Open Thread

Evening Open Thread

I’m starting off tonight’s Open Thread with something random, because what is an OT for if not randomness?

See you all in the am! Thanks for another great Persephone Day!

By Luci Furious

There are no bad times, only good stories.

44 replies on “Evening Open Thread”

Hi, morning shift! I know there’s just a few of us around at this time, but I have a question to ask so I’ll give it a try: Has anybody had any experience starting their own business, or having a spouse/friend/familiy member start one? What can I expect about the level of stress involved? My partner is starting a small business and I’m finishing my dissertation, I’m worried that our home is going to become a pressure cooker soon…

Wah, I’m thinking about doing the same soon. It’s a lot of investment and it takes time to start bringing in revenue… so it’s a big financial risk. But a great thing! And more people should make leaps of faith. But it’s scary when you’re the partner who’s jumping alongside you.
I think the key is to really honestly, perhaps even cynically budget your costs and expenses so that you both understand the level of debt/or poverty you could be facing, and then maybe even agree on a killswitch (if you don’t have x clients by x date, maybe it’s time to make that business part time) or some sort of alternative–he’ll work part time on the business until x happens, at which point he’ll take it fulltime. And once there’s something you agree on, try to stick to it. Then everybody is on the same page and the tension is lessened a bit. I hope?

That sounds really reasonable. We have already sat down and done some numbers, and we know that we could rely on my salary and our savings for a while, even if the business didn’t generate any income for a while. Fortunately, he qualifies for a couple of government grants (young “entrepreneur”, starting a business in a “poor” area of the country…) so he may not even need to get into debt. But the killswitch is a great idea and something that I’ll definitely bring up. Thanks! And let us know how your business goes if you finally take the plunge…

Yes, it is going to be very hard and very stressful. The Mister is about to celebrate his one year anniversary as a business owner, and I still remember living with my mother as she completed her PhD thesis. You two will not see much of each other for a while. When you do see each other you will both have a lot of other stuff on your mind. The best advice I can give, relationship-wise, is to celebrate the little things. When one of you hits a milestone, take a little time to relax and enjoy the moment with each other. If you start to feel neglected or put-upon, talk to your partner before you reach the breaking point and be willing to compromise.

It will be pressure cookery, but it should be worth it.

The thing is, we both work mostly from home, so we may see each other more than before, although this may not be a good thing, since it makes it more difficult to leave work stuff at work. Until now, he’s been great at closing the door of his office at the end of the day and leaving the work stuff inside – this is something I’m still working on, but I hope to get there soon. I agree about celebrating the little things and enjoying the moments we get to relax together. It makes me feel better to know that there are people out there who have survived this situation. Thanks for the advice!

As annoyed as I’m getting by A Practical Wedding lately, the woman who owns the site recently left her job to run it full time and had a pretty interesting post about her preparation process.

Here’s a link:

Good luck! I always fantasize about quitting my job and opening a bakery/used book store, which is just not sustainable around here or right now in time. And the Mister waxes poetic about quitting his job and starting a consulting business. (He’s in the software engineering/web development field.) But we never do it.

I guess it also depends on your personality… I enjoy working independently and managing my workload and hours, but I could NEVER start my own business. I am like the opposite of entrepreneurial. My partner, on the other hand, fits the type perfectly. Thanks for the link, I love that kind of stuff – I’m also a sucker for “day in the life” posts and organisation stuff.

You know how sometimes you’re way more affected by something than really makes sense? Today I heard (like four times) that a guy I went to college with committed suicide last night. I didn’t really know him, but we went to a small school, so, like everyone, we were on a “hey what’s up” basis, I guess. And that was four years ago. But all day I’ve been really off balance about it, I guess because when someone unexpectedly dies it makes you think about life and death and mental health and all kinds of things you can usually get away with ignoring. I’m not sure. I certainly don’t need any sympathy–as I said, I was barely casual acquaintances with this person several years ago–but I guess I’m just surprised by the amount I’m rattled.

I think part of it was that though I didn’t know this guy well (maybe BECAUSE I didn’t know him well), his suicide is really counter to the story I guess I’ve internalized about depression: he is handsome, outgoing, super buff and tan and friendly, fun at parties (if I recall correctly in a non-obnoxious way), engaged in people and community. And of course–obviously!–depression can be completely hidden from casual acquaintances, but I never had to think about that in the context of someone I had actually known in real life before.

Anyway, that’s my weird day experience.

I’m not sure there’s any ‘sensible’ way to confront death, much less suicide, so to me your rattlement is entirely understandable. One day there was this living, breathing boy, someone with friends and a family and by all accounts a bright future, and one day, he’s gone… and not just through some accident, but because he could no longer bear to live. I don’t see how it would be possible not to be shaken by that, especially if you remembered his voice, his smile, his vibrancy.

I hate hearing such stories, if only because I can’t imagine how much the person must have had to suffer in order to make suicide seem like a good idea. I hate hearing them, but I’m glad you brought him up here. I think depression is too rarely talked about.

So I received another one of those stupid facebook status memes today.
“We are playing a game. Someone proposed that we GIRLS do something special on Facebook to help with Breast Cancer Awareness. Its easy, and Id like you to join us to help it spread. Last year it was about writing the color of the bra that your were wearing in your Fb status and it left men wondering for days why the girls had random colors as their status. This year it has to do with your relationship status. You will state where you are, by posting one of the codes below. Remember – don’t reply to this message just type your 1 word response in your status box on your profile. Then cut and paste this whole message into a new message and send it along to your female friends….
Blueberry: Im single
Pineapple its complicated
Raspberry: Im a touch and go woman
Apple: Engaged
(etc… I’m not going to copypaste the whole thing here)
The bra game reached TV, lets get this one to do the same, and show everyone how powerful women are . . .”

Well, after getting about five variations of these stupid memes in the past two years, I finally decided to reply all with this:

“This is insulting to those who have had cancer or are close to those who have. It’s not an in-joke. And inane joke facebook statuses are going to do nothing to help. Furthermore, it’s insulting to the women of our mothers’, grandmothers’, and great-grandmothers’ generation who worked to give us the opportunities we have today, many of whom have actually suffered from breast cancer, to say that a facebook meme is “showing everyone how powerful women are” .

If you’d like to help fight cancer, please consider donating your time or money to a worthy organization, not pretending to help in the name of “awareness”.

Too harsh? or just getting the point across sternly?

Not too harsh at all- I’d say it’s just right. Honestly, they should just own up and say they want to do a silly facebook game- why does it have to be related to cancer?

Last time I got one of these I didn’t do anything, but I did see 2 of my friends with fb statuses saying something very similar to what you have written. I think next time I get this I’ll just post the websites- although that might be too subtle.

Not too harsh at all. I cannot STAND the infantilizing and cutesy attitudes that infect so much breast cancer ‘activism.’ Can you imagine this same thing going on with testicular or prostate cancer?

And that last line about “how powerful women are” makes me want to use my bra to gag whomever it was who launched that joke of a meme. Argh.

I like it.

I never copy and paste the messages* or follow the hidden message types, because it just seems… twee? But at the same time I feel like a bad person for not supporting “the cause.”

*Although in protest, I did do this one:
“Copy this and paste it in your status if you know someone, or have heard of someone who knows someone. If you don’t know anyone, or even if you’ve heard of someone who doesn’t know anyone, then do still copy this. It’s important to spread the message. Oh and the hearts ? ? ? ? For crap’s sake, don’t forget the friggin’ hearts! ? ? ? ?”

Whenever these things come around (which is ridiculously often), I try my best to ignore them until it reaches a critical mass on my feed, at which point, I write something like, “I like blueberries, but I also like my advocacy to be deliberate. If you really want to join the fight to help breast cancer, put your money where your mouth is and donate or volunteer.” [LINK]

Generally, I get whiny, “you’re no fun” comments, but I’ve been getting more and more “likes” lately. Apparently, a lot of folks are sick of the stupid meme nonsense.

I love Young Frankenstein so much. Sometimes I watch it with my dad and we annoy everyone in the room because we do parts of the movie that haven’t happened yet.

Overall, I’ve had an OK day, even though I started realizing that my new job is quite a bit bigger than I am and I’m suddenly paralyzed by everything I need to do. I’m also getting really frustrated with co-workers who are ignoring me when they never did before. It actually got to the point this morning where I had to ask a trusted confidant, “Do I need to watch my back?”

Everyone thinks I’m an administrator now, and I’m not. No matter what I say, they won’t stop treating me like the enemy. It’s pretty upsetting.

I need relationship advice.

What do you do when you are in a relationship that for the most part is going well -no fights, have a good time together, no trust issues etc- but their is that nagging feeling in the back of your mind that maybe your partner is bored or just not really into you or the relationship like they were before?

My boyfriend and I just hit our six month mark and this is happening to me (btw, this is my first real relationship). I don’t know if we are just settling into our relationship, since we don’t have that newness and excitement really any more I feel like its off. Sometimes, my brain takes over and I start questioning whether he is bored with me, still interested, whether he’s just keeping me around til something better comes along. I want to ask him if he is happy with our relationship but I know I just sound extremely insecure and clingy and I don’t want to be that person.

I know nothing in life is constant and guaranteed but I think my fear of losing him is driving me insane. I should let it drop but it has taken over my mind and I’m really scared that I’ll say or do something stupid.

OK, I want to answer you, but there’s some stuff you need to know first.

1. I’m probably way older than you. That doesn’t make me an expert. That just means I’ve dated more and don’t have the patience for juvenile male bs.
2. Yeah, that’s really it. I’m a pre-crone and have wisdom.

Here’s what I found: when you do or say something stupid and the guy still wants you around, it’s probably real. So, say something stupid. With me and Mr. Cupcake, I made an incredibly stupid comment about our cats (and I mean stupid, like I wanted to drink Drano-stupid. And this is what happened:

I made the comment.
Mr. Cupcake: “That’s stupid.”
Me: “Yeah. I don’t know why I said that. Can I help you with dinner?” (he was making dinner).

See? Say something stupid. Stupidity is the true test of love.

Also, six months is nothing and monogamy isn’t easy. The thing to really ask is what do you want? Is it really this particular guy?

Heh, this is more-or-less the exact opposite of my advice, but it’s still really awesome.

Side note, semi-echoing one of Doomcupcake’s points: It’s okay if first-serious-relationships eventually come to an end. There are *lots and lots of people out there*. My first serious relationship lasted ~6 years, and I have no regrets over it ending (she’s still one of my best friends, even designed the invites for my wedding) because I learned a lot about myself, both as a person and in a relationship.

Spend your time with that person in a way you’re satisfied with, and if it ends you won’t feel like it was a waste. :) I repeat: there are tons and tons of people out there.

Good advice. I did something similar by accidentally wetting the bed on my boyfriend (not even from drinking! But I did have a bladder infection, so…). He washed the sheets and teased me about it and then got me a really wonderful Valentine gift a couple weeks later. I figure that’s love.

Lirael, does he smile at you a lot? Silly grins, even? Tell you that he thinks you’re wonderful, beautiful, interesting, fun, exciting, funny? Tell you that he loves you?

These are the relevant questions.

Assuming the answers to the above are fairly happy-smiley but on a gut level you still feel some jitters, don’t rule out asking for friendly reassurances! Asking for reassurances doesn’t have to come off badly — it’s all about *how you do it*.

Wrong: Pouty face, looking like something’s wrong for 30 minutes but when he asks “What’s wrong?” just saying “NOTHING.” and pouting more, until finally blurting out, “YOU’RE SICK OF ME, AREN’T YOU?!?!”

Right: Wait until a happy moment when everybody’s all smiles, and go with “Hey, can I ask you something? I know this is silly but it’s kind of nagging at me a bit, so indulge me, okay? :)”, to which he says “…Sure, what’s up?”, to which you say “Sometimes I kinda have this little worry in the back of my mind that you might be wishing you and I had more variety in our day-to-day. If you were getting bored and wanted to change things up, you’d tell me, right? :)” to which he will probably explain that he is in fact super-duper happy, and if he had an issue he’d say something.

I mean, mirror-image it. If he were worrying in the back of his mind about you getting bored, and he said the above to you… you wouldn’t think of him as being needy or clingy, would you? Being able to talk about these things comfortably with your partner is a key goal to work towards. :)

My advice would be to pay attention to how you’re feeling, and not to try to guess or intuit what’s going on for him. Are you happy? Are you content? Do you still love him to pieces? If so, great, and if so, let me know. Most men (most human beings) love feeling that their partner adores them and is delighted with the relationship, and just expressing that can go a long way, in my experience, toward creating a lasting and happy partnership. And in my experience, confidence breeds confidence (ie. if you waltz around assuming you’re the bees knees and that he’s a lucky man to have you, he’ll feel the same way) and insecurity breeds the same (ie. if you meep about in fear that he’s just waiting for someone better, he might start thinking you have a point). Dress yourself up. Take yourself up. Be glowingly happy to be you.

Because reading your description–no fights, no trust issues, generally happy contentment–your relationship sounds fine. :)

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