weekend free-for-all – March 18-19, 2017

This 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.)

Recommendation of the week: The Miseducation of Cameron Post, by Emily Danforth.  Curtis Sittenfeld (who is also excellent!) described this as “if Holden Caulfield had been a gay girl from Montana, this is the story he might have told,” and that seems right.

* I make a commission if you use that Amazon link.

{ 1,163 comments… read them below }

  1. Searcher*

    Bermuda was a blast! We got stuck an extra two days because snow cancelled our flight…but there were worse places to be stuck for my birthday :)

      1. Searcher*

        Thank you!! I’m glad to be home though. It’s always nice to go away, but it’s just as nice to come home.

    1. Dr. KMnO4*

      “It’s the job that’s never started as takes longest to finish” – J. R. R. Tolkien

    2. caledonia*

      Above all be the heroine of your life, not the victim. It will be a little messy but embrace the mess. It will be complicated but rejoice in the complications. It will not be anything like what you think it will be like but surprises are good for you.

      Nora Ephron

    3. Dizzy Steinway*

      I like the one people were posting the other day about how you should only look in your neighbours bowl to check they have enough.

    4. The RO-Cat*

      “We don’t see things as they are; we see them as we are” – attributed to Anais Nin, originally very old (Talmud, I’ve seen)

    5. Emi.*

      from Jane Eyre, when Mr. Awful Rochester asks Jane to be his mistress:

      [W]hile he spoke my very conscience and reason turned traitors against me, and charged me with crime in resisting him. They spoke almost as loud as Feeling: and that clamoured wildly. “Oh, comply!” it said. “Think of his misery; think of his danger—look at his state when left alone; remember his headlong nature; consider the recklessness following on despair—soothe him; save him; love him; tell him you love him and will be his. Who in the world cares for you? or who will be injured by what you do?”

      Still indomitable was the reply—“I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself. I will keep the law given by God; sanctioned by man. I will hold to the principles received by me when I was sane, and not mad—as I am now. Laws and principles are not for the times when there is no temptation: they are for such moments as this, when body and soul rise in mutiny against their rigour; stringent are they; inviolate they shall be. If at my individual convenience I might break them, what would be their worth? They have a worth—so I have always believed; and if I cannot believe it now, it is because I am insane—quite insane: with my veins running fire, and my heart beating faster than I can count its throbs. Preconceived opinions, foregone determinations, are all I have at this hour to stand by: there I plant my foot.”

    6. Jean who seeks to be Ingenious (or perhaps to write Crime Fiction)*

      The world is a narrow bridge. The main thing is not to be afraid.
      –Nahum of Bratslav (a Chasidic rebbe)

      This has gotten me through some scary times.
      Yes, I’m posting this on Shabbos (sabbath). I’m not a completely traditional Jew.

      1. Becca*

        I love that quote!!!

        A lot of my favorite quotes come from Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan Saga:
        – “In my experience,” he said, “the trouble with oaths of the form, death before dishonor, is that eventually, given enough time and abrasion, they separate the world into just two sorts of people: the dead, and the forsworn.”
        – “The tidal wave of anger that had hurled her here was receding, leaving her standing on a very bare shore indeed.”
        – “‘Did you see me recently? Which way did I go? Call the police!!!'”

        1. many bells down*

          “Reputation is what other people know about you. Honor is what you know about yourself. Guard your honor, let your reputation fall where it will … and outlive the bastards.”

    7. Florida*

      If you are willing to look at another person’s behavior toward you as a reflection of the state of their relationship with themselves rather than a statement about your value as a person, then you will, over a period of time, cease to react at all.
      – Yogi Bhajan

      1. Minerva McGonagall*

        This articulates so well the attitude I try to take towards my coworkers. It’s usually not about me – it’s about them.

    8. roseberriesmaybe*

      From Euripides’ Medea: “She is like a rock or wave of the sea
      when those who love her try to give advice;
      except that sometimes she lifts up her pallid face
      and mourns for her dear father,
      her country, and the home she betrayed
      to come here with this man who now holds her in contempt.”
      That line has stuck with me for years. Slightly less dark, though it also comes at a dark time in the play: “There ‘s no deep valley but near some great hill.” (John Webster, Duchess of Malfi)

    9. bunniferous*

      It’s a fool that looks for logic in the chambers of the human heart.-O Brother Where Art Thou

    10. GirlwithaPearl*

      Women’s rights are human rights and human rights are women’s rights

      Hillary rodham clinton

    11. bluesboy*

      “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
      – Michael Jordan

    12. nep*

      Too many to count — but I like: What you don’t have cannot help you; what you do have needs no help.
      Also: There comes a time when all sense of separation is unbearable and that is grace.
      Heard both from Mooji.

    13. Jessesgirl72*

      The essential is invisible to the eyes. It is only with the heart that one can see clearly. – Antoine De Saint-Exupery, The Little Prince (my translation from the original French. The official translation changes words. )

    14. Charlie Q*

      “There is no shame in loving. It is the sign of a generous heart, and pain the price of an open soul.”
      Alison Croggon

    15. Camellia*

      Ultimate freedom is the right to choose our attitude. When we absorb our attitude we are slaves.
      –Viktor Frankl

    16. Seal*

      Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.

      Mark Twain

    17. Elizabeth West*

      The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them. — Mark Twain
      And, something that goes along with that:
      If you go home with somebody and they don’t have books, don’t f*ck them. — John Waters

      Thinking about some of my exes made me realize how true that second one is.

    18. Elizabeth H.*

      You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. (Wayne Gretzky)
      When in doubt, don’t. (Anna Karenina, I love that these reverse each other)
      If you’re troubled by something outside yourself, it isn’t the thing itself it bothers you, but your opinion of it, and this opinion you have the power to revoke immediately. Marcus Aurelius

    19. Caledonia*

      “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.” – Samuel Beckett (as seen on the arm of a top 5 tennis player and 3 time Grand Slam winner, Stan Wawrinka)

    20. Natalie*

      (I left the character name out of this quote because their death is a significant plot point.)

      “She shrank back through the narrow passage between this brief fabric of light and all the rest of what there is for us: the long waiting. Now she will wait the rest of the time. It will be exactly as long as the time that passed before she was born.”

      Barbara Kingsolver, The Poisonwood Bible

      1. Laura Beattie*

        Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light;
        I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.

        Sarah Williams

    21. Rookie Manager*

      “Everything will be alright in the end, if it’s not alright, it’seems not the end.”

    22. New Bee*

      “I change myself, I change the world.” (Gloria Anzaldúa)

      “I tell my students, ‘When you get these jobs that you have been so brilliantly trained for, just remember that your real job is that if you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else. This is not just a grab-bag candy game.” (Toni Morrison)

    23. bassclefchick*

      “Not even I wake up looking like Cindy Crawford” – Cindy Crawford. Not sure if she really said it, but it DOES put things in perspective.

      1. Mallory Janis Ian*

        I remind myself of that one every so often when I’m taking account of my appearance in the mirror; it really does make me feel better — thanks, Cindy! :-)

    24. Jillociraptor*

      Max: You know I have no political convictions. Can I help it if other people do?
      Captain von Trapp: Oh yes, you can help it. You must help it.
      – The Sound of Music

      1. SophieChotek*

        Great quote. I always wished they’d kept the song “No Way to Stop It” it in the film, though musically I don’t like it as much.

    25. Buggy Crispino*

      “Well that’s pretty but that don’t answer my question”
      – Carol Burnett Went with the Wind

    26. Mallows*

      “I do not entertain hypotheticals – the world as it is is vexing enough.” – from True Grit

    27. Amber Rose*

      “That we struggle does not diminish us, that we meet our struggles bravely is all the glory any of us will ever need.”

    28. Not Karen*

      No way I can pick a single favorite, but here’s a few:

      “My favorite parts of myself seem to make the least sense. All the cracks in my skin, they just let the light in.” – Icon For Hire, “Happy Hurts”

      “Only the most interesting people have stories they’re too afraid to tell.” – Liam Dryden

      Old man: Now you can see dead people as well.
      Pierre: How do we tell them apart from the living?
      Old man: It’s easy – the living, they are always in a hurry.
      – Les Jeux Sont Faits, by Jean-Paul Sartre (translated from the French)

    29. June*

      “Birth and death; strange because they are at the same time experiences and not experiences. We only know of them by report. We are all born, but we cannot remember what it was like. And death is coming even as birth has come, but, similarly, we do not know what it is like. Our final experience, like our first, is conjectural. We move between two darknesses… So let us think of people as starting life with an experience they forget and ending it with one which they anticipate but cannot understand.”
      – E. M. Forster

      “This is what you will be, they say, perhaps what you are: no more than the way light falls across a given space.”
      – Margaret Atwood

      “The earth is yours and the fullness thereof. Be kind, but be fierce.”
      – Winston Churchill

      And not so much a quote as a life philosophy: in a given situation, is it more important to be right, or to be kind?

    30. Green T*

      Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.

      Nothing is either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.

      Happy is he who does good to others; miserable is he who expects good from others.

    31. Sydney*

      “I myself have never able to find out precisely what a feminist is. I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat” – Rebecca West

    32. Lady Julian*

      If we are all going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb when it comes find us doing sensible and human things – praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts – not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs. C.S. Lewis, “On Living in an Atomic Age”

      1. Enya*

        Sorry, I forgot to add one of my favorites:
        “The art of conversation lies not only in saying the right thing at the right time, but in leaving unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.”
        – John Charles Daly, host of “What’s My Line”

    33. A Person*

      “A person is a person through other persons.”

      – from a longer explanation by Desmond Tutu on the concept of Ubuntu:

      “Ubuntu […] speaks of the very essence of being human. [We] say […] “Hey, so-and-so has ubuntu.” Then you are generous, you are hospitable, you are friendly and caring and compassionate. You share what you have. It is to say, “My humanity is caught up, is inextricably bound up, in yours.” We belong in a bundle of life. We say, “A person is a person through other persons.”

      […] A person with ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, for he or she has a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed, or treated as if they were less than who they are.” ― Desmond Tutu, No Future Without Forgiveness

    34. SophieChotek*

      Oh my goodness…I could go on forever on this question.
      I keep a document of all my favorite quotes, from TV shows to “high” literature…

      But at this moment..I’ll pick the one…(I’ll quote it exactly, though I do realize it uses the more old-fashioned “he/him” construction to refer to “all people”…)

      To love anyone is to hope in him always. From the moment at which we begin to judge anyone, to limit our confidence in him, from the moment at which we identify him, and so reduce him to that, we cease to love him, and he ceases to be able to become better. We must dare to love him in a world that does not know how to love.
      (Unknown French priest, qtd. In Walking on Water)

    35. Haven't picked a username yet*

      “In the meantime the strike is over, with a remarkably low loss of life. All is quiet, they report, all is quiet.

      In the deserted harbour there is yet water that laps against the quays. In the dark and silent forest there is a leaf that falls. Behind the polished panelling the white ant eats away the wood. Nothing is ever quiet, except for fools.”

      Alan Paton, Cry, the Beloved Country

    36. many bells down*

      “All ships sink, sooner or later. But not today. Not today.” – Connie Willis, “Passage”

      “I base my fashion sense on what doesn’t itch.” – Gilda Radner

    37. DanaScully*

      “The white light streams down to be broken up by those human prisms into all the colors of the rainbow. Take your own color in the pattern and be just that.” ―Charles R. Brown

    38. oranges & lemons*

      Two related ones:

      “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” –Buckminster Fuller

      “The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.” –Audre Lorde

  2. Red Reader*

    I have spent the morning sitting in a waiting room while my fiancé has dental surgery, and yegods we are never using this office again. He was supposed to have the surgery a month ago, when they canceled it with literally three minutes notice (we were already in the parking lot when he got the call) – that day they told him the doc had called in sick. Two days later, the office manager told us the doc had quit three days before his appointment and they just hadn’t bothered to contact him to reschedule. But we’d already paid, so rather than hassle with starting the process over, we just rescheduled for today.

    This morning, I found out they lied to us about being able to call in his pain meds early so we could just pick those up on the way home. The receptionist is completely incompetent and keeps screaming personal medical questions at people across the crowded waiting room. Literally, she just yelled across the room to ask someone’s SSN, then when the woman got up to go to the desk to give it quietly, “You don’t have to get up, I can hear you from there.”

    I am just appalled.

    1. Rebecca*

      That is totally unacceptable. Haven’t they heard of HIPAA? I’m pretty sure yelling personal medical questions across a waiting room may run afoul of that. Plus, I wouldn’t want them to have my personal information at all if they’re that cavalier with it.

      Sounds like you should report them to your state board of dentistry, after you get your medical records and find a new dentist. If they are a participator in your insurance program, I’d report to them too.

      1. Observer*

        Another place where +1 would work.

        Seriously, though, I think that reporting these people is pretty much a no brainer.

    2. the gold digger*

      That is appalling. These people are horrible.

      I know it’s too late for you guys (and may not have been an option anyhow), but for any other readers, I suggest using the state dental school for complicated, expensive oral surgeries. I had a dental implant installed at the U of TN dental school. The two students had been practicing dentists for a few years before they returned for training in oral surgery. Every step was signed off by a professor (who was also a practicing oral surgeon), and it cost me $600 instead of the at least $4,000 it would have cost otherwise.

      I have also had two root canals at the Marquette College of Dentistry. $175. Boring, but not painful. Extremely competent grad students.

      1. Jean who seeks to be Ingenious (or perhaps to write Crime Fiction)*

        OMG! Thank you for this suggestion! I will pursue it since I’ve been deferring an implant precisely because I didn’t want to spend more $$ from savings.

      2. Hangry*

        Co-signed. I get all my dental work done at the local university dental school. They’re far more conscientious than my former arrogant dentists, and extremely affordable.

      3. Anonanners*

        Agreed. When I had to get my wisdom teeth out I didn’t have dental insurance. Went to the U of MN and they gave me free anesthesia for allowing them to Livestream the procedure to a lecture hall of dental students. Probably couldn’t have afforded more than local anesthesia otherwise, which may have prevented me from doing it at all….

      4. nep*

        I’ve often thought of doing this — I need a LOT of dental work done and I simply cannot afford it. My mouth is so bad, though, can’t bring myself to let anyone else look in there; it’s all I can do to go in for my cleaning and check-up with the dentist and hygienist I’ be seen for years. Time to check the ego and just do it.
        Thanks for the info/tips.

      5. Red Reader*

        That’s our plan for next time.

        Apparently they gave him his dose of triazolam (Halcion – a benzo with an amnesiac quality, the kind of thing where you aren’t allowed to operate machinery or sign legal documentation) and then while they were waiting for it to kick in, the doc spent the next hour trying to talk him into not going through with the surgery because they had other appointments booked that morning that would be less complex.

        There will definitely be complaints filed.

        1. Mallory Janis Ian*

          Good lord, what kind of claptrap operation are they running there!? (purposeful interrobang, because WTH?)

      6. ST*

        I agree with the dental school recommendation. I visited the med school dentist who diagnosed my cancer, and they had me seeing Med University specialists within the day.

    3. nep*

      Completely unacceptable, not to mention appalling.
      Hope everything goes well with the surgery.

        1. Minerva McGonagall*

          What an awful experience. I hope that the problems are limited to attitude and administration and the surgery was done competently.

    4. OlympiasEpiriot*

      Oh. My.

      Best of luck to the one having surgery AND to the one who’ll be taking care of them!

      How horrible to be there.

      1. Nicole*

        Exactly! We’ve stopped filling out those fields on medical forms and no one has said anything about it because they aren’t required.

        1. Mabel*

          I never give it out unless the need can be explained to me. Too much risk for identity theft.

        2. Max Kitty*

          I got into a tiff with a receptionist one time who insisted it was required. I told her, you have my insurance number and my credit card number, and that’s all you need. If you still say you require the SSN, then I will leave. I wasn’t forced to leave. :)

      2. iliadawry*

        Certain kinds of vision insurance use your social as your member ID, so that’s something to keep in mind.

          1. Searching*

            I believe privacy laws were strengthened to disallow the use of SSNs for insurance member IDs (except for Medicare and Medicaid). I remember at OldJob, we went through massive issuing of new alternate member IDs to comply with new regulations years ago.

            1. A Day at the Zoo*

              Actually, insurance companies are required by federal law to have ALL covered employees and their dependents SSNs. This is allow Medicare to chase done payments made by Medicare that should have been paid for by private insurance. And, some work done by oral surgeons is covered by medical insurance/Medicare.

              Employers stopped using SSNs as primary identifiers because the SSN was printed on the medical card and that put the employees at risk for ID theft but behind the scenes the carriers MUST have SSNs.

        1. Bry*

          In KY at least we require a SSN to be able to run a KASPER report of your controller substance prescriptions and in our office at least we won’t see you if we can’t run the KASPER.

      3. Medicare*

        Medicare does not pay for dental care. So, even if you are on Medicare, the dentist does not need your social security number!

    5. PharmacyTech*

      If the pain medication is a CII, the office probably couldn’t have called it in… but still, what an awful experience.

  3. Dr. KMnO4*

    A while back Alison recommended Commonwealth by Ann Patchett. I’d read and enjoyed most of Patchett’s other books so I picked that one up. It was good, though not my favorite of her works.

    Are there other Patchett fans out there? What are your faves of what she’s written?

    Of her novels, I’d rank them from my most liked to least liked thusly:
    1. Magician’s Assistant (partly because I can reread it often)
    2. Bel Canto (which I can’t reread because now I know how it ends)
    3. Run
    4. Taft
    5. State of Wonder
    6. Commonwealth
    7.-n. However many novels she ends up writing from now on
    n+1. Patron Saint of Liars (I can’t stand the main character, Rose)

    1. AvonLady Barksdale*

      I loooove Patchett. Commonwealth wasn’t my favorite, either. I really enjoyed This is the Story of a Happy Marriage and Truth & Beauty. So, I suppose, I really love her as a memoir writer.

    2. steph*

      I liked Bel Canto a lot, and also Run. But honestly, it’s her nonfiction that I’ve enjoyed more recently. This is the Story of a Happy Marriage, which is a collection of essays. And Truth And Beauty, about her friendship with the poet Lucy Grealy.

    3. Dr. KMnO4*

      I’ve read less of her nonfiction, but I did enjoy Truth and Beauty. She’s just a great writer.

    4. GirlwithaPearl*

      State of wonder was my first ever patchett novel and it blew. Me. Away. I reread it recently and was still enamored.

      Since then I’ve read a bunch more but not all of hers. I did like commonwealth a lot and I remember thinking I didn’t like bel canto much while I read it but then it couldn’t get out of my head so that must mean something.

      I haven’t tried Magicians Assistant but it sounds like I should?

      1. Dr. KMnO4*

        Try it! I was put off by the description on the jacket for quite a while but I loved it when I actually read it. And I enjoyed State of Wonder more than my list might make it seem – it was very good, but so (IMO) are the ones above it. The only book of hers I truly disliked was Patron Saint of Liars.

    5. Bluebell*

      Haven’t read Commonwealth yet but loved Bel Canto and Truth + Beauty. Started to read her work because it was recommended to me by Elizabeth McCracken, who used to be a librarian in my town.

    6. Owly*

      Commonwealth is sitting on my nightstand and 1 week overdue at the library. I just can’t force myself to finish it even though it isn’t terrible. I just don’t care about the story.

    7. Pat Benetardis*

      Bel Canto is my absolute favorite book of all time, ever. I also liked state of Womder a lot. The others I would put as solid 3 out of 5.

    8. Dang*

      I read patron saint of liars and didn’t like it at all. Wish I had read something else as an intro to AP.

  4. Grits McGee*

    Has anyone had success overcoming uncharacteristic seasonal exhaustion? I don’t know if it’s the crazy weather changes we’very been having in DC, daylight savings, or sinus issues, but I’ve just been waking up exhausted and groggy/confused all day. I’d rather not go to a Dr just yet since whenever this has come up in the past, none of the bloodwork has shown anything. Sleep hygiene is okay, but could probably be better.

    1. Rebecca*

      It’s worse for me in November when we move the clocks back one hour. I’d much rather have the daylight at the end of the day than in the beginning, especially in the Winter. I’ve felt out of sorts all week, and Tuesday’s snowstorm didn’t help matters. I was looking forward to getting outside today, but of course it’s 35 degrees, drizzly, and just grey and sad outside. Yuck. Hopefully once the sun comes out this will pass.

      Maybe you could get some extra sleep this weekend?

    2. Emi.*

      Are you sure it’s seasonal? Could your mattress need replacing? I was suddenly tired all the time, and getting a new mattress did the trick. My husband was also tired, so that tipped us off.

    3. Sprechen Sie Talk?*

      Do you have any seasonal allergies or say a build up of dust that could be causing maybe not noticeable breathing problems at night but enough low level congestion to make sleep not as refreshing? I had a friend who, once we cleaned her place that was unbelievably dusty (not to mention the low level hoarding she had going on and a lot of pet dander), finally stopped getting sinus issues and slept a lot better. Its amazing what cracks and crannies dust can get into.

      I do have to say, though, that the sun coming up earlier is making me wake up earlier, though not necessarily due to the light (we have heavy curtains). Maybe its just auto-awake now but I wake up bang on 5.30, rather than with my alarm at 6.30 so I guess I am ready for the clocks to change here in the UK! Such a hassle when you go to bed close to midnight.

    4. Hellanon*

      The Italians call it the “cambia stagione” – change of seasons – and go to the pharmacist for tonics or extra vitamins. Seriously, it’s a thing there, and I have been idly wondering if that’s what’s been going on with me and if I should look for a tonico or vitamin drops to help.

    5. GirlwithaPearl*

      My recent experiences with exhaustion have led to diagnoses of vitamin d and b12 deficiency and some serious seasonal and dust allergies. I recommend testing for all of that! Good luck.

    6. overeducated*

      I have been having a lot of headaches and exhaustion each time the weather suddenly swings warmer, and I am in your region. I have a history of seasonal allergies and headaches when it rains, so it could be what’s in the air or pressure changes or both. OTC meds help. My sympathies!

    7. Spice for this*

      Do you have any food allergies? Exhaustion or feeling groggy can be related to food allergies or overgrowth or candida/yeast.

  5. Dizzy Steinway*

    Inaccurate letter from a new/junior doctor has massively stressed me out.

    I have a rare health condition and see a specialist once a year. Normally I see an expert. This year I saw someone newer and was willing to give him a chance but I just got my copy of the letter and I’m completely infuriated. There are a number of inaccuracies e.g. it says Dizzy says her GP gives her a yearly ECG and this should continue. I did NOT say that. I said the specialist clinic had given me an ECG one time. It’s lots of stuff that isn’t earth shattering but just… I am so sick of always having to be the one explaining things. Normally this yearly appointment is my one chance to talk to someone who actually knows more about my condition than I do (as one in 20,000 people have it).

    I’ve written a polite email (copied to patient liaison) asking for a corrected letter to be sent. I just feel so stressed. It took years to get the right diagnosis and treatment and I thought I was done with this. Yeah, mistakes happen, but there’s a whole load and I’m just exhausted with it all.

    1. Jean who seeks to be Ingenious (or perhaps to write Crime Fiction)*

      Sympathetic rise in blood pressure on your behalf. It stinks when your clearly worded explanation of Situation gets completely fouled up as per the incoherent response of the other person/organization. It stinks even more when you have gone to considerable trouble to understand Situation well enough to explain it clearly to others.

      I hope the light bulb goes on in your specialist’s head, and soon.

    2. OlympiasEpiriot*

      Oh I feel you! And I’m so sorry you’re dealing with this stress.

      Internet-stranger hugs being sent your way.

    3. Mimmy*

      I’m all for giving new practitioners a chance, but I would be more comfortable with an expert for a less-common condition. Was this new doctor familiar with your type of condition? Do you see a different specialist every visit?

      I hope the letter is corrected to your satisfaction.

      1. Dizzy Steinway*

        I normally see the same specialist and I’m not sure this guy was knowledgable enough. Thanks for the vindication – I’ve asked to see an expert next time as it’s my only chance to talk with one.

    4. Vancouver Reader*

      Like you said, mistakes happen, as we are all human. However, when it comes to one’s health, you’d hope that specialist pays more attention than the average person. I hope things get resolved soon, being stressed out along with dealing with a condition cannot be good for your overall health.

    5. Gadfly*

      Ugh. Doctors (and staff!) who don’t listen are a huge irritation of mine right now. We just had to make a doctor’s office reword a note they had written for my husband (he developed nasty tendonitis in one knee and couldn’t drive for a few weeks while it was being treated and has a 35 mile/1 to 2 hr each way commute a few times a week.). We had asked clearly that it just be about the commute because he works from home also. They wrote to excuse him from all work.

      Meanwhile, I’m dealing with a recently diagnosed pituitary tumor and diabetes (and they are related, which makes the rest worst). I just had to reschedule my first follow-up since being put on meds out a week because they only scheduled a lab test to check on the tumor and not the diabetes. And I called and asked about that and the desk person clearly didn’t understand what I was asking and checked with the Dr and assured me that was right. When I went through the messaging system to ask when I should be following up regarding the diabetes she scheduled another lab and made me reschedule my appointment so there is time for the lab work. Because the office person hadn’t brought that up with her at all. Just “Gadfly wants to know if any other tests are needed?”. Grrrrr

  6. JenM*

    Hi all. I’m looking for some book recommendations. I’m specifically looking for well written, light reads. I’m definitely avoiding anything serious or anything with a depressing subject. Alison recently described a book as delightful and that’s exactly the feel I’m looking for. Also open to non-fiction or biographical. Thanks :)

    1. Emi.*

      Do you lik sci-fi/fantasy? I’ve found Terry Pratchet to be generally light-hearted. Going Postal was a lot of fun!

      1. Dizzy Steinway*

        Interesting Times is one I enjoyed.

        Yes or no to chick lit? If yes, Alexandra Potter’s books are good fun.

      2. Sitch*

        My favorite is Mort, but the Death (he’s a benevolent character in Discworld for those not familiar) ones are my favorite, generally.

    2. Dr. KMnO4*

      I liked Meg Cabot’s romance novels – She Went All the Way, Boy Meets Girl, The Boy Next Door, Every Boy’s Got One. And I agree with the Terry Pratchett recommendation.

      1. NotoriousMCG*

        I was just going to suggest Meg Cabot as well! I also love, love, love Sarah Dessen for really well done YA/teen fiction. If you’re open to fantasy and love series with badass women, check out Tamora Pierce. I love everything she sets in Tortall.

        1. Dr. KMnO4*

          Tamora Pierce- she wrote the Circle of Magic books! I love those! I haven’t read any of her other works, but the magic ones are really good. I loved that most of the important characters in Circle of Magic were girls/women.

          1. NotoriousMCG*

            Circle of Magic is great, but Tortall has my heart! There are five series based in Tortall and each features a different woman: The First Adventure – follows Alanna as she traded places with her twin brother so that she can train as a knight and he can study magic at the university (also TP’s first ever book) Wild Magic – follows Daine, a recently orphaned girl who gets work with a royal horsemistress and it becomes apparent that she has powerful wild magic with animals and she helps the realm in a war involving mythic creatures. Protector of the Small – follows Kel, the first female to openly study to be a knight (after Alanna proved they could and got the king to legalize it) and her standing up for the little guy everywhere. Then Trickster’s Choice – follows Alanna’s daughter in her dream to be a spy. Then the Beka Cooper books – follows her as she trains to be a Provost’s Guard (like a policeman/detective).

              1. NotoriousMCG*

                They’re great! I gave the Kel series to my friend when she commissioned as an officer in the army, and she quickly hunted down all of the other series because she loved them so much.

      2. ValaMalDoran*

        I love Meg Cabot. Her Heather Wells series is also great. Murder mysteries, but funny too.

        1. Dr. KMnO4*

          I enjoyed the Heather Wells series too, though I haven’t read Size 12 and Ready to Rock just yet. The will they/won’t they between Heather and the guy I think she ended up with was killing me for a while.

      3. Applesauced*

        If you don’t mind YA, her princess diaries series is very sweet. I read the first few when I was the target demographic, and last year realized there were a lot more in the series and read them as an adult- and they’re still good!

    3. Ariel Before The Mermaid Was Cool*

      Mary Kay Andrews.
      Her novels are generally Southern-themed, and are lighthearted and pretty amusing. They are mostly standard romantic comedies.
      Also, the Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella. They are truly laugh-out-loud funny, but stop at Shopaholic & Sister. The same author has another novel not related to the Shopaholic series called The Undomestic Goddess, again, truly LOL-worthy. All of her novels are set in Great Britain.
      Last but not least, the 2 Bridget Jones novels. They are HILARIOUS.
      **Disclaimer: All of the works I’ve mentioned do feature some profanity, so I hope that’s not a dealbreaker.

    4. NaoNao*

      Oh boy have you come to the right crowd!

      Family drama:
      Modern Lovers by Emma Straub (so, so fun)
      Crazy Rich Asians and China Rich Girlfriend (very fluffy, beach read, happy ending, tons of fashion and jewels)
      Nicholas Coleridge is an author who I discovered and devoured his fiction–long, shaggy dog tales of the upper crust in England told with a lightly satiric hand, happy endings, sweet, lovable characters (especially “A much-married man”) and a good romp. Love!
      Katherine Tessaro writes historical fiction that is very fashion and beauty oriented (about perfumes, the high fashion industry in the 50’s, stuff like that). It’s not perfect (there’s something missing from them for me) but they are *very* enjoyable reads.
      Beatriz Williams: same. High fashion, high glamour historical fiction (a few serious plot points, but nothing sad). Again, something…stagey? false? about them but they are very readable and enjoyable for a lazy afternoon by the pool or a long train ride.
      Primates of Park Avenue. A slim book and nothing earth shattering here, but a dishy, “inside baseball” read about the upper crust of NYC. (I’m a shameless window peeper into the lives of the 1%)
      Swans of Fifth Avenue: marred by a strange stream of consciousness ending, and a few downbeat notes but I *loved* this. A true loving tribute to a bygone era, a zippy read, a dishy read, and just fun.
      Astonish me: (and Maggie Shipstead’s other book, The Seating Arrangements) UGH SO GOOD. This author writes *the exact books I want to read*. 1970’s ballet life in NYC? YASSS PLIZ! A wonderful, happy ending, a delicate and sharp portrait of love, just…a wonderful, wonderful book. I still think about it.
      The Knockoff: slightly shrill and bitchy in places (I didn’t love the “catfight” angle) but otherwise a terrific, and very well written, “Devil Wears Prada”–from the other side!!
      Plum Sykes is my ultimate indulgence read: SUPER fluffy NYC celebutantes read—not a drop of substance, pure sugar cane sugar! Very fun for those days when you need an escape from it all.

      Well…I have about 2000 more recs but that should get you started.
      Also *get thee on Goodreads*. When you click on, say “Astonish Me” you’ll see the gem of Goodreads: the “Readers also liked” section–that’s where I find my next book and my next, and my next….:)

      1. GirlwithaPearl*

        I LOVE much of Beatriz Williams work except then I read Overseas and now am traumatized by how insanely and inanely bad it was and am unsure I can ever give her mother chance!

      2. Teach*

        Primates of Park Ave was sooooo good! Interesting, a little snarky, and nosy. Great nonfiction.

    5. Perpetua*

      I like books with the same feel, and I’ve enjoyed books by Sarah Addison Allen, Kristan Higgins and Jennifer Crusie.

    6. NotoriousMCG*

      There’s also a historical fiction series about spies in the Napoleonic wars that is delightful, the plots of the books follow the historian who is researching the spies (and falling for a handsome descendent of one of them) and then whichever spy she is researching at the time (all of whom manage to also fall in love while she’s looking into them, surprise, surprise!) They’re written by Lauren Willig and the first is The Secret History of the Pink Carnation. They’re fun.

      1. NotoriousMCG*

        If you like memoirs, I loved Amy Poehler’s and it inspired me to watch Parks & Rec which was the best decision of my life. Anna Kendrick’s is also a fun one. Lauren Graham from Gilmore Girls also wrote a fictional book called ‘Someday, Someday, Maybe’ which was a good beach read for me.

        1. Perpetua*

          I second Amy Poehler’s book (I read it first before watching Parks & Rec or much of her work in general, and I think it’s a good book on its own, even if you’re not a fan; I did start watching P&R after that, fell completely in love with it and enjoyed the re-read of the book even more!), as well as Lauren Graham’s fiction book.

        2. Blue Anne*

          Tina Fey’s is amazing too, if you haven’t picked it up! I liked both, but I preferred Bossypants. (Weirdly my favorite bit in Tina Fey’s memoir was about… Amy Poehler.)

        3. AcidMeflux*

          And Rachel Dratch’s “Girl Walks into a Bar”. It’s a good complement to Tina’s and Amy’s books.

    7. Anonreader*

      I like the book, “Hillbilly Elegy” by JD Vance. The book not only open people’s eyes to the poverty experience in Appalachia US, but also on many factors that affects the people of the disadvantage that goes beyond lack of finances.

      The book is a biography of JD Vance’s life in Middletown, OH, where there is a large Appalachian community. He grew up in a economically disadvantaged because of his mother’s abusiveness, reckless spending, and unstable martial relationships. Fortunately, his grandparents were there to provide him a home, encouragement, and a rigorous requirement of commitment to school and work, that he was able to get the stability, self-discipline, and inspiration to complete high school, join the Marine Corps, graduate from college and law school, and eventually work his way to being professional class. JD introduces concepts such as “social capital” and “brain drain” to highlight factors that might make poverty hard to eradicate. Social capital being people connects one has through family, peers, etc. that provides guidance and advantage for professional growth. Many people in poverty don’t have good social capital and that can impact their outlook for their future. Brain Drain being that people that are educated left underdeveloped areas, which makes areas like Appalachia still lacking industrial investment and low growth of high-paying jobs. These led some people to feel discourage in their environment, feel less committed to school, and less likely to take responsibility for their finances.

      This book might be great not just about Apalachia, but about the complicated factors that goes into poverty and trying to move up away from poverty.

      1. Lady Julian*

        Hillbilly Elegy is great, but it’s not a light read!! :) It was instrumental in complicating my view of the “hillbilly” class in America, along with the policies & outreaches that support them and don’t support them; but it was a lot to process, and my heart hurt for Vance’s family.

        1. Gaia*

          While I haven’t read this book, it is always interesting how many people underestimate the complexity of the “hillbilly” class in this country. They are deeply complex with a culture and social norms all their own. They have unique needs and pressures and when they are reduced to “uneducated, uncultured and bigots” (as they so often are) they are deeply misunderstood.

          The same is true of the “redneck” class.

          1. Emi.*

            I would also say it complicated my view, although for me (not sure about Lady Julian) it was that I had very romantic notions about country folk with simple lives, steeped in community, tradition, and hard work (I know, I know).

            Can you explain the difference between “hillbillies” and “rednecks”? I sometimes see the terms used interchangeably but sometimes not. My impression is that both terms are generally pejorative, at least when used by outsiders–do you agree?

            1. Aurora Leigh*

              Not Gaia, but I always assumed the difference between redneck and hillbilly was mainly regional. Hillbillies being from Appalachia (hills) and redneck from the South (red dirt).

              I grew up in a pretty rural area in the midwest and money was tight for my family.

              Redneck is fine in country music songs and such where it’s about being proud of your roots and a shared background.

              It can be an insult, but around here anyway “white trash” is the real insult.

              1. Gaia*

                White trash is another one. It is used for white people who don’t fit into those other categories and are considered a low class either due to poor etiquette, low education, poverty and a general refusal to conform to social norms of the other classes.

            2. Gaia*

              Hillbillies are typically from Appalachia and rednecks are more from the Deep South. Both terms are intended to be pejorative when used by outsiders but have often been claimed by the cultures to use with a sense of pride.

              A good way to remember which is which is a “hillbilly” is literally someone that lived in the hills (mountains) and a “redneck” is someone who often worked the land (hence, the back of their neck was literally red). In both cases the name was given to the groups by the wealthier people in the community (those who lived in town, in the valley or didn’t work the land) as a way to denigrate those groups.

      2. Emi.*

        I’ve read part of it, and an interview with Vance, and I definitely second this recommendation … just not as a light-hearted or non-serious read.

      3. Mephyle*

        Suzette Haden Elgin (author of The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense and related books, and of feminist science fiction) was a native Ozarker and a linguist (that is, not a person who speaks lots of languages, but an academic who studies the field of linguistics). She wrote (among many other things) about how the Appalachian dialect is not a degenerate form of English, but a dialect with its own rules and grammar.
        It might take a while to dig up these posts, but I think they were on her Livejournal blog called “Ozarque”.

    8. JenM*

      So many great responses already!! Thank you :) I do like sci fi/fantasy and LOVE Terry Pratchett. I haven’t read much Chick Lit but that just means there’s so much more to discover.

      1. Jessesgirl72*

        Have you ever read Don Callander’s Mancer series? They are well written and fun, but truly nothing bad ever happens to anyone in them!

      2. Aardvark*

        If you love Terry Pratchett, you might also like Christopher Moore (though I preferred his early stuff and haven’t liked his more recent books very much). I’m not sure if it really counts as a light read, but Nick Harkaway’s books have a similar vibe.

    9. Jessesgirl72*

      I like older books for that, before books had to have a “message”

      As long as you aren’t offended by different standards of society, I highly recommend Betty McDonald’s books (especially Onions in the Stew, but even the Plague and I is hilarious ) and Shirley Jackson’s non horror books- Life Among the Savages and Raising Demons. But I have always loved those old slice of life books.

    10. NotoriousMCG*

      Oh! And Betty Smith! Of course there is A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, but she also wrote other books called Maggie-Now, Joy in the Morning, and Tomorrow Will be Better. Joy in the Morning is my favorite of her lesser-known books. Follows a girl from Brooklyn who moves to the Midwest to marry her sweetheart who is in law school and their first year of marriage.

      1. Jessesgirl72*

        I don’t exactly consider A Tree Grows in Brooklyn as light “delightful” reading. ;)

        I love them, but….

        1. NotoriousMCG*

          Haha, it does have some tough themes, especially toward the beginning/middle, but it’s so full of hope and told through a perspective that’s so thoughtful and magical (the imagery of the little bowl on the librarian’s desk, the observations of the girls washing up before going out) it ultimately leaves me with a delightful feeling whenever I finish a re-read.

          But yes, Joy in the Morning is most definitely something I would recommend more for a consistently delightful read ;)

      2. Teach*

        I loved Joy in the Morning. My mom’s friend gave it to me in high school…I feel a re-read coming on.

    11. Root*

      Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is a favorite of mine, though if you consider the Earth getting demolished right off the bat to be serious or depressing then maybe give it a pass.

    12. Mephyle*

      For “delightful”, I can think of nothing better than Eva Ibbotson’s The Dragonfly Pool and her young adult books:
      The Countess Below Stairs (aka The Secret Countess)
      Magic Flutes (aka The Reluctant Heiress)
      A Company of Swans
      Madensky Square
      The Morning Gift
      A Song for Summer

      Second, anything and everything by D. E. Stevenson.

    13. TL -*

      P.G. Wodehouse – he has some anti-Semitic comments in some of his works (in passing reference to bit Jewish characters, I think?) but his Jeeves series is pure joy and delight.

      1. Anonymouse*

        Whenever I’m in the mood for something light, frothy and well-written, I pick up Wodehouse. The Jeeves and Wooster books are my favorite too; and you really don’t have to start at the beginning of the series – they are all pretty independent. Start from the ones he wrote in the late ’30s to early ’40s.

        Nancy Mitford is a complete delight, especially her Love in a Cold Climate series.

        And if you like mysteries, nothing (bar nothing) goes down as easily as an Agatha Christie. She is the Queen.

    14. Jen Erik*

      You’ve probably already read this if you like sci fi/fantasy – Connie Willis’ ‘To Say Nothing of The Dog’ – it’s a lighthearted time-travel , riffing off Jerome K Jerome’s ‘Three Men in a Boat’ but you can read one without being familiar with the other. You’ve also probably read Bujold, but on the off-chance you haven’t, ‘A Civil Campaign’ is a very lighthearted entry in her Vorkosigan series, and you could read it as a stand-alone. (The entire series is great, but that’s the one I’d call delightful.)
      I recently read Thirkell’s ‘The Brandons’ (might have been recommended here, I can’t remember) and it was also a light confection of a book. Which leads me to remember to include P.G. Wodehouse, who is the king of that kind of writing.
      Chick-lit wise, I think the first two of Bridget Jones’ Diaries are good – nothing like the films, really, and ‘the Edge of Reason’ properly makes me laugh. (But I wouldn’t call them delightful – good observational comic writing, but not charming enough to qualify as delightful.)

    15. Felicia*

      The Little old lady who broke all the rules is really fun. It’s also got two good sequels. It’s about elderly Swedish people who rob a bank to see if they can, and also because they think prison will be nice to than their retirement home

    16. Meredith*

      I just read Where’d you go, Bernadette? And the first few Spellman family mysteries on vacation. All light and funny.

    17. Undine*

      Alice Hoffman. She’s kind of a New England magical realism, with everything turning out well at the end.
      I really like the Lucia books by E. F. Benson. They’re written in the twenties or so — cattiness and social rivalry in an English village.

      1. DoDah*

        I love the Lucia books. A friend of mine calls them “the books where nothing ever happens…” So, caution if you need action-packed novels.

    18. NotoriousMCG*

      There’s also the All Creatures Grest and Small books by James Herriot about a country vet in England

      1. Windchime*

        Oh, this is an awesome suggestion. I’ve read them all many, many times and they’re such fun! Even though I know the stories by heart, I still giggle uncontrollably while reading these books. James Herriot just has a way with words and can make even the most ordinary experience (like chickens escaping their pen or having a fender-bender) seem hilarious.

    19. Applesauced*

      Nora Ephron was mention in the quote comments up thread – her essay collections are very good and lighthearted (some are, anyway)

    20. Kalica*

      I recommend everything by T. Kingfisher. Her heroines are very matter of fact and practical, there is gardening and all her characters are PEOPLE. Plus, she mostly writes in the realm of the fantastic, fairy tales where you can see the warts and the danger. She also writes for younger audiences under the name Ursula Vernon, and has a completed graphic novel out on the webs free to read call Digger so no initial cost there. Oh, there’s also a story she published on the web as a serial, each chapter put out a certain distance apart, about a girl who meets Baba Yaga outside her backdoor and gets sent to another world for an adventure called Summer In Orcus. Some of her stories have a bit of melancholy, but, never for long because the characters she writes HATES sitting around and feeling sorry for themselves when they can instead stand up and do something about it.

    21. A Person*

      Jeeves and Wooster by PG Wodehouse is my go-to for light reads; also good because a lot of them are short stories and even the books aren’t that long.

    22. Falling Diphthong*

      To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis. Screwball shenanigans with time traveling historians, who are stuck in a role sort of like minor office functionaries being told “we aren’t sending you because it makes sense; we’re sending you because the major donor insists that we do so and if we say no she’ll give our rival university the money.”

  7. Emi.*

    PSA to parents of adult children: When your son calls to inform you that the beloved lizard he’s had since childhood has died, the correct response is “I’m so sorry,” not “You killed our lizard?!?”

    If you mess this up, your daughter-in-law may forgive you. But she will not forget.

    1. pandq*

      Oh, ouch! When my son was about 18 he decided it was a good idea to let his beloved turtle out to roam the garage – never saw it again, even after we searched what seemed like every inch. Oh, was it hard not to say what I was thinking. Losing it was hard enough on him, and he felt totally responsible. Good lessons in consequences for him, I think.

    2. Not So NewReader*

      I hear ya, Emi.

      In a similar vein when your adult niece calls to say her cat died, screaming into the phone and slamming the phone down makes one into a bigger tragedy than the cat.
      Just had to mention that.

    3. Hrovitnir*

      Eugh, I’m sorry. :(

      I’m about ready to strangle half of my partner’s family for thinking it’s totally appropriate to continuously tell us we have too many animals – and specifically, to say that to him while I’m away and he’s just had to put one of our dogs down. And that’s a big step down from your in-laws did.

    4. Liz in a Library*

      Ugh…reminds me of my bro-in-law’s comment to my husband when we had to put down our dying cat recently. “Hey, at least you’ve got fewer litter boxes to clean, ha ha!” Appreciate the empathy, buddy.

    1. Aurora Leigh*

      I’m so impressed they can share the bed! My two don’t believe the full size mattress is big enough for both of them. They mostly push each other off!

      1. Dizzy Steinway*


        My cat doesn’t believe our king size bed is big enough for three. By which I mean one cat and two humans.

    2. Windchime*

      Yes, there is nothing more warm and cozy than a big pile of cats all happily sharing the bed.

  8. AvonLady Barksdale*

    House drama returns! The latest here is a confusing doozy: our landlord emailed asking to bring an appraiser by. I scratched my head at that, but whatever, and I told him that Friday was fine. He then wrote back to say he was trying to do a cash out refinance because he “really wants to keep the property lol”. (Can you tell how much that “lol” annoyed the crap out of me?) OK, whatever, dude. Then he changed the appointment day for the appraiser, also fine. THEN, that afternoon, after about two weeks of nothing, the real estate agent’s office asked if it was ok for two agents to come by the next day. I was pissed by the lack of notice, but it worked out for us, so I agreed.

    But I am so confused. I’m guessing that either our landlord hasn’t told his agent (an old friend of his!) that he is looking to refinance, or he HAS told her and she’s scrambling to get offers in. I suppose in the end it’s none of my business, but I feel like we’ve been put in the middle AND that we’re being jerked around. First we have to allow agents and buyers to come by, now appraisers too. Our landlord’s wife emailed me yesterday asking to come by this weekend and test their key because they’re not sure they have the right one (eyeroll), and I said no, that I’ll leave them a spare when they come by with the appraiser. I do not want to see them or deal with them “popping by” right now. I’m on my own this weekend and have been looking forward to undisturbed alone time for ages– plus I woke up this morning with a headache, so I really don’t want to deal with anyone.

    The gist of all of this, as far as I can tell, is that our landlord reallllly needs/wants a hefty chunk of money for his new house. He told me how much he hopes the house is appraised for so he can do the refinance, and he’ll be lucky to get it. I just think it’s super weird to look into this option NOW as opposed to five months ago when he decided to sell, because that way he wouldn’t have aggravated us (not that he cares) or had his agent/friend spend time and resources on selling this place. It’s not listed yet, from what I can tell, so at least he’s off the hook with that (I believe you have to wait 180 days for a house to be off the market before you can do a cash-out refi). Whenever we’ve needed anything from him, it takes forever to get a response, but once he wants something, we’re expected to jump to. Honestly, I’m just annoyed. Really, really, really annoyed.

    Oh, and apparently they’re moving, but will they give me their updated address? Doubtful. Sigh.

    1. MsChanandlerBong*

      I can empathize with what you’re going through. We used to live in a house that was on the market from the second we moved in. The landlord was nice about it (he gave us a two-year lease so that, if the house sold, we wouldn’t be kicked out right away), but it was still a pain. We’d get a call at 7:00 p.m. saying that someone would be coming at 8:30 a.m. to look at the house. I work from home, so it was always a big nuisance. People would interrupt me to ask me questions about the plumbing, the neighbors, and other mundane details. When the house finally sold, about 2.5 years after we moved in, the new landlords decided to use the garage as their storage area. They were always calling us to ask my husband to move our car out of the driveway so they could pull in with their van and unload furniture and whatnot. Then in the summer, they would use the house out back to clean up outdoor equipment. Turns out the spigot was on our water bill, so our bill would go up by $5 or $10 a month during the summer. The whole thing was just a pain in the behind.

    2. The Cosmic Avenger*

      Ugh. Definitely keep holding them to 24 hours notice, because they seem to keep pushing, and if you give in they’ll probably push even further.

      But at least if they refinance, that means they’re keeping it, and you get to stay, right?

      1. AvonLady Barksdale*

        We get to stay anyway. The lease conveys to whomever owns the house. We were kind of looking forward to getting new landlords!

        1. Joann Miller*

          The lease does transfer with a sale, but there are caveats–If you are month to month you can be terminated with 20-30 day notice, (depending on your state)This can also happen when your lease ends-you can be terminated or , most likely a rent raise. They also might buy the home to live in themselves and not want to be landlords., wait out your lease and then terminate your tenancy. Hopefully they are landlords and will be better ones- hope so!

          1. AvonLady Barksdale*

            We are not month-to-month, and yes, we’re fully prepared to move out when our lease terminates. Trust me, we’ve done a ton of research! I fully expect the new owners to want us out at the end of June 2018.

    3. Joann Miller*

      Your landlord might be selling the home-I own many rentals, and what is occurring is pretty standard before a sale with an occupied property– you do legally have the right to require 24-48 hours notice (depending upon your state) for anyone entering for showing to mortagees, insurance inspectors, real estate, brokers ( our lease has that clause written in) or for the landlord to enter (except in cases of emergency or abandonment). If they are coming in it has to be reasonable times-usually 9-5 . We send notice by certified mail or post on the home with a process server if we are entering ( or recently when we had an appraiser enter, ). Your landlord might not know the law, or is playing dumb, but you have rights pursuant to the landlord tenant law in your state for reasonable times of access–a landlord dropping by for anything is not reasonable-I have never in the 23 year as I have been a landlord shown up at any tenants door. A good response I have told my friends who are renters if a landlord skirts the law: “I did not lose my rights under the landlord tenant law when you became my landlord.” They will back right off, believe me . But they might be selling, and if they are be ready for buyers to come trooping through your home.

      1. AvonLady Barksdale*

        They are selling– or, at least, that was the plan before this refi thing came up. There’s a lot of backstory* on this one that I didn’t feel like repeating! :) I’ve become very well-versed on my state’s landlord tenant laws, and unfortunately, the annoyance I’m experiencing doesn’t mean that they’ve done anything illegal or outside the bounds of the lease (yet). We’ve already had agents trooping through our home, I’m just pissed that now it’s agents + appraisers.

        *We’re 9 months into a 2nd 2-year lease, landlord wants to sell, hasn’t kept us informed of plans or process, hired an agent who doesn’t extend us much courtesy.

    4. LazyCat*

      Caveat 1 – I am suspicious by nature. Caveat 2 – I haven’t read all of your posts, just some (I read this at work on Sat during lunch).

      With that out of the way, is it possible your landlords are trying to be obnoxious enough to drive *you* to break the lease? I wonder this too because I’ve lived places where homes would sell for huge amounts for the land alone. (the houses would get torn down and a house would get built to the maximum allowed by code). Obviously the landlords jave more options if you’re not living there.

      1. AvonLady Barksdale*

        My boyfriend brought that up, and yeah, we’ve thought about that. If that’s what he wants to do, then that’s too damn bad! We signed a two-year lease in good faith, which means we’re going to keep abiding by the lease no matter how annoying he is. I also think he’s not particularly intelligent (the landlord, not my boyfriend!), so I refuse, at this point, to attribute to malice what might be attributed to stupidity.

        He can get us out if he offers us a decent buyout, but because he wants so much money so badly, I don’t think that’s going to happen. I’m certainly not going to bring it up!

    5. namelesscommentater*

      You might look into how much accommodation you have to provide per your lease/local laws. I know in leases I’ve signed there’s been a 24 hour warning notice for any landlord entrance and specific language around showing to potential residents around our convenience towards the end of the lease term. I believe most jurisdictions also have laws against landlord interference with enjoyment of property.

      And you likely know this, but because I didn’t: document all of your things if strangers are in/out of your home and be sure to check for valuables after each entrance.

      1. AvonLady Barksdale*

        Done and documented!

        In our state, notice is tricky. Our lease calls for “reasonable” notice, and that is also the state law. There is no set time frame, but the local MLS recommends 24 hours. However, that’s not a law, simply a recommendation. We have a right to quiet enjoyment, but our lease requires us to allow access for showings with the aforementioned reasonable notice. Now, that said, if I had said no to the last showing, she probably wouldn’t have fought me on it.

        1. phil*

          You obviously don’t live in California. Her in The Golden State they do everything but specify the type size in the notice. But us tenants have lots of protection.

  9. Cruciatus*

    I hate that I’m bummed so much about my missing cell phone! I’m now That. Person. I got caught in a drift in my driveway on Wednesday night. I could barely open the door to get out and ran to the house. I think during the awkward moment of getting out of the car and sinking into the snow I lost my phone. I even retraced my steps but didn’t see it and then our plow guy arrived and pulled me out and, I’m assuming at this point, plowed the phone into the huge snow pile in our driveway (I don’t blame him a bit). I’ve spent a bit of time the last few days dismantling the wall of snow but no luck yet. I even have a metal detector borrowed from a family friend, but unfortunately the pile of snow is right at the edge of the cement driveway and onto the grass and apparently metal detectors are really sensitive around cement. I know I had the phone in the car for a few reasons (one being my Fitbit last synced at the time I was still in the car). I’ve already scoured the house/car/clothing. I know it’s just a phone and I have most everything saved, but I so very rarely lose things that I feel “off” about the whole thing. There are a few things all the way back to high school I still think about “what happened to that?” once in a while. Just needed to vent! Probably not a lot of advice unless you are practiced in the way of dismantling snow walls without ruining your back/body. Every shovelful of snow I’m hopeful I’ll spot it/a piece of it and I’m still weirdly optimistic I’ll find it but now the rain is starting so… Sigh. For many reasons this was not my favorite week at all, and this didn’t help.

    1. LCL*

      It’s probably water soaked and ruined now. It’s worth a try having someone come over with a working phone and walking the area, calling your phone repeatedly. Unless you do as my sister does, which is keeping the phone on silent.

    2. Cruciatus*

      Update! Oh my God! I found it! I went and just knocked a bit more snow down and was going to just go inside but decided to do one more sweep of the metal detector. It got a little excited and I wasn’t near cement so I dug and found it! It’s intact! It doesn’t seem too worse for the wear but is relaxing in some rice even though I actually think it’s fine. But it should probably come to room temps anyway so why not have it in rice anyway while waiting.

  10. Wedding Belle*

    I am in a wedding coming up in October. I’m happy to be in it, the bride is very anti-drama, and so forth, but I am dreading wearing the dress we picked out. I say we because they sent me photos when they went to try on dresses, but I live out of state, so I wasn’t able to try anything on with the rest of the group. The problem is that the dress is a lightweight chiffon. It’s fine for skinny people, but a bigger person really needs a stiffer fabric/more structure. What is worse is that my David’s Bridal location did not have the dress in anything near my size, so I was not even able to try it on. I put on the biggest size available, got stuck in it, and stood in the dressing room crying as my MIL tried to pry me out of it. I ended up ordering based on a dress I recently wore to a black-tie event. The clerk told me their sizing is pretty consistent, so if the dress from the formal event fit me well, then I should order the same size. The dress won’t be here until the end of May, and I am just hoping that it isn’t too hideous on me.

    The bummer is that the bride doesn’t really care if we all wear the same dress, but one of the other bridesmaids has a strong personality. She convinced the bride we should all wear the same thing. Of course, she’s the thinnest one of us by far, so she has no idea how it crushes your soul to have to stuff yourself into something that looks bad. When I got married, the bride for this wedding was one of my bridesmaids. She wasn’t comfortable in anything that didn’t cover her from neck to ankle, and the dress she liked wasn’t available in my selected color, so I changed my whole color scheme so that she would not have to pick something she didn’t like (I had two people wear my original color and two people wear the color of the dress she picked). I didn’t expect her to do that for me, but I really thought we’d be able to pick our own dress styles. It’s not easy to find something that flatters someone who is 4’10 with a big bust, someone who is 5’4 and slender all over, someone who is 5’11 and has no hips or bust, and someone who is 5’11 and has wide hips.

    1. NotoriousMCG*

      Oh shoot, that stinks :( for future weddings you’re part of you can suggest they look at Weddington Way. You can pick a fabric/color/designer and then all the bridesmaids can choose their own styles. That’s what I did for my wedding and my bridesmaids really liked it. Not expensive, either.

      1. Wedding Belle*

        Fortunately, she is my last single friend. If I go to any weddings in the future, they will be for my cousins–all of whom are much younger than me, so they wouldn’t be asking me to be in their bridal parties. That’s pretty much what I did for my wedding, too. I knew that it would be difficult to find a flattering dress for everyone. One of my friends had just had a baby, so she wanted something that would give her a bit more of a waist. She wore a tea-length dress with a ruched waist and thick shoulder straps. Bridesmaid #2 went with a floor-length gown that had spaghetti straps. Bridesmaid #3 went with a strapless, knee-length dress, and then my junior bridesmaid wore a long dress with a halter-style top.

        1. sheworkshardforthemoney*

          Wow, that sounds like my daughter’s wedding. She had 3 bridesmaids. One just had a baby and was nursing and had her baby weight. One was tiny with big breasts and the last one was almost 5’8″, My kid said this is the colour, choose a style that you like and flatters you. They all looked great. I really hate that cookie cutter look especially the sleeveless ones that flatter no one.

    2. Emi.*

      I’m sorry! Could you order a different style in the same color, and let the pushy bridesmaid jump in the lake? I mean, that’s pretty much the entire point of David’s Bridal bridesmaid dresses, no?

      1. Wedding Belle*

        Too late now. I already spent $150 on the dress! It would not go over well, either. The very first thing I said when my friend asked me to be a bridesmaid is, “Sure, as long as I can wear a jacket or wrap to cover my arms.” I get the feeling she’s annoyed that I am ruining the cohesive look by wearing a jacket, but I don’t care. I will not bare my arms in public.

        1. Emi.*

          Aw, bummer. But you’re a wedding party, not a military unit on parade! You’re there to be happy for her, not to be cohesive, yeesh.

          1. Wedding Belle*

            The good news is that it’s all uphill from here. My friend really does not care about things being fancy or making everything perfect. We asked her what she wants for her shower. She said she’s going to have it in her mother’s backyard. Okay, well what do you want us to do about food? Oh, people will just bring food. We’ll do a potluck. Fine with us! She’s definitely not going to freak out about any of the details, so it will be pretty low-key. Now, if the dress arrives at the end of May/early June, and it doesn’t fit, I don’t know what I’ll do. But I think it will be okay based on the dress I wore to the formal event. My MIL had to take in the bust a little bit, but she is a talented seamstress; she’ll be able to hem it for me, and she’s making me a custom wrap/jacket out of a bridesmaid’s dress that I bought on clearance for $29.99 (I bought it at David’s, so it’s the same exact color as our dress). It would cost way more to buy a pre-made jacket, so I think cutting up a dress to use the fabric is a good way to go. For the black-tie event, I bought four wraps on clearance for $6.99 each. They were the same color as my dress (also purchased at David’s Bridal). She used the fabric from the wraps to make me a custom-fitted jacket. Not bad for less than $28 in material!

            1. GirlwithaPearl*

              There’s something fundamentally embarrassing about a group of grown ass women wearing the same dress. Rock your jacket and ignore the bully bridesmaid and just be there for your friend.

    3. Candy*

      It won’t do a lot for structure, but wearing a slip underneath will certainly help in smoothing out the lines of the dress. A full-length silky slip — not tight shapewear — will make the dress drape and skim over your body nicely instead of clinging. Also, at least for me, that little extra layer makes me feel a lot more confident when I’m wearing really lightweight dresses.

      1. SaraV*

        And if you’re worried about possible static cling with the slip and the dress, rub some hand lotion on the slip. With an October wedding and drier air, that might become an issue.

    4. Hoorah*

      When I was a bridesmaid my friend dressed me to be identical as…the flower girls.

      Bright pink ballerina dresses looked adorable on a pair of 5 year old girls. Did not look great on me.

      My friend paid for it and this is what she wanted. So I sucked it up and smiled and told her it was lovely.

      Bridesmaids who like their dresses are the exception, I think. When someone else picks a fancy dress for you to wear it often doesn’t go that we’ll.

      1. Amadeo*

        I was less gracious to my sister when she asked me to be her maid of honor then showed me the dresses she’d picked out. A strapless knee length thing with a bubble-ish hem/bottom of the dress and a giant bow smack over one hip. I am about 5’5″, busty and curvy. I looked her in the eye and pointed to that dress and said ‘not just no, but hell no.”

        Fortunately she was pretty care-free about the whole thing and told me to pick something in the same color as the others. It was enough that I was even putting on a dress for her, as I never, ever wear them, so I guess you could call it meeting in the middle.

    5. Elizabeth West*

      Grr. (When!) I get married, Ima solve this problem by having a really cool tiny wedding with NO attendants. Maybe a MOH and that’s it. And I will work out a color she can live with and she can wear whatever in that color. We’ll pick something nice out.

      1. Vanilla*

        I got married last year and did not have a wedding party partly because I didnt want to ask my friends to buy an expensive dress they would never wear again. My best friend actually cried tears of happiness because she was so thankful she didnt have to be a part of another wedding party full of drama. She has had more than her fair share of this kind of crap.

      2. Natalie*

        We did that – we each had one attendant (my cousin and my husband’s sister) as we needed someone to hold the rings and my bouquet, and two people have to witness the marriage license. We just let them pick their own dresses, and they were both beautiful and comfortable!

        Small weddings are great. I got to talk to everyone at mine!

      3. Becca*

        At my wedding, I just told the chief ladies in the wedding party (my mom, my brother and his fiancée, my husband’s mom and sister, and my best friend) not to wear brown or orange, and everyone was happy. BOOM, done. Lots of lovely, flattering outfits, and none of my least favorite colors! Everyone wins.

      4. Sydney Bristow*

        That’s what we did. No wedding party and our two best friends married us and we told them to wear whatever they wanted. So one wore a TARDIS dress and the other wore her favorite navy dress.

        My sisters and cousin knew that one of our wedding colors was pink so they all showed up in their own dresses in various shades of pink as a surprise!

        Add to that a bachelorette sleepover-type party complete with chinese food and champagne. And cotton candy at the wedding reception. Totally fun and without any clothing stress!

      5. MommaCat*

        Main reason I wanted my bridesmaids pick their own dresses was that I knew I wasn’t going to find a dress that looked good on everyone, since there were so many different body types involved. I just came up with some guidelines (blue, tea length, something you like), and they ended up looking great!

        1. Al Lo*

          My bridesmaids were dressed differently — 2 in black, 2 in silver. I had a few guidelines (shade of silver, length), but other than that, I let them pick what would be flattering. I was pretty involved in “approving” two of them; one of them was 5 days post-partum at my wedding, so purchased a dress that would have worked either as a maternity dress or immediately after; and the other one I think felt a little lost and actually wanted more guidance or restrictions!

        2. Not So NewReader*

          I went with the blue, tea length dress request also. I had a small wedding, so I just had a MOH. Later she said she was able to wear the dress for other things. Which was the point of having her pick it herself. She was antsy picking it out and I reminded her because of distance I would not see the dress until the day of, so whatever she came up with would be fine by me.
          She did a better job of picking something out than I ever would have.

    6. The Unkind Raven*

      My favorite wedding that I was ever in had the bride tell us to go to a department store and pick out any black cocktail dress we felt comfortable in. Everybody matched and the wedding “look” was chic without being matchy. It’s also the only bridesmaid’s dress I wore ever again (because I got to pick it out!).

      1. Natalie*

        When I was my cousin’s MOH we did something similar – we bought a bolt of fabric and each picked out a pattern we liked. I think they ended up being around $150 each and I wear that dress all the time.

      2. MsChanandlerBong*

        I would have loved that, but a lot of people think black is “bad luck” for a wedding. I was going to wear a black dress to a friend’s rehearsal dinner, and her mother freaked out (she’s quite superstitious), so I wore something else.

    7. Gadfly*

      So I am not just larger, I am superfat. When my brother got married, his bride decided that my sister and I should wear this gauze, empire waist, baby pink dress. Never asked for input or did fittings with us. I would have advised her not to pick it, but did she want to listen? Noooooooooo. So I have about 9″ of cleavage on display in all of her pictures. Including at the LDS Temple.

      Worst part? She put her cousins in a cute a-line dress that would have been so much better. I found this out at the wedding

    8. Science!*

      I’m a bridesmaid in a wedding in July. The bride picked the color and length, rose gold metallic and floor length, but style is up to us. Problem for me is I’m currently 8 months pregnant and I’ll only be 2ish months post-partum and still breastfeeding. I won’t have any clue what size I’ll actually be by then, but since I’m short any dress I get will need to altered so I’ll have to order it soon without any chance to try it on.

      1. MommaCat*

        If you can, try to get something with a sash or something you can tie to cinch the dress smaller, possibly in a wrap-style if it works for you; that way, you can get away with getting a larger-sized dress. At about 2 months post-partum myself, I’m fitting into my early to mid-pregnancy clothes, if that helps you.

  11. Aurora Leigh*

    Hey guys! A couple weeks ago I asked y’all for first date tips.

    And it went really well! The most awkward moment was when a co-worker of mine was seated right next to us and told me to stop picking at my food. . .

    But it as really nice! We went out again the following weekend and this weekend I’m going to meet some of his friends for a movie night at his place.

    So, as a person who has NEVER had a romantic relationship of any kind, when do you start telling people that you’re seeing someone?

    I’ve told one friend beforehand (you know, in case I disappeared or something) and another friend (actually I can’t do the thing this weekend, plans! With a guy!)

    And at what point should I tell my mom?? Because I have no idea what her reaction will be, and if things don’t work out, her version of sympathy only makes me feel worse about myself, but putting it off too long doesn’t seem like a good idea either . . .

    Happy for any advice you’d like to offer on any of the above!

    1. Temperance*

      Being very gentle, my answer totally depends on your age/independence level. I wouldn’t let your mother know unless your relationship gets very serious, assuming that you’re in your twenties or thirties. Of course, if you live with her and/or are somehow financially dependent, you might need to let her know earlier.

      I pretty much didn’t involve my family in my romantic relationships unless the guy was serious enough to want to meet them, for some reason.

      1. Aurora Leigh*

        Well, I’m in my twemties, finacially independent and several hours away, but I don’t want to completely shut her out of my life. And I want to be the one to tell her, not have her finding out by hearing from another relative in my town. She’s actually a pretty good mom, she just struggles with the fact I’m an adult now and while her sympathy might be good for other people it doesn’t work for me.

        1. Temperance*

          I’m not sure it’s shutting her out not to involve her until you’re a bit more established as a couple. Especially if she’ll give you unsolicited advice and/or give you crap if things don’t work out.

          I should also clarify that I approach everything from a BOUNDARIES! standpoint, because of my issues with my own mom. She’s super controlling and thinks that she knows best, and she just … doesn’t.

          1. Aurora Leigh*

            I really appreciate the advice!

            I’ve read some of what you’ve posted about your mom on here and while my mom doesn’t rise (sink?) to near that level of overbearing she still needs boundaries.

            When I moved out (at 24, not unreasonably young) there was a lot of anger and guilt tripping and I think an underlying assumption I would give up and move back.

            It took several months (okay closer to a year) for all that to die down and we’re back to a fairly good place.

            So I think that maybe if I start giving her pieces of information slowly, I might deal with less crap or at least not all the crap at once.

            Sometimes it’s no fun being the firstborn lol!

            1. Natalie*

              Given that this is your goal, would it be easier to say you’re dating generally rather than “seeing someone”? To me, at least, “seeing someone” would make me think it’s serious and I should start remembering this person’s name and asking about them and such.

          2. Sunflower*

            I would shy away on mentioning it to her for a few reasons.

            1. You’re supposed to tell people things (like you’re dating someone) because you’re excited and want to share your happiness- not because you have to. I know family can be different but you should really only share it when YOU’RE comfortable and when you want to, as opposed to to avoid problems.
            2. Speaking of avoiding problems, do you see more issues coming up if you don’t tell her or if you have to tell her that it didn’t work out? With my mom, it’s just easier to have her think I’m not dating at all and that way I don’t have to deal with the ‘why couldn’t YOU make it work’ conversation.
            2. Since you haven’t dated much, do you know how you’re going to feel/react if it doesn’t work out? Sometimes I can brush it off but if it’s someone I was really interested in…well, I don’t take it well and I am way way too hard on myself. To have my mother piling it on me during one would most likely cause me to lose my mind.

            1. Troutwaxer*

              IMHO there’s a great deal to be said for discretion. Since this is your first serious attempt at a relationship, I’d keep quiet for a couple months. Generally relationships that make it through the first three months have a decent chance of working out – there’s enough energy invested and hopefully enough positive history to make it through your first argument… so that’s when you should start to talk about them. I’d say you should wait for three months before you mention a romantic partner to family in any terms more expressive than “I’m busy tonight.”

              Will you let us know how movie night went?

    2. NaoNao*

      Aww wub! twoo wub! :)

      When should you tell?

      For me:

      3 dates is “I’m seeing someone, we’ll see where it goes.” And maybe some details about Mr. Possible.
      5-10 dates is “my date” or “the guy I’m seeing” (usually!)
      After The Talk (the “are we seeing other people” talk) Mr. Possible is now My Boyfriend (Partner, Guy, Person, etc).
      FB official (or other social media) usually I give it 7-10 days after The Talk, because something about rushing onto social media 6 minutes after things Became Official seems a bit….teenage? Also I want to give myself time to savor my delicious little secret :)
      Usually after a year or so My Boyfriend is now known to everyone and becomes First Name again, only “First Name, my boyfriend” for new people, overly curious single men, or others who may not know.

      I have been “through”, at last count, 7000 men, so I have made tons of “announcements” and usually what I do is “set the stage” “Mom, I have great news! I’ve met someone really cool and it’s going well.” Kind of…nicely use NeuroLingusticProgramming (suggest the reaction you want with your language) in your email or phone call.

      Also, you don’t have to tell her until it’s quite serious! You can just wave off questions with a “there’s some possibilities in the mix, we’ll see.” and then subject change. Then when things are serious, you can simply say “Oh, btw, one of the guys I’ve been seeing and I made in official, and I’m so happy. We’re serious and he’s my BF now.”

      1. Temperance*

        OT, but I read your first line as “wub a lub a dub dub”, and thought you were making a reference to Rick and Morty.

      2. Troutwaxer*

        This sounds about right, but I wouldn’t tell family until after “the talk.” And don’t try polyamory (if you’re so inclined) until you’ve made a monogamous relationship fly a couple times, or for a long time.

        1. SCAnonibrarian*

          I don’t agree with this advice – In my experience, polyamory and monogamy are very different beasties, and success with one has no bearing on success with the other (and that runs both ways). If you are interested in exploring poly lifestyles, you NEED two things: partners who also enthusiastically want to be poly with you, and open and nearly obsessive communication between all the partners involved. That’s pretty much it.

    3. Perpetua*

      I think this all depends on your individual comfort levels. And independence, yes.

      I don’t think that you need to wait until you feel the relationship is very serious, because it also depends on the relationship you have with your mother. Even when you’re not living with your parents (and I’m assuming that you’re not in this comment, or at least that you’re mostly independent), if you’re close to them – and by close I don’t mean necessarily “uncomplicated”, just that you’re used to sharing most parts of your life with them – it can feel weird not to share something like this for too long.

      So, once again, there are no “shoulds”, just what feels good to you. Also, you can also choose how much you want to share! It can be nothing, just the fact that you’re dating, just the name, a lot of details or something in between… You can also stop the questioning at any point with “I’ll tell you more when I have something more to say, this is it for now”, or something along those lines.

      1. Aurora Leigh*

        Thanks! I am used to telling her most things.

        I just think there will might be some weird subtext about how she made some bad choices when she was young and kind be a little paranoid. Plus the fact that I met him online (and really there’s not a way to get around mentioning that) and she’s still pretty sure the internet is just creepy stalkers.

        I do feel like it’s a conversation I need to get out of the way soonish, if only to get her to slowly come around to the idea of me dating anyone at all.

        1. Perpetua*

          For what it’s worth, I think that you have a great deal of control over the conversation, because you can always choose your actions. That might sound obvious or self-helpy, but it really took me a while (including therapy) to fully comprehend that my mom’s (or anyone’s) feelings or words or attitudes were her own, and that they didn’t necessarily need to impact me that much.

          What I mean by that is, she can think that the internet = stalkers, she can express her paranoia or her fear for you, and you can say “I understand your fear, but I’m really fine” or “I’m sorry to hear that you feel that way” and end the conversation or move to another topic. I had this idea that if I could just make her see my point of view, we wouldn’t have to argue; or that I really needed to get her approval about something in order for it to be a good life decision, so it was quite a relief to realize that it wasn’t the case at all! You can agree to disagree. :)

          From what you’ve written above, I get the feeling that we might have somewhat similar moms. Although I’m an only child, so that adds another flavor to the relationship. ;) I think that my mom is a pretty great mom, but it wasn’t easy to separate myself from her. However, once I did that, and once I started enforcing boundaries as described above, it was much easier and our relationship is better. It’s much nicer to share something because I WANT to include her in my life, not out of obligation or fear.

    4. HannahS*

      I tell my mom about every date I go on (I’m in my mid-twenties) because we’re very close and she’s really non-judgmental. It fits into our conversations like, “How was your day?” “I had a date with Josh-from-the-internet at Starbucks-near-the-subway.” “How was it?.” “Eh. I don’t think I’ll see him again.” “OK.”

      So I think it really depends on your mom and your relationship with her. If you’re not sure of her reaction, I’d say give very few details in a “no big deal” kind of way, then see her reaction and go from there.

    5. Thlayli*

      Depends entirely on what you want. If you are comfortable sharing that your’re dating then share. If you’d rather wait till you’re officially “going steady” or “exclusive” or whatever they call it these days then wait.

      I personally tell everyone everything so I have no probs telling people when I have had a first date with a guy, but this only works coz I also have no probs telling stories about how I totally embarrassed myself and crashed and burned on on a second date or how the guy turned out to Be so totally wrong for me because of x.

      I know lots of people who prefer to wait till they are exclusive and official before telling anyone and I even know someone who never introduces her boyfriends to anyone till they are together a full year, which I personally think is bizarre but hey it’s her choice.

      He main thing is to make sure everyone is on the same page. Last thing you want is for your mum to think you are about to get engaged while your guy thinks you’re still in the getting to know you phase and has dates with 2 other girls lined up!

      1. Elizabeth West*

        I’m kind of like this, with my friends–but I don’t like to tell my family anything because they always make way too big a deal of it when I give them cool news, like I’m five. “OH THAT’S SO GREAT HONEY GOOD JOB YAAAAAAAAAY!” I hate that so much.

        So I’d probably tell my friends I met someone and then not mention it again until I was ready to bring him to meet them. Family I don’t see but once a year or so, so they wouldn’t find out until we were engaged, probably.

    6. Sylvia*

      I’m glad it went well! I’m your age and also … inexperienced like you said in your earlier post. Good to hear it’s working out.

    7. chickabiddy*

      As someone who is closer to the mother side of this than the daughter’s (my own daughter is 15), I would not expect an “announcement” after two or three dates. If you are close to your mother and it comes up in conversation, mentioning that you started seeing a nice guy is fine and appropriate. Even though my daughter is much younger and not yet independent, I still don’t expect to know everything. (Parent stuff — I want to know where she is and who she is with, of course, but she does not have to tell me which of the people she is with gives her that butterfly feeling.)

      In other words, by all means, talk to her if you *want* to talk to her because you want to share your excitement or you want her perspective, but an adult child does not owe her parents an accounting of her budding romance.

    8. OlympiasEpiriot*

      My advice is to sit with your own thoughts and make lists how you think each option (telling all as it happens, telling nothing unless a marriage scheduled, and everything in-between) would go knowing yourself and her.

      Personally, looking back, not only I shouldn’t have gotten married, I certainly shouldn’t have told my mother it was happening. I didn’t tell her when I had a child. (Of course, that was easy, she had stopped contacting me and had moved abroad.)

      You seem to be a little at sea about this in a way where I’m not sure other’s experiences are going to be helpful. We’re here, though, for listening as you break it down for yourself if that’s helpful.

    9. Gaia*

      Well, I may be a bit of an outlier but I tend to not tell anyone…almost ever.

      I don’t “do” serious relationships (I have commitment issues. It is a Thing.) and I have this notion that unless it is at least somewhat serious (as in, you have discussed whether you are seeing other people and mutually decided upon an appropriate answer to that question) that other people don’t need to know.

    10. Aurora Leigh*


      Thanks for all the replies, guys!

      I did decide to tell my mom by text tonight (which made it less awkward for me) when she asked what I did today. I’m glad I did, although who knows what the fallout may be, I decided to give her a chance and share a little.

      Because, and this the exciting part . . . He was able to get today off and so we met up this afternoon at a park and it turned into 6 hours of hanging out and talking. At the end of the evening he walked me to the car and asked if I’d like to make it official. So I officially have a boyfriend and a first kiss!!!!

      (Did not tell my mother that part . . . lol)

  12. BlueBasket*

    How do you let people down gently when you’re on the dating scene (ugh!) and just not that into them? Some people really don’t take it well, maybe I should use flashcards. I had a guy turn me down yesterday just by going silent, except for ‘uhhh….I don’t think we’re compatible…I gotta go’ DURING the date. I feel my delivery is a little better, but still, what’s your go-to turn down explanation?

    1. the gold digger*

      Mine was (I don’t use it now, as my husband really doesn’t like it when I date and this is an easy concession because I did not particularly enjoy dating), “I don’t see us having a future together.” But not during a date!

    2. neverjaunty*

      I like the Captain Awkward approach; something along the lines of “Thank you for the date, I don’t think we should go out again, but I wish you well.” And yep, a lot of people will React Poorly, because they are entitled, egotistical jackwagons. Just block ’em.

      1. Rewind*

        Best approach. Anyone who tries to logic or cajole you into another date after that is only confirming the “no” feeling. Double if you turn them down politely on a dating site and they respond with “you should get to know someone before you turn them down.” Cause heaven forbid I make a compatibility judgment based on a profile and initial messages!

        (Not bitter and exhausted by thirsty men who think my boundaries are there to be challenged. Not at all :-P )

    3. NaoNao*

      I generally end the date with a gentle “It was so good to meet you” with no hint that I’m going to call or email, and then if they email or whatever, I say “While it was so nice to meet you, I don’t feel that chemistry or “click” I need to feel to move forward. But I do wish you the best of luck out there!” Works okay.
      Some people won’t take it well no matter what. The key is to not give them anything to argue about. They can’t argue with chemistry or “that feeling” and the shorter the brush off, the better, IMHO.

      1. Vanilla*

        This is EXACTLY the script I used when I was dating and it was generally well-received. It’s polite but gets the message across.

    4. Natalie*

      Maybe it’s because I live in a place of rampant indirect communication, but when I was dating a few years ago the end-of-date conversation was always more “I had a good time, nice to meet you” and then we would text or message about a second date later. Which I loved, because I didn’t have to reject people face to face, and if we were both not feeling it, we could just not contact each other again.

    5. Dan*

      As a dude, I just stop calling. I won’t ignore an overture, but if I’ve made up my mind, I’m not going to reach out and volunteer, “Yeah, not feeling it, sorry.” However, if they reach out to me for one reason or another, I won’t ignore the message, and will extend the courtesy of a clean break.

    6. Troutwaxer*

      I’m probably a little out of date (53) but my norm would be that if I don’t go for the kiss goodbye, you’re out of luck. And if I go for the kiss goodbye and she doesn’t, I’m out of luck. That being said, my most recent “first date” was around 1990. If this is no longer the standard way of communicating such things, someone say so. I’d hate to be giving poor advice!

  13. Loopy*

    Currently sitting at the vets office and there are paper mache (spelling?!) animal heads on the wall. Like the way hunters mount them. They aren’t meant to look real (it’s not painted, just news print) but it’s an antelope and a rhino.

    Is it just me or is that a really odd decor choice for a vets office?

    1. babblemouth*

      Maybe they’re trying o send a positive message? Like “If animal heads is your preferred decor choice, there are non-deadly ways to make it happen!”

    2. Ruby*

      My vet has a wall of tatty vintage taxidermy animal heads. Everything has probably been dead at least sixty years. They get hats/accessories depending on the time of year.

      1. Loopy*

        Huh maybe it’s not that weird then? It just seemed extra weird because there’s photographs of the living animals all around the fake animal heads. Kind of an odd juxtaposition. I think I’d be more on board it was quirky vintage- hate getting real animals, actually O.O. This just feels like a fancy pants decor choice.

  14. Dizzy Steinway*

    So I’ve just discovered and binge-watched all of Designated Survivor (need… more… episodes…) and it’s inspired this question: who is your favourite ever fictional on-screen president? (So, not people playing real ones in biopics or faction.)

    I’m not sure anything beats Jed Bartlett for me…

    1. Temperance*

      President Thomas Whitmore in Independence Day. Nothing will ever be better than his speech for me. I still tear up every single time I watch it.

      1. FD*

        I think the amazing thing is that he manages to sell a speech that on paper, should not work. I mean, it’s so utterly cheesy, but yet he delivers it with so much conviction.

        1. bkanon*

          Every time I watch that speech, I am *raring* to get in a jet plane and go fight some aliens. The way he delivers it, yeah. It’s stirring.

        1. Rosemary*

          Yesssss and the mom and dad trapped in traffic at the end. That movie is not… relaxing… but damn do I love it to bits.

    2. Dr. KMnO4*

      James Marshall in Air Force One for a few reasons:
      1. Played by my favorite actor of all time, Harrison Ford
      2. “Get off my plane!”

    3. bluesboy*

      I don’t remember the actor’s name, but the President in early series of 24. Successfully pulled off both ‘powerful world leader’ and ‘flawed human being’ at the same time.

    4. copy run start*

      Not a US President, but my favorite president is Laura Roslin from Battlestar Galactica (new version). That moment when she promises to go after Baltar with everything down to her eyeteeth? Gets me every time.

    5. Katie the Fed*

      Michael Douglas in the American President – it’s the movie that inspired the West Wing!

    6. caledonia*

      Bartlett for me but I also liked Danish fictional Prime minister Birgitte Nyborg from Borgen.

    7. Nerdgal*

      Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord, who became Acting President in one episode of “Madame Secretary, ” my favorite show.

      1. SophieChotek*

        That was a good episode. Loved the moment when she has to tell Morgan Freeman’s character she got an “A” in his class

    8. phil*

      I once worked on a sitcom starring George C. Scott as The President called-wait for it- Mr. President.
      That’s right, a sitcom. Costarred Madeline Kahn. I don’t remember the President’s name but he was George C. Scott! That’s my idea of a president.

      1. SophieChotek*

        Was waiting for someone to mention him. I really enjoy that movie and pull that out every once in a while.

    1. The RO-Cat*

      Not internet, they’re Alison’s housemates / houselords and ladies. Sometimes they are gracious enough to allow her to dole out advice to us – advice that they, of course, supervise and censor appropriately.

    2. Ask a Manager* Post author

      They are mine! The weekly photos started when I was fostering Olive (the tortoiseshell one) when she was a tiny one-month-old kitten and her adorableness had to be shared, and then I just never stopped. The two orange ones are Sam and Lucy, and they are the senior residents. Olive and Eve (the grey one) were both originally fosters but we couldn’t part with them.

      1. soupmonger*

        They are gorgeous! We have two, and I love, love snoozing on the bed with the two of them. Torties are wonderful, and grey cats are magical. I do like the bum-to-bum of Sam and Lucy.

        Do you know Kyle http://www.mycatkyle.com/ ? Kyle is what the internet was made for.

      2. NoMoreMrFixit*

        If they’re typical cats then you belong to them! At least that’s how all of my cats saw our relationships over the years.

        1. soupmonger*

          I’m not sure ours actually want to own anything as lowly as a human. But the opposable thumbs are handy. I’m sure a cat theory of evolution is that humans evolved so that cats could eat cows.

      3. Christy*

        I’ve been wondering how long I’ve been reading AAM! Now I know it’s at least since 2013. Wow!

      4. gingerblue*

        Eve looks like she’s about two seconds from whapping the crouching cat’s head. I so love your weekly cat photos.

  15. Kate in Scotland*

    I want to thank AliceBD for recommending the podcast Sunday School Dropouts in this thread 2 weeks ago – I have been majorly binging on it! It is just the right balance of information, entertainment, and swearing.

  16. Augusta Sugarbean*

    Does anyone own an elliptical machine? Or use one on the regular? I have a treadmill and it’s okay but I wouldn’t mind having something else to exercise on. If it matters, I’m about 50 pounds overweight and have what is probably arthritis in one knee and broke my other leg several years ago which makes that knee tender sometimes. I also have plantar fasciitis in both feet. I can spend a little on an elliptical if it’s worth it and won’t aggravate my knee issues. My fitness goals are mostly just to stop feeling like garbage every day. To get there, I think I probably mostly need an aerobic workout and to lose weight. I’d love to hear about brands and/or features you like or don’t like. Thank you!

    1. FD*

      I use one regularly at the gym, a Precor model. I wouldn’t recommend it if you have knee issues. I find it gives me occasional knee soreness–nothing unbearable, but I have no complicating factors.

      Are you near a place that has water yoga or water-based workouts? Some of those are very aerobic and are easy on the joints.

      1. Bibliovore*

        we have one at home that is an eliptical reclining bicycle! I love it and I have hip issues , knee issues and planter fasciitis. I think it may have been around 3,000 delivered and installed.

        1. FD*

          That makes a lot of sense! The ones that we have at the gym are more upright, kind of like skiing, so I think that would put more strain on your knees.

    2. NotoriousMCG*

      Slightly adjacent to the question, but also be sure to balance your aerobic workouts with strength training! Your muscles support you in everything you do and balancing strength training and aerobic workouts has been proven to assist with quicker and more sustainable weight loss. Also helps prevent osteoporosis.

      Back to your question, I enjoy working out on an elliptical and it’s definitely lower-impact than a treadmill but still not ideal if you have joint issues. Water-based workouts would be great if you have access to a nearby pool.

    3. fposte*

      I love my elliptical. I go in phases with it, depending on what else is going on with me, but I’ve had it for something like 15 years now and definitely found it worth the expenditure. That being said, my expenditure was pretty low compared to what most of them go for.

    4. Hellanon*

      Can I ask you what kind of treadmill you bought? I am looking for a solid walking treadmill that won’t cost a fortune…

      1. Augusta Sugarbean*

        I bought a Sole F63 that was about $1000 at Dick’s Sporting Goods. I’ve had it for probably four years and it’s been pretty reliable (although admittedly not hard-used). The only think I don’t really like is the arm bar. I’m kind of clumsy and need to hold on for balance. I’m about 5’05” and they are a little high and forward for me. But I like it well enough.

    5. namelesscommentater*

      Everybody I know who is happy with their home workout equipment has gotten it second hand, so search craigslist/newspaper ads. There are more treadmills available second hand, but you might luck into an elliptical this way.

      As for ellipticals: they’re my choice at the gym. I’m a little overweight and have knee issues (unrelated to weight, but it certainly doesn’t help). I’ve used a variety of precor and never hurt my knee with them. I’ll use treadmills if they’re all that’s available, but can’t keep the pace I can on the elliptical at all, and switch in lots of walking, which makes the workouts take forever.

      I do try to switch in weights for legs at least 2x a week, and walk 5-6 miles a day outside of any workouts, which I think helps my “high heart rate” workout to not further damage my knee.

      In terms of feeling good, I find that good shoes and staying hydrated are two things that make me more likely to work out, and feel better on days when I don’t make it to the gym.

    6. Turtlewings*

      I don’t have any actual joint issues so YMMV, but I do personally find ellipticals more comfortable for my knees than treadmills. I really prefer ellipticals over treadmills in every way. I feel like I’m getting more “bang for my buck” re: effort and discomfort vs. results.

    7. mreasy*

      This is likely just me, but the elliptical aggaravates my plantar fasciitis more than other gym machines (I don’t have knee issues.) It’s still better for foot pain than running outside, though!

    8. Trixie*

      In addition to treadmills and elliptical machines, I’ll also use a step mill once a while.

    9. Windchime*

      I have a Sole elliptical that I’ve owned for close to 10 years. When I first bought it, I used it religiously and, along with changing my diet, I lost close to 60 pounds. Until recently, it has sat unused in my garage but I’ve got it up and running again. I think I paid around $1200 for it and I feel it was worth the money. You can get them cheaper at places like Sears, but this one is really solid and heavy and has a longer stride, which I need because I’m on the tall side.

      I recently started using it because I’ve been having lots of lower back pain and it is a low-impact way to get moving. The jury is still out whether or not it will help my back.

  17. Dear Liza Dear Liza*

    Anyone else watching BIG LITTLE LIES on HBO? I loved the book so I was wary, but I’m very much enjoying the series. I definitely have some quibbles about the changes, but I like how they’ve fleshed out Renata a bit.

    1. Emi.*

      I also loved the book, but I don’t have HBO. :,( I’m glad to hear a recommendation from someone who read the book, though! How much did they change besides the location (did that make a big difference?)?

      1. Dear Liza Dear Liza*

        The major story lines are the same. They added a subplot about the theatre Maddie works at that is meh, and took a twist in the last episode that I really don’t think is needed.

    2. NaoNao*

      I love it! It’s “appointment tv” for me and my next door neighbor. I think it’s *better* than the book in many ways (I wasn’t blown away by it as many other were) and I feel they really nailed the casting on all fronts.

  18. Zooey*

    A bit random, but for those who are married or in very long-term relationships, did you know you would end up with your SO when you first started dating?

    1. The RO-Cat*

      Nope, for me it was supposed to be a relly short-lived fling. We’re celebrating the 28-th year together this year.

      1. Trix*

        We’re not quite to year 28 yet (about five and a half), but same with me. He was supposed to be fun rebound guy. I was very annoyed when I fell in love with him. :-)

        1. The RO-Cat*

          I distinctly remember saying “Don’t fall in love with me, it’s just a one-night stand”. Guess who fell in love in the morning? :-)

        2. Bethlam*

          Mine was also supposed to be the fun rebound guy; never in a million years did I think it would be permanent. That was 42 years ago.

      2. Anon scientist*

        18 years! We both came to college with basically no romantic experience, started dating two months in, and independently thought, “ok, good, now I’ve got the first college relationship out of the way”. And then a few months later, “huh. Why would we ever break up?” And here we are!

    2. The Other Dawn*

      Yes, because once I set my mind to do something, it’s a forgone conclusion that things will happen a certain way. Helps me to get where I need to go, but also sets me up for disappointment sometimes. Plus, I tend to never see things as temporary or short-term. Like when I took my first job, I told myself that I would work there for a very long time and I did.

    3. Confused Publisher*

      Before I met my husband, I was in a long-term relationship that lasted 8 years. Marriage never felt more than a distant hypothetical for me at any point during those years.
      When I met my husband, we were married within 12 months of meeting. I think it was a combination of our personalities and our life plans and the timing – everything, really! – just gelling, and we both just knew.

      1. Natalie*

        Weird, relationship semi-twin! My last relationship before my marriage was eight years and we always viewed marriage as a logistical thing only (for insurance or whatever). After we broke up I dated around and got engaged to my now-husband at around 18 months of dating. We were married a little after our 2 year mark.

        For the OP, I wouldn’t say I knew at the first date, but I felt really positive about it early on. I think we were discussing marriage around 8-9 months in.

    4. Dr. KMnO4*

      Nope! We went into it thinking it was just a temporary thing and it ended up lasting! Nearly five years now, and newlyweds for almost 3 months!

    5. Jean who seeks to be Ingenious (or perhaps to write Crime Fiction)*

      We never got around to saying “goodbye” even though at the time I was moving out of town. In other words, there never came a time when either one of us thought or said “This is it, I don’t see us having a future together (to quote The Gold Digger above), and thus I’m outta here.” With other people I always reached that point of “Enough! This isn’t working.” I hope this helps.

      To finish my personal narrative, SO and I got serious after a few more months of long-distance dating. When we married, I moved back to the original location.

      1. Jean who seeks to be Ingenious (or perhaps to write Crime Fiction)*

        Gah! I just noticed that my moniker was still carrying the parenthetical comment that was meant to apply to just one past comment.
        This must be the online equivalent of walking out of the public restroom with toilet paper stuck to the sole of one shoe. (Blushes.)

    6. NotoriousMCG*

      I’m also in the camp of people who ended up marrying their fling. Hubs and I met during my winter break from college through a mutual friend and hadn’t planned to continue anything after I went back to school. But then we did…and kept going.

    7. Rovannen*

      No, I thought he was a nice guy and fun to hang out with him. One year later, our relationship took a serious turn. We’ve been married for 34 years and going strong.

    8. FDCA In Canada*

      Not even close. I thought we would just hang out for a couple of weeks (and after our first date, my now-husband told me he watched me leave and thought “Well, I’ll never hear from her again). But we just kept talking and hanging out, a year later we were engaged and ten months after that we were married. It was a surprise to both of us.

    9. really*

      No. Went on four dates in college and then got back together with an old boyfriend. I moved for graduate school and visited him once and when I got back told a friend that he had indicated interest in me. I told her he would be the last person I would ever marry. We stayed friends though and our parents lived near each other so saw each other occasionally when he was in town. We married almost 8 years after we met and about 4 years after that conversation. Except for the 4 dates in college we never officially dated again, just hung out and did things with friends. We will celebrate our 34th anniversary this year.

    10. Anonand*

      I thought he would be someone I could love before I met him, based on his friend’s description. The night we met, I saw him and I heard a voice in my head say, “This is your future.” I knew that getting married was a good idea when I knew that I always wanted to know him. I was right.

    11. Legalchef*

      We basically went from friends to old-married-couple overnight (he told me he loved me after 4 days), so it was pretty clear from early on that he was it.

    12. overeducated*

      No, I thought “he seems great so far, I wonder how long it will take me to notice red flags or get pet peeves.” The pet peeves didn’t show up until after a few years of marriage and infant induced sleep deprivation, which is kind of understandable. He says he knew right away though.

    13. Thlayli*

      I knew the day we met that I definitely wanted to see him again. I knew after our first date that this had a good chance of being a long term relationship. It wasn’t till we were together a year or so that I knew I would marry him and have his kids.

      Mind you I had thought that about my ex too but the feeling was much much stronger this time.

    14. Dizzy Steinway*

      Mine wasn’t a fling, exactly, but our first date ended up lasting for two and a half days. (Together 8.5 years now and married for 5.)

      I don’t think I did know. I had a sense that it could really be the real thing, I could see myself with him, but I’m not sure you ever truly know – though you can look back and confabulate that you did.

      However, I totally had a sense of: oh, THERE you are. Like finding something I had lost. So there’s that.

    15. Red Reader*

      We actually met through my now-ex-husband, NEH and I went to my now-fiance’s wedding to his now-ex-wife. So at the time, we had no idea that we were going to end up together.

      *rereads* when we first started dating. Ok, I read that was “when we met” at first. We basically did our whole relationship backwards. We started sleeping together, then he moved in, then a year later we went on our first actual date and decided we were in an official relationship. But before any of that, he told me repeatedly that he was never getting married again and didn’t see us as anything other than long term FWB. All of that was fine by me, so I didn’t really worry about it. When we officially started dating, I didn’t figure he’d changed his mind about the married, and I was still indifferent. A couple years after that, it took me several moments to realize that he was actually proposing. Now we’re getting married in September – going on our honeymoon first, then flying from there to vegas for our ceremony. Because why do things in the traditional order now?

    16. Amber Rose*

      On the contrary I was sure I wouldn’t. I’d never dated anyone before and literally everyone I talked to assured me that the first one never lasts.

      Well, 6 years later he proposed and it’s pretty close to another 6 since then so I’m thinking this is it. :)

    17. Loopy*

      I definitely am the skeptical type so there was no “just know” for me. We are coming up on four years and aren’t married yet but I definitely went through stages of taking a long hard look at our relationship (even though it’s always been steady and positive) to evaluate if it would be long term and then again in terms of marriage.

      I’m hoping for marriage but I definitely wouldn’t say I had a “click” moment where I just knew.That doesn’t bother me one bit though because I’m too skeptical of a person to probably ever have that with anyone. And I’m kind of terrible when I hear it from others *ducks*

    18. Red*

      Nope! I had planned for it to be a one night stand, actually. We just got on so well in so many ways (he’s honestly an amazing human being, I don’t know how I thought I could hit it and quit it) that I didn’t see any point in stopping, and sooner or later, we moved in together and got married. We will have met 4 years ago next week.

    19. Emi.*

      I got set up with my now-husband by a mutual friend. The day before we actually went on our first date, I low-key eavesdropped on him and some other people discussing a couple issues that were very high on my list of dealbreakers, and he said all the right things, so I knew then that he was a serious contender. :) And we made sure early on that we were both dating to marry. I didn’t *know*, but I had a strong hunch. We said “I love you” about three months in (we would’ve sooner, I think, but we were long-distance for summer break), and decided we wanted to get married about 5 months in.

    20. AlaskaKT*

      Nope! My husband and I were supposed to be a strictly casual fling. We ended up perfect for each other though. He likes to say he’s lucky to find someone crazy enough to follow him to the Alaskan bush!

    21. KR*

      Pretty much. We were best friends and it had been a long build up to dating. Checked with him and we both felt similar.

    22. super anon*

      Not at all. We both disliked each other when we first met on our first date and it took nearly the entire date for us to warm up to one another. We ended up spending a day and a half together on that initial date and I thought it would only be a one time thing, as I was moving halfway across the world in a few months time. We ended up getting together against my better judgement. We’ve been together almost 5 years now and own a home together, so I suppose it all worked out for the best!

    23. blackcat*

      Super corny, but yep, my husband and I both knew it after we met each other. We met at a party in college, we spend like 5 hours that night talking in a dorm, and both of us told our roommates something to the effect of “I think I’m going to marry this person.” And here we are.

    24. Not Australian*

      Even before. The first time I saw him, my instant reaction was “Oh, he looks nice – I bet he’s married.” Well, he is now!

      Actually I’d had a premonition when I applied/interviewed for the job that I would meet someone important to me, in that building, at the far end of a long corridor. His office was three doors from the end…

    25. Mallory Janis Ian*

      When I was dating my husband, I didn’t give any thought to it being anything serious. I was in my mid-twenties and it just didn’t occur to me that we were up to anything other than steady dating for fun. He finally told me that he could see this going somewhere serious and asked if I felt the same. I was a little stunned, but upon allowing myself to consider it that way, I was deliciously pleased with the possibilities. I guess I was just a little obtuse until he stated his intentions directly.

    26. TeaLady*

      No. We had both recently split from long term relationships (very recently in my case) and I thought at best it would be “misery loves company” or maybe a rebound fling. We had been friends before – and almost but not quite dated-but had been out of touch for almost a decade.

      Within a couple of weeks we knew we had something special despite us being long distance for 3.5 years barely spent a weekend apart before moving in together 2 years ago

    27. Hrovitnir*

      Noooo. I was actually seeing two people at the time and given our age gap (he’s 18 years older than me), neither of us anticipated getting into a serious relationship. But… well, now we’ve been together 13 years.

    28. Becca*

      I’ve been married about a year and a half. I didn’t consciously know when I met that I was even interested in dating him (I have about zero self-perfection!), but nevertheless I sought him out, we started dating, and soon after that I was like, “Yes, this guy is someone I want to marry.” And eventually we did!

      Funny story: he does not remember the first time we met. Also, we got formally engaged during a D&D campaign set in Middle-earth. I tried on a ring of power :3

    29. Crafty*

      Together 4 years, married 6 months. Husband was a one night stand and we had both broken up from long term relationships just weeks before. We were not looking for something serious at all but we became instantly magnetized to one another. I wasn’t thinking about marriage at all then.

    30. dawbs*

      hell no!

      I actually didn’t return his phone calls when he first called because I was seeing someone else (maybe kinda 2 someone elses. if I had been on facebook, I would have been complicated) AND because he shares a name with someone I was avoiding.
      And then I really pushed things being casual.
      And the first time he brought up marriage I stopped him because I said him asking me out and me saying no would suck…so how about he put that question away for a while.
      We knew each other a few years before we got married.

      And as of this week (happy anniversary to us!) it’s been 14 years since then :)

    31. Jen Erik*

      My husband was a friend of my best friend from school. She had gone away to uni, and when I flew over to visit her f0r a week I met him.
      On the one hand, I literally fell in love at first sight – my brain decided to open up the sluice gates and let all the hormones flood through. (If I hadn’t lived through it, I wouldn’t believe you could get so obsessed with someone so instantly.) On the other hand, it just wasn’t feasible to date each other because of the living-in-different-places thing. So the only conversation we had about seeing each other was on the morning I was going back home when I burst into tears and told him I loved him (it’s just embarrassing even thinking about it…) and we decided there was no possible way to even try dating.
      We never revisited that decision, but have nonetheless been married for thirty years.

    32. another person*

      hahah nope.

      I started dating my husband partially as a misunderstood response to a question late at night and didn’t bother correcting him because I figured in a week or so it would resolve itself and he’d break up with me. 8 years later, nope.

    33. June*

      Well, my husband and I met playing beer pong at an inappropriately-themed frat party when I was 18 and he was 21. I’m not even going to tell y’all what I was wearing. I think it’s safe to say we were not thinking long-term. On top of that he was a smoker at the time, which was a deal-breaker for me, and was going to be graduating at the end of the semester and moving across the country.

      But… that first night that we just felt really natural together. It’s hard to explain but the way that we interacted – both the flirting and his arm around my waist – I felt like we had known each other for years. It was oddly and wonderfully comfortable. Before I left with my friends he asked for my number, and he called me the next day to get lunch at the dining hall. In the light of day, sober, we still got along really well so we kept seeing each other, and at the end of the semester he decided to hang around and work locally for a while instead of moving.

      The rest is history. We’ve been together just over ten years now, married for the last three. Last summer we had our first child. Oh, and he quit smoking – at my insistence – soon after we started seriously dating.

      1. June*

        On the other end of the spectrum, a friend of mine actually picked out her husband in a very methodical way. She was in medical school and wanted to marry another doctor (so they would have that in common), and also wanted to marry someone of the same (minority) background and culture, since that was a big part of her life. Such a person did not exist in her medical school class so she went on Facebook groups for medical students at other universities in the area. She found a guy who met her criteria and found a mutual friend to set them up on a date. They clicked, and are now married, with a baby. It was all very matter-of-fact.

        She did come clean about the Facebook-stalking a few months into the relationship, though. She told me she was afraid he would be creeped out but instead he was flattered.

      2. Rookie Manager*

        My partner was a one night stand. He was a smoker which is something I can’t stand… it’s now 9 years later, he stopped smoking and we’re very happy!

        To answer the original question, it took me 6 months to admit this was an actual relationship. Once I got that hurdle out the way we got serious fast and moved in together as soon as leases allowed. He claims we both knew right away.

    34. FMLW*


      Met in Europe. With the first words out of his mouth a thought flashed unbidden through my head, “That’s my future husband.” He had no such thoughts.

      The odds were against us, I’m from US, he’s from Europe. We both had careers and families in our home countries. We don’t know if it’s forever, but we have been together for 32 years now. I think we beat the odds.

    35. Not So NewReader*

      I was not looking for a husband or even a relationship when I found my guy. Added wrinkle he was pretty burned out on relationships and had a “NO BS” approach. He thought that he was being tough, I thought he was very practical and therefore trustworthy. I remember thinking that I would go a long way before I ever found someone like this again. It kind of evolved over time that we decided to make the relationship permanent. Being long distance helped because we both had natural time outs where we could do our own thinking. Looking back on it, I think that down time early on helped our relationship to last because it gave us each the space to realize we had a good thing going on.

    36. tek*

      Late to the party, but I realized I would marry my spouse in Feb of a year, though it was hard to believe and we weren’t dating; so in March I broke up with my boyfriend and then held off on dating the spouse-to-be until April or May since it was a little freaky, but that was it then. Certainly never had that experience with anyone else.

    37. Kindling*

      When I was on my first date with my boyfriend, I thought to myself near the end of it, “We’re going to be together for at least five years.” In about three months it’ll be our five year anniversary.

    38. Fenchurch*

      When we first met I thought there was potential. After a few weeks of dating I had this moment when I held his left hand and had a premonition of sorts as if I had held it multiple times and there was supposed to be a ring on his finger. We’ve been together 2 and a half years, recently engaged :)

  19. Confused Publisher*

    My husband and I have just moved house for my new job, but because of the short notice, we’re still renting for the next year. Thus, we’re limited in what changes we can make to the property, although we’re doing our best to settle in and make the space feel familiar through our beloved books and photographs and knickknacks.
    What helps you settle in when you’ve moved house? And I’m curious: do you set up the kitchen first too like we do?

      1. Not So NewReader*

        Yes, bed first. I know when I decide I am done for the day I will just suddenly quit. So the bed must be ready for quitting time.

        Then I do a few basics to make the bathroom workable for the moment. Next is the kitchen. I set up enough so I can fix a simple breakfast in the morning.

        If I actually have any energy left, I spend it on the kitchen, then I fall into bed. The next day I push things around so the furniture makes more sense and the place starts to feel useful.

        I think the place feels more like my own when I get it set up so there is a “life flow” to it. In other words things are set up in such a manner that it makes sense for my day-to-day life. The place’s ease of use is a big deal for me.

    1. overeducated*

      Yes, kitchen first. I’ve only lived in rentals, but I’ve moved quite a bit and putting pictures up on the walls is what really makes it feel like home.

    2. Sir Alanna Trebond*

      I set up the bathroom first, because it’s easy and I like to have an oasis of calm. Plus, you know you’re going to need it :)

      1. copy run start*

        Me too! Plus if you forgot TP or soap or something you know right away… and I’ve done that a few times.

    3. Dr. KMnO4*

      Putting all of my art up helps me settle in. And I’m far too scattered to do any one room first, I usually do a few things in one room and then move to another. My moving in process takes a while, usually.

    4. Natalie*

      I do kitchen first, too, mostly because it’s one of my larger sources of boxes and it has the least number of decisions. Book shelves and books go last.

      Putting my house plants in their new spots always makes me feel like it’s home.

      1. Natalie*

        Bleh, that was supposed to say book shelves and books go next, not last! My other large source of boxes is books, so once kitchen and books are done, I’m like 75% moved in.

    5. Aphrodite*

      I always do the bedroom first. I set up the bed, make it up with sheets, blankets, bedspread and pillows–fully complete. Nightstands and lamps are next, then the small dresser and clothes are hung in the closet. The master bathroom is next and everything is laid out as I intend to keep it. In other words, no temporary storage. I know I will be exhausted and I want to be able to take a hot shower and fall into bed without searching for anything.

      Kitchen is next and as long as the food is all put away and at least a couple of dishes and glasses and silverware are ready the rest can wait. I will always have at least two meals’ worth of quick-to-prepare food in the freezer.

    6. Chaordic One*

      I always feel like I have to clean everything (especially the bathrooms and kitchen) in a new house myself before I really feel comfortable. After I’ve cleaned it once, though, it can stay dirty for quite a while. It’s like it’s dirty, but it’s my dirt and that doesn’t bother me.

      1. Gaia*

        Exactly. My dirt is different than previous-tenant-stranger-dirt. Their dirt is dirty. My dirt is just me.

          1. Gaia*

            I know where my dirt came from. I know what it has been up to. Who knows what old dirt has been doing. It could be rogue!

    7. emmylou*

      First thing is to set up the bed and make the bedroom habitable. (Clothes are usually last, but I want the bedside table, the lamp, etc). Then basic bathroom stuff (shampoo, toothbrush, towels). So basic function, then the kitchen is the first major thing to be actually fully put away. But I need to feel like I can go lie down on the bed anytime it’s All Too Much lol.

    8. Gaia*

      It is the drapes, for me. I can have everything else in place but if they are not up, it will not feel like home. I usually put them up before anything is unpacked. Then my art. Then everything else.

    9. gingerblue*

      I’ve moved a ton in the last few years (a long-distance move pretty much once a year), and it always takes me a while to settle in. Putting art on the walls definitely helps. Little stuff, like having hooks over the doors with my bathrobe hung up and having a consistent place I’m putting my keys, shoes, etc. helps me feel like I’m actually living there, not camping. Getting the pantry and fridge stocked, any missing toiletries and stuff acquired, and that sort of thing also helps. The kitchen is usually the last thing I finish, as it’s usually the room that takes the most unpacking, and I HATE it until it’s done. I just feel itchy until everything is unpacked, boxes are cleared away, I’ve acquired the lamp or rug or whatever the heck I need and don’t have from a previous apartment, and it usually takes me at least a week after my stuff gets there to get things totally set up. Ugh. Also, I feel better once I’ve been to places like the grocery store at least a couple of times (to the point that I know where they are without directions and the layout inside).

      A couple of suggestions for feeling settled:

      Get art up on the walls, magnets on the fridge, a wreath on the door, candles on the table: whatever you do to add personality to your space. Sounds like you’re already on that! Buy a plant or two. If you’re people who like to and have outside space, put up a bird feeder.

      Cook a couple of meals there that take more effort than, e.g., microwaving takeout. It’s never home for me until I’ve really cooked there, and if you’re prioritizing the kitchen, it sounds like that may be true for you too.

      Set aside time to relax. I feel more at home after I’ve had at least one day where I can sit around, read, watch tv, whatever. Much like cooking, it both lets you enjoy your new space and proves to you that you’re unpacked enough to find stuff like the tv remote and a good book.

      Does the new place smell noticeably strange? Every home I’ve moved into has had a distinctive odor of its own made up of the smell of the varnish on the floors, new paint, other people’s cleaning chemicals, etc., which contributes to the feeling of being somewhere new and not quite yours yet. Most apartments, I stop noticing it once my own familiar possessions are filling up the rooms and I’ve been using my own cleaning brands, cooking the things I like, and so on for a while. If you like fragrances, a scented candle or a pot of coffee or such can speed up the process of feeling like you’ve claimed the space.

      Acclimating to the new noise patterns in your new place can take a while. Not much to do about it, but it can help to know it’s just one of those things that eventually resolves itself as WHAT THE HECK WAS THAT turns into “oh, yeah, it’s the neighbor’s squeaky garage door”. If you’re finding you have any trouble sleeping, something that generates white noise can help ease the transition.

      Clean anything you feel alienated by. Even when a place is clean when I move in, I’ll do the bathroom and the main kitchen surfaces before using them.

      Find places like the library, gym, grocery store, or wherever else you’re likely to stop by regularly, and do whatever signing up for cards or memberships you plan to. A lot of feeling out of place when you move isn’t just the new home, but the whole new neighborhood or city. (It sounds like you moved a substantial distance? If not, never mind!)

      I often wind up swapping out some of the lightbulbs left by previous tenants for ones at a wattage/color temperature I like better. (And what is it with people who put mismatched bulbs in matching sconces? That would drive me batty to live with!)

      1. Confused Publisher*

        This is all so useful, and reassuring. (And yes, we did move quite a distance – well, in UK terms, anyway.)
        I’ve cooked a couple of ‘real’ meals by now, too, and the smell of familiar foods helped in a way I hadn’t articulated until you mentioned it. (I was at OldJob for a while – I start NewJob tomorrow – which is probably why settling into the new place felt even more important this time round.)

        1. gingerblue*

          Oh, I’m so glad it was useful! Congratulations on the new job, and best wishes for your first day.

  20. The Other Dawn*

    Going on week three of tummy tuck recovery. I’m feeling decent, but not 100% yet. I went yesterday to have the belly button stitches out. It hurt a bit because the scabs got ripped off in the process, and then the doc was poking around my abs. So I’m a little sore today. I got the all-clear to go back to normal life. No restrictions, just listen to my body and adjust accordingly.

    It’s so weird to me how pre- and post-op instructions vary so widely from doctor to doctor for the same procedure. I read a lot of plastic surgery and weight loss forums beforehand in order to get a sense of what to expect. While one doctor doesn’t have patients use a compression garment at all, others make their patients wear it 24/7 for several months. Or one says no sleeping in any position other than on your back with pillows under the knees and head/upper back for at least a month, and another says it’s perfectly OK to do whatever you want, even sleep on your stomach (!). I finally gave up and stopped reading, and decided I’ll just go with whatever MY doctor says. My doctor seems to be middle of the road: after two weeks of wearing the compression garment and sleeping on my back, I’m now free to do whatever I feel like doing as long as I pay attention to my body.

    I have to go shopping for some work clothes today so I can be comfortable next week. My pants fit, but they’re not comfortable yet because of the swelling, numbness and sensitivity (they’re all tight-fitting skinny jeans/pants). So, I’m hoping to find some loose-fitting elastic waist or drawstring waist pants that look OK on me.

    If anyone wants to see “after” pics, click my name.

    1. Jean who seeks to be Ingenious*

      Glad you’re feeling better. May you continue to feel more and more like yourself instead of someone who has emerged from surgery and the healing process.

    2. Rogue*

      I checked out your blog. Looks good! Hopefully, your recovery will continue to go smoothly. Also, good luck shopping. Hope you find the pants you’re looking for.

  21. Nic*

    I’m really frustrated, and just venting a bit.

    The last four years I worked at a local renaissance festival for eight weekends in the spring. Last autumn I changed jobs to one that is better in almost every way…except that I don’t get weekends off. Our time off works like this: we put in a request and an email goes out to the team. Either someone offers to cover the day, or you don’t get the day off. I’d requested yesterday and today to go out to the festival, and got today. This is a big weekend out there, and there’s a charity event going on that I’d love to attend.

    And then Thursday night I wound up leaving sick from work, and calling in yesterday with major brain fog and a fever. Now I look like I bailed so I could have both days I requested, AND I’m not getting to go out to the festival.

    The good side is that today I at least feel well enough to clean some, and that’s needed.

    1. Rogue*

      Don’t worry about what others are thinking, you can’t change that anyway. You know you were out sick. Also, sorry you didn’t get to work at or even go to the Ren Faire this year. I know how much that sucks. I loved going and now, since I travel so much for work, I’m never in an area at the right time to attend.

    2. Chaordic One*

      This is really a bummer. I hope you continue to get to feeling better. Take care of yourself and be good to yourself.

  22. Stephanie*

    AAM Runners! So how should I approach this? I am signed up for a half-marathon that is in six weeks (first weekend of May). Life happened, a sprained ankle happened, etc. and I’m behind on training. I’m hesitant to do some aggressive training plan for fear of getting an overuse injury.

    So how would y’all recommend approaching this? I’ve done a few 10ks before (this would be my first half). There’s no 10k I could drop down to. My current plant was to run half and walk half.

    1. Anonnn*

      How much are you running in an average week right now? How long has your longest run been in the last few weeks? If you’re around 20m a week, you can probably pretty easily train up to it now and not be injured. Any less and I’d bail, or plan on walking and be pleasantly surprised if you run even half.

      1. Stephanie*

        I’m at 15 km/week, but grad school grad schooled so it’s been close to zero the last couple of weeks (and I was out of town this past week.) Longest run was 6 miles.

        Part of me is leaning toward bailing and seeing if I can transfer the bib. I had an overuse injury (strained Achilles) and don’t want to deal with that again (especially given that my grad student insurance isn’t great if you have something chronic like an overuse injury).

        1. Epsilon Delta*

          Hmm yeah that’s pretty far from where you want to be in your training at this point. Especially with a sprained ankle.

          I trained very badly for my first half marathon (started training 6 weeks before) and I didn’t do too terribly in the race. I did it 5 minutes slower than my goal time, but man it sucked once I reached mile 10. I will also say that the difference between a 10k and a half is a lot more than you might expect.

          I think you need to listen to your body. Is your ankle ok with running now? If not, I would probably skip it, or walk half like you suggested. Some people bounce back really quickly though and would be totally fine doing a half marathon (I am not one of those people). Try training and see what happens.

        2. Here we go again*

          How old are you and for how many years have you been a “runner”? Those are two keys in your decision.

          In my early 20s, I went out of the country for 3 weeks before the taper period during my half marathon training, so it was the peak training time. It was my first half and I had only been running for about 2 years; I had done a couple 10 mile races though. I was up to 8 miles before I left and only ran twice during the 3 weeks I was out of the country for about 4 or 5 miles. I was able to pick back up to 8 the week before, skip the taper and survive the half marathon, but after mile 10 was brutal.

          Six weeks is still quite a bit of time, so I don’t think you have to make a decision now. I’d keep training, try to do 1/2 mile more than what you had planned for each run and add that to your long run each week. Once you get to two weeks before the race, you will know how you feel.

    2. Ruth (UK)*

      Oh wow, that’s unfortunate :( I am not really qualified to give advice on this so I can only suggest that you do as much as you feel safe/comfortable doing. I’m also training for a half marathon (mine’s in 3 weeks).

      Is it possible to find another form of cardio exercise you can do that puts less strain on your ankle while it’s still healing? For example, cycling? It’s not the same as running for training when it comes to a running race, of course, but it’s better than nothing and will still help overall fitness. By the time the race comes round your ankle will (hopefully) be recovered, and doing non-running cardio exercise while it’s still weakened will allow you to train harder meanwhile without putting extra strain on the ankle itself.

    3. Audiophile*

      Sprained ankle twins!

      Unfortunately, I have no real advice for your half marathon. I don’t run. Even during gym classes where running was basically mandatory, it was basically a brisk walk for me. I’ve considered running but wouldn’t know where to begin.

      1. Ruth (UK)*

        Audiophile, if you want to get into running, it might be worth seeing if there are any parkruns near you? There are a lot of them in the UK (basically everywhere) and I know they exist in the USA but I’m not sure how big a thing it is there? (I am only assuming you’re in the US only because most people on here are, and many who aren’t often indicate otherwise in their name – not always but often).

        Anyway, if there IS a parkrun near you, it’s fantastic. It’s a 5km timed run (not a race though some people are more competitive about it than others). It’s free and you just register and get a barcode to scan. At my local parkrun, we regularly get over 600 runners, with the back finishers coming it just under an hour (so walking speed). There are lots of people getting between 30-40mins, and plenty getting 40-50mins too. At least at my local one, it’s a very supportive atmosphere, and the wider community of parkrunners seems to reflect that feeling in general too (eg. on parkrun fb groups etc).

        Otherwise, a lot of people have found that starting by walking and then doing some combination of walking/running over a set distance or period of time works for them. I’ve read the couch to 5k plan and it looks pretty good. (I haven’t tried it personally as I didn’t actually find out about it until I was already at the point of being able to run a 5k – but it seems good and has worked for a lot of people).

        1. Audiophile*


          I looked to see if there were any parkruns near me and there’s nothing “official” that I can see. I did find a few interesting suggestions via tripadvisor threads. NYRR group offers beginner classes that I may look into.

      2. Stephanie*

        Look for a Black Girls Run chapter in your area! That helped me meet people and get some accountability partners.

    4. Medical Student*

      Do you have access to an arc trainer (not elliptical)? The motion is very similar to running, and with the resistance cranked up you can quite decently simulate a running workout. I’ve had a lot of ankle/knee issues and have relied on the arc trainer to keep in shape and meet by milages. I’ve found that my aerobic capacity, endurance, and leg strength haven’t diminished during the recovery periods and that I’m able to quickly catch up to my pre-injury mileage. I’ve also done half-run/half arc trainer workouts when rehabbing to avoid re-injury. GOOD LUCK!!

      1. Stephanie*

        I think there might be one in the campus gym. I might try that out–thanks for the suggestion!

    5. Not So NewReader*

      Not a runner. However I hurt my ankle once and it was YEARS of healing. Part of the problem was I worked retail and I was standing on concrete floors in dress shoes for hours. For a little thing it worked into a bfd. I may be too conservative but my advice is to let your ankle heal fully. It’s just not worth pushing the process. [Insert big, long story here.] Finally I ended up wearing high top sneaks for about 4-5 years and keeping the sneaks tied on the top part. Then it got better.

  23. Jen RO*

    Does anyone have any sci-fi TV series recommendations? It can be an ongoing one or already finished.

    For reference, I am currently watching Walking Dead (love it), Colony (ok) and The 100 (cheesy, but entertaining when I don’t want to engage my brain). I’m also waiting for Humans, Orphan Black, Game of Thrones, Westworld and Stranger Things to start again. In the past, I enjoyed Utopia, Containment, Black Mirror and BSG.

    1. Elkay*

      Have you watched Fear The Walking Dead? I’m not sure how good it is but it’s on my list to watch. If you’re willing to go really old you can’t go wrong with Quantum Leap.

      1. Jen RO*

        Yes, that’s on the “waiting for” list, but not as eagerly as the others. It’s OK – not as good as the main series, but entertaining.

      2. Temperance*

        FWIW, I am a huge TWD fan and absolutely can’t make myself watch Fear the Walking Dead. It’s really awful.

      3. Trixie*

        I love Fear The Walking Dead. Easy to imagine something at the local level in the communities.

      1. Jen RO*

        For some reason, I can’t get into that! My boyfriend loves it but, after seeing bits and pieces on TV from time to time, I just can’t conjure any interest in it.

        And since we’re here, here’s the list of things I tried and didn’t like: The Expanse (but I may give it another shot), Farscape, any Star Trek or Stargate.

        1. Sydney Bristow*

          Have you tried the other Stargate series? Stargate: Universe is pretty different from the other two. So different that a ton of fans hated it. I like them all, personally. Universe is more serious and less campy. If you liked BSG, you might like it.

          1. Jen RO*

            I heard about it, but wasn’t it canceled? I don’t like watching stuff that doesn’t end properly :(

            1. Dr. KMnO4*

              It was canceled, and it has a weak ending. Not a cliffhanger, exactly, just not as well wrapped up as you might want it to be. It certainly isn’t an upbeat ending.

          2. Dr. KMnO4*

            Universe is so different from Atlantis and SG-1. I liked it, though not as much as I did SG-1. And you’re right about some fans hating it- my old roommate, who got me into Stargate, is a fanatic for SG-1, is okay with Atlantis, and pretty much despises Universe last I checked.

          3. Dr. KMnO4*

            I meant to add this to my previous comment, but I love your username! I watched all of Alias, and thought Jennifer Garner was fantastic as Sydney. If you liked Alias, have you seen the Blacklist? It’s all about the spy stuff, with James Spader who just kills it as one of the main characters.

    2. Confused Publisher*

      This is a fantasy recommendation, not sci-fi, but have you watched Outlander, based on the book series of the same name by Diana Gabaldon? (I came across the books – absolute doorstops! – by accident, and was thrilled when the excellent TV adaptation came out.)

      1. Jen RO*

        I like fantasy too, but this one (the books and the show, actually) always looked too medieval-y for me. Maybe I’ll try one episode, but I’m not getting my hopes up.

      1. Jen RO*

        I saw this recommended a lot in the Dark Matter subreddit, but I forgot about it – I’ll have to try it out.
        (Dark Matter turned out to be very much meh, the kind of thing I “watch” on the other screen while I’m playing World of Warcraft.)

      1. Jen RO*

        I had been hearing about iZombie for a while, but it always sounded like a teen show to me… however the Wikipedia summary seems intriguing.

        1. Temperance*

          The main character is a medical resident, and the show is definitely female-oriented, but not for kids. Incidentally, I also heavily recommend the comic if you are a comic reader.

    3. Cruciatus*

      Did you watch Fringe? I enjoyed that one a lot. Eureka could be dopey sometimes, but I enjoyed many of the characters. Same for Warehouse 13. Currently airing, I really like The Flash and Super Girl. I don’t know if those are technically sci-fi but I feel like close enough. I don’t keep up with comics so I really only know anything about them based on the shows.

      1. Jen RO*

        Fringe is a good one, but yes, I watched it already! My interest in superhero-anything is less than zero, but I’ve seen Eureka recommended before, so it’s going on the list. Warehouse 13 is new to me, but it sounds interesting!

      2. The Cosmic Avenger*

        I really like/liked all of those, and second them all.

        I’ll also recommend The Expanse, which takes place when Mars and the asteroid belt are colonized for more than a generation, and has almost a Game of Thrones feel about the complexity, history, and intrigue between the factions. I will say that it’s not light viewing, you have to pay attention, but I love that. And it’s great science fiction with great effects and scenery, and it introduces a few details about space travel and space battles that I’ve never seen before.

        1. Jen RO*

          I tried to watch The Expanse, but I got really bored three episodes in… it’s probably because I have a focus problem and I lost track pretty fast.

    4. ThatGirl*

      Fortitude, which is a British series. Season 1 is on Amazon Prime and S2 will be out in mid April.

        1. Not Australian*

          Second third and fourthing Fortitude; it’s one of the most bizarre and compelling shows ever.

    5. Amber Rose*

      An oldie that’s been done a while, but I really enjoyed Lexx. It’s very very strange, mind you, but a fun kind of strange.

      The main characters are a janitor, an escaped sex slave, an undead assassin and a robot hand. They fly around on an organic ship called Lexx.

      1. NoMoreMrFixit*

        Don’t forget the ship is pretty much the ultimate weapon in the series. Designed to blow up planets. And the ex slave has lizard DNA. Bizarre show but a fun watch.

    6. Lady Julian*

      Fringe! Also, they’re pretty old, but if you haven’t watched the Stargate series, they’re a lot of fun. And Firefly, of course. :)

    7. brightstar*

      Legion! I just started watching it and it is so good! Dan Stevens and Aubrey Plaza, it’s set in the X-Men universe but it’s more trippy and you don’t know what’s really going on.

    8. dawbs*

      Do you generally enjoy the whedon-versee?
      Because I didn’t watch “Dollhouse” until well after it was over and while it has some flaws, I enjoyed it. But it will probably at least partially fall into the ‘cheesy’ type category–especially the longer it ages.
      “Supernatural” also lands a little bit on the cheesy spectrum, but is non-medieval fantasy

      At the opposite end of things, Red Dwarf is always a winner :)

        1. dawbs*

          You don’t have to be really into SciFi to get why red dwarf is hilarious.

          I watched Buffy’s last 2 seasons this year (perks of being unemployed), and other than some of the fashions, I think *most* of it held up well.

      1. Jen RO*

        I can’t say I am into the whole Whedon thing, but I enjoyed Buffy ages ago on TV, and I loved Dr. Horrible. I have been hearing about Dollhouse for a while, so this time I am making an *actual* list of shows so I don’t forget again.

    9. salad fingers*

      Can I just recommend against watching The OA? I would love to add recommendations but I think you and everyone else have covered most of mine, at least contemporary. Hmmmmmm, more supernatural, but have you watched The Kingdom mini-series by Lars von Trier? That one is kinda fun, if you can track it down.

        1. salad fingers*

          Yeah. I have a newer friend who recommended this to me, so I persevered, giving my friend the benefit of the doubt (so far she has had really good taste!). When it ended with a sh*tty bang, I wondered to myself how I was going to politely tell her I didn’t like it. I went back and looked at our conversation and she had recommended a totally different show to me – still have no idea why I thought it was the OA! I was so frustrated that I spent so much time watching it, hah.

      1. salad fingers*

        Oh, one thing I forgot that I don’t see anywhere – Man in the High Castle. I really liked it but I know if got slightly mixed reviews. I’d say it’s definitely worth checking out in any case.

      2. Emilia Bedelia*

        I so agree on the OA! A few of my coworkers are really into it and were recommending it, but I just… didn’t get it. I am glad I’m not alone in this :)

      3. Jen RO*

        Oh, really? I was going to watch this one!

        I tried Man in the High Castle and I just couldn’t. I am not a fan of PKD, while I think the series is better than the book, I was still super bored. I think I just managed 2 episodes.

        1. Windchime*

          That’s about how far I made it in the Man in the High Castle. My son read the book and said that was good, but the TV series wasn’t interesting to me. I just didn’t really care about any of the characters for some reason.

    10. Emi.*

      I really like The X-Files! There are cool sci-fi monsters, a massive government conspiracy, and a really interesting friendship (or more?!?) between the two main characters. The episodes with religion in them are varying levels of dorky and cringey, but not enough to really put me off. You can also watch only the episodes that have to do with the big story arc (“mythology episodes”) and skip the stand-alones (“monster-of-the-week episodes”) if that’s more to your taste.

      1. Jen RO*

        I’ve been meaning to re-watch the X-Files for a few years, but it’s got soooo many seasons… :(

    11. Sydney Bristow*

      One I don’t think has been recommended is Continuum. Sort of accidental time travel and corporations in charge of everything. There is interesting tech in it.

      I’ll second the Firefly recommendation too. Space western!

      1. Jen RO*

        Continuum sounds interesting!

        Firefly is a weird one for me. I watched it years ago and I just couldn’t get into it. Then, a year or so later, I tried again and I loved it!

    12. Jillociraptor*

      Have you seen Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse? It is extremely uneven, but the highs are VERY high. There were two seasons, but I’d say only about half the episodes are worth watching (but I swear, those are SUPER worth watching!)

      The 4400 is also pretty good. It’s about a bunch of people who went missing over several decades who suddenly reappear.

      LOST held up a bit better than I remembered. It was very disappointing when I was watching it for the first time, but I enjoyed it more (especially the ending) on a re-watch.

      1. Jen RO*

        LOST is the reason why I started watching Colony! Josh Holloway (Sawyer) plays one of the main characters.

        I wanted to watch The 4400, but by the time I got to it the show was canceled. Does it have an actual end or did the cancelation leave a lot of loose ends?

    13. Girasol*

      Max Headroom is an old cult classic. There’s not much of it – it was cancelled before many were made – but it’s worth a watch.

    14. NoMoreMrFixit*

      Babylon 5. One of the best written series of any genre ever.
      Red Dwarf is strange and at times silly but it’s British humour at its best.

    15. A Person*

      Babylon 5 (if you haven’t seen it already). It is quite similar in tone to new BSG and GoT, with the epires, politics, and complexity and flawed people (and aliens).

    16. Science!*

      Going back a little bit:
      Farscape, equal parts drama and comedy. Muppets in space, no joke, half the aliens are Jim Henson creations. But so well done!
      Babylon 5: first season is a bit rough, but still great. By season 2 its really hits its stride with characterization as well as universe building.
      Fringe has already been recommended but I love it so much, especially once it became more serial and less monster of the week.

      Shows I’m currently watching:
      The Expanse: I just finished season 1. There is so much going on, I really can’t watch it while doing other things. But I like that, I’m really invested in some the characters and really want to see where it goes.
      3% is a Brazilian show, so you’ll have to be okay with subtitles (I tried the dubbed for about 10 min but it was really annoying). Its a dystopia where most people live in poverty but there is an island where only the best 3% of the population is allowed to go. So at 21 you take a series of tests to weed out the bottom 97%. I’m really enjoying the first season.

  24. Alice*

    Hi folks- where do you like to volunteer? Not for resume- or skill-building (though that would be an interesting Friday thread) but for fun/satisfaction?

    (PS thanks to everyone for car advice last week)

    1. Hellanon*

      I do a lot of volunteering with a community organization that does a bunch of events, so I end up docenting on architectural tours, wrangling volunteers for fundraisers, and working the kitchens at some events. It’s all social stuff for the most part, and fun, and very different from how I spend my days. I always tell my students to offer to work check in tables and/or help wrangle logistics, because it’s the best way to meet people and stay busy at the event where otherwise you might just end up standing around.

    2. Turtlewings*

      Animal shelter. I’ve moved away now, but I used to volunteer at a privately-run no-kill shelter, and it was so great. I love animals so much, and with this shelter I didn’t have to worry about them getting put down. The organization was wonderful and I loved being able to support them. I still think about some of the animals I met there, they brought a lot of joy into my life.

      1. Emilia Bedelia*

        I also volunteer at my local no kill shelter and it’s awesome! I get to hang out with cats as long as I like, and the work is easy- wash litter boxes, do laundry, sweep/mop, change food dishes. A lot of volunteers also walk the dogs, which seems like a great gig too

    3. HannahS*

      I used to volunteer at a living-history museum–like Colonial Williamsburg but way smaller and Canadian. It was only two-three days a month, and I’d be dressed up like a Victorian woman teaching visitors about life in the 1860s with a focus on medicine (I was in the doctor’s house/office). I really liked it, even though it was awfully hot in the summer and brutally cold in the winter.

      1. Loopy*

        I would love to do something like this! But I have large tattoos and sometimes I’d except that would not work with the costuming they have :(

        1. HannahS*

          Honestly, it might! I don’t know where your tattoos are, but both men and women were covered from neck to wrist to ankle in all seasons (hence being disgustingly hot and sweaty in the summer). Even if you have hand/neck tattoos, creative use of gloves, cravats, or high-necked blouses could work :) There were definitely people with tattoos and piercings in…unexpected locations that worked there.

        1. HannahS*

          It was. It was my first experience of really working with the public, and I was surprised at how much I liked it, being a somewhat shy introvert. But it was wonderful.

    4. Jean who seeks freedom from clutter*

      U.S. resident here. For years I’ve enjoyed political campaign work: going door-to-door, making phone calls, or handing out literature at events or polling places. (This is not a political comment because I am not going to get into the specifics of any campaign or candidate issues.) I like being down in the weeds of a particular neighborhood or town, initiating interactions with other people, discussing the issues, and hearing their responses. To me, it’s all part of the shared experience of citizenship.

    5. salad fingers*

      I don’t volunteer at the moment, but when my schedule allows it, I plan to become a Frank Lloyd Wright volunteer tour guide. I’m a member of the Chicago (Illinois?) Frank Lloyd Wright trust and have been pestered by several of the volunteers about become one myself, which I would absolutely love to do! As someone who is only informally interested in architecture, it surprised me to hear from them that I would be a candidate for that sort of thing. I tried several times to volunteer doing menial work at a tenants rights organization here without success, so I think I got a little discouraged.

      When I was in middle and high school, I did a lot volunteering at a local homeless shelter. I would definitely do that again.

    6. Liane*

      1–Church’s Vacation Bible School, which ours does several consecutive evenings, including supper for kids and volunteers. For several years, I helped in the kitchen. (Pro tip: a countertop electric roaster is great for keeping TONS of french fries hot and crispy until served.) The last couple years I have been photographer, so I get to see all that goes one. Bonus entertainment: watching College Son work with small kids–he’s really good.

      2–The Rebel Legion international Star Wars costuming club. We do all sorts of appearances–parades, library and school events, hospital visits, fundraisers for various charities–Make-A-Wish is a favorite*. Yes we do cons as well :D As a Regional Captain, I also act as an event liaison, communicating with people who request appearances, getting volunteers, and so on.

      *Google R2-KT for the full story on that.

    7. Loopy*

      I volunteer at a local historical site that has animals. Specifically, I don’t do a lot of interaction with the public and am there to help take care of the animals. I really enjoy it. I’ve always gravitated towards animal-centric volunteering. In the past I have done straightforward wildlife rehab (mostly birds and included birds of prey which was really amazing) and humane society volunteering.

      Most of it’s messy/dirty/unexciting work but I enjoy being around animals- even in the cases where we can’t interact, or where interaction was very limited :)

    8. Natalie*

      I don’t currently volunteer because of work and school commitments, but I used to do more. Some that I loved: answering phones at a DV hotline, providing child care for a homelessness org that did classes for their clients with free child care, and community gardening. I would do the first two again, but now that I have a huge garden of my own I really have to commit my garden energy to that.

      I’m a big fan of volunteering that is something I believe in, obviously, and has some level of low-key social contact. I’ve been looking at delivering for Meals and Wheels since I have a flexible workplace now and could do it over lunch.

    9. Becca*

      This isn’t proper volunteering, but it’s work I do for free— I’m an instructor at a college swing dance club, although I’m not a student. (I’m close to student-aged, though.) It’s so fun and it’s helping me with public speaking and body awareness and lesson planning and so on.

    10. Mallows*

      ESL for refugees. Some folks taught classes, but I did one on one (or me working with a family). You have no idea how un-conversant you are with the rules of your own language until you have to explain them! My 2 families/individuals were awesome and SO funny and I hope they are doing wonderfully.

    11. dawbs*

      Science Olympiad.
      ANybody want to help make a scoring rubric tonight :P
      (I have a good start, I am just making the spreadsheet do more of it automatically for ease of use)

    12. Chaordic One*

      I’m a “Friend of the Library.” Our really big thing is that we run a used book store in the basement of the library and raise money to support the library. It is open on Saturdays. In a few weeks we are preparing to give a presentation to the county board of commissioners to lobby for increased library funding and to remind them of all of the extra things that the library does (computer training, help with resumes and job applications, referrals to social service agencies and things like that).

    13. another person*

      My favorite places to volunteer are at therapeuatic riding centers, for horseback riding with disabled kids and adults. Right now I live too far in a city to be able to do that with any reasonable commute (and also weird lab schedules), but when I move again, that’s going to be something I look for. It got me through so much of undergrad, getting out there and hanging out with the horses and kids (sometimes adults, but most of the times I could make it were for the classes for kids).

    14. Felicia*

      I like to volunteer as an usher at a theatre because I’ve liked the theatre for a long time, so I like that I’m helping them out, and also because as a volunteer I get to watch the plays for free

    15. TwistedKnickers*

      I record newspaper and online articles for the State Services for the Blind here in our state. I record a weekly “show” called Career Corner, and I occasionally will record one of Alison’s articles! They are always my favorite to read.

    16. Max Kitty*

      I volunteer for a group that makes quilts for kids (and some adults) in crisis. We bring them to firehouses and ambulance services to put on their trucks for when they rescue kids, foster care agencies, a women’s shelter, and rehabilitation facilities.

    17. Belle di Vedremo*

      Citizen science stuff! It’s been SO much fun. My work life is generally social service of some sort, and this is a great brain stretch and a lot of fun. Meet cool people interested in all kinds of things I know nothing about, and has upgraded my sense of the world around me, and all for a greater common good.

    18. Sibley*

      I’ve been volunteering at an animal shelter. Cleaning (boring, not glamorous, and never ending task that absolutely has to be done) and socializing cats for an hour.

  25. setsuko*

    My husband and I are getting fertility treatment and we are currently in the dreaded two week wait before I can do a pregnancy test. We’ve been trying to conceive for almost two years now, so test days are pretty momentous events in our house.

    I could do with some tips on how to keep myself occupied in the meantime. I think I have the weekends pretty well covered, but workdays seem endless. This isn’t helped by the fact that I work very independently, so I can spend all day Googling pregnancy symptoms with no repercussions!

    1. FDCA In Canada*

      I hang out on the infertility subreddit, which is full of normal, non-insane people, but you may find that it helps to tone down the stress if you set yourself a timer (a real timer, not “I’ll just be ten minutes” and then eleven minutes later you’re still there) to say “OK, I will fret for ten minutes, and then I’m going to do something else.” I keep myself super busy–I volunteer as a copyeditor for a small magazine, I write a regular blog, I have a leadership role in my local choir, I work out (that one helps a lot), and as soon as the weather is nice I get outside into the fresh air. The more I keep my life busy and my mind occupied with other, productive things, the less I find it stresses me out to count days and frantically symptom-spot.

    2. setsuko*

      Thanks. I have decided to break out some unfinished fantasy trilogies that I have been really excited for (either Robin Hobb or Trudi Canavan). I have been trying to hold out until all the books are published.

      I’ll be disappointed when I have to wait for the last book in the series, but by that time I will be through the two week wait.

      1. NotoriousMCG*

        Have you read Patrick Rothfuss’ Kingkiller Chronicles (Name of the Wind and Wise Man’s Fear)? They’re really good and long!

        1. setsuko*

          I loved those! Although that series is sort of the reason I have been trying not to start series which are not complete :)

        2. Mephyle*

          There is something about Name of the Wind that didn’t resonate with me. I read the whole book, and a day or two after I finished, I couldn’t remember anything about it. My daughter, who had lent me the book, eagerly asked me how I had liked it, and I was “Um, there was this redheaded guy? And some scenes happened in bars?” and that was literally all I remembered.

          1. Cruciatus*

            I actually thought that part was well done about the wheres and whos and other world building, but the first book didn’t resonate with me for reasons I still can’t figure out. It was missing something. And it was long so whatever it was missing was felt throughout the book. I didn’t think it was bad, but I did not understand the 5 star reviews after reading it.

            1. NotoriousMCG*

              Really?? I think I may be as baffled by you guys as you’ll be by me. It took several attempts by Mr. MCG to get me started (we do audiobooks on long road trips) because I kept falling asleep. But then my cousin talked to me all about them and I became really interested and started again and literally couldn’t stop. Read/listened to them both once, then when we were in Mexico for a week in January I took the paperbacks with me and literally spent all day every day on the beach reading and annotating them so that I could develop theories about Kvothe and the Chandrian and the STUPID MYSTERY PATRON

    3. AcademiaNut*

      I found that it helped to stay off all pregnancy related forums and google searches completely. They put my stress levels through the roof without actually proving any support that I would find useful (I’m really not a (((hugs))) type of person, and all the cutesy vocabulary drove me up the wall). Plus, absolutely everything is a potential pregnancy symptom, and the overlap between pregnancy symptoms, PMS, and fertility treatment side effects is very large.

    4. June*

      Oh man, the two week wait is the worst. I finally got my baby through IVF (after a few failed IUIs) so I feel your pain. I would second what the other commenter said about not googling things, staying off pregnancy-related sites, and trying not to analyze every potential symptom. Start a new show on Netflix, read a good book, go for walks, cook. Really try not to test at home before the blood test. I did and got a clear negative, which was devastating. Then it turned out I actually was pregnant, just tested too early. That emotional roller coaster was totally unnecessary.

      Thinking of you. Hang in there. Lots of love.

    5. Anon regular*

      8 weeks today after ivf, so I know the feeling. Googled all the pregnancy symptoms and was convinced it hadn’t worked, and also the home pregnancy test on the alloted day was negative. The blood test the next day was very very postive.
      While it’s nice to to know that at least you can get pregnant, the wait til the end of the first trimester is not much better than the two week wait, and as ivf patients are more likely to bleed during pregnancy, every day is a rollercoaster.
      Sorry to be a downer! I’m afraid my only advice is to allow yourself an hour to google stuff a day, and stop completely during work time.

  26. bunniferous*

    Public service announcement: Do not treat cat bites casually.

    So, I am sitting here in a hospital room watching my husband recover. He was bitten by a cat last week, it got infected, antibiotics didn’t knock it out….so we have been here three days, and will be here 2 more.

    The ER doc said that cat bites are second only to snake bites in nastiness.

    (Backstory, hubs was house sitting for our friends, who have cats. THEIR neighbors’ cat came over and snuck in….was friendly and purring. Well, the purr was a lie when the cat realized my husband was taking it back outside and then the demon spawn excuse for a cat sunk its teeth into my husband’s hand. Cat is now under quarantine since assuming it had shots and proving it had shots are two different things… )

    1. Hellanon*

      This happened to a friend of mine – one of his own cats bit him on the wrist & he spent 5 days in the hospital on IV antibiotics. Nasty, nasty things, cat bites.

    2. neverjaunty*

      YES. Cat bites are basically bacteria injections, and since they’re so often to the hands – which are full of little pockets – they are very dangerous.

      1. Myrin*

        Yeah, our vet said the same the last time I was there with my late cat who had been bitten by our neighbour’s cat. He (our cat, not the vet who was female) had to have his whole leg shaved, the vet squeezed out what felt like a gallon of pus (no wonder he could only limp on three legs before I brought him in!), and had to put some highly effective black tar-like paste on the wound because normal salves often don’t really work. She then said that she uses that tar stuff on herself as well whenever she gets bit because she doesn’t want to risk infection.

        Apparently both my mum and sister have been lucky, then, since they get bitten by our neighbour’s cat all the time (now that I’m thinking about it, it’s always him, never our old cat; he wasn’t much of a biter, I’m realising now) and they only get deep and bloody wounds but nothing more. Figures that the one time I get bitten about a month ago was through two layers of clothing so while I didn’t bleed I had an enormous bruise in the shape of cat jaws on my upper arm!

        1. Seal*

          Same here. I’ve had 2 different cats that got bitten by other cats; both wound up with abscesses that had to be drained and treated with antibiotics. One got bit in the head (which is apparently quite common) and had to have half his head shaved; since he was a Persian, the poor thing looked like he got scalped. The most recent got bit in the tail, which had to be completely shaved, which wound up looking like a pitiful, shredded rat’s tail. According to both vets, cat bites tend to be puncture wounds that heal quickly, trapping all of the bacteria inside that leads to an infection. Nasty stuff.

    3. Turtlewings*

      I have both experienced and witnessed some exceptionally nasty cat bites, including one that left enormous bruises down my leg (yes, from the bite!) and one that left a scar on my sister’s arm that’s still visible after over a decade. Definitely take cat bites seriously, friends! Crossing my fingers for a swift recovery for your hubs.

      (I hope the quarantined cat comes out okay, too, poor thing.)

    4. mreasy*

      Amazing timing – I was just bitten severely for the first time by my elderly tabby (I was giving him a shot), and I had to get a tdap booster and go on a five-day course of antibiotics. It got really swollen for the first few days.

    5. Elizabeth West*

      UM YEAH. Two visits to the ER and two days in the hospital last summer after Pig died (and bit me in the process). I have never had that level of pain with any injury either. And reading online, that’s a good warning sign of major infection–pain that is way out of proportion to the injury. Also, my hand swelled up like a balloon, which was another good indicator something was very awry. I still have pain where she bit me near the big knuckle and my affected index finger is still slightly larger than the other one. I suspect that will either take a very long time to resolve or be permanent. :(

      I made a blog post as a PSA about this https://aelizabethwest.com/2016/07/14/cat-bites-are-dangerous-or-its-not-pigs-fault-her-mouth-was-a-steaming-cesspool-of-filth/

      I hope your husband makes a swift and full recovery with no complications.

      1. bunniferous*

        Thanks! In his case he has type 2 diabetes, which made this all extra fun. But he is on the mend and doing much better! I am going to check out your post and probably share it. People need to be aware!

    6. Meredith*

      I worked at a vet clinic in high school and the only real bite I got was from a cat who was biting to maim. Right through a quilt and into my index finger, to the​ bone. I went to urgent care right away and soaked it in antibacterial stuff, and was prescribed antibiotics, and it still got swollen and a little infected. It did heal, but cat bites are no joke.

    7. bkanon*

      Ugh, yes. Several years ago, I got bit by a stray cat. (Thought it was my fluffy black cat. It wasn’t.) Infected like whoa. AND since it was a stray with no way to ID shot status, I got to have rabies shots too! I told my friends I was going to go out and get bitten by other things just because I could. :)

    8. Not So NewReader*

      I love animals. But they carry “bugs” (viruses, bacteria, fungus) that can be fatal to humans if left unchecked. Even a healthy animal can be a host for such bugs. I know of two instances where a person got bit by their dog and died two weeks later. Granted these people were older and probably not at peak in terms of their immune systems. Probably for most of us we would just have difficulties for a while.
      It’s good to pay attention to what is happening, even scratches can cause difficulties in some settings.

      None of this stops me from having pets. But the fact that I have pets means that I have to be more aware of what is going on with my body. On a simpler level, I know I do have some pet allergies, this means taking on an animal goes hand-in-hand with dealing with some low grade allergies. It’s not enough to stop me. ;)

      An acquaintance drove this point home with me. At that time, I thought it was odd, perhaps a bit paranoid. But it turned into a valuable piece of advice just to have the added awareness of how our animals can impact our health.

    9. Windchime*

      I once got bit by a cat (its fang punctured my thumbnail!) and when I called the ER to see if I could just come in tomorrow during normal working hours, they said, “No! Come now!”. They almost treated it like a snake bite. They started me on antibiotics that very moment, tetanus shot, and they scrubbed and disinfected it to what seemed like a crazy degree. But it worked and I didn’t get an infection. I actually commented that they seemed to be treating it very seriously and they said, “It can be extremely serious”.

      Hope hubby is feeling better soon!

    10. tigerStripes*

      I’ve got 3 cats. If a bite breaks the skin, I wash with soap and water. I also stay up-to-date on tetanus shots. Only 1 of the cats bites much, so that helps.

  27. Myrin*

    I’m smack in the middle of Two Weeks of Doctors! Which I just realised sounds like a TV show but nay, I just have two weeks full of doctor’s visits and I’m right in the middle of those two weeks now.

    Anyway, went to the dermatologist’s on Wednesday because of some weird aberration on both of my eyelids. I’ve had one of those for more than a year now but the second one is pretty new. I’d already seen two other doctors about it and both didn’t have me convinced; I suspected it might be nettles or something similar. So I tried this practice I didn’t actually want to go to because the two main doctors I know from my hometown and because their son was in school with me and I don’t really like them but thankfully, there were two different doctors there and the one who saw me was very nice and competent. Turns out the spots are just a kind of eczema that are very common for people from my area (I live in the alps) and with a certain skin type, especially during the winter.

    One down, two to go.

    Because I’ll be at the ENT’s on Monday because of my septoplasty surgery in April. We’ll talk through it some more and I’ll also have to ask him if the things I got removed when I was eleven were my tonsils or adenoids – because the recent letter on tonsils had me thinking about it and then I found out that when people say “adenoids” in my language – which is definitely what we talked about when I was 11 – they mostly use it colloquially for tonsils?! I had no idea about that! Everyone I know always calls it tonsils! Not that it really matters fifteen years later but I’ve always been under the impression that I still have my tonsils so I got to know.

    Lasty, I have an appointment because of my back on Thursday. Thanks to everyone who commented on last week’s open thread that I should see a doctor. As I said there, I’m not someone who usually resists going to the doctor – quite the opposite, in fact! – but that seems to have been some kind of blind spot for me. I’ll report back with what he says next week!

    1. Elizabeth West*

      I hope all is well. I never heard of the eyelid thing before–is there some kind of plant or something in the Alps that people become allergic to? Or is it the way the air is during winter?

      I’ve always wanted to visit the Alps. Read Heidi way too many times, haha.

      1. Myrin*

        Yeah, it’s the air and also the water, which gets very chalky during wintertime. She said it’s something she sees somewhat regularly where people with a certain skin type develop these eczemas, especially on their faces. They’re not harmful and don’t hurt or itch, they just look rough/weird but you don’t really see them because the frame of my glasses blocks the way. I got a strong balm to put on in case it starts shedding strongly but my fear was that it might be something dangerous which I’m very glad isn’t the case.

        It’s quite beautiful here. The Alps literally start in my village – so you come in on flat ground and once you’re inside all around there’s mountains – although we do have our own weird and specific problems. I hope you’ll be able to visit some time! :D

        1. Elizabeth West*

          Ah, that’s interesting. I’ll keep that in mind.
          Yes, I’m DYING to visit. Sooner rather than later, I hope. I have many friends in Europe but I never can seem to get over there.

    2. Spoonie*

      Weird. As a kid, I had my adenoids and tonsils removed, so I thought they were two separate things because of various infection issues and it was en vogue then. I’m confused. Wonder how it’s listed on my medical records…

  28. librarian*

    I just want to say that The Miseducation of Cameron Post is one of the best books I’ve ever read, I heartily endorse that recommendation!

  29. overcaffeinatedandqueer*

    For some reason, I am seriously missing college/law school lately, or at least the time before I was married. I do obviously love my wife, but I guess I miss being able to go out and do whatever I want whenever I want, and living in the city where one can walk most places. And living alone. I guess I’m just that much of an introvert!

    Does this happen to anyone else, absent fighting or being annoyed with one’s partner? I married my first same-sex relationship, at 23, so I don’t have the same life experiences as others.

    1. Trixie*

      I think some of the happiest couples I know (married or unmarried) continue going out with friends. Activities, bars, even vacations. Living in a walkable city/neighborhood is an amazing gift, I miss it.

      1. Trixie*

        I realize I didn’t specify socializing solo and without spouse or partner. Especially if there are things you like to do that the other person doesn’t. You don’t want to give up what’s important to you, helps maintain us as individuals.

    2. Steph*

      Oh gosh, that could be my head you’re narrating. Just sub 40 for 23. I very much enjoy my work trips for precisely that reason – not having to talk about what to do/watch/not do is great. I’m on sabbatical this year (ending soon, boo!), and have taken some solo vacations this past year. Wife totally understands and supports this, and I may continue once I’m back to work. I get a fair amount of vacation time, and she gets very little (working artist, no vacation time is sort of by choice). Anyway. Solo vacations and solo movies (pref the kind where you can order tickets online and get nachos and beer) are fab for this (happily!!) married introvert.

    3. Ariel Before The Mermaid Was Cool*

      I feel the same way, more often than I’d like to admit. It’s gotten to where I really enjoy the Fridays or Saturdays that my husband works and my in-laws keep our son because I get to just be me, not Mom, or Wife, or whoever, just ME.

    4. overeducated*

      Sort of. I have been missing grad school, when I had a much more flexible schedule and a walkable commute, as well as the time before kids, which was more of a blow to my freedom than marriage was.
      I think spring is bringing out these feelings because I have so many good memories of springs past. Work and kids make life less carefree, more regimented. I can’t just go walk down a flowering street to work in a coffee shop all morning, or plan a spring break trip to see friends or family, and those were lovely.

      I know you have posted about some tough times with finances and health in your marriage in the past few months, so I think it is understandable to feel that way. Some seasons in life are easier than others and it doesn’t mean a rejection of the people tying you down. Can you treat yourself to something lovely by yourself this weekend, like a long walk (weather permitting) or a book and a nice pastry or drink at a cafe, while your wife does something else?

    5. Dizzy Steinway*

      We are both people who need their space and would go nuts without time apart. It’s okay to need your own time and space.

      My husband travels a lot for week and people often try to commiserate with how much that sucks. Uh no, I love it, I get space and time to myself. It’s not that I don’t love him. I just need my space too.

      1. Natalie*

        My husband and I have talked about living next door to each other or in separate halves of a duplex. If we weren’t thinking about having kids I think we’d do it. I just couldn’t figure out how to make it work with kids unless one of us is the primary caretaker, which seemed super unfair.

        1. Dizzy Steinway*

          I heard Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter have separate houses.

          I don’t think we’d do that, but I think if it works for you then why not.

        2. Mallory Janis Ian*

          My husband and I occasionally fantasize about two sides of a duplex or side-by-side tiny houses joined by a shared patio and laundry shed. Then we talk about adding a guest tiny house and letting our two kids, when they’re adults, add their own tiny houses to the property, and then the proliferation of all the imaginary tiny houses becomes too much to contemplate further and we give up the discussion.

    6. Natalie*

      Absolutely. My husband and I are both kind of introverts and we do a lot of stuff separately. It doesn’t need to be a big thing – he went camping with his dad one weekend, for example, and I stayed home and drank beer with our dog. (The dog didn’t get any beer.) I went on a long weekend trip with my book club another time. Lots of couples take separate vacations.

      I seem to recall a vacation might be a bit tough for your guys right now because of budget, but what if you did a “separate staycation” some weekend, where you just did all your own stuff one or two days? If you hate it you never have to do it again. :)

    7. Not So NewReader*

      It was an eye opener for me: Marriage is not a destination. It’s a journey.

      Our lives go on even though we are married.

      Looking back on my marriage I think I should have done more to develop my own interests and my own circle of friends. Just from the lack of thinking about it, my default was marriage should fill my life. And it did in some ways, but no spouse offers the comprehensive package of what we need in companionship. Going one step further, no spouse should be expect to provide comprehensive companionship nor should the spouse expect that of themselves.

      Simply stated: We need other people in our lives regardless of marital status.

      It’s my theory that spouses need to do things to keep themselves interesting to each other. Boredom, apathy, complacency can set in very easily.

      My suggestion is deliberately add things to your life. Add things that you do by yourself or with friends and encourage your spouse to do the same. If she tends to be introverted, then encourage her with hobbies, reading or whatever seems to fit with her interests. Encourage each other to continue to grow and develop.

      Marriage is a foundation or a platform in life. But life has many other aspects and it is okay to want to grow in different ways. Matter of fact, that can be a “symptom” of a good, health marriage, where you both continue to grow and expand as individuals.

  30. Legalchef*

    My mom showed my uncle a pic I sent her of me on my babymoon (in which I look adorable if I do say so myself!) and he sent me a text from her phone telling me I am “looking ripe” and asking if my husband is “ready to get baby shit under his fingernails.” My uncle and I are not at all close (for instance, he hasn’t reached out all since I told him I was pregnant in December).

    Am I wrong to be both squicked out that he told me I was looking ripe (bc ewww) and also really annoyed that he said that re my husband? I feel like it’s super condescending, like why is my husband any less ready to take on parenting duties than I am? This is a first kid for both of us (and also, who is ever ready to get baby shit under their fingernails?).

    I’m also pretty annoyed at my mom, who let him send that to me from her phone and doesn’t see any problem with it.

    1. babblemouth*

      “Ripe” gives me the creeps, and I’m not even you. The comment about your husband is sexist. You have free reign to be pissed off and tell your mom to stop sharing with your uncle.

    2. Myrin*

      EEEEEEEWW, that “ripe” comment gave me goosebumps – even just writing it down just now had shivers going down my back! D:

    3. Turtlewings*

      I think the “ripe” comment probably comes from a “ha ha, she’s fat” place more than a creepy one, but in poor taste either way.

      1. Legalchef*

        I’d rather think that then the creepy alternative, I guess. But what grown man with 3 kids of his own thinks it’s ok to even imply that a pregnant woman is fat???

      2. Rosemary*

        The ‘ripe’ comment strikes me more as mildly dehumanizing than size-ist, actually. I think in my (our? I’m American, not sure where all AAM’s readers come from! :) ) culture there are a lot of undercurrents in the way we talk about fertility that remove or downplay the woman’s humanity, and comparing her to a fruit or implying she’s about to be ‘harvestable’ (which comes with further implications that her main purpose is to breed, because what is the use of an unripe fruit?) strikes me as more creepy than merely ‘in poor taste’.

        Of course, it possible he meant the comment in BOTH its dehumanizing and fat-shaming interpretations! We don’t necessarily have to choose… :P

    4. overeducated*

      Whoa. Is your uncle normally the type who likes to make people laugh and push the envelope by saying inappropriate things? Because that’s what this sounds like.

      1. Legalchef*

        I think he thinks he is funny but he generally just comes off like a dick. He once told my mom he thought my husband was gay because he likes shoes.

    5. Thlayli*

      This may make me sound like a total bitch, but honestly I think you are being a bit sensitive.

      Clearly you have a different sense of humour to your uncle. Not everyone would be offended by that comment – I would have found it hilarious and read it out to my husband. He probably would have got offended by it lol (he’s a much mor sensitive soul than I am).

      Basically it seems like you are annoyed at your uncle because he has a different sense of humour than you do. If you have some reason to believe he was trying to hurt your feelings that would be different but it doesn’t sound like that’s the case here – just different opinions about what’s appropriate to joke about.

      Falling out with your mum about this would be cutting off your nose to spite your face.

      1. Legalchef*

        I mean, I never said I was going to have a falling out with my mom over this (I have many many other reasons to do that if I really wanted!). I’m just annoyed at her for not seeing how what he said could be at all problematic.

        1. Thlayli*

          Fair enough.

          Btw “ripe” literally means “ready to bear seed” so he was probably just saying u look really pregnant, same way someone else might say you’re glowing. I’m surprised some commenters think it’s in any way creepy.

          1. Legalchef*

            That’s what it literally means, but when people say “she’s looking ripe” that’s usually not what they mean

            1. Thlayli*

              I have never heard it used in a creepy way whatsoever. It’s possible your uncle hasn’t either. Not everyone uses the same slang.

              1. Thlayli*

                If it bothers you you always have the option of asking your mother “what do you think uncle means by “ripe”? Because when people I know say “ripe” they mean (insert whatever creepy interpretation you have here). Is that actually what he was saying?” There’s a good chance your mum will reply to say that actually no when she and her uncle were growing up ripe meant something totally different.

                If she saw the text and she didn’t think it’s offensive then there’s a really good chance that in the culture they grew up in it was not an offensive term. Language changes.

              2. Temperance*

                I’ve only heard it used in the crass manner to suggest that she’s ready to pop / explode and looking big, and in a gross manner. I guess it could be that he’s being super literal, but with his nasty comment about baby shit, it’s pretty likely that he was insulting her.

              3. Stardust*

                I really feel like you are the outlier here. I’ve literally never seen “ripe” applied to a person meaning anything but a lewd innuendo. If you ask me, Legal’s uncle was not only completely aware of the insinuation but actually intentionally used it; after all, she describes him as someone who thinks he’s oh-so-funny and clever but just comes across as a massive jerk. That’s exactly the kind of person who would say something like that.

                1. Thlayli*

                  I think we’re veering into armchair diagnosis here so I’m not going to get into a discussion of what the uncle must have meant based on the tiny details we know about him from one post.

                  There have been 4 separate interpretations of the comment on this thread alone. I’m sure other people use it to mean other things too. Legal has assumed that what was meant is the worst possible interpretation. Legals mother has seen the comment and presumably knows uncle quite well so it seems to me that the logical thing to do would be for Legal to ask mother for clarity. This may clear things up and make Legal feel better.

                  Alternatively mum could say “yes your uncle was making lewd comments about you and I’m ok with that”. In which case wow you have my utter sympathy and also maybe you should fall out with your mother after all.

                2. Hrovitnir*

                  Calling someone a jerk/speculating as to their motivations (as you certainly did above by saying what he “probably meant”) is not an armchair diagnosis.

                  His comment was creepy no matter what he meant, and as an adult human it’s on you to know that sending someone a comment like that when you’re not close to them and it’s devoid of tone has an incredibly high chance of you just coming across as an epic douchebag. You can do that if you want, but sometimes the consequences of your actions are that people want nothing to do with you.

    6. Temperance*

      Nope, that’s really gross. The ripe comment would really hurt me, FWIW. Not knowing your uncle, but knowing that he’s pretty crass and vulgar, I would be mad at your mother for giving him the opportunity to insult.

    7. OperaArt*

      I wonder if it’s an age-related thing, and how slang changes over time. I’m probably the same age as your mother and uncle. I had to go look up “ripe slang” to understand why everyone is getting squicked out. Now I see. But “ripe” 30-40 years ago when applied to a pregnant woman meant ripe-like-a-seed-ready-to-burst.
      So, not funny, but maybe not as gross as it appears?

      1. Manderley*

        I had to look it up, too. (I’m 47.) It meant seed-about-to-burst in my younger years as well.

    8. Hrovitnir*

      My sympathies. I think it could go either way on ripe meaning “ready to pop” (eugh) or that and *wink-wink-nudge-nudge* “haha, that sounds like something dirty.” Which… either way, nooooope.

      Of course, I happen to think that people should keep any comments about people’s bodies that have not been actively solicited to themselves, so there’s that. Pregnancy is not an exception.

      1. Legalchef*

        Yes! And also, I’m 6 mo, so clearly NOT ready to pop anyway. And even if I was… nope.

        1. TheLazyB*

          Oh weird in my opinion/experience a babymoon is when the parent/s take time off after the birth to spend with the baby. That totally affects my reading of it. But it’s weird and gross either way.

    9. LCL*

      You asked for opinion so, I got one. Your reactions are whatever they are, it’s not right or wrong to feel anything. It’s what you do with your feelings that affect your life. From my perspective, wow does your family overshare. I would never send such a pic to my mom. It sounds like this is part of how your family stays close to each other, by sharing posts and talking about them with other family members. Your uncle’s remark about babyshit under the nails sounds like something either of my parents would have said. And your mom should know that if you show a man a photo of a woman’s body and invite discussion, there will be discussion.

      1. Legalchef*

        I never thought it was oversharing to send a (fully clothed) picture to someone – if that’s the case, then isn’t any and every post on social media oversharing, particularly since comparative strangers will see it?