Something on your mind? Chat about it here.
I am still shopping for the perfect lug-sole boot to stomp around in (I know, I know) — and this one from Nine West looks great. I was initially drawn by the green lug sole — it somehow reminds me of some green Staud boots I was coveting earlier this year (now sold out). BUT! I see now that they DO have other options, including an all-black version and a white boot with black details.
(The white boot look is also growing on me, I must admit.)
I’m hoping to wear these kinds of boots with cropped pants (straight or flared) and the occasional midi dress — and I also just think they’re fun.
The boots are also on sale, huzzah — they were $129 but all colors are now down to $77.
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Workwear sales of note for 6.07.23:
- Nordstrom – The Half-Yearly Sale has started! See our thoughts here.
- Ann Taylor – Extra 50% off sale styles
- Banana Republic Factory – Up to 50% off everything + extra 20% off purchase
- Boden – 20% off new styles
- Eloquii – Up to 50% off everything
- Express – Extra 50% off clearance
- H&M – Up to 60% off: 100s of new styles added
- J.Crew – Extra 50% off sale styles
- J.Crew Factory – Up to 60% off everything; extra 60% off clearance
- Loft – 40% off dresses; 30% off full-price styles; extra 40% off sale styles
- Sephora – Up to 50% off select beauty.
- Shopbop – Extra 25% off sale styles
- Sue Sartor – Lots of cute dresses on sale!
- Talbots – Everything is buy 1 get 1 50% off
Other noteworthy sales:
- CB2.com – Up to 40% off; pop-up sale up to 30% off
- Tuft & Needle – Save up to $775 on mattresses (Reader-favorite brand; Kat really likes hers!)
- West Elm – Up to 25% off in-stock furniture; up to 60% off clearance
I posted late in the morning thread about this and got some really helpful responses – thank you everyone! Posting again just in case there is any more insight or more perspectives.
How do those of you who live in cities try to stay safe? Do you walk alone at night, and, if so, how do you go about mitigating the potential risks?
I live in SF and in the past couple of weeks have had someone shot a few blocks on me and, last night, saw someone assaulted bad enough during a movie that everyone had to evacuate the theater while an ambulance was called. I know the rise in violent crime is nation-wide, and am wondering if people have different takes on how to navigate without being paranoid.
I always know the nearest place to get help. If I’m walking alone late, that means I walk along streets where there are shops or doormen buildings or just people as much as possible. The idea is to always have a plan. Sometimes that means having my phone out. I try to be alert. If I’m on the subway late or at an empty time, I ride in the middle car with the conductor. I don’t usually signal what I’m doing by, e.g., getting up before my stop. I also trust my instincts. If someone is being weird I don’t keep walking down a dark street just to be polite.
The conductor is in the middle car? I thought they would be in the front? I’m new to metro riding
In the Bay Area, the driver is in the front car (both MUNI and BART). Is the conductor the ticket collector and not the driver?
To OP I’m across the bay from you in Berkeley, lived in SF for many years, and I have never walked alone at night in my adult life! It’s just asking to be mugged, I think. This has nothing to do with recent issues, just a long standing pattern of opportunity crimes, and I don’t want to be that opportunity for anyone.
One of my friends (male) was mugged in front of the Fairmont Hotel on Nob Hill at dusk. There is really no safe place!
On NYC subways, there is always a conductor in the middle car to help operate train, in addition to driver in front. Conductors are super helpful. You can see the exact spot they will be in middle of platform if you look up- there’s usually a piece of wood or some other marker on the ceiling where the middle of car will be.
Following with interest. I do try to avoid walking after dark, which sucks when it gets dark so early. I’m not great about carrying pepper spray in part because I don’t feel confident that I would actually be able to use it safely if I needed to. I did recently download Noonlight to my phone and haven’t had to use it but feel some comfort in having it there.
I don’t know if this helps me stay safe, but I will location share with someone so someone at least notices if I vanish.
I have an iPhone and have my parents and BF as my “find my friend” people. And at work we could cab home or take Uber if we were working past X:00, at least in before times. Of course it’s dark early now and streets in cities, at least near offices, are not full of people leaving work like they used to be.
To the person in Philly who replied to this morning thread… try the bus! I don’t take the MFL at all anymore, but I ride the bus all the time and it’s a complete 180 from the last time I took the subway and literally saw someone shooting up. Sometimes crowded with lower mask usage than I’d like, but I have never had any outright scary/dangerous situation.
The bus in SF is the least safe option. OP, I also live in SF and second a lot of the suggestions – I never take public transit because it’s the most common place to get mugged. I’d rather spend a little more on Uber to not worry about. Be aware when walking around, don’t walk in bad neighborhoods or even in more deserted ones (like the FiDi in the late afternoon).
Philly poster here: I’m certainly not against the bus, I just prefer to walk. I only take the El if I’m going to Fishtown or the BSL if I’m going to a game. Anything in center city, passyunk, fairmount, northern liberties, etc I walk!
I grew up and have almost always lived in major cities and I’ve seen (and sadly, experienced…) a lot. I have been dragged into an alley and sexually assaulted… in the middle of the day, in a safe area. I have had my apartments broken into (different ones), once while I was alone inside. I have been followed on the street, when I was alone at night, and had to get away. I’ve escaped a near mugging trapped on the subway. I’ve had someone slip something into my drink when I was in college and I blacked out, and I still have no idea what really happened that night.
Each experience was scarring. And yet after each one, I managed to keep living.
When I was in middle school (!), I was taught self defense in gym class. I remember a policeman came and gave us a lecture… and told us (sadly) that if someone attacks us on the street, we shouldn’t yell “help”. Help scares people away, and they actually are less likely to come help or call police. Instead, you should yell “fire”! Everyone wants to run and see the fire and they come / call 911. That helped me once, sort of. When someone broke down my apartment door while I was sleeping alone in bed and woke me, I started screaming “Fire! FIre! Fire” and I suspect I totally freaked out the intruder, who ran away. But sadly, no one came to help me or called the police….
In college, someone taught us how to interleave our keys on our keychain between our fingers to essentially create a weapon, and that we should walk like this when we are going to our car/home alone. Always go for the eyes…. I do that with my keys now automatically.
Always be aware of your surroundings. I don’t walk with ear buds in both ears (so dangerous for so many reasons, especially in a city). I am always mapping people who are walking around me – especially if I am alone or at night – walking in the best lit side of the street. I always walk briskly, with clear intention. I never walk anywhere, after drinking alcohol, by myself if possible. I don’t get drunk. I never leave my drink unattended.
When walking on the street, a cross body bag is always better than a shoulder bag. Don’t wear exposed gold / valuable necklaces – my mom had two ripped off her neck on the subway, just as the train arrived in the station and the doors opened – and the perp ran quickly out the doors. Don’t wear your nice rings on the subway. If you forget, turn them around so the gem is hidden on the inside, or keep your hands in your pockets.
I take note of EXIT signs when I am in larger crowds, inside.
I started using SimpliSafe security system after it was mentioned on this board. In the area where I live now, break-ins actually rarely occur in the homes/apartments that display stickers that they have security systems. I learned that from the policeman after my last break-in. Don’t keep your valuable jewelry in obvious places or in the bathroom medicine cabinet. Same for your opioids/pain meds. Walk around your home one day and video all of your items or take pictures, so at least you have some documentation of everything you own (!) for insurance purposes.
Do I sound like I am paranoid. I have no idea. But honestly all of these things that I do are automatic now, and I don’t think twice about them. They are reflexes… they have become part of my DNA. Will I travel alone in a foreign country again, where I don’t know the language? Maybe…… but probably less likely than most on this board who have been luckier than me. Am I grateful that the student travel office refused to sell plane tickets to me and my best (female) friend to go to Morocco for spring break? Yes, yes, yes… I was so clueless and naive then.
Oh gosh – I am so sorry you have had these experiences but it sounds like you are as well prepared and cautious as you can be. And no matter how prepared you are, sometimes things just happen and the fact that you have picked yourself back up after your experiences is a strong testament to yourself and how strong you are.
I”m just getting over Covid so I don’t have the energy for a big family gathering (even though I love my family). I’m going to walk, read, listen to music, eat good food and paint/play with my watercolors. I’m going to see my mom on Friday so I’ll get some family time but it’ll be low key. I’m looking forward to relaxing and resting.
I’ve lived in 3 large cities and 1 small city. The smaller city is by far the more dangerous — if you get off the main drag even by a block it feels like the place Batman’s parents died. I watch out for people around me and lights, and I’m wary of things people could hide behind. Parking lot with dumpsters surrounded by closed shops: no. Parking on a city street in front of a restaurant that is open until 12: yes. Even in parts of the city with shops or cafes if they close at 5 the evenings become dangerous. If I’m walking alone and feel unsafe I pretend to take a phone call about how I’m running late but will be there soon.
If I’m out and about after dark, I try and park as close as possible to my destination, even if it means I have to shell out for valet. I live in LA, and I’ve stopped using Metro for the time being – just a cab or an Uber if I can’t drive or walk/bike. I’ve known too many guys who have been assaulted or mugged post-COVID on the Metro. But the biggest thing I do is always, always be aware of my surroundings – are there other people around, what’s that guy doing, who is walking close to my car, how close is the screaming lady to my shopping cart, etc. Also, anyone who approaches me at a gas pump – day or night – gets a very, very loud and hostile reaction because I’ve been asked for money at gas stations way too many times and it is pretty claustrophobic (they tend to get between the pump and my car to make their pitch). As a middle-aged woman, sometimes my “scolding mom” voice makes very creepy guys back away, though (not proud of this), I’ve just started yelling at people who scare me.
No shame in yelling when you’re scared. I once had a pair of guys pull into my driveway behind me as I was getting out of my car, and get out of their car and begin to approach me. They had nametags and company logo type polo shirts on, but I was so startled I started yelling at them to get off my property and kept up the shouting until they were back in their car and headed down the street. I suppose they wanted to sell me gutters or something, but surprising me as I got out of my car wasn’t the way to do it! I also once had someone in a pickup truck allow me to cross a street in front of him on my way to the park. Then he started following me at slow speed down the street. Without thinking I turned around and shouted “what the F do you want” at him, and he took off. Yelling works.
Yelling does work! When I took a self-defense class years ago, I remember the teacher saying that most of the time, a guy who wants to do something bad/gross does not want to do it to the woman who is yelling and kicking up a fuss (especially if she is asking other people around her for help).
This is my first year not traveling for Thanksgiving and I am SOO excited! I celebrated Thanksgiving with my family early, so I’m alone tomorrow, which sounds sad, but I am so relieved and happy about it. No traffic, no rush, just relaxing with my two cats and a bottle of wine! What are my other single/alone people doing tomorrow?
Honestly the best Thanksgiving I had was the first year of Covid when husband and I just stayed home. We always have to travel long distances to family and it was so nice to have 4 days off work where we didn’t have to go anywhere or do anything.
That was our saddest Thanksgiving ever. I was so depressed. Traveling is stressful but not being able to see family was so sad and isolating for me, and I’m a big time introvert.
Sleeping in, making a pie, not changing out of my pajamas, and watching Home Alone in the evening. I cannot wait.
Playing Spiritfarer and reading after a leisurely walk!
I have been saving Spiritfarer for a particularly bad week – how is it?
I LOVE it so much. It’s excellent. I played basically all day yesterday (Thanksgiving) and it just what I needed.
Ever since we relocated to our current city, my in-laws have taken off to Florida early for xmas every year, leaving us alone and I absolutely love it. It’s just us, alone with the kids and it is divine. I cook delicious food, burn the German insense and hang out with xmas music. My SIL relocated this year to be here and now apparently, the mandatory events are back on ,no one is going to Florida and I am dreading it.
Aren’t you Canadian? Wasn’t your Thanksgiving over a month ago? I’m confused.
Yes, Canadian, comments are in reference to xmas. I share the sentiment about staying home.
Not single but the year we were having the kitchen remodeled, we went to a local not-high-end restaurant for thanksgiving and every year since then I’ve wondered why we don’t just do that again.
(Black Friday turkey sandwiches, that’s why)
My family goes to a Thanksgiving brunch at a hotel every year and not having to cook is amazing, but the lack of leftovers is sad.
No local family and only 1 person who really enjoys the full Thanksgiving meal means we eat out every year at restaurants that serve both the traditional meal and other offerings. Last Thanksgiving was very disappointing to my husband as the restaurant ran out of the Thanksgiving meal by 6 pm! Sometimes we’ll go out for a family movie afterwards. It’s a great day!
I have friends who go out for Thanksgiving and then do a mini version on Friday just for the leftovers. A turkey breast, a small amount of cranberry sauce, and a pie. Gives them the turkey sandwich of their dreams and is very little fuss.
I’m going for a hike with my dog and coming back and changing into pjs then watching cheesy horror movies all afternoon and likely most of the evening. Husband is doing a small turkey roast and we made pies yesterday and I can’t wait for a big slice of the pumpkin.
This sounds perfect.
Looking for appetizer recipes that use blue cheese and appeal to people who don’t normally like pungent cheese. Bonus points if I can also use tomatoes, walnuts and or dried cranberries, which I also have plenty of.
I’m not sure about the app but a baby arugula salad with walnuts, dried cranberries, and blue cheese is the salad of my dreams. Maybe you could put this on little toasts.
A very ripe sliced pear is also good with this.
Mix the blue cheese with cream cheese to soften the pungentcy, put that in a filo shell or on a cracker and top with a cranberry or a 1/4 of a walnut or a little sprig on rosemary. Bake 15 minutes at 350ish until the cheese mixture is a little melty.
Roll out some puff pastry (or even just pie dough), and top with the blue cheese crumbled and sliced tomatoes, and bake at 400 for 25 minutes. Better to drain or deseed the tomatoes if you have time. Cut into squares and serve warmish.
I’ve made this with every combo of ingredients, including walnuts instead of pecans, and gorg or bleu instead of feta. I toast the nuts, but don’t do the caramelized thing.
Gingerbread canapés with blue cheese and cranberry jam could work. Sprinkle chopped walnuts. Maybe have some with brie instead of blue cheese.
I think people who doesn’t normally like blue cheese would be happier with brie or manchego, though.
I think most people have very strong feelings about blue cheese and people who don’t like it aren’t going to want to eat it in any form.
+1. Sorry. I would appreciate the attempt and would take a couple bites to be polite, but I wouldn’t like it.
For some reason I can’t find the recipe of the stuffing I made last year, but I have a feeling it was from someone here. It was a fairly classic one. Maybe from Williams Sonoma? So, I know it’s a little late, but please drop your favorite recipe below. Thanks!
I do the Williams Sonoma leek and sausage one. It’s so good!
Here’s the link:
Super simple but great: https://www.marthastewart.com/1522703/test-kitchens-favorite-stuffing
My home is filled with a lot of wood – wood floors throughout, and I have several beautiful antiques (lots of wood) that are passed down in my family, and my one investment – several custom / hand made wood bookshelves that are also in perfect condition and packed with my books. It is a little eclectic, with some more modern prints on the walls, and lots of musical touches… my piano, my other instruments, modern stereo equipment (I have a record collection, as a musician etc…) which adds some black.
What I have a hard time with are the rugs/windows/pillows etc… that add color and pull things together. Everything is a bit muted, but feels warm and cozy.
What colors compliment lots of warm brown wood, that you love? I’m trying to find just the right blues/greens… But I’m open.
I never want grey anything. It’s bad enough in my hair….
My house has reddish wood wainscoating and wood paned windows, along with oak floors. Classic craftsman /arts & crafts style.
I do persian style rugs in shades of red, just a very traditional rug look. I have rugs like this in my living room, dining room, home office, and entryway. My accessories are green – think green glass library lamps. What I have are celadon ceramic lamps with beige linen shades, two tiffany lamps (one floor lamp and one table lamp) in a green pattern, a green and wood upholstered side chair (again, think library) and sage green draperies. It seems like it wouldn’t work, but these are timeless color combinations, very appropriate to the period of my house, and people ooh and aah when they visit, so I guess I’m doing the house justice! I’m very very lucky the wood in most of the house was never painted. The areas that were painted, ugh, I want to kill the person who painted them!
Hope this helps.
Here’s a picture of a similar home and red toned rug. It’s from a rug gallery close to my home, which probably isn’t a coincidence, but I just googled.
Thanks for sharing this. I can absolutely picture your home well, and it sounds lovely.
BTW – I grew up surrounded by FLW and my parents had furniture influenced by his design.
honey wood go with navy or money green.
Yep, ours has honey oak, and we use navy throughout. Our living area has a rusty orange, grayed-out teal, and plants (green) as accent colors.
I live in a house with lots of wood, and we own a lot of wood furniture. I suggest leaning toward warm pale colors instead of cool colors, like blues and greens. The warm tones blend nicely with the warm tones of the wood, and coordinate more naturally. Add a few pops of color with lime green pillows, or a bright blue vase, things like that. But the cool tones and pops of color are accents, not rugs or curtains that take up a lot of space.
People who have gotten fully remote jobs recently, tell me your secrets? Everything I can find online to apply to wants people who can do at least one day a week in the office. Is there some secret repository of remote jobs I don’t know about? (said with tongue in cheek). Has anyone had luck interviewing for a hybrid job and negotiating it down to fully remote after the offer? I feel like I hear lots of anecdotes about people getting these jobs, but I’m just not seeing them.
I think you’d have better luck negotiating if your skills are in high demand. I have heard that companies are desperate for people with my specific professional designation. I’m actually starting a job search so we’ll see if that’s true!
Search for “remote” on LinkedIn. Be prepared to take a pay cut unless you have a very unique skill set.
I got a fully remote job in Spring 2022. the interest in fully remote jobs is really high and you’re likely competing with people across the country, so it may be a numbers game. when I was applying, my odds of getting an interview were much higher for partially in person jobs (presumably a much smaller and local pool).
I wouldn’t try to negotiate fully remote after being hired hybrid – a company that made a decision to hire hybrid at this point is probably going to stick to it. but I’d keep your ears open for clues as to what expectation is for on person and what people actually do.
You’d have very little luck at my company trying to turn a hybrid job into a remote one. I think you need to only apply to fully remote positions, but as things get worse economically and it’s less of an employee market, I would anticipate this category growing as much as the pandemic may have initially indicated. I’d also be leery of taking a fully remote job unless you’re somewhere obscure. It’s very easy to be out of sight, out of mind and first laid off.
My whole company is remote, so I love not having to worry about any changes. My last company had potlucks at the height of Covid deaths and I said never again. Definitely more competitive for positions. I applied really fast and am probably overqualified for what I’m doing so that probably helped. The whole team is really wonderful though. Ironically I feel closer to my coworkers now than the ones I had when I was face to face (in fairness, was a really toxic culture—the mandatory potlucks were the top of a very big iceberg).
I’m In a niche area of consulting. Our clients are only back in the office 2-3 days a week and my colleagues are all over the US. Our clients are now reluctant to pay for our flights, hotel, and food like they did pre covid. Why pay all that extra money if they don’t have to? It’s great!! I go into my company’s office maybe twice a month just to get some face time and get out of my apartment. Otherwise, I love it!
Thank you for the encouragement about buying clothes not on sale! I ordered several coats, pants, tops, and shoes just now. Ironically, most ended up being on sale due to Thanksgiving. As someone noted, I did find myself wanting to buy more at Loft (where everything is 50% off) than at the other stores, where I was just getting lucky, if at all.
Good for you! I hope you were able to get exactly the pieces you need!
Thank you all for the pep talk yesterday. My retrieval is mid-morning on Friday. I have to stay up really late tonight to take the trigger shot.
My dr. is aware of my flight and thinks it’ll be fine. I got a bunch of those thermacare wraps for my lower back and abdomen. I’ll have one of each in my carry-on. I was feeling extremely overwhelmed with all that I need to do. It’s still a lot. Need to churn out a bunch of work and pack still. I CANNOT WAIT to get these things out of me. :-)
crossing my fingers for you!
You can do this. We are rooting for you! It’ll be a blur, but you’ll make it. Keep us posted. As others have said, it feels so much better once the eggs are out. I hope you get the top of your hoped -for range of healthy eggs.
Thinking of you today.
A question for the hive full of women more financially savvy than I am:
I need a new car. I have chosen the car I plan to buy based on some specific preference/needs as the best option available from limited options. Please set aside any instincts to tell me I should buy something else, not buy, etc. Assume I am getting THIS car. I have the option to purchase or lease. I have the option to put down a substantial down payment, which will make financing cheaper, or hang onto the money and put down less. I need to buy in the next, say, four months. Given the state of the economy, advice from random money people to hang onto cash (e.g., Bezos’ announcement to halt big purchases), and the car market generally:
1. When is the best time to make this purchase? End of year, or early next year?
2. I am typically a person who buys and keeps cars a long time (current one is 13 y.o.), but while this is the best car on the market for me now, it is not my ideal car and may not be terribly practical in a few years. I drive only ~8k or 9k miles per year but I can be rough on cars (park under a messy tree, have dog, etc.). Is this a time I should give more consideration to leasing? Or is it not for me?
3. Should I lease as a way to hold onto cash?
4. What else might I be missing?
End of the month is the best time to buy a new car if you’re buying from a dealer. They have quotas to make. End of the month/end of the year (like Dec 30-31) might be better. But since you want a very specific car you may not have as much leverage. If you want an electric car, you have no leverage. Just order it at sticker and wait for it to arrive.
I only leased once. When you lease, all your money goes into depreciation and you have no asset at the end of the payment stream. Leases are generally for people who want more car than they can afford. The one time I did lease, I had market intel that residual value on small SUVs was set too high, meaning during the lease, the consumer didn’t pay for all the depreciation, so I leased a small SUV. I was a single homeowner, and that car made a lot of sense for that time in my life. Sure enough, when it came time to turn the car in, the residual value was much higher than the market value of the car, so it was easy to just turn it in. I work in finance so I was fortunate to have the sources I did to advise me.
The one thing about leasing you need to be aware of is that they’re going to be very, very fussy about any damage or excessive wear on your car at turn-in time, so it sounds like your circumstances are not great for that.
But generally, if your pattern is to keep a car for a long time, it’s far better to buy. Are you for sure not going to need your car in a few years?
I will definitely need a car in a few years. I am not sure I will be happy with this car then. It is smaller/more sporty and while I can manage that for now, I can see myself wanting to go back to a sedan or small SUV after a while.
Not sure if this is helpful, but here is my personal anecdote related to car buying.
We bought a used car year ago and opted to put half the cost down. It meant our payment was about what we would be saving in gas money each month (we went from a guzzler to a very high MPG vehicle). It also meant we are making money on the loan, as the loan’s interest rate is less than the interest rate on our high-yield checking account.
I would never consider a lease, especially given your trees and dogs situation. I’d honestly consider going zero-car and running numbers on car payments, maintenance, insurance, and fuel to see if renting or using an Uber made more sense if I truly did not drive much.
If she drives 9k miles a year using Uber likely isn’t going to make much financial sense. She’s averaging 25 miles a day of driving. I drive daily to work and kids’ school and usually only put ~5k miles on my car per year.
I agree with not leasing though.
Thanks. I can’t go zero-car. I live in ATL where we drive everywhere and as a litigator I have to drive to court in multiple counties, plus my office is 10 miles away when I go in. But I do live in a walkable neighborhood with nearby shopping and amenities and never take road trips so I don’t actually drive much outside of commuting, and with a grocery store moving in nearby I am also looking a e-bikes for next year.
I’m currently leasing a car. I live in NYC and don’t strictly need a car but wanted one to make certain things easier (elderly family member, small child). I planned to pay cash for a new car because this was during the part of COVID where used cars were going for new car prices (and I hate paying interest). But I realized that if I lease for 3 years and then pay the residual in cash, the total cost difference is negligible (would be different if I was financing). So I decided to lease in case life changed and I decided I did not want this car or any car in 3 years. Currently, my car is worth several thousand more than the remainder of the lease + residual, but we’ll see how it all works out at the end of the lease (more than a year left). A friend who always leases luxury vehicles is currently buying out her leased car because of the lack of availability for the car she would want to lease.
I would recommend discussing actual numbers with your dealership and then getting off the phone and comparing the different scenarios before making a decision. The car market is weird right now.
I’m a fan of leasing. I never lease to get “more” car but instead to have an always running car with no real maintenance beyond an annual tune up. I think there’s inherent value in reliability. Newer cars also have better safety features so I like having a current car v am older one. I also like nice things and that includes new cars. It costs a little more to lease, but not as much as you’d think, and I think you’re paying for more that has value. It’s not apples to apples.
I would buy. The car market is going to take years to sort itself out. There is a lot of pent-up demand – people are holding onto their cars instead of buying something new or newer (ex., someone might have a 15 year old car that they would love to trade in for a six year old car, but those cars are insanely expensive right now). That demand is not going away any time soon. Likewise, car production is still down, and that will affect the used car market for years: the cars being produced today are part of the supply of used cars in the years to come.
With that in mind, buy. If you end up needing something different, you can look for it at your leisure and ride out any bumps in the car market at that time (financing, availability, etc.); you don’t really have that option with a lease. What you will buy should hold its value pretty well because again, car shortage.
If you are truly ready to buy, buy on BLACK FRIDAY! I did it a few years ago and think I got the lowest possible price. Near the end of the month and year, some dealerships may be near a bonus level and willing to go really low to get the sale through. That was the last year of a particular model, and I’m hesitant to buy the first year after a major update. I called around to all the dealerships in my area, looking at their stock online first, and asked if they could beat the lowest price quoted. I didn’t really care about the color, so I was pretty flexible. Multiple dealers told me they couldn’t beat the final price that I got and that I should take the offer.
I appreciate you asking this question, OP, because I am in a very similar situation. My current car is at 90k miles and is 12 years old; it’s been okay mechanically so far (knock on wood) but I am now in a situation where I have to drive 120 miles RT every other week for work meetings and I don’t want to have a breakdown somewhere out on the freeway. I have been really confused about what to do – I have substantial cash to put toward a down payment but is that the right move, to sink cash into a used car that is probably overpriced relative to its real value? If I try to squeeze another year out of my car, will things have settled down by then? I’ve never leased, but know people who do who are pretty frugal in general and it seems to work for them, but it makes me nervous in general, to know that I’ll have to go through getting another car in three years (which after owning this car for 11 years and my previous car for 8 years, seems like an absurdly short time). The responses you’ve gotten so far have been helpful.
My car is 10 years old with 100k miles and I plan to drive it for another 5 years. It’s a Honda so I should be fine
If you bought a reliable car, and keep up with the service needs, you should be able to keep driving it. It’s much cheaper to just maintain it and keep driving it, then buy a new car of course. Breakdowns on the freeway are pretty rare if you keep things tuned up. Of course, I have AAA.
We have Toyotas, as reliability is my main factor in choosing a car – a Prius 2008 with 130K and I’ll keep that one as long as it goes. We have a 2008 Lexus RX350 with only 80K on it and it still looks beautiful. Both cars run well. The main problems with each were just dead batteries because we didn’t drive enough during COVID! We’ll probably sell the Lexus soon for a very nice sum.
Both cars were not bought brand new – were bought from the dealer pre-owned certified with 5 year warranty. Got excellent deals on both. Would never buy a new car.
My Toyota is 13 years old and I think nothing of taking it on long road trips. If you have a reliable car and do regular maintenance, 12 years old is not that old for a car. I drove my previous Toyota for 25 years and eventually sold it, it was still running well. I do have AAA for a worst case scenario but I think it’s very odd to be worried about driving a 12 year old car ~120 miles round trip. To me that’s like worrying about a 40 year old person suddenly dropping dead. It happens but it’s not likely.
Send your car into the shop when it’s convenient for you and you can handle a 120 mile commute every other week. It has 90,000 miles, not 290,000 miles… and even the latter can be quite reliable if you keep up with the maintenance.
This morning’s parents-and-smoked-turkey saga made me dearly not want to be like the OP. And yet. I find myself sometimes annoyed with my mom over very small things. The context is that she was pretty negligent as I was growing up, and would borrow money from me in adolescence/young adulthood or just generally not have her stuff together. It took me a while to learn to set boundaries, and now I find myself getting tingly senses over small things. Like if she asks me to help her move, I will feel my internal senses tell me “No. She can do this on her own and I had plans to take care of my own life tomorrow.” But with anyone else who asked me, I’d probably put grocery shopping on hold or feel more comfortable being flexible.
The result is that I feel like I am more rigid and can sometimes feel myself prioritizing my own boundaries and routines over doing things for her. I also can be a bit edgier around certain boundaries or moments when it seems like she’s dropping the ball. She has done a lot of growth work and is no longer the same person she used to be, and she is also very wealthy now after marrying into money. I feel like I could probably relax and trust her to take care of her side of the street, and I want to be able to be generous and loving and flexible, and not overly rigid or self-absorbed. I do see her every week or so and am usually as nice/attentive as I can be, but when things flare up (like she’s late or she invites me to dinner in a shopping mall that turns out to not have any restaurants) I feel like I have to try harder to maintain my calm.
The morning’s smoked turkey OP though made me see the dark side of self-absorption and prioritizing your own routines/boundaries over patience with your family, which I’ve already been nervous about. How do you let go of this rigidity, even when there might be reasonable context for it? Has anyone gone through something similar?
Your post resonated with me. My mom used to do certain things that annoyed me, and I when I could step back from it, I could see that I was overreacting. Just like you.
My sister had an even worse reaction, as she lives far away, so when she came home she had high expectations of an idyllic time with mom, which never really happened the way she imagined. And then she’d be all angry and disappointed.
I think people we love deeply are able to push our buttons so much more than people we are just friendly with.
When my mom started going down the path of the illness that eventually killed her, I had to come to terms with meeting her where she was. I recognized that she wasn’t a perfect person and that she had fears and hangups just like I do (but not the same ones) and that I needed to give her some grace.
I’m so glad I was able to get to a better place with her before she died.
And yeah, I had the same reaction to the Thanksgiving post this morning!
I think it’s just really normal to be more irritated by behavior in your close family than you would be with someone else, especially when you can connect their behavior to episodes from childhood (and there’s always the old saw about how your mother knows how to push your buttons because she installed them!).
I have some family issues that complicate how I feel about commitments/demands on my time that I might not think twice about if they were from someone else. I try to stay away from a lot of internet advice with family dynamics issues because I think it’s easy to get a bit too worked up about boundaries or putting yourself first in absolutely everything in a way that can be destructive to relationships. Not that boundaries aren’t important when necessary, but I think we have to realize that humans are flawed and if we always put ourselves first in every single interaction, we’d soon be left alone.
Even the best relationship is going to have friction and call for negotiation or compromise at some point. Someone linked to a great NYT article last week about how we overuse therapy-speak like “boundaries” in situations that might be stressful or frustrating (but aren’t necessarily destructive) and I’ve been thinking about it quite a bit!
You seem to be very aware but have you processed your anger at your mom, in therapy or otherwise? I have a similar but not identical dynamic with my mom and I’ve recently started processing how ANGRY I am at her and how hurt I am that she put me in positions and situations that no parent should ever put their child. I’ve always suppressed my feelings on this topic — as a haha isn’t my mom/life crazy thing — but hope is that I can be more generous of spirit towards her once I’ve given myself some space to feel what I feel.
+1 to all of this.
I’m in a similar boat – a very difficult childhood and a mom who has also done a lot of work to grow and change over the last decade or so. It is a LOT to process and you need to give yourself the time and space to do it.
OP, you mention wanting to be “generous and loving and flexible” with your mom, but you need to be able to be those things with yourself, first, in order to give that to her. I had to be very rigid and strict with myself in order to survive my childhood and young adulthood, and learning a whole new way of relating to myself and others has been a real (ongoing!!) challenge. I am very grateful that my mom has done the work to change, but of course change isn’t linear, it’s always two steps forward and one step back, it’s natural that sometimes it is beautiful and at other times it gives you awful flashbacks. And her changing doesn’t erase the hurt that you’ve already experienced or the ways in which her earlier behavior has already shaped you.
Cheryl Strayed has an essay where she talks about boundaries as walls, and notes that even the strongest walls have doors and windows carefully crafted to let certain things in. This metaphor helped me be a little bit more forgiving and experimental with myself in how I approach my relationship with my mom. Sending lots of love!
Thank you for the metaphor. It really hit me.
Maybe you should not be so rigid with the morning’s smoked turkey person?? You’re throwing an awful lot of shade at her in the context of discussing your own issues with your own mother, and you don’t stop for a second to consider that she’s an actual person whose mother probably has quite the knack for pushing her buttons. Do you expect people to be paragons of virtue and feel no compunction about slagging them when they are not? Serious question.
Not OP, but lots and lots of us thought the smoked turkey poster was the asshole.
I thought people were way too harsh. Her parents were being rude to demand that dinner become lunch on less than 24 hours notice. If it were my daughter I might explain that we can’t come because we can’t drive in the dark and we’re sorry but we’ll all do lunch soon,ect. And if it were my parents, who I love and are not giant jerks, I’d move heaven and earth to have them over. But she has problematic parents and it’s ok to have boundaries.
I think this is a great example of the over use of the term boundaries.
In what world is asking someone to move a meal that is usually eaten at an odd hour anyways a few hours a boundary violation?
There may have been more to the story but we didn’t get it from the poster. The poster also never stated that she had told her parents weeks ago that the meal would be at 4. It sounded to me like there was no set time agreed to previously.
There was “not set time” “weeks ago” because the OP was **moving into a new house** and planned on having dinner with her husband. Her parents invited themselves and then changed the time at the last minute. Maybe be more gentle with people swimming in moving boxes???
That’s exactly my point! The plans were up in the air, this isn’t a boundary issue!
Not everything had to be a big *thing* or throw around a boundary violation. Sometimes people have different preferences when making plans. That’s not boundary violating, that’s just having a conversation.
Lots of people here (myself included) have issues setting boundaries. It’s really unhelpful when people pretend like the OPs parents request is a boundary violation because it gives weight to the inner voice a lot of us have that we are being unreasonable when we are considering enforcing actual boundaries.
Also as others pointed out, if the issue was them inviting themselves over, the time to draw the boundary was when that happened and said no that they didn’t want them over for thanksgiving
Gift ideas for my grandmother with substantial dementia? She is physically healthy but has had a significant onset of dementia this year. Leaving her house is challenging but she’s become so bored at home. Would love to get her something to help entertain her. I’ve considered puzzles but I’m concerned they would not hold her interest. She like(d) romance novels and gardening (have gifted her a million flowers/plants already).
Would she like a baby doll? Some dementia patients just love them.
Similar, we got my grandma a robotic dog. When she was more with it, it made her laugh and when she was less with it, she took care of it like it was a real dog. She also really liked the stuff animal we got her with all the grandkids names embroidered on it. The happy emotion imprinted hard on her so she kept dragging it around even later on when she didn’t know why it was special.
Familiar music. You know that sensation of listening to an old song, and suddenly you’re 16 again, riding down a certain road with the trees rushing by? There is a lot of research now about how music works in the brain, and how it is deeply connected with our mental construction of our identities. I’d give your grandmother something that is enjoyable in the pure sense but also might help her feel grounded in herself.
My grandmother’s roommate in the nursing home had dementia and enjoyed coloring books. Not the more intricate ones for adults, but the easier ones like you might find for kids.
My MIL who had dementia enjoyed things that appealed to the senses: fuzzy socks, scented lotion, fidget toys, etc.
These are all really great suggestions.
If she doesn’t have one, one of those digital picture frames that you can use an App to keep adding pictures from afar. Fill it with pictures. Seniors will often watch those like watching TV. You can even find a bunch of old family pictures, take a quick pix of those on your phone, and add those. So it becomes a history slide slow of her life/her family. It can trigger memories/feelings.
Studies have shown that having something simple to “take care of” can have a huge impact – both on seniors and folks with dementia. A stuffed animal/doll, a plant, and if she lives some place where others can help with care…. a pet is wonderful.
I’ve never dyed my hair before but think it’s time to start covering the grey before it becomes more noticeable. What is your favorite at home kit? I have course black hair and a scattering of white hairs. In addition to covering the white, I’d like to lighten the black just a shade to make things look less harsh.
When I colored my grays I used E-Salon, which puts together custom hair color kits for you. I liked it much better than the box hair color from the beauty supply store, the directions were easy, and they have nice shampoo and conditioner that comes with the kit. I also used their balayage kit for highlights sometimes. I colored my grays for about 4 years. At first I needed to touch up my roots every 4 weeks, and then it became 3 weeks or less, and it got to be a dreaded task, so I stopped coloring a year ago. It has been so freeing, and I wish I had never started coloring. I have another year of growth to get rid of most of the old color. My natural color is ashy light brown, and, while the color looked good when it was fresh, warm tones always come through when it fades a bit, so I ended up with a reddish brassy color that didn’t work well with my skin tone, or sometimes it would come out too dark.
I’m pretty comfortable now with the salt and pepper that is growing in, and the transition line isn’t too obvious. The texture of my colored hair feels dry, so I use extra conditioning treatments, and I sometimes get a toning treatment on the remaining colored hair to neutralize the warm tones.
So, overall, I’d recommend E-Salon if you decide to start coloring.
Go to a pro.
I don’t know your age or circumstances, but consider whether you could live with graying naturally. I think very dark hair looks amazing with the contrast when the grays start coming in and then create their own streaks and highlights. With hair as dark as yours, you will need to color often if you are trying to hide the gray, and that is time consuming and rough on your hair (and there is some expense, even if you do it yourself).
what is on your shopping list today and tomorrow? I’d love to get inspired or remember something I might need.
are you spending more this year or running in spending?
reining in spending!
Nothing. Definitely trying to rein in spending but also not a “stuff” person so rarely buy much on Black Friday.
DH needs a new backpack, which will be my Xmas gift.
KS IT Chick
My husband is calling this the Upper Middle Class, Middle-Aged Woman Problem. He is right, but I am still annoyed with myself.
We are visiting my dad, who lives 45 miles from the nearest store, and I forgot anything resembling a moisturizer. I am reduced to using his body lotion and then wiping it off.
Anyone else having one of those problems today?
My travel deodorant broke into bits, and I had to use my husband’s Old Spice.
I don’t understand – isn’t lotion the same thing as moisturizer?
Yes, but body lotion often has scents or certain types of oils in it that are not present in facial moisturizer. If you have more sensitive skin, body lotion would be more likely to cause you to break out.
I once got my period in the middle of nowhere with no supplies and the nearest store at least 45 minutes away. Oh and no one was fit to drive as we were all drinking pretty liberally. I had to survive till morning with my kid’s diaper, which at the time I felt really validated my *not* rushing to potty train.
This is a fantastic story. Ugh that stinks.
I will raise your diaper with my thick hiking socks while trekking miles from any feminine hygiene supply sources. We do what we must.
I wish I could get into hiking because it seems like a fun way to combine tourism and fitness. But I dislike uneven ground, and extreme temperatures, and bugs. So this isn’t the hobby for me, right? I’ve only been on short local hikes. I guess what I’m asking is, will the right (scenic?) hike “make me a hiker”?
I dislike bugs and extreme temperatures and I enjoy hiking in scenic locations. If you’re talking about day hiking (vs camping) there usually aren’t too many bugs besides the occasional mosquito, and you don’t need to be out in extreme weather. I don’t hate hiking at home but it’s definitely a lot more fun for me when I’m in a beautiful new place. I would say it’s worth a shot! If you don’t like it you don’t need to keep doing it.
It’s just going for a walk. If you enjoy walking in new places, then I don’t see why not. Building up “hiking” as a big deal is a recipe for disappointment.
I mean, does anyone *like* bugs?
Maybe hiking isn’t for you, but I bet there are other outdoor hobbies you’d enjoy. Lake/ocean swimming, rowing, mountain biking, horseback riding, snowshoeing/cross-country skiing (no bugs in the winter!), etc.
As far as scenery, is there something in particular you’re drawn to? I’ll walk twice as far if it takes me to a petroglyph.
For me, it’s reframing the definition of hiking. I have a friend who thinks 7-15 miles of difficult terrain at a set pace is fun. I think it’s torture and therefore thought I didn’t like hiking. But a walk in hiking boots in a beautiful area in a pleasant climate, maybe while holding a camera? Delightful!
So perhaps don’t force yourself to do the tough ones, or in conditions you don’t like, you get to be choosy with how you spend your leisure time. Does this make you a hike? Sure!
This! A hike for me is 2 to 2.5 miles!
I’m an expert at twisting my ankle, but getting actual hiking boots helped a lot and made me feel more confident on uneven ground. While the experts would say and go get fitted, blah blah blah, I just bought a pair online in my regular size and they were fine. Haven’t twisted my ankle since I bought those boots.
A friend recommended hiking poles, which I bought recently and am eager to try out. I’m really short-waisted, and she noticed I was stooping to get through/over rough patches. I hope it helps!
It is probably too late for any substantive response to this, but if I don’t get it out, I might explode or cry.
For those of you who divorced your spouses for reasons that did not include abuse or infidelity, how long did it take for your kids to stop haring you? I just overheard my 13-year-old daughter describe me to my mother as a “selfish b*tch” who she wishes “would just let me move in with Dad already “. And yes, my mother did reprimand her for the language, although not for the sentiment. And yes, she is in therapy, not that it seems to be doing much good. Her father would take her in a heartbeat, and I am trying to decide if we would all be better off if I let him, but it’s only been six months and I keep hoping it will get better.
Can’t answer as a divorcee, but as a child of divorce – why shouldn’t she live with her dad if she wants? Giving kids agency and choice is a good thing, not something to be therapied away.
I’m also not sure why 50-50 custody isn’t an option here. That’s generally what’s best for kids, assuming both parents are loving and have the kids’ best interests at heart, which sounds like the situation here.
She wants to live with him full time and visit me on weekends “sometimes”. I think in part that because he (really his parents) bought me out of the house, so when she stays with him, she is in her familiar surroundings. And quite honestly he spoils her (for example he has a housekeeper so she doesn’t have chores).
Hi there, I don’t have any substantive responses, but I just wanted to let you know that I saw this and I’m sending you some good thoughts from an internet stranger. This seems really tough and I’m willing to bet that you’re an awesome mom doing her best in a really crummy situation. There’s nothing wrong with crying! (And if it’s purely a matter of personalities, you’re not a failure as a mom or as a person if your daughter would prefer to live with her dad. Lots of people assume the mom “should” be the primary custody parent, but there’s lots of people I know doing it other way around because that’s what works best for everyone.) Lots of hugs.
+1. This sounds so difficult! But you will get through it, it won’t always be like this.
This. You’re a good mom. 13 year olds are mean (I was sometimes!). Her feelings are real now but won’t be forever. My mom’s kindness when I was an a**hole as a teenager is one of the things I am most grateful for in life.
I am so sorry that happened. It sounds so hard. No advice from me either but sending you good vibes and a big hug! I hope that things get better.
Oh, my heart is breaking for you. It will get better. My parents divorced (due to my dad’s infidelity, which I didn’t know at the time) when I was 13 and I totally blamed my mom for over a year. I’m 45, and I still remember some of the horrible things I said to her. She kept loving me and treating me normally – including not allowing me to talk to her disrespectfully – and we figured it out (read, I grew up) somewhere along the way (a year and half? Maybe two?). We had a pretty normal relationship well before I put two and two together and realized that my stepmother and dad had gotten together before my parents divorced. My parents were both noticeably happier when they weren’t together, and it took me a while to see past my own pain to realize that. I will forever be grateful to my mom for allowing me to figure everything out on my own time – I took all my pain out on her and I cannot imagine how heartbreaking it was for her, or for you. Continue to be a loving presence for her, do everything you can to facilitate her relationship with her father and know that dealing with being 13 and having divorcing parents doesn’t bring out the best in any kiddo. This too will pass as she grows up and realizes that you aren’t only her mother – that you are an individual with your own right to happiness. But that takes time, and 6 months isn’t much in the scheme of things.
Being 13 is hard, Being 13 and trying to push away from parents, while the solidity of the parental unit dissolves? That must be really, really difficult for your daughter, so try to reach deep to love her unconditionally, continuously. Because being the mother of a 13 year old girl is also hard, and trying to parent during this difficult time while also rebuilding your life must be very challenging. I survived two teen daughters, minus the divorce, and I was often near tears and hating my own life. The teen years issues work out, eventually. For now, you are seen and you are stronger than you realize.
If she blames you for the divorce, is your ex telling her that it’s your fault? Step one is that you need to be on the same page about this.
Thank you and everyone else for the responses. It helps so much! This weekend has been rough.
I always envy the posters who say their ex moved out and left them with the children. Mine said that since I was the one who was unhappy, I was the one who could move out and that if I tried to take his kid he would call the police. So I was the one who moved out and I was the one who filed.
I won’t bore you all with the ongoing saga of my divorce proceedings, but let’s just say he is passive-aggressively civil in person, never says a negative word about me to our daughter while still making it clear that the disruption in her life is my fault, while his lawyer pushes for every day with the her he can get and his parents make sure that the financial hit is problem for me and not him.
I don’t blame my daughter for being angry. I am just hoping I am not in for another year of this.
I’m so sorry. Teens lash out at/about the parent they feel safest with, even if they talk all the livelong day about how the other parent is their hero. She’ll see the light eventually.
Looking for some great words to tell a man that I don’t want to see him socially anymore, and to stop calling me. We dated a bit, but my circumstances have changed job- and time-wise, and I’ve realized that he is self-absorbed and just doesn’t care enough to get to know me. Unfortunately, he lives next door and we share a lot of the same interests. Also unfortunately, I’m a nice person and a nurturer. I was his first date after the death of his wife. It was all about him.
This should be easy for me! I know all the popular answers; “no is a complete sentence,” “that won’t work for me,” etc. I don’t want to put it in an email. But when he calls, I feel put on the spot.
Block his calls.
Found the Gen Z’er with zero social skills
I think you can say something like, “My circumstances have changed and I don’t really have time to hang out for now. I’ll let you know if that changes.” Or something to that effect? I must say that it’s way easier over text, and if that is what can help you get over the hump and let him know, then don’t hesitate doing that.
I can’t quite tell if the relationship so far has been romantic or platonic or a mix, but you also could say something like, “I’ve been thinking about it, and I don’t feel a connection” or “We’re not a good match” or something like that if it fits the situation. And remember you do not owe him answers to follow up questions. In this type of situation, I’ll usually come up with a couple of phrases that are vague but can be repeated over and over, “I just don’t feel the chemistry on my end and that’s important to me,” etc., in case there are questions.
“Hey Bob. No, actually I’m not available for dinner. I really appreciate you asking but I’m not interested in pursuing a romantic relationship. I wish you all the best and hope you find someone great for you soon. See you at the next pottery club meeting!”
“I feel like this has reached its end and I am not interested in pursuing things further.”
Maybe you can put something like “I know I’d want a date to be clear and direct with me so I’ll be direct with you, with apologies in advance if this is hurtful. I’m not feeling the spark or connection I need to keep seeing one another, but I do wish you the best in your dating adventures.”
For the reader looking for a remote job, I just got an email listing jobs at “remote.” Apparently once I listed that as a keyword among others when subscribing to postings.
This particular one was with CareerBliss job alerts, and I have no memory of registering with them. But the companies they sent me were all legit if not highly reputable.
This is kind of a depressing question for a holiday weekend but it’s on my mind. I’m trying to figure out whether to stay with a man who probably doesn’t want children. This has made me do a lot of thinking about whether I want children (the last few years I’ve thought I do) and why I want them. One of the things I’m struggling with right now is the idea that if I don’t have kids, all of my other future life accomplishments will be less momentous. For example, if I do something great at work it means less because I didn’t do it while also balancing kids. If I train for a marathon, it means less because I didn’t do it while also raising kids. If I just make it through the year without any big accomplishments, it seems like I should have done more with all my extra time because I don’t have kids. Has anyone struggled with this? I’m thinking about lots of things and this one thing obviously isn’t the deciding factor on whether to bring another human into the world. It’s just on my mind and I’m wondering if anyone else has dealt with these thoughts. Please be nice, I’m really struggling and don’t need strangers to be mean to me right now.
Sorry, that’s a tough spot to be in. I also spent a lot of time thinking about whether I wanted kids or not and know it can be really complicated. If it helps, to me saying a person’s accomplishments are less because they didn’t do it while balancing raising kids doesn’t really make sense to me. We all have different challenges and stressors and struggles and constraints on our time. By that metric, are my accomplishments greater than somebody else’s because I did it while managing chronic pain? Honestly if you can I think therapy would be super helpful in unpacking the connection your brain has made. Not to say you should stay with this man or not, but it seems like it would be valuable to dig more into your thinking. Hugs.
Life is not a contest. YIyr accomplishments will always be more impressive than some people’s, and less impressive than other people’s. With much, much love, my take is that this really shouldn’t even figure into the decision at all. Signed, I used to compare myself to everybody else until I realized it doesn’t matter.
+1 to Senior Attorney’s perspective. Who cares if other people can do a bunch of stuff while also having kids! That’s not about you. Enjoy your life. If you want to train for a marathon, do great stuff at work, or whatever, you should do it… and, let me tell you its easier to do all that if you don’t have kids! I debated for many years about if I wanted them or not. I eventually chose ‘not’, and I’m happy about it for many reasons – including the fact that I can pursue many hobbies, volunteer, and be helpful to friends, family and community in ways that would be more challenging (if not impossible) with children to raise.
There are lots of good reasons to leave a partner who doesn’t want kids but this is not one of them.
I have a child and accomplishments don’t feel different/better because I did them while I had a kid. If anything I’m less invested in my own success because I am more worried about whether or not my kid is doing okay; And I still feel like I could always be doing more – I could be doing more for my son! I often feel guilty about 2 opposite things AT THE SAME TIME, e.g., I should be spending more time with my son and I should be helping him be more independent. I guess one positive aspect of motherhood is that I don’t worry a lot about work issues anymore. This may partly due to the nature of my job–its not high pressure or “big” by the standards of this board–but my emotional angst and chronic worrying has now generally been transferred to concerns about my marriage and/or child. In general, being a parent is different than I expected. Its both better and worse. There’s a lot of trying to catch vomit in your bare hands and other deeply abject moments, constant uncertainty that you are doing the right thing, interspersed with moments of profound joy when you watch your child finally learn to ride a bike or something. But parenthood isn’t a personal growth project and most of what you “accomplish” as a parent has to be done again 15 minutes later. (My son is 10; I may feel differently when he’s 30!) Hugs to you; this is hard to figure out.
I mean… this is kind of offensive, as if the only obstacle women ever face is balancing motherhood with their career. I’m guessing you’re on the young side, and haven’t seen your older friends deal with aging parents, bad relationships, and generally being beaten down by life? Bad luck with layoffs or a bad fit in a career, or men promoting men in general? Or just deciding F-it I don’t want to do the rat race anymore?
There are plenty of reasons to “fail” in life without children – and those ways aren’t really failure, they just might look to failure to someone who is just out of school.
If you want children have kids, but don’t look at them as adding extra challenge to your life like they’re log fences in a horse jumping competition.
Yeah, I was offended by this too and couldn’t put my finger on it. If that’s how OP thinks, she shouldn’t have kids.
Tell me you’re needlessly competitive without telling me you’re needlessly competitive.
Ok, I’m going to be as nice as possible here. I’m childless, mostly by choice. I don’t want the struggle of balancing my life, work, siblings/parents, friends, etc with raising kids along with the financial burden of it. I don’t give parents any more credit for running a marathon or getting promoted while having kids. They made the decision to have kids and it is their life decision. They don’t get kudos from me for doing it while raising kids. You ran a marathon! That’s great! That’s an accomplishment regardless. Your post diminishes every single one of my accomplishments along with those of other childless people whether they are childless by choice or not. Your post is enraging.
Now on the flip side, I love my life! My SO and I are going on a beach vacation next week and then planning a European trip next year. We spent our morning relaxing with coffee, going to yoga class and then cooking a nice breakfast. There’s no rush to get out the door for soccer practice or stress about a child’s school, etc. Raising kids is really hard but it was their choice to make. I know exactly how hard it is from friends and family and it’s not what I want for my life. People with kids have told me if you can imagine your life without kids and still be happy, then don’t do it because it is really that hard. I think a lot of parents have to think of themselves as warriors and like they are freaking saints because the truth is, a lot of them regret their decision to have kids they just can’t vocalize it to anyone but their therapist.
My greatest joy in my life is my famiily and I also love my career as a lawyer. When I feel guilty for not “doing more” in terms of interesting hobbies or community activity, I also remember that I caretake for my younger brother who is a mentally ill. In many ways, my brother is harder on me than my son who is now a young adult. I still would not want any other life because I enjoy time with my son, husband, and brother. I love making making our home a warm place and my hubby is an equal partner in this. There seems to be this idea that independence and sucess means that you don’t take care of your village and that makes me really sad.
You have asked for kindness, so I will try. My dear internet stranger, no, when I was deciding whether to have children, it never occurred to me that my professional accomplishments would be considered somehow lesser if I achieved them while not a mother. I am childfree by choice. Would you really be so unkind as to tell me that my accomplishments mean less than than other women’s, or than men’s, because I don’t have children? In fact, I am certain that I have achieved far more professionally than I would have if I’d decided to have children, and I’m proud and happy about my choices. As accomplishments seem important to you, you might frame it like this: Do you want the accomplishment (and challenges) of having and raising a child? If so, that weighs in favor of it. Do you want to achieve certain professional goals that you consider significant? If so, that might be a point in favor of childfree. Think also about how you’re defining the term “accomplishment.” Your life will present so many opportunities to “achieve” things if that’s what you want. In life, we all face the choice to prioritize certain types of “accomplishments” over others. Having a happy family life is an accomplishment. Winning professional accolades is an accomplishment. Having a baby is an accomplishment (one that, by the way, isn’t somehow lessened for mothers who decide not to simultaneously pursue a demanding career). Do not let others’ perceptions dictate what’s important to you in terms of the kinds of accomplishments you want to have in your life.
Actually, if you have a child people will be less impressed by your professional accomplishments. Among working people, you will be perceived as “just a mom” who probably got special accommodations, despite the fact that in reality you had to do twice as much work twice as well as everyone else to prove that you were still dedicated to your job. Socially, no one will care about your professional accomplishments and will be busy judging you on your kid’s accomplishments.
Black bag / tote
My use-everyday black shoulder bag just fell apart. I thought maybe I would buy a nice one today.
Light is a priority. Good design, good quality. I had moved away from leather for awhile trying to stay light, but then I wonder when Cuyana describes their leather tote as “lightweight” if that is true.
Hate anything with obvious labels. Don’t like Le Pliage at al.
Price flexible, within reason, since I will use it like crazy and probably for a long time.
Knomo London has some great options. Also the Lo and Sons OG. I have both. Use my Knomo for day to day and my big OG for travel. Both great quality. I think my Knomo is lighter. I have the 14 inch Grosvenor Place. Can vouch for quality and service
I just got the new Cuyana lightweight tote and it is pretty light! It looks pretty basic though – nothing seems really fancy about it or eye catching but it does serve its purpose. It is a good every day tote and it does hold my laptop and other stuff easily.
I have used a Rag & Bone black Passenger Tote as my default bag for five years. It is still in perfect condition although I don’t baby it. It’s a little smaller than one would think of as a “tote” but big enough to carry all the usual stuff plus a 5×8 planner. The only black one I’m seeing at Rag & Bone today has a different colored handle, but it’s on good sale.
Girl on the Go Trench on sale
PSA – the Eddie Bauer Girl on the Go trench coats (insulated and standard) are on significant sale. I just bought the insulated version for $114.50 (normally $229.00).
Two part post ahead. I recently started a job search and am curious whether there’s any movement towards in person interviewing. From anecdata, it seems like many employers went fully remote for recruiting in 2021 and were making offers without ever having met the employee in person. Is that still true? If an in person interview is in my future, I want to get a new interview outfit ready because everything formal I have is pretty blah and I could use a boost of confidence. What’s a good outfit for a senior level corporate job in a tech adjacent field?
I can’t help with what to wear but I did my first in person interview (as the hiring manager) just last month. We only did in person for finalists (and the role is largely in person).
I changed jobs twice in the pandemic (one was in tech) and interviewed fully remotely. As a hiring manager, we’re still doing exclusively remote interviews over Teams.
DH is in tech and interviewed remotely pre-pandemic. A friend started at a FAANG over the summer and interviewed fully remotely as well. For an on-site role at HQ (do those even exist in tech anymore?), I’d expect to be flown out for a final round in person.
My prior Big 4 employer seems to be back to in person interviewing judging by all these LinkedIn posts about campus trips and interview days.
Yes, we are doing early rounds on zoom because it’s easier but later rounds in person. Nothing beats meeting someone live.
On what to wear, this is a good excuse to get a fin blazer like Veronica Beard or Rag and Bone. Depending on how tech, I’d pair with jeans to wool wide leg trousers and polished flats.
Going to Europe in 2 weeks but working up until day of departure. Any tips from seasoned travellers about what I can do ahead of time so it’s not all last minute? I’ve got some things sorted out like the phone and bits and pieces, but what pre-packing would you suggest?
I just pack the weekend before? Unless you have a really minimal wardrobe it’s not that challenging.
This. I’m leaving for a short beach vacation on Thursday morning and working Monday through Wednesday. I have plans every evening so I’m packing 90% on Sunday.
—Organize your travel toiletries. Purchase what you need and decant into smaller bottles or jars.
—Make sure you have some basic first aid items in small containers: Tylenol, Advil, anti diarrhea meds, band aids for blisters, etc.
—Store a copy of your passport in Google drive or email it to yourself. A paper copy may come in handy, too.
—Download books and movies to your Kindle/iPad.
—Log onto USPS and schedule your mail delivery stop dates.
—Reserve parking at the airport if you need it.
On the flip side, I do literally none of this before trips abroad and it’s fine.
My only tip is to make sure you are caught up on laundry and dry cleaning since the only thing that throws me when packing is to realize the piece of clothing I want most is unavailable. I pack the night before my trip if not the morning of.
Some of these may (not) be relevant:
-Pack in advance (including meds or prescriptions)
-get EU charger(s) or convertors
-buy eSIM card in advance, if you need to stay connected
-I pack a box of favorite tea or instant coffee and a big thermos, so that I can stay hydrated during long flights and avoid disappointing hot drinks (just ask stewardes for hot water)
-buy travel/health insurance
-Book hotels/trips/tickets for first few days/nights
-download any relevant local apps now (e.g. taxi, food delivery, tickets/guide)
-download offline map of area, so that you don’t get lost
-I also create an Apple shortcut that navigates me to my “new home” address; so when I need to find the fastest way to my hotel, I just press one button instead of typing the same address over and over
-I make screenshots of all my bookings and tickets and COVID pass
Great lists everyone!
What travel insurance do you get? Anything in particular you look for?
I had a family member who was critically injured while in another state on vacation (hit by a car). I don’t think people anticipate such a event ever happening (maybe until COVID?), and would never think they need insurance for it. We had to spend almost $10,000 to have her flown by air ambulance back home and that was a hugely discounted price from a non-profit organization I found. It was such an awful experience. No insurance covered anything. No one at the out of state hospital would help us figure it out. She would have died if we hadn’t gotten her back.
Your insurance (if they even pay when you are out of state/country…) has no interest at all in moving you back home if you are seriously injured. If there is a local hospital/rehab facility/nursing home that can provide a “similar” service, that is good enough and no need to pay for transportation. Your insurance actually prefers if you die. It is cheaper for them than a long hospital stay +/- a long rehab stay. That’s the truth.
I haven’t really traveled since this happened, but from my relative’s experience (in many ways) I now have a completely flipped view of insurance. I buy the most I can afford, of almost every type. This is especially true of auto insurance + umbrella policy. Unfortunately, most health insurance just suck$.
A lot of credit cards have some level of travel and/or medivac insurance, so it’s worth looking into that before buying anything.
I can’t speak to medical evacuation insurance, but buying “cancel for any reason” travel insurance is rarely a good deal. We did for a yacht vacation because it was a once-in-a-lifetime trip that was insanely expensive and would have been really difficult to reschedule. The insurance was very expensive (almost 10% of the pre-tip booking price), had a large deductible, and then we read the policy and it wouldn’t even have given us all our money back if we’d had to cancel. Fortunately we didn’t, but it was clear it was a pretty terrible deal. These days I self insure by booking refundable hotels (and in my experience even “non-refundable” hotels let you reschedule even though they won’t give you a cash refund) and plane tickets are refundable for future airline credit unless you book basic economy tickets.
I have a one-year travel insurance by Allianz, which covers me for medical cost [incl repatriation], liability, luggage, assistance services etc. I am based in Europe though, so your offer may differ. When I was choosing the package, medical cost, liability and luggage insurance were key for me. If I were going to do serious hiking or mountaineering, I would choose a different provider/package. If your plan is just a city/light hiking, a basic package should be fine. I would start by checking if your credit car is covering any insurance, read the terms [e.g. what is included and whether the flight ticket must be bought by that card] and then decide if it is enough or you need added insurance. I only got the extra travel insurance as I am taking a 1-year sabbatical, I have been traveling to non-EU countries and felt the extra protection was worth it.
I 90% pack the weekend prior and leave a sticky note for what isn’t packed (this is usually weather-dependent – if the forecast changes for the colder or warmer, I know whether to add another sweater or two vs. a lighter layer).
Charge devices (noise cancelling headphones, spare battery, etc) that you’re going to use on the plane. Organize plane food (empty water bottle or snacks). I usually have a light snack at departure and then pass out, rather than staying awake for meal service, to maximize sleep on the way over. On that note… find and pack your eye mask and earplugs.
Check all your toiletries and pack or purchase travel-sized items as needed. Make a mini first aid kit with basics you’d want on-hand.
Download offline Google map(s) of destination(s). If CityMapper is available for your destination, I 100% recommend – it has a “get me home” button that you can pre-program with your hotel / rental, and is awesome at showing walking vs. tr-nsit directions.
Add travel notice to your credit or debit card if needed.
Take screenshots of anything you’d need immediately on arrival.
Oh adding a few –
– Downloading books and movies or shows
– Stopping online shopping or arranging for a neighbor to monitor your house for packages; holding mail
– I *don’t* bother getting Euros ahead of time
– You’ll probably only need adapters (for plug shape) as opposed to voltage converters. Modern electronics can charge on either. The types of electronics that don’t work on both (like travel hair tools) are too-high powered for most converters, so I just use whatever blow dryer the hotel has.
– Book your Lyft or Uber to airport if needed (Lyft you can do up to 7 days in advance, Uber you can do further ahead)
– Plan how you’re getting from airport to hotel – this is a bad thing to have to ‘wing’ jet-lagged
– Arrange for early check-in at hotel if possible (if budget permits and hotel doesn’t have early check-in, we will book an extra night, i.e., the night we spend on the plane, to guarantee the room is available in the morning for us, but we’ll email the hotel the day before to remind them of our “late” arrival so they don’t give the room away)
Yeah I was always told the best exchange rate is from a non-airport ATM in the destination country, so I’ve never gotten money in advance. Although I think we didn’t even get any cash on our last two trips to Europe, everything was moving to credit cards before the pandemic and even moreso now.
The booking a hotel for the night before trick is really clutch, especially with kids. Although it’s more useful if you have a direct flight to Europe and land before 10 am. If you have to connect within Europe, it’s usually close to check-in time by the time you’d get to your hotel anyway.
On cash withdrawal:
I live in the EU and travel extensively and paid by card in 99% of places [exceptions being small corner shops]. However, I was surprised this summer in Prague when many places were accepting only cash payments [even though they used to accept cards in before times]. The only explanation I could think of was “tax optimization” is more of an option if there is no hard evidence [such as card payments]. This happened in a few places, to the level that I withdrew some cash.
On the other hand, in Scotland, many places were card-only but my card did not work with the terminal. After checking with my bank, it turned out many places in the UK and France use old type of payment terminals and my card was “too advanced”. It worked fine whenever the terminal was new [e.g. accepting Apple pay], but I also withdrew cash for those cases where my card didn’t work.
This is not to scare you, just sharing my experience. In case you need to withdraw cash, I would choose a bank-branded ATM, not a generic one.
Yeah we definitely travel with an ATM card, in case we need cash. I’m just saying we haven’t had that need on recent trips but we certainly could in the future. We also have enough of a preference for cards that as long as some shops and restaurants were accepting them we’d probably avoid those that didn’t, but I know not everyone feels that way.
Also, when you withdraw from an ATM, always have the transaction in Euros. If you let them convert to dollars they will do it at a horribly unfavorable exchange rate. Same with CC transactions — always have them run it in Euros.
In my experience, they no longer ask, at least when it comes to credit cards. They used to ask like a decade ago but everything is just run in Euros now – there’s no choice.
Anon at 8:32 – I think this depends on the terminal/bank and your account set-up. I have a debit card issued by a Polish bank but live in Hungary. My card works as a multi-currency wallet for EUR/USD/PLN. If I am paying in Hungary, I still get asked by the terminal about my preferred currency about 30% of the time.
In any case, always choose the local currency, otherwise, the bank would rip you off.
can anyone recommend a non-drying liquid hand soap, preferably a foaming one? my hands are a wreck!
Dove liquid soap or Cerave foaming cleanser.
I went back to Dove for sensitive skin bar soap, after always using liquid soaps since COVID, which all destroyed my hands. It’s good to see they have a liquid alternative. I buy the bars at Costco. I’m the only person that uses them though. If I lived in a household with multiple people/visitors, I’d spring for the liquid.
I also use the Dove brand hand sanitizers, which were recommended on this board and are also great on my hands.
I think foaming soaps are a lot more drying than non-foaming soaps.
The important thing is to get one without SLS as an ingredient, though.
Looking at Sephora, that’s things like the Moroccan oil one. Or you could do Dr Bronner.
I use a gentle cleanser on my face from one of the ‘French’ pharmacy brands. When I purchased a new to me brand, (as my usual one was sold out), the sales associate said her daughter had super dry hands and eczema, and used them on her hands too! I’ve used atoderm by Bioderma, Uriage gentle oil cleanser, and avene gentle oil cleanser. I buy the larger sizes on sale, which usually works out to sixteen dollars Canadian. If my hands become super dry, I start to use them on my hands too. I also have dr. Bronners that I dilute in a pump. One last suggestion— I bought a bar of goat soap at the drugstore, and it dries out my hands less.
Adding that where I live, the drugstore has a whole section of these brands clustered together, which is why I’m referring to them as French pharmacy brands. I like trying out new cleansers and creams when they are on sale. Avene and roch posay work best for my skin, but sometimes bioderma has great products too!
My MIL just passed away. DH had a rocky relationship with his mom (stepmom who raised him since he was 4 so she was his “mom”) but they mended their relationship in the past 20 years. MIL was closer to other family members as well as DH’s ex-wife. Some in the family wish he was still with ex. Here is my issue: other relatives and family of ex have been “thanking” DH and I for taking care of her in the past few years and throughout her hospice stay. I feel like they are trying to be nice but it rubs both of us the wrong way! I don’t know how to respond b/c we didn’t take care of her as a favor or for any of them. She is DH mom and MIL and grandma of our son – of course, we took care of her. We even got a “thank you for stepping up.” Am I overthinking this? It just irks us and we expect more of it at the funeral. I know I should say “you are welcome” or how much we love her but my pattern has been just to stare at them! Needs words of wisdom please.
I think you’re reading too much into their comments, but also people know you’re grieving and will give you grace even if your response isn’t great. Sorry for your loss.
I wouldn’t be looking for a malicious intent here. The way I see it is that people realize how exhausting and difficult care for elderly relatives is and they are showing their appreciation.
You may try “we are glad we could be there for her”.
We were glad to be able to spend time with her, is a perfectly good response here. They are not really thanking you, but clumsily acknowledging how hard it is must have been, and maybe feeling bad or guilty themselves for not doing more.
+1. I can see why it would annoy you but on the other hand, having this work you did be completely unacknowledged can also be really upsetting. My husband did what he could to take care of his father long distance after his sister–who lives much closer and has fewer caretaking responsibilities and more free time than my husband does–basically abandoned him, and 2 years after FIL’s death, my husband is still dealing with his estate. His sister has never breathed a word of gratitude. I think this is acknowledgement that you and your husband took the high road when he could have been forgiven for distancing yourself, and you should try to take it at face value.
It would irk me as well.
I understand your sentiments because I have a similar response to people saying they are “proud“ of me when they had nothing to do with my development as a person. Having said that, I have noticed that there are definitely cultural and even geographic differences in the way people use the term “thankful“. I suspect in this case they are not thanking you because they feel that you were obligated to them or did them a favor. They are thankful for your efforts, the same way they might say they are thankful for good weather. It is their way of acknowledging your efforts.
And the appropriate response is not you’re welcome, because again you are they are not acknowledging an obligation to you. It is “we were happy to do it“. (Even if you were not.)
I don’t know…. I see it differently.
I took care of my parents for years until they died, at great personal sacrifice. While I also felt that the decision was easy – they were my parents and it had to be done, I had the ability/knowledge, and I wanted to do it — of course I would have loved it if my parents had lived long healthy lives and died peacefully in their sleep. But most of us aren’t given that gift.
I would LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE it if my relatives would thank me for what I did, and actually act as if they were grateful. Because it was a huge amount of work, sacrifice, time, money that they did not have to provide. Honestly, most of them made me feel abandoned, and like my parents (and I….) didn’t have value. If you don’t have those feelings, I would count yourself as incredibly lucky. It means that taking care of your MIL was easy enough it never felt like a burden or upended your life, or that you got enough support along the way to lighten the load for you.
I wonder whether some of your resentment at IL’s family for still making you feel less accepted is rolling over onto this issue? I would certainly understand that.
Oh, we both have lingering resentments with some relatives that are coming out and that is why I needed some perspective. Thank you to all who responded.
I think you’re taking it the wrong way. Taking care of an elder is a lot of work, and people appreciate that.