weekend open thread – March 13-14, 2021

This comment section is open for any non-work-related discussion you’d like to have with other readers, by popular demand.

Here are the rules for the weekend posts.

Book recommendation of the week: The Mystery of Mrs. Christie, by Marie Benedict. In 1926, the real Agatha Christie disappeared for 11 days, claiming on her return that she didn’t know where she had been. This is a fictional explanation for what might have happened, involving her faithless husband and an excellent mystery.

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

{ 1,261 comments… read them below }

  1. Ask a Manager* Post author

    Hello! A reminder about the weekend rules: Comments should ask questions and/or seek to discuss ideas. Recommendations or an update or two on things you received advice about in the past are also fine. But please, no venting without a desire for advice and no “here’s an update on my life” personal-blog-style posts. Full rules are here. Thank you!

  2. CatCat*

    What are some fun or interesting online courses you have enjoyed?

    I’m looking to expand my horizons a bit and fill some of my free time with something other than watching TV and movies. I’m open to any subjects!

    1. All Hail Queen Sally*

      In a couple of weeks I will attend a Zoom class on the history of postcards presented by a local company that offers all kinds of classes/lectures. I have always enjoyed sending and receiving postcards and a couple of years ago found a website (postcrossing dot com) that facilitates postcard exchanges between people all over the world. Just today I wrote one to Singapore and one to England. It’s a great way to learn about the world and I love being surprised by postcards in my mail. (You never know when you will receive one.)

      1. Something Blue*

        Would you mind sharing who’s hosting the postcard class? That sounds interesting!

        1. More Pizza*

          I’d also be interested in this. I also found postcrossing during this pandemic but I haven’t participated yet so it was cool to hear you’ve had a good experience.

          1. Heartlover1717*

            I just started POSTCROSSING in March – I’ve really enjoyed it so far. Recommend reading ALL of the FAQs.

    2. a duchess in oz*

      I’m doing a (paid) course with Oxford Uni on Tudor history, which I adore. They have lots of topics that may interest you as short courses! All online, and no zoom classes that may pose a difficulty with time differences.

      In Australia, COVID restrictions are significantly looser thanks to previous strict lockdowns stemming our cases, so we also have the ability to attend in person classes. I’m signed up for some spanish refresher classes and am looking at dance classes. A friend of mine in Tasmania is also doing Pilates trainer courses online while on maternity leave.

    3. Asenath*

      I’m doing one on Biblical studies (although that’s an ongoing interest), a class every few months on Victorian material culture (basically, each time two or three people pick an item and talk about it – it can be anything from a scrapbook to an article of clothing) and a sporadic one on assorted topics. So far, I’ve done one by hobby photographers, a rather depressing one on a period of World War II and there’s a St. Patrick’s Day concert coming up. I’ve attended other concerts too, and have a couple of exercise sites marked that I sometimes try.

    4. Loopy*

      How interactive are you thinking? I’ve actually never gotten one but my dad loves The Great Courses. They have literally *everything* you can think of, taught either by college professors or experts in the field. I’ve bought him history ones, usually WWII or US history. I’ve also gifted Tudors courses to friends, and biblical ones for those who are more religious. They also have courses on things like photography, gardening, and debating. The drawback is it’s obviously not live and doesn’t come with any online communication or assignments. It’s just informative. So definitely not an interactive course!

      I know this isn’t a subject recommendation but I think they are going to be having a spring sale in a week or two and it’s a great website to get ideas on! The best part are there are what seem like really honest reviews of each course.

      1. Chauncy Gardener*

        +100 on The Great Courses. I’ve done one on medieval history through the Fall of the Roman Empire. SO good.
        Also love the Cornell School of Ornithology
        You can also do volunteer work remotely with the Smithsonian doing Transcription services. It can be really neat transcribing old diaries, field notes or whatever!

        1. Asenath*

          Als0 along these lines – google zooniverse for a wide range of projects you can participate in online – transcribing all kinds of documents in different areas, checking photos from photo traps and identifying what, if any, animal is pictures and so on.

      2. Lilith*

        Another supporter of the Great Courses! We got some of the history/archeology and art analysis DVDs for my parents and they’ve found them really engaging and interesting.

        At one point my parents were really interested in a specific bit of art that had been used to create the set dressing, so they emailed the Great Courses people to ask more details, they passed that email on to the professor doing the course, who then asked the set designer about it then sent my parents back a really detailed answer. This is the only interaction they had, but the fact that everyone was so helpful and went out of their way mean I have a really high opinion of all the Great Courses stuff.

    5. Purplerug*

      Not a class but a lot of european cities are doing online virtual guided walking tours and I’m really enjoying them. It feels like a better use of my time than Netflix, or at least that’s what I tell myself.

      1. Bluebell*

        Similar to Purplerug, I’ve done Girl Travel Tours on FB live (which isn’t solely for girls, though she used to run tours for Girl Scouts), quite a few AirBnb experiences on street art, and quite a few lectures with New York Adventure Club, either focusing on specific neighborhoods and their history, or on art. Sometimes I will go with a friend and we text side notes.

    6. Hi there*

      I am doing one on owls from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. I find looking at the bird pictures super-relaxing and am really taking my time with the course. Thanks for asking this question, the responses are so interesting!

    7. Alex*

      If you’re looking for something that will really work your brain (and you aren’t already a computer programmer obvs), I’d recommend Introduction to Computer Science and Programming Using Python, available for free on edx from MIT. It has specific start and end times so you have to figure out when the next one starts, but it is VERY good.

      1. Sweet Sunny*

        Would a person be able to learn Python on an iPad? Or a MacBook Air? I don’t have a desktop computer but would love to take this course. If a desktop is necessary, could it be an Apple product?

        1. Pond*

          Using an Apple laptop (ex MacBook Air) should be fine. I wouldn’t recommend trying to use an iPad (or any tablet).
          ~someone who has done a tiny amount of computer programming and python courses

        2. HD*

          Macs are a good choice for this. They usually have some version of Python installed already, and you can always upgrade it if you need to.

      2. I take tea*

        This reminds me that I’ve heard a lot of good about the MOOC Elements of AI. I haven’t taken it yet, it’s on my to do list, but it’s supposed to be a good introduction to AI and what it means to our everyday life. Good knowledge to have.

    8. Homophone Hatty*

      I’ve been doing fluency classes in my second language, through one of the local continuing ed colleges. Small class of fewer than ten students and we mostly do speaking with each other. Zoom is actually ideally suited to the format.

    9. Clisby*

      This kind of thing wouldn’t be available to everyone, but I currently audit regular classes at the College of Charleston (SC) as part of a tuition-free deal for people 60 and over. Mostly art history so far. (Post-pandemic, a lot of these classes won’t be available online, but right now most are.)

    10. Pond*

      You said “other than TV and movies” so this probably isn’t what you’re looking for, but for anyone else interested – there’s a streaming service called Curiosity Stream that has lots of interesting, informative content. Most of it is documentaries about everything from the life of an otter to living in Antarctica year round (really beautiful filmography) to the catacombs of Paris to biographies to advances in modern medicine to current politics to future technology.

      1. Pond*

        (I am not affiliated with Curiosity Stream) but I really like it for when I’m too tired to put effort into doing anything, but still want to learn while I relax as opposed to being maybe entertained but not interested intellectually by watching Netflix/YouTube/etc.

        1. TardyTardis*

          I bagged a special on FB where I signed up for $12 for the year. Probably a little more expensive now.

    11. Blomma*

      I’m taking a Swedish language class on Zoom through a cultural club. I’ve always wanted to learn the language for family reasons, but it’s tricky to find classes. In the before times, this club only had classes in person which were too far away for me to participate, but they switched to Zoom due to the pandemic.

    12. Janet Rosen*

      Sktchy school runs a bunch of 30 day drawing faces challenges – I have done several since last April – fellow students range from total beginners through professional art teachers and it’s 100% supportive.

    13. Pippa K*

      Local organisations can be good for this. I did a month-long gardening course with a food-related community organisation. It was taught by a local organic farmer and had several live Zoom sessions, culminating in a farm visit. It was great, and the (fairly low) fee went to support an organisation that does good work, so it’s a win-win.

    14. Enter_the_Dragonfly*

      I have had the best time doing zoom geometric art classes through Art of Islamic Pattern ( https://artofislamicpattern.com/#/0 ). If art and bringing order to chaos is something you enjoy, they’re PERFECT. I also couldn’t believe how affordable they were, especially if you buy recordings instead of live classes.
      P. S. I am noting down so many of these ideas.

    15. Girasol*

      I’m taking Natural History Illustration 101 via EDX from University of Newcastle in Australia. I am clearly not the next Audubon but I’m enjoying it immensely. They’ve done great drawing lessons and plant and animal anatomy to get us started. The lessons are short but full of info and there’s a drawing due every week. If you like being outside it’s wonderful.

    16. Jammy Leather*

      Hello! I’d highly recommend the altMBA, from Akimbo. Their suite of workshops are fantastic but the altMBA is what they’re known internationally for. Note that I said workshop, not course – Akimbo is known for highly interactive and student-led material. Don’t expect a cruise ride! Check out their website to see if it fits what you’re after – the altMBA is very hard to describe.

    17. Rara Avis*

      I’ve taken some on Future Learn: Hadrian’s Wall, The Archaeology of Portus, Shipwrecks and Submerged Worlds, Health and Wellbeing in the Ancient World. (They have lots of other fields — this list is just how my enthusiams skew.)

  3. Detective Rosa Diaz*

    A very specific parenting question:
    My foster son (11mos., 9 kg) has started sleeping on his belly, which is asphyxiation safe BUT it means he has a wet romper by morning.
    I already tried putting him in one size up diapers at night (3 during the day; 4+ at night; Baby Dry) but it didn’t make any difference. Help??

    (Fully/only washable is great but not for us.)

    1. Sparkly Librarian*

      There are “Sposie” doublers that you can place inside the diaper for more absorbency in the wet zone. You might want to size up the pajamas to avoid putting pressure on the diaper (this can cause liquid to be absorbed into the fabric versus the diaper if he floods a lot at once). Use fleece pjs for a stay-dry feel. Try layering the crib sheets with a waterproof mat in between, if it’s getting beyond the pjs.

    2. Legalchef*

      Sposiew are supposed to be good. Another option might be a “dream change”? Ie before you go to bed yourself, you gently take him from the crib and do a quick diaper change in the dark.

        1. Detective Rosa Diaz*

          Love that term! Did one last night but it made no difference and woke him up – I think the flooding mostly happens later in the night :/ will look into the inserts; not sure if they are available in my area but Google to the rescue!

      1. Generic Name*

        Mother of a boy (now 14!), and yes, make sure his penis is pointing down into the diaper.

    3. Natalie*

      Definitely look for a doubler or insert. I think some cloth diaperers will just double up the diaper if you can make it fit.

      In the disposable area, we use night diapers, which are basically just a diaper with extra absorbency material in them. I seem to recall you’re not in the US but if those are available in your area you might give them a try too.

    4. 30ish*

      I have a son of a similar age and weight and had to do a diaper change at night for a while. Now it stopped being necessary because he drinks less at night.

    5. Disco Janet*

      Have you tried any other brands? One of my sons was pee through the Huggies nighttime diapers, but the Pampers Swaddlers nighttime ones worked just fine. With the next kid, it flipped.

      1. PostalMixup*

        This. We used Target store brand diapers with my daughter, but they leaked at night, so we used Huggies Snug n Dry.

      2. Belle*

        We found the Pampers overnights cured this issue for us. Plus making sure the penis was pointing down. No more soaked clothes or sheets once we started using them. We get them in bulk through Amazon

    6. Nerdgal*

      This isn’t exactly what you asked, but if you are not already doing this,, make up the crib with 2 complete sets of sheets with waterproof sheets in between and on top. If baby wakes up wet in the middle of the night just remove top layer. A folded up cloth diaper inside the front of the disposable diaper is another idea.

    7. CaliUKexpat*

      A tip that went around when my son was little, put the diaper on backwards. There’s more diaper on the bum part, so the increase in acreage at the front can often help

  4. I been hangin' around this town on the corner*

    Question: how much dog barking should I be expected to tolerate while living in an apartment building?

    Someone new moved into the apartment next to mine this week and they have a dog. This dog barks a couple times an hour during the day and goes absolutely crazy anytime I enter or exit my unit (our units mirror so our doors are right next to each other). I understand he’s adjusting to a new home and it’s stressful for him, but…. he’s stressing out my cat and she’s taking it out on my furniture. For now I’m just trying to manage her stress while he adjusts, but I don’t know what’s normal. I used to live above a Great Dane at my old building and never heard a peep out of him, so this just feels truly excessive.

    1. Jenn Mercer*

      The smaller the dog, the more barking so you may have been spoiled a bit. It might help if you can get a (masked, socially distant, etc) intro from the dog’s people, along with pooch’s name. Then, when dog barks at your presence, say, Hey, Wiggles, it’s just me. Some dogs are just going to bark, but if pup is receptive, this works well.

      1. a duchess in oz*

        Seconding this. While my dog never barked at people (as a puppy on acreage, she reserved barking for informing us there was a plane overhead), when we moved into town she panicked every time the doorbell rang. (For context, she’s a rescue and would dissolve into shakes and crying while hiding in her kennel.) A trainer suggested that we get her to sit by the front door, listen to the doorbell and hear people she actually knew say “it’s just me!” It took a while, but she now is supremely unbothered by the doorbell, as she pretty much assumes it’s someone she trusts or her family trusts.

      2. WoodswomanWrites*

        I’m curious about your comment about smaller dogs barking more. Can you elaborate on that? My neighbor’s small dog barks when doors open and close in the building. It’s not excessive but you’ve got me wondering about that barking connection with smaller dogs.

        1. Turtlewings*

          In my experience, small dogs feel threatened more easily (logically enough, really) and tend to have more energy, so they react more to things.

    2. English, not American*

      A couple of times an hour is excessive, but it usually takes a couple of weeks for a dog to adjust so it may well calm down. The barking when you leave or enter is much less likely to stop on its own, to a territorial dog that’s a major trigger that probably gets reinforced every time you don’t enter the neighbour’s house.

      1. Flower necklace*

        I agree that the barking during entering/exiting probably won’t stop. There is a dog that lives across the hall from me that’s mostly quiet, but he goes nuts any time he hears someone at a door. It’s so loud that, one time, someone from maintenance came and called me to make sure the dog was locked up. He was barking so loudly that they thought it was in my apartment.

    3. Mila*

      The dog may learn you’re a neighbor! My dog barks when he hears strangers in our hallway but not when he hears neighbors.

    4. Foreign Octopus*

      I think if this is still continuing in about three weeks then you’ll see that it’ll be a long-term problem that you should talk to the owner about. Right now, like you said, he’s adjusting to a new home and all the new noises. I agree with the suggestion of using a Feliway diffuser or spray for the time being for your cat along with extra cuddles. Also, how big is the dog? Generally smaller ones are yappier than something like a Great Dane.

    5. Dan*

      To your question about how much barking to tolerate… if it’s upsetting your cat, that’s certainly too much.

      I rent an apartment and own a small dog. I’ve had the apartment *and* the dog for ten years. Mine hardly barks (atypical for the breed, no doubt). My neighbor of five years had a pit mix, I don’t think I ever heard her while in my own apartment. New guy (replaced neighbor with the pit) has some kind of Boston terrier or something that I can hear from time to time while in my own unit. It’s not loud enough to actually bother me (and it doesn’t seem to bother my dog) so I let it go. Although, if I complained about it, I’m pretty sure I’m on solid ground.

      The only time I ever complained was about a neighbor across the courtyard who’s dog barked for like three hours non stop. And I could still here it in my unit with the patio doors and windows closed. (If *I* could hear it, heaven help the people in that building.)

    6. dog commiseration*

      I don’t have an answer, but I can commiserate –– there are days when the dogs (plural) below me bark a couple times an hour, plus growl at each other / play loudly with each other to boot, and I hear them STRAIGHT THRU my floors and a pair of headphones.

      So, yeah. Solidarity.

  5. Laura H.*

    Little Joys Thread

    What brought you Joy this week.

    Weirdly enough it’s that I got my annual blood work done (after it was postponed due to that cold snap) and most everything is in normal ranges or holding steady. (My genetics aren’t quite in favor of good cholesterol numbers). And hopefully the one thing that spiked is explained when I go in on Wednesday for the follow up.

    Also had a few wonderful slices of pizza yesterday with some good music too.

    Please share your joys.

      1. fposte*

        I think I know what you were trying to type, and as a Crohn’s patient I would cheer at not having to have a corn oska P for ten years! But I do love the typo and may use it in speaking in future.

    1. a duchess in oz*

      I’ve had a week of my brain being a pain (just a lot of anxiety over the future), so today I decided to set off on a drive and just do what I wanted to do. I visited so many bookstores and laid in the sun reading for an afternoon.

    2. I take tea*

      A walk in the woods a sunny day, the sun on the snow made it sparkle like diamonds. (Or maybe like a certain kind of vampire?) It was so beautiful it almost gave me a heartache. Very happy to be able to live so near nature that it’s something I can see on a normal morning walk.

      1. Elizabeth West*

        That’s so cool when that happens. One time, I was outside when it was snowing very fine flakes and the sun was out and it looked as if it were raining glitter.

    3. The Other Dawn*

      I got cortisone shots in both hips last week. It appears they’re fully effective because I was able to stop taking *massive* doses of Tylenol (gastric bypass so no NSAIDs and Tylenol is mostly ineffective these days) and do a really tough workout with my trainer this week with zero hip pain. Felt it in my glutes for a few days, but I’ll take that over hip bursitis!

    4. Loopy*

      I am in the southern US and we are having our short (but beautiful) spring weather window. After almost ten years of being here, I understand that it is a very finite window of enjoyable warmth before oppressive heat so I’m super pumped to enjoy it before summer starts.

      1. Whynot*

        Oh, I hear this! Been in TX for 6 years now and still haven’t got used to dreading summer, but spring is lovely!

    5. SaraV*

      An unexpected invite to become a moderator on an internet forum that I’ve been a part of for 8.5 years as the forum is growing and they needed to add more. Feels good that they thought of me to ask.
      (Of course I said yes)

    6. Purplerug*

      I visited a mortgage broker and she was such a lovely person we ended up having a full hour-long conversation about our life stories, our lives/loves etc. She was a real ‘good egg’ and it was the best hour outside the house I’ve had in ages. I’m not proceeding with a mortgage at the moment because I haven’t found a place I want to buy yet but it was a great appointment.

    7. Hotdog not dog*

      I had two high points just yesterday. My senior dog had surgery on Tuesday to remove a tumor and was understandably not himself on Wednesday or Thursday, but on Friday he was feeling his oats and wanted to go for a nice walk around our property. Point two was the beautiful weather, so we both thoroughly enjoyed our stroll! Although even if the weather were terrible I would have still been thrilled just because my dog was feeling better, the gorgeous day really highlighted my mood.

    8. pancakes*

      I got my first shot of the vaccine on Monday and it couldn’t have gone better. I was dreading the Javits Center, having not been there since the bar exam, which was two days of misery I try not to think about. I came prepared for lots and lots of waiting with plenty of reading material and dressed in layers, but everything moved briskly. There was even live classical music, a trio playing in the observation area where you sit for 15 minutes after the shot.

      1. Potatoes gonna potate*

        The classical music sounds really nice. Mine was at a large convention center as well, and I set aside pretty much 4-5 hours. Surprisingly both times were very quick and I was in and out in under one hour. Everyone was super polite and helpful as well. There was a lot of military personnel there doing the check ins and having us sign the intake sheets – did yours have that as well?

        1. pancakes*

          Sorry for delayed reply but yes, there were lots of National Guard. I visited two desks: one for the initial check-in, then a second medical one, on account of being eligible due to a preexisting condition. My doctor’s office made it easy to print out paperwork showing my diagnosis, so that went smoothly.

      2. Mimmy*

        I too got my first vaccine this week. Different location but I was prepared for a long wait and confusion, but I was pleasantly surprised at how smooth everything went.

        1. nep*

          Great news.
          Nice to “see” you, Mimmy. Was thinking about you yesterday while browsing the thread. Hope you’re well.

    9. Miss Pantalones En Fuego*

      Got my first covid shot yesterday. I was a bit surprised to get the call but I qualify so I got it. It gave me an excuse to walk to a different neighbourhood and a bigger supermarket while I was there, which was a nice novelty.

    10. the cat's ass*

      My daughter got a really good report card for the quarter, and I’m getting a haircut today for the first time in 6 months !

    11. Scout Finch*

      Rediscovering Patty Griffin’s “When It Don’t Come Easy” (looks like from Austin City Limits) and listening to it about 78 times. youtube (dot) com/watch?v=z5t6b-G172M Such a song of love & devotion. Also a version out there from the Artists Den in NYC – that video is too choppy for me, but has Ian McLagen (from the Faces/Small Faces) on piano.

      I binge music like others binge Netflix.

    12. GoryDetails*

      The recent warm weather in New England has resulted in the melting of most of the remaining ice-and-snowdrifts – and revealed a lovely crop of snowdrops under my witch hazel tree!

    13. Mary Berry*

      Spouse is scheduled to receive a vaccine next week! He has been teaching in person 5 days a week since August so this is a big relief.

    14. Bluebell*

      Crocuses opening in the front yard, and for the first time in 25 years of marriage, spouse and I have matching nightstands.

    15. Filosofickle*

      I had a somewhat disappointing birthday (more than just covid). It’s silly, but of the small bummers is I didn’t have birthday cake! (My partner is…not one to think about these things.) I told one of best friends about it and she ordered the perfect cake delivered to me. It’s delicious!

    16. Elle Woods*

      My dad got his second round of the covid vaccine this week meaning both he and my mom are fully vaccinated. Hopeful I’ll be able to get vaccinated soon.

    17. Oxford Comma*

      It’s been super cold this winter, but we had a really nice day on Thursday and I was able to go outside and take a walk in the sunshine. I can’t tell you how good that felt.

    18. OyHiOh*

      My partner and I had a double date with mutual friends this week. Three out of four of us are vax’d, restaurant is staged for 50% capacity but was seated at about 30% capacity the night we met, all appropriate COVID precautions in place. It’s been fifteen months since my partner and I had opportunity to dress up a little for an evening. It was lovely.

    19. WoodswomanWrites*

      Where I live there’s an uncommon wildflower, baby blue eyes, that blooms in a short window in spring. I saw a single flower about the size of a dime managing to peek out between rocks right in the middle of the trail, a little gem.

      1. Janet Rosen*

        OMG I love baby blue eyes. They are native to Calif but not this immediate area so every few years I plant some seeds in the backyard along with native blue flax and tidy tips. I hope you find more!!!

        1. WoodswomanWrites*

          Your garden sounds beautiful and I like tidy tips as well. I actually am taking a hike tomorrow (Sunday) that I chose specifically because it’s got the largest show of baby blue eyes in my area that I know of. We’ll see if they’re blooming yet.

    20. Llama face!*

      Okay this is actually a BIG joy but I’m sharing anyway: My sibling just gave birth to her second child this morning ( a few days early) so now I am the proud auntie of both a nephew and a niece! I’m so thrilled!

      1. comityoferrors*

        OMG! What an incredible catch. I’m tickled every time I see Cooper’s hawks (super common here)…I would lose it if I saw an eagle. Lucky you!

    21. Sleeping Late Every Day*

      I saw my first daffodils of the season today, plus a few Forsythia bushes are turning yellow. What more could a person want?
      Oh, and I got my first Covid vaccine today.

      1. Zelda*

        Here in northern Illinois, the crocuses in my lawn have revved up and hit full speed in the last day or so. The area to one side of my driveway is one solid SHOUT of purple! A few more delicate shadings of white and pale lavender on the ones in the backyard. It’s not spring yet, but we have that one assurance that winter is not forever.

    22. Seeking Second Childhood*

      I realize that my work has finally paid off — I read an article on a French website and understood it all.

    23. Never Nicky*

      I’ve got trays of seeds on my south facing window sills and I have been ridiculously excited watching the seedlings sprout and unfurl – and how different they all are.

      Now to get them from seedlings to plants…

    24. Do I need to address this?*

      Yesterday was my daughter’s 7th birthday. After last year getting canceled due to Corona and the previous year getting canceled due to her getting the flu she finally had an awesome birthday.
      We were able to take her to the zoo and arranged a virtual animal encounter and her grandfather, who we haven’t seen her in person in over a year, felt safe enough to visit us for the weekend. (Hubby and I are essential workers and granddad is over 65 so all adults involved had been COVID vaccinated)
      We topped it all off with takeout from her favorite local restaurant and a homemade chocolate cake.

    25. HannahS*

      Major shopping wins:
      I sew as a hobby. There’s this one fabric, very much “the one that got away,” a beautiful Liberty of London print from nearly a decade ago, that I didn’t buy because I didn’t feel that my skills merited such expensive fabric. Well. It’s not made anymore (it’s Penrose, in the coral/green colourway). Every so often, I scour the internet for it, and honestly, I’d pay just about anything for it. I happened to find an Etsy seller in Japan who was selling small pieces of it (I had missed it before because she was calling the print “Pen Rose” instead of “Penrose,” so I was missing it in my searches). I messaged her asking for yardage, and while she initially offered me a meter (all she had left), today she wrote back to me saying she actually has 1.5 meters! It’s so silly, but it made me ridiculously happy.
      I don’t spend much on consumer goods and basically require an intervention every time I need new shoes, but when I told my husband about it, he said, “You should buy it. No, actually, I INSIST that you buy it.” Ah, what a man!
      I also was piddling around on Facebook marketplace (cheap baby clothes galore!) and found someone selling a treadle Singer sewing machine for $25. We’ll see if it’s still available, but I’ve wanted one forever. They make awesome end-tables! I love the wrought iron.

    26. Puppy!*

      Right now. Lounging on a couch in the back screen porch. 55 degrees, wrapped a blanket. Reading the weekend thread, puppy sleeping sprawled on my legs sipping a warmt mug of assam with milk.

    27. Voluptuousfire*

      Bought myself two Starbucks branded double walled tumblers with straws and mad myself iced lattes this week. I also discovered Cafe Bustelo makes a decaf instant espresso powder, which makes me so happy!

      Too much caffeine makes me feel hungry, so decaf is much better. I’m so happy that I can make myself my iced lattes in the afternoons. During the spring/summer I’d go to the coffee shop a few times a week and get an iced drink as my treat but haven’t been to a coffee shop since 2019 and realize how much I missed this.

      I’m also going to try my hand at making decaf cold brew.

    28. comityoferrors*

      I bought a new, bigger fridge!! This was one of my New Year’s resolutions. I live with my partner and his brother. We quickly learned that our fridge is not big enough to support us cooking, especially because our household has one organic hippie vegan, one carnivore who is suspicious of veggies, and my partner who will happily eat anything because he hates cooking (so his brother and I make extra portions for him). His brother and I both love to cook but have very limited space for ingredients and leftovers in our fridge, and it’s really thrown off my diet.

      The new fridge will be delivered tomorrow, which is conveniently a day I had already taken off work. I can’t wait. It feels like Christmas.

      I also ordered a bunch of stuff to tame our pantry (can organizers! shelf risers! beautiful airtight glass containers!) and I’m so stoked to get a system in place. By Tuesday, it’ll be impossible to pry me out of my beautiful organized kitchen!

      1. Quiet Liberal*

        This is exactly what I long to do! I so want my kitchen to be super organized. It’s small, but I can see possibilities. I’ve been salivating over organization bins and racks and lazy susans on Amazon. You have given me the push to get that project underway. Going to measure cabinets now. :)

  6. nnn*

    Can anyone recommend a corded computer mouse that’s ergonomically comparable to the (now-discontinued) Logitech Performance MX? My region’s still in lockdown, so going into an actual physical store and seeing how a bunch of mice fit in my hand is a no-go, and my attempts to find a replacement through online shopping have been unsuccessful.

    I think the specific fit issues involved are long hands, palm grip, and the need to tilt my wrist slightly to the right in the way that a right-handed mouse allows for but an ambidextrous mouse doesn’t. But the only actual data point I have is that the Logitech Performance MX meets my ergonomic needs.

    My use includes gaming, but I’ve been content without a purpose-built gaming mouse so far. Price is not a decision factor.

    (I know this is an oddly specific question, but this hivemind is often good at oddly specific.)

    1. PollyQ*

      Have you checked your region’s eBay, or perhaps a different region’s? I found a number of mice on the US site under that name.

      1. nnn*

        Unfortunately, it’s been discontinued for long enough that the ones on ebay tend to be used, so they wear out to a point where they aren’t responsive enough for my gaming needs unworkably quickly. I’ve gone through four ebay Performance MXs in the past year, so I think it’s time to try something else.

    2. Red Reader the Adulting Fairy*

      At a quick look, it seems that there’s a lot of similarly shaped mice available, but they’re all wireless. Is that a point you have any flex on, or not so much?

      1. nnn*

        I’m really hoping for corded. Sometimes the wireless ones are less responsive than I need for my gaming needs and I never have that problem with corded, I just haven’t been able to find the combination of corded and ergonomic.

        1. Red Reader the Adulting Fairy*

          I figured. I haven’t had any trouble with gaming wireless, but I’m not doing anything high end or that other people depend on me for, so if the latency has ever been a problem I haven’t noticed. Good luck!

    3. WoodswomanWrites*

      I’m posting late but in case it’s helpful, have you tried a corded trackball mouse? My ergonomic issues have completely resolved since I started using the Logitech Trackman Marble 910-000806 Optical Mouse. I’ve had mine for many years and it’s still going strong. Also, it’s got an ambidextrous design so you can switch hands.

    4. Gatomon*

      Rtings dot com has really in depth reviews for mice, but there is a limit of 3 full reviews unless you subscribe. But if you can narrow it down to a candidate or two that may be okay. They provide yes/no ratings based size of your hand and type of mouse grip, there’s a table you can view that shouldn’t be paywalled that may point you in the right direction.

  7. Maxie*

    I’m looking for ideas for a good way to store old magazines. I have over 100 magazines I’ve saved over the years, but very limited storage/closet space. The magazines are currently in stacks in a closet, and I need a neat and organized way to pack them up and store them safely. I would appreciate any helpful or creative suggestions you may have. Thanks!

    1. All Hail Queen Sally*

      I too keep lots of magazines and find the best storage system that works for me are the cardboard magazine files that holds a year’s worth upright. I keep them in bookcases which makes them look very orderly.

      1. Elizabeth West*

        I third it. Before I moved and did a massive purge, I had these for my dolls house magazines. I kept those but I got rid of the files; they’re cheap so I can always replace them later. Plus you can cover them with fabric or contact paper a la Pinterest and make them look pretty.

      2. Firecat*

        And if you don’t have bookshelf space putting these on top of drawers is a great sound barrier between walls.

    2. Loopy*

      My dad hates throwing away magazines, so if you are willing to spend a bit of money there are plastic magazine racks that show the spine and look quite nice on a bookshelf. I find them sturdier and better for longevity, so I splurged for him.

    3. Potatoes gonna potate*

      I don’t know about this but I think that is very cool. Will you share what kind of magazines? I used to buy them alllll the time starting at age 11 (drove my parents crazy!). I voraciously read YM, Teen, Teen people, Seventeen, glamour cosmo Marie Claire. Loved the delias catalog as well haha. Wish I could have kept some as a time capsule.

    4. FutureLibrarianNoMore*

      I actually spent time in library school working in an archival collection that had a lot of rare magazines.

      Generally, you are best placing them into a acid-free cardboard filer. Make sure to either use cardboard filler or put enough volumes in each one that they aren’t bending from lack of support.

      Store them in a cool, dry area, ideally with no sunlight (a closet shelf would be ideal, really).

    5. PhyllisB*

      Are you in the US? If you know anyone who sells Avon, ask her for some of her empty boxes. (If they still send product in those boxes.) They’re a great size for magazines and very sturdy. I sold Avon over 30 years ago and still have items in my storage house that are boxed in Avon boxes. Also great for clothing and paperback books.

  8. Dark Macadamia*

    Can anyone share experiences with hair loss as a woman? I’m in my 30s and hoping this is temporary but I don’t want it to get worse.

    Do any oral supplements actually work? I get the sense the gummy vitamin type things definitely don’t. I’m not sure if Rogaine is right for what I have (thinning mostly on the back/crown of my head, they recommend it for a widening part).

    Not planning to see a dermatologist right now but if you’ve done that, was it helpful? Did it change how you treated/managed your hair?

    1. Telgar*

      I had hair loss a couple of years ago. Turns out I have a Vitamin D deficiency. Now I take a relatively high dosage of Vitamin D supplement and have no more hair loss (the lost hair grew back). If you go outside less now than you used to, that could cause it.

      1. a duchess in oz*

        My brows girl told me that it’s a sign of iron deficiency (which I’m low in); my doctor added vitamin D, which I never see much of working at a desk. Taking vitamin D and iron tablets has helped me enormously. While I didn’t have noticeably patchy hair, I did notice I was losing a fair amount, and that my eyebrows were also beginning to look a bit more sparse. I haven’t been on the vitamins for tooooooo long but I feel they’re making a difference.

        1. TardyTardis*

          I discovered that a vitamin D supplement kept me from coughing up my lungs every January to March. I still get colds and what not, but no visits from the Bronchitis Fairy.

    2. Potatoes gonna potate*

      I am dealing with this right now, extreme hair shedding. I began shedding a few months ago which is perfectly normal for being post partum but the last month or so it ramped up to double/triple the amount.

      I used to get bald spots in my scalp and the only thing that helped was visiting a dermatologist who administered steroid shots into my scalp and that helped.

      I went to my primary dr last week and they ordered bloodwork and gave me a referral to a dermatologist. While I wait to see them, I also used Nizoral system and that seems to have helped a bit but I am still planning to see the doctor. If I didn’t have a history, and other medical things, I personally would have left it alone.

      1. WoodswomanWrites*

        Not me, but my friend in her 60s was diagnosed by a dermatologist with alopecia. Like you, what has worked for her are occasional steroid injections in her scalp. Her hair stylist who cuts her hair has helped with haircuts that have hidden her bald spots.

        What’s clear from this thread is how many different causes there are for hair loss. A trip to the doctor for tests sounds like a good idea.

        1. Potatoes gonna potate*

          I had my first spot at age 8. Seemed to go away, I forget how. My parents attributed it to evil eye & jealousy lol as I had very thick long luscious hair. It’s thinned over the years but still pretty decent. I know it’s brought on by stress but if there’s a medical cause I’m def open to treatment for it.

          1. TardyTardis*

            My Nana went bald in her 80’s (though when it was really hot she just left off her wig and was cooler than any of us). But she also had high blood pressure, so they put her on Rogaine. She still had good hair when she finally passed at 97.

    3. Barbara Eyiuche*

      Go to a doctor and ask about it. They should do a blood test. My hair would come out in clumps. It turned out I had low thyroid levels. Taking thyroid medication helped. Maybe yours is also from something that can be easily fixed.

      1. Caterpie*

        Seconding the blood test. My hair loss was due to undiagnosed celiac disease, but they’ll test for several medical causes.

        I did go to the dermatologist afterwards when changing my diet didn’t fix it, and got a diagnosis of telogen effluvium, but none of the related treatments (rogaine) were covered by insurance so I couldn’t pursue anything further.

        1. Caterpie*

          Oh, and if you’re woman presenting or identifying be prepared for them to tell you that either (1) it’s from stress or (2) to lose weight :/

          If it happens, and you don’t think those are relevant causes, be prepared to slam dunk that doctor straight into the trash and find someone else.

          1. Parenthetically*

            Yes, seconding this — if a doc says, “Don’t worry about it, it’s just stress” or “You know what would help, if you lost 20 pounds,” yeet him immediately into the sun.

          2. Potatoes gonna potate*

            All my miscarriages and symptoms of hyperthyroidism were dismissed as being overweight. “Try harder” said the endocrinologist who’s supposed to be the best.

            I’m truly wondering if men get this kind of treatment.

            Makes you laugh doesnt it? And by laugh I mean want to scream in fury. So sick of this.

            1. TardyTardis*

              My parathyroids aren’t para-ing or whatever, but I’ll be talking with another woman so hope I won’t hear the weight thing about my crunchy bones (besides, osteoporosis is actually worse with thin women, or so I’ve heard).

              1. Potatoes gonna potate*

                Good luck on your appointment!
                Unfortunately it’s been 50/50 for me and gender’s never been a guarantee that they’ll be understanding or not-fatphobic.

          3. RagingADHD*

            I’ve always been thankful for the old-school PCP who found my thyroid nodule by palpating my neck in a routine new-patient exam.

            I was sent in for a biopsy & had a dx with labs before I even suspected my symptoms were symptoms. (They were all there, I just had no clue.)

    4. The Other Dawn*

      Following this because it’s happening to a friend of mine. She’s turning 50 this year. I’ve been after her to get to a doctor since this isn’t normal (IMO), but she’s someone who is very, “This, too, shall pass.”

    5. Purplerug*

      I have PCOS so it’s part of the territory for me. I’ve experienced (and heard from friends who have hair loss without PCOS) that Biotin supplements work really well but take around 9-12 months to see any significant effect.

    6. HannahS*

      I have plain-old male pattern baldness, as a woman. My hair started to really thin in my late teens. Supplements will work if you’re losing hair due to a deficiency (vitamins, iron-deficiency can do it, too), but won’t if it’s genetic, or if it’s your thyroid, or stress (anyone else lose huge amounts of hair after each exam period? I do not miss university). My derm told me the only real option (at the time) was Rogaine. I tried it, and it does work, but I found it kind of a pain in the butt; the hair it makes is fine and wispy; it fills in space and you look less bald, but I found the Rogaine greasy and inconvenient. I started with super thick hair, so even though I’ve lost about two thirds of what I had as a young teen, I now just look like someone with kind of not-nice, sparse hair.

      I’m saying this, truly, as my own experience and not as a value judgment–and honestly, it probably doesn’t apply until you know what’s causing the hair loss . Sometimes, I feel a bit bummed that my gorgeous thick hair (that I hated at the time, because teenagers) is gone. But ultimately I decided that I don’t really care enough about my appearance to use Rogaine, or get hair transplants. I figured that if I got bald enough that it really looked abnormal, I’d shave my head and wear a wig. Now, over a decade later, that didn’t happen; my hair loss kind of stabilized. Would I have actually worn a wig? I don’t know. But I also had a lot of other, scarier medical stuff happening at the same time, and I decided not to care very much about something that was only cosmetic, and wasn’t going to disable/kill me. I get shorter haircuts (in non-pandemic times) that help my hair be bouncier and hide that it’s thin, and otherwise I just accept that this is what I look like now.

      1. On a pale mouse*

        I feel both this question and this reply. I have thinning gradually over years and it looks exactly like my brothers’ hair loss, just much less pronounced, so I’ve always assumed it was genetic and never even asked a doctor.

        You’ve confirmed my guess about what Rogaine would be like. My strategy for dealing with it has been, I can’t see it, therefore it doesn’t exist. This obviously doesn’t change the facts, but does make me less self-conscious about it. (Now if my mom would just stop pointing it out!)

        Will be interested to see what else people have. Might try the vitamin D since that’s easy and inexpensive.

    7. Not So NewReader*

      Not an instant help and not a big help but I give my scalp a good massage every time I wash my hair. It seems to be a supportive activity to do in conjunction with other things.

      1. Chauncy Gardener*

        Supporting the getting blood work to check your thyroid levels. I started to lose my hair due to low thyroid, but I think thinning hair also runs in my family. Thyroid meds, daily biotin and Rogaine are keeping my hair looking “normal”

    8. lapgiraffe*

      I do not quite understand why docs send women to the dermatologist for this because I’ve yet to have a friend come away from the derm with anything but Rogaine as a solution. This has been a common issue among my female friends once hitting early 30s and I think it’s, sadly, just something that happens to a lot of women but was just never mentioned in that it has surprised all of us. I know this is me being anecdotal but I’m talking about myself, five friends, and seven other women I used to do small group training with. It seems that the ones that were caused by something (thyroid for two, and it was thyroid cancer in one, Mirena IUD for two others, and they had removed and hair improved, and possibly the same iron/anemia issue someone else has mentioned for one friend but she’s still at the early stages of assign supplements so jury still out) were all caught by their GP or by an endocrinologist. The rest of us were sent to the derm and told Rogaine with a shoulder shrug. And the thing that was frustrating about Rogaine is that 1) it doesn’t help hair grow back, it helps you kee the hair the hair you still have 2) once you start using it you have to keep using it indefinitely.

      Things that have helped me 1) I was wearing a lot of sweatbands/buffs while working out and realized I may be putting too much stress on hair like a tight wig cap so I have found better options for that and try to limit the time I use it 2) experimenting with your stylist to help hide any thinning spots 3) being consistent with my Vitamin D supplement can’t be hurting 4) using some keratin hair fibers on thinning areas when appearances matter like a special event, headshots, etc. 5) I have been on spironolactone for pcos and was always lax about taking it, not sure if it really did anything, but doc talked about upping my dosage to treat the hair loss and I came clean about not taking the full dosage consistently. So I started taking what I’m already supposed to take and maybe it’s helped? I mean who knows what really helped since I did so much at once but I do like the spiro more now that I’m fully on it snd it’s great for my face.

      As for the derm, I went because I wanted to have some moles looked at and to just have that whole body look around, and the hair part was just a additional question, so I’m glad I went. But if I had gone strictly for the hair thing I would have been so annoyed at the time and expense to be told Rogaine.

      1. Courageous cat*

        I went to the derm and came away with Rogaine as a non-solution! I’ve tried a variety of interesting medications (including Plaquenil, the miracle drug Trump touted for a while for COVID). There are many different types of alopecia, and a small sample size testing as needing to use Rogaine isn’t a great reason not to go IMO.

      2. Imtheone*

        You need the dermatologist to refer you to a subspecialist dermatologist who specializes in hair loss.

    9. Holly the spa pro*

      I also suggest bloodwork but if it turns out to be genetic or pattern baldness, massaging the scalp will help keep what you have by stimulating blood flow. Apparently red LED light therapy on the scalp can also help. Im sorry you are going through this!

    10. Parenthetically*

      I had a similar thing in my early/mid 30s. Exercising, reducing stress, and staying hydrated helped. A good, absorbable, preferably liquid vitamin can help some people. Rogaine is (IMO) just throwing good money after bad, because you have to keep using it, like, forever, or the hair just falls out again.

      Mine has come back, but it’s been a rough journey — two babies, three pregnancies, going on three years of breastfeeding… it all has done a number on my hair. Fortunately now it’s about as thick as it ever was.

    11. Dark Macadamia*

      Thank you all so much! This is really helpful.

      I do suspect it’s probably from stress (thanks, pandemic!) but had all the concerns you’ve brought up about both doctors and Rogaine. Part of me feels like well, it’s just hair and I wasn’t a fan of mine to begin with, but I would look SO bad bald!

    12. Courageous cat*

      Yes, and yes! I started having hair loss when I turned 30. If it continues, get a scalp biopsy. It could just be temporary stress, or if it’s alopecia, the *kind* of alopecia it is drastically affects treatment. I have scarring alopecia, a rarer variety, and Rogaine doesn’t work on me but things like doxycycline do.

      Hair loss as a woman is very stressful and you have all my positive vibes and thoughts.

      1. Courageous cat*

        Also, from my experience, I’d say get it done asap – depending on the type, the sooner the treatment, the more hair you can save. I waited 10 months until a hairdresser finally said something and by then, a lot of my hair follicles had scarred over.

        YMMV, but there’s very little harm in getting it checked out now, and more harm in waiting until it gets worse.

    13. LNLN*

      My sister and my friend both had thinning hair due to (different) medical reasons. Their doctors recommended a vitamin B supplement, biotin. My sister had an allergic reaction to it, so had to stop taking it, but taking the supplement did help reduce my friend’s hair loss. Good luck!

    14. ....*

      I would def go to the doctor to figure out why but in my experience viviscal stopped and aggressive bout of shedding

      1. Beth*

        Seconded! I had some all over thinning due to a medication I was taking- after I stopped the medication I started taking Viviscal. It takes some time but my hair did grow back as thick as it had been before.

    15. Retin A*

      My hair loss was caused by Retin A, which is a vicious cycle because Rogaine is known to cause skin aging, and biotin/B complex vitamins cause severe cystic breakouts for me. So I had to choose: my complexion or my hair.

    16. OyHiOh*

      I had significant hair loss after each of my children was born, and then I had a post partum loss, on steroids episode of hair loss last summer.

      Last summer was pretty clearly linked to massive pandemic stress. My hair has bounced back beautifully and all the thickness I lost is coming back in, without treatment apart from getting stress under control. I doubled down my commitment to therapy, did some out of the box solutions to children+school, got a job I genuinely love that is also not stress inducing in the ways that make my body freak out.

      Post partum was temporary thyroid imbalance, plus vitamin deficiencies.

      I’d strongly recommend a blood panel to specifically check for thyroid issues (ask for a “complete” thyroid panel, not just a TSH screen) and vitamin/mineral deficiencies. As others have commented, D and iron are the big ones that cause hair loss but if they’re going to check for deficiencies, might as well screen them all.

      Biotin supplements have been recommended and seem to work well enough, often enough to be worth trying.

      The other thing I’d recommend is to make sure you’re really getting your scalp clean when you shampoo. There’s some observational data that clogged pores and follicles on your scalp cause shedding. I was told to shampoo like I was getting my hair washed at the hair salon, scalp massage and all; and make sure you’re really thoroughly rinsing all of your shampoo/conditioner out.

    17. Juneybug*

      My hairstylist recommends collagen. He suggests taking it for hair loss, unhealthy hair, etc. Any brand is fine. Since we lose collagen as we get older, it would make sense. I have not tried it since my hair seems to be doing well right now.
      In my earlier very stressful years (active duty military, raising two kids, etc.), I used Nioxin shampoo and conditioner. Now that I am retired and kids are grow/moved out/successful adults, I have less stress so my hair looks good.
      Good luck!

    18. Black Horse*

      I experienced sudden and quite severe hair loss several years ago, in my early 40s. I lost about a third of my hair over the course of a few months. My primary shrugged and referred me to a dermatologist, who did a biopsy (so unnecessary!) and ran some blood tests and decided I had genetic hair loss (despite the fact that not one woman in my family has experienced anything like this–they all have/had thick hair until well into their 80s!). Then the blood work came back and my ferritin levels were a bit low so she suggested I take iron supplements. It was like night and day; my hair started growing back within a few weeks of taking iron. Oddly a friend had the same thing (we have the same primary doc, so she was referred to the same dermatologist, who did the same things…I guess she didn’t remember my case??) and iron supplements worked great for her as well. So perhaps try getting your ferritin levels checked, and probably your thyroid as well since I know hair loss can be a symptom of thyroid issues. And I’m seconding checking for Celiac since that can do all sorts of weird things; my daughter’s hair got much thicker once she was diagnosed with Celiac and stopped eating gluten.
      I will say I found my dermatologist to be…less than bothered by what was clearly a sudden and unexplained physical symptom of _something_. It was almost like “well, it’s just hair…” when that wasn’t the point. Hair loss if you don’t have a family history of it isn’t normal, so there should be an explanation! On the plus side, now I know that my first symptom of low iron *now* (in my 40s) is hair loss, when as a younger person it would be something like being more tired than usual.

    19. Can't Sit Still*

      I have had substantial hair loss due an autoimmune disease and the medications to treat it, and a non-medical solution I found was silk pillowcases. My hair loss stopped once I switched to a silk pillowcase. They are pricy, but I think they’re worth the investment. If you don’t mind funky colors, you can often find them on clearance. I believe satin is supposed to work as well. I had the worst hair loss on sateen sheets, FWIW.

    20. CurleySue*

      Rogaine works differently for different people. Results are a typical bell curve. I’m lucky to be on the “grows more hair” end of the curve.
      I started having hair loss as menopause approached. Got tested for all the usual stuff that causes hair loss in women, and everything was in the normal range. My dermatologist suggested I try Rogaine.ive been using it for several years now.

      It takes 3 to 4 months to see results, and you have to use it twice a day. And if you stop using it (or skip doses) you’ll start losing more hair. Which is a PITA. But it works for me, so patience is a virtue. I don’t have the same thickness of hair that I had when I was younger, but it’s so much better than before I started using it.

      CVS has a generic version that comes in a 3-month supply box and if you get their coupons, the “40% off a single item” saves a reasonable amount. There are fancier versions that combine a bunch of other hair stuff with the minoxidil, but I never bothered with them ( too pricey). Also it comes in a higher percentage marketed “for men”. I haven’t tried that version, because even the “for women” version has the annoying side effect of my having to buy more depilatory. But that might depend on how “mustache-prone” you happen to be. A friend of mine also tried minoxidil but she had almost no body hair to start with, so YMMV.

      Good luck. BTW I think the location of where you’re thinning might depend on where your male predecessors showed their bald spots. My father & grandfathers ( yes, both of them) had typical “chrome-dome” baldness that started with a disappearing hairline and worked its way back. My thinning started on the front/top. But some men get bald where a skullcap would sit.

    21. old biddy*

      TL/DR – try Viviscal
      Seconding the vitamin D/iron/biotin/get your thyroid tested advice – all of the above things have helped me previously. Despite doing all the things that helped in the past, I had a lot of hair fall out a couple of years ago during a stressful year and in desperation started taking Viviscal. It’s pricy and tastes fishy, but after a month I could see the new hair growing in. It looked pretty crazy for a few months but the worst of it coincided with the start of lockdown. After appx 15 months of taking it, my hair is better than it was before the stress. I don’t have the big hair I did in my 20’s, but it’s ok for 52 and I am happy.
      They use some sort of marine extract in it, so I suspect that iodine might have been the missing piece of the puzzle for me.

    22. Wishing You Well*

      Female hair thinning as you age is normal in my family. I did the blood test. There’s nothing wrong with me but genes and aging. Shopping for hats now. *sigh*

    23. Sleeping Late Every Day*

      My thinning hair has improved since I started taking Biotin about three years ago. Even my not-very-observant husband mentioned that it’s looking thicker than it used to. I take a 1000 mg tab.

    24. Rara Avis*

      My hair stopped growing last year, and my doctor did blood tests and found I had iron uptake issues. Taking iron supplements helped it start growing again, although it’s still pretty thin.

    25. JJ*

      Definitely see a dermatologist if you can. There is no one size fits all solution to hair loss, and it can be a sign of another medical issue (that isn’t aging)!

    26. Quiet Liberal*

      Ok, you are in your thirties, which eliminates what has worked for me. I saw my GP about my thinning hair in the same area as yours because I was freaked out. He tested for my thyroid levels and did physical tests to see if the follicles were just going bad(?). Anyway, nothing turned up there and he just shrugged it off. I then visited my dermatologist who I see for a minor skin condition, and because I’ve gone through menopause, put me on finasteride (generic Propecia) and Biotin supplement. After about three months, my hair rebounded marvelously. It was so thick and wonderful. It’s been about five years, I see him once a year, and he always assures me that taking the drug long-term won’t harm my health. (I would never worry about having hair at the expense of my health). At this point, I haven’t lost any more hair, but also haven’t grown new hair, either. At your age, you probably can’t do this regimen since I think finasteride causes birth defects, but I am urging you to see your dermatologist if you can. If your hair loss continues too long, it may be too late at some point to reverse the problem. Your doctor can at least pinpoint the issue and help find a solution.

  9. Dee*

    I’d like to discuss an ethical question – is it ethical (so, putting aside whether any rule or law that says it has to be a certain way) for a paramedic to refuse to evaluate a person who is conscious and verbal? Would anything sway your answer? (If people could be NOT graphic with description of what someone might need a paramedic for, I’d hugely appreciate it.) Thanks for any replies!

      1. Dee*

        Ugh, sorry. “graphic when they describe” ie I don’t mind a description but not so graphic

    1. English, not American*

      Conscious and verbal isn’t the same as lucid, so without further qualifiers I’d say it’s definitely not ethical if they’re on duty. And something like a concussion might not be obvious to the injured person but could have significant complications if they don’t know about it and treat themselves accordingly. Things that would sway my answer would be the conscious and verbal person being both lucid and hostile (definitely ethical to refuse), or the paramedic not being on duty (makes the situation more grey).

      1. English, not American*

        I should probably clarify that by “hostile” I mean plausibly physically, not just verbally. Verbally alone makes it more grey, being an arsehole isn’t grounds to be denied necessary medical treatment but it could be grounds to refuse to indulge a hypochondriac. There’s a reasonable line somewhere.

    2. Asenath*

      I’d think the paramedic would have to do some kind of evaluation (certainly, if the paramedic is on duty). It would not be required for the paramedic to actually physically examine the person if that person refused the service, and if the in the initial verbal evaluation the paramedic decided that the person seemed capable of giving or refusing consent. I’ve certainly known of a case in which the patient did not initially want to follow the paramedic’s recommendation of a trip to hospital, but agreed after persuasion from a family member. In that case, the paramedic had done enough of an evaluation to recommend an ER visit, but would not do more without the consent of the patient.

    3. Richard Hershberger*

      The question is worded backwards. The general rule is that people have the right to refuse treatment. This is the followed by the exceptions. But you asked not about treatment but evaluation. I’m not sure what you mean by that. Would it involve touching the person? The legal term for that is “battery.” It is illegal. Most agencies have procedures for how to interact with people who probably should get treatment but refuse it, involving both discussion and, inevitably, paperwork.

    4. HannahS*

      What? Like, if as a healthcare provider, you’re called to a scene and the person is conscious and verbal, unless they’re clearly lucid, understand what’s going on, and tell you they don’t want to be seen (so, deny consent), it would be incredibly irresponsible to look at them and go, “you’re conscious and verbal, gotta run!” I have 100% met people who were verbal and conscious who were having heart attacks and strokes. You can have serious injuries and be conscious and verbal (for a while). The only situation I can imagine that it’s ok to refuse is if you’re in a disaster zone and you have to triage. In that case, yes, going for crude measures like “All conscious people who can talk over on this side” can be ethical.

      1. HannahS*

        Or if it’s dangerous for you to treat, then yeah, the provider’s safety comes first.

        1. Reciprocity kind of went out the window, too*

          I mean, not always, as those of us who worked through the early days of the pandemic without adequate (or sometimes any) PPE can attest. Duty to care can supersede your own right to safety in some circumstances, depending on the imminence and severity of the danger.

    5. Katie*

      I am a volunteer EMT and I’m not really understanding the question. Generally we are called to a scene to help and if someone decides to refuse to be transported that is their right. But in those cases we still evaluate them and talk through why we think they might need to go to the hospital. I can’t think of a reason we would refuse to treat someone, unless the scene was dangerous and we needed to wait for fire or law enforcement for things like traffic control so we can safely access the patient.

      1. Not So NewReader*

        I had a real life situation.
        My husband and I had fallen off a motorcycle at 60 mph when a deer jumped out in front of us. The EMTs came. I knew my husband was hurt much worse than I was. The EMTs kept asking me if they could help me. Since no one seemed to be doing much with my husband who was in far worse shape, I kept saying “Not until you help my husband first.”
        There were lots of people milling around, controlling traffic, etc., so I could not really see through the small crowd to find out what was going on with the Hubs. About the 7th or 8th time they asked me, they were getting kind of miffed with me. When I gave my standard reply one EMT lady said, “LOOK! We are loading him into the ambulance. You want a ride or NO, because we are leaving NOW and we WILL leave you here on the side of this rural county road!”

        I could see Hubs was indeed being loaded into the ambulance. I gave the okay for them to assist me. But she did threaten to leave me there. (I wasn’t upset by this. She was filling her role, just as I was filling a mama bear role by pushing help to my husband as fast as possible.) So they did not directly refuse me service but they did threaten to cut off service to me.

        I do think that there is only so much they can do for us. We have to cooperate with them- this is a biggie.

        Decades ago, my MIL (a nurse) was one of the first responders on the scene of a famous train wreck. She partnered up with a doc and they went about finding people. At one point, the doc said, “We can’t help him.” and they moved on to another person. MIL assumed the person had passed. I am not clear on why they did not try CPR. Perhaps other people were assigned that task? In some instances, I think sometimes people face hard choices and they have seconds to decide. But technically speaking they refused service to this one person.

        1. Rick Tq*

          The word you are missing is Triage. A mass casualty event like a train wreck creates far more casualties than can be treated in the normal way, to allow the most effective treatment they are immediately placed in three groups: Won’t die soon (Walking wounded), Will die with treatment (the MD’s assessment), and Can be helped. Group #1 (cuts and bruises) can wait while broken bones and arterial bleeding cases get treated. Someone with a crushed chest might survive if they were the only patient but they need a LOT of treatment for a low chance of survival.

          1. Elizabeth West*

            This, and once you start CPR you can’t stop, so moving on from someone who is not showing any signs of life in a mass casualty situation is not unethical.

            1. Bluephone*

              And what most movies and TV shows don’t tell you is that CPR is not always very effective outside of a hospital. It’s very much not the “3 pumps on the chest and then person wakes right up with no trouble” sitch that movies and TV like to show.

      2. AllieMiles*

        Katie, if you don’t mind, can I ask how you like being a volunteer EMT and what that entails? I was curious about volunteering for a role that requires an EMT license and a peace officer training/academy and the peace officer academy seemed like it infringes too much into day job time (SAR for county sheriff, all those roles are volunteer, but require PO academy). So I pretty much decided not to do that due to the PO component. EMT classes seem manageable, but what options are out there for volunteers that are not tied to the PO component in general?

    6. The Cosmic Avenger*

      That’s a very difficult question to answer without any more details. As others have mentioned, if there’s any sign of danger to or aggression towards the first responders, it’s very much up to their judgement. TV and movies have a lot of people believing that EMTs and paramedics should run into burning buildings and active crime scenes, but we were taught that the first rule of field medicine is “Don’t become another patient”, because that will mean you are unable to treat AND another crew will be needed to treat YOU. Barring that, a patient with, say, Nazi or racist tattoos should be cleared based on the reason for the call. And as others have said, patients who are competent can refuse treatment, no matter how bad they seem medically. If it is bad, you’ll get “implied consent” shortly when they pass out. But having done this job years ago, I could usually talk people into letting me examine them and clear them, or at least sign that they refused treatment AMA (against medical advice). If they didn’t, we called those AMF-YOYOs. (Adios MF’er, you’re on your own!)

    7. nnn*

      I’m not clear on what the scenario is.

      Is the conscious and verbal person saying “I do not consent to be evaluated”, or are they saying “Please, I beg of you, evaluate me” and the paramedic is refusing?

      If the patient wants to be evaluated but the paramedic is refusing, what are the grounds of the paramedic’s refusal? I can’t imagine any, but I’m sure that’s a failure of imagination on my part.

      And then we get into the philosophical morass of whether determining that the patient is conscious and verbal constitutes an evaluation. I’m sure it’s not a whole evaluation, but, thinking about the time (pre-pandemic) I walked into the ER with a head injury, I’m sure the fact that I walked into the ER and clearly stated that I had a head injury was a consideration in the triage.

    8. Dee*

      Oh my goodness was I out of it. I’m so sorry everyone, I completely left out the entire point.

      Is it ethical for a paramedic to refuse to evaluate a person who is conscious and verbal due to them not wearing a mask during the pandemic?

      1. WS*

        If a mask is available, the person refuses to put on a mask and doesn’t have a medical reason to not wear one, and is otherwise lucid and calm? Sure. The paramedic doesn’t have to put themselves in danger. Same as if a patient is in the middle of a highway – they can wait for the scene to be made safe.

      2. Squidhead*

        I think it’s ethical for the paramedic to ensure their own safety, but paramedics around here have been wearing full PPE for 12 months now. There are many types of cases where a paramedic might treat a patient who cannot wear a mask (emergent need for intubation, for example) and in these cases the paramedic relies on their PPE so it seems…disingenuous to refuse to treat someone who refuses to wear a mask. Also, this might not be an all-or-nothing scenario: The paramedic could verbally and visually evaluate the patient from 6+ feet away and then use this info to decide how to proceed. (Examples: dusky color, labored breathing, profusely sweating, 10/10 crushing pain in chest, wants to go to hospital but can’t tolerate mask…get them to the hospital! Versus: normal color and respirations, complaining of 5/10 pain in toe, no visible bleeding or deformity, wants to go to hospital because doesn’t want to pay for a cab…it’s a mask or no ride for you, buddy! [Caveats about how laws might differ from my opinion, but ethics doesn’t equal law and this is a hypothetical discussion.])

        1. Natalie*

          Indeed, there are lots of reasons a person in need of EMS *shouldn’t* be wearing a mask. And if the EMT is wearing adequate PPE and wearing it correctly, it’s extremely effective, I don’t think it’s comparable to the immediate and severe danger of being hit by a car or going into a burning building.

    9. Jennifer*

      As has been mentioned below (perhaps above, I’m not sure how the nesting of this message will work), when you have mass casualty incident, the triage protocol is that the first responder spends about 30 seconds evaluating each individual. That’s not “no evaluation”, but after 30 seconds you should know if they’re basically going to be (probably) OK (“green”), basically likely to die without massive one-on-one attention that you can’t provide without more people (“black”), basically can wait a bit (“yellow”), or basically need to get more attention ASAP (“red”). As you have more support, you can re-classify.

      Also, if someone is conscious and verbal and can move themselves, they’re almost automatically “green” — standard protocol is when the initial first responder arrives, s/he yells “If you can, move yourself over THERE” while pointing to someplace safe. Anyone who goes over there is presumed “green” — not that they’re uninjured, but they’re not about to bleed to death or whatever. You are supposed to check that group over, but after the un-moved.

      Source: I’m a ski patroller and have to refresh on this stuff at least every 3 years.

  10. Imogene*

    Boyfriend just got a (second) DUI 4 hours ago. I was completely shocked because I didn’t realize he was drinking, we’ve both cut back or stopped drinking completely. So I’ve been freaked out for the past three hours, but I managed not to drink.

    I’m grateful that no one was hurt, but I’m also so stressed. I have a broken ankle, so can’t drive to pick him up. I’m not working and this is going to be so expensive. And what do I do? How do I find a good DUI lawyer? Do I get him taken off the insurance, because he won’t be able to drive for (I think?) a year?

    1. hark, a field of red flags*

      With respect, I think you might be asking the wrong questions. Yes, take him off your insurance. In fact, disentangle him as much as possible from all your finances. But the big question is, does he recognize that he needs treatment for alcoholism, and if not how far will you enable him? Why is it your responsibility to find him a lawyer? You’ve got bigger problems than monetary expenses or who can drive. You might benefit from a therapist or a group such as Al-Anon to help you sort through this.

      1. bluephone*

        Oof yes :-( It’s going to be tough but the sooner you disentangle as much of your own stuff from your BF as possible, especially financially, the better. He presumably didn’t injure or kill anyone *this time* But if he doesn’t seek out actual help, he’s definitely going to rack up more DUIs and he will injure and/or kill (or multiple someones). When all the lawsuits are flying around from the victims/their families, you’re going to get hit too if your financials are still tied up with him–him being on your insurance, if the car is in your name, etc. Cut him loose and focus on your own journey with alcohol.

    2. Lena Clare*

      I’d ask for a list of DUI lawyers from the arresting officers, then get your boyfriend to search through to find a good one.
      He can get a cab or public transport back.
      And yes take him off the insurance, it’ll be much cheaper for you.
      Really, with the greatest respect, this is down to your boyfriend to sort it, not you. I wish you the best.

      1. pancakes*

        I’d ask anyone else about DUI lawyers before I’d ask cops. The state bar association would probably be happy to name a few if you don’t think anyone you know personally would have a recommendation.

      2. Maxie's Mommy*

        I’d go on Nextdoor for a referral. I’ve gotten good suggestions for all kinds of professionals.

    3. Not your job*

      Oh, I know this isn’t what you’re asking – but don’t work to sort things out for him. He made this problem; he can fix it.

      1. fposte*

        Yup. I keep thinking of Anne Lamott’s AA meeting, wherein one woman worried about hauling her drunk husband in from the front lawn, and another woman advised, “Honey, leave him lay where Jesus flang him.”

        Take care of yourself, Imognene. Don’t haul him in from the lawn with a broken ankle.

    4. Richard Hershberger*

      You find a good lawyer the same way you find a good plumber: ask around. Get a recommendation from someone who had a good experience with him, and has no financial interest in promoting him. This might a bit delicate with DUI lawyers, but it is by far the best way.

      Also, there are two kinds of DUI lawyers. Most see their role as getting you (or, in this case, your boyfriend) the best deal, both in court and (depending on how this works in your state) the DMV. The other kind sees his role as going bats**t crazy, challenging the calibration of the breathalyzer and so forth. He is trying to beat the charges entirely. This second kind costs a lot more money. They really are mostly for rich people.

      Auto insurance varies wildly from state to state. If you have a real agent, call them to discuss what you need to do. If you got your insurance on the internet, you will have to do the research yourself.

      Finally, as has already been noted, you might consider whether your boyfriend is a keeper. One DUI is a lapse in judgment. Two is a pattern. Keeping his drinking secret from you is not so much a red flat as an air raid siren. If he loses his license, your life will become much more complicated just for routine tasks. And it is entirely likely to be a recurring problem. And while I don’t know your personal situation, your comment about quitting suggests that he is not a healthy person to have in your life.

      1. Sue*

        The police have a list of attorneys who do DUI cases because arrestees can make a phone call and DUI attorneys are willing to take odd hour calls. In my state there is a program for anyone evaluated as having a problem (a given for a 2d offense). They can do a 2 year treatment program + 3 years of no trouble and have the DUI kept off their record. DMV can still suspend, require an Ignition Interlock device but it eliminates the jail component. It is coercive treatment but often successful. Any DUI attorney, whether a pd or retained will know these options.

    5. migrating coconuts*

      One can excuse the first DUI, maybe. That should have been enough of a wake up call to stop drinking and driving. A second one is inexcusable. You do him no favors by trying to fix this for him in any way. As the daughter of someone like this, you are only enabling him. You do realize this may be his 2nd one, but that just means he drives this way often and has only been caught twice. It’s only a matter of time before he injures or kills someone. Don’t pick him up, don’t get him a lawyer, don’t leave him on your insurance. And insist he get help.

      1. MissGirl*

        Yep, YOU don’t find him a lawyer, YOU don’t bail him out, YOU don’t give him any money. YOU get him off your insurance immediately, YOU don’t let him drive your car ever.

        1. Seriously*

          YOU report the car stolen immediately if he uses it after you told him not to drive it.

      2. pancakes*

        Yes to all this. “I’ve been freaked out for the past three hours, but I managed not to drink” suggests to me that both need help.

      3. Come On Eileen*

        Agree with all of this. I’ve been sober 7 years now, but when I was drinking, the number of times I drank and drive was astronomical. I never got caught but should have, many times. The fact that he’s gotten 2 DUIs means he’s driving drunk on a regular basis — he really needs to sort this out quickly, using his own resources. You can support him, but let him do the heavy lifting.

    6. Anona*

      Apparently car insurance gaps can sometimes make insurance way more expensive. This happened to me once ten years ago- I was without insurance for a summer because I didn’t have a car and then it was almost prohibitively expensive when I got it again.
      No idea if this is common, but worth looking into.

      1. Pocket Mouse*

        It may be possible for him to get non-owner’s insurance, which is less expensive and may not be seen as a gap for future premium purposes. However, as others have said, this is for him to figure out and take action on, not you. Please don’t invite the consequences of his actions on yourself when you also need support.

    7. The Cosmic Avenger*

      Yeah, what they said. This was not an unfortunate accident, this is now a pattern. I drink moderately but I have NEVER driven drunk, because I won’t drive if I have even one beer, just like I won’t drive without my seat belt on. It’s a tiny risk, but the consequences could be extreme. So the issue is not that he drank, it’s that he apparently can’t tell the truth or behave responsibly when it comes to alcohol. At a minimum, take him off your insurance.

    8. Anon for this*

      Have you ever pursued Al-Anon?

      My recommendation is to look into it. He started drinking and hid it from you; he got a DUI and will bring financial harm to himself; you are understandably concerned but you do not have to act/rush in to save the day. Best wishes to you and hopes he finds his own solutions.

      1. Queer Earthling*

        Quick sidenote: if you don’t care for the religious bent of Al-Anon, there are some other options! I’ve heard good things about SMARTRecovery, but you may be able to google for others in your region.

        1. Natalie*

          Yes, there are non-12 step and/or non-religious options for support, both for his drinking (and possibly for yours?) if you would not be comfortable with AA/Al-Anon.

    9. Not So NewReader*

      How do I find a good DUI lawyer?
      Your BF may be eligible for a public defender, this is usually based on income but here in NY the cutoff point is higher than one would expect. So it might be worth it for him to look into.
      It’s up to him to find a lawyer. That is part of taking ownership of his drinking. So you do nothing.

      Do I get him taken off the insurance, because he won’t be able to drive for (I think?) a year?
      You will have to talk to your insurance company.
      It could be that you just cancel the policy and get a new policy in your name only with a different company.
      DMV will notify the insurance company that he has another DUI- that almost automatically goes through the computer systems.
      When you call assume they already have been alerted about the DUI.

      “So I’ve been freaked out for the past three hours, but I managed not to drink.”
      Good for you! I truly mean that. Not something you asked but I think it would be wiser and more strategic to take a look at your own relationship with alcohol. BF, likewise, will have to look at his relationship with alcohol.

      I was allowed to drink started at age 7. (Different era back then.) By the time I was 19 or so I started wondering about what my actual relationship with alcohol was. There was a public service announcement on the radio that said, “If you think you might have a drinking problem, then you probably do.” That hit me between the eyes. Fortunately, my life was changing at that point and I decided to prioritize those other changes and let go of the alcohol. I get a cold chill thinking what could have happened if I took the other fork in the road. You won’t be wasting your time if you think about your own setting and how you want your life to play out. I am so thankful I made the switch in my life.

      1. Richard Hershberger*

        Another quick note on the lawyer bit: The cost of hiring a private lawyer for this will run a few thousand dollars. A public defender is free, of course, but you get what you pay for. The OP should give serious thought to whether taking on this expense is her responsibility.

        1. Cheesesteak in Paradise*

          Just a plug that public defenders are often excellent and idealistic lawyers. The main problem is they have too much work and not enough time or resources, not that they lack talent or dedication.

          1. Dan*

            Yeah, in DC, the Office of the Pubic Defender is mostly staffed by Harvard and Yale grads.

            The biggest issue with any overworked PD’s office is if they’re too willing to settle cases and close them out than to truly make sure their clients are actually getting the appropriate representation.

            Although, that doesn’t concern me so much in this case. Seems like the OP’s BF needs another trip through the CJ system, the only real issue is to make sure that the outcome is fair and just.

          2. PhyllisB*

            Totally agree. The last time my son got a DUI he used a public defender (because we refused to help him. Had already been down that road.)He got excellent, respectful representation.

        2. Not So NewReader*

          From the little I have seen around me the public defenders do the same quality job that a private attorney does. But NY is going through some things in terms of paying closer attention to defendant’s rights. I am sure people are watching to make sure the PDs are on top of things.

          This is not to say that the quality of the PD is your concern, OP. It’s still up to your BF to figure out what is best for his givens.

    10. Pyjamas*

      The day after Labor Day (USA) 2016, I told my bf he had until January to see a therapist and with that therapist come up with a plan for his drinking. Otherwise I was out.

      In my experience, one can only control ones own actions. So you can’t make bf cut out or cut down on drinking. You can only refuse to enable it. One way is to continue to abstain from alcohol, as your drinking would give him an excuse to drink. (And if you do shopping, refuse to put alcohol on your shopping list.)

      Another way is to refuse to rescue him from the consequences of his actions. Separate things like car insurance (and hold onto the car keys!)

      Finally—you have to be willing and able to leave him for this to work—you can tell him that your staying is conditional upon his taking charge (and acknowledging) his problem by entering therapy, rehab, or Alcoholics Anonymous

      My story has a happy ending. Bf went to therapist, albeit not very seriously, and said, “my gf has a problem with my drinking”. Therapist blessedly answered, “If your gf has a problem with your drinking, then YOU have a problem with your drinking.” He’ll be five years sober this Sept. But I would have left else

    11. Jay*

      I finally realized that I can’t rescue my husband from his addiction. I can’t find the professionals, monitor the treatment, make sure he’s working his program – I can’t do any of that. I can – and I must – take care of myself, which has turned out to be much more work than I imagined!

      I spent a lot of time and energy trying to control his behavior and then trying to manage his emotions. That not only didn’t stop the addiction, it made me angry and resentful all.the.time because my needs weren’t being met. Now I make sure my needs are met first. I decided that I either had to accept him where he was or leave – and right now he’s working his program, he’s sober, and he’s fully present in our marriage, so I’m still here.

      Hugs. So so so so so hard.

    12. Not A Manager*

      I see you and I hear you when you say that you did not respond to this by drinking yourself. I’m really glad that you were able to choose what was best and healthy for you.

      “I managed not to drink.” There’s a lot behind that phrase. I gently encourage you to reconsider whether this relationship is safe for you at this time.

      I’m sending you good thoughts and encouragement, and I’m deeply thankful that your partner was apprehended before he hurt someone.

    13. Incognito for this one*

      Oh, I’m so sorry. I completely understand your shock and stress. My partner got a DUI after we were only together for a few months and while I was aware of his past and his problems (including a near-death accident earlier), I truly didn’t understand the depth and breadth of his alcohol problem. I’ll never forget how scared I felt when I found out he was in jail. The only worse thing was seeing his car that he totaled. Holy hell.

      I threw myself into being there for him. He moved in with me. I became our driver. I don’t regret doing these structural things, but I shouldn’t have been so focused on him. His situation was all I could think about, when I should have been taking care of myself and thinking about what I needed more than him. He handled all of his own insurance/lawyer logistics, he was clear that he wasn’t asking me to take on any of his obligations or debts. I wish I’d taken less emotional responsibility, though. Far less. And been open to leaving, even if I didn’t. I don’t regret staying (at all) but wonder if I would have had I not been so enmeshed. If I’d allowed myself to feel my anger at what he did and how much he risked. I had SO MUCH denial. I went to an Al Anon meeting at one point and while I didn’t love it, it was extremely helpful in pointing out all the ways I was inappropriately taking responsibility for everything. I ended up going to ther apy to work on myself in that way. He ended up going too, after I started, which was a relief.

      He did have relapses after that, which he hid from me. He’s been sober now for almost two years. My rule is that we can work through relapses but if he EVER drives under the influence again, I’m out. And he can’t hide any relapses, either. With distance and clarity, I’m incredibly angry he so recklessly endangered lives that way even if he actually didn’t hurt anyone other than himself. (While I drank, I never ever drove that way. It’s been a core principle in my life.) Our courtship was built largely on drinking, and it’s been a massive shift. I drink very little now, and it’s been good for me too. The first few months were the hardest, the habit was so ingrained. I wanted it all the time. But once the habit was broken, I’m fine without it. There are definitely days, but not many.

    14. StellaBella*

      How old is your boyfriend? Assume over 21? Then he can figure this out himself. Why is he on your insurance anyway? Could he not get his own insurance before you? Stop taking care of a grown man and care for your ankle and your mental and physical health. He needs to sort this out, not you. You are your priority, and he lied to you and is clearly less mature than you are. You can do better by being single or by finding another boyfriend who is not a liar and is sober. Driving drunk is a bad behaviour on top of his other bad behaviours and he clearly does not respect you or himself or others. Take the advice of all of us here and take him off your insurance and let him manage this problem he created, you are not his mom and he is not a kid. Being an adult means making tough decisions at times but ridding your life of this boyfriend who is a financial and emotional burden will be the best thing you can do, trust me on this. Once in 2014 I bailed out my high school flame from DUI jail and it cost me 2000$. He promised to pay me back. Never happened. I did it as I thought he had changed but alas he did not. We are no longer in contact as I blocked him from my accounts and phone shortly after this for my own peace of mind. Some people do not ever change. Help yourself before you help others.

  11. Dental issue*

    Hello everyone!

    I’m in my early 20s and I’m currently dealing with a dental issue, namely my upper teeth and my lower teeth are not aligned. I believe it’s called malocclusion. (my upper teeth are more advanced than my lower teeth). I’ve had this issue since my early teens and I received an orthodontic treatment for it (which reduced the gap) but my doctor said it wasn’t effective because it took too much time so I stopped it (I know, not the best idea). I don’t have any problems with it in my everyday life (except maybe for the appearance complex part) but I know it can cause problems in the long term. I’m going to set up an appointment with my dentist as soon as I can, but in the meantime I’d like to ask two questions:

    1) Has anyone dealt with the same dental issue during adulthood? What kind of treatments were you offered and how long did it take?

    2) I’m dealing with a lot of guilt and anxiety over this, because I know I should have taken care of it earlier and I’m worried treatments will be less effective now that I’m an adult. So I’m interested in hearing about anyone who had the same feelings about health issues and if you have advice in how to deal with it.

    Thanks!

    1. StrikingFalcon*

      I was in my 20s before I had any orthodontic work done. It worked well for me. The only part they couldn’t do for me as an adult was palate expansion, so I had to have some teeth pulled to make the rest all fit (but mine was quite severe). I think it took around a year – actually significantly less time than it would have taken if I’d had it done younger, because the field of orthodontics has advanced a lot. I got traditional bracket and wire braces with clear brackets on top to make them less noticeable, and solid colored brackets on the bottom, which are less expensive. It was worth it for me, there is way less stress on my jaw now and I like how my smile looks a lot more.

      My sister had some work done when she was younger but stopped partway through; she was told she was eligible for Invisiline (which I wasn’t because of the severity of mine), but she hasn’t done it yet.

      I promise you won’t be the only adult they are treating. Orthodontics still work on adults. I got quotes from two orthodontists and neither said anything about the fact that I didn’t take care of it younger. They just explained my options, gave me a quote, and I picked one. I do recommend getting multiple quotes and telling them you are doing so, as the second one I saw offered me the clear brackets on top at no extra charge to win my business (and it worked :p). We paid out of pocket.

    2. English, not American*

      I can’t speak from personal experience (I had my braces as a teen) but lately there has been a real trend among friends-of-friends in their late 20s/early 30s having orthodontic work, often to fix teeth that were straightened when they were younger but have since shifted. So if anything doing it as an adult could mean less risk of it undoing itself, making it more effective.

      1. Loopy*

        Seconding this, I work next to someone with Invisalign in her 30s. I also had braces myself as a late teen, wore the retainer after but… Not for long enough so my teeth shifted right back and I should get them done again as an adult. I just haven’t but I really should, all the progress of braces looks to be almost completely undone!

    3. Asenath*

      I’d consult the dentist – I think it is possible to have successful orthodontic work done as an adult. I know when I had some done (in my early teens), my family did a kind of carpooling with a woman in her 20s who was going to the same orthodontist. I grew up in a small town, so it was quite a drive to the larger town which had a visit from an orthodontist at intervals.

    4. twocents*

      31 here, and just got invisalign last year. I don’t know that I specifically had malocclusion (medical words just don’t stick in my head) but I had the issue of my teeth not being aligned. I asked my dentist for recommendations for an orthodontist, and she walked through the options. I went with invisalign because, for me, it cost the same and she said it was just as effective as braces for my specific issues. The technology’s really improved since my own failed early attempt at treatment when I was a teenager. I just switched to a retainer in January.

      Just as a heads up: a friend of mine went the clear braces route (he’s in his early 40s), and while you can’t tell in photos, they are just as noticeable as regular braces in person.

    5. Doctor is In*

      I needed braces as a kid but family could not afford it. Got braces as an adult in my late 30’s, and after a year, had planned surgery to move my mandible forward, then more time in the braces. Later had Invisalign for a tuneup. Before the treatment I could not get my top and bottom teeth to meet. It improved my appearance, but also improved dental function and ease of cleaning my teeth. This was all now years ago and I am very glad I did it.

      1. Texan In Exile*

        My mom didn’t get braces until after she had had her third baby for the same reason – she grew up poor. Her teeth were beautiful for years but then started drifting again so she had to get more treatment.

        But – this is what teeth do. Adult treatment works.

        And to OP – you were A CHILD when you made this decision. Forgive yourself. (And even if had completed the treatment as a child, your teeth might still drift back.)

    6. Not So NewReader*

      I too have a malocclusion. An ortho who was a family member looked at it for me. He said, “Once the wires come off- everything will start to go back to where it is now.” He said for the amount of money and the amount of pain, I would not get the improvement I hoped for. Now this is for MY setting, YMMV.

      I have a heavy interest in alternative treatments and methods. In discussing this with a practitioner they said to eat a lot of soups and veggie drinks. I don’t chew well at all because of the misalignment. (Okay I don’t really chew at all.) This sets the stage for digestive problems all the way down through my digestive tract.

      So I added liquid foods to my routines. Fast forward 30 years later, I lost 7 of my teeth. I will probably end up with a partial at some point here. I am so glad that I did not sink a bunch of money into ortho because now I realize it would have only been temporary anyway. Again, ymmy.

      1. StrikingFalcon*

        I’m my case, I was given clear retainers for both the top and bottom to wear at night. I wear them every night (they reduce how much I grind my teeth at night which otherwise triggers migraines for me, so I’m highly motivated to wear them). My teeth have not shifted at all since the wire came off, though they would if I didn’t wear the retainers. Everyone is different though, and some issues are much harder to fix than others. As Not So New Reader said, ymmv. Just offering my own experience.

        1. retainers*

          To add to this, I have a permanent retainer on the back side of my bottom front teeth and I also have regular removable retainers for the top and bottom, after getting Invisalign in my early 30s. These have kept my teeth from shifting for years now.

          1. Quiet Liberal*

            I can second this. I had full braces in the 70’s as a kid. Of course, the teeth started to shift immediately as soon as I stopped wearing the retainer. As a fifty-year-old adult, I went to an orthodontist because of gum issues that were caused by the shifting teeth and he was able to restraighten them without much effort and attach a permanent retainer to the backs of both top and bottom teeth. He made a silicone night guard made to keep me from grinding my teeth and gave me the impression form for future night guards. I’ve had many made over the last 10 years and no teeth have moved…the 10 year old impression matches my current teeth perfectly.

    7. Foreign Octopus*

      You’re not alone in this.

      I’m thirty and experiencing the same thing where my teeth are out of alignment. Mine was down to adult thumb sucking as a result of childhood trauma that I still, occasionally, struggle with and a lack of proper and consistent dental care through my childhood. I also experience the shame and anxiety you’re talking about and have to keep reminding myself that sometimes this is what it is and I’ll deal with it no matter what happens.

      The important thing is to deal with it now that you know and to keep pushing forward. I also know many people who have had adult dental work done with braces and the like. It’s much more common now than I believe it used to be so know that if you do need braces then people really won’t think anything much about it.

    8. ten four*

      My bestie did braces for years as a teen, and then his jaw just kept on growing. His front and bottom teeth don’t even touch. He’s talked to a couple of orthos as an adult, and the interventions to fix it now are extensive and painful; he has opted against doing more work. It may yet cause problems down the road but so far it hasn’t, and trying to fix it would be a lot of problems too.

      I don’t know if your decision to stop treatment in your teens was right or wrong for you specifically, but I can definitely agree with others on this thread that it wasn’t Obviously Wrong and Shameful. Go ahead and talk to some orthos and get some info about what moving forward might look like! Early 20’s is definitely the right time to have this conversation; it does all start to get harder as you get into your 30’s and 4o’s.

    9. allathian*

      I have something similar. I had braces when I was 10/11 on our national health. Then we moved abroad for a year and the braces were removed before my teeth had settled in their new places, and they grew wonky again. When we got back home, at 14 I was too old for the free treatment, and at the time, my parents couldn’t afford to go private. I finally had my teeth straightened out in my early 40s. My dentist told me that the oldest patient they’ve treated successfully was older than 60, so it depends on the condition of your jaw bones. My teeth aren’t perfectly straight, but at least my incisors touch each other when I bite, and I don’t have the issues I used to with my jaw joints hurting. I have retainer wires on the inside of my front teeth, no problems with them except that I can’t floss. I do use a toothpick that looks like a tiny bottle brush to clean between my teeth, though.

      I had practically invisible braces for 7 months in my lower jaw and 6 months in my upper one, and paid about 5 grand. I consider it a good investment.

    10. Cheshire Cat*

      I’m quite a bit older than you and I also suffer from malocclusion. Specifically, I have an under-bite and my lower teeth are slightly in front of my upper teeth when I close my jaw. I’ve seen the condition referred to as “Type-3” bite and also “jutting jaw” when I’ve googled it. It seemed to have developed and became noticeable during a growth spurt in my early teens. For reasons, I didn’t got to a dentist between the ages of about 9 to 14 or so. I brushed regularly and didn’t have any cavities and my family probably couldn’t afford it. My teeth weren’t and aren’t crooked, I just have an under-bite.

      When I finally did go to a dentist he noted the condition and said that I should probably see a “maxillo-facial surgeon” and that the standard treatment involved breaking the jaw, removing some of the excess bone that causes the lower teeth to be positioned in front of the upper teeth, then pushing the jaw back and waiting for it heal. During the healing process your mouth is wired shut and you have to go on a liquid diet. He said it was something I could have done in the future when I was an adult. It is almost always sually considered “cosmetic” by insurance plans and not covered by them and I’ve never been financially secure enough to consider it.

      In my research I see where if it is caught early enough, dentists or orthodontists can treat the condition my using very large rubber bands and they are supposed to hold the jaw in place and prevent it from growing, or slow down the growth, so that the teeth in the jaw don’t stick out in front of the upper teeth. I’ve also seen some orthodontic treatments for the condition using braces that is supposed to alleviate the condition without surgery.

      In my 50s I had problems with cracked teeth due to their receiving excessive pressure when biting and chewing as a result of the malocclusion, but fortunately my dentist was able to repair the cracks and I have been able to keep my teeth, at least so far. I’ve also had some problems with my gums that may or may not be related to the malocclusion. I’ve been told that the malocclusion may be a contributing factor to my occasionally getting migraines.

      At this point in my life (I’m in my 60s) I’m probably not going to have any kind of corrective surgery or orthodontics. I don’t think about it a lot, but I do wish that my parents had dealt with when I was a child and , after that, that it was something that I could have afforded to deal with when I was younger, but things never worked out. When I smile and I’m aware of it, I try to have my lower lips cover my lower teeth. I kind of feel resigned to the fact that I’ll probably end up getting dentures or implants when I’m in my late 60s or 70s.

      If you can deal with it now, you should do so. Having good teeth and a nice smile is one of the top 2 or 3 things that makes a person physically attractive and you ARE worth it.

    11. Sparkles McFadden*

      Don’t worry about being the oldest person getting work done. Almost everyone I know had dental issues addressed as adults with dental coverage. People get things fixed when they can afford to do so and there’s no shame in that. Some people wait to get treatment until a time when they know they will adhere to the plan. There’s no shame in that either

      I have the same issue but, as weird as this sounds, it never occurred to me that anyone’s teeth line up exactly. My newish dentist (I have been with her for two years now) is very good but harps on Invisalign at every single visit. My teeth appear to be straight so they’re cosmetically fine. I have never had any problems chewing, I don’t grind my teeth, I don’t clench my teeth etc., so that’s probably why I never think about it. I actually tried a night guard as the dentist suggested, eventhough I am not a grinder. I’m glad I did because the night guard made me sick to my stomach and I’d wake up in the middle of the night, feeling queasy. I gave it up after a month. (I still use in for sports. I really like it for that even though that’s not what it’s supposed to be for.) That was a pretty inexpensive way to find out that I would not want Invisalign in my mouth 22 hours a day. I can’t say I’ll never try it but for right now, I’m giving it all a pass.

      That’s from me in my 50s. If Invisalign had been around in my 20s, maybe I’d have tried it then.

    12. osmoglossum*

      Last November I got braces (the old-school metal, train track kind) for malocclusion — at age 54. My dentist, whom I trust implicitly, is doing the work himself, no orthodontist involved. My bite became misaligned because I was grinding my teeth at night for decades and I didn’t know it and all the other dentists I had been to (before finding my awesome current dentist) . . . never noticed? never realized? just ignored it? didn’t care? The thing about misaligned teeth/jaw, is that it affects the entire body in subtle and not-so-subtle ways. It affects posture, it affects mobility, it affects sleep. I can’t speak to feelings of guilt and anxiety because I don’t have any. What I do have are feelings of rage toward the other dentists who did not do right by me.

    13. WS*

      One of my mother’s friends got braces in her mid-60s because she was sick of dealing with the consequences of crooked teeth. She was told it’s often more effective and faster as an adult because your face isn’t growing at the same time. Ask your dentist about it – sometimes teeth are crooked with no particular consequences (like mine), sometimes it means that there’s greater chance of decay or a weird bite pattern that means some of your teeth are at risk of cracking.

    14. I'm A Little Teapot*

      I suspect your treatment options will be different now than when you were younger. However, you were a kid. And kids do dumb things. Forgive your younger, dumber self, and take care of yourself now.

    15. Rara Avis*

      I had braces as a kid, but my teeth slipped and I have malocclusion. I have no interest in doing braces again, and my dentist has never recommended them. (The expense is one factor; the inconvenience another.) My husband chose the opposite tack and is currently doing Invisalign in his 50’s. He says it hurts the first 24 hours he changes to a new tray size.

    16. Dental issue*

      Thanks to all of you for your (very encouraging) answers!

      I guess I was really overthinking this, and it’s reassuring to know I’m not the only one dealing with these issues.
      One thing I didn’t know was that malocclusion could have an effect on things like posture (I definitively have some problems with that) so I’ll keep that in mind when I talk to my dentist. I was also glad to learn that there are several options available for adults (I already knew about some of them but not all).
      I’m still anxious about it, but a lot less than before.

    17. not too late!*

      My dad got Invisalign at 60 to correct a dental issue that affected jaw/eating/etc. It worked. Never too late! The key thing is to remember to keep up with the retainers after treatment is finished. If you do that, it will be effective! If you’re worried about it, ask about a perm-retainer (piece of metal adhered to the back of your teeth). They do this for kids often, assuming they forget their retainers, but typically it’s not offered to adults because it’s not “cosmetic”. But if you’re forgetful (like me), it’s a game changer.

    18. little e*

      I know it’s late but I’m offering one more voice.
      I am currently in metal braces and hoping for jaw surgery this year. I had braces as a teen but did not wear my retainer. When I had to have a root canal and a crown put in because of my misaligned jaw and teeth grinding, I went to some orthodontist consultations. (Consultations are usually free! Go to as many as you can emotionally handle, in my opinion.) Two of the three orthodontists said I needed braces (not Invisalign) and surgery. The odd one out said my problem was from tongue thrusting and we could just extract a tooth from the bottom if the bite wasn’t fixed with braces.

      My original hope when I started treatment was 12 months with braces, surgery, 6 more months with braces. I just hit two years of braces. I don’t know whether my adult teeth aren’t as responsive but I can say that it seems to hurt more than when I had braces as a teen. Maybe I’m not as emotionally resilient as a teen. My teeth HAVE changed.

      Cost – I go to a pricey orthodontist. Depending on the payment plan, I could have payed $8000-9000. There was an option to pay in full, opt for low monthly payments (I chose this one), or opt for a low down payment. I think I just hit the end of the payment plan. The surgeon (had to consult with him too) wanted to do double jaw surgery, which was $25k but he said would not be covered by insurance. I requested single jaw surgery. That is $10k but insurance might cover it. (Two years ago, that is what they said…) Even if they don’t, I know I can pay for that over time.

      Guilt – yes, I felt bad because this might not have happened if I took better care to wear my retainer as a teen. But I didn’t and it did. And my teeth might have changed anyway. More, I blame myself for not getting the problem taken care of sooner and not spending the money to get a custom mouth guard from my dentist instead of an OTC moldable mouth guard. (I think that mouth guard made my issues worse.) My orthodontist said I did not HAVE to get treatment – I would just grind my teeth down more and experience more root canals and get more crowns. I did not want that. Instead of feeling bad, I try to feel good that my financial situation is such that I can afford this treatment and one day soon I might have nice teeth.

      My advice for you is to go to your dentist. Find orthodontists and schedule consultations. They will take photos and x-rays. Choose an orthodontist you like and who makes you feel comfortable. Have a list of questions and concerns. Try to cry in the car and not in front of the ortho (like I did). Decide where your line in the sand is. For me, it was having to get an emergency root canal the day after New Year’s. The sooner you start, the sooner it is over. At least, that’s what I hope. Good luck!

  12. Potatoes gonna potate*

    COVID VACCINE POST

    Just curious — Has anyone received both doses for the vaccine and not felt anything at all?

    I got my second dose of Pfizer on Monday and to be honest by Tuesday, I almost forgot I had taken it, I felt “normal.”

    the only thing I can say was different was that I felt tired earlier than usual but that could also have been attributed to another event earlier that day. I also had mild arm ache but my arms always hurt. So being in pain and tired is my baseline.

    I was so prepared to have felt something that I cleared 2 days from my calendar. Everyone I know has had some symptoms following the vaccine.

    1. StrikingFalcon*

      I had symptoms, but the clinical trials showed that around 50% of people had no side effects. The vaccine was still equally effective for them. It’s nothing to worry about!

    2. Loopy*

      I have not had the vaccine but my father had this experience. I was surprised as he’s much older but he reported pretty much the same after both doses.

      1. RagingADHD*

        Yep, my 80-something dad said he felt a little tired after the second dose, that’s all. Not even a sore arm or anything.

    3. Flower necklace*

      I had very mild symptoms after my second Pfizer shot. My arm hurt and I felt a little tired, but that’s about it.

      I’m a teacher. We’re in hybrid and people are still getting vaccinated. Some people are good enough to come in the next day, while others can’t make it. One of my coworkers said she initially felt fine and then had to go home. The reactions really vary. Like you, I was prepared to stay home for a few days. I feel fortunate that my reaction wasn’t that bad.

    4. Dumpster Fire*

      My mom had both Pfizer shots and reported absolutely no side effects at all, not even the usual sore arm (except for when I poked her there!)

      1. pancakes*

        I’ve just had my first of the Pfizer and my arm was sore the next day, and for two days. Very happy to get that shot nonetheless! And otherwise felt fine.

    5. No Name Yet*

      I had some fairly significant symptoms, but I had several coworkers (we’re in healthcare) who had zero symptoms at all. And I’ll echo what StrikingFalcon said, the clinical trials data said the vaccine was just as effective!

    6. Pharmgirl*

      Two people I know who received Pfizer had no side effects with either. While in general the second dose of both vaccines seems to have more side effects, a pharmacist I work with who got Pfizer feels anecdotally that people tolerate that one better.

    7. Pipe Organ Guy*

      A week and a half ago I got my first vaccine shot (Moderna). I hardly felt the injection, maybe felt a little tired that day. A day or two later, I had a sore spot on my arm around the injection site; as sore spots go, it was pretty minor. My second shot is scheduled for March 30, right in the middle of Holy Week, a busy time of the year for church musicians and staff. I’m hopeful I don’t get an incapacitating reaction, because I have service bulletins to get done, music to practice, services to play Thursday and Friday nights, and the biggie, Easter Sunday.

      1. Potatoes gonna potate*

        That was my initial thought haha. I didn’t want to say it out loud and jinx anything tho!!! Seems like 48 hours is the period and after that out of the woods.

    8. Valancy Snaith*

      No word on my own personal vaccine yet, but my dad got both shots of Pfizer and said after the second shot he felt a little tired, and a little sore in the arm, but otherwise perfectly fine. He, too, was surprised, having heard that the second shot especially tended to knock folks out.

    9. Yellow Warbler*

      I got the single J&J. Felt great for 12 hours, then the chills and hot flashes hit. They subsided within another 12 hours.

      1. Miss Dove*

        Same symptoms for me with the J&J. Have felt fine after the first 24 hours. It’s been a week now.

      2. Been There*

        I am part of a J&J trial with two shots. The doctor told me that less than half of the people in the trial reported side effects after the first shot, and the side effects after the second shot are less than the first shot.
        I felt no side effects after both shots, but don’t know if I got the vaccine or placebo.

    10. A Girl Named Fred*

      I’m with you. I had a little soreness in the arm the day of and the next few days was a little tired, but other than that I was totally fine. We had a few people from our office call out the day after due to side effects, but probably 70-80% of us had no issues.

    11. Elle Woods*

      My mom got her second dose last week. Her arm was sore for a couple of days but only if touched where she received the shot. My dad got his second dose three days ago. He hasn’t had any arm soreness but was pretty fatigued for about 48 hours afterward. He’s feeling fine now.

    12. Elizabeth West*

      Not got it yet, so I’m jealous lol.

      I just saw some epidemiology data that said the efficacy of J&J increases with time, so I’m not worried about which one I get. Just stick me!

    13. Blackcat*

      Anecdotally, what you’ve described seems somewhat common in folks 50+. I don’t know anyone 75+ who has had substantial side effects. The folks I know in their 20s/30s have all had much worse side effects.

    14. science teacher*

      The side effects that people feel from the vaccine are the side effects of a healthy immune system working as it should – fever, aches, exhaustion, etc. The stronger the immune response, generally the worse you’ll feel (but it’s short-lived.) This is why older people generally have fewer symptoms than younger people – our immune systems decline as we age. This is also why people who have already had COVID have TERRIBLE symptoms – their immune system is ready to kick in hardcore, which is great, but makes you temporarily feel like shit. This is also why there is a stronger reaction to the second shot than the first – your immune system is ready to go and fights harder to the second exposure, because you already have some antibodies from the first dose.

      If you had no side effects, it could mean you’re in your fifties or older; that you have a suppressed immune system; and/or that you’ve never had COVID. Or it could just be randomness. Either way, the vaccine still works (as others have noted.)

      1. Potatoes gonna potate*

        Yikes. I am in my mid 30s. I haven’t had COVID. I was under the impression my immune system is pretty decent despite chronic health conditions. Is there a way to test my system?

        1. sequined histories*

          You could just be fortunate not to feel sick after getting this particular vaccination. There’s zero public health advice saying you should be alarmed or seek follow-up medical care because you do not feel sick as a result of this vaccination. There is absolutely no reason to assume you need to “test your system” for anything. Loads of people have gotten actual coronavirus infections without ever having any symptoms or feeling anything. They were lucky! It’s hardly surprising that one particular person might not experience much discomfort as the result the vaccine. This is just one of those random, small blessings. Just continue to exercise common sense and take care of yourself as you would have otherwise.

          1. Potatoes gonna potate*

            Yes, I haven’t changed any of my habits – still wear a mask and keep my distance as well as washing hands constantly etc. I will not miss wearing the mask but do enjoy ppl keeping their distance. I’m trying to kee up with daily news on what’s safe yet but things change so rapidly, it feels safe to just continue good habits.

        2. science teacher*

          Yep – could definitely just be random luck. It absolutely doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with your immune system. I will say, that it’s a sign that a) you’re correct that you haven’t had COVID, not even an symptomatic case, and b) you don’t have a SUPERDUPER active immune system. (Again, not something to worry about or that you need to do something about.)

    15. Mimmy*

      My husband and I both got the first dose of the Moderna vaccine on Thursday. We both felt a bit off shortly afterwards (he described it as similar to feeling low sugar) and had arm soreness, especially yesterday. Otherwise, our symptoms were barely noticeable. I was totally prepared to feel like crap for the next 24 or so hours, so I’ll take the unexpected blessing of very light symptoms for both of us :) I’m in my late 40s, he’s in his late 50s.

    16. Girasol*

      I read that women are getting more side effects than men. They think it’s because their immune systems are more active than men’s are. I felt “off” after the first Moderna shot, but in the strangest way. I felt slightly high and all the sore joints that had been bothering me quit being sore. Alas, I got over it.

    17. Esmeralda*

      I got the J and J yesterday. Felt like someone slugged my arm hard, for about an hour. A little headachy today. That’s it!
      My spouse has body aches, tiredness. (Napping right now)

    18. londonedit*

      Both of my parents (in their 70s) and my sister (mid-30s, clinically extremely vulnerable) have had their first vaccines (AstraZeneca) and none of them had any side-effects whatsoever.

  13. Jane*

    Dog experts – please help! Our goldendoodle puppy (4.5 months) doesn’t sleep very much. In a 24 hour period she probably sleeps 6-7 hours total, which is WAY less than the expected 18-20 hours for her age. And, when she does sleep, it’s a light sleep. She’ll perk up at any sound.

    Because she’s not sleeping, she gets really bitey and frustrated during the day. Which I get! It’s become challenging to interact with her because she doesn’t have much interest in her toys and often she’ll just sit and bark at you or nip at hands/feet. This is different then when we brought her home at 2 months. I know biting is a part of the process, but there’s not much interaction that isn’t her either having constant zoomies or nipping at anything in sight. She’s SUPER food motivated, so I’ve been doing a lot of puzzles / snuffle mats / etc to feed her and give that mental stimulation.

    When I called the vet they just said to exercise her more—but even on a day when she got 3 miles in walks and 25 min of play/running with us in the yard, no difference. And it felt like a lot of activity for this 7 pound puppy!

    She’s crate trained in that she sleeps in a crate at night and we have a routine during the day where she’s in the crate. She’s in the crate for 1.5-2 hour intervals depending on my work calls. We’ll go potty, do some training, play, get water, and then go back in. Sometimes I get wild/frenzied barking which I try to not reward. She has barked for 3-4 hours straight before. When she’s not barking she’s just sitting or laying down awake. Currently she wakes up at 4am and will bark non stop until 7 or later. We take her potty and put her back in the crate without being exciting, but still the barking. (**we have a house so thankfully we aren’t keeping an apartment building awake too**)

    We are getting training from a dog trainer focusing on helping her relax and be calm. We try to reward relaxed behavior and I know it will take time.

    I wanted to check in and see if there’s any other thoughts people had. We’ve experimented with different crates, crate location, sound machine, covering/not covering the crate, kind/amount of exercise, bones/toys in the crate, bed/no bed.

    Is this a phase or is there anything glaring we should try? She is a super friendly and smart dog and we love her personality when we get to see it!

    1. Blurred*

      Is she a min golden doodle? 7 lbs is smaller than most golden doodles I know at 2 months. I ask because if she’s mixed with a toy breed, different advice may be needed, but I can share general retriever info. I found 4-5 months old the most challenging stage because 1) teething. Oh Lordy, so much biting and destructive chewing and 2) it’s hard to get them tired with exercise. Leashed walks rarely tire puppies out. They need lots of romping, free play. Do you know another puppy, or a good doggie daycare? Playing with other puppies was the only thing that really worked.

      1. Jane*

        Yes she’s a mini. She’ll be about 18lbs fully grown. We go to parks and run around on a long leash and do play dates with other dogs. Good call to focus more on that type of activity!

    2. Barbara Eyiuche*

      I would only keep her in the crate at night. She seems to be associating it with punishment now. Could you keep her out of the crate all day? Continue trying to tire her out, but after a walk and playtime, just let her stay in the house out of her crate. It might take her a while to get used to just relaxing in the living room without bothering you, but at least she probably wouldn’t be barking for hours.

      1. Chauncy Gardener*

        Agreed on it sounding like not enough exercise. As one of our dog trainers said, “A tired dog is a good dog. An exhausted dog is a GREAT dog” For that breed and age especially, I don’t think there’s such a thing as too much exercise, if of course you make sure they have enough water etc

      2. alex b*

        I agree. It’s not a phase; the dog is on edge and not sleeping because she’s not exercising nearly enough. This is a puppy who needs to be run ragged regularly! You don’t moderate a puppy’s activity; she’ll do it for herself. Tired dogs are happy dogs.

        PS Barking for 3-4 hours straight?! What on earth?!

        1. KoiFeeder*

          I wonder if the golden side is related to my brother’s golden retriever. She can, and has done exactly that for reasons such as “there is a shoe and I want to stick my nose in it” and “I would like to play with the feral neighborhood cats” prior to being medicated. She also sleeps very lightly and not very long, and always has with or without medication. But without medication, exercising her was a bit of a crapshoot because she would run herself literally until she hurt herself and just keep going. She also would simply… forget to eat. She’d get distracted and run off, and Sir Fusspot would eat all her food.

          She’s on Ritalin now (she actually, literally, has ADHD), and that’s helped with a lot of the issues. OP, if this all sounds very familiar, it might be worth seeing a behavioral specialist (but hopefully your pup does NOT have ADHD!).

      3. Natalie*

        It might be a lot for a puppy, though, depending on what kind of exercise it is. To much intense exercise can be bad for their physical development, although that’s more of an issue for larger dogs.

      4. MissGirl*

        Actually the recommendation is 10 minutes per age in months per day. So 45 minutes for this dog.

    3. Not So NewReader*

      My guy is a husky mix. He’s high energy even now at age 12. Like you say he never slept. I changed his diet got him towards foods that were downers such as turkey. Chicken was a big no-no for him. I had been feeding him kibbles and I switched to home cooked veggie mixes. I kept him stocked up with chewies, but he only had them when I was home. He dispersed a LOT of energy through chewing on those chewies.

      On one hand I gave a lot- changed his diet, got him some supplements and so on. But on the other hand I “demanded” of him. He’s a talker. I mean he talks constantly. I taught him when I said “enough” and wagged my finger that he needed to stop with the verbal. When your pup barks for hours straight something is going on. The pup could have an actual problem or it could be the pup needs to be told NO, STOP. I can’t tell which answer is appropriate. Even with my own pup, I would check him each time to make sure I was being fair with the animal. Sometimes all his blabbering was because his toy was stuck under a piece of furniture. I pulled the toy out. If he did not quiet down, I told him “It’s okay, that’s enough.”
      Checking and correcting feels like it will go on forever. But actually it doesn’t and they do settle.

    4. Foreign Octopus*

      I honestly don’t think the puppy’s getting enough exercise.

      Three miles a day plus 25 minutes for a puppy of her age with those two breeds in her, I think she needs more. And I’m saying this as a somewhat exhausted owner of a basset-dachshund cross that needed so much more exercise than I expected. On a normal day when I’m working, we do two forty-five minute walks through a hilly area plus an hour’s worth of ball play but at the weekend we go for a hike or to the beach, whatever it takes to get her exhausted. It was harder when she was a puppy because she had so much more energy but she’s settling down now.

      Honestly, the puppy stage is so much harder than people expect and if you put the effort in now, it’ll be easier for you in the long term.

    5. Natalie*

      A couple of thoughts:

      Consistent exercise will certainly help, but I would caution you not to only focus on that. Puppies can overexert themselves easily. You want to do more exercise where she’s in control of resting for a moment, think running around the yard or playing fetch versus leashed walks. Dogs will also condition themselves just like a person, and then they’ll need more exercise to get the same affect. Some kind of fetch or flirt pole can be a great two for one because it’s mental and physical stimulation.

      If she’s really small, she’s mixed with some kind of terrier, and bluntly you can’t predict behavior for these kind of designer mixes. She may have way more terrier traits than you were expecting, and if that’s true she’s going to need a lot of mental stimulation. Start researching dog sports.

      I might try using the crate for sleeping only for a while, including enforced naps. Some dogs *will not* settle on their own, you have to make them via crate, dark quiet room, etc.

      I don’t know what she has for chewing, but that is very calming for dogs. If she doesn’t chomp down on things I would look for cow bones, if she does chomp you could look st slightly softer options like wood chews or yak cheese.

    6. Puppy!*

      I know this sound counter intuitive but I got this advice from this group.
      I HAD the same exact situation.
      LESS EXERCISE!
      Took me more than a week to implement but saw almost immediate results. Now she sleeps from 9 to 11:30 and 1:30 to 3:45 and 7:30 to 11: 00 and then 11:00 to 5:00 am
      We went to a strict schedule of 5 minutes of exercise for every month so 4 months. No more than twenty minutes.
      Dog training- Mat training. 5 minutes at a time. Coming when called.
      Doggy playdates at a distance- no more than 15 twenty minutes.
      Her bed and mat are in the corner of the kitchen- she gets up at a sound but settles back-down.

      She may be too young to wait till later in the morning. I do still take her out at five am and then she settles with a bully stick or a frozen treat, while I do other things.

      I also have a Team Puppy. These are individuals who come by for walks and playdates . Helps with socialization, separation, and energy.

      1. Puppy!*

        oh and we pretty much failed crate training. YMMV. We have her in a penned area. She eats in the crate but was never able to settle to sleep.

        1. cheapeats*

          Agree. Look up Absolute Dogs- they have some great online programs. They also recommend fewer walks (they also have a podcast, Sexier than a Squirrel, and a youtube channel). They teach you that every dog has a bucket, and that every stimulation, whether good or bad, fills the bucket. Once the bucket is overflowing the dog becomes super reactive and has an extremely hard time settling down. We have seen this with our rescue, who we got as a puppy at 5 months. He’s a nut job but getting so much better.
          So you’re introducing a lot of exercise and it’s not working- try a few days of introducing calm. Less activity, less stimulation, more soothing activities. They have a lot of great resources on their site.
          Good luck! Puppies are rough. It’s a good thing they’re super cute.

      2. Dog and cat fosterer*

        I had mentioned the 5-minute/month advice, which I got from another fosterer that I trust, and it has been a life-saver with my retriever pup. I’m so happy it worked for Puppy! also.

        My pup is 6 months old, so I go on three 30min (6×5min) walks per day.

        Everyone who is recommending more exercise is likely used to adult dogs. The person who gave me the 5min/month ‘rule’ about exercise works with herding breeds, which are extremely active, so this isn’t about breed (although busier breeds should get more of these walks, so 2-4 per day instead of 1). I agree with the benefits of playing with other poopies and dogs, and running around the yard. The time rule is based on their bones and physical growth, as dogs shouldn’t be asked to do jumping sports (agility with jumps) or running with an owner until their bones are fully developed at about a year old. They can run all they want off-leash in an uncontrolled space, so playing with another dog is fine, but they shouldn’t be in a situation where they are forced to do more than 20 mins of leash walking at a time even if they are full of energy (I occasionally go on longer walks, so this isn’t absolute, but your normal walks should be 15-20mins for now). When I did a longer walk with friends then it resulted in being overtired and that’s why they get bitey and obnoxious. The bitey and barking behavior is almost guaranteed to be about being overtired.

        Mental activity is very important so that part is great. Calmness training is also really good!

        I’m wondering if there might be a food allergy problem that is causing her tummy upset and problems with sleeping? That endless barking in the morning is bad news, not just for you but also her. Do you trust her to be in bed with you during those hours? I would honestly try it just to see if something different works. You don’t have to have her in bed forever, just for a few days or a week to see if it helps. If so then maybe set up a crate next to your bed, or a dog bed next to your bed. But I would also try a low-ingredient non-bird (especially avoid chicken) food for a few weeks. Or I made up ground beef with a lot of veggies and fed that for a couple weeks because I wanted a meal that was guaranteed to be safe.

        It seems that you know she’s overtired but you don’t know how to address this. I completely agree and hope that shorter walks, food allergies, or sleeping differently might help. I am not good about having a daily schedule, but I think she could really benefit from consistency until she sleeps better.

        One last thought: frenzied barking isn’t about rewarding or not. An older human having a temper tantrum knows better, and should be ignored. But a puppy that young who is barking like that can be hugged and massaged (I massage their shoulders/back to calm them). Don’t reward them with cuddles for barking at the back door at 4am, and you do want them to settle in the crate, but go with your gut and if she will sleep better in your arms then do that for a while. Sort out her sleeping habits before worrying about the crate. Which is really funny for me to say as I work with a lot of dogs that have separation anxiety and I know the importance of crating, but deal with the sleeping first and foremost!

    7. Missouri Girl in Louisiana*

      I have had retreivers for a number of years and this is pretty common. Retrievers are “mouthy” dogs and like to have a toy in their mouths. I keep Nylabone products for my Golden (and only Nylabone) in his kennel. Having said that, I also teach my dogs to behave in their kennel and get into a routine. They are not allowed to bark and bark (sports barking) so you have to figure out why the dog is barking and fussing. You can teach the dog to bark, which stops the sports barking, just like you teach the dog to “jump” to stop jumping issues (my Golden has a “Hugs” command which allows him to jump up on me and get scritches on his neck/chest which is a reward in and of itself). If you do social media (and for this issue, I would recommend FB pages), find a Competition Dog Obedience, GoldenDoodle, or find out what the local obedience training group is near you and at least follow them on FB. The best obedience trainers are those either showing in competitive obedience or part of a club. You do not have to want to show in dog sports but there’s a world of excellent advice and help right there and it’s free. However, you have a puppy and like a toddler, they will push the limits and challenge you (and get the biting under control asap. not cute-not for a large or small dog).

    8. chopsticks*

      I can’t tell for sure but you might be rewarding the barking in the crate if you’re waiting for her to wake up and then take her out. If she wakes up, barks, then you take her out to potty, even if you put her back in after she’s pottied you’ve rewarded the barking which is causing her to bark even harder next time. Try to get her up and take her out before she wakes up on her own and starts barking – and start being stricter on not rewarding barking in the crate. Crate training was really hard for our goldendoodle too, I think because their personalities are so social, and he would not settle in his crate for quite a long time. 3-4 hours of straight barking was not unheard of for us, unfortunately, and be prepared for it to get worse before it gets better. I think you might need to work more on the crate training, and I agree with the importance of puppy play. Our pup did puppy kindergarten and started puppy day care 2-3 times a week at around 4-5 months. Good luck!

    9. Dog and cat fosterer*

      To reiterate:
      Biting and barking are very clear signs your puppy is overtired. Just like a human baby that gets cranky until it falls asleep. More exercise is not going to fix this! Exercise in smaller chunks (20mins for a 4 month old pup) would probably help. Also look for underlying medical problems that may be causing a lack of sleep, such as food allergies, although I’m not a vet so please ask around (although maybe ask your trainer to recommend another vet if your current one wasn’t helpful).

      Your pup is giving you every sign that this will get worse rather than better if you go on longer walks.

      1. Puppy!*

        I second this. The tired dog is a happy dog is just wrong. My pup in less than a week went from bitey, whiney, barky to content, easy to settle, able to listen. I learned how to hold her quietly under her chest for attentive quiet time when it seems that she was in “melt down” mode.
        Thank you AAM puppy people for all your great advice.
        She is seven months now. –
        she is house trained- goes to the door when she needs to go out. She also pees on command.
        She is well socialized.
        She knows how to
        sit
        leave it
        Go to your mat
        up and down
        in and out
        wait
        down-stay
        come
        touch.
        window
        crate.
        get your stick
        bring it
        ball
        high five
        stay
        loose leash walk.
        go to bed.
        Plays well with others.

  14. WG*

    My husband didn’t have a reaction to either of his shots. A little soreness in the injection site, but otherwise no issues. I think I read somewhere that only about 30% of people have a reaction.

  15. Question from Houston*

    Ok, folks, let’s assume you’re an educator, and your spring break has sprung, and you’re in Houston- what would you do to get the most out of your week during the pandemic?

    1. Anonymath*

      Not a hard assumption here! We’re sleeping in more, planning on visiting the beach in Galveston on an early morning to avoid crowds, getting takeout from a more distant but interesting restaurant, and planning a backyard camp out. Also lots of spring gardening. It’s not a trip, but at least it’s different.

    2. WellRed*

      I’d plan some fun stuff like Anoymath suggests. I’d also build in a day or two to tackle some cleaning or big project I keep putting off.

    3. Web Crawler*

      I don’t know Houston (I’m in Georgia), but I’d probably find some hikes to take advantage of the spring weather. Another thing (if you live in a city) is to find the nearest rural area and stargaze- my partner and I did that a few weeks ago and it was amazing.

    4. RussianInTexas*

      Go to Galveston, check out the Arboretum, go to Brazos Bend State Park, drive out on 290 and look for bluebonnets (I am not sure they are out yet). I imagine the Enchanted Rock park will be super busy during spring break.

    5. Loves libraries*

      In Georgia. Our break is in 2 weeks. We’ve planned a trip to a state park and stay in a dog friendly cabin. Our 2 adult sons live between the park and will join us for a long weekend. We will hike and relax. Cabin has no wifi. May get takeout but no restaurant meals this trip.

  16. Realtor question*

    Have you had experience with buy a home where the realtor is both the seller and the buyer’s agent?

    Spouse and I have been looking for a new home for about 6 months. We sold our last home with a realtor we like who has been helping us find a new place.

    Unfortunately with the market being what it is, we’ve had no luck. Her other clients have their first or second offers being accepted. We are offering 10% over asking, waiving all contingencies and still losing the bidding war.

    A homeowner contacted the realtor about selling a property in a neighborhood we really like. I don’t doubt the Realtor’s integrity/ ethics but are there things we should consider about buying a place she’s representing?

    1. Lcsa99*

      So we’ve experienced plenty of agents that insisted we not bring our own agent – they wanted to represent both us and their seller and manage everything. I know you liked her before, but as much as you like her, it would be in your best interest to get someone else to represent you in the purchase. You can’t completely trust that she will act in your best interest, even subconsciously.

    2. Reba*

      Did you sign any agreement to work with this realtor? If so, see what it says. In some states, dual agency is not even allowed due to the conflict of interest. If you do want to pursue it, you need to be sure that the agent has both you and the sellers sign new agreements laying out what she can and can’t do.
      If she takes the property and you really want to offer on it, I think it would be best to break up with her and have another agent to represent you in the transaction.

      Good luck!

      1. Wishing You Well*

        Yes, this is a HUGE conflict of interest.
        Legally and contractually, the seller’s real estate agent must act in the best interest of the seller which is NOT in the best interest of the buyer. It’s like having a lawyer prosecute and defend the same person.

    3. General von Klinkerhoffen*

      We recently went through a difficult house move involving multiple transactions (I think seven, in the end?) and by far the worst link in the chain was where an agent was working for more than one party at once. The English system is terrible, mind you.

      There’s an obvious motivation of a realtor or estate agent to get a property sold for a good price, particularly if they’re paid a percentage rather than a flat fee, and if they only get paid on completion. In our experience, having the same person handling consecutive properties in the chain introduced a conflict of interest. Other people find that it can smooth the process because there’s no delay in passing information through (etc) and they have a vested interest in getting both commissions through.

      On the other hand, if it’s a dream property then I wouldn’t put too much weight on who the realtor is, particularly in the market you describe.

    4. Flabbernabbit*

      We did this when we were perusing homes casually with no realtor. Then we came upon a house we loved and used the seller’s agent. This had to be disclosed and a written agreement signed. That was 10 years ago. Now, this practice is no longer allowed by law where I am. The realtor can’t be impartial. In my case, we were also in a seller’s market and there were multiple bids. We were coached and won the bid. We wouldn’t have going in blind but it also meant we bid more. It was fine, but it never felt right working with someone who was also required to represent the seller’s best interest and herself. She only took one commission and seller/buyer split the cost, which was was good but still. I wouldn’t do it again.

    5. bunniferous*

      Ethical agents can handle this but even for an agent it’s difficult because there are so many ways you can get into trouble as an agent representing both sides. The problem with switching to another agent at this point is your agent already knows all your financial stuff, etc.

      If you really like this house do it as long as you trust your agent. But yes, talk it over with her first and make sure you understand what the differences are in dual agency because there are some.

      If you did not have a prior good relationship with this agent my recommendation would be way different.

      1. bunniferous*

        I forgot to mention-if you do decide you would rather use a different agent-FIND OUT if in your state your original agent would be obligated to share everything she knows about you with her client. In our state once your agent is not your buyer agent anymore, but is a listing agent for a house you want to buy they HAVE to share what they know about you with the homeowner.

        In that scenario you would be better off with dual agency.

      2. Joan Rivers*

        I think it’s not only about how ETHICAL the agent is but also how MATURE they are, in the sense that they can manage the complexity of balancing both sides’ interest.

        It can be simple when buyer and seller want the same outcome, but human beings can come up with some odd quirks at the last minute. They may decide after signing a contract that they just won’t honor something like including the washer and dryer. They can decide to not give up the house on the day of Closing. It’s happened.

        That’s when you want more than competence, you want good people skills.

    1. ErinWV*

      This seems to be a popular scenario for fiction. There was a movie on Netflix I watched a couple months ago (Agatha and the Truth of Murder) in which Christie gallivants off to a country house to play sleuth. She’s undercover, so the story of her disappearance is an unanticipated consequence.

  17. The Other Dawn*

    I’m looking for skin care product recommendations.

    I’m 46 and a woman; my skin can get a little oily by the end of the day, though nothing like when I was younger thankfully; I’ve given up makeup–can’t be bothered this past year; and my whole skincare routine is washing my face in the shower everyday. I’d like to start doing *something* in effort to minimize the appearance of aging on my face. I’m thinking I really should make a little effort now that I’m getting older, but just can’t be bothered to take on a complicated daily routine. (To me, “complicated” means having to use more than one product. So I’m really just looking for one good product, though I’d be willing to add something else if it would really help.)

    My mom always swore by Pond’s Cold Cream and something in the Oil of Olay line, though I can’t remember what it was. And she’s no longer alive so I can’t ask. She was 71 when she passed away and her face always looked so radiant and smooth, like she was still in her early 50s, though she had the normal lines under the eyes and some on her forehead.

    I’ve tried some products in the Beekman 1802 line, though it was only because I decided to try their beauty box subscription. I didn’t like the foaming face cream/mask. The bubbling feeling was really uncomfortable and it’s supposed to be left on for 20 minutes–I made it five minutes. I’ve tried the Dewy Eyed under-eye serum, but I don’t feel like it did anything. I admit that I don’t put much stock in the effectiveness of skincare products, but I’m willing to try a few things if people have recommendations.

    1. The Other Dawn*

      Forgot to add that I still sometimes get pimples, mostly on my chin. I originally thought it was because I was resting my chin in my palm while working–I did that a lot at the office–but I’ve been WFH for a year now and really don’t do that anymore. Mostly because my standing desk isn’t quite as robust as the one in the office and I worry it will tip over, even when it’s in the down position.

      1. Dwight Schrute*

        Check out curology! My prescription has anti aging and acne treating active ingredients and I’m really happy with it. I’ve been using it for almost three months now and it’s definitely made a difference!

    2. Atheist Nun*

      I think the best skin care products are 1) good genetics and 2) a healthy acceptance of the aging process. Beyond that, wear sunscreen and use a good cleanser to wash off the muck that the day brings (including that sunscreen!). Trends like “double cleansing” and “10 step skin care” are only meant to sell products, which are invariably packaged in plastic.

      I think Glossier and The Ordinary offer some good quality yet budget friendly options. I like to read reviews on Beautypedia to try new products.

      1. llamaswithouthats*

        I agree that skin care routines don’t have to be super complicated or expensive, but daily behaviors like properly cleansing your skin and wearing sunscreen do make a huge difference if it’s something you’re willing to take on. Women (and men) who don’t do these things develop wrinkles much earlier than if they took care of their skin. (Whether or not you care about wrinkles is personal, of course, but point is it makes a bit of a difference.)

      2. Voluptuousfire*

        Definitely second The Ordinary products. I wash my face in the shower and when I get out and dry off, I dampen my face with a washcloth and use The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid + B5 serum. Let that sit for a few minutes and then use a moisturizer. Done!

        I do need to find a sunscreen. Harmon Face Values made a fantastic SPF 55 that was $4 but they discontinued it. :(

    3. WellRed*

      I’ve been using Neutrongenas Deep CleannCream cleanser for decades. It’s non foaming and doesn’t leave my fairly normal skin feeling tight. I like super lightweight cooling moisturizers (oil of Olay at night, but not the sticky pink one) and Neutrogrna with sunblock for day. A little retinol eye cream at night. And a few times a week a random mask or swipe with a peel pad (L’Oréal right now).

      1. WellRed*

        Adding; I’m 51. And I only wash face once a day now, at night to remove “the day.”

    4. Trixie*

      You might find Dr Dray on YouTube an interesting rabbit hole to explore. Dermatologist who appears to place high emphasis on research/studies vs marketing or current fad. She also recognizes tried and true favorites like Cerave, Neutrogena, etc. She’s a big proponent of sunscreens, unscented products , and the proper layering of products.

    5. peasblossom*

      My favorite skincare line hands down after years of trying more expense products is La Roche Posay. If you struggle with some redness/pimples, their toleriane line is excellent. I like their gentle cleanser, toleriane day and night lotion, and then I occasionally use their hyaluronic mask and retinol cream, but my skin leans combination/dry except in the height of summer, so you’ll want to try one’s designed for combination/oily. Their website regularly runs 20% off sales, and I think they’re very reasonably priced.

    6. It happens*

      You don’t need a lot of products- sunscreen any time you are outdoors (don’t forget the back of your hands).
      Use a gentle face face wash in the shower, if you can put it on before your shampoo and keep it on for about a minute while you clean the rest of you it can do more cleaning. A gel moisturizer might be good for the semi-oily skin, neutrogena has a good one. At night, the Ordinary retinoid ($10 for a bottle that lasts a few months- granactive retinoid 2% emulsion) followed by a creamier moisturizer for overnight. Drugstore brands work, cerave is really good.
      Simpler is better.

    7. Betty*

      One of my good friends is a dermatologist and I recently asked her about this. She said there is good evidence for retinol and hyaluronic acid reducing/preventing wrinkles and recommended Olay Regenerist, so I bought the daytime and nighttime moisturizers. She said to use only a pea sized amount and start using the big time one with retinol a couple times a week and then increase to nightly over time. I’ll also note that both of us lean toward natural products and I have particular concerns about anything that may get be an endocrine disrupters and she get the Olay line was safe for me, especially given how little you actually need to apply.

    8. CatCat*

      If I only had to pick ONE product, if would be a facial moisturizer with sunscreen. I just use one they sell at Trader Joe’s.

      This is my typical facial care routine:

      Morning:
      – Either rimse face in shower, or if I’m not showering, splash warm water on my face or pat my face with a wet, warm wash cloth. (I don’t use soap on my face.)
      – Pat dry.
      – Apply Neutrogena Hydro Boost gel and let absorb.
      – Apply SPF 15 face moisturizer (I use one from Trader Joe’s and used to use one made by Olay that I liked). I think this is the most important item for my facial skincare.

      During the day, I may reapply moisturizer as needed.

      Night:
      – Splash warm water on face and pat dry again.
      – A few times per week, I apply a retinol night cream (very small amount, a little goes a long way).

    9. Queer Earthling*

      I’ve been really into products from The Butters Hygienics Co. Not only are they really nice and affordable products, but it’s a black- and queer-owned small business. Personally I like their coffee face scrub (I use it a couple times a week) and my spouse likes their rose x witch hazel toner (same); it’s not a magical one-off product because I still wash my face daily with an unrelated moisturizer, but it’s an occasional extra that seems to make a lot of difference to me without having a ton of extra work every day.

    10. A313*

      A retinol for the nighttime, a vitamin c for the daytime, and sunscreen. You can add other things as you like, but these are the basics. The retinol I like is La Roche Posay Retinol b3; it’s gentle and effective. The vitamin C I like is Skinceuticals C E Ferulic; it’s pricey, but you don’t use much. The sunscreen I use is EltaMD; they have a few sunscreens, and I like the untinted 46 SPF.

      I also like niacinamide for acne areas like my chin and for any darker spots. I also use a moisturizer after the retinol and the vitamin c.

    11. Emma2*

      I would vote for hylauronic acid (from what I have read there is not really a difference between the cheap ones and the expensive ones – I use The Ordinary). It takes seconds – wash, smooth hylauronic serum on face, add face cream, let it absorb – I put my contacts in at this point – add sun screen, done. Hylauronic acid helps to keep your skin hydrated and protect your skin barrier. Oily skin is not necessarily hydrated skin – hydration is about water content rather than oil, and good hydration can make your skin look better long and short term (apologies if I am over explaining – thought I would share that in case useful as sometimes there is a lack of clarity between hydration and oil in a skin care context).
      Sunscreen every day – trying to fix damage is more expensive and less effective than preventing it.

    12. Dark Macadamia*

      I don’t like the feel of product on my face and didn’t want a complicated routine, but I saw a noticeable difference when I started using eye cream and moisturizer with sunscreen (Cetaphil gel cream and CeraVe ultra light moisturizer). I use Neutrogena cream cleanser as my daily face wash which doesn’t keep 100% of acne away but also doesn’t irritate or dry my skin out like other kinds I’ve tried.

      1. The Other Dawn*

        That’s how I feel, too: I don’t like the feeling of products on my face, especially now that I’m not wearing makeup anymore.

    13. llamaswithouthats*

      I highly recommend CeraVe products. I also second Dr Dray’s YouTube Channel if you want to learn more about skin care.

      My recommendations for preventing aging are sunscreen and cleanser. I also recommend retinol and hyaluronic acid and a night cream, but since you mentioned you don’t want anything too complicated, I would invest in the sunscreen and cleanser for now. (Also sun protection in general, like hats and sunglasses.)

      My morning skin care consists of cleanser and sunscreen, and my night routine consists of cleanser, retinol, and night cream. I also do the occasional exfoliation and face mask, but it’s not super necessary and it’s just be being extra. (I actually enjoy applying skin care. I stopped wearing makeup two years ago but I like my skincare routine.)

    14. Hotdog not dog*

      According to my late grandmother, who was always mistaken for much younger than her actual age, remove makeup with Ponds, then wash your face with Ivory bar soap, use witch hazel for toning, then Oil of Olay at night. In the morning, splash cool water on your face, witch hazel again, and moisturizer with sunscreen. Except for the Oil of Olay, (I use the same moisturizer with sunscreen both times) I’ve followed the same routine for years and have to depend on my gray hair to give away my real age (fiftysomething).

      1. The Other Dawn*

        Wow, your grandmother’s routine sounds extremely similar to my mom’s. I remember her telling me she used Pond’s to take off the makeup, Ivory to wash (I think in later years she switched to something else), and then finished with Oil of Olay at night. Guess that’s why her skin looked so good! She used witch hazel, but it wasn’t part of the routine. I don’t remember at this point what she used it for.

    15. OyHiOh*

      I’m a few years younger than you and my skincare is pretty much your mom’s routine.

      I run a washcloth over my face in the shower (no soap). Neutrogene SPF/moisurizer after shower. Pond’s cold cream at night to “take off the day” and moisturize before bed. Whatever will be, will be. My mom and her sisters have pretty good skin at this point, we’re a non smoking extended family, otherwise seem to have pretty good hair/skin genes.

    16. Anonosaurus*

      I like The Ordinary, although I like faffing about with three different serums at night and you obviously don’t ;)

      otherwise, Pixi is my go to brand; the Glow Tonic and retinol moisturizer are really good, and also vegan and not tested on animals.

      But I’m 48 and until about a year ago I was a “wash face in shower and occasionally bung on some oil of olay” person, and I think I look ok. The one thing I have done consistently is wear sunscreen. If you do nothing else, do that.

    17. AVP*

      I think almost all skincare products are really, really hit or miss unless they’re directly recommended to you by a pro who is looking at your skin and isn’t paid to represent any specific brand. If you’re really interested and have it available, make an appointment for a short facial at a spa that isn’t aligned with a brand and have that person tell you what to try. I’ve also had good luck with a dermatologist reccing products.

      (on the East Coast, Heyday is amazing for this when they’re allowed to reopen)

    18. Cheesesteak in Paradise*

      Physician (though not a derm). Order of importance for skincare is:

      1. SPF30 or more every day on exposed skin – I just use a physical sunscreen (Whole Foods brand sport spf30) in place of a moisturizer but personal preference there
      2. Retinol at night – formerly prescription Differin is not OTC but there are a lot of choices, start slow like every other day
      3. (Getting more optional) Vitamin C in the morning before sunscreen – I like Timeless because it’s a lot cheaper than Skinceuticals

      That’s it. Niacinamide can be good for acne. Hyaluronic acid will draw water into your skin for a temporary plumping effect that makes you look younger – but it’s only temporary (like maybe before a party or a date, not everyday). The Ordinary sells cheap versions of both – but they are extra fluff, the above 3 things are all you need for a routine. And if you combine sunscreen with your moisturizer, that’s 3 total products.

    19. Sleeping Late Every Day*

      Nivea Essentially Enriched 48-hour Nourishing Moisturizer. My Mom swore by Nivea and had better skin in her 90s than most women in their 60s and 70s. I took her supply after she passed and my skin is much nicer than it used to be.

    20. More Pizza*

      Makeup and skincare have gotten better over the years in my opinion. Formulas can be pretty lightweight/weightless. I just tried 100% Pure’s 2nd Skin Foundation and didn’t feel like I had anything on but it provided light coverage and evened everything out in a subtle, natural way. It is a liquid that sets like a powder. But you said you are more interested in skincare. You didn’t really say what your goal was so it’s hard to make any specific recommendations.

      I’m not a fan of retinol because it can irritate, cause dryness, and increase your sensitivity to sun. Reservatrol is a milder form of retinoid I believe that you could look into if that is something you’re interested in.

      Without knowing much about your goals, and having heard that our delicate skin around the eyes is more prone to dryness as we age, I’d say a good nighttime eye cream can feel luxurious and is what I’d recommend to you as the one product you use based on what you shared. I like Biossance’s sunscreen and moisturizer (the cream not the gel) – haven’t tried their other products but I would try their eye cream.

      In my experience, there is a lot of, shall we say, noise in beauty generally and in skincare specifically. There are effective ingredients out there that work, but the hype and marketing make it hard to find effective products. My opinion is that you need to have a good understanding of what you are looking to reasonably achieve, and then seek to understand what options you have in terms of active ingredients and formulations that will help you reach your goal. I’ve made progress through slowly researching things and trial and error.

      It’s also important to note that regulation in beauty has been pretty dismal in the U.S. You can look up specific products and ingredients on ewg.org/skindeep to learn more about what they are used for, what is known about them in terms of safety, and how EWG rates them overall. Both 100% Pure and Biossance have incredible ingredient lists compared to the rest of the industry.

      To address another comment, I’ve tried the double cleanse and I’m not opposed and it doesn’t have to involve more plastic. I have coconut oil that is packaged in a glass container with a metal lid that I’ve used to remove makeup – the first cleanse – and then I use my regular face soap to remove the coconut oil. I like coconut oil for removing makeup, at least occasionally, but I need that second soap cleanse to get rid of the oil. I don’t use the oil if I don’t wear makeup.

      1. The Other Dawn*

        I’m not too sure what my goal is, to be honest. I guess it would be just to take better care of my skin so it’s healthier, which might help it age more gracefully. I realize that’s a pretty high-level, generic goal, though. It would nice to maybe make it a bit softer and have more of a natural glow. Some days I feel like I look really washed out and a little blotchy, and then others it seems to look just fine.

        1. More Pizza*

          I think that is a great goal, that’s pretty much my goal, too. I have noticed my skin has become more glowy, and I think that’s because a lot of companies make face wash “brightening.” It’s not something I actively sought out, but it’s everywhere. Something like vitamin C that works to even out skintone is what I hypothesize has resulted in the glowiness in my case, with other ingredients included in formulas for brightening contributing. That’s just my guess for my case. Skinceuticals C E Ferulic has good reviews but I haven’t tried it. Another thing that helps me with glowiness is hydration. If I want a really dewy look, I use marula as a face oil. My skin is dry though. If yours leans towards oily, it might be different for you. As far as softness goes, maybe a gentle exfoliator? There are both physical and chemical exfoliators. The best physical one I’ve used is from Lancer. Glycolic acid is used as a chemical exfoliant but it makes you sensitive to the sun. Lactic acid is supposed to be a milder alternative that doesn’t have the sun sensitivity associated with it.

    21. I take tea*

      I really dislike face creams, because I can feel it on my skin and even the unscented ones have a distracting smell. I switched to jojoba oil some years ago and I’ve had far less problems since with both pimples and red, dry cheeks. I use it after i shower, and wash my face with cool water in the evening. That’s it. I should be a bit better on the sun screen, though, I mainly use it in summer, because we don’t get much sun in the winter.

    22. RagingADHD*

      I use the store-brand version of Olay for sensitive skin, with SPF. It’s great for daytime, not greasy.

      I use a gentle non-foaming wash and a night cream from Aldi.

      I use Ponds sensitive cold cream if I wear eye makeup. (Not on the rest of my face, it’s too heavy)

      I used to develop contact irritation from any products I used for more than a few months, and had to switch constantly. I’ve been using this combo for several years now, and am very happy with how my skin looks & feels.

      1. llamaswithouthats*

        If you aren’t already, look out for the ingredient “Fragrance (Parfum)” in the ingredients list. It can be a huge irritant. I go for products/brands that are fragrance-free for this reason.

    23. The Other Dawn*

      Thank you, everyone, for your recommendations! I have lots of things here to research and try. :)

  18. PX*

    If you had a noise issue with your neighbours, whats the verdict on speaking to them directly vs letting landlords handle it? Especially if you’ve tried speaking directly once before and not had a great reaction?

    Context: I live in a house that has been split into 2 flats that are both rented out, I’m on the ground floor. New tenants moved in upstairs about 2 years ago and they are just super loud. I’m fine with the general noises of life (of which there are many because he is a stomper), but my biggest issue is they clearly have a sound system on their floor – so whenever they play music, the bass and reverberations just come through the ceiling – and it is so annoying.

    When they first moved in, I spoke to them about the noise (it was much worse) and while they have toned it down slightly, its still a lot (at least a few times a week, at all times of day/night).

    I know the sensible thing would just be to go talk to them again, but the reaction when I first spoke to them was that the guy denied being loud at all…which is kind of hilarious because I can literally hear him yawn – thats how thin the walls are. So I feel like talking to him again is unlikely to have any effect.

    I have a great landlord who has always said if there are any issues, I can let them know – and they would talk to the owners of the flat above. In my head, this feels like I’m escalating the issue massively, but honestly – I’m just really tired of having to listen to their terrible music every day/evening for the last few weeks. I try to be generous, I can sleep through a lot so when they play music at night, I dont even mind that much. But right now I’m just trying to enjoy a Saturday morning and the thudding bass is absolutely killing me :/

    1. nep*

      Just sorry you have to go through this. I love / need quiet, and I know how unsettling it is to be robbed of that.
      Hope you’ll get resolution.

    2. Green great dragon*

      Could you ask them specifically to lift the speakers off the floor? Seems less confrontational than a general ‘please be quieter’?

      1. WellRed*

        We’ve literally asked upstairs neighbors to move fans off the floor because the noise and vibration is unbearable.

      2. pancakes*

        Practical, too – it could really help if they’re presently on the floor. Rugs on the floor, too, if they don’t have any. The landlord can be useful requiring these things if the lease calls for them, which it might. Does yours say anything about sound? Even if it doesn’t, it could help to have the landlord on your side in requesting both.

      3. PX*

        Yup, this is basically what I want! I think because the first interaction with him basically had him denying making any noise even when that was clearly the case just makes me super wary of interacting with him again. Might try going round when he’s out and just his girlfriend is in actually…

    3. Caterpie*

      I’m so sorry. I understand how unbearable that situation can be. Just to be safe, I’d start keeping a log of the times where the noise is unreasonable (with recordings if possible) and the dates of when you talked to the neighbor.

      It might be nice to give one more courtesy notice to the neighbor about the music specifically, and then go to the landlord with the log if your conversation doesn’t fix it.

      1. Joan Rivers*

        If it’s loud music you can actually video your place w/the sound. And show the owner all the videos w/ stomping or music. Have several. Maybe get a voice-activated audio thingie that can record even if you’re not there.

        A Zoom call to the owner might help, while the music is loud.

    4. Natalie*

      the reaction when I first spoke to them was that the guy denied being loud at all…which is kind of hilarious because I can literally hear him yawn – thats how thin the walls are. So I feel like talking to him again is unlikely to have any effect.

      I guess I wouldn’t really call this a bad reaction, at least with what you’ve described here? If the walls are really that thin, it sounds like he might really think they aren’t that loud, but isn’t quite processing how much you can hear. If they do tend to listen to music or generally have more noise going, they probably can’t hear those little things from your apartment. And with only 2 units, they’ll obviously know you complained to the landlord, so any bad feelings they’re going to have aren’t going to be avoided.

      I had a neighbor with similar music habits and it definitely was annoying. If you approach them again, it would probably help to be specific and focus on the music, whether that’s specific suggestions for moving their speakers or coming up with a compromise about times when they don’t play it.

      1. fposte*

        I agree. If you can hear him yawn, the problem isn’t that he’s loud, it’s that the building is poorly soundproofed. That’s not at all uncommon, in my experience, with converted houses.

        So the approach isn’t “You’re doing something wrong,” because he’s not. It’s “sound travels like crazy in this old house. Can we find ways to minimize that?” And be aware that stuff may go the other way too, especially smells (in one such building I could tell everything my downstairs neighbor cooked and every time they lit a cigarette) and maybe even bring that up proactively as evidence of your willingness to work together.

      2. Courageous cat*

        Agreed. This kind of disproves your point rather than proves it – if you can hear him yawn, then that’s not him being loud, that’s your building sucking. Yawning is generally reasonably quiet.

        To some degree I think you may be out of options here.

        1. Natalie*

          That and, after talking to them they did tone it down. Deciding talking to them will have no effect doesn’t really follow, unless them quieting down wasn’t the effect you were looking for.

          1. Dan*

            I’m going to “plus one” all of this. It’s not reasonable to expect the neighbor to take the tone of, “I’m so sorry my existence in this building annoys you.”

            OP talks about the *walls* being thin, but if the issue is just the sub woofer making the thumping, and it’s on the *floor* above them, then there is one more thing to try… I put a bass dampener (got it on Amazon) underneath my sub. I also turned the sub down a bit lower.

            In general, COVID means that *everybody* is home more often, and making more noise. Realistically, there’s limits to how quiet one can make (and expect) a place to be.

          2. PX*

            You make a good point about being clear. From the previous conversation, volume levels probably went from 10/10 to maybe 8/10 now. I guess I should probably think of what the ideal level would be.

        2. Pond*

          “Yawning is generally reasonably quiet.”
          This is true. I tend to yawn silently. But there are a few people I know who somehow yawn very loudly.

      3. PX*

        Just commenting on this thread because it seems to have generated some discussion, but when I had the first talk with him, I did say the exact words “The walls are very thin, and I can really hear everything you do” (also because they were having a lot of very loud sex). But I guess my hesitance is that when I said “You were playing music really loudly last night at 2am, could you please not do that?” and he very defensively went “No! I wasnt playing music at all” – that doesnt really make me feel like they are going to be reasonable about it? But I should give them the benefit of the doubt…

        There is a huge difference between when they have (what I assume) is a subwoofer on the floor going vs not, so at least for me the obvious suggestion is probably either to lift it off the floor or have some kind of sound damping material underneath – so will try and suggest that and see what goes.

        1. Dan*

          I mentioned up thread that there are dampeners that one can put under a sub. I bought one off of Amazon, IIRC, it wasn’t that expensive. TBH, maybe you can just buy him one and see if it helps.

          Although, there are a couple of things I’m picking up that may (or may not) help your dialogue with the neighbor:

          1. Is this guy above you? And if so, is it the *floor* that is thin? Because talking about the *walls* being thin could be confusing. For context, I live in a garden style apartment. On my floor, my wall adjoins the storage unit. If my upstairs neighbor came to me and said “hey, the walls here are very thin, I can hear everything you do”, I’d say, “so why don’t you talk to the guy on the other side of your wall then? I’m below you.”

          2. How quickly did you end the conversation after he said he wasn’t playing music when you thought he was? I play video games (and music) and they’re not the same thing. If someone says to me, “you were playing music last night really loudly.” Well… my first reaction might be, “nope, wasn’t playing music last night.”

          All in all, it seems like your place is one where sound travels very, very easily. COVID being COVID, we’re all cooped up and collectively are making more noise. There’s only so much one can reasonably do to keep noise levels down. I still go back to how you can literally hear the guy yawn, and my reaction is, “if the floors are that thin, I don’t see a way of making this work.”

          1. PX*

            1. Yeah, I realised after I read the thread that the term walls probably wasnt right. Its the floor (they live above), the neighbours to the side are fine, I know them better and have never had any noise issues with them.

            2. Eh, I think I reiterated my point that noise travels very easily and that as I was below them, I could hear everything and would really appreciate if they would be mindful of volume and try to keep it down. The layout of where I live is very simple, so definitely no confusion about where the noise was coming from. And this was definitely music, not video games. (They play video games now as well, I can tell the difference!)

            To be honest, its more frustrating because the couple before them were very quiet and I hardly ever heard them! So for me its not just that the house has bad insulation which I cant do anything about. As soon as he leaves the house, there is basically no noise (even though the girlfriend is still there). Like I said, I’m generally okay with life noises (walking, talking, yawning), but the thudding bass. Argh. It probably also doesnt help that I guess he also makes music in his spare time, so I get to listen to snippets and samples of the same thing for days on end…

            1. Dan*

              You probably don’t have a lot of great options. You *can* look into your local noise ordinances and see what the city/county might enforce. You can also look at the terms of your lease and see what it says about noise generation. In any sort of apartment complex the lease will generally say something about making noise that disturbs your neighbors. The tricky part is, if your upstairs neighbor intentionally moved into a place without that written in the lease, he’s got a reasonable expectation that he doesn’t have to put a lid on things just because you’re bothered by them. Doubly so if he’s making money off of his music… it’s going to be really hard to convince him to stop doing something that makes him money.

              I get it on all sides of the coin, I really do. Sometimes you luck out in the neighbor lottery, and sometimes you don’t.

              The irony with all of this is that you mentioned this isn’t much of an issue during the night when you are trying to sleep. If it’s only happening during the day, odds are, the police can’t/won’t do anything.

            2. Natalie*

              That does sound really annoying, especially after your last neighbor was so quiet. Sometimes video games will get on my nerves for the same reason, the same little bit of noise over and over.

              I think focusing on maybe 1-3 solvable problems will be your best bet. Like, can he wear headphones when he’s working his music, lift the speakers off the floor, and not play music after some agreed on hour? I think talking to him or both of them directly will still get you better results than the landlord, just because it’s going to seem kind of P/A to go directly to the landlord.

    5. Esmeralda*

      If you haven’t said anything in about two years, they have no reason to think it is bothering you.

      Speak to them first.

  19. nep*

    I sit too much. And my body doesn’t do well with that.
    Glad the nicer weather is here for the occasional stroll outside.
    When I remember, I’ll get up and do some stretching and light glute exercises.
    What do you do to make sure you’re moving around enough, when work or other activities have you sitting a lot of the time?

    1. Web Crawler*

      At work, I listen to the free version of spotify and take a quick water/stretch break every time it plays ads.

      Also, if I drink enough water, I’ve noticed that I get up frequently on my own.

    2. Lilly*

      Yup on the getting up every hour to grab a glass of water. That solves two problems at once. Since working from home I’ll get up to do some dishes or meal prep work once or twice a day. My physio recommends breaking up the sitting by working standing up if you have the desk set up. A walk during lunch is great, as you get some sunlight.

    3. Liz*

      I walk around the house during phone calls. I have mild phone anxiety and it’s actually an automatic stress response, but when i take a call i will generally pace up and down the room for the duration of the conversation. I think i once clocked 12000 steps in the duration of one 2 hour plus phone call.

    4. Decidedly Me*

      I have a Desk Cycle that I use while sitting. When on calls where I don’t need to view or present a screenshare, I pace.

    5. Might Be Spam*

      There are a lot of zoom groups who exercise or dance at different times of the day. I made a calendar of the times and when I want to exercise, I check out the calendar to see what’s going on.

      It’s more fun to do an activity when I know that others are doing it at the same time. Pre-recorded videos don’t work for me. Sometimes I don’t feel like exercising so I sign in anyway and run it in the background while I do something else. I usually end up getting interested and join in the activity and enjoy it.

    6. Mimmy*

      Sometimes when my husband has music on, I’ll dance to it.
      When watching TV, I sometimes kick my legs.
      I’m always on the computer so I try to remember to get up at a breaking point of whatever I’m working on to do something else just to not be sitting in one spot allllll day.
      If it’s nice out, I may ask my husband if we could go on a walk (I don’t like going alone).

  20. Purplerug*

    Folks in your late 30s/early 40s dating – how do you handle the ‘why are you single?’ question (in the various forms potential partners ask it)? At my age where I live it’s expected that if you’re single you have a divorce behind you and if you don’t there’s this presumption there must be something wrong with you or you’re not marriage material…because surely if you were perfect and/or marriage material someone would have snapped you up by now – even if it ends in divorce. I’ve tried diplomatic explanations which are some variation of the truth – in my case the actual truth is I dated a guy for years I thought I would marry (who on reflection I was very mismatched with) and he treated me badly which culminated in him leaving me for someone else when my parents were terminally ill (the subsequent grief of all those life events together meant I stayed away from dating for a long time). Now, I package parts of this into a story where maybe I dated a guy and it just didn’t work out, we dated and decided we’d be better as friends, we dated and realised we wanted different things long term..love and light etc., I’ve had a few serious relationships that haven’t worked out…but no matter how I package it potential new partners see it as some kind of red flag or signal that I’m not prime rib so to speak. For context these guys usually have an ex-wife and/or a child or two, and I don’t pick apart why their marriages broke down etc. because I realise that everyone’s lives are different and sometimes things just don’t work out.

    So, for the singletons north of 35, how do you field this question from suitors? I’m getting a little weary from it!

    1. nep*

      Never found the right person at the right time. (I don’t think you owe dates any more detail than you want to give in the moment.)

      1. Purplerug*

        I do try this one and find they probe further and further about ‘well who were you dating then’ with an implication I must be fussy or have unreachable standards.

          1. Joan Rivers*

            It’s a compliment, actually, that they wonder why you’re available. Have a reply ready and then say, “And you?” Then you can segue into talking about interests and hobbies that make you both individuals.

        1. PingPongPenguin*

          Haha well…I am fussy. Someone who pushes my boundaries to tell them more than I’m comfortable with, is someone who does not get another date with me. If that’s “fussy” — yep, sure am.

          Detailed autopsies of past relationships aren’t particularly useful in the early stages of getting to know someone, and now that I’m older, I don’t think they have a lot of utility, really, ever. People are individuals and our interpersonal dynamics are individual, too. We all have to work through our own personal issues, and I’m more interested in the self-awareness the other person demonstrates, and whether they seek to accumulate wisdom on their journey, than “why they are single.”

          In your case, since it seems no answer you give is sufficient for these folks, perhaps it’s time to consider whether the premise of the question is flawed, and not your answer.

      2. Elizabeth West*

        This, or a version of this How I Met Your Mother exchange:

        Robin Scherbatsky : Chemistry. You got chemistry, you only need one other thing.

        Ted Mosby : What’s that?

        Robin Scherbatsky : Timing. But timing’s a b!tch.

    2. pancakes*

      The mindset you describe seems dour, hidebound, and unrealistic – for me it would be more of a cue to filter someone out of the field of prospective suitors rather than an opportunity to win them over.

      1. Purplerug*

        I agree wholeheartedly but unfortunately the vast majority of first dates I’ve been on end up with this line of questioning…and I’d like to not be single forever so I keep trying.

        1. Natalie*

          It does sound aggravating, but I don’t know if there’s an answer people can give you that’s going to change this somehow? Provided you’re telling some version of the truth in a more or less even keeled manner, I don’t think there’s a magic combination of words that will change the reaction you’re getting.

          For whatever reason, there is something about the pool that you’re fishing from that makes this a very important question. You can’t change that. You get to chose from changing your own mind about how you evaluate these particular fish, continue to reject them and accept that means you’ll be fishing for a longer time, or change pools somehow.

          1. Dan*

            Yeah, there’s something up with pool. I’m 40, divorced, no kids, and that’s about as much as I’m going to try and suss out of someone on a first date (or within the first three months), and that’s about as much as they’re going to get out of me about relationship history in that same time period. At my age, the only thing that deserves a pressing answer is the “kids” question.

            I’m almost wondering if OP’s pool is concerned with finding a surrogate mother for the kids or something along those lines.

        2. WoodswomanWrites*

          As someone who did online dating in the past, I personally found it annoying when someone on a first date asked me why I was single, like our meeting each other was a job interview. That’s a reasonable question after you’ve been seeing each other more than once but at least in my context, this person was a stranger and that didn’t feel like an appropriate question.

          I don’t know how you’re meeting your dates, but if it’s online, I used to say by email before we met that I saw online dating as just a way to meet someone comparable to any other social setting, and overtly said I didn’t approach it as an audition. That avoided those awkward conversations and I generally didn’t want to see people again whom I considered prying.

          That said, whatever your dating context is, I think it’s fine to say you were in a long-term relationship that didn’t work out. I think that’s an honest, acceptable response. If someone on a first date pushes further, I add that we grew apart. I hope that’s helpful.

      2. Not So NewReader*

        I so agree.

        A person who is sincerely interested would drop the topic. They would figure you have the right to keep your pain and heartbreak to yourself if you chose. It’s called respect.

        The people you are talking about do not have basic respect in place. I would not waste my time if I were you.

        1. Dan*

          I’m with you and pancakes. As someone without kids (but divorced), there’s no way that question is going to lead to a pleasant answer. So why ask it before it’s necessary? It’s fair to ascertain if someone is willing/capable of settling down, but there are better questions to ask, and it need not be an involved conversation.

          1. Liz*

            Agreed! People change and grow through their adult life, and I imagine it would be a bit of crapshoot trying to gauge the relationship potential of somebody approaching 40 by asking them why the relationship they were in ten years ago broke down. They might be a different person now. I know I certainly am!

            1. Jackalope*

              In fact, it might be *because* of that relationship that they’re a different person. I know I’ve had times in relationships where I decided, “Once was a life experience, twice is a mistake, and this is not a mistake I want to make.” (That includes both break-ups and friendships that are still going on – we fixed the issue, learned from it, and moved on to do better.) It’s certainly possible to get stuck in a bad pattern, but also possible to grow and do better next time.

      3. Ali G*

        Totally. I met my husband when I was 32 (he was 36), and we maybe were curious if either had been married (no), but beyond that it doesn’t matter. In fact they should be happy you are single so they can date you!
        My answer was though – I’ve never met someone that I thought I could be with for the rest of my life. It was true, because if I had, I wouldn’t be on this date with you, jerk. :)

    3. twocents*

      I turn 32 this year so I’m a bit under the age range you asked for, but I’ve literally never had a date ask me that. After all, they’re single too.

      I’ve had tons and tons and tons of other people ask me (including my gyno, which was probably my least favorite conversation either). Tbh, I’ve not found a great response. Sometimes I say that I have an awesome life and hunting around online just to add someone else to it is draining and sucks. My parents are aware that the last seven or so dates have all peaced out once they realized I made more money than them. I’ve told some guy friends that and got a spectrum of responses of “totally get why he’d leave over this” to “I’d think it’s awesome if I found a girl who out-earned me” the latter coming from my aerospace engineer friend so he comfortably makes quite a lot on his own anyway.

      1. Flabbernabbit*

        I’m 20 years older than you are, and I find it distressing that men in your age group would still find it intimidating to date a woman who out earned them. They probably don’t correlate that with pay equity in the workplace.

    4. Workerbee*

      If you were ‘t already weary from this and your focus is, understandably, elsewhere, I’d be tempted to suggest firing back similarly assuming questions at these “Prime Rib” guys: “Why did your wife leave you?” “What have you worked on about yourself since then?” “Are you really just looking for someone to take care of your kids for you and keep your house clean and your gut fed?”

      1. Workerbee*

        Ooh, and double down with the “Clearly so many people made mistakes with their first (or second) marriages since the divorce rate is so high around here! Take yourself, for example.”

        —but I’m feeling salty on your behalf.

        1. Joan Rivers*

          Some people meet a total stranger on the basis of how they look and have no idea who the person is. I have to find that balance of how much I know; can’t imagine meeting someone w/o knowing enough to be sure it’s worth the bother.
          But I’ve corresponded by email w/guys I’ve met commenting about politics, and life, and we’ve spent 3-4 years getting to know each other. Three of them I’d love to meet if I were in their city. But they’re just internet friends.

          I know they’re smart, witty, good values, similar politics, and I’ve seen how they interact w/others at the comment site too, they’re cool. We’ve talked about our lives in email way more than some couples do. It amazes me when political junkies say their partner isn’t into it.

          1. Workerbee*

            Sure! What the OP seems to be dealing with is not just a mild sussing out of a balance or not. She seems to be more on the discarded-with-scorn side of the dating experience. That is what I was reacting to.

    5. fposte*

      As a never-married who’s done dating over thirty, some well over thirty, I don’t necessarily see the question as horrible—it’s coming from someone with a vested interest in the answer, and who may very well be wanting to tell his story. I’d read it not as “What happened, you freak?” but as “How did you find yourself on this road? Where do you see it taking you?” It sounds enough like a crappy Thanksgiving dinner family question that I understand the bristling, but even though it’s not artfully phrased it could lead into some valuable conversations.

      1. Flabbernabbit*

        This really resonates. The “why are you single” assumes that it is universally undesirable to be so. I’m no longer mid thirties and dating but I answered this as “Oh my goodness, why wouldn’t I be?” I’d say I had one or two lovely relationships and a couple of others that weren’t. Then I’d give them an illustrative anecdote, like getting a new apartment and blowing my furniture budget on a snowboard. Married the guy who found that charming. There weren’t many. Lol.

        1. fposte*

          I love this—it’s exactly what I’m getting at, in the reasons tell a prospective partner important things. I think it’s fine to answer that that’s a later-in-the-relationship question if that’s how you view it, since you’re not obligated to answer anything just because somebody asked, but this is the one situation where the question is genuinely germane and acceptable.

      2. Dan*

        I get both sides of this. At least having a divorce in my back pocket, I can avoid the perception that I’m a 40-year old man child afraid of commitment and responsibility.

        But if someone wants to get into why I got divorced… there’s a time and place for everything, and the time and place for that is *months* into the future, after we’ve decided there’s some level of 1) Compatibility, and along with that, 2) trust. Some people here (including you) are aware of parts of that history, and it’s oh-so-not first date (or first month) fodder.

        So I can get someone wanting to ascertain that I’m not an overgrown man child who wants a woman to take care of his cooking and cleaning, an abusive jerk, a raging alcoholic, outdated attitudes about women’s role in society, or some other thing that makes me a long-term no-go. But the particulars of my marriage and divorce? Nope, not any time soon.

        1. fposte*

          Yeah, and honestly, if the prospective date was coming here and asking for advice on how to ask the question, I’d strongly suggest a different way. But I think it’s reasonable to separate this as a dating question from an annoying aunt question, and answer the question you think should have been asked. (I *love* answering what you think should have been asked instead of what was asked in social situations.)

          I also think us never-marrieds can seem more enigmatic (which, frankly, I rather enjoy). Am I listed as single because I was in a LTR and felt it was bogus to put down “married”? Because I’m a commitmentphobe who loves dating, or because I hate dating so much I didn’t have much other opportunity? Ultimately I think the question for all of us is “what does your romantic history mean for me?” And I agree that getting into rip-your-heart-out details is so not first date appropriate, but that’s also a litmus in its own right–somebody who wants to use the first date to vent to me about the horrors of their last relationship isn’t for me. But somebody who can negotiate layers of intimacy by saying “Yes, I’ve been divorced for a few years now; it was a good decision. No kids. What about you?” and saving the details for deeper knowledge is much more my wavelength.

          1. Liz*

            Oooh, enigmatic! I like that! I don’t think of myself as very enigmatic – my last relationship was a 2 year car crash, and then I’ve spent 8 years being so busy rebuilding myself and trying to become a vaguely functional adult that I just had no interest in anyone. I’d like to think I’m now far more capable of having a mature relationship now, but I’m already hugely out of practice and interacting with the one guy I have a crush on is utterly terrifying. If I ever get as far as asking him out, I might have to plan how on earth to explain my horrendous history in a way that doesn’t send him running for the hills, but I guess I’ll cross that bridge if I get that far.

            1. fposte*

              In a situation like that I’m always a fan of the layers, where you get a deeper level of information the more intimate you get, but then that’s also my personality and something people I date are going to work well with. There’s a difference between saying “it’s reasonable for people you date to want to know what your past means about your romantic approach” and “people you date will need to judge your entire romantic history before starting anything with you.”

            2. Dan*

              Honestly, if you don’t want to scare him off, a simple “I’m picky about who I date” (with the implied, “and I just picked you”) is sufficient.

              The funny thing is, at this point in life, people who seem to always have a new significant other (or are on multiple divorces) are more of a turnoff than people who can go awhile without being “attached.” Because in those cases, now I have a couple more questions: 1) What is your sense of self independent of your partner? 2) *Why* do you cycle through so many partners, at least to the extent that it informs me of how you handle conflict and the choices you make when you don’t get your way?

              I hear you on the train wreck. Mine was a little longer than 2 years (but not by much) and *almost* as far back in the rear view mirror as yours. And you know what? Some of that probably made a permanent impression.

              One reality I’m going to have to tread carefully with: I really, really enjoy living by myself. I don’t know what it will take to give that up again.

          2. Dan*

            One thing with the early on “tales of relationship woe”… I think for me, especially when one had no kids, is that it signals that the “baggage” is still front of mind. My question in those cases is, “have you really moved on? I want to date the present you, not the you stuck in the past. Are you emotionally available to be a reciprocating partner?”

            If one does have minor children, an “out of sight, out of mind” mentality toward the ex is probably an unreasonable bar. So figuring out what kind of relationship one has with said ex and how they deal with it is important. Are they going to come back from the kid exchange all distraught and is the rest of the evening going to be ruined every time that happens.

        2. Might Be Spam*

          I’m fine with not knowing right away about a previous marriage and divorce. I’ve grown since my divorce and I hope that would be true of the person I’m dating.
          What really turns me off is asking if I like to cook and other housekeeping interview questions. I’m old enough to worry that the other person is looking for a housekeeper and future caregiver.

    6. Courageous cat*

      It’s interesting because I’m kinda, at 34, someone who asks those questions (or did when I was dating this past year). I mean, it isn’t a red flag per se, but it’s certainly something to note when a 40-year-old man has “had a few serious relationships that haven’t worked out” but that’s it. I’d wonder if he was bad at committing or if he was a manchild and no woman could deal with it. Divorce at least indicates that they are willing to commit, and someone was willing to commit to them, but it simply didn’t work out. It’s not about being prime rib, but about using the limited clues you have about essentially a stranger to decide how to approach the situation going forward.

      That said, you owe no one an explanation. I’d just say something like “haven’t met the right person yet”. But I wouldn’t think of it as a subtext of people telling you you’re not worthy or “prime rib”, but rather just trying to collect the whole picture with limited info.

      1. Courageous cat*

        I feel I should clarify: in addition to wondering if he was bad at committing/childish, I would also simply wonder if things hadn’t worked out with his last few relationships – I wouldn’t assume all bad things – BUT it would put me on the track for asking more about it later to kind of figure out what I was working with.

      2. Liz*

        This is a really helpful perspective. Maybe this varies by region and culture, but everybody I know who is in a committed relationship met their partner in their mid to late thirties or older. Being terrible at commitment, making terrible choices, or getting screwed over because you were young and naive are just sort of par for the course for the average 20 something in my world. I think I would probably expect a potential serious partner to show some indication of having learned from their mistakes and grown as a person, but I think I’d be surprised to find someone who WASN’T bad at relationships in their 20s, as it’s all part of being young and stupid. I’d view the “just didn’t work out” answer as being just bland and expected. No drama, just life happening. What sort of thing would you look to hear as a reassuring answer? And what would be a red flag?

      3. Jackalope*

        Obviously, use the dating techniques that are best for you at picking a partner, and I wouldn’t tell you to stop that. Having said that, though, I would say that this particular question is not the best way to get the information you’re looking for. It puts people on the defensive – everyone I’ve talked with who’s been asked that question takes it as a polite way to ask, “What’s wrong with you?” And if there IS something wrong with the person you’re on a date with that makes him a bad partner, there’s no way he’s going to admit that; who’s going to say, “Well, none of the women I dated in the past would put up with me being a manchild, but I’m hoping you’re different from them”? I’d recommend finding different ways to figure out the information you’re looking for, since I don’t think it’s an effective question and it’s off-putting to the person you’re asking.

        1. Courageous cat*

          I definitely don’t mean to imply that I ask it early on or ask it with that level of brusqueness, for sure. But I do try to gently pry as to their past relationships and how they got where they are now. So I agree.

    7. Liz*

      As a mid-30s single person, I would be kind of shocked to hear this question early on. Maybe my reaction is coloured by my experience, but I’d consider this to be WAY into intimate, later-date territory when somebody is potentially open to the emotional pandora’s box it might unleash. I’m single because I was abused by previous partners and it’s taken a very long time to begin to heal the damage and even consider dating again. I’m more than prepared to go into it, but not at the “so what kind of music are you into?” stage of the relationship. I think if I was asked too early on, I’d gently deflect with “that’s a conversation for when we know one another better” and treat their response as valuable insight into their attitude towards boundaries.

      That said, I’ve also known people who seem to think it’s ok to ask me “so how come you never got married?” when we are barely aquaintences in the workplace. And then treat my bland avoidance as in invitation to casually guess at my circumstances. So maybe I shouldn’t be so shocked!

    8. Not A Manager*

      I would say something like, “I was in a very long-term relationship. When we broke up, it was much like a divorce in many ways.” If they push for more details, I would say, “As we get to know each other I’m happy to talk about this more, but right now I want to enjoy this evening with you. Tell me about [yourself].” Fill in the blank with a good prompt. People love to talk about themselves.

      1. Joan Rivers*

        If you DO start to date, one key question is, “How does he feel about his mother?” If you can get at that deftly you’ll have a big clue about his feelings toward women.

        1. Anon for this*

          Do you really think that’s universally true? My partner has a difficult relationship with his mother, she’s controlling, intrusive and often cruel without even realising it. (For similar reasons, so do I!). He definitely respects women and treats them as equals in general, I don’t think you can generalise from one family relationship, which may be difficult, to an entire gender….

        2. Liz V*

          On the other hand: many people were raised by objectively terrible mothers — abusers, neglectors, narcissists. A person’s feelings about their mother isn’t necessarily an indication of how they feel about other women. (Substitute “fathers” and “men” to make the situation more universal to terrible parents in general.) The child of a bad parent may have done tremendous inner work repairing that damage, and may be an absolutely stellar partner as a result of doing that hard inner work.

    9. Yellow Warbler*

      You mention an involved process with your parents. In your situation, I would say that being a family caregiver took all my time and didn’t allow for casual dating to become serious.

    10. Filosofickle*

      I’m sorry you’re running into that. People can get really hung up on it — fear of commitment, “too independent”, and unrealistically high expectations seem to be the most common interpretations. It is wearying to be assumed to be broken just because life events happened that way or you had enough independence not stay in a situation that wasn’t good for you. It’s gross.

      My stock bland response has always been “it wasn’t a priority for me” which is a pretty good vague response but was also completely true! Most men accepted that fairly well over the years. A few wanted to dig, but that was more about their fears than me. The story I had to package carefully was that I was coming off a very long hiatus from dating. 13 years long. I actually had to strategize a a fake number of years to cite if i couldn’t sidestep the question. I am usually an open book, but it was such a distraction and it was far too personal and deep early on! Most people can’t even fathom it, and it triggered all sorts of alarm bells and prying.

      I am now four years in with my partner. We were 43 when we met. And we both had spotty histories but that put us on the same page — we weren’t ready before but we are now. I was a different person at 43 than 3o. We evolve. And sometimes we don’t need to evolve, we just aren’t in the right place at the right time yet.

      1. MEH*

        I really like your answer, Filosofickle. It resonated with me and was what I was going to suggest as well. Personally, I realized I prefer being alone but if that changes one day, I would probably add something like, “I decided to see what’s out there and have fun with it”, but more elegantly.

        OP, it seems that you don’t mind the initial question so much as the follow-up questions that imply (or outright state) that there’s something wrong with you for not having been married. If that’s the case, then I’d double down on the ‘it wasn’t a priority at the time’ or the time-honored ‘I wanted to sow my wild oats and I had many to sow, but now I’m ready for something more’ sentiment.

        If someone kept persisting after that, well, then I’d kick them to the curb because that’s just way too much for a first date.

      2. Liz*

        That is a really useful answer if I’m ever asked this. I’ll be stealing this! Im at about an 8 year hiatus, not 13, but it will be interesting to see if anyone finds that in some way strange. It’s funny, because it was never an active choice – I was just distracted by life and then suddenly I was in my mid thirties – but I had just sort of accepted that I might well never have a relationship again, but then the universe blindsided me again and I developed a crush! So I guess I’ll see what happens?

    11. NobodyHereButUsChickens*

      I used to get this. ( i married at 35). Mostly I thought it was incredibly rude and nosy.
      To “why are you single” my reply was “because I’m not married” and if they persisted with “But why aren’t you married? my answer was “because I’m single”. Further interrogation got them “it seems like this really bothers you. Why is that?”
      At parties with mostly couples I would occasionally get “Where’s your husband?” The best answer to this was “he ran off with his personal trainer”. That usually shut them up.
      Mostly I use the “why are you so focused on this” approach.

    12. Mstr*

      Perhaps dust off the line from Brigit Jones about how she’s single because obviously all women over 30 are covered in scales under their clothes.

    13. Purplerug*

      Whoa I am loving all these replies and suggestions – thank you! In answer to some of the questions the pool is very small for me in that I live in a very rural area and when you add the pandemic into that….online dating it is! But I noticed this line of questioning when I used to live in the city and when I would meet guys at work so I’m not sure it’s just the small pool factor. I get that people are curious about it (I am too!) but generally I find that no answer satisfies their curiosity enough and there’s always some probing with vague negativity around it….’oh you guys wanted different things? Guess you must still be in love with him then’ and such. I can’t recall one date who has said ‘oh that’s a shame/good to know/similar to my own story/crazy etc. and if I say I was too busy/didn’t notice time passing/was working on my career they interpret that as me being a career b*tch (as one said to me over dinner!!) when really I have been looking on and off over the years but never met the right guy at the right time. It happens to a lot of us!

      I sidestep the question about how long I’ve been single because it’s been a long time and tend to not mention the caring for my parents because I like to keep that private until I know someone better. I don’t probe about divorces although some men will gladly unpack those on the table between dinner and dessert and I prefer to take someone at face value, not the whole road that’s led them to me….at least not on the first date anyway.

      1. Not So NewReader*

        ” Guess you must still be in love with him then”

        And with that I am done. See, I don’t like it when people assume, plug in their own answers or decide my own feelings for me.
        If a person is willing to speak this way on the first date or early in the getting to know you phase, who knows what they will decide it’s okay to assume as time goes on. nope. Nopity-nopity-nope.

        Tell him “Yes, I still am!” and then say, “Bye have a nice life!”

        Instead of letting the question pull you down, let the question free you. You are free to move on from this person.

        Alternatively, you could always ask, “Oh do you always decide people’s feelings for them?”
        Grrr. Me, I can’t waste my energy because this could be an ingrained life habit that they will not fix until they understand it’s a problem.

    14. Liz V*

      I’m in my 5os, never married, by choice. I do occasionally get curious questions about why (as well as why I never had kids), and I keep it simple: because I didn’t want to.

      It really is that simple, sometimes.

      So far, no one’s probed or pushed further, but if they did, I would redirect to ask them why they are interested, and maybe why they think that’s a polite/respectful question to ask someone they’ve just met.

      Back when I was in my 30s/40s, though, when the topic came up, I’d give a little more detail: “Yeah, I’ve had long-term relationships with some really great guys, but those relationships ended because of structural differences.” (Two people wanting different things at different times, etc.)

    15. Jackalope*

      I HATED that question when I was dating (I met my now husband at 38 and we were married at 40, so I too heard it a number of times). My life pathway was a bit different than most because a) I didn’t meet someone at college (which is where a number of my good friends met their spouses); b) I went overseas shortly after college to Save the World and lived abroad for a few years, not knowing (and, to be honest, not caring at the time) that in the meantime everyone else was busy getting hooked up and finding a mate would be much harder when I came home; c) due to Reasons from family history I was a bit leery of getting married for a number of years; and d) I had a long-term platonic relationship that went briefly weird & romantic and then imploded in a way that I found very traumatic & for many years thought was entirely my fault. So I wasn’t at a place (either geographically or emotionally) to start looking seriously until my early 30s, at which point the pickings were much slimmer.

      Out of the above, I generally used the living abroad answer and said something along the lines of, “Oh, I spent my twenties Saving the World and life was too crazy for dating.” If pressed, I would cheerfully talk about my adventures on another continent, since I found that being a bit exotic often helped my cause. In an actual long-term relationship I was happy to talk about c & d, since those related to my own personal issues that I brought to the relationship, but not on a first date.

      (I will add that the only time I got a question like this that I did NOT feel insulted by, was a few dates in where he said, “How is it possible that no one else has snatched you up yet?” Which obviously has a very different sort of feel, and since he eventually married me, he was clearly not planning to make the same mistake.)

    16. allathian*

      I was 33 when I met my husband, he was 28. I’d had one serious relationship in my early 20s before I met him, and I’d been single for 8 years when we met. He’d dated a few women casually but he’d never been in a serious relationship before. My best friend’s husband, and one of my husband’s friends were coworkers and set us up on a blind date, and here we are. So I haven’t really had to field that question but my story just goes to show that it’s possible to find love in different ways.

      I do think that the question is very insensitive at best and disrespectful at worst, if they can’t accept your answer.

      For the record, I find multiple marriages and divorces a much bigger red flag. Anyone can make a mistake once, maybe even twice, but after the third divorce I doubt the person has the capacity to be happy in a relationship, or at the very least, they have very poor judgement when it comes to picking potential partners.

    17. Eff Walsingham*

      I married at 45. But my own flippant, “Because I keep saying, ‘no’!” probably only flies in more eccentric social circles.

      The arts community is like its own small town in some ways, though; and in the places I lived for the longest, my answer was definitely meant as a shot across the bow. As in: “I have dated a LOT of people by now, some of whom you probably know. Clearly it didn’t work out on a long-term basis because I’m on this date with you. My time is of value to me, so please ask another, more interesting question now.” I don’t know that I probed my own motivations all that deeply, but I think it’s a good subtext to bear in mind and take with you on dates. Your time is valuable to you, yes? And this dude is wasting it, when he should be exerting himself to be charming and fun, to probe your past with boring grandma questions? On the first date, yet?

      If I were still single at my current age, I’d be sorely tempted to go all the way to (teasing) “Yes, grandmother, I’m STILL single! But I got a good report card. Would you like to see it?” Ironically my own family, even my grandmother who was married at 15, never asked about my ongoing singleness. I think they always knew that I’d be *very* choosy if I married at all. My husband and I both tell people that we knew that the ‘right’ person would be very rare and special.

      I read somewhere that the dating pool over 30 is full of “very picky men and very picky women.” Whether they got that way through divorce or just through learning about themselves and the world. So these dudes should just assume that your standards are quite high by now, however you got here, and be sure to bring their “A game,” whatever that looks like.

    18. RC Rascal*

      There is only one answer to this question:

      I haven’t met the right person yet. Period. No more explanation.

  21. Whiskey on the rocks*

    Recommendations for stylish walking shoes? I am not a sneaker person, I live in ballet flats (I love my rothy’s) but I need something more supportive for walking a lot while traveling. I’m not comfortable in regular sneakers though. They don’t go with any of my clothes or my general style. I’m willing to look at a range of prices. Any suggestions??

    1. HannahS*

      I tend to wear oxfords at work. Women’s oxfords without excessive buckles (WHY?) can be hard to find, but I find them a comfortable, stylish option when I need to be on my feet. I used to wear plain leather laced shoes–they were a bit like a smooth, plain leather sneaker; not full-on dress shoes, that I got at Ecco, but I’m not sure they still carry that style. In the summer, I live in Toms/Bobs. They have a bit of arch-support and stay on my feet well, and breathe because they’re canvas.

      1. Pharmgirl*

        Ooh those Ecco sneakers are great! I wore to work all the time too, they’re nicer looking and worked well with business casual.

      2. Made for Walking*

        Hotter.com is a UK based shoe company with great walking shoes. There are a few grandma types but there are some super cute & Mary Jane styles. They come in different widths and are very supportive & comfortable.

    2. pancakes*

      Grenson has sneakers that don’t really look like sneakers, dressier and cleaner. They’re expensive but very well-made and have good sales.

      1. Whiskey on the rocks*

        I’d never heard of them, but they are beautiful! I’ll look at them, thanks!

    3. Miss Pantalones En Fuego*

      Boots? I like ankle boots and similar because they’re stylish but I can put all manner of support insoles, warm socks, etc on under them and it doesn’t show.

      1. Whiskey on the rocks*

        I always love the idea of ankle boots but they get me self conscious about my knobbly ankles and knees, haha! (At least I don’t have to shop for a bathing suit.)

        1. Workerbee*

          Measure the height of your ankle from the base of your foot. Some ankle boots cover your ankle while others sit below it, so you just have to look at the shaft height. Then you just have to focus on not being self-conscious about your knees. :)

    4. Pharmgirl*

      I really like all birds! I bought them last year in anticipation of touring a city but covid. So I wear them to work where I’m on my feet all day, they’re so comfortable!

      1. rkz*

        I was coming here to say this! I bought a pair recently and while they are like sneakers in terms of the shape, the fabric makes it feel like they go with more clothes. And super comfy, wear them for walking all the time.

      2. Whiskey on the rocks*

        Oh, thanks for this! I am extremely susceptible to FB ads (hence the rothy’s…) and I’ve been seeing All birds a lot.

      3. Lady Alys*

        I bought my first pair of Allbirds in 2017 to wear during a trip to Europe. They were the only shoes I brought with me (pack light!) and I wore them every day for three weeks, walking 5-10 miles per day. Those shoes are AWESOME.

    5. AvonLady Barksdale*

      Cole Haan. They have sales all the time and their shoes are designed for walking. I have a pair of oxfords that may be more sneaker-ish than you’d like, but they have other styles and you can often get them for way less than regular price.

    6. NeonFireworks*

      Rockport or Clarks. I walk a lot too and love shoes that are pretty on top and hardcore underneath.

      1. Person from the Resume*

        I was going to suggest Clark’s. I love the look and i do find them comfortable.

    7. Mary Berry*

      I like Clarks. Spouse has gotten dress and casual shoes from them since he broke his foot and needed additional support. I hopped on the bandwagon because I liked their loafer styles. Can be pricey, but a few times a year they have good sales.

      1. Clarks*

        I love Clarks now that I’m dealing with plantar fasciitis. They’re expensive but worth it, and I do well buying through Shoes.com. You may not get the most recent releases but they have good sales. I often wait until there’s a good rebate or percent off sale through Rakuten and stack the savings.

    8. the cat's ass*

      Danskos! I tromped 60+ miles in 10 day through Japan in multiple venues with a GS troop and these served me very well. Velcro strap easy on-off, a big thing for shoeless-indoors Japan), lots of support, the plain leather (not the nubuck) cleans up nicely, and while they were a little foofy for camping, they were SO comfortable. Price range: 80-150 and frequently go on sale.

      Mephistos are also great with a wide variety of non-sneaker styles, but also really expensive. Range 225 and up.

    9. Elizabeth West*

      Romika—they’re expensive but last a long time and are pretty comfortable for walking. I got mine at Dillards, I think. I told the salesman I was going abroad and he immediately pointed me to that rack. He said he’s never had anyone regret that purchase. I bought mine in 2014 and they’re still going strong. And I am MEGA hard on shoes.

      Born is another brand I like for longevity.

    10. Another workerbee*

      Merrell. I wear their “Mocs” all the time, and really like the arch support fits me.

    11. Jackalope*

      I don’t have a specific brand to recommend, but if you do find a pair that’s okay but not great, I’ve taken shoes to get custom supports added in. It wasn’t that expensive, and it was amazing how much of a difference it made.

    12. MissDisplaced*

      There are a lot of sneakers that don’t look like sneakers!
      I was faced with something of the opposite issue because I needed a dressier shoe for trade shows that still felt like, and had the support of, a sneaker without looking like a sport shoe. Many of the types I found even had ballet type flats or loafers, but with more support.

      Some brands to look at: Vionic, Aerosoles, Doctor Scholls, Dansko, Naturalizer, Walking Cradles, Grasshoppers, Clarks, Sofft, and sometimes even Sketchers.

      You can find these brands most anywhere, but I tend to find a lot on the Zulilly site where most are reasonably priced well under $100.

  22. Teapot Translator*

    What’s cooking? thread!
    What have you cooked? What are you cooking? Tried anything new?

    1. Red Reader the Adulting Fairy*

      Husband got some nice saffron and is having decision paralysis on what to make with it. His first attempt was a Persian dish with chicken, rice and lentils, and while the flavor profile was good (after he increased most of the seasonings four-fold), the saffron was wasted, the texture wasn’t great and we were all generally meh on the dish. Any recipe suggestions that will let the saffron really pop? (Limitations that may or may not be relevant: we avoid big chunks of tomato, mushrooms and avocado, and I have very limited tolerance for spicy food. But we are omnivores.)

      1. Rebecca Stewart*

        Saffron rice is good with a lot of things. We eat it with a lot of Greek, Turkish, and North African stuff.

        One can make a kind of custard pie with almond milk and cinnamon and saffron that is REALLY good. You steep the saffron in the almond milk, stir the cinnamon into the sugar, and make a straight baked custard in a blind pastry crust. That’s Anglo-Norman from about 1350, but no worse for that.

        You could do a biryani, and limit the amount of heat in it. It would still be complicated flavorwise in the way Indian food is, but not hot and ouchie to eat. (Oddly enough I can handle ginger and cinnamon heat better than capsicum heat.) That’s the only way I can do biryani.

        1. TechWorker*

          I made jackfruit biryani using the dishoom recipe, and leaving out all the chilli, which involves saffron rice on the top. It was delicious and my other half who has zero spice tolerance liked it too.

      2. Old and Don't Care*

        Giada and her aunt Raffy made a “Bitter Rice” risotto with radicchio and dried cranberries that’s been on my radar. It will come up if you google Giada Bitter Rice.

      3. Damn it, Hardison!*

        Guinness beef stew with beer bread dumplings (from the blog How Sweet Eats) and Dutch apple pie. Oh, and baked potato soup for lunches this week.

      4. I take tea*

        Fish goes very well with saffron, especially somewhat “boring” fish as Alaska pollock or other grey fish. I used to do a dish where you put a block of frozen (yes, in this case it works better if it’s frozen) Alaska pollock in a small container, boil some cream with saffron, some dried tarragon/estragon (according to the dictionary both are used), maybe a pinch of paprika, salt and pepper. Pour over the frozen fish and bake in the oven, middle heat for about 45 min. Very tasty. (Now wondering if that could work with tofu, gotta try.)

    2. Catherine*

      I recently picked up the Midnight Chicken cookbook and have consequently become obsessed with Viennese eggs. I’ve made them five times in the last two weeks and they’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me.

        1. Catherine*

          Two softboiled eggs, beaten with butter and chives in a cup so that you can dip toast soldiers in them. Absolutely addictive!

    3. Ali G*

      We’re smoking wings this weekend! It’s nice out and we haven’t used the smoker in a while.
      I discovered a local butcher where we can put in orders so we are going to put a list together this weekend: seafood, packer brisket and some lamb I think. I get excited about stocking the freezer :)

    4. GoryDetails*

      On my own: braised corned beef and cabbage, something I enjoy quite a bit. I indulged for this one as it’s “corned beef” season and the price is a bit higher, but I couldn’t resist!

      New to me: my latest Hello Fresh box included a Chicken Shawarma Bowl – chicken breasts marinated in yogurt-and-shawarma-spice-blend, with couscous with sauteed shallots and more shawarma spice, and a fresh cucumber/tomato salad. I hadn’t tried that particular type of spice blend before, and really enjoyed the flavor – will definitely use it again.

    5. CTT*

      I roasted a chicken on Sunday; I ended up using it to make sandwiches all week, and I was worried about the potatoes/onions/carrots I cooked with it going to waste, so I fried them up and made a hash for dinner Thursday night and it was amazing. I divided up the other leftovers into individual bags and froze them, so that’s a good back-up dinner plan.

      1. Chocolate Teapot*

        I made a dried pea soup, which would normally be a pea and ham soup, but since I didn’t have a ham hock, I used sliced Frankfurter sausages instead.

    6. English, not American*

      Tomorrow is Mother’s Day in the UK, so today is a day of cake-baking. My partner made a blueberry cheesecake for his mother which has been monopolising the oven for the past 2 hours, while I have zested and juiced lemons ready to make a lemon drizzle cake once the oven is free. The cheesecake is new, neither of us has made one before, but this is the second time I’ve done a lemon drizzle cake (mum’s favourite).

    7. Chauncy Gardener*

      Lobster Thermidor! (from Cooking Light) It was amazing! And not very hard to make at all

    8. Aphrodite*

      I cannot wait to cook again! I am looking almost with desperation–certainly with a lot of lust–at recipes because I have been in an interim housing situation, studio without a kitchen, for the last 18 months. But this coming Thursday I move into my own place, a lovely, completely renovated 2+2 mobile home in a spectacular senior park here. It has a kitchen with a 1978 O’Keefe & Merritt wall oven that has barely been used since it was installed. The vintage appliance repair guy I had look at it said to never get rid of it. I think I might bake a Cornish game hen along with an artichoke and salad for my first dinner. (I cannot believe how sick I am of Trader Joe’s frozen entrees right now.) Maybe fish tacos the second night? And, how wonderful, my favorite breakfasts again: two farm eggs, 1/2 slice of Whole Food thick-sliced bacon, fresh fruit, soy protein drink. I am going crazy as I type this just thinking of these meals to come1

    9. Potatoes gonna potate*

      I attempted a Lebanese potato and chicken dish. For some reason despite all the seasonings it tasted very bland. Very disappointed. Did not bother to cook the rest of the week.

      Have ot say, the best thing I had this week was chicken biryani cooked by my mother. Ultimate comfort food ironically.

    10. Seeking Second Childhood*

      Squid in the sous vide… so much more forgiving than counting seconds in boiling water. Then sauced it up garlicky like a scampi almost.

    11. TechWorker*

      Two new things this week:
      Vegan ‘chicken’ stew with dumplings – first time cooking with nutritional yeast and mine was not actually full vegan (I’m veggie) because I only had cows milk and margarine around. But the actual stew thickened really well and the leftovers were tasty too. (I basically screwed up at the start and ended up with lumps of flour floating in it… but a sieve and a whisk sorted that out lol).

      Also made a ‘butternut squash quinoa casserole’ which was nice (I was intrigued by cooking the quinoa in the casserole rather than boiling it which is the only way I’ve ever cooked it otherwise). This did work and was nice but I got worried converting the recipe size and units from US to U.K… Im convinced that if I’d stuck to half the amount of water the quinoa just wouldn’t have cooked but I went a bit far the other way and it was a bit overdone.

    12. Hi there*

      Husband wants to try sourdough, so we got some starter and have been feeding it all weekend. Today we are going to make sourdough pancakes for brunch. I usually make our bread, and it is fun to play with flour together.

    13. Charlotte Lucas*

      I made 6 herbs bread (from Bernard Clayton’s Complete Book of Breads) yesterday, & I used some leftover ricotta to make an herbed cheese spread. Every Friday for the past several months, I’ve made Milk Street’s Pat in Pan Pizza.

      Today, I will make pie in honor of Pi Day, but I still haven’t decided what kind.

    14. OyHiOh*

      I had a kind of odd combination of vegetables in the fridge a couple weeks ago, did a “what’s in my fridge” search for those ingredients, and found a primavera style recipe that’s so good I’ve now ordered that combination of veggies on purpose two more times on purpose, to make the dish.

      I like this with angel hair pasta

      Slice a bulb of fennel very thin, and slice half a red onion. Saute together in a bit of olive oil for ten minutes, or until the fennel is translucent and starts to carmelize. Add one or two zucchini, cut in quarter rounds. Saute until the zucchini starts to brown a bit.

      Add preferred protein (shrimp is spectacular, I also like fennel sausage)

      Drain the noodles, reserving about half a cup of the water. While the veggies finish cooking, toss the noodles in a bowl with the reserved water, the juice from 1 lemon, minced parsley, and dried oregano.

      Plate noodles, add primavera over top. Salad, garlic bread, etc.

      1. I take tea*

        Oh, I have to try this! I love fennel, but am a little unsure how to use it. I sometimes use bean pasta, so I don’t have to worry about the protein, I think it could work here.

    15. Snow Globe*

      I’ve been trying a number of new recipes lately. Shrimp etouffee last week – was wonderful. Key lime pie today, for pi day.

      A few weeks ago I made a dish that everyone loved and asked me to make sure to add it to the rotation. Unfortunately, I’ve forgotten what the specific dish was! They’ll likely never see it again.

    16. PhyllisB*

      Taught my granddaughter how to make a pound cake from scratch. She wanted to make one for her boss’s birthday. She did the work, I just gave hints. Turned out perfect, except I tore it a bit getting it out of the pan. (She was afraid she would mess it up.) It was my fault because I forgot to set the timer and didn’t let it cool quite long enough. I offered to make a glaze to cover the damage, but she said that was okay, at least it looked homemade!! :-) I guess Paula and Rachel don’t have to worry about competition from me!!

  23. Teapot Translator*

    Exercise thread!
    Any questions for everyone? Have you tried anything new? Any learned lessons you want to share? Etc.

    1. Teapot Translator*

      I have a question for people who have the Down Dog app. Do you like it? What are the pros and cons you’ve found? I tried it once for yoga and once for HIIT (very short session for the latter). I found the yoga one very impersonal, so I think that’s not what I want from yoga?

      1. Schmitt*

        I have it for yoga and I love it.

        Pros:
        * With a combination of customization options I can get something that works really well for me: type (gentle, normal, restorative, chair yoga, other stuff I don’t use), speed, difficulty level, and focus.
        * There’s a lot of variety in the poses
        * The interface during the session is pretty good, you can skip to the next pose if you want to skip one
        * I haven’t tried any focus other than neck stretches, but even just that has been excellent

        Cons:
        * If I had never done yoga before I would not understand some of the instructions, even with video
        * I switched it up a few days ago and tried ‘normal’ instead of my usual gentle or restorative – it was brutal; when I’m ready to try normal again I will have to drop down a difficulty level and go slower :P
        * it is hard to watch a video when you are in positions lying down or god help me upside down, so I found out that I was misunderstanding some instructions only by rewinding the video afterward

        Caveat:
        * I have not tried any other yoga apps

    2. Purt’s Peas*

      I pushed myself a bit too hard this week and a muscle in my back started speaking up—I’ve been doing the You Are Your Own Gym bodyweight 2.0 program and basically—I just have to remember that it’s more desirable to do an easier exercise well than a harder exercise poorly. Kinda frustrating, since I’ve been hitting a lot of cool personal milestones, but I know that resting now is worth it.

      Question—any recommendations for yoga apps/youtube teachers that don’t focus on weight loss? I’m not trying to lose weight and seeing things like calorie counts on a yoga practice will actively demotivate me. I love Yoga with Adriene but I’d love to expand!

      1. Reba*

        I always return to Fightmaster Yoga.

        (She sadly passed away suddenly not long ago — her videos are all still on YT — just a heads up in case that would be too weird or sad for some people.)

    3. CatCat*

      I started a running program called “None to Run” to help me get back into running. It’s the very beginning so no real challenge so far (other than getting up in the morning to go do it!)

    4. Queer Earthling*

      I had to google for low-impact exercises at home, but I found a routine that doesn’t destroy my knees and back! I hate exercising, I’ve never understood how people can be excited to exercise, but I’ve actually been enjoying these and don’t feel miserable when I’m done.

      1. Teapot Translator*

        If you see my question, can you share what the routine is? My knee is bothering me (I’m seeing someone for it this week) and I’m looking for stuff to do.

    5. fposte*

      My PT has authorized modified push-ups after years of no push-ups and I love push-ups so much! I’m totally deconditioned but they’re still fun.

      1. Teapot Translator*

        I don’t know if you know Paula Poundstone, but she’s doing a group push-up thing on Twitter. I hate push-ups, but she makes me want to join in.

    6. Potatoes gonna potate*

      It hit 70s this week so I took the baby to a nearby park. Walker for about an hour and holy crap it was hard. I joked with friends later that pushing a heavy stroller (heavy to me) counted as a workout. Walked around a mall yesterday as well. I do well in the gym with weights but horrible with cardio, even worse so now that I have to wear a mask and can’t breathe much. I enjoy doing weights but I may need to ramp up the cardio to actually see any results.

    7. Nessun*

      Started back with my personal trainer this week after 3 months lockdown, and the term “muscle memory” has new meaning to me. Not lifting any weights for 3 months I was really worried about my form but it came back right away, little conscious thought involved. Very glad I kept doing stretches and smaller exercises at home, so I’ve not lost all I’d gained before. It’s really driven home the idea that doing anything is better than doing nothing.

    8. Torrance*

      I discovered Kyra Pro’s dance workout videos (on YouTube) earlier this week. I generally hate exercise but I’m trying to adopt a healthier lifestyle and being able to work out to a Mamma Mia! medley made the whole thing much more tolerable. It’s hard for me to do things I don’t enjoy (even if they’re good for me) so this was a definite win.

    9. Chaordic One*

      Question. When do you find time to exercise during the week and when you’re working? In my life it just seems like there’s never a good time. I can’t for the life of me get up early enough to do it before work (and it would still be dark then, anyway). After work would be the most convenient, but then I’m exercising during “rush hour” when there’s a whole bunch of traffic on the streets and more air pollution. After dinner (if I don’t eat too much and don’t feel weighted down by food) is good, but I don’t want to wait until it’s too late, because I don’t feel completely safe after dark and later in the night, although I live in a supposedly-safe suburb.

      1. CatCat*

        You could do exercise videos in your home if you don’t want to go outside. There are soooo many options online so there’s a lot to sample to see what you like.

      2. Red Reader the Adulting Fairy*

        I work from home, but even when I was on site, I take a couple 15 minute breaks and walk around (at home, around the block, at work I could do laps around the parking lot). I do a couple more of those after work and in the evening, like one before dinner and one after. It adds up to 3-4 miles, but because it’s in smaller chunks it doesn’t feel like it’s taking a lot out of my day.

      3. The teapots are on fire*

        I do Fitness Blender videos at home after work. I buy a curated set of workouts from them (buy once, use forever, 4-8 week program for <$20). Some of them require a set of dumbbells, and I'm fine with 3, 5, and 8 pound pairs, which was not expensive.

      4. Teapot Translator*

        Pre-pandemic, I exercised over the lunch hour , after work, or early in the day on weekends. Except for the swimming, I can do the same exercises in my home (Zumba, yoga, weight training), so I do them whenever it’s convenient: if I wake up naturally early, I will do 45 or 60 minutes; over lunch hour, right after work. The key for me is to do it before I eat. I don’t run, though. And when I go for walks or hikes, it’s on the weekend.

      5. Potatoes gonna potate*

        Currently, I go in the mornings around 9 am but I am not working now.. When I was working full time, I would go before work, which meant waking up at 4-430, taking the 5 am bus and exercising from 6-730, 60-80 m to shower and get ready to be at owrk by 9ish.

    10. Girasol*

      Planting season is here and volunteers are planting native plants where the wildfires have burned. It means climbing the steeper hills where the mechanical planters can’t go, hauling up buckets, digging in steep areas, and bending-standing-bending all day long. There’s no other exercise that I do where it’s so easy to push myself. It’s such a great start to spring.

    11. Hi there*

      I’ve been doing a strength program with my running coach online, and I am starting to notice a difference. It has been surprisingly hard to find the 10-15 minutes every workday for the exercises, which will help me have much more realistic expectations when this program is done.

  24. HannahS*

    Baby showers. Did you have, not have, enjoy, not enjoy? What was the best baby-related party you attended? Was there a worst one?
    I’m not due until the fall, so it’s entirely possible that gatherings will be allowed in my area by then (insert screams of frustration with the vaccine rollout in Canada…ok, I’m done, no politics). I didn’t have a wedding shower (married a year ago, during the pandemic). I feel a bit weird having a party centered around asking people for gifts? And I’m honestly not huge on a lot of baby shower games that I’ve seen on the internet. But I also love celebrating milestones! Advice please!

    1. twocents*

      Tbh, as an adult attending a party just to watch someone open gifts, I have a refreshed understanding for why many parents choose to remove that part from their kids birthday parties. (Just putting the gifts aside, opening the gifts later, and sending out thank yous after the party.) It’s boring and tedious, especially given the pile of stuff that (understandably!) has been given to the new parents.

      I don’t know if your circle would let you get away with this, but something more “come eat cake!” casual chill out time would make showers better imo. But I’m sure someone else will say how much they love watching gift opening so, lol, can’t please everyone.

      1. General von Klinkerhoffen*

        I am greatly in favour of “hang out, eat nice things” parties and really don’t like public gift-opening. I am also British, which almost certainly factors heavily into those preferences.

        I haven’t been to many baby showers but they definitely fell into this category. To the extent that you play “games” they tend to be of the gentle “guess the baby’s weight/name” type, or signing a card (to baby) to be mounted and framed.

    2. alex b*

      I’ve attended many showers and “sprinkles.”

      Worst ones are all-women, dry, and/or include public gift-opening. Games… meh, they’re nearly impossible to pull off and have it not be cringey; David Rose may be the only person to do so (Schitt’s Creek reference). Don’t even get me started on “gender reveals.”

      Best one was for all people, and everybody went out to a nice lunch. For a few minutes there were so-excited-for-this-baby! toasts, but mostly it was a celebratory meal with good company. Gifts were optional and discreet.

      Just do something low-key to gather all the people you’re excited to have in your kiddo’s life! :)

      1. Filosofickle*

        YES. I avoid all-women parties because when men are invited there’s less cooing over gifts, sharing blessings and advice, and playing dumb games. Please don’t make me play games! Just let me eat cake and have a nice chat. Please.

    3. Janet Pinkerton*

      My stepbrother and his girlfriend had a backyard party that was coed and included a keg. It wasn’t a rager but it was just a nice outdoor party that included giftgiving. Next shower I’ve ever been to.

    4. rkz*

      I think this depends a lot on what you know about your circle of family and friends. In mine, I knew people wanted to buy gifts to support us and wouldn’t feel put upon. I personally prefer showers where people don’t publicly open all the gifts but some attendees will be disappointed and/or make you open their gift anyway. That said, mine ended up being a bunch of small zoom showers so I tried to just do the gift-openkng as efficiently as I could while also appearing sufficiently grateful.

      A laid back game or two can be nice – especially the kind of things people can just do on their own or with the people who are nearby them while they eat or whatever. Then you just announce the answers at some point during the party. Although I definitely understand people’s aversion to a lot of shower games!

      1. A313*

        Agreed about meeting the baby! Much, much rather ooh and ah about a baby than yet another onesie or a diaper genie. And I loathe the games.

    5. Natalie*

      Well, mine was cancelled (March 2020), but when it was going to happen I wasn’t planning on opening the gifts in front of people. It was just going to be a casual afternoon tea kind of thing, with probably one non-gross game. I actually don’t know what the game was since we didn’t do it, but when I planned a friend’s shower I printed a sheet of children’s book covers and people had to write in the titles, and we played a round of baby-animal-themed mad libs.

      If you want to celebrate a milestone, and it would feel good to have your community around you, have a party. You don’t need to call it a shower, or you can call it a shower and do whatever activities you actually want to do. Especially after the last year, people will be thrilled to come eat finger sandwiches or whatever.

      1. General von Klinkerhoffen*

        Heartily cosign that last sentence in particular. The time for rebuilding community in person is almost here!

    6. Scout Finch*

      The best shower I ever attended was a joint event for 2 of the men on our team at work. Their wives were close in due dates & both were first babies. The wives came & we set up a table with half blue/half pink table cloths. Costco cakes for each side. All of us brought a little food & we had a great time over an extended lunch hour. One of the fathers was from the UK (wife was American) & was not not familiar with baby showers. It was lovely – both families got strollers & other needed stuff. We didn’t play games or such, just visited & ate & had a good time.

    7. Reba*

      I have attended and hosted a few! Now, I am No Fun, but all the games are terrible, why do this?! Just have a nice hangout! The only game-type group activity that I like is having people compile bits of advice — if you have a multi-generational group it is funny to see how attitudes have changed.

      In my cultural orbit it seems to be expected to open the gifts in person, but if you don’t wanna, don’t!

    8. Not A Manager*

      I understand about parties that ask for gifts. The old rule used to be that the parents-to-be didn’t host the party for that reason. (The really old rule used to be that their close family didn’t, either.) If you have a close friend or a cousin who could host and arrange the party, then you are the guest of honor. Like other posters, I dislike events where gifts are opened in front of guests, but I think showers have to be the exception because the party is literally about showering with presents. Also they are baby items which makes them cuter and marginally more interesting.

      If that model doesn’t feel right to you, go ahead and host an event for your friends but don’t call it a shower. You could have a “pre-baby brunch,” for example. You can be the host and entertain your friends, and just tell them it’s not a shower. Most of them will bring gifts anyway, and you can open them later and send a note.

      1. Turtlewings*

        Yeah, it was always my understanding that it’s traditionally considered tacky for someone to throw a shower for themselves. It’s supposed to be headed by someone like the mother’s best friend or sister. No shade intended for people who’ve done it themselves, that’s just the tradition!

        1. Rusty Shackelford*

          Oh, yes. If *you* are throwing the party, don’t make it a shower. Have a meet-the-baby party, and people will most likely bring gifts anyway. And it means you don’t have to come up with games! (Though I think the “write on a diaper” idea downthread is adorable.)

    9. D3*

      Best one: Open house style, coed, just drop by when you can, food was good, new parents opened your gift while you were there. No games.
      Worst ones: The ones with games – they always are awful. The one that was 4 hours long! The one where they hired someone to come lecture us on “modern baby care and why everything you did when you had babies was wrong” The one scheduled from 11-2 that only had punch & cookies (it’s fine to have a punch and cookies only shower. Just don’t schedule it at an hour that is a mealtime!)

    10. Aurora Leigh*

      Yay HannahS! I also had a pandemic wedding and didn’t get to celebrate in person with people.

      I’m actually having a small baby shower next weekend (following all precautions, the majority of guests are already fully vaccinated). I’m due the end of April.

      My husband’s aunt is hosting so I don’t know all the details yet, but one thing I asked for was that it be a couples shower — I don’t like being the center of attention and hubby is just as excited and wants to be an involved dad (it’s not the 1950s anymore!).

      So she is renting the church hall for a few hours and there will be tacos and margaritas. We’re inviting couples and their kids so it’s more of a family reunion vibe that strictly “shower”. I’m not sure about games — I know there will be bean bag toss and maybe other similar things?

      I feel a little weird about asking for gifts, too, but people have been really enthusiastic about wanting to buy things for our baby (first grandchild on my side and 8 years since the last baby on his side). Some gifts have been sent in advance so we’re going to take pictures of those to make a slideshow and probably will unwrap in person gifts there.

    11. AVP*

      My favorite one ever was in the middle of the pandemic. We kept it to 10 people outside at very far-apart tables, ordered a ton of pastries from the French bakery and make a giant cheese and fruit plate, and decorated plan onesies with paint and markers. And it was co-ed.

      I don’t think I’ll ever be “allowed” to throw a shower like that again because there are usually SO many expectations – you have to have a certain number of family members! Gifts MUST be opened! – but for everyone who hates showers I would just really highly recommend trying to eschew as many of the traditions as you can get away with and focus on planning a fun party that you’d like if it wasn’t connected to this huge life event.

      Also, if you’re from a family where it would be scandalous ~not~ to open all the presents, see if you can get away with having everyone wrap theirs in cellophane so the people who want to inspect them can do that and no one else has to.

    12. Rara Avis*

      A friend hosted one for me and my husband. It was mostly snacking and some games (taste baby food and guess the flavor was fun), and included families. She invited guests to write a piece of advice on cards for us — I treasured those. My colleagues at work also threw a surprise one for me. You can make it as low-key as you want, but in my experience your friends and family will be excited to celebrate with you.

    13. Felis alwayshungryis*

      I loathe baby showers. I refused to have one when I was pregnant and I normally make my excuses. Mostly because of the games (especially that one where you melt and smush chocolate into nappies and have to guess what chocolate bars they were, blerk. I couldn’t look at Snickers for ages. And I also hate the guess-the-girth game. Because body commentary is what every party needs!)

      The only one I’ve been to that I really did enjoy was one for some dear friends, who made it into a general party. Gifts were totally optional and they truly didn’t care. There were three different cakes, many, many snacks, and lots of beer. It was really just an excuse to get all their friends and family round together, and eat cake and drink beer (well, not for the mum-to-be, obviously). It was great.

    14. Zooey*

      Baby showers are not really a thing in the U.K. (although they seem to be starting to be) so I’ve never been to one. I had always thought I’d be against having one as I am uncomfortable with people other than family buying gifts before baby is safely delivered. However I ended up suggesting my mum hold a ‘sprinkle’ as a place for her and my sister to give gifts and generally get a bit excited about the baby. We haven’t really been able to have an in person social events for the entire duration of my pregnancy because of Covid but we are bubbled with my mum since rules changed slightly and had three weeks living with her due to some work on our house. So it ended up being really nice to have a little party just to feel like we got something special in this time. It was just me, my husband, and my mum and sister. Me and my sister baked some cakes and my mum decorated the dining room, then we did some little baby themed quizzes and opened their gifts. It was very lovely, mainly because they got a chance to express their excitement. This was very Covid specific but I think small and meaningful is a nice way to go.

    15. Fellow Traveller*

      My favorite activity at my shower was the host had a pack of diapers and had guests write messages on the diapers and then gave the pack to us to use for the baby. Months later, it really lifted my spirits on many a 3am diaper change to read all these funny, touching, inspirational messages that our friends had written.
      We also didn’t want to ask for gifts (it was our second baby- first baby didn’t get a shower because she was born so early…) so we asked for people to bring diapers and wipes and used baby gear to donate to the local diaper bank.

    16. Dinoweeds*

      For the love of all that is holy, DO NOT PLAY GAMES. I can think of no greater torture than being stuck in a room with a ton of women I’ve never met and playing some bizarre game involving nappies. And then to top it off you get to watch one woman open all the presents over the course of 90 minutes. Ugghhhhh.

      I know I’m being dramatic, but damn do I hate those things. Just do a nice get together with good food and invite everyone!

    17. Annie Oakley*

      Apparently, I am in the minority about baby showers and games. I love going to showers and hosting showers! I love baby shower games (skip the “guess the chocolate in the diaper” and “what is in this baby food purée”. Those are gross.) The best “games” are those that can be done while gifts are being opened. Some ones I’ve enjoyed: baby gift bingo (first bingo gets a prize-small plant works great), close pin game (Lose pins if you say “baby” and win pins if you hear someone say baby. Can get very competitive!), write advice/most useful baby item/favorite book/etc, decorate onesies (get multiple sizes), notes of encouragement. Of course good food and cake is a must, especially if it is held over lunch time!

  25. MissGirl*

    Anxiety medication question.

    My therapist has recommended I try anxiety medication and I met with a nurse practitioner yesterday but I have major concerns. Two years I ago I did try medication. I went to a psychiatrist and she recommended a prescription that was supposed to be as-needed and a minor drug. I had bad side effects but they were such weird side effects I didn’t recognize them as such. I took it on and off for about three months then stopped tried another she recommended (it made me dizzy and tired). For one week I tried the first again and the side effects (including searing lower leg pain) came roaring back. That’s when I made the connection.

    I stopped the drug, didn’t go back to the psychiatrist, and instead focused on therapy, eating clean, and exercising (the drug caused weight gain).

    Yesterday I tell all this to the nurse practitioner and she looks up my medical history. Turns out the prescription I was given at the dose I was given was something she ONLY gives to patients being hospitalized for panic attacks. It’s not something you do for lower anxiety. It also has correlation with alzheimer’s so they don’t give it to patients with a family history (WHICH I HAVE). The second drug I tried is not as strong but strong and lowers blood pressure (WHICH I ALREADY STRUGGLE WITH).

    The practitioner recommends Lexipro or Buspar. So these are my questions. How do I know what to do when one so-called expert led me so astray? Has anyone tried these medications?

    1. Anon for this*

      Call your pharmacist. These are important issues that a pharmacist would be able to help you with.

      1. MissCoco*

        Great advice! Pharmacists are sometimes underutilized, but they really do know A LOT about medications

        You can ask about each drugs mechanism of action, and their most common side effects.
        Also asking about contra indications for both medications can help you decide if one is a good choice for you.

        Also, just want to say, I’m sorry your original prescriber did not figure out something that worked for you, that would definitely make me nervous in your shoes. Hopefully you can find a good (and safe) option working with a prescriber you trust.

      2. Anon for this*

        I second this suggestion. I have gotten into the habit of talking with my pharmacist about stuff like this as well as after every new prescription I get. A couple of years ago, I got put on a beta blocker and I basically stopped sleeping. The doctor insisted that it couldn’t be the beta blocker. I talked to the pharmacist who was able to look up the drug, found out that it could indeed be the beta blocker and with that info, the doctor put me on something else (Incidentally, I switched doctors after that).

        Call the pharmacist.

      3. Squeakrad*

        No I am not a doctor so this is not medical advice, but I was a therapist for several years and work closely with many psychiatrists with medications for my clients. l exapro and buspar are two different medications. Lexapro is a traditional SSRI, similar to Prozac used for treating depression. Busbar is an anti-anxiety medication and it’s less addictive and has fewer side effects.
        So my question would be why is your practitioner offering you the choice of an anti-anxiety medication versus an antidepressant? What does your practitioner think Is your main issue?

    2. ThatGirl*

      I have not taken either of those but I know that they are common anti anxiety/antidepressant drugs meant for everyday use. My husband has been in buspar for a few years now. While it’s still possible you will have side effects, they should not be severe and your body should be able to adjust. That doesn’t mean they’re the 100% perfect drug for you but they sound like much better options.

    3. Squidhead*

      I’d think about the type of treatment modality you want (do you want to take something every day versus as-needed?). I’d ask how each medication works at a very basic level, which might help you identify some pitfalls such as low blood pressure (which could also make you dizzy and tired). If it’s a med you take every day, I’d ask how long it takes to get fully into your system…many take several weeks before you’ll see the results you want, and might have other minor side effects in the meantime. I’d ask if any monitoring (lab work, heart rhythm, etc) is needed and why. I’d ask about major side effects, keeping in mind that the manufacturers have to list some very-rare-but-serious side effects even it it’s not certain that the drug caused it, just correlation. (Keep that in mind if you start researching the drugs yourself, too…the list of possible side effects can be daunting for almost any drug!) I’d ask to start on the very lowest appropriate dose of anything and then taper up slowly (ask the provider what this would look like…days/months?). If the provider is willing (and the should be!) to help you consider all of this, then they are probably doing the best they can to find the right drug for you. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to need to try different drugs to get the right fit but this isn’t a failing of the provider necessarily. Also, yes, use your pharmacist and make sure this provider knows about any other drugs, supplements, or alternative treatments you are taking.

    4. ImOnlyHereForThePoetry*

      There are two main types of anxiety mediations. One you use when your symptoms are really bad (one example is Valium although there are ton of other ones.) these medications should only be used short term or on a rare basis. The other type is anti-depressants. These are more of a ‘cure’ as they treat the physical cause of anxiety. Anti-depressants are taken long term – for a few years or possibly the rest of your life.

      It sounds like your first doctor was giving you the first type. I’m not familiar with Lexipro or buspar (I’m on a different anti-depressant.) but assuming they are anti-depressants then your NP is probably on the right path.

    5. SpringIsForPlanting!*

      Very much Not A Doctor, but I have personal and family experience with two drugs in that genre. I’ve been on Lexapro (generic) for years now and it’s worked very well for me. I’m on a very low dose… I was actually on a sub clinical dose for a while and then upped it slightly due to Life
      Stuff. The good things (for me): 1) you can start off very slow and see how it’s working for you 2) it doesn’t feel like it dulls my personality or anything…just shifts me on average towards the better version of me (gives me better coping reserves, essentially). The bad thing: if I don’t take it every day, I do get some light withdrawal. Cranky, headaches. It’s not something you can be sporadic about. As a counterpoint, my dad got put on Wellbutrin and (long story) it literally nearly killed him. So, uh, work closely with a trusted medical professional to find a good fit for your physiology, is I guess the upshot.

    6. Cat Tree*

      It’s best to go into it understanding It’s a bit trial and error. Your doctor should automatically want to see you 4-6 weeks after you start, and if your doctor doesn’t want to do that you might consider looking for someone else. So, you start with one medication. And if it’s giving you side effects, then you switch. It’s that simple. And if the side effects are so unbearable that you can’t stand it for 4-6, you call your doctor and they should be willing to see you right away. The point is, you don’t have to choose the perfect medication on the first try.

      I used Lexapro and several others years ago. I found that although they had side effects, at least they actually worked on the anxiety. I couldn’t take any of them long-term but as I needed them off and on, for me the benefit was very much worth the side effects. I also had CBT which was extremely effective, so that might be an option if you can afford it and really want to avoid side effects.

    7. Turtlewings*

      I’m on Lexapro myself and doing very well on it. I haven’t noticed any side effects except some loss of sex drive, which frankly is a relief in my case. It’s definitely helped the anxiety a LOT.

    8. mreasy*

      I take Lexapro and have for years. It is a widely prescribed and generally well-tolerated medication and I would not worry. The dosage range is pretty narrow, too – usually 20mg max. I tried buspar for anxiety but stopped because it didn’t help. In my experience the side effects were minimal (while the gabapentins and seroquels of the world tend to make me very sleepy). It sounds like the original practitioner just didn’t know what they were doing! I’m sorry that happened to you.

    9. WS*

      It sounds like the prescription you were given first was a huge overreaction by the psych! If it was quetiapine (Seroquel) it’s not meant to be a first line treatment for anxiety or depression, though it is sometimes used for sleep in addition to a regular antidepressant.

      Both Lexapro and Buspar are standard antidepressants and should not lead to the kind of problems you were having – talk to your pharmacist.

    10. PingPongPenguin*

      Lexapro and Buspar are two very different types of drugs.

      Lexapro is an SSRI, the same class of drugs as Prozac, Zoloft, Celexa, and others. Of those, Lexapro is most similar to Celexa. Lexapro carries the potential for the typical SSRI side effects.

      Buspar is a totally separate type of drug. It is not an SSRI. It is not a sedative. It is not a benzo. It is taken regularly, not as-needed. Side effects can include things like tremors and dosages would be calibrated in communication with your psychiatrist.

    11. Dwight Schrute*

      Definitely talk to a pharmacist! I’ve been on Lexapro for almost 6 months now. It’s made a huge difference in anxiety for me but it took a long time because I started super low and gradually titrates up to avoid side effects. The side effects have mostly gone away btw and really weren’t that bad for me! I’m so glad I took the plunge as I’ve been avoiding medication for years now. Good luck and I hope you find the right meds to help!

    12. Sylvan*

      Well, neither Lexapro nor Buspar is a benzodiazepine, which seems to be the class of medication you’re wanting to avoid. You can talk to your pharmacist or doctor about any concerns about them.

  26. Daylight*

    In my neighborhood, some people jog or walk in the street. There’s a sidewalk, but I guess the street is more even or soft or roomy. Anyway, a lot of times these people aren’t hugging the curb, they’re a few feet away from it. It’s even worse if it’s more than one person. Some also have their back facing oncoming traffic, so they don’t move over.

    I was driving my mom somewhere the other day, and she said I didn’t give some people who were walking in the street a wide enough berth and probably startled them (their backs were facing oncoming traffic). I don’t stay close enough to almost hit people or anything, but I wouldn’t go entirely into the opposite lane unless I absolutely had to. How much space do you guys usually give joggers and walkers who are taking up space in your lane?

    1. nep*

      That’s a drag. If people are in the street, better that they walk/jog against traffic. (That’s the only way that feels right to me when I’m out there. I do prefer street to sidewalk.)
      That said, I will give very wide berth to walkers, joggers, cyclists. It feels safer, esp with someone on a bike, and I feel like I’m being respectful to the person. If oncoming traffic doesn’t allow, I’ll slow down a lot and wait till I can go wide.

    2. Teapot Translator*

      One meter, one meter and a half? One meter and a half is the distance when passing cyclists here.

    3. twocents*

      Although I share your annoyance, I give as wide a berth as possible. What if their kid drops a toy and chases after it? What if their dog see something and lunges to investigate? What if they lose their balance and fall? I never want to run over another person.

    4. rkz*

      As someone who does sometimes walk or jog in the street for various reasons, I will say they SHOULD be facing oncoming traffic. If I’m not for some reason, I’m also super aware of any cars that might be coming behind me. I also do really try to hug the curb, especially when a car is passing.

      That said, I’d say to give them as much room as you can. That will obviously vary depending on the road and how many other cars there are, but it’s just better to be safe than sorry.

      1. street question*

        As a runner, I’d echo this –– they should def be facing traffic.

        However, there are occasions when I need to run/walk in the street with traffic, for a brief amount of time –– getting around construction, avoiding some unmasked walkers on the sidewalk, etc –– and I prefer that people give me *as much* space as possible and/or noticeably slow down. When people whiz past without giving me at least a meter and a half of space, especially if there’s no oncoming car and there’s plenty of room for them to move over, it makes me feel as though they’re being careless with my life.

    5. Just a PM*

      I give as wide a berth as I can. If there’s no oncoming traffic, I’ll move halfway over the line, otherwise I’ll hug the dividing line as I can. If there’s children, I’ll give them the whole dang lane and creep behind them at one car-length because you can’t predict what they’ll do, no matter how tightly an adult holds onto them.

      I will honk at people who walk with traffic and don’t see me coming. Especially if they have headphones/earbuds in. I wish more people were aware of (or followed) the law to walk opposite traffic or wear high-visibility clothing when it’s dark.

    6. Jay*

      I walk in the street. Sidewalks in our neighborhood are not consistent and when they’re present, they are uneven. After the third or fourth time falling, I gave up on them completely. I am not alone and since the pandemic started, there are always people in the street around here. I do walk facing oncoming traffic. Lots of (maybe most people) who walk in our area do not.

      When I’m driving and there are walkers in the street, I give them the widest possible berth, which usually does mean I swerve into the other lane. If I can’t do that, I slow waaaay down. These are residential streets and the speed limit is 25 MPH anyway – not widely observed, but that’s the limit – and I want to share the road.

    7. GoryDetails*

      It always irks me when pedestrians have their backs to the traffic – indeed, in my state it’s against the law, though I’m not going to stop and remind strangers of that! But whether they’re facing traffic or have their backs to it, I will slow down and sidle over as much as I can – if there’s good visibility and no other traffic I’ll get into the other lane, otherwise will leave enough room for traffic on the other side.

    8. Anon for this*

      I’ll put it this way— if you hit someone with your car, no one will care that they were taking up space in your lane.

    9. Pond*

      If it’s possible, as you’re coming up behind them (before you get close) can you gently honk the horn? This is hard because in my experience lost car horns just want to blast, but if you can do it so that it’s just a little beep ‘hey be aware that I’m coming up behind you’ instead of a blaring ‘I AM HERE AND YOU MUST JUMP OUT OF MY WAY’ that can make people aware so that they will walk to the side for you to pass without going in the other lane. I have to do this especially in flat neighborhoods where a lot of people come to walk and literally walk down the center of the street. There are no sidewalks but they should be walking towards the side of the road instead of in the center, which makes it so that the only way to drive forward without hitting them is for them to move over.

      1. street question*

        OMG please do not do this. Just give us space and don’t honk the horn. If you honked at me while I was running, I’d jump out of my skin / think you were a dude harassing me (or a woman. Both have happened).

    10. Margaret*

      To explain the positioning, my best guess is that they’re aiming for the flat part of the edge of the lane – most roads have a slight incline/dip as they get close to the edge or sidewalk. Not fun to run on for extended periods of time!

      But as someone who also jogs a lot, I do try to always be facing traffic, and be aware enough to adjust my position as cars come by. However, during the current pandemic times, I do criss cross more often in order to keep distance from other pedestrians. And sometimes, I’d just rather stay where I am regardless of which side I’ve ended up on, to keep from going back and forth super frequently. But again, reasonable to be annoyed if they’re not paying attention to cars coming by. Not reasonable to not still give them a fair amount of room that you can give them safely (relative to other cars), regardless.

    11. RagingADHD*

      I usually veer out enough to straddle the center of the road, if there’s no oncoming traffic. How much room that gives them depends on how far out they are.

      If they were spread out very far into the street and didn’t react at all to my approach by hugging the curb or looking around, and I was concerned they didn’t hear me, I’d slow down and probably tap the horn.

  27. Loopy*

    Does anyone have experience fundraising seni-significant sums of money for an org as an individual outside of that org? Meaning, I would raise funds to be donated by me vs doing an official fundraiser through/as the organization itself. It’s a place I care a lot about and want to raise money for but can’t do a GoFundMe or anything like that. In the past I’ve run a bake sale and donated proceeds but I’m looking to scale up. Any ideas to get funds raised into the thousands? Has anyone done anything like this as an individual outside of an org?

    If if helps, this is a local place, not a big Nationwide organization. Just looking for new ideas!!

    1. nep*

      I’ve never done it, but I like the idea of a service auction–or raffle, I guess. Finding people who would donate their services (hairstyling, massage, editing, landscaping, framing…), then have an online auction or a raffle. A lot to organise/manage, but I always wanted to try something like this as a fundraiser.

      1. pancakes*

        Yes – these are sometimes called a silent auction. I’ve taken part in a few but never as an organizer. They seem to work well if you have enough time and contacts to pull together appealing contributions.

      2. Max Kitty*

        Have to be careful with raffles though because they can fall under gambling laws. An organization I volunteered for had to get a raffle license to run one legally.

        1. tiasp*

          Where I am, it’s considered gambling and you need a licence if (1) there is a cost (2) there is a prize (3) there is an element of chance. So a door prize doesn’t need a raffle licence because there’s no cost. A silent auction doesn’t need a licence because there’s no element of chance (it’s not a draw, it’s based on who bid the highest). Also, gaming licences are only available to non-profit/charity organizations, and you have to apply to be approved for gaming eligibility.

      3. Loopy*

        Alas a great idea but something similar is in play involving local businesses (not exactly the same but involves some giving small things) so it would be bad overlap for me to go around trying to do this!