You Should Read This

You should eat bananas. 

         In the words of Monty Python, ‘…and now for something completely different.’ As we end should week here at CoupleDumb, we thought that we would give you a little something to look at instead of actually doing any work. So here are some of our favorite ‘shoulds’ and the research that shows how incredibly stupid they are. Yes, these shoulds are all wrong.

          You should drink eight glasses of water a day.

          A couple of researchers, Dan Negoianu and Stanley Goldfarb, did a literature review in order to find out where that rule came from and what they found was that they could not find much of anything.  Apparently, there is very little evidence that drinking water does anything for you, outside of the minimum requirements needed to keep you alive. Also according to the Book of General Ignorance, easily one of my favorite books outside of Dysaffirmations, alcohol, tea and coffee hydrate just as well as water. The reason that we started with this should, even though it has nothing directly to do with relationships, is because not only is it wrong, it is a bunch of bullshit. Apparently some dipshit about a hundred years ago said that we should drink a lot of water and it has been with us ever since. If something as simple as water can cling onto society like a hope sucking tick, how bad must it be for heated topics like…

          You should breastfeed.

          The elliptical on this should is that you should breastfeed forever and constantly. We have a particular issue with breastfeeding. Not that breastfeeding is bad (all of the literature is replete with the benefits) but because of the presentation. Since Jeannie is adopted and we have eleven years between her and Bobby’s birth, we had the mixed blessing of simultaneously being seasoned and new parents. We went into the hospital with a bag packed full of parenting shoulds. So having the lactation nurse tell Lee that she needed to breastfeed for, what ultimately ended up being, five hours straight directly after labor and saying it with the same caring, damning voice that the Devil uses right as he acquires your soul, only served to convince us that we had a doomed child in potential.

          Joan B. Wolf of Texas A&M did a study looking at the National Breastfeeding Awareness Campaign and found that ‘The NBAC, and particularly its message of fear, neglected fundamental ethical principles regarding evidence quality, message framing, and cultural sensitivity in public health campaigns’. Thank you, Joan. Your paper on the subject is 42 pages long. Next time we see a lactation nurse, we will bludgeon them with your article.

          You should find someone that compliments you because opposites attract.

          Opposites do not attract. Opposites annihilate each other. The offspring of matter and antimatter is a big boom and then some empty space. As it turns out, there is a huge body of research that shows that we successfully choose mates by choosing people who are similar to us. One of the good ones comes from geneticists that show that, on a DNA level, we seek out mates who bolster our genetic traits. CoupleDumb loves its twin studies and here is another one that we think is too cool. They studied the friends of identical and fraternal twins. One of the things that they found was that the friends of identical twins were almost identical to each other and were very similar to the twins. We told you, twin studies are cool.

          OK, that’s enough shoulds for this week. If you’ve actually read everything on this post and clicked all of the links then you have wasted a good chunk of the day. You’re probably thinking, ‘I should get some work done’. But wait! Shoulds are bad. Here’s an idea: teach that should a lesson and leave work early. Don’t get anything done today. Yea, that will show that nasty should who is the boss.


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