Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user justinbc

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 celebrate things about daily life in DC.

77 Comment

  • gotryit

    Rave: rode the bike to work today.
    Rant: seemed about 5-10 degrees colder than I was expecting based on the forecast

  • Question: I’m going back to work in mid-January – returning from maternity leave. We are deciding this week between a small home daycare and a nanny share. I’d rather go with the nanny share, but its more expensive, so we have some number crunching to do. Anyways…I’m already in tears about leaving my little guy with someone else. Does anyone have experience with transitioning back to work? What helped?
    I used to look down on women that chose to stay home with their kids, that somehow abandoning a job/career was some shameful thing. I was so wrong and I wish I could stay home longer!!

    • No experience on the transition back but thanks for putting in that last part. Hopefully that reaches some people that feel the way you used to now. It shouldn’t be about abandoning a career (or using childcare to go back to work)…it should be about personal choice and women’s respect for one another in making those decisions.

      • I will forever be grateful my mom put her career on hold to stay home with me and my siblings until we were all old enough to be in school all day.

    • The first day is rough. I cried so hard when I left the daycare and I cried even harder when we picked our son up that afternoon and he looked completely shell shocked because he wasn’t used to be surrounded by kids and craziness.

      Most of us aren’t fortunate enough to be able to live off of our husband’s/partner’s income solely. But also, most of us didn’t go to college and get advanced degrees so that we could give it all up to be mothers. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I comfort myself in saying that I’m showing my son what a good working woman is.

      A few things to note:

      1) Being away from your son for a short period of time encourages him to be more social and to learn new things
      2) Even if he seems off during the first week, he will grow to love it
      3) Kids never forget their parents, as long as their parents act like parents when they aren’t working
      4) Be ready to drop everything at work to run home to your kid if he’s sick
      5) Do it all for him. This is what gets me through the hard days.

      • How long has your guy been in daycare? I’m also thinking of starting with a new company too…is that just ridiculous? I can’t cry on my first day in a new office!

        • KSB

          Despite it being more expensive, you might be better off with a nanny share if you’re looking to start at a new company too. The nanny can text you photos of your little guy during the day and can also have more flexibility with minor illnesses, unlike center-based care. You’ll find your groove with whatever you choose! Good luck!

        • He’s been in daycare for almost two years now. Honestly, it’s so tough to let go that first day. That’s just part of being a parent. But he has developed so much and learned so much (his ABCs, counting to 20, every single animal sound right down to a frog’s “reeeebit”) from being in daycare. It’s been such a blessing.

    • Moral of the story: judge not…
      Good luck with the transition. It gets easier quickly, especially if your son is with other kids and a great nanny – you see him learning to socialize get things from that environment that you can’t give him alone.

    • I totally understand your feeling; I cried (I’m a man) when I left my daughter at the day care for the first time (she was around 3 months old); when we were there talking to the daycare owner that day, I felt something holding my leg, it was this little kid with two yellow streams coming out of his nose (sorry for the image). After that, I knew what was going to happen. 2 days later we were all sick.
      As others have mentioned, we couldn’t make on a single income so this was our only choice. Over time, I got used to it and it became a normal thing. The main problem was to deal with metro elevators specially since I had to transfer and it would take forever to get home. There came a time when we had to take her to another daycare closer to home, and it was also hard to think that she was going to leave what she has been used to for all her life! At that point, daycare people loved her and it was also hard on them to let her go.

      My point is, if you choose to go with the daycare, you’ll get use to it.

    • A mother staying home all the time with just her own kids is a really new thing. From caveman days to the 1950s children were cared for more communally, in creches or small informal group arrangements. Most women had to do some kind of outside work – gathering nuts and berries, farming, laundry, factory work. Children were looked after by grannies or bundled in with neighbors. I know it doesn’t ease the pain of leaving your baby, but it might erase any guilt feelings.

    • I was never so happy in my my life the day that my husband agreed to quit his job. I cried thinking about leaving her in daycare. 1 year later i realize it was the best decision for our family. Good luck!!

    • austindc

      My wife and I both cried when we dropped our son off for the first time, but he seemed just fine! What helped with the transition is that we started with a bunch of half days at daycare while my wife was still on leave. That way she didn’t have to deal with the daycare transition and getting back to work all at the same time. Anyway, we dropped him off in the morning and got him at lunch, and that helped ease the transition to full days at daycare.

      I also agree with what Victoria said except for the creche part because I don’t know that word, but if I did, I would agree with it too. I see daycares or nannies as the modern version of how we have always done things. Kids used to be left with relatives and neighbors so that parents could actually get some stuff done. Now we do the same thing, except we pay someone to do it. So I would also suggest getting to know your daycare providers or nanny so you feel less like you are leaving them with a stranger.

      • Yeah, we were considering doing a trial run before I actually go back. Good to know that it’s helpful. Thank you!!!!

        • Hi SFT! Congratulations on your little man! I’m Austin’s lady, and wanted to add in addition to the half-days (which were really great–especially that first half-day that we survived and were so proud of all three of us), a few things that helped me.
          I read this, and it helped…kind of cheesy, but, still. “I know it’s hard being away from [your lil one] during the day. Take care of your emotional self during this transition. Expect to feel sad, grieving the loss of the time you spent with him 24/7. Expect to feel angry at having to work, even if it’s a choice you’ve made. Expect to feel scared that he might not be okay, and you won’t be there for him, even though you know he’s safe with his childcare person. Expect too to feel happy and glad that you get this time to yourself – that you feel valuable as an intelligent person in the workplace and that you do love the work you do. Anything you feel is okay.” Be kind to yourself during the transition.
          I actually started a new job when I returned from maternity leave. My employer knew my situation returning to work and my bosses were incredibly understanding and accommodating. With orientation and getting settled, it will be a whirlwind week, but you will live for the weekends and time together. And it’s hard to imagine (it was for me at least when I cried every moment I thought about my maternity leave ending and not being with my son 24/7 and trusting someone else with this tiny baby), there will be a time when it actually feels nice to do something alone and have adult-only conversations.
          We have grown to love our small daycare center (and I thought at first I wanted a nanny). The caregivers are really loving with the infants and they think of him as one of their own babies (they all have grown kids themselves).
          It’s never really *easy* to leave all day, I don’t think, but it gets easier in the sense that you will get a rockin’ routine down and be great! Your son will be well-cared for and there will come a time in a few months when a huge smile spreads across his face when he sees you come home or come pick him up at daycare! It’s awesome!!
          Good luck with whatever you decide! You can do this! And if you find the working-outside-the-home thing doesn’t suit you right now, you guys will figure out another way to make it work. Give yourself a few months to get settled into a new routine.
          Oh, and if you are pumping at work, bring pictures and video of your little one. It helps a lot!

          • Thank you so much for taking the time to write this, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it!!! We will get through this…and it’s really great to know that I’m not alone here 🙂

    • I’ve been back at work since mid-September. I was very afraid I was going to be a mess missing him all day but honestly, I enjoy being back at work. My work product has never been better and my life feels very balanced. Luckily both my husband and I work from home on Fridays so he goes to a nanny share with one other little boy 4 days a week.
      My moral of the story – some days are hard and other days you can’t wait to drop him off and escape into adult world. Of course, how you feel about your job can affect this attitude. I’m pretty passionate about mine so at least I feel like being away from my son has a purpose.
      Advice – I bought a spiral notebook calendar. Our nanny writes down when he eats, sleeps, etc. It helps us keep track of his day and see if anything needs to be tweaked. Pack 2 or 3 extra outfits in a backpack. Someone also suggested a trial run – highly recommended. I dropped him off a couple time for a few hours and ran errands. Get up early enough so that you can get ready for work (minus putting on work clothes) before you wake up your son. This helps our mornings go very smoothly! Good luck!

      • I agree. The only time I considered staying home was when I was in a job I disliked.

        As a historian, I can say that Victoria’s right. The SAH mom as we know her is basically a product of the Industrial Revolution and the rise of the middle class.

        And, the way I saw it, at daycare my kids learned that lots of other people in addition to Mom and Dad love them. That’s not a bad thing. 🙂

        Certainly, individual days were hard, but on the whole everything went fine with daycare/working. My kids are in upper elementary school and high school, and they haven’t turned into delinquents yet. 🙂

        (Not that staying at home is a bad choice, but that’s not where we were as a family)

    • I work with Child Care providers and you would be amazed at the training that they have. Most family child care and center-based providers take a lot of classes on early childhood development and plan programs to help your child take advantage of his/her rapidly changing brain. These programs can be an amazing part of your child’s education, even as young as 6 months. The majority of the providers that I work with are really committed to helping your child learn and grow.

  • Rant/Rave: Is dating in this city bad or do people just hate dating and have a bad idea. I for one think dating is a crap shoot in general and finding someone is hard or easy for some and it has nothing to do with this City.

    • Dating isn’t bad in the city, probably better than in most, just because there seem to be a lot of single people here. I’m a 34 year old female on a dating website and I could have a date every night of the week, if I had the energy for it. I’ve found that most of the people I’ve met are fairly nice and fairly attractive, but having an open mind and low expectations is key! Good luck! It can be fun, or at worst, you can have a funny story to tell your friends when it goes bad.

    • It’s all about the person, not the city. Blaming “the city” is a way to make people feel better about their lack of dating success. If you’re outgoing, socially active, fairly comfortable in your own skin and open-minded, you’ll find plenty of people to date in DC.
      For example, I have a friend who moved from DC to NYC for a job in finance (her ideal guy is your stereotypical “finance bro”). While in DC, she always said “Ugh, there’s no guys to date in DC. I can’t wait to move to NYC, where there’s more guys.” Guess what happened? She’s been in NYC and is still complaining about how there’s no “good” guys to date. The “finance bros” are arrogant and treat her like crap, but she refuses to date outside that circle of idiots. If NYC doesn’t have enough guys, then where else would you go?!?!

      • I think in terms of numbers, DC actually is a pretty bad dating city for women (as is NYC). I saw a map recently that showed the ratio of single women to single men, and DC and NYC (and much of the northeast) had many more women than men. My experience in DC mostly bears that out. I don’t think it means that dating is impossible here, but I do think it’s tough for women.

        • This may sound harsh, but I think that if you are attractive, not overweight and have a somewhat interesting personality, you will have no problem finding men you are interested in dating you. I see a lot of women who look like they spend very little time on their outward appearance, and it shows. A better haircut, a little makeup and some time in the gym would go a long way. People want to date attractive people, and personality only goes so far. If you are serious about dating, focusing on how your look on the outside is just as important as what’s on the inside, too.

          • People want to go on *one* date with an attractive person. People want to *regularly* date people with a personality that meshes with their own.

          • i have ZERO interest in dating someone who won’t date me because i refuse to wear makeup. i like the way i look, and don’t think i need to coverup or change it.

          • -100000. Sounds like exactly the type of person I would NOT want to date. Anyone who cares more about outward appearance than personality sounds like someone without much personality. I also don’t relate at all to the concept that somehow me putting gunk on my face makes me any better or worse of a person, or that I care more or less about my appearance.

          • Honestly I prefer women who wear very little makeup, but I definitely like for them to make some sort of effort to look put together/like they care. That doesn’t mean putting tons of stuff on your face or doing your hair elaborately or wearing provocative clothing. In fact, those things are turn-offs. But it’s also a turn-off if someone looks like they just rolled out of bed or don’t give any thought to how they’re dressed/their style.

          • Are you an Italian economist working at the IMF or the Bank? This is exactly the man-splaining response I’d get from one of those guys. LOL.

          • Actually, I am a woman. And you didn’t read my post correctly. Yes, personality is very important, but don’t fool yourself into thinking that how you look ISN”T important, too. Many men are visual and how you look will definitely affect thier attraction toward you. I didn’t suggest wearing tons of make-up. I said “a little”. It can only enhance your beauty if done rightly. I’m not saying it’s fair or right, but to ignore the fact that how you look is important is just plain silly. You should put in effort if you want results.

          • I don’t disagree with this. I have a friend who, when she used to leave in the DC area, would wear sneakers, baggy jeans and a sweatshirt to the bar, and then complain that no one was picking her up. She explained that she wanted someone to like her for who he she is, not what she’s wearing. But no one is going to think you are remotely interested in dating someone if that’s what you are wearing to a bar.

          • Absolutely. I mean, if you’re really trying to sell your marvelous personality, skip the bars and online dating and volunteer at a homeless shelter or something.

          • I had two guys give me their phone numbers at a bar a few weeks ago when i stopped in for a quick drink after the gym wearing $10 old navy yoga pants and a t-shirt that was so old it has at least 5 or 6 holes in it. i don’t think everyone cares about what you wear or how you look (thank god).
            i don’t find DC any better or worse than anywhere else i’ve lived for dating. definitely less of my outdoorsey types that i like compared to where i lived in northern California, but there are so many people moving here all the time that i feel like there are tons of single people who are excited to go out and meet new friends/partners.

      • Go to Alaska!!

    • I think it really depends on the person. I have had a ton of luck with finding people to date in DC, but haven’t been able to find anyone my personality really gels with. I’m outgoing and have met a decent amount of great guys (several of whom I wound up setting up with friends after we went on two-three dates), but I have found it difficult to find someone I’d like to be in a serious relationship with. However, my personality in general is pretty different than a lot of people’s in DC (I’m much more of a go-with-the-flow kind of person than a lot of people I’ve met here), so I think that’s a big part of it.

    • binpetworth

      I have to agree with kaylee. Dating (if you do the online route) is pretty easy but it’s much harder to find someone for an actual relationship. I also think the pool of eligible people becomes smaller as you age, particularly if you’re looking for someone in the immediate DC area.

    • justinbc

      I found dating in DC to be rather exceptional in the few years before I found someone to settle down with permanently. Interesting fact: DC has the largest % “active” OKCupid userbase of any major city in the US.

  • Rave: I have the best family in the world – so glad we are all assembling together with very welcome additional guests in a few short days.
    Rant: We only all get together once a year at best.

  • binpetworth

    Question: Reading the Friday question of the week got me pining for my favorite breakfast food, migas. Anyone know of a place in DC that serves migas? I’ve made them at home, but they just don’t have the same greasy deliciousness as when they’re served up by a southwestern diner.

  • A Message by the late George Carlin:

    The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.
    We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.
    We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.
    We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life. We’ve added years to life not life to years. We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We’ve done larger things, but not better things.
    We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We’ve conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.
    These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete…
    Remember spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.
    Remember to say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.
    Remember to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn’t cost a cent.
    Remember to say, “I love you” to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.
    Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind, an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.

  • Rave: working fireplace in our house for the first time this winter. loving it and so glad we spent the money to restore it and make it functional.
    Rant: zero attention span.

  • Rave: Planet Fitness. I know it’s a big gym chain, but I’m glad I joined. There’s one about five minutes from me and it’s open 24 hours. And if I go 12 times a month my health insurance company will give me a $20 rebate.

    Rant: It’s gonna take some time to get back into a fitness routine and stick with it, but I’m trying my best to keep it up.

  • Rave: Holiday treats at the office!
    Rant: Holiday treats at the office!

    • Hahaha — I related to your conflicted feelings on this!

    • RANT: Holiday treats at the office. More specifically, holiday treats at the office and I didn’t get any!!! 🙁
      I came back from lunch and noticed a BIG pie box on the kitchen counter. Someone had brought a HUGE chocolate pudding pie (my absolute favorite!) and there were only crumbs left. Sadz 🙁

  • Hi everyone,

    I found an iPod last night (Dec 17th) in a cab at around 7pm in West End. I turned it in to the Georgetown Apple store and they said they’d try to locate the owner through the Apple ID. I posted a photo under the “Announcements” section of the forum. It’s a chrome, 4th (maybe) generation iPod mini with pink Philips headphones. I’m hoping that sharing this photo might speed the process along!

  • Rant: I have 1,266 little things at home and work that need to be finished before the holidays, and I just can’t seem to find the focus to get anything done.
    Rave: I love that small gestures of good will can mean so much to people. It feels good to do good.
    Rave: I no longer feel like I have an elephant sitting on my chest. I know antibiotics are so often over-prescribed, but I’m immensely grateful when I need them and they work. Now, I wonder if it is still too early to go back to the gym.
    Rave: Blue sky! Nice to see the sun.

    • I find that when I feel like I have a million little things to get done, it always helps me to write each one down, no matter how small. Seeing everything listed might appear overwhelming at first, but it’s a great way to be organized, and it REALLY helps when you cross things off the list as you complete them one at a time. That always makes me feel much more in control.

  • KSB

    I can only add that when you find the right arrangement (nanny, day care, SAH parent) it’s a HUGE relief. My husband and I HATED our first day care and were miserable each time we dropped our daughter off. That lasted less than a month before we pulled her out with no back-up plan. By some stroke of amazing luck, we got a call a few weeks later that our first choice center had a spot and we’ve never looked back. We left her smiling every day with happy, engaged, caring providers and it’s been a great fit these last few years. Kind of sad she’ll have to age out to Kindergarten in the fall…

    • KSB

      I did it AGAIN! Another response to the day care post above, yet I’ve managed to post off-topic both this week and last. I’d like to say I’ll go for the hat trick next week, but I won’t even need to try and it’ll happen, I’m sure…
      RANT=pregnancy brain in a bad way. It’s no joke.

  • Rave: No broken bones!
    Rant: foot pain

    Question for the migraine sufferers: Do you have a neurologist in the area to recommend who really understands headaches? Thanks!

    • houseintherear

      I went to a neurologist in Olney (far away but he was highly recommended) that did a ton of scanning, questioning, etc to find the cause of my migraines. He was really great, but it was years ago and I’m afraid I can’t remember his name. His office was at the corner of Georgia Ave and 108, in the office center on the southwest side of the intersection. I guess if you get desperate enough you can try to figure that one out! Sorry :/

    • My neurologist is also far away, but I like him – Dr Gary London. He treats me like an adult. I finally seem to have gotten my migraines under control, but it took a while. He is with the Neurology Center, and they have an office on K St – you might try someone there. Be warned – the office staff at the Rockville office are fairly inept.

      I had a bad experience at Georgetown – they pushed triptans and nothing else, even though i was unable to take them at the time. it was pretty much “take this triptan or suffer.” Their ER is pretty good with migraines, though, very nice staff there.

    • Emmaleigh504

      Dr Macedo in Dupont Circle helped me with my migraines. He’s with Washington Medical Group. I actually went to him for another reason and when he found out I get migraines he was able to treat both. He’s got a really great beside manner.

    • Thanks for the referrals!

  • Rant: Not feeling very blithe these days. Everything I do feels like it’s harder and more complicated than I’m expecting it to be. Even things that I usually enjoy — like shopping for Christmas gifts. I’m not really connected to my neighborhood yet — and I’m missing the quirkiness of Baltimore, and shopping options like Su Casa and Zelda Zen for nice,unusual, inexpensive gift options. I’m also missing neighborly interactions. Sigh. It takes time.
    Rave: I was feeling funky and a good friend called out of the blue.
    Rant: I feel like some of my e-mails may have not been delivered — but I feel like an idiot calling someone I usually keep in touch with via e-mail to see if they indeed e-mailed me. (Yup, yahoo — which used to be wonderful, sucks big time these days.)
    Rave: I love the quote about every blade of grass having a guardian angel that whispers “grow, grow!”. And I’m loving my own “guardian angels”.

  • Rave: Got the job! Onward…

  • A friend of mine in southern Virginia found four puppies behind a dumpster and has taken them in but can’t keep them. She’s driving through DC this weekend. Anyone want a puppy? email stubsdc at gmail.com if you are curious.

  • anonymouse_dianne

    She can take them to Wash Humane on NY or GA Ave. They will have Christmas puppies adopted in a heartbeat. Their live release rate is 80% going for 90%.

  • justinbc

    Random question: Anyone know where to find chewing tobacco in the Capitol Hill area? My parents are in town and my dad chews and ran out, thinking he could find more here. So far I’ve been unable to locate any. While I find it a disgusting practice, I want to make their stay as enjoyable as possible and I’ll bite the bullet on this one.

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