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The Sunday Smelter


How are those taxes coming, everyone? Getting those big tax breaks we heard was coming? Or are your accountants just muttering and rubbing their heads a lot?

It’s that time of year again, of course, and there’s no getting out of it unless you’re already rich and have the right people managing your offshore account, and we were looking for some form of commonality in the experience.

Better off this year? Worse? You tell us, we’re interested in knowing – we’ve also started driving for Uber to help make ends meet.

We’re also wondering if people who still do it have noticed any changes to the dating game – that perennial give and take between men and women that have made the world turn for so long. Mostly younger acquaintances who still engage in the endeavor say things have definitely changed since the days of feathered haircuts, puka shell necklaces and Ladies Night at the local wine bar.

Today, a lot of dating is apparently don by app, with a new language springing up in use by those in play. Although we’re out of the game, more involved and mostly much younger friends drop terms and acronyms like “incels,” “beckys,” “FA,” “ghosting,” and “looksmaxing” – all of it pretty confusing to anyone on the outside looking in.

Recent events and resultant movements have also apparently given rise to spatial permissibility and other defining restrictions on affection, geared toward keeping participants from being “Bidened” – which isn’t a term in use yet but which probably will be, soon – or subjected to juvenile behavior by ostensibly powerful men.

It all seems so complicated. There are so many things to keep in mind now, and sometimes it seems a dating couple should have a lawyer with them to draft a quick contract for mating should things actually go well on Zoosk.

We don’t know, we’re staying out of it but watching for any resultant dip in the birth rate. We seem to be changing as a race, hopefully evolving, but it remains to be seen if we’re headed in the right direction or not.

Right now, the only two certainties in life remain Taxes and… that other thing. And we’ve declared a healthy spatial boundary between ourselves and that.


  1. The wife won’t let me date. She says I’d hurt myself. Not sure what that means, but it sounds different from I might get hurt…and she is smarter than I am.

  2. I couldn’t help but notice how examples of men unable to interact positively with women are scattered across your front page. I also agree that there is a new dynamic in play and that it is changing how we interact with each other. I have also heard members of both sexes say they are limiting contact with the opposite gender for very specific reasons. Times are changing.

    • I think men and women can appropriately interact with each other (personally and professionally) as long as you maintain respectful boundaries. It’s a two-way street.

  3. Taxes? Crappy — but then we expected them to be right? Dating??? I’m covered and really really glad I’m out of the game.

  4. Got pretty much hammered on taxes this year and had to pay the CPA more to deal with all the “tax cuts” for the middle class that aren’t. And I didn’t have an idea how bad things had gotten on the Me/Too front until my boss asked me into the room during a conference with a female employee. I wasn’t sure what was going on until after and he said he pulled me in so he’d have a witness in the room. I guess that’s where we are.

  5. Always pay a premium in taxes for the privilege of living in these United States, and more for life in beautiful California, but the big, new, amazing tax cuts cost us an additional $6,000 this year. No fun, but we can manage, as retired seniors, we do ok. I worry about those who live much closer to the bone, for whom the struggle gets harder and harder.

    Well into year 47 of marriage to my first husband, not planning to ever again be part of the dating scene in this lifetime. Was bad enough in my 20’s, and yes, we did have electricity back then.

  6. I feel so sorry for younger people today. They seem to have a lot more to worry about than we did when we were young.

  7. Paying our taxes as soon as I get a look at our Fearless Leaders tax sheet and the Muller Report we paid for…..

  8. Dating is an antiquated term for what’s happening out there today. It’s crazy and I hear friends from both sides say they are willfully choosing not to play the game. Can’t say I blame them. It will be interesting to see what happens to the marriage rates in the next few years.

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