Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Weekend Open Thread


Yay — we made to April! I said that to Drew this morning and he was like, “You mean, us?” And I said, “Not us-us, but like New Yorkers, people in general — we made it through the winter!” In a few days, on April 9, Drew turns 46 and Jackson turns 4-1/2. Four and a half, for those who care about this kind of stuff, is worlds better than any of the ages that come before, at least in our household; I’d always heard that four was awesome, but when Jackson turned four, he was still adjusting to having a baby sister (only three months old at that point) and starting big boy school and then his grandfather died a couple weeks later and that was yet another adjustment — for all of us — and so it really wasn’t until maybe January that we felt the relief of four. The tantrums have all but stopped, the multiple, overnight freak-outs have ceased, the behavior issues on the playground — biting other kids, stuff like that — seems long over (oh, thank God), and now, in addition to the brilliant, sensitive, sweet, funny kid we’ve always had in Jackson, he’s good company, too, in a way people who don’t make you wish for an IV of tequila are. We made it. (At least for now. And just in time for toddlerhood 2.0).

As I write this, Drew is at court learning his fate for grand jury duty. He got the summons while I was in Chicago a few weeks ago and waited until I got home to break the news. Grand jury duty can run as long as six months, and Drew has the kind of job where, if he’s not at work, he doesn’t get paid, regardless of what the reason is for not being there. Six months without his income would be a hardship that would ruin our year. –I just got a text from him saying it won’t be more than two weeks and he’ll have more info in a few minutes. Already, two weeks is much better than six months!

What else? Anyone have any fun spring trips planned? We were waiting to find out what Drew’s jury commitment will be, but it looks like we’ll be able to get to Missouri around Memorial day to visit my family. Jackson’s school is on spring break in a few weeks, but we aren’t going anywhere. I signed him up for two days of camp to see if he’ll like it enough to do a couple days a week through the summer. We have one little getaway planned in July — a long weekend at a lake house upstate with another family we’re friends with. And we recently booked my 40th birthday trip, too (which will actually be two weeks early since my birthday falls on the first day of kindergarten for Jackson and I can’t very well peace out on a monumental day like that). Anyway, Drew and I are going away for two nights, just the two of us, to a nice B&B on a vineyard in Long Island. I’m pretty excited. Still months away, but it’s nice to have something like that to look forward to.

Anyway, happy Friday and happy April, everyone. We made it!

39 comments… add one
  • K April 1, 2016, 3:12 pm

    Hooray for wineries and lake houses! Last summer I rented a lake house on Lake George with a bunch of college friends – it was great. This year we’re doing the same thing but a more locally, and with a smaller group of different friends.

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  • jlyfsh April 1, 2016, 3:18 pm

    I love the wineries out on Long Island! I wish I could remember the name of the one I loved so much, I think it started with a K. I’m finally getting a vacation this year that isn’t visiting family. Felt a little guilty, but I’m super excited. It’s a cruise to the Bahamas which I can’t wait for.

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    • karenwalker April 1, 2016, 4:39 pm

      The one on the water? That’s Kontokosta. Best views – and I think it’s the only one with a view of the sound. It’s in Greenport, which is a cute little town with good seafood places & a brewery, too.

      My family has a house out the Long Island winery region and I love going out there. My husband proposed to me out there, too!

      Wendy, I’m sure you have your weekend already planned, but if not here are some recommendations:

      If you like vodka, I’ve heard LIV is good for tastings. You can do shots or get a cocktail.

      Rose – go to Croteaux Vineyards. Sparkling – Sparkling Pointe

      I also really like Lieb Cellars and their second label Bridge Lane Winery.

      Love Lane Kitchen in Mattituck has good food. Lolly’s Hut in Riverhead has a good breakfast. Magic Fountain has great ice cream.

      There’s also a lavendar farm, Lavendar By the Bay, and a goat farm, Catapano Dairy Farm, with goat cheese and other products.

      I hope you & Drew enjoy your weekend!

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      • jlyfsh April 1, 2016, 6:05 pm

        That sounds right! My friend mentioned that lavendar farm but we didn’t go because I’m allergic :/

  • bittergaymark April 1, 2016, 3:22 pm

    He should plead hardship. I just got excused from the same thing out here as the trial — which DAMMIT, was actually kinda famous was expected to run three or four weeks. They excused me and I have no wife and family to support… I would expect that they will do the same with him.
    It’s always summer in Los Angeles.
    I am battling a host of demons as of late. Ugh. Don’t follow your dreams, folks. More often than not — they turn to nightmares from which you don’t wake up.

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    • Firestar April 1, 2016, 3:56 pm

      My mother just tells them she assumes if someone is arrested they are guilty. Kind of sad really. If on trial, you never end up with a jury of your peers. You end up with people who couldn’t get out of it. Or retirees if you’re lucky.

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      • RedRoverRedRover April 1, 2016, 4:25 pm

        My husband and I both did our jury duty. I agree it’s sad that people lie to get out of it, but when I went it looked like most people hung around. And a lot of them seemed to be middle-aged professionals going by what people wore and the number of briefcases and laptops people had. Maybe it depends specifically where you are, but from what I saw it seemed like a pretty good mix of types of people.

      • blink14 April 4, 2016, 10:57 am

        That’s basically how I got out of sitting on a murder trial. Everything they presented led to the person being guilty (I also remembered it being covered in the news). How could I legitimately look at the person as innocent until proven guilty when it was clear from the case overview given by the judge that he was guilty?

        What did freak me out is that every person interviewed had to go up and talk to the judge, with the guy on trial standing right there, it was so scary, especially for a murder trial.

    • keyblade April 3, 2016, 9:47 pm

      I’m sorry Mark, but for god’s sake enjoy the good weather and living near the ocean. That’s half of the good life, I’d guess.

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  • Pamplemousse Rose April 1, 2016, 4:12 pm

    I was only called for jury duty once, but the defendant entered a plea before it started so I didn’t have to serve.

    As for spring vacations, we are leaving tomorrow morning for 10 days in Phoenix! Though we haven’t had too cold of a Canadian winter here to need getting away from, I’m still excited for the warmer temps and pool weather! Its also our anniversary when we are down there, so we are going to take advantage of grandparent-babysitting to go out for a nice dinner.

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    • kriskros April 3, 2016, 6:14 pm

      Bring shorts! It’s going to be hot here this week!

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  • RedRoverRedRover April 1, 2016, 4:23 pm

    I have been waiting for April for SO LONG. I can’t believe it’s finally here! I’ve been having a tough pregnancy and a hard time working at the same time, as my job’s pretty stressful and I’ve been in physical pain as well. April 13 is my last day of work, so I’ve just been hanging on till April, since about Christmas. Yesterday when I crossed March 31 off my calendar I felt such a sense of relief. I don’t usually cross days off calendars, and don’t usually even HAVE calendars, I drew this one on paper specifically just so I could cross it off. 8 more work days left and I can’t wait till it’s over!

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  • Kate April 1, 2016, 4:32 pm

    Last time I was called for jury duty it was a medical malpractice case where someone died. The family was all there 🙁 I said I don’t trust doctors.

    I’m day drinking in SoCal! It’s a conference my husband goes to and I tag along. We’re right on the beach. My Bloody Mary buzz wore off so I’m having champagne. My outfits are on point too. Fuck you, MA!!!!

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    • Portia April 1, 2016, 4:35 pm

      Medical malpractice cases can be so sad. My dad is a doctor and in the last couple of years he’s been an expert witness in some malpractice cases. I used to ask what the cases were about, but I can’t anymore because they were so heartbreaking.

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  • Portia April 1, 2016, 4:32 pm

    Ugh, someone on my team at work is in grand jury duty a little over a month and it’s been kind of a pain. But they pay your salary at my work when you’re on jury duty, so she didn’t claim hardship. I’ve gotten out of jury duty number of times as a student, then by strategically waiting to get new drivers licenses when I moved states. My mom gets out by saying she’s a lawyer, but my city is packed to the brim with lawyers, so that wouldn’t work here. My number’s going to come up one of these days…
    Only vacation in my sights is going to see the SIL and her family, which I’m very excited about. I’ve been knitting things for the kids, although I decided to give one of those projects (knit toy) to friends that are due in a few months, so time to knit more things!

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  • kare April 1, 2016, 4:47 pm

    My group didn’t get selected the last time they had jury duty, but there’s a good chance I wouldn’t get chosen anyways since my mom is a police officer. My mom never gets chosen for jury duty and gets a little bummed about it. She also doesn’t think it’s fair that the rare times she gets pulled over, she doesn’t get ticketed. She never tells them she’s a police officer because she hates special treatment, but I think it comes up when they run her ID.

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  • Kate April 1, 2016, 4:55 pm

    Whenever I’m wasted at the beach I want to belt out Thunder Road. Is that weird?

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    • Kate April 1, 2016, 5:13 pm

      It’s a town full of losers, I’m pullin out of here to wiiiiiiiiinnnnnn

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    • K April 4, 2016, 9:23 am

      No, not weird at all – my favorite Bruce song!

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  • YoYo April 1, 2016, 4:59 pm

    Long, stressful week, which started with my bike getting stolen and ended with me deciding to leave my passion job (not related events, lol). Lots of tears for both things! Thankful for nice spring weather, and friends to vent to/run with/drink wine with. Headed with the BF to a 1920s themed wedding this weekend, where we can dance our troubles away!

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  • Dear Wendy April 1, 2016, 5:10 pm

    Well, Drew got a two-week service for grand jury duty. Not great (especially with no income for that whole time, save for the $40 a day he’ll get as a juror — womp womp), but it could be a lot worse, I guess.

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    • MaterialsGirl April 1, 2016, 5:23 pm

      Time for a donation drive or EVERYONE BUY STUFF VIA AMAZON LINK!

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      • MaterialsGirl April 4, 2016, 11:16 am

        i just bought stuff on amazon (small but still).

      • Dear Wendy April 4, 2016, 11:49 am

        Thank you!

  • honeybeenicki April 1, 2016, 6:02 pm

    We’re going to celebrate our anniversary early by going to see the comedian Brian Regan tonight. Then I’m having a direct sales party tomorrow and working Sunday. Woohoo.
    The only time I was called for jury duty I told them I believe in liberal use of the death penalty. I was dismissed. We don’t even have the death penalty.

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  • Dear Wendy April 1, 2016, 6:34 pm

    This is grand jury, which is different than regular jury duty. Drew wasn’t interviewed by anyone or anything like that. There wasn’t any way he could get out of it, unfortunately. They didn’t care that he’ll get no income for two weeks and has a family to support; they hear that all the time. We’ll be ok, but it’s definitely a big bummer.

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    • Lianne April 1, 2016, 8:22 pm

      It must vary state by state. I was interviewed for grand jury duty in MA.

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    • Portia April 1, 2016, 9:04 pm

      My coworker said they interviewed jurors for her grand jury duty (in DC) and a bunch got excused.

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  • Lianne April 1, 2016, 8:19 pm

    My spring plans include having a baby! I’m so excited!

    I once had to show up for grand jury duty, but I must have had a great judge because one of the questions they asked during selection was whether I’d get paid while serving. They dismissed anyone who wouldn’t, including me. I’m sorry you’ll be without Drew’s pay for two weeks. Would he be able to use vacation time?

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  • d2 April 1, 2016, 10:28 pm

    In the last state I lived, I got called for jury duty … Every. Year.
    In the state where I now live, I haven’t been called once in 16 years.

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    • RedRoverRedRover April 2, 2016, 11:36 am

      Where I live, if you show up for duty you get excused for the next 10 years. Is that not standard? Seems pretty unfair to have someone do it every year.

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      • Lianne April 2, 2016, 2:11 pm

        I don’t think I’ve been summonsed for regular jury duty in almost 10 years. The grand jury summons was about 5 years ago.

      • anonymousse April 2, 2016, 2:46 pm

        I have never been summoned!

      • jlyfsh April 2, 2016, 3:05 pm

        I don’t think it is standard. My husband got called 2 years in a row when we lived in the county next to the one we do now. I never got called their and since we moved to a bigger county neither of us has gotten called. But, I have some friends who seem to get the short stick and get called every year.

      • jlyfsh April 2, 2016, 3:07 pm

        I have no idea why I can’t use the right there. Apparently multi-tasking on the weekend isn’t feasible.

    • memboard April 3, 2016, 11:13 pm

      In canada almost noone ever gets called for jury duty. I think everyone’s better for it. Now I do know people who have been called but it’s really rare. The difference is that there is not grand jury prior to trial so there is a lot less need of jurors.

      Anyways, a new life experience for Drew.

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      • RedRoverRedRover April 4, 2016, 1:09 pm

        Really? Where do you live? I’ve gotten called twice and my husband once. Friends of ours have gone too. It doesn’t seem that uncommon, maybe less common in a smaller city.

  • HD April 4, 2016, 7:53 am

    Wait…they can make someone do jury duty even when it causes financial hardship? That seems very messed-up. I know there are exemptions; seems like that should be one! Glad to hear it’s not going to be too long. Also glad to hear your experiences about coming out the other side with two kids, toddler tantrums and such, because I’m about to have my second baby in two weeks and my almost-3 year old has decided to start waking up at 5am and also demand to kinda sorta (but not really) potty train. This is my first day on official maternity leave and rather than relaxing I’m just picturing horrific scenarios where none of us survive the next 2 years! 🙂 (Probably doesn’t help that my firstborn was a super-colicky infant and I’m going to be attempting a VBAC this time around…nerves, nerves).

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    • Dear Wendy April 4, 2016, 11:11 am

      They can definitely make people do jury duty even if they claim it will be a financial hardship. Drew told the judge and lawyers (or whoever decides who stays and who goes) that he had a wife and two kids to support and that he employer doesn’t pay for days not worked (he doesn’t even get paid vacation or holidays or anything), and he was basically told “tough shit.” He brought is the kids’ birth certificates and everything. No go. We’re fortunate ones though in that we have savings and even though I am a SAHM, I make the equivalent of a healthy part-time salary. There are people for whom missing two weeks of income would be a legitimate hardship — as in, not able to pay rent or buy food — and they’re truly screwed if they have to do jury duty more than a few days.

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