Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user Columbia Heights Climber

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 and no need to correct people’s grammar. This is a place to vent and/or rejoice about daily life in DC.

145 Comment

  • Rant: Refinancing and shady/incompetent lenders. Why, after we sent the hundred or so of pages of documentation that you requested, and are all set to lock in a rate, do you tell us we don’t qualify for a conventional loan because I only have one credit card? You pulled the credit reports two weeks ago and had plenty of time to review them.

    On that subject, can the guy who keeps talking about his great refinance please tell me who he used again? And since I evidently need two more credit cards in order to refinance, can anyone recommend some good ones?

    Rave: I don’t think the interest rates are going anywhere so I have plenty of time.

    • alxindc

      If I have 800 FICO, do I still need two credit cards?

      As for CC, a friend has CapitalOne/MasterCard and there are no fees if you purchase anything abroad, which is not the case with BOA and AMEX it turns out. Foreign currency conversion fees.

      • Yeah, I have a Capitol One card already, and it’s great for travel. 🙂

      • Maybe. When we were looking into home loans we were preapproved with 750+ credit scores for both my husband and me. We were under contract and suddenly our loan officer said we couldn’t get the loan we wanted because I didn’t have 3 lines of credit (I only had 2). My husband had at least 3 between his car loan, student loan, and a couple of credit cards. It didn’t matter that my husband met the qualification, I had to meet it as well.

        • Yep, that’s my scenario exactly. I don’t have any loans outside of the mortgage, and only one credit card.

          How long did you have to wait after opening the 3rd line of credit to reapply?

        • A car loan and student loan are not considered lines of credit. These are considered installment loans. A line of credit is a revolving account….the balance can go up or down each month.

      • You need three open and active credit lines. Credit score doesn’t matter.

        • what does open and active mean? if i have a credit card i never use, would it not count? random hypothetical question – i’m not refinancing, just thought having a bunch of credit cards would be good for the credit score if i decide to buy.

          • You need to have three credit cards, and not too many more, that you use at least once a month, but make sure you never charge more than 50% of the limit to them. It’s basically a juggling act that everyone is required to do to prove creditworthiness.

          • ah….i see. interesting. ok thanks! i guess will have to use mine more.

          • “Anonymous”, where are you getting this information? What you’re saying wasn’t true last September when I applied for a mortgage.

          • Nor was it true in early 2011 when I got my mortgage. Times have changed. I only needed to provide 1/3rd the amount of documentation that I did this time around, as well.

          • So where are you getting your information from? Who is requiring this stuff?

          • Most lenders? Although the guy below says Wells Fargo might not.

          • At the time I got my last mortgage (end of 2010), I think I had three credit cards… but was using only one of them regularly.

            So I don’t think that statement that you have to be using your three (?) credit cards once a month is accurate.

          • This 3 lines of credit nonsense is patently false. Some lenders might require it, but its far from universal. Sorry, buddy.

        • There is no reason whatsoever to have 3 credit cards. I have a single credit card which haven’t used ages, but I also have excellent credit. I had no problem getting approved for a loan. My only existing credit lines at the time were a credit card that never carries a balance and a monthly student loan payment.

          In fact it can be detrimental to have several, high-limit cards that you seldom use. Lenders see this as a liability: if you have 3 cards, each with a $10k limit, you can be $30,000 in debt overnight, which means you could easily default on a mortgage.

    • I just closed on a re-fi and I only have one credit card… I think they need to see your payment history over time but I also think it depends on the bank you’re going with… I had a car note, but paid it off. I used Wells Fargo. Eagle Bank is also good. Sun Trust wasted my time.

    • leftcoastsouthpaw

      I just refinanced this month and I do not have three credit cards. I used
      First Financial Services, Inc.
      1327 14th Street, NW Suite 101, Washington, DC 20005
      t: 202.249.9871

      Hope that helps.

    • I just closed with Mortgage Capital. They were incredibly responsive (despite being in LA) and I never actually talked to them on the phone. The entire process was very easy, and fees were cheap with very good rates.

      Also, check out Amerisave.com

      Should be a good idea as to what rates you can expect. You can refinance with them as well, they are very competitive as well.

    • I feel like this supposed ‘have to have a credit card’ policy is something the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau should investigate. I applied for and obtained a mortgage despite having no credit card, at least not one that was only in my own name (3 years ago) – I feel like credit score / history of payments should be sufficient…

      • Supposed to have THREE credit cards, not one. Who did you get a mortgage with and when?

        • Well I did have one credit card but it was a shared card with my partner. We also went with Wells Fargo (3 years ago) which apparently is less restrictive about this kind of thing. I just feel credit cards complicate life unnecessarily when plain old cash is available (I know they can be useful in cases of uninsurance and need to pay health bills and all, but exceptions aside…).

          • “I just feel credit cards complicate life unnecessarily when plain old cash is available”

            Exactly how I feel. Unfortunately that gets me burned in situations like this!

    • novadancer

      we went with ING and our re-fi will be completed in less than a month from app to close. Easily the easiest re-fi ever (and much less paperwork than original mortgage)…

    • I refinanced with Apex Home Loans. Incredibly easy. I have never heard of a 3 line of credit rule. In fact, there was a time when having too many credit cards was a negative factor for consideration of a loan aplication.

  • alxindc

    RANT: Everybody in the office is getting engaged/married, etc. And I though it was spooky when all my classmate from grad school got married in the two months after graduation. To top this, all my classmates from high school are also getting married.

  • Rave: Was it just me or did the weather seem particularly nice this morning?

  • Rant: My roommate. I knew that I should have just lived alone.
    Rant: I have horrible luck with most roommates. That means it’s most likely me.

    • I always had that problem too. I honestly don’t get it; I’m very clean (without being OCD about it), I cook delicious things that I’m always willing to share, I’m on top of rent and bills, I’m not loud or destructive or having lots of guests over, and yet I’m generally cool with the roommate being loud or having guests over. Nevertheless, roommates always hated me.

    • Are you picking the same type of roommate every time? I used to think I had terrible luck with roommates until I realized they were all privileged passive-aggressive females. I had no issues living with men!

      • Hmm..not really. They have all been vastly different from country girl to indie rock lover to super dooper wealthy. I’ve also lived with men on two occasions, one of which went just fine.

        I’m a super germaphobe and like to keep things clean but I grappled with MRSA infections for 2 years so that is my reasoning behind that. So simple cleaning things like disassembling the blender to wash it vs. just washing it or cleaning the counter tops after preparing a meal really bother me.

        • Anon – that stinks. Any chance you can look for a basement apartment or furnished basement in a group house, if you can’t afford a studio or 1 BR?

          fwiw I have had better luck living with guys too.

        • When it comes to roommates, I’m not sure that “country girl,” “indie-rock fan,” or “super-duper wealthy” necessarily matters. It’s probably more relevant whether someone is tolerant/easygoing or more rigid, whether he/she is communicative or more reserved, etc.

          Why do your roommates hate you? And do you know for sure that they dislike you, or is that just the vibe you get?

  • Rant: I am powerful. I have the power to turn beautiful things into a mess. Life has demonstrated me yet again, that I can’t have nice things…

  • RANT – got my visitor parking permit in the mail yesterday. Finally the city has come around and made some sense out of something. I had given up hope for the city to do this Columbia Heights. This will make my life much easier. Plus it is the right way to do things. 🙂

  • Rave: Serious potential for something really wonderful to happen.

    Rant: Waiting!

  • Not a rant or a rave. But any idea what the police activity was outside of El Chucho on 11th Street last night around 8pm? There were at least 4 police cars and an ambulance there for quite a while.

  • rant: frustrated with the job hunt. my friends are getting jobs right and left and it just depresses me. and i am going to sound like a horrible person, but i am jealous of them. i have been searching for almost a year and nothing pans out, no matter how many interviews (and rounds of interviews) i go on. and my job-related misery spills over into every aspect of my life, which makes me want to scream.

    rave: things could be a lot worse. if this is my biggest problem, that’s probably pretty good.

    • Oh, I feel you. I have had a lot of interest in my credentials and I score a lot of interviews but have yet to get an offer. Meanwhile, it seems like everyone is moving on. My friend who just left his job out of the blue to relocate (with no job!) scored a fabulous interview and I’m so jealous because he’ll probably get the job. After one single interview.

    • Hang in there. My job search lasted 18 months before I found something. I felt the same as you…..but just hang in there!!!!

    • I felt the same way when I was applying for jobs years ago. I had a very valuable degree, some experience, and I was going on 2-3 interviews a week, so why did it take me so many months to get an offer? In retrospect I realize my weak interviewing skills were probably the problem. I’d talk up my qualifications and experience without really linking it to what the employer needs. So re-evaluate your interview skills! You need to specifically spell out what concrete value you can bring to the employer.

  • Rant: Our kitty has decided that the fun new nighttime activity is ‘hunting’ our feet under the covers. This means that I have been working on sleep deprivation for the past two days. She has also decided that anything left on the floor is fair game for peeing on, which is *awesome* (It was a very old messenger bag of mine that got hit, but still). It is currently the fact that my boyfriend is very attached to her that is keeping me from throwing the cute little bugger out a window. People are usually beyond reason when it comes to their pets- you’re willing to put up with a lot when it’s yours!

    Rave: The fact that my boyfriend is so devoted to his pets is one of the things that I love about him, so we’ll just have to figure out a way to help kitty understand how behave in a more civilized manner. That, and he was so apologetic about the peeing incident that he cleaned and organized the whole bedroom yesterday, which really needed it.

    • might want to bring kitty for a check up at the vet. Peeing outside the box can be a sign of UTI or bladder crystals – which is actually better than if it’s a behavioral issue since meds can clear it up.

      • Thanks, I’m going to suggest it. It’d be wonderful if it were a medical issue (and could be solved with meds), but I’m really afraid that it’s behavioral.

        We had issues for a little while with accidents, and then got an additional box- there is another cat in the house, and we thought that it might have been an issue of the other cat bullying this one, with the territory in question being around the existing litter boxes. The problem went away for a while, and this is the first incident in about 6 months. But you’re right, a vet visit is definitely in order.

        • Yep just took mine in for irresponsible elimination (love that terminology) and it turned out she had no medical issues, but I will add fiber to her diet via canned pumpkin if she is having undetected issues. She used to pee on everything but when I started spending more time at home with her that tapered off. Also, I have become more OCD about keeping her box clean and smelling nice with Arm and Hammer litter odor powder. Good luck- I know kitty pee is the worst substance on earth, and it’s a seriously frustrating issue.

    • claire

      My cat had exactly those issues when we adopted her (almost exactly two years ago now!). Here’s a little advice:

      For the foot pouncing at nighttime:
      1. Feed her a snack at bedtime. Cats are least active after eating (well, with my cat, she’ll continue to be playful for about half an hour afterwards and then calm down) so she’ll be more likely to settle down for a nice long nap. This also gives a very concrete signal that she will eventually associate with time to not bug you.
      2. Never play with her on the bed, especially not with under the cover games – as cute as it may be when she’s pouncing all over the hand/toy under there during the day.
      3. Make her as uncomfortable as possible every time she pounces on your feet – squirt her with water, shake a bottle filled with rocks, or (the only thing that worked for my cat who seems to not care about loud noises or being sprayed with water but hates being held except when very relaxed) throw the covers over her and hold her down for a minute.

      For the peeing outside the box:
      1. As mentioned below, take her to the vet to get checked for a kitty UTI.
      2. As hard as it is, DO NOT chastise her after it happens or rub her face in it or anything like that. Cats (like most animals) learn best with positive reinforcement. And peeing outside the box is often a sign that a cat is feeling nervous/worried/uncomfortable so punishing her will only make her feel even more that way! Alternatively, if she’s doing it for attention, then the punishment will be exactly the attention she wants and reinforce peeing outside the box as a way to gain attention.
      3. On that note, if she ever pees in the box, give her a treat immediately afterwards.
      4. Always clean wherever she’s peed with an enzyme cleaner (and never use ammonia – to cats, it smells like cat urine) because if she can smell any trace of her urine in that spot, she will pee there again.
      5. If she is peeing in a particular spot, try putting the litter box there, and (if she starts using it), move it bit by bit each day towards where you want it to eventually end up.
      6. Make note of what times she is most likely to go outside the box – is it when the box really needs to be cleaned? Right before dinner? This can help identify a pattern. My cat had two main issues – for one, she is really picky about having a clean litter box so now I have two that I clean every day, and for another, she loves attention and is especially persistent about getting attention at feeding times (this was fixed by not giving her attention when she peed outside the box and by not feeding her immediately after she did it, even if it was her normal food time – my boyfriend works from home now too and can give her attention through the day so that also helps).
      7. Try changing the litter – some cats don’t like the smell or feel of certain litters.
      8. Feed her grain-free wet food on a set schedule. I know it can be a hassle, but cats are less likely to get UTIs when eating wet food, it can help with behavioral issues, and it’s also the best thing for your cat’s health (plus her fur will be extra soft and shiny!).

      Hope this was helpful! I know it can be really frustrating (especially the peeing outside the litter box which I was dealing with for 6+ months), but you’ll get through it and your kitty will be all the better for it!

      • I highly recommend Nature’s Miracle spray, It neutralizes the kitty pee smell even in carpet, although you really have to douse and work it into the fibers. It’s not cheap but it’s the only cleaner I’ve found that eliminates the scent of a cat marking a spot, which as Claire said, attracts them to go back over and over.

  • Rant: While I understand the reasons that most psychotherapists don’t accept insurance, I don’t understand how most people afford these services. Even getting partially reimbursed for out-of-network coverage takes time, and I don’t know who can wait around to get reimbursed for $150-$200 sessions every week. It is just insane!

    • I wish the people responsible for someone requiring psychotherapy were forced to pay for it. I know of a woman who was gang-raped and her insurance company wasn’t covering it. That just infuriates me.

      • As a psychotherapist, I want to say what a cumbersome process it is to become credentialed with most insurance panels. It is very important for me to be accessible to folks who can’t afford $100-$150 a week for therapy, but the insurance companies make it very difficult. I’m still pursuing it, but I certainly understand why many therapists don’t.

  • Rant: My office is hemorrhaging employees. We have lost 7 people in our department in 3 months. This is all due to our office moving but not telling anyone anything in regards to timeline so people are getting out ASAP. I feel a bit like I’m on a sinking ship because I haven’t found anything else yet.
    Rave: All these people leaving is putting a fire under my ass to step it up a notch in my own job search.
    Rave: Tomorrow is my Friday so I can not stress about work for a few days!

  • Rant-Am through with online dating now and forever. Last night’s date was a loony braggadocio (even by DC standards) who ordered my dinner for me without asking (including a meat dish despite my telling him repeatedly that I was a vegetarian) and brazenly stared at my chest while detailing the “drama” of his “crazy” ex-girlfirends. Gah!

    Rave-Off to NYC for the weekend to see my 3 week old nephew and go to Catalpa to see Girl Talk and the Black Keys.

    Rave-The weather seems incrementally better today.

    • Online dating is like a reverse Russian-roulette – there is only one chamber that is empty. Good luck next time.

    • Hey, at least you got a funny story out of it. 🙂

    • Wow, don’t think I could have stayed after someone ordered dinner for me. Hope the next one is better!

    • Emmaleigh504

      I had someone order for me once, but he did it the correct way. As we discussed the menu he asked what I wanted, so he ordered exactly what I wanted. Still old fashioned and slightly weird, but I come from an old fashioned family so it wasn’t a deal breaker. The deal breaker was constantly checking Twitter at the table.

      • claire

        I just realized that I do this regularly when out with my boyfriend… to be fair, we typically share whatever we’re eating, so we’ll discuss the menu extensively, decide what we want, then one of us (usually me just by virtue of speaking up first) will order everything with instructions that we want to share. Not for everyone, but it’s a good system for us 🙂

        • What you and emmaleigh do isn’t so weird to me. With the right person, I probably wouldn’t mind that much if we first discussed what we were ordering. Sometimes my friends and I even order that way, especially at tapas places. But this guy didn’t ask. We were supposed to be meeting for drinks. We had drinks. I was getting ready to call it a night because the conversation was terrible, went to the restroom (when he presumably ordered). When I got back to the table I told him it was time to go when the waitress brought over beef burgers for both of us.

          • claire

            Wow, ridiculous! I definitely don’t condone ordering people food without their knowledge, especially on a first date. Good that you hightailed it out of there!

          • Ok, that isn’t quite so bad. You were out for drinks, not dinner, and maybe he got hungry/bored while you were in the restroom. It would be rude to eat in front of you so maybe he thought he was making things simple by ordering a second plate for you. It’s also possible he could tell you were losing interest and was doing it to get you to stay longer.

    • leftcoastsouthpaw

      Don’t give up. If not only for the entertaining stories you can share with the PoP readers. Think of the children!

      Did the emails you exchanged give any hints in retrospect?

      Have fun in NY.

      • I agree, don’t give up. After 10+ horrible dates I met my awesome boyfriend over a year ago now.

      • The emails didn’t give any hints (though they were brief so there wasn’t much to go on), but his texts were a little off (as in we agreed to meet at a hotel bar and when I asked him where specifically to go he gave me a hotel room number…nothing in the texting til that point was particularly flirty or jokey and it kinda weirded me out since it took him an hour to tell me he was kidding after I didn’t respond…should always trust my gut instinct I guess).

    • I think I went on a date with the same guy last year….
      Hopefully his named didn’t start with an E!

      • Nutty thing is, I’m not sure what his name is. He used a guy’s name for his profile which I assumed was his real name, then he referred to himself as “John” on the date (which wasn’t the profile name). Since he told the most farfetched, convoluted stories, I can’t be sure if his real name was John, or if that was just the name of one of his many alters.

        • Wow, this guy sounds beyond nuts.

        • Same thing happened to me way back when! I went out with a guy who had “Pete” in his name, and he never actually signed his name in an email, so I called him Pete and he’s like, “Oh, my name is actually Phil.” Lame.

    • Why did you let him??? Why didn’t you speak up and say – “excuse me but I don’t eat meat. I’ll order for myself thank you.”

      • He ordered while I was in the bathroom texting my friend to come save me. When I sat back down the waitress brought over the food. I stayed til my ride got there and booked it.

    • Allison

      Cannot believe you stayed until the end of dinner!! I would have been gone so fast my napkin probably would have come with me.

    • thebear

      The real problem with online dating is the people who avail themselves of it with the naive notion that they will meet their soulmate without any effort on their part. MAKE THE TIME to go out and actually meet and interact with people the old-fashioned way. It won’t necessarily happen any faster or without impediments, but nothing replace eyeballing someone and reading them before you approach.

      Another thing is to just stop fretting over not having a partner…I have *NEVER* known anyone (myself included) who meets someone to get serious about when they are on the prowl and/or bemoaning how it sucks to not have a bf/gf. It just happens when you least expect it. If you aren’t getting out and being happy with yourself without the slightest care if there’s someone special there with you, you are setting yourself up a continual cycle of flops. I met my partner of 18 years completely unexpectedly, when I was absolutely not the least bit interested in being in a relationship.

      And, if you don’t want to deal with someone’s phone/text/tweet/whatevering, tell them upfront that the phone is *OFF* while you’re having drinks/dinner. If they won’t extend that simple courtesy to you, then just tell them “no thanks.” (And, by the same token, you turn your phone off as well.) There is NO ONE who is that important that they cannot disconnect for a few hours. From my casual observations of single people I know, a constant complaint is finding out after months of dating that the other person is really not to their liking…and it takes that long because they are so busy in their incessant social updating they don’t actually interact with the other person well enough to understand who they are…or express themselves in a fair and straightforward manner.

  • Emmaleigh504

    rant: Woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning with a bonus of sleeping in a weird position so my shoulder hurts.

    rave: baby cheetahs! (I still hate everyone, but baby cheetahs are cute!)

  • Rant: I was really looking forward to seeing Robin Thicke at DAR on Saturday, does anyone know why it was canceled?

  • Rant: Leaving the country for three weeks and no PoP shirt to show off ;-). I need to step up my game on the caption contests!

    Rant/Rave: Ghana’s president passed away suddenly. The country seems to have seemlessly transitioned the VP into power as it mourns. I’ll be there on Thursday…

    Rave: Stealing one last lunch with the husband before heading out on my trip.

  • binpetworth

    Rave: Cheetahs. Now I know where I’m going on my day off this week!

  • Rant: Before I post comments I copy them, in case they get eaten by the “Posting Comments Too Quickly” monster. The past day or so an ad pops up in a separate tab when I select the text to copy. Is anyone else experiencing this quirk?

    • thebear

      Sounds like you have some kind of infestation. Run a full virus scan, let it nuke anything funky, then make sure you are fully up-to-date with patches and security updates.

  • Rant: What’s with Channel 4 (WRC) and their local ads for the Olympics? They’re not done well, for starters, and they make the station’s reporters/anchors look like idiots — not quite the confidence-inspiring image that they work so hard to create otherwise. Not humorous, not clever, just embarrassing.

  • msmaryedith

    Rant: At my well-woman check-up, my Gyno decided to give me some unsolicited advice–he pointed out that I’m 32 and should be thinking about babies. When I said I had no one to have them with, he reminded me that sperm banks are an option. I kept trying to direct the conversation away from that, but when I left, he said that the next time he sees me I’ll be 33 and should be ready to start having babies. Ugh.

    • binpetworth

      I hope that you choose not to go back to him. That’s completely inappropriate given, as you said, it was unsolicited and not part of a conversation about fertility with him.

      • Indeed. I wonder how he would have reacted to me, a 30-year-old lesbian who has no intention of ever bearing children. I doubt he could wrap his narrow mind around the concept.

        I wish you could give us his name so we’d know who not to go to.

      • msmaryedith

        No, I will not be returning to him! I was actually so dumbfounded that I walked out of the office without stopping to get my blood drawn, so I had to go back in. Hopefully for the last time!

    • yikes. I got that comment when I was in my early 30s but I also was getting it from my family as well. I even went to a fertility clinic to discuss freezing my eggs at age 34. but I wasnt prepared for all that went into that or the cost (at that time it was about 12k). Anyhow, I waited for an awesome man to marry and ended up doing IVF at 39. Women really can’t “win”…we are either irresponsible for having babies too young or with men who are complete losers or we are in denial about fertility. My advice, its more important for your overall life happiness to be with someone who is right for you…if you have that you can weather any storm including dealing with having kids or not or however you decide to create a family. Whearas having a lovely baby with an ahole will create decades of misery.

      • msmaryedith

        Thanks. I know you’re right. And lately I have been in a good place about being happy with where I am and the things I am able to enjoy sans kids. I haven’t been dating AT ALL and it’s surprising how little I miss it. I feel like if the right guy comes along, great. But to have someone telling me “a year from now you better be ready to have some kids” is rather unsettling when you’ve finally reached a point that you aren’t desperate to be dating “the one”

    • WHHHAAAAATTT???? time to find a new gyno.

    • Did you inform him that the 1950’s are long gone?

    • No offense intended to anyone, but I seriously don’t understand women who choose go to men gynos.

      • i go to one – because i actually had the exact same experience as the op with the two female gynos i had seen before. they couldn’t wrap their head around the fact that i don’t want kids and i kept getting ‘lectures’ about how i will regret it and how women are supposed to have children and all that crap. one of my friends was going to my current gyno and liked him – so i switched and haven’t had a problem.

      • Same. I wouldn’t take my car to a mechanic who’d never driven one, sooo…no male gynos. :p

      • msmaryedith

        I understand, but I have had HORRIBLE female gynos, too. I had not seen this guy before (and yes, he was old school, obviously–probably in his late 60s). I guess I’ve just never had a good gynecologist, so I don’t tend to think that I have to see a woman rather than a man.

    • Allison

      Heh random sidebar: I learned a lesson the hard way with my gyno. The lesson was to never tell jokes that people who don’t know you won’t get.

      It was my first visit and she was asking about my husband (as I did get married young) and I was like “oh yeah, didn’t want to get married before law school, but hey, he offered to pay for it!” Judging by her demeanor I’m pretty sure she took me seriously and now honestly believes I’m a gold-digging whore who married for money. Woops!

    • Your gyno must be a member of my extended family.

    • novadancer

      I wish I had done something about that when I was in my 30’s (mine would say the same thing but probably in a much nicer way as I never got offended). I robbed the cradle at 39 and now at age 42, we are in round two IVF with a less than 5% chance. If only I knew then, I would have looked into freezing.

  • Rant: Still FREEZING in this office! Had to break down and put on a sweater.

    Rave: Met up with a friend last night who helped me lay out a sort-of five year plan for my life. Now I just need to stick to the goals I wrote down.

    Rant: Today is only Wednesday…and I don’t have much work to do.

    Rave: Screen On the Green tonight! In the nice weather!

  • Can somebody explain to me the gatefold on the Express yesterday because this is totally beyond me and it has worst advertising and most confusing if not the dumbest, most reckless message ever.

    Catholics for Choice ran a gatefold that had a picture of a guy and a girl making out on a couch and then under it in bold white letters (black background) had the message “Abstinence has a high failure rate.” This message was very clear. Then in the lower right hand portion of the page in a red box and much smaller font was the message “Good Catholics use condoms” – Catholics for Choice.

    I don’t get what they are saying or why they are saying it. Are they saying that condoms work better than abstinence? Last I recall abstinence is 100% effective as long as you are well, umm, wait for it – ABSTINENT! IMO this is not the message to put out there for a number of reasons, one of which a lot of kids will see this on the train and will definitely get the wrong message. If you are going to have sex, of course, put a condom on but why put down abstinence like it is a bad thing or something? Totally reckless and messy. It is like saying “High school graduates have a high failure rate. Good/smart “people” get their GED. I mean I get that it is hard but that is like telling your kid to shoot for Cs in school.

    • Emmaleigh504

      It’s because the abstinence only sex ed kids get is leading to higher rates of teen pregnancies and STDs. Kids aren’t learning anything but abstinence only and when they don’t abstain they get babies and/or diseases. They need proper sex ed so they can protect themselves when they decide the time is right for them to have sex.

      • pablo .raw

        …and yet in my recent trip out of the country, I saw a billboard sponsored by the catholic church: “With abstincence and faith and being faithful to your partner, we are fighting AIDS”

      • So the idea is to say since this is the only education they may be getting, we are just going to totally go against it and pretty much say that you should not try to be abstinent, instead have sex all you want, just use a condom if you are a good Catholic?

        Shouldn’t it say something like, try your hardest to be abstinent but if you do have sex please use a condom? To me a message like that is much more responsible than knocking something that I would think we would all want our kids to do as long as they can.

        • Emmaleigh504

          I think they are trying to be realistic. Some teens are gonna have sex. It’s better to say don’t do it, but if you do, use a protection than to just say don’t do it.

          I’m not Catholic so I really don’t care what the Catholic church wants. I want teens to get proper sex ed so they can decide to be safe when they have sex whether that sex is in or out of wedlock. Abstinence only doesn’t work.

    • I didn’t see the ad but I think what they are trying to say is that abstinence has a high failure rate because most people fail to be abstinent. No, it doesn’t make logical sense strictly speaking, but it’s not that hard to figure out what they mean.

      • Ehh, I can get that part but to put it out there the way they did wasn’t cool. It was a horrible ad/message. And for what it is worth, I have been in advertising since 1999.

        Simply putting “Abstinence has a high failure rate” and that is it is not a good message. Well, I should ad that in the bottom corner it said “Good Catholics use Condoms”. That is a problem as well, what about everyone else?

        • claire

          I don’t know, I think that advertisement sounds like some people trying to be realistic about teens. Do you really think a Catholic teen will see that ad and say, “Hm, so I shouldn’t be abstinent after all?? Okay!” and go out and have sex? To me, the message of, hey, when you find yourself in this situation (i.e. getting hot & heavy with someone even though you’re religious and intended to be abstinent), use a condom – your religion approves (whether or not Catholicism actually approves of this is another debate altogether) is pretty clear.

          But maybe I’m not the best person to be responding because (despite being raised Catholic) I can’t remember ever thinking that I would refrain from premarital sex.

        • To me the ad isn’t saying anything is good or bad, just that abstinence is not a realistic option and young folks should know about and use condoms if they’re going to be having sex.

          I can understand if you think that’s a bad message but why does that make it a horrible ad?

        • Exactly – Abstinence has a 100% success rate. Having sex is not abstinence.

    • Here is the ad I am talking about. Sorry it isn’t better but you get the point. I understand what you all are saying but this situation is what I am talking about, people will just casually walk by it on the metro or whatever and not think about all of the stuff you all are bringing up. We are talking about kids here…


      • I suspect that this ad is nothing compared to most of the objectionable crap that kids are exposed to on a daily basis.

      • I think it is very important that this is a Catholic group. I know some extreme Catholics who really do believe birth control dooms them to hell. Catholic teens hear this from their crazy parents and are sheltered from any kind of safe sex conversations. To hear a Catholic group saying “good catholics use condoms” is a pretty powerful message, but perhaps the sizing of the second headline should have been given the top priority with the abstinence line being secondary.

  • anon. gardener

    rant: three days of my life i will never get back, wasted in a BS training course my work required me to take. the most pointless class i’ve ever taken. the only bright spot is the course evaluation sheet i should be getting this afternoon. I’ve been sharpening my pencil since Monday.

    rave: this awesome weather. the most perfect day outside. wish i was on a horse, in the woods, enjoying it. sigh.

  • Rant: Waiting in line at Target and the girl in front of me stopped unloading her cart so she could send an email. Somehow I doubt the email was so urgent that she needed to send asap.

    Then when the cashier was able to ring everything up, the girl was back on her phone again. Cashier repeated the total amount, this time louder. Girl started looking in her bag for her wallet, still on the phone.

    I was annoyed that it took so long for this one transaction but really ranting about people that are so tied to their technology that they are oblivious to the world around them.

    • Emmaleigh504

      Reminds me of when I worked in retail. I was helping this woman who answered her phone while I was ringing her up without even saying, “excuse me.” My work phone rang, and since she was ignoring me to talk on the phone I answered the work phone. She gave me the dirtiest look. Luckily, she was too busy on the phone to say anything nasty to me.

      • Allison

        When I worked at Blockbuster I would stop checking them out until they got off the phone. This is because we were required by our manager to say certain things to them (usually trying to upsell, I didn’t like it– but hey it’s what I had to do) and also remind them of the due date for the movie. So, I stopped and waited. Effective every time.

        • Emmaleigh504

          I was waiting, I needed her payment method to finish the transaction. I was just standing there doing nothing, so I thought, why not answer the phone. She gave me her credit card with her dirty look.

          I actually had a good experience in retail with a woman and a cell phone. We were discussing the curtains she might want and her phone rang. She politely said, “Excuse me, I have to see who this is.” Saw it was a call she needed to take and excused herself and said she would find me when the call was over to finish the curtain discussion. So much better than me having to stand there and wait or walk away and piss off the customer. I’ll always remember that lady.

          • Allison

            Oh yeah, I hate that decision moment for a CSR where you’re like “would this person rather me stand here and listen to their whole phone conversation or walk away and help someone else?” and either way you choose they get all pissy.

  • MsNesbitt

    Rave: After over a year of job searching and feeling like my applications were going into some sort of “DO NOT READ” vortex, I finally got called for not one, but TWO phone interviews this week! Fingers crossed that they go well and I move along in the process!

  • Extra Rant: A damn squirrrel stole my cookies!

  • Rant: Wells Fargo is being ridiculous. A $15 monthly checking fee?!
    Rant 2: Not easy for me to change banks from abroad.
    Rave: I’m abroad – still love it.

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