Tuesday, February 24, 2009

(Casa)Nova #1

[Disclaimer: I am a feminist, humanist and humorist. Make of that what you will.]

I figure I will start with the first 2 1/2 questions, and we'll go from there, hopefully I will answer most of the questions posed, but who knows.

Ozkirbas asks - Dear Casanova: "When, if ever, is it appropriate to chastise parents for their unruly children? How is it done appropriately? And, can you provide a representative sample?"

I think that there is far to little public chastising in general. There are too many times to count now when someone's headphones are so loud on the metro that I can hear what song is playing or, even better, the person is playing a song out loud on their cellphone. I dream of confronting these people, and if you see my obituary in the near future, you will know why.

When confronting a parent there are a few things to take into account. What is the environment? Would I let my child do that? Is there an element of danger involved?

For example, two kids are running around a park playing tag and one slams into your leg. In this case you're in a park it's a sunny day, let it go.

If you're ridding on the metro during rush hour and there's a kid swinging back and forth on the poles like their monkey bars, then it's time to step in. It's easiest to just say flat out to the parent "Excuse me, that's dangerous." If the parent disagrees then you should call Child Protective Services, which you should already have on speed dial for just such an occasion.

Brittany asks - "Is there a universal rule for what is inappropriate public behavior for couples or is it just that I get uncomfortable easily?"

When you're single, PDA is like being surrounded by a bunch of Republican Red Sox fans. When you're in a relationship, though, it's generally not as big of a deal. But here's an easy rule of thumb, which should keep things classy. Don't do anything in public you wouldn't do in front of your parents. And by public I mean out on the street, waiting for the metro, sitting in a movie theater etc. If you want to fuck in a public restroom . . . that's your call.

For the sake of argument you should also assume that your parents are not Southern, or alcoholics, or Mormons, or Red Sox fans. Basically assume your parents aren't fuck-ups. Under that rubric, most parents would find some mild kissing or hand-holding all-right. Most parents would be creeped out by their kids groping each other under their clothes.

Brittany also asks - "What is your take on the oh-so prevalent myspace/facebook couples kissing picture? How do you think it reflects our society? DO you think it reflects our society?"

This response will seem amusing given one of the pictures used by one of our blog followers. I personally chose to define myself as myself at all times, and even if I was married with kids, would go to the same lengths I go to now to ensure that I am a recognizable individual.

That said, everyone has their thing. Some people build their life around their baby, some people want to completely and endlessly share every part of their life with a spouse. And more in general, some people will be "The NASCAR Guy" or "The libertarian Guy" (note: there are no female Libertarians) or "The Music Woman."

I think it's a pain that some people become part of a duprass but they way people define themselves it's essentially a part of their existence. It would be like saying "I really like you, but I'm tired of your kidney." The girlfriend has become like this guy's kidney, and the conversely the boyfriend has become the girl's small intestines.

[Special Addendum: Here's a one link response to this questions:
Meg asks - "Dear Casanova: Is there a polite way to approach the parents of an overextended, over-involved, and exhausted child about cutting back their kid's extracurricular activities? I am fairly close with the parents, somewhat closer with the child. The child has expressed a desire to pare down his activities, but fears his parents' disapproval. I hate to meddle, especially inappropriately, but I hate to see this kid so upset and worn out."
Check Out this Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/24/health/24well.html]


ali d said...

JohnOzkirbas - good question

I now understand the niche that I fill in this blog - I'm the Republican Red Sox Fan. Go me?

Ozkirbas said...

Good answers.

I also like your disclaimer.

Max Nova said...

Sorry Ali. That was kind of a random convergence.

On the other end of the spectrum I am already tired of people wearing Obama shirts. It's like the political equivalent of being "that guy."

Jason Heat said...

It's definitely becoming the political equivalent of 'that guy.' well said.

ali d said...

No need to be sorry, Max, I know there aren't many of us. And I have to say, I'd rather see an Obama t-shirt than a facebook profile picture sketched in reds and blues with a stupid catch-word at the bottom.

Ozkirbas said...

Unless it's a picture of a homeless guy with the catch-phrase "Change?" underneath. That's just hilarious.

David Pratt said...

"The libertarian Guy" (note: there are no female Libertarians)

I don't like being told I'll be alone all my life.

Max Nova said...

If we only could find happiness in those who are exactly like us there'd be a lot less people.

Also, Ayn Rand is a man.

Jason Heat said...

a lot less people - not a 100% bad thing...

Ozkirbas said...

Yeah, but group polarity is

Jason Heat said...


Ozkirbas said...

Group polarization is the effect where individuals within a group conform their thoughts to a group-agreed standard. Usually happens simply by spending time conversing over issues. Sometimes done by actively seeking the like-minded for affirmation. Causes distinctive disparate "poles" of thought despite substantial relevant gray area. Limits conventional thinking and original thought, in my opinion.

Jason Heat said...

I just think less people should have babies.

Or maybe the same amount of people should have fewer babies...

Or perhaps both.

Except in Japan. There, it's becoming a problem.

Ozkirbas said...

overpopulation or baby making?

Jason Heat said...

Underpopulation, actually.

Damo said...




ali d said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ali d said...

Well now I feel like a douche. I had thought about putting this sentence in my comment, but didn't. I add it now, shame-facedly: "My apologies to any Gentlemen who might have such a photo, but it's just how I feel."

B.Graham said...


I'm told I'm libertarian.

But people tell me I'm a lot of things (it upsets them when you won't choose a label).

And also: my boyfriend's a moderate and we get along all right.

I don't know if all this was supposed to comfort you or not, but I hope it does somehow.

Damo said...


No need to make allowances for a Gentleman you would not normally make for mere mortals. My profile pic is as cliche as it gets, which was precisely my inspiration. Annoying people is how I know I'm being effective.