Re: Ask The Mineshaft: 20 Kinds Of Meta Edition

1

Evidently not?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 7:16 PM
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Depends. Has said roommate been trying to mack on you, in addition to the writer of the other advice columnist?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 7:20 PM
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Der, "column", not "columnist".


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 7:21 PM
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Did he tell you about it, or did you just find it on your own? And had you had "the talk" about this kind of thing?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 8:15 PM
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A "writer of an advice columnist" is the 21st kind of meta.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 8:15 PM
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josh, it's not for nothing that he's known as "spencer mackerman."


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 8:21 PM
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So I take it the thing between Moe and Spencer went nowhere? And was this why, or was he merely talking about an incident deeper in h is past.


Posted by: LarryM | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 8:50 PM
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I actually had a near-miss or two along these lines with Bad, Old GF just as I was getting to know AB. Shit happens - or almost does but doesn't, thank god - and it doesn't need to go any further.

The idea that such a thing should be discussed with New Girl is so spectacularly asinine that I'm now suspecting that everything Spackerman has written about Iraq is wrong.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 9:20 PM
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The faux outrage was merely an excuse to link to it. What are your thoughts on Statute of Limitations on Ex Sex?


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 9:21 PM
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Demographics suggest that the asking the Jezebel commentariat is more likely to yield reactions he can extrapolate to future dates. That is, assuming this is likely to recur and the query is not just an attempt to justify past misbehavior.

If it would be normal to date and sleep with two girls at the same time (casually, pre-Talk)* then whether one of them is an ex seems irrelevant. Psychologically, if you're still so hung up on your ex that you're sleeping with her, maybe you shouldn't be sleeping with other people. Whether it's ethically problematic depends on community norms about expectations of monogamy and sexual hygiene. I think disclosure is appropriate for health reasons and would expect to be told about ex sex, but I'm a masochist; it sounds like most women would find the pain of the knowledge unbearable.

* This sounds like a recipe for unwanted drama to me.


Posted by: Amber | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 9:32 PM
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Well, I think that my 8 more or less establishes my position. At least until the first actual intercourse with the New, I think that Ex Sex is OK, if deprecated. Even if you haven't had The Talk, I think that once you've consummated the New Relationship, you're pretty obliged not to go back to the Ex, simply because it's pretty clear, if implicit, that the Ex is in the past, not the present.

That said, I'm rather a serial monogamist, so I can't claim great authority on the subject.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 9:33 PM
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then whether one of them is an ex seems irrelevant

See, I can't agree with this. In my mind, there is a huge gulf between Ex Sex and Other New Girl/Guy* sex. A revelation of Ex Sex carries with it the implicit message, "I'm not done with her - you may be a temporary placeholder." Whereas Other New Girl sex merely indicates that, "Hey, we're not married yet." There's no reason for Other New Girl Sex to be fraught (beyond base levels of presumed exclusiveness), but Ex Sex will be fraught no matter what the presumption of exclusiveness is.

* I see no legit gender distinctions here, for the record


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 9:38 PM
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Amber gets it exactly right, except for "appropriate" read "necessary."


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 9:42 PM
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12: It depends on whether the ex sex is of the "maybe we should get back together" variety or the "hooking up but agreeing that you two shouldn't be together even if the sex is good" variety. This second kind is, admittedly, rare.

13: Yes.


Posted by: Amber | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 9:51 PM
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14.1: I wouldn't trust myself or anyone else to be able to make this distinction in real time. Often as not, I'd chalk it up to nothing more than horniness + familiarity, but that still doesn't put it in the clear (once New Consummation has occurred).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 9:56 PM
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What does Hank say about it?

There was a time when I believed that you belonged to me But now I know your heart is shackled to a memory The more I learn to care for you, the more we drift apart Why can't I free your doubtful mind and melt your cold cold heart

Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 10:14 PM
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I understand the desire to make a distinction: ex sex seems like it already belongs to the past, even if it's happening in the present, but as far as the New One is concerned, that distinction doesn't hold up, and having ex sex isn't ok. Disclosure is a more difficult question; sometimes a good idea, sometimes not. I don't think there's any categorical rule derived from concerns about sexual hygiene. If you know your ex hasn't been with anyone since you were together, there's no health concern, for example.

Personally, I wouldn't be much bothered by ex sex, since it does seem to belong to the past, but I'd be much more concerned with contemporaneous "pre-talk" sex with someone else. A rival, I think that's called. There's no way I'd sleep with someone who was sleeping with someone else around the same time, and if I found out it had happened, I'm pretty sure that would be the end of things.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 10:23 PM
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An excess of ex sex vexes the sexes.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 10:25 PM
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Nice.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 10:27 PM
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eb's been on fire lately.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 10:44 PM
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And yet you won't put him out, Josh? What kind of monster are you?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 10:46 PM
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21: I'm actually Hillary Clinton.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 10:48 PM
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Ignorance is bliss. I never want to know about the past or what occurred during the period of not-declaredness.

That said, while I am a rampant online flirt, I am a total monogamist. I tried to go on a casual coffee date with another guy I met online after my first date with TD, and that date bombed for no other reason than I felt obligated to TD. TD had all the benefits of having the most romantic first date ever, because he was first in line. Second Dude and I talked about genocide, moral relativism, and the philosophy of science. I am surprised that he emailed me for a second date, which I politely declined.

The guy was very nice, and we kept in touch a bit afterwards, but for good or ill, I have banked everything on TD. But I made sure we were declared exclusive after one month, so at least I don't operate under the delusion of implied exclusivity. I make sure we declare it, and determine the state of sexual health before we go off condoms.

Mixing dicks is just a bad idea, for all the reasons that Amber says at the Jezebel site. Springeresque indeed Baby's mamaz and who's your daddy and all that.



Posted by: Belle Lettre | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 10:51 PM
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Personally, I wouldn't be much bothered by ex sex, since it does seem to belong to the past, but I'd be much more concerned with contemporaneous "pre-talk" sex with someone else.

I'd think that sex with an ex would be more of a problem than with a contemporaneous non-ex rival, because it suggests baggage and unresolved issues. A recent ex, at least; hooking up with a long-ago ex is not necessarily the same situation.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 10:53 PM
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24: A long ago ex sounds like re-living one's youth/glory days/heady romance from yesteryear. In other words, a Bruce Springsteen or Tom Waits song. Still a bad idea.


Posted by: Belle Lettre | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 10:54 PM
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19-20: thanks.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 10:54 PM
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Second Dude and I talked about genocide, moral relativism, and the philosophy of science. I am surprised that he emailed me for a second date, which I politely declined.

Seriously? I'd be stoked to find someone who'd find that stuff interesting. (If I were looking, of course. To the extent she's not actually interested in it herself, Magpie does a wonderful job of indulging my interests. Even if she did describe my ideal reading as Pogroms for Dummies and The Rise and Fall and Rise and Fall and Rise and Fall of Poland.) I wouldn't go so far as to say "best first date EVAR", but having actual opinions about those subjects would be a major plus.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 11:02 PM
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25: Could be, or it could be just briefly getting back together with someone you had a good relationship with, but one which just wasn't destined for the long term. I should add that I'm working from long-ago memory here, youngster, so take it with a grain of salt.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 11:03 PM
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It was a really interesting conversation, if a downer. Perhaps not first date fare. TD and I talk about that stuff now, but on our first date, we clicked over everything but genocide. We talked about our favorite episodes of Star Trek, how we grew up, and found out that we were both reading A Passage to India.

Nowadays TD and I mine newspapers online to send each other things of interest, and he tries to come up with paper topics for me to write in the future, to show that he is interested in my work and me. He's also helping me prepare for my dissertation oral exam by helping me prepare brunch for my dissertation group and coming up with questions from the private industry side for why organizations undercomply with employment law mandates. For my part, I ask him about the number crunching as if I care, and bake cupcakes for him to bring to work to share with his coworkers.


Posted by: Belle Lettre | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 11:07 PM
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Perhaps not first date fare.

That reminds me, a friend went to see this on a first date.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 11:09 PM
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25: That's why the entire session must happen to a tape of David Bowie's "Golden Years" back-to-back with Springsteen's "Born to Run". Also, you have to wear a bandanna and make the standing-strong-with-upraised-fist pose after climax.

Man, ex sex. Sometimes this place is just too fucking topical. By-and-large I am a firm supporter, though it's generally nicer to not have sex with other people while in the lead-up phase to a new relationship. If you are having the most sex with the person who you do not see yourself as dating, that is a problem. If you are having the most sex with the person you're dating, Mo has the right advice, just have more sex with them instead of the ex.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 11:10 PM
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28: Once in a while, I google my high school-to-college boyfriend, my first love. Augh, that would be a bad idea.

But whenever I listen to Waits' "Martha," I cry a little.

I don't know what it means to have a good relationship that wasn't destined for the long term. I guess I was working then, as I am now (prob. delusional) from the position that if it's a good relationship, why didn't it last? If it's a matter of geography, then maybe, ok, I get it. Or fundamental incompatibilities, like religion or desire to have kids or something. If it's not and it just ended for no understandable reason, augh, my heart breaks.


Posted by: Belle Lettre | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 11:10 PM
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I'm still stuck on this:

if there is, in fact, going to be something with New Girl he had better do the honorable thing and disclose what happened.

The honorable thing? Dude, keep that shit to yourself. Like I want to hear it.


Posted by: cerebrocrat | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 11:13 PM
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30: You know what I don't get as date fare? Movies about getting pregnant accidentally. Yuck. I saw Knocked Up and Juno by myself, and was astounded at the number of couples.

I do, however, wish to see Forgetting Sarah Marshall with my boyfriend. But first, we must see Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay, possibly the most important movie about constitutional law and race ever made.


Posted by: Belle Lettre | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 11:14 PM
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But first, we must see Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay

Fuck yeah! I just saw an ad on TV for it. It's out in 2 days!

(And Magpie and I went to see both Knocked Up and Juno together.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 11:16 PM
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Knocked Up and Juno made me not want to have sex without doubling the protection.

They just cast relationships in a rather harsh, unforgiving light. Esp. Mark and Vanessa in Juno.


Posted by: Belle Lettre | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 11:21 PM
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Ah, movie dates. Aside from renting Primal Fear to watch at my very Catholic boyfriend's house with his parents, I went on a first (and last) double date to see this. Awesome.

Am I the only person who has never done the ex sex thing? Once you're out, you're out. If they dumped you, you don't even want to see their sorry faces, if you dumped them you don't want to lead them on, and if you mutually agreed to dump each other, you wouldn't want to disturb the equilibrium by having sex.


Posted by: Amber | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 11:28 PM
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If they dumped you, you don't even want to see their sorry faces

This, uh, isn't universal.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 11:32 PM
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if you mutually agreed to dump each other, you wouldn't want to disturb the equilibrium by having sex

This isn't either.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 11:36 PM
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Even if you're not mad at them, if they've said they don't want you around anymore, shouldn't you respect that?


Posted by: Amber | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 11:37 PM
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Obviously they are not universal; otherwise I would not be an outlier in the ex sex sector.


Posted by: Amber | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 11:39 PM
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if they've said they don't want you around anymore, shouldn't you respect that?

For certain values of "anymore." And of "respect."


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 11:48 PM
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Plus, if you stay friends with your exes because other reasons caused you to separate (distance, just deciding it's time, etc.), you're still friends, and there was enough physical attraction for the original sex that's probably still there. So, why not?


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 11:53 PM
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I can see how, per 14.1, it might be possible to do that. Why not do it? Risk aversion. If you're friends, why complicate things?


Posted by: Amber | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 11:57 PM
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When I first moved to NYC, I dated a few guys who did the "I just got out of a really intense relationship and just want to have a good time" thing, who then had sex with me, and then said, "Wow, that was really wonderful and special and reminded me of how much I enjoy intimate relationships, so I'm getting back together with my ex." This happened more than once. I am, it seems, the kind of girl who makes a guy realize that true love waits in the very recent past.

In general, I'd say ex sex is a bad idea if one is still hung up on them. Otherwise, why not? But yeah, I'd be more pissed off to find out someone I'd been seeing for a while was still fucking an ex than I would be if he was fucking some other random chick. Personally, I wouldn't be able to handle the stress of managing simultaneous partners.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 12:00 AM
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I don't know what it means to have a good relationship that wasn't destined for the long term.

It was good, but not good enough.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 12:07 AM
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While we're in Jezebel land, I'm going to take this space to proclaim that I support Alisa Shvarts, and I think her art piece is kinda cool, biohazard or no.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 12:25 AM
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Alisa Shvarts is the Devil. I half-suspect she's some sort of undercover pro-lifer.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 12:36 AM
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Where do you stand on the Devil?


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 12:47 AM
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To me, the Devil is an Ivy League performance artist.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 12:53 AM
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Hah! Trapped you in an endless loop. See you in the morning -- if you don't collapse from loop exhaustion.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 12:54 AM
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The Rise and Fall and Rise and Fall and Rise and Fall of Poland

Sounds like a book worth writing.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 1:49 AM
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That was close, Wrongshore. But in this, as in so many things, a General Protection Fault rescued me.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 1:51 AM
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but on our first date, we clicked over everything but genocide.

Which of you was in favour?


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 1:52 AM
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I would like someone to Photoshop/Illustrate up a humorous illustration of a "fork bomb", featuring, like, utensils and explosions.

kthx.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 1:53 AM
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Could someone with better video-editing skillz than me please create the following clip for YouTube:

It's the end of Terminator 2. Hillary's face is pasted over Arnold's, and Barack's face is on the T-1000 (you know, like in the "Baracky" clip). They fight. Finally, Barack stabs Hillary with the big metal pole and she shuts down, seemingly for good. But then that little red light in her eye comes back on and she knocks Barack into the vat of molten steel. Finally, after a tearful goodbye to John and Sarah Connor, she lowers herself into the molten steel, because as a Democrat, it's her mission to self-destruct.

Get on it, people.


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 4:32 AM
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Good communication is the key. If you want disclosure, you need to ask for it. If you are asked for it, then you need to give it.

Otherwise, assume that the other person is having hot ex-sex and/or fb sex every night that you are not with them.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 6:21 AM
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57: Otherwise, assume that the other person is having hot ex-sex and/or fb sex every night that you are not with them.

Will, sowing the seeds of doubt early that will yield a bumper crop of business a few years hence.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 6:34 AM
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Just giving you the facts.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 6:41 AM
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59: Right, like I said.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 6:45 AM
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I took a girl to see the re-released The Wild Bunch on a first date.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 6:51 AM
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God, Spencer can be so dorky. Not only do you not talk to the new girl about sleeping with the ex, you don't write a ten-page missive to a widely read advice column under your own name about it. Spare us all the fake moral agonizing and just do your slutty thing!

Also, Alisa Shvarts was brilliant, if you accept the whole shock performance art aesthetic.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 7:02 AM
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44: I bet Amber keeps her New Year's resolutions.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 7:04 AM
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Second Dude and I talked about genocide, moral relativism, and the philosophy of science.

Hey! Fleur and I talked about genocide, pogroms, and moral relativism on our first date, too! And the relationship almost ended before it ever began!

Specifically, we talked about a photojournalist friend of hers who had stayed at the scene of actual pogrom during the Rwandan genocide to document the killings. I was fer it, she was agin' it (the photography, that is, not the Rwandan genocide).

In this conversation over dinner, Fleur learned that my most salient character trait is the willingness--indeed, the eagerness--to carry on arguments (I prefer to think of them as "debates") purely for the sake of logical jousting. Like I say, this almost ended the relationship right out of the gate.

To return to the topic of the thread, I also had undisclosed (at the time) ex-sex in the time between the first date and "the conversation". I feel this behavior is mitigated by the fact that Fleur and I lived 11 time zones apart, and that our second date occured almost six months after the first.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 7:04 AM
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my most salient character trait is the willingness--indeed, the eagerness--to carry on arguments (I prefer to think of them as "debates") purely for the sake of logical jousting.

Astonishing how few women -- indeed, how few people -- appreciate this personality characteristic. I have it too, and treasure people who work well with it. The best partner for logical jousting is someone with no ego engagement, who has a detached, somewhat bemused interest in the logic behind seemingly outrageous claims.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 7:08 AM
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My sense is that 90% of the time, confessing that you're still having sex (or just recently stopped having sex) with an ex is going to end a new relationship because who needs that baggage, and the 10% of that it doesn't end it, it should.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 7:14 AM
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It depends on whether the ex sex is of the "maybe we should get back together" variety or the "hooking up but agreeing that you two shouldn't be together even if the sex is good" variety. This second kind is, admittedly, rare.

The attempt at the second kind was responsible for two of the three least satisfying sexual encounters of my life, leading me to conclude that the erstwhile mindblowingness of the sex with those partners was not purely a function of mechanics and/or aesthetics, but also of the emotional content of the relationship. Take away that, and it's just another lay. Not a good way to remember the person.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 7:14 AM
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The best partner for logical jousting is someone with no ego engagement, who has a detached, somewhat bemused interest in the logic behind seemingly outrageous claims.

So you're saying I should be fucking Mickey Kaus?


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 7:16 AM
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Date movie. 1996, the old Hyde Park Picture House in Leeds.

War On Terror Note: one of the July 2005 bombing teams lived just a few doors away from the lovely old fleapit.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 7:18 AM
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63: I lived with my ex for two years. You have to have self-control.


Posted by: Amber | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 7:21 AM
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The best partner for logical jousting is someone with no ego engagement, who has a detached, somewhat bemused interest in the logic behind seemingly outrageous claims.

It's the detachment from the topic being discussed that's important. If we're talking about something I have a real interest or stake in, and the other person is doing this 'logical jousting' thing, yeah, I'm gonna be pretty annoyed.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 7:28 AM
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Worst date movie ever, if you happen to be dating a Cambodian.

Second worst date movie ever, whether Cambodians are involved or not.

Not only a terrible date movie, just a terrible movie generally.

Eventually, we agreed that we'd try our very hardest to avoid going to movies with rape scenes in them on dates, so we went to The Age of Innocence, and were bored.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 7:32 AM
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So you're saying I should be fucking Mickey Kaus?

How much do you look like a goat?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 7:35 AM
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71: actually, there is almost always a problem with the "jousting" part. I hate arguing, but I like it when people are open to turning an idea around in a new way. Some people naturally make that process cooperative, others tend to turn it into an argument.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 7:35 AM
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Speaking of Cambodia, I did recommend Swimming to Cambodia to a co-worker who was struggling for something to do when her father came to town. She ended up inviting us along, just so I could squirm through the scene (which I had forgotten) where he describes vaginal cigarette "smoking" in slow lavish detail.

I also know someone who did Eraserhead as a first date.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 7:42 AM
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If we're talking about something I have a real interest or stake in, and the other person is doing this 'logical jousting' thing, yeah, I'm gonna be pretty annoyed.

One of the many blessings of my marriage to Fleur is having been made to appreciate that this behavior is, in fact, objectively annoying, and that the inclination thereto is something to be suppressed rather than celebrated in most everyday contexts.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 7:42 AM
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vaginal cigarette "smoking"

I've seen that!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 7:43 AM
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11 time zones apart, and that our second date occured almost six months after the first.
this is so confirming 'my' theory that there should be one's preprogrammed fate, destiny to meet or not meet one's predestined better half
or any other life event to occur for that matter
though other external or internal factors may influence sometimes that path and it's called luck, bad or good, or will (illusion of it, mostly)


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 7:44 AM
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75 reminds me of the time my grandfather insisted on accompanying me to see this.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 7:47 AM
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or will

Divorce lawyers usually aren't called into the equation until after you meet your predestined better half.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 7:48 AM
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OT: Now that Hillary Clinton has ably proved herself to be a right-wing hack, the natural thing to do is to put her on the Supreme Court.

I like to think of this sort of thing as the pundit's version of slash-fic, a comically lurid flight of fancy driven by equal parts neurotic obsession and myopic insularity and embraced by the kind of people who genuinely believe that now is the perfect time to nominate Al Gore and that a third party ticket would take the White House if only you could convince Michael Bloomberg to team up with Chuck Hagel. Still, the absolute cluelessness of Ezra Klein blithely attributing to Hillary Clinton "a passion for labor standards" is breathtaking to behold.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 8:11 AM
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Divorce lawyers usually aren't called into the equation until after you meet your predestined better half.

This is just a lack of foresight and planning.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 8:33 AM
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This is just a lack of foresight and planning.

The trouble is, when you actually have foresight and suggest prudent planning, it gets taken all the wrong way. Example: The day Fleur first moved in with me (much earlier than I was ready for, but it had to happen because we couldn't keep the long distance thing going), we started putting away her things in my apartment. As she put her CD's in the CD shelf, I suggested that we write her name on all of her CD's in sharpie, so that if she moved out, it would be easy to sort them out again. Oddly enough, this caused her to burst into tears and yell at me.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 8:41 AM
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Ruprecht, integrating record collections is serious business. IIRC Molly and I didn't do this until after we were married, but before the birth of our first child.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 8:43 AM
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Ruprecht, integrating record collections is serious business.

See, the fellas know what I'm talkin' about, right y'all?

I later learned that Fleur has taken a principled stand in opposition to contingency planning for the end of a relationship. She was engaged to another guy before she met me. He was the son of a multi-millionaire construction company owner in another country, and she had gone so far as to move to said country before the wedding. But when the fiance's family insisted on a pre-nup, she told them no way. It wasn't the financial stakes involved (they would have made generous provisions for her); it was the principle of contemplating the end of the marriage before it began. To the amazement of the fiance and his family, she stuck to her guns and got on a plane home.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 8:52 AM
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Your problem, KR, was that you didn't show sufficient foresight. The discussion should be before she's in the middle of integrating the CD collection. Say, "Look, honey. I cleared out this whole CD shelf for your CDs." That way, you are not shutting her out, but making space for her.

That said, I think books are a bigger deal than CDs. The UNG tried to walk off with a bunch of mine -- apparently assuming anything written in German was rightfully his.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 8:54 AM
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And anything with death in the title was yours.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 8:55 AM
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85: So in your pre-nup you totally screwed her over. Sheesh, girls always go for the cads.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 8:56 AM
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I later learned that Fleur has taken a principled stand in opposition to contingency planning for the end of a relationship.

I would have taken the same position 15 years ago.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 8:56 AM
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85: They deserve it for springing a pre-nup on her after she moved there.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 8:58 AM
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87: That copy of Der Tod in Venedig gave rise to much litigation.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 8:59 AM
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91, me. I clearly suck at commenting lately...


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 9:00 AM
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92, too. Suck, suck, suckity suck.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 9:00 AM
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Eesh, I don't know if I can really contemplate integrating record collection. I mean, it will probably be fairly obvious for most CDs whether its hers or mine, kind of like if we integrated closets, and most of the other CDs would probably be duplicates, but there's still this fear that if she tried to claim one of my out-of-print discs or limited release mixes as her own... Oof.

Books, hey, they're already partway integrated with my friends' libraries anyway, so that'd be no worries.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 9:01 AM
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Suck, suck, suckity masturbate, suck.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 9:02 AM
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Sheesh, girls always go for the cads.

The cruelest thing I've ever said to her was (in the heat of an argument over finances) "You should have married [gazillionaire scion]."

The cruelest thing she's ever said to me was, "You're right, I should have."


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 9:04 AM
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pre-nups are just tools to foster a healthy relationship. Each party should know the other's expectations.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 9:08 AM
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When BR and I argue, I say, "when you dump my ass, I'm taking my rugs with me!!!"

BR says, "Your kids are going to want to stay with me!!!"

She always wins.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 9:10 AM
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95: Di breaks all of her new year's resolutions pretty quickly


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 9:11 AM
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97: pre-nups are just tools to foster a healthy relationship

Certainly, but with someone else. (Applies mainly, per the case under discussion, to surprise or last-minute pre-nups, of which I've known of several, all of them clear (and sadly unheeded) warning signals.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 9:13 AM
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She was engaged to another guy before she met me. He was the son of a multi-millionaire construction company owner in another country

The heartbroken ex-fiance then moved to Afghanistan and became a sworn enemy of the United States. And now you know... the rest of the story.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 9:15 AM
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Say what you will about Cotton Mather, he would save a lot of time by answering every single Mineshaft question with the same answer: Who Lives an Unclean Life of Unholy Madness is on the Path of Death.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 9:16 AM
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last minute prenups are bad. Most often sprung on by the parents of one of the people. Most often unnecessary.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 9:16 AM
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Dis-integrating the bookshelves was the most bittersweet part of my divorce. The property was easy--she came over while I was out, left me a list of everything she wanted, and I asked to hold on to maybe 10% of what she dibbed. The CDs were pretty simple too -- she took all my Dylan, but I figure it would be the easiest stuff to torrent, and I haven't bothered except for Blood on the Tracks.

The books we sat down and haggled over--not because there was much doubt about whose was whose, but because I wanted to read a bunch of her stuff and she a bunch of mine. "You never read Goodbye, Columbus? You should read it. Will you read it? Then take it."


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 9:18 AM
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surprise or last-minute pre-nups, of which I've known of several, all of them clear (and sadly unheeded) warning signals

Ain't that the truth. Fleur's sister actually did marry the son of a foreign gazillionaire, whose family handed her the pre-nup to sign minutes before the wedding ceremony. (They're idiots like that; no clue that a contract signed under duress is open to challenge.) Had the sister taken Fleur's principled stance, she would have been spared years of anguish being married to this sorry excuse for a man, as well as the torment of a bitter divorce that left her penniless.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 9:19 AM
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she took all my Dylan, but I figure it would be the easiest stuff to torrent, and I haven't bothered except for Blood on the Tracks.

This is fantastic.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 9:19 AM
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There probably would have been a pre-nup if exbeforelast and I had gotten married, and I was cool with that. It depends on whether the pre-nup is a result of pressure/expectations from the spouse-to-be's family (in which case it's not really objectionable: they're not in love with you, and are just looking out for their family member) or the spouse-to-be's idea, in which case it would give me pause.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 9:22 AM
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103- Will, are you saying most pre-nups are bad? Why?


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 9:24 AM
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last minute prenups are bad. Most often sprung on by the parents of one of the people.

IIRC, in the case of Melinda Gates, it was the board that forced the issue. Again, just before the ceremony.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 9:25 AM
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102: Preach it, brother.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 9:26 AM
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I also wonder if your from a gazillonare family if prenups aren't just so par for the course that they really didn't think that they were springing it on Fleur. The right before the wedding one was obviously dickish though.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 9:27 AM
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Pre-nups wrongly cut into the divorce lawyer's share.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 9:27 AM
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ZOMG! I just googled Fleur's ex-fiance on a whim, and he looks uncannily like me!

I would post the link, but I feel like I have violated her privacy here today enough already.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 9:29 AM
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It's a lot easier for me to understand pre-nups from the spouse's perspective if it's a 2nd/later-in-life marriage. If you have adult children and a family business, or you want to make sure that the teenagers' college tuition is covered, it makes sense. Especially if there is any member of the new spouse's family who is likely to fight for the money if (heaven forbid) both of you are killed in a car accident or something.

The weirdest part of the "How to Be An Executor" books is the part that goes into detail about the legal ramifications of who predeceases whom. Parent X died at 10:10 a.m.! Stepparent died at 10:14 a.m.! Now figure out the inheritance! Arggghhh.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 9:29 AM
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pre-nup

The thing is, a person's interest in money takes a life of its own. If there is anything to be had, greedy advisors "just looking out for everyone's best interests" popping out of the woodwork is pretty much a given if things look like they may go bad. A prenup could serve to tell these charmers to go away, giving a relationship breathing room.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 9:30 AM
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My sister didn't have a prenup with her sociopath husband, but once she decided to divorce, the family (which had loved her) united to cheat her out of the divorce settlement and leave her penniless. The guys's a multi-millionaire by now, unless financial mismanagement destroys his empire. He's completely capable of throwing everything away out of sheer greed.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 9:30 AM
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111: I think last-minute prenups are par for the course for zillionaires accepting non-zillionaires marrying into their zillionaire families, on the principle than a dazzled, intimidated, overwhelmed bride(or groom)-to-be is more likely to sign pretty much anything.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 9:31 AM
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A last-minute pre-nup is a bad sign primarily because the spouse-to-be should never allow it; you can't explain that away with filial concern.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 9:32 AM
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115 --> 112.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 9:32 AM
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Knecht is kind of like the anti-phronimos in many ways.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 9:34 AM
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It's a lot easier for me to understand pre-nups from the spouse's perspective if it's a 2nd/later-in-life marriage. If you have adult children and a family business, or you want to make sure that the teenagers' college tuition is covered, it makes sense. Especially if there is any member of the new spouse's family who is likely to fight for the money if (heaven forbid) both of you are killed in a car accident or something.

Ah yes.

"My spouse versus me" is a much different scenario than "My spouse, whom I met at age 45, versus the various people who rely on me".


Posted by: Ardent reader | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 9:35 AM
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Last minute is definitely bad. It wasn't clear whether the one involving Fleur was last minute or just not discussed before the engagement which I could see in that the family would just assume it was a given that a pre-nup would be involved so didn't bother discussing it before.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 9:36 AM
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My grandfather married a wealthier woman around age 60. It appeared to me that they were much wealthier than the rest of my family, but I realized as an adult that it was all because of her (that is, because of what she inherited from her previous husband). Since my grandfather died before her, we didn't inherit any of it, but I wonder what would have happened if she died first.


Posted by: Ardent reader | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 9:38 AM
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113: You only now Googled your wife's ex-fiance?


Posted by: Amber | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 9:39 AM
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I would post the link, but I feel like I have violated her privacy here today enough already.

Oh, just put up the photo in the Unfoggged flickr group.


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 9:41 AM
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Say, "Look, honey. I cleared out this whole CD shelf for your CDs."

No, no, no, non-alphabetical organization is worse than no organization at all.

in opposition to contingency planning for the end of a relationship

After dating for about three months, an ex of mine asked me if I'd move to Seattle with her. I said "You must be high." Surprisingly, we stayed together for another four or five months.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 9:42 AM
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124: Some people have self-control, Amber.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 9:43 AM
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Last minute is definitely bad.

Eh. It's a tell about one side's set of expectations of the relationship. If you share those expectations, it seems fine to me.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 9:44 AM
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Maybe I'm being naïve, but don't prenups generally make a mockery of the whole marriage vows thing?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 9:45 AM
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129: It's a fallen world, Jesus.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 9:46 AM
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Clearly Amber has no self-control, given that she lived with her ex for two years without sleeping with him.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 9:46 AM
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Clearly Amber has no self-control, given that she lived with her ex for two years without sleeping with him.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 9:46 AM
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If you share those expectations, it seems fine to me.

Wouldn't that be by definition not last minute?


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 9:46 AM
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It's a fallen world, Jesus

You're telling me. Some people apparently think Dickipedia is funny.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 9:48 AM
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Pre-nups wrongly cut into the divorce lawyer's share.

Right.... 'Cause prenups never give the lawyers anything to litigate...

Maybe I'm being naïve, but don't prenups generally make a mockery of the whole marriage vows thing?

Divorce kind of does, too. Life happens. Sometimes you look at that spouse, think "Till death do us part," and catch yourself thinking that's not such a bad idea...


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 9:49 AM
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131, 132: Eh, he probably just wasn't too tempting.

Anyway, as the story of Adam and Eve teaches us, men are primarily tempted by sex, women by knowledge.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 9:49 AM
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131: good pickup there, BG.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 9:50 AM
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135 is me, of course, dammit. I ban myself until I learn how to comment again.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 9:50 AM
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Wouldn't that be by definition not last minute?

I don't think so. Maybe there's more possibility of mistake, but if you instinctively respond, "Oh, totally," you're probably in the right relationship. Revealed preferences, etc.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 9:50 AM
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Sorry about the double post.

If you marry a rich person who is unlikely to earn more money, and you live in a community property state, then a prenup can be a way of making sure that money is settled on the poorer party, if that person gives up a job or something.

I've always thought that I'd want to arrange some sort of protection for my kids. I don't know whether that would be a prenup exactly. It would say something like, "If we divorce or I predecease you (unfortunately, I'm not sure how the latter would get enforced), money gets settled in some kind of trust on the kids. Men are known to remarry and disinherit their kids.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 9:51 AM
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Sorry about the double post.

If you marry a rich person who is unlikely to earn more money, and you live in a community property state, then a prenup can be a way of making sure that money is settled on the poorer party, if that person gives up a job or something.

I've always thought that I'd want to arrange some sort of protection for my kids. I don't know whether that would be a prenup exactly. It would say something like, "If we divorce or I predecease you (unfortunately, I'm not sure how the latter would get enforced), money gets settled in some kind of trust on the kids. Men are known to remarry and disinherit their kids.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 9:51 AM
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It's a lot easier for me to understand pre-nups from the spouse's perspective if it's a 2nd/later-in-life marriage.

I suspect that most of you have formed opinions about pre-nups because you believe that they are uniform standard documents. They are not.

A pre-nup is simply a contract between the parties.

Some people want to spell out that they are not going to have to pay spousal support if they get divorced.

It is important to them to spell out that they expect both parties to work. Otherwise, one might decide not to go back to work and you are stuck supporting them. What if the wife decides that she is going to stay home with the kids, and the husband wants her to return to work? He cannot force her to work.

A pre-nup can spell it out in the beginning.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 9:52 AM
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I don't think so. Maybe there's more possibility of mistake, but if you instinctively respond, "Oh, totally," you're probably in the right relationship. Revealed preferences, etc.

Alright so if what you want to communicate is "I am going to totally screw you over" and "I am a moron" then last minute pre-nups are probably an adequate form of communication. Otherwise I am thinking not so much.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 9:53 AM
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I have to remember not to comment using Safari.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 9:56 AM
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Maybe I'm being naïve, but don't prenups generally make a mockery of the whole marriage vows thing?

Not at all. Before you get married, do you discuss financial issues? issues about children?

A pre-nup can simply be a way to express expectations.


If I quit my job and move across country, you have to support me for two years.

They can also be important business planning. Your business partner might be forced to liquidate your business to pay off the spouse.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 9:56 AM
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143: At least from the outside, it appears asshole-moron (or, perhaps more accurately, asshole-"bit of a doormat") relationships seem at least as likely to be successful as any other kind. Everyone deserves a little happiness, CJB.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 9:57 AM
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I think a lot of us assume that a pre-nup is basically an agreement stating that "If we get divorced here is what will happen". Thus, a statement that the marriage vows are not binding.

but will tells us otherwise.


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 9:58 AM
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ha. Smartasss

I just meant that I suspected that people were assuming that the content of all pre-nups was the same.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 10:00 AM
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We already know that the vows aren't binding.

The pre-nup offends because it "reveals" that the parties to the marriage aren't going into it intending to treat the vows as bindings. If you believe this, you will also think that Hus/sain's article in this collection is fundamentally flawed.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 10:02 AM
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Divorce kind of does, too.

Not really. It's one thing to acknowledge that things didn't work out the way you intended; it's another to vow the traditional vows after signing a contract predicated on the possibility of those vows being broken. Maybe people don't vow that stuff so much anymore, I don't know.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 10:03 AM
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[Fleur's fiance] was the son of a multi-millionaire construction company owner in another country...

Fleur's sister actually did marry the son of a foreign gazillionaire...

Christ, were they bred in a lab for this purpose or something?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 10:06 AM
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Multiply pwned because I am slow. But still, I just wouldn't get married in the first place. Also, Will should write a relationship advice column.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 10:06 AM
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Or, perhaps, that they realize that they cannot control whether the other person will decide to treat the vows as non-binding.

You might as well decide that your children will be born perfect and/or be well-behaved.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 10:06 AM
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149: It's so sad to see that nice Sinhababu boy hanging out with the horrible Leiter creature.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 10:07 AM
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Hus/sain's article in this collection is fundamentally flawed.

Oh god, people talking about a "realist reading" of Nietzsche. People need to be shot, and not just people who comment at Unfogged.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 10:08 AM
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Since the vows are binding, you intend to stay married when your partner cheats on you, decides that they do not want to have children, decides not to work (ie become a writer), becomes a felon, or beats you, right?

Because you know in advance whether those things will happen.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 10:08 AM
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All you have to do is marry a nice boy (or girl) and work hard and presto! your marriage will be a success!


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 10:10 AM
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156: These aren't new problems. There are people who are inclined for reasons of culture to take marriage vows much more seriously than some other set of people. (I seem to recall reading that a lot of the Blue State low divorce rate could be explained by the number of Catholics in those states.) What's appropriate for one set--including pre-nups--may not be appropriate elsewhere.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 10:12 AM
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it's another to vow the traditional vows after signing a contract predicated on the possibility of those vows being broken

Jesus is so strict. I think you can resolve the tension if you think of yourself as signing a pre-nup in your role as a financial instrument (and imperfect human being), and as taking your vows in your role as an aspiring lover and hopeful human being. Really, they both acknowledge human frailty in different ways.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 10:12 AM
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Pre-nups: the insurance policy for marriage.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 10:14 AM
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The whole idea of marriage vows is a bit archaic now, a vestige of the kind of thing that left people indissolubly married to someone who was in a coma or who hadn't been seen for ten years. On the other hand, there's a lot to the idea that marriage should be a shared long term commitment and obligation, comparable to a business partnership or a debt, and not something to be destroyed with a change of mood by one party.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 10:14 AM
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as taking your vows in your role as an aspiring lover and hopeful human being

Surely the fact that your significant other could utter or even think such a phrase is a better predictor of future trouble than a last-minute pre-nup.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 10:15 AM
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I think you can resolve the tension if you think of yourself as signing a pre-nup in your role as a financial instrument (and imperfect human being), and as taking your vows in your role as an aspiring lover and hopeful human being.

And you see, honey, I was sleeping with Ellen in my role as horndog, and drinking at work in my role as aspiring member of the lost generation. But I, qua hopeful human being, aspiring lover, and husband, still love you, am totally devoted to you, and would never do a thing to hurt you. I mean, you in your role as subservient wife. I'm not so sure about some of your other roles.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 10:15 AM
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decides not to work (ie become a writer)

You wound me. Anyway, fine, if it's not "with all my worldly goods I thee endow" and "until death do us part," then just do away with marriage and go with contracts. It's not the loss of illusions that bothers me—I'm fully aware that we live in a fallen world—it's indulging them long after they've passed into the realm of bullshit.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 10:15 AM
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The pre-nup offends because it "reveals" that the parties to the marriage aren't going into it intending to treat the vows as bindings.

More specifically, the pre-nup draws attention to the tension between to competing views of marriage: marriage as a solemn covenant before God and the community, and marriage as a civil contract between two parties before the law. "Tradition" marriage elides this tension by applying standard T's & C's so that no one has to consider the contractual implications. The moment you start to fine-tune the terms and conditions, it raises all sorts of possibilities that conflict with the solemn convenant view. Why not a cooling off period or a right of recission? Why not a renewable term or an option to terminate? Why not a recitation of representations and warranties? Why not additional consideration? And so on.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 10:16 AM
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it's indulging them long after they've passed into the realm of bullshit.

IOW, people who get married are hipsters.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 10:16 AM
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These aren't new problems.

Correct.

There have been age-old solutions as well.

1. If your husband beat you, you stayed married. (no money, no job, and you would lose the kids)

2. If your husband cheated on you, you stayed married. (no money, no job, and you would lose the kids)

3. If your wife cheated on you, you beat her and kicked her out, keeping the kids and all of the money.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 10:16 AM
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Ben understands.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 10:16 AM
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Er, intending to treat the vows as binding, though I understand some couple are into bindings, too.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 10:17 AM
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if you think of yourself as signing a pre-nup in your role as a financial instrument (and imperfect human being)

Imperfect being, I can deal with, but I'm incapable of considering myself as a financial instrument. My financial records provide proof thereof.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 10:18 AM
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167: And?


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 10:20 AM
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The contractual idea is important -- you don't enter into a contract expecting the other party to breach. But, when experience tells you that breaches do happen, it's perfectly pragmatic to negotiate for liquidated damages. I'd love to see if there are any statistics on the effect of pre-nups on the rate of divorce -- do people, knowing in advance who will get what, divorce more or less readily?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 10:23 AM
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Christ, were they bred in a lab for this purpose or something?

They meet them using €Harmony.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 10:28 AM
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It's good to have you back, the Apostropher.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 10:31 AM
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It's good to be back, the Ogged.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 10:34 AM
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170: Jesus is a musical instrument. A sensitive, state of the art musical instrument.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 10:37 AM
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Ruprecht, integrating record collections is serious business. IIRC Molly and I didn't do this until after we were married, but before the birth of our first child.

I know this was a long-ago comment, but:

Yes. Exactly. And even then with trepidation.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 10:45 AM
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The problem with pre-nups is that they're always about money, except when they specify that the wife is required to provide sex.

In short, they demonstrate a lack of imagination. And do you really want to saddle yourself for life with someone who lacks imagination?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 10:45 AM
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they both acknowledge human frailty in different ways

But prenups acknowledge human frailty by resolving to have it cost as little as possible. Somehow this seems tacky.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 10:49 AM
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I would post the link, but I feel like I have violated her privacy here today enough already.

We'll remind you tomorrow.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 10:49 AM
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Yeah, I'm not really seeing the big problem with pre-nups, and hopefully my future spouse-to-be will feel the same.

Standard terms & conditions mentioned by Knecht weren't really designed for a time when the two spouses came into a marriage on equal footing as individuals and potential property owners, and certainly not for when divorce is a relatively common occurance. Even if I think I'm extra-special at choosing partners, and 10x more likely than average to pick someone compatible, that gives me something like a 5% chance of divorce in the first decade. And there are some things like my current home that I would never want to face forced liquidation in case the worst happens.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 10:50 AM
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except when they specify that the wife is required to provide sex.

Exactly -- get creative and specify that the husband is required to satisfy!

But prenups acknowledge human frailty by resolving to have it cost as little as possible. Somehow this seems tacky.

Really? It's more tasteful that human frailty should be as costly and punitive as possible?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 10:50 AM
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Somehow this seems tacky.

Slol understands me.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 10:51 AM
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It's more tasteful that human frailty should be as costly and punitive as possible?

Haven't you ever heard of Protestantism?


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 10:52 AM
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And speaking of exes . . . I was reading the New Yorker last night only to come upon a article written by my ex. He's not a writer, per se, he's an academic, so I sure as hell never expected to encounter him in those particular pages. Weird and somewhat disconcerting, as it wasn't a happy breakup.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 10:54 AM
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Actually, it would be kind of interesting if insurance companies could/did issue marriage insurance. An alternative way to protect yourself short of the prenup. I bet they could come up with pretty reliable predictors of marital dissolution and prohibitively high rate quotes would be a good signal to a couple to maybe re-evaluate. Really, a substitute both for pre-nups and pre-marital counseling!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 10:54 AM
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What article?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 10:56 AM
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Sir Kraab used to date Jar/d D/amond?!?!?!?!?


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 10:57 AM
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Someone get on the horn to Lloyd's.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 10:57 AM
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I suspect that the prevalence of prenups is a result of the prevalence (and acceptance) of divorce which is a result of society deciding that googly-eyed love should be the primary reason for people to marry.

I think this is much better than arranged marriages and patrilineal property distribution.


Posted by: Grumps | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 10:58 AM
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186: There's the study, no doubt discussed somewhere here, about researchers who could pretty accurately predict within 30 seconds of watching couples fight whether they would stay together. Finally, a commercial use!


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 10:58 AM
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I bet they could come up with pretty reliable predictors of marital dissolution and prohibitively high rate quotes would be a good signal to a couple to maybe re-evaluate.

"I'm sorry, ma'am, upon careful inspection of photographs of your mother we have determined that your husband will no longer find you attractive in between fifteen and twenty years."


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 10:58 AM
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191: as I recall, the most relevant factor was whether one partner at any time showed contempt for the other.


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 11:01 AM
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185: that is just enough detail to make your ex's identity a really compelling puzzle, you know.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 11:01 AM
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191: Hit reality show coming in 4, 3, 2...


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 11:02 AM
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194: Ooh, I was just about to post the answer, but this makes me want to withhold it for a while.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 11:06 AM
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Christ, were they bred in a lab for this purpose or something?

Fleur's family, or the millionaire scions?

I seem to recall reading that a lot of the Blue State low divorce rate could be explained by the number of Catholics in those states.

Alternative explanation: income distribution. Consistent with the empirical finding that the modal marital argument is over money. Other factors that correlate with higher divorce rates (low educational attainment, low age of first marriage) are also pronounced in the Northeast.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 11:08 AM
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I think by "the Northeast" you mean "areas other than the Northeast".

(to 197)


Posted by: Auto-banned | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 11:09 AM
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I think by "the Northeast" you mean "areas other than the Northeast".

Telling other people what they mean is also highly correlated with high divorce rates.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 11:19 AM
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There's the study, no doubt discussed somewhere here, about researchers who could pretty accurately predict within 30 seconds of watching couples fight whether they would stay together. Finally, a commercial use!

Those "love lab" studies are deeply, deeply flawed. They were commercially rather than scientifically oriented from the get-go, and are about as rigorous as the E-harmony compaitbility algorithm.

Actually, it would be kind of interesting if insurance companies could/did issue marriage insurance.

The adverse selection and moral hazard problems are well-nigh insurmountable in this case. Imagine life insurance if you didn't have to die to collect it.

A better solution would be either a natural hedge or Alternative Risk Tranfer. I'm thinking of something in the form of a cat bond. The married couple issues a bond with a contingent coupon. If they remain married, the bond is repaid with interest. If they get divorce, the principal is repaid with no interest. The bonds are securitized by a financial intermediary, who puts different risk groups into different tranches. The interest rate on the bond is a price signal for the risk of the marriage. But the incentive works for the good, because a high coupon rate makes staying married more attractive. (Actually, this idea is closer to a surety bond than a cat bond, but humor me here, OK?)


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 11:23 AM
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196: Ah don't bother, it's so boring when people throw me into a briar patch dish real info in blog comments.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 11:25 AM
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I want to modify Knecht's proposal.

The marriage automatically ends at 7 years, unless they elect to re-up for 7 more years.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 11:26 AM
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Tell, tell, Kraab!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 11:27 AM
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I think by "the Northeast" you mean "areas other than the Northeast".

What I meant to write was "less pronounced".


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 11:27 AM
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I think bonding with cats is actually detrimental to marital health, Knecht.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 11:27 AM
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Telling other people what they you really meant is also highly correlated with high divorce rates.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 11:31 AM
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201, 203: Trapped between Stormcrow and Sifu! What's a commentor to do?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 11:32 AM
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207: Spill!


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 11:34 AM
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OK, enough coyness. (Sorry, Stormcrow, but Sifu does look awfully good in white tie.) The answer's not particularly exciting anyway, since he's not a regular contributor and likely no one here has ever heard of him:
newyorker dot com slash reporting/2008/02/25 slash 080225fa_fact underscore kramer

(It's probably silly to googleproof, but someone could search on that link I suppose.)


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 11:37 AM
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209:

Ugggg!@! I hate that guy!


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 11:47 AM
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210: Is that on my behalf?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 11:50 AM
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210 and 211: Did you already have strong feelings about him, Will/


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 11:52 AM
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211: yes
212: yes, but I didnt know it. Don't we hate all of the ex's of Kraab's that she hates?

I hate all of your ex's that you hate, BG.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 11:55 AM
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Will has my back, as always.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 11:56 AM
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I am suspicious of will's sincerity.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 11:58 AM
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Will has my back, as always.

But, not hard enough so that my fingers leave marks on her hips, m/tch. Because BR and I have had the talk.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 11:59 AM
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215: How dare you?! (I have will's back, too.)


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 12:00 PM
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w-lfs-n, if you had any ex's, I would hate them too. (as long as you hated them)


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 12:00 PM
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Will has my back, as always.

Only because he is surreptitiously leering at your ass, SK. At your fine, fine ass.


Posted by: Seekrit Commenter | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 12:01 PM
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This story can be about hate too:

The 92-year-old, petite, well-poised and proud lady, who is fully dressed each morning by eight o'clock, with her hair fashionably coifed and makeup perfectly applied, even though she is legally blind, moved to a nursing home today. Her husband of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary.

After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, she smiled sweetly when told her room was ready. As she maneuvered her walker to the elevator, I provided a visual description of her tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on her window.

"I love it," she stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old having just been presented with a new puppy.
R
"Mrs. Jones, you haven't seen the room .... just wait."

"That doesn't have anything to do with it," she replied. "Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn't depend on how the furniture is arranged.. it's how I arrange my mind. I already decided to love it ... "It's a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice; I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do.

Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open I'll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I've stored away ... just for this time in my life.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 12:03 PM
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I can attest to Will's faithfulness as a hater of hated ex's.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 12:04 PM
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You obviously have my ass confused with heebie's.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 12:04 PM
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220: Your parents gave you the Readers Digest gift subscription for Christmas again, did they?


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 12:06 PM
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SK's ex appears to be a very academic academic.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 12:07 PM
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222 ==> 220


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 12:09 PM
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Knecht:

Yes, the online version. Before I read it, I search for "love" and replace it with "hate."


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 12:09 PM
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Unfortunately, Kraab's ex's article was pretty good. I was all prepared to loyally hate him, but probably Kraab was at fault in the divorce.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 12:09 PM
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I decided that I would love Sir Kraab's ass before I ever saw it.


And, no, I do not mean m/tch. Although he is cute, firm, and likes to be patted too.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 12:12 PM
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Emerson, you are supposed to be the one writing his dickapedia article.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 12:14 PM
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I don't know Lake from any of the rest of them. Seemingly the international relations field consists of 99 national greatness hawks in various flavors, plus Noam Chomsky for balance.

Though I'll repeat: The day when little Anne-Marie Flowergarden asked to change her name to Anne-Marie Slaughter was the day when her parents realized that she would grow up to be no ordinary woman.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 12:19 PM
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The day when little Anne-Marie Flowergarden asked to change her name to Anne-Marie Slaughter was the day when her parents realized that she would grow up to be no ordinary woman.

She didn't ask. Her parents petitioned the court to change her name after her stepfather, Sgt. Slaughter, legally adopted her.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 12:39 PM
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You obviously have my ass confused with heebie's.

Not at all. Each is fine in its own way: heebie's ass the pétillante pertness of a vintage champagne, Sir Kraab's the heady golden sweetness of a fine Sauternes.


Posted by: Seekrit Commenter | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 12:51 PM
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New google search question:

"Is Sir Kraab's ass fine"

How many times do I have to google that question until it shows up on one of Ogged's lists?


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 1:07 PM
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heebie's ass the pétillante pertness of a vintage champagne, Sir Kraab's the heady golden sweetness of a fine Sauternes

My ass is green and sticky like a phat sack of killer weed.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 1:09 PM
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233: What kind of context-specific advertising do you get when you enter that search string, Will?


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 1:10 PM
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My ass is green hairy and sticky like a phat sack of killer weed.

Fixed that for you.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 1:11 PM
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