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Open Thread 54

August 6, 2010

  1. August 6, 2010 7:28 pm

    It’s Friday. The whole day was almost gone before I remembered.

    Figs are so misunderstood.

  2. August 7, 2010 1:41 am

    I love figs. My grandmother used to have a tree.

    I went to a restaurant last night. There was a really large party at a row of tables next to us, and I was seated so that I could see some of the revelers. Among them was a woman, who was to my eye anorexic. My suspicion was confirmed. She carried with her a bucket, like the kind children might carry for halloween or that happy meals used to come in. The bucket was lined with a plastic bag. While we were eating, I noticed that she was swishing her water around in her mouth, then spitting it into the bucket.

    I’m really glad that we were finished eating by the time the partiers’ food and other drinks arrived because she did the same with her meal. She chewed, then spit gobs of mushy mass into the bucket. Then swished her drink – something like a pearl tea – then spat the liquid, chunky with chewed up tapioca balls.

    I can’t even begin to understand why this party of about 20 was indulging her in this. And I also think it was extremely inconsiderate to have her disturbing everyone else in the restaurant with that behavior.

  3. August 7, 2010 4:33 am

    Jesus fucking christ. To me that’s like if someone was shooting heroin at the dinner table. It’s a sickness, I understand (personally), but I don’t even know how to say, like, the horribleness of subjecting others to that sickness, plus the horribleness of no one around her saying “whoa, what’s with the food-version of you shooting heroin at the fucking dinner table? how ’bout we get you some fucking help or some fucking thing?”

  4. August 7, 2010 7:59 am

    Oh my god. I’ve never seen anything like that. That can’t be a good sign. Are eating disorders getting chic(er)? Will designer spit-buckets be available soon? Probably only for women though. You’ll never find anorexia spit-buckets on the men’s side of the shop.

  5. August 7, 2010 8:09 am

    I wonder if she has some type of medical condition.

    Nevertheless, if she is anorexic, judging by how others enabled, I assume it is a twisted sort of way to prevent stigmatizing her mental illness. The thing is, people indulge mental illnesses that are in themselves indulgences, i.e. anorexia and tranny-ism. It is nothing like how one is expected not to shame a person for going to a therapist, as many people I know do. Such as saying things like, “Therapy is for crazy people……… I’m not crazy.” Or the everlasting, “My people cannot go to therapy because it will make us appear weak.” I am not saying a person needs to be shamed, but they most certainly should not be indulged. Oh, but I can imagine the manufactured outrage, the clutching of pearls, the twisting of my sentiment to imply that I am saying we should all shame these people. It reminds me of a time a good friend of mine was getting her ass kicked by her husband. He was financially well off and would shower her with jewelry after each ass kicking. And she had a bragging air to the jewelry and how it came about. When she first told me, naturally I fell into “how can we get you out of this situation” mode. Her response, “My aunt says everyone should cater to me because I am being beaten by my husband.” Honestly. When I had her clarify in case she used the wrong words or expressed herself poorly, she repeated that everyone should be at her beck and call because she was clearly the victim. Well of course she was the victim, but no way in hell was I going to indulge her in the way she expected.

    • August 13, 2010 9:00 am

      I’m still thinking about this woman. I started rationalizing that maybe she did have some sort of medical condition aside from an eating disorder. So, I looked into conditions that would make it painful or impossible to swallow, and all I could find were conditions that would require surgery – throat cancer, esophageal stenosis – conditions that would have a person hospitalized. Nothing that would justify sitting in a crowded restaurant chewing and spitting food into a lined plastic bucket. Then I googled “chewing and spitting.” Wouldn’t you know it – there’s an entire category of bulimia that involves chewing and spitting out food. There are so many websites and message boards where c/s people talk about the “best” ways to go about it and/or ask themselves why they’re still gaining weight while doing it.

      I think I’m satisfied now that the woman was indulging herself in an eating disorder, and that her companions were enabling it rather than doing anything about it.

  6. atheistwoman permalink
    August 7, 2010 2:50 pm

    I once bought fresh figs from the local yuppytopia, but I didn’t know how to eat them, and they went to waste poor dears.

    That story about the food spitting. Yich. Once in the dining hall at school I stumbled upon what I’m pretty sure was some sort of bulemic club table. There’s a semi-private room, and I wanted to go to get away from the usual juvenile antics and the noise and read in peace. Well, no such luck, because there was the table of the very skinny women eating like there was no tomorrow and they went back for seconds. Now, I’m not one to judge on the over-eating front, or to assume that just because someone is skinny means that they don’t eat a lot, or occasionally eat a lot. There was just something fishy going on there.

    • August 7, 2010 6:38 pm

      AW, you cut the stem off and you eat it. Or, you eat it all but the stem. They are peeled when making jam but not peeled when cut up for a nice cake. Yesterday, my daughter would not try them even after I cut them up nicely and put them on a plate. So, when I made our daily summer smoothie, I put three fat figs in the blender along with blueberries, a banana, frozen yogurt, ice, and skim milk. It does not seem like a fruit that would work well with a juice base smoothie. Perhaps I will try that one day. Nevertheless, the brat said the smoothie was great, nice and sweet. It was not until later I told her about the three fat figs.

    • atheistwoman permalink
      August 7, 2010 11:03 pm

      Muchas gracias. When you mentioned cake, it made me realize that fig upside down cake would probably be delicious…

  7. August 7, 2010 4:38 pm

    Kitty – I know what you mean about the don’t-shame-me/us/them! thing. When I was trying to talk to my twin sister about things “not being that bad” at one point between me and a rapist abusive boyfriend, she (thankfully for her) finally said “I can’t hear about him or this relationship anymore – I talked to my therapist about how upsetting this is for me and she said I have a right to have the boundary of not wanting to hear about something that hurts me that I can’t do anything about.” And at the time I felt like, oh my god she is SO not supportive of my abused self!

    And the thing is, she wasn’t. She was not supportive of my *abused* self – she could not and would not support that, the denial, the staying with him, the terror in my life that caused her terror too, but that she couldn’t do anything about. And although once I was away from him for good and also in a different life altogether, major-self-care-choices-wise, I did stop being angry at her for not letting me use her as someone to vent to at that time, it still took me a few years to even really understand what the fuck it really had been like for her, and how much she had a right to defend herself against the harm my choices were causing her.

    And it did make me feel ashamed at the time – hell, I’ve felt ashamed, period, for being with that man, both during and after and though mostly I don’t anymore, it still can come back from time to time if I’m having a really hard time and then that period of my life also comes back into my head. But. The shame was not something she did to me, by protecting herself and by refusing to support my delusions and collusions. The shame was from hurting myself in the first place – which I did, and not in the absolves-him-from-what-he-did way AT ALL, but in the and-this-also-was-going-on-while-he-hurt-me way. I was hurting me too. And wanting support for it, so I didn’t have to feel the shame. But there’s really only one actual way to not feel that shame – and that is to not do what I was doing, period.

    I don’t want people who are already in pain from self-harm or harm from others to feel shame. But it is the height of rage-inducing absurdity to me that the source of shame gets laid at the feet of anyone who directly rejects the harm they see in front of them as something that is in any way legitimate.

    • August 7, 2010 6:20 pm

      Obviously I’m not talking about a woman who got her first beating last night and is in need of someone to talk to, but someone who is at the point of put up or shut up already. Without a doubt, I am in a very gray area here. The victim always knows when she is ready to make a move and the “supporter” has little right to be the one to tell her when. However, that “supporter” as you mentioned has the right not to have to live it over and over in the name of supporting. It is traumatizing. I cannot afford to listen to the stories day in and day out if it looks as if she is never going to do anything about it and, and this is a big and, and she is conveying some type of demand from me, some type of sacrifice from me that is not mentally healthy for me. I get no pleasure in being helpless. It gets to a point you know, when people around you tell you “You did all you can, now for yourself you must walk away or at least stay away for awhile.” It sucks ass. Because the guilt will haunt. The guilt will visit you and whisper, “Did you really do all you can do?” But for your own mental health you have to maintain mental health in order to know when it is time to step back or risk your mental health. Naturally, stepping back benefits the abuser, because then he has a victim that appears and/or feels deserted. Yet, why should I be abused by proxy?

      For the record, our conversation has moved us from mental illnesses to abuse through the concept of shame. No doubt someone will accuse us of saying that abuse is a mental illness.

  8. August 8, 2010 6:46 pm


  9. August 8, 2010 7:29 pm

    I watched a biography of Rodney Dangerfield today. He told this joke. I couldn’t breathe after hearing it. This family’s house was on fire. A kid ran to her mother and screamed, “Mom, mom, the house is on fire!” The mom said, “Shhhhh, you will wake up your father.”


  10. Level Best permalink
    August 9, 2010 7:27 pm

    “I cannot afford to listen to the stories day in and day out if it looks as if she is never going to do anything about it and, and this is a big and, and she is conveying some type of demand from me, some type of sacrifice from me that is not mentally healthy for me.”–Kitty

    I so agree. I once had a co-worker (we were both academic admin’s)who would endlessly rail and literally CRY about how overworked she was doing things that no secretary should be expected to do, racking up tons of comp time, etc. But when I reminded her that her boss was fair-minded enough to take away the “above and beyond” duties she was performing that were more than secretarial work if she (my coworker) would just tell her how exploited she felt, THEN she would start mealy-mouthing about “But it’s such IMPORTANT work, and I get so much MEANING from it, etc.” One day after hearing alternately about her exploitation and exaltation, I bluntly told her she either needed to complain to her supervisor and seek relief or else stop complaining about her job to me. I’m sure you won’t be amazed to hear she burst into giant tears and whimpered, “Please don’t be mad at me!” Oh yes, I was from that moment officially MEAN, sigh.

  11. Level Best permalink
    August 10, 2010 1:07 pm

    And I’m NOT mean, really–just the opposite, in general. But by the time I had this blowing-hot-and-cold coworker I had just come to the conclusion that in life there is unavoidable pain and then there is optional pain; I don’t sympathize with complainers who cling to their optional pain.

    • August 10, 2010 2:56 pm

      Now Level Best, don’t you think you need to ask yourself why you had to come back and assert that you are not mean. LOL! Oh gawd, the misery we women inflict on ourselves. Well, I guess it did not help that I did not respond to your comment earlier. I am going through something right now, actually, I am always going through something, so that is really not an excuse. I think I understood what you were saying and did not think nothing bad at all. Although, right now, those employed whiners had better stay out of the comment section of local papers. It seems like every small town/city paper that I read the comment section is full of people responding to whiners (including people with very valid reasons to have a beef with their job) with “You should be lucky to have a job!”

  12. Level Best permalink
    August 12, 2010 4:09 pm

    It does feel horrible. The whole situation forced upon Mitrice Richardson was astoundingly wrong and avoidable, incredibly racist.

    • August 12, 2010 4:18 pm

      Racist-sexist. Because as I process how this misogynist bastard flight attendant is being held a folk hero, all I can think of is how women are handled when they supposedly “snap” as Mitrice supposedly did. And you know, something told me this bastard took it out on a female but it was never stated until the story started unfolding more. Now, there are accounts being told how this bastard was talking shit to passengers, females before the flight ever took off. He was slamming doors and huffing and puffing. Yet he is a fucking hero for showing his ass and having a melt down.

      I wonder if his bad word was “bitch.”

    • August 12, 2010 4:46 pm

      Poor Mitrice. In a confused state she stumbled about and around that canyon and either fell to her death and/or died from the elements, — alone. With the coyotes, mountain lions, and rattle snakes. Damn.

    • joankelly6000 permalink
      August 12, 2010 6:43 pm

      I heard on the radio this morning, after hearing that “remains” had been found and were being tested earlier this week. It’s not the first time that a black female person with possible mental health issues has been harmed and/or had her death caused by So Cal police, largely for being black, female, and mentally ill/appearing mentally ill. I’m heartsick for her family, wondering all this time, must be having the feeling of “if we had only found her in time…” that panic when you think someone is still alive and just needs to be found/helped in time. Ugh, it’s so horrible.

    • joankelly6000 permalink
      August 12, 2010 6:53 pm

      I didn’t know that about the flight attendant, thank you as always Kitty for pointing this shit out.

      I was verbally attacked by a United Airlines flight attendant years ago for having the c-word-y nerve I tell you, to ask him politely if he could help me put my bag in the overhead space. I’m short and not strong and so lifting things up that I can lift fine from the ground to, say, waist or even shoulder height is not the same as lifting way over my short head. He immediately started yelling at me and accusing me of trying to INJURE him with my HUGE HEAVY BAG and HOW DARE I, that WASN’T HIS JOB, and then when I, already-terrified-to-fucking-fly-in-the-first-place-so-immediately-starting-to-cry-from-the-shock-and-being-a-big-fucking-baby, quitely tried to do it myself then, he huffed and fucking puffed behind me and loudly complained about me to the other flight attendants, after I wasn’t even asking him for help anymore! Like he couldn’t get enough of trying to humiliate me as punishment for asking him for help! A passenger helped me get the bag up. But I mean this guy SNAPPED. I only WISH his punk ass had slid down the emergency slide and off that fucking plane, dickwad.

      I’m not exaggerating. The thing is, I know when I’m a jerk in public, and I will tell you flat out – I was being a pain in someone’s ass, and in retrospect I feel “good for them” if they told me off, maybe even in the MOMEMT I feel “good for them,” if I’m just having poor impulse control or low blood sugar or whatever the hell ever makes me act like an ass for a minute out in the world. I don’t want anyone to have to put up with that shit, from me or anyone else.

      This man’s behavior was so bizarre, the other passengers around my seat (who seemed afraid of him so just whispered to me rather than openly come to my aid, for which I don’t really blame them), with no prompting from me started talking to me about how horrible the flight attendants were, how United was famous for it, how there’s a website dedicated to it, etc. Someone may even have patted my crybaby ass on the shoulder, ha.

      But I’m sure this Jet Blue guy was a REAL folk hero. And I’m sure if it came out that the bad word he used was “bitch,” it would just spark a round of everyone talking about how great it is to use that word “when it’s warranted.”

  13. Level Best permalink
    August 12, 2010 8:14 pm

    God, Joan, what a horrible flight experience. I’m glad the passenger helped you; I sure would help if a slight, petite person needed assistance!

    • joankelly6000 permalink
      August 12, 2010 9:56 pm

      I think everybody must have flight horror stories – maybe it’s the nature of unnatural flight that everyone goes a little crazy up there. The only way I don’t go berzerk now is if I’m drugged to within an inch of my life. But thanks for the empathy, I feel silly now because I just meant to point out what fucking dicks male flight attendants can be, where it’s so clear that THEY think they’re “snapping because of unreasonable customer behavior/requests” and meanwhile it’s not that at all, and it was the first I’d heard, when Kitty wrote it here, about the JetBlue guy possibly being a dick to a woman passenger.

    • August 12, 2010 11:30 pm

      You got to structure your thinking when it comes to the patriarchy. Well, not that I am telling you what to do. But, I find that the details that make men look bad are always the last details revealed. Yet, the details that make women look bad are always exposed first. Of course, I’m not saying anything that million of women before me have not said or thought, but, there it is. I work from that angle. If it turns out differently, then it does.

  14. atheistwoman permalink
    August 12, 2010 8:19 pm

    “Her arrest for being unable to pay an $89 dinner tab at a Malibu restaurant and her subsequent release in the dark hours of the early morning last Sept. 17 without a car, cellphone or purse. ”

    Oh my god. Especially when they said that she was acting oddly at the restaurant. I hope those assholes get sued within an inch of their life. Not that it would make any difference.

  15. August 12, 2010 10:24 pm

    I hadn’t heard about Mitrice over here – what an upsetting story.

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