Re: Let's call the problem handlers.

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Oh look! There's another post down here!


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 7:40 PM
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My parents still occasionally call me to ask if I have yet taken whatever step they think I should take to deal with some problem. It annoys me, but I'm absent-minded enough that occasionally it's useful to have a reminder. On the other hand, I'm much more laid back than they are, so occasionally they get all worked up about something that I prefer to just ignore because it isn't a big deal. This seems to frustrate them to no end, even when it's something that has no impact on anyone but me.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 7:44 PM
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A post lovingly crafted, and that very love prevented it from getting top billing.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 7:45 PM
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My parents always knew the exact right way to deal with anything and everything and they didn't hesitate to let us know that.

So I learned to BS with a straight face early on and to hide problems quite well.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 7:55 PM
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My mother gives me scripts of what I am to say to people, and then asks me to report back the exact words I used. If I ever do repeat a conversation I've had to my mother, or talk about an email I've sent someone, she draws her breath in sharply, knowing that I've made a terrible error.

It's gotten to where I no longer tell her what I say to anyone, no matter how desperately she feels she needs to know, and I just describe the tenor of it. This is worse, because she imagines I am an utter clod at all times.

I AM A RHETORICIAN AND AM PRETTY GOOD WITH EMAILS MOM.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 7:56 PM
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My experience was much like heebie's, except that I was more stubborn than it sounds like she was and I would just refuse to take my parents' advice, even if it was good advice. Eventually I just stopped talking about my problems with them.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 7:58 PM
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4 is pretty funny, but 5 is hilarious. I laughed out loud.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 7:58 PM
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I was thinking that I am as likely to talk to my parents about any problems I have as to anyone else, but now it occurs to me that I often don't talk to anyone about problems, and this may be because the way my parents respond leads me to often keep them to myself. Hmm.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 7:59 PM
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It's kind of amazing how often we don't want advice, and just want to share what's on our minds, yet we're trained to flood each other with advice.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 8:01 PM
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My parents never did anything wrong. You people were raised by circus folk.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 8:11 PM
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My relationship with my father was essentially destroyed by his need to give advice. He was an MD, and he made his living helping people and giving advice, and he had a sort of engineering problem-solving mentality about everything, and he couldn't help himself.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 8:13 PM
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Interesting. This describes my mother well, but no one else in my family. So I totally clammed up sometime around puberty. She hated this, but after a decade or so she gave up. Now she just tells me stories about how she's always right but no one listens to her.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 8:14 PM
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Also interesting: it took my sister much longer to clam up, leading to many fights. She's now far more bitter about it than I am, to the extent that she finds reasons to limit the amount of time she spends around my mom.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 8:18 PM
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It's kind of amazing how often we don't want advice, and just want to share what's on our minds, yet we're trained to flood each other with advice.

Thus, we give advice to others. If we wanted it for ourself, we wouldnt be giving it away.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 8:19 PM
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Once you have kids, you realize how little you freaking know. You realize how much of life involves figuring it out on the fly.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 8:27 PM
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stop rushing me to carry out your plans so quickly; I'll deal in on my own schedule

This describes a particularly distressing dynamic with UNG that I finally understood after we mediated custody. Actually, that a friend finally explained to me after the mediation. UNG actually gave in on everything we were mediating, but I nevertheless felt really overwhelmed and beaten down. Trying to sort this out with my friend, I was describing how each and every point that came up, UNG would demand to know my justification for my position and then would rapid fire follow-up questions before I could finish a thought. My friend pointed out that he was clearly going straight for my Achilles heal -- I do just fine when I have time to think and carefully choose my words; when I'm on the spot and under pressure, I panic.

As for the heart of the post, I kept trying to remember talking about problems with my family, and realized I have learned just not do it. If I had problems, I was just being too sensitive (Mom) or it was obviously my own fault (Dad). I learned not to have problems. Which also drove my mom nuts, as per F's 12 -- "Why are you withdrawing? You seem like you are withdrawing? Something's wrong, I can tell."


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 8:34 PM
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My parents were 180 degrees apart. My mom never criticized, judged, or gave advice, and my dad always did. My mom even was very accepting of the inlaws, which makes her a saint.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 8:39 PM
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I'm a problem solving type too. If you don't want my help, why are you telling me your problem?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 8:42 PM
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Because I'm not done stewing.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 8:43 PM
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Oh. I'm your problem.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 8:44 PM
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Having been trained in math and theoretical physics, I am not a problem-solving type. I stop when I'm convinced the problem has a solution which one could find if one were not so lazy.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 8:44 PM
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It's kind of amazing how often we don't want advice, and just want to share what's on our minds, yet we're trained to flood each other with advice.

This is the root of the problem with my (well, everyone's) relationship with my brother. No one in our family can resist giving him advice, and he HATES it.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 8:44 PM
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[carp joke deleted by management]


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 8:44 PM
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Your face is my problem.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 8:46 PM
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It's kind of amazing how often we don't want advice, and just want to share what's on our minds, yet we're trained to flood each other with advice.

I often struggle with this because when presented with a "problem", I feel pressured to offer a solution. But I also hate to feel like I'm being presumptious or imposing my ideas on someone or being a busybody all up in their business. So I get flustered with feeling these counterpressures and end up not saying much and just feeling tense and unuseful.

In the moment, it's very hard for me to remember that I'm usually not actually being asked to solve the problem, and that it's okay to just relax and listen and offer empathy.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 8:46 PM
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This, BTW, was maybe the most useful advice from the otherwise noxious "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus" books: that women are apt to describe problems for the sake of talking about them, but not want advice for how to deal with them, and men are apt to fall into the trap of immediately providing advice and get irritated when the advice is not immediately accepted.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 8:49 PM
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I'm on both sides of this -- I'm a compulsive advice-giver. On the other hand, I internalized that revealing any weakness of any kind to my parents was a really bad idea for pretty much exactly the reasons in the post very young. It's a huge effort still telling them about anything that's still a problem that requires action, and it often goes very wrong.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 8:51 PM
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get irritated when the advice is not immediately accepted in any way acknowledged, and instead the entire problem is described again. And then again.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 8:52 PM
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21 reminds me of my favorite mathematician joke. (There are some other good ones in that thread as well.)


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 9:00 PM
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the otherwise noxious "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus" books

And Deborah Tannen got there first and better with You Just Don't Understand. A book I never fail to remind Magpie of whenever we (as we often do) reverse the stereotypical gender roles.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 9:01 PM
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women are apt to describe problems for the sake of talking about them

Not merely for the sake of talking about them, but seeking some validation for how we feel about them. I tell you that I was very frustrated to sit through a 45 minute meeting, 4 minutes of which was devoted to the business at hand and 41 to social chitchat, I'm not looking to you for strategies for extricating oneself but to agree that it is reasonable to be frustrated by such things.

Me personally, this is because I've been told often enough that my problems are in my head or no big deal, that I have lacked confidence in my own reactions to things. I'm curious if this is the origin of the gender stereotype, too.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 9:01 PM
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I associate myself with all sentiments in 27, except that I wouldn't say it goes very wrong for me, just somewhat wrong. Which is surprising, given my only-childness.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 9:01 PM
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The trick to dealing with the compulsive advice-givers is periodically to ask them about some really small-stakes problem. For instance, just this evening, I asked my dad if he had any suggestions for how to remove tarnish from a gold chain. He didn't know for sure, but reckoned that a vinegar solution might do it. And so he felt valued!


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 9:02 PM
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26: At the risk of sounding knee-jerky about that book, I think that sort of statement doesn't do justice to what women are actually accomplishing in those stereotypically feminine conversations. They're not just barking to hear themselves bark; they're doing the work of trying to figure out (a) what's really bothering them about the situation and (b) whether they can or should do anything about it. It may look, from a certain perspective, like "nothing" is happening, in that it's not a conversation about how to solve the problem like a puzzle. But terms are being defined and weighed. And during those conversations, which I only learned how to have not too long ago myself, you often figure out that the thing that you thought was bothering you was actually something else, or that the solution is something you already knew and didn't know you knew, but wouldn't have wanted dictated to you by someone else.

Though, of course, it really bothers me when my interlocutor is neither interested in solutions nor in the processing of the problem of any kind. I've entirely stopped hanging out with a few people in my life because of their inability to kvetch with any sort of goal.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 9:04 PM
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Pwned by Di.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 9:06 PM
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28: So, my advice to you is to try to do a better job of active listening the first time -- asking good questions about the problem, empathizing in a validating way with why the person feels it's a problem, exploring options collaboratively -- instead of just giving advice. Then she won't have to try a second time.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 9:08 PM
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35: I was faster, you were more thorough...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 9:09 PM
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Indeed, seeking empathy is a good description of the process. On the other side, I've been placated most by women who explicitly say "shut up, I'm not looking for advice."


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 9:12 PM
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Before they are granted custody, parents-to-be should be required to learn the proper use of the following phrases:

- Oh, honey, I'm sorry to hear that. Come and tell me all about it.
- Honey, that's great! Come and tell me all about it.
- That's a tough problem. Have you thought about how you want to handle it?
- I'm here anytime if you decide you want to talk about it.
- Do you want me to help you figure out what to do?
- That's just one idea, though. You might decide to do something different.
- How are you doing with [thing we talked about yesterday]?
- I wish I could just make this problem go away for you. Sometimes that makes try to fix it, even if that's not what you're asking for. Feel free to tell me to just shut up and listen.
- Do you want to talk about this some more, or should we just watch cartoons and eat cookies?

N.B. Insincerity will result in a 6-month waiting period before the test can be retaken.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 9:14 PM
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36 -- I wasn't looking for advice with that, just validation.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 9:14 PM
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"shut up, I'm not looking for advice."

I never think to say this -- partly, I think, because I very often am looking for advice. But I want to get the whole problem out and be really sure you understand it before you tell me how to fix it.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 9:15 PM
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Or perhaps it's a very similar thing we're doing, but the "feminine" way is to treat a social problem as complex, difficult, and requiring a lot of care and many steps, while the "masculine" way is to assume the answer is pretty simple and easy to figure out. The problem with getting advice is not that it can never be useful, but, if I'm describing a problem to you, at least do me the courtesy of imagining I'm not a moron and have already thought of the ten most obvious ways of dealing with it.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 9:16 PM
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There's also the social problem of rejecting patently useless advice without insulting the advice-giver. If the proffered solution isn't a useful one, and your relationship with the advisor is the kind where they may not take "Thanks, but that won't help" at face value (see, everyone's parents), it's tempting to try to get away from unhelpful advice by not acknowledging it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 9:17 PM
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There's also the related issue of what to do when someone insists on giving you unwanted advice. This is what led to me eventually cutting off contact with my mother: I have a chronic, bothersome, but ultimately not-terribly-consequential disorder, one with which I've pretty much made my peace, but which my mother regarded as my defining characteristic. Even after I made it clear that I didn't want to talk about it, she wouldn't leave it alone.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 9:17 PM
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43 basically pwned by 42.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 9:18 PM
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The problem with getting advice is not that it can never be useful, but, if I'm describing a problem to you, at least do me the courtesy of imagining I'm not a moron and have already thought of the ten most obvious ways of dealing with it.

I see where you're coming from, but there *is* a reason every tech-support script starts with "Is it plugged in?"


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 9:20 PM
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44: Ugh. Very obnoxious.

In a smaller sense, this reminds me of the way my mother will introduce me to the waiter at every restaurant as "A vegetarian! [shrug]" I'm a 29-year-old woman and I can't read the menu myself, or ask the waiter questions about the food myself?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 9:20 PM
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44: We should mom-swap sometime, Josh. I rather enjoy going on about my physical ailments and eating up the sympathies...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 9:20 PM
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42,43: Good point, but, no offense, you and LB are much more towards the "masculine" end of the spectrum, and I find that this is not usually the reason that advice is not useful.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 9:21 PM
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46: Presumably, if I'm talking to you about the ins and outs of my personal life, it's because you're someone I will assume won't imagine I'm a moron.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 9:22 PM
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And on re-reading I see that my "shut up" strategy was already proposed by heebie in the OP. She's right again!


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 9:23 PM
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there *is* a reason every tech-support script starts with "Is it plugged in?"

Because tech-support people have no prior knowledge of the skills or competence of the people who call them, so it makes sense to start from the assumption that there's a fair chance that they're morons? I'm not clear that this is an interpersonally productive way of approaching people you're in a close enough personal relationship with that they're telling you about their problems.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 9:23 PM
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periodically to ask them about some really small-stakes problem

So true. I have plenty of difficulties with my father, but he is enormously capable and gives great advice on certain practical things. I ask his advice on (very well defined) big things, too, within his scope of expertise and my scope of actual advice needed. So, not "Looking for a house to buy is kind of scary," but "What are the most important things to look for when it comes to energy efficiency?" (This is followed a helpful discourse on the relative importance of double-paned windows vs. the amount and type of insulation in the attic.)


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 9:24 PM
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Yeah, I guess my reaction to the Mars/Venus stuff is that, if you think it really helps you understand your female partner, it may be because she's an idiot. The problem may be that you are dating an idiot. Unwanted Advice: Date people whom you don't have to imagine as being from a different planet in order to tolerate.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 9:25 PM
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Huh. Somehow, I can't really recall getting my parents to help with problems. I'm sure part of this is my sieve-like memory, but I suspect it also represents both withdrawal and developing myself in areas where I was sure my parents had no useful advice to give.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 9:26 PM
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Did this article ever get discussed here? I was actually looking for an article I remember reading in the Science section of the Times about maybe the same research, but I can't find it.

Basically the idea as I remember it was that talking about a problem can be therapeutic, but talking about it too much or often can sort or wear a rut in your brain where you end up talking about it again and again just to experience the intensity of emotion associated with the problem and it actually increases depression and anxiety. Or something like that.

Because it supports my tendency to not talk about problems much, I'm sure it's utterly valid and true research.

And that's all I'm going to say on the matter.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 9:28 PM
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50, 52: I was mostly joking. (Remember, I'm the one who said that Magpie and I usually reverse gender stereotypes -- i.e., I'm the one looking for validation, not advice.)

But I will say that I've overlooked the obvious solution enough times, and seen enough very bright people do the same, to not make the automatic assumption that the people I talk to and respect haven't made that mistake. I'm usually a bit more subtle and empathetic in the way I bring it up than your average tech-support drone, though.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 9:29 PM
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I'm not clear that this is an interpersonally productive way of approaching people you're in a close enough personal relationship with that they're telling you about their problems.

I wish it was only people with a close personal relationship with me who told me their problems, and not random people on the bus and at the market.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 9:32 PM
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30: The Tannen book drove me nuts. It starts by identifying this difference in communication styles, and then the entire rest of the book is in only one of those two styles. I would really have hoped that someone writing that book would be sensitive to the difference.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 9:32 PM
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I'm usually a bit more subtle and empathetic in the way I bring it up than your average tech-support drone, though.

"So what are some of the things you've tried?" Seems safe.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 9:33 PM
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54: Actually, the specific piece of advice I quoted was really helpful in dealing with my quite intelligent girlfriends. It was exactly because they were intelligent that I had made the mistakes that I did, and that advice helped to fix that problem. The rest of the book was pretty obnoxious though.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 9:33 PM
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I rather enjoy going on about my physical ailments and eating up the sympathies...

Believe me, after a while it's not about sympathy, it's about telling you how to run your life and being unwilling or unable to accept that you will make different decisions than your listener would like. It's also a constant reminder that for some people, you are nothing more than your medical history. I spend enough of my life dealing with my disorder; I'll be damned if I'm going to let it *define* my life.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 9:35 PM
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IOW, intelligence has almost nothing to do with the way in which people deal with each other.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 9:36 PM
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My daughter actually asks my advice/problem solving on important things. Wife and son less so, but for opposite reasons.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 9:37 PM
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I just had a stunningly obvious revelation: part of the reason that a number of my male friends have said, roughly: "It's so nice to talk to you about problems in my love life; I don't like to talk about them with my guy friends" may be that I respond with the useful version of not suggesting solutions. Validating your reactions, empathizing, talking though your feelings with you so you can figure out what they actually are, not assuming that you are a moron, not trying to move on to simpler or less personal subjects: all useful!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 9:38 PM
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62: That makes perfect sense -- sorry if I was flip.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 9:39 PM
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59: Ironically, I've never actually read You Just Don't Understand.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 9:41 PM
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For instance, just this evening, I asked my dad if he had any suggestions for how to remove tarnish from a gold chain.

Gold doesn't tarnish. Problem solved!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 9:42 PM
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Wow, tarnish on a gold chain. That sounds really tough. What are you thinking about doing about that?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 9:43 PM
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In a smaller sense, this reminds me of the way my mother will introduce me to the waiter at every restaurant as "A vegetarian! [shrug]" I'm a 29-year-old woman and I can't read the menu myself, or ask the waiter questions about the food myself?

My mom does this sort of thing a lot about my sister's veganism. It drives my sister nuts. And she's generally much more inclined to look to our mom for advice than I am.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 9:45 PM
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66: No worries. It's just very important to me to *not* make having a physical ailment be the most salient bit of information about me.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 9:45 PM
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68 is from venus, 69 is from mars. 70 is in an unstable elliptical orbit between the two.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 9:46 PM
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71: it's hard not to have lycanthropy define you.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 9:47 PM
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We are close, my family. Like, emotionally, spiritually, and financially close. My dad lost his job a few years back, and I plowed two years worth of my salary into saving our house, and now they're paying for my college education in return. It'd take a forensic accounting team years to disentangle our finances. Similarly, none of us has more than one or two good friends outside the family, and those we have are very good friends indeed, such that one of mine stayed with us for two years without a raised eyebrow. Basically family. We're like a small and ineffective mafia.

Given that, the family dynamics expressed on this thread are foreign to me. Not that I don't recognize my family's outlier status, just that I can't emotionally connect with 90% of the situations described. Is my family setup 100% aberrant?


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 9:48 PM
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73: Dammit, I thought I shaved before brunch in April.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 9:49 PM
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75: it was the way you hurled your bloody mary at the waiter before tearing his throat out with your teeth that tipped me off.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 9:50 PM
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70: My mom has long had the helpful habit of looking over the menu, finding the meatless options, and then loudly pointing them out to me.

"Thanks mom, there's no WAY I could have done that by myself. Shall I point out all the meaty option to you? I just want to be helpful!"


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 9:51 PM
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I suppose the mothers of vegetarians are just looking for validation. It's totally reasonable to be annoyed by this conduct of the mothers. It's also totally reasonable for them to be annoyed at their children's unwillingness to just eat what people have eaten for centuries. It perfectly reasonable to be annoyed at a culture that imposes unhealthy and immoral food choices.

And now the waiter just wants to take the order.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 9:52 PM
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77: M/tch, for the last time, what the fuck has bacon in it? On it, next to it, I don't care, M/tch. Bacon.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 9:55 PM
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78: But see, the thing is, I'm always ready when the waiter comes, since I only have a couple or three options to choose from. And I didn't ask for help in the first place, so while I strive to be polite to my mom, God love her, the expectation of gratitude for something I don't need or want is damn annoying.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 9:56 PM
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79: So you want bacon, huh? Gosh, that must be tough. I can only imagine how you must feel. How are you planning to handle that?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 9:59 PM
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80 -- I'd propose a solution, but I can't tell which team you're playing on just now. So I'll just validate: oh, that is annoying.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 10:00 PM
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82: Shut up, I'm not looking for validation. I want to know what to do, dammit!


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 10:03 PM
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You know, mocking is the exact opposite of validation.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 10:07 PM
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76: Oh, that. Nah, it just wasn't a very good Bloody Mary.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 10:08 PM
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81, meet 76.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 10:11 PM
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84 -- And yet so satisfying. I see how you could feel that way.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 10:14 PM
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Now that you mention it, I'm sure a nice crisp strip of bacon would make an excellent bloody mary garnish.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 10:23 PM
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88: a much-discussed concept, in fact.

Meanwhile,

||

Fuckin' A, yeah.

|>


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 10:25 PM
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88: I've never had a bloody mary, and don't know what's in it, but that sounds damn good.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 10:33 PM
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90: you've never had a bloody mary? Freaky!

One of the best Bloody Marys I've ever had at a commercial establishment was at Cafe Deluxe on Haight.

They're, like, so healthy. Several meals, all combined in a glass.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 10:34 PM
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Don't fuck with the Haight myself. Way too much junk. But no, never had a bloody mary, enbaconed or otherwise.

P.S. Fuck me we almost had that.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 10:45 PM
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92.last: yeah. Reminded me too much of the Rays game I was at last month.

I think they can do it, though.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 10:53 PM
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91: Club Deluxe (?) used to share ownership with the Orbit Room, which also makes some of the most phenomenal Bloody Marys known to man. With pickled green beans and pepperoncinis.


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 10:57 PM
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I tend to prefer the Canadian version (called a Caesar for unknown reasons). The only difference is the use of Clamato instead of tomato juice and more celery salt and garnishes.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 11:11 PM
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95: also more worcestershire, I believe.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 11:12 PM
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94: yeah that's what the deluxe ones were like. Hearts of palm, cocktail onions, occasionally a shrimp.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 11:13 PM
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94, 97: Are we talking about Bloody Marys or salads?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 11:20 PM
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Once you have kids, you realize how little you freaking know.

You're supposed to learn that earlier. But you can catch up when you have kids, if needed.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 11:23 PM
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98: in some ways, what's the difference?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 11:23 PM
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No leaves means it's not a salad.


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 11:24 PM
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101: meh. all looks the same after the blender, right?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 11:27 PM
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Blender? We're talking about Bloody Marys, right?


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 11:30 PM
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Yeah, blender, what?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 11:32 PM
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74 is really lovely, and yes, really different.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 11:36 PM
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103/104 Ok, they blended it (the juice) for you already.

I was supporting 100 over 101, is all.

besides, 101 is just false.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 11:36 PM
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Also, I'm reminded of a tropical drink called a michelada, which is pretty much bloody mary accoutrements in a beer (without the tomato juice or vodka, but with lime). It's supposed to be good for hangovers, just like a bloody mary.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 11:39 PM
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106: the tomato juice? Yeah, man, I buy that at the store.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 11:39 PM
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108: yeah, but some drinks on that spectrum (noted above) have more than tomato juice. whatever, i could have said it better. but i already said that.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 11:41 PM
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There's also a bloody-mary-like cocktail where you use Absolut Peppar, a shit-ton of pepperoncini juice, a way-higher vodka/juice ratio, and serve it in a martini glass with a peppered rim. It's fucking bad-ass.


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 11:51 PM
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A fucking shrimp? I will not imbibe any beverage with marine life in it.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 11:53 PM
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111: worcestershire sauce is made with sardines (I believe; some kind of preserved fish) already, so no new bridge to cross.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 11:55 PM
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Anchovies, anchovies is what I meant.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 11:57 PM
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||

So do people like Leonard Cohen because of McCabe and Mrs. Miller? Because, watching the movie, I could possibly see that.

|>


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 5-08 11:59 PM
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Micheladas that I've had have been just light beer with lime juice and salt. Refreshing, but not like a bloody mary, which are like my favorite food. For some reason the best bloody marys I've tasted have all been in San Diego, perhaps because I have a friend there who makes it her business to drink well. If I could find a place in LA with a good bloody mary with lots of pickled green beans I'd be a happy woman. There's a place in Echo Park that does a nice drink with vodka and tomato juice and lots of tart lime juice -- it's tasty enough, but not exactly a bloody mary.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 12:20 AM
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This is a horrible stereotype but white families, especially certain kinds of upper middle white families value independence so highly that they basically raise their kids to have no sense of obligation to the family unit itself.

It's really a cultural thing. You will rarely see this in people who aren't white. Working class families are also much tighter, on the whole. Maybe we need each other more? Maybe we're closer in time to the agrarian past where everyone would die if they didn't hang together.

This distance thing really doesn't seem to happen as much in Jewish families as far as I've noticed--that spinning off into their own orbits. But maybe I'm wrong about that. Small sample size.

Your parents are not demanding, you say. If they were Latino or Asian they would be more likely calling each sibling every single day and you would be required to report on everything, including what you had for lunch. Literally. So much less privacy.


Posted by: ozma | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 12:22 AM
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They're not just barking to hear themselves bark; they're doing the work of trying to figure out (a) what's really bothering them about the situation and (b) whether they can or should do anything about it. It may look, from a certain perspective, like "nothing" is happening, in that it's not a conversation about how to solve the problem like a puzzle. But terms are being defined and weighed.

Yeah, everyone does that, don't they? Male or female? We talk in order to find out what we think.

Some of the time, though, I turn into Charley as in 18 above.

The questioner uses words that take the form of a request for advice. If you use words that take the form of a request for advice, don't be fucking pissed off when I offer some advice.

It's often more than just a request for general validation/empathy. It's sometimes really a request that takes the form "here is this problem I am having, here is how I feel about it, here is what I did/will do, now tell me at length how I am exactly right in every way."

[This probably makes me sound more 'Mars-y' than I really am, and when people are talking about family things or very personal things, I am all about the empathy. But when someone is talking about, say, problems at work and lots of concrete information is given -- just don't fucking ask me if you don't want to hear an answer.

Asking me then expecting me to just agree with everything you've just said is just as disrespectful to me as my proferring advice when what's needed is empathy is to you...]

Now I think I will adjourn to my cave ...


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 12:27 AM
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Small sample size, but you're way off 116. I was raised as white as they get, NPR from the womb. And, as I've described above, me and my family, we're tight, and we got our own thing, however minor.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 12:31 AM
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url to san diego bloody mary bars, pls.

Also, url to place in Echo Park; I'm shocked I don't know what joint you're speaking of.

The best Bloody Mary I've ever had was in LA, but it was at a private party at the Brewery, some crazy english dude who made them with Sherry. The second best was at an irish bar in a neighborhood of the (guessing here) St. Francis Circle Muni stop; that bartender used grapefruit juice. The third through probably fiftieth best bloody marys I've ever had I've made myself. Past that... well, it's so hard to remember. Club Deluxe was quite good, although gimmicky.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 12:32 AM
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So what is the basic recipe, and what is the appeal?


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 12:35 AM
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re: 120

Basically you take a foul drink --- tomato juice --- and alcohol, spices and vegetable related stuff to it, to make a thick concoction of purest wrong ...


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 12:37 AM
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121: smart talk from a man known to defend the deep-friend haggis.

120: it's basically tomato juice, vodka, worcestershire sauce, tabasco or some other kind of hot sauce, some kind of sweeter thing like sherry or grapefruit juice, pepper, celery salt, and garnish.

I say basically because I'm still not entirely sure.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 12:39 AM
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re: 122

Heh, I've discovered I really don't like tomato juice. I therefore hate the bloody mary. I've tried them quite often -- the idea of them is quite interesting, but I keep running up against the fact that they just taste wrong to me. I've drunk them in places where friends assure me they are 'good' bloody marys. But, drinks just aren't supposed to have a granular texture.

The deep-fried haggis is delicious, though.* I have drunk bloody marys, but you haven't eaten deep-fried haggis ... which one of us knows whereof we speak?

* probably not especially healthy, mind, it has to be said ...


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 12:45 AM
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119: San Diego -- There are a couple places, but the only one that I recognize from a desultory google search is the Turf Supper Club. The eating experience there was kind of awful, but the drinks were very good.

In Echo Park, the place I'm speaking of is the Gold Room, which has my heart forever. Its bloody marys are a bit off, like they veer towards the recipe for a michelada, but they are completely delicious. Also, the bartenders are very charming.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 12:46 AM
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122: That sounds the kind of brilliant idea I get when I smoke kind bud after a dry spell.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 12:47 AM
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123: oh, I'd love to try a deep fried haggis, don't get me wrong. I just don't know if you're the one to be casting aspersions on foodstuffs just on principle. Some of us find tomato juice quite unbearably delicious!

124: huh, guess I never made it there when I was in the neighborhood. Too busy drinking at Taix.

Speaking of, do we have enough west-siders for an LA meetup yet, or what?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 12:50 AM
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215: one good way to think of the british empire in the 20th century is one giant dry spell.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 12:51 AM
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Micheladas that I've had have been just light beer with lime juice and salt.

I am told that Maggi seasoning is popular.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 12:51 AM
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Though I have no access to deep fried haggis, I recently noticed that Motherwell FC has the world's handsomest color scheme, and am fighting a bizarre impulse to buy a Motherwell replica jersey to wear to the occasional soccer broadcast/bar outing.


Posted by: CN | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 12:55 AM
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(and to the occasional soccer game...though I'm not in a league this year and the only way it would work is if I were on the team assigned to wear yellow shirts, and they were lenient about the amount of non-yellow on said shirts)


Posted by: CN | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 12:57 AM
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re: 129

Heh, orange and purple? Are you Prince?

If you go here:

http://www.toffs.com/invt/2033

or

http://www.toffs.com/invt/2464

You can get retro 60s and 70s shirts. The 40s one is nice:

http://www.toffs.com/invt/2032


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 12:58 AM
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Holy fuck, Cryptic Ned is Prince?

I should have known.

I'll have to backtrack; where did I miss the clues? His handle's like a symbol, yes. Minneapolis: did he talk about Minneapolis? Is he short? Who is the New Power Generation?

I must have missed something.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 1:00 AM
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I believe they call it "claret and amber", good sir.

I was unaware of that "TOFFS" site. I was just going to wait until there was a good one on Ebay for significantly less than 36 pounds ($65). There was one that expired yesterday with the chest sponsor being "The Untouchables" paint and wallpaper company, but I managed to restrain myself from ordering it. Now the only ones on Ebay are white away jerseys, which is no good.

What is Motherwell anyway? Is it an awesome place? Should I go there on my honeymoon?


Posted by: CN | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 1:04 AM
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It appears to be located about five miles from Glasgow. What kind of person lives that close to Glasgow and ends up being a fan of Motherwell instead of one of the two big Glasgow teams? It must be the color scheme that draws people in.


Posted by: CN | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 1:09 AM
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Or the absurd UK tribalism, one supposes.

Keep in mind this is a culture where towns not two miles apart have vastly different accents.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 1:12 AM
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A Motherwell fan? Huh. Don't know what to say about that.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 1:14 AM
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Maybe they have no fans and are a vanity project of some sort of mogul or magnate, like the Dallas Mavericks.


Posted by: CN | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 1:15 AM
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I'm sure the Dallas Mavericks have fans in Dallas. What's that you say, the city of Dallas itself is a vanity project of some sort of mogul or magnate?

Oh, well. Huh!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 1:19 AM
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Keep in mind this is a culture where towns not two miles apart have vastly different accents.

You were raised in what, Brookline? You know how accents are. Can you really not tell a Beacon Hill from a Quincy? How far is that?


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 1:20 AM
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It's a bit more than 5 miles from the centre of Glasgow. Although Glasgow is big enough that most of the surrounding towns sort of blend into it at the edges.

Central Scotland is very densely populated. So those places that look like tiny satellite villages or suburbs of Glasgow are often reasonably biggish towns.

Motherwell used to be a major industrial centre -- steel mostly. It was one of the places most heartily fucked by Thatcher in the 80s.

re: 134

The greater Glasgow area supports a lot of football teams that aren't the 'big two': Clydebank, Partick Thistle, Motherwell, Paisley, Greenock Morton, Clyde, etc.

Or the absurd UK tribalism, one supposes.

The immediate area I am from has a population of maybe 200,000 people and there are four football teams.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 1:26 AM
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139: so you're saying that the Boston metro area is somewhat not absurdly tribal? I'd bet two FSU hats and the key to the city of Dorchester that you're wrong on that one.

How do you think I know what ridiculous, overweening tribalism looks like?

Also I don't think you know what you think you know about where I was raised.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 1:28 AM
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Notes on 141: "somewhat" should be "somehow"

And the callout to the sanctity of off-blog information should be emphasized somewhat.

Or somehow.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 1:29 AM
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The immediate area I am from has a population of maybe 200,000 people and there are four football teams.

That is, of course, wrong. There are four professional teams for 200,000 or so people.

There are many more that are so-called 'junior' teams [which, despite the name, are played by adults]. The 'junior' refers to the fact the professional leagues are 'senior' and the semi-pro 'junior'.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 1:30 AM
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It makes sense that in a place where there's enough of an audience to fill stadiums for a dozen or so senior teams, there would be a dozen or so senior teams. That's what I always figured. But do people who go to several St. Mirren or Clydebank games a year also feel like they should associate themselves with one of the Old Firm, or are they truly neutral to the larger teams in their single-minded love of St. Mirren or Clydebank?

In the US most minor league teams are part of a major league team's development system, so there isn't really anyone who's a fan predominantly of, say, the Toledo Mud Hens or Lowell Devils. Everyone is aligned with a team in the top league, and the reason to go to their local minor league team's games is because it's cheaper and closer to home or because it gives an opportunity to see the players of the future before they are famous.


Posted by: CN | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 2:03 AM
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And the deep-fried food traditions are organized around wholesome outdoor rituals like the annual county fair instead of smoky indoor milieux.


Posted by: CN | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 2:08 AM
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But do people who go to several St. Mirren or Clydebank games a year also feel like they should associate themselves with one of the Old Firm, or are they truly neutral to the larger teams in their single-minded love of St. Mirren or Clydebank?

it depends. A lot of people have a local team and support one or other of the Old Firm [usually dividing around the sectarian divide]. More so if their team is in a lower division so doesn't play the Old Firm regularly.

Then there are, as you say, people who are just really passionate about their local team [and don't have an Old Firm team].

There are some holier than thou types for whom pretty much the whole point of supporting a team other than the Old Firm is just the fact that the team isn't one of the Old Firm. These people usually make a vocal deal over the fact that they aren't polluted by sectarianism, unlike the riff raff.
Inside Glasgow these people are usually Partick Thistle supporters.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 3:40 AM
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instead of smoky indoor milieux.

Smoking indoors (except in a private residence) is now illegal in Scotland.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 3:41 AM
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77 cracks me up. Way too familiar.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 4:44 AM
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A Motherwell fan? Huh. Don't know what to say about that.

I'm so sorry.

That's what you say.

(Bizarre Tribalism? Score!)


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 4:52 AM
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My experience of close-knit families etc. is that people model what they saw their parents do. While I was a teenager my parents were very involved in the care of their own elderly parents and I think this had an awful lot to do with how we are now.


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 5:21 AM
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114 -- Amazing how well it works, isn't it.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 6:10 AM
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Because tech-support people have no prior knowledge of the skills or competence of the people who call them, so it makes sense to start from the assumption that there's a fair chance that they're morons? I'm not clear that this is an interpersonally productive way of approaching people you're in a close enough personal relationship with that they're telling you about their problems.

Sometimes a neutral perspective helps, especially if the other person is freaking out, says the eldest sister. It's not so much that little sister is being a moron, for example, but that little sister is so worked up that the little sister doesn't know where to start.

What complicates things for me with regard to giving advice is that as the Big Sister, I often am asked for advice, or that describing the problem is an invitation for advice, especially with my younger two sisters. Also, philosopher! We break problems into little edible pieces for a living! This makes us annoying to live with!

And I'm usually good about keeping that tendency under control, but sometimes I have to ask sister #2, like a robot: do you need advice or are you venting?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 7:45 AM
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i love to give advices and i know that one does not want my advice if that person replies something like counter argument to my advice
but if i know my advice is good and that person ends up doing what i advised maybe even without acknowledging it, i still have a good feeling that i helped someone
coz people often are not aware of options until they are told
so on the gold chain tarnish i have this advice, apply some toothpaste to the chain, let it dry and brush it off or just wash it
though should be careful to wash it in some tray or plate, coz it can easily slip and go into the drain, then have to call the plumber, which was my personal experience


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 8:01 AM
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on the tray, i guess
i recalled this joke, not on parental advice though
so one calls to 911: - help, i have a snake in my room!
there come a lot of questions about how it looks like, its size and length, its possible routes of entering to the room etc
- just hurry up, it's moving towards me!
- are you a member of the association of the animal protection ?
- no, why?
- oh, then just take a broom and kill it


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 8:05 AM
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--The immediate area I am from has a population of maybe 200,000 people and there are four football teams.

--That is, of course, wrong. There are four professional teams for 200,000 or so people.

In American baseball around 1950 there were only 16 major league teams, only one of them west of Chicago, but there was an incredible proliferation of lower-level teams. There were minor leagues, but they had to compete for talent with college teams, local semi-pro teams in local leagues, and barnstorming teams (notably the House of David, which seemed Jewish but was a Christian cult). Towns competed to fund the best semi-pro team in the belief that it would help the town develop. In most cases they were probably wrong, but it brought some fun and excitement into places that didn't normally have much.

You still see little tiny towns (pop. 300) with well-maintained lighted ballparks around here, and the town ball system continues in a diminished, strictly amateur way. Wobegon doesn't seem to have a team any more (I remember it from my youth), but a smaller town five miles away does.

A few major league stars played in these semi-pro leagues in their youth, though usually they were recruited to the teams from colleges or from the minors. Very few ever got their start as town ball players, except maybe when they were in HS. It was really a locally based activity with not much connection to anything higher or more official.

http://www.amazon.com/Town-Ball-Minnesota-Amateur-Baseball/dp/0816646759


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 8:09 AM
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It's often more than just a request for general validation/empathy. It's sometimes really a request that takes the form "here is this problem I am having, here is how I feel about it, here is what I did/will do, now tell me at length how I am exactly right in every way."

From way, way upthread...I've been having lots of conversations where I listen and/or give advice lately...which is very disconcerting; I don't think of myself as sympathetic.

But I've realized that my advisees actually have conflicting wishes most of the time--they want me to say that they're right and the also want me to pick out the possibly unseen flaws in their reasoning; they want me to validate their feelings and also help them puzzle out why the other person/people are so upset. What they say is only partly what they want to say, and I have to pay a lot of attention to what I know of their interpretive strategies.

People want advice and don't want it. The way my friendships seem to work is much more about the long term...The advice I give now gets reimagined and incorporated in some unexpected strategy that only really becomes visible much later.

Which should come as no surprise, now that I think about it; that's how all the advice I've ever gotten has worked too.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 8:11 AM
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Based on what I know of other cultures, specifically Chinese, Americans are extremely touchy about being given advice. Accepting advice involves acknowledging a kind of belonging and perhaps subordination, and it also involves admitting that you yourself are not unique and amazing but actually much like others and understandable by others.

In Taiwan, where I was a lowly English teacher teaching a very rudimentary topic, I had to guard against being asked advice about important problems in the students' lives. They liked me and recognized that I was rather scholarly (and "a real teacher"), so they imagined that I had some kind of usable wisdom. I was horrified, of course, since I was already on the downward path myself, and knew it.

A friend from a Jewish family one generation from Europe says that something like that was true in his Jewish community. There was none of the "Let people make their own mistakes" or "He's going to have to figure that for himself" idea. People would intervene, and not just parents.

Temperamentally I am at the far American extreme, but I actually think that there's a lot to be said for the Chinese/Jewish approach as I've described it.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 8:21 AM
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Our parents, probably like many of their generation, had a de facto gender division of problem-solving roles in the family.

Dad, when hearing about your problem, would do his level best to serve up a definitive, concrete plan for you to follow -- often, as we discovered in later years, even if he had no real idea what he was talking about (he felt his role was to offer the comfort of certainty). He was great for tackling the kind of problem where you need to achieve a certain result by such-and-such a date, like when trying to navigate an obstinate bureaucracy. And he was a teacher, so if you had study-related woes that you really were interested in solving, he was top-notch.

Mom, when hearing about your problem, would do her level best to empathize and talk things through with you. She was great for talking through relationship issues with, or helping you navigate the social and emotional minefield of growing up (as long as you adjusted for the fact that she was raised in a place and time where convents recruited girls of out of senior year in high school and her memories of the minefield were quite different from yours in important ways).

Now that I think about it, I notice that my siblings replicate these patterns almost exactly; I have a brother who's great for tackling concrete problems like financial planning with, and a sister who's really good to talk through the squishier aspects of life with. Funny how that happens.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 8:23 AM
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Gold doesn't tarnish. Problem solved!

I think maybe it's soap scum?

Thanks for the toothpaste suggestion, read! I'll try that if the vinegar doesn't work---gotta give my dad the satisfaction of hearing whether his advice worked.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 9:07 AM
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My mother's jewelry cleaning mainstay is ammonia -- put it in a little cup with some straight ammonia, and leave it sit for an hour or so. But read's toothpaste thing should work too, as a gentle abrasive.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 9:15 AM
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149: So which Scottish football team should Unfogged support then, Keir? Peterhead? Queen of the South? Stenhousemuir?


Posted by: CN | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 9:19 AM
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Toothpaste is also supposedly good for getting garlic and onion odor off your hands.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 9:26 AM
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I'm soaking it in vinegar now---champagne vinegar, of all things. The alternative was balsamic, which didn't seem quite right.

One of my sisters used to autoclave her jewelry. Not an option for the most of us.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 9:33 AM
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74 strikes me as healthy, ideal in fact, but abnormal in America.

This is a horrible stereotype but white families, especially certain kinds of upper middle white families value independence so highly that they basically raise their kids to have no sense of obligation to the family unit itself.

Right. Related to the wider American individualism, which as Emerson points out in 157 leads people to be uncomfortable at sort of a primal level with the *entanglement* involved in family. By their role in forming you your parents are necessarily all up in your shit, and usually the process of separation gets you all up in theirs too. It would be better if we taught people that the individual is in some sense an illusion and people are naturally entangled.

A lot of time when I hear people talk about family, they seem to be blaming their parents for being flawed human beings who have somehow gotten ickily close to them. But none of those things are the parents fault.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 9:43 AM
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Also, re 74, going forward I'm going to use the "small but ineffective mafia" line as my own in casual conversation, without crediting it to Unfogged or foolishmortal.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 9:44 AM
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if in the lab, maybe you can use the ultrasound cleaning, for the glasses that is very good, for jewelry i'm not sure, never tried
coz never wear any jewelry these days, my neck can't tolerate any weight, even like collars
the other day i noticed that thinking why it was so uncomfortable in my white coat with the keys inside the pocket, when i replaced it to the jeans' pockets i didn't feel any strain
the other day i saw a guy wearing a lot of gold chains of the different length and caliber on the long, belted t-shirt, thought, it must be how the ancient greeks looked like, coz his face was somewhat mediterranian looking
i did not know about toothpaste use as a deodorant, thanks, maybe i'd try it if i'll cook sometime, never have a lemon handy when i need it for that purpose
my mom couldn't stand the smell of onions for sometime, i recall, so we used to exclude onions from our diet maybe for 3-4 yrs


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 9:50 AM
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re: 161

I'm from Stenhousemuir. So that would be the logical choice.

Not sure where ajay is from, Edinburgh? Hearts or Hibs?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 9:51 AM
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Aha, in the earlier thread where we learned about Willie the Warrior, Keir expresses...actually I can't tell if he wants Rangers to win or not.


Posted by: CN | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 10:00 AM
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re: 168

I'm pretty sure he did want them to win. My sword blade started glowing blue.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 10:03 AM
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yesterday i watched this
thought MMcG would enjoy it
its translated version said it's Czech, not Polish
though maybe you know it


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 10:03 AM
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re: 170

I don't know it. I can't really understand it either, just the odd word. Too fast for me. I tend to rely on context to pick up what is going on in speech. But it is Czech, yeah.

Wikipedia says the lyrics are surreal, which would make it harder still.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 10:07 AM
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Well, that was unusual. thanks, read. It's a slightly python-esque satire. There are references to the agrarian collective that still maintains tractors in southern CZ. The words don't make much sense. This is what happens when real political comedy is banned; anyone with talent and a the taste to persist goes into surrealism or art for kids.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 10:27 AM
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171, 172 my pleasure
the Russian translation was very funny and i liked how the guy's dancing


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 10:31 AM
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This is what happens when real political comedy is banned; anyone with talent and a the taste to persist goes into surrealism or art for kids.

And pohadky!


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 10:40 AM
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The Soviet world fostered education but suppressed free thought, so a lot of extremely talented people went into children's books, translation, archaeology, orientalism, and other relatively neutral subjects. When my son was young we had a number of wonderful Soviet-bloc children's books, and later we met a talented Bulgarian artist immigrant who mostly did childrens' books.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 10:49 AM
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Whoo! Front page!

I actually saw this late last night (after our annual family outing, which may have been the best yet this year*), but haven't had a chance to comment any sooner. And I see that the topic is long since past. But what the hell.

A lot of the bad dynamics you all discuss never happened in our family because we were small (4 of us) and pretty compatible - similar temperaments and mental approaches. So, for instance, we're all problem solvers; in fact, arguably my father, my sister, and I all have careers that are centered on problem solving. So none of us was ever much put off by the dynamic that Heebie describes, even though it existed to some extent.

Bad Old GF made me read the Deborah Tannen book when we'd only been dating a little while. It was enormously useful to me, but of course did nothing to fix our dysfunction. I try to remind myself periodically that people, especially (but not always) women, may not want me to offer solutions to their problems.

Somewhere along the line I picked up some active listening skills, and something I've long done as a sort of ham-handed, but ultimately successful, substitute for true empathy** is to respond to someone's problems with comparable ones of my own. I mean really, that's a lot of what I do around here, and sometimes it feels as if I'm trying to turn the conversation towards myself, but that's not my intent. I'm never sure how it comes across, but I figure that if I'm coming up with actually-similar situations, then the problem-haver can recognize that I get what the problem is

* Hey! That's semi-topical!

** Not that I'm not an empathetic person, but I can be a bit analytical, and so it sometimes feels a bit "This person is expressing Emotion B3; what is the suitable response?"


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 10:57 AM
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170 is the greatest thing ever. We can be thankful that read can comment from work now instead of just in the evenings.


Posted by: CN | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 11:16 AM
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Roth, you know what your problem is? I'll tell you what your problem is. You're too judgmental and too bossy, and you poke your nose in where it isn't wanted. That's what your problem is. You've got your marching orders now, buddy. Cut the crap.

-- And you're very welcome, Roth. I have only your best interests at heart.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 11:21 AM
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I'm starting to reconsider my planned road trip up to Woebegon.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 11:45 AM
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You'll be missing the coot migration, Roth.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 12:02 PM
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Nobody answered Sifu at the time but:

So do people like Leonard Cohen because ...

People like Cohen because he's a bloody good lyricist, mostly.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 12:05 PM
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You'll be missing the coot migration, Roth.

Speaking of which, John, when are you returning to Portland?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 12:06 PM
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I'll be damned if I have the 'correct' answer regarding the tension between wanting to help and allowing independence and asking for help and having independence.

Growing up my father was a little more "do it yourself" and my mother a little more "let me help." In my life I've tried to be more "let me know if you need help" but that has lead to the 3 AM call to me: "Dad, I tried to commit suicide."

So someone please tell me when you have the right answer because I'm no expert on this topic.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 12:34 PM
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But, in a sort of related vein, I finally saw the movie Jerry McGuire recently (yeah, I know, I know). First I was surprised how good it was, but second does anyone think that movie was responsible for some of the "good wives 'improve' their husbands" thing I noticed starting a few years ago?

Maybe it was just me, I dunno, but I seemed to notice an increase in that meme awhile ago. I could be full of it though, I dunno.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 12:39 PM
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the "good wives 'improve' their husbands" thing

Isn't this centuries-old?


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 12:54 PM
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the "good wives 'improve' their husbands" thing

I think he's gay, but the love of a good woman will change him. What could go wrong?


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 1:05 PM
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Jackmormon,

Isn't this centuries-old?

I think the meme is. It seemed to me it was dying off there for awhile and had a resurgence, but I could be wrong. Plus I'm not sure if it is a sexist thing to take notice of it.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 1:29 PM
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Jesus, early spring, March or April. God willing.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 1:32 PM
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Personally, I think the love of a good woman can improve a man. It's been noticed for millenia because it's true. There's something in the Talmud about it.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 1:35 PM
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I think the whole thing was handled pretty comprehensively by whoever said on the other thread that respecting people and recognizing their individuality goes a long way.

Also, slightly tangentially, chronic family dysfunction is way more harmful than the acute sort.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 3:25 PM
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ttam's suspicions are essentially right, although I would argue that Unfogged should support Raith Rovers if anything.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 4:59 PM
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Way back to foolishmortal's 74: Is my family setup 100% aberrant?

No.

(Also, it is possible to raised to explicitly ask people what kind of feedback they are looking for. It was drummed into me to such an extent that these days I probably do it 80 times a week, with colleagues, friends, sig. others, etc. It doesn't solve all problems, but it often does get people to slow down for a second and figure out if they want problem-solving help or just a listening ear.)


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 5:50 PM
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In my family, it was a different kind of disfunction: whenever you complained about anything, or had any sort of "problem," the response was uniformly: "You think you have it bad? MY problems are huge, they are manifold, they are all-consuming. Do you know the depth and breadth of my problems? Let me ennumerate them for you. Now, what could you possibly be whining about?"

My response to this lack of advice-giving is pretty much the same as heebie's, though: present problems as solved, if at all. However, the solutions must involve great personal sacrifice and toil. This also led to a period of life I like to call "The Who's the Biggest Martyr Competition."


Posted by: wrenae | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 5:58 PM
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Also, it is possible to raised to explicitly ask people what kind of feedback they are looking for.

And if you weren't raised that way, you can learn it.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 6:00 PM
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"The Who's the Biggest Martyr Competition."

Isn't there a Games People Play about that? I keep thinking I should reread that book.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 6:02 PM
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whenever you complained about anything, or had any sort of "problem," the response was uniformly: "You think you have it bad?

When I was a kid I actually did have to walk 1.5 miles to school in deep snow, sometimes in raging blizzards, UPHILL BOTH DIRECTIONS, and the downhill was actually worse than the uphill because everything was iced up so you had to tiptoe so as not to slip. I'm totally looking forward to telling my future children about that.

To be honest, I actually sort of enjoyed that walk, but I'm not sure I'll emphasize that as much.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 6:05 PM
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I enjoy the piss-taking, but, tbh, I've not been following Scottish football much recently. I'm not that much of a fan. When I used to go out drinking regularly with mates who were big Celtic fans I paid much more attention.

I have a side and all that, but I can't remember the last time I watched a game.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 6:13 PM
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Ha, I walked (not too far) to school in upstate New York in a situation whereby they did not actually open the school doors until exactly 8 a.m. (or whatever it was), so if you'd been fool enough to get there 10 minutes early, having misjudged how long it would take you to struggle through the raging blizzard or cross the 3-foot wide stream that was involved, you and every other fool had to huddle, face against the wall next to the doors, until the fuckers administrators unlocked the doors.

Good times.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 6:14 PM
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re: 198

Isn't that how all schools are? What sort of utopias do people come from where they let you in early?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 6:16 PM
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As a patriotic American I must salute Keir's support of Rangers, the team named after our beloved president's Texas law enforcement officers, and featuring two young stars of the US national team.


Posted by: CN | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 6:16 PM
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This is where I note that the USA and Rangers FC are a natural alliance.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 6:19 PM
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Not quite as natural as the Rangers/Netherlands alliance, except we're not supposed to talk about that one any more, are we?

Although it isn't like Celtic can talk about dalliances with foreign powers (cough Dublin cough).

Is Scotland unique in that people turn up to domestic competitions carrying insignia of actual foreign nations? Maybe some Mexican team in the Californian football leagues?

And to be honest I haven't seen a domestic game in forever on account of them not showing the Scottish game in NZ.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 6:33 PM
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Torn between my allegiances to the US (Rangers) and the Mineshaft (Peterhead), I must settle somewhere in the middle. Motherwell it is. As the depressed erstwhile center of the nation's steel industry it is a good parallel for the city where I now live and identify with.


Posted by: CN | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 6:33 PM
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Is Scotland unique in that people turn up to domestic competitions carrying insignia of actual foreign nations? Maybe some Mexican team in the Californian football leagues?

If MLS would get on the ball and let this team have more than 3 Mexican players, maybe.


Posted by: CN | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 6:35 PM
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199: Isn't that how all schools are?

Apparently so. I remember it well, in any case.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 6:42 PM
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Although it isn't like Celtic can talk about dalliances with foreign powers (cough Dublin cough).

Yeah, I remember going to watch a game in a pub on the Goldhawk Road in London and being pretty surprised at the level of that. Not in a good way. It was like Donald Findlay's worst nightmare.

Have you read any Christopher Brookmyre? He's pretty good at skewering the Old Firm rivalry.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 6:47 PM
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I've read A Big Boy Did It, but I don't think any others.

And, of course, my Is Scotland unique &c. is quite wrong -- see Melbourne Croatia et alia.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 7:53 PM
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I have family in Clydebank. The football situation seems kind of complicated.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 8:33 PM
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Ha, I walked (not too far) to school in upstate New York

hey, my story comes from upstate New York too! Upstate makes for a tough, hardy people.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 9:18 PM
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The bloody mary subthread is long dead, but I'm surprised noone mentioned horseradish. Delicious in a bloody mary.

I've never had them with sherry or grapefruit juice; lemon or lime juice is I think the standard addition that I would sub into the basic recipe Sifu provides in 122. And good garnishes are essential. Celery is traditional, and lovely if it's good quality stuff, although in New Orleans the pickled green bean seems to reign (along with crawfish boil-type seasonings).

But a boiled shrimp, olives, pepperoncini, pickled okra, a strip of bacon, a boiled quail egg, a radish, watercress or an arugula stalk, all do nicely as garnish for what I generally think of as an alcoholic salad. Rock salt around the rim is nice, as is the addition of just a splash of soda. And gin is very good as a substitute for vodka (we call it a Bloody Maggie).


Posted by: M/tch M/ls | Link to this comment | 10- 6-08 9:52 PM
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re: 207

There's one of them in particular -- but I can't remember which one* ---that has a big rant against Celtic fans of the 'we are oh-so-celtic-and-Irish-and-bohemian-and-not-like-the-boorish-Huns' type. It's quite funny and is particularly likely to make a Ranger's fan smile. His general view on the Old Firm is 'a plague on both your houses, but particularly on middle-class and/or university educated Celtic fans, because you lot are particularly smug.'

* one of the ones with the Glaswegian female asian Ranger's fan detective, anyway ...


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10- 7-08 12:47 AM
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Never has a thread made me feel less American. First all this weird stuff about sharing your problems, then the hilarious comments about Scottish football. As a fan of a small team myself (Oxford United), I was particularly amused by: "What kind of person lives that close to Glasgow and ends up being a fan of Motherwell instead of one of the two big Glasgow teams?" That's the sort of comment that would get you a smack in the face on this side of the pond.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 10- 7-08 6:03 AM
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Hearing others gossip about their alien sports gives me insight into how incredibly boring I must be when gossiping about my sports.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 10- 7-08 9:39 AM
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