Advice Column Fridays

by Denver Dad

I Suspect My Husband Has Concocted an Elaborate Scheme to Expose My Lies

Dear How to Do It,

I’m a married woman. I had a three-month affair with an old boyfriend, “Jim,” that ended abruptly two weeks ago when I got an email from a friend saying “Check this out!” with a link to CNN. I clicked and a page with a video player showing a picture of the guest bedroom in my house opened. Huh? I later noticed my friend’s email name had an 8 changed to a 3, and the CNN link was actually a hypertext link to IPaddress/myname. I clicked play and a message popped up: “I know you’re watching.” I had a full-blown panic attack as I watched a 53-minute hi-res clear sound video featuring Jim and me. No one besides “Will,” my husband, could have been in the house. There’s an alarm system. He’s also a computer engineer. He’d know exactly how to do all of it. I gave Jim the link. He’s married and panicked too.

I couldn’t find a trace of the camera and was physically sick with anxiety by the time Will got home from work. He said nothing about the video, just asked me what was wrong so I said, “I’ve got a bug, not COVID I hope.” The next day the site disappeared. For the past two weeks, the video hasn’t been mentioned, and nothing’s changed. Will has stopped saying “I love you,” and the only time he touches or kisses me is when we’re having sex. That started about six weeks ago, and now I know why. I thought maybe it was too much self-quarantined time together.

I don’t know what Will’s game is. He’s torturing me by making me live in constant fear of an angry confrontation and/or our marriage crashing and burning. Is he waiting for COVID to end before divorcing since it would be hard to date someone now, we’re companionable, and he gets sex whenever he wants because I feel guilty and hope it will somehow atone for my transgressions? He’s planning to shame me with the video or threaten to in the future? The thought of him making me watch it with him makes me cringe. Is he waiting for me to come clean? Sometimes I think I should end the charade, admit to a huge mistake, and beg for forgiveness. I’d agree to a hall pass or whatever he wants, but I’m afraid of what will happen. I don’t know what to do. At this point, I don’t even know why I had an affair, things were good between us—maybe COVID boredom. Help.

—Surveilledhttps://slate.com/human-interest/2020/12/husband-wife-affair-surveillance-advice.html

249 thoughts on “Advice Column Fridays

  1. I don’t know what Will’s game is. He’s torturing me by making me live in constant fear of an angry confrontation and/or our marriage crashing and burning.

    It sure sounds like she figured out what the game is.

  2. @Rhett – Agreed! And he sure went to a lot of trouble to make this “game” happen, so there is no good ending here!

  3. OMG. Neither of these people is mature enough to be married. Put on your big-girl and big-boy pants, ‘fess up, and *talk*.

  4. Wait — she has been quarantined at home with her husband, and she still managed to carry on an affair in their guest bedroom? This is one of those advice-column letters that made me wonder if it’s real or made up.

  5. This one is ridiculous. What does she expect to happen? That over time this will get swept under the rug and they’ll live a happy life?

  6. Another topic to discuss when it comes to advice columns is – real or fake?

    I’m 60/40 that it’s fake. It’s the “too much self-quarantined time together” / “by the time Will got home from work.”

  7. What does she expect to happen? That over time this will get swept under the rug and they’ll live a happy life?

    Well… yeh. The video is his ultimatum. “You’ve been caught. I’ve decided to give you a second chance. Don’t do this again.”

    Or maybe he figures, as my old co-worker would say, “It’s cheaper to keep her.”

  8. Man… this is the plot of a Lifetime Movie… I’m thinking is fake. Fun read though!

    It could be the kid next door…. totally trying to make trouble… then Will goes crazy and kills everyone involved… goes on the run with the other guy’s wife. Or Will paid the kid next door to do all this to get the wife to admit her infidelity…

    Why do I think that’s a movie already…. I’m sure it is already…. :)

  9. OK, so IMO neither person has an affair without something making them unhappy.
    Assuming this is “true” (which I agree with Ivy – 75% fake/exaggerated), she hasn’t spent the time to really reflect on why she has been having an affair or even admit that she hurt him. Its all about him torturing her. I can see him “seeking” proof of a suspicion, but then to send it that way, he has issues too.

  10. Austin, who wouldn’t have “issues” with someone having an affair while they were at work? Let’s assume Will is an angel who goes straight to his job and back, puts on a mask to pick up his McD’s breakfast at the drive through because it is important to him to keep his angel safe at home, and then finds out she’s been cheating on him in a way that endangers them both. He might not be able to even speak about it, but he sure as hell wants to let her know

  11. Put on your big-girl and big-boy pants, ‘fess up, and *talk*.

    What’s to say? Everyone knows what happened. He’s said, “I know what you did. Don’t do it again.” It all seems very efficient to me.

  12. Put on your big-girl and big-boy pants, ‘fess up, and *talk*.

    That’s like on Ask a Manager, 95% of the letters can be answered with “talk to your boss (or your employee, or coworker, or whoever).”

  13. On the verge of sleeping with someone else, I was furious to discover he planned not to use a condom. I was angry that he would take my husband’s health so lightly. Being so defensive of him surprised me, given what I was about to do. This woman seems to have no feelings for her own husband.

  14. Given that the husband is a computer engineer, I am more than 50% confident the letter is true and Rhett’s assessment (don’t do it again, it’s cheaper to keep her, any children will benefit from two married parents) is the husband’s thought process.

  15. You talk of Covid-19 boredom? Not really! This can’t make you cheat. It seems this is a habit and if you are married, then you must change and be faithful. With the husband, it wasn’t wise to expose you publicly. That is childish act!

  16. I’m curious as to how the husband found the wife was cheating and was able to set up the camera and record without her suspecting.

  17. Millo, I always laugh at spam that promises to reveal to women the secrets of why men cheat. Is it that generalizable? Also, how much unauthorized hot-racking was there in your former home/workplace?
    WCE, is this an issue a lot of computer engineers face or is that just a stereotype? Ingres that life is much simpler if you don’t stray, but can’t understand this guy knowing what she did and continuing to sleep with her.

  18. I’m curious as to how the husband found the wife was cheating and was able to set up the camera and record without her suspecting.

    He got suspicious and started reading her text messages would be my guess. What made him suspicious? He walked by and noticed it looked like someone had remade the bed in the guest bedroom.

  19. SM – I 100% get the video choice to have “evidence”, but rather than just send it himself or show her he has it, it spoofs a friends email and sends it that way. This back handed way to show her he has it is why I say he has issues.

    Louise – I don’t doubt he noticed some different behavior on her part – maybe she mentioned Jim more, maybe she was washing the guest bed sheets more often, maybe she just wasn’t as responsive to his words/touch or even she put on nicer clothes. Most don’t realize when they are infatuated with someone or some new activity that their behavior changes. If something he picked up on related to the guest bedroom, it would make sense to put a camera there. Some of the “nanny cams”, etc are very small, its not like he had to drill holes in the wall and run lots of wires. From the angle of the video, she should have been able to figure out its general location.

    Also, likely if she’d also gotten a new puppy it would have taken longer for him to figure out.

  20. ” I 100% get the video choice to have “evidence”, but rather than just send it himself or show her he has it, it spoofs a friends email and sends it that way. This back handed way to show her he has it is why I say he has issues.”

    Agreed. The whole thing is so convoluted.

  21. The whole thing is so convoluted.

    Oh totally. It is however very logical. If he pulls out the iPad and confronts her with the video we get all kinds of drama. If he e-mails a link then that obviously requires a response. But an anonymous e-mail with a link? That doesn’t require a response. The message is crystal clear but nothing needs to be said.

    Although in terms of plotting this little novel… Why a link and not an attachment?

    Oh, I just figured it out. With a link he can disable it and the video disappears. If he sends an attachment he loses control of it.

  22. I have no idea how common this issue is among computer engineers, and maybe the letter is fake. But it seems odd that the letter writer would make up the sort of technical details that she did.

    Computer engineers announce their impending nuptials at that week’s staff meeting with “I’m getting married this Saturday and Ralph will cover urgent circuit design changes during the two weeks I’m out of the office.”

  23. I’m 98% on the side of this is some guy’s fantasy. A terrified wife, trapped at home all day! Ready to have sex whenever. Living in fear of confrontation. Willing to do…….anything.

    The letter wrote isn’t asking for advice. She has literally not considered any options. Leave, confront, ignore.

    I’m trying to remember what shoe had this episode. Was it Homeland? Designated Survivor?

  24. WCE, that’s how they deal with it at work, not in their home lives.

    Austin, I thought that about the angle of the video too. Smart idea about the puppy! It isn’t nice to spoof a friend’s account, but if it came from an address she didn’t recognize, she might not have opened it. If he sent it from his own, then she would know for sure that he knew and then might want to talk about it (see Rhett’s comment on avoiding “drama”). He doesn’t want to talk about it. Talking about it would hurt and would show his weakness. He doesn’t want to do that (ok, so not wanting to be vulnerable is an issue, I guess), he just wants it to stop.

  25. I have no idea how common this issue is among computer engineers

    LfB said ‘fess up, and *talk*. But she’s a lawyer and makes her living by talking and writing and otherwise verbally communicating. The average computer engineer is likely somewhat less verbal. They may be also somewhat or even a lot more conflict averse. So ask yourself, how would you solve this problem without a confrontation and with a minimum of communication?

  26. In the past, people on The Totebag have mentioned that there is some (maybe a lot?) of sleeping around that goes on during business travel/conventions/whatever. And there are people who have office affairs, even if they don’t travel. I have actually wondered what these people have been doing since Covid, since there is no travel and no office. Are they remaining faithful to their spouses? Or are they finding other ways to cheat?

  27. “Rhett’s assessment (don’t do it again, it’s cheaper to keep her, any children will benefit from two married parents) is the husband’s thought process.”

    Also, more frequent/willing sex.

  28. NoB,

    Other big companies that do most of their sales online also saw an uptick. Wow Tech Group, which owns We-Vibe and Womanizer, reported that online sales for both brands were over 200 percent higher this April compared to last year.

  29. @Kerri “They still have sex?!?”

    Oh, sure. She needs to put out in hopes it’ll all eventually be swept under the rug. The first time she says she’s not in the mood is when he brings up the video and all hell breaks loose. And she wants to avoid that. Meanwhile, he’s going to try to get as much as possible.

    I’m on the ‘this is made up’ team.

  30. “The first time she says she’s not in the mood is when he brings up the video”

    Or maybe she gets another email.

  31. Rhett, I don’t know what those Wow tech brands are (& don’t really want them in my browser history). I do know that sex sales are up in Germany since the virus.

  32. I can’t decide if it’s fake. I’m trying to think what I would do in her shoes, but it’s so very unlikely that DH would ever do anything like that. I think I might just keep calm and carry on, on the grounds that if he can’t step up and talk about it, the hell with him. But then you’re looking at a pretty crummy marriage.

  33. if he can’t step up and talk about it,

    Why should he have to talk about it? He didn’t do anything wrong.

  34. One of my coworkers suspected his wife was having an affair. He put a keystroke logger on her computer, and yep, she was having an affair. He confronted her and they got divorced. Is that great? No. But it’s efficient and not a stupid mind game. Fortunately there were no children involved.

  35. That guy must have been the worst lay in Colorado, though. After the divorce, he dated a number of women, including a couple of older gals from the office. These were women who were perfectly willing to marry him for financial support and to avoid loneliness, right up until the first sleepover. Then the next day both of these women (and, according to my coworker, who just couldn’t understand it! a few other women too) were all “It’s not you, it’s me, I’m just not ready for a relationship, please don’t call me anymore, k bye.” My assistant and I used to speculate about how incompetent you had to be for that outcome.

  36. RMS,

    If they were in it to avoid loneliness and for financial support I’m certain a bad lay wouldn’t be a deal breaker. My money is he was really into something they were really really not into. What that might be is an exercise best left to the reader. As they say.

  37. Rocky — Or maybe the guy wanted to do really weird stuff, and the women were like, Nope?

  38. I learned this morning that one of my friends is going through a divorce because her husband was having an affair.

    They live in another state so we only see them if we are there for vacation. They seemed really happy and have three kids. I think his story shows why certain jobs lend themselves to being able to conceal an affair. He is a doctor and he performs surgeries, is on call etc. He doesn’t work set hours. He met someone in his office and they’ve been together for 3(!) years. The only reason my friend found out is that his ipad kept beeping. He left the family room for a minute and one of the kids was annoyed by the pings. They picked up the ipad and it was texts from this woman. The kids are all young adults. The wife and kids had no suspicions. He claims that he loves both of them. She was willing to try to work it out, but he refused to fire this technician from his office.

    My other friend also had no idea. She is a camp mom friend. Her husband works at DD’s camp during the summer. He is there alone and his wife visits once a week. One benefit is that his kids attend the camp for free. DD’s friend went into her dad’s room. He is senior staff so he doesn’t live in a bunk. She heard his ipad beeping so she glanced at it. It was also beeping due to texts from another woman. She confronted him in a very public way in front of campers and staff. His daughter’s screams and accusations included a lot of words that could have come from a soap opera.

    So, maybe this advice letter is a lie. I don’t know, but some real life stories seem nuts too.

  39. @Lauren – That all sounds pretty normal to me though. Terrible, but normal – find out via iPad or phone left unattended and Boom! One of our wedding guests got busted by her husband for texting her side piece at our wedding reception!! (it was on a Blackberry – mid 00’s) There was an ugly fight, which I missed entirely but other guests saw, and he stormed out.

    The whole hidden camera, anonymous email with a disguised “CNN” link is the part that makes it seem fake to me.

  40. “Or maybe the guy wanted to do really weird stuff, and the women were like, Nope?”

    Back to the original post, perhaps he’s thinking that now his wife will be more willing to do this sort of stuff.

  41. “ Millo, I always laugh at spam that promises to reveal to women the secrets of why men cheat. Is it that generalizable?”

    Desire for variety and to again feel that thrill of something totally new.

    “Also, how much unauthorized hot-racking was there in your former home/workplace?”

    The only time of which I was aware was between college ROTC students during their brief one-night underway as part of summer training. For about a week, we would pull into Kong’s Bay, GA to pick up a batch of mids, go out into the ocean while cycling them all through turns on the bridge, submerge, go fast and take steep angles and say “look at me, I’m walking at a 50 degree angle and standing straight!”, hang out underwater for a few more hours, surface around 2 am (that was my job/shift) and drive back to King’s Bay and do it all again with another group.

    So one night some of the kids were obviously horny and looking for action. Co-ed group.

  42. I know one couple, friends of my parents where the husband had a very public affair and was pressuring his wife to accept his mistress. Divorce was not done because he got his money from the family business and she would have got nothing if he divorced her. I think she suffered abuse but she would never say so. His family told him to give up the mistress and go back to his wife or they would cut him out of the business. It caused a lot of scandal in my parents circle. After a few months, he became pretty ill and people said it was karma.
    It’s around thirty years ago now. Two days ago, he posted a glowing tribute to his wife on his birthday. I can’t forget the way he treated his wife.

  43. “Desire for variety and to again feel that thrill of something totally new.”

    I imagine in some cases genuine attraction/connection between two people is a factor.

  44. “ I imagine in some cases genuine attraction/connection between two people is a factor.”

    Maybe for a woman, the emotional connection. A guy doesn’t ruin his marriage because he so deeply enjoys the platonic company and witty political insights of a gal at the office.

  45. “ Two days ago, he posted a glowing tribute to his wife on his birthday”

    Those are always the ones you question. The people who write their love letters on Facebook.

  46. “I imagine in some cases genuine attraction/connection between two people is a factor.”

    I left out a word.

    I imagine in some cases genuine attraction/connection between two people is a sometimes factor.

  47. A guy doesn’t ruin his marriage because he so deeply enjoys the platonic company and witty political insights of a gal at the office.

    This might be a chicken and egg question. If the marriage has already descended into constant bickering and fighting, the gal at the office may represent an escape from that. Maybe all he wants is to go home to someone and have a nice dinner and a pleasant conversation. It’s not always about sex.

  48. I’m trying to think what I would do in her shoes, but it’s so very unlikely that DH would ever do anything like that. I think I might just keep calm and carry on, on the grounds that if he can’t step up and talk about it, the hell with him

    So husband would never do anything like the recording, but if he did, you’d simply carry on the affair? Now I’m wondering how many people here would have an affair. I might put up an anon poll, but need to come up with categories beyond yes/no.

    Milo, I can see the thrill of something new, I guess. I’ve never been into that, have always liked just having that to rely on, but none of my relationships have been more than a couple years. I wonder how much changes in the spouse’s body enter into it, like a woman losing her chest after a couple years of nursing.

  49. Ita with Rhett and Rocky that the chat may be attractive. Otoh, last year a guy told me my boots were sexy. I said I wasn’t comfortable with him commenting on my body like that because we didn’t know each other well enough. So then he threw himself into an attempt to say it’s my BRAIN that’s really sexy, because we could have such great conversations, lol. I let it ride for a couple months, finally got tired of him talking about how great it is that I have that PhD and pointed out that nobody thinks the smart kids are cool. He finally cut it out. Curious if he’ll be back and willing to cheat on his wifey after Covid.

  50. “ I can see the thrill of something new, I guess”

    I think it goes along with wanting to feel young. And some people are probably more into that than others. (He types while walking into the gym.) Those who remain faithful can find new hotel rooms in new cities, or secluded coves on the lake.

    But I’ve never cared two shits about boots, I can promise you that.

    Alright, that’s enough..

  51. “Now I’m wondering how many people here would have an affair.”

    I am a definite no. First of all, I love DH, and don’t want to be with someone else. Second of all, I think cheating is wrong, so even if I were tempted, I wouldn’t go there. But beyond all that, I just couldn’t and wouldn’t want to handle all of the logistics! OMG, coordinating schedules, arranging the meetings, figuring out ways to keep them secret, getting there and back — I’m exhausted just thinking about it. I don’t need more items on my to-do list.

    When I had my annual physical a couple of months ago, my PCP reminded me that if I am still getting my period (which I am), I can still get pregnant, even at my very advanced age. She and I go way back, and we have a great relationship, so she joked, “So don’t cheat on your husband!” I told her, “The very last thing I need or want in my life right now is a boyfriend, for a whole host of reasons.” She laughed and nodded and said, “yeah, I know what you mean” (she has a husband and two kids of her own).

  52. In other news, my kid’s school has reversed itself multiple times. They were going back the 11th. No, the 25th. Then it was going to be every other week. Now it’s back to the 25th. Classes are online until then.

  53. “Now I’m wondering how many people here would have an affair.”

    Most people would say no. But that is in the abstract. It happens a lot in reality. And often, I think, to people who really didn’t set out to do it.

  54. “Now I’m wondering how many people here would have an affair.”

    Absolutely not. Think about what it could do to your ROTH IRAs!!!

  55. Absolutely not. Think about what it could do to your ROTH IRAs!!!

    Plus it makes you fat!

    “Last year, a German study found “divorce led to considerable weight gain over time, especially in men.””

  56. LOL Milo!

    I’d say no, of course, because I can’t imagine myself having an affair for all the reasons NoB mentions. In fact, sometimes I dream I’ve cheated on DH, and the dream is mostly about the realization that boy, did I really screw things up, and now what do I do?

    But, you know, like Rhett said, you never actually know who you are until you’re in that situation. I mean, seriously, if Harrison Ford walked in to sweep me off my feet? I’d like to think that I’d say no, but can I honestly say for sure that I would, since I’ve never actually faced that temptation? Not that that particular scenario is even a snowball’s chance of likely, of course. ;-)

  57. Finally got it to work!

    Milo, you’re excused. Actually, you’re doing a hell of lot more than I did today just being there. I mean, I have gym clothes on and am in the living room, where I work out, but it’s midnight and nothing like a “set” has happened or is about to happen.

  58. I agree with Reality here:

    “ It happens a lot in reality. And often, I think, to people who really didn’t set out to do it.”

  59. Just don’t cheat. It’s simpler. As others have said, it’s all too complicated to organize and keep straight. And what about my nap, and 90 Day Fiance? These things take up time.

  60. As my dad has often said, echoing NoB, it’s hard enough keeping one woman happy.

    And, on the financial aspect: “one house, one spouse.”

    He used to comment about Tony Soprano “it’s unbelievable the headaches he’s willing to endure from all these women.”

  61. I also don’t drink, which probably helps bolster my assertion that I would never cheat. (My not drinking isn’t for any moral reasons — it’s just because my body can’t handle even trace amounts of alcohol.) I imagine alcohol is involved in a not-insignificant number of indiscretions among married people. (And single people, for that matter.)

  62. “I suppose…”

    That some who engaged in affairs went on to marry and build lives with the persons with whom they engaged in those affairs suggests this is true.

    E.g., An Affair to Remember,, even if they were both just engaged at that point.

  63. “Now I’m wondering how many people here would have an affair.”

    I admit I’ve thought about it. I don’t know if I would be able to go through with it if the opportunity arose, but the excitement of it is very appealing to me.

  64. “A ton of the senior partners at DH’s firm would have retired earlier and richer if they weren’t on their third wife.”

    Singular/plural suggested an interesting situation.

  65. Dammit Rhett!!!

    “As my dad has often said, echoing NoB, it’s hard enough keeping one woman happy.

    And, on the financial aspect: ‘one house, one spouse.’

    He used to comment about Tony Soprano ‘it’s unbelievable the headaches he’s willing to endure from all these women.'”

    One of DH’s repeated rants is every time a major figure — in particular a pro athlete — sort of implodes because of something to do with a woman. E.g., marriage breaks up because of an affair, or guy is sued for a date rape scenario, or whatever. He just goes off on how this guy basically had life on a silver platter — gazillions of dollars, his future completely set — and all he had to do was keep it in his pants. He (DH) just can’t figure out why the guy had to be such a dumb-ass. Not a whole lot of empathy or sympathy going on there. ;-)

    (I have noted that athletes in particular are not selected for their self-control or critical reasoning skills. But he still rants.)

  66. “I imagine alcohol is involved in a not-insignificant number of indiscretions among married people. (And single people, for that matter.)”

    I drink socially. Alcohol doesn’t make you do things you don’t want to do. It helps you do exactly what you’ve been wanting to do all along.

  67. “I have noted that athletes in particular are not selected for their self-control or critical reasoning skills. But he still rants.”

    I’m skeptical.

    My guess is that very, very few pro athletes who’ve reached the silver platter level get there just because they’ve got extraordinary athletic genes. There are a lot of other with similar genetic gifts, and what allows those who make it to that level to get there is often their self-control/self-discipline and critical reasoning skills which they’ve applied to hone their craft to a silver platter level.

    My guess is that in more cases than not, especially for filling the bench, front offices will give weight to self-control, i.e., the ability to stay out of trouble.

  68. “I drink socially.”

    That’s only relevant to you and those within your sphere of influence.

    “Alcohol doesn’t make you do things you don’t want to do. It helps you do exactly what you’ve been wanting to do all along.”

    But if there are competing things you want to do, alcohol can tip the balance between them.

  69. Finn, yes! Sports take a hell of a lot of self-control, both positive (pushing to one’s limits) and negative (avoiding things like alcohol). Quite a few people mentioned their own athletic lasts when we talked about the NCAA. I was expecting some of them might contradict the idea of top athletes not having self-control.

  70. I think there is a difference between a one night stand sort of dalliance at a conference with someone you just met and a full blown affair with a coworker or the like. One is much harder to hide, and takes up much more energy than the other. One probably indicates a bigger martial issue than the other as well.

    But overall, I’m with RMS. I’m too damn tired & busy relaxing in my own house for all that. But I’m not easily bored.

  71. Rhett — That cartoon cracked me up, because DH and I had a conversation about hemorrhoids literally this morning.

  72. “ That’s only relevant to you and those within your sphere of influence.”

    I don’t know what you mean here. My point was that NoB said she doesn’t drink. I was saying “well, as someone who drinks a little, I think…”

  73. Finn, if you are torn between two things, alcohol does indeed tip you to act on one of them, and we can generally predict which one.

  74. Finn/SM: Not saying that athletes don’t have self-control, particularly in managing their performance — I agree that that kind of self-control is exceptional in these kinds of athletes. But self-control in one area does not always mean self-control in all areas. And pro athletes in particular are also selected for their (controlled) aggression. Look at football linemen — for a few seconds, you have to throw every ounce of your energy into what is basically a sumo match with your opponent. And then you have to stop, and then do it again, rinse, repeat. And how often does that type of aggression spill over into late hits or fights or dirty play? Someone who is more passive would never make it at that level, no matter how talented he is. (And I say this after years of watching DS try to play basketball — he is tall and he can shoot, but he just doesn’t have that desire to get the ball above all other things. He could have taken private lessons every day for years and still not even make the HS team).

    We’ve talked in other contexts about decision fatigue, about how extreme self-discipline in one area can lead to blowouts in another area. Personally, I can’t ratchet down on both my diet and my spending at the same time; after about two weeks, I want to eat an entire cake and buy a car. ;-) So if you apply that to football, you have people who have made it where they are because they have the innate aggressiveness — that drive to get the ball, get to the QB, protect their guy, etc. — coupled with extreme self-discipline in exercising that aggressiveness and in their training regimen and in their diet and sleep and everything else. So to my mind, I’d absolutely *expect* those people to self-destruct in some way at some point — blowing through all their money, partying, having affairs, or whatever. High aggression + even higher control of that aggression = need for some sort of outlet.

    I also do not mean to generalize about all athletes. I think there are certain sports where being physically aggressive, particularly face-to-face with other people, is a key factor in success, and others where it is less important or even irrelevant. Things like football and rugby are very different from cross-country and swimming, for ex.

  75. Catching up here – I’m with NOB’s earlier post – a) cheating is wrong and b) one more person to take care of – ugh. I don’t see DH and I getting divorced – but if something did happen, I would have zero interest in dating. I find the notion of living with some female friends much more appealing – kind of like college but we all have our own bedrooms and the standard of living is higher :-)

    If the situation in the original post is true, I don’t understand why she just doesn’t leave him. A) if you’re unhappy enough in the marriage to cheat, why not just leave (especially in this case since it doesn’t seem like there are kids). And B) the situation with the video is creepy.

  76. SSM, I wish there was a way that dating was easy! I think that’s half the reason I’m at all interested in getting together with exes. I know who they are and what to expect from them. Inspired by this post, last night I scrolled through conversation with an ex who contacted me a few months ago. How did I not remember that he had claimed that he loved me then and that he still loves me? I don’t think we could make it as a couple, but everything I see in his social media connects back to a guy I knew well. He is 9 years younger than me. That is more appealing to me than the “thrill of the new” especially considering how parts can wear out around my age (not just “that”’part—aching knees, back, etc too). If a new guy did show up to thrill me, I’d have to be careful not to go overboard. That’s pretty well built in with a guy across an ocean who I already know.

    LfB, sure, they have to be amped up on the field, but I really think you are discounting what goes into it the other 165 hours in a week. Ask some Div 1 players about conduct rules—and they aren’t even pro yet! My guess is that pro athletes are more likely to be like anyone else at the top of their career field, thinking they are Superman. Just like the other guys you said your husband gripes about not being to keep their pants on.

  77. I don’t understand why she just doesn’t leave him.

    $?

    In many cases people have a lot of their self worth wrapped up in living here:

    And is horrified at the thought of living here:

  78. @SSM – I tend to agree with you. Or maybe casual dating would be fun. But remarriage? Living with another man? Meh.

  79. My mom started dating someone when she was about 60 and he was 75. He said they had an early conversation that went something like this:

    Her: “I’m not looking to get married and I don’t want to live together.”
    Him: “Me neither. Now we’ve got something to work with!”

    It did become a very serious relationship, but they never moved in together or got married.

  80. Denver, how is “serious” defined there? I’m not making fun, but if you are t co-mingling funds or home, what about it is serious? Were they basically very close, dear friends?

  81. SSM and Ivy – same! I might reconsider after all of the kids leave, I suppose? (Thinking here if I were to be widowed)

  82. Add me to the no way Jose contingent on an affair. I do not need more to manage!

    Because of DH’s health, I probably sound like an old woman, but I don’t really want to sign up to someone else’s caretaker (again), and there’s a decent shot of that as a woman. I think I could quite happily live alone. I think living with some lady friends would be awful too. I kinda like my own space. And DH and I have been together forever, nearly 30 years so we’ve established how “we” do things. I can’t imagine starting over.

  83. Oh, I can’t believe I forgot what I think is the perfect solution (adjacent to my gulf-front condo fantasy anyway). Assuming my sister and I are both old and alone, I think we should buy a duplex in Florida. Or attached villa as they call them now. I’d love to have her nearby. Just not in my house.

  84. Way down the road, if a bunch of us end up as old widows, we should create The Totebag Home for Aged Women.

  85. DD 100 ft away in her matching town house and I will someday be the widow and her spinster daughter. (BTW, spinster is a term that has been reclaimed and affirmed by lifelong single women, much like B!tch.) I won the emotional lottery with my second husband, but I did end up with caregiving responsibility, as the older ladies at the bridge club warned. He turned 78 yesterday, and this Covid isolation year has been the best thing for his health and for establishing a new and congenial normal for our relationship. But Ill do just fine alone with my cats and electronics and online communities when it comes to that. And since this is a starter home community, there will always be children playing outside to brighten my walk even if it is just to the mailbox.

  86. “(BTW, spinster is a term that has been reclaimed and affirmed by lifelong single women, much like B!tch.)”

    There is an excellent book on that very subject. The author is from the north-of-Boston area and is quite well known in these parts.

    http://www.katebolick.com/spinster

  87. Denver, how is “serious” defined there? I’m not making fun, but if you are t co-mingling funds or home, what about it is serious? Were they basically very close, dear friends?

    The were as committed to each other as much as any couple I’ve ever seen. They kept separate residences and finances, but otherwise lived their lives together. When they would come visit us, they stayed in a hotel rather than our guestroom so they could have their privacy. And when she was diagnosed with cancer, he took her to every appointment and took care of her until the end.

  88. I with all of you aspiring widows on not sharing a space with someone. I can’t imagine having to agree on, idk, how to set up the living room or pantry. But I think you’re underplaying the importance (mental & physical health benefits) of “marital” relations, even if infrequent.

  89. “if something did happen, I would have zero interest in dating. I find the notion of living with some female friends much more appealing”

    Sort of like Kate and Allie? Or maybe more like the Golden Girls, e.g., no kids.

    Those sort of living arrangements sound so practical. I wonder how common they are.

  90. Those sort of living arrangements sound so practical. I wonder how common they are.

    In my observation, not very. People have been talking about them for years, but I don’t see them very much.

  91. My young and/or lower income acquaintances often share homes or apartments with people that are not family, with roommate interactions varying from minimal to frequent. My MIL and her sister were both widowed young but have no desire to live together.

    My sister and I have joked about living together in old age. There would be pros and cons. She is better at living alone than I am.

  92. WCE, how can you be “better” at living alone? If you aren’t dead, you’re doing it. I do get tired of SAHMs saying they are “single mothers” because their husbands travel for work. My cousin used to say that, because she “had to” save her big grocery shopping trip for the weekend, when he was home. She never did understand how having him there every weekend made it not single parenting. Ditto another woman I know who complained about him not fixing the screen door fast enough.

  93. WCE, how can you be “better” at living alone?

    I’m not WCE, but some people simply enjoy living alone and others don’t. We’ve had discussions about this in the past.

  94. “ In my observation, not very. People have been talking about them for years, but I don’t see them very much.”

    It’s probably one of those things that people think is a great idea 10 years in the future.

  95. Putting away the outdoor Christmas lights today morphed into cleaning out and organizing the garage. We got rid of so much stuff. It’s one of the oddities of our globalized economy that I get so much more satisfaction from getting rid of crap than I do from acquiring it.

    But I have four Graco booster seats, with backs, that Goodwill won’t accept and nobody on Nextdoor has claimed. I’ll have to move them to Craigslist.

    For the first time in longer than I care to remember, the front seat passenger in my car will no longer have to wait until I back out of the garage before boarding.

  96. It’s probably one of those things that people think is a great idea 10 years in the future.

    Possibly. Then again there might be more than a few desperately lonely widows living across the street from each other in their matching $900k Bonita Springs homes. But as WCE noted, without a financial need, there is no reason to move in together. Even though they would both be a lot happier and less lonely if they did.

  97. “without a financial need, there is no reason to move in together.”

    Not necessarily for two single mothers sharing a home, a la Kate and Allie. In terms of parenting responsibilities, they were like spouses, sharing a lot of them.

    Did the Golden Girls live together because of financial need?

  98. I should point out that the benefits of shared housing arrangements for single parents aren’t limited to moms. My bad.

    OTOH, I can’t think of a TV family of two single dads and their kids sharing a home, or a single dad and a single mom, other than My Two Dads.

  99. Finn, Full House was close. A single dad has two single guys move in with him and his kids.

  100. “In my observation, not very.”

    Same here, but my observations are limited to my bubble.

    If such arrangements aren’t common, I wonder why not. There does seem to be much practical benefit to them, and it’s not like, as WCE mentioned, adults don’t commonly share housing as roommates or housemates.

    Perhaps it’s that once people leave the roommates phase of their lives, it’s hard to go back to that with another adult other than SO?

  101. Not quite the same, but around here it is not uncommon for multiple adult kids, some of whom might have kids and/or spouses, to live with parents. When kids are involved, sharing of some parenting responsibilities is not uncommon.

  102. The sisters in a duplex arrangement or mine with DD seem ideal if financial savings are not primary. . Even the old ladies across the street works better than living under the same roof. What about when one sides noisy grandkids visit or the others obnoxious son in law? Or if one of them meets a “someone” despite saying never again. Desperately lonely my foot.

  103. Did the Golden Girls live together because of financial need?

    Yes

    Unfortunately, Charlie, who met Rose when he sold her an insurance policy on her red wagon, wasn’t so good with money. Although their five kids and neighbors thought Charlie was a good earner, the ugly truth is that when he died, he left Rose a financially-strapped widow. When Rose’s daughter comes knocking for a cut of her father’s fortune, Rose has to break it to her that there’s nothing left and therefore nothing to give.

    Dorothy was left strapped by her divorce from Stan. And he had a lifetime of financial problems.

    As for Blanche I’m not sure.

    As for Rose, I figure that sort of thing happens less than in the past. But it still happens. Many here have mentioned their spouses have no idea what’s going on. I bet it isn’t unheard of for a UMC widow to find out there is a lot less there than they thought.

  104. UMC widow to find out there is a lot less there than they thought.

    A friend’s father passed a while back and they had that unfortunate surprise. The oldest son was self-employed and had a stroke that required PT and a lengthy recovery. Because his business was struggling, the dad took out a substantial second mortgage on their home without telling his wife, then died very soon after of a heart attack. The widow was left in a much worse financial position than anyone in the family anticipated. (Because the son had not recovered from the stroke, he was not able to pay back the loan)

  105. My BFF and I have talked about getting tiny houses next to each other when the time comes. Both of our husbands are older than we are.

    I won the lottery with DH. I don’t know that I would be so lucky again. I do not enjoy living or being alone. The house is empty now. In a few hours there will be four more people here, which is comforting. Next fall DH is going on a ten day hunting trip. The kids will all be away at school. I’m not looking forward to being here solo.

  106. I lived a year alone after college. I hope to not do it again. I like company. I would happily room with a girlfriend in my old age, perhaps a kid if they’d let me.

  107. My bubble consists of people who grew up around many people. It could be just their grandparents or in some cases the entire joint families with aunts. uncles and cousins. Some just longed to get away and have their own households. It worked well for them but they didn’t realize it would work so well that there would be an acute lack of close family and even friends in their senior years.
    Children moved to other cities or countries leaving them feeling without a support system. In the home country seniors talk about retirement communities but very few have gotten rid of their primary home and moved somewhere without a fall back.

  108. Survey results thus far: too few to be statistically significant, but one person says “maybe” they would cheat and one says they have (different people—their responses went up hours apart). Most people skipped over the “why” and “how”, but one each said they would do it because their spouse refuses to do XXX, connection with the other, “it just happened” or unspecified other reason(s). One person each said they would do it out of town only, with protection only, and with unspecified other stipulations. 90.91% say they have not cheated and that they would not. It is still up at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MYSSXJZ

  109. Rhett, that’s why there are so many activities. Besides the events around golfing and tennis, the regular lectures, concerts and minglers at the club, and regular exercise classes at the pool and gym, each street in some cases has its own social club with get-togethers at each other’s homes, etc. No need to move in under the same roof.

    Finn, finances would be one reason not to have late-in-life roommates. Everybody can chill on each other’s hand-me-down furniture or $400 couch in college, but once someone spends a couple grand on a sleeper sofa, they get picky about what other people do on it. Spilling a drink becomes a major incident. If everybody can afford just what they want, then everybody wants just what they want, not their roommates’ choices. Pooling resources also requires compromise.

    Louise, you sound glad that you do not have “an acute lack of close family and even friends in their senior years.” I’m glad.

  110. I lived a year alone after college. I hope to not do it again. I like company. I would happily room with a girlfriend in my old age, perhaps a kid if they’d let me.

    Ada, that surprises me from you. My mother and sisters all married within a year of finishing undergrad (one of them a year before graduation). None of them lived on their own in college and any solo living after was clearly part of planning the wedding. I’ve thought this is part of how/why they are so frightened by independence, as in being alone and as in making their own decisions, and can’t imagine going far from home. You are the opposite of that.

    If my son and his partner want me to live with them, I think I’d be happy to do so. A teeny-tiny step towards this is that his new girlfriend comes over here; she’s afraid to introduce my son to her dad, and the outdoor dates, when the whole country is on lockdown so they can’t even hang out in a cafe or library, get old. We get along well, but yesterday, when he surprised me by saying they had a date in under an hour, there was no way I wanted them over here, just because it’s too much effort to be around another person. Being live-in grandma would require serious discussion and compromise, more than once, and I’d obviously need to build a good relationship who he was with.

    I never minded living with men before, but usually in his place and I still had my own to go back to occasionally. (that’s what led to the break up with the love of my life). Since meeting the TB group, I’ve gotten some pretty clear ideas about what I want my home to look like. I suppose he could move into exactly my space, but then how would he ever be more than a guest?

    I have no interest in a platonic roommate. All the discussion/compromise, none of the benefits of grandchild or S.O. No thanks.

  111. I think there is a big difference between having company or companionship and giving and receiving love. I definitely need the latter. I’m very good at being entertained and engaged in my painting, knitting, reading, kayaking, walking etc. Many solo activities. However, I exchange loving words/ actions almost every day with my parents, sons and sisters. With DH many times a day. I totally need that. And if I get sick or injured everyone has to come hold my hand.

  112. Came back to say I just thought of another argument for living on your own late in life: lack of choice earlier.
    I’ve thought for a while that my friendliest and most helpful neighbor is gay. Last night she told me that she used to run a gay cafe with her girlfriend, that she had a float in CSD parades for years, and that she had a costume similar to one of the Village People’s. That clears up any questions there! (Yes, Finn, it is possible for a cis person to do those things, but it’s unlikely). She has a daughter, not adopted. The country in which she grew up, the GDR, officially had zero LGBTQ individuals. I believe they were taken into putative mental hospitals and treated horribly until they were “healed”. An atheistic version of what many Evangelicals and other Christians in our country want. Now she is free to live with whoever she wants, of course, but it would not surprise me to hear that being on her own here represented freedom so strongly that she wouldn’t want to give it up, even now.

  113. Cassandra – I have never been alone for 10 days in my house in my life! Or even 24 hours! That sounds AMAZING. I could watch all of my girl TV! I could clean the entire house! I could only make food that I wanted to eat when I wanted to eat it! If not in a pandemic, I could go shopping! Sigh.

  114. “the dad took out a substantial second mortgage on their home without telling his wife”

    I’m curious about how this could have happened, as spouses most typically own their houses in a form of joint ownership where actions like sales and mortgages have to be signed off on by both spouses. Was there a forgery? Did the husband just put some papers in front of the wife and say, “I’m just doing some routine financial stuff — please sign here”, and the wife did because he always handled all the finances, and she never had reason to doubt him in the past? Did the husband sign for the wife under a standard power of attorney? Was the form of ownership such that the husband was deemed to have owned half the house in his personal name, so he could put a mortgage on that half, even if he couldn’t encumber the other half? The lawyer in me wants to know!

  115. If they purchased a home together in the 60s, when women couldn’t get credit cards without their husband’s permission, wouldn’t it have been common for the mortgage to be in his name only?

  116. Rhett – I saw! Obv lots of coverage in the local paper (El Pais). 10-12″. The biggest storm in 50yrs.

  117. Mafalda – same! I enjoy lots of time to do my own thing but talk to multiple people I love everyday.

    NoB – I’m not sure how it was done. My parents were good friends with them and were shocked when I told them. (I only told them because the widow was my mom’s closest friend in their city and my mom kept encouraging her to move to the independent living place my parents are going to move to and telling me she couldn’t understand why she wasn’t interested. I was explaining that she couldn’t afford it and they needed to stop bringing it up).

    They were in their 80s when it happened. She had always been a stay at home mom and I have no clue how things were titled. They had a nice lake property that the kids sold immediately. I just know the whole thing was very upsetting because no one wanted to make the brother who is now partially disabled from the stroke feel even worse but they were upset at the position their mom had been left in.

  118. @SM about lack of choice. Yes. That is a big factor. Autonomy and control. Eating when you want when you want on your own dishes in your own chair. @Rhett. I vastly prefer to be partnered in my living arrangements. But there are seasons to life and the last one is often unpartnered. The fact that everything came together for my daughter to be 100 ft away, in a complex where there are hello how are interactions every day and I can easily live without being able to drive means that I am not planning on a hard core introverted existence. And pets are companion living beings, not fetishes or people substitutes.

  119. L +1000. I would kill to get 10 days alone in my house.

    Cass, would you be more comfortable being alone if you lived in a more urban or suburban area? I can see where being alone in a rural area would be much more isolating.

    My mom always said her biggest regret was never being a single adult. She and my dad got married right out of college. They divorced 15 years later, but she had two kids. Then she went into a relationship, and 20 years later they got married. He died less than a year later. She was 56 and that was the first time she ever lived alone. Then a couple years later she might the man I mentioned previously.

  120. One of my coworkers (now in her 60s) had her parents divorce once she and her siblings were grown. Dad cheated with his secretary and later married her. Mom wound up marrying the secretary’s ex-husband. Total small town soap opera. Well, now decades later, Dad is unhappy and pines for his ex-wife. (He always looks at photo albums and reminisces when visiting my coworker) Mom has great marriage.

    On the second mortgages, the 2008 housing crisis led to questionable mortgages. I know someone where the SAH wife took one out by herself when it shouldn’t have been allowed.

    I’m planning a Golden Girls style retirement. I’ve lived alone and by myself. I’d prefer someone around at that age at least to share meals with. I have a mental list of friends/family I’d be willing to cohabitate with. And, Blanche owned the house. I think Blanche had enough money, but didn’t want to be alone.

  121. Finn or other Costco members, could you help me out please? I’m no longer a member, but get the emails still. I can see that this is on special, but can’t see the price, details, or written reviews (I see it got 4 stars out of 5, am wondering why).

    https://www.costco.com/.product.100675088.html

    The “detail” I’m interested in is whether it takes dual current/whether we could use it here. Consumer electronics are often less expensive in the US than here, especially now that the dollar is down. Most of our floors are hardwood; a vacuum would be nice, but mopping is the main thing we’d like.

  122. I think one problem is that when you have multiple senior citizens living together, at least one of them is likely to become disabled or demented. Then you have a bunch of other senior citizens who aren’t really strong enough themselves to be nursemaids, and didn’t sign up for that anyway.

    There was a senior housing complex near my old church where some of the church members lived. They all knew each other, of course, and got together socially. But there were no services associated with the apartment complex, so when someone got sick or disabled, they had to be moved by their children to somewhere else.

    I feel like people thinking about this are not really recognizing how severely human beings decline after about age 75. Yes, I know you have a grandpa who was chopping wood at age 98 and shooting at varmints, but usually, people start to fall apart.

  123. Would somebody take pity on me and explain what this means?

    “Peloton and Chase Sapphire have teamed up to bring eligible Members a new fitness benefit. Chase Sapphire Reserve and J.P. Morgan Reserve customers will receive up to $120 in statement credits on eligible Peloton Memberships through December 31, 2021. Chase Sapphire Preferred customers will receive up to $60 in statement credits on eligible Peloton Memberships through December 31, 2021.

    “How do I sign up to receive this offer if I’m new to Peloton?
    New Peloton Digital Members must sign up on this page and enroll using your Sapphire Reserve, Sapphire Preferred, or J.P. Morgan Reserve Card. Memberships purchased through a third-party app store (e.g., Apple’s App Store or Google Play App Store) do not qualify for this offer. After your free trial, statement credits will automatically be applied to your credit card statement for the monthly membership fee.”

    My question is: What is a “statement credit” in this context? Does that essentially mean they pay either $120 or $60 towards your membership? Or am I misunderstanding “statement credit” here?

    https://www.onepeloton.com/digital/promotions/chase?jp_aid_a=T_64083&jp_aid_p=chasehome_3/hero

  124. A “statement credit” means that the full price hits your card from the merchant, sales tax is assessed and collected if applicable, free shipping eligibility for tangible goods is determined by the merchant. Then the credit card issuer books a credit against the amount. It is not a sale price or discount. Amazon use of AMEX points used to be a price reduction. Now it is an AMEX statement credit.

  125. We get the credit every month. You can use this credit to get all of their classes even if you don’t have the bike or treadmill. We do get a $10 credit every month on our statement. You have to sign up and pay Peloton, but the credit comes from Chase. It is a perk to keep you paying for their credit card. I don’t know if you saw my post about this last week, but the credit card companies are looking for different ways to keep you “happy” as a customer so you will keep paying the fee and using their card.

  126. Right after Thanksgiving DW went on a business trip Mon a.m.-Sat p.m., so I had 6 full days alone in our house. Not the first time in the past 3 years. Yes, I always have a a ‘honey-do’ list but I can attack it on my schedule (or not). This past time I worked out as long as I wanted after work, ate when/what I wanted, binged a lot of ER in the evenings, got a few of the honey-do things done so they didn’t all wait till Saturday. In the before times I would meet a friend or two once or twice for dinner/beers at a local watering hole. It’s quite nice. Happy to have her back when she returns but a few days alone here is good.

  127. BTW, I know some people that don’t have both names on a mortgage in 2021. This isn’t just a 1950s issue. For example, it is complicated to refinance in some places and the process is expensive. It is time consuming and expensive if some banks require too much information. If you leave one just one name on the mortgage, then just that person has to submit all of the financial documents for a credit check. This can be useful at the point when the LTV is low if you are getting close to the end of the mortgage. This also works if the assets are all sitting joint accounts. This is different than leaving the spouse or partner off the title to the property. A mortgage is not the same as the actual records that are registered with the Town etc.

  128. RMS nailed the issue. My husband and Austin Moms SO are 75 ish with younger partners. Not everybody is Dr Fauci. The single elderly who are healthy and really sociable and dont have family nearby do just fine in condos or single family compounds with a clubhouse or CCRC where they start out with a partner and outlive them. When they get feeble it doesnt really matter whether they have a roommate or a next door neighbor or a sister. When my maiden aunt was killed in a pedestrian accident at 77, her lifelong roommate sister, 79 and legally blind was left on her own, with money. The “family” thought my mother, then 85, who no longer flew alone and barely drove, should move in with her in Marin County to take care of the younger!

  129. BTW, I checked my Chase statement and I do get the $39 every month. They stop paying when I hit $120. The fee is much lower if you just do a digital subscription without their equipment.

  130. “Not everybody is Dr Fauci”. Sigh. You’re right.

    Lol.

    But don’t leave us hanging. Did you mom head out California way?

  131. The dad of that guy I dated 10 years ago has always been blind. Last I heard, he still walked around town, including to places 2-3 miles from home, on his own. I would guess he was around 70 then. But if your aunt needed aids, then it’s unlikely a woman in her mid-80s would want to throw herself into that situation. My mom is over 80, and is clearly a full-time aid for my dad. She got there gradually.

  132. I don’t know if you saw my post about this last week, but the credit card companies are looking for different ways to keep you “happy” as a customer so you will keep paying the fee and using their card.

    I did see that, Lauren. It’s just that this is the first time I’ve seen an offer that appealed to me. I signed up for the two month free trial and used my Chase Sapphire card. The fine print says I can quit at any time, so okay, let’s see if I use it. I have an exercise bike, not a spin bike, but I can probably fake my way through some of the workouts.

  133. The “detail” I’m interested in is whether it takes dual current/whether we could use it here.

    What difference does it make? You can get an adapter/converter if you need to.

  134. Denver, that’s a question for the engineers (unless you know this for sure and can tell me what kind of converter to get, or if it takes dual currency and an adapter alone would suffice). There are, for example, step-down converters for some devices. They used to be big & expensive. I have no idea what they are like now, or if they’d be necessary. That’s why I’m asking. I don’t want to get it over here, plug it into an adapter like I did my electric razor when I was 15, and smell it burn and watch it smoke like that razor did.

  135. For computers and cell phones, you just buy a different cord once you are on the other continent. That’s how I’m hoping the scrubber thing will be. But if it needs more, I need to figure that into the purchase.

  136. SM If you google it yourself can see that use of the North American model outside US and Canada voids the warranty. Costcos special price is 400 usd on the deluxe model you cited, 450 list. The list price of the German version is 700 Euro. And both require expensive throw away replacement cleaning pads, special cleaning fluid, etc. you have to change the pads between wet and dry. But you can buy in US washable pads, one wet, one dry for 60 dollars extra the pair.

    That model is designed for entire homes, not just a kitchen or bathroom.

    You’re welcome.

  137. But if it needs more, I need to figure that into the purchase. An adapter/converter is maybe $10.

  138. Thanks Meme. We need something for the whole house. I think I’ve mentioned our experience with Amazon on here recently. For Christmas 2019, I requested a Scooba/Roomba. My sister “helped” our mother get me one from Amazon on Black Friday. Mom thought they were getting what I had asked for, but when it got here, it was only a vacuum. Turns out my sister knew it wasn’t what I had asked for, but decided we didn’t need to clean the whole house, just the 7’x8’ area rug, so she intentionally chose one with vacuum only. By the time I got it, Black Friday was over. I returned it and planned to use the money this past Black Friday to get the whole thing. But when I went online, I found someone had gotten into the account and ordered gift cards. It doesn’t look like Amazon is going to do anything about it, because I found out about it too long after it happened. I should be on their website much more frequently.
    So anyway, I’m still looking for one—from someplace other than Amazon.
    It sounds like you think most homes have carpeting everywhere except kitchens and bathrooms. That might be what my sister thought, would explain why she did the dumb thing she did.

  139. Denver, I’m not an engineer. Look at the thing I posted. If you really care, read up on it. Not every device works with a $10 transformer. Some need more, because of their power usage.

  140. SM – I wouldn’t buy any home appliance without the correct voltage of the country you plan to use it in. If it has built in dual voltage that’s different. We require heavy duty kitchen mixer/grinders. Home country manufacturers sell specific models for the U.S. with 110v. as opposed to the home country models of 220v.
    I wouldn’t use an sort of adapter etc. IMO, the gadget doesn’t work as intended in the long run.

  141. SM. The item you linked to is NOT a true vacuum/mop combo. It is a wet or dry mop. A Swiffer on steroids. It is sold in a combo pack with a separate vacuum appliance for a lot more. I guess I am confused about your set up. However, I am glad that I could ascertain for you that the North American version is not intended for use in Europe.

    However, going back a few weeks.. did you go ahead and order the Kenwood appliance with the potato masher attachment? That looked like a perfect fit for your needs?

  142. I feel like people thinking about this are not really recognizing how severely human beings decline after about age 75. Yes, I know you have a grandpa who was chopping wood at age 98 and shooting at varmints, but usually, people start to fall apart.

    That’s certainly very true. But it is also true that not every totebagger is going to be widowed at 97. It might be 57 or 64.

  143. Louise, yes, dual currency is what I’d prefer. If it needed the kind of fancy thing I linked to, the expense wouldn’t be worth it, so I don’t even need to try it. I am fairly certain that the kind of thing DD is talking about, like people use for hair dryers and whatnot, wouldn’t work. (Although if someone whose field this is said it would, I guess I’d believe them).

    Meme, repeating from my earlier post, although you are correct, this is pretty much done. “ Most of our floors are hardwood; a vacuum would be nice, but mopping is the main thing we’d like.”

  144. Meme, I’m on the phone, am not flipping back and forth as I type. The mixer is in the kitchen, waiting for us to get a hankering for potatoes.

  145. Great SM.

    A long time ago, when there was a totebag discussion on online bulletin board queries that can be answered by a simple search, you explained why you like to involve a group in the process. It is social with communal interactions, if only occasionally leading to improved results that could not have been obtained solo. So if we try to help on a slow day but dont get it right or misunderstand, please accept that we are just trying to be friendly when you make a request.

  146. Meme, I guess we are proving once again that tone is indeed hard to read, if you thought I sounded impatient. I thought your response about the warranty sounded like you were impatient with me. If you’d like, I’ll let you know about the mixer. I boiled potatoes this weekend, then decided to put them in the salad Nicoise jars, so need to do some more to try that attachment.

  147. Also, on the question of whether the results could be obtained solo—it would take me a long time to figure out whether that device could be used with a simple cord swap, but I expect that when one of the engineers takes a glance, they’ll know right away. We each have our areas of expertise, although some are valued more than others. The warranty info supersedes the electricity question, and is not one I ever would have thought of. It is not an answer I like, but is one I am glad to have, before I figure out how to bring the thing over.

  148. But it is also true that not every totebagger is going to be widowed at 97. It might be 57 or 64.

    You’re certainly right. And if two 60-ish widows decide to move in together, great. The issue, as I see it, is that there aren’t enough compatible 60-ish widows to make that work.

    I know my widowed 67-year-old sister is doing fine in her house by herself, because she has her good friends who come around to hang out. (Well, until the Plague. But she has one good friend and that friend’s family in her “pod”).

  149. Rhett, You are moving the goal posts. I got married again at 56. We have folks whose kids wont leave for college until one or both parents are 60. Thats not old age for which isolation prevention and housing strategies are needed.

  150. On the question of 60, 97, or in-between, I think Milo got it right “ It’s probably one of those things that people think is a great idea 10 years in the future.”

  151. Maybe mostly for MM:

    Dark beer / ale. I am a fan of Anchor Christmas Ale. I have been carefully storing a bottle of 1999. Just opened it and enjoyed with DS2. It was wonderful, had a nice thick head, caramel flavor.

    DS2 is cooking duck for dinner. Pan searing two breasts for him and me (DW having swordfish; not into duck).

    Happy B’day to me!

  152. Costco’s website lacks the required electrical information for Saac’s robot vacuum but I suspect the manufacturer sells the correct adapter for the base to plug into EU electricity (220 V/50 Hz). I think robot vacuum’s are low power, because electricity is used to charge the lithium ion battery, not to run the vacuum itself, but I don’t know how the trickle charge function (if any) would work with a generic adapter/transformer. I don’t consider lithium ion battery appliances to be environmentally friendly compared with traditional electrical ones.

  153. Louise, yes, dual currency is what I’d prefer. If it needed the kind of fancy thing I linked to, the expense wouldn’t be worth it, so I don’t even need to try it. I am fairly certain that the kind of thing DD is talking about, like people use for hair dryers and whatnot, wouldn’t work. (Although if someone whose field this is said it would, I guess I’d believe them).

    A simple transformer would work fine because you are only using it to charge the battery, you aren’t going to be running the unit off of it.

    But forgive me for tying to help. If I had known you do not think I am a reliable source of information because I don’t have an engineering degree, I wouldn’t have wasted my time. When you post future questions that can be easily answered using Google, perhaps you can include what credentials are required by the respondents in order for you to believe them.

  154. SM, I took a look and couldn’t find enough information to give you a defintive answer. I’ll take a shot at it, but keep this in mind.

    I’m pretty sure this device is battery powered, probably a fairly low voltage, 12V or less. The base unit probably has the charger and some electronics, which almost certainly also runs at a low voltage.

    Most electronic devices like this typically have some sort of power supply that converts the input voltage from AC to DC and steps down the voltage, and also some sort of voltage regulation circuit that makes the power supply operable with a large range of input voltages.

    A lot of electronic devices use wall-wart power supplies, and those usually have the allowable input voltages stamped of printed on them, as to laptop power supplies (a quick look at mine shows 100 – 240V ~1.3A 50/60 Hz; that voltage and frequency are quite typical). My laptop thus would work at the 230V, 50Hz common in Europe with just a plug adapter.

    Stuff that has things like motors are less likely to work with both US and European voltages; those often connect directly to the input voltage. You’d need something like a transformer, to step the voltage up or down, as well as a plug adapter, but some things just won’t work because you can’t easily change the frequency.

    So I think the Braava likely will work for you in GDR with just a plug adapter, but I would suggest not using it without first checking that your voltage is within the allowable range. And of course, keep in mind Mémé ‘s warning about the warranty.

  155. “I suspect the manufacturer sells the correct adapter for the base to plug into EU electricity”

    I looked at the manufacturer’s website and didn’t see such an adapter. But I don’t think you need a special adapter; the same adapter that would work to adapt any other US gadget to GDR electricity would probably work.

    “electricity is used to charge the lithium ion battery”

    I don’t know about the particular model SM is looking at, but I just opened our Mint, a similar device from the same manufacturer, and its battery is NiMH.

  156. Fred – happy birthday!

    Meme – I emailed you back earlier today. Thank you for all you do managing this site.

  157. Denver, you’re right. Doesn’t have to be an engineering degree. Once you explained your reasoning, I got it. Tbh, I was probably responding to tone; you used the same one about the charger that you used earlier to tell me that because I disagreed with someone’s position on the politics page, I must not understand it, and to tell me that no one wanted to talk about living alone, earlier on this topic. I don’t know what I did to offend you, but your comments to me have had an exasperated feel to them lately. I was hoping whatever is bugging you would pass, but it seems to be increasing. Trying to trace it back & see what’s going on, I think it started around the time my son changed basketball teams. I’m pretty sure you have my email address, if you want to let me know what’s up.

  158. https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nytimes.com/2021/01/10/nyregion/new-york-vaccine-guidelines.amp.html

    The distribution makes more sense now in NY, especially as there are large blocks of people like the police, firefighters and government employees that have significant exposure to the public. These blocks of people can be more easily mobilized rather than letting vaccines be wasted.
    I wish they would open more sites in my county when they get more vaccines. Appointments have filed up and we are realistically looking at Feb dates. My parents are registered with a medical practice that hasn’t got permission to distribute vaccines yet (though they were a vaccine trial site), so we have to go to the county site.

  159. Two of my teacher friends received the vaccine yesterday and my parents have info about how to register for a vaccine. This 1b group in NY is very large, but they opened a lot more places this week to get the vaccine. The communication is much better too.

  160. It is likely that my dad will get his shot before he turns 90 next month. For him, the risks of Covid outweigh the vaccine uncertainties. I am hoping that the directors of his facility will loosen up restrictions after all residents who want the vaccine have gotten it. I’m on the caregiver list so I can see my dad anytime and we take him out with no problem. That makes up a bit for the solo meals on styrofoam trays.

  161. Most of my parents friends have been vaccinated. We didn’t jump on the portal fast enough so their vaccine appointment isn’t until next week. I will feel much better when they are vaccinated. They are using their “risk budget” pretty freely.

  162. SM, you didn’t do anything to offend me until you said you didn’t believe me because I’m not an engineer.

    As for my tone, I think you are reading way too much into things. You seemed incredulous that anyone wouldn’t want to live alone, so I was merely pointing out that quite a few people have posted here that they hated it when they did it. I never said nobody wanted to talk about it. And my politics comment that you are referring to was because you seemed to miss the point of the original comment, not that you disagreed with it.

  163. I went thru the questions on the NY covid website, name, address, birthdate and answered the employment-related questions (focused on public-facing jobs, which is good) and I/we are not eligible at this time for group 1B (no surprise there). I signed up for text alerts if things change.

  164. My dad is very adept at online portals but most of his neighbors are not. In the Before Times, he often helped others to set up email accounts or get Netflix to work. It’s harder to offer those services now. To the extent that vaccine rollout depends upon email and text alerts, it’s not going to work for a significant number of seniors, especially those who don’t have helpful younger family members to assist.

  165. I’m in their 1a, but I haven’t yet figured out how to get the vaccine. That will be one of the things on my to do list today. The employees will probably want to know how they get their vaccines. The state probably requires me to find a way for them to get them.

  166. NY started vaccinating teachers today, but I don’t fall into their definition of a teacher. Oh well.

  167. “you said you didn’t believe me because I’m not an engineer”

    I think the problem is that you wrote “what difference does it make?” You meant “it makes no difference,” whereas SM took that literally and thought you were asking what difference it makes.

    On robotic vacuums, our old Roomba base was just a charger, so immediate conversion to low-voltage DC would be fine. But for our new one, the base is also a vacuum, in that it empties the Roomba each time it docks. And based on how loud it is, it’s powerful.

    I have a newfound loyalty to Costco because, since we bought both Roombas from them, I was looking at our older model, which hadn’t been all that great for starters, and wondering about the legendary Costco return policy. I had no receipt, no box, just a year-old Roomba in a plastic Walmart shopping bag, and its base. I was not going to demand a refund by any means, but I was at least prepared to talk honestly about how the battery capacity seemed to have diminished a little, it wasn’t that great at cleaning because it just wandered aimlessly, and we bought its replacement from Costco.

    No need. When I got to the front of the line, she scanned my card, took the bag and only barely glanced inside, and issued a $300 refund to my credit card.

  168. There’s been a minor clusterf*ck with the teachers getting vaccinated in metro Denver. The messaging was very unclear and one district thought the teachers could get vaccinated right now, so they sent their teachers to the hospital and they got their shots. Then the word came down that NO, the teachers are supposed to wait til after the over-70s. So now the teachers in the other districts are complaining because they didn’t get their shots. It will all work out eventually, but a certain doctor who posts here predicted that the vaccine rollout was going to be a giant mess, and she’s being proved right.

  169. It illustrates the bind that distribution systems are in. Hospitals that had more thawed doses than front line workers who were able or willing to get vaccinated just used them for anybody in the. building rather than let them go to waste. Others threw them out rather than incur steep fines for incorrect distribution. Florida chose to make a very large number of residents eligible from day one, and couldn’t handle the volume. And guidelines are murky. The min age for elderly priority ranges from 65 to 80 by state and sometimes county. What comorbidities add up to 2, the big classifier in my state? Who is essential?

  170. MooshiMooshi – are you teaching in person? In person college instructors recently got added as eligible in NY.

  171. Rhett – it’s a lot smarter than its predecessor. It’s probably smarter than me. It reports directly to DW through the app on her phone, and after a few days with us, expressed confidence that it had completed mapping our main floor. I haven’t paid too close attention to it, but it works a lot more methodically.

    I’ve been skeptical about how much suction it can really have to clean the rugs, but I figure there’s no harm in it trying. It picks up any dust bunnies on the wood floors.

    I like the self-emptying, and I was pleasantly surprised to learn that it empties into a traditional vacuum bag. I may have mentioned on here a few years ago that I’m done with bag-less vacuums. Too much cleaning after you clean, and they’re never quite clean IMO.

  172. It appears that those responsible for vaccine rollout simply assumed that every health care worker and (especially) every LTC staff member was as eager to get the vaccine as they were. They also failed to anticipate the number of folks in those priority groups who wanted to wait until after the holidays to get their dose.
    A family member here in Florida who is 75 was able to get her first shot last week because she lucked out with the portal — some of her friends missed out because they were too slow to hit the portal before it crashed. Meanwhile MIL at 85 is still waiting in lockdown in her memory care unit for her shot, though her facility was way ahead of the curve in surveying families and getting consent forms.

  173. Milo, I was skeptical of the self-emptying, for exactly the reason you gave. An actual bag makes a big difference. Still, vacuuming would be extra for us. The mopping ones can apparently be hard to clean, so I need to read reviews. Until I saw that one last night, I had no idea it was possible to get just mopping and I’m excited about it.

    Scarlett, my son was just reading a website about the process of getting the vaccine in NY—51 questions and several things to upload. We agree with you—that is ridiculously too much!

    Also, he has just brought in the Best of Zillow on twitter—we are converging!!

  174. I may have mentioned on here a few years ago that I’m done with bag-less vacuums. Too much cleaning after you clean, and they’re never quite clean IMO.

    What do you have to clean? I dump the cannister into the trash and put it back on the vacuum.

    What kind of vacuum do/did you have? We have a Dyson.

  175. Hospitals that had more thawed doses than front line workers who were able or willing to get vaccinated just used them for anybody in the. building rather than let them go to waste.

    A friend of ours works for a hospital in administration, her office is in separate office building, not the hospital itself, and she’s been working at home during COVID. They vaccinated her.

  176. WTF, your son is deciding what it is like in NY from thousands of miles away? It is not that complicated so I don’t know where he is looking. I helped my dad register earlier today and there were a handful of questions.

  177. Lauren, welcome to the World Wide Web. Glad to hear it isn’t as complicated as that post made it sound

  178. DD – our real vacuum is some kind of standard Eureka that I bought at Sears before they went out of business. It uses bags that I replace on Amazon, probably every couple of years.

    We had a one or two bag-less vacuum cleaners before that, and there always seemed to be dirt and dust getting stuck in it that had to be picked out by hand. And hair would tangle in it. And you’re dumping it over a garbage can, and dirt’s going back into the air. With a bag, the whole thing is easier to remove and discard, and it acts as its own filter. Although there’s still an additional little filter, it’s not as cumbersome or dirty or require cleaning or replacement as frequently.

    SM – I’ve done no research on it, so take it with a grain of salt, but I’m skeptical that robot mops would be worth the hassle. Did meme say you’ve got to deal with cleaning liquids, and replacing the pads. By the time you’ve done that, you may as well just get a Swiffer. Are they significantly heavier than a Roomba? Because if not, how do they have enough weight to actually scrub the floor?

  179. And you’re dumping it over a garbage can, and dirt’s going back into the air.

    That’s why you dump it into the big bin outside.

  180. I think the problem is that you wrote “what difference does it make?” You meant “it makes no difference,” whereas SM took that literally and thought you were asking what difference it makes.

    She said ” I am fairly certain that the kind of thing DD is talking about, like people use for hair dryers and whatnot, wouldn’t work. (Although if someone whose field this is said it would, I guess I’d believe them).”

    How else do you interpret this response other than she doesn’t think I know what I’m talking because I’m not an engineer?

  181. We have a robot mop (Mint). It’s currently not working (battery no longer holds a charge, but replacement is on order), but when it was working, we liked it. We mainly used it in the dry mode to pick up hair and dust, and it did that pretty well.

    A big reason we were satisfied with it is that we didn’t expect it to completely clean our floors. We still use a regular mop, and sometimes get down on hands and knees to scrub away tougher stuff, but the Mint reduced the amount of work we need to do.

    A friend who has had several Roombas told me that hair kills them. The hair wraps around the brushes and eventually burns out the motors. The way the Mint, and I believe also the Braava line, pick up hair doesn’t use brushes and thus isn’t susceptible to that same failure mode.

  182. I have Dyson, and admit that I wish it had a bag. The “bagless” vacuum was an unnecessary marketing feature. I love the Dyson and it does an amazing job with a long haired cat living among us, but the canister is too small, and I’m always having to empty it and then do extra wiping/dusting. Last year I replaced our 15 year old yellow Dyson with a new purple one and the canister is smaller. I wish I had known that they shrunk it.

  183. Milo, like I said, I didn’t even know these things existed until I saw that one the other night, so I haven’t researched them. I did google “wischroboter” and see that there is a wide price range. The descriptions sound like they keep working at sticky spots or whatever, “melting” them with mist or jets. The comments I’ve seen and what you said do make it sound like cleaning robots in general are better at mapping than when Herbert got stuck on that cliff. Why not stick with a mop? Same reason you don’t want to just use a stick vacuum.

  184. Finn, thanks!! I have long hair. There are lots of models that are supposed to be good with pet fur, but it’s hard to find any that talk about human hair. Back when we had wall-to-wall carpet (aaaaaaahh-CHOOOO!!!), I had to stop regularly to use scissors or a knife to cut the hair that had wrapped around the roller of our vacuum.

  185. SM, just guessing, but steam mops don’t seem like ideal candidates as roomba-type robots. It takes a lot of energy to convert water to steam, which would require some pretty hefty batteries.

  186. SM, there are a lot of homes without much carpeting here. E.g., the older plantation-style homes often had painted wood floors.

    That’s not to say there aren’t also a lot of home that do have a lot of carpeting. A lot of homes built when I was a kid had a carpeting, which many people find more comfortable than harder surfaces. Keep in mind that most people here don’t wear shoes in homes.

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