Re: Open Relationships

1

is everything between you an open book?

Yes.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 10:55 AM
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Don't get married. It means instead of dealing with your own fuckups, you have to deal with the other person's and you have no control over those.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:01 AM
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I used to share everything with my SO (back in my SO-having days), but then I realized that it made some close friends reticent when they would have preferred to talk about something, so I explicitly revised my policy and told my friends that I wouldn't pass something on if they didn't want me to. There's really no reason that your SO needs to hear other people's secrets from you, but I never kept secrets about myself or what I was up to.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:02 AM
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Share everything except the sacred secrets.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:05 AM
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Ogged is sensible.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:07 AM
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Being a hermit, I have nothing of that sort to tell her. She has gossip. I am not at all interested, but she tells me anyway. Our extended families do nothing interesting.

Whyever would you want to know about a friend's finances?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:08 AM
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If I've been asked to keep something confidential, I won't tell anyone under any circumstances. Perhaps this is apparent (believable?) and leads to me being told a lot of peoples secrets, from the vaguely ridiculous to the devastating.

If it's something about me though, or anything not constrained that way, I'm an open book with my SO. Works for us.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:10 AM
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I'm with Jammies on this one. Professional obligations of confidentiality do not have an exemption for pillow talk.

The woman who sold us our house is a small-time lawyer in private practice, defending DUI's and that sort of thing. She gossips all the time with her friend, our neighbor, and we hear all kinds of confidential information that she has no business sharing with anyone. It really lowered my opinion of this person to know that she is blabbing about her clients.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:10 AM
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leads to me being told a lot of peoples secrets, from the vaguely ridiculous to the devastating

Dish!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:10 AM
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I realise I am a complete shut in. I never hear any gossip at all.

OTOH, what's happened to this place that I have to go to Nworb Werdna's site to find this from the WaPo?


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:10 AM
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OTOH, I am a poster boy for the inadvisability of keeping certain things secret from your spouse.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:12 AM
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10: It was linked here the other day, in some thread or other. The prosaic answer is SUBTEXT.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:14 AM
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I'm a little confused about how Tim is helping to refinance the mortgage. Is this his job, or is he guaranteeing something for you, or what? If it's the former, he shouldn't say anything. If it's the latter, I'm not sure how it doesn't already involve his spouse.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:18 AM
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It's a good thing that Heebie found out the real truth about Jammies before taking her vows.

The the children of such a marriage pay a cost too. My father was an MD who knew everything and couldn't say anything, and independent of any professional considerations he hated gossip anyway. My Mom didn't seem interested either, and as a result all seven children grew up naive, straightforward, and unmalicious. It has ruined our lives! (Sure, we're now cynical, devious, and nasty, but it's too late for us.)

When I returned to Lake Wobegon after 40 years I heard a lot of gossip for the first time that was more than 40 years old, stuff about my teachers in high school, my sisters' friends, and so on.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:19 AM
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13: He's a mortgage broker, presumably.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:21 AM
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13: She's using him as collateral.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:21 AM
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I took Heebie's side when she initially posted, but in reality I'd say:

1) If I am thinking of it as "gossip," I probably wouldn't share.

2) If it's something that is causing me personal struggles, well, I still most likely wouldn't share but I would see it as acceptable to do so -- assuming the spouse/significant other is someone who can be trusted with a confidence.

3) It's fortunate that my practice area really doesn't involve knowing any confidences, because I don't ever have to actually think about this for real.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:24 AM
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14: Now that you mention it, my M.D. FIL is pretty bad about gossiping about his patients. Usually the stories are anonymous, which is OK (except when they involve anal pap smears and are told at the dinner table), but I can think of several occasions where he has shared information about specific individuals that should have been subject to doctor-patient confidentiality. I will call him on it the next time he does it.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:24 AM
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My wife isn't especially fond of my parents, though she tries. I don't tell her much that they've told me, or share any critical opinion of them that I have. If friends tell me something, I tend to err on the side of assuming confidentiality. Degree of openness may be a function of age and the amount of caginess about disclosure one finds in the office.

How much did Mrs Pepys, of whom Samuel was clearly pretty fond, know of his inner life? She knew he was compulsive, sure.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:25 AM
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Yeah, what Cala asks in 13: if Tim's professionally involved, of course he should keep his mouth shut.

Generally -- sharing *everything* with an SO? Well, no, not in a blabby, gossipy way (offering up unsolicited information about others); that's not the same as actually keeping secrets.

I've always preferred the open book approach in long-term relationships: it's supposed to be a partnership, after all. And actively keeping secrets can be pretty destructive.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:25 AM
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I've always preferred the open book approach in long-term relationships: it's supposed to be a partnership, after all.

Exactly. Which doesn't mean you volunteer everything, but being truthful about everything you are asked, unless you have a good constraint you can explain. Seems like the best policy to me.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:28 AM
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I'm always puzzled by people who treat their salary and other financial information (apart from things like account numbers) as some sort of big secret.

I'm much more private than most of my friends about my medical history, but if you wants to know how much money I make, or how much I have in my savings or retirement account, or how much equity I have in my home, I'll be glad to tell you.


Posted by: zadfrack | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:29 AM
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is everything between you an open book?

99.999999999999999% yes. I can think of plenty of times at Ma Bell that I would come home from work with some story of the outrageous behavior of a client but would start it with, "I'm not supposed to tell who this is, so just trust me that it's a company you've heard of," and then five minutes later it would be eating at me to keep a secret so I would say, out of nowhere, "IT'S ACME, OH GODS, IT'S ACME and let me tell you that Coyote is such a little bitch."

On the other hand, I reserve that 0.0000000000000001% chance for the occasion that a friend might say to one of us that they need advice but that we mustn't tell the other. I can't actually imagine a circumstance in which that would happen but if a good friend had something on their minds and felt only Rah could listen and help them, and my being unaware were necessary to that, I would be A-OK with that because I trust Rah to judge those circumstances and make his oaths for himself.

Gossip, though? Just regular ol' gossip? I am an open book to him and he to me. I have a weird knack for picking up on relationships and especially pregnancies before they're supposed to be common knowledge and Rah is always the first (and usually only) person I tell and I tell him immediately.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:32 AM
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I'm much more private than most of my friends about my medical history, but if you wants to know how much money I make, or how much I have in my savings or retirement account, or how much equity I have in my home, I'll be glad to tell you.

I've grown a little more guarded over the years on this as a number of my friends are sort of paycheck to paycheck and I'm doing pretty okay and I feel vaguely guilty/uncomfortable discussing that. Other of my friends are filthy, stinking rich and blather on about it all the time, which makes me rather uncomfortable.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:32 AM
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anal pap smears

Worst doctor ever?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:35 AM
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25: Ah, the good ol' "oops, missed."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:37 AM
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Worst doctor ever?

Not at all. Such a thing exists, apparently. I didn't inquire about the details, though.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:38 AM
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Other of my friends are filthy, stinking rich and blather on about it all the time,

I can hardly think of a more boring subject.

But I think what you are talking about being guarded about is very different from Heebies scenario. If your friends are likely to be uncomfortable or hurt by any discussion, that's often a pretty good reason to avoid having it.

I've found myself in a fair number of situations with friends who have seriously (i.e 10x) different salaries. Mostly it seems to work out that you quietly pay for more dinners/drinks or don't make a fuss when it's done for you, and there's nothing more need be said. Works well ime.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:38 AM
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Withholding gossip takes away one of the few valid reasons for ever getting married.

Come on, guys! Gossip is a necessity of life. Are we not Unfoggetarians?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:39 AM
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Both my wife and I have jobs that involve national security-type matters, and our portfolios seldom if ever overlap. And what we see and hear is sometimes not repeatable to the other, and yet is kind of juicy (in a banal, boring-gossipy sort of way -- really). What to do in such situations?

Avoid talking about work.


Posted by: William Henry Harrison | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:40 AM
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22: My wife's and my salaries are both public information, as is the original balance of our mortgage, and I basically assume that the rest of our financial information isn't that hard to come by (i.e., I don't really trust the credit reporting agencies very much). I figure the only real privacy safeguard left is being too boring for anyone to bother snooping.

We're pretty open with each other about work stuff, including some that's not for public consumption, but draw lines when we need to. With friends, there are a few confidences that each of us will hold onto, but mostly anyone who's close enough to trust one of us trusts both of us.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:40 AM
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Both my wife and I have jobs that involve national security-type matters, and our portfolios seldom if ever overlap. And what we see and hear is sometimes not repeatable to the other, and yet is kind of juicy (in a banal, boring-gossipy sort of way -- really). What to do in such situations?

Gossip in code. "You would not believe it, but...the chair is against the wall."


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:41 AM
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If your friends are likely to be uncomfortable or hurt by any discussion, that's often a pretty good reason to avoid having it.

That seems right. Which I guess is just a rephrasing of sorts of ogged's position. But, damn it, it sounds more sinister from Shi'a mouths.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:43 AM
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Withholding gossip takes away one of the few valid reasons for ever getting married.

Gossip and tableware.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:44 AM
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34: And sex, right?


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:45 AM
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I have a weird knack for picking up on relationships and especially pregnancies before they're supposed to be common knowledge

One of the neglected superhero powers.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:45 AM
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37

Gossip and tableware

Ten years of marriage, and we used the china precisely once. No good gossip either.

Perhaps the very reasons the marriage failed.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:45 AM
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And sex, right?

Ten years of marriage and.... Oh never mind.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:46 AM
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32: Or buy a "Cone of Silence" at Ikea.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:46 AM
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37: It troubles me that I read that and thought, "Ten years? How is that a failed marriage?"


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:47 AM
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There's no transferable standard for this sort of thing, I imagine. I share the shit I feel like talking more about. There are things my husband would probably be interested in and be trustworthy with but they bore me, so I don't bother. The only other criteria I have is my sense of whether or not a certain peice of data will negatively or unfairly influence his opinion of the person in question. If affirmative, I keep the data to myself. My execution of this grows more nuanced every year as I get increasingly subtle impressions of what does and does not prejudice him.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:47 AM
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30: Joe Wilson posts here!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:47 AM
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43

35: Tim clearly has not been married.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:48 AM
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Oddly, a job I took once had an employment contract that purported to prohibit me from discussing my compensation with anyone but my spouse or a licensed financial/tax advisor. I pointed out that that was pretty much exactly what the NLRA covers, and they backed down, but it was weird of them to try to put it in there.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:50 AM
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43. Thank you for saying that first, apo.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:50 AM
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46

45: Ditto.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:52 AM
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18: Like the various branches of law, some medical jobs require a lot more confidentiality than others. Neither of my parents really need to care about confidentiality, because one's an orthodontist and the other (when she's been a clinician) has treated spinal cord patients.

The line's dodgy, but I think everyone can agree that anything involving anal pap smears should be kept private.

As for me, things tend to be a pretty open book about myself. Not only with girlfriends, but generally with most close friends as well. My conversations rarely to never wander toward sensitive topics, so it never really comes up, but it's alright if anyone asks. Except for some specific questions about my finances/savings, but that's kind of a special issue along the lines of what SB says in 28.

Secrets about other people, assuming I know them, tend to be forgotten pretty soon. Secrets about my company, well, ususally they're kept that way but I know friends in related areas with whom I have very open talks (in both directions).


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:53 AM
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Or buy a "Cone of Silence" at Ikea.

It's not clear from this article what kind of name Ikea would give to the cone of silence. The name of a Swedish village, possibly?


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:53 AM
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The only other criteria I have is my sense of whether or not a certain peice of data will negatively or unfairly influence his opinion of the person in question. If affirmative, I keep the data to myself. My execution of this grows more nuanced every year as I get increasingly subtle impressions of what does and does not prejudice him.

"Dear, I know that bestiality is no big deal with you, so I can tell you this....."


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:53 AM
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44. Certain companies are paranoid about their employees comparing their salaries. It's usually a sign that you don't want to work for them. If their remuneration strategy is so bent they think it won't stand up to the water cooler, it's not good news.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:53 AM
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My deal, which I strain to let other people know about, is this: there is a presumption of sharing. If you need an exemption from that presumption, you must ask for one, and it will almost universally be granted.

I am very good at keeping secrets when instructed to do so, and utter shite about intuitive discretion.

Oh, and 30: can't you use presidential anonymity at home, too?


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:54 AM
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37/38: Well done. Nice timing.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:55 AM
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I actually had a dream last night in which Heebie had a post up on Unfogged. Now my dream has (practically) come true.

But I have to say, I wish my dream had been about this fucking paper's being done.


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:55 AM
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Yeah, it was definitely a sign of paranoia. I thought it was worse that they hadn't considered - or had considered and didn't care about - whether the language of their employment agreement would stand up to a challenge.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:55 AM
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There's really no reason that your SO needs to hear other people's secrets from you, but I never kept secrets about myself or what I was up to.

That's pretty much my policy too. I do tell some things [that don't directly concern me] because she's not generally the sort of person to gossip about my friends with other people and sometimes it's nice to talk things over. But if it's something I'm pretty sure my friend would rather remain private, I don't tell.

I completely accept that there are things my wife isn't telling me about her friends and colleagues. She tells me some things, and others, I know, remain private.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:56 AM
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56

It's usually a sign that you don't want to work for them.

Exactly what I was thinking.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:57 AM
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I pointed out that that was pretty much exactly what the NLRA covers, and they backed down

The standard employee contract at my former employer was so blatantly overreaching that an acquaintance in the HR department described it to me as "a compendium of lost employment tribunal cases". (N.B. this was in a country with real legal protections for employees.)


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:57 AM
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23: What do you do with the other 0.0000000000000009%?


Posted by: hermit greg | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:59 AM
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||

I am home sick today and lying in bed. I am really hungry right now, but all the food is all the way downstairs in the kitchen and I don't want to get up.

|>


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 12:07 PM
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58: Make shit up.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 12:08 PM
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Let's all visualize food going up the stairs to Di.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 12:08 PM
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50, 56: Typically I'd agree with you, but there are certain circumstances where the discretion is well-advised. My company doesn't say much regarding the discussion of salaries, but they're still kept fairly secret. It does prevent some people from knowing who's getting systematically screwed, but generally it can be pieced together through enough friends that have moved into hiring positions or who are recent hires and mention their salaries.

But when it comes to bonuses, there's a specific verbal warning from your boss to not talk about it. Everyone knows the average % of salary that's aimed for, but there's a wide range around that, and as an old sensible manager put it "you can discuss it, but a lot of people will feel very raw, and there's just not enough good that will come out of it to outweigh the downsides."


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 12:09 PM
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63

59 should be an Ask The Mineshaft.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 12:11 PM
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64

Call the school and get Blahblajoou to come home and bring you some food.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 12:11 PM
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58: Talk about all the little bitches on Unfogged.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 12:12 PM
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65: One must play one's part, even if it is only a bit role.


Posted by: hermit greg | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 12:15 PM
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15, 16. Exactly. Which situation is it? If he's a broker, he should keep his mouth shut. If he's offering collateral, the fuck, his wife doesn't know?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 12:17 PM
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64: She wanted me to get something for her this morning and I said, "But I'm sick." She responded, "I've got a cold, too." So, being mother of the year, I said, "Then maybe you should stay home, too." She just rolled her eyes, "It's just a cold, Mom."


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 12:18 PM
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69

I think it's pretty cool that soup biscuit is privy to the secret griefs of wild, unknown men.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 12:20 PM
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70

Has the food arrived yet, Di?

I have a feeling that not too many people are visualizing.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 12:21 PM
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It helps if you hum the song from The Sorcerer's Apprentice.


Posted by: ixnaythemetier | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 12:26 PM
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69: And women. You laugh, but it's true and kind of weird. Doesn't happen much anymore as I've been hiding out at work/home.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 12:26 PM
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Nothing, John, nothing. Nobody cares.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 12:26 PM
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74

Gossip is delicious and interesting and should be pored over at length between you and your spouse. You can make a huge concrete fortress around the two of you, and have nothing escape that fortress. Deal? Deal.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 12:28 PM
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73: I do, Di! But I can't visualize that far.

Check and see if there's a cheesburger halfway up the stairs.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 12:30 PM
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76

Tell us a secret, Di, and then we'll will the food up the stairs to you!


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 12:32 PM
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75: Maybe the problem is that we're visualizing different things. I was aiming for soup.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 12:33 PM
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I though of squid with bitter mustard and shrimp dim sum, borne on an elaborate lacquered tray by Harpo Marx. Two, actually, because I'd appreciate a snack and a harpist. Maybe it would work better with something already in the fridge.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 12:33 PM
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I'm starting to understand why the Pentagon didn't levitate properly.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 12:33 PM
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80

Do you like oatmeal, Di? It's a lot easier than cheeseburgers.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 12:35 PM
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As one of those people with a clearance, I have never been tempted to reveal anything about it. Now, I do not know how well I would stand up to enhanced interrogation techniques on the part of my spousal unit, but I do not have to worry since she thinks what I do is dull, dull, dull!

In advance of a future career change she is getting me a neato hat that lights up and spells out the words "Lion Tamer!".

And Di I am so thinking about the cheese burger climbing up the stairs, and if this works maybe we can save Tinkerbell.


Posted by: ukko | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 12:37 PM
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80: Oatmeal's excellent.

77: Soup would be excellent as well. Or a biscuit. I'm not picky.

76: I don't actually know any secrets.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 12:40 PM
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83

Probably if you do go down the stairs for food, you should step carefully.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 12:41 PM
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Um, actually the discussion in the absence of magically appearing food is maybe not helping. The cheeseburgers sound really good....


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 12:41 PM
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Visualization fails yet another time. However, induction is not a valid form of inference, as Hume proved.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 12:44 PM
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You can make a huge concrete fortress around the two of you, and have nothing escape that fortress.

Careful, heebie, you're venturing into Kingdom of Two territory, which folks 'round here don't take kindly to for some reason.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 12:51 PM
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Just a secrets fortress. You're allowed to have an active social life. In fact, it's encouraged that one go forage for more gossip.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 12:57 PM
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If only one partner were to leave the fortress to forage for gossip during some considerable period, I for one would be highly tempted to gossip about the possible fate of the other partner.

Chained to the wall? Pickled in brine? Rotting on the bed? A source for handicraft supplies? There's something strange going on in that castle, I tell you!


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:02 PM
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I cannot answer this question as it might divulge client confidences. I do typically divulge what city I will be in that day. Technically, that is a client confidence.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:06 PM
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I'll reprise my comment from heebie's blog:

Gotta go with Jammies. The Vault is The Vault.

I actually feel like a certain kind of complication disappeared from my life when I fully embraced that idea. If it's in The Vault, end of story, no matter how tempting and juicy.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:16 PM
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I for one would never marry Sir Kraab.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:18 PM
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91: I'm trying to figure out if, coming from you, that's some kind of twisted compliment.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:30 PM
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93

Certainly if a healthy marriage is possible, shared gossip would be the foundation.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:32 PM
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I heard that the Vault opens for delicious veggies.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:34 PM
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Right now we need to unite this thread with "Two Men Enter" so that oudemia will dish the dirt on Teodoro Nguema Obiang.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:36 PM
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Teddy and I have no secrets from each other and that bitch Eve better step the fuck off.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 1:48 PM
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I absolutely expect that if I tell a friend something, I am also telling my friend's sweetheart. If I don't want the sweetheart to know, I don't tell that friend.

I tell my sweetheart the gossip I know.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:17 PM
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I usually share with the Biophysicist, but not things related to my prior profession [at least not things about clients; gossip about the staff and the #&*@# office manager, whom I loathed with great intensity was OK].

If a friend asked me not to tell him something, I wouldn't - but my friends tend to say "Don't tell anyone but the Biophysicist".

Gossip is one thing; revealing facts you've acquired about a client is another, even if your occupation doesn't have express confidentiality policies.

Ever wonder what priests talk about when they get together? "I heard a great confession today, but I can't talk about it" [Eh, more likely "I buggered little Jimmy CLancy today...}


Posted by: DominEditrix | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:18 PM
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Isn't The Vault a NYC kinky sex club?


Posted by: DominEditrix | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 2:19 PM
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We talk about pretty much everything, but there are some things my friends have told me that I haven't passed on. Not many, but some. There are rather more that really should never have been shared (not that I had explicit instructions not to - I wouldn't if that had happened) that have been passed with much glee and "no really!"s.

I know some good gossip from his work too.

But I don't care who knows how much money we have - my circle of friends all seem fairly open about that - and I wouldn't have a problem with using someone I know as any kind of financial advisor.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 3:01 PM
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1: Ouch.


Posted by: froz gobo | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 3:09 PM
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101: ouch ?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 3:22 PM
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ouch?

Froz is just realizing he never should have confided his ferret sex fantasies to apo.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 3:30 PM
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I was at a CLE years ago, and speaking of the confidentiality rules, the instructor told a little story.

This bishop was being honored, but was late to the dinner. A monsignor was keeping the crowd entertained, talking about various incidents over the 30 years he'd known the bishop. Including "mine was the very first confession he ever heard as a priest."

10 minutes later, the bishop arrives, and after suitable introduction, gets up to speak.

You all know where this is going.

Midway through his speech, addressing a hot topic in the Church, the bishop noted that pedophilia was a problem of long standing: my very first confession was from a man of the cloth who had sexually abused an altarboy.


Posted by: Napi | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 3:41 PM
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103: Oh, no. His wife knows all about that unfortunate episode. Hell, she was the one with the camera.


Posted by: froz gobo | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 3:45 PM
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OMG 104!


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 3:47 PM
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104 is awesome. Please, God, let it be true.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 3:48 PM
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Mosaic theory.


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 4:03 PM
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All the gossip gets shared, though my wife is careful to tell me which things I absolutely cannot tell anyone else.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 4:05 PM
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Speaking of sharing information, what about a single email account for a couple (or variations on the theme)?

Even if I expect him/her to tell him/her what I have confided, I still feel uncomfortable in writing the same personal information to both people.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 4:13 PM
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MD, go ahead and send that "I think I gave you crabs" email to both of them.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 4:17 PM
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Shared email accounts are complete insanity.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 4:23 PM
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My parents had a shared e-mail account, which my dad mostly handled. Now it's my mom's and she checks it every few weeks.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 4:45 PM
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Unless communication by email is a very small part of your life, in which they're not.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 4:45 PM
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114: Exactly. The percentage of e-mails my mom gets that contain relevant information that she needs to see is probably around 1%.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 4:48 PM
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MD is famous for crabs.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 5:40 PM
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Indeed.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 5:42 PM
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but the VA is for lovers


Posted by: froz gobo | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 5:56 PM
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But PA gets Intercourse. And MI has Climax, for that matter.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 6:00 PM
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Shared email accounts are complete insanity.

Indeed. An old friend (an ex) has a joint account with his now-wife, and while I respect the partnership nature of that arrangement, I find myself uncomfortable writing to him. A question of tone. Of course, she never liked me much, which fact probably invalidates whatever point I might have here.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 6:16 PM
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Shared e-mail == BAD. (Though my family is so bad about including Josh on cc:s that they'd probably be able to deal with it better than individual accounts.)

Shared gossip == GOOD. If I'm asked not to share, or if I suspect that the teller would be upset if I shared, I won't. Everything else is fair game.

(This is the part where I wait for Josh to post his agreement, because I'll be completely bummed if he's been holding out on good gossip.)


Posted by: Magpie | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 6:21 PM
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We've talked about shared e-mail here before, although I'm darned if I can find the thread.

I've announced my salary on local television to a large audience of people I know, so I'm kind of an outlier on that issue, at least when it comes to my own financial privacy.

But I'm pretty much a freak about other people's privacy, and tend to assume that things are confidential unless I am explicitly told otherwise. One of the few things to like about gaining seniority at work is that I'm in a position to educate younger staff members about professional ethics and discretion, at a point in their careers where they haven't yet developed firm convictions about what is/is not ethical.

In relationships, the part that's hard is when you know something confidential that might exculpate someone or make things easier, but aren't free to share. Friend Z might have more patience with Friend X if he knows she's just had a miscarriage, or that her husband's mental illness is flaring up. But if X doesn't want you to share that....

And I'm with everyone who says that when I confide in someone, I usually assume they're going to share it with their spouse/s.o.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 6:35 PM
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Obviously, part of the difficulty is that your SO is not boun by confidientality. Of course, you can gossip with your fellow law partners because they are already presumed to know everything that you know.

However, for me, often people call me on my cell. They know that BR is sitting next to me and typically make mention of it (tell her I said hello or sorry for bothering you two.) Or, I will say that I do not have privacy so if they want to talk, I am in the car with my so.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 6:44 PM
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And I'm with everyone who says that when I confide in someone, I usually assume they're going to share it with their spouse/s.o.

I must be weird in this: I assume they're not, but bear it in mind, and therefore don't share things I don't want to travel, as it were. Or I'll specifically mention that it shouldn't be shared.

Actually, now that I think about it, I have a general sense of who shares everything and who doesn't, and adjust my telling accordingly. A bit of a privacy freak, then.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 6:53 PM
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The upside, Froz, is that I usually forget any good gossip before I get around to sharing it anyhow.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 7:01 PM
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You know, I may have taken the premise wrong. I'm not actually sure what "gossip" means to people. So-and-so is pregnant -- usually good news, sometimes private, not really gossip. So-and-so is a recovering addict -- nosy personal information, no good reason to share unless the person himself is open about it. Is that gossip? I had the craziest client at work today...okay, I guess that's gossip.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 7:05 PM
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Is Witt a lawyer? For some reason I thought you were some kind of public interest advocacy goo-goo. Or maybe you are, but with a law degree.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 7:14 PM
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I share Wrongshore's policy. If someone wants something kept from my wife, they'd better inform me in advance.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 7:15 PM
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Nah, I'm not a lawyer. Just very, very used to client confidentiality issues. (And also patron confidentiality issues, but nobody besides a few fellow geeks translates "patron" correctly in mainstream usage.)


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 7:16 PM
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What do you do if one of your friends is dating a total asshole who is mean to her? She asks you what you think of him, and there's a high likelihood that she will keep dating him and tell him that you hate him. You will continue to run into them and he will greet you with, "So my gf told me that you hate me," and then say something nasty about the opinions of graduate students not meaning a lot to him anyway.

This has happened twice with a particular friend of mine. All her boyfriends are these totally narcissistic dickheads who treat her like crap. Knowing that she's going to run off to whatever new dickhead she finds and tell him whatever I say, should I just not answer the "What do you think of my new boyfriend?" question?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 7:17 PM
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Gossiping with the boyfriend about other people we know is too much fun to give up. I know that he has told me things that he has specifically promised NOT to tell me. But I think for the most part everyone we know expects us to tell each other everything.


Posted by: pasdquoi | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 7:18 PM
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130: tough one. Maybe a semi-smiling "I'm sure you can guess what I think", or something along those lines?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 7:20 PM
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130: AWB, you answer the question with a question: "Is it going to make any difference what I say I think of him?" If she says no, then you have license to plead the fifth. In remaining silent, you have implicitly told her that you don't approve, but she doesn't have any hostile statements to quote to her boyfriend.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 7:22 PM
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should I just not answer the "What do you think of my new boyfriend?" question?

I feel like there needs to be a response that means "meh" but that sounds better than that.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 7:23 PM
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125: Huh? What are you talking about?


Posted by: froz gobo | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 7:23 PM
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130: You could try lying.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 7:24 PM
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Try lying or die trying!


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 7:25 PM
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130: being honest about what a fucking tool the guy is - while it may cause some short-term problems - is surprisingly satisfying.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 7:28 PM
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I have started to wonder if she sort of thrills in relaying my displeasure to them.

I've definitely dated plenty of guys my friends didn't like, and who were aware that my friends didn't like them, but for her it seems to have a particular weight of meaning that I don't understand. Is it possible that she's trying to use her boyfriends' ill temper to drive a wedge between herself and her friends?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 7:28 PM
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If that is true, AWB, she doesn't sound like a particularly good friend. Seriously, I understand that this may be odd in the scheme of things, but I've always found (sugar coated) honesty to be much less complicated. "Well, I worry that he fits into the same pattern as some of those other narcissistic tools you've dated, but I certainly want you to be happy and would love to be proven wrong!"

But really, why hang out with awful people? That's my motto. One of them, anyhow. Along with "fuckin' A! Bacon!" and "dude! Boss van!"


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 7:31 PM
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Yeah, I can't imagine telling an SO that a friend of mine didn't like them. What good comes of that?


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 7:32 PM
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CapitalizatIon is OnE of My fEw creaTIVe ouTlEtS aNymore.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 7:32 PM
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But really, why hang out with awful people? That's my motto. One of them, anyhow. Along with "fuckin' A! Bacon!" and "dude! Boss van!"

Also: "Bro! Anal thermometer!"


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 7:33 PM
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Yeah, I think one must, at a certain point, swear off certain people whenever they're dating because they go all CRAZY. Some of them are perfectly nice and non-psychotic when they're single.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 7:33 PM
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I wish my friends would tell me while I'm dating someone that they find them awful. I always hear way too late things like, "That dude was fucking shifty. Hated him." I am blind to attributes like "shifty"!


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 7:35 PM
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A friend of mine offered a mutual friend his honest opinion that fiancee was a gold-digger. It was a high stakes gamble, and a losing one, because the mutual friend ended up marrying the girl and breaking off a friendship of many years.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 7:36 PM
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should I just not answer the "What do you think of my new boyfriend?

I'd say that depends on what you're trying to accomplish. Among my closest friends, I'd probably answer that with something including "I can see how well he shares your taste in theater. It concerns me that he does XYZ (example of bad treatment of friend)." But that's because they are my closest friends, and I know they want my honesty or we wouldn't have been friends for 15 or 20 years.

Otherwise, avoidance: "Does he make you happy? Because I'm in favor of you being happy" or tactful insult. Or flat-out question: "What kind of response are you looking for? Do you want to know if I'd choose to hang out with him if he weren't dating you, or if I think he's a good partner for you?"


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 7:37 PM
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145: indeed. I'd rather know than not.

143: excellent point.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 7:37 PM
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Ignore my 147. Sifu's 140 was way better.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 7:38 PM
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Yeah, I think one must, at a certain point, swear off certain people whenever they're dating because they go all CRAZY. Some of them are perfectly nice and non-psychotic when they're single.

Y'all could have seen that coming.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 7:39 PM
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Yeah, I should learn tact with friends. And I'm also really bothered by stuff other people don't notice, like when a guy totally interrupts his girlfriend all the time or constantly reminds her that he makes more money or whatever. Between them, it might be no big whoop. But I'm sitting there going GET OUT.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 7:43 PM
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constantly reminds her that he makes more money

Whoa... seriously? Yes, I think your GET OUT is appropriate. That's obnoxious.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 7:49 PM
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152: From what I've seen, it's a pretty common way for a guy dating a grad student to feel less inferior. He can always pull out the paycheck. I'm way too sensitive to money issues to date someone who did that, but a lot of my friends' bfs have.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 7:54 PM
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I mean no disrespect to AWB, but every time I hear these stories I shudder at the fact that there is apparently a not-small social circle in this world that behaves this way.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 7:58 PM
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Dude, that's not feeling a little inferior. I know from inferior (moving to a new country, having your wife have too much education, and be unable to work and see what that does to your masculinity), and that's just being an asshole. GET OUT!


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 7:58 PM
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Eh, I'm with Brock on this one. Being common doesn't make it any less obnoxious.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 7:59 PM
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Multi-pwned.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 8:00 PM
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Whenever I'm made to realize that this behavior is not universal, it makes me very eager to get out of NYC, or to get some friends who are a little less obsessed with status-y guys who care about that shit.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 8:02 PM
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Being common doesn't make it any less obnoxious.

Evidently they were of at least the mercantile class.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 8:03 PM
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I make no money now, and my girlfriend makes more money than I ever did when I made some money. We have to deal with "are you going to be okay paying for a lot more things than me" and I have to deal with "do I feel okay about letting you pay for a lot more things than me?" I mostly do, but it doesn't mean nothing.

I made two to five times as much as my freelance-writer wife throughout our relationship, and I was very comfortable with "from each according to his or her ability"/male provider role. It'll be interesting to see how I deal with the masculinity being on the other foot.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 8:04 PM
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146: Oh dear. I had a friend tell a mutual friend that the girl he was going to marry "just wasn't good enough" for him. Oh, what a mess.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 8:08 PM
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It'll probably be a little harder than you expect, if our experience is any judge, because there's so much social pressure on guys to define themselves through what they do and what they make. And even if you're aware of it, it can take some getting used to and working through.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 8:09 PM
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146: I had a friend who helpfully offered to draw up a pre-nup as a wedding present to another friend, whose fiancee he thought was a golddigger. Not recommended.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 8:11 PM
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I think a lot of one's openness is eroded or enhanced by one's
SO. While no one can give our labradoodle a work-out like Knecht, and I do appreciate that about him, he is not exactly open about his inner life. Over the span of our marriage that has caused me to change my way of relating to him. I would never share a confidence that a good friend has asked me to keep with him, both because it would make me uneasy to do so, but also because he could care less. There are times when I am privy to gossip so wonderfully juicy that I must confide in him, but on average that is not the case.
When ever I confide in a friend, I just assume that they will tell their SO, so I taylor my comments around that.


Posted by: Fleur | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 8:12 PM
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Fleur you should come to Super Tuesday at DEEP ELLUM! Knecht can watch the kids; we'll dish!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 8:16 PM
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Dude, AWB, it's not so very hard to avoid toolicious tools like that in NYC.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 8:16 PM
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Ah, shucks, Fleur. I appreciate good gossip as much as the next guy. Especially about your friends. My only point was that a professional obligation of discretion does not admit of a spousal exception.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 8:18 PM
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no one can give our labradoodle a work-out like Knecht

This is pretty much the best euphemism ever.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 8:20 PM
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I wonder whether people shouldn't be less tactful about friends' fucked-up SOs and fiances. You do risk losing a friend, but there's that risk anyway, and you're also risking letting something awful happen.

These considerations only are relevant for those who think that some relationships are OK, and other not OK, of course. My teaching can be adapted to the limitations of the hearer's ability to understand.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 8:21 PM
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162 is so right. And also, I think it's something that self-identified feminists can (and often already do) work to ameliorate. Mainstream society is so focused on what do you do/professional status as a way of relating to people that it is both refreshing and powerful when somebody makes an effort to get to know a new person through a different lens.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 8:24 PM
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The funnier Megan and I hashed this out one time. She should tell me two times if I'm dating an asshole. After that she has to pretend to adore him.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 8:30 PM
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I wonder whether people shouldn't be less tactful about friends' fucked-up SOs and fiances.

Yes! They absolutely should. I've told friends they were making a big mistake, and I was glad I did. I've been told I was making a big mistake, and boy was that a good thing.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 8:30 PM
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i don't understand what is SO
s - spouse may be, but O?


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 8:38 PM
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173: Significant Other.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 8:40 PM
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SO="significant other"


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 8:40 PM
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SO = Sauce on the Outside, silly


Posted by: froz gobo | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 8:41 PM
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ohm that easy
should have guessed myself


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 8:42 PM
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"Sugary Oblongs"


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 8:45 PM
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Thx, Cala, Witt.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 8:48 PM
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I don't think "significant other" actually communicates that much, especially to a non-native English speaker. I just find it marginally less annoying than boy/girlfriend for people in their 30s and older.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 8:48 PM
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180: I find it's a useful if inelegant catchall phrase for situations where gender/age/marital status aren't really relevant.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 8:52 PM
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"Piece"? "Squeeze"? "Ball and chain"? So many options.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 8:56 PM
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My dad used to say "main squeeze."


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 8:57 PM
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There's always 'old lady/man'.


Posted by: the Other Paul | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 8:57 PM
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SO sounds much more understandable than partner
at first i always was surprised to read that description of a family member
it's like calling them comrade something :)
in my language the word hani which means spouse, one of its synonyms, is close in translation to the word 'company' (like to be in company of) though :)


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 9:00 PM
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Sex Object. Nookie.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 9:00 PM
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it's like calling them comrade something

The Chinese word for "comrade" is ambiguous these days.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 9:09 PM
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Comrade works.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 9:09 PM
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I'm glad you're able to confide in us, Tweety. I mean, tongzhi.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 9:12 PM
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Better half works for me.

For the boyfriends of daughter and other women I know, beaux.


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 9:14 PM
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189: I'm so in trouble.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 9:16 PM
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I liked referring to girlfriends as "my steady". I got that from my mom's usage.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 9:18 PM
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There's some Soviet novel (And Quiet Flows the Don?) in which the male peasant types refer to their wives as "The Antichrist." This was the inspiration for naming one of my exes the same.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 9:23 PM
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As for "main squeeze", that's what my grandmother used to call her grandchildren when they hugged her extremely tightly, so it doesn't sound appropriate for this usage.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 9:24 PM
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Actually there are some terrific German terms I use more regularly, but you people don't get to know those.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 9:28 PM
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It'll be interesting to see how I deal with the masculinity being on the other foot.

Magpie has, up until very recently, always made more than me. It's never been an issue for me, although we've always split big purchases evenly. (Well, except for the house. She owns it and I rent.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 9:36 PM
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I've never known what to call anyone I dated. They're not "my" anything.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 9:40 PM
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Oh, except the German dude who took my virginity. For eight years, we called each other, in the most strident and nasal tones possible, "My dearest darling!"


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 9:42 PM
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197: they're more yours than anyone else's.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 9:42 PM
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My dad refers to shivbunny as my "surviving spouse."


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 9:43 PM
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199: Probably not, Tweety. Usually not.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 9:43 PM
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I've never known what to call anyone I dated. They're not "my" anything.

FOUL

"my" does not imply ownership, just a particular relationship. "My father"
"My bus route"
"My coffee cart"
etc.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 9:43 PM
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One and only. Best beloved. Trouble and strife (sexist!). Better half (ugh).

Yeah, s.o. is fairly innocuous, unless you're among pretty conservative (and older) people.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 9:44 PM
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202: Touché. That was just what I used to say when my mother insisted on calling one of them "your guy."


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 9:45 PM
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I also think shivbunny's used my first name when addressing me, maybe three times in his life, including the wedding ceremony. It's always 'babe' or 'sweetheart' or 'wife.'


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 9:46 PM
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My wife and I call each other "you." (What's her name again?)


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 9:47 PM
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I find "my significantly smarter other" to be clumsy but empirically precise.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 9:48 PM
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He calls you "wife", when addressing you, in the second person? Better than "woman", I suppose.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 9:48 PM
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Significant other is innocuous, but so studious and inoffensive so that it sounds to me like a parody of political correct speech or medical terminology. "The patient presented with a rash, brought on by the lubricative aid he and his significant other utilized when attempting intercourse."

But boyfriend/girlfriend don't really work past a certain age.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 9:49 PM
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208: I started it. "Yo, husband, obey like you promised and do the dishes." So now it's usual to start, e.g., a phone call with 'hey wife'/'hey husband.' We're not creative in terms of endearment.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 9:50 PM
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When I'm in real trouble, my wife's accent gets stronger. Later on the kids think it's funny, but everyone knows to head for the hills when they hear chah LEE!


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 9:50 PM
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Max and I always used each other's first names. Not many people have been tempted to use pet names with me, at least since I was 19.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 9:51 PM
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Significant other is innocuous, but so studious and inoffensive so that it sounds to me like a parody of political correct speech or medical terminology. "The patient presented with a rash, brought on by the lubricative aid he and his significant other utilized when attempting intercourse."

As someone familiar with research papers like that, it's actually "partner" that gets used that way.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 9:53 PM
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Right, but at least "partner" has the decency not to sound like it was created by committee. We will leverage our assets synergistically to utilize both our significant others, best practices, and parental units effectively.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 9:57 PM
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I sit on a committee that creates partners.


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 10:01 PM
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How about "erotic associate"?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 10:01 PM
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Usually you have to be an erotic associate before you make partner.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 10:02 PM
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I SIT ON A PARTNER THAT CREATES COMMITTEES OF YOUNGSTERS


Posted by: OPINIONATED GRANDMA | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 10:04 PM
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I'm proud of myself for going 9 whole minutes without making the lame and totally inappropriate joke to follow 217 that the patriarchy expected of me.

A sure sign that it's time for bed. Night all.


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 10:11 PM
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my husband used to give me crap about how he made more $ than me (take home, anyway) and HE was in grad school. But that was kind of understandable, I thought.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 01-31-08 11:11 PM
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This happened on a house call:

Union organizer: Have you met my partner, Alex?

Worker: Partner? Are you guys cowboys?


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 02- 1-08 12:46 AM
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221: Obviously Worker had been listening to too much Willie Nelson.

I don't currently have an SO, but my rules are fairly solid these days:

- If I'm professionally obliged to keep shtum, I will.
- If it's personal, but I'm asked specifically not to tell anyone else, I won't.
- If I'm told "It's okay to tell most people, but I'm trying to keep it a secret from A and B", unless it's a time-limited secret like a party or a present, I'm going to point out that gossip doesn't work like that, and A or B are pretty much bound to find out.
- If the response to the above is "I know, so long as they can't trace it back to me" I treat it like regular gossip, which is:
- If someone tells me something and it's a good story, I'll repeat it. If I think any of the details are embarrassing to the person who told me , I'll make sure that I don't repeat the story with any identifying details, and I don't tell it to anyone who knows the person to whom it happened.

It seems to work, in that people still tell me things even though they've heard me repeat some fairly stunning gossip.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 02- 1-08 2:14 AM
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For those truly intimate moments, you should use your partner's Unfogged handle (don't pretend they haven't got one, apart from a few of the long married people)


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 02- 1-08 2:26 AM
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there are some terrific German terms I use more regularly, but you people don't get to know those

My German ex of long ago used to be Blümchen (little flower), which might work for you, Sifu.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02- 1-08 5:37 AM
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I use a few Czech words for 'darling', 'love', etc. Also, Czech has diminutive forms for names, so they are nice to use as well.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02- 1-08 5:50 AM
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My wife's maiden name is Klos, and so kloesschen is a natural.


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 02- 1-08 5:55 AM
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ma petite pamplemousse


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02- 1-08 6:19 AM
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I don't really want anybody else's secrets, so I give them away immediately.


Posted by: spaz | Link to this comment | 02- 1-08 6:30 AM
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My wife's maiden name is Klos, and so Kloesschen is a natural.

Preferable to Klosett, certainly.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02- 1-08 6:43 AM
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even if i try to pass on a gossip i always forget or confuse the details, it's just all gets mixed in my head what happened to whom, may be i don't pay enough attention or have ADD etc
so my friends know that i'm a unreliable sourse of gossip :)


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 02- 1-08 7:11 AM
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c


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 02- 1-08 7:12 AM
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167: My only point was that a professional obligation of discretion does not admit of a spousal exception

Wait, what? I thought it did. I thought that was the one significant exception, because even the law expects spouses to share everything with one another (I believe the phrase used in all the relevant opinions is "pillow talk").


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 02- 1-08 7:17 AM
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-'s
does your son walk now, Brock Landers?
i hope you saw the link with the walkers


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 02- 1-08 7:21 AM
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233: No, I didn't see the link with the walkers, I don't think. He's getting it. He's just so much faster crawling that he seems greatly to prefer it.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 02- 1-08 7:23 AM
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232: You're kidding, right? I hope you're kidding. I have demonstrated in recent days that I have no bleeding clue about legal ethics, but I know that for the variety of secrets I am professionally obliged to keep (i.e. share-price relevant insider information) there is no spousal exemption. (Actually, our employee handbook does specifically carve out a spousal exception to the rule that we cannot divulge who we are working for, so there is that.)


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02- 1-08 7:26 AM
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235: not joking at all, but also not totally sure I'm right.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 02- 1-08 7:33 AM
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Along the lines of knecht's comments, I should note that I do not think that you can answer "Honey, I cannot tell you why I didn't come home last night or where I was last night because of client confidences."


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 02- 1-08 7:35 AM
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Apropos of this thread, I searched for a video clip of the Gossip Girls on Hee-Haw singing "We're Not Ones to Go 'Round Spreadin' Rumors", but alas, I could not find it on the intertubes.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02- 1-08 7:38 AM
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I do not think that you can answer "Honey, I cannot tell you why I didn't come home last night or where I was last night because of client confidences."

Will's right. That only worked the first couple of times.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02- 1-08 7:39 AM
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You have to be realistic. Most of the information that passes Mrs OFE's desk is officially a state secret, because Britain is like that. Now if the information was that she was likely to be laid off, she'd tell me. If it was that I might like to watch the evening news because the Minister ran amok with a samurai sword in Parliament, she'd probably tell me. But the vast bulk of stuff, which actually makes her quite a lot better informed about what's going on than I am, she never mentions. Nor should she.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 02- 1-08 7:40 AM
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I thought that was the one significant exception

I suspect that there is a real world one--no opposing counsel is going to try to defeat a privilege claim by deposing you to see if you breached confidentiality with your wife (that has to be a euphemism for something),

In New York I have never seen any such exception in the law. I generally do not divulge client confidences to my wife. On the other hand, one probably should not use me as an example of marital best practices.


Posted by: Idealist | Link to this comment | 02- 1-08 7:40 AM
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Further to 237/239, I used to be under the impression that there is a generally recognized common-law privilege not to disclose to your bride what happened on the night of your stag party, but apparently Fleur comes from a different legal tradition where the groom is obliged to divulge all the sordid details on pain of shunning.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02- 1-08 7:43 AM
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Idealist and other lawyers

Wife/SO asks you what kind of case you worked on today, how do you respond?


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 02- 1-08 7:47 AM
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Will's right. That only worked the first couple of times.

Fleur, in case I didnt specifically deny this earlier, I did not photoshop Knecht into my Unfogged DCon pictures.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 02- 1-08 7:48 AM
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234: ,i>He's just so much faster crawling that he seems greatly to prefer it.

I missed this discussion when it first came up, but am curious, is this hands and knees crawling or just hands/feet (what some called "bear walking")? My first was quite late in walking, but he had developed a very fast and agile bear walk and was content with that for a while. .

... college finally got him upright.... (actually it was a matter of a few months if I recall)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 1-08 7:49 AM
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245: a bit of both, but mostly hands and knees.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 02- 1-08 7:51 AM
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Wife/SO asks you what kind of case you worked on today, how do you respond?

There is a lot about a case you can say--the allegations in a complaint and the facts as developed in discovery are not privileged. I can't claim to have never divulged some juciy and likely-privileged piece of client idiocy, but I certainly try to avoid doing so.

In my prior career, it was more of problem. When I worked on the US Forces Korea staff, most of what I worked on was classified (and my wife was a foreign national to boot) so there was not a lot to be said about the details of work


Posted by: Idealist | Link to this comment | 02- 1-08 7:58 AM
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246 => 217


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02- 1-08 8:06 AM
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There is a lot about a case you can say--the allegations in a complaint and the facts as developed in discovery are not privileged.

Isn't the most precise answer that it is confidential?

A piece of information doesn't become not a client confidence simply because it is a matter of public record.

I can't claim to have never divulged some juciy and likely-privileged piece of client idiocy, but I certainly try to avoid doing so.

This is where I come down as well.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 02- 1-08 8:08 AM
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for Brock Landers, may be you won't see it again
just in case
it's cute like toys and can be used like a seat too
walkers


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 02- 1-08 8:28 AM
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250: thanks read. Interesting--I've seen a lot of those that are stationary, but didn't know they still sold them with wheels. They were everywhere 30 years ago, but I thought too many babies fell down steps or otherwise got hurt in them so they all got pulled from the market. (I took a few very bad/hospital-trip-inducing tumbles down the stairs in mine as a baby.)


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 02- 1-08 8:34 AM
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"It's all fucking document review anyway, what difference does it make what it's for?"

She knows by now not to ask.


Posted by: felix | Link to this comment | 02- 1-08 8:43 AM
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252 to 243


Posted by: felix | Link to this comment | 02- 1-08 8:44 AM
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"It's all fucking document review anyway, what difference does it make what it's for?"

Hey, that is just like me! Except I leave out the "document review" part.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 02- 1-08 8:50 AM
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I haven't read the whole thread, but after 250 comments, no one's mentioned Hillary and Bill and whether or not she got to hear all the secret stuff?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02- 1-08 8:50 AM
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babies could fall in those from the stairs, that's scary,
may be it's for use only on the ground floor, my sister used one for her daughter like 2 months and she started to walk herself without it
they do not have stairs, so it was safe to use


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 02- 1-08 8:53 AM
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I haven't read the whole thread, but after 250 comments, no one's mentioned Hillary and Bill and whether or not she got to hear all the secret stuff?

Where is Apo is suggest that whether Monica spit or swallowed wasnt secret stuff?


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 02- 1-08 8:53 AM
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Where is Apo is suggest that whether Monica spit or swallowed wasnt secret stuff?

I believe that's all a matter of public record.


Posted by: felix | Link to this comment | 02- 1-08 9:26 AM
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255- Hmm, interesting. I would imagine she received top secret clearance, but I don't know if that entitled her access to classified information in which she wasn't directly involved. Anyone know how that works?


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 02- 1-08 9:43 AM
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259: But why would she want to waste her beautiful mind with all of that kind of stuff in the first place?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 1-08 9:48 AM
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I still call him my boyfriend even though we have been together so long that it makes the term slightly ridiculous. But I hate "significant other" and don't want to get married. Maybe I will start calling him my domestic partner.

I do have a ridiculously silly personal nickname for him that I am not allowed to repeat in public.


Posted by: pasdquoi | Link to this comment | 02- 1-08 10:02 AM
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I would imagine she received top secret clearance

She didn't. From the IHT:

But during those two terms in the White House, Clinton did not hold a security clearance. She did not attend National Security Council meetings. She was not given a copy of the president's daily intelligence briefing. She did not assert herself on the crises in Somalia, Haiti or Rwanda. And during one of President Bill Clinton's major tests on terrorism, whether to bomb Afghanistan and Sudan in 1998, Clinton was barely speaking to her husband, let alone advising him, as the Lewinsky scandal dragged on.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02- 1-08 10:03 AM
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