"Marriage, a history" Stephanie Coontz

Your favorite books and links
classical_Liberal
Posts: 1680
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:05 am

Re: "Marriage, a history" Stephanie Coontz

Post by classical_Liberal »

@alphaville
:lol: Good list!

Yeah, I’ve basically reacted the same way. Usually I take pride in my differences, the problem is this can outwardly feel like a middle finger to folks who have good intentions.

That’s kind of my point wrt 7WB5s handing of such situations. She seems much better equipped to say “thanks, maybe you can help me on this project”, or something similar. This gives her access to people in a better way than “mind your own business and I’ll mind mine”.

There seems to be a lot of positive that can come of these types of collaborations, if I can get over the fact it’s happening because someone thinks I’m weird or need the help. Personal example, I got set up with my GF of 3 years because I let a pleasant meddler get involved in my romantic life, instead of telling that person to kind their own business. That relationship is probably one of the most positive things in my life. Makes me wonder what else if possible if I learn to interact better in these situations. Also probably take into account what @frita mentions, and better judge the intentions.

Alphaville
Posts: 865
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:50 am
Location: Walkscore 92, Bikescore 93

Re: "Marriage, a history" Stephanie Coontz

Post by Alphaville »

idk about @7w5, i only express my aggro or disdain when people make assumptions or prejudge.

e.g. i’m not opposed to being interrogated about not having a car or refusing to pay for cable or such things. i’m also not opposed to being interrogated about using pieces of the mainstream puzzle for my alternative lifestyle.

what pisses me off is blanket dismissals like “you’re crazy,” that sort of shit. also “but everyone does...” the people who feel it’s their duty to keep the herd in check and that not being in the herd is a threat to them--i’m a threat to them--anyone different is a threat to them—other cultures, other countries, other religions, other customs, are all a threat to them.

but the herd people are not just the mainstream—outsider groups also often operate as herds, aka “cults”.

i think the finger is the right response for those people...

anyway, as for being open to others... i don’t know how to do this at the people level. i know how to do it at the idea level, i’m just not a “people” person. i’m terrible at pretending! :lol:

Frita
Posts: 516
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:43 pm

Re: "Marriage, a history" Stephanie Coontz

Post by Frita »

@c_L
I should get better about skillfully using quotes as it avoids confusion.

Fixing and helping are significantly different. The former views/judges the other as defective, clueless, or less than in some way. There is no asking how the other person feels, if the person wants help or unsolicited advice. (Regarding meddling, it seems this term is fixing by someone with good intentions.) Sometimes the one-ups-manship is to be the “nicer” person which I find goes hand-in-hand with manipulation. Helping is more about listening and supporting the other.

Ha, all helping professions attract fixers and co-dependents in addition with more helpful, service-oriented folks. (There are certainly hybrids.) Education is no different, though I found that fixing is more pronounced in elementary and at-risk settings.

Collaboration seems to be mutually helpful. Working together in a symbiotic way seems doomed if one is busy fixing. I suspect such a relationship would be short-lived and/or unsatisfactory. (One has to set boundaries repeatedly, which I find exhausting.)

I am glad that you met your GF via a co-worker and that it’s a good match. Now, in my book, setting up a couple people I think would hit it off is more helping. I wouldn’t do it unless I knew both wanted to meet someone or I’d invite them both to an event (like a party with other people) without the setup.

@Alphaville
People do find comfort in others being just like them. In what context do people say your lifestyle is crazy?

Alphaville
Posts: 865
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:50 am
Location: Walkscore 92, Bikescore 93

Re: "Marriage, a history" Stephanie Coontz

Post by Alphaville »

Frita wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 7:46 pm
@Alphaville
People do find comfort in others being just like them. In what context do people say your lifestyle is crazy?
as a couple, there’s that long list i made at the bottom of the previous page. “people who call me and my wife crazy...” etc

that was just off the top off my head. i could go on and on.

as a kid, starting with things like preferring to spend time with books rather than with people... :lol:

anyway, we become what we are, but the way this grates some people is truly baffling.

oh, what i meant to say with all this, because this thread was about marriage... the value of complicity as i see is to help each other become what we are in the face of herd pressures.

Frita
Posts: 516
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:43 pm

Re: "Marriage, a history" Stephanie Coontz

Post by Frita »

@Alphaville
Yes, I read your list and am trying to understand the situations surrounding the hostility you encounter. Do people just start labeling you crazy based on observations? Do you point differences out and try to start a conversation? Are you trying to convert people? Do you live where people are up in your business?

Alphaville
Posts: 865
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:50 am
Location: Walkscore 92, Bikescore 93

Re: "Marriage, a history" Stephanie Coontz

Post by Alphaville »

Frita wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:29 pm
@Alphaville
Yes, I read your list and am trying to understand the situations surrounding the hostility you encounter. Do people just start labeling you crazy based on observations? Do you point differences out and try to start a conversation? Are you trying to convert people? Do you live where people are up in your business?
rather than answer in this form i can tell you about last holiday season when some relatives came to visit from the east coast.

they ask us where we’re living and etc and we explained that we liked it there we could live without a car etc.

then we hear how when the guy was growing up bicycles were for 13 year olds bla bla bla with a smirk implying that we’re a couple of immature dolts.

then the daughter says laughing how when she goes around by car they play a game to figure out who is riding by choice and who has no choice but to ride...

do i need to continue with the story or are you getting the drift of it already?

Frita
Posts: 516
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:43 pm

Re: "Marriage, a history" Stephanie Coontz

Post by Frita »

@Alphaville
Thanks for sharing. Wow, that seems incredibly rude for your relatives. I certainly hope you just met up and didn’t host them at your place.

Alphaville
Posts: 865
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:50 am
Location: Walkscore 92, Bikescore 93

Re: "Marriage, a history" Stephanie Coontz

Post by Alphaville »

Frita wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 11:02 pm
@Alphaville
Thanks for sharing. Wow, that seems incredibly rude for your relatives. I certainly hope you just met up and didn’t host them at your place.
well, we met them at another relative’s house, and they were staying at a hotel.

but i didn’t exactly lose that argument... i ended up flipping the situation and went on the offensive. if this had been the first time i had encountered such attitudes i would have been caught by surprise. but nah... we’re proud of our bicycling life and we demonstrate how much sense it makes to us. and will not be shamed.

best part of the evening is when we made them give us a ride home though :lol:

but yeah we’ve also been told straight up “you’re crazy,” though. neighbors and such. what can i tell you: we spook the normies. and we aren’t even tattooed or pierced or anything. we look boring, with clothes from rei.

oh, the other thing is we’ve given up on answering when people ask us why we don’t have kids... :lol:

(please don’t ask...)
Last edited by Alphaville on Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

7Wannabe5
Posts: 6114
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am
Location: Clinton River Watershed

Re: "Marriage, a history" Stephanie Coontz

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

classical_Liberal wrote:This could just be me taking it personally. What they really want is to fit the world into their model and some things about me do not. Meaning I miss out on a lot of collaborative opportunities because of my personality. I wonder if there is some work I could do to change the way I react to the "fixers", that would end in more net positive personal relationships? Maybe there is a gender dynamic at play here too, not just personalities?
It's not just "their model" vs "your model." It's "the model" vs "your model." For instance, consider how folks from both sides of the current political dichotomy might react to the notion of individual happy with income/spending well below the defined poverty level.

Gender dynamics, also generational dynamics, certainly could add additional wrinkles. For better or worse, I am usually more sexually extroverted than socially extroverted; more likely to turn on my online dating profile when antsy than join a meet-up, so my recent anecdote set is weighted towards that reality. However, I have been frugal/social-critic for many more years than I've been mid-life dating, and this applied even to interactions in my married young hippie Mom years. It even applies to my corporate-employed manager years, because one of my "tricks" was hiring ambitious young people for my team, and then encouraging them to work very hard to get promoted right over my head, thereby maximizing my time available to leaf through gardening magazines while at my place of employment.

There are all sorts of predefined or organized social hierarchies, and a lot of people are competitive, ambitious, fixers, idealists, or otherwise willing to be highly engaged. So, it's pretty easy to just go with the flow if that is what you prefer.

Alphaville
Posts: 865
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:50 am
Location: Walkscore 92, Bikescore 93

Re: "Marriage, a history" Stephanie Coontz

Post by Alphaville »

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:42 am
It even applies to my corporate-employed manager years, because one of my "tricks" was hiring ambitious young people for my team, and then encouraging them to work very hard to get promoted right over my head, thereby maximizing my time available to leaf through gardening magazines while at my place of employment.
:lol: :lol: :lol:

this is PURE GOLD

i wish i had heard of this hack sooner.

so you’re REALLY into the gardening stuff since way back eh?

Frita
Posts: 516
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:43 pm

Re: "Marriage, a history" Stephanie Coontz

Post by Frita »

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:42 am
It's not just "their model" vs "your model." It's "the model" vs "your model." For instance, consider how folks from both sides of the current political dichotomy might react to the notion of individual happy with income/spending well below the defined poverty level.
This is so darn true that it’s comical. It seems there are many models that fall within “the system.” One can disrupt the folks in each model for different reasons. What is really interesting is when people simultaneously feel sorry for you and are jealous, just constant leveling.
7Wannabe5 wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:42 am

There are all sorts of predefined or organized social hierarchies, and a lot of people are competitive, ambitious, fixers, idealists, or otherwise willing to be highly engaged. So, it's pretty easy to just go with the flow if that is what you prefer.
I admire people who come by this naturally or learn the skill early on. (Fortunately, I married such a person.) As a recovering idealist, I still struggle to go with the flow. My reaction is more, “FU, I will do my own thing.”

Alphaville
Posts: 865
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:50 am
Location: Walkscore 92, Bikescore 93

Re: "Marriage, a history" Stephanie Coontz

Post by Alphaville »

Frita wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 11:53 am
My reaction is more, “FU, I will do my own thing.”
that’s a fine reaction, and it beats getting stepped on

my grad school advisor used to say there was a way to get in the system where if you placed yourself at certain junctures people would leave you alone.

but i never managed the politics and updated requirements, so i left to do my own thing ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

classical_Liberal
Posts: 1680
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:05 am

Re: "Marriage, a history" Stephanie Coontz

Post by classical_Liberal »

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:42 am
It's not just "their model" vs "your model." It's "the model" vs "your model."
Good point.

I find myself naturally doing the opposite of "going with the flow". For instance, if I'm surrounded by politically charged group conversation, I tend to take the side of the not present/underrepresented group. Not because I necessarily think that model is right, it's just I think it needs to be known there is some validity in their thought processes. Although the older I get the more I just keep my mouth shut. So maybe I'm teachable. Do you find going with the flow is more of a natural state for you, or something you had to work on to do better? If the latter, how'd you work on it?

7Wannabe5
Posts: 6114
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am
Location: Clinton River Watershed

Re: "Marriage, a history" Stephanie Coontz

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

Alphaville wrote:so you’re REALLY into the gardening stuff since way back eh?
Yup, although I've gone through different phases. When I was more interested in ornamental gardening, I was addicted to the garden porn magazines. Actually, even now that I am into permaculture, I still regard gardening as art as much as science or craft. Great hobby for a generalist.
Frita wrote:I admire people who come by this naturally or learn the skill early on. (Fortunately, I married such a person.) As a recovering idealist, I still struggle to go with the flow. My reaction is more, “FU, I will do my own thing.”
classical_Liberal wrote:I find myself naturally doing the opposite of "going with the flow". For instance, if I'm surrounded by politically charged group conversation, I tend to take the side of the not present/underrepresented group. Not because I necessarily think that model is right, it's just I think it needs to be known there is some validity in their thought processes. Although the older I get the more I just keep my mouth shut. So maybe I'm teachable. Do you find going with the flow is more of a natural state for you, or something you had to work on to do better? If the latter, how'd you work on it?
Eh, "go with the flow" was not quite the right metaphor. Obviously, I can be quite contrary. I think I meant something like being aware of flows and waste, but not on some crusade to change the behavior of others. For instance, let's say I needed a ride somewhere and somebody who was heading in that direction on an outlet mall shopping spree offered to give me a lift. Ride-sharing still saves overall energy, and money for me as the hitch-hiker, over using separate vehicles, regardless of whether or not I am in favor of outlet mall shopping sprees. In the world of the future things may get tighter, and there won't be as much of a waste stream to exploit, but IMO it's still better to save what you can today.
Literally everything you become aware of is grist for your mill-if you think it is. If you say of each new fact that's presented to you, "Oh, well, there's nothing I can do with that, then obviously there truly is nothing you can do with that. You have to say instead, "This is something I can make use of- if not this second, then someday."

The discard operator is a spider ( a hell of a nice spider, of course) sitting in the center of his web. When he feels a twitch from some distant strand, he doesn't say, "That has nothing to do with me." He says, "Company's here!" and he gloms onto a juicy housefly."
"Discards: Your Way to Wealth" - Mike Lebda and Dan Quinn- 1977


Circling back a round to the original topic of this thread, middle-aged divorced or otherwise made available men are kind of like Free Box items which come along more often than the city bus. So, you guys who are married better be super nice to your wives, or you might wind up (temporarily) in the clutches of a rascally dumpster-diver like me :lol:

classical_Liberal
Posts: 1680
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:05 am

Re: "Marriage, a history" Stephanie Coontz

Post by classical_Liberal »

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 7:30 am
or you might wind up (temporarily) in the clutches of a rascally dumpster-diver like me :lol:
It only works on those that have been acclimated to living with a partner and need it. The household sharing is on the bottom of the list of things I enjoy about being partnered up. I'm pretty robust on the living alone, I feel safe. ;)

Thanks for the advice.

Frita
Posts: 516
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:43 pm

Re: "Marriage, a history" Stephanie Coontz

Post by Frita »

Ah, the free pile analogy for your lifestyle makes sense. I think one drawback of modern marriages is expecting a partner to fulfill many roles instead of a useful role. Free pile shopping is rather serendipitous. My expectations are lower while feeling more grateful. That is probably a better way to start any relationship. But the key to the free box is just taking what one needs...already have a spouse.

Alphaville
Posts: 865
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:50 am
Location: Walkscore 92, Bikescore 93

Re: "Marriage, a history" Stephanie Coontz

Post by Alphaville »

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 7:30 am
Yup, although I've gone through different phases. When I was more interested in ornamental gardening, I was addicted to the garden porn magazines. Actually, even now that I am into permaculture, I still regard gardening as art as much as science or craft. Great hobby for a generalist.

yeah of course, it’s all full of details and unpredictable. i’m barely learning and even though once upon a time i knew a bit of science, this stuff is more casino gambling to me.
7Wannabe5 wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 7:30 am
Circling back a round to the original topic of this thread, middle-aged divorced or otherwise made available men are kind of like Free Box items which come along more often than the city bus. So, you guys who are married better be super nice to your wives, or you might wind up (temporarily) in the clutches of a rascally dumpster-diver like me :lol:
:lol:

i’m sure they enjoy having you around. but i don’t know if that would be the result of divorces in my social circle.

like my hilarious bipolar buddy who for years received spousal support payments after his wife had a midlife crisis in which she decided to have a “normal” life (booooring) and dumped him.

also, women tend to outlive their husbands so i’m friends with a few old broke artists who married rich widows.

and the future is changing. traditional gender roles are going out of the window at a fast clip. every day you have more stay at home dads married to professional women, or couples where they take turns making the money while the other pursues an unprofitable project, or couples that make very little and do not give a damn, or some version of something else. oh, and there’s of course “cougars” or whatever they’re called these days, i used to hang out with this neighbor couple. i think that’s great, and i’m all for the free-for-all, and i tend to hang out with the “unusuals” :lol:

Post Reply