Everybody has dysfunctional relationships—even those young marrieds who refer to themselves as "we." With that in mind, Gawker alum Doree Shafrir writes in the Observer this week about the power of the question-statement. Example: "Oh, I was just checking to see if you had a ring. But you guys aren't engaged?" Maybe that's for the best?

"I recently got back in touch with another friend—we'll call her Catherine—I hadn't seen since college, except a couple years ago when we ran into each other in the West Village, right after she'd moved back to New York from Los Angeles. Anyway, we've been hanging out. She's single. The other day she was telling me that most of her friends from college (except for me and a couple others) are married, and most of the married friends have at least one kid. Catherine was in a sorority, and I'm convinced that there's a correlation between sorority membership and getting married by 27 and having the first kid by 29. My younger sister, who is 24 and was in a sorority, seems like she will bear this theory out, though she got offended when I proposed it. Then I found out she had shown our mom engagement rings on the Tiffany's Web site, just in case her boyfriend should turn to my mom for advice.

...A friend of mine—we'll call her Natalie—is moving in with her boyfriend in brownstone Brooklyn, even though everything's so fucking expensive these days that you might as well just move back to Manhattan. She met this guy at work; at the time, she was involved in a torturous long-term relationship with another guy, one of those relationships people get into in their early 20s and then wake up one day and, hell, they're 28 or 29 and nothing has changed, he's still the same guy they were vaguely annoyed with all those years ago, except now they live together and he does things like punch walls when he's upset."

This Is When You Know [NY Observer]