May 22, 2009

Women are unhappier than ever.

According to a new study.

That's what we get for being more in touch with how we feel — we notice it, we admit it to ourselves and others. And we get attention because of it. If men were/are sad, who would know? Who would care?

But the linked blog post, by Meghan O'Rourke, asks — assuming it's really true that women are less happy than men and less happy than they were 35 years ago — why would this be so?
[T]he drop in happiness is pegged to an anxiety caused by the plethora of choices available (Barry Schwarz's paradox of choice) and women's feeling that they have to perform well across more categories. This is not exactly the same as struggling to balance so-called work and life (i.e., children): The study's authors are quick to point out that the decline in happiness is consistent across many categories, irrespective of marital or employment status or whether you have young children....
Oh, how I loathe this liberal meme about choice and happiness! Though liberals believe fondly in "the right to choose," they also love to say that choice makes us sad — but they only seem to mean that choice in the economic sphere is bad. (Notice how it softens you up to accept the crappy car the government wants you to drive and the good-for-everybody health care system it would like to provide.)

Anyway, why are women so sad? I think it's because we think about our feelings so much and care so much about being happy.

303 comments:

1 – 200 of 303   Newer›   Newest»
John Althouse Cohen said...

Anyway, why are women so sad? I think it's because we think about our feelings so much and care so much about being happy.

But why the increasing sadness over the last few decades?

AllenS said...

"Anyway, why are women so sad?"

Maybe you're not drinking enough.

John Althouse Cohen said...

Also, I don't understand your point about choice in the economic sphere. Isn't it possible that more choice actually has bad consequences? Do you reject this idea prima facie?

Bissage said...

Aaaaah, hooey! There’s nothing wrong with women that can’t be fixed with a B12 shot prescribed by a quack.

Bissage said...

AllenS's was funnier.

MadisonMan said...

The study says that their subjective well-being has declined.

Women are more critical of themselves, says the study. It's a self-reported feeling. Maybe all these women are happy being more self-critical. I'm not sure how the interpreter of the study results can relate the actual results to something nebulous like contentment.

I wonder if the study asks: Do you like being critical of yourself?

ricpic said...

"Sunshine on my shoulders" is enough to make most guys happy. It really is. Not so for women. There has to be drayma. Or at least some scheming going on. As to why?.....

TosaGuy said...

The freedom to pick from many choices brings the increased responsibility to accept the consequences of your choice.

Salamandyr said...

Also, I don't understand your point about choice in the economic sphere. Isn't it possible that more choice actually has bad consequences? Do you reject this idea prima facie?

I think the point is, that liberals are all for choice in other areas, like choice of lifestyles, choice of religion (or lack of...), choice whether to keep or abort, etc. But in the economic sphere, they seem to universally regard choice as bad. It's too stressful to have to pick your doctor, stay informed, have a variety of kinds of food to eat, cars to drive, places to live.

In those areas, they want to limit people's ability to make "bad" decisions.

Can a multitude of choices have bad consequences? Not that I can see. Having the ability to pick any doctor I want, based on whatever criteria is important to me seems like a better option than having one picked for me by a bureaucrat I don't even know. Being able to decide that lower mileage is worth it to have a safe vehicle for my family (or vice versa in my particular case) is better than a government mandated econo-box.

Choice is good, in all spheres.

AJ Lynch said...

Althouse is not the typical woman so I won't suggest she consider her friends and neighbors.

But what about your female colleagues? In the last 30 years, have they become more & more serious? Do they show signs that they have sucked the fun out of life?

John said...

I think the fact that women tend to be so vicious and cruel to one another may have something to do with it. If I come to work with a mismatched tie or a rumpled suit, none of my male collegues will even notice. My female ones will notice and at most roll their eyes. If a woman shows up in a dated outfit or having put on a pound or two, she is sure to be destroyed by her female co-workers.

I really feel bad for women. It is a viper pit among them.

garage mahal said...

Translated: This liberal chic makes me unhappy.

And why on earth would we want a health care system good for everybody? That would take away that little comfort of superiority and make me less happy!

elHombre said...

Gee, maybe the move from the home to the workplace wasn't all it was cracked up to be.

Naw. That's both too obvious and too not p.c.

(Yes, I read that the study "was quick to point out...." So?

p.s. Oh right, Garage, gov't health care will fix 'em right up. Happiness abounds in countries that have it.

AJ Lynch said...

My two cents on choice.

There is a buttinsky attitude in many liberals. Many sneer at people who prefer to live in the suburbs (the horror of suburban sprawl), or buy big houses (Mcmansions), or drive an SUV, or love Nascar, or choose to home school their kids, or make other choices. These are simply choices made with one's own free will and one's own money.

So why the disdain? I think that is what Althouse means. And does it contribute to a level of unhappiness?

Joan said...

Garage, the idea that government-run anything would be better -- and that government-run healthcare would be "good for everyone" -- is so laughable, I actually smiled more at your comment than at Chip's delightful animation. Which is kind of sad, actually.

But such sadness is momentary, thank goodness. Over the past 30 years, I have become much happier, because I figured out that happiness is a choice. It's an attitude, not a gift. No one else can make you happy, you have to do it for yourself. I think a lot of women are unhappy because they have unrealistic expectations of their mates, families, friends, and colleagues.

Oh how I detest this word, but I'll use it anyway -- it's very empowering to realize that no one else can control your happiness, but too many people buy what the popular culture is selling and thus spend their lives frustrated and miserable. They think they deserve more and don't understand why they are not getting it. They don't realize that the universe is not ordered to make them happy.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Hey chicks, feeling sad?

Feelings are boring, kissing is awesome.

It's a lifestyle, not just a shirt.

rhhardin said...

It's from doing stuff women are not interested in, encouraged by the idea that women ought obsess on the same stuff as men, as if what was satisfying ought to be the same across the sexes.

Unhappiness is aided by a tendency to find stuff for men to fix, whose survival value is testing of potential mates for reliability and fondness. Finding stuff for men to do requires finding something that's wrong.

In a perfect world, that's followed by showing the man who was out on the quest that you're satisfied with him, which makes him happy.

This story is told over and over in Get Smart, wildly popular with males in the 60s.

I think being in touch with feelings is really just looking for stuff that needs fixing, the initial move in the dialog.

garage mahal said...

Ah, nobody said anything about government run health care. But carry on!

raf said...

I have known people who aren't happy UNLESS they are unhappy.

rhhardin said...

Catherine Clement, writing of opera, says women die because they sing.

Search for clement here, pick p.132.

Pogo said...

Clearly, women's choices should be limited for them, for their own good.

A government patriarchy would make them happy again; then they wouldn't have to worry their pretty little heads about it.

Men should however remain feral to stay happy.

raf said...

If behavioral psychology (I said IF) has any validity, there should be a reinforcing "reward" for unhappiness in women which does not exist equally for men. Do women disproportionally get rewarded for being unhappy? Do men give them stuff or do things for them to try to cheer them up? Hmm? How do people react to an unhappy man? The same -- to the same extent?

Just wondering out loud.

John said...

"There is a buttinsky attitude in many liberals. Many sneer at people who prefer to live in the suburbs (the horror of suburban sprawl), or buy big houses (Mcmansions), or drive an SUV, or love Nascar, or choose to home school their kids, or make other choices. These are simply choices made with one's own free will and one's own money."


That is a good point. It does seem a lot of liberals are really angry about what other people do. Going around worrying about what cars other people drive and whether they take the train to work doesn't sound like a recipe for happiness. But of course that applies to both men and women and doesn't explain why women are more unhappy.

elHombre said...

garage: "Ah, nobody said anything about government run health care. But carry on!"

Ah, give some thought to reading the original post by the Professor. You know, the one you were pretending to respond to. Carry on.

William said...

Happiness is something you look back on, not live through....It is the by product of purposeful activity, not the aim...It is truly amazing how many platitudes the idle brain can generate about the nature of happiness....We should all be grateful to have lives of sufficient comfort and leisure to contemplate the true meaning of happiness as opposed to where to find the next 2000 calories. Although, it should be noted, it is generally easier to find 2000 calories than lasting, meaningful joy.

Pogo said...

When pursued for its own sake, happiness is like the horizon; it stretches further ahead, never to be reached, sometimes receding from view the faster you run.


When not pursued at all, it is found in batches, large and small, all when doing other things.

A little girl's laugh, a running dog, a joke from a friend, duty fulfilled, comforting the sick, ironing her shirt, calming the demented parent, giving directions, prayer, music, grade school baseball, popcorn at a movie, a negative mammogram, the impromptu class reunion at a funeral.

ElcubanitoKC said...

I've always hated the phrase "having it all" for its tyrannical insistence on impossible perfection. Does this mean it's finally time to put that phrase to rest in the cemetery of bad language?.

And do away with so many choices?

Interesting...in an alarming kind of way...

raf said...

Perhaps unhappiness is mostly caused by worrying about whether you are happy enough.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Can we say feminism has failed then? When will Gloria Steinem be tried fro crimes against humanity?

John said...

"Can we say feminism has failed then? When will Gloria Steinem be tried fro crimes against humanity?"

LOL. Of course if you tell your daughter, she doesn't have to be an A student if she doesn't want to be and can marry the boy she loves and have a baby if that is what makes her happy, O'Rourke and her ilk will be screaming that you are denying your daughter the opportunities feminists have fought for her to have.

AJ Lynch said...

Jason:

LOL.

I wonder if Gloria Steinem is happy?

AJ Lynch said...

John:

Good point - the findings were about women.

Perhaps, if the women surveyed included 25%-30% liberals, there could be some cause & effect.

Seven Machos said...

Gloria Steinem is happy like a fish is riding a bicycle.

goesh said...

Only Liberls would analyze how and why they might be happy

Almost Ali said...

I learned my lesson years ago.

The women whispered that I was the worst boss in the world, a dictatorial maniac.

As the boss, I saw my primary role as making sure everyone made money; the employees, male and female - and the business.

At some point the ownership overheard the chattering whispers, and felt empowered to stage a confrontation. The owners also didn't like my style, but they did like the money.

True, it was my way or the highway, and I quit.

Two weeks later the girls went on strike. They demanded I be rehired. And I was, with even more power than before. Why? Once I left, they saw they're incomes going down the drain.

That's when I learned everything one needs to know about women, particularly in groups; 90% of their complaints are nonsense - a way to fill the feminine air.

The ultimate lesson is that a man can never please a woman, with the exception of a brief moment. Beyond that, you're on your own.

Freeman Hunt said...

I think Althouse is right, and the encouragement to constantly ponder one's own feelings is a big factor. Much of popular culture encourages women to be neurotic. Am I truly self-actualized? Am I truly happy? Am I truly in tune with so and so? And in much of the pop culture, these questions aren't really open-ended. A negative truth of some magnitude is assumed.

This is why I don't read women's magazines or watch women's shows. It's all about how to "fix" yourself. Stop thinking about your life and get on with having it!

John said...

Liberals are just the modern day decedents of the puritans only with government taking the place of God. What is that old saying about Puritans being worried that someone somehwere is happy? That is your modern liberal. Most of them go to bed at night worrying terribly that someone out there might be enjoying themselves while doing something unfasionable. It is a pretty miserable way to be if you ask me. But, they seem to like it.

Seven Machos said...

Women want to be happier? Three words, ladies. Three simple words to bring perpetual sweetness and light into your life:

More blow jobs.

AJ Lynch said...

Seven - I hope you reached that conclusion only after conducting an exhaustive survey lasting many years!

Paddy O. said...

Some things come to my mind.

There was a long time in history where women weren't allowed major roles in society. They had a place, and there's a certain freedom from angst in living up to the clear, and narrow, societal ideals.

Not all women were happy in that, but a good many were.

Now, the women who were happy in those clearly prescribed roles are told by society that they should be unhappy about being happy in those roles. So there's angst in both traditional and newly opened up roles. Women aren't allowed to just be content in who they are without someone, on one side or another or both sides, coming down on them. There's a constant judgment and second guessing forcing introspection on identity. That introspection rarely is tempered by thanksgiving, so there's always that not so fresh feeling of incomplete, unfulfilled identity.

Also, in the struggle for women's rights over the centuries there has always been a hope for that 'someday' that will bring joy with new opportunities. But now women have equality. They have fought and if they don't have wins in every realm, there is significant transformation of every part of society in the valuing of women.

So, there's a "now what?" aspect. A certain amount of happiness derives from our expectation of happiness in the future. We are driven by hope, and when we don't have anything to fight for, to struggle for, to strive for, other than increasingly nitpicking specifics or acknowledged freedom of harshly negative choices then there's a loss of energy and life. Humans are emotionally driven by struggle and progress. If we don't see an object greater than ourselves to work for we lose our sense of self.

Mr. Forward said...

"Women...less happy than they were 35 years ago — why would this be so?"

35 years ago I was single.

Penny said...

To Ann's point, women do think more about their feelings then men do. Now when you put two women together, they often share their feelings. When one of the two is having a bad day, the other is likely to empathize and share in that feeling, at least to some extent.

I think the results show what happens as women have more and more contact with each other due to new and improved technology, particularly email and cellphones. Heck we can't stay out of the "fray" even if we try.

Sisterhood is not without its upside, but frankly, I think men just don't bring you down as much.

Paddy O. said...

Spot on, Freeman.

Seven Machos said...

It's all for science. AJ. All for the betterment of humankind. Let me assure you: any pleasure I may receive is but a trifle.

Pogo said...

DOROTHY: Well, I -- I think that it -- that it wasn't enough just to want to see Uncle Henry and Auntie Em -- and it's that -- if I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own backyard. Because if it isn't there, I never really lost it to begin with!
Is that right
?

GLINDA: That's all it is!

SCARECROW: But that's so easy! I should have thought of it for you.

TIN MAN: I should have felt it in my heart.

GLINDA: No. She had to find it out for herself.

Now, those magic slippers will take you home in two seconds
!

rhhardin said...

``In many soap operas, a permanent question is either implied or actually posed every day by the serial narrators. These questions are usually expressed in terms of doubt, indecision, or inner struggle. Which is more important, a woman's heart or a mother's duty? Could a woman be happy with a man fifteen years older than herself? Should a mother tell her daughter that the father of the rich man she loves ruined the fortunes of the daughter's father? Should a mother tell her son that his father, long believed dead, is alive, well, and a criminal? Can a good, clean Iowa girl find happiness as the wife of New York's most famous matinee idol? Can a beautiful young stepmother, can a widow with two children, can a restless woman married to a preoccupied doctor, can a mountain girl in love with a millionaire, can a woman married to a hopeless cripple, can a girl who married an amnesia case - can they find soap-opera happiness and the good, soap-opera way of life? No, they can't - not, at least, in your time and mine. The characters in Soapland and their unsolvable preplexities will be marking time on the air long after you and I are gone, for we must grow old and die, whereas the people of Soapland have a magic immunity to age, like Peter Pan and the Katzenjammer Kids. When you and I are in Heaven with the angels, the troubled people of Ivorytown, Rinsoville, Anacinburg, and Crisco Corners, forever young or forever middle-aged, will still be up to their ears in inner struggle, soul searching, and everlasting frustration.''

James Thurber ``II - Ivorytown, Rinsoville, Anacinburg, and Crisco Corners'' _Soapland_ in _The Beast in Me and Other Animals_ p.222

Lem said...

[T]he drop in happiness is pegged to an anxiety caused by the plethora of choices available..

I know exactly what you mean 'honey'.. but like an Ostrich Theo Epstein keep stiking with Julio Lugo.. what's a fan to do ;)

traditionalguy said...

Happiness is a momentary feeling of victory over the stalking reality of a lack of money and fun. The women use the Un-Happiness meme to extend to describe their profound loneliness not filled by money and fun. It can only filled by an honest sharing of emotions with safe human(s). Today neither one can be found. The humans women are around are (1) dishonestly seeking only to get something, and (2) they are not safe any longer than it takes them to find a better offer. The women's intelligence and communications skills are off the chart high today, but traditional loyalty, honesty and good faith is only seen as a weakness no one can afford. Good luck to all you ladies out in today's jungle.

Pogo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pogo said...

Zounds!
The formula for female happiness was right there in the paper!

Happiness = alpha + beta1Female *(Year -1972)/100 + beta2Male *(Year -1972)/100 + beta3Female + epsilon
I am definitely going to try that when I get home. Just need two more beta females. How can my wife say no?

It's scienterrific!

Pogo said...

Mebbe I need three wimmens.

I was told there's be no math.

amba said...

rhhardin: man, you're wonderfully weird. I try to imagine you actually reading the stuff you come up with.

As for the central topic: shit, I'm happier than I was 35 years ago, in spite of objective decline. How politically incorrect is this: I think estrogen depresses women and always has. (If it didn't, we'd never put up with men. Depression makes you just submissive enough.) We just hear more about it now. You know, "the problem that has no name"? That's its name.

kalmia said...

If a woman shows up in a dated outfit or having put on a pound or two, she is sure to be destroyed by her female co-workers. I really feel bad for women. It is a viper pit among them.Are you sure your experience of this is not filtered through the prevalent media meme that women are vicious towards each other? I've been working in various jobs/professions for 40 years, including office worker, musician, linguistic researcher, teacher, high-tech telecom worker, and medical technical writer. I have never witnessed this so-called phenomenon in any of these walks in life, not even once. Moreover, I have also not experienced other women complaining about it.

In the 80's, the meme was that women were superior to men, that they always supported each other, especially in the workplace. I didn't see any evidence of that, either.

In my experience, women are no worse (or better) than men. "Destroyed by her female co-workers," "a viper pit among them." This is nonsense.

John said...

"I've been working in various jobs/professions for 40 years, including office worker, musician, linguistic researcher, teacher, high-tech telecom worker, and medical technical writer. I have never witnessed this so-called phenomenon in any of these walks in life, not even once. Moreover, I have also not experienced other women complaining about it."


All we can do is trade anicdotes. I have three sisters and a wife and numerous friends and have worked professionally for almost 20 years and my experience is precisly the opposite. There are at least two female high level people where I work now that are incapable of working with other women. I find that a lot of women are just nasty and shallow to one another. This is especially true of women under 35.

Stan said...

Genuine happiness (closely related to love) has nothing to do with feelings. How can a woman experience real happiness, if she's focused like a laser on herself and her feelings?

To understand why women are unhappy, read some women's magaizes. Hell, just look at the covers of the dozen or so at the grocery check out. Over the last 3 or 4 decades, women have been bombarded with messages that they can have it all, that they should get in touch with their feelings, that finding their "soul mate" is the key to love and happiness (subtext -- if she ain't happy, it's his fault), that whatever's the latest in makeup and fashion will make them happier, and that a better relationship requires but the latest manipulative trick to get him to do what she wants.

No wonder they're confused and unhappy. It's the inevitable result of decades of being treated like a mushroom. Anyone who reads a steady diet of that crap can't help it.

Pogo said...

"This is nonsense."

I have witnessed this so-called phenomenon in my life, more than once.

My daughter has experienced it, more than once.

NKVD said...

"Women are unhappier than ever."

And this is a problem, how?

Seven Machos said...

As a friend of mine once put it so profoundly:

"Women. Can't live with 'em. Pass the milk."

rhhardin said...

Anyone who reads a steady diet of that crap can't help it.

They print that crap because women like it.

40% of them do, anyway.

rhhardin said...

I don't have time to be happy.

Rose said...

I am not unhappy.

You (the collective you, not you, Ann) can put yourself there very easily if you focus on what you don't have instead of what you do have. You can pick at hangnails and think you are sick, or you can look at the bigger picture.

You could think about how unhappy you would be if you lived in Afghanistan, where all your choices were removed.

You could also stop judging happiness by acquisitions - yeah, so the guy over there has a nicer house than you, big deal - you still live better than the kings of old - you have things, which you take for granted, that they would have bankrupted their kingdoms to acquire - hot and cold running water on demand, light on demand, refrigerators, just imagine!

And, Pogo, at 10:13, nailed it.

MadisonMan said...

There is a buttinsky attitude in many liberals.

You are too restrictive in your sentence (this is liberal me just being buttinsky-ish, of course). The ability to butt in knows no political stripe. For every liberal telling you to drive a Prius and hug a tree, there is a conservative admonishing you for wearing over-revealing clothing and having pre-marital sex.

The focus, not the presence, of buttinskyism varies as a function of liberal/conservative.

My reply to buttinskys is either a fixed stare, and/or a polite request that they repeat their statement, at which point I say "Oh".

Beth said...

kalmia at 11:17 - exactly!

I love how Althouse posts and mocks an article based on ridiculous stereotypes and voila! commenters chime in with more stereotypes. It's magic, I guess.

DKWalser said...

I question the conclusion of the study. Not WHY are women more unhappy than 35 years ago. I question whether they are, in fact, more unhappy. Standards of happiness, like beauty, evolve over time. The fact the women of today rate their happiness a "4" on a scale of 1 - 10 and the women of yesteryear rated their happiness a "6" does NOT prove the women of today are less happy. It maybe that a "4" today equates with "6" from 35 years ago. It may be nothing more than grade inflation in reverse.

Beth said...

amba, perhaps this estrogen-depression thing explains why I'm feeling cheerful about having a hysterectomy next week. I just can't get sentimental about it.

MadisonMan said...

I also think Pogo at 10:13 is spot on, and will add that when I play I Spy in the car, I always use the horizon as one of the things spied. Stumps people every time.

Smilin' Jack said...

The downside to having more choices to make is the fear of making/having made the wrong ones.

MadisonMan said...

Beth, I hope you have a speedy recovery.

John said...

"For every liberal telling you to drive a Prius and hug a tree, there is a conservative admonishing you for wearing over-revealing clothing and having pre-marital sex."

Please tell us when any conservative ever told you that you were wearing too revealing clothing or shouldn't engage in pre-martial sex. I have spent my entire life around conservatives and have never had anything approaching that experience. Further, I don't know one conservative who objects to pre-martial sex. Outside of a few evangelicals, who were btw liberal as hell, I have never met anyone of my generation who embraced an outright prohibition on pre-martial sex. Yeah, most conservatives I know think cheating on your wife or having sex with huge numbers of people is a bad thing, but I have never once been told by a conservative that premarital sex is always bad.

Your statement is just not true. It just an urban myth repeated by liberals to make themselves feel better about their tendency to want to control everyone else's lives.

Penny said...

The study said that whatever was going on wasn't related specifically to the workplace, or to motherhood, or to marriage. That it was an across the board decline in happiness, NOT shadowed by male results.

Why are men happier? (Or less unhappy if you choose to put it that way?)

NKVD said...

No need to get married any more is a great reason for men to be happier than ever.

traditionalguy said...

Focusing on the reading material of intelligent women, such as our Professor, does raise the issue of their reading thousands of Good advice articles for women, some of which contain good advice. Most are filler written to meet a deadline to publish or not get paid. Over time the feeling that they have not done enough smart things, can become a black cloud of self criticism. So unhappiness is a self indictment. Just get out and around real friends who share ups and downs of their lives, and the black cloud looks entirely different. My best friend says, "perfection is a form of cruelty". Also get a dog.

Rose said...

Our forbearers had it tough - their babies died of pneumonia, there were no antibiotics, pregnancy could kill you, as could any infection, food was hard to come by and it was a full time job setting aside for the winter - they washed their clothes in the rivers, made their own clothes, soap, etc.... they had something to complain about.

We have it too easy, are too far removed from reality and too many of us wallow in self important self pity.

I guess that article makes me mad. Irritated and disgusted. LOL. But not unhappy.

Bissage said...

I just can't get sentimental about it.

That's probably just as well since they won't let you take all that stuff home as a memento.

Best wishes, Beth.

AJ Lynch said...

Cause we are masters of the universe?

k*thy said...

'The freedom to pick from many choices brings the increased responsibility to accept the consequences of your choice.'

It’s not so much the consequences of your choice as it is the pressure of having to make the *right* choice (whatever that means). As Joan said, for many, when they have less control of the outcome, when they become more powerless than what’s comfortable, is when they become miserable. When in truth, it’s the opposite. Happiness is a choice. It comes from within, not from how you look or what have. And we certainly get bombarded enough with the latter.

Synova said...

For some reason I've now got "Madam Blueberry" in my head singing, "I'm so blue-oo-oo blue-oo-oo-oo Ooo-ooo, I am so blue, I don't know what to do." This includes a riff about how all the things in her life just aren't good enough and don't bring her joy. Her possessions are chipped or old or faded. She is rescued by some sales-vegetables who inform her that "Happiness waits at the Stuff Mart. All you need is lots... more... stuff."

Not that consumerism is the only issue, but I think that it does work to make people feel dissatisfied.

Seven Machos said...

Madison -- I agree that you are making a false statement. There really aren't conservative scolds who you actually know, though we all know the leftist nut who chides us about recycling, the car we drive, etc. I heard a scold the other day tell me how it was wrong for drug companies to make money selling stuff that alleviates flu.

Those conservatives are out there (Gamblin' Bill Bennett, for example), but you don't actually come into contact with them. This suggests that they are much rarer. Mostly, they are bogeymen for people like you.

Seven Machos said...

Bummer, Beth. I was appealing for your presence just yesterday.

Stay well.

Synova said...

Not having a choice means that you don't have to stew and cry about having made the wrong choices, but I find it very hard to believe that the choices themselves cause unhappiness.

I've discussed this with my husband some... any choice made to do something is a choice made not to do something else. I'd have loved to make the military a career but I chose to stay home with small children, now I'm in the stereotypical position of stay-at-home Moms who's children are nearly grown where I've got no real work History and I have to try to decide what I'm going to do next.

But I realize that had I made a different choice I'd simply have *different* problems and different regrets. Because the choices that we make usually aren't between a good thing and a bad thing, but between competing good things.

And the question becomes... do I want to wallow in the lost chances? Or should I make a point, daily, of being thankful that it was possible for me to make the choice I made and have the freedom that I had over my days and activities for 15 years?

AJ Lynch said...

Yeah Beth- good luck with your surgery. Get well soon!

PatCA said...

Unhappiness is the end stage of narcissism, isn't it? Life just isn't perfect, darn it.

Take off your helmets and live!

ElcubanitoKC said...

Beth said...
amba, perhaps this estrogen-depression thing explains why I'm feeling cheerful about having a hysterectomy next week. I just can't get sentimental about it.

11:38 AM
.

Get better soon!

campy said...

If men were/are sad, who would know? Who would care?

We want men to be sad.

rcocean said...

Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn.

Paddy O. said...

"I love how Althouse posts and mocks an article based on ridiculous stereotypes and voila! commenters chime in with more stereotypes, then Beth comes along and stereotypes the stereotypists. So meta!

Your comment, Beth, reminded me how the funniest people (not always the happiest) are the ones who have had rough times in their life. Sometimes life just gets too absurd to try to comprehend. And we get past trying to make sense of things and just are happy for what we have, and can laugh about what we don't.

May your cheerfulness continue and be affirmed by a speedy recovery and long-lasting health.

T said...

None of this is news to me. In my own professional experiences over the years as a supervisor or manager of many different groups, crews of just women are the most challenging in terms of daily dealing with interpersonal conflicts,little acts of revenge, permanent grudges, and dramas that have nothing to do with work. Crews of all guys, they just seem to get to work. The rare guy conflict at work is a brief flare-up that usually gets resolved immediately, and then they go out together for beers later.

One of my techniques, no kidding, has been to get at least one man on a previously all-women crew. It's like putting the control rods into the nuclear pile. I don't know why, but it works.

Unhappy people are often just not happy unless they are unhappy.

Paddy O. said...

An appropriate song.

Paddy O. said...

Men tend to show their unhappiness through anger rather than sadness.

Penny said...

"Cause we are masters of the universe?"

That made me laugh, AJ.

chickenlittle said...

It's like putting the control rods into the nuclear pile. I don't know why, but it works.

What a meadow for again?

Best wishes and speedy recovery Beth!

John said...

"One of my techniques, no kidding, has been to get at least one man on a previously all-women crew. It's like putting the control rods into the nuclear pile. I don't know why, but it works."


My mother managed an office for several years and did the same thing. She said there was nothing worse than being in an office filled entirely with women.

amba said...

It maybe that a "4" today equates with "6" from 35 years ago. Well, that's exactly true of dress sizes! I've gone down one or two without losing an inch! LOL.

Beth: good luck!

"For every liberal telling you to drive a Prius and hug a tree, there is a conservative admonishing you ...To drive an SUV because BIG is the AMERICAN WAY! (Anyway, if you've seen one tree you've seen 'em all.)

Beth said...

thanks, folks, for the good wishes. I have a big stack of books to read and all should be well.

In the meantime, I plan to enjoy a little excess.

I agree with Rose's comment, overall. I think this survey is bunk, but in general, we all have the luxury of reflection in ways our forebears didn't. I also have no clue what criteria fits that allows us to compare "happiness" now with that 35 years ago. Silly things, surveys.

amba said...

Women are "feelings" hacks. Such experts on feelings that we hardly feel them anymore. That's why men's feelings, like women's thoughts, tend to be more authentic and refreshing.

John said...

My grandmother raised 8 kids on a large farm in Western Kansas in the 1940s and 50s. I doubt she spent much time reflecting on whether she was happy or not. She was just too busy. Introspection is a luxury of the priveleged. I suspect a lot of this poll is the result of our adjusting our expectations more than women being any worse off.

amba said...

Men tend to show their unhappiness through anger rather than sadness.Paddy O: right. Or through stoical silence till they blow their heads off, which men do at a far higher rate than women. Women threaten suicide more, men do it more, and by surer methods.

Bottom line: 1) People are unhappy. Buddhists call it "dukkha." Life is unsatisfactory, and then you die. 2) Amend that: people with unhappy temperaments are unhappy. Some people have happy temperaments. Some people are also brought up right. Those people tend to be contented and grateful regardless of circumstances -- and of gender.

rocketeer67 said...

That's why men's feelings, like women's thoughts, tend to be more authentic and refreshing.

As a life-long man, I can tell you that men's feelings and thoughts, even when complex, are uncomplicated and are one in the same.

Also, I'm hungry.

rhhardin said...

I doubt women's reflections of feelings have changed much.

What they spend their time doing has changed.

Hoosier Daddy said...

This is why I don't read women's magazines or watch women's shows.

Freeman! You mean you don't watch Lifetime, the show that Mrs. Hoosier coined, the network for lunatic women.

I never knew what she meant and she explained every show is about some deranged women who ends up killing her husband/boyfriend/lover/ or husband's boyfriend lover.

I stick with Discovery and History Channel while I have it on good authority liberals favor Cartoon Network and TV Land which reminds them of the time when America was respected by the world.

John said...

"I never knew what she meant and she explained every show is about some deranged women who ends up killing her husband/boyfriend/lover/ or husband's boyfriend lover."


You forgot the inncocent woman locked up in prison because she was framed by her evil husband or boyfriend. Lifetime loves women in prison.

al said...

My mother managed an office for several years and did the same thing. She said there was nothing worse than being in an office filled entirely with women.This is my wife's opinion as well. Except for the 4 doctors and 1 male nurse all the office employees are women. They are evil to each other at times.


In my own experience women tend to hold grudges ... for a long time. They brood and sulk and just dwell on the bad things. Men tend to get upset, throw something, yell, whatever, and its over.


Married women tend to become focused on being moms/wives. It becomes their life. Toss in a career and they probably feel like life never stops and they have no time for themselves. And the become unhappy. Once they decide to find something outside of that circle to do that is just for them - happiness can return. I've seen it in a couple of different women. Men - most of us have hobbies that takes us out of that circle so we stay happy. Plus we're a whole lot simpler creature.



Beth - best of luck. My wife recovered quickly from her hysterectomy. I hope the same for you.

Rich B said...

Happiness is overrated.

Pogo said...

Beth

1) "“My illness is due to my doctor's insistence that I drink milk, a whitish fluid they force down helpless babies."
W.C. Fields

2) Deep peace of the running wave to you.
Deep peace of the flowing air to you.
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.
Deep peace of the shining stars to you.
Deep peace of the Son of Peace to you.

reader_iam said...

Madison -- I agree that you are making a false statement.There really aren't conservative scolds who you actually know, though we all know the leftist nut who chides us about recycling, the car we drive, etc.

How can people actually know who Madison "actually knows," unless you actually know Madison in real life (and you might not "actually know" even then)? How can you possibly "actually know" his statement is a false one, in HIS experience?

Good grief.

For my part, I envy those of you who in real life either haven't heard scolding of either type, or have heard scolding of just one them. Because I sure as hell have been in the presence, and even the target, of BOTH such types. Which--in my world, can't speak for yours, of course--actually DO exist.

Go ahead and tell me what I do and do not know, if you like ...

... but please explain to me why shouldn't just laugh at you for presuming to tell me, a stranger, what I have and have not experienced, and the types of people I have and have not observed.

LOL.

Synova said...

I'd rather watch Sci-fi original monster movies than Lifetime channel.

OTOH, if I actually want to enjoy myself, I'll watch Spike TV or TNT or some-such.

Or "Chuck" on hulu.

Or "Castle". Oh... I gotta go... the next episode of that is probably on-line by now.

:-)

Later!

rhhardin said...

Woman passing by just now. She is most likely happy.

Let's see what's recent, going back in time...to May 18..

Two more, you have to guess less happy because they're talking to each other.

Woman with old dog, likely happy in the walk but sad that the dog is slowing down. Will she know enough to get a puppy right away after she puts the dog down?

Two more women, probably unhappy because they're teenagers on a symbolic bike ride that will last no more than five minutes, indicating kid boredom. Fake bike riders never try pointing the bike in one direction for a half hour at a time. It's always around the neighborhood and quit.

Two more teens, they look happy to me, from what they're doing. The walk will take a while.

Thank you for participating.

AllenS said...

"women are less happy than men and less happy than they were 35 years ago"

You're just impossible to please. Man has invented the vacuum cleaner, the Swiffer Duster, the self cleaning oven, super duper food processing gadgets, we even let you vote, and you still complain. What's up with that?

MadisonMan said...

I can say that I live in a liberal town. I grew up in a conservative town. The pressures to conform one way or another in each place feel/felt the same to me.

I will repeat: If someone gives you unwanted advice, the best tactic is to ask them to repeat it. And then say "Oh" in a very non-committal way before walking away. (Shoulder shrug while walking optional)

AllenS said...

We let you use our riding law mowers, and we don't complain even after you park the thing on top of a bunch of rocks. Geez!

Hoosier Daddy said...

For every liberal telling you to drive a Prius and hug a tree, there is a conservative admonishing you for wearing over-revealing clothing and having pre-marital sex..

I think the difference MM is that conservatives aren't pushing legislation banning midriff t-shirts or mini-skirts or requiring a marriage license to do the horizontal mambo.

MadisonMan said...

You know why people are unhappy, including women? Because they're stuck driving a car. As I bike to work, grinning foolishly, I rarely see commuters driving. If I'm walking home, the people driving by in cars? They're not smiling.

Seven Machos said...

Reader -- Tell us about the conservative scolds you know personally. And tell us that you know no leftist ones.

Furthermore, it is impossible for you to say that I don't know what Madison knows precisely using your own argument. You have no idea what I know or don't know, after all.

Logic. Such a cruel, unhappy woman.

Hoosier Daddy said...

You know why people are unhappy, including women? Because they're stuck driving a car..

I agree MM. I'm always most happy when on my bike. Except in a stiff headwind. That blows.

So to speak.

Seven Machos said...

I don't own a car myself. But I just walked around and was unhappy. The wind is blowing like crazy and it's a little cold.

reader_iam said...

Seven Machos: Read my comment again. I explicitly said I know examples of both types. I also explicitly put forth an exception if you know Madison in real life (though, true, I included the caveat that you still might know).

Read my comment again.

John said...

"You know why people are unhappy, including women? Because they're stuck driving a car. As I bike to work, grinning foolishly, I rarely see commuters driving. If I'm walking home, the people driving by in cars? They're not smiling."

That might have to do with the cyclist who just road past them at a red light and ran the light to get in front of them and hold up traffic. But that is a different thread. As long as you are safe cyclist who doesn't do stupid shit like ride between stopped cars and run lights and stop signs, good for you.

I am ussually happy in my car. But I am more happy on my motorcycle.

reader_iam said...

[though, true, I included the caveat that you still might *not* know]

Seven Machos said...

Reader -- What did the conservative scold you about? I must know.

Jason (the commenter) said...

If women really don't know what they want, they should do a poll to find out what women want, and then NOT give it to them.

reader_iam said...

The pressures to conform one way or another in each place feel/felt the same to me.That statement makes sense to me, based on my own experiences. It might not make sense to other people, based on theirs. As for the sincerity and truth of the statement itself, I can only rely that Madison knows his own experience and mind and is accurately presenting it.

; )

AJ Lynch said...

I am happy too on my bike. That's three of us by my count.

Ergo more women should ride bikes! Hell we should force Gloria Steinem to ride a bike!

Seven Machos said...

John -- When I am biking, the pedestrians and the cars drive me up the wall. When I walk, the bikers and the cars make me crazy. When I drive, it's the walkers and the bikers who annoy me to no end.

What do you make of that?

Freeman Hunt said...

All those citing examples of working with catty women--well, I worked with catty men! They were awful gossips, running to each other all the time to talk about others. There were three of them.

The women in the office were perfectly pleasant.

Life varies.

There's really no reason to be subjected to cattiness as an adult outside the workplace. I know plenty of drama queens, but I have none of them for friends. I am the last person anyone goes to with gossip because my reaction to it is so boring. ("Oh. Sounds like a misunderstanding," or "Oh. I guess I've never noticed that.") Don't invite people to share their neurotic drama with you, and they won't.

AJ Lynch said...

Damn Mad Man- we have found common ground! God Bless President Obama. Heh.

reader_iam said...

How many examples would you like?

Seven Machos said...

Are you stalling?

rhhardin said...

Read my comment again.
An unhappy woman.

reader_iam said...

Also, so I won't waste either your or my time, would you like to circumscribe the topics? That is, would there be topics that wouldn't count?

AJ Lynch said...

Seven is a good lawyer.

John said...

"John -- When I am biking, the pedestrians and the cars drive me up the wall. When I walk, the bikers and the cars make me crazy. When I drive, it's the walkers and the bikers who annoy me to no end.

What do you make of that?"

I am the same way. Don't worry. It just means you hate people. Most sane people do.

Freeman Hunt said...

Seven is a good lawyer.

Compliment or insult?

Pogo said...

Women are unhappy because they always know where things are.

chickenlittle said...

Also, so I won't waste either your or my time, would you like to circumscribe the topics? That is, would there be topics that wouldn't count?

Let's talk about circumscription!

Seven Machos said...

We've got all day.

rocketeer67 said...

Hey, fellas - can you believe what that Freeman Hunt just wrote? OMG!!! Is she for real?

Jeremy said...

My wife is so happy she can hardly contain herself. Whenever she comes home, she literally throws herself into my loving arms, we embrace, we kiss, follow it up with five or six cocktails and make love for two or three hours.

Then we have a nice candlelit dinner, a couple bottles of good wine, make love for another three or four hours, and nod off.

Then, in the middle of the night, one of us will wake the other up, and we make love for another two to three hours and nod off.

After getting up in the morning we usually make love before and after breakfast (sometimes even during breakfast), and then take a long hike to get the blood flowing, follow that up reading five or six newspapers and take a nap.

This is pretty much how we spend five of seven days of the week. The other two we spend in deep sleep.

I can only assume the reason she's so happy is that she's married to a flaming liberal, and is one herself.

It's probably the conservative women who are having problems trying to find something to be happy about.

Oh well.

AJ Lynch said...

Here is an example. When people come over, they drink something and ask if we recycle. When I say no, they are polite but tend to frown disapprovingly. I swear some even smuggle the cans and bottles they used out of my house and I guess take them home where the refuse will be safely placed in a re-cycling bin from which it will re-join non-reclycables somewhere in the garbage collection cycle.

I believe re-cycling is a hoax. But that is just me and now I have cast away the common ground I just found earlier.

reader_iam said...

RH Hardin: I'm unhappy because I think an individual knows better what he's personally observed in his own experience?

Huh. OK then. Maybe I SHOULD start obsessing over whether I'm happy or not. Clearly, I'm missing something.

AJ Lynch said...

Definite compliment.

AJ Lynch said...

To be happy, you have to not care about being happy or about others being happy or liking you. Or delude yourself into believing that.

Seven Machos said...

Freeman can be a real bitch sometimes.

Pogo said...

Freeman, I've met catty gossipy men as well.

T'ain't gender specific, to be sure. The posts were in response to a claim that the habit was absent among women.

Male gossip also uses statistics, at times, a feat I've not seen women employ as yet. It gives the sheen of science to any endeavor.

rhhardin said...

RH Hardin: I'm unhappy because I think an individual knows better what he's personally observed in his own experience?

No, the self-righteous instinct.

It's an absolute gift to your office practical joker though.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Seven, Freeman is an angel!

Pogo said...

Seven knows that, too.

reader_iam said...

Ah. From you, I'll take that as a compliment.

reader_iam said...

Last comment was in reply to RH Hardin.

rhhardin said...

Women happy on a bike are pretty rare.

The few you see are always with one or more guys.

Getting into the rhythm and pacing of a really long ride are a guy thing, I think.

rhhardin said...

Ah. From you, I'll take that as a compliment.

I recommend a dog.

Doug Santo said...

Wow, the mushy thinking over here is as thick as motor oil and about that clear.

Life is so complicated, so many things could go wrong, what are we to do?

I know, let Obama decide. He's dreamy!

Doug Santo
Pasadena, CA

Seven Machos said...

Do I need to point out that I was playing off previous posts about cattiness regarding Freeman?

She knows how much I want to go out with her.

chickenlittle said...

Women happy on a bike are pretty rare.

My observation is that they're happier with a more comfortable seat and a more upright riding position. They don't like to be all hunched over.

Seven Machos said...

Women love to be hunched over. Just maybe not on a bike.

AJ Lynch said...

Simon must be unhappy - he rarely comments here anymore.

reader_iam said...

RH: I have a dog; we've had as many as three at any one time. Alas, two died in the last couple of years after long lives, and until we stop traveling so much and decide whether we're moving or not, we won't take on another puppy, for his or her sake. Early, consistent training is key, as you know.

But thanks for your concern.

AJ Lynch said...

Meade too. Heh.

Seven Machos said...

Did I miss the conservative scolds post, Reader? You know how I am with reading.

nansealinks said...

Less childrenless grandchildren

There is my answer

Oh and more breast cancer the recovered patients may be happy but other women live in apprehension

Hucbald said...

I once rode my BMR K1200RS 7,500 miles in ten days. That made me very happy. I'm betting few women would be happy doing that, even on a comfy non-hunched-over K1200LT (Had one of those too) as a rider or on the pillion.

So glad I'm completely out of touch with my feminine side. Slap happy, in fact.

SMG said...

Just a personal theory: Women believed that having the same opportunities/choices as men would make them happier. They have discovered that it doesn't, or, in the alternative, that while it may make them happier it also comes along with a whole bunch of other issues/problems they hadn't thought about. So they're dissappointed and more unhappy than men, who have known for quite some time, because its all they have known, that having all these choices/opportunities is no guarantee of happiness.

I also think that, for women of my generation (i'm 35), there are fewer role models for how to balance your life. For all the challeneges in my life about how to balance family/work/self, I can look to my Dad or a slew of other men I knew personally to see how they managed it. For a lot of women of my generation, their lives are so different from their mother's, that they are on their own in terms of trying how to figure out how to balance everything.

rhhardin said...

My observation is that they're happier with a more comfortable seat

Maybe wider seats is the solution in general for women's unhappiness.

Their sitz-bones are further apart.

Sitz bone parity.

But you still won't see them on bikes much.

John said...

I will give a good example of a buttinski liberal; my doctor. Every time I take a physical I get asked if I own guns and if they are locked up. When I say yes and no they are not locked up, I get a disapproving look and lecture. If and when I ever have children, I fully expect to have to go toe to toe with CPS over the fact I own a gun.

John said...

For the record, every straight guy or gay woman wants to go out with Freeman. Who doesn't love a tomboy in a baseball hat?

Paddy O. said...

"My grandmother raised 8 kids on a large farm in Western Kansas in the 1940s and 50s."

I think I've posted this here before, but it's fitting again. Something my great-great-great grandmother said when she turned 100 in 1920.“Work. That’s the secret of being a centenarian,” yesterday declared Mrs. Eliza McConnell 810 East Forty-fifth Street (Los Angeles), who will celebrate her one hundredth birthday anniversary Monday. And when Mrs. McConnell says “work” she means just that.

In the days when Cynthia, Indiana was a straggling frontier settlement, Mrs. McConnell and the other women would help the menfolk plow the field and clear the forest with axes, after the washing and household chores were finished. Mrs. McConnell was married and had nine children. When her husband was killed in the Civil War she was left alone to do the farm work and care for the children.

“Soft,” Mrs. McConnell contemptuously refers to the present generation. “They can’t compare with the boys and girls I knew. Imagine a flapper with seven children to support. The world is full of weaklings.”

Mrs. McConnell laughed at the modern housewife who requires servants.
The picture of her smiling in the link suggests she was happy.

In another article from the time, she notes, "39 years ago I came to California. Since then I have lived here where it's easiest to live and hardest to die. Indeed, I don't believe there is anything astounding about long life in Los Angeles. What is more, with all the members of my family talking about diet, I go right along eating just about as I please. If I want coffee three times a day--and I frequently do--I have it."

Secret to happiness: Just have it.

MadisonMan said...

We lost our dog after a long life about 6 years ago. I didn't choose another dog. I as minding my own business (like any good liberal!), and then suddenly a dog chose me. Actually, he chose my wife. Looked at her with those big sad brown eyes and then sat in her lap.

That's how we got our present dog.

We are very lucky that our neighbor's kids adore our dog, and that they lost their own dog to age 2 or 3 years ago, and they love to dog-sit when we travel.

Pogo said...

I'm supposed to ask the gun question, but fuck that.

My advice? Lie.


I also fill out the race question with a different one every time.

I'm such a rebel.

David said...

"What do women want?"

I think the happiness thing has something to do with guys developing thicker skins.

They do more stuff where somebody has to lose, so they learn that losing is not the end of the world. There's usually another chance.

Their banter is a barrage of insults, so they learn to take criticism with a shrug and a smile.

They have a richer fantasty life (scoring the winning touchdown, geting the winning hit, sleeping with the most desired girl) so even if they never do these things they get a taste of the experience.

They think about what they are going to do, not how they are going to feel. (Sometimes this backfires.)

They are not under as much pressure to look good.

They are often emotionally less engaged in childrearing, so when the kids become little (or big) shits they are not as disappointed.

They don't have as many choices. By and large a guy deciding to stop working and stay home with the kids is not well received by the wife and kids.

They say "Ah, who gives a fuck" a lot.

They are constantly told by liberal media what jerks they are, so when they act like jerks there is less surprise and disappointment.

They are not told as often that they have a RIGHT to be happy. In fact they are generally more indoctrinated in responsibilities than rights.

I could probably think of other reasons, but ah, who gives a fuck.

rhhardin said...

Another dog, same breed, as soon as possible.

So you can pick up more or less where you left off.

You'll go through a bunch of dogs just because of the unsatisfactory way the math works out, until then one day you die first.

I think people who wait dwell on their feelings too much. Get in there and get another one.

John said...

In another article from the time, she notes, "39 years ago I came to California. Since then I have lived here where it's easiest to live and hardest to die. Indeed, I don't believe there is anything astounding about long life in Los Angeles. What is more, with all the members of my family talking about diet, I go right along eating just about as I please. If I want coffee three times a day--and I frequently do--I have it."

Introspection in large doses is the road to perdition. I think of introspective people and I think of Silvia Plath or F. Scott Fitzgerald. Whatever fame their introspection brought them, it didn't bring them happiness. Generally those who do are happy. Those who dither and brude are not.

reader_iam said...

7M: Sorry. It's coming. In all truth, multi-tasking. And now my kid just came came in, soaking wet and muddy from the garden. Let me put him in the shower and I'll get back to it.

John said...

"They have a richer fantasty life (scoring the winning touchdown, geting the winning hit, sleeping with the most desired girl) so even if they never do these things they get a taste of the experience."

There is a lot to be said for fantasy. Think about the world of Peanuts for a second. Seriously. Everyone in that strip was miserable and pinning for unrequited love except for the dog who lived in a complete fantasy world. I think Shulz was onto something.

Pogo said...

" Generally those who do are happy. "
Yer right.
Evidence:

1) De do do do, de da da da
Is all I want to say to you


2) Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay,
My, oh, my, what a wonderful day.
Plenty of sunshine headin' my way,
Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay!

Pogo said...

"To do is to be" - Nietzsche
"To be is to do" - Kant
"Do Be Do Be Do" - Sinatra

Barlycorn, John said...

Happiness and melancholy are just chocolate and vanilla, except that one is more fun for other people to be around.

I am not sure that a Cubs fan gets less pleasure than a Marlins fan thinking about that '03 playoff series, for example.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Feminists say you don't need a man to be happy. I say the same thing about feminists.

Seven Machos said...

I love feminist babes.

Shanna said...

amba, perhaps this estrogen-depression thing explains why I'm feeling cheerful about having a hysterectomy next week. .

Best wishes for a speedy recovery, Beth! I'll be thinking about you when I'm in New Orleans in June :)

reader_iam said...

rh: I get your drift and appreciate the advice, but the truth is--while I love the breed we've had, and still have one of--I want to switch to a larger one, especially for my son's sake. In addition, due to a personal quirk of mine, I want to get two, not just one. So wait it is (but no brooding ... we made the decision and that's that; no glance-backs or second thoughts).

Thanks again for your thoughts. And now I have to ignore this more diverting sub-conversation and get busy for 7M (between other equally less fun tasks).

Jen said...

Seven is still here?

Do you sleep?

I have to get back to my 15 hour work day.

Barlycorn, John said...

"minding my own business (like any good liberal!)"

Really! Minding his own business except when it comes to abortion laws in states where the liberal does not live, or the cars that other people drive, or whether people are free to choose their doctor or health plan, or can keep a reasonable share of the fruits if another person chooses to work harder and smarter, or, I could go on, but the definition of liberal is buttinski, which is why liberals are so hated.

Salamandyr said...

The key to happiness is to do the things you want to do, not the things you feel pressured to do. The only times I am miserable are when I'm forced to act contrary to my desires.

My suggestion...fencing. Take up fencing. There is no better feeling than having a blade in your hand, being in complete balance, lunging, feeling your blade strike your opponent. It's visceral, it's beautiful, it's violent, all the best things about sport. And unlike most sports, you can play it between the sexes. Women are at very little disadvantage against men in the sport.

And in addition; it teaches you a very valuable lesson: no one is invincible. The worst fencer in the world can be touched by the worst. You will get hit sometimes. But that's okay everybody does.

Besides, I need more opponents.

Seven Machos said...

Too ironic for words, Michael/Jen.

John said...

Yeah Liberals organize entire movements for purpose of preventing some town they will never visit much less live in allowing a wall mart to open and saying a prayer before a high school football game. But it is the conservatives who are buttinskis.

Kirk Parker said...

John,

"but I have never once been told by a conservative that premarital sex is always bad. "

Well, now you have. HOWEVER, I'm not that kind of conservative--much more a libertarian than a conservative, actually, and I have absolutely no desire to make it illegal for adults to do so.

kalmia said...

Well, I guess I've been lucky then. Sure, I've met some pretty unpleasant women in the workplace. But then I've met some pretty unpleasant men, too. (I'm working with one right now, as are all the other unfortunate men and women in my office.) But unpleasant people are the exception; most people are decent and do their best to get along.

On the other hand, the women I work with tend to be rather cerebral types, as are the men. My workplace is definitely not a hotbed of seething emotion, grudges, viciousness, etc. People of both genders are working quietly at computers or in the lab. Maybe the type of work is a factor.

I definitely have noticed, though, that in large corporations women are favoured for promotions over men (who are often much more competent and deserving), and that the younger women just take this as their due. I've seen a lot of incompetent female managers, but not vicious, grudge-holding, pit-viper ones.

Kirk Parker said...

Beth,

Let me add my wishes for a speedy recovery, and also some advice: whatever you do, do NOT think about your plagerism story from yesterday until you are fully recovered--you don't want to hurt yourself laughing!

Seven Machos said...

Sex before marriage should be mandated. Is that a scold?

Kirk Parker said...

Rocketeer67,

"...uncomplicated..."

Or, as a former colleague of mine used to say: "Nobody ever wrote a book called What Men Really Want."

John said...

"Well, now you have. HOWEVER, I'm not that kind of conservative--much more a libertarian than a conservative, actually, and I have absolutely no desire to make it illegal for adults to do so."

So if you are 28 years old and unmarried and have been dating a woman for year and plan to marry her, you still shouldn't have sex? Really?

Moreover, even if you beleive that, have you ever told someone that they are wrong to have sex to their face? I don't mean in the context of an intellectual conversation about the topic. I mean, you hear someone in your office mention that they were moving in with their girlfriend and you tell them how immoral it is? If you did, you are a buttinski conservative. If you haven't, then you are a lot better than liberals are about subjects such as guns and recycling.

Henry Buck said...

You know who seems like a really happy gal, Nancy Pelosi.

Doug said...

Hey, it is all pretty simple.

As I tell my kids (4 sons) happiness is found inside, not in a job or a car or a house. YOU decide to be happy or not- and the SUREST way to be unhappy is to focus on yourself.

Pogo said...

I seriously think women have more potential to be unhappy because the sensory parts of their brains go to 11, while in men sometimes it's not even plugged in.

Henry Buck said...

You never see a Pelosi's forehead wrinkle up in a frown, right?

Pogo said...

Doug, I say the same thing, but then end it with:
...so focus on me.

Seven Machos said...

Pelosi's no scold, either. Far from it. I don't know her personally, of course. But you can just tell.

Henry Buck said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
reader_iam said...

Kirk Parker: While I agree with the larger, symbolic point, the problem with your friend's statement is that, in fact, someone (a man) HAS written a book with that precise title. And there's a least one with "What Men Want: ..." at the start of the title.

Sorry, couldn't resist ... .

Henry Buck said...

And that constant look of surprise she has--it's as if every minute of her life is filled with unexpected delights.

Seven Machos said...

That book is filled with lots of pictures, some of them very graphic.

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