On Everything You Need to Know About Diapers, Part 2

I'm feeling pretty guilty about my plan to use disposables, especially after reading about the Tucson garbage project (did you know that the two biggest categories of waste in landfills are paper and diapers?!). But laundry costs me $2 per load to wash, and $2 per load to dry, so doing that with cloth diapers is not even a choice I have the money to make. I'd have to buy a mini-washing machine to hook up to my kitchen sink and air dry all the diapers on a rack in my living room. I'm willing to be persuaded by someone who's actually made it work without free in-unit laundry, since I don't actively hate the environment, but without that, it seems like it could take over your life AND living space.

Posted on October 24, 2014 at 7:36 am 0

On My Day Interviewing For The Service Economy Startup From Hell

@WorkinHardBrother I can't speak to laptops at startups, but providing your own smartphone for ANY customer service phone position is definitely not standard, and it's exploitative. It makes your employees bear not only the cost of the device, but also the cost of taking 12 hours of phone calls, which is really unreasonable. Not all phone plans have unlimited amounts of minutes for every line, and if a company is going to require that, they need to pay for it, like every major corporate customer service division I've ever heard or worked at.

Posted on October 21, 2014 at 5:15 pm 2

On On Engagement Ultimatums

Um, I kind of gave an ultimatum and I'm not sorry at all, because I needed to know what we were doing for security, and I didn't force my husband into a decision he wasn't ready to make, I just said that the timeline really mattered. Basically, we thought very early on that we might want to get married, had talks about whether that was what we wanted, kids, careers, finances, etc., but agreed to wait a certain amount of time before making any official decisions to make sure we weren't rushing into anything. After that amount of time passed, we checked back in, and we both were like, "Yes, we should definitely get married, so we're clear to do that whenever now." But we didn't get officially engaged right away because my husband wanted to buy a ring and do an official proposal, and that took some time to set up like he wanted it. And then life stuff changed, i.e. I had to find a new place to live, and I freaked out a little because I'd never lived with a partner before and never wanted to do so before marriage, but if we were going to actually get engaged and married within the next year, I didn't want to sign a year lease on a separate place. (That is personal and I know most people wouldn't have an issue with living with a partner before marriage, but I felt very, very strongly about it.) Hence the ultimatum: I freaked out a bit and said, "If we move in together, you HAVE to propose to me before we do it, and if you're not going to do that, you have to tell me that NOW." The time pressure made it tough, and there actually was a reason he couldn't just do it any day, but of course I didn't know what it was so I was really worried and frustrated. So my ultimatum was not so much about whether we would get married, as about when, and how solidly I needed to know that. Anyway, it all actually did work out OK. And similarly, I have a friend who issued an ultimatum because her husband got a job in another state when they were dating, and she basically said, "If you want me to move with you, we need to get married so I know you're as committed to me as I am to you." They did, they've been happily married for years, and I think that was a totally appropriate time and circumstance for her to say "we need to make this decision now." My point is that sometimes other things in life don't happen on a nice "organic" timeline, and I think if you're adults and you want to have a life together, you have to be able to make decisions and adjust your ideals based on reality and other people's needs. If you can't make that decision and the other person needs you to, well, you need to think about why, and whether it's fair to them to make them wait.

Posted on October 21, 2014 at 2:52 pm 2

On On Engagement Ultimatums

@Allison My mom told me a similar story - they'd been dating for about 3 years, and one day my dad said, "We can't get married for at least X years because I have Y career goal that I want to hit first." My mom was like, "Um, since when are we getting married?" They did, but she found it pretty funny that he just assumed that was the next step and wanted to reassure her that it was going to happen sooner or later. (Similar in that it's "unromantic," and they also got engaged while eating popsicles.)

Posted on October 21, 2014 at 2:31 pm 1

On The Cost of Making My Own Sub Sandwich

@Cat Named Louise This must also be why a time-consuming homemade dinner always tastes better as leftovers - the first night, when it's fresh, it's like "Ok, this is a fine dinner, but damn, it took me over 2 hours, it should be AMAZING. What a disappointment." The next night, when I just throw it into the microwave for 5 minutes, it's like "I have good food I didn't even have to cook! This is AMAZING!" (My mom used to say the same thing growing up - that "food that appears by magic always tastes better," whether leftover or takeout - and I always thought that was ridiculous. Nope. True.)

Posted on October 19, 2014 at 1:24 pm 2

On Friday Estimate

Today I might buy myself some kind of fancy coffee drink ($4?), but I probably won't. Saturday I'm going to a good but expensive museum, which will cost $23 per person ($46). (Oh man, mini heart attack, no wonder I haven't been there in so many years!) Otherwise just groceries - I invited friends over to the new place for a casual dinner Sunday instead of going out, and between that and food for the week, we could spend up to/around $100. So $150? Ah, just got an email from the friends I was going to the museum with, saying, "admission is expensive, want to meet up and get lunch instead?" I'm torn between saying "sure if you think it's too much" and "I want to see the museum, if we buy lunch at some random place nearby we'll just be spending most of that money anyway!" Hmm....

Posted on October 17, 2014 at 10:38 am 0

On 1 Things in The Stream, That is What We Are

@Meaghan O'Connell Good to know! I should see whether there's someplace near us that does info sessions like that, it would be much nicer to go to something existing than try to set up individual appointments to meet people (esp. if the health insurance paperwork isn't ready yet).

Posted on October 16, 2014 at 7:52 pm 0

On 1 Things in The Stream, That is What We Are

I feel like I have done a lot of "one things" this week, but today I just don't have time for anything. I spent 3 hours at the doctor's for an appointment and a test this morning, so I am going to count that. The big one I have to do is find a pediatrician ASAP. I have no idea how to go about doing that, especially since it'll have to be someone covered by my husband's new policy in our new city, and since this is only his third day on the job, I don't even know if he's done any health insurance paperwork yet. Also, I think you're supposed to go interview a bunch of people in person, but I only spend one day a week in the new city at this point, and that's my only day to work on finishing my degree, so that's another reason I'm kind of dreading it.

Posted on October 16, 2014 at 3:57 pm 0

On How to Stay Married: Splurge on the Honeymoon, Not the Open Bar

@Jake Reinhardt I think the framing of this article as a "how to" is misleading, it's much more of a "here's a general profile" that likely has a lot more to do with demography, so it shouldn't be put out there as advice! For example, maybe average people who date for three years first stay married longer, but on average the age of first marriage is something like 26 or so. In my (anecdotal) experience, the older people get, the faster they're able to figure out what they want and whether they are getting it in a given relationship. In general, I would not question a 35 year old getting married a relatively short time after meeting someone the way I would for a 25 year old, although of course it also depends on the people and length of time involved. Also, I think 18 months is an awfully long time to wait to have a talk just to find out whether you have the same life goals, at least once you are a pretty settled adult! You can talk about whether you are on the same page in terms of wanting marriage and kids in life WAY before you decide whether to marry and have kids with *each other*. Maybe not first date material but those are deal breakers enough that they're definitely grounds-for-establishing-monogamous-relationship material.

Posted on October 16, 2014 at 3:47 pm 0

On How to Stay Married: Splurge on the Honeymoon, Not the Open Bar

@Erica haha right, or anyone whose cultural approach to weddings is "it's not all about you, it's about your FAMILY!"

Posted on October 16, 2014 at 3:39 pm 0