Re: Modern Love: And That's Saying Something Edition, The Second

1

Damn, and I thought that Dan Savage had to be undisputed winner of Most Embarrassing Parent To Publish Anecdotes In A Public Forum award.

Dan, you lose. Poor kid. Mama LOVES you, so much more than any girlfriend could.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 6:07 AM
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See it's all just a matter of long-range planning by the Modern Love franchise. Little Sarvis will grow up and in his turn write a creepy Modern Love essay about his inability to really experience intimacy thanks to his mother choosing to share this story about him in the pages of the New York Times.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 6:14 AM
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That is appalling. And what is also scary is that the mothers who feel that way think the rest of us don't care about our children as much as they do. They never stop to consider that it's actually because they're fucking mental.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 6:19 AM
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Among the millions of reasons I'm not having children, I have now been able to add "Not having to deal with parents like Krautkramer if my child developed a crush on her child." Can you imagine?

"So, it seems my kid has a crush on your kid."
"I love him more! More than your little girl ever will!"
"?"


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 6:23 AM
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3: Yeah, that part especially disturbed me. "She loves Sarvis? Of course! Everyone loves Sarvis. He is the Messiah. He is mine, and he is the Messiah. All other children pale and fall away when he enters a room."


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 6:25 AM
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That's not real. It can't be. I bet it's an Alan Sokal-style trick that someone is playing on the NYT.


Posted by: Chris | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 6:27 AM
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Also, here's a weird bet: the author of the article is divorced, and began teaching so as to spend more time with the kid. I wonder about the divorce thing because this article is pretty close to how my ex used to talk about his older son in less-guarded moments. He just couldn't believe that other people had the right to look full in his face. He had no such feelings about the younger son, but the older one he'd describe, very occasionally, as "a little God."

It creeped me out, and I chalked it up to Divorce Crazies.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 6:32 AM
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That's not to say all divorced people feel that way about their kids, of course. But in him, I think it heightened his feelings about his older son to the point of it looking like idolatry. Not having him for half of each week was just a killer.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 6:33 AM
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Jesus.

(That's a response to OP and 7)


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 6:35 AM
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People who give their kids weird names are more likely to be fucked up parents. Discuss.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 6:38 AM
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turning her 18-inch hips just so for the very first time

Metonymy (or synechdoche: part for the hole) for her tiny little vagina with its tiny little cooties. (Or maybe it was a litotes or a notlob.)

Before we rush into anything, we should consider the possibility that someone's ratfucking "Modern Love". Unfortunately we must also consider the possibility that someone's studied creative writing and is doing mommy-track transgressive, cutting-edge shit.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 6:43 AM
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I think there's a positive correlation. I don't mind weird names, but I object to made-up ones, or random appropriations of words that aren't names. Sarvis? Should have plc or inc after it.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 6:44 AM
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10: The converse would be more true, at least for this particular value of fucked up.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 6:50 AM
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Sarvis is a real name. No immediate evidence that it's not British or maybe Irish.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 6:51 AM
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That beats out that kids' book "Love You Forever" as creepiest expression of motherly love. I wonder if the author was going for a self-deprecatory tone and missed horribly. 6 is a good theory, too.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 6:51 AM
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they bared themselves to me without shame

Is this Modern Love or a travelogue-among-the-savages?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 6:56 AM
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Hasn't this always been the problem with ML, that you can only read them as sane if there is an ironic self-presentation as someone insanely incapable of self-reflection? Remember that awful one in which the skinny girl is mean to her fat Midwestern roommate in France and just goes on and on about how unappealing the roommate is? And we were supposed, I think, to realize that she's "doing" her own voice at that age as if it's an un-self-reflective "character." But that's an awful lot of generosity and work to expect of the reader toward a first-person column.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 6:58 AM
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here's a weird bet: the author of the article is divorced

Hmm, I wouldn't be surprised if you were right.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 7:01 AM
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"Sarvis" might be a Lumbee name like "Chavis".


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 7:02 AM
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Jezebel catches the defining spirit of the Modern Love series:

narcissism masquerading as self-awareness



Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 7:04 AM
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And just in case, the Lumbee community denounces and condemns Asilon.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 7:08 AM
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Sarvis was on that list. It's a surname though, not a first name, and it doesn't even sound nice. (Especially with her surname, if he has it. You never can tell with these uppity women nowadays.)


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 7:21 AM
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Anyhoo* .... anyone know how I can get back in with the Lumbees?

* honestly, an ironic, self-aware "hoo".


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 7:23 AM
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There are a ton of Lumbee Indians around Fayetteville and (predictably) Lumberton, NC. They had a big scholarship program that sent kids to the same summer camp that I went to every year when I was growing up. My non-scientific survey says that close to half of them have the last name Locklear.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 7:25 AM
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Is there any plausible reason not to just ignore Modern Love? It's not important. Is this one of those things like "if I don't watch _friends_, what will I talk about with my colleagues at the water cooler?" or something? Wouldn't almost any use of time be more rewarding? I'm quite curious as to why people read it.


Posted by: matt (not the famous one) | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 7:25 AM
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I first assumed that her name was "Krauthammer", which would have explained everything.

it's very odd to think that a community exists somewhere in the world within which your reputation wouldn't be ruined forever by writing that article. It seems like over-the-top hyperbole that someone like Erma Bombach might have written for cheap laughs.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 7:26 AM
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Also (and again judging by a probably too-small sample), they tend to be *very* good-looking.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 7:28 AM
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I'm quite curious as to why people read it.

Personally, because Becks keeps linking it.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 7:28 AM
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Wow. I occasionally feel neurotically overinvolved with my kids (a) just for being generally besotted with them and (b) for being quietly pleased that other kids do seem to be fond of them. This, on the other hand, is scary weird -- being jealous of a little kid?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 7:29 AM
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Some people pick scabs, some don't. Don't judge us until you've walked a mile in our shoes. We're too PC to ridicule the handicapped, but we have to ridicule someone. We're not Jesus (most of us, anyway).


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 7:31 AM
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Sometimes I consider writing an ML column, just because I know I could do it and get it published. I started small, imitating the inane Metro Diary to get published, and got a little taste of how horrifying it was for people to think I wrote what I wrote sincerely, and not in imitation of the style. ML offers a style that's imitable, and it's wildly tempting to do it. But that would be bad bad bad wrong no.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 7:34 AM
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But that would be bad bad bad wrong no.

It would be oh so right and you know it.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 7:36 AM
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We could do a reverse Spartacus, where each of us proclaims "I'm not Jesus!" And then the person who doesn't say anything, we know he's Jesus. And then we could crucify him.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 7:39 AM
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I'm sure the piece is intended to be self-deprecating. It's not like the NYT prints a random sample of their submissions. If hundred people try to write a self-deprecating story, and ninety-nine people succeed in making it sound not creepy, the NYT is printing the other one.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 7:41 AM
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Mine would be creepy. Sooooo creepy.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 7:44 AM
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Deliciously creepy. It could be your Halloween gift to Unfogged.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 7:46 AM
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"Sarvis" is pretty clearly a Vulcan name.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 7:52 AM
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36: You little vixen. You're just swiveling those 18-inch hips at me, aren't you?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 7:52 AM
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Which I guess means there's a fair chance it's also Armenian.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 7:52 AM
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35 - Now you're just teasing us. Give us the creepy story or we'll spread mean rumors about you.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 7:56 AM
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Yes. Of course. The column is over-the-top insane. Duh. But, "Hey, I bet she's divorced! Yeah, those people are crazy. Why, it even tears divorced parents up to be apart from their children for half the week -- and they even sometimes rearrange their lives to spend more time with the spawn!" WTF?

Totally unnecessary.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 8:01 AM
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I apologize, Di. When I wrote my comment, I regretted immediately that you might read it as an attack, which I didn't intend. Rather, I wanted to get away from assuming that she's necessarily insane, and might instead be under other pressures that might make her reactions more intense, as I think they did for my ex, who did develop an extremely intense jealousy of his child's affection and time. It's certainly understandable, but, in his case, it resulted in his trying to manipulate his child's affection away from any of his friends. He wanted his kid to be admired, but he didn't want his kid to admire anyone else. And it made sense. Max didn't get the time he used to have with him as primary caretaker.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 8:09 AM
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Jesus Christ! That's horrifying!


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 8:13 AM
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Also, perhaps by way of explaining why I'm siding with the kid here, I'm in some pretty serious therapy right now for emotional disorders related to parental narcissism and the fear my mother had that I might make friends or relationships outside of her. In her case, it wasn't divorce, but pretty severe depression and marital alienation. And I feel awful for her that she had to live that way. But being raised as another human being's own favorite limb is kind of awful, too.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 8:27 AM
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I do have kind of a hard time believing this is for real, but this is likely just naïveté on my part.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 8:32 AM
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and turning her 18-inch hips just so for the very first time

Creepiest. Phrase. Ever. It makes my skin crawl.

Also (and again judging by a probably too-small sample), they tend to be *very* good-looking hung.

Fixed.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 8:34 AM
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Fixed.

Not so much with the Lumbee Laydeez, homonormativist.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 8:38 AM
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You little vixen. You're just swiveling those 18-inch hips at me, aren't you?

But not for the very first time.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 8:39 AM
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Can't we at least hope that she didn't use his actual name?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 8:40 AM
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41: I should probably hold back my theory that Di switched the genders around and wrote the piece.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 8:43 AM
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AWB, I get that there can be all sorts of other -- genuinely sympathetic -- things going on that explain the mom's reactions. Personally, I'm willing to assume the piece was just a hyperbolic attempt at self-mockery of the sort of separation anxiety parents (a) necessarily cope with as their children grow and individuate, and (b) hopefully recognize on an intellectual level is potentially harmful and insane. (I have been known, on occasion, to describe Rory in near Messianic terms -- I generally assume the ironically hyperbolic tone is understood, but maybe not.)

But, taking the piece at face value, it's unfair to assume that the frothing neurosis can be explained by something so simple as "she's divorced." Believe me, I understand parental narcissism, marital alienation, and emotional disorders. You just hit my triggers when you link all the crazy to divorce. Damn it, the divorce is the one thing I've accomplished in my life that actually overcomes the otherwise rampant crazy!

No hard feelings, honestly. I'm just very sensitive...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 8:44 AM
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Totally unnecessary.

Well now, I agreed, and I've been a divorced parent. It isn't that divorced people are crazy in any specific way (such a variety of crazy from which to choose in that situation), but that this specific brand of crazy is one I've seen more than once in single parents. Analogy: most combat veterans don't dive under tables at loud noises, but people who dive under tables at loud noises are likely to have been combat veterans.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 8:44 AM
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52: Combat veterans whose wives left them. For third grade boys.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 8:46 AM
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50: No, I'm the exact opposite version of maternal crazy on this subject. Have I not regaled you all with stories of Rory's first "date"? Of her multiple "marriages" in preschool? Of the little boy who hangs around the monkey bars because he has a crush?

"There it was, etched plain as day into the wall of the bathroom stall: 'I love Rory.' And I couldn't help but think to myself, you poor, pathetic sap. She'll break your heart. She's not the type to settle down."


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 8:48 AM
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I guess I just don't even see the possibility that this is self-mockery. Or, like the Christmas-midwestern-roommate piece, it's trying to win the credit for self-mockery without having either a sense of humor or any emotional distance from the material. It sounds a lot more like a confession to a priest. And then I returned to the bathroom for a third time, Father. I barely knew what I was doing.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 8:48 AM
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this specific brand of crazy is one I've seen more than once in single parents

I've seen it in happily married parents.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 8:50 AM
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I confess that I would like to write a Modern Love. There's probably enough creepy in my divorce story to wring one out, with careful embellishment and hyperbolic narcissism.

I told my fiancee about the last email we exchanged, in which the ex responded to me saying "We could be friends, but it would probably require you to meet my fiancee" with "And it would probably require you to hear more about my sex life than you'd like." That ruined my day so I haven't written her back. Fi said, "What does that mean?" I said, "Probably that she's having some self-discovering exploration via sleeping around." Fi said, "Hey, I'm all about that. Just not right now." I said, "Great. You could meet and compare notes."

Then I dreamed last night that they were both sailing on Lake Michigan the same weekend. The ex found it enormously freeing and exciting, but my fi was just, "Weird I didn't run into her."


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 8:53 AM
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I have no dog in this fight, but I have read that people going through divorces sometimes parentalize their kids, as in treat them as peers and rely on them for emotional support. (I've never gotten this vibe from you, Di.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 8:53 AM
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Not that the woman in the ML column is parentalizing her kid, though. She's more pedalstalling the kid.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 8:55 AM
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54: Well of course. Te predator families feel entirely differently about these things than the prey families.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:00 AM
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I have read that people going through divorces sometimes parentalize their kids, as in treat them as peers and rely on them for emotional support

That's absolutely true. Going into mine, I spent plenty of time with the therapist talking about how to avoid doing this. But it's also true of unhappy but non-divorced parents, too. God knows I've spent altogether too much of my life listening to how unhappy my mom is and how she really, really is going to divorce that lout. Someday. I suspect she'd be much less crazy if she actually did, but I'll probably never know.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:02 AM
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(But I didn't mean to make this into a big thing! Just a little touchy today!)


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:04 AM
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People who give their kids weird names are more likely to be fucked up parents. Discuss.

This is, at least in my experience, deeply wrong. For many values of `weird' anyway. The overlap of fucked up parents and highly socially conformant ones is huge.

Of course, some people are just flakes.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:04 AM
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People who give their have kids weird names are more likely to be fucked up parents. Discuss


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:06 AM
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People who give their kids weird names are more likely to be fucked up parents.

Jammies and I were both given weird names. It does make us totally immune, when picking out names for our own offspring, to the threats of "Don't name your kid that because they'll get called this."


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:07 AM
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I think the "don't name your kid that because they'll get called this" card is conformist bullshit. Emphasis on the bullshit, really. If someone wants to pick on your kid, they will. So I'm sticking with Hatface Mazltov Wrongshore, and there's nothing you can do about it.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:10 AM
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Also when people ask if it's a boy or a girl, I like to say, "I'm hoping it's kittens!"


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:14 AM
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But being raised as another human being's own favorite limb is kind of awful, too.

Yeah, and the term of art (as I heard it) is emotionally incestuous. (Jezebel is describing it as Oedipal, but an Oedipal complex is the child's issue. Eating your children emotionally is something else.) Someone with an attachment disorder that gets divorced would almost certainly shift the focus to the child... but divorce didn't cause the parent's issue since they already had the problem to begin with.

The modern love world tends to encourage that shit more than it should.

Unless Krautkramer is lying tho, this stuff

Whoever Graffiti Girl was, she was impudent: a little child who obviously shouldn't be allowed to say anything about love. [...] They all acted innocent in their double braids tied with impossibly pink ribbons. [...] I pictured one of them, no doubt a double agent, [...]He did not linger long enough for me to squash him completely into myself and begin carrying on or weeping or telling him to tie his shoes [...] I wouldn't even care who found out that I did it.
is pathological. I also imagine this column is what she decided to actually do instead of stealing the bathroom stall wall.

max
['Crazzzzzzyyyyy....over the rainbow...']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:14 AM
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Hatface was going to be Hateface, but I like this one even better.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:14 AM
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i find the story funny, just the interrogation part is weird as it always with all that
otherwise, it's just mother loves her kid, who is popular
poor kid, he could become an egotist in too much love from everywhere b/c too much love spoils
we have a proverb 'hal n gadnaa, hair n dotroo'
which means keep your love inside and hal is something like danger, but not exactly danger, just in this case, parenting, strictness maybe outside


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:17 AM
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True story: My Grandfather didn't know his son's (my Dad's) real name until he was 5 years old. Gramps was working on a tuna boat when Dad was born and Grandma deviated from the agreed name but chickened out on telling him when he got back.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:17 AM
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My brother has a very common name (M/ke), and mine is less common, and also rhymes with "b/tch".

When M/ke and his wife were picking names for my two nephews, they specifically wanted to pick common, "normal" names since they felt life was hard for kids like me with unusual names and that we got teased and generally singled out for it.

Whereas I grew up feeling sorry for my brother because there were always three or four other kids in the class with his same name, whereas I had a unique and interesting name, never mind the haterz.

He's older than me, so I think part of the issue for him too was that he felt like he had to stick up for me when others gleefully noted that my name rhymed with "b/tch".


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:17 AM
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If someone wants to pick on your kid, they will.

This is exactly correct. If the kids have decided to pick on you and your name isn't convenient for it, they'll just give you another one.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:18 AM
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68: See? It's lines like those you quote that make me assume the piece must be intentionally over-the-top self-mockery. No one could possible say that in earnest! (Of course, my propensity to assume "there's no way he/she/they could sincerely be that crazy" has not exactly shone as my best and brightest of instincts.)


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:19 AM
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"M/tch" rhymes with "b/tch" is the opposite of a clue.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:19 AM
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The main problem the kids had was figuring out how to pronounce the "/"


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:20 AM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:22 AM
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Getting called "batch" over and over really stung, let me tell you.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:23 AM
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72 - In the UIowa Physics department in the late 90s there were at least seven guys working in the machine shop or as lab techs who were called Mike. That's out of maybe 11 people in those positions.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:23 AM
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67: To the "Is it a boy or a girl?" question, I used to answer. "Yes. For God's sakes, do you think we're having alien babies?"


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:23 AM
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Eating your children emotionally is something else.

I'm tempted to say "Medean," but that's probably wrong. Most of the stuff going on in that story isn't necessarily about the kids and anyway I sympathize with Medea and do not sympathize with this author at all.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:23 AM
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79: But were there any Mokes in the department?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:24 AM
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70: I dunno, read. It just doesn't sound like love to me. Love would require actually wanting a good and happy life for your kid. A near-incestuous/idolatrous quivering orgasmic regard for your child is not love, and probably doesn't result in narcissism, but the feeling that living up to this bizarre standard is impossible.

At least, with Max's kid, it meant that every time he wasn't kissing up to his dad's fantasies about him by doing the "I love you and only you" thing, they had enormous fights, with terrible tears on both sides. The kid is quickly learning, I think, that his own thoughts and feelings are irrelevant.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:25 AM
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"Yes. For God's sakes, do you think we're having alien babies?"

One can only live in hope.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:25 AM
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(Jammies is short for Jamaal.) Jammies was named by his biological dad. The dad who raised him married his mom when Jammies was 5, and wanted to change Jammies's name. (But Jammies did not want to and so it didn't happen.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:25 AM
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83 is sad


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:25 AM
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81: So you're okay with Greek psychopaths, but not with Lumbee psychopaths? Racist.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:26 AM
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82: The other 4 guys were Moke, Meke, Muke, and Myke.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:26 AM
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Jamaal isn't really that unusual, maybe just unusual hanging off Jammies?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:26 AM
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At one (very small) school I went to, four of 26 students had my name.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:27 AM
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89: Jamaal is unusual for a white guy.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:27 AM
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It's totally plausible that this woman has an unhealthy relationship with her child. Probably writing an exaggerated version of the truth helps her distance herself from that truth. But the quote in 68 is clearly intended to be a joke.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:28 AM
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91: He seems like a normal enough guy to me, regardless of his race, heebie.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:29 AM
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Is it a boy or a girl?

One should sigh and say, "Yes... I think. I was hoping for something special, but nooooo."

Racist.

Size queen, thankyouveryfuckingmuch.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:29 AM
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91: yeah, hence the last bit.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:29 AM
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93: You wouldn't believe how normal he'd be if he was ethnic.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:30 AM
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Jebus on a stick. You know, I've met some parents who are hung up on their kids, but...just, wow. This is diagnosable, especially since the author seems to lack even the slightest introspective twinge sensation of, "I'm being freaky, aren't I?" I don't see any sense of self-mockery in it.


Posted by: Timothy Burke | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:31 AM
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98

No little girl could love Sardi's as much as I do!


Posted by: Nathan Lane | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:31 AM
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99

I'm tempted to say "Medean," but that's probably wrong.

Yes. Medea killed her sons, not their little girlfriends.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:32 AM
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95: Oh, I didn't quite know what you meant by hanging off Jammies. (I figured if you knew how he was hung...he's named Jamaal where it counts.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:32 AM
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I remember a kid in elementary school asserting "The only thing weird about me is my name". He was pretty much right.. A bunch of hippies sent their kids to my school.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:33 AM
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Size queen, thankyouveryfuckingmuch.

In trying to figure out how you being a size queen would lead you to favor Medea over Krautkramer, I was reminded of this old chestnut.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:35 AM
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103

A Salvadoran I know claims to have met children named "Osterizer" and "Bill Clinton".


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:36 AM
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104

The fact that she's the teacher of all these little girls she hates and must ward off is what really creeps me out.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:39 AM
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I think what's going on with ML columns is that they're almost entirely written by people with various troubling emotional disorders who are trying to "tell it like it is" by describing "love" as a form of insane selfish jealousy that makes you harm everyone around you, and assuming readers will be all "Yeah, I've been there!"


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:39 AM
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Wasn't there a story recently about a husband who named his newborn daughter "Sarah McCain Palin" while his wife was still out from anaesthesia (and despite the fact that their surname is neither "McCain" nor "Palin")?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:41 AM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:41 AM
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108

Yep.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:42 AM
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109

Is the name for this "Jocasta complex"?

http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Jocasta+complex


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:43 AM
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67: The rest of us are hoping it's kittens too, Heeb. Kittens are so cute. Babies, not so much.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:43 AM
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With a clear conscience, even though I know I was kind of going behind her back, I kind of secretly put down Sarah McCain Palin instead of Ava Grace on another set of forms I acquired from the front desk.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:44 AM
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112

There's a Brazilian footballer named "Credence Clearwater Couto."


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:44 AM
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113

Kronos. Eat the kids (emotionally).


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:45 AM
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111: "Kind of" in that sentence is shorthand for "Totally like a cheating miserable scum bag who will soon be divorced", doesn't it.

Babies Are Bumper Stickers should be that guy's motto.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:46 AM
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105: Some things are too good to be true. Insane people who are not institutionalized can control their self-presentation, and generally have an alternative interpretative framework that allows them to deceive themselves about how crazy they are.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:55 AM
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I think what's going on with ML columns is that they're almost entirely written by people with various troubling emotional disorders who are trying to "tell it like it is" by describing "love" as a form of insane selfish jealousy that makes you harm everyone around you....

Yeah, something like that.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 10:18 AM
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I think this is a spoof or hoax of some kind by a brilliant young writer. Seriously. There's no way this is true. And I mean, how juicy is "modern love" as a hoax target?


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 10:21 AM
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I love that "kind of".


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 10:25 AM
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119

Evidence that NYC is a world unto itself when it comes to baby names. (Scroll down to the chart.)


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 10:39 AM
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120: I'm not seeing it Walt. Daniel, Joshua, Justin, David etc. are popular. Who knew.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 10:43 AM
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I have sort of the opposite situation with my son. The teacher tells me that he is a natural leader, and that all the kids look up to him. I replied that's because he's an athlete, and boys like that. She emphatically replied that it was more than that. I have since learned that there is one boy who cries when my son is absent. I guess my son will go out of his way to make sure this boy is included, even though his friend is the littlest in the class, including girls. Having the most popular kid is nothing special, but it is alien to my experience.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 10:57 AM
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Sarah McCain Palin

I can't wait until she's 18 and changes her name and he cries and cries.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 10:59 AM
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I tried to name my daughter Winona Nader LaDuke, but the rest of my family intervened.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 11:01 AM
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Oh, and of course at that point he'll write to ML about how all he did was lie to his wife and use his child as a political statement in an election that was nearly already over anyway and now no one understands how all this me-me-me stuff was really supposed to be about her. Then the author of this ML will contact him and the two will fall madly - no, really, madly - in love.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 11:04 AM
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I tried to name my daughter Winona Nader LaDuke, but the rest of my family intervened.

You have to work your way up to these things, apo.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 11:04 AM
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Winona Nader LaDuke

Aunt LaCarolina was especially vicious in her critique.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 11:05 AM
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Then the author of this ML will contact him and the two will fall madly - no, really, madly - in love.

Get married, have kids together and ignore the subjects of the essays, who turned against them first chance they had.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 11:07 AM
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You have to work your way up to these things, apo.

I guess so. My uncle Spiro Nixon Agnew was a total jerk about the whole thing.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 11:32 AM
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People who give their kids weird names are more likely to be fucked up parents.

This has been duly ridiculed by now, I hope. I have a friend who's jokingly soliciting candidates for names for his immanent child -- with the promise that he will ignore all of them -- but given that the existing children are named variants on [obscure Celtic reference] + [made-up dreamy name] + [resonant folkloric thing] + last name, it's delightful. His and her choices thus far have been exceedingly melodic.

I can't say I've seen any correlation between weird names and parenting skills.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 11:39 AM
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almost entirely written by people with various troubling emotional disorders who are trying to "tell it like it is" by describing "love" as a form of insane selfish jealousy

Love is almost always boring. Emotional disorders are often not.


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 11:45 AM
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129: "immanent" meaning "imminent", or perhaps "dwelling within" the womb?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 11:47 AM
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His and her choices thus far have been exceedingly melodic.

"Hey, I'd like you to meet my twins, Vestpocket and Tunamelt."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 11:47 AM
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131: Yeah, that.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 11:54 AM
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"Hey, I'd like you to meet my twins, Vestpocket and Tunamelt."

A lot of the suggestions for the new one to date have been on that order. "As If" is my favorite so far.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 11:57 AM
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133: Those are different options.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 11:57 AM
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"As If" is my favorite so far.

Not completely without precedent.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 11:59 AM
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135: Sigh. Both options apply.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 12:03 PM
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But "immanent" doesn't mean "imminent".


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 12:05 PM
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Ben, Parsi is being literary.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 12:07 PM
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"Eminent, imminent, immanent": it's the new "Mary, merry, marry".


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 12:08 PM
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My Sil is named "Hobie", after the Hobie Cat (which her father, grandfather, or uncle invented), and she's been very happy with it.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 12:09 PM
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Funniest real name I ever encountered during my medical records period was O/ral V/est.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 12:10 PM
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I once took a check from a S/cott B/ooger, and went to high school (technically my brother did, as she's ~5 years younger than me) with a H/appy H/ussey.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 12:16 PM
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141. Well, he named the boat after himself, so it's not that big a stretch.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hobart_Alter


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 12:17 PM
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I know a "Dixie Lee Reagan." Parents not even from the south, just insane.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 12:19 PM
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Given name Hobart, though. And she insists she was named after the boat.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 12:21 PM
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The rest of us are hoping it's kittens too, Heeb.

Anti-semite.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 12:23 PM
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138: But "immanent" doesn't mean "imminent".

Jesus christ, ben, no, they don't mean the same thing, but in the context of the birth of a being, as conceived by some people, both terms apply.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 12:28 PM
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but in the context of the birth of a being, as conceived by some people, both terms apply.

Yeah, right, well, when it's sunny and the skies are blue, I don't count as meaning both that it's sunny and that the skies are blue when I say "it's sunny".


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 1:19 PM
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And little Sarvis grew to become...Norman Bates. And now you know the rest of the story.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 1:20 PM
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149: The child is both imminent and immanent, in the minds of the parents-to-be in question. How's that? I believe I've already said that. It's both sunny and the skies are blue.

I really don't know what the problem here is: I was not claiming that "immanent" meant imminent. Rather, I chose the former term -- as most relevant in the parents' choosing of names -- and allowed that the latter also applied.

So really; the only thing that interests me here is that I unthinkingly chose "immanent," which is a reflection of my understanding of the parents in question, and makes me sort of smile about them.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 1:40 PM
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147 But I want them to be Jewish kittens!


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 1:55 PM
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Ben, sometimes people use a word, and they mean both meanings. To use technical terminology, it's known as a "pun" or "double entendre". Normally in English they are used as jokes, but they can be used for purely literary purposes.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 1:56 PM
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I used to hang around a Laura Schlessinger discussion group and for some reason this story reminded me of her. I wonder how her only child, a boy, very doted upon, turned out? I can't recall his name. Geeze, what a way to start out life.

But for little Jarvis here I bet he's already learning not to tell Mommy anything and is looking forward to the day when he can attend a school where his Mommy doesn't work.

Everyone else has nailed all the WTF? creepy reactions to this story. It is weird that someone would feel this and weirder that said person would write about it.

Ewww.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 1:56 PM
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I used to hang around a Laura Schlessinger discussion group

Dear God, Tripp.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 2:07 PM
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I used to hang around a Laura Schlessinger discussion group

for the naked pics?


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 2:24 PM
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You know, I just thought "immanent" in this context looked odd and wondered if it was a typo for "imminent" or not. I didn't realize that this would bring out the Ben W-lfs-n Pedantry Patrol in full force.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 4:22 PM
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I did like the Jezebel link to Sarah Haskins, of whom I was not aware. Funny.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 4:33 PM
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To use technical terminology, it's known as a "pun" or "double entendre".

I believe you'll find that the technical term is "paronomasia", thankyewverymuch.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 6:42 PM
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159: I have the highest regard for you, by the way, person.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 7:22 PM
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C'mon, this piece is so obviously tongue-in-cheek, I can't believe anyone here is taking it seriously.

However, on the off-chance it's for real, I'm pretty sure I know who Graffiti Girl is: One of the author's 13 split personalities.


Posted by: Dean Monikers | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 8:24 PM
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C'mon, this piece is so obviously tongue-in-cheek, I can't believe anyone here is taking it seriously.

I ljust ove it when people make statements like this.

Dean, do you really think "It's so obvious, y'all!!!!1!!!" is actually a convincing argument? Or even an argument at all?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:43 PM
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It is an argument that convinces most of the rest of Dean's multiple personalities.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 10-24-08 2:19 AM
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For every action there's an equal and opposite reaction: another crazy mother.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 10-24-08 3:08 PM
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Asilon's son is 13.

Watch out for her!!!


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 10-24-08 3:32 PM
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Sometimes I sneak into elementary schools in the middle of the night and carve "I (heart)" and then some random name just in case it'll make some crazy off-her-rocker elementary school teacher flip out for some reason or other.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-25-08 1:38 AM
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Trying to get the last word on some old threads, Sifu?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-25-08 1:46 AM
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