‘I don’t…’

by Grocery Bags

Whoopi Goldberg: I don’t eat vegetables.
Joy Behar: You don’t eat vegetables?!?!
Whoopi Goldberg: I drink V-8.
Joy Behar: But V-8 has so much sodium!
Whoopi Goldberg: I drink the low sodium kind.

Marshawn Lynch: I’m just here so I don’t get fined.

Bill Clinton: I did not inhale.

Grocery Bags: I don’t like onions. I don’t like rosemary. I don’t wear skirts. I don’t do everything my yoga teacher tells me to do. I have a Twitter account, but I don’t tweet.

Totebaggers, what are your “I don’ts…”?


272 thoughts on “‘I don’t…’

  1. I don’t like jackets: sort coats, suit coats, rain coats, windbreakers, ski jackets, even ponchos, I hate having to wear any of them.

  2. You forgot the real Bill Clinton: “I did not have sexual relations with that woman”

    I don’t:
    – like the use of the word “not” or it’s use in a contraction. Practically everything, except for commands/imperatives shouted for safety, can be effectively expressed in English in the positive (“don’t forget to practice safe sex”=”remember to practice safe sex”)
    – low my kids on twitter…the person who shares my bed does, so I get all the updates without having to check my phone
    – feel much like adding new vegetable experiences to my life (kale, Brussels sprouts)
    – really want to give up beer or ice cream
    – find it difficult at all to have a meatless diet. Now avoiding cheese and eggs on the other hand…
    – post anything to my facebook account

  3. I don’t ….

    Eat – eggplant, beef or pork, any cuisine that is still at kinda primitive level (big part of Europe comes to mind. Lumps of meat, boiled vegetables, and no spices! Yuck)

    Drink – whiskey or most of the hard liquor

    Wear – 5 inch heels, all grey or all black clothes.

    I can think of a few more don’ts.

  4. I don’t wear belts or button-down shirts or hose, or heels except on occasions. I don’t eat boiled vegetables (had enough of those growing up!) or soy products or ‘regular’ yogurts, or anything mixing peanut butter with anything except jelly, or anything mixing chocolate and fruit. I don’t drink whiskey or cheap beer. (Interestingly, I never liked beer until I tried it again after #1 was born.) And I won’t drive a minivan. ;)

  5. Interesting topic.

    I don’t do housework. My mother once said, “Life is too short to do housework unless you really love it.” God bless that woman. I don’t love it, so I don’t do it.

    I don’t believe it’s snowing as I type this … &^%$#@

  6. Ris – it snowed here for a long time yesterday.

    L – no pb and chocolate or honey or fluff?

    Milo – really? Never?

  7. I don’t water-ski or snow-ski anymore. It hurts too much.

    I don’t want to get a tattoo or jump out of an airplane. (Activities that seem to be popular with the mid-life crisis set lately.)

    I don’t drink red wine except at tastings. Corollary: I don’t apologize for only liking white wine.

  8. I don’t

    – like chocolate
    – wear heels
    – gamble, absolutely never
    – eat foods that my mother prepared badly and I was forced to gag down, no matter how delicious when prepared correctly
    – drink beer in my old age, sigh
    – wear socks from April to Nov, xcept with hiking shoes

  9. I don’t say no to any adventures I am physically capable of doing. Also plan on improving the physical part so I can say yes to more adventures.

  10. +1 to Milo, but I make exceptions for Red Sox, figure skating, and gymnastics occasionally. :)

    NO PB and chocolate – honey and fluff I won’t even speak of. It is of the devil.

  11. Inquiring minds want to know . . .

    Why no camouflage?

    Rhett, is it because you don’t feel the cold or because you just don’t like to wear layers of extra stuff? I know someone who grew up in upstate NY and only wears his suit jacket about 90% of the time even in the dead of winter. He claims he’s never cold.

    Why no TV sports? Made me think of one of my don’ts: I don’t watch parades on TV even though I love parades.

    I don’t wear heels higher than about 2″ as I did when I was younger. It’s too painful these days.

  12. Rhett, is it because you don’t feel the cold or because you just don’t like to wear layers of extra stuff?


  13. Ha! Everyone keeps posting things I agree with but didn’t think to mention. Meme, I am with you on gambling. I am also that person who silently judges you if you sponsor a March Madness tournament IN A FREAKING LAW FIRM (ahem).

  14. We also had the camo ban!! It just seems too adult for my taste to dress a small kid in it

  15. I don’t like cars, running for its own sake, or doormats that are over 1″ tall.

    I don’t want to clean the fridge.

    I don’t mind cleaning bathrooms.

    I don’t do housework.

  16. I don’t
    eat tomatoes
    drink drink white wine or whiskey
    wear heels, nylons or socks between April and November
    engage in husband bashing at bunco

    DH also would not let our children wear camoflauge

  17. Have I shared my fluff story? When I was kid eating fluff off a spoon was VERY popular in my neighborhood. Well, one time, an older kid dared me to eat a whole spoonful in one go. “Sure”, I thought, “what’s the big deal?”. It was Crisco. I was the kid that ate a giant heaping spoonful of Crisco.

    Pretty sure I haven’t had fluff since.

  18. I don’t

    -Like snow (which is why I don’t live in Vt anymore)
    -Wear high heels
    -Drink hard alcohol -but it’s only because I never acquired a taste for it. I always thought it would be cool to order a scotch on the rocks but I just can’t stand the taste.

  19. I don’t eat overcooked meat or raspberry vinaigrette dressing.
    I don’t wear hose or heels.
    I don’t do yoga
    I don’t do spas or massages
    I don’t read mysteries
    I never saw Breaking Bad and I really don’t want to.
    I don’t play video games
    I don’t drink milk
    I don’t ski

  20. Rhett, I don’t like arguing over whether owning something with a screen is the same as owning a TV.

    I don’t have common media viewing habits.

  21. Rhett,
    Yes, no stainles-steel-only Chardonnay for me. I prefer the buttery, vanilla, caramel flavors, but I’ll drink the fruity ones too, and anything white depending on my mood. Sometimes I just like a crisp pinot grigio, or something cheap & sweet on a hot summer day. I appreciate red wines, but I just can’t drink them without getting a headache.

  22. CoC – re: camouflage – I don’t like the idea of kids dressing up in military gear. They are already inundated with enough fighting/bashing and other “manly” things. I think kids should be kids.

    Parades – Yuck. I don’t like parades. To be honest, its probably the crowds I don’t like, the standing around and the marching band type music. Hard to have a parade without any of those things.

  23. anothertwinmom – because DH plays bagpipes, I have endured endless St Patricks and fire parades. At some point, the kids rebelled which then gave me an excuse to also not attend

  24. I don’t like the stuff ATM just mentioned to CoC.

    I don’t have an article published on a topic I got a grant for. It involved going to a parade, and interviewing parade participants. My kid freaked out at the noise & I couldn’t do it. He has since learned to watch parades the way we did growing up–on TV at Thanksgiving and New Years, with my mom, while my dad recounts the time he & 3 friends modified a VW bug to drive from Madison to the Rose Bowl. Idk if they went to the parade or not, but it must’ve been a long drive home.

  25. I don’t wear high heels or uncomfortable clothing.

    I don’t like cold weather or white wine.

    I don’t drink more than 2 drinks in an evening, as I don’t like how I feel the next day if I drink too much.

  26. Another one – I don’t like or listen to country music. The “O Brother, Where Art Thou” soundtrack is as close as I get.

  27. L, I was just listening to Buck Owens the other day and realizing how GOOD that stuff was. The supposed country music of today doesn’t even sound like country music, OTOH

  28. SWVA, why no hiking? It’s such a low key activity and you get to be out in the nature. It’s my favorite.

  29. “Corollary: I don’t apologize for only liking white wine.”

    I don’t apologize for liking milk chocolate. Not that I don’t like dark, but milk is good, too.

    Fred – Watching sports has just never been interesting to me. It’s not like I know the people playing, or whether a win or a loss affects my life in any way. I just can’t make myself care.

  30. I don’t wear skinny jeans. I don’t straighten my hair. Which gives you an indication of how old I am, because it seems like all the young women around here wear skinny jeans and straighten their hair.

    I don’t drink alcohol at all. Not because of any religious or moral issues, but simply because my body can’t handle it, even in trace amounts. Which is really unfortunate, because there are plenty of times when I come to the end of the day and think to myself, man, I could REALLY use a drink right now.

  31. Dell, What Murphy said. I could probably also say I don’t camp, although I’m willing to do one night. Plus I have foot problems and it just hurts to be on my feet for a long time. Uneven terrain makes it worse.

  32. Milo, I like milk chocolate too, and white chocolate. Target has these Easter/spring white chocolate M&Ms and white chocolate-peppermint M&Ms at Christmas time. My favorite!

  33. Oh here’s another. I don’t like going to art museums. I think painting as an art form became totally useless with the invention of the daugerrotype.

  34. L and Mooshi — There used to be a radio show every Sunday morning on the Boston-area country station called “Sunday Morning Country Oldies.” It was awesome. I listened to it all the time. I agree with Mooshi that those old country songs were great. Unfortunately, the station cancelled the show a few months ago — apparently they thought their target demographic didn’t want to hear any old songs, ever. I still miss it.

  35. Hiking = rolling terrian, fresh air, blue sky, trees, flowers, birds chirping, soothing, serene, …..what’s not to like?

  36. Dell,

    Hiking, first of all it’s outside.

    Also, I don’t camp. There are very few things I find less appealing than camping.

  37. Milo-I have a camouflage for you…what is the deal with the Navy having camo outfits? I see the Naval ROTC people walking around VMI in their blue camo and not only does it look really stupid but also totally impractical. What is the point of trying to look like the ocean?

  38. I think painting as an art form became totally useless with the invention of the daugerrotype.

    That’s why they moved toward impressionism:

  39. I don’t:
    – eat okra or eggplant, but just about any other veg is fine is prepared competently.
    – eat strawberries, but others – raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and cloudberries are all OK
    – eat animal organs or other non-flesh parts (bone marrow, chicken feet, etc.)
    – run (walk, slight jog for a short time, but no run)
    – ride most rides at amusement parks – if they are OK for a 2 year old they might be OK for me.
    – do anything with heights when I am not completely enclosed in something large – air plane OK, tall building OK inside, ferris wheel – NOT OK
    – have a home with a pool and don’t want one unless it comes with a pool employee to takes care of it 100% of the time.
    – tweet or instagram or snapchat, but I do facebook.
    – go on long (greater than 4 hours without spending the night) road trips, but will fly or take trains for longer.
    – sleep directly on the ground any more – can barely walk the next day
    – drink more than 1 alcoholic drink in any sort of professional setting, more than 2 if not at home, and never more than 3.
    – know how to drive a standard vehicle

  40. I don’t like plays or live music. I especially loath live music while I’m trying to eat.

  41. “what is the deal with the Navy having camo outfits?”

    The Navy is kind of bitter because it’s been sidelined for the past 15 years. They figure that maybe if they wear camoflague, people will think they’re every bit as relevant as the Army and Marine Corps in the War on Terror. It’s bureacratic posturing.

  42. I don’t like coffee.
    I don’t iron.
    I don’t want a tattoo.
    I don’t get overly excited about cars.
    I don’t wear high heels after I pulled calf muscle that was so painful I almost lost the contents of my stomach.

    I must have missed the memo on camouflage. When my kids were younger, I let them wear it and I liked that it camouflaged all the stains that didn’t come out in the wash.

  43. I don’t wear makeup.
    I don’t dye my hair.
    I don’t wear uncomfortable clothes or shoes.

  44. Oh, and big one..

    I don’t buy or use anything that was previously used by someone else. I have made exception for a car and a couple of toys for the kid. That stuff has cooties!

    I wouldn’t even buy used to ever, bu the environmentalist in me makes me feel guilty about all that new plastic.

  45. Plus one on camping. I refuse to sleep outside on the ground. I don’t ski either.

    A lot of the don’ts from my working days have evaporated, such as I don’t travel anywhere from Jan to mid March unless I can get home within a day on a train. Now that the only consequence of being stranded away from home because of bad weather is that I have to call the cat sitter and ask her to extend, and even that is optional for a short delay, Hakuna matata.

  46. I don’t Facebook.
    I don’t ever omit the Oxford comma
    I don’t eat seafood, except for tuna in a can, or anything with “essence of vegetable.”
    I don’t wear heels about 1-2″, and no skinny heels
    I don’t have pierced ears, and I don’t generally bother with manicures
    I don’t fret about my kids having an Oreo.
    I don’t have a lot of patience. Especially with intentional stupidity and assholes.
    I don’t have a lot of brain cells left to deal with change for change’s sake, like the most recent software update that makes me relearn how to add a page number for absolutely no apparent reason whatsoever. See “patience,” above.
    I don’t apologize (as much) for being who I am, though I do try to acknowledge where I could use some help or improvement.

    And I don’t “don’t” so much any more. I spent a lot of my life defining myself by what I was not and did not like/appreciate/do and feeling powerful through negatives. I’ve discovered lately that you get a lot more power, happiness, opportunity, you-name-it, by trying to reframe as much as possible in the positive.

  47. Milo,

    I love the Air Force “informal” uniform of blue polo shirt and khakis. As an enemy, it’s in a way even more menacing thinking of them as drone pilots in some cube farm in Colorado.

  48. Milo,

    On the other hand, I love the idea of cursing around the country in an RV. This idea has not been met with a great deal of domestic support.

  49. Milo, I can’t believe that the military spent ten million designing different camo patterns. And then military leaders complain that they need more money to keep us safe! What a joke.

  50. “Air Force “informal”

    Redundant. There’s something about drone killing from an office cubicle that’s just so difficult to get your mind around. You can drop your kid off at preschool, go into the office, get a cup of coffee, sit down at your terminal, fly your drone, kill 60 people, grab some pizza with your coworkers…

    ” I love the idea of CURSING around the country in an RV”

    And possibly a Freudian slip. I kind of like the idea, too, but it would have to be a nice one.

  51. “I love the idea of cursing around the country in an RV. This idea has not been met with a great deal of domestic support.”

    My DH has the same bad idea.

  52. I don’t like cilantro (it tastes like soap)
    I don’t like red wine
    I don’t wear heels over 2″
    I don’t wear dresses in the winter
    I don’t like the beach (pretty to look at, but I hate being there)
    I don’t like boating (you will never find me on a boat on Lake Minnetonka. Out on the water all day long just sitting there…shudder)

  53. Rhett, I too am a monster. I do not like beaches any more than I like ski slopes. On a beach, I just burn. Even when slathered in sunblock.

  54. Haha Rhett. I get so bored at the beach. Not to mention the sand. It is everywhere, and then reapplying sunscreen on sandy skin. ugh. Plus, keep in mind I’m from the North and of Northern European descent. My skin was not meant for sitting in the sun. Now, that being said, I had a grand time for the two hours I spent on Castaway Cay. That sand was like a pillow and the beach was uncrowded. But after two hours I was done.

  55. Haha Rhett. I get so bored at the beach.

    Bring a book – a nice spy novel or a bodice ripper.

  56. “I don’t drink coffee.”

    I don’t drink hot coffee. Iced coffee, maybe once a week, like if we’re picking up doughnuts.

  57. I don’t like the wind messing with my pages when I’m trying to read. I’d much rather hop in a Lazy River, at Legoland or anywhere.

  58. Murphy – Scroll through the images. You can’t get onboard with that?


    I get carsick, and so I need to drive. I also am fairly incompetent about hauling a trailer or backing up big vehicles. A family RV trip would involve me driving forward until we hit the Atlantic ocean while the rest of the family sits in the back,eating snacks and playing cards. Just don’t see the fun aspect for me.

    Beaches are great, especially when the ocean is warm enough to snorkel. Best of all is a condo with a pool and hot tub next to the beach. Can snorkel/play in the waves until we get tired, play in the pool, then melt in the hot tub and then slowly ooze back to the the condo.

  59. “like the use of the word “not” or it’s use in a contraction.”

    Is this an example of irony?

  60. I don’t like the wind messing with my pages when I’m trying to read.

    This is exactly what the Kindle was made for.

    There are few things I enjoy more than reading on the beach – in a lounge chair, under an umbrella, wearing a flowy linen cover-up and floppy hat, preferably with a waiter bringing me water, snacks, and umbrella drinks.

  61. “On a beach, I just burn. Even when slathered in sunblock.”

    What if you stay in the shade, and enjoy the ocean breeze, the views, and the sound of the waves?

  62. “I don’t like jackets: sort coats, suit coats, rain coats, windbreakers, ski jackets, even ponchos, I hate having to wear any of them.”

    What do you do in cold weather (or overly air conditioned spaces)? Wear a sweater or sweatshirt?

  63. What do you do in cold weather (or overly air conditioned spaces)?

    I’m almost never cold. I only bring a jacket in case of some sort of emergency, car breaks down, etc.

  64. With this winter how could I forget:
    – I don’t like cold weather.

    I also don’t:
    – get to excited about cars
    – like cilantro
    – like pesto
    – like salmon, except smoked

    In posting today, I realized I typically think more about what I do like, than what I don’t. For example when I read Lemon’s post about cilantro, my first thought was its OK in some salsas and in ceviche, but other than that, uh, no thank you. Then, yes, in general, I don’t like it.

  65. SWVA, if it’s not a particularly warm day, I’ll sit on the sand or a chair waiting to warm up enough to get in the water, or maybe take a walk to pass the time with a little less boredom until I’m ready to get in. During our time in Florida, I have come to realize that these non-activities are what many people go to the beach for. I just don’t get it.

  66. Finn, thinking about it, I do like the kinds of oceanscapes you see in Washington State, or Iceland, or Scotland. I guess those technically aren’t beaches though.

  67. “I have come to realize that these non-activities are what many people go to the beach for. I just don’t get it.”

    “I don’t like the beach (pretty to look at, but I hate being there)
    I don’t like boating (you will never find me on a boat on Lake Minnetonka. Out on the water all day long just sitting there…shudder)”

    S&M, Lemon – But those are just examples of relaxing and socializing (“fellowshipping,” if you’re a Duggar-type). You got to sit somewhere. Sit, recline, drink, eat, talk, eat some more, and sit some more. This is just what people do, even though they might say that they’re boating or sailing or camping or picnicking or tailgating or watching NASCAR from the infield or watching steeplechase.

    So maybe the question is, where do you prefer to do your sitting?

  68. I don’t foresee WCE getting away from those kind of jokes any time soon, and I don’t think she’ll like the next round–things kids somehow see as related to sex–much better.

    I don’t mind if people are different from me, as long as they aren’t causing harm.

    I don’t like it when people try to rationalize away difference “well, you say you don’t do x, but you do w, which is nearly x, so really, you pretty much do x”.

    I don’t see why people can be so offended when other don’t share their religion, politics, eating habits, fashion likes, or similar.

  69. Milo – a screen porch that overlooks the water, next to a fireplace in a ski chalet, at a great restaurant.

  70. Milo ~ around a fire pit, with a glass of wine, and maybe a child to provide roasted marshmellows, in a hot tub, around a table with good food and people I haven’t seen in a while

  71. Lemon,

    On your last day of sitting on the beach did you have a beach umbrella? That really is the key to being out there for any length of time.

  72. I couldn’t really think of anything until camping came up – I don’t camp, ever. Love a condo on the beach with a pool and lounge chairs though. I also don’t drive big trucks so no RVing for me.

  73. ATM: I have taken 2 cruises–one Disney and one Carnival. Carnival was OK, but the Disney one was amazing. Here are my tips: 1) Take Dramamine. Younger DS got seasick when water was rough one day, even on such a large boat. 2) Tips are included, so don’t worry about them, except when ordering drinks at the bar and when you are going on excursions. Make sure to bring small bills for tips. 3) Make sure to get some adult time, as well as family time. This was no problem for us, as our kids abandoned us to hang out in their respective kids’ clubs.

    Now, I want to go on another cruise!

  74. Mooshi, you should check out Oregon beaches. They are even more beautiful than Washington beaches and since you need a dry suit/wet suit to go in the water, you’re well-protected from the sun.

  75. What’s so great about Disney cruises? (I don’t like cruising, but have only been on a Norwegian ship.)

  76. I don’t
    -drink beer
    -enjoy the opera, theater, or orchestra (to the horror of my very musical family)
    -drink milk
    -get massages, spa treatments, or manicures
    -like 99% of movies
    -wear make up
    -get car sick

  77. Rio, you’re the only person I know who is like me and doesn’t “like 99% of movies”. What’s wrong with us?

  78. Rio, you’re the only person I know who is like me and doesn’t “like 99% of movies”. What’s wrong with us?

    we have good taste..

  79. I was at the beach last month on Sanibel. Beach chairs and an umbrella. I just found it annoying. Too many people, too much sand everywhere. When we went to Hawaii I loved it. Spent very little time on the beach, and instead did hikes and drove around exploring the sites, and enjoyed the awesome resort pools. But, even with the pools, it was spend an hour, then get out and go do something. I guess i’m not good at sitting around outside.

  80. I also just do not like sand. And I burn. But I love the beach — the views, the sound of the waves, the smells. Perfect = lovely balcony directly over the beach, comfy chair, book, shade/gentle breeze, refreshing beverage.

    I also cannot abide shiny brass.

    Cannot drink coffee or most American or French wines.

    Ditto sleeping on the ground. Camping/hiking is fine, as long as I can return at the end of the day to a climate-controlled environment with a comfy bed, a shower, and (preferably) another refreshing beverage.

  81. Milo, I do my sitting in a chair or on the ground. But I think what you really me a is where do info my talking.
    If I’m sailing, I want to lean way out while I hold the mast, or be on the tiller, or go way up front and lean into the wind. I’ll talk to you about the sail later, over dinner or beside a fire after we’ve showered up.
    If I’m at the racetrack with you, I want to be figuring out my bets, watching the ponies run, or collecting my winnings. People-watching at the tracks can be fun. If you want to talk about those things, great, and I don’t mind taking turns going to the window. But if you’re chattering about things unrelated to the tracks, my trips away from our seats will take longer and longer.
    Even if I’m doing something less intrinsically pleasurable, like dishes or laundry or cleaning a bathroom, I’d prefer to focus on what I’m doing and talk to you later. I don’t have the common habit of watching a tv show or movie every night. Plenty of time to read or talk.
    What is it that needs to be talked about anyway? As much as I admire your networking skills, and am trying to improve at that, I don’t have a need for talk for its own sake. On the contrary, too much of it gives me a headache. I am an introvert and have a need for quiet to “reset” myself. Even being with someone I like can be happily filled by “parallel play”.
    That said, I’m not a hermit. If I’ve met someone new and want to get to know them, I can talk for hours and will ask all kinds of questions. My friend and I certainly caught up on things while he was here last week, in between all the clothes shopping. But when we entered a store, conversation stopped and we went looking for the dress shirts.

  82. If this were “express things positively day” instead of “I don’t” then I would’ve summed all that up by saying I like to be in the moment.

  83. Houston – I forgot to mention the best part about the cruise: It’s just DH and me!! The kids will be with my MIL. Thanks – tipping and whether to bring Dramamine – the two things I was unsure of the most.

    Finn – the Disney parade was the best one I’ve ever attend (and keep in mind I’m in NYC) but the leaving. Ugh. So crowded with over tired, over sugared kids.

  84. I don’t wear heels over 2″ or so, and if an event involves dancing I really don’t want anything higher than kitten heels.

    I don’t drink milk by itself (I do drink it in latte or cappuccino or eggnog, but I have to take extra acidophilus after).

    I don’t like to spend more than a couple of weeks at a time in the cold and dark of a northern winter.

    I don’t drive standard because I’ve never learned.

  85. And like the others, good food and a cozy fire are a great way to get me to talk.

    CoC/Murphy/Rio, I’m not a movie watcher either.

  86. Camping is a workaholic vacation. You need to replicate civilization from things you packed into your car. This eliminates the chance of boredom or real comfort. I do not understand the beach but end up going every year.

  87. even with the pools, it was spend an hour, then get out and go do something

    Even pools!?! Resort pools even!?!?!? You truly are history’s greatest monster.

  88. I wouldn’t describe myself this way spontaneously, but reading along I’d agree with a lot of you.

    I don’t wear heels (over 1-2″)
    I don’t do camo
    I don’t sleep in tents– I love to hike, and camping seems to help with that, but I prefer a bed, a bathroom, and a shower at the end of the day.
    I don’t iron
    I don’t do nylons
    I don’t ski
    I don’t wear skinny jeans
    I don’t drink milk
    I don’t winter. At least not well! (This is one I’ve actually said and used.)

    I love reading on the beach, but so far I don’t enjoy trips to the beach with little kids. When they can help w/ the sunblock, not kick sand at one another, swim decently, not require constant supervision, etc., it might be fun again. Of course, I also love a good screened in porch, a fire pit, a hot tub, and a million other places to sit and read, chat, and get fresh air.

  89. “What is it that needs to be talked about anyway?” says one of the most prolific posters here. I would think you’re a talker IRL.

  90. My most relaxing times on vacations: At a beach house – early morning, with coffee, out on the dock, looking at the water, reading a book, enjoying the birdsong and peacefulness. Switch the location to a balcony at hotel on a Greek Island, red wine in hand, looking at the sunset and watching a sailboat slowly cross the horizon, book in lap, forgotten. Ah, bliss.

  91. “You need to replicate civilization from things you packed into your car.”

    That’s kind of true of tailgating, too. We’re in the middle of a city, restaurants all around us, and we’re setting up chairs and folding tables and covering the table and geting out plates and plasticware, heating the chili over a propane stove…

    I think we’re just at the inevitable point in the progression of economic productivity where much of our recreation is going to be a form of make-work. It’s the same for anyone who’s knitting or rolling out pie crust.

  92. I agree with A parent’s analysis, so I don’t really see the point in camping somewhere you can drive to (which is not to say I haven’t done it on occasion). But camping because you’re doing a several day backpacking trip to get to somewhere you just couldn’t get to otherwise, that I can see. Haven’t done it for years and years, but I’m not wholly averse to doing it again. Although by preference I’d probably still rather do one of those expeditions that involve outfitters taking care of the scut work and organization.

  93. “I don’t enjoy trips to the beach with little kids”
    Ugh, when my kids were little we were members of a beach club. I couldn’t even enjoy happy hour until the kids were a bit older. Some mothers thrived on the beach/pool lifestyle, but not me.

  94. Best beach vacation every – this summer, on the Belgian seacoast. We stayed in a bungalow park, in a cute Euro-modern bungalow on a little swampy pond. The bungalow park had a Great Wolf style pool under a giant glass dome. There were also bikes to rent and lots of kid activities as well as a bar and a restaurant and a supermarket. Each day, we rode our bikes through the beautiful country side to several interesting medieval towns, did our culture and ate frites. Then back along the seacoast, happy in the knowledge that the beach was somewhere “over there” beyond the dunes. Upon arrival home, we would race to the giant indoor waterpark, play for a couple of hours, and then let the kids ride around on bikes while DH and I sipped fancy Belgian beer in the bar

  95. WCE – you might appreciate these jokes. (Answers posted separately. I’ll give you some chances to guess.)

    What do you call a cow with no legs?

    What do you call a pig in the oven?

  96. Ha! I thought I was the only one. I’m always trying to surreptitiously read a book or a blog or something while we watch and it drives DH crazy. Worse is that he likes to see the same movies time after time. I am so burnt out on Marvel!

    Love the beach. But not just sitting there. I have to be boogie boarding or walking the beach all day.

  97. Where do I like to sit and relax and catch up with people? Camping!! Sitting at the picnic table noshing on snacks, or around the fire drinking beer and roasting marshmallows.

  98. MM, your Belgian place sounds like some of the KOA campgrounds (most have cabins, not just tent sites).

  99. But CoC, isn’t that what the site is for? And you set us up with lovely topics to talk about every day!
    At parties and social events IRL, I tend to be tongue-tied, but 1:1 or with just a few people, conversations are easy.

  100. I think A Parent’s description of camping explains why men frequently like it more than women. If you have the same jobs as at home, just more difficult, then it’s a pita. If you can mostly kick back, have a drink & a weenie, play with the fire a bit, then it’s “ahhhhh”.

  101. I don’t eat cold cheese (melted is fine — someone mentioned a kid recently with the same issue, which reassured me because I was pretty sure I was the only one in the universe).

    I don’t use reusable containers for my kids’ lunch.
    I don’t make my kids wear clothes that match (but I wish they did spontaneously).
    I don’t want to hear about that time you went to the ER (except for you, totebaggers, I am all ears).
    I don’t change my sheets or towels anywhere near the median frequency that other people claim to.
    I don’t need to make my Au Pair work all the hours that she does (right now might be a good example of time I could spend with my children). I don’t usually feel very guilty about this.

  102. I don’t:
    -eat most seafood
    -follow food trends (still have not tried quinoa or millet)
    -use artificial sweeteners (day 6, not sure it’s going to stick yet)
    -tell (or enjoy) vulgar jokes
    -like confrontation
    -like loud or crowded places
    -have any interest in anything mechanical, racing, fishing or motor-related

  103. I really like tent camping – Definitely need a good air mattress or cot these days. We do set up with things that make our life easier, but not a ton of stuff. We usually camp near a lake, so there is swimming involved, short to medium hikes, and eating food that just tastes better made outside. Most of the state parks also have flush toilets and at least warm if not hot showers. Then there is going “to camp” where you are in cabins though not always climate controlled and someone else is providing the food and activities. This is fun too, but I always laugh when people call this “camping”.

  104. No, no, nothing like a KOA. KOA’s are fun, yes, but they do not have Euro modern bungalows with IKEA style furniture and a complete kitchen. They don’t have a supermarket or restaurant on premises, and no fancy beer. They are much smaller and more oriented to people in RVs. On the other hand, they do have those fun antique firetruck rides around the campground.

  105. I don’t change my sheets or towels anywhere near the median frequency that other people claim to.

    Oh, yeah, I don’t do that either. Even though I do housekeeping. Just not enough housekeeping, I guess. But I’m training up assistants. They’re all checked out on running the washer now, even if they don’t do it as often as one might wish.

  106. I don’t know, saac. I think that with camping, the men typically are very involved in the work, from the primitive version of setting up the tent and chopping firewood all the way to leveling the motorhome and hooking up the utilities, it’s generally the men you see doing that stuff.

  107. The one we’re going to in the course of our summer trip has a small grocery/convenience store and snack bar on premises and our cabin has a kitchen. They have both the minimalist cabins that are just bare bunks in a cabin, and the “deluxe” cabins with furniture, linens provided, full kitchen. You still get a grill and a fire ring.

  108. MBT, fishing is one of the worst substitutions for activity ever! Especially the kind where you drop a line in the water and wait. Catch and release makes it even more pointless.

    A question: if you hate confrontation, does that mean you hate to have it out in the open, or that you hate to leave it there unresolved.

    For me it is absolutely the latter. If you’re mad at me, I want to know why & figure out what can be done about it. If I’m upset with you, the best way I know of to get rid of it is the same. Feeling it by venting to someone else or furiously doing some activity to bury it won’t really get rid of it; it will stay where it is & we’ll have to go around it forever.

  109. Milo, don’t you and your wife set up the tent together? Those family-size tents are a 2 person job for us.

  110. Milo, sure guys usually do that stuff, but from what I’ve seen & heard, it’s women who figure out what food to bring ahead of time, package it in animal-resistant plastic, stir it up on a rickety table, and often do the dishes under the spigot later, as well as spiffing up the tent, keeping the sleeping bags in order, all that stuff & it gets tiring. I’m not talking about you, btw, because you do more cooking at home than traditional gender roles predict and you take the kids camping on your own. But I’ve certainly heard SAHM with husbands complain about how much work camping is.

  111. I swear I’m no monster! I just don’t like to sit around on the beach or poolside. :) It is clear that I will never run into Rhett while he is vacationing.

  112. Lemon, come for a walk and then play in the waves with Rio & me! She might let you have a few turns on her boogie board.

  113. “They have both the minimalist cabins that are just bare bunks in a cabin, and the “deluxe” cabins with furniture, linens provided, full kitchen. You still get a grill and a fire ring.”

    Are you staying at a KOA? I think I’ve stayed in the cabin (i.e. trailer) that you’ll get. It was for DW’s cousin’s wedding weekend, and BIL and I figured this would be more fun than the Hampton Inn. BIL and then-fiance stayed in a tiny cabin next door; FIL got the Hampton Inn but came to visit just the same. Saturday afternoon before the wedding, DW and I had a nice campfire and long conversation with FIL and BIL (mainly about BIL’s new job) and SIL-to-be took the kids to the jumping pillow for a while.

    The wedding was in the evening, and when we got back to the cabin, all our chairs had been moved and there was an RV parked right in our yard. I thought “the nerve of those people!” and I had a mind to knock on their door and tell them to pack up and move. But it was late, so I didn’t bother. The next morning I realized that they were exactly where they were supposed to be; we had taken over an entire second campsite for our fire, and the ring we were supposed to use was in a tiny sliver of grass in front of our deck. And the couple in the RV were super nice, too, traveling the country, on their way up to Assateague…

  114. “I don’t use reusable containers for my kids’ lunch”.

    Us either. The kids have lost countless lunch boxes/cloth bags so now we resort to paper bags (which always seem to break) or plastic grocery bags, or whatever other similarly sized plastic bags we have on hand (bread bags, apple bags, etc.).

  115. Milo, I need you to come lose as my brother or something & chat up the Jewish downstairs neighbors. They can apparently hear somebody jumping overhead.

  116. I am considering spending the night an aircraft carrier with the family as part of our eastern trip this summer.

  117. “They can apparently hear somebody jumping overhead.”

    Tell them don’t share walls if you don’t want to share walls. The only complaint I ever had about living in an apartment was when our downstairs neighbors would smoke on their balconies and it would come through our HVAC intake.

    see the difference?

    Most of the RV campgrounds that I’ve seen are all a bit of late-50’s or 1960s nostalgia, but in middle-class American style, not the upper-class Mad Men style. Same thing with the Yogi Bear parks. Even when they have a modern pool with the mushroom fountain, and a splash zone with the overflowing buckets, they still retain the 1960’s pool that’s adjacent to the rustic clubhouse and snack bar.

  118. “Knock Knock”

    “Who is there?”


    “To who?”

    [Angrily] No, to WHOM!

  119. Milo, the last downstairs neighbor moved out after a month. I’m not sure how many more we can go through before the rental office tires of the churn. Otoh, they do get to keep the deposit every time…

  120. MM, there seems to be a lot of variation among the KOAs. Some have fancier pools, and some have no pools. Some have deluxe cabins, and some have only rv hookups and/or tent sites. Some have yurts or old Airstreams.

    They are new to me (we don’t have any here) so I was intrigued by the concept when I ran across it in trip planning and looked into what all they have where.

  121. HM – Yeah, that’s what we had. It’s somewhere along the continuum between “trailer” and “manufactured housing.” And you can buy them:


    Disney buys something very similar for Ft. Wilderness.

  122. At home, I am the one in charge of menu planning, food shopping, and most of the cooking. When we go camping, DH is in charge of menu planning, food shopping, and most of the cooking. Because if I had to do that stuff while we were camping I wouldn’t go. One of my favorite things about camping is seeing all the stars (you just can’t see them the same way when you’re in the city because of all the light pollution). Last year I woke the kids up in the middle of the night so they could see them too.

    I LOVE sitting on the beach reading, watching the waves, and going snorkeling. We leave for Maui in 2 weeks – can’t wait!

  123. We actually do enjoy KOAs, as well as tent camping in state parks. They are low key

  124. Milo,
    Well played.

    Obviously of topic, our middle school now gives the kids some kind of unstructured time. The neighbor kid taught herself to play the ukelele. They call it “genius hour” like at Google.

  125. Man I’m bummed I missed this conversation but I hate sand. Therefore, I don’t like going to the beach. People here look at me funny. haha.

  126. Following up on a prior topic, tomorrow the science-fair-replacement PBL fair. My son had originally told me it was optional and he was not going. (He’s done the project). We had the same conversation we’ve had the last several years, where I express shock at it being optional, given what I know of the school, and he explains earnestly that it is, and he has no interest in participating. Last couple of years, someone from the school has called to inform me it’s not optional and he needs to be there. This morning he found the letter indicating it’s mandatory, so I guess I’m going to the PBL festival tomorrow.

  127. But lagirl, you can go to the beach and really never have to deal with the sand! you can walk/rollerblade/ride a bike on the strand! All 22 miles of it from Pacific Palisades to Torrance!

  128. Ah, one of the advantages of living in a rural place – I don’t have to go camping to see the stars. Just the other night, I was looking at the sky while the dog was doing his business, and I thought it was a really unusual, beautiful navy blue color. The moon was just a perfect crescent and Venus was really bright, and there was a plane leaving a trail that made it look like a shooting start except for the blinking red light. I even thought to myself that I should go back out and take a picture after I took the dog inside, but then I got distracted and forgot.

  129. I don’t freak out at sand, just don’t like it blowing around. When my sister was pregnant with her now 14 yo daughter, we all–parents, all sibs, nephews–went to the Outer Banks of NC, which I love. Sister claimed to be so bothered by the sand she couldn’t sit on the beach. She & her husband spent most of their week at the pool by the rental house, alone. Haha!

  130. I agree with everyone who says they don’t camp!

    I also don’t have a Facebook account.

    And I don’t really enjoy watching movies. TV of various types, yeah. But movies, not so much.

  131. BTW, those who like old country but not current mainstream country should maybe look in the bluegrass or alt-country/Americana sections on Amazon — you can stream a lot of stuff free if you’re Amazon Prime.

    Also I’m very excited now because when I went to get the link to the alt-country section I discovered that they have THE RODEO SONG which was a favorite among one of my college crowds and I haven’t heard in years and it’s free with Prime.

  132. MBT, she’s enjoyed the beach the whole rest of her life, from toddler through now when she’s happy to sit on a lounge chair, under an umbrella, with a magazine. She had plenty of other strange issues that trip too, like afraid going clamming in the sound would be dangerous, got in a fight with other sister about room allocation (before my arrival), was darn insistent we drink the margaritas she made, just really irritated all the time. It made us all prone to roll her eyes at each new problem. All the other women there had been pregnant before, so it’s not like we wrote off things like the need for bathroom access and comfortable seats. Far better to just ask us all to put the trip off for a year until she wasn’t preggo & we could all help out with the babe at the beach. Since then, she & the sister have gotten really close, my parents have intentionally bought retirement homes where we could not all visit at the same time, and I moved from one state to another at a slightly later point in my pregnancy, when I was several years older. And it was the Outer Banks! Why go there if you’re going to avoid the beach? Like I said above, if there’s conflict, I’d rather hear about it in a way that helps us resolve it.

  133. Speaking of old country, I’ve discovered another song I want at my funeral, assuming I pre-decease DW:

  134. Hey Saac, what’s a good German name for a Miniature Pinscher? Male. Laid back. Something that means anything close to a Zen Buddhist concept would be good. We have a dog named Bodhi (Bodhisatva). I’m thinking of Sidd (Siddhartha) but that concept in German would be a nice little nod to his ancestry. :)

  135. SM – At the risk of arguing about nonsense, does it really matter if she and her DH want to hang out by the pool while the group sits on the beach? I think one of the key ingredients to successful extended family joint vacations is low-key expectations about everyone always being together. And I’m new at this, because we never did anything like it when I was a kid, and now I’m typically the organizer. Eg, MIL has a time limit that she can be without air conditioning and the Weather Channel (the irony therein is not lost on me, fyi). My mom has basically become addicted to getting out to some sort of store every 36 hours, at a minimum, even if it’s just to buy a coffee. She just needs to be out.

    Just let them.

  136. Or, you can go with what I think is actual the most common German male dog name – Adolph.

  137. “This is an odd concept for me.”

    When I was on the high school newspaper, one of the other writers developed a list of interview questions for a profile of a teacher, and one of the questions was “What music would you like to have played at your funeral?” I thought it was really creative, and ever since then I’ve kept a running playlist in the back of my head. I mention songs to DW from time to time that she should select if the time comes.

    Another question was “How did you learn the facts of life?”

  138. “What music would you like to have played at your funeral?”
    This would make an interesting topic.

  139. I like the beach, but I don’t like camping. I really don’t like camping.

    I don’t like the winter, and I am so tied of wearing my winter coats and boots. I can’t believe it might snow again tomorrow. I detest the potholes that are a result of the freezing/refreezing. I thought it was bad in my town, but then I did some shopping today near MM and CoC…the roads were terrible.

  140. As for funeral planning, did anyone follow Lisa Bonchek Adams on Twitter or her blog? She died two weeks ago, and I think she planned her own memorial service.

  141. Ris, I’ll try to come up with something.

    Milo, I actually agree with you. Besides this incredible pressure from my family that everyone must march in lockstep, always, the decision making process is very unclear. I think my parents ask my sisters what their husbands prefer. I don’t know, am generally told what the plan is. It bugs the crap out of me. For example, we had agreed to rotate cooking duty that week. When I got there, I learned that my older sister had dibs on what I wanted to make, but my mom had brought along a recipe for something that required a ridiculous amount of chopping, I had to come in way early to get it done. So, yeah, if she would’ve just gone off to the pool, that would’ve been fine, but walking across the sand to inform us of it daily & my parents fretting about it all week got to me, and she had to complain that we were all going clamming without her, and somehow make a big deal about her husband running out to buy her something else when we ate the clams. In that earlier post, I slipped into the thinking I don’t like, blaming her for making everyone uncomfortable by not wanting to do what the rest of us were doing, but really I much prefer things the way you said it–everyone decide for themselves and we’ll see each other around.

  142. Saac, your story is the exact reason why I refuse to rent a house with my parents and my brother’s family. Everyone has their own style of vacations and we do not blend well to enjoy a week of it together. I would love to do it and have all the little ones together, but I don’t think my family dynamic could make it work. Too many different personalities in close quarters.

  143. I hate Midwestern cold weather dressy–great big sweaters, lumpy coats, clonky boots. But in Berlin I learned to be warm without looking like Michelin Man: two pairs of tights with a mini skirt or long johns with pants (& maybe tights too), body suits, fitted jackets–I looked like a real person, all winter long. It made a huge amount of difference!

  144. Milo, I don’t know. They like to paint me as the contentious one. Honestly, that’s probably part of the attraction of living overseas. There are a couple of 3 generation families in which everybody likes everybody & they’re happy to include me in their loose plans as i wish, and we have a couple friends who are like saac’s uncles, including his godparents. If my parents come to visit, my mother is out of her element enough not to be bossy or even very judgemental. So nice!

  145. Ah, too much hassle. What Milo describes is how vacations with my DH’s side of the family are like. What works for one family doesn’t always work for the other. Why force a square peg into a round hole.We all like each other much better by avoiding the big family trip.

  146. I don’t like driving in the rain.
    Other than that – I like the beach, pool, camping. As a kid I vacationed with different groups of people – extended family, parents friends – each set of friends was different from the others. I guess I developed the ability to adapt and get along. Usually – I’ll find some time to do one little thing by myself on a trip – that keeps the introvert part of me happy.

  147. We’re doing a little family reunion with DH’s siblings, their families, and DH’s mother. I’m looking forward to it – I really like DH’s siblings. DH is feeling anxious about his. His mother (my MIL) is a lovely woman but is on the far side of the extroverted scale and not only needs to be constantly talking, she wants everyone else talking all the time as well. Unfortunately for MIL, her husband and her kids are all introverts. So we’re all perfectly happy hanging out in the same room reading the newspaper or our various devices and chatting periodically – but it drives MIL crazy. So then she drives DH crazy. I’m hopeful though there will be enough people to spread MIL around so her effect is diluted.

  148. I don’t file. And I really should. Which explains why I am surrounded by piles of paper in my office and have no useable desk space. But now I’m going to file for 1 hour if it kills me in the hopes of clearing a little space.

  149. We never did big family trips when I was a kid, but now we often do our family vacations with the inlaws. This has worked surprisingly well after the first few years. We try to set some expectations ahead of time, because they won’t tell us if they feel left out, and then they’ll tell us they want to do “whatever” we want to do… and then opt out. I find the lack of communication frustrating. I don’t care if someone wants to join us or not for something necessarily, but don’t say we can do anything as a group and then grump! So after that not working for a bit we figured out that we just make plans and present them. “Tomorrow we’re going to _____. If you’d like to join us for any of that, you are welcome.” Often they want to join us. If not, they let us know, rather than telling us as we’re out the door, so that we can figure out how best to manage the kids with just the two of us. They get some time to themselves. We often get some time to ourselves. I’m not grumpy since I know what to expect for the day and I’m not trying to play cruise director for the entire world. Since we figured that out, we’ve had several really nice vacations as a group. Our kids really treasure that time, too, since the grandparents live far away.

  150. Tulip, how great that you got it figured out so you can all enjoy the time together. I was surprised, to say the least, when my mother began to bemoan how her friends’ families can all get together and get along fine and we can’t, after just one try.

    SSM, you could take turns taking MiL out so everybody else gets some peace. Of course, you refer to it as her being so popular that you all have to take turns.

  151. It seems a lot of folks here would enjoy luxuriating ay the Ahwahnee in Yosemite between hikes.

  152. S&M– I’ll also note that my BIL & SIL like to travel very differently than we do. We aren’t able to schedule big family vacations with *everyone* due to the respective work schedules, but I think three families would be a bit tougher to accommodate that way than two. Everything has its own dynamic, and some things work better than others.

  153. “It’s the same for anyone who’s knitting or rolling out pie crust.”

    I agree with everything else in that post, but this is just wrong. I have yet to taste a remotely good supermarket pie crust.

    “I don’t want to hear about that time you went to the ER (except for you, tote baggers, I am all ears).” — This made me laugh.

    Camping gender divide: Don’t think it’s about the amount of work, it’s about the type of work. Going somewhere, chopping/hauling wood, pretending to be a caveman, making fire, fishing/hunting, grilling things on sticks = different! a break from the ordinary! fun!!

    OTOH, being responsible for providing all needed foodstuffs for XX days without any stores nearby for the three critical things you inevitably forget; making edible food with crappy tools and no refrigeration; and cleaning up with no dishwasher or even running water — that’s basically same shit, crappier conditions. It’s basically the equivalent of me saying: “hey, let’s get back to the good old timey days — forget this washing machine, let’s scrub our clothes in the river with some borax until our knuckles bleed! And maybe if we’re lucky there’ll be mosquitos and chiggers!!”

    Also why I have never pulled the plug on the RV vacation idea — not much of a vacation for me if I STILL HAVE TO FEED EVERYONE ALL THE TIME.

  154. And speaking of family vacations, we have about a 5-day trip next week with my in-laws and DH’s sisters and their families — 13 of us in one house.

    Today I got a spreadsheet with all of the activities and times listed, and specific instructions on decisions that needed to be made RIGHT NOW (including, I am not making this up, whether I am bringing egg matzoh or plain. Which was interesting, given that I am AT WORK, not at the grocery store, and therefore have no idea which variety will be available).

    Can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to this. . . .

  155. I think DH realized that if he wasn’t willing to take over menu planning and food cooking, we would never go camping. So he’s responsible for most of it. The food we eat is far less healthy than what we eat at home – but for the kids, this is a feature, not a bug. They now associate Cheetos with camping. And hell – I love Cheetos too – and when we’re outside, I don’t care if they get their grubby orange-Cheeto stained fingerprints on everything.

  156. LfB – well clearly you need to bring some large bottles of wine because whoever created that spreadsheet makes me want to drink. I would not enjoy vacationing with that level of a control freak.

  157. LfB – my parents hosted large groups of people but they coordinated it all so wonderfully and no one got a spreadsheet ;-).
    I don’t stay up late. I used to because I grew up going out weekend trips with family and friends. I was up so I could go on walks with the early risers and take in the quiet of the lake or beach.
    Sometimes there were heated arguments at breakfast – not to be missed either. My parents would frown on these so everyone was usually well behaved.
    I also enjoyed the sing alongs late into the nights. People sing better with a few drinks in them. I didn’t want to miss the action on either end of the day.
    I don’t have the same energy anymore..,

  158. Laura, you’re right about the difference between the kinds of work. Housekeeping in the tent and producing meals are also different from fishing, chopping wood, and setting up the tent in that the latter only happen once per trip (you could eat fish for every meal or chop just enough wood for the next fire, but I don’t think that’s the way most people do it). The other stuff has to happen again and again and again…

    Have fun! I think all of us will want to hear your stories when you get back.

  159. “Today I got a spreadsheet with all of the activities and times listed, and specific instructions on decisions that needed to be made RIGHT NOW”

    DW’s aunt is like this. MIL (SIL of aunt) has been mildly annoyed by it for years, so it’s just family tradition at this point to push back against it by being particularly noncommittal.

  160. In addition to being cheaper, sometimes camping is the best way to experience a location. One of my favorite camping experiences was when DH and I enjoyed a lovely bagels and cream cheese sitting on the side of a ridge in Denali National Park watching the caribou frolic on the tundra and a gyrfalcon flew by and checked us out. You would not get that on the regular park tour bus. I love a luxury hotel just like any other totebagger but my philosophy is to use the best type of lodging to fully experience the location.

  161. Back on topic,

    I’m with the cilantro haters (Soapy Soapy Soapy)
    I don’t eat olives
    I don’t like to make conversations with strangers so business networking events are just horrific to me.

  162. I’m of two minds on the spreadsheet. It’s more anal than I like, but at least you’d know exactly what the expectations were.

  163. LfB – Egg matzoh is not a gastronomical object. Bring plain if you can still get it in the market (not always available at the last minute.)

    It was many years before I realized that people who like cilantro don’t actually taste it as soap.

    It is eminently clear that in my immediate family that any attempt to organize a command performance total family vacation would not be acceptable, even if I paid for everything including air fare and relief child care. We still see each other a lot, just not all at once in the same room.

  164. I love vacations with my whole extended family – they are a very funny lot, and 97% of the time we get along very well. They are also too much for my introverted immediate family, so I give them lots of breaks. My husband does the same for me when we are with my inlaws. Because of different work and school schedules, we only manage it once every handful of years, which probably makes it more enjoyable.

  165. Late to the party, as usual, but here goes:

    I don’t drink coffee (only tea)
    I don’t like olives (thanks for reminding me bayside girl)
    I don’t like to camp for all of the above mentioned reasons
    I don’t like to sit in the back seat because I get carsick
    I don’t like cinnamon raisin anything
    I don’t like spicy food
    I don’t like to stay up late (anymore)
    I also don’t like to oversleep and feel that I’ve gotten a late start to the day
    I don’t like The Big Bang Theory or Mad Men (but I do like The Wire and House of Cards, so I am not a monster)

  166. I was in meetings all day and am now flying home.

    I saw something on FB that said beaches are for extroverts and mountains are for introverts.

    Have a good weekend!

  167. Finn, I’ve been there and loved it. Skiing all day and apres ski. Heaven. My all time favorite place is in Montana and shall remain nameless.

  168. There were lots of things mentioned throughout the day to which I thought “well, yeah, but isn’t that a given?” Maybe not, so here they are: I don’t…

    …wear pantyhose, high heels, fabric with over 70% polyester, tight or otherwise uncomfortable clothing, or make-up
    …dry, curl, perm or dye my hair
    …have any piercings
    …get mani/pedis
    …wash my hair more than once a week
    …look bad (after all the above, I find that necessary to mention)
    …tweet, instagram or snapchat
    …eat fluff
    …have or want a tattoo
    …read much fiction
    …like the feeling of being tipsy or high (so I rarely drink 2 drinks, and I’ve only gotten high a few times, the last one nearly 20 years ago & not in the US)
    …mind the winter (as long as I’ve got the clothes I mentioned earlier)
    …like sitting in the back (I get carsick these days)
    …get very tan (I burn)
    …care if I sit on the floor/ground or on a chair (as long as there isn’t a cold draft)
    …sit with my feet on the floor (it’s much more comfortable to curl them up under me or prop them on a footstool)
    …remember names or faces well (but I do remember conversations and ideas)
    …deal well with unresolved conflict
    …have my funeral planned
    …think of myself as picky (although my recent food restrictions may change that)
    …tell jokes well (if you like Kristen Schaal and the way she sometimes lets a punchline drop, that’s close to what I do, but I don’t make it sound as professional)
    …go to tourist sites much
    …think highly of trendy/fashionable attire
    …use the active voice/simplest construction often enough when I write
    …function well when I haven’t had enough sleep.

    Good night y’all!

  169. Oh, and I don’t like the way cilantro makes me feel light-headed.

    ATM, what’s the one about stake/steak?

  170. “when we’re outside, I don’t care if they get their grubby orange-Cheeto stained fingerprints on everything.”

    If you train your kids to eat Cheetos with chopsticks, you won’t have orange-Cheeto fingerprints anywhere.

  171. Finn – That is genius! My fine-motor skills challenged boy loves Cheetos. This may get him to practice using utensils more!

  172. Saac – what a bunch of tripe, and all ultimately dependent on the idea that it’s acceptable to insult one group because if they have “the power,” you’re just talking about the group, not individuals; whereas it’s not acceptable for an “oppressed” group. I’m not buying it. And that sort of tortured logic only serves to further oppress the marginalized group because it tells them that they’re incapable of operating on the same plane, that they have to be protected by special social rules. Frankly, it’s very patronizing, and it seeks to ensure that certain groups will forever be victims.

  173. I think the business about criticizing the structures, not the individuals, makes sense. But I see the topic has made you angry, so I’ll consider this conversation over.

  174. That article rubbed me the wrong way too, saac – primarily because she seems to be arguing that it is perfectly okay to act like an a-hole, provided your vitriol is directed towards a “privileged” group. I think that’s ridiculous.

    Rude is rude, no matter who is the victim or perpetrator.

  175. Milo, do you see Green Eyes as saying essentially the same thing you are? To me, there is a huge gulf between saying something is “tripe” and you’re not buying it, on one hand, and a more considerate response such as “it rubbed me the wrong way” on the other. Note too that the article says nothing about insulting people, which is mostly what you wrote about.

  176. Saac, The central thesis of the opinion piece is that insults are OK when they attack a group that the author perceives to be in power. I’m not sure how else to interpret:


    “4. It Can Be Used as a Tool Against Oppressive Structures

    White devil. Cis scum. Breeders.

    Often, as social justice activists, we use general statements against oppressive groups in order to call into question their power.

    And while we have have an entire discussion – or, hey, another article written – about whether or not these pejoratives advance our movements or benefit disenfranchised groups, what I want to focus on here is this: These generalizations are often used by marginalized groups to combat the oppressive structures that they represent.

    That is, they don’t actually exist to demonize the individuals in those privileged groups.

    For example: White men hold social, economic, and political power. Women of color do not.”


    Saac- Even the author refers to her own examples as “pejoratives,” which Websters defines as “a word or phrase that has negative connotations or that is intended to disparage or belittle” and for which Google lists “insult” as a synonym.

    So yes, the entire piece is the author’s opinion of which insults are justified, and since you posted it specifically directed at me, I’m responding that it’s a bunch of tripe. Complaining that my response to some random link you found is not “more measured” seems to just be an example of you looking to attack out of boredom.

  177. @Milo: off-topic, but I just discovered one of DD’s friends is interested in NA. Any specific HS courses she should focus on that would improve her chances of admission? She’s interested in JROTC, but her parents are worried that she’s got a lot of other stuff going on, too; would that be worth stretching her time for, or would she do better focusing on more academic-type extracurriculars? Thanks.

  178. Hey, we do Cheetos when camping too!!! I actually enjoy the meal process when camping because we can take our time. DH handles the fire/grilling part, and I handle the Coleman stove. We don’t aim for any gourmet because everything tastes better outside anyway. And we let the kids pick snack food, which usually involves bags of violently orange things, and they can fill up styro bowls with the orange crap and sit in the dirt.
    It helps that DH handles washing the dishes.

  179. LfB – honestly, I really don’t know one way or another about JROTC. I don’t know anyone who did it. I don’t have much feel for what sort of extra points it may count toward, but my gut says that applicants and their parents optimistically overestimate the difference it would make over any other extracurricular.

    As for classes, no special recommendations other than to take the most difficult math and science courses her school offers. And then do the same for History and English. If there’s anything unique about Academy admissions, I would guess that maybe it’s advantageous to stay closer to traditional rigorous courses like AP Euro History and AP Physics instead of soft subjects like AP Psych.

  180. Regarding the article S&M linked to: I guess I don’t care if she analyzes insults from the perspective of political power, but one thing I have liked about the Mennonites is the emphasis on not insulting anybody. This past week a leadership group I’m on was analyzing proposed resolutions for the delegate session vote. A couple of resolutions were rejected because they lacked humility and mercy. Wouldn’t it be better if we just didn’t insult anybody, even if the insulted person holds political power?

    And Ada — regarding only melted cheese — SISTAH! I’ve never met anyone else with that particular quirk. If we ever meet in real life we can have melty nachos and I promise not to tell you about that time I went to the emergency room. It would be awesome if you didn’t tell me “I took a philosophy class once. I HATED it”, but you may if you like.

  181. I don’t have any pending CPS actions!

    I will write the whole sordid story out, but the end is so anticlimactic. We got our letter that stated claims were unfounded (which, I understand is better than unsubstantiated) and the best answer we could get. In just 6 short years, we will have a clean record.

    Thanks all for the support!

  182. NsN – congratulations! I hope you sleep well knowing that’s behind you. Can’t wait to hear the whole story.

  183. NsN — I can’t even imagine what a nightmare this must have been for you. I’m so glad you made it through. But if CPS determined that the claims were unfounded, how can they keep this on your record for six years??

  184. Rocky, I totally agree with you on not insulting people, but don’t you agree that changing ways things work poorly requires us to examine them and their workings closely and that such examination of a power structure might require one to observe and comment on the ways that some groups are so accustomed to things going their way that they do not even realize that it isn’t that way for everyone? I’m aware of what your church says on such things and wonder if you agree. This is not insulting people, even if someone who isn’t being careful might lump it in with that. It is commenting on the world as it actually is in order to be able to make positive change. Sometimes that can’t be done without pointing out problems that exist with the way things work now.

  185. NsN, that is good news! I recall that someone told me as well that these things, even if disproven, stay in “files” for a long time. I know it’s scary, but am glad you don’t have any pending actions!

  186. Risley, I have failed you on the doggy name. All the Bhuddist gods & concepts are lightly Germanified the same way we see them lightly Anglecized, so nothing big to offer there. I checked out a thing about Germanic gods and, surprise, surprise, didn’t see anything about a diety or virtue related to being chill. Frederick means peaceful ruler, but there isn’t much special about a dog named Fred. The words karma and Krishna sound like German words. maybe you could use one of those. Or give me a couple of words to translate for you.

  187. NsN – happy to hear that things turned out well.

    I love quotes and poems – here is a quote I came across…

    “A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly.”

  188. Louise, that reminds me of this famous quote, even though hunting, fishing, and critiquing are fewer activities than your quote (from who?) mentioned.
    “For as soon as the distribution of labour comes into being, each man has a particular exclusive sphere of activity, which is forced upon him and from which he cannot escape. He is a hunter, a fisherman, a shepherd, or a critical critic and must remain so if he does not wish to lose his means of livelihood; while in communist society, where nobody has one exclusive sphere of activity but each can become accomplished in any branch he wishes, society regulates the general production and thus makes it possible for me to do one thing today and another tomorrow, to hunt in the morning, to fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening,criticize after dinner, just as I have in mind, without ever becoming hunter, fisherman, shepherd or critic.”

  189. NsN– That’s great news! I am kinda curious about the whole story too. (Normal curiosity plus professional curiosity, I guess.) But that must be such a huge relief!

    North of Boston– I’m not sure all of the specifics, but they keep all the information. (Just like the police keep information about the # of times you’ve been arrested for a crime, even if you are never charged or convicted.) I’ve seen cases, sadly, where there are 17+ prior referrals– some unsubstantiated, some unfounded, some substantiated, etc. It goes on and on. So even if you don’t have an active CPS case, if you wanted to be a licensed foster home, for example, they could look at the history. A mild, uninteresting history isn’t going to hurt anyone. But sometimes where there’s a LOT of smoke….

  190. Rhett – I have many friends who go, and do internet write ups. But right now I am not really in an acquisitive mood for watches, and I don’t have a recent enough or high enough track record of watch purchases to do anything except buzz around the edges of the action. Every five years an international watch aficionado group has a get together – I went to the most recent one in Vegas, I think the next one will be in Europe.

  191. I don’t know how I’m going to survive staying with my in-laws when visiting NJ. They are nice enough and I do like them but it’s not my emotional safe place.

    DS is powering thru his first big road trip and hug fest. Poor kid is exhausted from all the hugging but that’s the price of a large family. Hopefully as he ages I’ll feel more comfortable. Until that time, I’ll need to find excuses for Rhode-time when I can regroup.

    One week and I return to work. Very bittersweet but I’ll have more time for my Totebag.

  192. @Rhode – I’ll say the time worn cliche – I can’t believe it is April already….the time has flown by so fast. And it has – I know one other person who had her baby in Jan and it is time for her to return to work too…
    When the kids were little, we seemed stuck in an endless loop of feeding, changing, naps, crying.
    As the kids have gotten older, each year whizzes past. At this time of year, we start counting down to the end of another school year.

    SM – the quote was by Robert Heinlein

  193. “They are nice enough and I do like them but it’s not my emotional safe place.”

    I’m not exactly sure what this means, but it left me wondering if any future D- or S-ILs will feel this way.

    Yeah, interesting quotes from two people I certainly don’t think of as having similar beliefs.

  194. NsN – Fantastic news!

    Saac – no worries. It turns out that of the 6 of us, I’m the only one who cares whether names have meaning, harken to ethnic/geographical region, etc. So, we discussed some options and went with the name that all 6 of us loved. It has no specific Germanic or Buddhist origin. I’ll get over it. :)

  195. Coc – for me SILs and BILs are nice people and we can spend a few days together but there is not the connection or closeness that I saw my mother have with my father’s family. Distance also makes getting together hard and you end up with a list of places to see, things to do instead of a more relaxed time together.

  196. NsN – good news!!! I hope we can hear the whole crazy story. :)

    Rhode, I can’t believe it’s almost the end of your leave already! Will you be able to work at home some during the first few weeks/months back?

  197. Rhode – good luck to you! If you want, maybe before you go back people here could give you some advice on how to transition. For example, it was suggested to me that I attempt the drop off and leaving my child at least one time before my first day back. It turns out to have been good advice, because I couldn’t stop crying. I looped around downtown at about 8 miles an hour crying my eyes out for a little while before I could pull myself together. The next day was better, but I had no idea that first time would be so hard. I also needed to spend every second I wasn’t working with my baby, so set my husband’s expectations early on. Dinner was sandwiches and I did no cleaning while the baby was awake.

  198. NsN – Good News!

    NoB – Tulip is on target – of course the requirements vary by state. The information is kept as much to help CPS see if there is a trend of problems in a particular household as it is to judge what CPS does. For example, we have a recent high profile case locally and that information has been used by some as proof that CPS did not do its job – they had been out multiple times and the child was still in the family’s care when something horrific happened. At the same time, the family did not have a permanent address and the child was not yet school age, so keeping track of them for follow-up was also difficult.

    Rhode – Agree with MBT – we took ours in the week before I went back to work. First two days for a half day and then three full days. It gave me some time to go get the back to work hair cut, make sure I could get the breast pump under control, and give us a chance to test run the morning and evening routine without the stress of actually going to work that day.

  199. Rhode – when I went back to work, none of my work clothes fit – I had to get an interim wardrobe. Online ordering is helpful for this if you have no idea what size to order! I got a giant box of stuff and tried it all on (plus my existing clothes) at home in between feeding the baby, etc., so I could put the stuff that fit in one section of the closet.

  200. Like other posters, I recommend a slow transition into work. If you can get email access a few days before and have lunch with work colleagues and catch up that should help. I regret not keeping in closer touch while I was out. It was only six weeks but an organizational change occurred during that time – I got a new manager and unfortunately when I returned the work situation changed. I left that job because honestly my transition back was not successful.

  201. NsN–Great news!

    Rhode, I know what you mean. I love my in-laws but visiting them requires a lot of mental/emotional energy on my part. I’m sure it will be even harder with an infant. Hang in there!

  202. I know — we should have a hijack day this week with all of our back-to-work advice for all our new babies!

    Mine is the same as MBT’s: if you can start the kid early, it gives both of you a chance to adjust. I started a whole week early, and it was honestly the best week of my whole baby leave — gave him some short days while getting used to it, gave me time to go grocery shopping and basically get stuff in order for my return to work (of course, I’m sure the fact that he *finally* slept 6 hrs that week helped, too).

    Also, plan for that first day to take ridiculous amounts of time to get out the door — you think you finally have a routine now with baby stuff, but now you’re throwing a whole new set of stuff at it, so plan for 2-3x longer. That way you can pat yourself on the back when it takes only 1.5x as long, because you overachieved. :-)

  203. I started the routine of getting set for the next day, the previous night. Previously I could just look in my closet every morning, decide what to wear and be off but with a baby – daycare bag had to be packed, baby and my clothes needed to be picked out… a trip down memory lane.

  204. DH took a month of paternity leave when I went back to work. It meant I just had to worry about getting myself out the door for the first month which was definitely helpful. Also, I put DH in charge of making sure the breast pump was ready to go with clean bottles (and at the end of the day, unpacking it and making sure the bottles got washed).

    NsN – what a weight off your shoulders that must be. Great news.

  205. I”ll just throw this one out for Rhode– don’t feel guilty if you *aren’t* a sobbing mess dropping your DS off at daycare the first day. I had a slow transition back to work, but I started back fairly soon after our baby was born. She was colicky and a constant crier, and while I love(d) her intensely, I was just so relieved to get a break! Everyone told me how hard leaving their baby was (and there’s zero wrong with that if you feel that way!) and I felt really imposter-mom-ish when everyone would ask, “Wasn’t it just the hardest thing leaving her?” All I could think was that it was a relief to walk into a coffee shop and get a coffee and then go have grown up conversation for a few hours. I missed her and was glad to be home the days I had after that, etc., but there’s not only one way to feel.

  206. Tulip, thanks for posting this. Every single thing can be so different from one person to the next. I expected to feel what you described, so was really surprised at my reaction. But it’s really good to keep reminding all of us that there is no one “right” way for any of this.

  207. I had yet a different set of feelings, sort of. That is, I didn’t have a lot of feelings, and that made me feel weird/guilty. He was not quite 3 weeks old. Since his birth I’d kept up with grading, emailing students, and planned classes for my absence. I’d learned that I would become a single mom, spent a night or two (I can’t remember) in the hospital waking up every 2 hrs to nurse. WCE wrote recently that jaundice is easy to deal with, but I didn’t think so. Driving across town every day to get his heel pricked or see the doc told me that it took me a while to pack a diaper bag and get him ready to go, but I still wasn’t prepared for how much of an effort it would be to get us both out the door at the same time in the mornings. So I was mostly tired, numb, and on autopilot. I sang & read to him, kept him fed & relatively clean, but didn’t feel much emotional connection. The main thing I felt towards him was a sense of responsibility.

    Rhode, I know you’ve already bonded and connected with your boy way more than I was with mine. I wrote my experience just as a way to say that whatever you feel, even if it doesn’t match what you think anyone else feels, is ok. You will be tired and stressed enough without beating yourself up over feeling the “right” way.

    One other thing to be prepared for–I was shocked to see how many people assume that your brain leaves your body with the placenta, or assumes that the baby toys are for a new mother’s now infantile mind. I certainly hope your colleagues are mature enough not to put you through that, but as of 12.5 years ago, it defiantly still existed!

  208. I don’t eat mushrooms or tomatoes (fresh), but love cooked tomatoes in pasta and pizza sauce

  209. Just to clarify, jaundice was ONLY easy to deal with because I’d been through it 3 times already with premature babies, where it’s much longer lasting than it was with this term baby, and where a pound of weight loss is more worrisome.

    When hiring directors, the manager-over-the-wall is always interested in people’s level of experience. I have director-level competence at dealing with jaundiced, tongue-tied, premature babies. Unfortunately, I don’t have director-level competence in my paid profession…

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