Thursday, February 24, 2011

Not Once but Twice--Discussion Thread

Adam takes her to a Greek restuarant where she has a kebab, and an Indonesian restaurant for nasi goreng...I don't need any other details to tell me he's the villain of the piece.  I really like kebabs and they remind me of this song from Flight of the Conchords (which is clean-ish (It's on Letterman but he does compare the relative attractiveness of a sort-of beautiful woman with that perhaps attainable by a high-class prostitute...).  Some of the lyrics: Let's get in a cab, I buy you a kebab.  And I can't believe I am sharing a kebab with the most beautiful woman I have ever seen with a kebab.
The power of the kebab...
You're much nicer looking than anyone in the vicinity of this kebab restaurant if you exclude the women in the line outside the club down the street...
George Henry likes 'modern' furnishings.  I don't need any other details to tell me that he's a villain of the piece.  I really like modern furniture but can't imagine doing up my whole house in a style so spare.  One of my favorite websites is Unhappy Hipsters--a site that fills my need for a peek at modern style (because the little Mijnheer is not a fan) while poking fun at the pretension that often goes with.

"He took his double x table and the grey oak cabinet doors when he left, but much like his absence she hardly noticed."
Christina goes to a beauty parlour and has her make-up done...she ends up not looking like herself. Make-up is such a personal thing.  I wear eyeliner most often (Middle-eastern and Indian women know what they're doing when they work from the eyes.) and then on some Sundays (It depends on how late we are.) I do a light foundation, lipstick, blush, and eye shadow.  It takes me five minutes, perhaps, and really, really basic.  I am the despair of Betty Kylene who knows what it is to dress up.

An English girl has her baby in Casualty (not enough time to make it to the maternity ward).  This is my nightmare.  Betty Debbie could tell you the story of someone she knows who gave birth in a car.  (No, thank you.)

Christina tells Duert that he has a 'very catholic taste' in girls--which you could take any way you like.  Glass half full: He is willing to be pleased.  Glass half empty: He is indiscriminate.  
Duert says he likes her better with straight hair--'you're not a girl to wear curls and waves'.  When I began dating Mijnheer van Voorhees I spent 45 minutes before each date curling my very thick (and stick straight) hair.  Gradually I tapered off as I found he was perfectly happy to bill and coo no matter what my hair looked like.  Perhaps Duert is the same...


  1. Betty Barbara here--
    As one who has always had a minimalist approach to make-up, I can understand Chrissy's feeling about how she looked after her "make-over". And then Adam the cad (who never, ever, really looked at her unless something had gone hideously wrong) doesn't really notice and makes some comment about getting some make-up!
    As one with straight, baby fine hair, I gave up on curlers around 7-8th grade! I could curl up a storm and 30 minutes later--straight again! never mind.
    While we were dating, Mijnheer van der Tarheelin said he was glad I worn my fingernails plain--he was not a fan of "red talons". Score another one for the lazy Betty Barbara--no need for fancy manicures! More Money and time saved!!

  2. ...and now I'm in the mood for kebabs...

  3. Is anybody married to or knows somebody who makes Adam-like comments? I mean MEAN, not just absent minded stupidity.

    Prof. Vue der Plane has filled his mouth with his foot on many occasions, but generally he's much more Duert-like in his comments.

    Him "Oh, I like you're dark eyebrows, don't bother plucking them."
    Me: "Just keeping the path between the nose and forehead open. Unibrows not terribly attractive no matter how generous my curves."

    Me: "I'm thinking of cutting my hair short." (I'm 6 mos.pregnant with 5th child and 32y.old)
    Him: "Well, okay. I guess that's the hair style most older, heavier women wear." (I didn't cut it. grrrr )Many years later......Still got long hair & I'm glad I didn't cut it.

    Him: Often comments on how glad he is I'm not a 'painted lady'.
    Me: Fine with that. Like Betty Barbara, I'm not looking for extra chores. Good thing he's into European grooming styles, cuz come winter, I leave the Quattro in the cabinet.

    The one thing I do that he wishes I wouldn't is color my hair. But the foot's firmly planted on that one. Betty Megan would not have liked her playmates calling me Granny! She still, at 14, encourages my use of that product.

    He got a wee bit mean once when I refused to get Rosacea treatment. It worked, I saw the doc, but it took lots of pink roses to make up for that one.

    Really, who would put up with the Adam style of mean?

  4. Betty Mary,

    My niece does. Her husband is a class A Jerk at times - MOST of the time. I get so irritated with my niece for putting up with it - for nearly 25 years!! - but I am livid when he does it to their kids. When there daughter was a high school freshman she joined the marching band, which is a Big Deal here where the district is very well known for the excellence of its music program. The band is large, has been invited to Disney multiple times, same with Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, etc. She fit right in, and I was thrilled to know she entered high school with a secure, happy niche already.

    In the 2nd month of school, she quit. Her dad ridiculed her and the band daily, telling her it was stupid, that band members were geeks, that it was a waste of time and money, etc. He literally beat her with his cruel tongue.

    She was miserable the rest of her freshman year until she got angry enough with him that she went to the band director and joined again in April.

    She has been a different girl since. And he's up to his old tricks, the jackass. But she's on to him and wrote a sad little facebook status about how hard it is to have someone you love be disrespectful and nasty about an important part of your life. My daughter-in-law told her (not knowing it was her dad Rachel was referring to) kick him in the crotch. ;-)

    Many people, even after Rachel said it was her dad, "liked" Amy's comment! Many of those same people encouraged her to stay in band, and just accept that her dad is who he is and she can't change him, she can only be responsible for herself. I'm pretty sure she's smart enough to stay in band but how sad that a man would alienate the daughter who adores him!

    My niece, btw, has become very aggressive and negative and bitter. She was a loving, sweet and kind person but this is how she's survived.


    She insists, too, that she learned to accept this kind of thing from watching her parents, that their relationship was very similar. Not even close! Her father died at 38 after an excruciating battle with cancer. Her parents were both smart-mouthed but it was always apparent that they loved one another, especially in those last years. I grew up spending a lot of time in their home and never got the impression that they were cruel to one another. And my niece was almost 19 when her dad died - no real excuse for her skewed view.

    She makes my sister crazy with those comments!

    Sorry - I have rambled too much but it is extremely painful to watch, especially, as I said, when he turns it on his children. Their mother has had a choice. The kids don't.


  5. Oh what a pity. Stories like that always reinforce to me what an impact the decision about who you marry has on what kind of life you have--I think you can be a joyful person under many tough circumstances but it sure makes it hard when your mate is such a Debbie Downer. I vow not to be a cautionary tale...

  6. I was just talking to Dr. van der Stevejinck last night about his 'style' of compliments. He is absolutely incapable of making a snap compliment. He can't 'enthuse' on demand. He has the Engineer Gene...the one that means he has to do a detailed study of every aspect before coming off with a very sincere, but belated, compliment.

    It's not quite (but may as well be)'damning with faint praise'. He doesn't do it intentionally -it's just the way he's wired. You'd think I would remember that when I ask him for his opinion on something that I think is fabulous or awesome or awe-inspiring. First there's a pause...You can almost see the gears turning in his head...then (about a thousand years after I first asked him what he thought) and only then will he ladle out his opinion.

    I don't think I've explained myself well...Dr. van der Stevejinck is one of the nicest guys in the world - just don't expect him to wax rhapsodic at the drop of a hat.

  7. Prof. Vue der Plane is an Engineer of the electrical type. He's a little more inclined to 'static' and 'spikes'. I think He's made it a 'religious' practice to compliment (and to apologize to counter his quick judgment tendency), and the kids picked that up from him. I often get thank you's for the 'great' meals, for doing the dishes, etc. Another engineer tendency gone wild. I don't complain, but over complimenting can sometimes grate a little. ;-) But I wouldn't trade him for a million Duerts.

  8. My best friend's husband has a routine when it comes to things in which he's taken an interest. Lois knows the routine (after 51 years) to a T. And she doesn't get too excited until they're in Sam's "red zone." First, he'll read about something. Casually. Look it up online, etc. Next, he'll look for more info, if that really piqued his interest. He'll print a few longer articles to read in the comfort of his big chair in the family room. After that, if things are really interesting, he'll get a file folder and tuck the collected articles together. When he goes to the next step, which is to get a binder and start REALLY collecting things, it's time for Lois to get excited (one way or another, to cheer or start working on "cons" for this project!).

    Engineers are definitely predictable in their processes - not necessarily in their ultimate reactions, but they do have a process. :)

    Gotta love 'em.

    Our son of the heart, Joe, is an engineer. (His family has the gene, too.) He's young yet, but Amy and I often tease him about his spreadsheets and notebooks.


  9. Betty Cindy - So Sad for your niece. What a shame that she's let herself be changed in a reaction to someone who must have a very poor self image. It might be too late for your niece, but the daughter needs you. I'm sure you'll keep her spirit in mind and give her support. I'll keep her in prayer. Betty Megan is in band and almost quit twice. We left it totally to her the first time she decided to quit and then re-joined, but once we bought the 2nd flute, and she wanted to back out again, I told her she had to finish out the year. Now that she's in High School and goes to band camp and is in marching band she loves it. She's been asked to learn the bassoon and is enjoying it.
    The process thing is true for my Prof. too. But he does he research elsewhere,and I get surprised when the new hobby pops up. He's now talking about going back to word carving. I'll like that if it happens.
    One son got his aerospace engineering degree (thought I was getting a rocket science) but he's got a MBA and now he's Head of Purchasing at Notre Dame. So I'm thinking the gene is there but he's suppressing it!

  10. LOL, I meant Wood Carving. I'm the word carver! ha ha ha

  11. LOL! I'm pretty good at word carving. There are times I'm surprised at what comes out of my mouth. ;-)

    Sam (my best friend's husband) is an athlete -he was influential in getting my husband addicted to competition. At one point Sam was the National Champion in the Masters' Division of bicyclists. And then he had some physical problems that caused him to quit. He gave away his three bikes, that cost upwards of $10k EACH (gave them to son and grandson) and started looking for other outlets.

    Recently he started a notebook for new bikes. His problem has been in abeyance and he thinks he's in the clear. Lois is sure that after he buys another extremely expensive bike the problem will return. Of course, he won't listen.

    Thanks for praying for our Rachel. She's very special to me - has been from birth. All through her early years, from infant to school age, there were three people in her life that counted. Her mother, her grandmother and me. And we're still very close. She's the kind of kid (at 15) who will just call and ask to come up and we'll hang out together, she on her laptop and me on mine, both of us on facebook and chatting now and then. That's when I hear about the way she's feeling about becoming more girly after being a tomboy all her life, and about how she feels about her dad and her brother going off to college, etc. It'll break my heart if her father has truly messed her up! So far she's a level headed kid and loves the Lord. She's active in her church's youth group and works hard to have good grades.

    The weird thing about her dad is that he's a school teacher, and a darned good one. He's got very low self-esteem and always has. Knowing his father explains that but why after all these years he can't overcome that, I don't know.

    My own mother had a rather horrible childhood, one of nine in the midst of the depression. Was sent out to work as a mother's helper at age 9 - her schooling ended then. My grandmother made no secret of the fact that her two daughters counted for nothing alongside the 7 sons. My mother's reaction was to do all she could to make her children's lives better, to always let us know we were loved and to make sure we knew that we had worth, just for being who we are. I can remember her specifically telling us that if a man ever hit us, we'd better be of the mind that he'd never get a 2nd chance. I know my father never hit her, so I guess I wonder about my grandfather, who died when I was a baby.

    My point is, why doesn't my niece's husband have that same care for his own children? A mystery, for sure.


  12. Nope -- In my family, it's all women hurting women. It's generational, but it's slowly diminishing over time.

    When my mother got engaged to my father at the end of WWII, her uncle gave an engagement party. Mummy was the eldest of four daughters, but her sister Magdalen (nicknamed Bebe) wasn't able to attend. In a lull in the conversation, my grandmother turned to my father and said, "George, I think it's lovely that you want to marry Jofine, but why didn't you pick Bebe?"

    Dead silence.

    Then my uncle said, "Beryl, you'll never live that down." (My grandmother was also famous for praising one sister to another in the same "Why can't you be more like your sister --- " style. My mother assumed she was the only one who got that garbage but after she died I found out that her sisters were told, "Why can't you be more like Jofine." My grandmother was an equal-opportunity witch...)

    But before you get angry at my grandmother, consider how her mother treated her. She was living at home with her parents in London a hundred years ago when she received, in the mail (!), a letter from her mother that said, "Dear Beryl, Your appearance and the way you dress is such that, were you an applicant for the position of housemaid in this establishment, I would not hire you." And her mother was in the house at the time!

    But before we despise my great-grandmother, consider her experience. She grew up in New Zealand, the second of something like 10 kids. Her uncle came from London and invited Maud (actually Magdalen but it was pronounced Maudlin) to come back with him to London for a "Season." "Fine," her mother told Maud, "You may go. But understand that there will no longer be room for you in this household if you do." In other words, Maud -- at 18 -- could travel to London but she could never come home. (And her dad was a bank manager, so it wasn't like the younger kids were starving or anything...)

    Now, I will say that my mother was pretty nice to me -- but she'd been not-so-nice to my sister, who's ten years older than ! am. And my sister, back when she was a teen and I a toddler, was mentally ill and I got mistreated. She did get the help she needed and is now a published author in her field. But we've never been close and now aren't in touch with each other. Mostly because what happened in the past is too big to deal with and too big to ignore.

    Compared with that, any of Betty Henry or Betty Ross's backhanded compliments -- if I could even think of them -- pale in significance. What sticks out in my mind are all the times they've praised me and supported me, particularly to my family of origin. Which is why they are both the family of my heart and I'd be lost without them, while my siblings are just some people whose name I share and whom I hope are happy in their lives.

  13. Magdalen, what I see is that, however fractured, the women in your family are survivors.