Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Weekend Open Thread and Links

Happy Friday! On Wednesday this week, it was 90 degrees here in NYC and I told everyone in the family to wear their favorite summer outfits one last time since we wouldn’t see temps like that again for many months. By evening, the winds picked up and the temperature dropped thirty degrees. I threw open the windows and the kids and I yelled “Good-bye, Summer! We’ll miss you!” It was nice while it lasted and all, but come on: who wants 90 degrees in October? I’m excited for sweater weather and pumpkin shit. This fall we’re even taking the kids apple-picking which we’ve never done because we’re city slickers without a car who have denied our kids of wholesome fun for long enough.

Anyhoo, hope you all have a wonderful weekend – maybe even involving some aforementioned pumpkin shit. And here are a few things from around the web that may interest you:

What Does Having a Boyfriend Have to Do With Sleep?

What do you all think of this idea? Stay-at-Home Parents Work Hard. Should They Be Paid?

This show of forgiveness from the brother of Botham Jean who was shot and killed in his own apartment when an off-duty police officer mistook his home for her own is truly stunning.

The act of forgiveness was not without controversy though: Brandt Jean’s Act Of Grace Toward His Brother’s Killer Sparks A Debate Over Forgiving

Fun fact: Busy Phillips and I both had relationship advice columns for the same website once upon a time. In an interview in this month’s Harper’s Bazaar, she reveals her game-changing relationship advice that saved her marriage. I think many of you who are tired of carrying the majority of the emotional labor burden in a relationship will relate to her!

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 and, if it’s a fit, I’ll include it in Friday’s round-up. Thanks!
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38 comments… add one
  • ktfran October 4, 2019, 2:05 pm

    I read the stay-at-home parents piece yesterday. I have mixed feelings about it. Right now, as it’s proposed, I don’t like it. I think it mostly benefits middle to upper middle class people and doesn’t address the difficulties of low income families or single parents. I guess I’d like to see more help for families in general, specifically in regard to maternity and paternity leave (longer and full pay) and help at schools.

    I do like the SS aspect of the proposal though.

    And I don’t necessarily buy that it’s oppressive to women.

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  • TheLadyE October 4, 2019, 8:09 pm

    I watch ASMR videos almost every night to help me get to sleep, so I actually figured the first link was about ASMR before I even clicked it – but as a woman in her mid-30s, it would be weird AF for me to watch a 17 year old boy pretend to be my boyfriend. Ew.

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  • Bittergaymark October 5, 2019, 1:54 am

    Eh… the show of forgiveness is only compelling WITHOUT sound. With sound — the constant “give your life to Christ” nonsense is both creepy and disturbing. He comes across as desperate and delusional. But so do most “true believers.” Yikes.

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  • Kate October 5, 2019, 5:56 am

    Fuck Amber Guyger. She was sexting with her work partner, walked into the wrong apartment, shot a guy twice who was sitting on his couch watching TV and eating ice cream, is a racist according to her texts they presented at sentencing , didn’t give CPR to the guy she shot, apparently kept sexting… what?? Dumb ass racist bitch. She should have gotten life. Or the death penalty.

    An emotional Bakari Sellers on CNN explained that black people have to have this like superhuman amount of grace all the time and find a way to forgive white people, and they never get the same in return. If the victim’s brother here found peace in forgiving her, okay, but it’s a much bigger and uglier issue.

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    • Dear Wendy October 5, 2019, 7:37 am

      I agree, but I do think that forgiveness is for the forgiver and if the victim’s brother’s burden is lightened by extending it, then that’s all that matters. I don’t care about the Amber woman and I agree she should have gotten more time. I think the family was asking for 28 years – the age Botham was when she murdered him — and it’s appalling her sentence is so lenient.

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      • Kate October 5, 2019, 7:38 am

        Yeah she could get out in 5.

      • Bittergaymark October 5, 2019, 10:23 am

        As somebody who has routinely worked hundreds of 14 hours days — 16 if you count the hours driving to and from set — I fail how this gives one an out after stumbling into the wrong apartment and blowing an innocent somebody away.

        Amanda either did this deliberately.

        Or was drunk and high as fuck.

        Hopefully, she gets what is coming to her in prison. She is a liar. And the brother was a desperate fool to fall for her fucking bullshit.

        Burn in hell, bitch.

      • Kate October 5, 2019, 11:52 am

        Yeah I feel like that too. Stupid murdering cow.

        A guy wandered into my parents apartment one Sunday morning. I think he was staying with someone in the building and got confused. Definitely on drugs. Sorry, but you don’t fuck up like that sober.

        The judge hugging her and giving her a bible was disgraceful.

  • ron October 5, 2019, 11:52 am

    This is related to sexism and paternalism. A lot of people seem to have great difficulty believing a woman is capable of things they have zero problem assuming a man would do deliberately and not feel bad about afterward.

    I think if she were high or drunk, this would have been determined. If this was a huge cover-up she wouldn’t have been prosecuted. Her story is decidedly fishy. The prosecutor said she was distracted by hot texting with her lover/partner. She didn’t notice anything amiss — his apartment is unlikely to have been arranged and furnished like hers; she said he came at her and she was frightened, but the angle of her bullets say otherwise. She was quick to shoot, rather than leave and call 911. The apartment was unlikely to have been dark. Who sits in the dark eating ice cream? She got a clear look at him, should have recognized he wasn’t an immediate threat — at the very least. Probably should have recognized him as a neighbor.

    Fights over noise between above-below apartment tenants are common. Did the police just not look hard enough for a dispute between killer and her victim?

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    • Kate October 5, 2019, 11:54 am

      It does not add up.

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      • Bittergaymark October 5, 2019, 12:45 pm

        The police DID try to sweep this whole mess under the rug. But failed due to public outcry. They easily could fake negative drug and alcohol tests. And do as much all the time, I suspect.

    • anonymousse October 5, 2019, 6:40 pm

      I believe I read that the president of the police union asked the cops to turn off their dash cam before he spoke to Guyger when he arrived on scene.

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  • anonymousse October 5, 2019, 6:36 pm

    I like the idea of universal basic income, stay at home parent pay, etc. I mean, right now we’re paying up to $775 a day per person to keep children and families in cages.

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    • ktfran October 5, 2019, 7:41 pm

      It’s a band aid to gain votes. It doesn’t address childcare issues with low income or single parents.

      I know I’m childless by choice and I don’t know the true burden of a stay at home parents, but I I truly believe this proposal doesn’t help who needs it most.

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      • ktfran October 5, 2019, 7:44 pm

        And any charity work I do is for low income families and for women, so I’m not totally speaking from my ass.

      • anonymousse October 5, 2019, 7:49 pm

        I didn’t really mean my comment as a reply to yours. I agree the current proposal is a band aid and it doesn’t help the people that need it at all. There was an interesting piece on middle income families in the NYtimes this week and it had some good graphics showing how stagnant wages have been for lower income families. I wish there were comprehensive solutions on the table to address the wealth gap but there definitely are not.

        My comment was more like, what the hell-let’s give literally anybody $300+ a month instead of the private prison system.

  • ktfran October 5, 2019, 8:04 pm

    I hear you. I didn’t think you were addressing me specifically. I’d just really like to see some proposed legislation that really helped those that need help. And I’m all for helping families despite not having children myself. Not this way though.

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  • Kate October 6, 2019, 2:54 pm

    WHAT THE FUCK?!?!? Someone shot (in the back) and killed the guy who lived across the hall from Botham Jean, who gave key testimony that put Amber Guyger away. 2 days after her sentencing he was shot.

    This is horrifying.

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    • Kate October 6, 2019, 2:58 pm

      See, white people don’t give grace to black people. Fuck us.

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    • anonymousse October 7, 2019, 8:32 am

      I could not believe it when I saw the news yesterday. This is not a coincidence. It’s fucked up. So fucked up.

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      • Kate October 7, 2019, 8:43 am

        I am pretty convinced it was the police who did it.

      • anonymousse October 7, 2019, 8:46 am


      • Bittergaymark October 7, 2019, 9:36 am

        Yeah, it’s SO fucking suspect. It is an awfully big coincidence… LOVE to know where her partner / lover was…

  • Ange October 6, 2019, 4:21 pm

    I’m not really into paying stay at home parents. Essentially you’re being paid for providing a service to yourself and parenthood is a gig with no real measurable performance indicators except for the really bad stuff. Junior ends up running the streets and vandalising cars at 3am? Oh well take your paycheck. I’d much rather universal basic income or stronger wages or better leave (although it’s pretty good in Australia).

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    • Dear Wendy October 7, 2019, 6:18 am

      I’m not arguing that stay-at-home parents should be paid, but your argument that as a SAH parent you’re just “providing a service to yourself” is a crock of shit. Good and strong parenting is the foundation of every functional and successful society. Without parents do the incredibly hard work – physically and emotionally — as well as making the large investment of time and money to raise good, kind, empathetic citizens of the world whose skills have been fostered and who understand the importance of using those skills to contribute to society, we as a civilization would have been fucked a long, long time ago. Parents get so little respect — in America, anyway, and I’ll admit I don’t know what it’s like I Australia — and it’s this kind of language – that we’re just providing a service for ourselves as quality parents – that contributes to that. Being a parent is one of the hardest jobs in the world – if you’re doing it well — with literally the lowest pay and near the lowest regard and respect.

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      • Ange October 7, 2019, 2:31 pm

        Right and are parents doing it solely for that reason? I’d highly doubt it. Parenthood is great but choosing to have and raise a child is a choice an individual makes for themselves first and foremost. And if they’re crap at it where is the quality control? Nothing really until the kid either ends up in social services or prison. I’m not devaluing what parents do but I’m also not for paying them chunks of cash willy nilly. Better social support 100% but not unaccounted for cash.

      • Dear Wendy October 7, 2019, 3:16 pm

        As I said, I’m not arguing for “unaccounted for cash” for stat-at-home parents. I don’t necessarily think that’s appropriate. But a little more respect for the work parents do – less “you made a choice for yourself and this is all about you and the work you do is only of value to you” would be nice. As you alluded to, when parents are crap, society suffers. And when parenting is done well, one hopes that society benefits. So, it would make sense that if parents were better supported — hell, I’d even just take a little less hate and bitterness and hostility, tbh — their work as parents benefits society in the long run.

        And, yeah, no shit parents aren’t having kids solely to contribute to society. People don’t become doctors solely to contribute to society either. It’s a career that benefits them in multiple ways, but that doesn’t make the work they do less valuable and needed.

    • Ange October 7, 2019, 5:12 pm

      Hate, bitterness and hostility? Not from me mate. I will always be happy to pay for kids in quantifiable ways that provide tangible benefit to society as a whole, education and medical for example. We’re essentially arguing for the same thing but I mean, I’m not throwing the amount of shade you seem to think I am. I just don’t agree with paying yourself for a job that nobody can measure you on.

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      • Dear Wendy October 7, 2019, 6:18 pm

        No, not you, specifically, and I think some of my point may be getting lost in cultural differences. America *really* does not support parents. Like, we don’t even have legally-mandated paid maternity leave. None, zip, zero, nothing. So many public bathrooms don’t have changing tables for babies let alone a space for a woman to nurse. I could go on and on and on but I have to help my kid with homework now. My argument wasn’t directed to you specifically and it’s not about getting paid to stay home and be a parent; it’s about improving some of the ways parents/ families can be supported (as opposed to the downright hostility that is often shown, in the US, at least).

    • Ange October 7, 2019, 6:38 pm

      Oh yeah on that I agree 100%

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      • Dear Wendy October 7, 2019, 6:53 pm

        Yeah, like for me I hear about the proposal to pay stay-at-home parents and I’m
        Just grateful to hear a conversation about supporting parents at all. Maybe here in the US, instead of going so far in that direction we could start with the bare fucking minimum of paying parents employed outside the home to stay home and feed their babies until theyre are a few weeks old. We don’t have *that,* and that’s a reflection of a cultural disregard – and even hostility – for the needs of parents and families in general.

  • Bittergaymark October 7, 2019, 9:41 am

    Eh… NEWSFLASH: Parents already get enough fucking free shit. Tax breaks. Schools, etc. Sorry, but somehow I fail to see how overpopulating the fucking planet had done much of a service to society. It certainly hasn’t done the rest of the planet any favors either.

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    • Vathena October 7, 2019, 10:43 am

      I can’t entirely disagree about the sentiment of overpopulation – it’s part of why we only had one kid, and sometimes I think we did so only to doom her to a future of drought, famine, and extinction. But I am laughing out loud at the idea of “parents getting free shit”. The tax deductions for dependents are laughably small and don’t come within spitting distance of making up for the astronomical cost of child care. Between birth and kindergarten, childcare for our daughter cost us over $94k, and that’s standard in our metro area.

      “Free” public education comes with plenty of extra costs in terms of school supplies/books/etc. Lots of schools can only pay for things like library computers, copy paper, and maintenance through the largesse of the school’s parents/PTA funds. Our school does fine because the parents are mostly wealthy, whereas kids attending schools in less well-off places are SOL. Education funding isn’t as high a priority as we’d like to hope. Also, public education is a public good. What is the alternative – if most kids can’t go to school, they instead do…what? Start selling drugs at age 7? Stealing cars at 9? I’m pretty sure we don’t need any more illiterate dumbasses in the US.

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      • Dear Wendy October 7, 2019, 12:07 pm

        Yeah, I’m laughing at “all the free shit parents get” too! Yeah, right. BGM, remember when you were saying just the other day how cheap it is to fly these days? Not when you have kids and when you have to pay EXTRA for kids. I don’t even mean paying extra bc you’re buying multiple tickets; I mean you have to pay extra for each ticket because it costs more now to pick out your own seats and when you have young kids whom you have to sit next to you have to be able to pick out your own seat and you have no choice but to pay the extra charge for that special privilege. That’s just one small example the “parent tax” we pay; there are so many examples of small and big ways we are taxed for having kids, so give me a fucking break with the laughably small tax breaks we get from the IRS; they do’t even begin to make a dent in all the ways society taxes us for raising children.

      • Bittergaymark October 7, 2019, 12:55 pm

        Kids ARE expensive. No doubt. But that is the cost that comes with the benefits of having them. This isn’t exactly a new thing.

        There is a strange entitlement that comes from many who have kids.

        Now this bizarre idea that society (including the many single and childfree) should fork over more and more coin so parents can blissfully stay home living the good life all day with their kids 24/7 is fucking looney tunes.

        The parent tax is a hilarious concept by the way. It’d rather be like me traveling the world constantly and buying far too many trinkets and then claiming my soaring self storage fees were the Collector Tax.

        No, that wouldn’t be a tax. That would be a consequence of a decision I willingly made.

      • Vathena October 7, 2019, 1:23 pm

        “blissfully stay home living the good life all day with their kids 24/7” Well, now I’m really laughing – hanging out with a toddler or preschooler all day isn’t most folks’ idea of bliss. Sometimes I’d walk out of daycare after a Monday morning drop-off and head to work feeling so FREE! Lol. Thanks for the chuckle, Mark. 😉

      • Bittergaymark October 7, 2019, 1:35 pm

        Again. Nobody MADE you have kids. That was your decision. So yeah, you pay for it. 😉

  • Anonymous October 7, 2019, 9:43 am

    PS – I bet that maybe — what? 25% of parents even do a vaguely competent job. When was the last time we got a letter that even mentioned great parents?

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