Saturday, October 29, 2016

7 third-trimester takes


It's funny, one of my biggest dreads has not been having a baby at all, but being in the third trimester.  Historically, it's been a really horrid time for me, and considering the second trimester was mostly eaten up with feeling lethargic and awful, I had a lot of fear that the third trimester would only be worse.

But it really hasn't been!  I mean, I know it will only get worse as the due date gets closer, but so far, I feel fine.  Better than I did for most of second trimester, that's for sure.  I feel energetic and optimistic.  I feel like starting fun projects.  I feel like taking the kids to the park even if they aren't whining at me to go.  I feel like socializing with friends.  It's been a long time since I really felt like doing any of those things.

I wish I knew what has made things so much better.  The midwife was quizzing me at our last appointment -- have you been taking vitamins?  Getting more sleep?  Did you wean the toddler?  No, none of those things.  (Though perhaps Miriam is scaling down and perhaps that helps.)  I have been getting outside more, for sure.  This weather lately has been gorgeous.  But it's hard to tell which is the chicken and which is the egg -- have I been feeling better because I've been taking walks a lot, or taking more walks because I finally feel like I have the energy to take them?  I do know that walks that seemed like a million miles a month ago, seem like no big deal now.  I often walk a mile with all three kids and the dog, which means our pace is very slow, but instead of feeling like I am trudging along while herding cats, I feel like we're having a leisurely, pleasant time.


And feeling good makes me feel optimistic.  If I have time and energy now to spend on my own projects, that means I will have time and energy in three months to take care of a baby.  Part of why I felt so panicky while pregnant with Miriam is because I was extremely overwhelmed and not handling life well with two, so I knew I would struggle with three.  (And I was right.)  But I am not extremely overwhelmed at the moment.  Miriam is over two.  She's not a whole lot of trouble -- well, not compared to the trouble she was at 18 months, anyway.  And the boys are BIG.  They are really good at managing themselves.  Today I had a taco and a soda to share with them, so I handed Michael the taco and Marko the soda and they shared with each other.  Without fighting!  When I look back on how they used to bite each other several times a day .... well, there's no comparison.  These days I might go for some time without seeing a sign of either of them, and I don't worry because they know the rules and generally follow them.  If they had an issue, they wouldn't be attacking each other -- most likely they'd run to me tattling.  Tattling is underrated. What's bad about seeking adult help when you're over your head dealing with an interpersonal problem?  That's what I want them to do!

Here's how easy my life is: I get to take a shower every day if I want to.  And no one kills each other while I'm in there.

Now, I'm still sticking with my resolution to focus on the present.  It will surely be harder to have four kids than to have three, so I'm trying to soak up my time with three.  (And to get some things done while I still can, like getting Marko reading more independently.)  I'm enjoying taking them places, taking pictures of them, getting one-on-one time with each of them.  The other week, we went to the playground and they were having a fine time, but I talked them into trying out the trails.  And then the trail forked and they wanted to take the longer trail ... so I went with it and we had a fun adventure!  It's been so long that I've been approaching parenting with the attitude of "put as little effort into it as possible and never do anything extra, because I'm barely managing the bare minimum and can't afford to make extra work for myself."  Now it's more like, hey, you know, if I want to, I can bake something today!  Or we could do a craft!  Maybe work on something educational!  Why not?

Lots of adventures, lots of pictures.

And all this stuff both makes me feel a lot happier about life in general, and less terrified of the new baby.  Because if I'm happy and managing fine now -- well, that's a good sign.  And it stops the clock I have running in my head of "time I've spent being miserable/not accomplishing anything I wanted due to having children."  One shouldn't count the cost, but one does, and I've spent a lot of years on baby-having.  Yet most of those years have not actually been miserable or unproductive, so why assume the remainder will be?


Well, that's the good news.  The bad news is that my back is in rather horrible shape.  I thought, after it was doing so well when I was pregnant with Miriam, that I had cracked the code on pelvic girdle pain and just wouldn't get it anymore.  No, apparently it's more complicated than that, and while the tricks I learned last time do help, I'm constantly discovering new things that screw it up.  Once my pelvis is out of joint, it's in pain all the time, whenever I move.  I'm getting better at putting it back into place, but after this has happened, it's fragile for some time thereafter, so I screw it back up rolling over in bed or lifting a heavy pot.  If I can go a week or two without injuring it, I'm sure it will be less delicate, but that never happens.

The good news is that exercise seems to help, not hurt, so it's not holding me back from walks.  It does hurt to walk sometimes, but it seems to keep the joints mobile enough to keep away the extreme pain and stiffness I get when I sit for too long.  Ditto for the way the kids have a million demands that make me run up and down the stairs all day -- it doesn't seem to be making anything worse.


Ooh, but I have exciting good news!  A friend of mine handed down a spinning wheel to me which she inherited from her grandmother.  Along with it came an entire trunkload of wool, some of which I probably won't use, but some of which is very nice.

Now wheel spinning is not quite like spindle spinning -- you have less control, plus you can't take it with you and do it for five minutes at a time between stuff -- but I am addicted to it anyway.  It's just so mesmerizing watching the wheel go around and the yarn just pile onto the bobbin.  And it's much, much faster.  There are definitely projects that I'm going to be using that wheel for, even while others require the spindle.


In less cheerful news, we're starting to get really worried about Marko.  On the one hand, he's really a delight to be around, a good listener, whip-smart, and tries very hard to be kind.  On the other .... many of the worrisome behaviors that have troubled us for years, which we've assumed he'll grow out of, he hasn't.  He still chews on his collars pretty much all the time.  He throws major gale-force tantrums if you say something that isn't literally accurate, or if you try to switch up a routine he's dependent on.  His stammer is still severe enough it keeps him from communicating with most people outside the family, even though he's finally reached the point of wanting to talk to other people.

Adding these things up, plus many other minor concerns, has settled us on taking him for a developmental evaluation.  After all, we figured, knowledge can only help us help him. But I'm surprised how much anxiety it's given both of us.  I mean, what if he winds up with some kind of diagnosis?  Isn't there something wrong with putting a label on a child?  Does this mean we've failed him by not getting him assessed before now?

I have to keep repeating that nothing is going to change my beautiful child; a label of any kind won't transform him from his wonderful self to some other, more damaged, kid.  And it wouldn't mean all his quirks are now bad.  They're a part of who he is.  At the same time he seems to be held back in some ways from things he would like to do by those same quirks, and it would be nice to be able to teach him how to manage the world we actually live in a little bit better.

*bites nails*   Well, the appointment is Tuesday, so I'll just be here worrying till then.


The kids are very excited about Halloween.  Marko and Michael are going as skeletons.  Because I loathe commercialism, I am spending just as much money on black clothes and white paint as I would have on premade costumes.  Oh well.  They can have skeleton pajamas to sleep in hereafter. I won't repeat past mistakes -- these costumes are going to be comfortable and they will be able to move in them!

I thought I would have to decide for Miriam, but nope -- she made up her mind immediately when I asked her, and has been quite steadfast about it.  She wants to be a kitty.  And when she knocks on the doors, she's going to say "meow meow meow."  The cuteness. It's unbearable.  For her, I bought a costume, because they had them at Aldi for nine dollars and there is no way I could make something that looked equally cat-like for any cheaper.  I mean, it's basically just jammies with ears and a tail.  But I'll assuage my crafty conscience by painting whiskers on her.  She'll like that.

I am disappointed, though, that the kids didn't stick with their original ambition (dreamed up November 1st of last year) to be Luke, Han, and Leia.  It would have been super adorable.


The election is super close now.  Like I need more anxiety in my life.  Right now I have a whole calendar of Stuff to Worry About: first, getting Halloween costumes done in time; next, Marko's appointment; third, election; fourth, Christmas presents; fifth, having a baby.  By my calculations that doesn't allow me a lot of nights to not lie awake stressing out in.

Oh, and I forgot the World Series!  I am very worried about this.  I want the Cubs to win -- John's family has been waiting for them to win the world series for three generations! -- but if they don't win, imagine the disappointment, since they've gotten this far.  And though the odds-makers say they're favored -- well, I just can't believe the Cubs will ever win.  Last night I spent three hours watching them fail to score.  It was not an enjoyable use of my time.

Anyway, I'll be happy when the election is over.  However, I fear the anger that's been stirred up by it won't dissipate overnight.  The people who said all Hillary supporters will go to hell are still going to be there.  So will the people who said grabbing women was no big deal.  Once you've said this stuff, it's out there, and enemies made in an online debate aren't necessarily going to kiss and make up.  I do a bit of debating, from time to time, but I've had to bail on more than one discussion that got ugly.

And gosh, I really hope we don't end up with a reality-show star as President. Even if it means we basically have to have Frank Underwood from House of Cards.  I remember some months ago hearing the Philippines' new president being characterized as being like Trump, and now he's apparently killing people by the scores.  So, you know ... I would like that not to happen here.  (Though maybe news gets distorted from countries away -- is it really that bad, Enbrethiliel?)

While I'd like to hopefully remark that perhaps we'll get Rand Paul or someone like him in 2020 -- let's get real.  The Republican Party has been shattered, and the largest shard is the Trump shard.  The establishment, social conservatives, and libertarians can't be counted on to stand together -- in fact, this election has shown that they'll mostly just move Trump-wards to get in on that sweet, sweet popularity.  So I foresee some long, dark years in the GOP, where they abandon everything I liked about them, while at the same time not winning elections because most of America still doesn't like Trumpism.

Anyway, I guess I can pride myself on not having unfriended anyone this election season, and if anyone has unfriended me, I don't know about it.  And it seems that's the best anybody can hope for.

How have you all been?


Charlemagne said...

I don't know about labels; from my own family experience, it was when we had a label for my brother that we could actually to address his issues and help him better adjust and interact with the world around him. And it really has been amazing to see just how much he's changed from when he was a kid; being able to interact with total strangers, being able to hold a job, and just becoming an active member of the community...Don't worry about "labels."

Ariadne said...

My mom always says that having three kids was the hardest! I'm hoping that's the case for you, too.

And I can't even begin to describe my World Series angst! It's so much worse than I thought it would be, and the game last night was agonizing. My Gramma is in physical therapy because she broke her hip, and I desperately want the Cubs to win for her. Fourth-generation Cubs fan here.

Enbrethiliel said...


President Duterte actually has more in common with Pope Francis. Both of them are always saying something shocking to reporters and having their press secretaries come out the next day to explain what they "really" meant.

In related news, analogies are cheap. You know, like labels. Anyone can be "literally Hitler" these days.

I confess that when Duterte was first compared to Trump, I was highly annoyed . . . because I liked Trump. LOL! And it was obvious that people were only saying that to keep Duterte from being elected. (A laughable tactic when the majority of Duterte's supporters probably have no idea who Trump is.) Fast-forward six months and now there are people comparing Trump to Duterte to help Trump get elected. ROFLMAO! But seriously, if you compare their careers, their achievements, and their temperaments, they have very little in common. Anyone trying to draw a parallel between them reveals more about his agenda than about either of them.

It's hard to put the news in proper context. While it's true that literally hundreds of people suspected of being drug dealers have been killed since Duterte took office, it's also true that the way events have unfolded would make it seem like his fault even if it weren't. That is, he said in a speech that dead drug dealers were preferable to dead police and that he wouldn't punish vigilantes who took out drug dealers in their neighbourhoods . . . and our confirmation bias, aided by a sensationalist press, did the rest. We should compare the numbers of suspects killed in police operations since he took office to the numbers of suspects killed in police operations under all other presidents. And after those, the numbers of those killed by unidentified hitmen since he took office to the same under all other presidents.

I find your impressions of this election season an interesting contrast to what I normally get from Twitter. Over there, people seem really excited that change is coming.

Sheila said...

Charlemagne, thanks, that is very reassuring. I guess I just feel sad at the thought that Marko will someday realize (which he hasn't yet) that he isn't like most other kids. But that's bound to happen whether or not he has a diagnosis -- other kids will notice and tell him, if he doesn't.

Betsy, last night was HORRIBLE, I nearly cried. :( John is already saying "there's always next year." But .... man, they bring your hopes up so high!

Funny, comparing Duterte and Francis actually gives me a lot more empathy for Francis haters. While it's easy for me to say "he didn't say X, he said Y, which meant Z," I know what my reaction is when Trump supporters pull the same: "If he were REALLY on my side, he would never have DREAMED of saying X." And it's true, because Francis *isn't* the pope some people wanted and retranslating him a million times doesn't change that.

Excited or scared, I don't really think change is coming. The polls suggest Hillary is going to win, possibly by a lot. And while people are suddenly doubting all the polls -- they've accurately predicted elections in the past, so I have no reason to mistrust them. The only thing that could give us a surprise is people actually changing their minds in the next week -- which, given all the news that keeps coming out, isn't impossible.

Ariadne said...

I know!! I couldn't even watch the game, though I did check in to see what was going on every now and then. I promised myself I would try to ignore the one tonight, but of course I failed. :p At least they're getting runs this time!

E, I don't I've seen anyone EXCITED about the election. People on both ends of the spectrum are upset about their choices and disillusioned with politics in general.

Ariadne said...

"Wait until next year" is basically our motto. We're used to it, but it doesn't make it easier. Cubs fans are simultaneously extreme optimists and pessimists. I'm not sure how that works, but it seems to be true.

Enbrethiliel said...


It really does seem like there are two Americas: the one that is disgusted by this election and the one that is energised and happy. I mostly hang out with the second crowd. But even there people are aware that there are disillusioned, unhappy Americans (i.e., their relatives--LOL), so it's surprising to me that you and Sheila haven't seen ANY excited Trump fans. Hasn't a single Trump rally made it onto the mainstream news?

Sheila said...

Oh, I've seen some excited Trump fans. Though most of them, being Catholic, are a little reserved about it because they don't want to sound like they think Trump is a great, moral guy.

I was thinking about what you said, about "change," and I guess that's a big thing for people. They think things are awful so whichever candidate seems most likely to switch things up gets a boost from that.

I remember writing a good bit, some years ago, about how it's all about power and corruption and the establishment vs. outsiders. For sure, I am still upset that the government so often serves special interests of various kinds rather than the people. Take Obamacare -- it's the most wretchedly unwieldy thing, which is bleeding us all dry a little more each year. And why? Because any other health plan that would have accomplished the political goals (covering people with pre-existing conditions, for instance) would have hurt the insurance companies, and we can't have that. So many ways the people in power can very subtly tilt things toward their preferred interest groups!

However, while this is bad, I think people underestimate how functional it is. While politicians have some negative incentives, they also have an incentive to not run the country completely into the ground, not engage us in wars, not become unpopular through policies that hurt people. Even Frank Underwood, despicable as he is as a human being, gets bills passed which people actually want. So things manage to plug along reasonably well -- for all people talk about how everything is this terrible disaster in every way, it's actually not that bad. I mean, the more I learn about other countries, the more thankful I am to live where I do. There's a lot of opportunity still.

And I think that all of that could be lost if, in a desire for "change" or "sticking it to the establishment," we elect someone who both doesn't know what he's doing and doesn't really care very much about the people. He might not be a slave to the "establishment," but that doesn't make him a statesman. And his utter ignorance and incompetence about political matters is really worrisome. Things aren't perfect now, but I realize just how hard-won our gains are -- stuff like the rule of law, a functional economy, democracy -- and I have no interest in burning all that to the ground and starting over. I think Americans are too used to things going pretty okay, so they think that's easy to do and a given, which it isn't.

Enbrethiliel said...


I always find it funny when you and I exchange positions on something, Sheila, and it has happened again!

Some time ago, when we were discussing immigration, my position was that having too many immigrants at one time is a bad thing because it changes the culture too much ("enrichment" being subjective), and what I recall you saying (among other points) was that you weren't really bothered by that aspect because change is inevitable anyway. But now here you are defending the status quo as if you were me!

One could easily rewrite your last paragraph to make the arguments I have been making . . . "I think that all of that could be lost if, in a desire for 'enrichment' or 'creating a bigger table,' we let in too many people who don't know what the culture is about and don't really care very much about the locals . . ." (Ironically, we could also consider Trump an immigrant of sorts: he is a newcomer to the closed table of politics, forever changing the culture just by moving in. LOL!)

My point here is that you're preaching to the choir, Sheila! =D My Twitter friends may be excited about "change" and I may be riding on their energy, but I sure as heck don't want to change the US! I think you live in a wonderful country and you know I wish I had been born there. It makes me sad that I could never be naturalised, but I just couldn't say your Pledge of Allegiance with a straight face. (I can't say the Philippine Patriotic Pledge, either, but the land of my birth can hardly strip me of my citizenship now, can it?) When I think of the kind of life I consider ideal for personal flourishing without stepping on anyone else's toes--that is, the greatest good for everyone in society, no matter what the circumstances of his birth--I think of the American model. Your First Amendment alone is unique in the world, no matter how many other countries claim they have protected speech. And no matter how many Christian-run bakeries in America get closed down by gay activists. Even when it happens, people know it's wrong.

As I told you long before, I like Trump because I like Trump. Before he ever started this campaign, I read The Art of the Deal and watched The Apprentice. Learning private things about him since then has made me less enthusiastic about him, but I think I already knew that the guy who cheated on Ivana with Marla was far from a saint. I am happy that he has a good chance of being US President because I see him as the one most likely to preserve the things about America that I most like and admire. I share your wish that someone who is more of a statesman could be doing it, but I also think that the last thirty years (at least!) were open for such a politician to have stepped up and done so . . . and nobody else did.

Enbrethiliel said...


And having said all that . . .

As I said, I'm riding the energy of this election. I want to believe that Trump will do things for the good, but I still have my usual political skepticism. I don't know if much in government will change. The culture will shift, sure. Maybe there will be more entrepreneurs--not necessarily because the goverment makes it easier, but because people feel more optimistic.

Secondly, I also think that the US I like and admire is already gone. That is, I think that by the time the greater public notices a huge threat to the culture, it is already too late. Take an example from another country: the German professor who spoke out against the huge numbers of immigrants his government was taking in last year. He thought the numbers were unsustainable and worried that his children wouldn't grow up in the same country he grew up in. He lost his job over simply airing an opinion . . . which meant his children had already not been growing up in the same country he grew up in. And I think this is the case all over the world these days.

When we last talked about politics, Sheila, and you told me there was so much more I could do even if I didn't vote, I thought it was remarkable that someone who openly identified as red pill with respect to religion was so blue pill with respect to government! I'm normally the "Burn it all down!" girl, and all Presidents are the same to me. Liking Trump and even thinking for one second that he'd be different from any other candidate is the most conservative I've ever been!

Ariadne said...

Argh, I can't even talk about Trump! He just makes me too angry. I'm sure there ARE excited Trump supporters, but as far as I can tell, they aren't the majority. I don't know anyone who is excited about him. Even in my large (mostly Catholic) FB groups, the consensus of those voting Trump is that they're only doing it because he's not as bad as Clinton. Most people are not happy with their voting choices this year.

You seem to have a VERY different view of Trump than most of us here in the States. Being anti-Trump is the ONE political area that my super-conservative, anti-Novus Ordo Mass family of origin, my liberal, pro-gay rights cousins and I can all agree on! As much as I dislike Hillary, I fear Trump much more, so I'm happy that he seems to be losing.

Enbrethiliel said...


What's funny is that there's no such thing as a different view any longer, if you know where to stand. A bit of a digression . . . My mother is about to fly home from visiting our relatives in California and the only souvenir I asked for was a Make America Great Again cap. I mentioned this to an American friend who strongly supports Trump, adding that I probably wouldn't wear it in public--and he immediately assumed it was because the Philippine media was savaging Trump. (Actually, it's because it would be as weird as him wearing an Alternativ für Deutschland t-shirt.) In reality, the average non-American has access to the same social media as the average American. The Trump supporters I follow on Twitter do Periscopes from both Trump's and Clinton's rallies and are on the ground in other ways. I wouldn't say I have a different view from people in America, because I get my view from people in America. Perhaps they are simply not, as you claim, Ariadne, the majority. We will find out soon.

But also consider this: if there were a member of your family or social circle who were genuinely excited about Trump, would he feel comfortable telling the rest of you? Or would he play along and claim he was just doing it because he didn't like Clinton? Might he even lie? I've heard of Trump supporters being attacked, having their property vandalized, and even losing their jobs. My cousin broke up with her boyfriend of nearly ten years because he said he was going to vote for Trump. Even the way you address me here (and I say this in the most conversational, non-offended manner) is subtly ostracising: I am not in the majority, I am not in the in-group, I am not like anyone you know, I am supporting a LOSER! (I'm not saying you're intending to do this, but simply that if I were your friend in real life, there would be more incentive to lie to you than to be truthful. Especially since Trump makes you angry. Believe it or not, I don't like making people angry.)

Anonymous said...

Don't worry too much about your son. Kids tend to grow out of these problems. My son stammered until about age 7 because his mind ran faster than his mouth. He chewed his collars until the age of 10 and it stopped as mysteriously as it started. He is now 17 and in good mental and physical health. From age 2 until middle school, I worried all the time. It seemed like everyone else had "normal" kids.
Your doctor / psychologist might hand down a diagnosis so that you're eligible for various services that your insurance might cover: occupational therapy, speech therapy, etc. But remember, it's only a label so that your insurance will pay. YOU have the final decision if something is right or wrong.
Hang in there. There are other parents out there who've gone through the same thing with their sons.
If you're homeschooling, keep it up. Large, noisy classrooms are hell for sensitive children.

Ariadne said...

No, of course I didn't mean that! All I meant is that he probably isn't going to win because the majority can't stand him. Maybe what you "heard" in my post was a reaction to fear, not some kind of ostracizing of Trump supporters. I think they're wrong, but I do respect their decision to vote for him, and I understand some of the reasons they like him. I am holding onto the hope that the majority do not support him because I am desperately afraid of him being elected. Does that make sense to you?

If you knew me, you would know that I do not care about being in the "in-group," the majority, or the popular crowd! I do most things in my life differently from the vast majority of people in this country, and I'm perfectly comfortable with that. I don't mind if people disagree with me, and that's a good thing because I've been getting a lot of anger and bullying from Trump supporters because I refuse to conform and vote for him. I am voting for a third party in this election, and that certainly puts me in the minority here! I'm not worried about standing alone if my conscience is at peace.

Trump did not get the majority vote in the primaries, so I maintain that the majority do not support him. How many Republicans will actually vote for him in the election? That I don't know, but we'll see.

I see your point about social media, but I may have a more complete picture of how Americans feel about Trump because I do live here. I think it does make a difference. I have been able to speak to many people in person, to see campaign signs, to be (sadly) immersed in this election in many ways. My family, by the way, is not afraid to disagree with me, no matter how strongly I feel or speak about something. Trust me. :-p And I KNOW most of my close friends are not Trump supporters because I know them pretty well. They're not the kind of people to be cowed by emotion either. I'm usually a fairly mellow person, but I do get angry eventually, and I am tired of being bullied by Trump supporters. I don't mean you, of course, but it has been fairly shocking to be told by people I always respected that I am committing a mortal sin by not voting for Trump.

And as to the violence, it certainly exists on both sides. There has been a LOT of violence against non-Trump supporters at Trump rallies. It just seems to me that your information may be a little one-sided.

And I'm sorry if my tone was offensive in any way. It was not intended to be. I was in a hurry at the time so I may not have taken enough time to properly explain my position.

Sheila said...

The big thing about immigration is that it IS part of our culture and tradition. What would be the drastic change is to stop accepting immigrants! I don't think there's much parallel between us and Germany, first because we don't have a "culture" in the sense that they do, and second because the numbers of immigrants we are accepting are nowhere near comparable. I've read a lot about immigration, the actual facts about its results, and it seems immigration into Europe, for whatever reason, is a completely different beast than immigration into the US. Perhaps it's because we have a cultural habit of accepting them, and perhaps it's because they're coming from a wide variety of countries and cultures rather than one specific one.

Reading The Better Angels of Our Nature made me a lot more pro-government than I was before, because it is pretty clear from that book that governments are one of the big factors in people not being killed. Even a corrupt government is better than none, and a less corrupt government is better. And looking at history and at other countries throughout the world, I can see that what we've got now is actually not that bad. Definitely lots to improve, but America is not the hellhole Trump paints it as.

As far as ostracism of political opponents -- that's happening across the board. Someone in town got their Trump sign vandalized. A Democratic office got a load of manure dumped in front of it. People have yelled at and unfriended each other. No small number of Catholics have been accusing one another of grave sin over whether they are, or are not, voting for Trump. I am actually afraid to come out and support Hillary on my facebook (though surely people can figure it out) because some of my friends have been adamant that Hillary is a mass-murderer and everyone who supports her (or fails to support Trump) is responsible. I know past elections have been acrimonious too, but this is a whole new level of nastiness. Perhaps in part because both candidates are pretty unpopular -- I believe 60% of Americans hate each of them, which means a good number of the votes each of them gets will be purely out of fear of the other.

Though, it's true, Trump has his fervent supporters. It's sometimes odd to me when someone says "hold your nose and vote for him, because Hillary is that bad" and then a little later it becomes clear that they are not holding their noses even a little bit, because they actually like him and didn't want to say that straight out. While other people really do have serious reservations and vote for him anyway. And I do have plenty of friends who will be voting third party. All kinds of views around me, which I guess is good because it means I haven't been driving anybody away or censoring all disagreement out of my life.

Though there's a downside of this, too, which is getting daily more disappointed in humanity. A couple weeks ago it was all the sexual assault apologists, who think that all men are grabby and brag about it. Today it's someone talking about throwing out freedom of religion for fear Muslims should have it too. I was happier when I didn't know anyone I knew thought those things. But then, truth over happiness, right?

Enbrethiliel said...


Ariadne -- Please don't worry that your tone was offensive! I always like reading and replying to your comments and that one was no exception. =)

I agree that someone who actually lives in the US would have a more complete view of what is going on. My take is just that there's a lot more to lose if you came out as a really excited Trump supporter than if you did that for any of the other candidates. I don't even mean the violence in the rallies, but just daily life. I would compare it to a reader revealing that she was a really passionate Twilight fan. LOL!

Sheila -- I get that accepting immigrants is part of the American tradition, but the US really does seem to have a immmigration problem these days. This isn't to say that immigration itself is the problem, but that the system seems to be in a shambles. Maybe we could compare it to a national school system: schooling itself isn't a bad thing, but you can bet the Philippine school system (among others) could use some reform!

And don't worry that Trump is making America look like a hellhole! Nothing in the last ten years has made me want to live in America as much as the Trump campaign has. (Ironic, I know. LOL!)

Finally, a really serious question: Why has people's support of Trump made you disappointed in humanity? (You're not the only one who has said something like this, but the only one I can ask in a non-incendiary forum. And I'm assuming it's not hyperbole. If it is, just ignore the rest of this comment!) Are you only referring to the things they say to defend him, or the actual decision to vote for him? Sticking to one specific issue you've mentioned, men being "grabby," I also thought the "official" defense of him here was laughable and I personally think what he did was wrong. I also doubt that most of the people who were saying, "All men are like that," even truly believed it; my guess is they wanted to show how loyal they were and wanted to be consistent in their own minds. But never mind them; I was never one of them and might even be getting them wrong here!

The thing is that the incident with Trump wasn't enough to change my mind. It's not that I disbelieve it happened; it's that those facts did not make a convincing case to stop feeling optimistic about his presidency. In fact, it was this incident that made me see why mentioning, e.g., Benghazi, BleachBit, and Juanita Broaddick ad nauseaum will never be enough to make Clinton supporters change their minds! This isn't to say that I at all condone what Trump did there (I really wish he had been more virtuous in that and in other aspects of his life), but that when I weigh it against everything else I know he has done and said, it doesn't tip the scales very much. If it tipped the scales for others, fair enough!

Sheila said...

Well, there are two reasons it makes me disappointed in humanity. First off, because so many people just think groping women is no big deal at all, that all men would do it if they could get away with it, that women should just put up with it. People I know have said this. And the second thing is, if you believe that Trump abuses women and that doesn't tip the scales for you.... it makes it sound like women's bodily security is just not a priority for you. Either way, it's making something that's a big deal look like it's not important to you. I mean, imagine if I said, "Well, yes, I killed some of your family members, but there's a lot else that's great about me so I don't know why you're writing me off!" Um, because that's a big deal!

But I mean that's just talking about the groping thing which was really not even top of the list of reasons why I hate him. Some of the things he has said have been extremely racist or xenophobic (for instance, calling Mexicans rapists) and rather than his supporters overlooking those things ... a lot of them LOVE that stuff. They say he is "only saying what we all were thinking." And that's really, really depressing.

I definitely think our immigration system needs reform ... but in the OPPOSITE direction from the one Trump wants. I thought Rubio had a good plan some years ago, involving legal resident status and more secure borders. Obviously having an illegal underclass is a TERRIBLE thing and we shouldn't keep doing that. But we have it for two reasons -- one, there is massive immigrant pressure coming in which we are not alleviating by letting people in, and two, because quite a few major industries rely on illegal workers whom they can pay pennies. (Trump included.)

Enbrethiliel said...


Sheila, do you really think that inappropriate touching is as bad as actually killing several people? I agree with you that it shouldn't be done (and frankly, that it's gross), but it does not at all have the same level of gravity you imply in your analogy.

I'm actually surprised you seem so angry about that issue because you also just said you wanted to support Clinton publicly. While there are no stories of her groping anyone, there is one of her threatening a woman whom her husband had just raped twice. Do you not believe that that happened or does it just not tip the scales for you? I'm not bringing this up as if to say "you can't judge me," but to point out that we're probably using the same reasoning when faced with an imperfect candidate.

Sheila said...

No, obviously I don't think the two are equivalent! Just that whenever you write off something bad said about someone in favor of their other good actions, what you're saying is that the bad stuff is not, all things considered, that bad.

I don't think the accusations against Ms. Clinton are nearly as well-substantiated. For example, she said "thank you for all you do for my husband" and this was taken to mean "keeping quiet about the fact that he raped you," but there's no real reason to assume that this is what she meant. I have dug into this a lot, because it does bother me, but usually all I can find are hints and insinuations. While with Trump we have his own words on tape. So it's a question of how sure we are.

That said, I don't love her or feel enthusiastic about her. I just think, of the two, she's better. In a perfect world, I'd be choosing between Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders.

Enbrethiliel said...


Be careful there! You're retranslating my words into something I don't mean!

I've been very clear that I think those actions were wrong and gross, that I wish very much Trump had acted more virtuously, and that it is laughable to defend what he did there. I just don't see them as a convincing reason to stop feeling optimistic about a candidate with his platform and his record of winning. (With the exception of the feminist fluff his daughter seems to have added, I think it's a great platform! [Insert my usual skeptical disclaimer here]) The recordings and footage have tarnished my former liking of him, but not enough to make me disavow him forever.

I get why this would bother you, but remember that I was "studying" his ideas, methods and systems long before this campaign. You're reacting to him as a presidential candidate and I'm reacting to an entrepreneur whose book I had long been considering putting on my homeschooling syllabus. And it wouldn't be the first one by a writer with a spotty background to make it.

As often happens with us, Sheila, we seem to be saying the same things about different subjects: mine is Trump, yours is the US government. You acknowledge that the government isn't perfect but think there's more to gain from working with it than throwing it out, and I acknowledge Trump is not perfect but think there's more to gain from working with him than throwing him out.

Ariadne said...

Well, I suppose that's the difference those who support Trump and those who don't! I don't think there's anything to gain from a Trump presidency, but there is so much to lose. People keep saying he's not perfect, but I am hard-pressed to find any good qualities he possesses. I don't mean to be rude; that's just what I think!

Sheila said...

I haven't read his book. Maybe it's good. Then again, he didn't actually write it, so it's possible it doesn't give you as much insight into his personality as you think.

Enbrethiliel said...


Ariadne -- No worries! Believe it or not, I do sympathise with your and Sheila's position on Trump . . . because it's occasionally my position on Clinton! But we do differ in that I wouldn't say I'm "afraid" of another Clinton presidency. What exactly about a Trump administration scares you so?

Sheila -- I read that article, too. It's hardly damning that busy people would hire ghostwriters. I believe Pope Paul IV got someone else in the Vatican to pen Humanae Vitae for him. What's impressive here is that Trump's career has followed the system outlined in "his" book. Even if you argue that it's technically not his "talk," there is decades of evidence that it is his "walk."

Ariadne said...

Oh, don't get me wrong, I don't think Clinton has any good qualities either! I just don't think Trump is the better choice and thus will be voting third party. Trump is a narcissist and a loose cannon, and having someone like that in power really scares me.

Sheila said...

I don't think it's damning, I just don't think he gets credit for it. For instance, the author says that he had to really work to try to make the amount Trump lies sound good, like "creative exaggeration" or something. If he had the attention span to write a whole book, would he have been able to make his system look as acceptable as it does in that book? I kinda doubt it.

Anonymous said...
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Enbrethiliel said...


If you knew you had a good system but little writing talent, wouldn't you hire a good writer? It's probably true that Trump couldn't sell it through words alone, but he's only been selling it through his actions at least since I was born.

I think the ghostwriter was personally turned off by the system (which, yes, involves disregarding the facts) and didn't really want to write a book in praise of it. And I get that. I myself wouldn't use everything in Trump's system. But I see that that system was never a formula for being a better person; it was a formula for succeeding in business and real estate . . . and well, now politics. Do you want to win? Okay, then, THIS is how you win. It's not for everyone.

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