizontal rule
39

34: I find these conversations kind of fascinating, because I've been married since before online dating was mainstream. I'm always kind of surprised that it sounds as if it works as badly as it does (not that it works all that much worse than anything else, but I'd think it would be more successful).

On the 'people aren't things to be advertised' -- I dunno, meeting people organically is tough for people who aren't all that social. It's perfectly possible for someone with a smallish acquaintainceship to literally know no one who's both single and attractive, and to be shy about meeting strangers.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:26 AM
horizontal rule
40

That's why my sister's resistant to online dating... she figures it means that she's accepting that she can't attract men the 'normal' way. I figure it's just accepting that she's in a small town and doesn't have a lot of time to go out and wouldn't meet people she'd find acceptable in bars anyway.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:28 AM
horizontal rule
41

39: ...to literally know no one who's both single and attractive, and to be shy about meeting strangers.

Yeah, pretty much. [Insert Cartmanesque resigned sigh here.]


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:30 AM
horizontal rule
42

re: 34

I've never tried one. If (god forbid) I was to become single again, I'd think about it, though.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:30 AM
horizontal rule
43

Becks, I'll be your wingman.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:31 AM
horizontal rule
44

I've plugged it before, but Irritated Being Single really is the best dating site on the internet, probably.

meanwhile, if you listen to the first verse of "Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley, it's actually rather unintentionally creepy.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:31 AM
horizontal rule
45

so is getting rejected by your friends because they "respect" you too much to date you.

Yeah, no shit. Although, I have to say that when you finally do find a friend who doesn't respect you too much to date you, it's pretty awesome.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:33 AM
horizontal rule
46

I would save your sister, Cala, from a lifetime of loneliness...if you hadn't been so mean to me over the years. Too bad for you, because it wouldn't be creepy at all to introduce her to some guy you know from the internet.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:35 AM
horizontal rule
47

45: Yeah, I need friends who respect me less; sincerely I do.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:35 AM
horizontal rule
48

"Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley

Love it. Not as great as Jesse's Girl, but Astley's paleness adds something quirky you can't find elsewhere.

Dating sites seem like a genuinely fantastic idea. The only problem would be the low hit rate, I'd think. That isn't, as I understand it, a problem for women. It's not like you have to do more than have coffee on a date, and it seems helpful to have a place that collects people interest in a relationship who are currently single. If there's more filtering available, even better.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:37 AM
horizontal rule
49

Catherine and I are resolved to either die alone or buy the Flophouse together and hang out for the next 40 years, but even so, against the dying of the light, we're trying to perfect our co-ed bar game. Mixed-sex attack pattern delta!


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:39 AM
horizontal rule
50

Don't you think it's possible that having the two most attractive online journalists in DC hanging around together simply intimidates everyone else in the bar into avoiding you?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:41 AM
horizontal rule
51

Becks, I'll be your wingman.

I had some male friends in college who swore by the technique of bringing along one non-ugly, but not intimidatingly attractive woman with them when a group of them went out drinking. They called it "getting that woman scent on us".

Their insight was that the psychological threshold for a young woman to chat with a group of guys in a bar is significantly lower if there is one other woman in the group.

There was one woman in particular who was always game for this role (though it's not clear to me whether she was consciously aware of why they always invited her along). There must be a good name for the role she played. Wingman isn't quite it. Maybe "bait".


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:42 AM
horizontal rule
52

I see you don't have much confidence in the success rate of mixed-sex attack pattern delta.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:42 AM
horizontal rule
53

Not as great as Jesse's Girl

Timbot, did you see my recent comment about how Jesse's Girl is only slightly less gay than "Ask"?


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:42 AM
horizontal rule
54

There must be a good name for the role she played. Wingman isn't quite it. Maybe "bait".

That'd be 'Judas goat', I think.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:44 AM
horizontal rule
55

The idea seems overwhelmingly ... unsympathetic. Anyone worth meeting isn't a product to be advertised or an audience to be advertised to

Is this a generational thing? How does one begin to tell if someone is worth meeting unless you first know they're out there to be met?

Is it the idea of explicitly looking that is the turn-off? (I'm still bemused by the high emotional states dating engenders these days. There seems to be no such thing as "casual" now.)


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:44 AM
horizontal rule
56

51: Yeah, the woman basically vouches for the decency of the guys by her presence. It's why it's easier to date if you're already involved, I think.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:44 AM
horizontal rule
57

That'd be 'Judas goat', I think.

Nothing sets the tone for hooking up like, "I'll be your Judas goat!"


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:45 AM
horizontal rule
58

I find that mixed-gender wingpersons can be far more successful, since they are less intimidating (and demonstrate that the person flirting with you is good with the opposite gender already), but that you have to be far more assertive about your interest in someone, since your obvious rapport with your friend makes you look taken.

Or maybe it's a sexist thing. Guys with female friends are extra-hot, but girls with male friends are kinda scary. And, now that I think of it, all my male friends have made shitty wingmen. They don't want to date me, but they don't want anyone else to, either.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:45 AM
horizontal rule
59

53: I did not, but Astley's music is sort of gastley gay itself. Hmm, should I be learning something?


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:46 AM
horizontal rule
60

That'd be 'Judas goat', I think.

Beat me to it.

Speaking of which, I am half tempted to show Le Sang de Bêtes to my class this year (when we're talking about rationalization and modernity), but I think it would horrify them too much


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:46 AM
horizontal rule
61

I find that mixed-gender wingpersons can be far more successful, since they are less intimidating (and demonstrate that the person flirting with you is good with the opposite gender already), but that you have to be far more assertive about your interest in someone, since your obvious rapport with your friend makes you look taken.

Or that you are a couple trolling.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:47 AM
horizontal rule
62

59 - Here you go, Tim.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:49 AM
horizontal rule
63

re: 58

It's not that they are necessarily possessive about the woman they are with but more a combination of not knowing how to chat to strange men [in that particular set of social circumstances] and also a bit of [possibly sexist] over-protectiveness.

I can remember being out with female friends and thinking 'why the fuck are you talking to this sleazy shitebag?', emphatically not because I wanted them for me, but because guys are pretty good at recognizing sleazy-shitebag-hood in other men.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:50 AM
horizontal rule
64

you have to be far more assertive about your interest in someone, since your obvious rapport with your friend makes you look taken.

The key to the Judas goat technique is that you have to be in group of several people, with only one MOS with the group. That way the Judas goat, once she/he has lured the target into the group, can keep busy conversing with someone else.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:50 AM
horizontal rule
65

The one piece of the advice that those books like The Game always get right: If you're approaching a woman in a mixed-gender pack, be friendly with the guy(s), lest your game be salted.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:50 AM
horizontal rule
66

Further to 63, I had an ex g/friend who was a great wingman. After we split up* she was enthusiastically keen on setting me up with hot girls in bars.

* and after the nasty recriminations and then the awkwardness were over and we got to be friends again ...


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:52 AM
horizontal rule
67

My guess would be that men with a woman good, women with a man bad, but I'm totally ignorant about this.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:53 AM
horizontal rule
68

Too bad for you, because it wouldn't be creepy at all to introduce her to some guy you know from the internet.

I think I shattered that creepy barrier for my family wrt 'This is the sort of story that ends up with you dead under a bear.' But even so, my sister isn't tall enough for you and might even wear heels. Also, she'd probably think you were a terrorist.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:54 AM
horizontal rule
69

67: ....never having been with either. But I'm certain you're right.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:55 AM
horizontal rule
70

Your sister is a short racist? I could maybe work with that.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:55 AM
horizontal rule
71

I can remember being out with female friends and thinking 'why the fuck are you talking to this sleazy shitebag?', emphatically not because I wanted them for me, but because guys are pretty good at recognizing sleazy-shitebag-hood in other men.

While I appreciate the sentiment, most of my male friends are sleazy shitebags themselves.

A couple of weeks ago, I was making out with someone very attractive in a bar and my male friend kept pulling me aside to say I deserved better, that he wanted more for me, or whatever. How can I read that except either as (a) annoyingly patrician or (b) weenie jealousy? I'm glad to know he cares, but it's not like he's setting me up with someone or asking me out.

When I was doing my MA, my best school frenemy blatantly told me that he'd made it his life's work to make sure no one dated me, that he was my dog in the manger for two years.

Male friends = not helpful.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:57 AM
horizontal rule
72

If you are a woman and want a wingman, you need a gay wingman to hook you up with dudes. He's got no problem talking to guys. I mean, shit, after hitting on men yourself, chatting a straight one up and saying "hey, my friend thinks you're cute" is a no-brainer, right?

Or maybe I just have overly confident gay friends.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:58 AM
horizontal rule
73

What about boyfriends of female friends -- something where the Judas goat isn't attached to you personally much at all?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:59 AM
horizontal rule
74

They don't want to date me, but they don't want anyone else to, either.

Again, exactly right. Although, I feel the same way about my male friends. I guess that basically means we should be screwing, right?


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 10:00 AM
horizontal rule
75

I got on OKCupid for a few weeks this summer to see what happened. It's fun to take the tests if you like exposing yourself to rampant idiocy.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 10:01 AM
horizontal rule
76

While I appreciate the sentiment, most of my male friends are sleazy shitebags themselves.

These things are all relative, of course.

A couple of weeks ago, I was making out with someone very attractive in a bar and my male friend kept pulling me aside to say I deserved better, that he wanted more for me, or whatever. How can I read that except either as (a) annoyingly patrician or (b) weenie jealousy?

Or a) and b), both together. I don't think I've ever said anything like that. The worst I've ever done is not be particularly welcoming to the drunk guy that blunders over to tell my friend she's hot.

Sometimes it's an aesthetic thing. Where my internal monologue is:

"Dude, you don't deserve to get laid if that's the best you can come up with."

but again, it's an internal monologue.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 10:04 AM
horizontal rule
77

Mmmm. I've been set up once by a male friend, and it actually worked out pretty well except that when your geeky friend sets you up with another geek, the guy is too shy to mention that he likes you before you go back to college after a few dates and it gets pretty weird.

But for picking up people... I think a guy on the prowl who brings along a girl friend shows that he's not a sleaze...see, this girl is with him, he's safe... but a girl on the prowl who brings along a guy is just going to confuse the guys she's prowling for. Unless it's part of a big group of friends.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 10:04 AM
horizontal rule
78

I think AWB's right, above, when she suggests that wingmen, particularly for women, require some adjustment of the aggressiveness of the date-seeker. I'm not sure why that's true.

Also, if you're a guy, (it seems to me that) you're initially just trying to present yourself as a nice guy who is not a psycho and is sort of fun. That's not complicated, and is made much easier by the presence of another woman. I'm not sure what you're trying to present if you're a woman. Maybe this is a case where normal patterns of seeking--men active, women passive--confuse things, or at least haven't written out the script?


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 10:07 AM
horizontal rule
79

Judas goats? Wingpersons? The metaphor is a good servant, folks, but a bad master.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 10:07 AM
horizontal rule
80

Sometimes it's an aesthetic thing

So true. I'm pretty good about setting my girl friends up with my quality guy friends, however few and far between those may be. But I think when I'm out with a girl friend and some slackjawed loser starts chatting her up, my opinion tells on my face. And that in itself can be enough to salt game.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 10:08 AM
horizontal rule
81

Is it even possible that a guy who approached your female friend in a bar wouldn't seem to you unacceptably sleazy? I can't imagine it.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 10:12 AM
horizontal rule
82

Yeah, whenever I try to chat up armsmasher's friends, I'm way too nervous about why that VOTED MOST HANDSOME dude is glaring at me. Then I give up and go to the gay bar.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 10:14 AM
horizontal rule
83

Unacceptably? I think I'd take a dim view of any guy, sure. But I don't imagine that in most circumstances I'd try to interrupt or suggest leaving.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 10:14 AM
horizontal rule
84

I'm staring at you for a different reason, Labsy.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 10:15 AM
horizontal rule
85

Is it even possible that a guy who approached your female friend in a bar wouldn't seem to you unacceptably sleazy? I can't imagine it.

For me, there is a bit of a Groucho Marx / Woody Allen thing at work where I'm not sure I would want to pick up anyone who would let themselves be picked up by me in a bar.

This probably explains why I have never, in my life, successfully picked up a woman in a bar (though I did have a relationship with a woman I originally met in a bar, but the two events were far from proximate).


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 10:15 AM
horizontal rule
86

re: 80

Yeah, definitely.

re: 81

Sure, some people are funny and don't come over as sleazy shites.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 10:19 AM
horizontal rule
87

I met my wife in a bar. So, I don't have Knecht's Groucho Marx thing happening.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 10:20 AM
horizontal rule
88

"That's why my sister's resistant to online dating... she figures it means that she's accepting that she can't attract men the 'normal' way. I figure it's just accepting that she's in a small town and doesn't have a lot of time to go out and wouldn't meet people she'd find acceptable in bars anyway."

She's right though. Being social and not shy is an attractive quality, so the average person online is not going to be as attractive. So attractive people avoid it. Its an equalibrium thing.

And i usually avoid talking to guys in mixed gender groups. The main reason i enjoy talking to guys more than girls (when i do enjoy it; i usually prefer girls) is either their better at being assholes, or they have better interests. And the guys who usually have hot girls with them don't have interesting interests.

And girls who have guys with them fucks up the normal script. Women have to act a mix of dominant and submissive, but men need mostly dominance. having a guy with you requires i higher level of aggressiveness, which makes it that much less likely that a guy will talk to you. A guy with a girl just looks less creepy.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 10:27 AM
horizontal rule
89

I think the male companion of the girl a guy goes up and talks to is one of the most obvious places where men get divided into 'alpha male' or not. Most guys will sort of shrink away, and some guys will be really aggressive, and a few will be friendly but in a really confident way.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 10:32 AM
horizontal rule
90

Or maybe I just have overly confident gay friends.

Yes. I'm a terrible wingman because I'm afraid of strangers and hopelessly bad at flirting, even in a supporting role.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 10:33 AM
horizontal rule
91

She's right though. Being social and not shy is an attractive quality, so the average person online is not going to be as attractive. So attractive people avoid it. Its an equalibrium thing.

This is objectively incorrect unless you limit yourself to people who self-identify pretty strongly as `normal' (i.e. largely conforming to societal norms). I don't know that this overlaps so heavily with the unfogged.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 10:35 AM
horizontal rule
92

When I'm with an attractive male friend, only girls hit on me. I can't decide if this is to peeve my hott dude friend or to suggest a threesome, but either way, my male friend ends up annoyed.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 10:36 AM
horizontal rule
93

91: oh, thats true. theres not much that can generally be said about those who identify as abonormal.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 10:43 AM
horizontal rule
94

Oh! I just got off the phone with a girlfriend from high school who is cocktail waitressing on the Upper West this weekend and promises billiards, air hockey, and employee discounts on beverages and snacks, if anyone wants to go. Email me, I guess. We can practice our moves.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 10:45 AM
horizontal rule
95

As a straight guy, I've found that my gay friends have been my best wingmen.


Posted by: McKingford | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 10:50 AM
horizontal rule
96

" Being social and not shy is an attractive quality, so the average person online is not going to be as attractive"

When you see "the average person online is not going to be as attractive", do you mean physically attractive? That doesn't seem to follow. Or do you mean, "less attractive, in that they're shyer," in which case: true, but pretty obvious that shyer people are more likely to be shy.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 10:51 AM
horizontal rule
97

Some of the (male) friends I made in the first few weeks of university, I made because they came over to try to chat up the girls I was with. It doesn't always have to be all alpha male-ish.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 10:51 AM
horizontal rule
98

But on the Upper West Side?


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 10:51 AM
horizontal rule
99

96: I mean, they will be physically less attractive. They won't has as much difficulty getting hit on or being liked to begin with, and once you have that difference, it will lead to even more disparity, since there is stigma attached to online dating, so its self-reinforcing. I'd say the average person on okcupid (the only one i ever signed up for) are less attractive than the average facebook user (which everyone joins, not just those wanting dates)


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 10:54 AM
horizontal rule
100

97: Most of the guys i am friends with are shit with girls. Is that your case?


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 10:55 AM
horizontal rule
101

KR at 85: For me, there is a bit of a Groucho Marx / Woody Allen thing at work where I'm not sure I would want to pick up anyone who would let themselves be picked up by me in a bar.

I wonder if this is also the reason for the dude-friend overprotectiveness, in that my friend may "respect" me too much to make a pass at me, so when he sees someone else making a pass at me, it seems unbelievable that I'd degrade myself so far as to give that person a shot. It's not that the interloper is unattractive or "not good enough," but, as ogged's 81 suggests, a reaction to someone else doing what you would be ashamed to do yourself.

The problem with this, of course, is the assumption that making a pass at me is inherently disrespectful. What could be kinder?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 10:57 AM
horizontal rule
102

98: That's why it's just practice. The real field is downtown, but baby steps! Baby steps!


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 10:58 AM
horizontal rule
103

99: I think that's the wrong assumption. There just isn't nearly as much of a stigma attached as there used to be even five years ago.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 10:58 AM
horizontal rule
104

99 is not true of Nerve. I'm reasonably decent-looking, but 2/3 of the guys there are out of my league. I'm also competing with some of the most beautiful women in the world.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 10:59 AM
horizontal rule
105

This might explain the unwelcome respect people give you, AWB.

You might try putting everyone at their ease by explaining early on that, though independent-minded, you've never actually killed anyone.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:00 AM
horizontal rule
106

I don't get it. "Shy with strangers" isn't a physical quality & isn't likely to be correlated with one, so you just seem to be switching def'ns of the word attractive & thinking that proves a point. (Unless you think being more physically attractive makes you less shy with strangers since you get a better response? I guess that must be it.)


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:01 AM
horizontal rule
107

My experience as a guy is that if you take a female friend to the bar, it completely precludes any chance of a hook-up. Now, I think it would probably work differently if I were in a mixed-sex group, but with one female friend, the situation basically goes like this:

1. If I'm talking with her or dancing with her, I'm taken.

2. If I'm leaving her alone to go talk to someone else, I feel guilty because I'm leaving my friend alone, and also because she's a girl, alone, at a bar, she instantly becomes a target for every sleazy guy, and finally, I'm self-conscious because she's more likely to be judging any potential hook-up I've got than would a guy wingman.

3. If we both try to simultaneously talk with someone, then we're a creepy cruising couple.

I think that the mixed gender strategy probably works pretty well in a group size >2, but I've had a fair amount of experience with it at group size =2, and I think that's worse than just going to a bar alone.


Posted by: Epoch | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:02 AM
horizontal rule
108

That's funny that Ogged knows about Lovetastic. It IS a very nice UI, but the problem is, there ain't hardly nobody on the site. And a lot of the guys there have a sort of unappealling over-earnestness about them.

The Spring Street sites used to be pretty good, but the new ownership really screwed them up. And my inaugural online dating experience there definitely left me unenthused to go back. I've browsed, but never tried, Match.com, which seems to have a very bimodal distribution of homersexuals on the looks axis; either really goofy-looking, or intimidatingly hot. The gay neighborhood on CraigsList is just out of the question. I have to say, online dating looks like it's a lot more work for straight people.


Posted by: cerebrocrat | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:03 AM
horizontal rule
109

re: 100

Shit at meeting girls? Not really, no. They aren't all guys who are particularly good at (or even particularly interested in) meeting girls in bars. Not everyone is good in those kinds of social situations. But most of them do fine. Actually, I'd say most of my male friends fall into the 'punching above their weight' category.

My one friend who was been long-term single for years is actually great at meeting girls. He has loads of incredibly hot female friends, he's just pathologically incapable of moving from friendship to something else.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:03 AM
horizontal rule
110

When I go out with my sister we seem married, because we've known each other for 57 years, get along well together, and have no sexual relationship.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:04 AM
horizontal rule
111

Maybe its different in new york.

But my argument was that the hot people, who generally can have who they want, woul'nt use onlinedating, since its going to be too biased to shy (less attractive) people, and thats going to lead to further segregation.

But the main reason i dislike it is its way too much work, and way less fun.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:05 AM
horizontal rule
112

Unless you think being more physically attractive makes you less shy with strangers since you get a better response?

This seems pretty true to life to me. It's not that there aren't shy but v. attractive people. But certainly the person you are is, in part, a function of the responses you received to your prior self along the way.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:05 AM
horizontal rule
113

110: Yeah, in high school, my brother and I tried to wing for each other, and it was a miserable failure.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:05 AM
horizontal rule
114

112 could be true too. I'd guess especially in young people, beauty and confidence are correlated.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:06 AM
horizontal rule
115

Being a wingman for straight guys is easy. It's never ocurred to me to try to be one for my straight girl friends, and I'm having a hard time imagining how I'd work that. As for me, I almost won't go into a gay bar without some female backup.


Posted by: cerebrocrat | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:07 AM
horizontal rule
116

yes, you still seem to be using the words "shy" and "less physically attractive" as if they're synonyms. They're just not. I'd buy some correlation, but you're just confusing.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:08 AM
horizontal rule
117

Have you guys seen the TV ads for chemistry.com that pretty much consist of talking smack about eHarmony? I think they're pretty funny.

(Some googling seems to indicate that these ads are old news, but cut me some slack, I don't own a TV I don't watch commercials.)


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:09 AM
horizontal rule
118

92: Your male friend is annoyed at intimations of a threesome? What planet is he from?


Posted by: John Fitzgerald Horndog | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:10 AM
horizontal rule
119

118: Uh, is Western Europe a planet?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:11 AM
horizontal rule
120

Shy isn't PHYSICALLY unattractive, but it does make people less inclined to want to fuck you.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:12 AM
horizontal rule
121

119: Yes. It's between Jupiter and Saturn.


Posted by: Epoch | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:12 AM
horizontal rule
122

120: Right. But if you're a shy person who doesn't mind shyness in others, the fact that online daters are going to be shyer than barflies isn't a negative, and doesn't mean they're significantly likelier to be physically ugly.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:14 AM
horizontal rule
123

I'm pretty sure Western European men aren't generally against the idea of threesomes. I haven't carried out a survey, though.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:14 AM
horizontal rule
124

In high school, my brother and I tried to wing for each other, and it was a miserable failure

Sorry, but that's pretty inevitable. I've been married to the same woman for years and I still get vaguely uncomfortable around her brother because he knows I'm fucking his sister.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:14 AM
horizontal rule
125

re: 124

That's odd, but common, I think.

One of my best friends went out with my sister for years. Which I was perfectly cool with. Sometime later, I mentioned that his sister was quite attractive -- in a non-sleazy way -- and was informed, in no uncertain terms, that if I ever went near his sister, he'd kill me.


Posted by: George McWashington | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:17 AM
horizontal rule
126

I'm good at winging for gay male friends at gay bars. I guess I seem really approachable for gay men. The last time I went to a gay bar with Mark and his boyfriend, I had three guys come up and buy me drinks. I have no idea what this was about -- Mark and the boyfriend were obviously together and not looking and I don't think the guys were trying to pick me up, it being a gay bar after all. Seems like a low ROI.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:20 AM
horizontal rule
127

Trying to pick you up for an impromptu wingman role? I dunno.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:21 AM
horizontal rule
128

119, 121: It's not as big as a planet, but it's still an awfully big place to be from. Not that I've surveyed them scientifically either, but I think that ttaM is right on the preference.


Posted by: John Fitzgerald Horndog | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:22 AM
horizontal rule
129

126: I think that sometimes, in a very high-pressure pick-up environment, it can feel like a wonderful relief to meet someone with whom a relationship would be low-key and low-stakes. I think this is why girls in straight bars fixate on me. Sometimes it's low-key, low-stakes sexual interest, but sometimes it's intense instant-friend-making. Now, if I could get them to buy me drinks, I'd have it made!


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:25 AM
horizontal rule
130

Hm. I will file that information away for future reference. I have a lesbian friend who's almost too much of a good thing when it comes to wingpersonship, she's like a homo magnet. The last time I went out with her, I go to get us drinks, and when I get back just a few minutes later, she's literally got a crowd of men around her. She's a very, very, competent conversationalist.


Posted by: cerebrocrat | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:26 AM
horizontal rule
131

Re: 125. Actually, I was joking in 124. But there definitely is a statutory prohibition of "Messin' with a Dude's Sister" in the traditional unwritten Code of Manly Behavior.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:27 AM
horizontal rule
132

128: Yeah, I don't think he represents his people in that way. He does follow the pattern of most of my male friends that they flirt salaciously and relentlessly with me in public ways, around our friends, but in private says things like, "Of course, I could never date someone in my grad program! That would be so dangerous and potentially tragic."

Isn't it possible that a lot of men feel that way about threesomes, that it's the sort of thing you're supposed to publicly express interest in, but privately, it squicks you out? I'm like some kind of metaphorical representation of sex. Everyone pretends in public to be interested in me more than they're willing to act on.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:29 AM
horizontal rule
133

Also, I just don't see the bar scene being my venue. I don't see myself as the type of person who would compel someone from across the bar to think "Yes! I must go meet her!" And, likewise, I don't ever think "I am so compelled by this person that I want to go over and talk to him." I'm much more likely to find a person interesting when I talk to them or learn about them and, from that, attractive.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:35 AM
horizontal rule
134

Isn't it possible that a lot of men feel that way about threesomes, that it's the sort of thing you're supposed to publicly express interest in, but privately, it squicks you out?

My very limited experience is that they are less fun in reality than they are in concept. Not for squicky reasons, though. For pure 'too hard to drunkenly coordinate so that everyone properly has fun' reasons.


Posted by: George Washington | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:37 AM
horizontal rule
135

I'm much more likely to find a person interesting when I talk to them or learn about them and, from that, attractive.

You can do that at bars, too. They can be really lovely places.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:37 AM
horizontal rule
136

Becks, you're adorable in bars, especially in groups. You give off a very cute radiation of charm and humor when you tell stories. I have often thought, when we've had meetups, that you must look to someone across the bar like you have a little light over your head. That, of course, makes you intimidating, especially when you're surrounded by 10 or 12 of us obnoxious internet people.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:38 AM
horizontal rule
137

They can be really lovely places.

It's always sunny in Timbotville.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:40 AM
horizontal rule
138

I've made a deal with mys sister that if we're in public and end up talking to some guy she might like, all she has to do is let it slip that I'm her brother. But we just look so married that that doesn't happen.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:42 AM
horizontal rule
139

If you, on the other hand, end up talking to a woman you might like, your sister has pledged to claim to be your wife and make you leave, in order to keep you safe from any accidental relationship happening, I assume.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:44 AM
horizontal rule
140

You give off a very cute radiation of charm and humor when you tell stories. I have often thought, when we've had meetups, that you must look to someone across the bar like you have a little light over your head.

Oh man, there is a new faculty member here who has this exact effect on me. Snark and I were at a new faculty orientation event (in our capacity as staff - neither of us is new faculty anywhere) and I was clutching his arm and saying "WHO is that charming and delightful person?" She was most of the way across the room, having a conversation I could only barely overhear, but the little light! was absolutely visible.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:44 AM
horizontal rule
141

132.1: Why are they in grad school under 40 if not to do dangerous and potentially tragic things? Also, relentless and salacious flirting should eventually involve at least one sweaty fling, if only to convince each other that flirting is preferable. And if the fling stays flung, well so much the better. Unless actually tragic, of course, but if so then please to be writing five-act interpretation blank verse, in lieu of dissertation.

132.2 Mileage varies. Count me among the unsquicked. On the other hand, if I were in your circle of friends and flirting with you salaciously and relentlessly, I'd be meaning it and not come trotting out some nonsense about too much respect to boink.


Posted by: John Fitzgerald Horndog | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:45 AM
horizontal rule
142

137: Crap TV tastes notwithstanding, you know I'm right. There are friendly bars where people go after a league game, etc. Maybe it's the hour of day that's relevant.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim` | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:46 AM
horizontal rule
143

I don't know, man, I don't go to bars except for Unfogged meetups.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:48 AM
horizontal rule
144

I suppose that explains the sleaziness perception.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:52 AM
horizontal rule
145

You'd think JDate would have foreseen this problem.

Awesome.

Also, the new main roll-over text: best ever.


Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:54 AM
horizontal rule
146

Since internet dating sites are essentially intended for picking people up, they are simply the online equivalent of cruising bars for sex.

It's never occurred to me to look at it that way.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:57 AM
horizontal rule
147

yeah maybe you're confusing bars for clubs. those are pretty shitty for meating people.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:58 AM
horizontal rule
148

Awww....I'm blushing at 136. Thanks, AWB!


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 12:00 PM
horizontal rule
149

KR @ 51 :
There must be a good name for the role she played. Wingman isn't quite it. Maybe "bait".
The word you're looking for is "decoy".


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 12:05 PM
horizontal rule
150

146: Naw, it's more like the online equivalent of Pokémon.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 12:18 PM
horizontal rule
151

Meating people is sleasy.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 12:25 PM
horizontal rule
152

Sleazing people is meaty.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 12:33 PM
horizontal rule
153

Sleazy meat is people!


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 12:37 PM
horizontal rule
154

meat people


Posted by: joel hanes | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 12:40 PM
horizontal rule
155

Has no one linked this, yet?


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 12:42 PM
horizontal rule
156

154: That's really cute.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 12:44 PM
horizontal rule
157

Soylent Green is made of online dating sites.

m, BRING ME THE PUPPET OF JOHN THE BAPTIST!


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 12:49 PM
horizontal rule
158

154: That's really cute.

CUTE? My god, it's hysterical. I just completely lost control here for a few minutes, hadda find something to wipe my eyes.

Thanks, Joel!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 12:52 PM
horizontal rule
159

154 is indeed awesome.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 12:54 PM
horizontal rule
160

154 is kind of sad.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 1:01 PM
horizontal rule
161

kind of sad

Yes. And that's the way that reading the ads on dating sites always make me feel - all that concentrated lonliness and need trying to hide behind dishonest self-descriptions. Very Eleanor Rigby, without the cellos to give it grace.


Posted by: joel hanes | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 1:14 PM
horizontal rule
162

It's not a dating site, but It's Just Lunch is a terrific service. It's mega-expensive, but at least you're meeting people who are as serious about it as you are.


Posted by: NCProsecutor | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 1:18 PM
horizontal rule
163

"It's Just Sex During Lunch" -- URL not yet taken.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 1:30 PM
horizontal rule
164

Besides yoyo, does anyone know anyone who thinks that there's something skeevy about using online dating sites? I know plenty of people who wouldn't do it themselves because they think they themselves will be judged, but no one who is in that judging business.

161 is weird as it relates to 154.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 1:41 PM
horizontal rule
165

does anyone know anyone who thinks that there's something skeevy about using online dating sites?

Nope. I'm always surprised when someone mentions the "stigma" of online dating.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 1:47 PM
horizontal rule
166

161 is weird as it relates to 154.

Ditto.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 1:49 PM
horizontal rule
167

The advertisements for It's Just Lunch (look for them in an in-flight magazine sometime) make me wretch.

Basic angle: "You are so important and busy, isn't it ironic that a great catch like you doesn't have a partner because you're so important and busy, and of course people who meet your standards are so darn rare anyway, so really it's no wonder you're single, I mean it's not like you are a loser or anything, right?"

And then there's the picture of that smarmy fuck who founded it: "Harvard Law School graduate who gave up his thrilling career at a powerful top-shelf law firm to found this high-rent dating service". And the fact that it's written in that pseudo-journalistic voice designed to fool idiots into thinking it's part of the editorial content of the publication instead of a paid advertisement.

No offense to present company intended, but I couldn't date anyone I met through that service for fear that they found the advertisements persuasive (not that I'm in the market anyway, I'm just sayin').


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 1:53 PM
horizontal rule
168

I'm always surprised when someone mentions the "stigma" of online dating.

It might be a generational thing. My mom had a bit of a disapproving reaction when I mentioned that a friend of mine from high school recently got engaged to someone he met on eHarmony, though when pressed on the issue she didn't have a real reason.


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 1:53 PM
horizontal rule
169

does anyone know anyone who thinks that there's something skeevy about using online dating sites?

Quite a few people think that it smacks of desperation, in the same way they feel that personal ads in the back of the newspaper do.

In the case of *online* dating, there's a facet of feeling that hey, you don't know what kind of perves these faceless people might really be! Of course, if one meets people via blog or discussion list, one can encounter the same response from real-life people.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 1:54 PM
horizontal rule
170

But do you know people who actually think that?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 1:56 PM
horizontal rule
171

Yoyo kind of seems to.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 1:58 PM
horizontal rule
172

But yoyo is a persistently drunk madman.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 1:59 PM
horizontal rule
173

There is that.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 2:01 PM
horizontal rule
174

During my brief period of being single, I filled out an online dating profile thing mostly just to see what I'd say (and by the way, I'm fucking hilarious and would date me in a skinny minute). I never did make it public, though. After reading several dozen ads by reportedly educated women who seemed to exist in a world of free-form spelling, punctuation, and capitalization, I decided it was a poor venue for my particular set of neuroses and hooked up with people I already knew instead.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 2:03 PM
horizontal rule
175

Speaking of personal ads that make me wretch, the personals in back of the Harvard Magazine are the non plus ultra. There are a whole lot of obvious gold-diggers, along with an appreciable number of pretentious fucks who despair of finding anyone worthy of their monumental intellects.

M.Leblanc complains about the 99% of people who can't write. This is proof that the other 1% are little better.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 2:03 PM
horizontal rule
176

retch


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 2:04 PM
horizontal rule
177

I dunno. There's stigma about actively wanting to meet people to date -- that is, I think a lot of people have a knee-jerk, "If you weren't pathetic, you'd be involved with someone already. God, normal people just go out with their friends. Don't you have any friends?" reaction to someone who's actively looking. And online dating is purely looking for someone, not an activity that can be justified in itself ("Um, sure I'd like to meet someone, but I took that knife skills class mostly to work on my kitchen prep speed.").


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 2:05 PM
horizontal rule
178

But do you know people who actually think that?

I can't say anyone's ever actually voiced it, no.

My mother raises an eyebrow now and then. I have friends with whom I am very circumspect about some things. I may say, for example, that I went up to see some friends in New England, without mentioning that they were imaginary internet friends.

But I'm straying from the topic: I'm not talking about using internet dating sites, because I don't use them.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 2:05 PM
horizontal rule
179

Knife skills classes are good places to meet attractive felons.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 2:07 PM
horizontal rule
180

I used to state in my profile that a well-managed prose style (like with creative subordination of clauses--purr) turns me on, but even angling for someone who can spell sometimes seems almost out of reach.

And yes, most of the people who go on and on about how "intelligent" and "educated" they are turn out to be dumb as sticks once you start a correspondence. I also don't trust anyone who responds to my profile by telling me I'm brilliant. None of my actual friends are that easily impressed; why would I want to date someone who is?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 2:08 PM
horizontal rule
181

Wow, some of those Harvard ads really are hilarious in their preening.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 2:10 PM
horizontal rule
182

o hai married my pretend internet boyfriend! Generally joke that I bought him on eBay.

There is a bit of a stigma in that I don't think my sister's reaction is all that unusual, but I think it's more of a stigma of looking online for love rather than hookups. People are reportedly shy about admitting they met on message boards or in comment boxes or that their first date was via e-mail.

But one of my friends from college was recommending match.com for "sportfucking" back in 2002. I think it's one of those things like most things that if you're obviously not a loser people won't think you're a loser, and if you're borderline, you're sort of hosed anyway.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 2:10 PM
horizontal rule
183

I used to state in my profile that a well-managed prose style (like with creative subordination of clauses--purr) turns me on, but even angling for someone who can spell sometimes seems almost out of reach.

Your love for the 18th century is at warre with your modern sensibilities.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 2:10 PM
horizontal rule
184

someone who can spell sometimes seems almost out of reach

As Apo recently made clear, that's gonna rule me out.

Then again, Sausagely has difficulties with spelling, and he seems like quite a catch.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 2:13 PM
horizontal rule
185

their first date was via e-mail

What does this even mean?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 2:15 PM
horizontal rule
186

Yeah, "can't spell" isn't a great metric, because there are people who can't spell who are obviously very literate writers, just with a particular area of incapacity. My father spells significantly worse than Sausagely.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 2:16 PM
horizontal rule
187

My ex-wife does the online dating thing and occasionally forwards me the most spectacularly illiterate opening emails.

I could overlook Sausagely's godawful spelling, but he also wears high heels and too much make-up, so no go.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 2:16 PM
horizontal rule
188

Knife skills

Whetstones vary in price by an order of magnitude. I am no weapon freak, but I want to put a good edge on my cutlery. Does anyone know whether buying the cheapest is short-sighted?


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 2:17 PM
horizontal rule
189

For pure 'too hard to drunkenly coordinate so that everyone properly has fun' reasons

speaking as an economist, attempting to make sure that "everyone has fun" is central planning and bound to come to grief. You should just all three of you concentrate selfishly on your own pleasure and trust in the Invisible Hand. This post will presumably appear on Tyler Cowen's blog at some point, he certainly couldn't reject it on quality control grounds.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 2:17 PM
horizontal rule
190

Ogged, you should troll for the laydeez on Usenet. That would take care of your nerd cred problems, too.


Posted by: Magpie | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 2:17 PM
horizontal rule
191

185:

To: Amandus
From: Amanda
Re: First date

Now I'm pouring you a glass of wine and then shaking the rain off your coat. Now I'm awkwardly pointing toward the loveseat and fiddling with the corkscrew while I decide whether to sit next to you.

To: Amanda
From: Amandus
Re: Re: First date

Your home is tastefully decorated, I think. Your choice of wine could be improved upon, as could my nerves, so I suck down the rest of the glass. You look pretty, but your hands are shaking. I wish dinner was ready.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 2:18 PM
horizontal rule
192

Wow, some of those Harvard ads really are hilarious in their preening.

The funny thing is, a lot of them read like they were written by the same person. I wonder whether they don't all originate with one of those high-end, concierge-style matchmaking services (like this one). Or if there is someone out there making a living as a consultant on how to write a personal ad to attract a millionaire.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 2:19 PM
horizontal rule
193

Seriously, though, Yggles is pumping out a dozen posts a day and the comments here are too rapid fire to take spelling as an indicator of anything. The short profile that you labored over to present yourself in the best light, though? Come on. Spell check. It's the least you can do.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 2:20 PM
horizontal rule
194

I would happily overlook regularly bad spelling in someone with an excellent prose style, but honestly, it's pretty rare to see the latter without the former. Dysgraphia's one thing, but laziness is another.

I overlooked spelling in the first guy who contacted me on Nerve four and a half years ago because he had an interesting favorite books list. On our (30-minute) date, he made it clear that it was a list of books he had started reading. Sigh.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 2:22 PM
horizontal rule
195

Does anyone know whether buying the cheapest is short-sighted?

Proper sharpening technique is much more important than having an expensive whetstone. (There are some designs that claim to give you foolproof technique, a claim I cannot evaluate, having never used anything other than a simple hardware store whetstone).

You are not going to damage your knives by using a cheap whetstone. At worst, you will dull the blade, which can always be rectified with a professional sharpening. It's possible to do cosmetic damage to stainless steel blades (scratches), but this doesn't affect their utility.

Also, keep your stone well-oiled with a good quality machine oil (3-in-1 oil is a good and economical choice).


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 2:26 PM
horizontal rule
196

191: That's funny.

I would never tell people if I had a 'first date email' like that.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 2:27 PM
horizontal rule
197

Do we know if that's what Cala meant by the term?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 2:28 PM
horizontal rule
198

197: We do not.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 2:29 PM
horizontal rule
199

"excellent sense of irony"


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 2:30 PM
horizontal rule
200

One piece of advice I would give very strongly to people using those sites is to loosen up on the "prose style" thing. Yes, it's fun to hang out with you people and sexually fantasize about you, but it's too easy to start thinking that there's a certain level of witty banter and cultural references below which no mate would be suitable. I went out looking for a fast-talking dame; I met my first date, a writer, after a series of clever, unfogged-level emails, and while she turned out to be a good friend, she and I wouldn't make suitable companions. I also went on a date with an exceptionally smart, verbal flirt who was just exhausting for that reason.

The woman I'm with now is plenty smart, but doesn't go in for banter (though she finds it plenty amusing to hear) and she's a terrible speller (though knows it, and spell-checks). She's very intelligent, first in a sciencey way but human enough to never be out of her depth in the humanities. Her profile broadcast an attractive seriousness of character and centeredness more than a scintillating flirtiness. She's not what I expected.

There are plenty of people who are compassionate, serious, sexy and can have a conversation. If they have the good sense to forgo the cleverness requirement of online personals and just write about themselves, please have the good sense to think, "what else do I want besides someone who is good at writing a clever personals ad"?

That all said, there are plenty of people who you can tell are boring, self-centered idiots from their profiles.

The writer mentioned above met me for drinks recently. She's been seeing someone else she met online. "Do people like you and me really end up with people who don't have any idea who Foucault is?" she asked. It's okay, we do.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 2:30 PM
horizontal rule
201

What Cala meant was that all of the stuff you normally find out about the person by, you know, actually seeing them, tends to come out in text first. People usually e-mail back and forth a couple times to see whether they're worth the time. I mean, usually, you don't know whether someone is a bad speller on the first date.

It makes for a hard 'so, how did you two meet?' story.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 2:33 PM
horizontal rule
202

Wrongshore is totally right. The shorter, trollish way of saying it is that witty banter is friggin' exhausting and tiresome in real life.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 2:34 PM
horizontal rule
203

Whetstones for cutlery only are probably a waste of time, unless you already know how to use one well (and then probably wouldn't be asking the question)

There are very good fairly inexpensive electrics these days, and you won't have to learn a skill to get good results. There are also very cheap ceramic systems that work, but take a bit of effort and fiddling about. Everyone will do a better job with these than they will with a whetstone, until they've practiced for quite a while.

The main benefit to whetstones is for tools other than knives, or oddly shaped (or very large) knives.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 2:34 PM
horizontal rule
204

I don't know that it's so much a sense of what you're buying, as a sense of what you have to sell. In the not-to-be-thought-of event that I found myself single, I'd be looking pretty much exclusively for overeducated smartasses because I have no idea why anyone who didn't fall into that category would want to talk to me, if you see what I mean. If you're a one-trick pony, you're going to be focusing on people who really like that trick.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 2:35 PM
horizontal rule
205

200: In my defense, I don't think having a good prose style is the same as requiring someone to be witty, banterful, or theoryheaded. (I would happily pay a date not to mention Foucault.) It is, however, a sign of a capacity for critical thought or complex ideas. It shows that a person's mind is neither tortured by paranoia nor blusteringly self-absorbed, and a careful attention to rhetorical gestures and purpose shows an awareness that I, a reader, actually exist in his mind, and that he trusts me to follow a point, and makes it worth my while.

That's what I mean by a good prose style. I read bad undergraduate prose that I can't make heads or tails of for my job; I don't want to read it from my partner. (Also, I'm shitty at figuring out what someone means when they don't know how to be clear.)


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 2:36 PM
horizontal rule
206

What Wrongshore said. My dear beloved wife would fall into the same category of people whose written prose would totally fail to convey their other qualities. For example, she calls me on my cell phone all the time to ask how to spell a word. Conversationally, though, she is by far wittier and more entertaining than I, and she is utterly charming in face to face encounters. (Also, she's totally smokin' hottt, but that's another matter.)


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 2:37 PM
horizontal rule
207

For those of you too lazy to read the meat people thing in 154 here is the film adaptation.


Posted by: ukko | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 2:39 PM
horizontal rule
208

I want to put a good edge on my cutlery

If you can find a professional sharpening service I would use that instead of trying to sharpen your own knives. It takes some skill to get a well shaped edge, and it doesn't have to be done that often, probably once a year for non professional chef. Just use a honing steel in between.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 2:41 PM
horizontal rule
209

I still haven't entered any of the worlds of online dating, but it seems like if what you have is prose and not "the other qualities" not represented in that prose, and you want to filter out a lot of people, then you can't really help making some decisions based on what you think of the prose you have.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 2:42 PM
horizontal rule
210

Catherine and I are resolved to either die alone or buy the Flophouse together and hang out for the next 40 years

Jesus Christ, will you two just get it on already?


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 2:43 PM
horizontal rule
211

the film adaptation.

Hey, that's Chris Partlow from The Wire.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 2:43 PM
horizontal rule
212

Cala's 201 makes complete sense and happens all the time, no? Email correspondence that develops a romantic angle, and it does so by gradually getting past whatever slightly strained persona each party has adopted for the internets at large.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 2:44 PM
horizontal rule
213

the personals in back of the Harvard Magazine are the non plus ultra.

That would be, traditionally, "ne plus ultra". God, sometimes I despair of finding anyone worthy of my monumental intellect.

(I actually did fail to follow up with a woman from craigslist who responded to my email to her because I found her writing so dreadful, which was probably a mistake.)


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 2:46 PM
horizontal rule
214

Actually, the advice in 203 and 208 is sound. I'm not accustomed to thinking of knife sharpening as something you outsource, but I have the advantage of having learned it at a young age from an uncle who was absolutely masterful at it. (Once on a bet, he sharpened an axe until he could shave with it.)


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 2:47 PM
horizontal rule
215

On our (30-minute) date, he made it clear that it was a list of books he had started reading. Sigh.

You're never going to find anyone if you limit yourself to people who actually finish the books they start. Even starting books is rare, stick with that.

Also, 200 is soooo true.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 2:48 PM
horizontal rule
216

188: Try Soldier of Fortune. When I used to wander into the Pusey stacks to read back issues rather than coursework, their knife columnist was always pursuing the ideal hollow-ground edge.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 2:48 PM
horizontal rule
217

Our own Moldavian breadwinner, of course, wrote the best LRB-style personal that never appeared in the LRB.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 2:48 PM
horizontal rule
218

If you search the archives ("Spyderco" should work) there's a thread where people recommended knife-sharpening gadgets for me. I never got around to buying any of them.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 2:51 PM
horizontal rule
219

does anyone know anyone who thinks that there's something skeevy about using online dating sites?

Not skeevy, but something I couldn't imagine myself doing, like psychotherapy. I strongly doubt that I would feel any differently about it if I were single.

On sharpening: If you're fine with hiring it out, professional services can be great. It's a pretty worthwhile skill, though, especially if you use your knives a lot and want them to be as sharp as possible at all times (and if you have to share them with someone who doesn't take care of them, grr). Learn on a cheap whetstone that can be abused, then upgrade; I recommend one of the double-sided ones (coarse and fine) and a strop if you want your blades to be literally razor-sharp.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 2:57 PM
horizontal rule
220

Also, 200 is soooo true.

I think it's one of those things that just works or doesn't for different people. I had a relationship with a bad writer once, and it was not easy for us. I never said anything except when he needed me to help look over some application essays he'd written. I gave him (very gentle, kind, but thorough) advice, and it sort of freaked him out. I tried to show how much more effective it would be if he strung some of his clauses together, separated others, constructed a narrative flow, etc.

Maybe it's a gender thing? I swear, I was extremely kind and very practical with my comments, not snarky at all, but it was sort of the beginning of the end of our relationship. He left me a voicemail thanking me, telling me I was "scary good" at editing, and then became eternally paranoid about writing emails or showing me anything he'd written.

And it's not that I'm scary good, unless everyone else I know is scary good too. It's weird to realize that your boyfriend is the only person in your life who can't manage a subordinate clause. And it's even weirder for him to realize it.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 2:57 PM
horizontal rule
221

I don't think having a good prose style is the same as requiring someone to be witty, banterful, or theoryheaded.

I agree. I think "prose style" is just being interpreted different ways here.

Wrongshore has a point that you* shouldn't fixate on wanting to date a grammatically perfect, literately witty person, because those qualities are an imperfect proxy for what (presumably) folks here are in search of.

At the same time, the qualities that AWB talks about can be a good proxy for who might want to date you. Plus, someone who has really superficially developed critical thinking skills is going to be an exhausting partner for somebody whose skills are a lot stronger.


*w-lfs-n excepted.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 3:01 PM
horizontal rule
222

Maybe it's a gender thing?

That'd be depressing, now, wouldn't it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 3:01 PM
horizontal rule
223

Those Harvard Magazine personals hurt my soul.

I still owe Marcus an email. Hi, Marcus! I'm a terrible human being, how are you?


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 3:01 PM
horizontal rule
224

Maybe "Sometimes I despair of finding anyone worthy of my monumental intellect" would make a good first sentence for harvard mag-like personals.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 3:04 PM
horizontal rule
225

219: Don't forget a steel.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 3:05 PM
horizontal rule
226

Sometimes I despair of finding anyone worthy of my monumental intellect

...so I am now simply searching for someone worthy of my monumental endowment.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 3:06 PM
horizontal rule
227

If one's intellect is genuinely monumental, then maybe one should be searching for a supplicant, rather than another monument.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 3:07 PM
horizontal rule
228

Don't forget a steel

..and don't forget to oil your stone, IYKWIM.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 3:10 PM
horizontal rule
229

Everyone would assume that you were taking the piss, but really you'd be serious.

maybe one should be searching for a supplicant

"Monumental intellect seeks pedestal. Serious responses only, please."


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 3:10 PM
horizontal rule
230

On that note, I am on my way out to seek foxy party clothes.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 3:11 PM
horizontal rule
231

My best wingman adventure was in my first year of college when a het female friend of mine and I were both crushing on the same guy of indeterminate sexuality. Eventually we just sat down to dinner with him and presented that we were both interested and were uncertain of his preferences or interests and as such, if he were interested in going out with either of us then now would be a great time to say so.

He said he was flattered but turned both of us down flat.

Another fun game in college was to play PiB (Person in Black, a la MiB) for friends when they had blind dates. I fondly remember a night when a friend was meeting a guy from a local newsgroup and asked for a PiB crew. Everyone else in the (large, crowded) coffeeshop was someone she knew who had gone specifically to watch for The Signal in case the guy turned out to be a creep.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 3:12 PM
horizontal rule
232

One would expect people to spend a great deal of time on their personal ads and/or online profiles, and to ask their friends for constructive criticism, but it seems like the tide of lapidary, alusive prose highlighted by deep but bright veins of fiery sense is slow in coming.

Are most profiles obviously composed stream-of...? I.e., along the lines of Are you like me? And a chick? Who likes partying 'til first light and breaking heads that need breaking with my buddies Tintin and Captain Haddock? Then seek your soulmate no longer, fair lady!


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 3:12 PM
horizontal rule
233

167:

No offense to present company intended, but I couldn't date anyone I met through that service for fear that they found the advertisements persuasive (not that I'm in the market anyway, I'm just sayin').

None taken. But it was the best money I've ever spent.


Posted by: NCProsecutor | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 3:13 PM
horizontal rule
234

Hey, Foxy! I'm full of generosity and fellow feeling for all forms of human weakness. Especially for people in the final lap of a dissertation, who get automatic dispensations for everything.

AWB, I didn't read 200 as saying one shouldn't count writing at all. More that online personals reward a certain surface flash of cleverness and wit that might not be a good thing to look for. I know from experience that people who are calm and thoughtful tend to be good complements for me, and those kind of people often don't fire off lots of brilliant witticisms in their writing.

I actually do believe you can tell a lot from writing.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 3:13 PM
horizontal rule
235

161 is weird as it relates to 154.

Really? I'd have thought the pathos, and the relevance to dating sites, was obvious.


Do you have any idea the life span of meat?
...
That's the message they're sending out by radio. 'Hello. Anyone out there? Anyone home?'
...
Imagine how unbearably, how unutterably cold the universe would be if one were all alone.

singing meat


Posted by: joel hanes | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 3:14 PM
horizontal rule
236

but it seems like the tide of lapidary, alusive prose highlighted by deep but bright veins of fiery sense is slow in coming.

Quite.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 3:15 PM
horizontal rule
237

225: And, of course, a steel, for turning off your smoke alarm.

A friend once wrote a personal ad that went something like "Snide curmudgeon, not looking for anyone. Don't write, don't call." Naturally, he got replies expressing interest.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 3:16 PM
horizontal rule
238

236: No one likes a pendant.

Hey-oh!


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 3:16 PM
horizontal rule
239

Has there ever been a thread on instant deal-breaking phrases in online personals? E.g. -- "I'm looking for a partner in crime", "I just want to find a normal guy", etc.?


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 3:18 PM
horizontal rule
240

Maybe it's a gender thing?

IME, the reaction of getting really self-conscious at even solicited editing is not gender linked per se. It is strongly correlated with:

a) rigid notions of gender roles (e.g. male partner "should" know more than female partner about Important Things)

and/or

b) high attention to class markers; belief that knowing grammar rules makes you "smart"


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 3:18 PM
horizontal rule
241

Everyone else in the (large, crowded) coffeeshop was someone she knew who had gone specifically to watch for The Signal in case the guy turned out to be a creep.

This is just great.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 3:21 PM
horizontal rule
242

But it was the best money I've ever spent.

Come to think of it, it's not that uncommon that I will see an advertisement for a product that I use and like, and think, "Jesus God, I'm glad I didn't see the ad before I bought the product, because I never would have bought it if I did." Which just goes to show that most advertising is not targeted at me or anyone like me, I suppose.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 3:22 PM
horizontal rule
243

241: Sort of like the betting parlor in The Sting?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 3:24 PM
horizontal rule
244

Has there ever been a thread on instant deal-breaking phrases in online personals?

"No alcohol or drugs"


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 3:25 PM
horizontal rule
245

244 gets it exactly right.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 3:25 PM
horizontal rule
246

The people I know who find knife-sharpening with stones tedious and frustrating have usually been trying to sharpen a very dull knife with a fine-grained Arkansas stone. Can be done, but takes patience. If your knives are very dull, you probably want first a coarse stone to quickly shape the bevel. Diamond stones are fast. Then a fine stone to shape the edge, and a steel to smooth it.

My middle-school wood shop teacher used to conclude his plane-blade sharpening demonstration by spitting on his forearm and using the plane blade to shave a square inch in a single stroke.


Posted by: joel hanes | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 3:26 PM
horizontal rule
247

"A taste for the finer things in life"


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 3:26 PM
horizontal rule
248

"I refuse to settle"


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 3:27 PM
horizontal rule
249

244: I'd be ok with that.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 3:28 PM
horizontal rule
250

"High-maintenance, but worth it"


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 3:29 PM
horizontal rule
251

The Sting?

You know, that movie hasn't aged as well as it might have. I think it's the whole 1970s-conception-of-the-1910s (1920s?) thing.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 3:30 PM
horizontal rule
252

I'm on my way out, but I once got a message from a guy whose profile specifically said he was not interested in "the kind of woman who belongs to a food cooperative." I'm sure he thought he was just sounding picky, but not really eliminating anyone he'd be interested in. His message to me was something boring about whether I'd seen the Tristram Shandy movie and what I thought of it (seriously, this has been the opener for like 11/12 of the most recent messages I've gotten), so I didn't mind signing off my halfassed response with my Co-op member number.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 3:30 PM
horizontal rule
253

AWB, it's probably true that we're not so far away from one another's positions. I, after all, did end up with a Very Smart Woman, just not a Fast-Talking Dame-cum-Rhetorical-Strategist.

But still.

My response to your 220 is to think, well, it sounds like they weren't really cut out for each other.

However, if you actually liked the guy in 220 other than the little dependent clause thing, and you wondered why he couldn't have gotten over you correcting him, than I think you might want to move from your position a bit.

And polar, please: if you're disqualifying people because they don't finish books, cub ain't never gonna find no poppa bear.

This in 205 struck me:

a careful attention to rhetorical gestures and purpose shows an awareness that I, a reader, actually exist in his mind, and that he trusts me to follow a point, and makes it worth my while

You and I may be seeking different things right now, but while I enjoy the pleasures of being read, consider that the pleasures of feeling felt are exquisite.

On preview: you're going out for foxy clothes and won't read this for a while, and it's a bit concerntrollish, or at least rather personal. But I think you're neat and I think you're searching, so I'll go ahead and post.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 3:30 PM
horizontal rule
254

Surely the most tedious flavor of personal ad is the "Livin' out loud!" variety, full of I-know-who-I-ams and live-every-days and travel-all-overs, meanwhile giving you next to no information about whether you'd have anything to talk about. And I really can't believe how many guys feel like they need to mention that they like sex.

As for 200, I certainly agree. One thing that made my one online dating adventure so unpleasant in the end was how difficult it was for me to reconcile the awesome rapport we had in writing with what a goddam babypants he was in person. Yeah, if they write like an illiterate dullard, then it makes sense to screen them right out. But you can be plenty bright and even articulate without being all that snappy with the written back-and-forth.


Posted by: cerebrocrat | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 3:32 PM
horizontal rule
255

re: movies about the 18th century. I actually thought "Barry Lyndon" was great.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 3:33 PM
horizontal rule
256

241: She told him later and it freaked him out, bless his heart.

243: I confess that I have never seen The Sting.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 3:34 PM
horizontal rule
257

"Looking to grow together in faith."

(N.B. I'm a confessing X-ian myself, but I doubt I'd be compatible with someone who leads with that suit.)


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 3:35 PM
horizontal rule
258

Thanks for the cite to this thread about sharpening.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 3:35 PM
horizontal rule
259

240:

c) a dreadful fear that the editor is, has been, and always will be secretly sneering at the editee. This is really a function of (b), I suppose.

(My ex was much like the ex AWB describes; he needed a great deal of help with proposals and clearly resented the fact that he just couldn't do it himself. And of course resented me; eventually I refused his requests. Which incensed him further. Bad news overall, but I wouldn't assume that all bad writers would respond in the same manner.)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 3:36 PM
horizontal rule
260

instant deal-breaking phrases in online personals

(Under the "I'm looking for" section)

Income: 100,000 +


Posted by: cerebrocrat | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 3:36 PM
horizontal rule
261

In both those cases, the problem obviously seems to be resentment that the partner is better than you at something, not bad writing. It's bad to resent getting help; it's an advantage for you if your partner is good at something you're not.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 3:37 PM
horizontal rule
262

252 is funny.

239 is part of my point: it's really hard to do these things well, and forgiveness pays off. Savage snark is its own great reward, and a string of cliches probably is terrible, but don't have "dealbreakers".

This is probably less true for women reading men's profiles -- for example, I knew a woman who would not go out with men whose age range didn't rise to their own age. And yeah, seeing a tagline of MUFF DIVER as a headline provides a pretty good sorting mechanism.

I hate to see "partners in crime", but there was a time when I thought it was exactly what I wanted, and I wasn't knowing enough to realize it was a cliche.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 3:38 PM
horizontal rule
263

260 = the crasser form of 247


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 3:39 PM
horizontal rule
264

re: 260, yeah, that totally rules someone out.

How about women looking for men at least 6-9 inches taller than they are (5'3" looking for 6', etc.?). Of course, being 5'9" I couldn't answer most of those anyway, but I react to it like the way women must when men look for slim women ten years younger than they are.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 3:39 PM
horizontal rule
265

"soulful"

"curvy"

"fun-loving"

"big fan [of anything]"

"cozy"

"graduate school"


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 3:39 PM
horizontal rule
266

babypants

I have no idea what this means and request clarification; otherwise, my imagination wanders into shady territory.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 3:40 PM
horizontal rule
267

253: Naw, it doesn't bother me, and I didn't mean to sound like I was knocking your lady. I'm just hyperaware of how my job and the ways I write and talk all cockblock me pretty much all the time. Being a good writer and speaker simply does not broaden a woman's dating pool; it narrows it, sometimes almost to nothing, not because she's so unbearably picky, but because it makes her unattractive.

Maybe it's a perceived "class" thing, maybe it's a gender thing, but in any case, I have to ask myself why my past relationships have been kinda crappy. Part of it seems to be that I only can find men who have certain aspects of what I need, who can complement only limited parts of my personality, and are threatened by the rest. My friends, meanwhile, tell me I'm far too picky, until I meet someone, at which time they accuse me of not being picky enough.

I say fuck it. I'm tired of having to throw myself into things I don't really want. So if I have to be picky, or at least stay low-key until I find someone whom I'm excited to be around, I will.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 3:42 PM
horizontal rule
268

264: Maybe that kind of differential is pissy, but I know the tall girls often really, really want someone they with whom they can still wear heels and look good dancing.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 3:43 PM
horizontal rule
269

226: C'mon, you know: tittybaby, whiner... oh. I know what YOU'RE thinking. Gross.


Posted by: cerebrocrat | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 3:43 PM
horizontal rule
270

Being a good writer and speaker simply does not broaden a woman's dating pool; it narrows it, sometimes almost to nothing

I don't believe this is true. But of course experiences vary.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 3:44 PM
horizontal rule
271

253: I disqualified that guy because he was a fucking dumbass and a fraud, who had never finished a book. He said he had a fear of possible sad endings and thought all books should end happily.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 3:44 PM
horizontal rule
272

269: OK, that's what I would have guessed but in these discussions it is always worth making sure.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 3:44 PM
horizontal rule
273

The cool kids find love at Poker Stars.com


Posted by: zwichenzug | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 3:46 PM
horizontal rule
274

270: I think I could live without the knowledge that some Dorothy Parker manquee was dining out on tales of my haphazard injuries (e.g., "Why the hell am I suddenly bleeding?"), but I'm a special case.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 3:46 PM
horizontal rule
275

(Okay, now I'm out, for real.)


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 3:48 PM
horizontal rule
276

Similar personality traits usually don't complement each other well.


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 3:49 PM
horizontal rule
277

Being a good writer and speaker simply does not broaden a woman's dating pool; it narrows it, sometimes almost to nothing

Didn't seem to hurt her chances much. Maybe you should switch genres.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 3:50 PM
horizontal rule
278

Isn't there some Howells quote about how Americans want to read/see tragedies with happy endings?


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 3:53 PM
horizontal rule
279

267: I never thought you were knocking my dame. And yes, you certainly deserve to be loved for being a smart woman. And that scares a lot of men.

I have a friend who has a horribly reified sense of himself as a crank. Every now and then, when he's really being a pill, I tell him, "you know, you can be yourself without always playing yourself."

My personals ad read "joi de vivre is sexy, jeux de mots are sexier". A friend pointed out that while the people who did like would be smart, many would probably not get it and feel turned off by being made to feel stupid.

The people who will not fear your intellect are not necessarily the people who can match it. You may need to fine tune the "I need you to respect my intelligence" message so it's not exactly the same as "I need you to be as intelligent as me".


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 3:55 PM
horizontal rule
280

"joi de vivre is sexy, jeux de mots are sexier".

Misspelling "joie de vivre" would be a dealbreaker.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 3:58 PM
horizontal rule
281

Zing! Also, you're not selecting on intelligence there, rather cultural capital.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 3:59 PM
horizontal rule
282

You know, I had joie, and I fixed it. Doh.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 4:01 PM
horizontal rule
283

There's a lot of wisdom in 276. Plain-spoken, pithy wisdom!


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 4:02 PM
horizontal rule
284

Huh, I just went back and checked out Lovetastic for the first time in a while, and I love that they've added a "Flag as Creepy" option. Every dating site needs one of those.


Posted by: cerebrocrat | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 4:18 PM
horizontal rule
285

witty banter is friggin' exhausting

So is good sex, Ogged.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 4:20 PM
horizontal rule
286

284: The whole internet needs one of those.

A Digg As Creepy social networking site could really take off.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 4:23 PM
horizontal rule
287

Then just add it to the list of things I don't do in real life, Apo.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 4:23 PM
horizontal rule
288

It's fun to take the tests, and the site does more active matchmaking for you, but the crowd is quite a bit younger, and the "who's stalking me?" feature creeped me out.

You work the blogs on OKC, just like Unfogged. The matching system is too dependent on self-honesty.

Has there ever been a thread on instant deal-breaking phrases in online personals?

You'd think declaring myself to be a pirate without a boat, a hat or a parrot would've been a instant deal-breaker ('What the hell is that nut talking about?'). But no. It's always the picture, man. Good picture, lots of offers, bad picture, forget it! Unfortunately, in my case, the 'offers' are always from insane chicks into S&M and cults. From Seattle.

Now I want to put up the lyrics to Eurotrash Girl up along with MUFF DIVING just to see what that draws. Also 'curvy'!

m, or scurvy


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 4:38 PM
horizontal rule
289

And I really can't believe how many guys feel like they need

One of the best things about the Harvard Magazine ads is the frequent use by older male advertisers of the adjective "vigorous".


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 4:39 PM
horizontal rule
290

I might be overreacting, but profiles where the guy has made a point to describe himself as "masculine" sort of turn me off. Nothing wrong with masculinity, but as code for "I'm not like those other fags," it slightly offends.


Posted by: cerebrocrat | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 4:45 PM
horizontal rule
291

Cerebrocrat: objectively pro-twink.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 4:57 PM
horizontal rule
292

I realize I'm acting very sage and knowing about the whole business. hing. In case this revives, let me qualify by saying that I only went on two dates off the internet. I corresponded with one other person; she found me, we spoke on the phone, and she called a lot of things "retarded".

Many of the things we call "deal-breakers" aren't isolated bits that call the whole thing off, but adequate synecdoches for a whole raft of objections. "Retarded" above does that work. She seemed callow and negative, disproportionately impressed with her own objections to things, and, dare I say, not too smart. (She had great taste in bands that don't exist yet, though.)

And my current gf calls things "retarded".


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 5:36 PM
horizontal rule
293

if you want your fucking kitchen knives to be as sharp as a razor blade or a chisel, then you are some kind of fucking maniac my friend.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 5:38 PM
horizontal rule
294

293: I'll cut you, fucker. Very cleanly.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 5:42 PM
horizontal rule
295

I might be overreacting, but profiles where the guy has made a point to describe himself as "masculine" sort of turn me off. Nothing wrong with masculinity, but as code for "I'm not like those other fags," it slightly offends.

Yeah. Do you agree with my intuition that describing oneself as "butch" or a variation (like, oh, "butchy") is vastly superior, perhaps because it seems to involve a little more self-awareness and perhaps even a touch of self-deprecation or at least humor? "Masculine" seems not only condemnatory but also humorless.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 5:48 PM
horizontal rule
296

the frequent use by older male advertisers of the adjective "vigorous"

Because.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 5:51 PM
horizontal rule
297

Things, are retarded, for Christ's sake.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 5:56 PM
horizontal rule
298

"Intuition" is completely the wrong word there. "Feeling," perhaps.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 5:58 PM
horizontal rule
299

Oh, so they're looking back to Camelot. I thought it was code for "can still do it".


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 5:58 PM
horizontal rule
300

299->296


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 5:59 PM
horizontal rule
301

Of course it's code for "can still do it." Or at least for "will try like hell."


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 6:00 PM
horizontal rule
302

Oh, so they're looking back to Camelot. I thought it was code for "can still do it".

Possibly there's some overlap.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 6:00 PM
horizontal rule
303

Or at least for "will try like hell."

Is that a good thing?


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 6:01 PM
horizontal rule
304

I'm not really the target audience. Ben?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 6:01 PM
horizontal rule
305

Camelot? It's only a model.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 6:04 PM
horizontal rule
306

vigorous

Just reading the word exhausts me.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 6:07 PM
horizontal rule
307

I thought it was code for "can still do it".

"I own an expensive sports car you can take possession of during the divorce."

m, also, not actually dead, yet


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 6:08 PM
horizontal rule
308

Do you agree with my intuition feeling that describing oneself as "butch" or a variation (like, oh, "butchy") is vastly superior

Completely, although I've never, ever seen a guy use "butch" in a personals ad (although it's not so uncommon in conversation, hm) - I think it's considered the exclusive property of lesbians, who seem to make far more of the butch/femme dichotomy.

"Masculine" seems not only condemnatory but also humorless. You're right, that's a good observation. Humorless is exactly how these guys come off. I guess I feel like, if you really feel a need to say this right off, then you're thinking about it too much. There's a certain whiff of tight-assery about it, and not in the good way.


Posted by: cerebrocrat | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 6:18 PM
horizontal rule
309

AWB at 267.

I'm just hyperaware of how my job and the ways I write and talk all cockblock me pretty much all the time. Being a good writer and speaker simply does not broaden a woman's dating pool; it narrows it, sometimes almost to nothing, not because she's so unbearably picky, but because it makes her unattractive.

A lot of the women who read this blog write and speak in ways that alienate whole swaths of the population. The pressure to hide one's intelligence or education is there. No one would deny it. This is an anti-intellectual country.

The personal fallout from it is far more pronounced for women than for educated men. So yeah, it's a class as well as a gender thing. An inadequacy thing.

I once lived with a household of men -- I guess we were all in our early 20s -- and listened to them agree with each other one night that there are girls you'd fuck and girls you're friends with, and all the others don't exist. (That includes the really-smart chicks, me. To this day I cannot hear the phrase "Would you do her?" or any variant thereon without becoming very very angry.) So yeah, I understand your anger.

Part of it seems to be that I only can find men who have certain aspects of what I need, who can complement only limited parts of my personality, and are threatened by the rest.

This is the part I want to speak to: I think I might actually get this. All of my long-term relationships have been with (very) non-academic men: artists, musicians. (I'm no longer an academic myself, but that's irrelevant; and quite a few short-term relationships were, but again not relevant.) Friends have always been puzzled by this.

One upshot of it is that I always had two sets of friends, and like them equally much. The artist and/or musician or whatever crowd, as it turned out, didn't think I was much of a freak after all, despite my sometimes snooty locution or refusal to let go of a point -- that'd occasionally pan out as, "You know, you're a real fucking bitch, you know that?"

You learn when to keep your mouth shut; you watch yourself a little more carefully than some people do, so that you don't alienate people. So that they're not, as you say above, quite so threatened.

But AWB, maybe you're describing something somewhat different: that since you feel you can't date within your academic environment, which you would prefer to do, you *have* to date outside it, so you're just desperately trying to find men out there who can handle, in one way or another, your educational level.

Hm, yes, I may have been misunderstanding. You would rather date within the academy?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 6:24 PM
horizontal rule
310

297: Sometimes, Emerson, I think that if it wasn't for the serifs, I couldn't understand a damn thing you say.

But it's good to see you in the business of encouraging relationships.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 6:25 PM
horizontal rule
311

I suspect part of what AWB is running into is related to dating much older men: maybe a guy's seeking out younger women, he tells himself he wants a smart one, not a bimbo -- but he probably also believes that part of the younger woman package is for her to be sweet and unthreatening and to not actually DO anything with her smarts other than to be able to fully appreciate HIS massive intellect. IOW, woman as a reflection of his good taste and superiority, not as a human being in her own right.

This is mostly ex recto, but based on the way AWB has been brought up short by guys being threatened by her, it would make sense.


Posted by: Magpie | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 6:36 PM
horizontal rule
312

which I read as

AWB was brought up by short guys threatening her

She's talked ruefully about her youth; it made sense for an extra second.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 6:38 PM
horizontal rule
313

I honestly don't care whether a woman is smarter than me; I want one who's richer than me. Way, way, way richer than me. But that's never really panned out.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 6:39 PM
horizontal rule
314

313:

Apo has been reading my "Top Ten ways to plan for your divorce" pamphlet.

Divorce is similar to that saying about wine: the best way to end up with a small fortune from your winery is to start with a large fortune.

You end up with a lot more money post-divorce if marry rich than if you marry poor.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 6:51 PM
horizontal rule
315

Somewhat related to bar setting, I've never had much trouble finding women to date who are smarter than me.

I'd much rather date a smart woman.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 6:53 PM
horizontal rule
316

I dated a woman who was way richer than me, but I didn't love her enough. Wealth is a little beside the point -- think how uncomfortable it would be, on a daily level, to be in a relationship with someone because of the money. I guess this is taking for granted that you're already reasonably comfortable...if you are, how much does the wealth increment really matter?

Realize that I'm taking apo's comments probably more seriously than they were meant.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 6:59 PM
horizontal rule
317

I've never been very good at measuring smart, so I've generally gone for smart-assed instead.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 7:00 PM
horizontal rule
318

"But, but I like poor chicks!"


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 7:02 PM
horizontal rule
319

OT: Fucking Thunderbirds. Distilled fucking essence of the fucking Air Force: burning jet fuel and making noise for no particular reason. Zoomy airplanes! Zooming! Because we can! Send money!

No, I'm not bitter about having another low pass over my office Every.Fucking.Time I manage to concentrate this afternoon.


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 7:07 PM
horizontal rule
320

313: It's working out for me... :)


Posted by: NCProsecutor | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 7:07 PM
horizontal rule
321

I'm probably going to get chewed out for saying this, but: I'm pretty doubtful whenever I hear anyone, man or woman, say that "my wonderful quality X is what keeps me from finding partners". I just don't believe that positive qualities like intelligence, kindness, etc. are what keep people single. Maybe they aren't as effective in attracting others as we would wish, or maybe they tend to come linked with other qualities that aren't so great, but that's different. Call me crazy, but in general I think one can always find people who attracted to positive qualities in others.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 7:08 PM
horizontal rule
322

the best way to end up with a small fortune from your winery is to start with a large fortune.

There's a similar saying in the book trade. They're all full of shit, of course.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 7:11 PM
horizontal rule
323

My uncanny ability to zero in on people's weak spots and ridicule them mercilessly makes it difficult for me to find partners. Are you saying that this is not a positive quality?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 7:13 PM
horizontal rule
324

"But I like John's uncanny ability to zero in on people's weak spots and ridicule them mercilessly! He just won't date me!"


Posted by: Anyone at all | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 7:15 PM
horizontal rule
325

Of course it's positive, John. It means you're brilliant and challenging. Your brilliance intimidates potential partners.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 7:16 PM
horizontal rule
326

how uncomfortable it would be, on a daily level

Not so much that I couldn't blot out the discomfort with my daily bottles of Gaja.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 7:17 PM
horizontal rule
327

311:

Magpie, while that makes sense, I've gotten the impression that AWB hasn't been trying to date much older men for a while now.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 7:18 PM
horizontal rule
328

320: You guys should consider adopting a 38-year-old son.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 7:19 PM
horizontal rule
329

317:

What a great lady.

Slightly related, my typically-smart 11 yr old son innocently said "women dont really invent stuff, do they dad?"

My (professor of pharmacy) gf's jaw dropped, and her eyes whipped to me, glaring.

He and I had to have a little talk about the various accomplishments of women.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 7:19 PM
horizontal rule
330

I'm pretty doubtful whenever I hear anyone, man or woman, say that "my wonderful quality X is what keeps me from finding partners".

This seems basically correct, but not relevent.

See LB in 204. If your sense of self is strongly entertwined with a trait that is both positive and sets you apart from most people the problem isn't just finding people that accept that trait, but appreciate you for it.

Or, put another way, it's possible that the paired, limiting, trait, is trivially the desire to find someone who values that trait in you.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 7:19 PM
horizontal rule
331

To clarify:

It's easy for me to find friends who are brilliant, hilarious, interesting, attractive, charming, and all that.

When I date, I seem to be able to pick one of the above.

I'm not angry or bitter, as I was characterized above. In fact, I tend to blame myself for being so libidinous that I tend to think, "Does he have a single quality I can use to justify sleeping with him? Yes! Neat!"

It's just easier to date strangers, and strangers are not as awesome as my friends. Most people would suffer in the comparison. Other people tell me they date their friends. I am, it seems, in danger of some kind of grave error if I do.

So then I get annoyed when my friends tell me someone I'm interested in isn't good enough for me, when that friend is part of a large group of people who are, in fact, cooler than the person I'm sleeping with, but none of whom are, apparently, capable of dating me.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 7:20 PM
horizontal rule
332

I like my wine too, she did sort of pitch the potential for a really great wine collection as a benefit of staying with her. It's possible I had my priorities messed up, but I try not to dwell on that.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 7:20 PM
horizontal rule
333

marcus:

Mainly, you let your friends down. You should have taken one for the team.

A friend once dated a woman from an extremely rich family. They had a luxury suite at a NFL team and a private plane to pick us up. When he broke up with her, we stopped being his friend.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 7:23 PM
horizontal rule
334

321: Oh, it does sound self-serving ("No one loves me because I'm just too wonderful!") but 'intimidating' can do a lot of work as a negative quality, and it's pretty easy to make up an 'intimidating' out of only positive stuff. Back when I was unsuccessfully dating, I had many and varied other personal flaws keeping men away beyond my massive intellect, but I've seen friends where positive qualities like brains really did seem to be hurting them romantically.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 7:23 PM
horizontal rule
335

It's easy for me to find friends who are brilliant, hilarious, interesting, attractive, charming, and all that.

That sounds like a pretty good life.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 7:24 PM
horizontal rule
336

321: I've been reading this thread and struggling to find a way to say this, but I think you've caught it exactly. And I don't mean to suggest that I think this is true of anyone here - which is one reason I haven't attempted to say it.

But I can tell you from personal experience, whenever I have said things like this - and I used to do it a lot - the interpretation in 321 has been exactly right.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 7:24 PM
horizontal rule
337

324: I have an excuse now. My parrot seems increasingly to be pining for the fjords. Also, many or most of my shrimp have died.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 7:25 PM
horizontal rule
338

Oh, and what Nick said in 330 (which I realize was quoting me, so now I'm simply agreeing with myself, but the way he put it was good.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 7:26 PM
horizontal rule
339

I'm pretty doubtful whenever I hear anyone, man or woman, say that "my wonderful quality X is what keeps me from finding partners"

People differ on whether certain X's are wonderful qualities.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 7:27 PM
horizontal rule
340

321: No, I don't think "This wonderful quality keeps me from being loved" has anything to do with what I said. I don't think it's inherently wonderful to do the work I do, any more than anyone else's profession is an inherently wonderful deed. It is my work, and it's not very attractive work, though it is often useful for my partners and friends.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 7:27 PM
horizontal rule
341

I'm pretty sure I've told this story here before, but what the heck, it applies. A female friend of mine in grad school was careful about how she represented her self w/respect to prospective dates. If a guy came up to her at a party/bar and asked what she did, if she liked the looks of him, she said she was a psychologist. If she didn't, she said she was a behavioral neuroscientist. This seemed to be a pretty effective filtering tool for her.

I think it's not quite right to look at it as "my wonderful quality X is what keeps me from finding partners." Education level/ smarts is something that we generally value in the abstract, but isn't always a net good when it comes to compatability - people have to be within some minimum range of each other on the smarts distribution, usually, in order to get along (though, as we know, chemistry can broaden that range). If you're wicked smaht, that's great for you, but it puts you at one end of the distribution. So "my wonderful quality X is what keeps me from finding partners" may really mean "I'm at a proportional disadvantage in this numbers game."

I have a feeling that the "straight men are scared of smart women" bit often is just really a case where a regularish guy hasn't had the good fortune to interact much with smart, self-directed women, and so doesn't know what to do in an unfamiliar situation. That's a recipe for making anybody uncomfortable. (and what's interesting is, given educational demographics, that situation is almost certainly becoming rarer)


Posted by: cerebrocrat | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 7:29 PM
horizontal rule
342

Yeah, I've probably told this story before, but Dr. Oops and a friend of hers had a funny moment where they cockblocked themselves by admitting they were surgeons to some guys trying to pick them up in a bar. (Oddly, if I remember the story correctly, the guys were actors pretending to be either carpenters or firemen, I can't remember which. But in any case were put off by the MDs.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 7:32 PM
horizontal rule
343

LB, why does your sister put guys in a bathtub full of of ice after she's surreptitiously harvested their kidneys? On the whole, it seems pointless.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 7:36 PM
horizontal rule
344

Right. I actually don't think men are put off by "smart" women, if by "smart" you mean charming women who get most of your references and make references that you get. Who wouldn't want that? I think that's basically what all those Nerve ads looking for "smart" women mean.

Areas of useful professional expertise, though, make you weird. I would love not to be the girl who busts out at a party with theories about bestselling fiction over the past 300 years, or the one who has extremely detailed ideas about how to define "pornography." These things come up, and if you ask me over drinks what I think about them, I will not have the filter on and I will tell you. It's not cute or attractive. It's fucking weird.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 7:39 PM
horizontal rule
345

We like it.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 7:39 PM
horizontal rule
346

342: Here's how I read this complaint: Members of the opposite sex who would be very bad for me to get involved with - they don't like me. It's discrimination !!

Well, no, it's not. Guys pretending to be firemen need to be dating women pretending to be surgeons. It's good when these guys walk away from actual surgeons.



Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 7:39 PM
horizontal rule
347

Alternate response to 321:

Everyone here has attractive and unatractive qualities and I'm sure that we're al generally aware of our qualities that are seen as unatractive and accept that various people are filtering us out based on those qualities. But it's particulatly irksome when someone rejects us for traits that we think of as attractive.

Part of why you may hear complaints along the line of, I can't believe they didn't like my positive trait X, is because everyone can believe that people don't like their non-positive traits.

That isn't a direct response to 321, but is another reason why people's self-reported romantic frustrations may only represent part of their experience.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 7:41 PM
horizontal rule
348

I'm just hyperaware of how my job and the ways I write and talk all cockblock me pretty much all the time. Being a good writer and speaker simply does not broaden a woman's dating pool; it narrows it, sometimes almost to nothing, not because she's so unbearably picky, but because it makes her unattractive.

For what it's worth, the way you write and present here At the Mineshaft is somewhat more attractive to me than it is intimidating.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 7:42 PM
horizontal rule
349

the guys were actors

This reminds me, back on the subject of dating sites - it always irritates me when people fail to disclose what they do for a living. Now, I know there's a certain strain of happytalk about how Americans always want to know what you DO, instead of who you ARE, blahdyblah, and yes, it's jerky to judge people by their profession, but for fuck's sake, you job is what you spend most of you waking hours doing. It's relevant; I want to know. It's hard for me to think of a profession that, in and of itself, would be a dealbreaker (I had a very nice conversation with a tobacco lawyer once). But... actor might be it. I can't say exactly why, but I've moved on from personals profiles I was otherwise potentially interested in when I read that the guy was an actor.


Posted by: cerebrocrat | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 7:42 PM
horizontal rule
350

331:

AWB, I don't know what you're talking about at this point. You've been upset about this sort of thing for a while, as follows: you're smart and you like to have sex. You can't do that with people in close proximity, so you look for semi-strangers.

It's just easier to date strangers, and strangers are not as awesome as my friends. Most people would suffer in the comparison. Other people tell me they date their friends. I am, it seems, in danger of some kind of grave error if I do.

The problem is with whatever the grave errors are, and whatever makes it easier to date strangers.

Wait!

So then I get annoyed when my friends tell me someone I'm interested in isn't good enough for me, when that friend is part of a large group of people who are, in fact, cooler than the person I'm sleeping with, but none of whom are, apparently, capable of dating me.

Okay, if I get this, it happened to me at least one memorable time: I was intending to date a guy from my extended circle who had a slightly problematic reputation. My close friends wound up pulling me aside at parties, calling me on the phone, and so on, to have Very Serious Talks with me about this. I told them to fuck off. I lost a good friend over that.

Is THAT what you get all the time?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 7:43 PM
horizontal rule
351

It's not cute or attractive. It's fucking weird.

What ogged said. In the right milieu it is, in fact, cute and attractive. The trick is finding the right milieu. (Or for monogamists like me, the right individual.)


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 7:43 PM
horizontal rule
352

I think more internet threads would be pleasant to read with a sprinkling of Knife Skills posts.


Posted by: TheGuyWhoInventedRope | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 7:45 PM
horizontal rule
353

Actually 345 was to 343.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 7:45 PM
horizontal rule
354

I will not have the filter on and I will tell you. It's not cute or attractive. It's fucking weird.

yes, but incredibly entertaining. I'll fess up. I suspect that my gf would have a girl crush on AWB.



Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 7:45 PM
horizontal rule
355

When I think about it, although I definitely like smart women (Phds are sort of my type, or one of them anyway), there have been a few cases where I met women who were real superstars in their career and it has been intimidating. (I don't mean ordinary advanced-degree six-figure income, I mean superstars). At some half-conscious level it raised self-doubt in me that I found unpleasant; would they respect me? I guess that's intimidation, I wonder if it's particularly a guy thing. Obviously that is about me, not them.

On the smarts thing: I think very intelligent people sometimes want a romantic partner who will not just respect them but engage them, really challenge them intellectually, etc. It's like an athlete who wants someone who can keep up with them when working out or whatever. I have some of that desire myself, and while it can be great when it works out I wonder whether it limits the prospects too much. It's a tricky desire to manage, at least that's how I've experienced it.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 7:47 PM
horizontal rule
356

AWB, I don't know what you're talking about at this point.

I'm bored. Maybe I have mono.

Somebody else, have a problem, quickly!


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 7:48 PM
horizontal rule
357

353: I thought 345 was exactly perfect for 344.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 7:48 PM
horizontal rule
358

And may w-lfs-n pardon me for the redundancy of "exactly perfect."


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 7:49 PM
horizontal rule
359

Somebody else, have a problem, quickly!

I can't lick the back of my neck.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 7:50 PM
horizontal rule
360

Anymore.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 7:51 PM
horizontal rule
361

359: That's a problem ogged doesn't have. I'm quite certain he can lick the back of your neck. You just have to ask nice.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 7:51 PM
horizontal rule
362

320: You guys should consider adopting a 38-year-old son.

I'm sure they'd much rather have a 25yo son.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 7:52 PM
horizontal rule
363

344: Yeah, I totally love people who can't control their urge to spew weird theories. I'm dead serious, it gets me hot, that would be my ideal partner. One reason I love dating academics is that you can always ask them to explain some weird shit from their discipline, it's never boring. Marry me!


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 7:52 PM
horizontal rule
364

354: Who doesn't?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 7:52 PM
horizontal rule
365

These things come up, and if you ask me over drinks what I think about them, I will not have the filter on and I will tell you. It's not cute or attractive. It's fucking weird.

The world is crawling with humanities grad students, faculty and the like. Not weird at all.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 7:52 PM
horizontal rule
366

357: Only problem being that the respect and adoration of imaginary people all over the world doesn't actually get AWB laid.


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 7:53 PM
horizontal rule
367

Boring, possibly, but not weird.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 7:54 PM
horizontal rule
368

365: yeah, this is de rigeur at academic parties, half the time the first question asked is "what are you working on"? With weird theory expected as a response.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 7:54 PM
horizontal rule
369

The world is crawling with humanities grad students, faculty and the like. Not weird at all.

Agreed, though of course the execution can vary wildly.

I am extremely lucky to have found Snark. I know that my particular brand of oblivious spastic judgmental vivacity is, um, not for everyone. I suspect I would hate me.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 7:55 PM
horizontal rule
370

366 gets it exactly right. If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem!

I'm going to go read a novel.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 7:55 PM
horizontal rule
371

I'm going to go read a novel.

This evening, why not make your novel … The Recognitions?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 7:56 PM
horizontal rule
372

371: I have orals coming up, dude. NO GADDIS until November.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 7:58 PM
horizontal rule
373

Lizardbreath knows my gf???


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 7:58 PM
horizontal rule
374

I have orals coming up, dude

Well that clarifies a lot.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 8:00 PM
horizontal rule
375

Aside from the fact that AWB is still a big ol' drama queen, I'm not sure what we've established here. That people who are "smart" for a living get funny looks from people who aren't, and that the smart like the smart?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 8:00 PM
horizontal rule
376

I have orals coming up, dude.

That old chestnut?


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 8:01 PM
horizontal rule
377

In support of cerobrocrat: I've moved on from personals profiles I was otherwise potentially interested in when I read that the guy was an actor.

I will note that the only truly unpleasant date I've had in the past five years was with an actor. Sample of one, but.

(Also, not to harp on AWB personally, but in my experience people who say versions of "But I respect him/her too much to date her" really mean "I'm not physically attracted to her" or "I am immature, and am uncomfortable at the prospect of liking, feeling friend-ish, and otherwise having non-romantic feelings for my romantic partner.")


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 8:01 PM
horizontal rule
378

w-lfs-n! Enough already with The Recognitions. With you, it's as if the guy never wrote another book.

359-360 is genius.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 8:02 PM
horizontal rule
379

I have two orals coming up next week. These days, though, I am on the right side of the desk. Squirm, you little fuckers! Squirm!


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 8:02 PM
horizontal rule
380

I'm bored. Maybe I have mono.

Somebody else, have a problem, quickly!

When you're done advertising your problem, let us know.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 8:03 PM
horizontal rule
381

I suspect that my gf would have a girl crush on AWB.

Threesome!


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 8:03 PM
horizontal rule
382

I don't actually care about all this smart-or-not business, which is beside the point. The point is, my friends are awesome, but they cockblock me. This would be reasonable if they intended to date me. Since they won't, they should be introducing me to their cute friends.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 8:03 PM
horizontal rule
383

And apparently I can't spell. Sorry, cerebrocrat.

(I am procrastinating on planning my itinerary. How can traveling be so great and planning it be such a nuisance? Excellent recommendations from imaginary Internet friends not withstanding.)


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 8:04 PM
horizontal rule
384

359-360 is genius.

Wrongshore is admitted to my pants.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 8:05 PM
horizontal rule
385

380: You're welcome to offer up sensitive topics of conversation from your own personal life for critical analysis by strangers anytime, parsimon. It's really fun, I swear.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 8:05 PM
horizontal rule
386

366, 370: Bah. You both suffer from the delusion that there is such a thing as enough sex.

I mean, I'm actually a person who has always had enough money, and often had enough sex - though I've had wildly different levels of both.

Once you accept the fact that you ain't gonna get enough, you can start thinking practically about how much you want and need, and what you're really willing to do to get what you want.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 8:11 PM
horizontal rule
387

Hey, here's a girl for Ogged:

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/nva/w4m/421851912.html

I'm sure he could satiate her. Let's set them up for DCon.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 8:11 PM
horizontal rule
388

375: Oh, I'm having a breakdown over work, and I'm a big old cranky feminist, and I'm sure this is just whining because back when I was single I was too annoying to get a date. But:

Is it really so desperately unlikely that being intellectually intimidating (not "from such a different millieu that you appear alien" just "noticeably smarter or more knowledgeable or in a more prestigious line of work") is something that's a romantic negative for women in a way it isn't for men? Not you guys, you're all princes among men who seek out billionaire particle physicists to date. But lots of guys, even guys who are reasonably clever themselves. Which, given that very few men are as spectacularly enlightened as the Unfoggedariat, cuts into ones dating options if one fits the description.

Any given intellectually intimidating woman is better off not associating with men unenlightened enough to find her offputting. And there are plenty of men who don't mind it at all. Absolutely. But if you're a very obviously brainy woman, it's still going to be a romantic detriment for more men than it's an asset for. Which can make one kind of cranky about it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 8:11 PM
horizontal rule
389

366: I'll bet that if you come to UnfoggeDCon, you could get laid several times over all in one night. If, indeed, that's your actual goal.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 8:12 PM
horizontal rule
390

I totally agree with that, LB.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 8:13 PM
horizontal rule
391

390->389.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 8:14 PM
horizontal rule
392

But if you're a very obviously brainy woman, it's still going to be a romantic detriment for more men than it's an asset for

No question about that. There's data and everything. There's a nice essay written in the late 60s about grad school that mentions the particular difficulties for women who "constantly face the danger of being smarter than their husbands," with all the negatives that entails.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 8:15 PM
horizontal rule
393

Hrmphf. You're just humoring me because I'm losing it. (Which, by the way, I completely am.)

But thanks.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 8:16 PM
horizontal rule
394

See what happens when you say reasonable things?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 8:19 PM
horizontal rule
395

388: But most members of the opposite sex won't be that attracted to any given one of us, that's like a given, right? Unless you're some kind of rock star or an incredible beauty.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 8:19 PM
horizontal rule
396

Well, modesty forbids.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 8:21 PM
horizontal rule
397

With you, it's as if the guy never wrote another book.

He didn't. The other things he wrote aren't "books", they logorrhetic spewings.

(I kid, of course; the first (& only other) thing of his I read was Carpenter's Gothic. I just happen to be re-reading TR right now and it's so good!)


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 8:23 PM
horizontal rule
398

Weird. Boring.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 8:24 PM
horizontal rule
399

The ad linked in 387 pretty much hits all the stereotypes about Iranians and Iranian women in particular (Iranian-Americans, anyway). I wonder if it's a parody or just someone shameless.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 8:25 PM
horizontal rule
400

"Boring" anagrams "ginorb", which is what your objine uses to peer through the mists of time.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 8:26 PM
horizontal rule
401

Once you accept the fact that you ain't gonna get enough, you can start thinking practically about how much you want and need, and what you're really willing to do to get what you want.

Mick!


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 8:27 PM
horizontal rule
402

I prefer to use the Gin Orb, myself.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 8:27 PM
horizontal rule
403

That all one word business, I just don't know.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 8:28 PM
horizontal rule
404

I have ginorbous breasts.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 8:28 PM
horizontal rule
405

I'm using the Port Orb right now, and it's fucking great.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 8:29 PM
horizontal rule
406

(Link in 401 should have gone to Standpipe's blog. I blame the Air Force.)


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 8:29 PM
horizontal rule
407

The ad linked in 387

I am completely unfiltered. If it's on my mind I say it...and if you didn't hear me the first time, I'll gladly repeat myself.

She sounds charming. Perfect for Unfogged. And insatiable! Don't knock it till you've tried it, Ogged.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 8:31 PM
horizontal rule
408

I am completely unfiltered.

Ack.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 8:32 PM
horizontal rule
409

Actually, I'm about to partake of the Bourbon Orb, or perhaps the Rye Orb, myself. Orb for one and one for Orb! Orb Orb Orb split split split.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 8:35 PM
horizontal rule
410

385:

You're welcome to offer up sensitive topics of conversation from your own personal life for critical analysis by strangers anytime, parsimon.

I wouldn't do that. Kudos to you.

Try to present a coherent story. You do or do not care about the smart-or-not-smart thing, for example. I feel I wasted my time thinking it through and writing comments about it if it's not actually the real problem.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 8:36 PM
horizontal rule
411

Orb for one and one for Orb! Orb Orb Orb split split split.

I have no idea what anyone's talking about any more, but I can totally envision Redfox dancing around in circles and chanting this.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 8:37 PM
horizontal rule
412

The other things he wrote aren't "books", they logorrhetic spewings.

Wait, was they logorrhetic spewings, or was they mo' like, graphic nobbles an' shit? Just axin'.


Posted by: cerebrocrat | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 8:38 PM
horizontal rule
413

410: Jesus Christ, parsimon, do you have any idea how fucking obnoxious you're being? What is wrong with you?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 8:38 PM
horizontal rule
414

Orbant you glad I didn't say "banana"?


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 8:39 PM
horizontal rule
415

410: I've noticed you've had a bad run posting here lately. I hope you're okay.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 8:44 PM
horizontal rule
416

413: Thank you for telling me, LB.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 8:45 PM
horizontal rule
417

So, parsimon, this has to be at least the third time your tone has been...off when responding to someone, and each time you've professed ignorance when it's been pointed out. Maybe all future comments should be in the form "If I were to say...[prospective comment] would it be obnoxious?"


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 8:49 PM
horizontal rule
418

The Port Orbthority says I should make some hot spiced cider and put some rye in it.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 8:50 PM
horizontal rule
419

Look, I don't have a dog in this fight, but maybe it's time for some multilateral chilling and comity? Why don't we have a nice discussion about Nad/a Abu E/-H/aj's tenure prospects or something?


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 8:54 PM
horizontal rule
420

Yeah, tough crowd around here. Your tone better not be...off.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 8:56 PM
horizontal rule
421

I hope you marry an Iranian woman, marcus.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 8:57 PM
horizontal rule
422

No, I don't really hope that; you seem like an ok guy.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 8:57 PM
horizontal rule
423

Your descriptions of Iranian women as outspoken and hypersexual have rather fascinated me. We could all hang out together in the internment camp.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:01 PM
horizontal rule
424

Gotcha, ogged.

I will say that I wasn't professing ignorance in my remark to LB. I was aware I was being contentious in my 410.

Frankly, I would like to make peace with AWB, and her frustration over being smart has a lot of resonance for me. I tried to figure out over a series of comments this afternoon and evening what was going on. To read a subsequent rather cavalier dismissal and disavowal of the question irked me. My 410 reflected that.

Nonetheless, I understand that the question is one of my tone.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:05 PM
horizontal rule
425

Oh, I give up. I'm not going to get anything else done tonight, or ever on this project. God knows why they pay me to do this. And God knows how I'm supposed to bill fourteen hours of writer's block.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:08 PM
horizontal rule
426

Are there any Jeff Buckley fans here? I just saw this live show, which reworks his album "Grace" as an anthology. The best parts were a cellist singing in Spanish (don't know which song), and a double-dutch jump rope version of Hallelujah. Seriously.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:08 PM
horizontal rule
427

And what's up with the dollar? I can't figure out why we haven't been deluged with Canadians on Mall of America shopping junkets recently. ttaM and our other foreign friends should definitely come spend their hard currency here at year end.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:13 PM
horizontal rule
428

rather fascinated me

You and SCMT. Go for it. Report back.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:15 PM
horizontal rule
429

God knows how I'm supposed to bill fourteen hours of writer's block.

I had ten hours of useless writer's block today, but I didn't have to bill it. I hate it though...what I really hate was that today I *knew* what I should write, but couldn't quite do it. It had to stew some more or something.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:17 PM
horizontal rule
430

426: I don't know if I qualify as a fan, b/c in my experience, Jeff Buckley fans tend to be rather more serious than I could be about anything, but he did have a really, really beautiful voice, and he wasn't hard to look at either. I wonder if, in the long run, he didn't quite put out enough music before passing to get him safely into cult dead-but-great status. (I think Nick Drake, for instance, had more finished output than Buckley, didn't he?) The double-dutch version of Hallelujah definitely sounds worth seeing.

For cellists singing in Spanish, I recommend Caetano Viloso singing Cucurrucuru Paloma on the "Talk to Her" soundtrack (okay, he's not actually playing the cello, somebody else is). It's wonderful in almost exactly the same kind of way that Buckley singing "Hallelujah" is: a beautiful voice singing a beautiful song, without much else in the way.


Posted by: cerebrocrat | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:25 PM
horizontal rule
431

That Veloso song is literally breathtaking.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:32 PM
horizontal rule
432

breathtaking
exactly the right word

I have no idea what happened in the movie for a good 10-15 minutes after that scene.


Posted by: cerebrocrat | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:35 PM
horizontal rule
433

Oy god, the writer's block. I've been trying to put together a complete FDA-compliant Legal and Regulatory review process for all our marketing materials, know what I want out of the process, and just can't get it out of my brain--I've been dodging it for two weeks.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:39 PM
horizontal rule
434

Also, chin up, LB--you can make it through this.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:39 PM
horizontal rule
435

I recommend Caetano Viloso singing Cucurrucuru Paloma on the "Talk to Her" soundtrack

I put this song on the playlist for my wife's bookclub meeting tonight.


Posted by: joeo | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:44 PM
horizontal rule
436

I would love not to be the girl who busts out at a party with theories about bestselling fiction over the past 300 years, or the one who has extremely detailed ideas about how to define "pornography." These things come up, and if you ask me over drinks what I think about them, I will not have the filter on and I will tell you. It's not cute or attractive. It's fucking weird.

This is why I don't talk about my intellectual interests except with very close friends, and why I don't tell people what I majored in in college. I don't trust myself not to come off exactly the way you describe.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:45 PM
horizontal rule
437

Although at least you have the excuse of being in grad school, AWB. I never went, so talking about my interests (and what I'd planned on studying, back when I was sure I was going) makes me seem like a poser as well as a freak.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:47 PM
horizontal rule
438

People don't like it when I speculate about possible reasons why Mongols stacked severe heads in two separate pyramids, the first for men and the second for women and children. Why not just one? Or why not three or four?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:48 PM
horizontal rule
439

A while back, on my blog, I wrote a little ethnography of the people who posted on Minneapolis Craigslist's personals. All the links are broken now, of course, but I was pleased with it at the time. I also posted it, on the recommendation of a friend, to Craigslist "Rants and Raves". I got a LOT of emails from women asking me out, but if any of them had read the post more closely, they'd have known I would never be extroverted enough to get back to any of them, and of course I never did. Good times, though. Maybe it would have been different if any of them could spell.


Posted by: Brodysattva | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:48 PM
horizontal rule
440

I put this song on the playlist for my wife's bookclub meeting tonigt

You like the running-mascara look, eh?


Posted by: cerebrocrat | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:50 PM
horizontal rule
441

Agreed.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:50 PM
horizontal rule
442

Er, agreed with 431 and 432.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:50 PM
horizontal rule
443

God, you know, I read through like 350 comments and then post, and it's totally off-topic by then. You'd think I would learn. Not like I haven't lurked long enough.


Posted by: Brodysattva | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:51 PM
horizontal rule
444

God, swish-e is such a bitch.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:52 PM
horizontal rule
445

Where are you installing that?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 9:57 PM
horizontal rule
446

387, I think tHis One is a better match. Let us know how you get along with the ferret, Ogged.


Posted by: Magpie | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 10:00 PM
horizontal rule
447

Installing? I'm currently in the process of updating it on my home computer. It's already installed on unfogged.com. The update is so the versions match and the database I'm creating with files here (here = home computer) will be usable with the binary on unfogged.com.

My purposes aren't nefarious, though.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 10:01 PM
horizontal rule
448

i aM scARed.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 10:02 PM
horizontal rule
449

Turns out it exists on the uchicago CS machines, though, so if you insist on being a little bitch I won't need to use it on unfogged.com.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 10:02 PM
horizontal rule
450

MAR? What kind of secret message is that?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 10:04 PM
horizontal rule
451

"Mar" is Farsi for "snake."


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 10:08 PM
horizontal rule
452

Oh, I didn't mean don't install it on the Unfogged server, I was just curious what you were up to. Knock yourself out.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 10:10 PM
horizontal rule
453

388 (LB on brainy women): A friend of mine once told me "everyone you ever date is an exception." So things that make you less likely to date a random person really aren't that big a deal, as one only dates special cases anyway. Yes being smart is bad for dating prospects (although I'm sure it's worse for women, it's also pretty bad being a smart guy), but really it doesn't matter. It's more important to be extra attractive to the people you might actually date, than to be marginally more attractive to the bulk of people who you aren't going to date anyway.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 10:22 PM
horizontal rule
454

Unless there have been big changes between versions 2.4.3 and 2.4.4 (seems unlikely), transporting the db files between machines doesn't seem to work well. Dammit.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 10:26 PM
horizontal rule
455

Good luck with the writer's block, LB (and Chopper). It's a major reason I found being a lawyer excruciatingly painful: knowing exactly what I wanted to say and how yet not being able to get it down on paper unless the guillotine of a serious deadline threatened, and then not having the time to actually get it done the way I wanted to and knew I could do absent the f*&%ing writer's block. Being cockblocked is nothing compared to being writerblocked.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 10:30 PM
horizontal rule
456

Yeah, writer's block is horrible. Hopefully tomorrow morning mine will have magically disappeared.

This is the weirdest CL ad I've seen in some time. It's M4W, I went in search of an oddity:

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/mld/m4w/415964856.html


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 10:33 PM
horizontal rule
457

Also, while I recognize and appreciate the beauty of Buckley's vocal skills, I've always actually found the original Cohen version more breathtaking. Maybe because the roughness of Leonard's voice makes it more human and touching, the Buckley version sounds more like a hymn to me.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 10:33 PM
horizontal rule
458

A friend of mine (M) who is from Mississipi originally, (though she went to a northern prep school, spent part of her undergraduate career in Atlanta, did two separate semesters abroad at ST. Andre/ws and graduated from Bro/wn) thinks that Boston is a particularly bad place to meet people. The culture of introductions doesn't seem to exist.

She thinks that there needs to be Pdate for mainline Protestants along the liens of JDate. eHarmony is evangelical and kind of conservative. (I filled out their profile once, and I got rejected. I think it's because I admitted to having been moody.)

There are a lot of qualities that I look for which I kind of loathe. They remind me of those Harvard Magazine ads. I do want someone who is financially stable and secure, but I don't like people who think that how much you make defines who you are and who care too much about money. (Trust funds help with that. You can be comfortable and save the world at the same time!) There's a horrid service that advertises on NPR that it will match people with others who went to selective schools. (I hate it, mostly because it implies that NPR is only for rich, well-educated people. This may be the demographic which listens to NPR, but ideally it ought to be about bring news, information and culture to everyone regardless of their socioeconomic status. I like to imagine some kid in rural Appalachia learning about Opera or classical music. NPR shouldn't be just for yuppies.)

I'm quite good at developing fairly close friendships with people, but I probably give off a negative impression to those who don't know me well, and my circle of acquaintances is not as large as I would like. There aren't enough people who know me well enough to know whom I'd like without being one of very few very close friends. Right now my schedule and income preclude my going to bars much, but I doubt that I'd like that scene.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 10:55 PM
horizontal rule
459

I've never heard that advertisement here in Austin, and I listen to NPR practically every available waking moment, so I suspect it's local or regional advertising. It does kind of ring a bell, though, so maybe I heard it when I lived in NYC (or maybe I've seen a print ad in the NYT or the New Yorker or Harpers or some such).

I find the concept of actively seeking only those who went to similar schools pretty loathsome too, but I can also see how it's a pretty effective filter for many people. There's definitely a recognizable clubbiness and level of comfort and set of shared interests/values common to many of the people who've attended elite schools, even those who recognize the absurdity of it.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:10 PM
horizontal rule
460

It's a good filter, but you don't want your filter to let through people for whom it's an explicit consideration. A paradox! Ish!


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:14 PM
horizontal rule
461

There are ads for that, or a similar, service frequently in the back of alumni mags for the schools deemed acceptable, and in the back of the NYRB.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:16 PM
horizontal rule
462

NPR shouldn't be just for yuppies

More non yuppies would listen if it didn't suck.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:16 PM
horizontal rule
463

Y'all are speaking of The Right Stuff, perhaps?


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:18 PM
horizontal rule
464

Not sure if it's the same program as the one BG's talking about, but the one that advertises in the New Yorker is The Right Stuff, which my mom insisted I sign up for, to the point of paying for it for me. I kept telling her it wasn't really aimed at my demographic, and I was right. There are no women under 40 in Albuquerque, and only about 3 women in Albuquerque at all. Other cities are not as totally bereft of young people, but none have a substantial number. Also, you have to pay extra (above the fee to use the site at all) to see more than a short snippet of someone's profile. It's basically aimed at rich, pretentious middle-aged people.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:18 PM
horizontal rule
465

My attitude is basically what ogged said in 460, and my experience with The Right Stuff has only confirmed it.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:21 PM
horizontal rule
466

It's a good filter, but you don't want your filter to let through people for whom it's an explicit consideration. A paradox! Ish!

Yes, exactly. It's probably one of my criteria. I'm a pretty bad snob in a lot of ways. Part of my snobbery is that I find it terribly crass to admit to this feeling--except among good friends (even pretend internet ones). I've met wonderful people who transcend class and educational attainment and are comfortable anywhere, and I'd be really lucky to find one of those too.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:23 PM
horizontal rule
467

You know what was peachy keen? Tuning into NPR the other day and hearing why the govt. should bail out the mortgage companies, by David Frum.

Note to self: stop by my local NPR affiliate and give someone a beatdown.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:24 PM
horizontal rule
468

previous discussion


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:25 PM
horizontal rule
469

462: I agree that NPR sucks now, but I think that its original mission, like the BBC's and PBS's was to bring culture and education to all.

In the very beginning PBS was mostly professors giving lectures. Now there's Celtic Woman and Dr. Dwayne Dyer.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:26 PM
horizontal rule
470

Ooh, there's a filter to put in your ad. "Seeking that special someone who wishes much pain and suffering on David Frum."


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:27 PM
horizontal rule
471

Both NPR and PBS have the "funded by contributions from the audience" problem, right? Maybe that's leading to a skewing effect over time.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:29 PM
horizontal rule
472

467: I heard that, I think it was Marketplace. God I hate that show &mdash it's basically what All Things Considered would sound like if it were produced by the WSJ editorial board.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:30 PM
horizontal rule
473

Hey, speaking of policy debates, I got in this argument tonight with a UVA professor about health policy.

Upon my suggestion that universal health care would be a good idea and that people who earn more might pay for it, he retorted, "Well what about Bill Gates? He worked hard, or got lucky, and who are you to take that away from him?"

I responded with an argument about a dishwasher who works three jobs, has no healthcare coverage, and dies of cancer, asking, "Who are you to decide that this guy dies?"

But I feel this was not the best line of argument. Any ideas? Should I just be reading Ezra's blog? These conversations make me entirely too upset.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:33 PM
horizontal rule
474

Upon my suggestion that universal health care would be a good idea and that people who earn more might pay for it, he retorted, "Well what about Bill Gates? He worked hard, or got lucky, and who are you to take that away from him?"

Is it just me, or does this retort not make any sense at all? What is Bill Gates losing here?

As for your overall question, reading Ezra's blog is a good start. There's a lot of information and links to more authoritative sources there.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:37 PM
horizontal rule
475

"Well what about Bill Gates? He worked hard, or got lucky, and who are you to take that away from him?"

What kind of argument is that? It just assumes the conclusion. One could say the same thing about a bank robber. What's this guy a professor of?


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:39 PM
horizontal rule
476

As for your overall question, reading Ezra's blog is a good start. There's a lot of information and links to more authoritative sources there.

I just wanted a snappy line to shut him down. I think I won the overall argument, once he admitted that no one should die if it could be prevented. One-liner. That's what I want.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:41 PM
horizontal rule
477

To return to the original subject of the post, my experience with online dating sites has taught me largely that their usefulness varies a lot from place to place. Some places, such as the city where I live now, seem to have too few people on the sites to make them worth the effort, especially for men (who, as Nathan Williams mentioned in 29, have to send out 40 or so messages to get any replies). The Right Stuff is an extreme example, but I've found the same thing with Nerve, OkCupid and Craigslist.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:41 PM
horizontal rule
478

Ezra's got some good one-liners too.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:42 PM
horizontal rule
479

You'll get better answers from other people, since I tend to go too abstract/moralizing, but I think I would have said that Gates doesn't "own" anything apart from being in a society with laws, and part of being a member of a society is contributing to its "upkeep" or just functioning. It doesn't bother me at all to say that a just society is willing to "take" some of the rich person's money (and we're talking about amounts that have no practical consequences for the rich) in order to fund healthcare for the indigent.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:43 PM
horizontal rule
480

I've found that not reading, responding to, or posting ads on any personals site has the same success rate in more than one part of the country, regardless of age.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:44 PM
horizontal rule
481

More specific thoughts on Nerve v. OkCupid here.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:46 PM
horizontal rule
482

Thanks guys, that's helpful. I think the conversation really ended when I got called a Marxist. I'm just still mad.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:47 PM
horizontal rule
483

I would have said that Gates doesn't "own" anything apart from being in a society with laws

Worst comeback ever. I'd probably point out we already spend more per person on healthcare than Sweden. Take the tack of "we're already spending the money, at least we shouldn't be getting ripped off."


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:52 PM
horizontal rule
484

Worst comeback ever.

Booger brain.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:52 PM
horizontal rule
485

Gates in particular is a pretty bad example for the other guy's purposes, given how willing he's been to part with his shekels for various philanthopic thingummies.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:53 PM
horizontal rule
486

(In debates like this, you should refer to money as "shekels", implying that the only rich people who would hesitate to support a universal health-care scheme are money-grubbing kikes anyway.)


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:54 PM
horizontal rule
487

Booger brain.

Heh. Your conversations about this stuff are pretty obviously with people of varying degrees of leftiness.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-13-07 11:58 PM
horizontal rule
488

I just wanted a snappy line to shut him down. I think I won the overall argument, once he admitted that no one should die if it could be prevented. One-liner. That's what I want.

How about "Fuck you, clown!"?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 12:00 AM
horizontal rule
489

To make ogged's point at greater length:

Gates could never have made his money without gov't regulation of the economy, which keeps his home & business from being taken away by armed bandits or foreign invaders, makes his contracts legally binding, prints the money, sets up the complicated laws governing checks & credit transactions that make large purchases possible, created the corporate form to make it easier to raise money & gave the corporation all kinds of legal rights, built & keeps open the roads that his employees drive to work on, educated a lot of his employees in public schools, etc. etc. etc. ad infinitum. I'm okay with the gov't asking in return that he pay somewhat higher taxes so that a poor dishwasher working three jobs doesn't die of cancer.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 12:01 AM
horizontal rule
490

Katherine's is the worst comeback ever!


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 12:02 AM
horizontal rule
491

Too smart! Undateable!


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 12:04 AM
horizontal rule
492

gswifts's 483 is very good. Basically the point is that every other industrialized country has figured out how to get better outcomes for much less money, so what are we, stupid?

I also often bring up the selfish argument of "don't you think quality of life is better for everyone when you don't have to step over dying people in the street or read depressing stories about poor kids who die from untreated toothaches? Don't you think Bill Gates paying a percentage point or two more of taxes might be worth that? Do you honestly think a percentage point or two is going to cramp Bill Gates' style? Really??"


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 12:06 AM
horizontal rule
493

There are no women under 40 in Albuquerque

Cougar hunt for teo!


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 12:06 AM
horizontal rule
494

Katherine's point is excellent, and, as usual, elegantly put. And it's also the argument I'm most inclined to make. However, I generally find it to be remarkably ineffective with a certain type of entitled-feeling person. Stanley's opponent seems to be a proud member of. this type


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 12:10 AM
horizontal rule
495

To make ogged's point at greater length:

He asked for a comeback to shut down an right winger. Commie economics ain't gonna do it you propeller heads.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 12:10 AM
horizontal rule
496

Damn, pwned by Mills.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 12:11 AM
horizontal rule
497

496: Surely you mean "M/lls"?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 12:16 AM
horizontal rule
498

I grant you it's not much of a snappy one liner, but the guy is making the basic libertarian philosophical argument--"it's Bill Gates' money, not the government's"--rather than a utilitarian one. And it's a stupid, indefensible argument.

Shorter version: "Microsoft Corporation wouldn't exist & Bill Gates wouldn't be filthy rich without the gov't. It's perfectly fair to ask him to give a little back so poor kids don't die in the streets."


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 12:16 AM
horizontal rule
499

I think you're already there with Cancer Boy the Dish Washer. Add in the cost-effectiveness bit if it makes you feel stronger, and use the word America. "It's your choice: you can have an America where everyone spends more money for people to die for no good reason, or one where we actually compete with other free, wealthy countries to keep our own people alive."

Alternative: "Are health insurance companies really the kind of great enterprises that made this country great? Well, why are you sticking up for them?"


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 12:16 AM
horizontal rule
500

496: Surely you mean "M/lls"?

Shit. Yeah.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 12:18 AM
horizontal rule
501

500: Surely you mean "500!"?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 12:21 AM
horizontal rule
502

488 is right.

Or just 'fuck the fuck off'.

490 is also good, but needs more use of the word 'fuck'.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 12:21 AM
horizontal rule
503

If analogies aren't banned you could point out that we already have a universal education policy, so it's not like universal health care relies on completely new powers that never previously affected someone like Gates.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 12:23 AM
horizontal rule
504

502 is good, but needs more use of the word "fuck".

Also, Stanley, have you considered the efficacy of headbutting?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 12:25 AM
horizontal rule
505

483 is fine but it doesn't seem like a response to the "Gates argument" of Stanley's interlocutor. That is, "our healthcare system is inefficient" doesn't seem like a retort to "the funding of services through progressive taxation is unfair."

But the dude ended up calling you a Marxist, perhaps it wasn't a discussion worth taking seriously.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 12:25 AM
horizontal rule
506

Also, Stanley, have you considered the efficacy of headbutting?

Yeah, pretty much.

I tried the angle of "Your house is on fire, whom do you call? Wal-Mart? No. You call the fire department"

And, "Yeah, Bill Gates benefited from a system he was {apologies} always already participating in."

I guess I made some progress. We ended the conversation with a handshake and a, "Well, hey, shit sucks! Ha! We've got privilege."

I'm wondering if the conversation could've ended differently.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 12:37 AM
horizontal rule
507

7: [Nerve] tends to cater to people in their mid-20's to mid-40's with education and high confidence.

Which sites cater to educated twentysomethings with low-to-middling confidence, unresolved "issues" of various stripes, a bit of social awkwardness, relative sexual inexperience for their age, and a belief that they may nonetheless have a few redeeming qualities? People like this get lonely too.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 12:50 AM
horizontal rule
508

483 is fine but it doesn't seem like a response to the "Gates argument" of Stanley's interlocutor. That is, "our healthcare system is inefficient" doesn't seem like a retort to "the funding of services through progressive taxation is unfair."

The innefficiency angle is to head off the whining about new taxes. A good example is Taiwan, who rolled their UHC approx. 10 years ago and IIRC saw the savings of the new system offset the increased cost of universal coverage.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 12:59 AM
horizontal rule
509

Which sites cater to educated twentysomethings with low-to-middling confidence, unresolved "issues" of various stripes, a bit of social awkwardness, relative sexual inexperience for their age, and a belief that they may nonetheless have a few redeeming qualities?

Unfogged. Duh.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 1:00 AM
horizontal rule
510

508: Ah, gotcha--so it's "Bill Gates likely wouldn't have to pay very much."


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 1:01 AM
horizontal rule
511

And really, I'm not sure we really need much in the way of tax increases in this country. I suspect that if we did a few things like return to Clinton era tax rates, close down a bunch of the more egregious tax loopholes, and spend "only" 200 billion a year on the military, we'd have plenty of money in the budget for UHC, public transport, etc.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 1:02 AM
horizontal rule
512

I'm wondering if the conversation could've ended differently.

Well it could have ended with him bleeding profusely from the forehead if you'd followed my advice, grasshopper.

But seriously, probably the best outcome is to at least not indulge and ideally shut down the stupid, selfish "how can we possibly tax Bill Gates, and by extension, me?" argument. Seems like you did that, and next time you can probably do it a little more efficiently. Not allowing stupid arguments the luxury of sounding acceptable is a big deal, so good on ya.

We ended the conversation with a handshake and a, "Well, hey, shit sucks! Ha! We've got privilege."

This is precisely the moment where the head butt is most efficacious.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 1:07 AM
horizontal rule
513

This is precisely the moment where the head butt is most efficacious.

You are learning the ways of my people.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glasgow_kiss


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 2:30 AM
horizontal rule
514

513: I didn't spend my year in Edinburgh just studying law, you know.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 3:47 AM
horizontal rule
515

People who make The "Bill Gates argument" do so because they don't want to be taxed more themselves and/oor they identify themselves with the superrich instead of the socioeconomic class they really belong to, perhaps out of a mistaken belief they one day will be a Bill Gates. So pointing out that a proper healthcare system will be cheaper, even when you just look at what the government spents currently (as opposed to total costs) and pointing out that they themselves are likely to benefit more from a new system if only because of no more insurance premiums, might be a good idea.

And then you hit them with the idea that Gates' wealth was created from the blood of his exploited workers and so isn't his anyway.

Meanwhile, on the nominal subject of this thread: Usenet + IRC is the best way to internet date without given off the "sad loser looking desperately for a date" vibe. (No guarantees on other loser vibes though.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 4:01 AM
horizontal rule
516

A friend of mine (M) who is from Mississipi originally, (though she went to a northern prep school, spent part of her undergraduate career in Atlanta, did two separate semesters abroad at ST. Andre/ws and graduated from Bro/wn) thinks that Boston is a particularly bad place to meet people. The culture of introductions doesn't seem to exist.

My son who went to Tufts from the West Coast felt that strongly. Part of it is that it's a very pecking-order town, and Tufts is low on the local pecking order even though it would be pretty high anywhere else. Another is the Bostonians don't seem to talk to strangers, ever.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 6:02 AM
horizontal rule
517

Way, way back at 180 (hey it's a time zone thing, didn't you know I'm a Berliner?): Aren't you looking for a well-tempered prose style?

The key passage in 200 is obvsly "have the good sense to forgo the cleverness requirement of online personals and just write about themselves" with the note that all too many don't.

296: Hey, thanks. I'll skip Dallas next trip, too, what do you say?

309: The really-smart ones are way more fun, in bed and out. Too bad those guys didn't wise up early in life.

349: Because actors, characteristically, are monumentally self-involved, quite apart from issues they have that lead them to pursue careers pretending to be other people. Pseudonymous politicians, otoh, are all-around boffo.

438: Yeah, why just the two? Was it a religious thing? McGeorge Bundy doesn't have any good answers for me on that either. Better call Mac, unless you've got a good one-page summary John.

469: In the intro to one of the books he wrote after I was shot, Moyers talks about how much a group of plumbers in Minnesota were into one of his earlier books, and the way he puts it you can tell that bringing great ideas to absolutely everyone is important to him. Public broadcasting doesn't have to suck, it just has to loosen up a lot.


Posted by: John Fitzgerald Horndog | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 7:03 AM
horizontal rule
518

Yah, I know nobody reads posts that reference too many items from too far back. But what's the point of being a dead president if you can't break the rules?


Posted by: John Fitzgerald Horndog | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 7:05 AM
horizontal rule
519

511 is extremely true, but easier said than done. Especially the "only" $200 billion a year on the military part, that's about one-third what we're spending right now, and the presidential candidates are all (both parties) hinting they'll raise military spending.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 7:48 AM
horizontal rule
520

I loved Zidane for his headbutt. So did Chirac, maybe:

"Indeed, while the rest of the world was struggling to contain its outrage at Zidane's unsportsmanlike use of the Glasgow handshake, Jacques Chirac counterattacked with: "I would like to express all the respect that I have for a man who represents at the same time all the most beautiful values of sport, the greatest human qualities one can imagine, and who has honoured French sport and, simply, France."


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 8:05 AM
horizontal rule
521

But if Zidane were Mongolian, would he divide headbutts into only two categories?


Posted by: John Fitzgerald Horndog | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 8:14 AM
horizontal rule
522

Especially the "only" $200 billion a year on the military part, that's about one-third what we're spending right now, and the presidential candidates are all (both parties) hinting they'll raise military spending.

Another reason I hate the Democrats. A Gallup poll from earlier this year puts the number of Americans that think we spend too much on defense at 43 percent. Seems like if we actually put some effort in we could push that number up to a majority.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 8:18 AM
horizontal rule
523

"Bill Gates would benefit greatly from a universal healthcare scheme. He'd contribute a little bit in taxes, just like everyone else, but Microsoft now wouldn't have to pay for health insurance for its workers. He'd have healthier employees who wouldn't have to come into work sick or dick around with insurance companies, and he could use the money that went for health insurance for other things, like making Vista fully backwards-compatible.

Plus, think how many potential Bill Gates are out there who have great ideas, but who can't afford currently to quit their boring day job because they can't afford insurance if they're self-employed. America should be helping entrepreneurs, not stifling them."


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 8:18 AM
horizontal rule
524

but Microsoft now wouldn't have to pay for health insurance for its workers

That's an excellent point that I wish I'd made. I do think it's interesting that there's a growing clamor for some kind of UHC from the Detroit auto industry. Business finally waking up and saying, "Wati a minute! We're getting hosed!"


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 8:24 AM
horizontal rule
525

er, *"Wait"


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 8:25 AM
horizontal rule
526

I think Katherine's answer is more right, but someone asking 'why should Bill Gates have to pay?' probably buys into the myth of the Lone Entrepreneur Who Made His *Own* Bootstraps, and so the contract sorts of answer I don't think are as persuasive.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 8:29 AM
horizontal rule
527

Microsoft now wouldn't have to pay for health insurance for its workers

Paying for health insurance actually gives Microsoft a competitive advantage in the workplace since it is big enough to do so. If we went to UHC then it would lose a bargaining chip for employees versus smaller companies. It might be worth it, but it isn't a clear cut win for big companies that have to compete for highly skilled workers.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 8:29 AM
horizontal rule
528

525: Actually, I would like to wati a minute. It sounds like fun. Maybe I could even even Watusi for a minute.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 8:33 AM
horizontal rule
529

Plus, think how many potential Bill Gates are out there who have steal great ideas . . .


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 8:34 AM
horizontal rule
530

Paying for health insurance actually gives Microsoft a competitive advantage in the workplace since it is big enough to do so.

Is this really true? Or maybe, is the advantage big enough to care much about? How many of Microsoft's competitors, to the extent it has any, don't offer any health insurance at all? More likely, medium-to-large tech companies all offer some kind of health insurance, some plans better than others, and that relative betterness difficult for a prospective employee to discern during the initial HR interview.

I'd be willing to bet that any big company for which offering health insurance might confer some competitive advantage would be better off not paying the overhead for American-style health care, giving up that particular advantage, and competing for labor with other goodies like salary, vacation, etc. that would cost less in the end.


Posted by: cerebrocrat | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 8:42 AM
horizontal rule
531

would be better off not paying the overhead for American-style health care

That's the key, right? The current byzantine system simply isn't going to last much longer. It will collapse under its own weight sooner or later, and no reform focused on tax breaks will prevent that.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 8:48 AM
horizontal rule
532

Sounds like JF Horndog would be a good date for me, if I dated horndogs.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 8:51 AM
horizontal rule
533

530: And the companies can still compete if they want to use health care perks to attract employees. shivbunny's Canadian employer had a supplemental health plan for him that covered dental, glasses, and prescriptions, and it wasn't all that much for the company given that the basic were taken care of by the UHS. So, not so much of a bargaining chip loss.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 8:54 AM
horizontal rule
534

A more genteel but still headbuttlike response to the Gates question would be Cheech Marin's: "Ummmmm.......uh....oh, you're just fucked."


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 8:55 AM
horizontal rule
535

competing for labor with other goodies like salary, vacation, etc. that would cost less in the end

This is part of the system that people want to change, but right now competing on health care is cheaper for the company because it is a tax write off. Salaries and such are not.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 8:59 AM
horizontal rule
536

Can we make this the all-writer's-block-all-the-time thread now? I have to finish two project proposals by close of business today, and gosh I kinda, sorta, should start don'tchknow.

That said the pain of the looming deadline can squeeze the words out of my little fingers, but damn couldn't I have done this in a less painful manner.


Posted by: ukko | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 9:26 AM
horizontal rule
537

530: Last year I quit working at Mega-Telecom Death Star because when a former spin-off showed up to eat its mama for breakfast it, in the deal, slashed everyone's (their old employees as well as ours) medical benefits and purged the benefits programs of partners, common law spouses, etc., with a new and completely arcane and extremely expensive set of standards for what constituted benefits eligibility.

I suspect it was a stealth layoff. It drove away a lot of people who were already unhappy for other, unrelated reasons (myself among them) without requiring them to fix those problems or pay a penny of severance and it provided them with a quick assurance that the employees left behind would put up with pretty much fucking anything.

My point is: medical benefits are, as you say, difficult to divine during the interview but a persistent interviewee can get that information if they really want it (I did). Medical benefits aren't necessarily much of a bargaining chip in hiring someone but they're a huge mallet that the company can wield once they've got that new hire in the door. They are a very effective way to increase or decrease employee retention as desired.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 9:39 AM
horizontal rule
538

It's bad to even seek one-liners/bumper stickers on policy -- the process makes you dumber, like listening to sports radio. I understand there are people paid to come up with quips of the "child not a choice" variety, but I do not understand the motivation of devoting leisure time to becoming such a person.

That said, ogged may have came up with the worst possible political one-liner to support universal health care (for the reason gswift gives). Maybe worse would be "They have it in Canada, and hockey is better than the NFL. Viva Fidel!"


Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 9:42 AM
horizontal rule
539

As someone who has done communications work for a living, I disagree with baa -- there's no reason to leave it to the professionals. The point, however, is to connect with people emotionally in a very short period of time, which is why I like the dying dishwashers better than the roads.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 9:51 AM
horizontal rule
540

[it] slashed everyone's (their old employees as well as ours) medical benefits and purged the benefits programs of partners, common law spouses, etc., with a new and completely arcane and extremely expensive set of standards for what constituted benefits eligibility.

Here's something I don't understand. How can they do that? I assume the employees have a contract that says they get health-care?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 9:57 AM
horizontal rule
541

No -- very few people in the US have employment contracts. (Union workers, and a small number of high-level professionals -- everyone else is at will.) My employer could halve my salary or cancel my health insurance tomorrow, and my only recourse would be to change jobs.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 10:00 AM
horizontal rule
542

I don't deserve this abuse.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 10:01 AM
horizontal rule
543

What else is the blog for?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 10:02 AM
horizontal rule
544

Well, only some employees have contracts (your typical retail worker doesn't really have a contract). My current contract, similarly to past ones, just says that I have the option to participate in the Company's health plan. It doesn't constrain what that health plan is, or how much it costs me to participate (nothing, presently, because I have a generous employer, but that might change, and it would cost me if I were covering a family and not just my single self). It doesn't at all constrain the ability of the Company to change that plan.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 10:02 AM
horizontal rule
545

My contract mostly exists to spell out who owns what IP I deveop on the job and to try to constrain me from jumping ship to a customer or competitor.It's almost incidental that it discusses the compensation package.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 10:05 AM
horizontal rule
546

Right -- it's to bind you, not the employer so much.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 10:06 AM
horizontal rule
547

540: No contracts, at least not one that I ever signed. The company in question does its benefits enrollment annually. Every October we had to go back through all the benefits paperwork and re-choose all of our options or get defaulted into whatever was cheapest for the company. The closest to any guarantee we had was that when we enrolled in a given plan for a year we were guaranteed that plan for the next year. They simply unrolled the "enhanced" benefits program for 2007 during the 2006 re-enrollment period.

Keep in mind I was technically management (though I managed no one) and thus was ineligible for union membership, etc.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 10:07 AM
horizontal rule
548

When I was an IT contractor I had contracts, but they sure as hell didn't give me medical care. My private health insurance premiums went up by >300% over the course of like three years.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 10:08 AM
horizontal rule
549

I wish we had a chart of McG's disposition toward the US from the time he started commenting here to now.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 10:13 AM
horizontal rule
550

As far as I know, the U.S. is the only country where being a "contracted" worker means you have even less rights than the non-contracted workers.


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 10:17 AM
horizontal rule
551

549: f(x) = exp(-x) sampled on the integers as weekly measurements.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 10:18 AM
horizontal rule
552

ERISA welfare plans (e.g., health benefits) are not treated as part of a contract, unless you can prove that you explicitly negotiated for it and would not have taken the job but for a specific benefit. It usually helps if you can prove that your old job had those benefits. It's a tough sell.

Even people with employment contracts may not have contracts for health care. I don't know how this works with unions. Taft Hartley blah blah, union run pensions etc.

Welfare plans and pensions generally are treated as trusts. In the case of pensions this can be good, because the money put away is free from the company's creditors.

It doesn't work so well with health benefits. Non-union retiree health benefits (benefits on top of medicare) are completely at will.

The trust structure screws things up--though it should look out for the interest of the beneficiary--because Justice Scalia, seems, according to John Langbein of Yale, to have flunked trusts and estates. Scalia thinks that being made whole does not include consequential damages, because those are only available as a remedy to a breach of contract. The upshot is that if as a consequence of not receiving an MRI, because your plan deems it "not medically necessaary" or simply doesn't cover MRIs and you become permanently paralyzed, your only remedy is the cost of the MRI which is hardly worth suing for. Plus you know, there was nothing stopping you from paying for the MRI yourself to prove that it was medically necessary.

ERISA health plans are totally scary--almost makes me want to work for a medium-sized company, big enough to be covered by COBRA but not large enough to decide to self-insure.

ERISA is the great undertold story in American health care. It's super wonky, but the basic message is. Insured people: you probably don't have the coverage you think you do, and your employer can change your coverage anytime.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 10:38 AM
horizontal rule
553

Even people protected by contract are subject to the inexorable reduction of benefits as plans change. We're covered by my wife's insurance &mdash she's in the teachers' union here &mdash and we've recently had to start ponying up for our daughters' checkups. Checkups for kids, not covered by a major health plan. Appalling.

If Stanley's interlocutor can be swayed, great, but IME most people's objections to UHC come from the reptilian brain rather than the neocortex. Many of the above points are good, but they may have to accompanied by fists. 'The government provides and protects the legal and financial systems essential to Microsoft &mdash BAM! &mdash and educates the workers &mdash POW! &mdash and could manage healthcare more cheaply and efficiently than the private sector &mdash WHAM! &mdash ...'


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 10:39 AM
horizontal rule
554

553: Yes, it's often just the reptilian brain, but it can be easy to ignore when it's just those other people. More middle class people need to feel insecure about this issue. There are an awful lot of people who think taht they're okay who aren't.

I don't think we can sway Stanley's interlocutor. I'll never sway my Fox news watching (he knows it's biased, but he thinks NBC is too) uncle. It's the mushy middle we need to worry about.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 10:49 AM
horizontal rule
555

The thing about comparing healthcare to education is that a lot of people think that public schools aren't doing a very good job. In the northeast school policy is controlled locally. My uncle doesn't midn ponying up for schools in Con/cord which benefit his kids and because he can go to a town meeting and complain about the budget if he wants to.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 10:51 AM
horizontal rule
556

Also, to follow up on BG's point above, I'm beginning to suspect that some people resist single-payer health coverage for exactly the reason that my state has been having bloody fights over school-tax funding: Because they don't want to pay for someone else's healthcare, if that "someone else" appears sufficiently poor and/or different and/or distant.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 11:51 AM
horizontal rule
557

I also used to get into my arguments with my uncle where I'll ask him to give me data to support his propositions, but he's all about anecdotes.

See all of the Canadians who come to the U.S. for healthcare. Not very many of them, I'll say. (Though to be fair, soemtimes when there's a shortage of some hi-tech device, the Canadian government will pay for treatment in the U.S.) My uncle spent part of his childhood in Buffalo, so he'll tell you all about the people who came to Buffalo for treatment.

Or I'll point out taht Sweden and France get better outcomes than the U.S., and he doesn't believe it. Infant mortality rates in the U.S. are skewed because of poor blacks. That's not him, and it would be easy to convince him that that medical care in Alabama and Missisippi is the pits, but he's sure that it's just dandy in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Massachusetts does have some world-class tertiary care facilities--though MGH is often overrated. Whether that translates into better care at the population level is less clear, but my uncle doesn't care about the population. He cares about himself, his kids and my Dad.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 12:16 PM
horizontal rule
558

This is why you marry tenure-track faculty at state universities, we have access to the secret state insurance plans that actually still cover stuff and shit. Even my kid's braces are covered!

America! Vat a Country!

[Offer void in some states and subject to eligibility requirements. OK they only cover 50% of the braces but hey I'll take that.]


Posted by: ukko | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 3:08 PM
horizontal rule
559

ERISA health plans are totally scary--almost makes me want to work for a medium-sized company, big enough to be covered by COBRA but not large enough to decide to self-insure.

Won't make any difference on the remedies if they screw up. They're all ERISA plans. The difference is that self-insured plans aren't subject to state insurance regulation either, but you're stuck with ERISA remedies either way.


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 09-14-07 6:20 PM
horizontal rule