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  1. Wannabe Disney Princess

    I’m a royal watcher – got it from my mom. So, I made lemon elderflower scones to eat while watching the royal wedding this morning. I also whipped up some elderflower lemon curd. Ohmygod. It’s taking every ounce of self control to not snarf down the entire batch.

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    1. WellRed

      Oh the wedding! The radiant couple. The carriage procession afterward. The medieval town. The American touches.

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    2. Julia

      Luckily in Tokyo, it was aired at 8pm, so we (I made my husband watch) could watch it over dinner. The American bishop was entertaining, but I thought his speech was a little long.

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        1. Julia

          I thought it was interesting, but yeah, I feel like a lot of wedding ceremonies are a little long.
          Did you see some of the guests suppressing laughter?

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          1. Wannabe Disney Princess

            I’m actually not a fan of wedding ceremonies themselves. I like the arrivals and the stuff at the end. It’s the funnest part!

            I did. I wasn’t terribly surprised since (I’m totally guessing) most of them haven’t experienced that type of sermon before.

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          2. Shop Girl

            Yeah that was kind of rude. I would have thought that people like that would have experienced a black preacher before.

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            1. Gaia

              From what I understand, preachers are a bit more restrained in England so while they may have experienced a black preacher before they likely have not experienced anything like an American preacher and really nothing like a black American preacher. I loved his sermon and I thought it was a really great way to include Meghan’s culture in ceremony steeped in traditions from a culture she wasn’t raised in.

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              1. Jemima Bond

                Yes, most of the congregation would be accustomed to Church of England vicars giving a sermon/address and they are usually much more calm and restrained with little raising of the voice and few gestures. I was watching with friends (we were at a little craft retreat and we streamed it on a laptop) and I remember thinking, crikey this is getting a bit fire and brimstone! I did say at one point I was almost expecting him to yell, “can I get an Ay-MEN?!” Let me tell you that crowd would NOT have raised both arms and shouted it back. His use of an iPad was also noted; that’s not something I’d expect in a C of E vicar’s hands – very modern.
                So whilst it’s important to be polite, I’m not surprised at a bit of nervous giggling – for an Anglican congregation the preacher was closer to the Eddie Murphy preacher character at the charity public meeting in Coming to America, in terms of what most of us are used to.
                Although I should point out it’s the style that is unusual, it’s not that we don’t have black clergymen. I noted the Queen’s own chaplain was both black and a woman.

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              2. Bagpuss

                It’s more that people preaching in the Abbey or St George’s tend to be a bit more restrained. There are lots of churches (both within and outwith the CofE) which are more evangelical / fire and brimstone, so I think it was mostly that it was not what people expected in the particular setting, or at a Royal Wedding, as they tend to the traditional (one writer in, I think, the Guardian, commented that it says a lot about the traditions of Royal Weddings that having two songs with a combined age of 104 years (‘Stand by Me’ and ‘This Little Light’) was perceived as rather modern and risque!

                Also, the content of the address, quoting MLK etc was more political that you would usually expect at a wedding, particularly a Royal one, and the address lasted longer than you normally get at a (CofE) wedding.

                All that said, the commentary I’ve seen/heard here in the UK press (print and TV/Radio) has all been extremely positive and Bishop Curry’s address is the bit being singled out the most for positive comment.

                My interest in the Royals is tepid at best, but I did enjoy looking at all the outfits, and I thought Meghan’s mother looked fantastic – very elegant. (I also liked Serena Williams disclosing that she was wearing comfy trainers under the long dress she wore for the reception – an excellent plan!)

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    3. I'm A Little Teapot

      Um, I just had to go to Facebook and check my cousin’s page because I know she was looking for elderflower water the other day. and she’s obsessed with Disney. She made elderflower poundcake however, so I think you’re not her. :)

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            1. louise

              My favorite St Germain’s cocktail:
              Muddle mint in a shaker
              Add equal parts:
              St Germains
              White rum (I use Plantation)
              Pineapple juice
              Shake and strain over ice
              Top with a splash of ginger ale and garnish with mint

              It’s summery and fresh. Don’t let the pineapple fool you into expecting something tropical, however; the floral notes lift it out of fruity territory.

              Alas, I don’t know a name for it—a bartender in Kansas City had just whipped it up for the first time shortly before I arrived in want of fresh, sweet drink and I fell in love. She was kind enough to tell me the proportions and I’ve been duplicating at home ever since.

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    4. Disappointing

      Three or four years tops. She was more than happy to ditch her current partner when Harry came along. If someone she perceives as better comes along she will no doubt do it again. Her and Harry sure put on like it was her first wedding. She is a social climber of the worst kind. Harry is dumb for falling for her act.

      When I saw Meghan smiling and laughing at the memorial for a murder victim I immediately thought Harry was making an error. I liked her before that and thought they were a good match. How she acted at the memorial was awful and she was rightly slammed for it. She got the dressing part down but her actions have otherwise been awful.

      If Diana was around, Rachel never would have gotten close enough to latch on. I was thrilled when Harry fell for a black woman. Being black myself I thought it was about time. But he’s made a mistake and this is going to implode and come back to bite him.

      Her dress was awful, her mom was dressed awful and seeing who her parents and family are it’s obvious why she acts like she does. This will all end in tears.

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      1. Julia

        Whoa. Didn’t Meghan get divorced in 2013 already due to the strain of her being somewhere else to film Suits?

        I have zero insight into her life and mind, but it does seem like you are using the most uncharitable interpretation. I just looked up the memorial and it seems people slammed her for her dress and hair. Shaming women’s dresses and women of color’s hair seems… not great.

        Plus, wasn’t Diana sort of a social climber herself?

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            1. Matilda the Hun

              Dog whistle is used to describe a phrase that has a very specific meaning to a specific group of people, but sounds innocuous to the rest of the world. For example, in some right-wing circles, “globalist” is a dog whistle for “Jewish”- they know what they mean, say it all over television, and the rest of us are supposedly none the wise.

              In this case, “social climber” is most likely a dog whistle for “Black.”

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        1. Disappointed

          Her wedding dress was ugly. I was surprised because as I said her clothing is always on point.

          Her clothing at the memorial was fine. She should not have been slammed or shamed for it. Same with her hair. Black women get slammed for not having perfect hair all the time. It has happened to me and it sucks.

          Her actions at the memorial were awful. To me that is a separate issue from her clothing. You don’t titter and laugh when people are talking about the pain of losing a murder victim. Royalty or not. There are photos of her doing it and that was the shameful part. She and Harry should not have nuzzled or swung their arms while holding hands. That was also disrespectful.

          Diana was young and naive and sold a fairy tale. Meghan is older and supposedly wiser and more worldly. Yet she needs be told not to laugh at a memorial for a murder victim? She is cunning, I will give her that. She was dating someone (not her ex) when Harry came along and she threw him aside in a hot minute. Harry was dumb to fall for her “I don’t even know who Price Harry is” act.

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            1. Kay

              I can’t speak for Disappointed but if thinking it is not appropriate for someone to laugh, grin and carry on while in church to remember a murder victim, than I am okay with being sad.

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              1. The Winter Rose

                You can think that’s not appropriate without being a racist, classic asshat. I hope you’ll learn how one day. (Though I hope you’ll also learn that laughter and giggling can be a nervous reaction to stressful situations, and doesn’t automatically mean you find it amusing! I giggled during my own fathers’s funeral service, for those reasons. Luckily I have kind, understanding people around me who didn’t decide to judge me as some sort of evil unfeeling monster for it.)

                “Disappointed” is ranting all over comment threads on multiple posts exposing their ugly nasty pathetic sordid little fantasies about someone they’ve never met. They are clearly out of touch with reality. That’s what’s sad here.

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      2. Middle School Teacher

        I assume you’ll also be disappointed with the behaviour of Beatrice and Eugénie (I think; I was watching on my phone) who were giggling and carrying on while the American bishop was speaking? Speaking of shameful.

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        1. Disappointed

          Their behavior was shameful. But considering who their father and mother are they never stood a chance. It is actually more shameful than Meghan’s behavior, because they at least had the benefit of tutoring, etiquette lessons and role models. Meghan had no one but her trashy parents to learn from. Beatrice and Eugenie did. The wedding was a farce but Beatrice and Eugenie did not act properly and that is disappointing.

          Meghan makes their mother Sarah Ferguson look like a virtuous angel.

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            1. Julia

              Apparently having less-than-ideal parents is a no-win situation. Cut them off and you’re a cold-hearted b*tch. Don’t cut them off and you’re just like them.

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      3. Justme, The OG

        Wow. Didn’t anyone ever tell you that if you can’t say something nice then say nothing? I would seriously suggest that because you’re coming off as simply rude and uncouth.

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        1. Disappointed

          As a British citizen and taxpayer I am disappointed and angry that my tax dollars paid for that farce of a wedding and will pay to support that scheming social climber who thinks it is appropriate to laugh at the memorial for a murder victim. I am allowed to have an opinion considering my taxes will support her lifestyle for the rest of her (hopefully) short) time in the royal family.

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          1. Wear a seatbelt

            You are being silly.

            You can play the republican card or you can play the outraged monarchist card, but you can’t play both.

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              1. Disappointed

                I’m black and a proud monarcist. I was a fan of her and happy about the engagement until I saw her laugh her way through the memorial. I would have thought it was inappropriate whether it was a future royal or not but I was disappointed when I saw her do that.

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                1. Elizabeth West

                  She made a dumb mistake. She will learn. I’m sure you’ve made many–I know I have. But grudges are fun, so let’s all hold them forever and ever.

                2. Julia

                  I was super upset about Harry dressing up as a nazi once a really long time ago, so either they deserve each other or maybe they both learned from their mistakes and grew. Only time will tell.

          2. Penny Lane

            Social climber? Honey, you don’t seem to understand. Meghan has an elite degree (no doubt better than yours) and a thriving career – she didn’t need to “climb,” she was already at the top. You sure spend a lot of mental time hating someone you don’t know. If you wish to hate on Americans, try our president, who actually does things to harm people.

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          3. neverjaunty

            “But I’m allowed to have that opinion!” maybe not such a resounding defense of awful opinions?

            Maybe this is just me being one of those newfangled colonials, but it’s odd to hear complaints about royal spouses being “social climbers” or living off taxpayers, which have been the central pursuits of nobility for centuries.

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          4. Thlayli

            Actually the royals are all entitled to a specific payment from the taxpayer, but the Queen voluntarily pays for all the other royals allowances out of her own allowance. So unless that practice changes, her allowance won’t cost you a penny.

            And I’d be willing to bet the Wedding has made more money for the British economy than it cost.

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          5. Akcipitrokulo

            As a British citizen and taxpayer you have no tax dollars. Which does tend to cast doubt on that claim.

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            1. Euro

              Was about to say the same. There ain’t no dollars in the UK.

              Btw: I’ve read that the wedding costs a lot (like 53 million pounds) yet the profit the country will get from it is like 10 times what it costs. People all over Europe were traveling by train to England (24% passengers this past weekend than the same weekend last year), hotels were fully-booked, merchandise sold like crazy, etc.

              Fan of the royals or not, this was a good thing for the economy.

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              1. Bagpuss

                the figure I’ve seen is an estimate of about £32Million.

                The Royal family are paying for the wedding itself, but the security costs (which will obviously have been substantial) will be paid by Thames Vlalley Police who cover Windsor, and probably be reimbursed by a special grant from the Home Office. So we as tax payers will be footing that part of the bill. How much of the boost to the economy will find its way back into public funds is another question – presumably those making money out of it will be paying tax on the additional income.

                Prince Harry isn’t given an allowance through the Civil list – his income comes from the income of the Duchy of Cornwall, so you can have an argument about whether it’s appropriate for the Royals to own so much of the country, but that is a separate conversation. I believe that costs of carrying out official engagements are paid for via government grants although the Queen refunds some of those costs., so it may well be that Meghan carrying out royal engagements win the Commonwealth ill work out cheaper for taxpayers than if a politician was doing a similar engagement.

                On a personal level, there are other uses of public money I resent far more – an awful lot of people seemed to get an awful lot of pleasure out of the wedding, I don’t really mind too much that some of my hard-earned cash contributed to paying for that. (And I say that as someone who would happily see that monarchy abolished, or downsized to something closer to the Dutch model)

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          6. Gaia

            The Queen and the Crown Prince paid of the wedding. And the allowance for Prince Henry (and, I’m sure, Meghan) comes from the Queen. And even if you consider tax dollars that went to security, etc, that wedding brought in tens (if not hundreds) of million more in economic increases than it ever cost.

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      4. Foreign Octopus

        How about we try to keep comments positive?

        We don’t know the ins and outs of their lives and it feels spiteful to speculate on the longevity of their marriage when they’re not even 12 hours married. People tend to forget that Kate was also spoken about in this way as well, “waity Katie” being a particular cruel nickname the British tabloids concocted for her, and yet she’s now thought of very well.

        They’re two people who have fallen in love and had a lovely wedding today. Your spite is out of place, particularly, I believe, on this website. Might I recommend the Daily Mail comments section?

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        1. Ann Furthermore

          I saw an interview with Prince William once and he talked about why he had waited so long to propose to Kate. He said he wanted to give her enough time to really understand, and get used to, what it would mean to be part of the Royal Family, constantly being on display and followed around by the paparazzi. He said that that was his life, and he didn’t really have any choice about it, but she did, and he wanted her to decide for herself if it was something she wanted to sign up for.

          I really do like him, and Prince Harry as well. They seem like genuine, down to earth people….or as genuine and down to earth a person born into royalty and immense wealth could be.

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          1. Elizabeth West

            I agree–I think they’ve turned out rather well and their mother would be very proud of them. They certainly have better manners and morals than some people I could name but won’t because no politics.

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      5. Parenthetically

        Wow, this is uncalled-for. Petty, gossip-rag speculation on the lives of strangers, slavering over their missteps and potential future pain? I concur with the suggestion to seek out the comments section over at the Daily Mail so you can find people more in line with your way of thinking.

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      6. Penny Lane

        Huh. I know people who personally knew Meghan from her college days and they all say she’s lovely.

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        1. Elizabeth West

          YOU ARE TWO DEGREES AWAY FROM ROYALTY 0_0

          Heh, I’m only three degrees away from my celebrity crush (through my old celebrity crush, haha). But there is no chance in h3ll we’ll meet that way, le sigh.

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          1. Temperance

            My boss is in the same sorority Meghan was in college, and she fully claims her as a sister. lol.

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      7. Penny Lane

        Why do you call her Rachel when she clearly goes by her middle name of Meghan? Gosh, if this were a workplace advice column, you’d be advised to cut it out and use the name she goes by.

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      8. Searching

        I loved the wedding ceremony. Meghan’s dress was gorgeous, and after Harry got over his nerves, the couple looked very much in love. It will be so nice to shelve that sad image of Harry at his mother’s funeral and remember the happy groom of today instead.

        I do wonder if the marriage will last – but NOT because I suspect Meghan of having any nefarious motives. (“Social climber”?? Really?? From where I sit she gave up more than she gained.) I simply think she is underestimating how stifling it will be to have to keep her opinions to herself and put up with all those stiff-upper-lip royals – after all, this was the woman who as an 11-year-old led a campaign to stop a sexist television commercial. Now she is left with doing charity work for the rest of her days, and that will only go so far as an outlet.

        But for now, I’m enjoying re-watching the highlights of the day.

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        1. Elizabeth West

          I don’t think it will be as bad as all that. Because of Charles and William and his children, Harry will likely never be king, so they can relax a little. I think they’re already changing things up. They’ll do it their way, most likely, and the Queen seems quite pleased that her grandson is happy.

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      9. Former Employee

        I looked her up on Wikipedia. She was divorced in 2013 and didn’t meet Harry util 2016. Since it said that they were introduced by mutual friends, I assume that means that her relationship status was known to those who did the introduction.

        As far as the memorial service, all I saw was that her outfit was criticized. I didn’t bother to check into details.

        Everyone else seemed to think Meghan Markle’s dress was beautiful and classic. While the design house, Givenchy, certainly isn’t perfect, one commentator mentioned that Givenchy dressed Audrey Hepburn and that Meghan Markle’s wedding dress reminded them of something Ms. Hepburn might have worn. As a big fan of Ms. Hepburn’s, I thought that comment really hit the mark.

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    5. Falling Diphthong

      While I don’t care about royalty per se, I did look through WaPo’s photos of all the hats.

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          1. Middle School Teacher

            I really like her. I saw her argue on behalf of a client (a dual Canadian-Egyptian citizen who was in prison in Egypt) and she was so eloquent and sharp and incisive. She always looks polished and put together, and from what I’ve read she seems like a genuinely nice person.

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            1. Elizabeth West

              Best part: the Guardian tweeting “International human rights lawyer Amal Clooney arrived wearing a bright Stella McCartney yellow dress, with her husband alongside.” Heh heh.

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              1. Lissa

                That made me giggle. Also yeah wow she looked great! And I’m not normally one to follow clothes, etc. I love yellow and wish I could pull it off.

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      1. Wannabe Disney Princess

        For which part?

        The lemon curd is super easy. Just make (or buy) your favorite. Stir in a tablespoon per cup of St Germain. Voilà!

        The scones…. gimme a minute. I scrawled a recipe together in a notebook.

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        1. Wannabe Disney Princess

          Okay. This is the recipe I adapted:
          https://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/scones-recipe

          If you scroll down to the bottom of the page, it has a tweak for drop scones. That’s what I made. Now, the extra liquid wasn’t enough so I added the extra lemon curd I had left over while it was still warm. Maybe a quarter of a cup? (if you buy yours, just add extra milk/half and half/whatever and some lemon extract and St Germain). I also added a boatload of lemon zest.

          This is important, though: freeze them for AT LEAST 30 minutes. They turn out so light and so fluffy.

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          1. Tau

            Thank you so much! Scones aren’t something I’ve made particularly often and that recipe sounds delicious, and your suggested additives twice as delicious.

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        2. Tau

          I was thinking the scones, but that lemon curd sounds absolutely delicious as well, and honestly the main thing I wanted to know was where you got the elderflower flavour from! I am definitely going to have to experiment with this, I love elderflower (and elderberry, although using that seems less common in the US.)

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    6. AvonLady Barksdale

      I’m about to make scones for a re-watch brunch tomorrow… did you put St. Germain in the scones too? That sounds marvelous.

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      1. Wannabe Disney Princess

        I did!

        Originally, I was just going to stick with lemon zest since I wanted the lemon curd to be the star of the show.

        But, I ended up actually adding a little of the lemon curd-St Germain mixture (before it set up) since the dough was looking a teensy bit dry. Maaaaaybe a quarter cup? Wasn’t a lot. Just enough that it’s lightly flavored and a BEAUTIFUL color.

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        1. Liz

          I loved the dress and the afters dress. I thought she was beautiful. Also, I lived in the UK for a few years. There is a class consciousness there that US folks don’t get.

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          1. Quoth the Raven

            I didn’t watch the wedding but judging by the photos and videos I’ve seen, I loved the dress, too.

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    7. Kay

      The expressions of the Queen, Zara Tindall and Duchess Catherine really did say it all. There was no hiding what everyone was thinking. Pictures of their sour expressions don’t lie.

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      1. bunniferous

        If I recall correctly the faces were made during the overly long sermon of the American bishop. But in any case if you took my photograph a million times at church or at a formal occasion I am sure you would have a multitude of facial expressions to choose from.

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        1. ThatGirl

          The sermon was 13 minutes. That’s not long. My dad’s a pastor and his averaged 20-25; black pastors often go longer.

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          1. A Non E. Mouse

            The sermon was 13 minutes. That’s not long. My dad’s a pastor and his averaged 20-25; black pastors often go longer.

            Southern preachers (of any persuasion or color, as far as I every experienced) will flat take up a Sunday on you.

            Someone gets the Ghost and you’ll be there HOURS.

            And I came to dread traveling pastors…they were basically the “inspirational speakers” and loved to hear themselves talk.

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            1. ThatGirl

              Oh yes, I believe that. I mostly lived in the northeast and Indiana. Once saw a pastor in Oregon hold the congregation hostage over the offering.

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            2. Chaordic One

              Your comments about the length of the sermon reminded me of the old Lyle Lovett song, “Church.”

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            3. Falling Diphthong

              Maya Angelou had a very moving piece recalling from her childhood when the traveling preacher would come and stay with them, and her grandmother would make for breakfast fried bacon with fried ham and fried eggs and fried biscuits and fried tomatoes, and as soon as they were all sitting in front of their hot food he would start holding forth while all the fat congealed, until it was solid and cold and he finally let them eat.

              It was, like, 60 years later, and you could feel the heat of the grudge coming off the page.

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              1. ThatGirl

                Hahaha I’ve definitely been in situations where my food was getting cold while someone rambled on, so I love that.

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      2. AvonLady Barksdale

        Well, Zara Tindall looked like she was about 41 weeks pregnant and as probably overdressed for the weather, so I won’t read too much into HER expression.

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    8. Enya

      I thought Meghans dress was pretty, if a tad plain, but I didn’t like the way her hair was parted in the middle. I thought Kate looked especially nice.

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      1. Julia

        I think the plain dress worked well because it didn’t distract from her lovely face. Plus, she was wearing one heck of a tiara, so a dress with bling etc. may have been too much.

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        1. AdAgencyChick

          I’ve noticed that, as much as women on “Say Yes to the Dress” ask to “look like a princess” and what they mean is “load my dress up with bling,” actual royal brides have all the sparkle on their heads. I’m going to guess that’s actual protocol, not just a tendency.

          That said, I was a bit let down by Meghan’s gown. I think one can be sparkle-free without being plain. Would have loved to see a more interesting textile, or something to the cut of the gown to break up that vast field of flat white.

          I liked Gina Torres’s dress best of the wedding guests’, to the point that I tracked it down online. I’m relieved that it’s available only in the very smallest sizes, so that I don’t have to actually get into it with myself about why it is not a good idea to drop $1900 on a fancy day dress.

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          1. saffytaffy

            AdAgencyChick, there’s a tendency with people of old money to not wear ostentatious bling, which is seen as something a newly-wealthy person would do and is vulgar. Think of Daphne Guinness, who wears diamond broaches INSIDE her shirt collar, so you can’t see them but there’s a light from them reflected up onto her face. The best thing is to have the most subtle possible signifiers of wealth.
            So it’s not really a protocol, but was born out of a way to separate from the lower classes, who around the 1910s were beginning to be able to buy machine-made lace and mauveine fabric.

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    9. Fiennes

      I made a lemon cream cheese pound cake. Not QUITE the same, but still yummy with coffee in the early morning!

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        1. Fiennes

          Very simple—cup and a half of sugar, cup and a half of flour, 3/4 cup of butter, 3 eggs, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 tsp lemon extract, half a package of cream cheese. Mix the (room temperature) butter and cream cheese; add sugar and mix again; add eggs, mix; add flour, mix; add extract and vanilla. This will fill a loaf pan. (Double recipe for a tube pan.) Bake at 325 for approximately 80 minutes—the time varies a lot, though, by pan and by oven. So check for doneness starting at the one hour mark. Enjoy!

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    10. SpiderLadyCEO

      Oh my gosh, that sounds amazing! Where did you get elderflower flavoring? Did you have to special order it? I just made vanilla scones and ate them with marmalade, because I had That Which We Do Not Name today.

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      1. SpiderLadyCEO

        Never mind me, I should have read further downthread before commenting :) I will be trying this recipe soon!

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    11. louise

      Lemon cupcakes with salted elderflower liqueur buttercream here. Mmmm…they were a hit. After the party I realized I had a jar of lemon curd. Missed opportunity.

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    12. fposte

      A thought occurred to me–was there much mention of Wallis Simpson in the coverage? I was thinking either there was a lot or there was significant silence on the topic.

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      1. Detached Elemental

        Absolutely zero on the coverage I watched. I suspect people thought it might be tacky to mention her.

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      2. Former Employee

        It’s my understanding that when the Queen Mother was alive, no one was to speak the names of Edward and Wallis (who became the Duke and Duchess of Windsor after Edward abdicated and married Wallis) in her presence.

        If so, then maybe the entire family just got used to silence regarding them.

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      3. AvonLady Barksdale

        I was thinking the same thing yesterday, but I am so glad they didn’t connect Meghan Markle to Wallis Simpson. First, because Harry isn’t the monarch so it’s not quite as big a deal, and second, because Meghan isn’t a(n alleged, I suppose, though I firmly believe it) Nazi conspirator who sleeps with everyone in her path.

        Plus, we do live in very different times. :)

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        1. fposte

          Yeah, I was thinking somewhere Wallis is laughing a wry laugh, but I also didn’t particularly care if her ghost felt cheated.

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      4. Middle School Teacher

        My coverage mentioned her briefly when they said why Harry and Meaghan were now Duke and Duchess of Sussex: primarily because it was available, but also because there was no scandal associated with it. Windsor was also available as a choice, but given what happened with the last one, the Queen decided not to use that one, since the last Duke was Edward VIII.

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        1. Jemima Bond

          Yeah, there are a few extinct ones such as Clarence & Avondale but seeing as George Duke of Clarence betrayed his brother Edward IV and was drowned in a butt of malmsey, and the last holder of the title was Prince Albert Victor son of Edward VII who got embroiled in a brothel scandal, it doesn’t really augur well!
          I came here to drink milk and spout bits of the history of the monarchy, and I’ve just finished my milk…

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  2. Tomato Soup

    I woke up late and the wind picks up and now I can’t spray weed killer…

    i really hate yard work but im the only one who gives a damn and i also don’t want to pay people..

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    1. Enough

      I still need to mow a section of my yard and it is raining again. It was bad enough last year when it rained every week all summer and the grass never stopped growing but when you only get one dry day a week all you do is think about is mowing.

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      1. nep

        It’s maddening–I hate when it gets so high and starts to look as if the house is unoccupied…but then, relentless rain. Ouf.

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    2. Pollygrammer

      I picked up a bunch of plants a couple days ago and it’s been raining ever since, so I can’t get them in the ground. I apologized to them out loud this morning because I am insane. (“Not today, guys, I’m sorry.”)

      Reply
    3. Alpha Bravo

      My lawn is a hayfield right now. My late spouse was the groundskeeper and I have just had zero motivation this year. My flower beds are all perennials but need weeding. I usually do a veggie garden as well, but … nah. I’ve decided I DO want to pay someone to mow. I like landscaping and gardening but mowing was always his thing and I really don’t want to start doing it now.

      Reply
    4. The Other Dawn

      I feel the same way, but once I get started it’s not too bad. Last night my choice was to spray weed killer on the patio–it’s big and a couple hundred years old, so weeds love to grow in the dirt between the bricks–or mow the front and side lawns. Weed killing won, because my husband locked the shed and I couldn’t get the mower (he was working). Had no idea I had the key on my key ring. I didn’t want to do either one, but my back was hurting and I needed to move around for awhile. And now it’s raining again so I can’t mow. Lawn looks terrible compared to all the neighbors. One neighbor pays someone, one has a zero turn mower (very jealous!) and the other is a fanatic about his lawn.

      Probably the thing I hate the most is the initial weeding of the flower garden. Since I’m not good at gardening and it was well-established when we moved in a few years ago, I’m loathe to till it up and start over. I know that’s what really needs to be done in order to have less work over the long term, but I just can’t make myself do it. I’m so worried I’ll either till up plants I want to keep, or I’ll start and never finish. Sure, my husband would LOVE to do it, but he will till everything without regard for the plants I want to keep. Not on purpose, but he won’t be careful either.

      Reply
  3. Hey There Demons

    I’ve been watching Buzzfeed Unsolved all week while working on crafting projects and I wanted to ask you all: where do you stand on ghosts and/or cryptids (Bigfoot, Loch Ness Monster, Jersey Devil)? And more importantly, does anyone have a story to share?

    I myself have never had an experience but I do think ghosts are real. Yes, the TV shows of constantly finding evidence seem extreme but I do think there is something to these narratives. And I’ve had friends with experiences who wouldn’t joke or lie about things like that, so I’m inclined to believe them.

    Cryptids and those sorts of urbane legends I’m a little more on the fence about, again no experience in my life, but I like the idea that we haven’t discovered every little secret on our planet.

    Where do you all stand?

    Reply
    1. Hey There Demons

      Also Buzzfeed Unsolved on YouTube is a really fun and interesting series about supernatural stories and true crime, I highly recommend it if you need something to binge.

      Reply
    2. fposte

      I don’t believe in them but I love the stories to pieces, if they’re well-told. So I’d hate to lose the thread of belief that keeps such stories alive.

      Have you read the great AAM Halloween thread where people report on their haunting experiences in the office? There’s some great stuff in there. Link in followup.

      Reply
    3. Julia

      I do think it’s kind of arrogant to deny the existence of ghosts – we can’t prove that they don’t exist, and humans had some interesting beliefs that we now laugh at (the earth being flat), so I think we should learn to be more open-minded. Do I believe in them? Enough to be scared when I get up to pee at night, and enough to cry at that one scene in Moana.

      But I’m a sceptic about 100% answers. Maybe that’s why I’m agnostic and not an atheist.

      Reply
    4. Lily Evans

      I’m ambivalent about it all since I don’t have proof either way. But at the same time I really don’t want proof? I’m perfectly happy with it being a mystery because I’m a scaredy cat.

      Reply
    5. Lissa

      I’ve had some creepy experiences, but my rational brain won’t let me fully believe. I know that brains are really good at tricking themselves, and just because I saw/heard something doesn’t necessarily mean it happened just as I remember. At the same time though…. maybe there is something to it, there’s been so many different stories over the years and I myself have seen some weird stuff.

      Cryptids, definitely not. I remember as a kid being like “Hey, if there really had been a Loch Ness monster in the 1800s wouldn’t it be dead by now anyway?” My parents were amused.

      Reply
    6. Scubacat

      Based on my education in primatology, I think that it’s highly doubtful that Bigfoot is wandering about the West Coast. What would it be eating?

      Reply
    7. many bells down

      I’ve deliberately chosen to believe in the Loch Ness Monster. I don’t have opinions of other cryptids, and I’ve never seen a ghost myself. I just really like the idea of Nessie.

      Reply
    8. Fiennes

      Zero belief in cryptids. Ghosts, though…they make no sense in the world as I see it, but enough people I’ve known (who were reasonable and practical—including my grandma, the least fanciful human I’ve ever met) have had encounters that I’m forced to wonder. I guess I’d say I don’t believe in ghosts, but they’re the only paranormal thing I wouldn’t be totally shocked to see proved real one day.

      Reply
    9. SpiderLadyCEO

      You know, I’m not sure what I believe in, being the world’s most sacrilegious Catholic, but I adore ghost/cryptid/spooky stories, especially when they are presented as real/unsolved! It’s just not as scary if it’s fakefakefake, but if you suspend belief for long enough….and of course there are some things that just cannot be explained! I was never there for any of it, but a few things happened in my childhood bedroom, and electronics never worked as well in there…

      Reply
    10. FD

      Several people I consider sensible and not prone to crying wolf have stories of seeing them. One person I know was with several friends. They saw a woman in old-fashioned dress (it was a college campus so they thought it was for an event or something) walk into an elevator ahead of them. They thought they’d wait for the next one as they were joking around and didn’t want to be Those Guys who are loud and obnoxious on a shared elevator. The elevator didn’t move, so they got worried and called it again. It was empty.

      Another friend of mine kept getting a half glimpse of a woman in a nightgown in their home. They didn’t get a bad vibe from her, so they just ignored it, half thinking it was their imagination. Then their sister came over and asked, “Hey, were you wearing a nightgown earlier? I saw someone wearing one.”

      I tend to be skeptical, but both of these stories make me wonder.

      Reply
    11. A Non E. Mouse

      I believe that people believe they see ghosts.

      I don’t know if that means they actually exist, but I do know that in the few months after my beloved FIL died, I swear I kept catching him out of the corner of my eye, in his favorite sweatshirt and jeans.

      Ghost? Grief-stricken mind? I don’t know. But either way it was a comfort, so I took it as one.

      Reply
    12. Thlayli

      I also have heard believable stories from many believable people regarding ghosts/ spirits / visitations / whatever you want to call them.

      I was religious as a kid, atheist for many years and now agnostic/ religious / not sure. I believe strongly in science but I also know that scientists have prejudices. They say there is no scientific evidence of ghosts, yet there is such an overwhelming number of people who have experienced this. I don’t agree with the concept that “anecdotal evidence is worthless”. There have been plenty of times that people have been disbelieved because they had no proof, but later were proven to be correct. I think the sheer volume of believable eye-witnesses can’t be so easily dismissed by “anecdotal evidence is worthless”.

      the evidence that I have (believable stories from multiple believable people) indicates to me that there is something after death. The nature of it is not clear – some of the stories were very different to others. But there is *something*, I’m sure of it even though I’ve not had an experience myself.

      Cryptids I’m much more sceptical of. Not saying I disbelieve people but it’s easy to get mixed up between animals especially if you don’t see them clearly, and some animals with weird diseases can look really strange – ever seen those photos of animals that have lost their hair for whatever reason? Or animals that have been deformed from various conditions? I think that’s the likely explanation for most cryptids. I do believe there are still animals we haven’t discovered too.

      Im also pretty sure aliens must exist just due to the sheer numbers of suitable planets and the fact life evolved here so why not elsewhere. I’m also sure any species with the technology to travel across interstellar space would have the technology to hide from us. So I think alien visits are feasible. However i don’t tend to find the evidence for claims of alien encounters convincing because I’ve never met anyone who’s had one, and the people who make these claims don’t really seem that convincing to me.

      Reply
      1. tangerineRose

        Related to cryptids, I’ve heard that people will report seeing a cougar when they’ve really seen a bobcat, so I figure the same kind of thing might be happening with Bigfoot, etc. A cougar is much bigger than a bobcat, and bobcats have spots and just a stubby tail – they don’t look that much alike. Then again, if I saw either close up in the woods, I might be too scared to think about what it was too.

        Reply
    13. Nico M

      Ghosts aren’t real.

      There are plentiful explanations for why rational honest people could sincerely believe they saw a ghost.

      Ghosts existing means junking a shitload of working science.

      The famous cryptids are nonsense but it’s not impossible that there’s undiscovered wonders in the remotest parts of the world.

      Reply
    14. Indoor Cat

      Ghosts, sorta. I believe there are probably spirits out there, or interdimensional beings we perceive as ghosts. I think there are times people can glimpse infinities so beyond our own understanding that we process them as something we’re expecting– a human-ghost, or the voice of someone familiar. I believe many haunted places genuinely have paranormal, scientifically inexplicable phenomena happening.

      But, I’m disinclined to the idea that a dead person’s soul can get stuck on Earth if they have unfinished business. And I think a lot of the people who claim to speak to dead loved ones for people are full of sh!t, pardon my language. That kind of thing makes me really angry, especially after things like the Amanda Berry case [short version: a famous psychic told police that a missing girl was dead, altering the investigation, but it turned out she was alive and kidnapped].

      Aliens who have visited Earth? Mmmaybe. I can’t see how anyone saying they were abducted by aliens or witnessed alien ships landing has something to gain; instead, they seem to become objects of derision. But, again, who’s to say that these surreal, paranormal experiences are actually encounters with beings from far off planets? Rather, maybe they’re inter-dimensional visions, or what would have been called angels or demons if a person was more inclined to believe in those things than aliens?

      The evidence for the government covering up aliens’ existence, crop circles, and alien influence on ancient cultures, seems pretty flimsy to me.

      Cryptids: I mean, environmentalists estimate that there are hundreds of thousands of as yet undiscovered distinct species. And while most of these are deep-sea creatures or insects, who’s to say we won’t one day discover a yeti or a bigfoot?

      Reply
      1. Mike C.

        Mostly because biologists can easily measure the amount of wildlife it takes to feed and support similar organisms and then look to see that there isn’t enough to feed and support them.

        That and the complete and utter lack of sightings, footprints, scat, and other markings. Apex predators tend to leave a huge mark on an ecosystem and they’re obvious to see.

        Furthermore, much of the “undiscovered species” are going to be things that are smaller, most likely plants, fungus and the like or are closely related organisms that are phenotypiclly similar but are significantly distinct when it comes to genetics.

        I mean sure, I cannot prove a negative and say with certainty that there is no such thing as a Bigfoot. But what’s so frustrating about these sorts of discussions is the that fact that people who do think there might be are competly unwilling to explain how that is possible in the context of our current understanding of ecology. You have to do that hard work or you won’t be taken seriously.

        Reply
        1. Indoor Cat

          I mean, I’m not trying to be serious; this seems like a pretty relaxed thread, you know? But, they did discover an orange spotted flounder last year, and that seems pretty big!

          I dunno, would a yeti be an apex predator? Maybe they’re herbivores. Maybe they eat people’s garbage, like raccoons. Maybe they only eat two weeks of the year, and then they hibernate. Plus, those videos do show evidence like sightings, scat, and footprints. They could be fake, but they could be real, you know?

          Reply
          1. Mike C.

            I’m not sure what’s so fun and relaxed about handwaving away large fields of science because you saw a few grainy videos. It’s kind of insulting to be honest.

            Reply
            1. Hey There Demons

              Mike, please, this was meant to be fun and speculative, not finger-pointing or down-playing people for their beliefs.

              There are religious people who look at proof of evolution from scientists and believe in Creation. People are allowed their beliefs without it being a personal insult to the career of another.

              Reply
        2. Sack of Benevolent Trash Marsupials

          I’m late but a huge problem for me with cryptids, and particularly large ones like yeti or bigfoot is the complete lack of remains. I don’t care how hidden people think these creatures are, someone somewhere would have found/dug up at least one dead one by now.

          Reply
    15. Triple Anon

      I think a lot of stories about ghosts and cryptids have mundane explanations.

      Cryptids – Dehydration, lack of sleep, hunger and over exertion can cause people to hallucinate or just perceive things inaccurately. When you’re out in the woods, there’s a lot to look at. I think some cryptid stories are just from people seeing things when they need to rest and get some electrolites and a good meal. I think it’s unlikely that there are cryptids because with all of the cameras and human encroachment on previously undisturbed areas, we should have more evidence by now. They’d be showing up on Google Earth. But who knows. There could be some rare undiscovered species somewhere.

      Ghosts – A lot of “spooky sounds” are actually rodents or old houses settling. Rats, possums, squirrels and raccoons make eerie noises in houses at night. They enter silently, knock things over or remove small objects, and can leave without much of a trace. They can make weird knocking sounds. Or weird human-like noises. But I think ghosts as in lingering energy could be real. I think there is a lot that science hasn’t documented yet. We should keep an open mind.

      Reply
      1. Triple Anon

        PS – I think we have a natural, “Agh! Creepy!” reaction to signs of wild animals sharing our living space, and when it isn’t obvious that it’s an animal, we tend to think of ghosts and other supernatural things. The fear reaction is an instinctive response, and I think we have that instinct because these animals so pose a threat to us. They carry diseases.

        Reply
    16. Tara2

      I don’t believe in ghosts at all, but I still like ghost stories. They’re just creepy and fun. I am also super interested in ghost science, like all the psychological/physiological reasonings for ghost sightings that possibly explain how they happen, for example infrasound. Super interesting.

      Reply
  4. Lcsa99

    I thought it might be fun to do like a running story. Each person will write just one or two sentences to build onto the story. I’ll start!

    It was a dark and stormy night, and Fergus, Bronwyn and Bob were sitting on Bob’s couch, watching a movie, when suddenly the doorbell rang. 

    Reply
    1. fposte

      “Pizza, pizza!” yelled Fergus excitedly, starting toward the door. “But nobody ordered pizza,” Bronwyn pointed out suspiciously.

      Reply
        1. The Librarian (not the type from TNT)

          “Sorry, I don’t fall for multi-level marketing schemes,” said Bob. “But she’s hot,” protested Fergus.

          Reply
          1. Roseberriesmaybe

            Bronwyn came to the doorway and crossed her arms. “What is she doing out on a night like this anyway?” she murmured to herself

            Reply
              1. Lcsa99

                The Avon lady grabbed Bob’s arm. “I’m not really an Avon lady, that’s my boyfriend, and I’m trying to hide from him!”

                Reply
                1. Thursday Next

                  Bob reflexively pulled the Avon lady who wasn’t into the house, and slammed the door. “Bronwyn, call the police!” Bob said.

                  “No, you don’t understand,” said the woman.

    1. fposte

      The question was “How did Bob get around to the door with the pizza when he’d been sitting on the couch with the other two?” :-)

      Reply
      1. tangerineRose

        Bob had a friend bring a pizza and knock on the door, and while the others were wondering whether to get it or not, he ran around the back and grabbed the pizza :)

        Reply
  5. Liz

    This is what happens when you post at the same time, laughed Fergus. We need a better group writing platform!

    Reply
    1. Ktelzbeth

      Yup. Me too. The story will be like the multiple universes (I think) theory by the end of the weekend. Every time a decision is made, a new universe spins off.

      Reply
    1. StudentA

      I’m obsessed with breakfast food. I hope you guys had a great time :) Did you get some quality girl-talk time?

      Reply
  6. Guy in Japan

    Just a random request for opinions: what do you think about vaguely racist requirements for public services? Summarizing a long story, in Japan most people have black hair, and most people that dye their hair dye it brown. Pretty much all schools ban dyed hair. My daughter, being half-Caucasian, takes after me and has brown hair, in just the shade that is popular to dye. Basically every school in Japan requires a abnormal-colour registration(tagei sho mei sho) in that case, which the kid has to carry and show to the teacher during the monthly hair inspections. I find that unacceptably racist, and am opposed to even talking about it, but most locals say that it’s just the price of being out of the norm. On the one hand, it’s relatively minor, and incomparable to racism in the west, but on the other hand, it’s my daughter, and I’m not happy about even minor things. So, as she is still too young to go to schools where that happens, but I know it will, I was wondering what other people (who don’t live here) would do. Accept it as a local culture thing, go full-on angry parent, or some sort of thoughtful compromise?

    Reply
      1. Engineering consultant

        In Asia, it’s pretty common for elementary, middle, and high schools to have strict dress codes, hair included. When I was in high school you weren’t allowed to dye your hair or have it cut in “strange forms” (aka mohawks, fades, etc) or else the disciplinary officer(s) would just shave it off for you. Back in my parents’ day, girls weren’t allowed to even have long hair, shoulder length was apparently pushing it.

        @Guy in Japan – I think you’re going to have to accept it as a local culture thing. Unless you want to make a big fuss and your daughter will be known as “that one with the obnoxious parent.” It does suck that Japanese culture is so homogeneous and not very accepting of other cultures living in their country but if you make a big fuss it’s not going to end well for your daughter. She’s already different by being biracial and do you want her to stand out (in a bad way) more in a collectivist society?

        Reply
    1. Julia

      Hello, fellow white guy in Japan! I don’t have kids (yet), but I did read about a recent outrage when a naturally brunette girl had to dye her hair black. I agree with you that Japan has a huge problem accepting diversity, but I also guess that a foreigner (that’s what we are here, and that’s how the school will see you, I’m afraid) complains about it. What does your daughter’s mother say about all this? Could she go in and complain?

      Reply
        1. Guy in Japan

          Yeah, I linked to that article, it’ll come through in a bit. That’s what started off that question, I didn’t know about it before. My wife didn’t either, and when I told her about it, her first reaction was to move abroad. She hadn’t thought about it when it was other kids (she’s a teacher), but when it came home with our kid, it was a problem. We still haven’t decided what to do, really.

          Assuming you read Japanese, check out Sandra Heferin’s 日本在住ハーフの私の100のモンダイ, a manga-essay about mixed race people in Japan. It didn’t give any answers, but added some more worries.

          Reply
          1. Julia

            Thank you for the tip! I do read Japanese, so I might check it out when I’m done with my thesis.

            I also think I’d prefer to raise my kids abroad, but the truth is that they’ll probably face difficulties anywhere. Heck, I was bullied in my home country despite being as German as the other kids! And I do know half-Japanese kids who are thriving in Japan, it really depends on the school.

            Nonetheless, I hope you find an answer, or that by the same your daughter is of school age, the problem will have at least improved.

            Reply
          2. ginkgo

            Ha! I was going to recommend that exact book to you based on your post – I’m glad you’ve already read it. I’m ethnically half Japanese, but 100% American, and it took me about an hour to read each chapter with laborious use of a dictionary, but it was worth it. I can see how it would add to your worries as a parent, but I was amazed at how much the book made me feel seen by and connected to someone I hardly share a language, let alone a culture, with. Which is to say, whatever you end up doing, there’s community to be found, and I think that could be helpful to your daughter (and your family), knowing that you’re not going through this alone.

            “The price of being out of the norm” – how awful, as if your daughter chose this. :( Sorry you’re dealing with it.

            Reply
          3. Buu

            Are there any meetups in your area for expats living in Japan? Some of them may have older kids who have gone to the local schools and can tell you what they are like. Are open days a thing in Japan? Before you even enroll your kid there might be a chance to sound the school out.
            I guess you could also look into international schools?

            Reply
      1. Elizabeth the Ginger

        My former colleague is a black man. His wife is Japanese and they moved (back, for her) to Japan and are raising their child there. From what he’s posted on Facebook it sounds definitely challenging to raise a not-100%-ethnically-Japanese child there. He recently posted about how his daughter keeps a crayon in her own skin color for when she draws herself, because the school-issued crayons have a “skin color” crayon that doesn’t, of course, match her skin. He also said that this is seen as odd but accepted because the little girl is seen as a foreigner, despite her mother being Japanese and the child herself having lived the majority of her life in Japan.

        Reply
    2. Anono-me

      Maybe try to find one of tbe few schools that doesn’t care about hair color and send your daughter there.
      And yes I realize that might mean moving or paying for a private school; but in my experience where there is open and accept behavior, there is alot more discreet behavior.

      Reply
    3. Chriama

      I’m wondering why you consider this racism? The point is to prevent kids from dyeing their hair, which is enforcing a standard like uniforms. Racism would be forcing kids of another ethnicity to dye their hair black to “fit in”. I say this as a black woman about to head off to Japan for a year. I know there are all sorts of stereotypes to deal with, but I don’t think this is one of them. I can understand how it’s frustrating for your kid though!

      Reply
      1. fposte

        I think it’s one of those things that is more laden in one culture than another. The hair check doesn’t particularly trip my American trigger, but the official registration of somebody for being an ethnic minority definitely does. But, you know, when in Rome.

        Reply
        1. neverjaunty

          “When in Rome, quietly tolerate bad behavior directed at your child” maybe not the right saying?

          Reply
          1. Falling Diphthong

            When in Rome, realize that using your child to protest a social norm not seen as a problem by most people probably gets your kid kicked out of school, with some head-shaking about why foreigners move here and then try to get the original people to follow their rules.

            Reply
            1. Parenthetically

              Yeah, this here is where I’d come down. Like, it sucks. Maybe your preteen isn’t the right person around whom to organize a movement though?

              Reply
              1. Falling Diphthong

                Have you ever lived overseas?

                I have. You don’t get to wave around “Why in America, our rules are totally different!” and have anyone actually, like, care.

                If you are trying to reduce future therapy bills, I’d go for helping your kid to make friends in the community rather than use their tiny body to carry a social protest. To practice the respect for different people and traditions that you want others to apply to them. For an anecdote: American family lived in a place that had religion as part of the required curriculum in state schools. Ex-pat parent floated how things were going by agnostic 9 year old, who explained that he didn’t think challenging the teacher on religion would be kind, and the class was interesting as a cultural observation of different belief systems. Parent was glad he let the kid take the lead on whether there was anything to become het up over.

                Reply
                1. fposte

                  Suzanne Lucas, aka Evil HR Lady, has some really interesting stuff about the cultural negotiations of being expat parents.

                2. neverjaunty

                  Yes, I’ve lived abroad, thanks. And I also understand that “submit meekly” and “start a crusade” are not the only two options available when dealing with less-than-stellar aspects of a different culture.

                3. Lissa

                  How would you suggest going about it in a way that doesn’t come off as “your cultural values are wrong, be more Western”?

          2. Middle School Teacher

            But it’s not directed at one kid. If I read the original post correctly, everyone gets inspected monthly to make sure everyone is following the rules. If that’s the rule, that’s the rule. It sucks but it is what it is.

            Reply
            1. Gaia

              For me, it isn’t the inspection that is problematic. It is the official registration of “people who are different.” That is …. really gross. And it doesn’t just impact “foreigners” since it is actually really quite possibly to have someone born and raised in Japan, to parents born and raised in Japan and end up with hair color that isn’t black. Common? No. Possible? Yes.

              Reply
          3. fposte

            But non-Western behavior isn’t the same thing as bad behavior. Treating it as if it were is pretty parochial, verging on colonialist. No culture is going to have only things in it that you like.

            Now that doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to protect your kid from situations of genuine suffering, cross-culturally or otherwise, but it’s also important to help your kid understand that things mean different things in different places.

            Reply
        2. Grad Student

          I think the “official registration of somebody for being an ethnic minority” is where this becomes racist (even if only minorly so). Yes, the point is to enforce a dress code that anyone can comply with, but kids who look a certain way have to jump through extra hoops to comply. Imagine if an American school had a rule that no one could get perms, they had hair texture checks to enforce this, and students with naturally kinky or curly hair had to carry a registration card stating this–that would be pretty clearly racist, right, even if the stated objective were something other than racial discrimination?

          Reply
          1. Thlayli

            This is the issue. It’s the registration and carrying a card that makes it racist and creepy, not the hair inspections. Why on earth can’t her teachers just be told that she has naturally brown hair and remember that? Especially in the early years when I can’t imagine they have many teachers at a time. Even if the inspectors aren’t the teachers, how hard is it for the school to have a list of the kids names and natural hair colours, and give that to the inspector, instead of making a 6-year-old responsible for carrying a registration card?

            Reply
        3. Elizabeth the Ginger

          Ancient Rome itself was very diverse, with people from all over the empire living in the city. Certainly there were Roman standards of behavior that citizens were supposed to follow, but physical diversity based on racial characteristics wouldn’t have gotten you labeled as “not Roman.”

          Reply
      2. Middle School Teacher

        I would agree. This is a Thing in Japan. I agree with fposte. This is a when in Rome moment.

        Reply
      3. Mephyle

        The thing is that kids with non-Japanese or partly non-Japanese ancestry have in some cases been forced to dye their hair black.

        Reply
      4. Julia

        Actually, there was a case when they forced a girl to dye her hair black. As a foreigner in Japan, I get that we have to do it their way, but I mean, we also pay taxes etc. so maybe we don’t have to accept everything?

        Reply
      5. Guy in Japan

        I agree that the point is to prevent dyeing hair, and have no problem with that, but the method is to assume that everyone has black, straight hair (and a certain complexion and skin colour, etc). I don’t like that my daughter has to prove that she is not one of the bad kids just because of her natural hair colour. The bigger problem behind it is, as some people here have said too, there is the assumption that all Japanese people are the same, which in turn says that my daughter is not Japanese, even though she is mixed-race, was born here, and has only lived here. I was the first American in my family (European immigrant parents), and I remember how the jokes about not really being American or belonging here didn’t feel very good, even if it was all in fun and I laughed along.

        My (Japanese, teacher) wife’s first reaction was that it was illegal, and if we didn’t fight it we should think about leaving the country. The whole thing has come about because each board of education explicitly refuses to set a standard for hair colour and the like, leaving it up to the schools. The schools have to deal with parents and locals who don’t like students with dyed hair, so they set strict rules. They are forbidden by national law from not educating someone, but any court case would take longer than the kid would need to graduate, and turn the community against them, so no one does anything. That’s not a criticism, I’m not going to either, I am just looking for options and opinions, especially ones for people outside of Japan.

        Very tangentially, where in Japan are you going? We’re in Gifu, which while very rural is lovely.

        Reply
        1. Elizabeth the Ginger

          “… says that my daughter is not Japanese, even though she is mixed-race, was born here, and has only lived here.”

          Yes, this is what makes it so different from “when in Rome.” This isn’t the same as a visitor being told “well, you’re a tourist, so you need to abide by the rules here and also accept that people will treat you like a tourist.” Nor is this a question of your daughter behaving according to cultural norms, like calling her teachers by the appropriate honorific or taking off her shoes. Her hair is an innate part of her, and making membership in the in-group dependent on physical characteristics that are linked to race *is* racist.

          Reply
        2. Julia

          Oh, my friends with the biracial (German and Japanese, one of them disabled as well) kids live in Gifu and apparently really like the school there. Maybe you’ll be lucky?
          I wish you all the best and that the stuff system here is overhauled soon. Not for me as a foreigner so much as for the Japanese kids themselves – almost all my Japanese friends have some sort of complaint about the system, and a lot of those who speak English or another foreign language just go to schools or work overseas.

          Reply
    4. Fake old Converse shoes (not in the US)

      Wait, Japan does that too? My school dress code heavily policed hair for primary school kids. You could get told off for unnatural hair color or length, lice or being unkempt. I was forced to wear head bands during third and fourth grade because my hair likes to get in front of my face.

      Reply
      1. Julia

        Even in Germany during the nineties, so not too long after the end of the German Democratic Republic, I was yelled at in school for “wild” hair. My father didn’t care about hair (my mother worked) and I guess brushing wavy hair into submission when you’re supposed to comb it gently is not helpful.

        But at least no one told me I had the wrong hair color…

        Reply
    5. LilySparrow

      Why would they have to keep showing it to the teacher? Do they get a new teacher every month?

      That’s the part that’s a head-scratcher to me. Don’t the teachers recognize their own students? Why do they need to “inspect” anything?

      School bans hair dye. Wierd but ok. Student brings parental note at the start of the year saying “nope, that’s her natural color.” Done and done.

      If somebody dyes their hair, you’re going to see it, aren’t you? Because otherwise what’s the point?

      So to me, it’s not the idea of banning hair dye but the totally unnecessary theater of it that seems gross.

      Reply
      1. matcha123

        The students have one teacher throughout the year. My guess is that since the OP’s kid is in a private school, they do monthly inspections to make sure that kids aren’t getting their hair permed or dyed. However, most schools seem like they are OK with straight perms, but not perms that curl the hair. Basically, if you are dying your hair, you can’t redye it monthly and your roots will show, exposing the rule breaking. The note is probably a formality to show other students that this kid with the different hair is not being treated better than the other kids.
        At a private school, they can and will expel students for breaking what would be seen as trivial rules in the US. And in Japan teachers are kind of like parents to the students and the schools are way up in to students’ private lives. If a student commits a crime, the media always interviews the classroom teacher and principal.

        Reply
        1. LilySparrow

          But that’s my point. Why do you need to “insoect” to make sure a kid doesn’t have a curly perm or bleached their hair?

          You would instantly see that the second they walked into class. I mean if the kid did a perm the day *after* inspection day, would the teacher pretend they couldn’t see it for a whole month?

          Reply
          1. matcha123

            My guess is that it’s to prevent perms and dye jobs that look natural but aren’t. If a kid came in with bleached hair, they’d be sent home and told to stay until they dye their hair back to black.
            Personally, I understand your line of thinking. But, this is Japan and Japanese schools teach Japanese kids how to be Japanese. And in Japan, being Japanese means that you look and act like those around you.
            As an example, more kids have food allergies than a decade or more ago. Most public schools that serve a school lunch make that the ONLY lunch option. Everyone eats the same thing. If you are a kid with allergies, and I’ve seen local media cover this, then your parent (mom) has special permission to prepare a meal that looks exactly like what everyone else is eating and can be eaten off the same trays. Schools that have a lot of kids with allergies can have specially prepared meals delivered, with the meals being an altered version of what the rest of the class eats.
            In my mind, that’s a huge waste of time. But people her put priority on people not being different or standing out. People don’t want to make accommodations for kids from different backgrounds if they can avoid it.

            Reply
      2. Lillie Lane

        Yeah, I don’t get it either. If you are a teacher and know Susie has naturally brown hair, why is this an issue with the hair inspections? You can still inspect her hair, but expect it to be brown.

        Reply
    6. matcha123

      I’m in Japan. Does your kid go to a private school? That sounds more like a private school kind of thing. Honestly, Japan is very resistant to being seen as a multiracial/multicultural country and many people don’t want to be seen as catering to outsiders. In the minds of supporters, the rules are rules that everyone, even 100% Japanese students, have to follow.
      If a Japanese person has curly or light hair, which does happen!, they have to prove it themselves. The school board/school is not going to change for you and if you go in fighting, you might make things worse for your kid. Luckily, you’re a foreign white male, so you might be able to do it if you wanted to. If you were female, I’d say to leave it. You don’t want your kid ostracized because all your “mama-tomo” decided you were going full on gaijin smash.

      Reply
      1. Not So NewReader

        From what I have heard/read your first paragraph is an understatement as to how deeply ingrained the thinking is. I am glad that you mentioned this here. I heard a few stories of Americans being totally baffled (at best) by the differences in cultures.

        Reply
        1. matcha123

          Americans really value independence and freedom of choice in general. And in Japan, in general, people seem to be comforted by following the same rules, looking the same, being treated the same, etc.
          Many people are also very resistant to challenging their thinking on topics that they consider basic or general knowledge.

          Reply
          1. Lissa

            this is a really interesting topic and seeing the variety of responses here is kind of enlightening – there are some responses here that seem to immediately take the tack that the American way is better, and I mean…something like this wouldn’t fly in North America at all and would likely be the subject of outrage. I think a lot of how much to push back would be based on how distressed the child involved is, personally – cause yeah there’s a point where it does come off as “our culture is better, be more like us”…

            Reply
      2. Guy in Japan

        Sorry, I should have been clearer. My daughter is only 4 now, so she won’t have to deal with it for at least another 2 years, maybe 8 years. I was thinking about it now, because we are considering whether it would be best to raise her here or in a different country. Also, this is about public schools, not private. Private schools can force the kids to do more, but most public schools still have the registration and the checks.

        I wasn’t going to fight it just to prove a point, but if my daughter wants me to, I want to have a solid standpoint to discuss with the teachers. If we stay here, my plan now is to do the registration thing, cooperate, and be friendly, but tell the teacher that they can’t push it so much that my daughter complains to me.

        Reply
        1. matcha123

          I highly doubt that your daughter would want you to. She’s going to stand out either way. She can have the card and possibly laugh about it with her friends, or she can have a parent at the school all the time. And what you’ll most likely get from the teachers is a bunch of “muzukashii” and “Please understand” and things like that.
          You don’t really have standing to tell the teacher to make sure they don’t do something that makes your daughter complain. Even if they agree to appease you, the whole school might label you as a “monster parent”. I’m thinking worst case scenario here. I don’t know where you live, but I was living in the “inaka” (huge population by American standards, but not Tokyo) until recently. I saw a lot of mixed kids in public schools, many of them with natural hair. For some of them, that meant curly, or frizzy, or lighter. The parents of mixed kids and foreign non-Asian kids brought up in Japan never brought up hair with me. If the public schools in that area did have those checks, it doesn’t seem like they left a bad taste in the mouths of the students or their parents.

          Reply
        2. Sugihara

          What about the other deficiencies of Japanese education? Hair is probably the least of your problems.

          Reply
        3. Mad Baggins

          In my experience, teachers in rural areas (especially primary school) could certainly remember which kids naturally had what hair/dietary restrictions/learning styles/needs. I never witnessed a hair check or registration card in public school, but one (fully Japanese as far as I know) student had naturally brown hair and I never saw anyone comment on it after the first month or so (and from what I’ve seen it’s mostly junior high that is strict about uniforms, high school/primary was pretty lax). That certainly doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen though and I don’t mean to discount your experience/fears, but to offer more data points for your reference.

          If I were to raise a hafu child in Japan I would look at a broader stance to take on my child’s education and cultural upbringing, not just tackle it policy by policy. I would make sure my spouse and I were on the same page about what kind of messaging we want to send to teachers/friends/strangers/the child, how important it is that the child speak both languages/be bicultural and how we would encourage that, and including the child herself in decision-making as she got older. And part of that policy would be cultivating strong relationships with her teachers/friends’ parents/community leaders so that you have some goodwill when you want to push back and have them make an exception for her (whether it’s her hair, or letting her read her own English books during English class instead of having to participate, or letting her skip mandatory club activities afterschool so she can go to an English class that will challenge her, etc.)

          I think your concerns are pretty common among people raising third-culture children, so perhaps there are some FB groups or societies you could connect with about international families in Japan that would give you good scripts (in Japanese!) to deal with all kinds of situations. (And as to moving to the US… that won’t clear you from racist policies, just switch which half you gotta worry about…)

          Reply
    7. Justme, The OG

      I just dyed my mixed race daughter’s hair purple. I think that may be all I need to say about that.

      Reply
    8. Falling Diphthong

      In the Muslim fasting for Ramadan thread someone in Malaysia(?) posted about needing to show their government issued ID, giving their not-Muslim religion, so they could order food during the day. Generally I would say that when living where English common law derived legal codes are not a thing, you are more likely to change small corners of local culture rather than the nation as a whole. I would go first with accepting local culture, while being generally visible at her school so they grasp that it’s the natural hair color and this only comes up rarely, rather than monthly. If it’s possible, a school or neighborhood where hair color is less important can make that easier.

      Reply
      1. WS

        I get your overall point, but Malaysia does have English common law derived legal codes, among others!

        Reply
      2. Margaret

        That’s ridiculous, considering there are MANY health conditions that prevent you fasting during Ramadan, and women are not to fast when they have their periods.

        Reply
    9. Nacho

      It’s completely racist, but everything I’ve heard about Japan tells me it’s not a rock-the-boat kind of place when it comes to this kind of thing, and that making a stink about it will just earn your daughter enemies. Just accept it as a local culture thing for your daughter’s sake, if not your own.

      Reply
      1. Former Employee

        I don’t see it as being racist since all of the Japanese kids have their hair inspected, too.

        Reply
        1. Nacho

          Do the Japanese kids need certificates proving they didn’t die their hair black? Or is their hair assumed natural, unlike white kids?

          Reply
    10. Beatrice

      I was a kid whose parents protested generally-accepted rules at school. (For religious reasons in the US, not the same as your reasons or place.) It made me an outcast at school, which made me resentful, but it also made me an adult who is not afraid to question or defy authority over things I disagree with, so I learned something!

      Reply
      1. Countess Boochie Flagrante

        Yeah, I was too, but it didn’t really make me feel like challenging authority any more than I have to; my takeaway was really that I wanted to choose my hills to die on carefully, because I might really be called to die on them. I wound up changing schools after only a year and getting sent to a private religious school, because of the year-long battle between my parents and the school admin.

        Reply
    11. Triple Anon

      I would let your daughter take the lead here since it’s her education and her hair. I agree with others that it is racist because she has to register as a minority and that fighting it could cause additional problems for her. So I think the alternate route is to talk to her about it and support her in whatever she chooses to do.

      I don’t have kids, but I dealt with discrimination at school for other reasons (not ethic, but physical differences, socioeconomic background, and not having been born in that city). It was helpful when adults listened and were supportive in a nonjudgmental way – pointing out that the school was doing something wrong and letting me choose to respond to it. It was not helpful when adults tried to get involved because they weren’t there all day and didn’t understand the nuances.

      Also, looking back on it, befriending other kids who were considered “different” made a huge difference. We were dealing with similar things and we supported each other even if we didn’t come right out and say it. (When you’re 12, it’s easier just to bond over music and then say, “This school sucks,” than to call things what they are and address the social issues, haha.) So I’d err on the side of supporting her choices of friends. That’s a really valuable thing.

      Reply
      1. Falling Diphthong

        Seconding let your daughter take the lead, and decide whether something is a problem for which she needs you to to go to bat.

        I have an anecdote upthread about a secular American family in an area that required religious education, and their young kid had a very mature “it doesn’t hurt me at all to sit through this class, and I learn some stuff” response. I also recall an essay from a mom who was attempting to be het up about the new dress code at her kids’ school which would crush their individual expression, but her kids absolutely refused to feel oppressed, or assign to fashion the truest expression of their selves.

        Reply
        1. Ann O.

          Was the young kid in a public school? Because if it was a private, fine. But if it was public, it doesn’t really matter whether the young kid minded or not, and the attitude wasn’t intrinsically mature. It is still wrong for a public school to enforce religious education, and it’s not more mature/less mature for a kid to mind or not mind.

          Reply
          1. Falling Diphthong

            It was a public school, I believe in Germany or somewhere nearby and teaching Lutheranism as part of the national curriculum. His American parents could of course have gone into the school director and said “As Americans living here we want you to change the curriculum, because things are different in America” but, you know, they weren’t in the US, so they realized that citing the US Constitution wasn’t going to change anything.

            Reply
      2. Ursula

        Website seems to have eaten my original comment.

        I went to uni in Japan. I am a white European with a hair colour that is unusual even in my country though people would still recognise it as natural (dark red if any one is wondering a weird hybrid between ginger and chocolate brown). My uni had a dress code it was relatively relaxed no tattoos, no piercings except ears, no unnaturally died hair (Japanese dying their hair brown was fine but anything more extreme wasn’t allowed), as there are plenty of blonde Caucasians my brunette classmate who always dyed her hair blond got away without ever being questioned about her hair colour but I got pulled aside on the first day and told I wasn’t allowed to dye my hair. I said it wasn’t dyed and the teacher said OK. But only because Japanese people don’t like confrontation. Then I got pulled into the head of the department’s office and told I couldn’t have dyed hair. I repeated my hair wasn’t dyed and it was always like this (true). In the end I had to agree I’d bring photos to prove my hair was always that colour and had to get my mother to post my (pre-digital camera) baby pictures before they would accept my hair is natural.

        On the plus side the fascination about my hair meant lots of Japanese people wanted to touch it so they came up to talk to me and I got plenty of conversation practice (and I met a lot of cute kids because they have less impulse control about grabbing a strangers hair). I agree talking to people is better though. I was in a smaller city in the suburbs so there weren’t many foreigners (and most of the exchange students were Chinese or Koreans not obvious foreigners) but I had polite conversations with old people at bus stops or small children on trains (several reached out and grabbed my hair because they wanted to have a look) and hopefully showed them foreigners can be polite and not scary.

        It is racist this system but my throwing a fit wasn’t going to change it and they weren’t actually trying to get my to change my natural colour (once they understood it was my natural colour no one was saying your not allowed to be a red head they didn’t realise that being a red head was a natural state for some white people). It isn’t quite the same as the schools that ban Afro hairstyles when for many POC children that is their natural hair.

        Reply
        1. Thlayli

          Random point – it sounds like your hair colour is auburn (pronounce aw-burn). Very common in Ireland, and not unusual in Scotland.

          Reply
          1. Ursula

            I’m British (specifically English) but I come from the North of England near the Scottish border so I know what auburn is my hair isn’t quite auburn its too deep red but I suppose for simplicity I could say auburn.

            Reply
        2. David S. Pumpkins (formerly katamia)

          Wow. How would that work if your hair had changed colors since you were a kid? I was born with black hair, I had light blonde hair with very blonde highlights as a kid, and now my hair is a little darker (kind of been a mix of brown/blonde most of my life, tended toward the blonde as a kid and tend toward the brown now).

          Reply
          1. Is It Spring Yet?

            You want a taste of fame: take a blonde child to Taipei. Blonde curls plus a food obsession and my son now has 1,000 new aunties.

            Thats a lovely city to travel with a small kids. Miles beyond the pain of San Francisco.

            Reply
    12. Dee

      What do you think you’re going to achieve by going full angry-parent, apart from calling more attention to the fact your child is different? (Of course maybe that’s all you’re going for, in which case you do you.)

      Reply
    13. Ursula

      Is the certificate spelled 多芸証明書? Because it if it is that literally means multi-cultural certificate (I don’t know if you speak Japanese or not you might already know this). So I think it is a bit racist if you have to show a certificate to show you are a foreigner (or of an ethnic minority).

      I went to a university that had rules on hair. Not as strict as this dying your hair brown was allowed but unnatural colours (like purple, blue, etc) were not. I have quite dark red hair , my hair is unusual in my own country but no one would assume it wasn’t natural especially as my mother, sisters and cousins all have the same hair colour. The admins in the exchange student office did not believe it was natural. In the end I had my mother post over my baby pictures (digital cameras were expensive when I was a baby so she only had developed photos) to prove my hair had always been this colour.

      Reply
        1. Ursula

          I see that’s not quite so bad…ah the joys of Japanese words with the same yomikata but different kanji.

          Reply
    14. DArcy

      You’re blowing things way out of proportion: it’s a perfectly normal school dress code, there’s nothing racist about it, and you will make yourself look extremely foolish and disrespectful if you raise a fuss.

      Reply
  7. Ktelzbeth

    Adult diagnoses of ADHD and medications

    I was at a talk the other day on various mental health diagnoses and found that I hit quite a number of the characteristics for adult ADHD, probably inattentive subtype, though I am quite fidgety. Later in the week, I talked to my therapist, who said that she could see it and that she often works with children with ADHD. We talked about behavioral techniques for management, because it does bother me, but discovered that I had picked up most of them on my own. Not surprising, because I am a educated professional, so I had to figure out some way to keep myself in order. I’m thinking about medications, now, but part of me doesn’t want a medication for my brain. It’s inconsistent (I’m already on an antidepressant) and hypocritical (because I tell other people that it’s okay), but that’s how I feel.

    So, the question. Adults with ADHD, what have been your experiences with medications and were you diagnosed and treated first as an adult or as a child?

    Reply
    1. Dr. KMnO4

      I was first treated as an adult in college. Then a psychiatrist told me I didn’t have ADHD so for the next decade I didn’t get treatment. I did my PhD without treatment, though it was extremely difficult. Then about a year and a half ago I found a new psychiatric nurse, who agreed that I have ADHD, and gave me medication.

      I know what the behavioral management techniques are, but for me they don’t work well without the support of medication. I prefer Adderall, because we understand how it works, and I do well on a pretty low dose. I was stunned by how much of a difference it makes when I take my Adderall.

      Reply
    2. LilySparrow

      I’m 46, I was diagnosed ADHD-combined subtype about 3 years ago. (Maybe 4? I’d have to look it up, because chronology is one of my brain holes).

      I was a straight-A student until college, when I “slipped” to getting a few B’s. Where my executive function deficits show up are in routine life-maintenance stuff, like keeping house, making healthy lifestyle choices, keeping financial records up to date, that kind of thing. I also get sensory overload and have problems arriving on time.

      So as I moved through life and my priorities and responsibilities shifted from school and career (where periodic hyperfocus pays off) to family, community, and self-care (where you need consistency in tedious things), the wheels came off. A family situation that resulted in seven years of chronic extreme stress & sleep deprivation probably didn’t do my brain function any favors, either.

      I started taking a low dose of slow-release Adderall, and it’s very helpful in some ways. I can grocery shop without becoming utterly exhausted. I can decide it’s time to get off Facebook and write that article that’s due tomorrow, and *actually do it*. I can answer questions from my kids while cooking dinner, without feeling like I’m being attacked by a flock of seagulls. I remember that I need to use the GPS before I start driving, and hear the instructions, instead of forgetting to turn it on or using it and tuning it out. I finished my second book, which had been languishing for a couple of years, and started succeeding at freelancing.

      These are some of the concrete benefits. There are drawbacks, too.

      I need a day or two off from the meds every week or 10 days, or it disrupts my sleep. I often “crash” when it wears off and need to go lie down or zone out for half an hour. I sometimes make excuses for bad habits, rationalizing that the meds will let me “power through” a busy day – but they don’t actually replace good sleep & exercise. I sometimes don’t have much appetite, so I eat too little during the day and rebound at night, which isn’t healthy.
      There’s a particular type of headspace for creative daydreaming that is harder to get to when the meds are working. So I kind of think of it as “fiction mode” and “nonfiction mode”. I mean, I can do both in either state, but it’s just a matter of what feels most natural.

      I guess the long and short of it is that the meds are a specific tool for a specific problem. They help your brain do what you *meant* to do. People with strong executive functions don’t understand how bewildering and frustrating it can be to fully intend to take a simple action, and the opposite happens. It’s like walking aphasia.

      The meds don’t make you not have ADHD. They don’t remove the need for behavioral coping skills. They make it easier to apply those skills, and temporarily help with the things you can’t behave your way out of (like poor sensory gating).

      I highly recommend the book “Smart but Scattered”. It’s got a very helpful self-assessment to clarify what particular deficits you may be dealing with. Some of them (like task initiation and working memory) respond better to meds than others.

      Reply
      1. Tau

        I have Asperger’s, not ADHD, but want to hug this line: People with strong executive functions don’t understand how bewildering and frustrating it can be to fully intend to take a simple action, and the opposite happens. It’s like walking aphasia.

        No meds for AS-induced executive dysfunction to my knowledge, but I think what made the most difference to my quality of life was slowly understanding how my brain worked and what actions would have what effects (or, y’know, lack of effects). Basically, I had to stop trying to do things by just “meaning” to do them without setting myself an alarm, chaining it onto another task or something along those lines. It’s bizarre and entirely counterintuitive because at the point where you mean to do X you fully intend to and are fully convinced that X will indeed happen. Learning to work around that took me years, and it still sometimes smarts to talk to people with good executive function who don’t get it.

        Reply
        1. seewhatimean

          Can you talk to me more about this? My life is a maze of half finished good intentions and I don’t know if it’s a problem or a “just me” thing I haven’t had diagnosed.

          Reply
          1. LilySparrow

            The thing is, ADHD is a collection of normal human traits that everyone has sometimes, but at an intensity or frequency that interfere with major life functions.
            There are lots of people who have strong ADHD tendencies, but they have developed coping skills or arranged their lives in such a way that it’s not bothering them.

            Check out some of the books recommended above.

            Sometimes an experience of “the opposite happens” could be described colloquially as a “brain fart:” I’ll intend to leave a note for my husband about some household thing, and I’ll start writing the lyric of a song that’s stuck in my head. Just enough to mess up the first letter of the first word, but it’s disconcerting.

            Sometimes it’s more dramatic, like I’ll be on my way to a dentist appointment, get preoccupied with my thoughts, and realize I’ve driven 20 minutes in the wrong direction, because my “autopilot” was driving to my GP’s office instead.

            Once, I was making changes to a document for my boss from his handwritten notes. He was very particular so I was being extra-careful. I double-checked every page three times before handing it back. And I still missed an entire page of notes somehow. My eyes looked at it, but it didn’t register.

            These sorts of silly mistakes can happen to anyone on occasion, especially if you’re tired or stressed. But when they are a normal part of your life, to the point that coping with them takes up a significant amount of time every day, it’s worth talking to a doctor.

            After I was diagnosed & started seeing these issues differently, I realized one reason why it didn’t bother me when I was single and lived alone: I just had more time. If it took me four hours to get ready to go, I could do that without impacting anyone else. I don’t have that luxury anymore.

            Reply
            1. seewhatimean

              Is this something that can worsen over time, or is it something that is kind of “set”. Forgive questions that are ignorant or seem insensitive…I’m not even sure what is normal.

              Recently I have had memory testing done because I was having things happen where I was missing memories of doing or not doing something rather frequently. The memory testing seems like it would be very bad at capturing focus based memory issues, because of course when you know you’re being tested, you stay focussed more than in a daily routine situation.
              I’ll have a look at the books.

              Thank you!

              Reply
              1. WS

                My partner has ADHD and wasn’t diagnosed until her early 30s. It’s very common for girls and women to be diagnosed much, much later than boys and men, and often after struggling in a new situation like starting university or starting a new job (or promotion) where the old coping strategies are not working or even harmful. Stress from any source can also worsen symptoms as can physical (or other mental) illnesses – basically anything that gets in the way of the massive amount of energy it was taking to manage normal life.

                Reply
              2. LilySparrow

                I’ve definitely always been wired this way – I was a wierd kid who blurted out non-sequiturs, was always a “slob,” for example.

                But I wouldn’t have been screened as having a “disorder,” even by today’s standards, because it didn’t keep me from doing what I needed to do as a kid. It’s a disorder for me *now*, because I don’t have a mom and teachers creating structure in my days and years. I’m the mom and I’m supposed to create structure for myself and others. So I need outside help to do that.

                I think my symptoms have gotten worse than they were 10 years ago. That could be accumulated tiredness & stress, or other health issues. It could also be hormonal. Midlife hormone changes (which is about where I’m at) are known to affect memory and focus.

                Reply
          2. Tau

            So the way this works for me is, basically, that there’s a disconnect between thinking I’m going to do something and actually doing it. The best analogy I’ve seen for this is that it’s like a car where the connection between the gas pedal and the engine is broken. So I’ll think “I’m going to get up now to cook dinner” and… nothing happens. I think “no, really, I’m hungry, I need to start cooking!” and… nothing happens. “I want to get up now!” …nothing happens. In the extreme form it feels vaguely like paralysis, that my body is just not obeying what I want it to do.

            Apparently this is most commonly a symptom of depression, and I do have some issues with that. I’m pretty sure it’s also an AS thing for me, though, because I have this problem to some extent no matter how well I’m feeling otherwise – and I’ve spoken with other people on the spectrum with the same sort of issue.

            I deal with it a lot better now than when I was younger. The main trick to it is that, basically, this doesn’t happen if I think the world is going to end if I don’t get up now. That’s a bit of an extreme way to phrase it but is sort of how I think of it – I need to do something to make getting up the only possible viable action and staying still completely inconceivable. The instant there’s some sort of idea of multiple options there, problems occur. This is why, counterintuitively, how much I want to do something has little bearing on whether I manage to do it; the deciding factor is the level of disaster! apocalypse! that would occur if I didn’t. So I go to work every day because I know not showing up would be disaster! apocalypse! – but I have a super hard time getting out to have fun in town on weekends, because staying in all day has no real consequences apart from me being frustrated. “More willpower!” also doesn’t help – in the broken car analogy, it basically feels like pressing down the gas pedal really hard.

            Over the years, I’ve worked out ways to artificially put myself into the “you must do X because otherwise the WORLD WILL END” mindset. This is why timers work pretty well for me now but didn’t for years and years – I’ve basically supplemented timers with an internal rule of “when your timer goes off you MUST get up and do something else for X minutes” and as long as I manage to hold on to that I can use alarms to get myself out reasonably well. I’ve managed some spectacular improvements in my life that way – for the past month my flat has been clean and tidy when I spent over a decade before living in chaos and filth, I’ve managed to write at least 300 words a day for the past six months when I spent years trying to write regularly and failing… it’s been pretty amazing! The main important thing to keep in mind for me, though, is that the underlying problem is still there and won’t go away. It’s easy to get carried away with success and assume I can manage to get things done without the external structure, but although it’s true that momentum can help (if I’m generally doing very well and getting out loads, it’s a lot more likely that just thinking “I want to do X now” will be successful) it’s absolutely not safe to rely on that.

            Reply
            1. LilySparrow

              That’s really interesting. For me, high emotional stakes tend to paralyze me more. Like, if I’m trying to restart the habit of working out, the last thing I should do is try to psych myself up with how crucial it is. That just makes me freeze up so it’s impossible.

              I have to make it as easy and low-key as possible, grease the skids, so to speak.

              Now, as far as those instances where my brain just goes “flooey” in the middle of something – I don’t necessarily have any tricks for that. I use GPS when I’m driving, even when I know the way. It reminds me where I’m going. I kinda wish I had that for other things, too!

              Reply
    3. Nacho

      Diagnosed as a kid, and been on and off medication for pretty much my whole life. I’ve found I much prefer to be off, since the medication makes it a lot harder to let my mind wander as much as I like. There’s absolutely a noticeable effect on your thoughts, and IMO you’re right to be worried about medication whose purpose is changing the way you think.

      That said, I’ve had to make peace with the fact that I’m not especially suited for some jobs because of my ADHD, and probably had a lot of trouble in college because of it. If your life’s dream is to have the kind of job where you absolutely have to pay attention to something for hours on end, medication might be a necessary evil.

      Reply
    4. anonagain

      If you don’t want to take meds, you don’t have to.
      You can also try them and stop if you don’t like them. Depending on the type of med, you don’t have to take them every day if you don’t want to. (Talk to you doctor about that.)
      You can decide against meds now and change your mind later. Or you can decide to revisit the question in 6 months.

      Medication is helpful for lots of people, but it’s your brain and your body. There are always other strategies to try (even if the strategy is just learning not to be bothered by some of the things that don’t really matter). I really like Dr. Hallowell’s books on ADHD treatment/management. He has it himself and he specializes in treating it, so he takes a very positive, affirming approach. He talks about meds and addresses lots of common concerns. (There are other things I don’t like about the books, but I think they are really useful on the whole.)

      If I were in your position, I would go talk to the doctor and just learn about what meds they would recommend and try to talk through my concerns. I think weighing options is easier when you know what your options actually are.

      Reply
      1. LilySparrow

        Yes, my doctor said she chose my med specifically so I could try it and stop it if it didn’t help. My psychiatrist also said he has inattentive subtype, and he wasn’t able to find a med that helped him at all, so he doesn’t take anything anymore.

        I know with my med at least, it wears off every day and doesn’t start “building up” in my system with hold over effects for about a week or two. I know if I stopped it entirely, I’d probably have a few days of feeling “spacier” than usual, but nothing serious. Other types of meds need to be tapered, so definitely talk to your doctor.

        Reply
    5. Tea, please

      Thanks for bringing this up. A past therapy brought up the potential of AH/HD and 5 years later… I’m finally taking this suggestion seriously.
      I have Dyslexia and AD/HD is co-morbid in about 50% of cases. But so is depression/anxiety. Which I’ve been treated for in the past. I don’t know how to figure out how to determine which is the primary reason I’ve been struggling so much.

      Reply
    6. Lindsay J

      I was diagnosed and treated starting in first grade.

      I’ve had a complicated relationship with meds. I took them because I was made to from 1st to 8th grade. I went off of them in 8th grade because I didn’t think I needed them, and wasn’t able to eat or sleep on them.

      I made it through high school okay.

      In college, I struggled more. I began to realize that I actually did have ADHD and wasn’t a victim of overdiagnosing or my parents wanting to shove pills in my mouth to make me behave, or any of the other things I heard and believed previously. (I mostly discovered this by working with someone else who was obviously very ADHD and noticing the same patterns of things. The food left in the microwave because we forgot about it, etc.

      I tried to go back on medication then, but the doctors there wouldn’t prescribe stimulant meds, and the non-stimulant types did nothing for me.

      And so I struggled on, and with my coping mechanisms I did okay.

      Until a couple years ago when things came to a head. I wound up in a desk job, and procrastinated so much I was afraid I was going to be fired any minute.

      I was driving my boyfriend nuts by not putting thing back, etc. And also with my inability to control my spending.

      I got into a car accident (which wasn’t my fault). I was summoned to appear as a witness regarding it. I somehow missed writing it down in my calander and forgot about it.

      So I went back to a psychiatrist. They put me on adderall, which helps a lot. It mostly just enables me to do things instead of being stuck in a loop of not-doing them forever. But I still have the issues with eating and sleeping on it.

      So now I’m seeing another psych (moved since then) and we’re trying other meds besides the Adderall. They also pointed out that despite me thinking that I had changed to mostly in-attentive type as I had gotten older, that I was likely still primarily the hyperactive type, but that hyperactive type presents differently in adults (and especially adult women) in things like impatience while driving, problematic spending, cutting people off in conversation, quickly changing the subject in conversations, etc.

      I’m currently waiting for the appointment to actually be prescribed the new meds.

      The medication doesn’t make me feel less like myself, or make me be more focused. (Actually one of my issues when unmedicated is hyperfocus, where I just like zone in on the internet and before I know it 5 hours have passed). It just makes me more able to switch tasks when I want to switch tasks, and more able to work on what I actually want to be doing vs the thing that has immediately drawn my attention.

      Reply
    7. David S. Pumpkins (formerly katamia)

      I didn’t realize I had ADHD until I was in my late 20s. It was actually through reading comments about other people’s experience with ADHD; I knew the stereotypical ADHD behaviors but lacked the information about ADHD as a whole to see how my behavior really did fit into the ADHD spectrum. I was already seeing a psychologist so he diagnosed me with it when I asked about it (he did an official questionnaire, but he knew me already and a lot of my experiences in college and at work make a lot more sense when you add in the ADHD).

      He couldn’t prescribe it himself, but I started getting Adderall from my GP. Loved it. Worked great. Can’t get it here without way too much work that I don’t have the energy for, unfortunately, and I do miss it. I know I’d be better off if I could have it. I didn’t really have any side effects from it other than getting overheated more often for some reason. Caffeine also works really well for me (although not as well as Adderall), but it’s hard to find caffeinated drinks I actually like here, so I haven’t even really been able to have caffeine. :(

      Reply
    8. Ktelzbeth

      Thank you all for your comments. It helps to hear how other people have been helped and how some people (especially Tau) have worked with initiation problems. Those are huge for me! I am a doctor, so I understand the medication options pretty well, especially since I’ve prescribed some to my patients. Considering a diagnosis for myself is really different than giving it to someone else, though. I would never self-diagnose and prescribe; I’ll meet with my GP if I decide to talk about moving forward. I’ll look up the book suggestions as well.

      Reply
    9. Kerr

      30-something here. I’m in the process of being tested for inattentive ADHD, because I can’t seem to adult without effort. I’m late to work, late to sleep, and can’t seem to cross simple tasks off my to-do list without a motivating event or doing them in an (unplanned) burst of energy. Initially chalked it up to anxiety, but I’ve grown suspicious that it could be ADHD.

      (Unfortunately I think I don’t express myself well in therapy sessions. I wrote a giant rambling list of notes for myself, then brought a condensed version with me, and STILL didn’t cover all the symptoms I wanted to cover with the psychologist. They didn’t seem to ask what I expected them to, either.)

      Reply
  8. Rosemary7391

    … the slightly cheeky part of me wonders what would happen if she dyed it black?

    And the more sensible part wonders what they’re trying to do here and why it matters so much that they have monthly inspections and paperwork as a thing, rather than their teacher just saying “Hey, sort your hair” if a kid turns up with dyed hair.

    Reply
    1. Julia

      Because Japan really likes everyone to be the same.

      I guess the teacher saying “sort your hair” is the icky part – what if they don’t believe her that her hair isn’t dyed brown?

      Reply
  9. nep

    What do you regularly buy at the dollar store?
    Anything surprise you as far as great finds / quality?
    Me: Lysol toilet bowl cleaner, Pine Sol, dish soap, packs of note cards (surprisingly nice for a buck), toothpaste (because they always have the brand I like with baking soda & peroxide), napkins, shampoo, cotton swabs, occasionally fun balloons for the wee one.

    Reply
    1. Middle School Teacher

      School supplies, chips, greeting cards, gardening/bbq/kitchen tools. Napkins and paper towels (but not toilet paper haha). Cotton swabs, spices sometimes.

      Reply
      1. nep

        I was just noticing the other day as I was waiting for balloons that there is an impressive selection of kitchen utensils; certainly going to check that out next time I need something along those lines.

        Reply
        1. Knotty Ferret

          I was just going to comment that I get silverware and spatulas there. They aren’t super fancy, but they usually have medium quality options sufficient for my needs.
          The dollar store is also the best source for the colorful rectangle rag rugs I like in the bathroom.

          Reply
        1. Thursday Next

          Me too! And conveniently located along the wall where the checkout line is located, giving me enough time to browse as I wait in line.

          Reply
    2. Chriama

      I bought $30 worth of picture books last Sunday. Why? I had some vague idea of using them in some of my tutoring sessions. I need to stop buying supplies before I know how I’m going to use them. It’s definitely a bit of a compulsion.

      Reply
    3. Ann Furthermore

      Glow in the dark stuff for camping! It keeps the kids entertained for hours. And the adults too.

      Reply
    4. The Librarian (not the type from TNT)

      Cookie tins at Christmas time. They’re becoming increasingly hard to find but sometimes the dollar store comes through! Also, tissue paper, which is very expensive in brand-name drugstores.

      Reply
        1. Elizabeth West

          I scavenge gift bags from everyone at holidays and re-use them. I haven’t bought any in years.

          Paper goods are a bargain at dollar stores, usually. Napkins, etc. I don’t know if Big Lots could be considered a dollar store, but they tend to have various kinds of odd international food items, mostly European. I found Polish salad in a jar and I’ve never been able to find it anywhere else. I also found custard creams and Bourbon biscuits once. Yessssss, love me some custard creams.

          Reply
    5. Not So NewReader

      Sometimes they have luffa bath sponges. One dollar is really cheap for that.
      I get canned fish, like mackerel for my dog. I like to have something in the house extra in case I run out and I can’t get to the store.
      I had given up on their regular batteries because the batteries just quit too soon. But I did get some button cells there that I like for my doorbell and my watch. The button cells seem to last a bit.
      Envelopes are good. The larger white envelopes actually cost more per envelope than say, Staples. But I don’t need a ton. A package of 40 will last me for years.
      I like to buy the wide clear tape also, I will stop just to get that when I need it. I can’t believe the prices on tape in other stores.
      Sometimes I hit odd stuff like a dollar store near me was selling a package of 18 eggs for a dollar last year. They ran that deal for months.

      Reply
    6. Luisa in Dallas

      Dollar Tree has frozen vegan items! – Jenifer’s Garden spring rolls and Chef Ernesto battered mushrooms and veggie burgers. I also usually purchase small jars of Pace Picante Sauce and individual pizza shells.

      Reply
      1. Chocolate Teapot

        Does a Euro shop count? : – )

        I buy dehumidifiers (plastic container with absorbing pellets) as I have a damp problem and it seems to help. I once got some plastic in-trays which I suspect were being sold off because they are Barbie pink but sit quite happily next to my printer with supplied of paper all ready to go.

        And around Christmas time I got some nice decorations. They were little felt Santa Clauses on wooden sticks (think barbecue skewers) and reels of festive coloured ribbon.

        Reply
    7. Pollygrammer

      What’s the thing you’ve been most unsettled to see sold for a dollar? Because I think I would have to go with pregnancy test.

      Reply
        1. seewhatimean

          It’s true. Some of them are actually more sensitive than the common “name brand” ones. Basically if the control strip works (the one that shows as the single line if it’s negative) the test is working, and reliable. Just like with any of them!

          Reply
        2. Thursday Next

          I actually was in disbelief when I got my first positive, and asked the pharmacist what the most reliable brand was. She was very kind, though I realized later what a ridiculous question it was! They’re all the same.

          I did buy one of every brand that day, though. Same result.

          Reply
      1. periwinkle

        It’s a dollar fifty store, so maybe it counts? I rarely shop in dollar stores (just for disposable paper goods like gift wrap), but I loooooooooove Daiso. The canvas pencil cases are the perfect size to carry around tea bags + sweetener (for when I’m working offsite and thus am far from my usual supply), toothpaste + toothbrush, small cables, and other small items which shouldn’t be left rattling around loose in my backpack or suitcase. Half the decor on my work desk is from Daiso, including a small blackboard and some brightly colored liquid chalk markers. They’ve got the best price I’ve seen for the Botan rice candy I grew up eating and the Milkas which are my current candy preference.

        And the spa washcloths are awesome.

        Reply
    8. Parenthetically

      Surprising are bagged frozen fruit, of exactly the same brand as the grocery, for around 1/3 the cost. And hardcover books! Coloring/puzzle/activity books for kids are a great buy there too.

      Reply
    9. Fiennes

      Household cleaning products, toilet paper, paper towels, some OTC medications, garbage bags. It’s mostly the *exact same stuff* for crazy cheap.

      Reply
    10. The Cosmic Avenger

      Not the Dollar Store, but I picked this up at Goodwill for $4 yesterday!

      https://imgur.com/a/ec6MJyo

      (For context, I found very similar ones online without the brewery brand for $30, and I have 3 screw-cap growlers, and they can all go to hell now, because I’m in love with this one!)

      Reply
    11. Thursday Next

      Paper plates and cups for parties. Coloring books—that way it’s fine if Friday scribbles one line on each page and calls it a day.

      Reply
    12. Emilia Bedelia

      Dish sponges/scrubbers. I throw them out after a week or two so they don’t have to last long.

      I like to buy plastic trays/dishes to bring to potlucks. They look nicer than foil trays or plastic containers, and I can just leave them without worrying about getting my dish back.

      Reply
    13. Phlox

      Plastic storage tubs! I have learned that their water misting bottles are badly designed and worth spending a few extra bucks on the “fancy” home Depot kind. (who knew you could go wrong on them?!).

      Reply
    14. MsChanandlerBong

      Greeting cards, note cards, magnetic notepads, some kitchen utensils, brand-name snack foods, balloons. The greeting cards are the best buy–50 cents compared to $3 or more. If I really like somebody, I’ll spring for one of the fancy $1 cards. I do not buy cleaning products or household items (garbage bags, aluminum foil, etc.) there b/c the quality is poor and they often turn out to be more expensive than the brand name when you compare the cost per ounce/bag/etc. For example, the aluminum foil tears easily and really does not hold up when cooking/storing food. I also will not buy no-name food there, nor will I buy any of their refrigerated or frozen items. Every time I’ve tried, the frozen stuff is caked with ice crystals and just tastes “off.”

      Reply
    15. Shannon

      I just got a bunch of moving supplies there: markers, stickers, socks to stuff into glass items, foam plates.

      I bake a lot around the holiday and get my tins and gift bags there.

      Reply
  10. Terri

    I’m almost in my 30s and this is my first time living with roommates, which is embarrassing (not living with roommates, but being so “old” and not having all this roommate etiquette down yet). Anyway, I have a question. So, I live with 2 roommates, basically renting a room in the house one of them owns. She let’s us use her dishes, etc. which I assume is normal. I honestly hate the drinking glasses she has (she doesn’t have enough!) and I’m always tempted to buy more for myself, but… is it weird if I buy more drinking glasses? Can I just keep them in my assigned cupboard? I don’t mind if my other roommates use them, but there’s no room in her other cupboard where the mugs/glasses are kept. I feel so bizarre for asking this question, but I just don’t know ,ugh… i should have had roommates earlier in life.

    Reply
    1. Julia

      I think that’s totally fine. If anyone acts weird about it, which is unlikely, just say you prefer yours because they’re bigger or whatever.

      Reply
    2. WellRed

      I always tell new roommates to make themselves at home. While the kitchen is fully stocked ( and then some!) I tell them to bring their favorites and I move or get rid of some of mine. I won’t, however swap out big furniture or anything.

      Reply
    3. Kathenus

      In my experience the biggest problem in roommate situations is lack of communication. This is a great, low-stakes situation where you can just say to your roomies – “Hey, I’d like to buy some additional drinking glasses for the kitchen for us all – is that OK with everyone? Anywhere in particular you’d like them kept?” Hard to go wrong with asking the question, easier to do so by trying to guess what people want and acting based on your assumptions.

      Reply
    4. Jane of all Trades

      I think with something as minor as drinking glasses I’d just buy the ones I like and be done with it.
      If you feel so inclined, next time you see your roommates you can say something along the lines of “I noticed we only had 4 glasses so I bought some. Feel free to use them” but I don’t really see any risk of offending people by purchasing glasses.
      If it were something bigger, like furniture to be stored in a common area, I’d check in with my roommates before buying!

      Reply
    5. Susan Sto Helit

      My situation is different because the landlord isn’t actually living in the shared house with us – but I buy whatever I want for the kitchen, particularly it’s something I want/need that the house doesn’t have (and yes, I have bought plenty of drinking glasses). And it’s fine for my housemate to use them too.

      My strategy, though, is to always buy distinctive/brightly coloured stuff. That way, it’s clear what belongs to the ‘house’, and what’s mine, so that when I leave there isn’t going to be any confusion. If you’re hoping to ever live alone you’ll need things like drinking glasses eventually anyway, so you might as well just go ahead and choose some you like right now.

      Reply
    6. Elizabeth H.

      In all the roommate situations I’ve lived in the normal thing to do would be to buy glasses, put them in the cupboard, and also maybe the next time you and your roommate happen to be in the kitchen chatting say “Oh, I bought some more glasses! I put them in my cupboard bc there is room for them there but feel free to use them whenever you want!” It will be nbd at all. She might even say that she doesn’t really like her glasses either so she should put some of them away somewhere else to make room in the dish cabinet.

      Reply
  11. nep

    Did anyone watch any of the Pan American games/weightlifting last week? US brought home a handful of medals. CJ Cummings was 6 for 6 AND PUSH-JERKED ALL HIS JERKS (final one being 180kg). Amazing work from all.

    Reply
    1. Parenthetically

      I didn’t, but I follow Sarah Robles on instagram because I love her so, and was happy to see her crushing it again!

      Reply
    2. nep

      Finally saw Alyssa Ritchey’s clean & jerk that would have won her a medal. She was robbed, IMHO. Apparently the jury called a press-out but I do not see that at all. Of course, I’m watching it on a computer screen and not from all angles, but it looked like a perfect jerk to me.
      She is endlessly inspiring, in any case. Her attitude is just fantastic–always positive, always working her ass off.

      Reply
  12. Dopameanie

    Controversial Opinion Corner:

    In honor of both the wedding I am in today and the royal one (Not in that one) today’s topic:

    Best Wedding Practices, ranked by entertainment value:

    1. Open bar
    2. Garter Toss
    3. Chicken Dance with all wedding party personnel
    4. The Kiss
    5. Unpredictable Children (who are supposed to be quiet and still during the boring talking parts of the ceremony )
    6a. The Hot Mess Relative (tied)
    6b. The Hot Mess Ex (tied)
    7. Privately Judging the dress/venue/makeup/food/spouse choice/etc (NOTE: this is silent Judgement, not a-hole Facebook comment Judgement)
    8. Winning the Who Cries First betting pool
    9. The obnoxious Best Man speech
    10. The suuuuper old couple who are obviously still deeply in love

    11-99. Meh

    100. The boring talking bits
    101. Waiting on the pictures to get done so WE CAN EAT ALREADY

    Competing in exhibition only:

    Me. I am a DELIGHT a parties (despite any and all indications to the contrary)

    FIGHT ME!!!

    Reply
    1. nep

      No arguments, really (though I think I’d put the aged, in-love couple higher)–Just appreciating this cheeky post.

      Reply
        1. Dopameanie

          So, I kinda feel like “cheeky” is the epitome of my online presence. I haven’t done the research, but…it just feels right, y’know?

          Reply
    2. WellRed

      Open bar yes. Hate the chicken dance. I personally would move the silent judgments higher cause I can be a silent and not so silent judging bitch.

      Reply
      1. Ann Furthermore

        We had an open bar at our reception, but told the batenders not to serve anyone shots. That’s where the trouble always starts. A few weeks before our wedding, the son of one of my parents’ friends got married. He did a bunch of shots at the reception, got completely plastered, and ended up having a fight with his new wife. I think he also might have passed out in the elevator at the hotel too. Yowza.

        Reply
    3. Tau

      I haven’t been to many weddings, but I’d like to submit for consideration into the top 10 the German tradition of the Polterabend, in which the night before the wedding the guests smash crockery and the couple clean it up together. I suspect this is only in the top 10 if you’re not one of the people getting married.

      Reply
      1. Dopameanie

        So…can you elaborate? What is the significance? Whose crockery? Why? I’ve never heard of this.

        Reply
        1. Julia

          People bring old plates and cups etc. and smash them on the ground. The couple then has to clean everything up together.
          Look for Polterabend on Wikipedia.

          Reply
        2. Tau

          Like Julia said! Apparently the reasons (insofar as any wedding tradition has logical reasons for it) behind it are twofold:
          1. There’s a German saying that translates as “shards bring luck”, so it’s basically wishing luck for the marriage
          2. It’s supposed to show the couple that they’ll have to work through adversity together from now on.

          Reply
    4. Detective Amy Santiago

      I am going to a wedding today and the reception is scheduled to start 4 hours after the ceremony starts. Assuming the ceremony lasts an hour, this leaves nearly 3 hours of downtime between the two.

      Reply
      1. Enough

        Ridiculous. Waiting on the wedding party to take pictures is bad enough but to wait that long for food is too much.

        Reply
      2. Middle School Teacher

        I’ve been to those. If I’m not needed for pictures, I usually catch a nap so I can party at night. Sometimes I’ve scheduled a hair appointment so I show up with killer hair to the reception!

        Reply
      3. Kara Zor-El

        I’m assuming it’s a Catholic wedding. There are usually restrictions on when the Mass can be held.

        Reply
        1. Detective Amy Santiago

          Yup – it was Catholic. And it lasted an hour and fifteen minutes because the priest WOULD NOT STOP TALKING. Ugh.

          Reply
          1. Slartibartfast

            Main reason we got married in a Protestant church is I didn’t want to spend Catholic time up at the altar. 35 minutes and we were done. My Catholic mom was only semi ok with it because it was the church the groom’s parents and grandparents got married in. To me, that part was a nice bonus. All 3 marriages still going strong too :)

            Reply
      4. The Other Dawn

        I’ve never heard of that. That would guarantee that I wouldn’t come back. I’m not a wedding fan to begin with (not much of a social animal), so having all the time in between would make me just want to go home and stay there. Or go back to the hotel and stay there.

        Reply
    5. BRR

      The garter toss would be entertaining if I wasn’t horrified and grossed out how the groom takes it off the bride haha

      Reply
          1. Dopameanie

            Is that what it’s called when you dance with people on chairs lifted up? I’ve never been to a Jewish wedding. What else is different?

            Reply
            1. curly sue

              The structure of the ceremony is quite different. (There’s a link to a rundown of a very traditional format in my name — my experience is entirely Ashkenazi, and Sephardic Jews have different traditions. Modern weddings also often omit or alter some of them to fit their styles. We did a double-ring ceremony, didn’t do a pre-wedding meet-and-greet, etc.)

              The paperwork – the ketubah, or wedding contract, as well as the civil paperwork – is signed beforehand, with spouses and witnesses. Traditionally, in non-same-sex couples, the groom then veils the bride (called the ‘bedeken’).

              Both spouses are brought to the ceremony by their parents, there’s no ‘giving away’ as such. In Orthodox weddings, the bride will often circle the groom a set number of times – the number can vary. The ceremony is ideally performed outdoors, under a canopy (the huppah). We don’t do bridesmaids and groomsmen, traditionally — you honour people in various other ways, including by having them be huppah-bearers.

              The ceremony itself is actually two put together – the betrothal and the wedding. In medieval times, supposedly, the two were often separated by months, but so many brides came to the wedding pregnant that they merged them into one. That’s probably apocryphal, but why not.

              There aren’t vows, per se — blessings are recited, the couple drink wine, exchange rings, read the wedding contract – that’s the break between ceremonies. If there’s a sermon or reading of some kind, it’ll usually be here. Then more blessings, more wine, shatter a glass on the floor, and you’re married. Then the couple get to retreat to a private room (yichud) for a little while – ten minutes is the usual, though some do more. That’s decompression, get a chance to eat something, and breathe before the party starts.

              Reply
              1. The Librarian (not the type from TNT)

                Jewish weddings are really fascinating. In addition to everything Curly Sue mentioned, at the one I was fortunate enough to go to, the food was MUCH better than normal wedding fare.

                Reply
                1. Lcsa99

                  My husband is Jewish and when I got married we looked it up and found a lot of different reasons for stomping on the glass since no one seems to agree. I can’t remember them all…there was something to do with the destruction of the temple? The reason we settled on is that all the shards are supposed to symbolize all your years of happiness together.

      1. Temperance

        I hate the garter toss. At every wedding I’ve seen where it happens, it ends up where like, a child or close relative catches it, making the part where you put it back on even grosser than usual.

        Reply
        1. Popcorn Lover

          I’ve been to a wedding where the garter-catcher was supposed to put it on the leg of the bouquet-catcher. It was majorly awkward.

          I was also once IN a wedding where the groom was blindfolded and was supposed to identify the bride by feeling up the legs of all the bridesmaids.

          Reply
        2. The New Wanderer

          Garter toss needs to be forgotten, forever. (I also don’t care for the bouquet toss but that doesn’t have the same sexualized issues, just single-shaming.)

          Worst version of it that I saw – groom removed garter in unnecessary gross fashion, tossed it, best man gamely picked it up off the floor and then was goaded by DJ et al, with accompanying obnoxious music and commentary, into putting it on the leg of the bouquet catcher, who was the bride’s elderly grandmother. Yeah. Worst family wedding moment ever.

          Reply
          1. Forking Great Username

            Oh god, that’s awful. I’ll counter/add to that with the only good version of this I’ve seen. Bride’s daughter, who was about 20, caught the bouquet. It was announced that whoever caught the garter had to put it on her leg. So when it came time for the garter toss the men (mostly her uncles and brother! Yikes!) put their hands behind their backs so her boyfriend could catch it.

            Cousin decided to flip the script and put the garter on bpyfriend’s leg instead. Did a sexy dance as she did it, made the whole thing into a big, hilarious production. Not sure her mom/the bride was amused, but it definitely seemed best case scenario to me!

            Reply
        3. Shreksays o

          Same. The garter toss is just a way of assaulting a girl who is coerced into ‘participating whil even a crowd screams cackles their support and encouragement to ‘go higher’. FUN.

          Reply
    6. The Librarian (not the type from TNT)

      102. “The bride cuts the cake, the bride cuts the cake. High ho the dairy-o, the bride cuts the cake.”

      I hate that song. What the F is a “dairy-o”??

      And the actual cake is almost always awful. Weddings that actually have good cake get huge bonus points from me.

      Reply
      1. Pollygrammer

        You made me super curious, so I looked it up. Apparently, it’s actually “derry,” which dictionary.com defines as “a meaningless refrain or chorus in old songs. “

        Reply
      2. The Other Dawn

        You’re not wrong about wedding cakes. I’ve never understood how people can pay so much money for a beautiful cake, and then it’s gross. Well, maybe not gross, but definitely dry. I don’t think I’ve ever had a wedding cake where I’ve thought, “Wow that was yummy!” I imagine it has to do with how far ahead it’s baked. I’ve done wedding cakes for family and a couple friends, and it’s quite time consuming. It’s typically a three day process for me. I’ve always had rave reviews, though, so it could also be the cake recipe itself.

        Reply
        1. The Librarian (not the type from TNT)

          At our wedding, we cut corners in a number of different ways, and used the money saved in those areas that weren’t important to us to go ALL OUT on the cake. I think I can say it was the best wedding cake anyone’s ever eaten.

          Reply
          1. The New Wanderer

            We ended up spending a lot on the cake (single supplier to our venue, so no choice). Fortunately it was beautiful AND delicious! I think we took two to-go containers jammed full on the honeymoon.

            Reply
          2. epi

            Hahaha we did the opposite! We got married in our favorite restaurant and people told us it was the best dinner they’d had at a wedding. Dessert was carrot cake (my pick) and key lime pie (his pick) because the standard catering options let us pick two desserts.

            I didn’t particularly enjoy wedding planning but I did appreciate the opportunity to do what you did– check the boxes on things we realized we didn’t care about (or skip them entirely), and put special thought/effort/money into those we did.

            Reply
          1. The Other Dawn

            LOL. I do remember someone once having something similar to carrot cake. It was refreshing to have something other than the standard white cake with fruit or cream filling. I made my niece’s wedding cake and I was so thrilled when she asked for carrot cake…until I saw how many carrots I had to buy for a four tier cake!! I had to transport it from CT to downstate NY. White-knuckled ride for sure and the thing weighed a ton, but it came out so moist and delicious. Think I can find the recipe now? Nope. Can’t find it for the life of me.

            Reply
    7. Overeducated

      I put “bridal couple dancing with parents after first dance” around 102. I am a curmudgeon but I hate that for some reason. Also, when there are like 10 toasts instead of 2.

      Substitute any other kind of ethnic line dance for chicken dance and I am otherwise in agreement.

      Reply
      1. Dopameanie

        I mean….what are your other choices? Rocky Top? Achy Breaky Heart?

        I’m struggling to come up with an acceptable alternative.

        Reply
        1. Slartibartfast

          We do the Hokey Pokey in my family. Not sure how ethnic that is, we’re Irish on that side.

          Reply
      2. Detective Amy Santiago

        I don’t even want a first dance because that is way too much being the center of attention for me.

        BUT the wedding I went to today, the groom’s mother is deceased so his five sisters all took a turn dancing with him. It got me all teary-eyed.

        Reply
    8. Kara Zor-El

      I refused to do the garter toss or bouquet toss at my wedding. I didn’t want my groom up in my dress in front of all my relatives. :P

      Reply
      1. Chocolate Teapot

        The gap between ceremony and food is something I hate. Fine if you are having your picture taken as part of the wedding party, not so fine if the ceremony was over lunchtime and there are no canapes.

        Also, I was once invited to a wedding some distance away, and only shortly before I was due to depart I discovered I wasn’t actually invited to the reception, only the service and the evening party. (NB. In the UK, the evening party is considered as a separate event, which having read Etiquette Hell years ago does not seem to be the case in America)

        Reply
        1. No Tribble At All

          At our wedding, we had a cocktail hour in between the ceremony and dinner. Everyone else had drinks and fancy cheese and apps while we had our pictures done. 10/10 would recommend.

          Reply
      2. the gold digger

        I had never heard of the garter toss. I was a bridesmaid and was told one of the groomsmen (whom I had never met before) was going to put the garter on me (or something like that) and I was horrified and kept refusing, thinking people were messing with me. I finally realized it was A Thing, so I gritted my teeth and let it happen for the bride’s sake, but I would never do that again or let it happen to someone else who was not happy about it. What a horrible tradition.

        Reply
      3. Lehigh

        We did neither. I wasn’t particularly interested in having the groom up my dress in front of relatives…but was DEFINITELY NOT going to give permission for a random single male to put his hands up a random single female’s dress.

        Just thinking about it makes me cringe. Especially as unmarried women and girls generally get heavily pressured to go up for the bouquet toss whether interested or not.

        Reply
    9. Parenthetically

      Lol the boring talking bits. Yes. We had as few of those as possible — I think our whole ceremony was around 30 minutes? And I think you’d have liked our wedding, because we had no speeches (my father-in-law did give a lovely toast after dinner, and after all the stuffy relatives had gone home.), bottles of bourbon on each table, appetizers as guests arrived BEFORE the ceremony so they could have a snack and a drink in their hands during the boring talking bits, a full dinner right after the ceremony, and no waiting on pictures because we only had candids on the day.

      (my father-in-law did give a lovely toast after dinner, and after all the stuffy relatives had gone home.)

      Reply
      1. Lcsa99

        The bottles of bourbon on each table sound either really awesome, or really dangerous. I can’t decide!

        Reply
    10. Julianne

      Oh gosh, I really don’t want to fight you (I have been cleaning my house all day and now I am tired), but I find most of these things awful. I’m attending a wedding in a couple weeks, and while I am looking forward to sampling the open bar (the wedding is at a winery) and think that displays of affection (ex. 4 and 10) are fine and appropriate, I might just be sufficiently annoyed by any of this other stuff to excuse myself to the restroom (2, 3, 5, 7-9) or to leave the reception early (6).

      I do genuinely and sincerely dislike weddings, though, so I recognize that I might be an outlier in these opinions. (But the rest of you, go have fun if weddings are enjoyable for you, please! They’re just really not something I enjoy.)

      Reply
      1. Miss Elaine e.

        FWIW, I absolutely hate the (US Midwest) trend of the bride and groom smashing the cake into each other’s faces. My sister had it at her wedding. It was never a consideration at mine: I’m not particularly pretty or photogenic but, goldangit, I wasn’t going to spoil the one day I wanted to look my absolute best by having a face full of frosting in front of my nearest and dearest.

        Reply
        1. Lcsa99

          When I was looking up traditions, I read that feeding each other the cake is supposed to symbolize how you’ll take care of each other when you get older. Says a lot about people who smash cake in each other’s faces.

          Reply
          1. Lehigh

            It’s also just a disrespectful place to start a marriage. “Oh, did you spend more time and money on your makeup for today than you ever have before? Will there be pictures all evening? Are you expected to be gracious and the center of attention for hours, although you are just coming down from all the stress and adrenaline of wedding planning? Let me just smear cake across your face. Smile, honey.”

            Reply
          2. Pollygrammer

            I hate this stupid tradition. Somewhere I remember an advice column where a groom, very much against the bride’s wishes, smeared cake on her face, ruining her dress and possibly the marriage.

            Reply
            1. The Original K.

              I would be FURIOUS. I’m not married but if I ever get married, I am going to be very clear about What We Shall Not Do at the wedding, and smashing cake on each other’s faces is 100% going on that list. (No garter or bouquet tosses either.) I will certainly have my makeup professionally done, and I will not have it messed up. And going against wishes to do it is just mean, IMO.

              Reply
        2. Dopameanie

          My mother told me I was ABSOLUTELY! NOT! to embarrass her by smashing the cake. I think she would gave preferred me left at the alter. Midwest manners are still A Thing in some circles.

          Reply
    11. Environmental Compliance

      I detest garter tosses. In my family it involves the bride sitting on the best man’s lap with the groom taking it off with his teeth. Heeeellllllllllllllllllll to the nope. Noooo thank you.

      I also detest dollar dances. I do not need the creepy great uncles/rando cousins trying to stick dollars down my dress top, kthnx. Nope, nope, nope.

      (We had a toss bouquet made, since it was free, and we gave it to the couple who was attending that had been married the longest, and then they danced together to their wedding song. Happened to be my grandparents – we thought it was a toss up between them and another few family members on Hub’s side – and so we also danced with them. It was really cute, and one of my favorite wedding pictures is from that dance.)

      Reply
      1. Slartibartfast

        The money dance was a thing in my husband’s family. I was pretty shy, had about 2t family members on my side, and a good 200 on my husband’s. I eventually relented after many people asked the DJ when the dollar dance would be, and am glad many years later that I did. I remember being terrified when a stranger at the time tackled and body checked half the family to be the first one to get a dance, but many years later, that stranger is Uncle M and one of the sweetest people I know. And nobody stuck anything anywhere (the DJ collected), and my MIL had my back against the whole clan if I didn’t want to go through with it.

        Reply
      2. Oxford Coma

        We tried this (give the bouquet to the longest-married couple) and it totally backfired. Turns out the longest-married couple is partially deaf, easily confused, and can become quite belligerent and nasty when proclaiming the bride should “get that shit out my face and let me eat”.

        Reply
    12. LCL

      I hate the garter toss. Remove that from the list and replace with-two wedding guests that aren’t officially partnered with each other are found in a compromising position.

      Reply
    13. Lehigh

      I love weddings. I love the talking bits, if they are interesting, which they often are to me. I love the dancing and the catching up with distant relations. The kiss is nice. Unpredictable children can be a delight.

      An open bar is nice if you don’t have guests who can’t handle it. Hate the garter & bouquet tosses, don’t care for the chicken dance. Can’t understand why anyone would invite an ex who would be a mess at the wedding. Only amicable exes allowed!

      Reply
        1. WS

          When my brother got married (it was a lovely low-key wedding in general) and his new wife did the bouquet toss, my mum has video of my cousin and me sprinting away backwards as fast as humanly possible while all the bride’s friends leap for the bouquet!

          Reply
        2. Humble Schoolmarm

          It happened to me! The bouquet toss was later in the evening and whether a lot of the single folk had gone home, or refused to come up or what, I don’t know, but in the end there were only three of us there. Bride throws the bouquet, it rolls to our feet and the three of us just stand there staring at it until I shrug and pick it up. It’s the only time I’ve ‘caught’ one as the usual routine is the dive tackle and that is not my thing.

          Reply
    14. ..Kat..

      Where do you rank the bouquet toss? When I was a single woman, I hated being pushed to do this.

      At my wedding, we took pictures before the ceremony so that guests would not have to wait to eat. I love to eat! Why would I make anyone wait to ingest yumminess?

      Reply
  13. Llama Grooming Coordinator

    Running thread! You guys know the deal by now.

    I think I jinxed myself last week when I said I didn’t have that much Weird Race Stuff happen. Someone opened a portajohn on me. On the race course.

    Also, I was in a portajohn on the course. Oops.

    Also, I still ran a PR (sub-80). It might be the weather, the timing, or the course design, but I MUCH prefer Brooklyn to NYC in terms of courses. This year’s Brooklyn was pretty rainy (I think I curse races – the three half marathons I’ve done have all been different flavors of hell, and the full wasn’t entirely pleasant either), but it was still a bit of a party. I’ve heard that in previous years it’s been super lit. (This year, Deena Kastor showed up! She said things! I mean, I love her but I was getting soaked.)

    So. Haven’t seen Justin for a while, but I think he was running this as well! How’d you do, man?

    Reply
    1. The Librarian (not the type from TNT)

      It’s funny, I woke up around 7 am and heard the rain pounding against our air conditioner and honest to God, one of my first thoughts was, “oh, no, Llama Grooming Coordinator is out running the half in this right now.”

      I used to be energized by weather like this during my races but honestly, now that I’m in my late 30s and have done this so many times, I’m done with it. I’d rather be in bed when it’s raining.
      But way to go with your race! Holy crap, you broke 1:20:00 even with a bathroom stop?!?

      Nothing exciting to report on my end. Yesterday marked six months until marathon day for me, which is exciting. I’m in non-training mode for another two months and just running casually, trying to make sure I have a full tank of gas for when I start training for real around the time July turns to August.

      Reply
      1. Llama Grooming Coordinator

        Brooklyn got hammered around 9 – it was less bad when I was out there, but Wave 2 REALLY got hit!

        Honestly, I got out and I was mad at myself for not planning ahead, Random Dude for opening the door, and myself again for not locking the door first. I basically rage-sprinted the next couple of miles to get back on pace.

        It was actually pretty good if you were in Wave 1 – quite a few people I know PRed. Including one of my good friends. Who ran faster than me…by about the same time I was in the bathroom. (I’ll just say that I might have tied Shalane Flanagan.)

        Reply
        1. The Librarian (not the type from TNT)

          That’s incredible, and I totally hear the rage-sprinting. Brooklyn is an amazing course that always gets me pumped up. I ran my personal best in Brooklyn in 2011 (when the course was a little different – it started in Prospect Park, not at the Brooklyn Museum – but still ran to Coney Island). I kind of think I sold my soul to the devil in that one. I somehow, some way, ran a 1:44:18. In the seven years since, I’ve run probably 20 halfs and have broken 1:50:00 only once (and again, that was in the Brooklyn Half).

          Reply
    2. runner

      This thread is so funny to me because I really dislike the Brooklyn half and after my last time running it a few years ago, decided I am allowed to never run it again if I don’t want to. I’m glad you guys enjoy it!

      Reply
      1. Llama Grooming Coordinator

        What’d you dislike about it? Course-wise, I found it really fast, and from what I’ve heard, it can be one of the most fun NYRR races. Like I said, this year it was a little subdued because of the weather, but there was still a lot of energy out on the course. Someone near the end actually recognized me from the NJ Marathon (to be fair, I’m 1) from a small club and was wearing my club singlet and 2) pretty recognizable IRL).

        It was pretty crowded, especially at the start – and while the port-a-potty situation was better this time, that’s not saying much. It might be that I’ve done two VERY large point-to-point NYRR races, but it seems as if NYRR’s logistics are really messy. On the other hand, you’re dealing with tens of thousands of people, so I’m guessing that snafus are inevitable.

        Reply
        1. runner

          I think the main thing is that once you’re on Ocean Parkway it just feels super boring to me and not so much support/spectators (I typically start in later wave than you so maybe my later start had something to do with that).

          Reply
          1. The Librarian (not the type from TNT)

            The Brooklyn Half was always my favorite race of the year until New York Road Runners decided to make it a money grab and cram 25,000 people into it for $90, and hold a mandatory “pre-party” (to pick up race materials) at a trendy venue nowhere near transit. Just too much crowding and hype for me. It’s a phenomenal race, but for me, there are other great races too.

            Reply
          2. Llama Grooming Coordinator

            (I typically start in later wave than you so maybe my later start had something to do with that)

            That’s…probably the difference, actually! I kind of touched on this above, but it was almost two different races depending on when you started and when you finished this year.

            For me, Brooklyn’s logistics were…not great at the starting line (we literally had to run from one end of the starting area to the other to get to bag check – but that’s on where we got off), and picking up bags at the end was kind of a mess. (To the dude on the 2/3 UPS truck: I’m sorry the people dropping off misplaced bags messed up your day.) And while I get the logic of a 7 AM start time, that’s…super early, even considering May’s unpredictable weather. (Not as bad as starting at 7:30 AM in MARCH, but still annoying.) But the weather cleared up at the end, Ocean was downhill, and the finish was mostly great. Ocean WAS a lot more wide open than the start, partly because people had already spread out, but I didn’t notice that much less cheering.

            If you were in Wave 2 this year, you probably would have gotten caught in the downpour by the end, and the elevation might not have mattered as much. In that case, I don’t think you would have had quite as good of a time, especially finishing up. (Plus, we ended up with our drop-off point being…right by the Wave 2 bag trucks.)

            I’ll give the caveat that I haven’t done any large non-NYRR races (yet…), but I’m basically resigned to the fact that dealing with shoving an entire small town into a couple of city blocks is going to cause issues no matter how good you are. My suspicion is that NYRR needs to actually plan out their race experiences better, but it’s inevitably going to be hectic.

            Reply
            1. The Librarian (not the type from TNT)

              NYRR used to run their races with military precision – they were known for being the gold standard of road races. And their smaller Central Park races might still be that way (I wouldn’t know as I haven’t done one in 6-7 years). But their recent races have been overcrowded and sloppy. The 2016 Staten Island Half, where 10,000 runners were left to squeeze through a muddy choke point for no apparent reason at the finish when there was a wide-open stadium, was my last one. That said, the NYC Half may be too enticing for me not to give them one more shot – I’m going to keep my eyes open for a lottery for next year, if there is one.

              Reply
              1. Llama Grooming Coordinator

                Good luck! I…am not sure if I’ll do NYC Half next year. If you do it, please be smarter than I was and actually wear clothes. (I’ve been thinking about it, and probably 90% of the reason I felt like I got hit by a train after that race was because I was in shorts and a singlet…in March. For almost two hours, including the start and finish.)

                I kind of agree that they probably put too many people in the races (22,000 in NYC, 25,000 in Brooklyn) for the way things are designed. I think part of it is just that it’s getting more popular to hop in a race, and I can’t fault NYRR too much for going for the cash. But also, there’s just mind-boggling choices they make. For example, with NYC, AA was collapsed to about a third of the size of the other corrals to let the pros warm up until just before the start. Why not start the corrals a bit further back, or collapse all the corrals by about five feet? Why didn’t they actually set up a formal corral for the pros and wheelchair racers?

                (At least I made a few very close friends very quickly.)

                Hopefully, Bronx (the next NYRR race I’m planning on doing) is a little more mellow. But it’s also a Five Borough. But it’s also in my favorite borough, and starts at a slightly more reasonable hour.

                Reply
    3. A bit of a saga

      Congrats! That’s a great time. I’m one week out from my next half marathon (my second ever!) I don’t feel all that ready – I think the excitement of finishing the first one in good shape and almost in the time I wanted has led me to relax a bit too much. But this one is definitely a much tougher race than the last one with a number of hills.

      Reply
      1. Llama Grooming Coordinator

        I swore I typed a response earlier!

        …I might not have submitted it. Oops.

        Anyway – I know you’ve been talking about it, but good luck! I’m pretty sure you’re ready for it – you already have the experience of doing that distance. Just think of yourself as rested.

        I don’t know if you’ve done any hilly races in general, but the general rule I’ve heard is to remember to push going up if you’re aiming for time (which it seems like you might be). Let’s say you’re going an average of 6 mph (10 minutes/mile) but you go 5 mph uphill for one mile and 7 mph downhill the next – over 2 miles, you’re losing roughly 35 seconds. (The downhills are about 8:34/mile, but your uphills are 12:00/mile – so over 2 miles, you run 20:34.) You’re probably not going to vary THAT much in pace, but the principle is the same – it’s easier to not lose time in the first place than to make it up.

        Also, unless you’re looking to hit a hard qualifier (in which case, good luck), consider adjusting your goals! You say that you’re running a much tougher course – a 2:00 on a course like that might be closer to a 1:58 or even a 1:55 on an easier course. Definitely look up where the hills are if it’s a huge concern for you – I mean, I don’t like surprises myself, so I like to look things up ahead of time.

        Again, you’ll do great, I know it.

        Reply
        1. A bit of a saga

          Thanks! That’s definitely good advice and also my plan. The biggest hills are actually tunnels so you go down before you go up – this is all in the first part of the race so surviving them without being completely spent I think is key to survival. In the last part, there’s a long, steady incline. The good news is that the race is in my hometown so while I haven’t tried the tunnels (this is the only time they are open to anything but cars) I have been able to train a bit on the incline in the end. I’ll keep you posted how it goes!

          Reply
    4. Jane of all Trades

      Oh I love a running thread!
      Congrats on your race!! I was watching the weather on the BK race day and it was so nasty! But it seems like that’s the weather we keep heaving. I am training for shorter races (did the NYRR UAE Kidney race in April – my first race longer than a 5k and so loved it), but it’s been hard finding enough dry days to run. I do not love running with rain water coming in and out of my shoes.
      Do you have any tips for novice runners?

      Reply
      1. The Librarian (not the type from TNT)

        Everyone is different so one person’s advice will definitely not fit all, but the thing I can definitely contribute is… don’t try to build your mileage *too* fast or injuries are likely to result. Also, rest days are not a bad thing! Listen to your body. Sometimes less is better than more.

        Reply
      2. Llama Grooming Coordinator

        Like, at the start, even the president of NYRR commented on how bad the weather’s been for all of their races this year so far! I’m just hoping this doesn’t mean anything for their fall races. (Running Bronx 10-Miler and hopefully NYC Marathon.)

        The Librarian touched on it, but – yeah – everyone’s different, so there’s no real “tips for novice runners.” (And I’ll admit – I was a track star in HS, but I didn’t take up distance until a few years ago, and even then I didn’t start running competitively until last year. So I’m still learning myself.) So, like, a few things I’ve learned:

        1) There is absolutely no shame in walking during a race (or training) if you need to. I’ve had two where I needed to walk, and I still managed to finish.

        1a) There’s no shame in a DNF (did not finish) either. I mean, if you watched the Boston Marathon this year, a lot of the elites dropped like flies. It sucks at the time, of course, but if you really can’t finish, don’t kill yourself.

        1b) Having one race that didn’t go as planned isn’t the be-all and end-all. And you learn things from your “bad” races, too. (Like…for example, that I need to drink more water in races.)

        2) For me, and for a lot of people, finding a group to run with on occasion is key. I really found that running with a formal club works great for me. (And there are different kinds of clubs! There are clubs for faster runners, clubs that welcome all abilities, clubs that are more for slower runners, so on and so forth.) If you prefer a more informal group, go for it!

        2a) This is specific to me, but I’ve found that the races aren’t really the part I enjoy the most. What I really enjoy is the camaraderie during training, and having people at around my ability. (And sometimes better than it.)

        3) Remember to relax and recover! It’s one of the most common pieces of advice given, but it is true. Sometimes, you need some time off to get better. If you feel like you might be injured and not just tired, really consider whether it’s worth it to push through. If you have a big workout and you’re feeling sick, don’t feel that guilty about toning down or not doing it on occasion.

        With the rain, it’s…a thing. I’ve actually been trying to run more in rainy weather, just because of situations like Saturday and this year’s Boston Marathon. (We went out on long runs during the cold snap around Christmas. We still talk about that as being key to our success this spring.) Basically, your best bet is to get some rain gear and immediately change after you’re done.

        Reply
    5. Red

      So I ran a 5k today. Slow as all hell, but I did it! And it was a very very small race so I was the only one in my age group, which means I got a medal by default!

      It was also logistically a mess. They closed down one lane on a 45mph road for the 5k so I thought I was going to be hit by a car, we all lined up the wrong way at the starting line because of unclear directions, and yeah. Fun times though :)

      Reply
      1. Llama Grooming Coordinator

        First of all, congrats! And hey, you finished (and got a medal).

        I hope they actually figured out that they lined you up the wrong way before they started the race, though. Also, I’m kind of with you on the issue of road closures – one of the guys in my group did a tiny half last year that had a similar situation, AND had points where you needed to cross over. I am not brave enough to do that race.

        Reply
  14. Book Lover

    Recommendation for a Facebook or other forum where I can ask kitten questions?

    I joined a Siberian forum but they mostly post cute pictures.

    Our new little one is doing well overall, I think, but had diarrhea and vomiting after vet visit (vet said likely stress) then didn’t poop for two days, presumably because she was empty and then we were feeding her cautiously. I have already bugged the breeder, but I just want a group where I can check in and make sure I am doing what I need to. It is kind of like having a new baby – no one else is interested in the minutiae, understandably, but I need some reassurance.

    Reply
    1. Mrs. Fenris

      Please call your vet with questions. They don’t mind, and if it’s not a question that needs to go straight to the doctor, a tech or assistant can often answer. Steer clear of the breeder or social media. There are a lot of well-intended but terribly misinformed people out there.

      Reply
      1. Book Lover

        That’s fair – I think it is more the day to day sharing how things are going that I would like to have, though. Perhaps there isn’t something like that though.

        Reply
        1. No Tribble At All

          Kitten Lady’s blog has a bunch of advice on raising kittens! She’s a pro fosterer. kittenlady dot org slash savekittens :)

          Reply
    2. Jane of all Trades

      I don’t have any threads but I feel you on needing reassurance. I used to foster kittens and needed a lot of support from the shelter coordinators and vet to make sure I was comfortable that the kittens were doing well. I don’t think issues with eating and vomiting are that uncommon with kittens, especially if it’s a new environment and new food. I would bear in mind though that not eating can be indicative of serious health issues, so if you’re in doubt it’s better to load your kitten in the carrier and go to the vet. That being said, you can try to add a little pumpkin purée with their food. It helps stabilize their digestion. The same for boiling a little chicken in sodium free broth and feeding either small pieces or pureeing it. Lastly, not all cats do well with all types or brands of food, and you should try to feed grain free, high quality food!
      I hope your kitten feels better soon!

      Reply
      1. Jane of all Trades

        Following up to say that 24hrs is generally the cut off- if your kitten hasn’t eaten within that time, take it to the vet. They also have high calorie specialty food if you need to add that to the kittens diet if needed

        Reply
      2. Book Lover

        She is doing great now, thank you :). Eating, drinking, pooping and hanging out next to me washing herself. And I did talk to the vet immediately just wanted ongoing support, I think. She is on nutro max kitten formula and diamond kitten, both of which I think are good brands? I think just the trip to the vet upset her, maybe.

        Reply
  15. Book Lover

    Has anyone else been watching the My Subscription Addiction drama? I used to browse the forums when I was bored, and there would be occasional brush fires. The latest was a huge do about the forum being ok with racism, terrible moderation with moderators deleting and editing and banning people. Now the forum is closed indefinitely. Sigh.
    It had gotten to the point I thought it likely was not helping the site but I imagine they will lose out on people who otherwise would have swapped or bought more than they otherwise would have.

    Reply
  16. Rach

    Do you give up your seat for women who look pregnant on public transport?

    I feel like his has become a bit of a minefield. Don’t do it and if she’s actually pregnant then that’s just rude, but if you guessed wrong then apparently that’s offensive.

    These days I just avoid sitting down in the first place.

    Reply
      1. tangerineRose

        Someone digging nails into your skin without warning – seems like an excellent time to scream/howl in pain (even if it takes a second before you think of it) and say “Ow!!! Why did you do that? That hurts!”

        Reply
      2. Nervous Accountant

        WTF!? That’s so rude!!!! You DO NOT TOUCH ANOTHER PASSENGER LIKETHAT. I thought that’s the unspoken rule. SMH.

        Reply
    1. The Librarian (not the type from TNT)

      I once stood up for an elderly woman and got serenaded with, “What do I look like, an INVALID?!”

      I stood up once for someone who looked pregnant for sure–and perhaps was–and got a rueful laugh from the woman and a snide remark from another passenger.

      I still give up my seat if I suspect someone might need it, though I’ll admit I’m more gun-shy now. I figure if they have some ridiculous reaction over it, it’s on them, not me.

      Reply
    2. Kathenus

      Sometimes making eye contact and saying “would you like to sit?” in a friendly manner can work better than getting up – this way you are engaging them and giving them a choice, but in the latter you’re almost forcing the issue that they should sit whether they preferred to or not.

      Reply
      1. heckofabecca

        This is what I do, too! Sometimes even just a gesture and a look can get the question across (raised eyebrows while gesturing to the seat, e.g.). Especially helpful when someone you want to offer your seat to is not immediately next to you and it’s busy.

        Reply
      2. The Original K.

        This is what I do. “Would you like to sit down?” If they say yes, cool! I get up. If not, cool! I stay seated. I also do this with people who look like they might need a hand (parents with strollers, people who have their hands full, etc.). “Do you need a hand?” and go from there, depending on the answer.

        Reply
    3. Jules the First

      I ask “excuse me, would you like to sit down?”

      I started using it after someone used it with me and I thought it was a nice neutral way to do it (I don’t look like I need a seat but I sometimes do need it) I’ve never had anyone get offended by it.

      Reply
      1. Chocolate Teapot

        Once on the Metro in Paris, a pregnant woman got on and announced to the carriage “Can somebody give me a seat?”

        Reply
    4. RestlessRenegade

      I don’t use much public transportation anymore (it sucks here) but when I lived in the Bay Area, I used BART every day and I rarely sat, for exactly this reason. Also general fear of someone yelling at me to give up my seat. I got very good at reading a book while standing up on the moving train!

      Reply
      1. Elizabeth West

        I didn’t sit often on the tube in London either unless the carriage was mostly empty. At peak time, all the seats were taken anyway by the time I got on. On my 2015 trip I did, but I had a knee brace on part of the time and nobody bothered me about it.

        Reply
    5. LilySparrow

      This is exactly like trying to figure out if a disabled person wants help, or if a mom with a kid melting down wants help, or if a person with a stroller in the stairs wants help, or if an elderly person needs help crossing the street.

      Don’t guess. *Ask.*

      Don’t ask if they’re pregnant, or disabled, or lost, or off-balance, or whatever. Ask if they want to sit. Ask if they need a hand.

      As heckofabecca pointed out, sometimes you don’t even need to ask out loud. I’ve done this many times and gotten some refusals but zero upset responses.

      Reply
      1. Kuododi

        Definitely second on your post!!! I have never had problems with how I was perceived when I asked my question with a smile and without pushing myself into the other person’s space. For example, at the grocery store when I see a person in a wheelchair or a motorized chair I will always offer to reach down whatever they are shopping for, but might not be able to reach. I don’t always get a yes however I do always get a friendly smile and a “No Thanks.”

        Reply
        1. Kuododi

          Eeekk!!! There’s a better way to word the end of that post!!! ” I will always offer to get stuff down from a high shelf something they might not be able to reach.”. That’s what I get for posting immediately after I woke up from a nap!!!

          Reply
    6. epi

      If I see a group getting on that might include anyone who should have my seat, I just get up and move back/in while they are still boarding unless I see someone else do it first. Then they are free to just take it, since the people they boarded with are not likely to cut ahead of them. Plus I’ve noticed anyone can offer a seat to anyone without giving offense if they are both standing and essentially saying “I don’t need the seat of you want it.”

      Only exceptions are if I’m stuck in a window seat or way in the back when it’s crowded so there’s no way said person will get to me, or want to.

      Reply
    7. LCL

      I do. Or for people who look like they need a seat.
      Funny story, I have posted this before -when boyfriend and I went to the Netherlands, we were riding a very small bus. Very pregnant woman with two kids in two gets on, we both stand and offer her our seat. She politely declines. Every stop after that, the new rider would glare at the fat Americans and ask the woman if she wanted help finding a seat, and she politely declined. I guess she had been sitting all morning and standing and leaning helped her feel better.

      Reply
    8. Nervous Accountant

      If someone gives up their seat for me I’m just SO HAPPY and I say thank you…. I would be offended under different circumstances but def not this one.

      Reply
    9. Mad Baggins

      Japan has these keychains pregnant women can put on their bag/purse to indicate they’re pregnant, so you can avoid that whole guessing game!

      Now if only people would actually stand up instead of pretending they don’t see her…

      Reply
  17. SuperAnon

    I am pregnant and feeling really bad about my body. Background is I’ve always been thin and I had a severe eating disorder (2 hospitalizations, lots of therapy) for five years. I’ve been in recovery for over 12 years and I’m not stopping myself from eating now, but I can’t help but feel bad about my growing belly, despite knowing it is normal and healthy. I have a therapist and a supportive husband, but as much as I love my husband, he can’t get it. I’m very excited to have a kid and this is very wanted, but pregnancy is hard on my self image. Anyone else been here? Any advice?

    Also, I am at the marker where you start to show and I’m starting to get comments from people in daily life, including one co-worker who has been very passive aggressive in the past about how thin I am and is now ramping up the body comments about how I am gaining weight and showing. I suspect she feels she can get away with it because I am pregnant, but it is driving me nuts.

    Reply
    1. neverjaunty

      Tell your co-worker “I am not interested in your opinions about my body. Please keep them to yourself.” I mean WTF? This is not okay in a work setting.

      Reply
      1. Justme, The OG

        That’s much kinder than my thought of “I’m growing a person so shut the eff up” to the coworker.

        Reply
      2. The New Wanderer

        Yes, please shut that down. There is no “pass” for oh she’s pregnant so I can talk about her body.

        Pregnancy is hard that way. I was always thin too, and even without having EDs or related issues it’s hard to let go of the self-image as clothes stop fitting and nothing looks quite right for long. It helped to get well-cut and stylish maternity clothes (for me that meant drapey tops with leggings) so I didn’t feel like a shapeless blob. I actually liked some of those clothes a lot!

        Also, be prepared for the months after birth that you won’t recover your original shape quickly, or possibly ever. It was much harder than I expected, mostly because I didn’t want to change my eating habits and I got lazy about working out. I did get back to my pre-pregnancy weight but it took months and the weight was distributed a little differently.

        Reply
        1. Also me

          I’m going to second the suggestion to buy yourself some nice form fitting maternity clothes. Pants with elastic waists feel great and I began to really love how my bump looked once I wasn’t trying to hide it anymore.

          Reply
    2. Parenthetically

      “It’s rude to comment on people’s bodies. Please don’t do it.”

      And then escalate if you have to. It is REALLY SUPER not ok for her to say stuff like that, and IMO if she’s “ramping up” from already offensive comments, she’s getting into harassment territory.

      And… pregnancy can be super hard on self-image regardless of a person’s history, because suddenly your body isn’t solely your own. It’s a beautiful experience, but also weird and gross and emotionally complicated. One thing I had to fight against was the idea of “getting my body back” after my kid was born. There IS no going back, in any part of life, only moving forward. I had to make peace with the idea that this was a new part of my journey in my body, and that I was learning to be a new way in my body. Hopefully with your therapist on board you can work through all this complexity! Fingers crossed for you!

      Reply
    3. Elf

      Feel a bit lucky; my boss straight up asked me how much weight I’d gained (she was in the middle of commenting to another coworker about how small I was for how far along I was). People suck when you’re pregnant. I’m not having the major body image issues so much (I’m mostly amused by how half the people tell me how big I am and the other half tell me how small I am) but I am really getting irritated by people asking me how I’m feeling and not letting me carry things. I am not an invalid! I am in better shape than you! I know how to not injure myself! (also, not my first rodeo).

      Reply
      1. ..Kat..

        I would be tempted to ask her how much weight she had gained. “None. Really? Gosh, I guess you are just bloated.” But, as I have said before, I am comfortable with being ‘not a nice person.’

        Reply
        1. Elf

          Amusingly, she is an older lady who happens to carry her extra weight in her belly, so she really does have about the belly I did at about 5 or so months. Not going to tell her that, though. The only “reciprocally mean” behavior I’m liable to engage in is reciprocal belly touches if anyone gets handsy (and then watch them get horribly offended).

          Reply
    4. Erin

      Just sympathy. I’m 36 weeks and my mom came to visit this weekend, gave me a hello hug, then stuck her hand *up my shirt* and started rubbing my belly. She was offended when I basically slapped (gently) her hand away, and said “what, it’s my belly!” (Implying she gave birth to me therefore owns my body). I just could not deal with it.

      Reply
    5. LibbyG

      No advice to add, just well wishes. It sounds like you’re doing a great job nourishing yourself and your baby amid extremely difficult circumstances! Yay for you!

      Reply
      1. LibbyG

        Actually I do have an idea. Maybe it would help to look at yourself from the back with a hand mirror and a wall mirror? Maybe it’ll feel reassuring to see a view that looks more like your usual body? I obviously have no idea how something like that relates to your recovery. Just an idea.

        Reply
        1. LilySparrow

          I don’t know how OP’s body is changing, but this would definitely not have “helped” me when I was pregnant.

          Many people change all over. I couldn’t anymore “recognize” my butt or my feet than I could my belly.

          I have nothing to offer but encouragement, OP. Becoming a parent is a sacrifice of your identity in many ways, and it’s a slightly different journey for all of us. But I believe in you, and it’s going to work out okay.

          Reply
    6. Thursday Next

      Pregnancy can be exciting but also challenging of the way we perceive ourselves. Re. other people’s comments, I don’t know what it is that makes people thing pregnancy = suspension of social boundaries, but there is definitely something that makes people think it’s okay to say and do things that are utterly unacceptable. Definitely assert your boundaries!

      Re. your self-image—do you find yourself looking at yourself more in the mirror than you used to? If you find mirrors are triggering your body image thoughts, could you avoid mirrors, except at certain scheduled times?

      Would it help to focus on the specifics of pregnancy changes? You talk about “your growing belly”—would it help to reframe it as X extra pints of blood to support baby’s growth, etc.? In other words, it’s not actually your stomach that’s growing, but a baby and its requisite supports?

      Reply
    7. seewhatimean

      counterintuitive maybe, but consider having full portraits done. Go to someone who does maternity photos you have seen and love, and be brave. Don’t go for the fluff and lace if you’re into something else…maybe imagine the most lovely pregnant body you can think of, or a sculpture you admire, and ask to be photographed in that style. I did this, referencing a slightly abstract sculptor’s nude women torsos that feel exude power and grace.

      Even if you don’t have the photos done, reframing the pregnancy into an image you can get behind, philosophically, might help you feel better about your body changes. You can be pregnant however it works for you. (And shut down your coworker as quick and hard as possible…you have quite some time left if you’re just showing, and it’s better she’s grumpy than you have to hear her BS go on and on. (I only once followed”oooh, you’re getting big!” with “gosh, you too!”)

      Just ideas, use what works, chuck the rest. Congratulations!

      Reply
    8. Call me St. Vincent

      I think for me now having my second kid is that I know eventually I will get back to my fighting weight. Since I did it last time, it’s easier for me to know that I can do it again. That being said, I’ve gotten SO MANY rude comments about my size and it’s so frustrating. I’m 37 weeks right now and I’ve got a big belly–I wonder why people! I’m a fairly small person, but people say the meanest things and think nothing of it. You’re so big, you must be due any day, are you having triplets? One of my colleagues said, upon finding out I was pregnant, “I have noticed you’ve been eating a ton lately and you look so tired, so that makes sense!” At first I would be like, ok they are trying to be nice and make conversation, but then I just got so fed up I started using come backs. One guy at the cafe in my office building said “maybe the baby will come this weekend” about 2 months ago and I was like “that would be absolutely horrible” and he says “why???” and I said “because then the baby would be 2 months premature, but thanks for playing!” I’ve seen him after that and he’s been totally silent.

      After a while, those comments did start to really get to me. I don’t remember getting them with my first baby at all. I started to feel terrible about myself like I was enormous and unattractive. I still have those feelings and I think it’s totally normal. All that is to say, hang in there! It happens to a lot of us and you will get back to normal. It may not be as quickly as you want, but it will happen. I think you’re doing all the right things with talking to your therapist and your supportive husband by your side. Keep on keeping on and just remind yourself whenever you feel low that you’re making a human in there and that takes work and it takes room!

      Reply
  18. Kate Daniels

    Any tips for how to have more energy to do things after work? I always find that I’m so exhausted that I usually just come home, eat dinner, watch the news, go to sleep… and repeat. My eyes are usually too tired to focus on reading, and I feel like I lack the energy to do social things.

    Reply
    1. Tort-ally Hare Brained

      Either you just might be that tired and need the rest, or try not going home first. I find if I go straight to social plans, or even run errands on the way home I have a lot more energy – but if I go home first even to change forget going back out. For me its the mental energy, not the physical.

      Reply
      1. MysteryFan

        Yes.. for me too.. Keep going… don’t take off your shoes and lie on the couch, or you’ll Never get up! ha!

        Reply
    2. Damn it, Hardison!

      If I sit down, all hope is lost. So, I keep busy – take care of the cats, make dinner, get stuff ready for the next day, etc. I also try to pick just one or two things I need to do in the evening so that I can usually convince myself to do them before packing it in for the night. Usually there is one night during the week that I do absolutely nothing useful, and I’m totally okay with that.

      Reply
    3. The Librarian (not the type from TNT)

      This might sound like a ridiculous response, but you mentioned watching the news. I wonder if that’s part of the problem. I find watching the news dispirits me and makes life feel hopeless. Your mileage will probably vary, but maybe try not watching the news for a week and doing something else with those 30 minutes, and see what happens? My experience is that if something truly awful happens, you’ll still know.

      Reply
      1. Kate Daniels

        Not ridiculous at all… I never thought of this before, but you might be right! I will cut back on the news this week and see if anything changes.

        Reply
    4. OhBehave

      Do you get restful sleep and enough of it? I agree that going directly to your planned activity helps. If you want to change clothes, bring them with you to work.
      Could you be depressed? Lack of energy is one of my signs if I haven’t recognized I’m down.
      Eat some protein before you leave work. Peanuts are a great boost for me. Yogurt has great protein too.
      What does your lunchtime look like? Do you eat at your desk? I have found that even going to my car to eat/read gives me afternoon energy. Getting that burst of fresh air and sunshine can be helpful.

      Reply
    5. Mad Baggins

      I get more done at home if I keep my bra on. Makes me feel like I’m still in “dressed” mode. Once the PJs are on it’s all over.

      Reply
  19. Free Meerkats

    I got back from Providence last night. The work part was great, but I didn’t get to do anything else. I’m the hundred yard walk from the bus to the hotel, I caught my foot on a bit of uneven pavement and went down, hard. Some minor road rash, a nasty bruise on my right hand, and a sprain/strain of my left calf – to the point where I had trouble walking. So I never got more than about a block or so from the hotel.

    But it was good to see people, and I got lots of sympathy. Long day when one travels east coast to west. There was a baby that screamed the entire bus trip from Providence to BOS, and was on my flight and did the same for almost two hours at the gate. Luckily, our magically quieted when boarding started and not a peep for the whole flight! Wheelchair ride from the gate to baggage, then shuttle home. Twenty hours from when I got up on the east coast until I went to bed on the west.

    Reply
    1. Anonymous Educator

      The work part was great, but I didn’t get to do anything else.

      That’s a bummer. There’s so much good food in Providence/Pawtucket.

      Reply
  20. Ms. Gullible

    We hd a temporary hearing this week. It took a sharp left turn as my ex was not prepared as usual and the judge actually gave joint custody. My lawyer was floored. As she had just told us two days prior she didnt care what my ex had to say and that she was giving me sole custody. Then she did a 180. I’m wrecked. I don’t understand how a person who has not been a parent or even willing to be one for my entire children’s short lives, now gets them half the time. He’s never even spent the night alone with them. I just pray that this does not negatively affect my children.

    Reply
    1. Not So NewReader

      Can your attorney write the judge a letter asking for reconsideration based on Points A, B and C?

      This makes no sense. I wonder if that judge has a reputation of some sort.

      Reply
    2. Anonymous Ampersand

      Shit. I’m so very sorry. I can’t understand how that happened. I hope you and they are ok.

      Reply
    3. neverjaunty

      The judge probably forgot what she said two days ago, I’m sorry to say. Any chance your lawyer can ask for a new hearing?

      Reply
    4. Ms. Gullible

      My lawyer says we go to mediation from here. What’s done is done. We either work it out in mediation (doubtful an agreement will come) or we go to trial.

      Reply
  21. Miso

    I know it’s been a week, but… Anyone else still devastated by the cancellation of Lucifer?
    Cause I sure as hell (pun might be intended) am.
    That cliffhanger…!

    Reply
    1. Enough

      Yes and no. I was getting tired of the whole Cain thing. But really once Chloe really understands what’s going on what’s the point of the show?

      Reply
      1. Miso

        Yeah, Cain sucked. Especially because there was just zero chemistry between him and Chloe…
        But I’m looking forward to Chloe knowing everything! I want some good cop, devil cop shenanigans!
        I think it’s kinda similar to Lois&Clark – I loved it when Lois finally knew everything.

        Welp, now I can just hope someone actually picks it up…

        Reply
    2. Bluebell

      Still haven’t gotten around to seeing the finale. The fact that it’s not coming back is making we want to put it off.

      Reply
      1. Miso

        Oh, watch it, it’s SO good!
        Best episode of season 3 (not that that’s hard… *sigh*) and maybe of the whole show. The most badass scene as well.

        Reply
  22. ThatGirl

    I love our dog to pieces but he was whining half the night, we let him out of his crate, afraid he was getting sick, and he wouldn’t settle. Wandered all over the bed whining. So we put him back, finally got some sleep, but he was at it again at 6:15. Turned out he was super thirsty and guzzled water as soon as we let him downstairs. D’oh.

    Reply
      1. AvonLady Barksdale

        Poor buddy! Ours used to get ear infections, and while he doesn’t whine, he was obviously uncomfortable. I hope your buddy feels better soon.

        Reply
        1. ThatGirl

          Yeah, he’s gonna need to see the vet tomorrow. I’ve been washing his ear out, much to his chagrin, but I need an expert to look at it.

          Reply
  23. Mrs. Fenris

    Since a lot of us have England on the brain today, and since several of you smart people were so helpful with my last question about my upcoming London trip, can I ask y’all a couple more questions? (BG: me, my husband, and my kids ages 18 and 15, one week. Renting a flat near the Kilburn tube stop. I spent the summer there in 1987 but the rest have never been there.) One: day trips! What’s good and close enough not to be too much of a pain? I was thinking Canterbury, possibly Windsor, maybe Bath? And two: dumb question. If people ask us where we are from, what is the best way to answer? I imagine it will be obvious we are Americans, so do we say “The US?” Do we specify what part? We live in Atlanta. (So I’m imagining “Atlanta, where they had the 1996 Olympics/where they film The Walking Dead/like Gone With the Wind[hopefully not that last one, I am not a GWTW fan.]

    Reply
    1. soupmonger

      You’re fretting about saying what part of the US you’re from, but using ‘England’ where you mean ‘UK’? Better sort that out before you visit.

      Reply
          1. fposte

            They’re not getting married in Scotland.

            Yes, sometimes people say “England” when they mean “UK.” But it’s not clear that’s what happened here, mostly it doesn’t matter, and commenting guidelines ask us not to nitpick. When somebody gets married in Guernsey we can break out the argument again.

            Reply
          2. Falling Diphthong

            Suppose someone was going on vacation to Los Angeles (and environs for day trips) and said they were going “to California.” But not “to the United States.”

            Let it go, let it go-OOO…

            Reply
            1. ..Kat..

              Well, technically, they are going to the United States, California, Los Angeles county, Los Angeles city, the West Coast, that place south of Oregon that we dare not mention, and (last but not least) La Ciudad de Nuestra Senora La Reina de Los Angeles. Magnificent places one and all.

              Reply
      1. The Foreign Octopus

        Don’t be pedantic. She’s looking for an answer, not a bitchy response.

        As for Mrs. Fenris, just say that you’re from America. Most will ask “oh, what part?” and almost all will have heard of Atlanta. You could also just go with “down South” if you like.

        Bath is nice but I never feel like there’s enough to do there. It has a lovely history though and I might be biased because I grew up near there.

        Enjoy your trip (and don’t forget to try fish and chips other curry sauce!).

        Reply
      2. Fiennes

        Do you get to say England when you actually mean England? Which is what she clearly meant and referred to?

        Reply
      3. Thlayli

        Wtf? Wedding is in England, visit is to England.

        On a related note OP, most English people say “America” to mean US. And most have very little knowledge of US state geography. Best bet is to just say you’re from America and wait to see if they ask what part.

        Reply
    2. Tau

      Not sure I can be super helpful with question one, as I never did much tourism in SE England. I did spend some time living in Poole and the area is gorgeous and well worth a visit – also the New Forest, between it/Bournemouth/Christchurch and Southampton – but it’s 1.5-2 hours on the train from Waterloo and that may be too long for a day trip.

      As to where you’re from… personally, I’d lead with “the US”, and wait. Most people will ask for more detail, and that’s where you can talk about Atlanta. It always strikes me as more polite (for lack of a better word) not to assume that people will be interested in or knowledgeable about the exact subdivisions of the country you’re from when you’re in a foreign country, so that you first give them the broad strokes and leave it up to them if they want more info.

      Things that may complicate this: most of the people you talk to will probably be able to guess the US from accent alone, while my accent is weird and very inconclusive, and I’d guess a lot of people have heard of Atlanta which is decidedly not the case for my hometown. (I spent a lot of time going “it’s around X distance south of Hanover, if you’ve heard of Hanover… no?”)

      Reply
      1. Mrs. Fenris

        Thanks! The accent thing is probably part of why I’m overthinking this. When you have a Southern accent you get used to people immediately knowing what part of the US you’re from and you skip ahead to that part, but I realized on my previous trip that people in the UK usually can’t hear the difference, the way most Americans don’t recognize the different accents there.

        Reply
        1. Tau

          Yes, it can be really strange to realise how your accent is interpreted differently in different places, and how distinctions that are super clear-cut to you are just not to people from elsewhere (and there are distinctions they find super clear-cut that you don’t pick up on).

          I actually have the opposite problem now that I’m back in Germany – I’ll still reflexively answer “so, where are you from?” with “Germany”, at which point people generally stare at me going “…um, we were expecting more detail…?” I spent over a decade in the UK and am super not used to needing to have a regional identity, or my accent in the language I use day-to-day being interpreted as anything other than “??? probably some form of foreigner?”

          Reply
    3. Falling Diphthong

      I think people will recognize “Atlanta”–it’s large enough. When we travel we are “from Boston” after getting through the confusion about how while we are very blond and speak excellent English, we are not German.

      I have fond but very distant memories of Bath from a one-day layover on my honeymoon–the Brit we were staying with apologized for it having no real historical interest, being only about 800 years old.

      Reply
      1. Penny Lane

        Just say Atlanta, Georgia and move on. You are massively overthinking this. It’s just small talk anyway.

        Reply
      2. seewhatimean

        what? The fact that Bath is a deliberate neo-classical city is interesting. The baths are interesting, the abbey is small but interesting, partly because of location.
        800yrs old? It was founded by the Romans in 1AD.
        It’s UNESCO listed.

        Reply
    4. Buu

      Try Brighton, friendly hippy-ish seaside town ( stone not sand beach) with some nice shops, cafes and plenty of touristy things to do if you want. You can probably get there in about 1 1/2 – 2 hours by train.

      Honestly just say Atlanta, :) we watch enough TV to get it. You can add the Walking Dead but if they seem very confused.

      Reply
    5. Pollygrammer

      I think it’s fine to say “the US,” but if people follow up you could probably have some fun leaning into an exaggerated Georgia accent. “Atlanta, y’all!”

      Reply
    6. Max Kitty

      With only one week, I’d probably do one day trip at most. London has plenty to keep you busy! Cambridge is only an hour or so on the train from London and has plenty to see. You could arrange a coach trip to Stonehenge and Salisbury, or go to Windsor or Hampton Court Palace, or Dover. For something interesting but really close to London, maybe Greenwich.

      Reply
    7. Parenthetically

      FWIW no one asked me where I was from, or if they did, it was clear they meant “where in the US”?

      I did one day trip to Oxford and one to Hampton Court Palace (by boat! down the Thames! do this, it is wonderful) and they were both very doable.

      Reply
    8. Bagpuss

      Day trips – I think it depends on what you are most interested in, and which things you want to do in London. I’d suggest you approach it on the basis of whether there is something you specifically want to do or see – if not, there’s more than enough in London to keep you occupied for a week or more!

      Bath is just over 90 minutes by train, (and the station is very central when you arrive). It’s a lovely little city, very do-able on foot, and fun if you like Roman remains, or are a big Jane Austen fan.(or just like Regency architecture)

      There are coach trips which do Bath & Stonehenge, which would make for a long day with a lot of travel, but is do-able as a day trip if you want to see both.

      Canterbury again is about 90 minutes by train from London, so very manageable if you want to visit.

      Windsor I think is about an hour by train, but is a popular tourist destination so there are also coach trips etc available.

      In terms of where you come from, I think probably most people would recognise Atlanta without you having to explain further – I’d go with “Atlanta, USA” if you want to say more than just USA.

      Enjoy your visit.

      Reply
    9. Trisana chandler

      Gosh, I’m surprised how many people think you should answer with Atlanta! I would definitely just say the US and wait to see if they want clarification. I’m from Australia and have travelled quite a lot and have always found it strange that Americans specify city or state but pretty much everyone else when asked will tell you which country their from and wait for a follow up. Not that I think badly of them for it, but it stands out!

      But maybe it’s an Australian thing? We assume people aren’t super familiar with our states and cities whereas the US states and cities are much better known!

      Reply
    10. Nerd Writer

      I lived in London for a few years. You could stay in the city the whole time and not see it all, but for day trips definitely Bath. Are any of you Jane Austen fans? There is that aspect to Bath in addition to the others mentioned. I’d also second Salisbury – how can you go to England and not see Stonehenge?

      Brighton is beautiful and artistic and modern. I’d also try and see one of either Cambridge or Oxford if possible. But that is a lot of day trips considering you also have all of London to explore!

      If I had to choose only one, I’d say Bath.

      Reply
    11. Deus Cee

      Cambridge is 45 minutes from King’s Cross by train, and a nice sized city to look around in a day (and do try punting!). If you say you’re from ‘Atlanta’, that should be plenty for most people.

      Reply
  24. Tau

    It’s a holiday weekend here, which I was weighing all sorts of plans for (cycle trip… cooking something fancy… *baking* something fancy… sitting on my terrace drinking lemonade… and, because I’m a grown-up, sorting out my taxes.) Alas, it seems I picked up a bug at the conference I went to last week, because I got a fever last night and it hasn’t gone away. I barely managed to drag myself to the grocery store to do the holiday shopping and have spent most of today curled up in bed or in my armchair. To be fair, I can probably still work on my taxes, but I just feel sick and miserable. And desperately hoping I’m better on Tuesday so I don’t need a doctor’s note.

    Anyone have any good self-care tips for when you’re ill? I usually have a pretty good immune system and very rarely get fevers.

    Reply
    1. Jules the First

      Tylenol, plenty of fluids, lots of rest.

      The Tylenol will help the fever break, the fluids will keep you hydrated, and your body needs the rest.

      I’m in the same boat – I had to cancel my weekend plans and I’m soooooo bored..my boss sent me home from work at noon yesterday because I looked so horrendous and I’ve spent the time since moving between bed and the pot of chicken soup.

      Reply
      1. Tau

        Thanks! I haven’t taken any paracetamol yet – I sort of feel as though since my body has fevers so rarely, when it does insist on one I should give it the space to do what it feels it needs to do, haha – but if it rises much further/isn’t gone by tomorrow I’ll probably reconsider. I forgot about fluids initially, but now have a pot of tea sitting next to my armchair.

        Also, thanks for the suggestion of chicken soup – it made me remember that I have some broccoli soup in the freezer and this seems like the appropriate time for soup.

        Reply
        1. Jules the First

          I used to feel the same way and got a sound lecturing from my doctor on the subject – the paracetamol doesn’t stop the immune response, it just alleviates the misery of the symptoms of the immune response. Ie, it makes you feel better by taking away the fever, but your body is still doing its thing.

          Think of the fever as your body’s way of sending an urgent message asking for reinforcements…

          Reply
          1. seewhatimean

            Plus you’ll know you’re getting better when you forget to take the next dose because when it wore off you didn’t start to feel like warm death again.

            Reply
  25. nep

    Might–might–make a trip to Portsmouth, NH late August.
    Suggestions for affordable but nice places to stay? Unique, comfortable, cool spots I should look into?

    Reply
    1. KR

      OOH OOH ME. So no suggestions on the hotels, sorry, but there are lots of hotels in the immediate area and surrounding towns. Youre going to want to rent a car or bring one. Anything downtown will be a lot more expensive but it’s a small area and you can stay within a 15 minute drive for much cheaper. But to see while you’re there – check out Rye or North Hampton beaches are great and not as crowded as the main Hampton beach. The urban forestry center off route 1 is wonderful to walk around in. Strawberry Banke has oodles of history and old buildings to see. There’s a slave burial ground/memorial that isn’t so much a tourist attraction but a really well done memorial to Portsmouth’s relatively distant past as a slave trading hub. All the shops are fun to walk around in for an afternoon. Dos Amigos has the best Mexican American food you’re going to find in South East NH with a fun hipster vibe. Prescott park usually has a lot of plays and things during the summer evenings that are free with a suggested donation (they’ll try to pressure you but it is free). The friendly toast has the best all day breakfast food (and great drinks if you’re into that). There are some awesome breweries downtown and great restaurants in general. It is a GREAT area and I can answer any questions you have (except hotels) as someone who grew up in the area and lived 10 minutes away from downtown.

      Reply
  26. Fake old Converse shoes (not in the US)

    Yesterday I found out that I can’t take the final I was studying for because it overlaps with my first round of exams. On the bright side, now I have a good excuse for not taking it, because my revision wasn’t going well. On the other side, the first two exams are on the same week and I’m somehow behind schedule, so now I have a couple of days to get back on track.
    Also, I’m struggling really hard with one of my group projects. We’re a four people team, and it’s a mess. One has vanished completely, one goes to class but does nothing, the other contributes undoing previous code and I’m fighting the impulse to do all. This week someone uploaded code that broke compilation hours before the deadline, and the author of said code excused himself with the classic “it worked on my computer” without apologizing. I’m super close to commit academic murder.

    Reply
    1. Not So NewReader

      I never understood this team thing in colleges. Everything is done in teams. Shouldn’t people learn on their own before being thrown in with a bunch of other moving parts? I sincerely believe that I got a lesser quality education because of the school’s over reliance on the covert learning found in team work.
      What you show here is typical of what I saw. One or two people do all the work and everyone else coasts along.

      Reply
      1. tangerineRose

        I was in 2 team projects in college. In the first one, there were 3 of us, and we knew enough about each other that we assigned the um.. least competent person to the least stuff and then helped them.

        In the 2nd one, it went badly. Overly optimistic people taking on too much work, then doing it badly…

        Reply
    2. The Other Dawn

      I feel your pain. I hate team projects in school. Things seemed to move so much slower because either everyone had to give their two cents, or one or two people did all the work while others slacked, people didn’t show up to meetings, etc.

      I had to do a team project in my college psychology class. There were three of us. Of course, two of us were doing all the work. The third person either blew off our meetings, showed up late, or didn’t do the part she was assigned. It was quite late into the project, but the two of us made the decision to drop the third person. It had to be done; there was no way I, or the other person, was going to let someone take credit when they didn’t do any of the work and was MIA a lot of the time. I went to college later in life, and I think having the work and life experience helped me to make the decision pretty quickly and without guilt. Because of that, I had to volunteer to tell the third person she was out. I had to email her since she skipped class half the time and didn’t answer her phone. She never responded, but she also didn’t show up to class the night of our presentation. I’m pretty sure she failed the class, even without participating in the project.

      Reply
    3. A (former) Cad Monkey

      I had one team project that resulted in me doing all the work because no one decided to show at the time we had all agreed upon. They all showed up about 4 hours later after I had done the entire project. I turned in the project into the professor with a note stating my team decided not to participate and here is the work I completed. Got an 85% on that project and was happy.

      Another project had a person that was taking the class as an elective (required for my degree) tried to push her work onto me. She did not have her name or work in the final presentation, as agreed upon by the other teammates. She blamed me for not doing her work and her resulting failing grade.

      TLDR: Group projects suck and shouldn’t be a major part of any course’s grade.

      Reply
    4. Enough

      2 group projects. First one had no work from one and he lucked out that there was a massive snow storm over Thanksgiving and “couldn’t get back to school” for 4 days. Second one I did more work than the others even though I had more work in my other classes then they did.

      Reply
  27. Cute Li'l UFO

    My wrists/arms/shoulders are nearly back to normal, there’s still some scar tissue that feels kinda lumpy from inside my mouth, the scar on the outside is flattening and shrinking at an incredible rate, and my dental bill was under $1K with half or so of that being the cost of x-ray and anesthesia.

    I hand-washed my Alexander McQueen silk-chiffon skull scarf by hand, saving myself a trip to the cleaners. I also felt bad about giving it to them… it was really ugly. It hadn’t even been snagged when I fell. I am lucky.

    My cleaners declined to do my lambskin leather jacket because they were worried about where they send their leather/suede to ruining its soft texture. So I spot cleaned with a very lightly dampened cloth and buffed dry with another. The silk lining and leather are impeccable, like nothing even happened. It ended up with a couple small blips on the placket behind the zipper, but no harm done. Again, I am lucky.

    I used to resell a lot of vintage/secondhand clothes so I fancy myself a bit of a stain fairy. It makes me feel good about myself because I hate having stains on things and I know it’s a source of anguish for people whether it’s a favorite t-shirt or a silk shirt. I’m happy I’m able to help out friends and family with their favorite items.

    (Also had a phone interview that I feel *very* hopeful about but it’s THAT thread so.)

    Reply
    1. Thursday Next

      Glad you’re recovering! Being a stain fairy is an impressive achievement. I’m obsessed with clothing condition—I don’t have expensive or stylish clothes, but I try to take care of what I have. It sounds like you have a lot of experience!

      Reply
  28. salary inequalities among friends

    This may be more appropriate for the work-related side, it’s a little personal, a little professional….

    I am in a graduate program for a fairly lucrative field. I got a new job offer related to that field about two months ago and started last month. A friend and colleague from my previous job tangentially asked me about salary. I debated on whether or not to tell her, but I did decide to give the specific dollar amount. She knew the range I was looking for with my program, so if she had guessed, it wouldn’t have been too far off anyway. I felt like I was validating something she probably already knew. Also, I’ve read a lot about how hiding salary keeps wages low and I’ve read about how talking about money being taboo can be a US-specific thing and I have another friend who is in a woman’s finance group and she said they are very open about it and she has had a positive experience.

    Well, I saw that friend the other day for drinks and at least three times, she brought up the dollar figure. I could sense a little envy in her. I know that not making as much as someone else can be frustrating. Heck, I have felt that way several times in the past, but I did choose my graduate program partially because of the earning potential.

    I can’t think of a time I was on the other end of the spectrum and how I felt. Is there more harm than good in disclosing the dollar figure? If we hadn’t known each other from work and only known each other socially, would she have felt differently?

    Has anyone resented their friends for making more money than them? Or had a friend resent them for making more money. I didn’t sense direct resentment, but I did feel bad that she brought it up so many times that I thought about apologizing.

    Reply
    1. Temperance

      I talk about money with my lawyer friends, because we’re all lawyers and it does help us to get paid what we’re worth. I do not ever talk about money with anyone else, though, because it gets weird.

      I’m from a poor background, and I know that I make at least double what my childhood friends make, and that my husband makes triple or more. Our joint income is approaching 200k, and I think they support their families on 50k or less.

      Reply
      1. Falling Diphthong

        One of the most true financial insights I’ve run across is that (almost) everyone thinks they would be set if they just made twice what they do now. That would let them live a slightly fancier lifestyle than at present, with some new indulgences plus money left over. But if they do double their salary, from $15K to $30K to $60K to $120K, they still feel that way–twice as much and they’d be set. There’s a psych term for it–hedonic adaptation?–about how absolutely anything, wonderful or awful, can become the mundane norm that we take for granted and we emotionally react to deviations from that norm.

        Reply
    2. Falling Diphthong

      I would file this under your friend being weird. The contexts you give for honestly stating your salary when asked are perfectly sound. (Announcing it out of the blue would be weird.) I would guess that a part of her hoped you would say how you actually made the same salary now, and when you failed to recite the script she had in her head she felt defensive and snarky. That’s on her poor grace for not disguising envy well, not on you for answering a question that is very relevant to a lot of people considering schooling or a field change.

      Reply
    3. MechanicalPencil

      One of my closest friends frequently complains about how she has no money. She stayed in an old job for way too long and continues to work in a nonprofit field. I know she could make more if she switched to a for profit job but she’s convinced that the pension plan she’s under is worthwhile. I don’t have that measure of faith. I dont talk specific figures, but I have mentioned that switching from nonprofit to for profit was beneficial in both salary and career advancement.

      Reply
    4. Ann Furthermore

      I make quite a bit more than my husband, and after we got married we had to provide our joint tax return as part of the child support discussions with his ex. When she saw the combined total, the negotiations took on a very nasty, bitter tone that hadn’t been there previously. After that she started acting like we were rich greedy assholes, rolling in money, who were cackling with glee about raking the poor, down-on-her-luck single mother struggling to make ends meet over the coals. All my husband ever asked is for her to contribute her share of the support, as calculated on the child support worksheet provided by the state. Not a penny more. It was strange to be on the receiving end of such bitterness.

      Reply
    5. Wendy Darling

      I straight up lost a friend after I got a high-paying job at a company she disliked. Every time we saw each other she’d make snide comments about my job or how much I was making. Every time a negative article about the company came out she would post it on Facebook. I ended up feeling attacked and stopped asking her to hang out, so we saw each other much less.

      I ended up getting laid off from that job when my division was restructured and was in and out of work for a few years after that. I was making either no money or dramatically less money but she still acted like I was rich and rolled her eyes any time I alluded to not having a ton of money (like if I said I couldn’t afford to do something).

      I ended up lending her an expensive item she needed and telling her she could have it for a few weeks but after that she needed to either pay me for it or return it to me so I could sell it (I was out of work at the time so I needed the money). She never returned it. After a good six months I asked what happened. She said she gave it to her boyfriend. I said she owed me $250, then. She never talked to me again, but she did post on Facebook about buying a brand new $800+ phone. I’ve completely given up on the friendship at this point since she clearly thinks I am Scrooge McDuck.

      Reply
      1. tangerineRose

        Your former friend sounds awful. None of that was OK, even if you hadn’t gone through a rough patch.

        Reply
        1. Wendy Darling

          I was just especially amazed that apparently her view was that I was rich and therefore it was okay to straight up steal from me even at a point when she had a job and I did not.

          Reply
    6. Junior Dev

      I try to talk about salary in career and job searching contexts because I think the taboo on white collar private sector jobs discussing salary in hiring contexts is a blatant attempt to exploit workers. I don’t really talk much about it when that’s not on the table though. I don’t want to make friends who make less money than me uncomfortable and I don’t want to open myself up to judgement on my finances (I have a lot of credit card debt from being unemployed or underemployed, and I’m doing my best to manage it but I don’t need someone judging me every time I buy a cup of coffee).

      Reply
    7. tangerineRose

      Would it help to talk with your friend about how much she’s bringing this up?

      I try to keep my finances to myself mostly because it does seem to create awkwardness. Sometimes the more people know about your financial situation, the more they try to tell you what to do about it.

      Reply
      1. salary inequalities among friends

        It was the first time I had seen her since leaving the other job. I’m hoping that the way she feels is just temporary and it will die down after a few months. She’s been looking for a new job off and on for awhile too, but her manager has talked her into staying each time she’s tried to leave. Another part of the reason why I gave her the specifics is that I believe she is underpaid for the work she is doing. I don’t see her coming close to my current salary with her education and experience, but I think she could get $10-$15k more in the market than what she makes now.

        She did mention being more serious about the job search and she asked me for some networking advice. I think I am going to write it off this one time as a temporary quirk, but if it keeps coming up, I do need to be more direct and talk to her about it.

        Reply
    8. Not So NewReader

      Some people do not handle the news well that they are making less money than us. Unfortunately, we can’t know who these people are until we tell them what we are making. I have gotten so I can guess the pay range by watching the spending patterns. There’s a difference between 40k, 60k and 80k, people tend to make different choices at each range.
      I am sorry your friend took the news hard. It does tend to be a wake up call when our peers excel. But my go-to on this one is, “If you can’t handle the answer then don’t ask the question.” This rule of thumb is good for many things in life. I would argue that you answered her question and it is not up to you to protect her from her own emotions. That is her job. If you had backed away from the question she probably would have reacted to that also. I am not seeing any chance of a win here.

      Reply
    9. Fiennes

      I’ve never resented more money as a salary. I *have* resented the kind of family wealth that means there’s almost no way to be reduced to poverty. Which is ridiculous, honestly—nobody picks the family they’re born into—so I’ve learned to set it aside. But it twitches, now and then.

      Reply
      1. Lissa

        Yes, I am going through this with a friend of mine right now, whose family is able to majorly help her buy property, something I very likely will never be able to do. I’m trying not to be bitter but it’s not helped by the fact that she doesn’t seem to recognize her privilege in this area, or at least really wants to underplay it, which I kind of get because resentment is no fun but…ugh.

        Reply
    10. HannahS

      I don’t, and I don’t think my friends do either. For a while, I was the wealthiest of my friends (like, when we were in high school, because I have one doctor parent), now I’m on the lower end, and in a few years, I’ll be close to the top and expect to stay there my whole life. I think we all recognize that no one chooses what opportunities they have early in life or how much money their parents have, but we were all fortunate enough to be able to chose fields based on what we felt would make satisfying careers and lives–and that got us everything from a couple of future doctors to artists. It might help, too, that none of us really consume conspicuously except for travel, and when we talk about travel it’s in in a tone of “I am excited about this! It’s great! Here’s what I found cool about it!” with no gross undertones.

      Reply
    11. Kuododi

      My idiot in-laws have all kinds of issues with DH and my bank account. ( Namely, that we have actual savings, money set aside for retirement, paid off vehicles and are not having our utilities cut off every other day). Now, we are doing better than when we were fresh out of grad school but are still one medical crisis away from bankruptcy court. Needless to say they routinely hit us up to finance their latest crisis due to non payment of bills.

      My parents are quite well off. I say this because I am actually quite proud of them. They worked like fiends all my childhood, saved and invested everything they could. Now they are in an excellent position during retirement. They regularly give to their community both financially as well as in acts of service. Personally, I.dont understand the point of resenting people for having more than myself. They have made choices which resulted in certain financial benefits. I chose to enter a different field which did not pay off in as big a financial manner rather in an ability to serve my community to the best of my abilities. Someone once SD ” Hatred is like swallowing poison and expecting the other person to die.”. I suppose the same applies toward resenting people who are wealthier than myself.

      Reply
    12. matcha123

      I probably make the least of most of my friends. I don’t exactly feel resentment, I am really proud of the ones who have worked hard to get into good paying jobs. I feel resentment when a friend who grew up never wanting for anything, gets a good job then turns to me and acts like I could have done the same, but chose not to.
      I can’t control how people spend their money, but with some friends I am happy to hear about their vacations. With others, it seems like they are telling me to put me down or brag?, and I’m not down for that.

      Reply
      1. Julia

        There’s a difference between someone working hard and someone being born into privilege and pretending that didn’t contribute. I have friends who make much more than me (or their husbands make much more), but I also know that some of them work really hard, almost never see their families, etc., and that wouldn’t be worth it for me.

        It does bother me when people have more money despite working the same amount of hours, because my field (language/education) generally pays less than STEM subjects, but I have no talent for STEM – plus it’s not like everyone in the world can just work the high-paying jobs, or the system would collapse. I usually don’t resent the people working in those fields, though, but the system itself.

        Reply
      2. Nervous Accountant

        I think I am in the same boat. I don’t make a lot and I feel like most of my working friends make more.

        But I have no resentment against them, why in the world should I??? What I do resent is the friend who complained for over a year about how the company I work at is sh*t despiteit being her first job and I referred her.

        I just don’t unerstand how people will resent others for their salaries. it’s something thatsjust super off putting to me. A great line I once heard was… “stop counting other peoples money.” (Forget from where)

        Reply
    13. Lora

      I found out after 9 years of marriage that my then-husband resented it that I made more money than him, although he wasn’t willing to go back to school or change careers (despite my unfailing support for that if he wanted to). It was just frustrating to me because I would have been happy to support his continued education or a career change, but dude, you KNEW going into this job what it was, you KNEW how people become successful or not, and you…dick around on Xbox live every waking moment that you aren’t at work, so…? His girlfriend was certainly jealous that I had money, and extremely disappointed to find out that he didn’t qualify for alimony.

      I’m also in a decent paying highly technical sub-field which is relatively stable for STEM, and get a lot of questions about how to get into this gig. When I tell people the educational requirements and suggest a few programs and things to study up, they are all, “isn’t there an easier way?” Uh…no. That’s sort of the point, you see.

      I personally get annoyed with people who have oodles of money and did exactly nothing to earn it and still do nothing to keep it. It’s one thing if your folks have money and you get a degree and go into running the family business, sort of thing, but the trust fund kids I can’t even with. It’s not jealousy per se – heaven knows I went through a party phase, but then I grew up and got a life. I kinda feel philosophically that everyone should have a purpose in life other than being a bad example, and not having one despite having every opportunity to get a life is annoying to me. Contribute something to this society, dammit!

      Reply
    14. Gatomon

      Hmm. I’m pretty sure that I make more than all my friends. I’m still on the low end for my career though, so it will probably increase.

      In the not-so-distant past, I was probably middle of the pack with most of my friends. With some I’ve definitely felt there was an assumption that I had more money, even if I didn’t make more money. They seemed to assume that because I didn’t have a spouse or children that I had oodles of cash to spend on events/adventures/etc. I mostly don’t talk to those folks anymore since it was an indicator of the crappy friendship. Now that I make more than they do (career change) it would probably only be worse with them though.

      With my good friends, I generally don’t ask and they generally don’t ask. I have one who I’ve discussed salary and financial info with, but I find most people aren’t keen to talk about it. I never sensed any resentment. We’re all in very different careers in different areas though, so I’m not sure what good knowing my salary would do.

      My general thought is don’t ask if you can’t handle the answer. Sounds like your friend is feeling pretty jealous.

      Reply
  29. heckofabecca

    Question time (and apologies if it’s better for the Friday thread)… What’s something you wish you learned in K-12 that they didn’t teach you?

    Reply
    1. Falling Diphthong

      Hmm… I’m not sure there’s anything that I would put as the school’s job, rather than parents or society as a whole?

      My parents left all sex ed to the school, and so I am very grateful most schools have that. I have heard good things about basics of adulting classes–change a tire, understand a bank statement, make a budget, understand house and car loans and credit card interest. But I managed to pick those up on my own.

      That you will not feel deep inside you are grown up at 18, or 21, and so on through the ages, but I don’t think kids would believe that. 21 is so old! Of course you will have your life figured out by that ancient date.

      I guess, watching my own kids, a bit better at conveying the many successful paths life can take? My daughter and her friends were so stressed about how to perform the exact right mystic incantation to get into the exact right college, from which your life would be set and unfold if you just did all the preliminary steps right first.

      Reply
    2. Middle School Teacher

      As a teacher, I wish the school system did a better job of teaching those adulting things, like Fallkng Diphthong says. It would probably be more useful to teach kids how credit cards work, how interest on loans works, and how to file a tax return, rather than how to create a certain curve by cutting a cone a certain way (I’m looking at you, Conics unit in grade 12 math).

      However, there are things parents should be stepping up to teach. I took 34 kids to Europe over spring break for two weeks (teenagers, I should say), and I couldn’t believe how many kids couldn’t use cutlery, didn’t know how to cross in a crosswalk, or chewed with their mouths open. Or how many kids didn’t think they had to shower every day.

      Reply
      1. Amadeo

        Ugh, I’m trying to teach my nephew the ‘chew with your mouth shut’ thing. I’m one of those people for whom open-mouthed smacking causes an immediate, violent response (and he’s suffered a Gibbs-smack for it at least once). He’s going to be 7 in less than two weeks. My sister and BIL apparently don’t really care so he just gets away with it at home, so by the time he comes to visit, he and I both suffer. Him from my own reaction and me from his awful smacking!

        Reply
        1. Middle School Teacher

          I have the same reaction! It’s so gross. It’s one thing if a kid is five or six, but 13? No.

          Reply
        2. Gingerblue

          I have the same reaction–it’s so disgusting! I knew a couple of people in college who STILL ate like this, and I always wondered how things like dates and job interviews went for them.

          Reply
      2. Countess Boochie Flagrante

        One of the schools I attended actually did teach a unit on dining etiquette — it was a very small private school, which made things like that more doable, but it was honestly probably one of the most useful lessons I learned.

        Reply
    3. Dan

      How much life costs.

      No joke. When I went to undergrad and took on a ton of debt, I had absolutely no concept on what that would mean for my life.

      I took on just shy of six figures for all of my education. While I make six figures now, and I am by no means struggling, that amount of debt had had a material impact on my life. While I don’t regret the choices I have made, in retrospect, I would have liked to have been more informed when I made them. I may very well have made different ones.

      Reply
      1. Lindsay J

        Super late, but this.

        Like, I’m not dumb. I read the mandatory online counseling they had when you took out loans each year.

        But I didn’t have the context necessary to understand it.

        I’m not sure how you give them that context, though. I think it would have helped if my parents included me more in information about household finances from an early age.

        Maybe if school included more real world information on budgeting.

        This is what an average apartment in a decent area costs in this city and that city. This is how much you would take home each month from a $40k salary after taxes.

        Here, make a budget. Okay, you budgeted $100 for groceries for a month? Here, look at these fliers and grocery store websites and go shopping for your month with those $100. Can you live on that or do you need to increase the budget?

        Here, what kind of car would you drive? The average commute is X miles by car. That car gets X miles per gallon. How much is gasoline going to cost you for the month just for commuting back and forth to work?

        If you take on $XXXXXX in student loans, you’re going to be paying $XXX a month. Can you fit that into your budget along with the apartment, food, gasoline, utilities, and all your other payments?

        If you go to this school instead, you’ll be taking on $XXXXX instead, where your loans will be $XXX a month. Does your budget work better now? is it worth the trade-off?

        Reply
    4. Wendy Darling

      Thirding “basic adulting tasks”.

      In college I was one of the only people on my hall who knew how to do laundry (beyond “throw all your dirty clothes in the machine at once, add soap, pray for good result”) or grocery shop. I had to learn how to manage my money from the internet.

      Also I wish there was more info out there about adulting for people with executive function problems. I have mild to moderate issues that might be due to other mental illness and might be undiagnosed ADD (no one can decide) but basically I have perfect credit because my expenses are all paid via elaborate automation involving multiple accounts whereby I cannot accidentally spend money I need for rent/bills.

      Reply
      1. Junior Dev

        Building on that, how to plan and organize all the things you need to do, whether that’s at school, at home, at work, whatever. I don’t mind cleaning in terms of individual tasks but I get overwhelmed trying to maintain a routine of doing it consistently. I tend to do well on individual school assignments but to get inconsistent grades because I miss assignments and fail at breaking down larger tasks. So basically, executive functioning coping skills, for those of us who don’t naturally do that stuff on our own.

        Reply
      2. SpiderLadyCEO

        Definitely basic adulting tasks – so many of my friends tell me they can’t cook a single meal, can’t mend a hole, or fix a house hold issue. Definitely basic construction/houseworks, and pre-training for industry jobs that don’t require college degrees – welding, construction, whatever.

        Now, I’d like to see programming/advanced computer skills, 3-d printing and insurance/loan navigation.

        And civic responsibility! How to get involved in your community, and how beneficial it can be, not just telling students to volunteer in their own time but honestly showing them, as a class ways to become more involved in their communities.

        Reply
        1. Khlovia

          Learning basic construction skills + community involvement = volunteering with Habitat for Humanity for a week or two.

          Reply
    5. Kathenus

      Another language. From what I know it’s so much easier to learn a language if you start young, and I wish that US schools in general would have that included in regular curriculum.

      Reply
      1. Wendy Darling

        Yup, as far as anyone can tell you’re super good at language learning until sometime around puberty, after which you are typically incapable of attaining native-speaker proficiency — you’ll always have a non-native accent in any new language, and you won’t be able to effectively acquire especially complex phonological or grammatical rules. So you could learn a new language at age 7 and be completely indistinguishable from someone who has spoken it from birth, but if you start learning it at 13-14 (the exact age seems to depend on the person — I’ve seen it happen as early as 9 and as old as 14) you can become fluent but you’ll never quite get to native level.

        And so ironically where I grew up the first opportunity you get to study a foreign language is high school, when you’re 14. Right when you’ve stopped being good at it.

        Reply
    6. nep

      I wish it was not optional whether to learn to read music and learn an instrument. I don’t know why my parents didn’t get me into this, but I would never deprive a child of this opportunity early in life.

      Reply
      1. Dan

        Depriving them and forcing them are two extremes of the measuring stick.

        There are things that my parents forced me to do up until I left the house — that when I left the house, the first thing I did was stop doing them because they couldn’t make me anymore and I wanted to demonstrate my independence.

        Going to church and playing a musical instrument were the two things at the top of the list. I didn’t hate music — I hated being told what I had to do. Sometimes the best intentions are poorly executed, and consequently backfire.

        Reply
        1. Julia

          Yeah, I hated piano lessons, too. My hands can’t grip an octave and my piano teacher said I should take singing lessons because I had a good voice, but my parents thought singing lessons weren’t useful. How being a terrible piano player is more useful, I will never know. Parents need to take their childrens’ talents and inclinations into consideration. I still sometimes wonder how my life might have turned out had I been allowed singing lessons…

          Reply
      2. nep

        I should rephrase that–I wish it were available/accessible to all children who want it, and that parents would go with what moves the child, not force things. I understand what people are expressing here.

        Reply
    7. Anonymous Educator

      That what college you go to doesn’t matter that much in the grand scheme of things.
      That even getting good grades doesn’t matter that much in the grand scheme of things.
      Some practical skills like filling out tax forms or saving for retirement.
      Proper sex ed.
      More literature that isn’t just by and about straight white cis men.
      False equivalency.
      The Overton window.
      What the emoluments clause is and why it exists.

      Reply
      1. Dan

        I actually figured out the college thing early on.

        Once, I listed all of the schools that I knew and what I knew of their academic reputation. Turns out I had enough awareness to realize that outside of the Ivies, the schools I had heard of all had strong basketball or football programs and were on TV all of the time.

        Another thing I did was go through the bios of Fortune 500 CEOs and look where they did their undergraduate programs. A vast majority of them went to run of the mill schools. They may not have gone to “crappy” schools, but they all went to such a diverse set of schools that it was clear that the undergraduate university just didn’t matter that much.

        There are some places (and perhaps some fields) that where you go matters. But that’s such a minority of the workplace.

        Reply
      2. Dan

        Following up a bit, I live in an area where the public schools system has a great reputation. There’s also a public magnet school for science and math. Parents bend over backwards to get their kid in there.

        The funny thing is, in an effort to actually create some diversity in the student body, the premier public university caps the number of students that they will accept from that school. That’s actually peeved some parents off, because, hey… my kid goes to elite school, what do you mean he can’t get in here? It doesn’t help that many schools are capping the number of in state students in preference for out of state students who pay higher tuition.

        I’ve long thought that the kids that have the best odds of getting into big name universities are top performers from rural school districts.

        Reply
        1. The New Wanderer

          If you live where I think you do, I went to that magnet high school. I didn’t live in the same county, but I know of families who moved into that county when their kids didn’t get into that high school, so they could at least be in that county’s school district. To your last point, I knew of kids who chose not to go to that high school because they’d have good odds of being valedictorian/top three in their regular high school.

          I came out of that school with a real snobbery about what I was going to major in, which lasted well into my freshman year of college. Turns out, I hated it and changed majors in my second year and accidentally found my dream field. STEM schools are great, but I wish I had gotten a better understanding of all the options instead of being funneled towards one field.

          Home ec type stuff is highly underrated. How to cook, clean, balance a checkbook/monitor online finances, basic investments, what insurance is, how credit works, how much things cost in real life, and where your money will be going once you live independently.

          Reply
    8. tangerineRose

      I wish that when I was in high school, they had some speaker or something who would tell us:
      – It’s your body; if someone puts their hand on your butt, and you don’t want them to, deal with it; don’t worry that you won’t look “cool” if you object.
      – Sometimes people just want sex and aren’t really that interested in you personally but may pretend to be.
      – Sometimes people will have sex to try to get the other person more interested in them. This frequently doesn’t work and isn’t the best idea.
      – It is OK not to get drunk. It’s even OK not to drink alcohol when everyone else is. When you get a little older, you’ll roll your eyes at how often you choked down a beer that you hated instead of drinking something else.

      Reply
      1. SpiderLadyCEO

        I definitely agree with more sex positive education. In general we could use more classes on consent, starting very, very young.

        I’d also like to add though: that it’s OK to drink if you want to, it’s OK to have a drink, and be done, it’s cool to call a cab/ride if you’ve had a drink, that drinking isn’t inherently evil.

        In school, we got a lot of “all or nothing” education – don’t drink at all! Don’t have sex at all! and so kids found themselves thinking “well, I can’t be perfect so I might as well screw up to the best of my ability” which in my experience lead to catastrophe. Conversely, telling kids “if you are comfortable and safe, feel free” (to both sex and alcohol) is likely to result in kids feeling more comfortable with the no, and not feeling pressured to do something to be cool.

        Reply
    9. Not So NewReader

      I wish they had more positive materials to read. English class was the same for 7th grade through 12th. We had to read “Death be not Proud” and “Death Man do not Follow Me” each year for five years. After about the third year, I never opened the books. Senior year when we got to “The Bell Jar” a couple of people seriously contemplated suicide. I don’t understand this disconnect. No teenagers cannot take on all the saddnesses in the world and still be able to cope. They do not have enough life experience to counterbalance all the sad stuff. I skipped “The Bell Jar” and I still got solid Bs on any tests we had on the book. I never opened the book. What’s wrong with this picture.

      Same deal in history. It was all about what a stupid country we all and how we screwed up oh-so-many things. At this point, none of us wanted to go to class because the negatives were so frequent.

      Our poor physics teacher tried to teach us physics in daily life. The class was good, we were learning something. He got shot down by the administration and we started learning nuclear physics and so on. After that change, only the brains in the class were still following along.

      The teachers were just doing what they were told to do. I wish TPTB understood how what they taught and what they presented impacted us.

      Reply
      1. Amadeo

        Heh, we didn’t have to do those. We read some classics my freshman year. Prince and the Pauper, Cheaper By the Dozen, some Dickens (Great Expectations I think), Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. Those sorts of things. Not books I would have chosen on my own, but even at 14, I realized they had some value.

        Then my next year I had a different teacher and our first assigned reading was…Fine Things, by Danielle Steele. I came unglued on her, which at 15, was really uncharacteristic of me. And for perhaps the first time my mother also came to my aid (usually my complaints did lack some merit, but not this time) and talked to her. I still ended up having to read the book, but I would have much rather thrown it at her head.

        Reply
      2. Falling Diphthong

        Our standing joke in AP English was “It symbolizes death.” Safe answer to any question.

        I love my kids’ high school because it’s like a small college. This term my son is taking Irish Lit for his English class and Medieval for his history class. When I was young, outside of a couple of AP courses everything was 9th grade English, 10 grade English, and so on.

        Reply
      3. Pollygrammer

        You are so right. People who design curricula don’t even consider adding anything positive. Kids read Shakespeare? Has to be one of the tragedies. Nothing funny, ever. Not even uplifting poetry. Literature becomes something inherently depressing, and school becomes that much more grim.

        Give ’em some Melville, Twain, Vonnegut!

        Reply
        1. tangerineRose

          I agree. In junior high and high school, I had to read so many gloomy “classics” that the thought of reading a “classic” book sounds unpleasant to me. And I love to read! Just not anything that makes me feel sad or that is horrifying.

          Reply
        2. Not So NewReader

          I know so many English teachers on antidepressants. Lit is depressing. It’s an up close study of human suffering and tragedy. There’s never a happen ending and kids do not learn how to SOLVE problems, they only learn to wallow.

          Reply
          1. Forking Great Username

            If lit is only teaching kids to wallow, it’s not being discussed properly. My students ALWAYS point out the obvious solutions that the characters in the text overlook – for example, why doesn’t Romeo just take Juliet with him when he goes to Mantua? Then we talk about why we think they didn’t do that or felt like they couldn’t, the different factors that affected things, brainstorm alternate endings, think about what it might look like in modern society, etc.

            Reply
      4. Lindsay J

        Yesss.

        We read lots of Steinbeck. The Great Gatsby. Romeo And Juliet. Macbeth. A Seperate Peace. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Lord of the Flies. Great Expectations. A Farewell to Arms. Lots of books about the Holocaust (at least one each year was required by the state I believe).

        Every single book we read had untimely death, or rape in it. I counted.

        Even in middle school, too. I remember in 5th grade straight up refusing to read Island of the Blue Dolphins because I had read it on my own previously, and the little brother in it getting his throat ripped out by wild dogs was too much for me.

        Reply
    10. The Librarian (not the type from TNT)

      My health teacher, junior year of high school, when we got up to the sex education unit, said to us, “You guys already know all this stuff, so let’s watch One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” And we spent a week watching One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest instead of doing the sex education unit. The rest of the class was thrilled; I was sitting there thinking, “Wait a minute, I DON’T know this!” True story.

      Reply
    11. char

      Hopefully I’m not making this weird, but some sort of mention somewhere that trans people exist would have been nice. I am trans, but until I was almost an adult I literally didn’t know that being trans was even possible. So instead I just spent years feeling abstractly weird and wrong. My teenage years would have made so much more sense if anyone had ever bothered to mention to me that it’s possible for someone to be a gender other than the one they’re assigned at birth.

      Reply
      1. all aboard the anon train

        That’s how I felt about bisexuality. Growing up in the 90s and early 2000s, it was pretty much all about lesbians and gay men. I don’t think I truly heard the word bisexual as a serious and legitimate term until I was in my mid-twenties, and I know I didn’t know about trans identities until sometime after that.

        It was a weird, confusing time of queer rights getting pushed into the mainstream, but people only acknowledging the L and G part of the LGBT. School only ever mentioned gay men (and the 90s and early 2000s were also a time were I remember it being popular to fawn over gay men but ostracize or not even discuss queer women…and all other identities).

        Reply
      2. KatieKate

        Same with asexuality. I didn’t learn it was a thing until I was 20 and then suddenly my life made sense.

        Reply
        1. Tau

          Ohh yeah. If only sex ed had mentioned asexuality as a possible thing, I’d have been a lot less confused in my late teens and would have most likely spared myself one unwanted and unpleasant sexual encounter.

          Reply
      3. Sylvan

        Yes.

        My school was conservative and had abstinence-only policies in health classes that otherwise would have included more comprehensive sex ed, so I understand that my teachers’ opportunities to discuss these things were limited. But it would have been nice to learn more.

        I also wish that sex ed included safe sex for more than only PiV. So many “Wait, how do we use protection for this?” conversations happened in my college’s LGBT & queer group.

        Reply
    12. all aboard the anon train

      Sex ed that didn’t just focus on heterosexuals. Health class that didn’t just focus on cisgender heterosexuals. I work with some support and advocacy groups now and while sex ed and health class has come a long way in involving the LGBTQA+ community, a lot of it focuses primarily on cis gay men. As a teenager, before the internet was a huge thing and queer culture was more accepted in mainstream society, I didn’t even realize there was such a thing as safe sex for queer women.

      I was pretty lucky to have parents who sat me down and taught me finances and explained what taking out loans to go to certain schools would mean (even though my in-state university tuition was still crazy expensive).

      And interestingly, I learned a lot of the basic “adulting” skills in high school that people are mentioning here. But I went to a high school that was in a predominantly working class town. The other school we had was a trade school. So we learned a lot of that because it was assumed most people wouldn’t have white collar jobs and would need those basic skills to get by.

      Reply
    13. matcha123

      I wish there were more texts or lessons that were written from the point of view of someone poor. I lived in an upper-middle-class city, my classmates and teachers were all upper-middle-class, and the texts we used reflected that. I couldn’t identify with the word problems in the math texts…”Calculate the area of the house you are building?” I’m dirt poor, when am I ever going to have the money to live in a home (and not a rented apartment or townhouse) or even have the money to build one?!
      Or math problems that were more based in reality…the stores I shop at had scales to measure and print tickets for the price of items based on their weight. If a machine, which is way better at math than me, will do that for me, why do I need to learn how to calculate weights or percentages???

      Reply
    14. Confused College Student

      Cooking. Not anything super fancy either. Basic cooking classes should be mandatory in my opinion. Teach kids how to peel an onion and saute chicken and chop veggies. Lots of parents don’t have time for that. Giving kids those basic cooking skills can improve their eating for the rest of their lives.

      I’m still trying to figure out how to cook healthy foods. I have my parents to sort of help, but they really only ever cook the same 3 things because my sister has a ton of allergies on top of being super picky. Not to mention, both my parents have very different food tastes and what one likes the other doesn’t always which limits the things we can make for our family of four.

      Reply
    15. Sami

      SO so so many of the things lists fall under the “adulting” umbrella and thus belong to be taught by parents/families. As a teacher, I can tell you our curriculum is PACKED. Are there things that could be removed and replaced by some of these suggestions? Sure, some of them.
      And the years I was teaching English, we only read “Island of the Blue Dolphins” twice. It is so depressing and the dog dies. After that we read “Maniac Magee” and/or my favorite “From The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler”.

      Reply
      1. Triple Anon

        My family didn’t teach any “adulting” stuff. I noticed that kids whose parents taught them how to write a resume and get a job had a huge advantage and, to this day, are more successful professionally. It would make such a big difference if schools could teach this stuff. Then the rest of us would have more options early on. And wouldn’t get in trouble for doing our taxes incorrectly. Stuff like that.

        Reply
      2. Lindsay J

        I mentioned above my hatred for Island of the Blue Dolphins.

        I refused to read it for 5th grade English because I had read it on my own prior and it was too much for me.

        They let me read the Egypt Game instead, which I much preferred.

        I also remember liking Maniac Magee.

        Reply
    16. Triple Anon

      Real world stuff! How to write a resume, how to write a cover letter, basic job ettiquete (sp?), how to do your taxes, some basic financial literacy, and what the local laws are. How is anyone supposed to know this stuff if they don’t teach it in school?

      Reply
  30. MechanicalPencil

    Gardeners of AAM, help!

    I’m newish at gardening, and can only go by containers because of space issues. I’ve got a poblano plant that seems to be having it’s leaves eaten? Is there a nontoxic fix for this? Most of my plants are for cooking purposes, minus a couple of annuals. I’m thinking if one plant has this problem it will soon spread. Thanks!

    Reply
    1. fposte

      It’s going to depend where you are and what the eating looks like. I would call your county agricultural extension office for the best tips; if you’re near a good garden center, it’s possible they’ll have info as well. If it’s just leaves, it’s probably some kind of insect rather than a mammal, so that means you’d need to be more thoughtful about spraying, and any netting approach would need to be fairly fine.

      Reply
    2. Wendy Darling

      In my town we have master gardeners who regularly set up stalls at things like farmer’s markets and they’d be perfect for something like this — you could take them a sample leaf in a ziplock or something. Might be worth seeing if there’s anything like that around!

      Reply
    3. Junior Dev

      Second the suggestion to call the master gardener/ag extension. If you think there are slugs or snails you can put out a bowl of beer to catch them, kind of embed it in the dirt near the plant.

      Reply
    4. Natalie

      I’m assuming it’s being eaten by bugs? If you think it’s animals, that’s a totally different problem.

      First of, you’re right that bugs can spread, so you want to quarantine this container from the other by moving it far away from them. Neem oil or insecticidal soap are both non toxic options for discouraging pests (despite the name, insecticidal soap isn’t like sevin or something, it’s potassium fatty acids, safe for humans and acceptable in organic gardening). Note though that these both work slowly compared to conventional insecticides so you will need to keep applying and be patient.

      You’ll have the most success if you can identify what bug is getting them. Try observing the plant for a bit to actually see th bugs. Look under the leaves and in the potting soil for insects or eggs. Type a description of the eating pattern into a search engine.

      Reply
      1. Not So NewReader

        Yep. I also use peppermint soap mixed with water for some things. Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) works on other things and diatomaceous earth(DE) works on crawly things.

        You can look online to see if you can spot what is wrong as Natalie suggests. Goggle the name of the pepper and common bugs. (I think it’s a bug because peppers are not that interesting to mammals.) If no, then take a sample to you garden center, ideally you’d bring a bug in a jar. But you can bring a few leaves if that is all you have. Tell them you are looking for natural remedies for the problem. Even if you use natural remedies, you still need to wash your food well.

        I have found it handy to keep a little garden journal of problems and the solution I figured out for the problem. If you plan on doing a lot of gardening, you might find a small journal helpful so you remember what you did and you remember what you would like to do differently next year.

        Reply
      2. Tea, please

        We had a lot of luck the last few years with Neem oil and planting marigolds around the plants.

        Reply
        1. Not So NewReader

          OP, companion planting is a huge topic. You can find out what plants protect other plants and pair these plants up. Marigold work because bugs think that marigold stink so they move on to an unprotected plant some where else.

          Reply
        2. Slartibartfast

          Yes, marigolds! Forget what the blooms look like, get the ones with the strongest smell. They repel all sorts of critters.

          Reply
    5. LilySparrow

      Neem oil will stop most things that eat leaves, and it’s nontoxic to people and pollinators. I’d use it right away while you figure out what specifically you might have. Don’t wait.

      Just mix it according to the package and use it in the early morning or late afternoon, so the leaves are dry before getting direct sun. It can cause the leaves to scorch a bit otherwise. And make sure you spray the underside of the leaves as well as the top. Most pests lay their eggs on the underside, so that’s where the little chompers hatch.

      Reply
    6. Raine

      Water mixed with a little dish soap works if it’s aphids. Put it in a spray bottle and try to only get it on the leaves.

      Reply
  31. gala apple

    Americans, what do you do for insurance coverage between jobs? I have about a 2-month period between coverage from my old job and my new job, and Cobra coverage looks super pricey ($800/month). I am doing some research on short term insurance but not sure what coverage to get, or if it’s even worth it. When I look at reviews for the companies I’m seeing, they’re all horrible! Should I even get it? I’m in North Carolina, if it makes a difference.

    Reply
    1. Falling Diphthong

      Way back in the day, I did COBRA. (For… about that much money?) I had a baby, so keeping us with my employer’s decent health coverage was worth it.

      Reply
    2. ThatGirl

      You can get a Marketplace plan short term, or at least you could last summer, I had a low premium, high deductible plan for about 4 months. They usually are kind of horrible, but it’s an emergency only sort of thing.

      Reply
      1. neverjaunty

        This. You can buy short term policies that basically cover you for if you get hit by a bus, but not much more.

        At a previous job, the HR guy forgot to send my COBRA paperwork on time, so he had the company pay for another month of coverage for me.

        Reply
    3. Ann Furthermore

      I just started a new job on the 7th. I have to wait until June 1 for the benefits to start. A partial month of COBRA for my family and me was going to be $1900. So we are taking our chances and holding our breath for 13 more days. I told my husband to go to Costco and get some bubble wrap for my daughter.

      Reply
      1. Natalie

        Keep the COBRA notification you received and don’t decline coverage until June 1st. If something catastrophic happens, you can opt for coverage at that time (and for just the family member affected and it will be retroactive to your last day on the plan.

        Reply
    4. advice

      With COBRA, there is typically a period where they have to notify you, a period where you accept or decline and a period where you pay. The best thing to do is to say you want COBRA, and wait it out. If nothing catastrophic happens, it just falls off. I don’t know the specific days and times, but it usually amounts to approximately 3 months of grace time to make a decision and pay the amount. Your HR team at your new or previous employer should be able to help.

      Reply
    5. Wendy Darling

      My partner has very generously subsidized insurance coverage through his employer so I just get on his insurance when I’m between jobs. When I couldn’t do that I usually got coverage through the marketplace even though it was expensive — it was less expensive than COBRA. I have some chronic health issues that aren’t usually a major problem but require regular monitoring and occasionally rear up and get expensive, so going without insurance or having only catastrophic coverage is a bad choice for me.

      If you’re like me and tend to use your insurance fairly regularly it’s probably worth looking at what COBRA covers versus what a marketplace plan covers. I haven’t had to shop for insurance for several years so I don’t know what the marketplace plans are like now, but according to my mom (who is retired but not quite old enough for medicare) they’ve gotten very expensive and what’s covered has decreased, so COBRA might not be that bad a deal anymore.

      Reply
    6. the gold digger

      Don’t you have 60 days to decide if you want the COBRA? And it can be retroactive?

      As in, don’t elect it when you resign, but get all the paperwork. If something happens that costs more than the COBRA, get the COBRA.

      If you have a good insurance agent (like for your car insurance), ask her about short-term coverage, as well.

      Reply
      1. Natalie

        Yes, you have 60 days from the date of notification to opt for coverage and an additional 45 days to pay after that. As long as you haven’t previously declined coverage, once you opt for it it’s retroactive to the day your insurance ended.

        Reply
        1. gala apple

          I’m so glad I asked! Once I saw the price on the COBRA paperwork I stopped reading further. So, if my current insurance runs out on 5/31, and the new insurance won’t pick up until mid-August, do I need to sign up for the COBRA but not pay? It’s those first two weeks in August that would be left uncovered. Thanks!

          Reply
          1. Natalie

            The 45 day clock on paying starts once you opt for the coverage. So you want to wait until the end of sign up period to send the paperwork back. (It should say on the paperwork when the deadline is.) Then you just wait until your new insurance starts, and if you don’t end up needing coverage, don’t send in a payment at all.

            One thing you will want to do during this time is save any receipts from medical care – you will be private paying up front and then submitting the receipts if you end up opting for the coverage.

            Reply
        2. Lady Jay

          Wait, is this the date of notification or the last date of employment?

          My current job ends on June 30. New insurance will not pick up till August 1. I was notified this past week (say, May 15). Do I have 60 days from May 15 or June 30 to plump for/against COBRA?

          Reply
          1. Natalie

            It’s the later of the date of the qualifying event or the date the COBRA election notice is provided. The date you leave your job is the qualifying event.

            Reply
  32. Wendy Darling

    I’m petsitting for my parents who, for reasons I do not entirely understand, live just the two of them in a MASSIVE house (almost 3000 square feet!). I feel so alone in here with just me, their pets, and my pet.

    On the plus side they redid the kitchen last year and my mom was like “I’m 62 and getting everything I ever wanted in a kitchen” so there’s a high-end chef’s range and a superautomatic espresso machine and a faucet that turns on/off when you touch it.

    Reply
    1. AvonLady Barksdale

      Every retired couple I’ve ever known who lived in a MASSIVE house spent all their time in one room, usually a study. But it’s great for entertaining.

      I want your mom’s kitchen one day.

      Reply
      1. Wendy Darling

        My parents legit spend all their time in separate rooms at opposite ends of the house. Pretty sure the house is so big so they can avoid each other. My dad got a bonus room for his giant television and loud video games and my mom got a living room for NOT THAT.

        It’d be great for entertaining if they entertained, which they do not.

        I want my mom’s kitchen too, though. Except her oven, which while expensive is a total piece of crap and has never worked properly. Right now its jam is being not very hot in the front and THE SURFACE OF THE SUN in the back, and to get it fixed they have to have an expensive technician come out.

        Reply
    2. Clever Name

      I live in a massive house by myself half the time and with my sn the other half of the time. I got it in the divorce, and I don’t move partly out of laziness and partly to have stability for my son, as divorce is hard enough on kids as it is.

      Reply
    3. Ree

      My parents bought a new house last year that is just over 4000 sf.
      Their old house was 1600 sf.
      I’m an only child.
      I don’t have children.
      Still not too clear on what they plan to do with the 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms that are never used.
      They missed the memo about downsizing during retirement hahaha

      Reply
  33. Amber Rose

    Adventures in language learning!

    Husband is part Japanese and I have a Japanese aunt (who I adore, she is too good for my uncle), so in the interest of communication and also because it’s fun, we’ve been trying to self-learn Japanese.

    I’ve been using a combination of Rosetta Stone, Lingo Deer and the free textbook from Tae Kim and I think I’m doing OK. But its a little frustrating when I Google answers to my questions and get a flood of “don’t bother it’s too hard and pointless” articles listed.

    People are so pessimistic. It’s kind of a downer. It’s not like I was expecting to become fluent in a few months or even years. It’s just my own interest.

    Reply
    1. Wendy Darling

      Ugh, gatekeeping is so gross. I get that all the time with programming.

      Learning languages as an adult is hard, but learning Japanese isn’t especially hard as an English speaker. English to Japanese isn’t the easiest jump in the world but it’s definitely not the hardest, either. I studied Japanese for two (extremely intense) years in college and then studied abroad in Japan and was certainly not fluent, but I was perfectly up for most basic communication tasks and could have become fluent if I’d had time to stick with it.

      If you have people who you can practice speaking with on the regular you’re in a better position than like 90% of learners.

      Reply
    2. Dan

      Well, I’ve done that. And TBH, the person saying “don’t bother, it’s too hard and pointless” can’t explain that in a concise and easy to understand way.

      I was staying at a hotel in Vietnam, and the very young desk clerk asked me, “Hey, can I ask you a question about English?” Yeah, sure.

      I forget the exact question, but she was asking about the difference in pronouciation between two words that had different consonant/vowel structures, and had *technical* differences in pronounciation, but in practice didn’t.

      I went with, “Don’t bother, too difficult, waste of time.”

      She went with, “Try again buddy.”

      I then told her that while there are technical differences in pronounciation, the differences are very subtle, and native speakers don’t annunciate well enough to make the difference distinguishable to the ear.

      One thing I’ve realized over the years is that native speakers of languages where tone and diction really matter (see Mandarin) have some challenges with understanding spoken English because for the most part, pronounciation is quite forgiving. Then layer on all of the regional accents and you really confuse people.

      Reply
    3. The Foreign Octopus

      Have you considered a teacher?

      They’ll tell you what you need to know and whether or not it’s important or not.

      There’s a website I use to learn Spanish where you take lessons via Skype. I recommend you check it out as they have a great community learning section where you can post questions and communicate with other learners of your target language even if you don’t want to take lessons.

      It’s http://www.italki.com

      Reply
        1. Foreign Octopus

          I’ve been there.

          They also do language exchanges so if English is your native language, you can more or less get it for free. I’m not sure of the quality but I recommend iTalki for its forum as well. Very helpful, and people love getting into the intricacies of language learning so post whatever question you have and see what happens.

          Good luck!

          Reply
    4. Elf

      Yeah, I’m totally with you. I am also a Klingon speaker.

      I studied some Japanese years ago and have forgotten it all, but I remember thinking spoken Japanese was pretty easy and finding the written impossible.

      Find yourself some linguist friends. Conlang communities (particularly Klingon!) are great for that and they will both be able to answer your questions and happy to do so.

      Reply
      1. Dino

        Seconding linguistics communities and conlang groups. I will also say that having a firm understanding of the linguistics of your L1 or native language will be a huge help to learning and understanding any L2. Google became much more helpful when I knew how to formulate my question more generally (how are relative clauses done in X language) rather than trying to put in specific examples.

        Reply
    5. Fiennes

      Duolingo genuinely helps! It’s not a substitute for more structured learning, but it’s a great add-on.

      Reply
      1. Amber Rose

        Duolingo and Lingo Deer are basically the same except Lingo Deer doesn’t have adds and has written grammar tips.

        Reply
      2. Triple Anon

        Mixed reviews on Duolingo. I just used it to review French, Spanish and German. It gives you a structured overview. It’s fun and easy. But it lacks explanations where they’d be helpful, and some of the translations are really off. French is the language I’ve been the most fluent in at one point. I’ve read French literature at the college level. I’ve forgotten a lot, but I found Duolingo French to be annoyingly inaccurate. Generally accurate, but some stuff was kind of weird or misleading. I think it works best as a supplement to other learning tools.

        Reply
        1. Countess Boochie Flagrante

          Yeah, I’m really not a fan of Duolingo because of the outsize emphasis on word-for-word translation and near-total neglect of anything like grammar. To me, it seems like — okay, you can use these other words, but you won’t actually know how to convey concepts because all you’ve been taught are these bizarre sentences that sound like they came straight out of a machine learning generator.

          Reply
    6. Gatomon

      Japanese is actually really easy (I think it’s much easier than English) — the hardest parts are learning to read/write Kanji and trying to keep pace with native speakers. Well, and getting a large vocabulary. I feel like they speak much faster than we speak English normally.

      Some good resources I’ve used:
      -Easy Kana Workbook
      -Kanji Learner’s Dictionary
      -Watching Japanese kids’ shows without subtitles (Digimon used to be on Netflix with Japanese audio.)
      -Listening to Japanese music

      I guess you could use a dictionary app too, but I went to school in the dumbphone days. I would practice a bunch with your husband and aunt too, I bet they’d enjoy conversing with you.

      The way it was taught to me in school was more like a kid would learn it. We did a lot of listening/learning/reading to get a feeling for when something was right or wrong (like using ni instead of te) and then we went back and learned the grammar rules, so that’s my recommendation. You can totally do this!

      If you have questions, maybe through them out and see if someone has an answer?

      Reply
    7. Ursula

      I am in my final year of a degree in Japanese and Korean (major/minor split). It’s doable. I’m functionally fluent after four years of full time studying of Japanese. I still have a lot to learn though.

      Good luck to you. And I know the feeling when I say what my degree is a lot of people want to know why I bother as it is hard. Japanese is one of the easier east asian languages (Korean and Chinese are much harder in my opinion).

      Tae Kim is great. I’d also recommend Mina no nihongo although you need to know hiragana and katakana before you can even start reading them. My university taught us hiragana and katakana first before we even started learning any words or grammar which I am grateful for as it makes learning so much easier so if you haven’t already I’d recommend learning the kana.

      But good luck to you. I don’t understand this mentality where people tell others “don’t bother it’s too hard” when your not forcing them to learn it with you. Or if they already know the thing and instead of helping you are trying to let you know how much smarter than you they (think) they are.

      Reply
      1. Amber Rose

        I spend my down time at work writing the kana on sticky notes and scrap paper. Since I was lucky enough to take one class back in university, I have that much. Though my grasp of katakana is not great. I’m working on it. XD

        I’ll try the other one you mentioned. I know it’s a lot of work to learn a new language, particularly without a teacher, but I’m a huge nerd and have some linguistics background so I don’t think it’s impossible. If I could say I was at least conversant after 4 years I’d be pleased.

        Reply
    8. matcha123

      People say “don’t bother” because you end up like me…”fluent” in Japanese, but with limited job opportunities because companies want fluent Japanese + super coder/degree in law/financial knowledge/etc.
      If you are studying Japanese for fun, and you are realistic enough to know that you won’t be super fluent even after 5 years of dedicated study, then go for it!
      I would suggest picking a series and sticking to it for consistency. Personally, I liked the Genki textbooks. They are geared towards college students, but I found them very easy to understand and follow. The grammar points, in particular, had straightforward, easy to understand explanations. The series has workbooks, kanji workbooks and audio.

      Reply
      1. Julia

        The more I read from you, the more I think we have to meet. But yeah, unfortunately these days, a lot of companies want IT people who are also fluent in Japanese. Spoiler alert: There aren’t many. A lot of people overestimate themselves when it comes to their language skills. I live in Japan and am married to a Japanese man, and oh boy have I seen things. I mean, I’ve been involved with Japanese for over ten years now and while on the phone, people think I’m Japanese, I recently took a class in advanced interpreting and the confirmation of everything I didn’t know hurt. That said, I never had any problems working in a regular Japanese office.

        I think you need to figure out how you learn best. I know that watching Japanese TV shows (NOT anime, they talk too weirdly) helped me a lot with my pronunciation and listening, in a way that text books can’t. My linguistics professor repeatedly rants about people who complain that they can’t speak, but never actually do it. To improve speaking, you need to speak, just as you need to read to improve reading etc.

        If all you want to do is talk to your aunt and people in Japan, learn hiragana and katakana for now and maybe some easy kanji that you see often, but don’t worry about learning them all. Heck, I have N1 of the JLPT and never used most of them again; the computer writes them for you these days.

        Reply
          1. Julia

            I’ll be done with my thesis in mid-June, then I’ll be free-ish for a bit. But how can we exchange contact information?

            Reply
      2. Mad Baggins

        I know someone who learned Japanese and then taught himself coding online, now he’s thinking of starting his own company and is looking to hire programmers (don’t need any programming knowledge, just language ability)

        I’m also starting a career in HR with no background, because they needed my language skills. It can be done! Don’t give up!

        Reply
  34. La

    Has anybody else had the pleasure of having a leak in the pipe that runs from the meter to their house?
    Ours is getting repaired this week- we noticed it a few days ago and called a plumber right away. It’s downpouring this weekend or they would have started working already. I’m concerned about how long it has been leaking and about the next water bill….

    Reply
    1. Free Meerkats

      I have, it was on the house shutoff valve bonnet. Luckily at that time, our water was flat rate; we didn’t even have a meter. I put a temporary patch on it (piece of inner tube and a screw clamp) on it and that lasted due about 10 years until I had the driveway replaced because the water line is under it.

      Reply
    2. Wendy Darling

      My parents had this happen and I think worked something out with the water company to forgive part of the bill, which had hit four figures. @_@

      Reply
      1. La

        Yeah there’s something on the city’s website where we can request an adjustment for the leak but it’s not guaranteed… We would just have to submit proof that the repair was made. If it’s only a few hundred dollars we will eat the cost but I’m worried it’ll be thousands

        Reply
    3. A (former) Cad Monkey

      We replaced an old line from the meter to the house about 3-4 years ago ourselves. This line is close to 50′ long and goes under our 1400 sqft garage. It took about 2 days of digging and a day to run the new line. The difference in water pressure was amazing. I’m fairly sure the water bill dropped by about a 1000 gallons/month due to the line’s age and damage.

      Reply
    4. MeghanK

      My city forgives a lot of the excess bill if you report the leak to them when you find it and get it fixed immediately.
      Check with your water utility.

      Reply
  35. Jaid_Diah

    TPTB didn’t assign me work so I could do overtime today, so I dealt with my make-ahead meals instead. Faux Pho soup (block of dried rice noodles, veggies and soup base in a tall Chinese soup container, just need to add hot water) for lunches and quinoa spinach/veggie quiche for breakfasts. I’m trying to add more vegetables to my diet and spend less money by eating at the work cafeteria…

    Reply
  36. Could Care Less

    About two rich spoiled people getting married.
    I’m still dealing with the fact that my sister survived a school shooting yesterday.
    Oh, and the shooter’s parents (who couldn’t be bothered to notice their kid making pipe bombs or secure their guns) have hired two of the highest priced lawyers in Houston. They are currently on TV telling everyone “not to judge” their client.

    But y’all keep worryin’ about a dress.

    Reply
    1. WellRed

      I needed something to think about that wasn’t horrible. I do not understand how that kid could walk around wearing a coat with a swastika on it and no one thought…hmm. That is not good. That is something I WILL judge, high priced attorneys.

      Reply
            1. Middle School Teacher

              Well, of course his lawyers are on tv saying not to judge their client… isn’t that part of their job?

              Reply
              1. Temperance

                I’m a lawyer, so take this with a grain of salt: I find that you can mount a zealous defense without being an asshole. In this particular case, saying “don’t judge my client for kiling 10 kids and idolizing Nazis” seems especially shitty.

                I find a lot of things that criminal defense attorneys do to be incredibly immoral, though, so take with that what you will.

                Reply
                1. Middle School Teacher

                  Oh, I agree. And I’ve seen some skeezy lawyers, don’t get me wrong. But if they were on tv going “well, let’s just wait and see…” then they’re not really doing their job. (And to be fair, I haven’t seen these particular lawyers on tv. So I can’t really comment how immoral they are right now or not.)

    2. The Foreign Octopus

      I’m so sorry about your sister. The fact that this has happened again is horrifying. I hope that she will be able to go into the future with the help that she’ll need to recover from this.

      However, it’s not fair for you to diminish people’s enjoyment, happiness, and curiosity in something because you’re hurting and angry. People need good things in their lives for the exact reason because bad things happen.

      This wedding doesn’t diminish the awfulness of what happened in Santa Fe, but it does add a bit of light and happiness and love yo the world that we could all use a little more of.

      Reply
    3. Dan

      I’m not sure I would ever use the word “spoiled” to describe a mixed-race person. While she may have attended private schools, I don’t get the impression that they are of the elite snobby sort. And despite growing up around Hollywood, Markle has said that in her early acting days, she was too white for the black roles and too black for the white roles, and consequently, getting the early roles were really tough.

      Rest assured, however, that no matter what a high priced TV lawyer tells people to do, we’re going to do what we want… people are judging away.

      Reply
      1. Kali

        As a mixed-race person (with passing privilege), I think it’s absolutely possible to be spoiled. There are issues faced by being mixed-race, like there are issues faced by being a woman and so on, but I think being spoiled goes in a different category.

        Reply
        1. Dan

          I have a mixed race cousin who grew up definitely not spoiled… very dark skinned in a very white part of the country.

          I went to a high school in a racially challenged environment (it wasn’t white/black, it was white/Native American, which has its own host of issues) and some of the most loneliest kids I ever knew where mixed Native-white. Too red for the whites, too white for the Native Americans. (I’m not talking a one off here… 25% of my 800 student body HS was NA)

          So perhaps its possible to be spoiled as a mixed race person, just as its possible to be a privileged (or not priveleged) , but I wouldn’t default to describing a mixed race person as spoiled without doing my homework first.

          And if a mixed race person is able to grow up without cultural acceptance issues, my hat is off to them, because my experience tells me its not common.

          Reply
          1. Kali

            My point is that being spoiled and having cultural acceptance issues are two totally different things. They might occur together, or they might not.

            Reply
            1. Julia

              There may be different ways to look at spoiled, it seems. Can a person of color or mixed race grow up filthy rich and adored by their parents? Sure. Are they spoiled in the friend department, though? Who knows?

              Reply
    4. Torrance

      I’m sorry about what your sister’s going through.

      But the sad reality is that these shootings are commonplace. Columbine happened when I was in high school myself. This is the 10th school shooting this year. It’s a safe yet tragic assumption that there will most likely be more.

      Your sister and her friends are in pain. And there’s no reason to believe that they will be the last to feel that pain. I understand what you’re going through, but those ‘rich spoiled people’ are bringing a ray of happiness and hope into people’s lives at a time when there is little of either to be had.

      Reply
      1. Kali

        I’m really shocked to learn that. I’d have thought a school shooting would be a big deal on the news, but I’m in the UK and haven’t heard about any of those. :/

        Reply
        1. Torrance

          The ones with significant death tolls, like Parkland and now Santa Fe, become big news but the ones where a kid brings a gun to school and shoots a few classmates (maybe killing them, maybe just wounding them) are becoming fairly routine. It’s like a lot of other types of violence — after a certain point, it just becomes a thing that happens.

          Reply
          1. Sylvan

            Like this student who survived the Santa Fe shooting said, when she described it as scary but not surprising:

            Interviewer: Was there a part of you that was like, “This isn’t real. This could not happen at my school?”
            Student: No. There wasn’t.
            Interviewer: Why so?
            Student: It’s been happening everywhere. I’ve always felt it would eventually happen here too.

            Reply
        2. Sylvan

          In the US we currently average one a week. We went three weeks without a school shooting after Parkland, the one that sparked the student protests earlier this year.

          Reply
    5. dawbs

      I”m sorry for the stress your family is going through.

      I’ve sat through ‘armed shooter in my organization’ training 3 or 4 times now. And the discussion of ‘what do you do when you’ve barricaded the door to shelter in place and an 8 year old knocks on the door to be let in?” (the correct answer is ‘there are no good answers. sometimes you loose not because you choose wrong but because that’s life’) makes me have the incredible need to go home and do something involving as much cotton candy fluff and pink clouds as possible.

      Please grieve with your family and process as you will. But please don’t assume that people who are choosing to bury themselves in fluff today are ignoring this and not dealing.
      (Heck, I personally will forever associate 9-11 with being in a hospital w/ a family member, more than twin towers. but I’m quiet about that, because it’s a private grief that the rest of the world doesn’t know)

      Reply
      1. Not So NewReader

        Well said.

        Some times people are starving for something/anything that is happy. This is not your time for dealing with your own “happiness starvation”, it’s your time to process grief/fear/anger. And that is what you need to do, OP.
        It’s tricky because sometimes we can get so caught up in other people’s obliviousness we fail to process what we need to process. Don’t allow your observation of other people to block your processing. Don’t use it as a crutch to stall out on your matters right now. In other words, ignore the wedding, it’s not something you need right now.
        I am very sorry for what happened to your sis. I hope you all can hold each other close and find new and higher ways to cherish each other.

        Reply
    6. Fiennes

      I’m genuinely sorry for what your sister is going through, and horrified about the shooting. But people not personally affected by tragedy can simultaneously care about other things, even trivial things, without being monstrous. Even people who *are* personally affected by tragedy sometimes turn their attention to this kind of thing as a break from what they’re going through.

      Reply
    7. Temperance

      Meh, I really enjoyed the royal wedding this morning. Meghan Markle looked lovely, and she and Harry looked so happy.

      Since we’re playing this game, shouldn’t you be thankful that your sister is an American citizen, and not a refugee elsewhere? See, it gets you nowhere.

      Reply
      1. Cal

        Unnecessary and rude. Of course, shes upset. People get upset when horrible things happen. We can try to be a little more understanding. Especially since its so fresh.

        Reply
    8. Thursday Next

      That’s really rough on your sister and your family. I’m so sickened by these shootings; I think I’ve hit a low, and then another happens and I find I can dig a deeper pit of despair.

      But: Comparison is the thief of happiness; I think false comparisons can make it even harder for us to process feelings like grief and anger. I’m terrified and angry about yesterday’s shooting. I’m also glad to see the British royal family welcome someone of mixed race into their fold. Both feelings can coexist.

      Reply
    9. neverjaunty

      At times before the shooting, you talked about dresses or video games or your favorite dessert or other diversions while people who weren’t close to you suffered and died. I don’t think that makes you a horrible person, any more than it makes people who care about the royal wedding horrible because you don’t see them thinking abut your family’s pain.

      Reply
    10. Melody Pond

      I think this may be an appropriate time/place to cite one of my favorite quotes from the 11th Doctor:

      “The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things don’t always soften the bad things, but vice versa, the bad things don’t always spoil the good things and make them unimportant.”

      Reply
      1. Scubacat

        +1 For the Doctor.

        I’m sorry that your family is dealing with something horrible OP. No one should have to process surviving a mass shooting. Such violence shouldn’t exist in the world at all!

        Sometimes, people need to escape into trivial matters such as wedding dresses or kitten videos. The world can be a violent and crappy place, and we can care too much. We cry and feel pain because others are hurt. We grieve and feel helpless. We try to make the world a better place, knowing that another terrible thing will probably happen tomorrow. Sometimes we like to dream the fantasy for just a little while.

        Reply
    11. The Original K.

      I don’t care about the royal wedding at all (I actually forgot about it until someone asked me yesterday in passing if I’d seen it; I’ve seen a few clips and pictures by now), but with all due respect, if you have ever had fun, you have done it on the worst day of someone else’s life. So have I. It’s just the nature of it. I am so sorry for what you’re going through and very glad that your sister survived, but there has always been and will always be good times during struggle.

      Reply
    12. OhBehave

      I can only imagine how horrifying it was for your sister. What you are feeling is nothing compared to what she is feeling. This will have repercussions for her for years.
      As many have said, something as horrible as this school shooting did not personally impact many people. For all you know, people who are interested in a dress, are dealing with horrible life circumstances. Does it make me a horrible person when, hours after learning of my moms death, I was playing solitaire? No. It’s a form of self-protection.
      Feeling like people are unfeeling because of what YOU are going through is common. I remember thinking, “Don’t you know I’m suffering here? And yet there you go shopping and having fun.” However, it is unreasonable to expect others to stop enjoying things in their lives that you think are trivial.
      As for the two spoiled people getting married…Meghan’s dad didn’t walk her down the aisle. Do you have any idea what she gave up to be a royal? None of us have any idea what her life was/is like. Not to mention Harry losing his mom at such a young age and hearing horrible things about his father as he grew up.

      I hope you can be there for your sis. She’s going to need all the support she can get.

      Reply
  37. Justin

    I know there are a few runners here, but please ignore if it doesn’t appeal.

    Ran the Brooklyn Half today (for the 5th year in a row). I’ve been dealing with nagging injuries for a year and a half, all from an old back injury in college that went away but calcified and then I aggravated them by running miles and miles and miles a day for years.

    Today was my best half (1:23:17) since before the injury bug bit me, and I felt really good for the first time in a while.

    Now back on track to return to sub-3 in my fall marathons.

    Also, it was so cold for LATE MAY, but that was fine for running.

    Reply
    1. Junior Dev

      Congratulations!

      Can you see a sports medicine doctor? I’ve found that general practitioners don’t have any idea how to deal with sports injuries beyond “don’t do the sport,” and the first doctor to actually help with my running injury was a sports medicine doctor.

      Reply
      1. Justin

        Yes, though I am stubbornly thinking I can live with this. I should do that now that I have two months until my next race.

        And, thanks.

        Reply
        1. Llama Grooming Coordinator

          Do it. Give yourself a couple of days to recover, but please get checked out!

          Reply
    2. Llama Grooming Coordinator

      …so I think it’s official that the AAM runners are a hivemind. I was wondering how you were doing!

      And – awesome race! Glad you’re doing better, and feeling better!

      Reply
    3. Grumpy

      Yay! So happy for you.
      I ran speed intervals yesterday. I did not stretch after. Feels like I took a bat to my legs.

      Reply
    4. The Librarian (not the type from TNT)

      Holy crap. We have multiple elite runners on AAM! This is very inspiring. Good going!

      I hope you get your injury issues sorted out!

      Reply
        1. The Librarian (not the type from TNT)

          I always love to meet other runners. I don’t think I’d actually keep up with anyone though, not even for a mile!

          Reply
  38. AlligatorSky

    iPhone users! What are your ‘must have’ apps? I have the standard Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, news apps, mail app, music and podcast stuff. I’m wanting to find new apps to play around with!

    Reply
    1. heckofabecca

      I’m pretty light on my apps, but I do love RelaxMelodies for ambient noise! A whole bunch of simple tracks you can stack together—it’s really helpful for sleep.

      Reply
      1. AlligatorSky

        Sweet, thank you! I like relaxing at night and I sleep best with ambient noise in the background! I LOVE falling sleep to the sound of rain too.

        Reply
        1. Cristina in England

          You could also try Calm. It does have background sounds but it also has this amazing breathing bubble which basically guides you in a breathing exercise. It gets bigger when you’re supposed to breathe in and smaller when you’re supposed to breathe out. You can change the settings too. There are guided meditations you can unlock with the premium version but I don’t have that.

          Reply
          1. Julia

            Seconding Calm! And I think at least the first week of meditation is free, but I have a subscription so I can’t check.

            Reply
    2. Middle School Teacher

      I’ve been using one called Trivia HQ. They have live trivia games every night, they give away money (it’s deposited to your paypal account) and it’s fun! So far I’ve won fifty cents hahaha (there’s a big prize, $1000-5000 usually and it’s split among everyone who answers all twelve questions correctly. If you get a question wrong you’re out)

      Reply
      1. AlligatorSky

        Ooh that sounds fun! Also scary at the thought that if you get ONE question wrong, you’re out the game, hahha.

        Reply
    3. periwinkle

      So many apps… many of mine are common, like navigation and shopping apps. Yelp gets a lot of use when I travel as do the various travel-related apps (airlines/hotels, SeatGuru and GateGuru). I have two flight trackers (Flightradar24 and FlightAware) and a boat tracker (MarineTraffic) because I’m a transportation nerd. Dropbox and 1Password are essentials. I have so, so many weather apps; CARROT is on my home screen right now but Yahoo Weather is more useful. Lots of entertainment apps for streaming video – I use Pluto, PBS Video, and ScienceGo a lot, with Netflix of course getting top billing.

      If you want noise generators, I’ve got noise generators. It’s hard for me to sleep without ambient noise! I rely heavily on SleepStream2 Pro (paid), Noisili (paid, but there’s a free web ve