Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Friday Links

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

“Class Discussion: An occasionally uncomfortable, undoubtably polarizing, but ultimately satisfying talk about what it’s like to grow up rich, poor, or in between.” [via Rookie]

“For Shit’s Sake: If You Don’t Want to be a Bridesmaid, Just Say No” [via Jezebel]

“Why I Considered Getting a Divorce Halfway Through My Pregnancy” [via Yahoo Shine]

“Five things every woman needs to know about men: Find out what’s going on in his head” [via Daily Mail]

The reader who sent this one in said this about it: This is different from most Friday links, but it contains so many situations that come up in letters to you that I think your readers will be interested. Short version: single mom meets drug addict who “gives it up for her”, they move in together too quickly, they stop having sex, he starts doing drugs again… and then one or both of them start lighting fires. “Love and Fire” [via Washington Post]

“Honey, I Want to Move to Mars” [via Texas Monthly]

Jackson has an incredible memory — like he remembers stuff from a year ago like it happened last week — and Drew and I were just talking about how amazed we are that he doesn’t forget things within a few weeks or months. Aren’t kids supposed to forget what happened to them when they were babies? Well, yes. But, according to this article, they don’t develop “childhood amnesia” until much later than you would think. “The Forgotten Childhood: Why Early Memories Fade” [via NPR]

“I Wasn’t a Fan of Sheryl Sandberg’s—Until I Couldn’t Find a Job” [via The Atlantic]

“Could work emails be banned after 6pm?” [via BBC]

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 wendy@dearwendy.com and if it’s a fit, I’ll include it in Friday’s round-up. Thanks!

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75 comments… add one
  • lemongrass

    lemongrass April 11, 2014, 1:26 pm

    The childhood amnesia article is fascinating. It’s crazy to me how kids are just blank slates and what that means to me as a parent. I think about how E as an adult will have memories that are in a huge way formed by my choices. His Christmas memories, Easter baskets, how he got ready for school, what his childhood is like. Those are all, to a degree, up to me how they play out. And that is so cool!

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest April 11, 2014, 1:28 pm

      That’s an interesting way to look at it!
      Like Wendy, I am continually amazed at the things Lil remembers.

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    • othy

      othy April 11, 2014, 3:43 pm

      I’ve always had a crazy good memory. Like, I can describe my New Jersey home that we moved out of when I was 18 months old. At this point, I think a lot of my young memories are more memories of memories, but it still amazes me what I can remember.

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    • avatar

      d2 April 12, 2014, 10:11 am

      I have memories from early age, some going back to when I was 10 or 12 weeks old. My sister, on the other hand, remembers little from before the age of 8.
      .
      My sister had severe medical vision problems up until 5 or 6 years of age, so that would explain her memory. The only explanation I can come up with for my early memory is that I am exceptionally weird.

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  • avatar

    lets_be_honest April 11, 2014, 1:28 pm

    That fire/love story one was crazy!

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    • LlamaPajamas

      LlamaPajamas April 11, 2014, 2:04 pm

      I want to reread it a few times – it’s so well done and the story is kind of heart breaking. It makes me grateful to be in a loving, supportive, totally normal relationship.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest April 11, 2014, 2:15 pm

        Not me! I wish my boyfriend loved me so much he’d set a town on fire for me.

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      • LlamaPajamas

        LlamaPajamas April 11, 2014, 2:19 pm

        Dear Wendy, my boyfriend is perfect but sometimes he balks at setting fires to prove his love for me. I also think he might have starting abusing drugs again and I’m having a hard time coping with being a single mom of a child with special needs. Do you think I should forgive him for not wanting to set my ex-boyfriend’s house on fire on Valentine’s Day?

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      Ella_ April 11, 2014, 2:50 pm

      Yeah I read that yesterday and really liked it. Talk about codependent!

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    • avatar

      d2 April 12, 2014, 12:20 pm

      The fire/love story was sad. It reminded me to remember to be grateful for what I have in life. And to remember to be self aware to take care of my emotional/mental self.

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  • avatar

    Sara April 11, 2014, 1:34 pm

    Still wrapping my head around the Mars article. I don’t think I’d stay married to a partner that I’d never see again. Support him? Probably. Be in the most long-distance marriage ever for the rest of one of our lives? No.

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      lets_be_honest April 11, 2014, 1:42 pm

      I don’t get the constant comparisons to astronauts, who actually come home. I also think the idea of gender stereotypes being the reason people think this is bizarre is dumb too. Pretty sure if any man or any woman announced they were leaving their family forever to live on Mars people’s reactions would be the same. People don’t think its crazy simply because she’s female. People think its crazy because it is! This guy’s a moron if you ask me. Her too frankly. Enjoy Mars.
      This has to be the most bizarre thing I’ve read in a while.

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      • Amanda

        Amanda April 11, 2014, 1:58 pm

        There was a story I read where a dad is planning to go to Mars. The reaction was the same. Hell, *my* reaction was the same to both. Probably a little stronger about the guy with a wife and kids because he has kids. I just don’t get it.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest April 11, 2014, 2:00 pm

        I just don’t get how people can still think its a marriage when…YOUR SPOUSE LIVES ON ANOTHER PLANET FOREVER AND YOU WILL NEVER SEE OR SPEAK TO THEM AGAIN. Good point – at least they don’t have kids.

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      • Amanda

        Amanda April 11, 2014, 2:02 pm

        Exactly! It’s, for all practical purposes, the same as them being dead.

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      • avatar

        Sara April 11, 2014, 2:43 pm

        But they can video chat with a 7 minute delay on each end. Isn’t that enough to maintain a marriage or be an effective parent? (j/k)

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      • LlamaPajamas

        LlamaPajamas April 11, 2014, 2:02 pm

        Now I want to read about these people who might be going to Mars indefinitely. This is fascinating. Why would you want to do that if you’re married and/or have kids? I can’t imagine leaving Llama Guy and my parents and sister forever.

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      • Amanda

        Amanda April 11, 2014, 2:12 pm

        If you google “father going to mars” a lot of articles pop up.

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      • LlamaPajamas

        LlamaPajamas April 11, 2014, 2:26 pm

        He has 4 kids? OH HELL NO.

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      • Amanda

        Amanda April 11, 2014, 2:32 pm

        I especially liked the part where we applied without telling his wife about it.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest April 11, 2014, 2:33 pm

        He couldn’t just run off with the secretary like normal men with 4 kids do. He just HAD to be special. (im kidding!)

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      • LlamaPajamas

        LlamaPajamas April 11, 2014, 2:34 pm

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        Sara April 11, 2014, 2:32 pm

        Just read one of these. I can’t imagine a parent telling me that they want to leave me and by family for forever. At least this guys wife isn’t planning to stay married to him if he goes. Also, what good is it to wait until the youngest is 18? You’re still going to miss a ton of her life events.

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle April 11, 2014, 3:42 pm

        For some reason I heard about this program way back when they were asking for volunteers (or whatever you call them) & Fabello and I are both so crazy that we were like YOU WOULDN’T DO THIS WOULD YOU. So, covered all my bases there?? haha (But seriously, I wouldn’t do this even if I had no S/O, friends, or family. Just, fuck no. Staying on Earth, thanks)

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      • avatar

        Sara April 11, 2014, 4:29 pm

        I love that you both discussed this! This topic should be on Wendy’s list of questions to ask before you get married: “Will we stay married when one of us moves permanently to Mars?” “How will we raise children while in an interplanetary relationship?”

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      • Miel

        Miel April 11, 2014, 5:26 pm

        The Mars One mission makes me so angry. First because it’s a suicide mission. There’s a million ways for them to die on the way there, there’s a million ways for them to miss Mars, or to crash into it, and even if they make it there, they will not establish a colony and they will never populate the planet. They will just die. It’s suicide, either immediate, or delayed on a few years.
        .
        Second, since when do you send randos to space? Real astronauts are the most intelligent, capable and knowledgeable humans on this planet. And the reason they are selected for those qualities is so they make the most out of their time in space. You need people that will execute protocols without any mistake on the first try. You need people that can solve a life or death crisis without losing their calm and while staying professional. I mean, just a few months ago, an astronaut got a water leak in his helmet while on a space walk. He had to very carefully go back to the space station, enter it, and take off his suit. By the time he reached that point, his helmet was so flooded he didn’t have air anymore. Did he panic ? No, he kept his calm, followed protocol and that’s why he’s still alive.
        .
        I mean, sure, select random people that want to go on mars because they are geeks/like the cosmos/hate planet Earth. Those people don’t have the skills to go through a successful mission. It’s as simple as that.
        .
        Don’t even start me on the topic of those “marstronauts” who are leaving spouse and kids behind. This dad who is leaving? OMG. I remember seeing an interview where he was saying “yeah, I suppose if my son was asking me to stay, I might consider it”. Dude, why would you kid want you to leave ? Of course he wants you to stay!
        .
        It’s like a wife that would come up and say to her husband “well, in 2022 I might hang myself in our bedroom. Will you support me in that? You don’t think I’m a bad wife? You just need to understand, I’ve always dreamed of hanging myself, and you always told me I should pursue my dreams”. Come on.

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      • Cassie

        Cassie April 12, 2014, 7:37 pm

        Actually, that sending rando’s into space point you made there… it’s starting to sound like a good idea. We should send more people to Mars. Mars can be the new Australia.

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      • Miel

        Miel April 13, 2014, 9:56 am

        Sending prisoners to Australia like they did was inhumane. A lot died on the way there, then most died when they arrived. They had no food and nobody had any idea on how to survive. They had promised more boats coming with more food, but the boats never made it. A colony was established permanently because the 5% who survived the first four years.
        .
        Why would we repeat history?

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    • Kate B.

      Kate B. April 11, 2014, 3:53 pm

      I would love to go to Mars, actually. But I don’t have a husband or kids. I’m waiting for them to work the bugs out of the “living on a planet that isn’t Earth” thing first. They do that, sign me up!

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    • avatar

      d2 April 12, 2014, 10:40 am

      Hmm, I have one particular ex I wouldn’t mind sending to Mars…

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  • GatorGirl

    GatorGirl April 11, 2014, 1:47 pm

    I think it’s crazy (in a good way) that France did the laws about e-mails outside of the work day. Work is so all consuming for so many (myself included!) and honestly there aren’t many jobs that I think really should be all consuming.

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  • cmary

    cmary April 11, 2014, 2:06 pm

    In the pregnant and divorcing article, I didn’t make it past “push gift.” Is that really a thing?

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    • GatorGirl

      GatorGirl April 11, 2014, 2:07 pm

      Yup. Push presents are a thing. I always thought the kid was the present but what do I know.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest April 11, 2014, 2:11 pm

        Oh, you know what? What the fuck ever. If you want to give me a present for pushing your 9 pound baby with a head the size of a cantaloupe out my hooha, go right ahead and give me a present for that.

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      • honeybeenicki

        honeybeenicki April 11, 2014, 2:22 pm

        Haha that’s pretty much what I told my husband when I first learned about push presents. I didn’t know it was a thing until I read an article probably a year ago and informed him that I’m totally getting a push present for shoving our kid out my hooha (funny you use that word here, because it’s one of my favorite words). And I’m pretty sure he agreed.

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      • lemongrass

        lemongrass April 11, 2014, 3:26 pm

        My husband made me a ring (yes, he made it!) as a push present. Personally I hate that name but he did it to show his love and appreciation for all the hard work I did and also to mark the occasion. I look at my ring and I think of my son and my family and it gives me good feelings. What I think is sad is people turning a loving, intimate thing into some ugly-judgy negative thing.

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        No Pants April 11, 2014, 3:39 pm

        I don’t even know you and I really like your little family. That ring sounds so special (combined with sushi, too) and gives me all the feelings.

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      • lemongrass

        lemongrass April 11, 2014, 3:55 pm

        Aww thanks! I like my family too 🙂

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      • LlamaPajamas

        LlamaPajamas April 11, 2014, 4:02 pm

        That’s so sweet! I don’t have a problem with partners giving each other thoughtful gifts during childbirth (or at any other time), I just find the Push Present Phenomenon indicative of an increasingly materialistic society. My issue is more with jewelry companies and other businesses marketing and pushing (pun intended) these gifts and any woman who thinks her partner *has* to get her a push gift. I have the same issue with the diamond industry forcing the idea that men have to buy outrageously expensive diamond rings to profess their love, but I don’t have a problem with people actually buying their partners expensive jewelry because they want to spend the rest of their lives together (my engagement ring is actually a rather large aquamarine so I’m totally not judging).

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        lets_be_honest April 11, 2014, 2:12 pm

        And frankly, the same can be said for engagement rings. I thought the marriage was the present? You know? I think people are just jealous of other’s presents and can eat it.

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      • GatorGirl

        GatorGirl April 11, 2014, 2:21 pm

        woahhhhh. Chill out. I don’t really care what other people do, if you want to give some one a present by all means do. My…concern? dislike? I’m not sure what the word is, is that having a baby is becoming as materialized as weddings are. But like I said, what ever floats your boat is great. It’s just not for me.

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        lets_be_honest April 11, 2014, 2:29 pm

        You know what always gets me to chill out…someone telling me to chill out. Not.
        .
        Its just commentary on the topic, not attacking your thoughts.

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      • GatorGirl

        GatorGirl April 11, 2014, 2:32 pm

        Well, it seemed pretty attack-mode, and that you where insinuating that I was jealous. So, misinterpretation I guess.

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        lets_be_honest April 11, 2014, 2:52 pm

        How could you be jealous of someone’s push present when you haven’t had a chance to get a push present yet? I honestly just don’t get why I hear that stuff about push presents. Who gives a crap? Like, just be happy their partner appreciates their hard work and wanted to reward them with a little token of thanks. Right?

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      • GatorGirl

        GatorGirl April 11, 2014, 3:05 pm

        Part of my distaste towards the whole subject is because I have some family members who are very…forceful? in their expectations of gifts from their spouse. Like telling the spouse in front of the whole family that they have to give them XYZ for their first anniversary/promotion/graduation etc. And it just really sucks the joy out of gift giving, IMO. It’s not really a gift to me if it’s required. But, then again, what ever works in your (general) relationship.

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        lets_be_honest April 11, 2014, 3:16 pm

        Well, yea, that does take the joy out of it, for them, but obviously they don’t care. They just want a present. If their spouse doesn’t like that, that’s their problem.
        I guess I didn’t realize the only time push presents happens, its because its forced or required.

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        lets_be_honest April 11, 2014, 2:31 pm

        I just don’t see giving a present to your loved one for a special occasion is bad, ever. So new dad wants to buy new mom a gift? What’s wrong with that? Its just a nice thought. I send flowers sometimes. Am I materialized the entire baby industry. Of course not. I’m trying to put a smile on someone’s face. That’s all.

        ps I know you say you didnt want a ring. I wasn’t directing my feelings at your’s, just discussing the topic.

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      • GatorGirl

        GatorGirl April 11, 2014, 2:38 pm

        I think my dislike with it is that rather than the gift being given as a nice thing, it’s becoming expected. IDK, I’m having a hard time articulating my thoughts. It reminds me of when I was sitting with this group of women all comparing their engagement ring sizes, as though it was some measurement of their partners love. I can just see a bunch of mom’s sitting around comparing their push presents, as though it was a sign of their husbands dedication to the kid or something crazy. And people looking down on someone who’s husband didn’t give them one. So yeah, it’s just not for me.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson April 11, 2014, 2:53 pm

        Haha you might really dislike the fact that I think push presents (although that name sucks ass, call them babymama presents at least) should actually be more accepted than engagement rings. I mean when you give birth it means you created and built a human life with your body. With engagements, eh you made a promise that you may or may not keep.

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      • GatorGirl

        GatorGirl April 11, 2014, 3:00 pm

        Nah, I think that rational makes more sense. But, on the flip side, just because you created a human life, doesn’t mean you’ll be a good parent etc.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson April 11, 2014, 3:03 pm

        Well then in that case push present is a good word. You created the life, and that can’t be changed. Maybe they can come up with a new thing where parents get each other gifts every year on their kids birthday for parenting him well for another year.

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        muse April 11, 2014, 3:05 pm

        I think thats after (kids birthday) party drinks. Put the kiddo to bed with grandma and go get wasted. Plus, leftover cake to come home and drunk eat.

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      • GatorGirl

        GatorGirl April 11, 2014, 3:06 pm

        Maybe the kid should give the gift. Like, “thanks for keeping me alive/not being a dick/paying for everything” for another gift.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson April 11, 2014, 3:09 pm

        It’s settled. This is happening my life. Present for kid present for my vagina. Every year.

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      • lemongrass

        lemongrass April 11, 2014, 3:26 pm

        My FIL sent his mother flowers every year on his birthday as a thank you!

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        lets_be_honest April 11, 2014, 2:53 pm

        Well yea, if women are just sitting around saying my push present was a ferrari and your’s was just a little necklace, then they suck. haha. Same for people who compare or talk about the size or cost of their engagement rings. Those people stink. But everyone else who is normal about it? Great! You got a thoughtful gift.

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      • avatar

        LT April 11, 2014, 6:55 pm

        For me, it’s a several-pronged problem
        1- The awful name- just the images it conjures are gross (and I looove all the “baby story” type shows/films/books)
        2- The fact that, as you said, in some circles it is expected, and it makes it seem like the husband has to prove his love through money, which seems gross.
        3- The implication that the “push present” is a gift in “return” for a baby. Um, the baby isn’t a gift from the mom to the husband. The pushing is a gift to the baby. In theory, the baby itself would be a gift for *both* parents, no?
        4- On the financial note, I’m happy there are people that don’t have to intricately plan out their finances before getting pregnant, but my husband and I are going to be on a discretionary spending lockdown for months before the baby is born so I can stay home for more than 6 weeks. That is sort of like a huge, awesome present in itself, but I’d be *pissed* if he blew money on jewelry around that time.
        5- The idea that the husband is totally uninvolved, except as a financial provider. I totally get that of course he can’t carry/have the baby, but I’m expecting my husband to be super caring for nine months as he picks up all of my slack, particularly in the housework/chore, as well as regular massages and whatnot. Like, I expect varying degrees of pampering as necessary for nine frickin months (and, really, the three after that, so really,a year). THAT will be how he would be involved and show his affection.

        If other people have different “love languages” or whatever, and they want a bracelet at the end but have less long-term (do I dare call myself high maintenance?) expectations, great! More power to them.

        But Seriously, stop calling it a “push present,” people who get gifts near birth.

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      • GatorGirl

        GatorGirl April 11, 2014, 2:23 pm

        And, I agree and have said many times that I personally am not a big fan of engagement rings and didn’t personally want one.

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      • Kate B.

        Kate B. April 11, 2014, 3:56 pm

        I guess I am a dying breed. I like the idea of engagement rings and I would want one.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson April 11, 2014, 2:15 pm

        I think push presents are fucking great. I mean you both get a kid but only I have to be pregnant? You can compensate for that by buying me stuff.

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        No Pants April 11, 2014, 2:38 pm

        I totally agree. I was practically sawed in half a billion times by the time I was 13 and my parents and grandparents gave me little presents as a “You got through that, Trooper!!” gesture and it was lovely.

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        Ella_ April 11, 2014, 2:52 pm

        Seriously. The more details I know about childbirth and its aftermath, the more I want to be rewarded for doing it! Partially kidding, but kinda not.

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        muse April 11, 2014, 3:01 pm

        And I had to give up drinking for at the minimum 9 months. THAT deserves a separate gift of its own.

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    • LlamaPajamas

      LlamaPajamas April 11, 2014, 2:12 pm

      I read the whole article and would absolutely not be friends with the author. But yeah, I’ve heard of “push gifts” before because I read a lot of “In Touch” magazine.

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        No Pants April 11, 2014, 2:55 pm

        I totally wrote my reply to IWTTS above without reading the article. Ha – to clarify, I don’t equate being spoiled rotten with “things” with love. This woman is nuts.

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        lets_be_honest April 11, 2014, 3:18 pm

        Haha, I haven’t read it either. Just commenting on those gifts generally.

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      • avatar

        No Pants April 11, 2014, 3:22 pm

        Me too. Maybe it will finally be my chance to get that mini pony I keep asking for.

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  • rosie posie

    rosie posie April 11, 2014, 2:40 pm

    I’m sad there isn’t a “Drinking with Dear Wendy” post today. Those should be a new Friday tradition!

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  • avatar

    No Pants April 11, 2014, 3:08 pm

    I just told He Pants that I want a giant chocolate lava cake presented to me after I pop out our future kid.

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    • LlamaPajamas

      LlamaPajamas April 11, 2014, 3:15 pm

      If women start getting cakes after they give birth I’m going to start showing up at the hospital when any of my friends are in labor. I’ll be all, “Oh hi there, don’t mind me – keep pushing, I’m just here for the cake”.

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      • avatar

        No Pants April 11, 2014, 3:20 pm

        Oh, don’t you worry, LP – I know you and I share a mutual love of cupcakes. I’ll be sure to save you one when/if No Pants, Jr. or He Pants, Jr. arrives.

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    • lemongrass

      lemongrass April 11, 2014, 3:28 pm

      I requested sushi from my favourite restaurant and I got it!

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      • avatar

        No Pants April 11, 2014, 3:34 pm

        I love it!!! You must’ve torn in to that sushi. Nine months without it is a long time!

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      • avatar

        Eljay April 11, 2014, 4:42 pm

        Fountain soda! My doctor wouldn’t let me have fountain drinks (bottles/cans were ok tho), so I had someone just in my vision holding a fountain diet pepsi and instead of looking at my husband or the doctor while pushing, I focused on that lil styrofoam cup!

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      bethany April 14, 2014, 10:12 am

      Late to the conversation, but I want a huge fucking martini after I push out a kid.

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