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Author: Jhereg Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 35757  
Subject: So Many Things... Date: 9/27/2011 1:37 PM
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So many things wrong with this article that my head exploded before I could find them all.

http://www.slate.com/id/2304649
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Author: GardenStateFool Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 35694 of 35757
Subject: Re: So Many Things... Date: 9/27/2011 1:54 PM
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So many things wrong with this article that my head exploded before I could find them all.

http://www.slate.com/id/2304649


I'm not sure what you mean, do you mean you believe that many of the things the article says aren't factually true, or that you find the reality described to be totally messed up?

GSF

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Author: FordLove Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 35695 of 35757
Subject: Re: So Many Things... Date: 9/27/2011 2:18 PM
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I'm not sure what you mean, do you mean you believe that many of the things the article says aren't factually true, or that you find the reality described to be totally messed up?

One of the issues I had with the article is that they tell how we have the right fertility. Then they compare proffesional women to England as a whole, and say 'wow, American proffesionals have less kids that English women'. Well, ok, but how about telling me how American proffesionals compare to English proffesionals, American poor to English poor.

Other than that, I didn't see a lot of solutions. There was nothing but some hand waving about family planing for having the poor have less kids. There was a bit about more family leave to encourage those with money to have more children. Because that is what you want, parents who are in it for the paid leave.

Ford

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Author: tconi Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 35696 of 35757
Subject: Re: So Many Things... Date: 9/27/2011 2:33 PM
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I stopped reading here

Childlessness has increased across most demographic groups but is still highest among professionals. ..about one quarter of all women with bachelor's degrees and higher in the United States wind up childless.

because maybe these women professionals WANT to be childfree?
and as smart women they properly use birth control, thus decreasing their chances of becoming pregnant.


peace & by Choice
t

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Author: LCKitten Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 35697 of 35757
Subject: Re: So Many Things... Date: 9/27/2011 2:35 PM
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Pet Peeve Alert:

Fewer -- used for things you can count

Less -- used for things you can't count

"I have fewer apples, but you have less water."


Sorry. At least I finally got off the comprise/composed train.

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Author: 1HappyFool Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 35698 of 35757
Subject: Re: So Many Things... Date: 9/27/2011 2:47 PM
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The biggest thing I'm sensing is that there seems to be an underlying presumption that we all have an obligation to give a sh*t about the "fertility divide". If we excepted that premise, what we might do about that sense of obligation could have some pretty wild consequences. For example,

- we could take babies from poor women and force professionals to raise them.

- Or we could sterilize poor women after their second or third childbirth and then pay or require richer women to have more babies.

- Or maybe collect all the babies when they're born and redistribute them in the right proportions.

Bah! It's just easier and more satisfying to live and let live.

1HF

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Author: sofaking6 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 35699 of 35757
Subject: Re: So Many Things... Date: 9/27/2011 3:11 PM
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because maybe these women professionals WANT to be childfree?
and as smart women they properly use birth control, thus decreasing their chances of becoming pregnant.


Yeah exactly...you can "wind up" pregnant...but unless you're a 50 year old virgin you never "wind up" childless.

6

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Author: Jhereg Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 35700 of 35757
Subject: Re: So Many Things... Date: 9/27/2011 3:58 PM
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I'm not sure what you mean, do you mean you believe that many of the things the article says aren't factually true, or that you find the reality described to be totally messed up?

Neither, really - it's more about the underlying assumptions behind the article. Others have touched on some of the issues. I can't speak for or against the facts, though those are consistent with my own observations.

It started with "...some European countries whose futures are threatened by low birth rates" - I'm unconvinced that a low birth rate is a "threat." We have an overabundance of people in the world now; overpopulation is a problem, not just locally in places with high birth rates, but globally. It seems to be true that capitalism depends on growth, which depends on an increasing population, but there is a limit to how far we can grow. We can argue about where that limit is, but I think very few people believe we can grow exponentially forever.

I also had a problem with: 'You hear about the "haves" versus the "have-nots," but not so much about the "have-one-or-nones" versus the "have-a-fews."' There is a huge difference between having no children and having one child; a much bigger difference than that between having one and having two.

Then there's the "stark and growing fertility class divide" she speaks of. It occurs to me that one of the societal problems people keep complaining about is that wealth tends to stay in rich families while being kept away from poorer families. With "rich" families (however that is defined) having fewer children, there opens up opportunities for financial advancement by scions of the less fortunate. This is only a problem if you're in the upper class and don't want more of "those people" around.

And that only gets us a bit into the second paragraph of the article.

As recently as a century ago - three or four generations, such that people alive today have been influenced by people who lived in that time - the majority of the population of the US was rural. This has changed, drastically; I seem to recall the current number is somewhere south of 5%. Why this makes a difference is that, to an agrarian society, children are an asset - essentially free labor for the family. Simplistically, the more children a couple had, the higher their agricultural output could be (yes, you have to feed the extra mouths, but the point is you live on a farm and don't have to spend as much on food as someone who doesn't).

For most families today, children are not a financial asset but rather a financial obligation. Health and other costs have skyrocketed, and children tend not to do much to support the household (unless you can train them to wash dishes or clean the house or some such, but my understanding is that you can't get most of 'em to clean their own rooms). The whole concept of "teenager" was unknown just a few generations ago, because children went from being children to being useful members of society, without that intermediate step. We as a society have somehow been sold on the concept of children as emotional assets, but emotions don't contribute as much to economic well-being.

So you get a cycle of hope: you have a kid and you're like, "I want this child to be something special." They're treated as if they are something special, and there is much discussion of the child's potential.

But then the child grows up, and suddenly there's no more talk about potential except referring to the possibility of them having children. A lot of the energy that, for the grown child, went into an education so that they could, say, cure cancer or some such, is now redirected to their own children with their own potential, until those children grow up and throw their energy into raising kids, and the cycle continues.

For example, I knew this dentist who went through however many years of college and graduate school and dental school; she got in with another dentist and they had a practice together. And she wasn't there two years before she left the practice to have children. All that education, wasted - well, no education is ever truly wasted, but she is no longer fixing peoples' teeth, which is what she trained to do.

And then there's my cousin, whose kids are wonderful, but are a boat anchor for he and his wife. They spend more on the kids' education annually than I ever earned in a year, and I know he wants to travel and do other things, but he can't.

I know: anecdotes aren't data. I'm not trying to present data, though; I'm trying to illustrate how things have changed for us as a society, while the attitudes about breeding, as displayed in that article and elsewhere, haven't had time to catch up.

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Author: feedmeNOWhuman Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 35701 of 35757
Subject: Re: So Many Things... Date: 9/27/2011 6:40 PM
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I couldn't figure what the woman in the picture was holding between her head and shoulder.

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Author: feedmeNOWhuman Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 35702 of 35757
Subject: Re: So Many Things... Date: 9/27/2011 6:44 PM
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you can "wind up" pregnant...but unless you're a 50 year old virgin you never "wind up" childless.



Heh, my 44-year-old Catholic friend finally got married last week. She's just old enough to have a dangerous pregnancy, so I'm sort of wondering if they're using birth control, or just praying about it, or still haven't figured out what goes where and are waiting for Jesus to 'splain it.

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Author: kittykitty6 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 35703 of 35757
Subject: Re: So Many Things... Date: 9/27/2011 6:55 PM
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or still haven't figured out what goes where and are waiting for Jesus to 'splain it.

When I was about six years old I was very proud to have read in the encyclopedia that sperm and eggs make babies, and I told my mother this and I said, "I just can't figure out how the sperm gets into the woman," and my mother said, "Jesus puts it there."

kittykitty6, proud survivor of a Catholic education

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Author: MacNugget Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 35704 of 35757
Subject: Re: So Many Things... Date: 9/27/2011 11:48 PM
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Pet Peeve Alert

"Less is supposed to refer to an amount that cannot be counted - like air or sand. Fewer refers to a number of things that are countable, such as oxygen molecules or grains of sand."

http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2009/09/grammar-accord...

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Author: GardenStateFool Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 35705 of 35757
Subject: Re: So Many Things... Date: 9/28/2011 9:53 AM
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Then there's the "stark and growing fertility class divide" she speaks of. It occurs to me that one of the societal problems people keep complaining about is that wealth tends to stay in rich families while being kept away from poorer families. With "rich" families (however that is defined) having fewer children, there opens up opportunities for financial advancement by scions of the less fortunate. This is only a problem if you're in the upper class and don't want more of "those people" around.

I think part of the article that rang true with me is that too many people are having children that they did not plan for and possibly do not want.

As the article pointed out, the people who are having the bulk of the unplanned children are women who are not in a position to care for them and often, they do not get prenatal care and also frequently don't actually care about the children after they're born, either.

I recently read an article in the NYT about an autistic person who was trying to transition to adult life in Montclair, NJ. What staggered me was the cost - over $20,000 a year of cost borne by that school system, to help a single person with autism.

While autism can happen to anyone, regardless of income or anything else, there are tons of issues that are far more common among poor kids, namely, low birth weight, drug addiction at birth, fetal alcohol syndrome, and as they get older, malnutrition, and other things like asthma caused by secondhand smoke.

We're not even getting into some of the not-physical issues caused by a parent that has to work multiple jobs and is not able to help her kids with homework, etc., and the question of whether English is spoken in the home (which frequently necessitates ESL programs).

These issues are what cause a tremendous burden on the school systems, who are already under stress from all sides. The more kids in a school from a disadvantaged background, the more resource-intensive that school tends to be - and usually, the LESS able it is to provide those resources.

I am concerned about the fertility divide not because I think about the people who are choosing not to have kids.

I'm REALLY worried about the ones who AREN'T choosing to have kids, but are popping them out anyway, and then more-or-less letting them fend for themselves. It's a horrible cycle.

The answer isn't to encourage people who don't want kids to have them. But there SHOULD be a way to help people who don't want to have them to afford to prevent them easily.

GSF

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Author: TeraGram Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 35706 of 35757
Subject: Re: So Many Things... Date: 9/28/2011 10:08 AM
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What staggered me was the cost - over $20,000 a year of cost borne by that school system, to help a single person with autism.

And how many autistic kids are there? How many of those students require this "staggering" amount of money?


And how would spending decrease if those students were not given education & training? In which areas would spending increase?

In 2010, NJ spent, on average, $8,113 per student.

$20K is not a lot of money.

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Author: Jhereg Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 35707 of 35757
Subject: Re: So Many Things... Date: 9/28/2011 10:15 AM
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I think part of the article that rang true with me is that too many people are having children that they did not plan for and possibly do not want.

Oh, I agree, absolutely. It's just that I felt that wasn't news.

I'm REALLY worried about the ones who AREN'T choosing to have kids, but are popping them out anyway, and then more-or-less letting them fend for themselves. It's a horrible cycle.

The answer isn't to encourage people who don't want kids to have them. But there SHOULD be a way to help people who don't want to have them to afford to prevent them easily.


Again, agree.

In my version of the Perfect World, nobody has kids unless both participants actively choose to reproduce (as opposed to now, where accidents happen.) And everyone who wants kids can make them; and everyone who doesn't, doesn't have to jump through hoops to avoid the burden.

Failing that (which would take some serious advances in biomedicine and probably nanotechnology), I'd like to see contraception, and education about contraception, be issued free to everyone. Sure, it'll cost, but as you point out, the cost to society is higher for many unwanted children.

It won't happen. But hey, maybe we can take some of the vast wealth we've accumulated by not breeding and put it toward a foundation that would provide such things.

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Author: 1HappyFool Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 35708 of 35757
Subject: Re: So Many Things... Date: 9/28/2011 10:37 AM
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But hey, maybe we can take some of the vast wealth we've accumulated by not breeding and put it toward a foundation that would provide such things.

Sounds like a great idea. I've always wanted to be accused of practicing eugenics. ;-)

1HF

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Author: LCKitten Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 35709 of 35757
Subject: Re: So Many Things... Date: 9/28/2011 2:49 PM
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"Less is supposed to refer to an amount that cannot be counted - like air or sand. Fewer refers to a number of things that are countable, such as oxygen molecules or grains of sand."

How does that differ from what I wrote?

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Author: LCKitten Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 35710 of 35757
Subject: Re: So Many Things... Date: 9/28/2011 2:51 PM
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When I was about six years old I was very proud to have read in the encyclopedia that sperm and eggs make babies, and I told my mother this and I said, "I just can't figure out how the sperm gets into the woman," and my mother said, "Jesus puts it there."

OK, THAT'S gotta be an oogie moment once the kid finds out what the delivery vehicle is.

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Author: feedmeNOWhuman Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 35711 of 35757
Subject: Re: So Many Things... Date: 9/29/2011 1:49 AM
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"I have fewer apples, but you have less water."



Fewer farting sounds does not necessarily mean less farting.

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Author: feedmeNOWhuman Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 35712 of 35757
Subject: Re: So Many Things... Date: 9/29/2011 1:54 AM
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When I was about six years old I was very proud to have read in the encyclopedia that sperm and eggs make babies, and I told my mother this and I said, "I just can't figure out how the sperm gets into the woman," and my mother said, "Jesus puts it there."
----------

OK, THAT'S gotta be an oogie moment once the kid finds out what the delivery vehicle is.




Then the kid looks up and sees this on the wall:

http://fastcache.gawkerassets.com/assets/images/39/2008/01/m...

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Author: LCKitten Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 35713 of 35757
Subject: Re: So Many Things... Date: 9/29/2011 9:36 AM
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"I have fewer apples, but you have less water."

----------------------

Fewer farting sounds does not necessarily mean less farting.



But at least you're being gross with proper grammar.

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Author: MacNugget Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 35714 of 35757
Subject: Re: So Many Things... Date: 9/29/2011 3:00 PM
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How does that differ from what I wrote?

It's ironic.

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Author: WasPokey Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 35715 of 35757
Subject: Re: So Many Things... Date: 9/30/2011 2:55 PM
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When I was about six years old I was very proud to have read in the encyclopedia that sperm and eggs make babies, and I told my mother this and I said, "I just can't figure out how the sperm gets into the woman," and my mother said, "Jesus puts it there."



Damn, Jesus sure gets around.

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Author: feedmeNOWhuman Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 35716 of 35757
Subject: Re: So Many Things... Date: 10/2/2011 5:56 PM
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Damn, Jesus sure gets around.



That's one busy cayock, that's for sure.

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Author: MetroChick Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 35717 of 35757
Subject: Re: So Many Things... Date: 10/2/2011 8:43 PM
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I might be coming too late to this conversation - but I want to juxtapose the article to something I learned from "Your Bottom Line" this week - which is that a 5 year-old entering kindergarten from a poor family in the US is up to 1 1/2 years behind a 5 year-old from a middle class family.

So - in a way I get the article has a point that having the children skewed higher towards coming from poorer families isn't necessarily going to bode well for a competitive US 20 years from now (if those kids aren't catching up educationally to students from middle and upper class - and I think most of us know the majority don't).

And I do agree - the article doesn't give any answers. Some professional women don't want kids, some might limit kids due to things like their own educational loans, or feeling they want to ensure the kids they do have get a good education.

And then there's the issue that doesn't get talked about a lot - when we women spoil our disposition with books (to paraphrase a line from "Little Women"). I think some men are intimidated by educated and achievement-oriented women (I know my ex-bf was) and then there's a lot of women who want to date equally educated and achievement-oriented men - and with more women enrolled in college and getting degrees, there's just not an equal number of men to go around. So some professional women don't have kids because they want the husband too, and don't get the husband in time (or ever).

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Author: Jhereg Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 35718 of 35757
Subject: Re: So Many Things... Date: 10/2/2011 9:35 PM
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I think some men are intimidated by educated and achievement-oriented women (I know my ex-bf was) and then there's a lot of women who want to date equally educated and achievement-oriented men - and with more women enrolled in college and getting degrees, there's just not an equal number of men to go around.

I get that some men are like this, but I think smart chicks are sexy.

Now if I'd stop calling them "chicks," I might actually get a date.

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Author: kittykitty6 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 35719 of 35757
Subject: Re: So Many Things... Date: 10/3/2011 6:09 AM
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---and then there's a lot of women who want to date equally educated and achievement-oriented men - and with more women enrolled in college and getting degrees, there's just not an equal number of men to go around.---


There's an interesting article in the September issue of the Atlantic about the disappearing middle class, and one point was that although women aren't necessarily marrying un/under-employed men, they're still having children with them - and all of the societal implications that holds.

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Author: R0TJob Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 35728 of 35757
Subject: Re: So Many Things... Date: 12/16/2011 3:37 PM
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because maybe these women professionals WANT to be childfree?
and as smart women they properly use birth control, thus decreasing their chances of becoming pregnant.



I'm sure it has nothing to do with all the dishes and laundry piling up all over the house.

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Author: Commodore64 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 35736 of 35757
Subject: Re: So Many Things... Date: 4/1/2012 6:31 AM
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"When I was about six years old I was very proud to have read in the encyclopedia that sperm and eggs make babies, and I told my mother this and I said, "I just can't figure out how the sperm gets into the woman," and my mother said, "Jesus puts it there.""

I really hope your family didn't have a gardner named Jesus...

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Author: kittykitty6 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 35737 of 35757
Subject: Re: So Many Things... Date: 4/3/2012 1:17 PM
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She also wouldn't let me order Russian dressing in a restaurant because she thought the waitress would think I was an eight year old Communist.

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