LeighA
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    • LeighA

      Maybe “Pennsyltucky” is more accurate than I realized, because my family has lived in PA for generations and my grandparents say a lot of these. But I think “knee-high to a grasshopper,” “tan your hide,” “too big for his britches,” “all get out,” “running around like a chicken with its head cut off,” and especially “hold your horses” and “preaching to the choir,” and are just ordinary sayings that are common throughout the country. At least, I can’t imagine anyone not being familiar with the phrase “hold your horses.” Heck, according to Wikipedia, that spelling (as opposed to “hosses”) first appeared in a Canadian magazine, and the earliest printed instances of “preaching to the choir” all seem to be from outside the south (DC, Ohio, and California).

    • LeighA

      They did say boys can’t go into the girls’ dormitories (they’re magically kicked out), but girls can go into the boys’ dormitories, so that wouldn’t do much to prevent teen pregnancy. They do share rooms with several other people, though, so that might lower the odds a little. As for mobility issues…they can regrow bones, so they can probably just fix most of them. Of course, that does raise further questions, like what if a kid doesn’t want them fixed, and can magic cure genetic disorders?

    • LeighA

      jamestaylor—About 1% of the population has celiac disease, and there is little evidence that any other kind of gluten intolerance exists (people who improve on a gluten-free diet likely do so for other reasons, like FODMPAs or the placebo effect). Even if gluten intolerance does turn out to be real, it’s clear that most of the people who jumped on the gluten-free fad (and yes, it is a fad) don’t have it, because they experience no symptoms when unknowingly eating gluten in controlled trials. On the other hand, about 4% of adults and 8% of children have food allergies, with about 2% of the population being allergic to nuts and 1% being allergic to milk (wheat allergies are also relatively common, and benefit from the gluten-free fad). So, even if gluten intolerance exists, it’s probably at most on par with food allergies. But the consequences of someone with gluten intolerance eating gluten are a bit less severe than the potential anaphylaxis/death from food allergies.

    • LeighA

      Everybody seems to have gotten pieces of the difference. In the US, “jelly” is similar to jam. “Jam” has solid fruit bits, while “jelly” does not (and is not always made of fruit, but always has the same gel-like consistency). Jell-o is a brand name for gelatin. In the UK, “jelly” is gelatin. It’s also used for the same thing as American jelly, but mostly for non-fruit types, like mint jelly), and I don’t think they’re commonly used, so I doubt it’d be anyone’s first thought when they heard the word.

    • LeighA

      When my hair is wet, I basically have 4 small strands of hair sticking out in random places. Once it’s dry, I have to make sure that it’s arranged properly so bits of scalp aren’t visible, because there are a couple spots right in the front of my head that often are. (And this can happen at any time, so I have to double-check throughout the day.) Having to choose between having long hair and feeling pretty while knowing deep down it’s actually unflattering, or having short hair and feeling hideous and awkward even though it objectively looks better. I know there are many women who look great with short hair, but it just makes me feel bad about myself because it doesn’t mesh with my mental image of who I am. Not being able to skip a single day of washing because it gets super oily. (I have not tried dry shampoo, because with dark brown hair and pale skin, I’ve always been afraid to.) Constantly being told that “if you just give it awhile,” that stops happening, and being brushed off when you tell them you have done that, and it made your hair feel like an oil slick and look like you’d never even heard of shampoo. Constant tangles that seem to result in half the hair on your head being ripped out, and trying to find a product to stop your hair from getting so tangled without weighing it down and making it look like you haven’t washed it in a week. Braids being about the same width as a friendship bracelet, while other women have gorgeous thick braids that make them look like warrior princesses or something. And having more than one braid? Hahahaha no. Unless I sleep with my hair in braids or curlers and don’t wash it in the morning (which, as mentioned, is not a good idea), my hair can only hold a curl for about…half as long as it takes to curl it. If I attempt to solve this with hairspray, there is one spritz between “not enough to hold it” and crispy hair. Trying in vain to find a single “volumizing” product that does anything. Most types of hair accessories are a pain. Hair ties aren’t horrible, I just have to wrap them around 3-4 times (or like…8 at the bottom of a braid). Almost everything else (bobby pins, hair clips, etc) slides right out. Mostly, I’m just glad I wasn’t a teenager in the ’80s. I would have been screwed.

    • LeighA

      It’s supposed to make it look better. I know when I was a kid I was forced to get a haircut every time it grew past my shoulders because it looked so straggly (it was basically strand of hair, gap, strand of hair, gap, etc). It’s actually always bothered me, because I love long hair and feel prettiest with long hair (until I look in the mirror and realize it’s not particularly flattering), and I despise short hair. Every second my hair is shorter than chin length, I feel hideous and unfeminine and weird, not to mention annoyed that I can’t put it in a ponytail (that’s not to say I have any issue with other women having short hair, and many look great, but I really hate it for myself). So I’m constantly having to choose between feeling pretty and looking bad or looking okay and feeling awful about myself. Generally I keep it around shoulder length, which is long enough to keep me from being annoyed but not so long that I look horrible with it down. But it’s shorter than I’d have it in an ideal world.

    • LeighA

      The two most frequent complaints I’ve heard about thick hair are 1) it tangles like crazy and 2) it can break hair ties, and 3) it gets heavy when it’s really long. But…my hair is super fine and it also tangles like crazy, except that a tangle can leave a large, visible gap in my hair. And while it doesn’t break hair ties, I have to wrap a hair tie around 3-4 times (or 6-8 at the bottom of a braid), which means they get stretched out really quickly. As for it being heavy when it’s long—it may be uncomfortable but at least it looks amazing. Long fine hair just looks straggly and limp, like Angelica’s doll on Rugrats (minus the sticking straight up). Besides, fine or thick, having long hair is a choice.

    • LeighA

      Because most of the people in marketing are men (at least that’s the idea, not sure if that’s still true). Men marketing things to women that are unnecessarily pink and flowery and say “for women” on them = men saying that’s what women use/should use = non-women making an assertion about femininity Men marketing things to men that emphasize strength and manliness and say “for men” on them = men saying that’s what men use/should use = men deciding for themselves (and other men) what masculinity means It’s an important difference. Of course, I don’t know if it’s true that most marketers are men, nor do I know whether these marketers were men. If it’s women going around making black-and-gunmetal packaging with words like “rugged,” then that’s the same as men making everything pink.

    • LeighA

      So many pastors and religious leaders simply brush aside the seriousness or even the existence of mental illness. I’m so glad your husband took you to get the help you needed. I’m not religious myself, but a minister I know is a big advocate of an organization called Mental Health Grace Alliance, which is (obviously) a religious mental health organization, and has given sermons to several area churches about the importance of properly dealing with the issue of mental health. Your husband (or any other religious leader who understands the importance of this) might be interested in doing something similar. It could make a world of difference to people who don’t have such supportive families, especially since, as you mentioned, religious people with mental illness have the extra burden of unanswered prayers.

    • LeighA

      How is it possible that you don’t know a single couple who’s stayed married? You never had a married teacher, neighbor, coworker? Not a single one of your friends has parents who are still married? Personally, I know far more people who’ve stayed married than who didn’t. Most (about 2/3?) of my friends’ parents are still married, almost every teacher I’ve ever had was married, and most of the older couples I know are or were together 50+ years. I don’t know the people you know, but I would guess that there are happily married people around you and you just haven’t noticed.

    • LeighA

      Western PA has lots of German influence too. Much of the population is German-American, and there are a lot of Pennsylvania Dutch (though we mostly just say Amish). There’s not much overlap with Ohio, and definitely not with Indiana, at all. For example, when I look for regional foods from Ohio, I’ve never had most of it, and what I have doesn’t seem regional at all (rigatoni?). You could get Buckeyes in some places, but western PA has half a dozen chocolate manufacturers, like Sarris, none of which make them, so they aren’t a staple or anything. There is some cultural overlap with West Virginia and western New York. The Pittsburgh area has a lot of Polish heritage too, though, hence why pierogies and kielbasa are so popular there, and there are a number of places with French names (like Dusquesne and Chartiers) thanks to the French colonization of the western half of the state a few hundred years ago.

    • LeighA

      What part? The average January temperatures for most of the state seem to be lows of 5-20° F and highs of 20-40°. New York (state) is about the same, although NYC’s average lows are 20-30°, and over 11 million people live in the non-NYC parts of New York, compared to just 1 million in Montana. The average lows for Minnesota range from -10 to 10° F, with highs from 15-30°, yet over five times as many people live there as Montana. I don’t think it’s the weather. Honestly, I think at this point it’s a self-perpetuating cycle—nobody wants to move there because there’s nothing around because nobody lives there.

    • LeighA

      “The USA never came up in our British history classes. Not because we lost the war of independence, but because that was within the last 300 years and we studied the bronze age and vikings, Romans, Tudors, etc.” That seems a little unlikely. I wouldn’t expect it to get much focus in a course on British history, obviously, but I would expect at least an offhand mention of one of the earliest colonies, or the global effect of the 1929 stock market crash, or the role of the US in WWII (the atomic bomb, at least) or the Cold War, or some mention of major discoveries, inventions, or accomplishments that would’ve impacted the UK (airplanes, the polio vaccine). I don’t want to sound like a self-absorbed American here, but it’s not like the US hasn’t had much impact on the world. I definitely don’t believe that, if it wasn’t mentioned, it’s only because it happened in the last 300 years. A lot’s happened in the past 300 years—the Industrial Revolution, the abolition of slavery, women’s suffrage, labo(u)r reform, several major wars and revolutions—and there’s no way you didn’t cover any of that. Also, it’s listed as part of KS3 in the UK’s history curriculum (but I assume that’s changed since you were in school, so that doesn’t mean it was covered before).

    • LeighA

      A lot of small, independently-owned stores and restaurants, as well as some fast food places (like Subway) only have a single room for each gender’s bathroom—one toilet, one sink, no stalls or anything. I’m a woman, so I would have no idea if the men’s bathrooms in these places have both a toilet and a urinal, but it wouldn’t surprise me. A few places even have just one bathroom total, but you don’t see that very often.

    • LeighA

      “As a United Kingdom we’ve only been around a few hundred years” That served to incorporate the rest of the area into the existing English political body, not to create an entirely new government. “England as a united nation of tribes and such has been around less than a millennia too.” Barely. You’re only 50 years shy of 1000. “The difference is we have evolved as a nation rather than conquered a land mass. The USA has the history, it’s just the history of people who were decimated and so forgotten.” I don’t think the UK has room to talk about conquering and decimating. It doesn’t seem like Ireland, India, Cyprus, Kenya, or South Africa were overly thrilled about British Imperialism. Besides, half of what you’re talking about for the US was done at the hands of people who were born British citizens (not that it got better afterwards).

    • LeighA

      “If in the USA tax rates vary by county it seems even more reason to label with tax added.”  How? Imagine you’re a small business owner with 3 stores, two in one county and one in the next county over. The sales tax in one county is 6%, the other is 7.5%. Would you rather a) enter the products in all three stores into your system for the same price and assume (generally correctly) that your customers will know what the tax rate is, since most of them live there or b) have to have separate prices for everything in that one store with a different tax rate? Now imagine you’re at a regional or national chain, and you have to make a flyer, catalog, or TV commercial about specific products. Do you want to make one copy that says a product is $25.99* and then *plus tax in small print, or do you want to make a different copy for every possible tax rate in the country saying the product is $25.99, $27.03, $27.55, $29.50, etc? Plus, then you’d have to keep track of the tax rate in all 3,000+ counties and make sure you knew if they changed (for example, my county increased theirs last year). To make matters worse, not every state charges sales tax on the same things. Some don’t have sales tax on anything, some have don’t have it on clothes, some don’t have it on food, and some have it on everything you can buy in stores. Some places have tax-free weekends for back to school shopping. Trying to incorporate all that into price tags would be a nightmare.

    • LeighA

      I overheard an argument about what exactly “pigs in a blanket” are awhile back, which prompted me to look it up. It can mean: * Mini hot dogs in crescent rolls (probably the most common in most of the US today, and what you’ll see first if you google it)
      * Sausages wrapped in bacon (UK)
      * Some other form of wrapped sausage
      * Cabbage rolls (seems to be old-fashioned/regional, possibly specific to areas with a lot of Polish or Hungarian influence) My friend’s mom insisted that “pigs in a blanket” can only refer to cabbage rolls, and that anyone who thinks a hot dog wrapped in pastry can be called that is crazy. I’d literally never heard it mean anything but hot dog/pastry before that, but it actually seems reasonably common. So, the only thing we all agree on is that it means meat wrapped in something else.

    • LeighA

      Even if it were true that people could only be depressed if there’s something bad about their circumstances (which it isn’t), we’re talking about a famous model/actress.  She has enormous pressure on her to always be attractive, always charming, always pleasant. She has people, both in real life and online, critiquing every aspect of her appearance, voice, words, and actions. The internet is full of people arguing whether she’s too fat or too thin, too prudish or too slutty, gorgeous or awkward-looking, a good actor or a terrible one, and whether they would want to have sex with her. She’s rich enough, famous enough, and pretty enough that she always has to wonder whether people actually want to be around her because they like her, as a person, or because they like what they can gain from being around her. That’s a lot to deal with, and it wouldn’t be at all surprising for someone in that position to feel alone, overwhelmed, and insecure. Why do you think so many models and celebrities develop eating disorders or become addicted to drugs or alcohol? They’re living under a microscope 24/7 while everyone waits to see if they’ll crash and burn for our entertainment. Besides all that, she says she was depressed before she became successful.

    • LeighA

      I’m surprised that several people have commented on the other “signs” that someone might be faking, but nobody’s mentioned overreacting. Overreacting to minor things (assuming that’s what was meant by that) is often a sign that someone does have a mental illness.  When my anxiety disorder was at its worst, even something like a waiter misunderstanding my order could put me on the verge of tears, and the shame of crying over nothing only made it worse. One of the biggest things that made me realize that I was getting better was when I noticed I wasn’t overreacting to everything anymore.

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