I feel like the percentages would change if this were not completely abstract-- with regards to a specific person I'm sure there'd be a few token points towards "Totally in love with so-and-so's face." But in the abstract sense, 100% register for gifts. That is the kind of tradition my mercenary little soul can get behind.
@cheerybeggar Totally allowed! I'm trying to think of how to say this without sounding tokenizing, but there's a gay guy who comes to lots of Hairpin meetups by me and he is the best. One woman's opinion.
I met at least 75% of my LA friends, directly and indirectly, through a couple of different Hairpin meetups. True story!
@bluewindgirl Not *our* children, but someone else's children, probably :( Seriously, once a shirt I bought at Forever21 started to disintegrate, and my first aggrieved thought was 'goddamn shoddy child labor!' (My second thought was that I am a terrible person.)
In America, psychologically destroying our child actors acts as a kind of burnt offering, a sacrifice on the altar of our first-world guilt and self-loathing, a la The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas.
Recent studies have shown that middle-class American parents are basically the most permissive and indulgent parents in the world: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304450004577277482565674646.html#
I'm tempted to advance an academic argument here: the idea of childhood has always been imaginatively created and curated by adults, and the current Western conception of childhood as a privileged time of innocence, freedom, and exploration (rather than sinfulness, vulnerability to disease, and dependency/labor source) is only a couple of hundred years old, and really came into its own during the Victorian era/late modern period. "Childhood" emerges as a relative category, a foil to help us understand adulthood. We expect childhood to be the opposite of adulthood, a time to indulge in all the things we are subsequently expected to reject and leave behind. So basically, parents who themselves feel constrained by their choices, burdened with unfulfilling work, and constantly policed/judged by social expectations to be clean, orderly, and respectful will permit their children to do the opposite in order to vicariously live through them.
Also there's always the terrifying possibility that your child will grow up and write one of those tell-all memoirs describing the torturous way you made them pick up their own toys. Give them whatever they want!
@RNL Ehhh, I disagree that hygiene is a nitpicky or "shallow" thing to be gotten over. I mean, yes, we're all faking being competent humans super hard all the time, but the reason why we jump on first impressions is that you can infer a lot of significant data from those first impressions. Somebody who doesn't brush their teeth seems like someone who can't take care of themselves. I look at a guy with nasty teeth and I think (a.) Do not want to make out with and (b.) Am I going to have to schedule all his doctor's appointments for him, like I'm his mother? (Teeth are also one of America's subtle/not-so-subtle reference points for determining social class, which I would say is a shameful thing to care about, but not a "shallow" one.)
A completed dissertation, scones, AND amazing fingernails? You win at life!
@PistolPackinMama Oh my god I would love texts between Lord Peter and Harriet Vane SO HARD.
@collier My dad just got a smartphone, and we showed him how to do voice to text. He loves it to death, but we now receive daily updates in a slightly garbled robot translation. Also sometimes he forgets to turn it off and there's just a lot of random nonsense bits of conversations he is having. He signs them all "Dad," despite the fact that it is a text.
LW5, clearly this Dude and Lady are kind of terrible and that is not useful advice. Seriously, I'm also perpetually single and I sympathize with most of your list. You are probably awesome! I think the reason why you are alone is probably just Standards. Like, do you really want to date someone on Intervention, really? I would be willing to bet there are people hovering in the peripheries of your life ("Friendzone," kind of a horrible word/concept) who would be your boyfriend, but you are not into them, and that's fine. If the choice is "lower your standards" or "hang out by yourself, be generally happy," I prefer the latter. I find that, while I like the *idea* of having a boyfriend, the day-to-day practicalities of arranging your life around another person are irritating, so that person better be Worth It.