weekend free-for-all – June 1-2, 2019

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.)

Book recommendation of the week: The Great Believers, by Rebecca Makkai, about a group of friends during the early stages of the AIDS crisis. I loved it so much. The first half was good, and the second half made it one of my favorite books of all time. You will cry multiple times.

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

{ 1,129 comments… read them below }

  1. Workerbee*

    Removed because work-related. Sorry!

    Regulars who know the site rules: Please don’t post answers to work questions on the non-work thread. It creates more work for me to remove the responses.

    1. Workerbee*

      Yeah, it might just (work-territory). I’ve got it all saved in a text file in case I have to repost on the Friday thread. :)

      You’re right: Cultural shift is a big deal.

    2. Workerbee*

      Ah, a clarification: The publisher I have now only does children’s picture books and I don’t know if that will ever expand, so I’ll have to dive back into shopping around for the novel. Which will also take time and energy. O, the crafting of synopsis and queries, all with their own nuances per agent or publisher, how I missed thee. /s

      Congratulations for finishing two books! That’s the biggest step right there. When I think of all the unfinished stories and scraps of ideas stuffed all over the house…

      10 years down the road, I will absolutely regret not finishing this book. I have determined it’ll be finished this year, however, including the editing if I’m lucky. So that’s foremost in my mind. I would also regret not taking a good opportunity in the meantime, though. Arrgh.

    3. Workerbee*

      Holy crap in turn! #kismet

      I’ll be 44 soon, though I plan to live to at least 100 so I don’t consider myself middle-aged yet, ha. I have spent way too long just Thinking About Writing–well, authoring–in sharp contrast to having it be my dream since forever. There are a ton more opportunities now for young writers to get published than I remember “back in my day” but that could be also due to perception/area I grew up in. Or maybe I lacked gumption. I’ve been writing since I could write, but not always, you know?

      But yes, I guess I’ve always defined myself as a writer even as I have definitely not always put it first, by far. That’s a key distinction and I can spend a bit too long kicking myself for not being a writing-Mozart ere this.

      I envy your full-time remote opportunity even as I appreciate the potential pitfalls. :) I encourage you to apply anyway–why not?–and in any event, maybe it’ll help put good vibes out there to get the creativity out of your head and manifested.

      I think successful negotiation with some kind of remote work will be the key to moving my decision forward or not at all. Thank you!

    4. Workerbee*

      No, I had to keep things a bit vague just in case, so you didn’t miss anything.

      I hadn’t even thought of the risk that other aspects could seep into my writing, to its detriment. Begone, foul spot! /bastardizing Shakespeare

      I like reframing it as “and” instead of “or”! You’ve given me things to mull over that feel more positive. Thank you!

  2. The Librarian (not the type from TNT)*

    Favorite overnight getaways from New York City?
    I’d like to take an overnight trip the last weekend in September – just one night – and I’m looking for ideas. I like scenic outdoor places, beaches* and wineries most of all (we already have a trip planned to the north fork of Long Island this summer), but I’m open to other ideas too. I’m not really up for more than about a three hour drive each way — so 150 miles or so from NYC.
    Thoughts? Thanks in advance!

    *My first choice was Asbury Park, NJ, but the prices at the nicer hotels there and in the immediate vicinity are stupid expensive — think $600+ per night. I’d be willing to pay half that.

    1. Lore*

      Have you done the Hudson River Art Trail? I tried a few years ago but it was a ridiculous heat wave so we drove to Olana and the Thomas Cole farm—still worth it. You could stay in Hudson or anywhere up there—west side of the river is often cheaper.

    2. I need more chocolate Häagen-Dazs*

      Ooh! My mom and I are hoping to go to NYC in June this year! I’m super excited because I’ve never been before.

      I don’t know if this is more than what you’re looking for (we’re looking at three nights, less outdoorsy, and we need to fly; too far away just to drive), but we’re using Marriott Vacations and they have great deals on hotel packages and activity ideas.

    3. Overnighter*

      Cape May
      Fire Island
      Newport, RI
      Poconos
      Martha’s Vineyard (end of Sept. might be too late to travel easily to the island though)

      All of these places are nice and scenic and pretty affordable. I’m planning on doing something similar right before the summer is officially over.

    4. Katefish*

      In Long Island, East End Bike Tours has really nice winery bike tours with lunch.
      We just had a wonderful day on the Dutchess County Rail Trail/Walkway Over the Hudson/Beacon/Henry’s at the Farm. Hiking in the Mohonk Mountain House area is also really nice.
      Seconding Newport, RI, above. The Red Parrot there might be the best restaurant in the US.
      Enjoy!

    5. Hodor*

      You should be able to get a hotel room in AP for under $200/night. We just stayed at Hotel Tides for about $150. Or try the Berkeley, the Empress, or one of the B&Bs in Ocean Grove.

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

        You’re right about Hotel Tides! I hadn’t heard of it before, but it is indeed right around $200/night.
        I’ve been leery of the Berkeley because it’s gotten scathingly bad reviews.
        The Empress was in the $300s… which maybe I can stomach… I was surprised to see, though, that it has smoking rooms! I’m astonished that’s still possible in 2019.

    6. Seeking Second Childhood*

      North Fork girl here. Good choice… if your first motel is on the Sound, pick another on the Bay. Or vice-versa.
      Or go wild&crazy and see if you can get something South Fork for the Atlantic.

      1. Seeking Second Childhood*

        I hit send too soon…
        Also consider eastern Connecticut — Hammonessett is beautiful.

    7. The Librarian (not the type from TNT)*

      Thanks for the suggestions so far!

      Cape May and the Hudson Valley are wonderful places that I love. The Hudson Valley is badly in need of some good hotels, though.

      Fire Island is high on my list. I’d love to go there. My understanding is that overnight weekend stays (or any overnight stays at all) are not really possible there, though. I may do a day visit via the ferry sometime, since I live close enough.

      Asbury Park is insanely expensive the last weekend in September. It is definitely not possible to stay there for $150 or $200 on a Saturday night. For some reason, September 28 is still considered peak season for these places. My mind is blown. $200 looks very possible on a weekday; unfortunately that’s not an option this time.

      Rhode Island and Martha’s Vineyard are also on my wish list, but probably too far for this trip (considering the horror that is I-95 weekend traffic; trains are far more relaxing but not any faster, since I have to first get to Penn Station, not an easy feat on the weekend).
      Thanks, everyone!

      1. LSC*

        Just a quick recommendation on hotels in the Hudson Valley – I loved staying at Buttermilk Falls Inn! Lovely inn with a great restaurant – Henry’s at the Farm, which Katefish mentioned above.

      2. Lore*

        Hudson itself has some lovely B&Bs and one former cheesy motel that’s now a redone swanky motel. I’ve only been in the summer so I don’t know about September pricing though.

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

          I love Ocean Grove. I’ve never been much of a B&B person (the only option in Ocean Grove) but I may need to change my thinking. But I’ve done many day trips there. It’s like going through a time warp.

    8. Non-prophet*

      Maybe New Hope PA/Lambertville NJ? Both towns are on the Delaware River. There are some pretty walking trails, great B&Bs, as well as very cute shops and restaurants. Several wineries aren’t too far away. And if you like antiques, it’s the perfect place to that. Probably about 70-75 miles max from NYC.

    9. Flying Ghoti*

      Try Point Pleasant Beach, NJ. After labor day the prices drop, so you should be able to get something there within your budget. The Windswept Motel is nice and right on the beach.

    10. Upstater-ish*

      Have you ever been to the Capital District. We are Fall. The Albany, Schenectady Troy area is as historic as it gets. Think Hamilton. We are full of craft beer, wine, small batch distilleries, and hard cider.
      And the ride from NYC is beautiful and a lot less stressful than driving to the Jersey shore.

    11. Kimmybear*

      Kennett Square/Chadd’s Ford PA – Longwood Gardens, wineries, Winterhur Museum – Bed and Breakfasts as well as hotels. Wilmington DE isn’t far for “nicer” hotels

  3. Lena Clare*

    Hello, people on sertraline/Zoloft! I commented on the thread about SSRIs last week that the side effects didn’t seem to be too bad but I think I was premature.

    I’m really struggling with them this week. Ive been on them 10 days.

    I’m sweating way more than normal and it’s really uncomfortable, plus dry mouth is so horrible – I have a sore throat and sore tongue and am getting ulcers.
    And I’m not really sleeping well at night but am shattered in the day.

    I’ve been off work ill for a week then had a week’s annual leave, I go back on Monday and I’m highly anxious about coping in work with these physical effects.

    Does anyone please have good stories about sertraline and how to cope with the dry mouth/ insomnia/ sweating? Do the side effects go away because I don’t want to carry on with them if they don’t but am scared to come off them bc my depression was pretty bad.

    Good stories only! If you wouldn’t mind keeping any horror stories to yourself :) sorry I don’t think I can manage them atm!

    1. BRR*

      I believe dry is a pretty common side effect for all anti depressants. I use biotene toothpaste and sometimes their mouthwash. They also have a dry mouth spray.

      1. Thursday Next*

        Yes to this and Blue Bunny. Dry mouth is a scourge! I also drink lots of water during the day, and I feel it makes a difference for me.

      2. tangerineRose*

        You may want to try a different anti depressant – sometimes, even if 2 different ones have dry mouth as a side effect, only 1 of them will affect you.

          1. tangerineRose*

            Yeah, it’s strange. Zoloft was a problem for me, but Prozac works fine. Of course, your results may vary.

        1. hermit crab*

          Yeah, I had a terrible time on sertraline – jittery and ill, like from too much coffee. Not great when you are trying to treat anxiety! I switched to citalopram/Celexa and have taken it on and off with no issues for years (other than withdrawal symptoms when tapering off it periodically). If the side effects are affecting your daily life like this, definitely talk to your doctor and/or pharmacist!!

    2. Blue Bunny*

      Dry mouth is so common. I needed to coat my lips and mouth corners with Aquaphor before bed, and wake up at least once to re-spray with Biotene. If I skipped those steps, I’d wake up with a mouthful of blood because my tongue cracked open.

    3. Windchime*

      I’m on sertraline and didn’t realize those were all side effects. I take a different medication to help with sleeping, and the first thing I do in the morning is take a drink of cool water to un-stick my dry mouth.

      10 days isn’t very long, so you may still be adjusting to the medication. I find the benefits outweigh the side effects for me and so I’ve been on it for over 3 years. I’m taking it combined with buspirone and I have to say that I feel better than I have for decades.

      Good luck. If you find you just can’t handle the side effects, maybe your doctor can tweak your dosage or switch you to another med.

      1. Lena Clare*

        Thanks. I’m hoping it’s because it’s still new.
        I see my GP on Tuesday so I guess I’ll have a clearer idea about what to do after I speak to her. Pretty sure the anxiety around taking these tablets are also because I’ve… you know… got anxiety!

    4. Book Lover*

      That sounds pretty bad, actually. I’d make sure I was started on a low dose, and even back off on the dose, potentially. That said, after about two weeks the side effects improve and the benefits start coming along, so it is up to you and how tolerable it is. The sweating and dry mouth are really expected, but the severity varies.

    5. Kuododi*

      I can’t give you medical advice however on a personal note I have been taking a medicine called Sucralfate for decades. It’s an old school ulcer medicine which has the happy side effect of addressing dry mouth. The brand name is Carafate. I’ve never had trouble with negative effects of this medicine. Best regards and hope things improve quickly.

      1. Lucien Nova*

        Sort of butting in here but–

        Sucralfate combats dry mouth? Maybe that’s why my melange of other meds don’t leave me parched as a desert…

        I’ve learnt a thing, thank you!

        1. Kuododi*

          Oh…I never knew about Sucralfate until years ago. I was fortunate to have been seeing an integrative endocrinologist at the time. I was desperate to get relief from the dry mouth and this Dr simply pulled out the script pad and wrote for Sucralfate. I’ve been on the stuff since then. (I’ve got a laundry list of meds at least half of which have dry mouth as a primary side effect.).

          1. Lucien Nova*

            Yeah, I’m on a bunch that do the same – actually was put on sucralfate because antacids alone don’t do much and the reflux was so bad I couldn’t eat, but hey, knowing it has other delightful side effects like that is a bonus. Thank you again!

    6. Noodles*

      I’m on sertraline and I don’t have the side effects you mentioned but I did get lots of headaches and nausea, took me about a week-two weeks of being on my final dose (worked my way up, upping the dose every week for the first three weeks) and then the side effects largely went away.

      1. Lena Clare*

        Hi, what dose are you on now? I’ve been started off on 50 mg. I had headaches and nausea for a couple of days then they went away.

        1. Noodles*

          I did a week at 25 mg, then a week at 50 and now I’m at 75 mg/day until my recheck with my doctor!

    7. anonagain*

      If you can, try to talk to you dentist about the dry mouth if it persists. Mine gave me prescription toothpaste to help prevent tooth decay when I had dry mouth.

      I really like the slightly sour dry mouth lozenges, but sugar-free hard candies also work. Lime, lemon, or any other sour flavor works to make me salivate.

      I hope you find something that works for you.

    8. Koala dreams*

      Dry mouth: I quite like the sugar free dry mouth candy that melts on your tongue. At night, put a glass of water next to your bed and sip on it before and after sleeping.
      Sorry, I don’t have any advice about the rest. Take care!

    9. Daphne*

      Just another voice to say I’ve been about two months on sertraline and the dry mouth was my worst side effect for the first two or three weeks. I’m still on 50mg a day but either I got used to it or maybe I’m making sure I’m drinking more to combat it. Can you experiment with taking it at a different time of day to help the insomnia?

      I tried citalopram years ago and only managed a week on them – felt so woozy/spaced out and there was no way I could go to work on them. Had no support from my doctor at the time so it was never followed up. This time around I’ve got a different doctor who’s checking in to see I’m doing on the meds but it’s so much better than last time!

      So I would give it another week to see if the side effects reside at all, then bring it up with your doctor to try a different brand.

    10. Socks*

      Do you take it in the morning or at night? Sertraline made me unbearably sleepy, and so I decided to just try a different med, but if I’d wanted to stick with it, my psych suggested taking it at night instead of in the morning. I guess that way, the sleepiness would be, like, at a useful time? You could ask yours about that, or just give it a try if you’re feeling experimental- it might help.

    11. Public Health Nerd*

      My mom got the sweating side effect, and it never did get better. She would drench shirts and it really bummed her out. I’ve been on zoloft a long time with no problems, but some other ssri’s have given me problems. I would say check in with your doc, maybe they could decrease your dose or switch you. If this is the first one you’re trying, it’s possible that there’s a better match for you out there.

    12. WS*

      The side-effects really are the worst in the first few weeks, but do talk to your doctor about this: it’s common to have to try a few different anti-depressants before you find a good balance of effects and side-effects, but ten days is long enough to get side-effects without getting much in the way of anti-depressant!

      Dry mouth is my major side-effect, but it definitely has never been as bad as it was in the first few weeks (unless there was another cause entirely like a virus). It also gave me dry eyes, but they got better.

    13. Double A*

      I’m on a very low dose of Zoloft and I feel like it took about 10 days to adjust. Also I started taking them in the morning but was super groggy, so I switched to night and that worked a lot better for me. But I haven’t had many side effects and my dose is super low.

    14. pickled tomato*

      from my limited experience with sertraline i’d say 10 days is not that big a term, but it’s better to consult with your doctor. and also check your diet for grapefruits.

    15. ..Kat..*

      Just don’t stop the medication suddenly – with some of the medications in this class (SSRIs), stopping suddenly can be dangerous. I am glad that you are seeing your doctor soon. I have been on 4 different medications in this class. One worked fine and then gradually stopped working. Two worked fine, but after years of success, I developed unpleasant side effects. And now I am on a fourth that works well with minimal side effects. So, I am confident that you and your doctor can find one that works well and has minimal (or even no) side effects. Good luck.

      PS. You get the most benefits from medications plus therapy. I hope that therapy is a possibility for you.

    16. Srah*

      I have been taking it for… shoot, at least 2 years? With an increased dose towards the end of last year/start of this. Have never had side effects, though my GP recently mentioned that it often keeps people awake if you take it at night, so have switched to having it in the morning. Hoping for your sake it is just an adjustment period!!

    17. ShortT*

      I started at 25mg of sertraline per day. Now, I’m at 100mg per day, which is working for me. At first, I took it in the morning, but, because it made me drowsy, I began to take it in the evening. That switch eliminated the sleep disruption.

      I had an angry headache for the first two weeks. That went away.

      I’m still battling dry mouth. I’ll take that because I feel like myself, now that my anxiety and depression are managed.

    18. Common Welsh Green*

      I don’t have depression; I have Sjogrens syndrome, and it causes constant dry mouth. Besides being hella uncomfortable, dry mouth causes cavities and gum disease. Look for gums and candies sweetened with xylitol, which increases saliva flow. There’s a product called Xylimelt which is 100% xylitol with a vegetable gum backing that will stick anywhere it’s placed on your gums and teeth, without being visible. It takes 4 to 5 hours to dissolve, and you can talk, sing, and sleep while you use it.

  4. Nervous Nellie*

    Oh, happy cat! What a terrific picture! It’s early Sat AM and this has already made my day.

    What is everyone reading? I get the best library list recommendations from you folks! Bring it on! I am finishing up an AAM recommendation – the fifth book in the vampire accountant series by Drew Hayes. What a blast those have been! Thank you, all!

    And I am also halfway through the DVD set of Hannibal, which many of you told me to stick with after I reported not loving after only a couple of episodes. You were right – it took shape and is incredible (literally and figuratively – the creativity of the killers boggles the mind). The glamor shots of the meals and the wonderful classical music all add up to wow. I will never hear Faure’s Requiem in quite the same way again.

    And thanks to Amazon announcing a miniseries of Good Omens, I finally dragged it off my shelf and am giving it a go. I love Neil Gaiman’s seriousness, but sometimes find Terry Pratchett’s frenetic jollity a bit tiring (Except for the Bromeliads – love that!). The collaboration on this book seems to have tempered them both. How sad that they can’t do another one.

    And fposte, if you are here, I ordered the last Bonnie book (Barbara Van Tuyl) but it’s taking forever to arrive. Have you read it yet? I can’t wait to catch up with Julie & Monty.

    1. BeanCat*

      For reading, I’m reading 3D Wolfenstein! It’s a book written by the programmers of Wolfenstein about their experiences with the game – I have a super rudimentary understanding of coding and got it from my software developer father. Behind the scenes stuff is just so cool to me!

      1. Nervous Nellie*

        Oh, neato! Thanks! Is that the Game Engine Black Book? I have looked at those before, but never dug into them. Down the rabbit hole I go!!!

      2. Lemonwhirl*

        Oooh, I will need to check that out! That game (and the entirely unrelated Operation Wolf arcade game) got me into video games in college.

    2. The Original K.*

      Zone One, by Colson Whitehead. It’s a post-apocalyptic novel. If that’s not your thing I highly recommend Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad, which won a Pulitzer.

      1. Nervous Nellie*

        Great minds! I looked at Zone One in the library just yesterday, but turned it down because I had too much to carry home. I just reread the reviews on Amazon, and plan to zip out later this AM when the library opens in the hope that nobody grabbed it yet. Thanks!

    3. The Other Dawn*

      I’m reading Redemption, the next book in David Baldacci’s Memory Man series.

      I just finished The Pharaoh Key, which was the last book in Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child’s Gideon Crew series. I wasn’t thrilled with this series in the beginning; however, the series improved over the course of several books and I enjoyed them. The Pharaoh Key, though, I’m not sure how I feel about it. I realize it’s fiction, but I think the story was just a little far-fetched. I liked it overall, but not as much as the last couple books.

    4. The Cosmic Avenger*

      I’m just finishing up The Plot Against America by Philip Roth. I forgot what a slog his writing is — I mean, it’s good, but some of his sentences should really be multiple paragraphs, they’re so long and convoluted! (I should talk, I love the semicolon and em dash.) Very interesting story, especially in today’s political climate…is about all I can say without spoiling it. I was surprised by the pacing and the progression of the narrative…mostly pleasantly, although mostly it was just a little unconventional.

    5. dear Liza dear liza*

      I really liked JANE DOE: A NOVEL. Sympathetic sociopath helping to smash the patriarchy.

      1. Red Sky*

        Yes! Right now I’m all about female rage and smashing the patriarchy. I loved this book but kinda wished for a bit more bloodshed; I also pictured Villanelle from Killing Eve as Jane, so that might be why ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

        Somewhat in the same vein, I’ve only just started Save Me From Dangerous Men by S. A. Lelchuk (which I think I picked up from someone’s rec here). Right now the heroine seems a little too perfectly bad-ass, if that makes sense, and how the hell can she afford a building in the Berkeley/Oakland area, even if she bought it during the recession, is beyond me. But it’s early on yet, so maybe there’s some reasonable explanation forthcoming.

      2. Lemonwhirl*

        Adding this to the list!

        I love that sort of book.

        Have you read “The Power” by Naomi Alderman or “Vox” by Christina Dalcher? They’re both smashing good reads. I’d say “The Power” is more literary in nature, but Vox conjures a world that is absolutely terrifying.

    6. Merci Dee*

      I’m going back through and re-reading the Wonder Cats mystery series by Harper Lin. It’s a series about a woman, her cousin, and her aunt… and all three women are witches who end up using their powers (and the powers of their feline familiars) to help solve murders in the small town of Wonder Falls. The series is totally puff-ball cozy mysteries, but I love it and always look forward to the next book when it releases. I’m rather jealous of the narrator of the books, Cath Greenstone, because her particular talent is communicating with animals, especially cats. I’d love to be able to converse in such a way with my own cat, just to see if the dialogue I make up for him is anywhere near what he’d actually be thinking. :)

    7. Seeking Second Childhood*

      I just finished a YA fantasy — “The Girl Who Drank the Moon” by Kelly Barnhill. It won the Newberry on 2017 and oh it’s lovely. It’s hard to do really new things and this manages it.

    8. fposte*

      Nellie, my copy has arrived but I haven’t read it yet. Mine came really quickly–maybe the supply is intermittent or she’s doing print-on-demand and I got lucky?

      1. Nervous Nellie*

        Hey fposte! Happy weekend! Ah, worth the wait, I am sure. I hope mine comes soon. Even when listed as in stock online, they then suddenly seem to announce delays. Heck, if I have to put in my Christmas stocking, will do! :)

        When you have read it, let me know what you think! I hadn’t really thought about how many years (decades!) had passed since she wrote book 1, but I am just a tad fearful that the new book won’t have that earlier sound. I hope that it’s a time machine and that Bonnie and her twin babies are going strong!

    9. YouwantmetodoWHAT?!*

      I just started Binti by Nnedi Okorafor. I’ve wanted to read the series for a while and finally got it (yay Cloud Library!). Her writing is gorgeous. I’m taking a break from The Parasol Protectorate series & the Finishing School series – I read too many in a row and got bored. I’ll be back because Gail Carriger is delightful.
      I’m IMPATIENTLY waiting for recently released books to arrive, and for books that will be released later this year.
      And I just picked up The People’s Future of the United States. Nope, not political – it’s ‘a blend of the distopian and utopian’ short stories. I’m excited because while I do know some of the authors, many I don’t.
      I actually haven’t been reading much, which is unusual for me, but I’d been busy with Faire and a new Blackwork sampler that I started (Acorns & Columbines, by Practical Blackwork, if anyone is interested).

    10. CoffeeOnMyMind*

      I found an amazing book at goodwill that is a rare snapshot of time: it’s about the invasion of Shanghai in 1937, written by a guy who happened to be caught in the chaos as war erupted around him. The book was published only one month after the war started … its an absolutely fascinating glimpse into history as it’s happening.

    11. HamlindigoBlue*

      Earlier in the week I finished Amity and Prosperity, the Pulitzer winning story about the effects of fracking on a Pennsylvania family. Then, I started Sparkling Cyanide by Agatha Christie.

    12. Marion Ravenwood*

      I’m currently reading The Stranger from the Sea, the eighth Poldark book, ahead of the new series starting. Only just started it but so far it’s good, albeit quite a departure from the earlier books.

    13. Lemonwhirl*

      I’m reading Wild Fire by Anne Cleaves. It’s the last of her 30-book Shetland Island murder mystery series. I’m enjoying it even though I’ve only read maybe 3 of the series.

  5. I need more chocolate Häagen-Dazs*

    This is more of a rant than anything else, so apologies in advance if I sound whiny or anything; I just need to vent. I don’t really have friends and I’m getting increasingly aggravated by being ghosted and ignored in situations where I feel like there was a clear expectation that the other person would respond. To be fair, I know there are situations where people feel the need to ghost someone for safety purposes and of course people have a right to do whatever they want. However, I’m becoming really disheartened and feel like in a few specific instances, it was unkind for the other person to do so because there was a pretty clear expectation that they would respond, even just to say no. Specifically:

    1. The editor of the official website for a YouTube series I love publicly stated for people to email him if any fans were interested in writing for the site. I sent him an email about three months ago stating my interested. (And they seriously need help. The people currently writing are incredibly bad at leaving in spelling, grammatical, and even factual errors related to the show in their articles.) However, I got nothing from him. Even worse, later on, I saw him respond to someone in the comments on one episode on YouTube encouraging them to email him if they wanted to write for the site. There could be an innocent explanation for it, like it went into his spam, but I don’t know how likely that is and I don’t want to keep emailing him repeatedly if it didn’t.

    2. One of my closest friends is currently in grad school in a different state and I’ve only seen her twice since she’s been up there. FWIW, she’s never been great at communication and is the type to completely ignore certain texts or just disappear in the middle of a conversation. However, a few weeks ago, she mentioned possibly visiting the city I’m currently in to see a few people and wanted to get together. I was excited and told her to keep me updated if she came. I never heard from her one way or another and we haven’t texted since she said she’d keep me updated, though this wasn’t that long ago and I’m not deliberately not talking to her, I just don’t have anything specific to say and I’m not sure if it’d be appropriate to call her out on it. She did just start an internship, but I don’t feel like that’s an excuse for saying nothing. (Additionally, I’m a little sour because she completely forgot my birthday two months ago, even though we’ve done things together in the past. I’m also accepting that we may just be drifting apart, but it stills hurts.)

    3. I generally have had terrible luck with Meetup, but I thought I finally hit gold when I found one specific group and had a great time at one of the meetups. It consisted of me, one of the organizers, and three others. The organizer and I both mentioned a movie we hadn’t seen yet and talked about seeing it together (but of course anyone who wanted to go was invited and we could possibly make it a meetup). Later that week, she messaged ME directly asking if I’d be interested in going next weekend. Unfortunately, we both had conflicts, so it didn’t come to fruition. Thursday of the week after, I message her directly again mentioning the movie for the coming weekend but also asking about making movie-related meetups in general. And…nothing. Eventually, she then started posting other meetups for the group, so it’s not a case of her not being on the website. I was just confounded and haven’t said anything to her since. There’s only been one meetup since that I didn’t go to, but now I just feel awkward and unsure of what happened and why she didn’t even bother responding just to say she didn’t want to/couldn’t go.

    I know this is ultimately a minor problem in the scheme of things, but it’s just a bit of a blow. And like I said, people are free to do this if they want, but it’s just getting frustrating when I’m trying to get out more and don’t know if I’m doing something wrong.

    1. WellRed*

      I’m little confused. Of the three examples, there is only one actual relationship, but it’s the other two that you seem over invested in. 1. You are taking this waaaay too personally. YouTube is not a forum for making friends or finding work. 2. It’s hard to drift from friends and some people just suck at communicating. But, I don’t see why you feel you can’t shoot her a txt. 3. Frustrating, but that’s the nature of meetup. I do wonder if you pushed too hard by jumping to suggesting movie meetups ( I may be misreading). Friending as an adult is really difficult, isn’t it?

      1. I need more chocolate Häagen-Dazs*

        1. I’m not moaning and groaning over the fact that he didn’t respond and I’m not saying I’m trying to make friends that way. I just thought it’d be fun to do and it’s just weird for the guy to be encouraging people to reach out to him just for him to ignore them (assuming, again, that there isn’t any innocent explanation). I’m just simply irritated, not losing my mind over it. I apologize if I came off too strong on that one, it was just an example of people ignoring others, which I think is just generally impolite, even if the stakes aren’t big.

        2. I’m tempted to do that. My mom said not to call her out on it at all and to just accept that some people are like that, but I’ve been friends with her for over four years. If I can’t have a heart-to-heart with her about something like this, then maybe we should just drift away.

        3. I don’t feel that I pushed hard whatsoever. This is the exact sequence of what happened: She messaged me first asking to see it with her. I had conflicts for most of that weekend. She had a conflict for the time I was available. We said to each other to have a good weekend. About a week later, I messaged her ONCE about trying to find time to see it and maybe making movie meetups a thing for the group. Crickets.

        Again, I apologize if I’m coming off too strong, but I think it’s reasonable to tilt my head at this kind of general ignoring when it’s not hard (and just simply polite) to respond when someone reaches out to you.

        1. valentine*

          I’ve been in your shoes and I think people are generally doing what they want to be doing. I used to feel I had to respond to every email. It didn’t occur to me not to. If someone had questions, I answered each one thoroughly. Really aggravating, then, to receive an answer to only one of three questions or to be the only one initiating contact. Others just aren’t on the same page, but we never described our pages or agreed on terms, did we? I think people do consider wanting a response to be too rigid. If you’re putting all your eggs in one basket, it’s time to cast a wider net.

          You’ve mentioned 1 before and I don’t think the guy’s request was honest. What if you think of it like any other job? Many potential employers never respond. Your being a fan is coloring this in a particular way and possibly means the (volunteer?) position wouldn’t have been good for you.

          For 2, the fact you don’t know if you can mention how you feel tells me you possibly don’t have the relationship you think you have. Is this like the catsitters where one person saw it as a favor and would’ve understood a conflict and the other saw it as a solemn vow to be broken only by serious circumstances? You can tell her you thought you’d hear back and you think x interval is reasonable. She’s unlikely to say she agrees and owed you a text. Maybe she’s said nothing because she also doesn’t have anything specific to say yet. Are you always the one to initiate? If you never texted her again, would the friendship be over?

          With 3, unless you’re obliged to go through the one organizer, you could message the whole group asking who wants to go to movies regularly. Is it possible for you to be an organizer? If nobody joins, at least you see the movie you want to see and aren’t waiting on anyone. Join as many different groups as possible. Cast your net wide and see if you enjoy events even if it’s always with different people.

    2. Dan*

      These… Don’t seem like that much of a big deal TBH. As much as it would be more polite to close loops, our culture is shifting away from outright saying no to people. I don’t know why that is, but on the whole, it’s a trend. I don’t necessarily like it either, but it is what it is.

      I think now the norm is to give someone 48 hours to respond, and if they don’t, take the hint and move on.

      1. I need more chocolate Häagen-Dazs*

        I agree that it’s not a big deal in the long run, but it doesn’t excuse it from being impolite IMO and I’m just simply frustrated so many of these instances happened in quick succession.

        1. WellRed*

          Oh, it’s definitely rude and so easy to close the loop, as Dan says. As to the friend, shoot her a txt! “Hey, saw this ( fill in the blank) that made me think of you.” Or similar.

          1. I need more chocolate Häagen-Dazs*

            Yeah, I’m considering texting her soon to ask about the internship just to see how it’s going. She interviewed for 20+(!) and is the hardest-working person I know, so I’m very happy for her.

        2. Dan*

          I think what I’m saying is that our cultural definition of “polite” is changing.

          For whatever reason, Americans have a weird aversion to the word “no”, and we go to great lengths to avoid saying it. That aversion may be justified in some cases, but by and large “don’t use the word NO” has taken on a life of its own.

          1. Pnut*

            I agree. I think, OP, that you would benefit from lowering your expectations. It’s not ideal, and of course people should be more responsible, etc. But you will save yourself tons of resentment by lowering your expectations of people, especially in the non-established-relationship category. What’s that old saying, “Expectations precede resentments” or something?

          2. I need more chocolate Häagen-Dazs*

            Ah, I get what you’re saying, and I do agree. Being too straightforward with people has a huge stigma attached to it, even though it would clear up any doubt. Like as long as someone is ignoring someone else, they technically didn’t say no or reject them in any way. And absolutely, I do think it’s justified in some cases, particularly if someone would act abusively in retaliation for being rejected.

            I think I’ve just gotten to a point where ideally, I want myself and everyone else to just say what they feel and get the uncomfortable stuff out of the way so no one’s questioning anyone, but I know that’s much easier said than done.

            1. Jasnah*

              I think you need to find those kinds of friends–friends who are blunt and will answer “No, actually I’m going to see that movie with other friends without you” or “Sorry, I’m really busy and don’t have time for our friendship anymore”. Maybe that would feel better for you because you know where you stand and no one is questioning anyone.

              Personally I would not be friends with those kinds of people, and I would rather maintain a vague or polite facade than explicitly reject someone without a good reason. I think it’s better to have some doubt or awkwardness about where I stand in a friendship than to know exactly why a friend doesn’t like me. Maybe these people are like that.

          3. ShortT*

            I have no problem saying no. Politely, of course. I do have a problem with some people who have a problem hearing no.

    3. I need more chocolate Häagen-Dazs*

      Just to reiterate, I KNOW this is far from being some kind of massive issue and I apologize if I seem like I’m taking it too personally, which I admittedly may need to work on. It’s just a trend I’m not fond of occurring more frequently and I think it’s fair to say that it’s impolite overall.

      (Also, for transparency, I don’t subscribe to comments on here, so apologies in advance if I miss anyone’s responses.)

    4. Llama Face!*

      I can understand your frustration with feeling ignored in these situations. One thing I notice is that you are assuming the worst option (them rudely ignoring you) when you haven’t really tried anything apart from that first single communication. Especially for the first and last ones (number 2 seems like it’s standard operating procedure for that friend), there are plenty of good reasons why the response may have failed/fell through the cracks. Why not send a follow up email saying “Hi there, I sent an email on TOPIC a while back and never heard a response. Are you still looking for writers?” Give them a chance to respond in the event that you did get spam foldered or your email got buried under a more urgent task. Ditto for the meet up. Maybe the organizer did respond and the message got dropped. Maybe she had two Haagen Daaz in her contacts and sent it to the wrong one. Maybe she thought about responding and then thought she already did (I have absolutely done this and if I was reminded that I forgot I’d be grateful because it was not intentional). It doesn’t sound like she was just ghosting you on purpose so why not try to clarify before convicting in absentia? :)

      1. I need more chocolate Häagen-Dazs*

        You have a great point and I think in certain cases, people who appear to be ignoring have non-nefarious reasons for doing so. I guess part of my fear is coming off like I’m pushing too hard if I try to follow up and/or it comes off like I’m trying too hard if they did mean to ignore me after all.

        1. Llama Face!*

          I absolutely get that worry. I feel the same way, especially in newer situations. But I don’t think following up once would look like you are being pushy; that’s just normal levels of responding. I mean, maybe if you texted/emailed five times in two days… that might come across as excessive! But following up after a dropped message is totally not over the top.

        2. Seeking Second Childhood*

          Just let’s be sure before you send that… Make sure you have calmed your own Spam folders. Because sometimes emails from people I have actually written to are showing up in my spam folder.

    5. Workerbee*

      For #1, sounds like the editor isn’t great at follow-through, even when it’s something he actually asked for! Could be he’s scatterbrained, could be he’s just not the right person to oversee emails, could be anything–but I highly doubt it has anything to do with you as a person, if that helps. If you want to pursue it, stick to the comments section on YouTube since he seems to be better at responding to those.

      #2. From what you said, I think you may either need to take on the burden of always being the initiator for conversations or find a different way to communicate that works for you both. Some friends do great with calls; others want texts using a particular app; others insist on Facebook Messenger. The myriad of options we have to communicate seem to have ironically fractured actual communication. I tend to keep only a few ways & means “alive” because I know my own preferences and limits of clicking and checking on channels.

      And when you do reach out, definitely ask about her internship as you already suggested in one of your comments. It’s probably foremost on her mind, and I’d venture a guess that if she hasn’t updated you on visiting your city, it’s because there is no update to give as yet.

      #3. Here I think this is a case of people being people. She could have read your message, for example, intended to respond, got caught up in something else, and then just never returned to it as it was now a “read” message. I’ve done it and it’s been done to me. You are not alone! But as she did start posting other meetups, I’d take that as a cool sign that she read what you said about making more (I’m not sure if they were movie-related or not). You could either reach out to her again, or let it slide and make an effort to go to the next meetup and talk to her/others in person and help cement connections that can remain nebulous otherwise.

      1. I need more chocolate Häagen-Dazs*

        1. That’s a valid point. Honestly, and I hate to be so harsh, but the website has so many issues that I wouldn’t be entirely shocked if he is scatterbrained and completely missed emails. And that’s a good point, I’ve unjustifiably taken it more personally than I should and have paranoia that this person, who is essentially a stranger, must specifically not want me.

        2. Yeah, I’ve mostly accepted that burden at this point, even when we lived in the same city, and it’s frustrating. Text has always been our method of communication and I’d ask if there’s a better way, but I don’t use any social media anymore, so I don’t think there are really other options.

        I apologize if I wasn’t clear, but there should’ve been an update by now because she very specifically said it’d be a specific weekend (May 17th) that she’d visit, so she either didn’t come or she did and didn’t tell me.

        3. Those are all valid explanations. I feel like it’s unlikely because it was fairly soon after our last conversation and she had been active on the Meetup’s page, plus as an organizer, I kind of assumed she’d be more on top of actively checking the page and not just suddenly forget that we talked about movie meetups, but that could be my own faulty assumption. I’ve considered reaching back out, but that was a month ago, so I’m not sure if that’d just come off as me not moving past it.

    6. Kalico*

      I know these types of experiences suck, but honestly I think they are definitely normal! At least based on my own experience in trying to forge connections (social or otherwise), failure and feelings of rejection are the norm. It is very, very frustrating and easy to take personally. What I’ve found that helps me are: 1) Put myself out there more – the more connections I try to make, the more likely I’ll be successful with a couple of them; 2) Expect failure – it helps me to think that a high failure rate is normal and natural in pretty much every endeavor: think about how many seeds a tree has to drop for even one successful baby tree to make it to maturity, or, check out Brene Brown’s latest Netflix special about what it means to be in the arena; 3) Nurture the connections that DO work out; 4) Accept that if a connection doesn’t work out, it wasn’t supposed to, EVEN if you really, really felt like it was supposed to.

    7. RainbowPencils*

      You’re not doing anything wrong at all and you don’t sound whiny, though I didn’t think there was a clear expectation for responses.

      1) This situation is basically the same as applying for a job (or volunteer position if it was unpaid) where you shouldn’t expect a response unless they’re interested. If it’s a popular channel, a lot of people may have e-mailed him so he probably wouldn’t respond to every single person. And I wonder if he was serious about having fans write for them. Might have just been a way to seem nice and make people feel involved. It’s also really easy to reply to a comment saying “let me know if you want to write for us!” just for the sake of appearing to interact with fans. If he was serious wouldn’t he have sent them a private message? It’s been three months. I would just move on and maybe take a break from watching the channel if you’re feeling bad about it.

      2) You know this friend isn’t good at communication, so it’s expected that she might not follow up like she said she would. If having friends respond to you without reminders is important, maybe you should just let the friendship drift apart so you don’t keep feeling hurt by it? If the friendship is important to you, I’d just send a quick followup yourself (“Hey, did you ever figure out if you were visiting [city] for sure? Just wanted to see if I should reserve a day to hang out.”) More communication effort on your part might just be the price you have to pay for this friendship.

      3) I think for any sort of dating site or meeting friends site, there isn’t a lot of incentive for someone to respond just to be polite–there isn’t an existing relationship to worry about maintaining and people just seem careless about how they treat relative strangers in general nowadays. Or, like other people said, they could have just missed your message somehow or read it and forgotten to respond. It sounds like you only spent time with her once? You’re not a high priority at this point so it’d be easy to accidentally let your message slip through the cracks. I’d just bring it up in person at the next meetup so you can get an immediate response and then leave the ball in her court from there.

      I understand why this is frustrating and disappointing. I think you’re more sensitive to this stuff right now since you feel that you don’t have many friends and are purposefully trying to make friends and get out more. I hope things start going better.

    8. anactoria*

      Just another data point — as an organiser for multiple meetups and local events, I’m often on the other end of #3, and sometimes I drop the ball on communication because I have a ton of anxiety and I overthink things a LOT. So, if someone sends me a message and I have the time/mental capacity to read and respond that day, all is good, but if I let it slide for a day or a couple days or even a week, I get into this crazy headspace where I beat myself up for not responding and have too much anxiety to even open the message. Not saying that is necessarily what’s happened here, but sometimes people do drop the ball because they overthink and get anxious about late responses.

    9. Nita*

      I think what’s adding to your frustration/confusion here is the digital communication… you’re always left wondering if the person saw your message and dropped the ball on responding, or legit did not see it. I imagine it nags at you more than knowing they don’t want to be in touch. I’ve been there and I don’t know what the answer is to that! I guess a phone call or a meeting are better in this sense, so for people you’re close enough to call, go with that… or if you’re in a Meetup group, save making plans for when you meet in person. For others, maybe just let it go… P.S. I know many people hate phone calls. I’m one of them. But at least phone calls take some guessing out of this guessing game. You’d think texts would do, too, but I know a handful of people whose phones don’t get texts – so when I text a near-stranger, I’m never 100% sure if they got my text.

    10. Washi*

      Ahhh, I feel this so hard! I have a tendency to be annoyed about exactly this type of thing. So as someone who is very similarly wired, I just want to point out that there are a few unstated assumptions that may be useful to unpack.

      The biggest one is that if you send someone a message and don’t get a response, the other person has chosen not to respond to you for a reason. Which on the one hand is fair, because I at least tend to be pretty responsive and if I don’t respond to someone, there often is a reason! But that’s just not true of everyone. For some people, forgetting to close the loop is truly accidental and for them, this whole thing is like if you accidentally knocked your cup off the coffee table and someone said “why did you throw your cup on the ground?! you obviously weren’t being careful enough!” Some people are clumsy with their bodies and some people are clumsy with their communication. My best friend tends to drop the ball sometimes on non-urgent texts. I’m not that good at being totally open and honest. We both try to do better with each other, and sometimes she has to remind me to be honest and I have to remind her that I’m hurt when she doesn’t answer my texts and we have a beautiful and occasionally frustrating friendship.

      I’m also getting the sense that you’re feeling like you’re alone like this? Like maybe really popular people with lots of friends don’t have this issue? And to that, you’ll have to just look at the comments in this thread – this is totally normal! In fact, I think often really popular people (in a nice way, not a mean girls way) have lower standards for friends (again, not in a bad way.) I’ve noticed that my popular friends are generous with their definition of “friend”, don’t mind ups and downs in communication, and barely notice missed texts. Not that you have to adopt this strategy! But when this kind of thing happens it’s easy to imagine that everyone else you know is surrounded by a circle of perfect, available, reliable friends, and that’s just not true most of the time. It’s a rare person who feels like their social life is completely, permanently sorted out.

      Lastly, I’m noticing that maybe you worry about being the one who “loves more” so to speak? One fear that crops up in my mind is being blindsided by rejection, so sometimes I’m tempted to pull away prematurely or label a friendship over because I’m afraid of being exposed as caring more than the other person. I don’t really have any words of wisdom there, since that’s something I’m still working through myself. But one thing I ask myself is what kind of person I want to be, in the end, and my answer is that I want to be the kind of person who loves openly, who is brave enough to try and fail. I remind myself all the time not to hide, and to feel my feelings.

      Wow this was long! Dangerous of empathizing/possibly projecting too hard :)

    11. Not So NewReader*

      Years ago, younger me used to get really hurt by this stuff. That happened for reasons. However, knowing the reasons did not help it to “roll off my back”.

      In thinking about this I realized there are two types of people in this world regarding these types of situations. There are people who place a high value on follow-ups. And there are people who place little or no value on follow-ups. While it’s true there are people in between, those in-between people seem to kind of explain why they disappeared for a moment. Their reasons might be transparently flimsy but at least they offer some reason.

      You could decide that you are a person who places a high value on follow-ups. This is fine and it’s really good to know yourself. I place a high value on follow-ups. People who don’t follow up aren’t your people. Bump to trying again with someone else. Eventually, you will find like-minded people who also value follow-ups the way you do.

      Keep the door open for the people who do not follow-up. They may circle back into your life later. Or not.

      Here the tricky part is to quit counting how many failed attempts we have had. If we tally up our failed attempts we will never get off the couch again. Keep going back to the people who keep coming back to you.

      And something I observed with my own life: I was so busy trying to be friends with Jane, who only returned every third phone call, that I never noticed Sally who was really interested in us doing stuff together. I had made myself into someone else’s Jane because I was not paying attention.

  6. Weegie*

    I moved house today – into a house I just bought! (I’ve never owned a property before.)

    So far I seem to have spent the whole day cleaning: first the rental I just moved out of, and now the new place which the previous owners didn’t clean before leaving. Now I’m snoozing on the couch, with the back door open. The sun is shining, birds are chirping, and I can hear cows from the neighbouring farm. Bliss.

    1. Marion Q*

      Congrats on moving! And to your very own house! It sounds like a lovely place to live.

      1. Weegie*

        It is! The neighbourhood is so quiet, and my street backs onto farmland. Yet it’s only a 10-minute walk to the nearest train station, so it’s good for getting in to the city (where I’m hugely glad I don’t live any more!).

    2. Alice*

      Congrats!
      Did you have any anxiety about taking the plunge (as I do for sure)? Or have you always had this plan that has now come to fruition?

      1. Weegie*

        Anxiety, you ask??! I wanted my own house for ages, but when it came to actually making an offer I went into spirals of self-doubt, sleeplessness and hyperventilation. The process of getting a mortgage was a nightmare. More than once I half-hoped it would all fall through and I could just go back to my renting comfort zone… But now that I’m here, it’s great! I’m cleaning the house from top to bottom and listing all the things that need to be done to make it better and make it MINE!

      1. Weegie*

        Thank you – and ‘buzz’ right back at you. Bees are already gathering to sip from my strawberry plants; it’s great to be in a country town!

    3. Steve*

      Congrats! I tell people that the first year is the most stressful, because there are often unexpected costs and repairs. Nothing big, just… the change from renting is that a home owner has to deal with all the problems themselves. Although most of my unexpected costs happened before I moved in, so you’re doing well. And it will be okay, and once one settles in to the concept it’s a decision that they appreciate.

      I’m jealous of your cow noises, as I have birds and crickets, but no farm animals.

      1. Weegie*

        Thanks for the first-year heads-up – I’m already plotting what I can afford to do right now (I want a red front door! New carpets!) and what will have to wait for a while (new boiler /central heating system).

        The cows are great. And it just went one better: a deer grazing in the fallow field this morning while I was making coffee :-)

  7. Madge*

    Can anyone recommend women’s and juniors brands that have extra room in the rear? I’m trying to find camp clothes for my teenager and we’re not having any luck locally.

    1. I need more chocolate Häagen-Dazs*

      I’m not sure what kinds of shorts/pants you’re specifically looking for, but I had great luck at Old Navy when I was looking for denim shorts. Very roomy without being overly baggy.

    2. Alex*

      Second Old Navy. I have a large rear and am able to wear their shorts.

      I’d also just go to someplace like TJMaxx where there are a lot of different brands and see if you can find something there.

    3. Workerbee*

      Hmm…you could try Talbot’s if you have one (they are also online). I have found that their pants/capris/shorts tend to have extra room in the rear, though mileage may vary! And they’re not inexpensive, though they have frequent sales.

    4. MissDisplaced*

      If you have a Burlington Coat Store in your area, I’d recommend it for teens. The clothing is inexpensive, and they have a huge JuniorsPlus section. Not always great quality, but if it’s for camp and summer, I suppose it won’t matter.

    5. NoniMouse*

      I’m in the “extra rear” category, and my go-to for bottoms has become Lee Jeans, which they sell at Kohl’s. This time of year they will have shorts. There are a few different cuts (“curvy” is one of them but I’ve had great success with other cuts too) that have room in the back with a little stretch in the fabric, and I get less gap at the waist than in other brands.

    6. Ranon*

      I’ve found outdoors brands like Columbia and REI are good- they’re designed for people to move in so they usually have more space. Those brands can be pricier but I’ve had good luck finding them in great condition on Thredup and Poshmark once I know my size.

      1. LCL*

        Beware though, those brands are usually cut a little short, and their “woman’s” sizes run small. What I mean is, if she’s tall and curvy, forget them.

    7. tab*

      I’m a fan of Eddie Bauer curvy pants and shorts. I only purchase their pants and shorts now, and no more gaping waistband for me.

    8. Owler*

      I like Columbia brand for fit and durability. My kid also like the Columbia women’s “Saturday Trail II Knee Pants”, which we found at REI outdoor store. We’ve occasionally gone the men’s-pant-with-belt route when the women’s version didn’t fit her bum and thighs well.

    9. Engineer Girl*

      You’re looking for a curvy cut Vs a modern cut. Curvy cut has a 10 inch difference between waist and hips. Modern cut has a 5 inch difference between waist and hips.

      Curvy cut: Royal Robbins, Columbia, Prana

    10. Lobsterp0t*

      I have a huge ass and I buy men’s plus size ASOS shorts and jeans!

      But I’m a butch lesbian and I like the way they sit on me and fit. I wear a US18/UK22 and order a size 46 an it fits every time without fail.

      The chino shorts are great.

      1. Elephant in the room*

        I also buy men’s pants, they are roomier and have REAL pockets. I’m not fashion conscious though, and guess a teenaged girl might be.

    11. critter*

      I don’t have any specific brands, but I had very good luck with Stitch Fix’s delivery. (Well, I had good luck with finding pants with more room in the rear. I had awful luck with their shirts, though.) I explicitly told them that was what I was looking for in pants (along with really long pant legs), and they nailed it on the first pair they sent me.

    12. LCL*

      I reread your post so had to add this. Stop looking in the junior department, they don’t allow for curves at all. I was out of junior sizes by age 12, and I was bone thin then.

    13. HannahS*

      Gap’s “girlfriend” chinos work well for me. Probably a bit formal for camp clothes, though!

    14. Pat Benetardis*

      Go to Modells. The athletic shorts (like soccer shorts Umbros, but you can get other brands) are roomy and perfect for camp (ay least for my teens).

  8. RainbowPencils*

    I posted here recently to ask for advice to manage chronic wrist pain. I started trying a few posters’ suggestions (trackball mouse, using a bowl of ice water instead of heat, wrist brace at night). Thank you for taking the time to respond! :)

    My therapist also told me to try wrist compression sleeves since the wrist braces are starting to get uncomfortable. I’ve ordered them in adult/normal sizing from two different brands, and even though the small sizes should have fit well according to the manufacturers’ measurement charts, they were loose and would never provide any sort of compression or support. I did a quick google search for pediatric/children’s sizes, but it seems like only braces are available. Does anyone know of any brands that have compression sleeves in children’s sizes?

    I cut an elastic bandage in half to wrap around my wrists and am trying that right now, but I’d really rather have something I could just slip on and off and that was more comfortable.

    1. HeyNonny*

      I have a friend that uses socks for this (with the end cut out, obviously). She says it’s because they are much cheaper than the pre-made medical sleeves, and come in a better range of sizes. Looking at it, I whether this would work for you depends on where exactly you need compression. It looks good across the wrist, but doesn’t do much for the hand and thumb area.

      1. RainbowPencils*

        That’s a really cool idea! I just need it for my wrist, not my hand and thumb. Maybe children’s sized crew socks would fit me. I could double them up for extra compression and cushioning. Bonus if they’re a colorful and fun design. :)

    2. Rainy*

      There are compression material rolls that are tubes–my dad had some like that–that are meant to be cut off in usable lengths. If you could find some of that in a small size, you’d be able to cut off wrist-compressing lengths. I think Dad got his from the doctor, so maybe ask about that?

      1. RainbowPencils*

        Googling these, I actually see them sized for children! So that might work. I’ll check with my therapist to see if she has any at my next appointment before buying it myself (shipping is super high).

      2. TheFacelessOldWomanWhoSecretlyLivesinYour House*

        May sound weird but look at pony exercise wraps. They may be something you can use.

    3. Kathenus*

      I have psoriatic arthritis and one wrist and thumb were the first and worst areas affected. Back before I had better control, I loved using a paraffin bath on my hand and wrist. Basically it’s a specially made crock-pot type device that melts bricks of paraffin and keeps them at the right temperature – melted but not dangerously hot. And then you dip in your hand and remove it, let the wax start hardening, and continue doing several layers this way. Feels great.

    4. Beaded Librarian*

      Maybe look at sports compression sleeves? Only problem with them is they go all the way up you arm but the brand 2xu has xs sizing and I think several others do as well.

    5. Call me St. Vincent*

      Do you know what’s causing your wrist pain? The answer to what to do about it will be different based on the cause of the pain. I have arthritis in my wrists (among many other joints) and I take a biologic medication for it which works great.

    6. WS*

      I have psoriatic arthritis that affects my wrists, and it can be hard to get the compression in the right place – I have very small wrists but regular sized arms, so anything I can get on my arm doesn’t give me the compression where I need it! I got out the sewing machine and took it in over my wrist, which looks stupid but works right.

    7. pcake*

      I use the Ace Deluxe wrist brace at night because it has three bands that can be tightened enough to give just the right amount of support directly over the wrist, less tightness at hand and below the wrist. I also find that some sleeping positions are better for my wrist than others. You can’t just slip this one and off, but if you wash them in warm water and soap each morning, then rinse, I find the Ace braces stay pretty comfy. you can also wear nylons or a thing sock under the brace if you want.

  9. First time baker(?)*

    What are healthy alternatives for granulated sugar? I’m thinking of making no-bake oatmeal cookies, but the recipe calls for granulated sugar and due to health concerns (history of diabetes in family), I’d rather use healthier alternatives. And I don’t have an oven, so preferably not ingredients that have to be processed in an oven.

    1. Rebecca*

      I don’t want to rain on your parade, but if I remember from making no bake cookies in the past, you need to cook the sugar, butter, etc. in a pan, add vanilla, then add oats…I’m not sure you can substitute cane sugar out because of the chemical change when you cook the sugar and other ingredients. I could be wrong, though –

      For me, I look at it as making a treat, trying not to hog into all of them at once (because face it, they taste much better than healthy food!!) and make it a few and far between thing. You could also cut back on other carbs that day and figure in the cookies that way, maybe that would help?

      1. First time baker(?)*

        Do you think reducing the amount of sugar will help? The recipe asks for 2 cups of sugar, which is the problem. It just seems … too much?

        Cutting back carbs on the day sounds great. Thanks for your help!

        1. Me75*

          I think you could totally cut back on the sugar. I’ve been trying some monk fruit too. It looks like sugar but doesn’t mess with your blood sugar levels. It’s usually suggested to replace half of the sugar with monk fruit and then use regular sugar for the other half because it doesn’t have the same properties as sugar, particularly for baking. I also have a recipe for oatmeal cookies that you bake, but that have no added sugar beyond the chocolate chips. https://www.pastryaffair.com/blog/2010/7/15/chocolate-chip-raisin-oatmeal-cookies.html?rq=oatmeal%20cookies

        2. Rainy*

          Consider that if you are cooking a syrup to bind the oats with, reducing the amount of sugar is going to change the chemical composition of the syrup you’re making. Sometimes you can reduce the amount of sugar in baking recipes, but usually not by half and come out with anything that’s going to be a successful product.

      2. Policy wonk*

        I’ve successfully used Splenda in baked goods. Don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t work in no-bake, but I’ve never tried it.

        1. Lilysparrow*

          Well, stovetop no-bake cookies are really a type of candy. You boil the sugar, which turns into caramel, and it’s the sticky caramel that binds the whole thing together.

          I’ve never worked with Splenda, can you make candy with it? I’d expect you’d need to make other changes for it to work.

      3. Sister of the Idea Gal*

        Stevia in the Raw acts like sugar, but with zero calories, and it’s plant-based so much healthier than artificial sweeteners.

    2. WellRed*

      Baking is a science as much as a craft and substituting isn’t usually a good idea, especially if you are a novice.
      I’d find a different recipe or enjoy this one as a treat. I am T1D and have had people try to bake healthier for me, to often disastrous results.

      1. Dan*

        Yeah, IMHO, “baking” and “healthy” don’t go in the same sentence. So much of it involves butter, sugar, and/or cream, which while permissible in moderation, is very hard to moderate in a baked sweet.

      2. Parenthetically*

        Yep, sugar does some really important chemical things in so many baked goods! I’m a much much better cook than a baker because it’s so easy to substitute and improvise in cooking compared to baking.

    3. Alex*

      Sugar is sugar. There aren’t really healthy alternatives, especially for baking (for stirring into coffee, you can use stevia or something. But baking is different.)

      I do often reduce the sugar in recipes by 1/4 or 1/3, though. I’d try that before using something else.

    4. Parenthetically*

      It’s never going to be a direct substitution because chemistry, but I just did a bit of googling and found a few promising looking recipes. Searched for “no bake cookies with no refined sugar.”

    5. CoffeeforLife*

      I just googled “healthy no bake cookies” and came up with quite a few results. One replaced granulated sugar with honey, another used coconut sugar (my go to sugar), and a third used stevia. I think doing a recipe search will help give you some options and perhaps also exploring information on the various types of sugars and their glycemic impact.

      1. Lilysparrow*

        Bear in mind, “healthy” means different things to different people.

        You can have a “healthy” treat, in the sense that it has no artificial or highly processed ingredients, that is going to spike your blood sugar exactly the same as a Twinkie.

        Honey and coconut sugar are delicious, but they don’t have any fewer calories or carbohydrates than the white stuff.

    6. Madge*

      With a history of diabetes you’re probably looking for recipes that won’t raise your blood sugar as much as a white flour, white sugar recipe. So I’d look for recipes that use things like whole dried dates to provide the sweetness. I reallly like Chocolate Covered Katie’s recipes and she has a German chocolate energy ball recipe that I really like.

    7. ThatGirl*

      There are some baking blends out there that are low sugar (usually half sugar, half substitute) but as others have said, it can change the properties of the cookies. But honestly it’s hard to “bake” low sugar items, and I’d recommend just going easy on the carbs in general. Your best alternative to granulated sugar is something like stevia or monkfruit, which can have an artificial taste and aren’t really healthier, just lower carb.

    8. lapgiraffe*

      I second (or third? Fourth?) the reply that there isn’t going to be a healthy alternative. Sugar is sugar is sugar. You can use less of it, you can add fiber, and you can’t eat less of it, but I’ve found (as a person who had to cut the back on carbs for health reasons) that having one fantastic full fat full sugar pastry a couple times a year is better than eating “healthy alternatives” more regularly, both for my health and my joy/pleasure/satisfaction. The alternatives are barely any “healthier” and they always disappoint.

    9. Mephyle*

      The only “healthy” alternatives for sugar are low-calorie sweeteners, if healthy means low-carbohydrate (as it does, when there are diabetes concerns). But there are some doubts about the safety of those sugar substitutes, too.
      The thing is, if you substitute sugar alternatives that are often touted as “healthier”, such as honey, coconut sugar, agave syrup, raw sugar, brown sugar, etc. they still deliver a similar carbohydrate count for a similar amount of sweetening power. Fruit, such as raisins or dates, also contain sugar=carbohydrates. The reason they are slightly better alternatives is that their natural sugars come packaged along with fibre, which mitigates the effect of the carbohydrates on the body, slightly.

      1. Lilysparrow*

        Yes, if your concern is natural vs processed foods, substituting a different type of sugar might fit your goals.

        If your concern is blood sugar, it’s not going to matter enough to bother with.

    10. Not So NewReader*

      I did this for years.
      There are charts that show conversion tables how much of substitute sugar is necessary to equal a cup of sugar.
      Some sugar replacements are used in such small quantities that you have less batter. A recipe for 18 muffins goes down to 12 muffins for example with the sugar substitute.

      Sugar draws water. (Same idea as salt drawing water.) Recipes without sugar tend to seem dryer. Sometimes things just crumble because there is nothing “gluing” them together.

      Your best bet because of starting out is to get premade mixes or recipes with the ingredients you are searching for.

      I agree with the others who pointed out there is not a lot of room for many baked goods in a diabetic diet. I was married to a diabetic for decades. I baked maybe once or twice a year, if that. I baked so little that I am no longer confident about bringing an item I baked to a group get-together. I can make a soup or something.

      I did end up using substitute sugars for myself and I played with that for a bit. I finally moved away from it in my own food choices. I still like a little stevia in my coffee once in a while, chocolate flavor stevia is my fav.

      You might check books at health food stores to see if you can find something. Or you could check your library. Swapping out sugars is a huge topic. I learned a lot and in the end, stopped using all that I had learned.

      1. Penny Parker*

        “Recipes without sugar tend to seem dryer. Sometimes things just crumble because there is nothing “gluing” them together.” — add applesauce. It makes the product sweeter while it allows one to reduce the sugar. It is sometimes necessary to reduce other liquid in the product (just a tad) as well.

      1. Free Meerkats*

        Somehow I copied the wrong link, but the one I gave will give the same info as the Alton Brown info.

    11. First time baker(?)*

      Thank you for your answers! I’ll look around for other recipes, and also learn more about healthy food. I didn’t know that honey isn’t necessarily healthier than white sugar :(

      1. Srah*

        If you are concerned about diabetes, it’s all about how many carbs you consume, and honey is basically the same as sugar. Some fruits, too. But not strawberries or blueberries!

      2. ThatGirl*

        Well, as others said, healthy means different things to different people. In the case of diabetes it’s more about carbs, and honey and white sugar are roughly the same there.

      3. nonegiven*

        Flourless cake – Dana Carpender

        2 cups pecans (don’t use salted pecans!)
        1/3 cup cocoa – *I use special dark
        1 t baking powder
        1/4 teaspoon salt
        4 eggs
        1/2 cup (I stick) butter, melted
        1 teaspoon vanilla
        1/4 cup erythritol
        Artificial sweetener equivalent to 1 cup sugar I use zero-carb liquid sweeteners .
        1/2 cup water

        Preparation:
        Heat oven to 350 F. Grease a 8 or 9″ round pan or springform pan.

        1) Process pecans in food processor – pulse until they are meal –
        but they won’t get quite as small as corn meal.

        2) Add the rest of the dry ingredients and pulse again.

        3) Add the wet ingredients and process until well-blended.

        4) Pour into pan and bake. The exact time will vary with the pan. Start checking
        at about 25 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

        5) Cut when cool. If desired, serve with homemade whipped cream and/or chocolate sauce.

        Nutritional Information: Each of 8 servings has 2 grams of effective carbohydrate plus 4 grams of fiber, 6 grams of protein, and 334 calories.

      4. TL -*

        Healthy isn’t about one item in your diet. It’s about the total makeup. Cookies aren’t bad or unhealthy treats but having a diet primarily made up of cookies is unhealthy.
        Treating items/ingredients as ‘bad’ is a lot more counterproductive to a healthy diet than aiming for no more than X grams of sugar/day and allowing for the occasional exception without stress.

    12. pcake*

      You can add stevia extract as a substitute for some of the sugar. I use the Trader Joe’s version – some brands taste a little like licorice, but TJ’s tastes more like a package of artificial sweetener even though it’s a leaf.

      You can substitute erthyritol, as it’s made from sugar, but it has a cold taste on top of the sweetness. What I usually do is use 25% sugar, 25% erthritol, 20% xylitol and the rest of the sweetening – NOT the volume – is from stevia. You can go with more xylitol, but I find this mix produces the best taste to me.

    13. Belle di Vedremo*

      Honestly, I’d look for sugar free recipes rather than ways to replace cane sugar with something else. You’re likely to get recipes that work better, and that won’t be as sweet or hit your blood sugar as hard. I did a year or so “sugar free” (so only naturally occurring sugars, as in dates) and needed to really switch to change my taste and texture expectations. There were some delicious recipes for muffins that I treated like cupcakes, etc etc. My experience as that subbing things for cane sugar was like subbing carob for chocolate, it just doesn’t work even if you like carob. I never did lose my taste for sugar (see, did this for about a year) but it did change my approach to sugar and recognition of what sugar does to my blood sugar in a more detailed way. Context: I’m “insulin resistant.”

      One thing I experimented with was when I ate what; eg starting my day with proteins rather than carbs made everything better. It did mean breakfast for dinner more often, which was a bit odd when dining out with others, but is was great for me overall and I go back to this frequently.

    14. JediSquirrel*

      Try searching the Minimalist Baker website. She has a lot of no-bake cookie recipes, and many of them are vegan, to boot. She generally uses some sort of natural sweetener.

      1. Mephyle*

        But keep in mind, as noted above, that while natural sweeteners may be healthier in the sense of being less refined, and/or containing extra micronutrients that are missing from white sugar, they are not healthier from a diabetic point of view, because they still contain just as much carbohydrate from their naturally occurring sugars.

  10. Laptop Case*

    Can anyone recommend a strong laptop case? Not a bag to carry the computer in, but one of those snap-on shell kits that comes with a keyboard cover. I’ve purchased two from Bezos, and they both broke within a month. Needs to fit a 15″ MacBook Pro.

    1. WoodswomanWrites*

      A great source for computer accessories is B&H Photo, which ships all over the country. They not only have high-quality products, but also excellent customer service. If you want advice on which of their products to get, they’re available by live chat, phone, and email. When I wasn’t sure what to order, I explained what I was looking for and my price range, and they pointed me to a few options so I could pick the best one. Note that they are closed on Saturdays.

      1. Laptop Case*

        Thank you! I love them for lenses but hadn’t thought to check for laptop stuff. They don’t seem to have anything MacBook compatible at the moment, but I do see a good option for my husband’s laptop, so win!

  11. Blue Koala*

    I have to toot my own horn.

    I have 7 years clean today!

    The last two years have been rough with life and I’m so happy I’ve chosen not to go back out. The site has helped me tremendously during this time.

    I hope everyone has a fantastic Saturday!

    1. anon24*

      Congratulations! This is an amazing achievement. This random internet stranger is so happy for you :)

    2. NoLongerYoungButLotsWiser*

      Woo hoo, internet high five!!! Glad this site is so helpful… just reading has gotten me through some rough months… the AAM family here (hug)

    3. Srah*

      Yasss!!! Go you :):):) hope you have treated yourself to a hot coffee, a new book, watching your favorite show or an intense workout class (or somerhing else) to celebrate!

  12. Antagonist Relations*

    Ask a Manager D&D and RPG fans, I’m advertising the Ask A Manager RPG club again: https://groups.io/g/askamanagerRPGclub

    Everyone’s welcome; whether you’re completely new to the hobby and looking to try for the first time or you’re an experienced player looking for a new online game or just more people to talk tabletop roleplaying games with.

    Come and chat, find an online game, talk about gaming podcasts, ask for playing or game-mastering advice and delve deeper into the RPG hobby.

    The online 5th Edition D&D game that came out of Ask A Manager last year made it through an update of the classic Against the Cult of the Reptile God module and then completed Curse of Strahd. Now, unfortunately, three members of the group are stepping out due to changing life circumstances and we have two openings. We play Saturdays, 11:30am-4pm Central every other Saturday, our next session will be June 22nd, so there is plenty of time to reach out and get set up if you’re interested.

      1. Antagonist Relations*

        I had a friend who was working on an add-on for Dungeon World that would simulate the office politics of working at a business between dungeon delve missions. I could see if he could find that again to send me…

      2. JediSquirrel*

        I would totally go for MTG style cards with “Fergus the Manager” and “Sansa the Office Manager”.

  13. The very long weekend*

    CW: serious mental health issues and self harm
    So yesterday as I was coming home from work I met the police at the door. Apparently my husband called the self-harm helpline and they sent the police to bring him to the hospital. He spent the night there and is waiting for evaluation. Im terrified and tired and upset and also relieved that someone took action and he hopefully will get some help. He has struggled with depression for years but somehow took a serious turn for the worse this week. Please send good vibes.

    1. Marion Q*

      So sorry to hear that. Hopefully your husband will get the help he needs. Good vibes sent!

    2. King Friday XIII*

      That sounds really hard! Please know we’re thinking of you both, and take care of yourself too.

    3. fposte*

      Oh, that is so hard! I’m sorry!

      The good news is your husband called the helpline. He wants to be helped. That is *major*. I want to give him so much recognition and reward for doing that.

      But that doesn’t rid you of the fundamental fear and sadness, and also the hard work you’re going to be doing for a while. As much as you can, please find activities and people that not only help you support your husband but can put you at the center sometimes, too. It will be better for both of you if you can avoid depleting yourself.

      1. Not So NewReader*

        Agreeing with fposte. He called for help. That is huge.

        And building your own support team is important. You do not have to walk alone, there are many good people out there who are willing to be on Team You.

        Many, many good vibes going out to you and Hubby and to those who love and care about you both.

        1. NoLongerYoungButLotsWiser*

          Sending a good vibe email for you from here. Know you are being thought warmly of and wished the best – do take care of yourself, too. (hug)

    4. Observer*

      Whew! Rough stuff.

      Accept all the support you can get. I hope you can find a really strong network. It really helps.

    5. Marion Ravenwood*

      Sending good vibes and Jedi hugs (if you want them) to you and your husband, and hope he gets the help he needs.

    6. Belle di Vedremo*

      Good vibes for both of you. I hope you are calling on Team You for support, and that you are looking at ways to build in support for yourself long term, for yourself and for your ability to partner with and care for him. I’m so glad he called for help.

    7. ValaMalDoran*

      I am sending so many good vibes your way. I have so much empathy for you. I have been, if not exactly where you are, in the same neighborhood: I was eating a bowl of cereal after getting home from work when my cell phone rang. My husband was calling from his therapist’s office, to ask me to drive him to the psychiatric ward, because he was suicidal. Driving away and leaving him at the psych ward was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do, but it where he needed to be. It’s been almost three years now, and while there have been bumps in the road since then, he’s doing much better these days.

      I wish I had magic words to reassure and comfort you. Please take care of yourself during this, and as other commenters have said, reach out for support. Know that you are not alone. This terrible time will not be forever.

    8. TheOtherLiz*

      Good vibes and prayers, too. Having walked with friends through mental illness episodes where they required police and medical interventions, I am praying all went and continues to go smoothly and you keep talking about it, reaching out to your trusted community for support, reassurance, meals, and listening ears.

  14. Grand Admiral Thrawn Is Still Blue*

    My fav auto repair shop got bought out. I had inklings they weren’t nearly as good prior to this morning but things went south rapidly. I was the very first person in the door, but took them an hour to get to me; the assistant manager was rude…. Again… And he’s brand new. The price quotes I had been given were not in the system. Then I hear the tech talking to the assistant manager. Apparently they were told to work on my Honda Fit but got confused and pulled in the Odyssey. Because they are so similar, clearly.

    Then they lost my keys and took awhile to find. Then I lost it – no way I’m letting these people work on my brakes now! I told off the assistant manager and left. ** I didn’t yell or insult him but I was extremely clear about my feelings.

    I have no regrets about scorching earth here. They are horrible. There was also stuff from Tuesday.

    1. WellRed*

      Good for you! That sounds like a comedy of errors, so to speal. Also, I am utterly fascinated by your seemingly random last sentence.

      1. Move Over Thrawn - Florian Munteanu is BIGGER than you!*

        I was fairly dramatic. I turned at the door and spoke in a very loud voice… don’t see how I can return, not that I want to!

    2. T. Boone Pickens*

      Ugh that is the worst. Having a go to auto body shop where you’re treated fairly and you don’t feel like you’re being taken advantage of is such an underrated life perk.

      1. Alice*

        YES! I thought I had one, and I do trust him not to advise unnecessary work, but last time he asked me to pay cash so he can avoid taxes. I don’t like paying taxes either, but I do like have roads and schools and firefighters…. I feel awkward about going back.
        BTW it’s not an informal spare time kind of thing – it’s a business.

    3. Mimmy*

      Niiiiice!!! I wish I had guts like that!

      I’m just curious how you laid it out for him. I’m trying to be more assertive myself when things aren’t going right but always worry I’m going to lose it and say something I’ll regret later.

      1. Move Over Thrawn - Florian Munteanu is BIGGER than you!*

        I am a Southern woman “of a certain age” (47). At this point, things just kind of come out by themselves if I’m mad enough, as I was today. But it’s always good, if you can, to take a moment and decide if you are sure you want to go that route.

    4. buttrue???*

      I don’t know what I would do if my mechanic closed up shop. Daughter in grad school has one of our cars and 2 different places have either done horrid work or more work than they needed too (and of course more money to them) so I have told her from now on take everything to the local dealership.

      1. Move Over Thrawn - Florian Munteanu is BIGGER than you!*

        I have another choice but they are a bit more expensive. They will get my business now, though.

    5. Seeking Second Childhood*

      The place we used for years lost its lease and moved 3 towns east (and in my yard that’s 3 really long towns). While my husband was working out that direction we jumped through hoops to keep going to them, but now it’s just too far. It stinks to lose someone who knows what they’re doingď

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

      I’m sorry this happened. I FINALLY found a good neighborhood shop that has friendly mechanics, doesn’t upsell things I don’t need, seems to do good work, and charges realistic (maybe a little high) prices. It only took me 20 years of driving a car to find a shop I’m satisfied with, and it kind of feels like I hit the lottery… which is almost kind of sad. The owner has been at it for 35 years and is getting on in years, and I’m really hoping the same thing doesn’t happen to me.

      1. I Wrote This in the Bathroom*

        I had a shop like this in walking distance from my house. Then the owner (who is also getting on in years) started appearing in the shop less and less often, and was having one of his senior employees run things. And the senior employee turned out to be, to put it mildly, not as customer-centric as the old owner! I left that shop a year ago, after six months of back and forth with them over my broken AC that was leaking freon. Found a shop that is just as good and charges less, but it’s an hour away, so I can only use it for extreme emergencies (the new shop did fix my AC). I told everyone I knew about New Shop, and also warned them that Old Shop was no good anymore and to take their cars elsewhere… But it really sucks not having a reliable mechanic close to home as I used to. It really is like hitting the lottery.

  15. Parenthetically*

    My folks and my husband’s dad are coming for a nice long visit starting next Tuesday. I’m really excited for us all to get to spend time together. We all get along really well and it’ll be good to help mom and dad start getting settled in their new place — they’re moving close to us in a few months.

    I swear the tension in my body just melts away on June 1. I love summer even though I don’t love heat or humidity — it’s the light. Absolutely love long days and long light evenings.

    1. Falling Diphthong*

      I just sent off the project I thought I would finish Tuesday or Wednesday, preparatory to going on vacation next week, and all the tension is melting out at last.

    2. fposte*

      That sounds really lovely, and how nice for you that people you love and enjoy are moving closer to you.

    3. Nervous Nellie*

      If I may say, it is a refreshing & lovely piece of news that you have parents and an in-law who enjoy each other, whom you enjoy, and whose visits & permanent moves you are anticipating. I had to read your note a couple of times to absorb that you were just announcing happy news, and not asking for suggestions about navigating family tensions. How rare that is! I don’t think I have seen a family comment as positive as yours in years.

      My mother and now-departed MIL declared open war with each other, and the anxiety/madness/judgement world my family lives in made, and still makes any kind of détente with anyone impossible. If my folks announced that they were moving closer to me, I would have some hard decisions to make. I would not rule out joining the circus.

      Your comment was a cheery & positive note to me that family peace is not only possible, but thrives in some homes. Enjoy that, and delight in your awesome family! And yes to the sunshine! It works the same magic on me. :)

      1. Parenthetically*

        Thanks for this! We certainly do have our issues, all of us, but yes — I definitely recognize what a blessing it is to have a basically good, solid, healthy relationship with my family.

  16. Lucette Kensack*

    For the past year or so, my husband and I have been thinking about selling our house and buying a condo. We’ve looked at about a dozen places and made offers on two. Both fell through because of the contingency of selling our house.

    (The second one is actually in the process of falling through right now; the sellers got annon-contingent offer and called our contingency less than 18 hours after signing our purchase agreement, so we rushed our house onto the market in 24 hours. We’ve gotten one offer that won’t resolve in time for the condo sale to go through, so unless we get a good offer in the next 24 hours or so we’ll lose this condo too.)

    So now we just feel… stuck. My husband isn’t willing to sell the house before we find something we want to buy (he doesn’t want to live temporarily in an apartment while we wait for something we are excited about to come on the market). It seems like, in our current market, carrying the contingency of needing to sell our house is going to get in the way of most deals (multiple offers, etc.).

    So… what’s left? Stay in the house that we’re not happy with? Spend money on the house to make it something we’re happy with (but some of the things we’re not happy with are unresolvable — it’s bigger than we need, it’s a 100-year-old house that will constantly need a lot of maintenance, there are tens of thousands of dollars of necessary repairs/updates coming in the next few years — mandatory things like replacing the roof and the HVAC and etc.).

    I feel frustrated with my husband because he seems closed off to the two obvious-to-me answers: sell now and wait until we find something we’re excited about, or commit to this house and pour some money into liking it more than we do. But I’m sure he could say the same thing about me (I don’t want to, say, buy a condo I’m not thrilled about to avoid having to temporarily stay in an apartment; I’m also much pickier, so while I’ve only liked 2 of the 12ish condos we’ve looked at he would have been willing to make offers on like 8 of them).

    Now we’re sitting in our carefully staged living room staring at our phones and feeling crappy. (And I feel angry with him, but he’s nicer than me so he probably isn’t radiating frustration in my direction in the same way.)

    Ugh, this is crummy.

    1. MOAS*

      If its too big is it possible to convert in to a multi family home and rent out portions?

    2. RemingtonTypeType*

      That’s a tough spot to be in! You could list your home and if you do get an offer just ask for a long closing or to rent it back for a bit. I know it’s not guaranteed, but it might be just enough to settle your husband’s mind.

    3. WellRed*

      I think you posted before about your house buying difficulties? I thought then, and even moreso upon reading this post, that it doesn’t sound like your husband wants to move, but maybe he’s like this in other aspects of life.

      1. Lucette Kensack*

        I don’t think I’ve posted about this before, but I could definitely be remembering wrong.

        My husband definitely wants to move; he’s the primary catalyst.

        1. valentine*

          It’s like a sitcom where the husband doesn’t want to go to Aruba because it’s too hot, but gets ahead of the message by surprising the wife that he is totally, radically thrilled to take her to Aruba as soon as x, y, and z occur, because at least two will never happen, so he’s safe. Of course, freak occurrences cause all three, so she’s thrilled and he’s despondent.

          I don’t get why he’d rather buy something you don’t love and possibly be regretful and stuck, than rent something temporary. Maybe you can sell him on renting a condo?

    4. I'm a Little Teapot*

      Are you sure he wants to move? Because that kinda sounds like he secretly doesn’t want to sell.

      1. Falling Diphthong*

        I have been that spouse thinking “Wait… I don’t even want to move. So why am I trying to talk you into it while you cynically dismiss options as no-doubt doomed?” Which is why we are still in the same house.

        If you’re simultaneously the person driving the move and the person who is pickier about the new place, this is probably going to devolve mostly to you to fix. Because your spouse can always deploy the “Fine, let’s stay here” card.

        1. Lucette Kensack*

          This is so interesting, that several people have the impression that my husband secretly doesn’t want to move! It’s worth examining and talking about with him, but I suspect that impression is coming more from my description and tone than from his actual behavior. He absolutely wants to move; he’s been the driver of this whole process.

          1. WellRed*

            I think our reaction is that he sounds like he’s put up some pretty big roadblocks, especially if you are in a hot market.

    5. Brandy*

      How long would it take to get to a financial point where you could buy without contingency? Could you get a bridge loan or pull equity from the house in a Home equity loan to fund the purchase? And if not, could you save aggressively until you can?

      I do agree that it sounds like your husband isn’t quite interested in selling.

      1. Newbie*

        How about renting a townhouse/ condo for a year (or 6 months)? There are plenty of options in my area. You can “test drive” townhouse living for a period of time while you are looking for your new more permanent place.

      2. Lucette Kensack*

        We actually could qualify to buy without the contingency! We just aren’t willing to risk carrying two mortgages.

        1. Nye*

          My brother and his partner did this – bought a second home and then sold their first. They loved the new house (on a pond!) and would have lost it with a contingency clause. They were sweating for a couple months while paying both mortgages, but didn’t have to wait long to sell their first house. My brother was fine taking a reasonable offer without waiting for the best possible, which helped expedite things, I think.

          Depending on your housing market, being willing to buy without a contingency clause might let you wait for something you really like and have a good shot at getting it. It’d be more expensive, but if you can afford it, it might be a worthwhile compromise to get something you like without having to move temporarily.

    6. Falling Diphthong*

      If you don’t have pets or kids at home, then I am inclined to your solution in some perfect world where short-term at-will rentals are easy to arrange. With the big BUT that it does start a ticking clock where you have to close on the new house within a year for the taxes to be “person moving” rather than “person who invests in real estate.” S