Re: I'm Sufficiently Into You

1

See, Chris has it right. If there's only one person you'd want to be married to, then don't marry anyone else.

If he's telling the truth, that is. *ahem*probablynot*ahem*


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 12:24 AM
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"By the time she turns 37," Chris said confidently, "she'll come back. And I'll bet she'll marry me then. I know she wants to have kids."

Is there anyone who doubts that the surgeon did exactly the right thing in not marrying him?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 12:38 AM
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No.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 12:40 AM
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It's funny how all this ridiculous advice ignores the fact that there are also men who really, really, desperately want to get married and have children. In fact, I think I've known more men who lay about pouting that they're going to spend their lives alone and childless than I have women. That has to do with the company I keep and the fact that I'm still young, but still.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 12:42 AM
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you hang out with pouty men, you mean?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 12:45 AM
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No, I hang out with chicks who aren't very traditional or marriage-minded. But yeah, there are some pouty ones; unfortunately, I have dated some of them.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 12:54 AM
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OT: Looks like the Republicans are ready to get the general election campaign rolling.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 12:55 AM
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Krugman's Monday column is capital W Weird. Key quote is

Supporters of each candidate should have no trouble rallying behind the other if he or she gets the nod.

Why, then, is there so much venom out there?
I won't try for fake evenhandedness here: most of the venom I see is coming from supporters of Mr. Obama, who want their hero or nobody.

He proceeds to give no examples of this, and rather to discuss mistreatment of Sen. Clinton in the press. What this has to do with Obama's supporters is beyond me.

One of the problems with this is that he'll end up hurting his credibility on the mandate point by making it look personal.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 1:06 AM
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This guy Chris must be a real whiz in his marketing job, what with all his keen insights into people. "I'll just wait this one out, because doubtless this smart, ambitious, good looking woman will have to come crawling back for my baby making sperm."


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 1:19 AM
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Well that's marketing for you --- he probably saw a study about high percentages of late-thirties childless women desperate to get married and start a family.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 1:23 AM
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8:Several threads have pained me tonight, at ObsWi and Yglesias. There certainly is joy and pride and well some hope, if only of getting the nomination. But there is a triumphalism and the reek of vengeance and a moral crusade. Clinton and her supporters may be their enemy, as Hubert was the enemy in 1968.

I look forward to the Obammers celebrating with the torturers and liars and tax-cutters and mass-murderers and old-worlders over the conquest and destruction of the mutual enemy, Hillary Rodham Clinton. After all, the war is all her fault.

Yes, I am discouraged and sad and bitter. For Obama will give George and Laura big hugs and smiles and handshakes on inauguration day, as he sets to work with his friends in the Republican Congress to destroy the true problem of America, that scourge of dirty fucking hippies and vicious partisan Democrats.

Morning in America again.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 1:25 AM
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Yes, I am discouraged and sad and bitter.

Shocking.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 1:33 AM
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In connection with something else, I studied the Paris Commune of 1871 for a couple hours tonight.

The Parisiens lost a ridiculous war started by a corrupt and incompetent gov't and after the stravation seige and the shelling, were not in the mood to embrace the scoundrels, rascals, and fools who destroyed their city. They shot generals. And I am not talking the Germans.

After 8 years of these scum, these monsters and all the hate goes to Clinton and old Democrats, not to the Republicans. It makes me physically sick.

You go unity, motherfuckers.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 1:45 AM
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After 8 years of these scum, these monsters and all the hate goes to Clinton and old Democrats, not to the Republicans. It makes me physically sick.

Yeah, Obama's acting all crazy and shit, like he's running against Hillary for something. Weird.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 1:55 AM
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I studied the Paris Commune of 1871 for a couple hours tonight.

Also shocking.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 2:19 AM
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One of the problems with this is that he'll end up hurting his credibility on the mandate point by making it look personal.

This is what is most horrifying, the rejection of Paul Krugman by the Obama supporters, because it shows there is really no point of purpose in discussing the Obama campaign(s) and there will be no reasoned examination of policy proposals in the Obama administration. If y'all will attack Paul Krugman's honesty, credibility, & integrity for this, any questions Krugman raises on serious matters or bills, well, I would advise Krugman retire for he might not survive Obama's first term.

You are either for Obama or a bad person, and you either want exactly what Obama wants or we don''t need you. Reason has left the building.

This is how fascism will begin in America, with unquestioning vitriolic masses acting out in the name of love. No wonder Republicans love Obama.

I can't believe I am see Democrats turn on Krugman. I can't believe what I am watching after 8 years of Bush.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 5:17 AM
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I think washerdreyer claimed there was insufficient evidence given by Paul Krugman of Obamabot bad manners. Hey, maybe it doesn't exist? I think I will go over to Matt's and look

Abe,

I think Krugman's column is a response to Frank Rich's on Sunday.

Seriously, though, he can go eat a dick.

Posted by ben | February 11, 2008 2:04 AM


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 5:24 AM
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Mr. Krugman, you are a hack. Kindly go fuck yourself, then drown in your own urine.

Posted by Abe | February 11, 2008 1:51 AM


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 5:25 AM
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LOL ben. They're really crazy at talk left aren't they? It's because they are low information voters and that's why they support Hillary. That explains why everything they say is wild and crazy. Obama supporters are high info voters, and that's why we are smarter and know more than them. Simple equation. Obama supporters smarter than Hillary supporters.

Posted by TLM | February 11, 2008 12:13 AM


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 5:28 AM
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Another school of thought says, the 1990s are over, and it's time to bring the country together, to solve problems instead of relentlessly enjoying gutter politics. More than the under-40 creative class appreciates this and it's elitism to suggest otherwise.

Posted by David B. | February 10, 2008 10:40 PM

Glad to hear it, Dave.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 5:31 AM
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Huh, I wonder if this is the same guy by that name who kept accidentally Facebook-friending me.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 5:37 AM
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McManus runs afoul of Kevin's Law.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 5:38 AM
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You've gotten sloppy Bob. No one is actually that hysterical. Not even you.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 5:43 AM
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7: You're not giving them enough credit. This is the midterm election campaign of 2010.

A bunch of guys--some of them perhaps only tenuously connected to the 9/11 attacks--are going to be sentenced to death in a proceeding in which (1) evidence obtained from torture is admissable, (2) the defendants are not permitted to know, much less challenge, all of the evidence against them, (3) and the defendants were not afforded adequate counsel or the right to confront their accusers.

The next administration is going to be left to sort this shitpile out as it crawls through the appellate process, with the GOP going into the 2010 midterms screaming "The liberals are trying to let the murderers of 3,000 Americans off the hook!"


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 5:48 AM
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If you want a picture of the future, imagine Barack Obama's foot stomping on Paul Krugman's face -- forever!


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 5:59 AM
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23:What are you saying, I made the blockquotes up? I will be damned if I am going to embed links for every piece of trash. Look for threads at Yglesias over 100 comments.

Or are you meaning me? I may have to go get Dave Neiwert's bullet points, but I was never worried about fascism during the last 7 years.

The strongest early symptom is a energized enthusiastic youth movement with contempt for their elders, a desire for a "New Politics" and an eliminationist rhetoric.

What the Leader says is almost irrelevant. Fascism is bottom up, not top down.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 6:08 AM
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McManus runs afoul of Kevin's Law.

Comment-trawling in random corners of the internet is all McManus does. Watch out, America - Barack Obama is Satan, because joey3049, infrequent Atrios reader, said so!


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 6:08 AM
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What are you saying, I made the blockquotes up?

I'm talking about 16 dude. A bit heavy handed, even for you.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 6:11 AM
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I think Bob was on stronger ground back when he was arguing about Obama's secret Muslim economics.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 6:13 AM
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27: careful, stras, when I said that, McM went on about feeling threatened. You need to make these comment threads a safe space for...well, whatever.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 6:18 AM
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The strongest early symptom is a energized enthusiastic youth movement with contempt for their elders, a desire for a "New Politics" and an eliminationist rhetoric.

Right--have we forgotten the lessons of the sixties and the grim years of struggle against the youthful fascists that followed?


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 6:19 AM
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7, 24 -- I agree with 24, but the can of worms gets open the minute they indict. Those 6 guys are going to get lawyers -- uniformed officers who are going to take their oaths deadly seriously, despite implications for careers. And the Commission judges have shown they'd rather be seen as Spencer Tracy than Burt Lancaster.

It's a bad system, no doubt about it. But there are elements within the system that mitigate, to a degree, these negative features. (I don't have time to find a link right now, but Jess Bravin's article on this in the WSJ is worth reading.)


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 6:22 AM
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(That is, I don't agree with 24 about the adequacy of the appointed counsel. Those guys really are heroes.)


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 6:24 AM
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Chris sounds like a couple of guys I know, to the extent that many of them went through a must-find-a-wife stage and were far more desperate not to be "that guy" at the bar in his mid-thirties.

31 is just genius. "Never trust anyone over thirty" has turned into "Never trust anyone black/educated/white/rural/female/under 50 who voted for Obama."


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 6:30 AM
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Oh, come on, now, being "that guy" doesn't have to be shameful. You do have to be more judicious about your choice of bars, though.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 6:33 AM
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The occasion of this thread cannot be permitted to pass without linking to this.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 6:35 AM
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Chris's story fills me with sadness more than anything else.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 6:36 AM
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Speaking of Obama, his campaign really seems to be taking the Clinton organization to school lately. The weekend was a bloodbath.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 6:37 AM
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35: Yes, but they were worried about it. They were worried that women would wonder why they were 32 and not married. What was wrong with them? (Usually, nothing.) It's just that we almost never hear about it from guys, but for guys that want to get married, in my experience, there's just as much panicking.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 6:40 AM
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Economists View

anne says... The continual impossible attacks on Hillary Clinton by those who are supposedly hoping for a Democratic Presidency, have made it all but impossible to examine and when seemingly called for to criticize Barack Obama's policy positions and in so doing hope to reshape them. More important though has been the intimidating villifying of Clinton, especially the villifying of Clinton as a woman, that echoes years of such prejudiced and debilitating attacks.

Posted by: anne | Link to comment | February 11, 2008 at 04:21 AM

31:Very very important, and the opposite of fascism, was the fact that the 60s movements did not coalesce around a single charismatic
leader. In fact, it is hard for someone who was actually there rather than reading RFK hagiographies, to name a leader or a half-dozen for the anti-war movement.

Neiwert has many bullet points. The Leader is critical. The Leader really must be somewhat vague and amorphous in his statements, because the connection is emotional rather than intellectual. The goal cannot be something as definable as "ending the war" It must be something like "Hope" or "A Better Tomorrow."


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 6:45 AM
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It's funny how all this ridiculous advice ignores the fact that there are also men who really, really, desperately want to get married and have children.

apart from the "Chris" bits, yes it does.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 6:45 AM
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Those 6 guys are going to get lawyers -- uniformed officers who are going to take their oaths deadly seriously, despite implications for careers.

No disrespect was intended to the men and women who will advocate for the accused. What I meant by "inadequate counsel" is that the administration has overlooked no opportunity to hamstring the defense. Having failed in their initial attempt to deny the accused legal representation at all (by attempting to substitute "assistants" who were expressly prohibited from acting as advocates for the accused and with whom communications were not privileged), the administration has stacked the deck against the defense JAGs with undisguised threats of career reprisals, restrictions on contact with their clients, denial of necessary resources such as translators, limitations on sharing evidence with the accused, etc.

It is no knock against the defense lawyers to say that no adequate defense is possible in these circumstances.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 6:46 AM
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39: iiinteresting. I thought men's greater reproductive flexibility would blunt that a bit.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 6:46 AM
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I thought men's greater reproductive flexibility would blunt that a bit.

Men still get old and ugly, even when their gonads keep working.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 6:48 AM
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They do, stras, as I know all too well, but (my anecdata suggest) guys can be, say, in their late 30s and still think, plausibly, that they'll meet someone and have kids, where for women that's a time of increasing risk. My thought is just that the window stays open longer for men.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 6:51 AM
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Men still get old and ugly, even when their gonads keep working.

I was about to write "Speak for yourself, stras," and then I realized this would convey an unintended ambiguity.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 6:51 AM
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40: We should totally set up a McmanusBot that randomly reposts negative comments about Obama supporters from other blogs, followed by dark speculation about crypto-fascism and the '68 convention.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 6:51 AM
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My thought is just that the window stays open longer for men.

Certainly to the extent that income is a proxy for marriageability in men and youthful beauty is a proxy for marriageability in women*, it makes sense that men's peak earning years (45-55) come later than women's physical peak (20-30).

*I'm not saying this is universally true, or desirable, but no one should deny that there is some truth to this.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 6:53 AM
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47: I prefer the artisanal quality of handmade trolling over any machine-produced product. Veblen would have understood this.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 6:55 AM
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Luddite.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 7:00 AM
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Doesn't "that guy" no longer go to bars but instead trolls for wives on the internet, specifically EHarmony?


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 7:05 AM
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I prefer the artisanal quality of handmade trolling over any machine-produced product.

Does "trolling" imply that you don't actually believe the statement? Or is it just that you're making the statement--which you may believe is true--for reasons unrelated to convincing someone that it's true? I was never really clear on this.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 7:08 AM
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43: One must control for them being my nerdy undergraduate friends, which makes them now successful lawyers and businessmen, but also largely Catholic. Which probably knocks about ten years off of most calculations like this. Still, even with the adjustment for that set of neuroses, they're the ones that are worried, not my girlfriends.

The thinking of the guys goes: We're successful! We have money! We have no women! Maybe women can smell the nerdiness on us! Maybe they know!


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 7:10 AM
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Hey, I've got a trollish opinion to give, and I haven't read the article or threads:

Every day of your marriage is going to be a compromise anyway, so why not do a little compromising before the wedding, too.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 7:16 AM
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Cala, that reminds me of a guy I knew in grad school. Even though he wanted to meet the Catholic ladies, he would never go to the campus Newman Center because he insisted on a more conservative church nearby, where he met a lot of old widows.

52: that's a good question. I think that our concept of trolling has vague boundaries.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 7:16 AM
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Does "trolling" imply that you don't actually believe the statement?

I think one can be sincere and argue in good faith, and still be a troll. At Redstate, I suspect it would be trolling to say "Lowering tax rates in the U.S. generally lowers tax revenue."


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 7:17 AM
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To expand on 56: I think the questioning of shared community assumptions is at the root of trolling - obligating people to argue about things that are widely seen as settled matters.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 7:21 AM
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I think trolling has something to do with making a comment more to get a rise out of someone than to engage in some kind of good-faith exchange of ideas.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 7:23 AM
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55: The weird thing is that none of them are particularly strict Catholics. It's a combination of the usual post-education "now where the hell am I supposed to meet people" problem plus some vestigial Catholicism that lowers the expected age of marriage about three years.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 7:23 AM
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58: You'll take that back when you see Michelle's beaten, swollen face! Snarf.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 7:24 AM
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Does the reasonableness of the shared community assumptions play a role here? It doesn't seem to me that saying "Lowering tax rates in the U.S. generally lowers tax revenue" should count as trolling anywhere. The problem lies on the side of the community, not the poster.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 7:24 AM
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One guy I dated was especially aggressive about pursuing me, in a way I should have been more suspicious about. At some point, he explained that he had only really had one long-termish relationship before, with a young woman who dumped him because her mother had a long talk with her saying, "He seems like a perfectly nice guy, but you have to wonder about someone who's thirty-five and never been in a long-term relationship before."

He told me this story like, "Isn't that ridiculous? How am I supposed to ever get married and have kids if that's how women think about men who haven't already been in LTRs?" and I was thinking, "Ah! I'm safe and won't actually be trapped in a long-term relationship! Woo-hoo!"

Yes, I had told him I didn't plan on marrying. He was hoping I'd get old enough to feel the pull to want to.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 7:27 AM
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All these relationship anecdotes are making me sad, sad, sad.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 7:28 AM
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The problem lies on the side of the community, not the poster.

The problem lies in the relationship of the poster to the community.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 7:29 AM
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bob, I think there's an inherent problem with saying:

1. Obama supporters are mean to Hillary because
2. they are a bunch of proto-fascists.

Seems like sort of a pot-and-kettle thing going on here.

Everybody gets a little excited about candidates they favor, compared to candidates they are against. The proto-fascists ain't in the Democratic Party, though.

(I do share your concern about the Humphrey-ization of Hillary. But then, I think the Humphrey-ization of Humphrey was a bad idea, too. Not everyone agrees.)

Also: I don't doubt that Krugman has had a hard time of it for his modest questioning of Obama's program. When he says that most of the nastiness he sees comes from the Obama camp, I have no doubt that this is simply a factual statement.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 7:31 AM
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I agree with m. leblanc above that lots and lots of dudes are super-invested in the marriage/kids thing, but people talk about it less as a male stereotype because their #1 strategy seems to be finding a woman who wants none of that and waiting them out over the course of a protracted, loveless relationship, prolonged unnaturally by the formation of relationship-centric social ties and obligations.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 7:32 AM
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I posted on McMegan's site intermittently for awhile, until I realized that her priors were so different than mine, and I was so dubious about her approach and presentation, that anything I said there would be trolling, and not fun trolling either.

Trolling people I have some common ground with and some respect for is much more gratifying.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 7:34 AM
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63: would fighting with mcmanus make you feel better, stras? I know it's generally tiresome and pointless, but just this once maybe it'd be okay.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 7:38 AM
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I've come around to the point of view that I've been an unintentional troll before; hence my conviction that intent ought to be removed from the definition.

I think that in any online community, you'll see a tug-of-war among participants that is, in part, designed to define what constitutes trolling.

This is just an extension of normal adult social practice: There are perfectly reasonable things that one does not say in some groups.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 7:40 AM
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You're also encouraging trolling as we speak, pf.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 7:42 AM
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66: I agree with your & m. leblanc's observations, but I don't find that strategy to be universal. Most of my friends have gone through a pattern of holding onto one relationship well past its expiration date, usually because of mutual friends, and then going through a short cranky/rebound period, then dating a number of people quickly before settling (ah, ah, ah!) on the person they end up marrying. If one person is marriage-minded and the other isn't, it tends to break up quickly.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 7:43 AM
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I've lost my love for pig-wrestling, Sifu.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 7:44 AM
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But if pig-wrestling gets desperate, it might still marry me.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 7:44 AM
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Yeah, I don't think the strategy tends to be very effective.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 7:46 AM
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and then going through a short cranky/rebound period, then dating a number of people quickly before settling (ah, ah, ah!) on the person they end up marrying.

You say that like it's the end of the process. Wait ten years and watch it repeat.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 7:48 AM
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When he says that most of the nastiness he sees comes from the Obama camp, I have no doubt that this is simply a factual statement.

Right, because it's the Obama staffers who've been caught forwarding emails about how Clinton is a secret Muslim.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 7:51 AM
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Clearly, pig-wrestling and I are in for a post-breakup rebound.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 7:52 AM
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70: Unintentionally !!


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 7:54 AM
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76: I intended to make a much more limited claim - just that I bet Krugman has personally caught a lot more shit from Obama's supporters.

To the extent that the campaign has been a nasty campaign, the bulk of the nastiness from a campaign has come from Clinton's camp. So I agree with you.

In addition to falsely generalizing his own experience, Krugman errs because he conflates the media (and its nastiness toward Hillary) with supporters of Obama.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 7:59 AM
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Sadly, some of my ideas about marriage and child rearing have gotten more traditional as I've gotten a bit older. My criteria have narrowed instead of expanding. In my case I think that's just being realistic.

The kind of person I'd be willing to marry if we don't plan on having kids is different from the standards I'd have if we do. I'd really need a lot of help to manage a household adequately. That means that I'd probably need a full-time nanny and someone to clean the house a couple of times a week. Given my temperament, I'm unlikely to be able to earn that kind of money myself, so I'd have to marry somebody pretty damn financially secure. Probably the ideal mate would be somebody working a 50 hour week with some independent source of income too.

Those are pretty narrow criteria, and it's really quite likely that I'll never find someone like that to have kids with, but that would be okay. Part of me would probably like to have kids, but I know that I shouldn't absent a ton of help. If we aren't going to have children, then I can be a lot more flexible.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 8:20 AM
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What is the etymology of "troll", anyway? Does it allude to the ugly creatures that hide under bridges and waylay the unwary? Or to "trolling" for fish with a hook and line off the back of a boat? Or something else entirely (cf. cerf/surf)?


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 8:24 AM
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Trolling for fish, I believe. The fish are people who respond to your comments seriously.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 8:25 AM
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my ideas about marriage and child rearing have gotten more traditional as I've gotten a bit older....I'd probably need a full-time nanny and someone to clean the house a couple of times a week. Given my temperament, I'm unlikely to be able to earn that kind of money myself, so I'd have to marry somebody pretty damn financially secure.

Careful, BG, I think that's how Caitlin Flanagan started out.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 8:28 AM
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83: I know, it's absolutely terrifying.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 8:34 AM
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I can barely manage being married. Putting a small person in that mix would just be a bad idea.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 8:34 AM
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1) I have not been involved at all in the last four threas.

2) I did have something worthless to say on-topic in this thread, but was taken aback by washerdryer's off-topic post at #6.

3) WD might not have been trolling in that it might be a shared assumption in this community that Paul Krugman is a deranged dishonest Clinton hack without integrity or credibility, using his platform to destroy Obama out of a personal and unprofessional, and utterly baseless animosity.

If No 3 is a shared assumption or prior of the Unfoggedetariat, and I had understood that contempt for Paul Krugman was a pre-requisite for commenting, than I would indeed have been trolling.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 8:36 AM
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Cala is only interested in threesomes with tall people. Gotcha.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 8:37 AM
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Vote Clinton... or you hurt Saint Krugman's feelings.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 8:39 AM
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Krugman is a hero and Frank Rich is a hack, but I guess I haven't stared at Hypnotoad long enough to realize that Krugman is always right, and never, ever motivated by personal animus.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 8:42 AM
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And this, of course, was McManus's first post in this thread, driven by nothing more than a desire to defend Professor Krugman's virtue:

I look forward to the Obammers celebrating with the torturers and liars and tax-cutters and mass-murderers and old-worlders over the conquest and destruction of the mutual enemy, Hillary Rodham Clinton. After all, the war is all her fault.

Yes, I am discouraged and sad and bitter. For Obama will give George and Laura big hugs and smiles and handshakes on inauguration day, as he sets to work with his friends in the Republican Congress to destroy the true problem of America, that scourge of dirty fucking hippies and vicious partisan Democrats.

Morning in America again.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 8:43 AM
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86:Fuck. Washerdreyer is at 8, not 6.

Part of the question, I suppose only for me, is how so many people I have respected in the past have become willing to make grossly slanderous statements about Paul Krugman, to whit, that Paul Krugman has let a personal animosity toward Obama destroy a reputation for integrity he has spent a lifetime building.

It is a puzzlement.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 8:44 AM
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Primary season makes me sad, because it makes everyone crazy. Reading the comment threads at liberal weblogs becomes very painful.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 8:47 AM
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85: if you wait a while, the marriage will start working smoother and then you can have some small people. (If that is what you want.)

The advice I'm planning on giving my kids is

(1) Date someone for at least a year before moving in with them
(2) Live with them at least a year before getting engaged
(3) Be engaged at least a year before getting married.
(4) Be married at least three years before having kids.
(5) Don't even think about starting the whole process until you are 25.

Molly and I actually rushed (1) and (2), but things worked out anyway.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 8:49 AM
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The kind of person I'd be willing to marry if we don't plan on having kids is different from the standards I'd have if we do. I'd really need a lot of help to manage a household adequately. That means that I'd probably need a full-time nanny and someone to clean the house a couple of times a week.

Alternatively, you adjust your standards about what a clean house means. I suspect that having kids gets scarier as you get older.

When you are young, you are idealistic (or stupid) and have no idea about money and what kids do to you. As you get older, you realize how expensive and time consuming the little rug rats are.

The truth is that you survive and adjust.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 8:49 AM
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After a few days here trying to inspire intelligent, issue-centered discussion on Obama/Hillary, Ari posted this request on his site:

I'm curious to see endorsements for both candidates. Come to think of it, I'd like to read the most interesting endorsements for any of the candidates who have been or still are in the race, Democrats or Republicans.

Outrageous!


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 8:50 AM
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91: Dude, bob, w/d just pointed out that Krugman made a claim and didn't back it up with any kind of evidence.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 8:50 AM
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90:Well, what sort of conclusion should I draw from the fact that hundreds of people who 2 years ago considered Paul Krugman a "hero" and nearly the most honest man in journalism have suddenly decided he is a man who works out his personal grudges in his column, and disingenuously.

I suppose it would be possible that those hundreds of very intelligent respectable people are correct, and Paul Krugman has morphed into Bill Kristol or David Brooks.

Or perhaps those hundreds of people, in some sort of group interaction, have had their individual judgement impaired. And what could have affected so many people? And what sort of group interaction leads people to attack what were their most loyal allies? Etc Etc. There is a logical chain here.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 8:51 AM
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Yeah. Semi-troll. This one brought out the assholes in full force at volokh, with the kick-off from Eugene himself in reasonotroll mode.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 8:51 AM
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I will add to 93:

6. Marry the right person.
7. Only birth the well-behaved children.
8. Learn to compromise on the things that don't matter. (ie everything)
9. Sleep is not that important.
10. A little drink at night can help the day seem much better.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 8:52 AM
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I hate to break it to you, Bob, but Saint Paul of Krugman hasn't exactly spent a lifetime fighting as some lion of the left. He was and is an economic neoliberal whose tone - not his politics - became considerably more strident and partisan with the ascent of Bush II. (See also: Brad DeLong.) He's not some benchmark of liberal purity, or the Pope of the Left, handing down infallible pronouncements on progressive policy. He's a centrist economist who had the good sense, several years ago, to take Bush to task on war and tax policy when very few others with his platform were doing so.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 8:53 AM
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I can barely manage being married. Putting a small person in that mix would just be a bad idea.

"A baby is a hand grenade tossed into the middle of a relationship" -- Nora Ephron.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 8:53 AM
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Saint Paul of Krugman hasn't exactly spent a lifetime fighting as some lion of the left.

WHAT? (bursts into tears and flees the room)


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 8:56 AM
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99: See, I thought I was giving workable advice that would actually substitute for a principle like (6).


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 8:56 AM
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Helpychalk gives great advice in #2 & #3.


It takes two solid years to know exactly how annoying the other person will be. (or you will be.)


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 8:58 AM
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90:Well, what sort of conclusion should I draw from the fact that hundreds of people who 2 years ago considered Paul Krugman a "hero" and nearly the most honest man in journalism have suddenly decided he is a man who works out his personal grudges in his column, and disingenuously.

The conclusion you should draw, Bob, is that your perception of the "facts" may be somewhat clouded. Deep breaths.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 8:59 AM
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I know we have plenty of time, but thinking of myself as a first-time mom at 32 just seems so much older than my mental image has it. My mother was on her fourth kid by then. My mental image is stupid, but it is becoming stupider because all my friends are having babies.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 8:59 AM
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I think trolling has something to do with making a comment more to get a rise out of someone than to engage in some kind of good-faith exchange of ideas.

zomg i'm a total troll!!!1


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 9:00 AM
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Alternatively, you adjust your standards about what a clean house means. I suspect that having kids gets scarier as you get older.

Will, I'm really a slob, and I have a terrible time organizing physical space. My standards are basically not having a ton of dishes piling up in the sink, no fruit flies over rotting fruit, and you shouldn't be able to rub dirty soap scummy stuff off the bathtub when you take a bath. I am not talking about keeping an immaculate house. There should also be enough food in the house to feed the little people consistently. I often don't manage to feed myself properly. Being responsible for a littler person (I'm pretty small myself) is a pretty scary thought. One of my friends pointed out to me that kids are fairly stressful, and I know that you're well aware of that, Will.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 9:00 AM
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Will in 99: 9. Sleep is not that important.

See, this is flatly false. I am quite dangerous after a few days of sleep deprivation, where sleep deprivation is defined as less than six hours of sleep. Sometimes it hits on the very first day, but if I only get 4 hours of sleep one night, I will certainly feel it a day later.

I am much more impaired when I'm tired than when I'm tipsy from alcohol.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 9:03 AM
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I hate to break it to you, Bob, but Saint Paul of Krugman hasn't exactly spent a lifetime fighting as some lion of the left.

It's a measure of how much the U.S. has changed that Krugman really is, in 2008, some kind of out-there leftist. He certainly hasn't changed.

But stras, you omit the fact that Krugman's shots at Obama - which primarily involve healthcare - come from Obama's left.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 9:04 AM
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106: My great grandmother had her only child at 40.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 9:04 AM
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93 is great advice, although R moved in with me when she was only 23, and we seem to have worked out OK.

*knock wood*


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 9:05 AM
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Bostoniangirl, you're fine. My wife manages to not starve our kids when I'm not around, and she made a pretty good attempt at living exclusively off of cold cereal in college.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 9:06 AM
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108:

I dont think the slob part matters, BG. I am a messy, messy person who comes from messy, messy people. As far as food, the buggers learn to eat by themselves fairly soon.

The stress part is another story. I am surprised that more of us do not kill our children. Respite, family, neighbors, and alcohol really help. Plus, kids learn to play with other kids and give you a break.

In all seriousness, it isn't that bad.

I am not suggesting that it is bad to not want kids. I strongly believe that we pressure people too much to have kids.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 9:06 AM
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Having kids is a big nonlinearity in one's life. It is very difficult to say ex ante how you'll find it. In particular, trying to see how the kid would fit into your present everyday life is a mistake. So are efforts to generalize from facts about oneself like "I really need 8 hours of sleep a night" or "I like to watch a lot of movies" or "I can't work before eleven."

The upside to this uncertainty is that if you can justify having kid in the abstract, it'll likely be much better than you imagined. This is because the general negatives of having a kid -- sleeplessness, extra work, diapers, etc -- are much more estimable ex ante than the positives. This is because the negatives one can envision in the abstract carry over well to reality, but many of the positives you think about only become viscerally apparent when you have your own, personal, actual real best baby ever.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 9:07 AM
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There is only one Lion of the Left Judah. Krugman ain't it.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 9:15 AM
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115: So having kids is like being paralyzed, in that one is unable to estimate accurately one's happiness after the event?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 9:18 AM
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Hooray for babies!


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 9:19 AM
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I have really mixed feelings about urging people to reproduce. One the one hand, it makes no political or moral sense to feel an obligation to reproduce. There are too many people already.

On the other hand, I have a very visceral, personal feeling that you miss out on some important part of what it means to be a human being if you don't reproduce. We are mammals. We should bear our young alive and suckle them at our breasts (or at least, tend the fire and cook the mammoth meat while the women folk suckle the babies at their breasts.)

When Molly was in labor with Caroline we had to walk outside from one building to another at the birthing center. When we stepped out the door, a neighborhood dog joined us and escorted us all the way to our destination.

I like to think that she just recognized a fellow mammal doing what mammals do, and wanted to help out.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 9:20 AM
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will and Gonerill describe my experience, also. Before my first was born, a friend said: "You won't even remember what it was like before." This was true.

Having kids is a big nonlinearity in one's life.

As Gonerill proposes, I certainly underestimated both the degree to which this was true, and the degree to which I would be able to cope.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 9:21 AM
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So having kids is like being paralyzed, in that one is unable to estimate accurately one's happiness after the event?

No having kids is like smelling of sour milk and poop most of the time, and noticing around 4:30pm that you've had a piece of banana on your shirt collar all day.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 9:21 AM
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117 sounds about right.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 9:21 AM
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of course 122 was the perspective of another outsider, Cala


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 9:22 AM
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I am much more impaired when I'm tired than when I'm tipsy from alcohol.

I think we have our solution!

Gonerill is correct. Having children is far better that people imagine. The horrible things from the outside are really not that horrible. My daughter is a pain in the butt a lot of the time. But, wow, is she ever worth it! One little goofy grin makes me forget the entire day of opening every drawer in the house in a mad desperate search for markers.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 9:22 AM
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No having kids is like smelling of sour milk and poop most of the time, and noticing around 4:30pm that you've had a piece of banana on your shirt collar all day.

You're not really selling it to me, Gonerill.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 9:23 AM
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Wittgenstein, PI II 223:

"If a lion were to talk, he would say 'Mmmmm.... tasty looking!', and we would be wrongly offended."


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 9:25 AM
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It's a measure of how much the U.S. has changed that Krugman really is, in 2008, some kind of out-there leftist. He certainly hasn't changed.

I don't think this is quite true -- read "Peddling Prosperity" (from the mid-90s), and you'll see a guy saying:

1. Reagonomics is a crock.
2. But even that didn't hurt the economy too much.
3. Clintonomics -- the idea that the country is like a big coprporation -- is bogus too.
4. Basically, politicians on both sides need to sell a message to the voters, while real economists try to understand complex issues that don't lend themselves as well to political campaign slogans.

This deliberate evenhandedness has gone out the window with the Bush years. As a side note, I don't find Krugman's attacks on Obama convincing at all.


Posted by: Barbar | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 9:25 AM
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I have really mixed feelings about urging people to reproduce. One the one hand, it makes no political or moral sense to feel an obligation to reproduce. There are too many people already.

On the other hand, I have a very visceral, personal feeling that you miss out on some important part of what it means to be a human being if you don't reproduce.

Rob really nails my feelings on this issue. I appreciate my time away from my kids. But, my kids are my major source of meaning in my life.

Brandi never wanted kids. She still doesn't want to birth kids. She is freaky neat, easily stressed, and never had a maternal urge. When we met, she only had beer in her fridge.

But, she would tell you that my kids have added tremendous value to her life.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 9:27 AM
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Given my temperament, I'm unlikely to be able to earn that kind of money myself, so I'd have to marry somebody pretty damn financially secure. Probably the ideal mate would be somebody working a 50 hour week with some independent source of income too.

My thoughts on mates exactly, especially the independent income part.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 9:28 AM
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So some of you want a guy with a trust fund, who will help with the kids, but is not a douchebag. Have you tried the park? He probably goes there in his spare time to ride unicorns.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 9:30 AM
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You're not really selling it to me, Gonerill.

OK, how about this pitch.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 9:34 AM
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Which one is you, Gonerill?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 9:39 AM
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If I wanted to desperately enough, I could start hanging around provate clubs and the like. I was somewhere recently where I was asked whether I needed to work or if I had an independent income.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 9:39 AM
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Feed me.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 9:39 AM
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So some of you want a guy with a trust fund

A bit of advice.

A high earner is better than a trust fundie.

Earnings get divided in divorce. In Virginia, a trust fund would not.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 9:40 AM
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If I wanted to desperately enough, I could start hanging around provate clubs and the like. I was somewhere recently where I was asked whether I needed to work or if I had an independent income.

Wow, you ive in the 19th century?


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 9:41 AM
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Other people's kids (as demonstrated by the Filckr links) are cute, but I don't want to birth my own. And I agree with will's Brandi - I don't feel any maternal instinct, but I could see dating someone with kids and becoming attached to them. I've also thought about adopting, if I feel like I missed out on having kids when I am older.


Posted by: pasdquoi | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 9:41 AM
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131: You need a nickel or pencil in "grinner" for scale. That kid looks tiny, as if he's sitting in your shirt pocket. Cute, though.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 9:41 AM
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I think we have our solution!

My Dad's tried the alcohol solution; it didn't work out so well.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 9:42 AM
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Pasdquoi:

Forget adopting. What skills do you bring to the table? BR and I have some room.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 9:42 AM
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BG:

I regretted that as soon as I posted it.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 9:43 AM
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It's a good thing shivbunny doesn't read this blog because he would be asking for a moratorium on cute baby pictures on the grounds that I start making little whimpering noises about how cute babies are.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 9:44 AM
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Um, no skills? Although my nephews were highly impressed with my Wii ability.


Posted by: pasdquoi | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 9:44 AM
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That kid looks tiny

He's in one of those giant running strollers.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 9:45 AM
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Gonerill, the person whose guest I was was so rich that he had never needed to work, and I was at a concert at a private club. This was a more bohemian club, so there was a mix of people, but there were plenty of people who were about to head south for the winter. One couple was heading down to South Carolina, and they'd had a private concert in their house; they'd put the musicians up in their guest house.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 9:45 AM
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Have kids early; that way they're out of the house while you're still young.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 9:45 AM
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143:

So you have a Wii???? Sweet!


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 9:46 AM
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Have kids early; that way they're out of the house while you're still young.

hahahahahaha I never thought you could be so naive. Where is the jaded BPhd that I love???


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 9:47 AM
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What is exactly is Wii? My church is hosting a game night, and they recently purchased a guitar hero and a Wii. I only learned about guitar hero this past Thanksgiving, but I'm still behind teh times in not knowing what Wii is. Is it pronounced like "We."


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 9:48 AM
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141: No worries, Will.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 9:49 AM
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"Wii" is pronounced "I can't believe you have a Wii! Awesome!"


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 9:49 AM
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146: Yeah, that argument always sounds good: Have kids early, you'll be broke but have more energy and in your forties/fifties they'll be gone and you can do what you want. Sort of like if you didn't have them at all. Except that way you have your 20s and 30s too. And less with the penury.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 9:50 AM
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and in your forties/fifties they'll be gone and ,,

This part is also probably wishful thinking.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 9:51 AM
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Wii's a video game console, and it's awesome, and I have one, and I have no time to play.

||
Writing this chapter would be easier if my interlocutors weren't making such stupid arguments.
|>


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 9:52 AM
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86.2 I don't in general abide by any standard of topicality at unfogged, but of course will with regards to Becks' request, though I can't resist responding to some of the rest of this thread.

One of the problems with this is that he'll end up hurting his credibility on the mandate point by making it look personal.

I stated that too passively. What I should have said is that when I cite to Krugman's criticism's of his health care plan as the main thing I'm worried about with Obama, my friends who don't follow politics for fun and who more closely (though not that closely) fit the mold of the stereotypical Obama supporter (think that he'll usher in a new era of good feelings, that there's something very important about not taking money from lobbyists and PACs, etc.) don't give Krugman the credibility I'd like them to, and this column, which contains an unsupported attack, isn't going to help.

But now that I know that a bunch of Yglesias commenters said stupid things in reaction to this column, I realize what a fool I've been. There's no reason that Krugman would see most of the venom coming from Sen. Obama supporters other than it being objectively the case that that's where it came from. It couldn't be that given Krugman's demographic profile he's going to run into a good deal more Sen. Obama supporters than Sen. Clinton, and given that he's a prominent liberal who's been writing negative columns about Sen. Obama, some of them are going to react poorly and attack him.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 9:55 AM
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Writing this chapter would be easier if my interlocutors weren't making such stupid arguments

That's a section heading right there.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 9:55 AM
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149: Yes, pronounced "we." It is the newest Ninetendo gaming system - much more interactive than your normal games. You play by using a remote pointed at the TV, so many of the games mimick real life. You swing your arm to bowl, play baseball, golf, etc. just like you would normally. More fun than just pushing buttons.

However, Guitar Hero is also awesome. Except the crappy songs get stuck in my head.


Posted by: pasdquoi | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 9:56 AM
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This thread has been derailed now by babies, not politics.

Devil baby in the tub!


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 9:57 AM
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Rock Band is even more fun than Guitar Hero.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 9:58 AM
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I think that I need one of these Wii to improve my visual-spatial capabilities.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 9:59 AM
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Writing this chapter would be easier if my interlocutors weren't making such stupid arguments

I find the hardest part of that kind of discussion is proving to the reader that, yes, the person I'm arguing against really is that stupid. I'm not attacking a straw person here. This is a published argument with a hole you can drive a semi through.

One of the nicest compliments I ever got on a paper I wrote was "You know, sometimes you just have to shoot fish in a barrel. There sitting there, and no one has shot them yet."


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 9:59 AM
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I had a weird time dating someone with kids for two years. It was really obvious what an odd trade-off it was. When they were around, it was constantly stressful. On one hand, they were the most adorable and adoring little guys I'd ever met, and they fought one another and their father for my affection and attention. They loved asking me questions and getting me to read them things. I have a few tear-inducing memories of things like the Christmas morning when the seven-year-old came and woke me up at 5am because he just couldn't sleep and wanted me to read sentimental kids' books with him under the covers. One of them was so disturbingly touching that both of us started crying and couldn't stop. "This is my favorite book," he sniffed. "It's just for special occasions."

Stuff like that really does get me---I'm not made of stone. But most of the time, having them around was just battle after battle about everything---cajoling them to put coats on or stop whining or not throw food into the fireplace or quit hitting one another in the head with sticks. I really don't think I could stand that all the time. Not just the stressful part, but the emotional up-and-down of it---even a handful of visits with them a month was a lot more stimulating than I could reasonably take. It felt like being bipolar or something, and I couldn't get used to it.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 9:59 AM
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AWB, I did the same thing for a while (dated a parent) and your description is just about spot-on for me.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 10:02 AM
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161: It's more like 'yes, yes, you scored a little-bitch point against the big bad van In/wagen, while completely missing the larger point which has survived largely unscathed, and me pointing that out is boring, and you've given me no good hook for this argument, nor any help in figuring out what my position will be, because you are a little bitch.'


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 10:02 AM
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Have you tried the park? He probably goes there in his spare time to ride unicorns.

Chris Abraham "was found in the company of a brood of Unicorns and is believed to have been bred for his skills in magic."


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 10:02 AM
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I want to try Rock Band, but I only know one distant acquaintance who has it. It would be kind of like showing up at the neighborhood kid's house you didn't really like just to use their swimming pool.


Posted by: pasdquoi | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 10:03 AM
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You've given me no good hook for this argument, nor any help in figuring out what my position will be, because you are a little bitch

Topic sentence.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 10:04 AM
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It was really weird when Max pointed out that his older boy (who looks a lot like him) kept appearing in photographs making a face that is unique to me. There he'd be, in Venice, sitting on a bench, pursing his lips in thought in the AWBish way. I think it freaked Max out.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 10:05 AM
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I think it freaked Max out.

I think this can make dating between a parent & non-parent quite strange. It's not quite all or nothing, but there is a space between `casual date' and `serious' that is really hard to stay in if the kid(s) are around.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 10:09 AM
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||
Oh my god, we have just considered the possible world in which A Study in Scarlet is composed by chimpanzees. I hate this field sometimes.
|>

A friend who is dating a parent has found that the trickiest part of the relationship is how much the kid treats her as a stepmom. Someone he's supposed to listen to and rebel against, and it's hard to figure that out.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 10:15 AM
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I couldn't read the whole Gottlieb piece—my eyes started rolling uncontrollably when she dragged in Friends—but she seems awfully glib about the prospect of post-settling divorce. I know several people with little kids who are getting divorced or have recently done so, and Christ almighty what a nightmare. You think your life sucks because you yearn for spouse and family? Just you wait.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 10:16 AM
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This was a more bohemian club
Sorry, no women allowed at the Bohemian Club. Actually, exclusively male is only for the summer encampment at the Bohemian Grove, and I don't think your are in San Francisco anyway.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 10:16 AM
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The kids were really sweet to me, in part because I wasn't around all the time, but they wanted me there as a stepmom figure and neither M nor I could handle that kind of relationship with each other. They never got as much access to me as they wanted. In some sense, this was the right way to do it, I think, rather than my always being there and being some kind of fake parent. I don't do parenting convincingly.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 10:19 AM
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I start making little whimpering noises about how cute babies are.

My 3 year old grandnephew does that. He spends lots of time with his mom, his grandma, his great-aunt, and his female cousin. He also does it with puppies and kitties and baby chicks and anything tiny. And he has a little tea-set he plays with.

When he was about 12 the son of one of my friends started saving the clothes he grew out of for his own future son.

In species where males parent the young, male prolactin levels are high. This is true of many species, even including one fish species.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 10:20 AM
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Oh my god, we have just considered the possible world in which A Study in Scarlet is composed by chimpanzees. WTF? They give them money for this?


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 10:21 AM
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Stuff like that really does get me---I'm not made of stone. But most of the time, having them around was just battle after battle about everything---cajoling them to put coats on or stop whining or not throw food into the fireplace or quit hitting one another in the head with sticks. I really don't think I could stand that all the time. Not just the stressful part, but the emotional up-and-down of it---even a handful of visits with them a month was a lot more stimulating than I could reasonably take. It felt like being bipolar or something, and I couldn't get used to it.

I was just laughing at myself, thinking that Brandi will probably post something similar to this after she dumps me.

"Will's kids drove me nuts!"


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 10:21 AM
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Cala, when a writer says "consider a possible world where ...", you always have the option of saying "No."

"No, I will not consider a possible world people grow from people seeds that blow in open windows. I simply cannot form that representation, and I'm not convinced you can either."


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 10:21 AM
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171: Oh yeah, that's a good one too. I've been watching a few meltdowns recently including a siblings (which luckily is working out ok, it seems).

What depresses me a bit is that most of the marriages I've been watching come apart recently are ones I expected to come apart for pretty much the reasons they seem to have (who really knows). It's like people are incapable of looking very hard at this part of their lives or something.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 10:21 AM
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Oh my god, we have just considered the possible world in which A Study in Scarlet is composed by chimpanzees.

I'm semi-retired from philosophy-trashing, but thanks for the straight line anyway.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 10:23 AM
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They give them money for this?

In quite astonishing amounts.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 10:24 AM
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But most of the time, having them around was just battle after battle about everything---cajoling them to put coats on or stop whining or not throw food into the fireplace or quit hitting one another in the head with sticks. I really don't think I could stand that all the time.

Oddly, that kind of stuff doesn't even strike me as stressful anymore -- just part of the routine.

You know what's really great, though? Rory and I did the battling thing this morning about a shirt she really wanted to wear but that wasn't dry yet. Man the snarling looks! Then, on the way into school, totally out of nowhere, "Hey, I'm sorry about earlier, Mama. I'll wear that shirt tomorrow." So proud.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 10:25 AM
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173: Again similar to my position in the situation described. But I think in a way it made things worse. I became the adult who was only around for fun stuff, and never the bad guy. So I became some sort of ideal for a parent, which wasn't so good. Daughter of X actually campaigned for our all moving in together, I think in part because of this.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 10:25 AM
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I have a friend here who has a pasture and ten horses and drives her daughters to horse shows, and they still grumble a lot.

Violence is the only language kids understand. That and conditional love punctuated with curses.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 10:27 AM
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Oh my god, we have just considered the possible world in which A Study in Scarlet is composed by chimpanzees.

"It was the best of times, it was the blurst of times? You stupid monkey!"


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 10:28 AM
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I don't see the problem, really. I don't think that a chimpanzee could do "Finnegans Wake", but "A Study in Scarlet" is a fairly straightforward piece of genre fiction.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 10:30 AM
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"It was the best of times, it was the blurst of times? You stupid monkey!"

[signs] "This is the Dickens room, you stupid human! Conan Doyle is three doors down."


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 10:30 AM
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182: Oh yeah. M's kids desperately wanted me to move in and marry their dad, and I think they would have been in for a rude shock. I'd have to have become a disciplinarian, which I'm most emphatically not, and I wouldn't have been nice or good at it. I make a hell of a good playdate, but I need breaks from everyone, no matter how adorable they are.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 10:32 AM
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Consider a world in which Socrates made a habit of buttonholing public intellectuals and asking their opinion on the idea that somewhere a bunch of monkeys might be writing popular fiction.

Would there be any doubt that the Athenians were perfectly justified in taking him out?


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 10:34 AM
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I need breaks from everyone, no matter how adorable they are.

I do not get this comment.

It appears to assume that parents do not want and need breaks too.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 10:36 AM
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"This is the Dickens room, you stupid human! Conan Doyle is three doors down."

See here. High-level Simpsons literacy is a requirement for commenting on blogs, isn't it? Get with the program, foreign person.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 10:38 AM
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It appears to assume that parents do not want and need breaks too.

Or just that they don't consistently get them when needed.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 10:39 AM
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189: Okay, then I need breaks to the extent that cohabitation within any kind of relationship is fairly impossible for me. I respect the fact that parents want and need breaks. For some of us, that want/need is greater than the desire for a family.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 10:39 AM
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I make a hell of a good playdate, but I need breaks from everyone, no matter how adorable they are.

It took a while after shivbunny moved in (like, until last month) for me to feel okay with ignoring him occasionally and going about my usual routine. People are not meant to be around other people 24/7.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 10:50 AM
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93: If you've mostly abided by those rules on your first marriage (up to but not including the kids), can you speed things up for your second?

Ex-wife:

(1) Dated for a year before moving in--if you fudge the numbers.
(2) Five years til engagment
(3) 1 year engagement til wedding
(4) No children.
(5) Process started at 22, not 25. ah well.

Girlfriend:

(1) Dated ten months before moving in this weekend.
(2) Engagement imminent. There is a diamond in the desk drawer, hence the googleproof since she might start reading the blog one of these days.
(3) Who knows? But it's a matter of planning.
(4) I've been told I have 18 months left until she expects to be knocked up.
(5) We're in our early mid thirties.



Posted by: Wr/ngshore | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 10:51 AM
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This whole sequencing nearly assumes pro forma engagements, doesn't it?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 10:54 AM
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engagements s/b proposals


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 10:55 AM
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Hey, congrats, Wrongo.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 10:55 AM
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hence the googleproof since she might start reading the blog one of these days.

Yeah, and if she reads this thread this far, she'll never figure out who wrote 194.

I mean, congrats.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 10:57 AM
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My wife and I didn't live together pre-marriage [not a possibility for 'largely living in different countries' reasons]. We did go out for a couple of years, though. We didn't really get formally engaged, either, and there wasn't really a 'proper' proposal as such [there was a half-arsed attempt at one some time after we'd already discussed a wedding]. We just started planning a wedding.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 10:57 AM
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198: Oh Little Bitch: I don't expect her to read out of idle curiosity, but to SEARCH MY HANDLE, which she knows. Oh, little bitch.

But thanks, all. I bought the rock on a day I was taking the bus, which seemed like an odd choice as I went around town with it in my pocket.


Posted by: Wrongsh/re | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 11:02 AM
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199: It seems to me a lot of people do this now, which is more sensible. The whole engagement thing as a formal process seems at best archaic. Maybe it's just me though. I really dislike the diamond industry (and the wedding industry, for that matter), find the symbolism of formal engagement distasteful, and really don't see the point.

But for all that, congrats W....s....


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 11:03 AM
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Wrongshore: SHould we hold the congrats until she finds this thread says yes?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 11:04 AM
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oops, meant to googleproof 202, but it is funny the other way.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 11:05 AM
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We should hold the congrats until the divorce.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 11:05 AM
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Well, I dunno about anyone else but I was congratulating WS on the shacking up.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 11:05 AM
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I would have been very open to critical stances on the diamond industry, but in neither case was one forthcoming, and it felt cheap to press the issue. That's how they get ya.

For the second time around, I forwent the awkward conversation about "conflict diamonds, corporate manipulation, but I'm not cheap..." and just told her that I want engagement bling too. Sauce for the goose, right?


Posted by: Wr/ngshore | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 11:05 AM
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202: Congrats are for the general climate of success. Anything else would be jinxy.

204 recalls a conversation between two friends of mine:

Cohabiting friend: My girlfriend won't come to couples counseling. She says it's what couples do before they break up.

Married friend: No, that's marriage.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 11:09 AM
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Doh.


Posted by: Wrongshore/// | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 11:09 AM
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You better propose before google indexes this page.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 11:11 AM
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Thanks in advance, Wrongshore!


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 11:12 AM
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That reminds me, will. For no practical reason I was wondering: Can people typically do their own divorce filing (I guess that assumes amicable divorce), and if so -- how often does it happen?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 11:14 AM
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199: We had the formal proposal, but it was just a formality. Engagements should never be a surprise, but that goes doubly so when immigration is involved.

And, awesome, Wrongshore! Are you waiting for Valentine's Day?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 11:14 AM
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Congrats on shacking up, and get moving with the rest of it, dammit! 18 months isn't that long!!


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 11:14 AM
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211: If it's amicable it's quite easy (at least in California). It's called a summary dissolution: you write up a distribution of property, submit to the court, and six months later you're divorced.

212: Not Valentine's Day, just an inspired setting. Also I need to get a physical setting -- I just have the rock.



Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 11:17 AM
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Congrats! Do you know how you're doing it yet?

(The proposal, not the knocking up.)


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 11:17 AM
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Hey, congrats on the general climate of success!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 11:18 AM
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215: How about rollover text at unfogged?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 11:19 AM
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215: No, but I'm guaranteed to improve over the last one. My future ex-wife sat me down at a restaurant (after we'd batted the idea back and forth a couple times) and said, "I think we should get engaged before we start disliking each other again."

She's been meaning to go on a hike soon, so that seems about right. I could hide it in her peanut butter sandwich!


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 11:21 AM
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214: I wish I had a suggestion. Our proposal was such that shivbunny got so nervous and we were so busy visiting his family that he just ended up proposing at the edge of the property between the spruce trees and the canola fields.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 11:22 AM
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Also I need to get a physical setting -- I just have the rock.

Resale value goes down once it's set, you know. Just give her the rock.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 11:23 AM
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I think we should get engaged before we start disliking each other again

translation: run, don't walk.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 11:23 AM
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221: At the time, I was pleased that she'd shown the initiative.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 11:26 AM
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Woo Incorrectshore!


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 11:28 AM
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I could hide it in her peanut butter sandwich!

She might swallow it.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 11:30 AM
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helpy-chalk:
Here are two problems w/the whole 'but but but children will give layers of meaning to your life you cannot now even imagine' that the childfull seem, as a rule of thumb, not to consider when urging that positiion. (1) Maybe, but maybe NOT. There are plenty of parents whose perspective on life was little relevantly altered by the birth of progeny. my own, for instance: narcissits before breeding, narcissts after. And quite short of that extreme, there are plenty of people who while they would make sure their progeny are fed, clothed, who would never deliberately harm said progeny, simply do NOT experience the 'life changing/can't remember my life before' changes so celebrated by some among the childfull. And they make lousy parents because of it; parents whose children end up spending lots of time in therapy as adults (if they can afford it) because on some level they realize that they simply did not hold a life-altering/meaning-changing place of significance in their parents' lives. What you & gonerill can rightly claim is that raising children has changed, for the better, your life in profound ways you couldn't have explained before hand, and still today find difficulty fully articulating. Fine. BUT 2) THAT is true of other things in life. I, for instance, would say that becoming a philosopher has changed everything about my life; that it daily gives my life meaning and I cannot imagine (nor do I wish to do so) what my life would be like without philosophy.


Posted by: femalephilosopher | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 11:30 AM
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Also, I don't offer congratulations in advance of anything - superstitious like that. But best wishes.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 11:31 AM
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female philosopher:

You are right about (1), of course. My attraction to the "children give your life meaning" argument is personal, not rational. And I'm not just held back from giving it by the fact that there are too many people as it is. I am also held back by the fact that plenty of people would be better off not being parents, and I have no way of knowing who they are from the outside.

As for (2), I also think that a fully human life will contain at least a little philosophy of some form.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 11:35 AM
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You know what is annoying though? Parenthood evangelists who tell you that you are, without a doubt, missing out of the most meaningful thing you could do with your life. Risible, sure, but also annoying.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 11:39 AM
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Philosophers agree: philosophy rocks!


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 11:39 AM
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You know what is annoying though? Parenthood evangelists who tell you that you are, without a doubt, missing out of the most meaningful thing you could do with your life. Risible, sure, but also annoying.

For the reasons outlined by Rob, I emotionally believe that non-parents miss out tremendously, but I try not to actually say it out loud.

Of course, I often wonder what non-parents do with their incredible riches.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 11:42 AM
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Sometimes it is just really hard to absorb the idea that the good life for someone else might be radically different than the good life for you.

I feel the same way when Teo mentions that he doesn't listen to music and has no opinions on music. No music!? How can you live!?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 11:43 AM
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For the reasons outlined by Rob, I emotionally believe that non-parents miss out tremendously, but I try not to actually say it out loud.

Sure, I believe this, that they miss something. But anyone with their eyes open and a bit of sense can see that everyone misses out on a lot of things, and some life choices are fairly exclusive of each other.

The annoying thing is the stupidity and/or ignorance of the idea that you somehow have attained deeper insight in your annointed form, so of course know that there is nothing else out there that will be as meaningful for this other person.

It's not annoying at all if someone is saying `hey, this thing is really great for me, and I want you to have really great things too'.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 11:47 AM
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The annoying thing is the stupidity and/or ignorance of the idea that you somehow have attained deeper insight in your annointed form, so of course know that there is nothing else out there that will be as meaningful for this other person.

Soup:

If you knew what I knew, you wouldn't think that.

I kid.

I understand that it is annoying and ignorant. That is why I try not to say it out loud.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 11:50 AM
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I agree with soup.

Also, as a girl, I tend to get disbelief. "You say you don't want kids now, but you will change your mind, etc." Just like the article - I am either lying or in denial.

This is even more annoying when it comes from your mother.


Posted by: pasdquoi | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 11:55 AM
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Also, as a girl, I tend to get disbelief. "You say you don't want kids now, but you will change your mind, etc." Just like the article - I am either lying or in denial.

Brandi gets this all the time. Or when I tell someone that she doesn't want kids, people tell me, "oh, she is just saying that. when you get married, she will want kids."

No. She really does not want them.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 11:56 AM
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As mentioned in another thread, neither of us really like marriage as an institution. We ended up doing it for practical/legal reasons. Neither of us want kids. Despite a lifetime of expressing that she doesn't want kids and doesn't want a big wedding (or to be married at all), when her family found out we had quietly gone and done it (justice of peace, no ceremony, no rings) most of them assumed she was pregnant. I'm pretty sure most of them assume she will be, soon, even if she isn't yet.

It seems to be impossible to get people to believe you on this. It's not like we are that young, either.


Posted by: Abraham Lincoln | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 12:02 PM
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This is even more annoying when it comes from your mother.

Try to think of it this way: your mom loves you *so much* she can't imagine you not having someone in your life that's as important to you as you are to her.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 12:06 PM
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236 - They'll believe you in another few years.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 12:07 PM
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Or that your mother really wants a new baby to snuggle.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 12:08 PM
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Amen, Mr President. They'll believe you about the time she hits menopause, if you're lucky.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 12:11 PM
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My mom has three grandchildren thanks to my younger brother. She has said that she thinks it would be different - she thinks she would feel closer to my children as the children of her daughter than she would to the children of her son. I think this is because my brother and his family live close to my sister-in-law's family, and my sister-in-law turns to her own mother for advice raising the kids. My mom feels she is missing out that way.

Also, she loves babies and children to snuggle, and the more the better.


Posted by: pasdquoi | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 12:14 PM
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Or that your mother really wants a new baby to snuggle.

Honestly, Abe, I think yr folks just need some reassurance that After All They've Done For You, you are still going to give them something in return. Perhaps you can promise, in lieu of grandchildren, to be sure to pick out a really nice old folks home for them.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 12:18 PM
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will : what I, personally, do with my "incredible riches" includes-- gradually paying back a fortune I took out in loans to fund my ivy league undergraduate educatiion that was not paid by some lovely upper-middle-class mummy & daddy or trust fund; financially supporting in on-and-off manner younger siblings and ailing in-laws; paying off my own enormous medical expenses that arose from years of being without meaningful health insurance while going to school on my own financial steam (see above).
I know you meant it innocently enough, but... arg. Lots of important things in life besides children cost a fortune.


Posted by: femalephilosopher | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 12:19 PM
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Try to think of it this way: your mom loves you *so much* she can't imagine you not having someone in your life that's as important to you as you are to her.

This assume that parent-child is the only way to realize that. While plausible I guess, it's hardly knowable.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 12:19 PM
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I know you meant it innocently enough, but... arg. Lots of important things in life besides children cost a fortune.

femalephilosopher:

I am on your side. I fully support the decision not to have kids.

If I wanted to throw out more chum, I would say "the lady doth protest too much methinks."

Rob and I have both said that our feelings are emotional ones. We both have recognized that the decision not to have kids might be the best one for someone else.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 12:36 PM
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Right on, femalephilosopher. I know no one means to be hurtful when they get all "If only you knew the happiness I know, you'd want babies and a spouse too," but it's really annoying. And it's annoying in part because there are times when life would be a fuckload easier with a partner and kids, despite the fact that it would also be a lot harder in ways that some of us can't tolerate. There are times when I come home to an empty apartment and am crushingly lonely, or when I wish I had someone to care for me when I'm ill, or hug me when I'm feeling low. I know when I'm old, being alone will suck a lot. But compared to the manic, labor-intensive craziness of constant relationships, which makes me really deeply unhappy despite a few moments when I'm grateful for it, being lonely works out a lot better for me. That's not an easy decision to arrive at, and it's not a choice without costs. It isn't just selfishness; it's also not wanting to make other people miserable.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 12:59 PM
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oh, c'mon Will. who is protesting too much here? you say that you recognize that the decision you have made might not be right for someone else, and yet in the very next breath, you take that ever so cliched path of implying that we who are childfree and employed must be sitting on fortunes, with the secondary implication that you--in contrast-- are ever SO virtuous, having, of course, sacrificed a fortune to raise children. Surely you recognize that cliche as such?
and btw, are there non-emotional feelings?


Posted by: femalephilosopher | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 1:00 PM
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amen white bear. and thanks.


Posted by: femalephilosopher | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 1:04 PM
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Dude, female philosopher, he isn't saying what you're attributing to him. The man's girlfriend doesn't want kids and he believes her and is okay with that.

Think of it as a grass-is-greener "what do they do with that money and time" rather than "selfish bitch!"


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 1:05 PM
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femalephilosopher:

I am on your side. I was just teasing you.

Plus, I am hardly virtuous.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 1:11 PM
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are ever SO virtuous, having, of course, sacrificed a fortune to raise children.

I'm not attributing this to Will, but I have run into that in exactly so many words before, and it's really, really annoying.

The last time someone pulled that on me, I was single and making an actual salary for the first time in 6 years (i.e. 2 grad degrees). For some reason it came up that we were making about the same amount of money, He started bitching at how unfair the cost of child rearing was, and how it was almost like the universe just handed me an extra $X to have fun with.

I told him that was about 1/10th the opportunity cost of my going to grad school and heading into an area that was nominally helpful to lots of people, rather than stick with what was actually very helpful to me (financially, anyway). So by that accounting he's way better off.

It's pushing things a bit, but I don't think it's really so different. All our choices have implications, after all.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 1:14 PM
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For the record, I think having children is a selfish thing. It is much more selfless to not have kids.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 1:23 PM
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Here are two problems w/the whole 'but but but children will give layers of meaning to your life you cannot now even imagine' that the childfull seem, as a rule of thumb, not to consider when urging that positiion.

"If only you knew the happiness I know, you'd want babies and a spouse too," but it's really annoying.

Nothing like portraying your interlocutors as stuttering idiots who try to enforce their life choices on people to make your argument go through, I guess. I just suggested that it's very difficult to accurately assess how having children will alter your life, which of course is one of the reasons it's often a hard choice. Subsidiary to that, I think that if you can sell it to yourself in the abstract, while being well-informed about the negatives, then your chances of having things work out aren't too bad. But none of this is to say that children are mandatory for a full and meaningful life. Nor is it saying that, once you swallow the red pill, all will be well and the happy life will drop, with the diaper, into your lap.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 1:38 PM
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Gonerill: "Nothing like portraying your interlocutors as stutering idiots..."; "none of this is to say that children are mandatory for a full and meaningful life".
Helpy-Chalk: "On the other hand, I have a very visceral, personal feeling that you miss out on some important part of what it means to be a human being if you don't reproduce."

Nb: 225 was addressed to Helpy-Chalk, your pseduonym was mentioned only towards the end, in the course of saying what both you and he could rightly claim.


Posted by: femalephilosopher | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 1:47 PM
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You are right about (1), of course. My attraction to the "children give your life meaning" argument is personal, not rational. And I'm not just held back from giving it by the fact that there are too many people as it is. I am also held back by the fact that plenty of people would be better off not being parents, and I have no way of knowing who they are from the outside.

I believe he also mentioned having a hard time understand how someone might not enjoy music.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 1:50 PM
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This discussion is fairly humorous. A bunch of people who agree are arguing about whether they agree.

LizardBreath! Are you posting under a new name?!?


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 1:51 PM
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The entire "you should have kids!" discussion is always to be avoided. Once you get to a certain age, there are a bunch of people who cannot have kids.

So I would never suggest that someone should have kids because maybe they cannot have kids.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 1:56 PM
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LizardBreath! Are you posting under a new name?!?

No, but aren't you sweet. Bless your heart.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 1:58 PM
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Helpy-Chalk: "On the other hand, I have a very visceral, personal feeling that you miss out on some important part of what it means to be a human being if you don't reproduce."

Sure, I don't subscribe to that. On the other hand I wouldn't characterize it, as you did, as "but but but children ..." If your interlocutor is not a fool, don't make him sound like one.

your pseduonym was mentioned only towards the end, in the course of saying what both you and he could rightly claim.

You mischaracterize my view in 225. Doing that while also saying I "have difficulty fully articulating" it is a nice touch, btw.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 1:58 PM
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258:

I tease with great affection.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 1:59 PM
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Bless your heart

Southerner? I've only ever heard this said immediately following an insult or a dishing of dirt ("but he just can't hold down a job, bless his heart").


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 2:05 PM
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Grandmothers: My sister is absolutely obsessed with her grandson, but taking care of him more than about 5-6 days a month would be too much. Even two consecutive days can be wearing for her. My own mother took care of my oldest nephew while my son-in-law was in the army, but after that she got the word out that she'd done enough childraising.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 2:06 PM
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I think "bless your heart" is genteel for "fuck you."


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 2:06 PM
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263: From LB maybe--what isn't?--but my grandmother said it all the time in perfect sincerity.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 2:12 PM
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I think that in direct address "Bless your heart" mean something like "You're silly / disappointing / annoying but I still love you".


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 2:14 PM
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Look at the positive side. At least this is not a shotgun wedding, i.e., a matter of wife or death.


Posted by: swampcracker | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 2:19 PM
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I think "bless your heart" is genteel for "fuck you."

I believe that "aren't you sweet" means "fuck you."

"Bless your heart" is the finish contemplated in 265 with maybe a touch of "you really are pathetic."

Of course, I deserved it all.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 2:19 PM
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gonerill:
1) I'm sure you wouldn't characterize the view Helpy-chalk was expressing in his first message the way that I did. I don't agree that it makes Helpy-Chalk sound like a fool. I think my characterization makes it sound like what he was claiming is a cliched bit that those of us who are child-free have heard a million times. We have.
2) I don't characterize your view at all in 225. What I wrote was, "What you & gonerill can rightly claim is that raising children has changed, for the better, your life in profound ways you couldn't have explained before hand, and still today find difficulty fully articulating. Fine." That's to say what *you can* claim, not what you did claim. It presumes only that you were on the side of the childfull who find it a positive experience, and were arguing such on the thread.
3) the "still today find difficulty fully articulating" was a moment of *generosity* on my part; the case you are trying to make would be easier for you to make if you were to successfully pursue an analogy to something like, e.g., virtue the value of which at least arguably can only be fully appreciated from an internal perspective.


Posted by: femalephilosopher | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 2:22 PM
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"childfull" is the creepiest goddamn word


Posted by: felix | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 2:25 PM
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Babies are horrible monster droolbots.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 2:26 PM
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269: no, really, I couldn't eat another bite. The rest of the baby's yours.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 2:29 PM
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271 in a thousand words.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 2:30 PM
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Female phil: you are right, and I shouldn't have made the remark I made.

Basically, I said, "I don't believe this argument, but I'm going to make it anyway, because I feel it strongly." That was one of those cheesy conversational moves where you try to assert something without actually having to take responsibility for defending it. My mistake.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 2:30 PM
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Even if having kids is a bad idea, almost nobody ever says that they regret it. People do love their kids. This is good for the kids; but it shouldn't be persuasive to those who don't want to have kids.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 2:34 PM
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helpy-chalk: I appreciate that, thanks.


Posted by: femalephilosopher | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 2:37 PM
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268:

1) I guess we disagree on the connotations of constructions like "but but but ..." in contexts such as this.

2) While it may be convenient for you to shift the goalposts in this way, you really don't offer any reasons why I should accept your characterization of "what I can claim" in this sense.

3) "a moment of *generosity* on my part" -- I really don't think so. And you still seem to want to insist that I was saying that the features I identified about the decision to have a child (or the subsequent experience) are unique to that decision.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 2:37 PM
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Why does this have to be so contentious? People, babies are gross and disgusting. We can all agree on this.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 2:40 PM
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273: Hey, thanks, Rob. (I'm not femalephilosopher.) I have to admit that, as a woman without a child myself, and having heard all my life the suggestion that I'm therefore terminally unfulfilled and must be soul-crushingly sad, I cringed a bit when I read your original comment -- though I noted your "this is emotional, not rational" caveat. It is a bit difficult when one encounters actual *pity* from some people over one's failure to reproduce -- and it happens far too often.

So thanks!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 2:40 PM
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disgusting Aren't you sweet.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 2:43 PM
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It is a bit difficult when one encounters actual *pity* from some people over one's failure to reproduce

Yuck.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 2:43 PM
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People, babies are gross and disgusting. We can all agree on this.

As a parent, I can agree. Fetching, though.

This conversation always makes me feel kind of soulless -- I love my kids, but I wouldn't call having had kids a life-changing experience in other than the obvious "Well, if I didn't have kids I wouldn't be spending my Sunday mornings watching an 8 year old learn to do the butterfly, probably" kinds of ways. I've never really had the hang of profound life experiences.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 2:44 PM
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I've never really had the hang of profound life experiences.

Reflect back to this morning when you gave notice and reclaimed your soul.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 2:46 PM
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Next week the Secularist Society presents an inspirational talk by Lizardbreath called "Parenthood: Pretty Much OK If You Like That Kind Of Thing".


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 2:50 PM
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One reason it is hard to assess the decision to have children is that for any one individual, it is very hard to disentangle the effects of having children from the general process of maturing.

In the five years since my first child was born, I've suffered fewer bouts of soul-crushing, mind numbing depression, and the bouts I have had have been briefer. The improvement in my mood is about as dramatic as the improvement that followed medication. But is this an effect of having children, or am I finally just learning to deal with life?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 2:52 PM
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There's the other thing too, though, from the aggressively childfree. I say live and let live. My son has not apparent desire to have kids and has expressed the intention not to, and that's cool. Even though it means the extinction of his great-grandfather's line, and the demographic triumph of the religious-fanatic Emerson line down in Arkansas.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 2:53 PM
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Even though it means the extinction of his great-grandfather's line, and the demographic triumph of the religious-fanatic Emerson line down in Arkansas.

Who can doubt that you son hears that acceptance in every word?


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 2:56 PM
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Gonerill, I think you are being deliberately obtuse now. The contrast to what you or any other 'happy parent' can claim, in this case, is as opposed to claiming that parenthood is necessarily life-altering in the positive sense Helpy-Chalk suggested and has since retracted. You, he, and anyone else who chooses to raise children can claim rightly that it was a positive experience for you in particular, and that you did not see all the myriad of ways in which it would be in advance. And where, exactly, am I suggesting that you were saying that the features you identified about the decision to have a child or subsequent experience are unique to that decision? In fact, I was presuming that the best way to make the kind of case you want to make was by taking it that they are NOT unique in that way. That is, the best (though I still think ultimately not successful) way to try and argue for the kind of claim you want to make would be by saying something like, " Look, deciding to raise children is like deciding to become virtuous in this or that particular respect (more generous, kind, etc); one can get glimmers of what would be/is so great about it in advance, but cannot fully comprehend the gloriousness of raising children/value of generosity until one breeds/is generous."


Posted by: femalephilosopher | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 2:58 PM
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Man, I post the baby-eating photo and get no response. You people!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 3:04 PM
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Reflect back to this morning when you gave notice and reclaimed your soul.

LB really should have live-blogged that.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 3:07 PM
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I think "bless your heart" is genteel for "fuck you."

In much the same way that "aloha" can be hello or goodbye, "bless your heart" can be "I'm charmed by you" or "fuck you."

The former meaning is mostly restricted to interactions between adults and children.

"Bless his heart," by contrast, means exactly what lw says.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 3:11 PM
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288: I was going to talk about how upset I was by it, and advice other people not to click through, but I thought that would only reinforce my image as a baby lover trying to force his emotional responses on other people.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 3:11 PM
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But is this an effect of having children, or am I finally just learning to deal with life?

This is an interesting but ultimately unknowable question. I made a change in my life at one point that was arguably at least as extreme as having a child, and my life has changed (and improved) in pretty profound ways since then. When you get down to basic questions of happiness, fulfillment, meaning, however you want to put it --- I really don't know how much can be chalked up to the changes I wrought and how much to time.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 3:12 PM
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It was nice. One putz asked if I was going to have to take my kids out of private school, allowing me to smile sweetly and tell him that they'd been in public school all along. But everyone wished me well and said good things about my work.

And I had a very pleasant dish session with another woman who gave notice a week or so ago, who shares my estimation of this place in many regards.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 3:12 PM
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demographic triumph of the religious-fanatic

Can't win that one, JE.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 3:13 PM
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Once you get to a certain age, there are a bunch of people who cannot have kids.

True at every age. And even if it weren't, why is having children biologically one's own any better than adopting?

And, rob, wtf?

We are mammals. We should bear our young alive and suckle them at our breasts (or at least, tend the fire and cook the mammoth meat while the women folk suckle the babies at their breasts.)

I get that your tongue is partway into your cheek here, and I know you've stepped back a little from "everyone should have children," but seriously. I'm pretty sure I'm a mammal regardless of whether I can/do have biological children and whether I can/do breastfeed.

(Also, is there an egg-laying option that I should know about?)


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 3:13 PM
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Yeah, I need to learn that I can't get away with giving weak arguments simply because I have my tongue half in my cheek.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 3:17 PM
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I'm pretty sure I'm a mammal regardless of whether I can/do have biological children and whether I can/do breastfeed.

Don't worry, you can make up for childlessness by killing twice as many mammoth.


Posted by: felix | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 3:17 PM
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194: My dad tried, but his 7 kids produced a total of 9 kids (15 would be replacement), and more than half of the grandkids seem unlikely to have kids, with two too young to tell and two fertile. And mostly girls and not Emersons.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 3:18 PM
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And even if it weren't, why is having children biologically one's own any better than adopting?

Here, I just feel like a bad person for getting this one on a visceral level, but I do. (I do not support or endorse my emotions in this regard as a good thing, I merely report them.) I like my family a lot -- possibly out of ego, because they resemble me, but possibly just because they're the sort of people I like. I like my mother, and my father, and my sister. Having biological kids meant (I thought at the time, and it's turned out that way) having more Breaths around -- like the ones I already knew in the ways that make the rest of my family appealing, but on additional different people. An adopted kid would have been a kid -- I like kids generally, and most people taking care of a kid will love it, it's a natural reaction to childcare. But my own biological kid was a member of a family I feel very strongly positively about.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 3:21 PM
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I think that here we see the problems with the "not having kids" gene and the "relationship free" gene. It disappears from the pool rather quickly.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 3:22 PM
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Actually, this all gets to a (still) deeper philosophical issue which I haven't been able to resolve for myself: how robust a characterization of "the good life for a human being" is possible?

I am quite sure that the argument "people choose X in situations where there are other options, therefore X must be a part of the good life for them" is wrong. Expressed preferences, especially is information expressed by free market transactions, mean next to nothing.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 3:23 PM
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True at every age. And even if it weren't, why is having children biologically one's own any better than adopting?

It isnt?

Is it just me or are the childless remarkably sensitive? I realize that they get entirely too much crap, but nobody was busting on them really.

I also thought Rob conceded way too easily.



Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 3:27 PM
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That is, the best (though I still think ultimately not successful) way to try and argue for the kind of claim you want to make

This is getting tiresome, but at least I am no longer actually required. It is quite funny that my unwillingness to have much to do with the "best" position you feel I "must" take makes me "obtuse."

would be by saying something like, " Look, deciding to raise children is like deciding to become virtuous in this or that particular respect

No, I disagree. You are welcome to believe that this virtue-cultivation argument is the best argument available for the position you believe I want to take. But the initial point was just about the difficulty of assessing the value to one's future self of certain kinds of choices. I understand why you want to see this as analogous to (or even a special case of) an argument about deciding to become more virtuous. But there are also, in my view, lots of reasons for resisting this line. For one thing, it introduces the language of virtue, which -- I've heard -- really pisses off some of the people who choose not to have children, because it makes them out to be lacking in certain virtues, or be otherwise incomplete in important respects, and I'd rather not be misrepresented as having that view.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 3:30 PM
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299: You get that it's different, or that it's better?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 3:34 PM
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302: Whatever sensitivity I have on the biological vs. adopted issue is not about being childless. It's about knowing a number of people who've adopted and a number who were adopted. (And, in the case of my brother's kids, who are biologically, but not genetically, related to their mother.)

Fuck you if you think that yours is a "better" family for being


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 3:38 PM
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egg-laying

There's a market in unfertilized eggs, so yes. Is it just me, or is rhc getting a hard time? Having kids really is lifechanging for lots of people; ymmv and everything, but it's human to mention the strength of the emotion. Personally, having a kid to raise has been wonderful beyond words for me. It's obviously not generic to all people, but it's every bit as common a response to having kids as say religious ecstasy or unquenchable ambition are to other circumstances, and certainly part of the landscape of being human.

To rhc's question "how robust?" I think not very. There exist circumstances where only ambition serves one well, and others where only faith seems to help.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 3:38 PM
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. . . . biologically related.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 3:38 PM
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304: Having bio kids is strongly more desirable to me than adopting would have been for the reasons I gave; I had bio kids because I wanted them, and I almost certainly wouldn't have adopted if bio kids wasn't an option. I don't support this as a good or moral way to feel, it's just how my emotional reaction comes out.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 3:38 PM
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306: lw, that was a joke. Rob said "we should bear our young live," as though there were a different option.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 3:40 PM
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308 crossed with 305 and 307. If I didn't make this clear enough before, I really don't mean to say that a genetically related family is a better one in any meaningful sense than one put together through adoption, just that one appealed to me and the other didn't.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 3:41 PM
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299: (I do not support or endorse my emotions in this regard as a good thing, I merely report them.)

305: Whatever sensitivity I have on the biological vs. adopted issue is not about being childless. It's about knowing a number of people who've adopted and a number who were adopted. (And, in the case of my brother's kids, who are biologically, but not genetically, related to their mother.)

See Lizard, I knew as soon as you said 299, I knew you were going to make the same mistake I did. Sometimes it is best just to keep your irrational feelings to yourself.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 3:42 PM
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To rhc's question "how robust?" I think not very. There exist circumstances where only ambition serves one well, and others where only faith seems to help.

So I can't just pick and choose the parts of Aristotle on the good life that I want and then assert them dogmatically? Damn.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 3:44 PM
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I feel the same way as LB in 299, although I guess I might revisit it if I couldn't have bio-kids.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 3:46 PM
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305:

Now I am just confused.

I lived with a woman who had a very young child. I was with that child for the first 4 years of her life. I do not have a biological connection to that child. I didn't adopt that child.

I do love that child as if she were biologically mine.

I would never suggest that my family were better than your family no matter what the make-up of the family.

For me, it boils down to this one. In my life, my children provide tremendous meaning and joy. I cannot imagine life without them. It is impossible for me to picture my life without children.

Naturally, I think that children enrich a life. This is really no different from an enjoyment of music. I might say "wow! you will love this." But, I understand that you might not.

Of course, I can understand that your life can be just as rich as mine without you having children.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 3:49 PM
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I think that adopting kids is a heck of a lot more noble than creating your own.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 3:50 PM
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308: LB (& rob), I don't have any quarrel with your saying that it was what was what you wanted, only if it's universalized into biological relationships being by definition better or more real or whatever.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 3:50 PM
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The only good thing that can be said about Aristotle and the good life is that he knew how to grill Gyros something tasty. Grilled meat, now there's a universal impulse that I'm just sure we can all agree on.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 3:50 PM
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I have heard it said that both mirrors and copulation are abominable, because they increase the number of men

a perspective worth considering, I think


Posted by: felix | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 3:51 PM
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And even if it weren't, why is having children biologically one's own any better than adopting?

It isn't?

will, I suspect we actually have comity, but I don't understand why you said this.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 3:53 PM
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I'm quite sure that the husbands oudemia talks about in the other thread are not living the good life, even though they think they are.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 3:53 PM
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Grilled meat, now there's a universal impulse that I'm just sure we can all agree on

Well actually, no. I'm vegetarian. Sorry.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 3:55 PM
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will, I suspect we actually have comity, but I don't understand why you said this.

I was confused at the assertion by you that I thought adopting was less than birthing.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 3:55 PM
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319: I think, after the ensuing conversation, that Will was offering "It isn't" as a straightforward answer to your question "Why is having children biologically one's own any better than adopting?" The question mark at the end of his sentence was meant as "I'm offering this as a possible answer", but made it ambiguous with "I'm surprised that you doubt the superiority of biological childbearing."

I'll be returning to Standpipe's Parsing Blog now.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 3:57 PM
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I'm quite sure that the husbands oudemia talks about in the other thread are not living the good life, even though they think they are.

Your wife reads Unfogged?

Right, Rob. They are not living the good life. Wink. wink.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 3:57 PM
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Your wife reads Unfogged?

Yeah, she's actually sitting at home taking care of the noisy kids and periodically checking this blog to see me natter on from my quiet office about how much I love having kids.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 4:00 PM
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Forget Lori Gottleib! HERE'S the article we should be posting on now:

http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200703/loh-libido

Married women and sex! By Sandra Loh, the anti-Caitlin Flanagan!


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 4:01 PM
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And to avoid the sexism of the woman-focused article in 326, here's an Atlantic piece on how marriage kills sex for everybody, not just women:

http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200612/nehring-sex

Although it's not nearly as witty as the Sandra Loh one.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 4:03 PM
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Hi Molly! You know it is me, right? xxoo C.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 4:04 PM
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Your wife reads Unfogged?

Yeah, she's actually sitting at home taking care of the noisy kids and periodically checking this blog to see me natter on from my quiet office about how much I love having kids.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 4:07 PM
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Sandra Tsing Loh's newest article (not online as far as I can tell) is all about how great California's urban public schools are when the students' parents come from heterogeneous backgrounds and have the ability to help out. I kept thinking it was ghostwritten by bitchphd, but it was a little too blind to the fact that her child goes to a freaking magnet school, of course it's stimulating and full of ambitious Asians.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 4:07 PM
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I was confused at the assertion by you that I thought adopting was less than birthing.

I was responding to this:

The entire "you should have kids!" discussion is always to be avoided. Once you get to a certain age, there are a bunch of people who cannot have kids.

So I would never suggest that someone should have kids because maybe they cannot have kids.

By which I understand you meant that infertility is a painful topic for some, so it's unkind to raise it. (True, though, as noted above, not limited to those of a certain age).

But if you should avoid telling people they should have kids because they might be infertile, that made it sound to me as if no biological kids = no kids, period, as though "having" kids is the same thing as bearing or siring them.

So, sorry if I misunderstood, but that's *my* reflexive, emotional reaction.

Horse sufficiently beaten, I think. Love & goodwill restored?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 4:30 PM
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Sandra Tsing Loh is great. Always funny and always has a good point, but never takes herself too seriously.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 5:00 PM
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sufficiently
sounds like statistics


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 6:19 PM
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Necessarily and sufficiently, even.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 6:24 PM
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Here there, kids!

This is Chris Abraham, AKA "Chris."

I really enjoyed all of your comments, all of them are probably exactly right.

Subsequently, I moved to Berlin, Germany, last year, and am quite besotted by the article. Even so and even though I am blissed to be in an Atlantic article, I am embarrassed by how raw the interview was and how raw it all was and how desperate and hungry I was at the time.

Even the fact checker felt bad for me; luckily, none of you feel bad for me and probably just feel good for the doctor, which you should -- she's a wonderful woman.


Posted by: Chris Abraham | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 10:36 PM
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all of them are probably exactly right.

Mmm, yummy flattery. WE LOVE YOU CHRIS!


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-11-08 10:38 PM
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that made it sound to me as if no biological kids = no kids, period, as though "having" kids is the same thing as bearing or siring them.

I didnt mean to give that impression.

I grew up in a house where we often had pregnant women living with us during the last months of their pregnancy so that they could give their babies up for adoption without people knowing they were pregnant. Adoption was just normal life for me.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 7:00 AM
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281: Sorta my experience.

My kids have changed my life in ways I did anticipate, and in ways I couldn't have, realistically. They are totally awesome. Is parenthood the fulfillment I didn't know my life lacked? I haven't yet noticed, if so.

296: Maybe you needed to precede that with "On the veldt"

Finally, Rock Band was mentioned much earlier, and it doth truly rock. I hereby extend the commentariat an invitation to come play anytime (almost, gotta work around the kids and their routines, of course).


Posted by: Pantene | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 9:03 AM
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Chris sounds like a good guy, or at least a cheerful and entertaining one.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 9:41 AM
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339. True. I wonder what he made of mcmanus and the Paris Commune.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 10:19 AM
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"Cheerful and entertaining" would be a fine thing here:

RIP
Chris Abraham
1970-2070
"Cheerful and entertaining"

Sounds good to me.

Chris


Posted by: Chris Abraham | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 9:37 PM
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PS: Here are a couple of funny articles on me and my "celibate year," post Doc:

http://www.la-story.com/men/who_is_chris_abraham_a_man_with_a_mission_celibate/

http://www.la-story.com/men/get_the_scoop_on_chris_abrahams_moratorium_on_sex/


Posted by: Chris Abraham | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 9:40 PM
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You're pimping your own celibacy?

That's pretty damn odd.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 9:41 PM
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Hey, it IS the guy who kept friending me by accident over and over again. Small world.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 9:45 PM
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Who says it was an accident? He might have wanted to relate some anecdotes about celibacy!

Laugh a minute, celibacy.

Say, Chris, we have a certain commenter here who would be very eager to learn about how one moves beyond the whole celibate thing; got any tricks to share?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 9:46 PM
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It's true, I misspoke. There are no accidents.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 9:47 PM
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I did forget to mention that I thought Chris sounded like a cool guy; anyone who manages to read a two-year-old interview about themselves without cringing has got to be cool.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 9:49 PM
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Deeply unshy, at the very least.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 9:50 PM
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I certainly think Chris should develop an unfogged habit.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 9:50 PM
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pimping your own celibacy

I demand Tweety's immediate resignation from the blog!


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 9:52 PM
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might help with the whole celibacy thing, anyway


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 9:52 PM
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Well I did say it was odd.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 9:53 PM
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And Shuster said "in some weird sort of way." No excuses!


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 02-12-08 9:56 PM
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Well, I am going to join the Unfogged right now -- at least via RSS...

"we have a certain commenter here who would be very eager to learn about how one moves beyond the whole celibate thing"

Don't do it! I am getting so much more work done without all of that sort of stuff. I quite bloody HATED reading the article.

I squirmed when the fact checker called from The Atlantic to see if I actually did say that.

As my friend here in Berlin told me, "Chris, it makes you sound like a loser."

Agreed.

But then another friend said to me, "I still find honesty refreshing."

So, at the end of the day, I must admit that the idea of being quoted in the Atlantic is a lot cooler than being revealed in total in the article. It kind of makes me so sick to realize that Lori was able to reduce the entirely of a 4-year relationship down to 3 paragaphs... actually, she boiled it down even more:

>

So, my entire strategy was to wait her out. To wear her down. To consume her entire 30s (from 32) so that when she woke up, I would be her only choice.

NOTE: this is not a very healthy way of working towards marriage with someone you say your love and who you feel love for.


Posted by: Chris Abraham | Link to this comment | 02-16-08 4:56 AM
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