@Edith Zimmerman I'm glad you stepped up to the plate and claimed it. I can completely respect the idea of trying out new content, but I do feel badly for Emma, as most commenters (unfairly, sure) assumed it came from her. The transition is already difficult for a lot of people (and yes, I know that it's our problem; The Hairpin site-and-staff-as-a-whole do not owe us anything) and this post seemed to add more fuel to the "Oh god we're terrified and/or a bit angry" fire. Not the easiest thing for a new-and-unproven editor to begin with, especially when it's not even her pick for an article.
All the same, thanks for clarifying.
I realize you're under no obligation at all to discuss--but, if I can ask, what prompted you to green-light this one? For the most part, I'm agreeing with commenters who have torn the post/writer apart as "Remedial Gender Studies," but I'm curious to know what you saw in it that you felt added to the site.
On Sacred Socks
So at first I read "spousal socks" and I was all, "Damn, Hairpin, mainstream ladies' mag story IF THERE EVER WAS ONE."
But then I kept reading and I was all, "OH HAIRPIN KITTY STORY! MOAR KITTY STORIES, HAIRPIN!"
(I know I know DON'T JUDGE A KITTY STORY BY ITS NON-KITTY COVER)
@VolcanoMouse Is there a TV show you can watch together? Over the phone? Pick a show, every week, watch it together. Speakerphone doesn't count; gotta use handsets. There are some nights you'll just quietly stay on the phone and watch the show and then awkwardly say goodnight; there are some nights you'll pick apart the show as you watch it (even better if it's a show you can snark at).
An uncle and I bonded that way by watching Star Trek Voyager waaaaay back when--it gave us something to talk about in the moment, as it was happening, something that wasn't earth-shattering or huge, but after awhile we had a "thing" and it was easier for our relationship to grow from that. It was weird at first, but we settled into it.
Okay...from a person who serially compliments strangers on whatever she happens to notice and like about them...
...if I complimented the author, say, in the grocery store checkout aisle with a quick and impulsive, "I LOVE your hair!," would it be perceived as racist? Because I'm not thinking, "Oh, what gorgeous Asian hair." I'm thinking, "Oh, what gorgeous hair."
Or dress. Or shoes. Or bag. Or eye makeup. Or...whatever.
But now--and I realize this is more frivolous than a lot of the heavier discussions going on above--I'm a little concerned that as a white girl, it might be rude if I vocalize that someone's Afro is cool. Am I overthinking this? Or, due to a society in which racism is pervasive, might my wanting to just tell someone that hey, I like something you have going on, have the opposite effect of the warm compliment fuzzies?
@katiemcgillicuddy AL CENTRAL CORRESPONDENT RIGHT HERE.
I'm the blue canary in the outlet by the lightswitch.
Who watches over you.
I'm actually really impressed with this thread. I had a lot of the same emotions y'all did--I was outraged by her actions, but I remember the Catholic "indoctrination" I was hit with as a teenager. And it was just normal youth group! It's taken me years to get out of that belief system, and I'm STILL not to the point where I can admit to my still-Catholic friends that I am anything more than non-practicing. You can call it brainwashing, sure, but the bottom line is that sense of belonging + sense of an order in the universe can be like crack, especially for a teenager. When your parents reaffirm that sense of belonging and order? Shit.
I don't excuse this woman's past actions, because sweet god. But there's a difference between forgiving and excusing. I think as decent human beings we're called to do one, but not necessarily the other. Not as Christians, not as religious people--just being decent people.
Anyway. Off my train of thought to say that the lack of responsibility that I see portrayed in this interview, I DO see portrayed in the comments. I'm pretty proud to Internet-know a group of ladies that can emotionally disagree, give evidence for both sides, admit where they may have crossed a line or been wrong, and still have each others' backs.
On Ask Santa
@thisisunclear My healthy cat is right next to me, and I am giving her perfect kitty forehead lots of kisses, because, tears for Celery.
@CSD@twitter I'm actually really glad to hear you chime in, because damn if it doesn't get lonely sometimes. My mother is convinced that I don't have ADHD because I did so well in school, read a lot as a kid, and did varsity swimming in high school. I'm still trying to get to her that I did horribly at whatever I had to actually study (but was lucky enough to be gifted, so I coasted for most of the time), read because I could hyperfocus on it and that's why I'd read hundreds of pages at a time as a child, and swam because practices changes a ton and you're always moving. And your mind can do whatever in the pool.
I was the one who was writing 25-page research papers in 24 hours, nailing them, and not a single person thought that was odd. I spent two years as a technical writer, 9 hours day in, day out, and it ended in my nearly getting put on probation, throwing up from anxiety attacks, and feeling completely trapped in my own head.
Tangent was welcome. I think I just did one of my own. Glad to know I'm not alone in feeling like I'm "not allowed" to have this disorder, just because I didn't fit the mold of the jumpy kid.
@explanation points Ooookay, hello, sorry for delay, been too sick even to handle the intertubes the past few days. Better now; resuming function.
Well, my husband has a few things. None of which, unfortunately, are magic bullets. To sum up:
1) Deep breaths.
2) Figure out with your SO what's actually important and what's just bugging you. In my case, for example: I leave beverages EVERYWHERE. Fucking everywhere. I forget I have them, I get interested in something else, I leave them where they are. It bugs the husband, but not as much, say, as my inability to get laundry done in a day because I quit folding the clothes to pet my cat. So he leaves the beverage thing alone--just lets me clean them up--and we worked out a laundry plan: If he helps, I am not allowed to get offended and think he's trying to passive-aggressively stick it to me. He's just trying to get shit done. It's not letting me off the hook--it's not like I'm dumping things on him to do or he's taking over for my deficiencies--I'm still trying here, and he's quietly collaborating. So I'm not allowed to be all "Hey you I can do this I SWEAR I HAVE IT HANDLED DON'T YOU BELIEVE ME" and he's not allowed to just sit and seethe that it's not getting done because I'm just a jerk. Because that's not the case, in either respect. Plan. Planning is key. Keeping ego out of it is another. At the beginning, I would always feel hurt, like he was trying to say I wasn't up to snuff at what I was "supposed" to be doing. He'd feel like I wasn't folding his boxers until Friday on purpose. And while the thought of him without undies is appealing, the reality is I'm spending a shit ton of mental energy trying to keep my house clean and orderly, and to keep it the way we both really would like it (I'm not being sexist here, either, I'm home right now and he's working), and he acknowledges that he'd rather have me thinking about getting clothes clean than making sure I don't leave Cherry Coke Zero all over the place. In that way, in a weird way, it becomes about just getting the tasks done collaboratively, rather than a personal thing.
3) The more each of you talk about how your minds work, the better. This is probably par for the course in a mental-illness-free relationship, too, but it can be even more important when one partner has illness and the other one is trying to comprehend it--and how much it impacts every. single. little. thing. Example, again: The flip side of my mind being everywhere is hyperfocus. When I'm reading, I've FINALLY managed to get myself into something. Interrupting me is the worst thing ever, because I have worked hard to get where I'm at. The husband acknowledges that he doesn't get bugged if I ask him a question while he's reading, because he can just look up and get right back into it. Me? Doesn't work that way. He knows how my head works, because we've talked about it, so he does his best not to interrupt when I'm actually focused. Talk about your mental structures with each other. It might not make it easier, but it will help you to know why he works the way he does.
4) And, of course, therapy and medication. Which is a YMMV thing. As always. My husband isn't comfortable going to therapy with me; he's acknowledged as much, but he does encourage me to talk about what went on in counseling sessions. As much as I'm okay with. And he respects the boundary between my counseling and himself; he doesn't try to force his way in to know everything.
God, I hope this makes sense. I'm trying to transcribe his and my conversation as best I can. I hope some of what I got down helps.
ETA: It's important for the person with a mental illness to grasp how a mind without that illness works, too. Honestly, people who don't have thoughts of suicide regularly--just as a passing thing--or who are able to start projects and plan and dive into them, finishing them on time and spectacularly, well, those thought processes are totally foreign to me. I don't get them. It's important for him to understand how you think, too. It's not all one-way. I don't understand sometimes why what I do, how I live, even the little workarounds, can get to my husband. The effort goes both ways; I gotta try to put myself in his shoes, too.