Althouse | category: Young Althouse



an endless succession of beans and nuts.

"Parents, we are not blaming you. Children and teens are learning to navigate the world free from supervision and often push the boundaries."

"We simply can't let them push those boundaries anymore at our restaurant. We encourage you to talk to your children and ask about behaviors they have seen and perhaps participated in."

Said a post from the Chick-fil-A in Royersford, Pennsylvania, quoted in "Chick-fil-A Royersford says customers under 16 must have an adult to dine in restaurant" (6ABC).
"Often on Saturdays and days when schools are off, we have school-age children visiting the restaurant without their parents. Usually, these children and teens are dropped off for several hours at a local bounce park and groups of them then walk over to our restaurant. While we love being a community restaurant and serving guests of all ages, some issues need to be addressed."

When did you start going to restaurants without an adult to supervise you? Had you been taught how to behave, and did you behave? I'm actually surprised that I haven't noticed this problem before. Why wouldn't 14 and 15 year olds, arriving in large enough numbers, crank themselves up into a noisy rave?

I remember the summer of 1969, when I was 18 and working at the new International House of Pancakes, wondering why the customers were so sedate, each confined to their discrete booth, alone with their personal pancakes and carafe of coffee. Like the 6 syrups in their metal racks, the customers kept caged. Why didn't they notice that we were all here together? Why didn't they turn around and interact, booth-to-booth? Why didn't they unlock the wild party that lies just a crazy impulse away?

And I was 18, 2 years beyond the point where the Royersford Chick-fil-A would permit me to be seated.

When should the man take the woman's last name?

I'm about to read "Why Some Husbands Choose to Take Their Wives’ Last Names/Five men discuss their decision to change their surnames after marriage and some of the reactions they faced from friends and family members" (NYT).

Before I read it, I'm going to give my answer. I have some experience with the taking of another person's name, having married and kept my own name twice — in 1973 and in 2009. I had different reasons on the 2 different occasions! But one reason I had both times and that would apply to a man considering changing his last name to the woman is aesthetics.

Does the new name look and sound good with your first name? And how good is your original last name? When your parents chose your first name, they probably thought about how it went with the last name they were dealing with: What's the poetry? What do the initials spell? How does the end of the first name interact with the beginning of the last name?

If you were naming a character in a novel, would you choose the proposed new name over your original name? Do you get a different answer if the character to be named is boring and ordinary or annoying and villainous?

There's something very nice about having one name for the family, especially if there may be children coming. So I think it's great that the man — as well as the woman — should think about taking the other person's name so there can be one name.

Now, I'm reading the article, and I see a case of the man's taking the woman's name because it's the better name aesthetically. He was Elías Sánchez-Eppler, and when he married Emily Hanno, he became Elías Hanno. Hanno is a great name. It's simple but unusual (thought it would go badly with my first name). 

And here's another one. The man's name was Josef Grznar, which is kind of fierce, but the woman's name was Taylor Valentine. He became Josef Valentine. Aesthetics. (And, also, in that case, he had the last name of a father he had never met.)

And when Hunter Snyder met Ashley Kane, why, isn't it obvious?! His parents had gotten the poetry wrong. Those 2 "-er"s. This one is a great example of my fictional character test. Hunter Kane is an interesting character. And why would you want to be Snyder when you can be... less snide?

Then there's the man whose last name was Heitler-Klevans. I will say no more about that!

That's 4 of the 5 men. Aesthetics. You see?

The 5th case is different. The 2 names in question are Margolin and Shulman. I'd pick Margolin on aesthetics. The choice was made because the woman, Amira Shulman, was the only one in her family carrying that name forward. That's one of the good reasons other than aesthetics. The man took Shulman.

ADDED: I can see an aesthetic reason for a man to pick Shulman over Margolin, and it has to do with masculinity, paradoxically. Margolin seems like 2 feminine names: Margo and Lynn. Shulman has "man" in it.

And "shul" is a place of worship. I was mostly discussing the look and sound of names, but the meaning of the names is part of an aesthetic analysis. If you're wondering what "Margolin" means: It means pearls

You might want to consider not just what a name means, but what people looking at it think. I don't want to burden bearers of the name Heitler with what I thought when I saw it. (Actually, it means "hotter.") I've spent my whole life with a last name that people like to restate as something you wouldn't want as a name. But it's also something that has a real meaning that I like. (It means "old house.")

If you can't get rid of your gas stove, use the microwave more! Use the "toaster oven, air fryer, Instant Pot... or an electric kettle or hot water heater."

I'm reading "Worried about having a gas stove? Here’s how to limit risks" in The Washington Post.

I think most people with a gas stove are saying they have it because they like it and they're just worried the government will take it away, not looking for workarounds because they can't afford to replace it voluntarily. 

But maybe you'd like to shun your own stove and maximize cooking on the various electric appliances you already have. There's a section of this article that reads like the chirpy women's magazines I read in bulk in the 1970s (because it was my job).

We're told that there are "creative ways" to use these appliances. The uncreative use of the microwaves is to heat foods — that is, "zap cold leftovers." So what's creative? Apparently it's "creative" to "bake (remember mug cakes?), steam vegetables and in some situations even toast, fry or caramelize food." This is the kind of thing I found depressing reading about in the women's magazines in the 70s. The idea that you could feel clever by frying something in the microwave.
By the way, what's a "hot water heater"? Aside from the common silly redundancy that makes a smart ass want to say, Why do you need to heat water that's already hot?, what is this appliance if it's not an electric kettle? You've named the electric kettle, so what are we talking about? An immersion heater?!

Are you suggesting running the tap until it yield hot enough water from the only thing I ever call the "water heater," that thing that gives me a nice hot bath? I thought you weren't supposed to drink that.

You've got me thinking of Glenda Jackson in the 1971 movie "Sunday Bloody Sunday":

I have remembered that coffee-making — and the audience gasping in horror — for over half a century!

"When you ask Americans how they save energy at home, 'turn off the lights' has been at the top of the list since the 1980s."

"But when it comes to actual savings, it doesn’t even crack the top 10. Like most conventional wisdom about how to reduce household energy and emissions, much of what we believe about our homes and appliances is wrong."

Writes WaPo's climate advice columnist Michael J. Coren, in "We still use appliances like it’s 1970. There’s a better way."

I formed the habit, back in the 1970s, of turning off lights as I exited any room and only keeping lights on in rooms that were occupied. I grew up in the 50s and 60s, when it was the norm to have the lights on all over the house in the evening. We didn't think about the pros and cons of leaving them on, but I imagine that we'd have thought it would deprive us of a feeling of coziness and optimism if the house were not lit up at night. From the outside, our house and our neighbors' houses looked warm and happy and alive.

Then the environmentalist movement hit, the meaning of light changed, and I aligned myself morally. I have maximized interior darkness for half a century. Is the climate advisor going to tell me my efforts are misdirected?

Coren's #1 piece of energy-saving advice is not to rinse off your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. Present-day dishwashers don't need that pre-rinse — just scrape — and they're so efficient that you should go ahead and run them even if they're only half full (or less!). It doesn't save energy to switch to washing them by hand.

The second piece of advice is to get rid of your old refrigerator. It's less efficient, so don't succumb to the American tradition of "second refrigerator" (i.e., the soda and beer refrigerator in the garage)(I've blogged the topic of second refrigerators twice, here and here).

Third, Coren recommends a "smart" thermostat, but oddly enough, he doesn't tell us to set it as low as possible in cold whether and as high as possible in hot weather. It seems to me, that's where you can get the biggest savings.

Finally, wash clothes in cold water and replace old appliances. The new appliances are more efficient, so Coren would have you throw out a 15-year-old washing machine. Personally, I'm attached to my 30-year-old washing machine. And my hot baths. Thanks for not telling me I should be taking cold showers instead.

ADDED: In the comments at WaPo, there is a lot of resistance to replacing appliances:

"What is not taken into account is the energy required to manufacture a new appliance and the cost of disposing the old one. Replacing an old working appliance is not as environmentally sound as you might think."


"So my fridge is 25 years old. Never had a problem with it. I plan to replace it when the ice maker stops working. All I hear from friends with Samsungs and LGs is problems after 5 years. It’s the computer chips. Mine is a Maytag, it’s white, it has no computer chips. I’m keeping it."

My refrigerator — should I say "our refrigerator" (Meade has only lived here for 13 years)? — is 32 years old. It would cost over $10,000 to replace it with the same brand, so I'm incapable of thinking of replacing it unless it's irreparable or we redo the entire kitchen.

The New York Times finally put up a story about the Twitter files. (Really, it's a story about the reaction to the release of the files.)

This went up yesterday. It doesn't have a time stamp, but I believe it went up in the evening, that is, 2 days after the files were released:

"Elon Musk, Matt Taibbi, and a Very Modern Media Maelstrom/A release of internal documents from Twitter set off intense debates in the intersecting worlds of media, politics and tech," by Michael M. Grynbaum.

Let's do a close read: 

It was, on the surface, a typical example of reporting the news: a journalist obtains internal documents from a major corporation, shedding light on a political dispute that flared in the waning days of the 2020 presidential race. But when it comes to Elon Musk and Twitter, nothing is typical. The so-called Twitter Files, released Friday evening by the independent journalist Matt Taibbi, set off a firestorm among pundits, media ethicists and lawmakers in both parties.

Even more atypical was the way the NYT contributed nothing at all.

It also offered a window into the fractured modern landscape of news, where a story’s reception is often shaped by readers’ assumptions about the motivations of both reporters and subjects.

The NYT ignored the initial story, but it's deigning to cover it now because of its larger and more general meaning: It's "a window into the fractured modern landscape of news." You mean, a news "landscape" not controlled by the NYT?

Well, they tried to control it by not seeing this story at all. They waited until it could be understood as a different story — the story of how fractured media reacted to Taibbi's tweets.

In this "modern landscape," readers make "assumptions about the motivations of both reporters and subject." That suggests that in the earlier "landscape," the one controlled by the NYT, we readers just believed what we were told.

I've been reading the NYT since the 1960s, when it was required reading at my Wayne, New Jersey high school, and we teenagers were taught, from Day 1, to read critically. Here's a specific example of bias, remembered more than half a century later: There's a front-page story about Richard Nixon's inauguration with a sentence that begins "In a gloomy drizzle that mantled the city" and ends with "President Kennedy's grave."

My history teacher made a lot of "assumptions about the motivations of both reporters and subjects," and though I'll critically read him too — as I think he would prefer — I'd say he deftly demonstrated that the NYT has a distinct liberal bias. I'm still reading it after all these years, though. I enjoy writing about the gloomy drizzle that mantles the slain President's grave whenever right-wingers come into power. 

So let's get on with it. Back to the new article:

The tempest began when Mr. Musk teased the release...

Oh! Ha ha. Immediately, I run into weather metaphor. Forget the mantling drizzle, this is a tempest!

I'll resist musing out loud about "teased the release."

The tempest began when Mr. Musk teased the release of internal documents that he said would reveal the story behind Twitter’s 2020 decision to restrict posts linking to a report in the New York Post about Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s son, Hunter. Mr. Musk, who has accused tech companies of censorship, then pointed readers to the account of Mr. Taibbi, an iconoclast journalist who shares some of Mr. Musk’s disdain for the mainstream news media.

Published in the form of a lengthy Twitter thread, Mr. Taibbi’s report included images of email exchanges among Twitter officials deliberating how to handle dissemination of the Post story on their platform. Mr. Musk and Mr. Taibbi framed the exchanges as evidence of rank censorship and pernicious influence by liberals.

The stress is not on what was in the files — the story the NYT didn't even cover — but the wilful framing of the story by Musk and Taibbi. They wanted to make mainstream media and Twitter insiders look biased and unprofessional. If that was their motive — it's not news, it's a vendetta — that may be why NYT insiders chose to withhold attention. Let's not help them seize the modern media landscape. We should be the arbiters of what is news.

But then other news developed — the reaction to what Musk and Taibbi did:

Many others — even some ardent Twitter critics — were less impressed, saying the exchanges merely showed a group of executives earnestly debating how to deal with an unconfirmed news report that was based on information from a stolen laptop.

That's a great sentence. I'll bet a large percentage of NYT readers stop right there. Yep. That's good enough for me. The story is nothing. I'm as done with it now as I was when the NYT was just not talking about it at all. The executives were earnestly debating. And that laptop — it wasn't something voters could absorb and process right before the election. What the execs did was at least one acceptable resolution of the problem: Don't let us see it at all. We couldn't handle it. 

That's just what I'm imagining a large percentage of NYT readers thinking. I myself will go on:

And as with many modern news stories, the Twitter Files were quickly weaponized in service of a dizzying number of pre-existing arguments.

That is true. It's a shift away from what happened at Twitter. We're off and running on the real topic of the article: The reaction to Taibbi's tweets.

The Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who often accuses liberals of stifling speech, made the claim that the “documents show a systemic violation of the First Amendment, the largest example of that in modern history."...

I'm skipping a couple things. 

The next topic is Taibbi, "a polarizing figure in journalism circles." Polarizing, apparently, because he began on the political left but then was "skeptical of claims of collusion between Russia and Mr. Trump’s campaign."

On Friday, shortly before Mr. Taibbi’s report, Mr. Musk wrote, “This will be awesome” and added a popcorn emoji, the universal online symbol of fervent anticipation. Mr. Taibbi also said he agreed “to certain conditions” in exchange for the documents, but did not provide details.

That was bad. It didn't feel as though professional journalism was to come. And we were being elbowed to see it as a bombshell. I know it put me off. As I blogged on Saturday morning, I wanted a clear, orderly presentation of the information, not a popcorn event.

Skeptics of Mr. Taibbi seized on what appeared to be an orchestrated disclosure. “Imagine volunteering to do online PR work for the world’s richest man on a Friday night, in service of nakedly and cynically right-wing narratives, and then pretending you’re speaking truth to power,” the MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan wrote in a Twitter post.

I like that NYT is pointing out the apparent orchestration of the response and quoting those words — "PR work for the world’s richest man" — that were repeated by too many people who ought to have felt compelled to do their own original writing. [CORRECTION: The thing I liked didn't happen! The word "orchestrated" refers to what Musk and Taibbi did, not what their critics did.]

Mr. Taibbi clapped back on Saturday, writing: “Looking forward to going through all the tweets complaining about ‘PR for the richest man on earth,’ and seeing how many of them have run stories for anonymous sources at the FBI, CIA, the Pentagon, White House, etc.”

Next, the article addresses the Times's own refusal to cover the story:

On Saturday, in a live audio session on Twitter, Mr. Musk said he was disappointed that more mainstream media outlets had not picked up Mr. Taibbi’s reporting. The New York Times requested copies of the documents from Mr. Musk, but did not receive a response.

The Times wanted their own access to the original materials and didn't get it. Musk insists that they take it second-hand as filtered through Taibbi. Come play on my media landscape. The Times didn't want to do it. The real media landscape is the one they have shaped and worked over all the long decades.

Mr. Musk said on Saturday that he had also given documents to Bari Weiss, a former editor and columnist at The Times whose Substack newsletter, Common Sense, bills itself as an alternative to traditional news outlets. Ms. Weiss declined to comment on Sunday....

That's got to be annoying. Weiss is doing her own work, and her departure from the NYT stands as a criticism of the way the Times has mucked up the old media landscape. We're all waiting to see how Weiss handles the documents. 

Perhaps the only universally accepted takeaway from the release of the Twitter Files was a sentiment that Mr. Taibbi himself expressed, in a headline on his Substack page that offered a preview of his upcoming posts. “Note to readers,” Mr. Taibbi wrote. “It’s about to get weird in here.”

That was bad, though. Taibbi leaned into the "popcorn" attitude that divided readers into partisan camps. He did not signal that he was going to provide professional journalism. If you want to rival old media, do better.

As for old media, they need to do better too.

"We asked more than 100 millennials and Gen Xers about their parents’ phone habits. Around half said their parents are good..."

"... about not being on their phones too much and being present in the moment.... The rest, however, are absorbed in their devices. They are playing Words with Friends, Candy Crush and card games, often with the volume turned up. They are looking at the news, checking sports scores, scrolling Facebook and texting. Some are even using them as actual phones. 'Phone calls are the worst,' says Richard Husk, a parent of two. 'They will take a 45-plus-minute phone call with some random golf buddy while I am over with the kids trying to visit with them.' Tyler McClure said his mom is on Facebook constantly and can’t do anything without her phone, while his dad 'Googles the things he’s watching on television as he watches television.'... Many people we spoke to said their parents enjoy reading things out loud from their phones, telling their families or anyone nearby about the weather, the headlines or viral stories that may or may not be true...."

From "Baby boomers can’t stop staring at their phones/Everyone struggles to put down their phones, but some families have had enough" (WaPo).

Reading the news and reading things out loud that you think ought to be shared – that's what my grandfather used to do. He was born in 1899, and the news was in the newspaper. Of course, there was only one copy of the newspaper in the house, and he was the one with the claim to the front section. He'd be sitting in his chair in the corner of the living room, newspaper open in front of his face, and he applied his own standards to what ought to be heard by the rest of us. No one ever considered that this might be some sort of old-man, out-of-it habit that the younger people should mobilize to fix!

And thank God if your aging parent has friends. How dare you characterize your father's friend as "random"? If someone is his friend, that person is not random. I think this Husk fellow ought to think about what he's doing when he's "over with the kids trying to visit with" his father. Maybe dad is trying to give Husk the clue that the visit has gone on too long. Are you there for a few hours, or are you visiting for days? I don't know, but I don't think you should disrespect your father in the newspaper like that.

I wish my father were still alive, spending too much time on the phone or not. And I would love to hear Pop (my grandfather) read selections from the Wilmington Morning News again.

"Since redheads are often more vulnerable than most to the sun’s rays, we’re giving them shelter from the sun inside our fully air conditioned cinema screens."

A British movie chain announced, quoted in "Britain’s redheads offered free movie tickets to dodge extreme heat/An Instagram post from Showcase Cinemas read ‘free tickets for redheads on the hottest days ever’" (WaPo).
Some posts on social media noted that redheads can often be bullied at school for their rarer hair coloring — and that the offer may ostracize the community further.
Worse, it discriminates against people of other colors.

Note: I have white hair now, tinted slightly blonde, but my original natural hair color is red, as described here (with old photo of me).

ADDED: I think redheads are actually in the least danger from the extreme heat. We know we need to stay out of the sunlight — either by keeping inside or by always looking for the shade or choosing twilight or nighttimes for outdoor things. I make a point of getting out before sunrise, and during the day, if I take a walk, it's in the woods. If I go downtown, I pick the shady side of the street. By avoiding the sun for the sake of my skin, I am always finding the coolest places outside. Some people are sun-lovers. They gravitate toward sunny places. They want exposure. That puts them in the hottest places.

"This reminds me of a question I used for years in interviewing potential assistants: Do you know how to drive a manual transmission?"

"If you said no, you didn’t get hired. I know that sounds terribly arbitrary. But here’s my reasoning. It is not necessary to know how to drive a stick in the 21st century—particularly if you’re 22 years old. So the only people who do are those who are willing to take the time to master a marginally useful skill. Now why would a 22-year-old do that? One reason is that they like knowing how to do things that most people do not. Another is that they realize that the most fun cars in the world to drive are sports cars, and the most fun sports cars to drive are the ones with manual transmission, and they like the idea of being able to turn a rote activity (driving) into an enjoyable activity. I want to work with the kind of person who thinks both those things.... I think, in no small part, human happiness is a numbers game. The more small things in your life that you can turn from negative to neutral, or neutral to positive, the happier you are. The people who bother to learn how to drive a manual understand this. Like I said, these are the people I like to have working with me."

Writes Malcolm Gladwell in "Do You Know How to Drive a Manual Transmission? My reasoning behind the seemingly arbitrary interview question I used for years..."

Every car I've bought, up through the 2005 Audi TT that is still my main car, has had a manual transmission. I keep getting a manual transmission because it's more fun, and I like maintaining my skills. But I must say that I did not originally learn to drive a manual transmission for the fun of it. We needed to buy a car, and it was 1976, and a manual transmission was not only cheaper to buy in the first place, it got better gas mileage in those days, and we were in the midst of the damned energy crisis. Gas zoomed up to $1.20 at one point. It felt crazy and out of control. That was not fun at all.

"The inclusion of a transgender personality for kids and adult doll collectors alike is groundbreaking. This is bigger than even Laverne Cox herself. This would ripple down many generations to come."

Said Tinu Naija, "a New York-based Barbie enthusiast [who] ordered the Cox doll," quoted in "Laverne Cox is first trans woman to have Barbie doll modeled after her" (WaPo). 

Cox herself said: "I hope all the kids who are feeling stigmatized when their health care is being jeopardized, whose ability to play sports [is curtailed], I hope they can see this Barbie and feel a sense of hope and possibility."

ADDED: I had an additional thing I was going to say. Then I checked out the comments over there and saw the top comment is pretty close to what I'd self-censored : "I thought Ken was the first transgender Barbie doll. Look in his pants."

Ha ha. I got the original Ken doll when it came out, and I was quite interested to see what was in his pants. It was 1961. I was 10. Should Mattel have dangled that in front of me?

"Understand the difference between 'ask' and 'guess' cultures."

I suggested, in the first of 9 TikTok links I posted last night. The link went to this short video by Mary Robinette Kowal. She's a Hugo, Nebula, Locus award-winning author of SF and fantasy, and her videos are presented as writing tips.

Several of my readers singled out that video as their favorite of the 9 I'd selected, and it may have been my favorite too. I put it first on the list, which doesn't mean I like it best, but does mean I think it may draw you in.

One commenter, tim maguire, said:

Guess culture is obnoxious. Just say what you want and don’t make the other person try to figure it out. “The cereal box is too high” could mean you want help getting the cereal, but more logically it means “we need to reorganize the kitchen.” 
I wonder, though if a variation of that is at work in my own marriage. I’m ask culture, for sure. Speak plainly. Be clear about your needs. But my wife is constantly trying to find the hidden subtext in order to address my real motivations, which is annoying because there is no hidden subtext. Getting a simple answer to a simple question is way harder than it needs to be. Her mother is the same way, so clearly she was raised to do it.
pdug said (and I added the links):

[T]he Atlantic had a article about this in 2010. FWIW, calling it a "culture" seems a bit much its probably more about your interfamily dynamic than a whole regional culture

I like this quote from the Atlantic "Actually, One of Them Is Wrong." The New Republic's Jonathan Chait takes a hard line. "This is actually pretty simple: Guessers are wrong, and Askers are right. Asking is how you actually determine what the Asker wants and the giver is willing to receive. Guessing culture is a recipe for frustration. What's more, Guessers, who are usually trying to be nice and are holding themselves to a higher level of politeness, ruin things for the rest of us ... Guessers are what forces people with poor social discernment, like me, to regard all kinds of interactions as a minefield of awkwardness."

i also wonder if ask vs guess is just two *gendered* approaches.

That Chait quote triggered me. I quoted "Guessers are what forces people with poor social discernment, like me, to regard all kinds of interactions as a minefield of awkwardness" and wrote:

But what the guesser is providing is an opportunity for you to achieve in the activity of discerning, and when you have discerned, you can do the thing the other person wants and please them in a special way... and please yourself too, because you understood them and you — with your special skill, unlike awkward Jonathan — have discerned what this person wants. That's a whole subtle relationship that Jonathan doesn't even perceive might be wanted.

I mean, put it in the sexual situation. You just ask for each thing that you want? How do you even know what exactly you want and why would you be satisfied with someone who just does the things you said you wanted and thinks that's all there is?

If you've got the gendered format gdug imagines is common, where the wife is expecting you to guess what she wants and she [is] able to intuit what you want but you — let's say "you" means the husband — like to ask for [what] you want and want her to just ask for whatever she wants (and I presume you've already just asked her to do that) — then I think you ought to go "Gift of the Magi" on the relationship.

Each should give the other what they want. The ask-oriented husband should make a point of trying to understand what the wife is showing she wants, which includes wanted to be understood as a person who doesn't directly say but indicate[s]. He should love that about her. The wife should get the message that he wants her to directly ask for things and to accept when he asks directly. She should love him for that too.

But it is not always gendered in that direction. I won't name the men in my life who were/are "guess" culture types. They are not perversely withholding. They are giving, and one of the things they want to give is their perception of what the other person wants and their voluntary doing of a favor (as opposed to responding to a command).

And John Holland wrote:

It feels like our hostess is an Ask-type person. I intuit this from the fact that she asks us directly to tell her our favorite Tik-tok from her carefully-curated list ... and half the commenters bitch instead about their least-favorite.

Kinda like my household. 

I responded: 

Ha ha. I'm mainly saying pick your best to deflect the generic don't-like-anything comments. Why don't people skip posts that don't appeal to them? Why drop in to say "that's bad" or "i'm not interested"? Obviously, I've picked these things out because I liked them and they felt shareable to me. 

It's analogous to the dinner party the Southern etiquette man talks about. You've been invited. If you know you're [going to dislike] everything, don't go. If you want to go, but there are things you don't like, don't say anything about that.

That refers to the 6th of the 9 TikToks: "A Southern etiquette lesson." 

I continued:

I don't know whether I'm an ask or guess person myself, but I've learned over time to try to figure out what the other person is. If you've got a strong "guess" person, do guess culture with them. If you've got a strong "ask" person, be straightforward and ask. I can do either and I prefer to be conscious of what makes the other person feel better.

But that speaks of in-person life. On the blog, sometimes I ask things directly and sometimes I present things where you need to think of what needs a response. I do whichever feels right for the material or suits my mood at the time.

And what felt right to me this morning was to drag all that up out of the comments and splay it out where you can see it plainly. 

ADDED: Let me just name one of the "the men in my life who were/are 'guess' culture types" — my father. I remember struggling to live through the summer with the small bedroom of the new house my parents had moved into after I'd gone away for my first year of college. One day, I said something about having nowhere to put my books. I didn't say "Build me shelves" or "Will you build me shelves?" or even "It would be nice if you would build me some shelves." He built me shelves. That happened half a century ago, and it still brings tears to my eyes to think about it. If we'd just done "ask" culture all along, what would I remember?

If you can't get rid of your gas stove, use the microwave more! Use the "toaster oven, air fryer, Instant Pot... or an electric kettle or hot water heater."

Report "Althouse"

Are you sure you want to report this post for ?