LOL forever at the line "Those who really wanted to get in the spirit, ran out and bought the kinds of sweaters our mothers would wear around the holidays when we were kids." My mother had (yikes, maybe still has) a white sweatshirt with a christmas tree on it with battery operated lights. Even as a 5 year old, I knew it was ugly.
In my office we have an annual holiday potluck on a Saturday night at the home of whoever feels like hosting. It's byob and dates and kids are welcome and sometimes former employees come too. It is actually pretty fun, but we have an intense workplace, so we enjoy getting together and ranting.
Shoes from Payless - about $30, tights from Macy's - $11, dress from Old Navy - $17 (50% off!), cardigan from Old Navy - $20 (50% off!). This is my work uniform (I'm a public defender in a rural state and I only wear suits for trials) and it is pretty cheap and versatile. The most expensive items in my wardrobe are outerwear and accessories (I am a firm believer in wool winter coats, good quality boots, and bags BUT I only own two pairs of boots, one purse, and one coat per season, so they get a lot of mileage). I would love to wear pretty and expensive things, but they are not in my budget, so I wear pretty and inexpensive things).
We are driving 22 hours to my parents' house with 2 dogs because we do not want to spend the money for two plane tickets and a dog sitter (which would be somewhere in the realm of $1500, or one paycheck). The emotional/mental cost will be high, but the financial cost will be less than half, and at least we have a few hours worth of Serial for the trip!
My aunt and uncle are snowbirds who regularly use pods when they go back and forth in the spring and fall. They have had overwhelmingly good experiences. The last time I moved cross country I shipped about 20 boxes of books media mail through the post office, and that was fine.
Oh no, this made me think about what law school cost me (currently $175,000 in loans and slowly rising + all those bar expenses + the tuition I actually paid for out of pocket, probably $40,000? - I don't even want to think about why I spent/am still spending that much money on law school) vs. how much I have earned in 4 years as a public defender (still less than $175,000), and now I am sad. Oh well, at least there's income based repayment.
@lisaf That was the first thing I thought! At least on The Office they acknowledged that it was somewhat awkward and inappropriate, even if Pam decided to be okay with it in the end.
I went to a Montessori pre-school and loved it. I went into kindergarten knowing how to read and add and subtract, and already loving learning, which I believe is part of why elementary school was such a positive experience for me (let's not talk about middle school - a nightmare no matter what you do).
I feel like I could write a novel about all of the bad roommates I have had, but the finest of the bunch was an individual I will refer to as The Hippie. My junior year of college I lived in a four bedroom house with a friend from school, a grad student, and this divorced middle school music teacher in his mid-forties. He was The Hippie. He was absolutely filthy and he never had any money. He regularly left his dirty dishes on the front porch. He filled up the shared dvr with back episodes of Crossing Jordan. He would regularly eat my food. When confronted he would promise to replace the items when he got paid, but when he did get paid he would blow it all on weed and binge eating pringles and ice cream sundae pop tarts (the detritus of which would remain scattered around the living room until someone else picked it up for him), replacing my good bread and cheese with wonder bread and american cheese. He wore shorts and t-shirts all winter and would crank the thermostat up to 80 when we weren't looking (even though he was months behind on his share of the utilities). He almost got fired when he dyed his long gray hair hot pink, so then he dyed it and most of our shared bathroom black. He had so many speeding tickets that he lost his license, so he had to bike an hour to work. Then he fell off his bike and broke his collarbone - on that occasion he knocked on my door and woke me up in the middle of the night to ask if I would drive him to the emergency room. I said of course, let's go, and then he explained he didn't feel like going right then, but could I take him tomorrow around 11? (I could not.) I came home one day to find the house filled with smoke and a large clay fetus baking in the oven. Said fetus showed up a few weeks later in a massive sculpture that took over our entire living room for a few weeks. It was meant to be part of a pro-choice rally that he and his band members were staging. It just so happened that my very Catholic parents were visiting, and I discovered the sculpture when I brought them over to show them where I was living. I am pro choice too, but I had a hard time explaining, without warning, why there was a giant web in the living room that incorporated upside down crucifixes, mutilated statues of the Virgin Mary, and again, the clay fetus. I guess the lesson is, beware of middle aged men who are reduced to living with college students.
Who doesn't want to end up like the Golden Girls someday?