1) what do we owe our friends and family in exchange for an unprompted, generous expression of goodwill; and 2) how important are engagement rings to a proposal, anyway?
Lionel Shriver writes for the Guardian about how the years she spent getting rejected were, in retrospect, really happy. It's an interesting meditation on what happiness IS really, anyway, and a good reminder to enjoy the PROCESS, the challenges you're facing, the various purposes you have in your life right now, instead of focusing on specific achievements. After all, an achievement is exciting for a day or so, and then what?
At 37, I frequently find myself talking with people about whether they should have kids. This is an understandable dilemma, with the sands running out of the biological hourglass and all that, and the key issue always seems to be, "Will I regret not having kids?" or, "Will I not love having kids as much as I thought and thus, regret having them?" (Here’s a letter to Dear Sugar that lays out the general script.)
When do you ask your friends or family to help you move rather than hire movers? Only when you're in early-to-mid twenties? And/or only when you're seriously broke, or you seriously don't care if something gets broken?
All of which is to say, don’t quit your day job, or if you do, don’t join a 20-person brass band.
Dear Meghan and her Dad, Hope you're both well. I'm a 26-year-old woman with an MA in art history. Before graduating in May of 2013 I had a job lined up, and it sounded like a dream job at the time. So for the last year I've been working as a researcher at the art museum in my home city, part-time, no benefits, doing what I care about despite its relative unimportance in the big picture. I had a second (retail) job for several months to make ends meet, and then two months in my boyfriend moved in and I quit the other job, because the two of us combined made enough money, and also because the retail job was exactly what you'd expect it to be like.
"Couples who make more than $125,000 a year (combined) cut their divorce risk in half." So, yeah. You don't have to be wealthy for San Francisco, just wealthy for Arkansas.
As workplaces get more casual overall, not just with regard to clothing, fewer and fewer things are codified, and more is left up to judgment. Just because there are no rules doesn't mean there aren't (wildly varying and complicated) expectations, and often unspoken consequences. It's nice to be treated like a human and not be condescended to in that way, but people aren't born knowing some of this shit, either.