Author Topic: thank you, Dear Abby!  (Read 19227 times)

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Bexx27

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Re: thank you, Dear Abby!
« Reply #150 on: October 23, 2012, 02:29:18 PM »

I have to defend TD a bit here. I found this man obnoxious for sure, but I think that the term 'best self' is fair enough. And as  someone who is progressing with weight loss, if I'm honest, I don't feel at my most attractive or healthy. Am I ugly or unworthy? No, not a bit and I would laugh at anyone who told me I was. But could I do better, feel better and look better? Yes, I could, and I'm working at it. Nobody is perfect, and most people are works in progress. But there is nothing wrong with finding an upbeat, 'can do' attitude attractive. And I would also not be impressed by someone who spent too much time slumped over the television, whatever their size (I know plenty of skinny unfit couch potatoes.)

What's your point? I think we all agree there's nothing wrong with having personal preferences. If you conceive of your "best self" as physically fit and slim, that's great. But you don't get to tell me I am not my "best self" if I'm a fat couch potato.

It's totally reasonable to want a mate whose lifestyle fits with yours. But there is a difference between judging someone's suitability to be your romantic partner and simply judging someone. Your choice of words -- "too much time slumped over the television" -- implies that you are doing the latter. How much is too much? Why is slumping assumed? What does "an upbeat, can-do attitude" have to do with fitness/activity level?

What bothers me about the phrase "best self" is the sense of judging someone's overall quality. I don't believe I have a best self. I can be more or less happy, more or less healthy, more or less connected to others, etc., but I don't believe changes in my subjective well-being make me "better" or "worse." I certainly don't believe changes in superficial factors such as looks, weight, or income make someone better or worse. I'm not comfortable with judging and rating myself or others that way.
How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these. -George Washington Carver

Fleur

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Re: thank you, Dear Abby!
« Reply #151 on: October 23, 2012, 02:42:16 PM »

I have to defend TD a bit here. I found this man obnoxious for sure, but I think that the term 'best self' is fair enough. And as  someone who is progressing with weight loss, if I'm honest, I don't feel at my most attractive or healthy. Am I ugly or unworthy? No, not a bit and I would laugh at anyone who told me I was. But could I do better, feel better and look better? Yes, I could, and I'm working at it. Nobody is perfect, and most people are works in progress. But there is nothing wrong with finding an upbeat, 'can do' attitude attractive. And I would also not be impressed by someone who spent too much time slumped over the television, whatever their size (I know plenty of skinny unfit couch potatoes.)

What's your point? I think we all agree there's nothing wrong with having personal preferences. If you conceive of your "best self" as physically fit and slim, that's great. But you don't get to tell me I am not my "best self" if I'm a fat couch potato.

It's totally reasonable to want a mate whose lifestyle fits with yours. But there is a difference between judging someone's suitability to be your romantic partner and simply judging someone. Your choice of words -- "too much time slumped over the television" -- implies that you are doing the latter. How much is too much? Why is slumping assumed? What does "an upbeat, can-do attitude" have to do with fitness/activity level?

What bothers me about the phrase "best self" is the sense of judging someone's overall quality. I don't believe I have a best self. I can be more or less happy, more or less healthy, more or less connected to others, etc., but I don't believe changes in my subjective well-being make me "better" or "worse." I certainly don't believe changes in superficial factors such as looks, weight, or income make someone better or worse. I'm not comfortable with judging and rating myself or others that way.

You and I will have to disagree. I think that fitness and positivity are certainly linked, in my experience they almost always are. I am talking about myself as well. I think you read offence into my post when none was intended.

TurtleDove

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Re: thank you, Dear Abby!
« Reply #152 on: October 23, 2012, 02:48:39 PM »
I just wanted to again remind people that we are talking about what we look for in SOs.  That is a far different thing than randomly judging other people or holding them to any particular standard.  I haven't seen anything any of us who value appearance or fitness has said that was a judgment on anyone else - instead it is a statement of what we are looking for.  No offense intended at all. Clearly some posters have different value systems - that does not make mine wrong.  It does not affect me, because no offense, I wouldn't date most of you for lots of reasons, including you are women! 

I think that's why I didn't take offense to the letter.  It did not endear me to the LW, but I didn't feel it affected me in any way.  I just did not see it as anything to take personally.

Yvaine

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Re: thank you, Dear Abby!
« Reply #153 on: October 23, 2012, 02:49:03 PM »

I have to defend TD a bit here. I found this man obnoxious for sure, but I think that the term 'best self' is fair enough. And as  someone who is progressing with weight loss, if I'm honest, I don't feel at my most attractive or healthy. Am I ugly or unworthy? No, not a bit and I would laugh at anyone who told me I was. But could I do better, feel better and look better? Yes, I could, and I'm working at it. Nobody is perfect, and most people are works in progress. But there is nothing wrong with finding an upbeat, 'can do' attitude attractive. And I would also not be impressed by someone who spent too much time slumped over the television, whatever their size (I know plenty of skinny unfit couch potatoes.)

What's your point? I think we all agree there's nothing wrong with having personal preferences. If you conceive of your "best self" as physically fit and slim, that's great. But you don't get to tell me I am not my "best self" if I'm a fat couch potato.

It's totally reasonable to want a mate whose lifestyle fits with yours. But there is a difference between judging someone's suitability to be your romantic partner and simply judging someone. Your choice of words -- "too much time slumped over the television" -- implies that you are doing the latter. How much is too much? Why is slumping assumed? What does "an upbeat, can-do attitude" have to do with fitness/activity level?

What bothers me about the phrase "best self" is the sense of judging someone's overall quality. I don't believe I have a best self. I can be more or less happy, more or less healthy, more or less connected to others, etc., but I don't believe changes in my subjective well-being make me "better" or "worse." I certainly don't believe changes in superficial factors such as looks, weight, or income make someone better or worse. I'm not comfortable with judging and rating myself or others that way.

You and I will have to disagree. I think that fitness and positivity are certainly linked, in my experience they almost always are. I am talking about myself as well. I think you read offence into my post when none was intended.

I would say that people who are fit are often positive (it would definitely help in sticking with it) but that the equation doesn't work in reverse--lots of people are just as can-do about different types of achievements.

Moray

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Re: thank you, Dear Abby!
« Reply #154 on: October 23, 2012, 02:49:27 PM »

I have to defend TD a bit here. I found this man obnoxious for sure, but I think that the term 'best self' is fair enough. And as  someone who is progressing with weight loss, if I'm honest, I don't feel at my most attractive or healthy. Am I ugly or unworthy? No, not a bit and I would laugh at anyone who told me I was. But could I do better, feel better and look better? Yes, I could, and I'm working at it. Nobody is perfect, and most people are works in progress. But there is nothing wrong with finding an upbeat, 'can do' attitude attractive. And I would also not be impressed by someone who spent too much time slumped over the television, whatever their size (I know plenty of skinny unfit couch potatoes.)

What's your point? I think we all agree there's nothing wrong with having personal preferences. If you conceive of your "best self" as physically fit and slim, that's great. But you don't get to tell me I am not my "best self" if I'm a fat couch potato.

It's totally reasonable to want a mate whose lifestyle fits with yours. But there is a difference between judging someone's suitability to be your romantic partner and simply judging someone. Your choice of words -- "too much time slumped over the television" -- implies that you are doing the latter. How much is too much? Why is slumping assumed? What does "an upbeat, can-do attitude" have to do with fitness/activity level?

What bothers me about the phrase "best self" is the sense of judging someone's overall quality. I don't believe I have a best self. I can be more or less happy, more or less healthy, more or less connected to others, etc., but I don't believe changes in my subjective well-being make me "better" or "worse." I certainly don't believe changes in superficial factors such as looks, weight, or income make someone better or worse. I'm not comfortable with judging and rating myself or others that way.

Exactly. Well stated, Bexx27.
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TurtleDove

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Re: thank you, Dear Abby!
« Reply #155 on: October 23, 2012, 02:51:27 PM »
If you conceive of your "best self" as physically fit and slim, that's great. But you don't get to tell me I am not my "best self" if I'm a fat couch potato.

What bothers me about the phrase "best self" is the sense of judging someone's overall quality. I don't believe I have a best self. I can be more or less happy, more or less healthy, more or less connected to others, etc., but I don't believe changes in my subjective well-being make me "better" or "worse." I certainly don't believe changes in superficial factors such as looks, weight, or income make someone better or worse. I'm not comfortable with judging and rating myself or others that way.

I didn't see that Fluer or anyone else said anything about you or your best self.  That is something for you to decide.

I think you are misunderstanding how I use the phrase (and see it used elsewhere).  It is not a judgment someone makes about another person.  It is a judgment someone makes about oneself.  Actually, not so much a judgment but an investment or attitude of "I will be the best I can be" or "I will make the best of this situation." 

Diane AKA Traska

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Re: thank you, Dear Abby!
« Reply #156 on: October 23, 2012, 02:56:04 PM »
For the record, considering everything on his plate, I think Stephen Hawking is one of the most positive people alive.  I wouldn't put money on seeing him on a stairmaster though.

On the other hand, Richard Simmons just may be the second most positive man alive, so YMMV.
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Fleur

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Re: thank you, Dear Abby!
« Reply #157 on: October 23, 2012, 03:00:11 PM »
If you conceive of your "best self" as physically fit and slim, that's great. But you don't get to tell me I am not my "best self" if I'm a fat couch potato.

What bothers me about the phrase "best self" is the sense of judging someone's overall quality. I don't believe I have a best self. I can be more or less happy, more or less healthy, more or less connected to others, etc., but I don't believe changes in my subjective well-being make me "better" or "worse." I certainly don't believe changes in superficial factors such as looks, weight, or income make someone better or worse. I'm not comfortable with judging and rating myself or others that way.

I didn't see that Fluer or anyone else said anything about you or your best self.  That is something for you to decide.

I think you are misunderstanding how I use the phrase (and see it used elsewhere).  It is not a judgment someone makes about another person.  It is a judgment someone makes about oneself.  Actually, not so much a judgment but an investment or attitude of "I will be the best I can be" or "I will make the best of this situation."

Exactly. And I mean no judgement on anyone, as I've said, I am overweight myself. I'm not going around 'hating on' people for not meeting my standards. I think that 'standards' are probably the wrong word, anyway. 'Criteria' would be better. Again, I'm not going around at men saying 'not you, not you, not you, oh, you are six four with a six pack, you'll do'. (Moot anyway, as I'm in a relationship) I just find that in my experiencecertain characteristics are linked with certain others which I find attractive. Others may have different ideas, and that is fine as well! I'm a little bemused as to why that seems to be causing so much offense and consternation.

Redneck Gravy

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Re: thank you, Dear Abby!
« Reply #158 on: October 23, 2012, 03:12:09 PM »
I personally took offense at the ...why don't women understand this... remark.

Oh, we understand it buddy and you are the one we hope walks past us without so much as a nod. 

You are setting yourself and us up for failure - no one looks that great at 5:00 am before coffee and a shower.  Partnering up with you would make me feel like I could NEVER let myself go for even a day.  Because you partnered up with me for my looks and if I am ever sick and down you won't be there for me, I won't look fabulous.  Heaven forbid I should be in a disfiguring accident or have a disabling disease.  I'm not that shallow and I don't want to be partnered with someone that is. 

Friday night I was out with a group of women for dinner and then we stopped in a bar for a couple of drinks.  There was a band and dancing, I love live music, not dancing so much.  One of my friends said, "there's one of your exes."  I didn't see anyone I knew and even after she pointed him out I still didn't recognize him, she finally said his name. 

Wow, this guy had put on well over 60 pounds and was completely gray headed.  I did not think any less of him but wow was shocked.  He stopped by our table and we all visited for a bit then our group left.  He was less attractive than in high school (38 years ago) but still the same pleasant fellow I remembered.  This is an intelligent, kind, generous man and I wonder how many women have passed him by because of his appearance. 

Moray

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Re: thank you, Dear Abby!
« Reply #159 on: October 23, 2012, 03:17:34 PM »
If you conceive of your "best self" as physically fit and slim, that's great. But you don't get to tell me I am not my "best self" if I'm a fat couch potato.

What bothers me about the phrase "best self" is the sense of judging someone's overall quality. I don't believe I have a best self. I can be more or less happy, more or less healthy, more or less connected to others, etc., but I don't believe changes in my subjective well-being make me "better" or "worse." I certainly don't believe changes in superficial factors such as looks, weight, or income make someone better or worse. I'm not comfortable with judging and rating myself or others that way.

I didn't see that Fluer or anyone else said anything about you or your best self.  That is something for you to decide.

I think you are misunderstanding how I use the phrase (and see it used elsewhere).  It is not a judgment someone makes about another person.  It is a judgment someone makes about oneself.  Actually, not so much a judgment but an investment or attitude of "I will be the best I can be" or "I will make the best of this situation."

Exactly. And I mean no judgement on anyone, as I've said, I am overweight myself. I'm not going around 'hating on' people for not meeting my standards. I think that 'standards' are probably the wrong word, anyway. 'Criteria' would be better. Again, I'm not going around at men saying 'not you, not you, not you, oh, you are six four with a six pack, you'll do'. (Moot anyway, as I'm in a relationship) I just find that in my experiencecertain characteristics are linked with certain others which I find attractive. Others may have different ideas, and that is fine as well! I'm a little bemused as to why that seems to be causing so much offense and consternation.

Ok. I am fat. I have no plans to lose weight. I eat healthfully, participate in many physical activities, and generally enjoy the heck out of life. I am satisfied with myself and my life. I feel happy and fulfilled.

TD, Fluer, am I my best self?
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TurtleDove

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Re: thank you, Dear Abby!
« Reply #160 on: October 23, 2012, 03:18:55 PM »
TD, Fluer, am I my best self?

Only you would be able to answer that. 

Moray

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Re: thank you, Dear Abby!
« Reply #161 on: October 23, 2012, 03:20:50 PM »
TD, Fluer, am I my best self?

Only you would be able to answer that.

Exactly. So how can you make a judgement about whether or not a potential SO is his best self? You can look at him and say "Hmm, he looks good to me, and he seems to enjoy the same lifestyle I do; perhaps I'll get to know him better.", but you can't judge what his best self is.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2012, 03:42:47 PM by Moray »
Utah

TurtleDove

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Re: thank you, Dear Abby!
« Reply #162 on: October 23, 2012, 03:24:15 PM »
Exactly. So how can you make judgement about whether or not a potential SO is his best self? You can look at him and say "Hmm, he looks good to me, and he seems to enjoy the same lifestyle I do; perhaps I'll get to know him better.", but you can't judge what his best self is.

I think this is a giant disconnect.  I am not judging what my SOs best self is.  I want to be with someone who constantly strives to be his best self.  This is not a negative judgment of anyone, and certainly not you, so I am having a difficult time understanding why the phrase "best self" is offensive to some people. The judgment I make, if any, is whether or not I am attracted to someone. 

Bexx27

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Re: thank you, Dear Abby!
« Reply #163 on: October 23, 2012, 03:25:09 PM »
If you conceive of your "best self" as physically fit and slim, that's great. But you don't get to tell me I am not my "best self" if I'm a fat couch potato.

What bothers me about the phrase "best self" is the sense of judging someone's overall quality. I don't believe I have a best self. I can be more or less happy, more or less healthy, more or less connected to others, etc., but I don't believe changes in my subjective well-being make me "better" or "worse." I certainly don't believe changes in superficial factors such as looks, weight, or income make someone better or worse. I'm not comfortable with judging and rating myself or others that way.

I didn't see that Fluer or anyone else said anything about you or your best self.  That is something for you to decide.

I think you are misunderstanding how I use the phrase (and see it used elsewhere).  It is not a judgment someone makes about another person.  It is a judgment someone makes about oneself.  Actually, not so much a judgment but an investment or attitude of "I will be the best I can be" or "I will make the best of this situation."

Exactly. And I mean no judgement on anyone, as I've said, I am overweight myself. I'm not going around 'hating on' people for not meeting my standards. I think that 'standards' are probably the wrong word, anyway. 'Criteria' would be better. Again, I'm not going around at men saying 'not you, not you, not you, oh, you are six four with a six pack, you'll do'. (Moot anyway, as I'm in a relationship) I just find that in my experiencecertain characteristics are linked with certain others which I find attractive. Others may have different ideas, and that is fine as well! I'm a little bemused as to why that seems to be causing so much offense and consternation.

As I said in the part of my post you deleted when you quoted it,


It's totally reasonable to want a mate whose lifestyle fits with yours. But there is a difference between judging someone's suitability to be your romantic partner and simply judging someone. Your choice of words -- "too much time slumped over the television" -- implies that you are doing the latter. How much is too much? Why is slumping assumed? What does "an upbeat, can-do attitude" have to do with fitness/activity level?


Fleur, do you really not see how the phrase "I would also not be impressed by someone who spent too much time slumped over the television" can be taken to mean that you would think poorly of someone who watches a lot of TV? If not, you are correct that we will just have to disagree.

TD, if "best self" is a concept you apply only to yourself, why the statement that your hypothetical weight-gaining SO would no longer be his "best self" and wouldn't like himself? How do you know unless you ask him? Since you can't ask him because he's hypothetical, it seems you're making an assumption based on stereotypes of overweight people/couch potatoes.

I admit I've never seen the term "best self" used by anyone else and I personally find it distasteful because it implies some objective standard of quality and seems to mean something very different from making the best of a situation or striving to be the best you can in some particular domain that you value. But you obviously have the right to judge yourself however you like. Applying it to others, which you have done in this thread and others, is what I find problematic and potentially offensive whether you mean it that way or not.
How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these. -George Washington Carver

Fleur

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Re: thank you, Dear Abby!
« Reply #164 on: October 23, 2012, 03:25:21 PM »
If you conceive of your "best self" as physically fit and slim, that's great. But you don't get to tell me I am not my "best self" if I'm a fat couch potato.

What bothers me about the phrase "best self" is the sense of judging someone's overall quality. I don't believe I have a best self. I can be more or less happy, more or less healthy, more or less connected to others, etc., but I don't believe changes in my subjective well-being make me "better" or "worse." I certainly don't believe changes in superficial factors such as looks, weight, or income make someone better or worse. I'm not comfortable with judging and rating myself or others that way.

I didn't see that Fluer or anyone else said anything about you or your best self.  That is something for you to decide.

I think you are misunderstanding how I use the phrase (and see it used elsewhere).  It is not a judgment someone makes about another person.  It is a judgment someone makes about oneself.  Actually, not so much a judgment but an investment or attitude of "I will be the best I can be" or "I will make the best of this situation."

Exactly. And I mean no judgement on anyone, as I've said, I am overweight myself. I'm not going around 'hating on' people for not meeting my standards. I think that 'standards' are probably the wrong word, anyway. 'Criteria' would be better. Again, I'm not going around at men saying 'not you, not you, not you, oh, you are six four with a six pack, you'll do'. (Moot anyway, as I'm in a relationship) I just find that in my experiencecertain characteristics are linked with certain others which I find attractive. Others may have different ideas, and that is fine as well! I'm a little bemused as to why that seems to be causing so much offense and consternation.

Ok. I am fat. I have no plans to lose weight. I eat healthfully, participate in many physical activities, and generally enjoy the heck out of life. I am satisfied with myself and my life. I feel happy and fulfilled.

TD, Fluer, am I my best self?

I can't say if you are or not, as I am not you. I would say that you are, as you are leading a fulfilling life. For me, at my current weight, I am not. I was fitter/slimmer before, and make no apology for trying to go back to my previous state. This is with the full support of my boyfriend, who has never made me feel lesser or unattractive. But I figured out on my own that I was not as healthy as I could be, so I took steps to change it. And it is possible that my boyfriend would not have been as attracted to me in my current state as he was when we first met. This is as much because of feelings as looks. I certainly don't like this man's attitude, don't get me wrong. I'm not defending him at all and we have no idea what he brings to the table: very likely not as much as he thinks. But nobody is wrong to like what they like. Let me put it another way. One person's 'best self' (or whatever you want to call it) might or might not be attractive to any other particular person, which is just fine. What is wrong is when people get either agressive or defensive.