Re: Ask The Mineshaft: Hey Hey You You I Don't Like Your Girlfriend Edition

1

There's no way to say anything and have it turn out well. Save all your helpful advice for the inevitable separation.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 1:52 PM
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Now that the only possible good advice is out of the way, I'll give mine. You take two bowling balls, a can of Comet, four packages of Horsey sauce....


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 1:56 PM
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Hook up with her 16-year-old sister.


Posted by: Mo MacArbie | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 1:59 PM
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Two bowling balls? Pervert.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 1:59 PM
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Balance.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 2:02 PM
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Corollary to 1: If you feel your friend is in real danger (emotional included, not just black widow stuff), you should lay out your concerns. You must understand that there is only a slim chance that your friend will hear it, and an almost certain chance that your friendship will be over even if he does.

The friendship may come back to life once they have broken up and your friend has found a new partner. It may not.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 2:05 PM
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Corollary to original post: I like that song.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 2:05 PM
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Unless you see the woman's face in a poster on the post office wall, skip it. People have been ignoring well-meaning advice about their paramours since Jason and Medea, at least.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 2:08 PM
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But, if like, your friend is really someone you want to be more than your friend, but she, you know, just doesn't get how you could be more than friends, but you really know you are perfect for each other, then you need drastic action. Break into her place, wrap yourself in tin foil and wait by the door.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 2:10 PM
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I pretty much think Apo is right, but I wonder -- does anyone have a story about getting advice like this that did them some good? I don't, but it seems possible that someone might.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 2:11 PM
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Apo is correct. There is nothing to do or to say.
Corollary: Maybe you are wrong! One friend of mine told another not to marry the woman he was going to marry. They didn't speak at all for a while and now they have only the barest of relationships, mostly because the groom feels like he is betraying his bride by talking to the once-friend. You see, the once-friend told the groom that the woman he was marrying wasn't good enough/smart enough. Oof. They are very, very happily married and the bride is lovely even if she wasn't one! of! us!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 2:12 PM
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The only situation I can think of where it might work to say something is if you are the same gender as the evil [boy/girl]friend and are offering yourself as a better option.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 2:14 PM
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Break into her place, wrap yourself in tin foil and wait by the door.

Shurely saran wrap?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 2:16 PM
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I was asked by the close friend of someone in this situation to intervene, since I had experience with the particular subspecies of soul-leech in question, and I also had less to lose if the discussion went poorly (being as I was an acquaintance of the person involved, rather than friend). I did the only sensible thing and kept my mouth shut. They've been married 5 years now, and by all appearances are quite happy, though his friends all still can't stand her.

Relationships are very strange. The interior dynamics are always opaque to outsiders.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 2:16 PM
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interior dynamics are always opaque to outsiders

#1 rule of relationships right there.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 2:18 PM
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The concerns expressed in the final sentence of the paraphrased e-mail are entirely warranted.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 2:18 PM
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Actually 6 is almost the complete solution: If you think things are bad enough that you are willing to throw the body of your friendship on the grenade of their love, just STFU and deal. Also, leave metaphors to poets, dude.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 2:18 PM
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I had to explain 15 to my mom of all people recently.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 2:19 PM
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13: My original idea was for an 'automatic unveiling' caused by natural, biological hydraulic processes once she realized that the perfect man was right there all along. Then I decided to drop it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 2:20 PM
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Didn't Elton John write a song about this, the moral of which is that Apo is wrong?


Posted by: zadfrack | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 2:22 PM
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Buck had a "You know you can still walk away" conversation with a friend the day before the friend's wedding. Didn't come to anything, and there wasn't any backlash, but that's largely because the motivation wasn't that the prospective wife was an evil harpy, but that the groom just didn't seem happy about the prospect of getting married.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 2:23 PM
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17 +don't


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 2:24 PM
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I concur that there is no profitable way to do this. It's just one of those things. I've seen several cases where people were actively dismissive of the bad boyargirlfriend and the couple stayed together and the friendships were ruined. Sometimes that's just how things work out. Of course, it can go different ways, but what I've described is usually the way to bet.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 2:26 PM
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Wrongshore gets it exactly right in 6.

Your friend is with someone who treats them badly. You notice this. It's possible your friend has him- or herself noticed it, too, but second guesses his or her own judgment. "I'm overreacting." "It's not that big of a deal." "I don't really have a right to demand better treatment." Your silence reinforces all of those things -- I dare say, melodramatically, rendering you complicit. Implicitly. Implicitly complicit.

There is a very good chance that when you speak up and say, "Your boy-/girlfriend is kind of a jerk," your friend is going to feel defensive. In part, protective of the boy-/girlfriend. But in part also self-protective -- after all, when your friends can see that you are with someone who treats you badly, they can also see that you are someone who allows yourself to be treated badly. IME, admitting that you've allowed someone to treat you badly is a pretty shame-filled experience. Maybe it shouldn't be, but it is. So if your friend is still stuck in denial about being treated badly and you point it out, your friend may very well feel the need to distance from you to avoid confronting that fact.

On the other hand... Your friend might be feeling very mistreated in the relationship but also lack confidence to really acknowledge that feeling. Hearing you say, "Hey, I'm not crazy about the way your boy-/girlfriend is treating you," may be just the very validation your friend desperately needs.

I would try to be delicate and specific. Not "Jesus, Di, are you completely unaware of what a colossal fucking asshole UNG is?" but more "UNG kind of seemed like he was talking down to you when you brought up that point at dinner and it kind of bugged me to see the wind go out of your sails like that," or better still, "You obviously don't think it's a significant point, UNG, but I thought what Di had to say was pretty interesting. Di, maybe you can say a little more about it."

My best friend knows I don't like her husband -- or, more to the point, don't like the way her husband treats her. We're still best friends. Well, and they're still married. I'm pretty sure he doesn't know quite how I feel.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 2:28 PM
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24: To be nosy, are you talking about the sort of things you wish people had said to you while you were still married, or things that people did say to you and you're glad they did?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 2:32 PM
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Maybe you are wrong!

No!!! Never!

Relationships are very strange. The interior dynamics are always opaque to outsiders.

togolosh is very smart here.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 2:32 PM
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UNG has moved out of your house, is seeing another woman, and seems to drive you crazy, Di. It kind of bugs me to see him treat you like that.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 2:33 PM
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27: Also, I'm offering myself as a better option.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 2:35 PM
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Buck had a "You know you can still walk away" conversation with a friend the day before the friend's wedding.

At my first wedding, my best man recruited my clown friend to be my "worst man." He then sat me down in his car and said, "We've got a full tank of gas. We can be in Mexico in four hours. If you need to bolt, I'll go with you."

My worst man was so terrible that my best man ended up performing this duty, actually.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 2:36 PM
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The only situation I can think of where it might work to say something is if you are the same gender as the evil [boy/girl]friend and are offering yourself as a better option.

Yeah, not so much. Because then your friend will just dismiss your concerns as the fruits of ulterior motives and stay with the jerk out of a misguided sense of loyalty. And then you will go on to be a gifted and recognized vascular surgeon on the managing board of a regional hospital while she goes on to write bitter blog comments about her ugly div-- Anyway, no, that isn't effective.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 2:36 PM
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25: Things I wished they'd said. A few people said them after it was all over and that was certainly good, but it would have helped alot to have heard them sooner.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 2:38 PM
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At my first wedding, my best man recruited my clown friend to be my "worst man." He then sat me down in his car and said, "We've got a full tank of gas. We can be in Mexico in four hours. If you need to bolt, I'll go with you."

Show us on the doll where the clown touched you, Wrongshore.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 2:38 PM
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32: It's true, he had no boundaries. Well, technically, no borders.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 2:39 PM
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I had to explain 15 to my mom of all people recently.

Uh oh. Does this mean you're going to elope to spare everyone the dramatics?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 2:41 PM
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28: Wait, are you offering to be a better ex? I'll totally take you up on that if Will can find the legal loophole that would allow me to transfer UNG's portion of custody to you...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 2:42 PM
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No one said said anything to my brother before he got married 10+ years ago, and I second-guess that all the time. He sounds completely stressed and beaten down when he talks about home life, and is really kind of a shell of his former self.

I've mentioned this nonpresidentially, esp to Will regarding his first wife, but I'm feeling paranoid that they could one day read this, so,


Posted by: Feeling presidential | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 2:42 PM
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Also, "If you need to bolt, I'll go with you" is pretty damn close to "Love me! Love me, damn you! I'm standing right in front of you in the penultimate scene of a mid-budget romantic comedy starring Katherine Heigl and some smooth-chested dude you've never heard of!"


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 2:43 PM
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Kraab, I tried to talk to Blume out of it already, but she just suspected me of ulterior motives. Anyhow, I have to go swim perform a triple bypass now.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 2:43 PM
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Following 11: You might be wrong!

Watch Pretty in Pink and remember that you really, really don't want to be Steph.


Posted by: Osgood Yousbad | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 2:45 PM
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Wait, are you offering to be a better ex?

Ex with benefits, even. You'll have to drop off and pick up Rory, though.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 2:45 PM
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It is extremely important to separate "we all hate her" from "she treats him like crap." For the latter, Di is exactly right in 24 and everyone else is wrong.

If it's the former than, yeah, you have to suck it up.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 2:46 PM
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Surely there's a difference between a friend's girlfriend/boyfriend who treats the friend badly in a way that's pretty objectively obvious, and a girlfriend/boyfriend people just don't like (because, say, she/he is not one of us! per oudemia's 11).


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 2:46 PM
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pwned! By Sir Kraab.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 2:47 PM
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36: Your brother does know how you feel now, though, right? I think at this point all you can really do is be really, really supportive -- let him know he's not imagining things when she gets all crazy and that you've got his back come hell or high water.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 2:47 PM
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Agh. Than s/b then.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 2:47 PM
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Corollary to original post: I like that song.

Me too.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 2:49 PM
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29: I'm confused about who actually did what on the wedding day, but do you wish friends had intervened earlier to suggest they had concerns about the relationship?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 2:50 PM
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And I like your mix, EBGB. It was a great tonic after listening to the Dirty Projectors album straight through on the drive to Palm Desert. There's a tiger in these tight-fitting jeans!


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 2:50 PM
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badly in a way that's pretty objectively obvious,

You are largely right, except I wouldn't put a ton of weight on obvious. Some really bad gaslighting-type treatment can be rather subtle. Sometimes it's more of a gut thing than obvious until you listen to your gut and start paying closer attention.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 2:51 PM
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36: We speak openly and honestly about what life is like being married to her, but I've never advised him to leave her. I was too chickenshit to speak up before they had kids, and now that they have kids I have no idea what's best.


Posted by: Feeling presidential | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 2:52 PM
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I vote for acquiescent silence. It may not be what it looks like from outside. If it is, it may still be what they want. If they don't want it, they clearly don't know that yet. If they do know that, they don't yet have the nerve to act on it. Telling them to kick the other to the curb is too easily interpreted as telling them how to live their life (and perhaps rightly so). I think the only thing to do is cross one's fingers in hopes of a soft landing down the road.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 2:52 PM
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1) I hate that song.
2) apostropher gets it right.
3) So does Wrongshore.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 2:53 PM
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48: Hey, yay! I'm so glad. Pardner.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 2:54 PM
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We speak openly and honestly about what life is like being married to her, but I've never advised him to leave her.

I don't think you ever really can tell someone what to do -- that gets people's hackles up really fast. Just how you feel about the way they're being treated.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 2:55 PM
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47: No. It was a funny gag. Although the only wedding I ever repeated it for broke up after an even shorter span than my own.

No one really had a clue that my first marriage was unsustainable. (My dad claims to have, but I think he was very eager for me to join him in the second wives' club -- gratefully to me, he kept his doubts to himself if indeed he had them.) We threw fun dinner parties, created a community of friends, kept each other intellectually engaged and entertained. The stuff we did poorly for one another was very private. (sigh--ATM, and elsewhere.)


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 2:55 PM
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52: Cala is correct tripartitely.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 2:56 PM
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52.3: Not in 7 I'm not!


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 2:56 PM
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57: "I'm not" s/b "I don't".


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 2:57 PM
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We threw fun dinner parties, created a community of friends, kept each other intellectually engaged and entertained.

Huh. I guess you are not bizzaro world UNG after all.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 2:57 PM
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I am sure that you are correct in your belief that you like the song.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 2:57 PM
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But what if by liking the song, I don't "get it"?


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 2:58 PM
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50: Are you me?


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 2:59 PM
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Also, it's very hard to tell whether someone is venting or whether someone is genuinely unhappy with another person.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 3:00 PM
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54: Mostly we talk about setting boundaries and I listen to him vent.

In public, she's fine - it's not about her ruining my holidays. But he tells me how she has emotional outbursts that will last for days, over truly trivial crap. He'll say things like "She's much more work than the two kids." Basically, his home is not a restorative place to be. It makes me very sad.


Posted by: Feeling presidential | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 3:01 PM
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Not directed towards anyone here but it's also helpful to remember that it's a rare case where one gets both sides of the story. Even if you could give advice on whether to leave a relationship based on external evidence, you only have half of it.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 3:06 PM
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62: Huh. I'd assumed he was.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 3:08 PM
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64: A friend of mine has a marriage like this, though he's frankly fairly upbeat about it. Most of the time. Yes, I provide a listening ear, but I don't engage in trashing his wife with him. He doesn't want that. He wants to discuss how best to orient himself to the situation (a wife prone to temper tantrums and/or dismissiveness, who is, after all, a real person with a history that explains a lot of her triggers, and who's often very enjoyable to share a table with).

Yeah, setting boundaries, sympathy and rational discussion is the way to go. As a friend of someone in that situation.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 3:09 PM
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Oops. 67 was to 64.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 3:10 PM
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I watched Margot at the Wedding just last night and now this is posted. I think this is a sign. Or a portent.

I don't know if you should use that movie as a guide however.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 3:11 PM
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Also, all the marriages I am at all close to are in their 2nd decade up, so I wouldn't know anything.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 3:13 PM
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Not directed towards anyone here but it's also helpful to remember that it's a rare case where one gets both sides of the story. Even if you could give advice on whether to leave a relationship based on external evidence, you only have half of it.

When it comes to Feelings brother, though, do you really need to hear the other side of the story to recognize that something is pretty wrong? It's not about judging whose "fault" the situation is so much as recognizing that the situation has left the brother a shell of the person he once was and feeling overwhelmed in his own own. No, I wouldn't advise him to leave -- you really can't tell someone what choices to make. I would encourage him to seek counseling, though, if he hasn't already. Whoever's "fault" it is, he sounds like he really needs help shouldering the load.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 3:15 PM
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Having been on the receiving end of 1, I can say it feels pretty crappy to have one's friends say "yeah, we all thought it was weird/not a good idea for you to get married, and we discussed it amongst ourselves but didn't tell you". Either speak up or don't, but speaking up after the fact ("we saw it coming and said nothing") isn't very nice or friendly.


Posted by: another president | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 3:19 PM
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This problem may be a previously unnoticed case of dating quantum physics, where stating your opinion about (i.e., observing) the situation changes it (e.g., prompting them to double down on the bad relationship out of defensiveness).


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 3:20 PM
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Having been on the receiving end of 1 [...] "we saw it coming and said nothing"

I wouldn't classify that as "helpful advice," really.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 3:21 PM
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What everybody else said about the difference between "I don't like her" and "I don't like how she treats you."

And: At least 92% of the time there is absolutely nothing to be gained by saying anything. Probably in six cases out of a hundred if you are an acquaintance and it really looks like a disaster waiting to happen it might be worth speaking up (especially if there are going to be third parties such as stepchildren who are really going to suffer if the marriage fails).

The last two percent are if you have a long history of honesty with the friend and a prior-to-the-relationship promise to warn them if they are ever going to do anything that really concerns you. I've made certain people promise to tell me if I'm doing something that worries them, and we've done it enough times for each other in lower-stakes contexts that I'm reasonably confident that they actually would. I might not change my path, but they'd tell me, and I'd respect them enough to at least hear them out, and then at least the friendship wouldn't have to suffer from a giant new unspoken opinion.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 3:22 PM
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66: Nah, if my s-i-l stumbles (has stumbled?) on this place, so be it. She's difficult, but my brother seems to be OK with the whole thing, and it's not like she's not aware that there's a level of tension.

(a wife prone to temper tantrums and/or dismissiveness, who is, after all, a real person with a history that explains a lot of her triggers, and who's often very enjoyable to share a table with)

That's my wife at times, although she's a lot mellower than she used to be. The real person with a history thing is key, as is just getting used to taking the bad with the good (which is substantial).


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 3:23 PM
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71: No, recognizing that something is pretty wrong is a far cry from knowing what is wrong. To know that, yeah, I'd want to know the other side of the story. Which is why recommendations really should be "get to counseling" in most cases where a trained professional can help.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 3:24 PM
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I've initiated this conversation once. They're now engaged.

Our friendship is fine, though, which I think is the result of two things: first, the relationship fit right into a bad old pattern for her, so we could have the conversation in terms of what she needs in relationships, and avoid framing it in terms of how the guy is a jackass. Second, I'm really crap at biting my tongue, and I had started to avoid my friend rather than lie about liking the guy. As it is, I raised the issue, she told me she was happy, and I said, okay then, I must be wrong. Which I devoutly hope I am.

Anyway, stressful. I can see the same issue looming with someone who is both closer and more volatile; won't be bringing anything up this time.

On preview, what Witt said.


Posted by: Gabardine Bathyscaphe | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 3:24 PM
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This problem may be a previously unnoticed case of dating quantum physics

Completely deterministic, by the way.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 3:28 PM
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67 sounds like me during the runup to the implosion. Whole relationship, actually. Everything was OK until there were other demands on me that sucked up too much of the energy I needed to 'orient' myself, followed by a long slow spiral.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 3:28 PM
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I've talked exactly one person into breaking up with his girlfriend, but (a) he complained about the relationship all the time, (b) he was in love with me, and (c) they weren't engaged.

I am not sure if one could make it work without these things going on, or at least (b) he's in love with someone else.

People have tried to talk me out of starting or continuing various relationships, and nothing anyone said could have ever made me end it. It had to come from within.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 3:31 PM
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I should also say that I have never been in a relationship my friends liked, ever. So I've gone though a dozen boyfriends'-worth of being informed that I'm making a terrible, terrible life choice. I KNOW. JESUS.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 3:34 PM
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I once had a friend call of a wedding based on my advice (which wasn't specifically to call it off, or anything). I've had other people make major changes (quit jobs, sell houses) after talking it out with me, and it's always a bit surprising. Not that you'd change anything you said, just that you really hope it doesn't go badly.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 3:35 PM
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79: bill gets a cookie!

I seem to just drift away from friends whose SOs I don't like. Kind of unfortunate.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 3:37 PM
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75: Yes.

Besides, what the person seems like to friends is often very different from what the person is like in a relationship. So that makes figuring the dynamics out even more complicated. One extreme of this - one of my ex-girlfriends was unfailingly cheerful and upbeat in front of our friends, even the ones closest to her. She suffered from frequent bouts of depression, and I was the only one who knew, besides her doctor. I would marvel at how she managed to convey an entirely different personality in public.


Posted by: LordKrishna | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 3:38 PM
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I do have a friend who has extraordinary social skills and he just says shit out loud, right there, in front of us all (including the girl or boyfriend).

"Wow, dude. Your girlie's thowing a fit. Why is she acting like she's four?"

"Well that was a bullshit move. Don't you know you're too fabulous to put up with that shit?"

But he has the advantage of being spectacularly cooler than everybody, so no one is ever going to end a friendship with him over anything he says.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 3:38 PM
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OT OMG: I just got an email from a very religious Muslim female student that has a Trans/formers quotation as sig. F'in love her.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 3:43 PM
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Without reading the thread:

I really liked that song, but felt wrong for liking it.

Female power is often expressed as competition between women. On the whole, that is probably a bad thing, but sometimes it is to be expected.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 3:43 PM
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86: I have had contact with a few such people in my life, and I always marvel at the effects and simultaneously wonder at the emotional cost to them. It seems like a pretty big burden to be the eternal mouthpiece for other people's unvoiced taboo thoughts.

Oddly enough I'm not sure they had much choice about it -- that is, they were kind of compulsive talkers anyway, and to some degree relished the spotlight and the truth-telling mantle -- but I strongly suspect that kind of socially-valuable honesty can over time be really corrosive to the person who is charged with carrying it out.

Probably there is some useful psychological term about the id or something that defines this phenomenon, but I don't know it.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 3:44 PM
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88: I don't feel it as competition. In fact, when I convinced NotOK to break up with his girl, it was because he didn't love her and was passively treating her like shit instead of confronting the issues in their relationship. It's probably the main thing that keeps both of us from trying to have a relationship like that with each other; we both know what a dick he is capable of being to women. Alas, even if we did date, all my friends would hate him. Most already do.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 3:45 PM
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I had never thought of him paying costs, because we hold him in awe and let him say anything (lots of which turns out to be funny, surreal, crass non-sequiters). I should consider whether there is a toll on him.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 3:48 PM
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One of Madame Perdu's best friends counseled her to call off our wedding mere days before it took place. She was furious with me about something (more or less justifiably), and he (gay, BTW) used the occasion to share with her that he never thought we were right for each other and that she should call it off. He also claimed (possibly correctly) to be speaking for all of her close friends.

The outcome is that we still got married, she's still friends with the guy, and she didn't tell me about his attempted intervention until many years later, by which time I had developed a mild distaste for him for completely unrelated reasons. (It bears mentioning that she told me about his intervention in the midst of a fight, with the clear implication that maybe she should have listened to him.)

All that said, I'll allow as how ours is probably an aberrant case. Apo's advice at the top of the thread is the most prudent tactic.


Posted by: pain perdu | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 3:49 PM
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I don't feel it as competition.

I was just talking about the song.

I made a mix tape CD for Caroline of loud rock songs with mostly female vocalists to promote the idea that Girls Can Rock to her. (I opened with Oh Bondage, Up Yours.) Should Avril be on the next edition?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 3:50 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 3:51 PM
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93: Oh, I know, I'm Becks-style already and was wondering if this is how I feel in these situations. I usually end up siding with the partners of my friends, which is weird.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 3:54 PM
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No, recognizing that something is pretty wrong is a far cry from knowing what is wrong. To know that, yeah, I'd want to know the other side of the story.

I understand what you're saying, and I don't think I've ever disagreed with you ever before, but... Yes, of course, there are two sides. But when you are close to someone, you do sort of develop a feel for their filters and biases. If I see someone I love in a relationship that is making them a shell of who they once were, etc., I don't need to sit down with the BF/GF and have a fair and objective mediation. All I want is to see the relationship through my friend's eyes, knowing my friend's blindspots and filters, and understand it from that perspective. Absolute truth isn't really important in this case. The truth that counts is the truth as they experience it.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 3:55 PM
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82: I should also say that I have never been in a relationship my friends liked, ever. So I've gone though a dozen boyfriends'-worth of being informed that I'm making a terrible, terrible life choice. I KNOW. JESUS.

I have to say that I can't stand friends opining upon my relationships. Step aside, please! DO NOT talk about me and my relationship du jour -- I may entertain your objections and observations, but basically, it's my life and I'll do what I want.

Seriously now, my friends are diverse enough that some really really like some guy, and tell me that I should really actively pursue that, because he's totally fucking great; and others purse their lips and clearly don't get the attraction at all. My answer: I am me, and am not you.

Cue various comments upthread alluding to the interiority of any given relationship.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 3:55 PM
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Many years ago I was involved with a woman who turned out to be ... well, insane in a bad way: wicked? evil? Thoroughly unpleasant and nasty. We split up after six weeks, because I felt deeply uncomfortable around her, and she took it well - apparently - making me feel I'd totally misjudged her (while not actually wanting to get involved with her again); then about a year later she carried out a species of revenge that still makes me cringe slightly when I think about it. You will get no further details, don't ask. This was all well over 20 years ago.

Flashforward two or three years: a friend tells me she's getting involved with this woman, likes her a lot, is planning to move in with her.

I suck in a deep breath and tell some of the story that (then) was still fairly fresh and raw. I'm less specific than I might be because of that, but I make clear that I neither like nor trust her and have good reason for it.

Friend smiles at me and assures me that I must have misunderstood.

Two years later: friend calls me up. "Er, the things you said: you were right. Sorry I didn't believe you."

Flashforward another year: real close friend calls me up and says "Friend says I should ask you about this woman before I move in with her"... and yes: same woman.

I shriek with horror and this time in fairly explicit detail I explain why I think this woman is such bad news.

Real close friend listens to me quite patiently and says "I think you have misunderstood her: this doesn't sound like her at all."

"Okay," I say. "It's all true, though." (or words to this effect)

Three years later, real close friend calls me up and says "I suppose you now get to say I told you so..."

...the only difference was, real close friend had been too embarrassed to call me until at least a year after the horrible breakup happened with Psycho Woman.

What's the lesson here? Well: if you have honest reason to believe girl is really bad news, share the reason. It probably won't break up the relationship, but if it's all true, at least your best friend will know that someone out there will believe them when they discover Bad News Girlfriend really is bad news.

Though with Real Close Friend, I do still sometimes regret not kidnapping her, sitting her down in a roomful of Psycho Woman's other victims, and having her listen to all our stories. Would have been a bit difficult to stagemanage, but Hercule Poirot did it all the time.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 3:57 PM
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97: There's a different line in there somewhere, too. "I don't think X is good for you" is different to "I think X is an asshole, and can't understand what tyou see in them". The latter may be candy coated in a way that makes the intent difficult. Reconstructing friendships in the presence of a new partner who doesn't fit that dynamic is hard.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 3:59 PM
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Should Avril be on the next edition?

No. I actually don't think that song is the slightest bit grrrl-powery and holy crap the video.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 3:59 PM
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98 is a tough one.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 4:00 PM
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So I've gone though a dozen boyfriends'-worth of being informed that I'm making a terrible, terrible life choice. I KNOW. JESUS.

Hee! "I know I am making a terrible life choice. That's practically the whole point of the endeavor."


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 4:01 PM
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Should Avril be on unfogged make the next edition?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 4:01 PM
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I'm in a situation like this right now. My sister has a 5 year old daughter. She dated a guy for three months and then married him, moved out of state and then left him within four months. She's been separated for about a year (though hasn't divorced...because she can't be bothered) and is now dating this guy who got out of the military and is currently in jail for a felony theft charge. This isn't his first conviction. Now she's talking about moving out of her apartment and them moving in together. (Neither are employed at the moment; he's going to try to go to school to be a mechanic, she recently got laid off.) What my sister wants is a guy who will pamper her and give her whatever she wants. Let's just say her track record with that has been less than stellar.

She doesn't live near any of her immediately family, but she lives near a lot of extended family...and they've all expressed dislike of the boyfriend. My mom and sister have tried to talk with her about it, but their attempts have resulted in her not talking to them at all. I've just let her know I'm willing to talk if she ever wants to talk and have left it at that.

The thing is, there is a really wonderful kid involved. My niece is going to be an innocent victim to her mother's extraordinary stupidity. But I have no idea what I can do to try to convince her that moving out of her house and signing a lease with this guy. And, yeah, she's the sort to willingly burn bridges, so I want to avoid that option.


Posted by: Crabby Abby | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 4:01 PM
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I have to say that I can't stand friends opining upon my relationships. Step aside, please! DO NOT talk about me and my relationship du jour -- I may entertain your objections and observations, but basically, it's my life and I'll do what I want.

I so do not get this. I *want* my friends to take an interest in my relationships. That tells me that I and my happiness am important to them. When my friends look at my relationships and shrug, "Whatever, it's your life," I wonder why they don't even care at all!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 4:03 PM
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We did successfully get Di to break up with the libertarian, because we didn't like the way he was treating her.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 4:03 PM
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97: Yeah, I think what's sad to me is that the guys my friends don't get along with are different from the guys they think are great, but who eventually make me so unhappy that they wish we'd break up. I do date really nice likable guys, but by the end, everyone understands that it wasn't a good fit.

I'm torn, because I don't like having relationships with people my friends don't like, because it feels embarrassing. Yes, I know he's kind of an ass and ignores you and is only interested in me. But he, at least, is really interested in me. Same can't be said for a lot of the nice guys.

Sure, I often wish I were a different person. But, at a certain point, my desires are what they are.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 4:03 PM
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"I think X is an asshole, and can't understand what tyou see in them"

I meant to add there, that whether stated or not this involves some sort of judgement on your friend, which always has the potential to be weird. Not unmanageable, but maybe difficult.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 4:04 PM
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106: You did! I nearly for4got, what with him being dead to me and all.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 4:06 PM
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Would have been a bit difficult to stagemanage, but Hercule Poirot did it all the time.

Jesurgislac wins best mental image!

And argh, Abby, 104 sounds so sad and difficult. Not that you really asked for advice, but I hope you are allowed to maintain at least occasional contact with your niece, so that when she's a bit older she can reach out to you directly even if her mom can't/won't.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 4:06 PM
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104 really sucks. Sad to hear that, Abby. No good answers probably.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 4:07 PM
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104: What Witt said. You probably can't make your sister into Super Mom. But having loving adult family looking out for her will be very important for your niece,


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 4:07 PM
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105: You and I are different.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 4:08 PM
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Should Avril unfogged make the next edition?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 4:08 PM
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Should unfogged make the next edition?

Lets try that again: You guys are welcome to. I think that would be fun.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 4:09 PM
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104: Wait, currently in jail? Maybe it's not so immediate a problem after all. How long is the sentence? Find out who his parole officer is when he gets out and make sure any parole violations are promptly (if anonymously) noticed!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 4:09 PM
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re: 93

How can there be any doubt, in a world in which PJ Harvey exists?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 4:09 PM
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I second 110.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 4:09 PM
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113: True.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 4:10 PM
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My niece is going to be an innocent victim to her mother's extraordinary stupidity.

Great galloping Christ does this ever suck. We're going through something somewhat similar with two nephews we're very close to, who are now living with their dad. He's not horrible, just inept and clueless, and he cares about his boys, but it would be soooo much easier if they could just live with us and spend weekends and some evenings with their dad like they used to.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 4:11 PM
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116: Re currently in jail.

Di, I think that she might have been using jail in the legal sense rather than in the colloquial one, i.e. he's being charged and can't make bail or is in processing, but he's not in prison. So, it's something fairly short-term.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 4:11 PM
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I like when my friends care that I'm in relationships and take a position, but I hope they don't seriously expect me to do something against my own inclinations to appease them. There's a difference. When I was dating Max, most of my friends were happy to tell me they thought he was weird and possibly crazy--this I frankly admitted, and was glad for--but it's not like I was going to dump him.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 4:12 PM
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But he, at least, is really interested in me. Same can't be said for a lot of the nice guys.

Not that you need me to tell you this, but I am learning that "really interested in me" is often a really big red flag -- that is, the ones who are manipulative-narcissistic-solipsistic-sociopaths invariably pour on thick coats of deep interest up front before they turn on you and suck out your soul. Alas, the alternative is being with a lovely person who will never suck out your soul but never really showers you with that intense interest which can be so damned delicious.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 4:14 PM
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114: He gets out tomorrow, actually. He was in jail for 30 days for the charge. So not an immediate solution to the problem, alas.

And my niece has her own cell phone (at five, yes) and so I try to call and talk to her often and see how she's doing and talk to my sister while she's at it. But for now I think I can basically just watch as the disaster unfolds and then be there if she needs anything on the other side. If my niece wasn't involved, I'd be a lot less worried.

But thanks for the kind thoughts.


Posted by: crabby Abby | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 4:17 PM
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Yes, but if they're not deeply, intensely interested in me, I intimidate them into impotence. Seriously. I have terrible luck with sweet boys.

Totally OT: I have a cousin who's doing really well in the U/S/O/p/e/n right now, with whom I don't get along with well, but who has been milking his welfare-dependent family dry for years with this p/r/o/g/o/l/f dream, and they could really use a break. Please cross your fingers for us.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 4:18 PM
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124: 'Charge' should probably be 'conviction'. Actually what happened is he was ordered to pay restitution and then didn't, so they threw him in jail instead.


Posted by: Crabby Abby | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 4:18 PM
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125.1 Believe me, I get it. Actually, my most recent sweet boy conundrum is/was trying to decipher whether he's "intimidated into impotence" or just seems interested when he really isn't because he's a sweet boy showing polite interest on account of being sweet. Probably the latter. Oh well, at least I modeled "Hey, I gave it a shot," for Rory.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 4:25 PM
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121: I'm a little embarrassed to have had that distinction pointed out for me...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 4:28 PM
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Right. Like, the psychopaths will follow you around with eternal love. The nice boys will either subtly show up where they think you might be or not. Plus, after you've had sex with the latter a few times, they lose confidence. The former take a while to build up to it and keep going from there.

It's rough. I hate all of it. Convent, here I come!


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 4:29 PM
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129: I think you'd look adorable in a wimple, Bear.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 4:31 PM
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You know the bullshit 'sweet impotent boy'/'psycho' dichotomy could get quite tired/annoying, pretty quickly.

Not really trying to be argumentative, but seriously, ffs.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 4:31 PM
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131: You're right; it does!


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 4:32 PM
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pour on thick coats of deep interest up front

I'm always slightly wary of people that do this. Just because the attention will be turned on someone else when they get used to me, but that is not how I operate, so I'll feel stung if I don't brace for it.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 4:33 PM
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122: I like when my friends care that I'm in relationships and take a position, but I hope they don't seriously expect me to do something against my own inclinations to appease them. There's a difference.

Yes. I didn't mean to say that I don't like my friends to meet a beau.

123: Not that you need me to tell you this, but I am learning that "really interested in me" is often a really big red flag -- that is, the ones who are manipulative-narcissistic-solipsistic-sociopaths invariably pour on thick coats of deep interest up front before they turn on you and suck out your soul

Di, can I say: you sometimes sound like you're bordering on the "all men suck and will hurt you" position. Which is really overkill.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 4:34 PM
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1331: Jesus, ttaM.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 4:34 PM
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Convent, here I come!

I'm not as familiar with nuns as with monks, but I've sometimes thought that the communal life of a religious order might be kind of fun.

I mean, you may have a nice garden, and some people do the gardening and others do the cooking. You get to take on the tasks you're good at (after being a novice) and don't have to juggle everything. Just, you know, not an order with a vow of silence.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 4:35 PM
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136 was I.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 4:36 PM
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1331: Jesus, ttaM.

Whoa. It's gonna be a long thread.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 4:41 PM
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134: Jesus, Parsimon. That is totally not even fucking close. I have an unfortunate tendency, that I recognize in myself, to be attracted to the type of men who will hurt me, characterized by the excess of attention lavished very early on in such relationships. I don't think all men are evil. I think I personally have a hard time figuring out how to negotiate relationships with the ones who are not. Seriously, when someone puts you on a pedestal at the very onset of a relationship, it really is a red flag. My therapist even agreed!!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 4:41 PM
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139: Oh, well, okay.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 4:45 PM
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136: That does sound kind of nice.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 4:45 PM
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Seriously, parsimon. 134.4 was a hurtful comment and I'm not quite sure why you felt the need to say it.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 4:48 PM
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Whoa. It's gonna be a long thread.

Well, the idea that all men break into a "'sweet impotent boy'/'psycho' dichotomy" is pretty stupid.

I don't think that's precisely what either AWB or Di meant, but I can see where ttaM's reaction comes from.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 4:50 PM
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I have an unfortunate tendency, that I recognize in myself, to be attracted to the type of men who will hurt me, characterized by the excess of attention lavished very early on in such relationships.

A friend of a friend recently discovered that her fiance had done this not only with her but also with the other three women with whom he was engaged.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 4:50 PM
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143: Nope. Not at all. But one has types, and the types of guys who are into one are themselves types, and they tend to sort themselves in tiresomely repetitive ways. That's why there's therapy and aging.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 4:52 PM
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142: I didn't realize it was hurtful. All I meant to say was that you seem afraid of men, and I wish, in all sincerity, that you wouldn't be. Honest, my dear.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 4:55 PM
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I intimidate them into impotence.

"For fuck's sake, do I have to call your doctor and ask him to prescribe you some viagra? Seriously? Because I will!"


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 4:57 PM
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144: It is a trait characteristic of narcissists (in the DSM-IV rather than colloquial sense) -- they engage in a cycle of idealization followed by devaluation. For someone like me who, alas, isn't particularly experienced in or adept at relationships, it's dangerous because it's very easy to get something started with someone like that. It's harder with "nice" guys because, for me, there's more doubt about whether they are interested and what with being insecure, I find it hard not being sure of someone's interest. The road to Hell vs. the narrow path.

Or, I'm a bitter old shrew who hates all men.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 4:59 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 5:03 PM
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144: Also, you told her not to marry the guy, right?

146: Rest easy -- I am not, in fact, "afraid of men."


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 5:03 PM
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Dude, Iris' new best friend will totally see this!

About 140 comments too late to be funny, but I was out all afternoon.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 5:04 PM
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My "long thread" comment was more about "1331" than any brewing controversy.

144: It is a trait characteristic of narcissists (in the DSM-IV rather than colloquial sense) -- they engage in a cycle of idealization followed by devaluation.

I'm really wary of amateur-DSM-IV-ing people. It's so easy to do -- I'm sure all of us who have ever taken a psych course have enjoyed the "hey, that describes A perfectly!" game -- but it rarely seems to lead to conclusions that are useful in dealing with actual people.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 5:04 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 5:06 PM
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I find that the big problem with DSMIVing people is that it doesn't actually give you any useful information about how to deal with them. It may help you forgive them or manage them in your own mind, but what's best for them and your relationship is beyond the purview of the diagnosis.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 5:08 PM
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And of course the DSM IV is itself problematic!

Wheels, people. And inside those wheels? More wheels


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 5:10 PM
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Also, I've no idea if we're still on topic here, but this was pretty much the case with my HS best friend, who married this awful woman a couple years after he got out of the Navy. They were in Tampa, so I never met her until 2 days before the wedding (I was best man). It didn't take half that time for me to determine that she was awful. All of his friends (who were really great) agreed, and pretty much all of them had tried to warn him off, but he wouldn't listen. Most chilling words? "I'm just ready to be married."*

For a few years afterwards, Bad Old GF (who was quite fond of HSBF) and I would console ourselves that "at least they haven't had kids."** Inevitably, they did have a kid and, just as inevitably, they got divorced before he was 2 (which caused all sorts of self-loathing in HSBF).

Sigh.

* Rasputina's "Diamond Mind" just came on iTunes, which more or less perfectly captures Bad Wife's mindset
** Probably more often phrased as "I'm surprised she hasn't tricked him into knocking her up yet." She really was that awful.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 5:10 PM
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152: I'm really wary of amateur-DSM-IV-ing people.

Okay, I was married to this guy who, like, totally idealized me when we met and then totally devalued me after we were married. And years of unhappiness ensued. And then we met with a therapist, a professional one, who pointed me to the DSM-IV discussion of narcissism as pertains to such traits and as, in his professional opinion, applied to this person I had married. And in my mindfulness of the lessons learned from working with this therapist, I am aware of a tendency to be attracted to that idealization phase and am also aware that relationships commenced upon such a phased have invariably been fiery wrecks. Am Igoing to "diagnose" a bunch of guys as NPD? Of course not. But it's pretty useful to me to be aware of and understand the dynamics.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 5:11 PM
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I made a mix tape CD for Caroline of loud rock songs with mostly female vocalists to promote the idea that Girls Can Rock to her. (I opened with Oh Bondage, Up Yours.) Should Avril be on the next edition?

I took two of my kids to see "Art Brut" play at a record store in san francisco on monday. They liked it a surprising amount. Some of that may be because Art Brut sang two songs about DC comics. My kids were most impressed about how audience members bobbed their heads, danced around and sweated.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 5:12 PM
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I find that the big problem with DSMIVing people is that it doesn't actually give you any useful information about how to deal with them.

Yeah, a new science of other-directed psychopharmacology needs to be developed so that we can take pills to deal with the effects of other people's disorders on us.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 5:14 PM
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People, this thread is not making me want to get back on the ol' horse of trying to meet somebody new after the last little coast-to-a-stop-and-burn incident. Perhaps someone could offer an anecdote of Love Triumphant, as a tonic?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 5:15 PM
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"For fuck's sake, do I have to call your doctor and ask him to prescribe you some viagra? Seriously? Because I will!"

You can buy viagra from india pretty cheaply. just saying.


Posted by: richard nixon | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 5:16 PM
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159: I don't want drugs. I want help. I don't just want to be told that crazy people are to be avoided or shunned; I want assistance in making decisions that can be healthy for both of us. Dammit.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 5:17 PM
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I'm surprised at the chorus of "saying anything is pointless." As someone in a relatively serious relationship who is not engaged, if my friends are secretly thinking "god this is a train wreck,"I want to know. Now. A bit part of the appeal of the relationship I'm in is that it doesn't cause any conflict with my family or friends. If that's not in fact the case I would like to be enlightened as to what it is I'm not getting. Would I pay attention? Maybe not, but i'd at least like the chance to have more information.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 5:17 PM
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HA! CB, that's awesome.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 5:17 PM
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163: leblanc, you're a pretty straightforward sort of person. I think that people might feel comfortable telling you stuff like that, because they know that you wouldn't hold it against them forever.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 5:20 PM
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146: Parsi, are you familiar with the First Law of Holes?


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 5:23 PM
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Shouldn't 161 have been authored by Bob Dole?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 5:24 PM
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165: well, it depends on what it was. If they told me my boyfriend was a bad or mean guy i'd question my estimation of the person's judgment, because that's clearly not the case. If, however, someone told me they thought we weren't a good match despite both being good people, i'd be inclined to listen to the explanation.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 5:26 PM
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this thread is not making me want to get back on the ol' horse of trying to meet somebody new

I am pretty sure relationship deterrence is one of Unfoggeds main purposes.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 5:28 PM
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OK, slowly working my way in, I kind of disagree with the "don't say a thing" crowd. I hold a very slender reed of a grudge against every one of my so-called friends who didn't spend the years 1994-1999 telling me to Get The Hell Out. It's not exactly an analogous situation because I don't think anyone though I was going to marry BOGF, and I was obviously not crazy about her (crazy to be with her, of course...), but still. Even the family for which we joint-babysat, for whom we actually kept up a facade of still being together after I had moved out (we started babysitting these kids when they were 4, 2, and 6 mos., and saw them 2-3 times/week), told AB afterwards "You're much better for J than BOGF was."

Why didn't you say something earlier!?

Seriously, not a single person ever said, "you could do much better, this is ridiculous." Not even the woman I was fooling around with who (it turned out) really wanted me to dump BOGF and date her.*

All that said, in the situation in 156, I kept my mouth shut because it was obviously too late, so I can't speak firsthand about how to handle such a situation. I would suggest drink.

* I just assumed it was fun fooling around for her; she seemed to find me a bit too silly, and she was the fooling around kind. This is the woman who is my only regret in life.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 5:29 PM
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167: Nope, I'm fine now. Thanks for thinking of me.


Posted by: Bob Dole | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 5:30 PM
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160: my brother just marrid the woman of his dreams. Hope springs eternal


Posted by: di | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 5:30 PM
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if my friends are secretly thinking "god this is a train wreck," they've probably tried a variety of more subtle ways to bring their concerns to your attention, because that's what typically happens before you get to the big Do I Intervene? question.

And if in thinking back you can't remember any such conversational gambits by your friends, they probably AREN'T secretly terrified for you.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 5:32 PM
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Is it pick-on-Di day? She seems to me to be quite insightful about herself and her relationships and thoughtful about others'.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 5:32 PM
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160: My uncle has been a widower for a couple of years and just got engaged to a woman he met six months ago. From all reports they are well suited and it will be an excellent match. Woo-hoo midlife love!


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 5:34 PM
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175: Which reminds me, what's up with Brock's mom?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 5:36 PM
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Looked more like parsi being parsi day to me, but I dunno.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 5:36 PM
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From all reports they are well suited and it will be an excellent match

until his deceased wife's body is found in a mini-storage warehouse in Omaha.

/Emerson


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 5:38 PM
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I have told my sister that I don't think her boyfriend is the greatest, but she really seems to love him and is happy with him, and we just fight when I mention it.

We also got in a fight when I suggested that she might want to throw out a pair of suede shoes which had holes in the top of them or that leaving jam in the car overnight is kind of gross. He's a nice guy who cares about her a lot, but incredibly awkward and a terrible slob--which I think makes her messier and care less about her appearance (as in wearing clothes that might be stained or are showing signs of wear.)

I mentioned my discomfort to one of our mutual friends, and he basically said, "Hey, you don't have to date him. Let your sister lead her own life." Then her boyfriend went to our mutual friend's birthday party, and B (our friend) said, "Dude, he needs a personality transplant. Your sister can do so much better. You've got to do something before they get married." And B is pretty tolerant of slightly odd people.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 5:38 PM
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But like, there's no way to say, Sis, you're welcome to come, but if your boyfriend wants to come, he has to shower first. (It's not quite that bad.)


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 5:40 PM
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Just tell him he has to strip down and get hosed off on the porch before he can come in the house.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 5:44 PM
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Thanks, Sir Kraab. I needed that.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 5:45 PM
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181: Well, you know in reality, it's just that he shows up at Thanksgiving at my uncle's house in really grubby nasty old running shoes and doesn't think that tying his shoes is important.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 5:47 PM
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157: That's fair, and sensible. Sorry. (Though I still think that as a rule, the DSM-IV is not a useful way to think about people.)


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 5:47 PM
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Dude, not like I know anything about the situation, but the fact that a relationship makes someone "care less about their appearance" can actually be a good thing. I have several friends who are finally dealing with their eating disorders because they are dating guys who really, truly don't give a shit if they gain 20 lbs and stop freaking out about how they look.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 5:48 PM
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183: Easy! Just introduce him to Megan's friend.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 5:49 PM
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179--ought one be dissuaded from marrying someone who they love and is good to them but will make one a social pariah? a tough question......if he's just very unhip--which is what it sounds like--well, is your sister unhip? maybe style is more important to you than to her.........


Posted by: lurker | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 5:51 PM
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I dated a guy for most of college who was just awful, awful, awful for me, and me for him. We made one another utterly wretched and found it almost impossible to tear ourselves out of one another's orbit, so the whole thing dragged on for years. During the summers, I would have these terrible hour-long conversations with him where he'd make me cry and I would be unable to extricate myself from the conversation.

I don't know how my mother bore it. But she handled it pretty much perfectly--she made it clear to me that she hated seeing me so miserable, and that it made her dislike the boyfriend, and then was remarkably pleasant to him when she saw him and didn't say anything about it to me when I wasn't in the middle of being acutely miserable. (He is a nice, interesting guy when he's not with the worst possible person for him, namely me.) But she must have been terrified all the time that I would marry him. What a terrible thing to have hanging over her head! No wonder she is so extremely fond of Snark.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 5:51 PM
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182: Oh yeah, Di, I totally agree with Kraab. I just didn't want to pile on and figured you already were confident enough in yourself.

My current beau seemed to over-idealize me a bit, and we'd get into fights where I'd tell him I though the was doing that, and he'd disagree--sometimes I'd even say things like, I think you might like the idea of me more than me, and he'd get angry. Now, while he has his faults, he still things I'm great, is incredibly supportive of me (tells me that I'm way too hard on myself) and generally just treats me well and is a good guy.

He did, however, make a conscious effort not to pursue me too strongly (while obviously asking me out) so that I wouldn't get scared and run away.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 5:52 PM
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lurker--she was less unhip before. It's weird she was very grown up around 16 or 17 at boarding school in England and almost seemed to get less sophisticated in college in California. We both look very young, but she also acts young (not always), and I worry a lot that the way she presents herself will not further her goals long term. He doesn't help matters. But sometimes I have a hard time believing that she's as old as she is.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 5:55 PM
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Though I still think that as a rule, the DSM-IV is not a useful way to think about people

I'm not entirely convinced that current understandings of serious mental illness work all that much better than good old-fashioned demonic possession. But the drugs work, if imperfectly. Also, I really don't know what I'm talking about.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 5:58 PM
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185: leblanc, did you see my comment about her wearing shoes with holes in the top of them or other frayed and kind of dirty clothing.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 5:58 PM
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"Liked the idea of me more than me"...boy, is that a huge problem that I've come across oh so many times. Even when the dudes aren't putting you on a pedestal, they have this problem. It has been so nice to date someone who actually seems to know what my good qualities are, and can speak with specificity about them, rather than the typical bullshit platitudes I got used to hearing which made clear the speaker didn't see me as an actual person.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 5:58 PM
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192: Still not shocked or horrified, Bgirl. You'll have to do better than old shoes and frayed clothes. I love it when people I love date people who aren't as fancy as they are and it makes them less materialistic. It's really, really not the same as someone I love dating someone who makes them do heroin or something.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 6:01 PM
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193: You're an old soul, m. leblanc. I love your passion, and your creative spirit.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 6:03 PM
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bostoniangirl--speculating wildly, I guess all I'll say then is that she may find that he relieves her of the pressure to perform hipness...hipness imbalances in a relationship, imo, do not get resolved as easily as the perky vixens of the "makeover!" would have us all believe; sometimes the perky vixen becomes a shleppette instead.


Posted by: lurker | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 6:04 PM
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193 seconded. I've been avoiding, for some time, a guy who was pursuing me on the creepy basis that he thinks I'm perfect all the time and a great model for his own character (????), I guess out of some kind of bourgeois guilt or some crap like that, who misinterprets everything I say to make it the voice of angels speaking. "Oh, I'm guessing you only said [bitchy comment] to convince me to think the opposite, which would obviously be the right thing to do. My God, what would I do without you?" Uh, go fuck yourself, you pathetic sadsack ethosless asshole?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 6:04 PM
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189.2: Does he have a brother?


Posted by: Di | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 6:05 PM
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One year at Christmas Eve, one of my uncle's girlfriend's kids was home from college and some girl there had committed suicide. He made this incredibly awkward, sort of joking comment about the roommate getting all As which made everybody uncomfortable. And look, I think that my uncle's girlfriend is a bit too materialistic and annoying for going to Boston but finding Cambridge so insufferably full of weird people that she won't go there.

Then there was the time, he kept asking me why I liked a particular song and when was the first time I'd heard it. I told him that I couldn't remember. Then he went on about hsi favorite song and how he remembered and said he couldn't imagine not remembering. (I think there was some story about my sister involved.)


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 6:07 PM
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Yes Di, but they are very different and he's younger and about to marry an annoying woman who put bows on their cocker spaniel at Christmas.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 6:08 PM
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192: yes, and I happen to think there's nothing particularly wrong with that. Unless she's wearing such things to work and works in a place where that sort of thing might jeopardize her employment. Otherwise, what's the harm? I have a couple shirts with small stains on them that I still wear because shit, I like them and I can't just be tossing otherwise serviceable clothes when I'm not rolling in dough.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 6:10 PM
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My relationship with my sister is pretty tense. She really wants to be an actress, isn't all that good and has no plan B in mind. I think that how she presents herself in that situation is kind of important.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 6:10 PM
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198 to 197.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 6:11 PM
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[196] s/b "makeover! industry", fwiw....


Posted by: lurker | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 6:12 PM
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Only at Christmas? That's tolerable.

I have a lot of clothes with bleach spots on them, and a couple short-sleeve button-down shirts with tears in the arms, which have to be worn over some other shirt. I generally hope that bleach stains are recognizable as such and indicate that I am a hard-working, non-filthy type.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 6:13 PM
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I find I have trouble with finding people I'm sufficiently interested in. In a few cases I've found such people, but then I have trouble restraining myself from being overly forward and interested-seeming, thus putting them off. In talking to other people, I have trouble being interested enough at all.

OT:

Today when I came home there was a cat in the aisle of my apartments looking forlorn. I'm thinking the best thing to do is bring it in but put it out tonight to see if it finds its way home, and if it comes back then keep it or find a shelter for it.


Posted by: paranoid android | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 6:14 PM
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more to 206: No collar, no tags.


Posted by: paranoid android | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 6:15 PM
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206.2: Maybe he just got locked out? Our cat in Cleveland used to get out and cry at our upstairs neighbors' door like she was lost until they gave her tuna in oil and milk. That little minx.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 6:16 PM
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I just feel really ill at ease when I'm around him. Plus, he'll try to discuss politics and says things like, "I vote the issues and the candidate rather than the party." But feeling ill at ease is my main complaint.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 6:18 PM
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209: Not to be judgmental, but this sounds like your problem is more of the "I don't like him" than the "He's bad for her" variety, and probably shouldn't be something that you bring up with your sister (which I think was your initial thought as well?). It sounds more like there might be issues of class at work (from your descriptions, it appears to me that he feels ill at ease, too) than anything else.

If you're worried about her career plans (and how shabbiness in personal appearance might effect them), then I'd bring that up separate from the boyfriend.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 6:22 PM
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effect, affect. sounds like, sounds like.

I should go do something productive.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 6:23 PM
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I trust ill-at-easeness more than old shoes or non-partisanship. But, OTOH, most people feel ill-at-ease around most of my exes. It's not a killing dart, that. If anything, maybe it tells you that there's stuff you may not know or understand about your sister that is important to her.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 6:23 PM
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OT: AWB, I miss your blog.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 6:28 PM
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but feeling ill at ease is my main complaint.

This is a hard one. Sometimes feeling ill at ease is just "this person doesn't fit easily into my social world," and isn't really a reflection on whether the relationship is a good one for your sister.

Other times, feeling ill at ease is a really important marker for something like "I'm stumbling around trying to articulate why this person gives me a cold prickly feeling and the best I can come up with is that he's sort of outside the norm on some personal grooming issues, but that's not really it, and the bottom line is I just feel uneasy." And then later it turns out you feel uneasy because he was lying through his teeth about something important.

I know, that's totally unhelpful.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 6:31 PM
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I let the cat back out, and it just went and stalked a squirrel and chased it up a tree. *My* cat won't even set foot outside the apartment.


Posted by: paranoid android | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 6:33 PM
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213: I miss it too. I've been teaching a summer schedule equivalent, pace-wise, to teaching eight classes at once, at a school two hours from home, so it's pretty much that I'm working, asleep, or drunk. Very sad. I will post soon, I promise.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 6:37 PM
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210: You're not being judgmental. A big part of it is that I don't like him, although he is a nice guy. He may not be bad for my sister, and she seems to be happy.

This is more about how to manage my relationship with my sister when being around him feels like listening to someone scratching a fingernail on a blackboard.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 6:39 PM
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No no! AWB, your blog is giving me permission to keep not writing. Keep up the good work!


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 6:39 PM
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P, I've never talked about these things at the same time with her.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 6:41 PM
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217: The only crappy advice I have for that is to schedule things for just the two of you.

This is actually pretty much how I have to hang out with my sister as well, as when we hang out in any configuration of the original family unit we revert to bitchy children and get in fights constantly.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 6:42 PM
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166: 146: Parsi, are you familiar with the First Law of Holes?

Yeah. No worries.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 6:46 PM
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did you see my comment about her wearing shoes with holes in the top of them or other frayed and kind of dirty clothing.

In my 20's, I wore my Chuck T's that were completely ripped across the back -- as in fabric separated from heel -- at the law firm where I worked. I still wear a coat that's chewed up and frayed at the cuffs.

These things are not in and of themselves determiners of anything. She may be enjoying the freedom of not worrying about such things, especially if appearance is important in your family.

You know her and I don't, but you may be worrying over something that's part of regular growing up and finding her own way stuff. If he loves her and she's happy, that seems like more than enough.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 6:50 PM
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about to marry an annoying woman who put bows on their cocker spaniel at Christmas

Now that is something to worry about.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 6:52 PM
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I'm pretty terrible at dealing with my sister, and I'm trying to work on it. I've talked to my therapist about it quite a bit. The harder part is trying to be supportive of her decision to be an actress. I saw her in a comedy sketch as part of a class graduation. It was pretty funny, and the guys in it were good, but she was totally unconvincing as a vixen. That was fine, and I told her that I enjoyed the show a lot, but I can't say that I think she's good when she's not.

Obviously these are her choices, but it can be really hard to get in touch with her when she has neither a cell phone nor internet access at home. The cell phone is particularly problematic, since we tend to have a hard time communicating the exact time and place that we're planning to meet up, but I can't call her.

In a fit of pique I got annoyed with her for not having one, and she pointed out that they're expensive. I pointed out that if she cut out one of her voice or piano lessons per month or an improv class, she could afford it. But I got angry and told her that she can't act.

As you can see, it's more my problem than hers. She doesn't want kids, so I don't have to worry that they'll get married, have kids and get divorced.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 6:58 PM
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paranoid android, if the cat doesn't find its way home, call the T/o/w/n L/a/k/e shelter and report it and put up some flyers around your building. If you bring it to the shelter, they can scan it for a microchip that identifies the owner.

If you don't find the owner and decide not to keep it, talk to P/e/t/s A/l/i/v/e before leaving it at T/o/w/n L/a/k/e, where chances are it'll be euthanized.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 7:01 PM
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She may be enjoying the freedom of not worrying about such things, especially if appearance is important in your family.

These are definitely family issues, but I think they have more to do with my being the big sister and having bossed her around as a child. I'm also really sensitive to this, since my Mom's always had fairly poor hygiene due to her poor mental health. She used to have really bad dandruff and wear dark sweaters; it was gross. And there's other stuff that I won't get into on the blog. Just trust me about my mother.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 7:04 PM
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The cat just spent an hour outside and then followed me right back in as I was coming home.

225: Actually, I'm volunteering at the Williamson County Hu/mane Soci/ety, which is where I'd probably take it. They just turned no-kill recently.

Although I have to say, the difference between killing unadopted animals and turning new animals away isn't huge in my mind.

I think M/tch may have gotten you a little too used to the slash key.


Posted by: paranoid android | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 7:12 PM
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OT (or a warning on the dangers of marrying badly) --UNG has been threatening that if I don't give in on a visitation issue, he was going to tell Rory about our disagreement. Eg. "I wanted this time but Mommy won't let you because she's a crazy bitch who thinks I'm evil." I warned him that discussing our issues with her violates the court orders, but. I don't know what he did. Do I ask her? Figure if he said something, I'd notice a reaction? Silently curse him for fucking with my head?


Posted by: Di K | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 7:26 PM
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Kill him with kindness, Di. And silent curses.

(By kindness, I mean "never badmouthing him to your daughter, even if he strikes first", not "giving in")

I always felt more sympathetic to whichever parent was being slagged by the other one.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 7:39 PM
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I wouldn't ask her-you want to avoid putting her in the middle of it. I'd say ask him if he told her, tell him you don't appreciate threats, and leave it at that. He probably won't give you a straight answer but there's obly so much you can do about that.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 7:41 PM
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228: IMO, based partly on personal experience with kids in tough situations and partly on what you've said about Rory's maturity and understanding, the best bet for Rory's well being is to be pretty open with her about the fact that you and UNG don't get along and how you're handling that, but without making her choose sides. But if that's contrary to your court orders, I dunno.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 7:41 PM
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230 That's about where I am... I just hate the possibility that he's said something in need of correction. (I did ask him; no response.).


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 7:46 PM
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What is this "The internal dynamics of relationships are always opaque" stuff? Bogus.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 7:56 PM
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233: Is the word "always" the problem?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 8:01 PM
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I'm volunteering at the Williamson County Hu/mane Soci/ety

Cool.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 8:05 PM
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These are definitely family issues, but I think they have more to do with my being the big sister and having bossed her around as a child.

Hey, BGirl, that's me and my sister too! It's so hard to rein in the need to mother them.

Good luck with it....


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 8:05 PM
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And since I have the blog to myself, might I just say that wow, that video is awful? The song is catchy and has good rhythm, but even I, who happily reads the worst of romance novels, couldn't deal with the lyrics.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 8:13 PM
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I like that her assault on her doppelganger is motivated by nothing other than envy, with a small side of offense at the pink sweater.

It's not like it's the first time.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 8:23 PM
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I couldn't deal with the awkward prosody of the lyrics, let alone their semantic content.


Posted by: paranoid android | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 8:24 PM
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I can't top that.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 8:27 PM
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True, true. It isn't the boyfriend stealing that I'm against so much, it's the meanness. (Yes, I know you can't really nicely horn in on a relationship, but still. The mini-golf thing + portalet was just too much for me!)

And besides, there's a huge difference from bass playing ass-kicking woman who's name I can't spell correctly, ever, and Avril Lavigne, especially in terms of audience.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 8:28 PM
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238: it would be nice if the video didn't have all these people talking over the song.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 8:29 PM
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who's name I can't spell correctly

a-HEM


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 8:30 PM
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241: you can't spell Kim Deal?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 8:31 PM
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No no! AWB, your blog is giving me permission to keep not writing. Keep up the good work!

Both of you are giving me permission to not write (which doesn't really matter since my blog is mostly for me anyway but . . . yes, busy).

And since I have the blog to myself, might I just say that wow, that video is awful?

Huh, I hadn't heard the song before watching the video on youtube in response to this thread, and I thought the video was well done.

Not that the video is good, exactly, but it does a good job of pumping up the rhythm of the song. Normally I don't like lots of quick cuts, but I thought the editing in the video enhanced the song.

I'm trying listening to the song without the video now and, while it's still catchy, I still think the video improves it -- which isn't something that I would say often.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 8:35 PM
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243: Need a tissue?


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 8:36 PM
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Another example of the genre.


Posted by: Michael Vanderwheel, B.A. | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 8:36 PM
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The girl who suffers for no good reason is also played by Avril Lavigne. Which is fun.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 8:36 PM
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245: Perhaps it is a good video for the song. I found it unbearable, but that might be because I find the over-arching tone of the song also to be unbearable.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 8:37 PM
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247: Paramore makes me shudder like nails on a chalkboard. Ugh.

248: And yes, I caught that, Wrongshore. I still dislike branding simple meanness as "punk" or as some form of righteous womanhood.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 8:39 PM
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It's not like it's the first time.

That's odd, watching Me'Shell playing the vixen. I am more likely to mentally associate her with this excellent cover.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 8:41 PM
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I should add that I am not watching the video linked in 251, just listening to it while I type. I am vaguely curious about the video but, by contrast with the Avril Lavigne, it feels more natural to have the music stand on it's own.

That song is quite appropriate to the OP however.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 8:43 PM
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250.2: No, it's indefensibly mean. I'm like, WTF, why does the girl in the cute sweater deserve to get pushed into a porta-john? She doesn't, welcome to high school. Outcast is not, by itself, a morally righteous position. Or something.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 8:44 PM
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Not only does this song suck, but it commits plagiarism.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 8:47 PM
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254: avril didnt copy it so every1 who says that just shut the hell up and get some help.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 8:49 PM
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255 copied from youtube comments?


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 8:52 PM
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Just so, Nicholas.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 8:53 PM
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"Would you ever be my would you be my fucking boyfriend?"

"I want to be your boyfriend."


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 8:55 PM
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176: no real news since I last brought it up. Except that I found out that the guy is an evangelical preacher. Not that that changes anything, really.

Buck had a "You know you can still walk away" conversation with a friend the day before the friend's wedding. Didn't come to anything, and there wasn't any backlash, but that's largely because the motivation wasn't that the prospective wife was an evil harpy, but that the groom just didn't seem happy about the prospect of getting married.

A friend had this conversation with me, although it was a month or two before my wedding. I don't hold it against him.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 8:55 PM
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I finally listened to the Lavigne song and I can't abide it.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 8:56 PM
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As is so often the case with these things, it turns out that I was familiar with the song only through Girl Talk.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 8:59 PM
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160: Flippanter, Blume and I are here for you.

Rest of the thread: sheesh, no. Not reading.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 8:59 PM
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I'd heard the song a thousand times, but never seen the video. God, that's an awful video. And is it just me, or is she sort of terrible at choreographed dancing?

Also, 254.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 9:03 PM
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241, 244: BPL is Kim Deal? Wow. Go Ogged!


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 9:52 PM
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264: Poor Thurston.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 9:55 PM
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Thurston Deal III?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 9:56 PM
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Kim Deal, Kim Gordon, Kim Jong Il, who can keep track?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 9:59 PM
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Speaking of Kim Cattra Il, we should congratulate him both on being alive, and on North Korea's qualifying for their first World Cup since 1966.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 10:00 PM
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267: Commissioner Kim Deal Il Gordon? HERE?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 10:10 PM
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If it's too awkward to tell, why not manage to sleep with the questionable s.o.? Then you have to confess. Your friendship will be saved because that's a brave thing you did, telling me that.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 10:18 PM
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270: I knew a whole group of friends who (essentially jokingly, although they were assholes so it was hard to tell) drew straws to determine who would have to seduce the awful girlfriend of one of their cohort, so that their friend would break up with her.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 10:30 PM
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did you win, or lose the draw?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 10:31 PM
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funny coincidence, that's how my parents met


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 10:43 PM
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272: I no longer see any of those people, so... I win!

I'm actually fairly glad that my many reprehensibly qualities don't include being a member of that particular group. What a bunch of back-stabbing sons-of-bitches.

I wonder if they're reading? I doubt they'd mind me saying that, really.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 10:49 PM
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so they care about their friend and also take criticism gracefully?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 11:12 PM
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Admirably put.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 11:14 PM
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The song in the post title is one of the many, many awful awful songs included in the Burnout Paradise Xbox game.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 06-18-09 11:33 PM
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I went on an eighth grade date at what I believe is the Golf 'n' Stuff pictured in that video. It might have been a different Golf 'n' Stuff, though.



Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-19-09 12:38 AM
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Update: My date was not at that particular Golf 'n' Stuff location.

For more high quality commenting, tune in later.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-19-09 12:49 AM
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I've tuned in!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-19-09 12:50 AM
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It was surprisingly easy to find out where I'd been on that date. I just called up Soleil Moon Frye, and asked her.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-19-09 12:55 AM
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Pre- or post- breast reduction?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-19-09 1:11 AM
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Yes.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-19-09 1:16 AM
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I forgot to mention that the people in the video should get off my lawn - that's not music, it's noise! Kids these days.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 06-19-09 1:23 AM
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Come on Teo and Europeans and historians, where are you? Bring on the night shift.

[On the OP: Don't say anything to friends in bad relationships, because you don't know shit about what's going on. Done. Case closed. Everyone knows this, but people will fail to keep their mouths shut and will ruin friendships anyway without doing any good at all. So goes the world. Bring on the night shift.]

I want to know about Scottish pub fights, and utility of martial arts therein. Is the Hopi/Navajo conflict still a big deal? Is glottochronology respectable science or bunk? Why is everyone so sanguine about the conservatives winning the next UK election? Why did Nevada become a state so early? What the fuck happened to Emerson, did he actually move to Central Asia?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-19-09 1:30 AM
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Why did Nevada become a state so early?

Silver.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 06-19-09 1:32 AM
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I know that there was a silver boom, but what was the political calculation for making it a state? And, even then, was there enough population to have statehood make sense? And then, they must have had about 75 years after the boom but before gambling when the state had two senators but a population of 25 basque sheepherders and two guys who owned the mines.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-19-09 1:37 AM
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I'm not going to look up the details right now.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 06-19-09 1:42 AM
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If anyone here has $15 million to spend on a home, plus another 5-7 for repairs, they can live in the most awesome house ever. Check out the photos.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-19-09 1:44 AM
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288 -- I feel hurt, but I'll forgive you.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-19-09 1:44 AM
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re: 285

re: the sanguinity -

i) the Labour party have been worse than people with left-wing views could possibly imagine,

ii) it's been a long time since the Tories were last in power and memories are short.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-19-09 1:46 AM
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Well, it feels very familiar to the US circa 2000. Aren't you all going to wake up in about a year finding out that you live in a parliamentary system with a bunch of unbelievable right-wing fools controlling all the levers of power? Don't say it can't get any worse -- we here all know that it really can.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-19-09 1:49 AM
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292. Exactly right. It will be worse in ways we can't yet imagine. Cameron is an ex-marketting manager, ffs. But as ttaM points out, nobody under 30 remembers Thatcher at all, and Labour have been appalling - they are equally culpable with Bush/Cheney for the wars, the mainstreaming of torture and a lot of shit like that. Americans are probably unaware of the contributions of the Labour Home Office (Interior) ministers to making racism respectable in a way it hasn't been since the 1960s.

It's difficult to know what to do. The Liberal Democrats are completely opportunist and the small left groups have turned into parodies of themselves. Basically we're fucked. I shall continue my strategy of voting for whoever will keep the Tories out in general elections and for protest candidates in local ones. But it's not a solution.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 06-19-09 2:03 AM
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Americans are probably unaware of the contributions of the Labour Home Office (Interior) ministers to making racism respectable in a way it hasn't been since the 1960s.

By what, being anti-immigrant?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 06-19-09 2:16 AM
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By being anti-immigrant, and by deliberately eliding the distinction between refugees and economic migrants in order to deny basic rights to refugees and by continually allowing their agenda to be driven by explicit racists in reactive and apologetic ways. And so on.

Follow some of the links from here.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 06-19-09 2:36 AM
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295: As a symbol of how things have changed, it is a bit bizarre to look at the cinema listings and realise that the face of popular British comedy is a man who pretends to be a Comedy Gay, having previously pretended to be a Comedy Black and a Comedy Swarthy Foreigner. Next, no doubt, he will be a Comedy Pakistani. Ten or fifteen years ago that would have been unacceptable. We're turning into a pretty nasty country.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06-19-09 3:33 AM
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I won't argue with that.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 06-19-09 3:39 AM
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OFE, I am willing to believe that Cameron is truly terrible, but I don't understand your contention that he's dumber than GWB. That would be a truly epic level of dumb, and I'm pretty sure that Cameron can speak in complete sentences and reads some books.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 06-19-09 3:58 AM
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298. I didn't say he was dumber than Bush, I said he would be worse (than Labour) in ways we can't imagine. Part of the reason we can't imagine how is that far from being inarticulate, he has a gift for patter like a children's party conjourer, but everything he says is actually completely content free.

NuLab have been vicious, but they have at least they've managed the day to day administration of affairs with a degree of professionalism. The new crop of Tories are equally vicious, but their ethos is one of sophomoric amateurism. It'll be like living in a country run by a bunch of rather bad tempered puppies, not house trained and inclined to bite.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 06-19-09 4:18 AM
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136/137: for the record, I hadn't even read BG's comments before I posted this in the other thread. Now I'm doubly convinced.

I have an acquaintance (former colleague) who was a novice in a convent for a year or two. I think it was mostly for the purpose of sorting out her sexuality. She did learn some impressive nun-skillz in labor-intensive crafts: making hand-lettered greeting cards from homemade paper and stuff like that. The convent was in a beautiful setting in the Alps (I learned about this semi-secret chapter in her life when we drove past it together on the way to a company function), and I can see how the serenity of the setting could grow on you, if you were the right personality type for it.


Posted by: pain perdu | Link to this comment | 06-19-09 5:34 AM
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Yes, I can't argue with anything in 299.

I'd perhaps dispute precisely how professional NuLab have been, but that's just nit-picking. I think the record is fairly mixed. It's not all been total failure, though, definitely. The first administration, immediately after the '97 election, did get some important things done and some services have definitely improved. I doubt that is something we'll be able to say after the next Tory administration.

The only possible benefit from a Cameron administration, and it's small consolation, is that it might provoke a bit of a rekindling/reinvention in the Labour party, or at least I hope it'll allow single-issue pressure groups to fight more vociferously than they have done. But I could be wrong. We are basically fucked, as OFE says.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-19-09 5:39 AM
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Wheels, people. And inside those wheels? More wheels

Yes, but inside those wheels is rich, delicious nougat.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 06-19-09 8:11 AM
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289: they can live in the most awesome house ever.

That house looks like Boston City Hall in a better location. The library is sort of nice, but that corridor looks like it was shot from an altar where captives are sacrificed to the god of rectangles.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 06-19-09 8:40 AM
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If I want a house made of Lego, I'll go to Legoland.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 06-19-09 8:46 AM
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I know that there was a silver boom, but what was the political calculation for making it a state?

Getting Lincoln re-elected. Or something like that.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 06-19-09 9:18 AM
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Speaking of British politics, how's the new(ish) mayor of London working out?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 06-20-09 5:44 AM
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306: Don't know - he goes to a private gym. He looks like the type who spends most of his time on the elliptical, though.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 06-20-09 8:12 AM
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He did nearly get killed on his bike recently; that was kind of exciting.

Aren't you all going to wake up in about a year finding out that you live in a parliamentary system with a bunch of unbelievable right-wing fools controlling all the levers of power?

You mean we don't already?

90% at least of my friends and acquaintances are planning on voting Tory. I just don't understand how people can just forget and forgive so much. But I'm sick of this incredible level of state control Labour are trying to impose.

The last week and a half I've been preoccupied with Graham Badman's review on home education, drafting letters and planning my response to the resulting consultation (the 5th on HE in 3 years).


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 06-20-09 9:02 AM
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90% at least of my friends and acquaintances are planning on voting Tory. I just don't understand how people can just forget and forgive so much.

Yes. That places some of us in a terrible bind. I'll never vote Tory. Never ever.

However, Labour have also strode triumphantly across all of my personal 'red lines', so they are in the 'never again' pile, too. Or at least until there's been a cull of the current shower of bastards and an admission of where they went wrong. Minimum.

re: forgiving and forgetting:

A guy came to the door last night trying to get me to sign up to some Daily Mail subscriber offer. He was a bit affronted when I told him I despised the newspaper and everything it stood for, and that I also despised its readers, too.

I was very polite about it, but he did seem a tad surprised.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-20-09 9:23 AM
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Back around 25 years ago, more or less, the then-leader of the LibDems said something like "Fifteen million of you say you'd vote for us if you thought we stood a chance of winning; well, if fifteen million of you vote for us, we will."

Good old Paddy Pantsdown, he was a smart cookie.

But it looks horribly like 1992 all over again: who knows who'll win, but it won't be the LibDems and we'll end up with a seriously hung parliament.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 06-20-09 9:34 AM
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||

I'm buying a laptop. For work (office, home, road). Any wisdom to impart?

|>


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 06-20-09 9:50 AM
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What is the Tory's positive campaign pitch? (i.e. other than "we're not Labour".)


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 06-20-09 10:18 AM
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re: 312

They are more strongly anti-Europe, I suppose. Cameron made a big deal before the Euro elections that they were withdrawing from the main centre-Right EU parliamentary voting block and planning to set up their own with assorted right-wing nationalists and nutters.

But, essentially, they are just re-running Blair's pitch from '97. New, shiny, all-new shiny newness! With nice hair!

It's pretty hard to get a sense of exactly where Cameron will go -- but basically, spending cuts, a more adversarial stance on Europe, and the usual sucking of capital's cock. And I'd imagine some heinous/stupid law and order polices along the way and some pandering to racists. Although on that particular issue they'll have to go some to trump Labour.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-20-09 10:47 AM
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311: I had one of those 3-pounders (Dell), which was fantastic, schlepping-wise, but my hard drive and 2 replacements failed. My computer-fixers told me that there just isn't enough cushioning built into something that light to protect the hard drive and they see tons of failures for that reason.

My other Dells (currently a Latitude D630) have been total workhorses and resilient as hell. (That includes the one that I dropped from waist high in the airport security line. Everyone in line was horrified and sympathetic, but the thing kept working.)

However, the batteries all seem to go south pretty quickly. Initially, my current one would run for 3 or 4 hours, even with wireless turned on. A year (or 2; I can't quite remember) I suddenly can't get more than half an hour. My co-workers have had the same experience with their Dell batteries.

The previous is provided for anecdata only.

P.S. If you're going PC, move heaven and earth to somehow get XP and not have to suffer with Vista. Windows 7 allegedly fixes some Vista problems, but I see no reason to believe Microsoft about that.

P.P.S. Consider a refurb.

P.P.P.S. Have a good backup system.

P.P.P.P.S. That's everything I can think of for now.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-20-09 11:16 AM
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313: Do you know anyone who used to vote for Labour, but is switching to the Tories? I'd be curious to hear what they're telling themselves.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 06-20-09 11:18 AM
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If you're going PC, move heaven and earth to somehow get XP and not have to suffer with Vista.

It's not quite that bad. Spend about 15 minutes, and you can have a Vista box that has all the annoyances turned off. (IOW, that's right back to where XP was.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-20-09 11:26 AM
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316: Seriously? Because I'm using M/tch's Vista computer right now and it's so slow I want to kill myself.

Is it supergeek stuff or something I could do?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-20-09 11:45 AM
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Actually, this discussion is going on on the neb thread as well, so let's move over there and consolidate the conversation.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-20-09 11:48 AM
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re: 315

I don't think I know anyone who would vote Tory. I have one friend who is a sort of Tory/Lib Dem swing voter -- One Nation Tory/Tory 'Wet', that sort of thing -- but other than him, I'm pretty sure the idea of voting Tory is utterly beyond the pale.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-20-09 12:32 PM
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I'm probably exaggerating about the 90% - it's 90% *of people I have talked to about it recently*, almost all of whom are home educators. Probably a chunk of them were already voting Tory, but most have voted Labour over the last few years. They're coming at it from a very libertarian angle, angry about the HE review, ContactPoint (database of all children), ID cards, etc. The Tories are much more pro-HE, and are currently promising to scrap the databases and ID cards. I am laughing, hollowly, at the idea that the Tories are rescuing us from the police state when THEY FUCKING STARTED IT.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 06-20-09 3:10 PM
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re: 320

Yeah, there are a few 'decent' Tories who've been quite consistently against this expansion of state power for quite a long time and who've been active in the campaign against ID cards and the database state since long before it's been fashionable. However, I think anyone who thinks that the Tory party in government isn't going to embrace and extend this whole apparatus is incredibly naïve. They'll probably end up rushing headlong into it in response to 'events'. The first time someone blows something up it'll be all change.

Purely on a personal level, I suspect that I, qua Scot, see the Tories as tribal enemies in a way that people in the SE don't. It's a very powerful emotion. Also, I came of age under Thatcher: fuckers took 1/4 of my salary one year in Poll Tax fines, at the time when they were making me work a full-time job, as YTS trainee, for 27 pounds a week, and I haven't forgotten.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-20-09 4:13 PM
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fuckers took 1/4 of my salary one year in Poll Tax fines,

Spell this out a little for the Americans? What were you being fined for? With a name like Poll Tax, it sounds as if you were being fined for voting, but that doesn't make sense.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-20-09 4:43 PM
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re: 322

In the late 80s the government replaced the existing system of local property taxes (Rates) with a tax that was paid by individuals. Unlike property taxes, which were relative to property values, the Poll Tax was a flat levy. Right-wingers love their flat taxes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community_Charge

It was extremely unpopular -- the implementation had some wildly regressive features and it disproportionately shifted the tax burden onto the poor -- so there was a mass non-payment campaign against it. There were even riots.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poll_Tax_Riots

Like a lot of people, I didn't pay it.* As a result I had to pay the full sum and didn't get any low-income rebate, and I was also fined for non-payment, which they did -- as was fairly standard in Poll Tax enforcement -- by basically seizing my bank account and taking what was in it. I can't remember exactly how much I paid. 500 or 600 pounds all in, I think. But at the time I was earning 27 pounds a week, so it was signficant.

The campaign against the poll tax was pretty significant, particularly in Scotland. The smaller left-wing parties represented in the Scottish parliament have their roots in that anti-poll tax movement of 89/90/91.

* ironically, my then girlfriend's father was the chief financial officer for one of the Scottish district councils. He refused to pay it, which put him in a pretty awkward position.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-20-09 6:37 PM
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323: Ouch. I remember hearing about the Poll Tax issue at the time, but I didn't realize it was quite such a comprehensively shitty thing.

Also, btw, in the US "flat tax" usually refers to a fixed rate rather than a fixed amount.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06-21-09 9:34 AM
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307: He looks like the type who spends most of his time on the elliptical, though.

By sheer coincidence, I passed him the other day while he was taking a run. He was wearing a pink t-shirt, and never have I seen a man run more slowly and with more obvious pain. Had he been a Liberal Democrat, I would have advised him to stop before he blew an artery.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06-22-09 8:41 AM
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