Re: The bean curd famine of 2009

1

How do you substitute tofu? Everything (edible) has more flavor than tofu.

Polystyrene?


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 5:14 PM
horizontal rule
2

Standpipe poked a soy bean into each of Jesurgislac's nostrils. Suddenly, Jesurgislac was enlightened.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 5:21 PM
horizontal rule
3

Jesurgislac breathes fire. Suddenly, Standpipe was incinerated.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 5:27 PM
horizontal rule
4

And the soy beans cooked.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 5:29 PM
horizontal rule
5

How do you substitute tofu?

Ground beef.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 5:43 PM
horizontal rule
6

How do you substitute tofu?

Tofu mix?

max
['For times like these.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 5:47 PM
horizontal rule
7

Dried tofu is quite yummy. The squishy kind is meh.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 5:51 PM
horizontal rule
8

TVP.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 5:51 PM
horizontal rule
9

Dried tofu is quite yummy.

This stuff? I like it too.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 6:00 PM
horizontal rule
10

Thanks, 'pipe.

Despite having never heard of any of the places JRoth claims fresh donuts exist in Pittsburgh, I do enjoy the freshly made extremely cheap tofu at...one of the East Asian stores in the Strip district. Lotus?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 6:29 PM
horizontal rule
11

I think pork is a better tofu substitute than beef.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 6:43 PM
horizontal rule
12

9: sweet Jesus that's swipple! Never tried it. I will, though.

I'm talking about the basic dried tofu you get by taking regular tofu and drying it. No need for braided rice straw or snow or any of that. You can do it in your oven at home, using store-bought tofu from Safeway. Recipes on the web. Simple. Delicious.

Not to judge, mind you.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 6:59 PM
horizontal rule
13

Speaking of crappy food (segue!), this could have saved me a bundle.

Also, a French friend of mine just got engaged and told me he did not give, nor does he ever plan to give, his bride-to-be an engagement ring. He says French people don't follow that custom. Is he on the up-and-up or just pulling a fast one on his fiancee?


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 7:01 PM
horizontal rule
14

I can't imagine any normal human being getting married without an engagement ring, not even a weaselly French fag.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 7:05 PM
horizontal rule
15

9: sweet Jesus that's swipple!

I found some (of some other, probably less rarified brand) in a Japanese store and thought, well, that sounds interesting! It's an ingredient, though, not something you would want to eat in the state it's sold in. It's like a little tofu sponge for whatever you simmer it in.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 7:05 PM
horizontal rule
16

Also, a French friend of mine just got engaged and told me he did not give, nor does he ever plan to give, his bride-to-be an engagement ring. He says French people don't follow that custom. Is he on the up-and-up or just pulling a fast one on his fiancee?

I was under the impression it was a purely American custom? At least so I've heard from some Germans.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 7:21 PM
horizontal rule
17

Food is becoming scarce? This depression is getting pretty bad.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 7:22 PM
horizontal rule
18

I heard the same line from at least one German. Of course, his marriage did not last. If Le Frenchman is marrying an American girl, a ring might be advisable.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 7:40 PM
horizontal rule
19

In my country, the marriage is sacred. We do not use the engagement ring, or the birth control, but just make the sacred whoopie and say goodbye. My heart will be broken if you do not marry me tonight.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 7:48 PM
horizontal rule
20

IN SLOVENIA WE SLEEP ONE DAY A YEAR. WE CALL IT SLEEP DAY. THE REST OF THE TIME WE PLAY VIDEO GAMES AND **** THE **** OUT OF GIRLS.


Posted by: OPIATED SLOVENIAN | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 7:49 PM
horizontal rule
21

Hope you've decided to stay indoors tonight, Emerson. 'Cause that's some not-fucking-around cold weather. Fosston, MN is in the lead as of this writing with an air temp at the airport of -33 deg F.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 8:04 PM
horizontal rule
22

-33 predicted for 6 am here. -22 now.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 8:09 PM
horizontal rule
23

15 - It's the texture that does it for me. Chewy. A little nutty. Wholesome, nutritious, sexy.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 8:11 PM
horizontal rule
24

Don't go building fires under any snow-covered pine trees, Emerson.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 8:15 PM
horizontal rule
25

-33? Colder than Chukotka, warmer than Yakutia. But of course it's the early afternoon there.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 8:15 PM
horizontal rule
26

Au contraire, ned. From the pictures at that link, it's clear that Yakutia is hot! hot! hot!


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 8:17 PM
horizontal rule
27

"Bananus" is brilliant.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 8:19 PM
horizontal rule
28

When did Ned become so obsessed with obscure regions of Siberia?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 8:21 PM
horizontal rule
29

-33 predicted for 6 am here. -22 now.

It sucks. I haven't been able to ride my bike all week. Supposed to be above zero on Friday though.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 8:23 PM
horizontal rule
30

Look, the Miss Virtual Yakutia deserves to be known to every internet user.

Plus, those aren't obscure. You may be thinking of the Chita oblast or the Khanty-Mansi okrug.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 8:27 PM
horizontal rule
31

I am going out tonight, though. My buddy from out of town is here.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 8:32 PM
horizontal rule
32

If Le Frenchman is marrying an American girl, a ring might be advisable.

Non, he should stand up against the stupid "tradition" which is in fact an obligation for many people. If you want to give someone a piece of jewelry, rock on. But stop telling men that they have to drop 5 or 10 grand on a ring. ogged is on my side.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 8:38 PM
horizontal rule
33

32: it's a bloody racket.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 8:40 PM
horizontal rule
34

Goddamned American customs. I passed on buying a new motorcycle for that friggin' rock.


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 8:42 PM
horizontal rule
35

Well, I'm sure its resale value is at least 10% what you paid for it, what, two years ago? Meanwhile the motorcycle would have fallen apart long ago.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 8:43 PM
horizontal rule
36

From the thread to which I linked in 32:

I would much rather get an aluminum ring with the inscription: I will scoop the kitty litter for the rest of our lives

Posted by: heebie-geebie


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 8:44 PM
horizontal rule
37

I can't imagine any normal human being getting married without an engagement ring, not even a weaselly French fag.

Some people don't even wear wedding rings John, let alone an engagement ring.

You buy engagement diamonds because DeBeers knows it's business.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 8:44 PM
horizontal rule
38

"its" stupid fingers.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 8:44 PM
horizontal rule
39

Non, he should stand up against the stupid "tradition" which is in fact an obligation for many people.

The fact that it is an obligation for many renders it advisable that he not stand up against the stupid tradition unless he is sure his bride-to-be also considers it a stupid tradition. I'm not even big on jewelry generally, but it bugged the hell out of me personally.

I passed on buying a new motorcycle for that friggin' rock.

I would have been perfectly happy with an engagement motorcycle in lieu of ring.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 8:48 PM
horizontal rule
40

I thought the inauguration of Obama meant a transition to a system of equal-partner-purchased home-distilling gear. Takes a load of the bar bill at the wedding, among other benefits.

I mean, he is ushering through Congress home-distilling legislation, right? You guys haven't been funning me or nothin', right?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 8:48 PM
horizontal rule
41

Non, he should stand up against the stupid "tradition" which is in fact an obligation for many people.

It's not likely to work if she likes the tradition. Or if he does; there's a lot of pressure on men. $5K-10K is hardly necessary or common (well, at least in my non-elite circles), of course, and plenty of people I know gave rings that had other colorful stones.

(The push to make 2 carats "normal"? Nuts.)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 8:49 PM
horizontal rule
42

Even if you like the tradition, it's got to be pretty hard to avoid ever thinking that you bent over for that one willingly.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 8:52 PM
horizontal rule
43

#35: Sorry for being thick about this, but I can't tell whether you're being sarcastic about the diamond, the bike, both, or neither. My best guess is that you're sarcastically implying that the diamond has lost most of its value, while I would still be happily riding the bike today.

Well. First, there is no reason why the diamond should have lost 90% of its value. Jewelry doesn't wear out. Second, a bike will depreciate very quickly (unless it's a "classic", or possibly a BMW or Harley here in Japan), although it would not fall apart in 2 years.

In general, therefore, a diamond will hold its value much, much better than a motorcycle. After about 10 years, the diamond should still be worth about the same (unless those new artificial lab-grown diamonds flood the market), while the bike would be worth much less than what I would have paid to buy it. So I got that going for me.


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 8:53 PM
horizontal rule
44

#41: The push to make 2 carats "normal"? Nuts.

Agreed. The diamond cartel is overplaying its hand on that one. On women with petite hands, even 1 carat looks huge; 2 carats would look comical and gauche.


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 8:57 PM
horizontal rule
45

First, there is no reason why the diamond should have lost 90% of its value. Jewelry doesn't wear out.

I think Ned might have been referring to your practical inability to sell the diamond for more than about 10% of what you paid for it, regardless of how much it might allegedly be worth.

cf. that whole long ranty thing from dsquared a couple years back, the whole fake "scarcity" thing w/r/t diamonds, and the secret vaults where debeers keeps all the non-synthetic diamonds so they don't flood the market.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 8:58 PM
horizontal rule
46

42: Definitely true, but we managed to stay reasonably sane about the whole thing. (Not out of any great virtue: I didn't care particularly; standards for 'acceptable engagement ring' in his milieu seem to be more along the lines of 'nice gift that I can afford' rather than 'I bought this chick for a multicarat rock')


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 8:58 PM
horizontal rule
47

People do get weird about it. My mother was poised to judge Buck harshly if the ring had been insufficient. (She's judged him harshly anyway, but she's had to make up other stuff because the ring he got me was a very pretty sapphire.) It's a dumb "tradition", but there are social penalties to not playing along.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 9:02 PM
horizontal rule
48

standards for 'acceptable engagement ring' in his milieu seem to be more along the lines of 'nice gift that I can afford'

Yeah, this seems like a reasonable standard. Just something that says, "I spent more than 20 seconds thinking about the decision to get engaged."


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 9:02 PM
horizontal rule
49

#45: Point taken, but so long as the supply is kept artificially low, our diamond should be worth a lot more than 10% of the purchase price. If the only alternative for a buyer is to buy at retail prices, I should be able to undercut the retailers only slightly. Even if I have to go lower because the diamond is "used", I don't see why I would have to drop all the way down to 10%.

Go DeBeers!


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 9:02 PM
horizontal rule
50

Oh, I just made up the 10% thing. But you didn't buy it used, did you? How many people do?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 9:04 PM
horizontal rule
51

SCREW DEBEERS AND ALL THEIR ILK.

WITH A RUSTY CHAINSAW.


Posted by: OPINIONATED GRANDMA | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 9:05 PM
horizontal rule
52

49: As I'm parceling out relationship advice, GB, I would add that you might want to be careful about appearing to give too much thought to hocking the engagement ring.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 9:05 PM
horizontal rule
53

First, there is no reason why the diamond should have lost 90% of its value. Jewelry doesn't wear out.

I wouldn't buy my wife diamonds that weren't somehow useful, but these do tend to lose their value after a while.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 9:07 PM
horizontal rule
54

I think 53 is pwned by 51, but we'll likely need a booth review.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 9:08 PM
horizontal rule
55

but there are social penalties to not playing along.

I guess the best bet is if you both think it's a pretty stupid game (and are willing to tell any family members who don't to lump it).

Selling a diamond must be a bit like selling a wedding dress. It makes more sense than people are typically willing to accept, which has to drop realistic prices.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 9:10 PM
horizontal rule
56

standards for 'acceptable engagement ring' in his milieu seem to be more along the lines of 'nice gift that I can afford'

See, this is sane. Just like a wedding should be a nice party you can afford. Ten points for Shivbunny's milieu.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 9:11 PM
horizontal rule
57

I guess the best bet is if you both think it's a pretty stupid game

Hooray!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 9:12 PM
horizontal rule
58

You guys do know that the DeBeers monopoly has been over for a while now, right? Don't you watch "Ice Road Truckers"?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 9:13 PM
horizontal rule
59

54: No! On account of the blade in 53 actually has diamonds laser-welded to it.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 9:14 PM
horizontal rule
60

I thought that was about real ice, not continent-wide sheets of diamonds.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 9:15 PM
horizontal rule
61

58: yeah, but it's a handy short hand. The entire (non commercial) industry is bullshit.

59: They wear out pretty quick too.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 9:18 PM
horizontal rule
62

er in 61: non-commercial should be non-industrial (diamond)


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 9:18 PM
horizontal rule
63

The entire non-industrial industry is bullshit.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 9:18 PM
horizontal rule
64

I guess the best bet is if you both think it's a pretty stupid game

Of course, this is probably a tricky thing to figure out.
HIM: Blah blah blah DeBeers yada yada yada stupid tradition, doncha think?
HER: [chagrined]Uh, yeah, so stupid. Uh huh, materialistic [under breath] fucking cheapskate...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 9:18 PM
horizontal rule
65

||

No more masturbating to Ricardo Montalban.

|>


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 9:19 PM
horizontal rule
66

64: You had scorn and resentment towards him before you were even engaged?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 9:19 PM
horizontal rule
67

61.2: Right. That's what I was getting at before Stanley got all up in my face.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 9:20 PM
horizontal rule
68

64: Yeah, sometimes it's easier though:

HER: Engagement diamonds are such a crock. It's a good thing you'd never pull that bullshit on me. blah blah blah patriarchy blah blah blah rip off yada yada yada stupid tradition, doncha think?
HIM: er,..... YA [under breath] sweet.


I understand why people play along. It's ok to play along even if it is stupid. And maybe someone really likes them just 'cause (hard to tell from the outside).

The industry is pretty scummy though, and has lead to a lot of stupid and avoidable debt, which is the part that's annoying.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 9:24 PM
horizontal rule
69

before Stanley got all up in my face

We are all carbon here. Let us not go calling names.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 9:24 PM
horizontal rule
70

67: cut-off saws are more fun too. definitely advise that over concrete blades. As an engagement present I mean.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 9:26 PM
horizontal rule
71

66: No, but in many ways the proposal was in fact the beginning of the end. Story time?

I had bought him a claddagh ring. Not planning any sort of proposal, but I knew he liked it and I was in love and he was coming for his first visit to the U.S. Upon my giving it to him, he promptly popped the question -- perhaps afraid I was going to beat him to the punch. In love, blah blah blah, I said yes. "Great, but don't tell anyone, okay?" No one was told for another 3 months other than my then best friend. Another 3 months later, he did produce a ring, which conveniently doubled as a birthday present. I did, in fact, rather like the ring (very simple band with a very simple sapphire).


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 9:30 PM
horizontal rule
72

As Di demonstrates, German man American woman is the wrong combination. What I paid for an e-ring wouldn't buy a draft beer nowadays.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 9:36 PM
horizontal rule
73

What I don't get is this scenario:

BRIDETOBE: Take a look! Yay!
PERSON: Congratulations! Nice ring, very interesting design! Is it an antique!
BRIDETOBE: Yes, it was his grandmother's, it was such a nice surprise. We're going to go pick out my own in a couple months.

ERROR DOES NOT COMPUTE

Now there are three rings in this process?

The thing that "we're going to go pick out" is the wedding bands, not the engagement ring. You already have an engagement ring.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 9:36 PM
horizontal rule
74

The thing that "we're going to go pick out" is the wedding bands

And you don't even need those, though even more social pressure to conform that way ... but simple (and inexpensive if you like) ones are perfectly accepted.

It's the contest aspect of engagement rings here that is sick.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 9:40 PM
horizontal rule
75

73: Yikes.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 9:41 PM
horizontal rule
76

In my case, when Sylvia Plath* and I were considering engagement, the conversation went something like this:

HER: You know, two months' salary is the traditional amount to spend on the engagement ring.
ME: Uh... (Wait, she's been brainwashed by DeBeers? How did I not know she could be so shallow?)

Mercifully, the relationship imploded not long thereafter.

*see archives


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 9:43 PM
horizontal rule
77

In our case, it went like this.

HER: Blah blah conflict diamonds blah blah not certain that's actually a good argument currently blah blah can I have a sparkly thing that is maybe a sapphire because let's face it I like sparkly things.
HIM: Blah blah tradition blah blah barely know your parents and they will think I'm cheap and then I'll be unemployed waiting on the green card blah blah manhood blah blah what if it's a diamond from a mine in Canada.

[time passes]
HIM: Just checking, but you'd kill me if I spent two months' salary on a ring, right? Because my cousin says that's traditional.
HER: Yup. Debt is also traditional.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-14-09 10:21 PM
horizontal rule
78

Trick for avoiding this shit: marry a woman who doesn't like gold jewellery for aesthetic reasons.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 4:44 AM
horizontal rule
79

Jesus, straights are weird.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 4:56 AM
horizontal rule
80

the manmade diamonds are really nice now. I got a hand-cut one, emerald cut, and had it set in an antique-style ring setting with pave of real diamonds (because the man-made ones don't do small as well). 4.3 carats, that shit looks amazing. my 10th anniversary present, but I did the organizing, both of us were quite happy that way. my engagement ring was a sapphire and I took diamond earrings my grandmother had given me to be the surrounds, it's very pretty and no one went into debt over it, though my annoying sister-in-law scorned it because she is a bitch. jesurgislac: I bet that the move towards more widespread gay marrige will be accompanied by lots more queer couples falling for wedding-industrial bullshit in a package deal.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 5:43 AM
horizontal rule
81

Alameida, the only serious drawback to civil partnership/marriage now being freely available to same-sex couples is that, well, we will discover that:

1. lesbians and gays can made exactly the same kind of stupid decisions to get married to someone they shouldn't as straight do;

2. Lesbians and gays turn out to be exactly as susceptible to push-marketing about stuff they Have To Have to be Properly Married as straights do.

1 is already proven totally true.

2 is going to take a bit longer. One, a lot of big commercial firms haven't yet figured out how to sell to same-sex couples, and two, it is harder to convince couples who know damn well that three or four years ago they wouldn't have been allowed to legally wed at all that there are some things they Simply Must Do because Everyone Does.

The last gay wedding fair I went to (I was reporting on it, y'know) it hadn't occurred to any of the limo companies that they needed at least two publicity shots of male-male and female-female couples in their limos, instead of the relentless parade of bride-and-groom.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 6:30 AM
horizontal rule
82

81: I recall this being a pretty big story in 2007. I wonder what the uptake has been.

The Walt Disney Company has decided to include same-sex commitment ceremonies in its popular Fairy Tale Wedding program. Packages range from $8,000 to over $45,000 depending on how magical same-sex couples want the experience. Disney Parks and Resorts spokesperson Donn Walker told Reuters.

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 6:43 AM
horizontal rule
83

it is harder to convince couples who know damn well that three or four years ago they wouldn't have been allowed to legally wed at all that there are some things they Simply Must Do because Everyone Does.

On the other hand, it's easy enough under the circumstances to feel like there are some things that you Simply Must Do so that it feels like a Real Wedding.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 6:45 AM
horizontal rule
84

Jes:

I need help marketing pre-nups to lesbian and gay couples!

I havent read the entire thread. Is Stanley engaged? Thinking about buying a ring??


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 6:48 AM
horizontal rule
85

redfoxtailshrub: No, actually. Not in my experience. You know it's a real wedding because it ends in with a real, legally valid certificate saying so. That's what I mean: it will take some time for same-sex couples to get over this "Dear sweet wow we are actually MARRIED" and start to think like mixed-sex couples "Oh, but it will not feel like a proper wedding unless we have this, have that, do this, buy the other." Then again, all the civil partnerships/weddings I have direct experience of have been of couples getting married at last - after ten, twenty, thirty years together - so maybe there'll be a difference for couples who first get together post civil partnership.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 6:55 AM
horizontal rule
86

it will take some time

Definitely. But my prediction is: you won't have to wait too long. Of course many couples--especially those (as you say) getting married after having been together for many years, as well as people who find the whole scene politically distasteful--will never wind up feeling that way, but this is true of mixed-sex couples, too.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 7:06 AM
horizontal rule
87

I had a friend whose live-in fiance wanted to keep the $5000 ring when they split up. He tried to take it back and she called the police and falsely charged domestic violence. He spent the weekend in jail and ended up paying a $500 fine and going to an anger management course. He also went bankrupt for relationship-related reasons.

Anger management was never one of his many problems, but after finishing the course he quit gambling, cut down his drinking, quit smoking, and married someone else. From meeting the first woman to marrying the second took him about 18 months. He was 61 years old, too, not a teenager.

The point is that he didn't get more than about half his money back on the ring. It's like the car losing a third of it's value the minute you drive it off the lot.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 7:16 AM
horizontal rule
88

its


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 7:23 AM
horizontal rule
89

I had a friend whose live-in fiance wanted to keep the $5000 ring when they split up. He tried to take it back and she called the police and falsely charged domestic violence. He spent the weekend in jail and ended up paying a $500 fine and going to an anger management course. He also went bankrupt for relationship-related reasons.

The point is look at all the lawyers that they kept employed! Stimulate the economy! Engaged in highly emotional conflict.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 7:25 AM
horizontal rule
90

Then again, all the civil partnerships/weddings I have direct experience of have been of couples getting married at last - after ten, twenty, thirty years together - so maybe there'll be a difference for couples who first get together post civil partnership.

Doesn't the pressure come from friends and family?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 7:26 AM
horizontal rule
91

The handful of same sex couples I know have already incorporated some W-IC traditions. (Rings, gowns, cakes, honeymoons.) I suspect more legitimacy will create more marketing opportunities with the same wedding just-so stories.

He tried to take it back and she called the police and falsely charged domestic violence.

Depending on how this played out (did he try to take it off her finger?), it doesn't really sound like a false charge; it doesn't take all that much to substantiate calling the police.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 7:32 AM
horizontal rule
92

I have my engagement ring all picked out! There's a second-hand jewelry place on my commute, and in the window there's a nice simple band of teeny-tiny diamonds all linked together in gold. I think it costs about $1000, maybe less.

Maybe I should buy it for myself someday.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 7:34 AM
horizontal rule
93

91: Yes, so have the couples I know. The ones who like to dress up buy fancy gowns; the ones who like to go on holiday together go on honeymoon together; the ones who like cake, get cake. (Really, doesn't everyone like cake?)

90: Apparently there was a lesbian couple planning their wedding where they needed two aisles and two "Who giveth this woman to be married to this woman?" because neither father-of-the-bride was about to revoke their right to walk down the aisle withhis daughter and hand her to the spouse of her choice. Which is both kind of sweet and more than slightly crazy. Oh patriarchy.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 7:41 AM
horizontal rule
94

He went into the bedroom and she grabbed him from behind. She claimed he shoved her.

The guy had multiple enormous problems, but I believe him when he says that violence was not one of them. He was really broken up about the whole thing because he would have been terribly ashamed if it were true, and it's on his public record because he was bankrupt and his lawyer didn't want to contest it for the amount of money he'd be getting.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 7:41 AM
horizontal rule
95

Jesus, straights are weird

Everyone's weird, Jesurgislac.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 7:47 AM
horizontal rule
96

When did "engagement photos" become a thing? Why would you have engagement pictures? What do they mean? They aren't (usually? necessarily?) pictures of the event of your getting engaged; they are pictures of the two of you together, in artfully contrived pseudo natural scenes. But who and what are they for?

I come from a world where staged portrait photos for the purpose of one's personal photo albums aren't really considered appropriate, so I'm clearly not calibrated like normal people. (There are snapshots, where the intended audience is the people in the photos and their friends, and then there are the photos that photographers take for the purpose of publication or as art pieces, for audiences of strangers. You are allowed to have prints of those professional photos of yourself, but you wouldn't have commissioned them. Wedding photos are an allowed exception, but even these are actually a little dubious. Certainly one doesn't keep too many of them around.)

Still, even though my feelings about photos are clearly not the norm, I still think that this new ubiquity of photo-shoot engagement pictures is genuinely odd.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 7:54 AM
horizontal rule
97

I actually quite like the engagement photo trend. Most of my cousins have gotten married in the last few years, and so when I get wedding invitations I like to peer at the new cousin-in-law and wonder at how the couple has chosen to present themselves. Since I have almost never gone out to the weddings---time, money, boring Mormon receptions---the engagement photo is the only visual referent I have for a while of the new family.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 8:05 AM
horizontal rule
98

I doubt my cousins are dropping any serious money on that part of the wedding-go-round, though.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 8:05 AM
horizontal rule
99

When did "engagement photos" become a thing?

See also bridal photos.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 8:06 AM
horizontal rule
100

See also bridal photos.

These have been a thing for much longer, and at least they commemorate the actual event. But yes, these are definitely right out in my ultra-restrictive set of photo constraints.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 8:10 AM
horizontal rule
101

And another thing, what's the deal with getting married by a priest or minister, even if you're not religious?


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 8:11 AM
horizontal rule
102

These have been a thing for much longer, and at least they commemorate the actual event.

The ones I'm talking about are typically done weeks to months in advance, so I don't know if they really "commemorate the event", in the way the wedding photos do.

On the other hand, using a stupidly expensive dress twice has to have some appeal


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 8:12 AM
horizontal rule
103

And another thing, what's the deal with getting married by a priest or minister, even if you're not religious?

Easy to locate ones who will attend your ceremony/whatever.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 8:13 AM
horizontal rule
104

The ones I'm talking about are typically done weeks to months in advance

Oh, I didn't know!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 8:13 AM
horizontal rule
105

103: Yep, I'm about as secular as you can get, and simply couldn't figure out how to get a non-cleric to come to my wedding to perform the ceremony. Judges and such will marry you if you come to an office, or if you have a personal connection so they're doing it as a favor, but I couldn't find anyone for hire.

So we got a Unitarian from 1-800-Dial-A-Priest.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 8:16 AM
horizontal rule
106

That just seems so hollow to me. If you're a believer, of course you want the minister there to administer the rite of your choosing. But if all you want is an emcee, why should it be a stranger -- or why have one at all?

(Chalk this up to genuine curiosity, not if-you-were-only-as-enlightened-as-me preachiness. I didn't 'get' engagement rings either, but at least they've been explained; not this part.)


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 8:27 AM
horizontal rule
107

Legal requirement, it's different state by state but I think NY is reasonably in step with most of them. Only a cleric or a small set of officials can conduct a marriage legally, so if you want the legal marriage to take place at the party where your friends and family are, you need a cleric. (You could go and get legally married at an office, and then have a mock ceremony at your 'wedding', but that feels weird.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 8:34 AM
horizontal rule
108

But if all you want is an emcee, why should it be a stranger -- or why have one at all?

Because if you want to be legally married, you have to be married by someone who has the legal authority: judge, justice of the peace, religious whosit, fake religious whosit (Universal Life), or sea captain. Obviously, the latter is to be preferred, but you don't want to force your guests (those you like) to be martyrs to seasickness.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 8:34 AM
horizontal rule
109

Lizard pwned, except for the sea captain, which is really the most important part. So not pwned at all, actually.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 8:38 AM
horizontal rule
110

You could go and get legally married at an office, and then have a mock ceremony at your 'wedding' not bother with the rest of the wedding-industrial complex, as someone put it above. Just have a party (or several, in different places) some time.

Not for everyone, I understand.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 8:43 AM
horizontal rule
111

Oh yes, that. In the country where I got married, the part with the civil official is required. In France, too -- I went to a wedding there where all the wedding guests went to a ceremony to a conference room at city hall before we went to the church. (The first event was much more interesting, IMO).

Getting a bit preachy now, but I don't see why an 'authentic' marriage ceremony officiated by a friendly stranger is preferred to a 'mock' ceremony. I mean, a) there's a ceremony and b) the participants wind up married, right? What's missing? Do the guests get irate? "Hey, this is bullshit, we came to see wedlock!"


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 8:44 AM
horizontal rule
112

110: Or, as friends of mine did, elope to Fiji and then throw a party. Bonus: flower wreaths for bride & groom.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 8:50 AM
horizontal rule
113

In Taiwan I attended a hybrid Sino-American wedding. The bride had two dresses, the American one white and the Chinese one gaudy and mostly red, and changed in the middle.

As I remember, in traditional Chinese weddings the officiants are the two fathers. Priests do mostly funerals. The wedding is a big feast. At least some funerals are big feasts too. An 80+ y.o. woman died in my neighborhood, and I saw an entire 500+ lb. hog carcass being prepared for the feast.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 8:51 AM
horizontal rule
114

My fiancee is the same size as her mom was when she got married, and her mom saved her wedding dress all these years. "Why did you save your wedding dress?" I say. "Oh, I don't know, I just liked it!" she says. I was sort of trying to get a feel as to whether it might be, you know, possibly re-used. But that's never even crossed her mind.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 8:51 AM
horizontal rule
115

You could go and get legally married at an office, and then have a mock ceremony at your 'wedding', but that feels weird.

This is pretty much the standard thing to do (only in reverse) in my experience. It's what I did, my sister did, and most of the people I know well enough to be aware of the details did. There's the church and family part of the wedding and then a legal niceties bit which is not ceremonial at all, just some paperwork that needs to be taken care of. The real marriage is sealed at "I do" and the legal bits are just formalities like getting a joint checking account.

I think SSM proponents could get real traction if they started talking about the fact that marriage is really two distinct things: The mutual commitment between two people as recognized by family and community, and the legal recognition that entitles the couple to certain legal benefits. If prop 8 opponents had pushed the distinction between "Government Marriage" and "Church Marriage" they might have peeled off enough opposition to win.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 8:54 AM
horizontal rule
116

This starts getting into philosophy of language, doesn't it? People want to witness important events -- the 'wedding' tradition is one where your friends and family watch you as your status changes from two single people to a family. Getting quietly married in an office, and then inviting people to a non-ceremony reception is a perfectly reasonable thing to do, but it's a significant social change from current American tradition. Getting quietly married in an office, and then having a mock ceremony at which no actual legal change of status takes place for your friends and family to witness seems weird to me, as missing the point of why ceremonies take place and people want to witness them.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 8:54 AM
horizontal rule
117

Getting quietly married in an office, and then having a mock ceremony at which no actual legal change of status takes place for your friends and family to witness seems weird to me

My sister had a mock ceremony after her temple wedding. I think it was largely because her parents (or sisters) couldn't go into the temple with her. The ring-exchanging ceremony was a little strange, and none of my cousins have bothered to follow her example.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 9:01 AM
horizontal rule
118

I crossed with 115: to the extent the ceremony you invite the family too is a meaningful ceremony, even if not the legal event, that doesn't strike me as odd at all. And of course meaning is where you make it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 9:07 AM
horizontal rule
119

111: You know, one of the things we considered for convenience was for shiv and I to have a civil ceremony as soon as he moved down here (which would start his paperwork, including his work permit, rolling) and have the religious ceremony/party later. I thought this was sensible, especially given costs given the July 30 fee hike at USCIS of $700 and the opportunity costs due to missing work due to not being allowed to work legally (about $12K).

This was not a view that flew over well with shiv, and it was a view that crashed and burned with my family. So I think the pressure is stronger than you might think.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 9:09 AM
horizontal rule
120

but it's a significant social change from current American tradition

This is true, but there is also an awful lot of pressure to this tradition that I think is pushed by commercial, rather than, social interests. Or at least there is a feedback loop.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 9:09 AM
horizontal rule
121

"to aspects of this tradition"


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 9:10 AM
horizontal rule
122

115.2 - In my experience, once you start pointing out that there's civil marriage, which is how you get all your legal rights, and religious marriage, and these are two separate things, you suddenly get assholes coming out of the woodwork yawping that "we should get government out of the marriage business"! and that unless you have a cleric perform your marriage ceremony, you should only be allowed to have a "civil union".

It does seem odd that in the US, you can't have a registrar just do your marriage ceremony legally. It's the cheapest/easiest way to get married in the UK: go to a registry office and have a registrar perform the ceremony, which doesn't take more than 20 minutes, then go somewhere else (if you like) and have a party. Presumably you can get married in City Hall by a clerk, if you want that, it's just that the ceremony is a bit kind of truncated?

Friends got legally wed at a registry office in civil partnership last year, and then they had a lovely ceremony performed by a humanist celebrant, with their older step/daughters doing readings and their younger children distributing rose-petals. It was some time after their 10th anniversary, I think.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 9:10 AM
horizontal rule
123

And of course meaning is where you make it.

Right. An awful lot of couples I've known have had non-traditional wedding/whatevers, but there is usually some aspect of the process that is a social & familial expression of the change.

That part is important, I think. But it's really not important to have it mediated by some external idea of what it should be. Particularly if some of that mediation is done by people trying to sell you something.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 9:12 AM
horizontal rule
124

It does seem odd that in the US, you can't have a registrar just do your marriage ceremony legally.

You absolutely can have this done by a judge. 20 minutes, city hall filing fees, away you go. Here you don't even need witnesses (varies state by state)


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 9:14 AM
horizontal rule
125

I thought this was sensible

It was sensible, Cala. And loads of people do this, by the way, in similar circumstances.

However, people don't always do the most practical things, particularly when it ties into ideals and family and social expectations.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 9:16 AM
horizontal rule
126

Yeah, plenty of people do get married and have the party later. I just couldn't get it past the family.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 9:19 AM
horizontal rule
127

123: I'm totally with you on how it ought to be, but I think you're missing certain patriarchal aspects of the tradition -- not that you don't understand the history, but that you're not recognizing how strong the pull still is. Which is to say that many, many people are attached to the idea of the legal and symbolic marriage taking place at the same time because it was previously so important that the legal transfer of property also have the religious seal of approval. Most people don't consciously think that way anymore, of course, but the strength of the idea has been passed down, even if the specific reasons for it have faded.

That wasn't very articulate, but I think you can suss out what I mean.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 9:39 AM
horizontal rule
128

you suddenly get assholes coming out of the woodwork yawping that "we should get government out of the marriage business"

You do indeed. These assholes aren't on our side anyway, so it's not like they are going to change things one way or another. The mushy middle is what will sway things for SSM, and they are potentially influenced by the notion that SSM means churches being forced to recognize the marriage (a lie actively promoted by opponents). Breaking through that will help our side.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 9:41 AM
horizontal rule
129

My uncle was married by a sea captain, with a captain's hat and a full white beard and everything. Definitely the way to go.


Posted by: Trevor | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 9:47 AM
horizontal rule
130

When did "engagement photos" become a thing?

Everyone's hopping on the Arnolfini bandwagon.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 10:10 AM
horizontal rule
131

The thread has moved on a bit, but I just realized that, even in my recent, financially distressed state*, I've never earned as little as half of AB's engagement ring/month. At the time it was a bit more than a week's salary - maybe 2 weeks' take-home.

We went with a vintage piece with a small diamond and smaller sapphires; we're semi-traditionalists, I guess.

* I can't find a bill from the water company more recent than October; have they simply given up? We still have water.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 10:15 AM
horizontal rule
132

So do you have to be married at sea for a sea captain to marry you? I know a sea captain.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 10:16 AM
horizontal rule
133

Well!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 10:18 AM
horizontal rule
134

128: The problem is that the assholes tend to shut down discussion. As assholes do.
132: Propose nicely, and maybe he'll marry you, Ben.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 10:19 AM
horizontal rule
135

129: Was he wearing yellow oilskins*? Because it might have been the Gorton's fisherman.

*That's what we salty sea dogs call rain gear, you landlubbers.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 10:21 AM
horizontal rule
136

105-108: Massachusetts has a nice work-around for this: Anybody can apply for (and basically always gets) a special one-day license to solemnize a marriage. Some friends asked me to do this for them - I declined, but not because it wouldn't have been possible.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 10:22 AM
horizontal rule
137

133 - No kidding! I hope they went to the clerk's office afterwards, I guess.


Posted by: Trevor | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 10:23 AM
horizontal rule
138

105-108: Massachusetts has a nice work-around for this: Anybody can apply for (and basically always gets) a special one-day license to solemnize a marriage.

Yes! Snark did this for friends of ours. I think they make it so you can only get this kind of license once a year. In Pennsylvania, anyone can get a special Quaker marriage license, which entitles you to get married without any officiant at all--you can, of course, also have an unofficial officiant involved in your ceremony with one of these. That's what we did for our wedding.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 10:25 AM
horizontal rule
139

I think they make it so you can only get this kind of license once a year.

That is to say, laypeople only get to solemnize one Massachusetts wedding per year.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 10:26 AM
horizontal rule
140

I'm not sure what the rules are here for Quaker weddings - all the ones I've been to were in Virginia, and I wasn't as interested in the legal minutiae as I am now.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 10:28 AM
horizontal rule
141

1.) I do think that Justices of the Peace will come to you. They just raised the rate that they're allowed to charge by about $50 in MA. If they provide flowers, or whatever, they can bill separately for that. I don't remember whether they can charge for travel expenses.

2.) I can not stand my boyfriend's brother's fiancee. She is a Ph.D. student in biochem and one of the most incurious people I've ever met. She was making the ugliest cross stitch, and she's a big fan of scrapbooking--which is not juat keeping a scrapbook. BF hates her worse than I do, and he needs to deal with emotional issues, because he actually told her to fuck off in front of his parents at Christmas.

I guess that there is plenty of Wedding Industrial Complex in Canada, because they were going on about how the average wedding now costs $30 thousand. BF's father shuddered, and I said, "I know. It's ridiculous." Apparently, even though they are grad students, they're going to pay for this themselves. They do have pretty sweet stipends though $30-$40K completely tax free.

She was born in Poland. Is the WIC big there? We were talking about rings, and I said that I thought I'd rather have a colored one. My Mom's is a sapphire surrounded by small diamonds set in white gold, which I think is more interesting. Her response: "Not me, I want a rock."

There was also a big fight about whether buying a house is always economically advisable. This followed BF's dad telling BF that he'd seen a presentation from his financial advisor saying that it's not, which he mentioned in part, because BF was depressed about the possibility of ever being able to afford a condo in Eastern Mass. Brother and fiancee didn't know shit about what they were talking about. Ugh. Brother is much nicer when fiancee is not around, but parents desperately want BF to be able to get along with fiancee, because they want the brothers to see each other in later years.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 10:28 AM
horizontal rule
142

Just the same as a regular wedding, except instead of throwing rice, you throw oats.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 10:29 AM
horizontal rule
143

Clerk: "Who will be celebrant at your marriage?"
(simultaneously); Quaker Bride: "Everyone!" / Quaker Groom: "No one."

True story, apparently. It was the clerk's first time trying to find out the celebrant's name at a Quaker wedding. Which is just as complicated as the QB and QG's simultaneous (and both correct) responses makes it sound.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 10:31 AM
horizontal rule
144

If people don't have big weddings, we are going to have to get back to using the phrase "Does anyone know why this two people should not be married?"

We don't want a bunch of people running around secretly married.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 10:32 AM
horizontal rule
145

I am so ashamed that 142 made me laugh out loud.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 10:33 AM
horizontal rule
146

144: They could then get secretly and cheaply divorced, and that is unthinkable.

My marriage and divorce were common law. I had the superstitious anarchist idea that ignoring the legalities would in some magical way reduce the other problems of marriage.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 10:48 AM
horizontal rule
147

I had the superstitious anarchist idea that ignoring the legalities would in some magical way reduce the other problems of marriage.

But you have to cut up the body and dispose of the parts just the same as with an officiated marriage.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 10:55 AM
horizontal rule
148

Ugh to everything in 141.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 11:05 AM
horizontal rule
149

They do have pretty sweet stipends though $30-$40K completely tax free.

If they're in the U.S., they're not tax free, just that taxes are not withheld by the uni.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 11:08 AM
horizontal rule
150

If they're in the U.S., they're not tax free, just that taxes are not withheld by the uni.

... for no rational reason, leading to nasty surprises!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 11:14 AM
horizontal rule
151

Health Insurance, pension benefits, car insurance: These are all powerful incentives to get married.

Our feeling has basically been that we do not need to get married. Although, we would like to register at a local wine store.

Maybe if everyone on Unfogged would just send us a bottle of wine. Jesus is willing to barter but I don't think he needs a divorce in Virginia yet. So sad.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 11:16 AM
horizontal rule
152

I don't think he needs a divorce in Virginia yet. So sad.

Chin up, Will. Don't give up hope!


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 11:18 AM
horizontal rule
153

It's always a good idea to let grad students know where they stand. Scott Erik Kaufman has stories about this. And stories. And stories.

Marc Bousquet describes PhDs as a waste product of the graduate schools. Teaching will increasingly be done by untenured ABDs and grad students, because tenure-track PhDs are too expensive.

Oddly, some of the people who undertand how the university works (TM) better than I do are even more cynical and glum than I am.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 11:18 AM
horizontal rule
154

Maybe Will could give Jesus a fungible divorce certificate that he could give as a wedding present.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 11:20 AM
horizontal rule
155

"I know we weren't planning on it, hon, but who knows if we'll ever get another offer like this?"


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 11:30 AM
horizontal rule
156

"Think of the tax advantages!"


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 11:32 AM
horizontal rule
157

Jesus, maybe you can set up one of those complicated barter deals sometimes featured on sitcoms. You don't need a free divorce, but you do need oak barrels. Will knows someone who needs a divorce but doesn't have barrels, oak or otherwise. With 5 or 6 intermediate deals, the whole thing ought to work out.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 11:39 AM
horizontal rule
158

149: Not in the U.S., Ottawa. It's a special provision to try to get top students to stay in Canada.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 11:41 AM
horizontal rule
159

Getting quietly married in an office, and then having a mock ceremony at which no actual legal change of status takes place for your friends and family to witness seems weird to me, as missing the point of why ceremonies take place and people want to witness them.

If that were to be an issue, I'd do it in the reverse order. Go throw the entire wedding with a fake minister and sorta forget to tell anybody. Afterwards, you drive off accompanied by tin cans and hit city hall, all dressed up. And if someone gets cold feet, well, you just skip city hall.

max
['Now how much would pay for a sense of legal endorsement?']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 11:42 AM
horizontal rule
160

148: Thank you Sir Kraab for replying. Did I mention that they watch the Family Guy?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 11:42 AM
horizontal rule
161

but that you're not recognizing how strong the pull still is

I think I recognize it, I'm just pointing out that in fact it really is quite possible to resist it and do something else. There's social pressure to do all sorts of things, which doesn't make them universally good ideas.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 11:53 AM
horizontal rule
162

Not in the U.S., Ottawa. It's a special provision to try to get top students to stay in Canada.

It's actually broader than that. It used to be that anyone could write off the first few thousand dollars of any scholarship. If I recall correctly though, as of a few years ago you can write off all of it. Tuition itself has always been a write off (and is much lower than the US, usually) but is often a separate scholarship anyway.

Of course, this is more benefit to students with bigger scholarships, but it isn't particularly aimed at them. Typically if you're in the running for big national scholarships, schools will add more anyway. I don't know if this has had the effect of reducing that, or not.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 11:57 AM
horizontal rule
163

because they were going on about how the average wedding now costs $30 thousand.

shudder.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 11:58 AM
horizontal rule
164

The portion of your stipend that goes toward "qualified education expenses" (tuition, fees, course books) counts as tax-free income in the US.

The more byzantine case is FICA. If my understanding of the situation is correct, though stipend income can be subject to income taxes, it is not subject to FICA taxes--so long as you are a full time student when you receive that income. At my institution, we aren't enrolled in the "Research" course during the summer, even though those of us who are done with course work are basically doing the same class of things (i.e., lab work) year-round. So because I am technically not a full-time student during the summer, my income should be (cavet to come later) subject to FICA during that period (even though, again, my daily activities remain the same.)

The next complication is that this depends on whether I am in the university's system as an "academic employee" or as a "student." You see, even though we're all students, some of us are paid off grants that can only be paid to employees, and some of us are paid off grants that are explictly for trainees. So it is only because of the label on the grant the my PI is using to fund me that I am an "employee," and hence that my income is in theory (caveat next) subject to FICA for the part of the year when I am supposedly not in school.

The caveat is that when the IRS changed the rule to make us FICA-eligble when not enrolled, CA went and tried to prevent this, arguing that enrollment status doesn't affect daily activities for us. The compromise position was to allow the university to stick the money that would go to FICA taxes into some sort of defferred compensation plan, where it sits and earns about 1% interest. So, in the end, during the summer months, a portion of my salary equal to what I would pay in FICA taxes is placed into a separate account that I can't access until I graduate. Kinda weird, huh?


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 1:22 PM
horizontal rule
165

When did "engagement photos" become a thing?

Aren't they just used for invitations and the announcement in the newspaper? Ever since I was a kid the local newspaper in my hometown carried photos of couples announcing engagements if they gave them one to print.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 3:19 PM
horizontal rule
166

Aren't they just used for invitations and the announcement in the newspaper?

No, not at all. Lots of people have formal sessions done, and prints made.

No, I don't know why, either.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 3:21 PM
horizontal rule
167

Also, I've come to realize that I can't talk much about the fight for legal marriage - and I do want that word, "civil union" will not do, thank you - without getting so angry that I start to sound like I'm angry at the people with whom I'm having the conversation, so I basically don't talk about it anymore.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 3:21 PM
horizontal rule
168

23: 15 - It's the texture that does it for me. Chewy. A little nutty. Wholesome, nutritious, sexy.

togolosh, you said you're single?

I can't believe you people turned a nice, nutritious thread about tofu substitution into a discussion of contemporary engagement practices.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-15-09 7:22 PM
horizontal rule
169

I think this demonstrates how dull tofu is...


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 01-16-09 12:12 PM
horizontal rule
170

Eat tempeh instead of tofu. I think it is much healthier for you anyway, because it is fermented. And delicious! Once one can get through the damn packaging, cut it into squares and saute it in a light oil, and splash a sizzle of tamari on it. Or make a tempeh Reuben sandwich with a slab of sauted tempeh, sauerkraut, cheese, and Russian dressing on toasted rye. Ummm!

But it STILL is soy, so some consiracy-minded folks think it will make you gay...http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=53327

I don't really know about that--I was gay long before I started eating soy!


Posted by: JHoots | Link to this comment | 01-18-09 11:56 AM
horizontal rule