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Wednesday and Thursday's Most Active Threads

by Jeff Steele — last modified Nov 24, 2023 11:19 AM

The topics with the most engagement since Tuesday included weird things that in-laws do, Kate Middleton's legs, a father tracking his adult daughter with an AirTag, and redevelopment of the Chevy Chase Community Center.

Thanksgiving is traditionally one of the slowest days on DCUM as users are travelling, spending time with family, or, like me, spending a great deal of time cooking. Since I took yesterday off from this blog, I'll review the most active threads of the last two days. Both days, as expected, had much less traffic than normal days. The Gaza war thread was back at the top of the most active list, but with barely more than 100 posts a day, the thread is a shadow of what it once was, previously receiving more than 900 posts a day. The second most active thread, the one about Covid lockdowns, was also one I've previously covered. The third most active thread, and the first one I will discuss today, is mostly a repeated topic even though the thread itself is new. Titled, "Come here if your in laws do weird crap at thanksgiving." and posted in the "Family Relationships" forum, the original poster claims that her father-in-law flosses his teeth at the table. Based on the original poster's example, I assume that this thread was meant to highlight strange idiosyncrasies, but it almost immediately turned into a general complaint thread, mostly about mothers-in-law. One of the first examples — a mother-in-law who attempted to divide a rotisserie chicken with her bare hands, was not considered by everyone to be strange behavior and caused a long-running argument between posters. Disagreement about whether the mother-in-law was wrong was still continuing 13 pages later. Another example, serving ham slices rolled around a dill pickle and cream cheese, was also not seen as weird by all posters and actually inspired several posters to try it. Frankly, most of these posts could have gone into the "petty vents" thread that I discussed earlier this week because none of them really amounted to much. Another example that was not universally received as being weird, but rather funny by most who responded, involved a long-delayed wedding gift. Apparently, the poster's sister-in-law went down in her basement and retrieved a wedding gift that had been meant for the poster's husband's first marriage 30 years ago. The poster, in her own words, "pitched a fit" and made her sister-in-law take it back. Several posters wanted to know what the gift was, a question that could not be answered since the gift was not opened. Moreover, it later turned out that this happened last Thanksgiving, not even this year. I didn't realize that serving Thanksgiving buffet style is the current trend (at least according to this thread), but a number of the "weird" behaviors involved how food was served for the holiday meal with mother-in-laws often being found out of sync.

The next most active thread was, sadly, another British Royal Family topic. I guess I should be happy that it has been some time since we had one of these, but truthfully, not nearly enough time has passed. Posted in the "Entertainment and Pop Culture" forum, the thread was titled, "Kate Middleton's legs!". The original poster embedded three pictures of Kate Middleton, the Princess of Wales. Two of the photos included partial displays of Middleton's legs, motivating the original poster to wonder about the Princess' exercise routine. The condition of the royal legs was attributed to exercise and not eating by most posters and conversation soon moved on to other topics such as opinions of Middleton's dress and shoes. Whenever Kate Middleton is discussed two issues always come up: her weight and her social class. Both topics are, of course, discussed in this thread. Several posters insist that the Princess is too thin and speculate that she is starving herself. Other posters have little patience for that point of view. Regarding Middleton's social class, one poster contended that "she had the equivalent of an UMC childhood", but another argued that "Her parents have hundreds of millions of dollars." This is an ongoing dispute that I would think could be easily resolved, but I have seen it continuing for years. According to a Daily Mail article to which a poster linked, the family is essentially broke. These threads always seem to attract discussion of the state of William and Kate's marriage with posters predicting eminent divorce. It has long been clear that I simply don't understand some posters' fascinations with celebrities, particularly the British Royal Family. There is nothing wrong with that, we all have different interests. But, whereas Taylor Swift fans can obsess over her for 20 pages without more than a hint of anger and not a single post being reported, British Royal Family threads always degenerate into heated animosity. More than one poster commented that Kate Middleton is generally nonthreatening and would seem the least likely member of the Royal Family to attract hatred. Nevertheless, attract it she does, though "hate" is probably too strong of a word. Some posters are not completely enthralled by her and that is interpreted as "hate" by Middleton's fans. As is usual in these threads, I was kept busy removing off-topic posts. In this case, I had to delete a number of posts about Pippa Middleton, Meghan Markle, and even King Charles.

Next was the thread about the car crash in Fairfax involving several teenagers that I've already discussed. According to posts in that thread, the 14-year-old injured in the crash has sadly died of his injuries. After that was a thread titled, "My father put an AirTag in my car to track me" and posted in the "Family Relationships" forum. The original poster says that she is a normal mid-30s wife and mother who is gainfully employed. Her family is visting her parents for Thanksgiving and while driving she unexpectedly began receiving alerts on her phone that she was being followed by an Apple AirTag. After searching her car with her husband's help, she found an AirTag embedded in her spare tire. She was able to determine that the AirTag was linked to her father's phone. The original poster is extremely angry with her father and also angry with her mother who had defended the original poster's father. She is considering cutting off contact with them. Responses in this thread are mostly divided between those who think that the original poster's father's behavior was completely inappropriate and those who believe the original poster is a troll. I couldn't find evidence that the original poster is a troll. There are a small number of posters who don't think what the father did is a big deal and that it only demonstrated that he cared about her. There is considerable discussion about how the original poster should respond. Some posters suggest immediately returning home. But, the original poster is reluctant to do that because this is her child's only chance to visit his extended family. It is fairly apparent, by the original poster's own admission, that issues between her and her father involve a lot more than the AirTag incident. Her father has apologized and acknowledged that what he did was inappropriate. However, this is not enough for the original poster because she does not believe these are authentic statements of her father's feelings. In addition, the original poster is upset that her mother and sister are still interacting with her father. She complains that they have not "shunned" him. The original poster believes that this reinforces her father's perception that things can go back to normal which she does not believe should be the case. Still, the original poster is hesitant to cut off contact with her parents because of her child's attachment to them. So, she faces a dilemma over whether to put up with her father or upset her son. Her indecision seems to upset both those who support ending the relationship and those who don't.

The next most active thread is another one that I've previously covered, the thread about Covid school closures. So, skipping that one, the final thread I will discuss today was posted in the "Metropolitan DC Local Politics" forum and titled, "Chevy Chase Community Center Redevelopment". Understanding this thread requires quite a bit of background. First, there is a group of posters who are extremely active in the metro DC politics forum who oppose almost any development in the District of Columbia's Ward 3, especially along Connecticut Avenue. These posters are particularly opposed to bike lanes and so-called "smart growth". As such, their biggest enemies are "GGW", referring to the Greater Greater Washington website and WABA, the Washington Area Bicyclist Association. A unique aspect of DC governance is the Advisory Neighborhood Commissions or ANCs that have very limited local governing authority. ANCs are the main battleground for those opposed to and those in favor of development. This thread was started by a poster who displayed the results of a survey conducted by ANC3/G, which despite its name is part of Ward 4 representing Chevy Chase and other neighborhoods in Upper Northwest DC. The survey showed opinion about redeveloping the Chevy Chase Community Center. The DC Government has proposed adding affordable housing to the site. This has been a controversial topic in the area. By and large, wealthy people do not want poor people to be housed in their neighborhood. However, this ANC has taken the opposite position and supported affordable housing on the site. This has led to all sorts of allegations and conspiracy theories among those who oppose such development. The original poster of this thread lauds the survey's finding that opponents of affordable housing on the site led the results and touts the outcome as a victory over "GGG/WABA" and outsiders. She asks whether the Mayor will now cancel the project. Regardless of the initial topic, most of the thread consists of little more than arguments about affordable housing and bike lanes. Affordable housing has become a hot button issue in the area due to problems associated with the District's voucher program. This program has provided low income residents with vouchers allowing them to rent apartments in buildings along Connecticut Avenue. These low-income residents have been accused of bringing crime and other undesirable developments to the neighborhood. Many residents fear that more affordable housing will only increase such problems. The discussion about bike lanes is a study of insanity. The arguments are completely crazy and endless. You would think that the future of Western civilization hinge's on the number of traffic lanes afforded to Connecticut Avenue.

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