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The Return of Laura - The Annals of Young Geoffrey: Hope brings a turtle [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Young Geoffrey

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The Return of Laura [Feb. 21st, 2007|08:02 pm]
Young Geoffrey
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(In which Young Geoffrey displays his petty side; if you have somehow romanticized me as some paragon of enlightened virtue, just move on to the next post on your list.)

By and large I've been pretty happy these past few months, notwithstanding my inability to meet women who are not either involved or loopy.

I have told myself - and others, sometimes to a certain amount of scepticism - that I am "over Laura" and moving on with my life. And mostly, I think it is true. But it is also true that I think of her more often than I would like. I don't want her back, but I am still angry about how she (mis)treated me.

I've fantasized - too much - about running into her, usually somewhere on Queen Street (because that is where I spend most of my time, no need for any Freudian - or any other kind - of analysis).

In the fantasy, she is with someone - a man - and approaches me to say hello, and to apologize.

"Who's that?" I say, and jerk my thumb towards her companion. "Your boyfriend of the week or just a john?"

"My boyfriend," she says, looking sad. "I'm not like that any more."

"That's good to hear. I wish I could believe it."

Uncomfortable, she nevertheless wants to talk. She notices that I've lost weight and tells me I look good.

"Thank you," I say. "And you still look like a lying, cheating, thieving sack of shit. Whether you live or die is a matter of supreme indifference to me."

And I stalk past her, without a backwards glance.

Well, tonight, I sort of had my chance.

I got in around 7:30 (I stopped in at Java Hut to work on a review of Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion - coming soon, folks!) and shortly after I had fired up the computer the telephone rang.

I trotted to my bedroom to answer it.

"Hello?"

"Good evening sir," said a strangely familiar voice, "I am calling from the [Blah-blah-blah] Dance Studio. May I speak with Geoffrey Dow?"

"Who's calling?" I asked, in my normal, who-the-hell-is-this tone.

"Geoff, it's Laura."

"Laura."

"Yes, it's me. I'm working for this telemarketing company and -"

"I'm really not interested," I said, and started to reach for the ... that thing you press when you want to disconnect a call.

"- and I thought of calling you."

"Laura," I said, "you're a lying, cheating sack of shit, [yes, I forgot "thieving"] and I have nothing to say to you."

But my heart was suddenly beating like a rattle in the hand of a child suffering from ADD and I didn't hang up the phone.

"What do you want?"

"I was thinking of you and, I guess, I just wanted to say I'm sorry." She paused, and I couldn't think of anything to say. "How are you?"

"I'm good," I said. "I'm very good." And the habit of politeness led me on. "How are you?"

"I'm great," she said. "I'm not in the sex-trade anymore, and I'm in a relationship -"

"Laura, I'm not interested in your relationships, or anything else."

And then I paused. A small part of me, a part that isn't angry at her, but that remembers the woman I believed she was, was thrilled to hear her voice again.

And so I still didn't hang up.

"I'm not like that anymore," she said. "My lying and cheating almost got me into trouble with my partner -"

"I don't want to hear about it, Laura. You lied to my face for a year and I can never forgive you for what you did to me."

"For more than a year," she said. "But I'm really not like that anymore." Suddenly she sounded like I imagine someone who has really gone through a 12-step program sounds like, someone who is bravely facing up to the sins of her past and asking forgiveness from those she has wronged.

But my anger was taking control again. "Laura, it's almost good to hear your voice, and I hope it's true, but I can never forgive you for what you did to me. I wish you well, but I don't want to talk to you. After all that happened, I can never trust you. So don't call me again, and if you see me on the street, just keep walking. And fuck off."

And I placed the receiver in its cradle (somehow, I didn't slam it).

I was literally shaking when I came back to the computer. My bloodstream was flooded with adrenaline.

But, having typed this far (thank you, Gentle Readers, for giving me an outlet for the venting of my speen).

Truth is, I don't feel good for having said, "Fuck off," and I do feel good about it.

There is a part of me that recognizes, first, that Laura is a great deal younger than I am and, second, that people sometimes do change. But at the same time, I know that I - when I was 18 and 19 - would never have been able to say "I love you" to someone for "a lot more than a year" when I didn't mean it.

I am calm again, and I suspect if I could test it, my adrenaline levels would be back to normal. I think I am glad she called me, that she gave me the chance to say, "Fuck off" and then hang up the phone.

And I hope that, when I take my shower tomorrow morning, I won't waste my time imagining what I might have said anymore.

Maybe now, at last, I am not only over Laura, but rid of her, too.
linkReply

Comments:
From: bug2099
2007-02-22 02:17 am (UTC)
at least she wasn't like the laura from Billy Joels song...
Im glad you got over it man. Love is a tricky thing.
Im not the kind who passes trials of the heart easily, so i can related.

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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2007-02-25 01:58 am (UTC)

Trials of the Heart

Nor am I. I've never said "I love you" to someone when I didn't mean it, let alone say it day in and day out for two years.
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[User Picture]From: deweyintoronto
2007-02-22 02:20 am (UTC)
I don't blame you for telling her to fuck off. Sometimes the urge is just overwhelming, and I'll bet as time goes on, it'll feel better and better. Speaking of fuck off, "I'm really not like that anymore."??? Puh-leeze! It's only been a few months. I call bullshit.

I look forward to the review of The God Delusion. I caught The Root of All Evil when it was on The Passionate Eye, and then Dawkins on The Colbert Report, so I was thinking of picking it up myself.

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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2007-02-22 02:29 am (UTC)

Dawkins, Laura and I'm Glad You're Well

Speaking of fuck off, "I'm really not like that anymore."??? Puh-leeze! It's only been a few months. I call bullshit.

Maybe I'm just a romantic, but she is very young. I'd like to think that she has changed. The fact she's doing telemarketing instead of working as a professional sub for $100 an hour suggests it might be true. And her plentyoffish, livejournal and myspace profiles all disappeared at around the same time.

But regardless, I'd be a damned fool to give her the benefit of the doubt on a personal level. I do hope she's changed, but I won't be there to find out if it's true or not.

I look forward to the review of The God Delusion. I caught The Root of All Evil when it was on The Passionate Eye, and then Dawkins on The Colbert Report, so I was thinking of picking it up myself.

It's a very good book, but if you're already an atheist it won't tell you much you don't already know. But on the other hand, reading it may give you the ability to judge whether Friend A or Friend B might have an open enough mind to be influenced by it, should you lend them your copy or feel the urge to gift them with it.

I hope I've already said so, but if not, I had a good time on Nuit Blanche, by the way. We should share a beer again.
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[User Picture]From: deweyintoronto
2007-02-22 02:59 am (UTC)

Re: Dawkins, Laura and I'm Glad You're Well

Alright, I'll allow you your romanticism. After all, if we trample ALL of the romantics out there, who will we cynics use as a gauge?

And we should absolutely share beers again, but perhaps one fewer this time. I just don't function with a motherfucker of a hangover quite like I used to. :)
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2007-02-23 12:12 am (UTC)

Re: Dawkins, Laura and I'm Glad You're Well

I just don't function with a motherfucker of a hangover quite like I used to. :)

I guess we did pack away a few, didn't we? But I'm afraid you'll have to monitor your own consumption; my capacity has reached levels I find a little disturbing.
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[User Picture]From: fingeringsolace
2007-02-22 02:53 am (UTC)
i would have never been able to say i love you for more than a few times without meaning it so there's that.

it's weird about the fuck off thing as i just had a conversation about it tonight and how saying fuck off implies you have emotion and that you don't say it unless there is some sort of emotion. but really...it typically elicits a reaction from the other person and i often prefer to fade out without reaction from either party. i'm rambling.

the bottom line is, good for you.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2007-02-23 12:16 am (UTC)

Good for Me - Maybe

I don't know if it was good for me. I'm not a vindictive man, so hurting her feelings (if indeed they were hurt) doesn't give me any satisfaction. I suppose what I really want is some kind of tangible restitution - getting back those two years of my life would be nice, but obviously, that's not going to happen.

Presumably, at least, she'll not darken my door again at any rate.
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[User Picture]From: madrigalia
2007-02-22 03:16 am (UTC)
Rare opportunity; to confront a penitent ex and not cave into their desire for forgiveness. You did well.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2007-02-23 12:19 am (UTC)

Rare Opportunity?

I guess maybe it was, wasn't it?

There's a strange part of me, though, the thinks/feels the more admirable thing to do would, in fact, have been to forgive. But another side tells me that forgiveness can only be granted when one is sure the penitence is real - and I'd be a damned fool to invest enough time to pass that judgement (given my track record in judging Laura, a decade might not be enough time).
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From: le_kisse
2007-02-22 04:00 am (UTC)
YOU did well. I wish I had your strength. Maybe soon I will get to exercise the same ability you have to move on.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2007-02-23 12:43 am (UTC)

Gathering Strength

Thank you - I just wish it had provided more emotional satisfaction than I actually gained.

Regardless, I hope you do find the stregnth to move on. Satisfying or not, staying steeped in a bad place is infitinetely worse.

I hesitate to suggest this, given the time-difference between us and the fact that I have been, of late, not much more reliable as a correspondent than I have been a journaler, but if you think it would do you any given (even as no more than a distraction), feel free to use the email address on my profile - it's good on MSN as well.
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[User Picture]From: sooguy
2007-02-22 04:30 am (UTC)
That is a tough day of reckoning to deal with, but it sounds like you handled it well enough.

Good for you for moving on.

If you want to bitch about ex-es over beer next month we can exchange war stories.

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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2007-02-23 12:24 am (UTC)

Bitchin' 'n Beers

Let's work on ensuring the exchange of war stories isn't all we talk about, but one or two should certainly serve to help us bond before the alcohol does it for us.

Meanwhile, I've just learned that I have nearly 2 weeks of vacation time banked (it's really nice to work for a place that starts you at 4 weeks per year) so March is looking more and more like a certainty.

I seem to recall you're working an odd schedule, so I'll be in touch soon to find out when you'll have a morning free to recover. My mum's retired, so her schedule's not so relevant.
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From: slightlymish
2007-02-22 05:50 am (UTC)
I hate the shakes and rattles, I get them far too easily. I nearly got them while I was reading.

But that was a very good interaction, run-ins with exes are never pleasant :S
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2007-02-23 12:46 am (UTC)

Men Who Run With Exes

Given a little time (and the moral integrity for the heartbreaker to be honest), they can be. Over the past year or so, I've had the rare pleasure of building a sort of friendship with the woman I was involved with prior to Laura. But then, her only sin was that she stopped loving me. She never used me or lied to me.
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[User Picture]From: amaaanda
2007-02-22 06:17 am (UTC)
Good for you for showing her you have a spine. You weren't needlessly harsh, but you let her know that you won't let her roll all over you. You did good, boy.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2007-02-23 12:48 am (UTC)

Spines 'r Us!

Thanks. I guess I did. I still wish it had provided more satisfaction.
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From: fuck_hole
2007-02-22 10:10 am (UTC)
This is the first I've read of your journal, but I remember your comment to me.

Do you mind if I ask you some questions about her, and why she went into the sex trade to begin with? If you know, that is.

If not, I'll certainly respect that. :) Thanks.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2007-02-23 12:49 am (UTC)

I Don't Mind ...

... but this isn't the proper place, I don't think. If you'd care to email or converse over MSN, my address is on my profile page. (For that matter, I would probably have a question or two for you! Welcome aboard, by the way.)
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[User Picture]From: ssurprize
2007-02-22 10:31 am (UTC)
I don't believe the "I'm not like that anymore" either. Thing is, I don't believe people change, and if they do, it's only for the worse...
Actually, let me rephrase a bit. I don't think people's conscience can change. So if she consciously deceived once, she may do it again.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2007-02-23 12:57 am (UTC)

Disbelief

I don't believe the "I'm not like that anymore" either. Thing is, I don't believe people change, and if they do, it's only for the worse...
Actually, let me rephrase a bit. I don't think people's conscience can change.


Maybe, as I said in response to another comment, I am too much of a romantic, but do think that people really do change. At least some people, some times - and particularly when they are young, and Laura only turned 20 in January.

On the other hand, I feel pretty confident when I say that I could never have lied to someone who loved me for two years straight.

So if she consciously deceived once, she may do it again.

Had she been offering/asking to renew some kind of relationship (whether as friends or lovers) that "may" is precisely why I would have said no, even if I wasn't going to say "fuck off".

Long story short, I hope she's changed, but I am not willing to take the risk, in time, energy, etc, of finding out.
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[User Picture]From: miyyu
2007-02-22 11:21 am (UTC)
"Laura, it's almost good to hear your voice, and I hope it's true, but I can never forgive you for what you did to me. I wish you well, but I don't want to talk to you. After all that happened, I can never trust you. So don't call me again, and if you see me on the street, just keep walking. And fuck off."

I think that was exactly the right thing to say. You got a little satisfaction out of it and you told her the truth while not allowing her any moral wiggle-room that she doesn't deserve.

I've told an ex to fuck-off too. It was one of the best things I've ever done. I finally felt FREE of this leech-person who wouldn't understand anything but an unequivocal "fuck off!"

I do think people change, but I think change of that magnitiude is very rare. I also think when people say "I've changed" is quite suspicious. People who really have gone through a transformation tend not to broadcast it in any way, though I do see the asking for forgiveness part. But if she's really changed, then she should know that she shouldn't expect forgiveness, but that the act of asking for it was important and that she should accept whatever answer you give.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2007-02-23 01:04 am (UTC)

Suspicious

People who really have gone through a transformation tend not to broadcast it in any way, though I do see the asking for forgiveness part.

I forget if I mentioned it in my post, but she also said, "I've even quit smoking." Your comment reminds me of the 12-step program and how one of those steps is to go around "making amends" or "asking forgiveness" or something like that.

...if she's really changed, then she should know that she shouldn't expect forgiveness, but that the act of asking for it was important...

I would really like to think that's what she was up to.

Speaking of important, I am coming to realize that I'm very glad I posted my account of the conversation. Your thoughts (and others), and the necessity of reacting to them, somehow seem more cathartic than the initial post itself was.

So, er, thank you.
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[User Picture]From: miyyu
2007-02-23 01:56 am (UTC)

Re: Suspicious

You're welcome. Catharsis is good. It sounds like you needed some.
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[User Picture]From: sabotabby
2007-02-22 03:53 pm (UTC)
I found out that my ex's partner—one of the women he cheated on me with, as far as I know—just bought them a loft. Meanwhile, the ex still doesn't have a job and is "working on a business plan." (He "worked on a business plan" for most of our relationship.) They are apparently getting married in Mexico.

I'd relish the opportunity to tell him to fuck off again.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2007-02-23 01:11 am (UTC)

Many Plans, No Business

I'd relish the opportunity to tell him to fuck off again.

I wonder if you really would, post-saying so.

I mean, I am glad that I did say it as opposed to offering some kind-hearted, "You're forgiven" platitude, but I can't say doing so gave me any real satisfaction. Maybe if she knocked on my door and handed me a cheque for a couple of grand ...
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[User Picture]From: rev_jo
2007-02-22 04:31 pm (UTC)
closure is a good thing.. a few months ago i had several opportunities to tell my ex everything that was on my mind, and it really helped me let go and move on..

sounds like she deserved a 'fuck off', especially considering how young you say she is.. hopefully she'll learn a valuable lesson, and never treat someone else that way, although it is still sad that you were
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2007-02-23 01:15 am (UTC)

Youth

sounds like she deserved a 'fuck off', especially considering how young you say she is...

That's funny - to my mind, her youth ought to be considered a mitigating factor. Lord knows, I did some things as a teenager that I knew were wrong, but was "unable" to stop doing (for a while) and that I sure as hell wouldn't do now.

So yeah, I hope she's changed, that she's learned that other people are also people.
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[User Picture]From: rev_jo
2007-02-23 02:39 am (UTC)

Re: Youth

kind of what i meant.. when you're young, things aren't quite driven home until you screw up massively and start dealing with real consequences..such as a 'fuck off' from someone you care(d) about..
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[User Picture]From: stolen_identity
2007-02-22 08:26 pm (UTC)
Holy Crap.
I applaud you. I wish I was able to confront some of my exes like that, but I am far too passive for my own good.
I think it's awesome that you were able to say everything you need to, and also that you're moving on without looking back.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2007-02-23 01:18 am (UTC)

Moving On

Thank, Katie. Even without the phone call, I am happy to say that I haven't looked back - in the sense of even fantasizing about a reconciliation or something - at least since August.

As I type this, by the way, having replied to a wack of responses to the post, I feel that while having made the report was (maybe) a little cathartic, being forced to re-visit it to answer these messages has been quite a bit more so. Thanks.
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[User Picture]From: colinmarshall
2007-02-23 02:18 am (UTC)
"I'm great," she said. "I'm not in the sex-trade anymore."

Keep on reaching for that rainbow.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2007-02-23 02:21 am (UTC)

Oh My ...

You are a cynical bastard,aren't you. *young geoffrey giggles maniacally*
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[User Picture]From: colinmarshall
2007-02-23 02:24 am (UTC)

Re: Oh My ...

Seriously though, what, precisely, is up with this girl? How bad a lifestyle was she living that (a) no longer being a sex worker and (b) making telemarketing calls all day constitutes an upgrade to "great?" I'm seriously asking.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2007-02-23 02:40 am (UTC)

Re: Oh My ...

Quite seriously, I can't answer your questions because I have no idea what I thought I knew about her was true and what wasn't.

(Since this conversation is starting to skew more towards Laura than myself, I've just set this entry to friends-only.)

Sexually, Laura was (and presumably still is) a submissive and a masochist.

Nevertheless, back in August of 2005, she started working at a "dungeon" as a professional dominatrix (or so she told me). I wasn't what you would call happy with the arrangement, but the hourly rate was quadrupal my own and she seemed to enjoy her work - who was I to complain?

What she didn't tell me was that she was actually working as a "switch" - ie, a dom or a sub, depending on the client. And most of the clients wanted subs.

What she also didn't tell me was that she really like the latter. In essence, she was a (kinky) prostitute, but didn't bother to tell me so.

(And now you may better understand my relief last fall, when my tests all came back negative.)

If she has in fact, turned her back on that life, than I can see how she would see making one-tenth her previous hourly wage constitutes a step up.

I don't have a moral problem with prostitution, but I think it's the sort of thing it is very difficult to get into for the "right reasons".

So, leaving aside the fact she spent 2 years lying to me about everything that matters, your question - "How bad a lifestyle was she living..." - is really dependent on what she now thinks/feels is right and good.
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[User Picture]From: colinmarshall
2007-02-23 03:33 am (UTC)

Re: Oh My ...

Call me ultraconservative, but I have a hard time even imagining finding a girl who runs in the sort of social network capable of finding her a dominatrix job in a dungeon. Or, uh, the girl for whom working as a dominatrix in a dungeon is a suitable cover story.

Here's what I take from your tale of woe: Canadians are a lot less inhibited than the rest of the world assumes. I'll spread the word yet.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2007-02-23 03:48 am (UTC)

Re: Oh My ...

Compared to me, you are ultraconservative.

But from your point of view, she didn't (as far as I knew) run in those circles when we met, or when I fell in love with her.

It was because I loved her that I - not easily, but I did - accepted the cover-story.

But don't presume that I am typical of Canadians. Though most of us have accepted gay marriage (hey! nothing changed - straights are still marrying and the sun hasn't fallen from the sky), my standards of acceptable behaviour are still a little beyond the accepted norm, even in the Great White North.
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[User Picture]From: colinmarshall
2007-02-23 03:52 am (UTC)

Re: Oh My ...

I've long considered myself quite the social liberal -- if I could legalize all drugs, gay marriage and prostitution with the touch of a button, I'd do it without hesitation -- but maybe that's just a delusion.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2007-02-23 12:29 pm (UTC)

Re: Oh My ...

That's true, your politics don't fit neatly into the left/write divide - apologies for the implied mischaracterization. I was referring to your eoconomic and geopolitical leanings, which aren't relevant to what we've been talking about.

To get pack to your point, Canadians probably are much less inhibited than the rest of the world believes.

As a couple of examples less obviously significant than gay marriage or our temporary (and much-lamented) experiment in the decriminalization of marijuana, The Globe and Mail (this country's wannabe New York Times) has printed the word "fuck" in full for more than a decade, and all the commentary I heard about Janet Jackson's Superbowl nipple-exposure was of the head-shaking, "What in the world are they getting so upset about?" variety. And of course, our religious right is not nearly as strong as yours.

I credit much of this to the French Catholic element here - as a people who threw off the Church with incredible speed and enthusiasm only some 40 years ago or so, Quebecers have become the vanguard of social liberalism in this country.
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[User Picture]From: mollymolekular
2007-02-23 05:28 am (UTC)
I think you handled that fine, and considering the crap she put you through, you weren't at all overboard telling her to get lost. I'd have been a LOT less nice about it, probably.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2007-02-25 01:55 am (UTC)

How!?!

What I meant by the subject-line is, what can be less nice than "Fuck off?"
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