Friday Open Thread

Clever Manka, · Categories: Open Thread

My BFFs are hosting a spa/social day today (before the big dance party tonight) for the people who would’ve been in their wedding party if they’d had a wedding-wedding instead of the small home ceremony they had last year. So I’m going to be day drinking and getting my nails done (and then, with luck, a nap) before heading to the reception tonight and then dancing my ass off until we close the bar.

In other words, I might not be around much for today’s OT.

The punch line is the first day of my yoga teacher-training class is tomorrow at 8:30am. Good Times!

What stories of bad timing with life events have you enjoyed lately?

61 Responses to “Friday Open Thread”

  1. CleverManka says:

    The follow-up punch line is I wrote and queued this before Thursday morning which is when I sneezed and threw out my back. #mylife #goodtimes
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    • vladazhael says:

      "I sneezed and threw out my back"


      • MuseKray says:

        We should form a "I nearly destroyed my body by sneezing" club. Once while working at an injury law firm, I sneezed hard enough to hear a crack in my lower back and feel a weird tingly, electric feeling going up and down my leg. These are the same symptoms described by clients who were in car accidents.

    • Lynn says:

      Oh no! Are you able to go to the spa day part at least? That has got to be so frustrating. I hope it gets better quickly.

      It wasn't my back but three years in a row in high school my spring cold progressed to severe laryngitis on the day of vocal solo competition. I never once got to actually sing the solo I prepared in front of anyone.

    • littleinfinity says:

      I once sneezed with a motorcycle helmet on and the resulting lower-back damage fucked me up for YEARS. Sciatica woooooo!

      I hope you feel better 🙁

    • meat lord says:

      Oh no! It's the deadly sneeze club up in here. I should probably start worrying for my own back come allergy season.

      Manka, your day sounds like it's going to be awesome, though! I hope your back doesn't get in your way, and that everything is as fabulous as it sounds.

    • damngoodcoffee says:

      Oh ick. I hope you get to still attend spa/social day, or do something relaxing/not painful at least. Definitely napping, if there's time for that.

    • Kazoogrrl says:

      I'm just thinking positively for pampering and yoga!

    • sherwood21 says:

      The worst I've ever done was sneeze so hard while I was driving that I smacked my head into my steering wheel & honked the horn with my face. Much more embarrassing than painful. I hope your back feels better soon!

    • Räven says:

      This is just how it's going to be, isn't it, we "strengthen our cores" until their force can wrench our spines apart, great, I'll just be over here hoping to get on the early lists for cyborg parts replacement.

  2. vladazhael says:

    Office mate doesn't seem to be here today, so now my whole hallway gets to listen to Hamilton. They should just be glad I have enough restraint to keep my own voice out of it.

    My energy is sort of coming back, at least to my usual shitty levels rather than extra shitty levels, so maybe it was ladyfuntime related? Or just coincidence; I don't know. Regardless, this sudden relative wakefulness comes along with an acknowledgement that my current workout plan – e.g. concentrate on strength rather than weight and then not really do enough about either – is NOT working so well, so I looked up the free class schedule at my gym and discovered that the most appealing class fits in nicely with my schedule 1-2 days a week. Now I just hope my ambition will hold out until 6:30pm on Monday. This could be good or shitty timing – we shall see…

    • Lynn says:

      Exercise classes are the only time I can be consistent about exercise for more than two weeks – even when I have no potential monetary stakes involved (if it's a free or pay-by-the-class type deal) having that schedule keeps me honest. I just wish most gyms in my area didn't charge extra for classes.

      Now that I both live relatively close to a good studio and have a little more recreational income I'm trying to get myself back in good enough shape that I can go back to a real ballet class again, but this six year break is the longest I've ever had and I'm also not 25 anymore (the age I was the last time I had more than a few weeks' break in classes).

      Good luck!

    • meat lord says:

      The freedom to play your own music loudly is the best! Also, best of luck on making it to those well-timed free classes–that sounds like it could be really great.

    • LaxMom says:

      One of the reasons (a small one, but still important) I quit my job today was because I simply couldn't even grab 30 minutes to do physical therapy, much less yoga, or make it to 1 1/2 hour karate class. Not exercising except for wearing my backpack around campus was really making everything worse. I'm really glad you've got new classes to look forward to! I'm hoping that the combination of not having to rush out of the house with 13 hours of stuff every morning, combined with a lack of existential dread of going to the office, will help me follow through on my morning practice.

  3. Xolandra says:

    I'm at work today because Impending Surgery to "get things done" but I don't really have things to do? So… entertain me, I guess is what I am saying here.

    I am sad about Terry Jones; dementia is basically my biggest fear, and I am so so sad to hear that someone whose work I love so much is starting to lose it. I am also channeling his work today, since GentlemanX left for the bush: this is what I sing to myself everytime:

  4. Lynn says:

    Oh hey did I mention on top of introvert hell I have a publication deadline? And that this issue both has a hard and fast deadline because we need copies on hand for an event at the end of October AND the entire layout is in a two steps forward three steps back situation (in that every time I get one piece settled, I find out I can't use or am missing something else)? I hate September so much.

    Also now we begin my annual "are they going to have a government shutdown in the middle of a project which involves contributions from federal employees" vigil. So that's fun.

    On the plus side I got a new room darkening shade for the bedroom that has really helped with the sleeping (though not so much with the waking up).

  5. meat lord says:

    I actually do have a story for awkwardly timed life events.

    My datefriend is going on T (testosterone hormone replacement therapy), which is very lovely and exciting! Datefriend will also be attending the office Christmas party with me, which I am tremendously relieved about–I'll have someone there that I actually like socializing with.

    Thing is, Datefriend is ready to be out to everyone (as nonbinary or as a transgender guy, depending on the audience) and will probably look quite different by December. I'm gonna need to educate my entire office (in a conservative industry, no less) about trans stuff.

    I've got to conquer my intense fear of doing, well, literally anything that could provoke judgment from other humans in order to get this done. I really want to do my best to support my datefriend and make sure people treat them with respect, don't misgender them, etc., but boy howdy, my social anxiety makes speaking out about it a daunting prospect. (This leads to me feeling bad because I'm not the one who will be out to these people, so why am I so scared / why haven't I already done it, I am a coward, etc. etc.)

    So, uh, tips for telling your small office that your partner is not the gender people had assumed that they were would be welcome? I have no idea how to approach it. I just know that getting the word out well before Dec. would be a great idea, so that it can be as low-key of an announcement as possible and all my cis coworkers can have time to acclimate.

    (As You Know, Bob, I'm nonbinary transgender too. I will not be coming out at this job. I'm gonna be playing the role of "cis ally" here.)

    • Xolandra says:

      I haven't ever had to tell an office, but I do have a non-binary friend with whom I had the discussion of "do I tell ppl about your pronoun preferences if I notice it any you haven't said anything" and this feels kind of the same? Mostly, I talk about Mer, using their preferred pronouns, pretty regularly, and totally casually. When people are confused and ask "who is they?", _that's_ when I do the talk, because, having asked, I feel like it is incumbent on them to listen to the answer. I try as much as possible to do this before Mer is introduced into a social situation, and am generally on high alert about what pronouns ppl are using to refer to them while they are in the room, and gently remind people that "Mer employs neutral pronouns" when they mis-gender my friend.

      I also cultivate an office persona where when I used the term "my partner's boyfriends" no one blinked, so. I… may not be the professional that you are looking for. Does Ask A Manager have any advice on this?

      • meat lord says:

        Thanks for your input! I'm definitely going to consider just switching to he/his pronouns for the datefriend without fanfare, and explaining when my coworkers are like "what?" That seems sufficiently low-key.

        I'll also hit up Ask A Manager and see if there's a column on a similar situation already. I can't believe I haven't looked there yet.

    • vladazhael says:

      Hrm. YMMV, but I suppose my approach would be to share information on a need-to-know basis – like don't even worry about preparing everyone at the office ahead of this event unless they're people who might genuinely care about you and your datefriend and what you're both going through. Otherwise you can both just show up at the party and your coworkers can adapt and accept the situation on the spot and behave politely like any grown-ass adult would be expected to do when faced with something new and different to them – and if they can't do that, they're the rude ones. I certainly wouldn't advise you to do anything that might put you or your datefriend in an awkward or hazardous situation, but I also don't think you personally owe your coworkers an explanation for anything you or your datefriend are doing with your personal lives, gender-related or otherwise. Even if the coworkers in question are conservative, and even if it's truly your wish help educate them in a way that encourages a positive experience for all concerned, in the end it's still their job to make sure they're well-informed modern adults, not yours.

      Of course, it sounds like I operate at a much higher baseline level of "fight me" than you do, so you may need the advice of someone less eager for verbal battle than I am. 😉 I do wish you both the best of luck with the situation, though, and I hope that however this plays out, your coworkers turn out to be accepting and supportive.

      • meat lord says:

        Thanks for your good wishes! And yes, I operate at a baseline of "oh god don't fight me please, preferably don't even notice I'm here" 😛

        To clarify, I don't feel like I owe my coworkers an explanation, and I definitely think that my personal life is none of their business. I'm going to the trouble because my datefriend doesn't want to be closeted anymore. It's something I'm doing for them, not coworkers-them.

        My goal here is to increase the chances that people will refer to Datefriend correctly, and to make sure that people at least know they are not a woman. I know I don't have much control over how my coworkers act; if they don't behave politely, that is definitely going to be their fault. It's good to have extra reinforcement on that front.

        • vladazhael says:

          "I'm going to the trouble because my datefriend doesn't want to be closeted anymore"

          A laudable act of support indeed! Whatever happens, you are being an excellent partner. 🙂

    • Onymous says:

      Just start surreptitiously leaving informational pamphlets in the break room/bathroom/people's desks? Maybe it'll sort itself out.

      • meat lord says:

        That would be awesomely low-effort.

      • Räven says:

        That seems like it would just create whispers and gossip and rumormongering about who is transitioning, or if someone is being outed as trans? I think knowledge and tolerance is about the least likely result of casual and anonymous pamphleting in the office toilets.

    • meat lord says:

      Big thanks to everyone who's replying with suggestions! I feel a lot less anxious about approaching this, and I now have an idea where and how to start. Yay!

    • sherwood21 says:

      My rather conservative mother comes to me with all her transgender questions, and over the last couple years she's become a lot more compassionate. I think she still really doesn't understand it, but has accepted that she doesn't have to understand in order to treat trans people decently. We've had conversations about Body Dysmorphia, which she can understand – so even though it is obviously NOT the same as Gender Identity, it gave her a leaping off point to understand why some people feel like they're in the wrong body. So, you might end up having a lot of those conversations, if people feel that they can approach you with those questions. Best of luck!

    • Rillquiet says:

      I had an employee go through transition at work, and the approach we used was to have a short word at the department staff meeting: "As some of you know, [Name] has always felt more comfortable as [Gender] and is taking steps toward living that more fully. [Name] asks that you use [M/F] pronouns when referring to [him/her] from here forward and appreciates your kindness as [s/he] goes through this complex and personal change." Keeping it calm and matter-of-fact helped model the expected behavior. Since you're talking about a significant other, not a fellow employee, maybe you could use similar phrasing in small-group or one-on-one conversations–or of course you could just switch pronouns and let 'em wonder.

  6. FriendOfDaja says:

    Bad timing: I got hiccups literally the moment I walked out my door this morning. It took my entire half hour walk to work to cure them, and they were the full-body kind :/

    But hey, I get to go to a marshmallow fluff festival tomorrow, so I've got that going for me!

  7. damngoodcoffee says:

    This Friday marks (I hope) the end of the beginning of the school year rush, thank goodness. I've been so freaking busy the past few weeks, teaching classes, meeting with students, presenting at orientation events, and all manner of things. And it's been really gratifying, but I haven't felt like I've had a real break in quite a while, so I'm looking forward to things slowing down at least a bit next week. Of course, my school is on quarter terms, so in October they'll be another mini-rush when the next term starts.

    There is ongoing coworker drama where one of my coworkers is not in any way emotionally stable enough to be working this job full time, but management is not doing anything to fix it, and she herself said if she took leave she would just 'sit around,' which… this isn't exactly about what she wants in the short term; it's about the fact that she's unable to do her job, running out of meetings crying and acting inappropriately in front of students.

    The real problem for me is that my anger at the lack of response on her behavior means it's hard for me to feel real sympathy for her situation. She really should take leave and get help, but it doesn't seem like she has any inclination to do that. Which, it's her life, but also she still shouldn't be here making things super difficult for everyone else all the time. It kills me that management isn't stepping in at all. I've even had senior level people in mgmt admit to me that they were enabling her. It's all just so messed up.

    • meat lord says:

      @—@ I really, really hope that someone (or some deux ex machina-type event) does something about your coworker problem. It sounds maddening, and I certainly wouldn't be able to feel much sympathy for her if I was in your shoes, either.

      • damngoodcoffee says:

        Thank you. 🙂 I'm hoping that something happens with it either way, or that I'm able to dig up some patience within myself to deal with the situation better.

  8. Kazoogrrl says:

    I feel like every aspect of my job has been like a toddler having a tantrum, at the part where they throw themselves to the floor and you have to haul their boneless body out of the store. Thankfully house projects are going a little better, now that it's cooling down.

    Bad timing? The library job I should have taken was offered to me the day after I accepted my current job. Americans do stupid things for health insurance.

  9. Xolandra says:

    Bad timing: the time my owvaries were being THE WORST right before I saw Living Reggae Legend Lee "Scratch" Perry. I was doubled over, clutching my gentleman friend, and had to convince the bouncer that I was in terrible abdominal pain and not Too Drunk even though my head was in GentlemanX's lap.

    Con: I missed most of Lee Scratch Perry because I could not see him from where I was perched looking for a respite. Pro: I got to watch the drummer (the original drummer from the Black Arc sessions!) instead and he was having a WHALE of a time. And can play the triangle like nobody's business.

    • damngoodcoffee says:

      I have never seen it as 'owvaries' before but I love it. Very apt. I'm so sorry that you have to deal with that kind of pain. 🙁

      • Xolandra says:

        Thanks! I intend to call my pink band the owvaries 😀 and I'm OK, having surgery to deal with it. But I have an essay in my brain about the Female Condition and pain and how patriarchy trains us to both expect it and undermines any discomfort we may feel, because WOMAN.

  10. LaxMom says:

    So…I just quit the job I've had for 2 years. It was a bait-and-switch situation with stupid politics thrown in, supposed to be full time that never happened, and is part of the reason I'm back in grad school. Still, my boss and her partner were ok–and with partner going on maternity leave in days, and me gone, boss will be doing 3 jobs. My mom keeps saying "That is not your problem". It was still a huge stress fest and I'm all shaky and exhausted. I didn't give 2 weeks because the whole reason I'm quitting is due to lack of time.
    I did the numbers and I'll be *down* to 67 hours a week now (10 of those driving). So this had to happen.

    Teen boy–after getting the offer for a new suit 3 weeks ago on his bday, and many reminders since about the upcoming homecoming dance, refused to go suit shopping and then on Wed got asked to the dance (tomorrow!). I'm going to make the corsages tomorrow and grandma got him a tie to match her dress and luckily he fits big brother's old suit. They are playing TUSK at the game tonight, which he's excited about, being a sousaphonist for this season.

    girl was a lot more positive going to dad's yesterday.
    I'm sure there is more but I"m getting all shaky again, better eat.

    OH, speaking of–boy didn't eat yesterday, and then got hiccups during marching band and tried to hold his breath to stop them. I don't know if he was holding the sousaphone when he fainted or not. His friends did catch him, though.
    We are putting granola and snacks in his car from now on!

  11. fiddlergirl says:

    Bad timing: well, a friend and I spent LITERALLY THE ENTIRE SUMMER batting ideas for times/places to get together back and forth and I could not make a single one of her suggestions, ever. It got pretty embarrassing, in a "I really do want to be your friend but I wouldn't blame you if you don't believe me at this point!" way. Of course, she was saying no to my stuff too, so.

    A crucial project kickoff meeting at work, complete with fancy European collaborators, was scheduled for the exact same time as the closing on my house. That sucked. I didn't go to the meeting. Weirdly, I am now project manager for this, uh, project.

    • Theo_Winterwood says:

      I have a friend who earlier this year (more the spring/early summer) would text me around 6:00ish about once a week and ask if I wanted to get together for dinner and it was always on the one night I was busy, which was always the only night they were free. I would tell them that I totally wanted to hang out, but then sometimes would get a message that essentially said, "Should I keep asking you? Or am I bothering you?"

      And then they moved somewhere way more inconvenient for impromptu hangouts at the beginning of July, so I feel kind of guilty for having had to go "I can't tonight, sorry" for like three months . . .

  12. LaxMom says:

    ha ha ha ha, ha ha ha ha ha! I checked in at "We hunted the mammoth"–it's a site that "tracks and mocks the new misogyny" –keeps track of pickup artists, trolls, gamergate jerks, etc, rips them apart. (most posts are very disturbing simply because of the subjects). ANYWAY–this post mocks a guy who says Hillary is evil because she liked The-Toast!!!!!! So WHTM links to a whole bunch of toast posts.

  13. Onymous says:

    My dad just sent several pounds of canned salmon. This is an excellent development.

  14. Theo_Winterwood says:

    Tonight is the meeting of the book club I'm in for my month. (Our book club goes on a rotation and each month is someone's turn to choose the book.) I'm slightly nervous, partly because I broke tradition and picked five short stories for folks to read instead of a novel, and partly because I didn't pick overly easy stories. Luckily, the one Antagonistic and Problematic Member is unable to make it, though, so that's a certain amount of relief.

    I'm not sure what I have to say about any of the stories–Maybe that's the problem when you pick five things you love. You suddenly have no defense, despite your years of reading and writing and your English degree, beyond simply wanting to say, "Because they are. Because I love them. Because. Because."

    • Xolandra says:

      A+ choosing short stories. I did that to my book club too – short stories are undervalued in this world, IMO.

      • Theo_Winterwood says:

        Agreed! What did you choose?

        • Xolandra says:

          O wow, it was a long time ago, and memories are fuzzy (that was a terribly booze fuelled book club). I think we did fall of the House of Usher, Lady Susan, something by de Sade, and possibly the Borge story about the library? If I were chosing today, I would definitely have something by Miranda July and Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm, whose collection i reviewed earlier this year and _gutted me_. And maybe a David Sedaris, because I like his particular brand of snark.

  15. Rillquiet says:

    This would go better on the Link Roundup (ey, bad personal timing), but here it is anyway: Vicente Fernandez has done a pro-Hillary corrido, which may be a first for a POTUS election. It's pretty catchy!

    • Onymous says:

      Ah yes, Mexican Burt Reynolds

      • Onymous says:

        Hmmm… It looks like their careers started at almost the exact same time. So I guess it's a bit of a coin flip whether he's Mexican Burt or if Burt Reynolds is norteno Vincente Fernandez

        • Rillquiet says:

          I can't speak to that, but I found it through an RT (by Guillermo del Toro!) of someone who said his abuela was going to FLIP OUT.
          ETA: Wow, it turns out he came out of retirement specifically for this; his last political event was singing Cielito Lindo for a Bush. Daaaang.

  16. Merripat says:

    It's my last night in the flat I've lived in the last five years. Oof.

    • Räven says:

      I'm not really one for mottos, nor for (ffs) quoting musical theatre at people, but there is a great line in 'Sunday in the Park with George', "the choice may have been mistaken; the choosing was not."
      You can always make another, different choice next. Enjoy moving forward.

  17. Räven says:

    I got nine pieces of mail this week from predatory "tax help" firms, offering to help me negotiate a huge tax bill that's supposedly leading to asset seizures and garnishment of my paycheck. I know I don't owe any money. But it seems evident that something has just hit the public records in my state, related to an identity theft case that is supposed to have been 100% cleared months ago at both federal and state (some other state) level. There is literally never a good time to have to call the state comptroller to ask why this lien is out there, but that's my Monday all set now. UGH THE WORST.

  18. LaxMom says:

    Venting because I need to. So this is homecoming weekend for teen boy. Always there is the game friday, town marching band concert Sat at noon, dance Sat. night. Boy is going. Boy is at dad's–well, it's been 7 years of kids going to dances, I'm used to having to avoid the ex and play nice if I want pictures. I am making the corsages because boy didn't tell me in time to order any.
    I went to game last night. Gave kid money for food in 3rd qtr. after the show. No ex (ex has not seen a game or concert yet this year). Went at noon to the concert. There are only 3 sousaphones. No teen boy. and band is a graded subject, miss a performance and lose a letter grade.

    Text ex, "Oh, he's still in bed. I tried to wake him up once and he swore at me so I left him alone".
    Who's the parent here? it's not like our kids being hard to wake up isn't a thing–and by not waking him up, not only did he miss the concert, but he missed his antidepressants, too.

    Yeah, sure, kids shouldn't swear. Yeah, sure, teens should wake themselves up. But in my family (siblings, myself, my dad, all of us), waking up is a really really difficult process, and as teens we all needed someone to nag us awake. It's not a surprise. Neither should it surprise the dad that if the meds wear off overnight, the kid with depression might have a hard time waking up!!!

    7 straight years of going to this concert. This year my kid missed it. I went home and angry cried for about an hour.

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