Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user John M

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.

211 Comment

  • Rant: I want something else to get me through this… semi-charmed kind of life…
    Rant: I feel incredibly grumpy today.
    Rave: No more classes for me until January. I should at least be grateful for that.

  • Rave: Himalayan Heritage was really good, and I had great service. I’ll go back there again!

    Rave: Getting to leave work an hour early today (for therapy, but still)

    Rant: Where I’ll talk about the fact that I really, really, REALLY would love to go to a thing in Boston in April (for a long weekend), flights are very reasonable and I’d have a free place to stay. But I worry and feel immense guilt for doing anything but spending money to go see my dad and also, although right now he’s fine, he could go downhill fast. So I hesitate in making plans so far out because of that and I can’t wait until last minute like I do when I decide to go to Richmond or NYC because flights will head back up. He’s having another scan done this morning to see if the cancer has spread, or has stayed the same. (It won’t decrease, he hasn’t had chemo since July) . I don’t know what the best choice is.

    • topscallop

      I’m glad you had such a good experience at HH! Maybe I’ll give it another shot. There aren’t many good, affordable Indian restaurants in DC.

      Re: plans for April, could you get a refundable ticket?

    • You could book with Southwest. If things aren’t great when April rolls around, you drive to Richmond or NYC and get a credit to use another time with Southwest. That way, if all is well, you get to take the trip, but if it’s not, then you can at least use that money for something else later in the year. Sorry you’re in this spot. My best friend spent a weekend in DC with me, and then her mom took a turn for the worse two weeks later and passed away. She agonized a lot about spending that time away, but ultimately her mom told her to go, live her life. Her mom was fighting a battle with lung cancer and it could’ve been years before she passed away. There’s no telling what’s in the future, but I don’t think anyone will fault you for also living your life during this. So sorry again.

      • Thanks, guys. My dad lives in MN, so I don’t get to see him as frequently as I’d like to. I’m going to visit him in mid-January, and then hopefully again in either March or May, depending on how agreeable my stepmom is (she hates that his children keep showing up so much, it stresses her out even though we don’t ask her to do anything, because we all stay in hotels and buy them dinner…she’s something). I will look into Southwest (right now, JetBlue has direct flights from National to Logan for $156 r/t)

        • I just checked Southwest — we’re looking at between $300-$500 for r/t flights with them, so I won’t be using that airline to go to Boston. JetBlue is holding steady at $156 r/t.

        • Accountering

          This is super hard that your stepmom is acting like that. My grandma (Dad’s mom) passed in 2008. When they found out her cancer was super terminal (just a couple of months left) he put everything on hold and flew back to MN basically every weekend. My aunt lives in MN, and they would pick him up at the airport, give him a car for the weekend, and he stayed in the guest bedroom. Really helpful to be able to have that kind of support system.
          Hopefully your stepmom can come to her senses at some point. My step grandpa never did, and was somewhat of a hindrance through the whole process. Wishing you all the best!

          • Yes, we wish she’d be a little more agreeable and also open to letting us help her out. We only want what’s best and she keeps shutting us down (but that’s our whole life with her, basically…it’s her kids or no one)

            I have two sisters (and their husbands) who live about a 5 hour car ride from him and they visit my dad more than I can. His son lives close by but does not want to visit him or help, really. My dad lives in the middle of nowhere MN, and I don’t drive. So when I do go to MN to see him, I either fly directly into Minneapolis, take a shuttle (1.5 hours ) to where my aunt and uncle live, and then they drive me another hour to where my dad lives. Or, if the flight is cheaper (like this time) I fly into the town where my aunt and uncle live and they take me the hour drive to my dad’s. As the cancer/dementia increases, they may have to come back to get me as well, and I am beyond grateful that they help me out in this way.

          • Accountering

            This sounds super helpful. My grandma was in the Twin Cities, as well as aunt and uncle, so that made things easier, but definitely a tough situation. I don’t have any great ideas, but perhaps there is an AirBNB you could find somewhere along the way, and perhaps if you explain the situation, they may have a car you can use on the weekends? I know its unlikely, but people in MN are very very nice, so its possible πŸ™‚

    • I would pay for travel insurance and book the tickets. If your dad is anything like mine, he wouldn’t want you to “put your life on hold” and avoid experiencing joyful things due to his illness. Does it help to frame booking the trip as embracing life and maybe treating yourself to some much needed respite care?

      Also, I’m sending you a big hug and hopes that the scan shows that the cancer has stayed the same. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

      • I never even considered travel insurance. Thanks for that suggestion!

        My mom said I should not put my life on hold, either…but it just scares me. I know I’m being completely irrational, the “If I DON’T go to Boston, then he’ll live longer, but if I do, he won’t” makes no sense, even to me.

        I hope the cancer stays the same, too. Thanks for the virtual hug.

    • Hi, I think I’m in a similar situation as you, SinSA. My dad has been living with terminal cancer for about 2 years. For a while, I struggled with the same question of whether to take vacation or spend time and resources on “fun” stuff, when I could be seeing my dad. But, I’ve come to realize that you don’t know the future and you can’t be paralyzed by that kind of uncertainty. Keep him a priority, but when there is something in your life that you would like to do, you should try to take advantage of it. And I know that, while my dad loves to see me, he also wants me to live a fulfilling life and do the things that I want to do. He would not want me to be paralyzed by this kind of stress and uncertainty. And, from a practical standpoint, if you do have to cancel, you would maybe still have some credit towards a future flight (depends on the airline). So, not a total financial loss.

      That’s my two cents…I’m sorry you, your dad, and your family are going through this.

      • Thank you. That means a lot. I am very, very sorry that you are going through the same thing with your father. This does feel paralyzing. I am sure if I told him about it, he’d tell me to go. I don’t mind taking a $156 hit if I choose to go, that’s not horrible in the grand scheme of things.

    • If it helps inform your decision, I just booked a flight to Boston for 1 month from now, and it was still only $160 on American Airlines. Maybe a little more expensive than it would have been if I booked earlier, but still reasonable.

  • Rave: That Krampus sweater in the photo is epic! I want it so bad!
    Rant: trying to multitask while on a totally useless (for me) conference call
    Rave: Have been really productive lately
    Rant: Still can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel on several of these projects.
    Rave: I called my dad on FaceTime last night because I wanted to catch up, and when he answered he and my mom were out at a fancy restaurant, eating before a show at the Kimmel Center (in Philly) for a fancy date night! It made my heart happy!

  • RANT: New low in ridiculous construction times. There was a crew repairing something on I-395 outside my apartment at 2:00 AM. TWO AM! I woke up from a dead sleep and initially thought someone was trying to break into my apartment. I couldn’t see who was carrying out the work so I’m not sure who to follow up with about this. Might this be federal jurisdiction since it was maintenance on an interstate?
    RAVE: Coffee exists.

  • rave: hubby’s first final today. Rave in that he almost has a break from school.
    rant: when he gets his hopes up that his sister gives a crap about his family, only to be seriously let down. I don’t comment, but I can see the hurt on his face.
    rave: watching my son enjoy his toy menorah. It’s really adorable. Good thing there’s no flame involved in that one!
    rant: maybe the media will stop covering Trump now? No? probably not….

    • So what was the final result with the sale on your place. Who was right- husband or realtor? And what was the differences?

      • it’s public record, but there’s no telling whether if we listed it under what we thought per our agent, whether it would have bit to what we got (asking). So I was right, I guess (splitting the difference)?

        • Accountering

          Just to clarify, you listed in the middle, got asking, and agent wanted you to list lower, and hopefully get a bidding war? Seems like you were right haha!

        • I was just asking because I knew your husband had a certain price in mind.

        • I think you did the right thing.
          Personally, I thought the bidding war was a bad idea for a standard condo in October. Maybe if it was the spring, but I think you probably would have only received full offers for the “bidding war” price, or maybe only $5K over. Congrats!

          • thanks – this was my feeling, too. I have forgotten where others weighed in on price other than telling me the condo was ugly or poorly laid out. lol. But we’re finished with DC real estate, and it was very, very, very good to us

  • Rave: My building sponsored holiday breakfast this morning. I needed it too.

    Rave/Rant: I had the most delicious raspberry beer yesterday. Like Lambic Framboise, but not as fizzy. Unfortunately it appears it’s rare/seasonal cause I can’t find it retailed anywhere. And the keg kicked at the bar.
    Also I want that sweater. So funny!

  • Rave: Thanks for the support yesterday – looked up compassion fatigue and tried to really think how I can care for myself and for others at the same time.
    Rant: No communication from my friend’s mom. Same manic text message marathons with friend with no real change in her outlook, communication style, or anything really…
    Rave: Looking for 12 good long books to commit to reading next year (committed to reading 52 books (+one in French and one in Spanish this year and it was so much fun!) – so far have Les Miserables, Don Quixote, Shantaram, Power Broker, 11/22/63, Middlemarch, City on Fire. Any other suggestions?

    • Anna Karenina. I hear Infinite Jest is supposed to be good, and it fits the bill for long, but I couldn’t get into it. It was ages ago, maybe I should try again!

    • Not sure what the cutoff is for long, but All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr is just shy of 550 and it was one of my favorites from last year.

      • Oh I so loved this book – one of my favorite I read this year! Have you been to Saint Malo? It’s such a beautiful city and so wonderfully brought to life in that book.
        I’m thinking 800 pages and above as the cut-off. Now sure why… My average monthly page count this year hovered around 1000.

    • Quotia Zelda

      War and Peace! It is a tremendously wonderful book.

      • Yes! I’ve never tried to tackle it yet so it’ll definitely go on the list! Thanks.

      • Seconded! It’s wonderful, minus the last couple hundred pages where the action has all wrapped up and you get “treated” to several chapters on Tolstoy’s thoughts about history as a subject. Reminded me of the Battle of Waterloo chapters in Les Mis, where the exciting novel plot is just a ploy to get people to read the author’s thoughts on his pet subject.

        • Quotia Zelda

          I ignored that part, just like I ignored Levin’s almost endless maunderings on the Russian peasantry in Anna Karenina. Tolstoy is wonderful when he writes about people – I fell completely in love with Princess Marya – but he was so wrong about history.

      • War and Peace is a good one. The translation by Volokhonsky and Pevear is supposed to be the best. It was released about 5 years ago, maybe.

        Are you interested in non-fiction? Rebel Yell, about Stonewall Jackson, is sitting on my to-be-read pile. It’s 670 pages. You could read Morris’ trilogy about Theodore Roosevelt if you wanted to get hard-core.

    • topscallop

      Have you read the Count of Monte Cristo?

    • The Woman Who Lost Her Soul by Bob Shacochis.

    • +1000 for Shantaram. The author recently published a sequel (The Mountain Shadow) which I haven’t heard much about but this reminded me to check it out!

    • Winter’s Tale, by Mark Helprin. It’s magical, but you need to give yourself time to savor it, to re-read passages, and even to go back a dozen chapters and re-read a little.

    • This is awesome! Thank you all. Cannot wait to read these books. Here I come Second Story/Strand/Kramer Books! I’m thinking of buying them. I can’t stand to read a long novel on my kindle!

  • Rant (even though that doesn’t even begin to cover it): It’s been two weeks since we lost our daughter and I don’t think my heart will ever stop hurting. She was such a beautiful little girl.
    Rave: My friends are amazing and have been there for us every step of the way.
    Random Q: Has anyone ever sent a thank you food delivery to GWU Hospital? How does one arrange that? We really want to say thank you to the L&D staff who were beyond wonderful to us.

    • I am so sorry. πŸ™

    • I’m so incredibly sorry for your loss. Lots of warm thoughts to you and your loved ones.

    • binntp

      Many, many condolences to you and your partner.

    • I’m so sorry, RabbitRabbitRabbit.

    • hammers

      RabbitRabbitRabbit, I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. I’ll be thinking of you.

    • Oh my goodness, I am so sorry to hear this. So very sorry. Sending love and hugs.
      I haven’t done this before, but I imagine it’s possible to send a food gift basket, like edible arrangements or something like that.

      • So sorry for your loss. I would NOT send “edible arrangements.” The concept skeeves me out (I don’t know who has been handling all that fruit and how) so I think medical professionals would be even more reluctant to eat it.

    • oh my I had no idea. I’m so, so sorry. There is a support group that meets in the area – I see the reminders of the meetings on my neighborhood list serves, I’d be happy to send the info the POP to send to you if you might want it. Please, be gentle to yourselves. Sending you hugs.
      If you feel you must send GW something, maybe a friend can call the L&D floor on your behalf to see what the process is for such a delivery (or send a basket)

    • I am so sorry for your loss. I spent several weeks on the L&D floor at GWU hospital, and I will say that the nurses would probably appreciate lunch, something savory, or a fruit basket over sweets, as they get a lot of sweets (cupcakes, brownies, etc.) regularly from grateful families. My husband brought in bagels once. One option might be to call and talk to the charge nurse and ask when might be a good day/time to have the food delivered. Also, it’s not often advertised or discussed, but a few years ago, GWU hospital had a referral service for discounted sessions with psychologists through their Women Services department, if that would be something of benefit.

    • I am so, so sorry. My best friend lost her son, and your heart doesn’t stop hurting. But, one day you’ll find that you can put one foot in front of another and move forward a little, even though you don’t feel like you can right now. It’ll be a different sort of life than you had before, but there is a life out there. In addition to your friends, think about reaching out to other parents who have lost children. They were a huge resource to my friend – even on days she just wanted to scream, or cry, or just be silent. Because while we were there for her, and loved and missed the child I thought of as my nephew, none of us could really understand the way that other parents who had gone through the same tragedy could. And if none of this resonates with you, feel free to ignore it. You need to take care of you the best you can and not try to do what doesn’t feel like it would work. Hugs to you.

    • Oh Rabbitx3, I am so very, very sorry. Sending virtual hugs and warm thoughts to you and Mrs. Rabbit.

    • Accountering

      This breaks my heart. Many condolences to you all.

    • So sorry to hear this…thinking of you

    • Prince Of Petworth

      I am so incredibly sorry for your loss.

    • Oh, RabbitRabbitRabbit, I am so sorry for your loss. Beyond sorry. I wish I could give you the biggest hug in the world.

    • Quotia Zelda

      I’m so sorry.

    • Oh no! I am so sorry.

    • janie4

      I am so sorry, Rabbit.

    • I am so sorry for your loss.

      Sending something to the L&D folks is a nice idea. Dean & Deluca has some packages with a mix of sweet and savory snacky stuff. Something like that would might be good for a large group of people, with different shifts, etc.

    • I’m so sorry for your loss, Rabbit. πŸ™

    • I’m so completely sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you and your partner. I know lots of people have already commented about things you can do for the GW staff, but I just wanted to say what tender hearts you have to think of others during such a difficult time. I’m sure they will appreciate anything you send, even if it’s just a heartfelt card. Hugs to you.

    • I’m so so sorry for your loss. I had a stillbirth 18 months ago and it’s become a little easier but it’s still hard. I attended the MISS Foundation support group in DC and it was of much comfort: http://missfoundation.org/support/groups/district%20of%20columbia.
      Friends also have gone to the MIS Share meeting : http://www.misshare.org/

      Finally, Kate Marosek is a great therapist who specializes in perinatal loss.

      Sending you peace and love. Try to be patient, gentle and kind to yourself.

    • RabbitRabbitRabbit, I am incredibly sorry for your loss.
      If you would like to thank your nurses, we love food. Nthing the suggestions for savory foods, as we get lots of sweets from well-meaning families. We love pizza!

    • I’m so sorry Rabbit. My thoughts are with you and your family and your lovely friends.

    • Rabitx3 – I forgot….please look out for PPD signs in your partner. It is a very real problem with all types of birth outcomes, but especially in traumatic outcomes. The PP Stress Center and Post Partum Progress are good places to start just to cover your bases.

    • Oh no. I am so so sorry to hear this. I don’t even know what else to say. Very heartbreaking.

    • I am so sorry to hear this.

    • I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you and your partner.

    • Sending you and your partner virtual hugs and support; so sorry you lost your beautiful daughter.

    • I am so very sorry to hear this, RabbitRabbitRabbit.

    • Emmaleigh504

      I’m sorry for you loss. hugs

    • I Dont Get It

      I’m so sorry to read of your loss.

    • I am truly sorry for your loss. A wonderful resource in the DC area is the Wendt Center for Loss and Healing.

  • hammers

    Rant/Rave: Read an article about the toxic relationship between a narcissist and an empath, and it really resonated with me and explained some of my recent friendship fails. I felt it described one of my relationships in very clear terms. Unfortunately I see this person every day.
    Rant: Today I am going to ….gasp…. call my mother. I have so much fear and stress and anxiety about this. I’m going to try to see how she would feel if I just didn’t come home for Christmas this year, and tried to come a different weekend in January. The past 6/7 years of Christmas for me have been so miserable and painful going home, that I’d like to avoid it if at all possible. But none of my mother’s children (of which I am the third of four) have ever missed a Christmas with her (and some are in their forties). For a number of emotional and logistical reasons, I just don’t want to go. But I also know she wouldn’t tell me how she felt, she would just treat me like I’ve ruined her life for a few years, hence the sniffing around to see if it’s even feasible. Bah Humbug.

    • You already know how she’ll react. You just need to weigh the pros and cons. People like this depend on nobody ever sticking up for themselves and defying them. If you decide that it is better for you not to go for Christmas, just tell her you’re not coming and that you’re coming in January. I don’t do family holidays anymore. And, yes, there was a LOT of drama for the first few years, but then it just was and it was OK. People who cause drama often ramp it up the first time they don’t get their way to try to get you back in line, but once something becomes the new norm, and you stick to your guns about not discussing it it typically stops (Mine was “Mom, I don’t like large groups of people, I’m not discussing this. Mom; “but..” Me: “Mom, I’m not discussing this, want some coffee?” walks away to get coffee). But if they see that you’re still open to the manipulation, they’ll still try to manipulate you.

      • Accountering

        This all sounds spot on. She is going to throw a fit, and guilt trip you big time. I agree, if it is better for you not to go, then you shouldn’t go. Don’t try and discuss it with her, because it isn’t going to go well at all.

    • Mind sharing the article if it was online?

    • I think you should do whatever your heart of hearts think you should do, and stick with it. But, from a different perspective, my brother and sister-in-law decided not to travel for xmas this year and it has been extremely hurtful for my parents. (They used to alternate years with my family.) Anyways, one thing to consider is going this year but making it clear that this is your last year, and that will give the family one last time to be together for the holidays and celebrate, and some time for your mother to adjust to the idea of you not coming next year.
      However, I have absolutely no idea the dynamic in your family so please disregard if it’s a toxic relationship. My larger point is that sometimes you do do things you don’t really want to do for the people you love – within certain limits – and this issue in my family is likely very different (my parents are beyond loving, supportive, generous, and respectful; they’ve accepted their decision and are not manipulative or punitive).

    • I hope this conversation goes well for you! Remember, approach it as letting her know how things are, versus asking for permission. If you ask for permission, from what you describe, she will most certainly want things her way. Where as if you say “hey, mom, just letting you know, we’re doing xyz for Christmas this year instead. We’re looking forward to seeing you in January!” it will give you more control over the conversation.
      I, of course, have gotten used to “ruining” my mother’s life, lol. It was hard at first, but I definitely feel better about myself for having set the boundaries and stuck to them. She still tries the emotional blackmail crap, but it doesn’t really go anywhere anymore.

      • hammers

        Thank you. My mind is not made up yet, I think if she needs this one, I’ll give it to her. But I hope I can sway her opinion. I think in years to come, I will say I am not coming home.

        • Ah, I understand now. In this case, perhaps it’s best to just go and then say something in person about coming in January next year? This way at least you can say you “discussed” it with her?

      • Hope the conversation goes well Hammers! Agree with anonamon re letting her know your plan vs asking how she would feel (which opens the door for guilting, drama, etc)
        You’re planning to stay home (in your home) for Christmas and visit her later (if that’s your decision)

  • Rave: Finished my last graduate school paper last night ten minutes before the deadline!
    Rave: Only have two weeks left of school and then we go on our honeymoon!
    Rant: Redskins lost last night.
    Rant: Husband doesn’t always understand how time consuming grad school is and often acts like I am choosing to write a paper when that is not the case at all!
    Rave: I love him anyway. He is wonderful.
    Rant: I can’t wait to be done with school and finally receive an “adult” paycheck.

  • Sad Rant: I had a missed miscarriage last Monday and outpatient surgery last Friday to resolve it. I never knew how much I wanted something until it was gone. Days are still tough, nights are tougher. And since we were going to tell everyone we were expecting at Christmas, it’s hard to get in the holiday spirit. This would’ve been our first.

    Rave: My spouse. He has taken incredible care of me even though he’s grieving too. And my workplace has been amazing and given me lots of flexibility as I recover. I’m so thankful for the amazing people in my life.

    Question: I have decided to reinstate date night in hopes it will help us move on and to have something to look forward to. This Wednesday I’ve decided on a “trim the tree” night where we get hot cocoa, pick out an ornament, go get a tree at Eastern Market and then decorate at home. I would love other ideas, especially as we head into colder (??) weather.

    • oh no, I’m so sorry for your loss. It’s great that you have help and flexibility – sending you hugs during this difficult time.
      ice skating?
      there are tons of good movies out.
      cooking class?
      one of those drinking and making art classes?

    • Oh no, so sorry to hear this.

      • Per your comment below, an idea for date night might be to do Blue Apron for a week! You can cook together as a way to bond, and you’ll get three meals for the price of what you would spend on one out! Plus it gets sent right to your door. If you want a promo code, let Dan know and I’ll email you one. I think it’s for $20 off.

    • Accountering

      Well, today officially sucks πŸ™ Keeping you in my thoughts, and good to see your spouse and you taking care of each other. Date night sounds like a good idea if you can manage it.

    • How difficult of a loss – I’m sorry! Hope you and your husband feel loved and taken care of as you go through all of this. What a great thing to reinstate date night – how about checking out some late night museum events? The Phillips Collection is great, I love the Building Museum, etc.

    • Prince Of Petworth

      So much sadness today – very sorry for your loss. Glad to hear your spouse has been there for you. Love the idea of reinstating date night! I agree with J – ice skating at the Portrait Gallery (or the other spots in Georgetown and Navy Yard) could be great. I also like the idea of randomly picking a neighborhood and going to a restaurant where you’ve both never been before. My thoughts are with you today.

    • Awww, I am so sorry. I’m glad that you guys are taking such good care of each other.

    • Just wanted to send big hugs to you and tell you that I love your attitude. Although I don’t know how feasible it is for you, the best thing we did after my miscarriage was to get a puppy. We had never considered getting one before that, but the addition of a snuggly little guy to our household brought so much unexpected joy at that really hard time and still does.

      • It’s almost like you know me! A puppy would definitely help a lot but unfortunately my apartment doesn’t allow dogs. I hope the next time we move we’ll be allowed to get a loveable rescue dog.

    • Oh no. I am very, very sorry!

    • So sorry for your loss, and I hope you get yourself a free pass if you don’t feel the “holiday cheer” this year.

      Some ideas for winter date nights: drinks in front of the fire at Tabard Inn; a weekend snow shoeing or cross-country skiing in West Virginia; be a tourist in DC (go up the Washington Memorial, visit some of the museums you haven’t seen since you were a kid); Millienium Stage at the Kennedy Center, ice skating in the Sculpture Garden; dinner at Cafe Mozart (I crave heavy German food and beer during the winter months); take a cooking class together.

    • Also, thank you and Rabbitx3 for sharing with the community. SO many people forget how hard it is to get to a healthy end point when TTC/pregnant. It’s still a very dangerous and delicate time, even though in the US we treat it as a disability. It’s brave to share, and if more people did it, perhaps we would have more awareness for how (unfortunately) common it is.
      I am heartbroken for both families. Lots of love.

      • +1,000. Really well said.

      • Thank you, this is so true.

      • topscallop

        Is there anything you would recommend that friends can do to help in these types of situations? My friend just had a miscarriage last week and I’ve tried to be there for her to listen, or tell funny stories about my own stuff to take her mind off it, but is there more I could do? She and her husband have really struggled to get pregnant and now this happened. It is heartbreaking.

        • That’s a good question and dependent on your friend. A couple people got me flowers which made me feel better, though unsure how it would make others feel. We don’t have a car so we’ve been eating not the greatest food from corner markets for a few days now since we haven’t been able to go grocery shopping–maybe ask if you can leave a home cooked meal? Or pick up some groceries if she’s still recovering? When she’s up to it, maybe get some pampering or go out for a wine tasting? I’m going out with friends tonight myself, trying to get back into a routine. I would just try to play it day to day with her and see how she feels. Just being supportive is immensely helpful.

        • I think just letting your friend know you care and are there to listen is a good start. I think a lot of times when people have miscarriages, no one talks about it or acknowleges the loss. Even just doing that for your friend is a huge start. And then follow her lead: “I’m happy to listen if you want to share how you’re doing but we can also talk about something else if being distracted is better for you.”

          • yes people sweep them under the rug, which is why so many women (and men) have no idea how common they are, and it’s brave to be out about it in a way that it helps other women who have or will go through it know they aren’t alone. So important.

        • A few close people in my life had miscarriages last year. As a woman with no kids of my own, I also struggled with how to help them. I also just tried being there when they needed me. I went over and helped with chores. Hung out and watched bad TV. Listened when they wanted to talk. Babysat their other kid. Checking in on the phone. I tried not to be too intrusive, or say things like “I know it’s hard.” Because I don’t understand what they’re going through. It sounds like you’re doing it right. Keep doing what you’re doing. You’re a good friend.

        • Just be there. If you’re concerned about mental health, pull together some resources (blogs, facebook pages, care providers). It’s new for your friends, so they probably want to grieve together alone. I’m sure everyone handles it differently. You could also make a donation of some sort if they have a favorite charity if you’re comfortable with that.
          validate their grief, don’t make a comment like “at least you know you can get pregnant now”. offer to run an errand. And just keep being there.

          • +1. Also avoid saying stuff like, “you WILL have a baby, I just know it.” “It was meant to be” I know peoples hearts are in the right place when they say this but it actually hurts.

        • Not specifically miscarriage, but my friend said that when she lost a child shortly after birth, most people acted as if he had never existed. To her, that was incredibly painful. She’d held him and loved him and wanted him. He was her son, and people just wanted to wipe him off of her history. They wanted her to move on as if it had never happened. Apparently I’m still the only friend who talks about him with her.

          But a lot will be guided by the parents. What do they need. Maybe even ask – do you want to talk about it, do you want to sit here and watch stupid movies, can I bring you food or clean your house? Don’t ask what can I do, they’re too overwhelmed to know. Given them specific options, then let them guide you. And this will be true just after it happens, but also at the next holiday (and likely many holidays after), the anniversary of when it happens, a random Tuesday. Grief doesn’t have a timeline. Let the parents know that its OK to have their own time to grieve, even it is a random day 3 years from now when it just hits them.

          • Yes! Grief has no time limits – it may get easier to bear as time goes on, but we carry grief with us for life.

            Also agree on the giving specific options. With a friend who was grieving for a sibling, I invited her to some exercise classes at my gym on a guest pass – physical activity can be good. Obviously someone who just miscarried may need time to physically recover, but inviting her (and her partner) to activities you are going to, or offering specific things like “can I bring over some groceries and cook you dinner” are easier to accept than “can I do anything?”

    • janie4

      I am so sorry for your loss.

    • I’m so sorry for your loss.
      I think your date night is an excellent idea. Lights on the Christmas tree are always so magical and calming, I think it will be nice. Turn on a Pandora Christmas station and enjoy decorating as much as or as little as you want.

    • I am now crying about people I have never met. Sad day on PoP. I am so sorry for your loss.

      Date ideas: As J mentioned ice skating is fun. What about a show? If you have a car and feel like making the drive you could do Miracle of Lights.

    • I am so sorry. Very glad to hear you have support and flexibility. Hoping you continue to do whatever you need to do to care for yourself and your partner, whether that’s getting back to “normal,” or allowing yourself to grieve.

    • hammers

      I am so sorry for your loss. I hope your child’s memory can bring strength to you and your spouse.

    • So sorry about your loss.
      Date night sounds like a great idea – how about taking a fun class together (improv, tango, drawing). Or (and) a volunteer event (one brick dc has listings)

    • Emmaleigh504

      I’m sorry for your loss.

    • I am sorry for your loss too. The date night idea is a great one. It’s important for you guys to maintain yourselves and your marriage.

      The Woodrow Wilson house has game nights on the first Wednesday of the month that are supposed to be fun. That might be good for the cold months. And we’re fortunate to live in an area with so many free museums. You could take turns picking out one exhibit to see, pop in and check it out, then go to a nearby bar/restaurant for dinner & drinks.

    • Oh man, I’ve been there. I’m so sorry for your loss. Date nights sound great. But also take the time you need for self-care. I have a tendency to blow through things & try to get back to “normal” as quickly as possible and probably returned to work too quickly. Sending love and hugs your way.

    • I’m sorry for your loss. And I agree with ke: “The date night idea is a great one. It’s important for you guys to maintain yourselves and your marriage.”

    • Quotia Zelda

      I”m so sorry.

  • Rant – I have no idea what to get the kids in my life for Christmas. I bought them a few books but found out they had them already. I was going to buy an arts and craft thing, but turns out they don’t like painting or coloring. I asked my four year old nephew what he wanted, and he said all he wanted was a puppy. Sigh. I’m going to become that weird aunt that they only see once a year that gives them Christmas presents completely unrelated to their interests. Or gives them clothes.
    Rave – Made my own yogurt granola cup today instead of buying the $4 one from Pret.

    • Accountering

      The accountant in me says get them savings bonds! They will appreciate it way more when they are heading off to college, and have cash they actually need, instead of junk now they don’t need!

      • ….or this. But I personally think if you never see them, a card and a toy at this young age is a good reminder. It’s even nice to be worried they won’t like it or won’t know you – it’s a far cry from my kid’s aunts!

        • my uncle did this for my sis (his godchild) and now for our younger cousins he’s switched to buying them stocks or putting money in a 529. My sister was super grateful for the bonds, even if they didnt appreciate much. You could also put the money in CDs or the other financial options. Any kid with money savvy later in life will be grateful for this vs other non-personal gifts. Its you investing in their futures. Also, this can be a way (when theyre a bit older) that you can engage them. You can be financial advice relative, the one who really imparts lessons that help shape their lives.

          End PSA on personal finance πŸ˜‰

      • Lol. I actually now wish that someone had gotten me savings bonds for Christmas when I was younger πŸ™

      • I’m going to disagree with this, as someone who got a lot of savings bonds as childhood gifts. My parents held on to them for me until a few years ago, and when I cashed them in I was a bit disappointed and surprised by how little the total amounted to, given inflation. Although I certainly appreciated the money, it didn’t seem like the gratification was really worth the long delay, all considered.

        • I know someone gave me savings bond, but I have NO IDEA where they are, and neither do my parents! Yikes

        • Shawess, where did you cash your savings bonds in? I tried taking some of mine to my credit union, and they told me to go to the Federal Reserve (IIRC). The bonds are still sitting in my bedroom.

          • I went to the PNC Bank on Dupont Circle. The whole process was really fast and simple. I had an account there and this was probably five years ago, so YMMV.

          • I cashed mine at BoA, it only took a few minutes.
            If you haven’t done this yet, you can look at the current and future pay out amounts by using the savings bond calculator on the treasury’s website.
            And don’t forget that these are fairly heavily taxed. I cashed mine out for my home purchase and because I closed so late in the year, I only paid one week of my mortgage that year. My taxes hurt because I didn’t have much interest paid to offset the bond.
            But, like Accountering said, they are great gifts. My grandmother gave me mine and they made grad school and a first home possible for me. It’s nice to think about my grandmother when I think about my house.

          • Thanks, Jeslett. Do you have an account at BoA?
            (I don’t have any accounts at actual banks, only at credit unions.)

      • I am also gifting 529 plan money! Look up their state plan, if it has good offering, low fees, yes. There is a morningstar review and medalists too.

    • what are their ages? I’m going to shill for my friend’s business, but I know kids LOVE the product – Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty. It’s like amazing silly putty that all ages (including adults!) love it. Legos. Squigs are fun. There are great deals on tablets like the kids kindle or other droids via QVC (my parents got my son one, they were like 2 for $110 so if he breaks one…) Hope that helps!
      don’t get clothes unless you know their sizes.

      • They range from 2 – 5 years old. My goddaughter (5) is easy to buy for, she goes crazy for anything princess related. But I can’t think of something to buy for the nephews (2, 4, and 5 years).

        • Aside from the stock idea, I would recommend Magnatiles, a marble run, and lego’s are always a big hit. Magnatiles are on the expensive side, but I can honestly say that they are the most played with “toy” in the entire house. Marble runs have been a huge hit in our house and when given as gifts. You can pick a marble run up at Target for like, $30, or get a more advanced/special one online or at a STEM-specific toy shop (as an aside, won’t someone PLEASE open one of these types of toy stores in DC?!?!)

      • J – did they get him the Kid’s Kindle? I ask because Amazon will replace those for free, no questions asked if damaged. The youngest two got them last year, and I love them.

    • the kids got Disney stock from a great uncle last year and actually really loved it. He’s buying an additional share for each birthday and Christmas now, and the kids love being able to say they own part of Disney.

      • Accountering

        YES! THIS IS AWESOME! DO THIS! You will do the same as my idea from above, but they will see a way better financial return as well. I may co-op this idea when I have nieces/nephews!

      • I love this idea, thank you! Especially for the older kids.

        • Accountering

          No, even better for younger kids! Compounding compounding compounding! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

          • Accountering

            Hehe, I will keep the accounting part of my brain in the office for the rest of the day πŸ™‚

          • Ha, good point! πŸ™‚

          • hammers

            haha Accountering, I could have used an uncle like you growing up!

          • We get statements every month or quarter and the kids have already done quite well. I think it’s also kinda fun because of how much money we spend on Disney/Disney subsidiary type stuff. So when I always say “damn, I shoulda bought stock in xyz” it’s actually true for them for Disney! Also, he set their accounts up and does everything so I don’t have to do anything, which is a major plus for me.

    • How old are they? I got my nephew a book where the story is about a boy that lost his name – and then it goes through and finds each letter of his name as the main character. He’s either going to love it, or totally not get it. For smaller kids, I like the Sarah and Abraham sets of plastic plate/bowl. You can customize them to look like the kid (kind of) and they’re a fun keepsake. If they are bigger, maybe movie tickets or mini-golf or something they like to do?

      • yes the customized book is also great

      • The kids ids range from 2 – 5 years. I’ve seen that book! Not sure what age range it’s aimed for though. The younger kids are easier to buy for, since they’re still young and everything is new and fun. But the older kids, they have opinions! And likes and dislikes that seem to change overnight! One day my nephew loves trains and has everything trains, then a week later he hates trains and now everything has to be cars. I can’t keep up!

        • I bought the book for my 5 year old niece and I think it will be perfect. It’s all written in a rhyme and easy-to-understand words.

    • I like to send a magazine subscription, so they get something fun every month. I do Nat Geo Kids for my 4 year old niece. If they’re into animals at all they’ll like it. And it’s cheap so it can be a fun part to something else, just make sure to buy and wrap one for Christmas day.
      I second the stock/bond idea. Disney or some technology that they’ll grow up using would be cool.

      • Other options include Ranger Rick & one of the versions of Highlights–they make those for multiple age groups now.

    • I’m a big fan of giving experiences instead of stuff. Doing something special with you when you visit can make them feel closer to you, give you things to talk about on the phone between visits, etc. I had an aunt I only saw once per year (if that) and I have such great memories of going to plays with her every time I visited, as I got older I would tell her about plays I saw on my own, etc. She would take each of us to do different things (e.g. she took my brother to some sort of sporting event), and it was fun to have an adult’s undivided attention for a couple of hours and to feel like we were off on an adventure together. As I got older we might include lunch before a matinee and make more of a day of it. And it doesn’t have to be fancy, an uncle always took us out for pizza when we visited (just the kids, not my parents) and that was also something I really looked forward to. Yours might be a little young still, but something to think about.

    • I always just trusted the best selling toys on Amazon in your price range. Stomp Rockets were a big hit several times. Or once I sent a cheap disco ball machine because one of the boys was obsessed with it at a party they’d gone to and loved dance parties. Definitely nothing that makes noise if you like the parents.

  • So very sorry for your loss. Very heartfelt thoughts for you and your partner.

  • Rave: Got a new bed rail installed on my bed yesterday since the original wood one that came with the bed broke a few months ago. No more dealing with concrete blocks and no more sleeping on the floor like I did right after I moved.
    Rant: my mother wants me to come home for Christmas and I don’t want to go until after New Years.
    Rave: Saw a job in Atlanta that I qualify for that I am going to apply for. It’s less money but the cost of living is lower than it is here and it’s closer to home.
    Rant: Feeling sleepy at 10:24 am.

  • Quotia Zelda

    Rant: Slept badly last night, and today my neck and shoulders are killing me.
    Rant: Half of my office is sick, and I’m just waiting for my turn. I had better not be sick this weekend because
    Rave: The #fawncyparty is coming! Dress has been acquired, fawncy hairstyle has pilot tested, Jungle Red is ready to be deployed.

  • Rant: It’s going to be a tough day at work. I know that everyone makes mistakes, but getting yelled at about mine is still anxiety-provoking.
    Rave: Family members who do favors so that I can avoid a bit of inconvenience. This week is overloaded enough, so getting a break on this one thing was really nice.
    Rant:/Rave: I can’t get over how little of this year is left. We are so close to the holidays and there is so much left to do!

  • Rant: I feel like I have been dropping the ball at work lately. Nothing catastrophic, but I usually am more on top of my game than this.
    Rave: Lunch with a dear friend today.
    Rant/Rave: Early holiday gathering with my mom and sisters this weekend. Pretty sure there’s going to be family drama. On the upside, I’m going to stop by and see my dad beforehand (divorced parents). It will be nice to get some one on one time with him since Christmas Day visits are always kind of chaotic.

  • Rave/Rant: “China doll” far from Mamet at his best, but I’m not sure I’ve ever been impressed by a performance as I was by Pacino’s. Almost worth the price of admission.
    Rave: the guy trying to wedge past me to his seat — something of a production since I am tall and ungainly and had a topcoat and Christmas presents stashed under my seat — turned out to be Val Kilmer! *I’ve never had a movies star in my lap before.
    Rant: Apparently Val has serious throat problems (cancer 0–it is rumored) and he has the voice of an 90-year-old and a silk scarf around a trach tube or something.
    Rave: Found presents for the Girfriend (too expensive, but…) and the Daughter (dirt cheap, but cool). A good New York trip.

  • Rant: I can’t do anything right at worn, 60 hours a week isn’t enough, and my body is saying FU to me.

  • Rave: Weather station back up and on-line; now I can see at a glance the phase of the moon, UV index, dew point….and temperature inside and out
    Rant: My house elf has been active again – a favorite (of course) necklace has gone missing. I’ve already checked inside boots and pockets of things – favorite hiding places of my elf.

    Rave (mostly): Recent Humans of NY stories of refugees accepted for US resettlement, and the (generally) positive, supportive, uplifting comments. But it wouldn’t be the internet without ugly, hateful comments.
    Rave: Positive outweighs the negative

  • I’ll add to the depressing rants: My girlfriend had eye problems that make it very difficult for her to see. It’s seeming less and less likely that there’s a way to correct them. I feel so helpless every day when she breaks down in tears knowing that she’ll never be able to read or see details as well as everyone else.

  • Rave: Four out of six foster kittens have been adopted! Two more kittens ready to go, plus the most beautiful, sweetest cat Zena. Seriously, nicest cat I’ve ever met!

  • Rave: Any day I get to work with my team f2f is a good day
    Rave: Today is a good day
    Rant: None really, life is pretty good…finally seeming to come out of my ‘dark period’ (very hesitant to say depression)

  • Rant: It’s a sad day here it seems.
    Rave: but I always love that so many people are supportive and helpful to people they’ve never met. It makes me happy to be in such a lovely community.

  • Rant: I was having a pity party for myself because the adjustment here has been a lot harder than I thought it would be. So many issues and the job search has been really frustrating. Now I feel guilty after reading the heartbreaking posts from today.
    Rave: Remembering to be more thankful for what I have. It could be a lot worse.

  • ?: Is Krampus a DC thing or new this year or was I just oblivious to it in the past?
    Rant: I am so freaking bored at work!
    Rave: My hatred of my job has really been motivating me to keep writing. It’s unlikely that I’ll ever get to a point where I can support myself with my art, but at least it’s an outlet.

  • Rant: Sorry to hear all that people are struggling with here today.
    Rave: I slept through the night last night you guys. It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it’s the first time I haven’t gotten up to take pain medication and/or sit on a heating pad in at least a few months!
    Rant: It’s because I was up exceptionally late trying to forget that the Skins lost. Ugh
    Rant: This time of year is very hard for my best friend (the one who I reference above that lost her mom in December 5 years ago)…she’s struggling today.

  • Rant: overwhelmed by seasonal depression yesterday, even with the nice weather. Usually when I feel this way, I try to smile (even a fake smile) at strangers while walking home and that will usually make me feel better, but I couldn’t even bring myself to fake smile and ended up just scowling the entire way home.
    Rave: when I got home around 8:15, my roommate was still up and was willing to partake in my first ever viewing of Bridget Jones’ Diary. My mood took a complete 180 and I went to bed happy with the day. Amazing how some quality friend time can improve your attitude so much!
    Revel: I haven’t written on RR&R in awhile, and my life has completely changed since I did last. I took a new job (my dream job) and work downtown now, so can walk home. I went to Paris in November and loved it. Aaaand because POPville loves dating stories, I started seeing someone exclusively about a month ago.

  • Rave: I’m leaving for New Orleans soon!
    Rant: Brrr waking up to frost sucks
    Rave: One week until my birthday!
    Rant: this morning my kitten (13 weeks) poo’d in her litter box…but then peed on the dog bed.
    this is after she has peed on our bed, our bathmats (3 times) and a pair of sweatpants. Anyone have
    advice on how to handle this behavior!? It’s new as of this week…

  • Rant: Where has this month gone?! Trying to sort out childcare during winter break and having a slight panic attack over the whole thing.
    Rant: Cold Induced Brain Fog is not helping my problem solving skills.
    Rave: DPR Camps – seriously, they are a life saver for moms like me. Inexpensive and the kids love them. It’s unfortunate that they are only for a certain age range, but at least it covers the older two!

  • Rant: Performance review was yesterday – with old boss. Pointless and based entirely on one personality issue not actual performance – which was rated as excellent.
    Rave: Raises are so pitiful I don’t care that I didn’t get a slightly larger slice of the tiny pie.
    Rant: Forgot my coffee at home today…

  • Rant: Work stuff.
    Rant: I think I am losing my gardening mojo (or motivation or something). I’m having trouble remembering what bulbs I planted where and am just not feeling it anymore.
    Rant: I am becoming disenchanted with my azaleas. They’re supposed to be “evergreen,” but the foliage turns kind of purplish during the winter. I like the pretty flowers, but I’m thinking about giving them one last spring to bloom and then replacing them with some _truly_ evergreen shrubs like boxwoods.
    Rant: I haven’t yet decorated my Christmas tree.
    It appears that I need to find a Rave.

    • re your gardening rant, in the spring the bulbs will show you where they were planted πŸ™‚

      • Yep, that’s my plan. πŸ™‚ I figure I’ll wait until they come up, and then TAKE PHOTOGRAPHS so I know exactly where they are. (I have a reasonably good idea at the moment, but there are a few spots I’m not sure about.)

    • Additional rant: A cousin I thought I knew is now telling me that she “converted to Christianity” earlier this year. She and her sister weren’t raised in a particularly religious household — a sort of agnostic one, maybe even atheist — but there’s something about “converted to Christianity” (as opposed to “deepened my faith” or “started believing” or whatever) that is ringing alarm bells in my head. I guess I wasn’t aware that she considered herself actively NON-Christian before. Maybe time to talk to my aunt to find out if my cousin has gone off the deep end or something.

    • I Dont Get It

      Love boxwood!

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