Post-Holiday and New Year Petty Complaints

by Houston

Now that the holidays are over, what are your petty complaints? Do you hate taking down Christmas decorations? Are your clothes too tight? Did you get a weird or unthoughtful present?

Complain away! Nothing is too trivial. Consider this a safe space insulated from the trials of the outer world.

171 thoughts on “Post-Holiday and New Year Petty Complaints

  1. Well, my petty complaint is that I had to go deal with emissions testing for my car, but we’ve already addressed that. ;-) Oh, and I need a new iPad — my battery is getting funky (it’ll be at 100%, I’ll close it up and put it on the coffee table, and two hours later is is completely dead — and yet last night I was able to read a book for several hours, and the battery only dropped to 94%).

    My true complaint — which is less petty and more #firstworldproblems — is that I just can’t plan any travel or vacations, and so I have nothing fun to look forward to. Realizing it’s our 25th anniversary year and we can’t plan the big exciting trip I was thinking about for decades just brought it all home, so I’m rather pouty.

  2. Are 5 extra kg considered “petty”? I am finally doing something about that—had my first appt with the PT/trainer last night, am really feeling it today. :)

    We are still dealing with Amazon and eBay nonsense. Accounts get locked and are hard to unlock when you’re doing a split across a couple continents, as we are. Why couldn’t that sister just say “we can’t afford good noise-blocking headphones for him, but here’s a generous money gift so he can get some that are up a notch or two from what you’d get him otherwise”? Seriously, they spent $100 (which is a lot in our family) for headphones they knew he didn’t want.

  3. #1 – It has been a number of years since anyone but me put anything in my Christmas stocking. It’s petty, but I make a point of putting in a couple of edible treats and at least one small (both size and cost) gift. This year I didn’t put anything in, so when it was handed to me and I was asked what was in my stocking I stuck my hand in and said “It’s empty”. No response.

    #2 – People in my household do not pick up the bathmat. I have even made it easier by putting a hanger for it on the shower rail and I still find it soppy wet on the floor. Yuck!

  4. DD, who LOVES “The Nightmare Before Christmas” (“NBC”) really wanted a NBC snow globe for Christmas that she saw in a store in our town. A few weeks before Christmas, I went to the store to buy it for her, but it had already been sold, and the owner said he wasn’t getting any more in stock. I searched the internet high and low for another one. I couldn’t find the exact one DD wanted, but I found another one that I thought was cool, and paid a not-insignificant sum for it. I thought DD would be thrilled, but she was sort of “meh” about it. She was kind enough not to overtly show her disappointment, but I could tell that she didn’t love it because she kept it in the living room (rather than in her room), and put it in the storage closet when Christmas was over. I thought I was going to be a gift-giving hero, but instead my efforts fell totally flat. :(

  5. Austin Mom – re: the stocking. Good for you! There was that SNL skit where the Mom only gets a robe and everyone else gets tons of goodies. Hated it. Way too true to be funny.

    One year I got a strainer and nothing else I didn’t buy for myself. DH and I had a chat and a week later I got some very nice gifts.

  6. Austin — I have all sorts of bathroom-related petty complaints. Apparently I am the only one in our household who can put a new bar of bath soap out when the old one has gotten small; put a new box of tissues out when the old one runs out; put a new roll of toilet paper on the roller instead of just leaving it on the vanity; the list goes on.

  7. “This year I didn’t put anything in, so when it was handed to me and I was asked what was in my stocking I stuck my hand in and said “It’s empty”. No response.”

    Next step–skip putting things in everyone else’s stockings. Since this is the petty complaints thread, I can be petty. : )

  8. I also got nothing in my stocking! Typically DH will put some goodies in there, but this year he forgot. He remembered at 11pm on Christmas Eve and raided the kids leftover Halloween candy so that it would look like I had something in there.

    We cancelled our ski trip this week (it was always a doubtful trip) and rebooked the same rental house for the summer. Bummed that we don’t get to ski out west this year. On the bright side, I’m back to planning a summer vacation, and already looking at a day doing a day fly fishing.

  9. We have just bought our first non-Honda/Acura car. A Subaru. It’s nice and all, but all the buttons are in the wrong places! I spent 5 min this morning looking for the button to close the garage door.

    Another complaint: Too much tech. Why do I need so much information? The rear view mirror does not need to tell me the direction in which I’m driving. I’m ok without this info!

  10. Next step–skip putting things in everyone else’s stockings. Since this is the petty complaints thread, I can be petty. : )

    OMG! Houston! I would love to hear you be petty and snipppy, just like that, all day! Can you reply to everybody’s crankiness, please?

  11. We use our stockings as present delivery mechanisms for family gifts. DH did put my present in mine, so I was surprised. But, as mom, I’m the one getting fun treats for everyone – including myself. So I make a F-ing big deal about the headband I bought for myself. I wore it all day.

    My petty complaint is that I’m sick of being the one everyone needs to talk to. I solve the problems apparently. DH literally called me away from work to solve a problem he could have solved. My mom is standing next to my kids, but my kids need me to set a timer for them. For goodness sakes, my oldest can set the Alexa timer all by himself. WTF!?!?!

    Today is the first day in a month I’ve had my office space (aka, my bedroom) to myself. I have zero complaints because there’s no one to complain to me! And it’s WONDERFUL! I got to prep for a workshop this afternoon in peace. Actually digest what I read. And I may have time to listen to the optional podcast. It’s a miracle.

  12. NoB, I still remember my heart swelling the day I reached for the TP and realized my son had put a new roll on! You’d think he’d climbed Everest or was a National Merit Scholar Finalist or something, lol.

    My bathroom-related complaint is that he will NOT use a hand towel. He dries his hands on MY bath towel, or the one for my hair, when his bath towel and 1 or 2 hand towels are right there

  13. #1 – It has been a number of years since anyone but me put anything in my Christmas stocking. It’s petty, but I make a point of putting in a couple of edible treats and at least one small (both size and cost) gift. This year I didn’t put anything in, so when it was handed to me and I was asked what was in my stocking I stuck my hand in and said “It’s empty”. No response.

  14. Austin, the same thing happens to my SIL every year. She said this year her husband realized it in the middle of the night on Christmas Eve and put some stuff from around the house in it.

  15. NoB and Austin – our kids and DH are also totally incapable of putting new TP on the TP roll! Why????

    Kerri – I LOVED that skit. Ironically, we got all the kids robes for Xmas (from DH’s mom, who just sent money rather than buying presents – a VAST improvement from the usual) and #1 has basically not taken hers off since! DH goes back and forth on whether he gets me any gifts at all – for my birthday no (I bought all my presents, he wrapped them) but for Xmas he did a good job and got several things off my wishlist. Our stockings are only for the kids, not for the adults.

  16. Background: I have decided to upgrade the 55″ tv in the family room to 70″. DS2 and I measured and that’s just right. 75″ would be a tad too big. The evaluation decision is done. It’ll be an LG. BJs or Best Buy. It will sit on a table vs being wall mounted.

    The gripe is kinda 2 fold:
    – w/DW who wants the table that it’ll sit on to be a “corner” table similar to what we’re using now for the 55″ vs a rectangular table. Bringing us to
    – there a very few corner tables out there that are wide enough (60″) for a 70″ tv to sit on in the (cheap skate) price range I’d like. Such width is needed because the supporting legs/feet on the tv are near the edges vs being in the center.

    Maybe I just have to suck it up and pay more. Or maybe I can compromise on the tv and get one that can sit on a smaller table.

    The size upgrade is clearly a consumption decision. I guess I’d like it soon, while I’m thinking about spending the money, but there’s really no “need” being met here.

  17. I don’t put a stocking out for myself, but my birthday last year is the first time since Mother’s Day when he was in 7th grade that my kid has gotten me a present. I used to want my family to help him do it, but now he’s old enough—he could do it if he cared.

  18. My dad is letting us stay in his townhouse for free while we are remodeling. He is in Florida with his wife. My petty complaint is about the design of his townhouse – everything is beige! the layout is weird and impractical! there are NO lights in the kitchen! the bathtub is too small!

    I keep reminding myself that it is free and saving us the hassle of finding another place. But it is annoying to have to plug a lamp in next to the stove so that I can see what I’m cooking.

  19. Petty complaint about DH at Christmas – I do most of the gift shopping for his family, my family, and kids. But he insists he has to get “just a few things” on his own for the kids. Unfortunately, he does this without coordinating with me, asking the kids what they want, or even knowing enough about what they already own to avoid duplicates. That has resulted in some really weird choices, like the unicycle one year for DS2, who can barely ride a bike. This year, he got DS1 a scanner. Problem is, DS1 already has a scanner, and since the pandemic and remote classes, rarely even uses that one. If DH had asked first, I could have told him. We ended up returning it and getting DS1 a much needed microwave for his room.

    He also insists on getting chocolates for my stocking, without asking me or the kids what I like. Yeah, yeah, I could tell him that I really detest 90% cacao with salted chiles, but I kind of feel bad. I put my stocking candy into the common Christmas candy bowl and it gets eaten

    Well, at least he is trying…

  20. At this point in my life, I’m thrilled with any gift people want to give. If there’s something I really want, I can get it for myself and so I appreciate the thought that goes into gifts.
    My petty first world complaint is that the remote that runs our little lanai pool and hot tub here in Florida isn’t labeled correctly. DH was fortunately working from home when the pool guy stopped by and was able to solve the mystery.
    I gave up on the bath mat/soap/tissue/toilet paper complaints and just do them myself. There are other things that DH takes care of and it’s just not worth the interior muttering to expect him to notice these things.

  21. “Can you reply to everybody’s crankiness, please?”

    Let’s all be catty and snippy today! Except that I wish you the best of luck with your resumption of your exercise routine! Go SM!

  22. I dislike the concept of Christmas stockings in general. Just more presents to buy. Bah Humbug!

  23. Scarlett, one winter we visited MIL in Florida. The pool at the rental house had the dumbest pool heater/hot tub bottom. It was something like, press button once for hot tub, press twice for pool heater low (turns off hot tub), three times for heater high, press four times for heater off. There were no lights to indicate what setting you were on. So every night we basically left the heater on, because you couldn’t tell if it was on or off. My MIL received a very high bill after her stay, because she overused electrically for that pool heater.

    TCM – how does a kitchen not have a light?

  24. Very petty: from MIL, my DD received fancy hot chocolate, DH received good coffee beans, and I got cheap tea (stash). It’s not bad enough to toss, but not my favorite.

  25. DH does a good job with gifts. Thanks to advice from my aunt*, early on in our relationship (not super early – but after we’d moved in together), we had a discussion about our expectations for gift giving for various events. We exchange wish lists and gifts for birthdays and christmas. Mushy cards but no gifts for Valentine’s Day or our anniversary (though often on our anniversary we’ll jointly buy something together that we both want).

    I do most of the stocking buying but DH contributes. Now that our kids are older, I’m thinking I may move to a system where everyone contributes at least one small thing to everyone’s stocking.

    *my aunt said that early on in her relationship with my uncle, he didn’t do much for her birthday and she was really disappointed because in her family, birthdays were a big deal. Turns out that in his family, birthdays weren’t a big deal – so he didn’t know she was expecting anything. Her advice was to be clear about your expectations ahead of time rather than hoping they read your mind. It was good advice.

  26. Yes Lemon Tree that is exactly it. Buttons with no indication that they are engaged. When the spa is off and pool is on there is supposed to be a little waterfall from the spa into the pool. Otherwise the pool is not heating and may not even be circulating
    And then the whole thing is on a timer so we can’t just leave it on.

  27. My in-laws (this is DH’s dad and stepmom) vacillate wildly between good and poor gifts. Weird asymmetric scarf or ONE CANDLESTICK one year, then cookbooks that I actually like the next. DH’s mom and stepdad give universally poor gifts, both to us and to the kids, so the check this year was really great. My parents give great gifts to everyone. Thinking about it, this may be why my expectations are always high!

  28. With all the walking around the house without shoes on, my socks are wearing out fast.

    I haven’t gotten my Dad a gift in a while, since we tend not to give gifts without a clear purpose, and he sends a check to each family. The last “good” gift I found him was when I found Crocs in his size (men’s 16, so hard to find) that he wanted.

  29. With all the walking around the house without shoes on, my socks are wearing out fast.

    I don’t know how you can do that. My feet need arch support and furthermore, I slide all over the wood floors in just socks.

  30. Petty complaint #1 – In the kitchen of our new house, the sink is in the middle of a half-wall of cabinets. To the right of to the sink is the dishwasher, and then to the right of that – a column of drawers. On the right side of THAT is the switch for the garbage disposal which makes it nearly impossible to reach while loading the dishwasher! Also – the cut off switch for the dishwasher is above the garbage disposal switch rather than under the sink and out of the way. I ended up sticking up a little piece of tape to remind us NOT to accidentally shut off power to the dishwasher when we actually mean to be switching the garbage disposal on & off.

    Petty complaint #2 – My drivers license expired last summer. Illinois keeps extending the true expiration date because of the pandemic, which helps, but then they also shut down the three closest offices to my house. I have no idea why – two were “temporarily closed” because of the looting downtown last summer, but that was 6 freaking months ago, and things are perfectly fine downtown right now and have been for months & months. No sign of reopening. Lines at the other locations, which are far from me, are insane – people are getting in line at 5am and sitting there all day. They are allowing online renewal – but NOT if you have corrective lenses. A huge percentage of adults have corrective lenses. Can they just keep the “corrective lenses” restriction on my license instead of requiring the 2-second “eye test” at the SoS office? No. Can I renew online with a note from my optometrist? No. Can I do the eye test somewhere else and renew by mail? No. Can the trust that the number of 40-something women who have massive eye degeneration in 4 years that cannot be corrected by glasses is minimal and not worth all this hassle? It’s absolutely stupid.

    Petty complaint #3 – I hate the toilet in our master bath. It’s weirdly tiny and low, and it clogs easily. I know we could replace it for like $500-600 with a decent enough one including the cost of the plumber. But we want to redo the whole bath in 2021, so I don’t want to put money into putting in a new toilet just to rip it out in 6 months.

    Petty compliment #1 – I bought the Hoka One One shoes that meme suggested, and they are fantastic. They fit my feet perfectly – which is a little tough. Usually, with athletic shoes (meant to be worn with socks) size 7’s are a smidge small and 7.5’s are too big. These are perfect.

  31. “My feet need arch support and furthermore, I slide all over the wood floors in just socks.”

    @RMS – Do you wear slippers? I wear socks around the house all day too. Slippers make my feet too hot, and bare feet in winter – too cold.

  32. Scarlett said “At this point in my life, I’m thrilled with any gift people want to give. ”

    I generally agree, when it comes to gifts for me. But today we are supposed to be petty, so the stocking chocolate came to mind. The gifts for the kids issue is slightly more annoying, because I think DS2 in particular feels a little bit like DH isn’t seeing him. DS1 doesn’t care at all but was too embarrassed to tell DH that he already had a scanner so I had to run interference there.

    Funny gift story – one of the SILs gave winter hats as gifts to all of us. DH and all three kids got those trendy Fjallraven beanies, the kind you pull way down to your eyes so you can look emo. But I got one of those poofy hats with a pompom on the top. I am not the sort of person who would ever wear a hat with a pompom on it. So I was kind of laughing but it turned out that DS2 really likes pompom hats and liked the color, so we traded. Now we are both happy

  33. RMS – SAME. I have to wear my sneakers with orthotics in the house. I can wear slippers if I’m not walking around a lot, but if I wear them all day I get tight in my feet/calves again. I seem to have developed a wool sensitivity, too, so all my SmartWool socks make me too itchy. Rrgh!

  34. Shoes in the house?
    Me – almost always – can be anything with good arch support. I have a pair of flip flops with arch support, not as comfy if I am moving around a lot, but will not have sore feet the next day. My Ryka’s are my favorite. SO – 99% of the time. You rarely see him without shoes or slippers.

    DD#1 – She will go around upstairs without shoes (carpeted floors), but usually wears flip flops to go downstairs if she is just hanging out in the house – tile floors are cold on the feet. DD#2 – Rarely wears shoes in the house unless it is a hold over from already going outside or she is doing things where she is going in and out.

  35. Oh I have a looong list today.

    1. The induction range died last night in the middle of dinner prep. 4 years old. It is just some sort of electrical issue, since both cooktop and oven stopped working at once. After switching off the breaker, it goes back on and blinks and beeps in a prescribed manner, so it is clearly a part that can be replaced. I bought from the high end local store (Yale) and they gave me a appt for 14 days hence. That is actually prompt in the circumstances But grrr.

    2. I have been making a valiant effort to patronize merchants other than Amazon. Even if I can’t use a local small merchant and it is a national company, I would like to spread the money around. But delivery and stock are big issues. To get through the next 2 weeks I needed an induction hot plate. Only place that can deliver within a week (nominally) is, you guessed it Amazon. Tomorrow. None of the brick n mortar stores even have one in stock locally that I could pick up.

    3. Pet food. I cancelled subscribe n save at Petco because unreliable, and started up with Chewy. On Jan send it to me day they said, sorry out of several items, and we don’t substitute (good idea). But it was 48 cans of cat food and the pheromone spray, not trivial stuff. I was able to find the items at PetSmart locally and door dash delivered. So compliment to them.

    4. Coupons that don’t work. This is various vendors. Something goes wrong with order or subscribe n save or out of stock unexpectedly. Or they say thank you for signing up, or being with us a year. here is x percent off. a) anything you really want is excluded in the fine print b) you check the fine print, make your order, put the code in the box and for no ascertainable reason it says (coupon not applicable). The only credits I always get are, wait for it, Amazon. See 2 above.

  36. I have indoor and outdoor shoes and flip flops. I like the traction and support that wearing shoes indoors gives me.

  37. I hate shoes (and I hate socks even more). I walk around barefoot outside, at least in our yard, when it is warm enough. So you can probably guess, I do not ever wear shoes inside. They are off my feet as soon as I am in the door. I have a pair of old flipflops by the stairs down to the basement because the floor down there is too skanky for my pretty little feet, but otherwise, barefoot it is.

  38. Shoes. Glad they worked out Ivy.

    I bought Sketchers arch fit slipons and wear them around the house. More structure than slippers, and can go outdoors or on the elliptical without having to change shoes. A pricey item that was excluded from the sign up to our website coupon. See above, 4.

    SM. Eyes on the prize, always. For you the residence visa and the contract end date if that is later. And even though money is not a prime motivator for you, that paycheck hitting your account will likely give a bit of satisfaction in the interim. Enjoy the training sessions. I know how much you have been missing those activities.

  39. Mooshi, my kids go barefoot inside. It’s too cold for me to do that since we keep the house at 65 in the winter.

  40. I just got my vaccine and I’m waiting my 15 minutes. Not too painful on the initial injection.

    None of us wear shoes in the house. I just wear socks and the others wear slippers if they get cold.

    Meme, I’m totally with you on Amazon. Sometimes they are the only place that can get you something quickly or at all.

    In college news, DD got into the honors college at MSU.

    My vent foe the day which isn’t so petty is my student keeps coming late. She is showing up at least but she’s only been on time once or twice. I told her again today she needs to come on time.

  41. Ivy, why not get the toilet you want for the remodel now?

    My compliment is to Chewy. We got a cat tower from them last week and it had several stuffed balls hanging down. The cats destroyed one within 2 hours. Chewy said they don’t have individual parts so they gave me a $25 refund. The tower only cost $99 so that’s a pretty good deal.

  42. Congrats DD’s DD!

    What are you going to do about your student?

    Ivy: Buy the toilet now. You can just remove it and reinstall it as needed in the bathroom reno. And have an electrician move the outlet — that’s the silliest thing I’ve ever heard! Or install an air-actuated button right next to the sink. Not difficult for any electrician with basic skills.

  43. This might not qualify as petty but people are up in arms about people getting the COVID vaccine when it’s not their turn. Due to its storage requirements they need to defrost x vials to inject however many people have appointments for that day. If people don’t show up they end up with vaccine they either need to administer or throw away. have to throw the vaccine away. Places like Safeway, hospitals, etc. have been announcing over the PA, “We have 15 doses left. The next 15 people who show up can get one.”

    It seems perfectly reasonable to me. I can’t understand why people are getting so upset about it. What other option is there?

  44. DD#2 is all about buying local and really wants me to curbside groceries. In both cases, the time it takes to find it local and to set up the curbside with all the details to get what you actually want that are not a standard unit (SU = 1 15 oz can of Bush’s Red Kidney Beans; NSU = 1.5 of Chicken Breast, which then requires – if you don’t have brand A, brand B is the ONLY substitution, down to 1.4 and up to 1.75 lbs is OK) is a pain in the tookus. I told her again today, you do the work and I will happily buy “local” or do curbside, but the added time and cost on my end is not worth it to me. She has not volunteered!

  45. LfB, I told her again today that if she keeps coming late that we’re going to be done. The problem is I have a hard time being a hard-ass.

    Rhett, the problem is people don’t understand any of that.

  46. “Or install an air-actuated button right next to the sink. Not difficult for any electrician with basic skills.”

    I did not know that this existed, but it is a fantastic idea!

  47. We never wear shoes in our house. I dislike when any outside people wear shoes in my house. I don’t force the issue to take shoes off, but I there are shoes near our front door so the message is pretty clear. There is so much dirt on the bottom of our shoes even in non covid times.

  48. Rhett, I had a similar response about the best being the enemy of the good for vaccine distribution the day that Cuomo announced a draconian fine for administering the vaccine to an ineligible person.

    The same day I read about Cuomo’s policy, I saw a Tweet from someone in Israel who observed health care workers going to the streets to find people to vaccinate at the end of the day so vaccine wouldn’t expire. Healthcare Worker on seeing a pizza delivery guy in Israel: “Pizza guy, would you like a COVID vaccine?” Pizza guy assented. Another vaccination accomplished.

  49. Rhett – One of the options would be to call people on the waiting list to see if they can get there timely before going to the PA system. However – DO NOT THROW AWAY VACCINE should be the #1 priority.

    We are waiting to do our 1/2 bath remodel before replacing the toilet – ours squeals. It will not get replaced sooner because the shutoff valve is almost impossible to turn with the toilet in place and it MUST be moved before the next one is put in. That valve move is the most costly part of that remodel.

  50. It seems perfectly reasonable to me. I can’t understand why people are getting so upset about it. What other option is there?

    I feel it’s borderline criminal to throw the vaccine in the trash. I understand people have a hard time getting appointments but once the vaccine has been defrosted it must be used. I don’t see any problem with random people getting the vaccine if any is left over.

  51. Cuomo announced a draconian fine for administering the vaccine to an ineligible person.

    Fortunately the decision was soon reversed.

  52. Rhett – One of the options would be to call people on the waiting list to see if they can get there timely before going to the PA system.

    That doesn’t strike me as practical. People don’t answer unknown numbers so you’d never know who is coming. If you have 10 doses do you call 10 people? 20? Wait till someone picks up and says they are coming? Send a text message “Reply 1 if you’re able to be at CVS in 20 min.” Keep in mind each group doing the vaccination would have to send out their own text messages. It’s an IT nightmare.

  53. Denver Dad – Congrats to your DD.

    Not a petty complaint but petty relief. Kids are coming to the end of semester. Traditionally the first semester is the harder one. When the second semester hits, it easier mentally due to the impending spring weather.

  54. Rhett – totally agree. I see nothing wrong with first come, first served when it can’t be left out and would be wasted otherwise. Heck, you could probably get people to show up for “10% chance of getting the vaccine at 4:45 pm”, kind of like people enter the lottery for the $10 Hamilton tickets or whatever.

  55. Congrats to your daughter, Denver! Do you think she’ll end up at MSU?

    I think so. She’s leaning that way but still hasn’t ruled out OSU.

  56. Rhett – I would think you could do it like my dentist does. Do you want to be put on the cancellation list? If so, you need to answer a call from this number and be able to get here within 30 minutes. Or, as L said, let people know when they sign up at if they have any doses left over at 4:45 pm, they will take people first come first served. I know a number of people who would show up every day until either their appointment date comes up or they get a “leftover” dose.

    But, I absolutely think giving it to anyone is better than throwing it away.

  57. Can you imagine?

    Many people on the web are commiserating with the pain of a man who forgot his password for getting to his 7,002 bitcoins, worth around $220 million, and has only two tries left before he is banned from trying.

    In an interview with The New York Times, California-based German programmer Stefan Thomas said that he was given the bitcoin as a present, which has fluctuated in value over the past few years before surging recently, for creating an animation about bitcoin back in 2011.

    He says he lost the pass to his IronKey, an encrypted hard drive that contains the keys to his digital wallet, that same year.

    Ever since, Thomas says he has attempted to access his account with 8 of his normally used passwords but failed.

    Now, he has just two attempts left before his $220 million are “lost forever”.

    https://iheartintelligence.com/people-in-shock-as-man-risks-losing-220-million-in-bitcoin-after-he-forgets-password/

  58. “It seems perfectly reasonable to me. I can’t understand why people are getting so upset about it. What other option is there?”

    Intellectually, using up the vaccine and getting as many people vaccinated is immensely preferable to throwing away vaccine. Emotionally, people could be reacting to the “I’ve been spending all this time and energy trying to figure out how to get the vaccine and what it comes down to is being in the right place at the right time”

    Transparency would likely be a helpful way to deal with the seeming randomness of it. E.g. some sort of notification like….”we are giving vaccinations on Tuesday between 10 and 4. if we have no shows, starting at 4:30, we will be offering left over vaccinations, first come, first serve. There are no guarantees, but if vaccine is available, there is a chance to get it”

    There has been so much favoritism, rules for the elites and rules for the serfs, during this whole process that there isn’t a lot goodwill or assumption of good intent left.

  59. I have a compliment as well, speaking of bare feet. First the day in the life for us. It isnt even a complaint anymore, just resigned acceptance.

    Last week DH scraped his bunion on the big doctors scale we have. He didnt even notice until he called me in because “one the cats bled all over the carpet under my desk” . After checking the cats I cleaned it up and said are you sure you didnt have a bloody nose. Eventually he took off his slipper now soaked through with blood and said oops? I did what was necessary changed bandages a few times , made him wear white socks and gave it very little mind. Yesterday he is looking fir tylenol, foot had been keepin him awake fir a couple of nights. No mention of it to me. No self examination of foot. Not healing, angry red, but no pus or dreaded red line going away up the body, so no jumping in the car.

    Now the good part. Took a pic last night, used the portal to message his doc, script called in and ready today. Telehealth for the win.

  60. To all planning bathroom remodels, I suggest you consider making sure there’s an electric outlet near the toilet. This gives you the option of installing a Washlet or similar.

    Austin, when you move your shutoff valve, I suggest you have a ball valve, aka quarter turn valve, installed.

  61. Lemon – my dad never cooks. He bought this place in 2007. I commented to him that his stove was immaculate. He said that it had never been used. There is a microwave over the stove with a light, but it is really dim. The only other lights are track lights in the middle of the kitchen and only 2 of the 5 bulbs work. Neither one is pointed at the stove or at the sink, which is 10 feet away from the stove. The ceiling is about 12 feet high, so I need to get a ladder out and then go to the store to buy replacement bulbs. Once we get everything settled at our house, I can then focus on getting stuff put away here.

    My next petty complaint is the f*&^ing garbage collection. The garbage truck is automated but this week and last week not all of the garbage has come out of the can. Argh! So I need to get a shovel or something and unstick the garbage and hope next week it comes out.

  62. Petty complaint – my parents love language is gifts. They love to overwhelm us with gifts. They usually mail the kids a ridiculous amount of Christmas presents. This year they sent only a small number, and gave me extra cash to buy more for the kids. Well, my kids, one in particular, isn’t big on getting presents. It isn’t her thing, never has been. So I took the cash, bought a few extra items, and put the remaining amounts in their savings accounts. On Christmas my kids ripped open their presents, and quickly forgot who gave them what (despite different wrapping paper). Later when we facetimed my parents, my parents were disappointed that they didn’t get more gifts “from them”, and that the kids couldn’t even remember what gifts they got from them, and they weren’t as excited as they wanted them to be. The gift-giving aspect of Christmas is the worst part of the holiday.

  63. “To all planning bathroom remodels, I suggest you consider making sure there’s an electric outlet near the toilet. This gives you the option of installing a Washlet or similar.”

    This is one of my must-haves in the new bathroom. Electric is already available near the toilet, but currently running into the whirlpool tub which I want to rip out & replace with a large shower.

  64. I used to go barefoot all the time, late into fall. Not anymore. I must be getting old. My feet get cold, and it makes me cold. I have Free People socks with rubber on the soles waiting for me in Ohio. https://www.freepeople.com/shop/charlie-rouched-over-the-knee-grip-sock/?color=004&countryCode=US&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI8bz6mOKb7QIVJh6tBh35nAASEAQYASABEgLXAfD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds&inventoryCountry=US&size=M&type=REGULAR&quantity=1 My son has Giesswein slippers that his orthotics fit in.

    Mooshi, I agree with you/DS2 about him not being seen. I hope this was just a dumb goof, and isn’t an ongoing thing!

    Meme, it’s supposed to be a regular job, with no termination date, so only my conviction that a call center is not my highest and best use (reinforced by the fact that the pay is half what I used to make ten years ago, for fewer hours then) that will get me out of there. But as you say, at this point, the visa is the thing. I haven’t decided yet if I’ll quit as soon as I get it or if I’ll stay on through the 3 weeks of 6-hour days of training and use the late afternoons for job searching. For the first 6 months, it’s only 2 week notice. Humorously, Germans see me as smiley and friendly and outgoing. Back home, I’m seen as having RBF. I think even people on here who have never met me in real life can probably see that description doesn’t fit me. It’s just the difference in what is expected.

  65. Another suggestion to Ivy, Austin, and other bathroom remodelers– consider 1-piece toilets. More expensive, but easier to install, much easier to clean, and less likely to leak.

  66. SM, really? After all the trials and tribulations, I wouldn’t walk away from any job until I had another one in hand. As I’ve said before, you never know who might turn out to be a connection to that next thing.

  67. Ivy: our contractor in CO suggested the air-actuated buttons for the island, where we had a sink but no nearby wall for a switch. I have refused to use anything else ever since!

  68. I went through a period where I could not go barefoot on any hard surface for more than a few minutes without having severe pain for several days following. I was always unsure what to do when I arrived at someone’s house, especially if it was a social gathering or someone I didn’t know well. Keep my shoes on and be kind of rude? Or be a middle-age woman who has a conversation about her foot problems with a host during a hectic moment? Or maybe be polite, take the shoes off, and have big regression in my foot problems? In my own home, wearing my shoes inside didn’t track in any more dirt than the very fluffy dog or the children who were constantly in an out with bare feet.

    Fortunately, my feet have gotten better and I go barefoot almost as much as I want to.

  69. Best of luck Ivy…the electrical code in Chicago is insane (making up for the Chicago fire). Years back we were denied such a button when we installed a garbage disposal in our place in Chicago. We ended up adding a switch under the sink (against code) and had to take it out when we went to sell.

  70. My favorite present for Christmas was an electric throw blanket. So wonderful during the two months of winter that we have here!

  71. “Keep my shoes on and be kind of rude? Or be a middle-age woman who has a conversation about her foot problems with a host during a hectic moment? Or maybe be polite, take the shoes off, and have big regression in my foot problems?”

    How about bring your own pair of indoor footwear?

    This reminds me of how back in my SV days, those of us who worked in the fab were issued clean room shoes that were only to be worn in the fab. Everyone who worked there had shoe lockers and changed shoes before entering/leaving the gowning area.

    When we visited a school in Japan, their shoe lockers, where kids change shoes from their outdoor shoes to indoor shoes, looked very familiar. Those of us who were visiting had to bring our own indoor shoes.

  72. Finn – Absolutely a quarter-turn valve! And it will be moved to the other side of the toilet where you can actually reach it, given its proximity to the wall and the toilet itself. When we moved it we had all our gas lines checked and replaced with the easier to shut off valves. As we do work throughout the house, we have changed them out as we go. I didn’t realize about this one was so awful until it was stopped up and I couldn’t turn off the water. I had to stand their holding the refill value to keep more water from entering the tank.

  73. Forgive the above outburst of thinky and positivity. Back to the regularly-scheduled grousing:

    Why don’t German bags have the kind of little slit that makes it easier to rip them open, instead of a little symbol telling you to get your scissors out and cut here?
    Why are German twist ties so bad? No being long enough to twist is ok, they just barely fit around the bag they’re tying. But they use two pieces of wire, joined by 5mm of plastic, so they don’t save materials, and they break after a couple re-uses.
    Re-sealable packaging is generally lacking here.
    When I came home from the grocery store earlier this evening, I asked my son to put things away. A bit later I asked him to boil some water on the stove. He put in so little that it boiled off and he had put the new whisk/dustpan on the stove, so part of it melted, as did some of his peanut butter that he also didn’t put away.
    I would gripe that I always slice myself on the oxo mandolin Mooshi recommended, but tonight I just stopped slicing carrots with an inch left.

    Why are men so weird? Guy I enjoyed speaking with on 2 occasions 3-4 months ago just popped up today to wish me happy New Years. I returned the greeting and told him we have something for his toddler son. Now he’s sent me a picture of himself leaping hurdles a few decades ago and two videos like this plus one on Covid safety. What? He’s a smart enough guy—used to be a linguist, bitd, listening to Russian communications across the border for the military.

    Meme, sorry to hear that about your beloved’s body awareness. I’ve had weird bruises show up, maybe some little nicks & cuts, but that sounds like quite a whack to bleed so much from a toe.

  74. Oh, I meant to gripe about the washlette too. Haven’t installed the one DS got me for my birthday in August, because we’re hoping to move soon.

  75. Meme, it’s supposed to be a regular job, with no termination date, so only my conviction that a call center is not my highest and best use (reinforced by the fact that the pay is half what I used to make ten years ago, for fewer hours then) that will get me out of there. But as you say, at this point, the visa is the thing. I haven’t decided yet if I’ll quit as soon as I get it or if I’ll stay on through the 3 weeks of 6-hour days of training and use the late afternoons for job searching.

    Seriously? It took you well over a year (if I understand your timeline correctly) to find a job, and after three days you’ve decided the job is beneath you so you’re going to quit. You haven’t worked in 10 years and you need an employer to sponsor you for a visa. Exactly what kind of job are you expecting to get? That’s a serious question, not rhetorical.

  76. Telehealth for the win.

    This falls under the “good things that came out of the pandemic” category, which doesn’t have much in it. Providers can now bill for telehealth and other forms of remote patient care.

  77. Denver, they don’t need to “sponsor” me. Simply having the contract should be enough to get the residency permit. It should be here by next week. When it gets here, I’m going to contact the employment office right away to ask their advice. I expect their attitude will be that resources are being wasted and they’ll want to see me in a different job. Also, if you’ll check my last posts, you’ll see that nothing like the three-day turnaround you suggest actually happened. The plan all along was to get a simple job for the visa, then, once I had it, change to a different job. That’s still the plan.

  78. *past posts.

    Idk when I wrote about it last. But Meme’s earlier comment makes clear that she knows the plan.

  79. Ivy,
    If you have a switch on the wall that you want to avoid using, the best fix is a clear plastic cover that fits over it. You can still access the switch on the side, but the cover prevents a lot of problems, especially with kids or guests.

  80. When it gets here, I’m going to contact the employment office right away to ask their advice. I expect their attitude will be that resources are being wasted and they’ll want to see me in a different job.

    I’m not sure clinically what the diagnosis is but you have a very serious problem understanding how other people think. You’ve mentioned that kind of thing has been a problem at many stages of your life. Have you ever been professionally evaluated?

  81. S&M, honest question – what is the general consensus of Germans on foreigners obtaining work visas and then not working once they got one?

  82. It isn’t clear to me what S&M’s proposed course of action is. If she plans to seek a more suitable job once she obtains her residency permit, that sounds reasonable to me as long as she doesn’t quit her current job until she’s completed the hiring process for the new, more suitable job.

    I spent 5 years mostly out of the workforce and 5 years in a contract job before obtaining my current job, which is the same level I was at 20 years ago. I’m still behind my peak on inflation-adjusted pay. For me at least, it took time, networking and effort to get back to my previous career level. It won’t surprise me if S&M’s situation is similar.

  83. “Can others chime in on S&M’s proposed course of action?”

    IDK — I don’t know anything about the German job market. If the whole residency process is just about checking boxes, then there may be no harm. OTOH, if the residency process is trying to make sure the country is allowing in only as many people as it needs to to meet the needs of German employers, quitting so soon could be an extremely bad move.

    But I thought part of our earlier advice was to take the current job to be able to put recent employment on the resume to make you a more qualified candidate for other, better jobs? A few days or a week on the job isn’t going to accomplish that. I suspect it will be almost as hard to find a “good” job with a residency permit as without one, particularly if you are just sending letters or responding to ad postings.

    To channel Rhett: employers want to be sure that you have the substantive knowledge, sure. But they also want to know that you will show up on time, do your work, and get along well with others (or at least not cause major problems). The only way they often have to tell that someone meets those criteria is a resume that shows a consistent employment history. Staying in the current job for only as long as it takes to get the paper in your hands sends absolutely the wrong signal to the very people you want to hire you in the future.

    Personally, I would absolutely not quit the current job before I had a better one lined up. The best chance you have to get the kind of job you want is to currently have a job, and to flesh out your resume with volunteer work in the area you are interested in. Meet people in your area, get recent experience, make connections who can both let you know of potential jobs that will be coming open, and who will be happy to put in a good word for you with their bosses.

  84. My petty complaint is that I am tired of talking about this same employment issue on the Totebag for many years. The example that a 16 year old set at Market basket is an important one. Hard work, dedicate work, responsible work leads to new opportunities and higher pay. People are starving and in food lines. Unemployment rates are through the roof in many countries. Just work, collect a paycheck and then build a plan for next steps.

  85. Ada, while we are “shoes off in the house” people, I would never, ever see it as rude if a guest chose to keep their shoes on. Since we line up (pile?) our shoes by the backdoor rather than the front, many guests don’t notice and keep their shoes on. Whichever way they do it is fine by me.

    We are friendly with a family from Myanmar that is very strict about “no shoes in the house”. They pile their shoes on the stoop outside the front door and expect others to do the same. While they are the strictest I have seen, I have also had friends from India and Sweden who really preferred people not keep their shoes on in the house, so I am fine with that approach too.

  86. I was asking more about : I’m going to contact the employment office right away to ask their advice. I expect their attitude will be that resources are being wasted and they’ll want to see me in a different job.

    Is that the attitude you would expect in such a situation?

  87. Rhett: Oh. Yeah, not so much. More like “WTH, I just spent all this time getting this lady a job for her visa, and now she wants to quit so I can start all over again and get her a better one?”

  88. On college news….DS may have been offered a full ride at Roll Tide. It seems to good to be true and we don’t want him to make the decision based solely on the cost. We’re headed south in a few weeks to check it out. Not real sure about the deep South. I mean, I’m sure things have improved since the 60s, but I have no idea what life is like there.

  89. @Cass – That’s fantastic news even if he doesn’t chose it in the end. Great accomplishment!

  90. The plan all along was to get a simple job for the visa, then, once I had it, change to a different job. That’s still the plan.

    And that’s a completely ridiculous plan. You haven’t worked for 10 years, you get a job to get a visa, then quit immediately to find something better, and you expect employers to come knocking down your door? You really have no idea how the working world works.

    Employers are going to look at your resume and see you didn’t work for 10 years and then gave up on a job after a few weeks. Would you hire someone with that record?

    Like Lauren said, follow the example of the 16 year old totebagger working at the supermarket: go to work and bust your ass every day for a year. Maybe it will lead to a promotion to something better suited to you. If not, you’ll have a year experience and good references to show other employers and you’ll be in a much better position to find a new job.

  91. RMS, one of the shocking things that the kids have learned at all their schools is that apparently we aren’t as conservative as we think we are.

    You would be amazed at the stories the kids have brought home. It was kind of expected from Texas, but not from the California college kid.

    Oh, and he thinks that the weather is too hot here.

  92. Cass, congrats! I had a friend whose daughter went there and loved it. She’s now in med school.

  93. Cass, congrats!! That is really amazing. FWIW, one of DD’s best friends is going to UAB — not quite the same as the flagship, but she loves it there.

  94. Petty complaint – I miss our house cleaners and I hate cleaning bathrooms, sweeping floors, dusting, etc. We put house cleaning on hold due to COVID and won’t restart until after we’re vaccinated. Although I’ll have to talk DH into this (he never liked having to pay for house cleaners).

    I have a pair of birkenstocks I keep for my indoor shoes. Hurts my feet to go without shoes for any major period of time when I’m standing (like when I’m cooking).

  95. “RMS, one of the shocking things that the kids have learned at all their schools is that apparently we aren’t as conservative as we think we are.

    Well, that’s utterly terrifying.”

    No kidding. Maybe its not a conservative thing. Maybe it’s just that 18 years olds are both incredibly ignorant and also incredibly confident in their knowledge.

  96. Well, that’s utterly terrifying.

    She’s a libertarian. The rest of the world thinks libertarians and conservatives being on the same side makes no logical sense. In that sense it makes perfect sense.

  97. Can others chime in on S&M’s proposed course of action?

    I’m not going to bother reading any more I this thread. I certainly hope, but don’t necessarily expect, that people would have the good sense and dignity to ignore this request.

    Rhett, I know you are busy jacking off to royalty whenever you see it, but something you might not have noticed is that there is an increasing level of concern about racism. I have ten years of experience researching and publishing on resistance to racist and religious animus. I am well aware that this makes me a complete failure as far as you are concerned, because the dollars: effort index is not high. I think by now you might be aware of what I think of your hyper-focus on financial rewards to the complete exclusion of everything else.

  98. S&M,

    I tried to be as nice as possible. You ask for advice and if no one responds you get angry. But when people offer their good faith advice you also get mad. What do you want from me?

  99. SM: What type of job will you go for next? Are there any opportunities with recently immigrated refugees?

  100. Cass congrats to your DS! My DD got accepted there but not a full ride. The friends of hers who went there all were happy with their choice.

    Petty gripe: excision of skin problem and 12 stitches on a spot that makes it difficult to sit, so generally uncomfortable and cranky. No pain meds other than Tylenol so lousy sleep for a couple of nights. (Truly petty – this solved the problem and I’ll feel fine in another day or two.)

    Other petty gripe – young adults, who I previously trained to do household tasks without being asked, have backslid and now must be reminded to take out the trash and replace the bag if they notice it’s full. Not having it. I’m not nagging adults to do the bare minimum.

  101. Congrats to your DS, Cass ! I should tell my DS to consider it. He is sufficiently Southern.

  102. Kim – I just read that some NY sites are open 24/7 and you can get a shot late at night with hardly any people there. That may be an alternative for NY people who are eligible but scheduled far into the future.

  103. Cass, congrats to you and your DS!!

    Please keep us posted and let us know how your campus visit goes. Over on the CC thread I monitored, a lot parents posted about their visits, and the consensus was very positive; a lot of kids were swayed to go there by their visits. Parent satisfaction when kids attended also seemed quite high. TMK the majority of kids are from OOS, so the campus is somewhat of a bubble.

    Does his full ride also include a year of grad school tuition? The standard NMF package used to include 5 years of tuition, so it wasn’t uncommon for NMF to go to med school or law school there too. Some kids were able to use that package to cover tuition for bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

    Does his offer include admission to the honors college too? I think that’s also the norm for NMF, and some CC postings said the honors college was a bubble within a bubble.

  104. Houston, Becky, what’s going on there? Harden’s gone, and Watson wants out??

    SM, is Jarrett Allen a favorite of yours and/or your DS? He’s going to Cleveland, where now he’ll need to compete with Drummond for minutes.

  105. Cass –
    My best friend’s daughter went to Bama from Seattle. She thrived there but there’s a catch. She rowed and was a recruited athlete. Lots of women on the team, like 90% of the roster is from outside Alabama, quite a few from Seattle my friend said. So how much of the South she experienced is an open question.

  106. Dude, she didn’t ask for advice. She just described her plans.

    In the past, she’s complained when she posted about a problem and nobody offered advice when she didn’t ask for it. She said that’s how she asks for advice. So how are we supposed to know when she wants advice and when she doesn’t? We’re not mind readers.

  107. “while we are “shoes off in the house” people, I would never, ever see it as rude if a guest chose to keep their shoes on.”

    Here, one way to not get invited back is to wear your shoes into someone’s home or, worse yet, refuse to take them off when asked.

  108. DD, I have pretty extensive knowledge of OSU and limited knowledge of MSU and I would pick MSU over OSU, all else being equal, if I were from your area based on which employers recruit where. We tend to have West Coast, not Mountain West, employment recruiters.

    In case your DD cares about my opinion :)

  109. Congrats to the college-bound kids!

    Louise, thank you. Since I’m experiencing severe insomnia that just might be the ticket!

    On this day, the Sun God is worshipped, offered prayers and gratitude, Devotees also worship Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi on the occasion of Makar Sankranti.

    I also worship the Sun God so this is my kind of festival.

  110. Kim – I was hoping you would read about the vaccine sites. They seem far from where you live but if it’s late at night and uncrowded, you should be able to get in and out.

  111. Denver and Cass, Congrats for your kids! It’s so gratifying to see hard work rewarded. Especially this year, when they’ve had to give up their normal lives.

  112. So evidently, teen vaping has plummeted during COVID. I am not suprised. Around here, a lot of it was associated with school – kids learned about it from schoolmates, and were doing it in little groups before or after school or during breaks in the school day. And while teens are still getting together, at least according to the constant complaints from people on the town moms group and the school superintendant, I do think there is a lot less of it. None of DD’s closest friends are allowed to go out with friends right now. And finally, vaping may simply seem riskier to teens right now.
    https://grownandflown.com/new-study-vaping-among-teens-has-changed-covid/

  113. It would be nice to think that teens are vaping less because they now realize that vaping is a stupid and harmful habit, but it’s far more likely that they simply have fewer opportunities to indulge. When life returns to normal for young people, there may be a huge rebound in risky behaviors as they try to make up for lost time

  114. I agree, Scarlett, but maybe that is one of the hidden upsides of remote schools – teens have less opportunity to learn risky behaviors from other teens…

  115. Is anyone else’s kids in a district where school is fully remote, but school sports teams are still playing? Our district has been remote since the end of the Christmas break, but most of the sports teams are still practicing and competing. In the region, occasionally a team will have to stop playing for a bit if there has been a positive Covid case, but mostly the region’s school sports teams are up and running. I can’t for the life of me understand this. A controlled classroom environment seems much less risky than a basketball or hockey game where the kids are right up in each other’s faces, indoors, breathing heavily, playing against kids from other towns. The kids wear masks while they’re playing, but still.

    Hopefully our kids will be back to hybrid learning next week (that is the stated plan) so I won’t have to be quite so annoyed about this issue.

  116. NoB,
    Maybe the rationale is that classes can be conducted remotely, but sports cannot.
    The chances of transmission in either case are low. If opening sports leads parents to demand a return to the classroom, that would be a good thing. It’s interesting that the coaches don’t seem to have the same objections as teacher unions to having contact with students. But good for them for putting the interests of the kids first.

  117. My county health department has issued a non binding recommendation to go to virtual as much as possible due to the number of cases in the county.
    My kids school has looked to the cases within the school community to determine if they should go remote for a week or so. Mostly they have been in person since August. It will be interesting to see what they will do next week when they resume for Semester 2.
    The public schools were supposed to start going back some more from Jan 19, but they again face the non binding guidelines and the increase in cases. I predict they will continue to be remote and ride out the rest of the year remote.

  118. Ok, so petty gratitude instead of petty complaint. I had another attack of vertigo this morning (a not-quite-so-petty complaint) and am stuck in bed pretty motionless. And DS has been running around getting me pillows, making me tea, and bringing me breakfast and medicine — all during breaks between and during classes. How did I end up with such a genuinely nice 15-yr-old boy?

  119. Scarlett, from what I can tell having a spouse who’s teaching in the public schools, there are a significant number of teachers (DH is one of them) who want to go to full in-person learning. Not only because they think it’s better for the kids, but honestly also because it’s easier for the teachers. DH says hybrid teaching (what his district has done since September) is SO much harder than full in-person teaching. And he hates (hates!) sitting in front of a computer all day on Wednesdays (which is a full-remote day). However, I don’t think full-in-person is going to happen this school year, unfortunately.

  120. Our schools are nominally hybrid but keep flipping to remote because they can’t staff the schools when a lot of teachers are on quarantine. Many of the kids have also opted for full remote. We have a very few sports teams that are running – mainly the ones that have little contact and are outdoors. My kid did fall cross country and is now doing winter track (and they are doing all practices outside). The competitions are drastically altered due to state requirements. In the fall season, many of the cross country meets got cancelled because schools had COVID cases.

  121. MN had a pause of youth sports from mid-November to January 4 due to higher case counts. The governor also closed restaurants and bars from serving in person, take-out and delivery only. The case counts have dropped dramatically.

    I think the issue with youth sports isn’t with the kids but that it brings lots of people (adults) together and transmission was happening. Now kids are allowed to practice again but are required to wear masks while practicing and playing in games. Some parents are in an uproar about masks. I want to smack them – quit complaining! At least your kids can play. My niece plays for a high-level D1 volleyball program and their team has practiced with masks since summer. I guarantee that they are working harder than most of the youth playing rec/travel sports.

    Parents set the tone for their kids. If the parents are griping about their kids wearing masks, guess what? Their kids will complain about wearing masks. My kids don’t like wearing a mask all day at school or for sports, but they don’t complain and put the masks on because they are happy they get to be in school and get to play. And after a few practices, they haven’t even noticed wearing masks.

  122. NoB – our district is pretty consistent, the sports teams have all had curtailed seasons and delays, in keeping with the hybrid schedule. They pushed back the HS hybrid return to this week since some teens (surprise surprise) were at NYE parties, and all HS sports were cancelled during that week too.

  123. Sorry, late to the OT. My (not so) petty complaint is that my company is sending us home a year early. Given the state of the business and the overall economy here they can’t justify paying an ex-pat. While I understand the rationale, I’m still very disappointed. I’m not ready for humidity yet.

  124. Is anyone else’s kids in a district where school is fully remote, but school sports teams are still playing?

    Yup. DD hasn’t been to school since March, but DPS still has sports going.

  125. It’s interesting that the coaches don’t seem to have the same objections as teacher unions to having contact with students. But good for them for putting the interests of the kids first.

    This is why we have a separate politics page.

  126. J-M, that’s not petty at all. How soon does this mean they are sending you home? I’m so sorry, that sucks. You got all the hassle and little of the benefit. Someone that works for me was ex-pat for 7 or 8 years (two countries) and has recently admitted that he occasionally wonders why they moved back. Their last country was Australia and his family really loved it.

  127. Sunshine – We’ll move back in late summer. So in theory we still have time to enjoy many things here, but the restrictions just keep increasing (the rumor is our curfew will be moved to 6:00 pm from 8:00 pm tonight). We have DEFINITELY had all the hassle and little benefit. There needs to be a different word other than mistake (maybe there is one, and I don’t know it) because I keep saying this is the worst mistake I ever made. But at the same time I can’t really call it a mistake. Looking back, if I had the same information now that I had then, I would make the same decision. And it hasn’t all been bad, but realistically, I think the bad has outweighed the good.

  128. J-M — I’m really sorry. You have endured a lot of trials and tribulations in your time in Paris.

  129. Thanks NOB. Responding to your comment up thread about refilling bathroom items (soap, tp, etc). For some weird reason I love doing this. No joke. It makes me feel like I am taking care of my family’s basic needs by ensuring they have all their necessities available. It’s weird, I know, but it gives me joy!

  130. J-M,

    I’m sorry to hear that. On the plus side you still have a job. On the negative side you won’t be able to tell your French colleagues to… how you say en français .. to go fuck themselves.

    Ah here we go:

    ‘Va te faire enculer’. It can be translated as ‘Go fuck yourself

    https://vidalingua.com/blog/french-swear-words

  131. @J-M: I am so sorry to hear that. You had a unique experience for sure, but you really never got to experience living as an ex-pat in the way that you’d all hoped & expected, that’s for sure.

    As of right now, DS is scheduled to go hybrid Feb 1. The way they set it up, you could chose hybrid but then opt out at the last minute, but if you chose remote – no opt-in until 4th Q (which is April). So we chose hybrid initially. Even with that set up, 50% of our school choose full remote. We are going to pull back to full remote as well. My take – looking at the plans – is that hybrid is going to be worse than full remote for DS. It is supposed to be synchronized – teaching kids in school and at home at the same time. So the two days he would go in, he’ll sit at a desk, masked, with a cohort of 25% of the class or less, two scheduled bathroom breaks but no other moving around/socializing, staring at a beat-up chromebook while his masked teacher teaches into the screen at the front of the classroom. So I’d rather just have him at home where he can run around, blow off steam and talk to his friends vis facetime or at the park/outside rather than gain 2 days a week where he is out of the house for a bit of the day. Hopefully by April, a good amount of the teachers and staff can be vaccinated, and they can modify the plans.

  132. Rhett – Yes, still having a job is a blessing and a curse for the exact reason you mention!

  133. ” Responding to your comment up thread about refilling bathroom items (soap, tp, etc). For some weird reason I love doing this. No joke. It makes me feel like I am taking care of my family’s basic needs by ensuring they have all their necessities available. It’s weird, I know, but it gives me joy!”

    This is a good attitude, and I should adopt it for all those things that I take on. Honestly, the division of labor in our house is not a major point of contention, so it would be better for me to think this way rather than be annoyed when I have to fill the rinse aid in the dishwasher!

  134. J-M – Not a mistake, a learning experience or life experience. Think of the stories you’ll be able to tell for years to come.

  135. J-M, how disappointing!!! I hope you’ll be able to do the things you had planned (or at least some) before you are sent back!

  136. JM, Reach out once you move back. Maybe we can have an outside lunch with you, me, and Becky. : )

  137. Rhett/any others:

    I recall it as “Va te faire foutre” (also often taken to mean ‘kiss my ass’)

  138. Sorry JM – that is so disappointing and returning here at that time of year is the worst! Agree with Houston – would love to do an outdoor lunch!

  139. “I would pick MSU over OSU, all else being equal, if I were from your area based on which employers recruit where. We tend to have West Coast, not Mountain West, employment recruiters.”

    This apparently assumes DD’s DD wants to return to Denver, or to another Mountain West location, after college.

    More broadly, this suggests discussing with kids the implications of their choices of colleges and majors on their job possibilities after college.

  140. JM – I wish you all the best for the rest of your time there and a safe return home. Maybe you will be able to go on vacations periodically using the knowledge you gained as a resident.

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