Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville Flickr user Mark Brueggenjohann

You can talk about whatever is on your mind – quality of life issues, a beautiful tree you spotted, scuttlebutt, or any random questions/thoughts you may have. But please no personal attacks. I’ll open this thread every morning at 10am.

Hope everyone had a great Christmas and long weekend.

90 Comment

  • Revel: I decided not to take any time off this week so I could build up my leave balance for a spring trip. The office is deadly quiet, the bus commute here was actually pleasant, and this week is going to be a breeze.

    Rant: This new site seems still to be a bit balky. It’s pretty slow to load, and sometimes you have to hit the back arrow a couple of times. Small things.

    Rant: Where is our snow?

  • Rant: Girlfriend decided to tell me last night she wanted to break up. This was about 10 minutes after we returned home from 5 days with both our families. We share a car, a bank account, and an apartment, with neither of us able to afford living on our own right now ( she is in law school and grad school and with my job + her loans we still barely scrape by ). Going to be a rough couple of months.

    Revel: I love her to death but for three + years have had to play housekeeper, dad, boyfriend, chauffeur, etc. Looking forward to a few years of living as if I’m 21 again.

    • oh boy. that’s pretty brutal timing. best of luck to you both. don’t let the logistics (rent, car, etc.) get you down. you’ll figure it out. the fact that you feel somewhat relieved so early on is a sign that this is probably a good thing for both of you. here’s to a good 2012!

      • +1, well-said. keep your head up and remind yourself why this will be for the best. best of luck to you, idaho, and here’s to 2012 looking up.

    • Truly sorry to hear this and the timing is just dreadful. I’m hoping that you find you are better able to manage your finances independently after all. There are hidden financial expenses in relationships that don’t seem to calculate while you’re in the moment. You didn’t ask for advice but here’s a little anyway: don’t continue to share expenses for the duration of your time together. She made this choice and needs to be prepared to manage life on her own without your support. This means no rides, loans, etc. Not trying to be spiteful, but it’s unfair to expect someone you’ve broken up with to continue to make life easy for you. All the best to you in 2012, my friend.

    • I can relate. My ex boyfriend and I broke up with almost six months remaining on our lease. Living with the ex for that long was not the most fun time ever, but you’ll get through it! Just keep trying to find the positives and try to laugh at the situation as much as possible.

      • In that situation, why not break the lease and move out? Arguably, you should have savings in the amount of a new deposit and moving expenses prior to signing any joint lease. Worst case scenario, you can charge non-housing related living expenses for a month or two to generate those savings.

    • Dude, so sorry. Chin up and cheers to better times in 2012!

  • Revel: Jim Graham’s article entry in Homicide Watch DC. http://homicidewatch.org/2011/12/23/guest-column-jim-graham/

    Rant: He neglects to mention that the problem with juvenile crime in DC goes way beyond just homicides. Armed robberies and random beatings of gentrifiers being up there high on the list.

    Rant: He writes: “Develop a gang intervention strategy in the community.” You mean we don’t already have one??

    • That reminds me, did anyone else see the movie over the weekend that Jim Graham starred in when he was a little boy? It’s called A Christmas Story.

  • Has anyone been to that plant/ flower store out on New York Avenue? I am in the market for some potted plants and don’t want to pay a fortune. Thoughts on the price/ selection at that place? Other recommendations?

    • It’s fine, more expensive than big box stores and similar quality. If you have a car, Merrifield nursery on Gallows Road is awesoem (and $$) and Meadows Farms (50 and Annandale Rd) is pretty good too but possibly closed in winter

    • Want to “re-home” my purple shamrock? It needs lots of sun and no cats to eat it. Since the snake died and I gave away his house, I have no place to put it where the other beasts don’t graze.

  • Revel: It’s my birthday!

    Rant: No one is ever in town for my birthday.

    Revel: My sister and I are going out to lunch.

    Any recommendations for a fairly cheap but delicious place for lunch?

  • Rave: After four loooonggg years of trying, lots of money spent, a miscarriage and huge needles stuck in my ass, I am finally pregnant.

  • RAVE, I had a great Xmas with family and friends
    RAVE, met this great guy recently who I really really like him and things are going great
    RANT, when I met him he has already accepted a one year job assignment oversea, really sucks, I wonder what I can do to make myself unforgettable for the couple of weeks we have 🙂

  • Rave: Dog-napped my parent’s dog for some puppy time in DC!!
    Rave: A great holiday with the family and yet so so happy to be home.
    Rave: Concurring with those above- at the office and no one is here! Relax, catching up on work, and listening to my music.

  • Random Question: What is the deal with that Exxon station on Rock Creek by the Watergate? It’s prices are consistently about $1/gallon higher than even the more expensive gas stations in NW, including the one right across the street! I strongly suspect money laundering, but would love it if anyone has an explanation/theory/wild guess.

    • My guess is they are capitalizing (or exploiting, depending on your perspective) their location. Tourists or out-of-town business types driving by looking for gas, see the station, and pull in. Hopefully with the proliferation of smartphones, people will avoid this rip-off station. There is a similar situation in Tyson’s corner where the station is the first thing you see when you exit off of I-495 and you can’t make a U-turn to get to the cheaper station across the street. Their prices are at least 50 cents higher. Don’t recall the exit…

      • That doesn’t quite explain this one- drivers can easily get to the Chevron at 27th and I (literally 50 yards away), and that station is also more convenient for getting on I-66- yet somehow it’s a dollar cheaper. My working hypothesis is that they are preying on elderly folks who live in the Watergate and are convinced that the Exxon gas is somehow better.

        • I think that’s it. And anyone wealthy enough to afford living at the Watergate doesn’t have to worry about the price of gas.

        • My guess, they have ridiculously small gas tanks? So they can only fill like 200 cars, and then they are empty. Knowing they fill 200 cars, they decided to stretch the time it takes to get the 200 cars.

          Regardless, I drive by it constantly, and never cease to be amazed. It has turned into a thing I point out to friends and in-laws as we drive by..

    • That Exxon station has been independently owned for years (even before ExxonMobil sold the other DC stations last year). The owner just refuses to price the product in line with the other market prices in the area and has done so for years. They sell about 1/5 or something like that of the other stations in the area (beats me how they even sell that much).

  • rave: new cutie in my life! had two dates, shared one long and warm kiss. wow. can’t wait for more.

    rant: to quote Erin Brockovich: “Are you going to be something else that I have to survive?”

  • Rave: My friend from college and his wife are staying with us over New Years weekend. I haven’t seen him for over a year and am looking forward to it.

    Rant: My fiance is not looking forward to it. When I asked if they could come visit, she suggested that they stay in a hotel. I disagreed and thought we could accommodate them. The whole thing escalated to a pretty big fight. In the end, she be grudgingly conceded. She said out of principal I should have respected her wishes and strongly suggested they get a hotel.

    This weekend we were cleaning the place to prepare for their arrival and she reminded me multiple times that she was being forced into this, that her winter break was being ruined (she is in school), etc. She also said she spoke to several friends and they all agreed our visitors should have stayed in a hotel.

    Am I really being that inconsiderate? I wouldn’t think twice about having two of her friends stay with us for three nights. Feeling a bit like a schmuck but I’m not sure if I should…

    • I’m with you on this one. If they’re coming to visit you, you should accomodate them. Unfortunately, I’ve realized during my three years in DC that I’m in a minority in my thinking. I come from a state that values hospitality, but that value doesn’t seem to be shared by many here.

      I’m not surprised that your finace’s friends agree with her, but this isn’t a black-and-white issue. It’s extremely subjective whether it’s ok for your friends to stay over. And the end of the day, the only opinions that matter are those of you and your fiance (and not her friends).

      • Emmaleigh504

        +1 I don’t see anything wrong with having people come to stay, but this between you and your fiance. Why is she so against it? Does she think she will have to do a lot more around the house like cooking and cleaning? Maybe you could let her know that since they are your friends you will take care of extra responsibilities.

      • er, I don’t understand why this has anything to do with DC. I love how all the transplants like to harp on about “well, where I’M from [it’s so much better because]…” what a bore.

        as a local I’d like to say it’s part of mid-atlantic/american culture to invite people to stay with you unless they’re horrible or there’s some other big reason. most of the time this conflict happens between couples because the one whose friends are coming to visit didn’t give a proper heads up or ask their partner far enough in advance.

        yes, she sounds selfish from your side of the story, but I’d love to hear hers.

    • Also, we live in a 750 sqft 1-bedroom 1-bath apartment, no pets. The guests will be staying in the living room on an air mattress.

      • I’ve been in a similar situation before, and such a setup is really only viable for a couple of nights. Any longer, and you’ll start driving each other crazy trying to live in such a small space and sharing a single bathroom.

    • My (very) abridged opinion: Unless there is another dramatic side to this story then #$%@ no, you are not a schmuck. I’m sorry you have to deal with this when you’re just being a good friend. Why isn’t she the one who should be respecting *your wishes? And, btw, who cares what her friends think – this is between the two of you. I hope she can turn this into a positive and be happy that you get to spend time with your friends (and her too!). Have a wonderful time!!

    • It seems like it’s one of those cul-de-sac issues – there’s no practical compromise, so someone is going to be dissatisfied. Maybe you could have handled it better (Don’t expect your fiancee to help in the preparations. Make it clear that you owe her one unwanted visit from her friends. Don’t expect her to do any additional work while they are visiting.) but given that your fiancee did finally agree to it, she really needs to drop the complaining and make the best of it. Although she considers her break ruined, it isn’t a reason to ruin everyone else’s too. Good luck.

    • I agree this isn’t exactly black and white….I say family are always welcomed to stay with– that’s my rule. Friends are a bit different, depending on how close we are, their financial situation, why they’re coming, etc. I would still lean to saying yes to staying with, especially in an expensive place like DC, where hotel would likely double the cost of traveling.

      But, since your fiance objected, you should have probably respected her objection. And if she conceded, she should have probably just let it go and not begrudge you like that. Sounds like you guys are getting good practice for married life. In all seriousness, you gotta learn how to fight well and how to let go of things. (written by a divorced person who wasn’t too good at either of those)

    • Sorry to hear you’ve got holiday stress with your gf. Based on what you’ve shared, I’d have to say that the only way that you are being terribly inconsiderate is if she’s really had a rough go of things recently and really needed some quiet time at home during the holidays. But my real take on this is that house guests, even ones you’re not keen on, are exactly the type of compromises one needs to expect when co-habitating. House guests are a certain eventuality in any live-in relationship and if your gf has had plenty of time off with some holiday cheer mixed in, she needs to make the best of it and try to enjoy herself with your friends.

      • I’m with you on that one, guests stay in the house. And I come from a country where not only do the guests always stay in the house, they get the bedroom and you sleep on the floor. Since it’s them traveling, not you. But perhaps making sure she doesn’t have too much extra work and doesn’t have to cook/clean double would be a nice touch from your side.

        • Yes, but it’s not a house, it’s a 1-bed apartment. Hosting 2 guests for more than one night means you get little peace or privacy.

        • ah, but here in america, I’d wager that the vast majority of people would be EXTREMELY uncomfortable to put their hosts on the floor. we’d find that very strange.

          there can be unique circumstances too. my studio apartment only has one bed for me and my boyfriend and one love seat. we don’t have space to store a blow up mattress or even extra blankets. I don’t think that makes us inhospitable, we simply cannot host you.

          • Yes, but see, it’s a lot easier for me mentally to have them and their stuff confided to one room with a door that i can close and pretend no one is in my apartment. 😉

    • Well, in my opinion, if you live in a 750 sq. ft. 1-bed 1-bath apartment then having two additional people living there for a couple of days is only going to work if you’re in agreement. And it doesn’t sound like you were, so I’m siding with the fiance on this one.

      • Agree. A guest bedroom would change the equation but two more people in a small space for a few days….I’d say helping them find an inexpensive hotel or B & B would be a better decision.

    • Some people are just not house guest people. What seems fun for you seems like a LOT of prep work followed by several days of suffocating togetherness to her. Make sure that you don’t require her to attend every.single.activity. with your friends – an afternoon alone while you take them out to museums, etc. will help relieve some pressure. Also, THANK HER for helping you clean in advance and for being nice to your friends while they are here.

      • I generally agree with this. I lived with someone who grew up in the area and just doesn’t have the experience of having friends visit or of visiting friends. I mostly don’t think you’re a schmuck and think that since she agreed, she needs to stop throwing passive-aggressive barbs at you. I may see her point in such a small apartment. It’s mostly the bathroom issue that would be a concern for me. I hope you can work it out and that you and she can have a wonderful time with your friends.

    • Given what you described, I’d think having them stay in a hotel would have been reasonable. You have a small space, your girlfriend is experiencing a higher level of stress = not a good situation. You can get good deals via Priceline and other sites

    • From what you’ve said, I think you’re right and your friends should stay with you. But what are her reasons for not wanting them to stay?

    • saf

      Wow. So now you know that you and the fiancee have this big difference in philosophy on visitors. Time for a discussion, because it shows a big difference in more than that one issue, IMO.

      Seriously, talk about it and decide how you will work it out in the future, and how this affects other things in your home. It’s WAY better to do that before you get married!

      • I agree with SAF. This could just be the example of items on which you two differ. It’s a great opportunity to sit and talk about personal space and expectations. My inlaws once stayed with my Husband (then boyfriend) and me…on our couch in a 1 BR!!! It was waay too much for me to handle. We talked and he understood I have different ideas of personal space. Now they stay in a hotel.

        • saf

          See, I come down on the other side – people are always welcome in my house. I can’t imagine it any other way.

          And if my husband weren’t comfortable with that, we would have had a lot of issues over the years! Luckily, this is one of the things we agree on.

          (Our long negotiations were over other issues.)

          • Saf, I’m glad I’m not alone! My bf’s father was just visiting us for a few days, in one bedroom apartment, and we gave him the bedroom. Much easier this way, with us getting ready for work in the morning and running around like crazy.

    • Another perk of letting them stay in your place, is that they now owe you a stay in their place if you go visit.

    • Accommodating travelers is a sacred privilege.

    • christanel

      My roommate regularly invited her family over for a week’s stay in our apt. That got annoying…FAST. A one time thing is okay.

  • Bear

    Rant: Half the stuff I buy at the supermarket here in Uganda seems to be already spoiled when I open it up. I am trying to be a bit healthier by not eating out every night, but I’m kind of striking out.

    Rave: I also bought a bottle of red wine and dark chocolate with hazelnuts. I think that makes a fine dinner, if you ask me.

  • RANT: Showed up on time to work only to realize I left my keys at home, and had to bike all the way there and back and was 45 minutes late to work.

    REVEL: Office is dead, no one even noticed, and I still beat the rain. And I had been considering adding in 30 mins of spinning to my normal workout tonight due holiday indulgence but an extra round trip took care of that!

  • burritosinstereo

    rant: messed up my neck/upper back sleeping on the sofa at my mum’s house on xmas eve.

    rave: got an appointment with a chiropractor this afternoon. never seen one before and am looking forward to him working his magic.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: Slow and quiet at work.

    Rave: By being at work now, I’m saving PTO for a possible May trip to Mexico.

    Rant: A lot of blogs I like to read have taken this week off.

    Rave: Pop didn’t!

  • Rave: Super quiet, slow day at the office.
    Rave: Reading PoP (my officespace lifesaver!).
    Rave: Brought in a radio so I can listen to music to pass the time.
    Rant: The only reception I can get is for 80s music (not the good kind).
    Rave: Don’t Stop Believin’ just came on…

    • do yourself a favour and take the radio home. go to iheart.com and choose any radio station you like…

      • Oh ye of unrestricted internet access… I’d love to but that (and every other possible outlet to the world of music) is restricted. Ah the perils of being a fed… 😉

  • Rave: Sister and nephews came to visit for Christmas!

    Rant: Sister took the phone charger and GPS I lent her back to Texas. Now, my phone’s dead and I have no charger.

  • Found out my manager has a criminal record a mile long. Has a list of restraining orders and got a tax lien for Christmas. She was hunting for a house in my neighborhood a little while ago. Hopefully that put the kibosh on that idea for a bit. . .
    Why didn’t anyone screen management for anger issues?

  • Rant: I am very ready for 2011 to be over. This last week, while nice and quiet at work, is sloooowly going by

    Rave: Like many of you, saving my leave for next year – husband and I never got a honeymoon, so looking at, as of now, 5-6 days in Vegas to relax, see shows, hike Red Rocks, etc…and then save up for a REAL honeymoon to Europe. Good compromise. Excited to get a real vacation with him that doesn’t involve family in any way.

  • Rave: Sending love and respect out to all of my Capricorn brothers and sisters! January 8th here!
    Rant: Not looking forward to getting even more OLD.
    Is just me, or is the holidays amazing for children and HORRIBLE for adults? Family seems to become more annoying and more of a burden as we get older and have to actually host them.

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