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Will this put Ask.Me out of business?
February 14, 2012 10:55 AM   Subscribe

A DTMFA decision-tree
posted by jacquilynne (81 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
Needs religion, finances, age difference, desire for offspring, and long term goals.
posted by cjorgensen at 10:58 AM on February 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Not forgetting smelly junk.
posted by likeso at 10:59 AM on February 14, 2012 [24 favorites]


Q: Was this question posted on Ask Metafilter?
A: Yes.

DTMFA.
posted by nathancaswell at 10:59 AM on February 14, 2012 [10 favorites]


Not forgetting smelly junk.

I'm not sure how to read this tbh. Especially on Valentine's Day.
posted by 2bucksplus at 11:00 AM on February 14, 2012


This needs to be a sticky on the Green.
posted by reenum at 11:03 AM on February 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


2buckspkus, here all is revealed.
posted by likeso at 11:03 AM on February 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


*2bucksplus. Sheesh.
posted by likeso at 11:04 AM on February 14, 2012


Needs religion, finances, age difference, desire for offspring, and long term goals.

It does ask "Do you have the same views on marriage/kids?" and "Does he seem moderately ambitious?" And it heavily emphasizes that if the person needs to change in order for you to be happy then it's probably a dead-end relationship. But yeah, it could be more explicit about common dealbreakers like that.
posted by jedicus at 11:05 AM on February 14, 2012


Smelly Junk sounds like the name of a future Garfunkel and Oates album.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 11:06 AM on February 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why are there any entries past the first node?
posted by DU at 11:07 AM on February 14, 2012


First thought: "Through Work" is a few nodes short of thoughtful advice.

Second thought: They should turn Ask Me loose on a wiki version.

Third thought: There's probably a pretty good science fiction story in the idea of the worlds first strong AI being created accidentally by amateur volunteers and being mostly interested in giving out relationship advice.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 11:08 AM on February 14, 2012 [12 favorites]


Actually agree with most of this tree - except for the less than one hour text back window. Seriously, you'd dump someone otherwise promising for not texting you back within 60 minutes? I can think of a large number of reasons for that delay which I'd accept without reservation.

Disclaimer: I'm not a huge fan of texting. But still...
posted by widdershins at 11:10 AM on February 14, 2012 [10 favorites]


2buckspkus, here all is revealed.

Oh god, now all of a sudden I'm not sure I want to eat lunch anymore. *shudder*
posted by kmz at 11:10 AM on February 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Heh, the whole does he text you ... before 10pm...? thing is so accurate.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 11:11 AM on February 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


"Does he take longer than 1 hour to respond to a text? If so, dump him."

"Wow, not everyone is tied to their cell. Is that really all it takes?"

"Yep. And if your friends don't like him, whoooo, dump him."

"Have you met my friends? They're snobs and idiots."

"Doesn't matter, dump him. Oh, and if you're meeting after 10:00 for a date, dump him."

"What? He doesn't get off work until 8:00, and then he wants to take a shower and change clothes. Plus, no one's even at that bar without a sign until 11:30 anyways."

"Doesn't matter. Dump him."

"So, is there any reason you think I should stay with a guy?"

"Sure. All he has to do is adhere to my personal standards of perfection, which everyone should adopt."
posted by 23skidoo at 11:13 AM on February 14, 2012 [12 favorites]


I don't understand this branch: "He has your number, now what? Does he text you? No - Move on, gurl." Are you supposed to text instead of call, or is this just badly worded? I'm so out of the loop.
posted by naju at 11:13 AM on February 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


amateur volunteers and being mostly interested in giving out relationship advice.

This actually happened in 1955 when Eniac started publishing under the name "Dear Ann Landers."
posted by drezdn at 11:13 AM on February 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


@23skidoo TLDR, dumped
posted by nathancaswell at 11:14 AM on February 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's kind of hard to explain to non-mefites why this is so hilarious.
posted by Melismata at 11:14 AM on February 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


What is the feminine version of misogynistic?
posted by Sphinx at 11:15 AM on February 14, 2012


"Does he use your/you're correctly?"

Beautiful.
posted by Jim Slade at 11:15 AM on February 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


What if every time you dumped someone you had to literally take them to the town dump and strand them there?
posted by nathancaswell at 11:16 AM on February 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


What if every time you dumped someone you had to literally take them to the town dump and strand them there?

That'd make it pretty easy to find the bodies.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 11:17 AM on February 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


Smelly Junk: NEVER FORGET.
posted by Kabanos at 11:17 AM on February 14, 2012 [6 favorites]


What is the feminine version of misogynistic?

If you mean the masculine version, it's misandristic (from misandry). Both men and women can exhibit misandry and misogyny.
posted by jedicus at 11:18 AM on February 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


I'm not sure why it is so hard. I know literal homeless guys with girlfriends. I text after 10 and I am history. Homeless guys can't even text, they have to use payphones.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:21 AM on February 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh man, if this flowchart had a "can I eat this" branch, it would render AskMe almost wholly superfluous.
posted by gauche at 11:23 AM on February 14, 2012 [24 favorites]


I was all with this until I got to the "Does he have your number?" / "Does he text?" and the Yes or No should have, if anything, been reversed. That doesn't mean it's bad, just that it obviously isn't for me.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:24 AM on February 14, 2012


Will this put Ask.Me out of business?

Oh, and to answer the question:

Yes. Yes it could.

It should. But it won't.

Homeless guys often have pre-paid cell phones.
posted by Melismata at 11:24 AM on February 14, 2012


Oh man, if this flowchart had a "can I eat this" branch, it would render AskMe almost wholly superfluous.


Did you eat it?
|
|
|
|
YES -------X Move on, hurl.
posted by griphus at 11:25 AM on February 14, 2012 [23 favorites]


Guess I have to learn how to text.
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:25 AM on February 14, 2012


Isn't this tree kinda short?  School -> He dropped out -> He started computer company -> Marry him
posted by jeffburdges at 11:27 AM on February 14, 2012


Is this smelly junk thing a reference to some epic askme?
posted by delmoi at 11:29 AM on February 14, 2012


Yes, delmoi. Link to the link here. How meta of me.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 11:30 AM on February 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


That AskMe took a lot of effort to keep reading after the smelly junk opening because really, the answer was dump him at that point and it just got worse when he was a lazy, mooching stoner who put no effort into the relationship after the first few weeks.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 11:31 AM on February 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


Yeah that thread should have been over in 1.
posted by some loser at 11:33 AM on February 14, 2012


You had me at "junk, very frankly, stinks."
posted by herbplarfegan at 11:34 AM on February 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


awesome now someone make a thread about the oh snap flowchart so everyone here can humorlessly analyze its shortcomings as if it were actually practical advice
posted by danny the boy at 11:36 AM on February 14, 2012 [16 favorites]


although to be fair that oh snap chart is pretty exhaustive in covering all possible scenarios
posted by danny the boy at 11:43 AM on February 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ya know, I bet the Republican Party has been going through a lot of this kind of rumination about Mitt Romney. They could probably use a flowchart to help them figure out whether to just DTMFA already.
posted by darkstar at 11:43 AM on February 14, 2012


awesome now someone make a thread about the oh snap flowchart so everyone here can humorlessly analyze its shortcomings as if it were actually practical advice

1) If the instructions are followed correctly, you'll be telling people constantly leading to chapped hands from all the snapping

2) This seems really mean; what if the other person has feelings?

3) Without a rigorous definition of "being told", this chart is useless

4) The mixed cursive and print hurts readability

5) Really, it's just one thing, so it should say criterion
posted by Copronymus at 11:46 AM on February 14, 2012 [8 favorites]


Wow, that is like, way too complex. He could completely capture the gestalt of his questionaire with just one question:
  1. Is he perfect in every way?
    • YES: marry him.
    • NO: dump him.
Would take a lot less time, and give exactly the same results.
posted by Malor at 12:01 PM on February 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


awesome now someone make a thread about the oh snap flowchart so everyone here can humorlessly analyze its shortcomings as if it were actually practical advice

It's like my graddad always used to say "Don't write out practical advice and then then expect people to know you were trying to be funny. If you want to be funny, make jokes. Now shut up and eat your tomato soup, Matlock is on." (oh snap)
posted by 23skidoo at 12:06 PM on February 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


There needs to be a version for men and a series of opening questions that guide someone to a... ah... realistic outcome tree.

The reasons for this relate to an awkward Vancouver Sun article on a 'lack of able men' in the metro Vancouver region. This was met with a chorus of dismayed, and sometimes pithy, comments regarding overly high expectations, the pot calling the kettle black, and questioning the intent of those interviewed.

While Malor's question, "Is he perfect in every way?" would be a great indication, most of us will be unable to find such an individual. Rather, the the question should read, "Despite both your faults and his/her faults, would you be capable of sharing, without incident, a refrigerator with that person for half of a year?"

Although this requires introspection and self-analysis on the part of the seeker, actions which can be remarkably painful and depressing when not done regularly.
posted by Slackermagee at 12:21 PM on February 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Does he use your/you're correctly?"

Beautiful.
posted by Jim Slade at 11:15 AM on February 14 [1 favorite +] [!]


I like that this is the only question which has a follow up - 'is he objectively awesome'. Text speke: not for everyone.
posted by Sebmojo at 12:25 PM on February 14, 2012


I assert that the unambitious deserve hugs and make-outs just like their world-building brothers (and sisters, although I don't think I've ever met a human being who seriously broke up with a woman because she lacked ambition. What is that even about, anway?)
posted by Poppa Bear at 12:28 PM on February 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Poppa Bear: this is what it's about, though I don't know if they broke up.
posted by Melismata at 12:32 PM on February 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


The thing is, it's funny because it's actually pretty decent advice. Certainly it wouldn't apply to your behavior because you're a special snowflake but:

1. Not txting back within an hour - yeah sure he might be one of those largely mythical people who claim they don't use their phone but 99% of the time it's because he's not that into you. If I was really into someone I would have to stop myself from responding immediately, for fear of seeming too eager. Even if I was in a meeting. Or in surgery. Operating or being operated on.

2. Most of my friends are not snobs or idiots. Most of my friends are wonderful people. Why else would I be friends with them? I trust their judgement, and they generally have my best interests at heart, AND have an objectivity I lack. If all of my friends did not like the person I was dating I would be given the choice of questioning my relationship with ALL of them or this one new person in my life.

I could go on but you get the idea. I had a friend, who was mystified as to why she had been sleeping with this dude for like a month yet she did not have his cell number yet. She was actually not sure what this meant. Like yeah sure, maybe there's some crazy, convoluted and highly improbable explanation. For the other 99.999% of the time: Gurl you need to move on.
posted by danny the boy at 12:33 PM on February 14, 2012 [7 favorites]


I don't think I've ever met a human being who seriously broke up with a woman because she lacked ambition

I have.

Met someone who has, I mean. I've never done it myself.
posted by maqsarian at 12:38 PM on February 14, 2012


So, I guess the question is: if I have smelly junk and I send her a random banjo, BUT she leaves it on the counter overnight instead of refrigerating it, should she eat it or DTMFA? Where's the decision tree for that?
posted by Gygesringtone at 12:38 PM on February 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


I'd like to see a marzipan banjo

marzipanjo
posted by maqsarian at 12:47 PM on February 14, 2012 [16 favorites]


If it was a free range banjo, you're probably fine. They are a little more robust than the megafarmed varieties which have all sorts of weird chemicals in them.
posted by feloniousmonk at 12:50 PM on February 14, 2012


yeah sure he might be one of those largely mythical people who claim they don't use their phone but 99% of the time it's because he's not that into you.

I just realized my phone was nowhere near me for the past 7 hours. This is not uncommon for me. At all.

So, I guess I'm all...mythical and whatnot. Well, time to feed the unicorn.
posted by the bricabrac man at 12:54 PM on February 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


If it was a free range banjo, you're probably fine. They are a little more robust than the megafarmed varieties which have all sorts of weird chemicals in them.

Monbantjo?
posted by zombieflanders at 12:55 PM on February 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Archer Daniels Musical Instruments.
posted by feloniousmonk at 1:04 PM on February 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ask Metafilter: Smegma-coated and infectious genitals should always be a dealbreaker
posted by Sebmojo at 1:07 PM on February 14, 2012


I felt like maybe the bit about texting was phrased poorly, but that may just be how I'm reading it - I didn't take "Does he text you?" to mean "Does he conform to the arbitrary standard that a person is supposed to be glued to their phone?" but rather, "Does he initiate contact with you?"

A dude doesn't have to adhere to a schedule or contact you in some stranger's approved way, but if you're always the one who's asking what he's up to tonight then you just might not matter very much to the guy.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 1:13 PM on February 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is actually a decision tree for how to be a bad listener and an obnoxious, judgmental friend to someone who has a realistic understanding that other people are complicated.
posted by dixiecupdrinking at 1:27 PM on February 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


That AskMe took a lot of effort to keep reading after the smelly junk opening

Discussing that question, I mentioned to a friend that my reaction was "I'm basically doing a quick successive sequence of every pose by a Vesuvian covered in molten lava"
posted by Greg Nog at 1:28 PM on February 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


...the smelly junk opening...

The most illegal chess move in recorded history.
posted by griphus at 1:31 PM on February 14, 2012 [15 favorites]


I like knowing that according to Malor, I am perfect in every possible way.
posted by flaterik at 1:45 PM on February 14, 2012


Can he spell "girl" without making you want to tear out your eyeballs?
posted by howfar at 1:48 PM on February 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


First thought: "Through Work" is a few nodes short of thoughtful advice.

Ra-THER. My gf and I met through work. In nineteen-eighty-fucking-FIVE, twenty-three years before we started dating. This tells me I should dump her.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:48 PM on February 14, 2012



Oh man, if this flowchart had a "can I eat this" branch, it would render AskMe almost wholly superfluous.
posted by gauche at 2:23 PM on February 14 [13 favorites +] [!]

Good point.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:50 PM on February 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


smelly junk

*2bucksplus. Sheesh.

At least you had a letter between the p and the u?
posted by eviemath at 1:59 PM on February 14, 2012


uh, guys, you realize that this askme question you keep poking fun of was written by someone right here on metafilter, who has said that she has self-esteem issues, so howsabout we not be too big jerks about it, ok?

(girl, if you are reading this, and I hope you're not, but it's ok, having crappy relationships when we are young is how we learn to have higher standards for the better relationships later. When I was your age I was dating a compulsive liar who didn't wash his socks until they were too stiff to put on. We've all been there, don't feel bad that these doofuses are having a chuckle about it here)
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 2:00 PM on February 14, 2012 [11 favorites]


I was all with this until I got to the "Does he have your number?" / "Does he text?" and the Yes or No should have, if anything, been reversed.

Well, I guess the assumption was, he texts only after 10 PM? = booty calls only = Not Relationship Material. If you WANT booty calls only, no problem.
posted by thelonius at 2:13 PM on February 14, 2012


I use my gut to make these kinds of decisions.

If it gets rubbed the answer is always yes.

I'd say it is a tautologically sound practice because my goal in life is belly rubs but there is nothing taut about my belly.
posted by srboisvert at 2:19 PM on February 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


Ra-THER. My gf and I met through work. In nineteen-eighty-fucking-FIVE, twenty-three years before we started dating. This tells me I should dump her.

No, it offers this advice to someone who is frequently pestering the answerer with "should I dump this person" yes-or-no questions. If you are not asking anyone the question, the answer is not meant to apply to you.
posted by obloquy at 2:26 PM on February 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Having crappy relationships when you are young, or old, is OK. It's also OK to laugh about it. I am the world champion of crappy relationships. I do cry and fret and generally behave like an idiot while I'm at it. But for as long as I remember, it never, ever hurt me to laugh at myself. I even got a little (tiny bit) smarter over the years because of it. I wish I'd laughed more at myself. I wish my friends had been more explicit, laughing out loud instead of just giggling. Because I have no friends who haven't tried this. So their laughter would have been of the been there done that variety, not the you are too stupid one.
But maybe I am too comfortable with my friends
posted by mumimor at 2:29 PM on February 14, 2012


So, I guess the question is: if I have smelly junk and I send her a random banjo, BUT she leaves it on the counter overnight instead of refrigerating it, should she eat it or DTMFA? Where's the decision tree for that?

Obviously this depends on one's fedora-status.
posted by Navelgazer at 2:39 PM on February 14, 2012


Aw shit, 5_13_23_42_69_666, you're right. I didn't mean to poke fun at our fellow mefite. I think she felt the cameraderie from everybody in the AskMe, we have all been there or somewhere similar. But yeah, she might see the jokes here and might think they're directed at her - but we are just being doofusses. No harm is meant. Really, really not my intention, I didn't think clearly here and I apologize.
posted by likeso at 3:21 PM on February 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Will this put Ask.Me out of business?

No. People think they're special snowflakes and their relationship problems cannot be solved by a simple decision tree.
posted by madcaptenor at 3:34 PM on February 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


That banjo question was the best.
posted by triggerfinger at 4:27 PM on February 14, 2012


My brother and I have been discussing birthday presents for my dad. A banjo is being considered. I keep having to fight down the notion, acquired here, that giving someone a banjo just isn't on.

I think my dad might actually like one.
posted by tangerine at 5:07 PM on February 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh man, if this flowchart had a "can I eat this" branch, it would render AskMe almost wholly superfluous.

It needs a branch for "should I feed it to my cat" and "what shall I name it."
posted by BlueHorse at 7:23 PM on February 14, 2012


Dang it, what shall I name the cat!

If it's old enough to name, you really shouldn't eat it.
posted by BlueHorse at 7:24 PM on February 14, 2012


Buy that banjo, tangerine!
posted by chapps at 10:16 PM on February 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, as long as your dad isn't also your ex-girlfriend about whom you have weirdly specific and non-sexual(?) fantasies, and who has never expressed interest in a musical instrument, if you think he would like a banjo, a banjo is a fine gift.

That question wasn't really about the banjo, you know?
posted by gauche at 4:57 AM on February 15, 2012


For those complaining about some of the rules of this tree, remember that it's for people who aren't happy in their relationships to begin with. If your awesome boyfriend only calls after ten, well, good for you. If the guy who's making you miserable only calls after ten, then maybe that's a problem.

Also, it's a joke.
posted by that's how you get ants at 5:33 AM on February 15, 2012


I prefer old fashioned flow charts.
posted by gjc at 6:49 AM on February 15, 2012


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