Oh, Come On Already. August 11, 2010 6:40 PM   Subscribe

This just gets more and more curious and a lot less peachy.

What is the deal with this? I'm calling BS.

First this happened, now his kid is hitting on her???

Am I going straight to Hell for calling this at least partially made up?
posted by dzaz to Etiquette/Policy at 6:40 PM (483 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

You must have missed the earlier MeTa that came and went like a summer breeze.
posted by fixedgear at 6:44 PM on August 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


No, no! I did see it!

Now she's back with an even weirder problem?

And she used the word "peach" in both posts which somehow bugs me.
posted by dzaz at 6:48 PM on August 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


I was pretty incredulous of the first question. I am even more incredulous now. I am a lot of incredulous.
posted by kbanas at 6:48 PM on August 11, 2010 [6 favorites]


That's what bugs you?

Peach?
posted by kbanas at 6:48 PM on August 11, 2010 [5 favorites]


Oh boy.

Thanks folks(those who took my question seriously), issued solved.
By the way I'm now 19 so there's an incredibly whooping 2 year age difference going on here.
Also I described his son as 'perverted' because he did other things, but they were irrelevant to my post.


1) Solved already? That was quick.
2) "whooping 2 year age difference" lol.
posted by piratebowling at 6:49 PM on August 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


I feel your pain, but the vibe I'm getting from the mods on this is that things are going to have to get a lot more problematic for this to be seen as problematic.
posted by Gator at 6:49 PM on August 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Maybe it'd be easier if we all just got used to these appearing every month or two. It's like, maybe, the new way to write a novel or something. After two years of increasingly cringe-worthy questions in which no advice is ever taken or acted upon, it'll be: surprise! It's me, Dave Eggers! Thanks for lulz, my new book is out tomorrow.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 6:51 PM on August 11, 2010 [38 favorites]


We're talking about this; there are a few things that maybe don't totally line up. For now, just be decent and ignore the question if you can't be helpful.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:51 PM on August 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


For now, just be decent and ignore the question if you can't be helpful.

Argh, always with this part. I do so good with be indecent and don't be helpful.
posted by kbanas at 6:53 PM on August 11, 2010 [12 favorites]


I could sure go for some peach cobbler.
posted by fixedgear at 6:54 PM on August 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'm probably going to go to hell for this, but I'm not really outraged by the kid hitting on her, they're contemporaries, what do you expect? She's probably titillated by the thought that the kid has the hots for her, so she's subtly encouraging the come-ons.

And my thought, reading between the lines, is that she's pretty messed up herself, probably has major problems with her parents, and treats her fiance like a surrogate dad ... making the vibe in the household even more confusing for the fiance's son.
posted by jayder at 6:55 PM on August 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


don't you people have anything in your netflix queue?
posted by desjardins at 6:57 PM on August 11, 2010 [28 favorites]


Yeah, the overuse of the word "peach" is grating.

And the entire content of both questions. With the typos, etc.
posted by dzaz at 6:57 PM on August 11, 2010


I can't decide if this plotline would make more sense on Gossip Girl or The OC. Definitely not One Tree Hill.
posted by oinopaponton at 6:58 PM on August 11, 2010 [8 favorites]


don't you people have anything in your netflix queue?

Funnily enough, I was just watching Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure...
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 6:59 PM on August 11, 2010 [13 favorites]


Somebody's rewriting Penthouse Forum stories.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 7:00 PM on August 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Peach Upside-Down Cake

Dry ingredients:
1 1/2 cups unbleached white flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 cup natural sugar (I used demerara for all the sugar in this recipe)
1/8 teaspoon salt

Liquid ingredients:
1 cup vanilla soy milk mixed with 1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon zest (or 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract)

4 cups peeled and sliced peaches
2 tablespoons natural, raw or brown sugar
1/4 cup natural, raw or brown sugar
2 tablespoons water

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine the dry ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Combine the liquid ingredients in a separate bowl. Set aside without mixing them together.

Combine the peaches with the 2 tablespoons of sugar. Wipe or spray a 10-inch, well-seasoned cast iron skillet with oil. (This step is very important if you want to be able to get the cake out of the pan.) Begin heating it and add the 1/4 cup (or more) of sugar and the water. Heat and stir until the sugar is completely melted. Continue to cook and stir until the mixture is bubbly and slightly reduced (but be careful not to burn it). Place the peaches on top of the sugar and remove from heat.

Add the liquid ingredients to the flour mixture, stirring briefly just to moisten. Pour and smooth the batter over the peaches, covering them entirely. Put the skillet into the oven (you may want to place a cookie sheet or foil on the shelf below it to catch drips) and bake until the sides of the cake pull away from the edges of the pan and a toothpick comes out clean (about 30-40 minutes).

Allow the cake to cool in the pan for about 15-30 minutes. Then, run a knife around the edges of the cake to loosen it from the pan. Place a large plate or serving platter over the top and invert the skillet. Remove the skillet carefully from the cake.

Be sure to scrape any caramelized juices from the pan and smooth them over the peaches.
posted by emilyd22222 at 7:00 PM on August 11, 2010 [39 favorites]


No, no! I did see it!

You may have seen the MeTa thread about the previous question, but you missed the one from earlier today regarding today's question. It was deleted (not just closed) very quickly.

Your incredulity isn't really worth discussion. Answer the question, try not to rise to any bait-like answers from others, and move on. Or don't answer the question and move on.

In short, what is the point of this post? Oh, right, you're calling BS. Tell BS it owes me 20 bucks.
posted by carsonb at 7:01 PM on August 11, 2010


I'm going to watch "James and Giant Peach" right NOW.
posted by dzaz at 7:01 PM on August 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


I cannot wait to find out what happens next--not in her story, but in this story about her stories.

I call shenanigans.

And tomorrow morning I am going to buy fresh peaches at the farmers' market around the corner.
posted by tzikeh at 7:02 PM on August 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


Solved already? That was quick.

Potentially meaning "best-answer-marked, kthxbai" but yeah, this is either a trainwreck that AskMe should no longer be part of*, or a troll of heroic proportions. Have our moderati checked the referer logs for any potential lulzspotters?

*Unless someone combines a meetup with an intervention.
posted by holgate at 7:02 PM on August 11, 2010


What Jessamyn said. I'm not sure what there is to publicly discuss besides unvettable "no wai" assertions and such, but if folks could just be chill and leave the question alone if it's bothering them that would very helpful.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:03 PM on August 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


I could sure go for some peach cobbler.

I made your muffins. You have to imagine them in liners.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:09 PM on August 11, 2010


I saw your tweet, they (it?) look great!
posted by fixedgear at 7:10 PM on August 11, 2010


...if folks could just be chill and leave the question alone if it's bothering them that would very helpful.

I would have, but I just beat Super Princess Peach in Mario so I wuz bored.....
posted by dzaz at 7:12 PM on August 11, 2010


Metatalk: there's an incredibly whooping 2 year age difference going on here.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 7:12 PM on August 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


They came out well. Protip: use a smaller pan. The bars were a bit thin. I just had to eat really big pieces.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:12 PM on August 11, 2010


Look on the bright side: it's not sixcolors.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:17 PM on August 11, 2010


You can actually find the South Park Scientology episode on Netflix, if someone needs viewing suggestions.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:17 PM on August 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


Can we at least debate if dzaz is going to hell?
posted by cjorgensen at 7:17 PM on August 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


And also, there's a Louis CK standup special you can stream.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 7:18 PM on August 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I call major bullshit on this one. This one reeks of bullshit, as did her (I am not even sure it is a girl) last question. Let her come here and defend herself, but this is bullshit. Did I mention this is bullshit? I take umbrage to the green being misused like this.
posted by msali at 7:18 PM on August 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


As others have argued in the previous MeTas about her, her situation is perhaps unusual but far from inconceivable. Certainly I know people who, upon hearing of the existence of actual open relationships, roll their eyes and claim that no actual loving couple would behave this way if their relationship were healthy; no such thing could exist. And given that she's a teenager in a relationship with a much older man, how unrealistic is it, really, that he'd have a similarly aged son? And that son wouldn't react well to his father's pairing off with someone who's nearly the same age he is? If you accept the first post as true, the second seems much easier to believe. And if you don't accept the first one, why would the second make you feel differently?
posted by Tomorrowful at 7:19 PM on August 11, 2010


I know my deleted "Knots Landing" comment was against the rules, and I do know better, but I did think it was apt.
posted by Gator at 7:20 PM on August 11, 2010


Note: everyone needs a hug.

EWW GROSS NOT LIKE THAT!
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 7:21 PM on August 11, 2010 [17 favorites]


Everyone in this thread who has had comments deleted from that thread: I'm not sure what you're thinking. You are making a fairly difficult situation worse. Please don't. Thank you.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:21 PM on August 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'd also like to note that if you look at her answering record on ask.mefi, which is substantial for a user as recently-joined as she is, it's pretty unremarkable stuff, none of which seems wacky or goofy or flamebait or trolly. Yes, it's absolutely possible that someone's giving useful advice in other people's threads but also is stringing us along as a personal joke, but most people who're interested in 'using' a community like that don't also make a lot of straight-faced contributions. Occam's Razor says she's got an unusual relationship, one that a lot of people (myself included) think is almost certainly unhealthy and very unwise, but that she's also real.
posted by Tomorrowful at 7:26 PM on August 11, 2010 [7 favorites]


For once you people have jessamyn's permission to get with the recipes and you're fucking it up!
posted by cjorgensen at 7:30 PM on August 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


I just wonder what she wants out of this community. I do believe she's real, but I don't understand why she would ask a follow-up question after getting nearly unanimous responses in her previous thread telling her to extricate herself from the relationship she is in. I'm pretty sure nobody said "definitely move in and marry that guy ASAP." So she basically told everyone that she didn't listen to them last time, and therefore she's coming back for more advice. That's gonna draw a big "Huh"? Definitely seems odd to me. The first question, I understand. But why ask again unless it's to provoke?

But, really, this is (probably) a real person with a real problem, so it does no good to snark and snipe, which I already regret doing. I only wish she would actually take people's advice.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 7:34 PM on August 11, 2010 [6 favorites]


What's with you people? It's a boring weeknight, you should be so lucky as to have a thread like that to read and fume over. Break it and no one else gets to play with it either.
posted by hermitosis at 7:35 PM on August 11, 2010 [11 favorites]


This whole thing confuses the hell out of me.
posted by box at 7:37 PM on August 11, 2010


I gorged on peach cobbler last month. This month, it's all about the sangria.

Sangria Verde

2 limes
1 green-yellow ripe pear
1 Granny Smith apple
1 cup green grapes
1 bottle vinho verde or other dry white wine
1-1/2 ounces Grand Marnier or triplesec
1-1/2 ounces cognac or brandy
a 12-ounce can lemon-lime soda (or Hansen's tangerine-lime)
1/2 cup limeade or lemonade

Slice limes into thin rounds. Core and slice apple and pear thinly, leaving peel on. Cut grapes in half. Mix all ingredients in a 2-quart pitcher and chill well.

This gets better if the flavors are allowed to meld for a few hours before serving.
posted by zinfandel at 7:37 PM on August 11, 2010 [26 favorites]


Ask MeFi: Willing suspension of disbelief.
posted by fixedgear at 7:38 PM on August 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


golddig the pain away...
posted by felix betachat at 7:40 PM on August 11, 2010


I roasted brussel sprouts tonight, using this recipe. Left them in the oven waaay too long, they were pretty much black all over when I took them out, but with the balsamic vinegar, you could hardly taste it. Mmmmmmmmmm.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:40 PM on August 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


Re: True Blood, WTF Sookie?! You went back?!

Hold out for Eric. He comes with Pam.
posted by nomadicink at 7:41 PM on August 11, 2010 [9 favorites]


This is like Dynasty meets Gossip Girl. It turns out that this is not such a bad thing.
posted by geoff. at 7:44 PM on August 11, 2010


I've been on MetaFilter too long, whenever I see "Sookie" I read it as "sourwookie."
posted by hermitosis at 7:44 PM on August 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


NO SPOILERS!
posted by stratastar at 7:46 PM on August 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Agreed, Eric is verifiably hotter than Bill, and he doesn't hiss, "Sssssookie!" all the time like an angry snake. Plus Pam is the most fun character.
posted by misha at 7:51 PM on August 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty sure we've all been asked not to post random recipe crap in threads we don't like. Thanks.
posted by Justinian at 7:51 PM on August 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


Ick. To the recipes, and to the parceling out of basic human decency and respect on a sliding scale.
posted by drjimmy11 at 7:55 PM on August 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


I bet that kid is cheesed off that his pop's arm candy just peached on him to the whole internetz.
posted by toodleydoodley at 7:55 PM on August 11, 2010 [5 favorites]


The user numbers are over 100,000........ know what? we're gonna get some strange stories.
posted by HuronBob at 7:55 PM on August 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


I did the exact same thing to my brussels sprouts. Still tasty.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 7:56 PM on August 11, 2010


I'm pretty sure we've all been asked not to post random recipe crap in threads we don't like. Thanks.

Is there an active conversation in here that I'm missing?
posted by emilyd22222 at 7:56 PM on August 11, 2010


[is reminded by thread that she needs to finish the peach yogurt in her fridge, is finishing it]

My best guess is that this is a real situation with maybe a little self-aggrandizement going on. And that we're in for more questions on this "how do I make this incredibly misguided relationship with my 52-boyfriend work", and that we'll continue to be all, "Girl, it will never work, LEAVE HIM", rinse, repeat.

So I'm reminding myself that people have to run their own lives, am feeling grateful that I get to run mine, and will be dropping into and walking away from xbeautychicx threads as it suits me.
posted by orange swan at 7:57 PM on August 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Is there an active conversation in here that I'm missing?

Again, nothing personal, but early recipe bombing really takes a step towards keeping any active discussion from happening and we'd like to see people knock it off of their own accord so we don't have to seem like humorless nannies and start deleting recipes.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:59 PM on August 11, 2010 [7 favorites]


Again, nothing personal, but early recipe bombing really takes a step towards keeping any active discussion from happening and we'd like to see people knock it off of their own accord so we don't have to seem like humorless nannies and start deleting recipes.

OK, my apologies.
posted by emilyd22222 at 8:00 PM on August 11, 2010


I hope when they score this film it has lots of trombones. They can go bwaaaaaaaaaaromp! during slightly comedic, slightly embarrassing intergenerational sex, they can go bwooip bwooip bwooip when inexplicably unlocked doors are accidentally opened, and they can go waaah waaah waaah waaah after character epiphanies.

Trombones are good.
posted by Sallyfur at 8:01 PM on August 11, 2010 [12 favorites]


Can i just say that while I absolutely feel we should answer questions in AskMe and not go off in rants there, Metas like this one seem inevitable to me with drama-laced situations like that one?

I hope we don't have a series of people coming in to berate the skeptical for our 'lack of empathy', either. I volunteer at my kids' schools and the hospital downtown. And heaven knows we all have drama and craziness in our lives sometimes. But the more you are around people, the more you recognize how much some like to be the center of attention, while others exaggerate the mundane to make a better story to tell.

Some people can tell by the pixels when that pic is photoshopped. ;) Some are great at pointing out the SEO scammers and viral ad campaigns.

And some of us have heard this kind of thing before, and know when it sounds fishy. Why should relationship questions be off-limits to the MeFi Internet fraud detectives?
posted by misha at 8:02 PM on August 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


and they can go waaah waaah waaah waaah after character epiphanies.
posted by Rumple at 8:05 PM on August 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


Is the peanut gallery full up on this one yet?
posted by P.o.B. at 8:05 PM on August 11, 2010


I can't decide if this plotline would make more sense on Gossip Girl or The OC. Definitely not One Tree Hill.

Yeah, the lecherous prep-schooler bit screams Chuck Bass....
posted by thisjax at 8:06 PM on August 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sorry, I misinterpreted, "For now, just be decent and ignore the question if you can't be helpful." to mean you really weren't wanting a discussion about the veracity of the OP. I figured in the absence of the torches and pitchforks or meta-scooby squad that recipes were being condoned.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:06 PM on August 11, 2010


Back in high school we had Citizen of the Month. I even won it once...for being a good citizen I guess. If I had to nominate an AskMe for question of the month -well- I don't think I'd be picking this one.
posted by yeti at 8:07 PM on August 11, 2010


well, no matter how much you do or don't question the validity - victim blaming is gross.

it's interesting how some people will claim to believe that a woman never asks to be raped/molested/harassed until you find a woman they don't like.
posted by nadawi at 8:07 PM on August 11, 2010 [13 favorites]


Why should relationship questions be off-limits to the MeFi Internet fraud detectives?

I absolutely do not mind the skepticism. But unlike the other fraud stuff, there is very very little other "evidence" that you guys can dig into here. So while I'm fine with the "this sounds weird to me" and email to us with specifics is totally fine, trashing on MeFites or fucking up their questions just because you have a sixth sense about it is still rude and not great site behavior. It's sort of the "well if I have a really good reason can I flip out on someone?" question where the answer is "we'd prefer you didn't"

So, yeah, it sucks and I'm not psyched about it either, trust me. However unlike Kaycee Nicole and a bunch of other things, there really aren't many places you can go with this one. Any outing of her real identity [if people somehow grokked it] isn't okay and there are two questions which aren't really data rich. I know it's unsatisfying to hear "we've got top men working on it" but yeah, we're looking into it.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:08 PM on August 11, 2010 [5 favorites]


I think relationshipfilter is the problem.

There are no right or wrong answers. They are mostly chatfilter parties full of people's opinions. What's the point except to have entertaining chats? By that measure, this question is no worse or better or weirder than half a dozen other "whoa, that's messed up" relationshipfilter threads of the past few days.

The answers, in order: DTMFA, get therapy, communicate honestly, consider polyamory, get to a women's shelter and seek a restraining order. That's it. Repeat ad infinitum.

These things should have their own area of the site, the pink or purple.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:17 PM on August 11, 2010 [6 favorites]




I'm pretty sure we've all been asked not to post random recipe crap in threads we don't like. Thanks.


What about divergent Vampire-related TV show discussions?
posted by The Whelk at 8:19 PM on August 11, 2010


Top men. Top men.
posted by box at 8:20 PM on August 11, 2010 [10 favorites]


Pink or purple, huh? Because people who care about relationships are princesses!
posted by Stewriffic at 8:23 PM on August 11, 2010 [13 favorites]


I know it's unsatisfying to hear "we've got top men working on it" but yeah, we're looking into it.

I like to imagine this being said in Don Draper's voice.
posted by scody at 8:23 PM on August 11, 2010 [8 favorites]


And she used the word "peach" in both posts which somehow bugs me.

Moist peach.
posted by qvantamon at 8:24 PM on August 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


But the more you are around people, the more you recognize how much some like to be the center of attention, while others exaggerate the mundane to make a better story to tell.

I would favorite that more if I could.

Most of us have plenty of real world experience with Real Life Drama to be able to tell when someone is telling a fish tale. I was annoyed by this poster's last question and the ensuing meta on it, because like Misha, it all seemed so sadly inevitable. Now here we are again. She's an attention-seeking troll, and not a very good one. My guess is that in real life, she is that crazy conservative Digg contributor trying to get us all het up to throw us off her scent.

Askme is one of the most valuable things on the internet, and I hate it, I really really hate it when people take advantage of this incredible resource to game us.
posted by msali at 8:25 PM on August 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


It takes a response to complete a trolling transaction.
posted by Babblesort at 8:27 PM on August 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


I want to handle this tonight.
posted by mullacc at 8:32 PM on August 11, 2010


When did the recipe bullshit start, anyway? Seems like a fairly recent development.
posted by adamdschneider at 8:44 PM on August 11, 2010


Yeah, I call major bullshit on this one.

Well, I would too, except...I've known people like this. Several of them. They generally come from backgrounds where there is absolutely nothing that most of us would consider to be normal, and so they have no concept of just how far-out their situation sounds to other people. Most of us can't conceive of that kind of situation, but for some people, that may be the most stable relationship they've ever had in their entire life, and that's including their relationship with their parents.

And too, some people thrive on drama. They subconsciously seek out relationships with stuff that seems crazy to most people. They have no idea they're doing it; in fact, they sometimes wonder how this crazy stuff always seems to happen to them.

In either case, the only way I know of to stop the cycle is to keep telling and showing them that no, this is not normal. No, everyone doesn't live this way. And you don't have to, either.

And if it is a troll, then it's still a person with a problem, just maybe not the problem that they're submitting to AskMe. (Because really, what kind of person puts so much effort into making up elaborate scenarios like this, and does it repeatedly? A very lonely, maladjusted person without any friends, I would guess. So if it's a troll, they still need help.)
posted by MexicanYenta at 8:46 PM on August 11, 2010 [10 favorites]


Some goon from a past thread posted posted:

OP: "Help! HELP! I'm stuck in a well!!!"
Goons1-4: "Climb! Climb up and take our hands!"
OP: "I'm thinking I should dig... should I dig?"
Goon5: "NO! I was trapped in a well, and digging is a bad idea! Climb out!"
Goons6-8: "Were lowering ropes! Take hold of a rope!"
Goon9: "I've even tied a harness to the end of this one!"
OP: "I can feel the ropes, but I don't want to hold onto them... should I dig?"
Goon10: "No! If you dig, you'll hit water, and then you'll be proper hosed. I should know, I almost drowned."
OP: "I dug a little bit just now, and I haven't hit water. I'm gonna keep digging..."
Goons11-18: "No! Climb! Climb out!"
OP: "Guys, I'm seriously stuck in this well! Help! HELP!!!"
Goon19: "I was trapped in a well once. It took me two years, but I managed to build a climbing machine that pulled me to safety out of a well bucket and a pocket watch. I'm dropping the blueprints, extra buckets, and an assortment of pocket watches."
Goon20: "I've engineered a jet-pack that will rocket you to safety. Stay where you are and we'll lower it down!"
"OP: "Thanks for your help, guys. I'm gonna keep digging. I'll find the Mines of Moria and I'll just walk to the surface."
**Goons1-20 piss in the well**
Goon21: "Guys, seriously... stop peeing in the well."

posted by prak at 8:48 PM on August 11, 2010 [151 favorites]


I just want to say I knew that balloon boy was a fake. I don't care if there is a metafilter time/date stamp that says otherwise. That shit's easy to fake too.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:48 PM on August 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Now she's back with an even weirder problem?

And she used the word "peach" in both posts which somehow bugs me.


This problem isn't that weird, and I think people are jumping on the drama bandwagon really quickly. Don't you have some other AskMes to analyze?
posted by desuetude at 8:49 PM on August 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


No, because pink is traditionally associated with valentine hearts, and because the tales of woe, while they never vary, are told in purple prose.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:49 PM on August 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


I can't decide if this plotline would make more sense on Gossip Girl or The OC. Definitely not One Tree Hill.

I stand by my comment in the Metatalk thread deleted earlier today.
posted by dersins at 8:49 PM on August 11, 2010


She's an attention-seeking troll, and not a very good one.

And you know this because of...? Your intuition? Scooby sense? You have no factual data to back up this claim. This is just as egregiously unsupported as any other emotional response, which is something many people on this site don't accept without some rational explanation (a certain NYC Islamic Center comes to mind). Furthermore, it's needlessly hurtful to anyone who may not actually be what you think they are.

I'm really surprised by how sheltered some of the people in this thread seem. I've known people who unfortunately have this level of storybook drama in their lives. If this person is real and having real problems, it would be nice to think that people who can help in some way might be here on this site. Instead, it seems like a number of people are far more invested in driving them away by being pricks, just in case they're a troll. I'm not actually sure how being a prick is somehow a more lofty place to be than accidentally giving good faith advice to a troll, or just stoicly staying out of it altogether if it doesn't ring true for you.
posted by oneirodynia at 8:51 PM on August 11, 2010 [8 favorites]


"we've got top men working on it"

[inappropriately "humorous" remark regarding moderators' boudoir predilections forcibly restrained]
posted by Sys Rq at 8:52 PM on August 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


It takes a response to complete a trolling transaction.

So you're saying we have to pay the troll toll?
posted by mckenney at 8:55 PM on August 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


I know it's unsatisfying to hear "we've got top men working on it" but yeah, we're looking into it.

The question itself does give me a weird vibe, but I do find it pretty satisfying that you all would take questions seriously enough to do follow up to protect the integrity of the site. Thanks.
posted by SpacemanStix at 9:00 PM on August 11, 2010


So you're saying we have to pay the troll toll?

I'd happily SAIT that easy setup, but everyone knows the troll tolls are collected only from inbound vehicles at the city limits.

They are indeed $20, though.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:02 PM on August 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

It's a big world full of people who have lived very different lives from me and from you. This could really happen.

I had a friend in high school who, by the time I graduated college, was living in a trailer with three kids and a man/husband who was much older than she was. We started in the same high school, but her life was very different.

You know not to judge people who are different from you, yes? Be careful of judging people who claim to be different from you.
posted by amtho at 9:05 PM on August 11, 2010 [6 favorites]


It takes a response to complete a trolling transaction.

Exactly. "She" might indeed be trolling. It wouldn't be the first time it's happened. But do you know why such folks keep coming here to do it? Because the membership here behaves like that (see comments, some deleted and some not). If MetaFilter could behave like adults in the face of a question like, "I need help relating to my sugar daddy," then there wouldn't be any point in creating a fake profile to come here and post it.
posted by cribcage at 9:05 PM on August 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oneirodynia, if you can't tell that she is an attention-seeking troll, then I would say that you are the one with the sheltered life.
posted by msali at 9:08 PM on August 11, 2010


Ehhh I hate metatalk.
You guys can have this one.
posted by xbeautychicx at 9:14 PM on August 11, 2010 [5 favorites]


Oneirodynia, if you can't tell that she is an attention-seeking troll, then I would say that you are the one with the sheltered life.

Sheltered...UNDER A BRIDGE????

Oh, snap!


Seriously, though: Benefit of the doubt, in good faith, etc. = Good For AskMe. Assuming the worst, not so much.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:15 PM on August 11, 2010


Speaking of abuses of AskMe
posted by desjardins at 9:19 PM on August 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


"Why should relationship questions be off-limits to the MeFi Internet fraud detectives?"

They're not. We're just sleepy. And eating pasta.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 9:19 PM on August 11, 2010 [11 favorites]


How'd the talk go, xbeautychicx?
posted by carsonb at 9:20 PM on August 11, 2010


OMG get pasta recipes
posted by carsonb at 9:22 PM on August 11, 2010


I never assume that a question is too ridiculous to be true, because I plan to have my life grow increasingly ridiculous, which will no doubt produce questions on my part, and I would prefer they be taken seriously when that moment arrives.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:27 PM on August 11, 2010 [9 favorites]


I think she's real and her situation is real, but I also think she may be posting for attention or maybe as a cry for help; she's been asking for advice about this relationship but doesn't seem to be taking any of the answers seriously. She would have to have known that writing "I'm an 18 year-old dating a 52 year-old" would get a "uh, WHAT?" response from people. I mean, surely EVERYONE in her real life has had that response.
posted by canadia at 9:37 PM on August 11, 2010


Well, glad to see she refrained from posting anything personal this time.
posted by cjorgensen at 9:49 PM on August 11, 2010 [5 favorites]


Carson's Late-Nite Quesadilla

Ingredients
2 medium tortillas
3-5g extra sharp cheddar cheese
1 mixed bag pickled, sliced jalepenos, carrots, and onions stolen from the taco stand when you bought that breakfast burrito last night
1g cotija cheese
Garlic salt to taste
2oz salsa verde saved from aforementioned taco stand

Toast the tortillas on a hot skillet. Squish garlic salt, cheddar, and pickled veggies between tortillas and grill until crispy golden brown. Crumble cotija on top, and serve with salsa on the side.
posted by carsonb at 9:49 PM on August 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


Garlic salt? Fuck that noise. First one, then the other.
posted by box at 9:55 PM on August 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


You're right, of course. It turned out delicious without the garlic salt.
posted by carsonb at 10:00 PM on August 11, 2010


I think it's time for recipes.metafilter.com. I would totally read such a site!
posted by lalex at 10:03 PM on August 11, 2010 [12 favorites]


Ehhh I hate metatalk.
You guys can have this one.


Honestly, xbeautychicx, this is kind of a shit-or-get-off-the-pot thing. If you'd rather not wade in over here, that's fine, but it'd be better to just not dip a toe in at all in that case. We're trying awfully hard to give you the benefit of the doubt on what's been a pretty disruptive tenure here and it'd be good if you could meet us halfway there by toning down the drama and refraining from idle poking like this on your end.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:04 PM on August 11, 2010 [17 favorites]


No hard feelings or anything, but I feel pretty strongly about this:

"She would have to have known that writing "I'm an 18 year-old dating a 52 year-old" would get a "uh, WHAT?" response from people. I mean, surely EVERYONE in her real life has had that response."

If that's what she's living, then what else is she supposed to say? My romantic/sexual/whatever/D/s/CSI/PHP relationships usually get an "uh, WHAT?" response. And yet these relationships exist and, were I to want help from someone about them, I would have to describe them and probably would cringe a little bit in anticipation of the "uh, WHAT?" because yeah, I KNOW.

I KNOW that my deal is weird and that you think I'm pretentious/tacky/flaky/creepy/a TV show on CBS/a programming language. I know there is the distinct possiblity that you will judge me. Too bad for me but hey, I'm not going to hang my head in shame because my life seems overly strange to people who don't even hug me on a regular basis! I mean, come on!

Oh and if you wouldn't dismiss someone who wronte "oh I'm 26 and I got married 2 years ago" as "just" seeking attention, then don't dismiss someone who is all "I'm 22 and I got married 6 years ago" as "just" seeking attention because they have lived some weird shit.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 10:08 PM on August 11, 2010 [16 favorites]


"OMG get pasta recipes"

Recipe for pasta:

Get off work an hour late, making yourself approximately 4 hours too late to fight for the last piece of pizza :(

Ask your live-in squeeze to boil water

Give him a hug for throwing the pasta in, too

Eat the pasta with garlic salt

Post semi-incoherently to metatalk because you're too lazy get up but no way you're going to bed with garlic breath

Brown at 82 degrees
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 10:11 PM on August 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


@ cortex- Idle poking from like this from my end? Is upset, hurt, or offended poking better?
I've thought that the Metafilter world was an intellectual and helpful one. I also think you guys are all smart and some want to be right about your opinions that hurting someone in the process is an afterthought if one at all. I really have nothing to prove other than while I am receptive to the comments(even the snarky ones) I don't have converse in a low or mindless manner to get my point or feelings through. Metatalk isn't exactly inviting for that(I've been here before and I didn't like how I responded). Also, I really don't feel that I must convince some of the brutes that I'm just as real as they are and have functional feeling too.
posted by xbeautychicx at 10:40 PM on August 11, 2010 [5 favorites]


It's the part where she describes herself in her first question as "a very attractive Ivy League bound student" that has me wondering. Who describes themselves like that? I wasn't the most coherent writer at the age of 18, myself, but this sounds pulled right off the back of a Sweet Valley High book. As there's no proof of that, however, I'm just going to assume that she's super confident. And, given her more recent issues, possibly not mature enough to know when a problem that serious has truly been "worked out."
posted by katillathehun at 10:44 PM on August 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hey, bonus points to me for excellent timing!
posted by katillathehun at 10:46 PM on August 11, 2010


Yeah, metatalk is full of haters, you can always stay out I guess but in a thread where people are talking about you and someone says that you should like, show up and prove yourself, I don't blame you for being like "hey I can hear you over here".

I know it sucks to have people sit and talk about you when they don't know you and throw around crazy personal insults when you're going through a rough time already. So I am sorry people did that in here. It's not cool, it's not okay because you're [x] or [doing y] and I wish people would just cut it the hell out unless they know for A FACT that what they're saying is true.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 10:46 PM on August 11, 2010 [7 favorites]


Y'all know, right, that if she's trolling, a whole bunch of "ZOMG GUYS SHE IS TEH TROLL!" is still a pretty funny reaction. If she's trolling, she knows you can't prove that she's entirely full of shit, and is laughing her ass off at people presumptively declaring themselves above the troll. It's almost as funny as the people that take the question seriously and offer earnest advice (which fulfills the "sober man in a strange world" comedy criterion).

If she's not, well, then maybe the advice will help.

Though I can't help the creeping hunch that her wedding gown was hexachromatic.
posted by klangklangston at 10:47 PM on August 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


I also think you guys are all smart and some want to be right about your opinions that hurting someone in the process is an afterthought if one at all.

You've seen the atheism threads, then.
posted by klangklangston at 10:48 PM on August 11, 2010 [6 favorites]


Eh, it's an alright relationshipfilter, but not lurid enough for me to really enjoy it. Does the 17-year old have a drinking problem or anything? No one in the question seems maladjusted enough to make me feel better about my life.

Also: pics or it didn't happen.
posted by fuq at 10:48 PM on August 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


Who describes themselves like that? I wasn't the most coherent writer at the age of 18, myself, but this sounds pulled right off the back of a Sweet Valley High book.

In fairness, the poster did not mention her dazzling blue-green eyes, perfect size six figure, or the matching lavaliere pendant she shares with her twin.
posted by lalex at 10:52 PM on August 11, 2010 [28 favorites]


Speaking of abuses of AskMe

Jesus fuck, guys. I get that there's an admonition and a mea culpa in there, but I can't remember the last time I felt such visceral opposition to a mod call.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:07 PM on August 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Honestly, xbeautychicx, this is kind of a shit-or-get-off-the-pot thing. If you'd rather not wade in over here, that's fine, but it'd be better to just not dip a toe in at all in that case. We're trying awfully hard to give you the benefit of the doubt on what's been a pretty disruptive tenure here and it'd be good if you could meet us halfway there by toning down the drama and refraining from idle poking like this on your end.

Huh.

So when Person A asks a question expecting a presumption of good faith, but the question is instead met with abject cynicism and called out in MetaTalk, and Person A pops in to the MeTa thread to simply acknowledge their awareness of its existence, Person A is doing a bad thing?

I don't get it.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:13 PM on August 11, 2010 [5 favorites]


It had to happen; MeTa was ripe for a roast. Of course I don't mean of a peer. I mean of peaches and Brussels Sprouts
posted by Cranberry at 11:24 PM on August 11, 2010


In response to my comment: internet fraud detective squad, station number 9, I think there's a difference between saying, "My relationship is unusual and I don't care what you think" and "I'm a hot 18 year-old dating a man old enough to be my father and who treats me like shit, how can I change him?" and then say all the DTMF advice is "not taking the question seriously." And then to come back to the same forum a month later and say, "I'm a hot 18-year old engaged to a man old enough to be my father and who treats me like shit, and now his kid is being inappropriate with me. PS his son is only a year younger than me and we're both about to start university," and then saying anyone who's focused on the fact her fiance is angry at her for his son flirting with her, or that she and the son are basically the same age and that's why it's causing problems, is "not taking the question seriously."
posted by canadia at 11:41 PM on August 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


@ canadia- My relationship is unusual and I don't care what you think. (Was I supposed to add the quotation marks?)
posted by xbeautychicx at 11:57 PM on August 11, 2010


Just imagine if your future husband's son was a year or two older. He could have been older than you. I think that would have really delighted the metafilter crowd.
posted by andoatnp at 12:03 AM on August 12, 2010


The ask.mefi Bayes filter needs training every now and then just like any other fuzzy machine. The error handling path of spewing exceptions all over the system logs is not the best behaviour but at least the special case isn't going by unnoticed.
posted by Space Coyote at 12:22 AM on August 12, 2010


Huh. So when Person A asks a question expecting a presumption of good faith, but the question is instead met with abject cynicism and called out in MetaTalk, and Person A pops in to the MeTa thread to simply acknowledge their awareness of its existence, Person A is doing a bad thing?

I think that xbeautychicx has been getting a raw deal here overall, and that ifdssn9 is the voice of wisdom in this particular thread. AskMe questions should be taken in good faith, not dismissed or snarked at just because somebody's Spidey-sense is tingling. That said, xbeautychicx's initial "You guys can have this one" comment was unnecessarily provocative (albeit in response to some pretty provocative commentary from other users), and cortex's response to that specific comment did not seem over-the-top to me.

Honestly, it feels a bit like Shit-on-the-Mods Week around here, and I don't know why people are being like that.

/prescribes hugs for everyone
posted by twirlip at 12:25 AM on August 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Even if we'd totally subscribe to what Canadia says, it would still be a question that can be answered for others' benefit. One of the rare cases where guidelines seem to make sense.
posted by Namlit at 12:28 AM on August 12, 2010


I thought the well analogy was a pretty good one, except this situation is really even worse, because it's more like:

OP: Help, I'm stuck in a well!
MeFites: Climb out of the well!
OP: [Favorites a number of comments that essentially say "Climb out of the well," creating the impression that she agrees that getting out of the well is indeed the best course of action and will be taking steps to climb out of the well.]
[One month later] OP: Y'all, I have chained myself to the bottom of a well. I rather think the walls of the well should be blue instead of brown; do you know how I could get some paint down here?
MeFites: [headdesk]

I believe this is likely the source of much of the frustration people are currently feeling
posted by naoko at 12:34 AM on August 12, 2010 [21 favorites]


Addendum 1: ...which is unfortunate, as xbeautychicx is clearly in an emotionally abusive relationship and I thought we were better at not blaming the victim around here, and I didn't mean to do so.

Addendum 2: And I think most of the reasonable people among us would feel the same way about the situation whether the man in question were 24 or 104. The age difference has no bearing on the guys inherent jerkitude.
posted by naoko at 12:38 AM on August 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Seeing Metatalk isn't some secret backroom, people really shouldn't be suprised that the OP wants her right of reply. Let her have it- it's only fair.
posted by ultrabuff at 12:38 AM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Both those questions read to me like someone who simply likes to tell other people about her personal life, especially when it seems a bit... unusual. A little irritating but hardly a big deal, I'd have thought.
posted by Decani at 12:50 AM on August 12, 2010


I've thought that the Metafilter world was an intellectual and helpful one
@ that, however, hey, we're just a bunch of people with a bunch of opinions. Navigating will be your responsibility. You're welcome to mark the intellectual and helpful answers as faves and ignore the snark. We all do.
posted by Namlit at 12:55 AM on August 12, 2010


this sounds pulled right off the back of a Sweet Valley High book.

Well, to be fair, Elizabeth never would have gotten herself into these kinds of crazy hijinks. And while Jessica definitely could end up with a sugar daddy, the Ivy League was well out of her manicured reach.

So maybe the author decided to combine the girls and save space? Well crafted.
posted by karminai at 1:12 AM on August 12, 2010 [4 favorites]


At least she knows that she isn't gay.
posted by chillmost at 2:06 AM on August 12, 2010


This would go down a lot for ya'll if everyone wasn't so intent on proving her wrong somehow.

Offer some helpful advice, let it go and live your own life.
posted by nomadicink at 3:34 AM on August 12, 2010


I have a question for the mods here or I suppose anyone who can link me to prior position statements on a kind of sub-issue here.

Are we cool with people linking to a user's previous questions, regardless of how relevant they may or may not be, in responses to a current question? It seems to me nadawi took the high road in not pointing anything out directly, and then a lot of other people got the hint and took a less-elevated approach. I'm not saying I think it should be against policy, but it does seem mildly inappropriate / unhelpful to the OP at best.
posted by allkindsoftime at 3:35 AM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Can i just say that while I absolutely feel we should answer questions in AskMe and not go off in rants there, Metas like this one seem inevitable to me with drama-laced situations like that one?

It's only inevitable because a certain portion of the userbase seem determined to see how far they can take the "MeTa gives me an end-run around the rules to not be a complete fuckwad in ask".

intellectual and helpful answers as faves and ignore the snark. We all do.

ask isn't for snark; frustrated snark machines seem to be doing their best to create a a tedious number of MeTa's to vent their unsubstantiated bile, though.
posted by rodgerd at 3:55 AM on August 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


My relationship is unusual and I don't care what you think.

Then why are you asking a bunch of anonymous strangers for advice on it? Repeatedly?
posted by Metroid Baby at 4:11 AM on August 12, 2010 [21 favorites]


Are we cool with people linking to a user's previous questions?

I think it can be helpful, especially when in certain types of questions the OP has recently asked for advice about a problematic situation, ignored the advice, and now is asking about another problem within the same relationship.

Then you can see that maybe, they need more help than they're asking for because they can't seem to get out of a bad relationship and you can helpfully point that out.
posted by dzaz at 4:12 AM on August 12, 2010


I think it can be helpful

What I was trying to say above is that I think nadawi already gave all the "help" we collectively needed to get better insight / perspective. There was no need for the linking. Is it too much to expect people to figure things out on their own? I didn't read further than nadawi's answer before stopping to click on her profile and check the previous question, but maybe I'm an exception. It seems in punchy situations like this one, people should be able to answer without throwing "wait wait wait a minute YOU ASKED THIS MORONIC QUESTION I'M LINKING TO IN BIG WORDS and now you actually expect us to take you seriously here?" in the OP's face. Which, to me, seems to be the only point, once the fairly evident hint is already made.
posted by allkindsoftime at 4:21 AM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


This just gets more and more curious and a lot less peachy.

If I asked for advice on feeding my unicorn and later asked for advice on disposing of rainbow manure, the second question wouldn't make the first question less believable.

If you believed it's possible for this middle-aged white guy with a good job and maybe a little money to land this "very attractive" black teenage girl and promise to marry her but then treat her like shit (maybe because he only wanted to fuck her and feel powerful and show off his virility), the rest would be entirely predictable. The lives of men of his age and profession include teenage sons, divorces, boarding schools, power hangups, questionable dating arrangements, much younger second wives, etc. A teenage boy who was anything like his father would be very likely to flirt with this very attractive girl who suddenly moved into the house, he would never miss a chance to see her undressed if he thought he could make it look accidental, and of course he would deny everything if confronted. (Or he might even actively pursue her, especially if the boy thought the girl was just a gold digger whose attempt to marry his father threatened his own security, and if he thought pursuing her might disrupt things and get rid of her.)

I don't know whether to believe the first story, but the second one follows naturally from the first.
posted by pracowity at 4:25 AM on August 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


did it occur to any of the haters here that she has asked for advice here because she can't either discuss or get it anywhere in meatspace for precisely the kinds of reason you demonstrate?

clearly this presentation triggers a lot of discomfort for some. Secondly by not DTMFA when TOLD REPEATEDLY by a large group of MEFITES (60 favorites means it's solid gold and you must do it advice!) she is being punished it seems for not acknowledging our superiority and wisdom.


as for msali, by the age of 17 I was living independantly in a squat in Lavapies in Madrid with a variety of cross-dressers, prostitutes, and users of all kinds of things because I was too embarrassed to tel the good cathlolic Irish parents back home thast I'd lucked out. I had the most eye-opening experiences happen on an almost daily basis and I still left there a virginal but luckily way better educated 18year old. Going back to Uni in Cork was like decompressing from 10,000 leagues under the sea. I say this because I too considered this might be a troll but decided to give the benfit of the doubt because I've seen set-ups that make these ask-mes pretty normal.

This Mefite has answered quite a few questions for others and participates here. I'm giving her the same courtesy and benefit of the doubt I give to any Mefite I've met in real life, that is, more than I would give Joe Soap. If you can't do that then definitely step away from these questions. But seriously some of the comments have been horrific, I thought we were better than that to be honest.

Let's switch it to some 19 year old boy engaged to a 52 year old woman, and his 17yr old daughter comes home.............. I guarantee you the level of vitriol would have been less and quite different to this "cufflinks" type agression.
posted by Wilder at 4:48 AM on August 12, 2010 [5 favorites]


sorry, :( HER 17yr old daughter comes home, no timewarp intended!
posted by Wilder at 4:50 AM on August 12, 2010


I'm trying to imagine xbcx's father here, and coming up way short. I'm guessing he's not around much.

She'll figure it out in therapy in about 15 years. Until then, go easy on the kid. We all have to learn some lessons the hard way.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:08 AM on August 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


This is a pretty bad display. There's no evidence that xbeautychick or whoever is trolling MeFi -- if she is, she's doing a pretty poor job. I think this is largely a visceral reaction to an apparent relationship that the vast majority of us (myself included) simply cannot understand. Can I imagine respecting a 52 year old man that got engaged to an 18 year old girl? No. Can I imagine going from complaining about my partner being emotionally abusive to engaged in the space of a couple of months? No. But that doesn't mean that weird shit doesn't happen, and it doesn't mean that xbeautychick's questions are fake.

As far as I can tell, xbeautychick's fatal mistake was describing herself as "hot and Ivy league bound" or whatever the phrase was, along with her narcissistic choice of user name. I sometimes think MeFi's open-mindedness about relationships is focused more on the apparently oppressed or downtrodden, with more reflexive snark reserved for those seen to be on the top of the pile. Had her first question been something like "I am an extremely overweight woman insecure in my relationship because my older boyfriend makes hurtful comments", then followed up by this exact same question, I don't the response would have been "oh you're a troll!" I think it would have been "Oh honey, I can't believe you got married to that guy! What were you thinking?", this MeTa thread wouldn't exist, and the level of vitriol would be entirely different.
posted by modernnomad at 5:22 AM on August 12, 2010 [19 favorites]


Guys, Shakespeare already figured this out for us. So chillax, crack a brew and enjoy the show.

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.


Let's examine the possible negative consequences of believing this question is real when it's in fact fake.

-You believe a fictional story by someone on the internet.
-...

Let's examine the possible negative consequences of believing this question is fake when it is in fact real.

-You shit in the thread of someone looking for help.
-You make someone in a difficult situation feel stupid.
-You block off an access point to information for someone in need of assistance.

Regardless of whether or not this particular incident is true or false this is happening somewhere to someone. It might even be happening to a lurker who can't ask about it but still needs help. It might be happening to a lurky user who doesn't want to post and have the snark levelled at them. Your bullshit detector going off doesn't give you license to be a dick. It might actually mean that your background and experience have been really limited and you only know what life looks like in your demographic.
posted by edbles at 5:25 AM on August 12, 2010 [9 favorites]


I see the "Thanks for your help, guys. I'm gonna keep digging" frustration but really them's the breaks with AskMe, right? We Answer The Question.

If she's really living the life she's describing the best we can do is Answer The Question. What she does with those answers isn't our problem.

If she's a troll the best way to defuse it is to Answer The Question.
posted by Skorgu at 5:30 AM on August 12, 2010 [6 favorites]


It had to happen; MeTa was ripe for a roast. Of course I don't mean of a peer. I mean of peaches and Brussels Sprouts

I don't know whether to be offended or relieved.
posted by the littlest brussels sprout at 5:33 AM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


I dated a man who was twice my age for almost three years. He was my first serious relationship, I loved him a lot.. and I posted to askmetafilter about our problems. I was xbeauty's age and my boyfriend was a little younger than her fiance.

There are some crucial differences between myself and xbeauty, but the situation itself is totally familiar and believable to me. When you're dating someone so much older it's thrilling to be seen as a hot young thing. And because it's your first relationship, you don't really get what's so fucked up about the situation. Sure, the age difference is out of the ordinary. But it's difficult to separate the messed up power dynamic and other things-that-make-me-feel-shitty from the age difference, which by itself is not a Bad Thing.
posted by pintapicasso at 5:41 AM on August 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


Are we cool with people linking to a user's previous questions?

In MeTa, it happens. In AskMe it needs to be done more carefully. People need to not be doing it to get in some sort of "Aha!" point and they need to not be dragging up "oh yeah well you were an idiot back then, are you still an idiot" sorts of things. In cases where the OP has been asking a lot of very similar questions, pointing that out is okay though I agree the allcaps THIS IS YOU OMG linking is not so great.

Again folks, no one is making you read these questions. We've talked to the OP. It is not our opinion that this is a blatant troll on the site. That said, there's "this is trolling" and there's "what you seem to be wanting the site to give you is not what it's giving you" and there may be a lot of people, not just the OP, who are finding the latter to be true.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:00 AM on August 12, 2010


This specific situation seems to have been covered now, but it seems like there's been an escalation of bad-faith users, lately, who seem to relish walking the line and acting entirely tone deaf within the Metafilter milieu.

I don't know if that's in fact the case, that there's been any escalation, but I do know it's been a rough week for the mods (they've said as much and it's easy to observe why). Mods, I appreciate you as always and love you for doing a good job. Thanks.
posted by empyrean at 6:01 AM on August 12, 2010


I can't wait to see the metatalk thread where someone complains that the poster didn't take our advice to, like, wallpaper their living room AND THEY KEEP TRYING TO PICK A PAINT COLOR, ARRRRGHHHHH

No one is required to take our advice. If your first response to someone who is being treated very poorly is to decide that they don't DESERVE any more advice or, fuck, even any more kindness or basic empathy, because you already fixed their problem a few weeks ago by favoriting an answer that sounded good to you...you need to check your ego.

Besides, if you're so SHOCKED! by the OP's situation that you think it might not even be real, you are very, very unqualified to answer the question.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 6:05 AM on August 12, 2010 [16 favorites]


This specific situation seems to have been covered now, but it seems like there's been an escalation of bad-faith users, lately, who seem to relish walking the line and acting entirely tone deaf within the Metafilter milieu.

This attitude has been making me crazy lately. Not everyone is good at articulating their problems, not everyone shares the same values you do. When you see someone post inarticulately or someone who ignores in thread advice, it’s not necessarily a bad faith user trying to fuck with you. It’s someone who doesn’t communicate clearly or possibly someone with different values. Surely you encounter these people in your workaday world? The most common thing I’ve found with these callouts is that the asker is a TEENAGER. You know that phase you go through when you engage in adult activities without a fully formed prefrontal cortex? That one?
posted by edbles at 6:08 AM on August 12, 2010 [14 favorites]


I suppose another thing I don't like so much about these types of MeTa threads (not just for this user but for a few specific others I need not name), is that they are the internet equivalent of walking in on the in-group having a hushed conversation about YOU and what a freak you are. Check that - more like walking in on the entire cafeteria loudly having the conversation. That's not to say there's much that can be done about it, it just is what it is. But it is not nice.

Frankly I think xbeautychickx's reaction goes above and beyond what could typically be expected of someone in such a situation.
posted by allkindsoftime at 6:17 AM on August 12, 2010 [11 favorites]


this sounds pulled right off the back of a Sweet Valley High book.

Well, to be fair, Elizabeth never would have gotten herself into these kinds of crazy hijinks. And while Jessica definitely could end up with a sugar daddy, the Ivy League was well out of her manicured reach.


I disagree! Elizabeth was quite arrogant and proud of herself, I think she'd looooove to date someone that old and lord it over everyone she knows how mature and wonderful her relationship. I mean, hello, Todd Wilkins was basically that guy, minus actually being old.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:22 AM on August 12, 2010 [6 favorites]


When you see someone post inarticulately or someone who ignores in thread advice, it’s not necessarily a bad faith user trying to fuck with you.

I agree. There's usually more obvious indications. How you interpret them is up to you, though. Whether or not this particular user is posting in bad faith is anyone's guess. You're right. So I'll amend my comment: there seems to have been an increase in posts & comments that generate controversy about whether or not they've been made in bad faith lately. Reserving judgment on whether or not that is the case, I appreciate the enormous amount of work it takes to handle these situations and I appreciate the mods for doing so.
posted by empyrean at 6:39 AM on August 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


There's a certain amount of understandable frustration that comes from the OP coming to AskMe for validation rather than answers.

It's like asking "Hey, whenever I put my hand on an open burner, I get this unbearably painful tingling sensation. How can I fix it?," and then dismissing answers that say "Take your hand away from the burner" as not "taking her question seriously."

Yes, the nature of the beast that is AskMe is simple--questions are asked and answered. But isn't there a social contract in place, too--a certain responsibility to be open to all kinds of answers, not just the ones you're looking for?
posted by litnerd at 6:42 AM on August 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


If Rush Limbaugh can celebrate his fourth wedding, then I can believe anything.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:43 AM on August 12, 2010


I can't wait to see the metatalk thread where someone complains that the poster didn't take our advice to, like, wallpaper their living room AND THEY KEEP TRYING TO PICK A PAINT COLOR, ARRRRGHHHHH

Because that's so perfectly analogous to this situation.

I wouldn't say Xbeautychicx doesn't "deserve" advice or basic empathy, but the needs and rights of the individual always must be balanced against that of the community. The mods haven't deleted this question and they've tried to keep the thread clean and get us to answer it reasonably. And I think we MeFites do need to try to answer her question in good faith or leave it alone. There will inevitably be some speculation as to whether she's real and/or gaming us. I don't personally believe the questions are fake or that she's gaming us, but it's not like those who question her veracity are so out of left field as long as they try to be respectful about it.

But xbeautychickx, for her part, needs to understand that whenever she posts about problems in her relationship with this man, she is going to be told that she needs to break up with him because, from our perspective, that's the only reasonable course of action. And that she probably won't be allowed to a dozen question on this same subject, because that's a misuse of AskMe.
posted by orange swan at 6:44 AM on August 12, 2010 [4 favorites]


This specific situation seems to have been covered now, but it seems like there's been an escalation of bad-faith users, lately, who seem to relish walking the line and acting entirely tone deaf within the Metafilter milieu.

I wish we could all agree to retire the phrase "tone deaf" as a put-down of comments or posts in Metafilter. It seems to be short for: "I can't articulate any specific problem with what you wrote, but ... well, I just don't like it, so you shouldn't have posted it." But why would you expect all users of the site to conform their postings to what you want to hear?

Any regular reader of this site is occasionally going to come across situations or commentary they don't find congenial. The best solution, if you don't like seeing those things on the site, is not to have an uproar in the thread + MetaTalk. The only solutions are (1) ignore it and put your contributions somewhere else on the site, or (2) give some kind of rational, objective analysis of what you consider to be the error in whatever statement is bothering you. Calling someone "bad faith" or "tone-deaf," or having 50 different users announce that they're just not happy with the thread or the user, does not accomplish this.
posted by Jaltcoh at 6:53 AM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


But isn't there a social contract in place, too--a certain responsibility to be open to all kinds of answers, not just the ones you're looking for?

No. It's probably usually in the asker's best interest, but there's absolutely no mandate on ask that you actually follow the advice. It puzzles me that you think there is. It's advice from bored strangers on the Internet, not a court order.
posted by edbles at 6:53 AM on August 12, 2010 [6 favorites]


Being "open" to different kinds of advice is not the same thing as having to act on it, edbles.
posted by orange swan at 6:57 AM on August 12, 2010


I wish we could all agree to retire the phrase "tone deaf" as a put-down of comments or posts in Metafilter. It seems to be short for: "I can't articulate any specific problem with what you wrote, but ... well, I just don't like it, so you shouldn't have posted it." But why would you expect all users of the site to conform their postings to what you want to hear?

Actually "tone deaf" seems to mean "Isn't familiar with the norms rules, conventions and long list of political equivocations and excuses you have to type into the beginning of every question not to have people go chicken shit crazy in your thread over decisions you make that don't conform to their expectations of a healthy lifestyle." So it is a specific callout, but the more accurate comparison is n00b.
posted by edbles at 7:01 AM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


it seems like there's been an escalation of bad-faith users, lately, who seem to relish walking the line and acting entirely tone deaf within the Metafilter milieu.

They're just new and sometimes they're goofing and then they meet the MEFI R SRS BZNS patrol and either get the message or don't. There are a LOT of newer users lately, not all of whom can be expected to sort of grok the way things work here. There's no reason to give them a hard time unless you feel that they're repeatedly not getting the message.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:14 AM on August 12, 2010 [5 favorites]


Actually "tone deaf" seems to mean "Isn't familiar with the norms rules, conventions and long list of political equivocations and excuses you have to type into the beginning of every question not to have people go chicken shit crazy in your thread over decisions you make that don't conform to their expectations of a healthy lifestyle." So it is a specific callout, but the more accurate comparison is n00b.

That's a good point. But I don't think it should be the poster's responsibility to have a "long list of political equivocations and excuses" in order to prevent other people from flying off the handle. So, to the extent that people are using "tone deaf" to mean your specific definition, I still disagree with it.

However, there's no assurance that people are using it with your definition in mind. I agree with you that some people seem to think that certain situations and questions and views need to be prefaced by 10 different caveats and disclaimers in order to protect the delicate sensibilities of Mefites (which is pretty close to a ban on such statements, since almost no one is going to bother to do that). But all that can really be said about "tone deaf" is that it means, "Hey, I don't like reading what you're writing, so stop writing it."
posted by Jaltcoh at 7:16 AM on August 12, 2010


I suppose another thing I don't like so much about these types of MeTa threads (not just for this user but for a few specific others I need not name), is that they are the internet equivalent of walking in on the in-group having a hushed conversation about YOU and what a freak you are. Check that - more like walking in on the entire cafeteria loudly having the conversation. That's not to say there's much that can be done about it, it just is what it is. But it is not nice.

Yeah, I think this sucks.

Whenever I see these the first thing I generally do is send a memail that says, "You see this?" with a link. As a common curtesy I think that this should be mandatory. Instead of "Etiquette/Policy" it should be clearly labeled for what it is "Callout" and to proceed with this you have to put in a username and that person gets automatically notified.

A disclaimer that say, "Most likely people will not agree with you, these things seldom go well, chances are you'll be better served by stepping away, sympathy will probably end with the person you're calling out, and you'll end up looking like an asshole. Do you wish to proceed?" would cut way down on these post.

In the recent SAotB callout I asked if anyone had told her there was a thread and a couple people basically said, "She knows where this part of the site is." Sure, but unless you are setting out to try to make metatalk why would you think you would have? Why would you even bother looking? I doubt that one would have gone any better with her than without, but at least she would have had the option.

I'm guessing if I ever have a call out it won't go well. It's going to go way less well if I don't find out about it until after all the cool kids have had their say. In fact, I am pretty sure my first contribution to such a thread will be a profanity laced diatribe (the severity determined more or less depending on how long the thread has been going on without me). I see this as a rational response.

Conjecture, speculation, accusations, and obnoxious snark are the norm for these threads. If the person being called out has to wade through five screens of these, before getting to respond, to expect a positive attitude is expecting more than most people can deliver. To have to primary party missing his own party is a disservice if the purpose is to address behavior. If it's a poo flinging expedition then by all means keep things the way they are.

I have a handful of shit.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:20 AM on August 12, 2010 [5 favorites]


Strange that this somewhat related anonymous post has the same specific punctuation mistake - no space between word and "(", as seen in xbeautychicx's posts.

Example from anonymous post:
I even directly asked him for a little help with my rent(so I wouldn't get evicted) he promised

Example from xbeautychicx's posts:

I've recently moved in with my fiancé(hey we worked it out) and things were going incredibly smooth and peachy



And xbeautychicx was helpful enough to answer that anonymous post.
posted by foggy out there now at 7:21 AM on August 12, 2010 [8 favorites]


The judgment brigade in AskMe is, as always, on patrol to keep our morals straight. Yeah, people live different lives. I have trouble, myself, believing in people who've never gotten drunk, never done any illegal drugs, never broken the law in any way, never had a tangled crazy relationship or a one night stand. People who believe there is a whole brigade of experts standing by who can step in and fix everything because it's just like that on TV. People who stayed with their two biological parents in a nice manicured house in the American suburbs, studying and playing, possibly, non violent video games until they went to college where they lost their virginity sophomore year in a completely appropriate relationship (using condoms and a lengthy and detailed conversation on what exactly they each wanted.) After college they got a nice 60K a year job, got married and nothing, nothing has ever marred the shiny surface of their beautiful and correct lives because, see, they have played by the rules all along and thus been rewarded. I do not believe in these people at all because they are completely nonexistent in my real life, but they must exist because damn, ask or say something mildly controversial on AskMe and we will hear from them in all their outraged rectitude.

I had no trouble believing in xbeautychicx' first question. This one, hmmm, well, yeah, it seems kind of contrived but hey, sometimes life is like that. But I have no experience in fending off the teenage sons of my older lovers (some dramas are spared one, thank the gods) so, you know, I'm just not going to answer the question and I think that's okay.
posted by mygothlaundry at 7:23 AM on August 12, 2010 [13 favorites]


When I join a community, ANY community, I make an effort to understand the milieu. I pay attention to the stylistic conventions, the social mores, the user expectations. I do my best to look up common in-jokes and references or ask people, depending on if it's in person or online.

This serves two purposes: it gives me an idea about whether that community is one that I will enjoy and to which I will make a positive contribution, and it ALSO makes sure that I won't come across as a graceless fucking moron who can't fit in.

I have never and will never understand the attitude that it is too much to ask for people to make an effort that requires only a modicum of civilized self-restraint and, in the case of internet communities, use of a search engine.
posted by winna at 7:24 AM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


And xbeautychicx was helpful enough to answer that anonymous post.

The dates don't match, the anonymous question was posted on the 8/8 and the next question was posted on the 8/11. That's less than a week.

Of course her being framed for murder of her fiancé, only to be exonerated by houseboat detective Travis McGee, I'm calling bullshit.
posted by geoff. at 7:33 AM on August 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Needs and rights of the community? Social contract?

We're not talking about someone dumping carcinogenic pesticides in the metafilter watershed. We're talking about someone posting TWO questions, which are very different, about strange and stressful situations.

This isn't even someone asking the same question over and over!
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 7:34 AM on August 12, 2010 [7 favorites]


This serves two purposes: it gives me an idea about whether that community is one that I will enjoy and to which I will make a positive contribution, and it ALSO makes sure that I won't come across as a graceless fucking moron who can't fit in.

Sometimes when I assemble Ikea furniture I Don't Even Look At the Instructions.
posted by edbles at 7:35 AM on August 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


Of course if her next post has her framed for murder ...
posted by geoff. at 7:35 AM on August 12, 2010


> The dates don't match, the anonymous question was posted on the 8/8 and the next question was posted on the 8/11. That's less than a week.

Yep. I saw that, unless there's sockpuppetry. I thought it odd enough to mention.
posted by foggy out there now at 7:37 AM on August 12, 2010


Lots of new users - is this due to the Fake Russian publicity? Just normal growth?
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 7:37 AM on August 12, 2010


The dates don't match, the anonymous question was posted on the 8/8 and the next question was posted on the 8/11. That's less than a week.

I don't think that would stop someone from posting, because Anonymous questions don't "count" against your account for the week limit the way normal questions do.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:40 AM on August 12, 2010


I have always argued that any question, no matter how weird, should always be assumed to be real and all efforts to answer it should be in good faith. If the question doesn't feel right, walk away.

That said, I actually kind of hope that xbeautychickx is making all this up. Because if she isn't, she's in an ugly situation and is steadfastly refusing to see that fact. In my heart, I'd prefer to believe that she's just fucking with all of us for the fun of it.

But if I had an answer to the question, I'd offer it without judgement. Because that's the point of the site, and someone who isn't screwing around, but is in a similar situation, might see it one day.
posted by quin at 7:45 AM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Doing detective work to figure out the author of anonymous AskMe questions seems a bit uncool.
posted by Catseye at 7:46 AM on August 12, 2010 [13 favorites]


I've seen this happen enough in real life, too. (Not the "teenager engaged to a guy nearly thrice her age" scenario, though that doesn't seem terribly farfetched to me.) Someone in a crummy relationship will ask everyone they know for advice, friends or strangers or both - either because they're genuinely lost, or they want someone to tell them that what they're doing is okay, or because it's the biggest most challenging thing going on in their life and it's the first thing they want to talk about, or because verbally laying it out for someone helps them, or whatever. And they get a consensus of "seriously, run."

And the asker either resists, thinking "you don't understand the situation and you don't think I'm smart enough to make my own decisions," or "I wasn't really asking for a answer, I just wanted to talk," or sometimes they think "hmm, they're probably right," but leaving is really hard and there's still a chance it might blow over and there are still enough good times to justify staying, at least for a little while.

So they stay, and then things get better for a little bit, and then things get worse, and they seek advice again, and the answers are the same, but a little more frustrated because the person seeking advice didn't listen the first time and probably won't listen this time, and the more this happens, the more frustrated both asker and advice-givers get, and it becomes its own cycle of drama.

The more you witness this happening, the quicker you sniff out this sort of situation, and the less patience you have. And, unfortunately, on AskMe it's public and written and impersonal, which can turn things ugly fast.

I don't think xbeautychicx is a troll or intentionally using the site in bad faith. I do think she's pushing people's "grar you're not gonna listen anyway" buttons, and as a result she's getting defensive, and the reactions from both sides are understandable, but don't really reflect well on anyone.

I also think there are a lot of communities - online and off - that would be better at providing xbeautychicx with the conversation and support and room to vent that she might be looking for. (Not so much completely different people from the people here, just a different environment where that sort of thing is encouraged.) I don't think she should leave here, it's just getting through situations like these aren't always best handled in a straightforward question and answer format.
posted by Metroid Baby at 7:47 AM on August 12, 2010 [15 favorites]


I have never and will never understand the attitude that it is too much to ask for people to make an effort that requires only a modicum of civilized self-restraint

I'm sorry, but it doesn't seem like civilized self-restraint to imply that someone is a "graceless fucking moron" because they posted two questions in an advice forum that happened to strain the limits of some people's credulity.

Looking at some of the answers xbeautychicx has provided in other threads, she doesn't seem all that tone deaf to me. Her persona seems consistent over time, and her answers are no better or worse than the majority of others.

I thought her questions were a little far out but per the policy as I understand it we're supposed to answer in good faith or ignore it and move on. We can't know if any question is real or not and calling somebody out is not going to change that. Has anybody ever 'fessed up as a result?

Public shaming seems a little barbaric. The mods have email if they need to be made aware of truly disruptive members.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 7:52 AM on August 12, 2010 [4 favorites]


Doing detective work to figure out the author of anonymous AskMe questions seems a bit uncool.

You're right, it was uncool. I'm sorry.
posted by foggy out there now at 8:01 AM on August 12, 2010


Being aware enough to offer very sensible advice does not automatically equal being able to 'take your own advice.'

Case in point, I'm sometimes known to drop into an AskMe and say something along the lines of, 'yes, go to a doctor now!' but a few months ago I had a terrible terrible flu (this little piggy went....) but being super super poor I wanted someone to validate my wait and see approach.

I knew I needed medical attention, but I wasn't prepared to treat myself with the respect and tenderness required to get me to the urgent care center.

That is, until the kind folks on the green twisted my arm.

What I'm trying to say is this: beauty probably has a lot more going on than any of us can guess. She might even tell a good friend in a similar situation to get out now. But for whatever reason, her sense of her own agency in this situation is on hiatus, or not fully developed. I still believe she's doing the best she can with the information she has.

Seriously, who among us can honestly say we always appreciated and followed the advice we needed at 19? A show of hands?

I thought so.
posted by bilabial at 8:01 AM on August 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Strange that this somewhat related anonymous post has the same specific punctuation mistake

you're joking(right) ?
posted by desjardins at 8:04 AM on August 12, 2010 [6 favorites]


As far as I can tell, xbeautychick's fatal mistake was describing herself as "hot and Ivy league bound" or whatever the phrase was, along with her narcissistic choice of user name. I sometimes think MeFi's open-mindedness about relationships is focused more on the apparently oppressed or downtrodden, with more reflexive snark reserved for those seen to be on the top of the pile. Had her first question been something like "I am an extremely overweight woman insecure in my relationship because my older boyfriend makes hurtful comments", then followed up by this exact same question, I don't the response would have been "oh you're a troll!" I think it would have been "Oh honey, I can't believe you got married to that guy! What were you thinking?", this MeTa thread wouldn't exist, and the level of vitriol would be entirely different.

I'm not really sure that's the case. I think it's this attitude that's made this cross the line from a few people speculating about fabricated questions to a much more frustrated, general response:

Lastly,I thanked helpful posters who took my question seriously by actually answering my question at hand. I don't mind taking advice I don't necessarily wish to hear but usually I just glance over(and dismiss) disrespect. I'm quite aware with of the concern and warnings but I didn't for advice about that for the obvious.

That kind of attitude/approach has been present in a bunch of the problematic repeat questioners I can think of: the person posts a question about a fairly serious or out of the ordinary problem, members try to answer it in good faith and express concern about the situation... and then the next question pops up, inextricably linked to the first question, but it's clear that the asker plans to ignore what almost everyone says, particularly when people mention that the questions/problems are connected. In this case, poster says explicitly that they will "glance over, [dismiss, and] disrespect" those members' comments. People get a little emotionally invested in answering questions, and so it is frustrating for them to hear the asker say that they intend to glance over and ignore any challenging answer. This is doubly the case when it seems really probable that the whole thing'll be repeated until the original poster starts to consider those suggestions they dismissed. Heck, that's not an AskMe thing, that's true of people in real life too, but in a (sub)site devoted to questions and answers, not venting, the attitude is a particularly bad fit.

Plus, there's this:

And there will be a possible 'peach' reference in any post I see fit(heads up).

I don't think this kid's a troll, but she definitely sounds like a teenager. When made aware of something that a handful of people found a little odd/annoying, she defiantly declares she'll keep doing it, dammit. It's this attitude and the explicit I'll-ignore-answers-that-don't-tell-me-what-I-want-to-hear thing (and not the details from the first question) that I fear guarantee we'll see her back in the grey at some point, quite possibly with regards to another question related to her relationship. But I hope I'm wrong: I wish her the best, and good luck starting college.
posted by ubersturm at 8:08 AM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Lots of new users - is this due to the Fake Russian publicity? Just normal growth?

Inflation. These are all people who looked at the site before but said to themselves, "Nah, I think that's only worth $4.81."
posted by XMLicious at 8:11 AM on August 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


To be fair, ubersturm, I believe that when xbeautychix said "usually I just glance over(and dismiss) disrespect", she meant that she dismisses answers that she considers disrespectful, not that she disrespects answers that she doesn't want to hear.
posted by orange swan at 8:12 AM on August 12, 2010 [6 favorites]


Inflation. These are all people who looked at the site before but said to themselves, "Nah, I think that's only worth $4.81."

And we Canadians are the ones who thought the site was worth $5.23 (by today's Bank of Canada rate).;-)
posted by orange swan at 8:16 AM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Fair enough, the syntax made that a little hard to parse. (But it looks like many/most "answers I don't want to hear" get tossed into the "disrespect" pile, so I'm not really sure that reinterpreting that phrase really alters my point.)
posted by ubersturm at 8:19 AM on August 12, 2010


I'm excited for the next question where it turns out she falls in love with the son but he wants her to go to Coney Island at midnight to interview for a job dancing in a mosque!
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:20 AM on August 12, 2010 [11 favorites]


orange swan: Is this disrespect thinger the comment you were referring to when you were talking about being open in the the thread? I thought that her comment was in reference to the posters who were saying things like, "This again?! Just dump him."
posted by edbles at 8:23 AM on August 12, 2010


Lots of new users - is this due to the Fake Russian publicity? Just normal growth?

Normal growth in terms of raw signups, maybe a sort of an anomalous spike in specifically not-lurking-enough or button-pushing users. I don't think there's anything systemically weird going on on that front, just a little bit of a weird patch all at once.

Maybe its astrological whackadoo from the onset of Perseid.

The lurking thing is important, and I think comes to the center of what folks have argued both sides of last night and this morning: there's no requirement or reasonable expectation that someone will come new into this community knowing every little nuance or sensing every subtle ley line of community practice, and so we all need to remember to be a little generous whenever possible about stumbles and etiquette and such and focus more on making the situation better than on making someone directly regret that stumble. Guidance, explanation, restraint: all good things here.

That said, it's also understandable for people who have put in the time to become familiar with how this place works to be bothered when someone new shows up and seems to be kind of noisily, blatantly Not Getting It in one respect or another. Being frustrated by that sort of thing is fine, and calling out, with care and restraint, the things that are problematic and trying to be explicit about why it's causing a problem is pretty much okay.

In an ideal world, everybody would read the shit out of metafilter before they signed up and a lot of these problems wouldn't occur. We don't live in that ideal world, and so we will have new people come to the site without a clear sense of the place because they're attracted not by the community qua the community but by the functional reputation the place may have as a source of answers (or cool links/discussion, or musical sharing, or...).

Sometimes they're going to deal with it badly, and to the extent that each of us as individuals can try not to get cheesed off when the "new person stumbles, people push back, new person reacts poorly to the pushback" cycle, I think that helps keep things in the territory of bumpy misunderstanding instead of escalating into mutually unpleasant combative stuff. This thread is a mixed bag and I'd really sort of prefer that it hadn't happened at all because I'm still not convinced it's helping anything, in part because it's evidencing some of that escalation in action and it's hard to really steer that away from happening once it gets going.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:25 AM on August 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


There are a LOT of newer users lately, not all of whom can be expected to sort of grok the way things work here.

Fair enough, but maybe there is also a degree to which "the way things work here" should change with a massive influx of new users. It seems natural to me that the size of the community will affect how it functions. Both Cortex's comment about giving the OP the "benefit of the doubt" and your comment about new users "not getting the message" seems to indicate that you (mods) think, in this case at least, that the user should adapt to the site—and I don't see that. If it's a troll, that's one thing. But if this is just MetaFilter being typically unable to behave itself around somebody with different values, then it's a site problem.

If we're going to tell Republicans and gay-marriage opponents and sugar babies and all the rest that, hey, MetaFilter is the way it is and you just have to deal with the fact that being open about your opinions is "disruptive" to the site, I guess there's realism to that. But it doesn't strike me as being very cool, especially if you're going to take their five bucks.
posted by cribcage at 8:30 AM on August 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


I feel like I'm watching Legally Blonde, or maybe Who's Harry Crumb?, or yeah, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure. No way.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 8:35 AM on August 12, 2010


so we spend lots of time and effort here telling people to love themselves and be proud of their bodies and xbcx says as an introduction to why it's mystifying her that this man is not treating her as she would expect that "she's hot and going to an Ivy league College". I completely get why this teenager would be surprised that the things she's expecting out of life aren't coming to her. She appears to have got the luck of the draw in brains and beauty but this is exactly the age when people see that the challenges of life don't always end up going your way.
It's a very hard lesson to learn especially when you think you can hack it and feel more mature than your age.

I'm looking forward to the 20th anniversay meet-up when xbcx attends with or without a kid, with or without a partner, with or without the degree/job she really wanted and we shoot the breeze and she's all like "remember that time you guys gave me a roasting? I was SOOO intent on proving you all wrong, so I just carried on...by the way, meet Peach, she's coming on 9 soon!... and anyways so.... and we laugh ( about my zimmerframe getting in the way of my toke, my aversion to Portobello mushrooms, her experiemnts with polyamory, cat declawing, circumcising little Peach....)

yeah, I'll start saving for that one now
posted by Wilder at 8:41 AM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Both Cortex's comment about giving the OP the "benefit of the doubt" and your comment about new users "not getting the message" seems to indicate that you (mods) think, in this case at least, that the user should adapt to the site—and I don't see that.

Just so I know where you're coming from on this, do you feel that users should not be expected to attend to and adapt to site culture in general or are you speaking specifically to this user? If it's the former, I guess we're bound to disagree and I can only say see my previous comment for my take on it, but if there are specifics here that you want to talk about I'm cool with that.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:42 AM on August 12, 2010


But it doesn't strike me as being very cool, especially if you're going to take their five bucks.

That is absolutely not what we're saying. However, there's a joint responsibility for the site to be decent to new users and the new users having some idea of what sort of site this is and how to interact with people and whether they want to be here. Some people stay here despite the fact that it's not the site they want. Okay then. But if you hate the "should I eat it?" questions, they're not going away. Lump it.

There are a lot of places to go talk with people on the internet or even get your questions answered. If you're here, there are certain things that you should know about how the place typically operates. I think what we're seeing is a bit of fragmentation in how the people who make up the community think it works. Stuff like

- how much sarcasm is okay?
- how much [what we call] threadshitting type behavior should be tolerated?
- how much creative typing/spelling/typography is okay?

And really, pretending that there aren't norms is misguided. Saying the norms are, at all times, inflexible is also stupid. Some people will lose their shit when people use @reply terminology. Others use it all the time whether people care or not. Most people don't use it here. That's true. Whether other users shouldn't use it is more of an open question.

And as far as AskMe, types of questions tend towards a norm. Gun questions don't go well, though there is a small group of educated gun owners here who give great advice. Does this mean you shouldn't ask questions about handguns? No, but they might be bumpy. Same with non-traditional relationship questions, which is what we're seeing. The OMG crowd needs to cool it, the OP needs to realize that her situation is well outside the norm. No one is getting the perfect website they want. We muddle forward.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:50 AM on August 12, 2010 [7 favorites]


Fair enough, the syntax made that a little hard to parse. (But it looks like many/most "answers I don't want to hear" get tossed into the "disrespect" pile, so I'm not really sure that reinterpreting that phrase really alters my point.)

I agree that it doesn't alter your point — I don't know what xbeautychicx classifies as "disrespect", and perhaps she does dismiss advice that is quite diplomatically worded and reasonable because she's determined to stay with this man.
posted by orange swan at 8:58 AM on August 12, 2010


People get a little emotionally invested in answering questions, and so it is frustrating for them to hear the asker say that they intend to glance over and ignore any challenging answer.

That's not what she wrote. She said she was fine with getting advice she wasn't necessarily asking for, but she was going to ignore disrespectful answers. This is not a crazy or unusual idea. It's not too much to ask that she be treated as a human being, capable of making her own decisions, however bad you or I may think they are.

I don't think this kid's a troll, but she definitely sounds like a teenager. When made aware of something that a handful of people found a little odd/annoying, she defiantly declares she'll keep doing it, dammit.

That shouldn't be surprising, as knocking her for using peach twice is childish, small minded and needlessly nitpicky in a casual forum. Of course she's going to say "fuck you", what 18 year old wouldn't?

Her life and the decisions she makes are her own. You guys need to ask yourself this: "Do you want to possibly help the girl or is this all about telling her wrong she is?"
posted by nomadicink at 9:17 AM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Here's what bothers me about xbeautychickx, who seems real enough if not entirely accurate in her self descriptions -- the irritation of being asked to assist with a relationship that seems to be all about exploitation, of her youth, her looks, her apparent lack of much education or outside resources, and her apparent belief that the role of women is to be sexually available to men in hopes of a reward like gifts or money. She is of course entitled to make her choices, as anyone is, but I'm not willing to validate them.

But hey, if less people felt the need to jump in and respond to xbeautychickx's repeated requests that we support her choices, there'd be less repetitive askme questions from her, wouldn't there?
posted by bearwife at 9:18 AM on August 12, 2010 [7 favorites]


Metroid Baby writes "Then why are you asking a bunch of anonymous strangers for advice on it? Repeatedly?"

I can ignore the opinions of the motorheads down the block about my choice of pink and chrome as colours for my truck yet still solicit advice from them on how to rebuild my engine.

ThePinkSuperhero writes "I don't think that would stop someone from posting, because Anonymous questions don't 'count' against your account for the week limit the way normal questions do."

Specifically there is a technical limitation preventing regular then anon questions within one week but not anon then regular.
posted by Mitheral at 9:21 AM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Specifically there is a technical limitation preventing regular then anon questions within one week but not anon then regular.

Exactly. This is the sort of thing that rarely comes up, but since anon questions are anon to the system, we can't tell if you ask an anon question and then a regular one within a week. That said we'll still, in most cases, remove this sort of thing if we see it.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:23 AM on August 12, 2010


But hey, if less people felt the need to jump in and respond to xbeautychickx's repeated requests that we support her choices, there'd be less repetitive askme questions from her, wouldn't there?

Only if she's a troll who's just here for the attention she can get and disturbance she can cause, and I don't think she is.
posted by orange swan at 9:50 AM on August 12, 2010


Just so I know where you're coming from on this, do you feel that users should not be expected to attend to and adapt to site culture in general or are you speaking specifically to this user? If it's the former, I guess we're bound to disagree

It's some of both. I may have been unclear, partly because I'm trying not to speak directly about this user since you and Jessamyn indicated that there might be something up; I don't think you say such things lightly, so I don't want to wade in that direction. So I guess I'm trying to divorce this particular problem from this particular user, and speak more generally. It seems to me this type of problem has occurred before—for instance, the AskMe thread where a girl asked advice about dating a leech (and MeFites ended up posting the guy's MySpace, which is a separate issue).

Jessamyn raises two types of issues: conventions (sarcasm, typography, etc.) and site politics (gun questions). I agree that people should lurk first and conform to conventions. The site would be a nonfunctional mess otherwise. But politics, I think, should be expected to adapt to a large influx of new users. To take Jessamyn's example, gun questions should be expected to go better and there should be less tolerance for the sort of behavior that makes them go bad. To take this example: As the membership increases and tries to broaden, MetaFilter needs to be expected to react differently to the idea that an 18-year-old girl would marry a 51-year-old guy. If the simple fact of that relationship creates a "disruption" apart from any on-site misbehavior, then it's the site that should adapt and not the user. Because that large influx of new users is going to include people who date leeches, and people who date sugardaddies, and people who like guns.
posted by cribcage at 9:55 AM on August 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


I've thought that the Metafilter world was an intellectual and helpful one.

It is, which is why you should be especially careful what you wish for when it comes to advice here. As Ann Lamott reminds us in Bird By Bird, the truth is a hard apple to throw, and it's also a hard apple to catch.
posted by hermitosis at 9:56 AM on August 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Ah, I hear you, cribcage. I'd put my take on it like this: new users should adapt to site conventions, and attend to site politics.

The former is basic community etiquette—learn how things are, specific content aside, done in a place so that you can get along there in your daily interactions with other users without generating unnecessary friction.

The latter is more street-smarts, and isn't a "you must agree with/be like this" idea so much as a "you should try and take the temperature around here on any given potentially contentious subject and approach the subject in a way that minimizes fuss whenever possible" thing. Nobody should have to adapt their personal politics to the site, but knowing when you're presenting a stance that's not particularly popular and being cautious in how you present that is a really good survival skill.

When that goes badly or doesn't happen, it tends to be kind of crappy on both sides, which is a problem that I wish I had a good solution to but it's I think one of the great intractable difficulties of large groups of people: it only takes a small fraction of them dealing poorly with that kind of cultural/political/ideological clash to make for a crappy interaction or situation. It's absolutely something that people on the Reacting To A Violation Of Cultural/Political/Ideological Expectations side of the equation need to work on.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:14 AM on August 12, 2010


Attention-seeking trolls can have actual problems too. Or so I'm told.
posted by jfuller at 10:19 AM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


And that she probably won't be allowed to a dozen question on this same subject, because that's a misuse of AskMe.

Like the 'I'm struggling with my sexuality' phrased six different ways? That's only a hlaf-dozen, but you get the idea.
posted by fixedgear at 10:37 AM on August 12, 2010


Pretty much precisely like that, yes. We've been doing our best to actively work with that user to curtail the situation, specifically because it began to look like a problematic overuse.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:39 AM on August 12, 2010


If Rush Limbaugh can celebrate his fourth wedding, then I can believe anything.

Fourth wedding: nothing. Elton John singing for a right-wing blow-hard? Bizarre. (Even the Daily Mail thought so! Yes, that Daily Mail!)
posted by filthy light thief at 11:21 AM on August 12, 2010


Nobody here, mods, defenders or detractors alike seem to be addressing the crux of the matter, and why this post was problematic.

This was a stunt post. Pure and simple. It was written to maximize stuntiness.

Writing about an May December relationship? Some people may not like it, but it's a topic that should be responded to with respect. A vaguely creepy reverse-Graduate scenario involving advances from multiple family members? I'm not passing judgement; if I had something helpful or insightful to write on such a matter I would, but I'm afraid that I don't.

But the title of the post -- "How do I make this kid go away?" -- and the wording of the question seems to deliberately detract from and omit an absolutely crucial element of the problem being addressed in such a way that the post is designed to provoke a reaction. It's egregious that the poster didn't mention that the "teenage stepson" is 17 and the "potential stepmom" is just-turned-19. That's *clearly* a dynamic that plays into the question at hand, that one would expect even the least self-aware person would realize is crucial and would either represent or make anonymous to hide.

As it stands, it's a bait and switch. One reading the question the way it's worded, without prior knowledge of xbeautychicx's earlier question, would naturally assume that this is a young man with a crush on an older woman (or possibly older man) in a pending position of authority, which is a difficult and troubling question. Upon learning that this is a young man who is inappropriately hitting on his father's fiancee who is *roughly his age* and the poster has omitted that crucial fact takes it into, as per the title of this thread, "OH COME ON" territory. This is a circumstance where one truly can't believe that the poster wouldn't have considered the age similarity as being a component of the question, and where the question seems designed so that one would click through and uncover the highly melodramatic truth to ratchet up the drama. The other little embellishments make it all the more ridiculous.

jessamyn, cortex, removing a MetaTalk thread that expressed reasonable doubt and skepticism at something stunty, while leaving all of the stuntiness in place, really doesn't seem like good policy. That earlier MetaTalk thread may not have been well articulated but it was clearly a "What on earth is this?" post of incredulity and a legitimate topic.

My personal feeling is that incredulity, skepticism and reasonable doubt is warranted here. Please don't censor reasonable incredulity. Please don't censor reasonable skepticism. Please don't censor reasonable doubt. These are things we need, even if expressed with a sarcastic or vaguely angry tone. Otherwise, the moderation style you've adopted will advocate for sophisticated trolls and not unsophisticated but genuine commenters. The latter are certainly your more valuable community members.
posted by I EAT TAPAS at 11:44 AM on August 12, 2010 [7 favorites]


This was a stunt post. Pure and simple. It was written to maximize stuntiness.

And you say this on what authority and evidence?

I'm not denying that this could be a stunt post. But I think that until we have some sort of definite proof we should avoid assuming, and acting on the assumption, that it is or isn't.
posted by orange swan at 12:00 PM on August 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Please don't censor reasonable incredulity. Please don't censor reasonable skepticism. Please don't censor reasonable doubt. These are things we need, even if expressed with a sarcastic or vaguely angry tone.

Speaking of community norms, "WTF???" MeTa threads are something that makes the site worse. We left this MeTa up. People need to be aware that this is a whole community, not just a community of people who share their views and tone matters. You are certain this question is a stunt. Other people are sure that it isn't. Neither of you can prove anything which is why we have this MeTa thread.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:01 PM on August 12, 2010


It's egregious that the poster didn't mention that the "teenage stepson" is 17 and the "potential stepmom" is just-turned-19. That's *clearly* a dynamic that plays into the question at hand, that one would expect even the least self-aware person would realize is crucial and would either represent or make anonymous to hide.

Yeah that or mentioning that age gap got her a lot of shit in the last question so she avoided mentioning it in this one.
posted by edbles at 12:06 PM on August 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Just chiming in with: I know people that live this level of drama, if not in the specifics. They exist.

Plum clafoutis!
posted by everichon at 12:14 PM on August 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


jessamyn, cortex, removing a MetaTalk thread that expressed reasonable doubt and skepticism at something stunty, while leaving all of the stuntiness in place, really doesn't seem like good policy.

The metatalk post we deleted did not "express reasonably doubt" in any sort of constructive way, which was the problem with it, something I made pretty clear at the time. I don't think this one was presented any better, but we didn't want to get into whack-a-mole if it was gonna keep coming up so we let this stand. And it has, predictably, not been a great thread, because there's still really not much to do here other than declare various opinions in the face of an absence of anything substantial to test those opinions against.

As far as I can tell, you and I don't even disagree about the framing of the question being problematic; we do appear to disagree about what "reasonable skepticism" should look like in terms of productive use of metatalk. Unguided, unanswerable repeats of "HEY THIS IS WEIRD AMIRITE" threads aren't high on my list of people dealing usefully with site stuff, and as much as I may agree with the sentiment you're expressing I don't think this is a very good example at all of what you're getting after.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:20 PM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hey guys someone just posted something about herpes and swinger's ads, wanna go jump on that?
posted by xbeautychicx at 12:21 PM on August 12, 2010 [6 favorites]


You are not helping.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:23 PM on August 12, 2010 [19 favorites]


Hey if you guys are going to trash me out I can have a sense of humor about it at least.
posted by xbeautychicx at 12:25 PM on August 12, 2010


DERAIL!

Re: True Blood, WTF Sookie?! You went back?!

OMG SERIOUSLY! I want to punch Bill Compton RIGHT IN THE FACE!!!11!!@!

(Sorry I was late on that. Carry on.)
posted by two lights above the sea at 12:25 PM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


"One reading the question the way it's worded, without prior knowledge of xbeautychicx's earlier question, would naturally assume"

that's the thing with self-centered people - they think everyone is always thinking about them. her introduction to the site (and our introduction to her) was sort of an explosion with lots of scrutiny. she referenced the first question sort of out of the side of her mouth with "(hey we worked it out)" - i think one "would naturally assume" that a gal who finds herself in this dramafest of a relationship and one who had a not normal introduction to this place could think everyone knows who she is.

every time someone points out "bad faith/troll/fucking with us" and says that THEY ARE SURE OF IT, the evidence put forth could also easily be "self-centered 19 year old trying her best to play grownup."

i'll say the same thing here that i said in the last metatalk -

is it really so hard to approach a question in good faith or just move on?

even if this girl is trolling (i don't think she is, sadly), couldn't answering in good faith help someone else later who was reading it? maybe a 25 year old dating a 40 year old who treats her the exact same way - maybe to her they didn't ring as red flags, but maybe coming upon that thread will flip a switch. where's the harm in treating this as real?
posted by nadawi at 12:26 PM on August 12, 2010 [8 favorites]


And really, pretending that there aren't norms is misguided.

This is actually verifiable. There are members norm and normy, just to name two off the top of my head.
posted by Skot at 12:26 PM on August 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


also - "i" apparently "like" to put things "in quotes"

i "promise" i don't do that "hand gesture" "floating quotes" thing - "much"
posted by nadawi at 12:28 PM on August 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


> every time someone points out "bad faith/troll/fucking with us" and says that THEY ARE SURE OF IT, the evidence put forth could also easily be "self-centered 19 year old trying her best to play grownup."

This, a million times, which others like orange swan have alluded to earlier in this thread. Not that it matters because NONE of us know, we're all shooting from the hip/talking from our guts here, but my own take on this is way less "maliciously trying to troll" and much, much more "a little unreliable in assessment of the situation (stemming from being, you know, a teenage girl overwhelmed and out of her league power-wise) and trying to compensate by hyping up self-aggrandizing details and pushing away unflattering ones etc." I wouldn't be shocked if some of the over the top details and obvious omissions people see and cry bullshit at are not quite 100% accurate, but also not outright lies, more like subjective framing to reassure she's got some control and power. I am projecting out my ass here and I know it, and it's from being 18 and seeing someone 10 years older than me and acting similarly at the time. I also agree with whoever mentioned part of it is that this compensation makes her come across as narcissistic, shallow, vain, and pretty much "not nerdy people's (cough, Mefites') kind of person", which added to the train wreck through no deliberate fault of her own.

And I hate arguing and guessing like this when she's, you know, right here. It's messed up. But I don't think she's a troll the way a lot of people seem to, not that kind if you want to split hairs. This smacks way more of "hey, she's A TEENAGER for chrissakes, so she's not exactly infallible about her self-assessment" than "she's been trying to fuck with us from the get go." And as others have said, her other site history aligns more with this line of thinking.
posted by ifjuly at 12:38 PM on August 12, 2010 [4 favorites]


maybe a 25 year old dating a 40 year old

I really don't think it's the specific ages of the parties involved that's getting people's hackles up. It's more like the wording, the presentation (and followup responses), combined with a seeming lack of awareness of MeFi norms. Not to mention lack of awareness of how the whole thing must look to an outsider. Yeah, I know, nineteen years old, typically self-absorbed, but still. Even if this whole nighttime soap opera is 100% not made up, I find myself once again wondering the same thing I've been wondering with a TON of recent AskMe disaster questions: "Where are your FRIENDS (or maybe in this case, family/whoever's sending you to college)? Is there no one in meatspace who sees what's going on in your life and has expressed concern? If so, are you ignoring them because they 'don't get' you? If not, why on earth not?"
posted by Gator at 12:39 PM on August 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


Hey if you guys are going to trash me out I can have a sense of humor about it at least.

As many of us have learned and far too many of us haven't, what's funny in your head is not funny to the world at large. In fact, what you think as funny can often be interpreted as an attack or insult, like your attempt at humor just did.

I was willing to give the benefit of the doubt over your questions, but if you're going to be combative like the above crack, I'd prefer that the mods escort you to the door now. This is not to be cruel or dismissive of you, but frankly the community doesn't need shit stirring, especially if it's disguised as humor.
posted by nomadicink at 12:43 PM on August 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


I miss abbat.
posted by griphus at 12:47 PM on August 12, 2010 [7 favorites]


I'm attacking and insulting? Um, read these comment from top to bottom and get back with me nomadicink.
posted by xbeautychicx at 12:51 PM on August 12, 2010


Hey mods, can we set up a section where we can post complaints about metatalk posts? Thaaaaaaaaaanks.
posted by two lights above the sea at 1:00 PM on August 12, 2010 [4 favorites]


And how is it that the person is question is the last resort for an explanation(rhetorical qu.)? You guys are just speculating when all it could take is a direct question.
Very odd. Oh speaking of insults and attacks I think someone called me 'cuff links with a vagina'? Would you consider that an insult nomadicink? Shouldn't they get escorted out too?
posted by xbeautychicx at 1:01 PM on August 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


xbeautychicx, unfortunately when the mob turns its angry eyes to you, attempting to poke back usually only results in you losing the metaphorical arm you were poking with.

I didn't say it was fair, but as I always said to my children as they grew up, "Life isn't fair."

My advice to you is to either seriously consider the advice you have been given on both threads or quit asking us. We are feeling used. And as a mother to children all older than you now, there is nothing more irritating than being asked for advice that is then ignored.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 1:04 PM on August 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


St. Alia - you of all people are probably last on the list able to give the "listen to us or leave" advice.
posted by nadawi at 1:07 PM on August 12, 2010 [4 favorites]


Oh, hi, xbeautychicx. What do your friends and family think of all this agita?
posted by Gator at 1:08 PM on August 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm attacking and insulting? Um, read these comment from top to bottom and get back with me nomadicink.

I did that before I wrote the comment directed at you.

Writing "Hey guys someone just posted something about herpes and swinger's ads, wanna go jump on that?" strikes a dismissive and taunting tone with the rest of the community.

Again, what you may think is funny in your head is not coming out as funny. At all. Do what you will with that information.
posted by nomadicink at 1:09 PM on August 12, 2010


nadawi: I normally agree with you on most things, but now it just seems like you are provoking people. St. Alia is making a legitimate point based on her own experiences here. Take a chill pill.
posted by two lights above the sea at 1:13 PM on August 12, 2010 [24 favorites]


"Hey guys someone just posted something about herpes and swinger's ads, wanna go jump on that?" strikes a dismissive and taunting tone with the rest of the community.

No kidding. There are dozens people here not only giving you the benefit of the doubt, but arguing it as the proper stance, and you want to wave it all away as equivalent to jumping on posts about "herpes and swinger's ads"?

Good luck to you.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 1:13 PM on August 12, 2010


Would you consider that an insult nomadicink?

Of course it's an insult. That language should not have used to describe you.

Shouldn't they get escorted out too?

That depends, does the user have history of using that type of language on the site? Have they repeatedly been warned about that type of language from the mods and ignored those warnings? Then yes, I'd be inclined to say it's time for them to go.
posted by nomadicink at 1:14 PM on August 12, 2010


Really I'm not trying to stir up shit(and I apologize if that's the vibe), it's just alittle hard sometimes to sit back observe or just know that terrible things are being said about you, because it's hurtful. It doesn't feel realistic to tell that person to just keep their mouth shut and let the chips fall where they may.
But I'll let them fall.
posted by xbeautychicx at 1:18 PM on August 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


Oh speaking of insults and attacks I think someone called me 'cuff links with a vagina'?

That was actually someone summarizing a perception of how your fiance may be viewing you, not a direct judgement of who you really are. Déclassé way to phrase it, definitely, and I think you've got every right to be bothered by it and think it's crass, but for what it's worth it was not intended as an insult to you as far as I can tell.

But, look, more to the point: this thread has a lot of people talking about your question and your activity on the site and I know that may be pretty weird and unpleasant and maybe overwhelming to behold, but it's part of the (sometimes dysfunctional) metacommentary function of the site and in a sense isn't necessarily really all about you-the-person so much as xbeautychicx-the-user-account. It's a hairy distinction but it may be useful to keep that in mind: people here have only what has gone on on this site to work with; they don't know you personally, and are reacting more in defense or criticism of this community's functioning than to you as a person out in the real world independent of any of this.

Like I said last night, it's fine if you don't want to mix it up with all this, I don't blame you at all there. It's also fine if you want to try and engage substantially with the more legitimate concerns folks have about the perceived problems with how this has gone down. Sort of skirting the line between those two options by getting scrappy is not going to help anything, though; insofar as part of the weirdness people are feeling about all this is prompted by your maybe not really having a handle on the site culture here, trying to mix it up or divert attention or so on may just whip things up more regardless of your intentions.

I know it may seem like asking a lot when you're feeling on the defensive, but the best plan may be not engaging here if your instinct is to try and smack back at people you think are being obnoxious. If you want to talk about any of this in a less confrontational context, you're welcome to hit me up via email.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:20 PM on August 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


So short and sweet, here goes: "Oh, hi, xbeautychicx. What do your friends and family think of all this agita?
posted by fixedgear at 1:21 PM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


My issue with xbcx's questions is that she doesn't sincerely seem to be seeking advice. Take the more recent one. The son is hitting on her. She posts to ask what she should do.

Then, unhappy (apparently) with the answers, she posts vaguely that the situation has been resolved, and that, moreover, she will not entertain answers that disparage her.

But what was the point of asking? In her previous question she got pretty much the same responses -- "you're being used," "break up with him," etc. Was she expecting anything other than the same, embellished with "lock your door" and "tell your fiance his son is clocking you" etc.? Even without the lurid background, there are essentially two answers to her question-- to tell the fiance and let him deal with it, or to deal with the son. Because of all the drama the question becomes more about her general circumstances (true or not) rather than the specifics of the question.

The end result becomes, essentially, chatfilter.

Since, on preview, xbcx seems to be participating in this thread, I will ask her directly: What, truly, are you hoping to gain from these questions?

Also, why can (/do) you use the accent in fiance but refuse to correctly space your writing around commas and parentheses? It's really weird.
posted by miss tea at 1:22 PM on August 12, 2010 [5 favorites]


I wonder if I totally misread this one. I really thought her question was legit. I still think that. She marked it as resolved as soon as the tide went against what she wanted to hear, which doesn't suggest troll at all. If she were a troll, I'd think she would be milking it for all of the negativity she can get. But she isn't. I really think she is being sincere (and sincerely out of touch with reality).

The son hitting on her makes perfect sense. They're a year and a half apart. If the father has a history of dating teenagers, the son knows why those women are around.

9 times out of 10, when there's a guy who doesn't respect women, there will be a father or influential uncle who also doesn't respect women. In this case, the son is probably a spitting image of his father.

Similarly, with a teenager dating a man in his fifties, there's almost certainly a link between her actions and her parents.

xbeautychicx: I am the one who made the cufflinks remark. My intent was to point out that others have already suggested this man views you as nothing more than an accessory. A sexual accessory. I should have phrased it better, certainly. In fact, I was rude and for that I apologize.

Please consider seeking professional help.
posted by 2oh1 at 1:27 PM on August 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


you're right. i should have just left the st alia comment alone - i had a moment of "what the goddamn fuck?!" at her mommy finger wagging and her trying to counsel someone on the site norms as she plays wide-eyed innocent when she runs afoul of them. i could have expressed all that better or just left it alone, though. sorry for adding grawr.

on a similar note - advising someone to take a chill pill doesn't reduce grawr as much as you might think.
posted by nadawi at 1:29 PM on August 12, 2010 [4 favorites]


It doesn't feel realistic to tell that person to just keep their mouth shut and let the chips fall where they may.

Oh sure, people get that, but by the same token, diving in the thread and making off the wall comments doesn't help either, you know? It's understandable that you want to defend yourself or even attack those who are saying horrible things about you (and they really should knock that shit off).

But you can't control those actions, only your own and pouring gasoline on a fire only creates a raging fire. I would suggest that if you really want to defend yourself here that you take the moral high road when doing so. I know that may feel unfair to you, but that's probably the best way to handle Metatalk callouts. Acknowledge that your situation is odd one to many and that are obvious complications to it, but that it's your situation and you chose it and that you're just looking for some advice with those complications. Ask those that who do not believe you at least pretend that do and offer advice about your situation and in return you'll listen to it, whatever it may be.
posted by nomadicink at 1:29 PM on August 12, 2010


xbeautychicx, if you had participated in the community in any other way than by posting suspension-of-disbelief-requiring questions, people would have a better sense of who you are and where you're coming from, and would be more likely to give you the benefit of the doubt.

I don't know why you think you can just fancifully parachute into a community on a breeze of koo-koo bunny personal drama without being regarded suspiciously. Like the mods have said, you don't necessarily have to conform to everyone else's ideals, but it sure helps if you demonstrate that you at least know what they are.
posted by hermitosis at 1:29 PM on August 12, 2010 [6 favorites]


Then, unhappy (apparently) with the answers, she posts vaguely that the situation has been resolved.

Yeah, forget all this troll/not-troll nonsense. Inquiring Nosy My minds want to know how you resolved this, xbcx. Pretty please?
posted by and hosted from Uranus at 1:32 PM on August 12, 2010


dozens people? wave it away? yeah, more coffee required.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 1:34 PM on August 12, 2010


St. Alia - you of all people are probably last on the list able to give the "listen to us or leave" advice

O rly? I never come here for relationship advice-only technical or health queries-and have considered and taken the advice given.

If you are aiming at something different, this isn't the thread.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 1:35 PM on August 12, 2010 [7 favorites]


advising someone to take a chill pill doesn't reduce grawr as much as you might think

I suggest Diazepam or Alprazolam, washed down with a chilled vinho verde.

That's it! DONE with the recipes!
posted by everichon at 1:36 PM on August 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Then, unhappy (apparently) with the answers, she posts vaguely that the situation has been resolved, and that, moreover, she will not entertain answers that disparage her.

I think you're really missing a few things there. She marked a singe answer as Best and that answer clearly describes actions for her to do. No, she did not describe what she did and neither is she or any other poster obligated to do so. It would be nice to know, sure, but she doesn't have to give one.

And no, I can't blame her for not being willing to entertain answers that insult her a person. That's totally uncalled for on Askme and you all know it.
posted by nomadicink at 1:37 PM on August 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


I suggest Diazepam or Alprazolam, washed down with a chilled vinho verde.


Yes, but how many Diazepam? Is it ok if we take another half?
posted by fixedgear at 1:45 PM on August 12, 2010 [6 favorites]


Is there no one in meatspace who sees what's going on in your life and has expressed concern?

Like I alluded here, sometimes people can see that a relationship is headed straight for rock bottom; they're horrified for their friend. But when they express any concern, the friend--in denial--just drops the friendship, rather than hear any criticism of the lover.

So you can either express concern, have it blown off, and not be there for them any more...or you can be mostly silent, and still be a friend, and still be around to help them when they decide to stop digging and start looking for a way out. It's hard, hard, hard to stand back and say nothing. But sometimes it's the only thing to do.
posted by galadriel at 1:50 PM on August 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


xbeautychicx: My two cents. I am not a Might Mod, so take anything I say with a grain of salt.

We all put ourselves out there on Metafilter. We share information about ourselves. Some of us know each other personally (and in real life), while others prefer to remain fairly anonymous. We still get a sense for "who" people are. I'm familiar with nadawi or St. Alias of the Bunnies (for example) to a certain degree, and it helps me be a better person when it comes to responding to them, whether to a question or a comment.

It's hard to react to intense drama calmly and honestly. A lot of people are skeptics, especially on the internet. So when someone puts themselves out there and shares all this information (which seems about as believable as last night's reality show), you better believe that someone will make an attempt to "call them out". I don't think this should be taken as we personal insult; they're just trying to protect the integrity of their community.

I don't want to make any commentary about you past/current situation, but I do hope that you stop worrying about what strangers on the internet think about your life and start thinking about how YOU feel about your life.
posted by two lights above the sea at 1:52 PM on August 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


Unsolicited advice to xbeautychicx: If you want to continue to ask questions and not have it turn into a metatalk thread, here's a quick and dirty way to go about it:

snooty and perverted 17-year-old son returned from boarding school for the summer

While these all may be true facts, they are not relevant to the question. When people see this they immediately have the image in their head of a smug kid with a Dalton Lacrosse shirt yelling at his servant, "Clam chow-der, I said clam chow-der."

This is a completely unnecessary detail. Because I am bored and I am sitting in airport, I'm going to demonstrate in good faith, how not to raise the ire of the community:

"I am engaged to a man much older than myself. His son, who is close to my age, has moved back in with us for the summer. Since then, he has made several unwanted advances (describe the examples here). I have confronted him and told him to stop, but he denies knowing what I'm talking about. At dinner he made several advances towards me, leaving my fiancé angry with me. I have never been in a relationship with someone who has children, let alone close to my own age. What's going on here?"

See you've managed to eliminate, say 90% of the stuff that makes it read like a soap opera.
posted by geoff. at 2:03 PM on August 12, 2010 [35 favorites]


nomadicink, got it.

Her phrasing there confused me; I thought she meant she had resolved the issue independently of the ask.mefi answers.
posted by miss tea at 2:04 PM on August 12, 2010


Hey, what's the deal with the weird parenthetical punctuation? Not that big of a deal and it's not a personal judgment, but it does seem to be a weird quirk. Maybe it's an affectation become habit? Or maybe no one has told you it is incorrect?

Either way, I swoop in valiantly! The deal with parentheses is that there needs to be a space before the open parentheses (like so) and then a space after the closed parentheses (previously demonstrated). And that's how you do the parenthetical mambo!
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 2:04 PM on August 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Clam chow-der, I said clam chow-der.

Say it Frenchie! Say clam chowder!
posted by fixedgear at 2:12 PM on August 12, 2010 [4 favorites]


Is there no one in meatspace who sees what's going on in your life and has expressed concern?

That's usually a great way to end a friendship. I'm pretty sure that if someone comes in to MeFi and asks about their friend who is dating/married to "J. Horrible Person", the advice that we give is not "tell them that they have made a stupid choice/point out the errors of their ways" but "be a good, supportive friend, because they need one".

It's also possible that her friends see this as the act of someone more mature than they are. They (assuming they are 19) are binge drinking in college and she's already engaged to someone super rich. Obviously she has her shit together.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 2:17 PM on August 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


Either way, I swoop in valiantly! The deal with parentheses is that there needs to be a space before the open parentheses (like so) and then a space after the closed parentheses (previously demonstrated).

And this should be obvious, but no space after the closing parenthesis if followed by other punctuation.
posted by zerbinetta at 2:19 PM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Merely expressing concern is a great way to end a friendship? Good grief.
posted by Gator at 2:19 PM on August 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Maybe that's how they do it in the Ivy League.
posted by rhizome at 2:20 PM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


While this thread makes for some pretty great reading, I'm not too thrilled with the ongoing drama of "Is it a Troll or Not?" I have never liked this side of MetaFilter-- it is an ugly side and so unnecessary. Members throw around the "Troll" label all too frequently and 99% of the time it is sheer speculation with no pay off.

xbcx: If you don't want the community getting into a tizzy over your melodramatic questions, then you need to learn how to frame your posts better. Having trouble figuring out how to do that? MeMail me or another member for help; geoff. did a great job of rewriting your question.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 2:51 PM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Merely expressing concern is a great way to end a friendship? Good grief.

I know this is how it was written, but based on the example that came immediately after, I don't think this is exactly what INL meant. I took it to mean that in a friendship with a person who is making bad decisions, criticizing them will usually convince them to avoid you instead of taking your advice. So you have to tread very carefully to avoid alienating them. In some cases it's better not to say anything directly, and instead ask questions to get them to think the problem through more carefully.

And yeah, there are a lot of AskMes coming from people who, for one reason or another, don't have strong enough bonds in meatspace to get help there. I was that way myself when I was younger. It wasn't so much that I didn't know nice people; it was that I just couldn't trust anyone to accept me the way I was. There was a lot I didn't want to hear about myself from my close friends because I needed to think that they respected me. So I hid a lot of my bad decisions from them. Healthy? Of course not. But it's a not-uncommon part of being young.
posted by millions of peaches at 2:59 PM on August 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


FWIW, I took some time and looked at the two questions, two metas, and all the comments made by xbeautychicx. I did this from a linguistic perspective, focusing on a few features, to try to determine whether or not the content of her contributions in these four threads was natural and consistent. In other words, is this someone affecting a particular writing style, or is this writing style authentic and spontaneous? I focused on punctuation, formatting, spelling quirks, dative alternation, adverb placement, morphology quirks, and use of 'be'. I did not specifically look at poetics, style-switching, perspective, semantic content, response times and timestamps, etc.* However, I kept these features in mind, as I can clearly see some patterns there. I got other stuff I want to do today.

I did this because the people calling her a troll - and people slinging that term around MeFi lately - are pissing me off. It's awful to treat a fellow community member (or anyone, really) like that. Especially when the manner in which you do shines a destructive spotlight on them, damaging their credibility and placing them under attack. The pile-on that ensues is gross. It leaves the person in question hanging in the wind, while the door is open for anybody else's assessments of one's character to take a pass through. Screw all that.

Whether or not xbeautychicx is asking for help with a side of attention or not - I don't care. She's asking for help. I personally believe that everything she wrote was in her natural voice, and not somebody's twisted invention for a spoof on MeFites. In other words, I trust what she says because it's clear to me that it is honest, natural and spontaneous. It is not an affectation or a falsely constructed identity.

There are a lot of things going on here, but being a troll is not one of them. Can we just drop it and focus on the more important issues at hand, and I hope with kindness and respect?

xbeautychicx, I'm sorry if my scrutinizing your contributions here is at all offensive to you (or to anybody else). It's not something I do regularly or nefariously, nor would I ever. I had a hunch and was happily surprised to feel confident about the outcome. I hope that's ok with you.

*It's good to note that many of these last features that I didn't spend extra time on are the sorts of things that people tend to have more awareness of, are more carefully constructed, and are easier to spot. In other words, when somebody is trying to present themselves a certain way, they may pay much attention to their lexical choices, their overall style and tone, their timing with respect to others, but they may not be consciously controlling things like spelling quirks, aspect and tense constructions, formatting consistencies...in forensic linguistics, these things can betray your words and give you away. It's part of the reason I focused on those more (well, that and those features are easier to count/track/quantify).
posted by iamkimiam at 3:03 PM on August 12, 2010 [24 favorites]


God, this is horrible. I am not sure what is going on here, but it is horrible.
posted by angrycat at 3:03 PM on August 12, 2010 [4 favorites]


This is pretty much the worst of Metafilter.
posted by rollbiz at 3:15 PM on August 12, 2010 [6 favorites]


Merely expressing concern is a great way to end a friendship? Good grief.

Oh, hell yeah. If someone's deep enough in denial and does not want to think about it, and you're critical, yeah, you're gone.

It feels like a personal attack when a friend is critical of your lover or your relationship. It feels like they're unfairly attacking you. If you absolutely do not want to delve into your own feelings about the relationship, then yeah, the easiest thing to do is to ditch your friends. After all, you've still got your lover, who *should* be a supportive friend, and hey, that former friend was just being unfair and irrational anyway.

You've never wondered how people with families can end up in abusive relationships? You've never wondered how people end up in relationships where they're clearly being taken advantage of, and anyone around them can see it? They don't want to see it.
posted by galadriel at 3:15 PM on August 12, 2010


The only way this thread gets worse is if someone goes all Pale Fire and deconstructs every comment as though it were part of some grand narrative, each evocation another peeling of hidden desires and wantings.

And no, you aresholes, that's not a challenge.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 3:20 PM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


But I didn't say "criticize," I said "express concern." There's a pretty big difference and wiiiiide range of approaches between just expressing concern ("Are you okay? Seems like you've been pretty down about the boyfriend lately, what's up?") and criticism ("That guy's no good for you, DTMFA" or similar). And if you've gotten to the point where you're coming to AskMe for help, it could be relevant to find out what the person's actual real life loved ones might have said. If you've dumped all your friends because they don't like your boyfriend, that's usually pretty telling.
posted by Gator at 3:24 PM on August 12, 2010


a Dalton Lacrosse shirt

He played for the Phillies, right?
posted by mullacc at 3:27 PM on August 12, 2010


Maybe it's not so much the questions asked as the somewhat florid writing style she affects. (NOT PRETENTIOUS-IST). Stripping it down to the basics might help.

Anyway, I made a bloody good cake today.
posted by mippy at 3:30 PM on August 12, 2010


It seems at least remotely possible to me that everything as described is true. It seems even more possible that most of it is true and a couple of details are exaggerations or changed for anonymity.

If the situation is real in either of those degrees then this and the other MeTa thread are very cruel and potentially very very cruel. Let's just stop asking about what her family thinks, okay?
posted by XMLicious at 3:33 PM on August 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


I just ate an entire chocolate bar all by myself. Mippy, what kind of cake did you make?
posted by two lights above the sea at 3:35 PM on August 12, 2010


Maybe that's how they do it in the Ivy League.

Um ... no, it isn't.
posted by ericb at 3:41 PM on August 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


See you've managed to eliminate, say 90% of the stuff that makes it read like a soap opera.

Yeah -- less 'Bret Easton Ellis' and more 'Ernest Hemingway' would be helpful in framing your posts.
posted by ericb at 3:44 PM on August 12, 2010


..."a little unreliable in assessment of the situation (stemming from being, you know, a teenage girl overwhelmed and out of her league power-wise) and trying to compensate by hyping up self-aggrandizing details and pushing away unflattering ones etc." I wouldn't be shocked if some of the over the top details and obvious omissions people see and cry bullshit at are not quite 100% accurate, but also not outright lies, more like subjective framing to reassure she's got some control and power. ... I also agree with whoever mentioned part of it is that this compensation makes her come across as narcissistic, shallow, vain, and pretty much "not nerdy people's (cough, Mefites') kind of person", which added to the train wreck through no deliberate fault of her own.

...This smacks way more of "hey, she's A TEENAGER for chrissakes, so she's not exactly infallible about her self-assessment" than "she's been trying to fuck with us from the get go."


ifjuly totally nails it here. That's exactly my take on all this as well.

In fact, this is one of those times, when what ifjuly says seems so completely obvious to me, I'm really confused why so many others don't see this as well. Life is just full of mysteries.
posted by marsha56 at 3:44 PM on August 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


The only way this thread gets worse is if someone goes all Pale Fire and deconstructs every comment as though it were part of some grand narrative, each evocation another peeling of hidden desires and wantings.

And no, you aresholes, that's not a challenge.


Point taken.
posted by Kinbote at 3:48 PM on August 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


While these all may be true facts, they are not relevant to the question. When people see this they immediately have the image in their head of a smug kid with a Dalton Lacrosse shirt..."

FWIW -- Dalton is a 'day school,' and has no boarding. The OP: "...snooty and perverted 17-year-old son returned from boarding school for the summer."
posted by ericb at 3:54 PM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


It feels like a personal attack when a friend is critical of your lover or your relationship.

A related issue is that those closest to you are sometimes least likely to be take seriously. I once had a discussion with someone very close to me about whether or not asparagus makes your pee smell funny. She was convinced this was not the case, despite my insistence. It was a discussion that went on for some days, for some reason. One night, we were watching a show that mentioned this, and she said, "Oh, I guess you were right." The sad truth is that TV sitcoms sometimes have a more direct avenue for speaking truth into your life than your loved ones.
posted by SpacemanStix at 3:54 PM on August 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


iamkimiam, you rule!
posted by nomadicink at 3:55 PM on August 12, 2010


It was THIS CAKE: http://twitgoo.com/1hpg2e . You do not want to know how much butter went in there, though.

SpacemanStix - my dad rarely showed emotions such as remorse or choking up yet I'd always hear him sniffling at the soppy bit in sitcoms. Even The Fresh Prince, ffs. Carlton didn't learn that many life lessons.
posted by mippy at 3:57 PM on August 12, 2010


Spaceman, it only makes some people's pee smell like that. FACT.
posted by angrycat at 3:58 PM on August 12, 2010


As to asparagus, it's that only some people have a sense to detect that smell (is what I've read, or: fact-ish. As opposed to 'produce that smell').

Otherwise, iamkimiam, thanks for some perspective in all this goo.
posted by Namlit at 4:10 PM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


As to asparagus, it's that only some people have a sense to detect that smell

This is my understanding as well. And much as I fear appealing to Wikipedia, it agrees, with citations to actual research.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:14 PM on August 12, 2010


I was among the camp who suspected that AskMe was being played (i.e., trolled or treated to performance art) and resented it, but iamkimiam's level analysis changed my mind.

That said, there's still something to be said for posting in a style that doesn't upset the apple cart. Mr. Pinstripes-n-Fedora couldn't do it, and xbeautychickx, you're having a hard time too.

While AskMe questions should maybe exist in a vacuum, they don't. They exist in this community, and this community's standards and expectations are necessarily going to come in to play. You (the general you) want to get the most out of the answers to your question, but you have some responsibility when you draft that question to ensure that the outcome is useful. (Things like: Be specific, distinguish between bikes and mikes, don't editorialize, don't embellish.)

I think that might be something you need to take away from this.

And now, with that taken care of, I'd like to announce that 20 minutes ago it occurred to me to grill hamburgers for dinner. With a spate of homegrown tomatoes and homemade pickles, some seriously adult-oriented aged cheddar, and carmelized onion jam that I made from the end of the red torpedo onions, you should all now jump on me for how seriously awesome my dinner is going to be.
posted by mudpuppie at 4:16 PM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


You motherfucker.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 4:19 PM on August 12, 2010


As to asparagus, it's that only some people have a sense to detect that smell

A coworker used to be the PR person for the CA Asparagus Council. Their official explanation is that some people can't metabolize asparagusic acid, so it escapes the body instead of being absorbed by it.

posted by mudpuppie at 4:19 PM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


What was their unofficial explanation?
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 4:21 PM on August 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


This is my understanding as well. And much as I fear appealing to Wikipedia

I'd believe you guys even WITHOUT the citations.
posted by SpacemanStix at 4:21 PM on August 12, 2010


I know it may seem like asking a lot when you're feeling on the defensive, but the best plan may be not engaging here if your instinct is to try and smack back at people you think are being obnoxious. If you want to talk about any of this in a less confrontational context, you're welcome to hit me up via email.

So we're free to mock, make snide remarks, invite the poster to fuck off and never come back, but she should STFU?

Perhaps you should spend some more time inviting people acting like arses to tone it done, rather than blaming the victim.
posted by rodgerd at 4:26 PM on August 12, 2010 [7 favorites]


That said, there's still something to be said for posting in a style that doesn't upset the apple cart. Mr. Pinstripes-n-Fedora couldn't do it, and xbeautychickx, you're having a hard time too.

This isn't to gang up on xbeautychickx, and I wasn't going to say much; but I think she even understood this. In the last MeTa, she said that she wasn't going to post personal information of this nature again, due to the initial response. Now, she should be able to post personal information if she wants to (as whether she should isn't the point); but in light of her acknowledgement, I'm finding it hard to believe that she didn't predict this on some level, which makes me suspect secondary motives, even if the question is genuine. If anything bugs me, it's using a genuine question to support a hidden motive.
posted by SpacemanStix at 4:32 PM on August 12, 2010


Sorry, I meant xbeautychicx.
posted by SpacemanStix at 4:34 PM on August 12, 2010


Listen, I answered the first question in total sincerity, and I also defended the poster in the first MeTa about it - but when I read this one, and saw who it was from - combined with some terrible advice "she" gave in another thread - it's someone making up stories to see how people will react. Maybe they're writing a book, maybe they're bored, I don't know, but I don't buy it any more. It's not that there can't be 18 year olds dating 52 year olds and it's not that an Ivy League bound student has such terrible command of the English language, it's just - there's always a crisis. At this point I feel like I have a sense of when shit is real and when it isn't (and even then I'll still probably get taken a few more times).

Them coming in here to see what we're saying about them? That's like the dude who made a sockpuppet to say that he'd died & then watched the fundraisers & eulogies. They want to see that they're getting a reaction. That's the whole point of them being here. Reaction. Attention. Maybe they are in a relationship that isn't any good for them but I'm just not finding it credible anymore.

I am not answering the question because I am trying to follow the directive of 'if you have nothing helpful to say, stay out of the thread' but since someone started a MeTa, I want to add my voice - as someone who answered the first AskMe sincerely - that we're being trolled in some fashion.
posted by micawber at 4:35 PM on August 12, 2010 [4 favorites]


So we're free to mock, make snide remarks, invite the poster to fuck off and never come back, but she should STFU?

People are relatively free to be obnoxious or jerky in that standing metatalk culture is that such stuff usually doesn't get deleted. It doesn't mean it's not obnoxious or jerky behavior. It doesn't mean it doesn't suck.

Likewise, xbeautychicx is free to respond in a way that doesn't help anything, but that doesn't mean it's a good idea. Taking the high road is basically always the right move; answering bad behavior with bad behavior basically never is so.

I tried to be pretty thorough and gentle about presenting the idea. I'm not sure what else to say here; I don't think "come out swinging, why not, they were mean after all" is good advice.

Perhaps you should spend some more time inviting people acting like arses to tone it done, rather than blaming the victim.

We spend a good amount of any given day trying to get people to not act like asses. We've made a lot of effort, publicly and privately, to do precisely that in the case of xbeautychicx's questions and the attendant metatalk discussions of same. If you think otherwise, or think that we are not frustrated by how this has played out, I don't know what to tell you.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:37 PM on August 12, 2010


Them coming in here to see what we're saying about them? That's like the dude who made a sockpuppet to say that he'd died & then watched the fundraisers & eulogies. They want to see that they're getting a reaction.

Seriously? If there was a thread where a whole slew of members were talking about you, you wouldn't go into it to see what they were saying about you? If it were me I'd be glued to that motherfucker. I don't think I'm terribly weird in that respect.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 4:44 PM on August 12, 2010 [11 favorites]


If Lindsey Lohan and Lindsey Lohan every taught me anything, it's how to get rid of an unwanted and younger step-mother. But Lindsey Lohan isn't very helpful with this particular problem. Now, if you're the kid and want to get rid of the stepmother, you can take her on a camping trip. Try to trick her into using sugar water instead of mosquito repellent. Etc.

But conventional Hollywood wisdom would suggest that the proper place for an unruly youngster is military school. If he's too old, maybe the straight up military will be better.
posted by Barry B. Palindromer at 4:46 PM on August 12, 2010


I don't think "come out swinging, why not, they were mean after all" is good advice

It's far better advice than "roll over and let them hit you again," Jesus notwithstanding.
posted by enn at 4:49 PM on August 12, 2010


Maybe it should be a rule, or a strong suggestion, that if you ask a question about a situation and reject the unanimous advice of ask.mefi, you shouldn't ask another question related to the situation. This is why people were so pissed off at abbat.

Often on relationshipfilter ask.mefi doesn't speak with one voice, but when it does, you should treat it as if it was single person, and don't ask about it AGAIN because it will resent you if you have ignored its heartfelt advice.
posted by shoyu at 5:00 PM on August 12, 2010


It's far better advice than "roll over and let them hit you again," Jesus notwithstanding.

In fight-for-your-life situations, maybe so (setting aside any debate about philosophies of violence etc). In a low-stakes situation like a text-based web community questioning the execution of a request for advice, no one is going to lose anything by not getting into a scrap.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:35 PM on August 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


See you've managed to eliminate, say 90% of the stuff that makes it read like a soap opera.

I'm having trouble believing that Metafilter still wouldn't have freaked out the question if only she would have written it differently. It's a 19 year old girl engaged to a 52 year old guy who is being hit on by the guy's 17 year old son. It already is a soap opera. The idea that if only she had written the post more like Hemingway as opposed to Brent Ellis is one of those crazy ideas a group of people tell each other in order to justify their own shitty behavior.

People were mad that she didn't do what the majority wanted her to do in her first question. With the second question, there was a tone of "Well, what'd you expect, idiot?" That's crappy behavior, period.

If we're going to get up on our high horses about Metafilter being the best place on the web, full of smart and articulate people and oh isn't it wonderful that we're all members, it's important that we live up to that ideal not just when the site gets noted on CNN for a great song, but also when people who may not be exactly like us coming asking for advice.

You have choices. You can make the world shittier or you can make it a little better. Pick the better choice.
posted by nomadicink at 5:38 PM on August 12, 2010 [17 favorites]


This is why people were so pissed off at abbat.

I think you're confusing abbat and antgly.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:00 PM on August 12, 2010


This is why people were so pissed off at abbat.

Pretty sure people were pissed off because a lot of his "questions" were outrageously offensive, at least on the face of it.
posted by cj_ at 6:21 PM on August 12, 2010


This whole thing is fucking stupid. If you can't answer her questions in good faith, just don't hit post after you vent.
posted by desuetude at 6:25 PM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Mods, I apologize for starting this.

xbeautychicx, I want to say just this: your original question had me concerned. Your boyfriend did not seem to be treating you with any respect (and your examples of his behavior indicated some true disrespect and nastiness on his part, and based on his age, I didn't think this man was going to suddenly treat you as well as you deserve to be treated), and it looked like you were asking for advice, and much of the advice you received simply expressed that you were not being treated respectfully and it would be in your best interests to move on.


A month later, your question indicated that your boyfriend's horrible behavior to you had been resolved (honestly, this seems unlikely; people don't change that much that quickly) and you had moved in with him (this is about 6 months into meeting him, right?). But then you spoke disparagingly of your soon-to-be-stepson's behavior, compounded with you didn't think your boyfriend was going to support you and in fact, you were concerned that he would blame you for his son's behavior.

So maybe...this guy hasn't really changed?

And because of that, I found your second post disingenuous and not as if you were really asking for advice.

I don't know what you really wanted people to tell you: you initially described an unpleasant dating relationship where the advice you received was to DTMFA, but not only did you obviously ignore all of that advice, but then you had a story-topper of a fairly solvable concern (come on, just tell the kid to cut it out and tell your boyfriend that his kid is being disrespectful) and were again asking for help, but telling people to not be snarky with you.

I will speak for myself: when you ask for help, ignore the advice, and then have an even more dramatic story (where you define the parameters of advice you will accept), it rubbed me the wrong way.

You came off as someone who presented a slightly to highly modified version of her life and yes, I created this because my concern was how many more escalated stories you were going to tell. It felt like an abuse of what people do here.
posted by dzaz at 6:36 PM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Lindsey Lohan and Lindsey Lohan

Blasphemy!

It's Hayley Mills and Hayley Mills or nobody and nobody.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:55 PM on August 12, 2010 [8 favorites]


And because of that, I found your second post disingenuous and not as if you were really asking for advice.

Huh? You found her second post disingenuous because she didn't follow the advice of the first post, so now she has a new, different situation (though it involves the person from the first) and therefore she's lying because...she didn't follow the advice of the first one? Am I missing something, does that even make sense?
posted by nomadicink at 7:01 PM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ahhh! It makes so much sense now. People are pissed because she didn't dump the "old" man, thus - TROLL!
posted by P.o.B. at 7:14 PM on August 12, 2010


Makes sense to me.

Fucked up situation. Asked for advice. Didn't take it. Situation still fucked up. Asks for advice again.

Maybe I'm oversimplifying the complexities.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:16 PM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Situation
Normal
All
Fucked
Up
posted by P.o.B. at 7:23 PM on August 12, 2010


Fucked up situation. Asked for advice. Didn't take it.

Actually, according to the last comment of hers in the first thread, she following some advice given in the thread.
posted by nomadicink at 7:29 PM on August 12, 2010


It's Hayley Mills and Hayley Mills or nobody and nobody.

No! The Lohan version is actually really good- Dennis Quaid and Natasha Richardson as the parents, they're so adorable!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:29 PM on August 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


argh, WAS following!
posted by nomadicink at 7:30 PM on August 12, 2010


Fucked up situation. Asked for advice. Didn't take it. Situation still fucked up. Asks for advice again.

It's kinda humbling and hilarious to see my own late teens/early 20s boiled down to seventeen words like that... like a Hemingway story of extended adolescence.
posted by scody at 7:33 PM on August 12, 2010 [33 favorites]


No! The Lohan version is actually really good-

I'll bet you like the Keshia Knight-Pulliam version of Pollyanna, too. It doesn't even have an inexplicable British accent!
posted by Sys Rq at 7:48 PM on August 12, 2010


Some folks seemed to get really worked up over the OP's "fancy him like peaches on a hot day" comment.

If I may play devil's advocate for a minute, my brother dates a gorgeous, 20 something black girl who is an alum of one of the public Ivies. She said something that struck me as hilarious: "Making as much racket as a devil in a broom closet." I googled this, and a few variations, and got nothing.

Later, I asked my brother, and he said it was a phrase she got from her grandma, who was from the SE U.S.

Maybe the peaches thing is similar? Maybe older black folks from down South don't write tons of colloquialisms online, but once in while their grandkids do?
posted by Leta at 7:51 PM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't know what you really wanted people to tell you: you initially described an unpleasant dating relationship where the advice you received was to DTMFA, but not only did you obviously ignore all of that advice, but then you had a story-topper of a fairly solvable concern (come on, just tell the kid to cut it out and tell your boyfriend that his kid is being disrespectful) and were again asking for help, but telling people to not be snarky with you.

I will speak for myself: when you ask for help, ignore the advice, and then have an even more dramatic story (where you define the parameters of advice you will accept), it rubbed me the wrong way.


Someone didn't follow the advice of AskMe about their relationship so they don't get the courtesy of being taken seriously regarding related problems? Do you belittle everyone's "fairly solvable" problems in Ask Me? She gets docked for a perfectly typical plea to not derail with judgment? Who THE FUCK died and made you the arbiter of acceptable behavior?
posted by desuetude at 8:01 PM on August 12, 2010 [8 favorites]


And because of that, I found your second post disingenuous and not as if you were really asking for advice.

Of course she was asking for advice. You personally didn't like her post, but the post was plainly asking for advice.

I don't know what you really wanted people to tell you: you initially described an unpleasant dating relationship where the advice you received was to DTMFA, but not only did you obviously ignore all of that advice, but then you had a story-topper of a fairly solvable concern (come on, just tell the kid to cut it out and tell your boyfriend that his kid is being disrespectful)

I've seen many AskMe questions where I find the answer pretty straightforward and obvious, and I'll bet you have too, dzaz. We don't normally call people out for that. How often does someone post a relationship question where the best answer is, "Just talk to him/her about it instead of talking to us about it"? At least once a week -- probably more like once a day. We don't need a callout every time that happens. Anyway, she did tell the kid to cut it out. It's still kind of a complex situation, and I don't see what's so hard to understand about her posting the question.

and were again asking for help, but telling people to not be snarky with you.

You start a MetaTalk thread about someone, and then you criticize her for not wanting people to be "snarky" with her?! By starting a MeTa thread, you're pretty much guaranteeing she'll be deluged with snark. Did you see the first MeTa thread? And the comments that were deleted from the recent AskMe thread were bad enough that Jessamyn had to say, "I'm not sure what you're thinking" to everyone whose comment was deleted. Can we really blame her for not liking this?

I will speak for myself: when you ask for help, ignore the advice, and then have an even more dramatic story (where you define the parameters of advice you will accept), it rubbed me the wrong way.

How did she "define the parameters of advice [she] will accept"?

And who are you to police Mefites in taking AskMe's advice? Every answer on AskMe is there for the OP's benefit, and the OP is free to take it or leave it. I do think she should break up with him, but guess what? People don't always have instant clarity about their relationships just based on an AskMe thread with answers by a bunch of internet strangers.

You came off as someone who presented a slightly to highly modified version of her life and yes, I created this because my concern was how many more escalated stories you were going to tell.

You posted yet another in a recent string of posts calling out AskMe questions as fake with no serious basis for doing so. This has the potential to actually hurt people's feelings. And what's the upside? That you might ferret out a fake question? If that's really your goal, why not just email the mods to let them know of any discrepancies you've found, and let the mods handle it?

dzaz, I wish you had left it at a simple apology for this weak callout.

There are only two appropriate ways to respond to her questions: either give serious advice, or move on to another thread if you find her questions offputting. Calling her fake for no clear reason is over the line.

I know jessamyn has expressed reservations about this MeTa thread, but I'm surprised the mods didn't close it up immediately. If a decision is made that her posts are just too out of sync with Metafilter's culture for some reason, the decent thing would be to cancel her account. Having an enormous MeTa every time she posts a question is really unseemly.
posted by Jaltcoh at 8:02 PM on August 12, 2010 [4 favorites]


I found both posts believable but very frustrating, so I didn't post.

Don't you people remember being 19? I was hitchhiking and will skip the insanely dangerous details. I would have posted asking for route details, or "what are some ways to get out of a moving car, just in case?" Metafilter would have responded "OMG noooooooo!!! Are you an IDIOT?????" and I would have said "Um, anyyway! Thanks folks(those who took my question seriously), issued solved!"

So, yeah, the tone kind of irked me, but that's also why I don't hang out with teenagers. Or at least, when I do, I don't expect them to be any bit less of an idiot than I was.
posted by salvia at 8:18 PM on August 12, 2010 [8 favorites]


Re: True Blood, WTF Sookie?! You went back?!

Don't be too hard on her, she's probably an addict.
posted by homunculus at 8:27 PM on August 12, 2010


"Most likely people will not agree with you, these things seldom go well, chances are you'll be better served by stepping away, sympathy will probably end with the person you're calling out, and you'll end up looking like an asshole. Do you wish to proceed?"

I called it! Sorry, dzaz.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:40 PM on August 12, 2010


Maybe older black folks from down South don't write tons of colloquialisms online, but once in while their grandkids do?

Oh man, we need to get those folks on Twitter!
posted by phunniemee at 8:48 PM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


I am sticking to that theory homunculus despite of, nah because of, it's disturbing implications.

Bill is not a nice guy.
posted by The Whelk at 8:58 PM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Nah, Bill lufts Sookie, it's true luv.

At least until Eric and Pam decide to...focus.
posted by nomadicink at 2:49 AM on August 13, 2010


Maybe the peaches thing is similar? Maybe older black folks from down South don't write tons of colloquialisms online, but once in while their grandkids do?

Hmm, I've wondered whether there was cultural/race disconnect between xbeautychicx and Metafilter, but that's just idle speculation on my part. Still no excuse for crappy behavior.

You wouldn't happen to be from the Peach state, i.e. Georiga, would you xbeautychicx? In my experience, the word peach, peaches or peachy is used more casually by the natives.
posted by nomadicink at 2:56 AM on August 13, 2010


@nomadicink- No I'm from Spain. I came up with that expression because I felt it's just an endearing but cutesy thing to say to those I'm close with. Also I've received a lot of criticism about my grammatical capabilities, English is my 4th language ( for 2 years ) so really my proficiency is well above average.

Hmm, I've wondered whether there was cultural/race disconnect between xbeautychicx and Metafilter...

Perhaps. I'm casual about the age difference between me and my guy not to get a "wow!" effect but because it's very familiar to me. I've been told that it's only American culture that disagrees or rejects the idea of such a couple, I concur.

p.s race is irrelevant.
posted by xbeautychicx at 6:13 AM on August 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


I know jessamyn has expressed reservations about this MeTa thread, but I'm surprised the mods didn't close it up immediately. If a decision is made that her posts are just too out of sync with Metafilter's culture for some reason, the decent thing would be to cancel her account. Having an enormous MeTa every time she posts a question is really unseemly.

She hasn't done anything worthy of having her account taken away. Good grief. Get some perspective.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 6:34 AM on August 13, 2010 [3 favorites]


dzaz, I know you've had a tough relationship situation fairly recently that you sought advice for on AskMe. Would it honestly hurt to reflect a little of the compassion you received there, rather than assuming that someone else asking more than once about the same relationship is by definition abusing the site and deserves to be driven out by a pitchfork-and-snark-wielding mob?
posted by Catseye at 6:45 AM on August 13, 2010


dzaz, I know you've had a tough relationship situation fairly recently that you sought advice for on AskMe. Would it honestly hurt to reflect a little of the compassion you received there, rather than assuming that someone else asking more than once about the same relationship is by definition abusing the site and deserves to be driven out by a pitchfork-and-snark-wielding mob?

This is a very good point, and I would also suggest that dzaz could try imagining the reverse: imagine someone posting a MeTa about your last AskMe question. I could easily make a list of things in that question that don't resemble anything I've ever experienced or even heard of -- so I could say, "This is so weird, this must be fake." I could point out possible inconsistencies with your story. I could point out places in that question where you've used improper grammar or made a word choice that rubs me the wrong way. I could make it sound like you weren't listening to the advice you were getting and that you were asking a totally pointless, insincere question sheerly for the sake of drawing attention to yourself.

(Of course, I'm not saying there's anything so weird about your question. Give me any random AskMe relationship question, and I could give it this kind of treatment.)

How would you feel if someone did that? It would be pretty mean, wouldn't it? That's why I'm not actually going to write these things, and I'm not going to link to your question, and I'm not going to start a MeTa about it or about any relationship question you post if I think there's even a chance it's sincere. And that's why it's a really bad idea to call out people for asking for help with messy situations in their personal life unless you have an extraordinarily good reason for doing so. The fact that you can, if you want, make someone sound ridiculous, is not a good justification for doing so. The fact that someone is in a relationship with a huge age difference, or doesn't immediately break up with her boyfriend just because she received a lot of DTMFA advice on our favorite advice-dispensing website, or decorates her writing with more figures of peach than you would prefer, is not a good justification for doing so.

(And I know you apologized for starting the thread, dzaz, but when you say I'm sorry BUT! here are 10 reasons why the callout made a lot of sense ... that does water down the apology.)
posted by Jaltcoh at 7:24 AM on August 13, 2010 [3 favorites]


I know, and I apologize for what I did.
posted by dzaz at 7:24 AM on August 13, 2010


I apologize without any buts.

I was really wrong to do this.
posted by dzaz at 7:28 AM on August 13, 2010 [3 favorites]


Since Spanish (or Catalan or maybe even Galician) is her native tongue, I just sent her a long memail asking her if perhaps she can better express herself en espanol. I also made it clear that if French, Italian or Portuguese were some of the other languages spoken, if she feels more comfortable expressing herself in those languages, I would be more than happy to accommodate. (I'm kinda hoping she doesn't respond in Catalan, because that one is my weakest). My Galician is surprisingly strong these days. My Spanish tends towards Central/South American usage, so I hope that doesn't offend her continental sensibilities. I have been told that new world Spanish can sometimes be looked down upon by continental speakers.
posted by msali at 7:31 AM on August 13, 2010


OK, thanks.
posted by Jaltcoh at 7:32 AM on August 13, 2010


msali There's no way I'm going to 'accommodate' you (why are you so important?) on that rude ass memail you've just sent, furthering the whole "call out" session.
You can continue your attack or not but do me a favor and hold your breath until I respond on your memail.
posted by xbeautychicx at 7:46 AM on August 13, 2010 [7 favorites]


Don't you people remember being 19?

Yes, this, exactly. Among my friends, there's been a concensus for years that if we think of the absolutely stupidest, most dangerous things we've ever done in our lives, whether it be driving while drunk, or hitchhiking, or unprotected sex, it was always when we were 19. When I think of some of the stories I've heard about things people did at that age (or that I did at that age), xbeautychicx's situation is both completely believeable, and is actually pretty tame in comparison.
posted by MexicanYenta at 7:48 AM on August 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


I just sent her a long memail asking her if perhaps she can better express herself en espanol. I also made it clear that if French, Italian or Portuguese were some of the other languages spoken, if she feels more comfortable expressing herself in those languages, I would be more than happy to accommodate.

Seriously, that is unbelievably condescending. Her questions were perfectly understandable. If I got a memail like that I would justifiably tell you to fuck right off.
posted by modernnomad at 7:51 AM on August 13, 2010 [27 favorites]


Gee, I was hoping this thread would become more awkward.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 7:52 AM on August 13, 2010 [6 favorites]


My hilariously conservative dad broke his neck while riding (crashing) his motorcycle when he was 19. Somehow, he was able to get up and walk away. He was super-poor so didn't bother going to the doctor. It wasn't until he was 40 and had to get a head/neck MRI for unrelated reasons that he found out. The doctor apparently came in and said, "Sir, I don't quite know how to tell you this, but your neck is broken. C1 and C2 are completely shattered and look like they have been for some time. Do you remember ever, uh, breaking your neck?"
posted by phunniemee at 7:53 AM on August 13, 2010 [5 favorites]


I've been told that it's only American culture that disagrees or rejects the idea of such a couple, I concur.

I've got no dog in this fight, but this isn't quite correct. Other cultures accept the idea of such a couple--but they have a very specific notion of what it implies (i.e. that the woman is a trophy wife with no authority or real power in the relationship). The response to your relationship on MeFi doesn't generally come from some sort of prejudice against you, it comes from a concern about the power imbalance in your relationship and what it means for you as a woman who presumably wants to be independent and self-actualized.

Since Spanish (or Catalan or maybe even Galician) is her native tongue, I just sent her a long memail asking her if perhaps she can better express herself en espanol. I also made it clear that if French, Italian or Portuguese were some of the other languages spoken, if she feels more comfortable expressing herself in those languages, I would be more than happy to accommodate. (I'm kinda hoping she doesn't respond in Catalan, because that one is my weakest). My Galician is surprisingly strong these days. My Spanish tends towards Central/South American usage, so I hope that doesn't offend her continental sensibilities. I have been told that new world Spanish can sometimes be looked down upon by continental speakers.


Yes, it's all about you.
posted by nasreddin at 8:02 AM on August 13, 2010 [4 favorites]


I. Call. Bullshit.
posted by Bookhouse at 8:04 AM on August 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Sir, I don't quite know how to tell you this, but your neck is broken. C1 and C2 are completely shattered and look like they have been for some time. Do you remember ever, uh, breaking your neck?"

Wait, does this story end with your dad admitting to having recently had vampiric hate!sex?
posted by elizardbits at 8:12 AM on August 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also I've received a lot of criticism about my grammatical capabilities, English is my 4th language ( for 2 years ) so really my proficiency is well above average.

Hmmm. I've got to say that it is a little weird that when your grammar was criticized in the first question, you said you were just writing casually because it's the internet. Now after two months you say that English is your 4th language.

Discrepancies like this, however innocently revealed, are only going to encourage users to keep playing detective into your posting history. At this point I think some users would do that anyway, but in the future you could probably stem some it by being a bit more clear and detailed in your questions and responses.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 8:13 AM on August 13, 2010 [6 favorites]


Hmmm. I've got to say that it is a little weird that when your grammar was criticized in the first question, you said you were just writing casually because it's the internet. Now after two months you say that English is your 4th language.


You know what? English isn't my first language either, but if someone criticized me for my grammar, I'd sure as hell never admit that--especially because that seems to really bring out the do-gooders who wanna flaunt their semester abroad or whatever.
posted by nasreddin at 8:15 AM on August 13, 2010 [6 favorites]


You're right, I'm sorry to have noticed the omission.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 8:16 AM on August 13, 2010


After my first post I memailed with some members( and the creator of the last MeTa post ) about my language differences. Though I didn't announce it in the actual thread.
posted by xbeautychicx at 8:16 AM on August 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


msali is a translator by profession. I'm pretty sure she was trying to be helpful, not hateful. xbeautychicx, she was saying she could accommodate you, not that you should accommodate her.
posted by donnagirl at 8:19 AM on August 13, 2010


It was an error on my part to note the discrepancy. In the future I'll refrain from doing so. Apologies again.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 8:20 AM on August 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Your grammar is just fine. Somebody sees a consistently missed space before a parentheses and they assume you're dumb. It's a horrible metric to go by. People need to look harder. They'd see that there are plenty of things in your writing to suggest that you are a thoughtful, intellectual and articulate person, capable of constructing complex sentences and expressing nuanced ideas.
posted by iamkimiam at 8:22 AM on August 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


donnagirl- No the tidied up version posted on Meta wasn't the version I got. I got a snarky condescending memail. Msali can hang it up because anything else she sends goes straight to the trash.
Modernnomad just said it right.
posted by xbeautychicx at 8:24 AM on August 13, 2010


If someone suggested to me that I should try rewriting something in my native Russian so I can "better express myself," I would suggest that [rude response redacted].

Also, everyone in this thread who has claimed a magical ability to know when someone is lying based on words posted on the internet is making me roll my eyes so hard.

I am going to go try to find a study that showed that cops trained to detect deception were worse at figuring out who was lying to them than random chance.
posted by prefpara at 8:25 AM on August 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm pretty sure she was trying to be helpful, not hateful

That doesn't matter. It's still unbelievably tone-deaf and patronizing.
posted by nasreddin at 8:25 AM on August 13, 2010 [4 favorites]


I'll just go ahead and close this up then?
posted by allkindsoftime at 8:34 AM on August 13, 2010 [3 favorites]


allkindsoftime- Best thing I've heard so far.
posted by xbeautychicx at 8:36 AM on August 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


ok, I can accept that we see it differently. It didn't read "rude" to me. I don't really have a dog in this fight, and since it's all attack-y in here, I think I'll just wander away.

maybe make that "back away" since I'm half convinced someone is going to decide I called them a "dog" and jump me
posted by donnagirl at 8:37 AM on August 13, 2010


It's like people can't handle writing variation. On the internet. Like the p-word all over again. I mean, sure, there are conventions and pragmatic rules and a whole agreed upon writing system, but if we can't play with the edges a bit, what's the point? I don't want my MeFi to read like a perfectly edited owner's manual anyway.

Not the most perfect analogy, but it'd be like if I refused to help you at the bank or wherever because I suspected your accent was bullshit and made you sound young and dumb. Which isn't even a valid ascription in the first place.

prefpara: "I am going to go try to find a study that showed that cops trained to detect deception were worse at figuring out who was lying to them than random chance."

When you have evidence data in the form language - written or spoken or otherwise - you'd be better off relying on a forensic linguist, who is an expert in analysing this sort of thing. There are many, many institutions that do this type of work, all over the world, much of it for various governments. It's not magical woo-woo. It's scientifically verifiable work, methodologically sound, qualitative, quantitative and intensely rigorous. Quite a few interesting forensic linguistic case study books have been written (there are several scientific journals as well), and I could suggest a few if you're interested in exploring.
posted by iamkimiam at 8:44 AM on August 13, 2010 [3 favorites]


It's like people can't handle writing variation. On the internet. Like the p-word all over again. I mean, sure, there are conventions and pragmatic rules and a whole agreed upon writing system, but if we can't play with the edges a bit, what's the point? I don't want my MeFi to read like a perfectly edited owner's manual anyway.

Is this directed at my comment in which I told xbcx how to use parentheses? Because I was just trying to be helpful. And it appears as though it did help, for awhile. She started using parenthese correctly in a few comments, then later went back to using them in a non-traditional manner. It was not a judgment, just a helpful suggestion for how to write a bit more appropriately/conventionally. I see now how that makes me a person who can't handle writing variation. It's a good point. She was probably just experimenting with language, disrupting traditional writing conventions to deepen the emotional connection between reader and writer.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 8:50 AM on August 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


iamkimiam, what you're saying is valid and totally not what I was talking about. Here is what people have actually said in this thread:

"reeks of bullshit"

"some of us have heard this kind of thing before, and know when it sounds fishy"

"Most of us have plenty of real world experience with Real Life Drama to be able to tell when someone is telling a fish tale"

In other words, not scientifically verifiable linguistic analysis, but ESP. Plenty of people have addressed this already, including you. It's mind-reading nonsense and it really annoys me.
posted by prefpara at 8:58 AM on August 13, 2010


The e-word really annoys me, but it's no where as upsetting as the d-word. Or the other g-word.
posted by cjorgensen at 9:08 AM on August 13, 2010 [3 favorites]


People have been harsh about her writing; but on a discussion board, written communication is everything. So if someone's quirks are making their posts a little harder to read, there should be nothing wrong with pointing it out as long as it's polite and (maybe) private.

Of course, that's not what happened here. But live and learn.

That said, I've worked with a lot of EFL speakers, writers, and translators, and I think that xbeautychicx's written English is excellent, and even native-level. Language wasn't the problem at all. It was just content...and people acting like bossy grannies in response.
posted by zerbinetta at 9:21 AM on August 13, 2010


Am I misremembering or was it that most people were snarking on her grammar because she claimed to be going to an Ivy League school? The issue is more likely than not in people's insecurities about their own education and any associative envy that may result. It makes more sense that she would get accepted to an Ivy as a stellar international student, and it would probably would have dispelled a lot of the "you don't write good 'nuff for no fancy Ivy league student" stuff from the first callout if she had just mentioned her language pedigree right off the bat. As others have said, live and learn.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 9:26 AM on August 13, 2010


(Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates: "Is this directed at my comment in which I told xbcx how to use parentheses? [...] She was probably just experimenting with language, disrupting traditional writing conventions to deepen the emotional connection between reader and writer."

Nope, not directed at you. Sorry about that.

prefpara: "iamkimiam, what you're saying is valid and totally not what I was talking about. [...] It's mind-reading nonsense and it really annoys me."

Oops, not directed at me. Sorry about that, too.

You both make good points that I agree with, btw.
---
It appears I'm on a hair-trigger these days. Yikes.
---
By the p-word, I meant "prescriptivism"
posted by iamkimiam at 9:31 AM on August 13, 2010


(Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates, I figured that it was one of those things where, after you've already decided that you don't like someone, you start nitpicking. (General "you," of course.) Maybe I'm wrong, but that's how I saw it.

I didn't think your parentheses mini-lesson was rude at all. You phrased it very nicely.
posted by zerbinetta at 9:36 AM on August 13, 2010


not at all, i was vague
posted by prefpara at 9:37 AM on August 13, 2010


In other words, not scientifically verifiable linguistic analysis, but ESP. Plenty of people have addressed this already, including you. It's mind-reading nonsense and it really annoys me.

Science seems to disagree with you. We may not know the exact mechanics of how trust-ability relates to truthfulness, but there does seem to be something to it.

Of course, the study was about watching videos of people, not merely based on written 4th language communications.
posted by nomisxid at 9:39 AM on August 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Recently, a friend told me that he was seeing somebody in a relationship (not drawing an equivalency here). Well, in my bad old days, I wrecked a marriage by engaging in similar hijinks. So when he told me this I was all, I don't judge but watch the fuck out, man. Cause I've been there, done that, and from my experience and every other experience, there is a chance that there's gonna be a plateful of sorrow coming your way.

Things have been tense between us since. Wish I'd never said anything; resent him because he shows signs of resenting me, and hey, I was trying to do a good deed.

Truth is, I should have kept my adulterous mouth shut about his adulterous problem.

Anyways, I wonder if part of the ugly dynamic here is like the above anecdote. Exacerbated 10x by the anonymity of the internet and the mob dynamic that metatalk threads sometimes generate.

(xbeautychicx, hope things turn out for you okay, and I hope you wander into the blue, cause there's a lot of great shit there),
posted by angrycat at 9:49 AM on August 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


(oh also to be clear: NOT saying your relationship is anywhere on a scale equivalent to adultery. i am staying away from the particulars of your situation altogether)
posted by angrycat at 10:06 AM on August 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Guys, I'm seriously torn up about this Sookie/Bill thing. Why can't she just marry Sam Merlotte and pop out ten kids to fill up her granny's big 'ol house already?!
posted by two lights above the sea at 10:13 AM on August 13, 2010


cause Sam is So. Boring. Name his major personality traits. I'll wait.
posted by The Whelk at 10:17 AM on August 13, 2010 [5 favorites]


Clearly we need another True Blood thread because without one on the front page it's starting to leak into the rest of the threads.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:18 AM on August 13, 2010


I'm pretty sure Sam Merlotte is a serial killer. No for real.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 10:21 AM on August 13, 2010


Sam Merlotte is the best! He's loving! Despite the fact that he was abandoned by his adoptive family and he biological family are a bunch of dicks, he still cares for people! He's successful! Plus he's so dang CUTE!

Oh, and he doesn't try to MURDER Sookie. Major plus.

I'd also be happy if she shacked up with that big burly werewolf dude.

(On preview: I hate you, internet fraud detective squad, station number 9!)
posted by two lights above the sea at 10:25 AM on August 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Just for the record, I'm kinda hoping Franklin just destroys Tara now.
posted by xbeautychicx at 10:26 AM on August 13, 2010 [3 favorites]


And, isn't Bill Compton actually a serial killer?

(Just kidding internet fraud, much love)

xbcx: Oh man! Franklin! Have we seen him since Tara caved in his skull? I'm very interested to see if/how he comes back from that.
posted by two lights above the sea at 10:28 AM on August 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Nope, but I've heard he makes scary a comeback next episode though!
Tara needs it get it or be made vampire at least.
posted by xbeautychicx at 10:31 AM on August 13, 2010


Tara as a vampire. Man, that's intense shit right there. I'm interested in that.
posted by two lights above the sea at 10:32 AM on August 13, 2010


Was any weirded out by the TWOP's recaplet of the episode describing B/S as having hate sex? That's more like mid-break-up sex.
posted by angrycat at 10:39 AM on August 13, 2010


Uh, yeah, that was not hate sex. Lorena and Bill had hate sex. Twisting her head all the way around.... nasty.
posted by two lights above the sea at 10:41 AM on August 13, 2010


Lorena and Bill had hate sex.

Not to mention whatever it was that Lorena and John had.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:02 AM on August 13, 2010


I don't watch True Blood. Sookie's that orange one that looks like an oompa-loompa and recently got arrested for being drunk on the beach, right?
posted by Dr. Zira at 11:29 AM on August 13, 2010 [3 favorites]


I don't watch True Blood.

:-O (new MeTa post asap!)
posted by xbeautychicx at 11:39 AM on August 13, 2010


i'm about to start watching true blood so i'm reading this thread with my hands over my eyes. at least there are no spoilers in recipes.

spoiler alert! this cake will be delicious!
posted by nadawi at 11:42 AM on August 13, 2010


Just joking, kisses Dr. Zira!
posted by xbeautychicx at 11:42 AM on August 13, 2010


Spoiler alert anyone?
posted by futz at 11:43 AM on August 13, 2010


Yeah, that's not hate sex (spoiler, nsfw).
posted by homunculus at 11:46 AM on August 13, 2010


NOooooo, no Tara vamp please! She's irritating enough as it is. And Sookie needs to get with Eric. And I need to be seeing it with my pervy eyes.
posted by keep it under cover at 12:00 PM on August 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sookie needs to take a long fall off a relatively short but rocky and fatal cliff (immediately followed by Tara), and then Lafayette needs to get with Eric.

Speaking of My Favorite Character on the Show and Possibly My Favorite Person in the Universe Lafayette, I am perpetually torn over the question as to whether he should become a vampire. On the one hand, he's the most awesome human on the show; on the other hand, he would be the most awesome vampire EVER, hooka. So what to do? (No spoilers from anyone who's read the books, plz!)
posted by scody at 12:08 PM on August 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Scody, you just gave a spoiler. Thanks.
posted by futz at 12:11 PM on August 13, 2010


What spoiler?
posted by scody at 12:38 PM on August 13, 2010


I mean, any question over whether Lafayette might become a vamp or not exists solely in my fevered imagination... it's not actually an explicit plot point that I'm aware of. Other than that... Sookie's not really going to be dropped over a cliff, you know.
posted by scody at 12:40 PM on August 13, 2010


Well, I now know that Lafayette is not a vamp yet. Is True Blood now the new recipe?
posted by futz at 12:44 PM on August 13, 2010


And, whoo-boy, Talbot got more than just buttsex last week!
posted by ericb at 12:45 PM on August 13, 2010


SPOILER: leaving mayonnaise-based salads out in the sun during a picnic.
posted by Bookhouse at 12:46 PM on August 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


Miss Mamie gave me a jar of The Recipe, but I dranked it.
posted by heyho at 12:47 PM on August 13, 2010


Well, I now know that Lafayette is not a vamp yet.

Wait, so it's a spoiler to talk about established facts of a show NOT changing? You could just as well say it's a spoiler that we are even acknowledging Lafayette's existence (or any other character's existence, for that matter), because the very mention of their name in the present tense means they haven't been killed.
posted by scody at 12:53 PM on August 13, 2010 [4 favorites]


Just joking, kisses Dr. Zira!
No, no, you guys can save the MeTaDork callout for a more appropriate time. I do plan on watching it eventually; I caught one episode at the tail end of S1 and liked it, so I decided not to watch any more episodes until I got caught up. Now I'm saving it for a soothing aperitif to ease the annual pain of Don Draper withdrawal that comes after every Mad Men finale. So basically all I know about the show is that it's set in a town where hot non-sparkly vampires with Southern-ish names commingle* with Southern-ish people with similarly Southern-ish names, and conflict (including, apparently, hate sex) ensues.
Also, I'm vaguely aware that Anna Paquin is dating one of the hot vampires IRL.

*Fnar Fnar!
posted by Dr. Zira at 12:54 PM on August 13, 2010


Season 1 was way too serious, season 2 was a bit better, and Season 3 is basically firing on all cylinders. Should the Simpsons example hold, we've got another four or five good seasons to look forward to.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:00 PM on August 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Perhaps. I'm casual about the age difference between me and my guy not to get a "wow!" effect but because it's very familiar to me. I've been told that it's only American culture that disagrees or rejects the idea of such a couple, I concur."

Don't be quick to concur with people who are find it easy to tell you precisely what you want to hear. That's dangerous.

Some other cultures are more accepting of this sort of 'relationship' because they're more honest about the role of each person involved. In such cultures, in many of those cases, the man is basically buying a woman and the woman is basically for sale. I once lived in a foreign culture where this happened. It may have looked as if it were accepted, but that was only on the surface. In reality, there was deep disrespect for the older man and the younger woman. He was someone to not be seen as close friends with (not to mention someone to keep your daughters away from). There was a subtle coldness in the politeness displayed toward such a man. The politeness was about not being rude while also preventing actual friendliness. The woman in such a relationship was seen as a prostitute too lazy to work the streets (and, no, I don't think it's right to judge the woman more harshly than the man. I'm explaining THEIR view). This view of the woman only further trapped her in such a relationship since people didn't want to befriend her either. She was seen as 'dirty' (as in, actual dirt) despite her clean and fancy appearance. There also may be a historical aspect to these so-called relationships in other parts of the world that dates back to times when women didn't even have the opportunity to be equal to men (in some of these cultures, maybe they still don't have that opportunity?). A time when, perhaps, women were matter of factly purchased. Again, that doesn't equate to it being agreed with by society at large in those other cultures. Not by a long shot.

I think the tragedy of xbeauty's questions is that she may need actual help but she isn't going to get it because she's only interested in the opinions of those who are quick to tell her what she wants to hear, and I'm willing to bet there are plenty of them (more in her real life than here, I suspect). Will her question next month be about her boyfriend turned fiance turned husband being upset to learn that she's pregnant?
posted by 2oh1 at 1:04 PM on August 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


Sorry to break up the vampire talk :)
posted by 2oh1 at 1:04 PM on August 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sookie's not really going to be dropped over a cliff, you know.

Every time Sookie gets on your nerves, don't forget that she's won an Oscar. For some reason, this makes it just a little more annoying for me.
posted by SpacemanStix at 1:04 PM on August 13, 2010


Season 3 is basically firing on all cylinders.

And apparently that engine runs on about a hundred gallons of blood spewing everywhere. This season is definitely living up to its name.
posted by SpacemanStix at 1:07 PM on August 13, 2010


He dies. Dead dead, not vampire dead.

If you're familiar with the TV show, you'll remember they found a body in the back of Andy Bellefleur's car. In the TV show, it is the exorcism woman. But in the book, it is actually Lafayette. They've changed the TV show (probably because Lafayette is a pretty cool character and they didn't want to get rid of him; he's my husband's favorite).
posted by futz at 1:11 PM on August 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


That should have been in quotes.
posted by futz at 1:14 PM on August 13, 2010


Every time Sookie gets on your nerves, don't forget that she's won an Oscar. For some reason, this makes it just a little more annoying for me.

Ha, me too.

Some friends of mine were visiting from New Zealand recently, and the talk turned to American TV shows that aren't yet available there, and when I mentioned True Blood they all rolled their eyes and groaned: "Saccharin Paquin!"
posted by scody at 1:19 PM on August 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


Will her question next month be about her boyfriend turned fiance turned husband being upset to learn that she's pregnant?

And...? Are people going to shit all over her (again) if it is? Of course they are, because she's the new punching bag around here, and people won't even feel they need a real valid reason for it. Just as what happened here.

xbeautychicx, save the mods a headache and relieve everyone of the teeth gnashing, anonymize your next question. Seriously.
posted by P.o.B. at 1:25 PM on August 13, 2010


2oh1- I feel like you make a good point however the reality of my situation is not a stereotype. No one has "bought" or "purchased" me, I met my guy under normal circumstances. Maybe you're uncomfortable to believe that because you're so convinced I'm riddled with underlying (perhaps daddy?) issues. The facade may appear that way because I didn't do a well enough job framing an unbiased question in my initial post. The bottom line is that while I encounter issues with my SO occasionally because it's not always perfect, we do a well enough job of resolving them(hey that almost sounds like everyone else's normal relationship).

Like I said before, I'm aware to the fact a lot of people on mefi absolutely insist that I dump my SO but it's just your advice and I don't have to feel obligated to use it.
posted by xbeautychicx at 1:26 PM on August 13, 2010


P.o.B- Agreed. Though the tell tell peach insignia may blow my cover..
posted by xbeautychicx at 1:30 PM on August 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


but it's just your advice and I don't have to feel obligated to use it.

Hey, hey, hey. Can we at least make some small effort to keep this thread on topic please?

And that topic is Jessica, and how freakin' awesome she's becoming? You know, I considered her the shows Malkavian until they introduced Franklin.
posted by quin at 1:38 PM on August 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm starting to like Jessica as much as I'm starting to dislike Arlene.
posted by xbeautychicx at 1:41 PM on August 13, 2010 [3 favorites]


The old MeTa thread had this, which bugged me, but was closed before I could reply:

how not to say "him and i" when i meant "him and me,"

Isn't it classically:

me and him
or
he and I
?

Or have I been doing it wrong all this time? That is all.
posted by meehawl at 1:44 PM on August 13, 2010


Jessica has been awesome from day one.
posted by The Whelk at 1:47 PM on August 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


I want a talk show where Pam and Jessica answer hard questions about growing up dead
posted by The Whelk at 1:48 PM on August 13, 2010 [5 favorites]


The Awesome Jessica is one of the very few female characters that Alan Ball has ever managed to portray with actual nuance and complexity. Discuss.
posted by scody at 1:48 PM on August 13, 2010


Wait, so it's a spoiler to talk about established facts of a show NOT changing? You could just as well say it's a spoiler that we are even acknowledging Lafayette's existence (or any other character's existence, for that matter), because the very mention of their name in the present tense means they haven't been killed.

Lafayette becoming a vampire is a pretty big plot point. When I fire up an episode I always wonder what is going to happen. Does he? Doesn't he? So to me it is a spoiler. Your logic is flawed.
posted by futz at 1:49 PM on August 13, 2010


Am I the only one who wants Jessica to take Hoyt back?
(and have hate sex too?)
posted by xbeautychicx at 1:56 PM on August 13, 2010


This new meme is worse than recipes. I don't cook, but at least I eat.
posted by desjardins at 1:57 PM on August 13, 2010 [8 favorites]


What about Brenda from SFU? I thought she was a fleshed out character (like until that entire show became Everyone Is Horrible All The Time For No Good Reason Theater)
posted by The Whelk at 1:57 PM on August 13, 2010


Episodes like last week's remind me how much I enjoy the show when Sookie isn't around. I'm also officially bored with scarily build naked men. The show has RUINED me.
posted by The Whelk at 1:59 PM on August 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm with desjardins. Particularly on not having the slightest clue what y'all are talking about. I liked the parentheses derail better (mostly). And since you're here, xbeautychicx, I am totally curious and hopefully not sounding like a jerk as I ask, but what is the situation with your approach to parentheses and punctuation? Additional facts: I just switched to a keyboard (US International) that messes up the punctuation around ' and " for me, so I wonder if it's a keyboard thing. Also, I'm not a punctuation or grammar snob and make uncorrected typos all the time (without posting the typical follow-up* self-scourging*), so if it's just "I didn't know" or "I didn't care," that works for me. There's just been so much speculation that like a good AskMe reader, I thought I'd try communicating with you directly. Inquiring minds!

* I probably just screwed up my hyphens right there! Oh, where has my copy editor gotten off to??
posted by salvia at 2:23 PM on August 13, 2010


Jeez, 2oh1. You made some popular points half the page up, but that last comment of yours struck me as shrill overkill, and rather parochial. "Tragedy?" --Really? Age difference "relationships" in scare quotes? --And they're all fundamentally based in prostitution and mutual disrespect? How much of an age difference is okay before "relationship" goes in quotes? And what if the young woman's richer? Or older, with a younger guy?--I mean, obviously they can still hate each other, but is she still the prostitute, or then can she be the John?? Please advise.
posted by applemeat at 2:33 PM on August 13, 2010


The Whelk : Jessica has been awesome from day one.

I disagree, she's been awesome from the moment she discovered she could say "fuck" which, I believe, was actually day two.
posted by quin at 2:40 PM on August 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


I loved Eric and Pam dropping Jessica off at the end of Season 1 and telling Bill that while he'd agreed to raise her as a favor, some things are just asking too much.

The whole trucker thing seems to have seriously calmed her down.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:44 PM on August 13, 2010


Salvia: It's been pointed out to me long before that the parentheses should look something like this: ( blah blah i'm innocent blah blah ) . But it feels really awkward typing it that way to me, like it looks incorrect to me, though I think that's the proper way to do it. I totally prefer(doing it like this). Just feels more concise(too me).
posted by xbeautychicx at 2:47 PM on August 13, 2010


All the bloodletting here has been fangtastic. Perhaps the mods will consider closing this up? Or perhaps they will let it pulsate until it dies on its own?
posted by futz at 2:51 PM on August 13, 2010


Lafayette becoming a vampire is a pretty big plot point.

Two points. First: I would call it an implicit open question of the series, but it's an implicit open question as to whether any number of the characters will become vampires. Acknowledging that an open question is still an open question cannot reasonably meet the threshold of what constitutes a spoiler. A spoiler (i.e., a major plot point) would be revealing that an open question has now been answered once and for all -- e.g., Lafayette dies for real or becomes a vamp or is actually made entirely of silver. (Please note that I am not saying that any of these things do happen, or do not happen, or are even alluded to as possibly happening.)

Second: I don't know if it's a big, explicit plot point in the books, but ironically enough, you openly spoiled Book 1 for anyone who hasn't read it, not to mention spoiling Season 1's cliffhanger for anyone who hasn't seen it yet.

As for whether or not he becomes a vampire in the show...

When I fire up an episode I always wonder what is going to happen.

...this is one of the pleasures of watching episodic television, yes.

Does he? Doesn't he? So to me it is a spoiler. Your logic is flawed.

Again, if you think that acknowledging the present continuation of established facts of a show is a spoiler (but not talking about the major plot differences between the books and the show to the point of ruining an entire season's cliffhanger), then I'm afraid I don't see how I'm the one with flawed logic.

Anyway, we'll just have to agree to disagree, because I'm not going to go any further down the rabbit hole of what hair-splitting minutiae uttered in public about any cultural artifact constitutes a spoiler, mainly because I'm too busy catching up on the outtakes from last week, in which Lafayette is revealed to be a space alien, Eric goes undercover as a judge on Toddlers and Tiaras, and Jason is surprised by an acceptance letter from Harvard.
whoops


On preview:

It's been pointed out to me long before that the parentheses should look something like this: ( blah blah i'm innocent blah blah ) .

That's not actually correct. If you do feel like learning it the correct way (and I don't care if you don't), it's like this:

1. Insert a space before the first parenthesis (but not before the first word of the parenthetical expression) and then a space after the second one.

OR

2. Same space before the first parenthesis (but no space after the second parenthesis if there's a punctuation mark).
posted by scody at 2:56 PM on August 13, 2010


(Can I start a sentence with parenthesis)?
posted by xbeautychicx at 2:59 PM on August 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


(Yes.)
posted by applemeat at 3:02 PM on August 13, 2010


You just did.

But I think that the official/ proper way of doing things would suggest that no, you shouldn't. Because a parenthetical statement should be referencing something that preceded it.
posted by quin at 3:04 PM on August 13, 2010


Grammar! (My oldest foe)
posted by The Whelk at 3:08 PM on August 13, 2010


(What's So Funny 'bout) Peace, Love And Understanding?
posted by applemeat at 3:13 PM on August 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Second: I don't know if it's a big, explicit plot point in the books, but ironically enough, you openly spoiled Book 1 for anyone who hasn't read it, not to mention spoiling Season 1's cliffhanger for anyone who hasn't seen it yet.

But it is ok for you lot to spoil the current season? I am not talking about only you scody. What happens in the book is not verbatim for what is happening this season. Spoiling something for someone that happened 2 years ago? No big deal. Spoiling something for someone that is currently playing...that just sucks. My point is that you are complaining that I am ruining something that has been out for years...the book. You are also complaining that I am spoiling season one when you guys are on here actively spoiling the current season. Also, the titanic sinks and Old Yeller dies.
posted by futz at 3:15 PM on August 13, 2010


I'm surprised there's no Oatmeal comic on the use of parentheses. If you need help on semicolons, apostrophes, or spelling, they've got you covered.
posted by desjardins at 3:16 PM on August 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


And this is exactly why no one should ever listen to me about anything. Ever.
(When a wholly detached expression or sentence is parenthesized, the final stop comes before the last mark of parenthesis.)

-William Strunk, Jr. (1869–1946). The Elements of Style. 1918
posted by quin at 3:17 PM on August 13, 2010


FYI, it is not ironic when something is intentional. Whoosh.
posted by futz at 3:19 PM on August 13, 2010


isn't that ironic, don't ya think?
posted by The Whelk at 3:22 PM on August 13, 2010


We need to establish sitewide rules enforcing the use of standard punctuation and grammar conventions. It's part of the MeFi Way of Life. And also we need to repeal the 14th MeFi amendment.
posted by XMLicious at 3:23 PM on August 13, 2010


I normally sphinc.
posted by futz at 3:24 PM on August 13, 2010


The one about proper and improper uses of chickens and or lobsters?
posted by The Whelk at 3:24 PM on August 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


I did, The Whelk. (And I'm glad you pointed out that when the entire sentence is inside parentheses, its final punctuation should be also!)

xbeautychicx, thanks for indulging my question (and for helping to change the subject).
posted by salvia at 3:30 PM on August 13, 2010


We need to establish sitewide rules enforcing the use of standard punctuation and grammar conventions.

A sort of MeFi style guide, if you will. I like it!

I'm surprised there's no Oatmeal comic on the use of parentheses.


Those Oatmeal comics have always made me feel a little funny in the pants. Something about proper grammar and spelling gets me all hot and bothered.
posted by 1000monkeys at 4:21 PM on August 13, 2010


maybe True Blood spoilers could be used strategically. Like, some angry force is gathering in a metatalk -- sprinkle some spoilers in there. Even fake ones. People would hide their eyes and pound out angry rants against spoilage.
posted by angrycat at 5:20 PM on August 13, 2010


Like, some angry force is gathering in a metatalk -- sprinkle some spoilers in there.

I would just like to point out that this did not work so well with recipes.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:23 PM on August 13, 2010 [10 favorites]


We need to establish sitewide rules enforcing the use of standard punctuation and grammar conventions.

Like this?
posted by Tenuki at 5:40 PM on August 13, 2010


I think the tragedy of xbeauty's questions is that she may need actual help but she isn't going to get it because she's only interested in the opinions of those who are quick to tell her what she wants to hear, and I'm willing to bet there are plenty of them (more in her real life than here, I suspect).

This comment is right on target.
posted by jayder at 5:52 PM on August 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


I mean, any question over whether Lafayette might become a vamp or not exists solely in my fevered imagination...

In my imagination Felix the armadillo is actually a were-armadillo who is going to fight Arlene for Terry.

Hey, whadayaknow, Felix is on twitter.
posted by homunculus at 5:53 PM on August 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


@ jayder- So are the True Blood spoilers.
posted by xbeautychicx at 6:07 PM on August 13, 2010


I think the tragedy of xbeauty's questions is that she may need actual help but she isn't going to get it because she's only interested in the opinions of those who are quick to tell her what she wants to hear, and I'm willing to bet there are plenty of them (more in her real life than here, I suspect).

As a reminder, I invite those who believe this line of thought to look at which answers she marked best in both threads. She's doing what any other poster does, following the advice that best fits her. Sure, Metafilter wants her to leave her fiance. She ain't doing. Metafilter is pissed about that. She doesn't give a damn. Metafitler is also pissed about that. Metafilter needs to get over that and pay attention to the injustice of True Blood not having an episode centered around Pam. How does she spend her day? What's her worst day as bouncer? Best? What would it be like to go shopping with Pam (those were nice pumps)? Should Pam babysit Jessica? They could be roommates!!

Bill? Sookie? Tera? Who gives a shit about them!
posted by nomadicink at 6:26 PM on August 13, 2010


The real crime here is that xbeautychicx just used that @twitter abomination.
posted by Justinian at 6:42 PM on August 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


@ justinian- I just like the symbol.
posted by xbeautychicx at 6:44 PM on August 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


I would like to start a thread that is just "what is the one thing people do on MeFi that drives you batshit insane?"
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:44 PM on August 13, 2010 [10 favorites]


And those are all brilliant questions nomadicink! Also why is she and every other vampire situationally bisexual (not that I don't think it's fabulous)?
posted by xbeautychicx at 6:46 PM on August 13, 2010 [3 favorites]


She's doing what any other poster does, following the advice that best fits her.

I don't agree with this. I suppose it's difficult to ever know for certain, but speaking for myself, I have asked for advice about many things, people have given me responses that challenged my thinking, and in many cases, I did follow the advice I've gotten here.

But maybe people do pose questions hoping to get answers that will confirm their thinking and they ignore everything else. Could be.
posted by dzaz at 6:49 PM on August 13, 2010


Dzaz- She's doing what any other poster does, following the advice that best fits her. Does not equal But maybe people do pose questions hoping to get answers that will confirm their thinking and they ignore everything else.
posted by xbeautychicx at 6:55 PM on August 13, 2010


...but I don't think it's fair to make a blanket statement that every other poster only follows the advice that suits them.

I'm also not saying that was the OP's intent, either.
posted by dzaz at 6:55 PM on August 13, 2010


I would like to start a thread that is just "what is the one thing people do on MeFi that drives you batshit insane?"

I would personally not mind that. Sorry if I'm missing some irony there.
posted by angrycat at 7:02 PM on August 13, 2010


I would like to start a thread that is just "what is the one thing people do on MeFi that drives you batshit insane?"

You are Zen master of the week; I would have banned everyone by Tuesday if I had your job.
posted by desjardins at 7:05 PM on August 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


I would like to start a thread that is just "what is the one thing people do on MeFi that drives you batshit insane?

This could probably be done weekly.
posted by nomadicink at 7:11 PM on August 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


I would like to start a thread that is just "what is the one thing people do on MeFi that drives you batshit insane?"

Post.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:21 PM on August 13, 2010


I would like to start a thread that is just "what is the one thing people do on MeFi that drives you batshit insane?"

That's a callout waiting to happen. MeTa has become the id of MeFi.
posted by holgate at 7:32 PM on August 13, 2010


cjorgensen: "I would like to start a thread that is just "what is the one thing people do on MeFi that drives you batshit insane?"

Post
"

Given that conversations about annoying behaviour have led to many a flameout I'd say 'Don't Post.' Esp. given the mood of threads lately. But of course the cat's out of the bag - the idea for the thread is in the air and will probably be taken up by someone else.

Venting is nice and can be therapeutic, but we get enough venting in the grey as it is. IMO.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 7:44 PM on August 13, 2010


I'd just like to appreciate the spacing around the parentheses here. I had to give that one a favorite. I know this comment risks making me sound like a condescending asshole, but I actually mean this "it's neat" comment in a more earnest way, like "it's neat to see people influencing other people" and "it's neat to see people trying new things."

Just like how, similarly, it would be neat if someone told me "when you praise someone's punctuation for being correct (for once!), you sound like a condescending asshole," and then next time I didn't post this comment because I took that perspective into account?
posted by salvia at 7:52 PM on August 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hardcore Poser, sorry I was going for concise and slid right past clear. I meant the one thing people do on MeFi that drives me batshit insane is post. So I'm with you on the not posting.

I was also mostly kidding, but if no one posted we wouldn't have this problem!
posted by cjorgensen at 7:55 PM on August 13, 2010


I would like to start a thread that is just "what is the one thing people do on MeFi that drives you batshit insane?"

This seems to be presupposing that there is only one such thing.
posted by Jaltcoh at 9:01 PM on August 13, 2010


Please keep any snarkism to a minimal folks.
posted by exlotuseater at 11:05 PM on August 13, 2010


Who are the minimal folks? Is this user one?
posted by taz at 11:36 PM on August 13, 2010


This seems to be presupposing that there is only one such thing.

Nah, it's making people choose only one, for a change.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:48 AM on August 14, 2010


Well then making people choose only one is my thing. Argh!
posted by carsonb at 6:56 AM on August 14, 2010


You are also complaining that I am spoiling season one when you guys are on here actively spoiling the current season.

Sorry dude, no, this is crazy talk. Saying a character is still the same character they have been for the entire series thus far could not possibly, using any semblance of earth logic, be considered a spoiler.
posted by elizardbits at 7:05 AM on August 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


Fine, we'll use Jupiter logic.
posted by nomadicink at 7:09 AM on August 14, 2010


oh you jovians always think you're sooo superior.
posted by elizardbits at 8:13 AM on August 14, 2010


I would like to start a thread that is just "what is the one thing people do on MeFi that drives you batshit insane?"

Dismissing someone's input by directing them towards fark/digg/reddit/4chan I CHOOSE YOU!
posted by Think_Long at 9:00 AM on August 14, 2010


I would like to start a thread that is just "what is the one thing people do on MeFi that drives you batshit insane?"

I'm not sure if there is actually an official literary term for this highly annoying practice, but for me it's whenever people in relationship threads post any variation of:

"(Insert some story about the first time I met my significant other which would lead you to believe the relationship had no chance of working out).

We've celebrate our 6th anniversary next Tuesday."
posted by The Gooch at 10:20 AM on August 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


It's an old Romance/Light Fiction convention, the "Dear Reader, I married him" thing. It's been parodied, satirized, earnestly returned so many times it is now devoid of meaning.
posted by The Whelk at 10:21 AM on August 14, 2010


I'm not sure if there is actually an official literary term for this highly annoying practice...


I think it's called persistence.
posted by xbeautychicx at 10:32 AM on August 14, 2010


Yer man Strunk was wrong . That creaking you hear? The sound created by all of the non-Americans rolling their eyes - please don't feed xbeautychicx incorrect grammatical information in the guise of trying to be helpful. The parenthesis is part of the sentence ended by the full stop, therefore it always goes before the full stop. You all just keep leaving it hanging...
posted by goo at 10:41 AM on August 14, 2010


> The parenthesis is part of the sentence ended by the full stop, therefore it always goes before the full stop.

I hold no brief for the absurdly fetishized schoolmaster Strunk, but you are wrong and have not been paying attention. Here, to save you the trouble of scrolling, is the quote from Strunk:
(When a wholly detached expression or sentence is parenthesized, the final stop comes before the last mark of parenthesis.)
In other words (since you have failed to understand that version), if the parenthesis encloses an entire sentence, the sentence punctuation goes inside the parenthesis. Just as in the quoted sentence/parenthesis. Do you really think even in that magic kingdom, the U.K., anyone would print it as:
(When a wholly detached expression or sentence is parenthesized, the final stop comes before the last mark of parenthesis).
?

If so, take it to yer man the local proofreader/editor and watch how fast you get laughed out of the room.
posted by languagehat at 12:14 PM on August 14, 2010 [9 favorites]


Clearly we need another True Blood thread because without one on the front page it's starting to leak into the rest of the threads.

Okey dokey.
posted by homunculus at 12:39 PM on August 14, 2010


I would like to start a thread that is just "what is the one thing people do on MeFi that drives you batshit insane?"

+

Clearly we need another True Blood thread because without one on the front page it's starting to leak into the rest of the threads.

-> then somebody pipes up and posts:

Is this something you would have to watch television to understand?
posted by bukvich at 1:49 PM on August 14, 2010


I learned something (but I'm not sure what yet).

(It was something about periods in parenthetical statements.)
posted by fuq at 2:34 PM on August 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


no dude the period thread is on the blue.
posted by elizardbits at 3:19 PM on August 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Is this something you would have to watch television to understand?

No, entire seasons are available on iTunes.
posted by nomadicink at 3:30 PM on August 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


no dude the period thread is on the blue.

Blue Period.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:22 PM on August 14, 2010


The parenthesis separates the sentence from the rest of the text, and therefore all parts of the sentence, including the full stop, go inside the parenthesis.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:03 PM on August 14, 2010


... She's probably titillated by the thought that the kid has the hots for her, so she's subtly encouraging the come-ons... - posted by jayder at 1:55 PM on August 12

I'm really not okay with this comment.
posted by doublehappy at 5:22 PM on August 15, 2010


Blue Period.

Maxi pad commercials.




Take that, Pablo!
posted by Sys Rq at 6:46 PM on August 15, 2010


doublehappy- Yes I know, a very cruel yet poor attempt at being malicious.
posted by xbeautychicx at 6:48 PM on August 15, 2010


p.s I adamantly suspect jayder is every bit as sick his/herself to relish in such a thought.
Ew.
posted by xbeautychicx at 8:56 PM on August 15, 2010


Folks, it would be nice if we'd stop the weird ad hominem deal from comments that were four days ago. You don't like it, talk to the poster directly here or over email, don't just turn it into a "oh yeah, well you're like THIS" thing.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:07 PM on August 15, 2010


« Older Not Really A Double, But Not Original Either   |   Missing contact's most favorited posts on sidebar... Newer »

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