We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Ain't that the truth. It's a new tagline of the UKIP, as discussed at Samizdata.
And in that context, Moonbattery announces the return of It Takes a Village- a quote:
As summed up by Human Events, the book dismisses the traditional family as inappropriate for the modern world. "The village" — i.e., government bureaucracy — should take its place.
This point of view may explain why Shrillary opposed relief from the marriage tax, and favors publicly financed divorce — which she would treat as "a public health issue," presumably covered under HillaryCare.
For the view of the world which is close to that of us Maggie's Farmers, try Villainous Company on Free Will vs. The Nanny State. A classic blog rant on the subject of responsibility. A long quote, from a section on marriage:
Because Dad made a decision, long ago, that his happiness was the only thing that mattered. How many people, over the years, will try to step in and take the place of that "man" who walked away from his vow, from a marriage that there was really nothing wrong with, from a promise, not that he would always "feel" love, but that he would always practice it, no matter what? In sickness, in health, for richer, for poorer, 'til death do us part. Only he didn't mean what he said. He couldn't be trusted. That small boy learned a valuable lesson, early in life. It is dangerous to trust.
People make decisions on the basis of trust, like the decision to make yourself economically and emotionally vulnerable by having a child who will impose a lifelong responsibility on you. One that, on the basis of that promise, you thought would be shared between two people.
This is a less obvious case, and no one in today's world is likely to argue for coerced enforcement of marriage vows. But that is not the point. The point is that it is not invalid to disapprove of irresponsible behavior. It is not wrong to wish people would do the right thing. It is not impolite to notice when other people's tendency to avoid their responsibilities keeps spilling over into your life and causing problems for people who would never dream of doing those things. And above all, it is not beyond the pale to observe that in our oh-so-tolerant quest to be nonjudgmental we have, perhaps unintentionally, also done away with many of the restraints on human behavior that used to encourage the more weak-willed members of society to buck up and stick it out when the going got tough. We used to call this being ashamed of yourself. But in today's climate so little invokes a feeling of shame that we have a woman who lies and cheats on her husband actually asking a therapist if this can ever be "wrong"? And other people defending her actions. Bizarre.
I chose to stay (not so happily but always faithfully) married and to try to make the best of it because we had a young child. My sister kicked her boring husband out when she had a young child while having a cheap affair. Were our parents not wealthy, she’d probably be on government assistance in some way- all of her earnings get spent on trips to Europe and new things. She has high IQ, prep school, Stanford and law degrees and makes the worst personal decisions as are humanly possible.
Sis's lying, rationalizations and self-centeredness make me sad for her and a little bonkers. I find myself not tolerating anybody's psycho-pathological lying for any reason, even on blogs. Too many people excuse it or think it’s cute, but it ALWAYS points to mental issues that need to be confronted and dealt with through character therapy or meds, whatever. The excusers make it worse. Anyway, it’s bad enough what Sis is doing to our parents and to herself, but it is her child who is suffering the most. This week sister asked my parents to send her back to school for better employment opportunities. She’s 42. Meanwhile, she’s put her kid into a ghetto school.
Our loving parents are the biggest enablers, no? My heart breaks for them, because they must know it and yet won’t chance that child and grandchild might sink in a "swim or..." situation. How many families experience variations on this story? Too many, I'd imagine.
There are several excellent websites for women like this and their families. The irony in all of this is that your sister makes bad choices in men--most likely, because your dad is a really nice guy! It is difficult for nice fathers--their daughters grow up thinking all men are nice and they become trapped in the cycle of abuse created by the real manipulators. Your family must learn to keep the door open, re-affirm her positive qualities, but make very clear that this action, and that action, and this behavior (specifics) will not be tolerated. My own daughter has impeccably bad taste in men--I no longer let them into our private family lives. She is always loved, and always welcome--but, she cannot bring this year's thug into the family circle. She is beginning to come around and she is not well educated (we tried). Your sister may need to read the material here, even though it is written for teens (she still is one isn't she?):
Also, you can go here:
Thanks, Apple Pie. Those are excellent sites and will pass them on. Sounds like your daughter is getting the best love and advice possible from you and that there's an excellent chance she'll learn to rehabituate her taste in men. My bro-in-law was nice enough, just spoiled and unmotivated. Sister's reaction was just as spoiled and spoiling, however, and tantamount to self-abuse, yes?
The holidays seem to magnify family issues, but we're trying to enjoy the best of each other (comment above is about it!) Hope this season is a happy one for you and for everybody, of course, and that daughters everywhere values themselves, their family, husbands and their children with their responsible, loving choices.