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Wednesday's Most Active Threads

by Jeff Steele — last modified Jan 04, 2024 11:19 AM

The topics with the most engagement yesterday included not being invited to a wedding, unwanted gifts, college early decision applications, and the GOP and women.

Yesterday's most active thread was the one about Harvard's president resigning which I discussed yesterday and, therefore, will skip today. The next most active thread was titled, "Not invited" and posted in the "Family Relationships" forum. The original poster says that she is close with her cousins, normally celebrating holidays together and spending a lot of time with each other. A child of one of those cousins is getting married and seems to have intentionally not invited the original poster. The original poster is hurt and upset about being left out. In a subsequent post, the original poster added that she had talked with the parents of the groom and was simply told that the couple is paying for the wedding themselves, implying that she was not invited due to the expense. This did nothing to alleviate the original poster's feelings. Those that responded mostly agreed that it is understandable that the original poster feels hurt about not being invited, Several suggested possible reasons for the slight such as space constraints or an effort to save money. Posters advised not taking it too seriously and allowing the incident to harm her relationship with her extended family. A number of posters argued that not being invited demonstrated that the original poster's cousin's child does not view the original poster as being as close as the original poster does. While that is a sad, it is not an unusual situation, they argue. They further assert that if the original poster ever needs to cut extended family members from an event, she can begin with couple getting married. Other posters suggested a more forceful response including not sending a gift or even a card or going so far as ending her relationship with those relatives entirely. Some posters honed in on the exact relationship and the relationships of those who were invited. They drew fine lines between first cousins, first cousins once removed, aunts, and uncles. They made determinations about whether the original poster should have been invited based on the exact degree of relationship. The original poster and several of those responding emphasized that the groom celebrated Thanksgiving this year at the original poster's home, suggesting that indicates a close relationship that merited an invitation to the wedding. But, as another poster pointed out, the cousin's child was likely just "tagging along with their parents" and was mostly there as an obligation. A few posters believe that the original poster is being overly dramatic and should not make such a big deal out of this.

The next most active thread was the Gaza war thread which I will skip because I've already discussed it. After that was a thread posted in the "Off-Topic" forum titled, "The list of unwanted gifts". The original poster asks what gifts others received that they don't want and will not keep. The original poster's own list includes wafer cookies, candles, cookie and chili kits, and a "huge marble run". One poster had received "puffy pants that are 3 sizes too big" from her husband and multiple posters mentioned "fuzzy socks". Fuzzy socks, in fact, became an item of considerable contention throughout the thread with fans of such socks coming to their defense and their detractors continuing to put them down. Similarly, quite a few posters said they would have appreciated the candles that the original poster doesn't want. A number of other posters either didn't receive gifts, only received white elephant gifts, or were completely happy with their gifts and plan to keep them all. One poster reported getting a pajama set that looked like a Santa costume from her mother-in-law and another received a pair of Uggs that were mismatched with a two-inch difference in height. A number of posters concentrated on gifts that they gave and that they seem to believe were welcomed, though was not really the point of the thread. Other posters said that the responses increased their anxiety about gift-giving and made them even more worried than normal that their gifts might not have been well-received. One poster noted trends among the unwanted gifts that were mentioned and deduced that they were things given to women and would never be given to men. But, that was probably because it was mostly women responding. The most unique item listed, without a doubt, was a "festively-wrapped Navage Nasal Irrigation Kit. The "Multi-user" version (meaning multiple people can irrigate their nasal passages with the same machine)."

Next was a thread titled, "The ED game is nuts!" and posted in the "College and University Discussion" forum. Again, "ED" — at least in context of the college forum — refers to "Early Decision" which is a type of college application that is limited to one submission and the student commits to attending the school if accepted. Conventional wisdom is that qualified students have a better chance of being accepted through ED than regular admissions. ED is supposed to be used by students to target the school that they most want to attend, but as the original poster demonstrates, in many cases it has become a bit of game. Students are frequently using ED to apply to the most prestigious school by which they might be accepted rather than the school that best meets their individual needs. The original poster says that her first child applied too low and regretted it. The second child applied too high and wasn't accepted. However, as others pointed out, the first child has no assurance that he would have been accepted by the school during the regular admissions cycle so maybe it wasn't too low. Moreover, ED shouldn't be used for a school that isn't the applicant's first choice. As for the second child, the disappointment should not be about aiming too high, but rather about not being accepted by her first choice school. Assuming that school was the second child's first choice, that is how ED should be used. It just didn't work out. Because ED does not allow applicants to compare financial aid or other assistance offers between schools, applicants must apply without expectations about financial assistance. Therefore, ED is favored by those with the means to pay for college out-of-pocket. Many posters in the thread claimed that this results in ED being an advantage for the wealthy with one poster even describing it as "affirmative action for the rich". One disadvantage of ED is that applications are required to be submitted by November 1 of the student's senior year of high school. This puts stress on the applicants to get everything prepared early and, if accepted, provides several months for them to second guess their decision. For all the reasons mentioned here, many posters said that their children opted to avoid ED and participate in later rounds of admissions. Those posters had no regrets and said their children ended up with several college acceptances from which to choose.

The final thread at which I'll look today was posted in the "Political Discussion" forum. Titled, "GOP to WOMEN: DROP DEAD", the original poster proposes the title as the slogan for political advertisements. She then linked to a Washington Post article about a ruling by a federal appeals court saying that doctors in Texas do not need to provide emergency abortions. Many posters believe that this puts the lives of women in danger. Some posters argue that those opposed to abortion are purposely attempting to harm women. The Supreme Court's Dobbs decision has tossed conventional wisdom about abortion to the wind, especially where mainstream, conventional through is concerned. For decades, Republicans proclaimed that abortion should be decided by states. Then, immediately after Dobbs, many Republicans began pushing for federal bans on abortion, revealing their prior claims to have been hollow. The same centrists who for years scoffed at liberals who warned about the dangers facing abortion rights were quick to offer assurances that even states that restricted abortion would provide for a range of exceptions. But now we see states like Texas limiting exceptions so narrowly that they essentially don't exist. As a result of this court ruling, a pregnant woman in Texas who is facing a life-threatening condition may not be able to get an abortion. Some states are enacting punishments against women who go to other states for abortions and even those who might assist such women. As a result, centrist claims — never serious in the first place — that women can always travel to a state that allows abortion are increasingly untrue. Responses that at one point might have seemed extreme now are difficult to dispute. As one poster writes, "[r]epublicans have been telling us what they want all along: female slavery. Mere brood mares. If many women die during pregnancy, so what?" Just about the only defense with which abortion opponents can come up is that a fetus — or "unborn baby" as they call it — has equal rights with the mother. Many posters reject the contention that a potential person is equal to a fully-developed and living person.

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