Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user slatifolia

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.

229 Comment

  • Rant: I was thinking about taking my cat to the vet today, but am now second-guessing myself.
    I think I know what she has (ringworm — it’s actually a fungal skin infection, not a worm) and how to treat it (topical cream prescribed by the vet last year). And she really doesn’t like going to the vet. (She starts mewing as soon as I walk onto the porch with her carrier.)
    The only real reason I’m thinking about going to the vet is that it’s presenting differently than last time — this time, with bumps. And of course bumps make me think TUMORS.
    Cat people, what would you do? Go today? Watch and wait?

    • One of our new neighbors has a vet that does house calls. Would you like me to try and get her contact info? I’m not a cat person, so I don’t have much insight into the go/don’t go decision.

      • Hmm — I heard of a vet that does house calls, but the dog-owning friend in Dupont who gave me the vet’s contact info also said that the vet doesn’t especially like cats, and that she wouldn’t choose for herself a vet who didn’t like her pet’s species.
        There’s a vet I can go to that’s not far away, which is good.

    • binpetworth

      Is she scratching the spot and therefore causing the bumps through irritating it? How long has she had the bumps? For minor things like this–and because I have an incredibly difficult cat–I tend to wait it out. (I also have a vet that I can simply contact and ask questions of, which helps me determine whether she needs to be check out.)

      My cat had a similar ragged ear recently that looked very concerning, but turned out to be some sort of mosquito/flea bites she’d scratched up but has healed nicely on its own after a week or two.

      • I first noticed a bump near her lip in early July, although it didn’t look ringworm-ish. It was right around the same time that I took her to a vet (different vet) for a routine wellness exam and to get her vaccines re-upped. I noticed distinct ringworm-looking symptoms maybe 2-3 weeks later (scabbing over).
        I think she got reinfected from her plastic carrier — it was the first time she’d been in her carrier since when she had ringworm last year. I did wash the carrier in betwen, but I didn’t use a 1/10 bleach solution like I should have. Poor kitty!

        • Is the bump actually on her lip? Kind of swollen and shiny? Could be a rodent ulcer – (which has nothing to do with rodents) Google it for photos. If it’s that, you do need vet attention – either pills or a shot.

          • My cat had that. I switched all of her bowls to porcelain, and took her to the vet (who gave her a shot) and we’ve never had a problem with that since then.

    • Put a little bleach on a q-tip and rub it on the ring worm, it’ll be gone in a couple days.

      • I don’t think one is supposed to put anything as toxic as bleach directly on a cat — not good for it to be absorbed through the skin, let alone ingested.

    • Emmaleigh504

      If she’s relatively young, I’d watch and weight. For an elderly cat, I’d take her in.

    • RockCreekhomeVet.com is the one that does house calls. Friends recommend it though I still go to Friendship.

      I would go, better to not feel guilty when the diagnosis is what you expect than live with the uncertainty. You can call and just take the next appointment so you don’t have to pay the emergency visit cost, waiting a day should be fine. Also get a written script to fill at regular pharmacy since that’s always cheaper.

      I hope she’s just got ringworm!

    • Can you call your vet and ask for guidance? Given the different presentation, it might not be a bad idea to ask, just in case.
      What are the bumps like? One of my cats had 3 small tumors last year that the vet was able to remove easily without long-term consequences. Feel free to drop me an email if a more direct conversation would be easier.

    • Ugh, my condolences about the ringworm, it is a nightmare to deal with. I would want to take her in today if she had bumps since July and I wasn’t sure what they were. Good luck.

    • DCMetroVet – Dr Warford. They are a home vet practice, and Dr Warford is wonderful with my (hostile) cat and my dog.

      If these bumps are around your cat’s lip – does she drink or eat from a plastic dish? Plastic food bowls often cause an allergic reaction like that. happened to my cat. I switched his bowl to stainless steel, bumps disappeared and never returned.

    • Back from the vet, who says it’s chin acne. The possibility had crossed my mind — both of my cat’s water fountains are plastic and I’d read that plastic food/water dishes can cause chin acne — but she’s been using them for several years with no ill effects. (Her food dishes are glass.)
      It sure looks a lot like ringworm to me — hairless patches that are scabbed over — but I’ll trust the vet. He gave her a shot of a long-lasting antibiotic and said that should take care of the chin acne.

      • I’m glad I read the whole way through, because I was going to say “could it be chin acne”? I had a cat who developed it after years of plastic dishes with no ill effects. I switched dish types, but also washed his chin every couple days with people-acne pads (under vet’s direction) and it kept it at bay. Every so often (every year or so) he’d get a painful-looking cat-zit, and I’d take him in for a cortisone shot that took care of it right away.

        • Hmm. I wonder if I can get away with continuing to use the plastic water fountains. I think I’ve seen a fountain somewhere that’s made from stainless steel, but I suspect it’ll be pricey.
          My cat likes to drink right where the filtered water comes out at the top of the “chute,” so I don’t think her chin is really touching the plastic anyway.

        • Anonomnom

          We had a cat who had the chin acne as well (we affectionately referred to him as “Fungus Face” whenever it broke out). Is your cat yellow or white, by any chance? We were told they were more predisposed to it than darker cats.
          Aside from the shots, one thing the vet had us do if we noticed it starting up again was to hold the cat, grab a towel dampened with rubbing alcohol, and press it against the chin for five minutes. Of course, this is a cat, so good luck actually meeting the 5 minute mark, but doing that nightly till it cleared up always stopped it from getting worse!

        • Anon 2:39 pm — Yep, my cat is a light-colored cat. That’s interesting — I knew she was more vulnerable to getting her ears sunburned (a non-issue, as she’s indoor-only), but I didn’t know that made her more vulnerable to chin acne too!
          Will keep the rubbing-alcohol idea in mind if the chin acne comes back. Definitely sounds like a struggle, though — first to hold it place, and then to wipe it away so that the cat doesn’t ingest it when using her paws to clean the area!

          • Emmaleigh504

            omg the ears! Growing up we had a white cat who did go outside. When he first adopted us he had tumors from the sun burns and had to have part of his ears removed. And we had to apply sunscreen. He had to have his ears clipped again a few years later, and had developed anemia at that point, so he had a special diet with lots of liver. My mom loves liver so she and the cat feasted on chicken livers together. He had a pretty long happy life.
            The cat’s name was Vincent van Gogh, of course.

    • Ally

      If it’s not too far away, I highly recommend Atlas Vet. While you still have to take your cat in, the rooms are much cozier for cats (have padded chairs, lots of hiding places, etc) and they give them a good bit of time to adjust outside of their carriers before even weighing them or coming into the room. Oh, and kitty gets a toy mouse at the end of every checkup (if you don’t get one automatically, ask).

      • Atlas Vet is actually technically my cat’s “regular” vet — but she’s been there only once. I’ve taken her to Petworth Animal Hospital (for a dental cleaning, for last year’s ringworm diagnosis, and for today’s chin acne diagnosis) because it’s closer/cheaper. I had her shots done in July at WARL.
        I will have to ask about a toy mouse next time I’m at Atlas. 🙂

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: got a pregnancy seat on metro. Never wearing this dress again.
    Rave: I got to sit on a really crowded train.
    Mystery: a large box of pretty coat hangers arrived yesterday addressed to me, but not purchased by me. No gift message.

    • Boo on your rant! that’s crappy! But your mystery box of coat hangers is indeed odd!

      • Emmaleigh504

        I can’t decide if it’s a gift b/c I just had a bday, or someone bought them for themselves but accidentally picked my address from their Amazon address list.

        • Love organizational tools, either way who couldn’t switch out some coat hangers in their closet. Fun surprise! The not fun surprise? the pregnancy seat on the metro, that stinks. I always wear really flowy dresses wondering when this will happen to me.

          • Emmaleigh504

            They are all the nice padded variety of hanger. They are very pretty too. And there’s about 30 of them! I think the universe is telling me to clean out my closet already. 🙂

    • Quotia Zelda

      Maybe from favorite aunt? She frequently sends mystery gifts.

    • Ally

      That happened to me before I got pregnant. Ironically, in my 3rd trimester, it was like pulling teeth to get a seat on the metro.

  • Rant: It was bound to happen, but the screen on my phone cracked this morning.
    Rave: It’s in the upper-most corner, so least likely spot to interfere with phone use?
    Rant: I love reading before bed, but I need to get more disciplined about stopping earlier.
    Related Rant: Waking up substantially before the alarm but too close to when it’s time to get up to fall back asleep. Argh.

    • Emmaleigh504

      Put some packing tape over it and you can use your phone until you get tired of it. The tape will prevent accidental cuts to your fingers and face, and should not interfere with usability.

    • Emmaleigh504

      *clear packing tape

    • part of me loves getting so wrapped in a book that I can’t put it down, but I don’t sleep much as it is (see also waking up an hour before my already very early alarm and not being able to fall back asleep) so I try to stick to specific bedtime. good luck!

      • Emmaleigh504

        I try to keep a boring book to read before sleep, and a good book to read other times. I hate when the boring book gets good, like the book I’m ready now. Need to find another boring book.

        • Lol–I have so little time to read that before bed is the only time I pull it off. (I read the Economist on the metro–nice to keep up with what’s going on around the world too) But I should get better about sticking to a bedtime!

  • Rant: Money (or lack thereof). Getting concerned by my steadily-draining bank accounts. I haven’t been as watchful as I should have the last few months, so now I’m scrambling to figure out how to rebuild my savings, where I can cut expenses (doesn’t seem like many places for that, sadly), or how to earn more. Maybe Popville folks know of some creative ways to earn more money (while also working a full-time job!)?
    Rave: Nothing is coming rushing to mind, currently preoccupied by money concerns.. But I am grateful for what I do have – a job I love, wonderful coworkers, a great apartment with a wonderful roomie, my health (for the most part). Trying to focus on the good things….

    • On the “creative ways to earn money” — some folks here have suggested/recommended TaskRabbit.

      • hmmmm….I’m not exactly the most handy of people though – I can barely put together my own IKEA furniture, so I’m not sure that’s the route to go….Maybe if they needed me to write something or proofread, or tutoring…?

        • I think there are lots of different possible services on TaskRabbit, not just putting together IKEA furniture. (But I’ve never used it, either as a task-er or a task-ee, so I could be wrong.)

      • Check out wyzant for tutoring jobs!

      • So I just submitted an app for Task Rabbit and I’m waiting to hear from them. Just be advised that you may have to wait a few weeks to get launched with the service.

    • I’d be interested in some ways to earn extra money too. Things I”ve considered: pet sitting or working late shifts at a bar. If you have a pretty good FT job, I thinking cutting out non-essential expenses would be a good start to start saving up again. Might have to sacrifice a bit in your social life esp if you go out often.

      • I don’t actually go out a lot (despite wanting to) – I really can’t see many places I can make voluntary cuts besides letting go of Netflix and/or Hulu – most of my money goes to rent and student loan payments, and I can’t opt out of those!

        • Can you restructure your student loan payments at all? There are repayment plans based on income, and you can possibly save money by consolidating if you haven’t already.

          • Look into SoFi for student loan refinancing. They are marketing quite a bit and if that saves you some money in the long run it’s worth investigating.

            I’m not sure if you have daytime availability, but Accountering and I were just talking about those document service companies that have to bring you a stack of papers for signature and then return them. Maybe call a couple title companies and ask if they sub that out, and if so the name of the company. This seems like it’s a 1-2 hour commitment and can be super flexible. I’m not even sure it requires daytime hours.

          • I don’t think I can restructure my student loans- one is a private loan (ugh, stupid undergrad school nonsense!), and the other is a consolidated GradPlus loan – I actually have a better deal as far as monthly payments go on that one, but I see no end in sight. I will be in debt until I die. I will, however, look into the SoFi and see if it’s a possibility.

            I have a daytime job and I’m not really keen on running around the city at odd hours delivering papers – I don’t have a car, so I don’t see how it wouldn’t end up being a giant ass-ache for an unsubstantial amount of money.

          • I feel compelled to comment because I know a lot about student loans (it’s my job). Be VERY cautious about consolidating your federal loan with SoFi. It’ll take away all your federal protections including in-school grace period (if you go back to school), deferment/forbearance, death/disability discharge, income-based repayment options, etc. On your private loan, however, as others have said it may give you a lower interest rate. It never hurts to explore other repayment options on your federal loan that may lower it even more (though obviously you may end up paying more in interest). If you qualify for income-based repayment options (aka IBR, PAYE), and you work in the public sector/government or a nonprofit org, you can get your loans forgiven after 10 years (120 qualifying payments). You can also get a federal loan consolidation which will extend your payment and lower it (you might have done this already). If you really find yourself struggling you can explore deferment options to momentarily “pause” your federal student loans. This is also a helpful calculator for your federal loans, if you remember your FAFSA PIN it will fill in all your info and show you what your different monthly payments would be under all the various options out there: https://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/mobile/repayment/repaymentEstimator.action

            Like you, other than rent, student loans are my other huge payment, I don’t go out a ton nor do I spend lots of money on other things. I am enrolled in IBR and when I was first out of grad school it really helped me get on my feet. Now I pay more since I’m making more, but am looking at forgiveness in about 6 more years, plus my payment is never over what the standard 10-year payment would have been. The problem with student loan repayment is that it’s so complex to figure out what the best option for you is at the end of the day–it depends on your goals. But I hope this helps somewhat. Good luck!!

          • Yeah the private loans are the ones that suck. Almost all of mine are private, and I’m really hesitant to refinance them or consolidate them because of the big “what if the government ever institutes student loan reform and they can be consolidated with the federal ones”….probably wishful thinking but I don’t want to take away the chance of doing that in the future since it’s been talked about a lot.
            Also I did an estimate through SoFi and another company (I can’t remember the name of it right now) and my private loan payments would actually go UP for some reason.

          • Wow! rfff924, thanks so much for that perspective! I am currently on an IBR plan, which is what makes it more manageable right now, and I think I may get one more year of manageable payments out of this, but once I’m not longer operating off of my old tax returns (from a job at which I made half of what I’m making now), I honestly am terrified of that jump, and have no idea how I’m going to be able to live once that payment goes up. UGH! But thanks again for the advice. Oh god i’m so depressed now, I just want to eat my fist.

          • Accountering

            Eggs – just a couple points. First, student loan reform of the type you are referring will never happen. It is a good talking point, but the republicans would never even think of allowing it. They would scream personal responsibility and debt, and it would be done.
            Second, even if it did happen, it would not include private loans. Federal loans can be forgiven with the flick of a pen, and the federal governments asset (ability to receive future payments from borrowers) just disappears. It is a paper transaction. To make your federal loans disappear, the federal government would have to make a cash payment to your lender to purchase the loan, and then forgive it. This is cash going out the door, and there is no way in hell this will ever happen.

          • Don’t refinance federal loans with SoFi or any of these other private lenders taking advantage of currently low rates. You’ll lose your ability to have you loan balances wiped out after 120 payments, if you work in government or non-profit sectors. That’s worth more than any rate decrease. Call your Federal loan servicer – they may be able to lower your monthly payment if you can show that it’s a substantially large chunk of your take home pay.
            Also, the student loan reforms that Prez Obama signed this year will kick-in next year (I think). IBR is being reduced to 10% of income, instead of the current 15%.
            If you get a second job/hustle, I’d make sure it’s a cash paying job. I wouldn’t advise you to avoid taxes, but anything else you earn that is reported to the IRS is just going to increase your minimum loan payments. Choose wisely.

          • So about 8 months after I finished grad school, I talked to someone at the FAFSA org who told me I should consolidated all my federal loans, which I did, and then about 3 or so months after that my “lender” changed and they went from being administered by one company (can’t remember the name) to now Great Lakes – this isn’t the same as a refinancing through a private lender, right?! I mean, I was under the impression that this is still a federal loan, just administered by a private company (guys, I’m really clueless with money! ACK!)

          • No. Great Lakes is just a “servicer” of Federal student loans. They are paid a fee by the Department of Education to process your payments, chase you down if you forget to pay, issue you tax documents, remit loan payment funds to the DoE, etc. Sallie Mae is another one of these servicers. I think there are 20+ servicers with contracts from the DoE.
            Your loans are still “federal” for purposes of the benefits.

          • @Accountering: I wasn’t talking about student loan forgiveness, just the option to consolidate all loans (federal and private) together into one monthly payment (preferably with the protections afforded by federal loans). I am holding out hope that there will eventually be an option to consolidate all loans together, not with forgiveness options attached, but just for one stable monthly payment and interest rate. I took out my loans and fully intend to pay them back – I don’t qualify for the forgiveness programs offered through the federal loans anyway, I’m a contractor which doesn’t count. Since you can only consolidate once I don’t want to ruin the chance of being able to possibly do it in 10-15 years by consolidating now (since I don’t need or want to at the moment thankfully).

          • ok, thanks Anonymous, that’s what I thought but I had a moment of panic there!

          • I’d be thankful simply to refinance my Federal loans under a lower interest rate. 6.5% is highway robbery in this environment for a loan that cannot be discharged in bankruptcy and that can be paid through wage garnishment. It’s the most ironclad form of lending in existence (aside from enslavement of your kin).
            Hopefully this can be accomplished via Presidential order. I think it’s something that will happen in the next 10 years.

      • Blithe

        Tagging on to this – I have a friend who would like to find work that she can do at home. I’ve suggested that she contact temp agencies for possible options — but will also suggest Task Rabbit.

    • Babysitting? It pays pretty good around here, and you live in an area saturated by families.

      • A lot of the people that I know who need extra money right now are doing Uber driving on the side. Maybe a decent option if you have a car?

        • Nope! scaredy-cat driver with no car, so that’s out!

          • Just another thought, LBP, you are in a rather unique situation right now, in that they just lost two stellar employees in large part due to money. They may be willing to negotiate your salary. Remember, Fearless Leader came to me on the last day and offered to try and get me more $ to stay. Not sure it would have made it through “compensation committee” but it is worth a shot. Also, if you could, in some way, help with existing tasks that are going undone (OCRs in particular), you could do that stuff from home in the evenings and get paid some OT…

          • huh! Thanks for the tip, I may inquire about that when Fearless Leader returns from vacay (again).

      • I do a ton of babysitting. It’s nice to have cash right away. One Saturday night a week can add up to $300/month or more.

    • binpetworth

      If you’re not squeamish, you might also look into clinical trials. NIH is always looking for healthy volunteers, and depending on what study you sign up for, you can make a couple hundred bucks just by doing a couple hours’ visit to do brain imaging/blood testing/exercise, etc. And you’re advancing science at the same time!

      • HA@ Yeah, I’m squeamish at all, but unfortunately I have some pretty significant pre-existing things going on and am not a candidate. I’m actually already in an NIH study, but it doesn’t pay. I don’t think most of those studies pay anything, it’s more just that you don’t have to pay for the care you receive. And you’re a guinea pig (which I’ve been enough in my life, thanks!)

        • grr, that should be NOT squeamish at all

        • There are plenty of studies that pay and a lot of them are just fMRIs, so you don’t have to participate in any kind of treatment. But, a lot of them are during the day and only pay so much.
          I’m still on some lists from when I worked there. It’s gotten less frequent, but I do get calls and if the study sounds good enough I’ll go in for a little late night behavioral economics related magnetization. And I mean hey, free pregnancy test, amiright?

      • An alternative to clinical trials is to participate in focus groups and market research. It’s a little spotty because you don’t get picked often since you have to fit a particular demographic for each one, but I’ve made $125 off two hours of my time one evening.


    • LBP, if this is something that has been happening just in recent months can you go back and look at what has changed in your spending pattern?
      I’ve been using mint.com for the last few years – it’s been very useful in tracking where I spend money, changes in spending (and income) over time. You can also set budgets and it tracks whether you’re over or under budget each month.

      • I had used mint a while ago and it never seemed to be able to keep in sync with my bank accounts, therefore rendering itself useless. But I have a different back so I may try again. Right now (as in, this morning when I started to freak the hell out), I’m just using an evernote notepad to keep track, but yeah, Mint or the like could be pretty useful. I think I just went on a bit of a thoughtless spending spree for a little bit, and I also had a few bigger bills than usual (ER visit in January billing me for $1300, got it wiggled down to $250 but still, yucky), so I’m hoping that with some insanely vigilant money-watching and maybe figuring out where I can cut costs and where I can maybe find some new revenue streams, I’ll be back to feeling ok in 3-4 months. But ugh, I just hate feeling like my tiny cushion is now little more than a tissue in case of emergencies!

        • that should be “bank,” not back! oy!

        • Restaurant work is easy, make good money, and not all nights are super late. Plenty of places don’t stay open late during the week. There are also gyms, hosting, etc. Kids are back at college, so it’s a great time to go for it. I’m all for creativity, but if you need money, go for it.

        • When I was recently out of grad school with 100K in debt, and decided I needed to try to save for a downpayment on a place to buy, I started an excel spreadsheet with various categories in various columns, in which I wrote down everything I spent – including buying lunch, coffee, newspapers, etc. I’d come back from lunch and dutifully fill it in. Just doing it made me more conscious of my spending – less likely to splurge and buy something to wear while out at lunch. Same idea as writing down everything you eat while dieting – just doing it brings some restraint to the behavior you know you will be recording later. Although having a goal I was saving for was necessary to get me to do it. Having the columns showed me what categories I could cut back in. I did, it worked, and I bought a place eventually.

          • oh! That’s a good story! I can’t even contemplate buying a place, right now. I work for a non-profit and have over $120K in student loan debt. I just don’t see how I’m not going to die in debt! I’m going to work on doing the same type of accountability / tracking thing you suggest, I just don’t know if I have enough self-discipline!

          • There’s nothing wrong with dying in debt. I plan to die in as much of it as I can, following Thomas Jefferson’s lead.
            Having student loan debt doesn’t mean you can’t buy a place before it is paid off. I did with lots of student loan debt outstanding. It is all about your monthly income and monthly payouts – debt load totals don’t matter. If you are paying rent, you are close, really. Especially with programs like DC Open Doors where they GIVE you the downpayment. (Wish I’d had that – I had to save 10% as my downpayment.)
            I have no self-discipline, really. I was just so in debt that I looked for ways to reduce my payouts after I graduated. I transferred my credit card balances to 0 percent balance transfer cards, and paid them off first, without paying any more interest. I consolidated my loans and stretched them out for 20 years. I contributed the max to my 401K. Then I looked for more ways to save, and saw that I could buy a place where I paid more each month, but with the mortgage tax deduction, would only be paying net about the same as I was paying for rent, and I would have locked in my housing costs mostly, save for monthly charges increases. That motivated me, as rents were rising a lot in NYC, where I was then. In a place like DC now, where rents are rising and are high compared to the cost to own, you likely could buy a small place, if you are paying rent now. You may not have reached the point where you want to.

          • Hi anon! Ha! You have genuinely cheered me up, thanks for the insight, you’ve inspired me to really buckle down and come up with a plan, complete with goals and strategies for reaching them. I’m not sure if home ownership is one of those goals just yet, as that level of responsibility is overwhelming to me, but I am going to attend that financial planning event in October (thanks, MPinDC for the tip!) and start looking into some of this stuff. Thanks again, I feel a bit more hopeful! Scared, but a little more hopeful!

        • You might check out mrmoneymustache.com. Great ideas on saving money and all-around frugality. Cool to see the life hacks some have come up with.

      • Sounds like you’ve identified where your spending changed and what you can do to get back on track.
        May want to check out financialplanningdays org for the DC Financial Planning day on Oct 17th (free, register in advance). I went a few years ago and it was really helpful.

        • Yeah, I hope. I just would feel better if I had a bigger cushion, like, right now, not in 3-4 months! Trying to think of things I could potentially sell, in the meanwhile….

  • Rant: Still up in the air about classes. Really do not want to be in class until 11pm tonight.
    Rant: Read an article about “presenteeism” this morning and it pretty much confirmed all my worst fears. Guys, I think I’m depressed.
    Unknown: Need to remind myself that dating is not going to help in this situation, but I can focus on trying to spend time with new friends even though we’re all pretty busy.
    Rave: Have lots of sick days, might take a day off to sleep and recover from having to attend extra classes this week since work hasn’t given me much work anyway, and I don’t feel like a fully functioning adult this week.

    • FridayGirl – we have a lot in common do not recommend dating while depressed. focus on friends and people who make you truly happy.

    • Agree with NotABot. Also, if you have sick days, use them! I never really get “sick” sick (like flu or anything), but when I’m in a serious funk, I’ve found that using a sick day to relax, recharge, recover, can be extremely beneficial. Mental health is important too, and “mental health” encompasses much more what we usually think of when we hear the term.

    • That One Guy

      What is it that you’re looking to get out of dating someone?

      • THIS! This is exactly why I haven’t set up a profile yet, because I feel like until I have a good answer to that question – and have analyzed why I think dating is the answer to X problem – it’s not worth me wasting my time or anyone else’s.

        • I should clarify to add – analyzed why I think “dating” vs. “something else” is going to answer whatever itch I’m trying to scratch, not that I’m trying to solve the world’s problems by dating.

        • Pablo Raw

          This daily thread is evidence that dating comes with its own problems.

        • I don’t know, in my experience I think dating helps answer the question “what do you want to get out of dating?”
          Apparently I’m implementing the Plan, Do, Check, Act strategy on my dating life, because I retool my expectations, profile, short and long term goals as I have more experiences, good and bad.

          • Yes, and I think that’s a valid approach as well. I just personally want to make sure I’m not dating as a “patch” to assuage some other deeper issue within myself, if that makes sense.

          • Yes, this is reason number 1 for me – it is often an area where at least I feel like I’m learning and meeting new people and being productive (although this isn’t really the case lately). Reason number 2 is that I tend to be in a better mood and feel like I can more efficiently handle problems when I’m less lonely. Not that I’m looking to fill this gap with dating since I also wouldn’t want to be a grump around a potential new boyfriend. But it’s a nice perk — I think it has something to do with me being more likely to go out and do new things with someone and having something to look forward to.

          • LBP- I think if you’re *that* conscious of wanting to ensure that dating is not something that fills a hole for you, then you seem to be pretty self aware and I doubt that’s the issue.
            I worried about that a lot before adopting my dog. Was I just doing it to have some thing to love me, etc, etc. But in the end I think as long as that’s not the main reason, who cares if it’s a tiny part of the reason? If you wait until you’re “perfect” for human consumption then you’re erring too far in the other direction.

          • Haha! Jeslett, good points! That’s why I am about to dip my toes into the dating waters, probably in the next couple weeks…I feel like, “I’m not perfect, but I can’t expect to be, I can’t expect others to be, and I don’t want someone that expects perfect either. I’m in a pretty good spot in life, generally speaking, I like me most of the time and I think it’s time to give it a go again!”

          • That One Guy

            Day 2 of trying new things (giving dating advice):
            Set up dates. You’re not obligated to see the person again after the first one if things don’t feel right. In fact you can cut the cord during the first date if your having a horrible time so you manage expectations better. If nothing else you can learn from the dates and tweak your profile if you’re attracting a certain type of undesirable guy. Also look at other profiles to see what the competition looks like. It’ll help you shape things on your profile, no?
            Recently read that your life’s problems can be categorized into three areas: wealth, health and relationships. Relationships are important but

          • That One Guy

            Relationships are important to be sure, but so is your health. Make sure you’re taking care of yourself.

          • LBP- that’s good to hear!
            Let us know how it goes 🙂

          • That One Guy – you’re really good at this “trying new things” thing! Thanks.

    • Late Rave: The professor for my waitlisted class decided to let the rest of us in! Still waiting for it to process in the system, so I’m debating about whether I should still go to the really-late-night class tonight (which I’ll drop once I’m officially in), but HOOPLA!

  • Rant: Spent part of my weekend in the ER and the other part in bed. Hopefully today’s visit to the doctor will yield some answers about what we should be doing.
    Rave: The endless MASH marathon that has resulted from the bed rest.
    Rave: New cookbook arriving today! Can’t wait to try out some new recipes.

  • Pablo Raw

    Rave: Checked one DC bucket list item. Planned a visit to the Washington Monument and not just that, I was there for the Moonrise at 9:00 pm (all planned and calculated) and was able to take photos. That’s it; I’m enjoying the feeling of having carefully planned something using several technological resources. Science!

    • Emmaleigh504

      Every time I see your avatar out of the corner of my eye or scrolling I think it’s a Anonymous/Guy Fawkes mask 🙂 Something about the light and dark contrast tells my brain that’s what it is.

    • I hope to see said picture on PoP! but maybe not for a thread about sexual assault. Loved your photo today, but felt a little weird, given the thread, giving it a shout out.

  • Rant: Just feel generally MEH. I’m not full-blown sick. But I have a cold core and my allergies are killing me. The little parasite really does seem to compromise the immune system. This has me terrified of winter cold season. UGH.
    Rave: I got a decent amount of sleep last night, and I am just going to dial it back and try to take it easy this week.

  • Rave: Going to eat shrimp tacos at Orange Anchor today for lunch.

    Rave: My replacement FitBit shipped yesterday (lost mine in the evacuating from the fire in my condo building on Friday night — everyone’s fine, it was not my unit, no one was seriously harmed, and major props to the fire and police departments for being really awesome). FitBit Customer Service is really awesome.

    Rave: It’s September.

    Rant: Even though I have dates scheduled, including a 2nd date tomorrow night, my original “Whee, look at me getting out there and dating” euphoria has dimmed – but I know I have to keep trying, since my ideal man is neither the Lost Dog delivery driver nor the UPS guy that brings me my Amazon purchases. Wondering if the lack of enthusiasm has to do with the whole debacle from the cheating exposure of last week, or if it’s something else?

    Rave: Have much to say at my condo board meeting tonight

    Rant: Concerned that nothing will be done despite bringing up concerns.

    Rave: I took myself off the prescription Prilosec on Saturday and so far (knock on wood), I haven’t had any issues whatsoever.

    • Can I offer some unsolicited advice? If you keep trying to force the dating issue, you are setting yourself up for a series of disappointments. You are right, you will never meet Mr. Right sitting at home, but if the time isn’t right for you and you aren’t in a good place, the nothing is going to work.

      • +1. Don’t force it. Give yourself a break and a chance to reset.

      • +2
        Stop forcing the issue. Date when you feel like you’re in a good place with YOURSELF. Hang with friends, be social at events with new people, and just be open to meeting people during your everyday routine.
        Your lack of enthusiasm is probably apparent to those you’re forcing yourself to go on dates with, FYI.

      • Yeah, I’m agreeing with Anonamom on this one. I might remove myself from the game entirely because if it isn’t working, it isn’t working. And I’d rather enjoy it and have guys enjoy my company later when I’m in a better situation than come off like a half-hearted grumpy person (my characterization of myself, I’m sure you’re quite lovely even if you’re unenthused!).

      • I just watch you ladies kvetch about dating every week, and I’m sad for you. Don’t feel like you have to be out there dating, life can be absolutely fulfilling without a relationship. Trust me, the minute you become truly happy with yourself (including not being attached), you will find someone special. Get to the point where you don’t need someone to complete you but to compliment you, and you will be a million times happier.

        • I both agree with and am annoyed by this advice.
          I think most of us ladies who kvetch about dating on here have a pretty healthy attitude and spend most of our emotional time in the “life can be absolutely fulfilling without a relationship” zone. No matter how happy you are with your life and yourself there will always be moments of self doubt or times when you suddenly feel lonely or left out. As long as those are passing feelings, I think you can still consider yourself happy with your life and being single.
          But the annoying thing is that “someone special” isn’t going to fall into your lap right after your last happiness piece falls into place. “Someone special” isn’t going to be the next guy you meet now that you’re happy, so you do still have to meet people. Actively dating and being happy being single are not mutually exclusive. And I think you have a much better chance of meeting “someone special” if you’re increasing your odds by dating.
          You can have bad dates, silly dating stories, periods of utter disinterest in dating, and still be happy and fulfilled being single.

          • +1 to Jeslett, especially “‘[S]omeone special’ isn’t going to fall into your lap right after your last happiness piece falls into place.”

          • +1 and all the high five emojis. That last sentence summarizes my dating experience, and though I gripe about it, it’s been worthwhile. I’m happily single but still willing to go out there and make so interesting memories or regrettable ones, but still, live life.

          • I’m *definitely* happy being single. OMG. Ridiculously happy. I’m just in the place right now, like jeslett says, where I am having a period of disinterest.

          • I didn’t mean any offense, and I’m sure that the proportion of rants to raves can at time be disproportionate. As far as the “someone special” comment, I can only speak from my own experience and the experience of those around me. But again, it’s not about finding someone to complete you, it’s about finding someone to compliment you, and a big part of that is figuring out who you are, what you want out of life, and what makes you happy. For some people, that’s not having a partner, and that’s ok. For others, it is about finding a partner. There is absolutely nothing at all wrong with dating around and having silly dating stories, but when people talk about it with absolute disinterest and at times disdain, I have to wonder why exactly they are doing it.

          • Anonamom, I agree with you and I’m not offended. Just annoyed by the well meant, but trite advice.
            It’s just the ideas that “when you stop looking you’ll find it” and “when you’re truly happy that thing you want will orbit straight into your life” continue to persist in a sugar coated, RomCom fueled, Instagram quote-as-picture trope. It’s a nice sentiment, but like most nice sentiments, it’s too simplistic and doesn’t account for the range of experiences people have. I know it’s meant to be consoling, but it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.
            There are absolutely people that shouldn’t try to start a relationship because they have a lot of work to do on themselves, but those people are the minority. Though introspection and self-improvement are important facets of life that more people should work on.

    • I definitely agree that FitBit customer service is top notch. I am on my third FitBit after one FitBit developed condensation inside the screen and the other started separating from the band.

  • Bear

    Rave: Chocolate hazelnut cupcake for breakfast. Yum.
    Rant: Trying to get as much wedding stuff done before my work trip. I’m leaving for next week, will be gone nearly three weeks, and then I get back two weeks before the wedding…not stressful or anything!

    • I like your rave!

    • FtLincolnLove

      Oh no!!! As a newlywed who was also consistently traveling for work up until a few weeks before my wedding, may I offer a piece of advice? Have you considered hiring a month-of coordinator/day-of coordinator? We did, and it was the best money we spent. Our coordinator took over once we were a month out, which allowed me to focus on getting everything done at work and breathe easy when it came to wedding stuff!

      Also, that cupcake sounds amazing!!

  • That One Guy

    Rant: Thought I was smart by setting the work computer to automatically delete the internet explorer browser history when exiting the program. Yesterday/today it feels like it was a dumb move because it would be really helpful to have that confirmation number.
    Rave: This to shall pass.

  • Rant: Tried to modify an existing car reservation to have a later pick-up (12 hours later) and they want to charge me an additional $100. No way! I’ll just pick it up and re-park it in the SFO airport parking lot.
    Rant: frustrating morning, got to work an hour and a half late, grumble grumble
    Rant: Older cat isn’t doing well–two vet visits in 4 days (check-up, confirmed ear and urinary infections, back again for more medicine).
    Rave: Looking forward to my very first NFL fantasy draft tonight! I’ve been practicing and feel confident that I know what I’m doing 🙂
    Rave: Can’t WAIT for this vacation.

    • Remember, kicker and defense in the last two rounds and you’ll be fine!

      • Yep, I got that down pat! However, the NFL’s draft also has four positions I don’t know how to pick (out of the usual players): LB, DT, etc. Any advice?

        • Unfortunately, I’ve never played individual defensive players before. If it were me, I would go by ADP (Average draft position) to see what rounds you should be looking to get the premiere players like Watt, etc. If the draft is online, I would also you use the pre-rankings as a guide.

      • Honestly, I don’t think this is good advice anymore. Your kicker and defense – if in the top three in the league – can easily be your 5th highest scoring player over the year. I think it’s worth picking up a high performing defense before your 2nd string QB.
        My advice is to focus on getting one of the top Tight Ends, probably in Round 4 or 5. Each season, there’s usually only two high scoring TE’s that are multiple standard deviations above the average for TE’s. The team that wins the championship almost always has the best (or 2nd best) performing TE. Gronk or Jimmy Graham can easily post up a 40 point day; meanwhile the average TE is lucky if he breaks 10 points. That’s the marginal difference between a 5th place finish and winning it all.
        RANT: I totally screwed up my draft time on Sunday and got auto-drafted for my first 5 picks. Thought I could live draft on my phone, but instead had to be on the laptop. Hate my life (and my line-up) so much right now.

        • The key issue I have with your advice that you are targeting trends that existed last year. Yes, Gronk and Jimmy (who is on a team with a lesser QB) are hands down above the rest of the TE field. Drafting them earlier to get a top TE isn’t smart unless you gaining value by where you draft them.

          If you really want to get nerdy and stat driven, look up the VBD (value based drafting) which allows you to rank players without acknowledging positions.

          My rationale for the def and kicker are they are so variable week by week and I generally swap them out given their match-up. I would rather draft positional depth than get a DEF/K i might start 60% of the year.

  • Rant: Should’a picked up the bundle of bamboo someone left on the sidewalk last night; garbage collectors come through early this morning. Split bamboo makes a good low fence to keep critters off my plants
    Rant: Doing big clean of my second bedroom but so far it has resulted in more mess
    Rave: Garden haul reprise – thanks PoP!

  • Anonynon

    Been a while!
    Rant: Hot yoga last night with some friends….I enjoy yoga but I’m not sure if hot yoga is my thing. I was a hot mess after and nearly threw up/fainted.
    Rave: Things have been good post roommate/best friend moving
    Rave: New roommate is super chill and we are getting along swimmingly
    Rave: Even work is not that bad lately….still itching for something new though
    Rave: Been chatting with someone on bumble for a few days, I am going to see if they want to grab a drink later this week
    Rave: It is September! The best month of the year 🙂

    • Oooh. How is Bumble? Betches promotes it, so I feel really meh about it. Happy September!

      • Anonynon

        I haven’t asked anyone out but I have had a match or two. This is the first to message me. Sort of like tinder where you swipe left or right and then once you match the girl has to start the conversation within 24 hours or it disapears (so you could get a ton of matches but no conversation). From a guys perspective, this makes things easier (no awkward started conversation required, which we are bad at I think in general)…for girls it puts them in the drivers seat. Seems like win-win.

    • I was wondering where you’d been.

    • love yoga, but hot yoga is not for me. I hate the feeling of almost passing out and feeling nauseous (like some people don’t hate that?). They’ve also proven that the heat doesn’t help you a. get more deeply into poses or b. burn any more calories. So don’t force it if you don’t love it!

      • SouthwestDC

        No matter how water I drink before/during/after hot yoga I feel like I have the worst hangover of my life the next day. That was my clue that maybe it’s not the healthiest thing I could be doing.

  • Revel: thankful to work with such supportive people. I had another freak out yesterday because I didn’t have all the needed materials to implement my lessons as planned. Admin is making sure I get everything and reading department and ESOL team are helping me work around it until then.
    Rant: missing my work besties from my old school. It’s awkward ugly crying in front of people I’ve only known for two weeks.
    Revel: feeling much more calm today than I was last night. I can even sit to eat lunch today!

    • Allison

      Oh man, I ugly cried in front of my bosses at a new internship one time a long time ago! I was embarrassed about it for a while but as long as you move on, prove yourself to be an otherwise emotionally stable person, and never mention it again, they will quickly forget about it. Also it just shows them that you’re a person who makes good friends at work (enough to miss them that much when you leave) which should make them happy to have you on board!

      • Agreed. It happens. Usually people forget. And I would hope that teachers would understand other teachers, more than at a desk job at least. Teaching is emotionally exhausting.

  • Rant: Dealing in anyway with my ex is frustrating, exhausting, and irritating. Let this be a lesson for all of you lamenting failed relationships – better to walk away when the feelings become lopsided that to stick it out, get married, and have to deal with a failed marriage long (or shortly!) down the road.
    Rant: The heat and mugginess. I am officially through with summer.
    Rave: My commute to Columbia has turned out to be a very pleasant experience. Thank you light traffic and pod casts!

  • Question: Mr. Eggs and I are going to Las Vegas next month for 3.5 days/4 nights and I’d like to know what you all would absolutely recommend we do/see/eat/drink/etc? We have show tickets for two different shows so we’re set in that respect, and we have our nice anniversary dinner spot picked out and reserved. I’ll pulled together a small list of bars I’d like to go to and the one breakfast/lunch buffet I’d like to do…any suggestions? We aren’t really into clubs but are open to it if there’s one that isn’t too crazy!

    • Emmaleigh504

      I would totally see Britney Spears’ show.

      • Haha I would too but I don’t think he’s into that. We’re seeing Penn & Teller (his pick) and Zumanity (my pick).

      • palisades

        My friends booked a trip to go to Vegas a few months ago SOLELY to see her. Of course she gets hurt and cancels her show the week they’re going. They re-booked everything and are going in a few weeks. I can’t imagine putting that much effort and money into such crappy music, especially considering she doesn’t even sing it.

        • I’m no fan of Britney Spears, but I imagine a show like that has a high “spectacle” quotient. (Costume changes! Dancers and choregraphy! Elaborate lighting! Fancy set design!)

        • Emmaleigh504

          Britney is more than a singer, she’s a Performer! And yes, it’s all about the costume changes and dancing and fun music even if she doesn’t sing. Also she’s from across the lake from where I’m from, so I gotta support her 🙂

      • My co-worker is in Vegas RIGHT NOW with her GF’s to see Britney. I think the show is tomorrow night.

    • The Neon Museum is a neat collection of old casino signs and the tour guides have a bunch of cool Vegas history to share. The restaurant at the top of the Stratosphere (Top of the World, maybe?) has great views and is definitely worth the trip. I would just go to the bar, though, the food there is not so great. The Fontana Bar at the Bellagio has a nice deck where you can watch the fountain show.

      • I think we may just get a drink at the Stratosphere if we make it up that far, I’d love to see the view! And our anniversary dinner will actually be a Bellagio restaurant with an amazing fountain view – I had no idea they had restaurants right next to the fountains with patios!

    • Check out the atomic testing museum–that was very cool! We also loved the Cirque du Soleil shows (particularly O–the water one). If you’ll have a car, a day trip to red rocks and/or checking out the Hoover Dam would be fun. We went for a long weekend and aren’t into gambling, etc, but also enjoyed just walking through the various casinos. The varying decor was fascinating.

      • We won’t be renting a car, but we’ll definitely be going back some day for the Hoover Dam/Grand Canyon/Four Corners (I want to do a full drive through all the beautiful national parks like Arches, Monument Valley, Zion, etc). I’ll check in the Atomic Testing Museum!

    • Planet Hollywood has a decent buffet (we picked up a Travelzoo deal for it). The rollercoaster at New York New York was fun to do once. Definitely check out Fremont Street (old Las Vegas)–the tables have lower buy-ins if you’re nervous about high-roller stuff/are playing for fun. Lots of free music, a little brewery, zip line, Mob museum, etc. Have fun!

      • I would loooooove to go check out Fremont Street (I’ve been to Vegas twice before, once 8 years ago and once 12-13 years ago – both before I could drink!) but I’m not sure we’ll have time since he’s never been at all and we’re staying on the Strip. I’m so torn. I want to go so badly but also don’t want to shortchange him a day on the Strip.

        • Fremont Street is just a quick cab ride, and can easily be a half-day trip (late afternoon, early evening?). Plus, I had better Roulette wins there 🙂

      • There is a Mob museum?? I know where I’m going on my next trip!

    • laurelo

      Definitely eat at Hash House A Go Go. I believe it’s in the Linq (what used to be Imperial Palace). The wait may be long but the breakfast food is DELICIOUS.

    • Las Vegas Hall of Fame Pinball Museum
      Also, I second going to the Neon Museum. Try to go at sunset – only a few of the signs light up and it’s hot-as-balls during the day.

  • Rave: Saw therapist yesterday and realized that I’m not as crazy as I thought I was.
    Rave: rough morning at work. Previously submitted report is coming back to bite with massive changes requested by the assistant director. My immediate supervisor doesn’t agree with the changes so I don’t know what to do.
    Rave: Going to Nashville for a football game and to see family this weekend.
    Rave: Wearing new blouse to work. I really like it.
    Rave: Walked 2 miles on Sunday and yesterday. Trying to make this exercise thing a habit.

    • Glad you’re still walking, it takes a bit but I swear it becomes habit! Now if only my habit of loving food would stop 🙂

  • Rant: Current job swallowing up my last days of summer.
    Rave: About to accept a new, awesome job. Here is to better work/life balance.
    Rant: Got back on Tinder and immediately saw my ex. It just sucks that I still find him incredibly attractive.
    Rant: We broke up because I pushed it, but I am jealous that he is moving on. If I am honest, I wanted him to fight for me.

    • Congrats on the new job! That’s great news!

    • “Rant: We broke up because I pushed it, but I am jealous that he is moving on. If I am honest, I wanted him to fight for me.”
      So much drama and mind-games packed into that statement.

      • “So much drama and mind-games packed into that statement.” — Quite possibly, but emotions related to romance and breakups aren’t necessarily logical.
        I guess the OP wishes that her (?) ex would have been sufficiently into her that her “pushing” it (whatever that means) and/or breaking up with him would be the wake-up call he needed to realize that yes, he did want to stay in the relationship with her.
        As long as this is primarily a fantasy on her part and not an actual course of action, I’m not sure that it constitutes drama/mind games.

        • You’re doing a lot of guessing unless “Shakespeare’s Anon” is one of your aliases. What makes you think it’s primarily a fantasy and not her real feelings? She said she was being honest, that doesn’t sound like playtime to me.

          • Nope, Shakespeare’s Anon is not me. I’m just idly speculating.
            I have no way of knowing whether Shakespeare’s Anon is a person who plays mind games. I don’t think Anonymous does either, so I think his conclusion seems a bit biased toward “drama and mind games.”

          • You might also notice that I framed it as a hypothetical.

      • I tend to agree with Anonymous here… though I’ll do it more gently.
        I’m not sure what Shakespeare is referring to with “pushing it” but breaking up with a guy (or pushing him to it) with the hope that he will fight for you is just not a great idea. And I say this as a woman who has a tendency to run and gets pissed off when she’s not chased. However, it took me a long time to realize that. Good for you for at least being honest with yourself about it.

        • Great feedback–made me realize I wasn’t clear. I wish he had fought for me before we broke up. Actually, that he had fought for us. I pushed for the breakup when things got tough and he checked out.

          So, I think the only mind game being played was one on myself. Three months of space helps give you some perspective.

  • Rave: The hiring manager is having conversations with my references and has told them that I am their #1 candidate.
    Rant: The idea that this might be real has hit me like a punch in the gut. The nerves are getting the best of me. Trying to remain composed, just in case.

  • Rant: STILL really sick. The worst of the coughing seems to have passed but I can hardly move today because I’m so exhausted and achy. I already want a nap and it’s 10 AM here.
    Rave: Saw the babies on ultrasound again yesterday and they are crazy active. They were doing flips and waving their arms and legs like little maniacs. I think I know why I’m so tired and why my abdomen is sore.

    • Sorry to hear you’re still feeling so sick. Glad to hear that the babies are entertaining you on ultrasound! Now if only they could take up yoga instead of dancing…

    • Oh and I saw today that the Yahoo CEO Marisa Mayer is also pregnant with identical girl twins and is due a month before me. I’m still processing the fact that she plans to “approach the pregnancy and delivery as [she] did with [her] son three years ago, taking limited time away and working throughout.” So many thoughts and feelings about that statement.

    • Emmaleigh504

      When my dad was in utero he kicked his mom in the same place so much and so long that he cracked her rib!

    • At my last checkup, the midwife asked if I had internal bruising based on where the kid’s feet where poking (stretching/kicking!). Sounds like that might be part of your problem!

      • It really might be. For whatever reason, they seem to like snuggling really close together, so when they “attack,” all of the movement is really concentrated in one area. They small enough that they can’t do serious damage yet, but it’s a super weird sensation and it’s not at all comfortable.

  • Rant: My sister in law makes me irrationally angry and I need to learn how to become more detached from the situation. The main problem is that she is literally bankrupting my brother in law, my husband’s brother, because she has zero understanding of budgeting or personal finance (and fights learning about them), she refuses to do any job that isn’t “creative” (acting, crafting, etc.), and has expensive taste for someone with her negative income. They have two kids and I also (somewhat irrationally) get annoyed that she isn’t more supportive of her oldest. How can I stop being so upset about this? Because I’m not really in a good position to change the behaviors that bother me. I just watch from a distance and get angry.

    • Allison

      I think the only way you can let go is to remind yourself that your brother-in-law is an adult, who can protect his (and his children’s) finances as he sees fit. If he’s tired of having a wife who doesn’t pull her weight financially, then he can fix that problem if he wants to.

      • I think he feels really trapped, actually, and that’s one reason the situation makes me so upset. He believes, probably correctly, that a divorce would be far worse for his finances and would probably also keep him from seeing his kids. It’s such a messed up situation.

        • Allison

          I guess the only alternative then is for him to take more control over the finances and make clear that all the “expensive taste” shopping stops unless she pays for it herself. If he can’t get rid of her (assuming he otherwise wants to), he at least doesn’t have to be a doormat about it until she runs their family into the ground.
          (Can anyone tell financial responsibility is a hot button issue for me?)

          • It’s a hot-button issue for me too!! I would -love- to give this kind of advice but have offered it before and it’s clearly unwelcome. For whatever reason, and I don’t know what the reason is, it’s a total nonstarter. I know exactly how I would like to handle this situation, but it’s just not mine to handle.

          • Allison

            Then you’ve done all you can! At this point, the next time your BIL complains about it, if you don’t want to hear it, you’re well within your rights to tell him that you’re all tapped out. I like Textdoc’s advice too.

    • I think all you can really do is remind yourself that this is a situation you have no control over.
      The only thing I can think of where you _can_ take action is making an extra effort to support your older niece/nephew — talk to him/her on the phone, praise his/her accomplishments, try to assuage his/her worries. You can’t make the parent support the kid, but you can try to compensate by offering some support yourself. Carolyn Hax tends to recommend something along these lines for people concerned about relatives’ (or neighbors’, or friends’) kids.

      • This is good advice. We do this as much as we can. She’s a great kid so it’s pretty easy to praise her.

      • +1 to being there for the kids. My aunt did a terrific job of this when I was a kid through financial and otherwise crappy family situations, and it always meant SO MUCH to me.

    • Do we have the same SIL? Hah! I also share your rant and want to detach from my husband’s brother’s family drama. It drains me!

    • That One Guy

      Can he tighten the purse strings by creating a sole bank account, removing her as an authorized user of any credit cards and/or limiting the credit limit on the credit card she has access to?

      • Allison

        That’s along the lines of what I was thinking — like a “finances only” separation/divorce. Looks like he’s not willing to do it. And in that case, there’s nothing that really can be done until they hit rock bottom and change forces itself upon them.

      • My husband and I have recommended that but don’t know where things stand now. All I know is that she still regularly posts new, expensive purchases of crafting supplies on Facebook. That’s actually the thing that made me want to rant today. She just spent hundred of dollars on supplies for a very risky and expensive crafting business venture. And I think it’s the third time she’s done this in 2015, each time with a different type of business. None have made any profit.

        • Maybe hide her from your FB feed temporarily, so that you don’t have to keep seeing the evidence of her financial irresponsibility (and fuming as a result)? Or does she post some FB stuff that you _do_ want to see? (Pics of/anecdotes about the kids?)

          • I unfollowed her over a year ago, but she posts on Facebook about five times a day and regularly tags me in photos and other posts, including asking me to “like” the pages of each of her new crafting businesses. I would love to try ignore her but she doesn’t make it easy.

      • Any advice of this kind should really come from the OP’s husband (rather than the OP) to the husband’s brother — and maybe not even then. Unless it’s in response to BIL specifically complaining about something, a suggestion from the OP’s husband — no matter how well-intended, or how sound the advice — might just get BIL’s back up.
        It’s definitely frustrating to watch people do stupid stuff whereby they sabotage themselves, and to have them ignore whatever sensible suggestions one might provide. (Thinking of my own family here.)

        • +1 We have definitely had similar dynamics play out in our family, and after years of the kind of angsting the OP is doing, I decided to take a “not my circus, not my monkeys” approach. Whatever her faults, the BIL is choosing to be with her and choosing not to address her issues. (Or choosing to take no for an answer if he has tried and failed to deal with her issues.) That limits the OP’s standing to being the voice of reason when he complains, but not instigating any complaints yourself. It’s maddening, but sometimes it is the best you can do.

        • This depends so much on the relationships these people have. Some in-laws merge into families more than others. I can think of several examples in my own family where the in-laws would have better rapport and ability to discuss touchy topics than the actual siblings would.

          • Perhaps, but I’m not getting the feeling here that the OP’s situation is like this. And in a situation like this, I can imagine the SIL getting peeved if she thinks she’s being criticized in any way by an “outsider.” Assuming that the husband and his brother are on good terms, it seems like that would be the best avenue for communication — and even still, the BIL might resent it.

  • Rant: Dad got rejected from a job last night that he was really hoping for… He’s an adjunct at a college and they’ve been promising him a full time position for 10 years. They told him they liked him for this, then never gave him an interview. He’s absolutely crushed. He’s tried finding other work without much luck (he’s an artist, teaches drawing and art history. He’s got gallery work but it’s not selling much and he’s tried other types of work without much luck as well). I worry about him and wish I could help… He’s amazingly talented and loves teaching. 🙁

    • So sorry to hear this. From what I hear, adjuncting can be pretty miserable.

    • That One Guy

      Art, one of the things that helps culture society yet it’s also so undervalued. I’m sorry to hear.

    • Oh no, littlen! I’m so sorry to hear this. One of my best ex’s is actually an adjunct art professor, as well, and I always worried even though I never said anything because it’s SO hard to get a tenure track position these days, much less as an art professor. So I somewhat understand. I’ll keep your dad in my thoughts — I hope he finds something soon.

  • Rant: Comcast has been charging me $10 per month for a rental modem for that past two years, when I’ve always used my own. I’ve called repeatedly, they’ve admitted their error repeatedly, but then they refuse to fully credit me. And for my monthly internet package they quote me one price, then charge me another, then play dumb when I call.

    Any suggestions for better internet providers on Capitol Hill?

    • So annoying. Who have you been speaking to when you call? Ask to speak to a supervisor, and if you already are, ask to speak to *their* supervisor.
      Is RCN available in Capitol Hill? Worth checking. I’ve been with them for the past 2 years, and have never been happier (which, isn’t saying much after having to deal with Comcast for so long, but my experience with them has been FAR more enjoyable).

    • Ugh! Sorry to hear this has been such a pain in the butt! From my understanding, Verizon FIOS is the other big alternative. But depending on your wifi router you need to rent their equipment, so it won’t be any cheaper (I have an apple airport express, which apparently isn’t compatible). When I moved a few weeks ago, Comcast totally messed up my account and it took 8 phone calls but now it’s all fixed. Have you tried calling and asking for supervisors? Alternatively, you could publicly shame them through twitter and see if anything happens…

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