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Also I’m not totally opposed to spoiling tweens/teens a little sometimes? Again, I don’t have kids, but I don’t mind spoiling his local nieces a little. We’re not over-the-top about it. But like… something like Drunk Elephant is dumb for a tween for the reasons @Kate mentioned. IDK about all pricey athleisure brands but I have a few pairs of Lululemon leggings that I run in, they fit and perform well, they’ve lasted me years… but for a tween, dropping $100 on a pair of leggings or $200 on a matching set that they will outgrow relatively quickly seems like an utter waste.
I don’t think you sound like an asshole at all. You and your husband are adults who work and can splurge on what you want and what works for you. Also, cost per use is real. I returned my AirPods — they didn’t stay in my ears and I found the noise cancellation feature jarring — but I have a pair of Powerbeats Pro and I use them daily. I’ve run two half marathons and a marathon with them. I’ve definitely gotten my money’s worth. They were a better purchase in terms of cost per use than, say, the $30 Target booties I bought last spring with good intentions but still have not worn.
I can see a tween or teen saving their money to buy something like AirPods. I did that as a tween when I wanted a portable CD player and again later in my teen years when I wanted an iPod. A responsible teen can probably handle AirPods, too.
- This reply was modified 15 hours, 55 minutes ago by Copa.
I’m sure you’ve all been on the edge of your seats for this update that nobody asked for, but yesterday was day one of our work conference. I didn’t even have to be nosy or try to discreetly ask certain coworkers if we’re on the same page about the department I have complained about, it came up easily because others brought it up. Heh. I now know my boss vaguely knows about the thing I wanted to be a busy body about on behalf of my coworker — he shared that her boss knows and is unhappy. The coworker being taken advantage of is in our legal dept and our assistant general counsel, who has been in some of the same weird meetings I’ve been in, is on the same page I’m on. I think she raised the alarm to their (shared) supervisor. Anyway, I’m happy to know I’m not the only one and that high level directors and supervisors are more and more in the loop.
So, I don’t blame kids for wanting these things. Consumerism is very in-your-face with social media and it has normalized over consumption. But I do question the parents for buying ’em. When my sister and I were little, we’d put together our Christmas lists by writing down what we saw in TV commercials. (I still remember some 90s commercials for toys I wanted!) We did not get those things. My parents never bought us the “it” toys or “cool” brands, unless maaaybe there was a sale. IDK. I’m not a parent, so wtf do I know, but I can’t imagine myself being like, “Sure, I’ll buy you $78 maracuja oil infused moisturizer.”
As adults, my parents are fairly generous gift givers to their grown kids, but they also don’t have grandkids to shop for. I would prefer to only shop for kids and get adults in my life stocking stuffers.
I’ve been taking pottery classes and plan to gift some of the nicer pieces. I’ve thought about turning some of the uglier ones into candles.
ETA: Post-interview thank you emails make me so uncomfortable, haha.
- This reply was modified 22 hours, 52 minutes ago by Copa.
- This reply was modified 22 hours, 51 minutes ago by Copa.
I think Drunk Elephant for a 12-year-old is ridiculous. We’ve had enough skincare/product talk here that I’m sure it’s no secret that I have my own regimen and splurge here and there on specific items. But that stuff is so pricey! I can’t believe anyone would buy it for a kid. I’m an old fuddy duddy I guess.
– I don’t expect a thank you card for gifts given in person, but two of the nieces (the local two) often send them to us anyway. I love the cards, I think they’re adorable. I’ll be sad when the youngest stops sending them with spelling mistakes and big loopy kid writing.
– I still buy something for my sister. She gets stuff for us. Sometimes it’s stuff for us as a couple. Like last year she got us a gift card toward a cooking class. I can’t recall what I got her last year. She complimented my travel jewelry case on our recent trip so I was going to get her that this year.
– I get the bf a gift, too. I’m blanking on what I’ve gotten him. We need a new couch so he asked if we can just do some stocking stuffers so that we can buy a couch. Works for me! He needs new socks, so I’ll throw some into his stocking. Probably a couple other small things, too.
Thanks for the suggestions! I don’t know the 12- and 17-year-old well, they live in a different state. The 12-year-old for some reason owns just about every Drunk Elephant product under the sun. The 10- and 13-year-old live in a nearby suburb to our city. The 10-year-old is still relatively easy to shop for: she’s happy with games and craft kits. The 13-year-old is getting harder to shop for. She’s creative and likes art/crafts, but increasingly into makeup, clothes, hair.
I recently tried some ELF lip stains after seeing them on TikTok — they were cheap and sometimes I want to put on lip color without it being a lipstick. I thought they were fun and might make cute gifts for tweens. But then I saw that these kids have and use high end makeup already and figured they’d think ELF stuff is lame. LOL.
On the subject of Air Pods, one of my friends has three girls, the middle child is about 7 and has been participating in Girls on the Run. So I guess my friend wanted to get her 7-year-old Air Pods for running and I was surprised. They’re pricey and easy to lose — plenty of adults I know can’t keep track of their ear buds — and the fit can be weird.
- This reply was modified 1 day, 21 hours ago by Copa.
Not to totally threadjack, but if anyone has any gift ideas for girls ages 10, 12, 13, and 17 that isn’t cash or high end athleisure (I know Lululemon would go over really well but omg I run (okay I jog but sometimes I go really far) and still can barely justify the occasional high quality legging for myself), I’m all ears! I have enjoyed being involved in the gift shopping/giving for the nieces, but as they get older, I feel like it’s harder to knock it out of the park.
I think $100 is generous. Or maybe we are just cheap over here!? (I didn’t think we were!) My boyfriend has four nieces and one nephew, most of whom are in the tween age range (oldest is now 17) and when we buy a gift, I’d say we tend to spend under $50. For gift cards or cash, $50-100 depending on the age and occasion.
We just spent Thanksgiving with his family and I will say, I cannot relate to his nieces regarding gift expectations. His 12-year-old niece likes Sephora and I guess her parents (boyfriend’s sister and BIL) will buy her nice, higher end brands. Like, brands I use now. She literally got on her knees to beg her grandma — my boyfriend’s mom — to take her to Sephora on Black Friday. At 12, I was dabbling with drugstore products that I saw in teen magazines (and I looked stupid because platforms like YouTube, where I eventually learned how to do my makeup in my early 20s, didn’t exist yet). And all of the nieces and nephews were like, “We’ll send our links to what we want for Christmas.” Wut.
- This reply was modified 3 days, 18 hours ago by Copa.
FWIW, one of my mom’s friends is widowed and is also a lively 70-something. She has a very full life and has as long as I’ve known her. I’m not even just talking about dating — though she does that, too. She is active, goes to yoga, enjoys her friends, takes language lessons, travels, and dates/has had relationships in her older age.
I think if you really look at your life as a waste you’ll have to continue to endure, talking to a therapist is a good first step. I imagine it’s not easy to leave a 50+ year marriage, even a dead one, because change is hard and uncomfortable… support may prove critical. But I do think there could be a lot of life left for you if you make some changes!
@ktfran – That’s exciting! Lack of upward mobility is my biggest reason for keeping an eye open for new roles, so to have a chance to grow internally where you already like your manager and feel comfortable must be so nice. BTW, my sister is on the architecture side of your field and over the weekend said this time of year gets crazy in the field since everyone starts planning for spring. Which I guess makes sense! But honestly her work always looks, from my perspective, like drinking out of a firehose.
Re: the coworker I want to advocate for, yeah, so far instead of being a busy body, I told her that I did speak up about my role within this other department in case it emboldens her to do the same. She works out of our other office so I can’t quite gauge her level of frustration. She’s only made that one comment to me about the work. I’ll see her in person when she comes to my city this week for our conference and next week for our holiday party/training. I’m planning to be nosy. If nothing else I’d just like the validation that I’m not the only one who wants to scream into a pillow over how things have been handled the last couple years with staffing changes.
That’s good! Honestly, I’d want to cry if work added anything more to my plate in December. We shut down between Christmas and the new year, which is nice, but I have the same amount of work to do regardless. And we have a conference next week. And mandatory training the week after (with our holiday party thrown into the mix that Thursday, which I know is a fun thing, but still takes away from the amount of time I have to get my stuff done). And weekends are busy with festivities.
I finally advocated for myself at work re: work that I’ve been doing for another department for far too long, even now that they’ve been fully staffed for probably six months. The other department’s manager wanted me to do some admin work for his department at our conference next week, on a day I have zero reason to be on-site. So I spoke up. It was like injecting caffeine into my veins, haha. I have another coworker in my position — saddled with work that has nothing to do with her role for this department — and for some reason she’s scheduled to be doing more of that department’s work at our conference than any of that department’s full-time staff members. She told me she noticed the imbalance but didn’t want to say anything. I’m a manager, she’s not, so now I’ve been wondering if I ought to say anything on her behalf, but that seems like I’d just be a busy body if I did.
I should find out next week if I’m a finalist for a job I applied for a couple months ago at a company I really admire. When I met the hiring manager in an interview, I was asked several questions I think were intended to test my emotional intelligence (e.g., How do you define a safe space and how do you create one?)… I’ve never been asked anything along those lines before. I also just got an invite to come in for an in-person interview at a different organization. So maybe 2024 will bring some ch-ch-ch-changes for me.
I hate that golf is so big in some fields for networking. I actually took lessons over the summer to be able to (theoretically) participate in stuff like this. I’d need a lot more to be a proficient golfer. (The park district offers relatively inexpensive lessons, FYI, if that’s something you’d ever want to consider.)
Anyway, unless this would somehow make or break the relationship or deal, I’d pass. Your travel plans are set. December is a very busy month for many people and it’s already Friday — our weekends are already mostly booked up through the end of the month. I don’t think it makes you not a team player to say no to something that has come up last minute after plans are set during what I’d argue is the most hectic month of the year… especially if you already have a track record for being a team player, one “no” shouldn’t be a big deal.