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Carolyn Hax
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, July 22, 2005; 12:00 PM

Carolyn took your questions and comments about her current advice column and any other questions you might have about the strange train we call life. Her answers may appear online or in an upcoming column.

Appearing every Wednesday and Friday in The Washington Post Style section and in Sunday Source, Tell Me About It Bæfers readers advice based on the experiences of someone who's been there -- really recently. Carolyn Hax is a 30-something repatriated New Englander with a liberal arts degree and a lot of opinions and that's about it, really, when you get right down to it. Oh, and the shoes. A lot of shoes.

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Oakton, Va.: My wife and I have known for a while that we need marriage counseling. Our parents were disasters and we have no idea how to have a successful relationship. We love each other, we are just defensive and resentful. We also have a fabulous 18-month-old daughter and I don't want her to write someone 30 years from now and say, "My parents were a disaster." We have no idea where to start, how to find the resources. We've looked online and cannot find any sort of guides. Any ideas from people in Northern Virginia? thanks

Carolyn Hax: The Women's Center (which isn't just for women, and offers individual and jointcounseling). 703-281-2657.

There's something you can try out right away, too: Drop your dukes. Back down. Disarm. Things your wife does aren't always about you, not everything is personal, and even when they are, you don't have to win. I'm not saying it'll fix everything or that it's all your fault or that you need to change completely. I'm just saying to give it a short, what-the-hell trial run, and see what you get out of it.

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Washington, D.C.: In this age of "he's just not that into you," what is your current take on a woman asking a man out on a date? In the difficult scene that is "Washington dating," sometimes I feel like life is too short to wait on the workaholic ambition-obsessed men in this town to ask a woman out to dinner. I don't want to be jaded, but everytime I leave Washington, I'm asked out to dinner (business trips, visiting friends, etc.) Not to mention I've had a female friend move away because she wanted to meet a man -- and she did as soon as she moved.

What is it about Washington?

Carolyn Hax: The age of "he's just not that into you"? Can people move away from there, too?

If someone gets your attention, give it a shot. You might get rejected. Applies to men and women alike.

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Alexandria, Va.: Hi Carolyn,

I recently had a baby. Excellent. However, my close friend was also pregnant -- ahead of me by about 3-4 months -- but lost her baby at six months. She "seemed" to handle it well but also would not really discuss it much. Now, three months past my baby, she has closed down communication except through an occasional e-mail to say how busy she is. She came and saw the baby and genuinely acted very happy.

I've called... I've e-mailed... I don't think it is appropriate to say "are you not wanting to be close since you lost your baby and I didn't lose mine?" I anticipated this a little bit but not to the extent that she'd never call me again.

Any words of wisdom? She's really the only female friend I have and I've missed being able to talk to her -- and not about the baby -- just life.

Carolyn Hax: I don't think there's any such thing as handling that well. It's just awful.

And so while it's also awful that you've essentially lost a friend because of it, that is still the lesser of two awfuls. Keep in touch with her, keep reaching out gently, keep letting her know you want her in your life, in as unpressured a way as you can.

A comment on that: You're right that it isn't appropriate to say "are you not wanting to be close since you lost your baby and I didn't lose mine?" The reason you're right is that there's absolutely nothing for anyone to gain by your calling her out on something that you both know (it being screamingly obvious and all), and that she has every reason to feel. Should she be punishing you for her misfortune? Of course not. But should you be even gently nudging her when she's just doing what she needs to do to keep from losing her mind? Of course not. When she's ready, she'll be your friend, and when that time comes nothing would even cross your mind other to welcome her back, arms wide.

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Washington, d.C.: Hey Carolyn:

I just graduated from college, and I have to say that this transition really sucks. Most of my friends have moved away, and it's already hard to keep in touch. And, we all feel anxiety, I think, about all the decisions we have to make about jobs, places to live, relationships, etc., which just exacerbates everything.

Please say it gets better.

Carolyn Hax: Some things get better, some things you'll look back on and think, I can't believe I complained.

But both are immaterial. What is material is that you are in a transition phase, and two things you can expect of any transition is that it'll be hard and it'll pass.

As for "all the decisions," remember, life is long, and you can revise as you go.

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Age 25 and married: Seems like the culprit might be maturity and he should have sought counseling before the wedding.

My 17 yr old niece is getting married in January. Everyone (including me) in her immediate & extended family was married before age 25. Three out of 14 ended in divorce and at least 5 are dysfunctional marriages.

Is there an acceptable way to warn her?

Carolyn Hax: As warnings go, I couldn't possibly improve on the one you just trotted out.

But then you also have to consider that anyone who thinks it's a good idea to get married at 17 isn't bent on processing a whole lot of outside data to help inform her decision.

So, you do what you can do. Assuming she isn't going to listen to you, you'd probably serve her best by not alienating her and therefore being around to listen/support/advise if she goes on to need help with her marriage. Which I guess means you either smile and support, or suggest that she and her groom sign up for a pre-marital class, since family history shows that love isn't enough to make a marriage easy.

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Fairfax, Va.: Hi Carolyn, I love your chats and you do a great job with them. I'm supposed to start law school in the fall and I'm having some second thoughts. I feel like I'm doing it partially because I'm interested in the law, but also partially because I can't think of what else to do with myself, and because most of my friends went to law school (if they didn't go into banking, consulting, or medicine). It also seems like a "safe" career with a certain amount of stability. I've never been the type of person who had one thing I was passionate about and always knew I wanted to do. I'm not saying I'm not interested in law or the kinds of careers you can have with a law degree (I certainly am), I'm just asking how I tease out legitimate anxieties about committing to this path in life (complete with taking out staggering loans) from signs that it's not for me? It's not fear of failure -- I think I could do it reasonably well -- as much as fear of commitment to a decision that will affect my whole life, that has me thinking.

Carolyn Hax: Thanks!

Call the career office where you got your bachelor's, and see either if they'll counsel you on your decision, or refer you to good resources where you can explore more thoroughly the various options open to someone of your interests and skills.

I also don't think it's a great idea to start an expensive degree program when you have strong doubts, but their not my doubts so I'm in no place to judge their strengths.

One thing I can say from here, with 100 percent confidence, is that there's no one schedule for finding one's passion in life. So while you (and our previous poster who recently had academia cruelly ripped out from beneath him/her) may feel pressured to know what you want out of life when you reach the early 20s crossroads, it's actually unreasonable to expect even, idunno, a quarter of you to have any clue at all. So hard as it may be, the best thing you can do is find some way to make yourself comfortable while your life sorts itself out. If creating a safety net out of a law degree fits that description for you, then great. If doing a bunch of fellowships or wage jobs or whatevers would make more sense, then that's okay too. It's okay not to know.

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Carolyn Hax: I forgot to proofread that one before I hit send. Did it make any sense? Did I say, "I have one word for you: Ptlafftixh"?

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"It'stoo complicated": Dear Carolyn,

Do you think it is possible to love two people at once and be genuinely so torn as to be unable to choose between them? My best friend is crazy about this girl who is caught between him and another guy. When he pressed her to choose, she said she couldn't, saying that "It's too complicated!;" Well, is it ever?

Carolyn Hax: Sure, yes, absolutely. But while being decent about it may be really, really hard, it is never impossible.

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Re: Oakton, Va.: Your advice to Oakton is good, but one thing I'd like to add:

My husband and I both came from households where our parents' marriages were war zones or worse. His dad walked out on his mom when the kids were in their teens; my dad and mom were in an abusive relationship where police coming to the house because a neighbor called wasn't unusual.

When you come from an environment like that, you can see every disagreement, every problem as a sign that the relationship is about to come crashing down. You can be so afraid that something you say or do is going to anger/hurt the other person that you're almost paralyzed and can't relax and just be yourself. You try so hard to fix everything and make everything perfect because you think that if it's not, the relationship will fail -- which of course is just not true at all, but it's easy to feel that way when failure is where you came from and all you ever saw was your parents fixating on and blaming each other's imperfections.

With time and therapy, Oakton and his wife can learn that no marriage is perfect, no spouse is perfect, and they themselves as individuals aren't perfect -- AND THAT'S OKAY. Disagreements and problems and difficulties are par for the course of living, and don't have to signal impending doom of the relationship. If you love each other, you can learn to forgive your spouse for not being perfect and forgive yourself for not being perfect, and accept that even a marriage that become the joy of your lives together isn't perfect. AND THAT'S OKAY.

My husband and I have been happily married for 27 years now. There have been some tough moments, and some times when we needed help to see where we were going. But we love each other and cherish each other and the relationship we have, which is gloriously and chaotically imperfect because we are gloriously and chaotically imperfect people, AND THAT'S OKAY and the best thing that ever happened to either of us.

Carolyn Hax: No, that's great. Thank you.

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Washington, D.C.: Hi Carolyn,

Any tips on how to control anger? I've noticed I'm angrier than usual towards my S.O. and I'm feeling defenseless to control it.

Carolyn Hax: What are you angry about? The real thing, not the petty trigger things.

I don't like the idea of "controlling" anger, since it's too much like forcing a lid on a pot. The way to go at it is from the other end, the heat supply.

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Re: Age 25 and married: My cousin married at age 17, had her first child 5 years later and her second 10 years after that. Now, 25 years later, they are still married. My brother married for the first time at 2 months short of 28, and 2 years later he was divorced... Basically, age means squat. It is the maturity level of the couple that matters (granted, maturity tends to come with age)

Carolyn Hax: I'm tempted to say that remaining married means squat as a measure of success. It does mean something, but way less than it's given credit for meaning. There are amicable divorce/es who are vastly more mature than some of those miserable, bickering messes who "celebrate" silver and gold.

Yes, people can start young and thrive just as they can be cautious and suffer. But, cheez. That's the kind of thing you see when you're standing right at the tree line (and it's what you have to tell yourself when your kid decides to get hitched at that age). Step back, and the forest doesn't look pretty.

One more thing. I get a lot of these anecdotes, and while they obviously have merit and do get my attention, I'm also skeptical when they don't come with an acknowledgement that being 17 now is, at least a little bit, different from being 17 several decades ago. The amount of responsibility entrusted to a teenager in the 1950s, and the 1980s, and the nows, is not a fixed quantity. Society has been pulling back and, in many ways, infantilizing adolescence, so a current 17 may very well be less equipped for adulthood than a 1985 17, who may be less so than a 1955 17.

Again--this is when you step back to see the whole forest. Any given tree might be in perfect shape to be a teenage bride or groom. (Must have an October wedding, when colors at peak!!!)

(Sorry, got silly on my own metaphor.)

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RE: Finding one's passion in life: Julia Child didn't start cooking until she was 40.

Carolyn Hax: So there's hope for me still, thanks.

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Tysons Corner, Va.: Dear Carolyn,

I have one more year of college left, and I've decided to apply for the Peace Corps. This is something I've dreamed of doing for many years. I believe it'll be an experience I'll enjoy, it'll bring a new perspective on my life, and it'll give me opportunities for jobs both in and out of the States after I finish.

I told my father this, and he doesn't seem convinced. He believes I'm taking unnecessary risks and I'm seeking an escape route from my mother, who wants me to stay in the D.C. area upon graduation. My mother used to abuse me as a child, and although she doesn't now, she continues to aggrevate and stress me out.

I remember your advice to the girl who tried to convince her father she wanted a facial piercing, and I'm wondering if this is anywhere in the same ballpark. And what is wrong with escaping something distressful?

Please help! I really do value your advice.

Carolyn Hax: He doesn't need to be convinced. When you get out of college, it will be your life to lead. "It would mean a lot to me to have your support, but please understand I won't be basing my decision on it."

That said, do make sure you aren't doing this just to escape/spite mommy dearest. From what I understand of the Peace Corps, it's about testing, not enjoying, yourself, though obviously enjoying can come with that; opening your eyes to strengths you might not have known you had in you; and, yes, bringing new perspective to your life. You're going to want a positive reason to be there, not just a negative one.

Not that that's a requirement, either; just like Dad's approval, it would be nice.

Another thing you might want to do, if you haven't already, is take advanbtage of your last year of way-easy access to way-free counseling at school next year, to try to develop some constructive approaches (that with any luck will become habits) for dealing with the mom stress. Putting half a planet between you is a fine one, don't get me wrong, but there may come a time where you'll want some more flexible options.

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New Beginings: Carolyn, I just found out that my mom is leaving my dad. Needless to say, I'm devastated. I was always so prooud of being the product of a successful marriage. I am also one month into planning my own upcoming marriage and now find myself uninterested in continue with these plans. I feel like is's inappropriate to celebrate the start of a new life with my sweetheart when my parents' is falling apart. Thgouhts?

Carolyn Hax: It's totally appropriate, since it's your life and your love, but if you're not feeling right about it then it's also totally appropriate to set the plannig aside till the feeling of devastation passes. Back to the life-is-long theme--if your marriage starts a little later, so be it. (And if you reach a point where you feel that putting your life on hold b/c of your parents' decisions is inappropriate, then you'll know you're ready to start planning again.)

I hope I can say without coming off as too preachy that I hope you eventually come to see all this as a timely, possibly life-altering, visit from reality. Coming from an intact marriage can provide a false sense of confidence in marriage (and being proud to be of your parents' emotional lineage is a pretty good sign of that). Worse, it can lull you into thinking that their way of communicating/being married is good or healthy, when in fact there's some unhealthy stuff in there that they've just accepted in each other, or gotten used to or, probably most common, never themselves recognized as unhealthy.

So when you've stopped reeling--or maybe better, while the reeling is fresh--ask yourself if there's anything you learned from them unquestioningly that maybe it's now time to question.

It will suck. But you'll be glad you did it. And in the meantime, ask your fiance/e's patience.

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Venting: So I just came back from a job interview and after a half hour they told me I missed a period in my resume and that was a concern that would keep them from hiring me. But they still wanted me to address it, even though they KNEW about it before asking me to come in. What the? I appreciate the fact they pointed it out but DON'T interview me then. PERIOD.!

Carolyn Hax: Maybe your resume is pregnant.

You have a period and an exclamation point at the end of your last sentence.

Yeah. I hate me too.

I agree with you, by the way. They shouldn't have called you if they weren't prepared to hire you pending the outcome of the interview.

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Law School: For Fairfax, who's not sure what to do -- another plug for the Women's Center. They offer a career course that I found very useful. I wish I'd taken it before I spent $$ on a Masters degree in something that didn't suit me well.

Carolyn Hax: Excellent, thank you.

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Re: It's too complicated: Thanks for answering my question. So, what should my friend do now? It doesn't look like anybody in this situation is capable of mustering the strength to do the "decent" thing at the moment. The girl technically chose the other guy but still wants to be Good Friends with my friend. As in the type of Good Friend you hang out with for hours, alone, every day. And my friend is so smitten he won't even contemplate not seeing her for a single week. Is there any hope of talking him out of this trainwreck, or am I just goint to have to help him pick up the pieces?

Carolyn Hax: Well what do you know, I answered you in an upcoming column. To be continued ...

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Just Curious...: Do you get less fake questions and/or not so nice comments now that you have to register for Live Online?

Carolyn Hax: Immaterial. I found that doing this with a bag on my head cut out 100 percent of the fakes and the nastigrams, and it's hard to improve on that.

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For Venting...: You should've just said "Hey, address this !;"

Carolyn Hax: I would hire you on the spot.

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Carolyn Hax: All this is my way of not posting comments from people who lost babies, because they are making me cry. But I'm sure people who find themselves in this awful situation, either as the parent or as the friend, could really use the help, so I will grow up on their behalf.

Here goes:

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Friend who lost baby...: My son died when he was two2 days old. His twin brother did not and is a joy (mostly -- he is a teenager now!). That was 18 years ago and some days the pain is still wildly fresh (and most days are just fine). The woman whose friend's baby died during her pregnancy needs the support of her friends, and that support may include just keeping in touch until she's emotionally ready. I remember distinctly the morning I woke up not feeling miserable -- and it wasn't until more than six months after the boys were born. Give it time.

Carolyn Hax: Thank you.

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Washington, D.C.: For the woman whose friend miscarried, I have a friend who lost a child at 35 weeks of pregnancy a few months ago. She still (understandably) cannot tolerate seeing friends and acquaintences who were pregnant at the same time and now have bouncing babies. She's not punishing those friends -- it's just too much for her right now. Your advice is right on -- remind the friend you're out there, but give her the time she needs to heal.

Carolyn Hax: Again, thanks.

That might be all. There was one more but I'm having trouble finding it in the queue.

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THANK YOU!;!;!;: Carolyn,

I have to thank you for your response to the "friend" who couldn't understand why the woman who lost her baby didn't contact her any more. You were dead on!;

I too lost a baby, and have lost touch with a friend who was pregnant at the same time. While I do, at times, miss that friend, the pain of losing my child hurts much worse. I could never be around her and her baby without thinking of what I lost.

THANK YOU again for giving that woman sound advice. Losing a child is the worst pain, and it is only increased by insensitive comments from those who don't understand.

Carolyn Hax: Thank you, and I'm sorry.

I looked for this one (forever) because I wanted to add something--most people on the outside of this, me included, as you can see from my original post, believe every person will eventually reach a point where she can reconnect with the friends she initially couldn't bear to see. I think it actually makes sense that with some people, there will be some friends who become permanent pain reminders, and all you can do is accept that the friendship can't come back, sad as that is to admit. And I think the friends who get cut loose also have to accept that--that it's not about them, it just is.

Anyway. Thanks guys.

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Re: Re: Oakton: Holy gestalt, Batman! The letter from the 'nut with the healthy 27-year marriage despite both parties having poor parental examples just gave me startling insight into the behavior of my boyfriend. For reference: we've been together five years, and we're both in our 30s. His parents had a tragically bad relationship which ended in a mean-spirited divorce. Although each of my parents annoys me in their own special way (whose parents don't?), their relationship is phenomenal. They really are like two halves of the same person.

My boyfriend responds to every little disagreement or difference of opinion as though it signals the beginning of the end. I view disagreements as being part of the natural ebb and flow of living. When he reacts as though each little thing is the harbinger of doom, I'm left feeling confused and hurt. I wonder if any of the 'nuts (or the same 'nut, since he/she has developed such terrific insight) have advice for how to overcome this difference?

Thanks!

Carolyn Hax: Probably being aware of it makes the biggest difference of all, because then you can reason and retrain yourself out of it, but I'll lob it nutward too.

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"Bruce" in Triangle, Va.: RE: "Very Confused Guy"

My real name is not "Bruce."

The real wife does not know how bad I felt a while ago and I never told her about the "lost love," or the love lost, between us.

The change from being single and dating, and then being married was DRAMATIC. I urge all, if you are having the time of your life dating, then DON'T get married. IF you want a whole lot more (in every way good and not so good) then use caution. While the marriage pool is very deep, you can still get hurt diving off the board.

Ah, so back to lost love. Things change. We find new work. We have kids. We gain weight. We get tired. We grow old. And then, wham, someone from the past gets mentioned, or bumps in, and, BAM! old feelings bubble to the top.

I have to credit Bruce Willis, but in reality, it is the writer who put in the, "Just the fax, ma'am." line into Die Hard (2?) that made me see what I should do.

There is always some hot, usually younger, new face, out there. I can be a dog and run around, or I can choose to be faithful, engaged with my married partner, and live up to my commitment -- keep my word.

I initially decided that I "owed it" to my wife to stick out the marriage, "for her." What I now find, I have remade the marriage for "us" and I could not be happier about it.

It was never about her, it was about me not putting forth the effort to make thing, not just last, but better. Having gotten past my immaturity, I see little reason to bring it up with my wife and I surely do not want to risk hurting her over what would be a discussion of past and now passed feelings.

"Bruce"

Carolyn Hax: "Bruce," you're all right.

--"Bruce"

(My real name is not "Bruce," either.)

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For venting: Maybe they were prepared to hire you depending on how you reacted to their pointing out your mistake. The ability to take constructive critism gracefully is important.

Carolyn Hax: Agh, agh, I missed that one. I AM WORTHLESS SCUM AND SO ARE YOU FOR MAKING ME FEEL LIKE THIS.

I'm glad no one played head games like that with me on my interviews. Just sayin.

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Re: Peace Corps after college: Not to advocate running away from problems or anything, but I went halfway around the world for a little over a year and it was the best thing that happened in terms of my parent-child relationship. From half a world away, my formerly abusive mother and I learned to get along. She discovered she was proud of me and I realized that she was human, I had a choice when it came to how/ when to communicate, etc. My father learned that I was a grown-up, on my own and could handle it- even the really, bad, hard trying stuff. Heck, these bitterly divorced people even communicated once or twice during the affair!;

That said, do NOT just run away thinking it'll make things better. If your reason for seeking to experience teaching, living, working, studying, whatever half a world away from your comfort zone has anything to do with that, put on the brakes and figure things out through counseling, friends and introspection. If you want the away experience in order to learn about yourself, your strengths, your weaknesses, grow and push yourself to new limits, expose your culture to their culture (gleaning the best of both), vice versa and have an experience different from anything you ever expected, then go for it. Just be smart about why you are going for it because this experience, for better or worse, will change your life in more ways than you could possibly imagine and I could possibly explain.

Carolyn Hax: Another great perspective, thank you.

I should have put the 'puter on auto-post and taken a two-hour nap.

And a pox on all of you who were just about to ask how anyone was supposed to tell the difference.

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I looked and looked...: But I couldn't find the "bacon pants" chat in the archives last week. But, my best friend refers to Lance Armstrong as "Lance Pants". Now, there's a topic for a future chat!;

Carolyn Hax: You know what, I steered you wrong--I sent you to the original holiday chat (12.4.00) when in fact bacon pants took their crackly bow maybe a year later. Remind me with an email and I'll have a look. Sorreee.

If anyone wants to mark down Lance Pants, it's 7.22.05.

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Lost friendships: Carolyn,

How is this fair to the friends that are left behind who invested love and time into these relationships? And is this only reserved for women who have lost babies? Can this also extend to when people die or we lose our jobs or we become disabled. Is it fair to make the people who loves us the most suffer because we can't handle our own hardship?

Carolyn Hax: How is fairness even an issue? Sure, it's not fair, and I agree that emotional pain of all kinds and degrees can't be pressed into service as a universal get-out-of-friendship-free card. But I thought it was understood that this was a response only to extreme pain, and that it wasn't a good thing, just sometimes a necessary one, and that it did hurt the friend being dumped.

The point was that if this did happen, the friend wouldn't have a whole lot of recourse--what are you going to do, take this friend who is essentially admitting her grief has left her without the strength to be friends with you, and call her a self-centered wuss?--and so the best thing to do was accept that it wasn't personal.

Eesh.

On that note, another poster pointed out that the friend who decides she can't handle the friendship really ought to say something to that effect to the friend she drops, just to spare her the doubt and hurt feelings. Thanks for that, Another Poster.

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Arlington, Va.: Carolyn, I was recently hurt by an ex-boyfriend and for the last two hours, I've been fighting an incredible urge to give him a piece of my mind through a question to you that he would likely recognize as being about us. Do you ever sense that is going on with certain questions? Does it effect whether or not you post it? It's funny -- in the past, whenever I've written to you I've felt the need to try to disguise the situation without changing relevant/crucial facts. Not sure why this is different. Maybe because I sense he has no idea how he hurt me and how easily he could have avoided it.

Carolyn Hax: I do sense it, but usually after the fact when I'm reading through the queue of quesitons I didn't see and the whole backstory starts to emerge.

Please tell your boyfriend that you sense he has no idea how he hurt you and how easily he could have avoided it. The stuff you guys send me is so often exactly what you should say.

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Pittsburgh, Pa.: OK, so I'm eight months pregnant (we've wanted this and worked for it for a long time) and suddenly feeling very scared. Who the heck am I to think I can raise a baby in this world? And it has just really sunk in that this is going to be very, very painful. I don't want drugs, but I don't want pain either, and I just can't imagine that all the breathing I've been practicing is really going to help much. Any calming words of wisdom?

Carolyn Hax: Oooh, I am so sorry, to you and all others reading this today while staring down a birth. THE VAST MAJORITY OF THEM ARE OKAY. Really. It's just no different from anything else, that sheet sometimes happens. (Sometimes I type with a heavy accent.)

Calming words of wisdom are the least I can do for you, but I can't promise I have any. I can tell you what reassured me--thinking of the whiniest, wussiest mothers I know, and realizing they got through childbirth. You do get through it.

Re the drugs vs. the pain, try making a bit more of a decision before you go in. Not that it will assure any correlation at all to what actually happens; when a woman in her first pregnancy declared she didn't want drugs, it was the only time I've ever heard three women snort simultaneously. But what it will do is, in effect, lay a string along the path you prefer, and when you start to lose your focus, you can grope around for the string. Especially true if you decide you want to go natural.

People do have babies w/o drugs, obviously, there was a time when they had to, so, C-sections aside, it's not so much an issue of whether you can. It's whether you want that experience. And if you don't, you don't, and you don't have to apologize to anyone for that.

It is 20 times more awesome than painful, and it is painful.

Alas, we come back to that.

But that's when you also trot out that wimpy mom you know.

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Carolyn Hax: Make me leave.

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Carolyn Hax: Bye. Thanks everybody. Type to you next week.

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Found it!;: The holiday bacon pants chat was on 12/10/2001, and the term originated in a chat on 10/23/2001. I've only just started to read them, and I'm already smothering giggles as I sit here in my cubicle...

Carolyn Hax: Thanks! All the info, plus a warning label.

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Metro DC: Carolyn, I know it's the end of the discussion, but if you could spare a moment I would be so grateful. I'm about to find out whether or not I'm pregnant and I'm completely freaking out (just broke up with boyfriend, grad student, so not ready, etc). Should I get the scary news that I am pregnant on this Friday afternoon, can you recommend any resources to help me begin to deal with it - such as information on all my options, etc? I would have no idea where to turn if in fact I am pregnant. Thank you so much!;

Carolyn Hax: Let's make it a hat trick: The Women's Center.

Whatever happens, you'll be okay. Trust that.

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