@_____c_____ Thanks for pointing this out, I'm switching to the Nuvaring next week and I was freaking out.
I had to have this talk with a very close (male) friend of mine, who I'd noticed had been rather musty-smelling for a while, and had always ignored because you know, not my business, for all I know I might be musty-smelling and he's a rose to everyone else, and oh God the awkwardness. But really, he was getting rank.
So one day, when he was being miserable about not being able to find anyone to cuddle with, I went through several inane suggestions about not having to change, and just finding the right person could take a while, and then finally I went, "you know, I've noticed that sometimes male deodorants aren't very good-smelling to the ladies, because they are all about being manly-man-man stuff. Perhaps we should go shopping tomorrow and I can help you pick up something olfactorily pleasing?"
The second I mentioned "deodorant", he looked up very guiltily, and our eyes met, and we both knew what I was really saying, but he let me prattle anyway.
The next day we went downtown and picked up deodorant, shampoo, and other necessary bathing products, and we did this at Lush, which is just a fun place to go in the first place, and I made the day very very cheerful and it was fun for both of us. And from that day on, he has never been musty-smelling (in my presence, anyway).
@gidgetjones I used to do this, because I thought it was normal behavior. My now-husband changed everything by saying, "I feel like you're pulling away from me, and I want to be together with you discussing this." Being conscious of how much my withdrawing behavior hurt him changed me -- and allowed me to embrace my inner-Cuddle Monster too!
When you are Jewish, this is what happens (as happened to my brother, age 3):
Supermarket Cashier: "And what are you asking Santa for, little boy?"
Supermarket Cashier: "::horrified look at my mother::"
Mom: "Please, tell the nice lady why!"
Brother: "'Cause we celebrate HANNUKAH!"
Supermarket Cashier: "..."
That being said, there was one time of the year when we did believe in Santa, because he was physically present: Santa Claus came around all the streets of my tiny town, handing out candy canes to all the girls and boys. And my fiercely Jewish mother, who gave me lessons by age 5 of how to combat missionaries, would send my brother and me out to get our candy canes, and to also ask extra for our (non-existent) "sick little brothers and sisters who can't come out to greet you." And we always would, and we'd share the extra haul with Mom. So, Santa Claus was just some nitwit we conned into giving us extra candy.
To me, Christmas is the time of year when I realize just how much majority culture is steeped in Christianity. So it is alienating, and it does suck, but it's also just something I deal with. Also, it's when I realize how terrible the goyim's taste in music is. Please, sing your Christian hymns. They are so much prettier and better than most of the schlock on the radio.
@Kristen I completely agree. I was on the receiving end of something very similar to the author's letter, and...it made me realize I didn't need that friend in my life anymore, if he wasn't going to accept that I wasn't his auxiliary in all things.
On the other end, my initial reaction was very much like the author when my brother announced he was going to get engaged to the woman he'd been on all of one date with. I was close to trying to stage an intervention before I realized I should chill out and meet his girlfriend first. A year and a half later, they're happily married, and I figured out the world didn't revolve around my preconceptions of what the "right" amount of time is.
It's not that marriage is about a leap of faith, or about some kind of deep spiritual impulse. At the most basic level, it's about two people making a decision about their future together -- one that doesn't involve outsiders.
"When James proposed to a woman he’d known for only a year, I experienced a variety of emotions, most of them about me."
This is why the author doesn't get it, and why James is absolutely right to be mad at her: she made his decision about his future all about her.
Every single time I hear "The Girl From Ipanema", I think of Stephen Sondheim's brilliant response, "The Boy From..."
@anderin I was just about to post that I'm also friends with Sullivan's son! I went to college with her younger son, who is not pictured but with a strong resemblance to the guy in the blue shirt.
He described it as being like when Dumbledore had to resign from Hogwarts, only it turned out the other governors had signed cause Malfoy threatened their families. To which I replied, "wait, are you comparing your mother to Dumbledore? Yeah, she's bad-ass enough."