Best of the Week
of Oct. 20, 2002

 

Best of Week Archives

Here are the most intriguing cross-cultural exchanges either begun or advanced during the week of Oct. 20, 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 thedatabase 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.

 

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Question:

Why are older people generally more meticulous about things? I have noticed, for instance, that they cover soft drink cans with a napkin or a plastic bag (so as not to touch the condensation) and that they iron their clothing constantly lest they be caught wearing something that's wrinkled. Does this carry over from a time when the wife was usually at home full-time and a higher standard of housekeeping was expected?
POSTED 10/20/2002
Augustine, Columbia, SC, United States, 42, Male, White/Caucasian, Over 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 10192002111123

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Question:

Men: how often do you pleasure yourselves? I probably average once every other day, which my wife thinks is excessive. I happen to think it's just natural and a great release mechanism. Also, I'd be interested to see how/if this cuts across racial/gender lines. For example, how often do African-American men/women take care of themselves, and if they don't do it often, why not, etc.

POSTED 10/17/2002

J.M., n/a, FL, United States, Male, White/Caucasian, Mesg ID 1017200291211


Responses:

I don't think race has anything to do with it. It's just a great stress releaser, I agree. Every other day isn't that much, in my opinion. Hell, I do every day if I'm in the mood and my partner isn't around to do it for me. My boyfriend (he's black), doesn't do it (well, at least that's what he tells me). He'd rather have me do it for him (don't laugh) or just have sex. But I agree, it relieves stress, and there's nothing wrong with it.
POSTED 10/20/2002
Kesha, Pittsburgh, PA, United States, 26, Female, Christian, Black/African American, Computers, 2 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 10182002111519


When I'm single, I average once or (occasionally) twice a day. When I'm in a relationship (as I currently am) even if I'm not getting "release," so to speak, it drops to once a week.
POSTED 10/20/2002
Alex, Beloit, WI, United States, 19, Male, Jewish, White/Caucasian, Bisexual, Student, High School Diploma, Upper middle class, Mesg ID 1018200220722


I do it at least once a day. It also seems that the more sex I have with my partner, the more I want to masturbate later.

POSTED 10/22/2002

Todd, Gastonia, NC, United States, 38, Male, White/Caucasian, Gay, 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 1022200282939

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Question:

I don't know why, but no black males in my school ask me out on a date. It is always white males who come on to me. Is it because I'm not the stereotypical ghetto black girl? I'm truly confused. Does anyone care to enlighten me?
POSTED 10/20/2002
Nicole B., somewhere, NY, United States, 17, Female, Atheist, Black/African American, Straight, student, Less than High School Diploma, Middle class, Mesg ID 1019200223255


Responses:

Nicole, hang in there. In life, those with similar morals, ethics and goals tend to find one another, regardless of race. Also, if you truly defy stereotyping, discontinue using terms like 'ghetto black girl.' Check your history references and you'll learn the real meaning of the word 'ghetto.' Don't buy into deception.

POSTED 10/21/2002

Gene, Chicago, IL, United States, 47, Male, Christian, Black/African American, Straight, Self employed, 2 Years of College, Lower middle class, Mesg ID 1021200292723


You sound as if you're a bit upset about not getting the brothers - or is it that you're just curious as to why they don't want you? I can offer some explanations on why white males appear to be attracted to you. I believe that when we attract only a certain kind of pepole we are sending vibes toward others that attract them to us. It could be that you act more like a white girl instead of a black one. It may be stereotypical, but the Anglo culture may regard passiveness as being ladylike and desirable, whereas in the black culture feistiness is encouraged and even respected. So you're right. White boys like your vibes and black boys don't because maybe you're too passive for them. I'm not saying you have to be phony or anything, but try immersing yourself in the black culture more or be a cross between the two; maybe that way you'll catch more brothers out there.

POSTED 10/24/2002

Monique M., Ft. Myers, FL, United States, 17, Female, Christian, Straight, Mesg ID 1022200240451


Don't be confused. It's a male thing. The answer is yes: In some instances it may be a 'ghetto' thing, but in most cases I think it's a case of men just being intimidated by a strong, self-confident woman. Trust me, the strong black male you seem to seek is out there; you just haven't met him yet. It is more important to be true to yourself and be who you are. 'To thy own self be true.'

POSTED 10/24/2002

Harvey, Los Angeles, CA, United States, 49, Male, Black/African American, Middle class, Mesg ID 1022200293032


First, you have to get rid of the notion that we are only after 'ghetto' girls. Some of us, in fact, are repulsed by such girls. You'll have to describe your situation a little more clearly before I can give a more complete opinion. Do you live in a more well-to-do part of town? Is your school culturally mixed?

POSTED 10/24/2002

Vincent, Minneapolis, MN, United States, <aries73@mindspring.com>, 29, Male, Agnostic, Black/African American, Straight, Over 4 Years of College, Lower middle class, Mesg ID 1023200295559

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Question:

I went into a bank recently and several East Indians were in line, and the placed smelled of strong body odor. The sweat and the spice smell made me ill, and I decided to hell with getting money out and left. I do not feel that all of them take a bath, brush their teeth or wash their clothes properly. What do others think?
POSTED 7/16/2002
Lilly, Calgary, Alberta, NA, Canada, 40, Female, Mesg ID 7122002124019


Responses:

I'm with you there. I once had to share a flight from London to Chicago with six of the stinkiest Indians in the Northern hemisphere. Their hot, sulfuric BO permeated the cabin and made it difficult to eat. Even more ironically, they were wheeling large bottles of water through the airport with them when they got off. The stewardess said it's not uncommon; the transporting of the water or the stench. Thoroughly disgusting.
POSTED 7/19/2002
Brad, Boise, ID, United States, Male, Mesg ID 719200271441


Some people may be like that, but not all of us are that stinky. Actually, it has more to do with what you eat than not having a bath. If you cook and eat a certain thing, you are likely to smell of it. Especially since the pungent spices used are partly present in the sweat that the body gives out. I have often noticed some of my Chinese friends smelling of fish, or some of my European friends smelling of beef/ketchup, and you may not notice that as you are used to that smell. But I do agree that people from the rural villages here do not take care about putting on any deodorant. But I can assure you it has nothing to do with not taking a bath; many of us bathe two times a day.
POSTED 10/20/2002
Vijay, Surat, NA, India, 29, Male, Hindu, Asian, Manager, Over 4 Years of College, Upper class, Mesg ID 726200235008


It's not really a case of bathing or not. When you eat a lot of cumin and garlic and onion, it comes out when you sweat. Then the cumin and garlic odor it will start to permeate your clothes. Americans are obsessed with cleanliness so we wash our clothes daily, but other cultures (and older and poorer Americans) wash clothes less often. As a side note, when I was younger I could not stand talking to white kids after lunch because they smelled like spoiled milk. I never drank milk because I wasn't raised that way, so I found the odor revolting.

POSTED 10/24/2002

Libby, Charleston, WV, United States, 34, Female, Secular Humanist, Hispanic/Latino (may be any race), Straight, Domestic Violence Advocate, Over 4 Years of College, Lower middle class, Mesg ID 810200243055

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Question:

I work in a library and have noticed that men, when handing over their card or money, toss it on the counter instead of putting it in my hand or even laying it on the counter. I rarely see women doing this. I find it rude. Can anyone shed some light on this?
POSTED 10/20/2002
Alice B., Athens, GA, United States, 39, Female, White/Caucasian, Library Clerk, Over 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 1019200224602


Responses:

I've noticed it, too. But in my case, it's my wife who tosses the money on the counter. I always hand it to the clerk.

POSTED 10/21/2002

Rich, Boston, MA, United States, 35, Male, Mesg ID 1021200283218


What an interesting observation. Now that I think of it, I rarely put things directly in strangers' hands. If I'm at the airport, I usually put my ticket and drivers' license on the counter and slide it over to the agent. If I'm paying for something with a card, I usually slide the card across the counter and over to the clerk; if actual money is involved however, I usually hand the currency (especially the coins) directly to the clerk (I think I actually POUR the coins). I think maybe it's an unconscious avoidance of directly touching the hands of someone I don't know.

POSTED 10/21/2002

T.C., Phoenix, AZ, United States, 35, Male, White/Caucasian, Gay, Web Developer, Over 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 1021200294536


As a former cashier, I found this a very rude practice done by both sexes. Whenever this happened to me, I would slide the change back on the counter as well, but strangely, the customer would always appear offended! And as far as simply not wanting to touch the hands of strangers, how many stranger's hands has your change been through, let alone mine? Perhaps I can save you some repulsion and just keep the change.

POSTED 10/21/2002

L deSouza-Henry, Detroit, MI, United States, 24, Female, Baptist, Black/African American, Straight, CSR, 4 Years of College, Lower middle class, Mesg ID 10212002114354


Men have been programmed in this country not to be offensive and especially not to touch a woman without her consent. When even the most unintended professional contact can lead to a sexual harrasment suit, why are you surprised that men try to avoid touching you? For what it's worth, try remembering they do so out of courtesy.

POSTED 10/22/2002

Alex, Beloit, WI, United States, 19, Male, Jewish, White/Caucasian, Student, High School Diploma, Upper middle class, Mesg ID 1022200264714

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Question:

I was with some female friends the other day and mentioned that I thought a particular book was 'good porcelain throne reading.' They looked at me funny, and one said, 'That must be a guy thing.' Do women not read on the toilet? If not, why not? Men, do you read magazines and books while doing your duty? Please say yes - and let these women know about the pleasure of a really good ... read.

POSTED 10/17/2002

J.M., n/a, FL, United States, Male, White/Caucasian, Mesg ID 1017200290832


Responses:

I've got other male friends who are big toilet readers, but I've never understood it. The way I see it is that if you've got time to attend to anything but the matter at hand, then maybe you're just not getting enough fiber in your diet.
POSTED 10/20/2002
N.J.W, London, NA, United Kingdom, 25, Male, White/Caucasian, Straight, Over 4 Years of College, Lower middle class, Mesg ID 1018200251356


It is more male-oriented to read in the bathroom. Why? Who knows? Most women want to use the potty and then go on with other things. I'm not saying I've never read while 'using' the bathroom, but I usually don't. My boyfriend, on the other hand, will finish half a 400-page book while on the toilet. He says he can concentrate better. Hmm ... maybe I should try it more.
POSTED 10/20/2002
Kesha, Pittsburgh, PA, United States, 26, Female, Christian, Black/African American, Computers, 2 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 10182002110725


Sorry, I'm a guy, and I don't read while doing my duty. I don't understand why people do read while 'on the throne.' The entire purpose of going to the bathroom is to go to the bathroom. Prolonging it just seems wasteful. If you have to sit in there and read for 30 minutes or more before you can finish, then you probably didn't have to go in the first place. Maybe it's just that I grew up in a household with only one toilet, but I just don't see the need to read on the pot.
POSTED 10/20/2002
P. R., Irvine, CA, United States, Mesg ID 1020200214729


Sure women read on the 'porcelain throne.' I can't imagine sitting there doing nothing. Even if there are no reading materials provided, I usually read whatever's close at hand - shampoo bottles, graffiti, whatever. I am curious now what others do while going to the bathroom - stare into space?

POSTED 10/21/2002

Blythe, Clinton, NC, United States, 31, Female, Episcopalian, White/Caucasian, Straight, greenhouse manager, 4 Years of College, Lower middle class, Mesg ID 1021200294436


Yes, I read in there.It relaxes me.

POSTED 10/22/2002

Senetra, Anderson, IN, United States, 29, Female, Baptist, Black/African American, Straight, 2 Years of College, Lower middle class, Mesg ID 1022200255353


I've tried it, but rarely have time to read on the toilet. I usually do my business in 60 seconds or less and move on.

POSTED 10/22/2002

Todd, Gastonia, NC, United States, 38, Male, White/Caucasian, Gay, 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 1022200283411

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Question:

To men: do you use an electric nose-hair trimmer? My wife and sister-in-law think it's a little odd that I don't have one at my age, but I don't see much use for it. Is it normal to have one of these devices, and am I the exception?

POSTED 10/17/2002

J.M., n/a, FL, United States, 40, Male, White/Caucasian, Mesg ID 1017200291613


Responses:

I recently got a nose/ear-hair trimmer free with a new electric razor (I used scissors previously). It's a bit easier than scissors, but not really worth buying unless you have a major growth. I tend to feel that with the amount of unwanted hair sprouting all over me, while the amount on my head rapidly declines, the improvement to my looks that comes from trimming a few off is minimal. I'll never shave under my arms, my chest, my arms or back, let alone the hairy backside or legs!

POSTED 10/21/2002

S.H., London, NA, United Kingdom, <seanhodges@hotmail.com>, 38, Male, Atheist, White/Caucasian, Straight, Geologist, Over 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 1021200223123


No, I don't have an electric nose trimmer. A dedicated pair of small scissors does the job, and if I am nice, my wife, who can see up there if she has to, can do a better job than I. Nose hairs, which are very functional, can be unsightly. But low-tech solutions are availabe.

POSTED 10/21/2002

Arnold U., Edmonton, Alberta, NA, Canada, 49, Male, Christian, Over 4 Years of College, Mesg ID 10212002112923


For some of us, nose and ear hair trimmers are a necessity of life. It really depends on the person, I guess. I'm rather hairy, and the trimmer comes in handy. Scissors would work just as well, I suppose. Could it be the ladies were hinting that you needed a trim?

POSTED 10/22/2002

Todd, Gastonia, NC, United States, 38, Male, White/Caucasian, Gay, 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 1022200284122

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