Wait, What Were We Laughing At?
Way back in the beginning of 2012 when I started doing this cover pose thing, the idea was to take the poses many female characters are contorted into for book covers, and to find a way to highlight exactly how ridiculous and impractical they were. And also to have fun. I definitely wanted it to be fun. I followed up with a continuation of the discussion, looking at the fact that yes, men are sexualized and objectified too, but not in the same ways. Men’s poses are almost always less physically awkward, more “action-ready,” and more powerful.
When I started the Aicardi Syndrome Foundation cover pose fundraiser, I saw it as 1) a way to take something fun and do more of it while supporting a great cause, and 2) a way to continue pointing out problematic poses on our book covers.
The trouble is, I didn’t spend much time introducing and contextualizing the Cover Pose Tradition at the start of the fundraiser. And when we did the first Scalzi/Hines pose-off, while I plugged the fundraiser, I didn’t provide any context at all for why we were doing this.
For my regular readers, that shouldn’t be a problem. But the Scalzi/Hines piece got a lot of press from places like Fark and Boing-Boing, meaning a lot of folks came in and saw two SF/F authors dressing up/posing like women for charity. And some of the reaction began to shift from, “I say, those poses seem remarkably impractical, and how exactly does one do that without dislocating one’s ankle?” to “Hey, guys dressing or posing like girls are both ugly and hilarious!”
This is on me. My blog, my fundraiser, my responsibility. It’s not like I’m unaware of John’s internet appeal and the likely results of our pose-off. (Though even so, the response was bigger than I could have imagined, and I appreciate that – thank you.) But I was caught up in the excitement of raising a lot of money for a good cause, and the flat-out fun of competing with a goofy and good-natured friend. So I didn’t think enough about how this might all come across, nor did I take the time to introduce and contextualize what we were doing.
I apologize for that mistake.
Both John and I had fun with this. Speaking for myself, I want you to laugh at the absurdity of these poses. Sure, one of the reasons I use props like butter knives and giant teddy bears is because I’m cheap and don’t want to pay for real props. But another reason is that I want to encourage the laughter.
I can handle good-natured ribbing, too. I know that when I post these pictures, I can expect an email from my brother asking me to reimburse him for another five years of therapy. I know where that’s coming from, and I’ll get him back soon enough.
But if you’re laughing because you’re a straight guy and therefore must declare all male bodies brain-searingly ugly? If you’re laughing because you think a man in a dress is funny and should be mocked? In other words, if you’re laughing because of various aspects of ingrained sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and other discriminatory nonsense? Then you’ve missed the point so badly it’s not even funny.
For the record, John Scalzi is damned sexy. He’s a smart, funny, and yes, good-looking man. For me, what makes his cover pose pic great is his obvious humor and self-confidence. Do I want to hop into bed with him? Well, not really. For one thing, I’m straight. For another, his wife would kick my ass. (Or else she’d want to watch, and then there would be performance anxiety issues, and I’m dealing with enough pressure these days.) And of course, I have leg stubble that would probably make it less pleasant for both of us. But I can look at that picture, grin, and say, “Yeah, that’s a man who rolled well in the Charisma department.”
So please do me a favor. Step back and ask yourself what exactly you’re laughing at, and where that’s coming from. ‘Cause I’m starting to see some rather problematic reactions out there.
And for my part, I apologize again, and will work to do a better job introducing and contextualizing the rest of these poses.
December 12, 2012 @ 9:35 pm
You rock. Thank you.
December 12, 2012 @ 9:39 pm
Looking at both pictures made me think.
Maybe I should say yes the next time my wife asks me to join her in a couple’s waxing session.
Elan Morgan (@schmutzie)
December 12, 2012 @ 9:40 pm
You are the men are point to when women say sentences that start with “all men are…” followed by some derisive phrase. We are humans trying to be better humans. Thank you.
Jim C. Hines
December 12, 2012 @ 9:41 pm
The first time I dated a woman who didn’t shave, it took me a little while to get used to. But that’s me and my ingrained conditioning on what is and isn’t attractive. I’m happy to say I was able to get over that pretty quickly.
Though I have to admit, my own smooth leg is disturbingly sexy. Um. Did I just write that out loud?
December 12, 2012 @ 9:49 pm
Don’t apologize. Humor and satire are the appropriate weapons to use against sexism and pretty much anything else that is ridiculous. Sparking the outrage, even, increases awareness of the problem. Some can enjoy the jokes and humor, some will enjoy their outrage. Everyone becomes more aware. And awareness is the best thing anyone can hope for. May we all be more aware of the results of our action and intentions, and our inaction and lack of attention.
December 12, 2012 @ 9:56 pm
The whole idea behind this is pure fun — I lot it.
As far as the rude commenters go, it always reminds me of certain grade school groups. You know, how some grade schoolers can settle down after a joke, but some of them can’t let it go and it immediately turns into insults and general meanness.
Now, I certainly don’t want to compare rude people on the internet with grade school kids in general. Most grade school kids are really pretty cool.
December 12, 2012 @ 9:59 pm
And your leg IS disturbingly sexy. Disturbed over here, I am. Yes.
December 12, 2012 @ 10:22 pm
No Jim, you SHOULD apologise for leg hair. Your partner should. EVERYBODY with body hair should!
Over a century ago CHARLES Darwin invented Evolution so we’d be less hairy than our primate cousins. Asians took to this whole heartedly (once again proving Japanese cultural superiority) and with our opposable thumbs it was clear that the good Lord Darwin intended us to use wax… And then Ben Franklin figured out Electrolysis for us!
Pose away, but never forgive body hair!
December 12, 2012 @ 10:30 pm
For what it is worth, you can probably outrun Mrs. Scalzi for now. I still wouldn’t recommend sleeping with John as I’m pretty sure she has a long memory and would kick you ass later.
Jim C. Hines
December 12, 2012 @ 10:31 pm
That’s true … I’ve got a window of opportunity here!
On the other hand, I know for a fact that they have a crossbow in the house.
December 12, 2012 @ 11:05 pm
I once bitched about leg stubble to a girlfriend. She turned it around with “you shave your damned legs every day.”
So, half as a joke, I shaved ’em clean. Turns out, she rather liked it, so I kept them clean shaven the entirety of the time we were together.
December 12, 2012 @ 11:56 pm
It seems like this is a really fine line to me. On the one hand, part of why it is funny is that although we are very much conditioned to not think anything of it when we see female models in these implausible poses, it’s actually *jarring* to see men posed in the same way. It messes with our cultural expectations.
But there is a point where it can easily cross over from just the absurdity of the whole thing to “OMG. Guys dressing/acting like girls is weird and gross!” which I understand is frustrating, and I get why you feel the need to point out “This is not what this is supposed to be about!”
December 12, 2012 @ 11:58 pm
I have to admit to being caught up in a certain jocularity. I also admit that I did read a certain level of humor in John’s pose, but I’ve been following the blog for a while now, so I did have the background. I just found the wig, and the sly grin (and the vote buying) flat out funny. Ok, and the leg hair. You got me on that.
I do apologize if I piled on. I suspect I was lost in general clamor, but I probably didn’t help either. I may have also missed some of the nastier comments you alluded to.
FWIW, I do think the humor does draw attention to the overall issue of how ridiculous the covers are. I’ve seen a lot more discussion since your original post. Your efforts (and injuries) have not been in vain.
December 13, 2012 @ 12:02 am
Thank your for your post to put the competition in perspective for readers who hadn’t seen your earlier post or been at Chicon. I’ve been following the crazy poses thread since earlier this year and think it’s great that highlighting the silliness of some cover/fantasy art. I think it’s great you’re using humor as a teaching tool.
FYI — I think both of you did a great job with the pose. Style points to John for the wig — double style points to you for the shaved legs! BTW the only person I think you should have to apologize to for prickly cactus legs is Mrs. Hines 🙂
December 13, 2012 @ 4:34 am
I don’t think you should feel apologetic because some people didn’t get the point, although I really like that you’re putting more focus on the context now. I thought both your posings were hilarious, and a big part of that is the fact that they DO bring out the ridiculousness of those poses. I’m usually quite aware of these things, but you highlighted it even more and I think that’s brave and a great commitment, so THANK YOU! 🙂
(Also, I’d like to know how much influence authors have on the covers their books get? Because if I wrote a strong female character, I’d do my utmost to not have her portrayed as a silly male fantasy.)
December 13, 2012 @ 7:44 am
I love the poses, you both have a great sense of humour and you are raising money for a good cause which is always great.
I’d be nice to see more poses being realistic on covers, it means you can concentrate on the story, not wonder at which point the female character contorts herself into what often looks like an uncomfortable position (good writing I forget to look, mediocre I get distracted from the story telling)
For your leg you should consider moisturising and ex-foliating until most of the hair has grown back in – it can reduce most of the itching and lowers the chance of ingrown hairs.
Jim C. Hines
December 13, 2012 @ 7:50 am
Re: cover influence, it depends, but very often the authors have little to no control over their covers. I feel pretty fortunate that I have a little influence there, because I don’t think that’s the norm.
But for CODEX BORN, which is going to have my dryad character on the cover, I did tell my editor that given how many people know me as that cover-pose guy, if they gave me a ridiculously contorted heroine on the cover, half the internet would be mocking it within 24 hours 🙂
December 13, 2012 @ 8:17 am
Though most people probably got it the first time around, I’m glad you’re reintroducing the context. Apparently there’s a line between “Illustrating via gender swap the invisible normative expectation of one gender” and then “Lol, gay and trans people are icky as shown by Scalzi and Hines, haha, eew”. For Scalzi, I’m certain his history of writing on gender and what not at least to his regular readers provided more than enough context.
Now I have a place to link to the next time a Twitter arrives with “Lol fagg*t trannies”. And a new writer to check out. So thank you.
And. You are, excuse me, actually both handsome men.
December 13, 2012 @ 8:33 am
I’m sorry you needed to point this out (sorry for society in general), but I’m really really hoping that the greater context will be pointing out how difficult and unrealistic these poses are, because that’s what I liked best from your first series of posts–the snarky commentary on needing a chiropractor. 😀
Though I will admit, your sexy leg does have a certain je ne sais quio. 😉
And you’re quite right about the shaving–it’s miserable, and it’s unfair that when men choose not to shave it’s extra manly, while when women choose not to shave it’s disgusting. (Says the woman who finds her own body hair squicky, and hates feeling like that.)
December 13, 2012 @ 8:37 am
So… is that more or less likely to get you a ridiculous heroine pose on your cover? I mean, what kind of sense of humor does your editor have?
December 13, 2012 @ 9:07 am
Please don’t forget Jim that many of us are laughing WITH you, not AT you. Some people won’t get it, and I think it’s great that you’re providing some lessons to be learned with all this fun. Don’t let those who have an inappropriate reaction get to you. Also, it couldn’t hurt if you asked John to borrow the Mallet of Loving Correction for the next pose-off.
December 13, 2012 @ 9:34 am
You can’t control how people react, only to be as clear as you can in your intentions, and you were.
But I know that feeling of dread – when I jokingly commented that you could’ve shown more cleavage, I was worried someone would think that was a sexist remark, when in fact I was mocking that very sexism that’s pushed onto models, and which you were so eloquently demonstrating.
Anya @ On Starships and Dragonwings
December 13, 2012 @ 9:46 am
You are the best, and I recommend lotion to ease that post shaving leg stubble irritation!
December 13, 2012 @ 10:37 am
Jim, I understand your concern with people laughing at men who dress as women rather than realizing how ridiculous society’s expectations of women can be so I wanted to let you know that I recently used your image from round one in a class I teach on the Human Body for non-science majors (nicknamed: The Human Body, an owner’s manual). [I hope you don’t plan to sue me for using your copyrighted material in my presentation.]
We had been discussing diets, nutrition and eating disorders and I used your photo to demonstrate how we are surrounded by unrealistic expectations for female bodies that contribute to disorders like anorexia.
It also led us to a nice discussion of plastic surgery due to poor body image.
Some people might not appreciate what you’re trying to do but I think it helped to get my point across to my young college students.
December 13, 2012 @ 10:53 am
Hi, Jim. I do think most people understand that it’s the cover being mocked, not you or John in costume and pose, and you’ve done a great job of demonstrating how ludicrous the covers are.
I thought the butter knife was one of the funniest parts, actually, and fit perfectly with the mocking of the cover. Also loved the way you used all the titles, captions, etc. I suspect anyone who missed the point didn’t take the time to read those.
I’m often not good at noticing visual stuff, and don’t pay much attention to book covers, so I had never noticed this about them before I found your posts about it. And now I’m talking to other people about it, and what you’re doing to raise awareness of it.
December 13, 2012 @ 12:28 pm
I’ll just forward the therapy bill to the usual address…
December 13, 2012 @ 12:30 pm
To to mention real whip training. And not the playful kind either.
Jim C. Hines
December 13, 2012 @ 12:32 pm
Put it on my tab.
December 13, 2012 @ 1:15 pm
This introduces an interesting question- when a miscommunication has happened which side is at fault? Sometimes it’s that the message was unclear and sometimes it’s that the audience was unreceptive. People usually only hear what they want to. So, you could scream and flail till you dropped dead, and the majority of
peoplethe internet still wouldn’t get the point you were trying to make.
Yes it was funny that two human real people guys tried to contort themselves like Cirque de Soliel performers. Yes it was funny that butter knives, dresses and legs (shaven and unshaven) were flashed. But the point you’re making is still valid. Book covers are still rife with sexism, and that message came across. Even if we all got a wee bit distracted by leg shaving.
Perhaps we could turn this into lemuraid. We have No-Shave-November, but couldn’t we institute a month where guys shave their legs, to show their support of women?
December 13, 2012 @ 1:21 pm
If you do that, make sure to do it in Summer months where it’s warm enough that one can wear shorts or a skirt^Wkilt, to properly show off the smooth gams.
(Also, damnit, if this happens I’m gonna have to start doing donkey lifts again.)
December 13, 2012 @ 1:39 pm
I was just thinking yesterday that at first the “OMG my eyes!” posts were funny, but as they accumulated, well, it started to feel not as funny. And in the process of thinking “I’m sure these two guys who are confident enough to put this out there aren’t taking the shots at their appearance or the fact that they’re wearing heels and shaving (or not) personally,” it occurred to me that if those same comments had been made about women, it would have been decidedly unfunny and definitely personal from the first one.
Ahhhh how complex and frustrating this gender politics crap is. I love that you tackle it, though. It’s what I read the blog for.
December 13, 2012 @ 1:43 pm
I think most people get both the humor and the point being made, but I suppose there are always some people who are new to the conversation that are missing the point. A lot of us are very entertained while still getting the overall reason why you started doing the poses in the first place. Hope the bad reactiosn don’t keep you from continuing to make this great point —for charity!
December 13, 2012 @ 1:53 pm
Well just to go all biology on you, all the body hair is a testosterone triggered thing, ergo unconscious signal that this man is a good breeding partner.
The societal context is a whole ‘nother thing.
December 13, 2012 @ 4:35 pm
I was laughing at your captions and the expression on Scalzi’s face.
December 13, 2012 @ 4:42 pm
I must admit to not having read any of your novels (or John Scalzi’s until recently) but found your blog through John’s website.
I have to tell you I think this is hilarious and I couldn’t respect you both any more for taking something so serious (sexism) and highlighting how ridiculous it is in such a funny and creative way.
I’ve add you to my rss feed and will be picking up some of your novels soon as well.
Thanks for taking a stand….err…uhmm….striking a pose!
December 13, 2012 @ 4:45 pm
I think that the silent majority (like me) can see the humor, appreciate the intent, and don’t feel the need to contribute to the conversation. I wonder if the conversation would be the same if it were Cirque du Soleil performers or Olympic gymnasts attempting the same feat?
December 13, 2012 @ 5:37 pm
I just found it very funny! And as I was already aware of the book cover thread, I approached it in the spirit in which it was intended.
I had not heard of Aicardi Syndrome before, so awareness was raised within one person, so…bit by bit!
Jim C. Hines
December 13, 2012 @ 6:18 pm
You’re not the only one laughing about Scalzi’s expression there 🙂
December 13, 2012 @ 10:41 pm
I chatted with you briefly about this on Twitter, and I’ve been thinking about it through the day, and there are parts of this post that still bother me. So, with apologies, I feel I need comment here just to try see if I can put dissatisfaction into some kind of reasonable context… or, you know, be proven an idiot. Either one is fair.
It appears the comments that are bothering you are the ones that went along the lines of “Gaaaaaaah my eyes my eyes my eyes” and “what is seen can never be unseen” and the like. You acknowledge that you can put that reaction in context from people you know, but the people you don’t know are the ones whose motives you’re questioning. And I can see that. My college, back in the unenlightened 90s, had a “drag show” that had a bunch of drunken straight male guys dressing up in women’s clothing to the amusement of a bunch of other drunken straight male guys. And that was pretty much what you’d expect it to be, and it’s not admirable.
The (first) problem, though, is that both you and Scalzi made comments in your posts that set the expectation that such reactions were OK. Yours was a single line saying something to the effect that “if these images are too disturbing here’s a link to a site full of cute cats.” Scalzi’s however, was really playing that up for all it was worth. The headline of the post he used to link to the page was “My Dear Friends: You Will Not Be Able to Unsee the Unspeakable Terror That is the Jim C Hines/John Scalzi Cover Pose-Off.”
So it seems wholly reasonable to think, given that the event was *sold* that way, that reactions of “Gaaaaah my eyes my eyes” were not only OK, but good ways to show your appreciation for the event.
The (second) problem is that I believe in order for the criticism to work, that kind of reaction is *necessary*. To get the proper context, I think the humor has to go beyond the absurdity of the poses themselves — the fact that you and John Scalzi are men de-sexualizes the poses, and yes, it might have a more pronounced effect on your average heterosexual male, but since the average heterosexual male seems to be the dominant force making cultural decisions that effect book covers I think that makes it even more useful. As I said on Twitter, part of what calls attention to the idea of putting women in those ridiculous poses on book covers is that we have a very different reaction when we see men in those poses. In order for that to work, you have to be allowed to actually have the reaction.
(Brief segue by way of example) It reminds me very much of the sitcom All in the Family. Archie Bunker was virulent racist. If someone said the things he said on TV in real life, I’d find it enraging. But during that show he would spout racist dreck and I would laugh–and the writers *intended* that I laugh. Right in the middle of Archie saying these truly terrible things about black people, gay people, Jewish people, the Polish, Democrats, Catholics, feminists, and just about everyone else, the writers were also writing comedy, and Carroll O’Connor and the rest of the cast were deliberately making sure it was funny.
And I bet if you took a snippet of that show out of context and played it in front of a liberal and racist, they would both laugh–laughing from different sides of the spectrum but at the same thing, based on the same phrase, with the same punchline. The laughter was necessary and the audience had to have permission to do it in order to get the effect. The advantage of comedy as social commentary is that you actually get to enjoy the critique.
(Back to point) So what happened here is that very soon after the original post, this post pre-emptively called into question the motives of some of the people who were responding to the humor. And chances are there were some people who were, in fact, reacting that way. But that’s the danger of comedy, especially satire–but for satire to work you need to give people permission to laugh and hope they find the right context. (When you notice political parties actively advocating the boiling and consumption of Irish babies, then you probably need to step in…)
Anyway, I hope this explains my… discomfort? Unease? Discontent? It’s not anger or anything like that. (Perhaps “mildly persistent bother” sums it up best.) And I hope this explanation isn’t interpreted as being dismissive. I think your cover poses are very effective satire and I hate to see satire deflated, so I want to suggest a counter viewpoint.
Thanks for your time.
December 14, 2012 @ 12:05 am
I appreciated both the initial covers as well as the follow-up clarification/apology; I think both are important and valid.
I don’t think, as Christopher Wright implies above, that being liberal precludes being racist (as much as that would be wonderful), but I also think that a non-racist and a racist (or non-trans-postive and trans-positive) would not agree a lot on what things are funny… http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2012/08/06/157592468/an-anthropologist-walks-into-a-bar-and-asks-why-is-this-joke-funny
But anyway, thank you, Hines.
December 14, 2012 @ 12:18 am
Minaria, while I did use the word pairing “liberal and racist” that was due to sloppiness rather than intent. I was thinking of “Archie” (racist) and “Meathead” (liberal) when thinking of the respective audiences viewing the out-of-context clip. A better pairing is “liberal/conservative” or “left/right” or something like that.
December 14, 2012 @ 12:27 am
Smooth legs are sexy, Jim, as i discovered when I shaved my own after years of thinking about it.
December 14, 2012 @ 1:30 am
I haven’t shaved my legs (except in small patches for tattoos) since 1992. I have to say it’s been damn liberating, and saved me a LOT of time… Now if I can just work up the “not shaving the underams” thing, I can fully count myself as liberated from societal standards. But I’m not quite there yet…
Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little
December 14, 2012 @ 1:48 am
I find pithair anxiety can be partially ameliorated/mitigated by doing something sufficiently bad-ass while wearing a tank top. (If the tank top happens to be a roller derby jersey with an equally bad-ass skate name on the back, so much the better.)
Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little
December 14, 2012 @ 1:50 am
December 14, 2012 @ 2:44 am
Smooth legs are sexy, Jim, as i discovered when I shaved my own after years of thinking about it. And if the many women who’ve given up shaving can do so to reject the societal viewpoints around “women must shave”, why can’t men do the same thing in reverse? 🙂
Jim Hines, John Scalzi, and Whether Gender-Swapping Superhero Poses Makes Sexism Clearer | Political Analytical – Insight and Analysis on Politics and Reason
December 14, 2012 @ 4:06 am
[…] guys dressing or posing like girls are both ugly and hilarious!’” And in a follow-up called “Wait, What Are We Laughing At?” he wrote: But if you’re laughing because you’re a straight guy and therefore must declare […]
December 14, 2012 @ 4:29 am
I have to admit it, the shaved leg(s) and (gasp!) how sexy your leg was, snagged my vote. Though I do have to admit neither one of you were able to FULLY execute said pose. But I don’t think anyone male or female could of. At least not to be able to fight from before OR after executing said pose.
On a side note I was extremely please to encounter one of your stories in MSB’s S & S anthologies XXI and was very impressed. And I know this is not the first time I have come across your short fiction. Just wantedto let you know-couldn’t find anywhere else topost something of this nature so here I am. Next year-getting new electronic so will be downloading your novels-can’t wait.
Now provided my eyes recover I’m kinda looking forward to the next pose off LMAOF.
December 14, 2012 @ 4:41 am
sorry hit enter before edit which is a MAJOR pet peeve-*hate, the, of, pleased, MZB, wanted to let , to post, LMFAO. Again please forgive me for the corrections and I hope they make sense now. Everone please enjoy your Holidays and have a HAppy New Year!!
Jim C. Hines
December 14, 2012 @ 8:53 am
Thanks, Evette! I could have probably gotten a little closer to the pose, but it might have involved dislocating my ankle and/or hip.
And I’m so glad you liked the S&S story!
December 14, 2012 @ 9:40 am
I think that’s in the eye of the beholder. Personally I find hair on men’s legs to be very sexy and considering my laissez faire attitude toward shaving during pants weather my husband has become very accepting about it on women’s legs as well.
December 14, 2012 @ 9:42 am
I don’t shave my legs either, Katy. However, I continue and will continue to shave under my arms for a very practical reason: I don’t like how much more sweaty I get when I don’t! 🙂 And that’s completely a personal preference. So all I’m saying is that if you do work up to not shaving under your arms, and find you don’t like it, don’t feel bad about returning to shaving them. 🙂
Jim C. Hines
December 14, 2012 @ 11:00 am
I can only speak for myself, but I took that comment in the joking fashion it was intended, and was amused.
Andrew S. Balfour
December 14, 2012 @ 6:25 pm
Phrases to the effect of “All ______ are ______” are just a convenient shorthand for “I have nothing of value to contribute to this or any conversation. Please feel free to ignore, mock, or slap me as the situation demands.”
December 15, 2012 @ 11:03 am
Oh, that is *so* cool. Using pop culture (sorry, Jim) to bring the point across about body images is a great idea, and using something other than magazine covers is even better.
Do you plan to use his “posing like a man” set too, to talk about the “manly man” expectations?
Jim C. Hines
December 16, 2012 @ 2:44 pm
I suppose I’ll pass on the lawsuit this time 🙂 Seriously, I think that’s very cool, and I’m so glad it led to a good discussion!
December 17, 2012 @ 1:13 pm
FYI, you could do an entire post on why women are deemed “dirty” if they don’t shave their legs and/or armpits, but men are just fine with all their hair.
December 18, 2012 @ 9:09 pm
I wonder if the point might be made if you did the same pose but wore the kinds of clothing men would for the book or even jeans and a t-shirt. It would still show how stupid the pose is, be just as difficult to do (well easier without heels), and not confuse people. Just a thought I had while discussing this post with my husband.