We've been had, or not? June 17, 2010 8:11 AM   Subscribe

Temperature differences as a deal breaker, serious or not?

I honestly thought that this post was a joke, lampooning on some of the more ridiculous Relationship AskMes.
posted by roomthreeseventeen to MetaFilter-Related at 8:11 AM (122 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

With the amount of relationship dysfunction that is proven here on a regular basis, I think it's hardly out of the realm of possibility that someone actually approaches life like Jerry Seinfeld.
posted by Hiker at 8:14 AM on June 17, 2010 [5 favorites]


We assume it's a real question unless there's some reaons to think otherwise. I'm aware it's hinky sounding but really it's nt that much MORE hinky sounding than some of the other odd questions that have shown up there. It's always weird when people need to tell the OP just how flabbergasted they are at their question, it's super not helpful and I guess I don't see the harm in giving a straightforward answer. At worst you're "duped" by someone who is being lulzy [and probably wanders off, bored] and at best you're helping someone who's pretty twitchy and having a real problem.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:14 AM on June 17, 2010 [4 favorites]


Seemed straight up to me. It's a plate of beans, but it doesn't strike me as fake.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:17 AM on June 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, sorry for my comment there. If I am rendered speechless by a question then I should pretty much move on.
posted by desjardins at 8:17 AM on June 17, 2010


It strikes me as a not-perfect framing of a legitimate question. I know plenty of folks who have temperature preference differences, but more to the point I know plenty of people who at one point in their lives at least worried about this sort of class of "is it a dealbreaker" things about relationships. Whether or not you or I personally think that worry is all that practically grounded is kind of beside the point—the user is asking the question because they want to know what people's take is.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:18 AM on June 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


bondcliff answered it sufficiently. I'll be honest though, my girlfriend is a total wuss when it comes to having the fan on at night. How can you be so cold when you spent two hundred dollars on this comforter?
posted by Think_Long at 8:21 AM on June 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


it doesn't strike me as fake.

me either
posted by fake at 8:21 AM on June 17, 2010 [22 favorites]


Speaking as someone who is cuddled up to as the family hot water bottle in the winter but becomes persona non grata in the summer, it seems like a badly worded, but honest question to me. :)
posted by zarq at 8:22 AM on June 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


Relationship AskMes: Not that much MORE hinky
posted by lukemeister at 8:26 AM on June 17, 2010


I honestly thought that this post was a joke, lampooning on some of the more ridiculous Relationship AskMes.

If it were properly lampooning AskMe relationship questions it would be 17 paragraphs long.
posted by bondcliff at 8:27 AM on June 17, 2010 [30 favorites]


Dear AskMe: My girlfriend wants to get more hinky in bed but I'm not so sure. Please advise.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 8:35 AM on June 17, 2010


Except it would be one 17-paragraph-long paragraph.
posted by enn at 8:35 AM on June 17, 2010 [6 favorites]


I have really enjoyed this week's spate of new-user relationship questions. It's like reading and commenting on somebody's diary entries
posted by Think_Long at 8:37 AM on June 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


It came across as an honest question. The OP was over thinking it, but if it mattered to them, it was honest. I'm in zarq's shoes, I get cold extremities thrust at me for warming on a regular basis.
posted by arcticseal at 8:37 AM on June 17, 2010


It's so sad to see a question where the asker is a fire deity in love with an ice elemental. You know right up front that it's a classical tragedy and none of the characters involved can see that it will end in misery for both their kingdoms.

Still, you have to watch because of the epic scope of the thing.
posted by quin at 8:38 AM on June 17, 2010 [13 favorites]


I suspect that it's a joke, as is the "taser or gun in a house with kids" question. Both are from user names with no previous history, and both seem kind of designed for kicks.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 8:42 AM on June 17, 2010


And in fact, it could be a deal breaker. There are some people who insist on having the thermostat set at THEIR level, because they "can't live" any other way. I know a couple who constantly keep the thermostat at 60 degrees; that would be a dealbreaker for me.
posted by Melismata at 8:42 AM on June 17, 2010


roomthreeseventeen, I agree it seems weird. But what are we supposed to do, come up with some kind of gold standard for what things are ridiculous to even suggest as relationship dealbreakers vs. things that make sense as possible relationship dealbreakers? I've seen comments by you, roomthreeseventeen, about what you do and don't consider to be relationship dealbreakers, and some of them are extremely different from mine. Are the mods supposed to adjudicate which of us is "right"? I don't think so. If it's an issue to the OP, it's a legitimate question.
posted by Jaltcoh at 8:42 AM on June 17, 2010


Both are from user names with no previous history, and both seem kind of designed for kicks.

There has been a huge number of signups recently. In another MeTa thread, Jessamyn actually warned us to be prepared for a bunch of not-on-target AskMe questions. Unfortunately I'm at work, so I can't go searching for that statement now.
posted by fake at 8:46 AM on June 17, 2010


It may be insightful to substitute temperature preference/perception in this question with something else about which people feel strongly until you hit on an issue that's important to you.

For instance, can a foodie date a non-foodie? Can a metalhead date a popmusic junkie? Can a die-hard Lost/Survivor/Glee/whatever fan date someone who hates TV? Can a Yankees fan date a Mets fan? (Can anyone date a Yankees fan?) Can a smoker date a non-smoker? Can a fashion plate date a slob?

I can't imagine giving a damn about a lot of things that people find really, really important for compatibility, but I'm a foodie, non-TV watching, indie music loving, moderately-well-dressed, ex-smoker Phillies fan involved with same.
posted by desuetude at 8:46 AM on June 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


That's an honest question. I'm hot, like, all the fucking time. I've dated a number of women who prefer warm weather to cold weather. It's a bigger issue in terms of long-term dating than I've ever found differences in, say, religion or vegetarianism-versus-omnivory to be.

I suspect that it's a joke, as is the "taser or gun in a house with kids" question.

The taser-or-gun user signed up right when the Russian girls stuff exploded; I think we're just getting a bunch of good-faith questions from people who aren't familiar with what the userbase is like.
posted by Greg Nog at 8:46 AM on June 17, 2010


Both are from user names with no previous history, and both seem kind of designed for kicks.

Given that we just had a bunch of stuff happen to draw attention to the site, plus a recent discussion about how it is okay to use sockpuppets for greater anonymity as long as you're not abusing the one-question-per-week rule, I don't find the lack of user history to be alarming.

The airconditioning/heat fight is no joke, man.
posted by desuetude at 8:49 AM on June 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


I suspect that it's a joke, as is the "taser or gun in a house with kids" question. Both are from user names with no previous history, and both seem kind of designed for kicks.

I think we all need to accept that people are different. A question like "taser or gun for home defense with kids" seems absolutely crazy in my world, as does the question up for discussion. I just tell myself that there are things that matter to me and if I asked about them in AskMe others might think they were fake questions and if I can offer a useful answer, I post it. If I can't I move on.

Imagine a foody asking about a specific salt. I know a lot of people who would want to smack them because, hey, salt is salt, right? A question like that would seem fake to someone who isn't into food.

I once asked about making tea and someone posted "um, use a teabag" because the answer was so damn obvious to someone who doesn't know about loose tea and proper brewing techniques.

Just because you can't relate to it, it doesn't mean it isn't important to the person asking the question and maybe to someone else who might one day stumble upon it.
posted by bondcliff at 8:51 AM on June 17, 2010 [17 favorites]


Bondcliff is right on. In fact, I'm a little troubled that we seem to be condemning people who aren't liberal hippies. A gun question wouldn't even bat half an eyelash in a place like Texas. I hope we're not interested in driving people away who aren't like us so that we can continue to interact with people who are only like us.
posted by Melismata at 8:55 AM on June 17, 2010 [9 favorites]


It's a crush. He's not involved. Not every relationship question has to be do or die.

Wow...
posted by L'OM at 9:08 AM on June 17, 2010


I get cold extremities thrust at me for warming on a regular basis.

Was this supposed to sound so dirty, or is my head just in a bad place?
posted by Think_Long at 9:11 AM on June 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I agree that the taser/gun seems even more like a joke. It's scary to think that's a real person/parent.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:16 AM on June 17, 2010


Think_Long, it's your head. Although a cold hand in a bad place is a rude wake-up call in the middle of the night.
posted by arcticseal at 9:16 AM on June 17, 2010


Although a cold hand in a bad place is a rude wake-up call in the middle of the night.

Feet. Cold Feet. Arrrgh.
posted by zarq at 9:17 AM on June 17, 2010


The problem with the taser/gun question isn't that it's a joke, it's that the asker seems to have posted it for the primary purpose of lecturing everyone on how much awesomer guns are than tasers.
posted by enn at 9:20 AM on June 17, 2010 [4 favorites]


Wow. Quite a few snotty responses to the original question. Whatever happened to "no it probably won't work" or "go for it!"
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 9:21 AM on June 17, 2010


In fact, I'm a little troubled that we seem to be condemning people who aren't liberal hippies. A gun question wouldn't even bat half an eyelash in a place like Texas. I hope we're not interested in driving people away who aren't like us so that we can continue to interact with people who are only like us.

The thing is, assuming that the question was asked in good faith, then that asker is like me. I'm totally for gun ownership. If you check my comment history, you'll see that I've made a couple of comments saying that I feel that more people should own and train with guns. The question just strikes me as being designed to tweak the site's collective nose.

If the next new user asks about getting his misogynist cat circumsized, I'll know that someone is going for an AskMe hat trick.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 9:25 AM on June 17, 2010


Imagine a foody asking about a specific salt. I know a lot of people who would want to smack them because, hey, salt is salt, right? A question like that would seem fake to someone who isn't into food.

I knew the former Mr. Mayhem and I would get along well in the kitchen when he off went on a 5 minute ode to his favorite salt on our first date. Salt is serious business, man.

On the temperature thing, it's interesting. In their 25 years of marriage, it's pretty much the only thing I've seen my parents fight about. They disagree and discuss and compromise about everything else, but the fights are about temperature.
posted by mollymayhem at 9:26 AM on June 17, 2010


I have no doubt it's not a joke. I totally get that for most couples this isn't an issue, so if you've never experienced it, it seems both silly and trivial. That's fine, you're normal, rock on.

The rest of us - and I know we're a tiny minority - are not so lucky. That doesn't mean we do not exist. Please believe me when I tell you that just because you have not experienced this as a near-insurmountable problem in your relationship, it doesn't mean it isn't for some other people.

My husband would have the heat on right now if he could. It is 68 degrees out. I'd have the AC on if we had any. I'm wearing a t-shirt, cotton PJ bottoms and bare feet in our sealed house. He's wearing jeans, socks, shoes, a long-sleeved shirt and probably a cotton sweater (I'd have to go look).

Neither of us is comfortable. Neither of us is ever comfortable. We simply contort our environment and attire to make everyone the least uncomfortable at the same time as we can.
posted by DarlingBri at 9:29 AM on June 17, 2010 [10 favorites]


Metafilter: cold extremities thrust at me
posted by slogger at 9:29 AM on June 17, 2010


Hot, cold it doesn't matter, I thrive in any environment, like microbes but cuter. Bigger too.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:33 AM on June 17, 2010


The temperature thing sounds like an abbat question and the gun/taser thing makes me wonder where this guy lives that he's running his family through drills for fear of a home invasion like it's some sort of inevibility.
posted by asockpuppet at 9:36 AM on June 17, 2010


DTMFAC
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 9:40 AM on June 17, 2010


It has to be a troll post. That's ridiculous.
posted by anniecat at 9:45 AM on June 17, 2010


Are home invasion drills something families are supposed to run, like fire drills? I certainly never had them in my house. Maybe this guy just watched Funny Games.
posted by Think_Long at 9:45 AM on June 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Dear AskMe: I am a biologist who studies extremophiles. I strive to maintain a professional relationship with my study subjects, but this one thermophile was kinda special and hawt (LOL). After weeks of flirting, I finally broke my rules and asked her out. Everything's going great but every time we hang out, she insists on cranking up the thermostat to 80 C. What sort of cocktail is best for that environment?
posted by special-k at 9:53 AM on June 17, 2010


Neither of us is comfortable. Neither of us is ever comfortable. We simply contort our environment and attire to make everyone the least uncomfortable at the same time as we can.

Hey, at least in a marriage you can negotiate and compromise. My former director at work has an office right next to my vice-president's. She's always cold. He runs hot. Because the thermostat is in his office and he's the boss, it gets set at the temperature he finds comfortable. Poor woman is always swathed in sweaters.
posted by orange swan at 9:57 AM on June 17, 2010


It has to be a troll post. That's ridiculous.

Turn your thermostat up to 10 degrees past comfortable for a week and then we'll talk. When you can't live comfortably in your own home to the point of sometimes not being able to sleep, that can have a serious impact on your well being.
posted by ODiV at 10:04 AM on June 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


It has to be a troll post. That's ridiculous.

Arguing about temperatures is ridiculous? Has to be a troll? WTF. You've never felt too cold or too hot in a building or house?
posted by kmz at 10:07 AM on June 17, 2010


> It has to be a troll post. That's ridiculous.

Yes, because all real human beings are exactly like you.
posted by languagehat at 10:07 AM on June 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


I thought the temperature question was legit although wildly premature given the state of the relationship (does the object of his crush even know the asker exists?), especially after spending a few days with my elderly dad who has the heat cranked up in the middle of a Sacramento winter. The stuffiness in his house is claustrophobia inducing.

But the tasers vs gun in the house guy? I'm kind of suspicious of him because of what his user name translates to: "I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!"
posted by jamaro at 10:12 AM on June 17, 2010


I know a couple who constantly keep the thermostat at 60 degrees; that would be a dealbreaker for me.

This would be a dealbreaker for me because OPEN A FUCKING WINDOW IT'S NICE OUTSIDE AND YOU'RE KILLING THE EARTH
posted by shakespeherian at 10:13 AM on June 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


(make that a Sacramento summer).
posted by jamaro at 10:13 AM on June 17, 2010


This would be a dealbreaker for me because OPEN A FUCKING WINDOW IT'S NICE OUTSIDE AND YOU'RE KILLING THE EARTH

Man, I wish the people who feel the need to heat their homes to the 70s when it's a nice, pleasant 35 or so out had to put up with this appeal-to-nature bullshit.
posted by enn at 10:14 AM on June 17, 2010


I'm kind of suspicious of him because of what his user name translates to: "I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!"

Eh, I often feel the same way, and I'm generally more of a cold-weather guy, myself.
posted by Greg Nog at 10:16 AM on June 17, 2010


I know a couple who constantly keep the thermostat at 60 degrees; that would be a dealbreaker for me.

This would be a dealbreaker for me because OPEN A FUCKING WINDOW IT'S NICE OUTSIDE AND YOU'RE KILLING THE EARTH


It's so funny reading this from a northern Canadian perspective. Why would you open a window when it's 60 in the house? You want it colder or something?
posted by ODiV at 10:21 AM on June 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Adding that this has been a real issue for me in the past as well. It seems silly til you are so cold you are aching and thus can't do as much as you'd like while your partner is sitting around in shorts and sweating. Its a little bizarre and something that's hard to frame or fix in a discussion. One is simply hot, the other is simply cold no amount of talking can fix that and thus may well be a deal breaker.
posted by stormygrey at 10:22 AM on June 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Neither of us is comfortable. Neither of us is ever comfortable. We simply contort our environment and attire to make everyone the least uncomfortable at the same time as we can.

Isn't this essentially life? It's all compromise all of the time.
posted by fixedgear at 10:26 AM on June 17, 2010


Oh, also:

I thought the temperature question was legit although wildly premature given the state of the relationship

While I get where you're coming from, I'm sure I'm not alone in my tendency to meet a potential mate for the very first time and immediately play through like fifty different mental future-scenarios in which we have children (are they attractive? intelligent?), form a tremendously dysfunctional relationship (will I turn to the bottle? or sublimate my desires into writing slashfic?), buy a house (clapboard walls? Or will she talk me into that weird adobe-looking crap?), raise horses together (how big are the horses? Will she be okay with the fact that I know nothing about horses?), go visit her dying mother in the hospital (if the mom forgets my name and calls me the wrong thing, do I correct her, or let her continue believe until she dies that my name is "Tad"?), etc, etc, within the first two minutes of talking to her.

OP is normal, for certain values of normal.
posted by Greg Nog at 10:26 AM on June 17, 2010 [18 favorites]


I'm sure I'm not alone in my tendency to meet a potential mate for the very first time and immediately play through like fifty different mental future-scenarios

Overthinking a plate of mates?
posted by jamaro at 10:27 AM on June 17, 2010


Oh, and it's real. Why would anyone want to become an OBGYN, dentist, or proctologist were all real, too.
posted by fixedgear at 10:28 AM on June 17, 2010


Why would you want to look at orifices all day?
posted by ODiV at 10:33 AM on June 17, 2010


I'm kind of suspicious of him because of what his user name translates to: "I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!"

Man, whoever Luke was writing about sounds like an asshole. What a jerk.
posted by cjorgensen at 10:34 AM on June 17, 2010


Isn't this essentially life? It's all compromise all of the time.

Hear hear.

The asker of this question may find out some things about his or herself with this question. May find out the meaning of the princess and the pea. May find out that waiting Mr. or Ms. perfect will mean loneliness and heartache. Or, may find out about some nifty new thermostat!
posted by Mister_A at 10:35 AM on June 17, 2010


You know that Simpsons episode where Homer points to the temperature control and tells Grandpa "I can make it very uncomfortable in here for you"? My husband can totally stop our bickering matches with that threat.

So, yeah, it is a real thing, but totally navigable.
posted by cestmoi15 at 10:37 AM on June 17, 2010


Speaking of thermostats, I wonder how that woman in Georgia made out? Fucking thermostats, how do they work? Batteries? Who knew?
posted by fixedgear at 10:43 AM on June 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


It's just a question from someone who wants to know if others have found that hotty vs. coldy is a dealbreaker. Hard to believe so many think it's a troll. I think some of the answers were probably pretty helpful to the OP.
posted by iconomy at 10:44 AM on June 17, 2010


I think that people who have their "dealbreaker" bar set so low would be best off not being in a relationship. But I also think that "not being in a relationship" is an option that more people should choose for themselves.

That said, I also think people can be trained out of this behavior (both too sensitive a dealbreaker setting and needing to be in a relationship) and hopefully regular reading of AskMetafilter helps more people than just the askers.

That said, I think the question is ridiculous.

That said, I think the question is real.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:53 AM on June 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Sorry. Not being in a relationship is a dealbreaker for me.
posted by crunchland at 10:57 AM on June 17, 2010


Mister_A: May find out the meaning of the princess and the pea. May find out that waiting Mr. or Ms. perfect will mean loneliness and heartache. Or, may find out about some nifty new thermostat

Are you currently cold? Please turn down the thermostat in your house by ten degrees. Are you currently warm? Please turn up the thermostat by ten degrees.

Get back to me in a week.

WHO'S LAUGHING NOW, PEA BOY?
posted by DarlingBri at 10:57 AM on June 17, 2010 [4 favorites]


Now me, I have a situation where my husband wants the house hot in the winter and frigid in the summer. Our home is literally colder in the summer than it is in the winter. Until I married him, I was the first to start wearing sweaters. Heat never really bothered me much, so now I wear a sweatshirt in Abu Dhabi in JUNE!
posted by bardophile at 11:13 AM on June 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Are you currently cold? Please turn down the thermostat in your house by ten degrees. Are you currently warm? Please turn up the thermostat by ten degrees.

I have this great perimenopausal thing going on right now where I can be hot and cold at the same time. Right now, for instance, I feel internally hot in a way that makes me want to fan myself or take off a layer, but all over at the skin level I have chills and a goose-bumpy feeling but no actual goosebumps. I think this makes me a person who has a deal-breaking temperature differential problem with herself.
posted by not that girl at 11:17 AM on June 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


The word "deal breaker" always makes me feel sad inside.
posted by JanetLand at 11:26 AM on June 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


JanetLand: The word "deal breaker" always makes me feel sad inside.

For me, that's a deal...

never mind
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:40 AM on June 17, 2010


I never much cared for the term, either. I prefer to use "wheel facer."

It might be worth noting that my answer to all relationshipfilter questions is "Thunderdome." I think the mods keep deleting it, though.
posted by Drastic at 11:44 AM on June 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


This thread seems fighty to me.

I mean there are already multiple people in the thread who have talked about the reality of the situation for them, and said that it isn't a joke.

The question asked in this thread seems sort of tin-eared:

- OP: This bothers me.
- Small group A: Oh my god, how could this bother you?
- Small group B: No seriously, this bothers us too. It kind of sucks.

And then we take it to meta talk and...

- Small group A: Seriously, how could this bother that ONE person? Joke, right?
- Small group B: Wait, did you not read the thread?

I get that some people don't get it. But it would be different if you said, "That this is a serious issue is surprising to me", roomthreeseventeen. But you still use language that suggests that this can't be a serious issue when multiple people have said that it is.

...which is why this seems fighty.

posted by anitanita at 11:45 AM on June 17, 2010 [4 favorites]


I am left wondering if some of you know people, like, in real life.
posted by desuetude at 11:58 AM on June 17, 2010 [10 favorites]


Metafilter: normal, for certain values of normal
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 11:59 AM on June 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


That post just described my marriage, tempwise. Yup, for real.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 12:12 PM on June 17, 2010


Thunderdome.
posted by cjorgensen at 12:29 PM on June 17, 2010


I don't know if the OP is joking, but the premise definitely isn't an unrealistic concern.
posted by lazaruslong at 1:00 PM on June 17, 2010


Hot, cold it doesn't matter, I thrive in any environment, like microbes but cuter. Bigger too.

Which is why you have so many spouses, obv!

Also, these situations can easily be resolved by heating with wood. Too hot? Fucking fire needs to die down. Too cold? You go get some wood, yes I know it's too long for our firebox but we own a chainsaw. What's the problem?
posted by stet at 1:00 PM on June 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I agree that the taser/gun seems even more like a joke. It's scary to think that's a real person/parent.

You've clearly never been to da UP.
posted by emilyd22222 at 1:22 PM on June 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Are you currently cold? Please turn down the thermostat in your house by ten degrees. Are you currently warm? Please turn up the thermostat by ten degrees.

What if I'm just right? Adjust it even more in the just right direction? HAHAHA! PEA BOY RULES!
posted by Mister_A at 2:24 PM on June 17, 2010


As some folks have pointed out, temperature differences are a point of compromise, but what happens when there's no compromise? No sympathy? As I mentioned in the AskMe, my wife is adamantly against using the air conditioner in our bedroom. I literally sweat while (trying) to sleep, until after I switched my sweat drenched pillow with hers.

I envy all of you who have perfect and happy relationships without conflict. It must be nice. Please remember that there is at least a small number of us who have conflicts in our relationships, and that not every couple has happy songbirds following them through the forest of delight.

Oh, and since when did being a new user = bad? This guy, he's new. As jessamyn mentioned, lots of new users, people who might not understand how things work. I was stunned by the amount of negativity in the first dozen or so answers, until I got to jessamyn's note about how she'd actually deleted several. Those were the ones that got left up? Honestly, the open hostility is pretty shocking. I feel sorry for the guy (since I tend to try to give the benefit of the doubt), and if I were him, after finding that cool website that helps people, asking a question, then getting called shallow, self-centered, a douche, or whatever, hell, I doubt I'd come back.

At what point did the community welcome basket get replaced with pitchforks and torches?
posted by Ghidorah at 2:47 PM on June 17, 2010 [6 favorites]


Honestly, the open hostility is pretty shocking.

I feel a little bit like we need to be more clear that exclamations of eye-rolling or appalled-ness pretty much have no place in an AskMe thread unless the question is some variant of "Does this shock you?" We should probably be more assertive in enforcing this policy in relationship threads [and perhaps also gun control and pet threads] more than we currently do.

And yeah, I can't sleep with AC on. I am lucky to have found someone who does not require it and live someplace that rarely needs it.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:59 PM on June 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


My husband and I used to have some epic fights over the thermostat setting, so this is very plausible to me.

(My preferred solution is that if he's so hot then he should just walk around naked. Then I don't have to freeze AND I get naked man eye candy!)
posted by Jacqueline at 3:17 PM on June 17, 2010


My wife and I found a simple solution for the A/C: It's a wall unit. I sleep on the side of the bed that the air conditioner points to, and my body blocks the flow of air from hitting her directly. It's always on energy-saver mode, so the temperature in the room doesn't get too cold. In the summer, I use a sheet. She uses a comforter year-round.

It also helps that I'm a full foot taller than she is.
posted by zarq at 3:27 PM on June 17, 2010


My wife and I used to have some epic fights over the thermostat setting, until I learned one crucial thing early on in our marriage...

She's always right.
posted by crunchland at 3:30 PM on June 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


At what point did the community welcome basket get replaced with pitchforks and torches?

Any community response probably will depend on who's doing the greeting. We don't all speak in one voice, and empathy doesn't exist in abundance anywhere on the internet.
posted by zarq at 3:36 PM on June 17, 2010


She's always right.

My in laws have been married for over 40 years. When I asked for his daughter's hand, my then future father-in-law gave me his secret to a long, steady marriage:

"Yes, dear."
posted by zarq at 3:38 PM on June 17, 2010


What do the mods do when an AskMe question (or, equally, answers) don't follow the rules of AskMe? Several of the questions have had answers that weren't answers, but were more discussion of the topic as if it were an FPP. I imagine the mods can't point each individual new user to the rules; that would be a lot of email.
posted by tzikeh at 3:56 PM on June 17, 2010


"Yes, dear."

For the record, I hate that shit. Wife as badgering harridan is a really tired, unhelpful, destructive trope. Husband as passive and belittled marital passenger also isn't doing great things for men. Or fatherhood, come to think of it.
posted by DarlingBri at 4:19 PM on June 17, 2010 [17 favorites]


What do the mods do when an AskMe question (or, equally, answers) don't follow the rules of AskMe?

Delete them.
posted by Jaltcoh at 4:20 PM on June 17, 2010


On the other hand, when I asked my wife's father if I could have his blessing, well, my Japanese wasn't that great at the time, and he uses a lot of old man slang. When I asked him, he went on a long, rambling speech, and the only word I clearly understood was 'shoganai,' which means 'It can't be helped.' I thought he was not thrilled about his daughter marrying a foreigner, and I was pretty devastated. He then took us out to eat, and I mentioned this to my wife. She told me what he actually said was that I seemed like a pretty good guy, and pretty smart, and that if I wanted to marry someone as awful as his daughter, then he probably couldn't talk me out of it.

I love my father-in-law. He's awesome. And now, I understand a hell of a lot more of what he says.
posted by Ghidorah at 4:30 PM on June 17, 2010 [9 favorites]


Several of the questions have had answers that weren't answers, but were more discussion of the topic as if it were an FPP. I imagine the mods can't point each individual new user to the rules; that would be a lot of email.

We don't contact every person who gets something deleted, because, yeah, that would be an untenable level of communication, and we already do plenty on a given day as it is. If we see someone who seems to be really struggling (like it's a recurring issue, or they're complaining/asking about moderation in the thread itself, etc) or is otherwise looking like an exceptional case, we'll usually drop them a line to make sure they know what's going on, but aside from that we kind of hope most people will swim rather than sink and try and figure this stuff out on their own over time. That seems to work fairly well in general, thankfully.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:32 PM on June 17, 2010


empathy doesn't exist in abundance anywhere on the internet.

I propose mefi do its part to change that.
posted by archivist at 4:52 PM on June 17, 2010 [5 favorites]


For the record, I hate that shit. Wife as badgering harridan is a really tired, unhelpful, destructive trope. Husband as passive and belittled marital passenger also isn't doing great things for men.

I know what you mean, and yet, I'm happy to fall into the "Yes, Dear" camp at times. This is because I was clever enough to marry a crazy intelligent woman who makes clever choices.

Early in our marriage, we'd debate finer points, and time and again, when I went to research my end of the discussion, I came to realize that, not only was I wrong, but I wasn't even close.

So "Yes, Dear" (or more accurately "Sure thing, Hon.") became a shorthand way of me looking at a situation, forming an opinion, listening to her side, and quickly realizing that it was a far saner solution, and subsequently agreeing without dispute.

To an outside observer I could seem like a harried husband who passively agrees, but a closer look would reveal someone who has simply learned to take sound advise from a reliable, beloved equal.

Others MMV, of course.
posted by quin at 5:17 PM on June 17, 2010 [6 favorites]


But not clever enough to not use the word "clever" several times in a row when describing something as being... clever.
posted by quin at 5:20 PM on June 17, 2010


How's that working out for you? Being... clever.
posted by Ghidorah at 5:30 PM on June 17, 2010


For the record, I hate that shit.

Yes, dear.
posted by crunchland at 5:33 PM on June 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


What quin said times a thousand.

Look, my wife is smarter than me, more practical than me and a better parent to my kids than I am. She's not a badgering harridan, and I'm certainly not a passive wimp. The reason we get along so well is clear, honest communication, a decent sense of perspective, mutual respect, love and similar life goals. We also happen to be very different people with varied interests who know how to compromise well.

My father in law was making a joke, not perpetuating a stereotype. And I was, too.
posted by zarq at 5:34 PM on June 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Whenever I think of "dealbreakers," and I've come across a few, I think of an announcers, useually the one from SmashTV yelling "D-D-D-D-D-D-Deeaallbreakerrrrr!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" and firing an airhorn off: Bwa bwaa bwaaa bwwwwwwwwwwwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahh!

I'd really like to hear about people's 'dealbreakers.' For me it was when an ex-ladyfriend shaved her eyebrows after her cat died. D-D-D-D-D-D-DEALBREAKER!
posted by fuq at 5:41 PM on June 17, 2010


My father in law was making a joke, not perpetuating a stereotype. And I was, too.

Which I can dig, but I hear where DarlingBri is coming from on the whole general pattern as it seems to manifest itself in casual social discourse about marriage, regardless of the specific intent of this or that example. It bothers me how often small talk with a random stranger will, when hitting on the topic of marriage, or even coming with in desperate reach of marriage or women in general, turn to that sort of "marriage sure is an endless hell, women sure are impossible to live with, the lot of the married man sure is a poor one, amirite, ha ha just funnin' ya, but seriously" thing.

I was pretty surprised back when I first got married at how common that sort of response was to the news. Like the second most natural thing to say after "congratulations" was "well, you sure fucked up now", but it's cool because they're totally kidding and anyway it's not ALL bad and let me tell you another thing and—

Compromise and communication and the occasional tactical tactful silence are certainly part of the deal, and at that how conflict resolution works best (and how often it's necessary) obviously varies plenty from couple to couple for any number of reasons, but god does it get tiring having random strangers or acquaintances wipe their shitty relationship history on me in passing like they're doing me a favor.

So it's a weird vein of humor in my eyes even when it is intended as totally innocent humor, which isn't your fault at all but that's sort of the odd context it naturally lands in. I'd rather hear a funny story about someone's relationship than the umpteenth (ironic/jokey or not) iteration of "marriage is hell".
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:54 PM on June 17, 2010 [11 favorites]


My father in law was making a joke, not perpetuating a stereotype. And I was, too.

You and he were doing both. The joke perpetuates the stereotype.
posted by tzikeh at 6:09 PM on June 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


You and he were doing both. The joke perpetuates the stereotype.

That was not my intention.
posted by zarq at 6:30 PM on June 17, 2010


I don't mean to gang up on you for the joke; I laughed at it and didn't think it was that bad. But I also think it's worth pointing out that it's no defense to say you weren't thinking of your comment as a stereotype. Stereotypes are all the more powerful if we don't recognize them as such. And they're worth pointing out precisely because some people might not have noticed them.
posted by Jaltcoh at 7:21 PM on June 17, 2010


I'd really like to hear about people's 'dealbreakers.'

Not being able to [at least sometimes] beat me at Scrabble. I ignored this once and it was a mistake.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:45 PM on June 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


But I also think it's worth pointing out that it's no defense to say you weren't thinking of your comment as a stereotype. Stereotypes are all the more powerful if we don't recognize them as such. And they're worth pointing out precisely because some people might not have noticed them.

This is very true. I've said as much myself on MeFi before. I had to really think about the deeper meaning of the joke before I understood how I was extending a stereotype. So that also supports what you're saying.

I generally don't joke disparagingly about people. Not about women or anyone else. My sense of humor tends to be somewhat dry and silly, but I'd like to think it doesn't extend to demeaning others. :( That really wasn't what I intended.

cortex, to be honest, I only very rarely have encounter the kind of casual complaining you're talking about. My friends don't do that. If they complain about their partners, wives or husbands it's usually about specific things, rather than to do something asinine like compare marriage to entrapment, or complain about their "shitty relationships." Strangers I meet don't really do that with me either. Not that I meet that many strangers outside of work settings. I'm not trying to excuse my comment, of course. I just think it's worth mentioning that I'm more likely to hear "ball and chain" type jokes from crappy sitcom dialogue than in real life.

Which also says a lot about ingrained cultural assumptions and stereotypes.
posted by zarq at 7:55 PM on June 17, 2010


Wife as badgering harridan is a really tired, unhelpful, destructive trope. Husband as passive and belittled marital passenger also isn't doing great things for men.

What if it were husband as badgering harridan, and wife as passive and belittled marital passenger? Kind of like what seems to be described in this comment above?

The joke perpetuates the stereotype.

Who is joking? In a lot of ways, marriage IS hell, and I don't care if you're tired of hearing about it. Sure, you can be all hippy-dippy about it being true love forever, and flowers, and moonlit walks if you want, but that's not facing reality. Sure, there are lots of parts of relationships that are great, no doubt about it, but there are a lot of parts that aren't.

You go from being a selfish, solo person, who can do pretty much what you want, when you want to. You want to paint your bedroom purple? Go ahead. You want pizza for dinner 6 days a week? Go ahead. You want to stay up until 4 am smoking dope and playing Grand Theft Auto? Go ahead? Sure, there are consequences, and you pay for them, but that's all part of being an adult.

Then you get into a relationship. And suddenly, you have to compromise. And compromise is hell. What's that saying about the best compromise is when no one is happy?

I suppose one could say that, ideally, your perfect soulmate also wants to paint the bedroom purple, also wants pizza 6 days a week, and also wants to stay up until 4 in the morning, smoke dope, and play Grand Theft Auto. That perfect soulmates are so perfect that there's no such thing as compromise because everything is in tuned and perfect sync. I say, forget it. 1. It doesn't happen. and 2. If it did happen, it'd be completely boring and even more hellish. (Besides, I could never live with someone that much like myself.)

To make matters worse, many successful relationships also end up adding children into the mix, and then it turns into double-Hell, because not only do you have to satisfy the needs and desires of your mate, but you both have to consider the needs and desires of your children, above all else.

So yeah, to say all marriage is all hell is wrong. To say all anything is all anything is wrong, too. But to pretend it's a bed of roses is completely delusional.
posted by crunchland at 7:58 PM on June 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Ghidorah: "On the other hand, when I asked my wife's father if I could have his blessing, well, my Japanese wasn't that great at the time, and he uses a lot of old man slang. When I asked him, he went on a long, rambling speech, and the only word I clearly understood was 'shoganai,' which means 'It can't be helped.' I thought he was not thrilled about his daughter marrying a foreigner, and I was pretty devastated. He then took us out to eat, and I mentioned this to my wife. She told me what he actually said was that I seemed like a pretty good guy, and pretty smart, and that if I wanted to marry someone as awful as his daughter, then he probably couldn't talk me out of it.

I love my father-in-law. He's awesome. And now, I understand a hell of a lot more of what he says
"

When I asked my future father in law, he said, "Sure, go ahead. If she is anything like her mother you're in trouble. Good luck. Welcome to the family kid."
posted by JohnnyGunn at 8:12 PM on June 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


But to pretend it's a bed of roses is completely delusional.

I'm not advocating for some shiny happy Stepford denial trip. It's possible to have a healthy and realistic take on the challenges and compromises of marriage, and to understand that some marriages can go badly, without tacitly approving of similarly delusional "marriage is hell" bile-dumps.

It'd be more honest for those folks to cut to the chase and just say "I was or still am unhappy in my marriage" and skip the pretending-at-solidarity thing. Yech.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:20 PM on June 17, 2010


There's a difference between, "My wife is a pain the ass," and "Our wives are a pain in the ass" or "All wives are a pain in the ass." It's an attempt at solidarity by trashing other relationships.
posted by zarq at 8:22 PM on June 17, 2010


Or... what cortex said.
posted by zarq at 8:22 PM on June 17, 2010


I guess what I'm saying is that it's possible for there to be universal issues about relationships worth complaining about -- and yes, even joking and commiserating about -- without it being necessary to admit that you're in a bad one. And it's not necessarily sexist. Compromise is a double edged sword. And I think it's better to give a more realistic assessment of what its like on living on the other side of a wedding to someone who hasn't experienced one than the whole "and they lived happily ever after" trip.

And don't even get me started about the way our culture turns the wedding day into the most important day in a girl's life.
posted by crunchland at 8:39 PM on June 17, 2010


But to pretend it's a bed of roses is completely delusional.

I'm pretty sure there's a whole lot of space between shiny happy roses and hell. The little compromises and annoyances are, in the grand scheme of things, NOT a dealbreaker because I like my SO better than I like anyone else. It's not really that complicated.
posted by desuetude at 9:09 PM on June 17, 2010


I have a friend, and he's in just about the worst possible relationship. He's married to one of the most thoughtless, selfish, capricious people I've ever met. (Example: She wanted him to get a shitty haircut, like a Japanese pop-star. He said no, and got his normal haircut. She didn't speak to him for three days) . He's a foreigner living in Japan. He has a son. If they get divorced, he'll never see his kid again (yay! Japanese divorce laws!), so he puts up with everything. To mitigate his pain, he no longer says marriage is hell. He says MAF. Marriages are fucked. We talk about levels of maffyness. Marriage is definitely not a bed of roses, and it can be very, very painful. Sometimes, that friend of yours complaining about marriage, they need someone to talk to. Commisseration can be incredibly helpful.

Also, when I told my friend I was getting married, he's text reply was: "What part of MAF didn't you understand?' He was, and still is, a rock for me to turn to when I have difficulties in my marriage. We vent to each other to keep going, to keep the positives in our life in the face of incredible negatives. I envy those of you with happy fun marriage* and I hope it continues that way forever, may you both be happy.

Dealbreaker: Not making me laugh. It took me a while, but one reason why I love my wife, why she was so different from other women I've dated, she makes me laugh. No wonder my other relationships were less fun by comparison.
posted by Ghidorah at 9:10 PM on June 17, 2010


Not being able to [at least sometimes] beat me at Scrabble. I ignored this once and it was a mistake.

Shoot, I've always refused to play Scrabble with my SO in the name of peace -- how have I made it two years?
posted by khedron at 11:54 PM on June 17, 2010


Yeah, I agree that the taser/gun seems even more like a joke.

No, it seemed like someone with a really strong opinion looking for validation and then getting snotty when they didn't get it. This is common in relationship ask.me. I wouldn't be surprised if the asker wants guns for home defence and his/her partner has said, "Not around the kids, get a taser if you must have something", and the asker is looking to ask.me for validation.

For the record, I hate that shit.

Nthed. Jesus wept, the amount of shithouse ask.me advice that seems to go along the lines of, "Don't say anything to your wife about it, happy wife, happy life, hurf durf." Right, because women are such delicate-yet-hysterical emotional and intellectual cripples you can't ever disgree with them safely, and the natural state of the married man is a dreary living hell.

Who is joking? In a lot of ways, marriage IS hell, and I don't care if you're tired of hearing about it

You should consider therapy or something, because you seem to have the emotional equivalent of a ten kilo abscess.

Shoot, I've always refused to play Scrabble with my SO in the name of peace -- how have I made it two years?

Yeah, we avoid boardgamey type endeavours; it turns out we're graceless in victory and unreasonable in defeat with one another. That's OK, we have plenty of other stuff we can do together...
posted by rodgerd at 1:23 AM on June 18, 2010


Monopoly amongst my extended family always ends in tears and recriminations. I even made my cousin's girlfriend cry once. We warned her that playing Monopoly was a bad idea, but she really wanted to. The tears of the naive are the most delicious tears of all.
posted by Ghidorah at 3:16 AM on June 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


You should consider therapy or something.

I've given what I wrote last night a little more thought, and I have to say that I sort of regret the level and vehemence of how I defended the "marriage is hell" trope, and maybe I've given the impression that I'm in a bad marriage or something. I'm not. I love my wife, and I don't need therapy, and I don't need to get out of a bad situation, or anything of the sort. I guess I was feeling a little defensive and got completely carried away.

Being with someone is far better than being alone. All that stuff I wrote about how marriage is a compromise is true, but the compromise part isn't always negative. Sometimes, the end result of a compromise can make both parties happy, despite the old saying. And my premise about how being solo is the greatest thing ever, because you can paint the walls whatever color you want -- well, that's just stupid. It's been almost 15 years since I've been out of a relationship, and I've completely forgotten of how truly miserable I really was when I didn't have a partner to take on the rest of the world with.
posted by crunchland at 4:58 AM on June 18, 2010


Then you get into a relationship. And suddenly, you have to compromise. And compromise is hell. What's that saying about the best compromise is when no one is happy?

It's probably just me but I tend to think of unbridled selfish freedom as unhealthy and depressing, and the myth of the self-sufficient individual a very damaging one.
posted by shakespeherian at 5:21 AM on June 18, 2010


I'm getting married in about 11 months! I'm from the colds of New Hampshire, she from the warms of South Carolina! Continue your discussion!
posted by SpiffyRob at 6:51 AM on June 18, 2010


Jessamyn's use of language continues to delight me, and I've started using fighty, and grarrrrr. Hinky has long been a favorite, and lulzy will now enter my personal lexicon.
posted by theora55 at 7:14 AM on June 18, 2010 [3 favorites]


Dealbreaker: Not making me laugh. It took me a while, but one reason why I love my wife, why she was so different from other women I've dated, she makes me laugh. No wonder my other relationships were less fun by comparison.

When my partner and I were in a rough, relationship-threatening spot some years ago (like more than a decade now), our therapist asked us to make a list of things we appreciated about our relationship, that held us together. "Shared wit" was the number one item (though, because he can't read my handwriting, which is mysterious because I have absolutely perfect handwriting), when we got the list out to read it to the therapist, the first item looked like "shared ert," and we were like, "What the hell? What the hell is ert? What were we talking about?" and then "shared ert" became yet another one of the many little jokes that sustain us in dark times.

My last girlfriend before I got involved with him had no sense of humor, or at least not the kind of sense of humor that comes out in conversations that play on words or are otherwise clever. It was a real slog trying to deal with her, since being funny in conversation is basically my way of being in the world. After we'd been seeing each other for a few months, she learned to recognize a joke, even though they still didn't make her laugh. One example I remember:

Server at Italian restaurant brings out food and goes away.

Her: Oh! We don't have any silverware!

Me: Well, fortunately lasagna is pretty much a finger food.

*long pause*

Her: That was a joke, wasn't it?
posted by not that girl at 8:07 AM on June 18, 2010



empathy doesn't exist in abundance anywhere on the internet.

I propose mefi do its part to change that.


I don't want metafilter to change that.

I think a bit of a barrier to entry is an excellent thing. People pay scant enough attention to community norms as it is. A little fear of social disapprobation is good.
posted by winna at 5:35 PM on June 18, 2010


Serious question, badly phrased. See my comment here. Apologies for the drama.
posted by ThisIsNotMe at 3:33 PM on June 26, 2010


« Older The Second Annual MetaFilter Interactive Contest:...   |   Wenlock, Mandeville, Indian Chief Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments