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Monday's Most Active Threads

by Jeff Steele — last modified Mar 19, 2024 11:31 AM

Yesterday's topics with the most engagement included views about infidelity, how to describe being a housewife, a client calling on a weekend, and reasons to attend a small, rural college.

The two most active threads yesterday were the two British Royal Family related threads (Kate photo, Meghan lifestyle brand) that I've already discussed and will skip today. As it happens, I finally lost patience with the need to constantly moderate those threads and locked them both yesterday. So this should be the last we hear of those threads, if not the personalities involved. The next most active thread was titled, "I guess I don’t get why infidelity is a big deal if sex before marriage isn’t" and posted in the "Relationship Discussion (non-explicit)" forum. To be honest, I had quite a bit of trouble understanding all that the original poster was trying to say and I will probably make a shambles of summarizing it. The bottom line is that she (I am assuming the poster is a woman) notes that society has more or less accepted sex before marriage but once a couple is married, sex suddenly becomes "sacred" and has entirely different connotations. She doesn't seem to believe that sex should have elevated importance in this manner. Rather than seeing infidelity as a traumatic betrayal, she views it more as mistake, "a really really bad one, but a mistake nonetheless." Several posters hasten to point out that the issue with infidelity is not so much the sexual acts, but rather the violation of trust. One of the earliest posters to respond explained this viewpoint very well, saying, "The sex isn't the point, the vow of fidelity is the point" and argued that the original poster was "trying to frame infidelity [as] an extension of sex positivity, but what you're looking for is a free love scenario." As with this poster, most of those replying focused on infidelity as breaking a commitment and suggested that they maintained a zero or near-zero tolerance for what is essentially breaking a contract. A few agreed, at least in part, with the original poster. They were less worried about the physical act of sex than the often common impacts of an affair. These include lying, gas lighting, loss of affection, and other negative fallout. As such, they could imagine scenarios that avoided the negative ramifications, resulting in infidelity being forgivable or even, in some cases, acceptable. There were a number of outliers in the thread who had viewpoints that weren't widely shared and, subsequently, also not widely discussed. This included a poster who contended that humans are not meant to be monogamous. That mostly only elicited responses saying that some are and some aren't. Another poster argued that sexless marriages justify infidelity. Posters with this viewpoint are a fixture of the relationship forum and I think most posters simply ignore them now. The few posters that took notice simply said that the sexless poster should either divorce or reach an agreement that infidelity was allowable.

Next was a thread posted in the "Off-Topic" forum titled, "Housewife? What’s the best way to tell people what I ‘do for work’?" The original poster says that she stopped working after suffering from severe postpartum depression. Her husband is capable of supporting their family on his salary and the original poster hasn't wanted to return to work. Their kids are now in school and the original poster simply views herself as a "housewife". However, she frequently receives negative reactions when she describes herself in this manner to others. Women often respond that they would go crazy in her shoes and conversations often become awkward. The original poster is sick of having to explain herself and wants to know what she can say to prevent such responses. A number of those responsding simply suggested that the original poster tell others that she stays home managing the house and caring for the kids and that she loves it. She should then simply ignore any rude responses. Other posters were critical of the original poster, calling her insecure and a drama queen. One poster who is in the same shoes as the original poster says that she has gone through the same experience with other's questions. Now when asked if she will go back to work she replies, "Nope. I am not that stupid!" With a few exceptions, most posters stress that they are personally not judgmental of those in the original poster's situation. Several say that they could not do it themselves but that they actually admire those who can. This is a debate about whether or not negative reactions are motivated by jealousy. This thread got me thinking about creative ways that the original poster could address this topic. Given recent changes in work arrangements, the original poster could simply tell others that she works from home. If others dig further, she can say that she is the team lead of a group of four, largely handling administration. She can discuss her role as a co-founder of a family enterprise. She might describe herself as the vice president for domestic affairs. Among other things, she is the head chef at Cafe Mi Casa. There is always the clichéd, "I could tell you but then I'd have to kill you." In the DC area, you actually meet those kind of people. But the really secret ones claim that they are housewives.

The next most active thread was titled, "Client Called Three Times on Sunday" and posted in the "Jobs and Careers" forum. The original poster explains that on Sunday morning while she was attending Mass, a "very special" client called her three times in the space of an hour. The client then reached her manager who addressed the concern. The original poster does not take her phone to Mass and doesn't answer calls from unknown numbers in any case. The client did not leave a voice mail or email so the original poster had no way of knowing that the calls were from the client. Nevertheless, when she arrived at work on Monday her manager immediately jumped on her and demanded a meeting to "make sure stuff like this doesn't happen again." She wants to know what others would do in this situation. For many of those responding this is simply a matter of correctly setting expectations and communications procedures. If the client expects to be able to contact staff on the weekend, policies for having someone available need to be established. Several posters argue that these extra responsibilities would also justify additional compensation, perhaps billed to the client. A number of posters argued that since the client did not leave a voicemail, text, or email, the original poster had no reason or responsibility to return the calls. Others suggested that if an issue was so important that it required contact on a Sunday, the proper procedure was to contact the manager, which is what happened in this case. A few posters worried that if the original poster agreed to any arrangement that allowed contact on the weekend, she would be putting herself on a slippery slop that could lead to her de facto working on the weekends. They argued in favor of taking a hard line against taking calls on the weekend. After a single follow-up post, the original poster stopped identifying herself as the original poster and become somewhat beligerant, calling posters names and otherwise putting them down. Much of this appears to have been motivated by those posters' inability to comprehend that the calls were from an unknown caller. The fact that the calls were from an unidentified caller is probably the most important mitigating factor in this scenario. Posters had different opinions about the propriety of taking or returning calls from an important client on a Sunday, but the original poster really had no way of knowing the calls were from that client. Had the client also sent a text identifying themselves and explaining the importance of the matter, I suspect that the original poster would have had far less support.

The final thread that I will discuss today was posted in the "College and University Discussion" forum. Titled, "Why go to a small college in a rural area?", the original poster wonders why students would chose a small college in a remote location when they might otherwise be able to attend a school with access to more resources. Several posters whose children attend or attended such colleges said that their children preferred the slower pace that characterized such schools. Others said that they enjoyed the sense of community that these schools engendered. They appreciated fewer parking or housing problems and enjoyed the quieter atmosphere. Several posters said that at schools located in towns that didn't offer much to students, a lot more activities were arranged on campus. This was considered a point in favor of smaller schools. Some students chose rural campuses because they enjoy outdoor life and such schools offer easy access to outdoor recreation. Many also felt that such campuses were safer and have a more communal nature. On the other hand, one poster described her years at small rural college as isolating and said she was unable to find "her people". As a result, she was very lonesome and didn't enjoy the experience. While the thread was aimed at those who have chosen or would choose small, rural colleges, many posters who would not make such choices weighed in to express their opinions. All this did was highlight that different people have different preferences. There were plenty of off-topic debates, especially about towns or cities located in the vicinity of rural colleges. For instance, when Cleveland failed to get the respect that several posters believe that it deserves, there were a number of posts defening the city and its attributes. Bowdoin was included as a remote, rural college, provoking one poster to object because it was only a half hour drive from Portland, Maine, "the largest city in the state." Another poster then responded that Portland only has 68,000 people. Apparently what constitues "urban" is relative. I have a son who attends a small rural college and my main concern is about post-college opportunities. I don't think he would want to work in the area and I don't think there are many good jobs there even if he did.

Anon says:
Mar 19, 2024 02:23 PM
Lol at the really secret ones claim that they are housewives.
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