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On Stay-at-Home Dads and the Confrontation-Averse

@Passion Fruit Yeah, sorry that sort of turned in a vent, but the LW and the subsequent response sort of got me because that is the same way my stepmother complains to me about my father.

Posted on October 19, 2012 at 4:10 pm 0

On Stay-at-Home Dads and the Confrontation-Averse

I am kind of curious about how LW3 responds when she doesn't get her way. The way she describes their relationship kind of reminds me of the relationship between my father and my stepmother. My stepmother is assertive, aggressive, loves an argument (though only one she wins, but she always wins because the argument does not end until the other person concedes, usually out of weariness), and needs things done on her schedule. My father is laid back to the point where you wonder if he really cares about anything (but he does, just ask him about Republicans in Congress), absent-minded, avoids confrontation like the plague, and really doesn't think twice about leaving a glass in the sink even though the sink is right next to the dishwasher. But when my stepmother finds that glass, it doesn't matter what my father is doing because he'll have to go put that glass in the dishwasher NOW (usually as the command, "[Father's name], NOW!" is barked at him). And then it will be an hour before he hears the end of it.

Obviously my father and stepmother didn't start out this way (at least not that I can recall). These behaviors are totally the result of an escalation over the years. I am sure my father has become increasingly passive aggressive as a way to contend with my stepmother's aggressiveness. And she has become increasingly demanding as a way to spur him to action. It is awful to be around. And none of the things they fight about actually matter. Who cares if a glass is in the sink or if the laundry isn't folded right away or if he doesn't want to go to a party? Fold the laundry or don't or just say "Hey, the laundry is here, so I'm gonna pull out my things and you can deal with yours." If you get the sense he is dragging his feet on something, tell him you're happy to go to the party on your own and let him make a decision. Do you need him to want to do all the things you want him to do? How terrible is it if he doesn't want to do those things? How terrible is it that there is sometimes a hamper with his clean laundry hanging out in a corner of your home?

Posted on October 19, 2012 at 3:51 pm 2

On The Sound of Cylons

You did it, Internet. You did it.

Also the centurion sound at the end. Also "I'll sleep around... with cylons." Also everything. This may just be what I needed today.

Posted on October 19, 2012 at 11:40 am 1

On Get This Look: Royal Ladies

I really, REALLY hope this is an ongoing series, because it sends me down my favorite internet, time-wasting rabbit holes - revisiting the tragic lives of historical figures and browsing for clothes I can't afford/would never actually wear but adore.

Posted on October 1, 2012 at 12:23 pm 7

On "Sea Oak," by George Saunders

I don't think "Puppy" is my favorite George Saunders story, but slays me each time I read it: http://www.newyorker.com/fiction/features/2007/05/28/070528fi_fiction_saunders

Posted on September 27, 2012 at 4:45 pm 0

On "From what planet does the Doctor come?"

@oudemia That is hands down the best baby Halloween costume ever. Man, I wish my baby-making friends who Doctor Who fans.

Posted on September 27, 2012 at 4:20 pm 2

On "Sea Oak," by George Saunders

@veryanonymous Well now that's on my calendar.

Posted on September 27, 2012 at 4:06 pm 0

On So I'm Sat There Next to Richard Branson, Right?

@meetapossum That is my favorite letter of all time.

Posted on September 20, 2012 at 4:48 pm 0

On A Proposal Regarding Proposals

@redheaded&crazie It was the closing statement in my work up for the pilot episode of "Law and Order: Toxic Friendship Unit"

Posted on September 4, 2012 at 5:07 pm 2

On A Proposal Regarding Proposals

@laurel I get this, I think. Or I have my own version of this. Like when my last relationship ended, I was pretty heartbroken, largely because my ex was a pretty great dude with whom I was still in love, though I was learning how to make that past tense, and with whom a relationship simply wasn't possible in that time and place. And then I had friends who would be like, "Oh, what an asshole. He sucks," and the like, as if that was a sufficient summation of things. And that was neither true nor helpful for me in any way (although these friends also tend to talk about their own exes that way, so maybe it works for them).

I am not opposed to Real Talk. If a person is legitimately terrible - abusive, negative, thoughtless in a way that constantly erodes at a person's self-esteem, well it's time for an intervention. And if you want to talk to someone about their relationship, past or present, then great, especially if that person actually wants to talk about it. But editorializing about a friend's ex veers dangerously into analyzing your friend's choices, and that kind of talk is best saved for behind a person's back.

Posted on September 4, 2012 at 4:32 pm 6