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Sowing One's Wild Oats
January 31, 2004 5:53 PM   Subscribe

Sowing One's Wild Oats And Postponing Last Straws: Some things never change the world over and the gist of this amusing language lesson (be sure to listen to the sountrack too) seems familiar and even easy to guess. However, different cultures allow for different rates of growing up - and out of things. Regarding the sowing of wild oats, is the West really the most lenient and generous, in terms of age-limits? What part does religion play? In other words, what's the maximum you can get away with nowadays? At a pinch, I'd say Southern European Catholic countries will extend a woman's visa till she's 35 and a man's till he's 40 but certain *cough* other cultures seem to be even more favourable towards eternal adolescence.
posted by MiguelCardoso (18 comments total)

 
I hasten to add that what's hilarious about the soundtrack is the American announcer's spectacularly off-centre pronunciation and solemnity.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 6:07 PM on January 31, 2004


Indeed, I think the bits with the American announcer are about the funniest things I've heard all week. But I have no idea what you mean by "spectacularly off-center pronunciation".
posted by zztzed at 6:49 PM on January 31, 2004


zztzed: I'm foreign but it seems to me the guy has all his stresses placed haphazardly, trying to make his delivery sound regal or definitive, very "language lesson". Perhaps it's because I can't place his accent. It's this pseudo-dignified diction, while reading the ridiculous sentences (oh, that pompous that-does-it! toothbrush...), which had me in stitches. I imagine this layabout American brother-in-law of the woman who set up the website, dragged off the street with perhaps a touch of a hangover, sitting down at the microphone with a perplexed WTF? glare when confronting his pages, lazily reading through what was required of him with what he took to be the American equivalent of one of those pompous BBC accents.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 7:23 PM on January 31, 2004


I don't understand the age limit question.

[is over 35, quickly propositions Miguel]
posted by JanetLand at 7:54 PM on January 31, 2004


[is over 45, quickly proffers Champagne and whisks JanetLand away, before second thoughts set in]

Funnily enough, I was looking for food links for oats, because of a current fish and fish-for-breakfast obsession that involves frying in wild oats, when I serendipitously came across this language site. I read one of the silly phrases (about 24 being old enough to put an end to one's sowing of wild oats) and this started me a-thinkin' that different cultures have different age limits for being young, wild and free.

Traditionally, many cultures (as translated, for instance, by the age of consent or the minimum age for marriage) either negate this "wild oats" phase ("Get married, already!") or severely curtail it. Others are more permissive and biased towards experience, so that, in Western societies, the acceptable age for "settling down" (whatever that means) has been creeping up.

I think the prevailing, modern idea is that it's intelligent to get certain youthful impulses and experiences "out of your system" (so that you're not suddenly curious and hungry for variety in the middle of an important relationship) - but that the cut-off age varies a lot from culture to culture.

From a macho, Latin viewpoint (such as the one I live in) it means that you're allowed 35/40 years (the limit is unfair towards women) to sow your wild oats; find out that you can't see what all the fuss was about and then settle down with someone you truly like sharing life with; knowing that variety and experience are a load of bunk. Fun, but ultimately repetitive.

Finally, all this relates to how childhood and adolescence are becoming shorter and shorter (helped by quicker onset of puberty and the information age) and the fact that there seems to be a cultural trend towards compensating for this shortcoming by delaying marriage and long-term commitments, whilst playing up their ultimate value.

Well, that was brief! ;)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 8:21 PM on January 31, 2004


it's very "listen...and repeat" (all old instructional records/tapes had that tone)

And miguel, ask our pres about that sowing wild oats thing. Apparently it was only recently he stopped...but then again, aren't we all kidults? (at least on the inside?)
posted by amberglow at 8:31 PM on January 31, 2004


Hey, good point, amberglow!

What is the cut-off age for those who voted for George W. Bush for the booze-suckin', coke-sniffin', wild-drivin' phase? It's wild oats applied to presidential politics.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 8:41 PM on January 31, 2004


Well, he reportedly went sober after a wild 40th birthday bash (Laura threatened to leave him), so it seems he just squeaks under your age-cutoff limit.
posted by Asparagirl at 9:45 PM on January 31, 2004


there are serious doubts about that 40th bday claim.
posted by amberglow at 9:51 PM on January 31, 2004


all this relates to how childhood and adolescence are becoming shorter and shorter

Whaaa? No, they're becoming longer and longer. It is now acceptable in America to never grow up at all.
posted by kindall at 10:10 PM on January 31, 2004


!!! sex over 30?

EW!
posted by mcsweetie at 10:16 PM on January 31, 2004


*chuckles that mcsweetie actually believes there's sex worthy of that name under 30, the poor sod. Suggests waiting.* :)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 10:26 PM on January 31, 2004


Miguel: Which is, unfortunately, the only choice practicing single Mormons have, so I'm comforted by your statement.
posted by namespan at 10:35 PM on January 31, 2004


It is now acceptable in America to never grow up at all.

Well, being childish is certainly popular, but I'm not sure that's exactly the same thing....

Me, the older I get, the more I think settling down is a scam that I want no part of, so give me the oats and I shall sow them.
posted by rushmc at 11:08 PM on January 31, 2004


Youth is wasted on the young.
posted by moonbiter at 11:18 PM on January 31, 2004


*chuckles that mcsweetie actually believes there's sex worthy of that name under 30, the poor sod. Suggests waiting.* :)

WHATEVER.
posted by mcsweetie at 2:10 PM on February 1, 2004


It is now acceptable in America to never grow up at all.

Don't forget that old standby "the second childhood".
I tried growing up. Didn't work for me. I'm just starting to eschew responsibility and enjoy life.

*chuckles that mcsweetie actually believes there's sex worthy of that name under 30, the poor sod.*

You mean there's sex under 30? Boy, was I misinformed.
posted by wendell at 8:37 PM on February 1, 2004


“??,??????????????????,???????,??????,?????????,?????”

Can't argue with that.
posted by wendell at 8:39 PM on February 1, 2004


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