Welcome back to "Ask Alex", where I answer all of your stupid questions with even dumber answers. Have a question you need answered? Tweet it, email it or submit it here and I will get to it (maybe) next week.
This week we’re talking tattoos, food and millennial sex. You’ll learn about my tramp stamp, my c-section scars, hot dogs and I’ll out some truly dangerous sandwich deniers!!! And you are lucky that I am not discussing asset and liability management for commercial banks, because that is what is going on in the Misfit DM right now...and you think we can’t have fun…
Submitted by: Rebecca de Winter
(OK...I forgot to tackle this last week, so I am doing it now. Rebecca asked a question about one of my tattoos, which turned into a general request to talk about them all)
Since I am such a super classy lady, I currently have six tattoos, and have considered getting at least a couple more. Most are meaningful and I have no desire to have any of them removed, although I’d choose not to get one of them if I could go back. Also, I just had an idea...reply in the comments or via Twitter (@verumvulnero1) and let me know which one you’d most like to see and maybe I will post a picture of it. That’s a very hard maybe.
I got my first one when I was 16, which is a misdemeanor in Illinois (at least for the guy tattooing me). I’m sure you will be stunned to find out that I managed to find a tattoo parlor that was willing to take my $100 and look the other way on the age requirement…
Anyway, a girl that I knew pretty well got shot in very much a wrong-place, wrong-time situation. I never wanted to forget about her, nor did I ever want to forget about exactly how much that event made me want to move as far away from there as possible. So, I got a little bird on my stomach, about two inches to the right of my belly button and just below the belt line. My favorite part about this one? It now appears to be carrying my c-section scar in mid-flight and I adore everything about that.
I got the second one during my Sophomore year in college right after the end of a very long, very messy relationship with my high school boyfriend that included an ugly breakup (it’s a very long story). Feeling pretty down, I chose to remind myself that messy situations are what makes us strong, so I got that tattooed on my shoulder in Japanese (the rough-ish translation is “strength comes from adversity”). I had my friend and her Japanese father (who has now made two appearances in this space) come with me to make sure I didn’t end up with a recipe for Miso soup…
The third one was a little impetuous, but I love it. When I moved away to college, my sister was about 6 and, since I wasn’t welcome at home for a while, I went nearly 18 months without seeing her. I finally came home for an extended visit right before my junior year started, and I took her to a fair where we both got temporary tattoos...a rose on my ankle and one on her arm. A couple days later, driving through Missouri on the way back to school, I found myself missing her terribly and stopped to have that rose done for real.
I could do without the fourth one, but what right-minded girl who came of age in the early 2000’s doesn’t have a tramp stamp, right? Mine is a nondescript sun that I got because my friend was getting one done at the same time and I thought it might be cute. I don’t hate it, but it’s the only one that isn’t really meaningful...if I could go back, I would either not get it at all, or I’d get something representing one or both of my Alma Maters (@ladylibertas76 and I have discussed this, which reminds me that each and every one of you should encourage her to get her bar number tattooed on her lower back! Seriously, do it now...)
The fifth one came along after I met my father’s family. I never met my father or his family until I was in my 20’s. He was a dirtball of epic proportions, but they are some of the nicest people I know! At the time, I had 13 cousins on that side, and only two of them were girls (we have since discovered my other sister...have I told you that story? It is super WT). Those two are pretty much best friends and they have tattoos of two intertwined rings with a vine running through them. When the older one got married a couple years later, they added a third ring and I had the three rings done on my foot, a reminded of my favorite cousins and one more thing that my asshole father deprived me of. I think we will get the fourth ring added when my sister turns 18 in a couple of years, but we’ll see if she wants to do it.
The last one is only a year and a half old, and my sister (the adopted one from my mother, not the younger one from my father) and two pretend sisters (my best friend and her older sister) all have identical ones. Mine is on my ribcage, left side, just below where a bikini top sits. It’s pretty simple, all of our initials and then “αδελφότητα”, the Greek word for sisterhood (brotherhood, whatever, it’s the same word).
There is a good chance that I am not done. I don’t have any for my kids, and nothing for my husband (unless you count the c-section scar, which I blame on all three of them in their own ways!!!) @Tiffany1985B was floating the idea of getting her kids birthdays on the back of her neck, and I love that idea (sort of...my kids have the same birthday, so it is only one date!)
I feel like I get more questions about them now than I ever did before...likely because they look a little more out of place on a 34 year-old mother than they do on a 25 year-old girl. But I don’t ever regret any of them, and save for the tramp stamp, I love them all. They are meaningful, they have stories and they are all pretty cute. I also feel like I have conversations all the time with women who are my age or older who don’t have them and are thinking about getting one.
To them, I usually say “Go for it!”. I get the trepidation about having a ton of ink at the senior’s social in 2040, but frankly that seems overblown. It’s not like you are going to be the only one there with a tattoo. But, I have always been a little scared of huge, unhideable pieces, so I kind of encourage people to avoid those...mine are all small and easy to cover (except the ankle) at any time and I am glad for that.
Also, this should go without saying, but make sure it is something you want to have forever. Getting them removed is much more expensive and more painful than getting them done! Anything relating to your kids or to lost family members is pretty safe...but if you haven’t gotten around to marrying that boy yet, it is probably not a great idea to get his name permanently inked anywhere;-).
Final note on tattoos...I may have sold Rebecca on getting her first, and if we all beg really hard, maybe she will tell us what it’s gonna be because, seriously, it’s a pretty awesome idea!
Submitted by: Ross
Did you weigh in on the great Sandwich Debate of February 2017? If not what are your thoughts on what and doesn't constitute a sandwich? Please site specific examples. Or don't.
For those who missed it, there were two related sandwich questions going around. 1) Is a hot dog a sandwich? and 2) What defines a sandwich? The insightful and witty CDPayne79 has offered his thoughts on the first question, which is worth reading other than his inability to take a really firm position on the actual question at hand.
I, however, am more than willing to suffer the slings and arrows that come with taking definitive positions on controversial issues!
So I tell you with full confidence, that NO!, a hot dog is not a sandwich. You’re out of your mind for even asking. There were a variety of points offered in support of non-sandwich-hood by voices ranging from culinary luminaries (@miscraymer) to convicted food criminals (@gentlemanrascal). These included a history of the hot dog (“Dachsund Sandwiches” came up) and strange theories about slice positioning and topping containment.
While I agree with them, I find the analysis to be entirely superfluous. Why? Because a hot dog simply isn’t a sandwich and the idea is ludicrous enough to not require further discussion. Much like Thomas Jefferson, I believe that some truths are self-evident, and this is one of them. This would be like asking “Is an oak tree a flower?” No, of course not...it’s a fucking oak tree. Stop asking stupid questions.
The second question went to a surprising place. One of Twitter’s great thinkers (@molratty) posited that nothing is a sandwich if the bread is not sliced completely enough to have separated it into two halves. While this is an interesting idea that would establish clear criteria, ultimately it is unsatisfying to me. The problem, of course, is that this rules out all subs, hoagies, grinders, po boys or whatever else you want to call them.
Mo maintains that these are not sandwiches, that they are distinct and separate creations with a similarity but no actual relation to a sandwich. @Danieltobin tried to convince me that these are not sandwiches, but that they are clearly derivative. I think they have both been smoking meth all week because that’s just asinine, and I won’t stand for this kind of sandwich denialism.
That’s right, people, I am making a shocking allegation: the fate of the planet’s stomach is on the line, and these enemies of science have chosen to be Sandwich Deniers. Burn the witches!!!
So what makes a sandwich? It’s just a fucking sandwich!!! Why is this so hard...must you people argue so much about everything? Just eat it and shut up already.
Also, someone get me a chicken parm, I’m starving.
Submitted by: Anonymous
Long story. I was involved in a few threads/DMs and I noticed that there were what appeared to be some "unsatisfied" women, mostly in their late 20’s and early 30’s - Millennial Age. They started out talking about it with a tinge of humor. But the more the conversations wore, the less funny it seemed to get.
Obviously, people complain about their sex lives, but normally the comments are about 2-minute men, or only having time for fast sex. I'm fairly certain is has a lot to do with young marriages with kids and/or careers.
You know, the more I talk about it the less I feel I want to know.
Oh, you don’t want to know? Well too bad!!! The fifth rule of #AskAlex is “no takesies backsies”.
First, full disclosure, I am probably not a great person to ask about this. Based on everything I have ever heard from my peers, I have a lot more sex than most married women my age (I’m 34, btw). I’ll spare you the video details, but I know what I hear from IRL friends and Twitter friends, so I have at least a decent idea on where the collective young woman’s head is at. It is a pretty dry time for young mothers at or near age 30.
I think you have largely already answered your own question...mostly it is related to their life stage.
There are two competing dynamics here: the desire to have sex and the opportunity to have sex. Humans, as a general rule, are hornier when they are younger and gradually lose their sex drive. Desire, for most people, decreases at mostly a slow and steady pace from about age 25 onward. The decline for men is probably steeper than women, but I’m not sure that they are hugely different. The opportunity, however, peaks at about the same time - mid-late 20’s for most people - and then craters almost immediately before it recovers some years later.
People at peak-horniness who don’t have kids can deal with this pretty easily...they have lots of time, finally have their own places to live and are high on the exhilaration of having the time, money and confidence to enjoy their free time. It is also the time when the largest portion of people your own age are at their most attractive. The combination...attractive people, high sex drive, ample time and space to pursue it...leads to a lot of sex.
Then some very unfunny things start to happen…
The most obvious one is having children. Kids are a huge time suck, and a huge energy suck. You can’t have sex while they are awake, really, and when they finally fall asleep your primary goal is usually to take care of the million chores you put off because while they were keeping you occupied. Then, to get to bed and catch up on the sleep that they make you miss.
It is also a time when people tend to get more serious about their professional life. They spend more time at work, more time working when they are at home and more time thinking about their work responsibilities. This comes with more money, of course, which creates complications around buying houses and investing in retirement, education and other pursuits. Those activities all take time and energy and none of them are exactly sexy. I mean, my husband gets a little turned on if I talk about asset allocation decisions in a rising rate environment, but he’s not normal...that’s kind of a boner killer for most people;-)
Another reason is that people have begun to physically deteriorate during these years. You’re getting older, and all of those things I mentioned above mean that something has to get cut out of the regular routine...often, that something is taking care of yourself. Men and women both often tend to put on weight during these years. Some start to get wrinkles and go grey. Women never quite get their bodies back after having a baby. Men lose their hair. While these things make a person less attractive to others, that is only the secondary issue...much more importantly, I think, is that they make you feel less attractive. The fact that your husband or wife is paying less attention to you (cuz babies) just reinforces this, despite not actually being related. Nobody wants to get naked if they don't feel good about the way they look.
And finally, sex is just less interesting. When you are 20 years old, sex is still new and exciting and the fact that you can do that with another person and feel like that is still somewhat novel. Five years into a marriage, even if the sex is still good, it’s clearly not as novel as it was when you first met your spouse. Even without kids, you’re going to spend fewer weekends entirely naked than you might have at 22 or 23.
So, there is a lot going on, and the result is less sex than we’re used to, and less than we would like. Sadly, there isn’t a whole lot to be done about it (other than, of course, all that boring shit about making time for each other and communicating and hiring hookers.) The good news is that this might be a temporary problem. Your natural desire to have sex is going to continue to wane, and you will find more opportunities as the kids get older and don’t need you so much. You’ll be less exhausted when they go to bed and you’ll have nights where they are at Grandma’s, or when you are away and have left them home with a sitter. Also, if you work close enough to home to schedule lunch dates in your bed and you’re not doing that, then you are REALLY missing out… If case you haven’t figured it out, #SALT is an acronym;-)
Your desire and your opportunity, therefore, are likely to come back into line with each other. That doesn’t totally get you out of the woods (the biggest physical issue in a marriage is a divergence in the desire of the two parties to have sex...you can both want it all the time or you can both rarely want it, but running at different speeds is a problem) but it is going to take care of the biggest part of the problem.
If that fails, I’ve got a whole library of filthy text messages that seem to be pretty effective;-)
Just a gaggle of people from all over who have similar interests and loud opinions mixed with a dose of humor. We met on Twitter.