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Seattle Bubble Forum Archive • View topic - Seattle Freeze

Seattle Freeze

Things you love, things you can't stand... anything and everything Seattle.

Moderators: synthetik, The Tim, Lake Hills Renter

Re: Re:

Postby Notabull » Fri May 30, 2008 7:57 am

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Re: Re:

Postby rose-colored-coolaid » Sat May 31, 2008 12:54 pm

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Re: Seattle Freeze

Postby Ben » Sat May 31, 2008 2:31 pm

I found this article interesting, because I am a transplant myself (from Australia about 8 years ago). I must say that I have never noticed the phenomenon in the article.

Then again, almost all of my friends I met through work. I have met a few others through some hobbies and stuff, but for the most part I tend to keep in touch with people I worked with, or knew somebody I worked with.

Maybe the eastside is a bit different?
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Re: Re:

Postby Markor » Fri Jun 06, 2008 4:01 pm

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Re: Re:

Postby rose-colored-coolaid » Sat Jun 07, 2008 6:48 am

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Re: Re:

Postby Lake Hills Renter » Sat Jun 07, 2008 8:39 am

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Re: Re:

Postby rose-colored-coolaid » Sat Jun 07, 2008 9:12 pm

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Re: Seattle Freeze

Postby Notabull » Tue Jun 10, 2008 11:26 am

"I think in socialist countries the definition is different. If not, why would those in socialist countries work less than 40 hours per week, get 6 weeks paid vacation per year (even if they work at McDonalds), and all sorts of other benefits? It's more about having more time than things."

I grew up in one of these "socialist" countries. I put it in quotes because England is socialist when compared to the US, but people there don't really consider the system to be a socialist one.

In England, pretty much everyone gets about 5 weeks of vacation when you start a job. Most people go on one big vacation a year (perhaps a week or two) and use the rest of the time off to spend with the kids at Easter, or Summer, or just to sit around the house. For sure, it's a nice thing to have. In my current job in Seattle I get three weeks of vacation. My take home pay for my job, and taking into account the purchasing power of that money, means I am much better off in the US than in England. I can afford to take unpaid time and still come out ahead of my peers in the old country. So I do...

Gas prices in the UK are about double what they are here. They don't fluctuate as much because it's so much more heavily taxed, so they're more usually three times as much. The people there are no different, though. If gas (petrol, mate!) was $2 a gallon, everyone would have an SUV just like here...

Why are there so many flights to New York from London? People actually make the five hour flight for a weekend shopping trip. They love the low sales tax, good exchange rate, and that they can buy more stuff!
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Re: Re:

Postby Notabull » Tue Jun 10, 2008 11:35 am

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Re: Seattle Freeze

Postby Notabull » Tue Jun 10, 2008 11:43 am

"I don't get it. None of those definitions involve a caveman. Well, at least we can take comfort in the fact that American social norms are the only legitimate ones in the world. So if that's how our society defines better it must be right."

I don't think that the US defines "better" as any different to the rest of the world. IMO, people are pretty much the same the world over. In some countries they have more money and can buy more crap. In other countries with less money, they instead have a moral superiority over the US with their "materialistic" tendencies and then secretly wish they could afford a new BMW.

I get fed up of hearing about how people in Italy have it right, with their wine drinking, relaxed, inexpensive lifestyle that focuses on friends, family, etc. They're just the same as people in the US. If they had more money OR more easily available credit, they'd be at the mall foaming at the mouth like most people in the states.

Again, I'm generalizing, but with some experience of these countries and culture at least...
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Re: Seattle Freeze

Postby Civil Servant » Tue Jun 10, 2008 12:29 pm

To me it doesn't feel like a freeze -- it feels more like a cone of lethargy born of some combination of self-congratulation, complacency, lack of interest in/ability to engage in critical thinking (but at the same time an unshakable confidence that one's own opinions and beliefs are correct and right), and tendency to take the mild expression of ideological differences as a personal attack.

Present company excepted, of course.

It is deeply weird and unlike any other place I've ever lived or spent enough time to feel entitled to make generalizations about its social mores. Even in Portland people seem more gregarious and more adept at, say, taking an ironic distance from selves, beliefs, etc. I came here straight out of college back east and for the first few years this scenario played itself out several times. I'd be talking to someone at a party, having a fine chat apparently enjoyed at both ends. Me: "Listen, I've enjoyed this, and I'd love to get together sometime for coffee or a drink." Other person, 100% serious: "Oh thanks, but I have enough friends right now." Even from single men I'd get this, and I am a not-hideous female. It was surreal to me but in the intervening years I've often told that story and people, men and women alike, get excited, saying Wow, that happened to me too, isn't this one nutty town. This is not the only way that in Seattle the concept of "enough," in non-material senses, feels atrophied to me. Which I suppose plays into my perception of complacency.

Possibly related? A few friends of mine, visiting at different times from different places, have made identical observations that people in Seattle spend a lot of time in bookstores and buy a lot of books, but they sure don't seem to have read them.

Please don't get all up in my Hibachi over these comments, Dear Readers. I'm here with my good, stable job that I get to on excellent public transportation, shacked up and saving down-payment money with a prince of a guy, so obviously I've made my peace with things. There are many factors to recommend Seattle and a lot of much worse places to be (cough Pittsburgh cough). I don't even opine like this unless prodded to do so, and in the spirit, I hope, of sharing information.
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Re: Seattle Freeze

Postby rose-colored-coolaid » Tue Jun 10, 2008 1:45 pm

Civil Servant, you made some interesting observations. I've got a few guesses about why people might feel like they have enough friends.

1) Seattle is physically remote from the rest of the nation, but unlike several other remote parts of the country it has a mobile work force. If you live in NYC, there are perhaps a dozen major cities within about 100 miles that friends might move to for better jobs. In Seattle, there isn't one, unless you include Everett or Tacoma.

2) The Seattle metropolitan area covers a lot of space. It's difficult to meet up with friends who live in Everett if you live in Tacoma, unless you can find a nice venue in the middle to meat in. Which leads to...

3) For some reason, Seattle doesn't have very enjoyable or very used public spaces. Maybe it's the weather, but when I go to other major cities, they have parks that are filled with people. Here, not so much.

4) The winter doldrums mean that even if you found a good place to go meet up with said friends, you might find it hard to get the motivation to actually schedule a meeting.

Anyways, add that all together and unless your new friend lives in the same city you do, it can be a trial to build that friendship. If someone has gone through that enough times, they might just throw in the towel a little bit.

OK, that was all speculation, but does it ring true to anyone?
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Re: Seattle Freeze

Postby biliruben » Tue Jun 10, 2008 1:48 pm

I think people work too hard, suffer from depression due to weather and are disproportionally introverted in this town. I wouldn't take it personally.

Me, I was lucky to move here knowing several very gregarious friends, so I never had to work to break into groups. In fact, I'm probably the reason some folks think there is a freeze - I just don't have time for any more friends.
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Re: Seattle Freeze

Postby WestSideBilly » Tue Jun 10, 2008 3:26 pm

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Re: Re:

Postby Markor » Tue Jun 10, 2008 5:02 pm

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