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Hello Captain,

My distant friend Sally and I went out to dinner and she started asking me about my past relationships. I’ve known Sally for over a decade and she’s never pried into my dating life. I told Sally I wasn’t interested in dating anyways as I am looking for a job and like to online date or meet people through work. She tried to reason me out of all of this which seemed troubling.

A couple weeks ago Sally had a birthday party. She had put the event on Facebook. After our dinner, Sally texted me that her friend John saw me on the invite list and became “interested” in me. She said he might hit on me at the party ( he did not show up). This made me uncomfortable as I hate flirting with strangers. It’s odd but I’ve never even flirted with someone who’s become my boyfriend.

I also don’t trust Sally’s judgment at all. To be blunt I’ve met her friends and they aren’t horrible but they’re the “I don’t suffer fools gladly” type.

John has also been asking Sally about me. He wants to know when I’ve found a job and want to meet him. I have never indicated I want to meet John. I’m refusing, there’s something odd about a person in their late twenties being this invested in someone because of their FB profile. I rarely if ever post on FB. He is also asking me out through my friend which seems manipulative.

Do you have script suggestions?

Thanks,

– No thanks stranger ( female pronouns)

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From Hannah, the organizer:

We will meet in the Michaeligarten beer garden in Ostpark on Wednesday
28th June at 18.00. If it is raining, we will postpone and meet on
Friday 30th instead. If the weather looks bad, we will discuss on the
“Munich?” thread on the forums whether or not to postpone, so check in
there for a decision.

The nearest U-Bahn station is Michaelibad on the U5. You can bring
your own food into the beer garden or buy food there, although you
won’t be able to bring in drinks.

I will bring a teddy bear to put on the table so people can find us.
If you need to get in touch, you can post in the “Munich?” thread on
the forums or email me on hannah.in.munich@gmail.com.

Thanks so much!

Have a good time!

From the organizer, Cat:

Hello Awkwardeers in Atlanta!

On Saturday, June 24, I will be going on a walk in the Inman Park neighborhood, starting at the Inman Park MARTA station and just walking around admiring houses and gardens and exploring any little neighborhood parks I come across for about an hour. Pokemon Go players welcome!

I’ll be at the station’s bus area at 9:15am and depart at 9:30am, because any later and things will be getting quite hot. I will be holding a rainbow plush Cthulu toy while waiting at the station. I have a long brown braid and glasses.

There is free parking at the station if you are coming by car. If it is pouring rain that morning you can assume the meetup is canceled but if you are unsure I will also post in the Friends of Captain Awkward forums meetups thread if I cancel.

Note: I know this meetup will not be accessible for everyone, this is just what I felt like doing this month. I tried to make May’s meetup 100% accessible and will do so again next time. If you want to host your own meetup for June or at any other time, please do! The more the merrier!

Have a great walk, Atlanta!

 

 

Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, SE1 8XX near Waterloo station, 10th June, 11am onwards.  Please note slight change of location, same as last month – Green Bar rather than Blue, e.g. same thing as the previous location but the opposite side.

Crafting! Please bring any craft which won’t mess up the venue, and if you like please bring stash or spare needles etc for beginners to borrow. I can teach knitting to intermediate, but other crafts are welcome. Or just come and chat with us.

The venue sell food in a cafe (standard sandwiches etc.), but they also don’t mind people bringing food in from outside. There are several other local places where you can buy stuff as well. The excellent food market outside has loads of different food options, which can fit most food requirements, or you can also bring a packed lunch.
Meet on the fourth floor, outside the Green Bar (go up in lift 1, sadly not as musical as lift 7).

Here is the accessibility map of the Royal Festival Hall: PDF map

I have shoulder length brown hair and glasses, and I will bring my plush Cthuhlu, which looks like this: 

The venue is accessible via a lift, and has accessible toilets. Waterloo tube station has step free access on the Jubilee line but not on the Northern line.

The London Awkward group has a Facebook page, which is here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/549571375087294/. There is also a thread in the new forums for saying hello.

My email is Kate DOT Towner AT Gmail DOT com

(July meetup will be the 22nd.)

Oh Captain! My Captain!

Hi there, and thanks for running such an awesome blog. I have a question about schedule management and how to (politely) avoid overcommitting myself.

I’m a pretty busy person – I work 4 days a week, but seem to fill my time around this without much effort! I always have a project on the go, I seem to generate quite a bit of life admin (finances, doctors appointments, keeping my house nice, etc.) and I try to stay healthy and alive (lots of sleep, cooking at home, exercise, etc.). I live in a big, buzzing city where there’s always something fun to do and good people to do it with, and I’m non-monogamous, so I have 2 partners I see weekly, plus some ‘comets’ who zoom in and out of my life at various intervals.

Right now, my schedule is mostly dashing from one thing to the next, always worrying about how I’m going to fit everything in, be a good partner/friend/family member/employee and take care of myself as well. I don’t like this – it’s fine on occasion, those days happen – but I mostly want to feel like I’m not letting people down or making people feel like I’m squeezing them in around the rest of my life.

I try not to overcommit, but find it hard to know how to say no to social invites/suggestions for hanging out when 1) the people inviting me are lovely and good company and 2) I don’t have a reason to say no. I’m not busy that day, I just don’t want to say yes to a party or hanging out 3 weeks in advance because I get to that week and find that my calendar is full, getting enough sleep will be a struggle, I won’t see partners/close friends and none of my mundane (but fairly important) self care will get done.

Is there a script for saying no without sounding like a dick? Especially when someone lovely contacts me saying ‘We should hang out more, how about a drink sometime?’ I’d love to say yes, I know we’ll have a good time hanging out, but I’d rather leave that time open for closer friends, partners, personal projects and even a little spontaneity! I don’t want to come across like an asshole who thinks they’re too busy and important to make new friends (and apologies if that’s how I’ve come across in this e-mail!) – I just want to save most of my energy for the people already in my life, who are very important to me. And a little for myself 🙂

Thanks,

Not A Dick, Just Busy
(She/her pronouns)

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Dear Non-Zero Number People Who Have Written Me Impassioned Emails Recommending And Defending The Efficacy of Natural Family Planning (NFP) Methods & Apps That Letter Writer #969 Might Look Into:

There are enough of you that some joint reply seems efficient.

  1. This is exactly why I closed comments.
  2. Your recommendations are irrelevant to the Letter Writer’s situation.
  3. It’s great that you found something that works so well for you. May you have only the babies you actively want to have in this life.
  4. The Letter Writer wants an IUD or a tubal ligation. While your deep interest in her reproductive decision-making is noted, she has chosen the family planning methods that might work best for her situation.
  5. She has tried NFP before and already knows about your preferred method/app/site/thermometer/product. She is also THE expert on how well a given method is likely to work for her and with her lifestyle.
  6. All of you suggested methods involving daily temperature-taking to track ovulation, sometimes with a chart and sometimes with an app to determine “safe” days (where unprotected sex was unlikely to lead to pregnancy). To make these methods work, you have to take your temperature daily, enter it into the app (or otherwise run the numbers) and negotiate with your partner to not have sex on those days. While wrangling four kids, including an infant. No doubt in your life everything works just perfectly, but to me, and more importantly for the Letter Writer, there seems to be a lot of room for human error and some pretty high consequences (baby #5, anyone?) to messing up.
  7. A long-term solution, like an IUD or an implant or contraceptive shot, has a high efficacy rate in preventing pregnancy and also delivers peace of mind and freedom from negotiating all of those steps… perfectly….every month….for every one of one’s remaining fertile years. IUDs can fail, and ectopic pregnancies are a small risk (which could then require a lifesaving abortion), but what they offer in exchange for this slightly elevated risk is the ability to control one’s own fertility without a delicate daily series of steps and without negotiating with a partner.
  8. “NFP is not that hard” “It just takes a few seconds to take your temperature” “Efficacy raaaaaaaates!” Cool story. It’s not that hard, for you. It just takes a few seconds, for you. The efficacy rates vs. the tradeoff risk of human error are worth it, for youYou should continue to use any contraception method you want to use, for any reason. NFP could be the greatest method ever with absolutely zero drawbacks for anyone, and the Letter Writer could still not want to do it for reasons of her own.
  9. And, why are you so up in this lady’s business, exactly? Why are you so threatened by the idea that she might make this decision on her own? One person with a uterus wants to get a tiny piece of plastic with some copper wire wrapped around it in her body and suddenly my inbox goes haywire with stranger-opinions about what that uterus-owner should do? Interesting.
  10. No, I’m not going to “set the record straight” or “give NFP a fair hearing” by linking all the stuff y’all sent me. This isn’t a newspaper and people who are interested in that can Google it.
  11. In closing, nunyabeezwax.

Yo, Letter Writer, I hope all is well. Sending love and hoping for many low-cost family planning services available where you are.

Signed,

Jennifer Women’s Rights Are Human Rights Contraception Is Great And You Should Choose Whatever Method Works For You Planned Parenthood Is A National Treasure Abortion is Necessary Healthcare Captain Awkward Leigh Peepas

 

Edited to Add: WE DID IT! YOU DID IT!

Ads will be turned off June 1 and stay off as long as Patreon funding stays at current levels. THANK YOU.

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Hello friends! Some kind folks have sent me messages like this this week:

Hi Captain,

This isn’t exactly a question, but more of a problem with your site. I know that you have ads to support things and whatever, but recently, video ads have been pulling me down the screen, and no matter how much I try to scroll back up, it keeps pulling me down to the ads, so it becomes difficult to near-impossible to actually read your posts. I don’t know if this is something you can fix, but I thought you should be aware that this happens, and I didn’t know how else to let you know. I didn’t want to derail the comments section with technical difficulties. Thanks, and have a great week!

Thank you for alerting me! I am also running into this – every time I post a new entry, it wants to show me a video ad before I can read my own stuff that I just wrote on my own website. RUDE.

This is unacceptable behavior, and I know it’s made me click the back button when I’m reading other sites.

Unfortunately, I alone cannot fix this – I am not the one controlling the ad placement or how they behave and I haven’t been able to successfully screencap anything. I will alert WordPress.com, but you can also help me.

What I suggest:
  • Screencap the issue if you can.
  • Describe and report the issue here  (ad support) or here (WordPress.com support).
  • Those links are also good if you ever see something offensive. Which ads display for you are targeted regionally and using cookies, so I won’t necessarily ever see what you see.
  • If you don’t get a satisfactory answer, please let me know immediately. We are one of the most-read blogs on the platform and that should count for something.

Personally I find that as the ads get more intrusive and take up more screen real estate, the financial reward for letting WordPress stick them all over the site has seriously diminished and the way that ad revenue is reported and delivered has gotten less transparent and less frequent. I do depend on revenue from the site, but that doesn’t have to be AD revenue. In other words, if my Patreon goes over $2000/month this summer, I’ll turn them off in a heartbeat and keep them off as long as we stay above that threshhold. We’re so close!