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Asshole Of The Day
Check out this e-mail that just flew over the transom:

In a message dated 6/29/07 7:25:27 AM, SpiderMBA@pacbell.net writes:

Dear Amy,

You still shacking up with your boyfriend, who's obviously afraid of the "C" word?

The clock is ticking, girlfriend. Find yourself a real man, whydontcha.

John

My reply:

Do you run around making presumptions like this about everyone's life? You're the rudest person I've encountered in recent memory. I wouldn't live with my boyfriend -- and I don't recommend living under one roof for married people either. I think living with another person is uncivilized, and I know it tends to kill a relationship (and certainly, your sex life). When my boyfriend comes over, I look sexy, smell nice, and pay attention to him. I have never said a mean word to him, or spoken to him with contempt. How many people can say that about the person they live with?

And there's no "clock" ticking. I live hard, and have a great life, and a man I love and can't imagine being without. That said, if our relationship gets boring, and we stop being good for each other, we'll break up. To stay together on those terms would be insulting and bad for both of us. If I need somebody to wipe my ass when I'm 90, I'll hire them.

Posted by aalkon at June 29, 2007 12:23 PM

Comments

As you have probably found, there is an interesting google history (including last name) for spidermba@pacbell.net

Posted by: jerry at June 29, 2007 10:55 AM

I didn't actually look. His e-mail told me everything about him I needed to know. I'm so tired of the nonthink that motivates people to keep promoting lifelong relationships as a wise idea. The late UCLA gerontologist Roy Walford predicted that I could live to be a healthy 120 years old. The assumption that anyone will necessarily be interesting for that stretch of time is an idiotic one. That said, if you have an alive mind, and you're highly intelligent, perhaps you have a long tenure with somebody also intelligent and alive that you have physical and emotional chemistry with. Personally, I don't look for "security" or guarantees, because there really are none -- not even for people who tie the knot. (Notice how many people get divorced - and married multiple times?)

Posted by: Amy Alkon at June 29, 2007 11:35 AM

Obviously, this guy intenionally did this just to get you all fired up. Anyone that has ever read your column more than once should pick up on the fact that you're against marriage.

Posted by: Amber at June 29, 2007 11:42 AM

My boyfriend has always got my back, he can always be counted on for real wisdom in dealing with people or situations, he always does the commendable thing (he was the only one who got out of his car to help a little old lady who fell in an intersection), and he always does what he says he's going to do. Married women should be so lucky.


Posted by: Amy Alkon at June 29, 2007 11:46 AM

yes yes, I spelled intentionally wrong. Sorry! I know you're against that too!

Posted by: Amber at June 29, 2007 11:47 AM

Well, I guess I should take Cathy Seipp's advice and ignore the tiny little nitwits. But, I thought I'd put this up because I think the presumptions in it are so amazing. So many people continue to live according to the status quo without considering whether the status quo continues to make sense.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at June 29, 2007 11:48 AM

I guess it doenst make sense for some people. Especially for people who dont really get along with someone 24/7 and needs thier space. Me and my husband are so rediculously laid back (oh and lazy) that its just easier to be married and live together. That way we dont have to get in the car and go drive somewhere to see each other. Oh and we get along curiously well. I can truthfully say we are happily married agaist all odds. Im actually pretty damn proud of myself.

Posted by: Amber at June 29, 2007 11:57 AM

Uh, could you put a spell checker on here? lol

Posted by: Amber at June 29, 2007 11:59 AM

Heh heh...

It isn't that we don't really get along -- we have a great time when we're living in the same space in France. Gregg's really fun. But, I think your relationship stays fresher if you're not together all the time, and I'm fine being alone and so is he, and nobody I'm not paying should have to be around me when I'm on deadline!

Posted by: Amy Alkon at June 29, 2007 12:08 PM

ha ha, we are in different worlds. No deadlines here. We go to work and when we go home, we leave work in the parking lot. I live in a rural area. You would probably throw up if you saw the street I live on. Dont get me wrong, I have a beautiful brand new home. But it's situated right next door to an amish farm in the middle of no where. It literally takes a half an hour to get to the grocery store, and you have to watch out for slow moving buggies. No joke! Guess the whole point is, its peaceful, less stressing. If I were in a faster moving world I would probably not want to deal with living with someone on top of all the other things. So, married aint so bad on a different planet :)

Posted by: Amber at June 29, 2007 12:16 PM

> Notice how many people get
> divorced - and married
> multiple times?)

Maybe they're (we're) assholes. Give some from props, marriage is excellent for everyone when it works.

Posted by: Crid at June 29, 2007 1:10 PM

> Well, I guess I should take Cathy Seipp's advice and ignore the tiny little nitwits.


Actually I think the phrase she used was "people who are so far beneath you". Ughhhh.

Posted by: Stu "El Inglés" Harris at June 29, 2007 1:14 PM

Well, that wouldn't surprise me. But, I do recall "tiny little nitwits." And Amber, I don't think this guy reads my column. I'm guessing he read "Boyfriend" in the entry about the farmer's market, and his marriage alarm clock went off for me.

Let me just tell the world how grateful I am that I'm not only not married, but not married to SpiderMBA.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at June 29, 2007 1:47 PM

Trolls come in all shapes and sizes, even with MBAs.

Even if marriage was a viable arrangement, I would still be against it. I cannot give that much authority over my day to day activities to another person. People are more likely to stay in a relationship if they know they have the freedom to go at any given moment.

Posted by: Joe at June 29, 2007 5:11 PM

"I would still be against it. I cannot give that much authority over my day to day activities to another person"

I agree with you that having to give over your authority to another person is scary...stifling... it could certainly lead to a claustrophobia-induced panic attack on my part. But here's the thing, Joe, I don't think that "marriage" necessitates losing control over your life or yielding your identity to make way for another person. Compromise, yes, but compromise is needed in all relationships in order for them to be successful (romantic, family, platonic).

Marriage is a lot of things - but I don't view it as having to be a strict mold. The relationship has to work for the people in it and when the two people give up their unique relationship in order to satiate some bullshit roles the relationship is doomed.

Example: My boyfriend has his own house and currently does all the necessary housework. I do mine at my house. We each go about our business and get together when the shit is done. Sometimes we do "the shit" (i.e: sanding down joint compound in his "Man World" converted garage) together. But if we were to get married what magical button is pressed that would require me to give him my full, detailed schedule, down to the last bowel movement? Gross, but I added that for effect (I told him women don't do # 2).

It just doesn't have to go down that way. I guess I am being naive - but I don't see how crossing that line into marriage HAS to mean the relationship has to transform into something completely different than it was prior and unrepresentative of the two people in it. I am an independent person, as is my boyfriend, and nothing can change that so why pretend to force it?

Marriage isn't right for everyone, but I think a lot of people would be much happier w/ the idea of it if they didn't think of marriage in an uber traditional sense (he works, she does the laundry, she nags, he complains to his buddies).

...Now, this whole spiel didn't even delve into the probability of MONOTONY and the "fresh factor" Amy speaks of (which is a great reason not to turn my boyfriend into a co-renter. I like to smell delicious and have dewy skin when I see him :-)). This is another line of argument completely. For another day.

And Amy - Spider probably wrote that wearing an over sized pit-stained t-shirt, whilst sitting in his basement bedroom while his mommy wiped his drippy nose.

Posted by: Gretchen at June 29, 2007 6:53 PM

....I'm sorry, Amy, I know that e-mail was rude, but...it was SO unintentionally hilarious for someone who reads your site on a regular basis. The clock's ticking? For what? You don't want kids, so the biological clock isn't a factor, and last I checked there's no magic marriage clock. But...this is as though someone sent Orac an e-mail warning him that if he didn't hurry and sign some petition, the vaccine companies would never be successfully sued for causing autism. It's SO off-base that it's ludicrous. (I'm very sorry that you had to deal with this schmuck. It's just that he revealed himself to be such a crashing idiot that it's hard to believe he gets through daily life without causing multiple disasters.)

Posted by: marion at June 29, 2007 7:09 PM

P.S: Spider explains that your boyfriend is the one w/ a commitment issue and that this is doing you a disservice.

This means he assumes you are an idiot, incapable of making a joint decision w/ a partner to not get married. B/c everyone woman's life goal is marriage and kids and Gregg must be the schmuck who has latched on to you and won't let you pursue those dreams! Oh the horror, I might have to find a real man to trot over to L.A and rescue your helpless white ass!

Posted by: Gretchen at June 29, 2007 7:59 PM

Hmmm...wonder what kind of vehicle "SpiderMBA" drives?


Posted by: Doobie at June 29, 2007 8:51 PM

"I guess I should take Cathy Seipp's advice and ignore the tiny little nitwits."

Miss Seipp was a wise one, wasn't she?

Posted by: Lena at June 29, 2007 10:13 PM

I *gasp!* agree with Mr Cridland that "marriage is excellent for everyone when it works."

I am enormously lucky/blessed/determined to have a great mate. An intellectual equal or superior, and a professional whose work I admire, and he loves what he does. I've discovered that liking one's work is one criteria I have for the few folks I call friends. If you hate your job, I don't think I have time to spend with you.

I enjoy being nearly 50 as well. Men from my past are falling out of trees saying they wished they had married me. Good Lord.

Posted by: Deirdre B. at June 30, 2007 6:45 AM

Yeah, thing is Amy, you might not have as-wiping money when you're ninety, and it the rest of us think it would be great if the boyfriend or some other individual was on the hook first before you came to to us for support.

It's a different scenario, but after all these years, single motherhood remains a great way to put a woman and her children into enduring poverty.

Posted by: Crid at June 30, 2007 8:08 AM

"I enjoy being nearly 50 as well. Men from my past are falling out of trees saying they wished they had married me."

Whew, I'm not the only one then! That's why I don't date guys in their late 40s and up, unless they prove themselves to be very cool and fun. Probably the same guys who were afraid of marriage in their 20s, now in their 50s are getting a bit scared of being alone (and having no-one to wipe their bums when they get old.)

My last boyfriend explaned to me that was one of the reasons I wasn't a keeper in the long-term, because I didn't come across as the selfless nurse type that would take care of him when he was dying in a nursing home. I dumped him because he had a serious substance abuse problem, and would probably wind up in a hospital sooner rather than later.

'...you might not have as-wiping money when you're ninety, and it the rest of us think it would be great if the boyfriend or some other individual was on the hook first before you came to to us for support.'

How is someone's mate obligated to wipe your ass?

Posted by: Chrissy at June 30, 2007 9:25 AM

I'm mindful of earning and saving enough money to be self-supporting, and also of taking care of myself physically so as to avoid preventable health crises. Lena's gotten me a bunch of personal finance books, and I just bought "Smart Women Finish Rich."

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/076791029X?ie=UTF8&tag=advicegoddess-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=076791029X

I'm really not one for what I call "The Purina Lifestyle" at 80.

And Chrissy, it was just a manner of speaking. I mean that notion that you should find a husband or wife because you need somebody to take care of you in your old age.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at June 30, 2007 11:00 AM

I know, I was quoting Crid, and his statement that the boyfriend/husband should be first up for the ass-wiping responsibility, before we put the moist towlette into his hands.

Posted by: Chrissy at June 30, 2007 11:56 AM

> How is someone's mate obligated
> to wipe your ass?

Jesus Christ, if you can't count on them for that, what can you count on them for?

Guys, guys. guys, know this: There are ass-wiping times in your future. If not your own ass, then certainly for an ass you know and love. Everyone likes to think they're going to to spend the morning of their seventy-eighth birthday playing tennis: At the top of the second set, you'll be going up to serve all tippytoes, and then it will happen, and you'll collapse on the court... And all your compelling sexual allure will be suddenly, tragically wasted. Back in grade school, we used to joke about wanting to die at the age of 80 by the hand of a jealous husband.

It almost never goes that way. Ya got'cher cancer, yer heart disease, yer diabetes, yer Alzheimer's and all the rest: http://urltea.com/voy

Financial savvy is tremendously important, but there's no better investment than a partner who'll take notice of you stinky refrigerator or an inability to care for your own toenails.

Posted by: Crid at June 30, 2007 12:43 PM

My daughter (now 30) was with her man for 9 years. They traveled together, dated and had fun. When it quit being fun, they broke up. End of story. Everyone should be so smart.

Posted by: GirlAtheist at July 1, 2007 3:04 PM

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