Give Pete a Chance July 1, 2010 3:06 PM   Subscribe

DTMFA?! How about Calm The Hell Down?

Please, can we dial down the DTMFA on Ask threads about relationships? This thread is the most recent and most troubling example of several people reading a lot of their own stuff into an asker's question, not taking the care to frame it as a detailed personal experience, and instead jumping in with short answers advising break-up, throwing around words like A-BU-SIVE, abuse pattern, grounds for dismissal and fundamentally immature person, unable to credibly maintain a significant relationship with you.

I've noticed that this is especially true of relationships - if this was a marriage, people would be giving far more constructive advice. Why the harshness about the unknown party (who can't defend himself here, you realize) when it comes to relationships, then?

The guy flipped out once, over something he thought he already knew but then realized that he didn't. (He thought he knew the scope of their relationship, but then thought that the picture being there clearly did not gel with what he had been told or had assumed.) He already apologized. It just fucking happened a day ago. This relationship is nine weeks old.

Yes, the guy in question didn't handle it well at all. But the poster is fond of him, could even love him, and would like it to work out, if possible. Such hasty, strongly judgmental DTMFAing which doesn't even acknowledge the possibility that the advice-giver and the advice-seeker could both be wrong and only know one side of the story makes that possibility extremely difficult to take forward, IMHO.

- Please, recognize that when a person posts such a thread, they're already in a state of anxiety and unsure about what to do. And that people only post problems, and rarely touch on any of the good stuff that might give them reason to want to continue being in the relationship or work things out.

- Recognize that you don't know the poster, you don't know any of the details of the relationship besides what's posted, and you most certainly do NOT know the person at the other end of the relationship.

- Consider your own relationships, and how confusing and risky they are, especially in the beginning. Have you always been perfect or demanded perfection from those you really care about? Have you never "flipped" your "shit"? Have you always said "I love you" only when it's "situationally appropriate"? Would you have liked your SO to get this sort of advice any time you overreacted?

- If you're going to assume that the relationship in question is exactly like your past experience, at least explain how and why you think so, so that the poster can decide for herself.

- Please, take the poster's side of this two-sided thing with a grain of salt. Try to see the other side, if possible, like so many did in this excellent thread (about a marriage).

This DTMFA business is just destructive, judgmental BS. If you feel so strongly about the issue, I think that's more about you than the question. In any case, saying "this would be a huge red flag for me" is much better than "yeah, I dated this guy." You didn't. We don't know much about the guy in question, and we know nothing about the guy you dated, at all.

The way I see it, you can be judgmental, or you can be hasty. DTMFA is both, and it's cruel. Not to mention ironic, when the people suggesting dumping are pointing to the guy's "hasty" confession of love as one of the problems.
posted by mondaygreens to Etiquette/Policy at 3:06 PM (273 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

Looks like you see this differently than some of the answers in that thread... does that deserve a meta?

If we post in the gray every time we disagree about an askme answer, it might be a bit redundant, eh?
posted by HuronBob at 3:10 PM on July 1, 2010 [10 favorites]


I think you need to stop reading AskMe. It's for the best.
posted by GuyZero at 3:12 PM on July 1, 2010 [23 favorites]


If people's only contribution to a thread is DTMFA, we'll delete it. If people are saying "Look he might be fine but it's worth knowing that all this 'I love you' stuff early on could be a sign of something sketchy so keep your wits about you" that's within the boundaries of what's okay for AskMe. It's not judgmental to say "You might be better off without them." It's judgmental to say "You're an idiot if you stay with them."
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:14 PM on July 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


Well, like I mentioned, I've observed this as a pattern and could dig up other examples if that's needed. And yes, I think it deserves a MeTa because I didn't want to start arguing with people in that thread. I've often seen moderators come in and ask people to take it to MeTa - so that's what I did.

And it's not just about my disagreement, it's about two people, one of whom's being referred to repeatedly as a motherfucker. IMHO nothing in the two threads about him warrants that.
posted by mondaygreens at 3:14 PM on July 1, 2010


But GuyZero, I love Ask!

Jessamyn, so you're saying that it's okay to judge people as long as they're not members?
posted by mondaygreens at 3:16 PM on July 1, 2010


Anyway I have no desire to make this thread about me. If this seems like an overreaction to everyone, feel free to close or ignore it. I've said my piece.
posted by mondaygreens at 3:16 PM on July 1, 2010


If you feel so strongly about the issue, I think that's more about you than the question.

I agree with this, completely--but it goes both ways. Just as people may be projecting in favor of the asker, you may be projecting in favor of the asker's boyfriend.

I also think relationship AskMes are pretty obviously "Ask at your own risk." It's not as though our advice is binding--it's just advice.
posted by sallybrown at 3:17 PM on July 1, 2010 [6 favorites]


It's okay to judge members, too.
posted by amro at 3:18 PM on July 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


one of whom's being referred to repeatedly as a motherfucker

Oh really now. No one is literally calling him a motherfucker - they are using an acronym that, at one point, contained the word "motherfucker", but is now just an "M".

When I use the acronym, "ROFLMAO", I am not literally "rolling on the floor laughing my ass off". Really, I am not. In the same way, DTMF does not actually mean "Dump the person that I think is a Mother Fucker" - it means, "I think this person is not worth your time, your attention, or you AskMetafilter question."
posted by muddgirl at 3:18 PM on July 1, 2010 [10 favorites]


Jessamyn, so you're saying that it's okay to judge people as long as they're not members?

Yeah, that's exactly what she said.
posted by rtha at 3:19 PM on July 1, 2010 [4 favorites]


- Recognize that you don't know the poster, you don't know any of the details of the relationship besides what's posted, and you most certainly do NOT know the person at the other end of the relationship.

Which is exactly why I don't care for many of these questions. How could anyone possibly answer them?

But, the bottom line in relationship questions seems to be that if people are going to ask those types of questions, people are going to answer with those types of answers.
posted by NoraCharles at 3:19 PM on July 1, 2010 [4 favorites]


fyi...the term "motherfucker" never appears in the thread you linked to, nor does the word "mother" or the word "fucker". (granted, I didn't check the earlier thread in the saga)
posted by HuronBob at 3:20 PM on July 1, 2010


I thought the mention of abuse was unnecessarily dramatic, but every AskMe has people using their own experiences to help others. Whether it's reasonable or whether it sounds like some of them now see shadows everywhere, is up to the asker to decide. A lot of the DTMA answers included things like "I wouldn't tolerate this" or "That's how I'd react." If that's harsh to the poster, she'll either ignore those comments or give them little weight. But if she subconsciously wants to hear that she's not alone in thinking that she should leave the guy, well, there's that.

People treat marriages and weeks-old relationships differently, as they should. In a marriage you're far more invested, you've probably had years to get to know your partner and decide you want this for life, and you're less likely to have personality surprises. I don't think advising the girl to tread carefully and reevaluate whether she wants to be stuck with an emotionally-charged individual, is out of line.
posted by Tequila Mockingbird at 3:21 PM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


But GuyZero, I love Ask!

OK, here's my more serious answer. Apparently we're not going to ban or delete relationship questions. Whatever. I skip them, it's not a big deal. But they're unanswerable. First, they're biased by definition. Second, not only are they biased but they, intentionally or not, only give part of the picture. Maybe that's redundant. Regardless, you can't give a useful answer by design. They're unanswerable. You know nothing about either person and next to nothing about the situation at hand. So answers are platitudes based on broad assumptions. DTMFA is as valid an answer as kiss and make up. And they're both basically random advice given what we know compared to reality.

Very little good comes from those question other than making the posters confront what they already know.
posted by GuyZero at 3:21 PM on July 1, 2010 [7 favorites]


ok... guess i was being too literal MF does appear...
posted by HuronBob at 3:21 PM on July 1, 2010


Boy, everyone has their crank on today, huh?
posted by crunchland at 3:21 PM on July 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


Jessamyn, so you're saying that it's okay to judge people as long as they're not members?

If that is what you are taking away from my comment, then I revise my opinion to be "you may need to take a walk from this topic for a bit."

Saying someone might be okay out of a relationship is not judging, it's offering advice. Our basic rule is that being judgey about the OP is not okay. Telling the OP what you think of their situation which, yes, may involve your judgment of someone else who is not around is what happens on AskMe. People should try to remain decent towards one another and not turn the AskMe thread into a big pile-on about anyone including the OP's boyfriend. That said, if they're answering the questions there is some leeway.

Put another way, fundamentally most relationship-type questions in AskMe are asking for other people to assess and evaluate a situation. Sometimes MeFites take a little too much glee in finding someone wanting. I don't think that's terrific, we'll reign it in if it gets out of hand, but that's how it goes.

Also I think there's a bright line between calling someone a motherfucker and saying DTMFA though I still think the latter is fairly lazy commenting.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:24 PM on July 1, 2010 [6 favorites]


rtha, all I'm saying is that judgment isn't just "you're an idiot" - it's also "this guy is an abuser". In any case I don't think this is a moderation issue at all. I just wanted to bring up something that I've seen and been bothered by a lot, and I've also seen that people often use MeTa to do exactly that.

And all right, I will accept that I might be the only person who still reads DTMFA as what the alphabets stand for. Again, I'm relatively new and I'll surely get over that soon enough.
posted by mondaygreens at 3:24 PM on July 1, 2010


Jessamyn, that wasn't meant snarkily. I knew what you meant and was just trying to say that I don't think people should limit it only to the members. It wasn't about moderation - sorry if it came across that way.

And I will take that walk.
posted by mondaygreens at 3:26 PM on July 1, 2010


oh bite me.

The dude sounds overly dramatic, people who have dated similar types are offering their advice, so climb down off that horse, 'cause it sounds you're a whole lot of projection yourself.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:27 PM on July 1, 2010 [6 favorites]


Please, can we dial down the DTMFA on Ask threads about relationships?

Apparently you are unaware of the ability of persons to see right through people they have never met and predict the future.

DTMFA is a boundary condition of the RelationshipFilter universe. Best to tell posters not to DTMFA and talk it out.
posted by Ironmouth at 3:29 PM on July 1, 2010


The dude sounds overly dramatic, people who have dated similar types are offering their advice

Its easy to make anyone seen dramatic when the poster is only giving partial information.
posted by An algorithmic dog at 3:32 PM on July 1, 2010


huh huh...member.
posted by fixedgear at 3:33 PM on July 1, 2010 [7 favorites]


Mondaygreens only signed on to MeFi a few months ago. I remember my mouth fell open the first time I ran into DTMFA, until I learned it is a MeFi meme, evidently based on one of Dan Savage's favorite pieces of advice. Now I always expect to see it somewhere in the thread in a relationship AskMe.

In fact, there are several themes I always expect in a relationship AskMe: 1) DTMFA 2) Go to a counselor 3) Talk it out 4) In person or on the phone, not texting or emailing 5) Here's my comparable story.

Also, there is bound to be a whole lot of judgment in what people have to say on a relationship thread. People are often judgmental about the poster (MeFi member) as well as the other parties mentioned. I hear similar judgmental-ness in real life discussions of relationships.

Anyway, hope we can all lighten up a little on mondaygreens as she gets used to Mefi land.
posted by bearwife at 3:38 PM on July 1, 2010 [11 favorites]


Didn't the "DTMFA" originally come from Dan Savage? I only ask because as it's become a pretty popular term or phrase and maybe some of it's original tough-loviness and kind intent has been lost.

But then again, WTFWIK!
posted by snsranch at 3:38 PM on July 1, 2010


DTMFA.
posted by hal_c_on at 3:39 PM on July 1, 2010


crap, I'm at work and I don't have any new recipies handy.
posted by boo_radley at 3:40 PM on July 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm just glad that now we have CTHD and expect to use it often...thanks!

(although, I'm wondering if CTFD might have been a better choice, but, we have what we have)
posted by HuronBob at 3:42 PM on July 1, 2010


This is probably a slightly different thing than what mondaygreens is asking about. But since we're here talking about tone in AskMe, I do feel like I've been noticing a lot of uncharitable assumptions lately. Not sure if it's different than normal, or if I'm just extra-attuned for some reason. Anyone else noticed anything?
posted by salvia at 3:43 PM on July 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


Yes, the guy in question didn't handle it well at all. But the poster is fond of him, could even love him, and would like it to work out, if possible. Such hasty, strongly judgmental DTMFAing which doesn't even acknowledge the possibility that the advice-giver and the advice-seeker could both be wrong and only know one side of the story makes that possibility extremely difficult to take forward, IMHO.

Whah? The poster would like it to work out, if at all possible? Here is a direct quote from that question:

"The intensity of his reaction has left me wondering if this is a clear sign that I should break things off and also how the hell I should do that."

If the poster is considering getting rid of the boyfriend, then DTMFA (or kinder synonyms) are TOTALLY not out of place as answers to the question.
posted by 23skidoo at 3:43 PM on July 1, 2010


People are idiots. People really like relationship questions. QEMFD.

Any (non-relationship) questions?
posted by grobstein at 3:43 PM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


We just had grilled lamb chops with fresh oregano, garlic, salt and pepper. The oregano is a really nice looking plant, too. It's flowering. Spring mix, tomatoes, red onion and feta salad.
posted by fixedgear at 3:44 PM on July 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'd like to suggest YBSL**TM as an acronym for "You Both Sound Like Assholes To Me", which is what I have to refrain myself from posting in almost every relationship question.
posted by nicwolff at 3:47 PM on July 1, 2010 [77 favorites]


23skidoo: well hell I see a bunch of people saying DTMFA because he is not ok with being friends with exes when the poster originally said that he was perfectly fine -- it was just the picture that concerned him. It certainly seems like people are ignoring the facts just to be able to say DTMFA. If someone uses askmefi a relationship question there is a good chance that the advice of the thread could significantly determine the outcome. It is completely unethical to answer questions with DTMFA (because of false assumptions). These are people's lives we are talking about.
posted by An algorithmic dog at 3:48 PM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


I rarely say DTMFA, but I did on that one, because that guy just seems like a huge pain in the ass. Who stoops to that level of freak-out and name-calling because of a picture. She sounds pretty low-drama, maybe to one extreme, and he seems super jumpy and dramatic. They seem pretty incompatible. If they were both passionate, dramatic souls, maybe this would not be such an issue.
posted by ishotjr at 3:50 PM on July 1, 2010


I wouldn't mind seeing a lot less of "DTMFA", even in situations where it is called for. It's lazy writing, and is often used as part of a pile-on where the poster has already been told the same phrase 10 times. Use your words, people.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 3:51 PM on July 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


I do feel like I've been noticing a lot of uncharitable assumptions lately.

My general feeling is that they've been about the same, but I may also be reading fewer relationship AskMes lately. In fact some of the usual suspects who just show up in AskMe threads [I feel] when they feel that they can put the smackdown on people seem to be around much less, so that's nice. And yeah, less judgeme overall is a good thing, but when someone asks "should I dump this guy?" it's okay to say "yes, yes I think maybe you should"

And I lived in Seattle forever so I didn't really know what DTMFA wasn't common parlance. I can really see how it would sound pretty abrasive if you weren't used to it as a regular acronym.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:54 PM on July 1, 2010


Has there been actual name-calling? Because calling someone weird is not it, and I can't find anything in the post that mentions him being that directly insulting. Couple that with people strangely assuming that he's jealous of her having an ex as a friend at all, creates a frustrating stretch of suggestions.
posted by Tequila Mockingbird at 3:56 PM on July 1, 2010


Hello, I'm the one that suggested the poster's boyfriend was a "fundamentally immature person, unable to credibly maintain a significant relationship with you."

What you failed to mention here is that my post was aimed at the consideration NOT of the boyfriend's choice to become upset (which I actually said was somewhat reasonable), but the manner in which it was communicated to the poster, who described a flurry of incoherent texts sent long after the actual conversation.

But hey, thanks for making me seem like a colossal, heartless jerk. I haven't had the jerk tag applied to me in quite some time. I miss it.

Almost.

No, no. No, I don't.

sweater stuffers ...

damn, so close


if this was a marriage, people would be giving far more constructive advice.

Well, it's not a marriage, so that's not a terribly relevant point.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:57 PM on July 1, 2010


Advice should be to the same standard regardless of if it is a marriage or not. Giving worse advice because it isn't is completely unethical.
posted by An algorithmic dog at 4:00 PM on July 1, 2010


Mondaygreens, do you disagree that the poster's boyfriend is exhibiting some pretty typical signs of unstable/abusive behavior? I don't. I think it's pretty fair advice to say, at the very least, "look out!" -- DTMFA may be shorthand, but I didn't see too many people relying on just THAT in their answers.

One of the funniest things that ever happened when an ex broke up with me (after a not-very-long-time-together) was his amazement that I DIDN'T flip out and have a great big drama fest. I have no idea why he was expecting one from me. Sure, I liked him a lot, and I thought the feeling was mutual, but flipping out? Not really an option. In fact, I told him I thought it was kind of a sad statement on his past relationships that he expected immediate, capital-D drama to happen. We're friends to this day. It was better that way.

Yes, people bring their own expectations and experiences to their answers in Ask -- it's sort of the point! -- but I don't think it's unfair to characterize the boyfriend's behavior as weird at best and abusive at worst. I think that the people who take time to answer questions on Ask really do have the posters' best interests in mind, and sometimes it's hard to see the flip side of an emotionally manipulative or abusive relationship when you're still in it.

Or, as Tequila Mockingbird said: "If that's harsh to the poster, she'll either ignore those comments or give them little weight. But if she subconsciously wants to hear that she's not alone in thinking that she should leave the guy, well, there's that."
posted by bitter-girl.com at 4:03 PM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Advice should be to the same standard regardless of if it is a marriage or not. Giving worse advice because it isn't is completely unethical.

Huh? If this relationship were a marriage, the couple would have presumably been together for quite some time and have already committed to being together "for better or worse". That's a lot different than a couple who's been going out for 2.5 months, where one party is saying, gee, I dunno guys, what do you think?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:08 PM on July 1, 2010 [11 favorites]


Cool Papa Bell, I only quoted you because I think you made some pretty big assumptions about the guy based on the fact that he used texts, which didn't seem to bother the poster much. No jerk tag (let alone heartless) - just wanted to point to specific instances of what I was referring to.

And I still wonder if we're being too uncharitable to the guy when he think he's high-drama, when it's the asker who's posed two questions about things that many people would either wait on or try to address without getting so stressed out.

bitter-girl.com, I can't see how it is typical when it's just happened once, unless you count saying I love you 6 weeks in as "unstable/abusive", which in any case don't seem to me interchangeable things, at all.

In any case, new rules for myself:
1. Less AskMe
2. More walks.
posted by mondaygreens at 4:11 PM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


I always wonder, when I read those AskMe relationship trouble questions where everybody piles on to say that the SO is awful and the asker should leave them, what the response would be if the other party in the relationship had gone to AskMe instead with a question that told their side of the story - somehow I imagine pretty similar. After all, is there any topic that people are less capable of being objective about?

Answering one of these relationship questions are like trying to give a plot summary of Rashomon after only watching one of the stories.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 4:18 PM on July 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


And I still wonder if we're being too uncharitable to the guy when he think he's high-drama

Maybe our definitions of "high drama" are different, but to me, this is high drama:

after he left he sent a flurry of dire and dramatic texts accusing me of still being in love with the ex, calling the existence of the picture itself creepy, calling me weird for having it, and saying that he'd made a 'huge mistake' and that he felt creeped out and foolish for feeling the way he did about me and for "jumping into things so fast."

The existence of a picture is creepy? She's weird for having it?

Low drama would be - using actual words, in a face-to-face conversation - "I'm a little uncomfortable with the photo of your ex in the bedroom."
posted by rtha at 4:24 PM on July 1, 2010 [6 favorites]


Advice should be to the same standard regardless of if it is a marriage or not. Giving worse advice because it isn't is completely unethical.

Marriage is a whole 'nother level of emotional and legal commitments.

I always wonder, when I read those AskMe relationship trouble questions where everybody piles on to say that the SO is awful and the asker should leave them, what the response would be if the other party in the relationship had gone to AskMe instead with a question that told their side of the story

I think a lot of people take AskMe waaaay too seriously. Not to make light of things, but it's a bunch of people offering opinions which the original poster is free to ignore. Getting all hung and overly involved it all smacks of either an inflated or deflated ego.

In any case, new rules for myself:
1. Less AskMe
2. More walks.


3. If complaining about tone in MetaTalk, maybe soften yours.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:28 PM on July 1, 2010 [4 favorites]


they've been together for 10 weeks - comparing that to a life long commitment is silly. as counter intuitive as it seems, i think a lot of marriages end in divorce because people are too willing to tough it out in incompatible dating relationships and keep taking the next step and the next step and the next step until they're married with kids and one day realize "wait, shouldn't i have said see ya later 10 weeks in??". i think people are so conditioned on the idea that relationship success = never ending, and they're so afraid to fail that they just keep plugging away at shit that doesn't work until someone has a break down and freaks out and burns the house around them.

if someone has had two instances of "WTF" strong enough to warrant ask.me posts in 10 weeks, well, is it actually unethical or uncharitable to say "maybe this isn't working and maybe your underlying issues with him are valid"?
posted by nadawi at 4:31 PM on July 1, 2010 [25 favorites]


All right, Brandon. It's clear to me I could have phrased this whole thing a lot better. And I would very much like to beg off on having to bite you, now and in the future.
posted by mondaygreens at 4:34 PM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


"what the response would be if the other party in the relationship had gone to AskMe instead with a question that told their side of the story - somehow I imagine pretty similar."

i think this is actually an extension of what i was talking about - because any relationship that doesn't last forever is automatically a failure to a lot of people, there has to be someone responsible - so if you're trying to convince someone to end a relationship, it's only natural that you blame the other person so the asker isn't alienated. i prefer an approach that's more like "you don't seem compatible and bring the worst out in each other, i bet you both could be happier" - but the other approach is certainly understandable.
posted by nadawi at 4:36 PM on July 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


People are far too eager to answer relationship questions in a cocksure manner based on nothing but anecdotes. It's one thing to say, "Yeah, I had a similar problem with this or that piece of software, so here's what I did [...]. Try it, it might work." At most the poster might lose a few minutes of their time if the answer turns out to be unhelpful. It's another thing entirely when you're dealing with human relationships.

That said, this relationship has lasted 9 weeks.
posted by Dumsnill at 4:37 PM on July 1, 2010


Isn't the whole point of asking a relationship question to get tough love? Correct me if I'm wrong but I've never really seen a relationship question where the asker was swaddled with reassurance and niceties and pep talks like you might get from asking friends in real life. I mean, sure, lots of people get inspiration and hope from AskMe but it's derived from having them see raw unfiltered responses to their situation and not just a bunch of "there, there, he's got his nice side too you know, remember that time he made you that cake?" It's sort of a function of asking strangers in textual form -- trusted strangers, but strangers nonetheless -- to give you advice.
posted by Rhomboid at 4:39 PM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


The best thing about the relationship questions is that you can skip right past them while feeling smugly superior to those sad people with their tawdry little dramas.
posted by Burhanistan at 4:39 PM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


You could even modify that, mondaygreens, to less relationship askme's. It seems to be a special area of ask mefi that's considerably more intense than the rest.
posted by smoke at 4:46 PM on July 1, 2010


No problem, mondaygreens, it's all good.

So what's your favorite kind of pie? You're not one of them cake lovers, are you?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:51 PM on July 1, 2010


Apple.
posted by 6550 at 4:56 PM on July 1, 2010


I'll have... the chicken please!
posted by mondaygreens at 4:59 PM on July 1, 2010


Chicken pie? Blasphemy!

Look, let's go out for coffee and talk about this relationship.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:04 PM on July 1, 2010


Boston Creme Pie. Is it pie? Is it cake? IT'S A MYSTERY
posted by waraw at 5:06 PM on July 1, 2010


Most relationship questions in AskMe tend to be about problems. Not many people sit down and post, "Hey, I'm in a great relationship, what should I do?" (Well, I suppose you could classify some gift/travel/special occasion type questions like that.) There's going to be a fairly high ratio of "dump" answers to "problem" questions.

As one of the posters called out in this thread, I assure you I didn't go rushing into the thread all excited to have another chance to call a dumping. I meant what I said, and I didn't go on about it at length because I didn't think I needed to. If a relationship less than 3 months old has already generated 2 multiple-paragraph AskMes, that's a red flag. And frankly, for the guy in the question, if a relationship that new is making you freak out like that, it's probably not a great fit (or maybe just not a good emotional place at the moment) for him either. It sounds like bad news to me, from personal experience - on both sides of the equation. So I said so.
posted by Lyn Never at 5:08 PM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Okay, but I warn you that I will only speak in random American references, for the most part.
posted by mondaygreens at 5:09 PM on July 1, 2010


I totally agree with mondaygreens. The way the words "abuse" and "abusive" are cavalierly thrown around on AskMe raises the specter of a "boy who cried wolf" problem. One day, someone who's well-acquainted with how relationshipfilter usually goes may post a question about an actually abusive relationship, not realize it's abusive, read the answers using the words "abuse" and "abusive," and think: "Eh, that's what they say in half the relationshipfilter questions," the same way many people no long take "DTMFA" and "Therapy" answers seriously.

I know people are brushing this off as yet another overwrought MeTa callout. I don't so much care if "DTMFA" is overused. But I really wish people would restrain themselves from dropping the A-bomb unless they seriously mean it, not just as a rhetorical flourish on a "This guy's a jerk!" comment.
posted by Jaltcoh at 5:23 PM on July 1, 2010 [15 favorites]


I just don't read relationship questions because they annoy me, a lot. It's better this way.
posted by cj_ at 5:26 PM on July 1, 2010


Yeah, Jaltcoh, if I had written this in a calmer frame of mind, I would have highlighted that much more than the DTMFA thing (although the "Do I get to say it first?!" thing seemed to me... problematic), in addition to the repeated accusations of "name-calling". When one poster reads sloppily or uses words like that without clarifying that he's only referring to the word "weird", others can just read that response and add on their own.

But then in a calmer frame of mind I would probably not have written it at all.
posted by mondaygreens at 5:37 PM on July 1, 2010


metatalk: in a calmer frame of mind I would probably not have written it at all.
posted by nadawi at 5:40 PM on July 1, 2010 [7 favorites]


Drama drama, OTOH I am delighted to learn that the plural of asshole is **.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 5:48 PM on July 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


To be honest, while I do sometimes think we throw around DTMFA a lot, I can't say I've seen it attached to too many questions where I thought the couple should stay together. Usually if it's bad enough to ask strangers on the Internet, the situation is pretty bad. And at the very least, the behavior described in the posts is of the "scary iffy" variety, which is where I suspect DTMFA comes in.
posted by jenfullmoon at 5:55 PM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think mondaygreens expressed a reasonable concern, even if not in the best possible way, and is handling the typical MetaTalk abuse remarkably well. Pie for all!
posted by languagehat at 5:57 PM on July 1, 2010 [4 favorites]


Now, that that's settled, I have a question. The expression 'totes' (meaning 'totally') is all over the internet. I have never heard anyone say it out loud. Does anyone? Same for 'bros,' (meaning 'fratboy types,' not in the seventies 'hey, bro' sense) That's another one that seems net-only. 'Besties' too.

I apologize for being an out of it old fart.
posted by jonmc at 6:10 PM on July 1, 2010


i've heard totes, bros, and besties out loud. for the first and last, hang around more 15 year olds. of course, i heard a 40ish year old woman refer to her bestie the other day,b ut i blame that on prolonged adolescence.
posted by nadawi at 6:12 PM on July 1, 2010


No shit.

I once heard a woman around 20 say 'OMG,' out loud. I had to resist an urge to lobotomize her.
posted by jonmc at 6:14 PM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm on the side that thinks relationship askmes are fucking awful. they honestly bring out the worst in our userbase. people read them for entertainment value, answer them to get their own frustrations out on someone else and ask them because they want validation, not answers.

I mean, we get people talking about their "creep-o-meters" or whatever just because one partner doesn't intiate during sex. Someone was told that their SO should leave them because they're incapable of love and narcissistic. and comments like these get posted every day, and don't get deleted. I can't imagine what the shit that gets deleted looks like.

we're a bunch of judgmental pricks, when it comes down to it. I wish people would stop asking us for relationship advice, though I know I can't prevent it.
posted by shmegegge at 6:16 PM on July 1, 2010 [12 favorites]


I apologize for being an out of it old fart.

I was driving somewhere with the boyfriend the other day, and I saw some trendy-looking kid walking down the street, and I got all excited -- to the point of commenting outloud at great length about it -- that his pants were belted at perfectly a reasonable spot on his hips, and that I did not have to view any part of his underwear whatsoever. I practically had to fight the impulse to roll down the window and give him the thumbs up while shouting "young man! I approve of your sensible satorial choices immensely! Rest assured that you are much 'cooler' than your friends with their silly pants around their asses!"

I, too, apologize.
posted by scody at 6:19 PM on July 1, 2010 [43 favorites]


i say OMG and WTF all the time. i'm 28.
posted by nadawi at 6:20 PM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


mondaygreens : you sure do type a lot for someone who's walking. I TEASE.
posted by radiosilents at 6:25 PM on July 1, 2010


scody: here in NYC, the baggypants thing is now considered "ghetto" or "B&T." The trendy white kids wear (as Robin Williams put it) jeans so tight you can tell what religion they are. Plus the hep young males in NYC are getting frighteningly skinny. I'm a former skinny dude* myself, but I was never that skinny. These fuckers are almost transparent.

*I tip the scales at 200+ these days. Body by Budweiser, baby.
posted by jonmc at 6:28 PM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ah, radiosilents, in case of light teasing I just walk to the living room and back. FWIW I did go on that walk for much longer (20 minutes at 2 am), because I'm afraid of Jessamyn more than I'm afraid of the dark.
posted by mondaygreens at 6:35 PM on July 1, 2010 [6 favorites]


The trendy white kids wear (as Robin Williams put it) jeans so tight you can tell what religion they are.

Oh, they wear them that super-tight here, too; they just generally wear them around their thighs, usually with skinny little belts cinched toward the bottom of their bottoms (which are blessedly covered by boxer shorts) to keep the pants on (or "on," rather). It's like they're trying to fit into their little sisters' jeans. I saw one hipster kid whose pants actually fell off when he bent over to pick up some change he dropped at the deli the other day. Instead of pulling them up, he just hobbled out the door, stony-faced. This is seriously a real story.

ONCE AGAIN I APOLOGIZE, METAFILTER YOUTH
posted by scody at 6:38 PM on July 1, 2010 [8 favorites]


I think mondaygreens expressed a reasonable concern, even if not in the best possible way, and is handling the typical MetaTalk abuse remarkably well. Pie for all!

Agreed on all counts.
posted by dfan at 6:40 PM on July 1, 2010


Heh. I'm 40, surrounded by early to mid 20-somethings. I hear totes and bros. Not so much besties, but BFFs. And "obvs" (for obviously), which is funny to me because it's more difficult for me to pronounce "obvs" than the actual word.
posted by Majorita at 6:43 PM on July 1, 2010


Pie for all!

And all for Pi!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:45 PM on July 1, 2010


they just generally wear them around their thighs, usually with skinny little belts cinched toward the bottom of their bottoms (which are blessedly covered by boxer shorts)

That dosen't always work, the boxers, I mean, especially with the lowriders the young girls like so much. At my job there's a lot of lifting and bending, and between my young coworkers....I see more crack than Whitney Houston's cleaning lady.
posted by jonmc at 6:48 PM on July 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


"I have never heard anyone say it out loud. Does anyone?"

Totes = not in any context
Bros = yes but as in "Bros before Hoes" and only on TV
Besties = occasionally by adolescent girls

Ahem, "Old Fart", here is an expression that I'd like to introduce to you:
I have bad habits older than you motherfucker.#

#Probably only nose picking though, I'm not that old.
posted by vapidave at 6:52 PM on July 1, 2010


When I was in college, my (female) friends and I started calling each other bro because Brandon Walsh developed a fondness for the term and we found it hilariously idiotic.
posted by Mavri at 6:58 PM on July 1, 2010


That said, this relationship has lasted 9 weeks.

9½ weeks.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 6:59 PM on July 1, 2010


vapidave, you only got six years on me, pal. Turn up Matlock, dammit.
posted by jonmc at 6:59 PM on July 1, 2010


Ugh, I think a big part of the problem is there's this kind of attitude that MFRelationships™ (lol) questions are ultimately answerable with The Right Answer. They're not. They're not like song ID questions where there's one right answer; they're more like "should I eat this?" questions where it's a matter of opinion or experience.

Example:

Q: Should I eat date this?
A: Well, I would check if it smells funny or seems to be growing something on it. If it is, you should just toss it DTMFA.
A: Aw HELL NAH, throw it out DTMFA.
A: I've eaten dated similar food people, and I'm still alive to tell you about it. Go for it.

I dunno, maybe it's just me
posted by Verdandi at 7:00 PM on July 1, 2010 [14 favorites]


I practically had to fight the impulse to roll down the window and give him the thumbs up while shouting "young man! I approve of your sensible satorial choices immensely! Rest assured that you are much 'cooler' than your friends with their silly pants around their asses!"

I do hope you also commented that his hat was not on sideways, nor was there any gold in his mouth.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:05 PM on July 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


Two things:

We finally turned on texting on our cell phones the other day. The first thing I texted to my daughter was "butts lol."

Also, please note that I was busy at work, then again in the kitchen whilest you fine folk were hashing out the finer points of DTMFA and special snowflake, hence my tardy appearance herein.
Forthwith: as our dinner this evening, I made a homemade macaroni and cheese, starting with a béchamel sauce, adding a healthy heaping of cheddar & parmesan cheeses and a soupçon of Tabasco sauce, until it was all melty and gooey, the usual way. But here's the kicker: to push it over the edge into unusually delightful deliciousness, I sauteed in butter small cubes of ham with onions, and stirred that combo into the sauce just prior to dishing up, and topped each bowl with a generous portion of fresh diced tomatoes. (serving suggestion™)
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:20 PM on July 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


I would turn up the Matlock but a little over a year ago my television aerial fell out of adjustment and I haven't been able to readjust it since. I think it's the crows again.
posted by vapidave at 7:25 PM on July 1, 2010


People are idiots. People really like relationship questions. QEMFD.

Any (non-relationship) questions?


Yes - what does that acronym stand for exactly?

Quod erat mater fornicatus demonstrandum?
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:25 PM on July 1, 2010 [5 favorites]


I had a "718" sub from the sandwich shop around the block. It consists of a chicken cutlet, melted mozzarella, bacon, hot sauce and ranch dressing on a hero roll. and some chips.
posted by jonmc at 7:26 PM on July 1, 2010


Recipes are the new IMG tags. Please someone give me inspiration for what to cook tonight for dinner in the haze and humidity that is the Tokyo rainy season.

Oh, and with no snark meant whatsoever, nadawi, when you say "OMG" and "WTF," does this mean you actually say, "Oh Em Gee" and "Dubya Tee Ef"? Please enlight this old fartette in Japan.
posted by misozaki at 7:32 PM on July 1, 2010


Heh. I'm 40, surrounded by early to mid 20-somethings. I hear totes and bros. Not so much besties, but BFFs. And "obvs" (for obviously), which is funny to me because it's more difficult for me to pronounce "obvs" than the actual word.

When my 18 yo wants to be especially dismissive, she hits me with "whatevs."

It's like "I think so little of that I can't be bothered to say the whole dismissive word."
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:36 PM on July 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


God, I love sushi.
posted by jabberjaw at 7:37 PM on July 1, 2010


This will make this thread tasty
posted by Dumsnill at 7:40 PM on July 1, 2010


When my 18 yo wants to be especially dismissive, she hits me with "whatevs."

This is why I should not be a parent. If I had a teenager who said "whatevs" to me, I would unleash the fucking fury.
posted by Justinian at 7:43 PM on July 1, 2010 [5 favorites]


Not so much besties, but BFFs.

This has always bothered me. It's BFsF, dammit.
posted by dersins at 7:44 PM on July 1, 2010 [4 favorites]


I had never heard 'totes' before, then this week I was listening to a daily podcast I subscribe to and one of the hosts said it at least 4x in a 45 minute episode. She had never said it in the 3 years I'd listened, but then one day...BAM. I'm hoping that particular term disappears as fast as it appeared.
posted by CwgrlUp at 7:51 PM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


God, I love sushi.

Yum. But, I had Thai tonight. Yum again!
posted by ericb at 7:59 PM on July 1, 2010


I am having Zankou Chicken for the first time in nearly two months tonight, and I am really excited.
posted by scody at 8:12 PM on July 1, 2010


Twitter is that-a-way, folks.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:13 PM on July 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


Thai... Thai-style green curry sounds doable.
posted by misozaki at 8:18 PM on July 1, 2010


When I was in high school, we used to go to this Korean church where everyone would have lunch together after the service. There was this one dude who always asked me, "Isn't Korean food too spicy for you?" He thought that because I was half-white, I was genetically unsuited to eat Korean cuisine. I used to tease him by eating kimchi like it was rice, and rice like it was kimchi.
posted by brina at 8:21 PM on July 1, 2010


I am frequently really really fucking frustrated by the massive amounts of projection going on in relationship threads. Sometimes it's sadly comical how barely responders have skimmed the question before plunging in with venting about their own heartbreak (that bears only a tenuous similarity to the described situation.)

This one? Not a great example of that.
posted by desuetude at 8:31 PM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Aagh, I forgot about whatevs! I guess it's payback for all my Valley Girl-style whatEVers in the 80s. (Not to mention totally and awesome. I still catch myself using awesome a lot.)
posted by Majorita at 8:41 PM on July 1, 2010


I had a "718" sub from the sandwich shop around the block. It consists of a chicken cutlet, melted mozzarella, bacon, hot sauce and ranch dressing on a hero roll. and some chips.

Have you tried putting the chips inside the sandwich? I think you'll be really pleased with the result.
posted by fuq at 8:44 PM on July 1, 2010


chips in a buttered white bread sandwich are hard to beat.
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:52 PM on July 1, 2010


I think you need to stop reading AskMe. It's for the best.

Dump The MetaFilter Already.
posted by tzikeh at 8:53 PM on July 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


When my 18 yo wants to be especially dismissive, she hits me with "whatevs."

As a chronic early adopter/perverter I've been further butchering my terse apathy with 'wevs' ever since cortex started with it a few years ago.

Cactus burrito has a fajita burrito on special right now. I got mine con pollo y queso. OM NOM NOM.
posted by carsonb at 8:53 PM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


You should make a Thai-style green curry with kabocha in, misozaki. I had pumpkin curry a little while back and it was terribly delicious, and I can only imagine kabocha would improve it.

Re: the main topic of this thread, I was kind of put off by the description of the guy in the question, and it did feel a little bit like "leading into seriously controlling behavior"-type of an activity, but . . . I try to avoid relationship questions like that where I don't have relatively direct experience. I haven't ever had a boyfriend that's really flipped out on me, nor have I ever particularly flipped out on any of my boyfriends, and I am still actually friends/on speaking terms with most of my exes.

Also, Zankou Chicken looks Totally Delicious.
posted by that girl at 8:58 PM on July 1, 2010


To be honest, while I do sometimes think we throw around DTMFA a lot, I can't say I've seen it attached to too many questions where I thought the couple should stay together. Usually if it's bad enough to ask strangers on the Internet, the situation is pretty bad. And at the very least, the behavior described in the posts is of the "scary iffy" variety, which is where I suspect DTMFA comes in.

I don't know the dude in the question, so I don't know if he's a MFA, but DTMFA is appropriate advice if only for the fact that it sounds like THOSE TWO PEOPLE shouldn't be together. I feel like that thread was very much a Rorschach test of the answerers, and there were a few answers in there that were more in the vein of "I haven't really read the question but here's a semi-related story" than they were really helpful advice. That always happens to one extent or another, though.

The stuff about him being abusive made my eyes roll, because we don't know the whole story and he didn't do anything abusive, but it is true that many abusive relationships begin with what appear to be only eccentric levels of jealousy and possessiveness. So, who knows. The chief fact of the matter is that it appeared that the OP was unhappy, and sending a flurry of texts is not a normal way to respond to stress, so why doesn't everyone cut their losses and take that Old Yeller of a 9 week "relationship" out behind the barn.

...

As for delicious recipes, I have recently discovered that dried shrimp - not the tiny Chinese dried shrimp, but the full-size Hispanic kind - should be put into a pot with dried Serrano peppers and salt and olive oil and a little garlic powder. Boil with water for longer than you think, until it smells sufficiently shrimpy. Behold your spicy shrimp broth. For bonus points, put some pasta into it and boil off some of the water. Yum yum yum.

Also, unrelatedly: homemade scape pesto.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:59 PM on July 1, 2010


I also enjoy the use of "wevs" to display apathy so apathetic I can't even manage to utter a full word.
posted by that girl at 9:00 PM on July 1, 2010


At 5 am US CT, I will begin barbecuing. Two pork butts,and a picnic. At 7pm US CT the butts come out of the smoker and will be shredded, in accordance with southern law. At that time the chosen few shall gather to adorn the pulled pork with slaw, pickles, or just some homemade sauce. Those that do not partake with us shall be cast out, into ever lasting darkness, where no man or woman knows the joys of bbq, and where everyone's best meal is a fucking philly cheese steak. May God have mercy on your souls.
posted by nola at 9:05 PM on July 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'm saving my first one-word answer of DTMFA for when some updating undergrad gets sucked into some jerk first chair's power trip.
posted by carsonb at 9:06 PM on July 1, 2010


Bacon
Lettuce
Tomato
Mayo
Fried egg
on toasted wheat bread

No way in hell am I going to DTMFA.
posted by Balonious Assault at 9:19 PM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


I admit it—Sometimes I give people relationship advice based on the idea of ideal relationships, or what I would do if I were a protagonist in a narrative, or what they should to to make the story that I'll tell later about their question more interesting or to give them a satisfying resolution that may not totally be the right choice for them. I mean, I always try to make it good advice for them, but that stuff creeps in and sometimes it comes out as dump the motherfucker already, because that's totally something that from a shallow outside perspective I wouldn't put up with at all if I had just met someone. They don't use all the toothpaste in the tube? DTMFA!

I know that other people get this advice too, and God bless my girlfriend for being too wise to take it.
posted by klangklangston at 9:34 PM on July 1, 2010


Have you tried putting the chips inside the sandwich? I think you'll be really pleased with the result.

I meant chips not fries, and I've put both i sandwiches before and it was OK but it wouldn't have worked in this one. This obscure Queens sub shop is one of the holy trinity of oldschool new york sandwiches, Katz's and Eisenbergs being the other, and no I won't tell you where it is.
posted by jonmc at 9:35 PM on July 1, 2010


You just did, silly. It's in Queens.
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:48 PM on July 1, 2010


Sal, Chris & Charlie's?
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:54 PM on July 1, 2010


A lot of this seems related to the Dunning Kreuger effect.

When I'm most certain is when I'm most likely to not know what the hell I'm talking about and those are the answers I tend to look back on like "wow, I made an ass out of myself". So maybe if you're really certain in a relationship question you should step back and think about whether your certainty is based on you not understanding the complexity of the situation.

"we're a bunch of judgmental pricks, when it comes down to it. I wish people would stop asking us for relationship advice, though I know I can't prevent it."

I have occasionally been tempted to give the hell up on Askmefi due to rude shit (very occasionally directed at me in responses to my answers, but mostly directed at the OP).

On the other hand, I have actually gotten a lot of really good and thoughtful help from three different relationship questions (or four?). But, those were different kinds of questions than this one.

If you ask if someone is being unreasonable, irrational, or wrong, you're asking us to judge that person's behavior as normal or whack. So people will be judgmental. They don't have to be assholes at the same time, of course, but judgment is the OP of that question asked for, and what she got. Do I think that's healthy? Maybe. It depends on how honest with themselves and with us the OP is willing to be. Sometimes it's helpful to hear people say "yes, that is fucked up, you deserve better" or "you're really treating her poorly" or "it's not a big deal, hug it out".

The risk is that people will flip out sometimes and this kind of question gives us plenty of latitude to do that. I know I can be a judgmental prick and was probably hyperbolic in this particular thread.

At the same time I have gotten good feedback from people about some of the (hopefully less judgmentally prickish) answers I've given. So I keep trying, even when it's frustrating or I am ashamed of the answers I've given (in those cases I try to correct in thread or apologize directly if it's more appropriate). Sometimes it works and that's worth it to me.

I think that's probably how it goes for many of us. Something pushes our buttons and we're human and we're like HE IS PROBABLY HIDING A KNIFE UNDER YOUR PILLOW RUN!!! but if it's really that ridiculous, the poster can throw it out on their own. And most of us sometimes give good answers. It just depends. And I hope all of us keep trying to contribute what we can.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 10:02 PM on July 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


Oven to 425.
Cake pan with about 1/2 inch of chicken broth.
Line one edge with baby carrots, stick it in the oven and set the timer to 50-60 minutes.
Chop a few potatoes up into chunky chunks, toss in a bowl with salt+pepper+garlic powder.
Add potatoes to oven ten-15 minutes after carrots. Heap them up so you have lots of chunks above the level of the broth.
After 20 minutes, throw a couple of pieces of bacon on top. If you don't feel like bacon, wait 30 minutes and throw shredded cheese on top.

Take it out of the oven when it looks tasty (50-60 minutes total). Spoon any remaining broth over top.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 10:06 PM on July 1, 2010 [4 favorites]


...and I should mention that I've been told that I need therapy, and I wasn't even the one asking the question! I was just answering it! Some questions just irk the hell out of people for whatever reason.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 10:08 PM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


that girl, kabocha in curry is indeed awesome, and I happen to have 1/4 of one left over in the fridge. I'm getting somewhere now!

chips in a buttered white bread sandwich are hard to beat.

Not sure if I'll try that, but this ridiculously easy recipe I've got for what we Japanese call "dry curry" is pretty good, too.

200 g ground beef (about half a pound?)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbs curry powder
1 tsp salt
1 Tbs butter

1 hard-boiled egg, cut lengthwise
Butter rice (chopped parsley optional)
Salted potato chips
sliced almonds, raisins, pickles, and whatever else you like to put on the side

1. Heat butter in a saucepan, sautee minced garlic. Toss in the ground beef and brown. Add salt and curry powder.
2. Put 1 over some butter rice (start with less and work up from there, it's pretty salty and spicy), garnish with the boiled egg wedges and potato chips, mix this all up with a spoon and eat.

Serves two. Not a scrap of fresh veggie in this recipe, but boy is it good with a nice salad for an easy lunch.
posted by misozaki at 10:14 PM on July 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


You know, there's a level at which relationship advice asks all boil down to the same question: how hard should it be?

The answer is a) it should mostly be easy - relationships should be a net positive. This is doubly true at the beginning of a relationship. That is the point of the shmoopy phase. So if you're three months or six months or a year in and there is enough stress, drama and conflict that you need to hit Ask - especially on multiple occasions - the signs are not good and it is very likely time to move on.

That's probably why the preponderance of DTMFA answers - and much more so for recent dating questions than marriage or LTR questions.
posted by DarlingBri at 10:19 PM on July 1, 2010 [12 favorites]


The problem with invoking Ask as evidence that the relationship is fucked up is that it doesn't account for differences among people.

There are some folks who'll want to go canvassing for advice as soon as they learn their new beau doesn't share their favorite color. You shouldn't tell them to DTMFA just because they happened to take their quandary to Ask. There are others who won't look for outside help unless hell is already breaking loose. It just depends on the people.

So "you posted a question, therefore BREAK UP" is not a good argument.


The thing that baffles me about relationship-filter is how often people want to be prescribed to, regarding matters where no one knows better than they do. The questions that go, "XYZ happened, is this a big deal?" seem to want posters to come in with ridiculous absolutes, like "THAT'S UNACCEPTABLE," "ABUSE," etc. To me, that advice is useless and often ugly. I understand that sometimes, one wants a little outside support to validate their feelings. But it seems like people just want arbitrary directions on what to do.
posted by grobstein at 10:32 PM on July 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


Once I let my mom convince me to break up with a girlfriend. She was probably right, but I should have worked harder to own the decision.
posted by grobstein at 10:34 PM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


. . . I want to go to bed.
posted by grobstein at 10:44 PM on July 1, 2010


Balonious Assault - i'll have you know that me and the mr. changed our dinner plans to mimic that list you typed. it was delicious! we added provolone.
posted by nadawi at 10:55 PM on July 1, 2010


Excellent! I had it for dinner too, and I have a small confession to make:

I did DTMFA a little bit, accidentally, on my shirt.
posted by Balonious Assault at 11:10 PM on July 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


I don't get the negative attitude to big red flags. I love big red flags.
posted by pracowity at 12:26 AM on July 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Former domestic violence worker here.

Here's the thing about capitol-A, pet-kicking, jaw-punching, passport-hiding Abuse: It doesn't start out as capitol-A Abuse. If you went out on a date with somebody and they called you a slut and clocked you in the jaw before you'd finished your creme brulee, chances are, you wouldn't go out with them a second time. (Unless, you know, you're kinksters, and you'd worked things out a bit in advance. In which case, God bless, and I'm not talking about you.)

Cycles of abuse start with little things-- inappropriate boundaries. Small, controlling gestures. Low-grade put-downs and criticism. Temper-flare ups followed by effusive apologies. With each of these minor "red flag" episodes, the prospective abuser is essentially qualifying his or her prospective abusee, much the way a salesperson qualifies potential leads. Each exchange serves to screen out those romantic partners who won't stay for the later punches and screams. For those boy-girl-etc.-friends who do stay, these little gestures help build a climate in which aggressive, hurtful, controlling behavior is the norm.

And once a cycle of abuse is established, it can be damned hard for the abusee to get out and stay out. One of the hardest parts of being a domestic violence advocate is watching your clients walk back into Hell again, and again, and again. It's ubiquitous; there's even a saying in the biz that "going back is part of leaving." The folks on the receiving end of the abuse keep yo-yo-ing back into their abusers' arms, not because they're getting something out of it, but because over time, they've gotten into such a blazingly fucked up headspace that they basically don't know which way is "up" anymore. They adapt to life in a dozen kinds of peril; they forget that any other kind of existence is possible.

The things that OP wrote about (lightning-fast ILY's, flurries of possessiveness; odd-seeming accusations of infidelity) are things that I saw every day when I was working in the domestic violence world. They're some of the classic red flags. Is it guaranteed that OP's new love interest is going to evolve into a violent, life-thrashing sumbitch? Absolutely not. As red flags go, these are relatively minor ones. Maybe he's just kind of inexperienced, or immature. Maybe he's got Stuff Going On that's turning him, temporarily and reversibly, into a bit of PITA-- or maybe he's a simple, garden-variety jerk. You're right, mondaygreens, that based solely on what's in front of us in the green, none of us can know for sure.

But has he exhibited some of the kinds of behaviors you'd expect to see from an abuser during the prelude to a life-thrashing? Absolutely.

And to my mind, it's absolutely appropriate to tell the OP exactly that. Because if this guy really does turn out to be one of the malignant ones, it'll be far easier to get him out of her life if she walks away early on. By keeping her eyes open at this stage, and being mindful of the risks, she may be able to avoid months or years in a soul-sucking void.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 12:34 AM on July 2, 2010 [90 favorites]


Sorry for the on-topic post, everyone.

Here's a recipe to make up for it:

*blinks*

Shit. I've been in the lab so much this month, I've forgotten how to cook anything. Want a recipe for agarose gel? Here's a recipe for a 0.65% agarose gel:

Take 0.78mg agarose powder. Place in a fleaker with 120mL TBE (Tris base, boric acid, and EDTA). Swirl. Cover opening cling film, with holes punched to vent, and microwave for 4.5 minutes at 50% power. Remove from microwave, confirm dissolution, and place on stir plate (low) to cool for 7 minutes. Set comb, pour into tray, and allow at least 1 hour but no more than 2.5 hours for cooling.

Then turn tray, remove comb, top off with excess of TBE, load wells with 30 microliter DNA samples containing 10% loading dye + an appropriate quantity of TE, run for 2.5 hours at 90v, stain with ethidium bromide, rinse, and PREPARE TO HAVE YOUR HEART BROKEN CLEAN IN TWO.

Repeat.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 12:49 AM on July 2, 2010 [11 favorites]


I always though the 'MF' stood for 'Muddy Funster'.
posted by SyntacticSugar at 12:55 AM on July 2, 2010


Once, when I want to make it clear that I find our relationship one way, her hours borderline sociopathic and her treatment of our stuff casual and destructive I lost my cool and said "you're dead to me", turned sharply on my heel and went into another room.

But she still followed me in and sat purring on my lap and asking for some more cat food.
posted by MuffinMan at 1:12 AM on July 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


I always assumed DTMFA stood for "Do the monkey for auntie". Now I have to reassess everything.
posted by pracowity at 2:13 AM on July 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


In fact, there are several themes I always expect in a relationship AskMe: 1) DTMFA 2) Go to a counselor 3) Talk it out 4) In person or on the phone, not texting or emailing 5) Here's my comparable story.

You forgot #5: Show them this thread!

I have never understood that. Ever. If I asked a question about my relationship and then showed my partner the thread on the internet, I would expect that the first action would be that I would be asked "So, why are you showing me this instead of just asking ME in the first place?" with a possible follow up of "This is kind of passive aggressive bullshit and maybe you should print out a one way ticket to hell. Y'know, while you're printing stuff out."
posted by grapefruitmoon at 5:28 AM on July 2, 2010 [6 favorites]


palmcorder_yajna, thank you so much for that perspective. Of course I think that people who have experience with this kind of behavior - whether personally or otherwise - should tell the OP what they think she might be in for. But putting every behavior into a "type" should come with at least some kind of responsibility that those who're doing the boxing recognize that they can be wrong and realize that they have very limited information to work with. If they're as detailed and thoughtful as your comment, so much the better. But assuming, from one overreaction, that it forms an abuse pattern, or assuming, from his texting, that the guy is a name-calling jerk who deserves to be dumped on the spot... that still seems to me a very judgmental way of looking at this situation, especially when the responses have neither the nuance of yours nor any acknowledgment that the poster is talking from their own narrow and different perspective.

The reason that I used this example (not the best, certainly) was that there was a fair amount of disagreement on the two threads themselves about whether his reaction was odd and accusative, and whether the ILY was lightnight fast, etc. People say ILY at different times - when they feel the need to say it, and the asker's lack of reciprocation is something that may have made him insecure. Then again, he thought he knew the extent of her relationship with the ex, but then thought that a near-the-bed picture clearly meant something else. He went off, and sent some emotional (dire and dramatic, to use the OPs words) texts, where he doubts both the OP's feelings and his own, and calls the relationship a huge mistake, and her weird, and the picture creepy. Yes, definitely immature. But abusive? There's simply not enough information to make that kind of judgment call on the guy. The people on the thread who were trying to look at this from the OPs perspective were always contextual, acknowledging that this is what they think - while those who said DTMFA and "A-BU-SIVE" were looking at it from their own and yet were cock sure. What kind of advice is more likely to compel the asker? Those who said, "this is what I think (and maybe here's why)", or those who said, "I dated this guy, this is how it/he is and this is what you should do. Now!"

This is my whole problem with DTMFA - it's cock sure and it doesn't always apply, and yet it's given out a lot, especially in situations where we simply don't know enough. Using charged words like abusive in such a context becomes especially problematic if you *don't* specify what exactly you mean or what in your own past experience leads you to think so. Again - people in that thread who threw out the word did no such thing, and instead worked with assumptions that they didn't even recognize, let alone acknowledge. That's just pure projection happening. Posting an Ask question is not the same as going to an abuse center - it's just a bunch of us with computers telling the OP what we think. There are cases where this kind of certainty about the boyfriend's character is justified, but this didn't seem to me one of them, at all. It's really not giving the guy any kind of chance to *not* turn out to be an abusive asshole, and he's a person too - he's exhibited behavior that might fit a bigger pattern, except there's only one instance of it thus far. This is not any kind of apology for abuse or people who abuse, just an emphasis that abuse is a serious word that should be applied, at the very least, with some context and explanation, not in a way that just makes the answerer feel better and maybe destroys a relationship or hurts someone who *might've* just been trying to find their way around a new relationship. Moreover, you can say, this sounds like a bad relationship, instead of saying, this guy sounds like an abusive jerk. Those are two very different things, I think.

That said, I have come to see this primarily as my own problem, and recognized that relationship AskMes are inherently flawed and quite impossible to "answer" based on a few lines of type. I do still think that a lot of the people who post these questions really are looking and hoping for help, looking for a different or broader perspective on the situation, and above all to see things more clearly, which can be very hard to do (as you yourself implied) when you're in a relationship, so they can figure out what to do. Just saying, hey, she asked us if she should dump him! Or, she asked two questions, so I can judge this guy doubly or assume that the relationship must be troubled ... those are problematic assumptions, at the very least they're assumptions and DTMFA is not the kind of advice you want to give out based on your own assumptions instead of the words in the question.

People are always reminding others here that there's a person at the other end, writing the words you're reading - so be kinder, be more accommodating of what you don't and can't know, and don't indulge in ad hominem attacks. All I was saying was that the person the OP's talking about is a person too, and the kind of advice we give here could have a direct impact on how that person is judged and treated by the OP, who we do know is someone he loves (and she is fond of him, too). And at least people who're here can defend themselves or seek the help of moderators; those who are not have no such recourse, yet there seems to be no trouble or limit to judging them, because hey, she asked us to judge the situation. Are we just nice when there's the threat of being attacked back or called out on it?

It's not the advice that I had any problem with per se, it's the certainty on which (a few, certainly not all) people were judging - not the situation, but the person - which seemed to me far more a byproduct of their own experiences than anything in the thread, and yet those personal experiences were not very well recognized. That's all, really. I agree with everything you've said, and hope that the OP will read your response, and hopefully give it more weight than some or even all of the advice on that thread.
posted by mondaygreens at 5:44 AM on July 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


But assuming, from one overreaction, that it forms an abuse pattern, or assuming, from his texting, that the guy is a name-calling jerk who deserves to be dumped on the spot...

You are willfully projecting your own views here. Many people wrote the combination of quickly saying ILY and the somewhat explosive response to the photo were warning signs. I'm not sure why you want to keep twisting the facts to fit your view of things, but I do wish it would stop.

...nor any acknowledgment that the poster is talking from their own narrow and different perspective.

Many people responded with their personal stories of dating someone similar. That they're talking from their own perspective and experiences is pretty obvious.

The reason that I used this example (not the best, certainly) was that there was a fair amount of disagreement on the two threads themselves about whether his reaction was odd and accusative, and whether the ILY was lightnight fast, etc.

That's a feature, not a bug. Giving varied responses is an added benefit of AskMe, giving the original poster a wide range of opinions and thoughts on their subject. Hell, that's one of the best features of the section

It's not the advice that I had any problem with per se, it's the certainty on which (a few, certainly not all) people were judging - not the situation, but the person - which seemed to me far more a byproduct of their own experiences than anything in the thread, and yet those personal experiences were not very well recognized

Oh please. If you've an asshole and come across someone who seems to be dating a similar type of person, it's pretty much your human duty to give the other person a heads up about what they might be facing.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:05 AM on July 2, 2010 [6 favorites]

"In social psychology, the fundamental attribution error (also known as correspondence bias or attribution effect) describes the tendency to over-value dispositional or personality-based explanations for the observed behaviors of others while under-valuing situational explanations for those behaviors. The fundamental attribution error is most visible when people explain the behavior of others. It does not explain interpretations of one's own behavior—where situational factors are often taken into consideration. This discrepancy is called the actor-observer bias."
(Wikipedia!)
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 6:11 AM on July 2, 2010 [8 favorites]


When I'm most certain is when I'm most likely to not know what the hell I'm talking about and those are the answers I tend to look back on like "wow, I made an ass out of myself". So maybe if you're really certain in a relationship question you should step back and think about whether your certainty is based on you not understanding the complexity of the situation.

Exactly. I wish there were some way to have the above paragraph displayed under the comment form in every relationshipfilter question.
posted by Jaltcoh at 6:57 AM on July 2, 2010


The things that OP wrote about (lightning-fast ILY's, flurries of possessiveness; odd-seeming accusations of infidelity) are things that I saw every day when I was working in the domestic violence world. They're some of the classic red flags.

Wow, it seems like you were reading different questions than I was.

Saying "I love you" two months into a relationship is "lightning-fast"? Huh? I've had former girlfriends either say it or hint at it within two months of a relationship and I didn't find it abnormal. (That doesn't help the OP since she does have a problem with his "I love you," but I see no reason to construe it as anything other than garden-variety timing issues.)

And while I respect people's views that the guy was out of line in how he reacted to the photo, many people in the thread (including me) thought his reaction was pretty understandable.

I believe you that you have a lot of expertise in domestic violence, but it seems like you're caricaturing what really happened (which, let's remember, we're only getting from the girlfriend's perspective) to make it fit an abuse framework.
posted by Jaltcoh at 7:04 AM on July 2, 2010


Oh hey I have a MeTa. And updates!

Copied from my response in my original AskMe thread:

I appreciate all of the advice.

I was initially on team work it out. I put the picture away and told him so. I was like, "The picture is in a bin, in a closet, under a pile of clothes. I understand why it bothered you, it is sort of weird, and in the future I'd like it if you told me in person if something makes you uncomfortable so we can work it out right away. Let's go see fireworks tonight!"

And he was like, "Do you suddenly think it's weird now because you asked HIM? You're creepy. It's weird. You're gross. It's inappropriate. You're still clearly in love with him. If I were a fat, old, guy (my ex is older than both I and new guy) would you love me? I can't believe you ever slept with that geriatric sweathog*. You have terrible judgement. You let yourself be exploited. I don't actually love you. I made a huge mistake. It doesn't matter if the picture's gone, it's existence is the problem."


And then I was like whooooooooa DTMFA. And then he sent me texts alternating between begging for a second chance and calling me a stone bitch. For hours. Thank you, Metafilter.

*Exact words.
posted by Tha Race Card at 7:12 AM on July 2, 2010 [30 favorites]


Oh. My. God.

Congrats on finding out that he's a drama queen so early in the relationship! And getting out!
posted by rtha at 7:15 AM on July 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


OMG. This just goes to show we really don't know the situation based on an AskMe post. Some people were trying to say he's reasonable and try to work it out, and others were saying he's unreasonable and DTMFA. None of us really knew which of those was right. We're all just guessing. We now know that DTMFA was correct. Congratulations and good luck.
posted by Jaltcoh at 7:15 AM on July 2, 2010


Now can we be judgmental?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:18 AM on July 2, 2010 [4 favorites]


Jeez, what a weirdo. You are well rid of him.

That's a feature, not a bug. Giving varied responses is an added benefit of AskMe, giving the original poster a wide range of opinions and thoughts on their subject. Hell, that's one of the best features of the section

I agree. I like it that answer A will be dtmfa and answer B will be instructions for winning them back. It's also why just typing "dtmfa" is a bad answer: these kinds of answers need context and clarification in order to have any meaning.
posted by Forktine at 7:22 AM on July 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Holy shit.

I'm sorry he's as much of a douchebag as I suspected he was. I was kinda hoping the text messages were better than they sounded. Wow.

Also, sweathog? He has horrible taste in insults. You can do better. (I like your name by the way).

(I mean douchebag in "bad for women" sense not in an "ew woman parts" sense)
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 7:26 AM on July 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


You have terrible judgement. You let yourself be exploited. I don't actually love you. I made a huge mistake. It doesn't matter if the picture's gone, it's existence is the problem.

Oh well. Glad it worked itself out to an obvious conclusion.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:31 AM on July 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Bleah. Good riddance.
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:32 AM on July 2, 2010


You have terrible judgement. You let yourself be exploited. I don't actually love you. I made a huge mistake. It doesn't matter if the picture's gone, it's existence is the problem.

This is why open communication in a relationship is a bad idea.
posted by grobstein at 7:36 AM on July 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


Whooooooooooooooooooa crazy pants! Glad you're putting him out of your life.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:38 AM on July 2, 2010


"This is why open communication in a relationship is a bad idea."

no it is the best idea for people who are jerks to act like jerks and say jerkish things

then we can avoid them

it is like the rattle on a rattlesnake

it's nature's way
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 7:43 AM on July 2, 2010 [15 favorites]


Geez, what a crazy person! Reminds me of someone I dated once. I'm glad I got rid of him, too.



I've always assumed that posting a relationship AskMe was an "at-your-own-risk" type of thing. You can't expect people to give you the most PC answers, nor can you always get what you are looking for. People will give different advice based on their own life experiences because you can't possibly read the question and get an objective, full story. Same goes with answering. How could you possibly know what's really going on? There could be a million things the OP failed to mention. In the end, people really are looking for anecdotes, such as "I am like this too, please forgive your SO" or "I dated someone like this, it never gets better", etc. It's really all we CAN provide without knowing someone.

If I think a stranger's SO is worthless based on the details they provided in the OP, and I say DTMFA, well, that's just like, my opinion*, man.




*Not a very interesting or helpful opinion, but valid as far as question answering is concerned.
posted by two lights above the sea at 7:51 AM on July 2, 2010


And here I was feeling bad for being the first DTMFAer. We should hook him up with my ex. They'd be BFFs.
posted by phunniemee at 7:52 AM on July 2, 2010


PS- I'd rather read "DTMFA" than a fucking NOVEL (5 big paragraphs +) of an answer. Seriously. I refuse to read them. Mostly because I am lazy.
posted by two lights above the sea at 7:53 AM on July 2, 2010


Well, in your first question, I didn't see what the big problem was, but understood why some thought it was a red flag. And your second question seemed to underscore that they were right. And now this...

What I'm saying is, no matter how much detail we get in a relationship AskMe question, instincts should probably be trusted because yours were right in the long run. In fact, if everyone started listening to them more, AskMe relationship questions would be a lot fewer or at least more boring.

(Undecided on whether or not this would be a bad thing, but I still want more people to be happy -- which is why I read/answer them in the first place.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:06 AM on July 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


This whole thread reminded me so much of a guy I dated from the Boston area that I actually mefimailed Tha Race Card to make sure it's not the same person.
posted by lizzicide at 8:22 AM on July 2, 2010


The people on the thread who were trying to look at this from the OPs perspective were always contextual, acknowledging that this is what they think - while those who said DTMFA and "A-BU-SIVE" were looking at it from their own and yet were cock sure. What kind of advice is more likely to compel the asker? Those who said, "this is what I think (and maybe here's why)", or those who said, "I dated this guy, this is how it/he is and this is what you should do. Now!"

mondaygreens - WTF. You're totally misreading and guilty of what you claim others are doing, e.g., making assumptions. WTF else are you supposed to do, other than draw on your own experiences? I'm seriously asking you that. What else would people do when giving advice other than draw on their own experiences?

PS-Did you read the follow up? Because the guy's batshit crackers. So all the time you spent trying to convince us, oh no, you don't know this guy. Don't be so judgmental. Well, guess what? The guy's a four color asshole after all.

palmcorder_yajna is spot on. Abusers have a pattern. Those of us who've been in abusive situations (hopefully) know the pattern. And hell yeah, I'm gonna point it out vehemently if I see others experiencing it because I don't want them to have to go through it themselves because I, very seriously, give a fuck. And maybe to you this is harsh or too much toughlove or judgmental, but I'm not gonna sugarcoat when I see people behaving in ways that are textbook abusive. The OP can ignore me if s/he doesn't like my tone or assumptions. But my approach in responding is not for you to JUDGE (seeing as judging seems to be a concern of yours).

I don't know these people any more than you do. Also, yes, we're only getting one side of the story. But what you seem not to understand is that when your mind is all fucked up from a bad relationship, you sometimes just need someone outside your zone to tell you it's fucked up. It's more about confirmation sometimes than actual advice.

If you find the relationship AskMes too tough for you, please stop reading them. There are plenty of other areas of AskMe that are tamer.

/end rant
posted by December at 8:26 AM on July 2, 2010 [5 favorites]


And they all lived happily ever after.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:36 AM on July 2, 2010


The OP can ignore me if s/he doesn't like my tone or assumptions.

This strikes me as the most commonly forgotten aspect of nearly every Metatalk complaint about something in AskMe. Many seem to forget that the OP is not, in fact, a robot who will follow the orders given to them, without question, by those posting answers in their thread. Outrageously off-the-mark responses will get deleted. Everything else that stays is entirely up to the OP to take to heart, in full or in part, or utterly ignore. We ought to give AskMe posters a little more credit for their intelligence and sense of judgement here.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:44 AM on July 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Now can we be judgmental?

This is what MetaTalk is for...
posted by Mister_A at 8:50 AM on July 2, 2010


Well, this and recipes.
Here is something no reasonable person could possibly dislike.

Cilantro Salad


Ingredients

* 2 cucumbers
* 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
* 1 teaspoon chili powder
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

Directions

1. Peel cucumbers, slice lengthwise into quarters, and cut into 1 inch pieces; place in large bowl. Sprinkle with lime juice, chili powder, and salt; toss. Toss with cilantro. Refrigerate until chilled.
posted by Mister_A at 8:52 AM on July 2, 2010 [4 favorites]


Yes, December, I read the follow-up. WTF, and good riddance, and I already said up there that I will stop reading them relly AskMes, and also that I've realized in light of *all* these responses that it was mostly my own problem (and this thread was only the last of what I could take). In that last response I was mostly just trying to clarify my reasons for having started this MeTa in the first place ("this is my problem with DTMFA" and other explanations of what I thought / think). And I still don't think that being a little less judgmental of people will make anyone worse off. That's just my opinion!

I've apologized repeatedly in this thread for anything that I think is phrased badly or open to being misinterpreted and for my own assumptions as well (which, again, at worst are only about people who are here / on that thread, and who I'm glad are always letting me know when I'm way off), but I would very much like to put this to rest once and for all - so, again:

1. I will not read AskMes (I'm not American, so the rel. ones are really the only ones I participate in, for the most part),
2. I will not start MeTa threads without taking a long, long walk first.

And I'm glad this all got resolved for you, The Race Card!
posted by mondaygreens at 8:59 AM on July 2, 2010


or assuming, from his texting, that the guy is a name-calling jerk who deserves to be dumped on the spot...

As (I believe) the first one to use the phrase "name-calling" in the thread, let me say (a) I asked if there was actual name-calling, and (b) I most definitely stand by my statement that if someone uses name-calling with me, that is when I leave.

Sorry if that's too judgmental for you, mondaygreens, but it's my life, and OPs can either agree or disagree with that approach. Have you ever dated someone who in anger tried to hurt you with a comment like "you're a freak"? For me it was fairly far along a path with a lot of harder-to-pin-down things that were making the relationship miserable for me. And by the time people are using words intentionally to hurt you, that does meet the technical definition of verbal abuse.

As I was typing all this, my longtime boyfriend just walked by saying, in a sing-song voice, "you're a big fat fart."
posted by salvia at 9:04 AM on July 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Ah, on non-preview, here's a peace recipe:

1.5 c ground coffee
4 c boiling water

Pour water over coffee. Stir, then cover. Filter grounds. Add cream and sugar to taste, and watch the birds play in the garden.
posted by salvia at 9:07 AM on July 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Many seem to forget that the OP is not, in fact, a robot who will follow the orders given to them, without question, by those posting answers in their thread.

Oooh! This reminds me of my other HUUUUUGE pet peeve: responders who tersely instruct the OP to follow a specific responder's advice or to ignore the majority of responses.

I find that to be a rudely dismissive and offputting way to communicate support for a particular person's response. I'd rather have ten responses that just say "this" than a directive to ignore contributions. If you disagree with an approach, I'd prefer you explain why.
posted by desuetude at 9:13 AM on July 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


Yeah, name-calling and criticism are so uncool. They may happen if you're like, moving and there is a screaming baby and your landlord just called the cops on you. But 9 weeks into a relationship where you have no shared money, no babies, and nothing the other person can really fuck up...boo. Just be nice. It's not that hard.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 9:30 AM on July 2, 2010


We should hook him up with my ex. They'd be BFFs.

Goddamit.
posted by dersins at 9:41 AM on July 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also, again - I wish I had had the good sense not to phrase this whole thing as a call-out, because it wasn't meant to be that, and instead just highlight the problematic instances that were bothering me so much. I thought that's what I was doing by linking to comments, but obviously it's hard to do that without seeming like I'm trying to attack those specific people or those who advised dumping in general. It's my first real MeTa thread, so, again - I hope that buys me some slack.

All right, now I'm going to back the hell off and go have dinner.

Paneer & lentil curry:

250 gms chana lentils (washed)
200 gm Indian cheese (cubed)
100 gm peas
1 small shallot onions (chopped)
1 tsp tomato puree
Half tsp turmeric powder
Half tsp chilli powder
1 tsp coriander powder
Raisins (a handful)
1 tbsp sunflower oil
Salt to taste

Put lentils in pan with plenty of water and boil on a medium flame. Add water if necessary.
Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onions until golden brown. Add tomato puree and the spices, stir until the fragrances blend in and calm down.
Add to lentils and cook until the lentils are soft and tasty.
Add the cheese and peas.
Add salt to taste. Best served with fragrant rice. Mm.
posted by mondaygreens at 9:52 AM on July 2, 2010 [4 favorites]


Goddamit.

You can't change other people, just your reactions to them. </askmeplatitudes>
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:58 AM on July 2, 2010 [4 favorites]


This thread is the most recent and most troubling example of several people reading a lot of their own stuff into an asker's question, not taking the care to frame it as a detailed personal experience, and instead jumping in with short answers...

followed later by

Jessamyn, so you're saying that it's okay to judge people as long as they're not members?

[eyeroll]
posted by davejay at 10:14 AM on July 2, 2010


Here is an eerily similar AskMe where posters were able to be firm and helpful without resorting to epithets, even though in this case there is concrete evidence that the partner is controlling and difficult (asker is "expected" not to speak with female friends of 20 years).
posted by grobstein at 10:16 AM on July 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


several people reading a lot of their own stuff into an asker's question, not taking the care to frame it as a detailed personal experience...throwing around words like A-BU-SIVE

saying "this would be a huge red flag for me" is much better than "yeah, I dated this guy." You didn't. We don't know much about the guy in question, and we know nothing about the guy you dated, at all.

those who said DTMFA and "A-BU-SIVE" were looking at it from their own and yet were cock sure.


I wish I had had the good sense not to phrase this whole thing as a call-out, because it wasn't meant to be that, and instead just highlight the problematic instances that were bothering me so much.

You did call me out. At least three times. There's nothing wrong with that in my view, but at least own it and don't squirm out of it.
posted by December at 10:33 AM on July 2, 2010


It's fine to seek relationship advice IRL and at places like AskMe. But, in the end the only people who know what really is going on in the relationship are the two involved.
posted by ericb at 10:39 AM on July 2, 2010


Dudes, mondaygreens has been a good sport about her whoops! moment; let's all please return the courtesy. For instance, December, even the sentence you quoted contains an acknowledgment of the fact that mondaygreens did frame this as a callout, an acknowledgment that it was a mistake to do so, and an expression of what his or her intent was in the first place. That is nothing like "squirming out of" responsibility.

tl;dr:
More cilantro recipes less GRAR.
posted by Mister_A at 10:40 AM on July 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


December, I did not notice which username posted what on that thread, so I didn't really put your earlier comment in the right context, and you didn't bring it up specifically AFAIR. It wasn't *meant* to be a call-out in the sense of trying to attack specific people or make them angry / defensive. I was trying, as I said earlier to Cool Papa Bell (above), to point to specific instances of what I meant re: hasty judgmenting / not enough context. And it really was about general responses - as you'll see from my original post.

If you want me to own that I referred specifically to your comments several times, yes of course I did. It just wasn't meant to say anything about you, or to you. (My request was, as you'll see way up there, about Rel. AskMes in general and was addressed to no one in particular.) Again, I apologize for making people, and you, feel attacked. It was inadvertent, but I did do what led to it.

This was really bad execution on my part, and thoroughly dented the point I was trying to make. At times like this I find some comfort in the fact that nobody cares what I think. I just should've said better what I meant.

Is there still pie? I think I could really use it now.
posted by mondaygreens at 10:49 AM on July 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


More cilantro recipes less GRAR.

Ugh! No thanks - I'll take the GRAR.
posted by GuyZero at 10:56 AM on July 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Is there still pie? I think I could really use it now.

$20, same as in town.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:58 AM on July 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Anyone mention pie in a jar? Because it's adorably delicious.
posted by Tequila Mockingbird at 11:00 AM on July 2, 2010 [6 favorites]


DAMN YOU TO HELL YOU DAMN DIRTY GUY ZERO!

/cilantropie
posted by Mister_A at 11:02 AM on July 2, 2010


OMG pie-in-a-jar! Genius!

Also, I kill cilantro I always take all cilantro seeds and then kill them by slow roasting in an open pan on med-high heat until they're fragrant. Then I grind them for good measure.
posted by GuyZero at 11:07 AM on July 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


dersins: We should hook him up with my ex. They'd be BFFs.

Goddamit.


From wikipedia's article on Acronyms and initialism, emphasis mine:
A particularly rich source of options arises when the plural of an initialism would normally be indicated in a word other than the final word if spelled out in full. A classic example is Member of Parliament, which in plural is Members of Parliament. It is possible then to abbreviate this as M’s P. , as famously by a former Australian Prime Minister. This usage is less common than forms with s at the end, such as MPs, and may appear dated or pedantic.
I'm certainly not going to start saying M'sP rather than MPs.

Actually, I probably won't use either because fuck it, I'm American.

Honestly, I'm probably never going to use the plural or singular version of BFF either. So I guess I'm being pedantic. Move along.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:07 AM on July 2, 2010


Wait, you actually took me seriously enough to research and link a refutation? Are you also planning to disprove my assertion that "Hello Kitty" is properly rendered in the plural as "Hellos Kitty"?
posted by dersins at 11:26 AM on July 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


The one and only relationship question I posted on askme was answered with a torrent of DTMFA's, and I took the advice immediately and I've never regretted it.

Sometimes it's the right answer. Chances are that if you're asking a bunch of random people on the internet if you should break up with your SO, then you probably should, and you probably already know that.
posted by empath at 11:28 AM on July 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


The one and only relationship question I posted on AskMe was answered with a half-dozen comments saying "life is complex and confusing, we don't have the answers for you on this one, hang in there and figure it out, whatever you do will be okay." I took the advice and also have not regretted it.
posted by salvia at 11:33 AM on July 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


the MesFi?
posted by jtron at 11:35 AM on July 2, 2010


I'd like to chime in here and suggest that a lot people have a visceral reaction the word "abuse", and may feel that it's a term to be reserved for only especially bad relationships. There are connotations ugly enough that such a person may feel that accusing another person who is not a participant in the discussion of being "abusive" is tremendously unfair.
I used to feel that way myself. But here's the thing: the word is not defined that way. It's most often, in this context, a term that describes behavior, not personalities or values or morals or any other subjective intangibles. For example, name-calling is, in fact, abuse. A person who addresses their significant other by a term of insult with the intent of hurting them is guilty of abuse. Maybe they're guilty only that one time, maybe it only happened because they were angry or whatever, but they are guilty nonetheless, so concerns that we haven't heard "the other side of the story" aren't cogent. Of course we only heard one side. If, hypothetically speaking, we had access to additional sources of information and learned that OP was also engaging in bad behavior, it wouldn't make the boyfriend any less guilty of abuse, and there's nothing wrong with calling things by their name.
posted by Ipsifendus at 12:16 PM on July 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


This has always bothered me. It's BFsF, dammit.

A workaround: If you think of "BFF" as a noun describing an indelible best friend instead of as an abbreviation, then BFFs works.
posted by aniola at 12:33 PM on July 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Correction: as a noun for permafriend, not "describing" permafriend.
posted by aniola at 12:35 PM on July 2, 2010


ipsifendus: I used to feel that way myself. But here's the thing: the word is not defined that way. It's most often, in this context, a term that describes behavior, not personalities or values or morals or any other subjective intangibles. For example, name-calling is, in fact, abuse.

This is true. But in context, a stronger sense of the word was being used. If you say, "This is abuse; I know because I work with abuse victims," you are probably not using that generic sense of "abuse." One poster clarified he/she was talking about "capitol-A, pet-kicking, jaw-punching, passport-hiding Abuse," and that even if such "Abuse" hadn't happened yet, he/she simply knew that the boyfriend from the question was an "Abuser."
posted by grobstein at 12:39 PM on July 2, 2010


lpsifendus, you can't define language in terms of facts, only of understanding - prevalent or individual. You yourself acknowledged that a lot of people feel that abuse means this or that, and has bad connotations. It's valid to say that you think abuse is a much more comprehensive term (or point us to resources or cases where such an understanding is more valid or useful than what we already think), but name-calling is not in fact abuse.

Words mean what people think they mean. The dictionary comes after language and seeks to capture those social meanings as objectively/narrowly as possible. This applies not only to name-calling but also to abuse, and to guilty, and even to insult. There is no arbiter here, and when there is (as when there's a court, or even a therapist), a lot of care goes into defining those words in the context of specific situations. If the OP thinks it's abusive, that matters, that is all that matters, really. But your definition of the word, in this case, is no more defensible than anyone else's... it is most certainly not a fact of any kind.

As for my (and a couple of other people on this thread's) problem with the term, it wasn't that we were saying this is most definitely not abuse: it was that some comments seemed to just assume that it was. I was saying precisely that this term is both strong and differently meaningful to a lot of people, says a lot about the perpetator of said behavior, and should be applied with care. Or at the very least, with context.
posted by mondaygreens at 12:40 PM on July 2, 2010


Honestly, I'm probably never going to use the plural or singular version of BFF either. So I guess I'm being pedantic. Move along.

Oh, FF'sS.

cilantro recipes

Open bag, eat cilantro.
posted by Devils Rancher at 12:43 PM on July 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Holy MeTa in a MeTa batman - you kids need a time out?

Me, I'm taking Salvia's advice and go outside to 'watch the birds play in the garden'.

Not sure how I feel about relationship questions on the Green; I've used them, posted them, and sometimes it is useful to have a place to just hear someone's objective opinion on a situation - kind of like an online confessional without the confession, if you will.
posted by rmm at 12:48 PM on July 2, 2010


Ha, was just cleaning out my work computer (only eight days left, guys! woo!) and I found my t shirt design from the 10th anniversary meet-up.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 1:50 PM on July 2, 2010


mondaygreens - How is "DTMFA" any worse than calling someone's boyfriend an asshole?
posted by gman at 2:02 PM on July 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Man, really?

It's not different. I'm just a terrible person! Not to mention a hypocrite! You are now free to ignore everything I've ever said. Or talk about when I called my ex a bastard, and my uncle a moron, and kicked my dog, and went to see Gallagher. And cheered.

gman, if you can't see the difference, there really is none. You got me. Good on you.
posted by mondaygreens at 2:08 PM on July 2, 2010


Lordy. That was graceful.
posted by heyho at 2:11 PM on July 2, 2010


New to Meta...so what does DTMFA actually mean?
posted by zombiehoohaa at 2:16 PM on July 2, 2010


gman, knock it off. mondaygreens, today's a new day; maybe time for another walk.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:17 PM on July 2, 2010


Christ, what an asshole. I'm sorry that you're hurting.

But you asked for advice, so here is some: Do not get back together with him. No matter what.

You're hurting, and if he wants to get back together, he will probably try to do it before you're over him. Don't. Do not!

posted by mondaygreens at 1:27 PM on July 1 [1 favorite]



--> instead jumping in with short answers advising break-up, throwing around words
posted by mondaygreens to Etiquette/Policy at 3:06 PM
posted by December at 2:23 PM on July 2, 2010


There hasn't been this much excitement 'round these parts since chucksnpaintbrushes.
posted by December at 2:28 PM on July 2, 2010


It would be nice if people stopped jumping on mondaygreens after the multiple apologies and explanations they posted, especially with quotes from mg's own history. After a while it stops being a valid point and just becomes a dick thing to do.
posted by Tequila Mockingbird at 2:30 PM on July 2, 2010 [6 favorites]


I reserve my right to be a dick.
posted by December at 2:31 PM on July 2, 2010


After a while it stops being a valid point and just becomes a dick thing to do.

Seriously, yes, knock it off. That sort of "I've gone through your entire comment history and here's one comment that makes you a HYPOCRITE" is weak sauce especially when it just seems like jabbing and not condusive to any sort of additional discussion. Please stop.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:32 PM on July 2, 2010 [4 favorites]


I reserve my right to imply people are being dicks.
posted by Tequila Mockingbird at 2:32 PM on July 2, 2010


Not to be confused with the right to party, which must be fought for.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:38 PM on July 2, 2010 [8 favorites]


I reserve my right to say that Tequila Mockingbird is a wicked funny name. Also, I reserve my right to pee off any bridge I want! USA! USA! USA!
posted by Mister_A at 2:38 PM on July 2, 2010


I reserve the right to link to this whenever a discussion of rights comes up.

I also reserve the right to sit in a corner and weep every December 22, because GODDAMMIT UNIVERSE, I AM STILL NOT OVER IT
posted by scody at 2:45 PM on July 2, 2010


Seriously, yes, knock it off. That sort of "I've gone through your entire comment history and here's one comment that makes you a HYPOCRITE" is weak sauce especially when it just seems like jabbing and not condusive to any sort of additional discussion.

I'd agree if it weren't a comment from only an hour and a half before she posted this thread.
posted by gman at 3:14 PM on July 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'd agree if it weren't a comment from only an hour and a half before she posted this thread.

Surprise surprise, people who are annoyed by things in AskMe sometimes come to MeTa and post emotional MeTa threads that don't go quite the way they were thinking they might go in their own head. I think there's a point where you just have to take whatever lessons you're going to take from a thread, put the hinky bits in a "file away for next time" folder and move on. That's my suggestion. If you'll excuse me now I have to prepare for Dreaded-Holiday Weekend.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:31 PM on July 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


"I'd agree if it weren't a comment from only an hour and a half before she posted this thread"

i like to read this comment like it's a character revealing the twist of an m night shyamalan movie or possibly the end of an agatha christie novel where poirot is like "yes, perhaps...but you forgot about YOUR WATCH!"
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 3:41 PM on July 2, 2010 [5 favorites]


What I get from this thread is support for the idea that whenever possible, AskMe comments should be thoughtful and wise rather than bombastic and opinionated (not holding my breath), and that we should give people the benefit of the doubt whenever there is any ambiguity.

What was interesting to me is that I see no ambiguity in that AskMe thread, but I did recently get in an argument (which jessamyn helpfully put an end to) in another thread defending some OP because I felt like people were unjustifiably jumping to conclusions and lecturing them. I'm not trying to re-hash that thread, but these comments of mondaygreens kinda reinforce that point. Apparently people differ even as to when they see ambiguity or want to give someone the benefit of the doubt. Interesting.

Now, on even more interesting topics, I'm curious, jessamyn, is it the weekend you're dreading or the holiday? I am bad with hyphens and compound nouns. Is it holiday weekends that suck, or the 4th of July for some particular reason (arrrrrgh the fireworks they burn).

Personally, I am looking forward to having some cherry pie.
posted by salvia at 3:47 PM on July 2, 2010


Ouch, gman. That thread was very much fresh in my mind when I posted this one, but that's neither here nor there. In the interest of putting this to bed for the nth time, I will give my defense. I hope that is what you're expecting me to do here by repeatedly calling me on this and measuring time differences, and not just as a way of saying, nyah nyah, she calls people names too! So:

The thread was about a break-up that had already happened. The poster gave a lot of details that showed (and other people highlighted that in the thread) that she was blaming herself and was, in and after the relationship, very insecure. Here is what the poster asked, at the end:

"I have been really attracted to this guy (that's why I took him back every time after we broke up) and totally in shock about what happened between us. He broke up with me over the phone and he refused to meet up to talk face to face. I know that it is not attractive at all to act insecure but it was mainly because of the way he treated me in the past. I feel that I have to move on with my life and I think there is no hope for this relationship at this point but it's not very easy. Any advice?"

Like I said, the break-up had already happened, and given everything she had mentioned in the thread, I felt that it was valuable to convey that what had happened was definitely good, and the guy had definitely behaved very poorly. Most of all, I wanted to warn the poster not to take him back due to further feelings of insecurity, which an inconsiderate and selfish person (which also the poster gave much evidence of, not just in one argument but after that as well) could use to manipulate her back into a relationship. So I began my response with that emphatic phrase, which seemed to neither hasty nor uncalled for. It's also a common enough phrase on Metafilter, since it's a common punchline, and "asshole" in general is bandied about rather commonly here and elsewhere. To me the two things seem very different because: they had broken up, and she wanted to move on.

I know that several people here are fixating on the DTMFA thing, which, like I tried to clarify right at the beginning, I still read all the way, so it seems harsh to me every time. I accepted that this was my problem (as was the rest of the stuff I posted, really), and later mentioned, too, that it was the eagerness with which DTMFA was suggested on one thread, and the mentions of abuse pattern and abuse, especially in the absence of follow-up from the OP, that bothered me. (Me!) Also, it was still a relationship at the time, and "should I dump him?" was just one of the many questions the OP posted. She clearly did not have enough information to make up her mind, and all I was saying was that if we're going to be so sure as to suggest that she DTMFA, we should at least explain why, and hopefully not in a way that assumes too much. I honestly don't think I assumed anything significant in the thread you linked to, and if the poster finds a bit of certainty in my certainty that the guy sounds like an asshole, that'll be absolutely the right thing, given what she's told us. There is no one on that thread, as far as I can tell, who seems to feel differently.

I've accepted responsibility for the tone of this thread, for framing it as a call-out, and apologized individually to everyone (and not just publicly) who's been offended. I can't do more than that. Look - the guy in the thread I pointed to above turned out to be an ass who the asker did dump. You think I'm not already chastised? You think I'm ever going to start another MeTa thread?

Stop beating me up, it hurts.
posted by mondaygreens at 4:00 PM on July 2, 2010


That's it. You kids have forced me to draw one of the cruelest cards from my hand.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:05 PM on July 2, 2010


I don't like the 4th of July terribly. I have a lot of fun nonsense planned, but there is a part of me that finds patriotism a little galling. And I live in small town America where it's pretty much par for the course. And I like my neighbors and friends and like where I live, but very-American holidays are not my favorite times to be here. I will try for Canada next year.

And back to the point. I do think that there's a correlation between people who get angry and judgey with people, and people who react poorly to other people getting angry and judgey with them. Not always, but enough that it's sometimes a thing. Some people just like mixing it up and others do not. Or they mix it up about not wanting other people to mix it up. And as someone who is pretty far [but does not define the limit of] towards "do not like mixing it up" I mostly just want people to stop fighting. WHich may be somethig I should stfu about in MeTa and let people be.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:06 PM on July 2, 2010


New to Meta...so what does DTMFA actually mean?

Well, DTMF is dual-tone multi-frequency, which is the type of sound a touchtone phone makes when you dial. From the context I assume A stands for Asshole.

So I guess it's a reference to those people who have the button-pushing noises on their cellphone cranked up to maximum volume, then they sit there on a quiet early morning commuter train texting somebody, or whatever it is they're doing that causes their phone to keep going beep beep boop beep for the whole trip.

No? Oh... well then maybe the MetaFilter wiki's Acronyms page will be useful.
posted by FishBike at 4:12 PM on July 2, 2010


there is a part of me that finds patriotism a little galling.

Me too. And prior to moving to Philly, I lived in places with a significant military presence, so, uh, I'm good at keeping my mouth shut about it.

Are there others of us? I want a sekrit club.
posted by desuetude at 4:32 PM on July 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Jessamyn, I am always glad when you blow your whistle here. It actually keeps us a little more civilized, I think.

Have a good and, I hope, fairly peaceful weekend. Hope you can enjoy the other stuff besides flags, like corn on the cob, parades, usually decent weather, and barbecue.
posted by bearwife at 4:37 PM on July 2, 2010


Happy 4th of July, Canada, Australia, Japan, Poland, India, and the UK!!
posted by heyho at 4:39 PM on July 2, 2010


What do Canadians do for Canada Day? I mean the stereotypical thing for Americans to do on the 4th is barbecue and fireworks. Is there an stereotypical thing like that for Canada Day?
posted by nooneyouknow at 4:51 PM on July 2, 2010


Well, in Canada, barbecue is an outdoor cooking appliance rather than a type of food. But use of one is fairly typical on Canada Day. And fireworks, as well.
posted by FishBike at 5:04 PM on July 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Actually, I was using it as noun, where the c spelling seems to ok in Canada. Thanks, though. I work with Canadians, and I didn't want to assume that they did the same things Americans do on the fourth, but it turns out they do.
posted by nooneyouknow at 5:25 PM on July 2, 2010


Wait, are you saying you do your barbecue on the 4th? Kinky!
posted by salvia at 5:32 PM on July 2, 2010


(Or else that just didn't make any sense.)
posted by salvia at 5:32 PM on July 2, 2010


that comment of mine, I mean

While I still have the floor, can I just say that after looking for where the assumption-making occurred in this AskMe relationship thread, and trying to back up statements with evidence in the thread, other threads are CRAZY to read. There are assumptions large enough to drive a truck through. Not picking on you, mondaygreens, by saying this, but I did feel like the comments were generally justified by evidence. So, after magnifying the situation to look for any logic gaps, other threads look like the Canyonlands! They read like a call for short fictional essays!
posted by salvia at 5:59 PM on July 2, 2010


Entire thread tl;dr.

I am very late to the party. Past fashionably late, but not quite at asshole late yet. I hope. I read relationship asks when time permits. I find out a lot about what others are thinking and that some of the thoughts in my head while maybe borderline crazy may be normal in the sense that there are a lot of you out there with just as crazy thoughts.

Anyhow, y'all are really nice people here at the Metas. I don't always agree with what you say or your political leanings or you desire to argue and re-argue and re-argue the I/P conflict or your fixation with Lady GaGa or even with some of the recipes, but I respect you all.. Ok most of you.

But, for the life of me, I do not understand why anyone would be asking for, much less taking, relationship advice from a bunch of strangers on the interwebs. There are times I think people answer in such a way as to say to themselves, "Self, I would love to be a fly on the wall if he actually takes this advice and runs with it. That will be crazy sick." Sometimes I think there is empathy simply because the person asking is asking rather than on the merits of the situation. I am convinced that we have done some serious damage to relationships that otherwise didn't deserve it or wasn't destined to collapse as we anticipated or provoked. The ratio is probably better than 50-50 that we did good, but not much better and those ratios a good track record they do not make.

So what I am saying? If you want to ask a factual question about how to repair a broken window you will get and you deserve great answers. If you ask a question that any answer is based on opinion, you will get a lot of opinions and many of them will not be in agreement with yours or even what you think is acceptable in terms of the range of opinions. You get what you pay for and since it is pretty much asking for everyone's $0.02, that is the expected value of the advice you will get. Sure, sometimes you get advice worth $1,000s but the expectation is still two cents.

Whatevs.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 7:01 PM on July 2, 2010


I am convinced that we have done some serious damage to relationships that otherwise didn't deserve it or wasn't destined to collapse as we anticipated or provoked.

There is not a damn thing anyone here on Metafilter can do about any relationship question on AskMe. There is no one there with even the ability force an AskMe poster to do something.

At best we offer advice. What actions are taken (or not) are ultimately and solely the responsibility of the poster. To even attempt to blame Metafilter illustrates a severely inflated view of AskMe and a grotesque portrait of the people asking questions.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:16 PM on July 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


Sal, Chris & Charlie's?

No.
posted by jonmc at 7:22 PM on July 2, 2010


You think I'm not already chastised?

I didn't read all of this, but did anyone bring up the bolding the name of people you are responding to thing? Because that has got to stop. I CHASTISE THEE. NOW I SHALL PARTAKE OF YON PIZZA MINE WIFE HATH BESTOWED UPON MEE.

I reserve my right to imply people are being dicks.

Meh, implying is for dicks. Get some guts and tell them*, for pete's sake.

*This requires a sense of timing and not an inconsiderable amount of elan. If one possesses neither, it's best just to keep one's trap shut.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:02 PM on July 2, 2010


Sal, Chris & Charlie's?

No.


Peter,Bjorn and John?
posted by special-k at 9:46 PM on July 2, 2010


on the other hand, 'mondaygreens' is a pretty great name
posted by jtron at 10:09 PM on July 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


like, totally.
posted by special-k at 10:25 PM on July 2, 2010


JohnnyGunn: But, for the life of me, I do not understand why anyone would be asking for, much less taking, relationship advice from a bunch of strangers on the interwebs.

In How to Dump a Guy: A Coward's Manual (very funny, and highly recommended), Kate Fillion and Ellen Ladowsky begin their list of "signs that it's time to go" with:
Opinion polling

You're running around canvassing friends, family, and virtual strangers: What do you think I should do? You're either hoping for confirmation that you should leave, or hoping to be persuaded to stay. Either way, every taxi driver and bartender in a thirty-mile radius is conversant with the most intimate details of your relationship.
posted by russilwvong at 10:30 PM on July 2, 2010 [7 favorites]


Well, in Canada, barbecue is an outdoor cooking appliance rather than a type of food.

Here in the south bbq is definitely a food, but I have been to parts of the US where a barbecue is the event/party that we here in Georgia would call a cook-out. The appliance you are talking about is a grill.

But use of one is fairly typical on Canada Day. And fireworks, as well.

I have been wondering about this all week. So nice to know we have that in common. :)
posted by Famous at 10:35 PM on July 2, 2010


Where I'm from, a BBQ is all three at once: an appliance, a type of food, and an event. You go the the bbq to have some bbq that comes fresh off the bbq. wtfbbq.
posted by cj_ at 11:34 PM on July 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Where I'm from, a BBQ is all three at once: an appliance, a type of food, and an event. You go the the bbq to have some bbq that comes fresh off the bbq. wtfbbq.

This is the case where I am from as well (Southern VT). Though "grill" is becoming more popular than bbq as the term for the cooking appliance, if you used bbq as noun for cooking implement, you wouldn't be looked at funny.

(For that anyway.)
posted by grapefruitmoon at 5:53 AM on July 3, 2010


Around these here parts, (Tejas y Coahuila) you've got to be damn careful about nomenclature. A grill is an entirely different, and inferior, device from the smoker. Barbeque is smoked slowly for hours. A grill is incapable of achieving this because of the direct heat. Barbeque is both the verb for the act of smoking meat, and a noun for the results thereof, but the device is usually called a smoker.

Grill: (which merely results in charred flesh - 1 small step up from pan-frying. Useful for such pedestrian foods as hamburgers, steaks and fish fillets)
meat
|
|
|
----flame

Smoker:(the device which makes ambrosia barbeque)
|----------meat
|
-------flame--------|

(I can only hope my ascii skillz are up to the task, here, as this si importent!)
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:42 AM on July 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


goddammit. Why did it format in the stupid preview window?
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:43 AM on July 3, 2010


[
 p
  r
   e
    ]

     t
      a
        g,

mother
                  fucker,
can you use it?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:49 AM on July 3, 2010


No. *sobs*
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:14 AM on July 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I make fish tacos with cilantro if that counts.

You get you a batch of some lightish fish. I use tilapia, but you can use whatever light-tasting fish your heart desires.

Poach the fish until it is no longer translucent. Take it out of the liquid and pat it dry. Rub Old Bay on it with a teeny bit of butter.

Shred the fish into little shreds.

WHILE YOU DO THAT cook some saffron rice. When the rice is done mix it with some fresh cilantro.

Put the shredded fish and rice on a tortilla. Eat.
posted by winna at 8:40 AM on July 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm wondering what to bring to a BBQ. I can make cornbread (cough from a box cough) but I'd need a decent, disposable baking pan. I can always just bring beer, people like beer, right?
posted by The Whelk at 8:58 AM on July 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I just don't want to bring anything complex and or messy onto the subway and I know if it can get all over my clothes it will get all over my clothes.
posted by The Whelk at 8:59 AM on July 3, 2010


Beer is always welcome at a BBQ. At least one person will be glad you brought it.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:11 AM on July 3, 2010


You don't necessarily need a disposable pan.

"Can I come by and pick up my baking pan?" is a good intro to another social visit.

Beer is usually good. So is ice. So are non-alcoholic beverages if it's a beer-heavy crowd. So are vegetables for the grill (big mushrooms, peppers, etc.)
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 9:20 AM on July 3, 2010


Oh! And smore ingredients! And sticks to roast the marshmallows on! Although, in Minnesota, we just used sticks from the ground, I think NYC sticks might be a bit more toxic.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 9:21 AM on July 3, 2010


..if I make corn MUFFINS I can just wrap them in tissue and put them in a bag!
posted by The Whelk at 9:22 AM on July 3, 2010


"Can I come by and pick up my baking pan?" is a good intro to another social visit.

I suspect this a regional thing. There is no way I'm getting back on a subway to pick up a baking pan. I will buy another one.
posted by The Whelk at 9:22 AM on July 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I once made smores at home for a "Summer Camp" theme party but then left them in the fridge too long and they became graham bricks of doom.


I've had a craving for chocolate covered pretzels recently.
posted by The Whelk at 9:23 AM on July 3, 2010


I'm oven-roasting some crazygood-smelling pulled pork right now:

Dry Rub:
I don't really measure with utensils/scale so much unless I'm baking, so... this is all done on whim, by feel, and peering at it with my one good eye.
Measurements given should be reasonably close, I'm guessing.

The spices being fresh and of excellent quality is what's essential here.


* 1 tablespoon really good smoked, sweet, Spanish paprika
* 1 tablespoon really good smoked, hot, Spanish paprika
* 2 teaspoons granulated garlic
* 2 teaspoons granulated onion
* 1 good tablespoon dark brown sugar
* 1 tablespoon dry mustard
* 2 tablespoons kosher salt
* about 1 tablespoon this black pepper, medium crack
* a good pinch of this mix

* 1 (4-5 lb.) pork shoulder/butt, rinsed, patted dry, rubbed with a lime, then rubbed with dry rub, covered well, refrigerated overnight

Roasting pan, 300F oven, about 5 hours or so, until it's all perfectly pullable and gorgeous


Liquid component (sauce):

* about 1 cup cider vinegar
* 1 *bloop* of apple cider
* 2/3 cup any decent mustard you have lying about
* 2 or 3 tablespoons tomato powder (it's like crack - trust me, just buy it, they ship, and it's good on a thousand different things, like egg salad, especially)
* a little wad of packed brown sugar
* 2 garlic cloves, crushed
* a good pinch kosher salt
* a good pinch of black pepper, medium crack
* a good pinch of chipotle pepper powder
* a tiny pinch cayenne, just enough to add a thin layer of complexity that is discernible and not overrun by the chipotle (use the Force when pinching this out; it's not horribly difficult, but if you can achieve it, it's kind of a nice minor accomplishment)


Saucepan + heat, stir until sugar/salt dissolve, reduce it a little, swirling it around here and there, pull it when it smells fucking incredible and your salivary glands actually ache a little from exertion, and when you taste it and feel that rush you get from a sauce well-made

Shred the pork, moisten with sauce, eat like it's your job. I like it best in a corn tortilla (heated over flame on stovetop), topped with pickled onions, but whatever - just a fork will do, really.
posted by heyho at 11:33 AM on July 3, 2010 [13 favorites]


i can't believe I've sat here through dinner time reading EVERY single comment WTF

and I hate cilantro

though i'll try the paneer thingie only cos I think I lived in a dorm in mondaygreen's geospatial coordinates a hundred years ago

but I agree on the abuse red signals being vital the earlier the better

and now, dinner and no, i already posted the recipe in an earlier thread
posted by infini at 1:48 PM on July 3, 2010


And it's done.
There's a lot of bright green going on in my kitchen, so photoing food in that room is always a crapshoot.
posted by heyho at 2:02 PM on July 3, 2010


I made short ribs in a toaster oven yesterday.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:41 PM on July 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


I made short ribs in a toaster oven yesterday.

That's hardcore. I'm impressed!
posted by heyho at 3:54 PM on July 3, 2010


It's almost .....tater-core.
posted by The Whelk at 3:59 PM on July 3, 2010


heyho, do you roast the pork just...naked? Is it tinfoiled, or in a dutch oven (with/without lid), or just on a roasting pan, or what?
posted by rtha at 7:09 PM on July 3, 2010


rtha, I do use a dutch oven and cover it for the first few hours, then I ditch the lid because I like the outer layer to really brown -- so chewy, so tasty.
posted by heyho at 7:56 PM on July 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


One poster clarified he/she was talking about "capitol-A, pet-kicking, jaw-punching, passport-hiding Abuse," and that even if such "Abuse" hadn't happened yet, he/she simply knew that the boyfriend from the question was an "Abuser."

For the sake of accuracy: that's a blatant misrepresentation of what palmcorder_yajna said.
Here's the thing about capitol-A, pet-kicking, jaw-punching, passport-hiding Abuse: It doesn't start out as capitol-A Abuse.… Cycles of abuse start with little things-- inappropriate boundaries. Small, controlling gestures. Low-grade put-downs and criticism. Temper-flare ups followed by effusive apologies.…And once a cycle of abuse is established, it can be damned hard for the abusee to get out and stay out.…

Is it guaranteed that OP's new love interest is going to evolve into a violent, life-thrashing sumbitch? Absolutely not. As red flags go, these are relatively minor ones. Maybe he's just kind of inexperienced, or immature. Maybe he's got Stuff Going On that's turning him, temporarily and reversibly, into a bit of PITA-- or maybe he's a simple, garden-variety jerk. You're right, mondaygreens, that based solely on what's in front of us in the green, none of us can know for sure.

But has he exhibited some of the kinds of behaviors you'd expect to see from an abuser during the prelude to a life-thrashing? Absolutely.
posted by Lexica at 9:43 PM on July 3, 2010 [5 favorites]


I made short ribs in a toaster oven yesterday.

Whoa, that is a Survivorman kind of strong.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:56 AM on July 4, 2010


Whoa, that is a Survivorman kind of strong.

It's really hot here and I couldn't bear to keep the big oven on for three hours. I marinated them and then wrapped them in tin foil with peppers and onions and cooked for several hours. They were delicious. Served with a side of spicy green beans.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:47 AM on July 4, 2010


what's your recipe for spicy green beans?

here's one version I really like, its south indian cuisine. also note that step 5 doesn't say turn the heat down very low so that beans steam without going gooey. fresh works better than frozen. if using fresh, use a tablespoon of water so that there's steam
posted by infini at 8:40 AM on July 4, 2010


My grandfather used to crack on us for saying tin foil. "It's aluminum -- it's not tin. They're two different metals! Don't they teach you anything in that school? If it were tin, believe me, sister, you'd taste it!" We'd roll our eyes, but I never slipped up; I didn't dare. I've always said aluminum foil.

So I was wondering how long ago aluminum foil was manufactured to replace tin foil, and it was 100 years ago. It's been a while.

And the pressing question: Why do USians spell/pronounce aluminum, while everywhere else the word is spelled/pronounced aluminium?

Apparently we just don't know that word: "Most countries use the spelling aluminium (with an i before -um). In the United States, this spelling is largely unknown, and the spelling aluminum predominates."

And stop calling us large. We're just "intelligent."
posted by heyho at 8:47 AM on July 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


I know we've degnerated into pie recipes and whatnot, but I'm going to answer here.

I was in an abusive relationship. I was with someone that no one I knew trusted further than they could throw him. No one fucking said ANYTHING until it was too late.

I think it is the height of male privilege arrogance to think that people "see abuse everywhere" (and I know men can be abused too, please save the Feminism-101 level lectures for another site). I know that I can tell you that if someone, anyone, even an anonymous user on an internet site (which didn't exist back then) had said "I think your dude is not treating you right" it might have been the one hand up or out I needed to confirm the funny feeling in my stomach that the relationship I was in was not good.

Once I got out of my relationship, everyone suddenly was all "oh yeah, we knew he was trouble" and it still bothers me that no one SAID anything. That was when I vowed I would be the person who says something, even if it was unpopular or lost me friends. I speak up. I will go and ask women who are screaming on the street if they are okay. I don't much care what people think of me.

I can't influence anyone to DTMFA or not, at the end of the day. None of us can go to their house and physically force someone to end a relationship. If someone is posting here, they likely have no one else they can ask, or are embarassed to ask their friends/family, or just want some nebulous authority figure to give credence to the tiny voice inside them.

So yeah, be cavalier about not liking people's responses. But you might want to ask yourself about why it bothers you so much. Because you think we're not getting the other partner's story? we're not getting all of YOUR story, either, and I think it's disingenuous to sit here and criticize the existence of relationship AskMe's without giving us your part as to why it personally sits so wrong with you. I'm not saying that you have to, nor demanding it.
posted by micawber at 9:06 AM on July 4, 2010 [12 favorites]


GuyZero wrote: "But they're unanswerable. First, they're biased by definition."

Many are, but not all. I have the follow-up feedback to prove it. Sometimes being the lone voice against the tide of DTMFA (which I have personally dispensed on a couple of occasions) can be rewarding.

Also, I'm not entirely sure that DTMFA isn't a reasonable answer to the question. Perhaps not the advice I'd give, but not totally out of the blue. Dude did flip his shit, and there are people who have a problem with that. (There are also people in the world who can handle a little shit-flipping as long as it's not frequent)
posted by wierdo at 3:17 PM on July 4, 2010


I can make cornbread (cough from a box cough)

Cornbread is incredibly easy to make, and it's so much better than from a box. Don't lose any more of your life to boxed cornbread! Here is a very delicious recipe I make fairly often. It's as simple as measure, mix, and bake.
posted by meese at 3:59 PM on July 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


And the pressing question: Why do USians spell/pronounce aluminum, while everywhere else the word is spelled/pronounced aluminium?

Apparently we just don't know that word: "Most countries use the spelling aluminium (with an i before -um). In the United States, this spelling is largely unknown, and the spelling aluminum predominates."


I can't tell you how much this word has haunted me. It doesn't happen anymore, but a couple years back I had Open Office Word - set to American English - correcting my spelling of this word every time I wrote it. It always recommended "aluminium". And yet the copy of Webster's I had on hand had it as "aluminum". In the end, I'm ashamed to say, I went with the number of Google hits for either spelling, and "aluminum" won out. I've since relegated it to the realm of "grey" and "favourite" and "colour" as words that have flexible spelling.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:10 PM on July 4, 2010



Cornbread is incredibly easy to make, and it's so much better than from a box. Don't lose any more of your life to boxed cornbread! Here is a very delicious recipe I make fairly often. It's as simple as measure, mix, and bake.


I couldn't go to the BBQ party anyway cause of a sudden household obligation (hint, it included water where no water should be). So it's moot anyway.


I know how to make good cornbread but I had a box and no cornmeal and while my ancestors are SCREAMING at me, I did it anyway and made muffins which are now redundant.

I'll fry them in butter tomorrow and all will be forgotten.
posted by The Whelk at 4:43 PM on July 4, 2010


Bringing beer, frying any food you bring in butter ... it's like you were made to be invited to BBQs.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:53 PM on July 4, 2010


Grey just looks so much classier on paper than gray.
posted by Devils Rancher at 4:58 PM on July 4, 2010


Bringing beer, frying any food you bring in butter ... it's like you were made to be invited to BBQs.

It is a part of my people, the Greater Honky Nation.
posted by The Whelk at 4:59 PM on July 4, 2010


micawber: ... But you might want to ask yourself about why it bothers you so much. Because you think we're not getting the other partner's story? we're not getting all of YOUR story, either, and I think it's disingenuous to sit here and criticize the existence of relationship AskMe's without giving us your part as to why it personally sits so wrong with you. I'm not saying that you have to, nor demanding it.

Thanks for that. I accept that it's coming across as disingenuous (among other bad things), and re: that part I think I've apologized and explained all I can upthread. (And oh boy I wasn't criticizing relationship AskMes!) As for my reasons, they aren't particularly interesting or special, and in any case if it were a valid point it would've stood without being needing to be justified by my personal history, motives or genuineness.

As it is, it clearly doesn't stand, and I have to chalk that up at least partly to my MeTa ineptitude, and also to my inability to foresee the disastrous consequences of making this about that particular thread and specific comments in it - it was a bad example and I didn't realize that, not least because I'd been reading too many painful post-breakup AskMes. The rest is probably difference of opinions and/or social backgrounds, and that of course is fine too.

In any case, I think this thread is just something I'm going to have to step back from and live down. If anyone still wants to say something directed specifically at me, please feel free to me-mail, and I'll gladly respond.

Otherwise, see you on the blue. :)
posted by mondaygreens at 6:42 PM on July 4, 2010


Well, this isn't directed at anyone in particular, bu if you are using your own anecdotal life experience to support an argument for or against anything on the green, I think it's best to say so, because of course that affects the answer you give.

So, as far as this issue goes, if you've been abused in a relationship, you may be conditioned to see abuse where there is even the slightest indication of trouble and feel the need to intercede on behalf of the asker, because you feel sure it will escalate. But If you've never been in an abusive relationship, you may feel like abuse is a really serious word to apply without actual physical evidence backing it up.

And here's the thing, both sides are valid, and I don't think it's fair to suggest someone is disingenuous for not seeing an issue in the same way you do, or trying to hide an ulterior motive, when they life experience is just plain different from yours.
posted by misha at 8:23 PM on July 4, 2010 [4 favorites]


Here is something no reasonable person could possibly dislike.
Cilantro Salad


If that's something no reasonable person could dislike, I don't want to be reasonable.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:23 AM on July 5, 2010


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