Abandoned Wednesday post ideas from 2010

  • We have a ton of money posts and a ton of Ask the Grumpies, but these Wednesday posts are a bit harder to come up with.  I guess all I think about these days is money and work and whatever interesting questions Grumpy Nation comes up with for us?  I’ve been dipping into our archives for ideas and it’s a bit crazy how irrelevant or not applicable so many of these things are now.
  • The oldest abandoned post is called “On the Importance of Moxy.”  It only has a title and it was started in 2010.  I’m pretty sure it was about faking it until you make it and how you shouldn’t put yourself down because people start believing it.  But now I know more about the double-bind that women are in and how hard it is to get that humble yet confident thing right.  And the literature says to praise other women and have other people praise you, but what happens there is that sometimes other people don’t praise you back and then they end up getting resources because the powers that be think you’ll be ok with that.  I’ve gotten so negative!  Not just cynical, but also negative.  Maybe I’ll delete that one.  Still– don’t put yourself down.  That never helps because people do believe you.
  • The next one is about Nice to Live vs. Nice to Visit (also 2010) and I think that was about how nice it is to visit some places (Boston, LA) but not as great to live there.  4 years of Trump has made me rethink what it means for a place to be nice to live.  Though I still am worried about the unhealthy body images that LA indoctrinates people with.
  • The last 2010 post was a Mini-rant that I thought for sure I’d just use sometime when we needed a post.  Maybe I’ll do that even though the thing it’s ranting about isn’t as big a deal as it seemed to be 10 years ago when unhealthily messed-up “raw/honest” etc. was in.  With picture-perfect influencers being “in” right now it’s a bit outdated.  Still, there may be a backlash brewing.  Maybe you’ll see it next week!  (But also maybe not!)
  • After deleting or scheduling those 2010 posts we now have 142 items in drafts (not including this one which is scheduled).

Do you have any thoughts on places that are nice to live vs. nice to visit?  How important do you think moxy is?  Have you worked on not putting yourself down or does it come naturally to you?  Are you interested in me going through 2011 next?

Posted in Uncategorized. Tags: . 30 Comments »

30 Responses to “Abandoned Wednesday post ideas from 2010”

  1. Chelsea Says:

    I live in a suburb of Orlando that is “nice to live” but not really “nice to visit”. I grew up near here and my parents are here. My kids go to a great school, and our area is quite community-minded. It’s hot during the summer but beautiful in the winter. There are crazy people including – usually – our Governor, but again – our local area tends to buck the worst trends. However, unless you want to go to Disney, which is about 45 minutes away from where we live, there’s not really anything to visit. We do get some snowbirds and tourists who trickle north, but there’s just not that much to do other than “living here stuff”.

  2. Leah Says:

    I love visiting DC but don’t want to live there. Living in a very small city has really made me realize how much I can’t stand traffic. Congestion is 15 minutes when the factories let out, and it’s only in one part of town.

    I also love visiting Rapid City, SD. I maybe could see myself living there, except the politics aren’t great. But the outdoor opportunities are dreamy.

    I love visiting Seattle too. But traffic and expensive housing also makes it a visit, not live, for now. Plus, climate change is really messing with them.

    I think my views might change once we are empty nesters, but we have a long time until then.

  3. First Gen American Says:

    I guess some of the irrelevance of the topics is age related. I experienced a lot more bias vs my male peers when my kids were in diapers. People assumed I didn’t want to do certain jobs because I had young kids at home. It’s not the case now that I have teenagers.

    Also, as I approach 50 and financial independence, I am caring a lot less about career stuff related to the job I am in now. I am a lot more picky because I just don’t care if I am impressing some manager or not. Instead, I am spending more time dreaming about fun semi-retirement jobs.

    It’s also a busy kid time with college visits and test prep and drivers Ed.

    A lot of the things I used to obsess about are non issues today and I guess that’s a good thing.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Age has definitely changed a lot of things as had season of parenting, but in this case I think it’s not all age… I assign a terrible sexist 2006 article about how readers of the financial journal shouldn’t marry women who work in career jobs and this year has gotten the biggest how could they even publish something like this backlash. I think the #metoo movement really did make a big difference. If this Trumpism/using health as a political cudgel etc. weren’t a thing I would think where I live is a perfectly nice place to live. Two years ago when it looked like things were getting better I felt even a little state pride.

      • CG Says:

        I used to have so much angst about being a mother and an academic and then my kids got older and I got tenure and I got busy and things just weren’t as hard and it also just seemed less helpful to focus on that than to just get on with it. But I need to remember what that felt like so I can make sure I advocate for and help people who are still in the rough stage.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Motherhood in my field is another one that seems to have changed a lot with time too though– when I was having kids most women in economics weren’t having them before tenure. Now that’s moved to a norm of one before tenure and however many after tenure. I guess yay me for being a path-breaker on that?

  4. Omdg Says:

    I have worked on openly praising how good someone else is, but mostly at things that are not what I do or for people who are not at my ranking. That sort of thing seems to reflect well on me as well as them. I have found when other people praise people to me who are at my level or doing something I want to or should be doing, or suggest I try to emulate someone who is female I process that as criticism, and I am trying not to do that, but it is hard. The “try to be like so and so,” advice is especially hard because the suggested people are always younger, prettier, sweeter, more diplomatic, more likable, voice so lovely it sounds like they are singing when they talk, more Disney-princess like to a level that is unattainable for me, and it makes me feel like a surly troll woman who will never be good enough.


    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      There’s a lot to be said for being a surly troll (the kind who lives under a bridge, not the kind who stirs things up on the internet for lols) who gets things done. Just sayin’.

      I’m working on being less of a doormat.

    • xykademiqz Says:

      “The “try to be like so and so,” advice is especially hard because the suggested people are always younger, prettier, sweeter, more diplomatic, more likable, voice so lovely it sounds like they are singing when they talk, more Disney-princess like to a level that is unattainable for me, and it makes me feel like a surly troll woman who will never be good enough’

      LOL I feel this all the time! Troll sisters!
      What helps a little (me, at least) is having gotten into a community that’s not academics (it’s fiction writers), where I’ve found people who seem to like me for me, and who don’t know or care about academia. Sure, I fail tests of hotness and writerly awesomeness there as well, but since that has not traditionally been the horse I hitch my self-esteem wagon to, these failures don’t particularly sting.

  5. Lisa Says:

    I think it’s all relative and situational. I lived in Boston for 5 years during graduate school and LOVED it. I’d be more hesitant about living there now, with kids, though. I also lived in the LA area for several years and there was a lot to like about it (great weather, great restaurants, academics in LA didn’t have the body image problems, etc.) but the traffic and summer wildfire smoke were pretty terrible. I love visiting Boston now, but don’t really love visiting LA (all that traffic!). I do like visiting other parts of Southern California, though. I think Hawaii would be high on my list of places that are great to visit not great to live. I would really love to live abroad for a while, but am not sure I’d commit to being an expat forever. The place I live now is a pretty great to visit AND pretty great place to live if you like doing the activities we’re known for and can stand being in a bluish/purple city in a very red state.

  6. AnonymousAgain Says:

    I live in San Diego, which is probably “nice to visit” but not live for many people (traffic, $$$). I thought that too before moving here. But I’ve really come to like it, ESPECIALLY during the pandemic times. Also feeling a huge feeling of relief after yesterday’s election nonsense.

    I don’t think SD is known for the crazy obsession with body image like LA (or S Florida, where I have also lived before) but it is shocking to me when I visit my parents in a very rural part of the Northeast to see the obesity epidemic in full force. Not that it doesn’t exist in SoCal but far less noticeable.

  7. teresa Says:

    I think the unhealthy body image (and many of the image things people associate with LA) are much more a thing west of say, Highland/La Brea. On the other hand, most of the reasons people visit LA are ALSO west of La Brea. And of course traffic and high costs are everywhere except some exurbs, which in turn are not great places to visit OR live.
    Seattle was the last place I visited pre-pandemic and I still sort of want to live there. If I had to move from here, that’s where I’d pick. San Diego is lovely too. The places I want to visit but wouldn’t want to live are more…outdoorsy but too rural or red to live in?- Maine, Montana, Utah. Part of me kind of wants to live outside the US sometime too but I picked the wrong career for that.

  8. xykademiqz Says:

    “And the literature says to praise other women and have other people praise you, but what happens there is that sometimes other people don’t praise you back and then they end up getting resources because the powers that be think you’ll be ok with that.”

    Jesus, yes. This. Many people cannot fathom that you’re praising someone because you expect praise in return. They assume you praise because they are so awesome you can’t help it, period. Because men cannot fathom that someone wouldn’t toot their own horn if there were toot-worthy. (*snicker*) When I was younger and it mattered how much I traveled and gave talks, I would invite people over — peers, not superstars, peers — and host them, and some would never invite me over to their institution; they reciprocity doesn’t occur to them, or (likely) they think I invited them because I understood and admired their awesomeness, being how I am beneath them.

    Re good places to live. I live in a very livable mid-sized city and like it fine. It still feels a bit rural to me, not a real metropolis like where I grew up, but we have everything, and then some. I think the trauma of immigration is so great, or at least it was for me, that no place really feels like home, not how my home city did. Now I could live anywhere, it’s all fine. I do know my little city, and it’s a great little city, and my kids don’t want to move, and my husband likes it, so we’re staying… I am fine here. I really wish I loved it more, I should love it more, there’s every reason to, but I don’t. Not really. I think this makes me a bad person.

    Honestly, I’ve found that many (most?) woes of angst, middle-aged and otherwise, can be addressed by going more and more inward (shocking, I know, but apparently I am dense and needed to be almost 50 to learn this). In fact, this may be the only recourse for relief or fulfillment when one’s life is highly constrained externally (can’t leave job, city, spouse, kids, etc.) No one controls your spank bank, in the literal and metaphorical sense — what you read / watch / fantasize about, on any topic.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      … I have definitely not reciprocated talks. I don’t really have any mechanism to. Even when I ran the seminar series I was only able to invite one person of my choosing and it ended up being a junior scholar who was in the area and kind of invited himself. :/

      I don’t think that not loving a college town in the upper midwest makes you a bad person. Lots of people don’t. Heck, I hate snow and I grew up with it! (If we ever move to Massachusetts this will be a big sacrifice for me.)

    • Debbie M Says:

      Aw, I am sad that you think that not loving your town makes you a bad person. It just doesn’t feel like home, and that’s not your fault, and I don’t think it’s something you can control.

      It seems like you have worked to get to know your town, and you do appreciate what’s good about it, so I’m not sure what else you could be expected to do. It’s not like you’re just sitting around sulking, refusing to open up or try things.

  9. Debbie M Says:

    On places that are nice to live vs. nice to visit, they are mostly in separate categories in my brain. I’d like to visit all kinds of places, but have learned that if friends invite me to join them (either on their vacation, or to the new place they live that’s not near me), I will probably enjoy that. I do also have a short list of places I personally would like to go to (Washington DC, especially the Smithsonian, and an Amtrak ride to Chicago).

    On places to live, I’m already in my favorite. But things keep changing, and can a place with legal permit-less gun carrying and bribes for ratting on pregnant people really be my favorite? In the past I decided that what I really wanted was a place that was both warm and civilized where I speak the language. And I really hate the cold, so I’m not even a fan of Dallas weather. So maybe there is no such place. Now I also know that I prefer college towns, places with casual dress that don’t have HOAs, and it needs to be affordable. I do also love walkability and fabulous mass transit. And I grew up in suburbs and have decided those are the worst of both worlds (there’s still a lot of traffic to get anywhere interesting). I prefer living in the city, and I’d also prefer living in the country (especially now that there’s internet). Except apparently I prefer urban culture over rural culture.

    So now I kind of want to live in California or Norway or the Netherlands, but they are too expensive and/or won’t take me and/or are too cold, though at least not crazy cold. Places I could afford include Oklahoma City (I’m impressed by how they once raised taxes for two years to pay for six projects, and at the end of the two years, those projects were built–some were even award-winning–and the tax was lowered again, just like promised!) and Panama (they love people like me who have decent pensions). OKC is in the land of fracking earthquakes and is still in a red state. Probably I could actually, for real, finally learn to speak Spanish if I moved to a Spanish-speaking country, though I would miss SO MANY things about where I live now, like my friends, my doctors, my favorite restaurants and grocery stores, Tex-Mex food… I could probably like living in Spain (I did enjoy visiting both Barcelona and Granada), but Franco scares me even more than Trump. I mean he’s gone NOW, but who knows when something like that could happen again? In fact, all those small countries are vulnerable to having very little control over their fates.

    I recently learned that two of my favorite people (a married couple) were seriously researching moving to New Zealand a while back, but they couldn’t finagle it. And it occurred to me that if they did find someplace to move, I would seriously consider following them. I’ve already considered moving to where my sister’s family lives–and my mom already moved up there–but it’s Indianapolis. The good part is that Chicago would be a day trip, but it’s basically the Texas of the midwest, culture wise. But weirdly, the best place I ever lived was a 3,000-person prison-looking dorm, just because that’s where I met my favorite people ever. And my second-favorite place was a summer camp out in the woods in the middle of nowhere for the same reason. So it really is about the people more than the place, you know, except when the place is a really horrific disaster.

  10. Debbie M Says:

    On moxie, I recently enjoyed a meme or TicTok I saw where someone advised people to have at least as much confidence as those confident people who suck at things. As for me, I’m pretty laid back about most things, but I have stood up and fought for other things (like reporting problems the last years I was working because I didn’t mind being the “bad guy,” like when someone is saying something wrong on the internet–ha ha, really I just mean accidentally racist or ignorant or something, and like that one time when the chocolate syrup was going to all the tables but my table).

    On putting myself down, I have a long history of talking to myself, aloud in public, in negative (mostly sarcastic) ways (like, “Good, one, Debbie”) which was super fun when I was a camp counselor and the kids were trying to guess our real names, and I had just accidentally given mine away.

    But now I find that kind of boring and try to find more interesting ways to show my frustration, like saying I’d decided to take the scenic route in mini-golf.

    What I really have trouble with, though, is bragging about myself, like you’re supposed to for job applications and interviews and for annual evaluations. I just have to back up and remind myself that they don’t know me or my work–I have to tell them. Remind myself of all the ways I really would be awesome (or have been awesome) for that job. And then sometimes just pretend that I’m a third party explaining all these things. The exception is that I will enthusiastically celebrate life’s little victories, like when I do make a long putt or like this Monday when my car passed inspection.

    On praising other people–I love doing that. I do have to work at doing this out loud more often. I like my boyfriend’s philosophy that making your boss look good (even if zie gets credit for your ideas) is generally good for your career, too. (Admittedly, his bosses haven’t been scumbuckets.) But except for one of my friends, who I know really likes this kind of positive attention, I don’t go out of my way to find ways to praise people.

    On your 2011 abandoned posts, yes, I’d be interested. My general philosophy is that anything that you’re motivated to write is what I want to read. Whatever people are enthused about just tends to be interesting, even if I would never look up those kinds of ideas on my own.

  11. rose Says:

    There was a blogger named Julia (Here be HIp**)…. her readers said if she just published a slightly annotated grocery list they would adore reading it. (Sadly she quit writing in 2016. I still miss her dreadfully.) You fall into that category too.
    I would live where ever my family is and be grateful. But for many reasons there are many locations that I know they would/could not live safely so I do not need to worry about moving places that would not be welcoming.
    THANK YOU, always and every time you write.

  12. revanche @ a gai shan life Says:

    I loved visiting NYC long term, and Florence, and Ravenna…the NYC visit made me realize that I was too much of a suburban person to adapt well to city living. I love aspects of it, but it still feels lonely like the suburbs do, and I had thought it would feel less lonely with more people out and about.
    I’m such a hobbit that wherever I’m living now is where I think it’s best to live.

    Moxy is important! But I think the forms it takes where it actually benefits you will vary widely. I can get away with certain things that I know others cannot. Maybe because of reputation, maybe because apparently I come across as scary. Who knows.

    You know the answer to this one. But I am working on it!

    Of course! Your random thoughts are fun.

  13. SP Says:

    I’d like to live somewhere with not-bad weather and a good political climate. Visiting, I’ll visit many places happily. And really, I could live most places, but probably (now that I’ve lived through 2020) would avoid many highly “red” areas in the USA. As an aside, I thought body image / food stuff was worse in SF than LA, but that is probably just related to the people I interacted with in each city. LA was mostly engineers or academics (and a few friends from other fields, who were a bit odd about food/body), and in SF I was briefly in the business world. I had young coworkers who would only eat salads or who would only have lunch as a “reward” for completing a work task or who did juice cleanses… Anyway, now that I’m out of that world, I don’t notice body image stuff much, but people do pay more attention to health in general, compared to how I grew up.

    I have not thought much about praise… I do try to praise others when possible, but I honestly never considered the reciprocal nature of it, and mostly praise others when they did something well, or if I’m in a leadership role where it is part of my job to recognize others. But, I’ll mentally add this idea to my list of social cues which I previously was oblivious too, and be more conscious of reciprocating others. But, I’m not in a corporate culture anymore, so the idea of “selling” and impressing bosses and jockeying for roles is not the same as it was. There surely is some of that, but it is small scale.

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