Best of the Week
of Aug. 18, 2002

Best of Week Archives

Here are the most intriguing cross-cultural exchanges either begun or advanced during the week of Aug. 18, 2002, 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 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 database as well). In the Original Archives, as well as in the 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.

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"Why Do White People Smell Like Wet Dogs
When They Come Out Of The Rain?"

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Question:

I want to know the straight-up truth from guys and girls: I am an amputee and am on crutches all the time. Would that really keep someone from dating me or asking me out?

POSTED 8/19/2002

Samantha, Seattle, WA, United States, 21, Female, Lutheran, White/Caucasian, Straight, amputee, student, 2 Years of College, Upper middle class, Mesg ID 318200292359

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Question:

I was raised in a non-denominational, non-religious household by a mother from a strict Roman Catholic household and a father from a strict Southern Baptist household. They were married by a Justice of the Peace and never made me go to a church of any kind. As a result, I have had the adventure of learning about many different religions and asking questions about all of them. It puzzles me that so many people can attest to aspects of their religion as if they are proven scientific fact (e.g., 'Jesus died for our sins') when there really isn't any proof that such things are true. I mean no disrespect to anyone of any faith by asking, but how can you say something is true if you don't have proof? Just because something is written in a book does not necessarily mean it happened, or that it happened just the way it was written. Please explain to me how you have developed absolute faith in your religion given lack of proof.

POSTED 8/19/2002

Tracy, Edmond, OK, United States, <lavenderlilycuao@hotmail.com>, 30, Female, Spiritual but not religious, White/Caucasian, Straight, Electronic Banking Administrator, 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 816200221917

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Question:

Why do women take so long in the shower? Every woman I have known, without exception, has taken forever in the shower, whereas we men can get in and out of the shower in five minutes. I don't see what takes so long.
POSTED 8/14/2002
Marcel S., Paris, NA, France, 27, Male, Atheist, White/Caucasian, Straight, N/A, High School Diploma, Lower middle class, Mesg ID 812200264833


Responses:
First, grow your hair halfway down your back. Then, every time you shower, wash and condition that hair. Next, shave your legs and pits. Now, scrub your heels with a stiff brush or pumice stone to remove callouses so you won't ruin your stockings. When you're done, let us know how long it took you.

POSTED 8/15/2002

Jo, Ft. Wayne, IN, United States, 53, Female, Information Technology, 2 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 815200253124


For one thing, most women have longer hair than men and spend more time washing and otherwise fussing with it. Also, women who shave their legs and underarms are likely to do it in the shower. As for me, I'd take long bubble baths if I had my druthers; my wife prefers quick showers.

POSTED 8/15/2002

Jerry S., New Britain, CT, United States, 54, Male, Jewish, White/Caucasian, Straight, 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 815200275547


I can't speak for all women, but my hair is what takes me so long in the shower. I have waist-length hair, and when I wash it, it takes a while.

POSTED 8/19/2002

Trudy, San Jose, CA, United States, 20, Female, Student, 2 Years of College, Upper middle class, Mesg ID 8192002101952


Have you ever shaved your legs, bikini line, arm pits? It takes a while.

POSTED 8/19/2002

Emma, Los Angeles, CA, , Female, Mesg ID 816200274530


One word: shaving.

POSTED 8/19/2002

Chandele, Fort Collins, CO, United States, Female, Mesg ID 8162002115554


Most women have longer hair than men, which requires more care in the shower and takes longer to rinse out. Most of us also shave our legs and underarms. So you see, these procedures take us longer in the shower. I enjoy taking long showers anyhow, because it feels good.

POSTED 8/19/2002

Patricia N., Chicago, IL, United States, 29, Female, White/Caucasian, Straight, 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 818200213309


A Frenchman questioning personal hygiene? Talk about perpetuating a stereotype. I am a male and normally take more than a few minutes to shower. I am not at all effeminate. I just have a desire to be thoroughly clean. Perhaps your female friends have good personal hygiene habits or don't care about water conservation or something.

POSTED 8/19/2002

J.D., Arlington, TX, United States, 34, Male, White/Caucasian, Straight, Office Manager, 2 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 818200264112

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Question:

Do younger people understand how age-related diseases like arthritis affect someone's lifestyle, even if they're not in a wheelchair?Having worked all my life, and being unable to the last five years, I sometimes feel that my two disabling diseases are not quite accepted or believed. My life is good, I am active and I try to avoid letting people know I'm disabled other than on days I must use my cane or shop with my significant other.

POSTED 8/19/2002

Martha, Portage, MI, United States, 59, Female, New Age/Metaphysical, White/Caucasian, Straight, Retired Social Worker, Over 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 352002121725

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Question:

I have been wearing glasses for quite some time and am not a candidate for laser surgery, and I'm sick of the negative stereotype of women who wear glasses. Watch any movie or TV show with an 'ugly girl,' and I guarantee she'll wear glasses or be overweight, sometimes both. In real life, people see women who wear glasses as ultra-intellectual, bookish, reserved, Puritanical and very plain and boring. Why is this? I got a lot more attention from men when I was wearing contact lenses between age 16 and 26, but now that I am a 'speccy git,' I am virtually ignored. I am the same woman, but now it's obvious I'm blind as a bat. I'd appreciate any opinions about society's stereotype of women with glasses.

POSTED 8/19/2002

Tracy, Edmond, OK, United States, <lavenderlilycuao@hotmail.com>, 30, Female, White/Caucasian, Straight, Electronic Banking Administrator, 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 816200223612

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Question:

An African-American friend of mine told me white people have funerals so soon after someone dies (three days or so) because they start to turn a dark color after embalming. She said African-American families wait longer. Does anyone know if this is true? Do we turn a different color?
POSTED 8/14/2002
Jennifer H., Montgomery, AL, United States, 30, Female, Methodist, White/Caucasian, Straight, Therapist, Over 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 813200211441


Responses:
I don't know the specific answer to your question, but burial customs vary widely. Jews don't embalm their dead, don't use an open coffin and hold funerals within a day if at all possible. The Irish are famous, rightly or wrongly, for extended wakes. So far as I know, modern embalming techniques pretty much preserve the body (color and all, with makeup) for many days. The timing of the viewing and funeral is generally at the family's convenience.

POSTED 8/19/2002

Jerry S., New Britain, CT, United States, 54, Male, Jewish, White/Caucasian, Straight, 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 815200280024


In reality, the skin first becomes more pale as the bloodflow stops. The skin doesn't start to turn darker until the skin begins to rot. Here in the United States we have funerals while the bodies are still distinguishable.

POSTED 8/19/2002

Lucas S., FAFB, WA, United States, Male, Mesg ID 815200223003


I've been to funerals at which the deceased was white, and the funeral took place more than three days after the death. They looked just as white then as they did when they were living.

POSTED 8/19/2002

E.D., Kansas City, MO, United States, 46, Female, Black/African American, Mesg ID 817200210916


It is a slow process, but a darkening of the skin after death is noticable in people of light complexion, regardless of the embalming techniques. My light-complected Mexican father-in-law died, and four days later his skin was noticably darker, to the point that my black sister-in-law pointed it out to me.

POSTED 8/19/2002

Doug, Phoenix, AZ, United States, 39, Male, New Age/Metaphysical, White/Caucasian, Gay, Administrator, 2 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 819200250113

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Question:

Why is it that whites and Hispanics who are keen on black culture are still so hateful toward blacks? I have never heard of a Hispanic person hiring a black person in my life (all my black friends say the same) and affirmative action is needed for a white person to even look at a black person's resume. Yet these same people listen to 'black' music. Why? It doesn't make sense to like a group's culture but hate the people.

POSTED 8/19/2002

Alea, Bronx, NY, United States, 23, Female, Straight, student, Lower middle class, Mesg ID 816200245817

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Question:

Why is it that whenever white men write about a black woman in the media and she is 'attractive,' the white guy must stress that she is mixed and that that is responsible for her being attractive? Many black women in the media are not mixed, and if they are, still look like regular, everyday black women, so I don't understand it. Non-black female actresses are NEVER constantly talked about in terms of them being more than one race. Why is this the case for black women?

POSTED 8/19/2002

Alea, Bronx, NY, United States, 23, Female, Straight, student, Lower middle class, Mesg ID 816200250543

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Question: 

Once a year we visit my brother and his family. Invariably we spend a day at the beach. My brother is endowed in a manner that would send a mare off and running. He's only five feet two inches tall, which only makes it look larger. Yet his preferred beachwear is Speedos. His wife thinks it's cute. But damnit, it looks like he shoplifted a chicken. My wife just (privately) says "My God!" People stare and whisper. I have a hard time walking down the beach with him. Would I be out of line if I asked him to maybe wear one of those knee-length swimsuits?
POSTED 8/14/2002
Wally L., Brookville, IN, United States, 40, Male, White/Caucasian, Straight, brick layer, High School Diploma, Middle class, Mesg ID 8122002122644


Responses:
He's your bro, man. Just tell him no one wants to see his package and that he looks like a dork.

POSTED 8/19/2002

Steve, Houston, TX, United States, 46, Male, White/Caucasian, Straight, Corporate Climber, Over 4 Years of College, Upper class, Mesg ID 816200283248


I don't know what you should tell your brother (believe me, he already knows), but thanks for the biggest laugh I've had in a long time!

POSTED 8/19/2002

E.D., Kansas City, MO, United States, 46, Female, Black/African American, Mesg ID 816200283522


It would depend on the relationship you share with your brother as to how he would respond to your request he wear loose-fitting trunks. My guess is that he's a show-off and likes the attention and would probably not comply. Besides, in Speedos the monster is under control. Seeing it swing freely in oversized trunks might accentuate it even more.

POSTED 8/19/2002

Doug, Phoenix, AZ, United States, 39, Male, New Age/Metaphysical, White/Caucasian, Gay, Administrator, 2 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 819200244845

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