It's hard to examine something critically that is so dear to so many people, but I will say that other than the awkward moments where people instantly looked at my left hand and got confused, not having an engagement ring (diamond or otherwise,) didn't matter much pre-wedding, and post wedding, it has only registered as relief that we didn't spend two months salary (which is like, $20, so it would not have been a mighty rock anyhow) on a ring.
In some ways I feel like the advice I'm about to give is right up there with cutting out lattes, but! I think if you grew up middle class and got an ok job, sometimes it literally does not occur to you that this is a possibility. Joel could get an extra job. I think forgiving himself is important and necessary, but he's like 3 weekend catering gigs or a couple of sleep studies away from cushion + round trip plane ticket.
A few months ago I started thinking that my husband and I should refinance our house, so I signed up for this stupid check your credit score site, and we all know how that goes: you forget to cancel, your card gets charged. I finally cancelled today, which took some repetition of "No, I need to cancel today." Also, I found out today that according the appraisal, our house fell about $20,000 in value from when we bought it two years ago, for about $125,000. We are just barely not underwater by these lights, because we put down a 20% down payment, but the mortgage company views us as having roughly 1% equity at this time. This is a financial overshare only tangentially related to the 1thing concept, but if not here, where? And I did do my 1thing of cancelling the dumb service I should never have signed up for anyway.
If the chef were your friend coming to do you a favor, a nice bottle of wine would be an appropriate thank you gift. Since they're a professional doing a professional service, cash is more appropriate, just because you can't in turn tip say, your utility company with a nice bottle of wine. Wine on top of cash? Excellent, awesome. But cash-no-wine is way better than wine-no-cash. It's not crazy to ask your friends to throw in on a tip, either.
@bgprincipessa Your non-Amtrak weekend Bmore to DC option is to catch the B-30 bus from BWI to the green line. It is time consuming and semi-complex, and also a closely guarded secret, but it exists.
On Open Thread
Can we talk about side gigs? Like, pet sitting, baby sitting, piece work, whatever it is you do to pick up extra cash, if you do that. I need some extra $$$, but most side gigs seem like they offer a poor return on the time invested.
On Open Thread
@limenotapple The temperature at my work is subject to bitter wars between a variety of factions who are not supposed to be touching it at all. The temperature at home is set to be no higher than 70 and no lower than 65, but actual temperature varies charmingly from room to room.
Guys, sometimes, when I have a break at my job, I sit on the dryer and read about the pain of PhDs. And I laaaaaugh! Jk. I don't laugh, don't want random PhD seekers to feel trauma, am not a monster, etc. But, ugh, this junk: [Getting a PhD] will grind you down,will come terrifyingly close to killing your soul and might well succeed. It will do horrible things to your mental and physical health and test to breaking point every significant relationship in your life. Not trying to be like OMG, get a job, but this quote above, it also describes effects I've felt on my life, health, relationships and soooooooul while being involved in various shitty jobs. And my life is actually not so bad. I don't work in the breaking rocks in the hot sun industry or something, so it's not a game of who's suffered the most. What i think though, is the rigors you put yourself through to get a PhD rob you of a certain amount of perspective on how crappy most jobs and most lives are.
I get smug/angry re flu shots, because I make a point of getting them in October. Herd immunity ain't no joke, but also, if I miss work, I don't get paid. It upsets me to hear people's weak excuses, though. One of my co-workers just finished chemo, and at least a couple clients are undeegoing chemo or are just older or sicker at any given time, and people still won't get it!
I need to go grocery shopping with my husband, because we're out of pasta and frozen veg, and when that happens, we tend to order in/go out way too much. I also need work lunchy stuff like yogurt, and we also need cat litter and cleaning supplies. I would like to get out for less than $100. Coffee and bagels on Sunday, about $17 including tip. Going to the hardware store with my mother in law on Sunday, and she's generously going to pay for a ceiling fan/light fixture to replace the one that crashed out of our ceiling onto the floor last year (I am super excited about this.) My weekends are actually Sundays and Mondays, so on Monday I estimate some vending machine treats that I don't actually need, and light rail fare. Let's say the weekend will be about $125 altogether.