I thought we could talk about dress-up clothes and behavior for kids (since it is on my mind). How many Totebaggers’ kids have been in weddings? How old were they? From where were their outfits sourced? What would you consider “too much” to spend on a flower girl or junior bridesmaid dress? Or a navy blazer for boys? Do you let your kids run wild at weddings and/or get their fancy clothes filthy?
The last time one of my kids was in a wedding was when #1 was 2, and I borrowed a dress for her that time and had to walk with her down the aisle. Now all 3 of ours will be in our nanny’s wedding next year, so I will have to buy all their outfits.
College costs – is the bubble slowly leaking?
I am pinning my hopes on state school, or college costs coming down in the next 10 years!
What will you do if in retirement, your spouse wants to retire to one place but you prefer another?
What to Do When He Wants to Retire One Place, She Another
Luckily, neither DH nor I would prefer to retire to a warmer climate!
Caring for babies born with opioid addiction – what are Totebaggers’ thoughts? What policies would help? What do you think about this mother’s chances of gaining custody? How about her naming choices?
A tide of opioid-dependent newborns forces doctors to rethink treatment
When the Mother of an Opioid-Dependent Newborn Hears, ‘You Can’t Have Your Baby’
Driving in urban vs rural areas: what do Totebaggers think?
Our driving increased per trip when we moved to a more rural area, but our trips to work also decreased by a substantial amount.
Urban America Is Driving More. Rural America Is Driving Less. What Gives?
When Helicopter Parents Hover Even at Work
Have any Totebaggers seen younger workers’ parents in the workplace? Or is this another one of the NYT overblown or nonexistent trend stories?
Everyone from Mark Zuckerberg to Barack Obama has adopted a “work uniform” — here’s how to make yours
How to Perfect the Art of a Work Uniform
Would Totebaggers consider (or have you already adopted?) a work uniform? Personally, I like clothes and variety too much to wear the same things all the time!
Climate Science Meets a Stubborn Obstacle: Students
Teachers among us, have you dealt with students who didn’t believe what you taught them? How did you cope?
“Locker room talk” and “boys will be boys” – in the wake of our current president’s words (and alleged sexual assaults), what solutions would Totebaggers suggest? Parents of boys, how would you feel if your son was one of the people scoring women?
2012 Harvard Men’s Soccer Team Produced Sexually Explicit ‘Scouting Report’ on Female Recruits
WATCH: Harvard women’s soccer’s response to ‘scouting reports’ featured in Lifetime video
Why Is Silicon Valley So Awful to Women?
Why Men Don’t Want the Jobs Done Mostly by Women
Totebaggers, how would you suggest decreasing sexism and increasing the number of women in tech? Law? Banking? Other fields? On the other side of the coin, how would you increase the number of men in “pink collar” jobs? Or would you rather leave well enough alone? If gender gaps in certain jobs/industries don’t bother you, why not?
Open offices – The WP reported a while back that open offices were bad for business. Do you agree? How many Totebaggers work from private offices? Cubicles? Open offices?
Google got it wrong. The open-office trend is destroying the workplace
Do any Totebaggers’ jobs have unusual perks? What are they? What perks would you like to see your workplace implement?
What is your favorite thing about your town? What is your favorite thing about your hometown? How are they different?
How many Totebaggers know famous people? Are they sports stars? Actors? (Cough) Authors? Do you know them well, or just in passing? Are the stars truly “just like us”?
We haven’t talked about furniture in a while. Has anyone found any new pieces lately? Any particular recommendations for dining room furniture? The Abbey needs a new dining room table as the children have destroyed the previous one (Pottery Barn) as well as the chairs (Jordan’s, even worse!). Looking for wood, no leather or upholstered seats.
Recently we were struck by the price difference between the “factory outlet” store, with a table and 4 chairs for $700, and the “handmade in Vermont” store, where the tables start at around $4,000! Feel free to comment on price/quality differences and how tariffs could change these.
What were the best products that you discovered in 2016? What were the worst?
I am really enjoying our Amazon fire stick for TV, although I do miss the Red Sox!
McKinsey/Lean In’s report on women in the workplace just came out. What are Totebaggers’ thoughts?
Women in the Workplace 2016
We have discussed here before – what do Totebaggers think of this article?
The Free-Time Paradox in America
What do you think about corporate-speak, Totebaggers? Do you have much of it at your workplace? Have you run into other types of -speak in different spheres of your life?
Finally, what do you think about this example of -speak? What name should we give it?
the cultivator distilled
Workplace Wellness Programs Are a Sham
Does your work have a ‘wellness program’? Is participation mandatory or voluntary? Do you like it? Hate it? Comfortable indifference?
How many totebaggy values can we spot in this article? How many not-so-totebaggy values? Go!
How one family is sending 13 kids to college, living debt free — and still plans to retire early
What do Totebaggers think of the happiness gap between parents and non-parents?
For U.S. Parents, a Troubling Happiness Gap
The end of the office dress code? Totebaggers, your thoughts?
The End of the Office Dress Code
Casual Friday and the ‘End of the Office Dress Code’
[Note: Great minds think alike! Louise sent in the same article with this comment:]
… But we can discuss all sorts of dress codes. School uniforms, prom fashions, guest at a party or wedding, bridal fashions, casual wear/athleisure – what’s acceptable, what’s not….
Some of us have recently read about the Frugalwoods’ move to Vermont from Cambridge, MA. What do you think about the move and the ‘lifestyle’ of extreme frugality? In addition, any thoughts on Mrs. Frugalwoods’s decision to WAH as a writer?
That Time We Bought A Homestead
Why (and how) I Became a Work-At-Home Mom
Both L and Honolulu Mother sent in posts about mulitlevel marketing:
MLMs: your thoughts? Does anyone have FB or real life friends selling these products? What about the church connection?
I have one friend on FB who sells LuLaRoe, but I have never been to an MLM party or been pressured to attend one.
Why your Facebook feed is filled with women selling essential oils and press-on nails
my boss wants to secretly recruit my coworkers and me into a money-making scheme
by Honolulu Mother
Let’s all gripe about our “friends” selling Jamberry on Facebook!
This Vox article tackles the important question of “Why your Facebook feed is filled with women selling essential oils and press-on nails.” Actually, mine really isn’t, but that’s because I know how to use the “hide” feature. In some circles, though, MLM’s parasitical profiting off the social and family connections of its victims / salespeople is hard to avoid.
Totebaggers, your thoughts on multilevel marketing?
We recently discussed the “Secret Shame” article; here is a response:
Opting Out of Coastal Madness to Live a Low-Overhead Life
Here is the original article:
The Secret Shame of Middle-Class Americans
Would Totebaggers consider moving to flyover country/a low COL area in order to cut down on overhead? If not, why not?
Did any Totebaggers move as children? If so, do you remember or were you too young?
This Totebagger moved prior to age 3 and has no memory of the first house. As we contemplate moving now, I am sad to think that our youngest child will have few or no memories of this house.
In addition, any tips for moving with kids? Changing school systems? What are your must-dos and must-avoids?
Preparing Children for a Move
Which fashion choices do you regret? How old were you then? I predict we will see some generational differences here.
My list: beige plastic glasses (age 8), bright floral leggings (age 11), red plastic GIANT glasses (age 12), overalls and pegged pants (middle school), electric blue camisole to work (age 21),
Trends I’m happy I never got into: permed hair, waterfall bangs, sequined prom dresses, tanning.
How much exercise do Totebaggers get? More or less than you need? Right now I get far less than I need, but at this point my desire for sleep overcomes my desire to increase my exercise level. For several years in my 20s, I exercised far too much and more than was good for me; growing up I only exercised occasionally.
Physical activity guidelines: How much exercise do you need?
EXPERIENCES. Which experiences are “worth it” to you? Totebaggers may disagree on whether the following are worth spending money on:
- Concerts (non-classical). For this Totebagger, concerts are uniformly not worth it: too expensive, too LOUD, and too late at night. I have only been to a handful during my life, and found the Depeche Mode one the best. (I saw U2 in 2001, and Bono was unfortunately flat during many of the songs!)
- Concerts (classical). Definitely worth it, but at choral concerts I find myself wishing I was performing instead of watching/listening.
- Opera – Nope, unless one of my friends is performing.
- Ballet – yes for the Nutcracker or similar fairy tale; for the modern ballets, I would go more if I had a non-DH friend to go with.
- Broadway musicals. Worth it! I plan to see “Hamilton” later this year.
- Plays. YAWN, except for comedies (“Noises Off” and similar).
- Live sports. Pass, other than the Red Sox once a year.
- Kid shows (Disney on Ice and similar). We have so far managed to avoid going to these!
What about other Totebaggers? I know some of you are bigger sports fans than I! What is the most you have ever spent on a live event ticket? My max is $150.
Totebaggers, which movies have you seen lately? Which stood out as the best of 2015 for you? Oscar nominees, or others?
2015 OSCAR NOMINEES
Typically, I only ever see 2 or 3 out of the Oscar nominees. This year, I particularly liked The Martian and Spotlight; for my DH Star Wars would be far and away the top movie. We also enjoyed watching Inside Out with the kids.
My favorite category at the Oscars is costume design, although I almost never agree with the winner! I never watch the ceremony, but will always follow the arrivals and red carpet fashion online.
The Marriages of Power Couples Reinforce Income Inequality
We Totebaggers may be examples of assortative mating – what are our thoughts?
Just saw this thread on Corporette and thought we could talk about teen pregnancy! (Controversy!) :) What would Totebaggers do if your teen got pregnant, or impregnated someone else?
Corporette teen pregnancy thread
‘Pharma bro’ Martin Shkreli gets ‘schooled by a real f*cking doctor’ during disastrous Reddit interview
What do Totebaggers think of Martin Shkreli? Drug pricing regulations? Should we require price caps on life-saving drugs? Which Totebaggers would remove regulations on the market entirely?
Too much stress in high school?
High-Stress High School
The Makeup Tax
If you have lived in different regions of the country, what makeup differences do you notice? Do you judge women for how much makeup they wear at work? At social events? At the grocery store? Women, how often do you go without makeup? Men with female partners, do you prefer to see her with or without makeup?
Perfectionism and depression at college: will the helicopter parenting pendulum swing back the other way?
Suicide on Campus and the Pressure of Perfection