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Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Weekend Open Thread and Links

Last night I was giving Joanie a bath when she said she had made another friend at school that day. “How did it happen?” I asked, and she gave the same answer she’s been giving to this question for the past few weeks: “We were standing next to each other in movement class and I said, ‘Do you want to be friends?’ and she said ‘Yeah!’ and so now we’re friends.’” After that, she told me that she got “nine shout-outs in morning meeting.” I asked what that meant, and she said that every morning the class stands in a circle and everyone takes a turn saying one positive thing about one other person in class. I asked what kinds of positive things her classmates – nine of them yesterday – say about her, and she said they all say the same thing – “that they like to play with me.” And so, friends, today I wish you the energy and excitement of a social butterfly in first grade who has the opportunity for the first time in a year and a half to make a new friend every day and a recess period in which to play with them. And if that fails, I wish for you at least one thing today that gives you reason to feel optimistic when so much in the world right now gives reason to feel otherwise.

Have a great weekend, and here are a few links you might enjoy:

Here Are Some Good Reasons To Divorce Your Husband This Fall

Related: Adele Got Brutally Honest About Her Divorce In New Song “Easy On Me” After Revealing Why She “Voluntarily Chose To Dismantle” Her Son’s Life (Have you heard the single yet? Adele released it last night and it’s gorgeous, of course).

Also related: “I Cant Wait to Get Divorced Now: Adele Fans Reconsider Their Relationships After Listening to ‘Easy on Me.'” (For the record, I like the song, but I’m happily married and planning to stay that way!)

Did the Pandemic Kill the Big Wedding?

Dating Apps Were ‘Getting Old.’ Why Not Try Something Older?

This HONY story made me – and tens of thousands of others – cry. G and Ant for ever!

24 comments… add one
  • Miel October 15, 2021, 11:46 am

    Gosh the HONY story yesterday… I couldn’t hold back tears at the end

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  • TheLadyE October 15, 2021, 3:08 pm

    From the comments in the first article:

    “For myself, my partner and I share most values. It’s just that he’s happy to let me do all the drudge work. I stay because of my kids, while also planning for a hopefully-amicable living apart after the kids are through school.

    In my case shared values are not a problem. It’s dumb day-to-day stuff that has completely derailed my life. So I would only say that both things are serious considerations.

    In all honesty though, knowing what I know now (my own marriage and those of my friends), if I had to do it over, I would never have gotten married.”

    …damn.

    After my most recent breakup (at 38, after 20 years of dating) I straight up asked my mom if marriage was worth it/if I should keep putting this much work into finding a life partner. Keep in mind she’s been married to my dad for more than 45 years and had two children, has a very stable, happy life where she had a career, a good family, got to pursue her hobbies and retired at 58 and can now do whatever she darn well pleases.

    She said it wasn’t worth it.

    …damn.

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    • Kate October 15, 2021, 3:43 pm

      Really? Did you ask her to say more about why she feels it isn’t? My parents just had their 50th, and I know they had rough times early on, but I can’t imagine my mom saying marriage isn’t worth it. That said, my dad always did at least half of all the drudge work. My husband does too, definitely more than his fair share.

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      • Kate October 15, 2021, 3:47 pm

        But definitely not common in my parents’ generation, because everyone says about my dad, “Bill is a saint.” He legit is.

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      • TheLadyE October 15, 2021, 3:56 pm

        I did ask her to elaborate. My dad is a good man and has overcome great obstacles but has not been the easiest person to live with. My mom got married right out of college at barely 22 because that’s what she thought was expected. I mean, she loved/loves my dad, sure. But it really seems like if she had to do it all over again, she wouldn’t have gotten married, just like that commenter. (She does love us, her kids, more than anything though, so IDK.)

        My best friend in the world, who I’ve known for 20 years, is also going through an extremely difficult time in her marriage right now – much of it similar to the issues discussed in the article but also some added ones. They don’t have kids, though. I’m watching her and her husband, who I think of as a brother, struggle so much because she is withering without any of her needs being met and him just not getting it despite more than a year of couples counseling – even though I know he loves her dearly. It’s really difficult.

        Lately, possibly because of my last relationship and/or just generally, I’ve become very sensitive to people telling me what to do/how I should be living. Like, stop trying to “fix” or change me, just love me for who I am. I’ve been in therapy for more than 4 years, I am constantly working on myself. I’ve become worn the heck down by criticism and “you shoulds” over the last couple of years. I’ve never been in a relationship where that wasn’t a component, and it’s really putting me off the idea of another one. It’s probably baggage from my last relationship, where my ex became very critical in the last 6ish months of us being together, but still.

        And now I’m going to go take a nap while I’m waiting for my Target order to be ready. Heh.

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      • Kate October 15, 2021, 4:18 pm

        Makes sense. I can’t stand being told what to do either, unless it’s my boss. Unless you’re authorizing my paycheck I don’t want your criticism. I think for the most part marriage probably isn’t worth it, but it is possible to be happy and peaceful with the right person.

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      • Kate October 16, 2021, 5:50 am

        I hadn’t read the article yet when I commented… it’s very much focused on couples with kids, and what happened during the pandemic. That’s understandable. It’s way harder to be a parent now than it was in the 70s/80s, and the pandemic just made it ridiculously harder, and more so for women. Being trapped at home with no outlet… it’s fucked up. I can understand why these divorces are happening.

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    • Copa October 18, 2021, 9:24 am

      Interesting. My mom would say marriage wasn’t worth it, but their issues were far bigger than my dad not pulling his weight at home (which he didn’t).

      I haven’t read the article, but I think I get the gist. Quite a few of my friends, many of whom are newlyweds, already complain about doing more of the emotional/domestic work than their spouses and they don’t even have kids yet. One who is pregnant made a comment recently that her new-ish husband takes direction well when she asks for help but she gets frustrated that she has to ask and she hopes he’ll step up when their baby arrives in December.

      In any case, I’m unsure what people are telling you you “should” be doing, but fuck ’em. You do you. If I’m ever single again, I do think I’d eventually find myself wanting companionship again but don’t think I’d put nearly as much pressure on it as I did in my 20s.

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      • TheLadyE October 18, 2021, 2:33 pm

        @Copa, admittedly I’m over-sensitive to people telling me what to do because I’ve spent more time with my parents this year than I have in all the years combined since I moved out 14 years ago (they’ve been helping me since I’ve been sick – with severe sleep apnea that I’m now being treated for, yay). They’ve been visiting/living in my house/helping with my dogs off and on for months, and were just here for 3 days last week (they have to travel through several states to get here so they’re here for days at a time). Both of them have always been highly critical of me and my sister. If I live my life in any way differently than the way they would/the way they deem is “right,” there is criticism. After 4 years of therapy and much pushback on my part, including actively saying I don’t want them to visit me for a year after a particularly bad fight in January, they’ve gotten better at holding their tongue(s) to an extent – but I know the judgement is still there.

        I’ve also never been in a romantic relationship where there wasn’t some aspect of criticism and trying to “fix” me. Usually it had to do with “training” my dog to do what the guy wanted her to do or thought she should be doing; also, picking apart my idiosyncrasies or even just straight up saying I should do X differently: work out more, manage money differently, drive differently, tip servers differently/less, drink less (meaning, not at all), etc etc. Some were far worse than others; as in, some were emotionally abusive whereas some were just annoying. I wanted to say – listen, I know what my faults are; we all do. I don’t need you to point them out. I literally need you to like/love me unconditionally despite my flaws. Only then will I be motivated to work on them. Ironically, the more you point them out, the worse I feel about myself and the less likely I am to have the motivation to change.

        Also keep in mind I had a Master’s degree at 24, have a successful career, a creative hobby, raised 3 dogs, cook for myself, keep my own house and have paid off my car and many bills. And yet, because my pantry is sometimes cluttered and overstocked because I enjoy being hospitable and live in fear of someone coming over and not having something to feed them, it’s the worst thing in the world and I must receive harsh and ongoing censure by my family and boyfriends alike. Sigh.

        I feel like the past 1.5 years have just been me asking everyone to love me for who I am rather than criticize because I got so tired of it. Thanks for letting me vent. At least I know what I’m going to talk about in therapy next month, heh.

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      • Copa October 19, 2021, 9:17 am

        That stinks, I’m sorry. The right partner won’t try to change you. My boyfriend and I have definitely laughed about one or two things the other does that we find different, but none of it is a big deal to either of us. Like, we notice it’s different from how we’d do that thing but neither of us is trying to change the other’s ways.

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  • ktfran October 17, 2021, 12:28 pm

    I just saw that one of my favorite fiction authors, Louise Penny, wrote a political thriller “State of Terror” with Hillary Clinton. I saw them together on a Seth Meyers clip (totally underrated BTW and prob one of the best late night hosts).

    I’m excited.

    Speaking of fiction. I binge watched 9 Perfect Strangers last night. So disappointed. The book is so much better. SO MUCH. Which saddens me because Melissa McCarthy.

    That’s all I have to report this weekend.

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    • Kate October 17, 2021, 1:05 pm

      I love Seth Meyers. I always watch his “A Closer Look” segments on YouTube (I go to sleep at 9).

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      • ktfran October 17, 2021, 1:32 pm

        Same. I watch you tube clips of his show. I’m also a fan of corrections.

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      • Kate October 17, 2021, 4:09 pm

        Yup I always watch corrections too.

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  • Kate October 17, 2021, 4:17 pm

    I want my dog to win the Instagram costume contest at his school, so I dressed him up as the pope, and we went across the street to take pictures at a former church that’s now part of a university. I was dressed as a nun and my husband was a priest. We got some good pics but unfortunately didn’t nail the family shots. The angles were wrong. My mom was like, “we’re just worthless boomers with nothing to do, we’ll come help you get it right.”

    The best part was running into a big group of people outside our building who were there for an open house or something and asked to take our picture. I tried to make them understand that we actually could use their help to take a bunch of pictures but they were older and didn’t get it.

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    • Kate October 17, 2021, 4:18 pm

      So we’re going to try again Tuesday at lunchtime.

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      • TheLadyE October 18, 2021, 2:34 pm

        That sounds so cute! I would love to see pictures! 😀

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      • Kate October 18, 2021, 2:41 pm

        Ha! When they post the costume contest on Instagram I’ll share the link so you can vote for us 😬

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  • Michael October 18, 2021, 7:23 am

    While I am sure Joanie’s confidence was boosted by getting 9 shout-outs at school, if each kid goes around and says 1 nice thing about another kid, that means there were (at least) 8 kids in that class who possibly went home to their parents crying that nobody said anything nice about them …. Sometimes teachers need to think a bit more about these activities.

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    • Kate October 18, 2021, 8:02 am

      Haha, my boss ended our team meeting last week with appreciations / shout-outs because she’s gotten some feedback that we should get back to more stuff like that instead of hammering out agile processes. I felt like it didn’t work out well because only 3 people got appreciated. Might have been better to do something like, everyone say something you’re glad about today / would like to celebrate.

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      • Phoebe October 19, 2021, 10:32 am

        So much this. The owner of my company sent out an email apologizing for being semi-absent because of her husband’s illness, and thanked some of my co-workers for being there for her.

        Meanwhile, I did all of the work she had committed herself to and didn’t get any thanks or acknowledgment. It’s stupid, but my feelings were hurt.

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      • ron October 19, 2021, 11:17 am

        Phoebe —
        Are you sure the owner knows you were the one who did all of her work? Another worker may have claimed credit for your work. Tell her you felt slighted when you were the one who did the work and the one who wasn’t thanked. Depending upon the response, it may be time to look for another job. Small businesses are tricky and you may be the forgotten one who is excluded from the owner’s in-crowd.

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      • Kate October 19, 2021, 12:25 pm

        Phoebe, somewhat different circumstances but once at a company meeting, a male SVP credited a male colleague of mine for a client relationship I had built. After the meeting I sent him a polite note letting him know that was my work, and he felt really bad and sent me a $$ Amazon card as an apology, but he did that kind of thing to me on a couple other occasions. Anyway, you might just send your boss a gentle note to say you want to make sure she knew that you had done XYZ. Or better yet, mention it in your next 1:1. It’s a little sensitive because she just had a loss, but I think you can find a way to let her know.

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    • anonymousse October 18, 2021, 9:13 am

      Jesus, or it means there were 8 kids who just went home because if you know kids that age, their attention spans are often like that of a goldfish. Or you know, the eight kids had eight different reactions because kids are all different and don’t all base their worth off what kids they just met a few weeks ago think about them.

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