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Wednesday's Most Active Threads

by Jeff Steele — last modified Dec 14, 2023 10:38 AM

The topics with the most engagement yesterday included raising kids in competitive communities, irrational pet peeves, a mother-in-law's dishonesty about a nap, and Oprah Winfrey's weight loss.

Yesterday was a big day for threads that I've already discussed. The leading thread was, not surprisingly, the one about Ted Leonsis moving his teams to Virginia. Next was the Maury Elementary School thread that seems immortal and third was the Gaza war thread. Even yesterday's fourth most active thread, the one about suing Callie Oettinger, is one I covered yesterday. As a result, today I am starting with what was actually yesterday's fifth most active thread. That was titled, "Raising kids in a competitive UMC community? Would you do it all over again?" and posted in the "General Parenting Discussion" forum. The original poster says that she lives in an upper middle class community that has some racial diversity, but almost no socioeconomic diversity. The high school ranks in the top 1% in the nation and houses start at $1.5 million or more. Kids are very involved in extracurricular activities. This experience is much different than what the orignial poster experienced growing up. She was raised in a small middle class town where life was much more leisurely and she didn't experience people with real wealth until she went to college. Her social circle has included people from all economic statuses and a lot of diversity and she feels that she benefited from this. She is considering moving to a second home that her family owns in a rural community and raising her kids in a much simpler lifestyle and wants to hear from others about their experiences. There are several long, detailed, and substantive replies in which posters describe their experiences moving to less competitive areas. Generally, the posters were happy they moved. There are also posts from those who chose not to make such a move due to downsides that they described. As you might expect — and even hope for — on a forum that has its roots in urban Washington, DC, several posters pitch neighborhoods in the District in which less competitive lifestyles can be found. A few posters who describe themselves as being affluent argue that wealth doesn't automatically translate into competitiveness and that less competitive lifestyles can be found among those with money. Another handful of posters actually embraces competitiveness, were glad to have that for themselves, and hope to have it for their children. While a few posters got a little bent out of shape when criticism of communities was a little too close to home for them, this is mostly a polite and substantive thread. Many of the responses are very lengthly and those writing them put in considerable effort. As the result, the thread is pretty useful, but not a quick read.

Next was a thread posted in the "Off-Topic" forum and titled, "What's your irrational pet peeve of the moment?". The original poster's personal irrational pet peeve is Stanley water cups. About that I'll just say that I have completely missed the Stanley tumbler phenomenon and would not have even known about it had it not been for the DCUM gift threads. I'm still not sure what makes them any different than Klean Kanteen or any other brand. But, I'm not sure why this would be anything to be bothered about so I agree that this pet peeve is irrational. This thread, of course, belongs to the genre of threads that I don't particularly appreciate. Not only do such threads normally turn very negative, but they are hard for me to summarize in a blog post. To their credit, most of those responding stuck with the spirit of the thread and things really didn't turn negative, though the most recent posts suggest that trend won't continue. There was quite a bit of levity in the thread and about the only disagreements were about whether some of the examples were really irrational. Several of the pet peeves were considered to be well-founded and not irrational in the least. On the current last page of the thread, discussion turned to those who are currently wearing masks. More than one poster is seriously bothered by those who choose to mask. Instead of agreeing with those posters that their pet peeves are, indeed, irrational, at least one poster has engaged them. One of my pet peeves, which I don't think is irrational, is posters who disrupt otherwise inoffensive threads to criticize those who health conditions they know nothing about. This is mostly a light-hearted thread and, other than the mask posts, about the only thing that stands out is the number of married couples for whom the amount of light that is optimal in a room is a subject of disagreement. It seems that spouses are constantly turning the lights on or off on each other.

The next most active thread was titled, "How much would this bug you?" and posted in the "Family Relationships" forum. Frankly, this might have been appropriate for the irratonal pet peeves thread. The original poster says that her mother-in-law surprised her family with a night at Great Wolf Lodge and stayed at the original poster's home in order to care for her 18 month old child. The mother-in-law texted the original poster to say that she had put the child down for her 1:00 nap right on time. But, the video monitor shows that the mother-in-law actually waited until 2:40. The original poster asks whether this should raise concerns about trustworthiness or should not be considered a big deal. Indeed, a number of posters believe this is a big deal. In the words of one poster it suggests that the mother-in-law "has no moral character". A number of posters, including the original poster, place tremendous importance on nap schedules and warn of significant negative impacts to the schedule being disrupted. So, the mother-in-law's failure to abide by the schedule is considered as bad as her dishonestly about it. Other posters suggest that grandparents always think the parenting styles of their children are misguided and will aways do things their way and that this is the grandparents' prerogative. In their view, the issue in this incident is that the mother-in-law was afraid to tell the truth. The solution, therefore, was for either the original poster or her husband to convey to the mother-in-law that it was okay to tell the truth even in situations like this. Other posters thought that it was unfair of the original poster to video her mother-in-law without the mother-in-law's consent. Basically, the division in this thread was between those who sympathize with the original poster and share her concerns about the mother-in-law and those who think the original poster is entirely too uptight and should relax. Those in the second group tend to be older and frequently say that they were also too uptight when they were younger parents.

The last thread that I will discuss today was posted in the "Entertainment and Pop Culture" forum and titled, "Oprah Winfrey looks better than ever! How does she do it? Lovely!!" The original poster says that Oprah Winfrey looks better than ever and provides a link to an Instagram posts showing a photo of Winfrey lounging in a chair while wearing a black dress. Most of the focus of those who respond is on Winfrey's weight. While I personally would not describe her as particularly svelte in the photo, she does have a good physique and does not appear overly heavy. Many posters attribute this to her using Ozempic, though that is only speculation. Others note that she is a part owner of Weight Watchers and suggest that it could be a combination of diet and exercise. Most of those responding, however, simply say this is a function of Winfrey's wealth. Money provides for everything from a personal chef, a personal trainer, medicine such as Ozempic, plastic surgery if necessary, and great clothes. Still, others point out that Winfrey has had money and access to all that money provides for a long time but it was only after the appearance of modern weigh loss drugs that she successfully lost weight. For them, this is case closed and the answer is Ozempic. Another responder linked to an article which described an interview in which Winfrey admitted to taking a weight loss drug while not naming which one specifically. Much of the the discussion revolves around the virtues of using drugs such as Ozempic. Many of the posters treat the drugs like dirty secrets that those using them should be ashamed to reveal. Others take the opposite attitude and argue that the drugs should be destigmatized. Early in the thread, posters point to what they consider a contradiction between Weight Watchers and weight loss drugs. But, later posters point out that Weight Watchers has embraced such medicines. As a result, there is no inherent contradiction between Winfrey being a part owner of Weight Watcher and using Ozempic.

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