Best of the Week
of May 7, 2000

Best of Week Archives

Here are the most intriguing cross-cultural exchanges either begun or advanced during the week of May 7, 2000, as selected by Y? These postings, as well as "Best of the Week" entries from previous weeks, also can be found by accessing Y?'s new database using the search form, or, in the case of answers posted before April 24, 1999, in the Original Archives (all questions from the Original Archives have been entered into the new database as well). In the Original Archives and the new database, you will find questions that have received answers, as well as questions still awaiting responses. You are encouraged to answer any questions relevant to your demographic background, as well as to ask any provocative question you desire. Answers posted are not necessarily meant to represent the views of an entire demographic group, but can provide a window into the insights of an individual from that group.

First-time users should first make a quick stop at Y?'s guidelines pages for asking and answering questions.


Question:
Why do people keep jobs they hate? I could understand the money or benefits, but why do something you don't like doing?
POSTED 5/9/2000
Didier R., Chicago, IL, United States, Hispanic/Latino, Straight, student, Mesg ID 4242000121859

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Question:
Why are American-born and/or raised Asian children taller than non-American born Asians? I was born in Vietnam and raised in America since I was 7, and I am four inches taller than my parents. My youngest brother, born in Wisconsin, will likely be six inches taller than mom and pop. My Asian friends are the same - they're taller than their parents by several inches, some by seven or more. My theory is that it is caused by the richer diet in Western countries. Are there any other factors?
POSTED 5/9/2000
Binh, San Diego, CA, United States, <just4bui@hotmail.com>, 25, Male, Agnostic, Asian, Straight, Over 4 Years of College , Middle class, Mesg ID 58200054514
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Question:
I am a white woman living with a black guy. Is it true that white people are more irritated with mixed relationships than black people? This is how it seemed to me when I was living in the United States, though in Europe I have a different impression.
POSTED 5/9/2000
Anja, Frankfurt, NA, Germany, 30, Female, White/Caucasian, Straight, Sales representative, 2 Years of College , Upper class, Mesg ID 59200052552

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Question:
C'mon ladies, admit it: You like bad boys who don't live by rules and treat you wrong. I don't get why, though. What is sexy about living outside the law and hurting other people, including those most close to you?
POSTED 5/8/2000
Seamus, Charlestown, MA, United States, <madskat@home.com>, 20, Male, Catholic, Lower class, Mesg ID 55200043241

Responses:
I have often wondered the same thing. I believe there is no simple answer; however, it seems there are some obvious ovservations. I'm sure some women are attracted to the sheer excitement and adventure these 'bad boys' provide. 'Opposites attract,' as the saying goes. Others probably don't know any better. Maybe they grew up in a troubled home and have sadly grown accustomed to being surrounded by drama and issues. Other girls may be trying to get their family's attention or, quite frankly, p*** them off for some reason. The good news is this: Not all girls are anxious to hang out with a loser. There are plenty of women looking for a good man.
POSTED 5/9/2000
Joe J., Porterville, CA, United States, <vmccjordan@aol.com>, 30, Male, Christian, White/Caucasian, Straight, Student, 2 Years of College , Middle class, Mesg ID 58200054918

Not all women like bad boys, and I'll never understand why some do. My boyfriend treats me like a queen, and I love him. I have never been into people who treat me badly, and never will be. I don't know what kind of women you tend to meet; certainly I don't know anyone young or old who enjoyed, at any level, being in a relationship in which they were treated badly. And no, breaking the law isn't at all a turn-on. Don't be like my boyfriend's best friend - two weeks ago he came up with the theory that 'you treat your girlfriend like s**t and she loves it' He put it into practice {cheated on her} and now it looks like he's going to lose her - after two years of being together. Oh well, scratch that theory.
POSTED 5/9/2000
Netta, Armidale, NA, Australia, 18, Female, Agnostic, White/Caucasian, Straight, Student, High School Diploma , Middle class,Mesg ID 59200012003
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Question:
I need some confirmation that I am not totally weird on this issue. I can use a map just fine, and if I am shown where someplace is on a map, I can get there with no problem, using a combination of map navigation, 'remembering the route' (in general terms) if I've been there before, and dead-reckoning (spotting the sun and shadows combined with a general sense of direction, distance and elapsed time). Yet nobody else I know seems to get around like this! It seems like everyone else I know relies on an elaborate combination of spoken directions, landmarks and counting stoplights and intersections. I couldn't tell you how many stoplights are between my house and the mall to save my life. It's something I've never paid attention to and information that I don't need to carry around in my head. If someone gives me spoken directions, I can follow them only if I write them down verbatim. This may not seem like a big deal, but I almost got into a shouting match with a friend some time ago, all because he couldn't understand why I was unable to assimilate his spoken directions without writing them down. Wouldn't it be much more intelligent to use maps, combined with a general sense of direction? And why do people assume that you can 'lock onto' a strange, byzantine verbal narrative of directions for which you have no frame of reference because you've never taken that route before?
POSTED 5/8/2000
Augustine, Columbia, SC, United States, 39, Male, White/Caucasian, Over 4 Years of College , Middle class, Mesg ID 57200090040

Responses:
Wow, that's a dizzying question. I always have to write directions down verbatim, too, but I have to do that with nearly everything. I think my short-term memory is shot. As far as methods for finding a place go, I've heard that men generally do better with 'east-west' directions and women generally do better with 'left-right' directions. My head isn't a compass, so for me it's easier to 'take a left at the 7-11' than 'go west after a mile.' When I was first learning to drive, I was much worse. All directions had to be given to me in relation to my high school or the mall. And I have to tell you, I think your friend sounds a little nuts if he got angry because you wrote the directions down.
POSTED 5/9/2000

S.R., Austin, TX, United States, 22, Female, Agnostic, White/Caucasian, student, 4 Years of College, Mesg ID 592000121222

I also prefer maps. I feel like I'm wandering aimlessly in the woods without one. When I leave my desert outpost and attempt to negotiate the scrambled matrix of asphalt that is Los Angeles, I'm dead meat without a map. My dad feels the same way, and carries three or four different Thomas Guides in his car at all times. Many times I'll plan my route with a map. If I have to go to the city on short notice, I'll either bring a map with me or buy one when I get down there. I can only go by directions if they give me specific street names and addresses. If it's 'turn left at the truck depot and then go past the Tommy Burger shack and...', unless I am already familiar with the area I will most certainly get lost (or have a rather prolonged journey in finding the place). As for intuition, that only helps when I'm hiking, or if I've been in the place before, or I'm close to a place that I've been before. But maps are the best. If it weren't for them I'd probably have ended up sleeping in my car more than a few times.
POSTED 5/9/2000
Dan, Los Angeles area, CA, United States, 21, Male, Pentecostal Christian, Hispanic/Latino, Student, Lower middle class, Mesg ID 58200081109

I've noticed females use directions from place to place much the same way you describe. Men don't want to defer from the course, and will always take the same way to a location. They are better at remembering street names and house numbers. Women use landmarks and general direction. When I worked at a gas station, women asking for directions would inevitably ask, 'What's it near?' while men always wanted directions drawn out from street to street. It's just one of those things we can all laugh about in private concerning the other sex.
POSTED 5/9/2000
Seamus, Charlestown, MA, United States, <madskat@home.com>, 20, Male, Mesg ID 58200023814
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Question:
I'm wondering if someone who is or has been a member of AMORC (Ancient Mystical Order Rosae Crucis) can tell me a little about the beliefs of the Rosicrucian Order (a nonsectarian body devoted to the investigation, study and practical application of natural and spiritual laws). Why is the order so secretive? I've also heard there was a dispute in which they deposed their leader in 1990. Why did this happen?
POSTED 5/8/2000
Luko, New York, NY, United States, <luko30@hotmail.com>, 30, Male, Catholic, White/Caucasian, Bisexual, Consultant, Over 4 Years of College , Middle class, Mesg ID 55200032230

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Question:
In my increasing dealings with lower-income black people, I find that many of them have harsh words for those among them who are climbing the social ladder economically, i.e. that they are 'selling out.' Why is this? Why don't they congratulate another for overcoming a shared difficulty?
POSTED 5/8/2000
Seamus, Charlestown, MA, United States, 20, Male, Catholic, Lower class, Mesg ID 55200043007

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Question:
I used to administer a rather sophisticated management training program in which those who couldn't make it were fired. When I state the fact that affirmative action destroyed the integrity of the program, I am attacked, even though I am just the carrier of the bad news. How come?
POSTED 5/8/2000
J. Whitelaw, Palm Coast, FL, United States, 65, Male, Catholic, White/Caucasian, Straight, retired, Over 4 Years of College , Middle class, Mesg ID 57200035447

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Question:
To women: Does the pill reduce your sexual desire?
POSTED 5/4/2000
Zuhair R., Dubai, NA, United Arab Emirates, <zuhair@lcnsys.com>, 20, Male, African of Asian Decent, Straight, Network Engineer, 4 Years of College , Middle class, Mesg ID 54200040658

Responses:
The pill did not reduce my sexual desire at all. In fact, being on the pill increased it because I don't have to worry about unwanted pregnancy. With condoms there is always the possibility that it will break, slip off, semen will leak out, etc. And when you are worried, sex can't be fully enjoyed. An additional factor is that my menstrual cycle is more regular, and I don't have all the complications that go along with irregular periods. As a result I am much happier and therefore more into sex.
POSTED 5/8/2000
Lucy H., San Jose, CA, United States, 25, Female, Hispanic/Latino, Engineer, 4 Years of College , Middle class, Mesg ID 542000114044

No way! The pill enhances my sexual desire. I feel less inhibited because it reduces the chance of pregnancy by 98 percent. However, some drugs can reduce desire, such as anti-depressants like Zoloft and Prozac. Many drugs (even vitamins like St. John's Wort) can also negate the effect of the birth control pill, so a woman should be careful and consult her doctor. It is also important to always use condoms to prevent sexually transmitted diseases like herpes and HIV.
POSTED 5/8/2000
Sue, Atlanta, GA, United States, 30, Female, Catholic, White/Caucasian, Straight, professional, Over 4 Years of College , Middle class, Mesg ID 54200021101
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Question:
Why are disease rates higher among blacks for life-threatening conditions such as diabetes, heart attacks, AIDS and cancer? Why is this always the case? Am I the only one who notices?
POSTED 5/4/2000
Country, Cleveland, OH, United States, <dmoss22922@hotmail.com>, 31, Male, Baptist, Black/African American, Straight, Computer Consultant, 4 Years of College , Upper middle class, Mesg ID 522000105547

Responses:
I don't believe there is a genetic disposition to these diseases. The diseases you mentioned are lifestyle-influenced conditions. I'd guess that because black people are disproportionately represented in lower-income brackets, lack of access to doctors and health education may have something to do with it. In addition, stress is a big health risk that may predispose people to certain diseases (such as hypertension). And black people face a lot of stress directly and indirectly related to racism.
POSTED 5/8/2000
Tish, Newark, NJ, United States, Female, Black/African American, Ph.D student, 4 Years of College, Mesg ID 55200050216

You aren't the only one who has noticed this. The reasons are simple and yet have such complex origins and implications: 1) some diseases are lifestyle induced. Blacks have more stress in their lives because of being marginalized members of society and the implications of this. 2) blacks are more likely to have poor diet and exercise habits because healthy habits are less often practiced in rural and poor areas, where many blacks have been relegated. 3) blacks are less likely to have adequate medical insurance and medical education because they have been historically denied educational opportunities that would lead to income levels/job statuses where these would be readily available.
POSTED 5/8/2000
Amanda, Boston, MA, United States, 20, Female, Black/African American, student, 2 Years of College , Middle class, Mesg ID 542000111651

Genetics. Lifestyle. Medical treatment. Not necessarily in that order. Some groups of people have genetic propensity for or against certain diseases, just as some diseases prefer one sex more than the other (like lupus.) The same genes that protect from malaria are at cause for sickle cell anemia. Some of the diseases you mention are clearly keyed to lifestyle, such as some cancers, AIDS and adult diabetes. The incidences of such diseases change when individuals or groups change the lifestyle patterns that make them susceptible. Race is irrelevent unless the lifestyle choices are more a part of one culture or another. Finally, decisions to seek treatment early and being able to get quality treatment early are key in some of the diseases you mention, such as cancer and heart disease. This would be tied to a group's economic position, which clearly has a race factor - in America at least.
POSTED 5/8/2000
Steve, Houston, TX, United States, 43, Male, White/Caucasian, engineer, Over 4 Years of College , Upper middle class, Mesg ID 54200020557
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Question:
To people who have loved ones who are suffering or have suffered from Alzheimers disease: My mother is in the final stages of the disease. Can you give me any details on how bad they were in their final days?
POSTED 5/1/2000
Concerned daughter, Nicosia, NA, Cyprus, 45, Female, Upper middle class, Mesg ID 426200024153

Responses:
In the final years of his life, my grandfather had Alzheimer's disease. But he did not die of it. Even as a young child, it hurt me so much to see him in such a state because I loved him, and still love him, so much. In the final stages, he wandered off from time to time. There were times when he would sit in his chair and stare across the room, as if in oblivion, or just remain quiet for a long time. What was so heartbreaking was that sometimes we would be sitting at the dinner table when visiting him and my grandmother for the holidays, and he would look at us as if he did not know us. Of course this happens to a person stricken with Alzheimer's - they lose much of their memory. Often times they can forget the simplest things, like forgetting how to tie their shoes, where they put their Bible, or their favorite recipes. At the same time, most people who suffer from the disease are like a very small child; they can go to the bathroom on themselves - you have to literally be there for them every step of the way. I know this breaks your heart so much because it broke my heart about my grandfather. Even as I respond, I am emotional just thinking about you essentially losing the person you knew to be active, fun-loving and always happy. But I will pray that you and your loved ones stay strong through your ordeal. Just keep in mind that God will see you through this all the way.
POSTED 5/8/2000
E. Parker, Atlanta, GA, United States, <atl_zeta@hotmail.com>, 23, Female, Christian, Black/African American, Straight, Student, Mesg ID 55200052029

My grandmother died of Alzheimer's almost 10 years ago. I understand the pain and helplessness you are feeling, but do you really want to hear details? Why get yourself worked up listening to the stories of others when their situation may not even resemble yours? I know you'd like to know what to expect, but no one can tell you exactly what's going to happen or how your mother will behave. Each case is unique. You just need to prepare for the inevitable. Pray for peace for your mom, and ask others to pray for you and your family through this difficult time.
POSTED 5/8/2000
Shari, Canton, MI, United States, 29, Female, Lutheran, Over 4 Years of College , Upper middle class, Mesg ID 572000113330

You don't specify how your mom is now, except that she is in the 'final stages.' My mom knew the family somewhat until very late, and although we're not 100 percent sure, we think she knew me (based on how she hollered at me, as though I'd messed up somehow, when she saw me, which was usual) almost until the very end after having the disease for more than 10 years. She was still calling me by name and doing that about six months before she passed away. In the last few months she still took the same tone but did not use my name. She also had some mobility until the end; but other patients in her nursing home had gone into a kind of fetal position because of the muscle locks that can occur in this disease. E-mail me to discuss this more fully, if you'd like.
POSTED 5/8/2000
KristaJo, North Reading, MA, United States, <kryshajo@hotmail.com>, 46, Female, Catholic, White/Caucasian, Straight, Over 4 Years of College , Middle class, Mesg ID 58200063706
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