Re: Ask The Mineshaft - Avoiding the Assholes Edition

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Thank God i'm married. If this Warren guy's advice gets out, I'll never be able to date again.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 1:42 PM
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Some of these warning signs seem a bigger deal than others. "Tells stories with inconsistencies" and "gives vague answers to specific questions" seem like "flee the scene now" warning signs. Whereas using foul language seems pointlessly prudish.

But even with the serious warning signs, context is important. If the point of a story is simply to amuse everyone else at the party, it probably doesn't matter that the couldn't really get the deer into the deans office. On the other hand, if you can get a clear sense of what the person did between 1995 and 2002--where they lived, what they did for a living. Flee the scene.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 2:18 PM
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Another point where context is everything: when are they telling you their sexual fantasies? After the clothes have come off or before you settled on a place for dinner?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 2:20 PM
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give vague answers to specific questions

This sounds like a reliable warning signal, and yet...

Twice in recent years, women with whom I am acquainted have been taken for a ride by guys who grossly misrepresented themselves--as in, every detail of their life stories was fabricated. The thing is, their made-up stories were Usual Suspect-like detailed.

Conversely, I can think of legitimate reasons why a guy on a first or second date might give an elliptical answer to a specific question: for example, he might have a family problem or health issue that he doesn't want to bring up on the first date, or he might be afraid that the details of his job/life/hobbies would be boring to the other person if he explained them in too much detail.

IOW, I don't think that this particular signal by itself is a foolproof asshole marker, though it might be cause for concern.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 2:21 PM
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I'll reiterate my endorsement of the "Five-S Model": sane, sober, solvent, single, straight. A good warning sign is one that reliably signals a violation of one of those non-negotiable standards.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 2:31 PM
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Hmm. I had several ex-boyfriends who satisfy 5, but thank god I didn't end up with any of them. One was a steam-roller, another was depressed, another told me pertpetually how I felt and what I was doing wrong, (and I totally bought into it.) Etc.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 2:36 PM
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I'll reiterate my endorsement of the "Five-S Model": sane, sober, solvent, single, straight

Yeah, I too hope my daughters only date crashing bores.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 2:39 PM
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Whatever happened to the old-fashioned method of bringing him home to the parents and letting Papa make an expert character evaluation? That's certainly what I'm going to recommend to my daughters when they become teenagers. And you can bet that vulgar language, asking for money, or--careful of my irregular heart rhythm here--suggestions of sexual fantasies will result in disqualification with extreme prejudice.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 2:41 PM
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mm-hmm. Good luck with that.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 2:43 PM
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Inappropriate competitiveness should have been a warning for me. It's one thing to compete when you're playing a game. It's a whole 'nother thing to be competitive when you're just hanging out and shooting the shit.

Also, casual lies. If they lie as a matter of convenience on trivial issues to casual acquaintances, chances are that under the right circumstances they'll lie about important issues to you.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 2:43 PM
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mm-hmm. Good luck with that.

I'll also recommend that they totally desexualize their breasts, so you should be on board with that, Heebs.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 2:45 PM
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as in, every detail of their life stories was fabricated. The thing is, their made-up stories were Usual Suspect-like detailed.

KR is friends with a woman who is currently in the news?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 2:45 PM
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12: No, it wasn't quite that extreme; the duped women figured it out before they got that far down the path. Mr. Rockefeller is evidently a far more talented psychopath than the two psychopaths that my acquaintances hooked up with.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 2:48 PM
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--


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 2:49 PM
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Further to 13, the most recent psychopath did himself in by telling too many detailed stories that were easily checkable by a private detective (engaged, IIANM, by the mother of the girlfriend).


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 2:50 PM
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Avoid a man who is into you not because of you, but because he needs to have a girlfriend.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 2:51 PM
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Do your friends find him creepy or annoying? Does he come on real strong and try to talk you into stuff? Is he a little . . . intense? Run away.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 2:56 PM
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5 is quite a good list as a baseline. Certainly people who only meet these criteria can be boring. People who don't meet them may be lots of fun for a while, but are apt to be long-term disasters. But there's no real reason why you can't have 1-5 plus witty, adventurous, creative, charming or what have you. Theoretically, anyway. My ex violated three out of five, so I can't say from experience. It was tiring.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 2:57 PM
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using foul language seems pointlessly prudish.

In the early stages of a relationship where you don't really know the other person well and are trying to impress? I think that the "don't use foul language" thing is kind of a social convention. And that the advice, basically, is that people who ignore social conventions around strangers have a higher-than-average possibility of being kinda fucked up.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 2:57 PM
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Avoid a man (or woman) who is incapable of acknowledging fault.

Avoid a man who won't act affectionate toward you in front of his friends. RUN from a man who won't act affectionate toward you in front of other women.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 2:58 PM
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Hard experience has taught me the truth of this: A man who tries to fuck you in the ass when you are sober does not love you.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 2:59 PM
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21: Uh, what? You should only engage in potentially dangerous sex while drunk? That seems backwards to me.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 3:02 PM
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I've always thought it was important to meet a guy's friends. If he has a lot of female friends who are awesome, I take that as a good sign that he's comfortable with smart, funny women. OTOH, I've been pretty badly burned by guys who had plenty of awesome female friends.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 3:04 PM
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22: It's a bit of a joke (and my favorite sentence from the Internets). Click on the period.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 3:04 PM
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19 gets it right, with a couple of subcultures as notable exceptions. But if you're living in one of those subcultures, you already know it.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 3:05 PM
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with a couple of subcultures as notable exceptions

By which you mean the young and the lapsed? I don't know anyone who forswears swear words in social settings unless children are around. Indeed, I think that sign counts the other way.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 3:08 PM
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21, 25: Precisely. If a man suggests "ass fucking" on the first date, he's right outta there. If he requests "anal intercourse", by contrast, you know he is a gentleman and a keeper.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 3:08 PM
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I have developed two heuristics that are invariably good warning signs for me, though I don't know if they'd work for others:

1. Frequent use of my first name in early conversations. (No, it's not just because it makes them sound like salesmen.)

2. Capitalization of titles and subjects in writing. ("My Mom and Granddad have been very influential in my life. I studied Astronomy and Physics in college.")


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 3:08 PM
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.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 3:10 PM
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21: Isn't that a direct quote from la Washingtonienne?!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 3:11 PM
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30: Ah. Ok. Yes.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 3:12 PM
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GARTH: Uhm, Wayne? What do you do if every time you see this one incredible woman, you think you're gonna hurl?
WAYNE: I say hurl. If you blow chunks and she comes back, she's yours. But if you spew and she bolts, then it was never meant to be.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 3:15 PM
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26: No, I mean that I agree with B that the "don't use foul language" thing is kind of a social convention. In most of the social groups where I spend most of my time, people may cuss among friends or close colleagues, but extremely rarely in a formal business setting, nor in the early social-stage of getting to know someone on a date. In mainstream America, where I don't spend much of my time, I think that trend is even more pronounced.

When I said subcultures, I was thinking of groups that exist sufficiently far from the mainstream that their idiolect (I think that's the word I want) can be whatever they choose it to be, and thus their "bad" words are often pretty different.

But really, this loses the key point : people who ignore social conventions around strangers have a higher-than-average possibility of being kinda fucked up.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 3:15 PM
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33 continued: In mainstream America, as epitomized by my new neighbor, who after chatting with me for ten minutes over the fence, asked my last name so that his five-year-old son could be introduced to "Miss ______________."


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 3:18 PM
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in a formal business setting, nor in the early social-stage of getting to know someone on a date

Here's a possible rule that I think might work for most: if your date feels like a formal business setting, bolt.

There are, of course, measures of the amount of swearing. And the point about conventions seems broadly right, if only to control for similar cultural assumptions.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 3:20 PM
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Capitalization of titles and subjects in writing. ("My Mom and Granddad have been very influential in my life. I studied Astronomy and Physics in college.")

It goes without saying, of course, that you should not even think of dating a man until he has submitted a writing sample...

(Actually, I think 28.2 is hilarious, and dead-on about inappropriate capitalization).

Also, what B said in 17 about whether your friends find him creepy. Really, if you mistrust your own ability to read the early warning signs, you should definitely enlist the help of some female friends.

Also, if he seems a little too eager to let you know he's not like those other men, he probably he is like those other men, only worse.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 3:21 PM
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he probably is like those other men...


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 3:22 PM
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Giving vague answers seems like a perfectly reasonable response to specific questions, if those questions seem to be prying too much from someone one doesn't yet know well.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 3:25 PM
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I have a knee-jerk suspicion of people who say they're not into playing games. People who aren't into playing games simply don't play them.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 3:26 PM
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Of Neil Clark Warren's suggestions, the "foul language" one seems quaint and dubious, especially since there's a declining sense of social consensus as to what constitutes "foul language." You can say "shit" on the Regular Teevee these days, and even "fuck," "motherfucker," "cocksucker" and "titlicker" on HBO; many (most?) people will have been part of a social group where vulgar language is part and parcel of bonding and belonging by the age of fifteen. But Dr. NCW isn't all bad: asking for money, controlling behaviour, asking you to compromise your principles all sound like much more appropriate red flags. Hard to disagree with any of them. ("Suggesting sexual fantasies": I guess, if it's too early in the relationship, the thing to watch out for is whether you're just a vehicle for fulfilling a specific fantasy. "Telling stories with inconsistencies," I'm not sure what he means. If it's just "telling tall tales" that's weird; if it's more like "lying to your face in a way they have to know you'd catch," then that's good advice.)

The other main sign I'd tell a teenager to look out for is constant put-downs; the sort of phenomenon one can sometimes witness in relationships where one party is constantly -- almost automatically -- denigrating their partner either to their face, or to other parties in their presence. I've seen people persist in relationships like that and visibly diminish as a result. Horrible.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 3:26 PM
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If he requests "anal intercourse", by contrast, you know he is a gentleman and a keeper.

A remarkable euphemism for this practice occurred to me the other day, but the margin of the book I was reading was unfortunately too small to contain it, and now I've forgotten it.

Try to imagine it, though; it was great.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 3:29 PM
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Yeah, I too hope my daughters only date crashing bores.

You're in luck; the world is full of them.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 3:30 PM
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39: That seems like a pretty good one. Even if he doesn't play games, I would sort of wonder about the experiences that had led him to think it necessary to say that.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 3:32 PM
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I am very wary of anyone who seems to be manipulating me, or putting a weird amount of weight on everything I say. But those are more visceral reactions than conscious dealbreakers. There's one guy who's been repeatedly asking me out over the past few years, and I do like him, but I keep hearing from a mutual friend that every time we have the most mundane conversation, he's convinced that I'm about to sleep with him, or that we're soulmates or whatever. I come out of those conversations thinking, "He's kind of nice." Plus, every time we see each other, I then get text messages about how he really hopes we can be friends and go out together sometime. Note: he has never actually asked me to do anything with him. He just suggests we "should go out sometime." Dealbreaker.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 3:34 PM
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I have a knee-jerk suspicion of people who say they're not into playing games.

A phrase that, since I learned of his existence, now always reminds me of Dmitri the Lover.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 3:35 PM
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39: Yeah, every time I've heard a guy talking to his date about how he doesn't "play games," he usually goes on to tell her that she is playing games and is immature, unlike him. This is, in fact, a "game."


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 3:35 PM
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I'm not like those other men. I don't curse.

Cursing is primarily a class, and to a less extent, regional marker. Poor people who aren't old enough to know how to act around their betters curse all the time.

You know who else you shouldn't date? People who say "aks" instead of "ask". Saying "ask" is the mainstream social convention, after all.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 3:36 PM
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If you call your dad to ask for advice on what to say in breaking up, he asks whether, given the duration and intensity of the relationship, you should do it in person, and you say 'I'm afraid to do that' -- warning sign.


Posted by: Jimmy Carter | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 3:38 PM
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There's one guy who's been repeatedly asking me out over the past few years s/b There's one guy who's been repeatedly propositioning me over the past few years. He's never actually asked me out.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 3:38 PM
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38: The thing here is that it's contextual. But so are almost all of these -- either contextual in that you have to know the person a while to figure out whether that's what's going on (as with Cala's point about not filling a girlfriend-sized slot in someone's life), or contextual in the sense that "you had to be there" to judge. If the rhythm and chemistry are right, you can tell a vulgar joke on the first date and it will go over terrifically.

I guess, if it's too early in the relationship, the thing to watch out for is whether you're just a vehicle for fulfilling a specific fantasy.

See, now I interpreted this as a much earlier warning. It's not at all about adults who are beginning a sexual relationship, and figuring out where their mutual boundaries are. I thought Warren was talking about the kind of guy who uses "innocent" descriptions of his fantasies to make a woman/girl who is not sure what she thinks of him -- or even if she wants to deal overtly with the fact that he is thinking of her as a sexual being -- talk about sex, even if she's uncomfortable.

It's hard as a teenager or a young person to have the confidence and the nerve to push back when a relative stranger starts going on about sex and you feel as though you've hardly met. Even in group situations it can be really intimidating. I was at a party a few months ago when a guy went off on a rant on his feelings about breasts. I'm sure from his perspective it was all just "But I'm talking about my preferences! I'm allowed to have my preferences!" But my sense of watching the younger (20-something, including the host) women there was that he was making a fair few folks uncomfortable.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 3:43 PM
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Hugest warning sign for me is someone who tries to convince me to do something I've said I don't want to do. Even if it's something really tiny, like ordering a particular meal or drink. I am a game person and am willing to go along with almost any suggestion for a date activity. But if I explicitly state an objection to something and he presses the point, I'm gone at the next opportunity.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 3:44 PM
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On the other hand, if you can get a clear sense of what the person did between 1995 and 2002--where they lived, what they did for a living. Flee the scene.

It's true -- whenever I tell women where I was between 1995 and 2002 they run like crazy. But it's not my fucking fault! I was framed!


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 3:46 PM
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28.2 is weird and makes me acutely self conscious to the point that i don't think i will ever be able to communicate with a potential love interest in writing again. congratulations, witt. now i'll never get laid.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 3:47 PM
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re: 53

You're in Danger of Overcompensating.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 3:48 PM
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Cursing is primarily a class, and to a less extent, regional marker. Poor people who aren't old enough to know how to act around their betters curse all the time.

Fuckin' ay, W!

Warning signs? Walking & Talkin. Glad I could contribute.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 3:49 PM
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As a professional pasticheur of old-fashioned writing styles, in which the subject of a thought, or something important, is often capitalized, I am saddened to learn that I can never know Witt, at least not in any professional capacity.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 3:50 PM
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Dude, you don't even capitalize your own pseud; what do you have to worry about?

Anyway, take heart: I don't know if they'd work for others.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 3:51 PM
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28 is hilarious. For a short time several years ago, I decided that I would try not to rule out guys who didn't write nice prose. If they spelled badly, under- or overcapitalized, or wrote sentence fragments, I would choke down my red-pen reaction and let it go. That open-mindedness landed me in all of the dating situations and relationships I truly regret. I've ended up in bad situations with excellent writers, but I'm not sorry I dated them.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 3:54 PM
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Dude, you don't even capitalize your own pseud; what do you have to worry about?

Perhaps the worry is that others will have equally idiosyncratic or hard-to-predict disqualifiers, so that potentially anything might, uh, disqualify him. (Him?)


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 3:54 PM
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Watch out for someone who... suggests sexual fantasies

I used to love that show Blind Date, which I think is off the air now. (It was a dating reality show that specialized in fixing beautiful LA narcissists up with people who were subtly but totally inappropriate for them, and then filming and cruelly commenting on everything that happened on their first date).

Anyway, over the dinner portion of those dates the guy invariably started describing his threesome fantasies, asking if she might be bi, etc. Never failed. The woman's eyes would start rotating around like pinballs.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 3:54 PM
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I saw an episode of Blind Date where the woman actually suggested that they have a threesome that night. The guy freaked out and said no.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 4:01 PM
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Is he condemned, as in Lifer, or say Quentin 'throw??? Then and only then send some letters of inquiry. If heavy hitter, Bittaker or Ng or Manson type, yr probably in for some competition, schwester...............

I believe our friend is suggesting you only date classy serial killers.

max
['Gee, I was really hoping to find a woman who would let me write the Declaration of Independence all over her body using the old-fashioned script. {sniff}.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 4:07 PM
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Warning signs? Walking & Talkin. Glad I could contribute.

Further evidence of the McManus–Emerson mind-meld.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 4:07 PM
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Gee, I was really hoping to find a woman who would let me write the Declaration of Independence all over her body using the old-fashioned script. {sniff}

I understand there's a vacation colony where one can do such things.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 4:09 PM
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If he has many female friends, that can be a very good sign, but it can also make it difficult, interfemale social interactions being what they are.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 4:10 PM
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@64 [edited b/c of renumbering by bw]

Damn, that was my first thought, too.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 4:11 PM
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The bullying or other mistreatment of waiters and salesclerks is a hint to run in the opposite direction, IMX.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 4:14 PM
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16 and 20 above are excellent.

Particularly 16: Avoid a man who is into you not because of you, but because he needs to have a girlfriend.

The kicker about this is that there seem to be a number of people out there who, if faced with the accusation observation that they're doing this, reveal that they actually sort of know it, and profess bafflement as to why there's anything wrong with it.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 4:17 PM
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57 - I'm kiDdinG, natch. I also have oddball disqualifiers. Woody Allen fandom, f'rex.

59 - him. lower case :-)


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 4:19 PM
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The kicker about this is that there seem to be a number of people out there who, if faced with the accusation observation that they're doing this, reveal that they actually sort of know it, and profess bafflement as to why there's anything wrong with it.

Fake it 'til you make it, baby.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 4:21 PM
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I understand there's a vacation colony where one can do such things.

Would that be the famous Club Nerd of Jamaica?

max
['Where the Geek Meat to Freak.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 4:22 PM
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66: Whence comes the red flag in re: women: avoid the ones who are intimidated / insecure about pre-existing female friends.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 4:22 PM
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||

I don't usually see as much of the trollery as I've seen lately -- mostly because I comment in limited time periods, I suppose, and also the speed with which such things are disappeared. It's become clear that some people are putting in quite a bit a helluva lot of effort at maintenance. It's appreciated.

|>


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 4:29 PM
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Warning signs? Walking & Talkin. Glad I could contribute.

Have Rant - Will Travel! Available for Dysfunctional Parties!

Further evidence of the McManus-Emerson mind-meld.

I think their product would move quicker with a bit of reformulation: Relationships are great as long as no other humans are involved!

max
['Anyone who wants to date you is obviously too screwed up to date!']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 4:30 PM
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72: True with respect to men as well, of course.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 4:31 PM
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Hm.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 4:43 PM
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Further evidence of the McManus-Emerson mind-meld.

I protest, pre-emptively.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 4:50 PM
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The bullying or other mistreatment of waiters and salesclerks is a hint to run in the opposite direction, IMX.

This seems like a good one.

I think, in general, it is good when people can pay attention to the world, and respond to things rather than just getting frustrated when the world doesn't conform to their expectations.

(I say this as someone who can frequently be wrapped up in something in my head and get absentminded. But there's a difference between absentmindedness and an inability to understand that you can't presume that the world will always be accommodating.)


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 5:06 PM
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I had several ex-boyfriends who satisfy 5...

You still do. All your ex-boyfriends will be ex-boyfriends forever. At least we hope so.

I'm surprised W-lfs-n didn't intervene here. (Or maybe he did).


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 5:12 PM
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||

Honest question, because I'm not sure exactly how bitter at the world / in anti-depressant withdrawal I am at the moment: is it okay to hate on this couple? Legitimate objections, or pure grad-student ressentiment?

Thanks.

|>


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 5:24 PM
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I miss Veiled Conceit.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 5:25 PM
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"That formula represents the balance that it takes to create something and bring life to something, whether it is in molecules or a marriage."

I'm pretty sure that the chemical formula for photosynthesis does not represent that.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 5:26 PM
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On a subsequent date, discussing how much they loved the beach and the sun

You like mountains and air? ME TOO! WOW!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 5:27 PM
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80: When I read this sentence I went back to the top to make sure it wasn't all a sophisticated cosmopolitan put on.

Mr. Wolkstein is nurturing and patient, and likes to surf and go mountain biking at 7 a.m.

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 5:31 PM
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82, 83, 84: I feel so much happier now.


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 5:32 PM
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80: You need to reserve a sizable portion of your hate for the NYT Vows column itself.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 5:32 PM
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1. Sane, sober, solvent, single, straight // 2. Witty, adventurous, creative, charming.

You don't have to add many more minimum qualifications to this in order to effectively reach the No-Relationship Life.

Group 1 without Group 2 would be one kind of Nice Guy.

I'll reiterate my theory, vigorously rejected by B, that the happiest relationships are between accepting, affectionate people who really like to have someone around and don't think much about what they're missing out on. It's like "settling", except that for many perople, settling was always taken for granted, and wasn't preceded by a period of perfectionism.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 5:33 PM
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Way to wear a totally see-through wedding gown in the NYT. I CAN SEE YOUR CROTCH.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 5:34 PM
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You beat me to it again, Ben. That article suffers from serious metaphor overload.

Call me judgemental, but I spent the entire article saying "there's no fucking way that she's as nerdy as she claims". You know, I'm pretty happy that nerdy has become trendy and all, but occasionally watching the Discovery Channel does not a nerd make.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 5:37 PM
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88: The photo at the top of the page? That is totally ok. The see-through there only adds up to "sexy, enviable."


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 5:39 PM
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I know when my marriage is suffering, I simply put shiv in a sunny spot for a few hours and he recharges like WALL-E.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 5:39 PM
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F: the best part is that she says this seemingly solely because he properly balanced the equation.

2NH3 + NaOCl -----> N2MH4 + NaCl + H2O

LIFE!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 5:41 PM
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||

The only members of my family who are not seriously ill (diarrhea, vomiting) are me and the dog.

|>


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 5:41 PM
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Ignore that "M".


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 5:41 PM
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Looking into his eyes, Ms. Blitzer said, was more calming than "the best shiatsu or best deep-tissue massage in the world."

Emphasis mine. She later reported that she'd learned more from him than if she'd learned Chinese or if she had learned Arabic. He was sweeter to her than ice cream or cake, and made her laugh more than a clown or a comedian could.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 5:42 PM
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94: see, this is why you are still single.

||

I gave the children pancakes for dinner, and now they are watching Tron.

|>


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 5:43 PM
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My favorite line:

Friends say that Ms. Blitzer, a contributing editor at In Style magazine, is . . . a role model for how to . . . properly apply self-tanner.

It must be quite a burden, living up to that.

Also:

"She is like a wily coyote, and he is the calm in the storm," is how Greta Angert, a friend from Ms. Blitzer's college days at Columbia, describes their personal and working relationships.

She's like a wily coyote? What? And he's the calm in the storm? While I support the analogy ban here, I'm much more lax about it in daily life. But I could never date, or for that matter spend any significant amount of non-mandatory time around, anyone who came up with shitstuff like that.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 5:44 PM
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||
Also: anyone in the general South Brooklyn area who wants to help me stop losing badly in pub trivia is formally invited to come by at 8:30 and join his or her brainpower to that of the "Veils of Ignorance."
|>


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 5:44 PM
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Sorry to hear that, rob. Good luck.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 5:47 PM
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Oh! I remembered the anal sex thing! It's not that great, in the end.

Remember not to perform analingus on anyone whose curves don't satisfy the Lipschitz condition, folks.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 5:52 PM
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I CAN SEE YOUR CROTCH.

By far the most redeeming feature of that article, btw.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 5:52 PM
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Oh! I remembered the anal sex thing!

Man, if I had a dollar for every time I've been awakened by those words...


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 5:53 PM
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Should I also ignore the lack of Cl2 formation in your equation, Ben?

I also like the attempts to paint probably one of the most stereotypical New York matchups - a financial planner and a fashionista - as something totally new and exciting.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 5:54 PM
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Should I also ignore the lack of Cl2 formation in your equation, Ben?

All the chlorine is accounted for. According to some d00d on e2 (whence the equation), the nitrogen compound is pretty deadly its own self, and that represents one possible reaction.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 5:56 PM
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Oh! I remembered the anal sex thing!

"See, it's supposed to go in your butt. No wonder it wasn't working."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 5:57 PM
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Friends say that Ms. Blitzer, a contributing editor at In Style magazine, is . . . a role model for how to . . . properly apply self-tanner.

That's when I started snickering in earnest; that is, um. These people are not embarrassed beyond belief by that profile? Is this what people are like these days? Holy fucking shit. Etc. No words.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 5:58 PM
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I CAN SEE YOUR CROTCH.

But can you see her 911 tattoo?

max
['Although, it's probably obscured by the self-tanner.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 5:59 PM
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These people are not embarrassed beyond belief by that profile?

Perhaps they are!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 6:02 PM
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What I always wonder with these is the extent to which the writer means to make the subjects look ridiculous. With this one I have to think she meant it rather a lot. Also, did you take a close look at the photo in which the bride's crotch is not showing? It doesn't make her look good, that's for sure.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 6:05 PM
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108: I hope (and bet) they are. Although I am almost back to categorizing it as send-up or "performance art".

I mean:

During their courtship, Ms. Blitzer and Mr. Wolkstein traveled extensively, dining on curried lamb in the Maldives and tabbouleh in Dubai. They broke their Yom Kippur fast in Ferriday, La., with bacon, grits and collard greens at the home of Polly's former nanny, Beatrice Gage.

and

"Even after a week of late nights at work," he said, "she'll pack up a bag of products and head over to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Pediatric Cancer center to give makeovers to sick little girls and make them feel like a runway model."

The last could be straight from Drop Dead, Gorgeous.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 6:06 PM
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Perhaps they are!

I would think that publication of such a thing would have to be cleared first by the subjects. Maybe not. But nah, they obviously contributed to the piece: she wore a specially-made pink-blah-blah nail polish? I just can't imagine being the kind of person who would babble on to a reporter about something so stupid. I'm really floored.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 6:07 PM
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I like Heebie's advice in the post, only IME that's "what it takes to get out" wisdom more than "how to avoid getting in." That is, none of the big jerks I've dated started out stepping on my provenance -- they waited till I was already reeled in. I really want the telltale, know before you ever get involved, warning signs. You know, like a guarantee...

Knecht's "ask dad" advice likewise wouldn't have saved me -- mom and dad loved the ex until they, too, realized he was a schmuck.

Witt's "uses your first name too often in early conversation" -- though hardly intuitive -- turns out to be dead on. Come to think of it, I've sort of come to dislike the sound of my own name because of that. Huh.

Likewise, the "I don't like to play games" line correlates perfectly with men who play games -- maybe they really don't enjoy it, though!

80: I would have taken the photosynthesis thing as a warning sign, personally. But what do I know?

93: What did they all eat (up to the past couple of days) that you did not? Hope everyone recovers quickly and you don't get hit by it!


Posted by: Reader | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 6:08 PM
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I'll take a ridiculous-sounding column about a couple that seems to genuinely be a match over a realistic column about a disaster in the making any day.

I like being happy for people who have wonderful things happen in their lives. If their demographic specifics and material preferences don't fit with my life -- well, so what, I'm not their friend.

This marriage seems to have as good a chance as any of working out. At least it isn't one of those ones where you're cringing at the handwriting on the wall, and wondering why on earth their friends and family couldn't stop them.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 6:12 PM
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This is a hard one to see in yourself, but if you become a person you don't particularly like when you're around them, that's a really bad sign.

The whole "S/he makes me a better person" formulation is kind of sickeningly sweet, but if you can "be yourself" around them, i.e. relax and enjoy who you are, not feel like you have to act a certain way, etc. (while still feeling very attracted to them), that's a very good sign.

So, asking yourself after a date, "How did I act when we were together? Do I feel good about the way I acted? Is that the person I want to be?" can be a good habit to get into.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 6:17 PM
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Witt, you seem unaware of some Unfogged conventions.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 6:18 PM
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"Even after a week of late nights at work," he said, "she'll pack up a bag of products and head over to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Pediatric Cancer center to give makeovers to sick little girls and make them feel like a runway model."

Wow. That really does sound like satire.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 6:18 PM
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Really, Emerson? Even the fine, longstanding tradition of contrarianism?


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 6:20 PM
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They broke their Yom Kippur fast with bacon? OTOH, I bet they also eat shellfish, wear mixed fibers, and roll on Shabbos.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 6:21 PM
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Warning signs: Excessive "friendly" touching, intense eye contact, overuse of your name (or endearments) on the first couple of dates. Behavioral requirements stated in harsh or absolute terms: "I won't put up with (wo)men who do (X)." Putting you down. Putting down your gender as a group. All of the crap the Speed Seduction types advocate, basically, though a lot of it (especially the controlling aspects) are equally bad coming from women towards men.

Also: excessive unavailability or excessive availability. If it takes three weeks to plan each date, forget about it; likewise if s/he wants to hang out all the time and gets weird if you want to take a step back. Consistently punting on the check or, worse, "accidentally" leaving the wallet at home. (Unless and until you've come to another agreement, on early dates you should take turns or split the check.). Getting persnickety about how you split the check.

Gah. So many ways things can go wrong.


Posted by: Magpie | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 6:22 PM
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113: Oh Witt, you and your sound logic.

You're right. But I think the thing that really triggers my derision instinct isn't that "their demographic specifics and material preferences don't fit with my life", but the over-the-top self-congratulatory nature of all their self-descriptions. Granted, that's probably kind of a requirement of the wedding writing genre, but I still find it mockworthy.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 6:23 PM
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113: Sure, to the extent one finds oneself reading these things in the first place. I guess.

I think it's that the tone suggests more than just that they're well-suited, but invites the reader to agree that they're both just wonderful. Aren't they wonderful? Isn't it a dreamboat of a courtship and marriage?

Well, whatever. I tend to feel that these things are best left private.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 6:23 PM
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118: No, no. They broke their fast with bacon, grits, and collard greens in Louisiana, at the home of her former nanny. Please do not deny them all of their awesomeness.

(If this goes like Veiled Conceit, a friend of this couple will show up to scold us soon.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 6:25 PM
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Witt, if you can read that story as a heartwarming tale about wonderful things happening, you're a better man than I am, Gunga Din. I myself prefer the heartwarming story of the Vows writer who got to publish a beautifully poisonous hit piece and, in all likelihood, have her subjects lick it up and think it was chocolate. Imagine how delicious it must be for her to imagine them pasting it proudly into their wedding album!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 6:26 PM
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120, 121: See, this just means you should hate the reporter more. Honestly, I put 90% of the blame at his/her feet. When you let a reporter into your life to observe, you don't get to pick which weird little tidbits they're going to lift up and reframe. God knows none of you lot would want to be my friend if you'd met me first through a news article.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 6:28 PM
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Hate is like love, Witt. The more you use it, the more you have. You can't hoard it. At the end of your life, do you want to be regretting all your missed opportunities for hating on someone?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 6:31 PM
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124: Can we at least mock people who freely choose to let their relationship and wedding be the subject of a Vows profile?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 6:35 PM
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I agree with whoever suggested that a person's friends will tell you a lot about whether you should date that person.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 6:35 PM
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127: Maybe before you date someone, you should make them read and comment on Unfogged?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 6:36 PM
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Choose, m/tch??@?!?!

Don't these people request it? Why does one request such a thing?

Isnt it enough to simply write on Unfogged, "We're getting hitched!"?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 6:36 PM
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125: What, my general hostility towards certain professions and bad acts isn't enough for you?

You guys really want to make fun of something, try this article about a woman who invested $100,000 of her money in creating a new perfume. I counted at least six subtle swipes by the reporter.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 6:37 PM
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M/tch, that is a fabulous idea!

I just realized that Witt is my opposite. I post entirely too much personal info. Yet, despite my huge crush on almost everything Witt's writes, she masterfully avoids making disclosures.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 6:39 PM
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You guys really want to make fun of something, try this article about a woman who invested $100,000 of her money in creating a new perfume.

Interesting, I find the people in the Vows story much more offputting than her, though the last line of the article is a doozy. Perhaps the Vows writer is more talented, or perhaps I just like perfume.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 6:40 PM
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I lost my cookies somehow, and the NYT site is asking me to sign in before reading those pieces. I'm grateful for that. It keeps me from losing my cookies in some other way.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 6:40 PM
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perhaps I just like perfume

...and hate happiness!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 6:40 PM
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Don't date anyone, and I'm serious here, anyone, without an airbrushed custom van.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 6:42 PM
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128: I've considered this, actually. But feared then sticking you all with and not being able in the aftermath to freely hang here anymore.


Posted by: Reader | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 6:43 PM
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Maybe before you date someone, you should make them read and comment on Unfogged?

Terrible idea. One is (I am) not one-dimensional!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 6:49 PM
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That depends on what you stick us with, Reader.

Penknife: Banned.
The bill: Not a problem, IME.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 6:50 PM
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135: Who has the airbrushed custom van, Tweety? You or the potential datee?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 6:51 PM
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It is a priori that Tweety has one, but I think he's advising that the date should.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 6:52 PM
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I've considered this, actually. But feared then sticking you all with and not being able in the aftermath to freely hang here anymore.

I said something about this to Sifu and Blume once. I was a little worried about the idea of dating someone from unfogged, because I wondered what would happen once one broke up. As Blume put it, "Who would get custody of the blog?"


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 6:55 PM
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It is a priori what, ben?

Just kidding.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 6:57 PM
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I'm with rfts in 132. I mean it's a ridiculously lifestyles of the idle rich type of story, but nonetheless moderately sweet and charming too (despite the subtle digs). Whereas the Vows couple strikes me as insufferable.

Part of it is probably the respective talents of the writers, but I'll also admit to being a sucker for the make-your-own-artisinal-small-brand-product trope. The fact that she made her own perfumes as a kid (it it's true) is I think what mainly sells me on her, i.e. it's something she's had a lifelong affinity to and she's finally pursuing it.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 6:57 PM
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I agree; the part about making her own perfumes as a kid was by far the most humanizing aspect of the story.

And 114 is getting insufficient attention as extremely valuable relationship advice. Everyone scroll back and re-read!


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 7:00 PM
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138b
!


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 7:02 PM
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(I am) not one-dimensional!

I bet you don't play games either.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 7:03 PM
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I'm going to get an airbrushed custom van that's done up to look like a potato.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 7:04 PM
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When we said we didn't mind you sticking us with the brunch bill at UnfoggeDCon II, w-lfs-n, we were just being polite, you jackass.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 7:04 PM
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147: What could be better?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 7:05 PM
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I think md meant !

On preview: Darn it, M/lls-pwned.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 7:06 PM
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Don't date anyone, and I'm serious here, anyone, without an airbrushed custom van.

"Airbrushed custom van" = one of those vans with, say, a picture/mural painted (well, airbrushed, I guess) on all available sides of a pack of wolves baying at the moon, and the words "Lone Wolf" or "Leader of the Pack" emblazoned along one side in faux-Gothic guitar-gods-of-the-1970s black lettering?

Yeah, that's sound advice, for sure.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 7:06 PM
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Argh, pwned and typo'd.

I meant: !


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 7:07 PM
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And 114 is getting insufficient attention as extremely valuable relationship advice.

Well golly. I did always think your "watch his/her feet" advice from a previous Ask the Mineshaft was quite sound. Everyone should search and go back and re-read that as well!


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 7:08 PM
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You don't have to add many more minimum qualifications to this in order to effectively reach the No-Relationship Life.

I fixed that for you, Emerson.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 7:10 PM
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Thank god for Ask the Mineshaft. People ask the questions that I didn't realize I needed answered. So this is all awesome to read.

I put my profile [shudder] on a free dating site on Friday, and looking at these responses is like staring into the abyss. It's hella depressing. Especially if you apply Witt & White Bear's "writes nice prose" requirement, as I do.

My tangential question is this: what do you owe the illiterate guys who email you? repeatedly? Do you tell them you're not interested explicitly, or is ignoring okay? What if you emailed him once (once!) and he responded with a barrage of emails that began solicitous then grew outraged over the course of 12 hours, when you didn't respond immediately?

I have planned a date with one man, and his best recommendation is that he spelled "grammar" correctly.
That might have been too specific, sorry.


Posted by: wrenae | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 7:13 PM
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146: I don't. But, no, seriously? Everyone plays games to some degree; it's just that most of them are well-known, mild, and go unmentioned or even unnoticed. In fact, they're expected.

Having someone I begin to date read Unfogged would be a terrible idea; my academic, or ex-academic self is an inextricable part of me, but only one part, and doesn't rule. The aspect of Unfogged that's unbearably snarky and ironic is not for the faint of heart or pure of soul; I wouldn't lead someone here who wasn't already inclined in that direction. Really bad idea.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 7:14 PM
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Sifu's fuckmobile was what clinched the deal?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 7:17 PM
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In reciting her vows before Rabbi Marcia Rappaport, Ms. Blitzer marveled at Mr. Wolkstein's ability to speak Japanese and spar in the boxing ring.

This seems like something you'd tell your friends after a first date, not the sort of thing you incorporate into your vows. Unless you've confused "marriage vow" with "bragging".


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 7:18 PM
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Witt for the win.

I feel so cheap.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 7:19 PM
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156: Eh, I think it's much better that they know about that side of you than that it stay a secret. I'm not seriously suggesting bringing it up on the first date, or using it as an actual filter, but once you know someone they should be able to tell that you have more dimensions to you than one website you spend a lot of time at.

And probably most of the couples here contain only one Unfogged devotee (the exceptions stand out: snarkout & rtfs, magpie and josh, me and Sir Kraab, anyone else?), even though the other member of the couple knows about Unfogged and may sometimes comment. The other way is affectionately known as the "Brock Landers Model" and is not recommended.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 7:22 PM
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149 - Now that I've thought of it it's hard to let go. I'm beginning to think along the lines of the Oscar Meyer weinermobile, only a potato, and the eyes of the potato look normal but they can be made to open up to reveal human like eyeballs that track passers by using body heat or perhaps motion detectors. Probably best would be to integrate and cross correlate the sensor inputs so you don't end up with your potato oggling immobile heat sources like AC vents or windblown plastic bags. The interior is purple velvet, of course.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 7:22 PM
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156: But, no, seriously?

I think I've isolated the problem.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 7:24 PM
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(the exceptions stand out: snarkout & rtfs, magpie and josh, me and Sir Kraab, anyone else?)

The Hon. Teacher Jetpack and Blume.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 7:26 PM
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so you don't end up with your potato oggling immobile heat sources like AC vents

Aw, but maybe that's what your potato likes!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 7:26 PM
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161: And of course the eyes should also shoot deadly laser beams.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 7:27 PM
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163: But they met via Unfogged, so they were already using it as a screening device.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 7:27 PM
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You're right that you don't want it staring at windblown plastic bags, though; that's way too American Beauty and would therefore only embarrass your potato.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 7:28 PM
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165: "shoot deadly laser beams" s/b "be wearing X-Ray Specs".

The Hottt Potato should of course also be equipped with a Mr. Microphone: "Hey goodlookin', I'll be back to pick you up later!"


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 7:30 PM
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160: I don't suggest that it remain a secret. God knows I've made that mistake in a relationship (the tip-off was finally when he said something about how I talk too much).

Frankly, spending a lot of time here is not something I expect to continue long term, though time will tell. In other words, the marker of my intellectual side isn't Unfogged, but the extent and type of reading I do, and the nature of my conversation. I don't need to point to Unfogged for any of that to be made clear.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 7:31 PM
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what do you owe the illiterate guys who email you? repeatedly? Do you tell them you're not interested explicitly, or is ignoring okay?

If they seem halfway courteous, an extremely brief no-thank-you e-mail is fine. But ignoring them is fine too.* A disturbing number of people will take ANY response as a sign of interest, and escalate, sometimes creepily, from there. Paid sites do screen for that marginally better than free ones.

*Believe me, it took me years to get to that point, being afraid my mother would come back to life just to call me maleducada.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 7:32 PM
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I think I've isolated the problem.

M/tch, goddammit, I didn't know there was a problem!

The potatomobile is more interesting, maybe. I'm kind of tired.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 7:34 PM
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Perhaps a Ronco Rhinestone Setter too!


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 7:35 PM
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Frankly, spending a lot of time here is not something I expect to continue long term, though time will tell.

Man, you make it sound like Unfogged commenting is a form of addiction or a symptom of those down on their luck.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 7:37 PM
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155: Oof, I've been there, and it's one of the reasons I don't do the dating sites anymore. It's so depressing to think, of 90% of the responses I got to my profile, "You would fail a freshman composition class. Not because of your 'grammar,' which you apologized for, but because you look, to me, who only knows you by your prose, INSANE."


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 7:39 PM
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I didn't know there was a problem!

No wait, now I've isolated the problem.

I don't need to point to Unfogged for any of that to be made clear.

So you're embarrassed of us, is that it?

Hmmmph!


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 7:42 PM
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173: How could anyone make that mistake?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 7:43 PM
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What if you emailed him once (once!) and he responded with a barrage of emails that began solicitous then grew outraged over the course of 12 hours, when you didn't respond immediately?

At least you know he's not a good prospect now. And of course the proper response is to block his address.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 7:44 PM
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If they drive up in this van, though, best to go ahead and throw an extra pair of panties in your purse.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 7:45 PM
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||
When you see an aged Jimmy Page ascend out of what looks to be a bus turned into a big mobile shrubbery with people climbing on it to play "Whole Lotta Love" while Leona Lewis sings in front of thousands of people in Beijing you realize that is really has all been worth it, the '60s, the Cold War, Globalization, everything. Homo Triumphus.
|>


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 7:45 PM
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For that matter, any of these vans.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 7:47 PM
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179: That really is change we can believe in.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 7:48 PM
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you're embarrassed of us

Your Southern is showing, hon.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 7:48 PM
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182: Why thank you, ma'am, thank you kindly. Can I get you some sweet tea?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 7:51 PM
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It's amazing how few restaurants serve pre-sweetened tea around these parts. A tragedy, really.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 7:54 PM
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Interesting.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 7:54 PM
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184: Some places will serve simple syrup on the side instead of granular sugar, which is at least a nod in the right direction.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 7:55 PM
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So you're embarrassed of us, is that it?

Clearly this has me in a kerfuffle. Tongue-tied, you might say.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 7:55 PM
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Also interesting.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 7:57 PM
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179: We have spent the last half hour of the ceremonies amusing ourselves by explaining everything, NBC-style, in terms of the inscrutable English culture. You see, in the United Kingdom (where they still have a monarch!), the umbrella signifies protection from the elements, which every young Englishman has done since the battle of Agincourt.

However do they dance upon the bus! They are so individualistic, multi-ethnic, and free!

Etc.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 7:57 PM
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Oh, England. Leona Lewis was chosen only for her looks. The real singer looks like this.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 8:02 PM
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189 is making me chuckle. Another stereotype about British culture:

MALIA, Greece -- Even in a sea of tourists, it is easy to spot the Britons here on the northeast coast of Crete, and not just from the telltale pallor of their sun-deprived northern skin.
They are the ones, the locals say, who are carousing, brawling and getting violently sick. They are the ones crowding into health clinics seeking morning-after pills and help for sexually transmitted diseases. They are the ones who seem to have one vacation plan: drinking themselves into oblivion.
"They scream, they sing, they fall down, they take their clothes off, they cross-dress, they vomit," Malia's mayor, Konstantinos Lagoudakis, said in an interview. "It is only the British people -- not the Germans or the French."

But I think this wins best quotation. Who would want to have this poor woman's job?

"When things do go wrong, they go wrong in quite a big way," said Alison Beckett, the director of consular services. "What we're trying to do here is reduce some of these avoidable accidents where they have so much to drink that they fall off balconies and are either killed or need huge operations."

Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 8:05 PM
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The Central Asian countries (Mongolia, Tajokstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Afghanistan) got 13 medals this Olympics. 28 if you add Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan. Pretty impressive considering their small populations and relative poverty.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 8:14 PM
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Blume's van that sealed the deal.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 8:15 PM
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M/tch's ride.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 8:16 PM
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Actually, 16 and 35 (I missed the women's column.)


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 8:16 PM
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Life as togolosh.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 8:21 PM
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Bring some extra panties, Carrot Top.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 8:23 PM
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My first boyfriend (with whom I continued for 7 years) had a van, his family's van, which we took to the all-night drive-in -- with others! a group of friends! -- and it was nice. Very fun, you see. My parents didn't like that I was dating, for the first time in a for-real kind of way, a guy with a van.

The boyfriend later got a Pinto, and somehow that was okay. Little did they know.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 8:23 PM
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Proof positive. NSFW, hot lips.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 8:25 PM
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I bet Blume's van has diddly-balls framing the windows. Ironic diddly-balls.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 8:26 PM
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Sifu's ride.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 8:27 PM
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Oh, I like that thing in 201.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 8:32 PM
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196 - Busted. How did you know that I'm actually a purple hippopotamus? They promised me that on the internet nobody knows these things.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 8:34 PM
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As a surviver of "the Brock Landers Model" of Unfogged relationship, I can counsel you NOT to have any perspective dates read Unfogged. There are more expedient ways to determine compatibility.
I believe that avoiding assholes is pretty easy. Follow the advice of Dr. Warren and M/tch M/lls in 114. Also, if someone tells you that they're an asshole, they are. You will be surprised how many people out themselves if you just listen. I am also a believer in the early bail out. If someone's behavior is hurtful or manipulative- leave at once. Sometimes people treat relationships like mutual bonds thinking they will increase in value as they mature. It will only decrease your self esteem, creating a viscous cycle.
As far as spelling errors and being touchy feely goes- that sounds more like personal preference to me.


Posted by: Fleur | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 8:37 PM
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Sifu's taken, parsimon. You'll have to find somebody else to keep on truckin' with.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 8:37 PM
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creating a viscous cycle

That can cause friction.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 8:40 PM
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Way to wear a totally see-through wedding gown in the NYT. I CAN SEE YOUR CROTCH.

"Dancing Queen" must have been playing when that photo was taken because that's the only way it could be more perfect.

Mm. That might be the most awesome "Vows" column ever written.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 8:44 PM
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204: You will be surprised how many people out themselves if you just listen.

Quite true. I think men are more likely to come right out and say "I'm an asshole" but women will leak the necessary information pretty quickly if you pay attention.

Also second the advice about early bail out. What you get at the beginning is likely to be the slanted towards the positive, so if it looks sketchy chances are good the reality is worse.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 8:49 PM
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What you get at the beginning is likely to be the slanted towards the positive, so if it looks sketchy chances are good the reality is worse.

Hey, don't judge a van by its paintjob, togolosh.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 8:50 PM
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205: What? I just like his purported ride.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 8:52 PM
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210: Stop that, parsimon, Sifu doesn't play games.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 8:55 PM
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Sometimes people treat relationships like mutual bonds thinking they will increase in value as they mature.

Fleur is so right. This in combination with DS's comment way upthread (staying with someone who puts you down) is deadly.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 9:01 PM
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A real Renaissance woman:
"Ms. Blitzer is a frisky, creative and effusive fashionista" who "is as comfortable in Manolo Blahniks as in a housecoat..."
Who is going to write prose like this for Sifu and Blume?


Posted by: Fleur | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 9:10 PM
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"is as comfortable in Manolo Blahniks as in a housecoat..."

Good catch. Do you think she drapes the shoes around her torso, or wears the coat under her feet (chivalry!)?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 9:11 PM
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Also, someone totally should write a Sifu/Blume Vows column.

Hell, isn't Sifu a Boston Brahmin or something? Maybe there'll be a real column.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 9:12 PM
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Heaven knows housecoats are a common piece of apparel.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 9:19 PM
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I find that housecoats are as common in New York, foxy, as flowers in the country.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 9:21 PM
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217: She meant common as in "lower-class", ben-wo.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 9:24 PM
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Ohhhhhhh


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 9:27 PM
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Yes, her Nanny sure taught her a thing or two about how to keep her Courture dust free while cleaning.
I hope Mark's presence in her life can give her poor father a break from all that peppering.


Posted by: Fleur | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 9:27 PM
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Obviously, Fleur should write the Blume/Tweet article.

What on earth were they thinking having Whole Lotta Love? McCartney was too busy? He could have sung 'let's all get up and dance to a tune that was a hit before your mother was born . . .' Would've been as relevant.

I still haven't forgiven Costas for talking over Stomp Dance in the SLC opening ceremonies. (As I write this, I'm listening to The Sound if Fading -- also from the Redboy album -- really, people, this one is worth it.)


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 9:53 PM
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RedBoy. FYI.


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 9:56 PM
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I find that housecoats are as common in New York, foxy, as flowers in the country.

Since I never see housecoats in New York, I'm a bit puzzled, albeit intrigued, by your findings. Where am I not looking?

Or maybe flowers are no longer to be found in the country, and I've totally missed the point? (wouldn't be the first time, I'd be the first one to say...).

My son, earlier this evening, at the Golden Arches restaurant (yeah, if I were a good mother, I would never ever buy him a McHappy Meal, but I'm lazy, and probably a bad person...): "Um, Mummy? I hate to sound rude, but was that man just next to us poor and homeless?" It's surprisingly difficult to answer such a question, as asked by a relative innocent, when the man in question very obviously was poor and homeless, but you don't want to encourage certain impulses toward social exclusion, or certain impulses toward noblesse oblige. Boyo goes to the local RC school, where last year he won a medal for donating most of his ice cream money to the mission box. Problematic? Well, duh. No less problematic than letting the progress of nihilism overtake every last corner of private life, though, is what I always say and honestly believe.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 9:56 PM
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Obviously, the song for this thread is Take Your Partner By The Hand:

She walks alone down a sleazy backstreet
Around a corner, up an alley to a dead end
There under a small blue light
She enters an unmarked doorway
(A low heartbeat, a low pounding escapes into the night)
This is a place she goes to fulfill a very basic need
Something people have been doing since the dawn of man
To communicate without talking
If she needs something
She makes a gesture with her hand
And mouths what she wants
She wants to make a connection
A certain kind of connection
No this is not about something from the black market
This is about no questions


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 9:58 PM
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A 'housecoat' is a bathrobe? I had no idea.


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 9:59 PM
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Since I never see housecoats in New York, I'm a bit puzzled, albeit intrigued, by your findings. Where am I not looking?

The cloak-room of Victoria Station.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 10:07 PM
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The cloak-room of Victoria Station.

Oh, you euro-wimp bloggers are all alike. That cloak-room is not even in America! (not that there's anything wrong with that, of course, but still...had I known you were speaking of Eliza II sweeping down the staircase in a housedress and a tiara like some sort of glorified charwoman, I would have adjusted my expectations accordingly).


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 10:16 PM
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155: You don't need to respond to men who contact you on dating sites if you have no interest in them. When I was on the sites. I got two dates, twelve no-responses, and one polite decline. The polite decline was nice because I could be certain she got my message, and it was a little less frustrating than the no-responses, but not by much.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 10:47 PM
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What if [...] he responded with a barrage of emails that began solicitous then grew outraged over the course of 12 hours, when you didn't respond immediately?

"Block User" is an option on many sites. This is when you use it.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 10:49 PM
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That cloak-room is not even in America!

In a sense, the important part about that cloak-room is all over America.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 10:54 PM
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Also, if someone tells you that they're an asshole, they are. You will be surprised how many people out themselves if you just listen.

So, so, true. I once got a great piece of advice: listen very carefully to everything someone tells you in the first two weeks you know them. It's probably the last time they'll ever tell you the whole truth about themselves.

One of the reasons I tend to think that it's hard to pin relationship failures on one person alone -- one overlooked the initial flaws for a reason.

I'll reiterate my theory, vigorously rejected by B, that the happiest relationships are between accepting, affectionate people who really like to have someone around and don't think much about what they're missing out on.

Sure, these are the kind of people who take *naturally* to marriage. But there are all kinds of folie a deux possible, where people maintain their illusions about each other even unto death.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 10:56 PM
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|| Also, just got back from an excellent dinner (+ many drinks) at the gay (but conservative!) couple down the street, where I got yelled at, called a traitor and a naive fool for contending:

A) Bush Administration lied to the public about Iraq
B) We committed many crimes during the Cold War, and it was scary we got so close to blowing up the world
C) The media is not "liberal"

Very impolite given that they we were at their house, they had made two of the best dishes in the dinner and I had only supplied cocktails.

But at the end we all had more drinks and I think there was a nervous / relieved reconciliation around non-political topics. Don't talk about politics or religion with your neighbors! The men couldn't seem to stop and the one woman at the table was horrified. |>


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 11:02 PM
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Don't talk about politics or religion with your neighbors!

I want appended to this, "...if you want to stay friends with them -- and do you need so many friends?"

But I'm not that big a shit-stirrer.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 11:06 PM
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How many enemies do you need?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 11:08 PM
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With friends like these, who needs anomie?


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 11:20 PM
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How many enemies do you need?

Enough to fill the chairs at a dinner party of eight, I assume. So six plus the SO.

max
['Lucky seven!']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 11:39 PM
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In a sense, the important part about that cloak-room is all over America.

Well, sure. Just like (well, Barbara Walters told me it was so) Diana, the so-called People's Princess, was really actually the Princess of America. I mean, wasn't she, really, given how many times she's been featured on the cover of People magazine, many of them posthumously? And who am I to question? 'We are the world,' and etc...

(I stayed up all night to watch the funeral, btw. And got seriously all choked up when I heard, amidst the solemnity of a silence only broken by the sound of the horses' hooves, some random guy in the audience call out, "We love you, Dianer." I at least had membership in the Commonwealth to account for my descent into absurdity, but what was Barbara Walter's excuse, eh?).


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 12:43 AM
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Sure, these are the kind of people who take *naturally* to marriage. But there are all kinds of folie a deux possible, where people maintain their illusions about each other even unto death.

Dream on, PGD.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 4:01 AM
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What on earth were they thinking having Whole Lotta Love? McCartney was too busy?

May be hard to see at that distance, but London != Liverpool. If the Olympics were in San Fransisco, would they bring on Lou Reed?


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 4:08 AM
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re: 239

Yeah, I suppose Page is a Londoner [from suburbia, anyway].


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 4:37 AM
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Liverpool is in Wales, right? But London is in the UK, where they use the euro.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 4:48 AM
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Yeah, I can think of a hundred arguments for not featuring Page, but the fact that he isn't McCartney wouldn't be one of them. Frex:

1. Is older than god and wasn't particularly sporty in his youth: Page Y; McCartney Y
2. Hasn't done anything musically interesting since Heebie was a kid: Page Y; McCartney Y
3. Voices weird opinions when least expected: Page Y; McCartney Y
4. Wasn't arsed to produce anything original for this occasion: Page Y; McCartney Y
5. Was core member of London music scene when he was a lad: Page Y; McCartney N

I suppose they couldn't afford the Stones.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 4:55 AM
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bacon, grits and collard greens

OK, now this got my attention. And I now realize that I could make this happen right now.

Or I could just have the piece of lemon cake* that I was planning on for breakfast.

*It's not iced, it's glazed, so it's really like lemon pound cake, which is totally breakfast food.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 5:14 AM
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PS, for the second morning in a row, I'm up at 6 am with Kai. Having gone to bed at 12.

Worst thing is, he's asleep. But asleep in the swing (which he loves; Iris hated it), so I can't leave him alone and return to bed.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 5:16 AM
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re: 242

What were Page's weird opinions? Just curious. I can't think of much except for the Crowley related stuff back in the 70s.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 5:19 AM
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BTW, on topic, M/tch's

So, asking yourself after a date, "How did I act when we were together? Do I feel good about the way I acted? Is that the person I want to be?" can be a good habit to get into.

is really good. We're all good at adjusting our behavior to match whoever we're with, and it's easy to slip into being a person you don't actually like.

I would add that this is at least as true for friendships as for romantic relationships. I mean, sure, having some disreputable friends is fine and whatever, but if you find yourself acting assholish with a friend, it probably means that the friend is truly an asshole.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 5:21 AM
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On the post -- how about if you're feeling guilty about how you're treating them (you feel as if you keep on being rude or inconsiderate), that's IME a good reason to flee. (A) maybe you are, in which case you're a bad idea for them for some reason and fleeing is kindest all around, but (B) someone who's smooth about the things that make them a bad idea will often leave you feeling in the wrong for objecting to their bad behavior (say, you can't get a straight answer about what the guy did between 2003-06, and after the conversation you feel like you were obnoxiously nosy.)

It's not really a different thing to look for, but it's sometimes easier to spot. (And on preview, it's pretty much a version of M%tch's advice.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 5:38 AM
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That might be the most awesome "Vows" column ever written.

You are clearly forgetting the one about the couple who met during the NYC blackout, which notes that the guy found the girl interesting after he saw a copy of The Weimar Republic Sourcebook on her shelf.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 5:41 AM
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Oh wow, I'm sometimes cagey about what I've done with my time when I'm first getting to know someone, mostly because some of that relates to family health issues. So, I'm not super sane (though not insane) nor am I totally solvent. That might make me a bad dating prospect, but I'm definitely not an asshole.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 5:46 AM
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I'd bet you don't guilt-trip people for asking reasonable questions, though.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 5:53 AM
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242 -- I really was thinking of Paul's vocal on Your Mother Should Know. My other suggestion would have been Roger Miller singing England Swings. Except he's been dead for 15 years.

You know, Robbie Robertson isn't from Salt Lake City. Who do you suppose they got to perform when the Olympics were going to be in Lake Placid?


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 6:00 AM
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I am also a believer in the early bail out.

I'll second Fleur's comment. The early bail out is really important. Like gangrene, it is much better to cut it off quick.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 6:13 AM
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247 is a really good explication.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 6:38 AM
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But asleep in the swing (which he loves; Iris hated it), so I can't leave him alone and return to bed.


We had a swinging cradle 3 feet from the bed that we could swing with a cord. So the first thing when he cried was to just set it swinging to see if he'd rock to sleep. If not, then we went and got him.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 7:40 AM
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I met, got briefly involved with, and had an early break-up with, two women who both then later got involved with other friends and proved to be such seriously bad, bad news that I got a positive ego-rush from realising how right I'd been to break up with them early.

But, I actually can't say what it was that led me to break up with them before I knew what bad news they were. I just knew, fairly early on, that there was something about them I didn't like/couldn't trust - and I respected that instinct and dumped them. (Nicely.)

(Well, okay, the second woman I dumped celebrated by sending me streams of hate mail until I told her I'd never open another envelope with her handwriting on it again. But I tried to be nice. Initially.)

I guess I'd say: If after you've gone to bed with them more than once and you've got that nagging "I don't like this" feeling, even if you've got nothing specific on which to base it, dump them. (Nicely.)

If you've only been to bed with them once, it's a one-night stand and you don't need to dump them formally: just cut them dead when you next see them.

I'm joking about this, but not very much.

And if you don't want to have sex with them and they keep suggesting you really should, no matter what reason they're offering why you really should, that is one of the best signs ever that they belong dumped.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 8:16 AM
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I really hope this doesn't sound sexist because I don't think it is. If the question is "how can Daddy prepare Daughter for all the jerks in the world" this is my advice.

First and foremost - be there. Be in her life as a Father from birth. If she has to seek Daddy elsewhere she will be very vulnerable. Be there, and be the kind of guy you hope she ends up with. Treat your wife the way you want your daughter to be treated. Hopefully she will internalize this and eventually seek it out. Yeah, teens, rebellion, mistakes that last a lifetime, I know, this is no guarantee against anything really but it lays the foundation.

Second, instill confidence in your daughter. Notice something she is good at and praise her. Show her that good guys recognize her strengths and reward her for them. Be on her side.

Third, when she gets older, shut up and listen to her. Listen much, say little. This is about her, not you. Mostly listen, offer thoughts either when asked or gently. By this time the foundation you laid is what you are counting on and all the talk in the world may help a little but it may also backfire too, so usually hold your tongue.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 8:26 AM
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The only thing you could call sexist about that is restricting it to fathers and daughters. Sons need to know they're beloved and worth being well treated as well, and mothers are a significant part of the emotional grounding of daughters and sons, just as fathers are.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 8:36 AM
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256 and 257 are rock solid parenting advice.

Probably not bad grown-up dating advice, too, for that matter. I suspect asking myself "Would I want Rory involved with someone like this?" would be at least as effective as any other tip -- though there are plenty of good ones here!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 8:45 AM
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LizardBreath,

Totally. I left out mothers because I don't feel it is my place to give advice to mothers. AFAIK the advice to mothers might be different, so I wanted to speak exclusively from my own experience.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 8:47 AM
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Yeah. While I have some family issues (like everyone else does) my parents were both flawless on the 256-type issues. And while I've had some social/dating woes along the way, I've never been in an extended relationship with anyone who's treated me badly, and I'm very sure those two things are connected.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 8:49 AM
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So I can blame my parents? Awesome.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 8:52 AM
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261: Well, not to speak to your specifics, but sure. If the most important formative loving relationships you have are with people who treat you badly or don't seem to think much of you, ill-treatment or contempt isn't going to seem jarringly out of place in a later romantic relationship. It's not so much (I don't think) about what you think you deserve, as about what feels normal to you.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 8:56 AM
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I've heard that if you wait by the river long enough, you'll see the body of your ideal mate float by.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 9:05 AM
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263: Yes, but they may be less ... dateable then.

I'm going to be obnoxious and briefly grumble about the heterosexism and biphobia implicit in 5.
And now I'm done.


Posted by: JPool | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 9:25 AM
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264: alliteronormativism crushes our desires like a vice.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 9:27 AM
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alliteronormativism crushes our desires like a vice.

No, dude, it destroys our desires like a demolition derby.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 9:29 AM
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I told her I'd never open another envelope with her handwriting on it again

Someday you'll look back on her fondly as some one who sent you letters through the mail.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 9:42 AM
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266: hellish however it happens, hexed homo horndog.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 9:48 AM
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262: Or if that's how they treat one another, but yeah, exactly. When fucked up is your normal, it's awfully hard to recognize the signs of fucked up.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 9:48 AM
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No, dude, it destroys our desires like a demolition derby.

Like an enraged elephant !



Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 9:56 AM
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264.1: Nonsense, all you need is a diving suit, a car with a large trunk and a bit of imagination.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 10:00 AM
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Nonsense, all you need is ten and a fiver, a car and a key and a sober driver.

B double-E double-R U N, beer run.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 10:04 AM
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Wait, so you throw the beer at the body, and get your kicks that way? Sick, heebie, sick.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 10:06 AM
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256, 257: I think it is actually productive to target the advice to fathers of girls. First of all, the initial question was about how raise your daughter to make smart relationship decisions, and you don't have to be a Freudian to think that these relationships are influenced by a womans relationship to their father.

More importantly, though, I think (I hope) that good fathering of girls is going to do a lot to empower women in our society. Billie Jean King was on NPR this morning saying that she thought that one of the best things that women in sports have done is to bring more men to feminism, particularly fathers who are now involved with their daughters lives and see their daughters as being as important as their sons.

I read somewhere (yes I know, I should have a citation, but I don't) that women who are successful in the sciences are more likely to have had a good relationship with their father. It seems like girls need more of an extra push to identify themselves with the male parent and the public world of the male parent. But if they do identify, the child will be better prepared to deal with the public world as an adult.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 10:10 AM
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So girls who have poor relationships with their fathers should have successful careers in science to improve the relationship.

A lot of fathers are very supportive of their daughters personally without having any philosophical ideas about it. I've also seen stories about women getting started in traditionally male jobs where it was mostly a family-support thing. One of the jobs was over-the-road trucking, which isn't an elite job but pays much better than waitressing, etc.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 10:19 AM
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First, certainly the father daughter relationship is a terribly important one. It's just not the only important formative relationship.

For this:

I read somewhere (yes I know, I should have a citation, but I don't) that women who are successful in the sciences are more likely to have had a good relationship with their father. It seems like girls need more of an extra push to identify themselves with the male parent and the public world of the male parent. But if they do identify, the child will be better prepared to deal with the public world as an adult.

You do have to watch generational effects. My children's relationship to the 'public world' isn't solely mediated by their relationship with their father; they don't have a reason to percieve the public/private divide as gendered.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 10:20 AM
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But certainly, my father is wonderfully supportive and loving, and that's certainly had an effect on how I feel about entering vocational areas that are conventionally gendered male.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 10:22 AM
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Rob,

I don't think it is so much that empowered daughters identify with their father. I think it is more that they identify with their mother about what to expect from a man, and the father shows that ambition and smarts are admirable in a woman.

So the father can show that there are men who like ambition and smarts in a woman and the daughter is free and encouraged to be that kind of woman, not that she wants to be a man.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 10:23 AM
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It's not politically correct to say this, but mothers aren't really very important.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 10:25 AM
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I'll just sit here in the dark. Don't mind me.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 10:26 AM
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LizardBreath is really a wire monkey.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 10:29 AM
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I bet in time you could breed monkeys who prefer the wire mothers. Those would be some dynamite monkeys.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 10:30 AM
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My children's relationship to the 'public world' isn't solely mediated by their relationship with their father; they don't have a reason to percieve the public/private divide as gendered.

Yeah, I shouldn't have phrased things as exclusively as I did. Obviously women can be great role models for girls in the workplace.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 10:32 AM
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I'm a big fan of mothers. I really am.

But it really burns me when someone says "As a mother, I am very concerned about my son [or daughter]."

Oh, I see. And that is a SPECIAL concern that fathers are incapable of??


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 10:33 AM
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I'm gonna ignore John's prodding.

The advice I gave is good for father's and daughters, although there are some differences between daughters and sons, mostly in how they can be affected by the lack of a father.

Fatherless daughters might seek a father when dating. Fatherless sons won't do that, but they might think that the wife-husband relationship is like the one they have with their mother.

A mother-son relationship is not really a very good model for a wife-husband relationship. I know it may be rather common but in my opinion a mother-son relationship isn't so great between adults.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 10:33 AM
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Please do not taunt the dynamite monkey.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 10:33 AM
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Shoot, I meant my advice is also good for fathers/sons in the first sentence.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 10:33 AM
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Oops, link fixed.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 10:35 AM
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284: I resent that locution for different reasons. "As I mother, I really care about policy position X", especially when it's something like high gas prices, drives me up the wall.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 10:35 AM
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I rarely hear fathers say it. I frequently hear mothers say it.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 10:36 AM
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I was just explaining things to LB, Tripp. As a good Catholic girl she took it the right way.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 10:37 AM
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Will,

That is the way you are taking it. Get a thicker skin and stop looking for trouble. I'd say 'be a man' but of course I mean 'be an adult.'


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 10:37 AM
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289: I try to avoid stating opinions or feelings as an anything. Its the public space of reasons, baby.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 10:37 AM
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OTOH, I was really amused to hear Jon Stewart say that he was looking forward to the end of the Bush administration "as a comedian, as a citizen, as a human being, as a mammal."


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 10:38 AM
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You know what really bugs me? People saying"I'm on a fixed income so this really affects me."

Well duh. For the last 30 years (and especially the last 8) we *all* are on a fixed income. what do these people think - I can walk in and demand a raise anytime I want? I can simply get more money whenever I want?


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 10:40 AM
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But it really burns me when someone says "As a mother, I am very concerned about my son [or daughter]."

But isn't it (mostly) not meant offensively, but rather just as a substitute for "parent"? As in, the speaker could have said "parent", but chose to be slightly more specific about the sort of parent that she was: namely, a mother.

I sometimes say I'm a "parent" and sometimes say I'm a "father", and rarely if ever do I mean to convey something different by choosing one term over the other.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 10:41 AM
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294: how could he possibly be looking forward to its end "as a comedian"?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 10:42 AM
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297: He wants to be disappointed bymake fun of someone new.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 10:44 AM
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I bet in time you could breed monkeys who prefer the wire mothers. Those would be some dynamite objectivist monkeys.


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 10:44 AM
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265 & 266:
You're both right and both wrong.
It crushes our desires like a car-crushing machine that crushes cars.


Posted by: JPool | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 10:46 AM
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"Fixed income" means "retired and unemployable". Workers can change jobs or moonlight. Jobhunting is hard past a certain age, and some people really can't work.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 10:47 AM
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But it really burns me when someone says "As a mother, I am very concerned about my son [or daughter]."

Oh, I see. And that is a SPECIAL concern that fathers are incapable of??

You are being defensive. If I say, "As a mother, I am concerned about Rory..." it does not at all imply the UNG is incapable of sharing that concern. It just means that my concern is not that of some disinterested stranger. I could say "as a parent," but I am a mother, so why shouldn't I say it that way?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 10:49 AM
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It also used to mean people whose retirement payment was in dollar value and subject to inflation, but SS and most pensions are indexed by now. High interest rates can be good for people living on savings and investments.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 10:49 AM
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302: Except for UNG personally being a horrible beast in most ways, of course.

My sociopath b-i-l is passionately concerned for his children and grandchildren when he can frame it as his clan against the world, but that doesn't mean that he'll treat them with any decency or consideration otherwise.

He has some beautiful furniture in storage which he won't let his daughter use to set up housekeeping in her new home, because it's for her inheritance. True story.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 10:53 AM
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304: Right -- he may be incapable of the same concern, but not because he's not a mother. (In certain usages, in fact, he is!)


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 11:02 AM
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In the contexts in which I hear it the word mother is being used to contrast herself from the father. As if the mother has special powers of concern not shared by the father.

"As a parent" is much preferable.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 11:08 AM
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It just means that my concern is not that of some disinterested stranger. I could say "as a parent," but I am a mother, so why shouldn't I say it that way?

Because the special concern that you have is as a parent, right? Not just as a mother. (You can safely say parent bc no one is going to confuse you as the father.)


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 11:09 AM
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As a motherfucker, I find Bush's policies deplorable, but I can say that? No.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 11:28 AM
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a mother-son relationship isn't so great between adults.

Speaking for my mom and me, I don't think we'd want to have any other kind of relationship.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 11:38 AM
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I think it is actually productive to target the advice to fathers of girls. First of all, the initial question was about how raise your daughter to make smart relationship decisions, and you don't have to be a Freudian to think that these relationships are influenced by a womans relationship to their father. More importantly, though, I think (I hope) that good fathering of girls is going to do a lot to empower women in our society.

See, it has been looking to me like we're heading steadily back in the direction of arranged marriages, at least for the upper-classes. Of course, no one would directly arrange a marriage blah blah blah, but it nets out the same. (As in 'Escape from Castle Wolkstein' above.)

In a contracting economy with a birthrate below replacement, you kinda have to.

max
['Victoria Reloaded.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 11:39 AM
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Shut your mouth, Emerson.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 11:40 AM
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So I can blame my parents? Awesome.
The last line is wrong, but an otherwise apropos poem:

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another's throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don't have any kids yourself.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 11:40 AM
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There are a lot of popular misconceptions about the proper interpretation of that poem floating around.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 11:41 AM
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People saying"I'm on a fixed income so this really affects me."

I've always thought it a euphemism for being on social security.


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 11:42 AM
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Oh, max, good to see you. I just want to let you know that I've added a few lines to the Perl module that handles comments to remove your annoying bracketed comment-closers. They're commented out at the moment, because I want to give you a chance to reform of your own recognizance.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 11:42 AM
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Does it mean you actually should have kids?


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 11:43 AM
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As a motherfucker, I find Bush's policies deplorable

I should have thought that Bush's policies were plenty fucked up, mother or no. Learn something new every day.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 11:43 AM
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steadily back in the direction of arranged marriages

Given the option of divorcing out of disaster, why is this a bad idea? Crazy blind date and eHarmony beat hooking up with tallest/hottest/richest yes in the bar, but is that better than an informed human judgement?


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 11:44 AM
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307: Well, no. My concerns as a mother are concerns as a mother. And given that a good many of the concerns I have raising Rory are colored or shaped by my gendered experience of the world, "as a mother" may very well often be more accurate than "as a parent" in many cases.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 11:44 AM
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See for yourself, PGD.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 11:44 AM
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that I've added a few lines to the Perl module that handles comments to remove your annoying bracketed comment-closers.

Hey, I like the bracketed comment-closers.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 11:46 AM
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308 reminds me: I'm reading Sacred Games by Vikram Chandra which has a glossary in the back for all of the non-English words. Just about every word I've had to look up so far means [some relative]-fucker.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 11:46 AM
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This is a bit late, but I just wanted to proudly say that I immediately knew what 21 was referring to.


Posted by: mpowell | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 11:47 AM
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Don't think you can't be dealt with as well, heebie.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 11:47 AM
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315: Don't be such a twit, Ben. Some of us enjoy max's bracketed comment-closers.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 11:47 AM
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I think it's ridiculous to edit out the comment-closers, fwiw.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 11:47 AM
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I feel as if I'm going insane.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 11:49 AM
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Ben's in a bad mood ever since they banned him from the national parks.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 11:49 AM
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Don't think you can't be dealt with as well, heebie.

Uh-oh! Are you going to punish me by posting my "About" submission?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 11:51 AM
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I didn't even know that you had one.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 11:52 AM
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327: Good, Ben! Admitting the problem is your first step in getting better. We're here for you.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 11:56 AM
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I think any effort to censor Max's comments should be met with massive civil disobedience.

Rob

['I am Sparticus']


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 11:59 AM
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I can't believe 321, 325, and 326 didn't all end with:

['I am Spartacus.']


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 11:59 AM
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Now that's pwnage.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 12:00 PM
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The link in 320 is brilliant. Ben, have you contacted Amelia of the January 25th comment yet?

I'm not sure whether the misspelling in 332 is a daring act of civil disobedience or proof of Ben's point.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 12:02 PM
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I supposed I should have announced that I was Spartacus, rather than Sparticus.

Rob

['Or Sportacus']


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 12:02 PM
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She didn't leave an email address, PGD.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 12:04 PM
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Also, she misspelled "methodology".


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 12:05 PM
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Because she knew you would be horrified, yet somehow fascinated and transfixed, by the misspelling.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 12:09 PM
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Or Sportacus

Rob obviously has small children.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 12:11 PM
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"Allow me to suggest that someone call himself "Dudey Bollockyboo" has something of a hurdle to clear before his evaluations of literary criticism are to be taken seriously, and that those hurdles have not been cleared."

Heh.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 12:15 PM
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Larger Child just started kindergarten today!


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 12:15 PM
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Seriously ben, 320 is great. You should write things like that here.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 12:17 PM
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Also, she misspelled "methodology".

Talk about your dealbreakers.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 12:17 PM
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massive civil disobedience
Maybe I'll start capitalize and follow all the punctuation rules.


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 12:19 PM
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to


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 12:21 PM
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Alternatively, Brock, you could read my blog.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 12:23 PM
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I resent that locution for different reasons. "As I mother, I really care about policy position X", especially when it's something like high gas prices, drives me up the wall.

Cala is so right about this.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 12:23 PM
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344: ||
Hey JRoth -- Let's go to the Cubs-Pirates game!
|>


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 12:24 PM
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Civil disobedience is not as easy as it looks, eh read?


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 12:24 PM
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345: Don't do it read! We cannot let the tyranny that is ben sanitize away all of those stylistic idiosyncrasies that make each and every one of us unique and beautiful snowflakes! You punctuating and capitalizing and max not bracketing would be like, well, like me not whining randomly about the various things that make my life so pathetic.

['Guess who might have shingles?']


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 12:25 PM
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?!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 12:28 PM
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But Di- if read will only follow the conventions as a matter of civil disobedience, then when the tyranny is smashed she can return to her previous ways, or explore brave, new ways of spelling, capitalization and punctuation.

[I am Antoninus]


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 12:30 PM
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Be serious, Ben.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 12:31 PM
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'Guess who might have shingles?'

These guys.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 12:35 PM
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Standpipe has explained the problem with the comment-closers. Max is lucky to still be alive.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 12:37 PM
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Comment 356 is void and worthless without a link, you lazy bastard. In the good old days this sort of thing never happened. Standards.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 12:40 PM
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Workers can change jobs or moonlight. Jobhunting is hard past a certain age, and some people really can't work.

That is so wrong. I cannot change jobs and earn a larger salary. My employment contract also specifically forbids moonlighting.

The myth is that people can somehow always work harder or longer and earn more money and it is simply not true.

And I don't know who you are thinking about but I am one of the last US workers in private industry to retain my pension (and had to fight for that) and it most certainly is *not* indexed to inflation or anything else.
Essentially it is an already set lump sum and the amount I will receive is the total amount divided by the number of months between when I start collecting it and the month reckon I'll die.

For example if my pension lump sum is 144K and my life expectancy is age 77 and I start to collect at age 65 then every month I will get $144K/12yrs*12 months or $1K a month. That amount is set in today's dollars and won't increase.

So inflation is already eating away at my pension and I can't even start to collect on it until I'm 62 by which time it will be worth less than it is now. The only way I can come out ahead is to live longer than my life expectancy.

To SS recipients I say "You are about the last of us to get any sort of COLA. If anything you are less on a fixed income than I am."


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 12:40 PM
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Bygones.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 12:40 PM
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355: You mean they're not as safe as they say?


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 12:42 PM
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Tripp, I authorize you to begin letters as "as someone on a fixed income", which describes you but not everyone.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 12:42 PM
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Shingles?! Ouch. About the only good thing with shingles is you may be able to score some good painkillers but even then shingles is not worth it.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 12:43 PM
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read!


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 12:45 PM
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I can't even start to collect on it until I'm 62

You can borrow against it or more advantageously against your residence, loan to be repaid with pension benefits, and invest the borrowing. If you are sure of inflation, either TIPS or commodities should do. Equivalently except for the tax advantage of avoiding the loan, you can repay your mortgage as slowly as possible and invest the difference, in a Roth IRA if you're positive you won't need the money sooner.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 12:45 PM
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358: the "fixed income" plea is longer-term (and had more salience before SS was indexed). It's not that you can ask for a raise tomorrow, it's that if costs rise generally then, over time, so do wages--you're (workers generally, not necessarily *you*) likely to get raises in the future, or when you change jobs, and those raises are likely to be larger in a period of rising prices. If you're on a truly fixed income, you're SOL.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 12:46 PM
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My point, John, is that in the US today thanks to globalization *every* worker is on a fixed income. An income which has been steadily falling. The only people getting some raises are those at the very beginning of their careers, and they will be plateauing soon enough.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 12:46 PM
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Because she knew you would be horrified, yet somehow fascinated and transfixed, by the misspelling.

What you all don'[t realize is that ben didn't have to revisit the thread to know the word she misspelled. It's imprinted on his memory.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 12:47 PM
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Hey JRoth -- Let's go to the Cubs-Pirates game!

Ack! You mean tonight? How flexible do you think my schedule is?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 12:48 PM
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Lots of workers are on a fixed income, not every, and I doubt most. But the solution I gave works for everyone who is.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 12:48 PM
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Which isn't to say I'm not thinking about it.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 12:48 PM
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Brock,

The idea that wages, over time, will keep up with inflation is quaint. It has certainly not been the norm for the past thirty years or so in the US.

After a period of about five to ten years most workers in a field have hit their peak earning and they will plateau, slowly losing out to inflation.

If you are college educated that plateau will be higher but it will still come, and you will not be able to change jobs to increase your wages.

Here is something to try. Take your yearly SS earnings statement, which is a rather nice and convenient place to get your earning history since you started working. Take the yearly amounts and put them in a spreadsheet indexed against inflation for each year. You can find the inflation values all over the web.

Look at the graph. I know what mine looks like. Do you know what yours looks like?


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 12:52 PM
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Jesus Christ, Tripp, a lot of people increase their income by changing careers. We got your point, but it was way overstated at the beginning and we explained that. Some people are on fixed incomes and some aren't.

It pisses you off to hear this kind of stuff, but a lot of your opening statements here are exaggerated and seem calculated to rouse opposition.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 12:58 PM
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371: Tripp, I don't know your personal situation, but nationally nominal wages are up significantly over the last 30 years. Real wages are flat, or slightly down, depending on who's measuring and how. If anyone's nominal wages had been flat for the last 30 years (as would be the case for someone with a non-indexed fixed income), that person would be in a bad situation indeed.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 12:59 PM
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So, you're both saying that real wages have not been increasing.


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 1:01 PM
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I feel especially justified in complaining about everything. All of you really have no right to say anything.


Posted by: OPINIONATED MOTHER ON A FIXED INCOME | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 1:19 PM
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Au contraire, OMOAFI. Because John McCain was a POW, I have the right to say anything.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 1:28 PM
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I thought the Wikipedia page for the phrase "always already" might be a good place to start learning about philosophy, but no, it makes no fucking sense, and in only two paragraphs! Good thing I didn't spend any more time than that trying to figure out such things.


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 1:34 PM
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new ways of spelling, capitalization and punctuation.
i thought my spelling at least not that bad..
JRoth!


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 1:50 PM
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Because John McCain was a POW, I have the right to say anything.

John McCain was tortured for your sins.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 1:52 PM
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I thought the Wikipedia page for the phrase "always already" might be a good place to start learning about philosophy, but no, it makes no fucking sense, and in only two paragraphs!

Your words say "but no", but your meaning says "and yes"


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 1:55 PM
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's


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 1:56 PM
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JRoth!

Wow. I got read to use her 'shift' key.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 2:01 PM
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On the whole, I agree with Tripp on wages in the above kerfluffle. One of the reasons I am so pissed about the "core ve headline" inflation controversy is how much people on fixed incomes are being hurt by Fed policy. SS was indexed to prices, not wages, and those who made that decision knew they could more easily hurt old people that way.

The idea that wages, over time, will keep up with inflation is quaint.

All in all, the statute had the effect of protecting the employer against the employee, agriculture against industry, and the state against social revolt. A guild of bricklayers at Hull inscribed at the head of its ordinances the consoling proposition that "all men are by nature equal, made all by one Workman of like mire"; but nobody believed it, least of all Cecil and Elizabeth; and it was probably Cecil who directed the economic legislation of 1563. Its results for the working classes was to make poverty compulsory. It proposed to readjust wages periodically to the price of basic foods, but the magistrates commissioned to do this belonged to the employing class. Wages rose, but far more slowly than prices; between 1580 and 1640 the price of necessities climbed 100 per cent, wages 20 per cent. During the century from 1550 to 1650 the conditions of artisans and laborers worsened from day to day. The outskirts of London "filled up with a comparatively poor and often vicious class, dwelling in meanest tenements," and living in some parts by theft and beggary. At the funeral of the Earl of Shrewsbury (1591) some twenty thousand beggars applied for a dole. ...W & A Durant

It would amuse me more to use the Durants as an authoritative source over at ari's, but I don't go there anymore.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 2:08 PM
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382: or copy and paste.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 2:09 PM
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In case 383 wasn't clear, one of the nastier things Republicans have done is to use monetary policy as a wedge between workers & retirees. By indexing SS to prices instead of wages, it means that, Fed forced to chose under stress, SS recipients would benefit from recession/unemployment (in more ways than high interest rates) while workers would benefit from higher "headline" inflation.

That DeLong & Thoma seem almost ecstatic over Greenspan/Bernanke policies and neoclassical monetarism, passionately defending the decision to use "core", slowly forcing granny to chose catfood over her meds is one of the reasons I don't trust them. I am not at all sure whose side they are on.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 2:18 PM
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Jesus Christ, Tripp, a lot of people increase their income by changing careers.

Dammit, Emerson, I remember things nd the evidence continues to accumulate.

WTF,

"Aren't making enough money? Get a different or another job?"

You gotta be fucking kiddin me.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 2:26 PM
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SS was indexed to prices, not wages, and those who made that decision knew they could more easily hurt old people that way.

Intergenerationally, SS is indexed to wages, not prices. For new entrants, SS payment levels go up year by year with wages. This is actually a critical point, some of the stealth attack proposals call for a switch to indexing to the CPI. This seemingly technical change would wreck SS.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 2:27 PM
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382: or copy and paste.

That's still a combination of keys!*

* Probably


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 2:37 PM
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Tripp, with characteristic overstatement, said that everyone lives on fixed incomes except maybe people in the first ten years of their careers. That's not true. There are all kinds of different ways he could have said what he said and be right, but not the way he said it.

There's a big split between people who are deadended and those who aren't. A lot of working people are even worse off than retirees, now that pensions and SS are indexed. But a lot of people aren't deadended. That's one reason why populist appeals aren't as powerful as we wish.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 2:41 PM
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386: While I've got no particular dog in this semantic fight, every time I have changed jobs, I've gotten a pretty significant pay increase. Speaking anecdatally.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 2:44 PM
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Brock,

371: Tripp, I don't know your personal situation, but nationally nominal wages are up significantly over the last 30 years.

I think we are agreeing with each other. Nominal wages do go up, but that is a false measure of wages. Nominal wages need to be compared to the rate of inflation or the cost of living or something like that.

What I was trying to say is that when one ignores one's nominal wage and graphs one's real wage over time one gets a better feel for how one is doing.

Over the past thirty years or so real wages in America have been on a slow decline while the GDP (our output) has gone up up up. The rich have gotten richer and the rest of us are slowing falling behind. That includes pensioners and wage earners alike.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 2:45 PM
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But a lot of people aren't deadended.

Who are these people? Doctors, yes, because of the monopoly on Doctors in the US. Entertainers, yes. Business Executives? Yes.

But what wage earning field other than those special cases above has not been dead ended?


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 2:48 PM
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Tripp, you do realize that it's perfectly possible for a field as a whole to have stable real wages, while individuals within that field see steady increases in their real income, right? For a simple example, think of a unionized workforce where the same number of people are hired as retire every year, and salaries increase in real terms with seniority. Each year, there are the same number of workers in each income category, so wages in the field don't change, but each worker's wages increase in real terms every year.

And of course the same thing can happen in the absence of unionization. It doesn't necessarily work for everyone, but it can happen for anyone.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 2:53 PM
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391: Tripp, I don't disagree with that (at least not its main thrust). My point was that the complaint about a a "fixed income" is a complaint, generally, or at least historically, about a fixed nominal income. While wages may or may not be climbing fast enough to keep up with inflation, a truly fixed income isn't climbing at all.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 2:54 PM
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390: apo,

Have you done what I suggested above? Graphed your real income, that is nominal adjusted for inflation?

Otherwise I'd guess your job changes were either to another field or to more responsibility. In general the competition gets harder and harder as one climbs and everybody stalls somewhere.

That is if one is a wage-earner. If one really wants to be rich in America the best way is to be born into it. If you are in you are in and your kids are in too. The second best way is to be a business owner and hit it big. BUT the risks are very high when being a business owner. Essentially you'll be betting on a long shot and competing with some extremely tough competition.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 2:56 PM
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It's well-known that average real wages have been flat for 30+ years. That's different than saying everyone is on a fixed income.

I jumped into that argument because Tripp was talking about being annoyed when someone says "As someone on a fixed income...." I was arguing that for many people (retired, unemployed, unemployable, or with unindexed pensions) it's a meaningful statement.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 3:03 PM
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Have you done what I suggested above?

No, because I'm lazy. But I'm making roughly six times what I was when I graduated 22 years ago, whatever that works out to inflation-wise. They were indeed mostly switches between industries, and I did start out from a near minimum wage baseline. I've probably only got a couple more jumps I can make without getting an MPH, though.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 3:05 PM
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You graduated 22 years ago? I thought you were in your upper 30s?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 3:06 PM
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393:

In theory I agree, but there has been a steady downward pressure from globalization which has lowered the highest salary. Also most non-unionized workplaces do not recognize seniority. It is all about job performance. So there has been steady pressure to keep real wages stagnant or falling while the money from increased GDP is given to the rich.

New hires in my globalcorp make about 2/3 what I make - and I have thirty years of working and have had about five pay grade increases. The wage plateau now hits workers sooner than it ever has. The starting pay is great if you can get it, but it won't really increase that much over time.

In real terms my pay, after thirty years and about five pay grade advances is about 1.6 of my starting pay. I think my pay reflects the basic industry standard in global computing.

Other fields may have different curves but I suspect that now that computers are becoming commodities my 1.6 curve will drop farther for the new hires today.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 3:07 PM
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Crap. 22 years ago was high school. Sixteen years ago is correct, and I turn 40 this fall.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 3:07 PM
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399: And this argument is, of course, purely verbal nitpicking -- obviously you don't mean that literally everyone's wages are stagnant other than doctors, entertainers, and business executives. But you're perfectly right that plenty of people are facing stagnant real wages. (Or massive reductions in their real income. Hi!)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 3:14 PM
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Hi!

Hi!


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 3:16 PM
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What is the matter with being on a fixed income? Mine is quite comfortable. FIDs are another matter. Far too risky.

[The Sportacist League has the Yankees and the Royals. No Reds.]


Posted by: muffy dagenham I/V | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 3:37 PM
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Terribly late to this thread, but . . .

1. Also, if someone tells you that they're an asshole, they are. You will be surprised how many people out themselves if you just listen.

Right, like if someone tells you -- repeatedly -- that the're totally fucked up and incapable of having a relationship, you should definitely bail before 3 years have passed.

2. Ben, leave max alone, lest you risk the wrath of the Kraab.

['These claws are made for cutting.']


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 3:52 PM
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Area asshole admits to being asshole in supreme asshole move.

A classic.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 3:55 PM
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About the only good thing with shingles is you may be able to score some good painkillers

Ibuprofen. Woo hoo...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 4:30 PM
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That's not right. While I had a highly unusually painless case of shingles, I had to actively refuse narcotics -- the doctor was really stuck on the idea that shingles should be hurting like hell, and should therefore require lots of very controlled drugs. Your doctor sounds insensitive.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 4:33 PM
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Did you call a rheumatologist, Di?</pester>


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 4:38 PM
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re: 407

Here in the UK you seem to need to have had some horrendous injury before they give you anything other than ibuprofen. In fact, I've never been prescribed a pain-killer that I couldn't have bought over the counter.

I swear, I could replace the outcome of 99% of all medical visits with a piece of paper on which is written, "take ibuprofen".


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 5:01 PM
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Of interest to no one but me: Emily Cox and Henry Rathvon sure have the lock on the miniscule American cryptic crossword market, don't they? Also, I wish I had a regular source for good cryptics available online, in Across Lite format. The only ones I've found so far in that format are the Sydney Morning Herald's, and they are terrible.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 5:27 PM
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re: 409: You can buy codeine over the counter in the UK, nattar. (Though I still remember fondly the painkillers I was prescribed after I had my tonsils out. God, they were good.)

Also re: 409: I would need a piece of paper on which is written: take "mometasone furoate monohydrate". Then again, I get one: it's what we call a prescription.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 5:28 PM
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I had to actively refuse narcotics

I can understand all of these words individually, but strung together they just make no sense at all.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 5:32 PM
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I got some codeine when I had 8 teeth pulled. Having teeth pulled isn't too terribly painful, so I saved them for actual emergencies such as burns (which I am NOT "stoical" about). But my goddamn niece-in-law came through town with a goddamn sprained ankle and ate the whole bottle in 2 or 3 days. She started off just whiny, but she segued effortlessly into stoner mode once she saw the bottle.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 5:38 PM
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Best stuff I've seen was time-release morphine.

Not for getting high; that's the point: the very slow steady release doesn't even provide a particular moment when you notice the pain is gone. Without a psycho-physical rush or relief the addiction odds are much diminished. Besides, being morphine, you don't need very much.

Good luck on getting a prescription.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 8:58 PM
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Ibuprofen doesn't work for everybody. I keep having to explain that I'd rather have a couple of Paracetamol (Tylenol), if that's the only alternative. It doesn't help with pain and makes me nauseous.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 3:22 AM
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Time release morphine is the dog's bollocks, IMO. But they are a bit careful with it.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 3:25 AM
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The UK is funny about what's OTC and what's not. You can get acetaminophen/Tylenol/Paracetamol with codeine over the counter, but naproxen sodium (aka Aleve) requires a prescription. In Canada naproxen is also a prescription drug.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 5:03 AM
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Sorry, 417 came out wrong. I don't have any reason to know that the U.S.'s regulation is right and that the UK's is not much more sane. I should have said that it's funny how much the rules vary country by country even between countries that are reasonably regulated, i.e. not Mexico.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 5:06 AM
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I actually have a stash of vicodin from previous overprescribing docs, so I will survive if necessary. This particular doc didn't seem exactly genius -- he kept referring the the script he gave me as "antibiotics" when, of course, it's an antiviral. Whatever. He did prescribe the correct drug for treatment and I woke up this morning virtually pain free, so.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 5:42 AM
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408: Not yet... [/sheepish]


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 5:45 AM
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Glad you are pain free, Di!


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 5:57 AM
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Shingles? Ouch. My sympathies. But maybe worse is the itching, if it goes that way. I was reminded of my brief bout with resurgent chicken pox when I read that disgusting story in that recent New Yorker.


Posted by: Charlie | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 6:36 AM
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Heigho hi-diddle-diddle,
Aunt Isabel's shingles have met in the middle,
She's buried in Devon
So God's in His heaven
And that is the end of the news.
Sorry to hear about that, Di. Glad you're on the mend.
Posted by: Noel Coward | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 6:54 AM
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And it was almost certainly stress-induced, I should have said. One might hope that 'nature' had arranged things so that immunity increases in response to an intense situation, but no ...


Posted by: Charlie | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 7:06 AM
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Does 416 mean that it's good?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 7:47 AM
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416. Naproxen (sadly contraindicated for me these days) is a wonder drug for actually killing pain without getting high. A very powerful anti-inflammatory, I once gave one 500 mg cap to a guy who had taken a knee sprain playing rugby the previous day, and he claimed to be pain free inside an hour.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 8:24 AM
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Naproxen is good shit. I'm thinking if I take some tonight I might be able to run without my fucking calves feeling like they're going to explode.

How does one solve this, anyhow, this feeling that one's calves are going to explode?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 8:27 AM
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417: In Canada you can buy a wonderful muscle relaxant over the counter. It's perfect for minor strains or twingy low backs. Here? Prescription, and we forgot to stock up when we visited.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 8:28 AM
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How does one solve this, anyhow, this feeling that one's calves are going to explode?

Take a taxi.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 8:28 AM
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How does one solve this, anyhow, this feeling that one's calves are going to explode?

By going ahead and exploding them. Cala can probably score you some dynamite or something on the cheap.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 8:28 AM
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OFE's solution probably has fewer drawbacks.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 8:29 AM
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How does one solve this, anyhow, this feeling that one's calves are going to explode?

Stop running, obviously.

Possibly post-run stretching/massage, but I don't know; I've only ever had shin splints as lower-leg, running-related problems.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 8:29 AM
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Massage? Not, like, actually going somewhere and paying someone, but your calves are a bodypart you should be able to reach to rub them yourself.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 8:30 AM
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Massage them, yes, but use bananas. The potassium will help.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 8:32 AM
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Hm. I'll try it. My previous strategy of "take a couple days off from running" was less than successful.

Well, technically the strategy was "take a couple days off from running but play tennis without stretching, then take another couple days off but carry a lot of really heavy things across uneven ground". I can kind of answer my own question, here, can't I?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 8:32 AM
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"use" s/b "also eat"


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 8:33 AM
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434: dude I'm not rubbing bananas all over my legs.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 8:33 AM
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Lots of water, some potassium, stretching, and (ime) not taking time off helps.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 8:34 AM
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Just go somewhere easy to clean up pop your calves like a couple of big pimples. I suggest a shower stall.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 8:36 AM
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Weird--comment 436 appears to be before comment 437, but the sidebar on the main page suggests the opposite.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 8:36 AM
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How does one solve this, anyhow, this feeling that one's calves are going to explode?

Relocate the cattle barn far away from the powdermill.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 8:38 AM
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I stretch every time before running. I suppose I should stretch after? Potassium, check. I haven't been taking time off (at least, not more than two days since I started). Is this really the best solution? Things seem to be progressing in the wrong direction.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 8:39 AM
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Is it not increased lower leg strength that you're wanting? Maybe it just takes time. I know, you've been running for years.

433 has me wondering if, strictly considered, there are any body parts that are unavailable for self massage.


Posted by: Charlie | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 8:40 AM
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Seems to me I keep reading that stretching is overrated -- it'll make you more flexible, but won't keep you from getting hurt, and might actually make you more likely to get hurt. Maybe skip the stretching completely?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 8:40 AM
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Alternatively, come to peace with being old and out of shape. It's not so bad.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 8:40 AM
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No, the best solution is obviously to stop running. We're focusing on mere harm-reduction strategies, which can never be more than second-best.

Are you drinking plenty?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 8:41 AM
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443: Upper back? I can reach most (all? hard to tell) of mine in some sense, but I couldn't really rub it. I suppose with some sort of tool I could do a horse-scratching-itself-on-a-fencepost thing.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 8:42 AM
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there are any body parts that are unavailable for self massage.

Yes.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 8:42 AM
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And you should definitely stretch after and not before. (Unless you're pretty thoroughly warmed up before you start running.) Stretching cold is a bad idea.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 8:43 AM
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Just since this has turned into an exercise thread, anyone remember that blasted pushup thing? I was doing fine through week two, and then I couldn't manage week three, and then I got sick, and now, I think five weeks after I started, I'm going goddamit week two again. Hrmphf.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 8:44 AM
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443: this doesn't really feel like a strength issue, or at least, the soreness doesn't seem to taper off like regular muscle soreness does. I would say it's shin splints, but it's, like, not my shins. It feels like that kind of compression thing, just not on my shins. I have a feeling that it is the same thing as shin splints, just on the back of the leg rather than the front.

I've googled this, but I trust you random idiots on the internet more than those random idiots on the internet.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 8:45 AM
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Swim, Sifu. Swim.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 8:46 AM
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453

So how many consecutive pushups are you doing these days?

I should try the hundred pushup thing. I'm actually pretty good at pushups, since I only weigh about 70 pounds.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 8:46 AM
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450: I decided that blasted push-up thing was not for me. I've been doing them, but following my bliss schedule-wise.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 8:46 AM
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Isn't the miracle cure for shinsplints running backward? Given that your shinsplints themselves appear to be on backward, I don't know how that works out.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 8:46 AM
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Maybe you have strained calf muscles?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 8:47 AM
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452: I'm looking for minimum hassle factor, here. The fact that running involves (a) putting on shoes and (b) going very much increases the chance I'll stick to it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 8:48 AM
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I can do 25 in a row with right-angle arm form. That in theory should put me right at the beginning of week 3, but the problem is that I can't do 25, take a minute rest, and then do 17 -- I fall on my nose at around 11 in the second set.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 8:48 AM
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The miracle cure for shin splits is to avoid getting them.

Once you have them, rest them.

After you have rested, start slowly. Point your toe like a pretty little ballerina, the raise your toe up. Repeat.

Then, do calf raises as well.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 8:49 AM
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445 to 457.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 8:49 AM
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442: Reading between the lines of what you wrote, I'd ask if you're taking sufficient time off between each exercise session. Takes a while (48 hours?)for the body's various glycogen stores to refill, apparently.


Posted by: Charlie | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 8:49 AM
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Huh! 456 is informative, and works with my preëxisting biases.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 8:49 AM
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Get the Wii fit.

Sifu, sadly, you are of that age where exercise mostly involves combating injury.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 8:50 AM
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Apo may be right. You should actually strongly consider taking a break until your calves feel better (it sounds like your last break may not have been long enough)? Even if that's a few weeks, you're not going to lose that much cardiovascularly, and, if it takes that long to feel better, that's a pretty good sign your calves were in dire need of a break.

It is worrisome that you say it doesn't feel like regular muscle soreness.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 8:51 AM
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458: I could do 21 in a row before week 1, but I still couldn't finish week 1.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 8:51 AM
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Hm. Well, I'll take all this under advisement. And then probably ignore it. Don't worry, if my legs fall off I'll blame only myself.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 8:52 AM
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Don't worry, if my legs fall off I'll blame only myself tell people I'm an Iraq War vet and score free lap dances.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 8:54 AM
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467: all the free lap dances I could want... and no lap! Oh, it'll be a Twilight Zone episode come to life.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 8:57 AM
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Sifu, you idiot, if your calves explode your legs will fall off at the knees. You'll still have plenty of lap.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 9:02 AM
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458: Week 2 to Week 3 was an impossible jump. We decided to play "tennis" instead. (The quotes because it's more like whack the ball and run over the court trying to get it back)

Is this really the best solution? Things seem to be progressing in the wrong direction.

Maybe back off in intensity, but keep moving? I find tennis to be very hard on my legs because of all the short bursts of speed in between leisurely walks to get the ball back, so that's probably not helping. Maybe go for a long walk for a couple days to give your calves time to calm down?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 9:06 AM
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469: oh sure, at first. But then I'll try to run on my stumps, one thing'll lead to another, and... well, you know how these things go.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 9:07 AM
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Weird--comment 436 appears to be before comment 437, but the sidebar on the main page suggests the opposite.

They tied.


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 9:09 AM
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470: well, I walk to work every day, which isn't "long" but isn't nothing. I think I'll just keep at it, but stop en-route if things get too painful. It actually feels like one side is worse than the other, which would point to an incident a couple weeks ago (hurt my toe, decided to run anyway, was probably favoring that side in a weird way (don't play soccer with a medicine ball, kids!)) and would further indicate that things should be improving.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 9:09 AM
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470: Oh, good. I feel better about hitting a wall there now. I'm probably going to keep beating my head against it for awhile, though -- I have no expectation of getting to 100 pushups, but if I could do multiple sets of 25 of so without bruising my face I'd be terribly impressed with myself.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 9:10 AM
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don't play soccer with a medicine ball, kids!

dood like maybe your problem isn't running but that you are a dumbass.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 9:12 AM
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475: that can't help.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 9:13 AM
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Maybe some SMR stretching (aka rolling around on a foam tube). I don't know that it's good for what you're doing, but it seemed like a good idea generally.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 9:18 AM
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Back when I was young and spry I knew an older guy who loved racquetball. He LOVED it.

He got a sore forearm. He tried everything, and eventually started wearing a brace. First it was the band around the forearm thing. Then it was a bigger band, and finally it was a complicated big bracey band. Eventually he couldn't play, even with the biggest brace.

Did I mention he had gone to see a doctor? At the start he went to see a Doctor who said something like "You need to rest it more. This is overuse."

The thing was he didn't want to rest it. He wanted to keep using it. When he finally went back to the Doctor, at the end, he had to rest it for a long long time and I don't know if it ever fully recovered.

The moral of the story is don't hang around with young guys cause they laugh at you derisively.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 9:20 AM
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Isn't the miracle cure for shinsplints running backward?

The miracle cure for shinsplints is to strengthen the muscles you use when you lift up your toes, and the exercise to do so is: lift up your toes a bunch.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 9:26 AM
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That makes the running backward thing make sense -- to plant your foot behind you running backward, you need to flex it all the way up.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 9:28 AM
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True, they are consistent. But running backwards doesn't sound like much fun.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 9:30 AM
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Do they make cute little toe-weights? My gym doesn't seem to have any.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 9:32 AM
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OK, this talk of 'old' is very bad. We need some sort of age datum to work with. I propose we set it high enough so that all of the issues that may come up around here can instead be attributed to laziness, stupidity, selfishness, etc.


Posted by: Charlie | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 9:33 AM
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481: Where is Megan? She's iun charge of designating fun around here.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 9:34 AM
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481: We used to do drills in HS basketball that involved running backwards. No, not much fun -- especially when, in running backwards, you collide with someone running backwards in the opposite direction. Doing things backwards is a good way to create new injuries, IME.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 9:35 AM
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I'm not old! When Jesus was my age, he was still dead!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 9:37 AM
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Oh, mostly I'm advising the backwards thing because I think it'll generate amusing comments when Sifu accidentally runs into some major body of water.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 9:37 AM
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A long backwards run off a short pier?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 9:40 AM
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It is a sobering thought that when Aaliyah was my age, she had been dead for three years.


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 9:41 AM
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I'm pretty sure, to really be effective, you have to run backwards, clenching a banana in your butt, while balancing a broom on your nose.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 9:41 AM
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At least, that's what worked for me.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 9:43 AM
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490: if that was all you have to do I'd be long since healed.

I mean, I think it was a banana.

I think it was a broom, too.

I'm definitely fairly sure "running backwards" is what I was doing.

It's all so hazy now. Labs was there, I remember that.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 9:44 AM
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so i gathered that DK is suffering from shingles, and i recommend selenium as usually as a preventive and healing
for Sifu Tweety who as i understood are having some calf pain i would recommend the North Korean doctor who treats with acupuncture if you are willing to travel of course
my friend who suffered from what she thought was the muscle strain and/ or achilles or some other tendon rupture, but it was even like a small crack in the bone, so she was cured miraculously after acupuncture by that doc
i mean try acupuncture if nothing other helps


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 9:50 AM
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for Sifu Tweety who as i understood are having some calf pain i would recommend the North Korean doctor who treats with acupuncture if you are willing to travel of course

To North Korea? Any time!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 9:51 AM
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Sifu! I've had exactly your kind of calf thing for years. A sore compressive tightness, like someone has driven a chisel into your calf, that can gradually evolve into a devastating calf cramp.

Good news: I'm still alive! Bad news: this has been getting worse for years now and it's gradually preventing me from running at all. Calf stretching at intervals all day long, lots of sleep, new running shoes, and also taking two ibuprofen prophylatically before running all seem to help the condition; it comes and goes. But it's not good for your stomach to take all those NSAIDs.

Tennis, biking, hiking, yoga, etc. all work better for me than running now...which sucks because I love running.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 9:53 AM
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||

Carp are no match for the tools of the patriarchy!

|>


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 9:53 AM
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489: Overloading your light aeroplane before attempting to fly in it = Darwin award?

Speaking of which, M. wants me to get a bicycle helmet, but I don't want one. Suggestions?


Posted by: Charlie | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 9:53 AM
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to Mongolia, where the doctor lives
i recommend him just b/c i recalled how my friend testified that the doctor could heal her when all other methods failed
but i'm sure there are plenty of acupuncturists around your area, don't know whether they are good of course


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 9:55 AM
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Get it but don't wear it? Then everybody wins!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 9:56 AM
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"Sore compressive tightness" and "driving a chisel into your calf" might seem to be contradictory physical feelings, but they're not! They're both happening at once! Also, your calf could explode, I can see that too.

Over the years as this gets worse, I've been gradually switching my outlook from: something is wrong with my calves to: running is bad for me. Not really voluntarily, but I can't seem to help it.

One other possible solution is redoing your running form:

www.chirunning.com


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 9:57 AM
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497: whack yourself in the head with a baseball bat to get preëmptive brain damage. Then there'll be no need for one!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 9:58 AM
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Speaking of which, M. wants me to get a bicycle helmet, but I don't want one. Suggestions?

Don't be an idiot?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 9:59 AM
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I already went to the fancy running shoe store and had them look at my gait, which they had nothing but praise for. No pronater, I! I bought the shoes they recommended and everything. I'm leaning more and more towards seeing if it goes away. It does feel kind of better today.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 10:00 AM
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While we're talking about aches, anyone know what it is when you have pain around your heel (not on the bone, but between it and the ankle) and up the back of your ankle when you first wake up in the morning and try to walk? Intense, but not debilitating. Goes away during the day. Not correlated with kicking medicine balls. The internets is not helpful. I just want to make sure I'm not going to blow up a tendon or something.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 10:00 AM
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I walk a ton all the time, but only just recently decided to give running a try. It transpires that I am comically unfit. I am already a lot better than I was two weeks ago, but still solidly laughable, and am sure to stay laughable for quite a while.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 10:01 AM
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504: gout?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 10:02 AM
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505: the key revelation, for me, was realizing that everybody, to a first approximation, looks like an idiot when they run.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 10:03 AM
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"Realize a revelation": ugh. Running makes you stupid.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 10:04 AM
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496: I call shenanigans. There was a subtle edit in there that you pparently missed.

My beloved 3 1/2 y.o. grandnephew has a real miniature fishing pole and can cast, set the hook, and reel in panfish. He doesn't bait the hook or unhook the fish yet.

As I've said on other threads, I quit running because of shinsplints and foot injuries. Overweight and bad shoes may have been a factor part of the time. I was doing wonderfully until age 35, then took a 2-year break because of travel etc. and gained 25+ pounds. I always thought I'd get back to it but never did.



Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 10:05 AM
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PGD,

Yeah. Also, ibuprofen can raise blood pressure. It's always something.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 10:11 AM
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497: The Libertarian had a chain break on his bike, causing him to fly through the air and land on his head -- the very day he wore his newly purchased helmet for the first time. Apparently the helmet was disturbingly mangled, but other than some stitches and a few bruises, he himself was fine.

Get the stupid helmet.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 10:11 AM
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512

Cala,
That sounds an awful lot like plantar fasciitis.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 10:15 AM
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513

||

You know who's a total dick?
Lynn Forrester de Rothschild.

|>


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 10:18 AM
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512: Which is correlated with insufficient exercise.


Posted by: Charlie | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 10:21 AM
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I basically self-diagnosed the shingles thing with Medgle.com. It suggests the plantars fasciitis for Cala's complaint, too. Doesn't replace a the training and experience of a doctor, blah, blah, blah, but useful resource.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 10:22 AM
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512: That was my first thought, except that the pain isn't on the bottom of my heel.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 10:23 AM
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Di,

I recommend the Mayo site. It is pretty good and I know some of the guys who wrote some of it. They are good dudes.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 10:24 AM
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516: total gout.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 10:25 AM
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That was my first thought, except that the pain isn't on the bottom of my heel.

Yeah, and when I've had the plantar thing it was on the bottom of my foot directly ahead of the heel.

The Mayo site says your Doc might check for some other things. Maybe it is a micro-tear in the achilles tendon which tightens overnight but I am certainly no doctor.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 10:27 AM
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I use the Mayo site all the time -- and agree! I used Medgle to generate my differential diagnosis and Mayo, Medline and Emedicine for the more detailed info to narrow that down. (Can you tell who wanted to be a doctor when she grew up watches too much House?)


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 10:27 AM
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Ha! House! One of my friends developed a weird recurrent medical condition such that they tested him for sarcoidosis (just to rule it out, and he's fine), but his wife and I had completely the wrong reaction! Wow! You're a medical mystery! Um, we hope you don't die, but we've heard of that one!


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 10:30 AM
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Pain in back of ankle (rather than heel pain) generates "Achilles tendonitis" or "ankylosing spondyolitis."


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 10:30 AM
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I already went to the fancy running shoe store

Was that Marathon sports? How did you find them? I need to get some sort of all purpose athletic shoe (I think it might be the dreaded cross-trainers). I want something that I could wear casually for walking, to play softball, on a treadmill or bike or other exercise equipment, and I don't know what I should be getting.

Marathon sports is aimed primarily at runners, but are they good at helping with other stuff?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 10:31 AM
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521 is hilarious because I almost ended 522 with "Or maybe it's sarcoidosis!"


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 10:32 AM
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||

513:

In theory, the Democratic Party should reunite and heal, which would mean I should shut up. In reality, the Clintons affiliated with horrible mercenary shits like Dick Morris, Mark Penn, Lanny Davis, and Mr. Matalin who have already ditched the party and are trashing Obama. (No word yet on W-lfs-n and McAuliffe, to my knowledge).

de Rothschild, Jill Iscol, and Susie Tompkins Buell can go fuck themselves. If the Clintons stay loyal to the Democratic Party, they're going to have to abandon most of the creepy team of millionaires they put together.

|>


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 10:32 AM
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I never wore a helmet while I was with the Bad Old GF - she would occasionally nag me, but whatever. Then, as soon as we broke up, this wonderful woman I wanted to date but who only wanted to be friends with me scolded me for not riding with a helmet, and I've worn one pretty religiously ever since.

The moral of the story is that Charlie evidently doesn't love M. enough, and the solution is to get a new SO, and then wear your fucking helmet before you get brain damaged.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 10:33 AM
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Charlie, what's the objection to the helmet? I used to refuse to wear one because they made me overheat, and then I found one basically like this. Light, well-ventilated. Get a goddamn helmet.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 10:33 AM
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Pain in back of ankle (rather than heel pain) generates "Achilles tendonitis" or "ankylosing spondyolitis."

Pain in the ankle causes your vertebrae to fuse?


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 10:33 AM
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I've had plantar fasciitis before. It didn't involve any pain at the rear of the heel. The pain was much more along the sole of the foot. However, that article there does seem to fit those symptoms [which I've also had myself a couple of times].

Doctor didn't know what it was. Funnily enough, told me to take ibuprofen.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 10:34 AM
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Di,

There is still time. The Mayo med schools is very selective and from what I can see they have about three slots for white midwestern Americans.

Still nursing is not just emptying bed pans and the healthcare industry around here is booming. They've got the bucks big time. Senior nursing specialties such as surgical nursing are pretty awesome for pay and responsibilities. Heck, they are even opening positions in Doctor's assistants which is not really as flunky as it sounds.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 10:34 AM
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Further: The only helmet-related accident I've ever had came within minutes of me buying a new bike and, when the clerk suggested that my old helmet was too old and should be replaced, telling him that it seemed a waste to replace a helmet I'd never even 'used' (in the sense of 'impacted').

Instant karma came and got me.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 10:35 AM
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532

Sifu's calf thing sounds like some sort of compartment syndrome.

Also, every single piece of advice I've ever received for shin splints has failed. Everyone has some 'miracle' cure that worked for them. None of them are universal, I think.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 10:36 AM
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I should probably visit the doctor but I always feel bad doing so when I'm just mildly in pain.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 10:37 AM
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532: ttaM - I agree. The only thing that ever worked for me with shin splints was to completely stop the activity which sucks. I mean stopping sucks. Not stop sucking.

If somebody could invent a fast safe solution to shin splints that person would make a fortune. I'm serious!


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 10:40 AM
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re: 533

I keep doing it*, hoping one day one of them will actually know something -- "oh that's an imbalance between the fnarglegargle muscle and the foofooextensor, you just need to strength the ankularnibular band, and you'll be fine" -- and/or refer me to a physio. The physio referral has happened once when I saw the 'good' doctor in our practice.

* I have several small niggling sports injuries that the doctors keep telling me will go away with rest and ibuprofen, but which actually don't.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 10:41 AM
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shiv won't wear a helmet either for very stupid masculinity reasons. He'll take my bike to the grocery store, with the little wire wicked witch basket out front, but he won't wear a helmet because he didn't have to wear one as a kid, and he's just riding to the store, not doing BMX jumps....


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 10:43 AM
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I have several small niggling sports injuries that the doctors keep telling me will go away with rest and ibuprofen, but which actually don't.

I think you misunderstood. The "rest and ibuprofen" advice is to make *you* go away. It doesn't work for small niggling sports injuries.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 10:43 AM
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I had near-debilitating heel pain a couple weeks ago. 'Plantar fasciitis' sprang to mind, but I had the impression that was lower on the foot. Anyway, I looked at the linked site, and it's definitely what I had, but there's no reason on earth I should have gotten it - I don't run, I bike; I'm not overweight; I hadn't been doing any unusual activities, nor had I been wearing shoes different to what I always wear (good quality sandals in summer). Anyway, it went away after a couple very bad days, I had one flare up, and nothing since.

I'm kind of paranoid about it, esp. since it's hard to avoid contraindicated activities when I already do. Anyway.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 10:44 AM
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re: 534

I haven't run for years because of it.

I do lots of other exercise that strengthens the various small muscles in the lower leg -- jumping, kicking, etc -- so I shouldn't be especially prone, and I'm pretty flexible. But none of that makes a difference.

re: 537

Word.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 10:45 AM
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540

Sifu:

http://www.physioroom.com/injuries/calf_and_shin/compartment_syndrome_sum.php


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 10:46 AM
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Planar fasciitis has a way of happening out of the blue, for no earthly reason. Hello! it says. Good morning! Please enjoy your OW for today!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 10:46 AM
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542

Was that Marathon sports?

Yes.

How did you find them?

Blume told me about them. Or, in case you meant "were they helpful?" the answer is: sure, seemed to be.

Marathon sports is aimed primarily at runners, but are they good at helping with other stuff?

No idea. They seemed to think they were.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 10:46 AM
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shiv won't wear a helmet either for very stupid masculinity reasons. He'll take my bike to the grocery store, with the little wire wicked witch basket out front, but he won't wear a helmet because he didn't have to wear one as a kid, and he's just riding to the store, not doing BMX jumps....

Riding AB's ultra-girly bike to the store is one time when I don't wear a helmet - it's like 3 blocks and, TBH, it's like a break from riding seriously and wearing a helmet. "La la, riding the girlie bike, *ring-ring*."


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 10:46 AM
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JRoth,

I see you conveniently overlooked the one contraindicated activity that you have not avoided.

You are getting older! Avoid that one, sucka!


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 10:46 AM
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544 is distressingly true.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 10:48 AM
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540: huh, could be. That definitely describes my experience trying to run last night. We'll see if things continue in a similar vein (so to speak).

543: I wear a helmet whenever there'll be traffic. If there won't be, I'm a little more lackadaisical, although I'm aware I shouldn't be.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 10:49 AM
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547

Compression syndrome is a little terrifying. Neo Calfyo is about to explode!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 10:50 AM
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548

Compartment syndrome, that is


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 10:51 AM
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549

.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 10:51 AM
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550

549 gets it exactly right.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 10:54 AM
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551

528: I'm guessing it's the other way around -- the fused vertebrae cause pain in the ankle. Impinging a nerve, perhaps? Look, no differential is adequate that doesn't include some cool sounding, obscure alternative! (Variegate porphyria was my fun alternative to shingles...)


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 10:55 AM
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552

543: You know, mine isn't all that girly (it's gunmetal gray), but if it were, he'd ride it. But never a helmet! The store is not far, but there's enough traffic that I'd hear about it if I didn't wear *my* helmet.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 10:56 AM
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553

Oh hey, on the subject of Calas and bikes, aren't we due for an update? I think you noted a couple weeks back she still hadn't located a residence, or something?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 10:58 AM
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554

mine isn't all that girly (it's gunmetal gray), but if it were, he'd ride it. But never a helmet!

We're still talking about bicycles, right?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 10:58 AM
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555

553: Just moved in last week! Still uncertain about the bicycle and getting used to the bus system.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 11:00 AM
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556

Wow! Compartment syndrome! Thanks, ttaM.

But there seems to be no cure besides scary surgery...at least I have a name for things now, though.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 11:43 AM
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557

Thanks Sifu. Yes, I was asking whether they were helpful.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 12:00 PM
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558

BG, I bought shoes shoes there too. They're definitely *very* running oriented. They probably have some cross-trainers, but I'm not sure they would be the best resource for any non-running shoes. They're also fairly pricey.

Of course, I have no alternate suggestions to offer, so I'm not really a help.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 12:08 PM
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559

OK, OK. I have the helmet.

There was a choice. I chose something less in the way of brow-of-Klingon, and more in the way of what is equipped by Blackwater employees. Thanks be for the market.

Will wear it tomorrow with pride.


Posted by: Charlie | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 12:14 PM
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560

Shoulda gotten one of these, Charlie.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 12:19 PM
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561

There's lots of helmet requiring activities.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 12:26 PM
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562

Calfsplosion report in t -40 minutes!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 4:03 PM
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563

Calves: unexploded!

Felt much better today.

If legs fall off, will alert mineshaft.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 4:46 PM
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564

re: 556

I know the name because someone I know -- a sports doctor, ironically -- used to suffer from it. I think his cleared up over time and I believe he mentioned that he lost a little muscle mass (apparently he was really 'built' at the time) which seemed to sort it, but I might be talking crap since I am going from a half-remembered brief conversation we had a long time ago.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 4:51 PM
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565

564: oh, that's interesting, actually. I have much bigger calves (from cycling) than I see on people who do a lot of distance running; maybe that's causing me problems?

Anyhow my calves hurt today, but not so much I could run, and not in particularly predictable ways. So point for it just being part of getting in shape.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-08 4:54 PM
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566

re: 565

Yeah, that's probably part of it. Basically the muscle when filled with blood and 'pumped' from exercising is larger than the fibrous tissue that defines the boundaries of the compartment in which the muscle is located. My friend used to get it in his thigh but I think the lower leg is very common.

Looking at some running sites it looks like it can be treated like any other over-use injury - rest, ice, compression - and in lots of people it goes away. In other people, surgery is required.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-27-08 12:11 AM
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