Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Friday Links

Here are a few things from around the web that may interest you:

“Let’s Ban Weddings and, While We’re at It, Baby Showers Too” [via HuffPo]

“Average woman will kiss 15 men and be heartbroken twice before meeting ‘The One’, study reveals” [via Telegraph]

“The Hard-Won Lessons of the Solitary Years” [via NYTimes]

“18 Brides in a Year” [via The Hairpin]

“7 Ways to Be Insufferable on Facebook” [via Huff Po]

“Are Straight Women and Gay Men “Natural Allies”? An Evolutionary Account” [via Scientific American]

“How I met your mother: Family folklore gets an update with online dating” [via TODAY.com]

“Marriage Findings From 2013 Shed Light On What Happens After ‘I Do'” [via HuffPo]

Thank you to those who submitted links for me to include. If you see something around the web you think DW readers would appreciate, please send me a link to [email protected] and if it’s a fit, I’ll include it in Friday’s round-up. Thanks!

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125 comments… add one
  • avatar

    bethany January 3, 2014, 11:21 am

    Re: the 7 ways to be insufferable on FB– I get it, lots of people post obnoxious crap on Facebook, but I’m sick of people complaining about it all the time. If someone consistently has annoying FB behavior, block or unfriend them. It’s really that easy.

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    • CatsMeow

      CatsMeow January 3, 2014, 11:34 am

      After reading that (and I think I’ve seen it before), I’m left wondering… What CAN I post on Facebook???

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      • avatar

        bethany January 3, 2014, 11:40 am

        Post whatever the fuck you want. If people don’t like it, they don’t have to look at it.
        I post things that make me happy- I know that my family and close friends like what I post (mainly cat/garden pictures). And if other people don’t like it, fuck em. They can delete me.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow January 3, 2014, 11:48 am

        Yeah, I find a lot of things annoying on facebook, but that article leaves room for NOTHING. I also don’t think it’s annoying to post about life accomplishments unless you do it in a super braggy way.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow January 3, 2014, 11:49 am

        Then again, I post about my bowel movements. But that’s cute and endearing, right??? /s

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      • avatar

        bethany January 3, 2014, 12:05 pm

        The thing that I think I disagreed with is that everything I post on FB should somehow do something positive for the reader. That’s not really the point of FB. The point of it isn’t for me to entertain you. It’s to connect people, so that others know what’s going on in your life and to give you an easy way to communicate with others. That doesn’t always mean that it’s going to “do something positive for you”.

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      • avatar

        MissDre January 3, 2014, 12:22 pm

        Yes, I completely agree. That’s what I was thinking. Entertaining others is NOT the point of Facebook. Also agree with others…. if people’s posting annoys you then just unfollow them.

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      • avatar

        Matcha January 3, 2014, 6:22 pm

        The post was way more insufferable than my facebook feed. Like discussions between people that should be private (ex. Hey, Beth, when are you going to meet up? I miss you!) … isn’t that the whole POINT of a timeline post on someone’s profile?

        So it has to be big enough to be ‘worth’ posting (don’t post mundane activities) but if it is newsworthy, you’re bragging.

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    • avatar

      rachel January 3, 2014, 12:31 pm

      Yeah, I was with the author at first, but it got to a point where she doesn’t want to see anyone posting ANYTHING on facebook at all. So, why even be on the site?

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    • dabbler

      dabbler January 3, 2014, 12:36 pm

      haven’t read the article yet, but this irritates me too, to the point that i’ve second-guessed myself on different things i’d post. like, who am i going to annoy by pinning 10 pictures of penguins in a row on pinterest? haha. but then, i’m like who cares? you freaking chose to follow me. don’t like it, don’t follow! i unfollow plenty of boards, because really, i don’t care about your nail polish obsession. and i’ve hidden plenty of people on facebook too, because what they post annoys the crap out of me.

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      • dabbler

        dabbler January 3, 2014, 12:47 pm

        ok, read part of the article. that annoyed me more than the people on facebook do. i didn’t even bother to finish it. i’ve seen lots of people’s long posts about the major things that have happened in their lives this year. “2013 was a huge year! married my best friend, bought a house, and we’re welcoming our first child, yada yada yada.” and you know what? they don’t make me stabby. because i actually like my friends. i’m happy for them when they do great things. it doesn’t make me feel any less because i didn’t do any of those things this year.
        ugh. some people will go out of their way to be offended by everything they can. save your offense for something that’s actually, you know, offensive.

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    • Fabelle

      Fabelle January 3, 2014, 2:52 pm

      I dunno, I liked this. I thought it was amusing, & more analytical than anything (in other words, it didn’t read as bitterly to me as it did to you guys, I guess?)

      It just seemed like she went, “Why did [the status that inspired the article] annoy me so much? what kinds of statuses DO annoy people? HMMM” & then broke it down. I don’t think she was being like, “don’t post anything”.

      Also, in regard to the “statuses are for other people”— I agree, in a way. Not everyone uses Facebook (or other social media) that way, but in an article talking about trends, what people like/don’t like, it makes sense to frame it like that.

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      • dabbler

        dabbler January 3, 2014, 3:03 pm

        i think what annoyed me was how over-the-top dramatic she was…

        “By the time I finished reading, I realized that my non-phone hand was clutching tightly to my forehead, forcefully scrunching my forehead skin together. I had the same facial expression I’d have on if someone made me watch a live event where people had their skin slowly peeled off.”

        really? reading someone’s facebook status is akin to watching someone’s skin get peeled off? i dunno. that part alone rubbed me the wrong way and i just couldn’t take it seriously. i get it’s hyperbole, but still. why even be on facebook then? just delete it and be done with it.

        i do agree that statuses are for other people, to an extent. not everything needs to be nobel-worthy, but if everything a particular person posts is whiney and self-indulgent, they get hidden/deleted pretty quick.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark January 3, 2014, 3:56 pm

        EXACTLY. The writer IS guilty of EVERYTHING she claims to be so against — and more. Example: she rails and rails against tired and obvious opinions, and yet this piece is NOTHING but that. Talk about something that we have all already heard before.

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      • dabbler

        dabbler January 3, 2014, 4:13 pm

        i’m just over the fact that EVERYTHING has to be a controversy. it’s tiring.
        no matter what you say or do, someone is going to find some way to be offended by it. not everything posted on the internet is meant to be a personal attack on your delicate sensibilities.

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  • Lyra

    Lyra January 3, 2014, 11:22 am

    That link with the numbers for the average woman are fascinating. I’m at 6 guys kissed and 1 major heartbreak!

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    • avatar

      bethany January 3, 2014, 11:33 am

      I guess I’m not the average woman, by any means.

      I’ve kissed too many people to remember, had 3 Long Term Relationships, no disaster dates, never been stood up, 4 real heartbreaks, was in love 3- maybe 4 times, have only ever lived with the guy I married, and I plead the 5th on one night stands.

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    • CatsMeow

      CatsMeow January 3, 2014, 11:33 am

      I’m way off on all the numbers, but my main takeaway is this: I need to have more one-night stands! You know, to find The One!

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    • avatar

      kerrycontrary January 3, 2014, 11:37 am

      I feel not average either. Like Bethany, I’ve kissed way too many people to even count. 2 long-term relationship, lots of shorter term relationships, been stood up twice (by one guy), 1 real heartbreak, and was in love twice. Only going to live with the guy I’m going to marry. Way above the avg number of sex partners.

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      • avatar

        ktfran January 3, 2014, 12:43 pm

        I’m more in the you and bethany camp of numbers I think. I’m so glad there are others!!!!

        Quite a few one night stands. I’m turning 34 next week. It happens. There are three people I truly loved and one recent I think I could have. I’ve been engaged once. I’ve been sad over relationships, but I don’t think my heart has ever been broken. Except maybe now. I’ve never been stood up. I usually get at least a call back after a first date, or even a one night stand. Lots of short term relationships. Three long term (the people I truly loved). I’ve lost myself once in a relationship and it took a little while to find my way back.

        All in all, I think I’ve been pretty lucky, even if I still haven’t found the “one.” I’m not too worried. I know it will happen. Which reminds me, I love the NY Times article.

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      • Nicolasa

        Nicolasa January 3, 2014, 2:12 pm

        Yes, I’m not average on these numbers as well. Kissed well over triple the average. Have had more than the average of sexual partners and one night stands. Only have had one long-term relationship before my current one. No disaster dates, never been stood up, and never lived with a partner. I’ve been in love 4 times (including current), but have never been properly heart-broken. Interesting stats though

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle January 3, 2014, 2:53 pm

        Yeah, when I saw that, I was like, “only 15???” I must’ve passed that number, like, pre-18 years old. I’ve also lost count of the people I’ve kissed; I’m lucky I can count those I’ve slept with 😉

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    • avatar

      Christy January 3, 2014, 12:19 pm

      Yeah, I’m way under. I literally doubled the number of people I’ve ever kissed on NYE, taking the total from 2 to 4. (And taking it from all women to 50/50! It was a wild night, let me tell you. (No it wasn’t. My friends just all kissed each other and for some reason dudes were kissing on lips.)) I’ve had disaster dates, though. Or maybe they just felt like disasters?

      Shrug. For all I know, gf and I will break up and I’ll go on a make-out binge and up my numbers. (Note: I don’t want this to happen. I’m quite content over here, being below average.)

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    • avatar

      TECH January 3, 2014, 12:39 pm

      A lot of things bothered me about the article of the “average” number of kisses, sex partners, etc before you find “the one.”
      Without even getting started on the debatable concept of “the one” can I ask — what is the age of the people surveyed? If you’re 25, you haven’t lived a whole lot of adult life. So maybe you haven’t kissed a whole lot of people.
      If you’re 50 years old, you’ve lived double the amount of time, and maybe had double the amount of partners. Heck, you might even be divorced by mid-life. Maybe you’ve met your second or third “one” by that time.
      I think what bothers me the most about articles like this is that people compare themselves to others. They view themselves as being above or below average for certain experiences. There’s enough judgment surrounding sex and relationships, and I just hate adding more on.

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      • avatar

        Banana January 3, 2014, 1:13 pm

        AMEN

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      • Lyra

        Lyra January 3, 2014, 1:17 pm

        I completely agree, just found it interesting to see the numbers.

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      • Skyblossom

        Skyblossom January 3, 2014, 3:02 pm

        I was thinking the opposite about age. I’m 51 and a lot of my classmates married young after dating only one or two people. There was no such thing as a friend with benefits and a lot less casual sex so less intimacy with other people. I was thinking that my generation probably brought the statistics down because it was more limited in partners.

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  • avatar

    kerrycontrary January 3, 2014, 11:30 am

    What does everyone think about the wedding article? I understand that some weddings can be ridiculous, and these are the ones we hear about through the media, but the majority of weddings I’ve been to have not been over the top. And if they have, the couple paying for the wedding (yes the couple not their parents) had the cash. So who cares what they spend it on. I think maybe the author just has the wrong group of friends since she says that of the weddings shes been in 5 are divorced and 2 are still married. That’s a lot more than average. I just think weddings are a great chance to get people together and celebrate a couples marriage, and as long as you can afford it it’s not a big deal. In fact, even if you’re going into debt, that’s YOUR mistake to make and no one else should judge you for it.

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    • avatar

      kerrycontrary January 3, 2014, 11:34 am

      Also, I get that you should want the marriage not the wedding. But I don’t know one person who has gotten married who just wanted the wedding. I’ve been with my fiance for 4+ years, I wasn’t sticking it out just to have a wedding. We’re together because of our commitment, marriage or not. But there’s nothing wrong with enjoying the wedding either.

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      • avatar

        Bethany January 3, 2014, 11:42 am

        I’m with you- I had a wedding because I wanted to celebrate with family and friends. However, watch one or 2 of those fucking wedding shows, and you’ll quickly realize how many people really are getting married for the wrong reasons. They might not be friends of yours or mine, but they’re out there, for sure.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow January 3, 2014, 11:50 am

        OHHH god, the wedding shows. You’re so right! I can’t stand to watch them, but I do it anyway. Like a trainwreck, I just can’t look away!

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      • theattack

        The attack January 3, 2014, 2:15 pm

        Yes! It annoys the crap out of me when people complain about others having weddings or judge them for it. I mean, don’t come if you don’t like them. Hell yes to everything you said. I hope your planning is going well, Kerry!

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      • avatar

        kerrycontrary January 3, 2014, 3:48 pm

        Thanks, It’s going pretty well. Have my venue. I know what my flowers want to look like but I need to get a florist. Getting the pastor. My fiance finally picked his groomsmen so we can start the bridal party stuff. Oh and we have our guest list pretty much done (or at least a number very close to the exact number of people we’ll invite). All in like 6 weeks from our engagement. Type A much? 🙂

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    • Lyra

      Lyra January 3, 2014, 11:59 am

      What bothers me is the over the top weddings, those that you see on the wedding shows. My Netflix binge recently has been Say Yes to the Dress and it’s just too funny/entertaining not to look away. I have great respect for the people who pay for their own weddings and their own dresses, but what drives me crazy are those girls who basically say “my daddy is a pushover, he’ll pay for anything”. Then they get into the dress of their dreams — usually $25k or more — and look over at their parents to pay even if it’s way out of budget. That to me is INCREDIBLY disrespectful. If your parents are going to pay for your wedding dress great, but don’t go over their budget. One woman I saw recently was this girl who fell in love with a dress that was twice her mom’s budget and the bride got so pissed when her mom wasn’t going to fork over the cash for the dress. Like she DESERVED the dress or something but wasn’t going to pay for it. I was so happy the mom said no.

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    • Miss MJ

      Miss MJ January 3, 2014, 12:00 pm

      I agree. Articles like this tend to annoy me. Not everyone who has a big wedding is just doing it for the party or to be a princess for a day. Not everyone who has a big engagement ring is a shallow materialistic ninny. And, not everyone who has a big wedding or a big ring or a big whatever goes into serious debt to do so, either. The people I know who had weddings had the weddings they could afford, big or small, and, wedding or not, they all got married because they wanted to get married. When they had a wedding, it was because they wanted to have a party so that everyone could get together and see each other and celebrate. I get that some people don’t like weddings or the wedding industrial complex, and that’s fine for them, but this article was a bit ridiculous, in my opinion.

      Oh, and I figure that the narcissism level of the pool of participants in wedding reality shows is fairly skewed anyway and not representative of the general population. At least I hope not!

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    • avatar

      Banana January 3, 2014, 12:01 pm

      Yeah, whenever I hear people complaining about how all their friends had insufferable weddings, I just think…it’s your fault for picking insufferable friends.

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      • avatar

        kerrycontrary January 3, 2014, 12:17 pm

        Yes! And like I said, she has an oddly high number of friends who are divorced. So maybe she’s just in a crappy crowd.

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      • avatar

        Banana January 3, 2014, 12:23 pm

        Yeah. I know that she had a lot of other arguments to support her case in that article, but when she chooses to lead with the most bitter, least logical one (weddings are bad because I dropped a ton of money I couldn’t afford on attending a bunch of weddings that ended in divorce) I kind of check out.

        I’m just at the beginning of the “wedding cycle,” at nearly 26 — most of my friends plan on getting married in their 30s and many are already in stable relationships but they’re just enjoying the journey at this moment. I only have two friends who have already divorced, and to be honest one of them is a complete shitshow that I don’t really keep in touch with anyway. I can’t predict the future, but I would be DEEPLY surprised if my friend group had as high a divorce rate as the author’s, and I think that’s mostly because I’ve surrounded myself with stable, reasonable, smart, mature people who tend to make good decisions and also have a good head for relationships.

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      • avatar

        kerrycontrary January 3, 2014, 12:49 pm

        Also, something these articles make me think about, is that divorce doesn’t always mean failure or that the marriage wasn’t worth it. I think it’s something that wendy brings up occasionally, but just because a relationship didn’t end in a 60 year marriage doesn’t mean it was a waste of time or not worth it. Just because those couples had a big wedding and ended up divorced doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth it for them to have a wedding. Some people get divorced but they produced amazing children and had a happy life but grew apart and want to go separate ways after 20 or 30 years. So was it not worth it for them to have a wedding? I think it probably was. Plus, I’m sure divorce is hard enough without one of your former bridesmaids going “well I wasted a shitton of money on your wedding and it wasn’t even worth it cause you got divorced”.

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      • avatar

        Banana January 3, 2014, 1:01 pm

        Absolutely! So glad you said that.

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      • avatar

        Shadowflash January 3, 2014, 3:48 pm

        Definitely agree. I saw some stupid meme about “My first marriage is going to be my last one!” and my immediate thought was: Well, then you’re probably going to die alone.

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    • avatar

      Christy January 3, 2014, 12:12 pm

      Totally agree. She just seemed really grumpy to me.

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    • something random

      something Random January 4, 2014, 1:19 am

      Wow, guess I missed the gamut of back and forth with this article. My own thoughts are that I feel where the author is coming from. The wedding and television industries have turned nuptials into a full spectacle of financial debauchery. I understand the desire for community and celebration at the embarkment of what one hopes will be a life-long commitment. But somehow images from movies, television, and the internet have created a kind of decadence that almost publicly overshadows the reality of marriage. And I’m sure buying into these rites for the sake of showering support on to friends came at a high cost to the author. I’m not sure throwing equal showmanship onto other life events is the answer, but this is based on my own participation of way over-the-top high school graduation parties, child birthday parties, anniversary parties, and so on. But I like the general point that there is disproportionate value placed on all the attention and spectacle rather than a meaningful experience.

      Likewise, I felt really sad to hear about the pregnant teenagers being showered with attention that felt like approval while a scholastic achiever wasn’t honored proportionately for her hard work. And I do think it speaks to the roles women have played. But I’m uncomfortable with withholding a “shower” for a teen mother because of the precedent it might set. After all, showers were traditionally very small get togethers to help extend support to a mom-to-be in need. And every baby deserves to be treated like a blessing. And people love teens, even teens who get pregnant and decide to raise a child. Many people would have a hard time withholding affection and support from a teen mother-to-be because others might consider it an endorsement. There has to be some middle ground between wearing a scarlet P maternity shirt and appearing on 16 and pregnant.

      I think the author raised some good points. I love the coronation line. She wrote about complicated issues that simply don’t have easy answers (at least in my opinion). But maybe less than comfortable conversations are the way to plant seeds of thought and change.

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  • TheLadyE

    Elisse January 3, 2014, 11:52 am

    The NYT article about the “solitary years” was breathtaking and resonated with me deeply. I’m 10 years younger than the author was when she met her future husband but I’ve been living on my own for 6 years and already much of it fits. I also don’t have a huge amount of relationship experience – 5 boyfriends total and none that lasted longer than a year, and I’ve been wondering lately if there’s something wrong with me (just like the author said). That article was like a soft blanket to me to read…at least, if only, to feel like I’m not alone. Ironically.

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    • CatsMeow

      CatsMeow January 3, 2014, 11:58 am

      I’m the same way! My relationships are few and far between. I’ve been living alone for most of my adult life and sometimes I worry that I’ll get so used to it that I’ll never adjust to living with someone again. But also – I love being single! I agree with the author that experience being single is as important as having relationship experience.

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    • avatar

      bethany January 3, 2014, 12:16 pm

      I really liked that article, too. One of my very few regrets in life if that I didn’t live alone sooner. I think you learn so much about yourself by living alone, and by being single. I really, really enjoyed both of those things.

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      • avatar

        MissDre January 3, 2014, 12:24 pm

        I thought I would love living alone, but I actually hated it!

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    • avatar

      ktfran January 3, 2014, 12:46 pm

      That article made me get a little teary eyed. It resonated. A lot. But it also made me hopeful, which I need at the moment.

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    • avatar

      snarkymarc January 3, 2014, 1:09 pm

      Yeah, I thought it was beautiful too. “Being married is hard work, but so is being singled” resonated with me. I wonder, though, if it makes long-time singletons feel a bit desperate because while she says she learned to be singled, she clearly preferred being coupled up.

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      • avatar

        Banana January 3, 2014, 1:39 pm

        I think the point she was making is there’s a difference between longing and desperation. As she mentioned, if she were desperate she would have been coupled up already — to someone she was ambivalent about. Longing means you desire something — maybe even feel a hole in your life without it — but you can continue living in a reasonable fashion, with a fair amount of contentment, without it. Desperation, I think, implies longing WITHOUT rationality — desperation drives people to make bad decisions. I really identified with this piece, too, because I’ve had short relationships punctuated by long stretches of singledom, and there have been several times that I’ve actually turned down, or ended, potential relationships with nice guys who were very eager to be with me, because I felt they weren’t a right fit. I acted that way because I longed for a relationship, but I wasn’t desperate for one.

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      • avatar

        ktfran January 3, 2014, 1:49 pm

        Yes. THIS! WBS.

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      • TheLadyE

        Elisse January 3, 2014, 2:18 pm

        Yes! Me too, exactly, spot on.

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      • veritek33

        veritek33 January 3, 2014, 3:24 pm

        Once again, Banana, you’ve hit the nail on the head – as well as the author.

        Sometimes I think I might be bordering on desperation, but then I remember, I could be in a relationship with someone that I’m really not that into in order to have a relationship/company – but I choose not to do that. I just long for relationship. With the right person.

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  • lemongrass

    Lemongrass January 3, 2014, 11:53 am

    I have a big fuck you to the author of the wedding and baby shower article. If you get pregnant at 18 you shouldn’t have a baby shower? What, as punishment for not living your life in the college-marriage-baby timeline that the author deems appropriate? Wtf? Sure, for most people having a baby at 18 isn’t ideal but that doesn’t mean that life shouldn’t go on and they make the best of it. Why not have a party and help them get started. They are more needing of those presents than some 30 year old woman who is already set up in her life. The answer is not to take away help from a teenage mom. And who is to say becoming a mom at 18 is wrong? I know a woman who got pregnant at 16 and again at 17. It was hard for her but her kids are teenagers now and they are all doing fine. That doesn’t mean all 18 year olds can handle it but not all can’t either.

    No, you don’t get a wedding sized party for graduating college. You do get respect though. Respect that you clearly don’t give women who didn’t follow the same lifestyle that you did.

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    • CatsMeow

      CatsMeow January 3, 2014, 12:02 pm

      I disagree with that aspect of the article as well, but I think the point the author was trying to make was that the things that are “rewarded” have little to do with actual accomplishments.

      I’m not a fan of showers, as you all know, but baby showers make sense to me because those people NEED things. I just with baby showers were more gender-inclusive, but that’s neither here nor there.

      When people used to get married at a younger age, they were just leaving their parents’ homes and starting a new household together. Now, they get multiple showers and gifts for household items even though they’ve likely been living on their own for years and are, in fact, getting ready to COMBINE their stuff and probably also their incomes. It would make more sense to me to do that for the new college grad or first time home owner in this day and age.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow January 3, 2014, 12:06 pm

        But yeah, one of my best friends had her first baby at 18 and she is a fucking AWESOME mom, and I happily went to and contributed to her shower.

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      • avatar

        Banana January 3, 2014, 12:18 pm

        Yes! I loved her idea of college showers — though I think a lot of middle class/upper middle class people DO get that, with the graduation party. I had a bunch of relatives give me cash gifts or little household items to take with me to college, after I graduated high school. I wish that practice was more widespread…I had no idea it wasn’t common, in her background. Though I’m also wondering what that background is. I also grew up in a pretty blue-collar area, and lots of my friends still had graduation parties with gifts to set them up.

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    • avatar

      kerrycontrary January 3, 2014, 12:16 pm

      Yeh I think everyone should be able to have a baby shower, especially teenage girls who most likely can’t afford everything they need for a baby. I mean it’s a baby! It should be celebrated just like any other baby. I do think that the author had a good point that sometimes teenage girls do NOT understand the reality of themselves or their friends having a baby. They often look forward to the cute clothes and may not have an understanding of how hard it is. So I think that maybe the author is saying we shouldn’t celebrate un-intended teenage pregnancy because as many anecdotes out there that say everything can turn out OK, the statistics say that teenage pregnancy is not the best choice for the mother, child, or society.

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      • lemongrass

        Lemongrass January 3, 2014, 12:33 pm

        Most people don’t understand how hard having a baby is. Honestly? I have a kid who is less than a year old and I don’t understand how hard it is having a new baby. You’re either in it or you forget it once it passes, which it does very quickly.

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    • bittergaymark

      Bittergaymark January 3, 2014, 4:01 pm

      Eh, nevermind the baby shower. If you get pregnant at 18? You shouldn’t have the fucking baby.

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest January 3, 2014, 5:02 pm

      I wish I knew you when I was 20 and pregnant. truly.

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  • avatar

    Sansa January 3, 2014, 11:58 am

    I actually loved the banning the wedding showers and baby showers article.

    It was appalling that one person in the story struggled to make it through college with no fan fare while her siblings dropped out of high school and had baby showers when they were pregnant as teenagers. I’m not saying that they shouldn’t have a baby shower, but college should be celebrated too.

    The article didn’t come off as bitter to me, I feel like people put more emphasis on the party than on the marriage. When I was in wedding planning mode (3 years in advance and a year after he proposed) I bought a wedding dress after being swept up in emotion. Had I been paying more attention to more than the ring on my finger and the excitement of both of our families coming together, I might have noticed that my relationship was crumbling. (Though that would have been hard because he was in Colorado and I was in New York at the time).

    I digress…

    I look at people getting engaged now, and it’s just the thing to do. I’m like… really? You’re going to be together forever?? You reach my age (28) and you find someone that you get along with, you marry them, and you end up divorced, more than 50% of the time. It’s mostly about the party and celebration than “can I be with this person for the rest of my life”. I know it sounds a bit bitter, but that’s my two cents.

    Kudos to those that are against that statistic, I hope to one day find that someone and be the one to be against the statistic too 🙂

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    • avatar

      Banana January 3, 2014, 12:15 pm

      Yeah, I think it’s all relative. As many have said above, there are actually lots of people out there who DO understand what marriage means, and just want to have a fun party on top of it. Then there are other people who get distracted by the bling and don’t think about what they’re really getting into. So I agree with them and with you too, Sansa. I think it’s all individual, at the end. Even the author admitted she threw a wedding a year after she got married — she seems to understand (even if grudgingly) the appeal.

      Like @lemongrass, though I do think it’s very bitter and unfair to say teen moms don’t deserve baby showers. I think that part, more than any other, reveals the author’s personal prejudices/background and some of the bitterness she’s carried with her.

      What rubbed me the wrong way the most was just how she opens with a rant about the thousands of dollars she spent attending weddings of people she didn’t remain close with, whose relationships didn’t last. If she couldn’t afford it, she shouldn’t have done it. If she didn’t like them or wasn’t close to them, she should have just said no. That is 100% on her. Like I said above in response to Kerry…if you don’t want to attend an insufferable wedding, don’t keep insufferable friends.

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      • avatar

        starpattern January 3, 2014, 1:52 pm

        Yeah I agree with this and am kind of on the fence about the entire article. On the one hand I’m thinking, Jesus, live and let live, you know? Don’t go to the showers/weddings if it bothers you. But on the other hand, I grew up in what sounds like sort of a similar environment – a rural community where teen pregnancies and early marriages were SO common, and SO celebrated, while I was busting my butt quietly earning my engineering degree. During college I was in 3 weddings – some of which my parents had to help me pay for – and attended many more. Baby showers, too. I’m 26 now and am mature enough to set my own boundaries around these things (not overspending or burning too much vacation time, etc), but when I was younger, I felt so pressured to go along that I overspent and put myself in hard places from time to time, making my life harder than it needed to be.

        There was a thread in the forums a while back that I think illustrated that attitude really well – I remember being called selfish because I said something along the lines of I don’t really spend that much money on wedding and baby gifts anymore even though I technically could, because I have hobbies and travels that I would rather spend the money on (I don’t remember who it was and am not trying to call anyone out – just trying to use this for the purpose of illustrating my idea here). At 26 I do not care whether anyone thinks I’m selfish for allocating my money how I want to, but 5 years ago I would probably have been crushed if someone said that to me. You’re made to feel almost… like you’re jealous or bitter if you don’t spend the money and time to participate in all these things, and that’s frustrating when you’re a single woman who is working hard toward something besides marriage and babies, especially if you’re also struggling with time and money.

        TL;DR: I don’t think anyone should try to detract from the happiness and celebration of someone’s happy life event or judge them for making a different life choice, but I can also understand some of the frustration that author expressed, and I remember that when I was younger I wished that my choices were just as valued by my friends and family.

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      kerrycontrary January 3, 2014, 12:20 pm

      Ok my 2 cents about the 50% of marriages end of in divorce….This includes 2nd, 3rd, and 4th marriages which are a lot more likely to end in divorce than 1st time marriages (unless the 2nd marriage is due to a previous death of a spouse). So there are a lot of people out there who are getting married/divorced multiple times, and a lot more people who are getting married once and not divorcing. So that statistic is a little screwy.

      Also, I think this is what pre-marital counseling is for. To make sure that you are ready for the marriage and focused on the marriage instead of the wedding. Being engaged has actually made me very reflective of my life and my relationship since my identity will be changing.

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      • avatar

        Banana January 3, 2014, 12:28 pm

        @Kerry…”my identity will be changing”…that’s actually the biggest thing that scares me about marriage. I’m not afraid of commitment and all the rest, but the idea that I will, gradually, grow into a slightly different person scares me a little. Not all in a bad way…but I guess it just makes me realize that I am okay spending a bit more time as Unmarried Me and simply appreciating that season of life while I have it. I’m so glad you recognize that marriage changes us internally as well as our external circumstances. THAT is something I bet a lot of people don’t anticipate.

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      • lemongrass

        Lemongrass January 3, 2014, 12:41 pm

        People are always changing and growing, or at least they should be. It will happen whether you marry or not, life will happen and the events that follow shape the person we will become. Having a successful marriage doesn’t mean never changing but it means communicating with your spouse so that as you grow and change it happens together. I am not the same person I was 2.5 years ago when I got married. Neither is my husband but we have grown at the same time.

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        Banana January 3, 2014, 12:59 pm

        Oh yes, I definitely understand that everybody changes, no matter what. I guess what I’m getting at is that I realized that at this particular point in life, I like the way that I individually control my change and growth — that for now it’s still all about me, to a certain extent. I have my boyfriend and my family and friends and job and all the rest that also influence my growth and change, but for me, marriage marks the time in which your internal change is more strongly influenced by your now-husband and the life you build together. I’m not opposed to that, I just realized I’m okay not being there yet.

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      • theattack

        The attack January 3, 2014, 2:25 pm

        Absolutely, lemongrass! This is why I don’t understand all the hate for young marriages. People say that you haven’t finished growing yet by our age, but I hope I never stop growing. The key is growing together and communicating about it. Having room for growth is a good thing, and it’s a great journey to go on with the person you’re already committed to.

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        bethany January 3, 2014, 2:32 pm

        Yes. You change whether you get married or not. My personality is still very much the same as when I was younger. I’m still stubborn, outspoken and don’t like being told what to do, but I’m a really different person than I was 3 or 5 or 7 years ago. Being married isn’t the only reason I’ve changed. I’ve grown up, and had experiences that have changed me.

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        kerrycontrary January 3, 2014, 12:45 pm

        I think people DO change, married or not. But I think getting married is this step where you choose to change, and you make that step in front of witnesses. And its not like I expect my fiance or relationship to change, but I will be someone’s wife. I will be legally tied to someone. And getting engaged definitely made me reflect on who I used to be and who I am now, how my responsibilities may shift slightly. I honestly don’t think our relationship will change that much right away. But going from single kerry to wife kerry is definitely a change!

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        Christy January 3, 2014, 2:17 pm

        +1 to the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th marriage thing. My mom’s been married and divorced 3 times, and let me tell you, the first one lasted a whole lot longer. And I wager it was more carefully considered.

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        kerrycontrary January 3, 2014, 2:21 pm

        Yeh I just kind of hate the “50% of marriages end in divorce” because that does mean that 50% of people getting married end up getting divorced. If that makes sense. Plus divorce rates are higher/lower depending on your socio-economic level, age, geography, religion/lack of religion, etc….I think I’m extra sensitive to it since I’m engaged and if anyone says that to me I’ll slap em! 🙂

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  • peppers87

    peppers87 January 3, 2014, 1:04 pm

    What did you guys think of the 18 brides article? I thought it was really beautifully written, going back and forth on her personal feelings on loving her friends who get married, but not really feeling the same things for herself? I feel some of the same internal conflicts/debates when I think of all of these questions revolving around marriage/changing names/ my boyfriend/my career/babies and I know it’s not unusual or anything, but I really related to this piece. Even though right now I *think* I’d like to get married, I haven’t always been a fan of the institution or associated traditions? BUT I love attending weddings! I just went to one last weekend that was as about as “normal” as weddings can be.

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    • mandalee

      mandalee January 3, 2014, 1:21 pm

      Reading the article from a different perspective as the author, I thought she did a great job of expressing her feelings. I get the struggle because things like marriage and name changes and etc are buried in some old fashioned outdated traditions, but at the same time, as someone who got married two years ago, I just didn’t feel the struggle myself and I identify as a feminist and a tradition breaker.But then, I read this article and I feel like a woman from the 50s. I think sometimes articles like this stress me out, because it seems to paint women who are okay with changing their names and entering marriages, as those who are okay buying into some male-focused tradition, but I don’t feel that way. Hell, my maiden name was given to me by my father so technically it’s a man’s name too. I had no say in the matter and I always hated the name growing up. To me, who I am as a person defines me more than the name that follows my birth name. I chose to get married and get married in my own way, a lot of traditions be damned, because my husband is my equal and I want to build a life with him, not because I see it as some pinnacle female achievement to be married and a mother one day.

      So, I muddle around my own opinion a bit, but basically I think articles like this do a slight disservice to women on either side of the line. It’s okay to feel doubts and be uncomfortable with traditions, but there are many ways to look at and view motherhood and marriage as a women that aren’t in line with an outdated viewpoint. So, while weddings can be very similar and blur together in their content as a guest, approaches to actual marriages/changing name vs not/being a mother vs not are so different, that even women not comfortable with the traditional path, can end up in perfectly happy long-term relationships/partnerships/marriages or as mothers without “conforming” or giving up any of their beliefs. I don’t think it needs to be one or the other.

      Reply Link
    • Fabelle

      Fabelle January 3, 2014, 2:46 pm

      I submitted that one! I also thought the writing was beautiful.

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        Banana January 3, 2014, 3:29 pm

        I loved that one! It didn’t leave the bad taste in my mouth that the HuffPo piece did…it was very personal and moving.

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  • avatar

    Christy January 3, 2014, 1:31 pm

    The lines are back! This is so exciting, Wendy. Thank you! (The lines that make it so I can follow which comments are replying to what.)

    Reply Link
  • katie

    katie January 3, 2014, 1:32 pm

    I’m really surprised so many people didn’t like the marriage and baby shower one. Really? “It makes me wonder what our world would look like if female accomplishments other than becoming a wife and mother were equally exalted.” – I’m all over that. I honestly think that is maybe those of us who are or want to be married or who had or want babies showers just being defensive, instead of understanding the actual message of the article…

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    • katie

      katie January 3, 2014, 1:34 pm

      Also- this one talking about having reality shows about college and graduations- “What would be the outcome if little girls had 32 television shows to watch about that? Would that give them something else to aspire to? To dream about?” That is such a powerful thought, you guys. I think you all need to go back and re read that piece.

      Reply Link
    • lemongrass

      Lemongrass January 3, 2014, 1:41 pm

      She had some good points but also some really bad ones. Sorry, I just can’t get behind wanting to punish teenage moms or wanting to take away the support they do have. You want a graduation party? Sure, go at it. Do you need to take away from teenage moms to get it? No. If she had said “let’s give help to all young women starting out” instead of “let’s take away from teenage moms and give it to those more ambitious college students.” I would have been all for it. One could even argue that the author is slut shaming those teenage moms.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow January 3, 2014, 1:46 pm

        I feel like the shaming of teen mothers was a poor way to illustrate a good point.

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        Shadowflash January 3, 2014, 4:29 pm

        I didn’t read it as “wanting to take away the support they [teenage moms] do have.” I think that, if you and your friends want to chip in and buy a bassinet for her because she’s too poor to get one on her own and you want to help her out–Great. Please do it. But do it without the balloons, presents, cake, and cute party favors. Frankly, it shouldn’t take a cute party invitation to make you (collective, not personal) step up to the plate.

        It’s not that babies aren’t worth getting excited about or pitching in for, it’s that we need to be clear that we’re celebrating the *baby*, not the pregnancy. I thought her point was that shows like “Teen Mom” and baby shower parties put too much emphasis on pregnancy as reward-worthy and not enough on the baby itself being rewarding. She made a virtually identical argument about weddings.

        As a corollary, I don’t think you have to take away from anyone in order to celebrate something else. There is no law that says “for every new achievement party we throw, one baby must be sacrificed to the winter snows.” I understand that we can’t all have parties for everything (sigh), but if you can afford 3 baby showers, you can probably afford one “college shower” for the child that picked the different path.

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        lets_be_honest January 3, 2014, 5:16 pm

        Over 10 years after not having been thrown a baby shower when I could’ve used one (both for the practicalities and support) I still get sad when I think about it. It hurt me a lot. Did I “deserve” one? No. Does anyone really? No. At a time where I was desperate for support, I instead felt like everyone wanted to make sure I knew I fucked up by getting pregnant. If that’s the goal when deciding young moms shouldn’t be thrown a shower, then I can promise you the goal is achieved.

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      Banana January 3, 2014, 1:44 pm

      I didn’t see anyone opposing the idea of celebrating other accomplishments, like graduation, etc. It was just the black-and-white way she painted the whole situation that ticked a lot of people off, I think. I thought the author of the “18 Brides” piece did a much better job of being open minded about the same topic when she said, toward the end, that she reminded herself that everyone’s different and that if she supports women’s ability to make their own choices about their own lives, she has to learn to be okay with the idea that some of her friends chose THAT.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow January 3, 2014, 1:52 pm

        Throwing myself a graduation party won’t be met with the same fanfare. Registering for gifts and inviting people to a graduation shower would be met with a million “WTF”s. So saying, “Sure! Go ahead and celebrate your other accomplishments!” is kind of missing the point.

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        Banana January 3, 2014, 2:15 pm

        As I mentioned above, I think a lot of that depends on background. First of all, people don’t throw themselves bridal or baby showers, either — it’s traditional for a friend or other third party to host them for you. Same with graduation parties — my parents threw a joint one for me and my middle brother, since we were graduating at the same time (long story). I actually received many congratulations and generous gifts, and lots of warmth and pride from my family and friends on that occasion. So no, it’s not impossible.

        That said…don’t simultaneously decry the silliness of a big celebration for one thing while saying something else should have an equally huge and frivolous celebration. There are definitely many milestones in life worth celebrating — individual achievements, joint decisions (like marriage), etc. What got me was the author of the piece was all “HUGE PARTIES ARE WASTEFUL AND NARCISSISTIC” when it came to weddings, but then magically didn’t see anything wasteful and narcissistic about throwing yourself a wedding-sized party to celebrate a promotion. Personally I think it’s all individual and people who like big parties should have big parties, but I guess what I’m saying is, this is why I thought the article was kind of bitter and hypocritical.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow January 3, 2014, 2:45 pm

        I see what you’re saying and I completely agree, but the individuals you surround yourself with don’t seem to be representative of our culture as a whole. Societally, we reward women for certain things, with gifts and lavish parties, more than we do for other milestones. I know people don’t throw their own showers, but it is still EXPECTED for one to happen when a woman gets married or has her first baby.

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        HShull January 3, 2014, 2:52 pm

        But it’s not if she’s saying that there are things in life worth valuing/ celebrating that are vastly more important than weddings (and likely have more long-term /life significance). You wouldnt believe the number of women at the ivy league school I attended who were just there for their Mrs degree. That doesnt have to negate celebrating a marriage, tho I personally hate weddings and think theyre massive wastes of time/money, but it does beg the question about where womens priorities are in an age where l make .70 to every man’s dollar in the US. If society actually celebrated real personal achievement, we’d be in a much better place. And no. Having a baby isn’t an achievement.

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      • theattack

        theattack January 3, 2014, 2:58 pm

        I don’t think you get to unilaterally decide that having a baby isn’t an achievement.

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        bittergaymark January 3, 2014, 4:56 pm

        Um… pretty much anybody can do it.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest January 5, 2014, 5:48 pm

        Um, you can’t. 😉

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      • katie

        katie January 3, 2014, 2:54 pm

        I think you’ve missed the point entirely. The point was to examine the ways we celebrate women. Both of them are historically ways that women were oppressed. Weddings, being how you were sold/traded from one man to another, and the next, baby showers, being the only occupation a woman could aspire to, or even accomplish.

        Talking about the realities associated with those things, and the way that affects women is so important! Again, “It makes me wonder what our world would look like if female accomplishments other than becoming a wife and mother were equally exalted.”- our world would be completely different. Completely, 100% different.

        This is also the fallacy that men use against women’s rights, people use to oppose gay marriage, historically powerful groups use against racial equality, ect- elevating one thing/group of people is NOT the same thing as pulling another thing/group of people down. Elevating other accomplishments for women is not the same thing as diminishing the ones that are already elevated. Elevating other worthy accomplishments gives women, specifically young women, other things to aspire to and to model. That’s not a bad thing, just as it’s not a bad thing to aspire to be a wife or mother.

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        Banana January 3, 2014, 3:05 pm

        I agree with all your thoughts here. But the thing is, an article titled “Let’s Ban Weddings and, While We’re at It, Baby Showers Too” (even jokingly) kind of implies she wants to pull them down.

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      • avatar

        Banana January 3, 2014, 3:10 pm

        This is just to say — I’m actually on the same page as you (for once, haha)! I’m just trying to explain some of the reactions here to this specific piece. But I agree with your thoughts.

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      • theattack

        theattack January 3, 2014, 3:07 pm

        Katie, I agree with you about what a cool idea it would be to celebrate all major life accomplishments with the bang that weddings and babies are celebrated. (Or to at least have that be a common, acceptable thing if you want it). The very title of this article though, is trying to pull one thing down to bring another up.

        I am in no way confusing my marriage and thus-far successful relationship with a major accomplishment comparable to educational or career achievements, but it is an accomplishment on a personal level to have cultivated something so good with someone else, and I just hate when people want to shit on that just because they think something else is more important. Well no duh, ya know? I’m not an idiot. So while I want to promote other celebrations, I don’t appreciate dogging on weddings or babies because those are still great things.

        For the record, I did have a high school graduation party that included showering me with useful gifts, plus almost every adult in my life gave me gifts related to living on my own or money to help with books. I didn’t have one for college graduation because I didn’t need help, and I didn’t want a normal party either.

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      • katie

        katie January 3, 2014, 3:18 pm

        To banana and you, it’s a catchy title. She might not have even picked it, like how Wendy makes up some of the things here, like titles and sign offs.

        No where in the article does she actually advocate for that stuff. She only talks about celebrating other accomplishments for women, and what impact that would have on the world, and then to be very thoughtful about the choices one makes in life. She says, “Celebrations are a huge, important part of life”.

        It’s so sad that you guys are discounting and disagreeing with this great piece just because of an intentionally attention grabbing title…. I’m so surprised to see this here. This article is much deeper then you all are saying, In my opinion. It’s sad that so many can’t see it.

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        Banana January 3, 2014, 3:24 pm

        …I’m really sad you’re not trying harder to see other people’s point of view on this, and instead dismissing all opposing opinions. You don’t have to agree with everyone who disliked the article. But you could probably learn a lot by trying to understand where they’re coming from instead of just writing them all off as folks who are defensive about marriage.

        I did think it was an interesting article, and it did raise many points I liked. I just thought the overall tone was self-defeating and that’s probably what turned a lot of people off. That sparked a whole other debate about attitudes against marriage and weddings in general that is actually pretty interesting and nuanced.

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      • katie

        katie January 3, 2014, 3:27 pm

        Honestly, people who disagree with the overall point of this piece are not people I want to agree with.

        If you don’t like the title, fine. I don’t care. But women are never going to become equal in our society if we aren’t willing to examine these things.

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        Banana January 3, 2014, 3:33 pm

        Okay, I’m starting to feel like you’re intentionally misreading my posts, so I’ll restate: I AGREED WITH MOST OF THE ARTICLE. What I, and many others, took issue with was the tone. Which is important too. I agree we need to “examine” these things in order to evolve as a society. But examination includes a close look from multiple angles. It includes critical thinking and the openness to see something from another person’s point of view. Close examination isn’t possible when we approach things as if they’re black and white — “I’m right, you’re evil.” So honestly, your attitude doesn’t really convince me you’re interested in examining anything at all — you’re interested in bludgeoning people with your opinion until they go away. Katie, I actually am on your side on most of these things — I want women to rise in the world. But I don’t think that’s going to be accomplished by vilifying anyone who doesn’t share my exact point of view — acting like the Thought Police. Anyway, I’m done arguing on the internet for today.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson January 3, 2014, 3:26 pm

        What Katie said. I love the idea of celebrating everything with the same gusto as weddings.

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      • theattack

        theattack January 3, 2014, 3:41 pm

        Yeah, me too.

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      • theattack

        theattack January 3, 2014, 3:29 pm

        No, I agree with the basic premise for sure. I’m all for celebrations of anything that makes you happy, and any achievement you reach at all. It’s culturally a problem that we do expect celebratins for weddings and babies but not college or jobs. And it is a problem that weddings are glamorized so much for sure. But there is such a backlash against weddings and showers, and against people who have those because they want to celebrate something they genuinely want for all the right reasons. I’m just tired of it. Can’t we just add more celebrations instead of complaining about others and making enormous assumptions about other people’s marriages?

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow January 3, 2014, 8:46 pm

        I think there is a difference between disagreeing with the concept of wedding showers as they exist today and vilifying those who choose to participate in them.

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      • katie

        katie January 3, 2014, 3:24 pm

        Also, ta, like I said, pulling UP other accomplishments is not the same thing as “shitting” on yours. But, that is always the response people will give when something like this is suggested. Like I said, it’s a pattern all over- racial issues, marriage equality issues, gender issues, ect…

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      • theattack

        theattack January 3, 2014, 3:33 pm

        Umm no. The author might not have written the title, you’re right. That’s a good point. But I’m not being defensive about my wedding being pushed down for no reason. This actually does suggest that. Please don’t group me in with bigots who oppose human rights because I’m just reading what’s right in front of me.

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      • avatar

        d2 January 4, 2014, 1:49 pm

        I find the idea of raising other accomplishments to the equivalence of marriage and babies to be positive and uplifting. And I believe that one can indeed promote celebrations of other accomplishments without denigrating weddings and showers. However, it seems to me that the author chose to use much of this article as a forum to reproach others.

        I agree that this is analogous to racial issues. I find some of the statements made by this author to be similar to the derisive racial comments espoused by some people, after which they claim not to be bigoted. While the author makes some good points with which I agree, I find that I cannot in good conscience defend this author’s “non” bigotry.

        I think we need a better voice than this.

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  • avatar

    Banana January 3, 2014, 2:33 pm

    Random: Does anyone else feel like it should be WAY later in the day already? How is it only 2:30? I’m still eating lunch but I feel like it should be 5pm and I don’t have dinner plans with Banano until 7pm and I’m a serial snacker and early eater so I’m going to have to plot carefully on how I’ll make it until then. Also, I miss Addie Pray. Addie, are you reading?

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    • muchachaenlaventana

      muchachaenlaventana January 3, 2014, 2:47 pm

      omg this. yes today is the LONGEST day of my life.

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  • theattack

    theattack January 3, 2014, 2:53 pm

    I just ate lunch alone at Olive Garden, and it was hilarious how uncomfortable the staff and the other customers were with it. The hostess clearly felt sorry for me. Such a fun thing to try. I’m wasting time in a small, boring city today while p is in a business meeting, and I’m already out of things to do unfortunately.

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      Banana January 3, 2014, 3:02 pm

      I love eating alone, but I’m always puzzled by the variety of responses I get. Sometimes pitying glances, sometimes mild scorn, but very rarely indifference. People’s eyes don’t seem to glaze over you the way they do when they enter a restaurant and view the other people eating in groups or couples. There’s this one sushi place between my therapist’s office and the Metro that I used to stop in every week. It almost felt like a continuation of the therapy — that quiet hour when I would eat alone in silence, watching the people around me or just letting my mind drift.

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    • avatar

      bethany January 3, 2014, 3:03 pm

      I love going to sit down restaurants alone. I’m oddly comfortable with it.

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    • katie

      katie January 3, 2014, 3:07 pm

      I eat alone kind of a lot when I’m traveling for work. I’ve never really gotten weird looks, or maybe I just don’t pick up on them….?

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      • theattack

        theattack January 3, 2014, 3:15 pm

        That’s pretty surprising. I’m going to assume you’re just not noticing them, because I think it really throws people off unless they’re used to it. Maybe you’re going to places around airports or something though? Those places are probably used to lone diners.

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      • Copa

        Copa January 3, 2014, 4:18 pm

        Yeah — I eat alone, and think nothing of it, and have never once noticed anyone giving me odd looks. Maybe I’m not paying attention?

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    • veritek33

      veritek33 January 3, 2014, 3:17 pm

      I like eating alone, but it does get weird when people get uncomfortable like that! Just bring me my meal and I’ll read my book or people-watch. I’ll be fine!

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    • avatar

      kerrycontrary January 3, 2014, 3:45 pm

      I eat alone! Kind of love it. I don’t really notice the looks. Maybe its cause you’re in the south.

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    • GatorGirl

      GatorGirl January 3, 2014, 3:48 pm

      Did you sit at the bar? I always sit at the bar when I go out alone (which I love doing).

      I do notice way more weird looks in the south then up north when I’m out alone.

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      • avatar

        ktfran January 3, 2014, 4:35 pm

        Yep. I like to sit at the bar too when dining alone too. I don’t usually get looks, but I do get a lot of old dudes hitting on me. I’m completely serious. It’s nuts.

        Heck, I prefer to sit at the bar when it’s just me and one other person. You never know who will strike up a conversation with you. Plus, bartenders (male and female) are usually pretty cool.

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    • Miss MJ

      Miss MJ January 3, 2014, 3:55 pm

      When the restaurant has a separate bar area, do you all sit at a table or at the bar when you eat alone? When there’s a bar, I’m always much more comfortable sitting there to eat alone, but when it’s a place where there isn’t one, I’ve never even thought about it being odd to be at a table alone.

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      • avatar

        bethany January 3, 2014, 4:02 pm

        I’ve done both. I like to sit at a table when I just want to eat in peace. If I’m open to making small talk I sit at the bar. A lot of times people chat me up if I’m at the bar, even if I’m reading a book or doing Sudoku or something.

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  • avatar

    Tax Geek January 3, 2014, 3:32 pm

    I eat alone plenty and I’ve never noticed others acting odd. Maybe because I’m a guy?

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark January 3, 2014, 3:54 pm

    NEWSFLASH! The sole existence and reason for Facebook IS narcissism. Honestly? That is the ONLY thing that makes it interesting…

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  • avatar

    SailBobo January 3, 2014, 4:55 pm

    It is sad that I’ve know people who get married, or have children, just because they feel they haven’t achieved anything else in their lives. At least this will give them the feeling that they have done something – that they are progressing. I think the authors point is, why should these things be thought of as, “accomplishments”? … “I’m a loser, but at least I can be a good mom.” It’s sad.

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  • JenjaRose

    JenjaRose January 5, 2014, 4:46 pm

    Okay, girls! Let’s compare! You know you want to:
    Before I met my “One” (been together seven years now), I’d kissed 4 people, been in one relationship over a year, and only ever had one other sex partner (the one-year relationship.) I’ve never had a “disaster” date, or a blind date, or an online date. Never cheated on anyone, never been cheated on, never had a long-distance relationship, never had a one-night stand, never lived with anyone but my fella now.
    Sounds like I saved myself a lot of heartache and online dating! 😛

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