weekend free-for-all – June 6-7, 2015

Olive looks into your soulThis comment section is open for any non-work-related discussion you’d like to have with other readers, by popular demand. (This one is truly no work and no school. If you have a work question, you can email it to me or post it in the work-related open thread on Fridays.)

Book Recommendation of the Week: Joseph Anton: A Memoir, by Salman Rushdie. If you always wondered what Salman Rushdie’s life was like during those years he was living in hiding because of the fatwah on his head (I constantly speculated about how it worked), this book will explain everything to you. It will also tell you what it’s like to be married to Padma from Top Chef.

{ 1,013 comments… read them below }

      1. Ask a Manager Post author

        That’s the “& Co.,” believe me. I’m trying to tell him to start a photography business. But it doesn’t hurt that she’s so perfect looking. I swear, sometimes I see the other cats admiring her.

        1. salad fingers

          She is an extremely beautiful cat — it can’t be denied. This picture in particular reminds me of a portrait of a really great writer or philosopher or something, btw. She’s such a poised one.

          +1 for Mr. AAM pursuing photography (and digital art generally) professionally!

        2. ITPuffNStuff

          indeed, olive is just absurdly cute. she’s a big part of why i look forward to weekend free for all. does looking at pictures of other cats on the internet count as cheating on my own fuzzy boys?

          who took the pictures also manages that “foreground focused / background blurred” effect that really pulls the eye right into olive’s face. thank you for sharing your pretty kitty with us.

          1. Heather

            I hope looking at cats on the internet doesn’t count as cheating because if it does I am a very, very, very bad person. :( ;)

      2. Myrin

        As well as competent caption…ers? People who come up with great ideas for the photos they take, is what I mean. I indeed feel like Olive is staring righti nto my soul here. :D

  1. tenure track academic anon

    Help me please- The husband of 28 years who is a good guy is driving me crazy. Since the IPod was invented he has been wearing those earbuds. He wears them all the time at home. This is not the problem.

    The problem is that he asks me questions from other rooms, in the same room , around the corner and expects an answer even if he doesn’t hear me. misunderstands, says I didn’t answer, says “what?! ” so that I repeat myself and then realize he has the stupid earbuds on. Oh and if I say, could you take those out when you speak to me he says, the music isn’t one.

    We have discussed this…he would never do this to a colleague at work. The students who assist me aren’t permitted to have earbuds in when speaking to me or asking questions.

    He is not a kid- he is 65.
    For fourteen years we have been having this conversation. Today we have spoken about it twice then finally around 12:00 I stopped talking to him.

    At lunch I passed him a note that said- if you think it is rude that I don’t answer your questions…I think it is rude that you ask me questions with earbuds in your ear.

    No response.

    Marriage counseling?

    1. tenure track academic anon

      why doesn’t he just listen to music on the stereo or turn on the radio? He does that too but he also listens to podcasts that I don’t particularly care for so it is polite that he listens to them on his earphones. (political panels that are very shouty or smug)

    2. Ask a Manager Post author

      So the Carolyn Hax answer here (I think) would be that you’ve made it really clear to him what you’d like from him, and he’s declining to do it, which leaves you without many choices other than either accepting that this is the way he is and you’ll live with it or deciding that you’re not okay with it. You’re taking the third option — arguing about it and staying frustrated by it for 14 years, when he’s (a) presumably heard your stance during that time and (b) decided not to change what he’s doing.

      I could imagine having one final sit-down, come-to-Jesus conversation with him — not in the moment when it’s happening, but some other time when you’re both calm and have some time — but it sounds like it might be at the point of He’s Heard You, He’s Choosing Not to Change, So Now What?

      (And to be clear, I am not implying here that the “so now what” should be divorcing over this! But I think there might be more happiness in looking at it from this perspective, and it might help you come up with other ways to respond to it or to position your thinking about it, rather than having to keep feeling frustrated by it.)

      1. tenure track academic

        This is a good answer, now that I calmed down. This is not all the time either. It comes and goes. When it is not happening, I don’t notice. As a former school teacher “noticing the good” I noticed that when you asked me what was for dinner, you didn’t have earbuds in your ears.
        Playing with the name thing…been reading for a few years, forgot that there is an assumption of anonymity.


    3. My house is dark and my pots are cold

      There is a lot I don’t understand about your situation, but *shrug* it really doesn’t matter. He needs to take the earbuds out when he talks to people. And by ‘talking’, I mean when he is speaking, and when he is listening to other people speak. He’s in the wrong on this. It’s that simple.

      If he refuses to take them out – then (I’m sorry) it sounds like there might be some psychological issue at fault here.

      1. gsa

        Carlos Santana is one of my favorites…

        I have recently been reminded of the hearing loss I have.

        I general, I walk toward the person to which I am speaking. Home, work, or, otherwise…

        That is all I know!

      2. ITPuffNStuff

        “He’s in the wrong on this. It’s that simple.”

        I don’t usually find value judgments to be productive in solving a problem. Starting with the presumption the husband is capable of participating in solving a problem (if not — this marriage has far bigger issues than the headphones), seems like it would help to understand what needs are driving this behavior. Probably some compromise can meet both the husband’s need for and the wife’s need to be heard.

        The part about leaving the headphones in with no music on but still being unable to hear — that is just super weird. I can’t help but wonder if there may be some actual hearing loss here, and perhaps the headphones are just masking it. If the music is off as he says, a person with normal hearing should be able to hear normally with the earbuds in.

        1. Marcela

          It depends on the earbuds. My phone came with ones that go inside my ears and block most of the external noise. I don’t like them because I feel they are dangerous to use outside, and I can’t understand what people is saying in the same room.

    4. danr

      Nah… it’s male pattern deafness. But the earbuds make it harder to hear anyway. Ask him if he’s practicing for hearing aids.
      Levity aside, I don’t know what the answer is. I know I have a bit of a hearing loss, and I do best when my attention is fully focused on the speaker. Certain words come through wrong when the speaker is turned away or talking from another room.
      It helps me to be facing the speaker and for the speaker to slow down.

      1. tenure track academic

        reminds me of male pattern blindness that he also suffers from…
        “in-ablity to see food in the fridge that is right in front of him” from Nora Ephron’s book Heartburn

        1. danr

          You want to be careful… it’s contagious. We joke that we can find anything, as long as it’s not in plain sight.

      2. Alma

        Male pattern hearing loss: they only hear what they want to hear. I am speaking after a particularly frustrating three months with one who lives a block and a half away from the library, and hasn’t checked his (business) email in three months because he was moving and still doesn’t have internet service.

        1. ITPuffNStuff

          “Male pattern hearing loss: they only hear what they want to hear.”

          this is sexism, and it is not okay.

          1. Bea W

            I read it as a spoof on male pattern baldness, rather than a sexist jab, but I can see how it crosses into that territory.

          2. Ask a Manager Post author

            I’m going to be annoyingly pedantic here, but while this may be biased against men, unfair, and worth speaking up about, it’s not sexism. Sexism isn’t just about prejudice, but also power — an institutional power imbalance and systematic oppression, not simply bias alone. (Same thing goes for racism.)

            Doesn’t mean it’s not worth saying something about though. But the distinction is one that feels worth making.

            1. eastallegheny

              I love that you made this distinction, as it’s a distinction I’ve often made myself hoarse trying to impart to certain of my peers!

            2. ITPuffNStuff

              sounds like we’re splitting hairs here, but okay, is this more to your liking?

              “Male pattern hearing loss: they only hear what they want to hear.”

              this is biased against men, unfair, and worth speaking up about, and it is not okay.

            1. ITPuffNStuff

              i’m glad you found it amusing and not offensive, danr, but “it was meant as a joke” is not now and never has been a defense for sexism. at best, it was meant as a joke, and the joke-teller has an extremely insensitive sense of humor. at worst, it was not meant as a joke, and was deliberately sexist. neither is acceptable.

    5. fposte

      Additionally, if what frosts you is that he doesn’t hear the answer, what about giving up answering him? I’d let him know–“Honey, I’ve told you how frustrated I get when you don’t hear my answer, and that doesn’t seem to be changing anything, so I’m going to stick to answering when I know you can hear me. I think that’s going to help me be less frustrated, and it’s a change I can make”–and then I’d really focus on dropping the rope rather than making it into a punishment. Think of it as him talking to himself rather than something you’re ignoring.

      Generally this would feel like something more drastic than I’d recommend, but this isn’t really cutting off communication, because communication wasn’t happening anyway; it’s just acknowledging that this wasn’t actually communication so you’re going to stop trying to turn it into communication.

      1. Pennalynn Lott

        Yep, this is a great idea. Boyfriend is hard of hearing but refuses to wear his [very expensive!] hearing aids. He likes to ask me questions as I’m walking away, or holler them at me when I’m in another part of the house. He never hears my answer and therefore yells, “What?” at me. So I just quit answering him unless he’s in the same room and looking at me when asking me something. If he wants the answer bad enough, he can come find me and stand close enough to hear the answer without me having to shout or repeat myself.

        Or, duh, just put his damn hearing aids in.

        1. zora

          This exactly. It would probably be happening even without the earbuds. (Which you probably don’t want to hear, sorry ;o)) But yeah my dad does the exact same thing, he just can’t hear anyway, with or without earbuds in. And my mom is complaining to me about it all the time.

        2. Not So NewReader

          This is what I was thinking about. OP, why not just announce that you will not be answer the “what?” question anymore. It’s rude to keep asking people to repeat themselves when the problem can be entirely prevented.

          Tell him that if he asks you to repeat yourself one more time you are making an appointment with a hearing specialist. The problem there is that he will probably ask again because this is a habit now.

        3. blackcat

          Yep, this is what my husband did with me–I don’t process auditory stuff well (I think I’m below what counts as a disorder, but it’s always been a struggle for me), and he would just holler stuff from another part of the house. I just. could. not. hear. and we’d both get frustrated. Now, he won’t talk to me unless he’s in my line of sight. If he tries, I go to him. This as worked well.

          As it turns out my *hearing* is truly excellent–I got it checked when I was having an inner ear problem. When I’m really focused on something, I can hear sounds that most people can’t both in volume and in pitch (I’ve got a hearing range corresponding to someone 20 years younger, meaning that when I was a kid, dog whistles drove me bonkers, and now I still hear things well outside the ranges of most adults). I just suck at listening…

          1. Hellanon

            We always told my dad he was hard of listening, not hard of hearing… when he hit 80, though, he had a couple of revelations, and started going to daily AA meetings. Turns out he actually wanted to hear what the guys there were saying, and got a hearing aid *and* started listening instead of talking. To quote the underpants gnomes, “…Profit!”

          2. Persephone Mulberry

            I am exceedingly visually oriented – when I’m focused on something in front of me (usually a book, but also crafts), I will tune out auditory input like you turn down the volume on the radio. It’s completely pointless for anyone to try to talk to me unless they’re sure they’ve got my attention – as in eye contact – first.

            1. Alison Hendrix

              Same here – I can’t watch a TV show and have a conversation with my husband at the same time. Once I talk to him I miss whatever is going on in the show, and vice versa. I can’t read something while listening to a podcast, but background radio/music is fine if I don’t need to use my full brain (e.g. crafting, sketching). It just depends on what I’m focused on. I also hate it when the radio and TV is playing at the same time. I cannot stand it, even if one of them is just playing faintly. I usually turn one or the other off.

              My husband though, could watch TV and talk at the same time. And he’s the type who turns on his Bluetooth speaker and starts listening to a podcast while the radio is still blaring (which I typically just walk over and turn it off).

      2. Connie-Lynne

        When we moved into the place we live now, my husband and I discovered that we were doing a lot of shouting that each other couldn’t here. So now we have a “line of sight” rule: no asking questions or talking unless you can see the other person.

        Yes, it requires us to do marginally more walking in the day, but it really helps. Plus, we both forget to do it fairly often (just shouting a quick question turns out to be a fairly natural thing), but because we have the rule, we don’t get mad at having to wait a moment for the other person to walk into the room. It’s also nice because there’s less shouting in general.

        The key was that we both agreed to the rule and that we work at keeping to it.

        I don’t know if this would work for tenure track academic anon, but there is something very pleasant about the whole “shout!” “incomprehensible response” [pause, walk, acknowledge other person’s presence and attention] “ask question in reasonable tone of voice.”

      3. Coach Devie

        This would be my take on it. I’d be very clear about why I was doing this so I didn’t come across as passive aggressive, but then I would hold firm to it. “training” people how they should treat you is sometimes necessary, even after 28 years of marriage.

    6. thisit

      i’m confused as to what he expects? have you asked him how this is supposed to work? are you supposed to shout? use your telepathic powers?

      i’m the snarky type that would go stand in his eye line and mouth an answer without sound, then smile, put on my own earbuds, and leave the room (and “not hear” any further conversation).

      1. Dynamic Beige

        I was going to say buy your own iPod and earbuds/headphones and then when he asks a question, you won’t hear him. He’ll come looking and see you wearing it, ask again, you still won’t hear him. Eventually, he will be forced to tap you on the shoulder to get your attention. Keep the headphones on until he asks you to remove them and then maybe it will sink in. I doubt it, but it’s worth a shot. Sometimes people need a dose of their own medicine in order to understand the other person’s point of view. In case you’re wondering why on earth you would do that, there are lots of audiobooks and podcasts that aren’t blowhards screaming at each other. I find it’s nice to do something like cut the grass and listen to a book. I should really try that with housework but…

        FWIW, my grandfather was hard of hearing but refused to wear hearing aids. I asked him about it once and he said that they made him hear things he didn’t want to, like the refrigerator motor. I grew up essentially learning how to project my voice to have a conversation with him. One day, he told me he bought hearing aids (but he wasn’t wearing them). I was all “What?!? Why?!?” Turned out some neighbour of his had come up and engaged him in conversation and he hadn’t been able to hear a word but was too full of pride to ask the guy to speak up. He was so used to people accommodating his problem that it never occurred to him that there was a real problem. Unfortunately, he never wore them around me that I saw. iPods weren’t invented then, but I so would have tried wearing them and making him shout at me to get my attention. He had no clue how draining it was to shout at him to have a conversation.

        1. cuppa

          This is actually similar to a response in “Divorce Busting”: the wife gets mad at the husband for not wearing a shirt at the dinner table (for years) and nothing ever got through to him until one day she showed up for breakfast buck naked. He wore a shirt after that.

            1. EmilyG

              No doubt! Not only could the nudity encourage him, but the overall “I’ll do it too” tactic can lead to a race to the bottom.

          1. Mallory Janis Ian

            Oooh, this is one of my peeves; no shirtlessness is allowed at my dinner (or breakfast or lunch) table. My husband tried it early in our marriage because he didn’t think it seemed like a big deal, but I refused to let any meals be served until he was presentable. I put my foot down, and nobody in my house even tries it now.

            1. Coach Devie

              This just wouldn’t/doesn’t bother me (unless of course we have houseguests)

              1. Alison Hendrix

                Me neither. As long as there are no houseguests you’re fine sitting at the dining table in your boxers (buck naked is over the line). He always asks me if he can keep his hat on while dining (especially on a bad hair day) and I always say, “go for it” without batting an eyelash. He tells me his mom is very particular about hats on the dining table. I couldn’t care less.

    7. BRR

      If the direct conversation doesn’t work there’s always scissors :).

      But seriously I believe in the if something is bothering you, first you say something.

    8. Tris Prior

      Partner is also addicted to his headphones. It drives me crazy – not because he tries to have a conversation while wearing them, but because headphones mean to me “OMG leave me alone, go away and do not talk to me!” And he plays his podcasts so loud that I practically have to wave my hands in his face to get his attention.

      The compromise we’ve worked out is, he only has them in one ear. So that if I need to ask him something he can at least hear me. Sounds overly simple and a little silly, but it worked for us. Since no way is he ever giving up the damn things.

    9. Clever Name

      Or you could do what I do with my 8YO. He’ll ask me a question and then say “what?” When I answer. Super annoying. I started only answering him once and not repeating myself. He has central auditory processing disorder, and sometimes it takes a second for his brain to catch up to his ears. He has also learned that he needs to just pay attention and look at me when he asks me something.

      1. Tau

        He has central auditory processing disorder, and sometimes it takes a second for his brain to catch up to his ears.

        You obviously know your son better than I do and how much of this is just not paying attention, but I just wanted to point out that I have auditory processing issues and a lot of the time it’s not about needing a second to understand things, I *do* genuinely need people to repeat (ideally: rephrase) themselves.

        Also, I managed to pick up the lesson “it is not all right to ask people to repeat themselves too often or too many times” growing up and the end result is that I’ll generally proceed with my best guess at what a person said in lieu of asking them to repeat themselves. This is very much less than ideal, but it’s become sufficiently automatic I can’t stop it. So I just wanted to point out that this way of dealing with it can seriously backfire.

    10. Technical solution, maybe?

      I remember that years ago there were hearing assistive devices, headphone based, to use in theaters. I wonder if there might be something like that, sort of walkie-talkie like, that you could use to tap into his headphones. So he could pause his music or podcast, ask you something, you reply and it comes through the headphones. You would need equipment on your end, but it could work. He puts on headphones, you put on your own equipment, or if not, it’s a designated no communication time. (For fun, adopt or invent your own cb-type vocabulary.) (it occurs to me belatedly that this could work if he’s listening on his smartphone… If he speaks to you, call him back to respond. An incoming call will interrupt whatever he’s playing. A few days of that and maybe he will decide it’s easier to take the earbuds out when he’s talking to you.)

      1. Bea W

        This happens when you are plugged into airplane entertainment, and it is super annoying (especially if the pilot is a talker) but totally effective.

        1. danr

          I loved it when the airlines had a channel on the system for the pilots. Plus they had a camera in the cockpit looking out, and would put it on the screen if the movie wasn’t playing.

  2. Jeanne

    What is your favorite snack when you want to nibble? I need a new snack. I go to the grocery store and stare at the shelves. It seems like all the same old thing. I’m sure I’ve overlooked something. Brand names too please if you don’t just buy any old pretzel on sale. Thanks for the ideas!

    1. tenure track academic anon

      snacks- I make my own mix of dried cherries, roasted almonds and cashews. I also like those little gouda cheeses.

    2. katamia

      I like nuts, but nuts can get expensive. :( I usually go to Trader Joe’s because they’re expensive there, but other brands are also expensive and usually come in smaller packages. Almonds are good because a small amount of them fills me up, so the packages last me awhile. If you’re bored with just nuts, though, maybe try making your own seasoning (chipotle? Old Bay? whatever you like) for them.

      They’re a little greasy so I don’t eat them very often because I do a lot of my snacking at the computer, but sometimes I’ll roast chickpeas and nosh on them for a bit. Again, lots of seasoning variety.

      Also, I make my own hummus (not a huge fan of tahini and basically all the storebought ones are way too bitter for me) sometimes. I usually eat it with chips, but I know people who eat them with veggie sticks or probably pretzels or something else. I’ll see if I can find recipes for the chickpeas and the hummus and link them below.

        1. Trixie

          My favorite hummus/bean dip with cannelloni beans, no tahini. Creamy enough on its own, fewer calories. Plus lemon juice, EVOO, little water, salt, cumin/cayenne.

      1. danr

        mail order is the way to go for nuts and dried fruits… It takes some experimenting to find companies that you like and that have the nuts you want. Amazon is decent, but quality varies widely. We use companies local to our area for most of our stuff, since we can use standard shipping and have it arrive the next day.

      2. PhyllisB

        About nuts: If you are a member of Sam’s Club they sell Planter’s Unsalted Premium Blend which is a mixture of cashews, almonds, pecans, Brazil nuts and pistachios. My husband and I are addicted to them. In fact, that, with a piece of fruit is my dinner occasionally. Also Walmart sells dry roasted unsalted peanuts and cashews. I can’t think of the name, but it’s their store brand. If you’re not concerned about sodium there are several brands of dry-roasted nuts with different flavor that are good.

    3. Lillie Lane

      I recently tried the Mango Goji Fire Sprouted Trail Mix (brand is Living Intentions, might be hard to find, got mine at Wegmans). Normally I can’t handle spicy, but it’s soooo good.
      And you can be satisfied after a handful or two.
      Also +1 on the little cheeses.

      1. Jeanne

        I haven’t done this since I worked the snack bar at the pool when I was a teenager.

      2. Rene UK

        For a while, I couldn’t eat nitrites due to migraines. I found the toddler sausages–like Vienna sausages but without the nitrites and as much salt. Yum!

    4. Sunflower

      I like to put rapsberries, blueberries, blackberries in the freezer and just grab a handful when I’m looking for a snack. Have you tried veggie sticks? they are pretty good

      My favorites right now are: Cheez-It’s Duoz(Sharp Cheddar and Parmesan in the same box), Pretzel nuggets filled with peanut butter, Sweet tomato basil triscuits with cheese

      1. bkanon

        I am an absolute fiend for Cheezits. I’m not allowed to buy them because I WILL eat the entire box in one night. I satisfy cravings for them by getting those little “single serving” packages. Just enough to work and not make myself sick.

        1. Jean

          I hear you re the Cheezits. If I have a box I just imitate Lady Pacman with my steady chomping.
          They are processed beyond reason and practically devoid of nutrition. How can they be so delicious?

        2. Al Lo

          We don’t have Cheez-Its in Canada, so every time I’m in the States, I stock up on boxes and boxes of them. I’ve been known to pack half a suitcase with groceries. It’s easier when we’re driving (and we actually do a grocery trip once a year or so), but even flying, I find a way to pack my groceries.

    5. danr

      Apples (I cut them into small slices), fresh cherries in season, or a home made mix of cashews, pecans and dried tart cherries.

    6. Elkay

      I get Graze boxes, it’s an expensive option but I get a selection and it means I don’t have to make a decision in the shop when there’s too many options.

    7. Connie-Lynne

      I like carrots and hummus. You can get both in little 1-serving packs, which helps me, as I have a tendency to just DEVOUR ALL THE FOOD.

      1. BRR

        I’ve been doing the same thing recently and lost a lot of weight as a result.

        I also do the individual nut and berry mixes from trader joes.

        1. Stephanie

          TJ’s has a good breakfast trek mix I like. I also like their macadamia, candied ginger, and cranberry mix.

    8. Pill Helmet

      Oh! Ok, I don’t really easy meals, I’m a grazer so I’ve come up with a lot of snacks.

      I’ll eat almost anything with cheese. Love the baby bell cheeses. And laughing cow just plain and also spread on a cracker. For that matter, crackers and any spreadable cheese. Sometimes I’ll add a preserve to that. String cheese (I love it for some unknown reason). Cheese sticks and pretzels. Cheese and fruit. Cheese sandwiches. Quesadillas are super quick.

      I make a salty/sweet oatmeal that takes just a few min and is great for a night time pre-bed snack.

      Small tortilla with a slice of cheddar and a slice of whatever type of cold cut I’m in the mood for, rolled up.

      Tuna in olive oil (drained), with salt and pepper, stuffed in a pita or on toasted rye. Add cheese if you wish.

      Toasted pita with hummus, baba ganouj, tabbouleh, bruschetta, tapenade, etc.

      English muffin pizza (jarred pizza sauce on an English muffin with shredded mozzarella and baked for a few min).

      I’ll sometimes make a huge batch of buttermilk pancakes and eat them plain for several days.

      My husband loves apples and peanut butter but he eats it in a way I’ve never seen before I met him. He just slices the apple in half and spread a thick layer of peanut butter on and eats it like that. It’s a lot easier than slicing it up into wedges and scooping the PB out of a bowl. Swap with any kind of nut butter.

      Let’s see, what else? Soft pretzels with spicy mustard or melted cheese. Frozen egg rolls or dumplings. Carrot sticks and peanut butter or peanut sauce. Flash frozen berries. Bananas and cool whip (or sour cream! Really it’s delicious). Diced meats. Olives (particularly Oloves brand). Peanut butter and jelly. Bars of any kind (protein, oatmeal, fiber, fruit, etc.). Rye bread toasted with mustard and Swiss. Hard boiled eggs. Popcorn with nutritional yeast. Matzoh with butter or mashed beans spread. Vans frozen waffle with fruit preserves or cream cheese. Chopped herbs and cheese in a lettuce wrap. Melba toast with peach preserves or sliced peaches and a little shot of espresso. Edamame. Cherries, mulberries and grapes are super easy fruits to snack on. Raw zucchini or squash sticks with dip or dressing. Flat crisps, bagel crisps. Veggie stix brand veggie sticks. Sardines.

      Oh my God. I could go on forever.

      1. Alice

        Just a little side note about the apples and peanut butter. I grew up with my mom coring apples, and stuffing the hole with peanut butter! it was a even better treat if my mom didn’t get the seeds out on the first try, larger hole = more peanut butter! I would totally go eat one right now, but I have to work with a peanut allergic kid in an hour. My peanut butter craving can wait!

        1. Pill Helmet

          Hope it helps! I eat really small portions so I find it too much effort to cook a whole meal so I often eat snacks. Since I eat so many snacks I try to make them healthy. Though I also eat plenty of crap, lol. Sometimes I also cook 1 pot meals and portion them into snack size servings, which is great for when I want something more substantial feeling than a snack.

      2. Mallory Janis Ian

        Wow, I need to print this and put it in my kitchen binder. I could get my kids and husband to pick some things that they think sound good, too, for summer snacks and then school lunches in the fall (not that I’m even close to ready to think about that yet).

        1. Pill Helmet

          My husband and 3 year old eat all of these things. But of course I’m not a great shopper or meal planner, so it could just be that they don’t have much of a choice. Haha.

      3. Pill Helmet

        Oh and I totally forgot my favorite. Overnight oats.

        Put 1/2 cup dry oatmeal in a jar or any kind of container you’ll eat out of, add about 1 cup of liquid (water, milk, nut milks, juice, tea, and even yogurt all work), add in some fillers (dried fruits, nuts, cut up fresh fruit or berries, chocolate chips or any variation of chip, etc.), add a sweetener if you like (chocolate syrup, honey, maple syrup, sugar, brown sugar, Splenda, agave, etc.), and if you want you can add other nutritional things like protein powder, chia seeds, whey powder, coconut oil, or pretty much anything you can think of. Then refrigerate overnight.

        Depending on what you add its good in the fridge for about 5 days. I’ll make a batch on Sunday and take it to work with me every day for the week ahead. I start with a base and then make 5 different variations. I keep a lot of the above on hand in my freezer or pantry so I can just add whatever I feel like. The variations are pretty much endless.

        Note: You might want to tweak the liquid portion depending on what you use. It’s a bit trial and error.

        1. TheLazyB

          Like Bircher muesli! I eat that ha.f the year. The other half I eat it and call it porridge :)

          I soak raisins with my oats. Mash half a banana in, chopped nuts, cinnamon. I used to slice half an apple in but the banana is quicker :)

      4. TheLazyB

        That apple and peanut butter thing. Oh my. Good with standard peanut butter; even better with choc peanut butter.

        I roast my own nuts with random (but large) amounts of spices. Mmmmm.

    9. Nancie

      Smartfood White Chedder popcorn is a “guilty” pleasure (the sodium can add up fast for me.)

      A faithful favorite of mine is Triscuit “Hint of Salt”. Obviously for anyone who isn’t watching their sodium, I’d suggest trying all the flavors.

    10. Stephanie

      Popcorn. It could have ricin sprinkled on it and I would probably still keep snacking as I died.

    11. Elizabeth West

      Cheese and crackers, probably–crackers will be my downfall. I FOOKING LOVE THEM. Especially those Nabisco Sociables. God, those make me fat as hell but I love them. Throw in a bit of summer sausage and I’m yours. Triscuits too. Saltsplosion.

      Crisps, especially multigrain tortilla ones with salsa or queso.

      In summer only, I like ice cream. I’m about to try that video I saw on Buzzfeed where you make ice cream out of two ingredients (whipping cream and condensed milk). I have some cherries to use up and Imma make cherry vanilla. :D

      Biscuits (cookies) with my Earl Grey. When I’m at home, it’s Fortnum and Mason. At work, it’s just regular old Twinings or the loose stuff from the hippie store.

      What I’ve been trying to do with crisps or crackers or whatever is to portion it out on a small paper plate. Then I eat far less than I would if I park the box next to me on the sofa.

      1. SaraV

        Oh Elizabeth, you’re a woman after my own heart. Crackers with summer sausage and/or cheese. So yummy. :9

        My go-to snack is trail mix – peanuts, raisins, and M&M’s. You get the salty and sweet, and I love raisins. Hmmm. I may have to make a special trip to the store this weekend.

      2. Al Lo

        I eat crackers like chips. I often have a box of them by my bed.

        Also by my bed: a sleeve of saltines and a jar of cookie butter. Best salty/sweet combination ever!

        1. Kelly White

          What is cookie butter? I have no idea, but I’m pretty certain I need to try it.

    12. Melissa

      Fruit, honestly. I love blackberries, strawberries, and mangoes. Grapes with some cheddar cheese are good, too!

      1. Alma

        Frozen fruit. It slows down the pace because of Brain Freeze, but intensifies the flavor. Grapes, berries, mango, bananas and peaches/plums/nectarines are good.

        Jicama is something that is crisp, refreshing, and very low calorie. It can be sliced thin, or thicker to make a scoop for hummus or dip, and it takes in the flavor of whatever you put on it. Right now I squeeze fresh lime juice on it, and use a little sea salt. Adding heat with sriacha or a sprinkling of chile powder would be good, too.

        Make dips using Greek yogurt as a base – get the nonfat kind. It goes well with salsa.

        Pickles. They are crunchy and cold, but the tang usually limits intake.

      2. TheLazyB

        Frozen peas! I used to eat them as a child and offered them to my toddler one day, mostly as a joke, but he now loves them too :) DH thinks we’re crazy :)

    13. Pennalynn Lott

      Rold Gold thin pretzel sticks paired with Dietz & Watson “Buffalo Wing Hot Pepper Cheddar”.

      Also the pretzel sticks with hummus. My favorite is the “traditional” flavor of Central Market’s house brand. But I’ve gotten great hummus from Whole Foods, too. Or celery sticks and hummus. I love my mom’s pimento cheese with celery sticks, but I hate making it. Sabras “Roasted Red Pepper” hummus tastes a lot like my mom’s recipe for pimento cheese, so I like it with celery sticks.

    14. The Other Dawn

      My go-to for awhile now has been celery with hummus. I can’t seem to get enough of it. It fills me up, satisfies my urge to snack and my craving for crunch, and is lower in calories. I use the Tribe brand of hummus – I really love the Lemon Focaccia flavor, but they’re all good. I made my own hummus last weekend and it’s pretty good.

      Another thing I like is slicing an apple (my fav is Fuji) cross-wise. If you core the apple first, you get slices that have a hole in the middle, like a doughnut. I then spread on some almond butter or peanut butter. It’s pretty high in calories for me (who can eat just 1 serving of PB??) since I’m a gastric bypass post-op, but it really hits the spot – sweet, crunchy, a hint of saltiness, and sticky. Yum!

    15. louise

      I live for popcorn. I used to love microwave popcorn until I found out how unhealthy it is. So I switched to bulk kernels. (the cheap grocery store stuff popped up really tough so I spring for a pricier one that’s imported from Amish country in Ohio. “Pricy” popcorn kernels are still pretty cheap.)

      I put 1/4 cup into a brown paper lunch bag, fold the top down a few times and microwave for 2 minutes. I used to spray with olive oil and sprinkle salt on, but then I discovered aerosol coconut oil. I cannot overstate how amazing it is. Spray a little for regular snacking, spray a lot when you want to pretend you’re at the movies. So incredible.
      Beware though, not all aerosol coconut oil is great. My favorite is cascade farms (also the most expensive), then trader joes and spectrum are equally good (TJ is the most economical). Stay away from Pam. It’s terrible.

      If I need more flavor, I blend some garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, and dash of paprika to sprinkle on. Eat it with slices of sharp cheddar and it is the World’s Best Snack.

      1. Pill Helmet

        I never would have thought to pop popcorn in a brown lunch bag in the microwave. I always pop my bulk kernels in a tall sauce pot over a flame.

    16. Trixie

      I’ll also keep small batches of popcorn in a tupperware container, snack on handful at a time. Seasoning optional, sometimes that just makes me eat more which isn’t’ helpful.

    17. Clever Name

      Seaweed snacks! They’re savory and kinda crunchy. I like them better than chips.

    18. Laura

      I recently rediscovered corn nuts. Oh my god. I might be able to live off them. This brand I have been getting is so so good. The kernels are not huge, and they are not too hard, so I don’t have to worry about my teeth. The brand is Mountain Fresh snacks, and they call it Toasted Corn. …hmmm, just checked amazon.com, I am not seeing this brand there so it might be special to the pacific northwest. I buy them at the campus convenience store, not sure what grocery stores might carry them.

      I have also been known to set aside any Cheezits that I find in my daughter’s lunch boxes after school, and have them for a late night snack. I love the four cheese variety and the white cheddar.

      For something sweet, I’ve been trying to stick to Claey’s Sanded Candy Drops. They come in a bazillion flavors and each piece lasts quite a long time, so I don’t eat as many — after one, or sometimes two, it feels like I’ve had plenty.

      1. Carmen Sandiego JD

        I bake my own oatmeal.
        1 scoop of bulk rolled Whole Foods oats
        1 can of pureed pumpkin
        1 mashed banana
        1 small cup of coconut flavored yogurt
        1 diced gluten-free peanut butter bar

        Mix all, roll into 1x1x1 inch balls, bake on 350 degreesF for 10 min then enjoy :)

    19. K

      I don’t snack that often, but when I do:

      Fresh berries
      Trader Joe’s Inner Peas
      Annie’s Snack Mix (cheddar bunnies, regular bunnies, and pretzels)

    20. SevenSixOne

      My favorite snack of all time is green apples and peanut butter. I’ve had it pretty much every day for as long as I’ve had teeth.

      As an aside: The first time I had natural peanut butter was a revelation– “If this is peanut butter, WHAT HAVE I BEEN EATING??!?!” Don’t let the layer of oil on top scare you off, just take the time to stir it up and get ready to break up with Jif for good.

      1. Pill Helmet

        Completely agree with you. Natural peanut butter is incredible. The flavor is so much richer. I store it on its side in my cabinet so that when I take it out and stir it I can actually get the knife all the way to the bottom without having to dig through a super thick layer of peanut butter.

        There also a stirrer you can buy that helps stir the oil in.

        1. SevenSixOne

          Have your tried Hampton Farms’ honey roasted peanut butter? It’s easily one of the best things I’ve ever eaten.

        2. Alison Hendrix

          OMG one of my college friends’ parents hand made peanut butter, and it was the best peanut butter I’ve ever tasted.

          I grew up in a place where peanut can be grown anywhere anytime in the year, and peanut butter is definitely abundant. :)

    21. That's Carry On!

      – nuts! mixed toasted + salted nuts (so many bags of nuts…)
      – if you have a toaster oven (it might work with a micorwave, but I don’t have one so I don’t know), self-toasted nuts are really nice – pecans are particularly good done this way, and walnuts are very nice too. Just about 10 minutes at a medium-low heat makes them warm & a bit crisped (you can add salt/seasoning if you like, but I like them plain)
      – vegetables. I’m a big fan of those veg. trays, because I’m lazy :)
      – small hard candies. fills the ‘want something small & nibbly’ quite well. I’ve been using the Ricola cough candies recently because they’re small, but if you have a candy store nearby (or a British store – they’re my go-to for tasty hard candies)

    22. Gene

      SoNutty rice, sesame seed, and peanut snack made by ShinJu Foods in Kent, WA. As far as I can tell, it’s not available online, I get it at H-Mart.

      But, my current go to (in small quantities) is chicken chicharon. The Filipino market here carries Tropics brand, garlicky, spicy, salty, and chickeny. These are easily available from online Filipino food suppliers, I got addicted in the 70s while at Subic Bay Naval Base. I go through phases with them.


    1. Ask a Manager Post author

      Well, I think everything makes a good travel book … so yes? I did actually read it while traveling (Gettysburg!), if that counts!

      1. Yoshi

        Thanks! I think it does count :)

        For travel books, I generally like ones that don’t have 100 names to remember or plots so intricately woven that I have to scan back 10 pages before I can move forward. This sounds like it fits the bill.

      2. Steve G

        On a side note, Gettysburg is one of my favorite small towns, partially because of the history, partially because it reminds me of trips I took as a tween, partially because it is country but with a hopping downtown, partially because of the ghost tours, but mostly because there are so so so many walking areas around there. It is also close to Caledonia state park (part of Appalachian trail) + has good wineries……….

      3. Pretend Scientist

        I went to yearbook photography camp in Gettysburg, 100 years ago. It was awesome!

  3. Former Diet Coke Addict

    In an effort to do something positive among all the other terrible things in my life (dad’s illness, my in-laws being a complete gongshow, work being the usual insanity, etc.), my husband and I have opted to finally do all the house painting we’ve been wanting to do since we moved in last fall. This week we started with the spare room–covering a hideous dark brown with a lovely silver-gray. I have painted tons and tons, but my husband had never picked up a paintbrush before in his life, so it was a little bit of a learning curve, but we finished and it looks fantastic! The Behr Marquee paint and primer in one is worth every penny we paid for it–it covered up the ugly dark brown very solidly in one coat! We didn’t truly need to put on a second coat, but we did for the sake of thoroughness, and wow. It looks phenomenal.

    The next project will be to do our living room, which is currently painted a horrible dark maroon that reminds me of nothing so much as blood. We’re going to paint it (again) light gray and do an accent wall of royal blue.

    Question: What do you do with pets when painting? It was easy enough with our spare room, since it’s a confined space and we can put the cats in another room, but it will be really challenging with our living room, since we have a small, open-plan house and the living room, kitchen, etc., all run together. I’m considering temporarily moving their litter box upstairs and blocking them upstairs for the day, but we’re still debating.

    1. fposte

      Oh, those colors sound gorgeous. I love a good painting transformation.

      I had pest control out this week for a longstanding problem, which meant clearing everything out of the closets; I’ve been taking the opportunity to weed and toss, and I’m looking forward to a hopefully better curated wardrobe and less clutter generally when I finally get to put things back. And my closets are going to be cleaner than they’ve been in a decade, since I really got them top to bottom.

      1. Former Diet Coke Addict

        Have you read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up? My house is already neat enough that it didn’t particularly resonate with me, but I have to admit that I’m a total convert to her method of organizing drawers (with the T-shirts and socks folded in half in rows, rather than stacked) because I can see everything that’s in there! It’s great! I really should re-do it though, since things are getting a bit messy now.

        I love doing my closets–do them in spring and fall when I swap out my warm- and cold-weather clothes. It’s so satsifying to open a closet to a lovely clean environment. Like living in a magazine!

        1. fposte

          I have! A friend is super into it and did the whole house thing a category at a time. I had way too much to do (I had to process all the removed items through the dryer or the freezer as well as removing them) to follow it properly, but it nudged me to get rid of more than I might otherwise, which is definitely a good thing. I did follow my friend’s interpretation of the no-piles rule and turned my shelved knits all on their side, which is kind of fun.

    2. Malissa

      That Behr paint is so worth every penny. I fell in love with it when I used it to cover up smoke stained walls. I’d confine the pets while painting.

    3. Connie-Lynne

      I’m assuming y’all’s cats aren’t outdoor pets.

      We put the cats, their food, and their box in the bedroom for the day. They aren’t fans, especially if it’s a few-days project, but they adapt.

    4. Colette

      I painted my living room a month ago and hope to put the paint away any day now. (Afterwards I tore out the closet door and made a secret doorway – think bookcase door but with coat hooks instead of shelves – and if I ever stop fiddling with it I will no longer need to keep touching up). It really makes a huge difference! I’m glad it went well. Modern paint with primer is awesome stuff, as are angled brushes.

    5. Elizabeth West

      Ooh, I want to do this! My auntie redid her house between my visits and she chose a lovely warm-ish grey and I loved it. I think I’ll steal the idea–I wanted something neutral, but not white or beige.

      No idea on the pets. My pet lives outside.

      1. mookitty

        Why does your pet live outside? Unless you are talking about horses or goats your animals need to be inside.

        1. Elizabeth West

          She grew up outside–she belonged to the neighbors and didn’t get socialized. They dumped her on me. She hates it inside. She has a doghouse that gets insulated in the winter and she is fine. I take good care of her, mookitty.

        2. Revanche

          Sometimes they decide to go outside. My dog up and decided to move out to the garage and side yard one day. Took her bed out and refused to come inside except for short visits after which she went back out. Weird as anything but the other dogs followed suit.

          1. SevenSixOne

            I think some animals just don’t want to live indoors– My favorite cat only came inside when he was sick or the weather was bad. There’s not much to do inside… but outside there are endless trees to climb and small critters to maul and neighbor dogs to taunt.

            1. ITPuffNStuff

              wish i could let my babies go outside — i know they would enjoy themselves more. unfortunately, i live in an area with foxes, coyotes, owls, hawks, cars, other cats, dogs, people … i just couldn’t live with the constant fear and anxiety about what might happen to my boys.

            1. Revanche

              Yep! She learned from the smallest (but alpha) dog to drag her bed/blankets wherever she wanted them. She used to be a coddled indoor pup, then I saw her pretty much move her stuff and settle into the garage. Best I could speculate, she liked the outdoor temps better than indoor? Also, no competition for the sunny spots. But then the other dogs decided to go on out with her because she was the heat source during colder nights.

              1. GH in SoCAl

                My dog wouldn’t come into the house except to eat for a couple of weeks once. I was really wondering what was going on in his little head! Then I realized that the sporadic beeping of a smoke detector that needed a battery was driving him insane. Once we fixed that he came back in the house.

        3. Sunshine Brite

          I’ve pretty much only had outside dogs. They don’t need to be inside and many dislike all the rules of inside if you know how to take care of them and they get much more space than otherwise. One dog I know gets free reign outside between his house and his neighbor’s house and refuses to come inside even when they try and make him if the weather gets unpredictable enough, at most he’ll agree to the workshed.

          1. Elizabeth West

            Growing up, our pets were always outside. We let the cats in now and then, but they lived out there. They had plenty of places to go–there was a doghouse built into the steps by the back door, too. Both the dog and our main cat (we had some rotate in and out) slept in there. They were buds. :)

            I was thinking about putting a pet door into the garage so she can go in and out–she might be okay with being in there if she could escape. It’s being shut up she doesn’t like. Then I could feed her in the garage and mitigate some of the stray cat/racoon/possum/skunk/slug issues with feeding her outside. I try not to give her so much that she’ll leave any, but sometimes she nibbles rather than noms.

    6. Sparrow

      We painted our old house a few years ago. The kitchen, dinette and living room were all one open area. We hired someone to do it, so two of the cats hid upstairs since they don’t like strangers. The third just kept out the way on her own because all the furniture was moved around.

      I don’t recall having to do anything special to keep them out of the way. But if you’re doing the painting yourself and can’t keep an eye on them, it makes sense to keep them in a separate room.

    7. Pennalynn Lott

      When when we painted the kitchen/office (one big room), the cats — all five of them — stayed out of the way on their own. They didn’t like the smell of paint.

    8. The Other Dawn

      I have 12 cats so I’ve been there, done that. Actually, we didn’t lock them up when we did the living room and it went just fine. Sure, someone MAY have gotten his tail in the paint tray, but it cleaned up well enough. And I had a really powerful color, too: Glazed Raspberry (maroon). Most of my cats are older, so maybe that factored into it. They sleep and lounge a lot.

      Speaking of painting, I need to start doing that.

    9. Clever Name

      We’ve painted 3 different houses now, and we never did anything with the cats while we were painting. I can see that dogs may be more of a problem. The cats generally just stayed out of the area we were painting.

    10. Painting with cats

      Doing my living room and hallway here. Thought about putting the cats in the bedroom but it turned out that they were disinterested in the painting process. Depending on whether they are very curious about odd smelling stuff like paint, you may not need to move them. Mine mostly slept through it all, as usual, on the ottomans all afternoon. On the cat box question though, I’ve heard it recommended that you have one more litter box than you have cats. So if you only have one, you might do well to out another box upstairs or elsewhere in your house anyway. That way you don’t have to move boxes if/when you need to shut them away, for instance for a delivery or repair person.

      1. Bea W

        I had a rabbit who was super curious and meddling. If I was doing home projects he was all over it (literally). He dipped an ear into my paint! I has another pair who if I let them would go down the hall and hang out under the bed. I’d simply take the hall gate down, leave the bedroom door open, and wait about 5 minutes. They’d be out of way the whole time.

    11. Bea W

      I confine them to another room. If you can’t close off the room you are painting you can put the pets in a room where you can close the door instead. I happen to have baby gates which work well unless you have a jumper.

    12. Windchime

      I love painting. Nothing gives such a big bang for the buck as painting. It can instantly transform a room. (And I will admit that I love the smell of paint….to me, it smells fresh and clean). I painted my bedroom a light gray last year; unfortunately, it’s not enough of a change for me so I will probably end up repainting it a more intense color.

      Current kitty stays out of the way when I’m doing things like painting. Old Kitty was a huge pest; he wanted to be in the middle of everything so I would lock him in a different room.

    13. AvonLady Barksdale

      Cats I would simply confine to another room. If we ever decide to paint, I’ll probably send the pup to daycare– keeps him from being underfoot and releases me from the walking and cuddling for the day.

  4. Ask a Manager Post author

    UK and Ireland readers!

    My husband — Mr. Ask a Manager, who is charmingly obsessive when it comes to both music and video/film — wants to ask you a favor.

    Remember “120 Minutes,” MTV’s alternative music show from the 80s and 90s? He’s decided to recreate their video playlist of for 1986-1992 (highly nostalgic years for him, apparently). He’s gathered most of the videos he needs to do a full re-creation from from iTunes, YouTube, etc., but there are two that are eluding him: (1) Kingdom of Rain by “The The” with Sinéad O’Connor, and (2) Downtown by Lloyd Cole. These two aren’t available in the U.S. for some reason, but they’re available on iTunes in the UK and Ireland.

    He is quite desperate for them.

    So, he’s looking for someone in the UK or Ireland who’d be willing to help him get them. If you’re up for it, he’d give you the money to buy either or both for him, or would trade you a song or video from the U.S. that’s unavailable where you are if you’d rather do that. 

    (He also says that if anyone is interested in his final 120 Minutes video collection, he’ll make it available to anyone who wants it.)

    1. Marcela

      No advice for this, as I’m the US as well, but it drives me crazy the geographic restrictions on music. I like Japanese and Korean pop, not available in Amazon, sometimes in itunes. But I can’t have itunes with Linux and Android. So please, again, tell me about how bad is piracy.

      1. katamia

        I agree. This is so frustrating. There are books I want that haven’t come out in the US, and then there’s a ton of music I like (Bollywood, which admittedly has gotten better about this over the last few years, Turkish music, and a few others) where I’d love to pay money to support their careers. Except…nope. And this problem is only going to get worse when I move to another country, since a lot of US-based stuff I’ve been looking forward to will probably no longer be legally available. *sigh* I don’t pirate things, but these restrictions are really obnoxious.

          1. katamia

            I gave Hola a test drive at one point but could never really get it to work, and am still looking for other alternatives. Might give Hola another shot if I can figure out what I was doing wrong.

            1. vox de causa

              Maybe don’t use Hola. There are some security concerns about it. (link in next post)

        1. Marcela

          Yes, when I visited Japan I bought every single cd I could find of my favorite singer. But I was just a poor student then, so I had to buy second hand disks. Now, as you say, I just… find them.

        2. Marcela

          But you know what really irks me? Japanese singers don’t publish music videos in Youtube. The Korean groups I like now, they do, so I can accept that, sort of. But the Japanese singers, for example Hamasaki, Koda, Amuro, either upload partial videos or no videos at all. I understand they produce different versions of every disk, one including the videos, so the label doesn’t want the videos out there for free, but I.cannot.buy.that!!

        3. Kimberlee, Esq.

          I think Songza and Pandora have a decent amount of Kpop… I have a colleague who’s obsessed with it and listens to it all day on one or both services.

      2. matcha123

        There are people that will sell Japanese iTunes cards that you can use to purchase songs from the Japanese iTunes site, FYI.
        I think most kpop companies use iTunes for their songs. But, it also depends on the popularity of the artist and whether or not they want to release it domestically first and internationally at a later date.

        1. Marcela

          But how do I buy in itunes without itunes? There is no itunes for Linux or Android. And my friends gets all the colorful insults in Spanish when they suggest I buy windows or even worst, mac, just.to.buy.music.

          1. matcha123

            I only got iTunes because my boyfriend gave me an ipod for Xmas. Before that, I bought the CDs or used various means to MP3ify videos and put them on my old Samsung player.
            In general, Japanese music companies are very bad at putting their music onto the international market. They mostly ignore people outside of Japan and aside from a few artists, most don’t even seem to tour in Asia.

            If you don’t want to buy CDs from YesAsia, there might be some people on reddit that will burn a CD or put music on a flash drive for you in exchange for some thing from your area.

            1. Marcela

              I tried once with YesAsia. I wonder if it was because I was using my Spanish credit card, but the fact is that they asked me to send a fax of the credit card to verify it. I checked the fax number, it was correct and send it. Several days laters my purchase hasn’t been approved so I asked them about the fax. They denied having received it (and I checked the number I sent it, it was right). So I cancelled the order.

    2. Elkay

      Silly question but has he tried using a plug-in to spoof his geographic region? I use Hola to watch US Netflix. I’m in the UK but run on a Chromebook so no iTunes for me I’m afraid.

      1. Treena Kravm

        Last I checked iTunes uses the billing information of the card on file to determine where you are. I had no problem buying things with my us account while I was abroad. this was years ago so things may have changed for all I know

      2. Ask a Manager Post author

        He says he tried Hola unsuccessfully … but based on that logic he just tried Tor — which worked! So problem is now solved. Thank you!

    3. Cambridge Comma

      Not in the UK right now, but a lot of people I know in Europe order itunes giftcards from the US. You can use them (legitimately) instead of a local credit card to open a US itunes account and download media not available here. I suppose it would work the ither way around? Might be an idea in the unlikely event that there aren’t any uk commenters who can help.

    4. Muriel Heslop

      120 Minutes was greatness! Love that he has it on video! How has he saved it? Trying to figure out to do with my MST3K videos…

      1. The Official Mr. AAM

        I mostly used Keepvid to acquire the videos from Youtube, bought the ones I could from iTunes, and ripped the rest from personal dvd’s using MacX DVD Ripper. Then I just ordered them according to http://120minutes.tylerc.com and put them into my Dropbox. And into iTunes, you know, for a video playlist. NOSTALGIA.

        1. Muriel Heslop

          That is awesome! Thank you – and I am going to be lost on that site for the afternoon.

  5. Marie C.

    I posted last week about my husband taking our kids away while I was asleep. I wish I had better news, but here’s what has happened since then:

    On Monday, I called a legal aid place in the county where he said that he filed for divorce. They couldn’t find any record that he had filed anything, so I was told that I would need to file in the county where I live. I got in contact with another legal aid place that works in this county. The soonest they could meet with me would be next week.

    On Tuesday, I spoke with my kids’ Head Start parent advocates. Useful background information: my husband used to be abusive toward me. Physically, sexually, etc. I was too scared to leave him because he repeatedly threatened to kill me and/or take the kids away from me forever if I ever tried. I finally attempted to leave in 2012, but my parents convinced me to try marriage counseling with him instead. He seemed motivated and he stopped actually hitting me, but I still didn’t like being around him. I don’t have proof of anything that has happened in the past and I’ve never reported it before now. Anyway, the parent advocates gave me the contact information for a local victim services agency.

    I met with a victim services advocate on Wednesday and explained that I’m afraid for my own safety (because of my husband’s history) and afraid for my kids’ as well because he’s obviously willing to use them against me, and he has attacked me and threatened me before while the kids were watching. I wasn’t able to file an emergency order of protection because nothing has happened recently, but she helped me file a plenary order of protection. A court hearing was also scheduled for next week.

    On Thursday, I got back in touch with campus law enforcement (I live in graduate/family housing at the university where I was going to school). I had called them last weekend and explained the situation and they didn’t seem to care. They just told me that I would be charged if my husband never turned in his apartment key. This time, they were more sympathetic. They changed the locks to the apartment and said that the situation with my husband was a civil matter, but that I should give them a copy of the order of protection after the hearing and let them know if he tries to bother me.

    On Friday in the early evening, I got an email notification that someone in the city where he’s living signed in to my Google account. The email was quickly deleted, even though I didn’t delete. it I undeleted it and forwarded it to myself at another email address. I also changed my password and set up two-factor authentification. Around 8pm, I was served with divorce papers. He’s alleging “extreme mental cruelty” and asking for full custody of the kids and child support from me, as well as for me to pay his attorney fees. This was dated May 26 and I have no idea why it took them so long to serve me.

    I will have to start over on Monday again with getting a lawyer. I have no idea how this will affect the order of protection. (I think I can still get him to stay away from me, but I don’t think I can do anything with the kids.) I still don’t have a job.

    1. fposte

      This remains deeply messed up, but you are doing amazingly. Smack those ducks into a row with determination.
      I hope the meeting with legal aid goes well this week.

      I wouldn’t worry a lot about his claims and demands. It’s the legal equivalent of puffing himself up to look big–in the first draft, he probably tried to blame you for Jimmy Hoffa’s disappearance. You absolutely need to have an advocate on your side, but judges are pretty familiar with these kinds of accusations.

      1. Marie C.

        To clarify, the appointment I had this week was with a lawyer who works in the county where I live. I can’t work with them anymore and I have to start over and get a lawyer in the county where my ex-husband lives (because he filed for divorce there). Hopefully I can meet with someone quickly.

        I laughed at the Jimmy Hoffa comment! My mom said that he’s probably asking for a horse because he’s trying to get a puppy.

        Thanks to you and everyone else for your support and sympathetic comments!

        1. Buffay the Vampire Layer

          Are these counties across state lines? Because there’s no reason I can see that you’d need a different attorney for a different county. Unless you’re getting free legal aid from a county agency. But if it’s a private attorney she can practice law in any county in the state.

          I’ll add the caveat that I’ve never practiced family law so maybe there’s something I’m not getting.

          1. Dan

            Family law can be a big pain in the ass, and really vary from county to county within a state. While a lawyer admitted to the bar in a given state can practice in any county, some won’t if they don’t know the lay of the land and what they’re getting into.

          2. Marie C.

            Yeah, I’m trying to get free legal aid because I’m poor and unemployed (and not ballsy enough to expect my ex to pay for my attorney fees, apparently). The legal aid agencies only have certain counties that they serve. These are different counties in the same state.

    2. Not So NewReader

      My heart goes out to you and your kids. May the tide turn in your favor very soon.

      1. Minnie

        This situation will pass and will work out in the end. Stay strong and busy. And get as much support as you can

    3. Jean

      +1 here: One more AAM reader wishing you strength and safety and success. May you soon find a damn good lawyer. And may your husband quit causing trouble for you and your kids.

    4. Observer

      One good thing – he was obviously lying about getting “emergency custody” of the kids- there is no way you would have gotten the divorce papers without the custody papers, if they existed.

      If you are out of a job, there is no way he is getting lawyers fees out of you – he’s just trying to scare you. Also, the fact that he has filed for divorce and custody does not stop you from contesting that AND asking for an order of protection regarding the kids, or supervised visitation or whatever. If you have a good lawyer, they will be able to figure out what’s realistic. The main issue is that you are going to have to show that he is a danger to the kids, if you want the order of protection against him to cover the children. The fact that he is willing to use them against you won’t really be considered in that way. If he’s actually HIT the kids or anything like that, it becomes a different issue.

      1. Marie C.

        Thanks for the input! There’s also a petition for temporary custody and support included with the divorce papers. (Sorry if I was vague about it in my previous post.) He’s hit me in front of the kids but he’s never actually hit them, to my knowledge.

        He’s apparently trying to claim that it’s in the best interest of the kids for him to have full custody, but there isn’t anything in the papers that explains why. From when I talked with a lawyer previously, they said that the likely realistic outcome would be that we would share legal custody and that the kids would live with me but spend every other weekend or something with him (ie, the same arrangement that lots of people have). I’m hoping to find out more soon.

        1. Sunshine Brite

          Making the kids witness domestic violence falls into the realm of abuse in my state, it varies so be sure to share that with the lawyers.

        2. Observer

          There is a PETITION. Is there an AWARD? If not, it didn’t happen.

          Sunshine Brite is correct – share the abuse, and the fact that it happened in front of the kids with the lawyer. It’s something that most judges will take into consideration, even if it’s not technically considered “abuse”.

    5. Buu

      Oh my god, again I’m sorry this is happening to you. Once again please remember he is a liar he can say what he wants, he’s probably even lying to his lawyer. Please mention the abuse you received and the counselling once you find your new legal help. I don’t know the law but if you went to a therapist and he admitted his abuse, surely the therapist would have written that down or recorded it? Would it be possible to get those records or make the therapist testify? I also hate to say it but the kids saw him do it too, you need to mention that. When my parents divorced I was taken into a room by someone neutral ( I think mediators) and asked some questions.

      Also it may be possible to arrange a third party supervise or take the kids from your place to his once you get custody sorted. Mention that to your lawyer.

      Good job with the e-mail, but I’d be tempted to set up a new account all the same for stuff going forward.

    6. Bea W

      Based on what you wrote last week, I’m not surprised he has been abusive. Non-abusive people just don’t act the way you described. I’m glad you were referred to victim services. Also look-up groups that assist people trying to leave abusive relationships. They can offer both practical advice/help and emotional support. It helps talk to other people who have been there. I found an online group years ago when I was in an emotionally abusive and contolling relationship. Just talking to other people who were in the same boat or had gotten out was a huge help and kept me sane.

    7. Anon for this one

      Marie C, I am so, so sorry you are going through this. My thoughts are with you.

      My father was abusive towards myself, a brother, and my mother. For a short time, all 6 kids and my mother had to live at an abuse shelter. I would suggest that you contact one to find out how to navigate your divorce – they can direct you to a lot of good resources and might have other helpful information for you.

      I read your post and I’m thinking – this guy is someone you absolutely CAN NOT trust. You can’t mediate with him, you can’t take him at his word and hope for the best. This man is a manipulator and deceitful. Absolutely meet with a lawyer as soon as possible. Go to the friend’s home with someone you trust (preferably a male family member or friend) and demand to see your children – but stay calm so that the children are not extremely alarmed and upset. If the friend/husband refuses, call the police. It may be a civil matter, but a. the children are not in their original home but staying with a friend that you may not know or trust, and b. there will be a police report on the matter, which will help you in your custody hearing (just make sure you are calm throughout this). If you do NOT go there, the husband may state that you don’t care because he’s had the kids for x amount of time and you haven’t tried to see or get them back.

      When my parents eventually divorced, my dad went nuts. My mom moved out because she knew she couldn’t afford the house payment, which was the beginning of a few bad choices. She had not spoken to a lawyer then. Because he had the house and my mom was working odd hours without extra bedrooms, the judge awarded temporary primary custody to my father and my mom was to find alternate employment/living arrangements. During this time, my dad refused to allow my siblings to see my mom. He decided she had an affair because he found out she went on a date a month after the separation, and he began calling her Evil and telling the kids they had to choose between them. He sent email after email to his adult and teenage kids and our entire extended family saying my mom was a terrible mother (she wasn’t) and that she had lied and manipulated people to think he was abusive (she didn’t), and was someone to be avoided at all costs. My mom didn’t know what to do, and being non-confrontational she decided to just ignore it. Without my mom defending herself some of her kids thought that my dad must be right (note he always framed it like “I respect you enough to be honest with you, while your mom lies and treats you like a kid”). When there was a second custody hearing, the kids asked to be placed with dad. What ensued was years of phone messages from the kids calling my mom a whore and a bitch, vandalizing her property, refusing to speak or see her, and alienation of certain siblings like myself and my brother, who understood how twisted and manipulative my dad was and had always been, but unfortunately it was a side that the younger kids had never seen yet. When I took my siblings to visit my mom, my dad turned on me and tried to get the entire extended family to hate me. Note – he’s not my biological father, but he’s been the only father I’ve known since I was about 2.

      It’s been years, and by now most people have realized that my dad is nuts and the family has been slowly putting itself back together, though we still have the youngest ‘golden child’ who hasn’t really realized it yet. My dad has been manipulating her for years though. It’s a very painful situation that almost destroyed my family. We children are close in age, and are more like friends than siblings. We were able to get through it with a lot of love and support for each other, but we are still divided with some people not wanting to be around dad and some not wanting to be around mom.

      This was my experience and may not be yours, but I wanted to detail that when a person is manipulative and willing to attack a mother in front of her children and to steal them away from her without warning, this is a person who can do untold damage to everyone around him. Based on my experience, I strongly suggest not meeting or talking to him unless there is an objective 3rd party to attest to what it said – a person like this will straight up lie and go back on any agreements. Make sure everything is court ordered – don’t do any good faith agreements. Do everything you can to find employment as soon as possible. And this is really important – make sure you do tell your children the truth about what is happening in an age-appropriate way. Don’t shield them from it, because you can bet someone like this will be trying to manipulate them with his own version of the story and they need it to be countered somehow. I’m not suggesting saying any gory details, or personally attacking him. Another thing to note – if the kids have seen their father hit you, they probably need to talk about it. That can be really, really hard for a child to deal with. I’d absolutely suggest counseling for the kids, as well as for yourself.

      I wish you the very best of luck. You will get through this and your life will be a billion-plus times better.

      1. Anon for this one

        Replying to my post because this is super important:

        Take care of you, do something you enjoy, and fall in love with yourself as much as possible. You are awesome and you WILL get through this. Your life, and your children’s lives, will be so much better. You are providing a great example as a woman and a mother. You have found the courage to take this awful, scary step. You should be proud of yourself. I’M proud of you!

  6. danr

    Those darn flash ads… solved if you use Chrome. Go to Settings/Advanced/Content settings/Plugins/Detect and run important plugins. (It’s not the default. And you should be in version 43). Now all of those automatically running ads don’t run and have a “Start arrow” to click if you want to run them. I got the hint in a PC world newsletter. I’ve been running with this setup for two days now, and haven’t had a problem… yet. I’m sure something will break at some point. It doesn’t stop the ads that use HTML 5, but those aren’t memory hogs.

  7. manomanon

    I am trying to turn my very, very small, very overfull bedroom into someplace relaxing (and slightly more grownup)but I’m at a loss. I’ve had it for two years and it’s pretty much exploding with everything I accumulated during half a dozen moves post college. My goal is two fold-get rid of junk and neaten what’s left while turning my bedroom into someplace relaxing. Can anyone point to a good blog or website about re-doing while not necessarily renovating space? My usual google skills are failing miserably.

      1. Tau

        It’s probably a bad sign that I’m looking at a bunch of those going “I wish I had that much space!”, isn’t it…

        (I’m moving into a tiny 1-bed studio in about a month. I’m renting and it’s furnished, so I can’t do much about how it’s set up – the bed particularly frustrates me, double bed in a really impractical space that basically takes up half the bedroom/living area. Have been wracking my brain to figure out storage – sadly a bunch of the tips on that site assume you either own or have a really lenient landlord, there’s no way in hell I’d be able to put up shelves – I guess we’ll see how it goes when I move in.)

    1. salad fingers

      Do you have all of the furniture you need? I know that my transition from sort of in shambles college style bedroom to slightly more adult bedroom necessitated getting a more cohesive and functional bedroom furniture set. And are you living with roommates? Is your bedroom the space you keep all of your thing in, or do you have free reign over a living room, dining room, etc. That was another thing I had to get used to. Now, all of the books aren’t stacked in piles in your bedroom, they go in a bookshelf in the living room. Your art supplies can go in the office, or a carved out space in another room, if there isn’t space for them in the bedroom. Etc, etc.

      Oh, and I love Apartment Therapy for inspiration, and from a quick google they seem to have some before and after features that are bedroom specific.

      Also, Philip K Dick’s concept of kipple was weirdly transformative for me. Kipple is the sort of junk that seems to multiply exponentially when you take your eye off it. It’s scraps of note paper, junk mail, rubber bands, rubber bands — basically extraneous garbage that gladly takes over your space if you let it. BF and I now have a designated kipple containment area (a small table near the door) that gets dealt with on a regular basis.

      1. manomanon

        Yes and no on the furniture- I don’t have a dresser because my room is really small and I can’t even figure out how to get that tiny ikea one into the space. I have a 3×3 set of cubbies I use for sweaters and workout gear, a corner desk which is really helpful though potentially too large and my double bed.
        In theory I have the rest of our house for storage but my roommate hates having personal things (or at least my personal things) in the common areas. I’ve made progress over the last few years in getting more of my stuff into the house itself but it’s been much slower than I would like.
        I love the kipple concept- things like that are definitely an issue- I’ve always just thrown that stuff in a box under my desk to deal with once a month but it never seems to stop growing- definitely something I’m going to continue exploring.

        1. fposte

          It sounds really obvious, but I’m only just learning the value of “a place for everything”–a lot of my clutter of the kipple kind (I love the word, though I think it should be something edible) is from not knowing where this stuff should go. When I’m organizing now, I often ask myself out loud, “This is a [thing]–where do I put [things]?” and if there’s no answer, I’ll declaim one: “[Things] go in the little box on the desk.”

        2. Colette

          What about a dresser or similar furniture outside your room somewhere if there space? That would give you more space but still keep your stuff out of your roommate’s line of sight?

        3. IT Squirrel

          Can you lift the bed off the floor and gain space underneath for storage?

          I love reading Ikea Hackers (you can find it via Google/other search engine) – loads of good ideas on there for storage, even if you don’t use Ikea bits to do it. Including several for lifting beds or making storage in elsewhere in tiny rooms.

        4. Natalie

          If you have the funds, a captains bed sounds like it would be a good option. ( if you’re not familiar, those are the beds with drawers built into the frame below the mattress)

          Alternatively, I saw a great DYI project recently: put casters on the bottom of a drawer, and voila, wheeled storage thing that can under your bed but still look nice from the outside.

          1. Hellanon

            Oooh, I like that!

            I’m a big fan of underbed storage – my bedrooms have closets suitable for people who owned three dresses and a cloak in 1909, but not much of anything else. So I have to do a closet switch twice a year – the woolens go into summer storage & the linens into winter storage, because there just isn’t room for everything in my 3′ wide closet. You can even get things that lift your bed 6″ off the floor, which will give you room for substantial boxes (or drawers) underneath…

      2. RG

        When I was putting together my bookshelf, it suddenly occurred to me that maybe I should put it in the living room, not the bedroom. Maybe one day I’ll move it.

    2. katamia

      I have a friend who swears by Unf*ck Your Habitat, although I’ve never really used it myself.

    3. manomanon

      Thank you for all these tips! I love the idea of a captain’s bed but it’s out of my budget sadly. I will look into raising my bed up- hopefully that will help. I’m newly in love with unf*ck your habitat and my pinterst is trying to recover.
      Things in our common area is a touchy subject, I’m all for it and he’s adamantly against it,- thankfully we’re in the market for a new roommate so I’m hoping that dynamic changes.

      1. Natalie

        For decor, there are other small things you can do to make your bedroom more of a relaxing space. I took my blinds down (and stored them for when I move) and hung curtains with a tension rod. You can get both cheap at ikea if you have that nearby. Art is also nice. Use that sticky tack stuff or command hooks if you can’t leave nail holes. I like table lamps as opposed to an overhead light as well, also available cheaply from ikea.

  8. Relosa

    Going to see Eddie Izzard tonight! Eeee! Excited. Second time seeing him. There’s an early entry Q&A thing but I have no idea if I’d want to ask anything.

    1. Elkay

      Wow, enjoy! He definitely falls into the category of “greatest comedians” when he’s on form. I watched Definite Article a few weeks ago for the first time in ages and loved it just as much as I always did.

      1. fposte

        The children playing in the orchestra bit from that is one of my favorite moments in comedy ever.

          1. fposte

            I almost just posted Weasel! Weasel! I think that was the most incapacitated I have ever been from comedy.

      2. Relosa

        Dressed to Kill is the show that introduced me to his standup, always my favorite for that reason.

      1. Relosa

        It was wonderful! Turns out the Q&A thing was specifically just for us in the nosebleeds :) He spent nearly an hour just hanging out and talking and answering questions about his work and political campaign and stuff. It was awesome. The show was really excellent – I thought some of the redux bits about revisiting the Deathstar Canteen and about his transvestism and coming out would fall flat but they were wonderful. The whole show was great, he really is a very unique comic!

        1. nep

          Oh, man — that opportunity to chat with him sounds terrific. How great that he did that. Glad you had a great time.

          1. Relosa

            I wish I could post photos here because I was literally front row for the Q&A. He’s a smart guy, for sure. Really ambitious – has the whole next few years planned out in order to get a chance at public office in 2020. Apparently he decided to start doing those instead of VIP meet and greets or signing appearances because it’s more personable, since he’ll be moving out of comedy for awhile and into politics and wants to actually be transparent and ‘real’ to his constituents (since he hasn’t officially launched a campaign yet I’ll give benefit of the doubt that he meant it ;)

  9. My house is dark and my pots are cold

    Saw a really good horror movie: It Follows. Not a big budget production; it has a very old school, early John Carpenter feel to it, and avoids most / all of the modern tropes (ie, there’s no ‘found footage’, no ‘cat scares’, etc). Extremely atmospheric – a lot of it appeared to have been filmed in some of the sadder parts of Detroit, which made it quite unsettling. I’ve seen a lot of horror films, and most of them are (IMHO) crap. But It Follows was exceptional and thought-provoking. And – desensitized as I am after all this time – it creeped me out; no mean feat, that.

    Also, speaking of ‘atmospheric’ movies: Ex Machina was quite good. It’s rather cerebral and moves at a slow pace – I find I have to be in just the right kind of mood to be able to watch this kind of film – but it was worthwhile. The soundtrack and audio design work is responsible for a lot of how this movie ‘feels’, so try to watch it somewhere that has a really good sound system (and crank it up, too).

    1. Relosa

      I loved It Follows! I also love horror but hate that it is just so awful these days. I’m glad that the industry is finally picking up on that and attempting to remedy the situation.

      That being said, I’m one of those people that really loved Insidious and I am stupid excited to see it next week.

    2. katamia

      Oh, I really want to see It Follows. I’m a bit of a wimp (if I were smart, I would never, ever watch horror movies), but even a lot of the ones that come out these days don’t do much for me, or if they start out good, they ruin it by the end. *shakes angry fist at Sinister*

    3. salad fingers

      Haven’t seen either of these yet, but since we’re on the topic of scary movies — did you like The Babadook? I’m no a horror connoisseur but I really enjoyed this one.

      1. Liz in a Library

        Oh, I thought it was just wonderful. Essie Davis was fantastic, the child actor was compelling in exactly the way he was meant to be. Unexpected, and I encourage those who haven’t seen it to go in knowing as little as possible.

    4. zora

      I really liked Ex Machina. More than I thought I would. And it really kept surprising me! I mean, WHA!!????

    5. Steve G

      Thanks for the tips. I love a good “atmospheric” horror without all of the unnecessary gore and special effects.

    6. Act Casual

      Is “It Follows” gory at all? I’ve been wanting to see it but I prefer the suspenseful horror to gore.

      1. My house is dark and my pots are cold

        I think you’d be okay with this. It’s a horror movie based on sexuality, but there’s surprisingly little sex, blood, violence, or nudity shown on screen. There is a brief scene near the beginning with a dead body that wasn’t so much ‘gory’ as ‘visceral’ – but I was literally more disturbed by some of the scenes where they were simply driving down the street (seriously).

    7. Elizabeth West

      I’ve been interested in these two. I’ll probably wait for DVD. Nothing scares me anymore but it’s nice to know they are decent.
      I watched The Babadook and while it wasn’t scary, I actually liked the story quite a bit.

      1. My house is dark and my pots are cold

        > Nothing scares me anymore …

        *chuckle* I’ll be very interested in what you think of it when you see it. I’m as susceptible to a “cat jump” scare as anyone, and there are things that are just gross / gory / in bad taste that will make me go “Ewww…” But not a lot gets through my filter anymore to tap into that really primal feeling of scary-creepy-disturbing. But It Follows did.

        It’s kinda late to try to start a thread, but … what movies have AAM readers found especially scary or creepy? Here’s my list, in addition to It Follows:

        Maniac (original version)
        The Descent
        The Entity
        “Happiness in Slavery” music video by Nine Inch Nails

        These are all pretty hard-core – you have been warned.

        1. Elizabeth West

          The Descent was disturbing, but I can’t say it scared me. Blood and gore don’t bother me in the least–if they did, I wouldn’t be such a Walking Dead fan. :D

          Movies that creeped / scared me and still do are few and far between, because I’ve seen so many and I’m wise to their tricks. And a boo scare isn’t scary–that’s a startle. I’m talking about ones where I can’t think about them at night when all alone. They include the following:

          The Haunting (1963)
          The Exorcist III (trust me)
          John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982)
          Alien (seriously, I had nightmares about that thing for YEARS)
          –Parts of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (trivia: I met Gunnar Hansen, aka Leatherface, at a horror con once and he was the nicest dude ever LOL)

          Halloweenused to still scare me, but I’ve seen it so many times now I’m inured to it.

          That’s basically all I can think of right now.

          1. Stephanie

            I still find the piano line from Halloween unsettling. I forgot where I was (a store, I believe) and that theme was playing as background music. It was eerie.

            1. Act Casual

              Me too! I watched Halloween as a kid during a slumber party, along with Friday the 13th, Poltergeist and Nightmare on Elm Street, and just thinking about any of those movies is unsettling now.

          2. My house is dark and my pots are cold

            > The Exorcist III

            Yes, I need to see this. The name has come up before; I need to find out what the fuss is about :) If I recall correctly, there’s one scene in particular, I don’t know what it is – but I’ll know it when I see it.

            I loved Alien, but I didn’t find it very scary. But also I was already familiar with H. R. Giger’s work so my attitude was more like “wow, I love seeing this stuff in a movie”.

            1. Elizabeth West

              Yes, you will know it when you see it. o_O And it’s one of those things I can’t think about at night.

              It’s loosely based on Blatty’s book Legion, which is kind of a sequel to The Exorcist and deals mainly with the detective character, William Kinderman. What I like about it is that it has a stellar cast (George C. Scott, Brad Dourif, Jason Miller, Viveca Lindfors, Ed Flanders, etc.) and it actually has a decent story.

              DO NOT watch the second film–it is a piece of utter crap. Worst movie I’ve ever seen. Even Richard Burton can’t save it.

              The main reason my list is so short is that stuff I watched as a kid that scared me doesn’t scare me now, and I don’t count those things. I’m sure I’m leaving out something, but I haven’t remembered any others yet.

          3. Act Casual

            Seconding Exorcist III. I can still see “that” scene in my mind. The Ring creeped me out, mostly because of a bunch of spooky stuff happening after I watched it. Harper’s Ferry was a good TV series, suspenseful and creepy but not too gory. Also seconding Alien, SO good.

            1. Relosa

              For real – agreed. The kind of crazy it takes to be that character is really hard to do – it’s almost, but not quite, comical yet so dramatic. I thought a lot of Misery in TWD with Carol and Lizzie – “She can’t be around people.”

        2. Elsajeni

          I am scared of everything, so my opinions aren’t terribly useful on this one. But The Descent is one of mine, too, and I also still think about that scene in The Grudge where she’s washing her hair and the little ghost hand– aaaagh agh agh I don’t even want to talk about it.

        3. Alison Hendrix

          I hardly get into “physical” horror anymore, I’m more into psychological thriller/horror.

          That said – any episode from Black Mirror – disturbing. But I like it because it makes me think even after the show is over. Dammit when are they putting out a new episode?

      2. Graciosa

        Ex Machina was surprisingly frightening in a fairly intellectual way (as opposed to blood and gore, which I don’t care for).

        The only film that ever gave me nightmares was Heavenly Creatures, and it contains very little blood and some very beautiful filming. I’m more likely to be frightened by a terrifying idea than colored corn syrup.

    8. Graciosa

      Ex Machina was very well done. I left the theater and started calling people to tell them about it, which I can’t recall ever doing before.

      I was also impressed at how well they did with a small cast and fairly limited set. It was a great reminder (in the midst of summer blockbuster season!) that you don’t actually need a $200M+ special effects budget to make a really good movie.

  10. fposte

    I’m not the horse person I once was, and there’s a lot to be said about the problems in racing, but I’m still going to watch the Belmont today. I’ve seen three Triple Crown winners in my lifetime and I don’t want to miss it if there’s another one.

        1. fposte

          Argh. Google corrected for my time zone without telling me. It’s *6*:50 Eastern–sorry.

          1. Mimmy

            I forgot that was this weekend!! This is maybe the second or third year there’s been the potential for a triple crown winner. *Fingers and toes crossed*!!!

        1. De Minimis

          My parents and I went to the casino here [they have an OTB.]

          First time I’ve ever bet on horses…had a ball! Ended up breaking even.

          The place where I’m interviewing next week is very close to the local racetrack….

    1. Mimmy

      This is the one time I actually give a darn about horse racing, lol. We set the DVR to record that particular race to watch after the news. But wouldn’t you know it, the news announced the winner. Kinda ruined it, but still pretty darn awesome to see the crowd just going nuts and all the Facebook posts afterwards.

  11. Connie-Lynne

    You guys! It’s been a banner week for my family!

    My baby brother won $80,000 on a TV quiz show, we are all super proud of him.

    Then, I got my tutorial accepted to the big Systems Engineering conference in November!

    I just had to share! Such a great week!!!

      1. Connie-Lynne

        We did! My brother is investing most of it for the baby’s future, but he’s gonna spend a little bit on taking the whole family on a vacation.

      2. Connie-Lynne

        Oh, and the husband and I celebrated by going out to see Puddles Pity Party live with a bunch of friends. I mean, we had planned to go anyway but it still felt extra celebratory!

      1. Connie-Lynne

        KarenT, yes! My brother was Adam, the last guy on who won money. Richard, the guy who beat him, is also a friend.

          1. Connie-Lynne

            Thank you! That whole goofy dancing thing … that’s so very who he is. It was so much fun for us to see him shine on teevee.

  12. Malissa

    I finally had success bra shopping. The lady at Dillard’s was awesome and I fell in love with the Chantelle bras. I almost asked to wear it out of the store. I was also wearing a very wrong size previously. So if any of the other well endowed readers out there are still having issues finding something, try Dillard’s.

    1. Stephanie

      Dillard’s and Chantelle are both great. I also like Nordstrom, too. I also had a similar revelation (uh, I was wearing way too small of a cup size and didn’t believe my actual cup size until I tried it on).

      1. Malissa

        I’d have to come see you for a Nordstrom’s. turns out I wear a 36 H. The lady was good! She man handled my boobs until the fit was right. I’ve never been happier being felt up by a stranger.

        1. The IT Manager

          Awesome! I actually want that. Last time I tried buying bras at a fancy lingerie store I ended up with two moderately expensive bras I do wore only a couple of times because despite what the saleslady said they are not the right size.

      2. 30DD Anon

        I had luck with Nordstrom’s too. I knew I was wearing the wrong size, but not exactly how wrong – went from a 32C to a 30DD. I still need to fully replace all my incorrect bras, though. It’s kinda expensive but my god the difference.

        Side note: Men do not understand bra sizes. I told my boyfriend when I got measured that I was a 30DD and he was like, “Not to question you, because they’re your boobs, but are you sure? *skeptical look*” Umm, yes, babe, I’m sure.

        1. anonymous boobs

          Yep. I’m now a 32DD. I’m a fairly small person, and I don’t look all that well endowed, but that’s what my bra size is.

          1. Dan

            I dunno. She went to a smaller band with a larger cup.

            See? I understand bra sizes ;)

        2. Marcela

          I am a woman, and I DO NOT understand bra sizes. They make no sense. My husband does. And for that reason, I refused to buy bras for several years, until they were just rags. And then I discovered Warner’s wirefree bras. I still don’t get sizes, but at least I’m happy.

        3. ITPuffNStuff

          without some source of information, why would men understand bra sizes? given the number of women here expressing that they have worn the wrong size, sometimes for years — expecting a man to understand bra sizes with zero information upon which to build that understanding seems more than slightly unrealistic.

          1. Natalie

            Plus there’s more issues than just size. The cut of the cups and gore and layout of the straps makes a big difference even within the same size.

    2. Sparrow

      That’s great! It’s so nice when you find the right bra size. It really makes a difference.

    3. Pennalynn Lott

      I went for a bra fitting three weeks ago for the first time in my life. I had been wearing a 40D, but it turns out I’m really a 44DDD. No *wonder* bras had been so freaking uncomfortable! I was able to get three underwire bras that are actually a joy to wear. The fitter made me try every single one on, even though they were the same model from the same manufacturer, which was a good thing because one of the colors I wanted was cut different and didn’t fit like the others. I went to a local shop that will customize the bras for free, if you can’t find something off the shelf that works. It was a really great experience.

    4. Mimmy

      Ahh the joys of bra shopping! *sarcasm* Since getting married, I’ve gone from not having much to becoming well-endowed. Oyy.

      Actually, I think it’s very common to be wearing the wrong size–I know I was up until about a year or two ago–and I think it’s because sizing is complex, and no one teaches you these things (at least I’ve never been taught).

      1. Stephanie

        That was pretty funny. I have the same lacy Wacaol one she tried on at Nordstrom. So does my mother. I think it’s just the default they sell to every woman over a certain size.

      2. Malissa

        That is funny. I read that the other day and it’s what gave me the idea to head to Dillard’s. And I did the same thing as her! Down to fitting with the lacy Wacoal and wanting to walk out in the Chantelle.

      3. Connie-Lynne

        I have a GF who’s that size and she’s had good luck at Soma, which is great, because I’m a 42F, and I can *also* find non-mail-order stuff that fits in their stores.

        As long as we’re making recommendations, in addition to Soma, which is a chain, in SoCal there’s “Wizard of Bras” and Jeannette Bras (owned by the woman who played Vasquez in Aliens). In the Bay Area I’ve been hearing great things about A Revelation in Fit over in Oakland.

      4. More anon boobs

        If you’re sure of your size, I recommend ordering a HUGE number of bras from a place like figleaves. I’ve been able to order at the beginning of my cc’s billing cycle, get them in the middle, and have the return processed before the billing cycle is over. It means I’m out a bit of money with shipping, but not that much.

        (I am also a size that almost no one carries on the opposite end: 28F. No one, I mean no one, carries 28 band sizes, let alone with an F cup. When I lived elsewhere, there was a GREAT shop that would order stuff & return stuff for me, but in their absence, I’ve resorted to the internet. Also, on being a wonky size: a while ago someone on this site recommended eshakti for dresses and OMG. DRESSES THAT FIT MY BOOBS! AND WAIST! Life changing.)

        1. My house is dark and my pots are cold

          Yeah – part of the entire “men don’t understand bras” thing: some years ago there was an episode of _Married With Children_ where Peg’s bra manufacturer was going out of business, and it was *really important* that she get her hands on as many bras as possible. I was like *what?* A woman at work explained it to me the next day.

        2. littlemoose

          Figleaves and Bare Necessities are both great for good selections of less common bra sizes. I got fitted at a local bra boutique last year (like you all, surprised at how much larger the cup size was in a good-fitting bra). I bought a few bras then and have supplemented my wardrobe with bras from the same manufacturer (Freya) via the aforementioned websites. Just be sure that you don’t mix up U.S./UK sizing; an item’s page should tell you how it’s sized.

        3. Blue_eyes

          I do the same thing with barenecessities. I just order a bunch and try them, and then order more of whatever works. I have pretty much the same problem with a 34F. Most brands don’t make an F cup until you get to “plus” band sizes, which start at 36.

      5. No Longer Passing By

        Hilarious article. Especially the part re breaking the bra’s spirut

      6. Sunflower

        Hilarious. Part of the problem at VS is they only make bras up to a certain size. They only recently started carrying DDD. When I worked at VS for one wonderful summer, they insisted I was a 36 but i found them to not be supportive. Then I went down to 34. Eventually I tried a 32 and was like yes this is it!!

    5. skyline

      Yay for shopping success! I’ve had good luck at Nordstrom’s since they carry a wider range of sizes. Once I found a style that worked for me, I was able to look for deals online. And yes, I was making the classic mistake of wearing too large a band and too small a cup. Not having my bra’s straps fall down all the time has been a revelation.

    6. Clever Name

      Yes. A good bra will change your life. There seems to be this idea that a D cup or larger equates to huge porn star boobs. It doesn’t. The cup size merely reflects the difference between your band size and your breast volume. I think many women are wearing bands way too large because they “can’t” be a D or DD or whatever. All the support comes from the band. If it’s too big, you get no support. Then you’re headed to droopsville.

      1. Lady Bug

        Yes, I completely agree that there is a perception of porn star boobs at D and up! I’ve measured myself and I’m supposedly a DD, but they are not that big. I should get professionally measured so I actually believe it.

      2. SevenSixOne

        ” I think many women are wearing bands way too large because they “can’t” be a D or DD or whatever. ”

        And because many mainstream brands don’t make anything larger than D or DD. I resisted the idea that I needed a G/H cup from about age 15-27 because I’d never seen one at a store, so I just assumed those sizes were for women with figures like Jessica Rabbit, which I definitely am not.

      3. Mimmy

        Ahh I didn’t realize it’s the BAND that provides support. You learn something new every day! :)

      4. Blue_eyes

        Exactly. And the cup sizes are scaled to the band sizes so a 32D is much smaller than a 40D.

    7. Mallory Janis Ian

      I do all my bra shopping at Dillard’s. They are so helpful in getting the right fit, especially helpful for us well-endowed folks. And now that I’ve been going there for a long time, the sales woman always remembers my size and tastes, and she gets a few bras out for me without me having to ask.

    8. Graciosa

      I will add that I do NOT recommend Victoria’s Secret for bra shopping. I went to one of their “trained specialists” for sizing and she was totally useless.

      She did contribute some bizarre comments about why I should be happy about a larger cup size to please my man – excuse me? I wasn’t hearing any complaints before and my preference is to have blouses hang well for work – but why are you trying to tell me how to feel about my body?

      So I figured I got a dud salesperson and tried again at a different store, with the same lack of results (although thankfully not the same comments).

      1. SevenSixOne

        I’ve been professionally fitted twice, and it was an awful experience both times. I don’t think I’ve ever felt worse about my body than I did after I stripped to the waist and let a stranger look and feel me all over while as talked to me in detail about my “problem areas.” Ugh, never again.

        1. ismis

          I go here to get clothes for my 10HH (30HH) boobs – http://www.bravissimo.com/pepperberry/

          I have enlisted friends to help me measure. You can do it over a vest top. It’s just too hard to keep the tape straight if you’re doing it yourself! Then order a few different sizes online from a shop that let’s you do returns easily.

  13. Victoria, Please

    I love AAM completely and utterly and am fully loyal! ;-) But I’ve run out of archives! I know, how is that possible. But anyway, suggestions for other fun addictive blogs about topics like teaching, relationships, environmental issues, home care, etc.?

    I already know about Carolyn Hax and Captain Awkward.

    1. Ask a Manager Post author

      If you’ve been through Carolyn Hax’s whole archive of columns, have you been through her whole archive of weekly chats? There’s lots of reading material in there if not.

      Also: Tomato Nation’s The Vine column. It’s less advice-y than it used to be, but if you go back in the (huge) archives, you’ll find lots. Starts here and goes on basically forever:

      1. AvonLady Barksdale

        I used to go through Carolyn’s chats (from 1998-on) at least once a year. It was my very favorite rabbit hole. Sadly for me, I have a very good memory, so after about four years it got to be too much repetition. Then I found AAM and all was right in the world. :)

    2. katamia

      Advice columns specifically: Dear Abby had/should still have lots of archives up at dearabby.com. There’s Dear Prudence at Slate, who I don’t like as much, but she gets more “WTH?” letters than Carolyn Hax and Dear Abby. There’s Cary Tennis, who’s currently at carytennis.com but also has archives at Salon. There’s Margo Howard (www.wowowow.com/category/dear-margo/), who’s no longer active but has some interesting letters as well. (She says she used to be Dear Prudence, but Prudence at Slate is Emily Yoffe now, so there’s no overlap). There’s Ask Amy, too, but she’s a little hard to find because she doesn’t really have good online archives (that I’ve found).

      There’s also That Bad Advice on Tumblr (thatbadadvice.tumblr.com/), which is sometimes an advice column and sometimes snarks at columns written by other people.

      Wow, I know too much about advice columns. Oof.

      1. zora

        I can’t read Ask Amy any more after she went off on an “anti-welfare” rant on some woman without actually answering her damn question. Barf.

        I like Ask Polly a lot more anyway.

        1. katamia

          Yeah, Ask Amy is not very good IMO, although she gives slightly more Really Good Answers and slightly fewer Really Bad Answers than Prudie does. I don’t read Ask Amy every day because her column is a little more difficult to find, though, so it’s entirely possible I’ve missed a lot of the really awful stuff. Was the anti-welfare rant recent?

          1. zora

            no, it was a couple of years ago. I have refused to even look at her since. I don’t like Prudie either, though, I agree.

        2. Connie-Lynne

          If you’re looking for more awesome stuff by Heather Havrilesky (“Ask Polly,”), you could do worse than to dig up her old Polly Esther columns from Suck.com in the internet archive. (NB — be *sure* to use archive.org and don’t go directly to suck.com; it’s been owned by sex-site domain squatters since Suck released their domain ownership in late 2005. Link in a reply).

    3. fposte

      Added to the list, there’s Ask Polly at The Awl and now at New York magazine online, which is by Heather Havrilesky (I think I heard about it here first, in fact); I love those. Additionally, if you like some edge and arrogance, Dear Coquette can be worth a read.

      1. fposte

        That sounds like I don’t like Dear Coquette, now that I look at it, and I do. But she takes no prisoners.

      2. Pennalynn Lott

        Curse you, fposte! I just spent almost the entire weekend cruising Dear Coquette’s archives. :-D

    4. Christy

      Savage Love is good sex advice, with like 15 years of archives. I used to read Dear Wendy (relationship advice) but haven’t in about a year–I’d browse her older archives.

      1. Mallory Janis Ian

        I love Miss Manners, too; her prim responses with a little bit of edge always make me laugh.

      2. StudentA

        I’ve always thought Miss Manners advice was passive-aggressive or tit-for-tat-ty at times. I can’t stand those two types of responses.

    5. StudentA

      Does that mean you’ve read the entire AAM blog from start to finish? If so, that is beyond impressive! I am actually “in the process” of doing so, but I’ve been painfully slow at it lately, and have a loooonnggg way to go.

      1. Ask a Manager Post author

        Later this month the site is going to hit 5,000 posts, so it is A Lot.

        I am always delighted when I discover a new site that I like that has huge archives because it means tons of new reading material, but even to me this feels rather large.

        1. BRR

          I discovered your site when I was unemployed after being fired from my first job. In addition to the much needed advice it provided a large amount of reading material :).

  14. cuppa

    Has anyone used Thred Up or Twice (or another online consignment website)? Thoughts?

    1. Noah

      I’ve had good luck with Twice. The clothes were as described and I had a 40% off coupon. The worst part is looking through everything, but thankfully you can sort by size and brand to narrow it down a bit.

    2. sprinkles!

      I use Poshmark to sell items. If you’ve not hear of it, it’s an app that acts like a consignment store. A friend turned me on to it a few months ago. It’s fantastic. I’ve had good success so far.

    3. CheeryO

      I sold some clothes to Twice once, and I probably won’t bother doing it again. I thought that they really low balled me, and they claimed that one of my pairs of designer jeans had a rip and couldn’t be accepted, even though I inspected everything super carefully ahead of time and knew that wasn’t the case. I would rather just dump stuff at Salvation Army and be done with it.

  15. El Gato Café con Leche

    I need advice about dealing with in laws. My FIL is coming to our place next month, and he is the most misogynistic and classist guy I’ve ever met. He seems to believe he swallowed THE TRUTH, so it is his duty to teach us how to live, think and behave.

    He once told my husband to make me pregnant so I had something useful to do. I had a job and he knew it. He also said that people working in domestic service is stupid, knowing my family did it for a living. He told us poor people get sick because “they are depressed”. And he is anti-vaccines and most modern medicine. He has this habit of deciding we are going to travel one night before. His girlfriends are the one packing at 2am, while he sleeps. Of cours, the following morning he snaps at everybody who is sleepy, calling them lazy. In my defense, the last time he tried that, telling us at 11pm that we were going to leave to the other extreme of Spain next morning at 8 am, I said “have a safe trip” and refused the leave my bedroom until he was gone. He is so used to be Father and Boss that he simply cannot see I do not have respect for him.

    My question is, how do you (the ones with terrible in-laws) keep calm in these circumstances? I do not want to freak out or be really angry, but it seems all I can to is being obsessed about the previous crashes I had with him. Help, please?

    1. Elkay

      Is your husband onside? If so get him to deal with FIL. I’m bad I don’t keep calm, actually me not keeping calm may be what’s prevented them visiting for a while.

    2. thisit

      this is really your husband’s ball, isn’t it? i mean i tell my FIL to stuff it all the time, but mostly i expect my husband to deal with it.

    3. Sunflower

      I would refuse to talk to you FIL. Not sure how much your husband knows about your feelings and/or his feelings about it but I would make it clear to him that you do not like his father and if he is going to be staying with you, you will nor be speaking or doing activities with FIL. As far as you’re concerned, he’s not even in the house.

      1. El Gato Café con Leche

        Yup. I’m hoping she’ll read this and tell me how to avoid a murder.

          1. El Gato Café con Leche

            Oooh, I haven’t considered that! I like it and I’m sure my MIL will be happy too :D

            1. the gold digger

              My sister and I had this conversation in a yet-to-be published GD post, although it was about Primo’s brother and not his dad. The only reason it’s not about my FIL is my sister is a nurse practitioner and she and I both know how to look up the life stats on an 81 year old alcoholic with stage 2 cancer. However, the conversation below can easily be applied to a FIL. It’s just a matter of weighing the risks and the benefits.

              My sister: These are times you suck it up for your husbands sake. Or you could kill off the brother.

              Me: How long would i be in prison do you think ?

              Sister: Too much and I’m not sure how good you look in Orange.

              Me: I actually look good in orange

              Sister: Then u don’t have much to lose.

              (PS If you do go with murder, may I suggest castor beans? Nobody ever seems to look for them as a cause of death and apparently, it looks like natural death.)

              1. El Gato Café con Leche

                I’ve had this exact conversation with my brother about my FIL. Only talking about the black and white stripes uniform.

              2. fposte

                They’re quite popular as a decorative plant, in fact–my neighbor down the street has one and I always wonder if there’s a secret reason.

                1. Mallory Janis Ian

                  Ha, my husband has castor beans in his garden because he loves to grow things he hasn’t tried growing before, and they’re a striking plant. He also has amaranth, salsify, and a bunch of other stuff that I don’t quite know what to do with. Maybe I should save some castor beans in case anyone ever crosses me.

    4. El Gato Café con Leche

      My husband is on my side, while his father is not in the room. I do not mean with this that he agrees with him, because he doesn’t, but he doesn’t say anything either. He has told me that his father is old and he is not going to change, so what’s the point of talking to him.

      So I need to cope, because that’s the only thing I can do. I can’t refuse to host him, and there is no place where I can stay while he is here, as we just moved from the East Cost, so we do not have friends here yet.

      1. Elkay

        If you’re happy for him to be in the house without you being there then book yourself a few days in a hotel while he’s staying.

      2. thisit

        hmm. that’s between your husband and you, but that would not fly in my house. if my guests don’t behave, they get to leave. it sounds harsh, but honestly, people will behave the way you let them, and stop their nonsense when there are real consequences (like limited contact).

        at minimum, though, don’t engage. no responding to his comments, noncommittal murmuring when asked a direct question, lots of changing the subject, leaving the room. but your husband needs to be on the same page.

        1. El Gato Café con Leche

          I should say, in my husband’s defense, that most of the episodes have happened when we were visiting our country, in the other hemisphere. Most of the interaction I’ve had with my FIL has been in my MIL’s place (they are divorced) or in his house, not in mine. Only the “we are traveling tomorrow” thing happened in our place when he was visiting, although I’ve seen him doing the same thing at his home. I guess this is what makes things more difficult: when I’m the guest I can’t say a thing and maybe he thinks I’m accepting his idiocy, while I’m just keeping quiet because that how I was taught to behave in other people’s houses.

          “Don’t engage” is very difficult :-/

          1. Observer

            Don’t engage is difficult, but it’s pretty much the only way to stay sane. It will be easier if you also decide that you are not going to do anything that doesn’t work for you. So you prepare the meals you were planning, and if doesn’t like it, too bad. If you need to go the doctor, you go – don’t even open the topic for discussion. He “decides” you are traveling tomorrow – you just don’t go. etc.

          2. Connie-Lynne

            Honestly, it sounds like you did the right thing by refusing to go on his last-minute trip.

            My MIL is like this, right down to the overplanned, exhausting, horrible slogs of trips through places. Although, I have it lucky, because she flat-out refuses any invitation to come to my house to visit. Although it’s super rude of her, in the end, I kind of win because it means I get 50% less dealing with her.

            Anyway. The last few times I’ve had to visit her, I pre-gamed with my husband about ways I needed him to support me. The biggest things are taking control of all the ways she tries to micromanage me — and everyone. So, in broad terms, I do not have to eat awful food, regardless of how inexpensive the horrible stuff is (3-day-old microwaved scrambled eggs, eugh), I get to sleep when I want to (she wakes up at 5am Kentucky time and considers me lazy for sleeping until 8am CA time), and I do not have to go on any excursions I don’t want to (no, a long hike with no water in the cold while my arthritis is acting up doesn’t sound like fun, you all go have fun while I nap!).

            It sounds like you did the same thing when you refused to go on the last minute trip. It’s so incredibly freeing when you know you can say “you go have fun doing that, I’m an adult who can occupy herself for a while!” and have someone else who can say “yep! That’s what CL’s gonna do! You have fun, baby” or even “want me to stick around with you today? We are on vacation, after all.”

            Just keep sticking to your guns, and knowing you don’t have to do everything he says. Even in his house, you aren’t being rude if you occasionally “need a nap,” “have to finish up some work stuff,” “need to go for a run” or “would like to cook dinner for the family” or whatever coping mechanism you need.

            1. El Gato Café con Leche

              It’s very good what you say about the ways your husband supports you. I never thought mine is supporting me when he says I don’t have to go to my FIL’s place when in our country, or when he reminds him that I’m sleeping at 10 am. Or when he makes obvious that I’m not going to excursions that last more than a couple of hours, without asking me because he knows I don’t want to. Or when he emphasizes I’m not going to any water activity, period. Or when he says I can talk back and he won’t be offended or anything like that (it’s just me who can’t).

              You know what’s funny? My husband hated the last-minute trip. He went willingly and thinking it was going to be a great trip. But every night, for two weeks, he called me to rant about one thing or the other his father made him do it (for example, going to a theater function, in another language, where he was the only one that wanted to go, only to sleep the whole function; or insisting my husband was wrong when he told him that local kitchens closed at 23:30, so they had to eat pronto, only to being unable to find food after 00:00).

              1. Connie-Lynne

                Oh! I’m glad it helped!

                Yeah, just having someone else be “CL says she’s gonna do what she’s gonna do, and that is OK by me” really helps. Because the thing that super-stresses me out is the idea that her judginess and micromanaging is acceptable behavior. And when my husband says I get to do what I want, it reinforces that *my* behavior is OK.

                And sometimes I do in fact ask him at night to reassure me that my reactions are OK and that her behavior isn’t. I can’t get him to agree his mom is a bad person, she’s his mom after all, but agreement that the behaviors are a problem is close enough.

                1. El Gato Café con Leche

                  I usually worry thinking I should accept his behavior. Because that’s what my narcissist mother taught me: I was to live by her rules, no matter what. And I didn’t realize until your comment, that my husband is actually telling me that’s OK to not follow his rules. He doesn’t and world keeps spinning.

                  I thank you very much for your words, I truly appreciate the new vision I have about this whole affair. The visit is not going to be easy, but I think I’ll be calmer now.

          3. thisit

            don’t go to his house. see MIL when he’s not around, etc. if husband won’t do anything (too old to change is so weaksauce, fyi), then you just limit your interactions yourself. you really don’t have to put up with it. you have options, even if they aren’t great.

      3. Natalie

        Your husband is probably right that he won’t change, but there’s a lot of options in between him changing and you all just quietly suffering. Where’s your husband on alternatives that allow FIL to continue to be his horrible self, but elsewhere?

        1. El Gato Café con Leche

          He just told me he is taking his father to Canada, so instead of 20 days, it’s going to be less than 10. Thank you guys!

      4. TheLazyB

        Can’t refuse to host him – can’t you sell putting *him* up in a hotel as terribly kind and generous thing for you to do? Humbly, of course ;/

      5. catsAreCool

        Why can’t you refuse to host him?

        This might not help, but at some point after being in Toastmasters, I realized that sometimes unpleasant/awful things can be really funny when you tell other people about them. I’ve been trying to write down these types of things when I travel (I like being at new places, but travelling to them is usually a pain), and it can make the awful things (like luggage opening and letting most of your belongings loose on the floor while you’re trying to make i tto the next plane) seem almost funny, or at least they seem kind of funny sooner.

        I guess it would be too rude to keep a notepad and pen nearby so whenever your FIL says anything awful, you write it down? And if he asks, tell him you want to make sure you remember all of this because your friends won’t believe what he just said?

        1. El Gato Café con Leche

          I can’t refuse to host him because when the situation was reversed, with my mother visiting us, I did not want him to refuse to host her. She was very critical of our lives, the way we organized everything and specially the fact that my husband cooks at home because I hate it. But she is my mother, I love her and I wanted her to see how happy we where and the beautiful place where we lived (San Sebastián, in the Spanish Basque Country). The fact that she can be annoying, disrespectful and difficult to please was something to deal with, for example never allowing her to be with him (she is known to say something nasty to people when they are alone and then denying it when confronted) and stopping most of the complains when they started. It’s funny I can be very assertive with my mom, but only with her.

      1. El Gato Café con Leche

        Ooh, I don’t know. I don’t have your great charm when telling his stories. It sounds like I’m just whining, not like I’m a cat discussing the merits of my next victim :)

        1. El Gato Café con Leche

          Plus, some stories would be very short, twitter style, such as “my FIL uses his beard to floss his teeth when he thinks nobody is looking”. Ewww.

    5. Pennalynn Lott

      When my in-laws [OK, Boyfriend’s parents, but we’ve lived together for 12 years so it’s like we’re married]. . . anyway. . . when my in-laws are in town, I make myself scarce. Lots of errands, lots of stuff to take care of, then migraines or cramps so I can just stay in my bedroom on my laptop. When I do have to interact with them, I have no problem telling his dad to stuff it when he says racist, classist things. (“Glendon, I don’t put up with racism in my house so you’ll need to knock that off while you’re here.”) Sure, it’s made things incredibly tense between us, but who the hell cares? I don’t normally allow racist, homophobic, misogynistic folks into my life so it’s no skin off my nose if they decide not to speak to me. (In fact, it’s quite a relief!)

      Just get yourself to a place where you don’t care what he thinks of you, and that when he ups his antics (and it sounds like he will) you’ll choose to simply laugh at him. Preferably to his face. :-)

      And feel free to pull the “My House, My Rules” card. Because I guarantee you that’s what he’d do if you were on his turf.

      1. the gold digger

        Just get yourself to a place where you don’t care what he thinks of you, and that when he ups his antics (and it sounds like he will) you’ll choose to simply laugh at him. Preferably to his face. :-)

        I got to that place after FIL told husband that I was a bad bacon eater. It’s liberating!

        However – if I laugh at FIL, he will

        1. take it out on MIL, making her cry by being so mean and
        2. tell my husband that he better “Get me in line” or they will disinherit him, which would MAKE ME SO HAPPY because then husband would be able to cut them out of his life without guilt.

        (They are not rich. We are not talking about millions here.)

        1. Pennalynn Lott

          #1 sucks. (Dammit, Doris should learn to laugh at him, too. Isn’t that what alcohol is for?).

          #2 would make me laugh even harder. :-D

        2. ITPuffNStuff

          feels like husband should disinherit himself — tell the parents he will not accept any inheritance from them, he expects to be treated with respect, and likewise his wife, and if they can’t accept those terms, there’s the door.

      2. El Gato Café con Leche

        Thank you. Your comment made me realize that he had pulled that card before. He allowed once one of his friends to scold me in public because I didn’t greet him the way the friend considered proper. I was 38 years old and I was reprimanded like I was a child.

        Besides, “My house, my rules” did work when I used it to ask, no, to tell him he had to shake the sand from the beach before entering my house.

        1. ITPuffNStuff

          not okay for the husband to stand by and say nothing, but also not okay for you to permit it. you were 38 and a grown adult. your husband and you both need to stand up for yourselves.

          1. ITPuffNStuff

            after re-reading my own comment above, i realize my tone came across a lot harsher than i intended. i apologize.

            what i meant to say was just that you and your husband were both adults and both equally capable and responsible for standing up for you in that situation. waiting for your husband to stand up for you gives up your power (and responsibility) to him.

            1. El Gato Café con Leche

              I didn’t mind, I know my response was wrong. It’s something I hate, being so respectful of people just because they are older, even after they show they don’t deserve it. But I don’t know yet how to change it! I’ve given small baby steps, for example in a store where an older lady pretended she didn’t see me in line, and I had to tell her I was first. But let me tell you, I was sweating like I was going to die. I thought there was going to be a lightning entering the building to punish me (joke: but when I was preparing for my first communion, I was actually told a lightning came to punish a woman who dared to commune without confessing first).

              1. Revanche

                This is a cultural issue for us too – whether or not an adult deserves respect, we’re compelled/expected to show respect and that translates into “taking whatever abuse they dish out”. I’ve slowly learned how to cope with things like adults who think they have the right to information they don’t actually have the right to – especially most recently with our awful nanny experience (I just blogged about it for tomorrow so I won’t rehash here). Suffice to say, we don’t necessarily have to be rude to get the point across but we don’t have to just silently suffer either.

              2. ITPuffNStuff

                el gato, i’m so sorry you are struggling with this. i’m there too, afraid to speak up for what i want, and even for what i legitimately need, in most circumstances. hang in there and huge congratulations for doing that super, super hard work of trying to become a stronger, more courageous, more confident you!

            1. ITPuffNStuff

              so, in your earlier mention that he “allowed once one of his friends to scold me in public”, am i interpreting the events correctly? what i’m hearing is the friend scolded you when the husband was not present, but the husband allowed it by not confronting the friend when the husband later heard about the scolding?

    6. Dan

      Sometimes you have to realize that some people live in an alternate reality, and nothing you say or do is going to change that. The question becomes, how are *you* going to deal with that knowledge?

      You’ve found one way, and it seems to be working pretty good.

    7. Revanche

      Twitter, honestly. I’d share the outrageous things someone said to me as it was happening, emote / vent, have friends supportively scoff at the nonsense, and emerge slightly happier and having missed the next five or ten minutes of annoyance because I was “checking something for work”. All in all, rather useful when you’re stuck on their turf.

    8. Revanche

      Oh also at a certain point, I decided to share the pain and started winding them up more. So they would say something idiotic or ridiculous and I’d respond with a much more ridiculous thought.
      Example: you’re not going drink beer are you? Only low class people drink beer!
      Why yes, we have a whole series of beer tastings planned! It’s called 48 beers in 48 hours and we’re not gonna eat at all because beer has enough calories and oh, BTW, I heard that if you fast for 2 days before a beer tasting, it makes everything taste sharper and better and and and…!

      It has shut up the unshut-uppable in my life and I don’t think I’ve ever felt more smug.

        1. Revanche

          Hah, be impressed that it took me so freaking long to figure out how! My mom used to do it all the time to people she (culturally) couldn’t be outright rude to and it was GLORIOUS.

      1. Hellanon

        My brother in law has a t-shirt that says “I’ve got lots of class, all of it lower.” I think he mostly wears it to annoy my father…

      2. No Longer Passing By

        This all is so great! My favorite is to agree with my relative. Which drives him crazy because he knows that I do not agree but I don’t rise to the bait. For example, “you are correct. I am incredibly fat and should focus on losing weight” in a perfectly pleasant tone as I smile to myself and continue to eat my double chocolate ice cream, which is offending him greatly. No skin off my nose…. And he just skulks away seething with rage with no way to express it. Liberating

      3. Alison Hendrix

        “I am not ‘chugging beer’ – I’m SAMPLING a flight of gluten free German lagers with a French wine pairing. It’s called a SMORGASVEIN and it’s elegantly cultural!”

    9. SandrineSmiles (France)

      I will admit that I’m probably a bad person, but…

      Yes, at some point I would absolutely put my foot down and refuse to host said FIL. I mean, if the Husband can’t say anything to his parent when the parent goes crazy, then the Husband can find a solution to host them elsewhere.

      I mean, if it was about little things (like “jokes” or the FIL simply being a little messy and stuff) it wouldn’t be that much of a problem. But blatant disrespect ? Nuh huh. Buh-bye xD .

      *With that said, I’m pretty lucky FutureHusband does have decent parents. So far. Dunno what it’ll be like once we’re actually married with kids xD

    10. Greggles

      Your Husband needs to grow a pair. I don’t have a lot of patience for people coming into my house to tell me how to live. If your FIL can’t respect you and your house or at the very least control the diarrhea of the mouth then maybe he should not come.

      Your husband needs to have a conversation with his father and let the chips fall where they may.

    11. ITPuffNStuff

      not agreeing with the other posts here that surrendering power (and responsibility) to deal with this to your husband is wise. you are a grown adult and entitled to demand respect in your own home, including kicking out guests, which is what your in laws are. your husband needs to have your back on that, and that’s the bit i’m confused about. i get the impression the FIL wouldn’t be visiting at all if you had your way, so is your husband inviting him? does the husband not demand/expect respect for himself and his wife in his own home? not clear here why the in-laws are even allowed to visit at all given the behavior described.

      1. El Gato Café con Leche

        To answer your questions, I guess the answer is that my husband is non confrontational. He doesn’t like to fight, ever, no matter if it’s a small or huge thing. His preferred way of dealing with personal conflict is ignore the issue. Mine is to sulk and be deathly quiet, it’s not like I’m blameless.

        On the other hand we belong to a culture where the respect for elders is very important and sometimes it works as a classes system, where you, belonging to a lower class because you are young, can’t correct and contradict older people no matter what they are doing. In my maternal family, I can’t even contradict my “half generation” older second degree cousins! This have meant that every single visit of our parents have ended in disaster, with us bitterly annoyed with them, because they would go to our place and examine everything, criticized our choices, bought what they thought we should have and even cooked without asking for our permission. We are getting better at letting them know it’s our house, our rules, but it doesn’t help that my SIL and BIL are unable to take care of themselves, so they still live of my FIL and MIL, including their families, and reinforce in my FIL and MIL the idea that we can’t be trusted with our own lives, which they haven’t seen because we left our country before get married.

        My husband loves his father, while being aware of his flaws. I understand. I love my narcissist mother to death, and for many years I allowed her to get her way, because I loved her. It was a disaster, but I had to pass through hell to understand why I had to put limits. My husband has not have that experience with his father, because as crazy as it seems, my FIL only likes to lecture about life, not interfere with it, as my mother did. So my husband’s strategy of “I’m ignoring you” works perfectly fine with my FIL, who doesn’t seem to repeat his stupid ideas: it’s just a new one every time.

        And no, he is not inviting his father… my FIL invited himself, or being more truthful, he just announced visit. But my husband is so happy to see his father, whom he saw last time more than two years ago, I don’t want to spoil his content.

        After seen so many comments, I have to accept that there is no solution. I guess I wanted you to tell me there is a magic solution somewhere, and I can use it to be happy while my husband is happy. I’ve known since… forever that this should be my husband’s fight. With my crazy parents and evil family, I’ve fought them in several issues, putting always myself in the middle as to shield my husband. It’s just even within my evil family, there wasn’t misogyny or classism, so they are very, very hard to accept, even more that my husband won’t fight his father for me, which in truth is not that bad: it causes me more conflict not being able to fight myself without getting all flustered and angry, because what stops me is the same thing that stops me from saying anything in a store when an old lady pretends I’m not in line, or when they say something about being childless.

        Oh, Bast, this is a Huge comment.

        1. the gold digger

          It is really, really hard. I wish I had a good answer to give to you. He is not nice and it’s not fair that you have to deal with him. I am sorry. :(

          1. El Gato Café con Leche

            You made me laugh and that was huge. Sometimes I get so obsessed that I can’t sleep. But just thinking I’m not the only one who thinks he’s obnoxious (my brother agrees, but he doesn’t count because he is my best friend and _obviously_ he is going to agree with me), when he actually thinks he is respected… I feel better already. I have the impression that it was the suspicion that I was wrong that was eating me. Thanks to these comments, I’m free of that.

        2. Book Person

          If you haven’t read Captain Awkward’s archives on dealing with unpleasant family members, there are lots of good suggestions and scripts there!

          Also, re: “he just announced visit,” maybe this wouldn’t work because your husband is happy to see him, but you could always say “that won’t work; we’re away then.” (Heck, actually be away that day if they might show up anyway) No one should get to dictate who visits your house when apart from you/your husband.

    12. Mike C.

      The anti-vaxxer bullshit would set me off right away. I have no tolerance for anti-science garbage.

      1. El Gato Café con Leche

        It infuriates my husband too. They have had huge fights on Skype about the crap he believes now, including the anti vaccines idiocy, old and oriental medicine being better than normal medicine, the curative power of being happy (my mother also believes that, and she uses it when I’m are sick, to tell me that obviously I’m unhappy, surely because I’m not following her advice: otherwise I’d be healthy) and his lifestyle, where he lives in some closed community without paved roads and drinking water, all in the name of “saving the earth”, but where every family have a car per person to move and the service personnel have to walk for an hour or so to get from the civilization (the community is in the city, but in something that qualifies as the city border) to the houses where they work. The biggest fight was when my FIL pretended to stop my nephew to get his vaccines. I’ve never seen my husband so furious (at the end my nephew got his vaccines, although my SIL had to be convinced).

        The kicker? All of us, we, my FIL, MIL, SIL and his husband (my BIL, but I’m distinguishing him from my husband’s brother) are scientists. We are physicists, my MIL and FIL biologists, my SIL and BIL chemists. I see the crap belief just as a sign of his supreme egoism. He keeps talking about how evil is modern medicine and how people should use the ancient chinese medicine. Well, obviously he “can” use it, as he has never been sick in his life. If my SIL would have to give birth using the same principles as in the past, probably she would be dead. If he had been living in China or any place without medicines, he would have died a long time ago. But of course he won’t look at the living expectancy of those countries, the same way he won’t accept that in our country people die everyday because they are too poor to pay our health system and resort to use the “ancient chinese medicine”.

        Grrrr. You can see this drives me crazy too. It’s one of the difficult spots, because you can’t argue with him. He’ll tell you that you are trying to eliminate his freedom, he should be free to do whatever he wants, which is technically true, but only if you want to die yourself: not if you are campaigning to remove rights or medical access or my nephew’s right to be a healthy boy and participate in herd immunity.

  16. The IT Manager

    I’m a literary/textual person not visual, but I am interested in learning a bit more about architecture as a visual art. Mostly looking at pretty pictures, being able to identify types and know the names for the architectural shapes – not actually designing anything myself.

    Any suggestions on how to study up on the topic. Book recommendations? Websites? Blogs? Online? I think I might be interested enough to pay money to take classes either online or in person, but I feel like I am busy (even though I know I am not).

    1. Dynamic Beige

      I think if you go to your local library, they probably will have a section on architecture and I would hope there would be some sort of History of Architecture kind of book. If you’re set on a course, I would look at local colleges or universities and see if there’s something offered in their Architecture department. They might have some sort of Intro to… that anyone can take, not just first year students.

      1. Mallory Janis Ian

        I took an architecture survey class online from my state university. I worked in the architecture department, but the online version of the course was offered through the distance education department, as the in-person courses were reserved primarily for students in the architecture school. The online course was taught by the professor same professor during the semester when the course wasn’t being offered in person, and she was fabulous. She’s also a good friend, from my years of working as the departmental admin, so I was really on my toes to not do a bad job in her class!

        1. Mallory Janis Ian

          I think more state universities are trying to offer more of their classes online, too, for people who just want to take a class here and there out of interest. It’s a good moneymaker for them, and provides a good service to the community. I’d say your odds are pretty good of finding a course online.

    2. The IT Manager

      Thanks, guys. I think I will try to find something like Basic Architecture for Dummies in the library and then look into a class – probably online – later in the year.

  17. Sunflower

    Question for DC people. I’ll be in Mclean, VA for work in a few weeks. I will be leaving McLean around 1230pm on a Friday(eek!) and need to get to South jersey(Ocean city). I have a couple options

    – Drive from McLean to OC
    – Take the train to and from Union Station in downtown DC to Philly and then drive to OC from there(Philyl to OC is about 1.25 hours depending on traffic).
    – Drive to Lewes, DE. Take the ferry to cape may then drive to OC.

    I know DC traffic is nuts but I’m not sure how nuts. I feel like driving from McLean to OC is the quickest option- but also the most exhausting to me. I’m leaning towards taking the train. The McLean metro station is right next to my hotel so I’d either take that(reliability?) or cab it to Union station and who knows how long that will take. The ferry idea seems great in theory but I feel like would end up taking the longest. Any suggestions on which route is best or am i missing one?

    1. Christy

      Quite frankly, this sounds awful. Like utterly horrible in terms of traffic and driving. Even though you’re leaving near noon, you’re going to hit early Friday rush hour driving to DC and towards the shore. I also cannot abide traffic so I’m biased there.

      If you’re ok with it, I’d metro into Union Station and take to train to Philly, if only to avoid more driving. You’re gonna have Philly beach traffic then, though. The metro should be plenty reliable for you. I would definitely not cab to Union.

      1. Sunflower

        Ugh I am beyond dreading it! I tried to get out of the work trip with no such luck. Best i could do was get out of there at 12:30pm because attempting to make the trip at 5:30pm on a Friday would have actually been insane. Your suggestion was the one i was leaning towards as i hate hate HATE driving to DC and I’d rather wait for a train over driving(even if driving was faster)

    2. Dan

      My office is next to the McLean station, I use it regularly. The worst traffic is actually leaving Tyson’s heading west, I don’t know how 66 is heading east at 1230, but it’s definitely a parking lot at 5pm.

      The silver line is reasonably reliable, you can get to union station in about 35 minutes. Your best shot for Amtrak is the northeast regional that leaves at 202.

      I can’t comment about the beach traffic itself.

  18. PitaChips

    I’m thinking of breaking up with my boyfriend. The question I have for you all: How? We live pretty far from each other and only get together on the weekends, and only at his place. I think doing it via text during the week is a little impersonal, but I don’t want to drive to his place to do or (or worse, spend the weekend there and then do it as I’m leaving).

    For reference, it’s been just a couple months, but I feel like we’ve moved a little fast/he’s more invested than usual at that mark.

    1. Sunflower

      I’d say no on breaking up over text. I think maybe texting and saying ‘when you have a minute, we need to talk’ and then arranging a phone call. A couple months(at least for me) isn’t that long so I don’t think you need to see him in person. If he wants to see you in person, you’ll have to decide for yourself if you want to give that to him or not.

    2. Former Diet Coke Addict

      Oh, don’t text! Don’t do it–I think a phone call would be OK if you’ve only been dating a couple of months. Normally I would advise doing it in person, but it you live far enough apart that you only see each other on weekends, I think a phone call would be better than a visit.

    3. Christy

      I would text or call. I would probably text to start a conversation and then call.

      1. catsAreCool

        Meeting somewhere in between means he has to do extra driving to get the bad news. I think a phone call would be best.

    4. vox de causa

      Texting is fine, though it will probably get you a phone call from him, which you can choose to answer or not.

    5. Dan

      For a couple of months, text is fine. Just be aware that if you don’t want to text, saying “we need to talk” over text is pretty much breaking up anyway.

      1. Betty (the other Betty)

        Maybe it’s because I’m coming up on 50, but texting a breakup seems…abrupt. My vote is phone call, even if you first text, “We need to talk” and he gets that a breakup is coming. (Unless the relationship was abusive in any way, in which case anything goes.)

        FWIW, I once dated a guy who sent me a card with “I love you” in it a couple of months in. Way too soon, I thought, and broke up with him. We were at college together and hanging out in the same group, so we got to be friends. Three years later he asked me out again. We are celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary this month (27 years together…the second time).

        1. Blue_eyes

          I’m not even 30 and I agree that breaking up by text is not the best. Someone you’ve been dating for a few months deserves at least a phone call.

  19. Stephanie

    So ethical question here. So for the past year or so, I’ve been attending a martial arts gym, taking their conditioning classes (HIIT classes similar to CrossFIT, just a little less nutty and with no deadlifts). The students enrolled in the formal martial arts program also have to do these classes. So way it works is there will be a HIIT class from 9-9:30, followed by MMA from 9:30-10 (usually with the same instructor). So the instructors have been like “Stephanie, you always leave! You should stick around for MMA!” So I have a few times and enjoy it. Thing is…I am technically not paying for it as my enrollment fee covers just the conditioning classes. I don’t always stay (depends on how tired I am and/or how much I need to do the rest of the day).

    I would have no qualms paying extra….except budget is still super tight and I couldn’t afford the extra fee. Do I point out that I’m not paying for it? The owners (it’s a small, family-run place) haven’t said anything yet, but I feel a tad guilty that I’m dropping in for free.

    1. Malissa

      They are inviting you. I would think it’s fine. If they were worried about you paying I’m sure they’d bring it up. As in, “Hey it’s only an extra $5 if you stay for the next class.”

      1. AvonLady Barksdale

        Exactly. They’re not in it to lose money. They might bring it up, or you could– speak quietly to the instructors and say you only paid for the HITT class, let them handle it. They may wave you off, and if they do that, LET THEM.

    2. AnotherAlison

      Are you paying for just one HIIT class/week? Or are there other ones you could go to as part of your fee but don’t? If that was the case, I wouldn’t worry about it.

      Second question. . .Does the MMA fee cover a bunch of classes you don’t attend? I don’t know about MMA, but at my son’s karate class, even the 4year olds were expected to attend. Again, if that’s the case I wouldn’t worry about attending Saturday because the others are paying for 20/mo and you might attend 4/mo

      But if you are doing for free exactly what others are paying more for, I might do it a couple times, but not continue like that forever. IME, gyms like that like to give people a chance to get hooked on something for free, with the expectation that you will sign up and pay.

      1. Stephanie

        I pay a flat fee for unlimited HIIT classes and another type of class. (Some of the sticking around was one class was 10-10:30 and the other I officially pay for was 11-11:30 and I ended up at the 10:30-11 kind of by default.) I’m not enrolled in the official belt program, so I think that’s maybe how I’ve slipped under the radar (or why the owners have shrugged off my participation).

    3. Sherm

      So it sounds like the owners are aware of everything, but you’re not sure whether they really approve or have just been reluctant to say anything. If they indeed approve, I’d go to those classes without guilt. You could say something to the owners like “Is it okay for me to stick around for the next class? I totally understand if you prefer that it’s just for those who specifically pay for it, so I wanted to check with you.”

    4. Not So NewReader

      “Stephanie, you always leave!”

      “Well, I have not paid for this class, it’s not fair to the others who have paid.” (Pause, wait for reply.)

      (Worst case scenario reply:) “Well, you should upgrade here.”

      (You:)”That is not going to happen for a while. But I really enjoy the parts that I am doing now.”

      1. The Cosmic Avenger

        This. I’d even mention that you’re on a tight budget, and see if they say “Oh, since you’re here for the HIIT class, you can just join the MMA class whenever you’re here!” If not, I’d only stay when the instructor invited me, and not every time even then. That’s just me, I am a little too proud to feel like I’m taking advantage or not paying my way, even when money is tight.

  20. Malissa

    Anybody ever been to any type of 3-day music festival? I just booked my first one for October and I have no idea what to expect. Also did you know that none of the big Vegas casinos have coffee in their hotel rooms? How is that a viable business model?

    1. Stephanie

      Coffee is cheeeeeeeap, especially if it’s very basic and just beans steeped in water. It’s how coffeehouses can be viable businesses with people nursing one drink for a couple of hours (of course, turnover is still crucial).

      1. Stephanie

        Oh hi. I misread. Yeah, I agree with Elkay, It’s to get you to leave the room.

    2. Elkay

      I guess it makes you leave your room and on the way to get coffee you get distracted by the shiny slot machines and without coffee you’re less alert so more likely to lose – sounds like a viable business model :)

      1. Malissa

        Yeah, But I don’t go out in public before my first cup. Because my bail money fund is reserved for other things. I did how ever find a condo just a mile away with a full kitchen for much cheaper. and free coffee.

    3. Cath in Canada

      Yes, but not for years!

      Things to take: your own TP and hand sanitizer, ear plugs (there will be loud people in the campsite at night), sunscreen and/or good waterproofs depending on climate, at least two pairs of comfortable shoes, refillable water bottle (assuming that the festival will be providing free drinking water – I’ve never been to one that doesn’t).

      Be prepared for long queues for bathrooms, food, and drinks. Be prepared for the bathrooms to be horrible. Be prepared to not get much sleep if you’re camping on-site.

      3 days is looooooong. Pace yourself, and remember that you don’t have to see every single band!

      Everything else should be awesome! Who’s playing? I used to go to some of the big UK indie music festivals, and I’ve also been to Sasquatch in Washington State, which is fab. We also go to the Burnaby Blues and Roots festival most years, which is fantastic, and it’s just one day, which I think is my preferred type of festival now that I’m older! I still enjoy other types of camping, but music festival camping can be… not fun.

      1. Malissa

        It’s the Route 91 country music festival, Keith Urban, Florida-Georgia Line, and Tim McGraw are the big names. I’m camping in a condo down the street. ;) But I will pack some TP in my purse. I used to live near where Sasquatch happens. I’ve heard how wild that weekend gets. I don’t think I’d ever do the camping and music thing.

        1. Natalie

          Bug repellant and/or bite sticks might be helpful. Getting attacked by insects is the worst.

  21. Non-crazy-making baby-making books?

    My husband and I are starting to think seriously about this baby-making thing in the next year or so. In the interim, any recommendations for good books on TTC, parenting and family stuff? Guides, memoirs, and essays are all fine. I’ve read All Joy and No fun and Expecting Better but I’m an academic so the more books the better.

    1. Marcela

      I don’t have recommendations, sorry. I just wanted to say hello, because you sound like hubby and me, who read everything available before doing anything :D

    2. Cristina in England

      My favorite is Baby Meets World by Nicholas Day, and you can get a feel for it by searching for his short blog series for Slate Magazine. It is a great book because it highlights how many different ways there are to raise a child and yet how nearly everyone believes staunchly that their way is right and other ways are wrong wrong wrong. Plus there are things in there about how orphaned babies used to be wheeled on trolleys under goats to drink their milk! How is Expecting better? I was curious about that one.

    3. Clever Name

      I’ve heard good things about Taking Charge of your Fertility by Toni Weschler

      1. Excel Geek

        Yep, you should read this book – it’s amazing how much we don’t know about how our bodies work.

    4. Mike C.

      I just can’t believe the amount of crazy out there aimed at parents and mothers especially.

  22. Pennalynn Lott

    Because our couples’ counselor is going through chemo and may never return to practice, Boyfriend and I are trying to find a new therapist. We saw one on Wednesday afternoon who was *horrid*! Boyfriend said, in passing, that he’s an atheist [we both are] and she jumped on him, demanding to know what “spiritual injury” he suffered as a child that turned him away from god. (!!) I stepped in and said, “It’s a common misconception that people only become atheists because they’re mad at god or have been ‘spiritually injured’ but. . .” Actually, I *tried* to say that, but she cut me off in the middle of “mad at god” and informed me that “most atheists” are “that way” because no one had ever showed them how loving god is, they’d only seen the rigid, judgmental side of dysfunctional religion. (??) So I said, “Oh, you’re part of the local atheist communities, then, and have talked to hundreds of us?” She sneered, looked disgusted, and said that the only atheist she has ever known was a very angry man in her AA group. Um, what? From that one alcoholic you deduced that all of us are angry people with “spiritual injuries”? WTF, lady.

    She said a ton of other really egregious, really outrageous (borderline abusive) stuff, too. [She made fun of me for being “intelligent” and for having “an obvious command of the English language.” I’m not sure how those things are negatives, but she sure thought so. And she insisted — absolutely *insisted* — that I’m completely damaged from my physically abusive childhood, even though I told her I’d spent about 10 years in therapy for it (and she came to her diagnosis after talking to me for only a few minutes).] I’m debating filing a complaint with the state board. I can only imagine what would happen if someone in a truly vulnerable position went to her for help.

    So far, she’s the second-worst therapist I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen tons). The first-worst is a male therapist who told me that the way to deal with my relationship problems was to “climb on top of [Boyfriend] and ride him like a pony,” and that if I didn’t start having wild sex with Boyfriend soon I’d need to do it with someone, and he expected me to send him photos of it as proof I was following his instructions. [Yeah, he absolutely got reported…and had his licensed suspended for a year.]

    Finding a good mental health expert shouldn’t be this difficult.

    1. fposte

      Oh, wow. At some point your brain just starts to say “I’m here for anecdotal value now.”

      I would definitely consider filing a complaint. If I weren’t too busy being angry with God and all.

      1. Stephanie

        At some point your brain just starts to say “I’m here for anecdotal value now.”

        Ha, I sometimes tell myself “This is just material for my best-selling one-woman show later.”

      2. Pennalynn Lott

        Absolutely! I quit trying after about 15 minutes and went into “Wow, I can’t wait to tell my friends about this” mode.

        And, yeah, it’s sooo hard just to function in my day-to-day life, what with being so angry at god. Almost impossible to function through all the rage. Being completely damaged from my childhood will probably also prohibit me from being able to understand and fill out the complicated complaint forms without, ya know, my inner three-year old breaking down and crying uncontrollably because she Just Can’t Manage.

    2. salad fingers

      Holy crap! Jaw literally dropped at the first worst. Was wondering how you could possibly surpass the levels of bad from the more recent therapist, but that is seriously horrifying. Good for you for reporting him.

    3. Pennalynn Lott

      Oh, and we paid this woman $100 cash for 50 minutes. I’m having trouble thinking of other professions where you could be so horribly bad at your job and still command such a high rate.

      1. BRR

        I would have fought for my money back. I would also see if there is some board I could report her to.

    4. TheLazyB

      How did you not leave?! I am horrified at what she said.

      And that guy only got his licence suspended for A YEAR?!

      There are no words. Other than good luck finding some decent soon.

    5. Sherm

      I’ve had 4 therapists in my life. One was brand spanking new, and it showed, but they other 3 were good. Actually, 1 of those 3 was bloody excellent. So I know there are good therapists out there!

        1. glor

          Oh, indeed there are wonderful therapists! I’ve had two that have literally saved my life, and my current one is utterly fantastic… and I’ve only seen him twice! They totally exist. :)

    6. Christy

      I’d report her. Bad therapy is so, so bad. I had a therapy session after which I cried for hours, and I wasn’t a particular crier. I didn’t report her but I did wait a few weeks before trying another new therapist.

      1. Observer

        This doesn’t even sound like therapy.

        This woman needs to be reported – If someone comes to you for couples counseling, you provide couples counseling or you bow out if you can’t. What ever else, you do NOT spend time trying to “bring them to god” or putting them down.

      2. Windchime

        Years ago, I was suffering from long-term clinical depression with an added dollop of postpartum depression. I was dirt poor, in an unhappy marriage, and had just had my second beautiful baby but couldn’t understand why I was despondent. So I went to a therapist. I’d never seen one before, so I didn’t truly understand how awful this woman was at her job. She prattled on about her fabulous life and then told me that I should go shopping or on a weekend “second honeymoon” with my then-husband. Um. I guess she totally missed the part about being dirt poor; I could barely afford the $10 copay for the visit. She was horrible and I never went back.

        1. Windchime

          Never went back to *her*, I should add. I found a different person who was wonderful and who I was with for about 3 years.

        2. Observer

          She recommended SHOPPING? Missing the fact that you were dirt poor was the least of the problems with that advice – and that alone is enough to make me want to bang my head on the wall. It’s a good thing you realized that there was no point in going back to her. And, I’m glad you realized that it wasn’t all therapists, and found a good one.

    7. Cath in Canada


      It sounds like performance art, or maybe some kind of misguided attempt to unite the couple against a common enemy. I think you should definitely file a complaint – the state board can decide whether to follow up on it or not.

      Better luck next time!

    8. nona

      I’m debating filing a complaint with the state board. I can only imagine what would happen if someone in a truly vulnerable position went to her for help.

      Please do it.

      1. Not So NewReader

        Yeah. There is something very, very wrong here. I don’t know maybe she needs to bake a little longer or something. Whatever it is, this person probably has more problems than most of us here.

        Please. If you ever encounter anything this far awry again, please, just walk out. Do not allow yourself to be subjected to that abuse. And I say this as a church going person myself. I think what she did was abusive.

        Granted I am not a counselor, but I have had very long and difficult conversations on tough topics and never once did I mention God. It can be done. And it is called respecting another person’s beliefs.

        I walked out on a counselor for a sexist remark. (Yeah, it was a doosie.) I paid for the full appointment because he did set aside the time for me. But I found that I could not dumb down enough to talk to him so I left and I never went back.

        1. Pennalynn Lott

          She has been practicing for 30 years. So apparently this kind of behavior has worked for her in the past. Maybe not for her clients, but definitely for her.

    9. Elizabeth West

      I would second the advice to file a complaint. My mum is a therapist and she spends a lot of time cleaning up the damage from incompetent practitioners such as this assclown.

    10. Ruffingit

      Oh good God (or not in this case). This is ridiculous. As a mental health professional myself I am totally appalled at this behavior and I absolutely would report her. She mentioned being in AA, makes me wonder if she’s fallen off the wagon because this kind of behavior is so egregious, I need to grasp at some reason anyone would do it. It’s totally wrong on so many levels. Please report her.

      1. Not So NewReader

        Thank you for saying this, Ruffinit. Growing up around drinkers, my knee jerk here was that she is back to drinking. But, it is possible that she has substituted one crutch for another. She gave up on the alcohol and instead has decided to lecture people to death about their choices in beliefs. Anyway, this counselor has way too much stuff running in the background, she should not be counseling people.

    11. Mimmy

      I would absolutely report her! Making fun of you for being “intelligent”??!! And her comments about atheism were way out of line. I don’t mind talking about religion AS LONG as the person is respectful of my beliefs. My counselor and I touched it on briefly a few weeks ago, and she totally got where I came from.

      And yes, there are good therapists out there!! I love mine…she is a bit scattered and loopy at times, but she is so gentle and caring. She GETS my quirks…I feel almost peaceful after our sessions. I had one therapist who would often give me a swift kick in the rear, which I do need sometimes, but after awhile, she got to be a bit overbearing, and even snipped at my husband at one point when explaining an insurance issue.

      Yes, good therapists can be hard to find, but they are out there. If you know of friends or family who’ve been in therapy, ask for their recommendations.

    12. Another Sunday anony

      I am a loyal Muslim, and I think you should report the atheist-hater.

      I got a good chuckle about the second story. Hope you forgive me for that. I would be pretty distressed if it happened to me, but it really is something out of a raunchy comedy movie.

      Here is my experience with therapists. I’ve had horror stories as well, and there is nothing like a shrink borderline abusing you. All I can say is, people can go through lots of therapists before they find one that works for them. We’ve all heard that the profession attracts some wacky people. I think there might some truth to that, but I am someone who thinks the vast majority of people could use psychoanalysis.

    13. Book Person

      The best advice I ever had re: therapists was to “audition” them, for lack of a better word. When setting up an appointment as a new patient, you briefly touch on issues that are important to you that you need your therapist to be on board with (like being an atheist, needing a queer-friendly therapist, whatever). Also, does your fror re therapist have any people to whom s/he’d refer patients? Good luck with finding someone better next time!

      1. Pennalynn Lott

        This was one of two therapists that my former therapist recommended!!! I don’t want to bother Former Therapist while she’s going through chemo, but I really want to talk to her about this and let her know about my awful experience with someone she obviously trusts/thinks highly of.

  23. Fruitfly

    Does anyone know what are the most effective ways (and possibly the most cost-effective way) to get legal advice or legal counseling?

    1. Not So NewReader

      I think that a little more info is needed here but some lawyers will do a preliminary consultation for free. But it depends on what the matter is.
      A while ago someone cracked a joke, “For a lawyer to make a phone call for you is $250.” Well, that is about right, based on my own experiences. But if you need help then that might be your best bet.

      If it is a traffic ticket or something minor you might be able to read law books and figure out how to proceed on your own. Notice I say “might be able”.

    2. Ruffingit

      A few possibilities:

      Local bar associations sometimes have legal lines where you can talk to lawyers for free for a short period of time. Some local bar associations and state bars also have volunteer legal clinics where you can sit down face to face with a lawyer for free. Google “Your city bar association free clinics” and see what comes up.

      1. Graciosa

        I’ll echo this and add that it happens at the county and state level as well. In addition to free services, there are also low cost ones, groups that work solely on specific issues (foreclosure, elder abuse, etc.) and a host of other options. My state bar association has teamed with a consumer reporter for a local news channel, which is another option (although not my personal first choice).

        It can take effort to find the right option, but help is there.

  24. Ali

    First distance race is in the books..a 40:41 5K! While my overall placement is nothing to brag about (in the way bottom group, basically), I’m so glad to have one done. And I’m already signed up for my second race!

      1. LizH

        Congratulations. At least you did it and finished. Forget about the time. I think that is so great.

  25. the jazz cats

    This is a long shot, but I wanted to post this for a friend who is trying to find a home for a cat. She is located in Michigan, but I’m not sure if she is willing to travel to find him a home.

    Her Instagram ID is “thecatcalledpluto” and email is thecatcalledpluto at gmail.

    I was in this situation a couple of years ago trying to find a home for a kitten we rescued. It’s tough and I figured I would try all avenues to help this guy.

    Below is some info she’s posted on Instagram.

    As most of you probably know, we have continued to have behavioral issues with our senior adoptee, Regulus (Reggie). You may remember we snatched him up just before he was sent to animal control by his deceased humom’s estate manager. We were hesitant about taking in a 12 year old cat but did our best…he had only ever lived with his elderly humom. No kids, no men, no other cats. Bringing him into a household with a toddler, two adults, and young cats wasn’t an ideal situation but we couldn’t let him be euthanized or dumped at animal control.

    Things have escalated to a point where I am making a very difficult decision for Reggie’s sake: he needs a new home. His stress level has peaked, and the more anxiety he shows the more Pluto bullies. Poor Reggie can’t move from one room to the next without being attacked by Pluto. Reggie is small, and with being 13, he cannot handle being attacked by an 18 pound adolescent male. Pluto is now trying to prevent Reggie from accessing the food, water, and litter box.

    I am managing the situation by having alone time with Reggie, using Feliway spray, playing with Pluto to burn energy, providing escape places for Reggie like the cat shelves, and intervening in the fights as often as I can. However, I have surgery in a week and a half and will not be capable of this level of attentiveness for several weeks. My hope is to find Reggie a new home before my surgery. He is having a thorough vet check today to ensure that he is completely healthy and ready for a new home.

    Reggie is 13, black with green eyes, neutered, with claws. He is located in Sparta, MI (NE Grand Rapids). He is great about getting his nails trimmed and wears soft paws nail caps when necessary. He is quiet and reserved, and the highlight of his day is cuddling under the covers with his humans. He is used to kids, he simply avoids them, but I would prefer to see him in a home with older kids or no kids. He is indoor ONLY. He may do well with another senior female cat, but no males and no young cats. NO dogs. I will require a character reference as well as a vet reference. thecatcalledpluto@gmail.com


    Hello furiends!

    So many of you have stepped up to help us search for a more suitable home for Reggie! We are beyond grateful and so touched by this loving community. The support is so needed. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you

  26. Cath in Canada

    I’m spending the day working on a fun extra-curricular writing project that may or may not turn into anything, and being super productive! I’m alternating writing with chores – write a page, clean a thing, write a page, clean another thing. So far I’ve written 9 pages, cleaned the living room and half the bathroom, and done two loads of laundry. I tell ya, if I was independently wealthy I’d have a spotless house and multiple books and articles to my name. But as it is… not so much :)

  27. Is this Legal

    Do you guys take a bath/shower everyday? I ask because I’m in a mixed culture relationship and my partner doesn’t seem bothered to skip a day and I’ve noticed some people don’t bath/shower everyday too.

    1. Cath in Canada

      Most days. I sometimes skip a day if I’m not going out anywhere other than, say, the local supermarket. My husband showers on average every second day; in the summer I sometimes wish it was more often, but most of the time it doesn’t bother me as long as he washes his feet!

    2. Anon for this

      This is a hilarious question in conjunction with your username!

      Anyway, I definitely don’t shower everyday and once, when a guy friend asked me and a fellow longhaired lady if we did, we burst out laughing in unison. For me it depends on weather and hair length. Longer hair = less hair-washing, though I might shower with a shower cap. Hotter weather = more showering. Currently I live somewhere where it is never hot and my hair is longish, so I do every other day.

      I’ve spent time in other cultures and even though I’m American, I find many Americans’ insistence on daily showering (and “EWWWWW gross!” reactions about not doing so) silly. On the other hand, if noticing how often someone else bathes is A Thing, they probably need to bathe more.

      1. fposte

        Yeah, there’s nothing magic about the 24-hour cycle. That being said, there are plenty of people who get fragrant fast and who really do need to keep on top of things if they’re not to become a public nuisance.

      2. the gold digger

        When my husband is out of town (he has been gone a lot lately – there are health issues with Sly and Doris) and I am working from home, nope. I do not shower. I will go two or three or even four days without a shower. If I am by myself, I do not care and I would rather sleep than bathe.

        1. Pennalynn Lott

          Ditto. I’m not naturally a sweaty person, and a daily application of deodorant is enough to keep me from becoming too “fragrant”. I have very, very long hair and it’s a real bitch to wash, condition, dry, and style. Or, heck, just to wash, condition and dry. And because of the length and thickness of my hair, I’ve never been able to find a shower cap that holds all of my hair fully up off my neck and out of the water.

          Boyfriend told me he never even noticed I wasn’t showering every day, and has only ever said anything that one time after I dislocated my recently-replaced hip and was in a body brace, and I could only take “spit baths” (also known as “hippie baths”). But even then he just said, “Your hair is looking like it could really benefit from some shampoo.” [No sh*t, Sherlock. Too bad I can’t step over the tub’s edge to get my hair under the shower head.]

              1. No Longer Passing By

                You’re welcome! I absolutely do not wash my hair daily as its wildly curly, long, thick, and takes forever to dry. So shower caps are a necessity in my life

        2. Connie-Lynne

          I have developed really sensitive skin and I cannot use deodorant at all (even the hippie stuff) *or* shower daily.

          I do a washcloth bath to make sure I don’t stink, and, for the first few months I would ask my husband my sister, and a few very trusted friends to sniff me and give me their honest opinions because I was totally worried that I was smelly but couldn’t tell.

          They all said that it wasn’t a problem except on really hot days, and even then, I smelled “sweaty but clean.” So … I would say, don’t sweat it!

    3. fposte

      I skip pretty easily when it’s not hot weather. My skin isn’t very oily (in fact it gets pretty dry in winter) and I don’t sweat a lot from exertion (I also don’t go to the gym but stick to walking, yoga, or little weight exercises at home). I don’t know if I could have when I was in my teens and twenties, but now I’m trying to keep stuff in more than wash it off.

      All bets are off when it’s summer and I’m gardening, though. I’ll shower a few times a day on a gardening day.

    4. Ann Furthermore

      During the week, I shower every day, because I really can’t wake up and get going without one. Plus my hair just does not behave if I don’t at least get it wet and dry it. But sometimes on the weekend, I’ll skip a day, if I’m just going to be hanging around the house, or going out to run errands or hit the grocery store.

      1. Sara

        Same. I could probably coerce my hair into not looking ridiculous without the shower if I needed to (I managed to that one time the water heater broke), but it’s an important and ingrained part of my wake-up routine at this point. Pre-shower, all I can manage to do is turn on the coffee maker. Post-shower, I’m ready to tackle putting on pants, pouring cereal, etc. The important stuff.

    5. Sunflower

      I very rarely shower 2 days in a row. Usually every other day, sometimes I will push it and wait 2 days. I have friends like that as well. I straight up despise washing my hair and showering without washing my hair makes my scalp sweat and I rarely feel cleaner than when I got in. My roommate showers every single day though. I’d imagine it’s a personal preference. However, if I exercise, I have to shower and wash my hair afterwards. I played sports all throughout my youth/hs years so I showered every single day.

    6. Florida

      I take two showers a day. It’s because I feel like I need two showers to be clean. It’s more because it make me feel good. I take a shower at night. I know I didn’t get dirty between my night shower and the time I woke up, but it just feels so good to take a shower.

      1. Stephanie

        Yeah…I did that when I was in Houston. I also hadn’t learned how to dress properly for humid weather.

        1. Ruffingit

          I’m in Texas and right now, two showers a day is the norm although if I don’t go outside, then it’s just one.

      2. Florida

        I meant to say it’s NOT because I need two showers to be clean. It’s just because it feels good.

    7. The Other Dawn

      I shower everyday, but that’s mostly because I have naturally curly hair. That means my hair looks like a rat’s nest in the morning. In order to tame it I would need to dampen my hair and apply some gel. That results in my hair feeling kind of heavy and then I start getting an itchy scalp. If I didn’t have to deal with that, I might skip on a weekend.

      1. Natalie

        Curly hair trip – try a silk or satin pillowcase. Keeps your hair from getting frizzy while you sleep.

    8. Stephanie

      I usually shower at least once a day, usually twice (three times happened once…). I shower that often because I usually do exercise that gets me pretty sweaty in the mornings. Then I shower after work since I work in an industrial facility with pretty limited climate control and come home sweaty and grimy. (I wash my hair about weekly, though, since washing more often than that will dry out my already dry hair.)

    9. skyline

      Pretty much, though I’ve been known to skip a day here or there. Especially on a weekend day when I don’t plan to leave the house. I am normally a morning shower person, but I’ll sometimes skip a day if I’ve showered the night before.

      Mostly, though, I’m glad I’m not living in California, because I often shower twice a day due to running after work.

    10. zora

      I do every other day or every 3rd day most of the time. Unless I have been out exercising or somehow have gotten sweaty and smelly. My skin is dry and sensitive, so a hot shower every day would just destroy my skin and be super uncomfortable. And I just don’t sweat that much on a regular day. Also my long hair doesn’t want to be washed every day, too much work, I only wash my hair a couple of times a week.

    11. MJ (Aotearoa/New Zealand)

      I shower 2-3 times a week when I need to wash my hair, and have a bath on most of the other days. But I’ll skip a bath occasionally if I really can’t be bothered.

    12. The IT Manager

      I will go a couple of days or more without a shower if I don’t get sweaty or dirty and if my hair cooperates – I live in the south so this means winter or that I don’t leave the house in summer because at this point I can get sweaty after a few minutes. I will also shower twice a day if needed by activities. And I will almost shower immediately after a sweaty workout. Really entirely situation dependent. The question is is he dirty, smelly, sweaty, or is is hair oily looking? If it is, he’s waited too long.

      1. The IT Manager

        If you’re noticing that someone is skipping a shower and its not because you live with them, that’s a problem.

      2. Is this Legal

        Not smelly or anything but things you notice when you pay close attention lol

      3. Myrin

        Yeah, I’m with you re: this being entirely dependent on the situation. As I said below, I sweat very rarely and produce very little body odour (which isn’t a weird self perception, I’ve actually asked several people if I smell and they were surprised by the question) so there’s no need that somehow pressures me to shower when I just go about my daily life without exercising or something. I know someone who showers daily yet he always smells of sweat really strongly, so the number of showers/baths isn’t really a reliable indicator for cleanliness.

    13. GiantPanda

      Yes. At least one shower every day: Every evening, I can’t sleep when I am not feeling clean. Most days also in the morning if I have to go out in public, e.g. work – because otherwise I “smell of bed” (so I’ve been told).

    14. Lulubell

      Yes, and often twice a day, when I exercise. I don’t wash or wet my hair everyday, but I always need to rinse my body to feel clean. The only time I skip is when I am too sick to stand in the shower.

    15. Puffle

      I used to shower every other day, then I moved to a very hot, humid country. Ick. Now I shower every day, and twice a day in summer (humidity is usually in the 90-100% range here, and there’s no aircon at my workplace)

    16. Elizabeth West

      Yes, except sometimes if I’m just at home doing nothing I won’t bother. On those days, I don’t bother to get dressed, either. I do wash my face but that’s about it. :)

    17. Al Lo

      I shower about every 3-4 days in winter. More in summer, when I’m sweatier and my legs need to be shaved more frequently. I’m not a stinky sweater (or a profuse sweater), so I can honestly go 2 or 3 days without showering before I even realize that it’s been that long.

      I wash my hair about once a week. Again — sometimes a bit more in the summer, if I’ve got bug spray or campfire smoke in its vicinity, but in general, my hair is happier when I was it less frequently.

    18. Merry and Bright

      I shower every morning when I get up and sometimes have a soak in the bath in the evening too, if it’s been an extra busy or stressful day. But if I start the day clean I feel ready to go. And I will shower after swimming.

    19. SevenSixOne

      I showered every day when I had a physical job that meant I came home sweaty, smelly, and sticky every day. Now that I have a desk job, I still shower most days but it’s not a big deal if I skip a day.

    20. Myrin

      I can actually go with showering only once a week as I don’t seem to produce much body odour, my skin doesn’t like it, and I grew up that way, but I generally shower twice a week. Because of this, I don’t really understand where this general thought of “Must shower every day” comes from unless someone smells strongly or exercises a lot or some of the other reasons commenters here mentioned. Also, I wash my hair separately, so it’s not like I need to shower because I want to wash my hair (my hair is also super dry and can actually go [at max, I don’t make a habit of this!] two weeks without washing without looking and being much different).

    21. Windchime

      I’ll often skip a shower on the weekend; in fact, I skipped it today. If I were going to go out to dinner someplace nice I might take one.

      During the work week, I usually shower every day but half the time I pin up my hair to keep it dry. It’s really thick and takes a long while to style, so I usually only do that every other day (any longer and my head starts to feel itchy and gross). But yeah, sometimes I’ll skip even on a work day. I sit at a desk all day and then go home and watch TV, basically. I’m not doing anything sweaty so I don’t see the need to shower every single day.

    22. Blue_eyes

      I wash my hair every 3-4 days, occasionally every other day if I’ve been sweating a lot, or swimming. I will shower without washing my hair other times. I sometimes go 3-4 days between showers if I don’t go to the gym and it’s not too hot outside. On humid summer days I might shower twice a day just because it feels good to wash off and not be sticky for a while.

    23. Pennalynn Lott

      I just read an article in Science magazine about how showering every day (or multiple times a day!) can wash away the beneficial microbes* on your skin, and that it’s better to shower only every 2-3 days if you can.

      *Microbes that keep bad bacteria out, and that “inform” and support your immune system.

    24. AnnieNonymous

      I shower every day because I actually enjoy it. It’s so fun and warm! I shampoo my hair twice a week but I get it wet and use conditioner every day. I air dry though.

  28. scarydogmother

    Hi everyone. Just looking for some commiseration or comfort. The past year has been the most difficult, discouraging, lonely year of my life. I thought the same thing about the year before, too (the one after my ex and I split up–amicably but with a lot of private resentment and regret on my end–after 10 years), but sure enough it got worse. Last year I decided to relocate in order to start fresh, but it’s just been rotten. I have a couple friends here but they have busy lives, partners, established friend groups, etc., so we only see each other every so often.

    Last summer, just as I was accepting my new job and finding a new apartment, I started a … fling? … with someone in my old city (about 2 hours away). I fell head over heels in unrequited love with him. He went from very hot to quite chilly towards me over the course of those 4 months and I had put so much effort into being cool, collected and not clingy (even though I was crying constantly when we weren’t together. So foolish.). Eventually I had to speak up, we decided to end whatever it was that we had going on, and he poured a whole lot of it’s-not-you-it’s-me flattery on me: I’m amazing, the best, our chemistry is unmatched, I deserve to be happy, etc. etc., but he is too messed up from his broken engagement earlier that year. So we parted. I unfriended him on Facebook but my imagination still provides plenty of fodder re: what (and who!) he is doing. He was everything that was missing from my LTR and I just feel like I blew my last chance at love. And silly because I was merely a rebound to him. I so badly wish I could Eternal-Sunshine myself out of this torture. I tried online dating (for a few months before meeting this guy and for a few months in my current city) and it made me feel foul about myself, men, and the possibility that there is someone out there for me. It amounted to a handful of first dates.

    I am 33 years old and fear I’ll never have a love life again. Not that there are many commitment-minded men my age left who aren’t already committed to someone else. I have so much regret about wasting my “prime” with the wrong person, leaving me without options now. It feels like being stuck in the bargain bin of life. There was ONE guy I felt a mutual connection with, but he didn’t want me for keeps and it just feels terrible and humiliating and confusing. It is hard to keep pushing ahead every day because I feel so sad and hopeless, and envious of people who have good relationships. Yes, I am on anti-depressants and have been for years. Therapy has been a bust. Luckily I do enjoy my (not-so) new job, heh.

    1. Ann Furthermore

      I really can commiserate with you. Being alone and being lonely are 2 very different things. When I was 35, I had figured it was going to be me and the cat, riding it out for the long haul. Then I put an ad up on Yahoo Personals (this was 12 years ago) and got quite a few smarmy responses, but one response from a guy who sounded really nice. Fast forward — we celebrated our 10th anniversary last month, and we have a 6 year old daughter.

      Don’t let yourself get sucked into the “it’s too late” vortex, because it’s just not true. I didn’t get married until I was 37. My sister didn’t get married until she was in her 40’s.

      Have you tried joining meetups? I never have, but it seems like a cool way to meet people who share your interests.

    2. the gold digger

      I didn’t get married until I was 37. My sister didn’t get married until she was in her 40’s.

      In my 40s. Found a great used husband.

      But I know how hard it is to be lonely. Big hug to you.

    3. anonymous boobs

      It’s never too late. My grandmother had a boyfriend after my grandpa died. She was in her 70s, and they had a lovely relationship.

        1. Connie-Lynne

          I’m 45 and in the last five years I’ve attended 2 – 5 weddings of similarly-aged friends each year.

    4. Not So NewReader

      Going the opposite way- face your fear head on. What if you never find the Love of your Life? What will happen? If you are brutally honest, you might think about the fact that the world will keep revolving and you will have a full life anyway. (Keep reading, this gets better.)

      Okay, that is an extreme view of the future, right? Makes it easier to see that in all likelihood, you will find someone. One thing about looking at extremes is that it makes us realize how The Thing We Fear is actually unlikely to happen. I have had to do this with a few of my major concerns. I just ask myself if Bad Thing happens, what will I do next? When my husband passed, I could not learn that much about my “new” life by looking at other couples- because, well, they were paired up and I was not. I had to look at other singles that seemed to be managing well. I copied the best of the best ideas I saw other singles doing. If I kept looking at couples and what couples are doing, I would have just sat and spun my wheels into a rut.

      I’d like to encourage you to look up and look around. There is someone out there for you, don’t listen to the lies in your head. Because that is all it is, the lies inside your head. Just have the sheer brass to keep going. Steal the best ideas of those around you, make them your own and keep going forward. This will change for you.

      1. Windchime

        I agree with NSNR. I was married at 18 and divorced at 36. I had spent half of my life with someone who seemed right for me when I was still a child of 18 but not so much when I was 36. We made the painful decision to divorce. For about 5 or 6 years, I dated and was on the lookout for mate #2. Nothing was working and I was angry about that. Angry and unhappy and lonely. But after about 10 years, I finally realized that my life was slipping away in a haze of anger and frustration. I wanted to be happy. I wanted that more than I wanted to be with someone. So I came to a place of acceptance with being single.

        Fast forward…..I’ve been divorced for 19 years. (That doesn’t even seem possible!). I”m happily single, and I doubt that I will ever find a partner. But I am 95% OK with that. I make my own decisions, I do what I want and go where I want. It’s a really good life. If I find someone, he’ll have to be pretty damned amazing to make me give up my autonomy.

        I know this viewpoint isn’t helpful to people who are lonely and aching for a partner. But it’s one way to look at things. It took me a long time to accept my situation, and sometimes I’m still sad and upset that I’m alone. But not very often anymore.

    5. Ruffingit

      I get where you are coming from. I spent from age 19 to 26 in a bad relationship and then from age 29 to 36 in another bad relationship. So with the exception of a 3-year span, I spent 14 years with the wrong people and was closer to 40 than 30 when I got out of the last bad gig so to speak. But, I mourned, I thrashed, I felt sorry for myself, I moved ahead in that time and at age 37, I met a fantastic man. It can happen. A lot of it for me was, believe it or not, taking a break here and there. In that 3-year span, I dated, but nothing serious. It gave me time to breathe especially since I’d had some major upheavals including moving halfway across the country and starting law school. I needed to just get OK with where I was in terms of not having a relationship. It helped a lot. So I’d say take a step back, breathe a little. You’re not in a place right now to find new love. I’ve been where you are. I had a relationship that ended badly and left me crying and feeling humiliated and hurt and angry. Took a lot of time off after that one and it helped me to get to a better space.

      Hang in there. It’s possible to find love at any age.

    6. Dan

      I’m 35, and freshly divorced. Like you, I have those feelings of wasting my prime.

      Really, though, the best thing you can do is get yourself to a place where you are happy with who you are. Happy people are attractive, as they are fun to be around. And if you don’t meet that person, then you are still happy, right? It’s win-win.

    7. Natalie

      Btdt, at 30. First thing, just because lots of people your age have already committed doesn’t mean there will never be eligible single people your age. Divorce happens. Most of the people I dated before I met my current boyfriend were divorced.

      Second, I would take a break from dating. Dating desperate is never good – you’ve had that experience with fling guy, you don’t want that again. Focus on your happiness in your non dating life. If and when you decide to date again, you’re operating from a position of strength.

      Captain Awkward has a thought exercise I like: if dating and romance just ceased to exist tomorrow, what would you be doing with your life. What would make you happy and fulfilled?

    8. Carrie in Scotland

      I’m feeling this way very much myself right now. I have no advice, just commiseration and sympathy.

    9. Marcela

      Many hugs. I got my first boyfriend when I was 28. It was so terrible feeling unwanted and I spent a long time thinking what I was going to do if at the end, nobody wanted to share a life with me. I tried to to small things that made me happy, such as going to concerts, artistic exhibits, classes, etc. When I wasn’t expecting it, I met my now husband in a computer class.

      I also had hope from the experience of one of my aunts. She found her boyfriend, obviously the love of her life, after she was 50. They love so much, sometimes you’d think they are teenagers, giggling and laughing over the phone, leaving small notes and making loving gestures as to do the chores the other hates the most. They were together when she had cancer and she says she survived because of him.

    10. misspiggy

      Sorry you’ve had such a crappy time. Is there anything about your current situation that you do like, or feel proud about? It can help to focus on that through gritted teeth as you work to get where you want to be. And I do think that it takes work, even though love is dependent on so many chance factors.

      If I have a great big upsetting and amorphous problem cloud, I try to think where I would want to be once I got out the other side. No changing the past or the rules of physics – what would it look like in the future if I felt free and happy with my life? What qualities would I have in that situation? What would have had to happen to get there (including chance events)? What characteristics or situations would I need to have/be in to maximise the chance of those things happening? Which of those things can I do anything about? Those become my priority list over the next few years. Either those steps lead to my dream or they lead somewhere else, but I will know that I am doing everything within my control to get the absolute best out of the short life that is left to me.

      Not to say one shouldn’t take time to grieve for what one has lost – you should. But if you’re sick of grieving and want to be happy again, it can be attempted, and you never know what unexpected pleasures life may have for you round the corner.

    11. That a song, was as merry

      I think the best advice anyone ever gave me was to forget about ‘dating’ and get out and do what you love. Join clubs, go to conventions, start a book club, take classes–anything that you like, because you like it. People you meet at these will already have something in common with you so you’re not starting from square one. Be patient, though; fairly few people are even close to my wavelength so it took a while to make friends. Before taking that advice, I was miserably lonely and felt unwanted; tried a dating service(the online dating of the time) and felt like a piece of meat. Once I did things just to enjoy myself I started connecting with people that shared my interests and quirks who then introduced me to *their* friends…and then I met my hubby. I think because I met him when I was happy with myself, our relationship was much stronger than any I’d had before(not to say it was all smooth sailing, mind. Just….there was more to work with.)

  29. Sunflower

    I know people have mentioned before that we all have ideas of what these wonderful AAM readers/commentators look like. So in that spirit, who are your celebrity doppelgangers?

    Mine is young Britney Spears- like 1999. Apparently I have her eyes.

    1. Mimmy

      Oooh great topic! Someone here told me that I reminded them of Jayma Mays, who played the guidance counselor on Glee. If I had red hair and no glasses, it’d be pretty accurate.

    2. fposte

      In a different forum years back I nominated Colleen Dewhurst to play me in the movie. I’m good sticking to that (in a fictional world where she’s alive, obviously).

    3. salad fingers

      I’ve gotten a couple different answers to that question (Lindsay Lohan circa Mean Girls, Simone Weil, Harry Potter, Harry Caray ass bitch (unwell person on the bus, think he may have meant Harry Potter)) so I consulted this website for science ——>

      www (dot) faceplusplus (dot) com/demo-search/

      and 6/8 results were Asian, 2/8 were Jessica Biel. I’m definitely not Asian and I really struggle to see how I look like Jessica Biel, so .. I’m sticking with Harry Caray.

      1. DeLurkee

        Lol Harry Caray ass bitch has to be the winner.
        I’ve been watching Friends with my daughter and she keeps telling me that Monica looks like me.
        Out of curiosity I went onto that website you mentioned, and most of my results were Asian as well (I am not Asian), while the three that were not were: Nicole Kidman, Angelina Jolie, and Christian Bale. :S
        So I don’t know what to make of that.

        1. salad fingers

          Monica is a huge compliment! So is Christian Bale!!! Also, I’m wondering if the creator of that site is based in Asia? Can’t be a coincidence.

          Yeah, the Harry Caray comment was a result of me trying to help to a fellow young woman who was being verbally harassed by this man on the bus at 8:45AM on a Monday. He was yelling every extremely racist and nasty thing he could think of at her because she was wearing headphones, didn’t see him board and didn’t instantly exit the area for riders with disabilities so he could park his shopping cart in it. No one was doing anything so I offered her my seat that was a bit farther away from him, and his tirade was redirected onto me. I wear small, round, black framed glasses, so I guess that was the easiest target. Pretty fun to watch all the people furiously avoiding eye contact try not to laugh at a 24 year old woman being called a Harry Caray ass bitch.

    4. Pennalynn Lott

      I frequently get told I look like Kate Jackson (from the original Charlie’s Angels). But if it were an animated movie, I’d have to be voiced by Brenda Vaccaro.

    5. Lore

      I used to get Gillian Anderson a lot–but we were both coloring our hair a very similar shade of red and had similar hair cuts at the time. Now my hair is its natural reddish/blondish/brownish/goldish and she’s gone so much blonder, it doesn’t stick.

    6. Cruciatus

      The closest I ever got to a celebrity was the woman in The Blair Witch Project movies. I apparently do, however, frequently look like someone people know. I never know those people. While I was in Germany one person kept saying how I looked like a Spanish person they knew. Which, I know people look the same and different around the world, but I am Polish and German in ancestry and just didn’t see how that would work (not that I was offended. But I really wished I could have seen a picture of this person to see the similarity.) Although my host mother told me I “just look American.” Not quiiiite sure what she meant by that but I don’t want to look too closely at it (I know the stereotypes). I’ll have to work on a celebrity doppelganger though.

      1. Elizabeth West

        That happens to me ALL THE TIME. I always have people saying, “Did you ever go to school in Michigan/California/insert exotic location here?” And it’s always somewhere I’ve never been. I keep waiting to be ID’d as someone from a Crimestoppers poster. :P

        1. fposte

          Me too. I always like the Mary Tyler Moore Show line about them turning out a lot of me that year.

      2. nycredhead

        I get this all the time too. Some comedian said the best response to “You look familiar,” is “Do you watch porn?” I have never had the guts to say it, though!

      1. acmx

        I got that in HS, too. I don’t get it anymore. I lost the chubby cheeks (and the spiral perm)

        1. Lulubell

          Ha ha- me too! But I started straightening and lightening my hair the same time she did, so I got a few more years out of it.

    7. katamia

      People don’t tell me I look like any celebrities, so I have to depend on celebrity lookalike websites mostly, lol. Bollywood actress Preity Zinta comes up a lot, and even though I’m not Indian I do see a bit of a resemblance there–we have similar eyes and a similar facial structure. I’ve also gotten Elizabeth Taylor a few times, and there was one horrible picture that spat out Justin Bieber as a similar face. *shudder* I may have actually cried over that one for just a minute.

      I guess Zinta is probably the closest even though we have different hair/skin color/ethnic backgrounds.

    8. My house is dark and my pots are cold

      I’m not sure what to make of it, but in the past couple of years I’ve had several people tell me that I bear a great resemblance to Jeff Bridges’ character The Dude in the movie The Big Lebowski. These were independent, unsolicited comments by people who don’t know each other, so – while it came as a surprise – I’m inclined to believe them. But I’m not sure what to think about it. I mean, if people said I looked like Keanu Reeves, I’d be like “yeah!!!” And if they said I looked like Wallace Shawn, I’d be like “oh no!!!” But The Dude? I’m largely baffled.

    9. Not So NewReader

      Jackie Kennedy. Not so much her face and hair but I am told I carry myself in a similar manner. Not sure what that means. Maybe she had 18 vertebra out of place, too?

    10. Buffay the Vampire Layer

      Love this! I’ve gotten Carrie Underwood from several different people, but only when I’m blonde. Haven’t heard I look like anyone when I’m a brunette. My husband gets Michael J. Fox pretty frequently.

    11. Yoshi

      Growing up everyone always thought I looked like DJ Tanner from Full House (played by Candice Cameron). I’d agree, but don’t think we look anything alike now.

    12. Nervous Accountant

      No one has ever said I look like a celebrity but I do like to think I resemble Sara Ramirez (dr Torres on greys anatomy)…

    13. Soupspoon McGee

      I like to think I look like Greta Garbo, but I’ve been told Jody Foster is more realistic. I like them both.

    14. hermit crab

      Someone told me my celebrity lookalike is Ellen Page (this was around the time that Juno came out), which I don’t really believe but I’ll take it! Also, one time this random German guy we ran into on a family vacation in Spain told my dad that he (my dad) looked like Bill Gates, which for some reason was utterly hilarious and is now one of our prized family anecdotes.

    15. EvilQueenRegina

      I don’t know how widely this is shown outside the UK but we have a soap opera called Hollyoaks here. Back in 2001 I used to get told that I looked like this character called Anna. I never could see it.

      About three years ago some man on a train kept insisting I looked like “what’s her name off Mock the Week” (still no idea who that was!)

    16. littlemoose

      I was once told I look like a young Jodie Foster, but I dunno about that. I haven’t gotten any other doppelgänger remarks.

      My friend’s husband, however, is a dead ringer for Matthew Broderick. It’s uncanny.

      1. Soupspoon McGee

        I felt the same way about my alleged Jodie Foster resemblance. Maybe you and I are doppelgangers :-).

    17. Blue_eyes

      Fun! I get told I look like Miley Cyrus a lot. I think it’s mostly my hair cut, but also a bit in the face.

    18. LCL

      Sean White, when he was young and had long hair. My work buddy posted the Rolling Stone cover done after he won the Olympics, and teased me about it. “I didn’t know you snowboarded.”. It was a pretty good likeness. And I am a woman…

  30. The Other Dawn

    Seeing someone’s post up-thread reminded me that I need to get painting in the new house. I bought a gallon of paint awhile ago and haven’t used it yet. The intent was to use it for an accent wall in the kitchen, but now I’m wondering if the color might be wrong.

    My house was built in 1735 so there’s lots of wallpaper, including in the kitchen. The previous owners painted the wall where the fridge is (it’s built into the wall and the wall was added at some point for that purpose), but the color, while nice, isn’t me. I want to repaint it. The other three walls are wallpaper. The wall paper is a striped pattern: cream beige background, blue stripes (kind of a cornflower blue), and little tiny flowers with a tiny touch of burgundy/maroon and green in between the stripes. The color for the accent wall right now is beige. The color I bought is burgundy. A former friend once told me that when you want to accent a color that’s in a design, you pick the color that shows up the least in whatever pattern you’re looking to accent. Make sense? (I know what I’m trying to say, but I’m not finding the right words.) So, in this case, using that theory, I would go with green or burgundy. Now I’m kind of rethinking it.

    Some background: the kitchen is really small, maybe 7×10; there isn’t a lot of wall space so the wall paper is at a minimum in this room; cabinets and appliance are white; floor is white with little black diamonds.

    Anyone have any suggestions for another color, or am I OK with burgundy?

    1. fposte

      I think burgundy sounds nice, so long as it doesn’t make things too dark. You can always do the cheat and paint a bunch of posterboard and prop it up against the wall to see what you think–with an accent wall, you can probably come close to covering it that way.

    2. Not So NewReader

      Dark colors make a room feel smaller. Same thing with siding/paint on a house. A dark colored house looks smaller from the curb.

      Since the wall is small, I say go ahead and try it. You can easily paint over it if you do not like it. Some mistakes are easier to fix than others. If you find you goofed, it will not be a big deal to fix it.

  31. Ann Furthermore

    I am in the UK for work, and fortunate enough to get a weekend in London. I posted last weekend about this, asking for ideas about what to do.

    I arrived super early on Wednesday morning. Fortunately, I was able to check in when I got to my hotel around 9:30, and I set out to do some exploring. I walked about 1.5 miles up to the train station, and got an Oyster card, and also bought a week’s worth of train tickets to get me out to Welwyn Garden City (and thanks to Apollo Warbucks, I think, for providing details about using the tube and the trains). Then I walked about another mile over to Sir John Soane’s museum, which was absolutely fascinating. All the walking felt good after being crammed into a plane seat for 8 hours. I’m glad I went to that museum on a weekday, because even then there was a line to get in. It was absolutely fascinating.

    Today I went to the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, which was really cool. I got a Prime Meridian selfie too. Hee. It’s quite a hike up there, but it makes sense that an observatory would be at the highest point for miles around. Then I toured the Cutty Sark clipper ship, which was also super interesting — and I think it was Elizabeth West who suggested that, so thanks again!

    Tomorrow I’m going to go to the British Museum, and then walk up to Oxford Street and do a little shopping. It will be a shorter day since I do need to work some tomorrow too. I know you could easily spend days in the British Museum and still not see everything, but I’ll be back here in August and I’m planning to go back.

    1. anonbobcat

      Yesssssss, Greenwich is AMAZING! Sounds like you are having a great time! Blow a kiss to London for me!

    2. Elizabeth West

      YAAAAAY!!!!!! I told you it was cool. :) I got a prime meridian selfie of my feet, LOL. And some random dude took my pic by the pointy thing.

      Damn, no fair. I want to go back naow.

  32. Anon and Embarrassed from NC

    I am so embarrassed that our state has a 400 million dollar surplus, yet today teachers released red balloons representing the teachers who have left the state or the profession because of poor pay and job insecurity. I am horrified, and personally affected, by the state’s non-expansion of Medicaid. I am so not surprised that our state is one of the worst for gerrymandered congressional districts. I am horrified at the high-level bigotry – and other -isms. And now the state legislature overrode a veto to a bill that makes it a crime to covertly film conditions at animal farms, processing plants, or agriculture farms, workers, and processing sites. And I won’t even mention the details of the Governor signing into law one of the most restrictive reproductive rights bills in the nation.

    1. Steve G

      I don’t understand the part about the animal farms….I saw that that bill was out there in the country….so he overrode it as in it isn’t going into effect and it still won’t be a crime (which doesn’t go with the vibe of the rest of your post) or is he supporting the making it a crime?

      Also, on a side note, why are they releasing balloons. How many more Earth Days do we need before people stop doing things like that?!?!

      1. Pennalynn Lott

        If the legislature “overrode a veto to a bill that makes it a crime”, then they’re keeping it a crime. (The governor tried to use his veto powers to stop the bill that would make it a crime, but then the legislature came back with enough votes to override him). Sounds like they’re right up there with the folks who’ve made it illegal (or against policy?) to utter the words “climate change”. So sad.

        1. Steve G

          OK thanks, makes sense, I didn’t see the word “veto” when I was scanning this.

          How sad….I give $ to PETA and love their undercover work and they’ve done some really awesome exposes, we’re really taking society back 100 years if this sticks, very, very sad. Hopefully all of the articles about “millenials” are correct and future generations become more conscious of where their food comes from.

          1. littlemoose

            I think there could be a legitimate First Amendment challenge to that videotaping ban.

      2. nona

        Gov. McCrory tried to veto the bill that would make covertly recording at animal farms illegal. Looks like the bill went through anyway.

        Sucks because it was good to see McCrory making an effort in the past few weeks, and because animal welfare is apparently an issue he cares about.

        1. Anon and Embarrassed from NC

          Nona, I think he vetoed those two bills because he knew they would be veto-proof, and it “threw a bone” at those who wanted to see him act off-script.

          And the State Convention in Raleigh this weekend could cheer for the override of the vetoes.

          I love it here – but this gets really old.

          1. fposte

            I remember a piece of political advice in some book I read years ago about the value of picking the losing side when something’s inevitable. The winners don’t remember who was with them the way the losers do.

    2. Not So NewReader

      Please send that surplus up here. Our county spends 25% of it’s annual budget on Medicaid and there doesn’t seem to be a slow down in the near future. We *might* have a problem here.

    3. Jean

      Sympathies and virtual alka-seltzer for your politically induced indigestion!
      Best thing I can suggest is find a political party that opposes every belief & action of the majority of your current state elected & appointed officials. Then, having found that political party, work like hell to get its representatives elected. Take the long view on this, because it can be long, hard work to get incumbents voted OUT of office.

      My second-best suggestion is keep talking to at least _some_ of your current crop of elected officials, as well as staying connected (or becoming connected) with at least _some_ of the regular citizens who elected the current crop. Along with my admittedly ferocious political beliefs I maintain a Pollyanna-esque faith that deep down, almost all of us can find common ground somewhere, somehow, with each other. It may be only a shared interest in gardening or baseball or making brownies but heck, we’re all human beings and most of us honestly just want to live a quiet tranquil life among the people whom we love…

      I will admit that my Pollyana-esque faith completely breaks down when confronted with true-blue extremists such as, say, the leadership of ISIS or North Korea. Oh well, no human construction is perfect.

    4. Emily

      Uuugh. :( I’m not currently living in NC (I’m a graduate student), but I grew up in Raleigh and still claim my parents’ house as my residence. It’s really frustrating to watch things there go down the drain, especially since I have so many family and friends who are impacted by the terrible legislature.

      I really hope that the dissenters are able to mobilize during the next election cycle, although the horrible gerrymandering obviously makes it a lot more difficult. :/

    5. Florida

      I am frequently embarrassed to be from Florida for very similar reasons. Our legislature met recently, and the house didn’t want to vote on medicaid expansion, so they got up and left. Yep, they just left three days early. That would be like one of us leaving work on Tuesday, and saying, “I’m not happy with how this meeting is going, so I’m going to start my weekend now. See you next Monday.” One bill they passed before they took their toys and went home was restricting reproductive rights. The only good thing is that, to my knowledge, we are still allowed to film animal farms.

      1. Alma

        And if you want to see REAL “Government in the Sunshine ” the best illustration is FL. In NC it is considered a public meeting – or one to which the press and the people must be allowed access – if two or more government officials are involved. In FL, it is any number larger than one.

  33. I've Got a Crush on You

    Changing my name for this post because I’m having an issue that I should really not be having, or at least know better about.

    So I’ve known this guy for about two years now…we met through his job, so without getting too much into work, I’ll say it’s a job a lot of people would want to have because it’s one of those “passion” or “dream job” fields, so we have a mutual interest in his line of work. Anyway, at first I just thought “This guy is awesome,” and nothing more than that. But a few months ago…I started to really like him. He was supportive of me and my goals, we small talked about non-work topics and the next thing I knew…I started to get butterflies when I was around him. I hugged him once and my face got red as I was walking away. We’re a year and a half apart in age, we have mutual respect for each other, so…naturally HE HAS A GIRLFRIEND! I’m aware of this but have never met his girlfriend. I realize this does not make it OK to go after him and am currently trying no contact in order to outgrow my crush. (We will not see each other in person until about three months from now due to the seasonal nature of our shared interest, unless I run into him in public.) I have asked him a couple questions about Girlfriend while we’re making small talk, just asking stuff like if she likes our hobby too or what she does for a living. Nothing personal.

    The trouble is, even though I’ve gone no contact and am not checking his social media pages, he’s still on my mind from time to time. The other day, I was thinking “I miss Crush; I can’t wait to see him again.” Thinking of him and how kind he is still makes me happy. I am also talking to a few single guys. One pre-existing male friend who is single agreed to go out with me; we are just trying to set a day and time. I am on OKCupid and have two irons in the fire there. I also try to re-direct my energy when Crush comes to mind…like oh Crush is so cute…hey, I’d better start brainstorming my half marathon training! Yet somehow, I find that I still have thoughts for him and feel bummed that I didn’t get to meet him when he was single.

    Does it take time for feelings to die, or is there some other magic cure I’m not trying? I know some people might say I should cut him off entirely, but considering we don’t talk to each other too much, I don’t know if it’s necessary. I’d say it’s more of a fleeting crush, and not something out of control, so my goals are basically to get over it or at least keep it from going crazy.

    1. Is this Legal

      I’ve no remedy for you but enjoy while it lasts, one day you will say what was that all about?

    2. Crush Response

      My response is usually, try to imagine actually dating him. I have a crush on somebody at work. We’re both married. I’m gay and he’s married to a woman (although I’m pretty sure he has feelings for me). What keeps me sane is I would be annoyed as sin if we were together. This took time to realize that I would hate being in a relationship with him. This happened once in grad school. Crush on guy, no relationship potential.

    3. My house is dark and my pots are cold

      I’m sure many people will disagree with me, but – you’re not married, and he’s not married? He has a girlfriend? Maybe it’s my advanced age and experience, but I tend to view the “sin” involved in these kinds of relationships as a sliding scale that more or less runs like

      0. Single, unattached.
      1. Has girlfriend.
      2. Live-in girlfriend (apartment)
      3. Live-in girlfriend (house w/ mortgage)
      4. Live-in girlfriend (kids, not hers)

      97. Married, kids in college.
      98. Married, young children.
      99. Married, young children, pregnant wife.

      I trust you get the idea. So I’d say see if he’s interested. Just: don’t let him get away with dating you *and* this other girl at the same time.

      1. I've Got a Crush on You

        He has a girlfriend he lives with. I’m not sure if they have a house or an apartment, though. No kids, but he mentioned a dog. Still, I prefer to just back off as much as possible and not pursue anything. I feel if he lives with his girlfriend, his mind is made up about the commitment to her, so I just need to get over it and accept the crush as a fantasy. I feel kind of icky seeing if a taken guy would be interested in me, anyway.

          1. SandrineSmiles (France)

            Well, it’s one thing to mention the attraction, and one entirely to work hard to destroy the previous relationship.

            With that said, it’s just like… hey, job searching :P . If the “new job offer” seems better to him and he takes it, then no one is to blame… or something.

            Sorry, brain not working properly, but I hope you get what I was trying to get at xD .

          2. Bitch Please

            Nope, some of us actually don’t need those things to be fully committed. Thanks for your judgement on our relationships though! It’s not like we get a lot of that or anything.

            1. My house is dark and my pots are cold

              It’s not a judgement. It’s an observation.

              > … we get a lot of that …

              I’d imagine this is because in our society the vast majority of people do not consider simply living with another person to be a commitment. You may feel that way inside of the relationship. But to people outside? It’s not uncommon for couples that live together to split up (Google it), and many people have seen it happen. I mean, on a basic level, the reason we *have* things like engagement rings and weddings is to make a public announcement of commitment. (And, with engagement rings, it also forces the male to put some skin in the game, but I digress).

              Anyway, you seem bitter about it. That’s too bad, but you’ve got to face reality: when you flout societal convention, society is going to give you some flack over it.

                1. Pennalynn Lott

                  Yep, I know *hundreds* of people who are divorced, and dozens upon dozens who simply cheat on their spouses. That ring is meaningless. That public declaration is meaningless. What matters is the actual commitment the two people feel toward one another.

                  P.S. Dark House, try googling stats for divorce. 45-50% of 1st marriages end in them. I don’t think 50/50 odds signals a deep commitment. And the odds get worse with each subsequent marriage. I think we’d all be better served by realizing this is 2015, not 1945.

          3. SevenSixOne

            My now-husband and I were together for 7 years and lived together for about 4 years before we got married. I was always insulted when people implied our relationship was somehow Not A Real Commitment just because we weren’t married.

            1. I've Got a Crush on You

              Hey I hope I’m not offending anyone! My aunt was in a relationship with a guy for several years that never went to engagement/marriage, and until they decided to go their separate ways, we (as in, our family) still understood that it was a genuine commitment. I know that if my crush lives with his girlfriend, they’re very likely in it for the long haul together. I do not plan on acting on my feelings or otherwise convincing myself he’s not in a “real relationship.” It does kind of sting that I always have to wonder “What if?” and accept the fact that we’ll probably never go beyond mutual respect/friendship, but I guess that’s just the way life goes. And hopefully…things work out with one of the available guys I’m talking to.

          4. Pennalynn Lott

            Wow. . . Boyfriend and I have been living together for 12 years and ours is a *very* committed relationship. My mother was married six times and had two kids with two different dads, so I absolutely don’t see engagement/marriage/kids as being the definition of commitment. My relationship is more committed, more healthy, than any of her six marriages, hands down.

            If someone decided that Boyfriend was up for grabs because he and I see no benefit to marriage, I’d be royally pissed off and question their hypocritical combination of “traditional values” (“It’s meaningless without a ring”) and lack of morals/ethics (“He and his girlfriend live together, but I have no qualms about attempting to trash that relationship to fulfill my own desires.”)

        1. SevenSixOne

          If I knew for certain that someone is in a relationship, dating that person is 100% off the table– it doesn’t matter to me whether it’s a new relationship or a decades-long marriage.

          1. My house is dark and my pots are cold

            I’ve seen too many people go through real pain and suffering when their marriage breaks up, and children and careers and families and retirement accounts and etc all go through the grinder. All of this boyfriend / girlfriend stuff is like, from high school. Boyfriends and girlfriends break up all the time, quite commonly because they want to date someone else. It’s a thing that human beings do.

            That said: given that you are married, I applaud your decision not to date other people.

    4. Anonymosity

      It takes time. Eventually it will fade. I’m dealing with this annoying crap right now. Person at work, don’t know if he has a gf or not, he’s much younger than I am and doesn’t seem interested in me other than hi and bye. I don’t find this enjoyable at all, which I think may be helpful in mitigating it, because I’m already really sick of thinking about it. But right now I have nothing else to move on to. :(

    5. Shell

      I’d just ride it out and enjoy it. Crushing is fun. That said, I’m very slow to actually get into the “I want to actually date you” mindset so this might be different for you.

      For me, I’ve a coworker who is very cool, has helped me out a few times, and I think he’s pretty good looking. I think he has a girlfriend though he doesn’t mention her much. That said, I don’t date coworkers anyway–too messy. So I just keep it to chats over the cubical walls and, if it comes to it, a work spouse. I drew a bright line, not gonna cross it, so interactions can just be lighthearted fun rather than a big OMG thing.

    6. EvilQueenRegina

      Ugh, I wish I knew the answer to that, trying to deal with same annoying crap myself right now. I have wondered if cutting this person off is the way to go, and at one time he did disappear off the face of the earth. In one way that was easier because it allowed me to have no contact without being the bad guy in cutting him off. But then after about six weeks of that he decided to get back in touch and without getting into it there were a couple of conversations and one incident that caused my feelings to come back. There is a reason why I struggle with cutting people off, which he now knows.

      I’m almost certain he doesn’t see me in that way and just sees me as a friend. I think I will try and cut back contact and see if that helps. I’m trying to remind myself of all the reasons why it’s unlikely to work. It’s an online long distance thing for a start. There are other things I won’t get into.

    7. AnnieNonymous

      I honestly think you’re doing the right thing. Sometimes you have to fall in love with someone else before you can let go of crushes.

      I’ve dated guys who were in relationships when we first met, but the whole point is that they’ll let you know when they’re single and up for something new. If you get the hint that his relationship is starting to take a bad turn, you can let him know you’re available, but don’t go further than that. Good guys get snatched up very quickly so I don’t think it’s wrong to make sure you’re first in line. Just don’t stick your nose where it doesn’t belong.

  34. anonbobcat

    Went to a family wedding recently – TWO HOURS OF SPEECHES. That’s not normal, right?
    I went and hung out in the lobby for the second half (after the parents and the siblings, couldn’t listen to the 18 members of the bridal party, no joke)… and the bride then posted on Facebook to say (to the 200+ guests in general, not me specifically) “if you couldn’t respect the event you shouldn’t have come.” (They also closed the bar “during speeches” so no one could get a drink – even soda! – for all that time.
    That’s a bit much, isn’t it?

    1. Apollo Warbucks

      2 hours is crazy I don’t think I could have sat and listened for that long.

    2. Sherm

      It appears that an increasing number of speeches at weddings is becoming a “thing.” I’m not a wedding expert, but it used to be just the best man made a speech/toast, right? The maid of honor now also speaks, a fair and welcome development, in my book. But now, the parents might speak. Or the attention-hungry kid brother. Ad nauseum.

      Two hours is extreme even in this day and age, though. I bet NO ONE was enjoying the speeches, with the exception, it appears, of the bride. I would have been tempted to write back on Facebook: “If you couldn’t respect the guests, maybe we shouldn’t have come!”

      1. TheLazyB

        In the UK it’s always been groom, best man and father of bride (not in that order).

        (I spoke instead of my DH, it was his idea of hell.)

        1. Elkay

          I believe UK custom is: father of the bride who toasts the happy couple, the groom responds on their behalf then toasts the bridesmaids and the best man responds on their behalf (because we all know women can’t speak for themselves).

      2. Mimmy

        it used to be just the best man made a speech/toast, right? The maid of honor now also speaks, a fair and welcome development, in my book.

        I never thought of that before, but I agree with you.

    3. Not So NewReader

      I cannot picture people making two hours of speeches about me and my husband. There is just not that much material there. And there are only a few ways to say “Congrats, good luck” and then you are done saying that.

      But you know, the whole point of going to a wedding is to get scolded in social media afterward. (NOT)

      1. SevenSixOne

        I eloped because being the center of attention is my least favorite thing in the world. I’m pretty sure I would actually die from embarrassment if I had to sit through two hours of speeches about me.

        1. Sara

          If marathon speeches like this are the norm now, that’s just one more reason for me to elope! (And one more reason to be glad that most of my friends are already married.)

    4. Sunshine Brite

      I almost thought we were at the same wedding for a little bit. The one I was at had more speeches and a smaller bridal party. And the groom’s father talked about the birth canal far too much.

    5. Graciosa

      More than just “a bit” much.

      The new couple have yet to learn that the fundamental responsibility of a host is to take care of your guests.

    6. Al Lo

      We gave both our parents time limits — mine an upper time limit (because they could go on); his a lower time limit (because at his brother’s wedding, his mom just got the whole family up and they all kind of awkwardly yelled, “Welcome to the family!” in unison, except that she didn’t tell them that’s what they were doing, so it was more like, “mnfdc,nfakdf…. family!”, and we wanted them to actually say something thought-out). I think we asked them each to be around 3 minutes, and the wedding party speeches were about 5 minutes for each side. Worked for me, and my in-laws gave a more thoughtful speech than mumbling and yelling. ;)

    7. Elkay

      My Dad used to work a lot of weddings and he says long speeches are awful for everyone involved, he’s had to cut a few people off. He reckons the worst are the father of the bride speeches which start on the day she was born. Too often people doing wedding speeches forget that not everyone knows the bride/groom in the same way as they do. Case in point my friend got married and is a supporter of a football team that has an arch rival team, on his stag do they made him dress in the arch rival’s kit, the best man put up a photo of this with some comment like “We all know groom is a big football fan”, I’d reckon that over 50% of the guests had no idea why this was relevant/funny.

      1. EvilQueenRegina

        You’re not friends with my cousin’s husband are you? That was done to him on his stag do. He has a photo of it on his Facebook captioned something like “Even the woman behind looked disgusted!” (Although how much that had to do with his Liverpool kit, I don’t know.)

        My other cousin is one of the few grooms who effectively wrote the best man’s speech himself. The e-mail he sent to the four best men detailing his proposal got read out. He also gave them a list of topics to avoid. Said list then got read out as part of the speech. He had asked them not to mention his puppy fat stage, so they got hold of a school photo from when he was about 11, printed off copies, circulated them for people to sign the back of and lots of people ended up posing for photos with it. I don’t know why he bothered though, since there must only have been about 2 people at that wedding who hadn’t seen it and it was even his Facebook profile picture at one time.

        1. Elkay

          Different football rivalries :) My heart sinks if I see a projector/powerpoint at a wedding.

    8. Mimmy

      Yeeeeeah that’s definitely overkill! Especially with the controlling nature of it all–closing the bar, making a snide remark on Facebook?!

      My wedding had quite a few speeches too, but the Best Man’s speech was all of 30 seconds–short and sweet. I think my dad did TWO!

    9. Sunflower

      That is crazy and closing the bar is even worse!!! I may or may not have left during that…

  35. Samantha

    I’m starting graduate school this fall after being out of school for 7 years. It’s a totally new field so i got some textbooks to brush up on basics this summer. Anyone have any study tips to help me get my brain back in school mode?

    1. Pennalynn Lott

      Not so much a study tip but I found it easier to study when I had Noisli on in the background. It’s a website that has a number of white / background noises you can choose from and even mix together. Some days I need the “train on the tracks” noise, some days I need the “rustling leaves mixed with storm” noise. Music (even music without lyrics) is too distracting for me; so is a totally quiet room.

      Oh, wait, I do have one study tip: highlight everything as you read. I find that my mind wanders if I’m not forcing myself to actively read via highlighter. For the “blah-blah-blah” stuff, I highlight with a thin line under the words. For the next level up of important information, I highlight with a thin line through the words. If it’s really important, I highlight with a fat line over the words. And if it’s “OMG this will be on the test” important, I fill in a big fat rectangle around and through the words. So when I’m reviewing I can focus my attention based on how I’ve highlighted all the words.

    2. Coccinelle_rouge13

      I am currently back in school after working for 2 years.
      Have you looked up active studying tips? Those are pretty good. Some textbooks have them built-in like questions at the end of the section.
      I also find it easier to recall what we covered in class if I have already read the materials before but that’s more of a preparation tip.
      Everyone has a different learning style, I think you can takes quizzes online to help you figure out which one you are, it’s just a matter of finding the one that works for you the best and then applying.

    3. Malissa

      Bite size chunks and planned breaks. Read a chapter, take a break. Plan out papers. Gather your research and always get 2-4 more sources than required and more than you think you’ll need. Outline then work on sections one at a time. Never say I’ve got to write 12 pages. Say I’ve got to gather 5 sources today, 5 tomorrow, then I’ll write the outline the next day.

      1. Sara

        Scheduling like this worked really well for me up until my very last paper for my very last class. (My brain checked out of grad school about a week early.) I would break down the major assignments in the syllabus early – like, within the first two weeks of the semester – and I put the small steps onto a physical (paper) calendar above my desk. Finish book by June 12, gather 5 sources by June 15, gather 5 more sources by June 18, write outline by June 19 and revise over the weekend. (Just as an example.) The act of crossing these tasks out when I finished them was extremely satisfying. :)

    4. Yoshi

      I started graduate school last fall after six years in the workplace, and I have to say its been pretty easy to transition back into it. I think that all that work experience has really changed my mindset on how I approach classes, how I allocate my time, how much emotional energy I put into different projects, etc. The toughest part for me has been reminding myself that I’m not at the same place in my life/career as some of my younger classmates, and so I try not to get sucked up into their stress. But congratulations on going back! I’ve found it to be rewarding and have very much enjoyed my time thus far, and I hope you feel the same.

    5. catsAreCool

      When I was in college, I found that it helped if I wrote my own “tests” to study from. I’d go over my notes from class, add in anything from the book that seemed important, and make up a long test with questions and answers. Then I’d test myself. If I could easily answer a question, I marked it off. I’d work on studying the rest. Then I re-tested myself.

      I like noise when I’m studying. I used to study to Tom Petty’s music. Jazz can be good, too.

  36. nep

    Any classes offered at a local community center or the like? Might help to get back in that mode.

  37. Professor Moriarty

    I have recently discovered that if I give money to someone then they can and will do the things I hate. I grew up fairly poor so it has been a REVELATION that I can both have a clan house and not clean just by giving someone money to do it. I have hired a handyman to do odd jobs and am looking into getting a gardener for my mother. I have not told my family because they seem to think that ‘middle class’ is an insult (ugh) but I LOVE having disposable income, so much stress has melted away :) :)

    1. CollegeAdmin

      I did not understand this post at all and interpreted it as, “If I give people money, they will do things with it that I can’t stand.” I was very confused at first glance. But hurrah for a clean, fixed-up home and a landscaped home for your mother!

      1. Dynamic Beige

        I read it that way at first too. But then I got it that the good Prof has hired people to do things for themself that they either cannot do/doesn’t have the time to do or just doesn’t want to do. I’ve been thinking recently that I’d like a housekeeper, like Alice from the Brady Bunch but not as kooky. It would be so awesome to unload all the household chores on someone else, if only for a while.

        1. Coach Devie

          They have an app for that!!

          Seriously… its like an Uber for household tasks/cleaning. Called Handy

    2. The Other Dawn

      I was confused, too.

      Congrats on having enough money for that stuff! It’s an awesome feeling.

      When I first started having a friend come in once a week at my old house,I remember feeling very embarrassed that I had “hired help.” If someone asked me about it I would try to justify why I needed someone to come in: “it’s only for an hour or two to do the floors and garbage,” or “it’s hard to keep up with all the cat hair when we’re working so many hours” or “she really needs the money so I’m helping her out.” All true, but I was trying so hard to convince people it’s no big deal. I was very uncomfortable with the concept of paying someone to do something I didn’t have a lot of time for. We’re a very blue collar family; I was the first and only child out of 5 kids to go to college and have a white collar job. I no longer have that person come to clean – she was my tenant from Hell that I had to evict from the old house. But if I got someone now, I think I’d still feel weird even though I have the income and I’m in an area where it’s more common. I guess it’s just my upbringing.

    3. Elizabeth West

      I love having someone else do my yard, although it’s been frustrating getting them over here with all the rain we’ve had. My shoulder is just too messed up to do it regularly and my power mower broke anyway. All I have is my reel mower and I can only do the backyard with that one (because gumballs in front). I do it sometimes if we have a week between mowings and it’s getting out of hand.

      1. KittenLittle

        How do you like your reel mower? Does anyone else here use one? I’m interested in making the switch!

    4. Dan

      I rent, so a lot of what you talk about is sort of automatically taken care of. I don’t even have to call somebody to shovel the sidewalks in the winter, it just happens!

    5. Graciosa

      Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty about this.

      You are providing income and employment to people who want the work.

      As long as you treat them with respect (and pay promptly) you are doing a good thing for everyone involved.

      1. the gold digger

        I would love to have a cleaning lady again. I had one when I was a Peace Corps volunteer, not because she was good at housekeeping (she was awful – see link below) but because I did not feel like washing my clothes by hand in the bathtub, which was my option if I did not take my clothes to the cleaners and wait four days for them to be done. (No laundromats.)

        It is interesting – it seems to be my liberal friends who find the idea of a housekeeper exploitative (and, of course Barbara Ehrenreich,, who does not understand how a floor gets clean). It is a job, just like any other, and can be done well or be done poorly. My mom worked as a maid and so did my grandmother. It’s work. It is not exploitation. No reason to feel guilty!

        1. fposte

          What I remember about Barbara Ehrenreich and floors is her objection to the services’ requirement that their workers clean kitchen floors on their knees, since that’s not actually the best way to get them clean. Is there something else that you’re thinking of, or are you a fan of the cleaning-on-your-knees thing?

          (I have a cleaner myself, but I wouldn’t go through a service.)

            1. the gold digger

              PS Usually, I just push a damp rag around the floor with my foot, which does not yield the cleanesst floor, but if I am paying someone else to clean my house, I want it done right. :)

            2. fposte

              At least on my vinyl floors, scrubbing while kneeling wasn’t an improvement over scrubbing while standing. I suppose there could be floors or uses where that isn’t true, but overall it sounds like favoring hand-scrubbing dishes instead of using the dishwasher.

              1. the gold digger

                For me, the only way to be sure of getting the corners and the baseboards is on my hands and knees. Also, I have wood floors. Don’t know if that makes a difference.

                The real solution for me is just not to wear my glasses.

                1. Connie-Lynne

                  If you’re lazy, like me, and you have all wood floors, I highly recommend a roomba. They don’t really get the baseboards, but their little side-brush thingy gets close enough.

                  Plus it’s funny to watch the cats play, er, _interact_ with it.

              2. Connie-Lynne

                I cleaned houses as a teenager and I will say that if you wash the baseboards weekly, there’s no need after the first time around to get down on your hands and knees.

                The first time, yes, often you do need to scrub and because of the crevices and crenellations, you have to get up close and personal. If you take care of it weekly after that with a damp ragmop, you won’t have to get down and do a deep clean more than about every six months. Or, if you have a vacuum cleaner with a long-stick-brush attachment, ever: just vacuum the crevices weekly and then go over them with a damp ragmop to catch any stray dust.

                1. fposte

                  Right, if a floor’s regularly cleaned going onto your knees isn’t an advantage.

                  And plus it really is horrible for the body to do regularly–Ehrenreich was pointing out how the low-wage workers were being required to hurt themselves for no real additional benefit.

              3. Observer

                Guess what? Sometimes hand washing really does work better. I tend to hand wash because I rarely have enough dishes to warrant a load. But I have definitely taken things out of the machine that still have residue on them – things that would NEVER look that way had anyone washed these items by hand. On the other hand, there are things I won’t use unless I know I’m going to run a dishwasher load, because washing by hand is such a pain, or almost impossible.

                1. fposte

                  I deliberately chose that, because yes, machine washing won’t always get stuck-on stuff off, but it also more effectively cleans the non-visible dirt off. So if I choose to hand-wash instead I’m not improving the overall cleanliness of my dishes.

          1. Observer

            Well, if that’s her claim, she happens not to be correct. If you mop often enough, it’s no big deal, but in many cases you really do need to get down to do it right.

            Fortunately, my floors have never been that filthy, so I’ve never felt the need to insist that my cleaning help do the floors on hands and knees.

          2. Connie-Lynne

            OK, I went and I read the Ehrenreich article.

            It covers a lot of nuance with modern gender politics, and as both a former cleaner and someone with a cleaner, I can appreciate it.

            But, her specific objection is to Merry Maids’ requirement that their workers clean on their knees. Which (a) is in fact awful and (b) apparently the only service that does this.

            Which sucks, because, ugh, they do have very strong market penetration. I’ve used them in the past and I have not in fact seen their cleaners scrubbing on the floor, but still, yuck. It does explain why that service, in particular, has a reputation for their workers using the service basically as a placement company: work for someone a few times, then offer to be cheaper by skipping the service-as-broker.

            Ugh, gross. Thanks, fposte.

        2. Marcela

          What an interesting view of my country! I remember when my husband moved to Paris and we discovered the laundromats. We hated them, being forced to leave the house with a big bag of clothes was horrific for us. They don’t exist in Chile (we do have places for dry cleaning, where they can wash clothes also, but they are not the same thing). Probably because it’s very, very cheap to hire somebody to wash your clothes in the event that you don’t own a washing machine. A few months later, my husband was so fed up with going to the laundromat, that he got a second hand machine for his place.

          I love this

          I think the culture shock in Chile might have been worse than culture shock in the middle of Africa. Chile looked western. Looked middle class. I was in a three bedroom, two bath, brick tract house. My town had Mercedes dealership. On the main plaza there was a movie theater, a coffee/chocolate shop, two department stores, a bank, a church. I recognized everything.

          But I recognized only the surface. This was still a foreign country and they did things differently. Every time I thought I understood what was going on, I discovered I had completely misunderstood.

          We are doing it in reverse. I remember the first time we went to a cinema and bought popcorn: it came with butter. Oh, disgusting!! :D

            1. Marcela

              Popcorn is sweet. I guess they use sugar, not honey, but it never occurred to me you could want them other than sweet, so I don’t really know.

              1. Natalie

                That sounds like what I’d call kettle corn, where the popcorn is cooked with sugar and oil.

                1. Connie-Lynne

                  Kettle Corn has sugar, salt, and oil.

                  And now the next time I visit our Santiago office I want to go to the movies!

              2. the gold digger

                THE POPCORN! That shocked ALL the Peace Corps volunteers! We went to the movies and bought popcorn and it was SWEET!

                It was very good but if you are expecting salty and buttered, sweet is a shock.

                I loved Chile – best potatoes in the world (and French fries eaten with mayonnaise – again, not bad – indeed, very good! but it was something different). Fabulous produce. Nice people. I am FB friends with my counterpart – she was messaging that there are floods in Temuco.

    6. Betty (the other Betty)

      I run my own business and always have a list of things I don’t want to do that need to get done. I finally took the plunge and hired a freelancer to come in and do those things.

      In 4 hours she got all my tax paperwork ready to submit (lots of going through statements finding all the Internet, insurance, and phone bills, that sort of thing) AND put all of my receipts for this year into my accounting spreadsheet so I can actually see my expenses for the year. It’s a miracle.

    7. Cristina in England

      I would love to have a cleaner come and do the bathroom. I don’t mind vacuuming or sweeping or many things, but I can’t stand cleaning bathrooms. My husband seems to think it is a moral wrong not to clean your own house, so I doubt I’ll be getting my wish any time soon. The result is that my bathroom isn’t very clean!

      1. Windchime

        Maybe your husband should clean the bathroom, since he thinks it’s morally wrong to do otherwise?

    8. AvonLady Barksdale

      It’s so funny to me that you and I came to the same conclusions but from different backgrounds. :) I grew up kind of upper middle class and we always had someone clean the house– but when I moved out and was on my own, I always felt a sense of responsibility, that I should do everything myself. I enjoy cleaning and the feeling of accomplishment I get, so there’s that. I also don’t make nearly as much money as my parents did. But a few years ago, I wanted to be rid of the burden of TIME, so I hired someone to clean my apartment. It was so great. She scrubbed. She dusted. She did all the stuff I hated. But then I moved to a much more expensive apartment and went back to cleaning myself.

      When we moved to our new state and our new house, I worked from home and cleaned myself. My grandmother asked me why I didn’t hire someone, and I said this house was easy to clean (it is) and I had time, so why waste the money? Then I started a new job, got super stressed and busy, and realized that I needed someone to come in or the house would never get clean enough for me. I LOVE THEM. Being able to afford to pay someone to do certain things is a luxury, for sure, but it’s so nice to have that luxury and exercise it. Admittedly, it helps that I live in an area where getting someone to clean is SUPER easy and relatively inexpensive.

    9. Windchime

      I don’t pay anyone to clean my house, although heaven knows it could sure use it. But I’ve paid someone to do all my yard work for four years now and I love it. I love never having to worry about weeding or trimming or mowing, any of that stuff. He was here today and we had the annual lecture about me needing to water my lawn.

      He’s a great guy and I’m glad I made the decision to pay for that. I don’t like bugs and I don’t like getting all dirty and sweaty.

  38. Cruciatus

    I finally watched Wolf Hall. Really disliked the book, and sometimes got confused even with the show, but I enjoyed it much more than the book. The woman who played Anne Boleyn really had me feeling for her in her final speech (despite not liking her most of the series). And the hug Henry VIII gave Cromwell at the end was a scarier moment than most horror movies provide (especially knowing what’s coming next for Cromwell). I will say Anne Boleyn Head Picker Upper has to be one of the worst jobs out there… Apportez l’epee!

    1. fposte

      Oh, interesting, I haven’t read the book yet and it sounded like I’d like it better than the show, but maybe not. I hadn’t realized the show stopped after Anne Boleyn, so I was surprised. I’d like to see Mark Rylance play it out to the end.

      It was funny to see him pop up in the trailer for the new Spielberg.

      1. Hellanon

        I absolutely loved Wolf Hall – the prose was, I thought, fairly mannered, but it was a`style that really, really worked for me. I can see where it’s something one would either love or hate. Bring Up the Bodies I found less engaging, somehow, maybe because the overall arc was so predetermined & the scope was smaller?

        1. Cruciatus

          Did you see the TV show? I didn’t finish the book so I can’t fully compare–if you did see it, was it a pretty close adaptation? In regards to the TV show, my mom was irritated with how they portrayed Henry (Damian Lewis) as he wasn’t exactly a looker in many respects…(but…I suppose he *was* king…)

          1. fposte

            Oh, I thought he was pretty good at capturing the look, and I liked that they seemed to size him so he was bigger than his men–I don’t know if that was casting or lifts, but it was a nice authentic touch. He wasn’t quite as magnetic as Henry sounds to have been, though, so maybe that’s where your mom and I are agreeing.

          2. Hellanon

            Not yet – wanted to wait until I’d finished the second book & I’m saving the whole thing for a binge watch once I’ve turned in my spring grades!

      2. Cruciatus

        I don’t know if you watch Elementary, but before they cast Sherlock’s dad (John Noble), a lot of people wanted Mark Rylance and kept discussing his role in Wolf Hall. I haven’t seen him in the trailer yet but I’ll try to catch it and get used to him in current garb!

    2. Puffle

      I love that show! I did get confused as well though, especially with the sudden unmarked switches between time periods. Half the time I couldn’t tell what was happening when.

  39. NBF

    I was so sad to hear about the tragic earthquake on mount kinabalu in Malaysia. I climbed that mountain when I visited Borneo and it is such an amazing and special place. Not to mention how great the people of Sabah are. Prayers for those who died or were injured and everyone else affected

    1. Dan

      I don’t climb, but I was in Borneo last year. That makes two places I’ve been to now that have gotten hit with quakes after I left. The other was Katmandu.

  40. Scout

    I was driving through northern NY today and got stopped at four different road blocks searching for the two men who escaped from the max security prison there. I hope they track them down soon and nobody gets hurt.

    1. Not So NewReader

      Yes, those were two pretty bad actors. The area is really rural. Just my guess that they will head to Canada. If anyone is in northern NYS right now, please use extra caution. And remember that cell reception is very spotty- stay sharp and keep your eyes wide open.

      1. Scout

        It is really rural. The troopers were spread out all over doing road blocks and I’m sure other types of searching but they can only cover so much ground in an area like that. Very thankful I was just driving through and don’t live there. So many rural properties where they could decide to hide or stop for provisions.

    2. Jean

      “I hope they track them down soon and nobody gets hurt.”

      You know, this is a wake-up call for me. I’ve been feeling blue and sorry for myself because many folks among my Friends & Relations are dealing with Serious Medical Matters.Now, however, I also can be grateful for not living in a region plagued by vicious escaped criminals, or civil war, or earthquakes, or horrible brutal dictators.
      No disrespect intended to people who are unfortunate enough to have any of the above hardships on top of life’s usual large & small stresses!

  41. Elizabeth West

    Psycho Kitty saw her own vet this morning. The antibiotic shot helped and he was able to stitch up her tail. Now she no longer has a gaping wound, and it should heal up better. :) She hates all this, of course, and we have to go back in ten days to get the stitches out, and then I have to do her shots and teeth cleaning. I think I’ll ask them if we can do all that stuff at the same visit. She’s starting to get super skittish and I don’t want to put her through this any more. It’s a huge ordeal taking her to the vet–I have to trick her into the carrier and she doesn’t trust me for a few days after that.

    Went to a fun meetup with my Who group tonight. We had cake for people’s birthdays and watched a hilarious episode arc with Five (Planet of Fire, with the tiny Master in the box controlling the chameleon robot–and first Peri appearance. Peri is new to me). Jokes galore. I can’t wait for our next meeting–it’s anniversary time and we’re having food and Cards Against Humanity again. I did not want to come home because no one is here. Sigh.

    1. Revanche

      Poor kitty.
      Not that it’s helpful with the quiet home thing but it does sound like your social groups are an awful lot of fun. I have the cozy home but no local friends thing going on myself.

    2. Rebecca

      Best wishes for Psycho Kitty’s recovery! Abscesses and gaping wounds are not fun for kitty or their hoomins. Been there, done that, got the T shirt several times.

      1. Elizabeth West

        I’m pretty sure it was just a cut. If she’d had an abscess, I would have known it before the wound–I handle her tail ALL THE TIME. The regular vet said the same thing, that it looked like a laceration. At least now it can heal properly!

    3. Carrie in Scotland

      Get well soon wishes from me to psycho kitty!

      And cake. Cake is good and never wrong.

    4. ID10T Detector

      Most cats become anxious when they can see what is going on around them outside the carrier, but it’s not their familiar landscape, and they don’t have the option of flight should a threat arise. Years ago, when I had a cat that completely and totally freaked out about being in the carrier, my vet suggested putting the cat in a pillowcase. It sounds weird, but they can breathe and also exercise their well-known talent for honestly believing “if I can’t see you, you can’t see me”. They’ll also go into a pillowcase pretty willingly, in general. That particular cat, the next trip to the vet – she sat on my lap, and purred the entire ride. The cats that we have now, we use the pillowcase for one, and the other is fine in a carrier.

      I hope kitty is feeling better and her tail heals quickly.

      1. Elizabeth West

        Thanks I’m sure she will be. I doubt a pillowcase would work on her, though. She’d probably freak out worse. I don’t think I could get her in it in any case. Her carrier is slightly bigger and it’s fairly easy to stuff her in (I just have to fake her out like she’s getting fed, which always makes me feel a little guilty).

    1. Graciosa

      Best – found a new author I’ve been enjoying (John Conroe) who moved me to keep reading until the wee small hours a few nights.

      Worst – took my car in for an oil change and tire rotation and the dealer AGAIN found hundreds of dollars worth of repairs to recommend, in spite of the fact that I have taken very good care of my car since I bought it new.

      Time to find an independent service shop.

      1. Mimmy

        I think some dealers do that to get your money. Definitely look for different service shop.

    2. Ally

      Best: Got to see my best friend for the first time since March! (we work/live on opposite schedules)

      Worst: New contract job is the worst.

    3. Puffle

      Best: after being snowed under work, I finally had a quiet week where I could catch up on my notes/ filing and I wasn’t getting home every night feeling too exhausted to do anything.

      Worst: It’s monsoon season here :( I cycled home on Friday wearing raincoat, hat and wellies, and still got so wet I had to change all of my clothes when I got back.

    4. S

      Best: getting to sleep in my own bed for the first time in two weekends. And I got a super cute pair of shoes today!
      Worst: …the lack of sleep I’ve gotten. Not through anyone’s fault but my own either.

    5. Elizabeth West

      BEST: My knee is completely ow-free again. Yay! And with my birthday money, I got a very nice Zuca skate bag. :) I wanted one but couldn’t afford it.

      WORST: The heat and humidity has arrived. Ugh. x_x I don’t have clothes for this weather. I need to go buy a few things, but the Psycho Kitty Emergency Tail Repair ate up all my money.

    6. Rebecca

      Best – I helped two turtles cross the road this week, one box turtle and one painted turtle, on two different roads. I love making sure they get across the road safely. And I helped keep 3 separate dogs off the road when they came to greet me while I was walking. Also, I got to spend the day yesterday with my parents, my daughter and son in law, and their dog at a local amusement park. The weather was perfect, and I had a wonderful time! Oh, and I found huge patches of wild strawberries and had a great treat.

      Worst – I was out for a walk one day this week, and really miscalculated how far away a monsoonal thunderstorm was from my location. I was within 2 miles of my house when the thunder and lightning started. At the 1 1/2 mile mark, the rains came. When I got home, I poured water out of my sneakers and had to hang up my clothes to dry so they wouldn’t mildew until laundry day. It’s a good thing my FitBit is water resistant, and now I’m going to add a small plastic zip bag to my gear to stow my phone in case this happens again. Not a fun time at all. But, one of neighbors along my route offered to drive me home, but I felt terrible about getting his vehicle all wet, so I declined and just hoofed it the last 7/10 mile in the pouring down rain. At least it was really warm.

    7. Mimmy

      Best: Got an A in my nightmare class!! Also related, got some really useful feedback on my final paper. Why on earth the professor not this helpful all semester??!

      No real “worst”, just a long day and information overload at my state council meeting on Thursday. Having a little bit of imposter syndrome with these folks.

    8. Coach Devie

      Best// Hung with one of my nieces and had some girl talk & also had a much needed talk with my cousin

      Worst// locked my keys in the car while loading groceries. car doesn’t have keyless entry. Called and paid for tow truck.. forgetting that AAA could have covered it AND forgetting one quick call to OnStar would have unlocked the doors in an instant (and would have saved my ice cream!)

    9. Trixie

      Best: Received first freelance paycheck! Also, tried new stylist based on referral and love the cut.
      Worst: Counting down the days until family member loses her office space and we’ll both be based from home. I love her to death but need some space. May try working (job search) from library.

    10. Windchime

      Best: Creep at work quit his job, so no more creep. Also, it was a beautiful warm day today and I had family over for grilled burgers tonight. The yapping dogs behind me were quiet, so it was a nice evening.

      Worst: I had to let my belt out a notch.

    11. LCL

      Best-taking the dog to the dog beach and swimming with him.
      Worst-heatwave! By Sunday afternoon the temp was 88F-too hot to ride a bike or do yardwork or anything. (This is an area where most houses don’t have air conditioning, including mine.)

  42. Al Lo

    Is anyone else keeping an eye on the Gilmore Girls reunion coverage out of ATX? I have a few friends who are there, and I’m super jealous! I’m so impressed with the number of cast members they were able to get back together for the panel — looks like, of the main cast, only Melissa McCarthy (whose new movie opened yesterday, so that’s understandable!) and Sean Gunn weren’t there (and, of course (sadly), Ed Hermann). I’ve had a busy day, so I wasn’t able to follow it all, but I’m very jealous of the live-in-person photos that have been on my feeds all weekend!

    1. Elkay

      I just read the live blog of it, it seemed a bit nothingy in the end. It was impressive that they got everyone together and the cast obviously has an affection for it but other than I didn’t read anything that I didn’t already know (mainly from the Gilmore Guys podcast).

    2. Sunshine Brite

      Glad to see Jared Padalecki out and about at it! I’ve totally fallen into the Supernatural fandom and felt that level of fan concern when he needed to cancel some appointments and get his health back in line.

  43. Lionness

    Do you lock your doors when you are home?

    Being a girl that has lived alone ever since I moved out at 18, my door is always locked. I step in, I shut the door, my hand automatically reaches out and secures the dead bolt.

    I thought every one did this. I recently found out several friends think this is “strange.”

    What say you all?

    1. AvonLady Barksdale

      I always lock the door behind me, coming or going. I would find it odd not to. My bf sometimes forgets to lock the door when he takes the dog out for his nighttime walk, and it makes me CRAZY.

    2. Stephanie

      Oh yes. Always. I had a home invasion at my college apartment and pretty much always do, even if it’s middle of the day. It’s just a good habit to get into.

    3. Graciosa

      Always, always, always.

      I’m not delusional enough to believe that I’m superman, able to defeat any criminal stupid enough to tug on my cape.

      In terms of priorities, protecting myself (by locking the doors when I’m home) is much more important to me than protecting my property.

      1. catsAreCool

        “In terms of priorities, protecting myself (by locking the doors when I’m home) is much more important to me than protecting my property.”


    4. Puffle

      I do the same. I did once wonder if I was just being paranoid, but then my friends told me about what happened to their next-door neighbours. Three young men sharing an apartment in a fairly ordinary neighbourhood. Two of them went out to get some milk in the middle of the day, and didn’t lock the door behind them, because hey, their flatmate was still in, so why bother? Said flatmate was sitting on the sofa watching loud TV with his back to the living room door, and didn’t even notice as some thieves sneaked in, emptied the bedrooms and kitchen of all valuables, and sneaked out again.

      Now, having all your stuff nicked is terrible, but that could have easily had a much, much worse ending. I always remember that now and double-check my door.

    5. Jader

      I do not, except at night. I could be incorrect, but on other forums I’ve been a part of it really seemed to be split between those who live in Canada and those who live in the States. I live in Canada, in the suburbs and there is very little crime. I also have a watch dog.
      I do, however, always lock my car door the second I get in the car. As in, I hit the lock as I close the door behind me. Something my Mom was paranoid about and it stuck.

      1. nep

        I do this too — as soon as I shut the car door, I lock the car. No matter where I am or what time of day.

      2. Liz in a Library

        I do this too! If I’m parked in the car for any reason, the doors are always locked, too. This is why I totally hate my husband’s car; it has a convenience feature that automatically unlocks all doors when you shift to park.

        1. nep

          Right — I once drove a car that had that feature. It was nuts — had to jump on that and re-lock the doors each time I parked. Not a great feature.

            1. Alison Hendrix

              Not if you’re, say, waiting for someone while parked in a shady part of town, or just checking your phone or calling someone that you are meeting.

              When my husband stops by the tobacco shop and I’m with him but decide to stay in the car since it’s likely a short stopover, I always lock the doors once he steps out.

        2. cuppa

          I’m late to the party, but you can totally undo that! My husband changed it on my car because I felt really uncomfortable with that feature (he still doesn’t get it, but it’s my car so whatever). It should be somewhere in your manual.

      3. Book Person

        Canadian, relatively small town, always lock my house door when I get in. Some of my friends are also baffled, but it’s just natural to me–I feel ill forget otherwise. I don’t tend to think about it with my car though.

    6. TheLazyB

      My husband left the house to meet me and DS off the bus the other day and left in unlocked. Drives me crackers. Sod the safety aspect, someone could easily run off with my laptop :(

    7. Revanche

      Absolutely always.

      An aunt was once overpowered and duct taped to a chair during a home invasion made easier by the unlocked front door and her daughter narrowly escaped being nabbed as well coming home after school. It was a “safe” neighborhood.

      Just a few years ago a friend left his garage door open while he ran inside to get something, as we all do from time to time, and came back to someone rummaging through his stuff and taking things. Could easily have gone inside the house where his kid was sleeping. This was in a fairly affluent neighborhood.

      So yes I always close and lock everything.

    8. Ann Furthermore

      I always lock the door, always have. My husband told me when he first moved out on his own, he was living in an apartment in a shady part of town. The door opened directly to the outside instead of into a hallway. He didn’t always lock the door.

      One night he woke up to see a guy standing over him. He leaped out of bed, grabbed him and twisted his arm behind his back, and dragged him outside. It turned out the dudes girlfriend lived next door, and he was drunk and walked into the wrong apartment.

      Ever since, he’s been vigilant about locking the door every night.

    9. Apollo Warbucks

      There’s two locks on my front door. A latch that’s always lockes when then door closes and another lock that I put in when Im in bed or the house is empty.

    10. Elkay

      I always lock it but that’s because the front door is downstairs and if I didn’t lock it when I came in I’d have to go downstairs before bed and I’m lazy.

    11. blackcat

      If I’m going to be downstairs (open floor plan, I can see all around), I’ll leave the door open in nice weather. I’ll close lock it before going upstairs for a while, or I’ll just lock the screen door (which probably doesn’t do anything…). My immediate neighbor is retired, and always in her yard, and she’d see anyone coming and going from my house, which makes things safer.

      Northeastern US.

    12. Sara

      Yup, including the deadbolt. We had an attempted break-in last fall (somebody tried to pry our door open with some sort of prying tool), but thanks to the deadbolt they were unsuccessful. The only time I don’t immediately lock the deadbolt behind me is if I’m leaving the house again in less than five minutes (to get the mail, bring in the trash cans, etc.).

    13. Rebecca

      I always lock the downstairs cellar door (house is built on a hillside) but not always the door to the kitchen that comes in from the back porch when I’m home during the day, especially if I’m going in and out with laundry, etc. I live in a rural area, and we don’t get many visitors and I have good neighbors, and we have dogs that bark at any car that pulls into our gravel driveways. But the doors are always locked securely at night and in the evenings when I’m watching TV.

    14. Crush Response

      We used to leave it unlocked especially with both of us having different schedules. Last week at around 9 pm one night I was in the back of my apartment putting away laundry. I heard the dog start to growl which he does occasionally if somebody is particularly noisy so I thought nothing of it. But this was a little more growing than usual. I go to get him to settle down and the front door was cracked. From then on the door is locked.

    15. Not So NewReader

      I grew up in a less rural area and I was told to always lock the door. That was 50 years ago. Now I live in what is probably the safest place I have ever lived in my life. I still lock my doors. And I have a dog. People around me leave their homes UNlocked when they go out for the day. I don’t think that is wise. And with the rise of heroin usage in the area, it is even less smart.

      Up thread someone mentioned about the two convicted killers that broke out of a max security prison in NY. That area is so rural that not only do people not lock their doors, but they lost their keys decades ago and the door locks are in disrepair from lack of use.

      I think it just makes sense to secure what is of importance to you- whether it is your home, your pets, your family- do what you can to keep them safe.

    16. Kimberlee, Esq.

      There was a fairly large thread on a DC blog I read recently about how everyone in DC does this all the time. One person even kicked their roommate out because the roommate kept forgetting. It’s viewed as a pretty major thing (even in my secured-access apartment building, I always lock and bolt the door).

    17. Liz in a Library

      Always, always lock. Sometimes, my husband gets mad because it is so automatic for me that I’ve totally locked him outside found yard work.

    18. CheeryO

      I grew up in a quiet street in a small town, and we only locked the doors at night. Never locked my car, either. (My college boyfriend was so horrified by that. He’s the type to press the lock button four times, just in case.)

      I’ve mostly trained myself out of it now that I work in a city and live in a big apartment complex, but I still forget sometimes.

      1. Windchime

        I grew up in the country. The front door was usually locked, but the door that came into the kitchen was rarely locked. We would have to hunt down the key if we were leaving town because that was the only time it was ever locked. Now I live in a suburb of Seattle and I always lock my door. I even have a deadbolt on the door between my garage and house, and that is locked as well. That way, if someone somehow manages to get into my garage they still can’t get into the house.

    19. Ty

      Not only that, my door’s knob is in locked position at all times anyway in case I accidentally forget the bolt and/or the chain so that the door is locked when it’s closed, period.

    20. Carrie in Scotland

      I have a yale lock, so it locks automatically behind me when I close it.

      I put the chain on when I go to sleep at night.

    21. Connie-Lynne

      I used to not ever lock my doors, even when I wasn’t home. The only time I’ve been robbed was a roommate (who was also secretly a hooker and a car thief! Can I pick ’em or what?).

      My husband, however, insists that the door be locked when the house is empty, so I managed to develop that habit after a while. One of my current roommates is a firm “all the time” door locker, so we do now lock the door even if we’re home.

      But if I had my druthers, I’d always leave the door unlocked.

    22. Marcela

      You know, that’s something I just don’t get. I’ve lived in Paris, Spain and Chile, and in every place, the lock locks itself after you close the door. If you forgot your keys, bad luck (but I’ve never seen that happening to anybody I know). I freaked me out when I discovered my first door in the US did not lock itself, and even worst, that you can set it so it’s always open. We discovered this after we had to ask a repairman to visit us: he just manipulated the lock to make easier to come and go, but as we didn’t know that was possible, the door was left open for several days afterwards, the full day! When we buy our own house, we are going to buy a “proper” lock. It definitely makes us worry the idea of forgetting to lock the door, and several times we have woken up in the middle of the night to check it.

      On a funny note, it was only after we moved to the US that we understood that it wasn’t just a plot device in American sitcoms, such as Friends, that the characters just open the door and enter Monica’s place. Before, be believed it was for the sake of the speed of the story, not having to stop every sketch to knock.

      1. Onymouse

        Late reply, but in case anyone is reading this: get an automatically-locking knob if you wish, but also get a proper deadbolt that’s separate from the knob. I don’t totally understand the mechanics of it, but my understanding is that it’s much harder to force open a deadbolt. (Perhaps from the sheer length of the bolt itself?)

        1. Marcela

          This description is going to show the limits of my English knowledge XD : The automatic locking locks I know are not knobs, but a box where you put the key and it inserts 2 or 3 thick rods into the door frame. Most of them require turning the key two or three times, so the rods are something like 2″ or 3″ inside the door frame (the wall, actually). The very good ones insert rods on the ceiling and floor portion of the door frame too. There are some locks that can be used alone, as their rods can keep the door closed and you open the door turning in the key; others can’t be used alone and you need a knob to actually keep the door closed and open it.

    23. Coach Devie

      Always lock. Installed extra locks in places I’ve lived that only had one. I have a kickstick for under the door handles and extra window locks. I live in a very “safe” area but I’ve lived alone so much since I’ve been on my own and the extra precaution made me feel better and then became habit. I also think its weird when people dont immediately lock the door behind them.

      The only time this wasn’t the case is when my nieces and nephews are over and its warm and they are in and out playing outside or playing with the dogs.

    24. Ask a Manager Post author

      I am shocked that there are people who don’t lock their doors. I automatically lock mine every time I shut it; it’s so ingrained that I don’t think about it. I wouldn’t be able to relax if my door were unlocked; I would be convinced that at any moment, a burglar/murderer would be stepping through it. Every time I heard a sound in the night, I would be sure I was being robbed (and possibly imminently murdered).

      I am a bit neurotic about this, yes, but people who aren’t locking your doors, how have you avoided being concerned about this?

      1. Not So NewReader

        I have listened to a few reasons:
        “Been doing this for years and it has not been a problem.”
        “I have nothing worth stealing.”
        “Eh, I just don’t bother that is all.”
        “Oh, I am coming right back.”

        Oddly, these are the same people that look at me with the same level of puzzlement you express here and say, “Why do you lock it?”. Finally, I started saying “City girl.” That seemed to wrap up a conversation that was basically a dead end in the road.

      2. Connie-Lynne

        For the longest time I had nothing worth stealing. I was poor as a child, and broke as a young adult. I worried more about replacing broken windows etc … but really, I knew, nobody in the neighborhood would bother to steal from me, because I was as broke as they were.

        Later, because (as noted above), the only person ever to steal from me lived in my house. Even when the back house on the property got robbed, my house wasn’t even tried, because the person going into the back house was specifically looking to grudge-steal from the back house renter. Honestly, as long as you don’t live right next to a dealer and you know people in the neighborhood, folks aren’t gonna steal from you (if you live next to a dealer, all bets are off, junkies will steal *everything* on delivery night).

        So, that was really how I avoided concern. “What are they gonna steal, my security blanket from childhood and my comic books?” Until we had a possum problem, I actually left the back door open for the cats while I was at work.

        I get that nowadays I own valuable things, and that the folks I live with want me to lock up the house, but .. eh? … I lose my keys a lot; thank goodness for automatic garages with codes, because frankly, I have not ever been good about keys. I just can’t lose the mindset of “why would anyone steal from me, my stuff is garbage and unfenceable.”

      3. Treena Kravm

        I was you just like you for my entire life. Then I moved to a tiny, tiny city (60k people). My husband stays home all day so I got into the habit of not really needing it locked when I leave for work. But honestly, I’ve had people knock on the door begging for food, selling all sorts of things, asking to use the phone, especially at night. Our city has a huge homeless population and a few houses down they’ve been camping in an abandoned yard. All that and we’ve never had a problem in 2 years.

        I do always, always lock it when we’re both out and at night.

    25. Cath in Canada

      Weirdly, while I don’t like having a closed door unlocked while I’m home alone, I’m OK with having the back door completely open so the cats can come and go. The only home invasion we’ve suffered was carried out by raccoons, which was unpleasant, but not financially damaging.

      We once went away for a long weekend and accidentally left the back door unlocked, and nothing happened – but I won’t be repeating the experiment on purpose! Also, on the weekend when the final Harry Potter book came out, my pre-ordered copy arrived on the Friday, but we went away for the weekend straight from work that day, and didn’t get back until the Monday night. The special Amazon box, covered in Hogwarts colours and logos, sat on our front step the whole time and didn’t get taken, despite long line-ups for the same book in local stores. I guess that means we live in a great neighbourhood after all, despite its outdated reputation!

    26. The IT Manager

      Always lock. My parents are impressed by this habit b/c they live in the country and tend not to lock the door during the day.

      OTOH my rental does have super annoying problem that the main door deadbolt needs a key for both outdoor and indoor. I am a but lax about and its not obvious whether it is locked or not. If I owned this place that would be one of the first things I’d change.

      1. BRR

        My in-laws live in a super rural area and never lock anything. They are farmers and have a huge shop building and leave it open all spring/summer/fall. Keys in equipment, guns hanging around.

    27. manomanon

      I always lock the door when it’s closed. I am a proponent of fresh air and when possible (in DC that isn’t often) I leave the door open. For me it’s gender based- it was a huge battle when my roommate would leave while I was still asleep without locking the door since he truly doesn’t understand why if someone is home it should be locked.

    28. Blue_eyes

      We don’t lock the bolt when we are home and awake. We live in a doorman apartment building and our door locks automatically when it closes. It’s also a 1 bedroom apartment so we would immediately hear anyone trying to get in. We always lock the bolt when we go to sleep.

    29. That's Carry On!

      The door I can see is unlocked, but the gate is locked and there’s watchdogs.
      Had a locked, deadbolted door kicked in at a different place, so I don’t desperately believe in the power of the lock these days :/

    30. catsAreCool

      I keep my house locked up when I’m at home as well as when I’m away. I think of it as a basic safety measure. I probably don’t need to keep it locked when I’m there, but it certainly doesn’t hurt.

    31. Windchime

      I always lock my front door. Always. The only time its unlocked is when I’m going in and out, or if I’m outside for something quick like watering the flowers. Tonight I’m sitting in the living room with fans going and the back slider is open into the (fenced) back yard. But the front door is locked. I even did this when I lived in Small Town (<3000 people). It just makes me feel safer.

    32. misspiggy

      In the UK, insurers won’t pay for stuff stolen from an unlocked property, even if people are present. So yes.

      1. Cb

        It depends…we stupidly left our patio door unlocked (it had slammed shut in the wind and each of us thought the other had locked it) and went to bed. We woke up to about £1500 worth of stuff missing. As we were home at the time of the burglary, we were reimbursed.

      2. Cb

        We have the Endsleigh cheap-y insurance (holdover from my husband’s student days) and they were actually really helpful and amazing when we got burgled. Not sure if it is Scotland specific – it seems like terms on things are slightly different here.

    33. E

      Yes, even though I live at the end of a dirt road 2 miles from the main road and have dogs who go off at the smallest vehicle or person noise. It’s a mental safety thing.

  44. AvonLady Barksdale

    I am in DC for a friend’s wedding reception. The day was great, but tonight? Hoo boy. The bride and groom held a small cocktail reception (lovely, and I met some great people), then some friends and I went to get dinner. The restaurant was really loud and the service was beyond terrible. So my boyfriend did the right thing and found a manager, then he explained that while we were going to pay the bill, the service was abysmal and our tip would reflect that. Manager comped the bill. Good of him, but an aggravating experience. Then we got back to our hotel and found a very, very, VERY loud party going on in the hotel bar. I can hear it (and the people leaving it) all the way up in my room. I called the front desk to ask what time the party was ending, and I have 10 more minutes before I might be able to get some shut-eye, which sucks because we’re driving home tomorrow (4.5 hours) and my dog will no doubt wake me up at dawn.

    Commiserate with me, please.

    1. AvonLady Barksdale

      And guess what? 7am, Sunday morning… a crew started cutting down trees half a block away. Awesome.

        1. AvonLady Barksdale

          ‘Tis DC. In the words of my boyfriend– a DC-area native– someone probably pissed off the mayor. For me, it was ok because I was up (doggy got up at 6:30), but my poor boyfriend. Actually, we were both REALLY tired. I do almost all the driving (I’m better at it, I like it more, it’s my car), but 2 hours in I pulled into a rest stop and made him switch with me so I could shut my eyes for a few moments. We got home a few minutes ago (mixing bowl traffic delayed us a bunch) and I am wiped out.

        1. Coach Devie

          I have a white noise app on my phones and ipad for this (and for when I forget my tiny little travel fan with traveling) but I usually sleep with a fan on my face year round, it serves as white noise.

    2. Noelle

      I live in downtown DC, and basically every side of our block is under constant construction. It is so, SO loud. DC is a very noisy city (can we please get noise restrictions for sirens? please???). I’m also curious if you feel comfortable saying, which restaurant was it?

  45. Nervous Accountant

    I just finished reading Gone Girl….it was one of those books I just couldn’t put down until I finished it, and it still made me want to throw it against a wall.

    If anyone’s read this, any similar novels out there? I may pursue the authors’ other works.

    I also finished reading the “daylight marriage”….tearjerker.

    1. DeLurkee

      Oh I loved that book and hated it at the same time! It was incredible. The movie was also good.
      Regarding Gillian Flynn, I’ve also read Sharp Objects – I found that to be viscerally disturbing and hard to get through at times, but really gripping.

      1. Noelle

        I just read Sharp Objects, and I think it’s my favorite of the three Gillian Flynn books. I think part of it is that I have a very difficult relationship with my mother, and it helped me recognize some of the mental games my mom plays (obviously not nearly as disturbing as in the book, but definitely some familiar patterns).

    2. Elkay

      I can wholeheartedly recommend Elizabeth Haynes. Into The Darkest Corner is fantastic as is Human Remains. They’re not identical to Gone Girl but I’d definitely put them in the category of thinking “I need to find out what happens next/how the characters got to this situation”. Another one to try is Gentlemen and Players by Joanne Harris.

    3. Cruciatus

      I haven’t read it myself, but I’ve heard good things about “Girl on the Train” from people. I first read about it in an article saying “if you liked Gone Girl, try this Girl…” so I believe it’s meant to be similar. A friend of mine read all of Gillian Flynn’s stuff and said “Gone Girl” wasn’t even her favorite among them.

      1. Nicole

        I just finished reading The Girl On The Train. It wasn’t bad but not great either. There were some boring parts and not enough character development for one of the main characters. That’s all I say so not to spoil it.

    4. Carrie in Scotland

      I second the recommendations re: ‘The Girl on The Train’, Elizabeth Haynes’s books (her latest ones are more crime, the earlier ones psychological thriller-y) and Joanne Harris – I’ve read them all and they are brilliant.

      Adding my own: ‘You’ – Caroline Kepnes, ‘You should have known’ – Jean Hanff Korelitz, The Kind Worth Killing’ or ‘Girl with a Clock for a Heart’ – Peter Swanson and Harriet Lane’s novels.

    5. Cath in Canada

      I haven’t read Gone Girl, but I felt exactly the same way about My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult. I was completely gripped all the way through, and felt torn in all directions by the dilemmas faced by each of the narrators and other characters. And then she ended it with the biggest deus ex machina cop-out I’ve ever read. Way to avoid making a difficult decision, Picoult! I actually physically threw the book across the room, and the only other time I’ve done that was after the red wedding in GoT, which was more of a “get this terrible creation away from me before everyone I love dies” reaction than actual anger.

      1. Nervous Accountant

        The first time I had this urge was when I read something by James Patterson, I think the Beach House. COMPLETE AND UTTERLY SHOCKING ENDING. I don’t know if this reaction is considered a good or bad thing by authors. I had also read the summary on wikipedia a long time ago so I had it in my mind when I started reading it but it was still gripping and engrossing.

    6. Stephanie

      Yeah, the ending just felt like Gillian Flynn was like “Uhhhhh, I guess I should wrap this up. It’s long enough.” I wrote a few papers in college like that.

    7. Nicole

      I really disliked how Gone Girl ended but overall I enjoyed it. I just borrowed Daylight Marriage from the library and am looking forward to starting it tonight!

  46. DeLurkee

    Does anyone know how to stop a cat clawing furniture? Mine already has (and uses) other places to claw, including a rolled up old carpet like an indoor tree, and actual trees when I take him outside on a leash-walk. Still he wants to attack my dining chairs, which are black leather-look ones with wooden legs, and it’s the leather stuff he’s going for, which shows any damage. I tried sprays and such, then had success with taping aluminium foil around the base where he was clawing. That worked for about 6 weeks and then he started to play with the foil. Today I found him pulling a piece off, biting it and shuddering, then staring at me fixedly while he slowly bit it again. Either he’s making a point, or he has masochistic traits. What else could I try?

    1. blackcat

      I got *really good* scratching posts for my cat (link in reply). There is one by each piece of furniture that is his favorite for scratching (both couches and the bed).

      Then, when he would scratch on furniture, I would immediately grab him and trim his claws. This was hard (he’d bolt, I’d pull him out from under the bed), but he HATES having his claws trimmed. I know how to do it right, so I know I’m not trimming his claws too short… I actually think he doesn’t like having trimmed claws). I only did this about 5 times, and there is no damage to the couches. He will not pick on anything but his posts anymore.

      Another thing that can work is double sided tape with cayenne pepper sprinkled on the exposed side. This worked with my parents cat.

        1. Dynamic Beige

          They don’t appear to sell them online any more, so therefore probably not in the stores either but I bought one similar to this
          when my cat decided that all the wood trim was sooooo awesome to claw. I had a cat tree for them, but she never seemed to enjoy clawing it.

          It took a little coaxing for her to “get it”. I put some treats on the top of it, I grabbed her paws and made scratching type motions on it, but when she got it that this was something OK To Scratch, she went to town and I had to buy another one within a year. Since my younger boy follows her and does everything she does, he figured it out, too. She still scratches on the old one, even though most of the rope has been ripped off. I’ve been thinking that I should buy some new rope and replace it. I guess I’ll have to now that I might not be able to buy a new one. There’s nothing really wrong with them, except they’ve lost their rope, or the rope now resembles a brillo pad. I also have this spray catnip stuff (the little Kong bottle) and I will spray a new toy (or an old one — it’s like Febreez for cats!) with that so they know it’s “theirs”. They have a special cry they make when they see me holding that bottle up.

          I think they just like the angle, rather than one that’s straight up. I had also bought them a cardboard play cavern thing that was angled, but it makes quite the mess. They love that too but I don’t love the mess or the price of the cardboard refills. My boy will lie on that thing and worry away at the cardboard, he can be very destructive when he’s in a mood.

          Which brings me to the question I was going to ask — is your cat an only cat? He may just be bored without a companion and is taking his energy and feelings out on the furniture. I knew someone who literally got pet frogs for her cat to give her something to look at during the day. It’s part of the reason I have two, they can keep each other company when I’m not around, however they define company.

      1. Not So NewReader

        Love cayenne pepper. I use the mild kind so it does not burn any skin tissue on my animals. But I used cayenne pepper to get my very willful dog to stop digging holes in the yard. It took time but I wore him down. He does not dig anymore.

      2. DeLurkee

        Hahaha you’re brave! I take him to the vet for claw trimming, I haven’t tried it myself.
        Cayenne you say? I could try that tomorrow! Thank you.

        1. DeLurkee

          Sorry, that reply above was for blackcat. Reply fail. :(

          Not So NewReader, what did you do with the cayenne? Did you sprinkle it through the garden?

          1. Not So NewReader

            ha! I sprinkled over the areas where he had started digging. His run is not near any garden type area so it was just break-your-tractor- size holes in the lawn. When I had a chance I filled the holes back in which still meant the cayenne was in the soil. He would have to find another spot to dig.

            The red color looked like spray paint on my lawn, which worked out well. I did not accidentally put my foot into one of the holes and break an ankle.

            When I back-filled with new soil, I put the cayenne over the top. The dog walked around the cayenne not through it. That was handy, because the grass could fill back in.

            I just bought the cheapest and mildest cayenne I could find at a dollar store type place. I brought it home and dumped some on my own hand to make sure it would not burn the skin. All it needs to do is irritate his nose.

            You could use up any old (and mild) spices you have on hand, probably, if you happen to have some you are thinking about throwing out and replacing with fresh.

        2. fposte

          Keeping his claws trimmed really might help, though–maybe next time you go to the vet you can ask for tips for doing it at home. Think how fast your fingernails grow and how long they’d get if you waited to go to the vet to get them cut :-).

          Some cats just won’t put up with it, of course, but if he’s cuddly and he’s used to your handling his paws (which is a good thing to get him used to), you can just snip one while he’s hanging out with you; it’s less likely to create resistance than doing them all at once.

        3. blackcat

          I have the benefit of a pretty docile cat. He’s big, but a wuss (we joke that his fight or flight response is all flight), so it’s pretty easy for me to trim his claws. I’ve also done it for forever (used to be on a schedule, until I got the scratching posts), and so he’s used to it (though he’s always hated it). My old strategy was to give him lots of treats right afterwards, more for the less he tried to wiggle out. That worked well to get him to tolerate it. Since I switched to doing it as punishment, there are no treats involved and he does squirm more. It’s been quite a while since I had to do that, though, and now his claws are just longer. The scratching posts keep them from getting too sharp, and he seems happy with his long claws (he’s rather dexterous and likes to pick up small things with his claws). It took a few months, but I think both he and I are happy with the status quo now.

          And yes, don’t over do it with the cayenne. Too much can hurt their paws. The cheapest cayenne at the store should be dilute enough to do the trick without it being too much.

          Since my links are still in moderation, the scratching post I was talking about it “SmartCat Ultimate Scratching Post” Google that, and you’ll find it. The key thing with these is that they need to the RIGHT NEXT TO the furniture that the cat would otherwise go for.

    2. Cruciatus

      What about an actual cat tree? My cat was literally climbing the walls (OK, she was climbing the drapes, but close enough) and I bought a cat tree at armarkat dot com and it helped substantially. I got a 6 foot tree with lots of sisal rope scratching posts and perches for about $120 (way cheaper than Petco and other pet stores for the size). There are lots of sizes and different color options and price ranges. My cats seem to know this is all for them and they all use it frequently for scratching, playing, or just sitting. Mine is about 6 years old and still in good shape so it was a good investment for me (if you have the space and money, of course).

    3. fposte

      Is there an alternative right next to the chair? And is it the kind he likes? (Is he a vertical scratcher for sure? Some cats prefer horizontal scratching.) The problem right now is that it feels really, really, good to scratch on these, so once that’s in there, it’s tough to redirect.

      I see online that some people use the scat mats, but I have no personal experience of them.

      1. DeLurkee

        The rolled up rug he loves is right next to the chairs. He goes to town on the rug when he wants a really good stretchy scratch, and will sometimes climb it like a tree and hang near the top punching his claws in and out of it.
        When he attacks the chairs it’s a slower form of that puncturing, like kneading, only vertical. And more destructive. :S

        1. fposte

          There’s just something special about leather, especially when it’s had nice mammal contact and has picked up additional fragrance. I’m fortunate in that the cat I’m currently closest to scratches furiously *next* to my shoes rather than destroying the shoes themselves.

        2. Alison Hendrix

          I have four cat trees — one for each main rooms (basement, master bedroom, the cat’s room (where all their food/water/litter are), and living room. Then there’s an abundance of scratching posts located next to spots my cats usually like to scratch on. My young boy scratches and chews like crazy. The first few months he thought the couch was a ‘yes’ and while we are not too attached to the ugly couch, we didn’t want to enable the habit in the event we replace it with a new one. Whenever we see him scratching we yell ‘NO!’ and lead him to the scratching post nearby and make scratching noises on it, alternating with placing his paws on it. He finally got the point and while there’s a scratching post oddly placed in the middle of the living room, it did the trick, because the cats like to do a “fly-by” scratching once in a while. Also used Feliway plug-in during those times, and I think that also helped a bit, he has left the couch alone and it’s been a while since we last plugged Feliway.

          He had a bad chewing phase as well – despite the fact that we’ve laid cardboard boxes all over the place for him to chew on. He’d chewn on a cheap IKEA shoe rack once, and even tried chewing on a decorative wicker basket on our coffee table. Then he chewed and pulled pieces off of a straw basket. Again, they are all cheap, so it wasn’t about wrecking nice things (although he has wrecked pretty expensive stuff). The solution: hot sauce. Tried the milder ones – nope. I went straight for Dave’s Insanity Sauce. One whiff – he knew what’s up. He was still dumb enough to try, though – he drooled for a few minutes and never chewed on those spots again.

          I don’t know how close the rolled up carpet is to the chairs, but maybe it’s too close? Move it a little further away – plot his scratching route and maybe place it where he gets to the carpet first and by the time he goes to the chair his scratching impulse is pretty much satisfied?

  47. Jillociraptor

    I need a furniture/storage solution! We’re moving to a great new apartment, and the kitchen is tiny with almost no counter space. We have a microwave and a toaster oven, and they definitely won’t both fit on the counter. Ideally, I’d like to have both of them on one microwave cart but I can’t seem to find one with two shelves that are both big enough for appliances!

    Recommendations? Creative solutions?

    1. The Other Dawn

      My kitchen is tiny and I have a shelf over the stove. The range hood is attached under it and The microwave sits on top. As a side note, one thing that has been a great space saver for me is my pot rack, which is mounted to the top of the window frame. 20.00 at ikea and it’s saved a ton of cabinet space.

      1. Jillociraptor

        Ooh, the pot rack situation is intriguing separately…I don’t think our landlord will let us change the cabinets but we sure could install a pot rack.

    2. Rebecca

      I have a toaster oven, and just realized I probably haven’t used it in about 2 years! It’s just easier to use the oven inside the stove. And yes, it takes up a chunk of counter space. I guess I need to think about getting rid of it, but I have serious issues with parting with useful things!

      I also have a very small kitchen. I have a bookcase repurposed to hold canned goods, my microwave, crock pot, and various other things in the kitchen. It has a small foot print and is taller than me, and I have things stored on top of it. It fits inside the space right by the kitchen door. There’s more than enough room to open the door, and when the door is shut, I can easily get to my stuff. Maybe that would help?

      1. Jillociraptor

        So many good storage tips! This is a great idea. I’m having visions of Ikea Kallax bookcases that are deep enough for the appliances but with lots of room for food storage too….

    3. danr

      Have you looked on Amazon? Search kitchen carts in all. There are all sorts of carts there, many with three shelves.

      1. Jillociraptor

        Oh, smart. I had only been looking at sites of stores where I could pick something up, but there’s no reason not to have it shipped. There are some good options. Thanks!

        1. Treena Kravm

          I have a similar set-up. Three shelves, top has the microwave, middle has the toaster oven, and the bottom I have two bowls to hold potatoes and onions. It sits just inside my dining area right outside the kitchen and it’s the perfect size.

  48. Today's anon

    I am so disappointed and angry at a friend of mine’s reaction when I told her I got into a second round, day and a half interview. I shared a link with all the names and resumes of the candidates and it seems that my friend has decided one of the other candidates is the better candidate and I am feeling so angry and let down. When I emailed back saying so, my friend said, no that was not what she meant, just that I have to make sure to talk about my experience. So I don’t know if I’m reading things that aren’t there (maybe because she tends to offer unsolicited advice that is not helpful – “why don’t you go out more so you can make more friends” which is not helpful when i am just saying I am feeling lonely). Or I am imagining that it is because this other person comes from a prestigious place and my place is much smaller (my friend is not in my field but would have heard of the other place)? Gah, sorry this is so long but i am having trouble sorting this out and letting go of the anger.

    1. just me

      “I shared a link with all the names and resumes of the candidates”

      Should you have shared that information?Do you think it’s okay to share names and resumes of people you don’t know? What if someone on the list was job hunting and had not told anyone? Sharing the information seems wrong to me in this context.

      Your friend does not sound supportive, perhaps your anger is related to you feeling she isn’t helpful and offers unsolicited advice. If she regularly does this, why did you even send her the information?

      1. Today's anon

        The link is on a publicly accessible website that anyone can find, it’s not a secret or password-protected link. I myself hope no one from my current job stumbles on the page! I actually know and have crossed paths professionally with the other candidates in the past.

        1. TheLazyB

          Ooooh there’s been a post here before about that – I’ll bet good money it’s not supposed to be publicly accessible. I would ask the company if it’s meant to be openly viewable. I bet it’s not.

          1. fposte

            That’s a good point–I’m remembering that Arkansas site that took forever to fix the problem. It might well be worth asking about this unless they’ve already stated that these are publicly available.

      2. Colette

        Sharing a link is not publishing the information – that’s the choice of the potential employer who made it available, and that’s the person any candidates would have an issue with if they didn’t want people to know they were looking.

    2. Not So NewReader

      “Friend, when I emailed that link to you, I was looking for support or a positive thought. I already have a dozen ideas of what could go wrong here and I really did not want more ideas on that.”

      Some people are not capable of providing support. Some people sincerely believe they are providing support if they show you were your weak spots are. Yet other people appear to be our friends and actually they are not our friends. You are in the best position to know which one of these applies to your friend.

      1. Today's anon

        “Some people sincerely believe they are providing support if they show you were your weak spots are” – oh I think you nailed it! I had never thought of it that way, but I think that’s exactly what happens with this particular friend.

    3. TheLazyB

      Haaaaang on. I was just washing the dishes and suddenly thought, how over-invested is your friend in your life that she checked out the other candidates’ resumes?! That is actually quite a weird thing to do without a direct invite.

      My mum does the offer advice when I want sympathy thing. Telling her directly when I just want sympathy and don’t want advice has not worked. I stopped telling her stuff.

      What’s that thing about when people tell you who they are believe them? I think it applies here :(

    1. nep

      I’ve exclaimed to myself several times this week, ‘People suck!’ — mostly after encountering crappy, texting drivers. Of course, it’s a gross generalisation; not *all* people suck. But it just satisfies something in me to say that aloud sometimes. (While alone in the car, of course.)
      Du courage.

    2. Carrie in Scotland

      This isn’t related to people suck (althought they do) but I just wanted to say I love your blue hair! :-)

    3. DebbieDebbieDebbie

      I am sorry for the struggle! But I am with Carrie…actually hoped you would post today so that I could tell you that you and your gorgeous blue hair brightened my week :)