It’s Tuesday, which means it’s time for me to solve all your life problems.
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As always you can send your anonymous mailbag questions to email@example.com, anonymity guaranteed.
Okay, with that in mind, here we go:
“How do I break it to my parents that I’m an adult with a family of my own and I’m tired of going to family holidays with my aunts and uncles, my cousins and then a boatload of 2nd and 3rd cousins that don’t even really know each other? At what point do we just say, ‘Look, I would like to do family holidays with my immediate family,’ which would include my spouse and kids, my parents, and my siblings?
I am sure it will hurt my parents’ feelings but it’s a shit show every single year we get together. This is a big family and the majority of the time nobody gets along. Add in a contentious election and some booze and the shit is sure to hit the fan. I feel like we get together just for the sake of getting together because that’s what we have always done. I dread the holidays and I am ready to break the cycle.”
This year, it’s easy to get out of family obligations. You just blame COVID.
Honestly, it’s the perfect excuse for any social event you want to avoid. But that’s especially true with holiday gatherings, which frequently bring together large groups of people of varying ages.
As a bonus, once you limit your family gathering this holiday season, next year you actually have an argument to make about how much better the smaller family event ended up being. Boom, you’ve managed to potentially shift the holiday expectations while avoiding a massive conflict inside your family.
Finally, a benefit of COVID!
Blaming COVID this year is the best possible solution to this issue for you.
On a broader level, I also think it’s fair for you to sit down with your mom and dad and point out that, now that you have your own family, you’d like to start to set up some family traditions yourself. Make it clear that your immediate family is welcome at those events — you specifically still mention your brothers and sisters and parents, so we’re not talking about a tiny group — but that you don’t see the need for large family gatherings around the holidays.
That seems eminently reasonable.
Granted, it can be a difficult decision in some families. But when you move from being a part of a family to creating your own family, it’s reasonable for holiday expectations and realities to change.
Also, and I can’t believe this isn’t widely adopted by everyone, people with the youngest children should have to travel the least for family events. This is just common sense, but it’s amazing how many people with no children expect the people with children to be the ones traveling.
No, that’s a non-starter.
Holiday events should be predicated on making the people with the youngest children travel the least. Their schedules are already the most jampacked. Retired people or people without kids, despite what they might think, have an abundance of time. They should be the ones bending their schedules to fit the people with children, not vice versa.
“My best friend is engaged. This would be his second marriage. The first one ended miserably, as his ex-wife kept cheating on him. Fortunately, he’s in a much better place and relationship now. For the 2nd time, I’ll be his Best Man. In preparation for the speech, I don’t know how to tell the story of their relationship without mentioning the dark place that he was in after his first marriage. Like my first speech, I want to make it fun, but I’m obviously going to shy away from his ex-wife banging everything that she came across. Any tips? Thanks!”
I don’t think you mention the first marriage at all at the second wedding’s best man speech.
Everyone knows the first marriage failed, and everyone knows it ended miserably. And everyone also knows that when your marriage collapses, it’s a dark time. (Usually, at least. Some people turn a marriage collapse into a months long Mardi Gras celebration, which is okay too).
So as much fun as it might be to say, “Boy, did anyone really think that (first wife) would end up banging 34 dudes in less than a year? Including the pool boy and the garbage man in the same day?!” — I would pretend the first marriage and the ex-wife don’t exist at all as part of your second best man toast.
I would focus the speech on her impact on him, how happy he is now, how she’s made him a better man than you’ve ever known him to be. And how you’re convinced the two of them will live happily ever after. Basically, you know, the exact same speech you gave at his first wedding.
Sure, you were wrong the last time, but your speech is about selling why this is going to be the greatest marriage ever, not telling the complete truth.
Sprinkle in some good jokes at the groom’s expense and mention how he outkicked his coverage. If you want to mention the divorce obliquely, you can say after crediting him for outkicking his coverage this time, “And trust me, I’ve known (insert groom’s name here) for a long time. He’s totally shanked some punts before — I think at least one of his punts even went backwards! — so it’s good to see him get off a deep 99 yard kick for a change.”
That’s the most I’d address this issue at all.
That way it’s funny, but mostly a compliment to the new bride — while gently ridiculing your friend — which is the overall purpose of a best man speech.
Otherwise, I think you’re overthinking the divorce angle. No one expects you to recap why the first marriage failed. It’s not your job or your responsibility.
“I’m a law student at my home state’s flagship university. Ideologically, it is rather far left. It seems that almost all of my professors and peers were born woke. I knew that I would be in the minority as a conservative, but it’s a good school, and I’m closer to my family now than I was during undergrad.
This last week, the law school’s administration sent an email “asking” everyone to add their pronouns to their Zoom name and email signature block. I’m fairly certain this isn’t a request; it will be expected or required. The university’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee (formed as a BLM proxy) provided a document explaining why we should do this. Plainly, it’s a leftist power grab meant to shift the acceptable range of opinions on social issues even farther left and closer to the Marxist roots of the woke.
I believe that if I acquiesce and add my pronouns, I am accepting their terms and playing their game. I believe that the game I would be playing is contrary to everything that the West stands for. I also know that I would likely be one of a handful of students to do this. Should I resist and risk the consequences that could include expulsion or being blacklisted on the job market?”
I wouldn’t add my pronouns to my email signature if I were a law student in school today.
I also wouldn’t make a big deal about my choice not to do so. If people choose to notice or not notice, that’s their right, but it’s also your right as a student at a law school to allow people to — shudder — presume your gender without you telling them your preference.
If someone confronts you about the decision, you can explain why you made the choice, but I doubt anyone will confront you about it. If anything, there might just be some grumbling from the woke community over your decision. (And most people hate the politically correct woke community, so my bet is many students would privately support your decision. Some of the students supporting you might even surprise you. I’m often surprised to see the people in my industry who reach out to say they are huge OutKick fans.)
I also don’t understand why assuming someone who looks like a boy is a boy and assuming someone who looks like a girl is a girl is remotely offensive to anyone. And if it is troubling for anyone in the class, why can’t they just go to the professor themselves and explain their gender issues directly, rather than requiring the entire class to engage in obsequious virtue signaling?
As a final point here, I don’t believe any law school is actually willing to issue any punishments for a student failing to share his or her pronouns. And if they did, honestly, you’d become a hero to many lawyers in the country, potentially setting yourself up for a great clerkship.
I also don’t believe this is going to impact your ability to find employment. There are plenty of lawyers and law firms eager to hire men and women who don’t have preferred pronouns on their resumes. In fact, I’d venture to bet that most law firms would prefer to hire the non-woke because, the woker you are, the more time you spend complaining and the less time you spend making money.
Again, I wouldn’t make a big deal about this decision you’re making, but I’d just ignore the suggestion and continue with your name as is on the Zoom calls.
“As a teacher, coronavirus has not changed my life all that much besides being home during work hours. I haven’t had any change in my salary, I don’t have to worry about being laid off, or furloughed.
That being said, I go to our union meetings to be kept in the loop with what is going on next semester. As of now, the plan is to be back in school in some form, but the school I teach at is so large and currently is under construction for a major remodel. So put that together with the insane restrictions in Illinois both on the state and local level, and the plan is to teach behind a computer with a mask on, with FOUR students in my class and the rest on zoom. Most teachers are saying things such as ‘Why are they risking our lives?’ or ‘Is in-school learning more important than living?’ The superintendent ended a message to staff and the community yesterday with ‘We stay apart now so we don’t lose anyone for when we can be together.’
Would it be useful to say anything at all to these delusional people? What would you say? I feel like as teachers we have a responsibility to not freak kids out and be a rational adult in their lives, but most teachers are terrifying kids.
Thanks for OutKick, it is by far the best media outlet today.”
One of the big problems with people who don’t fear that they’ll ever lose their jobs is there’s no real, actual impetus to work. That’s unfortunately the problem with many teachers, especially those who have been teaching for a long time and are jaded and just buying time until the year is over.
I’ve taught creative writing classes as an adjunct professor at Vanderbilt University before.
I absolutely loved it.
But one reason I wouldn’t necessarily have loved being a teacher full time is because I’m a capitalist and I think if you work harder (and better) than other people, you should be paid more for that performance. Teachers receive, for the most part, stairstep raises regardless of the quality of their performance for most of their careers.
That would infuriate me.
I was a public school kid and, like most of you, I had many phenomenal teachers and many mediocre to poor teachers during my time in school. We all know who the good and bad teachers are. So why wouldn’t we pay the good teachers way more than the bad teachers and force the bad teachers out of the profession by cutting their salaries over time or leaving them stagnant?
And if we did that, imagine how much better of an overall caliber of teacher we might recruit.
In a market-based economy, what we pay people for their talents is an important window into what we value. I value education a tremendous amount. A great teacher can be worth a mountain of gold over his or her career. So why should we pay that great teacher the same as everyone else that starting working when he or she did?
As a general rule, I wish there were more market-based teacher incentives because we know that humans adjust their behavior based on incentives.
In fact, with COVID in particular, here’s an idea. If we know that remote learning is, at best, half as effective as in-person learning, what if we cut all teacher salaries in half for those teachers who chose to teach remotely? Don’t you think the incentives might change in a hurry then?
When you’re getting paid your full salary for much less work, then the coronabros in teaching take over and pitch fits over being required to teach in person. To me, this isn’t about health. It’s about reasonable work expectations.
Because the data is clear from schools all around the world: kids in schools aren’t primary vectors for the spread of this virus. They just aren’t. The data is clear that we should have never shut down schools back in March in the first place and that teachers aren’t in any great danger from teaching in person.
At this point, I think teachers like you who look at the actual data need to start speaking up and sharing their opinions with the fear porn peddlers refusing to teach.
Because right now we’ve got coronabro teachers dominating the conversation, and those teachers are all trying to come up with reasons why they can’t work in person.
That’s fine. No teacher should be forced to teach in person if they don’t want to do so. But if they make that choice, why should my tax dollars go to pay them their full salaries? If anything, if you live in a school district where teachers aren’t teaching in person and where your kids aren’t attending schools in person, why shouldn’t you get a partial refund on your property taxes?
You’re paying for work you aren’t receiving.
Teachers are paid based on in-person teaching because it’s the most effective means of instruction, especially for young children. If teachers aren’t doing what we pay them to do, then they should be paid less.
I feel like if any politician would actually make this argument, much of the public would agree with them.
Essentially, we need more a market-based, capitalistic approach to the way we fund our public schools. Because right now, the teachers unions, it seems to me, far too often stifle any creativity because they are trying to protect their existing contracts, even if those contracts aren’t the most beneficial for the kids.
“I recently got fired and have been home for the last two weeks doing nothing but watching Netflix and eating fast food. I have come to greatly enjoy this lifestyle, however I can probably only afford it for another month or so before money dries up. Any ‘get rich quick’ schemes or advice for me? I don’t want to work at all, but I have come to the conclusion this can’t last forever.”
Marry a sugar daddy or a sugar momma.
Otherwise, get to work, lardass.
I understand why doing nothing is great, but America is predicated on working for your money. That’s why we’ve long had the greatest economy in world history, because capitalism wins and dunks over every other economic template.
I’m pulling 16 hour days, seven days a week here.
It’s amazing how often people ask me for advice when the best advice is pretty straightforward: find a market-based job you’re willing to work at all the time and bust your ass for several years doing it.
If you do that, guess what? You’ll probably get rich in this country, no matter what your identity is. White, black, Asian, Hispanic, gay, straight, there is no substitute for hard work.
So get to work if you want to make money.
Thanks for reading OutKick.
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