If you really want the help of parents, maybe don't start by insulting them? August 10, 2011 2:54 PM   Subscribe

If you really want the help of parents, maybe don't start by insulting them? Lots of deletions, lots of parenting/breastfeeding flame-war brushfires being put out in this thread.

Here's the way it looked to me (parent of a 5-year-old):

The OP's friends "insist" on bringing their children to adult venues. She assumes we'll be shocked at this: "before you say, surely they won't, [...] trust me, they will".

She sneers at them, because they're "people who believe everyone thinks as highly of their special little snowflake as they do" and who will be "crushed" to find out the truth.

She then second-guesses parents' response to this -- they will pile on and tell her about "the hell these parents are going through".

Later in the thread she kindly explains that she comes from a background where everyone "knows" that bringing children to certain events is wrong and asks how to deal with "people that don't recognize that distinction". These things aren't subjective, you see. They're facts which some people fail to recognise.

She talks about people being "horrified" at a baby being changed near a dining table. Her boyfriend has still not recovered from that incident (we aren't told which kind of diaper was being changed; we can only imagine). And she talks about how distracting it is to have to pause a conversation for a baby to "reattach to an uncovered breast". And again, she assumes we'll be horrified and disbelieving that someone would do that, and we need a "True story" to convince us. Why that's so much more distracting than, say, someone fumbling in their handbag for a while is left as an exercise for the reader.

So anyway, what's my point? My point is that:
  • the only people who can really help you answer a question "how can I avoid offending parents?" are parents. So, maybe not a great idea to be so rude about parents in your question.
  • This is a tendency I've seen a lot in AskMes which are ostensibly questions: "How can I tell Cousin Stacey she's not invited to my wedding?" but also contain venting about all the horrible things Cousin Stacey has done over the years, can you believe her? And then I said, and then she said, and she was all "Nuh-uh!", and I was all "Oh no you didn't" ... The question can be asked, calmly and politely, without the horror stories.
posted by AmbroseChapel to Etiquette/Policy at 2:54 PM (724 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

I guess we know where the massive deletions were coming from in that thread.
posted by winna at 2:57 PM on August 10, 2011 [56 favorites]


the only people who can really help you answer a question "how can I avoid offending parents?" are parents

This is not true.
posted by grouse at 2:59 PM on August 10, 2011 [76 favorites]


I'm a parent, I was not offended by the OP. I was amused that breastfeeding in a friendly group without a cover was OMG mammalian titties! I agree that it's not a good thing to change a diaper near food. People have different levels of acceptance / taste. I think my life is easier now that I've accepted that.
posted by b33j at 2:59 PM on August 10, 2011 [9 favorites]


Although I think that the OP in that case really was trying to ask a question, it is clear to me that some questions aren't really questions, they are rants. Sometimes when I need to vent, I format a rant in my head in the form of an AskMe. Then I realize it's not a question and I don't post it.
posted by Knowyournuts at 3:04 PM on August 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


If you're offended by the question, don't answer it.
posted by empath at 3:04 PM on August 10, 2011 [38 favorites]


It is somewhat ironic that this callout of a rant disguised as a question is itself a rant disguised as a question.
posted by elizardbits at 3:05 PM on August 10, 2011 [179 favorites]


Yeah, here's another parent and former blatant breastfeeder who was amused by the OP's shock, not offended. The question definitely should have been trimmed, but ah well.
posted by The corpse in the library at 3:05 PM on August 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'm a bit surprised that the first answer suggests floating a lie about someone in this social circle having a miscarriage. That has to be one of the weirdest ideas I have heard about how to un-invite children.
posted by a womble is an active kind of sloth at 3:05 PM on August 10, 2011 [24 favorites]


> I guess we know where the massive deletions were coming from in that thread.

Nothing of mine was deleted, if that's the insinuation?

> This is not true.


I guess it is a matter of opinion, you're right. But surely you see that the best people to answer this question are people with (small) children?
posted by AmbroseChapel at 3:06 PM on August 10, 2011


I guess it is a matter of opinion, you're right. But surely you see that the best people to answer this question are people with (small) children?

Apparently not.
posted by enn at 3:07 PM on August 10, 2011 [11 favorites]


Or perhaps other people in the OP's situation who have successfully resolved their similar situation as a single person with many friends with small children?
posted by elizardbits at 3:07 PM on August 10, 2011 [27 favorites]


We're dangerously close to reaching Peak Drama. Pack your stuff, kids and husbands and head to the woods people. Winter is coming.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 3:08 PM on August 10, 2011 [25 favorites]


No, the best people to answer the question are probably other single people who have dealt with this situation before and actually sympathize with the questioner rather than someone who is antagonized by the question and wants to start an argument.
posted by empath at 3:08 PM on August 10, 2011 [59 favorites]


I think she could have phrased it better, but she popped up a few times in the thread to explain it wasn't that she doesn't like her friends' kids, she just wasn't happy with some of their behaviors when they bring their kids round to parties.

I separate the breastfeeding thing from the diaper thing -- the diaper thing is disgusting, and everyone should be horrified. The breastfeeding thing I personally don't have a negative opinion about, but I don't think it's silly or sneering to dislike it. A lot of people don't and don't have the experience of being around breastfeeding women a lot. I don't think it's that strange that it would make some uncomfortable.

I think this is a really unfair callout.
posted by sweetkid at 3:08 PM on August 10, 2011 [25 favorites]


> If you're offended by the question, don't answer it.

That's precisely what I did. Then I came here to express my wish that it had been asked in a better way, for the good of the whole MetaFilter community. (Some of whom, I know for a fact, take their children to pubs! True story!!)
posted by AmbroseChapel at 3:10 PM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


The OP was astonishingly condescending, clueless, arrogant and self absorbed. Really, you're upset that your friend has to pause to feed her baby and thus you don't have her total attention?

That said, the diaper changing at the booth is gross and should have been called out at some point. Or at least don't invite that person again.

But surely you see that the best people to answer this question are people with (small) children?

Not necessarily. There's no reason a thoughtful or reasonable non-parent can't give a good answer.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:11 PM on August 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


The boobs and diapers derail is beside the point.

A similar question could have been asked as such:

I would like to invite my friends over for parties, but several of them are really attached to their pets and bring them everywhere. I love dogs, but for the purposes of the events, it's really not appropriate to have them hanging around. They have to be fed in a special way and taken out for the bathroom in a special way, which really disrupts the flow of the whole party. How can I diplomatically mention to friends that their pets are not welcome at my upcoming birthday celebration?
posted by phunniemee at 3:13 PM on August 10, 2011 [14 favorites]


A baby's a real downer at a party.
posted by 2bucksplus at 3:14 PM on August 10, 2011 [12 favorites]


I think phunniemee has it.
posted by small_ruminant at 3:14 PM on August 10, 2011


> If you're offended by the question, don't answer it.

That's precisely what I did. Then I came here to express my wish that it had been asked in a better way, for the good of the whole MetaFilter community. (Some of whom, I know for a fact, take their children to pubs! True story!!)


No you didn't. You wrote something that didn't contribute to the thread.
posted by hal_c_on at 3:14 PM on August 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


...Which is to say, it's tacky to bring uninvited guests (whether they be people, pets, or babies) to a party that only you were invited to without checking with the host first.
posted by phunniemee at 3:15 PM on August 10, 2011 [22 favorites]


Ironically, I have to take my kid to school shortly but before I do, this:

No, the best people to answer the question are probably other single people who have dealt with this situation before and actually sympathize with the questioner rather than someone who is antagonized by the question and wants to start an argument.

Seems to me pure belming insanity, and obviously, the literal opposite of the truth. If was assume the question boils down to "how can I politely tell parents their kids aren't invited?" of course. I suppose if the question is "how can I make absolutely sure these inappropriate parents don't bring their kids", I suppose you're right.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 3:15 PM on August 10, 2011


But surely you see that the best people to answer this question are people with (small) children?

No, I really cannot. What exactly is it about this question or the situation being described that requires me to be someone's mother? And for the record, I'm on your side - I think the OP is being ridiculous to the point of hilarity. But I'm not overly impressed by this point of yours, either.
posted by DarlingBri at 3:15 PM on August 10, 2011 [8 favorites]


The OP was astonishingly condescending, clueless, arrogant and self absorbed.

Welcome to metafilter.
posted by hal_c_on at 3:16 PM on August 10, 2011 [8 favorites]


I would like to invite my friends over for parties, but several of them are really attached to their pets and bring them everywhere. I love dogs, but for the purposes of the events, it's really not appropriate to have them hanging around. They have to be fed in a special way and taken out for the bathroom in a special way, which really disrupts the flow of the whole party. How can I diplomatically mention to friends that their pets are not welcome at my upcoming birthday celebration?

Man I hate it when my friends breastfeed their pets when they're talking to me. So rude!
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:17 PM on August 10, 2011 [10 favorites]



The OP was astonishingly condescending, clueless, arrogant and self absorbed.

I disagree with all of this. This question should not be making people so angry.
posted by sweetkid at 3:17 PM on August 10, 2011 [67 favorites]


Unfortunately, the tactlessness of the OP as someone who says some parents just don't understand how self-important they seem has been continually justified by the actions of many people in the thread. And now we're here.

Lose-lose-lose.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:17 PM on August 10, 2011 [53 favorites]


I don't understand why people get worked up about nursing. I am one of the most squeamish people on earth and the only thing I think when I see a woman nursing is that I'm glad the baby is getting fed.

But not everyone is me, and so I tried to read that thread charitably without getting into the weeds with that derail.

There was a real question there, the OP had a right to have it answered, and getting het up because the OP doesn't want to have every event ever feature children is not helpful.

Nothing of mine was deleted, if that's the insinuation?

The insinuation is that people have gotten het up over the notion that not everything has to include children at all time and so their viewpoint was being excised from the thread. I was pretty sure what most of the deletions had as content, so it was interesting to see my opinion confirmed.
posted by winna at 3:17 PM on August 10, 2011


the only people who can really help you answer a question "how can I avoid offending parents?" are parents.

I disagree, and moreover, I believe the question was "How can I diplomatically tell parents that their children are not invited," which I think is really fair game for anyone who has ever had to preemptive bar someone from an event or been barred, or seen other people barred.

The question can be asked, calmly and politely, without the horror stories.

Possibly true, but you take questions as they come. I'd like to rewrite half the questions I see on AskMe, and 90% of the MeTa callouts.

And, of course, the OP ended her question with the caveat that:

Please don't tell me what an ignorant so-and-so I'm being, because I have no idea the hell these parents are going through in the first year of their child's life. I know that I don't. But they're not my children, and therefore I don't have to include them in everything.

I do like this study in contrasts, though:

BE KIND. You're dealing with someone at a low point, they may not be coherent or even likable. That's just how people are. Being nasty to them doesn't help them or you.

The OP was astonishingly condescending, clueless, arrogant and self absorbed.

What a difference one MeTa thread makes. Neat!
posted by Admiral Haddock at 3:19 PM on August 10, 2011 [9 favorites]


The insinuation is that people have gotten het up over the notion that not everything has to include children at all time and so their viewpoint was being excised from the thread. I was pretty sure what most of the deletions had as content, so it was interesting to see my opinion confirmed.

Really? My guess is that the breastfeeding stuff caused the derails and deletions. I don't think your view has been confirmed by anything that's been said so far.
posted by palliser at 3:20 PM on August 10, 2011


Seems to me pure belming insanity, and obviously, the literal opposite of the truth.

Well, since you seem to have an answer to the question: If you were a single person, how would you tell parents that their kids aren't welcome to your party so that they won't be offended?

And actually, don't answer here. Go to the thread and answer it. Because that's what ask metafilter is for.
posted by empath at 3:21 PM on August 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


This callout is unnecessary but predictable. What took you so long? Were you outraged that no one else had already done so? It is a touchy subject. Why did you take it so personally?
posted by futz at 3:21 PM on August 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


Side note: I think I found out what happens when a comment gets both posted and deleted before I have a chance to click "show".

I knew that AskMe would be good for something other than both sides coming away with a smug sense of superiority!
posted by supercres at 3:21 PM on August 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


When my friends bring their baby with them, I assume it's because they couldn't get a sitter, or it would have been a lot of trouble. So the choice was between not coming at all or bringing their child. I would rather see my friends with baby then not see them at all.

If people are genuinely bringing a baby to an adult party as some sort of entertainment parlor trick, that seems bizarre to me. Do people do that?
posted by drjimmy11 at 3:22 PM on August 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


If you're offended by the question, don't answer it.
posted by Empath.

should be carved in HTML stone.
posted by clavdivs at 3:23 PM on August 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


I would rather see my friends with baby then not see them at all.

Right. As would I & as would the OP in SOME circumstances. This is not one of them. I would rather see my friends with dog than not see them at all, but not in all venues. You're allowed to make distinctions.
posted by small_ruminant at 3:25 PM on August 10, 2011 [7 favorites]


What I want to know is, when did babysitters become an endangered species?
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:27 PM on August 10, 2011 [10 favorites]


I would rather see my friends with dog than not see them at all, but not in all venues.

Oof. That's an analogy that will go well with the irritated parents. But I agree. Dogs are preferable.
posted by supercres at 3:28 PM on August 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think the best people to answer this question are hal_c_on.

Yes. When you need to be blunt and are worrying what other people will think of you when you say what you need to say, you need to call in the big guns.

"Hey...don't talk to your girlfiend like that in front of me. I'm her friend, and I don't really care for you."

"Hey, your kid just bit my kid. If you don't get him to stop, I will do to you what he did to my kid. That will get your kid to stop."

"No. God doesn't think you are special...you have psychosis".

"Its not a matter of interpretation, its a matter of fact, and your facts are wrong".

"You don't have class. You are just confused about what 'class' is".

"No. You are absolutely not hot enough to treat someone like that."

"No. You are absolutely not as intelligent as you think."

"Keep your babies at home because its my birthday, and the only person who gets to suck in tits that day is ME. Also, sex offenders might be present."
posted by hal_c_on at 3:28 PM on August 10, 2011 [22 favorites]


but you take questions as they come. I'd like to rewrite half the questions I see on AskMe, and 90% of the MeTa callouts.

Absolutely. People don't always knock it out of the park in how they frame their questions, or come off as gracefully as we'd like (as sympathizers or as annoyed third parties), but folks still need to put out that effort to try and reply gracefully themselves.

It's totally okay to just write off a question if you don't like how it's asked. Much of the time that's going to be a better sane-making move than the alternatives.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:29 PM on August 10, 2011 [8 favorites]


Echoing sweetkid, this is an unfair callout and I don't think the OP has done anything wrong by being honest about her feelings towards children at her birthday party.

The OP was astonishingly condescending, clueless, arrogant and self absorbed.

I don't see it that way. I've also had to deal with new parents that didn't make the same distinctions as I do between dinner tables and changing tables, and still other new parents that did. Some people can be kind of annoying with their kids and do things you're not comfortable with and don't consider appropriate. The OP is asking how to deal with that and disclosed some of the things she's not comfortable with and finds inappropriate.

In any event, the answer to the question is not "stop insulting me, you selfish ass".
posted by Hoopo at 3:29 PM on August 10, 2011 [6 favorites]


This question was actually quite instructive for me. While I would very much like to have children, I still haven't met Special Dude so, you know, I'm a little behind the curve, whereas most of my friends have met Special Dude or Special Lady and a few of them have started having kids. I think in the next few years there will be a lot a lot more, and I kind of get a lump in my throat thinking that there's a very real possibility I will still not have met Special Dude and will be having Single Person Childless Parties and have to think about the situation much harder than I do now. As it stands now, I LOVE hanging out with my friends' kids at their house or out and about during the day, but if someone brought their kid to my house unannounced, I'd be worried they'd get into something, or my cat might get overwhelmed and scratch them or something. My friends don't expect to bring their kids to my house, though, or to another social gathering I've planned, and if they did they would probably ask me.


The OP was trying to figure out what to do, because unlike me her friends wouldn't expect on not bringing their child. Maybe, like me, this is all a bit new for her?
posted by sweetkid at 3:31 PM on August 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


There's really no way to prevent people from asking questions in ways that won't get them the kind of thread they're looking for. Perennially touchy topics especially - and parenting is definitely one - have so many landmines that it's almost inevitable that the OP will say something that will spark a minor holy war in the thread. This particular one is kind of an extreme example of an inherently reasonable question with enough extraneous information that it pisses off nearly everybody, but yeah, there's no real way to prevent that in a community this big.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 3:31 PM on August 10, 2011


Seems to me pure belming insanity, and obviously, the literal opposite of the truth.

That's, like, your opinion, man. You obviously have too much of an emotional investment in this to pretend to anything like objectivity. The question won't go away, so just let it lie.
posted by adamdschneider at 3:32 PM on August 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'm sad that the OP assumed the worst of the child-bringing friends. I think this is the crux of the issue. We (parents) work on the assumption that others are assuming the best of us.
posted by k8t at 3:35 PM on August 10, 2011 [8 favorites]


Astonishing. That AskMe thread is a problem solved by three simple words: "Adults only please." But not only was that thread contentious, now there's a MeTa, too! It's like the final scene of Akira up in here.
posted by trunk muffins at 3:38 PM on August 10, 2011 [14 favorites]


I do not like the babies/pets analogy. Babies are human beings, and having one in your dining room should not be compared to having a dog in your dining room, any more than having a member of any other group of humans in your dining room should be compared to having a dog in your dining room.
posted by palliser at 3:38 PM on August 10, 2011 [11 favorites]


I'm a bit surprised that the first answer suggests floating a lie about someone in this social circle having a miscarriage. That has to be one of the weirdest ideas I have heard about how to un-invite children.
posted by a womble is an active kind of sloth at 3:05 PM on August 10 [6 favorites +] [!]


People often suggest bizarre lies like this on AskMes about how to get out of sticky interpersonal situations. It's disturbing, but it's good to know that there are people out there who think like this, in case I ever come across it.
posted by yarly at 3:38 PM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


We (parents) work on the assumption that others are assuming the best of us.

Oh dear. You haven't seen the "Peanut Free Mom" Tweets, have you?
posted by Hoopo at 3:38 PM on August 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


I would rather see my friends with dog than not see them at all, but not in all venues.

The pet analogy is a complete and utter red herring, and people should really just fucking leave it. In many, possibly even most, cases, a breastfeeding mother with a young infant (the kind of parent the OP described in the question) simply cannot be separated from her child for more than an hour-and-a-half to two hours. Period.

That people are claiming to see a similarity between leaving a dog at home and leaving a breastfeeding infant at home, sitter or no, is either deeply disingenuous or betrays an almost breathtaking lack of understanding of how the human race perpetuates itself.
posted by dersins at 3:38 PM on August 10, 2011 [15 favorites]


Oh, and I say that as someone who married, 40, and child-free.
posted by dersins at 3:39 PM on August 10, 2011


Jessamyn just wrote this in the post before this one:

I know this seems weird but I think one of the things that good questions answerers do is that thaey don't do any of the bad stuff and they have wisdom about dealing with situations.


So the bad things they don't do:
- turn the OPs situation into some mirror of their own situation and launch a proxy-attack on their past via AskMe answers
- attacking [or just eye-rolling] other people who are trying to answer. It doesn't really matter if you're shocked at other answers, move on

posted by futz at 3:40 PM on August 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


TETSUOOOOOOOOO YOU CAN'T COMPARE BABIES TO DOGS ARRRRRGH
posted by trunk muffins at 3:41 PM on August 10, 2011 [41 favorites]


People often suggest bizarre lies like this on AskMes about how to get out of sticky interpersonal situations. It's disturbing, but it's good to know that there are people out there who think like this, in case I ever come across it.

Real life George Costanzas.
posted by 2bucksplus at 3:41 PM on August 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm sad that the OP assumed the worst of the child-bringing friends. I think this is the crux of the issue. We (parents) work on the assumption that others are assuming the best of us.

The OP is talking about her experiences with her friends. Not all parents.
posted by empath at 3:42 PM on August 10, 2011 [18 favorites]


Also, she didn't want children at her party. She shouldn't have to give excuses why not.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:44 PM on August 10, 2011 [16 favorites]


This place exhausts me sometimes. So much GRAR, so much defensiveness. Your baby is delightful, your boobs are spectacular, your dog poops rainbows and everyone can come to my party.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 3:44 PM on August 10, 2011 [54 favorites]


Delightful! I will breastfeed my dog and then put her rainbow poops on the table.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 3:46 PM on August 10, 2011 [24 favorites]


This question made me sad. I feel like we should support people who have kids and welcome them everywhere, not make them hide away with their children. The that parties together, stays together. I'll always remember seeing toddlers running around the sidewalk cafes on hot August nights in Spain while their parents sipped wine; it was just so CIVILIZED.

The American hostility towards children in bars and at "adult" parties ultimately fosters an unhealthy attitude towards alcohol, because kids don't get to see what it looks like to drink responsibly for fun.
posted by yarly at 3:48 PM on August 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


I do not like the babies/pets analogy.

Seriously. At least pets are easily housebroken. Also, the other day at my friend's party, one of the toddlers broke loose from the toddler-playing-area and ran wild, and somehow I was selected as the one to rein her in. Can you believe this 2 year old child didn't even know any simple commands like SIT or STAY?

What is this world even coming to I ask you.
posted by elizardbits at 3:48 PM on August 10, 2011 [27 favorites]


Seeing as how the supporters of parents with children are acting in this thread, I totally understand why the OP wouldn't want those people at her party.
posted by andoatnp at 3:51 PM on August 10, 2011 [55 favorites]


Also, how are your children going to learn how to mix martinis for you like in Mad Men, if you're not allowed to bring them to parties?
posted by yarly at 3:51 PM on August 10, 2011 [16 favorites]


I'm sad that the OP assumed the worst of the child-bringing friends.

Quite possible that the OP isn't assuming anything- she's operating from experience. If there is someone who doesn't know a badly behaved parent, I would like to go move to their universe.

It is okay to want zero breast-feedings or diaper changings at your party, despite what some people say. It doesn't not mean you refuse to accept your mammalian nature or that you hate humanity, babies, or children. Most parents I know understood that this was part of the bargain when they procreated. Some, obviously, did not.

The American hostility towards children

In the other countries I've been to, there are adults-only events and venues and people seem okay with this. Also, they love their children. I am assured that these expectations do not equal hostility towards children.
posted by small_ruminant at 3:52 PM on August 10, 2011 [30 favorites]


I feel like we should support people who have kids and welcome them everywhere, not make them hide away with their children.

Please feel free to do so at your parties. The Lady Lurgi and I had no problem with our friends bringing their kids to our wedding because (a) there weren't that many of them and (b) we know and like the kids. Not everyone agrees with this and not everyone agrees all the time. If someone wants to have a party where it's adults only then they can. If their friends with kids can't make it as a result then they might change their mind for future events. None of this involves the fall of western civilization.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 3:53 PM on August 10, 2011 [9 favorites]


I hope non-parents who have lots of party-throwing experience in a group with parents of young children can answer that question, because I just did.
posted by immlass at 3:55 PM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Later in the thread she kindly explains that she comes from a background where everyone "knows" that bringing children to certain events is wrong and asks how to deal with "people that don't recognize that distinction". These things aren't subjective, you see. They're facts which some people fail to recognise.

Ok, i can see that.

the only people who can really help you answer a question "how can I avoid offending parents?" are parents

you lost me there. these two seem like the same thing to me.
posted by Ironmouth at 3:55 PM on August 10, 2011


I had some constructive advice for the OP but stayed out of the thread. I'm a parent (of a child who's no longer an infant), and most of my friends have babies or kids, and I can appreciate the situation she's in. I do enjoy child-free events and relished the chance to leave my nursing baby at home for a few hours whenever possible.

But MAN. Her utter fucking distain toward her "friends" was palpable. If you hate your friends, get new ones. Seriously.
posted by peep at 3:55 PM on August 10, 2011 [13 favorites]


Babies are human beings, and having one in your dining room should not be compared to having a dog in your dining room, any more than having a member of any other group of humans in your dining room should be compared to having a dog in your dining room

That's an odd thing to say. Babies are very easily distinguished from most other groups of people. Take issue with the dog comparison by all means, I realize it's not flattering. But I don't think it was meant as an insult and it's certainly not the case that babies are the same as any other group of humans. FWIW I would probably draw some less than flattering comparisons too had I invited an adult over who was completely inarticulate and communicated by shrieking gibberish, shat his pants at the table, and drank from a nipple.

The American hostility towards children in bars and at "adult" parties ultimately fosters an unhealthy attitude towards alcohol, because kids don't get to see what it looks like to drink responsibly for fun.


For me there's a certain degree of the "swears like a sailor when drunk" effect in play here, as well as the danger factor of clumsy drunk people around babies and small children. I'm presuming this person is around 30ish, which is a time when you very likely have friends that have settled down with kids and others that are still on single-and-partying-like-idiots-mode. Drinking "responsibly" isn't always a guarantee.
posted by Hoopo at 3:55 PM on August 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


Whenever breastfeeding in public comes up, people are often caught off guard at the vehemence of some of the responses. I came to understand this differently myself after I had my first child: objecting to breastfeeding may be about being uncomfortable at seeing a naked breast in public for the person complaining, but the message received is "this person is attempting to interfere with my ability to feed my child." And that message goes straight into the lizard brain and triggers some very energetic responses, to the surprise and dismay of the person objecting to seeing a baby nurse, because they just think they are maybe asking for a little decency, and they don't realize how it's received. You know all that stuff about "don't get in between a mother bear and her cub"? This is kind of the human version of that.
posted by ambrosia at 3:56 PM on August 10, 2011 [14 favorites]


The American hostility towards children in bars and at "adult" parties ultimately fosters an unhealthy attitude towards alcohol, because kids don't get to see what it looks like to drink responsibly for fun.

Many times people don't want kids at their adult parties because they are going to be drinking irresponsibly for fun.
posted by grouse at 3:58 PM on August 10, 2011 [31 favorites]


The OP was astonishingly condescending, clueless, arrogant and self absorbed. Really, you're upset that your friend has to pause to feed her baby and thus you don't have her total attention?

I see the OP's mention of that incident as a symptom of a deeper frustration. In my experience, when people have children under 6, you can never ever ever EVER have a full conversation with them unless that kid is passed-out asleep and sometimes not even then. In the grand scope of things, yes, the kid is more important than whatever I needed to talk about, but it's frustrating, and I've reduced the amount of time and effort I spend trying to talk to the parent.
posted by desjardins at 3:58 PM on August 10, 2011 [31 favorites]


For me there's a certain degree of the "swears like a sailor when drunk" effect in play here, as well as the danger factor of clumsy drunk people around babies and small children. I'm presuming this person is around 30ish, which is a time when you very likely have friends that have settled down with kids and others that are still on single-and-partying-like-idiots-mode. Drinking "responsibly" isn't always a guarantee.

Well, that's kind of my point. In my observation, in Southern Europe drinking is much more responsible than in the US and UK. People drink socially, not to "party," and I think they learn this by growing up in a culture where alcohol is seen as something to enjoy along with a few snacks and conversation, not as a whole other category of entertainment involving getting wasted. Yes, teenagers get crazy there like anywhere, but there's also a lot of multigenerational socializing that you don't see so much on the streets in the US.
posted by yarly at 4:01 PM on August 10, 2011


I'm getting confused. Are Southern European dog owners better or worse than binge-drinking American breast-feeders?
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:06 PM on August 10, 2011 [12 favorites]


I think all of the grar was over the big breastfeeding derail, really. Which is kind of fair enough (speaking as someone who breastfed her kid everywhere, and for quite a long time for American norms).

but the question was about the invitation, and hell, all hail adults-only parties. Some sanity for a few brief shining hours of my day. I fail to see why grar should result from that.
posted by gaspode at 4:07 PM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Since my answer was deleted I can re-port it here for the benefit of the OP:

Give each of your friends $80 for babysitting costs.

Also: While I am glad that I still get to see my friends, I often wish I could see them AND have their whole attention.

Yeah, they wish that too. It's not going to happen. Deal with it.
posted by GuyZero at 4:08 PM on August 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


We (parents) work on the assumption that others are assuming the best of us.

I wanted to respond to the AskMe in question when I first saw it, but I didn't because as I considered what to say I realized the OP simply could not win in this situation, and that's not helpful advice. I think the statement above is why. And I don't mean to single out the person who wrote it, it's just the kind of thing I hear a lot and it's baffling. "We (parents) assume..." is just so odd to me. I would have thought that what we (individuals) assume about how other individuals will perceive us comes from our personality combined with our life experience. I can't believe that my assumptions about how other people act and think, which I've taken over 30 years to refine, will magically change if I become part of a different demographic someday. I mean it's not as if "parents" is some small special interest group. It's, like, most of the people on the Earth. I would like to be one, but I'm not and maybe won't be ever. And it's so sad that because of that I - and others like me - are considered by so many people to be this sort of other species of human. It's no longer a discussion of social behavior among friends, as I first read the OP's question, but this whole Parents vs awful, selfish other people thing. Which is just so tiresome. So yeah, this thread has convinced me I was right and she really can't win. It's almost like she's lost her right to keep friends unless she arranges her whole life to suit their needs. Depressing.
posted by DestinationUnknown at 4:08 PM on August 10, 2011 [75 favorites]


I will breastfeed my dog and then put her rainbow poops on the table.

Never again shall I look at Skittles in the same way.
posted by elizardbits at 4:10 PM on August 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


FWIW I would probably draw some less than flattering comparisons too had I invited an adult over who was completely inarticulate and communicated by shrieking gibberish, shat his pants at the table, and drank from a nipple.

Hey Hoppo, sorry to break this to you, but odds are that you're going to end up this way near the end of your life, so you might want to try a little bit of mercy on for size.
posted by GuyZero at 4:11 PM on August 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Seeing as how the supporters of parents with children are acting in this thread, I totally understand why the OP wouldn't want those people at her party.

Yeah, they're kind of proving her point there, aren't they?

Look, if all parents could be reasonable (by which I mean, not getting butthurt at being told not to change the baby on the lunch table), this wouldn't be a freaking problem. But clearly that ain't the case. Because there are some idiots in her social circle that will do this, it means everyone has to suffer because that means all kids are disinvited. But seriously, it ain't worth it trying to keep kids out of ANYTHING these days due to the inevitable drama bombs that erupt if you even mention it.

DestinationUnknown is totally correct. Threads like this make me think that we should just shuffle all of the childfree to an island already so that the parents and non-parents will never meet. Clearly we can't all just get along and have all become foreign species to each other.

Sigh.
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:11 PM on August 10, 2011 [8 favorites]


As a fan of Insane Overractionary Drama, I have been waiting and waiting for this to explode, so my sincere thanks to everyone finally throwing a bitchfit in MeTa.
posted by mckenney at 4:12 PM on August 10, 2011 [17 favorites]


I too expected this one to MeTa sooner. I'm only surprised at how long this took.
posted by GuyZero at 4:14 PM on August 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's almost like she's lost her right to keep friends unless she arranges her whole life to suit their needs. Depressing

Nobody has a right to keep the same set of friends forever. Circumstances change, people move, etc. She's going to have to adapt to her friends or get new friends. That's how life goes.
posted by empath at 4:14 PM on August 10, 2011 [7 favorites]


Oh, dear.

This all has certainly been eye-opening for me; I say this in all sincerity, but I had no idea that I came off as condescending or clueless, much less arrogant or self-absorbed. What must my friends think of me?

These are the first of my friends to have children--and truly, there is a lot I don't know. As many of you so helpfully pointed out (again, genuine: it never occurred to me that babies wouldn't stand for blankets/covers when breastfeeding). I called one friend's baby "it" for the first three months of her life, until her Dad gently said, "You know, she's a she...you can call her she instead of it", if that tells you anything about where I'm coming from.

The question was a genuine plea for help, for how to word an invitation for one night, among many, many other inclusive nights, to have a nice, grown-up party where everyone can talk about topics everyone has in common.

The children in question are 10 months and 1.5 years. Both are in daycare, and presumably have passed the stage where they must be attached to mom to be fed. Daycare must give them bottles, right? So couldn't a babysitter give them a bottle, hypothetically?
posted by stellaluna at 4:15 PM on August 10, 2011 [38 favorites]


Whew. 95% of this would have been avoided with that information. The remaining 5% would have painted the loudly irritated as loud and irritable.

But it was fun while it lasted right?
posted by supercres at 4:17 PM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


She's going to have to adapt to her friends or get new friends. That's how life goes.

I don't think it's even that extreme--she was asking about a particular milestone birthday party. I'm going to guess 30--it certainly doesn't seem unreasonable to ask for a fun "adults only" night for a last hurrah to a decade.

Hi stellaluna! I think you're good people. It's cool.

Grarers gonna grar.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 4:18 PM on August 10, 2011 [9 favorites]


So couldn't a babysitter give them a bottle, hypothetically?

Yeah, for about $20/hour. Are you really $20-per-hour-interesting? I mean, maybe you're not worth $80 to these friends.
posted by GuyZero at 4:19 PM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


GuyZero, tone it down.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 4:20 PM on August 10, 2011 [66 favorites]


Is there any subject more contentious than parenting? Probably only one... supposing we combine the two to build the ultimate flame source that could power our internets for generations to come.

Vf eryvtvba puvyq nohfr? Vf eryvtvba cnegl nohfr?

marshmallowtime
posted by Winnemac at 4:20 PM on August 10, 2011


Hey Hoppo, sorry to break this to you, but odds are that you're going to end up this way near the end of your life, so you might want to try a little bit of mercy on for size.

Hey GuyZero, sorry you missed the point about not all "groups of human beings" being exactly the same thing.
posted by Hoopo at 4:21 PM on August 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


GuyZero, we get it: babysitters cost money. You're very clever.
posted by phunniemee at 4:21 PM on August 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


Didn't you get the memo? I'm arrogant as all hell, of COURSE I'm $20/hour interesting :)
posted by stellaluna at 4:21 PM on August 10, 2011 [90 favorites]


Wait a minute. If babysitters are making 20 bucks an hour, how come nobody can find one?
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:22 PM on August 10, 2011 [26 favorites]


She's going to have to adapt to her friends or get new friends.

Well, I think this is how you adapt - you realize that from now on, if you want one on one time with your friends, you need to figure out how to make that request in a way that won't upset them and has a reasonable chance of success.
posted by DrGirlfriend at 4:22 PM on August 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


We have a winner.

Appropriately, since according to Slate's sports podcast this week, Metafilter is place online where people keep score.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 4:23 PM on August 10, 2011


I guess should just stick to posting GRAR and letting everyone else take it from there.
posted by GuyZero at 4:24 PM on August 10, 2011


Stellaluna, I want to make it as clear as I possibly can that my objection to your post was 100% about tone, and not the least about content.

You have a perfectly valid question. But it's obscured by a layer of rancour and snark. People aren't replying because of that.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 4:26 PM on August 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


Or you could go make a tasty grilled cheese sammich and come back when you're feeling a bit better?
posted by elizardbits at 4:27 PM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


People aren't replying because of that.

It's got 80+ answers, so SOMEBODY is replying.
posted by small_ruminant at 4:28 PM on August 10, 2011 [27 favorites]


I would also like a grilled cheese sandwich, of the non-innuendo sort. Thank you.
posted by small_ruminant at 4:30 PM on August 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Stellaluna, I want to make it as clear as I possibly can that my objection to your post was 100% about tone, and not the least about content.

Agreed.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:30 PM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


stellaluna, your tone was and is fine. You mentioned specific issues with your specific friends. If some people are projecting that onto all parents and reacting defensively in response, that's not your problem.
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:31 PM on August 10, 2011 [86 favorites]


stellaluna, your tone was and is fine.

Agreed.
posted by small_ruminant at 4:31 PM on August 10, 2011 [12 favorites]


Someone should do an AskMe about ways to frame Askmes that don't offend anyone on Metafilter.
posted by Hoopo at 4:32 PM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


FWIW I would probably draw some less than flattering comparisons too had I invited an adult over who was completely inarticulate and communicated by shrieking gibberish, shat his pants at the table, and drank from a nipple.

I wouldn't compare a developmentally disabled adult dinner companion to a dog. Is that what you were going for?

It's the analogy that bothers me; I think it's (1) perfectly fine to put "Adults only, please" on an invitation, and (2) perfectly reasonable to expect that friends would at least ASK before bringing along a baby. I just don't think that any of the considerations that lead me to this conclusion require me to compare a baby to a dog, that's all.
posted by palliser at 4:32 PM on August 10, 2011


Babies, dogs, the developmentally disabled, people in persistent vegetative states, people with advanced Alzhimer's - all well-known downers at parties.

Also, surprising no one, I am also a downer at parties.
posted by GuyZero at 4:36 PM on August 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh for Christs sakes. palliser and GuyZero, I guess I am a terrible person who mocks the elderly and infirm and the severely disabled. That is obviously what I'm going for, and I am in awe of your compassion in inviting these people to your birthday parties.
posted by Hoopo at 4:38 PM on August 10, 2011 [6 favorites]


Are you going to make us guess which category you fall into?
posted by Admiral Haddock at 4:39 PM on August 10, 2011


Fer chrissakes.
posted by joe lisboa at 4:41 PM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Come on. Everybody knows dogs are way more fun than kids.
posted by rain at 4:41 PM on August 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


I mean, except that one dog. You know the one.
posted by small_ruminant at 4:42 PM on August 10, 2011 [8 favorites]


Plus dogs never grow up into surly disaffected teenagers who then steal money from your wallet for drugs.

Admittedly sometimes they eat your shoes.
posted by elizardbits at 4:44 PM on August 10, 2011 [7 favorites]


Are you going to make us guess which category you fall into?

The list is not exhaustive nor are the categories mutually exclusive. I may be none of those or I may be a developmentally disabled baby dog.
posted by GuyZero at 4:45 PM on August 10, 2011


True story: I went to a midnight showing of "Blade 3." There was this couple behind us with some kids of their own and some borrowed kids. The 4 or 5 year old girl says, "I have to go to the bathroom." Dad of the year says, "You know where they are." Off she goes on her own. Then a "scary" part in the movie hits, and the 3 year old says, "Dad, I'm scared!" Dad of the year says, "But he's a good guy. You remember him from the first two movies, right?"

I was going to point this out as an example of bad parenting, but since I'm not a parent, what the fuck do I know? The only thing I know for sure is if you can't shut your kids up at midnight showings of rated R movies, then don't bring them to the theater. Also, if they can't sit for 2 hours without needing to pee, then don't get her the soda!

Duh!
posted by cjorgensen at 4:46 PM on August 10, 2011 [6 favorites]


> There's really no way to prevent people from asking questions in ways that won't get them the kind of thread they're looking for.

Of course there is. There's a box under where we post answers telling us not to make wisecracks. Why not a line where we post questions saying "Now have one last read of your post. Are you using this as a way to vent? The question will probably go better if it's stated straightforwardly.".
posted by AmbroseChapel at 4:47 PM on August 10, 2011


Plus dogs never grow up into surly disaffected teenagers who then steal money from your wallet for drugs

Stupid teenagers. I keep my drugs right next to my money!
posted by Hoopo at 4:47 PM on August 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


cjorgensen, that dad will pay when the kid is having nightmares for the next week. That'll learn him.

Man, Blade 2 freaked me out and I was in my 20's when I got dragged to it. Come on, dude.
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:48 PM on August 10, 2011


This thread makes me feel bad about how much I love going out without my kids. Seriously. I ditch them any chance I get.
posted by jrossi4r at 4:49 PM on August 10, 2011 [32 favorites]


When I went to see the execrable movie The Unborn, which is about a HORRIBLE DEMON BABY, there were at least a dozen babies in the theatre, even though it was 11pm on a Sunday night. All the dramatic moments wherein the horrible demon baby was poised to leap out and terrify us all were punctuated by random real baby noises all over the theatre. SURROUND DEMON BABY SOUND.

It was probably the best part about the entire evening, which isn't saying much tbh.
posted by elizardbits at 4:50 PM on August 10, 2011 [19 favorites]


...for how to word an invitation for one night,

You made this abundantly clear in the first lines of your question. However, this argument has little to do with what you actually wrote.

The parent/childfree topic is a massively charged cloud of GRAR that hangs over Metafilter, just waiting for some foolish person to step out into the open. Today was your day to be the lightning rod.

Fortunately it looks like you got some good answers amongst the sturm und drang.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 4:51 PM on August 10, 2011 [7 favorites]


Well, I'm glad this made it to MeTa, because I wanted to ask, very sincerely: How come it's such a hard thing to get a babysitter in America? Is it that way in other countries? I never hear people talking about it where I'm from. (I think most people would ask a friend anyway?)
posted by two or three cars parked under the stars at 4:53 PM on August 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


> You mentioned specific issues with your specific friends.

That is what she did, but it is not all she did. She chose to use loaded, sarcastic language in which to do it, and she put words into the mouths of all parents by pre-emptively reacting to, guess what, a call-out.

The question can be stated in 20 words. There are lots of other words in there.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 4:55 PM on August 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


two or three, it seems like these days people are a lot pickier as to who takes care of their kids. The neighbor kid (I used to do that!) isn't okay any longer.

Back when I had married friends with young kids, they were extremely rigid and specific over exactly who was allowed to take the kids. It boiled down to Grandma and one of his siblings and that was IT, nobody else allowed, at the time. Later on they let another friend of ours do it. But if those 2-3 people weren't available for sitting, then forget it, they weren't going to try to get anyone else.
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:55 PM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


palliser: “I do not like the babies/pets analogy. Babies are human beings, and having one in your dining room should not be compared to having a dog in your dining room, any more than having a member of any other group of humans in your dining room should be compared to having a dog in your dining room.”

What the hell is wrong with dogs? I value human babies more than I do dogs; nonetheless there's an obvious parallel between having to clean up after, watch out for, and care for an infant and having to do the same for a dog.

This might be kind of a side-issue, but the use of the term "dog" as an insult has never really made sense to me. It doesn't necessarily offend me, but I happen to like dogs. And, yes, pre-language human babies share a lot of things with dogs, with cats, with horses, with other animals. What's wrong with that observation?
posted by koeselitz at 4:59 PM on August 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


This thread makes me feel bad about how much I love going out without my kids. Seriously. I ditch them any chance I get.
Wait until they get old enough to leave behind on their own - it's like there's a whole new world out there just waiting for you!

I think parents are much more paranoid careful about who they leave their kids with these days - any random teenager used to do, but there seems to be so much more awareness/publicity about abuse etc that 'responsible' parents wouldn't dare leave their kids with anyone they don't know well and trust implicitly.
posted by dg at 5:00 PM on August 10, 2011


And, yes, pre-language human babies share a lot of things with dogs, with cats, with horses, with other animals. What's wrong with that observation?

hey koeselitz, when you're done here ya wanna go down to the hospital and make fun of sick and disabled people with me?
posted by Hoopo at 5:02 PM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh for Christs sakes. palliser and GuyZero, I guess I am a terrible person who mocks the elderly and infirm and the severely disabled. That is obviously what I'm going for

I guess what I thought is that you felt like it was okay to compare babies to dogs because they had obviously doggy characteristics, and haha imagine if an adult acted that way? but then it actually wouldn't be okay to compare adults who acted that way to dogs. So maybe not babies either, is what I was saying.

I gather that it's considered a very incisive analogy, though, and a way to really cut through the bullshit when it comes to discussions like this. It's my personal opinion that it's inflammatory and unhelpful, but hey, nobody gets a babysitter to hear my opinions.
posted by palliser at 5:03 PM on August 10, 2011


Look. All of my single, non-parent friends to whom I told the in-my-opinion illustrative examples I included in my question were horrified. I now know that not everyone in the world feels that way, thanks to the answers to my question and this thread.

I asked a sincere question, hoped for and received some sincere, helpful replies, and only tried to include extra information that I hoped would preclude responses like, "Surely no one would dream!", which is the ONLY advice I received from my friends/peers/colleagues in real life. If the tone came across as condescending, that's something I can work on in the future. I can't change it now.

So perhaps we can all pack up our pitchforks and burning torches for the night, since it's nigh happy hour here, and surely the rest of you could use a drink?
posted by stellaluna at 5:03 PM on August 10, 2011 [11 favorites]


Threads like this make me think that we should just shuffle all of the childfree to an island already so that the parents and non-parents will never meet

Whooooaaaa, I am in. When do we leave?
posted by adamdschneider at 5:04 PM on August 10, 2011 [15 favorites]


Or a grilled cheese sandwich. Or gluten-free vegan cheese whatever-floats-your-boat. God forbid I unknowingly opened another can of worms about drinking...
posted by stellaluna at 5:05 PM on August 10, 2011


The question can be stated in 20 words. There are lots of other words in there.

The same applies to this call out, which boils down to a mere eight words:

"I can't just flag it and move on."

If you don't like the question, don't answer it. This doesn't need to be a metaphysical referendum on the treatment of parents, the OP, her friends, or whatever. If the question stays up, it's a "good" question and can just be answered on its face (or flagged and moved over) without grar.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 5:05 PM on August 10, 2011 [29 favorites]


Daycare must give them bottles, right? So couldn't a babysitter give them a bottle, hypothetically?

They have a real child, not a hypothetical child. Any number of factors could come into play, from timing, to money, to emotion.

called one friend's baby "it" for the first three months of her life, until her Dad gently said, "You know, she's a she...you can call her she instead of it", if that tells you anything about where I'm coming from.

Dad's gentle tone is good sign. Maybe try broaching some of these questions with him or that couple? Naturally start off mentioning that you're in an unfamiliar environment and that you're looking for help in how to be inoffensive.

Something like "Hey parent, you know I'm kinda clueless about child rearing and how all that works, right? No, seriously, I'm ridiculously clueless here, can you help me out with this issue?"

Some people can be kind of annoying with their kids and do things you're not comfortable with and don't consider appropriate. The OP is asking how to deal with that and disclosed some of the things she's not comfortable with and finds inappropriate.

A parent wanting to feed their kid should not be a problem. Period.

Changing diapers in a nearby booth? Big problem. Other stuff where the parents just let the kids run around or don't enforce discipline? Big problem. But the attitude over losing her friend's attention 'cause said friend is trying to feed the her kid. That's pretty silly. Whatever point you're trying to make isn't as important at that moment.

This might be kind of a side-issue, but the use of the term "dog" as an insult has never really made sense to me.

Dogs are great, but they're less important than your kid. Hearing someone wanting to reshuffle where your kid belongs or should be is annoying.

I think parents are much more paranoid careful about who they leave their kids with these days - any random teenager used to do

Yes. My 19 year old daughter is supposed to go to lunch with the head preacher of our church. When they were talking about it on the phone, she asked him to pick her up, to which awkwardly said yes to. She didn't understand why he was reluctant, so she asked us. After all, she's known and trusted him for over a decade (as have we) so what's the issue? There is none, but it is matter of perception to other people in a small community. So she called him back, saying she'd met him at the public restaurant and drive home herself.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:07 PM on August 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


MetaFilter: I can't just flag it and move on.
posted by Specklet at 5:07 PM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


The baby-dog analogy is less about the perceived (dis)similarities between babies and dogs and more about the relationship of the caretaker to the little creature. For me, the analogy works fine, because it's about making a profound, longterm, life-altering commitment to properly care for a complex, intelligent living being that depends on you for its very existence. You make choices along the way about how best to provide that care, and the commitment and choices create constraints and require adaptation and sacrifice.

I pass up lots and lots and lots of invitations, work functions, going more than 1.5 hours away from my house, etc., because they are incompatible with caring for my dogs. It's not a tragedy, it's the consequence of my own choices.
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:09 PM on August 10, 2011 [6 favorites]


The Onion's "Study Reveals: Babies Are Stupid" isn't in the official archive anymore, which is too bad. Someone's copied it here.

The comparison is silly because ultimately dogs are autonomous creatures, capable of surviving without human intervention. Babies are completely dependent and aren't even capable of eating their parents in emergency situations.
posted by GuyZero at 5:09 PM on August 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


This thread makes me feel bad about how much I love going out without my kids. Seriously. I ditch them any chance I get.

I have several friends like you. I also have friends who never want to be separated from their kids ever. I think both attitudes are fine. The only problem is that there some people1 who assume that their attitudes are universal, and it's rude to even suggest that someone with a eight-week-old baby might want to join a party without their kids. But of course, there are many people without that attitude (or circumstances that require it), and the only way to find out is by asking.

1 I don't want to say "some parents" because, while the example here involves parents, this is just one example of a wider phenomenon that
posted by grouse at 5:12 PM on August 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Jessamyn just wrote this in the post before this one

And I wrote a lot of that thinking about all the comments I deleted in this particular thread, among others. I get that people are upset and I even understand why. I don't understand why people think that being really upset about something gives them a free pass to do things in AskMe that I'm pretty sure they know are not okay. People's inability to move past a question that bothers them is problematic from a community standpoint. Being a parent is difficult I am certain, but these threads are becoming like bike vs. car in their degree of rancor. Please try to do better, everyone.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:17 PM on August 10, 2011 [16 favorites]


I guess what I thought is that you felt like it was okay to compare babies to dogs because they had obviously doggy characteristics, and haha imagine if an adult acted that way? but then it actually wouldn't be okay to compare adults who acted that way to dogs

I actually said the same thing in the sentence before the one you pulled and responded to. I said that I get that the comparison to dogs is not flattering, but that wasn't the point of the comparison being made. Somehow you missed that, and then asked me if I was seriously talking about laughing at someone with a severe disability that cannot care for himself. In the context of a discussion about a birthday party.
posted by Hoopo at 5:18 PM on August 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


If anything it's the dogs who should be offended by the comparison. When's the last time a baby pulled someone out of a burning building? How many baby's fast-roped from a helicopter on the OBL raid? Where's the iconic image of a tongue-wagging baby romping through the Swiss Alps with a cask of brandy strapped under its chin?

Someone please make the calendar I've just described
posted by villanelles at dawn at 5:18 PM on August 10, 2011 [21 favorites]


Please try to do better, everyone

Sometimes the line is a bit grey in AskMe, so one invariably crosses. Not a criticism of you or AskMe, just saying. A comment (or two!) that I thought was fine, wasn't. So it goes.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:22 PM on August 10, 2011


Let's talk about Cousin Stacey for a second, just to make it less personal.

"How do I tell Stacey she's not invited to my wedding?" Is a way better question than "How do I tell Stacey she's not invited, which by the way is because she's a total bitch, and here are some anecdotes about her."

I see upthread the contention that the best person to answer is a person who sympathises with the OP. In this case, someone who also has a cousin who's a total bitch. Seriously?

It seems unequivocally obvious to me the best person to answer is someone who was non-hurtfully uninvited to a wedding. Not someone who's going to be posting "I know, right?!" to a series of slurs.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 5:27 PM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


palliser: “I guess what I thought is that you felt like it was okay to compare babies to dogs because they had obviously doggy characteristics, and haha imagine if an adult acted that way? but then it actually wouldn't be okay to compare adults who acted that way to dogs. So maybe not babies either, is what I was saying. I gather that it's considered a very incisive analogy, though, and a way to really cut through the bullshit when it comes to discussions like this. It's my personal opinion that it's inflammatory and unhelpful, but hey, nobody gets a babysitter to hear my opinions.”

I think I kind of get where you're coming from here. My position is a little different, so I'll try to explain.

When people compare other people insultingly to dogs, it's doubly offensive: first of all, it's offensive because it's offensive to insult another human being; and second, it's offensive because implicit in the joke is the inherent worthlessness of dogs. That latter thing is something that bothers me a lot – I appreciate that I might be alone here, but it's really weird to me how persistent sayings like "he died like a dog" or "he got beaten like a dog" are. Why should dogs die badly? Why should dogs get beaten? Really, what is wrong with dogs? There seems to be a common and traditional assumption of the worthlessness of dogs that creeps into our speech, and it's something I think we should think about.

The thing is that, because of that implicit assumption, the mere comparison of people to dogs is seen as insulting – even in cases like this, where it probably wasn't meant to be an insult. "A baby is like a dog" sounds to our ears like a denigration of babies because we're so used to phrases like "sick as a dog."

And so: I agree that it might seem inflammatory in many quarters to compare a baby to a dog. I don't think phunniemee or anyone else meant it that way, though. And I also happen to think that our knee-jerk devaluation of dogs, and of certain other animals, is worth fighting.
posted by koeselitz at 5:29 PM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I see upthread the contention that the best person to answer is a person who sympathises with the OP. In this case, someone who also has a cousin who's a total bitch. Seriously?

I think a lot of the contention is actually that a person who has also had to navigate a situation with hard-to-deal with (justly or unjustly, symmetrically or not, whatever) relatives/acquaintances is totally reasonably qualified to help answer the question.

Not so much "only people who agree Stacey is horrible can answer", as "people who have been in this social dynamic can help". Much of that was in response to an assertion that read kind of like "only people who know that Stacey is actually awesome and you should STFU can answer".

The big recurring theme here is that there's a lot of personal charge to this stuff that has as much to do with people tying their own personal experiences to the question and its framing as anything. It's okay to be annoyed by the framing of a question and to not want to answer it, that's fine, a-okay. The idea that other people should have the same reaction or that it is the only reasonable reaction is not so okay, and is definitely not workable.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:35 PM on August 10, 2011 [7 favorites]


It seems unequivocally obvious to me the best person to answer is someone who was non-hurtfully uninvited to a wedding.

Someone who is a bitch, though, right? Or maybe someone who is a bitch, but doesn't quite recognize her bad behavior? Because your perspective seems to be that the only qualified person to respond is a person who recreates the perspective of the person on the "receiving" end of the communication.

Clearly, clearly, this is not right. No one is ever truly in Stacey's position other than Stacey.

Which returns us, again, to the fundamental principle of either answer the question, or just flag it and move on.

Seriously. It really doesn't matter how much you disdain an OP or their phrasing, diction, grammar, preconceptions, or username. Answer the question, or don't answer the question; flag it or don't flag it--it's all good. But you do not get to rewrite the question or harangue an OP because you didn't like the question they asked. Full stop.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 5:39 PM on August 10, 2011 [13 favorites]


People's inability to move past a question that bothers them is problematic from a community standpoint. Being a parent is difficult I am certain, but these threads are becoming like bike vs. car in their degree of rancor. Please try to do better, everyone.

Including the OP, right?

I want the community to improve, and not be full of rancour, and be inclusive.

And one way we can do that is if people ask questions in better ways. All the sneering about drama and pitchforks? That's totally fine. I get that's the way MeFi is. But my conscience is clear. I'm saying, don't load your question with cynicism and snark and sarcasm. Just ask it.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 5:40 PM on August 10, 2011


you do not get to rewrite the question or harangue an OP because you didn't like the question they asked. Full stop.

So, this thread should be deleted? Flag it and move on then.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 5:43 PM on August 10, 2011


Children should always be invited to grown-up parties - they are useful for fetching beer from the fridge. Anyone who does not understand this is no friend of mine and can die childless and alone, a petrified outcast on an iceflow.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:46 PM on August 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


So, I'm a parent, and from time to time we have received "adults only please" invitations from people we love. After some very mild complaining -- because 80% of all conversation is complaining about people you love -- we've either 1) accepted the invitation because 80% of all good things in life happen when you are with people you love or 2) declined the invitation because we wanted/needed to be with our children, who we love.

I also want to make clear that this comment is ex cathedra and represents the accepted opinion of every parent who has existed, currently exists, or will exist in the future.
posted by ferdydurke at 5:46 PM on August 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


The idea that other people should have the same reaction or that it is the only reasonable reaction is not so okay, and is definitely not workable.

That's not remotely like what I'm saying.

Could the OP have asked their question without using sarcasm? Unequivocally, yes. Then should they have done so? Again, unequivocally, yes.

If there's a note below the answer box telling answerers not to use wisecracks because Ask is what you make it, why not a note below the question box saying the same thing?
posted by AmbroseChapel at 5:49 PM on August 10, 2011


Could the OP have asked their question without using sarcasm? Unequivocally, yes. Then should they have done so? Again, unequivocally, yes

If you have a problem with sarcasm, you are in the wrong place.
posted by Hoopo at 6:06 PM on August 10, 2011 [9 favorites]


That's not remotely like what I'm saying.

When you assert in your post, and then re-assert with qualification, that only specific groups of people according to your judgement should be answering the question, it's kind of going in that territory pretty seriously.

I think we mostly agree: it's great when people do a good job of keeping extraneous details or personalized judgement out of questions wherever possible, because it means less chance of provoking derails, annoying potential answers, and distracting from the actual question getting answered. People mostly do a good job of this; sometimes they do a not so great job; sometimes they really really go off the rails. I feel like we disagree whether this is the second or the third case or something, because I see a question that has framing problems but is totally accessible and answerable.

I think it's fine if you feel like it has framing problems, but the way you framed this metatalk thread and some of your followup comments has itself also been not-great. Wanting folks to do a good job framing their questions is totally laudable but this has not felt like a particularly good way to accomplish progress on that front, basically.

If there's a note below the answer box telling answerers not to use wisecracks because Ask is what you make it, why not a note below the question box saying the same thing?

The question box says, among other things, "don't be an ass". How well and in what way people interpret that is gonna vary a lot from person to person and from case to case. On the occasions that we see someone actually straight up asking a question in a serious Being An Ass way, it tends to get deleted, but there's always going to be some grey area between perfectly neutral and totally unworkable, and where different people perceive the borders of that grey area to be is going to differ a lot as well.

Once someone asks their question, they've asked it. How they framed it will probably have some effect on the quality and volume of answers they get, but people choosing to answer pretty much need to work with the question, not let their objections to the framing excuse not-so-great behavior in the comments. It's up to the asker to learn from the experience and modify their approach in the future if need be. Talking about all this in Metatalk is fine, but, again, it feels like this was a little bit of a fighting-fire-with-fire thing the way it was presented, which is great for making more fire but not so great for making things less flammable.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:06 PM on August 10, 2011 [7 favorites]


#STRAIGHT WORLD PROBLEMS

(Mostly.)

Geez though. I get that part of parenthood's rite of passage is living in fear of becoming THAT dad/mom, the one you have always looked at from afar at the supermarket or the movie theater and thought, "That will never be me. Ugh, who needs all that? Also, I would do it so much better and not impose my kids on ANYONE." But then years later you realize that your social life and personal habits do not just magically change the moment your baby is born, and you wind up making little compromises left and right, assuming/hoping that people will either give you a free pass because they love you (friends, anyway) and/or have totally been there before, or that they will just DEAL with it because they don't even know you, and you won't ever have to see them again anyway.

Well, guess what? You did become that asshole. Hilarious! So when you read about complaints like this you get all bristly and begin to take things very personally, because this is basically your worst nightmare -- being called out as THAT dad/mom. People deciding behind your back that they'd rather not have you there at all than have you bring little Bailey/Dakota along, even though you are still totally the same fun person as ever, dammit! Also, being a parent is like the most important thing ever, can't people see that?

No, they can't. Because it isn't. We're all glad you found your purpose in life, but it doesn't do a damn thing for anyone else. And that's fine! No one is excommunicating you. We just want to be able to smoke and drink and say "Fuck" and be frivolous for an evening. It is out of respect for your baby that we ask you not to bring it.
posted by hermitosis at 6:18 PM on August 10, 2011 [121 favorites]


I have been in normal, non-fancy restaurants with no changing table in the bathroom. So my option was change the baby in the booth (very quickly and discreetly!) or walk several blocks back to my car with a wailing wet baby. Sorry I did a gross thing.

stellaluna, I am totally on-board with adults only events, but I was really taken aback when your reasoning for being annoyed about kids being around was because the mom was nursing. I was expecting ill-behaved screaming 5 year olds or something. Babies get hungry. So it goes.

Also, I'd like to send some extra grar out into the universe for places with changing tables only in the women's restroom, because guys never change diapers, amirite?

Sorry for the troubles, mods.
posted by chiababe at 6:18 PM on August 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


Well, I'm glad this made it to MeTa, because I wanted to ask, very sincerely: How come it's such a hard thing to get a babysitter in America?

From my experience (and I'm open to alternative suggestions since I'd love to have a wider pool of available babysitters for "Adults Only" nights of my own), finding a babysitter is sort of contingent upon:

A) Knowing a number of teens personally or having a number of parents of teens within your social circle
B) Having those teens be willing and available to babysit as opposed to engaging in their own social activities on the night in question
C) Having the financial resources to be able to pay said babysitter for hours of service, which is over and above whatever the events you have planned for the evening are going to cost.
posted by The Gooch at 6:21 PM on August 10, 2011


So my option was change the baby in the booth (very quickly and discreetly!)

I highly doubt it was discreet. And that's really awful to do around people eating.
posted by spaltavian at 6:22 PM on August 10, 2011 [48 favorites]


As I just commented in the thread, I think one of the problems started when the OP (on purpose or not) equivocated breastfeeding with changing a diaper at the table. I don't think the OP deserves the level of rancor he or she is getting here, but I don't think people are totally out of line in finding that off-putting. Just my opinion, but it would be nice if people didn't find breastfeeding weird or gross.
posted by lillygog at 6:26 PM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, sorry then. I suppose I should write an angry letter to the restaurant owner or something on their behalf.
posted by chiababe at 6:26 PM on August 10, 2011


When I was a nanny I would always bring just an extra large dishtowel folded up really small, so that if there was no changing room in the bathroom I'd just lay the baby down on the towel picnic style ON THE FLOOR. Yes, in a public bathroom. Because seriously, how is that any cleaner/dirtier than any other option? Then I'd just make sure to fold up the towel and keep it separate to be washed when we got home.

I'd rather crouch on the floor of a public restroom and change the baby on an ad-hoc "clean" surface than force anyone to deal with diaper sights/smells at the dinner table. The baby certainly never knew the difference.
posted by hermitosis at 6:27 PM on August 10, 2011 [17 favorites]


I will note that it was a restaurant with a play area for toddlers too. The lack of changing table was baffling, honestly.
posted by chiababe at 6:29 PM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I could honestly see how it was discreet-ish. If you're in a booth and the baby is on the seat and you're turned to face the wall of the booth, the only possible issue is the smell of baby excrement.

Which, yeah, that's sort of bad and not the best option, but I can also see how it is probably pretty difficult to change a baby in the restroom if there's not a changing table. I am still going to start using clean wipes on the seats of my booth at restaurants though. ho ho I have been given me a complex about an entirely new thing! Salut!

I think that hermitosis' idea is pretty clever, but part of me still recoils at putting a baby on the floor. Then again, I had my dog for ten years and other people only watched her three times because I couldn't bear to leave her alone, so if I had kids I would totally be one of Those Parents.

It is probably best that reproduction is not on my to-do list.
posted by winna at 6:32 PM on August 10, 2011


yeah, I've changed a baby of the floor of many a public bathroom. My diaper bag came with a little fold-up plastic pad for this very purpose. Changing a diaper at the table is disgusting, full stop. Feeding a baby where other people are feeding themselves? Not so much.
posted by KathrynT at 6:35 PM on August 10, 2011 [13 favorites]


I'm glad we all agree that public diaper changing is gross, because I've seen it on a number of occasions and was beginning to think maybe I just needed to loosen up.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:37 PM on August 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


AmbroseChapel, it really does seem like you are projecting a great deal here. I don't mean that as an insult or attack. I'm not over on the green much but I recognize your name and like your contributions. This is just getting dirtier so I'm hoping we can all cool down here.

The question was about stellaluna's friends specifically, not all parents. The [more inside] gave us a better idea of who we were dealing with and the situation as a whole, because it specified things. The opposite of making the question be about all (new) parents. I understand that the pressures and epiphanies and shifts in priorities that come with being a new parent would make one experience that status and label very strongly, and that the bonds formed with anyone else going through such a radical life change would be equally strong, but this question:

1. Was not about you;
2. Was not about all parents or new parents;
3. Was posted by someone trying to learn the ins and outs of a social dynamic she had no experience with, and;
4. When read even slightly charitably, wasn't disdainful or snarky, but rather frustrated and unsure of what to do.

I agree with you that parents (and especially new parents) are probably going to provide the best answers in this case. Reading through the thread I see a hell of a lot of parents doing just that, with some of them gently explaining the breastfeeding thing as well. Now, I'm childless myself, but have spent the past decade (which roughly corresponds to my entire adulthood) around my three siblings and their many, many children, and spent a lot of time looking after them as well.

Kids are a joy. Babies are adorable. I love all my nieces and nephews to death. They are also a pain in the ass, though, and this isn't exactly a secret. I've come to understand that breastfeeding needs to happen when it needs to happen and that mothers with infants should be allowed to handle that basically whenever and wherever they like. It's still viscerally uncomfortable for me to be around, despite my rational brain telling me I should feel otherwise. Which isn't to say that breastfeeding should be kept out of view - hopefully we're a better society than that. It's just...

It's just one of a thousand ways in which having babies and toddlers around raises the stress level up to eleven. I imagine that most parents, living with their children and their needs 24-7, might not recognize or might underestimate just how much this has an effect on their childless friends. Which is not to say that the friends are martyrs or deserve an award for putting up with kids or should find new friends or anything else. Just to point out that a question about delicately excluding babies from one's personal social event is likely to come from a place of great stress just from imagining how to deal with the situation if the kids are there, which alters everything.

I hope I didn't anger you there, as it wasn't my intent. I just wish everyone could read peoples posts and comments more charitably around here.
posted by Navelgazer at 6:37 PM on August 10, 2011 [31 favorites]


Including the OP, right?

Yes, I mentioned her outright in one of the many mod comments I made to that thread.

So, this thread should be deleted?

No, AskMe is not MeTa.

And it's funny that this all came up this weekend because I was trying to figure out the mechanics of hosting a few friends at a weekend-long event and making it clear that they were welcome and their kids were welcome but it wasn't a kid-oriented event, there wouldn't be special kid food and/or kid-focused stuff to do necessarily but if their kids wanted to come and hang out, they would be welcome to. I've been friends with my friends long enough that this was a not-too-tough discussion but it's a different situation being at a party that's mostly adults versus being at a party that's kid-friendly as far as what everyone's baseline expectations are. And sometimes you assume people all have the same understanding and they in fact, don't. Or sometimes you overmanage people's expectations and they feel condescended to. My vacation plans involve sleeping in, which means I pretty much don't vacation with my friends with young children. Doesn't mean I don't like them, just means there's a shorter list of what we do together than "everything>"
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:39 PM on August 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


It is so interesting how breastfeeding to those that are not actively or recently engaged in it is such a big deal. When you're doing it, your boobies feel so NOT sexy or special...
posted by k8t at 6:46 PM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


k8t: at least for me, my lizard-brain discomfort (which I am trying my best to get over) is not from the breast being sexualized in that circumstance. Lord knows it is not. It is simply both alien to me and seemingly very intimate. The alien-ness means that my eye is drawn to it while I know to ignore it, and the intimacy is, again, not sexual but just - to use a really bad analogy, I also get hyper-uncomfortable around couples who start arguing, even if it's over no big thing. There's an uncontrollable flight response in my brain to things that I shouldn't be around and it's unfortunate that I was never around breastfeeding in the open until long after those circuits were settled.

So, my problem, nobody else's, feed where and when you need to moms, I'm just clarifying where the awkward comes from for those who don't personally experience it.
posted by Navelgazer at 6:54 PM on August 10, 2011 [19 favorites]


Although come to think of it I did change my baby's diaper in public the other day. We were having a picnic, it was outside at a park. But even there I did move about 15 feet away from where we were eating, and did it on the ground. I figure if dogs poop there, I can change a baby there.

Navelgazer, I'm going to piggyback on your comment: "It's still viscerally uncomfortable for me to be around, despite my rational brain telling me I should feel otherwise." As someone who has nursed my children seriously all over the place, I recognize and honor your right to be uncomfortable about it. Genuinely, no snark. Not everyone has to be all "woo!" about public breastfeeding; people can be icily tolerant of it if they want. (I know you don't fall into this category, I'm just running with it.) But the whole thing reminds me of a situation where a friend of mine was nursing her twins in a cafe, and a guy was giving her the stinkeye, and he finally spoke up and said "I don't like to watch people breastfeeding in public."

"Oh!" she said. "I don't like to watch men with moustaches eating soup."

And to me, that's kind of the deal. It's fine if you don't want to watch some guy with a big ol' Wilford Brimley hoovering up clam chowder, but, well, the guy has a right to eat his soup in public like anyone else. Nobody would argue that it's OK to tell him he has to eat his soup in the bathroom so other people don't get offended. And if you invite him to your dinner party, and then tell him when the soup course gets here that he has to go eat it in the back bedroom for the sake of the comfort of the other guests, and you want to ask people how you can do that as politely as possible, I think it's not unreasonable to expect some blowback.

That having been said, I'm absolutely 100% fine with "Adults Only" invitations. My husband and I get plenty of them, and we attend half of them. Sometimes we don't go because we can't get a sitter, or can't afford a sitter, or because I don't have enough breastmilk stashed, or whatever; sometimes we don't go because we'd rather spend the time with our kids. But if I found out that someone was pissed off because I didn't ditch my kids to come to their event, that would make me seriously reconsider the friendship.
posted by KathrynT at 6:54 PM on August 10, 2011 [33 favorites]


Now I'm wondering how many people who support public breastfeeding by saying, "but YOU wouldn't want to eat lunch in the bathroom!" have changed diapers in restaurant booths.
posted by phunniemee at 6:58 PM on August 10, 2011 [6 favorites]


I'll confess I've changed diapers in restaurants. You can turn the pitchforks on me. No change table or other surface, dirty bathroom floor, lots of people coming and going? I looked for somewhere as discreet as possible for a quick change and sometimes that was the corner booth. Yes I wiped up and always had a towel for them to be changed on.

Thank god they're toilet trained, though I'll be wiping butts (other than my own) for another year or so.
posted by Cuke at 6:59 PM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Now I'm wondering how many people who support public breastfeeding by saying, "but YOU wouldn't want to eat lunch in the bathroom!" have changed diapers in restaurant booths.

32
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:03 PM on August 10, 2011


Oops, 33. Sorry Sondra, didn't see you back there.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:04 PM on August 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


I should add that should I ever have kids (and I'd like to someday) I'm absolutely going to be "one of those dads." Hell, half of my IRL conversations are about things I read on Metafilter already (and with people not active here.) I'm going to be completely insufferable once I've got the exploits of a little human I helped to make filling up my days.
posted by Navelgazer at 7:08 PM on August 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


My own opinions, in bullet point because my hands hurt from sewing all day:
-it's not okay to change a diaper in a booth at a restaurant. Ever. Your convenience doesn't trump basic etiquette. I can't remember the last time I could afford to eat out, so when I can scrape together the cash to dine out (and pay a nice tip), I don't want it to be ruined by smelling baby poop or seeing you change your kid. With respect, if you can't find a decent place to change the baby, that falls under the category of "your problem"
-I love kids and babies, but not everybody does (although I personally tend not to trust or like anyone who doesn't like babies and animals). You have to bear in mind that not everybody has kids or likes kids, and not everybody wants to have to be extra careful about how they speak, how childproof their home is, etc. because you don't want, or can't get, a sitter. Especially if you show up with your child without checking with the host first. Again, that's manners.
-If you're a true friend, and your friends have children, you're going to have to learn to cut them some slack. I'm not a parent but even I can tell it ain't easy. I panicked once when my friend left me with her 2 month old baby at Starbucks while she went to the bathroom and he started crying and everybody was shooting me dirty looks and I couldn't calm him down and I almost burst into tears. New parents will make some mistakes, and you have to accept that and try to be understanding and gentle with them.
-Breastfeeding: I personally have no issue with breastfeeding but I do sometimes feel awkward, especially when I wasn't aware someone was breastfeeding and I'm staring at the baby and then realize that he's suckling on mama. I totally get that whole lizard brain thing of don't look at it, but don't look like it bothers you, does it bother me?, it shouldn't bother me, but it makes me feel weird, OH MY GOD I'M BLUSHING RED NOW AND I'M STARING AT HER BOOBIES NOW. In other words, if you're breastfeeding in public, that's A-OK with me, but just be aware that some people might find it a bit awkward and you may get mixed reactions and them's the breaks when you do something that (unfortunately) flies against current social norms (though that is starting to change, which is wonderful).

Honestly, I don't really understand what the OP of this MeTa thought that their post was going to accomplish, but then again, my favourite place is the grey because we get to discuss interesting things, have some (mostly) intelligent debates, and learn some things. Unfortunately, some people don't feel the same way about the grey as me. C'est la vie.
posted by 1000monkeys at 7:11 PM on August 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Now I'm wondering how many people who support public breastfeeding by saying, "but YOU wouldn't want to eat lunch in the bathroom!" have changed diapers in restaurant booths.

Fuck no. I think that was a not insubstantial part of that question's going to hell^H^H^H^HMeTa; one easily and deservedly defensible behaviour being lumped together with something ill-mannered and done only out of parental laziness. Of course the parents were going to get sensitive, and of course the non-parents were going to be reminded of public bad behaviour from parents.

No changing table in restaurant = must leave restaurant when faced with imminent diaper change. You ask the people working there: "Where's the nearest changing table?" Sometimes you will get a surprise invitation to a room in the back; sometimes you will have to take a hike to a car or a fast-food restaurant. Apart from the hygiene and courtesy issues, babies too deserve some dignity.
posted by kmennie at 7:11 PM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Being invited to events without my children being invited (and if their names aren't on the invitation, I assume they're not invited) has never interfered with any of my relationships with my friends. The thing that made me feel unwelcome in a friend's home was being put in a separate room to breastfeed an infant, after the infant and I had been invited for dinner. It was demeaning to be banished from the larger group, and I experienced it as a gendered insult.

I think people are extra awesome who have a visceral negative reaction to public breastfeeding and yet support public breastfeeding. Good for you, sincerely.
posted by palliser at 7:26 PM on August 10, 2011 [8 favorites]


There are so many things involving bodily fluids that will make many people squeamish at the dinner table, even if they don't say anything.

I am not one of those people! I think breastfeeding is awesome and I don't mind it happening in front of me. But if someone changed a band-aid at the table, I would be grossed out, no matter how natural and human and necessary it might be at the moment. Or if people were like sloppily making out three feet from where I am eating a really messy hot pastrami sandwich, that would gross me out.

People who are squeamish have to deal with their own squeam and try not to make others feel bad, but some can't cope and will end up being really rude/unsympathetic. If you want to be a dinner table breast-nurturer, you should be prepared to deal with it graciously and not get all high and mighty about the sacred powers Mother Nature has bestowed upon you. Or at least remember that situation the next time someone in the booth behind you blows their nose really noisily in an audibly wet way, right as you're about to dip your fries in mayonnaise.
posted by hermitosis at 7:33 PM on August 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


I wanted to address another observation in the OP above, because I don't know that anyone else has (or if they did I missed it): This is a tendency I've seen a lot in AskMes which are ostensibly questions: "How can I tell Cousin Stacey she's not invited to my wedding?" but also contain venting about all the horrible things Cousin Stacey has done over the years, can you believe her? And then I said, and then she said, and she was all "Nuh-uh!", and I was all "Oh no you didn't" ... The question can be asked, calmly and politely, without the horror stories.

As could yours. If your problem is with sarcasm, you might do well to re-read your own post, which is absolutely dripping with it.

I think the reason people tend to front-load their AskMe's with details and examples is that, when they don't, the thread inevitably becomes about "WHY don't you want to invite Cousin Stacey to your wedding? Weddings are all about family! If she's done something horrible that's a different story but you haven't given us many details" instead of "Damn, I wouldn't want her at my wedding either, okay here's what you do: ..." I've seen lots of AskMe threads derailed (especially anonymous ones, where the OP can't easily respond) because their question was too vague, or misleading, due to lack of details. What is to you a "horror story" is, to the OP, supplemental material to the question.

For the record, after plowing through this MeTa thread I went over and read the original AskMe, and I didn't see anything in the OP's question that read as snarky or sarcastic, nor that she had "utter fucking disdain for her friends" as someone else here posited, nor that she is condescending, arrogant or self-absorbed (although clueless I will allow for -- but isn't that why you go to AskMe in the first place? To get a clue?). I mention this not to generate additional grar, but only as a data point, because I am continually bemused by how 100 different people can interpret something 100 different ways.
posted by stennieville at 7:34 PM on August 10, 2011 [13 favorites]


we aren't told which kind of diaper was being changed; we can only imagine

what
posted by Gator at 7:39 PM on August 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


She's going to have to adapt to her friends or get new friends. That's how life goes.

But her friends don't have to adapt to her?
posted by Gator at 7:41 PM on August 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


Then I came here to express my wish that it had been asked in a better way, for the good of the whole MetaFilter community

I think that perhaps the community would have been better off if you'd not hit the post button. I wish kittens and cocktails where always available, but so what?
posted by Ideefixe at 7:46 PM on August 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


But her friends don't have to adapt to her?

They didn't say anything for 3 months as she repeatedly called their daughter an 'it'. They've been doing some adapting.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:48 PM on August 10, 2011 [11 favorites]


I seriously don't get how breastfeeding could be seen as gross. Uncomfortable, maybe, in situations as mentioned above when you suddenly realize OH HAI I AM STARING ABSENTMINDEDLY AT A BARED BOOB, but gross? wtf.

(the gross part is the burping afterwards when the baby might at any moment barf copiously down mom's back.)
posted by elizardbits at 7:51 PM on August 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


If you want to be a dinner table breast-nurturer, you should be prepared to deal with it graciously and not get all high and mighty about the sacred powers Mother Nature has bestowed upon you.

I guess I'm not sure what dealing with it graciously entails? Stopping and going elsewhere? At the time, I went into the back room and nursed the baby, then rejoined the party when done. But now, I think I'd follow neither of your options and tell my friend I think breastfeeding in public is a fundamental part of women's right to be in public. If they continued to insist, I'd just go home.

I don't believe in sacred powers or Mother Nature, so your second option would not apply.
posted by palliser at 7:52 PM on August 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


stellaluna, I think that your question was fine. I also think your response to this call-out has been excellent in terms of tone and good humor. Thanks for being a member of our community. I hope that this ridiculous, pointless exercise in spleen venting by a couple of wounded parents doesn't sour you to the Metafilter experience.
posted by to sir with millipedes at 7:58 PM on August 10, 2011 [37 favorites]


I mentioned in-thread that I'm personally kinda sorta into attachment parenting and as such, if I go somewhere - my baby goes too. Now, I totally shift my schedule to balance his out of respect for everyone involved, but I've totally brought my baby to a bar. Not because I think he's the most perfectest snowflake, but because my own ideas about parenting (which are just like, my opinions, man, and I absolutely don't expect the rest of the world to ascribe to them) are about raising well-rounded children who will become well-rounded adults and I think it's important for kids to know how to behave in Non-Child-Specific situations. Which isn't to say I'd never get a sitter ever, but that my preference is to bring the kiddo if it's feasible to do so.

Which is just to shed light on possible motivations that a parent might have for bringing their kid somewhere: it's GOOD for the kid to get to learn how to behave with grown-ups and not have their only social events be 100% kid-focused. My parents did a lot of this - I was invited to a lot of "adult" events and expected to behave myself and it meant that as an extension, I learned how to behave with grown-ups. They didn't do this ALL the time - I still had sitters if they wanted a night alone or if the event was far away or really late or some other variable that would obviously disqualify it from bringing me.

It happens a lot to new parents that you end up drifting away from people you know who don't have kids. Sometimes, this is a real bummer. For me, I've waited for YEARS to have a baby and my life right now is about parenting. I get that and I wouldn't trade it for my "old self" in a million years, but I also get that it means that there are a lot of things that aren't going to be do-able with kid in tow. So it goes. Eventually, my kids will grow up and I'll have plenty of "grown-up" time. For now, that's just not how my life is structured. I'm totally fine with respecting my friends' wishes should they decide to not want children at an event. I wouldn't be hurt in the least - but it would probably mean that a pattern of such things would lead to a lot of distancing in the friendship. People evolve and that's ok. It's not always a tragedy when life events mean you're not spending as much time with the same people as you used to.
posted by sonika at 8:01 PM on August 10, 2011 [9 favorites]


Or I thought I mentioned it, but my comment was deleted? I wasn't meaning to provide meta-discussion, I was trying to answer the question by offering a different background into why parents bring their kids with them to things. I seriously fail to see how that broke the guidelines, but whatever - it's a touchy subject and I pretty much covered my 2c here.
posted by sonika at 8:06 PM on August 10, 2011


stellaluna, I was actually with you until I saw this:

I called one friend's baby "it" for the first three months of her life



....dude. I mean, dude.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:11 PM on August 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


That did strike me as ... unconventional.
posted by chinston at 8:13 PM on August 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


They didn't say anything for 3 months as she repeatedly called their daughter an 'it'. They've been doing some adapting.

I call small people 'it' when I can't figure out if it is a boy or a girl. I don't mean to be disrespectful of the small person by doing that. If the people aren't rigidly dressing the baby in ways that shout THIS IS A GIRL OR BOY BABY YES INDEED it can be hard to tell with some of them because they're only vaguely people-shaped like animated gingerbreads. I generally am not doing it to the small people I know, though.

I admire people who have kids enormously because I just don't have the willpower, determination and optimism. I stayed with a friend at the end of undergrad and she just had her baby, so I did as much as I could to take on some of the burden. Unfortunately, I hadn't read any of those 'what to expect about your baby' books so that led to many panicked phone calls to my father when the baby would not stop crying and I was terrified she was going to die because I had failed to do something. It turns out that babies cry for many mysterious reasons. However, she has grown up now and is in school doing well so I feel that my inability to soothe her on occasion didn't completely destroy her life.

Also once I was lying on the couch with the baby lying on her back on my tummy with my arms around her and we fell asleep and didn't wake up until her mom and dad came home. I still feel guilty about this. All sorts of terrible things could have happened because I wasn't awake watching her. I don't know how parents do it - I couldn't ever sleep if I had one. I'd be the worst helicopter parent ever.
posted by winna at 8:13 PM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


winna, it was a friend's baby she was calling "it," and was doing so for three months. I'm assuming that over the course of three months, the gender of her friend's baby would have come up in conversation.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:17 PM on August 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


OK, but she used that example as "this is where I'm coming from." She doesn't know. That's what AskMe is for in part -- to talk about the dumbass possibly offensive questions you'd never talk about IRL because no one would ever talk to you again.
posted by sweetkid at 8:22 PM on August 10, 2011 [13 favorites]


That was sort of how I read it, too, that she was just not good with children things in general. Some people just aren't. If you grew up as an only child and your peer group is only now starting to have kids, it can be disorienting to suddenly have to interact with children and the expectations around them.
posted by winna at 8:26 PM on August 10, 2011 [6 favorites]


OK, but she used that example as "this is where I'm coming from." She doesn't know.

And that's why I said "presumably the child's gender would have been mentioned over the course of three months." I can see not being clear on the gender of a baby you've just met, but if you're hanging out with people for three months and STILL uncertain as to the gender of their child after all that time, then either your friends have been deliberately fucking with your head or you're not paying attention.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:29 PM on August 10, 2011


Gaslighting people about the gender of my baby suddenly makes me want a baby. I could have two complete wardrobes for the kid and just switch them out periodically. For bonus gaslighting points I could do it sometimes mid-contact.

'Wasn't your baby just wearing a pink bow and some candy-striped dress? And.. now it's wearing a bunch of trucks on a green background and biballs?'

'Of course my baby is wearing biballs! Why on earth would he wear a bow?' *mock bewilderment and shifting away from my interlocutor*
posted by winna at 8:33 PM on August 10, 2011 [17 favorites]


Well these days they might just have been messing with her if it was this kid.
posted by SpaceWarp13 at 8:33 PM on August 10, 2011


1) The traditional phrasing for invitations is something along the lines of requesting the favor of someone's company. Where that someone is your guest. You're specifically putting yourself in a situation to try and accomodate someone, who's going out of there way to make time in their lives for you.

2) For people with other moving parts in their lives (kids, significant others, pets, whatever), they've got to go further out of their way. All this talk about how "they chose that lifestyle" and how you don't have to rearrange your life around them is incredible sad. Are these your friends or not?

3) Kids are part of your friends lives now. They just are. Acknowledge that, in the same way you'd acknowledge someone's significant other. Kids are a BIGGER part of your friends' life than any SO, and yet how awkward would a conversation be where you specifically don't invite your friend's douchebag/bitchy/drunk/inconveniently sexually oriented or racially or politically aligned SO? That's why I answered that you need to do more than just "Adults Only Please."

4) There are a ton of unbelievably hostile non-parents in that thread. Dirty pool. THAT is what this callout should be about. If parents were to exhibit the same level of contempt towards the militantly child free, the comments/posts wouldn't last 2 minutes.
posted by NoRelationToLea at 8:33 PM on August 10, 2011 [9 favorites]


I guess I'm not sure what dealing with it graciously entails?

I don't mean you should just cave or go do it somewhere else. Just, whatever you end up doing, be diplomatic about it -- you're coming at the issue from a vastly different place than the other person.
posted by hermitosis at 8:38 PM on August 10, 2011


OK, but she used that example as "this is where I'm coming from." She doesn't know.

And that's why I said "presumably the child's gender would have been mentioned over the course of three months." I can see not being clear on the gender of a baby you've just met, but if you're hanging out with people for three months and STILL uncertain as to the gender of their child after all that time, then either your friends have been deliberately fucking with your head or you're not paying attention.


What I meant was that she doesn't know it's not ok to call a baby "it."
posted by sweetkid at 8:38 PM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


"If parents were to exhibit the same level of contempt towards the militantly child free, the comments/posts wouldn't last 2 minutes."

yep. Seems it's ok to be nasty to other posters, then address the OP nicely.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:42 PM on August 10, 2011


NoRelationToLea: The guest/host thing goes both ways. Graciousness is required from both. I'm not going to defend hostility to parents in the answers there, but in no way was what stellaluna was asking about unreasonable. When you have kids, yes, your friends are going to change their lives somewhat. Quite a bit more than you realize, in fact. But their lives are not about your children and that can be true as well as the fact that they still want you in their lives, even as they realize it won't be as much or in the same way as before.

I'll just say it here, and I mean this with love, honestly, new parents are often very smug, and understandably almost always myopic. They have to be. They are entrusted with a small, helpless, very fragile little person and that has to be their top priority. It is good that they are myopic. It is good that they feel, for a time, that this is a mission from God Himself the likes of which any other endeavor is just noise.

But whether you notice it or not, you're friends are enduring that period of time from you. stellaluna is asking how to be the best friend she can be in that circumstance while still keeping this one event under her own control.

Are these your friends or not?

I mean, Jesus. Seriously?
posted by Navelgazer at 8:48 PM on August 10, 2011 [28 favorites]



"If parents were to exhibit the same level of contempt towards the militantly child free, the comments/posts wouldn't last 2 minutes."

yep. Seems it's ok to be nasty to other posters, then address the OP nicely.


I'm sorry, for someone who just got a callout for being "nice" in human relations questions, you're being pretty one sided in this conversation. What is the major problem you're having? You're clearly a great parent and this is not about you. You are fine. This is not about you.

Is it so hard for people to understand that people cannot be super comfortable around other people's children, but not be "militantly child-free?" This is a really fraught topic. I'm in my early - mid thirties, and among my peers, some people have kids, some are unsure if they want, some are chronically single (me), some really, desperately want children but are having great difficulty. It just seems really smug to me that there are people in this thread and the original who are suggesting that everyone should be constantly accommodating them and their children, paying for childcare at their own parties, feeling like they need to be "interesting enough" for their friends to pay for a sitter.

I've seen more sympathetic responses to the people who've said incredibly misogynist things in the name of "I'm lonely" than there have been towards childless people who are trying to navigate something that has happened to them quite suddenly, and that they have no experience with.
posted by sweetkid at 8:53 PM on August 10, 2011 [41 favorites]


1) The traditional phrasing for invitations is something along the lines of requesting the favor of someone's company. Where that someone is your guest. You're specifically putting yourself in a situation to try and accomodate someone, who's going out of there way to make time in their lives for you.

...I was always taught that as a guest you need to be particularly respectful of your hosts. I think I've heard "act like you're a guest in their house" used as advice on how to behave politely and respectfully around other people. When someone invites you over, you don't automatically get to put your feet on the coffee table because that's what you do at your house. To be honest when someone invites me over I don't think of it as me "going out of my way to make time for them", I think of it as someone going out of their way to make me diner and serve me drinks in their home. Because they probably had to do a lot of work to have me there. And I usually feel somewhat indebted and need to return the favour; often bringing a gift like wine and bread. If anything I think I view an invitation to someone's home in the exact opposite way that you do.
posted by Hoopo at 8:57 PM on August 10, 2011 [9 favorites]


I also feel the need to mention that since she had grandchildren, Stellaluna has become my mothers favorite childrens' book to read to them, so this thread has layers of irony and meaning to me.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:02 PM on August 10, 2011


(parent of two small kids)

I was one of the people who read the question, didn't have a particularly good answer, so moved on without answering. But since we're here in MeTa anyway....

The question "What is the most polite way to make it clear to invited guests that their kids aren't invited?" is a perfectly good question, and there is nothing at all wrong with stellaluna wanting to have an adults-only party.

That said, to me she comes off as condescending towards her friends. I think this is what she was reacting to. I don't know how to read "In general these are people who believe everyone thinks as highly of their special little snowflake as they do, and I fear they will be crushed to hear otherwise" as a statement about someone you think highly of.

Whether she thinks highly of her friends isn't relevant to the question. But I think it explains the grar in the thread. For instance: the OP writes

"many of them insist on their children accompanying them to every social function they attend"

which is surely intended to make them sound a bit unreasonable;

"many of them only attend social functions that include their kids"

conveys the same facts with less thumb on the scale.
posted by escabeche at 9:04 PM on August 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


"many of them only attend social functions that include their kids"

This implies that they bring their kids to social functions to which kids have been invited, i.e. the function has been set up to include their kids.

"many of them insist on their children accompanying them to every social function they attend"

Whereas this implies bringing children to all social functions, regardless of whether the kids have been invited or not.

And THAT is the question at hand: how to stop the parents from bringing their kids to a social function designed specifically not to include the kids. Your particular rephrasing just doesn't work.
posted by phunniemee at 9:12 PM on August 10, 2011 [14 favorites]


"many of them insist on their children accompanying them to every social function they attend"

which is surely intended to make them sound a bit unreasonable;

"many of them only attend social functions that include their kids"

conveys the same facts with less thumb on the scale.


Except those are really different.

The first implies that they bring kids to everything, even events that would to many people's common sense be kid-free (like her dinner).

While the second says that they make the choice to only go to kid friendly events.

This is exactly the sort of behavior that is, in fact, relevant to her question.
posted by mercredi at 9:14 PM on August 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


I did preview. Really.
posted by mercredi at 9:14 PM on August 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Is it really that hard to just say Adults Only?
posted by Sailormom at 9:16 PM on August 10, 2011


Is it really that hard to just say Adults Only?

No, but apparently people are really offended if you do.
posted by sweetkid at 9:18 PM on August 10, 2011 [7 favorites]


Or maybe you just think they will be offended.
posted by Sailormom at 9:25 PM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I seriously don't get how breastfeeding could be seen as gross.

I think it's gross at the table but I'm with KathrynT; like watching the moustached eat soup, I just have to put up with it. It's not the boobage, it's the slurping. I also don't like it when people suck on their dentures, when dogs lick their balls, or when people make out next to me. Slurp suck slurp suck slobber slurp slurp slurp

Just... ick.
posted by small_ruminant at 9:26 PM on August 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


Ironically, I have to take my kid to school shortly but before I do

That's not irony.
posted by 6550 at 9:27 PM on August 10, 2011 [10 favorites]


Is it so hard for people to understand that people cannot be super comfortable around other people's children, but not be "militantly child-free?"

This is a huge point for me, especially the "other peoples' children" part. I don't hate kids, but their parents sometimes, Holy Shit. Some of the new parents I've had in my life, particularly with their first-borns, try some weird shit that I never heard of and expect you to know about it and play along. Like for discipline, my sister-in-law insisted on the discussing-things-in-a-normal-speaking-voice/reasoning-with-meltdown-toddler approach starting at an age where her child couldn't use words yet. This was a very, very noisy couple of years, and she was over at our place all. the. time. There were a few times when I did like my parents did (and some of my friends do now), and yelled "Oi! Stop that!" when the kid wouldn't stop doing something she shouldn't have been doing as kids often do. "We're trying not to do that with So-And-So," I got from her mother, in reference to me raising my voice and pointing. No, you're trying not to do that. But now you're in my house, and right now you should be "trying not to" allow your kid to smash my expensive pots and pans all over the fucking kitchen.

The second-born kids though? My best friend and his wife refer to their new baby as "the Boring One."* Because she can't talk and do ridiculous funny kid shit yet.

*they're joking, relax.
posted by Hoopo at 9:31 PM on August 10, 2011 [6 favorites]


Sailormom: Or maybe you just think they will be offended.

One respondent in the thread in question said that "Adults Only" can be read as a "fuck you." Another said they would take it as a sign that the person was not interested in being friends anymore.
posted by stennieville at 9:33 PM on August 10, 2011 [9 favorites]


Yeah, clearly some people find the "adults only" thing as offensive. Which I think is bizarre, but that's their issue.
posted by 1000monkeys at 9:34 PM on August 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


One respondent in the thread in question said that "Adults Only" can be read as a "fuck you." Another said they would take it as a sign that the person was not interested in being friends anymore.

Well I wasn't joking when I said Adults.
posted by Sailormom at 9:36 PM on August 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm sorry, Sailormom, please clarify what you're talking about.
posted by sweetkid at 9:38 PM on August 10, 2011


I'm sorry, for someone who just got a callout for being "nice" in human relations questions, you're being pretty one sided in this conversation.

You're mistaken about the onesideness, I made several suggestions to the OP in this thread and the AskMe.

The callout was for being insightful, not "nice". It's great to be well thought of but that's about all the stock I'm putting in it. I don't get extra favorites or gifts or or anything. 'Cept grief from people about I was called out being awesome and now I'm not being awesome as they define, so WTF? All of that is your issue to make your peace with, however you wish to do so.

What is the major problem you're having?

The contempt from some people, you included, when a parent offers an opinion that you do not agree with on the subject.

Is it really that hard to just say Adults Only?

No, but apparently people are really offended if you do.


That's exactly the kind of crap I'm talking about. You read that some parents are offended and just seem to shut down and decide their opinion is wrong or stupid. No effort is made to understand where they're coming from, why they're thinking and responding the way they are.

That and you've mentioned several times how the OP is in a similar situation to you, childless as her friends are starting to have kids. Then you turn around and write to me "... this is not about you. You are fine. This is not about you " and then proceed to write from your own viewpoint.

I'm fine with the OP's desire to have an adult party, that's completely reasonable and understandable. But she's being extremely tone deaf on the parents with their kids and I think that needs to be strongly pointed out, particularly if the goal is not offend her friends.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:38 PM on August 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


I think she's saying that people who would take "adults only" as something offensive are not adults themselves, in many ways.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:39 PM on August 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Hoopo, I'm articulating the mindset of the host. Any guest who seriously thought they were doing their host a favor would be a jerk. Why do you presume I mean that mindset for the guest?

You're articulating what should be the mindset of the guest (which I subscribe to, btw - but hey, thanks for extending me the benefit of the doubt). Any host who expected what you wrote of their guest would also be a jerk.

In both cases, the host and guest are going out of their way to make things easier for the other. I personally go out of my way to spend quality time with my friends, even if it's time compromised by activities or people I don't particularly care for or even actively hate. Because they're my friends. I know they do the same for me, and that the same sometimes includes my kid.

Also: at no point did I accuse people who aren't "super comfortable around other people's children" of being "militantly child-free." That right there is not even trying to extend the benefit of the doubt to someone else, and probably exactly why you're not handling this kind of situation well. Similarly, "Adults Only" isn't even trying to manage how the other party might read you. It's a lazy way of trying to get your point across, and while some of your friends might meet you half way and understand you're not gracious enough to walk your meaning all the way across to them, you're being pretty self centered in not understanding how people could read that phrasing poorly.

On preview: what Brandon Blatcher said:

That's exactly the kind of crap I'm talking about. You read that some parents are offended and just seem to shut down and decide their opinion is wrong or stupid. No effort is made to understand where they're coming from, why they're thinking and responding the way they are.
posted by NoRelationToLea at 9:42 PM on August 10, 2011


It is actually not that hard to just get new friends. I pretty much cut people off when they get married, I view their destination wedding as a sort of Bon voyage party. I am forced to spend $1000 on airfare and hotel because I'll probably never see them again. They are not surprised when I stop showing up at their parties, and don't write on their Facebook wall anymore. If they want to meet for a drink I'll probably duck out after 2 so I don't have to listen to them talk about their vacation plans or how they are looking at buying a co-op.

By time they have kids I am still getting emails, emails to read their blog, emails to spend another $1000 to travel to their kids first birthday party. Maybe they are sad because I never go, but fuck em. I don't force them to hang out in bars, or play video games with me. Why should they expect me to show at their kids birthday party. I am not as fascinated with their kids as they are.

As for them bringing their kids to my place, hahahahah sure.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:42 PM on August 10, 2011 [7 favorites]


I'm sorry, Sailormom, please clarify what you're talking about.

No need to be sorry.
But a response of "fuck you" or "no longer interrested in being friends" is a childish response.
posted by Sailormom at 9:46 PM on August 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


No, but apparently people are really offended if you do.

That's exactly the kind of crap I'm talking about. You read that some parents are offended and just seem to shut down and decide their opinion is wrong or stupid. No effort is made to understand where they're coming from, why they're thinking and responding the way they are.


It's not crap. As said above, people read an "Adults Only" invite as saying that the OP is saying "fuck you" and doesn't want to be friends. This is presumably why the OP wrote the question.


That and you've mentioned several times how the OP is in a similar situation to you, childless as her friends are starting to have kids. Then you turn around and write to me "... this is not about you. You are fine. This is not about you " and then proceed to write from your own viewpoint.

This is reading everything I wrote in the least charitable and understanding way possible. I said I didn't feel like the OP wrote the question in the best way ever, but was asking something legitimate, and yeah, I wrote a response that revealed the fact that a lot of people I know will have children in the next few years, when I know that I probably won't or can't.
posted by sweetkid at 9:46 PM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


And THAT is the question at hand: how to stop the parents from bringing their kids to a social function designed specifically not to include the kids.

Sorry -- I should have said

"Many of them don't attend events from which kids are excluded."

This conveys the same facts, right? And doesn't make them "insist" as if that were somehow unreasonable?
posted by escabeche at 9:48 PM on August 10, 2011


That question felt really odd to me, but frankly the idea that people can't really deal with the presence of children feels odd to me generally. I grew up going to grown-up social events with my single mom, and I have lots of friends with children. In fact, I always keep some play-doh and a couple of toys and some muppet movies in my home because you never know when there will be a kid around who will need entertaining. That doesn't mean that the discussion is all kid-focused; it just means that if one of the kids needs to take a nap, I'll volunteer my bed for that, and if someone can't socialize without bringing their autistic six-year-old twin sons because they're a broke single parent (as is the case with one of my friends), of course I'll be happy to have them there. I don't want to make my friends feel like pariahs for reproducing, and generally, I view kids as kind of sacred--the whole "it takes a village" kind of attitude, I guess. I find it hard to imagine outright stating they're not welcome.

But I guess it's not a universal attitude.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:48 PM on August 10, 2011 [8 favorites]


NoRelationToLea, I just thought it was an odd way to look at hosting duties and wondered about the bit about the guests going out of their way to make time for the host. I don't look at my guests that way, but I still try to be as accommodating to them within reason. But yeah, if you're at my house and got a problem with how I do things then I'll accommodate you right out the front door.

but hey, thanks for extending me the benefit of the doubt

Sorry about that, but my experience so far in this thread has been that we're not doing that today.
posted by Hoopo at 9:52 PM on August 10, 2011


Brandon Blatcher: But she's being extremely tone deaf on the parents with their kids and I think that needs to be strongly pointed out, particularly if the goal is not offend her friends.

I think it's been pointed out (in some cases more than strongly), and judging by her response here, I think the message has been received.
posted by stennieville at 9:52 PM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Many of them don't attend events from which kids are excluded."

I don't read that quite the same way as the original statement either, though. I see what you're trying to do, and absolutely there are many things that can be re-worded, but the sense I got from the OP is that her friends don't think there are any events from which kids are excluded. Which, fine, but she was requesting help on how to make this clear to them on this one, very specific occasion.

And I think it should be noted, that the OP also said she'd understand if they couldn't come for whatever reason because of the adults-only thing. I didn't get the sense at all that she'd be pissed off about it.
posted by aclevername at 9:54 PM on August 10, 2011


"Many of them don't attend events from which kids are excluded."

This conveys the same facts, right? And doesn't make them "insist" as if that were somehow unreasonable?


*facepalm* That's the whole point of the OP's question!

Your example still doesn't work: the problem, as I understand it, is that there are people--people who have children--that the OP knows, who have in the past brought their kids to events from which kids have been excluded. Not that they're not attending adult-only events. But that their kids are attending adult-only events. The insisting is the whole point!

OK, folks, I think it's time for me to go to bed. Y'all take care.
posted by phunniemee at 9:54 PM on August 10, 2011 [7 favorites]


Yeah, I had a friend (who was a single mother, granted) that INSISTED on bringing her child EVERYWHERE with her. I mean, she would either just show up with him or she would demand that she be allowed to bring him. Even to upscale business functions, like our 4 course expensive Christmas dinner parties or cocktail client appreciation events for work, or to a small team-building function at a boss' house, or even upscale coworker weddings where their own families were asked not to bring their children. She adamantly declared that she was a mother and her son was part of her and if you invited her, you were inviting her son as well. And would get pissed off and offended if anybody thought otherwise. Sure, she may be an outlier but she's certainly not a lone specimen in my own personal experience.

All that is to say is that though the OP of the Ask may not be upset or offended if her friends chose not to come to an 'adult only' party, there definitely ARE individual parents who WOULD feel offended if you dared to suggest that they leave their child at home, no matter how tactful.
posted by 1000monkeys at 10:07 PM on August 10, 2011 [6 favorites]


That question felt really odd to me, but frankly the idea that people can't really deal with the presence of children feels odd to me generally.

Look, the OP wasn't asking how to lock her friends' kids in a basement whenever there's a social gathering. She's talking about a one-time celebration for a milestone birthday; a dinner party followed by drinks and dancing. It feels odd to me that people think child-free gatherings are inappropriate.
posted by lalex at 10:09 PM on August 10, 2011 [36 favorites]


stellaluna: "So perhaps we can all pack up our pitchforks and burning torches for the night, since it's nigh happy hour here, and surely the rest of you could use a drink?"

Well, I'm sure all the parents here could use one or twelve.

stellaluna, I just wanted to say that you've responded to this call-out in a really classy way. It would have been easy to take it as an attack and respond in kind, but you didn't.
posted by dg at 10:19 PM on August 10, 2011 [15 favorites]


But Whitney says the children are our future!
posted by hermitosis at 10:19 PM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


there are people--people who have children--that the OP knows, who have in the past brought their kids to events from which kids have been excluded.

I don't see where you get that these were events from which kids had been excluded. You're saying you think the friends were flouting explicit instructions not to bring kids? If that were the case, why would she be bothering to figure out how to give such instructions? I think she's saying, "these friends, they bring their kids with them whenever we go out; I would rather they not do this, but haven't said anything about it; how can I politely let them know?"

And that's a good question. It's just that she phrased it in a way that sounded like there was something wrong with her friends bringing their kids with them whenever they go out, having been given no sense yet that it's not allowed.
posted by escabeche at 10:22 PM on August 10, 2011


It's not that I think they're inappropriate. It's that I don't think the presence of children automatically ruins a social gathering and, more, I see that bringing children along is a concrete necessity for many young parents especially. People have touched on this (babysitting is expensive), but that might be a lot of it for me--an "adults-only party" is in some ways a fundamentally privileged notion. The parents I know are largely single, all pretty broke, and social events like this mean essentially begging their parents for childcare or losing a big chunk of a day's wage. Had my own mother's friends been sticklers for these kinds of social events, she wouldn't have had a social life for most of my childhood. I feel glad for her that they were generous, with her and with me.

And having been raised in that sort of environment, I can't help but feel like being accommodating toward parents is actually likely the most practical way to deal with this: provide space for changing and privacy for breastfeeding (if the moms want), supply a few toys or distractions for children to keep them out of the adults' hair. Create happy cohabitation of different age groups, rather than insisting on mashing them together in a way that's not realistic.

But again, I've pretty much grown-up to just expect that sometimes kids will be around, and that's part of being in the community of people. And I kind of enjoy it in a way, like, hey, kids, cool! (Even though I'm not a parent, I think kids are cool). It's more trespasses in etiquette (kids acting like hellions; people changing diapers in your personal space) that bother me, not the age of the people present.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:24 PM on August 10, 2011 [7 favorites]


Look, the OP wasn't asking how to lock her friends' kids in a basement whenever there's a social gathering. She's talking about a one-time celebration for a milestone birthday; a dinner party followed by drinks and dancing. It feels odd to me that people think child-free gatherings are inappropriate.

Oh, and incidentally, I wasn't being snarky in what I said. It genuinely is an odd notion to me, but like, alien, odd, not "for shame you terrible child haters" odd. I suspect the divide in feeling about this might be cultural or socioeconomic but it's late and I don't really have a concrete theory, just a hazy suspicion.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:31 PM on August 10, 2011


We take our children to parties. This is because we usually hang around with other people who have kids. There is nothing more joyful than a group of adults boozing it up in the kitchen while the kids run screaming around the house with the dogs. Mixed-age parties are absolutely the best part of life.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:35 PM on August 10, 2011 [14 favorites]


I seriously don't get how breastfeeding could be seen as gross.

I don't find it gross, but to be honest I am pretty uncomfortable when my friends breastfeed in front of me. I don't want them to stop or go in another room or cover up or anything -- they have to feed their kid, I get that and I want them to do it in whatever way works for them, I get that a lot of babies won't stand for a blanket over them while nursing, I would never dream of asking someone to nurse their baby in a restroom. But it's the whole giant moustache and clam chowder thing. It's definitely not sexual, it's just... I mean, whoa, there's your boob, and your kid has it in their mouth and they're making eye contact with me and it's that weirdly solemn baby eye contact where they're, like, looking through your soul or whatever. It ramps my anxiety up really high, and I can't really explain it, but I also can't ever say a word about this feeling I have to anyone I know who breastfeeds because, well, look at how people reacted here. Not well.

For what it's worth, I also can't watch people eating salad. Especially if it has thousand island dressing on it. Just... eugh.
posted by palomar at 10:54 PM on August 10, 2011 [12 favorites]


Ewhhh 100 Island Dressing. Totally agree on that one.
posted by 1000monkeys at 10:58 PM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have a friend whose favorite salad, bless his sweet heart, is iceberg lettuce with 1000 island dressing and a pile of shelled sunflower seeds. I am glad he likes his salad, but holy fuck if I ever need to trigger a vomiting spell I just think of the last time I saw him eat it. oh god oh god oh god

seriously dude try spring mix sometime, maybe a nice vinaigrette
posted by palomar at 11:02 PM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


it's that weirdly solemn baby eye contact where they're, like, looking through your soul or whatever.

I know exactly what you mean. I think they're bonding with you. Seriously bonding FOR SERIOUS.

If you're not trying to bond with them it is pretty socially awkward, though. Like when someone says they love you and you're on the first date...eek.
posted by the young rope-rider at 11:03 PM on August 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


But it's the whole giant moustache and clam chowder thing.

yup, that one goes in the "here are some things i will probably never get to say again" file

posted by palomar at 11:46 PM on August 10, 2011


MetaFilter: the whole giant moustache and clam chowder thing.

[I've always wanted to do one of those tagline thingies]
posted by 1000monkeys at 11:54 PM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Guys, guys -- this is really ridiculously simple:


Dear Friends,

Please join us for a night of loud swearing, copious smoking,
X-rated films and violent video games!


We will be celebrating my 30th birthday
with lots of hard alcohol and soft drugs

(think more "ecstasy" than heroine)!


The party theme will be
very sharp corners,
extremely valuable fragile items sitting precariously on tiny three-legged tables,
and lots of really small choking hazards
that nevertheless look like candy!

There will be absolutely no breastal nudity! None!

11 pm (when all good children should be in bed)
'til
the wee small drink sodden hours just before the sun rises

P L E A S E

RSVP

posted by taz at 11:55 PM on August 10, 2011 [104 favorites]


I think they're bonding with you. Seriously bonding FOR SERIOUS.

Yes, I bet you're totally right. It makes total sense, breastfeeding is supposed to be a really intensely bonding experience so of course anyone in close range is likely to get caught in the love tractor beam comin' out of the baby's face. I guess that goes right to what Navelgazer said upthread, about it being an intimacy thing and being uncomfortable with that for a reason I can't really put my finger on.
posted by palomar at 11:56 PM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


The party theme will be
very sharp corners,


OMG I laughed so loud my kids are restless in their beds now. Brilliant.

This is a tendency I've seen a lot in AskMes which are ostensibly questions: "How can I tell Cousin Stacey she's not invited to my wedding?" but also contain venting about all the horrible things Cousin Stacey has done over the years, can you believe her? And then I said, and then she said, and she was all "Nuh-uh!", and I was all "Oh no you didn't" ... The question can be asked, calmly and politely, without the horror stories.

It is a fine line between ask.metafilter.com and answers.yahoo.com sometimes.
posted by davejay at 12:11 AM on August 11, 2011


This whole debacle makes me appreciate my friends so much. The fact that I know I can get away with calling small children "the shit factory" makes things so much easier. In fact, I'll probably call one kid "the shit factory" until he's 17 and I'm buying him beer for prom night.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 12:53 AM on August 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yes, I bet you're totally right. It makes total sense, breastfeeding is supposed to be a really intensely bonding experience so of course anyone in close range is likely to get caught in the love tractor beam comin' out of the baby's face.

That's a perfect way to put it!

I should mention that babies have done this to me before when I was bottlefeeding them, so non-breast-havers (and other bottlefeeders), do not be discouraged. You too can get the baby love tractor beam.
posted by the young rope-rider at 1:08 AM on August 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


I split my head open on my parents' marble coffee table with very sharp corners; there was blood everywhere and I got stitches in my head. I was a little amused by the sharp-corners theme.
posted by ambient2 at 1:34 AM on August 11, 2011


We take our children to parties. This is because we usually hang around with other people who have kids. There is nothing more joyful than a group of adults boozing it up in the kitchen while the kids run screaming around the house with the dogs. Mixed-age parties are absolutely the best part of life.

Nice. This is kinda where I'm hoping to be in a few years. Glad to hear it's joyful.
posted by salvia at 1:39 AM on August 11, 2011


X-rated films with no breastal nudity? Will they be bra-fetish ones only? ;-)


I don't have an issue with women breast-feeding their kids in front of me; I do have them with the parents who change diapers in dining rooms and those who can't control their kids.


In general, I let my friends with children know that kid friendly places are ok with me, but would make it clear that a grownup party was adults only...and that I haven't childproofed my home.
posted by brujita at 1:43 AM on August 11, 2011


Thanks, The Gooch, for trying to lay out the childcare options for American parents for me! And PhoBWanKenobi, that thing you said about some people not having the privilege of having someone else look after their children is also really interesting. Where I live, in my experience, people in circles where nobody has the money to pay for things like childcare get unpaid help from their friends pretty habitually. Just the other night, I ended up not looking after the baby of a broke semi-single mother friend after all, just because another friend (and a more distant one, at that) stepped up to do it instead. It wasn't for anything super important either, she just wanted to go out, and we were both home. She's helped me out when I needed it, too. For most American parents, is it really just a choice between roping in random housebound teenagers, begging help off your parents, and selling your organs to pay for professional assistance? Don't your friends help you with any regularity?

Well, anyway. I love children, and I'm perfectly happy to have them around almost all the time. One of the many reasons I love France as much as I do is that children get to be a part of adult spaces (like, you see tiny babies in bars at night), and so many of them behave beautifully because of that. So healthy for everyone! But, I still don't see how it's in any way unreasonable or unaccepting or unloving to want to arrange one or two nights, out of millions, where they're not around. I mean, I want to lay out the reasons why such a thing might be desirable, but it doesn't even seem to need saying.

Because for every place and occasion, there are going to be beloved people who just shouldn't be there, and for every beloved person there are going to be occasions and places where they just shouldn't be. That's why the whole thing about dogs and so on upthread is completely beside the point. No, children aren't like dogs. But they ARE kind of like your friend who doesn't get along with any of your other friends, or your really sweet co-worker who doesn't believe in socialising outside the church, or your sister who'll never eat blood sausage anyway, or that tall guy from last time who got way too drunk way too early, or your cute neighbour who occasionally smells kind of like the stuff you clean out of your bellybutton, or your favourite old aunt who'd sulk very gleefully all night if she had to hear anyone (let alone you!) say "fuck", or any of the other people whose company you've enjoyed but who just. don't. need. to be. at your party. At least this time. And yes, All Children is kind of a lot of people to leave out all at once. But I feel like we can agree that, on the whole, kids just don't have the same needs or interests as your 27-year-old man-friends on a Saturday night. Maybe they're not supposed to hear certain words yet. Maybe they're not ready to see boys and girls or girls and girls or boys and boys get that close. Maybe they have their own friends and don't particularly want to entertain you either. Maybe they need to head to bed early, and maybe they need things to be quiet when they do. Maybe there's a new episode on right now of whatever the hell they're always watching on the Disney channel, maybe they're allergic to smoke, maybe they'll straight up vomit if anyone so much as puts a plate of that sausage in front of them. And maybe you would both be having a better time right now if you were in different places, doing different things. I just don't see a damn thing wrong with that.
posted by two or three cars parked under the stars at 2:22 AM on August 11, 2011 [13 favorites]


My breasts feed themselves.
posted by doublehappy at 3:10 AM on August 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


For most American parents, is it really just a choice between roping in random housebound teenagers, begging help off your parents, and selling your organs to pay for professional assistance? Don't your friends help you with any regularity?

I can't speak for most American parents, but I can say for me and my husband that if we are invited to a particular event for a friend, then all of our friends are invited to the same event. And the odds of getting one of our friends invited to an event they probably want to attend to sit for us during that event is, well.....the size of a speck of dust.

My husband and I also don't live near family. So, family isn't an option.

And as for teenage sitters --- I don't mind them if they're good with babies. But the part-time job they have pays more than we could --- a few years ago I read an article about how teenagers have shirked the more traditional side jobs of mowing lawns, delivering newspapers, and babysitting in favor of retail and summer camp jobs that yield more money. It just isn't the same demographic babysitting anymore. We had a babysitter, a recent college grad, who charged $12/hour. $15 - $20/hour is far more normal. But her day job was as a nanny. So she just babysat occasionally.

A sitter for three hours could cost more than the price of two movie tickets.

Anyway, I think a lot of the anger in that thread could have been prevented if the OP had said upfront she was speaking of two kids who were 10 months old and over a year old. That's important information. Most 10 months old and any kids over a year old can be left with a sitter, if the parents can afford it anyway. Most of my GRAR was coming from not seeing the OP even try to understand the distinction between babies who are under six months old and children who are, say, eight years old.
posted by zizzle at 3:55 AM on August 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Also, I will have you all know that TZ is not a dog as he clearly has been saying ROAR! all week. He is most definitely a lion.
posted by zizzle at 3:57 AM on August 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


escabeche: "conveys the same facts with less thumb on the scale."

I'm stealing this line. Love, love, love it.
posted by kinetic at 4:01 AM on August 11, 2011


The Americans and their vast array of attitudes to breast-feeding are always "eye opening"...but seriously...why has nobody taken you aside and told you, in fact your entire nation, "Birthdays, Valentine's Day, Wedding Anniversaries, Easter are not all about presents, attention and consumption.

"You, the celebrator, are not a special snowflake that the rest of your group of friends want to spend another fucking cent on. We all have these events in our lives and we should all mark them without expecting adults with mortgages, breasts, rent, education debt or personal loans to prove their love to us by SPENDING MONEY.

"Seriously Americaland, I love you...lived there, returned there...would re-return there in a heartbeat.....but if you can't see your consumerism and entitlement as a symbol for your wonderful country's problems...I'll be damned. You don't need more STUFF!

"No adult birthday, under 100 deserves anything other than a 'Happy Birthday Possum' on Facebook. And only if the wifi is free"

There endeth my loving but frustrated rant about The States.
posted by taff at 4:31 AM on August 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


loud swearing, copious smoking, X-rated films and violent video games!... lots of hard alcohol and soft drugs

Yes, please.

Happy birthday, taz - you are the best!
posted by madamjujujive at 4:43 AM on August 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


NO, YOU! Thanks, sweetie
posted by taz at 4:55 AM on August 11, 2011


USA! USA! USA!

Wait, what were we supposed to be outraged about in this thread?
posted by Admiral Haddock at 5:33 AM on August 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm surprised and not a little unhappy that people are accusing me of being childish for the "no longer interested in being friends" thing. This wasn't meant as a value judgement on whether it's OK to want what you want, so much as an observation on the long-term outcome of choosing to frame your social events this way.

If my friends started holding their special big events in a cigar bar and I couldn't go because of my asthma, this would similarly indicate to me that having the event that they want is more important to them than having me attend. I don't think it *necessarily* means "ZOMG DOOMS FRIENDSHIP OVER!!1!" but it is an indicator of where you stand, you know? I'm not sure why that's a contentious statement.

So I tried to say in a now-deleted comment, of course you're allowed to have adults-only events; equally you shouldn't be surprised if that means your new-parent friends can't make it. Friendships often drift apart when one party has kids and the other doesn't, and this is exactly why.
posted by Andrhia at 5:34 AM on August 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


If my friends started holding their special big events in a cigar bar and I couldn't go because of my asthma

If they held ONE special big event in a cigar bar, because cigars are a special big deal to them and JUST THIS ONCE they'd like to enjoy a big special event in a cigar bar, and they've been and are willing to compromise on the cigarness of past and future events, you'd take it as an indicator that they don't value your friendship?
posted by Gator at 5:43 AM on August 11, 2011 [33 favorites]


You know, I have a lot of friends in 12-step recovery, and we still all hang out in bars and clubs and places where there is alcohol, and no one minds or dramatically insists that the friendship has forever been sullied by the uncaring cruelties of the still-drinking friends. The sober people will come or not come depending on how they feel about it and no feelings get hurt because everyone acts like grown ups and are honest and open about their needs.

Similarly, when a sober person throws a party, no one expects them to provide alcohol for everyone else, and asks if it's okay to bring their own. Sometimes it is, and sometimes it's not. LIFE GOES ON and everyone is still friends.

My point is this: not every single person can be accommodated to every single time, and taking this shit as a deeply personal cue about how others feel towards you is pretty ridiculous.

And yes, to run with the above example, obviously if you are an asthmatic and every single party your friends ever hold is in a cigar bar, then you have problems. But one single party there? Or one single evening of childfree fun? Or one single afternoon brunch at a steak house when you're the only vegan? Assuming these specially scheduled events mean you are forever unwelcome is narcissistic to the extreme. Your friends are not out to get you.


on preview: damn you and your brevity, gator
posted by elizardbits at 5:46 AM on August 11, 2011 [22 favorites]


dogs never grow up into surly disaffected teenagers who then steal money from your wallet for drugs

That's more of a cat thing, isn't it?

"Honey, all my cash is gone and the place reeks of catnip! Again!"
posted by Grangousier at 6:09 AM on August 11, 2011 [11 favorites]


I agree that it might help potential hurt feelings if the friend called and said "Hey, just this once it would be important to me if..." to defuse the situation. So maybe that's a part of the answer we were looking for.

We did indeed skip a number of weddings and similar special events, and we certainly didn't resent the people who didn't want kids at their wedding. That carries the "just this one time" implication inherently that a birthday doesn't really have, not even a birthday with a 0 at the end of it.

At the same time, patterns are built from single events over time. Of course one event isn't the nail in the coffin that means "we're not friends anymore." It's still a sign, though, that maybe our lives are moving in different directions now.

And I don't mean that in the rancorous sense of a GRAR friendship breakup. We have a number of friends who did continue to have parties in bars and so on when our kids were smaller. And we did stop hanging out with them for a few years, because our social parameters were basically incompatible.

In our case, the kids are now school-age and we *can* leave them to go do fun stuff from time to time now. And we are, in fact, hanging out with those single friends just a little more often again, which is lovely. But if a friendship drifts like that, there's no guarantee that it'll drift back together in a few years. That's life, I suppose.
posted by Andrhia at 6:09 AM on August 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


You know, I have a lot of friends in 12-step recovery, and we still all hang out in bars and clubs and places where there is alcohol, and no one minds or dramatically insists that the friendship has forever been sullied by the uncaring cruelties of the still-drinking friends. The sober people will come or not come depending on how they feel about it and no feelings get hurt because everyone acts like grown ups and are honest and open about their needs.

And if you had a question about how to handle this situation, would you phrase it like this?

"More and more of my friends are in recovery, and many of them insist on having no alcohol or drugs around them wherever they go. While I am glad that I still get to see my friends, I often wish that I could see them AND hang out at the bars I would otherwise go to. It can be distracting when someone walks out on dinner early because we ordered a round of after-dinner drinks. True story. In general, these are people who think everyone puts as high a priority on their sobriety as they do, and I fear they will be crushed to hear otherwise."
posted by escabeche at 6:12 AM on August 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


No part of any comment I have made so far in this entire thread has defended the unwise wording of the OP's question on the green. So no, that's not how I would phrase it at all.
posted by elizardbits at 6:16 AM on August 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


What I meant was that she doesn't know it's not ok to call a baby "it."

And that's why I was all, "....dude."

Because, seriously, a baby is a person, and what's more, it's a person whom the parents find valuable. And I'm having a hard time parsing out the mindset that would enable one to find an acceptable instance for calling another human being "it". The one instance I can think of is "said person is a baby whom I've just met and I have no idea what the gender is," but we've been over that.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:26 AM on August 11, 2011


i think people need to figure out how to let go of her wording and tone, or they need to find something else to do. yes, sometimes people in ask metafilter are a little tightly wound and they use their question as a place to vent. yes, it would be better if everyone was supremely diplomatic all the time. yes, she would have gotten better responses if she had cooled down a little between writing, editing, and posting. but you know what - who cares?

wouldn't you rather she say all the tone deaf stuff here than to her friends with kids? if you've taken it this personally, can you even imagine how an actual friend would take her unfiltered opinions? isn't that a great part of the human interaction questions here? we get to (hopefully impersonally) tell someone, "hey, you and stacey might get along better if you don't make it so obvious you think she's a bitch - not saying she has to come to your wedding, but that might help things in the future."

if you don't want to do that, that's fine, but you also don't need to yell at the poster, then call her out in metatalk, and when she responds graciously, keep grousing about her tone. that's a great way to get people to shut off, not listen, not learn.
posted by nadawi at 6:32 AM on August 11, 2011 [39 favorites]


My breasts feed themselves.
posted by doublehappy at 5:10 AM on August 11


Holy eponysterical.
posted by kingbenny at 6:46 AM on August 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


if you don't want to do that, that's fine, but you also don't need to yell at the poster, then call her out in metatalk, and when she responds graciously, keep grousing about her tone. that's a great way to get people to shut off, not listen, not learn.

I cannot favorite nadawi's post enough.

It's understandable that people are offended by a post, but to put it bluntly, those of you who are harping endlessly on the OP's tone are being fucking ridiculous and acting like entitled brats.
posted by palomar at 6:54 AM on August 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


elizardbits: " Seriously. At least pets are easily housebroken. Also, the other day at my friend's party, one of the toddlers broke loose from the toddler-playing-area and ran wild, and somehow I was selected as the one to rein her in. Can you believe this 2 year old child didn't even know any simple commands like SIT or STAY? "

Oh, they know. Believe me, they know. They just don't listen.

Next time, try the magic word: "WANNASNACK?" All kids know "WANNASNACK?".
posted by zarq at 7:09 AM on August 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


If my friends started holding their special big events in a cigar bar and I couldn't go because of my asthma, this would similarly indicate to me that having the event that they want is more important to them than having me attend. I don't think it *necessarily* means "ZOMG DOOMS FRIENDSHIP OVER!!1!" but it is an indicator of where you stand, you know? I'm not sure why that's a contentious statement.

Most of my friends have interests and hobbies that I am not even REMOTELY interested or involved in. Why should I be kept in the loop for all of it? If they were having a special event, like a birthday party, I would want them to be able to have exactly the kind of fun night that they craved the most, even if it meant I couldn't be there. If I had asthma and my friend liked to have his events at cigar bars, I'd probably plan a separate event for another night, like a special dinner or something at my house, and not think anything about it.

People are more likely to deliberately exclude someone who is really insecure or is constantly keeping track of where they stand in friend hierarchies. These are unattractive qualities in a friend and they can be exhausting to put up with.
posted by hermitosis at 7:31 AM on August 11, 2011 [19 favorites]


those of you who are harping endlessly on the OP's tone

Wait, is that me? I was just trying to explain to the OP and others what might have led some people to read past the question. Because it seemed like some people in this MeTa thread were thinking that people got their backs up because they're offended by the very idea of having an adults-only party, or that some people don't like to see breastfeeding. Maybe some people felt that way, but I don't think that's a main source of grar in the thread.

I thought talking about the tone of the post was the same thing as nadawi's suggestion to say "hey, you and stacey might get along better if you don't make it so obvious you think she's a bitch."

I definitely don't think kids are entitled to be invited to stellaluna's party. I'm not sure anyone thinks that.
posted by escabeche at 7:39 AM on August 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


The saddest thing for me about this discussion (both the post and the MeTa) for me has been learning that my social set, which has generally been very easy about kid-friendly events and not-kid-friendly events, is apparently a rarity in the Metafilter experience, or at least the experience of people posting in the thread.

Sure, stellaluna sounds clueless--I was an only child and don't have kids, but I can't imagine calling a baby an "it" for three months--but the question is real and she asked in good faith. I had an easy answer that had led to success for me because people I know have generally assumed good faith on all sides of kid-related issues, that invitations are well-meant, and that even if people without kids know what their friends are up to that they don't magically understand the nuances of people's parenting decisions without some explanations. For instance, it takes the folks without kids a while to figure out who's an attachment parent and will never come without kids unless one of the parents explains this, because attachment parenting is not high on the radar of folks without kids. It doesn't mean non-parents aren't interested or hate their parenting friends, it means they have a different lifestyle and aren't into the details of how children are parented the way parents are.

I hope my advice is good, and maybe it is, because stellaluna's pal who explained gently that Baby is not an "it" sounds like a patient friend. And stellaluna has been classy about handling this callout. I hope that means she's got a set of friends who are accepting of lots of different ways to parent and/or not have kids, because that's a good set of friends to have and be, and I'm sad for the folks in this thread who don't seem to enjoy the same luxury.
posted by immlass at 7:40 AM on August 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


That's more of a cat thing, isn't it?

"Honey, all my cash is gone and the place reeks of catnip! Again!"


Cats did #UKRiots! Spread the word! Wake up, sheeple!
posted by Infinite Jest at 7:40 AM on August 11, 2011


I was just trying to explain to the OP and others what might have led some people to read past the question.

Maybe you didn't notice in your eagerness to make absolutely sure the OP knows just what a clueless so-and-so she is, but she already responded fairly graciously WAY upthread. So yes, what you and others are doing is harping and piling on regarding the tone of the question, which she can't go back and change.
posted by Gator at 7:47 AM on August 11, 2011 [6 favorites]


> For most American parents, is it really just a choice between roping in random housebound teenagers, begging help off your parents, and selling your organs to pay for professional assistance? Don't your friends help you with any regularity?

Speaking for all American parents -- no, sorry, speaking for myself -- my kids' grandparents are too far away, and my son has special needs so friends and random teenagers aren't up for the job of babysitting him. Yeah, if Mr Corpse and I wanted to, say, see a movie at the same time instead of in shifts like we usually do, or go to an adults-only party, we would have to pay roughly one bazillion dollar for respite care.

But neither of us really likes parties, so it's not a big deal for us.
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:48 AM on August 11, 2011


Yeah, I too want to emphasize that from stellaluna's comments in this thread it's totally clear she understands what was off-putting about the original version of the question. I don't think she hates babies, breasts, parents, or rainbow poop.
posted by escabeche at 7:48 AM on August 11, 2011


No one ever calls me Possum. sniff.

Wait. Is it complimentary? Or does it mean they think you have too-sparse hair, a long naked tail, a long snoutful of creepily pointy teeth, and bumble around at night looking for goodies in the trashpile while hissing at bright lights and other animals?

posted by small_ruminant at 7:55 AM on August 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wait, is that me?

well, the tipping point in the thread that finally got me to comment was this one, so, i guess? but, really, i mean it towards anyone who thinks it's about them - be kind, ESPECIALLY if your complaint is that someone else isn't being kind. also, posters in human interaction questions get more leeway with their rantiness. if you're not in the mood to suffer that, no one is forcing you to get involved.
posted by nadawi at 8:04 AM on August 11, 2011


Sure, stellaluna sounds clueless--I was an only child and don't have kids, but I can't imagine calling a baby an "it" for three months

I called my sister's first kid 'it' for a couple of months, I think. I don't think it's all that weird if you're not around parents a lot.
posted by empath at 8:17 AM on August 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


and going back and reading all your contributions to the thread i see that you mostly discussed the tone respectfully and i appreciate that. my comment certainly wasn't directed solely at you, or solely at anyone - just the general attitude of the pile on.
posted by nadawi at 8:19 AM on August 11, 2011


We will be celebrating my 30th birthday
with lots of hard alcohol and soft drugs
(think more "ecstasy" than heroine)!


Since the OP lives in environment that is very family oriented that MIGHT not work the way you're intending. Doesn't mean it can't, but it's probably something worth taking into consideration.

Maybe you didn't notice in your eagerness to make absolutely sure the OP knows just what a clueless so-and-so she is, but she already responded fairly graciously WAY upthread.

Interesting. I found her repeated responses to still be smug and condescending.

but, really, i mean it towards anyone who thinks it's about them - be kind, ESPECIALLY if your complaint is that someone else isn't being kind

Honestly she sounded so tone deaf that a blunt statement seemed the best way to make the point. As in, just stop right now, because you're being incredibly offensive and if you really worried about offending people, you really need to stop.

For someone who seems incredibly concerned about manners, calling a child "it" for three months is sounds appalling. If dad finally got around to correcting her, more than likely several discussions or rants where had about the OP.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:27 AM on August 11, 2011


Selective humorlessness, sanctimonious stick-in-the-mud-ism, and insistent uncharitability will get you nowhere, Brandon.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 8:36 AM on August 11, 2011 [17 favorites]


On the contrary! He's a certified AskMe Champion!
posted by Admiral Haddock at 8:38 AM on August 11, 2011


Wait. Is it complimentary? Or does it mean they think you have too-sparse hair, a long naked tail, a long snoutful of creepily pointy teeth, and bumble around at night looking for goodies in the trashpile while hissing at bright lights and other animals?

It probably helps to understand how much cuter Australian possums are than the American variety. It's one of my favorite Aussie terms of endearment, and I love that taff uses it liberally.

posted by EvaDestruction at 8:41 AM on August 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Selective humorlessness, sanctimonious stick-in-the-mud-ism, and insistent uncharitability will get you nowhere, Brandon.

It got an answer from you and really, what more could one want in life?

He's a certified AskMe Champion!

I'm getting tshirts made right now.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:41 AM on August 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


He's a certified AskMe Champion!

I think it is a little nasty to keep bringing that up. Brandon Blatcher didn't ask to made an example of an "AskMe Champion."
posted by grouse at 8:42 AM on August 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


Interesting. I found her repeated responses to still be smug and condescending.

She pointed out that these are the first of her friends to have kids, and her other non-parent friends seemed to feel the same way that she does, so she obviously doesn't have much of a reference point when it comes to these issues. She acknowledged that she would work on addressing what comes across as condescending in the future. She said that all the comments were an eye-opener for her. Is she just not being quite contrite enough? Seriously, what more do you want from her? A notarized affadavit, or just a blood sample?
posted by Gator at 8:44 AM on August 11, 2011 [13 favorites]


Never again shall I look at Skittles in the same way.

Why I can never eat Skittles again
posted by Deathalicious at 8:50 AM on August 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Is she just not being quite contrite enough? Seriously, what more do you want from her? A notarized affadavit, or just a blood sample?

No, really, when I said it was interesting that I saw her responses differently than you, that was what I meant, it was interesting how the same actions or statements could be perceive differently. Neither you or I are wrong per se, both our views should be considered, however briefly.

The OP doesn't have do anything, nor do I ask her to. At most my comment could be interpreted as "Hey, you might still have a tone issue with certain parents, so maybe keep that in mind." It's up to her, of course, what she decides to do.

If the dad of the baby she kept calling 'it' was able to quietly ask her to stop, him and/or the couple are probably her best resources to run these sort of things by. It doesn't mean there won't be some hurt feelings, but hopefully the road will only be temporarily bumpy, instead of completely destroyed or some such.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:53 AM on August 11, 2011


Holy fuck.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 8:53 AM on August 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Why I can never eat Skittles again

Why did I watch that whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:59 AM on August 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


The Skittler looks and sounds like a grownup McLovin
posted by villanelles at dawn at 9:02 AM on August 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I still don't see how it's in any way unreasonable or unaccepting or unloving to want to arrange one or two nights, out of millions, where they're not around. I mean, I want to lay out the reasons why such a thing might be desirable, but it doesn't even seem to need saying.

I realize we may have reached beating dead horse territory at this point, but I think this comment sort of gets to the heart of what was problematic about the OP's question. Her mistake, in my view, was thinking there was a need to endlessly justify why she wanted to hold an "Adults Only" event when no such explanation was necessary (since it's a completely legitimate request). That her explanation could fairly easily be interpreted as "Breeders are so annoying, AMIRITE" certainly didn't help her cause.

Not that this justifies some users determining that if a question offends their sensibilities the standard AskMe rules no longer apply, but this was definitely a question that could have been trimmed heavily of non-essential information that only served to distract from the very legitimate question within.
posted by The Gooch at 9:02 AM on August 11, 2011


In all fairness, part of her questions was essentially: "Oh my gosh, this one time I was talking to someone, and they started nursing their infant. This totally happened." I thought making that out to a big deal was the problem, not necessarily that she wanted to have a party on her own.

I know, I know that I'm guilty of messing up my own AskMes in this way, but a lot of heartache could have been avoided if she'd edited the question way down:

"I have friends with young children. I'm having a party coming up, but I want to spend it with just them and not the kids. How can I let them know that they're invited but their kids aren't?"
posted by Deathalicious at 9:11 AM on August 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


It got an answer from you and really, what more could one want in life?

Two answers from me.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 9:16 AM on August 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Neither you or I are wrong per se, both our views should be considered, however briefly.

I wouldn't rule it out, Brandon, and neither should you.
posted by Hoopo at 9:26 AM on August 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Anyway, I think a lot of the anger in that thread could have been prevented if

The anger could have been prevented if people realized that getting angry at the OP is, generally speaking, against the rules and they need to open a MeTa thread, email the OP directly or just move on instead of venting in the thread and taking the OPs question personally and responding as if she was their friend, asking about them. I left I think six notes in that thread asking people to dial it back. That's about four more than I should have had to leave. There are a lot of different ways to be parents and a lot of different ways to be non-parents and a lot of different ways those groups of people can interact. People ask questions here because they are trying to figure out and understand things. If the takeaway lesson is "Gee some people sure can be assholes about this subject" but no clearer understanding of how to manage whatever issue they were trying to work out in the first place, I think that sort of inhibits understanding generally.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:35 AM on August 11, 2011 [37 favorites]


I don't know, you know, they're going to be paying our Social Security in a few years.

Seems only prudent to show them as good a time as possible at our parties.
posted by jamjam at 9:44 AM on August 11, 2011


I left I think six notes in that thread asking people to dial it back. That's about four six more than I should have had to leave.

I mean, really, people. I learned when I was 3 that if you can't say something nice in AskMe, don't say anything at all.
posted by desjardins at 9:47 AM on August 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


desjardins is younger than i thought! also, who let the kid in?
posted by nadawi at 9:49 AM on August 11, 2011


underage b&
posted by villanelles at dawn at 9:54 AM on August 11, 2011


Btw, referring to a baby as "it" doesn't mean you regard it as an object or non-valuable or that you don't know or remember its gender. Partially, it's a carryover from during the pregnancy when even in the age of ultrasound, many people don't know or reveal the sex of the fetus . . . so everybody says "the baby" or "it."

Also, even after a kid is a born kid, plenty of parents continue to refer to darling little snookums as "the baby" to each other and to friends, so it kind of picks up on that.

Finally, and most important, infants don't really have gender. They are of differing sexes, and they have gender-inflected clothes and toys, but they're just pleasantly neuter until we start fucking with their minds. But people go completely bats if you don't constantly refer to a child's designated gender. Weird.

Weirder yet, people make a big fucking point of making sure they get my dogs' gender right even though I don't give a shit. Seriously. I have a gorgeous golden retriever who happens to be male. And people (including our vet) will say things like, "Oh, Benson's coat is so pretty. . . . WAIT, HE'S A BOY; I MEANT HANDSOME." Like they're afraid he'll turn out to be gay if his rugged manliness is not reinforced at every turn. And I'm all, "No, really, it's fine to say pretty. He is pretty. I call him Troy Donahue half the time."
posted by FelliniBlank at 10:01 AM on August 11, 2011 [45 favorites]


Good grief, I'm a parent and I'm embarrassed to be lumped in with all the hysterical Offended Parents in this and the AskMe thread. Do any of you remember what it was like before you were parents? In my recollection, I had NO IDEA what being a parent meant in terms of my social life and the accommodations I might need to make. And I don't think any amount of "advice" from parents would have solved that. The child-free live in a different world and that's totally fine. To expect them to understand your needs and empathize with your scheduling issues is just ridiculous. Looking back, I can only now hope that I didn't offend any of my friends who had children when I didn't because I'm sure I was thoughtless and clueless in my social life, But that's just life. We're all at different stages and to expect that someone who hasn't experienced your situation will be intimately familiar with your needs is just asking to be offended.

Also: Happy Birthday stellaluna. Hope you have a wonderful party.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 10:16 AM on August 11, 2011 [12 favorites]


Yeah, we have one (neutered) male dog and one (spayed) female dog, and the 2nd question after "what are their names" is always "are they girls or boys?" What difference could it possibly make? The male dog is definitely the prettier of the two, so I just tell everyone he's the girl. He doesn't lift his leg when he pees anyway.
posted by desjardins at 10:17 AM on August 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Pro Tip: Throw a specifically worded "Adults Only" party and immediately cease all friendship activities with any offended parties or anyone who thinks it doesn't apply to THEIR KID (regardless of age) because they suck and will always be a melodramatic, self-absorbed pain in the ass.
posted by mckenney at 10:35 AM on August 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


Oh and also, I used to be really annoyed when people showed up with their uninvited dog at my parties. Actually, I still sort of am but now that I have a child I sort of get it.

The people who show up with an uninvited dog are inevitably childless and now that I'm a parent, I tend to think that they are so sick of people showing up at their parties with uninvited children that they just started showing up with their uninvited dogs to all the parties thrown by people with children.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 10:42 AM on August 11, 2011 [8 favorites]


When I started breast feeding I was excited about it! I made my husband take me to restraunt as soon as baby and I had breastfeeding down. I couldn't wait to make people squeamish and often breastfed in public, just to see the looks of disdain on peoples face. We never had any one come ask me to cover up, but the looks on faces was priceless!
posted by Sweetmag at 11:02 AM on August 11, 2011 [9 favorites]


Hoopo: an adult who was completely inarticulate and communicated by shrieking gibberish, shat his pants at the table, and drank from a nipple.

This reminds me of some of the parties I went to as a teenager. The kind that have become legendary and are part of the mythic lore of our long gone youth among my old friends. I'm fairly certain that Hoopo's scenario literally occurred at a few of them. Usually around 5am or so.
Then again... those memories are, uh... hazy.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 11:07 AM on August 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


What I want to know is, when did babysitters become an endangered species?

"This was before babysitters. Back then, parents would say, 'what? Leave my precious child with a total stranger? I'd just as soon leave him at home all by himself.'"--Bill Cosby
posted by Melismata at 11:09 AM on August 11, 2011


I babysat pretty much every weekend when I was 12-16, along with a part-time nanny gig during grad school, and now that I've learned you can score $20 an hour these days, I'm thinking of putting up some signs here in my 'hood. Of course, you can't pick your nose, eat all the peanut brittle, or peruse the parents' mind-boggling porn stash anymore since everybody has those hidden sittercams.
posted by FelliniBlank at 11:37 AM on August 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh, so perfect for this thread!
posted by ericb at 11:42 AM on August 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


Many AskMe questions come off as a little condescending or defensive, because people are explaining prickly questions in ways that are meant to be complete and fair, but also in support of their own viewpoint. A tiny, tiny, tiny minority of the people writing AskMe questions have a heart-stoppingly perfect command of authorial tone. The rest of them are normal human beings like you or me.

Don't take it personally or be rude to the OP just because you don't like his or her tone.

If you can't give a polite, helpful answer, then do not respond. If you're giving an answer that's something the OP might not want to hear, then you have to be especially sure to be polite and helpful.
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:47 AM on August 11, 2011 [10 favorites]


I have learned a lot from this & the AskMe thread but the most shocking thing was how difficult it is and how pricy it is (compared to where & when I was a teen) to get a sitter. I had no idea. None. We used to be competitive for teh good jobs! For $20 a night if the parents were generous and if we were lucky we got a snack (up hill! both ways! in the snow! how hard it was in the 1980's)

So given that I have a child unsafe home, complete with PointyCat the Freelance (and freestyle!) accupuncturist, is it OK to offer to watch friends' kids at *their* house so they can go out sometime?
posted by pointystick at 11:59 AM on August 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Pointystick: in my experience, parents prefer that you watch their kids in their own home.
posted by 1000monkeys at 12:27 PM on August 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


(Some of whom, I know for a fact, take their children to pubs! True story!!)

I encourage parents to bring their children to pubs, as I like having somebody on hand I can beat in a drinking game.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 12:33 PM on August 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


Bunny Ultramod beats children when he has been drinking. Pass it on.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 12:56 PM on August 11, 2011 [2 favorites]



Sailormom: Or maybe you just think they will be offended.

One respondent in the thread in question said that "Adults Only" can be read as a "fuck you." Another said they would take it as a sign that the person was not interested in being friends anymore.


Either things have changed tremendously in the four decades since I became a grown up OR this may be a socio-cultural thing. I grew up in a situation where my parents attended a lot of 'cocktail parties', 'receptions' and what nots which were (and presumably have to be else you'd have the kindergarten side to state dinners, no?) "Mr and Mrs" as my mother would call them or as has been said "Adults only". It was understood that one did not show or the relevant parent would stay home (if professional reasons demanded attendance from at least one) if caretaking facilities were unavailable.

But perhaps that only applies to professional events and not personal ones and one's friends are expected to accomodate all? I don't know. Just sayin' though that 'Adults Only' is not a big deal afaik in my own experience across quite a few countries and cultures.
posted by infini at 1:02 PM on August 11, 2011 [7 favorites]


Bunny Ultramod beats children when he has been drinking. Pass it on.

In his previous incarnation he'd then make an omelette so I guess its an improvement ;p
posted by infini at 1:03 PM on August 11, 2011


All of this actually reminds me of Nozin' Aroun' from the Young Ones (relevant point here, but the whole thing is awesome!)
posted by Admiral Haddock at 1:21 PM on August 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Sweetmag: "When I started breast feeding I was excited about it! I made my husband take me to restraunt as soon as baby and I had breastfeeding down. I couldn't wait to make people squeamish and often breastfed in public, just to see the looks of disdain on peoples face. We never had any one come ask me to cover up, but the looks on faces was priceless!"

Oddly enough, I have no idea if you are being sarcastic or not.
posted by zarq at 1:42 PM on August 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Zarq- I am without a doubt serious :)
posted by Sweetmag at 1:44 PM on August 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oddly enough, I have no idea if you are being sarcastic or not.

In Vancouver a few years back, there was an incident at the downtown H&M where a woman was breastfeeding in the store and the clerk came up and said to her that some customers had complained and asked her if she wouldn't mind going into one of their change rooms. Asked, mind you, by all accounts politely. The woman did, but she was not surprisingly a bit embarrassed about the whole situation.

It was obviously not a good question to ask someone, but it's an awkward situation all around, for the store clerk in a retail shop trying to accommodate customers who may at times be unreasonable, and for the woman asked to move. Oh, and apparently also for some random whiny customers.

Anyways, the local press got in on it and we had tons of shocked and outraged mothers flocking to H&M to do a "feed-in" as if this was corporate policy and not the result of an unreasonable customer's demands and a poor decision on the part of a low-paid clerk who is probably trying to avoid complaints and confrontations in the store and likely not trained in how to handle these situations.

All I could think was, "Wow, you guys sure showed....someone, but I don't know who."
posted by Hoopo at 1:58 PM on August 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


Zarq- I am without a doubt serious :)

I... was really hoping your comment was in jest.
posted by Specklet at 2:00 PM on August 11, 2011 [16 favorites]


Sweetmag: "Zarq- I am without a doubt serious :)"

OK. Thanks for clarifying.
posted by zarq at 2:19 PM on August 11, 2011



Anyways, the local press got in on it and we had tons of shocked and outraged mothers flocking to H&M to do a "feed-in" as if this was corporate policy and not the result of an unreasonable customer's demands and a poor decision on the part of a low-paid clerk who is probably trying to avoid complaints and confrontations in the store and likely not trained in how to handle these situations.

All I could think was, "Wow, you guys sure showed....someone, but I don't know who."


They did a whole "Married with Children" episode about this. I vaguely recall Jefferson being recruited as one of the breastfeeders.
posted by Melismata at 2:20 PM on August 11, 2011


Wow, life imitates art! Wait, no... life imitates whatever Married with Children is.
posted by Hoopo at 2:24 PM on August 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


All I could think was, "Wow, you guys sure showed....someone, but I don't know who."

They showed themselves what they wouldn't put up with and did a peaceful protest to fight for their rights. Sometimes you gotta do that.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:25 PM on August 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Peg!
posted by Elmore at 2:28 PM on August 11, 2011


Yeah the whole breast-feeding thing and people getting all worked up about it... the only time I ever looked twice was over a five year old, after dinner, at an outdoor (casual) restaurant. It was just the surprise of, 'Is that really - ? Wow, that really is. Wow. Huh. Kid's kind of old, right? Alright, so you were saying...'

I was impressed with stellaluna's question mostly because the tone seemed pretty clear and pretty clearly not the tact I would take.

Not really worth flagging though.
posted by From Bklyn at 2:29 PM on August 11, 2011


So nobody else is slightly weirded out by this?

[the OP has an email address and if you'd like to tell her why she is annoying you should be using that and not commenting in this thread. This thread is for helping her solve her problem and if you need to gently challenge assumptions that is fine but it's not going to be a referendum on parenting which I have made crystal clear. Thank you.]

I mean, I get that mods set the norm, so maybe my view is twisted (or my interpretation incorrect) but this sounds like an invitation to grouse at the poster in email, which is not something I would expect to see encouraged, even if the context is “in preference to doing so in the thread.”

Yeah, we have one (neutered) male dog and one (spayed) female dog, and the 2nd question after "what are their names" is always "are they girls or boys?" What difference could it possibly make?

Cause you just spent thirty seconds averting your eyes while your dog squatted on the common green, and then you walked off. If that dog’s a “boy”, you have some picking up to do.

Seriously, here’s a bag. And don’t think I won’t remember you next time.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 2:29 PM on August 11, 2011


I mean, I get that mods set the norm, so maybe my view is twisted (or my interpretation incorrect) but this sounds like an invitation to grouse at the poster in email, which is not something I would expect to see encouraged, even if the context is “in preference to doing so in the thread.”

It seems eminently reasonable to me. If you're so taken aback by her tone, then you should communicate privately with her. She is the only person who wrote her post, and therefore she is logically the only person to whom to speak about the tone of her post.

If you don't feel comfortable sending her an private message telling her that her tone annoys you, then this should be a very large, blinking neon sign that you probably shouldn't post your tone-annoyance in the thread for everyone else to see and respond to, thereby derailing the thread away from helpful, substantive answers.
posted by Sticherbeast at 2:35 PM on August 11, 2011 [11 favorites]


I was one of those dreaded public breastfeeders when my daughter was a baby (back in the dark ages.) The thing that helped me be gracious when other people got squicked was remembering how few situations there are in which we're expected to tolerate other people's bodily fluids in public. Other people's discomfort wasn't my priority when I had a hungry baby to feed, but that perspective gave me one less reason to be cranky every time I had to open my shirt.

(Also, color me surprised at how contentious this thread got. Wow, am I glad my kid is grown.)
posted by Space Kitty at 2:35 PM on August 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hoopo: " All I could think was, "Wow, you guys sure showed....someone, but I don't know who.""

There have been a number of protests focusing on public breastfeeding or even pictures of nursing babies being allowed on Facebook or Livejournal pages over the last few years.

My understanding of it is that women are saying that breastfeeding isn't something they should be shamed for. Which generally seems reasonable.
posted by zarq at 2:36 PM on August 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


Only on Metafilter can we have a beanplate about breastfeeding, with awesome input from the in-your-facers, the I'm-a-parent-too-so-only-I'm-entitled-to-answer, and the who-the-fuck-cares-do-what-you-have-to-do-but-remember-it's-part-of-your-life-not-mine-and-what-is-your-fucking-problem-that-you-have-to-shove-it-in-my-face-and-keep-mentioning-that-you-are-also-a-parent-I-mean-all-I-can-hope-is-that-it-is-now-out-of-your-system-and-that-your-kids-won't-end-up-being-so-fucking-attention-starved.
posted by Elmore at 2:38 PM on August 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


All I could think was, "Wow, you guys sure showed....someone, but I don't know who."

I tend to think that this sort of "protest" is in some ways the best kind - they're not shouting, they're not breaking stuff, they're not urging a boycott, but they're making a very definitive statement that breastfeeding needs to be tolerated anytime, anywhere, and that shaming women over breastfeeding is unacceptable. I think it's a great way to get people to think about it and to change society's standards for the better.

Actually, I'm surprised by how many people seem to look askance at public breastfeeding. Just the other day, I was in Rome (sigh, if only vacation could last forever), and I was standing around outside the Colosseum with a tour group of random English-speakers. A woman walked up to a nearby bench with a baby sucking away, and some American in the tour group, who I had my back to, said to his friend in a too-loud voice, "Look at that woman, she's breastfeeding in public!" I wanted to turn to him and say something about how there was nothing wrong with that, but I didn't want to introduce unnecessary tension for no reason. Ordinarily, overhearing that idiot's disapproval, I would have thought less of Americans in general (unfair, but, hey, aren't we all?), but then I thought of all the Americans I interact with on Metafilter and how much this guy would be shouted down if he said something like that here, and decided that I couldn't hold Americans as a whole responsible for the behaviour of a random American tourist.

I did, however, draw conclusions about Italian women when I saw another one breastfeeding while smoking. I decided that sometimes it's better to live in a culture that errs on the side of health paranoia, as opposed to Europeans who...don't.
posted by Dasein at 2:39 PM on August 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you don't feel comfortable sending her an private message telling her that her tone annoys you, then this should be a very large, blinking neon sign that you probably shouldn't post your tone-annoyance in the thread for everyone else to see and respond to, thereby derailing the thread away from helpful, substantive answers.

I guess I don't see this as either/or. But then, I've never considered that my annoyance at some other people necessarily needs to be either broadcast or narrowcast.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 2:39 PM on August 11, 2011


Oh yeah, absolutely zarq--I just thought it was odd to direct the protest at the store is all. The situation came about because of some anonymous prudes after all, and I can't fault the store clerk too much, or H&M either, except for the fact they make all kinds of clothes that look bad on me.
posted by Hoopo at 2:42 PM on August 11, 2011


Like, yes, I guess "give this perfect stranger a piece of your mind privately" is preferable to "in public" but seriously, get a journal. Other people are not your punching bag.

Maybe I'm reading too much into "tell her why she's annoying".
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 2:47 PM on August 11, 2011


The anonymous prudes, or prudes like them, might have been at the store the day of the protest.
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:50 PM on August 11, 2011


In fact, no, that's understating it.

I'm completely befuddled by the idea that the stick-to-helpfulness of AskMe, which is the best feature of the subsite, has as proviso "feel free to be unhelpful and/or abusive in email" to the OP. This helpfulness, then, is just a show of helpfulness? For the other people who might consult the question? I don't get it.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 2:53 PM on August 11, 2011


Damn, for $20 an hour with no taxes, I'd babysit any night someone needed it. That's better than most of my freelance gigs.

(My girlfriend did just call me out on using the same tone of voice with little kids as with pets, but one night won't make them quadrupeds.)
posted by klangklangston at 2:57 PM on August 11, 2011


sign up on care.com and watch the money start rolling in.
posted by GuyZero at 3:02 PM on August 11, 2011


i love public breast feeding protests! they are the perfect solution.

the h&m one showed the poor clueless clerks that asking a woman, no matter how nicely, to please get it out of is an action that might have consequences. rude customers won on the day of the incident because they were more of a problem, squeaky wheel and all that. hopefully next time that clerk, or any clerk who has heard the story, is asked to ask a customer to go to a changing room they'll politely tell the customers it's none of their business. that might result in an angry customer in the immediate, but it probably won't end up with tv crews and 50 bare-breasted moms and suckling infants.

that seems like pretty effective, direct protesting.
posted by nadawi at 3:02 PM on August 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


You know what was the most surprising thing (to me) about the answers in that AskMe? Learning that people over the age of eight actually use the term "grown-ups" in place of "adults."
posted by trunk muffins at 3:03 PM on August 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


i have 40+ first cousins. i have 12 sets of aunts and uncles. the cousins have had 15 or so kids already. in big families like that the vernacular is always somewhere between kids and adults. "grown-up" is thrown around constantly as are other even younger sounding words like "binkie" "boppie" "blankie" etc...

i think it's another dividing line in these sorts of conversations, people who are used to being immersed in kids and people who are very much not used it. it's something my husband and i have to actively discuss when we talk about how we relate to the world even though we're a childfree couple.
posted by nadawi at 3:08 PM on August 11, 2011


I catch myself saying "grown-up" a lot, but I also sometimes have trouble remembering that I'm not 15 anymore. (I also say "whatev" and make a lot of "your mom" jokes, which makes me ever so fun at parties.)
posted by palomar at 3:09 PM on August 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


Learning that people over the age of eight actually use the term "grown-ups" in place of "adults."

I use "grown-up" as an adjective sometimes because "adult" or "mature" or whatever tends to be interpreted as "x-rated" and sometimes I want to talk about adult-appropriate topics that have nothing to do with sex. "Grown-up" venues don't seem to have the connotation of strip clubs, for instance.
posted by immlass at 3:12 PM on August 11, 2011 [6 favorites]


the h&m one showed the poor clueless clerks that asking a woman, no matter how nicely, to please get it out of is an action that might have consequences

actually yeah, I just re-read some of the articles from back then and there's conflicting info and my account may not be accurate. Apparently it was 3 clerks, and some accounts said the clerks told her it was policy, and others say that the clerk said customers "might be offended", and still others quote the woman as saying that she was told that someone had in fact complained...

Long story short, the protest may have been correctly aimed at H&M and the clerks may have actually been kind of idiots depending on what account you read of the thing. My mistake.
posted by Hoopo at 3:13 PM on August 11, 2011


"sign up on care.com and watch the money start rolling in."

It might be faster to just steal babies, sit on them, then have the parents pay to get them back.
posted by klangklangston at 3:15 PM on August 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


ACTUALLY my one peeve with public breastfeeding is that sometimes still-hungry babies will grope me while looking for a snack. NO BABY THESE ARE NOT FOR YOU.

see also.
posted by elizardbits at 3:18 PM on August 11, 2011 [15 favorites]


"Grown-up" venues don't seem to have the connotation of strip clubs, for instance.

Ooh, that's a good point -- when someone says "adult venue" I do tend to automatically think of strip clubs, your sleazier bars and dance/nightclubs, that kind of thing. But "grown-up venue" makes me think heavy silverware and good table linens, corkage fees, et cetera.
posted by palomar at 3:24 PM on August 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


ACTUALLY my one peeve with public breastfeeding is that sometimes still-hungry babies will grope me while looking for a snack. NO BABY THESE ARE NOT FOR YOU.

It always cracks me up when babies do that! And then some of them get really mad like "look, lady, I know what those are, I know how those work. I wasn't born yesterday."

(Also all of these babies sound like Rizzo from Midnight Cowboy)
posted by the young rope-rider at 3:29 PM on August 11, 2011 [11 favorites]


Seriously, are my friends with kids and friends of friends with kids the only people that know to say "this is a kid-friendly event" or "this is NOT a kid-friendly event, sorry!" on things?

And if it's just two friends, couldn't stellaluna privately phone each of them in advance and say "friend 1/2, I love you and want you to be part of my ___ birthday celebration; however, it's not a kid-friendly thing, really. If you can't make it because you need to be with (son/daughter's name), I totally understand, which is why I'm calling to make other plans with you in advance in case we don't see each other at (my event). So, let's tentatively plan to have brunch the next day/next weekend someplace together where you can bring your son/daughter in case you don't make it, because I'd love to see you."

Isn't that type of conversation what's needed to ensure you communicate to each parent-friend in a reasonable way, setting expectations and letting them both know your intentions are absolutely not to exclude or accidentally offend them? Maybe I'm way off-base here, but this is what works amongst my 20-to-40something 50/50 friend base (50 percent parents, 50 percent non-parents, that is).
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 3:34 PM on August 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


yes! to the boobie grab!

working at the portrait studio for so long and having pretty large breasts, i constantly had infants trying to get down my shirt. moms wouldn't want the kids to mess up their clothes so they'd delay lunchtime and then mom couldn't hold the baby, because baby smells lunch and would not have it. so there i am - totally never had children, these things are merely decorative - and the baby would be pawing at me like a freshman boy at his first school dance. and it's vaguely uncomfortable, but at that moment all anyone wants are 6-9 poses of a smiling child, so i'd just sort of casually take his/her hand out of my shirt and move on.
posted by nadawi at 3:40 PM on August 11, 2011


One time on a random flight between PR and the DR (on my way to Spain, because American Airlines hates me) I was sitting next to a particularly insistent tiny groper who was really fucking determined. His mom was so embarrassed but I think his dad was seekritly proud.
posted by elizardbits at 3:47 PM on August 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


(Also all of these babies sound like Rizzo from Midnight Cowboy)

"Ayyyyy! I'm tryin' ta learn ta walk here!"
posted by palomar at 3:50 PM on August 11, 2011 [6 favorites]


Add me to the voices who are surprised that this is actually a problem for some people. I mean, I get that stellaluna hasn't had to deal with this before; that's not my issue (for the record, I think the question was fine, her responses here have been great. Moving on.).

I was the first of my friends to have children and I was never, ever offended if my offspring weren't invited to some event. I missed a lot of stuff but my friends made time for us in other ways, and we'd invite them to our home for dinners and stuff if we hadn't seen them in a while. Now that the kids are older and can be left on their own (HALLELUJAH), we only miss stuff if we don't feel like going out or if the kids have an event of their own (concerts, sports stuff, etc.).

Is it really a big deal to some people if their kids aren't included? I mean that seriously. Why? Aren't you your own people, apart from the children? Don't you want to have some time away from them, at all? Ever? (again, I'm serious; I don't get it.) I love a mixed-age party as much as the next guy (possibly more) but I think it's incredibly valuable for my children to see me maintaining my relationships apart from them, and to see me enjoying my life apart from them. I mean, they're going to be leaving home eventually. They won't always be the center of my life.
posted by cooker girl at 3:50 PM on August 11, 2011 [10 favorites]


couldn't stellaluna privately phone each of them in advance and say "friend 1/2, I love you and want you to be part of my ___ birthday celebration; however, it's not a kid-friendly thing, really.

you'd think so, but there are people who hear "not really kid-friendly" and respond to the effect that "hey don't worry about it, my kid's cool so it won't be a problem." Again, sister-in-law. She and her husband were a little tone-deaf themselves the first few years; I recall one single-digit birthday celebration at our place where there was a noisy gift given to their toddler and they were all "LOL that one's going to stay here for visits!" and I was like "LOL Hell no it's not!" and they were serious, actually, and it stayed at our place for a couple of weeks until I snuck it back to their house. Ugh. Maybe I'm just bitter because I gotta go to their 6-year old's birthday party on Saturday. It's at one of those gymboree deals where I get to look like a creepy paedo sitting around childless.
posted by Hoopo at 3:51 PM on August 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


When I met my cousin's 15 month old son for the first time he literally reached into the collar of my v-neck tshirt and tried to haul out a boob. I was 19, awkward as hell around babies, and did not know how to handle it politely, and I panicked and burst into tears. So did he. Awkwardtown!!!
posted by palomar at 3:52 PM on August 11, 2011 [14 favorites]


Maybe this is the best place to just mention that this is the best song anybody has ever recorded about parents.
posted by koeselitz at 3:55 PM on August 11, 2011


palomar: When I met my cousin's 15 month old son for the first time he literally reached into the collar of my v-neck tshirt and tried to haul out a boob.

It's a tough world out there. Got to take chances if you want to survive. Who knows if, when and where from the next meal will come.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 4:00 PM on August 11, 2011


This is my favorite song about parents, but it's a little mean-spirited.
posted by palomar at 4:01 PM on August 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wait I'm sorry. Are there really people, parents or non-, that change diapers around food?
posted by xmutex at 4:02 PM on August 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm completely befuddled by the idea that the stick-to-helpfulness of AskMe, which is the best feature of the subsite, has as proviso "feel free to be unhelpful and/or abusive in email" to the OP.

It's a reasonable proviso as it takes grandstanding and playing to the audience out of the equation. The OP is going to get all of the GRAR regardless, but there will likely be about 95% less GRAR if the G.I.F.T. is not in play.

Of course 0% GRAR would be nice, but I don't see a way that's ever going to happen.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 4:05 PM on August 11, 2011


Well. (and please note I am not defending this vile practice in any way) You have to keep in mind that the lives of parents with new tiny babies are terrible lives wherein every single moment is fraught with the potential for all manner of bodily excretions to be exploding in amounts which are frankly disturbing when coming from such tiny bodies. At any time, you could be suddenly covered with poop and barf simultaneously. BABIES ARE ALWAYS LEAKING VILE THINGS. ALWAYS. Seriously. Sometimes you literally cannot tell from which end the horrors have erupted because it's everywhere.

I just assume that public diaper-changers have become desensitized by the constant excretions and thus cannot help but flout the laws of god and man and common sense. It's like if you lived alone in the jungle with monkeys for a few years and then suddenly upon your return to the human world had the realization that it is just not okay to masturbate furiously in public.
posted by elizardbits at 4:11 PM on August 11, 2011 [27 favorites]


countdown to my excoriation for comparing public-poop-parents to wanking monkeys in 3-2-1
posted by elizardbits at 4:12 PM on August 11, 2011 [7 favorites]


I'm completely befuddled by the idea that the stick-to-helpfulness of AskMe, which is the best feature of the subsite, has as proviso "feel free to be unhelpful and/or abusive in email" to the OP.

Well, the "take it to email" request is something we use for a lot of off-topic discussions that start to come up. My thinking is along a few lines

1. Once people have taken the time to consider that their crabby answer isn't okay for AskMe it might give them some time to think that it might not be good for MeMail either
2. Some people seem to get some sort of mileage out of having these weird cranky outbursts in public. Removing the audience from it often just takes the oomph out of it
3. Harassing people over MeMail is a bannable offense. So it's fine to say "Hey, your comment made me upset and here's why" and it's basically ban-territory to say "Hey you stupid piece of shit, here's where I tell you what I really think of you"

So, it may be a little disingenuous on my part, because yeah I don't want people to bitch people out over MeMail. That said, if they do, they've made it sort of clear that they're having some sort of emotional override to their general "how to be a good community member" understandings and if that's the case it might be good to take a little vacation.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:18 PM on August 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


It's like if you lived alone in the jungle with monkeys for a few years and then suddenly upon your return to the human world had the realization that it is just not okay to masturbate furiously in public.

YOU ARE NOT THE BOSS OF ME
posted by Admiral Haddock at 4:20 PM on August 11, 2011 [10 favorites]


elizardbits: I am intrigued by your ideas and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.
posted by Room 641-A at 4:23 PM on August 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, the reason why I think breast feeding is gross is because I think drinking milk sounds super vile (probably because I'm allergic) and oh my god warm milk is even more vile.
posted by klangklangston at 4:27 PM on August 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


"When chastised for masturbating in public, [Diogenes] replied, “Would that hunger could be alleviated by rubbing one’s belly.”
posted by villanelles at dawn at 4:27 PM on August 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


BABIES ARE ALWAYS LEAKING VILE THINGS. ALWAYS

a friend compared caring for a child as having a box of ice cream you have to constantly stop from melting.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:36 PM on August 11, 2011 [19 favorites]


elizardbits your description sounds spot-on to me, having just visited friends with newborn twins. Ice cream everywhere.
posted by lillygog at 4:43 PM on August 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Everyone else should have to accept open shit 4 feet away from food because parents just know better okay
posted by tehloki at 4:46 PM on August 11, 2011


YOU GUYS

STOP RUINING ICE CREAM
posted by elizardbits at 4:46 PM on August 11, 2011 [7 favorites]


tehloki, that's not what everyone's saying. I think elizardbits' analogy was actually a funny way of acknowledging that new parents are sometimes super stressed and may make less-than-graceful decisions, but maybe it's worth trying to at least give them the benefit of the doubt. Yes, diaper at table is gross, I've seen it too, but really -- life goes on.

And now maybe I'll treat myself to some delicious, delicious ice cream.
posted by lillygog at 4:59 PM on August 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Breast milk ice cream! Sorry, elizardbits.
posted by Specklet at 5:05 PM on August 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


you are a bad person who does bad things and should feel bad for your badness
posted by elizardbits at 5:05 PM on August 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


countdown to my excoriation for comparing public-poop-parents to wanking monkeys in 3-2-1

No you pretty much nailed it.
posted by Jofus at 5:09 PM on August 11, 2011


You sound stressed elizardbits. Have some homemade ice cream.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:09 PM on August 11, 2011


Wait I'm sorry. Are there really people, parents or non-, that change diapers around food?

Apparently - horrifyingly - there are at least two. I stopped processing everything else in this thread when I got to that part. It's unbelievable that anyone would change a diaper in the dining room of a restaurant. Breastfeed all you want, at my table, sitting next to me, whatever, I don't care; I like it, actually, it's fine. But opening a shit-filled diaper in a public dining room? Really? The bathroom floor is more than good enough.
posted by mediareport at 5:12 PM on August 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


Wait I'm sorry. Are there really people, parents or non-, that change diapers around food?

I was in a nice restaurant a few weeks ago where some yuppy parents not only changed the diaper at the table, but they left it behind for the waitstaff to clean up. These people, they exist among us, leaving poop in their wake.
posted by Sticherbeast at 5:18 PM on August 11, 2011


I was in a nice restaurant a few weeks ago where some yuppy parents not only changed the diaper at the table, but they left it behind for the waitstaff to clean up.

I have seen this (with waiters and flight attendants). It's so awful.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 5:24 PM on August 11, 2011


I'm with you on the poo nappies. Well, I acknowledge that it is revolting. I couldn't care less if someone did it near us though...we're still surrounded by "ice-cream" somewhat.

But a wet nappy? I don't see that as a problem at all. I also think parents change nappies far too often...but wet nappies are nothing. The same as changing a bib as far as I'm concerned.

And seeing as modern disposable nappies are so bloody brilliant, I have never had to, or wanted to, change a wet nappy near anyone in public. And if a parent is doing that, they are a first timer. And a bit neurotic by definition.
posted by taff at 5:27 PM on August 11, 2011


immlass: The saddest thing for me about this discussion (both the post and the MeTa) for me has been learning that my social set, which has generally been very easy about kid-friendly events and not-kid-friendly events, is apparently a rarity in the Metafilter experience, or at least the experience of people posting in the thread.

Concur.

My sons are 19 and 15. A good chunk of my friends, OTOH, are in the throes of Toddler Mayhem or Newborn Nervousness. I remember how grateful I was to get some Adult Social Time when my kids were wee, so when I host social gatherings, they are largely kid friendly. I do always stipulate, however, that there will be one event over the course of the weekend that will be Adults Only. My sons and their friends mind the Munchkins, the adults go out for something fancy and elegant, and the n00b parents get the chance to remind themselves that they're still people and this whole "kid glued to my ass" thing is temporary.

No one has ever fussed about an Adults Only event. It just seems understood that some events are not at all appropriate for children, and there are plenty of opportunities for the kids to socialize with the adults in other settings.
posted by MissySedai at 5:29 PM on August 11, 2011


All this talk of babies and breastfeeding is making me lactate. And I'm a dude.





MY BIOLOGICAL CLOCK IS TICKING, DAMMIT
posted by 1000monkeys at 5:49 PM on August 11, 2011


And speaking of nursing puppies
posted by the young rope-rider at 5:54 PM on August 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


elizardbits: "BABIES ARE ALWAYS LEAKING VILE THINGS. ALWAYS."

I have a two week old. Last night I found myself saying something I never thought I'd say about vomit: "It's okay, I caught most of it."
posted by that's how you get ants at 5:56 PM on August 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


Oh, Lord.
posted by 1000monkeys at 5:57 PM on August 11, 2011


(Uh, that was directed at the young rope-rider's link)
posted by 1000monkeys at 5:57 PM on August 11, 2011


the young rope rider : AAAAGGGGHHHHHHH!! Why did I click?
posted by Go Banana at 6:00 PM on August 11, 2011


able to easily latch on the puppies

Subject-object ambiguity sadly inconsequential.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 6:06 PM on August 11, 2011


And speaking of nursing puppies

Is that... hold on... okay. Huh.

The world is a fascinating place.
posted by lillygog at 6:06 PM on August 11, 2011


Data point:

I have been pissed on, sneezed on, pooped on, (you haven't been truly miserable until you've experienced a poopsplosion face-first,) thrown up on (do not hold a baby over your face and spin around, or if you do at least listen to your wife and KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT), bled on, had food thrown at me and been coughed up on.

Often from two babies at the same time, or one right after another in rapid succession.

Desensitized? No way. I would never, ever, ever change a diaper, be it pishy or poopy, at the dinner table. Or a restaurant table. Not ever. Or anywhere food is being served. That's disgusting.
posted by zarq at 6:14 PM on August 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


And speaking of nursing puppies

I have no idea how this woman got her nipples wedged into her puppies, or why.
posted by Drastic at 6:19 PM on August 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


For some reason I'm now imagining a young H. R. Giger hearing about human breast milk ice cream and then having an A Ha! moment and basically inventing the Soft Serve machine.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:26 PM on August 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Weirder yet, people make a big fucking point of making sure they get my dogs' gender right even though I don't give a shit.

Eh, I just do it so I know whether to say, "Who's a good boy?" or "Who's a good girl?" because although my instinct is to always say, "Who's a puppy? Who's a puppy?" I worry that people will think that I am even more insane.
posted by Deathalicious at 6:35 PM on August 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


Weirder yet, people make a big fucking point of making sure they get my dogs' gender right even though I don't give a shit.

Clearly you haven't been corrected and frowned at by the dog owners I hang out with.

Trying--! Not to--! Start ranting!
posted by salvia at 6:48 PM on August 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


Is it really a big deal to some people if their kids aren't included? I mean that seriously. Why? Aren't you your own people, apart from the children? Don't you want to have some time away from them, at all? Ever?

There are indeed some who don't.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:58 PM on August 11, 2011


while we are talking about leaving diapers behind- that happened constantly at the portrait studio. leaving them behind wasn't actually the worst part, it was the parents who would hide them. if they were particularly crafty we wouldn't find them until a couple days later.
posted by nadawi at 7:55 PM on August 11, 2011


Appropriately, since according to Slate's sports podcast this week, Metafilter is place online where people keep score.

I'm listening to that now! Mike Pesca just said "Metafilter is a sport!" Why am I so excited! Why is every punctuation key aside from my exclamation mark broken! Who cares!
posted by villanelles at dawn at 7:55 PM on August 11, 2011


Also, continuing on the metafilter as a sport theme, I've wondered for a while how many users have "hit for the cycle;" that is, posted and commented in every subsite. Probably others have asked this question before but that bourbon thread made me thirsty and searching is beyond me. Anyways my first guess was cortex and yep he's done it; and mathowie and jessamyn are excruciatingly close, but who else?
posted by villanelles at dawn at 7:59 PM on August 11, 2011


Potomac Avenue called that the septfecta.
posted by EvaDestruction at 8:16 PM on August 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have a two week old. Last night I found myself saying something I never thought I'd say about vomit: "It's okay, I caught most of it."

Ah yes. My daughter was car sick in her car seat the other day and I saw it coming a split second early and caught it in my hands (I was sitting in the back seat with her) without a second thought.

And no, I wouldn't change a poopy diaper in a restaurant booth.

and our kid goes to bars every week. never after about 7pm though
posted by gaspode at 8:18 PM on August 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


(My girlfriend did just call me out on using the same tone of voice with little kids as with pets, but one night won't make them quadrupeds.)

My husband does this. He also calls our son "Kitty."

In fairness, the cats don't need their butts personally wiped, so I'm willing to look the other way on species identification issues.

As for the VILE THINGS: I refer to infants as "leaky bags of biohazard." And while we're on the subject, may I just say (without details) that my son TOTALLY OUTDID HIMSELF on that front today, boy howdy. I had to call in reinforcements. And I was a nanny before being a mom! This was not my first blowout! Seriously, Gold Star there kid.

And honestly, the thought of changing a baby at a table would never even consider crossing my mind. No changing table in the bathroom? Guess we're changing you on the floor!
posted by sonika at 8:25 PM on August 11, 2011


Good Lord!! I have babies and dogs....

I breastfed both my babies.



Babies are not dogs....we can love both but no comparison. Breastfeeding is natural, best for the baby and not offensive, get OVER yourself if you have a problem. It's your problem, not the mom's or the child's. Don't want to hear slurping?? really? That's so offensive??



Want to have a party with no kids, just SAY SO!! no worries!! If parents can't do it, they won't come. Parents of a small child have to make this decision 20 times a day. They can decide..


Lot's of brain power and keystrokes wasted on a silly topic. Babies aren't dogs, breasts aren't 'icky' and do your party however YOU want to!! Problem solved!!
posted by pearlybob at 8:31 PM on August 11, 2011


My partner once changed a nappy on the floor in the odd waiting alcove of a restaurant - he was directed there by staff, it was out of sight of the restaurant patrons and it wasn't freezing like outside/the car.

I have to admit a certain amount of irritation with the "I'm bestowing this amazing gift of child free time upon you!" with expected glee. I am one of those parents who don't particularly relish child free time unless it is a time when I really really need it (hi taxes!) and even then, I prefer my partner be caring for our kid than anyone else. Mostly because we do not have a single friend of family member who agrees with our parenting strategies. I also work full time so any time anyone comes at me with that stupid little grin about "child free time" I get a wee bit snarky. I don't actually need to be reminded about my identity, or how short this time is in her life, or that I have other responsibilities, or other friends, or that I was different before I had a baby. Sorry. I am aware of those things and my priorities have changed. If you knew me well you would know that, so acting like I am Typical Stressed Parent 1 makes me doubt the relationship a little. Expecting me to be the same person, with the same interests and energy levels and time constraints, annoys me a little.

I'm lucky that few of my friends are like that. I extend to them this idea that they are actually self aware enough to run their own life and that may include changing, and they do the same. The "get back to pre pregnancy state" thing gives me the irrits, be it weight, work, relationships or hobbies.
posted by geek anachronism at 8:33 PM on August 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


Potomac Avenue called that the septfecta.

Marvelous. I will say that my question led me to discover jessamyn's lone (strike that, nearly lone) Music post which is just making me smile like a lunatic.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 8:35 PM on August 11, 2011


mathowie and jessamyn are excruciatingly close

How long has Music Talk been on the profile pages?! Now I've got to learn the harpsichord.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:44 PM on August 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Music Talk is a WHOLE NOTHER THING. They're like the Borrowers.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 9:31 PM on August 11, 2011


Sometimes I hear it called a blowout, but most of the moms I know (all newish moms in their late 20's to mid 30's) usually call it a poonami. There's a nice mental image.
posted by palomar at 9:37 PM on August 11, 2011


Don't want to hear slurping?? really? That's so offensive??


Heh. Yeah, seriously. I don't recommend going for ramen.
posted by Hoopo at 9:51 PM on August 11, 2011


This question made me sad. I feel like we should support people who have kids and welcome them everywhere, not make them hide away with their children.

As someone who is single and doesn't like children who are rowdy, I assure you that society makes parents and kids feel more than welcome in all places. It is why I've had a kid knock my coffee into my lap at Starbucks, and why I was unable to enjoy my time at an aquarium this afternoon.
posted by reenum at 9:54 PM on August 11, 2011 [7 favorites]


YOU JOKESTERS ARE RUINING MY DIRTILY SATISFYING TRAINWRECK.

Stop being reasonable this instant.
posted by mckenney at 10:07 PM on August 11, 2011


(the gross part is the burping afterwards when the baby might at any moment barf copiously down mom's back.)

I have it on good authority that this is spitting up and ABSOLUTELY NOT THE SAME AS BARFING. OMG!!!

I only mention it because I had to learn this distinction in a very unpleasant way, and wish to save you the anguish I had to go through.
posted by reenum at 10:41 PM on August 11, 2011


The assertion many are making about the prevalence of places unfriendly to children makes no sense to me. An earlier comment I made on the Blue illustrates how the family friendly phenomenon has encouraged many men in their 20s and 30s <(myself included) to engage in what pundits refer to as "extended adolescence".
posted by reenum at 10:51 PM on August 11, 2011


How long has Music Talk been on the profile pages?! Now I've got to learn the harpsichord.
I have no idea what this is about, but take my word for it: no you won't. It doesn't pay well enough.
posted by Namlit at 11:24 PM on August 11, 2011


Starbucks and an aquarium are not "all places". They're pretty general "everyone" places. Aquariums are intended to be for both children and adults. Starbucks is a slightly nicer fast-food joint.

Sorry someone knocked coffee into your lap, though. That was rude. I hope whomever was keeping them offered to buy you another coffee at the very least.
posted by the young rope-rider at 11:24 PM on August 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Kids at parties: the MeFi version of abortion vs. pro-choice.
posted by reenum at 11:24 PM on August 11, 2011


Starbucks and an aquarium are not "all places".

Those were only examples. I can name a great many places on several different continents where rowdy children have red carpets thrown out for them.
posted by reenum at 12:12 AM on August 12, 2011


Being in a place does not mean red carpet treatment. Hell, simple acknowledgement of different needs does not equal red carpet treatment. Christ knows the amount of times I have tried to participate in wider society with a baby or toddler in tow, only to find that there are no change tables in walking distance, no bathrooms close by (essential when toilet training a toddler), no high chairs, no boosters, cramped tables, no space (with or without a stroller/pram, being unable to even lean down in an aisle is a deal breaker for me in a shop). That's not going into interpersonal reactions either, or decor, or menu, or lighting. Or existence of somewhere to nurse a child.

I want my kid to be able to understand the cultural norms of the society we live in. She cannot get that without being within that culture AND making mistakes. And when you see a kid throwing a tantrum, that may be the rare occasion that child chucks a tantrum, or the first time. My daughter is usually great at cafes and other informal dining places. She likes food, loves her 'coffee' and is reasonably low pitched in general. There have been two or three occasions where she has decidedly NOT been okay with the whole situation and as much as I can recognize warning signs for tantrums, I am not perfect. I can deal with the situation as it arises, and usually avoid it, but I cannot guarantee perfect behavior at all times from day one. Knocking coffee into someone is obviously unsafe, and in that situation I know my kid would be upset, try and help tidy up and I would replace your coffee. But I have had plenty of adults do something similar and not say a thing.

A lot of the time in situations like this I think of some stupid pop culture study I heard of where most people think they are great drivers and also think that they occasionally make mistakes. They also think that other people are bad drivers. The idea that usually a kid is well behaved and is simply having a bad day, rather than the kid is always like this and all kids are like this and everyone encourages it and no one cares, is usually closer to the truth. And I always try and hold close the idea that I have no clue what is really happening. I'm sure someone, somewhere, likes to think I am doing some 'stupid verbal reasoning' with my kid (instead of hitting, or timeout, or something) but they have no idea about my family situation. They have no idea about my child, even if we are close, they still don't have 100% of the story, or the knowledge.
posted by geek anachronism at 12:58 AM on August 12, 2011 [9 favorites]


SO WHATEVER HAPPENED TO HITTING ANYWAY
posted by Hoopo at 2:07 AM on August 12, 2011


SO WHATEVER HAPPENED TO HITTING ANYWAY

When you became the posterchild for hitting kids, people stopped hitting kids.
posted by hal_c_on at 2:29 AM on August 12, 2011


Has it occurred to any of the advocates of continuous, uninterrupted parenting all the time that it might be good for the littles to now and then get away from the family bubble? To widen their worlds a tiny bit, where they can demonstrate what they are learning from mama and papa -- their spoon and fork skills, their words, their manners, their self-control? From my experience, after a few hours away, it's enlightening (and pride-making) to hear/learn about your kids from a perspective once-removed.

And I am a dinosaur, I know, but is it really a completely bygone notion that it's simple courtesy to reign in one's eating habits, bodily functions, body parts, dogs, bags, strollers, kids, conversations and opinions when out in the world? Not out of shame, or repression, but just because it's taking up more space -- physically, spiritually and psychically -- than is your due, or is practical/polite?
posted by thinkpiece at 5:29 AM on August 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


we can all hit each other now with those squeaky toy hammers if you'd like.
posted by elizardbits at 5:33 AM on August 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


And I am a dinosaur, I know, but is it really a completely bygone notion that it's simple courtesy to reign in one's eating habits, bodily functions, body parts, dogs, bags, strollers, kids, conversations and opinions when out in the world?

If the baby needs to eat and is being breast fed, then out comes the boob and it shouldn't matter to society at large. Seriously, it's natural and healthy process, there's nothing wrong with it. It's my understanding that the fairly rigid schedule is related to both the baby's need for food and establishing a cycle of milk production in the breasts (correct me if I'm wrong, ya'll). The idea that a friend is upset over having to fight for attention from a parent when they're breast feeding their kid comes off a petty and immature. Really, whatever point you're trying to make can hold off for a few minutes while mom positions herself and the kid. The world will not end, conversation will go.

Changing diapers in a particular place, especially away from food is quite reasonable, but things don't always work out perfectly, so parents have to punt. Having kids and toting them around is almost counter to the notion of "simple courtesy", even for the best parents with the best kids. Shit, literally and figuratively, happens. A bit of understanding on all sides would help those situations.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:08 AM on August 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Had 'em, nursed 'em, toted 'em, and got them all grown up without making them the focus of everyone else's experience.

Seriously, it's natural and healthy process, there's nothing wrong with it.

Well, of course. As I said, my comment about reigning it all in in general is not about "wrong" or "shame" -- it's about taking up a bit too much space and also, denying one's own myopia when it comes to parenting.
posted by thinkpiece at 6:33 AM on August 12, 2011 [6 favorites]


so parents have to punt.

Exactly. And putting a towel (or, in a pinch, layers of paper towel or toilet paper) on the floor of a restroom and changing baby on the floor would be a perfect punt. Choosing instead to subject fellow diners to shit and piss as they eat their meals in public would not. I love kids and have plenty of understanding for my pals who are raising them, but none of them would ever dream of doing something as atrociously rude as that.
posted by mediareport at 6:40 AM on August 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Seriously, it's natural and healthy process, there's nothing wrong with it.

So is pooping. I am not trolling, I am completely serious. I don't want to see anyone pee or poop in front of me, and I would rather not see anyone breastfeeding, either, though I'm not going to encourage laws against it. What's the big deal with keeping it a private activity if there is another suitable venue for it (e.g. many women's rooms in stores have lounges)? If there is nowhere else, and the kid cannot wait, then fine, yes, go ahead, but don't expect me to carry on a conversation like nothing is happening.
posted by desjardins at 6:45 AM on August 12, 2011 [5 favorites]


The difference between feeding and pooping is so clear.
posted by mediareport at 6:49 AM on August 12, 2011 [5 favorites]


As a first time parent it came as a surprise to me that so many restaurants have no changing booth. I had to change nappies twice in restaurants so far. The first time, The waiter told me to use a bench by one of the tables in the roPed off back section.

The second time I was given a blanket and told to use one of the tables.

Hey, I'm desensitized by having both a baby and two cats. If the waiter
posted by Omnomnom at 6:57 AM on August 12, 2011


....tells me to use a dining table, I will. It's just poop, gO away and let me sleep.
posted by Omnomnom at 6:59 AM on August 12, 2011


Had 'em, nursed 'em, toted 'em, and got them all grown up without making them the focus of everyone else's experience.

Based on answers on this thread, of course you did, because some people can't seem to detach or focus elsewhere. Merely by existing and having a kid, you're bothering some people. It's sort of grey area, where one can forgive the parent for breaking the bounds or say something. Depends on the situation and relationships.

I love kids and have plenty of understanding for my pals who are raising them, but none of them would ever dream of doing something as atrociously rude as that.

I think everyone is pretty much in agreement that is horribly gross thing to do. Yes, we can point to one or two examples of it happening somewhere. At this point, I think a lot of people, my included, are sort of batting at edge cases on the subject. Folks are imaging the absolute worst diaper ever and using that as an example, while it's entirely possible that the kid has done something considerably less.

FWIW, I find the idea of putting a kid on a public restroom floor to be pretty disgusting and would seek another solution.

So is pooping. I am not trolling, I am completely serious.

I know, that's the issue, equating pooping with breast feeding.

The kid is hungry and needs to eat. I don't care if it's a female President about to deliver State of the Union. The kid should get to eat, live on national tv, without a ton of social pressure raining down. Hell, I'd be awed by a national leader who did that.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:01 AM on August 12, 2011 [5 favorites]


....so if it's just poop, then you'd be 100% okay with your children eating off of a table that another human being had shat upon? You'd be fine with the potential of runny poop splattering near them while they're eating? I most humbly suggest that you would, in fact, be at one with horror.
posted by elizardbits at 7:02 AM on August 12, 2011


i figure that anyone who changes a diaper in a dining room has zero care or concern for what anyone around them thinks and figures their needs at that exact moment trumps basic hygiene. knowing that about them, i just go on with my day, because you can't shame tact into someone if they are that far gone, even it's just "oh, just this once!"
posted by nadawi at 7:03 AM on August 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


Also I would like to mention that cartoon diaper commercial set to WHOOMP! THERE IT IS as the most bizarre yet hilarious thing I have seen in a while. Each time those little cartoon babies assumes The Poopstance, I lose my fool mind.
posted by elizardbits at 7:04 AM on August 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


So is pooping. I am not trolling

And that's what got this whole shitstorm (heh) started: equating changing a poopy diaper at hte table with breastfeeding at the table. One is gross and unsanitary, the other is not. As someone mentioned above, I don't wanna watch someone with a mustache eating soup, but I don't make them go into a bathroom to do it.

Seriously, making an infant go into a bathroom to drink their breastmilk is exactly the same as changing a poopy diaper at the table.
posted by gaspode at 7:06 AM on August 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Eh, I've never seen anyone sPlatter poop on a table; but am I ok with eating from a table someone once changed nappies on? It's not ideal but it doesn't make me want to EWWWW either.
I do hope the waiters clean the tables after use.
posted by Omnomnom at 7:07 AM on August 12, 2011


And I'd like to repeat that this was the waiter's suggestion that I use a table (in the back away from public view but nevertheless.
posted by Omnomnom at 7:09 AM on August 12, 2011


wait - when you changed your baby on the table - did you clean the table afterward? or did you think "oh, i laid a blanket down, i'm sure the table is fine" and if so - then why not change the baby on the bathroom floor if the blanket is a good enough safety buffer?

(also, i bet dollars to doughnuts that the bathroom floor is cleaner than basically all restaurant changing tables - with my nephew, i always put down the changing pad and 2 blankets when i had to use those)
posted by nadawi at 7:10 AM on August 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


some waiters also spit in people's food. that's not ok behavior either.
posted by nadawi at 7:11 AM on August 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Eh, I've never seen anyone sPlatter poop on a table; but am I ok with eating from a table someone once changed nappies on? It's not ideal but it doesn't make me want to EWWWW either.

Health inspectors aren't likely to agree with this though, and i'm right there with them. Sorry, i'm usually willing to look for the grey, but i'm black and white on this one - no, it's not sanitary to change a nappy in a dining area.

Even if you (general you, I mean - not you specifically, Omnomnom) disagree, it's at the very minimum respectful to your fellow diners who might not agree with you not to do it.
posted by pseudonymph at 7:12 AM on August 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


I don't wanna watch someone with a mustache eating soup, but I don't make them go into a bathroom to do it.

And I'm not going to "make" a mother go anywhere. It's my discomfort, and at that point it's kind of a standoff since mom doesn't care that she's making me or other people uncomfortable. (Again, assuming there's another appropriate, sanitary place to breastfeed.)

You don't have to watch mustache dude eat soup, either. I frequently look away or excuse myself if someone has eating habits I find unappetizing.
posted by desjardins at 7:14 AM on August 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


(btw, I had thought that the breastfeeding example from the original thread involved a dinner party at a private home, where there would presumably be another room in which to feed the baby, but on reread it's not so clear)
posted by desjardins at 7:16 AM on August 12, 2011


I wiped it down with what I had on me. But not sure there was anything to wipe off, it was covered after all.

So are you icked out by the idea of poop or actual bacteria or other grossness on the table?

And about changing on the bathroom floor: not ideal but if there aren't obvious pools of pee there I'd do it.
posted by Omnomnom at 7:17 AM on August 12, 2011


And I'm not going to "make" a mother go anywhere. It's my discomfort, and at that point it's kind of a standoff since mom doesn't care that she's making me or other people uncomfortable.

Sounds like what this is boiling down to is this:

In society, you have the people who speak up when someone's bugging them, and you have the people who suffer in silence. You just happen to be one of the people who suffers in silence.

It strikes me, though, that an awful lot of AskMes are from people who are suffering in silence about things, and they get urged to "speak up!" Mind you, I'm not advocating an Open Season Vigilante Manners Squad; that's not a great idea either. But it strikes me that the people who are suffering in silence may want to consider being a little....less silent, or at least not urge others to be more silent.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:20 AM on August 12, 2011


Wait, my questiOn was unclear: I was asking whether you Arr grossed out by the idea of it OR the actual bacteria. Sorry.
posted by Omnomnom at 7:20 AM on August 12, 2011


ARR! I BE GROSSED OUT BY THE ACTUAL POOPINGS, MATEY

(as if i could possibly resist)
posted by elizardbits at 7:22 AM on August 12, 2011 [5 favorites]


something something poop deck lol
posted by elizardbits at 7:22 AM on August 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


God I need sleep and need to not post from phone. Sorry y'all. If there are no pressing questions I'll jjst leave it at that and go take a walk.
posted by Omnomnom at 7:22 AM on August 12, 2011


yeah, i don't mean to single you out. go, have a nice day.
posted by nadawi at 7:24 AM on August 12, 2011


Swab the tables!
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:24 AM on August 12, 2011


There she blows!
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:25 AM on August 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


The kid is hungry and needs to eat. I don't care if it's a female President about to deliver State of the Union. The kid should get to eat, live on national tv, without a ton of social pressure raining down. Hell, I'd be awed by a national leader who did that.

But surely, you've made the opposite point if you're awestruck -- it would be tremendously distracting from whatever else the prez may have to say? Time, place, context! And by the way, a baby can be hungry for a few minutes while a quiet location is secured (of course, not always, not everywhere). They don't dissolve. Some might even suggest it's ok for them to learn to hang in for a short time while the practicalities are sorted out.
posted by thinkpiece at 7:25 AM on August 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Eh, I've never seen anyone sPlatter poop on a table; but am I ok with eating from a table someone once changed nappies on? It's not ideal but it doesn't make me want to EWWWW either.
I do hope the waiters clean the tables after use.

posted by Omnomnom


Eponytragical?
posted by Room 641-A at 7:27 AM on August 12, 2011


But surely, you've made the opposite point if you're awestruck -- it would be tremendously distracting from whatever else the prez may have to say?

Not really. It's just a baby on a boob, doesn't mean a whole lot to me. What the President is saying is much more important.

Though it would be interesting to see that happen in America.

President on State of the Union: ...therefore, I've decided to declare war on England and France, double the military budget and make medicare illegal

Next day talking heads: DID YOU SEE HER BOOB, MY GOD?!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:29 AM on August 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


oh! i try to give this advice whenever i can - trust me on this.

never set your baby down on the rugs/covers/blankets at a portrait studio. bring your own, in multiple colors if you have to. especially don't sit them down on cloth backgrounds that hang from the walls (muslin, black velvet, etc) or the fuzzy blankets. those are basically impossible to get cleaned and so they just sort of get spot checked as they start to look bad. there have been a lot of naked babies on them and a lot of naked babies pee or poop during the shoot (and a couple of times, unlatches from feeding, grabs the boob, and makes like a water cannon - although that was more hilarious than gross).
posted by nadawi at 7:30 AM on August 12, 2011


As long as AmbroseChapel seems to be done with the original stupid point of this stupid callout, here's my question for moms who breastfeed in public: How would you feel if people started whipping our their cameras and phones and started recording you, perhaps with colorful commentary, while your baby was getting his or her feed on in a restaurant or other public venue? How would you feel about said video getting YouTubed and otherwise shared with all and sundry, again to the accompaniment of colorful commentary? Genuinely curious.
posted by Gator at 7:38 AM on August 12, 2011


Um... the same way that I'd feel if anyone uploaded a video of me reading a book, walking my dog or eating an icecream to youtube with the accompaniment of colorful commentary?

I'd think the person was a dink, but apart from that, whatever. There are photos of me breastfeeding my kid on my flickr stream. What's the big deal?
posted by gaspode at 7:46 AM on August 12, 2011 [6 favorites]


that seems like a weird question - i'd be bothered if someone did all that while i was just sitting there eating.
posted by nadawi at 7:46 AM on August 12, 2011 [5 favorites]


50 bare-breasted moms and suckling infants.

Where would a person find out about any such rallies in his area? I'm, uh, asking for a friend.
posted by reenum at 7:49 AM on August 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Classy.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:55 AM on August 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


Ye gods I have not read such a clusterfuck of a thread in years.
posted by StephenF at 7:55 AM on August 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wait 'till next week.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:56 AM on August 12, 2011


My question for women who have breastfed is: do you ever get skeevy people openly leering at you or making . . . remarks? And if so, how do you manage not to kill them with your bare hands? I don't mean friends making ill-advised humorous comments in an awkward attempt to defuse discomfort but actual ick from strangers and non-intimates.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:57 AM on August 12, 2011


I've often wondered this as well. Moms, please enlighten us.
posted by reenum at 7:58 AM on August 12, 2011


Okay, yeah, breasts are sexualized in this culture. But that is not the problem of the hungry baby, or the mother who needs to feed it. Most people do feel more comfortable if there were some kind of nursing blanket or what-not over the whole affair, but -- in the grand scheme of things, if an uncovered nursing mother appeared in public, the only kind of offense perpetrated on passersby is that which affects their composure.

In the case of poo, however -- human fecal matter carries harmful bacteria, and most e. coli poisoning comes from fecal-oral contact. The potential offense perpetrated on passersby if you change a diaper at the dinner table could affect physical health.

What I mean is: I'm going to have an easier time getting over "seeing naked boobiez" than I am getting over "missing a week of work because of e. coli poisoning." And I suspect most others would feel the same -- hence why there is a difference between "nursing your baby at the table" and "changing a diaper at the table."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:59 AM on August 12, 2011


And if so, how do you manage not to kill them with your bare hands?

Don't wanna drop the baby.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:01 AM on August 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I thought that's why there were Snuglis and slings.
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:02 AM on August 12, 2011


*snerk* I always thought Snuglis and slings were more because if you live in a city and have to take public transporation, folding and unfolding your stroller every five minutes, or lugging it up and down stairs, is a pain in the absolute ass.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:04 AM on August 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


FelliniBlank: Never. Completely honestly, never ever ever. Hell, I think I only ever noticed a couple of people who were visibly uncomfortable when I breastfed in public, (although of course my attention was focused elsewhere).

But here's the thing: once you're in the zone of breastfeeding and can get the baby to latch immediately, there's very little to see, even when you are uncovered by a blanket. The baby's head is covering the breast, and it's not as if most women like, take off their top or whatever to breastfeed. So there's maybe a few seconds where you might see a bit of nipple, but for the rest of the time anyone can probably see more if they look at a woman in a low-cut top rather than one feeding her kid. So I posit that often it's really just people squicked out at the thought of breastfeeding rather than the actuality of it.
posted by gaspode at 8:11 AM on August 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


Strangling someone is more complicated than one would think. Snuglis and slings aren't really up to helping with that task, though they'll do in a pinch.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:13 AM on August 12, 2011


do you ever get skeevy people openly leering at you or making . . . remarks?

Not once. Once you and the kid have it figured out it looks like this and most people do not even notice. The only people who do (obviously) notice are (1) other new parents, who give you a smile, (2) Grandmas whose nursing career was decades ago, who give you a smile.

The only time I ran into bad public breastfeeding was in a fast-food place where the mother put a big apron-thing over herself and the baby, and I felt all awkward; it was in the play area where we were the only other party, and I felt weird like I might have been assumed to be some sort of pervert not fit to see a baby feeding, and my nursing toddler daughter had questions, and my father shifted about uncomfortably and wanted to know if the blanket silliness 'was normal now.' We were so obviously a kid and mom out with the grandparents, you know, breeders, and still she felt the need to do this; it was unsettling and distracting. The whole 'cover-up' idea is undignified for all concerned, and much more HEY LOOKY HERE I'M BREASTFEEDING than to just get on with it.

How would you feel if people started whipping our their cameras and phones and started recording you, perhaps with colorful commentary, while your baby was getting his or her feed on in a restaurant or other public venue? How would you feel about said video getting YouTubed and otherwise shared with all and sundry, again to the accompaniment of colorful commentary?

The exact same sort of this-person-must-be-mentally-ill I would feel if they recorded and commented upon me chowing down in a restaurant or other public venue. What an odd question.

What's the big deal with keeping it a private activity if there is another suitable venue for it (e.g. many women's rooms in stores have lounges)? If there is nowhere else, and the kid cannot wait, then fine, yes, go ahead, but don't expect me to carry on a conversation like nothing is happening.

You haven't actually had this happen to you, then; you'd know that this would stop bothering you thirty seconds in once you realised you were just looking at the back of a baby's head, and you'd realise the silliness and cruelty of suggesting that the mother go and sequester herself while her food got cold.
posted by kmennie at 8:19 AM on August 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


kmennie, I got something very different from the nursing mother you saw with the blanket. You say that you felt it was 'undignified for all concerned' - is it not possible that that particular nursing mother herself just felt more comfortable if she were more covered up, and that she would feel undignified if she didn't?

I mean, you make a good point that "people see more boob if someone's wearing a low-cut top," but don't forget that there are also people who are uncomfortable wearing low-cut tops. Maybe she just felt more comfortable doing it that way herself.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:27 AM on August 12, 2011 [7 favorites]


The whole 'cover-up' idea is undignified for all concerned, and much more HEY LOOKY HERE I'M BREASTFEEDING than to just get on with it.

Funny, that's the same sort of judgmental attitude most take against mothers who chose to breastfeed without a cover. Good for you for keeping the GRAR culture going, kmennie! No need to let others do what they want, gotta get a dig in NO MATTER WHAT. You are a role model for us all.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:28 AM on August 12, 2011 [11 favorites]


I am super-late to this thread, but I thought I would offer a helpful tip about finding babysitters (for all of those who lament an obvious lack of qualified sitters): Check with your local Red Cross. When I was a teenager, I took a babysitter training program run by our local Red Cross. If I recall correctly, the class was held over four successive Saturdays, 9-12, where we were taught all sorts of helpful babysitting skills. The class was somewhat self-selecting, because the girls (yes girls, no boys sadly) in attendance were really serious about being good babysitters. And I was. I was a GREAT babysitter. Between the ages of 14-18, I made serious cash because I was in such high demand. After graduating from this class, I had my name registered with the Red Cross as certified, and I stuck my name up on my church bulletin board, and off I went. Nerdy teenager kids who don't much care for socializing and love children make wonderful sitters. I was attentive and conscientious, and never once was a child in my care (who ranged from 3 months-9 years) injured or in any way lessened in their personal development as a result of my care.
Try the Red Cross. Check church bulletin boards. You think all the kids are working retail, but they aren't. Plus, teenagers don't charge as much.
posted by msali at 8:29 AM on August 12, 2011 [9 favorites]


msali: " Try the Red Cross. Check church bulletin boards. You think all the kids are working retail, but they aren't. Plus, teenagers don't charge as much."

Brilliant suggestions. Thank you. :)
posted by zarq at 8:30 AM on August 12, 2011


I never got a single weird comment in my years of breastfeeding anyplace my kid wanted. I did the "hoist the T-shirt up" method rather than the "yank the neckline down," so I wasn't showing much skin; I presume most people didn't notice, and those who did notice didn't care or were too well brought up to say anything where I could hear it.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:31 AM on August 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


I used to have the same "Why are you throwing an apron over your child's head? Why do you think I'll freak out?" gut reaction to those covers, especially the really big ones. But then a friend explained that her baby was too easily distracted and that was the only way she could get him to stay on the job.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:33 AM on August 12, 2011 [5 favorites]


Omnomnom: " And about changing on the bathroom floor: not ideal but if there aren't obvious pools of pee there I'd do it."

I used to carry a bunch of disposable diaper pads in my diaper bag, just in case a bathroom floor turned out too disgusting to put a baby on. It happened more than once. But I've also left restaurants to change one of my kids in my car when the bathroom floor was covered with funk. Changed the kids on seats, the floor of my van or in one memorable instance, in the trunk of my car.

You make do.
posted by zarq at 8:38 AM on August 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


i've heard the same as The corpse in the library - some kids won't eat if they can see everything. i also know some moms who have done it for their own personal modesty. one of them had a little girl that really like to expose the other breast while she was eating and this was a nice mormon housewife who had never worn a low cut top - so she covered. with her other kids she didn't because they left her shirt alone.
posted by nadawi at 8:38 AM on August 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ye gods I have not read such a clusterfuck of a thread in years.
posted by StephenF at 10:55 AM on August 12 [+] [!]


Hilarious, so true. I managed to stay out of it for days but this morning, I don't know, I lost my ability to shrug and go.
posted by thinkpiece at 8:42 AM on August 12, 2011


If someone is more comfortable nursing with a cover, who cares? Leave them the hell alone, it's none of your business. People should be able to nurse wherever and HOWever they want.
posted by feathermeat at 8:43 AM on August 12, 2011 [5 favorites]


I am not a mom but I am very cold natured. My first thought when I see someone breastfeeding uncovered is honestly, OMG aren't you FREEZING? Of course I live in a place where AC in buildings is set on frigid and maybe a warm baby helps but brrrrrrr!
posted by pointystick at 8:47 AM on August 12, 2011


My husband works in a cafe, and he's had more than one woman breastfeed, remove the child, and order food from him with her breast completely exposed. It happened agan last week, in fact. I don't know if that's a lactivist dare or what, but THAT I consider rude.
posted by agregoli at 8:52 AM on August 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


much more HEY LOOKY HERE I'M BREASTFEEDING than to just get on with it.

Funny, that's the same sort of judgmental attitude


The more nervous first-time mother on the average parenting board is relieved to hear it; not having nursed anywhere, cover or no, one doesn't realise how attention-getting they tend to be. And it seems reasonable to assume that one thinking "Should I buy a cover?" is not looking for extra attention, and the fact that they often work opposite from how they are advertised is useful to know.
posted by kmennie at 8:58 AM on August 12, 2011


And it seems reasonable to assume that one thinking "Should I buy a cover?" is not looking for extra attention, and the fact that they often work opposite from how they are advertised is useful to know.

Conversely, it also seems reasonable to assume that someone using a cover is probably not thinking "hey everyone, look at what I'm doing!"
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:03 AM on August 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


That's not my point, kmennie; the point is, you don't have to put down one group of people to provide support to another. I will say that I've seen you do that numerous times in parenting threads on AskMetafilter, and I wish you would stop. I've even complained to the moderators about it. You have a lot of valuable advice to offer others (I can tell you are wise and you are a good writer) and I wish you would do so without including your opinion on how wrong anyone who chooses to do things differently is.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:03 AM on August 12, 2011 [9 favorites]


Sometimes people don't give a shit whether people know they are breastfeeding or not. Sometimes they are not comfortable exposing their bodies. Sometimes they are cold. Sometimes their kid is distractable. It is true that covers can be attention-getting; however, it is none of your business is any case and no one cares whether you, your nursing toddler, your father, or whoever were made uncomfortable by the cover. Do you not see how your discomfort is EXACTLY the same as someone who is made uncomfortable by uncovered nursing? Jesus, nursing moms can't fucking win, can they? You're being judged no matter what you do.
posted by feathermeat at 9:04 AM on August 12, 2011 [9 favorites]


> I don't know if that's a lactivist dare or what

Lack of sleep, most likely.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:06 AM on August 12, 2011 [9 favorites]


Being judgmental about public breastfeeding: bad
Being judgmental about public breastfeeding with a cover: good

I do not accept this
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:07 AM on August 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


I wish you would do so without including your opinion on how wrong anyone who chooses to do things differently is.

"If you are not with us, then you are against us"
posted by infini at 9:11 AM on August 12, 2011


I don't know if that's a lactivist dare or what

There are a lot of benefits to letting a nipple air dry after the baby is finished. I never needed to do that in public, but I did wander around the house "flaps down" plenty. After a while you just forget, and I was always a little anxious that I'd forget and open the door for the UPS guy or something. Never happened, though.

I'd chalk it up to some combination of obliviousness and sleep deprivation. Also: some babies can wreak havoc on your state of dress, and pull things open without you realizing. You'd think you'd notice, but not always, or not right away.

I have used those lounges at big department stores; they can be very comfortable and I was grateful to have a quiet place with a comfy chair. But I'm troubled at the notion that breastfeeding moms should not do it in public for the comfort of other people. My inner feminist rejects the idea that women should put the comfort of strangers above feeding their child. Intentionally or not, it sends the message that women don't have full rights to be in the public sphere. Once upon a time it was unseemly for obviously pregnant women to appear in public, and this just seems like a diluted version of that.
posted by ambrosia at 9:32 AM on August 12, 2011 [7 favorites]


Man, this is just an odd thread.
posted by iamabot at 9:32 AM on August 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


From the description my husband givees me of defiant looks, I really doubt its lack of sleep. Maybe lack of common courtesy.
posted by agregoli at 9:33 AM on August 12, 2011


your husband might be projecting. the moms i've known who end up in this situation it is pretty much always "well shit, that just happened" or "shit, i didn't even notice!"
posted by nadawi at 9:41 AM on August 12, 2011


Yeah, sorry, not buying it from these particular incidents. And my husband is fine witn breastfeeding, and many women do it in his cafe everyday. He's not "projecting" anything.
posted by agregoli at 9:47 AM on August 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


so your position is that just for their own jollies multiple breast feeding women have purposefully and with intent bared their breasts to your husband and you're sure of this because of looks he described? i think we'll both have to end up at "not buying it."
posted by nadawi at 9:54 AM on August 12, 2011 [5 favorites]


nadawi: "your husband might be projecting. the moms i've known who end up in this situation it is pretty much always "well shit, that just happened" or "shit, i didn't even notice!""

And yet, we've seen someone in this very thread say she's breastfed her child in public and been happy she's making people squeamish. I don't believe it's beyond the realm of possibility that someone else might possibly feel that way.
posted by zarq at 9:57 AM on August 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


And yet, we've seen someone in this very thread say she's breastfed her child in public and been happy she's making people squeamish.

....Dude, you took that seriously?

In the immortal words of Charlie Brown -- "Don't you know SARCASM when you hear it?"
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:00 AM on August 12, 2011


That poster later said, "Zarq- I am without a doubt serious :)"
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:04 AM on August 12, 2011


...For some reason that link isn't working, and the "smiley" tends to undercut the claims of sincerity somewhat. I'm still pretty skeptical.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:06 AM on August 12, 2011


....Dude, you took that seriously?

To be fair, the poster was being intently vague, even when clarification was asked for. If that's how they want to roll, that's fine, but it's not surprising that some people didn't the cue. I figured it was probably sarcasm, but am not completely sure.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:08 AM on August 12, 2011


EmpressCallipygos: " ....Dude, you took that seriously?"

Well, when I said: Oddly enough, I have no idea if you are being sarcastic or not.

She responded:
Zarq- I am without a doubt serious :)


So, yes. I did.
posted by zarq at 10:08 AM on August 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


EmpressCallipygos: "...For some reason that link isn't working, and the "smiley" tends to undercut the claims of sincerity somewhat. I'm still pretty skeptical."

Am not always successful at it, but I do try to take people at their word, and not impose my own biases into what I think they are saying.
posted by zarq at 10:10 AM on August 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't think the poster was vague, I think people just don't want to believe her.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:11 AM on August 12, 2011 [5 favorites]


Based on answers on this thread, of course you did, because some people can't seem to detach or focus elsewhere. Merely by existing and having a kid, you're bothering some people.

Damn, Brandon Blatcher, that's a really uncharitable read of the comments here. I'm sorry that you seem to be personally offended by the comments here, but maybe you should leave the thread if the discussion here is that offensive to you, rather than take cheap shots at the other side.
posted by palomar at 10:14 AM on August 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


cooker girl: Is it really a big deal to some people if their kids aren't included? I mean that seriously. Why? Aren't you your own people, apart from the children? Don't you want to have some time away from them, at all? Ever? (again, I'm serious; I don't get it.) I love a mixed-age party as much as the next guy (possibly more) but I think it's incredibly valuable for my children to see me maintaining my relationships apart from them, and to see me enjoying my life apart from them. I mean, they're going to be leaving home eventually. They won't always be the center of my life.

See, I'm right there with you. I dunno, maybe parenting attitudes have changed drastically since my own Monsters were wee. Or maybe I've just never personally encountered anyone who would get sniffy at the mere suggestion that they might want a break from their kids (or their kids might want a break from them!). Sure, I've seen 'em on the Internet - my husband and I refer to them as the Mommier Than Thou crowd - but I've never seen one in person. Either way, the idea that it's somehow offensive or rude to invite a parent to an Adults Only activity is completely alien to me, and the dog-piling that stellaluna was subjected to is appalling.

My house is always full of other people's children, and I like it just fine. But if I were to specify Adults Only for an activity, as I do from time to time, and someone were to throw a hissy fit and get all sniffy and "how DARE you ask me to get a sitter!", I'm afraid my response would not be "Oh, bring Junior along, I'm sure he'll be fine at the posh restaurant, and the smoky and loud dance club later!", but rather "Oh, too bad. We'll miss you!" Because, frankly, not every place in the world is an appropriate place to bring a child, and adults are in fact entitled to time away from children - theirs and other people's.
posted by MissySedai at 10:17 AM on August 12, 2011 [5 favorites]


Okay -- assuming that sweetmag sincerely does get off on discomfiting people by breastfeeding (I'm still skeptical, but I do err on the side of charity to a fault), I'm still not sure why this disproves the initial argument -- that most cases of exposure during breastfeeding are accidental.

I mean, there are probably people who get their rocks off by stepping on people's toes, but we don't assume that the average yutz who steps on your toe in a crowd is indulging in a fetish, right?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:18 AM on August 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Damn, Brandon Blatcher, that's a really uncharitable read of the comments here. I'm sorry that you seem to be personally offended by the comments here, but maybe you should leave the thread if the discussion here is that offensive to you, rather than take cheap shots at the other side.

Considering that your own comment goes on about how uncomfortable breast feeding makes you, it's not uncharitable at all.

Otherwise, bless your heart for worrying about my comfort.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:30 AM on August 12, 2011


EmpressCallipygos: "Okay -- assuming that sweetmag sincerely does get off on discomfiting people by breastfeeding (I'm still skeptical, but I do err on the side of charity to a fault), I'm still not sure why this disproves the initial argument -- that most cases of exposure during breastfeeding are accidental.

I mean, there are probably people who get their rocks off by stepping on people's toes, but we don't assume that the average yutz who steps on your toe in a crowd is indulging in a fetish, right?
"

You're generalizing inappropriately here. I'm not assuming anything, nor am I trying to disprove an argument. And I am not drawing conclusions about "the average yutz." I am speculating that since one person apparently felt a particular way, it is possible for someone else to as well. That's it.

I said "And yet, we've seen someone in this very thread say she's breastfed her child in public and been happy she's making people squeamish. I don't believe it's beyond the realm of possibility that someone else might possibly feel that way."

If you're not sure of what I'm trying to say in a particular comment could you please ask me to clarify rather try and broadly overapply it? Perhaps this is confirmation bias speaking, but I feel like you do this a lot to me, and it's becoming a bit frustrating.
posted by zarq at 10:30 AM on August 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


ACTUALLY my one peeve with public breastfeeding is that sometimes still-hungry babies will grope me while looking for a snack. NO BABY THESE ARE NOT FOR YOU.

It's even wierder when you are a dude.

Some babies aren't very discriminating.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 10:39 AM on August 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Zarq, taking it to MeMail.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:40 AM on August 12, 2011


If you're not sure of what I'm trying to say in a particular comment could you please ask me to clarify rather try and broadly overapply it? Perhaps this is confirmation bias speaking, but I feel like you do this a lot to me, and it's becoming a bit frustrating.

Nope, and EmpressCallipygos doesn't just do it to you. jessamyn previously suggested that EmpressCallipygos reevaluate the use of this rhetorical technique.
posted by grouse at 10:40 AM on August 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


That's a different type of rhetoric, grouse, but thanks for picking on me.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:44 AM on August 12, 2011


Considering that your own comment goes on about how uncomfortable breast feeding makes you, it's not uncharitable at all.

Right. Because of the intimate moment that I'm witnessing. Here is my entire comment, reprinted just for you with special bolding so that you'll see the parts you obviously missed:

I don't find it gross, but to be honest I am pretty uncomfortable when my friends breastfeed in front of me. I don't want them to stop or go in another room or cover up or anything -- they have to feed their kid, I get that and I want them to do it in whatever way works for them, I get that a lot of babies won't stand for a blanket over them while nursing, I would never dream of asking someone to nurse their baby in a restroom. But it's the whole giant moustache and clam chowder thing. It's definitely not sexual, it's just... I mean, whoa, there's your boob, and your kid has it in their mouth and they're making eye contact with me and it's that weirdly solemn baby eye contact where they're, like, looking through your soul or whatever. It ramps my anxiety up really high, and I can't really explain it, but I also can't ever say a word about this feeling I have to anyone I know who breastfeeds because, well, look at how people reacted here. Not well.


And look at you, proving my point about how I can't ever talk about this with a parent because they don't take it well, no matter how I frame it.

You could probably glean from my later comments just a couple of inches down your screen that it's witnessing a very intimate bonding moment between mother and child that is making me uncomfortable, for a reason I can't identify, and THAT'S IT. But FUCK YOU for throwing it all in my face with your shitty little snippy mean-spirited uncharitable comment, you shit.
posted by palomar at 10:44 AM on August 12, 2011 [17 favorites]


I'm having a hard time understanding the folks who say they would breastfeed any time, any place. Isn't it ever appropriate to excuse yourself from a situation?

Personally, I have no issues with breastfeeding in public so these might not be the best examples, but:

What about in certain houses of worship? If covering your head, or your arms is a sign of respect (or even a requirement for entry) wouldn't excusing yourself probably be respectful, too?

Or say the family that just moved in across the street invites your family over, and the baby needs to eat. You wouldn't consider saying something like Oh, it's feeding time! If you'd prefer I can step into the den for a few minutes?

Maybe it's granny's 98th birthday, and it makes her uncomfortable just because it wasn't done in her day. You would take issue with this?

Like I said, I don't have a problem with it, but I find it hard to believe a breastfeeding mother's preferences always trumps everyone else's.
posted by Room 641-A at 10:47 AM on August 12, 2011


Oh good. We're really settling in now.
posted by Gator at 10:48 AM on August 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


The "fuck you" talk stops right now. Take it somewhere else. I'm sorry you're upset. If you can't make a delineation between being upset and acting upset you need to step away from the keyboard, pronto. Other sarcastic sniping should probably wrap up as well.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:51 AM on August 12, 2011


Right. Because of the intimate moment that I'm witnessing.

I understand that point, but again, my point was that some people are uncomfortable by public breast feeding, no matter what.

And look at you, proving my point about how I can't ever talk about this with a parent because they don't take it well, no matter how I frame it.

My apologies if you think I'm thinking bad of you, I'm generally not. Hell, klang mentioned that he found breastfeeding gross 'cause he finds drinking milk gross. Ok weird, IMO, but that doesn't make him a bad person to be reviled. Bu it is his problem and one that the mother shouldn't have to deal with.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:52 AM on August 12, 2011


That's a different type of rhetoric, grouse, but thanks for picking on me.

No one is picking on you. If there were someone else here who engaged with others so often by making inappropriate generalizations of what you think they said (while claiming that you "err on the side of charity to a fault"), I'd point that out too.
posted by grouse at 10:53 AM on August 12, 2011


grouse, if you read the link you linked, jessamyn was speaking to me of a tone I was taking at times when I was attempting to ascertain someone's motivation rather than generalizing. So I'm not sure how you get "making inappropriate generalizations" out of that.

But we digress.

In an effort to lighten the mood: I give you someone's design for a baby hat that pokes fun at this entire debate.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:56 AM on August 12, 2011


When you became the posterchild for hitting kids, people stopped hitting kids.

Um, what?

Based on answers on this thread, of course you did, because some people can't seem to detach or focus elsewhere. Merely by existing and having a kid, you're bothering some people.


Jesus Christ, Brandon, this is pretty clearly a thread about parenting and children, what would you rather people talk about? People are entitled to opinions that are not your own, and having those opinions is not an attack on parents everywhere.


Considering that your own comment goes on about how uncomfortable breast feeding makes you, it's not uncharitable at all.


Ugh. Yes, that comment clearly means palomar's bothered by the existence of a kid, and I'm now convinced there's just no winning for the poor parents in this world. Fuck it, let's change the baby in the food court.

Brandon, you are being uncharitable here. Palomar was relating how it makes him or her a little uncomfortable and specifically said that's no one else's problem and no big deal.
posted by Hoopo at 10:56 AM on August 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


grouse, I'd really, really prefer that this not turn into a callout of Empress. Please?
posted by zarq at 10:58 AM on August 12, 2011


And Empress, I apologize. Sincerely. If find something personal frustrating in the future I'll express it to you over memail, not publicly.
posted by zarq at 10:59 AM on August 12, 2011


We're cool, dude.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:59 AM on August 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


And I was a little harsh too. I try not to bring out Charlie Brown unless it's necessary.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:00 AM on August 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, since its possible to read people's facial expressions, and know when they are giving defiant, challenging looks; since my husband sees breastfeeding every day WITHOUT this behavior; since this has happened only a handful of times; and since we do live in an area of people I would consider to be concerned about the issue of breastfeeding in public, I am not at all reluctant to think that a few woman were daring him, a manager of the cafe, to say womething about their bare bosom. Which of course he wouldn't.
posted by agregoli at 11:05 AM on August 12, 2011


And it's also really not unusual to misinterpret people's facial expressions. I'm sure there are plenty of people who think I am glaring at them in a passionate hate-filled rage while on the subway at rush hour when really all I am doing is trying not to fart.
posted by elizardbits at 11:15 AM on August 12, 2011 [19 favorites]


People are entitled to opinions that are not your own, and having those opinions is not an attack on parents everywhere.

I missed the part where people aren't entitled to their opinions.

But yeah, I do worry about those who feel grossed out about public breast feeding applying some sort of social pressure that perpetuates the idea women shouldn't do that.

Yes, that comment clearly means palomar's bothered by the existence of a kid..

Never said palomar was bothered by the existence of a kid, but breast feeding in general. I'm not sure why noting that some people are actually bothered by the act is some huge attack. I specifically said it doesn't make palomar or anyone else a bad person, just noted that no matter a parent does or doesn't do, some people are going to be bothered by public breast feeding.


I'm sorry if I came off as "You must love the idea of breast feeding or your pond scum". That is harsh and condemning and it's not what I want to convey.

Brandon, you are being uncharitable here.

Look, I was just told to fuck off and called a little shit by someone who took a comment that wasn't directed to them in a personal way and has made it the focus of all their previous interactions on the subject. We're gonna have to agree to disagree about who's being uncharitable.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:16 AM on August 12, 2011


This little bruiser pretty much embodies how I feel reading this thread. And his owner's got some pretty good advice at the end there.
posted by phunniemee at 11:26 AM on August 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm sure there are plenty of people who think I am glaring at them in a passionate hate-filled rage while on the subway at rush hour when really all I am doing is trying not to fart.

Likewise, most people misinterpret my passionate hate-filled rage for mere farts. C'est la guerre, mes amis!
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:28 AM on August 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


Elizrdbits....not sure why you would doubt this. You don't believe any woman would dare a manager to tell her to stop breastfeeding? Those incidents garner a lot of media attention, and some people would love the excuse for a spotlight on them. Not every new mom is a nice but overtired person.
posted by agregoli at 11:31 AM on August 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Dude, my point is that everything isn't always black and white. People are saying to you that it is entirely possible that your husband is correct, and that it is just as possible that he is mistaken. Your blank refusal to accept that misinterpretations of facial expression even exist is sort of weird.

I am actually kind of annoyed with myself for even caring, tbh. Let's all go have cake instead.
posted by elizardbits at 11:40 AM on August 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


Let's all go have cake instead.

I like cake.
posted by grouse at 11:43 AM on August 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


elizardbits: " I am actually kind of annoyed with myself for even caring, tbh. Let's all go have cake instead."

Cake sounds good. We should have cake.
posted by zarq at 11:45 AM on August 12, 2011


I did no such thing, just that I trust my husband's interpretation, and *I* think its weird that people don't think its possible someone would do something like that. There'sa a lot of strange people out there, cruising for a fight.
posted by agregoli at 11:48 AM on August 12, 2011


rock on. do you want ice cream with your cake?
posted by elizardbits at 11:50 AM on August 12, 2011


Cake or death?
posted by cooker girl at 11:50 AM on August 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Does your husband's cafe serve cake, agregoli? Because we could all go there for cake, right now. Or pie. Pie would be good, too.
posted by rtha at 11:51 AM on August 12, 2011


Yes, rtha has a special pie dispensation.

I HAVE SPOKEN.
posted by elizardbits at 11:52 AM on August 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Uh uh. If rtha's involved, we're going to the park, and she's bringing donuts.
posted by EvaDestruction at 11:57 AM on August 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yes, flourless chocolate cake! Yum!
posted by agregoli at 12:03 PM on August 12, 2011


So your position is that you did not, in fact, say "Merely by existing and having a kid, you're bothering some people."
posted by Hoopo at 12:16 PM on August 12, 2011


Here is Brandon Blatcher's comment that I responded to:

Based on answers on this thread, of course you did [bother people with your child], because some people can't seem to detach or focus elsewhere. Merely by existing and having a kid, you're bothering some people.


My response to that:
Damn, Brandon Blatcher, that's a really uncharitable read of the comments here. I'm sorry that you seem to be personally offended by the comments here, but maybe you should leave the thread if the discussion here is that offensive to you, rather than take cheap shots at the other side.


And Brandon's response to that:

Considering that your own comment goes on about how uncomfortable breast feeding makes you, it's not uncharitable at all.

Otherwise, bless your heart for worrying about my comfort.


And then, Brandon, you referenced this comment, in which I SPECIFICALLY STATED that it's nobody's problem about my discomfort with breastfeeding but mine, and that I would never dream of asking a parent to change what they're doing to make me more comfortable. But you decided to put a completely different spin on it, and effectively paint me as an anti-breastfeeding child-hater, and now you're pretending you didn't say anything that could possibly be construed at best as offensive and at worst an an ad-hominem attack on me personally.

And that's why I reacted the way I did. I apologize for using harsh language, it was inappropriate of me. (Never mind that you dropped a "bless your heart" on me, which is pretty obvious Southern slang for "fuck you", and god knows we've discussed that phrase here at Metafilter a few times before so it's no damn secret. I used the actual words, therefore I'm the baddy.)

It would be super cool if you could apologize for me for the bullshit you just pulled here, but I figure I probably won't get one. And that's fine. It just makes clear what kind of community this really is, that I will be chastised (and fairly so) by the mods for using rough language, but you'll get off without even a reprimand for this. Maybe this is not the place for me after all, if that's what passes for fairness around here.
posted by palomar at 12:24 PM on August 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


you'll get off without even a reprimand for this

Perhaps it wasn't clear that the "sarcastic sniping" I was referring to was BrandonBlatcher's "bless your heart" but let me be clear, it's also not okay and something we'd like to see wrap up here. People need to lay off the hyperbole and the sarcasm if they're genuinely invested in working things out and not just scoring gotcha points here.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:34 PM on August 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


So your position is that you did not, in fact, say "Merely by existing and having a kid, you're bothering some people."

Aw crap, that was totally my fault with not being clear in my writing. Mucho apologies on my part.

Since we were talking about public breast feeding, that's the context I meant it in i.e. "Merely by existing and breast feeding a kid, you're bothering some people". It's what I thought but didn't write.

Not writing that was totally fault and I get why people are reacting to that.

It would be super cool if you could apologize for me for the bullshit you just pulled here, but I figure I probably won't get one.

Wasn't attempting to pull anything, just messed up with not being clear, which, again my fault.

I apologize for giving the impression that you hated all kids and parents and for using your comments to give that impression.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:44 PM on August 12, 2011


Well this thread definitely took a turn since I last looked at it. My.

Anyway, the thing about being a breastfeeding mother is that it can be so isolating that I hesitate to say "yes, there are times when you have to go sit in a room all alone while everyone else gets to chat and enjoy themselves" because it kinda seems exclusionary towards someone who is already left out of a lot of things by necessity.
posted by the young rope-rider at 12:47 PM on August 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I apologize for giving the impression that you hated all kids and parents and for using your comments to give that impression.

Thank you.
posted by palomar at 1:05 PM on August 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yay! God bless us, everyone!
posted by Hoopo at 1:17 PM on August 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


So, did someone mention cake?
posted by stennieville at 1:25 PM on August 12, 2011


it's witnessing a very intimate bonding moment between mother and child that is making me uncomfortable, for a reason I can't identify, and THAT'S IT.

I've been around loads of breastfeeding throughout my life, and it doesn't "bother" me at all in any venue, but I do occasionally get this ill at ease feeling I think palomar is describing here. It has nothing to do with the mother, or the breast, or the feeding, or the public setting.

It has entirely to do with my being present during the event and feeling as if I'm sort of intruding on a private moment. Like, say you're at a party with some friends, and a couple of partners seem a bit tense with each other. And a few minutes later, you're looking for the bathroom and go over to that couple to ask, and you realize they're having a tender making-up moment (no PDA or anything, but you've sort of wandered into witnessing something that's just between them. It feels vaguely eavesdroppery or at least a bit awkward.

With breastfeeding, you've got an activity that is simultaneously mundane (yeah, we all eat food multiple times a day, big deal) and, as many mothers describe it to me, sometimes one of the most intensely emotional, meditative, joyous experiences one can have. If I feel discomfort, it's the same sort of discomfort I might feel if one or two members of a large group around a dinner table were visibly, silently praying when everyone else wasn't.
posted by FelliniBlank at 1:43 PM on August 12, 2011 [11 favorites]


So when I get that sensation, I don't think the mother and baby should go anywhere. I feel as though *I* should go somewhere or at least shut up and leave them in peace.
posted by FelliniBlank at 1:45 PM on August 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Christ knows the amount of times I have tried to participate in wider society with a baby or toddler in tow, only to find that there are no change tables in walking distance, no bathrooms close by (essential when toilet training a toddler) ...

If you have a smartphone, there's the app 'Sit or Squat' which can geolocate bathrooms (and those with changing tables) near you.
posted by ericb at 1:51 PM on August 12, 2011


the young rope-rider: I didn't mean those as examples of when I thought mothers should excuse themselves, I was trying to think of times when the mothers who were being black & white about it might themselves think it would be appropriate.

It must be awful to deal with negative reactions from people, but I'd think it would make someone more sensitive to genuinely awkward situations.
posted by Room 641-A at 1:53 PM on August 12, 2011


(Awkward isn't really the right word, I should have just used the word sensitive again.)
posted by Room 641-A at 1:58 PM on August 12, 2011


Crikey America, what's up with the boob thing? Seriously? This is a perfect example of why you all have to come live here. We were colonised by criminals (who very nearly decimated our indigenous people, but that's another story) and you were colonised by godly types. You're so uptight!!!!

Australian women get their boobs out everywhere they want/have to. I have breastfed everywhere imaginable. While in a private audience with HH Dalai Lama, funerals, weddings, cafes, public swimming pools ie in the actual water, libraries, parks, in front of elderly men and women, in front of puppies, in temples, all over frickin' India..... my concession is that i was really really careful not to expose anything in front of the celibates and teenagers because it's a bit odd to expose any skin to a monk or nun and teenagers just DIE from embarrassment, poor lovies.

Staying perfectly and discretely covered necessitated the physical assistance of MrTaff though. And really...it's deference to my husband's culture. I would like to think I'd whip them out, lactating akimbo in the Vatican or Westminster Abbey.

But really America, you have ISSUES. Boobs are for feeding babies. If you happen to sexualise them, you need to look at that. And keep it to yourself...for ever. You really need to be embarrassed about not being comfortable around breastfeeding. It's your shortcoming and it needs work/therapy.

I have high hopes that one day you'll all be as perfect as Australia.

Oh...I can't imagine leaving the boob to hang out just to piss off a cafe owner...but giving a "fuck you" look while actually breastfeeding? Yeah, I could see that happening. Then forgetting to put it back. I've done that. Derr.
posted by taff at 2:22 PM on August 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


Thought of another example: I'm sitting in a coworker's office discussing some work thing. This means I'm approximately 2-3 feet from said colleague. He gets a phone call he needs to take, and whether professional or personal, it's something that is none of my business. I start to rise to go out to the hall, but he gives me the "No, it's fine, stay right there, just take a sec" gestures.

So I sit there and feel weird for the duration of the phone call; it's weird to make eye contact with him, weird to look around his office, weird to sit and look at my fingernails or read a book. It's weird to try not to listen, and it's way weirder to openly listen.

Call it the "desire to extend someone space" impulse, I guess. When something is none of my business, I usually feel better if I'm at least 10-20 feet away from that thing.
posted by FelliniBlank at 2:32 PM on August 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


But really America, you have ISSUES. Boobs are for feeding babies. If you happen to sexualise them, you need to look at that. And keep it to yourself...for ever.

Whoa, now. You can't possibly be saying that any and all sexualization of boobs is bad or indicative of having "issues". That's extremely uncharitable. My tits are personally offended.
posted by phunniemee at 2:48 PM on August 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


If you happen to sexualise them, you need to look at that.

That's just naive. What about those of us who don't have children? Should I tell my husband "hands off, you pervert"?
posted by desjardins at 2:51 PM on August 12, 2011 [5 favorites]


I really don't like this "All of America does x" stuff that pops up on Metafilter so repeatedly. All of anywhere does not feel or think or do exactly the same thing.
posted by sweetkid at 2:52 PM on August 12, 2011 [10 favorites]


I didn't mean those as examples of when I thought mothers should excuse themselves, I was trying to think of times when the mothers who were being black & white about it might themselves think it would be appropriate.

Pretty much the only time my breastfeeding friends will excuse themselves during a nursing session is if the child is agitated or overly interested in the other people in the room, and they won't latch on and actually nurse, they just keep popping off the nipple and looking around like, "hey, it's party time, right? let's get DOWN, ladies!" And then mom is like, "Dammit, I'm going to go in the other room so he will calm the hell down and nurse already," and then the other people in the room are all, "No dude, stay seated, we'll go out on the patio and shoot the shit," and then mom is like, "No really, it's cool," and off she goes into the nursery where there's a rocking chair and it's quiet and nursing occurs. And when they're done, they come back out and join the rest of the group.
posted by palomar at 2:57 PM on August 12, 2011 [6 favorites]


i was really really careful not to expose anything in front of the celibates and teenagers

We have a lot of people in those two groups here in tight-assed, godly-founded America. We are trying not to upset them.
posted by soelo at 3:08 PM on August 12, 2011


If you're sexualising boobs, that's your thing. You can sexualise elbows, feet or noses...that's also your thing. If you see a working boob doing it's job, and you're not comfortable, you're either a
teenager or you have issues. Actually, teenagers all have issues so that's a bit tautological. In my opinion.

Bah, I'm just lightly generalising about America from my experience and also from reading here. There is no sociological dissection being proffered.

I really don't think many Americans realise how different they are. They stand out like dog balls. Truly. Sometimes you're not seeing the forest because you are a tree.
posted by taff at 3:08 PM on August 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


stand out like dog balls
posted by small_ruminant at 3:12 PM on August 12, 2011


American are not alone in sexualizing boobs (maybe just in spelling it with a Z). Maybe you could take a step back from painting us all with the same brush and making sure we know it's a different color?
posted by soelo at 3:12 PM on August 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


If you're sexualising boobs, that's your thing.

Even in Australia, taff, sexualizing boobs is pretty much everyone's thing.
posted by Hoopo at 3:14 PM on August 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


I mean, have you SEEN the rack on Venus of Willendorf?
posted by Hoopo at 3:18 PM on August 12, 2011


Of course Americans are not alone at sexualising boobs. It's certainly done here. But boobs, at times, are a working part of a human body. Folk need to grow up about it. Really.

It's a very clear feminist issue. And, as an outsider, it feels like a very American response...what I've been reading here. Sorry to generalise. Generalisation don't always help... but you can get a feel for a culture as an outsider. And that's the feel I get. That Americans tend to have issues around (breasts and) sex. And God, but that's a can of worms best left unopened.
posted by taff at 3:24 PM on August 12, 2011


I'm not sure but are you suggesting that if I'm uncomfortable having a discussion with a woman who is breastfeeding that I'm not a good (American) feminist?

And that's the feel I get. That Americans tend to have issues around (breasts and) sex. And God, but that's a can of worms best left unopened.
Okay so thanks for opening it and dumping it on the dining room table.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 3:31 PM on August 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh I should add...from time to time you hear Australians get awkward about breast feeding in public. But it's pretty rare and tends to be younger people who don't have kids.

In fact, women who bottle feed in public get much more harassment, abuse and stink eye. It's awful. And also a feminist issue.
posted by taff at 3:34 PM on August 12, 2011


Actually, orherworldyglow, as a feminist mother of daughters, that is exactly what I'm saying. Well...no... that you're letting feminism down if you're not supporting breastfeeding women in every possible way. (And bottlefeeders too. But this is about breast feeding.) You need to stifle any discomfort and ignore it. Really and truly. It's an extremely serious feminist issue.
posted by taff at 3:39 PM on August 12, 2011


I, too, am a feminist mother of a daughter.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 3:42 PM on August 12, 2011


Really, can we not compare Americans to dog balls? Do we need to have a Meta about a Meta?
posted by desjardins at 3:45 PM on August 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


taff, with all due respect, I don't think telling people that they're "letting down feminism" if they have any discomfort with breastfeeding at all is a helpful or productive thing to do. Telling people they're doing it wrong and they need to shut up and deal with their discomfort without ever letting on about their true feelings is really ugly.
posted by palomar at 3:45 PM on August 12, 2011 [12 favorites]


I think I've thought of an analogy that might fit...although they often come unstuck here...it's like if someone had a large obvious facial deformity.

Obviously some people would feel awkward, kids might stare, terns might gasp, horrible red necks might tell them to put a bag on their head or stay home...but evolved folk would say..."Hey Bruce, how are you? Let's have a roo burger. What about Cadel Evans, hey?"
posted by taff at 3:47 PM on August 12, 2011


...I am starting to feel like this is performance art.
posted by elizardbits at 3:48 PM on August 12, 2011 [11 favorites]


Palomar, in the privacy of your own home, say what you like about breastfeeding.

Making breastfeeding women feel uncomfortable is one of the more the ugliest things in the world.
posted by taff at 3:50 PM on August 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Admitting you feel uncomfortable about something is a long way from making someone else feel uncomfortable about doing it.
posted by soelo at 3:52 PM on August 12, 2011 [11 favorites]


I mean, have you SEEN the rack on Venus of Willendorf?

Yeah, but she's got a weird tan.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:53 PM on August 12, 2011


Saying that one is uncomfortable about something is so not the same thing as making the source of your discomfort know that you are uncomfortable. It's not like palomar is going around saying "Ew, I'm weirded out, please stop." Please don't imply that that's what's happening.
posted by rtha at 3:53 PM on August 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


taff, maybe you want to go back through this thread and read all of my contributions and inform yourself about what I say and do around breastfeeding women before you start telling me what corrections I need to make to my behaviour. Okay?
posted by palomar at 3:54 PM on August 12, 2011


Palomar, I'm addressing you addressing me is all.

And yeah voicing that you're uncomfortable to a breastfeeding woman is awful. Like telling a disfigured person that their disfigurement makes you uncomfortable. It's rude, hurtful, unnecessary and a time to keep it to yourself. Except in the privacy of your own home.

I don't think we are going to agree on the feminism side here. Your thoughts are completely alien to me.
posted by taff at 4:01 PM on August 12, 2011


Seriously, who said they were making any kind of comment to the mother herself? You have moved from denigrating an entire country to attacking people who are on the same side as you about the topic at hand (breatfeeding) by saying they are not close enough to your views. Calm down.
posted by soelo at 4:04 PM on August 12, 2011 [5 favorites]


Oh rytha, that was not my intention. And that does seem to be our disconnect. In part.

I'm saying that all folk who are uncomfortable with breadtfeeding need to never, ever say it to a breadtfeeding woman . Ever. It's uncool.

I hope I didn't misrepresent Palomar or anyone else.
posted by taff at 4:04 PM on August 12, 2011


oh my fucking god.

dude, at no time ever in this thread ever did palomar say that they said straight up to a nursing woman's face that she made them feel ooky. your lack of reading comprehension is completely alien to me.
posted by elizardbits at 4:05 PM on August 12, 2011 [11 favorites]


Seriously. If you think I run up to breastfeeding moms and tell them that seeing the intimacy they have with their child makes me uncomfortable, you are out of your everloving mind.

If you want to talk about things that are uncool, what you're doing here in this thread is as offensive as the acts you're accusing me of. Please, please, knock it off.
posted by palomar at 4:09 PM on August 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Soleo, you're right.

But I believe it's something to be embarrassed about. And not shared in public. It's a shameful thing. Like racism. If you're not comfortable with breastfeeding, you should want nobody to know that about you.

That's an Australisn feminist stance. This is our cultural divide. There is one.
posted by taff at 4:10 PM on August 12, 2011


Well, taff, if it would make you stop harping on this ridiculous point, I'll confess that in general, I am ashamed and embarrassed by myself every day. I hope that makes you happy. I also hope you just drop this line of discussion already. Congrats on ruining the rest of my day.
posted by palomar at 4:12 PM on August 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


Over here, we say something stands out like squirrel balls. Because seriously, they're huge. Have you seen them?

(Has the "you're letting down feminism" tack ever led to good results?)
posted by klangklangston at 4:13 PM on August 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Seriously. If you think I run up to breastfeeding moms and tell them that seeing the intimacy they have with their child makes me uncomfortable, you are out of your everloving mind.

It'd have made a pretty good Kids In The Hall sketch, though.

But I believe it's something to be embarrassed about. And not shared in public. It's a shameful thing. Like racism. If you're not comfortable with breastfeeding, you should want nobody to know that about you.

You thinking it's an embarrassing thing is pretty reasonable. Folks have druthers. Calling it shameful or akin to racism to discuss in the context of a conversation already about people's comfort levels with varyingly-taboo things seems way overboard and kind of a crappy thing to say to someone in its own right.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:15 PM on August 12, 2011 [16 favorites]


Shit Palomar, I have used your name when I was responding to someone else. And then managed to get confused. I even favourites you back up there. Crud. My profound aplologies. I was intending to talk in generalities anyway. I should not have used yours, or anyone's name, in vain.
posted by taff at 4:17 PM on August 12, 2011


Hamster balls are also astonishingly tremendous.

meanwhile it appears I have been arguing on the internets about babies - goddamn annoying horrible babies you are my tiny nemeses - for TWO FUCKING DAYS now and I would really appreciate it if someone would come to my house and shoot me in the face because seriously, this is just too much to bear.
posted by elizardbits at 4:17 PM on August 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


I really don't agree Cortex. But that's my point. That this is a very, very serious feminist issue worth fighting for. Really fighting for. It gies to the crux of all sorts of attitudes to women, motherhood, bodies...the while kit and kaboodle.

And this is where our cultures can and do divide. I'm saying that an Australian feminist would be embarrassed. And that it stems from the origins of our respective invasions. Ours from criminals, yours from religious folk.

Aaargh.
posted by taff at 4:23 PM on August 12, 2011


taff, as noted, I am a mother and yet, I'm uncomfortable with being right up close with an actively breastfeeding mother. My reasons for that are none of your business but I assure you they are valid and significant. I'm really put-off that you would suggest that just by having these feelings (and crap, no, I would never tell a mother to stop breastfeeding or alter her behavior in any way), my credentials as a feminist are suspect.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 4:23 PM on August 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


hey, does anyone know if taff feels like this is a feminist issue?
posted by nadawi at 4:27 PM on August 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


But are you proud and comfortable of your discomfort? It seems not. You wouldn't ever say anything, so that's the next best thing. Isn't it?

But you really don't see breastfeeding freedom as a feminist issue? Looks like you do and we agree about that. I think.
posted by taff at 4:29 PM on August 12, 2011


That this is a very, very serious feminist issue worth fighting for. Really fighting for.

I respect that this is a cause of yours. However, you seem to be making this MeTa thread into the place where you are engaging in a "take on all comers" style argument about it.

MetaFilter contains a lot of people who occasionally like to take on and discuss difficult topics. Dismissing one whole side of the argument out of hand because people don't adhere to your personal ideas of feminism or breastfeeding politics is something that you are welcome to do, but is unlikely to make people more likely to listen to your points. It's not effective. So at some level you'll have to decide whether it's more important to be effective or to champion your cause, because you may not be able to do both.

People can see breastfeeding as a feminist issue without necessarily agreeing on the best way to manage or deal with that in the larger world. To my mind, people being honest on why they think these sorts of issues are tricky, why they or others might be uncomfortable, is useful. That sort of thing shuts down if we have people telling people they should be ashamed of their feelings. There are better ways to have this conversation.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:31 PM on August 12, 2011 [11 favorites]


Yah, Nadawi, I don't find feminist issues inherently funny. And considering some of the stuff that the MetaWomen have complained about over the years here, I dint think I'm alone in taking it seriously.
posted by taff at 4:32 PM on August 12, 2011


Freedom to breastfeed is a very different thing from freedom from ever having anyone ever be nonrationally discomfitted by being around breastfeeding; the former makes perfect sense (to me) to fight for, the latter is basically wishing for robots instead of humans as cohabitants of the planet.

In any case, Metafilter is not ground zero for that fight and folks like palomar or the various other folks willing to share their specific feelings about this slightly complicated and inherently sort of personal stuff are sure as shit not the ones that fight is with.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:36 PM on August 12, 2011 [9 favorites]


taff - i'm one of those women, a feminist woman at that. i don't find the issues funny, but i do find your repetition a little humorous, especially since as far as i can see every single person you've conversed with in this thread thinks that breastfeeding women should never be pushed aside, or shut away, or not allowed to breast feed in public.
posted by nadawi at 4:36 PM on August 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


Ah Jessamyn... always a thoughtful and sensible analysis. You're right. I'm absolutely flabbergasted and frustrated. And that's clearly showing. I should back away from the boobs and let the cultural differences stand. And work on my dialectic. Thank you for your breathe.

And again, dear Paolomar, I owe you a deep and sincere apology.
posted by taff at 4:39 PM on August 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ack, Cortex and Nadawi, there's a lag in my posting/reading. Thank you for your thoughts too.
posted by taff at 4:42 PM on August 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wow. I took 24 hours off from this thread and now look at it!

Anyway, I came here to say, having read the original post one more time, carefully, I realise I have made a fundamental mistake.

In fact, two.

Stellaluna does not want the help of parents, and does not care if she offends her friends either. Go back and read it yourselves if you don't believe me.

Parents' motives are inscrutable, their behaviour is irrational -- their contribution is not sought. All she wants is the key to stopping them bringing the kids. From people who've succeeded in that, offence or not.

So, I apologise for getting that wrong.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 4:47 PM on August 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, what this thread was missing was more accusatory dickbaggery from the OP.
posted by klangklangston at 4:52 PM on August 12, 2011 [44 favorites]


And here I figured this bushfire had burned itself out.
posted by GuyZero at 4:53 PM on August 12, 2011


Oh Ambrose, I'm otherwise a fan. And neighbour. And drinking buddy. But lovie, shut the fuck up!
posted by taff at 4:54 PM on August 12, 2011


I think I would not like AmbroseChapel to come to any of my parties, kids or no.
posted by empath at 4:57 PM on August 12, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'm serious! That's what she says, if you read carefully past the snark. I'm admitting to have based this entire thread on a mistaken premise.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 4:57 PM on August 12, 2011


taff, thank you for your apology. i appreciate it.

I'm going to go over this "bad feminist" angle one last time, and then I am getting away from this thread for a while.

I am a feminist. I believe that if a woman wants to breastfeed her child, by all means she has the right to do so. If she is out in public and her child is hungry, she should feed her child. I do not think she should have to go into a special room, wear a smock to cover herself, be asked to leave an establishment because another patron is uncomfortable, any of that. There is nothing wrong with breastfeeding.

I also have some mild discomfort about being very physically close to a breastfeeding woman. That's my own personal issue and it's one I don't discuss with anyone, ever, for a multitide of reasons. My discomfort, in the grand scheme of things, means nothing. It is a personal issue, much like my discomfort with watching people eat salad coated in Thousand Island dressing. I don't give breastfeeding moms a disgusted look when I see them, I don't try to shame them, in fact I support and encourage their right to breastfeed whenever and wherever. When my breastfeeding friends have had nurse-ins in conjunction with the local La Leche chapter, I've tried to help out by dropping by to bring snacks or fresh baby supplies if needed.

My discomfort does not make me a bad feminist. I look at this issue the same way I look at the selective termination issue that zarq posted the FPP about today -- I can't imagine being pregnant with multiple fetii and having to choose which one to terminate so that the other(s) can live, the whole subject makes me wildly uncomfortable, and while the choices of some IVF-ing parents might be totally baffling to me, I support their right to make their own decisions about termination. Does my discomfort with selective terminations make me a bad feminist despite my unwavering and unconditional support of those parents in whatever choice they make?

Again, being uncomfortable about something does not make someone a bad feminist. What makes someone a bad feminist is not supporting a woman's right to equal treatment under the law, not supporting a woman's right to choose, and shaming women based on the choices they make.

I admire your passion and your dedicated stance on feminist issues but I would caution you to consider approaching touchy issues from a different angle, instead of attacking. One thing I would suggest that you keep in the back of your mind is the idea that the perfect is the enemy of the good. (This is something I have to remind myself of every day.) My discomfort may mean I'm not a perfect feminist, but who is? Am I a good feminist? I hope I am. I like to think I am. I think you are, too. Attacking good feminists for not being perfect unfortunately does not create perfect feminists, it creates pissed off feminists who are that much less likely to want to ally with you (plural you, not specifically you, taff) to fight for a good cause.
posted by palomar at 4:58 PM on August 12, 2011 [18 favorites]


You're a good feminist and a brilliant humanist possum. And I'm a bit of a hot headed turd.
posted by taff at 5:05 PM on August 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Two small points of order:

Everyone's assuming the nappy being changed contained poo.

Lots of non-parents have pre-emptively said that, hey don't get them wrong, they get it, parenting is hard work, as if that's the default response of all parents to all criticism. That has surprised me quite a bit.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 5:09 PM on August 12, 2011


I guess this thread is now a "have random arguments about parenting and breastfeeding" thread instead of a thread about the original topic. I don't know that it is a good thing.
posted by the young rope-rider at 5:11 PM on August 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


"I'm serious! That's what she says, if you read carefully past the snark. I'm admitting to have based this entire thread on a mistaken premise."

No, seriously, that's not what she says except in your own fantod-plagued mind. But yeah, this is the worst MeTa thread from you since you got all "Let me make up quotes so that Loquacious seems racist."
posted by klangklangston at 5:15 PM on August 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


So, I apologise for getting that wrong.

Who are you apologizing to? What are you hoping to get out of that "apology" and from whom?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:15 PM on August 12, 2011


Honestly I think I'd be fine with going back to the pre-hominid way of doing things where parents had to guard their children with vigilance constantly, lest the other larger males catch them and eat their brains.
posted by tehloki at 5:17 PM on August 12, 2011


> No, seriously, that's not what she says except in your own fantod-plagued mind

Well if you really think that, I'll have to cut and paste quotes to prove it, and I'm on the phone which makes that difficult. Give me a few minutes.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 5:19 PM on August 12, 2011


quiet the young rope-rider can't you see we're having fun
posted by tehloki at 5:19 PM on August 12, 2011


Dang. I would have thought that axe would be just a tiny, flinty nubbin by now. I have been wrong about so many things today.

oh, and taff, i'm clearly a big ol' hotheaded turd sometimes too. it's normal to be turdy sometimes, but it takes character to admit when you've been turdy and apologize for it, so good on you. we're cool. thank you again.
posted by palomar at 5:21 PM on August 12, 2011 [5 favorites]


> Who are you apologizing to?

Everyone.

My premise was "it's illogical to insult a group of people whose advice you're asking for" but she isn't asking for advice from parents, and isn't asking how not to offend them. I don't know why nobody made that point in all this time.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 5:22 PM on August 12, 2011


Ambrose, darlin', don't. It won't end well.
posted by taff at 5:22 PM on August 12, 2011


Well if you really think that, I'll have to cut and paste quotes to prove it,

You actually don't.
posted by empath at 5:24 PM on August 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


Here's exhibit A -- although she starts by talking about being diplomatic, she says:

if it comes down to it, I am equally amenable to their attendance sans children, or to their lack of attendance entirely if they are [...] offended ...
posted by AmbroseChapel at 5:26 PM on August 12, 2011


I don't know why nobody made that point in all this time.

AmbroseChapel, several people made the point that she wasn't necessarily asking for advice from parents. Grouse made it in the second comment in the thread. If that had truly been your major sticking point, this thread would have been over 620 comments ago.
posted by phunniemee at 5:26 PM on August 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


AmbroseChapel, the best apology from you regarding this thread would be if you just stopped posting in it. If I had to base my opinions about you and stellaluna from your posts in this thread and her AskMe thread, I'd think she was maybe a little thick about babies but generally very gracious and well-meaning. You, on the other hand... yikes, man. You do not look good at all right now. Cut your losses, you cannot "win" this. Seriously.
posted by palomar at 5:28 PM on August 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


My conscience is clear, and I'm simply being honest about what I see. I will sleep soundly at night not being invited to empath's parties or knowing I don't have your good opinion, palomar. I left high school many years ago.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 5:32 PM on August 12, 2011


Okay. Enjoy that axe-grinding! God knows no one else will.
posted by palomar at 5:34 PM on August 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


What do you expect to get out of this by continuing to post?
posted by empath at 5:34 PM on August 12, 2011


+20 axe of grinding achievement unlocked.
posted by elizardbits at 5:37 PM on August 12, 2011 [13 favorites]


> What do you expect to get out of this by continuing to post?

Well, those of you who keep telling me that, according to your standards, I'm being rude, I get it. I totally get it. We don't need to keep that strand of argument going.

[Unless of course the OP is commonly known by the rest of you to be in some especially vulnerable category, and you think I'm bullying someone who can't stand up for herself, by cutting and pasting her own words. Please quietly let me know if that's the case.]

Those of you who called me a liar when I said "she doesn't mind if her friends are offended" might like to apologise though. If you can read what she wrote, you can see that I'm right. It's really that simple.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 6:08 PM on August 12, 2011


I've been following this thread for 2-3 days now and all I have to say is this:

I have no children, and if you ever change your baby on a fucking restaurant table or seat and I see it, I am going to hate you.

We're all (more or less) adults here. Would you shit or pee on a restaurant table or booth? No? Gee, why not?

Then why in the name of Earth, God, FSM, whatever, would you place your child's shit or pee on a restaurant's table or seat?

The waitstaff will clean it up??

You better be leaving them a $100 tip, then.

That is all. And by the way "Adults Only" is a fine solution.
posted by deep thought sunstar at 6:12 PM on August 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


The other day, I had the best cupcake in the whole world. It had the tiniest smidge of vanilla frosting (HOMEMADE vanilla!) that had a faint aftertaste of violets. The cupcake bit itself was chocolate, and it was dark, smoky, and not too sweet. So the icing was the sweet part, blending in the most perfect way into the bitter chocolatey haven that was the cuppycake itself.

So I went there yesterday seeking surcease of sorrow from another dose of cuppycake wonderment, but instead they had cupcakes with cream cheese icing, and it was inexpertly blended so that the cream cheese was still in palpable little chunks in the icing.

It was a sad time.
posted by winna at 6:18 PM on August 12, 2011 [8 favorites]


"My premise was "it's illogical to insult a group of people whose advice you're asking for" but she isn't asking for advice from parents, and isn't asking how not to offend them. I don't know why nobody made that point in all this time."

facepalm.gif

"Those of you who called me a liar when I said "she doesn't mind if her friends are offended" might like to apologise though. If you can read what she wrote, you can see that I'm right. It's really that simple."

coveteddoublefacepalm.gif
posted by klangklangston at 6:24 PM on August 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


palomar: Pretty much the only time my breastfeeding friends will excuse themselves during a nursing session is if the child is agitated or overly interested in the other people in the room, and they won't latch on and actually nurse, they just keep popping off the nipple and looking around like, "hey, it's party time, right? let's get DOWN, ladies!"

I still don't understand, but I appreciate you addressing my question. It's not like I could know what it's really like, but I was curious about the mindset. And maybe the situations I'm imagining don't even happen often enough to be a question. However....That comment you made about the 1000 Island dressing? Way over the line. Flagged for probably being one of those Green Goddess-types.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:16 PM on August 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


What's the big deal with keeping it a private activity if there is another suitable venue for it (e.g. many women's rooms in stores have lounges)? If there is nowhere else, and the kid cannot wait, then fine, yes, go ahead, but don't expect me to carry on a conversation like nothing is happening.

Because when you do this literally twelve times per day, it becomes totally exhausting to try and find some place to hide when you're out and about and really, if you could just keep carrying on that conversation you were having that WASN'T about diapers, it would do a whole lot for your sanity.

Says the woman who publicly breastfed while buying a car because eff it, I'm so totally over trying to sequester myself when I've got other things going on that I could so totally do while also feeding that baby.

it's kind of a standoff since mom doesn't care that she's making me or other people uncomfortable.

Mom cares, she just kinda wishes you'd get over it because all of this rogue boob stuff is ridiculous and could we all agree to focus on things that matter like ZOMG LEGGINGS ARE SO NOT PANTS.

Also, on the subject of covering: my son will reject my boobs to chew on pillowcases. A fabric cover is going to be a serious problem in trying to get him to eat things that are NOT the fabric cover.

I'm having a hard time understanding the folks who say they would breastfeed any time, any place. Isn't it ever appropriate to excuse yourself from a situation?

Sometimes it can be done. Sometimes given the complicated calculus of baby's hunger level + your own tiredness level x your surroundings, the end result is "eff it."

As I mentioned, I ended up breastfeeding my son while buying a car. We'd been in the dealership for quite some time and showed no signs of being done in the next ten minutes - which was the window of time I had before Total Freaking Out started. My options were right there in the airconditioned lobby (being that this is August), the bathroom (no), or in my own car that had been sitting in the parking lot and was quite toasty. A quick scan indicated that there were more people in the parking lot than in the lobby, so I found a chair in an inconspicuous corner and went to it. I did end up having to chat with the salesguys about financing while doing it and we all just jointly acted like nothing was happening and everyone lived.
posted by sonika at 7:55 PM on August 12, 2011 [12 favorites]


Having caught up on this thread, I have only one thing to say - taff, stop presuming to speak for feminists, for Australians and for Australian feminists. You speak only for yourself. I strongly dislike people claiming to speak for me and then using that voice as a club.

This argument-from-authority stuff is uncool and as one of the people whose culture you keep claiming is divided from everyone else and that's why obviously they just can't Get It...i'd like you to cut it out.

Even if I agree with you (and on the breastfeeding issue, I do), it's not cool at all to repeatedly blanket-blame simple disagreement with you on some vague 'cultural divide'. It's dismissive and rude.
posted by pseudonymph at 8:03 PM on August 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


my second favorite portrait studio nursing story (after the kid shooting the milk everywhere) was the lawyer who needed head shots, we were behind, she was late for something, so we just posed everything with her baby latched on and cropped close. i'm with sonika, i think the only reason a mom should find some place quiet or whatever is if she or the baby wants it. i let the mom dictate how much attention/non-attention she gets while nursing.
posted by nadawi at 8:07 PM on August 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


What about in certain houses of worship? If covering your head, or your arms is a sign of respect (or even a requirement for entry) wouldn't excusing yourself probably be respectful, too?

This amused me because the strictest houses of worship I've personally been in -- Chassidic Jewish synagogues -- are basically a nurse-in. Those ladies can sit, stand, bend over, all while holding a prayerbook and keeping baby firmly attached. You'll see a nipple before a knee in there.

Says the woman who publicly breastfed while buying a car because eff it, I'm so totally over trying to sequester myself when I've got other things going on that I could so totally do while also feeding that baby.

Hey, I breastfed in a car dealership, too! They were noticeably less cool about it, though -- one of the few places I've ever been in where people were visibly discomfited.

Truly, thank you to all the folks out there who find breastfeeding a little squeamifying and act cool about it. Mwah! (Unless being internet-kissed by a stranger makes you further squeamish. In which case, *hearty handshake*.)
posted by palliser at 8:08 PM on August 12, 2011 [9 favorites]


They were noticeably less cool about it, though -- one of the few places I've ever been in where people were visibly discomfited.

Woah, weird. you'd think people that are trying to get thousands of your dollars would be a little more accommodating.
posted by Hoopo at 8:27 PM on August 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Taff, as card carrying Australian Feminist (Male-Dominated Work Place Division), I gotta say...

DIDN'T YOU GET THE MEMO ON NOT TALKING ON BEHALF OF ALL OF US??

I swear we covered that at the last meeting... wait, let me check the minutes.
posted by Alice Russel-Wallace at 8:44 PM on August 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Woah, weird. you'd think people that are trying to get thousands of your dollars would be a little more accommodating.

Yeah, probably, but they'd already gotten the thousands; I was waiting while it was being serviced, and the waiting area was in the middle of the sales floor. I mean, maybe in other places car dealerships are staffed with souls of gentle empathy, but in western PA you get more of an aging-dude-bro vibe.
posted by palliser at 9:21 PM on August 12, 2011


I'm perplexed. Im not allowed to generalise about Australian Feminism? Do any Australian Feminists actually disagree with my point?
posted by taff at 9:50 PM on August 12, 2011


> You're so uptight!!!!

CUE: PATRIOTIC MUSIC

In the US, over the span of five or so years, I nursed in restaurants, on subways, in parks, at parties, on airplanes, on trains, in cars, in a church, while pregnant, during an anti-war protest, in movie theaters, during doctor's appointments, while walking, and while drinking beer (not necessarily simultaneously). I nursed my newborns, I nursed my toddlers. I nursed from Maine to Oregon, in cities and in national parks. None of my fellow Americans ever said anything rude to me or gave me a dirty look because of breastfeeding.

Now that my kids are older and misbehave terribly I get dirty looks all the time, so it's not that I radiate thuggishness or sainthood. But breastfeeding was just never a big deal, for me or for the people who noticed.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:51 PM on August 12, 2011 [6 favorites]


Yay! That's the America I know and love.
posted by taff at 10:09 PM on August 12, 2011


Someone stole a breast pump from my car. I bet whoever did it was confused once they got back to their hideout.
posted by Sailormom at 10:30 PM on August 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


It was probably the propmaster for a community theater, desperate after a day of everything-going-wrong to somehow get to the show that night with the necessary accessories for the opening night of their stage adaptation of The Hand That Rocks The Cradle.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:18 PM on August 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


Never mind that you dropped a "bless your heart" on me, which is pretty obvious Southern slang for "fuck you"

I never knew this. Suddenly, some of my Southern friends seem to not be the great pals I thought they were.
posted by reenum at 11:21 PM on August 12, 2011


hi guys! i'm loaded on free gin and hugs from drag queens. also i wrote you a topical haiku, here goes:

outside of my windows
are some feral cats, fucking.
i wish they would stop.


wasn't that great? woooooooooo!!!!!!!! fuck, i wish there was a taco bell around here.
posted by palomar at 11:26 PM on August 12, 2011 [7 favorites]


BRAND NEW DAY
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:08 AM on August 13, 2011


C'mon guys, this is just a low point in the thread, and I know we seem to have been doing this forever. But if we try hard, I am pretty confident we can get over the 1,000 comment mark.

Have we even had a flameout in this thread yet?
posted by Admiral Haddock at 4:48 AM on August 13, 2011


Working on it!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:52 AM on August 13, 2011


I was too tired when I got home last night to mention how much fun I had at the first night of a 3-day roller derby tournament, but I bet it was at least as much fun than palomar's drag queens! Go Bay Area Derby Girls!
posted by rtha at 5:40 AM on August 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


I never knew this. Suddenly, some of my Southern friends seem to not be the great pals I thought they were.

Depends on the tone. It can mean a lot of different things, some of which aren't that bad, but many of which are, at best, patronizing. The bad one is "He's doing the best he can with what he's got, bless his heart" which is not quite "fuck him" but the kind bigotry of lowered expectations. (Notice that in the properly passive-aggressive Southern lady way, it's something you usually say about a third party not present.) On the upside it can mean "that was a nice thing you did" or "how awful what happened to you was". It's multipurpose. I wouldn't use it in a MeTa or other heated internet conversation because it's too likely to be taken for "fuck you".

/grew up in a family of east Texans, which is west Southerner.
posted by immlass at 6:39 AM on August 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


taff, pseudonymph is an Australian feminist who asked you to not speak for her. as a general rule, not speaking for an entire group of people is advised unless they've elected you their leader.
posted by nadawi at 7:22 AM on August 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


I have a good friend in the coal mining area of Virginia, and when she says "bless your heart" she just means "bless your heart." But tone and context is everything.
posted by stennieville at 7:48 AM on August 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, isn't this nice...
posted by 1000monkeys at 7:54 AM on August 13, 2011


And it's funny that this all came up this weekend because I was trying to figure out the mechanics of hosting a few friends at a weekend-long event and making it clear that they were welcome and their kids were welcome but it wasn't a kid-oriented event

Which is pretty much it in a nutshell for me. If you plan an adult event and someone shows up with kids, the event becomes a kid-oriented event. I remember a company party which was set up with much wine and music and a dancing area. One employee brought his wife, who brought their four kids, including a baby. Suddenly our party revolved around the kids: no one drank much because they had to behave around the kids, no one danced because the kids were playing with paper and crayons on the dance floor and we couldn't play the music anyhow because the baby was sleeping. Now, we'd all hung out with the kids at other family-oriented events and were fond of them, but that one particular evening was not meant to be about them, and one person's assumptions about their kids being automatically included managed to alter the entire evening for everyone else.

Also, I find the "but breastfeeding isn't gross!" derail particularly interesting, because in my reading of the question the OP never said that it was disgusting, just that it interrupted conversation (to my mind like someone stopping mid-sentence to answer a text; no I'm not equating the act of breastfeeding to texting, but that it's a similar "hey I'm going to pay attention to something else for a minute even though we were in the middle of a conversation."). And distracting is all she said it was. Never that it was gross or disgusting, just distracting, which sure, it is.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 7:58 AM on August 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


She said it was horrifying, L'Estrange Fruit.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:02 AM on August 13, 2011


Stellaluna has a sweet and very slightly hyperbolic style, for which she has paid dearly in this and the original thread. "Horrifying" seems mostly to have been meant for changing diapers at the table, and the uncovered breastfeeding just kind of tagged along. It's possible to be offended by almost anything if you choose to be; happily, the reverse is also true.

(Just doing my part to bump this thread closer to 666 comments, after which it will die a fiery and much-deserved death)
posted by villanelles at dawn at 9:00 AM on August 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


True -- I think it was careless writing, not actual horror. I haven't been offended by any of this, just amused.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:16 AM on August 13, 2011


I was more offended by the relentless cake-promotion upthread (and implicit contempt for those of us who prefer pie). Should have expected it though; Metafilter doesn't do baked goods well.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 9:20 AM on August 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Metafilter doesn't do baked goods well.

Well, bless your heart.
posted by grouse at 9:24 AM on August 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


COBBLER OR DEATH
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:25 AM on August 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


WELL I NEVER

HOW DARE YOU

ooh, pancakes, bye
posted by palomar at 9:26 AM on August 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


I just had waffles! Looks like the only way to settle this is with a duel. Only I wonder what the terms should be...
posted by villanelles at dawn at 9:27 AM on August 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


SYRUPS AT DAWN

A FRUIT COMPOTE IS ALSO ACCEPTABLE AS A WEAPON

WHY AM I SHOUTING
posted by palomar at 9:30 AM on August 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think it's appropriate that comment 666 was about pancakes. The Pancakes of the Beast.

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████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▀▀▀▄ █▄▀▄▀▄▀█▀▄  ▀█▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▄▀█ ▄▀▀▄▀▄ ▀▄▀▄▀▀▄▄▀▄▀▄▀▄ ▀▄▀▄ ▄ █▀▄▀▄▀▄▄▀▀ ▄▀▀ ▄▀▄ ▀▄▀▄▄▀█  █ ▄▀▄▄▀ ▄ █▀  ▄▄▀▀▀ ▄ ▀▀▄▀ ▄  ▄▄  ▀ ▄▄ ▀▄▄▀█ ▀█ ▀  ▀  ▀████▀█                                           ▀ ▀  ▀████▄█▀█▄████▄                          ▀                           ▄      ▄       ▄      ▄    ▄ ▀
████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▀▀▄▄▀▄▀▄▄█▄▀▄▀▄██▄▀▄▀▄▀▀▀ ▀▄▄▄▀▄▀▄▄▀ █▄▀▀▄ ▀▀▄▀▄▄ ▀▄▄▀▄▄ ▄█ ▄ ▀▄▀▄ ▀▄▀▄ ▀ ▄▀▀▄▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▀ ▄ ▀▄▄▀ ▄▀▄▀  ▄ ▀▄ ▀▀ ▀▄▀▄▀▄▄▀▀▄ ▄ ▀▀ ▀▀  ▀ █ ▄▄  ▄ █▄▀ █▀  ▀   ██▄   ▄   ███▄▄                                          ▄███▄██▀▄███▄▄▄▄                                                 ▀     ▀▀▀     ▄      ▀      ▀
██████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████ ▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▄▀▀▄ ▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▄▀▄▀▄▀▀▄▄▀▄▀▀▄▀▄▀▄▄▀▄▄▀▄▄▀▄▄ ▄▀▄▀ ▄▀▀▄▀ ▄▀▀▄▀▄ ▀█  █▀ ▄▀█  █ ▀ █▀ ▄▀ █▀▄ ▀▄▀▀ █  ▀▄▄ ▀▄  ▄ █▀ ▄▄▀ ▄▄ ▀ █▀▄▄  ▄▀▀ ▄█ ▄▀▄  ▀ ▄    █ ▄   █▀ ██████                                            ▄█▀██▄███▀██▄                                 ▀▀▄                          ▄▀     ▄      ▀
█████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄█▀█ ▀▄▀▄▄▀▄ ▀▄ █▄▀▄▀▄ ▀▄▄▀▀▄▀▄▄▀▄▀▄▀ ▄▄▀ ▀▄▀▄▀ ▄▄▀ ▄▀▄ █ ▀▄▀ ▄█ ▀▄▄▀ ▄ █ ▀▀ ▀▀ ▄▄▀ ▄ ▀▀ ▀▄█  █▄▀ ▀ █ ▄ ▀▀ ▀▀ ▄▀▄▄ ▀▄▄ ▄  ▀▀ ▀ ▄▀▄▄ ▀▀▄ ▀▄  ▀      ▀▀ ▀ █▄████▀█▄                                          ▀ ▀ █ █▄██▀████     ▀                                 ▄ ▄    ▀                    ▀▄▄    ▀
███████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████ ▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▀▄▀▄▀▀▄▀▄▄▀▄▀▀▄▀▄▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄ ▀▄▀ ▄▀▄▀▄▀▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▄▀█ ▄▀▄▄▀▀ ▄▀▄▀▄▀▄ ▀▀ ▀▄▄▀▄ ▀▀▄▀▀ █ ▀ ▄▀▀▄▄▀▄▄ ▀▄ ▄▄▀▀ ▄▀ █  █ ▄▄ ▀  ▀█ ▀ ▄▄█ ▀▄ ▄▄▄▀▄ █▀  █▀▀           ▀ ▀▀███▀█ ▀                                              ▄▀▀▀▀▄▀█████▄▄                            ▀▀             ▄       ▀                   ▄
████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▀ █▀▀▄█▄▀▄█▀█▀▀▄▀▄▄▀▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▄▀▄▀▀ ▄▀▄▀▄▀ ▄ █▀▄▀ ▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▀▀▄▀ ▄▄ ▀ ▄█ ▄▀ ▄▀▄ ▀▄▀▄▀▀▀▄▀▄ ▀▄▀▄▀ ▀ ▄▀▀▀ ▀ █ ▄ ▀▄  ▄▄ █ ▄  ▀▀ ▄ ▀ ▀ ▄ ▀ ▄▄ ▀▄ █ ▀ ▄▀ ▄ █▀  ▄█   ▀▀▀        ▄▄▄█▄▄███▀▄▀  ▀                                                 ▄▄▀▀█████▄█▄             ▄                            ▀    ▄▀▄             ▄     ▀▄
█████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▀█▀▀█▄▀▄▀▄▀▀▄▀▀▄▄▀▄█▀▄▀▀▄▀▄▀▄█ ▀▄▀▄▀▄▄▀▄▀▄▀▀▄▀▄▀▄▄▀▄▀█ ▀▄ ▀▄▀▄▀ ▄ █ ▀▄▀▀▄ ▀█ ▄▀ ▀▀▄▀ ▄▀▄▀▀▄ ▀ █▀▄▀▄▀ ▄▀▄ ▀ █  █▀▀ ▄▄ ▄ ▄▀▄▀▀ █  █ ▄ ▀ ▄▀▀ ▄ ▄▀▀ ▄ █▀▄ ▄▀▀  ▄     ▄      ▀▀▀▀▄▀█▀█▄▀▄                                                       █▄█▀█▄████                  ▄                           ▀▀ ▄ ▄  ▄
█████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▄▀▄█▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▀▄▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▀▄ ▀▄▀▄▄▀▄█ ▀▄▀▄▀▀ ▀▀▄▀▄▀▄▄▀▀▄▀▄▄▀▄▀▄▀ ▄▀▄▄▀▄▀ ▄▀▀ ▀▀ ▄ ▄▀ ▄ █ ▄▄ ▀▄▄ ▀▄▀ ▄▀▀ ▄▄ ▄▄ ▄ ▀  █ ▄ ▄▄  ▀▄▄▀▄▀ █▀▄ ▄▀ ▀  ▀█    ▀        ▄▀ ▀▄▀██▄   ▀ █                                                      ▄ ▄▄██▄██▄▄ ▀      ▀             ▄             ▀      ▀      █▄ ▄    ▀     ▄▄
██████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▀▄▄▀▀▄▀▄▀▄▄▀▄█▀▄▀█▄▀▄▀▄▀ █▀▄▀▄▄▀▀▄▄▀▄█▄▀▄▀▀▄▄▀▄▀ █ ▀▄▀▄ ▀▄▄▀▀▄▄ ▀▄▄▄ ▄▄ ▄▀▄▀ ▄▀▄ ▀▀▄ ▀ ▀█▄ ▀█  █ ▀▀ █ ▄ ▀ ▀ ▄▀▀ ▄▀█ ▀ ▄▀▀ ▀▀ ▄▀ █ ▄ ▀ ▄▀ ▄▄▀▀▄ ▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▀▄ ▄ █ ▀   ▄ ▀     ▄▀▄▄█▄██▀▀ ▀   ▀▄                                                       ▀▀█▀▀██████▄                   ▄▀     ▄                     ▀     ██      ▀
████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▄▀▄▄▀▄▄▀█▀▄▀▀▄▀▄▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▄▀▄▀▀▄█ ▀▄▀▄▄▀▄▀▀▄▀▄▀▄▄ ▀▄▄  ▀▄ ▀▄▄  ▀▀█▄▀▄▀ ▄▄ █ ▀▄█  █▄▄▀ █ ▀ █ ▄▀█  █ ▀▄▀ ▀▀▄ ▄▀  ▄ ▀ █ ▀▀ ▄▄▄ █ ▀ ▄▄▀▄▀ ▀▀▄▄▄▀▀▀█▄▀▄▀▄▄▀█    ▀▄        ▄▄▄███▀█ █ ▀ ▀ ▀                                                              █▀████▄▄                 ▄       ▀            ▀▄     ▄      ▄▀    ▄█▄▀
█████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▀█▄▄█▀▄█▀▀█▀▄▄▀▀▄▀▄ █▄█ ▀▄▀▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▄▀▄▀▄▀█ ▄ ▄▀▄▀▄ ▄▀▀▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▀▄▄▀▄▀ ▄▀▄▄  ▄▀▄▀▄▀▀ ▄▄ ▄▄▀▀ ▄▄▀ ▄▀▀▄ ▀▀ ▄▄ ▀▄▄ ▀▄▄ ▄ ▀▀ ▄ ▀▄ ▀ ▄▀ ▄ ▄ ▄▄▀▀ █ ▄█▀▄ ▀▄▀▄▀▄          ▄█        ▀▀▀▀▀▄██▄ ▀▀ ▀  ▄                                                                ▀█ █▄███▄                     ▀      ▄█             ▄      ▀▀    ▄ ▀  ▄  █
████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▄█▀▄█▀█ ▀█▄▀▄█▄▀▀▄█ ▀▄▀▀▄▀▄▀▄▄▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▀ ▀▄▀▄ █ ▄▀▄▄▀▄▄▀ ▄▀▄▀▀▄▀ ▄▄▀ ▄▀▄▀▄▄▀ ▀ ▄▀▄▀ ▀▄▄▀ ▄ ▄▄▄▀ ▀▀ ▄▄ ▀▄▄ ▀▀ ▄ ▄▄▄▄ ▀▀ ▀▄▀ ▄ ▀ ▄ ▀▀ ▀▀ ▀▄▀▄▄ ▄ █▀▀▄ ▀       ▄ █▀▀        █ ▀█▄▀▀█▄  ▄ ▀ ▄█                                                                 ▀ ▀▀█▀███▄                           ▄    ▄ ▄      ▀      █             ▄▀
█████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████ ▄█▀▄█▀▄█▀▄▀▄▀▀▀▀▄▀▀ █▄▄█▀▄▄▀▄▀▄▄▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▀▄▀▄▄ ▄▀▀▄▀▄▄▀▄▀ ▄▀▄ ▀▄▀▄▀ █ ▄▀▄ ▀▄▀▀▄▄▀ ▄ █ ▄ █ ▀▀  ▄ █ ▀▄  ▀▄ █  █ ▄▀  ▄▄ ▄▄▀▀▀  ▀▀▄▀▀▀ ▀▄▄▀▄█▀▀▀▀▄▀         ▄▄▄▀▄▀         █▄▄█▄▄▄▄▄▀ ▀   █ ▀  ▀                                                                 ▀▀██▀█▀███▄   ▀      ▀                   ▄▄▀     ▀     ▄▄     ▀▄     ▄▀▀
█████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▄█▀▄▀▀▄▀▄▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▀▄▄▀█▀ █▄▀▄▀▀▄▄▀▀▄▄▀▄▀▄█▄▀█ ▀▄▄▀▀▄█▀▀ ▄▀▄▄▄▀▀█▄ █▀ ▄▀▄▄▄▀▄█ ▀ ▀▀▄ █ ▀ ▀▀▀▀ ▄▀ ▀▀▄ ▀▄ █ ▄▀▄▄▀ ▀ ▄▄ ▄▀▄▀ ▄▄  █▄▀▀▀  ▄▄▀▄▀▄▄▀         ▀▄  ▀▀ ▄▀▀▀ ▀        █▀█ ▀▀▀▀█▄▀ ▄  ▀▄▀▄                                                                         █████████       ▄                           █      ▄      █      ▀▄▀
████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▄█▀▄▀█▀▀█▀▄█▀▄█▀▀▄█▀█▄▄█▀▄▀▄▄█▀▄▀▄▄▀█▀▄▀▄▀ ▄ ▀▀█▀▄ █▄▀▄▀█▄▄█▀▀▄▀▄▀▄ █▄█ ▀▄▀▄▀▄ ▄ █ ▀▄▄ ▄▄▀▄▄▀▄ ▀▄▀▀ ▄▄ ▀▄ ▀  ▀ ▄▄▀▀▄▀▄ ▄▄▀▄▀▀ ▀  ▄ ▄█▄▄ ▀  ▄  ▄ ▀    ▄▄  ▄▀▄▀▄ ▀          ▄▀ ▄▀▄█▀▀█▄▀▄▀▀   ▄ ▀                                                                           ▀▄█▄████▄    ▀      ▄       ▄     ▄ ▀    ▀▀ ▀  ▄▀      ▀▄     ▄▀
█████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▄▀█▄▀▀▄▄█▀▄▄█▀▄▀▄▀▄▄▀▄▀▄▄▀▄▄▀▄▀▄▀▄█▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀█▀▄▀▄ █ ▀▄█ ▀▄▀▄▀▄▄▀▄ ▀█▄ ▀▄▀▄▄ ▀▄▀ ▀▀ ▀▄▀ ▄▄▀▄ ▄▄▄ ▄ █  ▀▄ █▀▄▀█ ▀  ▄ ▀▄ ▀▀▀   ▄ ▄▄▄▀▀▀  ▄ ▄    ▄▄ ▄▀ █▄▄▄▀▄█            ▄ █▄▄▀▄▀█▄▀▀▄▀▄        █▀▀                                                                          ▀ █▀█▄██████▄      ▀▀▄     ▀       ▀            ▀█▀  ▄ ▀     ▄▀▄▀
██████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▀██ █▄█▄█▀▀▄▄▀ ██ █▀▄▀▄▄▀██▄▀▄▄▀▄▀▄▀▀▄▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▀ ▄▄▄▀▄▀▀▄ ▀▀▄▀ ▀▄▀▀▀ ▄▀▄█ ▀▀█▄▀▄▀▄▀█ █  █▀▄ ▄ ▄ ▄ ▄▄▄▄▀▄▀ ▀▄ ▄▀▄ ▄▄▄█▀▀ █▀ ▄ ▀█▀ ▀  ▄▄ ▀ ▀ ▄ █  ▄▄▄▄▄▀▄▄▀ █           ▄▄█▀  ▀▄▄█▀▄██  █        ▄ ▀                                                                             █▄█▄█▀██████▄           ▀▄      ▀      ▀           ▀▀█▀   ▄ ▄
██████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▀██▄▄█ █▄█ █▀█▀█▄▀▀█▄▀▄▀▄█▄▀▀▄▀▄▀█▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▀▄▀ ▀▄▄▀▀▄▀▄▀▄▄▀▀▄▀ ▀▄█ ▄▀▄▀▄▀▀▄▀▄ ▀▄ █  █▄ ▀ ▄▀▄▀▄▀ ▄▀ ▄▄▀▄ ▀ ▀ ▀▀    ▀▀█ ▀ ▀▀ ▀  ▀▄  ▄ ▄▀ ▄▄█▄▀█▄▀▄▀▀▄▄            ▄▄█▀  ▀ ▄ █▀██ ▀   ▄     █ ▀ ▀                                                                              ▀▀██▄████████▄                       ▄      ▀       ▄ ▀ ▀▄▀▄
███████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▀▀█▄▄▀█▄▄█▀▄▄█▄ ██ ▄█▀▄▀▄▄▀█▄▄▀█▄▀▄▀█▀▄▀▄▄▀▄██▀▄▀▀█▄▀▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▀▀▄▄▀▄▀▄▀ █▀▄ ▀▀▄ ▀ █ ▀▄▀▀ ▄▀█▄▄▀ ▄ █ ▀█▄▄  ▀▀▀ ▄▄▄█ ▀▄█ ▀ ▀  ▀▄  ▄ ▀▄ ▄▄█▀▀█▄█ ▀▄▀▀▄ ▄ ▄          ████▀▄▀▀ ██▄▀▄▄▀▄▄▄█▀█  ▄ ▄▄ ▀ ▀                                                                                ▀ ▄██▀████████▄▄            ▀▀      ▄      ▀      ▀     ▀█▀ ▀▀
█████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▄███▀█▄▄▀█▄▄█▀▀▄▄█▄▄▄█▀▄▀█ ▀█▄▀█ ▀▄█▀▄▀▄▄▀▄▀▄█ ▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▄▄▄▀▄▀▄▀▀▄▀▄▄▀ ▄▀▄▄▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▄▄▀▄▄▀▀▀▀  █▄▄▄██ ▀ ▀▀ ▄▄█▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▀   ▄▀▀▄  ▀ ▄▀▄▄▀▀█▄▀▀█▄▀ ▄▄▀▄ ▀     ▄     ▄██████▄██▀▄ ▀█▄▄▄▄▀█    ▄ ▄ █ ▄█  ▀                                                                                    ▄█▀██████████                  ▄▄     ▀      ▀      ▄▀  ▄
█████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▀█▄▄█▄██▀▄▀█▄▄██▄ ██ ▄▀▀▄█▀▄█▀▄▀█▄▀▄▄▀██▄▀▄█ ▄▀▀▄▀▄▀▄▀ ▄▀▄▀▄▀ █▄▀█▄▄▀▄▀▄▄█ ▀ █▄▄▀▀▀▀▄▄▄▄▄█▀█ ▀ ▀  ▄▄█▀ ▄ ▀ ▀  ▄ ▄ ▀▀▀▄  ▀▄▀▄█▀▄█▀▄▀▀▄ ▀▀ ▀▄▄ ▄   ▄  ▀▀  ▄▄████████████▄██▀██▄▄▀█▄ ▄▀▄ ▀▄ ▀▄▀▄                                                                                      ▀ ▀▀▄█▄█████████▄▄         ▄     ▀             ▀     ▀▀
███████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▀███▀██▄█▀█▄▄ █▄▀█▀▀██▄▄█▀▄█▀▀▄█▀█▄▀▀▄▀▄▀ █▄▀█▀▄▀▄▀▀█▀▄█▄▄█▄▄▄▀▄▀▀▄▄█▄▀█▄█▀▄▀▄█▄▀▀▀▀▀ ▀ ▄ ▄ █ ▀▀▀ ▄ █ ▀▀ ▄  ▀▀ ▀▄▄▄▄█▀█▀▄█▄▄▀▀▄▀ ▀▀ ▄ ▄▀ ▀ ▄ ▄▀▀▄▄▄▄█████████████████▄█████▀█▄▄▄▀ ▄▄▄▄▄▀▄▄  ▀                                                                                        ▀████▄█████████                     ▀            ▀     ▀
████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▀███▄██████▄▀██▀██▄█▀██▀▄██ █▄█▄▄█▀▄ █▄█▀█▄██▀▄█▀▀▄█▄█▄█▄▀▄██ █▀█▀▀██▀▄▄█▀█ █▄▄▀▀▄▀▀ ▄▄  ▀  ▀▀  ▀ ▀▀▄ ▄ ▄▀▀ ▄▀█▄▄▀▄█▀▄▀▄▄▀▄▀ ▄▀▄█  █ ▄ ▀▀ █▄ ████▄████████████████████████▄█▄█▄█ ▀ ▄▀▀ ▀  ▄ ▀ ▀▀                                                                                        ▀█▀███▀█████████▄           ▄             ▄▀     ▀
██████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▄█▄████▄███▄█▀█▀██▄████▀█▀█▀█▄███▄█▀█▀▀▄█▄▀█▄██▀▄██ █▀█▄▀█▄█▀█▀▀█▄ ██ █▀█ █ ▀ █ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▄ ▄  ▀▄ ▄▄▄▀ █▀█▀▀▀▀▄▀▄▀ ▄▀▄ ▀▀▄ ▀▀  ▄ ▄█▄█▄█████████████████████████████████▀▀██▄▀ ▄▄ ▀▄ ▄▄▀▄▀▄▄ ▄                                                                                            █▀▀█▀█████████    ▀                    ▄      ▄     █
██████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▀██▀██▄█▀▄█▄█▄█▄███▀▄█▄▄█▀█▄█▄▀██▀▄▄█▄▀▄█▀█████▀█▀█▄█ ▀█▀▀▀▄█▀▀▄▀▄ ▄▄▀▀▀▀▀ ▀ ▄▀ ▄  ▄▄  ▀▀ ▄▀▄█▀██▀█▀▀█▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▄▀▀ ▀▀▄ █ ▄ ▀▄▄█▄████████████████████████████████████████▀██▀ ▀▀ ▀▀  ▄▄ ▄▀▄                                                                                              █▄▄█▀█▀██████████▄  ▄      ▄             ▀     ▀     ▄
██████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▄█▀▀▀▄█ ▄▄█▀██▀██▀██▄▀▀█▀█▄▀▀▄▀█▀█▀█▄███▄██▄█▄█▀██▀█▄▀▀▄▄▄▄▀▀▀▀▄█ ▄ ▀▄▄▀▀ ▀▀▄▀▀▄▄▀▀ ▄▄▀▄█▀▄█▀▀▀▄▀▄▀ ▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▀▄▀ █▄▀█ ██▄▄█▄██████████████████████████████████████████████▄██▄  ▀▀     ▀ ▀▀▄                                                                                                 ███▄██████████▄█             ▄                   ▀▄
██████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▄▄▀▄ ▀ ▄▀▄▀▀▄▀▀ ▄▀█ ▀ ▄▀ ▀▄  ▀█▀▄█▀▀▄▀█ █▄ ██ ▀▀▀▄▀ ▄▀ ▄▀ ▄▄ ▀▀ ▄▀ ▄ █▄▄ █▄▄▄█▀██▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▄▀▄▀▀▄▄▀▄▀▄▀▀▄▀▄▄██▄████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▀██  ▀      ▀▀ ▄▄ ▄▄ ▀ ▀                                                                                          ▄▀ ▀█▀███████▀█▄█              ▀                  ▄
█████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▄▄█▄▀ ▄█ ▀ ▀▄█ ▀▄▄ ▀▄ ▀▀▄▄▀ ▀▀ ▀▄▄▀ █▄▀ ▄▄ ▀▄ ▀▀ ▄▀▄▀▀▄█▄▀█▀██▀█▄▀█▀▄▀▄▀█ ▄▀▀▀▄▄▀▄▀▀▄█▄█▄██▄████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▀██ █▄     ▄▄▄▄█▀▀▄▀▄▄▀                                                                                              ▀▄▀ ███▀█▄██▄██▄                   ▄▀
████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▄██▄▄█████▄█▄█▄██▄▄▄█▄▄█▄▄█▄▄▄█▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄█ █▄▄▄██▀██▀█▀█▀▄██▀▄▀█▄▄▀▀▀▀▄▀▄▀ ▄▀▀▄▀▄▄▄▄███████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▄ ▄▄█▀█▀▀  ▄▄ ▀▄ ▄ █▄    ▄                                                                                    ▄██▀███▄███████▄█▄▄           ▀             ▀▄    ▄
█████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▀█▄██▄██▀██████████████████████████████▀███▀█▄██▄▀█▀▀█▄▄▀▄▀▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▄▀ █████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▄██▀▀▄█▄▄▀▀▄▄▄▄▄▀▄▄▀▄▀▀▄ ▀                                                                                      █▀▄███████████▀█▄▄                 ▄            ▄
██████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████ ██▄▀██▀██████▀█████████▀████▄████▄██▄█▀▀▄▀█▄▀▄▀▄▀▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄█▄█████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████ ▄▀▄▄▄▀▄▀█▄▀██▄█▀▄▀▄▀▄▀█  ▄                                                                                       █▀█▀███████████                 ▄       ▄     ▄
████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▀█▄█ █▄██▄███▀██▄██▀▄██▄███▄▀█▀▄▀█▀▄▀▄▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀███▄█▄████▄███████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▄█▀▀▀▀▀▀▄▀▀▄▀▄█ ▀ ▀▄█ ▄   ▀                                                                                      ▀ ▄█▀█▀███▀█▄███ █              ▀       ▄
██████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▀███▄▀ ██▄ █▄██▄█▀█▄▀█▀█▄▀▀▄█▀▀▄▄▀█▀▄▀█▄███████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▄▄▀█▄▄█▀▄▀▄▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▄▄ █ ▀▄▀                                                                                      ▄ ██████▄▀██████▀▄▀     ▀              ▀▄     ▄
█████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▄▄▀█▀▀▄▄█▄▄▄▄█▀▀█▄▀▀▄▄▀▀▄█▀▀▄█▀████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▄█▄██ █▄▀▄▀▄▄▀ ██ ▀▄▀▀▄██▀ ▄▀                                                                                   ▀  ██▄██▀███████▄█▄█      ▄      ▀
█████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▀█▀█ ▄██▄ █▄▀▄█▀▄▄█▀▄▄████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▄███▄█▄█ █▀█▀▄▀█▄▀▄█ ▀▀▀▀▀                                                                                     ▀ ▄███▀█▀█████▀█▀▀      ▀      ▄      ▄      ▀
████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▄███▄█▄████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▄██▄██▀█▀█▀████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▄███▄▀▀▄▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▄▀ ▀▀ ▄▄▀                                                                                      █▄▄████████████     ▀▀       ▀      ▀
█████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▀███▄▀████▀█████████████████████████████████████████████████████▀█ ▄▀▄▀▄▀█▄▄█▀  ▄▀█▄█▀▀▄  ▀                                                                                     █▀█████████▄█▀█     ▄      ▀█       █
████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▀███████████████▄█▀███▀████▄████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▄███▄▀█ ▄▄█▄▀▄█▄▄▄█▄▄▀█ ▄▀▄                                                                                     ▄▀█▄█████████████   ▄               █      ▀
████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▀████▄██████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▀█▀▀▀▄▄▀█▀▀▀ ▀▀ ▀▀▀▀▄ ▀▀                                                                                          ▄██████████▄▄███          ▀        ▀     █
███████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▄█████▀▀█▀██▄██▄██████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▄███▄▄█▄ █▄▄▄ ▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▀ ▀                                                                                       █▀▀█▄████████▄█▄ ▀▄      ▀
█████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▄▀█▀█ █▀█▄█▄▀█▄█▄▀▀█████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▀█▀▄█▄█▄█████▄ █ █                                                                                             ▀█▄████████▄███                ▀       ▄
███████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▄█▀▀▄█▀▄▀▀▄▄▀▀▄█ ▀██▀▀██████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▀████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▀██▀▀█▀ ▄ ▄███▀█▀█▄▀▄▀ ▀ ▀                                                                                     ▀▄  ▀▀█▀███████▀██▀██▄              ▀      ▄
██████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▀█▀▄▀█▀▄▀██▀▄▀▀▄▀█▀█▀████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▀█▄▄▀█▀▄▀ ▄  ▀ ▀▀▄▀ ▄                                                                                           ▀▀███████████▄█▄█       ██
███████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▄▀▄▄█▀▀▄██▄▀▄▀▄▀▀▀▄▀▀▄█▀▀██████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▀██████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▄█▄█▀█ █▀ ▀ ▀       ▄ ▀                                                                                              ██████████████▀              ▀      ▄▄
███████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████ █▀█▄▀▄▀▄ ▀▀▄▀▄▄▀▀▄▄▀▄▀▀████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▀█▄███████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▄▄▀▄▀▀██▄▄█▄▄███▄▀█▀▄ ▄                                                                                               ▀▄███████▄███               ▀      ▀▄
█████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▀▄▀▀▄█▀▄█▄▀▀▄▀▄▄▀▄▀▀▄▀▄▄▀▀██████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▀▀█▀██▄██████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▄██▄█▄▄  ▀▀▀▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀                                                                                                ██▄██████████▄     ▀
█████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▄██▀█▄█▀▄▄▀▀▄▀▀▀▄▀▄▄▀▄▀▄▀█▀▄▀█▄█████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▀█▀█▄▄▀▄▀▀▄▀▄▄   ▄                                                                                                 ▀ ▄▄█████████████     ▀                ▀
██████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▀█▄▄█▀▄▀▀▄▀▄▄▀▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▄▀▄▀▀▄▀███████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▀████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▄▄▀▄▀▄ █▀▄▀▄▄▄▄                                                                                                     ▀█▀███████████▄    ▀▀      ▄       ▀
████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▄▄█▀█▄ █▄█▀▄▀▄█▀▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▄▀▄▀█▀▀███████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▄██▀█████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▀▀▄▄▀                                                                                                            █  █ ████████████▄     ▀      █        ▄
██████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▀▀▀▀█▄▄▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▀▀▀▀▄▀ ▀▄▀▄▀▄▀██▄▄██████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▄██████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▄▀▄▀ ▀                                                                                                             ▀██████████████    ▄       ▄       ▀
██████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▄█▀▄▀▄▀▄█ ▀▄ ▀▄▀▄▀▀▄▄▀▄▀▄▀▀▄▀▄ ████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▄█████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▄█▄▀▄ ▀▀▄                                                                                                            ▀▀▀██████████▄            ▄        ▀
████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▀ ████████████▄▀▄▀▄ ▀▄▀ ▄▀ ▄▀▄▄▀▀▄▄▀▀ ▀▄▀▄▀▄▀██▄████████████████████████████████████▀██████████████████████████████████▀██████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▀▄▀▀                                                                                                               ▄▀███████████▀  ▀▄       ▀▀
██████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▀   ██████████▀▄ ▄▀ ▄▄▄ ▀▀▀ █ ▄ ▀▄▀▄ ▀▄▀▀▄▄▀▀▄▄██▄████████████████████████████████▄███████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▀█▄▄▀  ▄                                                                                                            ▄  ███████████ ▀ ▀▀       ▄▄     ▄ ▀
██████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████    █████████▀▄▀ ▄▄ ▄  ▄ ▄ ▄ ▄█  ▄ ▄▀ ▀ ▄  ▀▄▀▄▄█████████████████████████████████████▀ ██████████████████████████████████▀████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▄█▄▀█ ▄▀                                                                                                     ▄       ▀ ▀██████████   ▄▀       ▀       ▀▄
████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████    ▄▄█████████ ▀  ▄▄  ▀▀    ▀    ▀  ▄ ▄▀▀ ▀ █▄▀█▄█████████████████████████▄███▀███▀▀█▄██████████████████████████████████████▄█████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▀█▄▄                                                                                                               ▀█▄█████████ ▄▄         ▄       ▄▀
███████████████████████████████████████████████████████████ ▀   ▀█████████▄ ▄ ▀  ▄▀  ▄ ▀  ▀ ▄ ▀  ▄ ▄▀ ▀  ▀▀▄▀████████████████████████████▀▄█▀████▄▄█████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▄▀▀█▄█▄▄▄                                                                                                 ▀    ▄▄  ▄  ▄▀▀█████████  █        ▀        ▄
██████████████████████████████████████████████████████████      ▄███████▄ ▀▀▀  ▀  ▀    ▄▀ ▄    ▄ ▀   ▄ █ ▄▀▄▄▀█████████████████████████████▀███▄█▄████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▀██▄▄▄█ ▄▄                                                                                                 ▄      █▀████████████▄ ▄       ▀▄▀      ▀▄
███████████████████████████████████████████████████████▀         ███████▄▀▀    ▄  ▀  ▀   ▀   ▄    ▄   ▀ ▄ ▄▀▀█████████████████████████▀█▄████▀██▄█▄██████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▄███▀ ▀▀    ▀                                                                                               ▀  ▄ ▀▄▀▄█▀██████████▄▀▄▀      ▄        ▀▄
██████████████████████████████████████████████████████        █▄██████▄██  ▀▀     ▄    ▄             ▀▀  ▄ █▀█▄███████████████████████████▀██▄▄██▄▄███████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▀████▀█▀▀██████▀▄██▀█▀ ██▄ ▀                                                                                                 ▀  ▄▀▀▄███████████▀▄▀█   ▀   ▄█      ▄▄▄
█████████████████████████████████████████████████████         ▀█████████▀▄ ▄            ▀           ▀   ▀▀ █▄██████████████████████████▄███▄██▄█▀███▀███████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▄███▄█▄█████▀███▄ █▄ █▀█▄  ▄                                                                                         ▄      ▀  ▄▀██▀███████████ █       █▀   ▀ ▀█▀▄
████████████████████████████████████████████████████ ▀   █  ▄▄█████████ ▀ ▀  ▀   ▀                 ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ █▄████████████████████████████▀██▀██▀█▀███████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▀██████▄████████████▄▄▀▄▀▄█▄                                                                                                     ▀  ▀ ███████████▄▀▄      ▀▀      ▄▀▀▄
██████████████████████████████████████████████████ ▄█ ▄ ██ ▄███████████ ▀                             ▀ ▀▄▀▄██▄████████████████████████▄█▀█████▄████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▄██████████▀▀███████████▀▄    ▄                                                                                                   ▄▄█▄▀██████████▄▄▀▄      █▀▀     ▄▀▀ ▄
█████████████████████████████████████████████████▀ ▄█▄ ▀█▄▄██▀█▄████▄██ ▄                          ▀▀ ▀  ▄▀█▄██████████████████████████▀█▀███▄█████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▄██▄█████████████▀▀ ▄▄▄▀▄  ▄                                                                                            ▀ ▄   ▄▄ ▀▀████████████▄▀     ▄▀▄▀    ▀ ▀█
█████████████████████████████████████▀██████████▀  ██▄ ▀█▄▀███▄█▄█▀██▄ ▄   ▀                         ▄ ▀ ▀▀▄▀█▄████████▀███████▄███▄██▀█▀█████▄████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▀▀█▀████████████████▄█▄█▄▀▄▀█▄                                                                                             ▄   ▄  ▄ ██▄███████████▀█▄ ▄   ▄█▀▄  ▄  ▀█▄ ▄
█████████████████████████████████████████▄▀▀▀█▀██ ▄▀█▄▄▄▄████▄▄████▄▀▄                           ▀    ▀▀▀▄▄▀███████████▄▀██████████████▀██▀██████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▄█████▄███████████████▀▀▄▀   ▄                                                                                           ▄      ▀ ▄▀██████████████ ▄ ▀  █▀▄ ▄   ▀█▄▀▄
█████████████████████████████████████▀     ▄  ▀▀█  ████▄▀▄██▀████▀▀▄▀▄▄                              ▀ ▀▄▀ ██▄████████████████████████████▀█▄███████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▀▄▀▄▄▀▄▀                                                                                             ▀   ▄ ▀ ▄ ▄▀██████████████▀▄ ▄ █▀█ ▄ ▄  ██▄ ▀ ▀
██████████████████████████████████           ▀     ▀     ██▄████▄▀▀▄ ▄                              ▄   ▄▀▀▄▀███████▀██▀███▀▄██▀█████▀███▀▀█████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▀██████████████████▄███▀▄▀                                                                                             ▀         ▄  ▄██████████████▄▄ ▄▀██▄    ▄▄█▄  ▀ ▀
███████████████████████████▀▀  ▄▀   ▄            ▄       ▄██████▀▀▄▀▄▀▀                              ▄ ▀▀█▄▄ ██▄▀██▄██▀█▄█▀▀█ ███▄▀████████▀█████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▄████▀▀▀▄▀▀▀█▄██████████████▀ ▀                                                                                                ▀   ▀  ▄ ▄▀▀ █▀███████████▀▀ ▄▀████▄▀▄▀ ▀▀█▄ ▀
█████████████████████████ ▄▀  ▄   ▄      ▄▀     ▄     ▄▀▀▀███████▄▄▀▄▄▀                            ▀  ▀  █ █▄▀▄██▀██▀█▀███▄██▀▄█▀▄█▄▄██▀▀█▀▀▄██▄█████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▄▄██▄████▄█████████▀▄                                                                                              ▄    ▄ ▄▀  ▀▄ ▀ ▀████████████▄▄▀▄ █▄█▄▀▄▀▀▀▄▀█▄▄ ▄ ▀
█████████████▀█▀██▀█▀▀▀▀  █▄███▄▄█▄            ▀     ▄▀   ██████▀▀█ ▀                               ▄    ▄█▀▄▀▄██▄█▀▀█▄▀▄██ ▄█████▀▀▄▄█▀▀▄█▀▄█▀▄▄▀█▀█▀████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▄▄▄▄▄▀▀██▀████ ███████▀  ▀                                                                                              ▄ ▄    ▄ ▄ █ ▄▄▄▀█████████▄█ ▄ ▀▄█▀▄█ ▄ ▀██▀▀▄▀▄▀█
▀▄ ▀▄ ▀ ▄ ▄  ▀▄   ▀ ▄  ▄▄████████▀██▄ ▄▄▀           ▄     █████▄▀▀ ▄                                  ▀ ▄ █▀▄█▀▀▀██▄██▀▄███▄██▀█▄█▄█▀▄▄▄▄▄█▄ █▄██▀▀█▀▀▄████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▀█▀█▄██████▄███████▀ ▄▀█                                                                                                    ▀▀  ▀ ▄ ▀▄▀▄▀████████▄ ▀ ▄▀▀█▀▀ ▄▀ ▄▄█▄ ▀▄  █
█ ▄ ▀▄ ▀ █ ▄▄▀▀  ▀▀ ▄▀ ▀██▄█████████████▄▄ ▄▄▄      ▀    ▄▄█▀█████ █     ▄                             ▀ ▄ ▀▀▄▄██▀▄███▀▄█▄█▀█▄▄▀▀▄▀█▀█▀█▄ ▀▄█▀▄▄▄▄██▀██▄███▀████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▄█▀██▄██████████▄▀▄▀                                                                                                ▄    ▄ ▀ ▀ ▄▄ █ ▄▀██████████▀▄█  ██▀▄ ▀   ▀██  ▀  ▄▀
 ▀ ▄▄▄▀ ▄  ▀ ▀ ▀█  ▀▄  ▀ ▀    ▄ ▀ ▄██▀▀▀███▀██▄   ▄██   ▄ ▄██▀███▀▄ ▀ ▀      ▀                      ▀  ▄▀ ▀ ▀▄▀▄██▄▄▀█ ██▄▀▀▀████▄█▄▄▄▀▀▀▀█▀▄█▀▀▀██▀█▀██▀███████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▀██▄█▀██████████▄▄▄                                                                                            ▄           ▀▄▀▀▄▀▄ ▀ █▄███████▀█▄▀▄▀ █▄█▄ ▄  ▄▀▄▀▄  ▀ ▀█
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█ ▀ ▄▄▀  ▀▄ ▄ ▄  ▄ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▄▄ ▄  ▀ ▀▄                 ▄      ████████    ▀                             ▄   ▀ ▄▄▀▄███▀▀█▄█▀█▀███▀▀▄▄█▄███▄▄█████▄▀▄▀▄█▀▀█▀██▄██████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▄██████████████████▀▄█▀▀███▀█▀█▄████                                                                                              ▀  ▀  ▄     ▀▀ ▄▄▀▀▀▀███▄████████▄ ▄ ▄▄▄▀▄ ▄ ▄ █ █▀  ▀ ▀█▄
 ▄ ▀▄ ▀▀ ▄ █ ▄ ▄▄ ▄▀ ▄ █ ▀▄ ▀  ▀  ▀ ▀  ▀               ▀ ▀▀████████  ▄   ▀  ▀                         ▄  █ ▀█ ███▄███▄▀█▄▄▀████▀█ ▄▄██▀▀▄▀█▄▀ ▄██▄▄███████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▄███▀██████████████▄█▀▀█▄▄███▄▄▀ ████▀▄                                                                                              ▄▄  ▄▀  ▀  ▀  ▀ ▀▄▄ ▀██████████▄█▀▀▄▄█▄▀▄ ▀ ▀▀█▄▀ ▄▀  ▄█▀
▄ ▄▀▀ ▄▄▄▀ ▄▀▄▀ ▀ ▀  ▄ ▄▀ ▄  ▄       ▄                   █▄▄▀▄████▀     ▄                            ▀▄▄█▄▀█▄▀▄█▀██▀█▀▀██▄▀▄▀ █▄▄██ ▄█▀██▀▄▀█▄▄▄█▀▀█████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▄████████████████▄█▄▀███▄██▄█▄▄▀███                                                                                              ▀      ▄   ▀ ▄  ▀ █ █▄▀▄█████▄██▄▀▄   ▀ ▀▄    ▀▄▀▄█  ▀ ▀▄▀▄
▄▀▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▄▀▄  ▀▀  ▄ ▄ ▀▄ ▀        ▀ ▀    ▄                ▀▀▀███                                  ▄ ▀▀▄▀▄▀  ███▀▄█████▄█▄▄█ ██▀▀█ ██▀▀██▄▄▄▄▀███▄▄█████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▄██▄▄█████████████▀█▀█ ████▄▄██▄█▀████▀▀                                                                                               ▀▀  ▀▀  ▄▀  ▀▀ ▀▄▀██▀█████████       ▄▀      ▄▀▄      ▄█
 ▀ ▀▀ ▀▀ ▄▄  ▀ ▀▀  ▀▀ ▄   ▀ ▀ ▀▀▀     ▀  ▄                 ▄  █▀                                     █▄ ▀▄▄▀ █▄████▀█▄█████▄█▀▀███▀█▀██▄██▀██▀██▄██▄██████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▀▀▀██████████████▄█▀█▄▄▀███████▀█▀█▀                                                                                                     ▄▄  ▄ ▄ ▀▄▀▄▀▄█▀████████▄  ▄   █▀▀     ▀▄▀▀     ▄▄▄ ▄
▄▀▀ ▀ ▄▄ ▀▀ ▄  ▀▀  ▄▄ ▀   ▄ ▄ ▄ ▄         ▄                ▄▄██                                    ▄▄▄ ▀█▀▀████████████▄▀▄█▄█▄▄█▀▄▄▀▀██▀▀█▄████▀█▄██████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▄████████████████▀▄█▀████▄███▄███                                                                                                   ▀   ▀   █ ▄ ▀▄█▀▄▀██████▄███▄▀▄▀ ███▄     ▄▀ ▄   ▄ ▀▀▀
▄▄ ▀▄▀▄ ▀▀ ▄▄▄▀  ▀▄▄ ▄▄ █ ▀  ▀ ▀  ▀                                                               ▀  ▄▀▄█▀▄▄███▄███████▄███████▄▀██▀▀▄█▀▀████▄█████▀████▀██████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▀▀████████████████████████▀██████▄                                                                                               ▀     ▄ ▀▀ ▀ ▄▄▀▄▀█▄▀█████▀█▀████▄▄▀▀████▀▄▄█▄██▀ ▄  ▄███ ▄
 ▀ ▄▀  ▀▄ ▀  ▀▄  ▀    ▄       ▄  ▄ ▄▄   ▀   ▄                                                     ▀ ▀▄▄ ██████████████████████████▀▀███▄▄▄████▄███████████████████████████████████████████████████████▄███████████████████████████▄███████████▄█▄██▄                                                                                          ▄       ▄ ▀  ▄ ▀▀ ▄▀▄▄▀█▄█▄█████ ▀▀▀▄    ▀▀█▀█▀▀ ▀▄▀█▄ ▄ ▄ █▀██ ▄▀
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█ ▀  ▀    ▀ ▀ ▄  ▄  ▀  ▀ ▄▄  ▄ ▀▀  ▀ ▄   ▀                                                       ▀▄  ▄▀▀████████████████████▄▄▄███▄█▄██▄██████████████████▀████████████████▄████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▄██▀█▄█▄▄▀                                                                                                  ▀ ▄  ▄ ▄ █ ▄▄▀█▄▄███▄██▀▄▄█▄█      █▄▀      █▀▀▄▄ ▄▀ ██▀▄ ▀▄
 ▀ ▄ ▀▀  ▀▄ ▀ ▄  ▄ ▀▄  ▄ ▄  ▀▄▄     ▄           ▀                                               ▀    ▄▀▄█▀▀████████████████████████████████▄█████████████████▀█████▀▄█████████████████████████▄████████▄███████████████████████████████████▀█▄███                                                                                               ▄   ▀ ▄ ▄▄ ▀▄ ▀▄█▄ ██▄▄███▀█▀▄▀█▀█▀ ▄▄████ ▄▀ ▄███▄ ▀▄ █▄██▀▄ ▀▄
 ▄ ▄▄  ▀▀  ▄ ▀ ▄▄  ▀   ▀ ▄ ▀  ▄ ▄      ▀                               ▀                     ▀        ▀██ ▄███▀███████████████████▄▄▀▄ █▀█▀████████████████████▄██████▀██████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▄▄▀▀▀▀▄                                                                                                ▄     ▄  ▄ █ ▀▀▄█▄▄██▀████▀▀█▄ ▀     ▀▀█▀▀█ ▀████▄█▄█▀▄█████▀▄▀▄
█ ▄  ▀ ▀▀  ▀ ▀     ▄  ▄   ▀ ▀ ▄  ▄   ▄     ▀                     ▄                           ▀         ██ ▄██▀█▀███████████████████████▄▀██▄▄██▀███████████████▀█████▀███▄██████████████████████▀█▀████████████████████████████▀█████▀██▄█▀▄▄█▀                                                                                                   ▀  ▄ ▀ ▄▄ ▀▄▀▄▄▀█▄██▀█ █▄▀█▄▀      ▄▄      ▀█▀██▀████████▄██▄█
   ▀▀  ▀       ▀ ▄      ▀            ▀                          ▄    ▄                  ▀           ▀ ▄█▄▀ ██▄████████████████████▀██▄▀▀▀▄██▄██████▄██████████████████████████████████████████████████████▄██████████████████████▀██▄█▄█▀█▀▄▀▄                                                                               ▄            ▀    ▄▄    ▀▄ ▀ ▄▄▀▄▄▀▄▀█▀███▀████▄       █▀        ▄▄       █▀▀▀▀▀▀██
 ▄    ▄  ▄▀ ▄   ▄  ▄ ▀  ▄   ▄     ▀ ▄      ▄                      ▄   ▄ ▄    ▄          ▀           ▀▀▀  ████▀███▄███████████████▄█▀█▄▄█▀██████▀██████▄█████████████████████████▄██████████████▄█▄██████████████████████████▄█▀████▄██▄▀█ ▄▀                                                                                            ▀   ▄     ▄  ▄▄  ▀▄  █▄▀▀████▄██▀██▄█  ▄   ▀▄▀      ▀▀▀       ▄▀       ▀
 ▄ ▄█ ▄  ▄ █   ▀  ▀ ▄  ▀  ▀ ▄  ▄  ▀    ▀▀     ▀         ▄   ▀ ▀ ▄ ▄ ▀ ▄    ▄▄ ▀▄▀          ▀    ▄  █ ▄▀ █  ▄▀██ ▀▀████████████████████▄▄▀▀▄▀▄▀▀███████████▀████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▀▀▄▄█▄█▀█▄█ █▄ ▀▀                                                                                       ▀ ▄ ▄   ▄   ▀ ▄▄   ▄▄▀▄▀▄ █▀██▀▀███▀█████▄  ▄▄ ▄▄        ▀▄▄       ▄▀       █
  ▀   ▄  ▀  ▀  ▄▀  ▄  ▄  ▄      ▄   ▄        ▄    ▄        ▀ ▄▀ ▄ ▄▄ ▀ █ ▀ ▄ ▄ ▄▀  ▀▀          ▀  ▄ ▀ ▀▀▄ ▀ ▀ ▀▄▄▄█████▀██████████████████▀██████████████████████████████████████████████████▀███████████████████████████████▀▄▀█▄▀██▄▀▄▄▀                                                                                       ▄     ▀▀   ▄  ▄  ▄ █ ▄ ▄▄▀▄▄▀▄█▄████▄█▄███ ▄▀█ ▀▄▄█       ▄▀       ▀█ ▀      ▄▄
 ▀    ▄ ▀ ▀    ▀  ▀  ▀   ▄    ▄      ▄   ▀                    ▄  █▄▀ ▄▀▄▄ ▀▄▄ ▀▄▄ ▀            ▀▄  ▄ ▀▄▄▀ ▀  ▀ ▀▀▀▄███████████████████████▄███████████████████████████████████████████████████████▄████████████████████████▄██▀▀ █▀█▄▀ ▀                                                                           ▀▄              ▀   ▄▄  ▄  ▄  ▀▄ ▄ ▀▄█▀▀█▄▀█▄███████████▀▄ ▄▀▄██▄ ▄▄  ▀▄▄█       ▀▄▀      ▀▀▄
▄  ▀ ▀▄    ▄▀    ▀  ▄  ▄  ▄       ▀   ▄        ▄   ▀           ▀▄ ▄▄▀▄▄ ▀ ▄▀▀▄ ▀  ▀           ▄      ▀  ▄ ▀  ▀ █▄▀▄█ ████████████████████████████████████████████▄███████████████████████████████████▀█████████████████▄█▄█▀▄█▄▀█▀▀▀▀  ▄                                                                     ▀             ▀   ▀ ▄     ▄ ▄  ▀ ▄  ▀ ▄▀▄▀▄▄▀▀▄▀▀█▄████████████▄████▀▀▄▄▀▄▀▀█▀█▀▄ ▄  ▄▀█▀      ▄▀█
▀▄ ▄ ▀  ▀▀   ▀ ▀ ▄▄     ▀      ▀ ▀     ▀ ▀                     ▀ █ ▄ ▀▄▄▀▄▄ █ ▄  ▀   ▄▄▄▄    ▀ ▄ ▀   ▀    ▄▀▄ ▄ ▄▀▀▄▀███▀██████████████████▄▄██████████████████████████████████████████████████▄███▄███████████████████▀█▀█▄▄▀▀█▀█     ▀                                                                   ▀   ▄  ▀    ▄ ▀        ▄ ▀  ▄▀  ▀  ▄ █  █ █▄▀▀▄▄██▄▀████████████████ ▄▀▄▀ ▄▀▄▄▀ ▀▀  ▀ ▀ ▀ █ ▄  ▄  █ ▀
█▄▄         ▄    ▄  ▄  ▄ ▄ ▄ ▄ ▄   ▄  ▄  ▄   ▄  ▄       ▄ ▄   ▄ ▄ ▄▀▀▄▄▄▀▀▄▀▄▀ ▀ ██████   ▄  ▀  ▀ ▀  ▄     ▄▀ ▄▀▀▀▀▄▀███████████████████████ ██▄█▀███████████████████████████████████████▀██████▀███████████████████▄██▄█▀▄▀▄▀▄█ ▀                                                                     ▄     ▄   ▄   ▄     ▄ ▀ ▄▀  ▀▄ ▄ ▄  ▀▀  ▀ ▄▀▄▀▄█▀▀█▄█▄████████████████▀█▀▄▀▄▀▄  ▄  ▄ ▄  ▄▀      ▀   ▄   ▀
 ██▄▄ ▀▄ ▀▀▀▄ ▀ ▀  ▀  ▀    ▀                          ▀          ▀▄ █ ▄  ▀▄▀▀ █ █▀███ ▀▀     ▄ ▄▄  ▄▄ ▄   ▀ ▄  ▀▄ ▀▄▀████ ██████████████████▄██▄██▀████████████████████████████████████▀█████▄█▄▀██▀▄█▄██████████▀█▀▄█ ██ █ █ ▄ ▄                                                                       ▀     ▀   ▀   ▀      ▀  ▄  ▀▄ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▄▀▀ █▄▀▄▀▀▀█▄█████████████████▀█▄█▄▀▄ ▄ ▀  ▀      ▄ ▀    ▄     ▀ ▄
▄ ▀▀▄▄▄▄ ▄    ▄  ▄ ▄▄ ▄ ▄ ▀        ▄       ▄▄ ▄  ▄▄▄ ▄  ▄ ▄ ▀ █  ▀▄▀ ▄▀▀█ ▄ █▄█▀▀█▀▄▀▄▀ ▄  ▄  ▀  ▀  ▀  ▄ ▄   ▄ ▄ ▄▄ ▄▀███▀███████████████████▀████████████████████████████████████████████▄██▄███████▄████████▄███▄██▄█▀▀█▄▀▄▀ ▀                                                                          ▄ ▀ ▄ ▀ ▄ ▄  ▄ ▀   ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀▄  ▀▄ █  █▀▄▀▄▄█▀██▀██████████████████████▄█▀▀▄▀▀ ▀    ██  ▀ ▀  ▄   ▀▄▀  ▄
 ▀▄  ▀███▀ ▀ ▀  ▀▀   ▀▀   ▀  ▀   ▀   ▀  ▀▀  ▀   ▀                  ▄▀▄ ▀ ▄▀▄▀█▀██▄▀▄█ ▀ ▄  ▀  ▄  ▀    ▀ ▀  ▄  ▄▀▄▄ █▀█ ██▀▄█▄███████████████████▄█▀████▄███████████████████▀██████████████████▄█▀████████▀███▄█▀▄█▀█▄▀▀▄▀▄█▀▀▄▀ ▀                                                                          ▄ ▄ ▄  ▄   ▀ ▀  ▀ ▄ ▄ ▀ ▄▀ ▄  ▄▀ ▀▄▀▄█▀▄██▄███████████████████████████▀▀▄ ▄ ▀ ▀▄▀▄ ▀  ▄   ▀▄ ▄ ▀
        █▄                                          ▄     ▄  ▄  ▄ ▄▄ ▄▀ ▄▀█ ▄▀▀▄▄ ▀▄▄  ▄ ▄▀▀▀ ▄ ▀ ▀  ▄▀  ▄ ▄▀ ▀▄ ▀▀▄▀▄ ▀▄▀▄██▀██████▄████████████████████████████████████████▀██████▄██████████████▄███▄██▀███▀██▄█ ▄█▀▄▀▄▀ █    ▄                                                                    ▄  ▀▀  ▀  █ ▄  ▀ ▀▄  ▀ ▀ ▄▄ ▄ ▀▀ ▄▀▀▄▀▀▄█▄█▄▄█████████████████████████▀██▄▀█ ▄▀▀ ▄▄ ▀   ▀  ▀▄ ▀ ▄ ▄ ▀ █  ▀
▄▄▄▄ ▄ ▄████▄▄▄▄ ▄█▀▄▀█▄▀▄█▀█ █▀▀▀▀█▀▀▀▀ ▀ █ ▀▀▀ ▀ ▀▀▀  ▀▀▀  ▀   ▀  ▀ ▀ ▀▀▄▀▀█▄▀▄▀▄▀ ▄ ▀ ▄▀  ▄ ▄▄ ▀  ▄▀ ▀ ▀  ▄ ▀ █ ▄▄▀▄ ▀▀ █▀▄█▀▄██████▀█████████████████████████████████████▄██████████████████████████ █▀█▄▄█▀▀█▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▀█ ▄  ▀                                                                      ▀  ▄ ▄▄  ▄ ▄▄  ▀ ▄▀  ▀▀ ▄ ▀ ▄▄ ▀▀ ▄▀▄▀▀▀██▀███████████████████████████▄█▄▀▄▀▀▄▀▄ ▀ ▄ ▄▀▄ ▄▀▀ ▀▀ ▀ █ ▄▀ ▀ ▀
 ▀   █    ▀██                ▄           ▄                     ▄     ▄▄▀▄▄ ▀▄▀▄█ ▄▄ █ ▀ █  ▀█  ▄ ▄▀  ▄ ▄▀▀ ▄ ▀ ▀▄ ▀  ▀ ▄▄ ▄▀▄▀▄██████████████████████████████▄████████████████████████████████████▄███▀██▄█▀▄█ █▄▀▄▀▀▄▀▄▄▀ ▄▀                                                                            ▀  ▀  ▄▄  ▀▀ ▀  ▄▀  ▀▄▄ ▀▄ ▀▄▄▀ █▀███████████████████████████████▄▀▀▄▀▄   ▄  ▄ ▄▀▄ ▀    ▀ ▄▀ ▄▄ ▀ ▄▀ █
▄  ▀  ▄ ▀  ▄▀█▄   ▄   ▀  ▄▄ ▄       ▀                    ▄  ▄  ▄ █ ▄ ▀▀  ▀▄ █▀▀▄▄ ▀▄▄ ▀▀ ▄ ▄▀ ▄ █  █▄   ▀ ▄ ▄  ▄ ▀ ▄ ▀ ▀▄ ▄▀▄▀▄▀▄██▀█████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████▄▀██▀█ ▀▀▄█▀▄█▀▀▄█▀▀ ▄▀ ▄▄  ▀▄                                                                ▀     ▀ ▀ ▀ ▄ ▄ ▄▄ ▄ ▄▄ ▄▀▄▀  ▀▀ ▀▄▄▀▄▀▄████▄███████████████████████████▀▄▀▀▄█ ▀ ▀  ▀▀    ▀   ▀ ▀█ ▄  ▀ ▄▄▄▀▄▄▀ ▄
▄  ▄▀ ▀ ▄  ▀▀▄█▄▄  ▄ ▄ ▄▄ ▄ ▄ ▄▄▀ █▄▄ ▄▀▄▀▀▄▄▀▀ ▀ ▀▀▀▀ ▀▀  ▀  ▀         ▀ ▀▄ ▄▄▄▀▄ ▀▀ ▄▄ ▄ ▀ █ ▀  ▀  ▀ ▀   █   ▄▄  ▀ ▀▄   ▀▀ ▄▀▄ ▀██▀███▀█▄██████████████████████████████████████▄███████████▄██▀█▀██▀▀██▀█ ▄▀▄▀▀▄▀▄▀▄ █▀▀ ▄▄     ▀                                                          ▄  ▀  ▄▄  ▄ ▄ ▄ ▄ ▀▄ ▀ ▄  ▄▄ ▀▀▀▄▄▀▄▀▄▀▀███████████████████████████████▀▄███ ▀▄ ▄ ▄ ▄    ▄    ▄      ▄ ▀▄▀     ▄ ▄
▀▀▀  ▀▀▀ ▀ ▀▀▀▀▀█ ▀ ▀   ▀                                    ▄    ▄  ▄▄ ▄▄ ▀ ▀▀ ▀▄▀▄ ▄ ▀ █ ▄ ▀▄ ▄ ▄  ▄ ▄▀ ▄ ▄  ▀ ▄▄ ▀  █▄ ▄▄▄ ▄▀█ ▀▄███▄██▀█▄██████████████████████████████████████▀█████████▀▀███▀▀▀▀█▄▄▀▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄█ ▀ ▀ ▄  ▄ ▀▄                                                        ▀   ▀    ▄   ▄  ▀▄ ▄ █  █ ▄ ▀▄ ▀ ▄▀▄▀▀▄▄▀█ ████████████████████████████▀█▄▀▀▀▄ ▀ ▀   ▀  ▄  ▄  ▄▀  ▀▄  █▄ ▄   ▄ █ ▀▄ ▄ ▄
▄▄▄ ▄  ▄▄ ▄  ▄█▄▄▄▄  ▄    ▄ ▄ ▄  ▄▄▄▄▀▄ ▀ ▄▀  ▀▀▄ ▀▄  ▄▀ ▄▀▀▀▄ ▀ ▀▄▀▀▀ ▄ ▄▀ █ ▄▀▄▀▄  ▀█ ▄  ▀▀▀ ▄▄  ▀█  ▄ ▄ ▄▀  ▄  ▄▄▀ ▀   ▄  ▀▀▄▄▀▄ ▀▄▀▄█▄▀▀▄▄███████████████▀████████████████▀████▀▀▀██▀████▀▀█▄▀▀██▀▄▀▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▄ ▄▀▄ ▀▀ ▀ █▀ ▄   ▄   ▀                                                   ▄   ▀▀ ▀ ▀█  █▀▀ ▄▄▄ ▄▄ ▄▄▀▄▀▀▀▄▀▄ █▄▀█▄█████████████████▄██▄██████████▄ ▀ ▄   ▄   ▀     ▀ ▀    ▄   ▀ ▄ ▀ ▀ ▄  ▀  ▀ ▄▀
█▄█▄▀ ▀▀▄▀▄▄ ▄▀██▀▄▀▀▄ ▀ ▄▀ ▀ ▄▀▄▀▀  ▄ ▄ █ ▄▀ ▄▄▄ █  █ ▄▀ ▄▄▄ ▄▀ █ ▄▄▄▀▄▄ █  ▀ ▄ ▀ ▀▀▀ ▄▀ ▄  ▀▀  ▀▄  ▀  ▄ ▀  ▄ ▄  ▀ ▀ ▀  ▄█ ▀ ▄ ▀ ▄▀▄▄▄▀▀█▀██▄▄██▀██▀█████████▄▀██████████████▄█▄█▄██▀█▄█ ▀▄▄█▀▀▀▄█▀▄█▄▀▄▀▀▄▄▀▄▀▀▄▀▄ ▀▄▀▀▀ ▄▀ ▄ ▄ ▀ ▄ ▄                                            ▄     ▀   ▄ ▄▄ █ ▀ ▄ ▄▀▀▄ ▄█ ▀▄▀▄▄▀▄▀▀█ █▄███████▄█████▄███████▄█▄████▄▄█▀▀ ████▄    ▀ ▀              ▀  ▀     ▀  █ ▀▄▄ ▀  ▀
▄█▀▄ ▀▄▀ ▄▀ ▀  ████▄ ▀▀  ▀▀▀▄▀▀  ▀ ▀▀ ▀   ▀  ▀     ▀  ▀ ▀                   ▄  ▄ ▄▀  ▀█  █ ▀ ▀▀ ▀  ▄ █  ▄  ▀▄  ▄▀  ▀ ▄  ▄ ▄  █ ▀█ ▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄█▀▄▀▄ ██████████████ ██████▀▀██▄█▀█▀▄▀█▀▀▄▀▀█▄▀▄▀▀█▀▀▄▀▀▄▀▄▄▀▀ ▄▀▄▀▀▄ ▀█ ▀ ▄▄ ▀▀ ▀ ▄   ▀   ▀    ▀▀                                ▀     ▄▀ ▀ ▀  ▀▄ ▀▄ ▀▄▀▀▄ ▄▄ ▄▀▄▀▀▄▀▄▄▀▀█▄█████▀████▄██▄█▄███████▀█ █▄▀▄▀█ ▀▄▀ ▄ ▀▀██  ▄                     ▄   ▀ ▀   ▀       ▄▀
 ▄▀             ▀█▄                  ▄▄             ▄▄    ▀ ▀ ▄ ▄▀ ▄▄  ▄█ ▀ ▄▀▄▀▄▀▄██▄▀▄▄▀ ▄ ▀ ▄ ▀▀▄ ▄   ▄▀  ▄▄  ▄▄  ▀   ▀▀  ▄ ▀▄ ▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▄▀▀█▄▀ ▀▄▀▀█▄█▀██████████ ▀██▀█▄▄▀▀█▄▀█ ▀▄█▄▄ ▀▄█▀▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▄▀▄ ▀▄▀ ▀▀ ▀▄ ▀▀ ▀▄ ▀  ▀▄ ▄  ▄▀   ▄ ▄   ▀     ▀     ▀  ▀             ▀ ▄▀  ▄ ▀ ▄ ▀▄ ▀▀ ▄▀ ▀▄▀▄▄▀▄▀▄▀▀█▄▄█▀▄████▄█████████████████████▄▀██▀ ▄█ ▀  ▄ ▀   ▀   ████▄    ▀        ▀▀ ▀        ▄   ▄ ▄▄ ▄  ▀ █
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▄▄ ▀       ▄  ▄ ▄ ▄                               ▀    ▄        ▀ ▄ ▀▄ █▀▄▀▄▀▄█▀█▀▄█▄█▄█▀▄▄▀▀▄▄  ▀▄ ▄  ▄▀▄ ▄ ▄   ▄ ▄█ ▀ ▄ ▄  ▄ ▀▀ ▀▀ ▀▄▄▄▀▄ █ ▄▀█ ▄▀██▄██▄▀█▀█▀█ █▄█▀▄▄▀▀▄▀▀▀▄▀▄▀▄▀█▄▀▄▀▀▄ █▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▀▄▀▄ █▄▀▀▄▀▄ ▄ █ ▄▄ ▄▄ ▀ ▄▄   ▀▀  ▀  ▄▀  ▄  ▄ ▄    ▄ ▄ ▄   ▄   ▀ ▀  ▄   ▄  ▀▀    ▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▀▄▀▄▄▀▄▀█▄█████▀█████████████████████████████████▄▀▀▀▄▀▄  ▄  ▀           ▀▀▀█           ▄          ▄▄  ▄ ▄       ▀
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posted by grouse at 9:37 AM on August 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


SYRUPS AT DAWN

Thank god. I keep worrying someone's gonna call me on this villanelles thing.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 9:39 AM on August 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


COBBLER OR...

Crumble or slump or brown Betty or...
posted by rtha at 10:02 AM on August 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


With syrup in here
And icing there
Those pastries are eaten everywhere
Are they leavened?
Are appetites quelled?
Those damned, caloric, baked goods they sell.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 10:20 AM on August 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


"Depends on the tone. It can mean a lot of different things, some of which aren't that bad, but many of which are, at best, patronizing. The bad one is "He's doing the best he can with what he's got, bless his heart" which is not quite "fuck him" but the kind bigotry of lowered expectations. (Notice that in the properly passive-aggressive Southern lady way, it's something you usually say about a third party not present.) On the upside it can mean "that was a nice thing you did" or "how awful what happened to you was". It's multipurpose. I wouldn't use it in a MeTa or other heated internet conversation because it's too likely to be taken for "fuck you"."

My girlfriend's mom says, "That's interesting," for both things she likes and things she doesn't, and it drives me fucking batty because half the time she expects the rest of us to pick up that she's being as close to ironic as her interesting little vocabulary will let her. It just makes her seem generally insincere and untrustworthy when she uses the phrase and I want to grab her by the shoulders and shake her, yelling, "Learn a new fucking word!"
posted by klangklangston at 10:58 AM on August 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


Here's a pretty good recipe for scones.

2 cups all purpose flour
1 level tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp (or less) sugar
5 Tbsp butter, very cold, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup raisins or currants or go wild.
1 cup heavy cream (whipping cream will do).

1. When you decide you are going to do this and have pulled out the ingredients, preheat oven to 425 deg. F.

2. Mix all the dry ingredients except the raisins/currants. Then cut the very cold butter into pea-sized cubes and mix that in. The butter should be really pretty thoroughly mixed in.

3. Pour the cream over the top and mix it all together until it's all mixed together. About 95% of the flour should be sticking to it. Dump the dough onto a very lightly floured surface knead it just enough so that it makes a ball. It will look craggy and that's ok, by which I mean don't go too crazy, too wild.

4. Pat it down until it's a circle about 8 inches in diameter. Cut this up into eight wedges - it's nice if the wedges are all about the same size. Place each scone a couple inches from its neighbor on a greased cookie sheet/baking paper/parchment/sol at and slide it into the oven.

5. Bake for about 15 minutes(check them at 12), or until the tops are light brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Serve with butter and some kind of jam. Maybe some coffee or tea. Try not to gloat.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:50 PM on August 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


It just makes her seem generally insincere and untrustworthy when she uses the phrase and I want to grab her by the shoulders and shake her, yelling, "Learn a new fucking word!"

I have a friend who literally uses the word "literally" in every sentence. It's not that he's even mis-using it, but UGH WE KNOW OK IT WAS LITERALLY LITERAL IN EVERY WAY.
posted by sonika at 1:11 PM on August 13, 2011


My favorite recipe for scones:

1. Pronounce them "scons" no matter the looks you get
2. Have a good friend who lives within walking distance of the Huntington Library in San Marino, CA
3. Walk there
4. Carry on walking right by the ridiculously pricey tea room to the cafe round the back and ask for as many scones as you like, still warm and nicely wrapped up (insist on a ribbon)
5. Walk back
6. Prepare tea (Yorkshire with milk no sugar for me, please)
7. Munch away!
posted by villanelles at dawn at 1:19 PM on August 13, 2011


"I have a friend who literally uses the word "literally" in every sentence. It's not that he's even mis-using it, but UGH WE KNOW OK IT WAS LITERALLY LITERAL IN EVERY WAY."

I've taken to using "figurative" as an intensifier, not least because I think "literally" is lazy.

"It is FIGURATIVELY hotter than the back of my balls in here!"
posted by klangklangston at 1:28 PM on August 13, 2011 [5 favorites]


That's interesting.
posted by koeselitz at 1:29 PM on August 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


How nice!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:44 PM on August 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


I have a friend who literally uses the word "literally" in every sentence. It's not that he's even mis-using it, but UGH WE KNOW OK IT WAS LITERALLY LITERAL IN EVERY WAY.

Are you friends with Chris Traeger? That is literally the best thing I've heard all day.
posted by palomar at 1:58 PM on August 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


(the related videos contain two of my very favorite "i need cheering up" solutions: rob lowe dancing, and rob lowe playing air banjo. you're welcome.)
posted by palomar at 2:06 PM on August 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


That's really special.
posted by Catfry at 3:13 PM on August 13, 2011


I'm going to quote PhoBWanKenobi's whole comment: That question felt really odd to me, but frankly the idea that people can't really deal with the presence of children feels odd to me generally. I grew up going to grown-up social events with my single mom, and I have lots of friends with children. In fact, I always keep some play-doh and a couple of toys and some muppet movies in my home because you never know when there will be a kid around who will need entertaining. That doesn't mean that the discussion is all kid-focused; it just means that if one of the kids needs to take a nap, I'll volunteer my bed for that, and if someone can't socialize without bringing their autistic six-year-old twin sons because they're a broke single parent (as is the case with one of my friends), of course I'll be happy to have them there. I don't want to make my friends feel like pariahs for reproducing, and generally, I view kids as kind of sacred--the whole "it takes a village" kind of attitude, I guess. I find it hard to imagine outright stating they're not welcome.

But I guess it's not a universal attitude.


I quote the whole thing because PhoB's growing up experience is the exact opposite of mine. My entire life I knew there were places parents went without kids. Movies, parties, some restaurants. My parents left us with grandparents, neighbors, babysitters; yes, even when we were infants, they went to dinner without us sometimes. My experience in life is that some places, some events, some parts of life are simply without children. It's not offensive to suggest that you don't bring the kids; it's rude to assume you can. Not because some people don't like children; not because some parents do rude things; not because some people can't be trusted with children. Simply because children are not adults and therefore, they don't always get to participate.

No experience is universal.

I am uncomfortable saying to my friends "I know it makes it harder for you, but my invitation doesn't include your kids" but I do. Not because I can't deal with children--I can. I don't mind holding the bored baby at lunch so her mom can eat. I don't mind playing checkers with someone else's kid so his dad can finish his beer and hilarious anecdote about Carl at work. I sometimes specify "adults only" on my invitations because my expectations are that sometimes adults--even parents--socialize without children. I don't want to offend people, but I am baffled when my invitation to expensive restaurant for dinner at 8:00pm is interpreted to mean "bring the three year old who is past his bedtime." In the world where I grew up, there were lots of invitations that everyone assumed meant "no kids"--cocktail parties, "grown-up" restaurants, anything with a start time with half-an-hour of bedtime.

Sometimes, you just want just adults--even parents are still people.
posted by crush-onastick at 3:54 PM on August 13, 2011 [38 favorites]


i want to favorite crush-onastick's comment so hard.
posted by palomar at 4:11 PM on August 13, 2011


Me too.
posted by cooker girl at 4:39 PM on August 13, 2011


grouse you have no idea how messed up that portrait of oolong was on my phone. It took coming into the thread on my laptop to figure out what it was.

I thought it was like those crazy abstract ASCII pictures that someone used to dump into threads a couple of months ago.
posted by winna at 5:29 PM on August 13, 2011


No experience is universal.

Yeah, but the OP was in different situation, where bringing the kids everywhere was some sort of norm. In recognizing that no experience is universal it becomes an issue of how to work with two separate notions of what is right.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:50 PM on August 13, 2011


It's not offensive to suggest that you don't bring the kids

Worth noting the only person who was offended, in the original Ask question, was stellaluna. There were contexts in which stellaluna would rather not have seen her friends' kids, and she felt they should have known this, and was offended when the kids came. So quite sensibly she wanted to make her expectations clearer this time. Any offense taken by her friends was, as far as I could tell, in stellaluna's mind. Not that it's a terrible thing to worry about people taking offense! And I thought she got pretty good answers in the thread saying, yeah, just say "Adults Only," people who can't make it under those conditions won't go, and no tears will be shed or angry letters written.

Where some people lose me a bit is the idea that it should be obvious, to all people in all places, that children aren't appropriate at normal nighttime social events, and that parents should be blamed for bringing kids along to these things. Obviously there are some events, like orgies and knife fights, to which it's inappropriate to bring kids, in some universal sense that ought not to need to be explicitly stated.

But dinner at a nice restaurant is not one of those events. The office Christmas party is not one of these events. Coffee at Starbucks is definitely not one of those events. And your birthday party at your house is not one of those events. Every single one of these is one where the host has a perfect right to ask his guest not to bring kids along -- but no right to expect guests to conform to these wishes without being told.
posted by escabeche at 6:24 PM on August 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


because my expectations are that sometimes adults--even parents--socialize without children.

You boldface this as if these expectations were not shared by everyone in this thread, and, indeed, on the Earth. Parents like to socialize without children. Our ability to do so is kind of limited. I got the feeling that stellaluna didn't really get that, and felt that her friends were dragging their kids along because that was their favorite way to socialize!

No, the truth is that parents don't get that much adult social time. And that couples often like to spend that time with each other, not at a birthday party. We go to enough birthday parties as it is.
posted by escabeche at 6:27 PM on August 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


To sum up: I would never, ever change my baby's diaper in a restaurant booth. Because I think it's rude. But to be honest I don't really get grossed out when I see other people do it. A quarter of men don't wash their hands after using the bathroom, and those people are touching your actual table, not lying on the seat with a diaper and a mat between their feces and your environment. The fecal-oral route is a superhighway these days, and diapers form a very small part of the traffic.
posted by escabeche at 6:31 PM on August 13, 2011


Taint true!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:34 PM on August 13, 2011


A quarter of men don't wash their hands after using the bathroom, and those people are touching your actual table

Frankly, I think that's a bad example. I mean, the difference is that you don't know whether someone, male or female btw, washed their hands after using the restroom, but in the above example, when someone is changing a baby at a table in a restaurant, they are explicitly doing so (as in, there is no ambiguity about what is happening).
posted by 1000monkeys at 6:35 PM on August 13, 2011


Sort of like the difference between "she may or may not be wearing underwear" and "wow, she's flashing some vagina in that skirt"
posted by 1000monkeys at 6:36 PM on August 13, 2011


I mean, the difference is that you don't know whether someone, male or female btw, washed their hands after using the restroom

You don't know which ones washed their hands. But that some adult has beshitted your table is a statistical certainty.
posted by escabeche at 6:41 PM on August 13, 2011


You don't know which ones washed their hands. But that some adult has beshitted your table is a statistical certainty.

Right, but that's sort of irrelevant to the discussion. Perhaps, if the whole point of the objections to baby changing at the dinner table, in a restaurant no less, was purely based on "germ" avoidance, then you'd have a point. However, clearly in this thread, people are reacting not only to the "germ" issue but most people (including myself) seem to be reacting to the whole basic manners and etiquette issue. It's like blowing your nose at the table--you just don't do it.

But then again, maybe I'm old fashioned; I turn my phone off in a restaurant, or if I'm expecting an important call, I apologize and excuse myself and take the call outside. However, judging by my peers and family, it's okay to pull out your cell and play on it while ignoring the people you are supposed to be dining with, and then make loud obnoxious calls to people you'd apparently rather be with :-/
posted by 1000monkeys at 6:44 PM on August 13, 2011


Perhaps, if the whole point of the objections to baby changing at the dinner table, in a restaurant no less, was purely based on "germ" avoidance, then you'd have a point.

I guess I was confused -- I did think that most people were citing health concerns as the reasons it was beyond the pale to change a diaper in the booth. Anyway, I too think it's rude and I wouldn't do it.
posted by escabeche at 7:15 PM on August 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh. Well...okay then.

:-P
posted by 1000monkeys at 7:15 PM on August 13, 2011


No, the truth is that parents don't get that much adult social time. And that couples often like to spend that time with each other, not at a birthday party. We go to enough birthday parties as it is.

What confuses me is that we're talking about issuing an invitation. People who want to attend the event (and can) can go and have a good time. People who don't want to attend, for whatever reason, or can't, for whatever reason, don't. Stellaluna wants to throw a party for adults with dinner at a nice restaurant and drinks and dancing; she wants her friends to come (without kidlets); she's asking them to find out whether they can and will come to the party. It's reasonable for stellaluna to want to see her friends for grown-up fun; it's also reasonable for the parents in the group to decide her party isn't worth spending their rare kid-free time on.

The mental gymnastics involved in all the second- and third-guessing why people might have invited them or deciding it's sneering or snubbing because it's not the activity the invitees want to attend is kind of weird to me. I grew up with enough Southern ladies around me to have seen social warfare conducted on occasion. Simply issuing an invitation in the awareness it may not be accepted, or turning it down because it's not something the invitees want to do, doesn't look like snubbing or sneering or any other kind of social skulduggery to me.
posted by immlass at 7:40 PM on August 13, 2011 [10 favorites]


No, I boldfaced it because it was a very long comment and three things seemed important to me, in case anyone was skimming:

1) PhoB's experience growing up was that kids went everywhere, always, which was contrary to my experience
2)which was that children were sometimes not welcome
3) not because people "couldn't deal with kids" but because sometimes adults--even parents--socialize without children

I don't think it's a universal rule; it's simply how I grew up experiencing the world and how I still expect the world to be, despite sometimes discovering other people don't see it that way.
posted by crush-onastick at 7:55 PM on August 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


I did think that most people were citing health concerns as the reasons it was beyond the pale to change a diaper in the booth.

I think that most human beings in general would quite reasonably object to seeing and smelling shit in their immediate vicinity while they are eating. I'm not sure there's a point to splitting hairs any further than that.
posted by elizardbits at 8:28 PM on August 13, 2011 [6 favorites]


1) PhoB's experience growing up was that kids went everywhere, always, which was contrary to my experience

Um, for what it's worth, that wasn't my experience, nor did I say that it was.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:55 PM on August 13, 2011


First they came for the parents who brought their kids to adult parties where they weren't wanted, and I didn't speak out because even though babysitters here charge $15-20/hour and I can count on two hands the number of times we've had a sitter since our 2.5 year old was born, we have never brought our daughter to an event where she wasn't specifically invited.*

Then they came for the parents who changed diapers in restaurant booths, and I didn't speak out because though I have changed thousands of diapers in places including bathroom floors, cow fields, my living room, baby yoga classes, my car's hatchback and once on the floor of an unused area in a restaurant at the manager's behest, I've never done it in a restaurant booth.

Then they came for the parents who brought their kids to orgies and knife fights, and I didn't speak out because I hadn't ever done that (yet).

Then they came for the people who blow their noses at dining room tables, and there was no one left to speak out for me.

* Although one time, for a wedding, we did very apologetically ask if children were invited (though I am keenly aware that etiquette says don't do this, there were extenuating circumstances) and they weren't, and we ultimately were unable to go, and then I felt a little weird when I heard the stories of the really crazily extravagant food that was served. Like, okay, it was totally your right to choose to spend tens of thousands of dollars that way and still put the kibosh on our two year old, and maybe you just don't like having children at weddings, and while I acknowledge it was totally your right to say no kids allowed on your special day, knowing that it wasn't really a money issue made that decision to exclude family on a day that is ostensibly all about family seem a little distanced and unfriendly to me. A little cold and privileged. And I confess it's still the first thing I think of when I think of this couple.
posted by onlyconnect at 8:55 PM on August 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sorry, PhoB, you're right. You said that you grew up going to grown-up social events with your mom, which is not the same as kids going everywhere. It's still quite contrary to how I grew up.
posted by crush-onastick at 9:02 PM on August 13, 2011


"going everywhere, always" being even more different than "going to grown up social events with your mom" which is why in my original comment, I just quoted your whole comment. *sigh*. no hard feelings, I hppe. I did not intend to mangle your meaning.
posted by crush-onastick at 9:04 PM on August 13, 2011


No, it's cool. Was just weird to see my comment dragged out again and taken so out of context.

Incidentally, I think it's fine if you want to specify that only adults attend a social event, I just find the preference itself bizarre. But then, again, I grew up the kid of a single parent, who was a bit of a hippie culturally, and just got out of grad school a few years ago where it wasn't odd to see parents bring their kids to house parties, coffeeshops, and brunches. No one blinked. With all this talk about generational social stratification, I can't shake the image in my mind of . . . I don't know, the Weirs from Freaks and Geeks or something. The notion seems to come from a universe of nuclear, intact families from a more wholesome time, and it's still pretty alien to me. But ah well.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:17 PM on August 13, 2011


re. Seeing and smelling poop in a restaurant:

As someone who has changed an awful lot of nappies, I can assure you that some hypothetical third party wouldn't see *anything* if the kid was lying on a booth bench (except your back) - unless you were actually standing over the nappy changer. And, believe me, kids with diapers can smell truly heinous while the nappy is still on and the clothes are as per normal - the appearance of propriety is no guarantee of a fragrant atmosphere.

Besides, unless the nappy is a real disaster, it's going to be no big thing to get it off and everything wiped up with wet wipes while, at the same time, getting zero poop on the booth seat itself - and that's without even having a blanket or towel underneath. The real trick is to teach the child to stay still while you change their nappy, in the first place; ideally, you have to instill that lesson from the get-go.

I don't think I've ever actually done this, mind you, though I concede that after eleven years of changing three kids' nappies, anything's possible. I usually just use the backseat of the car if I'm out. As a man, changing a diaper in the men's bathroom has inevitably felt weird and uncomfortable in my experience, so I avoid that whenever possible.
posted by stinkycheese at 2:48 AM on August 17, 2011


Ugh! No diaper changing in restaurant booths or on tables! It's. Unsanitary. Ask a health inspector, I'm sure they'd be thrilled.
posted by agregoli at 1:00 PM on August 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Health inspectors focus on the employees and owner, not the patrons. At least, that's always been my understanding. I never heard of a restaurant closed for having dirty customers.
posted by GuyZero at 1:48 PM on August 17, 2011


I certainly understand - and agree with - folks not wanting fecal matter anywhere near their food, but a little perspective would be valuable. You do know that, before funeral homes and the like (in other words, until fairly recently in history), families kept their dead lying on the dining room table for wakes, right? Because it was probably the only table in the house.
posted by stinkycheese at 2:47 PM on August 17, 2011


Yeah, average life expectancy was about 40.
posted by empath at 2:52 PM on August 17, 2011


families kept their dead lying on the dining room table for wakes, right?

Um, not really, no. They'd prop them up in a bed or stick them on a couch or a chair or even just let them hang out in the coffin and plop them in the living room. They used their dining room tables for doing things like, well, dining and drinking cholera-contaminated water so really maybe they're not the best representatives of Good Hygienic Practice, but I digress. Good try, though!
posted by phunniemee at 3:07 PM on August 17, 2011


I guess my relatives were lying then - about the dead bodies lying on their tables. Honestly, nice try? What's that supposed to mean?
posted by stinkycheese at 3:13 PM on August 17, 2011


Siiiigh.

Look, I don't want to accuse your relatives of lying--it's quite possible that they did put corpses on their tables. However...

*Unzips, whips out metaphorical penis, produces ruler.*

...I wrote my bachelor's thesis on how dead bodies were dealt with in the 17 and 1800s. I read I don't even know how many books and papers on corpses hanging out in people's homes, and I don't recall reading a single thing that said that anyone put bodies on their tables. Bodies in beds, bodies in chairs, bodies in creepy lifelike poses with other family members? Yes, yes, and yes. But no tables. To suggest that it was de rigueur to put dead folks on breakfast tables is misleading. And using it to defend poopy diapers in restaurants is...well...I wouldn't want to see a corpse in a restaurant booth, either, bro.

And now I feel like an asshole. But a smug, self-satisfied asshole who can barely see you from all the way up here on my high horse, so I guess I win or something.
posted by phunniemee at 3:26 PM on August 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


Googled wake table. Very first link to a PBS auction:

A large mahogany table—which has been in the family for as long as the owner can remember—also turns out to have deathly connections. As it happens, the table is what's known as an Irish coffin table, an unusual find outside of Ireland. Also called a "wake table," it was designed to support a coffin, because of the Celtic belief that a dead body had to be watched to prevent its removal by evil spirits.
posted by stinkycheese at 3:26 PM on August 17, 2011


That sounds like a special table for wakes, not a breakfast/dining table.
posted by sweetkid at 3:32 PM on August 17, 2011


A wake table is not the same thing as a table you eat at.

I notice that you cut the end off of that description:

Also called a "wake table," it was designed to support a coffin, because of the Celtic belief that a dead body had to be watched to prevent its removal by evil spirits. Large tables like this are highly prized as dining tables today.

I'm done. You make me tired.
Sorry, everyone, for pooping in the thread. You were probably trying to eat dinner.
posted by phunniemee at 3:33 PM on August 17, 2011


I specifically left off the last sentence because I knew you would come back and harp on the *today*. Which you did.

Look, you're just plain wrong here. I have spoken to people who have seen or done this. People still alive seeing and doing this. Sorry your research didn't introduce you to the idea. Lots of families have one table in the house only. They may have to wait several days before a coffin arrives or is constructed. They need to wash the body.

It's a fact that folks in Newfoundland, Ireland, and the UK do this. I'm not saying it's commonplace but it most definitely goes on.
posted by stinkycheese at 3:45 PM on August 17, 2011


Pooping, dead bodies...THIS is why I stick to drive thru.
Except for sex.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:55 PM on August 17, 2011


what this thread needs is ColdChef.
posted by nadawi at 3:59 PM on August 17, 2011


Brandon Blatcher: "Pooping, dead bodies...THIS is why I stick to drive thru.
Except for sex.
"

Well, I hope you bought your car new, then. Otherwise, how do you know there hasn't been a corpse on the seat? Or a be-shitted baby? I'm not even going to mention your discriminatory attitude towards sex in drive-through lanes.
posted by dg at 4:05 PM on August 17, 2011


Miss Manners Filter: How can I diplomatically mention to friends that their freshly deceased relatives are not welcome at my upcoming birthday celebration?

I'm reaching the age where more and more of my friends have relatives who insist on dying, and many of them insist on their dead relatives accompanying them to every social function they attend. While I am glad that I still get to see my friends, I often wish I could see them AND have their whole attention. It can be distracting to have to pause conversation while at a nice dinner, when someone has to awkwardly peer around Dead Uncle Jimmy just to address someone sitting further down the table. True story. I have yet to behave in any way other than supportive and friendly, although it does mean that the tone of my social life with these friends has changed drastically.
posted by WalterMitty at 4:49 PM on August 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


What exactly is the ColdChef signal?
posted by zarq at 5:18 PM on August 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


What exactly is the ColdChef signal?

A scented candle.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:41 PM on August 17, 2011


> I wouldn't want to see a corpse in a restaurant booth, either, bro.

*cries*
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:03 PM on August 17, 2011 [13 favorites]


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