Pre Marriage Checklist

Say you’re dating someone. You’re starting to think that this person might be “THE ONE”. You like this person: you love this person. You are in the gooey stages of love where everything is wonderful including the sound of his farts and he is enamored with your charming Mother.

Is it smooth sailing ahead? Or do you have to ride out some rough waves? How do you know that they are the “ONE”?

What questions should you ask someone before you decide if they are the right person for you?

For example:

  1. Do you want kids?
  2. How many kids do you want?
  3. House, apartment, trailer, yurt?
  4. Own or rent?
  5. City or suburb or rural?
  6. Car, mass transit or bicycle?

So, if you best friend, child, parent was about to take the plunge, what are the things that you think they should ask their intended? What are the most important things to know before walking down the aisle?

Discuss:

Driving Monitor

Watching your parents age is tough. Those people who loomed larger than life, who seemed to be able to solve all of life’s problems, are no longer what they once were. There is neither bad nor good to this: it’s just life. Aging sucks.

But what about your elder parents and driving?

I don’t think any of our four parents should be driving as they once did.

There. I said it.

I don’t think any of the parents should be on highways or driving at night.

I’m guessing this would be an unpopular opinion for anyone who might be older than me, but really

  1. slower reflexes
  2. eyesight not quite as good
  3. thinking they can make turns and merge the same way they were once able

I’m not being mean, or petty, I’m just stating the facts. I’ve been in cars with them. I will no longer get in a car with any of them driving. Period.

So this leads me to my next point:

I understand that it is not feasible to have people over a certain age take driving tests. Plus, I get the whole age discrimination thing…

but…

Should people over the age of 75 be required to have some sort of dashboard monitor or app to monitor their driving?

While I get that accidents happen to everyone of every age, and that those between the ages of 16 and 20 are most likely to get into accidents, there is a case to be made that older drivers do get involved in more accidents than those who are younger (meaning 50s and 60s)

I’m aware that you can anonymously send a complaint to DMV stating that someone should not be driving, and that DMV will ask for a retest, but is that the best way to handle the issue?

What do you think about people over 75 driving? Do you think there should be retests after a certain time? Do you think drivers over 75 should be required to have a driving monitor?

Discuss

Work Friends

I am seeing my friend M today. M and I share a subscription to the Roundabout Theater Company, so about six times a year we see a show together. We also see other Broadway shows together, as well as hit up the Fashion Institute Museum and make pilgrimages to Container Store. M and I have been friends about 30 years, since we met at work.

Most people have people at work that they chat with- it could be the person in the desk next to you, or someone on the same bathroom schedule as you, or, like M and I, we used to compliment each others outfits. We began a friendship outside of the office when we discovered out mutual like of theater, museums, classes at the gym, and fashion. M and I haven’t worked together in 25 years, but remain friends. This has been a good relationship.

My husband had one amazing friend from work who he spent time with long after they stopped sharing a work address.

Work friendships can clearly work, and can clearly be good and long lasting.

But…

Are all work friendships good?

What if you become friends with someone in a department that works with yours. You need them to do something, but they do a half assed job, or don’t complete it on time. Can you react appropriate to the situation when someone is your friend? What suffers: the friendship or the work?

What about envy or jealousy? What if you get a promotion that your friend wants? Can they stand possibly working for you?

What if your friend turns out to not be the person you thought them to be? After you get to know them you find that they have traits or characteristics that you find distasteful? That you realize that they might not be a good person? How do you extricate yourself from the friendship when you still have to work together?

Should you continue a work friendships outside the office?

Many companies make people who are dating co-workers sign something stating that the relationship is mutual, and that they won’t let the relationship interfere with the work. Because after a relationship goes sour, does the company really want to deal with the fallout?

I guess in an age of remote work, we might not have work friendships anymore- there’s no chance meeting in the hallway, or getting to a meeting early and having a few minutes of chat. No company softball games or holiday parties.

For our discussion for today, I want you to think about the following:

  1. Do you have work friends that you continue to see even though you no longer work together?
  2. Do you think you should be friends with people you work with, or is it a minefield?
  3. Do you think the office friendship is over due to remote work?
  4. What do you think about dating within the workplace? Yay or Nay?

Satire

I wrote a post on Friday https://wakinguponthewrongsideof50.com/2023/01/20/anything-can-happen-friday-unlikable-female-protagonist/ that talked about a trigger warning in the Hulu streamed film Not Okay. After one of my blog friends pointed out that the film was supposed to be a satire, (which I disagree with completely) there was discussion that the trigger warning was satirical. So lets talk about this.

WARNING- THERE WILL BE SPOILER SO IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW PARTICULARS ABOUT NOT OKAY, READ NO FURTHER. I’LL FORGIVE YOU

What is SATIRE?

Per New Oxford American Dictionarythe use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize stupidity or vices

Does Not Okay fit that definition of satire?

I don’t think so. I think the opening scene does show an ignorant character. She does say some stupid things. However, I did not view it as the filmmakers being satirical- I found it to be a judgement more than anything else, more of a mock than a satire.

What is to mock?

Per New Oxford American Dictionarytease or laugh at in a scornful or contemptuous manner

Is there a difference between mock and satire?

I think to satirize is to exaggerate something so people can see how ridiculous something is- I don’t necessarily think it is done with spite or malice. I think mocking is mean spirited and passive aggressive nasty.

Why do I think the movie is not a satire?

The character says stupid things and is ignorant of many things, including her own privilege. You do chuckle at her in the beginning, but her behavior after that is more contemptuous. You don’t like her and it’s no longer funny- it’s just not a character that you want to like. Not liking a character because she makes poor life choices and decisions is not satire.

If a movie is a satire, does the theme need to carry through from start to finish?

When I think of Dr. Strangelove or more recently Don’t Look Up or The Menu, the theme is carried through from start to finish. There is no doubt what you are watching is satire, and at least in the case of Dr., hilariously funny. The movies end in the most ridiculous ways possible. In Not Okay, the ending is sad. There is no funny or satirical overtone- it is straight up contempt for the main character, the unlikable female protagonist. Can it be a satire if it doesn’t end satirically?

If the content warning was supposed to be a joke, should they have included TRAUMA in the warning?

This is why I think it was done intentionally: trauma is something that would be put in a content advisory, because there are people who really want to know this. If the unlikable protagonist was supposed to be funny, wouldn’t it have been in bad taste to include them in the warning together?

Your turn:

  1. How do you define satire?
  2. What are the best satires you’ve seen/read?
  3. Do you think because someone says that something is satire, that it really is satire, or does it have to pass the smell test?

I Came, I Saw, I Ate

For some reason I had a lot of trouble with the gallery block when I was trying to do this post- This was a frustrating morning and I’m just happy I didn’t throw the computer out the window….insert exasperated face here!!!

Ten Things- 1/21/22

Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don’t recognize them. Ann Landers

Every day I write down ten things that defined my day. They can be good, bad or silly. Here’s a sample compiled from my week.

  1. My friend K was in from California and I got to have coffee with her
  2. My ice cream maker broke so I was a little sad
  3. Really liking pickleball- though it’s weird how there’s a stigma against it- I’m always amazed with things that others can poke fun at
  4. Giants win a playoff game?
  5. When I made bread today I forgot to use parchment paper so it was a travail getting it off pan
  6. Had dinner with my best NYC friend- so grateful for her because without her I would not have survived parenting and schools in NYC- she has been an amazing friend to me, and her daughter has been an amazing friend to my daughter
  7. I saw a play a few months ago that I thought was horrible but the Times gave it a Critics Pick. Thrilled to have met two people who hated the play as much as I did
  8. My Husband screwed up something but when he realized he apologized to me
  9. Thrilled that I have been doing well at organizing things in my bedroom and desk area
  10. Shocked that I liked the movie M3GAN because it is not a genre that I typically like

Anything Can Happen Friday: Unlikable Female Protagonist

This film contains unlikable female protagonist.

This is the content warning for NOT OKAY, currently streaming on Hulu.

Just in case you missed that, there was a content warning for unlikable female protagonist. FYI- there’s sex and drug use in the film, and I think smoking, but yeah…the threat is the unlikable female protagonist.

Do we need to be warned of an unlikable character before watching a movie?

Have trigger warnings gone too far? (This question is for you- I’m guessing you know my feelings about trigger warnings)

As we began watching the movie, my daughter noticed this warning before I did- to be fair I was still settling in my chair with my water bottle. If my daughter hadn’t been in charge of the controls I might have missed this little tidbit.

Are characters in books and movie and entertainment supposed to be likable? Are we supposed to believe that the world is paved with unicorns and rainbows and we never should deal with stress, or an unlikable person?

I worry about the kind of audience that society is producing that wants to know before hand if something might be unpleasant. How are they prepared for life? If you think everything in front of you is going to be a straight, flat path, how will you ever learn to deal when life hands you lemons?

Does anyone think that life is easy?

I can’t continue writing without getting angry, so I’ll leave it at this.

What do you think of this content warning?

Do you think they would have a content warning about an unlikable man?

Do you think we’ve produced a society of young adults that can persevere and be resilient in the face of adversity?

Are people scared of the messy bits?

Discuss

I’ve written about trigger warnings in the past: https://wakinguponthewrongsideof50.com/2021/02/18/trigger/ https://wakinguponthewrongsideof50.com/2021/05/25/no-triggers-except/

Grooming

Spoiler alert: I’m going to complain about dog grooming. I know some of you don’t realize what a hot button issue this is, so be prepared.

My dog has hair, not fur, so she doesn’t shed. While this is wonderful for my couch, in reality it means that she needs to have periodic haircuts.

There are a decent amount of groomers in the city, but oddly, I am not a fan of many of them. Awhile back I regaled you with the story of one groomer I met who was incredibly rude. Besides the personality, these appointments are not cheap. So finding a reasonably priced service that does a good job and where the groomer is nice is often a challenge. https://wakinguponthewrongsideof50.com/2021/04/21/yelp/

But I found a place.

One of the things about this establishment is that you are supposed to book your appointments on their app. Well, I think we all know that sometimes apps are better in theory than reality.

Betty needed what is referred to as a “touch up”. This means they bathe and brush her, trim her nails, and trim the hair around her eyes and what they refer to as sanitary (I’ll let you guess what they do). However, the app does not list the touch up as a service. So I call the place and they tell me to book a bath and brush, but put in the comments what she needs trimmed.

Fine. I book bath and brush and enter in the comments, like they said.

When the appointment came, as I dropped Betty off, I repeated what I had listed on the comments.

Of course you know that if I’m writing this, they only did the bath and brush…

The people who work at this salon are really sweet. They are very good with Betty. So I didn’t read them the riot act…

But…

It turns out that no one at the salon read the comments before the appointment, so they scheduled a brand new groomer, to take care of Betty, someone who is only ready to do the bath and brush because they haven’t reached the next level of grooming care- they are apprenticing.

Do I have a right to be annoyed because they didn’t do what I asked them to do? That they didn’t even check the comments, even though that was what I told them to do?

How would you have handled this situation?

Virtual

My local gym used to have a ton of classes: spin and body conditioning and yoga, etc. Then pandemic, and gyms shut down for a bit. When they reopened, my local gym had very few classes on the roster. This was a problem for me as I am a big fan of classes. I need motivation to work out. Period. This is neither good nor bad, it’s just me. While I can and do go to the gym and jump on the elliptical five times a week, I love a class.

Slowly my gym has begun adding more classes. But a few months ago they started having virtual spinning classes in the facility (as opposed to the Peloton model where you can do the classes at home).

I was not happy about these virtual classes. I like doing things in person with a live instructor. However, a virtual instructor was better than no class, so I began attending two spin classes a week.

I hate to admit this, but I loved it.

The teacher was teaching live at a studio, and there were four other gyms taking part in the same class, and we all participated by watching a huge TV in the cycling rooms at our own particular location. We could see the instructor, but she couldn’t see us. However, the instructors were able to monitor our bikes, and our progress, from the studio where they were filming. The class was set up so that my gym would be “competing” against the other gyms. Throughout the class, our stats would flash up on the monitor: how on pace we were with how the instructor was telling us to go, and how much power we were using. (FYI- I was awesome at pacing but really lousy at power)

My competitive nature clearly came out, as did the competitive nature of the others in the class. As we were cheering ourselves over “beating” the other teams, we would be laughing at ourselves for how all out we would go for this meaningless tribute.

I was working out and having fun. I really enjoyed the class.

You may have noticed that I was sort of speaking in the past tense. About six weeks ago the gym decided it wasn’t going to do virtual classes anymore. We don’t know why they stopped because we get absolutely no communication about what is and isn’t happening. But I was a little sad that virtual spin was over.

Luckily, my gym added some live, in person instructors so that there are now a few more spin classes. In fact, I was sitting on bike 19 at 6am today.

When I scheduled this post a few months ago, I thought I would be telling you about how virtual spin class was awesome- but instead I’m giving you its obituary. In a blink of an eye, things change. I guess that’s the lesson of today’s post…enjoy things while you can because nothing lasts forever.

Positive Outcome

If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story.

Orson Welles

When doing five minutes of research, I realized that I probably shouldn’t title my post happy endings, but essentially my thoughts and queries revolve around the term happy ending as it applies to books, movies, and life.

How do you define the words happy ending or positive outcome?

Much of fiction ends “happy”. Good guy wins out, the couple fall in love, the moral dilemma is resolved. But just because things end where the audience thinks they should, does it necessarily mean that it’s happy?

I’m going to give you a spoiler alert about Friends- the on again off again relationship between Ross and Rachel appears to be on for good as the show takes its final bow. There are many that think this is the ultimate relationship and this is the ending they wanted all along. However, Rachel gives up a dream job in Paris to stay with Ross. Is it happy or settling?

I recently watched a TV movie with my daughter- one of those Netflix things about a twenty something that does something stupid. What made this movie different was that many people would not consider it to conclude on a positive note. While some of the things said are a step forward, the viewer is left wondering how the protagonist will fare in the future. Of course, the warning label before the movie said “drug use, sexual situations and unlikeable female character” so apparently the American public needs to know when it might not be happy ever after and they need to be prepared… (I guess I could write a whole blog just about that phenomena…)

How do you define happy ending/positive outcome?

Can you give an example about an ending that was positive that you thought was good?

Can you give an example of an ending that was not “happy” and why it did or did not work?

What do you think of the Welles quote?

Happy ending: Yes or No?