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Tuesday's Most Active Threads

by Jeff Steele — last modified Mar 13, 2024 11:03 AM

Yesterday's topics with the most engagement included a single woman who wants a baby, over-scheduled kids, full pay at university, and marrying for money.

The thread about the photo of Kate Middleton and her kids again led as the most active thread yesterday. If you thought that thread could not get even more crazy, you were wrong. If you thought that it could, it probably even exceeded your expectations. The next most active thread was titled, "37 single, want a baby, make about 95k a year", and posted in the "Relationship Discussion (non-explicit)" forum. The original poster repeats what was written in the title, adding that she has never married, and asks what advice others might have for her. For some posters, this is mostly a question of finances. On that basis, many posters are concerned that the original poster might not have the financial means for raising a child on her own. Other posters are less concerned about finances but, rather, what they consider the "proper" environment for raising a child. These posters are adamant that a child needs both a mother and a father. As such, they suggest finding a man to marry. Others warn against this due to the likelihood of ending up with a poor choice of man. This warning is provided by several posters who say that they made exactly that mistake. But, by far, the most emphasis was on the need for a support network. If the original poster has friends or family who can pitch in and provide assistance, most posters encourage her to have a baby on her own. Some posters suggest that the original poster find single mom by choice groups which offer mutual support to single mothers. Almost by accident I stumbled across an odd situation involving the original poster. It appears that she only posted three times in this thread and, in the third post, claimed to have two children who share a bedroom in her $2.5 million home. I then checked what the original poster had posted in other threads and it appears that she alternates between two personalities. One is a late-thirties, single, childless women and the other is a mom of two grade school-aged boys. I'm not sure what to make of that. As if a split personality original poster was not enough to discount this thread, a troll also disrupted much of it. The moment that I saw the title of this thread I suspected that a frequent troll would gravitate to the thread. The troll whose posts I listed a couple of days ago is particularly opposed to single mothers and I fully expected that the length of the thread was likely due to her involvement. This turned out to be the case. She posted time after time about the importance of having a father involved. She followed her modus operandi of frequently identifying herself as a new poster when she was not. She also started posts by saying things like "I am not the pp", meaning she is not the previous poster though she was indeed the previous poster. It would be unfortunate that this poster destroyed the thread, but the original poster was long gone by then and her mom-of-two-children persona probably didn't need advice about single motherhood in any case.

Next was a thread posted in the "Elementary School-Aged Kids" forum. Titled, "Yes. Your Kid is overscheduled.", the original poster gave fair warning about her intentions with the thread. Starting her post with a single line saying, "Rant.", she embarked upon what is legitimately an epic rant. Her primary complaint is that other parents involve their children in too many activities. She is tired of her friends constantly complaining about their kids' busy schedules. Also, other kids have missed the original poster's children's baseball games because they have conflicting soccer games. This has resulted in the baseball team being forced to forfeit. The original poster can't schedule playdates because other kids are too busy. She longs for the slower pace that was observed during the covid pandemic. The original poster argues that parents can control how busy their children are and should do a better job of picking and choosing activities. A number of posters fully agree with the original poster and think that kids are over-scheduled these days. Others agree, but explain that this can often sneak up on parents. As one poster wrote, her child takes a class for a heritage language, swimming which is important for safety, and an instrument lesson. Individually, these are not huge time commitments but, taken as a whole, they leave little time for a sport and adding a sport would certainly result in over-scheduling. Other parents attribute over-scheduling to their kids, saying they want to participate in every sport. In response to this, the original poster and those who agree with her argue that it is the parents job to say "no" in some cases in order to maintain a more responsible schedule. It is apparent fairly early in this thread that different parents have different perspectives and that because there is not a "right" way to schedule kids, posters are going to disagree. It is also clear that what works for one family may not work for another. One area of general agreement, however, regards missing one sport in order to participate in another. Even the posters of kids who are involved in multiple sports say that they don't do that. Several posters argue that over-scheduling is often more common in certain geographical areas than others. As one of the most recent posts says, "Differences could be regional." I also noticed differences in how posters evaluated the positives and negatives of involving children in lots of activities. For some, over-scheduling is blamed for a lack of independence and an inability for kids to take their own initiative. For others, involvement in multiple sports taught time management. One disappointing factor in this thread was the number of posters who were compelled to insult other posters' children, questioning their intelligence, athletic ability, and self-control among other things.

The next most active thread was titled, "Heartburn from being full pay", and posted in the "College and University Discussion" forum. The original poster says that her daughter was accepted in the early decision round of college applications at a school that was somewhat of a reach. However, she will not receive any merit aid at the school and the original poster is concerned that her daughter may be one of the few students at the university who is not receiving merit aid. The original poster provided a list of colleges that she thinks are similar to the one that accepted her daughter and asks how many students don't receive any merit aid at such schools. To be clear, this doesn't seem to be a case where the family can't afford the school. The original poster says that they can, not easily, but they can. Posters quickly respond to explain that some of the colleges that the original poster listed don't provide very much merit aid. Generally, at many of the schools on the list, at least half of the students would be full pay. One poster also explained how to find out the percentage at the original poster's daughter's school. That turned out to be about 50% as well. It never occurred to me that there would be divisions within schools between students who are full pay and those who receive merit aid. At first I thought that this was the original poster's concern, but it later turned out that she was just suffering from a bit of perfectly normal buyer's remorse. However, another poster said that her child who is full pay was upset by students who received merit pay making fun of and harassing full pay students. Neither I, nor most of those responding, saw much sense in this scenario and several found it unbelievable. One digression in the thread involved a poster who, at a much younger age, was accepted to her dream school but was unable to afford it. As such, she posted saying that she had no sympathy for the original poster. I am not sure that the original poster was interested in sympathy but, at any rate, that poster herself didn't get much sympathy. However, this did cause the thread to get sidetracked into a discussion of college financial aid. Another digression involved whether or not it is appropriate to know that another student received a "Questbridge" scholarship. This specific dispute was more absurd than informative and, of course, completely unrelated to the topic of the thread.

The final thread that I will discuss today was, like the first of today's threads, posted in the "Relationship Discussion (non-explicit)" forum. This thread was titled, "Marrying for money". The original poster says that she just read a biography about Jackie Kennedy (nee Bouvier) and learned that Bouvier's mother had masterminded her marriage to John F. Kennedy. Moreover, she says that both the Bouvier and Kennedy families arranged her marriage to Aristotle Onassis and that both marriages were purely for money. The original poster wants to know if it is still common to marry for money in this manner. There is general agreement that marrying for money is still common. What there is disagreement about is whether this is good, bad, or indifferent. Several posters, including some who say they married for money themselves, contend that it is a completely rational choice. Others seem to be less than enchanted with the practice. This is a fairly superficial discussion but it does touch on some interesting themes. For instance, what factors contribute to the attractiveness of a person? Obviously, there is physical attraction, but also personality plays a large role. As such, characteristics such as kindness and generosity are seen by some as attractive. Many of the posters acknowledged that their husband's potential to be successful was part of what attracted them. Some posters argued that this indicated that such posters had married for money. But when one poster was asked if she would have married the same man with the one difference being that he lacked the same potential, the poster responded by saying, "he wouldn’t have been the same man". One poster described a scenario in which a woman had a choice between two men who were equally attractive and kind, but one earned significantly more than the other. He claimed that woman, as well as their parents, would always prefer the higher earner. But, this is not the "gotcha" the poster seems to think that it is. First, it is almost impossible that such a scenario would develop in real life. Moreover, by the poster's own admission, the question of money only came after attractiveness and kindness. The general consensus is more or less along those same lines. Money is one of several factors. Or, as one poster wrote, "You marry someone for many reasons including the potential to have a good career." But, others were more straightforward is saying that money was an important factor in their choices. To paraphrase one poster, she married for money but sleeps around for fun. Some of the male posters are particularly resentful of women who marry for money, referring to them as "gold diggers" and generally disparaging them. But, turning the table a bit was a male poster who admitted that he had married for money. His wife "is loaded" he wrote. Though I suspect that response was somewhat tongue-in-check and that there were other reasons for his choice.

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