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On An Interview With a Mom of Triplets

@peaches I was wondering the same thing; perhaps C.SanDiego means congenital (i.e., something that emerged in utero but is not genetic)?

I've had a seizure disorder my whole life (it's NBD, complex partial seizures), and my docs are certain it's due to a small scratch in the temporal lobe of my brain that is a congenital--NOT genetic--birth defect, but I think a number of my friends who know about this seizure disorder don't get this distinction and I've been asked on a few occasions (speaking of rude questions) things like, "Oh, are you gonna have your own kids, or adopt? Are you worried about passing on your epilepsy?" Now I just smile and go, "I'm not worried, because it's not genetic... but even if it were, there have been lots of pretty great epileptics throughout history. Like Fyodor Dostoevsky, Julius Caesar, and your good friend me."

Anyway, yeah, I'm sure she meant congenital, or you're right: both twins would have had it, unless they are in fact not identical twins but fraternal twins who look similar enough so that they could be mistaken for identical twins (some fraternal twins look almost identical).

Posted on March 1, 2013 at 10:38 am 1

On The Best Time I Was an Extra on Dawson's Creek

Wait, I tuned in to Dawson's way later than most. Who is that girl in the red convertible, who takes off her sunglasses and enviously (?) watches Pacey and Andie walk away at the end of the video clip?

Posted on February 20, 2012 at 12:20 pm 0

On Wall to Wall

My freshman year of college (2005-2006) I had a HUGE, sweating-and-blushing-when-I-saw-him crush on this guy in one of my classes, whose girlfriend (at another school, in a city a 4-hour bus ride away) made very certain to use the Facebook wall as a means to demonstrate the unshakable bond between them. She made daily posts about their weekend plans and how she couldn't wait to snuggle with him and "be on him all weekend." Ugh, it made me sick to my stomach--admittedly partly because I had a huge crush on him that I was failing miserably at shaking (and let's be honest, it just sort of made my stomach turn to see this very open digital schnoodling), but also because, just, UGH! There was such an effort on her part to, like, mark him. It was sad. Of course, at the time, I couldn't see what he was writing on her wall.

That summer they broke up. He and I were friends, but not close enough so that I felt reasonable asking why.

A year after that, he and I started dating. Turns out, he was an even worse ooey-gooey, smushy-mushy, publicize-every-relationship-detail wall-writing offender than she was! I was shocked.

Ultimately, we were pretty incompatible, not for this reason but for one arguably related: our in-person communication about matters actually pertinent to the relationship was terrible. He was a silent shutter-downer, while I would rather have been proactive in talking about/resolving issues between us. (Incidentally, when our relationship went long-distance two years later, the girl who ultimately succeeded in driving the final wedge between us used, naturally, the facebook wall, to write more-than-vaguely lovey-dovey messages to him and make me wonder just what was going on between them. I figured he'd find this as obnoxious as I did, but he apparently found it totally ok.) It made me wonder (as I still do sometimes) if some of the people who use the facebook wall to incessantly talk about their relationships and how much they love each other actually have problems processing between them (in private) what's going on in their relationship. In other words, is ooey-gooey facebook wall posting a bandaid for real-life relationship problems? I think sometimes it is.

Posted on November 7, 2011 at 2:28 pm 2

On My Case With Accutane

@contactallergy Thank you, thank you. I'm not a dermatologist, but this is a huge pet peeve of mine as well. I was talking to someone recently (a friend of mine who NEVER HAD PAINFUL, DISFIGURING CYSTIC ACNE) and she just did NOT believe that Accutane was the only thing that would have worked. She was like, "I doubt you tried *everything.* I'm sure there are some 'natural' remedies out there that would have worked that wouldn't have put you at such high risk for liver damage."

Well, yeah, I'm sure I didn't trying EVERYTHING. But presumably, the reason I was even seeing a dermatologist is because he/she knows more about skin remedies than I do, because of that whole he/she-went-to-med-school-and-did-a-derm-residency-and-I-didn't thing. So when my dermatologist said, "Hey, I know it's extreme, but I really think Accutane is appropriate here. We've tried the other go-tos, and you're going to start scarring," and answered all my questions about the risks, I didn't go, "Oh man, what a drug pusher! Natural remedies are better!" I said, "Word, you know best. If it'll fix my face and my life, give it to me." It really bugs me when people with no medical training think they know more than docs who, ultimately, are doing what they do because they want to help, not because there's something in it for them if they prescribe a certain drug.

Posted on October 24, 2011 at 1:58 pm 0

On My Case With Accutane

@Gems Accutane has been pulled! It's not available anymore. :( Kind of not cool. I get that Roche was trying to cut its losses, but it was such an important drug for me that I really feel for kids who will have acne as bad as mine was and won't be able to take it if nothing else works.

The generic, Claravis, is available but in my experience it's not as good.

Posted on October 24, 2011 at 1:48 pm 0

On My Case With Accutane

@whereismyrobot @mllemargaret Thanks, I was reading the other comment threads before this one and thought, Isn't anyone going to stick up for Accutane??

While I had almost no acne on my body, strangely, I started getting HUGE cystic acne breakouts on my face when I was 10. It was miserable. At that age other kids don't realize that that's hormonal and they just assume you're not clean. Nothing else worked, and people shuddered when they looked at my face. I actually recently saw a photo of myself from that time and couldn't believe how covered in cysts my face was. At 13 my doctor put me on Accutane and that shit worked like nothing else. It was pretty unbelievable. As some others here have said, aside from some really chapped lips and mild flaking--oh, and also seriously elevated cholesterol! anyone else? It didn't matter because I was a beanpole-thin 13-year-old with a really healthy diet and my cholesterol normalized afterward--my side effects were no problemo.

Unfortunately acne reared its ugly head again at 17, and I went on a second round of Accutane, this time for a bit longer and at a higher dose. During this round, I got all kindsa depressed. It was a bad year generally--my grandfather, whom I'd always been very close to, passed on; my first boyfriend broke up with me for racial reasons; and there was a big falling out with all my friends at school over some stupid gossip--so I had a lot of reasons to be down, but I think Accutane probably played some role in just how shitty I felt.

But when that was done, I was acne-free and I felt great about myself--no more huge, painful zits, no more giant scabs, no more feeling like the most horrifying-looking person in the whole entire world. That feeling was so, soooo worth the 7 months of, ultimately, pretty mild depression. If I had it to do over again, I'd definitely use Accutane (if it were still available), because given how severe my acne was--and, as others have said, how much more it is than a simple vanity issue--it was just so worth all of the risks to me. Period.

I do still get a pimple or two on my chin (always on my chin!) around my period, but these are so manageable and look like tiny sand dunes--easily coverable with some light foundation--compared to the giant mountains I used to get.

One more thing: I think I tried Claravis, or maybe some other generic, when I was on Accutane because it was cheaper and for a quick sec my insurance company was like, "We're not paying for the brand-name stuff," and it really, really didn't work as well so my doctor wrote a note saying, "Yeah, you gotta pay for the brand-name stuff," and my insurance company finally said, "Sigh, fine, ok." But yeah, so, is Claravis any better these days? I think it's a shame that Accutane isn't available and I feel like Roche did people like me a huge disservice by pulling it, especially since, as far as I know, Claravis just isn't as good. Thanks a lot, ambulance chasers!

Posted on October 24, 2011 at 1:42 pm 1

On "Accidental" Bra-Touching and Rebound Mathematics

LW#1 sounds really, really young. Maybe end of high school or early college? Based on that alone, I say, Honey, walk away. At your age you should only be in relationships that make you sublimely happy. You don't have a legally binding marriage, or kids, or anything else between you that obligates you to stay, so if it's not cutting it for you (which it really, really sounds like it isn't) move on.

That said, even if you're not as young as you sound, this sound like a relationship I was in a few years ago. The dude had a funny, VERY friendly female friend who was all over him all the time (and I didn't even have to snoop to find out about it: she posted dozens of pictures weekly on facebook--I'm still convinced they were intended for my view specifically--of the two of them doing touchyfeely and borderline coupley things together. I asked him about it a few times--a few-minus-1 times too many, as the first time I told him how uncomfortable it made me and he dismissed my feelings about it should have been when I broke it off. Each time, though, he assured me nothing was going on between them and I just "couldn't understand how they related to one another." It got to the point where all we did was fight about this girl and finally we broke up and they started dating like 2 weeks later (or maybe even before we actually broke up? It's unclear). Ugh, it was awful: I had this terrible feeling in the pit of my stomach when I found out, like my gut was saying, "You knew this all along, bitch! You should have dumped his ass months earlier!"

Telling this girl about sex dreams: Yeah, as others have said, that's not flirtation, that's line-crossing. He wants her bod; or at the very least he's doing next to nothing to discourage her apparently rabid crush on him. Also not cool.

The thing about his "temper": it sounds like he only flares up when you ask him about his behavior, which is perhaps not a "temper" so much as his getting super, aggressively defensive, which people only do when they know they're wrong and someone calls them on it. If he reacts that way when you raise this issue, his conscience isn't clean: he knows he's being shady, and if he knows it, it's time for you to catch on too.

I know you love him and it'll hurt but again, you're young. Move on, watch some funny flicks, get a new hairstyle, read Barbara Demick's "Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea" because it's awesome and it'll put things into perspective--like, you know, at least you get to EAT EVERY DAY--and know that this may be your first love but it won't be your last, and odds are good the next guy will treat you a lot better.

Posted on October 19, 2011 at 3:22 am 2

On Dear Hairpin: Party Games?

My friend's family has a game they call "Family," and I think that's a silly name for this game, but I haven't come up with anything that adequately describes the fantastic-ness of this game. It works best with 8-20 people.
Everyone writes down a name on a piece of paper and puts it in a bowl. The name has to be that of someone everyone present has heard of, but it can be literally any type of name that everyone would know (well-known historical figures, someone present at the party, celebrities, etc.). Once all the names have been collected, one person pulls names out of the bowl and reads them aloud. Each player must make a mental note of all the names being read, because you only get to hear them once. Then players take turns guessing who put in which name. If you guess correctly, that person becomes part of your "Family" and you, as a team, get another guess. Every correct guess you make is worth another turn guessing, and the person whose identity you've correctly guessed becomes part of your team. The object of the game is to be the "leader" (the un-guessed person on the team collecting other players) of the biggest team. If you guess the identity of the leader of another team, that team becomes part of your team. The team that annexes all the other teams but does not become annexed itself wins, and more specifically the person leading that team wins.
This is really fun because you can sort of guess what names people put in based on the interests of your friends. If you have a friend who really likes, like, gorillas, and they put in Diann Fossey, you can probably guess them. So, if you want your good friend to guess who you are, then you put in some person only that good friend would ever associate you with. On the other hand, you can play this another way: you can put in names you KNOW no one would ever associate with you but that people would associate with other people in the group, to throw them off. Remember, the object is to not get guessed.

Posted on September 4, 2011 at 10:13 pm 0

On Single Dads, Aging, and Acquaintansex

@priscillamalarky Oh my god also, sorry, last comment on this. I probably sound pretty young (maybe even naive) when I say that "I would never want a relationship in which I was actually the #1 priority in my partner's life," and I will concede that, yeah, I'm a few years younger than LW #2, and so at this point I have lots of school and self-discovery stuff to take care of, so I'd ideally like to be with someone who treats me as though I'm important but not the *most* important thing in his life. Maybe when I'm 30 I'll want to be among the most central things in my partner's life. Maybe that's something a lot of 30-year-olds want. But if that's the case it'll be important for me to know what kinds of compromises I'm willing to make on that, and whether someone I care about an am interested in getting serious with is capable of having the type of relationship I want, and if he has small children, hopefully I'll be able to be honest with myself about whether that works for me. And if not, I'll have to be ready to walk away, regardless of how crazy I am about *him*--it's not all about the person; it's also about the situation. Really, when you're young (yeah, I think 30 is young) any person who has a situation--kids, an unresolved divorce/breakup, a foundering career, a burgeoning career that requires all their attention, etc--that for some reason makes them incapable of the type of relationship that you know you want should be walked away from, because even if they're a good match, the situation isn't ideal and if you feel like you're making a huge compromise to be with them you won't be happy. The bad timing actually makes them *not* a perfect match. Stay friends if you can, 'cause maybe things can work out (much) much further down the road, but don't expect them to change.

Posted on August 8, 2011 at 6:13 pm 0

On Single Dads, Aging, and Acquaintansex

@priscillamalarky Wait, I think I did a crappy (and longwinded) job conveying the full scope of my feelings on this. I don't want to come off as really harsh on LW #2. Really, I think there are different strokes for different folks. It sounds like LW #2 doesn't want to be with someone who has small children whom he consistently puts first; it sounds, in fact, like she likes to be in a relationship with a man who has time/emotional resources to make her a central part of his life. Hey, that's totally fine. A lot of people want that. I think if they get serious, obviously, while the kids may always be on top, she'll a) meet the kids; and b) be a more (though likely not THE) central figure in his life. BUT it also sounds like she's uncomfortable with not being in that position during this early stage in the relationship. It also sounds like there's some uncertainty about where he sees it going. So, LW #2 is not happy, and ultimately a relationship that doesn't make her happy isn't going to work, regardless of how great the dude is. Maybe he's awesome, but he can't have the type of relationship LW #2 wants, so instead of sticking around she should find other people.

I do think A Lady's comment was important, though: "The older you get, the bigger and more complicated your peers' worlds are getting, and the less sense the idea of 'first priority' makes. You want someone who will give you enough of the right kind of time and attention, cool, good, as it should be! But I advise you not to keep score against the other themes/influences in his life, or you'll end up with a 40-year-old with a job he gives zero fucks about, no serious relationships under his belt, no intellectual or creative pursuits, and the decaying corpse of a pet turtle that he doesn't even know is dead until you point it out." Totally true, and it could be the LW #2 just needs to have a few more relationships/dating experiences with adults who have full lives of their own before she's ready to seriously date a single dad. This could all just come down to timing, really. But the sad fact is it's not working for her, and she's just 30 and shouldn't stay in a relationship that doesn't make her happy even if the guy *could* in an alternate universe. We are in *this* universe. So she should walk away.

Posted on August 8, 2011 at 5:42 pm 0