Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

And just like that, we’re deep in the holiday season. Everyone keeps saying it, but it’s true: With the smallest ever gap between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the season seems especially rushed this year. Fortunately, I started my shopping early and I’m just about done. Now it’s just a lot of donating/hemorrhaging of our bank account to all the support people in our family’s life: classroom teachers, cluster teachers, cafeteria staff, crossing guards, Hebrew school teachers, mail carriers, hair stylists, house cleaner, babysitters, and on and on. All of those people certainly deserve a holiday bonus, but, man, it gets expensive. I remember as a kid wondering why grown-ups always stressed about the holidays, acting like it was such a financial burden, and now I get it.

Anyhoo, I think we’re going to pick up a Christmas tree this weekend, and Drew and I are going out tomorrow night to a little holiday gathering. There’s a birthday party, play dates, and a basketball class for the kids so it should be a full and happy weekend for all of us. I hope your weekend is also a good one, however you spend it. And in the meantime, here are a few things from around the web that may interest you:

Something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately is how we might begin to re-imagine the stages of life (including how we subsidize them and what we gain from them as a society) as life expectancy continues to increase. This was an interesting take and echoed so many of the thoughts I’ve had about the topic: “We need a major redesign of life.”

Bride Arrested for Allegedly Forcing the Photographer to Pay for the Privilege of Shooting Her Wedding

These Illustrations Show What Love Is Really Like Behind Closed Doors

Tiny Love Stories: ‘We Were So Fit, So Young, So Beautiful’

P.S. These are super fun this time of year if you’re looking for a cheap thrill people of all ages can enjoy.

Thank you to those who submitted links for me to include. If you see something around the web you think DW readers would appreciate, please send me a link to [email protected] and, if it’s a fit, I’ll include it in Friday’s round-up. Thanks!
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I haven’t done a “From the Mailbag” post in a while and today I have not one but two letters from my inbox to share. Both writers take issue with the same column — “Where Can I Find a Decent, Much Younger Woman?” — and for the same reason:
They argue that, as an advice columnist, my job is to strictly give advice and not to pontificate on politics. In short: I should stay in my lane. In a shock to probably no one, both of these LWs are dudes, and one must assume new DW readers. I’m sharing their letters unedited.

Dear Wendy,

First of all disclaimer!! I give you the right to put this on your site how you see fit. I DO NOT give you the right to give my contact info out in any way.

Now thats out of the way I feel the need to write this letter to you in regards to the response you gave to Morning Quickies: “Where Can I Find a Decent, Much Younger Woman?”

First off you were very rude to the person in question. He reached out to you to get some advise and you completely destroyed his hope. Aside from that you also gave bad advise. Though it is much harder in his place to find love due to all the good ones are usually taken by the time you are 35 years old, you could have offered some hope to him. Your response came off as being “you got no hope stop chasing youngsters for sex.” I can tell you that no, this is not the case. Maybe he was looking for love and not lust with the addition of having young fun like going out on the town. most 45 year old women are not really into this. I don’t mean to tell you how to do your job but clearly you haven’t been in the “dear abby” game for a long time.

Secondly don’t bring politics into the matter. referencing a trump rally clearly defines you as a definite democrat. Honestly your going to lose more readers than gaining.

And lastly there are good/nice guys out there that are just looking for love, maybe due to them being hurt in the past or it never worked out. So the next time someone reaches out to you for advise/help go easy on them, you never know when someone will rip apart your response and feed it back to you on what you are doing wrong. I doubt you will read this at all but if you do best wishes to you in the future and your dear abby opinion section.

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I don’t want to sound ungrateful or anything, but my partner of two years isn’t getting me a Christmas present just like he didn’t get me a birthday present this year. I earn $304 a fortnight and he earns $500+ a week. We live with his parents so we don’t pay bills — all he has to do each week is put fuel in his car. I have spent over $1000 on presents throughout the year. I have a pretty big family, so I have to buy all these Christmas presents for people in my family plus we are going on a camping trip in January for which I paid for some new supplies, like an awning, camp oven, recovery kit, sleeping bags, and this brand new expansive tool kit. I have been going broke in that I don’t buy myself anything anymore because my partner will mention something that he wants and I will be stupid enough to buy it for him and spend what little money I have. I need to save up to buy a car next year and don’t know how I will ever do it. I just feel pretty depressed because he isn’t getting me any gifts at all. When I spend most of my money on everyone else, I just feel very unappreciated. Please tell me that I’m not over-reacting. — Going Broke

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CIRCLE ICON DW 0127145

Here’s what we’re discussing this week in the forums:

My mom is friends with my frenemy

My boyfriend (30) proposed to me (29) last night and I am so disappointed

My family is worried about me spending New Year’s Eve alone

How to help this friend that complains all the time?

Feel awful…what to do?

Reading text messages

My boyfriend secretly wears lingerie

Stalemate following a disagreement

How to cancel a Tinder date for the 2nd time?

“My Daughter is in an Abusive Relationship”

Wife thinks I’m weird / Nobody does what I do

Anyone going on awesome dates?

Follow along on Facebook and Instagram.

If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at [email protected].

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I set a goal for myself for this year to read 25 books. I chose that number because it seemed both doable and ambitious enough for me that I would *have* to change my habits, which was the point of the goal. Many, many moons ago – before kids and even before marriage when I had a lot more uninterrupted solo time (and the focus and energy to fill said time with activities other than lying horizontal staring off in the distance or at a screen) — I easily read a book a week, but in more recent years, I’d be lucky to reach 10 or 12 books in a year. So I set a goal of 25 to nudge me back into the reading habit, to force myself to put books back on my radar (reading reviews, asking for recommendations, constantly adding to and updating my holds list at the library, where I get 90% of my books).

I’m a little sad to say that I’m going to fall short of my goal for the year. I’ve only finished 17 books so far and, if I’m being honest, the likelihood of me finishing more than three in the next four weeks is very, very slim. However! There are an additional 12 books that I started and didn’t finish and I think that should count for something. In some cases, I read a good 200 pages of a book before I gave up. In all cases, I read at least 25 pages before deciding I wasn’t feeling it and moving on.

All of this reading – even if I didn’t finish as many books as I set out to finish — accomplished what I hoped it would. I am reacquainted with a hobby I love — both the actual reading of the books and the information-gathering around books I might like. Literature is a bigger part of my life at the end of this year than it has been in a long time and this is a very good thing. I’m looking forward to lots more reading in the year ahead! In the mean time, I’d love to share with you what my top reads of this year have been.

These are the books that have stayed with me, that I continue to think about weeks and sometimes months after finishing them:
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