Smart Girls Who Do Stupid Things

Sometimes…

A List of Quotes From the Most Painful Vows Ever

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I actually wasted precious moments of my life reading this, and then writing about it. Quotes in the order in which they smacked me in the face and then rickashayed back at the computer screen.

I may take this sword to myself when they're done with it. Matthew Staver for NYT

1. The persistent, Type-A sunshine was perfect for Ms. Stephens, 27, and Mr. Lloyd, 28. Both are intense, hard-charging lawyers who seem to rarely stumble or pause, in their sentences or in their lives. They take the pursuit of excellence very seriously.
Translation: They’re super fun, party people. This is going to be a hell of a ride.

2. Mr. Lloyd said he enjoys projects that “sharpen my pencil intellectually.”
Translation: He likes euphemisms.

3. She was the girl who almost always wore dresses and high heels to class, yet drove a dirt-covered car filled with horseback-riding gear.
Translation: She’s a little bit country, and a little bit rock n’ roll.

4. She did drink her first glass of wine ever with him one evening, while studying French together. It was the kind of evening that should have ended in a kiss, but didn’t.
Translation: Alcohol is really necessary for two people to have a good time, but doesn’t always lead to sealing the deal, kids.

5. That fall, she was his date for the Colonnade Ball, an annual university tradition. “They play the Virginia reel,” she said. “Boys line up on one side, girls on the other. The girls curtsy and the boys bow and then you do-si-do with your partner.” They were not a bit lost on the dance floor…The ball was their watershed.
Translation: They know how to get down.

6. After that, they were a couple, always with each other and usually surrounded by books. “We’d go to the library together, and grab two carrels and study,” he said. “I’m sure my grades improved because of that.”
Translation: They really know how to get down.

7. Even while on the same campus, they gave each other handwritten love letters. Both have perfect spelling, even without a spell-checker. His letters stood out, though, for their length and literary flourishes. “My writing is straight emotion and his is beautifully done,” she said. “He would always close with, ‘Ever I remain, truly yours.’ I’d just write, ‘Love.’ ”
Translation: I can’t even make a remark about this.

8. They actually liked long-distance dating.
Translation: True love waits, guys.

9. The only time she is unhappy around him, she said, is when they are in water over her head. “He’s a big swimmer,” Ms. Stephens said. “I am not built for swimming. I am built for slow drowning.”
Translation: Well, she doesn’t like water, so she’s just a big idiot and the relationship is doomed.

10. A large portion of his home library, and dinner conversations, are devoted to subjects like why interstates and suburbs are becoming obsolete and unsustainable.
Translation: Who doesn’t like talking about how the future of most of America is doomed?

11. “Criminal cases never get boring,” she said. “I can’t get into financial crime. When greed motivates people, that’s just not as interesting.”
Translation: Yup, Ponzi schemes just have no depth to them whatsoever.

12. Their wedding at St. John’s was like them: serious, traditional, full of light but not lightness. It was a weighty ceremony.
Translation: SHOCKER. From this article thus far, I would have thought that a Chris Brown “Forever” dance was in order.

13) Canon Lewis, sounding as analytical and academic as the couple, called marriage “a wonderful confinement” and a big risk.
Translation: Well, this wedding sounds like a big upper! Let’s all go get wasted.

Tru Dat

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Thanks for the info.

It Can’t Hurt to Ask…

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Lauren’s excellent blog post (referenced in the social network map post) reminded me of this blog I recently started reading and the host of questions that flare up at the intersection where gender, entitlement, courtesy and propriety collide. On the Daily Asker, the blogger, inspired by the book Women Don’t Ask, went on a year-long mission to discover the power and pitfalls of asking for things. Every day for a year she asked for something that she would not normally have asked for, a favor, a discount, a free sample, etc, and documented the results. Over 70% of the time, she got what she wanted.

Inspired by the blog, and the radical idea that the worst thing that happens is I get told “no,” I asked for a first time customer discount at a new hair salon. I told them that I was excited to try their salon, and had read great reviews, but the cost slightly exceeded my price point.  I was told they had never done that before, but hey, why not. I saved myself $45. Who would have thought!

Describing the blog–>inspiration–>asking–>salon success story to my friend Jessie, I was struck by her secondary reaction (the first being, of course, props on my cheap hair cut.) Her second reaction was along the lines of “be careful not to become one of those pushy, demand-y people that customer service workers hate.” I second her sentiment completely (I’ve worked food service and retail, and I hate those people), but I do wonder if I would ever get that reaction from a male friend. On the Daily Asker’s list of 88 things she learned is this one-two punch:

26. Don’t worry about exploiting the other side by asking. He or she can decline.
27. But remember there are cases where you have more power, status or income, and the other side feels compelled to comply.

I love this sequence of observations  because I think that women, in general, worry a lot more about the imposition of asking and the feelings of the “askee” than men (vast generalization, I know)*. For example, if I ask a salesperson for a discount, I might make that salesperson uncomfortable by putting them in the position of having to say no. Is their potential discomfort my responsibility? Should I not ask because of that potential? Do men recognize that potential as much as women? If they do, do they proceed more often because they believe their need/desire/request trumps the askee’s discomfort? If they don’t, what broader implication does that have on social interactions across gender lines (or other relationships fraught with power dynamics?)

*Sara (a Texan) pointed out that the willing-to-ask factor is also tremendously different from region to region. A conversation for another day.

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