Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Proof that the US American education system rocks

If schadenfreude is your thing, you'll love this video. It's really painful.

Because my guy friends are who they are, their email conversation around this was not, "I'd do her!" but rather whether she's a Republican or a Democrat. Honestly.

You know how sometimes you get into a conversation about something that has nothing to do with reality? But you take a stance on something, and then when you're pushed, you stand firm. You will, in fact, argue it to the bitter, bitter end. Just because you believe you are right. Even if it makes no sense. And has nothing to do with anything.

Here's an example of what I'm talking about. And it's related to the video above.

Yesterday I had a conversation with Maricel about an argument she'd had with her boyfriend. About their possibly one day sometime far far in the future children.

She'd asked if he'd mind if his daughter were in beauty pageants. He's fairly conservative, and she was certain he'd say no.

But he said he'd be fine with it. "Absolutely! Sounds great!"

"So you'd be fine with her parading around in little bathing suits and high heels on stage. But she wouldn't be allowed to date."

"Exactly. As long as there were no touching, she could wear whatever she had to. And then if she won the pageants, she'd be earning lots of money!"

So Maricel said that she'd have to finish high school before she started entering pageants. And she could do pageants while she went to college.

He said that if she were winning loads of cash, he wouldn't care if she went to college or not.

Maricel was incensed. She wasn't about to raise a daughter with a huge emphasis on looks and none on brains. Their daughter would have to go to college!

This turned into a pretty heated argument. About a fictional daughter.

In a separate conversation, he asked if it would be OK with her if their son ordered a mail-order bride.

No way. Maricel is Filipina. And all she could picture was her son winding up with a money-grubbing, green-card seeking trollop. And there was no way in Hell she would let this happen to her son.

"Why not?" He asked. "What if he'd exhausted all his other opportunities for love?"

So she argued that he actually believes in the sanctity of marriage, and does he really believe one can find love and be happy by ordering someone from

I'm summarizing both fights, of course. They both went on and were long and drawn-out arguments.

She told me both stories back to back yesterday, although it turns out they were conversations separated by days. But they were together in my mind.

And so I had to point out the ridiculousness of the contrast between their fictional children.

"So according to Mike, your daughter is going to be this gorgeous, amazing creature who wins Miss USA. And your son is going to have to resort to buying a wife."

"Exactly. Our daughter is going to be fantastic. And our son is going to be a complete loser."

"Huh. Sorry about that."

And, she continued, "I don't want to have a stupid daughter who thinks only looks are important and people need to have more maps."

"She won't be stupid. You're both bright. She might be really boring, since she'll probably spend all her time with stupid people with the inability to string a coherent sentence together. But she'll be smart."

This was scant consolation to her.

And then I gave it a little more thought.

And asked, "But what I don't get is, if you're daughter is constantly surrounded by all these beautiful, albeit vapid, women, why can't she just set your son up with one of them? How come he has to buy a wife?"


  1. I didn't have these discussions or arguements before getting married, should I be worried?

    How ironic it would be if the daughter was asked one of these questions during the "interview" portion of a pagent.

  2. First of all, both parents can be smart and their kid not. Remember learing about regression towards the mean? If not, tall married people would have taller kids and short married people would have shorter kids, and we'd be stuck with a race of nothing but giants and dwarves (or idiots and geniuses...genii?).

    Your friend reminds me of a story about my friend who wouldn't answer a hypothetical question. I'll write about it soon.

  3. HKW - I have no idea. I have conversations like this all the time. And am dramatically single.

    HIN - Ahhhh, you make a very good point. And it's probably good practice not to answer hypothetical questions. Looking forward to the story.

  4. But hypothetical questions are so much fun! The key is to not take them seriously... but still to answer them. Hypothetically of course.

  5. Also... American's general lack of knowledge about geography is disgusting... though that seems to be less true in DC.

  6. you certainly know how to deliver a line.

  7. Oh Lisa, I love this post. I know you are making a point but tickled my funny bone! -Kelli

  8. I love that argument, it says so much about them as people. And if I had a dumb pretty daughter (or son) as long as they were nice kids and had a skill- I think I'd be fine with it (eventually). I had a co-worker once who (after everyone else went around with the parental brag) said something like "they aren't great students, but the two sons were very nice kids" and she seemed allot more satisfied and happy with her sons than anyone else there.

  9. VVK - I ask hypothetical questions all the time.

    And yes, American's sense of geography is terrible. Mine isn't great, I have to admit. Particularly my US geography, since the US was never of particular interest to me growing up.

    SL - Thank you! :)

    Kelli - Ha! I'm so glad!

    Marywho - I'd much rather have smart than pretty, but I imagine that in the end with kids you probably mostly want to like them as people.

  10. A song our pond-challenged brothers wrote to celebrate SC.

  11. Well, at least Miss SC is very pretty.I'm sure she'll marry some older, rich guy and live happily ever after.I know this is not a point of your story, but I wanted to get it out of my system.
    Also,little beauty queens-it think it's sick and I would never put my daughter thru that.They're making kids into sexual objects and it's just so perverted, and scary.


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