On The Ethics of Only Selling Clothes for the Very Thin

@bgprincipessa I remember it too! In all its rayon and polyester glory. And according to Google it is curiously still around: http://www.579.com/.

Posted on October 20, 2014 at 2:20 pm 0

On Love and Nostagia for the Cheaper Stuff

Don't you ever feel like your tastebuds have changed too much to enjoy certain things, though? I remember being so excited when I saw one of those Entemann's Louisiana Crunch cakes in the grocery store a few years back. It was one of my absolute favorite desserts as a kid. And then I took it home, poured myself a huge glass of milk, and proceeded to dive into what ended up tasting like the inside of a tin can. Or maybe I'm giving myself too much credit. They probably just changed their recipe.

Posted on October 16, 2014 at 9:20 am 0

On "Shortsighted, Cheap, and Unethical: Cash Only."

@annev17: There are more examples of cash-only operations than corner stores. The Gothamist article mentioned lots of restaurants (including Peter Luger's, albeit awhile back). My restaurant example was intentional and logical, because a restaurant that is cash only is probably not paying fair wages or providing health care benefits. So, yeah, it would be weird to cut a restaurant slack for trying to avoid credit card fees but then judge people who don't tip when they eat at those same places. My point is, both are wrong. The same applies to a corner store. I'm just guessing here, but my sense is that they are not cutting corners to offer their employees the best possible wages they can afford, or their customers the best possible produce they can afford. They're probably getting away with paying the minimum in every scenario to eke out as much of a healthy bottom line for themselves as possible. That's not horrible in itself, but it's also not a cause to rally around either.

Posted on October 13, 2014 at 10:53 am 1

On "Shortsighted, Cheap, and Unethical: Cash Only."

@annev17 Doesn't that mean, though, that those business actually cannot afford to be in business? If they can't cover the costs associated with certain operations, they either need to make the necessary adjustments (higher prices, etc) or get out of that particular game. It's weird how much sympathy we can summon for corporations. Excuse me: small businesses. It's such a trope in our culture/media, to humanize businesses by calling them small and summoning mom & pop operations in our minds' eyes. Rather than, you know, the much more expansive definition that the Small Business Administration uses. In contrast, we're pretty hard line when it comes to actual people. Can't afford to tip? Eat at home, you cheap bastard! (I agree with this, btw.) Also, we would probably say to the customer who is like "I actually prefer cards because I can't afford getting hit by ATM fees at the bodega on top of the ones my bank charges me," that they, too, probably can't afford to eat out. Why do we reserve so much sympathy for one, but so much judgement for the other?

Posted on October 13, 2014 at 10:21 am 2

On It Don’t Mean a Thing If You Don’t Do 1 Thing

@Meaghano Too funny. And, yeah, I have definitely been in the middle of similar situations. Sometimes it's not only better in the long run to just say "thanks" and let things happen, but also a kind of gift.

Posted on October 9, 2014 at 2:21 pm 0

On It Don’t Mean a Thing If You Don’t Do 1 Thing

Don't put your banking info in an email, Jesus Christ. And maybe by avoiding going that route (WHICH IS CRAZY ANYWAY) you can get your fiance on your side. Because you can explain that it's actually pretty mean to deny a grandmother an opportunity to spoil her grandchild. People do it the world over, and it hurts to get rebuffed, regardless of how good you think your reasons are. Then he can call his mother, thank her for her generosity, and give her the banking info over the phone.

Posted on October 9, 2014 at 1:28 pm 1

On 'The Toast is a Business That Makes Money'

Anyway, as I think more about this, it seems to me that the topic of women writers starting writing-related businesses would be a good one for the Billfold to tackle. Beyond the Toast is Emily Books (because even though Emily Gould gets attention Emily Books does not), as well as the Crunk Feminist Collective and hoodfeminism.com. The latter two are especially interesting in light of the fact that other than Roxane Gay, the mainstream media is even less interested in black women writers.

Posted on October 2, 2014 at 5:03 pm 0

On 'The Toast is a Business That Makes Money'

I agree that she's brilliant. I also think that by not getting attention she sheds light on what it takes for a woman to get attention in this media landscape. She's not just a woman (which means that no one is ever going to think of her as a young genius a la Ezra Klein and his ilk), but she's a woman who doesn't seem all that interested in confessional writing. That's the kind of woman writer the mainstream is best equipped to deal with. She's weird and quirky and yeah, the Dorothy Parker comparison is really apt. But she's not a memoirist talking about sex with boys, womp womp. And beyond the fact that she's a woman who doesn't mine her personal life for content, she's a woman who went into business with another woman. So not only are they not financially backed by a man (and I know they work with a man), but they're not backed by a patron, either. In other words they don't have the imprimatur of a mainstream publication that could confer traditional legitimacy and draw mainstream attention. Basically, all the things that make Mallory and Nicole amazing are all the things that make people go "meh." And that says a lot about our culture.

Posted on October 2, 2014 at 4:22 pm 6

On The True Value of Taking The Greyhound To Spring Break

I've always wanted someone to do an analysis of the different "bus cultures" in this country. Like, the fact that Greyhound takes cash (at the counter), while Megabus and Bolt operate pretty-much exclusively online, means that they draw from pretty different customer bases. Which makes for widely divergent experiences. It's fascinating to me.

Posted on October 2, 2014 at 1:38 pm 0

On Who's Taking Care of Your Baby?

Does your partner get asked the same questions when he leaves the house? I mean, of course he wasn't pregnant, but I have a feeling that the people who know he's a dad now probably don't ask him as much about his childcare arrangement, if they ask at all. And I can't help but wonder if the "must be nice" remarks are as much about having an active co-parent as they are about you both freelancing. Not that having or being an active co-parent (and by that I mean father, to be more to the point) is worthy of a gold star. But it seems that a lot of the questions all stem - indirectly or directly - from the idea that the mother is the primary caregiver. And that having an involved father is somehow a bonus feature that one should not exploit too much. Anyway, I agree with what others have said: I have really been enjoying your writing lately, Meaghan. I was initially resistant to the changes around here, and while I still miss Logan very much I really like your style, and in general this recent return to the personal in the Billfold's approach to personal finance.

Posted on October 1, 2014 at 4:38 pm 4