Generation Gap With Mom

Welcome to the Tuesday guest blog. Every Tuesday "On Balance" features the views of a guest writer. It could be your neighbor, your boss, your most loved or hated poster from the blog, or you! Send me your original, unpublished entry (300 words or fewer) for consideration. Obviously, the topic should be something related to balancing your life.

By Chasmosaur

Let's face it -- most of us go to our mothers for advice, as much as we may or may not want to. I've only been married a few years, but I've pretty much already stopped asking my mother for marital wisdom.

Not because she's a bad role model -- she's an amazing woman. She's a Super Mom in many respects. She gave up school after her second child was born but went back to it later and now makes Martha Stewart look like an indifferent entertainer/gardener/interior designer. But I just can't take her marriage advice, as much as I want to.

She and my father met, married and started having kids when they were barely in their 20s. This was the norm for the time and situation they lived in...and the opposite of me a generation later. When I met my husband in my 30s, I wasn't even looking to get married or even date seriously. My career, friends, family and interests made for a fulfilling life.

Early in my marriage, I asked Mom how she coped when she occasionally felt like a maid. Because it really bothered me that even though my husband and I both had similar, 60+ hour per week jobs, five minutes after I moved in he mysteriously decided he was no longer responsible for doing any domestic chores and turned into a slob.

Mom's advice was: "Well, he works hard. You need to be patient and make things comfortable for him."

This advice is not what I ever expected. Because while she has made a comfortable home for my father, and they have a great marriage, Dad was never allowed to do things like leave dirty dishes or dirty clothes all over the house. He got scolded, just like us kids. Dad would even warn us to pick stuff up if we didn't want to get in trouble with Mom.

Similar responses to my marriage-balancing gripes followed. So now, in addition to balancing life with my husband, I also have to balance what I share with my mother. I'd like to get the secret to her success, but I don't know how to translate what worked for her to my marriage. How do others on this board cope with the generational gap?


Chasmosaur is a 37-year-old, married, currently childless Internet consultant recently transplanted into the Midwest from Washington, D.C. A "recovered" workaholic, she now advocates work-life balance for everyone.

By Leslie Morgan Steiner |  May 22, 2007; 5:01 AM ET  | Category:  Guest Blogs
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Comments

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First...

So lame and now that I've done it once, will never do it again.

Posted by: winker | May 22, 2007 5:04 AM

My wife never asked her mom for advice on our marriage. There were too many differences between her parents' marriage and ours, and my wife recognized that very quickly. Plus, her mom's 'advice' always came with a heaping dish of guilt, covering all the traditional issues.

It took years before her mother and my wife dropped this mom/grown daughter friction and became friends, and it took some growing on both their parts before it took place. Her mom had to realize her daughter was perfectly capable of making her own decisions and didn't want unasked for advice. My wife had to realize that every time her mom spoke to her, there wasn't a hidden meaning or guilt trip underneath the surface of the words.

IMO, it seems that the author of today doesn't need to ask her mom for advice; what she needs to do is kick her
suddenly-lazy husband out of his chair and get him back into realizing just because he got married, doesn't mean he acquired a cleaning lady in the bargain!

Posted by: John L | May 22, 2007 7:24 AM

Chasmosaur, Being married for almost 17 years, I can tell you that The partner with the biggest emotional problems controls the terms of the relationship.

Have you tried throwing tantrums, crying, stomping out of the house and slamming the door, seeking therapy, joining a bowling league, smoking or getting drunk?

Before seeking more bad advice from your mother, you may want to try 1 or all of the above...

And then a dirty dish in the sink, or a smelly pair of socks under the bed won't seem like much of a problem at all.

Posted by: Father of 4 | May 22, 2007 7:28 AM

I don't get this at all

Posted by: no mom, no guilt | May 22, 2007 7:47 AM

I see the generational gap in parenting as much as in marriage. The safety issues alone make it seems as if we are 100 years apart and not just a generation. Car seats until the kids are 100 lbs. When we road home from the hospital in mom's lap. Bike helmets, knee pads, elbow pads make my parents laugh. Seat belts all the time, even when just going the the grocery store has taken some explaining. But they do it because I am the mother now and they respct that but they think we are a bit paranoid and need a lot of laws to raise our kids. The only safety issue that totally freaked my mother was putting the babies to bed on their backs. She was convinced that I had taken total leave of my senses. And would hawkishly watch my back sleeping daughter while she napped.

Posted by: Raising One of Each | May 22, 2007 7:47 AM

I am that older generation and boy, you would never have heard that kind of advice from me! Working families? 50 - 50 on the chores and that includes the outdoor work. It is good for the kids to see that and take part. The tricky thing about giving advice is to not seem interfering to the other spouse. That can erode the entire family relationship. So, one must be careful how they approach the subject. Humor is always good!

Posted by: clifton mom | May 22, 2007 7:54 AM

I think the most complex relationship is between a mother and an adult daughter. But I also find it the most rewarding. I don't think I feel a lot of guilt from my mom. But there are a lot of generational differences. It just takes some time for the older generation to accept our way of doing things. I don't ask for marital advice from my mother specifically. She has given me a lot of words of wisdom a long the way. But marriages are really different for each couple. So I am not sure general purpose marital advice from mom would apply to all situations. Best of luck getting your husband to clean. Mine is a total slob too.

Posted by: foamgnome | May 22, 2007 7:56 AM

Chasmosaur


"most of us go to our mothers for advice"

Who is "us"? It's not me.

Try figuring out why you are a doormat to your husband. Are you also a doormat to your friends, family members, and others?

You are setting the pattern of your relationship with your husband for the rest of your life.

If you don't want to be a servant, don't be a servant!

Don't turn into a nagging, whining shrew!

And give a LOT of thought before you have children with this Bozo.

Posted by: Jezebel | May 22, 2007 8:01 AM

Best of luck getting your husband to clean. Mine is a total slob too.

Well, divorce him!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 8:01 AM

I don't think it is a generational difference but a question of perspective. My mother doesn't really understand or love my husband so why would she be a good source of advice on how to get along with him? I have found my mother-in-law better for this type of advice.

After all, she raised him and knows him pretty well. My husband is also chore-challenged. The apparent unequal attention to housecleaning and chores is not a family thing--his brothers are models of neatness and cleanliness. My mother would have told me that my husband is a lazy and poor husband and I need to stand up for myself(probably she would welcome a divorce). But my mother-in-law pointed out that my husband is well-meaning but with a high tolerance for mess and rather unobservant. Combine that natural tendency with growing up with live-in maids and you get my husband. He is what he is.

So.. she says, pick the two or three things that really get your goat and focus on those (towels on the bathroom floor and plates left on the table) and insist that he change those bad habits. For the rest, just ask for help instead of expecting him to instantly see the need and do it on a volunteer basis. If it is too much trouble to ask (take out garbage, sweep floor, etc) then I should just do it myself. My husband is not my father (naturally attentive to household details and submissive to my mother) and I need to adapt my expectations and behavior to that reality.

Almost 20 years later I am still occasionally frustrated that I am still asking for what seems the most obvious chore-assistance and go a little beserk (2-3 times a year) but generally we have moved beyond this. He does do a reasonable job when asked to do a chore (it takes a long time due to lack of habit and isn't always done as I would do it). I should probably ask more and do less but I am who I am also (semi-enabler) and have to take some responsibility.

Posted by: newtoblog | May 22, 2007 8:04 AM

I have a wonderful, amazing mother too- at one point, she supported the household while he was in business school and she finished up her master's degree when she had infant twins at home. My parents married when they were 23 and 24 (the norm for "back then") but didn't have kids until they were 31 and 32. They've been very happily married for 39 years and are more in love now then before- I can only oray my marriage is as successful. But I would NEVER ask her for marital advice- I don't want my mother in my marriage or knowing any issues. She's also more conservative and traditional than I, so if I have gripes, I talk to my friends.

Posted by: Cubeland | May 22, 2007 8:06 AM

Cliftonmom is right about the safety issue. Granted, I was a small child back when cars didn't even --have-- seatbelts, but my mom would let me stand in the front seat right next to her when she drove around. One day, her mom was with us as we went to the store, and I was standing on the bench seat between them, watching the world go by.

We stopped at a traffic signal and the car behind us didn't stop in time and hit us, not hard, but hard enough. I went flying over the seat, ending up with my feet sticking up and my head between the front seat and rear seat. My mom was of course very concerned and asked if I was ok (I think I was 4 or so).

The first words out of my mouth were "I lost my marbles".

Hey, it was the truth! She had bought a bag of marbles for me, and the bag had slid under the front seat when I made my flip. Of course, that's not what --she-- thought I meant!

Posted by: John L | May 22, 2007 8:15 AM

I generally don't ask either my mom or my mother-in-law for marriage advice. For one thing, I don't think it's fair for one spouse to complain about the other to family members. Those complaints can all too easily be the only thing a parent hears about the marriage, and can ultimately lead to the parent having a much poorer opinion of the spouse than is warranted (a lesson I learned the hard way with my first boyfriend).

For another thing, my mom is psycho, and was a bad spouse, to boot. When I told my mom I was engaged, she gave me one piece of advice (aside from "don't get married! You're ruining your life!"). She said I should open a secret bank account in my name only, an squirrel money into it every payday. While I understood her point about financial independence, I wasn't willing to start my marriage with a lie. I smiled and nodded and ignored her.

Posted by: NewSAHM | May 22, 2007 8:22 AM

I love my mother tremendously, but she drives me insane. I'm not sure why, and it would probably require more therapy than I have money to figure it out. She is a curious blend of traditional, almost Puritanical values blended with a sort of ditzy, happy-go-lucky girl next door. She's the life of the party wherever she goes -- voted most popular and best dancer in her high school graduating class ('61). We are very different people, though probably not as different as I think. She would be very happy if I was still a SAHM -- she was, and she thinks it's the best way. (She cried when my sister put her daughter into daycare at 4 months.) My mom was thrilled that I chose to breastfeed, since she was a founder of a local La Leche League chapter when I was a baby. I definitely know her opinion on things, whether I've asked or not. I haven't had to ask her opinion about marriage because my husband and I are blessed with a wonderful relationship and our problems have yet to extend beyond the occasional spat.

My mother-in-law thinks I am nuts. She raised four children using a combination of benign neglect, lots of golf, and alcohol. (Okay, so maybe not the best role model, but she survived raising my husband and his brothers and I'm pretty sure I'd be lodging at a home for the insane after that lot.) She once sent me an article about the benefits of breastfeeding and scribbled "What a CROCK! I fed all my kids right out of the formula can." Lord knows I do not ask her for advice!

Posted by: WorkingMomX | May 22, 2007 8:23 AM

"For one thing, I don't think it's fair for one spouse to complain about the other to family members"

Your friends don't want to hear the gripes either.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 8:25 AM

I never - or very rarely - asked my mom for marital advice. Maybe because I never had to - she often gave me her opinions on things anyway. But eventually we talked as she discovered that the things she disapproved in my brother's marriage, I was also doing. She had to reconsider the "generation gap" and how things were done.

In any case, how the spouse behaves is none of mom's business. It's really up to the couple how to work things out. We also married later (in our mid 30's) so we had our siblings' marriages as role models (both good and bad). I asked them when I wanted input and chose elements of what they said.

Posted by: Crofton | May 22, 2007 8:25 AM

My parents have a terrible marriage -- my dad's really controlling and my mother does everything he tells her to. (Think Archie and Edith Bunker). Can't imagine asking them for marriage advice.

But on the other hand, we've moved like 8 times in the last ten years, so it's not like I know anyone in my community really well or can discuss this with anyone else.

But do people still do that -- after a certain age? IT seems to me like it's OK to air all kinds of personal details when you're dating, but after that, communication regarding marraige pretty much shuts down with the girlfriends. How much do most of you reveal to your girlfriends anyway about your marriage?

(I'm thinking of that experience that I've had at least a couple of times where I've known someone forever, and it's only after their marriage crashes and burns and ends in a big fiery divorce, and THEN they sit you down and say, 'let me tell you what that marriage was really like' and that's when you hear about the alcohol, the drugs, the affairs, the debt, the abuse and so forth. Stiff upper lip and all that.)

Posted by: Armchair Mom | May 22, 2007 8:30 AM

NewSAHM, right on the money about not complaining to family members about your spouse. I actually don't complain about my husband to anyone except the occasional comment to my very best friend. It feels like a betrayal, even at that level. It always makes me uncomfortable when people at work or even friends really start ragging on their husbands/wives. It's like they've made me part of the conspiracy or something . . .

Posted by: WorkingMomX | May 22, 2007 8:31 AM

Would you like your husband discussing the details of your marriage with his mother? or any other third party?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 8:33 AM

Frieda's mother died before marriage but Frieda did have the perfect MIL, my sainted mother! Mom always told Frieda that I was not good enough to marry her.

Seriouly, my parents never interferred with us. They did not ask one time, "where are the grandchildren?" They did give us help when we asked.

Certainly, my parents were not perfect but a lot better than some of the parents that we hear or read about.

Posted by: Fred | May 22, 2007 8:34 AM

Best of luck getting your husband to clean. Mine is a total slob too.

Well, divorce him!


Posted by: | May 22, 2007 08:01 AM
Who would divorce their spouse based on a cleaning issue?

Posted by: foamgnome | May 22, 2007 8:37 AM

I am so amused at the thought of asking my mother-in-law for marriage advice. Her unsolicited advice when we got engaged was that she had been his personal maid and secretary for the past 25 years, and I could now take over. I said that he could now learn to do these tasks himself (while thinking that if she'd done her job properly, I wouldn't have to teach him to do these tasks). Luckily my DH was appalled by his mother's advice too.

But sigh, now she thinks I took her advice because I did the taxes. She sees it as I did his taxes for him. I see it as I did OUR taxes because someone had to do them. And because I'm the one who knows about financial management, as that was another thing they neglected to teach him.

Posted by: Kathrina | May 22, 2007 8:40 AM

I don't actually discuss DH with my friends, either, except for superficial things about parenting styles, etc.

It does bring up one issue, though. Where there is a problem, you can end up feeling pretty isolated. I don't know what to do in that type of situation (and luckily, it's only happened to me once). I still feel like it's better for a couple to work their troubles out together, but boy, would I have liked to spend some time discussing the matter with someone else.

Posted by: NewSAHM | May 22, 2007 8:41 AM

foamgnnome

"Who would divorce their spouse based on a cleaning issue?"

A number of people divorce their spouses when they become "part of the furniture" or a "live-in servant".

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 8:42 AM

Good morning...

I just wanted to extend apologies for not using my real name. It is remarkably easy to find using Google between its distinctive nature and my work. I try to keep my personal activities separate from my professional presence on the Internet. I hope you can understand.

Also - to whoever said I was a doormat - didn't say I was. I asked my Mom how she dealt with that particular problem because my Dad is something of a pack rat and cluttery kind of guy. The worst of the behaviour (at least in my husband) is corrected.

Basically, he grew up with an extra adult in the house (an older but early retired family member). She would - and still does - out of boredom go into everyone's rooms and clean since she doesn't have a whole lot else to do (big shock for me during the first family visit, let me tell you).

So he and his brothers didn't always have to pick up after themselves because most mornings she would quite literally go into their rooms in the morning while they were eating breakfast to STRIP beds and immediately throw PJ's and linens in the washer. It was like having maid service.

Since I told him I'm not a maid service, he pretty much confines his clutter to our closet. Works for me ;)

And to those who have said don't ask your mother about stuff - I've learned not to ask her about big things and she's not really "in" my marriage at this point. It was an early, rookie mistake ;) However, my husband travels for business a lot back in DC and they actually see him more often than myself. He lets things spill. Then I get a phone call and I'm back discussing parts of my marriage I'd rather keep private.

I actually have to run out today - all-day client meeting thing - so I unfortunately won't be able to do a whole lot (if any) responding. So I'll just go ahead and let my ears burn today ;)

Posted by: Chasmosaur | May 22, 2007 8:42 AM

"Who would divorce their spouse based on a cleaning issue?"

Nobody that's capable of maintaining a good marriage in the first place. I can think of few issues more petty. Drinking out of the milk carton? Peeing in the shower? Putting the toilet paper "over" rather than "under"?

Posted by: Father of 4 | May 22, 2007 8:43 AM

Father of 4,
Why do men pee in the shower? My guess is because they can but it is just gross. I mean the toilet is right there.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | May 22, 2007 8:46 AM

It's worse with the parenting than the marriage. My mom is having fits that I'm not giving up my (hard fought and hard earned) career to stay home with the baby. Guilt trips every time we speak. But in my world, none of the professinal women I know stay home - it's just a totally different world, and one that she simply isn't going to understand.

Posted by: New England | May 22, 2007 8:47 AM

Kathrina

How on earth does your MIL know that you do the taxes?


Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 8:47 AM

Best of luck getting your husband to clean. Mine is a total slob too.

Well, divorce him!


Posted by: | May 22, 2007 08:01 AM
Who would divorce their spouse based on a cleaning issue?

Posted by: foamgnome | May 22, 2007 08:37 AM

Oh...it's definitely grounds for divorce! So is leaving the cap off the toothpaste, not putting the toilet seat down, leaving underwear on the floor, etc. Lots of reasons to get a divorce. But are they good reasons? Maybe.

Posted by: Kattoo | May 22, 2007 8:52 AM

It's a woman's job to cook, and clean, and take good are of her husband. That's her genetic destiny.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 8:53 AM

I rarely asked my mother for advice. The few times I did try to talk to her, she gave me the standard suck-it-up speech that typified her generation. Besides, she adored STBX, so if there was a problem, it HAD to me me. She has yet to admit she was wrong in any way about him. Oh, well. I love her anyway, and if I want to make her feel included and helpful, I ask her for gardening advice.

About seatbelts: We also grew up not wearing them; my mother drove a '66 Mustang, and I don't think it had rear seat belts. My sister was a stander -- she stood for every family vacation (and, in those days, we took car trips, like everybody else). So, I didn't wear them either, even when I started driving.

Well, when I was 20, I was borrowing my dad's Buick to go on a trip to the mountains the next day with STBX (we met in college). I had a Beetle in college, he had a motorcycle, and we were camping. Anyway, I fell asleep and hit the back of a truck. I don't remember the accident, but witnesses said I went through the windshield face-first, then was flung into the back seat. However, I DO remember the 43 stitches it took to reattach my nose, all without anesthesia (I had a concussion as well). Fortunately, no bones were broken. The most prominent lasting effect is from the near-total absence of nerve endings and blood vessels in my nose. It's sort of like a thermostat -- my nose gets cold and red if the temperature goes below 65 degrees in the house.

So, I am incredibly neurotic about seatbelts. If you get in my car, you better put on your seatbelt. I won't even turn on the engine until you do; I don't care how old you are. My friends, coworkers and parents have all heard the abridged version of my little lecture. I even wore mine when I was on the way to the hospital to give birth, and I was HUGE. My sons and all their friends have heard the 'nose story' in far more detail than I related it here (nothing like a little 'blood & guts' to get boys to listen to you), and NOBODY gives me an argument.

Posted by: educmom | May 22, 2007 8:53 AM

It's a woman's job to stay home, cook and clean for her husband, make sure he has lots of "guy time" out with his friends, give him sex anytime he asks for it, take care of the kids, make sure he's not "bothered" with too much of the mundane tasks, etc. Then it's the man's job to go out and make money, and to buy his wife some flowers and gifts to keep the little woman happy. That's how it's supposed to be...just as Dr. Laura.

Posted by: TROLL | May 22, 2007 8:55 AM

"It's a woman's job to cook, and clean, and take good are of her husband. That's her genetic destiny."

Lucky me, I don't have husband!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 8:58 AM

"Why do men pee in the shower?"

1. Keeps the toilet a little cleaner, - no spatter.
2. Don't have to worry about putting the seat down (good husbands consider this)
3. Environmentally friendlier - saves a flush.

I mean, who doesn't pee in the shower? After the hot water relaxes the bladder, you're telling me that someone will hold it until their shower is over? Then, especially for girls, isn't it more gross to ssquat on the seat with a wet butt?

Posted by: Father of 4 | May 22, 2007 9:03 AM

"How on earth does your MIL know that you do the taxes?"

Well, FIL and DH are on the phone. FIL asks DH, "Have you done your taxes yet?" DH replies, "My lovely wife did them weeks ago". No reason not to answer truthfully when asked.

Posted by: Kathrina | May 22, 2007 9:03 AM

Chasmosaur, given the fruit loops that sometimes post on this blog, and the recent article detailing the stalking of people who post with their real names on blogs in general, I would recommend that guest posters NEVER use a name with which they could be tracked. I think it should be the norm, unless you're a writer and want to be known for what you post . . .

Posted by: WorkingMomX | May 22, 2007 9:04 AM

I totally don't understand the issue of having a husband who is a slob. Especially for those of us who marries in our early 30's or close to it, the men lived on their own for a period of time. So, it is not as if they don't know how to do laundry/dishes.

As for me, we each take care of things. If one of us is working late, the other takes care of the house and makes dinner. "Traditional roles" really don't matter. I thought this is one of the good parts about waiting until later to get married. It is easier to achieve balance with someone who has already cared for himself. No?

Posted by: Thought | May 22, 2007 9:05 AM

chamosaur asked a simple question, "how do others on this board cope with the generational gap?"
i'll give my simple answer, i don't ask my mother for marriage advice, specifically. she and my dad have been married for 50 years in october, i'm celebrating my 29th anniversary this year (got married when i was 19). i knew what it took because i'd seen my mother and two grandmothers have long, successful marriages...hard work, not caring who gets credit, ignoring the small stuff--and i hate to say it but lots of the 'stuff' of life is small, fighting fair, sharing values but maybe not sharing every single interest. the number one thing for me was that i'm too stubborn to quit and i respect the person i married, which was one reason why i married him. i try to remember that when he leaves his infernal cups of water throughout the house!

Posted by: methinks | May 22, 2007 9:09 AM

"I totally don't understand the issue of having a husband who is a slob. Especially for those of us who marries in our early 30's or close to it, the men lived on their own for a period of time. So, it is not as if they don't know how to do laundry/dishes. "

Some husbands may know how to do housework, but they DON'T WANT to do housework if they can find a maid who will do it for them.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 9:10 AM

I see this big generation gap, and I think my mother does too. She quit college to get married at 20 (!), and embarked with my father on his diplomatic career. She raised kids overseas with domestic help and did not hold a full time job, just a few volunteer positions, until I was nearly done with high school.

If DH and I were to have kids (not likely), we would be where many people on this blog are: juggling kids and jobs and trying to mitigate the potential negative impacts of that juggling act.

Thankfully I think my mom gets this, and that's why she isn't nagging us for grandchildren.

Posted by: Alexandria, VA | May 22, 2007 9:10 AM

Well, my parents divorced, so I don't ask either of them for marital advice.

I do complain to my mom, though. She's my best friend, and she's the only person I would want to complain to. My other friends are either unmarried (and have no useful advice) or have kids (and have much bigger issues.) When I complain about my hubby not cleaning or not listening, she just nods. She knows that I just want to vent and spares the advice (which would surely be "most men are complete pigs.")

We do get advice about kids, though, from both moms. When we talk about our decision not to have kids, both moms are 100% behind us. I guess they know us well enough to encourage us not to have kids. They also both seem to have lost whatever tolerance they had for little kids.

Posted by: Meesh | May 22, 2007 9:14 AM

"How on earth does your MIL know that you do the taxes?"

Well, FIL and DH are on the phone. FIL asks DH, "Have you done your taxes yet?" DH replies, "My lovely wife did them weeks ago". No reason not to answer truthfully when asked.

A simple "yes" would have sufficed.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 9:16 AM

It's a woman's job to cook, and clean, and take good are of her husband. That's her genetic destiny.

Posted by: | May 22, 2007 08:53 AM


Only in your dreams. Not gonna happen, though.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 9:18 AM

Men do know how to keep house but as soon as we are married, someone insist:

1) No more eating over the sink

2) No more paper plates and plastic silverware

3) No more sniff test to find out if clothes are wearable

4) No more bare walls--walls must have pictures or something on them

5) Curtains/Blinds must be opened/closed every day

6) More furniture is required beyond a frig, TV and lazy boy chair

7) Blankets can no longer do double duty as sheets

8) Meals have to be (at least) warmed up in the house versus take out

9) Glasses or cups must be used to drink liquids

(There are some more things which have been mentioned earlier)


So you see that men know how to keep a house but women demand other "unnecessary" stuff in the household that need some sort of cleaning/maintenance.

Posted by: Fred | May 22, 2007 9:21 AM

"Let's face it -- most of us go to our mothers for advice, as much as we may or may not want to."

You lost me with this opening sentence. Why do some people feel the need to view their personal choices as representative of the norm?

Posted by: GA mom | May 22, 2007 9:21 AM

"How on earth does your MIL know that you do the taxes?"

Well, FIL and DH are on the phone. FIL asks DH, "Have you done your taxes yet?" DH replies, "My lovely wife did them weeks ago". No reason not to answer truthfully when asked.

Posted by: Kathrina | May 22, 2007 09:03 AM


Instruct DH hereafter to answer "Yes" and provide no further info, no matter how much his father asks. It's none of his father's business, except in the remote possibility that his father is paying your taxes (yeah, right).

Posted by: TMI | May 22, 2007 9:22 AM

Instruct DH hereafter to answer "Yes" and provide no further info, no matter how much his father asks. It's none of his father's business, except in the remote possibility that his father is paying your taxes (yeah, right).


Posted by: TMI | May 22, 2007 09:22 AM

Controlling much? Katrina and her husband can decide for themselves how to communicate with their respective parents without your advice on communications.

Armchair quarterbacks rarely have marriages and relationships worth emulating.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 9:27 AM

Is it that time already?

Posted by: Mako | May 22, 2007 9:29 AM

I would never ask my mother for marriage advice either. She would tell me - as she did with my first marriage - to "suck it up ... these are the cards you've been dealt so you have to live with them." When I divorced my first husband because he was a huge slob among other problems, my mother told me I'd be alone for the rest of my life. But I remarried. So I typically ask my Rabbi for marriage advice and stick to gardening and cooking topics with my mom.

Posted by: Linda | May 22, 2007 9:36 AM

"Armchair quarterbacks rarely have marriages and relationships worth emulating."

Such as you.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 9:42 AM

Mako; When the blog starts out with a dishes/laundry complaint, and the guest writer leaves, and KLB/Fo4 go back and forth about peeing in the toilet, the blog has surely tanked.

Let the jump contest begin!

Posted by: Hammerhead | May 22, 2007 9:43 AM

The best advice that my mother ever gave me was "Your marriage is unique. Nobody else can give you advice that will work for you because everybody else's marriage is very different from yours. Only you can decide what will work and what won't." She's right. Nobody can tell you how to be successfully married, only you can set the rules and only you can enforce them.
Take heart, we're all stumbling through this.

Posted by: Patricia | May 22, 2007 9:47 AM

I don't see a gap here. Your Mom said she tried to support your Dad because he worked hard. She respected what he did to support her and you.

She also ran the household with the same dedication. Your Dad picked up after himself because he respected your Mom.

If he'd ditched his job he would have heard from her plenty! If she's not had supper ready she'd have heard from him! They had their positions and they lived up to them.

Is there any better martial advice than that? Respect and love your spouse as you wish to be respected and loved. Act in a way that will help them to be happy. Times may change but being a good partner is pretty timeless.

Posted by: RoseG | May 22, 2007 9:47 AM

"Armchair quarterbacks rarely have marriages and relationships worth emulating."

Such as you.

Posted by: | May 22, 2007 09:42 AM

There's nothing quite like the insightful comments of a troll to enhance our understanding of the issues.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 9:49 AM

"So you see that men know how to keep a house but women demand other "unnecessary" stuff in the household that need some sort of cleaning/maintenance."

Agreed. I actually got married at 23. I only lived on my own for a year. My ex-wife never lived on her own. But she decided to have problems with the way I do housework. Of course, sometimes it the man who has higher standards for neatness and lower tolerance for another persons's relaxed attitude.

In any case, I think it's something plenty of people overlook even when they don't get married till their 30's. They are such a great person until you start living together and then suddenly there is a need to treat the other person like a child and "train" them simply because the other person is not as neat as you or is not bothered by the same things. I say whoever gets bothered by something first should take care of it. There's nothing wrong with asking your spouse to do it, but he/she certainly has the right to refuse to do it or do it 2 months later. If you can't handle that, and feel the need to "train" or treat your spouse like a child, then perhaps it is a divorce issue.

Posted by: PersonL | May 22, 2007 9:51 AM

On Complaining about your husband - I try not to do it to our friends. It really is none of their business and our good friends know all of our quirks anyways, so there is no need to point them out.

Fred - those 9 tips for new husbands have been printed out and will be lying on my husband's pillow when he comes home tonight. We have been arguing about putting up pictures in the living room for 10 years - some things never get resolved!!!

Posted by: CMAC | May 22, 2007 9:53 AM

Well, mom passed before I met dh, but I would love to know why she stayed with dad for so long, why she married him in the first place, etc.
I would never ask anyone in my immediate family for advice as they are in their own abusive marriages. When my sister was pregnant, mom actually said to her that she shouldn't go back to work after baby-that she should stay home. How nice. I had a similar thought, actually-but would never have said that to sister because it would only make her feel bad (however, sister has no second thoughts about telling you exactly what she thinks at all times). I found mom's advice odd, tho, since mom raised three independent women to go out and get jobs-we weren't taught to cook, expected to clean, etc.
I wouldn't ask mil for advice either. Since it is one set of rules for me and another set for her daughters (she lobbied for me to stay home after ds no 1 (I did but not because of mil) and yet said nothing when her daughter did not even stay at home after she had no 1-it was a fabulous idea then).

Posted by: atlmom | May 22, 2007 9:53 AM

I don't really ask my mother for marriage advice. I don't think she would know how to advise me. She has been a SAHM since her children were born, and was initially appalled that my husband and I worked out an arrangement in which I work and he takes care of the kid. Even so, my relationship with my mom is good. While I don't seek her advice on my marriage, we spend time together and talk a lot. She is very invested in her grandson. She treats him differently (a lot more indulgently) than she treated her own kids, and some things she does I just don't do at home, but I pretty much let her do things her way when she is in charge. I am not about to criticize the childraising skills of a women who raised 4 successful children. My son knows that there is one set of rules with grandma, and another one with me, and everyone seems happy that way. There is a generation gap, but that's okay with me. We don't have to think alike on all things. We just have to respect that we are different, and not try to change the other person.

Posted by: Emily | May 22, 2007 10:05 AM

foamgnome - it was a JOKE. (not a metaphor though)

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 10:08 AM

Controlling much? Katrina and her husband can decide for themselves how to communicate with their respective parents without your advice on communications.

Armchair quarterbacks rarely have marriages and relationships worth emulating.

Posted by: | May 22, 2007 09:27 AM


Following your logic, the husband's parents should have more input into a marriage than the wife. You suggest a wife is controlling if she objects to her husband telling their personal business to his parents.

In fact the controlling people in this case are the husband's father who asks his married adult son whether the couple's taxes are done yet (NOYB), and the mother who later brings up the topic to her daughter-in-law. Why is this controlling? Because it's none of the parents' business (assuming they aren't footing the younger couple's tax bil).

The son is an enabler who wittingly or otherwise provides his parents ammunition to lob at his wife. For a marriage to succeed, a spouse's first loyalty must be to his/her spouse. To me my marriage is better because my spouse respects our privacy and doesn't blab our personal business to our parents. YMMV.

Disclaimer: In the case of abusive marriages and relationships, all bets are off, since the abuser is by virtue of his/her behavior NOT being loyal to the other spouse in the first place, so the target of the abuse may be justified in choosing to tell his/her parents, in the process of seeking help to correct or escape the abusive relationship.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 10:16 AM

I think it's a really interesting question though - who DO you ask for advice?

My mother is not someone I ask for advice from for a wide variety of reasons, although she offers it on a regular basis. :) I don't really have a village elder/mentor in my life on a personal level. Mostly I muddle through on my own and vent to friends who are far removed from any situations (like over the internet).

I get a lot of -information- from the 'net including this blog. But I don't really have a great source of wisdom - I often feel like we are just making things up as we go along.

I blame the pace of change - as a society we have a lot of wisdom about how to handle physical limits in monogamous relationships, for example, but not so much around emotional ones (perhaps because men and women were more segregated in their spheres of influence in the past), and really not a lot of experience for weird things like are flirty remarks on AIM or in blog comments the same as flirting with a waiter in front of one's spouse, etc.

Sometimes I feel like I spend energy muddling through vaguely new things (My spouse on his Blackberry during vacation: thing to be upset about, or not?) and I think poor me. Of course then I think of my mother's generation going through the women's lib movement and totally revamping their lives and I realize that maybe the Blackberry question is minor in comparison.

Nice topic!

Posted by: Shandra | May 22, 2007 10:16 AM

"Because it really bothered me that even though my husband and I both had similar, 60+ hour per week jobs, five minutes after I moved in he mysteriously decided he was no longer responsible for doing any domestic chores and turned into a slob."

Chasmosaur,

I can't understand why you were having this discussion with your mother instead of with your husband.

You're a mature, intelligent career woman. Having decided to change your life in a significant way by getting married, you embarked on what should be a wholly new experience shared with -- and negotiated with -- your husband.

Your mother has no place in this situation.

Please rethink how you're managing your life and your marriage. If you and your husband are to have a partnership, then the two of you must be each other's "primary" person. There's no room for mom in this equation.

Posted by: pittypat | May 22, 2007 10:17 AM

Chasmosaur: Grow a spine.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 10:22 AM

"For a marriage to succeed, a spouse's first loyalty must be to his/her spouse. "

Bingo!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 10:29 AM

Following your logic, the husband's parents should have more input into a marriage than the wife. You suggest a wife is controlling if she objects to her husband telling their personal business to his parents.

Posted by: | May 22, 2007 10:16 AM

Logic certainly has not place in your post or the conclusions to which you've jumped. Both sentences above are absured and have nothing to do with what I posted. The person who is controlling is TMI and you, 10:16.

To recap, TMI posted the following: "Instruct DH hereafter to answer "Yes" and provide no further info, no matter how much his father asks."

Any poster who orders someone, in this case, Katrina, to "instruct" her spouse how to behave, communicate, or where to pee, is acting like an armchair quarterback and inciting trouble between two spouses who get along fine.

If you don't understand the difference between offering your personal experience or opinion as food for thought, and acting like a quarterback directing the plays in other's marriages, you do in fact have a problem with logic, communication and vocabulary.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 10:30 AM

I don't ask mom for marriage advice (not married), and when I mention some minor slight I might feel in my relationship, I get the "Well, you just tell him to XYZ" or "Well, he shouldn't be doing that!" I tend to go to girlfriends more than mom, but who knows once I actually get married.

As far as cleaning issues, BF is the neat one. When we discuss our future places of residence, he preemptively tells me he wants me to do more around the house. Inevitably, this comes off to me as "I want you to do more than me" when what he means is "I want you to do more than you do now." Then I get defensive and feel like he's trying to assign me a role based on my gender, when what he's trying to tell me is he doesn't want me on the couch eating Cheese Doodles while he's scrubbing toilets. We've both found communication to be an excellent tool in avoiding major conflict, but it took us a year of screaming phone fights to get to this point. But I guess that's what dating is all about, right? ;-)

Posted by: Mona | May 22, 2007 10:30 AM

My parents were married almost 40 years until my dad passed away too young. They had some tough tough times. Observing their marriage made me set "my" standards for "my" marriage. However, I failed to see how strong my mom was during those "bad" times of her marriage until my marriage failed. My parents were the happiest after the children were grown then I'd ever seen them. I wished I'd seen that in my mom and dealt with issues better. I admire my mom for never interfering in my life. How I wish I'd dealt better with issues in my marriage - just like she did. Divorce s u c ks.

My mom is awesome. Sometimes we don't appreciate people as much as we should.

Posted by: C.W. | May 22, 2007 10:32 AM

"five minutes after I moved in he mysteriously
decided he was no longer responsible for doing any domestic chores"

Well, a man should at least get something out of that 2 months salary he spent on that chunk of carbon.

Posted by: Father of 4 | May 22, 2007 10:33 AM

Does YMMV=you make me vomit? I have been trying to figure it out for weeks!

Posted by: Mona | May 22, 2007 10:33 AM

F04, YMMV.

Posted by: Mona | May 22, 2007 10:34 AM

Your mileage may vary. But I like yours better.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 10:36 AM

YMMV = your mileage may vary

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 10:36 AM

OT to atlmom--

From yesterday, I didn't take offense at your comment about the art course. I was responding to the "basketweaving" commentor, and I meant to be tongue in cheek. I don't find you to be snarky at all. I enjoy your perspective.

I have to admit that while I didn't choose an art class because I thought it would be an easy A, I was a bit surprised (hey, I was young and naive) that effort and/or achieving one's potential as limited by talent didn't carry more weight grade-wise.

Posted by: Marian | May 22, 2007 10:36 AM

I do agree that it's ultimately unwise to complain to parents or friends about our spouses (especially parents). It is much better to confront the offending spouse directly and deal with the problem than to complain to other people. Plus, when it comes to the average marriage difficulties, it is disloyal to trash your spouse to your parents and friends. Imagine how you would feel if your husband or wife talked about you to his or her parents behind your back. This just causes more problems and divides families. I have a brother in law who complains to his family about his wife. She is not really that bad, from my perspective, but he is a really baby. His family hates her. And then he wonders why his family and his wife can't get along. Most people think he is easygoing and nice because he doesn't set any boundaries and always pleases whomever he is with. But I have lost all respect for him because I can see that he has no backbone.

Posted by: Emily | May 22, 2007 10:39 AM

"As far as cleaning issues, BF is the neat one. When we discuss our future places of residence, he preemptively tells me he wants me to do more around the house. Inevitably, this comes off to me as "I want you to do more than me" when what he means is "I want you to do more than you do now." Then I get defensive and feel like he's trying to assign me a role based on my gender, when what he's trying to tell me is he doesn't want me on the couch eating Cheese Doodles while he's scrubbing toilets. We've both found communication to be an excellent tool in avoiding major conflict, but it took us a year of screaming phone fights to get to this point. But I guess that's what dating is all about, right? ;-)"

Well, actually, no. Not in mature, committed, communicative relationships that aren't doomed from the very beginning.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 10:40 AM

Mona,
I love it!! We have a new acromym. I always hated the standard "your mileage may vary" phrase. You make me vomit is sooo much more meaningful. Thanks!!!

Posted by: Emily | May 22, 2007 10:42 AM

CMAC

I do not do wall hanging stuff. Even after the hurricane, I did not put up the paintings (yes, we have real paintings), prints (Monet and Manet), tapestries, and other stuff. Some one else did it. Not me.

Posted by: Fred | May 22, 2007 10:42 AM

"Well, actually, no. Not in mature, committed, communicative relationships that aren't doomed from the very beginning."

I'm curious as to why you make it sound like you think we are doomed from the beginning. I can see why you may think we are (he is) uncommitted, since he's broken up with me a few times. We have talked about that several times and are still working through it. And it's true that we can both be very immature. But we've lasted over a year in a difficult, cross-country, mixed-race, mixed-religion, mixed-socioeconomic-status relationship with no major damage, and we still love each other more than ever. I know that can't compare with many of the 20+ years of marriage some people are experiencing, but it's a good start. Tell me, why do you think we were doomed from the beginning?

Posted by: Mona | May 22, 2007 10:48 AM

I interpret Chasmasaur's mom's advice as you should be selfless in your marriage and work for your spouse not against. I haven't been married very long, but my father made very clear to me the importance of this when I was getting married. I don't think it should be about comparing who works more or harder, because your dedication should be unconditional towards your spouse.

Posted by: GradStudent | May 22, 2007 10:49 AM

Oh please - hire a cleaning service.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 10:50 AM

Mona,

Ignore 10:40 a.m.

While the road you're taking to relationship enlightenment may be rocky, the fact that you've learned to hear what your BF is really saying and that you're aware that sometimes you hear these comments very differently from how he means them is proof that you're willing to do the self-examination necessary to any good partnership.

If you BF has the same inclinations, it bodes well for your future together.

Posted by: pittypat | May 22, 2007 10:50 AM

As far as advise goes, I don't think I ever asked for marriage advise from my mom. I can't specifically remember. Some things may have come up, but since I don't remember, I guess it wasn't earth shattering. But, I do recall my mom helping me learn how to live in a house. Places I never thought I had to clean, tips about basic house-owning. I thought that was great. I did a lot of stuff in my house growing up, but there was a lot I didn't know about.

Sadly, my mom died while I was pregnant with #1, so I never got to learn all of her secrets of childrearing. I think I would have really enjoyed her perspective. We were able to go baby stuff shopping, and she was so excited about all the new gadgets. So I heard lots of stories about when I was a baby as we shopped.

She wasn't a big 'advice' giver, but she was a great listener, and I learned a lot from her.

Posted by: prarie dog | May 22, 2007 10:54 AM

My first generation gap issue with my mom came up when I asked her to come visit as soon as we have the baby so she can help teach me how to take care of it. She was nervous about the prospect because she was scared all her knowledge was completely obsolete. Given that she quite successfully raised two kids, I thought it was cute.

Posted by: SPC | May 22, 2007 10:55 AM

Sorry about the 'advise'/'advice' typos. I'm a horrible editor.

Posted by: prarie dog | May 22, 2007 10:56 AM

Chasmosaur, easiest solution is to hire a maid to come by once or twice a week. If you are both working 60+ neither one of you is going to want to be doing much around the house. Find a cleaning service to drop your laundry off with and pick up take-out a couple of nights a week.
For the day-to-day picking up have a twenty-to-fifteen minute clean up session every evening, let him decide what he wants to be responsible for. Take a cooking class together or buy a good cookbook and make a couple of meals on the weekend that you can derive some decent leftovers from during the week. It's possible that this problem has nothing to do with male/female role issues. The guy has probably always been a slob and just did a good job of hiding it before you got married (they do try to impress). I think your actual question was about the generation gap with your mom though... I can't even begin to give you any suggestion about what to do there. I've always seen my mom as being such a DOORMAT. I guess you could say that I'm a little bit more take-charge. I tell my father he's just lucky he got my mom and not someone like me, becuase when you get right down to it she is the one that made my family work. Alot of women of that generation see it as their job to be the architect of everyone else's happiness. Sometimes I find myself wanting to look down on my mom for being so docile, but I think that is a big mistake, she did chose the life she has created and she deserves more credit than that. Just admire her handywork. Women like that prop up the world of emotionally-handicapped childlike-men (whom I would prefer to take a verbal whacking to) and keep it all running smoothly.

Posted by: rumicat | May 22, 2007 10:57 AM

Prairie dog, I'm sorry to hear about your mother. I bet having fun with you preparing for your first made her last year very enjoyable.

And thanks for the vote of confidence, pittypat. I tend to agree with you, but if anon at 10:40 would like to lend a little insight, I'd be happy to hear why s/he is so pessimistic.

Posted by: Mona | May 22, 2007 10:59 AM

Although I don't ask my mom for marital advice, per se, we do complain together my darling husband's very minor shortcomings (ha!) and the hilarious, totally unsafe and ridiculous things my dad used to do with us kids. She's a woman, a mom and a wife, and she totally understands where I'm coming from.

Posted by: Leslie | May 22, 2007 11:01 AM

I don't ask my Mom for marriage advice. My parents have been married close to 40 years, but they're a mess! They love each other, respect each other, and tease each other, though, and that's taught me a ton. I do ask baby advice. They raised "good citizens," and I hope to do the same, though we'll be stricter.

If I need marriage or general life advice, I ask DH to ask his sister. She's not perfect, but DH's side of the family is very wise, and I respect that wisdom. There is NO WAY we'd ask DH's brother or my brother or sister. And his parents are great, but their experiences are SO different from ours. There's a huge gap, there. His Mom was raised with a dirt floor by an Assembly of God minister. She couldn't show her ankles. She's turned out amazing, and sometimes her advice is incredible, but she floors me with some of the stuff she comes up with!

Posted by: atb | May 22, 2007 11:01 AM

How about this approach to the TMI situation on who did the couple's taxes:

Kathrina ASKS her husband how he feels about his mother reacting as though she (the wife) had done her husband's taxes for him, rather than for them as a couple. Either he thinks his mother's behavior was entirely appropriate, or not. If not, Kathrina can then ASK him for his SUGGESTIONS on how they can prevent MIL's behavior from recurring.

If Kathrina's husband thinks nothing was wrong with his mother's comments, then Kathrina can use "I" statements to rationally express her thoughts on the matter, in order to try to PERSUADE her husband to recognize her viewpoint as valid.

Posted by: TMI | May 22, 2007 11:02 AM

"if anon at 10:40 would like to lend a little insight, I'd be happy to hear why s/he is so pessimistic."

Mona,

I don't think s/he is pessimistic. I think s/he's just snotty.

But kudos to you for having a much more open mind than this old lady! :>)

Posted by: pittypat | May 22, 2007 11:04 AM

"I totally don't understand the issue of having a husband who is a slob. Especially for those of us who marries in our early 30's or close to it, the men lived on their own for a period of time. So, it is not as if they don't know how to do laundry/dishes."

Actually, my husband was still living at home when we were dating (it's a cultural thing). Surprisingly he's not the slob in our house....I am!!! I'm working on being less of a slob :-)

I generally don't talk to my mother about problems we're having because I don't want to ruin her relationship with him. I have talked to his sister and mother on occasion.

Posted by: MV | May 22, 2007 11:06 AM

My wife's mom refused to let her do anything for herself; I had to grow up in limited space among two parents and three siblings in a 1100 sf home. Consequently, what I see as "clutter" my wife sees as "her stuff, organized as I want".

It's caused some disagreement between us, since I learned early on to keep things organized or they'd disappear. She sees any attempt to tidy up as "messing with her stuff". So, I build her cabinets and desks and drawers to put "her stuff" in; so far I've had mixed results. She does use them for storage, but it also seems as if more stuff just keeps appearing...

Posted by: John L | May 22, 2007 11:12 AM

A correction on my earlier post: the house eventually got to 1100 sf. When I was growing up it was actually closer to 900 sf. My dad and us boys enclosed and insulated the back porch, and my older brother moved out there, then it was 1100 sf.

Posted by: John L | May 22, 2007 11:15 AM

TMI, As opposed to your initial comment, your revised approach neither orders Katrina, nor recommends that Katrina talks to her husband as though he is 5 years old. Any approach that combines respectful communication with real listening skills is bound to contribute to a stronger marraige than the approach you initially recommended. Eliminating the shouting and condescension suggested by all-caps is also a good idea.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 11:17 AM

"Why do men pee in the shower?"

When I found out that my DH peed in the shower I wasn't sure if I could love him so much anymore, so I went and asked my mom about it. She said it's okay, dad did it too, that it's a man's genetic destiny. And now were very happily married again.

Posted by: mammamia | May 22, 2007 11:20 AM

Eliminating the shouting and condescension suggested by all-caps is also a good idea.

Posted by: | May 22, 2007 11:17 AM


Touchy much?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 11:21 AM

How do you know if someone else pees in the shower, assuming the shower water washes it down the drain, and assuming the pee-er doesn't tell you?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 11:23 AM

"Why do men pee in the shower?"

When I found out that my DH peed in the shower I wasn't sure if I could love him so much anymore, so I went and asked my mom about it. She said it's okay, dad did it too, that it's a man's genetic destiny. And now were very happily married again.

Posted by: mammamia | May 22, 2007 11:20 AM

This is just weird on so many levels.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 11:27 AM

Men pee in the shower because it saves water and avoids getting the floor of the bathroom sopping wet when we get out and walk over to the toilet. It all goes to the same place anyway.

Also because we can.

Posted by: John L | May 22, 2007 11:30 AM

On truemomconfessions, many women also say that they pee in the shower!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 11:31 AM

Chasmosaur,
I don't ask my mom for too much advice, for the very same reasons. But I do look to my sisters and friends (and vice-versa) precisely because of the generation gap. We are all around the same age, and can relate to each other's problems--in marriages and relationships. Ultimately I look to my mother for help with my daughter rather than for marital advice.

And I don't think sharing marital problems with your close friends is a betrayal to your spouse. Sometimes there are issues that our spouses don't undertand and it's easier to discuss it with other women who can sympathize and give you a new perspective about it. I rather we be open and aware of our issues together rather than take valiant attempts to keep them under lock and key.

Posted by: ellenb | May 22, 2007 11:32 AM

Father of 4,
Why do men pee in the shower? My guess is because they can but it is just gross. I mean the toilet is right there.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | May 22, 2007 08:46 AM

__________________________________

Asking Father of 4 why men do something is like asking Paris Hilton why women do something. Not exactly a typical (or even adequate) representative of the gender.

Posted by: Aargh | May 22, 2007 11:35 AM

ellenb

"And I don't think sharing marital problems with your close friends is a betrayal to your spouse."

Would you like your husband to share marital problems with his close friends?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 11:36 AM

On truemomconfessions, many women also say that they pee in the shower!

Posted by: | May 22, 2007 11:31 AM


Shhh!!! the men aren't supposed to know that!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 11:38 AM

"Men pee in the shower because it saves water and avoids getting the floor of the bathroom sopping wet when we get out and walk over to the toilet. It all goes to the same place anyway."

Why not pee before you get in the shower?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 11:38 AM

ellenb

"And I don't think sharing marital problems with your close friends is a betrayal to your spouse."

Would you like your husband to share marital problems with his close friends?

Posted by: | May 22, 2007 11:36 AM

Exactly! Many women live this double standard.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 11:38 AM


Why not pee before you get in the shower?

There is the efficiency issue and the water saving issue!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 11:41 AM

anon @ 11:38

Sometimes, as Fo4 said, the shower helps relax the bladder and we just need to go right then, rather than prior to getting in the shower.

Posted by: John L | May 22, 2007 11:41 AM

"Men pee in the shower because it saves water and avoids getting the floor of the bathroom sopping wet when we get out and walk over to the toilet. It all goes to the same place anyway."

So does poop.

You and I will NEVER be houseguests in each other's homes. Yuck!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 11:42 AM

So does poop.


Has the blogersation ever degraded so badly before?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 11:45 AM

Wow, I feel so normal now. The mother/daughter relationship is the most complex and I do not feel it will ever really be explained.

I do not ask my mother for advice on my marriage. This is something very private between my husband and me. I do recognize that my mother is a wonderful listener that would give me the shirt off her back. (I would of course pay for this gift with a heaping pile of guilt to be dished out a later date).

The generation gap is large even though our age difference is not. My mother grew up overseas and did not relate to life when I was young and does not have a true grasp even now. What she does have is a shoulder and two ears. She listens when I too talk of the messes from my husband, who was raised in a 50's style household when his mother cleaned, cooked and did the laundry and the house was always perfect.

I have found that while she doesn't truly understand or grasp the dynamics of my marriage, she is looking out for my best interests. I will always be her child and she will always want to protect me, even if it is so I won't be taken advantage of.

Posted by: vienna | May 22, 2007 11:46 AM

Mona -- I suspect the 10:40 comment comes from different expectations/experiences. Personally, if I had spent a year having repeated screaming fits with my (future) husband, we wouldn't be married now. We're generally not yellers, so if it had gotten to that point for us, it would have signified very, very bad things. On the other hand, my SIL and BIL tend to be the Bickersons -- there's always something going on, always that undertone of annoyance. When I first met them, I thought, dang, THAT can't last. But they've actually been together almost 20 years now -- that's just their style. The only important thing is whether how you two behave works for the two of you.

Advice from mom? It's an interesting topic. Usually it's the other way around -- my mom dotes on her granddaughter, and my daughter knows how to work it, so it's usually her asking me how to rein the girl in (I do get a kick out of watching my daughter get away with all sorts of crap that I would have been booted for even THINKING as a kid).

I've also learned to filter what she says, because what she wants for me isn't always what I want. She grew up in the 50s with very limited career options, and while she's been very successful on the paths that were available to her, she does take great pride in my career -- and doesn't understand that I might not be interested in maximum, A-1, top-of-the-ladder career success.

For ex., early on in my marriage, I mentioned that I might go part-time if/when we had kids. She didn't like -- "well, I always managed a full-time job AND a child, even as a single mother, so I'm sure YOU can, too." I wasn't sure whether to laugh or get angry, but just told her that she really didn't have much of a clue. She was a college prof; yes, she worked VERY hard, but mostly at home on nights and weekends -- so she got to see me a lot, and didn't have to worry about after-care and all of that. Very different from working lawyer full-time and commuting into DC from Rockville. I also suggested that if she really wanted to understand how hard it is, perhaps she should talk to my stepfather, who has been getting up at 5:30 AM to take the train to DC for almost 20 yrs (and who works for the government and so has it "easier" than I would have).

Of course, being a mom, she's managed to turn my own part-time status into a success on its own -- now she sees it as I must be REALLY smart to be able to be a part-time partner. :-) And it's really, really nice to know there's one person on the planet who is going to turn anything I do into more evidence of how smart and wonderful and special I am (I'm thinking she should be the lawyer here, given her amazing ability to twist any fact to suit her own purposes).

Posted by: Laura | May 22, 2007 11:46 AM

Chasmosaur, I have been having the same issue with my parents--while I would love to seek their wisdom on some of my problems, I know that they haven't experienced some of the situations I'm in.

As with many of the other posters, I don't want to trash Mr Bee to our friends, most of whom are mutual friends. And, I am not much for venting. I don't want people to agree with me and complain together--I want to discuss a problem with a view to finding a real solution.

As a result Mr Bee and I are in marriage counselling. It isn't cheap but so far, it's really great. It's been four weeks and already we are finding it a whole lot easier to communicate and we're feeling closer than ever. I don't know what people did before marriage counsellors--my guess would be other people in objective positions like spiritual leaders would have filled this role (and likely still do for many people).

Posted by: worker bee | May 22, 2007 11:46 AM

What do you mean? My dh never thinks there are problems...he's very happy! And if there were problemss (which there aren't), I'm always understanding. But I guess he has to talk about something with his friends, so I think it's fine.

Total b.s.

My spouse is totally confident with himself and doesn't mind and neither do I.

Posted by: ellenb | May 22, 2007 11:46 AM

My in-laws are extremely involved and interfering in the marriages of their two daughters. DH and I saw this pattern early on and made a strong commitment to not discuss our marriage with our respective families. True, it can be lonely when you come upon a bad situation. But I shudder to think what meddling would have occurred if we would have involved them in some of our issues. I don't think our marriage would have survived.
This is clearly the case with my two SIL's. Their mother speaks with them by phone 5 or 6 times a day. She knows every intimate detail of their marriages and despises and demeans their husbands. Every time there is a fight they're on the mommy hotline and it creates a new rift between MIL and spouse.

My parents had an extreme meddler in the form of my dad's mom. They had to deal with lots of manipulation and game playing. (Grandma just happening to be driving down the street when I'm walking home from 2nd grade, offering me a ride and then grilling me about my parents and grandfathers lives.) They have adopted a hands off policy. They love us, they would be there for us in a true crisis, but if I had ever tried to involve them in routine conflict and pulled the "I'm going home to mom and dad" stuff, they would boot me right back to my DH. It's worked for me for the past 15 years.


Posted by: notsayin' | May 22, 2007 11:51 AM

So does poop.


Has the blogersation ever degraded so badly before?

Posted by: | May 22, 2007 11:45 AM

The difference is that the toilet has a much larger pipe, typically 4" diameter to conduct waste solids where a shower has only a 2" pipe. The 2" waste pipe is only suitable to conduct liquids.

Posted by: A Plumber | May 22, 2007 11:52 AM

"Why not pee before you get in the shower?"

I would rather save time and pee while I'm washing my hair. Its a more efficient multitasking solution.

Also, the question "Have you ever peed in the shower?" is a great honesty test for perspective mates. There are 2 types of people:
1. People that have peed in the shower.
2. People that lie about it.

Posted by: Father of 4 | May 22, 2007 11:52 AM

Of course, being a mom, she's managed to turn my own part-time status into a success on its own -- now she sees it as I must be REALLY smart to be able to be a part-time partner. :-) And it's really, really nice to know there's one person on the planet who is going to turn anything I do into more evidence of how smart and wonderful and special I am (I'm thinking she should be the lawyer here, given her amazing ability to twist any fact to suit her own purposes).

Posted by: Laura | May 22, 2007 11:46 AM

I think that's really great. My Mom (and Dad) is very proud of my career, even if it's not very exciting both of them have been very encouraging. Sometimes I think just the fact that I am employed is enough to please them. Must be a generational difference to value employment that much.

Posted by: Miles | May 22, 2007 11:52 AM

Men peeing in showers- is that the same as a Golden Shower?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 11:52 AM

"Father of 4,
Why do men pee in the shower? My guess is because they can but it is just gross. I mean the toilet is right there."

OK, I'm female, but I don't see what is so gross about this. It's not like they leave a puddle.

Posted by: to klb | May 22, 2007 11:59 AM

"Why do men pee in the shower?"

For the same reason they pee in the pool.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 12:02 PM

OT:
To marian: oh, I wasn't upset or anything. I was trying to make a point and someone blasted me for something not related to the point (I don't think it was you). It was actually funny to me. Cause I did have friends in HS who took all the art classes. They could-and they went to art school. I could probably not have gone to the art schools since I took as little art as possible. So all my point was was that the schools look at the courses you take and not just the grades. Certainly not that art is easy-cause for me is definitely *is* harder than calculus! To make, I guess, not to enjoy.
I feel like I have to watch how I phrase everything!

Posted by: atlmom | May 22, 2007 12:03 PM

Men peeing in showers- is that the same as a Golden Shower?

Posted by: | May 22, 2007 11:52 AM

No, not the same thing at all!

Posted by: One who knows | May 22, 2007 12:04 PM

I am willing to fess up, on this anonymous board, that I, a woman, have been known to pee in the shower. I prefer not to, but sometimes I just forget to go until I'm too wet to turn back. But I hurry up, b/c sometimes hubby will need to finish getting ready, or maybe want to join me.... how's that for TMI!

Posted by: ICUP | May 22, 2007 12:09 PM

and studentsaltmom

"So all my point was was that the schools look at the courses you take and not just the grades."

And there are school districts and students too poor to offer or take AP courses. What then?

Posted by: Dilbert | May 22, 2007 12:11 PM

I have never peed in the shower. Are you serious that some people can't wait 5 mins? Or are these the folks who take 30 minute showers (don't get that myself)?

Posted by: KLB SS MD | May 22, 2007 12:12 PM

I have never peed in the shower. I have, however, peed standing up, even though I'm a woman. Gotta love the "toilets" in Northern Africa and even parts of Europe. "Place feet here" over a hole . . .

Posted by: WorkingMomX | May 22, 2007 12:17 PM

One thing I learned in the military - don't pee sideways on a hill as your boots get wet.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | May 22, 2007 12:19 PM

KLB SS MD, Next thing you'll be telling me is that you've never peed in the ocean either, right?

Posted by: Father of 4 | May 22, 2007 12:20 PM

Father of 4,
Ocean is different than a pool or shower.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | May 22, 2007 12:22 PM

"One thing I learned in the military - don't pee sideways on a hill as your boots get wet."

Or in a bedpan.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 12:28 PM

I don't ask my mom for marriage advice. She is the kind of person who would hold a grudge against DH for any minor infraction. So, I only tell her positive things about him. I learned this lesson early on in our relationship. I still think she wishes I would have married someone else, even though DH is the best guy and the love of my life. So, I am careful never to say anything remotely negative about him to her.

As for your problem with messiness, hire a cleaning service. We have done that. We're both messy and don't like to clean. Problem solved.

Posted by: Lilly | May 22, 2007 12:28 PM

And then a dirty dish in the sink, or a smelly pair of socks under the bed won't seem like much of a problem at all.

Posted by: Father of 4 | May 22, 2007 07:28 AM

Besides, you don't have to look at the mess like she does!

Let me guess, the next gift you will get your wife is a new bucket to match that mop you got her for Christmas!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 12:30 PM

KLB SS MD, as far as peeing and the ocean go, I heard that urine is a good firsthand treatment for a jellyfish sting...

Posted by: Father of 4 | May 22, 2007 12:32 PM

Laura, that's great. My dad came to visit this past weekend from out of town and he took a train from the airport to my office. I took him to my office to show him around. It is a new job I got last summer.
He didn't even ask what the company name was, let alone what I do, what business we are in or anything like that. I wasn't surprised-it's not like I met him yesterday, but it is a little disappointing every time something like that happens.

Posted by: atlmom | May 22, 2007 12:37 PM

From a profession standpoint, I need to refrain from comment on everyone's shower habits. But I am snickering here at my computer...

Posted by: Leslie | May 22, 2007 12:40 PM

Laura, you may have a point there. Some people think people should never have loud arguments. I figured it was just natural for us, considering our six-month, pre-relationship friendship was often spent debating certain topics. I also thought it was in part because of our personality differences. I have never dated someone like him and I know for sure he's never been with someone like me. So it took some time for us to get used to each other, and after some temper flare-ups, we're now at a point where we can better understand each other. He has a harder time calming down, but I have a harder time communicating my thoughts in a way he can understand (my thought processes are convoluted and rambling, much like a maze, whereas his are straightforward like a math problem). However, we are both aware of our problems, and are making great progress at solving them. And the occasional loud debate keeps things interesting!

On another note, I just ate fresh strawberries and bananas smothered in chocolate sauce for lunch, while the rest of the department is at a barbecue wolfing down charred, ground-up cows. I'm so not jealous.

Posted by: Mona | May 22, 2007 12:40 PM

The Google adds are just spot on for today's blog:

Separated Marriage Free to Join. 1000's of pictures of Beautiful Separated Singles www.DivorcedPeopleMeet.com

Posted by: Father of 4 | May 22, 2007 12:41 PM

EWWW! I have not peed in a shower/bath/pool/ocean since I was about six!
I 'go' before I get in (to any body of water).

Well, at least now I KNOW I'm prissy.

Posted by: educmom | May 22, 2007 12:42 PM

Father of 4, Did you ever think the day would come when the celebrity with whom you'd be compared is Paris Hilton?

Posted by: MN | May 22, 2007 12:52 PM

"On another note, I just ate fresh strawberries and bananas smothered in chocolate sauce for lunch, while the rest of the department is at a barbecue wolfing down charred, ground-up cows. I'm so not jealous."

Well, I'm exremely jealous. there's nothing like a good barbeque.

"She is the kind of person who would hold a grudge against DH for any minor infraction" LOL - I once had a huge fight with Mr xyz and went to Mom's house. I don't really remember what I said to her, but I distinctly remember her saying "Well, I hope you two make up because I really like Mr xyz" - so much for looking to Mom for sympathy :).

Posted by: xyz | May 22, 2007 12:54 PM

EWWW! I have not peed in a shower/bath/pool/ocean since I was about six!
I 'go' before I get in (to any body of water).

Well, at least now I KNOW I'm prissy.

Posted by: educmom | May 22, 2007 12:42 PM

Where do you think all the sewer water eventually winds up?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 12:54 PM

Father of 4, you're right about the two types of people. Everyone pees in the shower, myself included. I mean, what more reason do you need other than it saves the 4 gallons of water it takes to flush the toilet!

I complain about my husband to people and he complains about me to people. We complain about each other to people in front of each other. It's all in good fun. I guess that's because we talk about the serious problems with each other. For example:

In front of other people: "Why is it so hard for him to remember to do his laundry? I mean, he has actually run out of clean clothes!"

Only to each other: "I feel like you don't listen to me when I ask for you to do chores."

From reading these commemts, it seems like whether or not you confide in your parents has a lot to do with the type of people the parents are. I would not complain to my mom if she were a shallow, bitter woman who would use my complaints as ammo to bash my husband. She is a wonderful person and would never use what I say in confidence against me.

Posted by: Meesh | May 22, 2007 12:55 PM

As for your problem with messiness, hire a cleaning service. We have done that. We're both messy and don't like to clean. Problem solved.

Posted by: Lilly | May 22, 2007 12:28 PM

I'm glad that solved the problem for you. I suspect you are both willing to live with the mess in between visits from teh cleaning service. I am not. HouseCLEANING is solved by hiring a cleaning service. Messiness, laziness and pack-rat-itis is not.

I have no interest in picking his dirty dishes up from the porch or the living room and transporting them to the dishwasher. I am not the sole designated loader or unloader of the dishwasher. I will not pick up all of his dirty laundry off the floor and strewn around the house and carry it to the laundry basket, then tote the laundry basket down to the laundry room. I never had a roommate expect me to pick up after her or him, and I had a number of roommates of various dispositions and cleanliness styles over the years. Why should my spouse?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 1:01 PM

Peeing in the shower is gross? Well, I always knew my hygeine standards were a bit different ...

Posted by: TakomaMom | May 22, 2007 1:01 PM

I know this has been discussed before, but who decides if the problem is really that he is a slob or if the problem is that she is a controlling neat-freak?

I don't care if coats and sweaters are hung on the back of chairs, but I have a friend who thinks everything should be hung up or put away the second it comes off your body. Some people never make beds, others can't leave the room until the bed is made. My neat freak friend thinks a book or magazine should be put on the shelf as soon as you close it. She gets upset if her husband leaves it on the coffee table. I think her husband is quite neat and she thinks he is somewhat of a slob.

This is an area where people have different standards. You have to find a compromise that you can both live with.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 1:03 PM

CMAC

I do not do wall hanging stuff. Even after the hurricane, I did not put up the paintings (yes, we have real paintings), prints (Monet and Manet), tapestries, and other stuff. Some one else did it. Not me.

Posted by: Fred | May 22, 2007 10:42 AM


Fred - At least you have the prints and paintings - we are not even that far! There are a couple strategic mirrors and pictures of the kids but our living room is bare. Every time I print out a nice print my husband rolls his eyes.

There are a couple things that lead to fights in our house, hanging pictures (other that the living room of course), painting and Xmas lights. Late November usually has one or 2 very cranky days when the lights from the previous year are pulled out, tested, thrown away or hung and new ones are bought. It drives me crazy!

Posted by: cmac | May 22, 2007 1:04 PM

I'm glad that solved the problem for you. I suspect you are both willing to live with the mess in between visits from teh cleaning service. I am not. HouseCLEANING is solved by hiring a cleaning service. Messiness, laziness and pack-rat-itis is not.

I have no interest in picking his dirty dishes up from the porch or the living room and transporting them to the dishwasher. I am not the sole designated loader or unloader of the dishwasher. I will not pick up all of his dirty laundry off the floor and strewn around the house and carry it to the laundry basket, then tote the laundry basket down to the laundry room. I never had a roommate expect me to pick up after her or him, and I had a number of roommates of various dispositions and cleanliness styles over the years. Why should my spouse?

Posted by: | May 22, 2007 01:01 PM

You should get a divorce, I'm sure your husband would be much happier.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 1:07 PM

Meesh, I totally agree with you. What are family and friends for if you can't share with them what's important to you. Hopefully, the marriage is on top of the list and seeking advice or discussion on how to deal with issues and getting feedback is part of the improvement process.

I can't imagine that mentioning who did the taxes, dishes, mowing, sweeping, and/or scrubbing needs to be a closely garded secret in any family because "it's none of their business".

I get plenty of free advice from my friends, family, and of course, this blog. No need to hire a marriage counselor for us.

But I do caution about sharing personal marital information to neighbors

Posted by: Father of 4 | May 22, 2007 1:14 PM

Come to think of it, I can't remember the last time I asked my mother for advice on anything! I love my mother, but tempermentally we are very, very different. The fact that we have lived in different states for over thirty years doesn't lend itself to our being confidantes, either. No ... When I need advice on life issues, I definitely turn to friends!

Posted by: Murphy | May 22, 2007 1:23 PM

Murphy

"Come to think of it, I can't remember the last time I asked my mother for advice on anything! "

Same here and with a lot of people I know. Even less people ask their FATHERS for advice.

Posted by: Lola | May 22, 2007 1:38 PM

You should get a divorce, I'm sure your husband would be much happier.

Posted by: | May 22, 2007 01:07 PM

1:07, I can't imagine what would make you think you are qualified to comment on other's marital happiness, or recommend divorce to resolve minor marital differences. Maybe if you got laid more often, your comments would be less nasty.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 1:40 PM

anon at 12:54:
well, I don't swim in my toilet, if you catch my drift...and I have a well & septic, so I know exactly where my waste ends up.

I think I'm going to get that chemical for the pool that changes color if someone pees in it (for my pool, not the ocean).

I'm starting to feel like Felix Ungar!

Posted by: educmom | May 22, 2007 1:41 PM

"You should get a divorce, I'm sure your husband would be much happier"

Thank you for the advice, Hall Monitor.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 1:49 PM

Well, urine is basicly sterile. Much more so than if someone spits or snots in your pool. But I still think it's gross, too.

Posted by: A VA Mom | May 22, 2007 1:55 PM

Well, urine is basicly sterile. Much more so than if someone spits or snots in your pool. But I still think it's gross, too.

Posted by: A VA Mom | May 22, 2007 1:57 PM

The excrement topic has jumped the shark as well, gang.

Next?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 1:59 PM

"1:07, I can't imagine what would make you think you are qualified to comment on other's marital happiness, or recommend divorce to resolve minor marital differences. Maybe if you got laid more often, your comments would be less nasty."

1:40, I can't imagine what would make you think you are qualified to prescribe sexual activity as a treatment for attitude. You know nothing about this person's life. You've no reason to make that last comment, especially as it completely demolishes the point you were attempting to make.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 2:00 PM

Maybe if you got laid more often, your comments would be less nasty."

Ha, happy people get it more often. Maybe that is her point.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 2:01 PM

"1:40, I can't imagine what would make you think you are qualified to prescribe sexual activity as a treatment for attitude. "

Duh, cause it usually works.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 2:02 PM

Let's get it on.

Posted by: marvin gay | May 22, 2007 2:03 PM

Well, I'm really feeling sorry for Chasmosaur, LOL. This has really degenerated worse than usual.

The gap between mothers and daughters and their marriages is partly generational, but there are other gaps as well. My parents are divorced, so my Mom hovers over our marriages offering lots of unsoliticted advice so our husbands won't "leave us." It was maddening, but she's calmed down the past few years. My mom was also a SAHM, so she has a very hard time relating to my experiences as a working mom, and she's made it clear she doesn't approve.

But even if I had a great relationship with my mom and she supported all of my choices, I doubt I'd be sharing my marital problems with her or my sisters or even my friends. It just seems like a huge betrayal to me. This is our private business and we need to work through it together. If a problem ever gets to a point that we need outside help, then of course discussing them with a therapist or member of the clergy is different. But I can't imagine griping about my husband to anyone.

Now, some good natured ribbing over something that we both know is fair game is different. I'll tease my husband about how he keeps the garage neater than our bedroom. He'll return by favor by pointing out that I can't seem to ever return a pair of shoes to the closet. But the serious issues stay between us until they're worked out.

Can't resist contributing to the peeing discussion (sorry Chasmosaur). DD's urologist actually advised her to start peeing in the shower. She was horrified and refused to do it for awhile. I'm sure I was the only mom who had to sit on the toilet peeking in the shower trying to convince her kid to pee in there. She finally gave in and now pees with glee. I guess at some point I'll have to undo this . . . .

Posted by: Vegas Mom | May 22, 2007 2:09 PM

Fo4 is right again (twice in one day, a record!); urine is a good remedy for jellyfish stings, and it is a sterile fluid.

Uhhh, educmom, if you've got a well and septic system, basically the waste materials end up in the water you are drinking. The only thing stopping this from happening is the soil between the well and your septic system.

Besides, the amount of water in this world hasn't changed much for the last billion years or so. We've been recycling it through countless numbers of humans and other animals for that long...

Posted by: John L | May 22, 2007 2:11 PM

Husbands are supposed to serve their wives, and wives are supposed to serve their husbands -- out of love. For those who think marriage entails being served, but not having to serve -- oh, me! oh, my! Just listen to the preacher from James Joyce's "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man":

"The preacher took a chainless watch from a pocket within his soutane
and, having considered its dial for a moment in silence, placed it
silently before him on the table.

"He began to speak in a quiet tone.

"--Adam and Eve, my dear boys, were, as you know, our first parents,
and you will remember that they were created by [Gosh] in order that the
seats in heaven left vacant by the fall of Lucifer and his rebellious
angels might be filled again. Lucifer, we are told, was a son of the
morning, a radiant and mighty angel; yet he fell: he fell and there
fell with him a third part of the host of heaven: he fell and was
hurled with his rebellious angels into hell. What his sin was we cannot
say. Theologians consider that it was the sin of pride, the sinful
thought conceived in an instant: NON SERVIAM: I WILL NOT SERVE. That
instant was his ruin.

"He offended the majesty of [Gosh] by the sinful thought of one instant and
[Gosh] cast him out of heaven into hell for ever."

Guys -- too proud to take out the garbage and mow the lawn?
Gals -- too proud to vacuum and do laundry?

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | May 22, 2007 2:13 PM

Vegas Mom,
Just have to ask - Why did the Urologist tell DD to pee in the shower?
Sounds like a joke, doesn't it?

Posted by: KLB SS MD | May 22, 2007 2:17 PM

Guys -- too proud to take out the garbage and mow the lawn?
Gals -- too proud to vacuum and do laundry?

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | May 22, 2007 02:13 PM

Equally important

Guys - too proud to vacuum and do laundry?
Gals - too proud to take out the garbage and mow the lawn?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 2:18 PM

Vegas mom: just curious why the urologist said that...?

Posted by: atlmom | May 22, 2007 2:20 PM

"Why did the Urologist tell DD to pee in the shower?"

This my be a regional thing; I know a lot of women in their early 50s who pee (in the toilet) standing up.

It might have something to do with catching a disease from a toilet seat.

Posted by: Madame X | May 22, 2007 2:23 PM

Matt in Aberdeen

I don't believe in God, so your posting is a criminal waste of my time.

Posted by: Porn Queen | May 22, 2007 2:30 PM

You should get a divorce, I'm sure your husband would be much happier.

Posted by: | May 22, 2007 01:07 PM

1:07, I can't imagine what would make you think you are qualified to comment on other's marital happiness, or recommend divorce to resolve minor marital differences. Maybe if you got laid more often, your comments would be less nasty.

Posted by: | May 22, 2007 01:40 PM

The original poester is a uncompromising controlling ahat that thinks her spouse needs to be "cured". If she really thinks that little of him, she should leave him and find someone she respects.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 2:32 PM

Ha, happy people get it more often. Maybe that is her point.

Posted by: | May 22, 2007 02:01 PM

maybe it was. or his point, since you are making assumptions there.

on the other hand, maybe the original poster is simply drawing a firm line on being the maid and is otherwise happy as a clam.

Do fries come with that snark?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 2:33 PM

"on the other hand, maybe the original poster is simply drawing a firm line on being the maid and is otherwise happy as a clam."

That was my take.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 2:36 PM

John L:

In a way, yeah...I've had that thought myself. I've been told that the slope and distance between the well (which is deep) and the drainage field, as well as the natural filtering process, keeps that from actually happening.

I didn't care -- I had a filtration system installed at the same time I installed a water softener.

So why did your daughter have to pee in the shower, Vegas Mom?
That sounds like the set-up for a dirty joke...(snickering)

Posted by: educmom | May 22, 2007 2:37 PM

*off-topic alert!*

"Thers IS a story by Vonnegut exactly about that. A kid is being chased down in order to "bring him to th eaverage level". A virtual trophy to a person who remembers the title."

It's "Harrison Bergeron," and it's been made into a film that is actually quite good.

Basically, everyone in society is obliged to have their talents eliminated through a system of handicapping, thus ensuring consistent mediocrity throughout the land.

Posted by: pittypat | May 21, 2007 02:51 PM

Thank you Pittypat! I had read the story but couldn't remember the title for the life of me.

Either that, or there is a very similar story.

Does it end with the father weeping over something sad he saw on television and his spectacularly average wife (I thought she had to be way, way below, personally) asking him about his headache?

Posted by: Maryland Mother | May 22, 2007 2:37 PM

on the other hand, maybe the original poster is simply drawing a firm line on being the maid and is otherwise happy as a clam.

Do fries come with that snark?

Posted by: | May 22, 2007 02:33 PM

No, if she doesn't like being a maid, all she has to do is stop doing his stuff for him. She views "Messiness, laziness and pack-rat-itis" as a moral failing that needs to be solved. SHe has decided how the house will be cleaned and thats that. You call it drawing a line, I call it uncompromising and controlling.

There is no happiness anywhere in that post.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 2:39 PM

I'm glad that solved the problem for you. I suspect you are both willing to live with the mess in between visits from teh cleaning service. I am not. HouseCLEANING is solved by hiring a cleaning service. Messiness, laziness and pack-rat-itis is not.

I have no interest in picking his dirty dishes up from the porch or the living room and transporting them to the dishwasher. I am not the sole designated loader or unloader of the dishwasher. I will not pick up all of his dirty laundry off the floor and strewn around the house and carry it to the laundry basket, then tote the laundry basket down to the laundry room. I never had a roommate expect me to pick up after her or him, and I had a number of roommates of various dispositions and cleanliness styles over the years. Why should my spouse?

Posted by: | May 22, 2007 01:01 PM


The original poester is a uncompromising controlling ahat that thinks her spouse needs to be "cured". If she really thinks that little of him, she should leave him and find someone she respects.

Posted by: | May 22, 2007 02:32 PM


The original post is above, 2:32. You are projecting an awful lot of anger on a post that said only, I don't want to live in a mess. She said nothing about curing him or disrespecting. Methinks you are bringing some of your very own baggage to the reading party.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 2:39 PM

No, if she doesn't like being a maid, all she has to do is stop doing his stuff for him. She views "Messiness, laziness and pack-rat-itis" as a moral failing that needs to be solved. SHe has decided how the house will be cleaned and thats that. You call it drawing a line, I call it uncompromising and controlling.

There is no happiness anywhere in that post.


Posted by: | May 22, 2007 02:39 PM

Is there happiness anywhere in your post? She's not controlling him. She's saying what she won't do. Dismount before you have a coronary over imagined emotions.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 2:42 PM

Maryland Mother,

Yes, I think that's how it ends.

They all have to wear these handicapping devices, and Harrison's is a metal thing that circles his head. But, at some point, he takes it off, right?

I'm trying to remember all the details. It's been a while...

Posted by: pittypat | May 22, 2007 2:42 PM

Blog Stats person:

Can you give us info on who uses "methinks" most frequently?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 2:46 PM

DD was born with a relatively minor genetic birth defect. The flaps on her ureters (the tubes between her kidneys and bladder) flapped both ways, causing urine to back up into her kidneys. This caused kidney infections, which are very scary, by the way. We were seeing a urologist for that issue, which was eventually solved with a minor surgical procedure.

DD also had a bedwetting problem, so I asked his advice during one of our appointments. He theorized that she wasn't emptying her bladder completely when I had her go to the bathroom before bed and suggested I have her pee in the shower. The theory being that, because the warm water would relax her bladder, it was more likely to empty completely. He also suggested I try having her pee twice before bed -- same theory, different method.

LOL, I'm laughing at Madame X's suggestion. Is that for real?

Posted by: Vegas Mom | May 22, 2007 2:48 PM

Is there happiness anywhere in your post? She's not controlling him. She's saying what she won't do. Dismount before you have a coronary over imagined emotions.

Posted by: | May 22, 2007 02:42 PM

Not only is she saying what she wont do, she is also saying what he must do. Maybe he likes being a little messy.

This always comes up when talking about cleaning. The neater person has the expectation that the messier person should clean to their standards. If they don't they are assumed to be the problem. Maybe the cleaner person is just an OCD neat freak.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 2:49 PM

pittypat

"Maryland Mother,

Yes, I think that's how it ends.

They all have to wear these handicapping devices, and Harrison's is a metal thing that circles his head. But, at some point, he takes it off, right?

I'm trying to remember all the details. It's been a while..."

For Heaven's sake, look stuff up before you post if you aren't sure ! Please!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 2:50 PM

This my be a regional thing; I know a lot of women in their early 50s who pee (in the toilet) standing up.

My wife "hovers" on public toliets

Posted by: anon today | May 22, 2007 2:50 PM

I'm starting to feel like I've wandered into Weingarten's chat . . . .

Posted by: Vegas Mom | May 22, 2007 2:52 PM

Vegas Mom,
That is really interesting. I have never heard that. I do know the story about putting a sleeping drunk's hand in a bowl of warm water - supposed to make them pee themselves.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | May 22, 2007 2:53 PM

My wife "hovers" on public toliets

Posted by: anon today | May 22, 2007 02:50 PM

No disrespect to your wife, but hoverers are the worst. Please ask her on behalf of everyone else to put down paper on the seat, use the seat covers that are provided, whatever, but don't leave urine on the seat for the next woman to view or contact. Hovering is a truly gross habit.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 2:54 PM

"For Heaven's sake, look stuff up before you post if you aren't sure ! Please!"

What is your problem, 2:50 p.m.?

Maryland Mother and I were continuing a conversation from yesterday's blog. Ever heard of pooling information to recall something that everybody remembers a little bit of? It becomes a community effort, and it can be fun. It's one way that people can interact instead of just looking something up on the Internet, which isn't very collegial at all.

Whoever you are, you're really grumpy!

Posted by: pittypat | May 22, 2007 2:56 PM

"Maybe the cleaner person is just an OCD neat freak."

OCD and neatness are not clinically related.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 2:59 PM

grumpiness is running rampant today, or one grumpy poster is dominating the board.

there must be something in the water.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 3:00 PM

"Maybe the cleaner person is just an OCD neat freak."

OCD and neatness are not clinically related.

Posted by: | May 22, 2007 02:59 PM

And you point is?

Because I am sure most people understood mine.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 3:02 PM

Hovering is gross only if you don't:

"If you sprinkle
when you tinkle
please be sweet
and wipe the seat."

Posted by: Mona | May 22, 2007 3:07 PM

BTW: When it comes to public toilet habits, men are much, much cleaner. Ask any custodian and they'll tell you the same.

There's also a lot more writing on the walls of the women's bathroom.

Posted by: Father of 4 | May 22, 2007 3:08 PM

Maryland Mother,

Yes, I think that's how it ends.

They all have to wear these handicapping devices, and Harrison's is a metal thing that circles his head. But, at some point, he takes it off, right?

I'm trying to remember all the details. It's been a while...

Posted by: pittypat |

Thanks Pittypat--we're thinking of the same story. *whew*

As for 2:50 p.m.--well, hell, if you have YOUR collection of science fiction books and novellas at hand, why didn't you simply confirm the title?

I lack a didactic memory. It's pretty good, but it's not THAT good. Particularly as I read that book back when Chasmosaur and I were younger dinosaurs.

Posted by: Maryland Mother | May 22, 2007 3:08 PM

"there must be something in the water."

Yea - somebody peed.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | May 22, 2007 3:08 PM

And you point is?

Because I am sure most people understood mine.

Posted by: | May 22, 2007 03:02 PM


That you're proving you're a jerk.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 3:09 PM

Here I sit
Broken-hearted.
Tried to sh*t
Only farted.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 3:11 PM

How did this conversation string go from talking about our mom's advice to pee pee?!? I think I'm going to have to tell my mommy on you all . . .

Posted by: FormerSAHM | May 22, 2007 3:11 PM

"The neater person has the expectation that the messier person should clean to their standards. If they don't they are assumed to be the problem."

Being unwilling to clean up after someone else is entirely different from expecting someone else to clean to your standards. I could not care less how or if he cleans as long as he basically picks up after himself. I'm no neat freak. I don't dust or do housework, generally. I do pick up after myself, pretty much like any independent person.

Isn't picking up after yourself one of those things you learn in kindergarten, if not before?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 3:13 PM

"And you point is?

Because I am sure most people understood mine.

Posted by: | May 22, 2007 03:02 PM"

Well, my point is that it's pure ignorance to conflate obsessive-compulsive disorder with neat-freak-ness, as you have done. They have nothing to do with each other.

Those of us who suffer with OCD wish to correct misinformation wherever we encounter it, as there is so much misunderstanding about our illness.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 3:15 PM

Mona, - you'll like this one from my oldest daughter. When my family sat down to eat hamburgers for dinner the other day, she taught the littler ones to call the hamburgers "bloodmuffins".

The term made the burgers seem kind of gross, and I have to admit, I was a little reluctant to put ketchup on mine.

Posted by: Father of 4 | May 22, 2007 3:15 PM

My wife "hovers" on public toliets

Posted by: anon today | May 22, 2007 02:50 PM

No disrespect to your wife, but hoverers are the worst. Please ask her on behalf of everyone else to put down paper on the seat, use the seat covers that are provided, whatever, but don't leave urine on the seat for the next woman to view or contact. Hovering is a truly gross habit.

Posted by: | May 22, 2007 02:54 PM

Hey, even knowing that my wife hovers is WTMI for me! I don't ask beyond that! (I do stand though!)

Posted by: anon today | May 22, 2007 3:15 PM

Bloodmuffins! Awesome! I'll have to remember that one...all royalties paid to your daughter, of course. ;-)

Posted by: Mona | May 22, 2007 3:19 PM

What is your problem, 2:50 p.m.?

I've re-thought my answer.

2:50 p.m. had no idea about whether or not that was the correct title, had never read the story, but felt obliged to jump into a conversation for which they were uniquely unqualified. I also note that while this person implied laziness, there was no effort to look it and provide an answer either. Thus trying to turn the individual's personal failing into our fault.

Must be a politician.

Posted by: Maryland Mother | May 22, 2007 3:22 PM

My wife "hovers" on public toliets

Posted by: anon today | May 22, 2007 02:50

There are more germs on the faucets and door handle than on the seat. Tell her to sit down and use a towel on the faucet and doors if she wants to limit the gross factor.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 3:23 PM

Meat is murder - tasty, tasty murder!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 3:24 PM

Mona, - you'll like this one from my oldest daughter. When my family sat down to eat hamburgers for dinner the other day, she taught the littler ones to call the hamburgers "bloodmuffins".

The term made the burgers seem kind of gross, and I have to admit, I was a little reluctant to put ketchup on mine.

Posted by: Father of 4 | May 22, 2007 03:15 PM

Between wearing thongs to school and ruining your dinner hour, this girl's on a roll.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 3:24 PM

One does not always learn to clean up after one's self. My dad has never done it. Mom never expected it from him. Out of respect, now, when he visits once every 3-5 yrs, nah, I don't make a big deal out of it. If he were at my house a bunch, then I might. If I am visiting another person, then I try to be a good houseguest, but dad definitely never learned that.

Posted by: atlmom | May 22, 2007 3:28 PM

I think it's funny that "Harrison Bergeron" (1961) sounds a lot like "Flowers for Algernon" (Hugo award winner, Best Short Fiction, 1960; Nebula Award for Best Novel, 1961). I wonder if it was Vonnegut being nice about Daniel Keyes, or taking a swipe at him.

I know that Vonnegut died in April; I'm not trying to disparage him.

Posted by: Maryland Mother | May 22, 2007 3:31 PM

Isn't picking up after yourself one of those things you learn in kindergarten, if not before?

Posted by: | May 22, 2007 03:13 PM

Doesn't being an adult mean you get to decide how (much/often) you do this?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 3:39 PM

"Matt in Aberdeen

I don't believe in God, so your posting is a criminal waste of my time.

Posted by: Porn Queen | May 22, 2007 02:30 PM "

Your name is uniquely appropriate, given your beliefs......

Posted by: pATRICK | May 22, 2007 3:40 PM

"Bloodmuffins! Awesome! I'll have to remember that one...all royalties paid to your daughter, of course. ;-)"

Wonder what the starving children in africa would call them? Perhaps a gift from God? They don't have the luxury of being a vegetarian, only priviliged rich nations citizens do.

Posted by: pATRICK | May 22, 2007 3:45 PM

MM,

It is curious that those two stories appeared around the same time -- one about making people mediocre and the other about making a retarded man smart.

Seems to me that they were both perhaps cautionary tales about what might happen if medical science is allowed to experiment without restrictions. Kind of like Frankenstein's monster. Playing God always leads to ruin.

Well, 45 years later, we've seen some of the results, haven't we? Maybe we should have listened.

Posted by: pittypat | May 22, 2007 3:45 PM

My ds is in preschool and will be 2 on thursday yet they are expected to clean up after themselves (taking their plate to the trash, etc). The next generation is learning!

Posted by: atlmom | May 22, 2007 3:45 PM

Isn't picking up after yourself one of those things you learn in kindergarten, if not before?

Posted by: | May 22, 2007 03:13 PM

Doesn't being an adult mean you get to decide how (much/often) you do this?

Posted by: | May 22, 2007 03:39 PM

Sure. But living with other people means that you are supposed to take their feelings on the matter into account.

Who wants to live with someone who treats their home like an open garbage skow?

Does anyone really think that leaving your dirty socks on the kitchen counter, or dining room table, an act that says, "I love and respect you"?

My home won't ever be photographed for House Beautiful, but I don't cringe at the thought of someone coming over and seeing it either.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 3:46 PM

Ahem...

I have a small confession to make. since It is somewhat on topic and in the spirit of todays' conversation...

but to impress upon all you ladies of what a considerate, lovable, caring gentleman I am with my bathroom/hygenic habits...

And, as you know, that my nonexistent vision, is a crucial handicap when it comes to my ability to, well, umm..., AIM, yep that's the word....

Now this is very dificult for me to admit, as it will take a notch out of the manliness component of my otherwise battered self image...

but in all consideration of the other 3 females I love so much and share a bathroom with...

* here goes, I'm holding my eyes shut as I hit the submit key *

I SQUAT TO PEE TOO!


Posted by: Father of 4 | May 22, 2007 3:47 PM

Fof4,

Bravo! I know that was a hard admission, but it shows what you're made of. You're a real man.

Be proud.

Posted by: pittypat | May 22, 2007 3:49 PM

"Bloodmuffins! Awesome! I'll have to remember that one...all royalties paid to your daughter, of course. ;-)"

Wonder what the starving children in africa would call them? Perhaps a gift from God? They don't have the luxury of being a vegetarian, only priviliged rich nations citizens do.

Posted by: pATRICK

Generally they are vegetarian. But that isn't why they're starving.

A lot of people who are raised vegetarians (whether by choice or fiat) don't actually enjoy the taste of meat. I know some of my Indian friends have tried out of politeness, but got violently ill.

I don't call it murder, but I certainly do wish it were less centralized. It's different when you have a local butcher with whom you deal.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 3:50 PM

BTW: When it comes to public toilet habits, men are much, much cleaner. Ask any custodian and they'll tell you the same.


"THIS IS NOT TRUE! Men's restrooms are horrible. Last restroom I took my son to a guy was throwing up in a stall and this was at a decent restaurant! I don't like to go in them and I cringe in horror at taking my daughter to them. I damn near clean the whole toilet before i let her sit on it. The horror, the horror!"

Posted by: pATRICK | May 22, 2007 3:50 PM

My son also sits on the toilet. He pees standing up at school. But at home he sits. Maybe it is brainwashing, but at least I don't have to deal with urine splashing over the rim. Eww.

He has noted that you can read (your comic book) while sitting too.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 3:53 PM

"Wonder what the starving children in africa would call them? Perhaps a gift from God? They don't have the luxury of being a vegetarian, only priviliged rich nations citizens do."

Patrick,

You're showing your ignorance. A plant-based diet is eaten by the majority of the world's poorer population.

Read T. Colin Campbell, THE CHINA STUDY.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 3:55 PM

Fo4--

THAT took courage!

*offers a congratulatory beer*

Next up--burying the teenager's thong.

Posted by: Maryland Mother | May 22, 2007 3:55 PM

"I cringe in horror at taking my daughter to them."

pATRICK, just lift her up so she can use the sink.

Posted by: Father of 4 | May 22, 2007 3:56 PM

My husband was a bartender at a popular bar and would have to occassionally go into the ladies' room to put in TP, etc. He said the ladies' was far more horrifying than the men's. I believe it's because there is no time for the toilets to properly refill before the next flush, leading to too much TP and clogging. Ready for TMI? This would lead to such disgusting behavior as CRAPPING IN THE TANK. I kid you not.

Posted by: atb | May 22, 2007 3:57 PM

Chasmosaur, what a great idea for a guest blog. I haven't had time to go read all the comments, but I thought it was a really interesting topic. With my mom, the issue has been slightly different - she sees how much my husband does and feels the sting of realizing all over again how little my dad did in their marriage. Which creates its own weird dynamic - she's so fond of and impressed by my husband that I think if any issues did arise, she might be more protective of his perspective than mine. It's never really come up at this point, but it's interesting to hear her comment every now and then on it.

Posted by: Megan | May 22, 2007 3:58 PM

Isn't picking up after yourself one of those things you learn in kindergarten, if not before?

Posted by: | May 22, 2007 03:13 PM

Doesn't being an adult mean you get to decide how (much/often) you do this?

Posted by: | May 22, 2007 03:39 PM

"Sure. But living with other people means that you are supposed to take their feelings on the matter into account"

That is a two way street, the "cleaner" person should take the "messier" persons feeling into account, too. I am sure everyone loves being called a slob.

"Who wants to live with someone who treats their home like an open garbage skow?"

Well, there is messy and there is dirty. Leaving your dishes overnight to be done in the morning is OK, leaving Mondays dinner dishes for the weekend, probably not.

"Does anyone really think that leaving your dirty socks on the kitchen counter, or dining room table, an act that says, "I love and respect you"? "

What does leaving socks anywhere have to do with respect. It's not all about you. What about on the floor in the bedroom? Respect or No Respect?

"My home won't ever be photographed for House Beautiful, but I don't cringe at the thought of someone coming over and seeing it either."

Posted by: | May 22, 2007 03:46 PM

Fisrt of all , if you are married, it is "our" home. Why should the mess be a reflection on you, not the messy person?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 3:58 PM

"Wonder what the starving children in africa would call them? Perhaps a gift from God? They don't have the luxury of being a vegetarian, only priviliged rich nations citizens do."

Wow, anything to p*ss on someone's fun, eh, pATRICK? What a downer. Oh, and BTW, I don't believe in a god either, and I've never been in porn. What does that say about MY beliefs, in your sanctimonious little world?

Posted by: Mona | May 22, 2007 3:59 PM

Doesn't being an adult mean you get to decide how (much/often) you do this?

Posted by: | May 22, 2007 03:39 PM

Sure. But living with other people means that you are supposed to take their feelings on the matter into account.

Who wants to live with someone who treats their home like an open garbage skow?

Does anyone really think that leaving your dirty socks on the kitchen counter, or dining room table, an act that says, "I love and respect you"?

My home won't ever be photographed for House Beautiful, but I don't cringe at the thought of someone coming over and seeing it either.

Posted by: | May 22, 2007 03:46 PM

*claps* *whistles* *shouts, "Bravo!"*

repeat as necessary.

being a good roommate is valued in college and afterwards and is good training for marriage or cohabitation.

being an adult means you get to decide all manner of things: whether to speed, to commit adultery, to weed, to sow, to spew vulgarities. Whether to clean up your own s**t is merely one among many decisions to make. The result of those decisions will determine the nature and quality of your social relationships. So, sure, you have the right to be thoughtless as described by 3:46, but in the long run, it won't benefit you to impose on someone you purport to care about. That does not imply that you have to do any more than put away your own toys and make sure your playmate can play in the sandbox without having to first pick up and relocate your soiled boxers.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 4:03 PM

Wow, anything to p*ss on someone's fun, eh, pATRICK? What a downer. Oh, and BTW, I don't believe in a god either, and I've never been in porn. What does that say about MY beliefs, in your sanctimonious little world?

Posted by: Mona | May 22, 2007 03:59 PM

I was eating a burger when I read your "bloodmuffin" quote. Made my day fun.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 4:04 PM

Check out Dr. Jonathan Miller's excellent series on a history of disbelief on PBS. We're not alone.

Posted by: To Mona | May 22, 2007 4:05 PM

On another note, I just ate fresh strawberries and bananas smothered in chocolate sauce for lunch, while the rest of the department is at a barbecue wolfing down charred, ground-up cows. I'm so not jealous.

Posted by: Mona | May 22, 2007 12:40 PM

__________________________________

The girl who had dessert fondue for lunch should probably refrain from criticizing others' eating habits.

Posted by: It's what's for dinner. | May 22, 2007 4:06 PM

"Does anyone really think that leaving your dirty socks on the kitchen counter, or dining room table, an act that says, "I love and respect you"? "

What does leaving socks anywhere have to do with respect. It's not all about you. What about on the floor in the bedroom? Respect or No Respect?

Well, who plays Laundry Fairy? If the person who DOES the laundry is NOT the one leaving socks anywhere but in the hamper--how is it respectful?

Who finds laundry on the floor aesthetically pleasing? Do you think it would enhance the decor of your dwelling? How hard is it, really, to put dirty laundry in a hamper?

Would you do it to your hosts if you were at someone else's home? Then why is it any less respectful to make some minimal attempt at keeping entropy at bay?

It's a damned sight easier to make a mess than it is to clean it up. Why would you want someone who you purport to love treat you like an infant? Hell, when my kids were toddlers they still had to put help clean up by putting away their blocks with me, and put their dirty clothes in the hamper with me. They'd carry the smallest stuff, I'd handle the bigger.

Not saying the teenager doesn't leave clothes on the floor, but at least there is an admission that no, it doesn't look good and yes, it is harder to find your things when they are not put away.

Posted by: Maryland Mother | May 22, 2007 4:07 PM

"I was eating a burger when I read your "bloodmuffin" quote. Made my day fun."

Don't remember whose quote it was, but if thinking about where your burger comes from makes it less appetizing, maybe that's something to consider before eating the next one.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 4:07 PM

"Wonder what the starving children in africa would call them? Perhaps a gift from God? They don't have the luxury of being a vegetarian, only priviliged rich nations citizens do."

In the places I've traveled in Africa, meat is the luxury of the rich, and vegetarian diets are a default of the poor. In addition, even the poor make cultural choices about their diet based on tradition and religion - choosing your diet is not limited to the rich either. And if the child was truly starving, eating a hamburger, or any similarly rich food, would make probably make him or her very ill.

Posted by: Megan | May 22, 2007 4:07 PM

Wow, anything to p*ss on someone's fun, eh, pATRICK? What a downer. Oh, and BTW, I don't believe in a god either, and I've never been in porn. What does that say about MY beliefs, in your sanctimonious little world?

That's a good one mona. I bet you and your vegan clique love saying things like bloodmuffins, makes you feel better in your "enlightened, superior" world compared to us meateaters. As for your future in porn, well I will take your word for it. Blood muffins indeed. hmm

Posted by: pATRICK | May 22, 2007 4:08 PM

OMG, fresh strawberries & bananas. Really unhealthy food.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 4:09 PM

"The girl who had dessert fondue for lunch should probably refrain from criticizing others' eating habits."

Read it again. Fruit with some chocolate sauce is hardly 'dessert fondue.' I've had dessert fondue, and it's delicious, but that's not what I had for lunch (I also had fresh vegetables and a granola bar, BTW). Having a diet that revolves around meat is not by default healthy. Compare mine to the McDonald's many people have for lunch, and pick which is the lesser of two evils?

Posted by: Mona | May 22, 2007 4:13 PM

pATRICK and Mona,

Please. Go. To. Separate. Corners. Return when you can both tolerate each other's existence.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 4:13 PM

pATRICK, may I please ask, if you are going to wax judgmental on someone, please get your facts straight? I am not vegan. Fo4's daughter, the originator of "bloodmuffins," sat down with her family and ate a burger. Things can be funny just because they are funny. And I highly doubt you have anything against vegetarians, after all. I imagine if my cultural and religious beliefs were the same as yours, you'd have no problem with my eating habits. You just like to pick on those who are not like you, as you've shown many times on this blog. Most of us, however, can take--and make--a joke.

Posted by: Mona | May 22, 2007 4:17 PM

"Compare mine to the McDonald's many people have for lunch, and pick which is the lesser of two evils?"


Talk about sanctimonious and superior, Mona is just soooo much smarter than anyone else...

Posted by: pATRICK | May 22, 2007 4:18 PM

"Please. Go. To. Separate. Corners. Return when you can both tolerate each other's existence."

Why?

Seems to me that it's the same old scenario. A vegetarian mentions what she ate, and a confirmed meateater immediately gets defensive and starts making wildly inaccurate claims about world hunger and poverty. (And, btw, Mona didn't bring up the bloodmuffins.)

Patrick needs to calm down and accept that no one is going to take away his meat. (Any more than anyone is going to take away his guns.)

Posted by: pittypat | May 22, 2007 4:18 PM

Watching pATRICK and Mona piss and moan (pun intended) at each other actually raises the level of discourse today. My contribution - vegans suck, but I despise virtually everythign pATRICK stands for.

Posted by: Hey . . . | May 22, 2007 4:18 PM

4:13,

Sorry, ref. :-) I'm going now.

Posted by: Mona | May 22, 2007 4:19 PM

"My contribution - vegans suck"

Why do you think vegans suck?

Posted by: vegan | May 22, 2007 4:22 PM

"Watching pATRICK and Mona piss and moan (pun intended) at each other actually raises the level of discourse today. My contribution - vegans suck, but I despise virtually everythign pATRICK stands for."

Is that all you can say anonymous troll?

Posted by: pATRICK | May 22, 2007 4:23 PM

Does anybody want to try for a triple jump?

Posted by: Great White | May 22, 2007 4:23 PM

I think that today's topic and yesterday's topic are very interesting, especially when taken together. I feel lucky to have a "multi-generational" community with some friends who are single w/o kids, some are "young marrieds" w/o kids, many with young kids (like us), some with older kids, some are my mother/MIL/dad/stepmom's age, and some with grown grandchildren. Obviously there are differences in the way that we see the world, including issues of parenting & marriage. But it's interesting to hear other people's experiences and then relate it to what's going on with my life.

A couple of examples: my friend with 2 boys each 2 years older than my 2 boys gives great advice on...raising 2 boys! Not that I take everything she says as the gospel, but I'll seek her out to chat and get advice on a particular subject.

While I wouldn't ask either Mom or MIL or Dad & Stepmom (all of whom are wonderful) for marriage advice, I do recognize that they have experienced more than I have in my life and have therefore learned more and can teach me (or DH, or DS1 & DS2) a thing or two. For instance, question on refi...Dad has this one down pat. And, Mom's an accountant, so question with taxes...she's our go-to-gal. When I recently baked a cake that was raw inside, I called both MIL and Mom to see if it could be salvaged...turned out it could and they both knew how! A good friend of MIL's knows interior design, so she helped us pick paint colors. If I was going to purchase a piece of art, I would probably consult with Grandma, who is an accomplished artist with a great eye.

Getting back to the relationship issue, my friends and I don't "bash" our DHs. But one or another of us has been known to bemoan our pet peeves here and there. And if we can offer advice on things, that's what friends are for!

My point is that different people in my life offer different things, be it companionship, advice, etc. And it's good to take advantage of the different resources (in this case people) you have available to you.

Posted by: 1st time poster | May 22, 2007 4:24 PM

OK - maybe Mona didn't originate the bloodmuffin comment, but she did speak somewhat condescendingly about coworkers having a barbeque. I don't care if she is vegetarian, and if she believes it is best for her then more power to her for following her beliefs. But she has many times spoken of vegetarianism in a way that seems that she feels vastly superior to those of us who choose to eat meat.

to pittypat - you may see pATRICK as being defensive, but I see mona as acting superior and baiting the meateaters.

Posted by: xyz | May 22, 2007 4:26 PM

Mona needs to leave, her Tuesday Meat is Murder meeting at PETA is about to start.

Posted by: pATRICK | May 22, 2007 4:26 PM

Is that all you can say anonymous troll?

Posted by: pATRICK | May 22, 2007 04:23 PM

oh, like, "Mona is just soooo much smarter than anyone else..." is sooooo much better of a contribution.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 4:27 PM

If pATRICK had to kill his own meat he might become a vegetarian too.

Not all vegetarians are as strict as vegans. Some veggies still eat eggs & dairy.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 4:27 PM

Why?

Seems to me that it's the same old scenario. A vegetarian mentions what she ate, and a confirmed meateater immediately gets defensive and starts making wildly inaccurate claims about world hunger and poverty. (And, btw, Mona didn't bring up the bloodmuffins.)

Patrick needs to calm down and accept that no one is going to take away his meat. (Any more than anyone is going to take away his guns.)

Posted by: pittypat | May 22, 2007 04:18 PM

and mona needs to calm down and accept that there's nothing immoral, unwise, or unacceptable about consuming meat products. the same old scenario is you, pittypat, using a plethora of adverbs to slam someone who takes an adverse position to one of your favorite political axes. what a pompous hypocrite you are.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 4:27 PM

Triple jump sounds good to me, but I have to clarify: I am NOT VEGAN. For the last time! And it doesn't take a genius to know that veggies are better than a Big Mac for your health.

Next topic? (NOT why vegans suck; we can't expect a troll to eloquently explain itself.)

Should I broach the topic of maternity leave? BF is under the impression that I will take a year off after Mona Jr. is born. ?!?!?!?! That's not normal, is it?!

ORRRRR, a better idea: we could return to the topic of the guest blog!

Posted by: Mona | May 22, 2007 4:28 PM

1st time poster,

Welcome to the blog! You sound remarkably well-balanced. Sounds like we'll be able to learn something from you.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 4:28 PM

Well, I gave my single mom friend's daughter a box of hand dipped chocolate covered strawberries for her birthday. Plus, they were dipped in both white and dark chocolate. She told me her daughter was so thrilled with them it was all she could do to keep her from eating them all at one sitting.

So there.

Posted by: John L | May 22, 2007 4:28 PM

So, sure, you have the right to be thoughtless as described by 3:46, but in the long run, it won't benefit you to impose on someone you purport to care about. That does not imply that you have to do any more than put away your own toys and make sure your playmate can play in the sandbox without having to first pick up and relocate your soiled boxers.

Posted by: | May 22, 2007 04:03 PM

But the implication of the original poster was; the sandbox is hers and it will be raked and weeded and sifted to her liking.

My only point was that the two playmates should come to a mutual decision on what sandbox should look like. The cleaner person should not impose their standards on someone they purport to care about.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 4:29 PM

there's nothing immoral, unwise, or unacceptable about consuming meat products

Except it takes so much more land to produce each pound of meat protein compared to vegetable protein.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 4:30 PM

"oh, like, "Mona is just soooo much smarter than anyone else..." is sooooo much better of a contribution"

I don't agree with MONA about nearly anything but at least she has the courage of her convictions to post her name to whatever she writes, unlike you, troll.

Posted by: pATRICK | May 22, 2007 4:30 PM

There is a very interesting op-ed in the NYTimes on "Death By Veganism".

. . .food is more important than fashion. Though it's not politically correct to say so, all diets are not created equal.

An adult who was well-nourished in utero and in infancy may choose to get by on a vegan diet, but babies are built from protein, calcium, cholesterol and fish oil. Children fed only plants will not get the precious things they need to live and grow.
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/21/opinion/21planck.html?em&ex=1179979200&en=7823d2bbcad13583&ei=5087%0A

Posted by: WorkingMomX | May 22, 2007 4:32 PM

"I see mona as acting superior and baiting the meateaters."

As long as it's cruelty-free bait! No worms!

"Mona needs to leave, her Tuesday Meat is Murder meeting at PETA is about to start.

Posted by: pATRICK | May 22, 2007 04:26 PM"

That's not till 7:30, pATRICK. You have me for three more hours. You're welcome.

"using a plethora of adverbs to slam someone who takes an adverse position to one of your favorite political axes"

Is that better or worse than implying that someone's past as a porn "star" is typical of those who don't believe in a god? ::ahempatrickcough::

Posted by: Mona | May 22, 2007 4:34 PM

Think there's not enough protein in the right plants? Think again.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 4:35 PM

But the implication of the original poster was; the sandbox is hers and it will be raked and weeded and sifted to her liking.

My only point was that the two playmates should come to a mutual decision on what sandbox should look like. The cleaner person should not impose their standards on someone they purport to care about.

Posted by: | May 22, 2007 04:29 PM

No. The original poster merely said she won't pick up his dirty shorts off the floor or be Queen of the Dishwasher. You continue to twist her clear and simple words. She said what she won't do, not what he must. Rant on about your own point, but it's all yours, not anyone else's.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 4:37 PM

"Is that better or worse than implying that someone's past as a porn "star" is typical of those who don't believe in a god? ::ahempatrickcough::"

I think saying you don't believe in God and being a porn star is not surprising given that porn stars have cut themselves off from any sense of morality. And I never said it was typical of those who don't believe in God just not surprising.

Here is exactly what I wrote: "Your name is uniquely appropriate, given your beliefs......"

Posted by: pATRICK | May 22, 2007 4:39 PM

Bloodmuffins! Awesome! I'll have to remember that one...all royalties paid to your daughter, of course. ;-)

Posted by: Mona | May 22, 2007 03:19 PM

Mona may not have originated it, but she sure did agree with it.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 4:39 PM

"Children fed only plants will not get the precious things they need to live and grow."

Of course. Humans are mammals. That's why we feed our young breast milk, just like a cat or a cow. But after weaning, a vegan diet--if done correctly--can be very healthy. Just like you wouldn't feed a baby a T-bone steak, you shouldn't feed it solely plant products.

Posted by: Mona | May 22, 2007 4:39 PM

I stand corrected, pATRICK. However, I was aware that you never said that all godless people are porn stars; I simply said the implication was made. And just so you know, you can have morals without a god. Everyone has them, but they may differ between people, and a dogma is not necessarily what dictates them.

4:39, I do find the term hilarious. There is, after all, blood in hamburger. No muffins, though, sadly, because muffins are GREAT.

Posted by: Mona | May 22, 2007 4:43 PM

can't we talk about breastfeeding or something other than this lame vegetarian vs. carnivore battle of the committed bores?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 4:43 PM

BF is under the impression that I will take a year off after Mona Jr. is born. ?!?!?!?!


Another Mona? Aargh.

Posted by: NOOO!!!! | May 22, 2007 4:44 PM

"Bloodmuffins! Awesome! I'll have to remember that one...all royalties paid to your daughter, of course. ;-)

Posted by: Mona | May 22, 2007 03:19 PM

Mona may not have originated it, but she sure did agree with it."

This is EXACTLY my point. Not just choosing to be a vegetarian but displaying a superior, disdainful view of others who do not share their choice. Bloodmuffins etc is a haughty expression of supposed superiority which strangely no one who is not vegetarian seems to think about vegetarians. Then when you call them on it, you are defensive etc.

Posted by: pATRICK | May 22, 2007 4:44 PM

"and mona needs to calm down and accept that there's nothing immoral, unwise, or unacceptable about consuming meat products. the same old scenario is you, pittypat, using a plethora of adverbs to slam someone who takes an adverse position to one of your favorite political axes. what a pompous hypocrite you are."

Well, let's see. My "plethora" of adverbs is: "immediately" and "wildly."

Do you know what "plethora" means? (A superabundance.) Do you know what an "adverb" is? (Modifies a verb, adjective, or another adverb.)

You seem to be on shaky ground here.

As to "immoral, unwise, or unacceptable," those constitute Mona's personal opinion, to which she's entitled.

Now, for "pompous": The meaning is "characterized by an ostentatious display of dignity." I assure you that anyone who knows me personally would verify that I'm one of the least dignified people they know!

As to "hypocrite": It means "a person who pretends to have moral or religious beliefs that he doesn't actually possess." I think I'm pretty open about my beliefs on this blog, so I really don't see where you're coming from here.

If you want to make a personal attack on me, you really should think it through more effectively. The one you've launched simply makes you sound like you're not too smart. (Which is probably not the case at all and which is why I think you can do better.)

Think about it and try again.

Posted by: pittypat | May 22, 2007 4:45 PM

It was Father of 4 who repeated his daughter's use of the term Bloodmuffins. Credit where credit's due.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 4:48 PM

WorkingMomX, I saw that editorial and I think the author made a huge leap from two parents who were enormously and tragically stupid to the idea that children cannot possibly be raised vegan. I noted that the author had no qualifications listed, such as nutritionist or doctor, and went to her website. Here is her training:

Nina Planck is a food writer, entrepreneur, and the leading American expert on farmers' markets and local food. A champion of small farmers, she grew up on an ecological vegetable farm in Virginia selling vegetables at farmers' markets. After leaving the farm, Nina was a congressional staffer, a reporter for TIME Magazine, and a speechwriter for President Clinton's ambassador to Britain.


I am not raising my son as a vegetarian or vegan at this point, for many reasons; however, I am loathe to accept the categorial opinion on this subject from someone with so little background in children's health or nutrition.

Posted by: Megan | May 22, 2007 4:51 PM

My little brother announced one holiday to the whole family (while eating roast beef with gravy) that gravy is cooked blood. There was quite a bit of gravy left that day. But by the next holiday it was forgotten.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | May 22, 2007 4:52 PM

No. The original poster merely said she won't pick up his dirty shorts off the floor or be Queen of the Dishwasher. You continue to twist her clear and simple words. She said what she won't do, not what he must. Rant on about your own point, but it's all yours, not anyone else's.

Posted by: | May 22, 2007 04:37 PM

True, but the original poster also said this:

"I'm glad that solved the problem for you. I suspect you are both willing to live with the mess in between visits from teh cleaning service. I am not. HouseCLEANING is solved by hiring a cleaning service. Messiness, laziness and pack-rat-itis is not."

See the part where she says "I am not", to me, that means that she is not just saying she doesn' want to be the maid she is saying she wants him to do the job. What she expects is reasonable, but the attitude is not.

And this:

"I have no interest in picking his dirty dishes up from the porch or the living room and transporting them to the dishwasher. I am not the sole designated loader or unloader of the dishwasher. I will not pick up all of his dirty laundry off the floor and strewn around the house and carry it to the laundry basket, then tote the laundry basket down to the laundry room. I never had a roommate expect me to pick up after her or him, and I had a number of roommates of various dispositions and cleanliness styles over the years. Why should my spouse?"

Posted by: | May 22, 2007 01:01 PM

Then don't do it! Obviously her husband is a slob, and that problem needs to be solved her way. All I said is that if she is that unhappy, she should get a divorce.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 4:53 PM

KLB:
If the person drinks enough, all you have to do is wait...and I think the hand in water trick works on the sober as well (I'm not sure).

4:03: I second your *claps* *whistles* *shouts, "Bravo!"*

And PLEASE don't mention the chocolate-covered strawberries again. Do you have any IDEA how many points they have?!

So, did I execute the triple?

Posted by: educmom | May 22, 2007 4:55 PM

Interesting day in blogland. An interesting topic, combined with a lot of off topic snark. Fun for all.

I never discuss my marriage with my mother, and I don't believe my wife does with hers. I am firmly of the belief that parents hold grudges (or maybe that's just mine), and complaining about my wife would do far more harm in the long run than any immediate advice would help in the short term.

I love meat - and I think the term bloodmuffins is hilarious.

Posted by: BLE | May 22, 2007 4:55 PM

Are you STILL trolling here after all these hours? Get a life, or at least a job.

Posted by: To 4:53 | May 22, 2007 4:55 PM

A woman, in her fifties is at home happily jumping unclothed, on her bed.
Her husband watches her for a while and asks, Do you have any idea how ridiculous you look? What's the matter with you?"
The woman continues to bounce on the bed and says,"I don't care what you think. I just came from having a mammogram, and the doctor says that not only am I healthy, but I have the breasts of an 18 year-old."

The husband replies, "What did he say about
your 55-year old a$$?"

"Your name never came up," she replied.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | May 22, 2007 4:56 PM

Are you STILL trolling here after all these hours? Get a life, or at least a job.

Posted by: To 4:53 | May 22, 2007 04:55 PM

Yup, whats it to you?

BTW, I have both, how about you?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 4:59 PM

flowers for algernon was about a mentally handicapped man getting surgery to increase his iq.
harrison berg - was about how the gov attempts to make everybody equal by imposing handicaps on people who are above average.
very different stories. both very good. cliff robertson played charley the handicapped man in flowers for algeron.

Posted by: quark | May 22, 2007 4:59 PM

KLB, that's a good one!

Posted by: Megan | May 22, 2007 5:00 PM

KLB, that's a good one!


Posted by: Megan | May 22, 2007 05:00 PM

If you're a woman.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 5:01 PM

Thanks Megan,
Fred does his occasional CTOTD so I figure when I get a decent joke I will use that as a LOTD (Laugh of the Day).

Posted by: KLB SS MD | May 22, 2007 5:02 PM

KLB, we can definitely use the LOTD today!

Posted by: Megan | May 22, 2007 5:04 PM

"KLB, we can definitely use the LOTD today!"

But only if we are women.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | May 22, 2007 5:05 PM

Which I am always thankful to be.

Posted by: Megan | May 22, 2007 5:08 PM

Re the topic of raising children from babyhood as vegans --

Yes, it can be done successfully, with careful meal planning and attention to balanced nutrition.

I think one big problem most people have with the idea of a "plant-based diet" is that they think it means eating just greens and fresh fruits and vegetables. Nothing could be further from the truth.

A plant-based diet simply relies on getting all nutrients from sources that originated with plants. So, for instance, beans (a terrific protein source), bean curd (made from soybeans), grains (rice, corn, wheat, barley, etc., made into pastas and cereals and used as the basis for making other protein sources like tempeh), are all plant-based foods. Nuts and seeds are an important part of a vegan diet -- especially walnuts and pumpkin seeds.

The vegan diet is very versatile, as borne out by the plethora (hee-hee) of vegan cookbooks available -- literally hundreds. Vegan fare is hearty, filling, and delicious, and it provides all the comfort foods one could possibly want. There's even a vegan cookbook of nothing but cupcakes!

Babies in utero can be sustained very healthfully if mom eats a balanced vegan diet. Newborns, toddlers, and older kids stay extremely healthy on nutritionally balanced vegan diets.

There is extensive research supporting this, and I can refer anyone who is interested in learning more.

Contrary to the earlier poster's claim, I don't have a "political axe" about veganism. I simply like to take opportunities to give people information they may want to have and to correct misinformation often perpetuated by the popular press.

I have no interest in converting people. That's no fun. It's much more fun to share info with people who want it, who feel like experimenting and trying something new.

Posted by: pittypat | May 22, 2007 5:10 PM

Watch out Megan, we will soon be accused of man-bashing.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | May 22, 2007 5:10 PM

Among other things, undoubtedly...

Posted by: Megan | May 22, 2007 5:13 PM

Like telling bad jokes (at least it was relatively clean).

Posted by: KLB SS MD | May 22, 2007 5:14 PM

"very different stories."

Different stories, maybe. But same subject. Medical science gone nuts.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 5:16 PM

Question for the vegans - and I'm not trying to start a firestorm:

I recently walked past a vegan bakery, thought, "hmm, why not?" and brought home a few things. All of them were just terrible, in my opinion - maybe because I expected them to taste just like the cupcakes I'm used to. Foolish, really - you can't substitute for milk, cream, eggs and butter and expect the taste to stay the same.

So, my question is, do you really think they taste good, or is it that you know you can never have the real thing again, and the vegan baked goods are an acceptable (or only) substitute?

Posted by: BLE | May 22, 2007 5:18 PM

Heres one.. A man wins the lottery he runs home and says "pack your bags honey, I won the lottery", She does so and says "where are we going? You can go anywhere you want as long as you get the hell out of here, I told you I won the lottery! Cheap drum roll

Posted by: pATRICK | May 22, 2007 5:18 PM

pATRICK,
Is that in response to mine? Or as balance? :-) Good one either way.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | May 22, 2007 5:20 PM

Cultural Tidbit of the Day.

I mentioned that I have some painting in my house. I just took inventory and post hurricane I have only 1 painting now. But, it is of a pueblo of the Acoma Indian Tribe in New Mexico.

What makes this place and the Acoma tribe so interesting is that the pueblo is longest continually inhabited city in the United States. This city may have been inhabited since 1150 A.D.

Posted by: Fred | May 22, 2007 5:21 PM

LOL, pATRICK and KLB.

I'd say we're even.

I can hardly see from all splashing water created by multple jumping sharks. It's a circus in here!

Posted by: Vegas Mom | May 22, 2007 5:22 PM

"pATRICK,
Is that in response to mine? Or as balance? :-) Good one either way."

You are VERY gracious to call that a good joke. But still funny in tacky way.

Posted by: pATRICK | May 22, 2007 5:23 PM

Who is the artist Fred?

Posted by: KLB SS MD | May 22, 2007 5:23 PM

pATRICK,
It made me snicker - I am not easily amused (haha). Actually I am considered the joker at work. Class clown. As the great philosopher, Jimmy Buffet says, "if we didn't laugh we would all go insane."

Posted by: KLB SS MD | May 22, 2007 5:25 PM

"So, my question is, do you really think they taste good, or is it that you know you can never have the real thing again, and the vegan baked goods are an acceptable (or only) substitute?"

I've been waffling back and forth between veganism and not for a while now, so I've been eating both vegan baked goods and regular, so here's my take.

I have found some that are fantastic that I think really are as good as the non-vegan versions. THere's one online bakery in particular that is absolutely fantastic (and just as unhealthy as the non-vegan stuff). I can't remember the name but if you want it I can probably get it for you later tonight.

However, some vegan baked goods, unfortunately possibly most of them, are indeed appalling. I think the real problem is that so many vegan bakers strive to make them not only vegan but also low-fat, low-calorie, low everything that makes a baked good good.

Incidentally, this is true with a lot of other vegan items. For example, I've only found one vegan margarine that I really like as much as butter (Soy Garden, if anyone's curios) and one vegan mayonaise that tastes good (Vegenaise). I think if you want to try vegan subsitutes or processed foods it really pays to consult someone who's been a vegan for a while for recommendations, otherwise you can get quickly turned off by choosing the bad ones.

But, also, my opinion is to really be a healthy vegan you have to embrace a more whole-food approach - relying on the processed substitutes for traditional foods can be very limiting, unhealthy and expensive.

Posted by: Megan | May 22, 2007 5:26 PM

Megan,
I have friends who are vegetarian and they do a lot of their shopping at the SDA stores. You are so right - not cheap.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | May 22, 2007 5:30 PM

KLB, what's SDA?

A whole-food vegetarian or vegan diet can be very economical, but the convenience/processed foods are priiicey for sure.

Posted by: Megan | May 22, 2007 5:35 PM

"And it doesn't take a genius to know that veggies are better than a Big Mac for your health"

And it doesn't take a genius to know that you can be a meat eater and not eat Big Macs.

Posted by: xyz | May 22, 2007 5:39 PM

"So, my question is, do you really think they taste good, or is it that you know you can never have the real thing again, and the vegan baked goods are an acceptable (or only) substitute?"

BLE,

That's a really good question.

I've found that, by and large, I don't like most mass-produced vegan baked goods, with a couple notable exceptions (Whole Foods vegan pies are incredible). I think this is because they're made to have some shelf-life, but without all the stuff that Hostess puts in their products to keep them moist and "fresh."

That said, I've had some truly delicious vegan desserts in restaurants, I've had vegan muffins and pies that were great, and I've got a collection of recipes I've used that are terrific.

And, on the ice cream (not) front, the Soy Delicious, Tofutti, and a couple of other brands are to die for.

I like food too much to eat things because they're the "next best thing." But, yes, there are things you ultimately give up without hope of replacement.

There is no good vegan cheese -- and there never will be. However, there are roasted vegetable pizzas and frozen bean burritos that are totally yummy without cheese. (And my made-at-home burritos are in big demand with by my meat-friendly husband.)

If you like dark chocolate with no milk in it, you'll be happy; if not, you won't or you'll "cheat." (I actually call myself a "pretty good vegan" because, on occasion, I'll eat milk chocolate. There's just no substitute.)

I won't say something's tasty if it's not, and I won't buy a non-tasty thing a second time.

But, again, your question is an important one. If you adopt a vegan diet, you have to be prepared to try, and then reject or accept, a large variety of foods in order to find what you like. If you eat something just because it's labeled "vegan," you may not stay a vegan for long.

Thanks for asking.

Posted by: pittypat | May 22, 2007 5:40 PM

My BIL and his wife are borderline vegans. They buy all organic, etc. They told my mother in law that they were going to breastfeed the new baby for a year to save money, then they went to the organic store and bought (according to MIL) outrageously priced produce. Go figure

Posted by: pATRICK | May 22, 2007 5:44 PM

Before you started your current dietary style, did you eat much meat? Did you like meat? Love it?

I'm curious because I love beef and like other meats such as chicken, pork, ham, bacon, sausage etc. I dislike fish and will not eat it. I do like shrimp, crab and lobster. There are only a handful of vegetables that I care to eat.

I would never consider a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle for myself. Even if someone convinced me that it would make me healthier (no health problems yet) or live longer, I still wouldn't change. Eating is something you do every day and has many links to family gatherings and social activities. I can't imagine giving up foods I love and limiting the range of foods I eat so severely.

Posted by: to pittypat and megan | May 22, 2007 5:48 PM

"But, yes, there are things you ultimately give up without hope of replacement.
There is no good vegan cheese -- and there never will be."

LOL, Pittypat, that is true. I remember hearing some guy on the radio describing soy cheese saying it should be advertised as "melt free" in addition to "dairy free" and "fat free," or however it was being marketed. Soy cheese is one strange substance...

But I was suprised to find that I didn't miss cheese that much - I have always really loved it, but it hasn't bothered me much to give it up. I used a lot of avocado on sandwiches and things and that seems to help fill the cheese role, even though its so different.

Posted by: Megan | May 22, 2007 5:49 PM

MEGAN , what do you do when you have guests? Do you cook two meals? Compromise? Force them to eat your food? Eat what they eat? Sign a PETA pledge? ;') Just curious

Posted by: pATRICK | May 22, 2007 5:53 PM

Thanks to anon 4:28. I guess I can't realize use this name (1st time poster) anymore, but I didn't know how else to reply to you.

I know this blog tends to get off-subject by the end of the day (vegetarian or vegan life-style is interesting, but admittedly off-topic). Does anyone have any other comments about balance b/tw those of different generations?

Posted by: 1st time poster | May 22, 2007 5:55 PM

"Before you started your current dietary style, did you eat much meat? Did you like meat? Love it? .... I can't imagine giving up foods I love and limiting the range of foods I eat so severely."

I loved meat before I became a vegetarian, especially steak and a lot of processed meats like bratwurst (what can I say?). My best friend's dad, who raises cattle, never tires of telling stories of me picking every ounce of flesh off the bone of my steak. But, like with cheese, I was surprised how quickly I lost my taste for it - I've been vegetarian for over 15 years now and have never wanted to go back.

One thing about both vegetarianism and veganism is that if you educate yourself and do it right (by my terms :) ) it's not really about restriction or lack of food - as I've experimented with veganism I've learned to use a an array of foods that I never or rarely ate before. We often don't realize how limited our diets are, in terms of the grains, vegetables and fruits that we rely on. Working on going vegan has really expanded my diet in a lot of ways - albeit non-traditional ones. And pretty much every committed vegan I know is an exceptional cook. It does make it harder in some situations, like at some restaraunts or being someone's guest for dinner, but I've always found it workable one way or another.


Posted by: Megan | May 22, 2007 6:00 PM

"So, my question is, do you really think they taste good, or is it that you know you can never have the real thing again, and the vegan baked goods are an acceptable (or only) substitute?"

I am not strictly vegan--I'm vegetarian and lactose intolerant, but I eat eggs and goat cheese and some other things. I prefer the taste and texture of many vegan things though. Personally I dislike some creamy, fatty tastes--my most hated foods are ice cream and buttercream frosting. I'm sure this comes from the fact that being lactose intolerant, these foods make me sick and I associate the taste with illness.
There are several soy dairy-substitutes which I think are way better than the real thing, especially Tofutti products.

I love vegan muffins and brownies. The texture, when done right, is really nice... chewy, spongy and rich. Starbucks has a vegan brownie now which is great. (I don't like vegan bread so much as some of it is quite dry although this may be due to the unconventional grains, too, as a lot of vegan breads are made with spelt and things.)

Posted by: worker bee | May 22, 2007 6:01 PM

"MEGAN , what do you do when you have guests? Do you cook two meals? Compromise? Force them to eat your food? Eat what they eat? Sign a PETA pledge? ;') Just curious"

Usually I tie them to their chairs, lecture them on the evils of eating animals, and force feed them plain tofu. MWA HA HA HA HA!!

Just kidding. It depends on who it is and how well I know them. There are a lot of meals that can accomodate both - for example, when we throw parties, we often do a taco bar; my husband will cook up some taco meat, I'll make beans, and we'll put out a variety of condiments. That way everyone can make what they want. If it's a smaller dinner party with good friends, I'll usually make something vegetarian or vegan but not too out-there - like a stir fry or pasta dish. A lot of times in the summer we grill when we have people over, so my husband will do meat or fish and I'll do veggie burgers. It varies. I'm really not into trying to convert or persuade people who haven't expressed an interest - I think that food choices are very personal, and connect to a lot of different issues - religion, tradition, family, etc. So I don't really see my role as trying to convince anyone, although I'm always happy to share ideas and information when asked.

Also, with regard to your BIL and family - do you mean that they are not going to introduce solids at all for a year? Or just that they are not going to use commercial formula or baby food?

Posted by: Megan | May 22, 2007 6:10 PM

I was brought up vegetarian and never developed a taste for meat.

Mr Bee was brought up eating meat and still cooks it for himself on occasion (and eats it at restaurants). I don't cook meat for the simple reason that I never learned how and can't taste-test it without being grossed out, and since I do most of the cooking at our house, Mr Bee eats much less meat than he used to.

I don't hear any complaints, though! I am a good cook and Mr Bee likes my style. When we have guests, most of the time we serve vegetarian food because again I'm doing the majority of cooking, but sometimes Mr Bee does some meat on the barbecue.

Posted by: worker bee | May 22, 2007 6:13 PM

"I don't cook meat for the simple reason that I never learned how and can't taste-test it without being grossed out"

This is a good point I should have mentioned - before I was married I always served vegetarian fare to guests, as I would not have wanted to give them food poisoning! But I usually serve pretty mainstream, but tasty stuff - nobody gets forced to try tempeh or tofu at my house!

Posted by: Megan | May 22, 2007 6:15 PM

Wow, perfect article for me. Once, when my mom was visiting she asked what was for dinner. I said, "what would you like?" She said, "whatever are you making for 'husband' is fine." I replied that I wasn't making anything for him. She was aghast and asked, "well what will he eat?" I told her he would eat whatever he wanted to eat. He has two hands and knows how to make dinner. Geez! I work just as hard as he does. I am not the family cook. I swear it took her years to get over that one! Now we have kids and our live-in child care usually makes the dinner for them and my husband and I eat whatever we each want for dinner. Soemtimes one of us makes something for both, sometimes we dont eat anything, often he has a business dinner or we are out. Now, my mother is very old-fashioned and I have never seen my father put anything in the wash, vacuum, dust, or anything else. But my mother is a doormat and my father has developed into a complete jack-hole in his later years because of it. I refuse to allow my marriage to be that way. Yes, my husband tries to pretend that he forgets how to do laundry sometimes but sooner or later he needs clean khakis or polos. I just believe in 50-50 that all. Not too much to ask in my book. My mom just doesnt get it. She was a great mom, too, but I think her life is really terrible now, my father treats her like a servant and she pretends its okay. I wish she could see what everyone around her sees.

Posted by: Palisades | May 22, 2007 6:17 PM

Megan, we make people try tempeh all the time (hidden in Mr Bee's amazing veggie lasagna). SIL didn't notice it was not meat, and my brother liked it so much he now requests it every time he comes over. Not sure about everyone else though, maybe they were just being polite!

Posted by: worker bee | May 22, 2007 6:22 PM

"So, my question is, do you really think they taste good, or is it that you know you can never have the real thing again, and the vegan baked goods are an acceptable (or only) substitute?"

I think they taste good. I don't expect fakon (fake bacon) to taste like the real thing; I don't remember what the real thing tastes like and I don't think I'd like it anymore if I tried it.

"Before you started your current dietary style, did you eat much meat? Did you like meat? Love it?"

I ate meat on a somewhat-regular basis till I was 18, then converted. I didn't like it very much, though I did somewhat like chicken and pork. I was never much of a beef or fish eater, and I couldn't tell you what veal, lamb, lobster or other shellfish taste like.

"MEGAN , what do you do when you have guests?"

Hope you don't mind if I add my two cents to this one. I cook vegetarian meals for my guests, and I have yet to hear a complaint. I've heard only good things about my pasta and stir-fry--the two things I can make consistently well. I wouldn't feel right cooking meat for my guests unless there was some dietary necessity for them; not only am I against it and it grosses me out, but I don't know how to properly cook it so that it's safe to eat. I don't trust myself to do it well, so it doesn't seem worth the risk.

As for vegan fare, try Vegetable Garden in Rockville for organic vegan food. I have no idea if their orange beef tastes like beef, but I know it's fantastic, as are their General Tso's chicken and pumpkin and sunflower seed bisque.

I don't miss meat. The thing I miss is going into a restaurant and selecting anything on the menu, without having to ask "is this spinach dip made with chicken broth? Is the soup vegetarian? Can I get this salad without meat on it (you would think there is a salad somewhere that is made of vegetables and not chicken?!?!)? Does the vegetable stir-fry have oyster juice in it? Can I get Caesar salad with balsamic vinegar instead of Caesar dressing (which has anchovies in it)?" It would be nice to just say "I'll have X" without having to ask a million questions. And I'm sure I've inadvertently ingested animal products in some form in the last ten years, but older is wiser, and I've learned to avoid it the best I can.

Posted by: Mona | May 22, 2007 6:24 PM

I've been reading the vegan discussion, and I just don't know...I like to cook and eat too much to compromise on texture, taste or ingredient choice. I'm a fresh-ingredient, produce-stand type of person, and my diet skews toward fruit & veggies with not too much meat (the best comment I heard in that respect, and the one I follow, is to eat a side-dish-size helping of meat -- basically, a blood mini-muffin). I just WON'T give up cheese, butter or milk (I limit them considerably, but I still consume them). And gummy cupcakes or dry bread...no, thanks. Even on my most intense, PMS-carb days, I don't think I could stomach it.

Why did you (the vegans on the blog today) choose that eating style? Was it health, morality, religion, or some combination? If it was moral opposition to animal products, how hard is it to follow through in every day life? Just curious.

Just imagine if Sea World could get this many sharks to jump.

Posted by: educmom | May 22, 2007 6:32 PM

Chasmosaur,
Interesting blog bit today! Well done. You deserve a big pat on the back with kudos!!

Posted by: dotted | May 22, 2007 7:05 PM

I've noticed that the vegetarians on this board always say that their food choices expanded when they became vegan/vegetarian. I'm curious as to what you ate before this? Did you just eat meat and nothing else?

We eat meat in our house, but it's not the main dish. I cook mostly Dominican and Italian food, so we eat a lot of legumes, rice, pasta (not the whole wheat...we hate it), and vegetables...we even eat tofu. We love to try new things (we're on an edamame kick right now). I guess what I'm trying to get at is that you don't have to be vegan or vegetarian to experiment with other foods.

Posted by: MV | May 22, 2007 7:26 PM

Another thing, why do fake meat products look like meat?

Posted by: MV | May 22, 2007 7:29 PM

"I just believe in 50-50 that all. Not too much to ask in my book. My mom just doesnt get it. She was a great mom, too, but I think her life is really terrible now, my father treats her like a servant and she pretends its okay. I wish she could see what everyone around her sees."

Ummm...maybe she is not pretending and her life IS okay. Just because you believe in 50-50, doesn't mean that she can't be happy in a traditional arrangement.

Posted by: to Palisades | May 22, 2007 9:45 PM

Didn't Mona mention having an eating disorder? Is she really the person who should be setting the standard for proper eating. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 9:49 PM

So what I conclude from today is that it is OK to pee in the shower if you are a vegan or you split the housework 50/50. But if you eat meat or have another division of household duties, you pee in the shower anyway but never admit it!

Posted by: Fred | May 22, 2007 10:00 PM

ooh, vegans, I have a really good friend who is highly allergic to dairy so cooking for her is terribly hard (we've gotten good at sub'ing shortening/margarine etc for just about everything) but you mentioned desserts etc that were good. Could you point me in the direction for some resources? She can't handle casein in milk and we just have the hardest time thinking of stuff for her to eat that she's not sick of.

In general we do eat meat, but we prefer the morning star sausage patties (which have milk in them) to regular sausage patties. Somehow they taste better.

Posted by: ljb | May 22, 2007 10:03 PM

If you want to make a personal attack on me, you really should think it through more effectively. The one you've launched simply makes you sound like you're not too smart. (Which is probably not the case at all and which is why I think you can do better.)

Think about it and try again.

Posted by: pittypat | May 22, 2007 04:45 PM

Your love of superfluous adverbs continues. There's not much point in considering any topic if one is not going to consider it "effectively." Your condescending response is typical and merely serves to verify the content of my initial post. Interesting that your ultimate response is to suggest I lack intelligence. Nice.

In addition to being a pompous hypocrite, and we have months and months of posts by you on this blog to verify both your pomposity and your hypocrisy, you simply have nothing to contribute other than to demean others who disagree with you. How sad to look in the mirror and see someone so lacking in humor and discernment.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 10:06 PM


I have no interest in converting people.
Posted by: pittypat | May 22, 2007 05:10 PM

Right. For the sake of everyone else's fun, leaven the evangelism with the humor and good nature displayed by Megan, workerbee and Mona. It makes for a better read when the exchange of information is amongst peers and not delivered by Her Regal Highness to the serfs.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 10:20 PM

Wait, what? Me, good-natured and humorous? Didn't someone earlier call me sanctimonious and self-righteous, or something to that effect?

And 9:49, good memory. Yes, I did have an eating disorder. Interestingly, it started when I was a meat-eater and spanned through part of the time I was vegetarian. Just goes to show there is no litmust test for health. Just as you can be a fat skinny person, you can also be an unhealthy person who eats lots of vegetables.

Oh, look...my high horse has been knocked out from under me. ::thud::

Posted by: Mona | May 22, 2007 10:26 PM

litmust=litmus. I should preview.

Posted by: Mona | May 22, 2007 10:27 PM

"I guess what I'm trying to get at is that you don't have to be vegan or vegetarian to experiment with other foods."

Very true, and I'm sure the italian and dominican combination gives you a lot of variety (it sounds tasty!). But it's well documented that most Americans do not eat the recommended amounts of vegetables and eat a low variety of vegetables, with (no surprise here) fried potatoes accounting for a lot of vegetable consumption. Even outside of that though, my experience is that most people eat a pretty limited range of grains, fruits, and veggies - rice, wheat, and corn; bananas, apples and oranges; potatoes, carrots, lettuce, and tomatoes, maybe some mushrooms, brocolli and greenbeans. I don't see a lot of people, particularly not those who say they can't imagine stopping eating meat, embracing barley, quinoa, teff, dark greens (kale, mustard greens, collard, chard), the full range of summer and winter squashes, parsnips, turnips, beets, kohlrabi, eggplant, etc. Even just seeking out different varieties of one vegetable, or learning to use certain foods (like nuts) in new ways in your cooking makes a huge difference. I just think it happens more with vegans in particular because they have to be so much more conscious of their nutrition in order to eat well - it's one reason why it's taken me a long time to really commit to changing. It's just easier to stick with what I already know (which already primarily vegetable based) when life is busy and full (which it always is).

To the person asking about vegan dessert recipes, I haven't made a lot of vegan desserts as of yet, but I've found the cookbook Vegan Planet to be great for other items, and it has a good-sized dessert section, so that may be worth checking out. I think the bakery I mentioned earlier is stickeyfingers.com, though I haven't had a chance to double-check, but that's not really practical for a regular dinner guest.

And on fake meats, I got nothin' for ya. I think they're bizarre. There are a few that I like, mainly for the smokey/savory flavor that isn't that common in the veggie world, but as far as I can tell they taste nothing like actual meat, I just like them for that flavor and would rather just buy "Smoky Tempeh" than "Fakin Bacon." It seems to me those products just set vegetarian and vegan food up for ridicule, but hey, I'm not a marketing person so what do I know? :)

Posted by: Megan | May 22, 2007 10:46 PM

"don't see a lot of people, particularly not those who say they can't imagine stopping eating meat"

Sorry, I know I've already posted a ton on this subject, but I just wanted to clarify that I don't mean this statement as any sort of criticism of people who say this - just that my experience is that when a person's diet is very centered around meat and doesn't have a lot of variety in other areas, it's more difficult for them to imagine how a vegan or vegetarian diet can be fulfilling. If you're just picturing taking the meat out of a meat-based diet, what's left isn't probably going to look that great.

Posted by: Megan | May 22, 2007 10:54 PM

SDA = Seventh Day Adventist

Posted by: KLB SS MD | May 23, 2007 6:55 AM

"I don't see a lot of people, particularly not those who say they can't imagine stopping eating meat, embracing barley, quinoa, teff, dark greens (kale, mustard greens, collard, chard), the full range of summer and winter squashes, parsnips, turnips, beets, kohlrabi, eggplant, etc"

Hey, only speaking for myself, but I have eaten barley, dark greens, squashes, turnips beets, and eggplant - the only one that doesn't make me gag is barley. In my case, it's not that giving up meat would limit my diet because I'm afraid to try new things, it's because I don't care for most of the vegetables I have tried.

Mona admitted that she doesn't care for the taste of meat, so giving it up probably isn't hard. But giving up something you truly enjoy in favor of foods you don't like at all is not something I care to do. I don't mind that I eat meat, and I don't mind that others do not. I just don't think that either should act superior because they chose what is best for them. Megan, I don't believe you act the least bit superior. You seem to just want to share information if others ask.

Posted by: to Megan | May 23, 2007 8:08 AM

I know this thread has moved past the original topic but I just can't resist responding to the original post because this topic so hits home with me.

My parents have and have always had a horrible marriage--but they're still together after 40 years. She stayed home to raise two kids and never went back to work. My father is bipolar and was violent both to her and to me, yet she stayed with him, presumably because she had no means by which to support herself.

Despite these facts, she is my mom and her word, to me, was the gospel for most of my life and in some ways still is. You get those tapes playing in your head and it's hard to stop them once and for all. She told me from the time I was little that you don't marry for love, you marry someone who's going to take care of you. Only recently was I able to trace this advice back to the fact that she had been in love with and engaged to her high-school sweetheart, who then got some other girl pregnant and broke my mom's heart. At 27 and wanting to have kids, she apparently grabbed the first half-way decent husband and resigned herself to a life of security.

Security, though, at a cost--but as stupid as it sounds--I never realized this until recently. I married at 24--a guy who had a slew of problems but who came from money and who was working towards a PhD. I patted myself on the back for doing just what I had always been told--finding a husband who could take care of me; or so I thought with my 24 year-old judgment. He went on to spend 10 years in graduate school full-time, dealing with OCD and other problems that kept him from being able to function as a real partner. His family had money, though, so we lived fine--but of course with strings attached. We had two kids--and of course I stayed home because my mom had drilled into me the Dr. Laura notion of don't have them if you won't raise them. Working was not even an option--I could not fathom "abandoning" (my mom's term for women who work and put their kids in daycare) my kids, probably in large part because I didn't want to deal with her admonishment.

I stayed at home full-time for 8 years, during which time I was suicidally-depressed most of the time and engaging in escapist behaviors that make me cringe in retrospect. Periodically I would get to the point where I couldn't take it any more and would talk about divorce, but my mom always delivered the "you're ungrateful for what you have, there's nothing better out there, just be happy" speech and I resigned to try harder and blamed myself for not being able to appreciate what I had.

I don't know what finally got me to snap out of it and stop listening to her and give myself permission to listen to my own voice and switch to that track, but after almost 14 years of marriage I did--I went back to work and got divorced and am now in an indescribably better place. I now look at her through different eyes and see a powerless woman who had to convince herself and her daughters that she was doing the right thing by staying in a horrible marriage. She had to convince herself that staying home with the kids was the right thing to do because she was too weak a person to have gotten a job and done what it takes to be a single parent. Unfortunately, I was the kind of person who didn't question her motives because I believed in her simply because she was my mother.

Posted by: Maggie | May 23, 2007 9:01 AM

"How sad to look in the mirror and see someone so lacking in humor and discernment."

How sad that, when you look in the mirror, you see someone too cowardly to sign her/his name.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 23, 2007 11:45 PM

I am the mother-in-law to my four sons' wives and I would hate it if any of these gals asked me for marital advice...I would look on it as a form of disloyalty to my sons. Fortunately none of them has ever confided whatever problems they may have in their marriages. Neither have any of my sons confided any marital problems they may have in me.

I am not the one to give anyone marital advice in any case, as it would likely be quite bitter. I married at age 19 because I wanted to get away from my own mother, but it was a case of jumping from the frying pan into the fire as they were equally domineering and very unhappy and angry people.

Marriage in those days was definitely a strict separation of duties...the man worked to bring home the bacon and the woman did everything else. Men did the outdoor work and "fixed" things, women raised the children, did the cooking, cleaning, laundry, baking, drove the kids to their various activities and medical appointments. Women helped the kids with their homework and other problems, made the school lunches, shopped for groceries, bought and wrapped the birthday and Christmas gifts, read to the kids, attended parent/teacher meetings, comforted them when they were hurt or sad. The men were completely unaware of all the things their wives provided and women had little thanks, except for doing the best job she could, to gain satisfaction for her endless task.

Many men thought it was perfectly OK to slap their wives and kids around when they lost their temper, mine being one of them.

I stuck with this marriage until the kids were all graduated from high school, then I booted him out and divorced him. No way could I have supported myself and four growing boys alone, so I stuck with it and made the best of it I could. I did get a great deal of satisfaction watching my boys grow up into fine young men, and encouraged them as they continued on to university, always paying their tuition from what they earned during summer jobs.

And then...I met a man who was the complete opposite of my husband. He was loving, very romantic and charming, easy going with a great sense of humour, a decent and honourable man. He ended it after five years and broke my heart, but I got over it and was very glad we'd never married. Things aren't always what they seem when one is in love, are they.

Today I live alone with just my little dog as company, enjoy my grandkids, and have many interests of my own to enjoy. This is one of the best periods of my life.

Posted by: Betty | May 29, 2007 4:25 AM

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