@HelloTheFuture Thanks for your comment Nicole. I hope this isn't intentional, but I feel like, on the editorial staff, you are particularly guilty of the overly apologetic tone/inadvertent shaming. In a recent post, you mentioned that you had been on a number of Caribbean cruises in the past few years, and then you got very apologetic about it. I don't remember the post so I can't go back and quote it, but I remember thinking: "WHY DOES SHE FEEL SO GUILTY ABOUT TAKING A VACATION AND USING HER HARD-EARNED MONEY TO ENJOY HERSELF?!?!" And then there was a tonal thing--which is backed by the turn the site has taken lately--that one should feel guilty taking lots of lavish vacations etc. etc. People shouldn't feel guilty about taking vacations if they can afford it -- yourself included -- and as Mike Dang has shown you can still go on vacations and have luxuries like going out to nice dinners while doing things like paying off student loans and other debt. Life doesn't just stop because you have debt. Don't apologize for treating yourself, Nicole, it makes us all feel somewhat guilty and judged by association. Own your joy. P.S.: Hope the musical went well, would love to see video footage if there is any.
@fletchasketch What fletchasketch said.
@beastlyburden YOU DID A MUCH BETTER JOB OF ARTICULATING WHAT I WANTED TO SAY. I should have let you say it for me. But this is basically the mess of what I barfed out above made simple and easy. THANK YOU.
@Ester Bloom Thanks for your apology, it is interesting to see I was not the only one who was upset about the post. Regarding the moral superiority/finger pointing...I just think that this site is going away from economics and finance and going toward being hyper-aware and hyper-politically correct and honestly, that isn't what it started out as and it isn't what I come here for. If I wanted that, I'd go to XOJane or Jezebel. I get it! The man is evil! Feminism is good! All types are welcome! But I don't need that exhausting super apologetic hyper-aware and PC and liberal (and I am a liberal too, I should note, and a lady who would like to be paid the same as the menfolk etc.) in every post. Sometimes I just want financial advice or stories without the moralizing or apologizing! Examples that I can remember below are: http://thebillfold.com/2014/10/job-of-the-day-holiday-dog-sitter/#more-61998 (I actually sent this post to a coworker--she and I had been talking about how we felt the Billfold had gone downhill earlier that day, and my coworker has actually contributed to this site--with the statement: "Nicole brings up the thin white people thing several times; it is great to be aware of that, but this is a commercial for a dog sitting site, and do we really have to get that pedantic? It is a little exhausting.") http://thebillfold.com/2014/10/walt-disney-worlds-new-fantasyland-less-about-rides-more-about-celebrity-encounters/ Something about this post really rubbed me wrong, and I actually wrote a long response but ended up not being able to post it because of some technical glitch and so I forgot about it. But, again, my takeaway was: THE MAN (Disney) IS EVIL AND IS RUINING EVERYTHING BECAUSE HE IS CAPITALIZING ON THE PRINCESS PHENOMENON. It just seemed to want to rain on kids' parades. And from above, I realize that most of this is from a blog post you wrote in the past, but: “What is the point of Thanksgiving? Is it a stuck-in-there holiday to make November more bearable and give us all a long weekend? Is it to juice the travel industry? To remind us all to feel vaguely guilty about Native Americans (although not so much that it puts us off our food)? Was it an early attempt by enviro-conscious, earnest, lefty, do-gooding, Farmer’s Market types to get us all to eat seasonally and — perhaps — locally? ... somebody you know and possibly love — not some line cook paid $8.50 an hour — has to scrape that cranberry sauce out of the can and into a bowl. Otherwise, so help me, it just doesn’t count.” Like...grrr, now I feel shitty that people are going to be working to feed me on Thanksgiving! But I shouldn't! Because that is part of being in the restaurant industry, if they aren't working Thanksgiving they will probably be working on Christmas or New Year's! And while many people don't choose to work in the restaurant industry, many people do, and they love what they do, and they know that working holidays is just part of the deal. There were other instances but those are the ones that leap into my head immediately and I can't peruse the archives right now...I just am feeling less comfortable and welcome here now, as a millennial who wants nice things and wants to enjoy nice things and doesn't want to apologize if those nice things maybe aren't free range or local or feel-good or whatever. I love the stories people tell about their financial histories and getting out of debt (or into debt). I love the tutorials on different retirement funds, and credit card points, and how the economy is changing. I don't need the subtext about how a CARTOON dog-sitting business commercial is evil because everyone in it is a skinny white person. I don't need constant apologizing for the fact that we are all privileged enough to work at jobs that enable us the time and ability to surf the Internet each day. I feel enough guilt about that privilege as is! Awareness raising is good, it really is! But I feel like things have crossed from awareness raising to "we are going to make you feel guilty about your life choices in a subtle and passive aggressive way." Sorry if none of that was particularly clear, I wasn't anticipating having to articulate my statement, but I'd be happy to e-mail if I find any other examples/think of anything else/see something in a future post? I really love this site and want to keep coming here, I think overall the editorial team and contributors do great work and this site's purpose is really great and necessary, but lately I have just been feeling kind of squicky when I come here.
@Jake Reinhardt Really put off by this post, and, as stated below, the moral superiority shown on this site as of late. I think it is pretty rude to those of us who have alternative Thanksgivings, either by choice or by circumstance.
@beastlyburden The moral superiority shown as of late on this website is really making me sad. I've been a Billfold reader and lover since the beginning, but lately things have taken on a tone that makes me uncomfortable. It isn't as fun or as educational of a site as it was at its inception.
Holy shit the tone of the Billfold has gotten so judgmental and morally superior lately, it really bums me out. Going out to eat for Thanksgiving is not cheating. Who cares how you do Thanksgiving?! It isn't about the food, it is about the people you spend it with, whether it is just you and your partner or 20 of your nearest and dearest second cousins. In fact, going out for Thanksgiving is what I will be doing this year with my parents, who my husband and I are traveling to see. My sister is joining us. And we will all be going not to anyone's house, but to a hotel on the beach in Miami, where we will have a relaxing long weekend and enjoy each other's company without having to worry about who is carving the turkey. Two years ago we went to my parents' house for Thanksgiving and we cooked for two days, and only served Thanksgiving for the five of us (me, husband, parents, and sister) because we have no family in town and our family friends were out of town, and it was a lot of work for like, 30 minutes of eating. My parents can cook but they don't really enjoy it. My sister can't cook and sulked all weekend for various reasons. My husband and I did a lot of the work because we can cook and mostly enjoy it. I ended up getting sick from poultry-related bacteria two weeks later, likely from handling the raw turkey and not washing under my fingernails well enough. It really wasn't fun at all, and afterwards my mom said: "Next time you come to us for Thanksgiving, we are going out." And my husband and I said "That sounds great." Thanksgiving growing up tended to be a small affair for my family because we lived far, far away from most of our relatives (Florida vs. Ohio), and what with things like speech and debate tournaments and college football games, it was just easier to stay home. So it was the 4 of us, maybe the 4 of us plus some family friends if they happened to be in town. Now that I am married we tend to trade off Thanksgivings, not really for family purposes (holidays are a lot easier when one of you doesn't celebrate Christmas, so we *always* go to his parents' house for Christmas, no fighting there), but mainly because traveling on Thanksgiving is a hassle. My husband's sister, who lives about 30 minutes from us, has been hosting Thanksgiving the past few years, and my husband's family comes into town for it, so we mostly stay put every other year because it is sometimes easier to not travel. Last year we stayed in town for Thanksgiving and ended up visiting my parents in Florida two weeks later (not during Christmas week! The week before Christmas is the cheapest week to travel!) for my Dad's 60th birthday, so it worked out. But even going to my sister-in-law's house was stressful, it pained me to see how stressed out she was, and then her oven broke, and I'm sorry, it wasn't really fun for her, nor was it fun for me because I got to act as a barrier (at my sister-in-law's request) against her mother and mother-in-law, who kept trying to meddle in the kitchen. So, yeah, Billfold, this is me calling you out on being really morally superior as of late, which makes me so sad because this used to be one of my favorite websites, and now I feel it is just a lot of people pointing fingers and judging. And frankly, saying that going out on Thanksgiving is cheating...it really struck a nerve, and I think it is unfair to point a finger and say "your Thanksgiving isn't real." Who cares what other people do?! Go slave over your stoves and enjoy your morally superior Thanksgiving with a bunch of relatives you don't really like. I am going to the damn beach. And guess what? My Thanksgiving will be just as real, and "meaningful" as yours, because I will spending it with people I love, period.
@HelloTheFuture It is very crowded yes. It has just gotten more crowded since then, particularly Saturday.
Nicole, you should come to Dragon Con in Atlanta; that is where the craziest cosplayers come out to play. I can't even fathom the amount of money that goes into some of what i see there. Much of it has electronic or mechanical or moving parts too. Just incredible. I don't sew so I commission my costumes, which of course costs $$$. And I have shelled out on expensive painted prescription contact lenses, which are so worth it if you are going for a supernatural or alien or otherworldly character.
I say no to free things all the time because so much of it is junk, and really, who needs more stuff nowadays. I never wear t-shirts except to the gym and to do chores, so free t-shirts hold zero allure for me. We don't really need more furniture right now (except maybe a king sized bed but I doubt I will find that lying around anywhere), but roadside furniture kind of skeeves me out anyways (bed bugs! germs!). I sure as hell don't need anymore books, free or not free. I am trying to embrace minimalism. The exception is food and beauty products; food doesn't require me to store it (typically) and beauty products will get used. Also, never take used cat furniture! It probably has the scent of whatever cat had it first on it, which will likely freak your cat out and cause spraying and clawing and other bad cat behavior. Also, it could have fleas or bed bugs, which will make you and your cat sick! I would never take a used cat tree period, that is a recipe for disaster.