• I almost impulse bought a bidet.  But it looks like the $30 version might have too much water pressure and cold water sounds unpleasant.  The $450 version requires some research since it’s a full seat and lid (will it fit our toilet?) and requires electricity (our outlet is across from the toilet instead of behind it).  So in the end I didn’t.
  • I did, however, buy $100 worth of bougie low quality toilet paper from who gives a crap.  Look for a review after it gets here!
  • I’m pretty sure these are all supply chain anxieties– I don’t want to run out of toilet paper again!  Why not load up on nice (admittedly bad for the environment) tp?  Well, we would *use* it.  We’re more likely to not run low on the bad quality stuff.  And these do have pretty wrappers.
  • The dehumidifier we got seems to be working on the formerly musty cupboard.  I don’t think we can stop running it though– there’s probably mold there between the shower and the cabinets just waiting to be activated by moisture.  But we can’t have anybody come in to do anything about it.  Also we think this is probably going to be a demo job.  It would be nice to replace the plasticky gold shower stall, but if we did that the rest of the master bath would look bad.  If we take out the cabinets, we would just replace them with identical cabinets.  I’m not really sure what to do if there’s no way we can get between the two with bleach (and it looks like there isn’t.)  We need to talk to an expert without actually letting an expert into our home.  Not sure what to do.
  • Dehumidifiers heat up a room.  The bathroom is super toasty.
  • All these “libertarians” complaining that people don’t want to work aren’t actually libertarians because true libertarians KNOW people don’t want to work.  It’s in econ 101.  It’s why people have to get paid.  It’s why we have labor/leisure tradeoff models.  Econ 101 models cannot conceive of a world in which people get value from labor– if we did we would call it leisure!
  • The dean came in to talk to us about why students aren’t wearing masks in class.  He was, not surprisingly, unmasked.  Because he believes that people can’t hear him if he has a mask on.  And that it’s ok for the person lecturing to be not wearing a mask if all the students are.  But the students don’t have to wear masks, so…  After my outburst last faculty meeting, everyone else in person (including the chair) put masks on, but only after they’d finished eating lunch.  The secretary did not eat.  She is immunocompromised and should really not have to be in there.  He also noted that our department has had a covid positive professor.  (I don’t know who.)
  • We decided on just gifts for the kids for Christmas, but DH’s sister with the 4 kids (the rest of us have 2) is still a little unhappy about this.  We’re not really clear on what the unhappiness is– is it that she wants less stuff or is it that she feels guilty that she’s giving 4 gifts and everybody else is giving 6?  It’s hard to know, especially since this is all second hand (third hand for me through DH) from MIL.  MIL also mentioned that SIL has too many kids books and her bookcases are full… which was that directly to use because we usually get books for the kids?  I don’t know.
  • One thing I really don’t like is that she has put up her amazon wishlists for the four kids and both girls (a one year old and a five year old) have make-up kits and toy vacuums and stereotypical girly girl look I’m just like my mommy who has an unequal marriage toys, but both boys have super cool gender neutral toys.  I’m going to let DH deal with this since it’s his family, but I can’t imagine getting things off the girls’ wishlists even if that’s what SIL wants (and maybe the 5 year old wants 4 different make-up kits, but I doubt the 1 year old has given that preference).  There are a couple of books for the older kids still on the wishlist so maybe it’s not a complete moratorium on books.  DH always calls her up and asks if she’s ok with what he’s getting them anyway and she has said no about things they already own.
  • Unrelated:  SIL’s husband just got diagnosed with covid.  Really I’m surprised it took them this long.  At least SIL is vaccinated even though the four kids aren’t.  And they let MIL know right before she got to the house to visit them instead of after so MIL was able to turn back around.

41 Responses to “RBOC”

  1. mnitabach Says:

    Lolz I mean are the ppl who call themselves “libertarian” nowadays really any different than “I get to do whatever I want to & everyone else can just go eat a bag of dicks”???

  2. First Gen American Says:

    What about nonstandard art supplies? I particularly liked the chalk markers you can use on glass that wipes off. We bought some to decorate the cars during COVID graduation week and they were fun. I hate gift shopping. My husband’s birthday is this week and I don’t know what to get and he has a terrible habit of buying the thing he needs just before his birthday.

    I guess on gift giving my stance is to give what the other person wants not what you’d want. I always thought it was odd when one family member gave me gifts that represented donations to her favorite causes instead of mine. It seemed more like a gift to herself. However, it was still a huge step up over useless stuff.

    I am sounding very Scrooge like, but shopping gives me anxiety.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I don’t even try to give gifts to my DH. Instead he gets 10x his weekly allowance to spend as he wishes at Christmas and his birthday.

      Does a one year old really want a pretend makeup kit? Especially when her twin brother is getting super cool stuff?

      • First Gen American Says:

        I’ll admit, that’s an odd choice for a one year old. It also breaks my rule. Sounds more like a gift for the mom, not the kid. In which case, I support not following the list. The child may indeed have chapped lips though so get some burts bees and then whatever you want.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        It’s DH’s family, so he’ll be figuring all this out.

  3. Chelsea Says:

    What about something like a Caboodle (https://www.caboodles.com/shop/by-collection/social-butterfly/ultimate-on-the-go-girl-social-butterfly-blue-over-blue) with a bunch of stuff to put in it and take out of it? It fits the make-up kit description but has a lot of compartments and stuff to open and close, which I vaguely (1 was NOT my favorite age) remember one-year-olds liking.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      My sister had one of those in purple when she was in high school.

      We’re not going to get a makeup kit for either a five year old or a one year old. Also SIL has picked out 4 or 5 specific options. If we’re going to go off-list then we might as well go whole hog and get something gender neutral.

  4. Shannon Says:

    Get the fancy toilet – SO worth it. We lived in Japan for a while, and these are everywhere, so it was a bit of a shock for us to come back to regular toilets. We finally invested in the nice one (we upgraded the whole toilet), and I LOVE it. A warm toilet seat (the heated water runs through it) is lovely in the middle of the night in the winter. It’s a splurge for sure, but one that I do not regret at all.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Is it worth it if we are constantly tripping over an extension cord though? Right now we’re not having contractors in the house if we can at all help it.

      • Debbie M Says:

        Could your extension cord go around the edge of the room along the baseboards? (Not pretty, I know.) Or you could string it up the wall, across the ceiling, and back down. (Even less pretty!) Just until contractors are allowed in, anyway.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        It would have to be a really long extension cord!

        Probably we should try one of the cheap cold water models that don’t require electricity.

    • Shannon Says:

      Yeah – we did have to have a contractor come in to run electrical. We had to have them in anyway as we found mold in our bathroom, so we needed to redo it. Given your situation in terms of vaccination rates locally and COVID (from what you’ve posed), I would say to either run an extension cord along the baseboard if you can or wait. Maybe I am just spoiled now, but the warm water is a pretty important function in my book, so I am not sure one with cold water would be as good.

  5. Jessica Says:

    Lol about the Who Gives a Crap toilet paper. I have used multiple recycled paper toilet papers and it is indeed the worst. The wrapping is very cute! I saw a recommendation from a zero waste blogger to re-use it as wrapping paper afterwards, and it honestly looked great.

  6. SP Says:

    So many of these bullets are just…. baffling. Why does the dean need to tell you why students aren’t wearing masks, assuming he had nothing useful to say? Why would anyone want FIVE makeup kits for their child, aside from the annoyance of gender specific toys for 1 year olds (or really any age, but especially 1 year olds). And what would SIL like you to do about gifts, if not just kids??

    I get anxiety around gift giving, even though my family mostly arrived at amazon wishlist trading (which forces me to use amazon, because any time i try something from an outside site someone messes up when taking it off because you have to click on something in your email. We ended up with 3 of one item last year!) It doesn’t make senes to me, but I don’t think i have the energy to try to change family norms. We don’t do just kids on my side because one sibling has no kids, and probably is also the one who appreciates gifts the most. I don’t want stuff and have a hard time coming up with items to put on my wish list each year.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      To be fair: 4 make-up kits for one child, 1 fake makeup kit for the other. In additional fairness, one of the 4 kits is just lip-glosses.

      I think SIL wants us to just do kids but also draw names so that she always gives gifts to our 2 kids and BIL’s 2 kids and BIL and we always each give gifts to all of her kids. But… it is fun to shop for BIL’s kids and BIL’s wife gives our kids things they like or said they wanted whereas SIL often (but not always) gives highly gendered presents.

      I’m not sure if she’s worried about fairness or if she just wants less stuff coming into her house, but she has to know that MIL will over-compensate for us sending less stuff if we go that route. It’s hard to know motivations because everything is coming through MIL like a weird game of family telephone. We’ve offered to give money into a 529 plan before, but she only wants one for the oldest boy and won’t open one for the oldest girl so we stopped because it seemed unfair.

      SIL doesn’t know it, but we will be exchanging gifts with DH’s parents (we’re in charge of printing out and binding one of those grandma’s life journals after she finishes writing in it) and DH will be getting his brother hot ones hot sauces. But none of that is SIL’s business. I will miss getting stuff for BIL’s wife who has excellent taste in books (the one part of shopping I did for DH’s family), but will not at all miss DH’s agonizing over shopping for SIL or her DH. That seems like a fine trade-off.

      The dean told us students aren’t wearing masks because nobody asked them to and they will wear them if the professor begs them because she is living with an unvaccinated or immunocompromised person.

      • Alice Says:

        I’m sorry for the all caps I’m about to unleash:

        NOBODY ASKED THEM?????

        Gosh, yes. I can certainly see how it’s possible to make it to this point in the pandemic without having been asked or expected to wear a mask. Certainly it’s reasonable and possible to have made it this far without having heard of mask-wearing as something that people ought to be doing. Perhaps, for example, the students haven’t left their properties at all in the last 1.5 years. Oh, or perhaps they have left their properties, but have only traveled via hand-dug underground tunnels, connecting with no other humans because that’s how students are. And also, through all that time, they of course have not connected to the internet, used a phone, watched a television, or listened to a radio.

        Thank goodness your dean has this insight into the reason students aren’t wearing masks. Nobody asked them! At last, someone has cleared up the mystery.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Keep in mind that he’s telling us this in front of a classroom without a mask on.

        They did a student survey and everything. And the majority (of how many, I don’t know) said they wore masks when asked and didn’t when not asked.

      • SP Says:

        OK, well all that makes a bit more sense… (also seeing the 529 explanation below) Family telephone doesn’t sound fun, but whatever, sounds like DH has it covered.

        But also, one could simply assume that someone in a large room (say, a faculty meeting or something) would be living with someone immunocompromised or unvaccinated, or is immunocompromised themselves, as was the case in your story.

  7. teresa Says:

    -Bidets and who gives a crap toilet paper are another thing FB thinks I need. I did visit Japan shortly after doing a major master bath renovation a few years ago and was like man, if we had known about Japanese toilets just 6 months ago…
    -I did not think there was such thing as too many kid books. Or anyone books. Although I generally haven’t bought books for my small nephews since my mom buys soooo many it’s too hard to figure out which they already have. Also hate gendered toys for small kids. And I’m now furious on behalf of your SIL’s daughters that only their brother has a 529. WTF?
    -One of my 2yo nephews currently has covid, which he got from his daycare teacher. They live in a highly-vaccinated low-prevalence area and supposedly all adults wear masks at the daycare (my sisters say everyone is always properly masked in the pictures they get and at pick up) and still. At least all the adults in my family got vaccinated the minute they could.

  8. Allyson Says:

    I strongly recommend Fat Brain Toys, especially for younger kids. It reminds me of Discovery Toys when I was a kid – gender neutral and fun and semi-educational. They have Squigz which are silicone building toys that can stick to windows (so excellent for cars or going out) and that can also wash in the dishwasher. You can choose toys based on age from user reviews. Shipping is also quick.

    Ugh, the dean saying no one asked the students. I asked both of my in-person classes and mention something most classes, but my first-years still have less than 50% masking. They’ll get extra fall break time if 50%+ post proof of vaccination and we are currently near 25%.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Yeah, our kids are fans of fat brain toys. We’re even on their paper mailing list. It’s not a problem finding fun gender neutral presents, so much as it’s a problem going off-list. But not my problem! DH’s problem. My sister doesn’t have kids or a list and she usually says she wants a kitchen related item and I go to wirecutter and buy her the one they like best and something to go with it (ex. Electric kettle, teapot, tea.). Super easy.

      And SIL is perfectly polite if we go off list but then talks to MIL who says stuff to us and it’s not really clear if SIL is complaining or MIL just thinks she is or what. Family telephone! I mean we just give stuff we don’t want away without telling anybody. I am looking forward to donating the unopened stuff from the last two years to toys for tots if I get the chance. #richpeopleproblems

      I pleaded with the students and hand out masks individually to people who don’t have them … currently at 100% masking maybe 90% of the time (other 10% noses, eating, sneezing!, walking to seat without mask on yet). We are not allowed to ask about vaccination status even anonymously.

  9. Kingston Says:

    Re: bidets. I have a basic Tushy brand one. No electricity involved. I really do not find the cold water to be problematic at all, and I live in NYS where we have … colder days a lot of the time, so maybe colder water in winter? In any case I think it was $75 or so and I highly recommend it. If you have multiple toilets in your house it might be nice to have at least one with a bidet, just in case the toilet paper shortages come back.

  10. revanche @ a gai shan life Says:

    We usually do a your-family your-responsibility thing but I seem to have taken over the gifts entirely. It’s possible it’s because I very much like being done with that in the fall.

    Dislike that gendered wishlist thing esp for a one year old. Yuck.

    We have a weird dehumidifier, it only blows cool air. It’s fun to stick the baby in front of that vent though, they love the windblown feeling.

    Is it explicitly known now that the who gives a crap TP is low quality? My friend had ordered it and was surprised by how bad it was.

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