Monday, December 20, 2010

Playing Catch-up (II)

(Dec 9) Lulu and Ashley are academic snobs

Lulu: The second Cherie is kind of interesting today: I like the first question too but she says what needs to be said: What is your problem why are you not coming up with your own date ideas? In the second, though, he’s pretty mean to that kid, which is unusual for her!

Ashley: Yeah, the the second one is kind of impressive - i.e. it's what I would have said! High school isn’t hard, you shouldn’t be failing, so try harder instead of quitting and getting the GED. Except if the kid wants to go to college, it may be better to get the GED and then go to community college.

Lulu: I don't think a GED is significantly easier than passing HS.

Ashley: It depends on the state. I considered taking it at 16.

Lulu: I guess it depends on the school too, and yeah, so did I, but that was in the interest of time. It's not EASY but it's FAST. I would be interested to know what this person wants to do after high school, but also what is it about high school they dislike: if it's the social atmosphere or bullying or something, then yeah, drop out, but if it's the work itself... who knows. A GED is fine for community college but who knows if this person would like community college any better.

Ashley: Yeah, I’m just saying, if they WANT to go to college, a GED isn't worse than passing with all Ds.
Lulu: True, a GED + decent grades in community college is probably the best way to rehabilitate bad HS grades. Maybe they should also find out if they have a learning disability. Tough love is great, but Cherie's right, HS is not that hard. So it seems WEIRD that they can't keep up with the work and it just keeps piling up.

Ashley: WEIRD!

(Dec 10) Lulu and Ashley are slackers

(Dec 11) Lulu and Ashley continue slacking

(Dec 12) Dear Abby triple-hit

Lulu: I actually found all 3 in today's Dear Abby mildly interesting.



Ashley: That’s clever re: store tags. Clever thief!

Lulu: I know! I think the lesson is "don't be in the phone book" though. But yeah, they should not print your name on your receipt.

Ashley: Ha ha also, I love the third letter.

Lulu: So do I!

Ashley: Because that behavior DOES NOT GO AWAY.

Lulu: Hahahahaha. At least then it's your money!

Ashley: You just get old enough that your mom doesn't yell at you!

Lulu: Yeah, I mean, I do think the kid didn't really "forget" s/he was xmas shopping. S/he gave in to temptation as Abby suggested. BUT. I "forget" I am xmas shopping and buy things for myself ALL THE TIME.

Ashley: LIKEWISE IT IS A PROBLEM. The Christmas card thing is interesting too. I kind of want to see the handmade cards.

Lulu: I know several people who make handmade cards and nobody's ever complained, as far as I know. Also I sort of don't see the point of sending NON-homemade cards, but the homemade cards that, say, Charlotte makes are very well done. She's a good artist. Still, I can't imagine people being that upset about a badly made card by a child? I guess she is 14 now, and maybe it stopped being cute.

Ashley: It’s odd to prefer a store-bought card. Who really cares where the card you got came from? Isn’t the point that people remembered to send you a card? It’s such a confusing custom anyway.

Lulu: Yeah, it seems like they do it because it's fun and it's a bonding activity, but even if you do it for fun, you want to assume that people appreciate them equally with a store bought card. But yes, I don’t get the custom either. I understand a card as a festive covering for a check, I guess, like wrapping paper for a money present or a gift card. But I don't get Christmas cards at all.

(Dec 13) Slaaaack slack slack.

(Dec 14) Well, some people ARE always right!

Lulu: What would say to the lady whose boyfriend's preferences always seem to win out? Also we have NOT POSTED OUR CONVERSATIONS. MAYBE WE NEVER WILL.

Ashley: I have it on my calendar. To post. I keep moving it (ed note: Success!).

Lulu: Ha ha ha.

Ashley: It would be nice to have concrete examples.

Lulu: Yeah; how do these conversations go? Is it just like, I want to eat Thai. Well, I want to eat Mexican.
[various remarks in defense of one or other]
[length of conversation exceeds interest]
Ok, whatever, Mexican.
Is boyfriend just more willing to back his choices? Or seems to have stronger preferences?

Ashley: Or he's willing to state "Well, I'm doing this," and she would rather come along than go do her thing?

Lulu: It would be annoying to be in that relationship. Like, yeah, we can do things separately, but it's lame to be willing to do something you don't really want to spend time with someone, and have them not willing to do the same for you.

Ashley: Yep, but it's also unclear if she's mentioned to him that that's how she feels. Maybe he thinks he's winning her over with logic!

Lulu: I don't think the advice is great. I actually think it would be better to say to him, "I feel like whenever we have different preferences, you seem to win." He actually might feel that she wins a lot - confirmation bias one way or the other (or both). But either way, he might be willing to cede sometimes in the name of evenness, even if his preference in the current instance is, as always, logically better.

Ashley: I know how he feels.

(Dec 14, continued)

Lulu: So this H.S. senior has no desires except to go to California. S/he doesn't say why. Amy tells them to stay home and go to community college. Thoughts?

Ashley: Yeah, I read that but was too confused. Why CA? For how long? To do what??

Lulu: There’s no information in the letter.

Ashley: I mean, if "California" is code for "porn industry in Hollywood" that's one thing. If s/he wants to go for a summer road trip that's another.

Lulu: If you don't know what you want to do, except you want to be somewhere with a nice climate, I guess you might as well go.

Ashley: Absolutely. There's community colleges in CA.

Lulu: One generally has more support in one's hometown, but not always. You might as well live in a cheap apartment, work a part time retail job and go to community college in the place of your choice. There is a bit of cost involved in moving, but you can mitigate that by selling your stuff! And a road trip is even easier. By the time the road trip is over you might have an idea of what you want to do. Actually, what might be good if s/he can find a few friends who want to road trip to CA. Then, if it's nice, stay, and if it sucks, go home!

Ashley: Good plan! Just make sure you're not driving your car, 'cause then you’ll ditch your friends!

Lulu: Yessss, don’t strand people. And sell all your stuff before you go.

Ashley: They're in HS. I don't think they have a lot of stuff to sell.

Lulu: True. I guess bring anything you want to keep (i.e. items of sentimental value) and clothes. I don't know how the parents will feel about the child maybe moving away and maybe not.

Ashley: Well, they should be ok with a roadtrip? And then call them from CA, and be like, “Well, this is awesome.”

Lulu: I guess they can plan to stay in CA for 2 weeks. Enough time to find a job and check out schools and stuff, so they can be like, "I really like it! I found a job!" I mean, 2 weeks isn't really long enough to find a great job, but store or coffee shop or something would be fine. I wonder where in CA they want to go. They might want to narrow it down to a specific city first; California is a big state.

Ashley: And not all of it is warm. And some of it is quite earthquake-y. Maybe they'd be better off moving to Boston.


(Dec 15) Lulu is ignored

Lulu: The second Advice Goddess letter is mildly interesting... I don't think AA answers the question fully. Also, Carolyn HATES this guy who's annoyed that his wife's family picks out their own xmas.

Lulu: … Hello? Hel…lo?

(Dec 16) Just be gay. And Jewish.

Lulu: 2nd letter: person can't decide whether to join the GSA or Drama Club THEY ARE THE SAME CLUB.

Ashley: Dude yes. Dama club may as well be the GSA. As long as you join one of them, you've done your part for supporting the gay people of the world.

Lulu: Exactly. But also, you know, being gay doesn't mean you have to be an activist. It DOES mean you have to be an actor.

Ashley: Ha ha ha. Of course it does.

Lulu: This one’s on curfews. Dr. lovemonkey implies, but doesn't come out and say, that the mom should use 'caving' on this as a bargaining chip to get something she wants more.

Ashley: Yes, yes, he does imply that.

Lulu: But I disagree with his response to the second person, I think it's rude not to accept a gift. If they ask you what you want, you can say you don't do gifts, but if they have already gotten something for you, thank them! Try not to feel awkward, and don't reciprocate. They won't give you gifts anymore in the future, or if they do, it's because they don't care if they get something back from you. I disagree with both parts of his advice - that you should refuse the gift, AND that you should get them something some other time. Then you're still getting "sucked into the exchange!" It's lose-lose.

Ashley: Well, you could say, "Thank you for thinking of me, but I don't generally do gift exchanges," while handing it back. They'll either take it or say that you should keep it. Either way they probably won't give you another one. It’s a weird situation, but it’s also weird to go, "Thank you!" and then not give anything, or even explain why you're not giving them gifts. The whole situation is odd. Just say you're Jewish. Or BE Jewish!

Lulu: Hah! Well, I do think you should say something. I think your thing is good, "Thank you for thinking of me, but I don't celebrate Christmas," then take it if they insist. If they got something FOR YOU, they want you to have it anyway. But you shouldn't refuse twice. Once is polite, but twice is obnoxious.

Ashley: Agreed.

(Dec 17th) Lulu has been destroyed

Lulu: Yes, I DID pocket dial you.
...from a pit full of zombies

Ashley: Amazing.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Playing Catch-up (I)

So Lulu and I haven't fallen off the face of the Earth or anything. It's just that the columns this time of year are mostly about Christmas and relatives and presents and drama, to which we just have a general response:

Lulu: Everyone has drama. Deal.

Ashley: Or don't deal. Go and deal with drama or don't go and don't deal with drama. The choice is yours and I cannot imagine caring.

Lulu: Jew Christmas is the best.

So we've basically not had anything extensive to say about any one column, but here's a collection of our discussions for columns between Nov 30th and Dec 8th.

(Nov 30) Lulu and Ashley hate on sugar

Ashley: Madelyn linked me to a new column, Dear Sugar.
It seems like Cary Tennis although maybe worse??

Lulu: Wow. Is this person's thing that they use endearments a lot? It's really gay (and I am reading a letter from a gay guy).

Ashley: The advice columnist is a woman and yes, the endearments get worse: sweet pea, honey buns, there's more. Darling. And that's only in the top 2 posts.

Lulu: It's really creeeepy. Also she uses Cary Tennis tiny sentences. Also HONEY BUNS. UGH. There is something about condescending use of endearments that I hate SO MUCH. Treat people with some fucking respect. I mean: yes; on our column we call people "kid" and "jerk" and "moron," so, hypocrite, I guess.

Ashley: Well, we're respectful. We only do it when they are kids and jerks and morons!

(Dec 1st) We find nothing

Ashley: Yo.

Lulu: Ayoyo.

Ashley: Indeed.

Lulu: It's Hannukah already?

Ashley: Figures.

Lulu: Nothing much in the columns.

Ashley: Feh.

(Dec 2nd) OMG a teenager

Dear Dr. Lovemonkey,

There's a guy named Carson that I know at school. He is 16 and next week I will turn 14. He told me he liked me last spring and I liked him too, but it just wasn't the right time because he had a girlfriend. But since the beginning of October, every time I go over to his house, we end up kissing. I've been over his house about 16 times now but he still has a girlfriend, though it's a different girlfriend now. What can I do to make him realize that I really like him and that he should be going out with me?

Lulu: SIXTEEN TIMES. That is a long time to keep count.

Ashley: Yes it is. Amazing.

Lulu: This seems pretty straightforward.

Ashley: There's really two ways about it, right? She could either 1) stop contact until and unless Carson wants to be her boyfriend or 2) accept that she'll always be the "other woman" and get experience with the physical side of things without getting emotionally involved. Either way she has to accept that he doesn't want to date her.

Lulu: Right, if she likes making out with him for itself, not wanting a relationship, then there's no problem, but if she's thinking of it like tryouts and if she does well enough she'll get to be the girlfriend, she's going to be disappointed because HE clearly prefers things the way they are, make-outs without status. It's not like he was just totally in love with the other girlfriend, because he broke up with her and got a DIFFERENT GIRLFRIEND and it's still not the LW.

Ashley: Also, she's 13. When I was 16, I wouldn't date a 13 year old.

Lulu: Right, yeah. He would be taking a social step down to date her and she would be taking a social step up, so even aside from the complications that always exist about people liking each other different amounts and valuing the relationship title different amounts, it makes complete sense that she wants it and he doesn't.

Ashley: Precisely.

Lulu: I like that in the high school setting we get to accept and admit that some people are just better status than others. It's like giving people advice for Victorian times: well of COURSE he's not going to marry you, honey; you only have 100 pounds per annum.

Ashley: High school might as well be the Victorian times. A lot of drama, not a lot of sex. In other news, Prudence tells a woman to let her husband see a dominatrix! After she told that teenage boy to get therapy over his benign latex fetish!

(Dec 3rd) Grudge gift-giving

Ashley: Carolyn's column has a gift exchange question that is right up the holding-a-grudge alley (ed note: it turns out we hold grudges).
My cousins and I do a Christmas gift exchange where all the names are thrown into a hat (there are 10 of us, ages 18 to 35). I have a major gripe with the system, though it's petty. My uncle married "Jill" a couple of years ago. "Jill" has a thirtysomething daughter whom I absolutely can't stand and don't see as my cousin. Jill is very insistent we include her daughter in all family things and now her awful daughter is in our cousin gift exchange.

I've enjoyed the exchange in the past, but I'm not sure I'm mature enough to buy Evil, Adult Daughter a gift. Am I being too bratty if I opt out?

Lulu: Hah, okay. It's like a Secret Santa? Would you participate in a Secret Santa in which there was a chance you would have to buy a present for someone for whom you held a grudge? First of all, it’s a one in ten shot. Also, I kind of think I would be HOPING to get the person I didn't like, but not liking someone doesn't necessarily mean they are hard to buy for.

Ashley: Right, I think it would be hilarious to buy for a person you hated.

Lulu: So many possibilities. First of all, you could just get something impersonal. Nobody cares. But you could learn her tastes to find out what she wants most, and get her something SUBTLY wrong.

Ashley: I’d get her a gift card. She would like it, and everyone who knows me would know that I hate her. GCs are terrible gifts! Although, it is a little weird to include a random person in your swap.

Lulu: She's not random, is she? She's sort of a Johnny-come-lately cousin by marriage; but it sort of seems weird to NOT include her if you're including all the cousins. It seems like one of those optional things where mature people would automatically offer and decline. The LW does seem like a jerk.

Ashley: A bit. Actually quitting the gift swap over it would be a jerk move.

(Dec 4th) We are slackers.

(Dec 5th) Still slacking.

(Dec 6th) Encourage slacking in others.

Lulu: Me, to sleepy coworker: You should take a nap in the game room.
Him: Where do you think I just came back from?

Ashley: Gooooood.


Ashley: yeees.

(Dec 7th) Where babies come from

Ashley: Last letter in Annie's Mailbox today: wtf is "fertility issues" doing in that list??

Lulu: Whaaaat? Why would you have fertility issues? If you... if you got an abortion?? It's totally going to scare some people into thinking sex gives you fertility problems. OTHER WAY AROUND, people. Not having sex is a big fertility problem!

(Dec 8th) We start to feel guilty about not updating

Ashley: Prudence has a chat, but nothing spectacular.

Lulu: we have been sort of having conversations? I just haven't posted any of them. We could do a grab bag?

Ashley: Yees, catching up would be goood... There's a gaming one from carolyn, where the husband has discovered an xbox.

Lulu: Yep; I feel like when it's that compulsive, it's not specifically about gaming. Our bailiwick is more 'what is this thing world of warcraft.' Also, in Dr. Wallace:

"I tried to convince an Irish teenager that smoking was bad for him, but he only laughed and said I was 'daft.'"

Ashley: Awesome. Also, HA to the response: "JULIETTE: The United States and Canada are leaders when it comes to public health and safety"

Lulu: Yeah, that was cute.