FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: Please Help Me Stop Shopping

Hey, firecrackers! Welcome to another Friday Open Thread, in which we speak freely about misandrist collectives and then share pictures of our cats. I’m all in for pictures of dogs, stories of love lost and gained, and you bitching about your job. I’ll relate no matter what. My experiences are wide and varied. I contain multitudes.

I’ve really missed y’all! It’s been a while, hasn’t it. Seems like only yesterday I was here before embarking on my weird and wonderful trip to Philadelphia to watch Hillary Clinton make history, only that wasn’t yesterday, it was like two weeks ago, it’s just that lately I feel as if time is both moving at the speed of light and crawling through gridlock on the 110 at 9 AM. Tag yourself, I’m the one crawling through gridlock on the 110 at 9 AM screaming along to something on Spotify while I chain-smoke in my car.

In the short time since I last welcomed you all into my loving arms virtually in the comments of a FOT, I’ve bought about a zillion crop tops, a shopping cart’s worth of Smart Water, a snapback that says simply “MOOD,” some liters of Perrier that were on sale, a bag of granola and four greek yogurts, an inappropriate amount of Hillary Clinton merch that I’m still waiting on the edge of my seat for, and more milkshakes from In-N-Out than I wanna ‘fess up to. I’m also the proud owner of a crop top emblazoned with the words “AIN’T NO WIFEY,” but that wasn’t something I bought, it was something that arrived in an envelope to my office from our satellite office in DC simply because my brand game is so strong it’s felt by others across the country.

I’ve enjoyed my new favorite hobby, hemorrhaging money, but I’m also here to beg you — like outright just beg and plead with you — to make me stop shopping. Please make me stop shopping. Help, I can’t stop shopping. Somewhere along the way on this journey we call my life, the switch in my brain that used to make it impossible for me to even indulge in paying for coffee instead of making it for myself completely flipped and maybe even just straight-up disconnected from its wiring and now I find myself going into H&M to get a dress for a wedding (did I mention I’m going to a wedding tomorrow? A gay wedding! A gay wedding uniting two ‘straddlers forever in sin!) and coming out with a crop top and shorts, or going into Forever 21, AKA crop top central, to pick up something I ordered online and coming out with said snapback that says simply “MOOD” and three, duh, crop tops, like in addition to the item I picked up, which just so we’re all aware was a cropped pullover sweatshirts that says MIXED EMOTIONS on the hood. I’m probably gonna return it, though, only honestly if I return it I have to go back and who knows what’s gonna happen. Anything could happen! I could buy a baby pink varsity jacket! I could buy a bunch of sour candy!

I, Carmen Rios, do solemnly swear to stop shopping. Maybe. But only if you come on down and tell me about your life to distract me from the big, bad world of nice, neat, shiny things! So hop to it, little bunnies! I wanna know every little detail about your life, as per usual, because I’m madly in love with you. Let’s go!


How To Post A Photo In The Comments:

Find a photo on the web, right click (on a Mac, control+click), hit “Copy Image URL” and then…
code it in to your comment like so:

If you need to upload the photo you love from your computer, try using imgur. To learn more about posting photos, check out Ali’s step-by-step guide.

How To Post A Video In The Comments, Too:

Find a video on YouTube or Vimeo or WHATEVER and click “embed.” Copy that code, paste it, and rock on.


Before you go! It takes funding to keep this publication by and for queer women and trans people of all genders running every day. And A+ members keep the majority of our site free for everyone. Still, 99.9% of our readers are not members. A+ membership starts at just $4/month. If you're able to, will you join A+ and keep Autostraddle here and working for everyone?

Join A+

Carmen

Carmen spent six years at Autostraddle, ultimately serving as Straddleverse Director, Feminism Editor and Social Media Co-Director. She is now the Consulting Digital Editor at Ms. and writes regularly for DAME, the Women’s Media Center, the National Women’s History Museum and other prominent feminist platforms; her work has also been published in print and online by outlets like BuzzFeed, Bitch, Bust, CityLab, ElixHER, Feministing, Feminist Formations, GirlBoss, GrokNation, MEL, Mic and SIGNS, and she is a co-founder of Argot Magazine. You can find Carmen on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr or in the drive-thru line at the nearest In-N-Out.

Carmen has written 1 article for us.

224 Comments

    • In Obi Wan Kenobi voice:
      All material goods are essentially meaningless, my young padawan.
      The only thing of importance is the difference you make in the world.
      Therefore I suggest you use your financial means wisely and use them to combat the demise of polar bears or baby pandas, instead of acquiring yet more of the things you don’t really,really need or want.

      Did this help?
      Social conscience always helps me out when I’m on a spending spree. I try to buy as socially and ecologically sound as possible, when I do and finally end up googling brands instead of buying anything.
      The cool part is, that there’s usually a story to what I’m wearing.
      Like, my pants,at the moment, 15% of what I paid for them goes to a charity targeting human trafficking.

  1. Hi Carmen! Hi Friends! Look at me with internet access on a Friday! I’ve missed all you FOT-ers so hard.

    Today I went to the hospital and it went mostly fine. Just gotta keep taking those tablets (yes, every day Caitlin, stop avoiding it).

    In less fun news my housing plans fell through, so I am now frantically messaging every stranger on gumtree trying to find a house I can move into in the next three weeks. Also, I have to pack everything I own to go to my parents house by Sunday. Moving is hard guys. Too stressful.

    At work I’m realising how much I am going to miss all my elderly faves. Even the ones who have punched me. I love them all so much.

    I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed by the amount of important stuff I have to do, so I think I’m going to put on my ACamp t-shirt and outsiders jean jacket and hide inside tonight. Maybe colour things in rainbow colours. Something grounding.

    • If you can lure friends with a promise of pizza to help you move that could help make it less stressful. I know helped a friend, mostly cause I wanted to, but the promise of pizza(and booze) didn’t hurt.

    • Hey fellow moving crisis haver, mine is not my home though, it’s my dayjob, the building the business was meant to move to got condemned, and we’re being evicted as it is because the landlord wants to sell the land for development, and the dayjob bosses are away so I have spent the week frantically scanning websites and finding nothing big enough in a good location to email them. Sigh. The big boss has almost fixed it from out of the country but I spent a large part of the week thinking I may not have a job from October soooo yeah. The pain is possibly similar. I hope you find something…I hope we do too. Argh. Moving is hard. Good luck with the family time. Nutella and colouring sounds awesome.

    • …I wish you good luck finding a house to live! I´m soon moving, too, but I have a bit more time left. Your strategy of taking one step at a time sounds really solid! Also – chocolate spread (as well as chocolate Ice Cream with chocolate sprinkles.. ;) ) is always a good source of strengh/happiness! :)

  2. Speaking of shopping, Amazon will sell items that come in different colors at different prices based on how well each one sells, which I discovered because my roomate is both cheap and red/green colorblind, so he has pink toe socks, a pink food processor, pink shoe laces, also a pink foam exercise roll, and absolutely zero fucks to give about any of it. XD

  3. Nothing much happening in my personal life right now, but DC’s queer community is getting lit! The Straddlers won money at pub trivia for the second time this week! The DC Center had a moving community event to memorialize the Pulse victims and mobilize against violence! There were wonderful performers and a cozy, incredibly diverse, supportive community. I am in love with the DC community and Busboys and Poets.

  4. Hey everyone ! Greetings from Washington DC ! I’m taking a plane tonight to Chicago, the last official stop of my great American adventure. I can’t wait. DC was nice, though not as fun as New York. (Also the recommendation Isabel gave me last Friday was spot on! I loved that distillery and am now the proud owner of two bottles of yummy bourbon, one of which will be my dads birthday present !).

    I’m looking forward to the weekend and autostraddle brunch in Chicago ! Yay.

    Carmen I can’t help you much with your problem I went on a MASSIVE spending spree before I left for my trip, telling myself I “need it for travelling”. The spree ended with the purchase of an iPhone 6s soooo… although I’m definitely enjoying using it to take pictures as it’s much more reliable than my old phone.

    Currently at the national gallery, saw this and thought of you guys:

    Hey giiiiiirl I dig your armpits.

          • With current state of battery technology(and them being non-replaceable on many phones now) lasting 4+ years may get costly. As after year 2 is when one starts to notice battery degradation. On the plus side battery case(as ugly as some maybe) does solve that problem, kind of.

          • So does getting a new battery. I’d rather that than toss a phone away every two years when you know the environmental and social cost of producing a unit.

    • I too went on a pre-vacation spending spree recently which included a new kindle, which I didn’t open once the entire trip, a new pair of shoes that I didn’t even take with me, and a fancy new charger that I forgot at home. Also a tiny skateboard that I bought to get around the area in which I was staying, that I later found out was illegal in that exact area so it stayed home as well.

      Even now being back I’m still in that I CAN SPEND THAT MONEY IT’S NO BIG DEAL mindset which led me to spending $30 on fall-scented candles yesterday, and a $60 button up from that company AS just did a review for. WHY AM I LIKE THIS.

  5. helllooooooo peaches and pies and peach pies,

    I put myself on a clothes diet this year, and have bought way fewer things, but it helps when you’re like “I’m saving money for *this* thing” rather than just like NO MORE SHOPPING. I also tend to buy lots of things when I’m sad and don’t have other ways to make change in my life, so I buy shit. which like, is fine if that’s true, unless you wanna go to therapy or yoga or something? or don’t, whatever.

    STOP BUYING SHIT. YOU WILL NOT WEAR WHATEVER IT IS IN A YEAR. SAVE YOUR MONEY. BUY THINGS SECOND HAND. YOU NEED YOUR MONEY FOR THINGS LIKE VACATION AND GROCERIES. CROP TOPS ARE FINE BUT THEY WILL NOT RESOLVE EXISTENTIAL ANGST OR ANY SCARCITY ISSUES YOU MAY HAVE. IMPULSE CONTROL IS A GOOD THING TO BE FAMILIAR WITH. HILLARY WILL KNOW YOU LIKE HER EVEN IF YOU DON’T WEAR ALL HER SWAG EVER. LOOK AT YOUR CLOSET YOU ALREADY HAVE SO MANY CLOTHES. was that what you had in mind?

    (I think shopping is fine but if you want to be told to stop, I’m telling you.)

    we’re in theory getting ready to go camping except it will definitely happen later in the day than we were planning on, because gf has too much shit to do/needs to be the person to make sure our camping gear is in the place that it was last year. whatever! we’re going camping eventually!

    I’m eating an open-face barbeque tofu sandwich because that’s what I’m into lately. I’ve been trying to eat less meat/more veg lately and sometimes the only way I can convince myself to eat quinoa (I don’t like quinoa) or god knows whatever other earnest foodstuffs I have made is to put bbq sauce on it. #harmreduction

    don’t perish in the heat my loves! I bought a bunch of seltzer water (they hide the la croix in our weird grocery store in unexpected places, I can never find it) because when I am a cranky whiny baby I make myself drink some water, but it feels like a TREAT because bubbles.

    otherwise, I read ‘love, loss, and what we ate’ by padma lakshmi and it was totally enjoyable summer reading! she talks about food and her love life mostly, and that was really enjoyable.

    happy weekend!

    • I don’t really fault myself for buying stuff when I’m sad, as long as I’m not bankrupting myself with it, because a friend introduced me to the concept when I was very very sad when I was 24 and I found it revolutionary. Also, I can get like 15 vintage shirts for the cost of one therapy session and it also distracts me for longer than an hour.

    • okay i literally wrote an entire tumblr post about using crop tops and overpriced espresso to fill the emotional void in my life and honestly i’m making good progress so i do appreciate your intervention but i raise you one overshare

      also if it helps i am also weeding out old clothes, which makes me feel like what i’m really doing is evolving / changing / growing / becoming even more like myself versus just spending so much money it’s actually terrifying or maybe it’s both at the same time wheeee

      thank you for being here in my moment of need <3

  6. You guys, I’m the biggest procrastinator I know and I’m going on my big US trip in a couple of weeks.
    I’ve already taken care of almost everything (I even registered for mail-in voting for the Berlin elections in time) and now, I cannot shake the feeling, that I forgot something.
    It’s been haunting me all week.
    Two weeks ahead of time!!!
    It’s like I’m having a procrastination reflex reaction, despite being actually ahead in time?
    Or maybe I actually AM forgetting something…
    P.S.: Totally taking advice on gaybars and gyms in NY, Philly and DC, btw.

    On another note: I totally believe that OITNB helped in the decision to forbid privately owned prisons. Like, Poussey didn’t die for naught.
    I still can’t bring myself to watch the new season, but I’m used to not daring to watch things. What I’m not used to is for these things to actually matter.

      • I’d look into places to stay already, if I were you, because it’s ridiculously hard, finding anything reasonable, even a couple of months in advance.
        I’ll let you know if I stumble across anything recommendable in the food/drink/dance area!

    • I can’t believe your doing the NY/Philly/DC circuit three weeks after I did mine :p. Hope you have fun. If you enjoy whisky definitely do the Kings county distillery in Brooklyn, as recommended by Isabella, it’s inly 8$ on weekends.
      There’s a super cool queer bookstore in Philly I just went to (in Washington square west).

      Have fun in your trip !!!

      • I will SO check out that queer bookstore! Thank you! Might see about the distillery. I’m not a fan of Whiskey, yet, but maybe I will be?
        And Chloe..if I start up my own sourdough, that’s the point where I’d start to worry if I were you.
        Because maybe in that case I’m stalking you or actually am you in a fight club kind of weird way?
        *cue ominous music*

        • Ahahah <3.
          I mean if you're not that much into Whisky, then maybe not, but I did appreciate the tour guide taking us through the history of bourbon in the US starting from Jefferson vs Hamilton (as I did enter the Hamilton lottery but of course didn't win).

          There's also another one in Queen Village which I found AMAZING. It's on South St and called "Wooden Shoe Books". It's not specifically queer (even though they have a queer section) but more alternative (Google describes it as a "Volunteer-run, nonprofit book shop specializing in anarchist & radical literature & music") , it was super cool, I'm so sad I couldn't buy anything (backpacking + weight restrictions…).

    • if you’re okay with a lot of gay men i used to adore going to nellie’s in dc, on u street, it’s even more fun day drinking there because the crowds are tiny

      you can go down the street to satellite for a boozy milkshake too

      we have no lesbian bars left last i heard

      • This is PERFECT!
        Besides me being the biggest fag hag in the history of Lesbianism, I’m traveling with my gay bestie (because of course I am)!
        I have this secret plan of pandering him off to the gay men in each city for a day/night or two, so I can go to the museums I won’t be able to drag him to, while he’s sleeping in.
        I might actually have rented an airbnb right next to the Museum of Natural History in New York for that very purpose.
        And maybe one close to the Rodin museum in Philly.
        Maybe.

        Thanks,Carmen!

        • That’s hilarious. I’ve done a lot of museums, my favourite was probably the MET in New York. Love the Guggenheim for the architecture, but imho the 25$ ticket isn’t justified for the amount of art they have…).

          • You’re laughing now, but my “Gay Boyfriend” already called me up at ten am this morning, for, like, no reason, and is coming by at 7 so we can go over his pH.D. thesis (he’s defending it next week).
            This, after a whole “Why can’t I drop by earlier what are you DOING all day?” whatsapp back and forth.
            There’s a good reason I do enjoy being single, and that is relationship claustrophobia.
            I’m having a bad case of that already, and spending 24 hours a day for two weeks with my suddenly super clingy gay friend…I NEED him to reinstall Tinder as soon as we hit US shores.
            Like, seriously, or I’m just going to start screaming at some point.

    • That was totally my first thought too!! (that OITNB helped bring the conversation about private prisons to the forefront of public consciousness).

      Which means that Jenji Kohan is a super influental lady, through her art. How cool is that!

  7. If you need help with your shopping problems I have a solution. Just give me the money! I need it for college. No? Oh well. I tried. Time for me to accept my new side gig as a lesbian circus prostitute. You could just put the money in an account you can’t touch even if you wanted to. Or try buying something else that is not tangible. Stock, bonds, ETFs and Index funds. If you are going to spend money like that, you might as well be able to sell what you spend and potentially make money…… Consult a professional first…..I got lucky and got a 15% return on my investment with Kelloggs.

    In other news………. well, damn. I really have nothing going on.

    Happy Friday?????? :D :D :D :D :D :D

  8. My best story of misandry from the week is when I went to a bar with some queer visitors, this annoying dude who’s friends with an ex of mine came over to be obnoxious, I thought he and his friends just wanted to take a empty chair and he took it as an invitation to sit down at our table and promptly propose a toast to the local men.
    My friend looks at him deadpan and says, “I’d rather toast to women.”
    And then we left to go a gay bar.

    Otherwise this week has been pretty uneventful and I’ve been thinking a lot about whether I get to frame childhood experiences as that of a queer kid when I didn’t come out until my mid-20s, even though all of my interests in high school and half of my friends were really fucking gay. But I was only at all out in that non-committal teenage making out with friends and ‘like yeah I’m open to it if I meet the *perfect* girl’ way and then there were all these years of just dating guys and forgetting about it, so I feel like I’m doing some kind of disservice to the kids who were actually out and open then?

    Plus I had all the typical straight-girl experiences, like lying to my mom about going to see the radical cheerleaders to help a friend hit on her crush, making a guy who didn’t care about music hang around a record store for an hour and a half on a date before I finally settled on a queercore cd mostly to prove I was too cool for him, and crying to my friend in socks in the snow in February how I was probably in love with my best friend but her crappy boyfriend was the worst. I don’t know. Apparently processing is my new favourite hobby this summer.

    • :) I strongly relate – I think processing is my hobby in general – at least for the last 3-5 years… As long as you remember to also (at least from time to time ;) ) “be in the moment” and enjoy the time/things you´re experiencing right now, I think there´s nothing wrong with it.(I don´t know how to express better what I mean – English is not my native language…)

      Also I kind of relate to the “framing your childhood as the one of a queer kid or not”-question. Just that with me I only came out to myself in my early/mid 20s as well (it was a sloow process…) and I can´t tell for sure, if some facets of my sexuality developed later (you know – regarding the fact, that sexuality is fluid/can be fluid/can change…) or if I just didn´t realise I was queer/bi. I had a huge crush on a female teacher (and some other amazing girls/women) – but I really didn´t get it -in my diary there is just confusion, not one word about me beeing maybe queer. Long story short: I would say, you can frame your childhood the way it feels best an most authentic to you without taking away from the experience/struggles of other kids (back then or today). If that means seeing yourself as a queer kid, who just wasn´t out (maybe not even on the inside/internally), thats – in my opinion – not doing a disservice to kids, who are out and dealing with it differently, than you did/were able to, back than. (Just my opinion – I´m sure there are many other ways to look at this question differently, and they are all valid!)

    • Slightly off topic but as someone who has just turned thirty and didn’t realise that they were very, very gay until about a year and a half ago (I mean I definitely knew but boy had I had buried that shit deep) I am really glad that I read this comment. I know I am not the only one who hasn’t come out until they were older or who has had a life that looked typically straight but sometimes I feel like it and it is making it difficult to work up the courage to tell people. So, thanks!

      In terms of framing you childhood as one of a queer kids I feel very similar in that I don’t necessarily see it as a disservice. There are so many things that I felt or did that make sense retrospectively in a way that they didn’t at the time and I am slowly coming to terms with the fact that because something wasn’t obvious to other people, or even to myself, that doesn’t invalidate it. At least for me, anyway. Does that make sense?

      • Thank you so much for your response! It is always a great feeling and kind of reassuring to know that other people have had/are having similar thoughts and feelings and it makes me very happy to know, that reading my comment has made you feel a little less alone in your experience! (Autostraddle has done that to me through varios articles and commets… and to me thats one of the many awesome aspects of this community!)

        By the way (about the feeling of coming to terms with ones sexual/romantic orientation pretty late…): Its also not very long until I´m going to be 30… and since breaking up with my boyfriend (which was a really difficult decision) I feel like it is very possible, that my sexual/romantic attraction (or at least the words I would use to describe it…) could in the long term maybe shift a bit again. I feel like I can finally breathe freely and figure out all these gender/orientation questions further and more relaxed. The most important thing for me to keep in mind right now, is that it´s okay to not be sure exactly, to take your time and accept, that my feelings fluctuate(f.e. regarding the way I want to dress…).

        Regarding the way we look at our (queer?) childhoods: I think what you wrote makes total sense! I came to terms with this as well, some time ago… That just because you didn´t have words for a feeling or an attraction and didn´t understand it fully at that time, this experience is not less valid than any other experience…

    • Do you feel like your sexual orientation changed, or was it just that you didn’t understand it at the time? From what you said, it sounds more like you knew the potential was there, but you didn’t pursue it. Being closeted or clueless is a different experience from being actually straight, just like it’s a different experience from being out. I was clueless in high school, and even if I’d figured everything out then it wouldn’t have mattered because there was no way I could have done anything about it, not at my high school with my parents, I got enough harassment was it was. That doesn’t make my high school experience not queer, though.

      • I was *so* clueless, or only prepared to go halfway to admitting what I wanted (in regards to everything). Basically I just figured I was going to hook up with my hot university roommate and then things would become clear but then my roommate was a very straight farm girl I had zero in common with so…I stopped worrying about it? And yeah, my mother’s ‘it would be okay but it wouldn’t actually be’ attitude did not help.

    • SUCH a familiar feeling. For me there’s the addition of complicating layers in the form of discovering my trans identity in my mid teens, so the question for me is whether I can frame my childhood experiences as those of a queer person, a queer girl, or a girl at all.

      • I didn’t figure out I was trans until after my teens, but for me and my experiences as a teenager the answer is unambiguous: my experiences were definitely a queer girl’s, albeit one who didn’t understand a couple of important things about herself. Like, the straight girl who wanted to date me but whom always seemed to want things from me I wasn’t giving? She is very straight, as she would tell me later, and she wanted a boyfriend, not a girlfriend who hadn’t yet figured out she was a girl. I’m not even sure I had a gender as a kid, and I certainly wasn’t queer at that age because I wasn’t attracted to anyone romantically/sexually until I was like 11 or 12.

  9. I think I may be in the same boat as you. Except for me it’s not clothing, but electronic goods & camera lenses. My bank account won’t let me really spend too much (plus I don’t have the space), so I’m saved by that. You ever spend time reading through reviews of some products only to question if I really need it or not(I think I do?). Though, I did this week buy some clothing thanks to Autostraddle mentioning there was a sale going on at a few sites. I got a unisex shirt in purple. I also bought a red plaid shirt sleeve cause you can never have too much and its SoCal, summer extends until Halloween some years.

    This week was actually solid. I still can’t figure out how to do visible non-binary without being called slurs. Nor the need for people to incessantly use gendered words. On the plus side my friend Mary-Jane and I went to see friend play a show last Saturday at tiny punk bar(will go back) near DTLA. They use to have a big skate ramp in the backyard, which lead to some awkward sitting at tables. Two people asked me to take their pics, only to notice the lovely shade of purple on my lips. I got high-fived it was nice.
    Mary-Jane and I also went to Wednesday night trans and queer karaoke in LBC with some trans and queer folks. It was a blast, I sang two songs, but sadly botched my second song(partially due to it being the synthesized version, while the first song was the actual instrumental version). Will definitely go again, and Saturday is queer lady’s karaoke night & dance party. Also, my lipstick(purple again) matched the color of the highlighted words on the karaoke machine.

    I was fasting for religious purposes on Sunday so no new nature shots; but did see this on my walk yesterday. There seems to be theme here(in this post).

    Thank you for viewing and reading my post. Have a positive weekend!

    • Omg I do that all the tiiiime. I’ll find a new cool electronic product/gadget and research thoroughly which has the best quality/price ratio looking at reviews,YouTube videos etc. And then when I think I’ve found the best product I tell myself “ok now do I REALLY need this stuff?” And most of the time I end up not buying it ! It’s a huge procrastination thing but at the same time I feel like the research process and comparing of options actually replaces the feelings produced by the purchase ? Does that make sense ?

      • It make perfect sense. I watched a video review of something the other month thinking it maybe for me, by the end I was like I think I’m good. But, then sometimes the lack of reviews has me wanting to try it out to see why it wasn’t reviewed. And for me youtube starts suggesting videos of other things I like so by the end of 2 hours I want to buy a used car, pizza, and how can I get paid to review products.

      • Oh wow – I do exactly the same! The list of things, which I have done reeally thorough research on, just to finally realize I don´t need it, is soo long! (Robot vacuums, Nintendo DS/other handhelds, Sewing machines, prints from etsy, Dinosaur figurines, really cute wooden rockets with lots of fun details – meant as a children toy, but really pretty – maybe to put on display…?!) :) To me the research process really reaplaces the feelings produced by the purchase – at least a bit! :)

        • Pft, everyone(well actually most if not every straddler) needs dinosaur figurines.How else are they going to show the world how cool they are? Or woo that lovely queer with cute dinosaur facts?

          • :) Yeah, you are so right! (Though before getting them I have to wait for my first salary from my new job to arrive…) I actually have been reading up on dinosaur facts the last couple of months and am planing on continuing to do so after I´m done moving! :) I was just interested in the topic, but maybe my knowledge will really help when wooing lovely queers…?!

          • That is so cool! And gives me hope regarding the possibility of future dates because of/enriched by dinosaur facts! :)

      • Yes, does Amazon count as local? If not my local pawn shop is definitely local.

        I think we need a few other straddlers to confer with about the face tattoo, or the very least the color it should be.

  10. Carmen! Nice try holding yourself accountable by publicly pledging to stop shopping. I know that doesn’t work, but I’m here for you, I’m here for you. Why didn’t you post a pic of you wearing the MOOD snapback for us? Share with your straddler cyber-friends. Also, gay wedding pics. Don’t make me sign up for instagram. Also, I’m sorry for being inappropriately casual as if I’m not some rando internet stranger; I’ve had too much coffee. Thanks for understanding. I will be embarrassed tomorrow, but for now, woooooooo lol.

    I sent out a cv this morning! What’s the emoji face that’s equal parts terror and jubilation. Good-bye, paper soldier, I salute you. *poof*

    • THE MOOD SNAPBACK PICS DO LIVE ON, should i post one to insta then embed here just for you or

      the gay wedding pics will be on insta, probably with an inappropriate hashtag like #dyingalone

      I HAVE TOO MUCH COFFEE ALWAYS AND I LIKED YOUR CASUAL COMMENT HI

      you’re gonna do great in this world rey

  11. Carmen I so relate. I don’t think my shopping problem is /quite/ as bad, but I too am a person who up until very recently never bought a cup of coffee out, only to now look at my bank account in utter confusion. I don’t “go shopping,” but there are certain things that, when they come up, I have to purchase (who else is now the proud owner of a limited-edition Rhea Bucher hat)?

    I’m moving on Wednesday! And I’m in the middle of a five (count em, 12345) day weekend! And I went to the beach the other day and didn’t get burnt! And the security deposit stuff I was worried about at my current place is resolving itself! And I got paid today! What I’m saying is, it’s a great day. Lots of gay stuff planned for this weekend too (Philly straddlers brunch anyone)? Kind of excited about it (also maybe a tad exhausted thinking about it, but nah it’ll be great).

    Have a lovely day and a fantastic weekend everyone!

  12. OK so I’ve had a recent windfall and should really be sensible by paying off my credit card and buying a public transport season ticket BUT INSTEAD I WOULD REALLY LIKE TO BOOK PLANE TICKETS TO ARGENTINA AND BUY LOTS AND LOTS OF DRESSES AND SEX TOYS

  13. Hey y’aaaalllll. Been a super long week. I’ve also had a shopping problem in that I caved and bought No Man’s Sky. My feelings have been most ‘not sure yet if I love it, but somehow we’ve logged all these hours playing it so I guess it’s good?’.

    I’m feeling like this is gonna be a couch weekend, rainy forecast and I’ve been unwell… good excuse as any to explore a quintillion planets.

    • I think a lot of people are having the same feeling re: NMS. I get the sense that the devs had to scrap a lot of stuff at the last minute, leaving the game with a feeling of “there’s more just around the corner…” only there isn’t. Yet. I’m optimistic that they’re going to eventually add some really freaking cool features, though.

      Of course, all this is secondhand because IT DOESN’T FREAKING WORK WITH MY GPU. I drop the most I’ve ever spent on a game (on the preorder, too) and it’s incompatible. Holding off on returning it in the hopes that they’ll figure out how to support Intel cards soon, but… arg. Not impressed.

      (Didn’t mean to turn this into a vent. I just have a lot of Feelings about NMS at the moment.)

      • yeah, as far as I understand there will be some patches and updates coming shortly – had to see how their server reacted to that many people jumping on at once. Gameplay is a bit repetitive and you do seem to keep going because it feels like the next planet is going to be the AWESOME ONE. And I’m hearing a lot of mixed stories, you can be really lucky with your starting planets and they can be really beautiful. But I see how if you end up with a lot of really shit ones it can get boring fast.

  14. In my attempts to soothe summer loneliness I’ve been buying a lot of books, used so they are cheaper, but still. Not that I have too many books, cause that’s not a thing, but I really need to stop buying books at least for a while. I don’t know how so I don’t have any tips, but I understand the need to stop haha.
    I’ve been trying to find a roommate for over a month and haven’t found anyone that both I’m comfortable living with and they want to live with me. SO now I’m searching for a one bedroom because my rent is so much and I’m so done with the stress of looking for a roommate when I really just want to live alone anyway. I’m looking at a place today and I’m really nervous. I really want it to be great and to be able to move into it. But I’m really scared of being disappointed again, cause its been the summer of disappointment, and I really really need this one thing to go right. I really need the stability of having all these stresses resolved and having a set plan for moving. It would be so great for me, but anything that would be great for me lately hasn’t worked out and I’m scared of being hopeful.

    • I also have a book problem. For me, I make an envelope with a set amount of money at the beginning of the month to take to used bookstores, and once it’s gone I don’t enter bookstores anymore.

    • my solution to not buying more books is asking for a bunch of books for christmas, getting all of them, taking them in a carry-on onto a plane until you deeply resent them, then getting a job and realizing you’ll never have time to read them and sobbing quietly when you’re alone about it

      i have so many books to read
      i don’t own ‘too many books’ either but
      i have so many books to read you guys

    • I just wanted to wish you good luck with your appartment search! I´m also trying to find an appartment, which I can afford (one bedroom, max. 430 sqf) at the moment, and am looking at two appartments next week. I like where they are (just an 8 Minute walk away from one of my best friends!)I hope so much that one of them works out and I can feel cosy and at home in it.
      I will keep my fingers crossed for your search. :)

        • Thank you! Yeah, its really stressful and I really want it to be over very soon… So I pretty quickly reduced my expectations in some respects and am now just looking for a place, where I could see myself live happily for the next 6 months or so, make myself a nice little cave and just feel at home. :) And then I can still look for a better appartment, if necessary…

    • Have you tried open source ebooks,yet?
      They have ALL the classics, entirely for free.
      Amazon even offers tons of books in eBook format for the kindle, for almost no money.
      I dimly remember buying the collected works of Dostoyevsky for 1,50 one day.
      Maybe this is an option, even if you prefer paper and ink!
      Here’s an example:
      https://standardebooks.org/ebooks/?page=3
      I do,do,do recommend Siddharta and The Jungle Book and anything by Jack London, btw.
      Have fun reading!

    • I can so relate. I had zero time to do pleasure reading during law school, but bookstores are my happy place. And I was quite unhappy during a lot of law school so I found myself wandering into bookstores to find peace but also BUYING SO MANY BOOKS. Not all at once though. It would be a book or two a visit. By graduation, I had a rubber maid bin full if books I hadn’t read. I still keep buying books because they make me so damn happy. I am so in trouble.

      Anyway! Sending positive vibes for your apartment search!!

      • Yep so many books I haven’t read yet. I have three large-ish shelves so my main question is how am I going to arrange the shelves in a new place. And how much spaces will be left after my books, bed and dining table?

  15. These last two weeks have been pretty chill, book-ended by some intense shit. Last week I couldn’t even post in FOT, I was so pissed about the previous Sunday. Long story short, I went wedding outfit shopping with my fiancee’s brother-in-law and he managed to demean and dismiss my shopping anxiety, my gender dysphoria, and my sensory issues all in just three hours! It was horrific, and having it happen on Sunday meant I didn’t have any recovery time before going back to work.

    My time since then has been about resting when I can, lying at home and doing things just for me. I finished playing Life is Strange and oh man am I in love with it and emotionally wrecked (in a good way). I can’t even lie, I’m already writing fanfiction. No shame. And I discovered that Scrivener now has an iOS app, so I have my writing everywhere. It’s baaaad.

    The follow-up intense bookend just happened a few hours ago. I read Rae Tutera’s article about top surgery, linked in Also.Also.Also, and now I’m having a little bit of a personal crisis and part of me wants to just push it under the rug and ignore it, which I’m VERY good at, and part of me is like DIG IN, FIND YOURSELF, and I know that’s the right voice to listen to, but I’m goddamn terrified. It’s like, I figured out I was an atheist at 11: oh, okay, cool. Figured out I was gay at 15: oh, okay, cool. Now? 26 and still fucking terrified of even addressing my gender.

    • I feel you with regards to gender it’s so hard. I’m sorry your brother in law was an arsehole. Shopping for a formal outfit can be super stressful/triggering as they are so gendered, and for your wedding outfit as well. I hope you got/tried on some things that make you feel awesome. Go again with different people if you need to, you are worth the effort.
      In my week of ‘so what is your gender Caitlin?’ a man shouted across the crowded living room of the care home I work in ‘ARE YOU A MAN OR A WOMAN?’ and didn’t stop until I answered. (I went for girl as that felt less cringey than woman, which feels weird just typing.)
      In better news I decided to be brave and ask my hospital doctor whether, hypothetically if I wanted to start hormones, my autoimmune condition would affect it. It was scary, and she used ‘transgendering’ as a verb, but she was lovely. Overall it was a bit too much for me, but saying some of those words outloud is a good step I think.

      • I did! I went with my fiancee and her actual brother, and it was so much better. I’m really happy with my outfit. It’s not too formal, not too casual, just a bit off-kilter, which suits me perfectly. And my fiancee smiled like an adorable goof when I tried it all on together so I know I looked pretty good!

        Oof, I’m sorry you got yelled at like that. Been there, it’s not fun. Sounds like you’re making good steps, even if they’re not big ones! I think I need to do the same. I’ll keep your bravery in mind as I try to muster up some of my own.

    • I can confirm that, yes, my brother-in-law is an utter asshat. I can also confirm that we went round two of shopping WITHOUT him and it was a major success! Apparently my eyes were glowing or something when we found the perrfect, finalized outfit <3

    • Ugh, I know what you mean about being terrified to address your gender/sexuality. It’s almost like reaching out to grab something really hot – you get so close, and then your mind just goes “NOPE nope nope nope” and retreats. Wish I had some advice for overcoming that, but it took me nearly a decade to accept that I’m bi and it was really just a random moment of clarity. Still, good luck!

      Also: agreeing that your fiancée’s BIL is an asshat. I’m sorry.

  16. “Hi – I’m reading “The Social Contract: A Personal Inquiry into the Evolutionary Sources of Order and Disorder (Robert Ardrey’s Nature of Man series Book 3)” by Robert Ardrey, Berdine Ardrey and wanted to share this quote with you.

    Solution to Male Aggression??

    ” The evolutionary dilemma of the praying mantis rests on the eagerness of the female to eat anything, including the male. How one gets by that problem in a sexually reproducing species I submit to psychiatrists as a knotty one. Evolution, however, has come up with an answer and, grisly though it be, it works. The female is endowed with poorer eyesight than the male, and she can see him only when he moves. But he has the eye of an eagle concerning what she is up to, whether washing her wings or grooming her insect-equivalent of eyebrows before an insect-equivalent mirror. In the time of sexual heat she of course attracts him, but the long history of the species has equipped the male with inhibitions concerning his consort’s less attractive qualities. He approaches her, compelled. But a turn of her head in his direction freezes him. He has the capacity to stand without motion, perhaps with one leg lifted, for an hour or more. And, so”””posed, he remains invisible to her. Sooner or later she will lose interest and return to the diversions of the powder room. And he will make another foray.””
    “For while the male, with a final leap, may secure himself on her back unnoticed, there to proceed with copulation, a fair chance exists that he will fail. At the last instant she will glimpse his movement, seize him with her deceptively named forelegs, and begin to eat him. She begins always by chewing off his head. Having lost his head, he literally loses all fear of her. Roeder found that the center of inhibition lies in the male’s brain, while the sexual drive has its center in the abdomen. Headless, abandoned freely to the sexual compulsion, he wrenches from her grasp, mounts her back where she cannot see him, and copulates. Then slowly he will weaken, lose his grip, die. When he slides off to the ground, she will discover him again and finish eating him.”

  17. I like to take pictures of the thing I would like to buy instead of buying it.

    Then, after some time at home, I look at the picture and decide if I still really want the thing.

    Because the music they pipe into the stores is so loud and has a trance like effect on the decision to buy which makes it harder to hear my own voice of reason.

    Sometimes I realize that by looking at the thing in the picture, it’s enough to satisfy me.

    The actual thing would not have satisfied, and I feel good because I won. :)

    • this sounds better than my strategy, which is buying everything then trying it on at home debating returning it but ultimately becoming endeared to it, then ripping the tags off because i’m too lazy to return it fuck it, then owning it, then really *owning it* because i mean, come on.

    • Problem is when you are shopping online and the music blaring is that catchy jingle you kind of like is on tv. Also, if the colors came out differently in the picture than what you remember it being, which prompts you to go back to the store to have a second look. Has happened to me on more than one occasion.

  18. Stop buying things…………from those places & instead buy things from ME! (shiny hand wiggle) I still have no job, so my only way of getting any amount of money is through Etsy, Redbubble, & Fiverr hahahahahaaahh. I offer oracle readings (for guidance, not fourtune-telling) if there’s anybody super interested in that. Or i’ll draw a goofy drawing of your dog for $5. Or you can have old-ish books or jewelry i made or snooterwear or cloud doggo wear. You can get snooter leggings, is all i’m saying, & i’ll get maybe $3 or 4. It’s a win-win situation.

    If i seem shameless, it’s because i’m really trying to sell my stuff. I met up with a friend’s mom yesterday bc she’s a social worker, so she helped me apply for food stamps & state cash assistance, along with giving me the number to apply for SSI. It’s honestly disheartening that, despite trying hard for over a year now, i still haven’t got a job. That this year i’ve only had one interview at all; everything else has been rejection emails. I’ve always been stressed over money, so now that there’s no safety net, i’m really stressed over money.

    I’ve even been toying with the idea of starting my own business & trying to make it a brick & mortar store, in the hopes that it’ll make money & ultimately pay off, & maybe i would eventually be able to hire one or two people to help with it. But then i think, Shouldn’t i not do that if i’m going to try for SSI? Wouldn’t they see that as a reason not to give me any sort of aid at all?

    Things are really uncertain this year & really stressful. The asshole keeps spreading lies, especially about my mom, & she cries a lot. I really want to try & get my license, but i want to talk to my DORS counselor about how i’d do that, if i manage to pass the test for my learner’s (which costs at least $50 to take, so i would have to pass it). I’ve been tired a lot this past week, going lots of places & walking a lot. Yesterday i waited 10 minutes for a bus that stopped running at 7pm, & i was ridiculously wiped out, moreso than usual, & missed a bus that would’ve taken me home by seconds. There’s nothing like being thisclose to a bus stop & watching the bus go right past you because your legs couldn’t carry you fast enough.

    I at least met my Goodreads “reading challenge” goal of 10 new (to me) books read this year. I set the bar low because of how bad this year’s been, but i’ve read some pretty good books.

    From first to latest:

    -Ornament of the World (Maria Rosa Menocal) *
    -The Earth Path (Starhawk)
    -The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet (Becky Chambers) ******!!!!!
    -Headstrong (Rachel Swaby)
    -Touched with Fire (Kay Redfield Jamison)
    -Surpassing the Love of Men (Lillian Faderman)
    -Sister Outsider (Audre Lorde) *
    -The Goddess Path (Patricia Monaghan)
    -Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers (Lillian Faderman)
    -The Antelope Wife (Louise Erdrich) *

    The ones with asterisks are ones that i’d definitely recommend to anybody, though that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t read the ones without them. The starred ones are just the ones that would come to mind first if i had to recommend to anyone, because they were 5 stars for me. I’m currently reading Charles C Mann’s 1491, & it occurs to me that if i finish it this year, it’ll be the first book on the list to have been written by a man. So far it’s a really good book, too, & i’m not saying you should, yknow, buy it… except yeah, i’d say go buy it. And the books i starred above. I mean, i found Sister Outsider & The Antelope Wife used, so that’s not a lot of money to spend. :B

    For full disclosure, despite my money fears, i did buy 5 books on Tuesday. All used, though, & the store has a “buy three get one free” deal that always goes on, so i got a $4.99 one for free. So five books for $25.96 after tax isn’t so bad, i don’t think. If i don’t like any of them, i’ll sell them to you guys ;P

    • Yes, Long Way to a Small Angry Planet! I love that book! The sequels coming out in October and I’m really excited. I don’t know what your financial situation is, but it’s saved me a lot of money long-term to buy a Kindle and then check out e-books from the library. When they’re on sale, the cheapest one is like 50 bucks and with e-books there’s no chance of a fine.

      Congratulations on accomplishing your reading goal and good luck!

      • @vastra360 YES omg! I actually went & bought it from AmazonUK because i wanted their cover & didn’t want to wait. I’m honestly a sucker for physical books, hahaha.

        You said above you’re in DC, right? Let’s just. idk. meet up & freak out over this book & be excited for the second one aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. (I’m in Baltimore, haha. But i’m gonna be in Bethesda next month for Small Press Expo!! Very Good Time!)

        • @caitlin-2 Oh wow, Small Press Expo looks like a very good time! I don’t know my schedule that far out rn, but I’m only 30 minutes away so I’m seriously considering it! Yay Becky Chambers! All the different kinds of love and affection and physical relationships! So many times people don’t take advantage of the possibilities of sci-fi to explore how intelligent entities could relate to one another differently. Becky Chambers does all the innovation though. I kind of want to live in a alien lizard sex commune now instead of having a traditional nuclear family. Please tell me the second book is pretty good! (So disappointed after cursed child, I feel like all authors are going to betray me.)

          • @vastra360 oh i actually meant i bought Long Way off of AmazonUK, sorry! The next book doesn’t come out over there until October, so of course it’ll take ages if it ever comes out here in the US, ahahahaha.

            lmfao i love the part where they’re talking about speciest individuals & Sissix is talking about the Aandrisk ones having fenced-off orgies & Kizzy’s like, “What’s the difference” & Sissix is like, “Anyone can come to our orgies” lIKE LMFAO i love this book so much. Kizzy might be my favorite character, too, she’s just. Too much in the best way possible.

            You should totally go to SPX if you can! Even just for an hour or something; it’s like, really pretty cheap to get in, & there’s so many people doing awesome things. My friends Janna & James(y) are tabling this year (i missed the boat), & also Anna Archie Bongiovanni (who does comics here on AS) is tabling, too :) I met them last year for a bit; they’re really nice! I still need to check out who else is going to be there, but it’s also good to just wander around & discover people you’ve never heard about or seen any of their work. (Brief aside: @meyrude should also totally go to SPX, just sayingggggggggg) On the other hand, it’s also good to have, yknow, things that you know you’re looking for, so you can check those out first. :)

            And if you make any zines or things like that, trading is also a thing you can do! Especially if you go to the Tumblr meetup on Sunday morning; people exchange cards & trade little zines & stuff & get each other’s info that way.

            I wish i lived close to it ahahah ;;;;; i’m gonna have to take a bus or something to the MARC, & then take the DC metro to the White Flint stop (which is right outside the Marriot where they hold the expo). I might get there in, like, 5 (million) years haha!

  19. I understand your need to shop–I do this as well. Until it stops feeling good and then it feels pointless. I’ve been more on the pointless side lately. Perhaps it is because I am finding more purpose in my life and don’t feel the need to compensate by purchasing three over-sized button-downs + two relaxed fit plaid flannel button-downs. (I really love button-downs) A good way to combat this is by asking yourself if this item will add to the value of your life. If it doesn’t, you pass. (Flannel button-downs add so much value to my life)

    And now in a much lighter-tone: I’m so excited for this weekend because it is #autostraddlebrunch and it is my first Autostraddle meet up and I hope making new friends as an adult is kinder and gentler than making new friends as a teenager. Also, I’m house sitting this weekend and it is so lovely. There is a big, gentle cat that watches me while I read. And my friend’s home is like a carefully curated antique shop or a set from Portlandia. Either way, it is a very relaxing experience.

    I hope everyone has a lovely weekend and enjoys brunch at some point because, brunch = life.

  20. Hello everyone!
    I was pretty good at not buying to much stuff for some time, mainly, because there simply was no money to spend. That has not really changed, but since my breakup (two weeks ago) I bought DVDs (TV-Shows and movies), books, wool to continue my crotchet work etc etc… I was buying so many things, that I even managed to order the same season of Will&Grace twice…

    It was an intense week for me, because everything kind of happens at once. I´m still figuring things out at my new job, which is 1-2,5 hours away from my home, depending on if my coworker is able to give me a ride on that day or if I have to take bus+train. I have to find a one room appartment in that city, because I already cancelled my appartment – have 6 weeks left to find something. Which is okay, but still kind of stressfull. Also I´m still getting used to the thought, that I´m not in a relationship any more – I´s just so new. Because of all of this I´m so happy I have the whole weekend just to myself and can relax and just do what I want! :)

    Also the breakup brings to the surface lots of gender identity (I´m non-binary – maybe?!) and sexual and romantic attraction related topics, which I tried to push away for a long time. I recently bought “My Gender Workbook” and am really looking forward to read it soon. Maybe it helps? I´m really curious what I´m going to find out about myself in the process. As a next step I´m probably going to buy a binder for the first time – I´ve thought about it quite often and nearly purchased one a year ago – and see how that feels.

    I wish you all a very nice weekend!

    • i think breaking up with someone and then dropping a bunch of money as a form of finally exhaling is something i can support, i heard about it from a friend y’know, like def this comment isn’t about me, i definitely did not buy muscle tee crop tops in every color just to put off thinking about the realities of my life and drive into the desert to find myself bYE

      • :) Yeah… thats a good strategy of your friend! ;) it kind of helps! Also that reminds me… Maybe I could find and buy another cute (blue or with a blue-red pattern) button-up! I really don´t have enough of those… Besides: I now own 3 rings (steel, not silver) – 3 wees ago, I didn´t own any. It feels amazing to wear them (not all at once…). :)

        • I HAVE BOUGHT SO MUCH SHIT SINCE MY BREAKUP. Like I’m pretty sure it’s been long enough that I don’t even get the excuse any more. And I feel fine about my gender itself but I’m undergoing some dramatic feelings about gender presentation and looking queer and honestly if I want to know how I feel about dressing kind of butch I think I need to own pants in the first place. I think it’s an important investment to get what you need if you can. Stuff that makes you feel amazing is great! You will figure it out! Good luck!

          • :) I think I would accept that as an excuse up to a couple of months/half a year… ;) But maybe thats just my perspective at the moment, because its still all so fresh and I can really imagine, that its going to be weird and new for the next couple of months…

            Yeah, my feelings/thoughts about gender are also only partially about gender itself (even though thats also one big aspect), but very much about gender presentation as well. It´s a bit of a similar topic: How to dress accordingly to how I feel on a certain day. Dressing kind of butch or in generall more masculine of center is something I´ve been really enjoying and want to explore more… (I already own lots of (mens) button ups and pants.) A couple of weeks ago I had a really amazing experience, when trying on a “men´s” suit (just for fun/out of curiosity) and looked in the mirror and just saw me / recognized myself so much. That felt so great!

            Thank you so much for your nice words and your encouragement regarding my journey! I do as well wish you lots of fun and good/validating experiences while figuring out the way(s) you like to dress and present your gender!

    • I’ve been out to myself(and partially the world) for a few years now and it’s still sometimes hard to figure it out. But, at the same time realizing that I am not my assigned gender has given me more freedom. Also, tumblr has some solid resources about being non-binary(some more afab leaning, which maybe to your interest).

      • Thank you for your comment! Yeah, I´m slowly learning to be okay with not always knowing how to put my feelings regarding my gender into words. To me it was the same – it felt very freeing (as well as at times complicated/complex), to understand where so many feelings came from and to understand that I do not identify with my assigned gender. Right know I´m trying to not pressure myself to find a good label as quick as possible, but to just relax a bit and go with the flow… :)

        Thank you for your advice about tumblr – I read a lot on there, some time ago, and I´m definitely going do so again, soon! So thanks for the reminder! :) (Also, this is the first time I ever spoke/wrote to someone “in person”, who also identifies as non-binary about it… I can´t exactly put into words why I am so happy about this, but I am. So thank you for responding and making me feel less alone with my experience.)

        • Well I sure I’m not the first one, but I am glad to help. I’m always here if you want someone to talk to. There is also the Autostraddle Gender Splendor group on FB if that’s something you use.

          • Yeah, I´m sure you´re right. It´s just the first time, I´m doing it cousciusly… :) Thank you very much for your offer to talk! (I´m not using FB anymore, but maybe I will return at some point… :) )

  21. I only read the front page intro but I am here to tell you to stop shopping because really, those things you buy spontaneously only make you happy for a short while and you can only spend every dollar once and it is endlessly more rewarding to save for something you really want and that you will cherish (like travel, experiences, quality stuff). And cheap clothing is unethical and also not pretty after washing it two or three times. I just went on holiday and started a new job, things I would usually buy a new wardrobe for and I tried to resist the urge but still bought a few items (like, five or six) and it did make me happy to dress nicely and look good so I guess it was worth it. Especially if you are in the position to buy stuff without having to worry, after a time of not having any money to spare, it can be so tempting to buy everything that looks nice without thinking about it too much, but I know that that is not ultimately really a good choice, so Carmen and especially Remy… please stop shopping.

  22. I started watching Game of Thrones (I know I’m super behind) and yesterday my roommate said, “you know, every single time I walk into the room there is a sex scene happening. I’m not mad about it, it just seems a little excessive.” Which also sums up my feelings about all the boobs on that show. I’m not really mad about it (except I sort of am because PATRIARCHY and MALE GAZE but that’s a separate rant) but it is getting a bit excessive.

    In other news I am a few weeks into my sessions with a new therapist at a place that specializes in working with LGBTQIAP+ folks. I have never had a therapist before who was also gay, and that is super awesome. He is very direct and I actually trust him, so it’s a vast improvement on my past therapy experiences. Right now we’re digging through the “Holy shit the Mormon church is such cult and it fucked me up harder than I recognized ever” stuff, which is the usual mix of infuriating and sad making and cathartic.

    Also my friends and I went to Harry Potter Trivia yesterday. Team Millicent Bulstrode’s Cat (that was us) came close… we made it onto the podium with 3rd place, but alas, lost to two teams who knew the bonus question “Who was Filch’s predecessor as Caretaker of Hogwarts” and… so I bow to their HP knowledge because we had no father fucking idea.

    (Apollyon Pringle is the answer, in case you were wondering)

    This is us wearing tiaras because obviously that’s what you do at HP trivia.

    • Oh – you all look so happy and adorable! I just quickly wanted to tell you that I´m very happy for you about finding a good therapist! (That´s probably grammatically incorrect…) It´s just so so good if you find one you can really trust and talk about things! Also: That Harry Potter Trivia thing sounds so awesome and like something I would like to go to one day. Congratulations on coming in third! (I don´t think I would know enought to manage to get on the podium…) :)

      • Thanks and Thanks! We studied a lot and we’re all librarians so HP knowledge is kind of the law, but mostly it was really fun.
        You’d think it wouldn’t be that hard to find a good therapist right? But I’ve had several and this is the first who I feel like I really click with and is direct in a really helpful way. Anyone in Chicago I highly recommend Intraspectrum because they’re dope.

        • Among librarians solid HP knowledge is not to big of a surprise, I guess! :) It really sounds fun!

          I was very lucky, regarding the search for a good therapist. I only went to one therapist and he is still my therapist – I just really clicked with him right away and I´m super thankful for that. But I have had friends tell me similiar stories (and also stories of just plain bad/mean therapist experiences), so I´m very happy for anyone, who finds someone, who is really good for them. Also in the city I live in there´s an LGBTQ*+ organization, which offers free therapy sessions, if needed. I sometimes go there, too, because going to someone, who is more educated on everything related to gender and sexual orientation is just so helpful. I wish you many good experiences in your therapy!

  23. Oh my goodness. I know I’ve been told multiple times why our comments can’t be deleted or editted, but I can’t remember why just now and I make SO many errors and post replies in the wrong place like 70% of the time. This is just a general apology for anyone who comes across a comment of mine. I probably meant it to say something else to a different person. Just work around me.

  24. Hey Carmen I found the best way to stop buying things I really want was to be told my van needs a new exhaust system which is going to cost me £600 in parts, plus labour so yeah, those awesome biker boots I had my eye on will have to wait. *sigh*
    I have been absent from AS for a couple of weeks due to fairly major black dog, as a result of dayjob drama and the discovery that I am 100% now losing my art studio. It’s been bad. Wife has been a legend. And my self care has taken the form of reading shitloads of fanfic, various FF pairings -mostly WayHaught -folks I love them. Reccs if anyone has? There are people doing excellent work out there. Also I went to Pride and saw loads of glorious queers which felt amazing, it was like we owned the city just for those moments which was awesome. So to recap life as we know it; I’m on a POI rewatch mission which is good and I’m drawing some stuff too which is positive. I’ve also loved the Olympics, so much, so many amazing athletes being amazing…so many new crushes. And I’ve seen friends-like in the flesh, which has been amazing. I’m so busy usually that I don’t see anyone, so hanging out with some of my favourite folk has helped with my loopy emotions. Also I’ve been looking after my parents cats, one hates me and swears a lot, the other just wants love which is adorable and she’s so damn fluffy ugh. I love her.
    This weekend I’ll be chilling as the past two have been busy AF. Hope you all have fun whatever you’re doing. :)

  25. hey pals!

    i’m in the exact opposite situation right now- i’m headed back to school in two weeks, so right now i’m buying like. everything even tho i have no sense of self/direction style-wise right now

    also!!! i had sex for the first time while listening 2 depression cherry and it was all very pretty and i’m v happy and my gf is so good

  26. I have one thing that all y’all with shopping trouble should definitely buy: All Your Worth by Elizabeth Warren. It’s a really basic guide to how to budget, how to avoid financial mistakes, how to get out of debt, how to take emotions out of spending money…basically, how to grow the eff up and either avoid making financial mistakes or fix financial mistakes. Basically, do the best you can to get your must-have expenses under 50% of your income, spend 30% on whatever you want using cash or a dedicated debit card, and use the remaining 20% to pay down debt or save. It is crazy useful and a very quick read, I highly recommend it! Also, I tucked $10 bucks inside the dust jacket of one of the copies in the DC library system, so you could win a mini lottery if you live around here!

  27. (Fair warning: feelings dumping and processing shit ahead)

    I kinda need your input, guys. Basically, I’ve been freelancing for an agency for the past 6 months, and today my boss (actually technically the CEO) brought up the subject of me moving to Quebec City to become a salaried. in-house translator for them. Which is incredible and flattering and would be an excellent career move, but there are just… so many factors to consider and I’m a bit overwhelmed. I don’t have to make an immediate decision (it was more of a “there’s always a spot for you here if you decide to move”), but it’s becoming more of a reality and I’m going to have to decide at some point.

    My top concerns:

    1 – It would involve moving to another province, and one that really doesn’t play well with the rest of Canada (especially in terms of taxation, healthcare coverage, legal shit). Furthermore, I’d be moving to a 90% Francophone environment. That’s a freaking HUGE life change.

    2 – I’d be moving to an office environment. I’ve been really enjoying the flexibility freelancing brings (working in your PJs at midnight? Check) and haven’t historically done well in offices. This is a younger, smaller agency so I wouldn’t be just another cog in the machine, but it is more… rigid. I’d have to wear clothes, guys. Professional Adult clothes. And I’d have limited vacation days and stuff.

    3 – I really love it in Ottawa. I’ve lived here 5 years; it’s familiar and comfortable. Not to brag, but my apartment and roommate are absolutely incredible. It would be hard to give that up, and I’m very unlikely to find something similar in QC.

    4 – It would be more complicated and expensive to go visit family, and for them to come visit me. Right now it’s only a 4hr train ride for my sister to come visit while she’s in school, which has been nice for both of us. Quebec City’s 9-12 hours away. And to get to my parents’, it’s a solid day of travel through shitty airports.

    Now, this isn’t all bad. Like I said, it’s a great career move, and the money would be better. The agency itself is great too – even though I’m just a freelancer to them, they treat me like a person. And they’re located in Vieux Québec, which is stunning. It’s just a lot to take in.

    So… what do? Do you have any advice? Opinions? Other things to stress about?

    • First, congratulations! But oh man, that sounds like a really difficult decision. Giving up your support system and putting yourself out there professionally can be tough! I was pretty fragile after college and I spent a year living at home and working for my parents company. I only started working a real office job two months ago, and its been a mixed bag honestly. I miss my family, and I feel like I’m missing time with them that’s more precious than what I’m gaining from my job. Putting on real person clothes and keeping a schedule chafes (sometimes literally) but the money, security, and the freedom of living by myself in a city are great. What tips the scales for me is that the job I have right now is much more likely to get me where to want to go next than staying working with my parents. If you value a certain career path that moving would help you get highly, it might be worth it to move.

      It sounds like you’ve done a really good job thinking through the possible pros and cons! I think if you keep stewing on the list for a couple of weeks you’ll figure out what’s best for you.

    • Congrats! Sounds like a great opportunity with an equally great employer. I second a lot of what Tanner has said. I also add looking at the considerations you’ve listed and see what general conclusions come out of them regarding the life you want to have, how you want to build that life, and the things you value and want to keep most in your life even when change is before you.

    • Congrats! Always good to feel valued by your employer.
      2. is the major reason I ended up staying where I am for 10 years. Honestly I like that the smartest I have to dress is what my wife calls “lesbian professor lupin” But career wise I’m stagnating so yeah.
      If it were me in your shoes I guess the question I’d ask myself would be; “Is this the career of your dreams- and if so are you willing to change your life drastically for that?” That’s my two pennorth.

    • Quebec City seems so cool. I would do it, but I don’t know if you are as excited about Quebec City as me! And all I know is that the music people seem cool and it’s pretty and I have no idea how it is for queer stuff. Are you ready to make a Life Change? Are you possibly ready to make a Life Change if one was forced on you anyway? Like if any of the great constants you mention were to change, would it significantly affect your decision? I am also a freelancer who enjoys working at midnight with no pants on and I both desire and fear leaving this but I think a change is going to have to happen. (I really have very many opinions on this so feel free to PM me if you want more.)

  28. I’ve been reading more lesbian romance novels than usual these last two weeks, after a close family member got diagnosed with cancer. She’s not dying, but she still has to go through treatment. She’s stressed out, I’m stressed out, I’m going to be helping take care of her after she has surgery, and we still don’t know bad the treatment’s going to be. Normally I try to keep my escapist reading down to a more reasonable level, but this week and last I’ve felt like I could really use the stress relief.

    I’m also finishing my open-source internship next week. I’ve told my mentor and collaborators, and they’re understanding, but my work’s still suffered (from stress and sleep deprivation), and I feel bad about that. I can’t shake off the American complex of feeling that if I’m less than an ideal little worker bee at all times, I’m not worthy. What makes this all worse is that I need to find a job now, which means job search stress on top of all the other stress, and I know that the employers I have to convince to hire me wouldn’t care if my family member was dying of cancer, much less “merely” have cancer, or how much time I have to spend taking care of her. I’ve also managed to totally not book lodging for Grace Hopper this year yet, and I’m worried all the places close to the hotel will be booked. Blah.

    To take a break from my problems, let’s talk about how awful US politicians and judges are:

    A federal judge rules that firing a trans woman is “religious freedom.”

    A federal court refuses to believe a Jamaican asylum seeker is bi.

    North Carolina’s official legal argument as to why HB2 isn’t discriminatory is that trans people are delusional.

    Except some of these *are* my problems, because I’m trans and live in NC. Ugh.

    • Oh sweetheart, that must be so tough! It is brave and good of you to take care of your family member! You have tremendous value, much more than if you were just concerned with keeping a company happy. Having a situation like that while you’re looking for new jobs must be scary. It can be so hard to go through a job search even under normal circumstances! I can’t tell you that everything’s going to work out, but I can tell you that you’re going to be happy you were a real, human and compassionate person during this time. I’m wishing all the best for you and your loved one! Extra special love and courage from a fellow queer Carolinian!

      • Thanks, it’s good to have someone else agree I have my priorities straight. It’s just that I want to leave NC so much, and to do that I need more money.

        If you don’t mind my asking, where in Carolina? I live between Greensboro and Chapel Hill.

        • I grew up in Chapel Hill, but I’m living in DC now. Honestly, Chapel Hill-Carrboro was a pretty great place to grow up. My school tried really hard to be progressive, and the theater community I got involved with in middle and high school was reasonably diverse and affirming. I want to move back, I want to help roll back the statewide conservative swell. But I know Chapel Hill is a bubble and other parts of the state can be really hard to live in, for trans people especially. If moving to the Triangle would be more financially feasible for you than moving out of the state, it’s probably worth checking out!

          • I spend some time in Chapel Hill and it’s definitely better, but with the state legislature so hostile, it doesn’t matter much. I need to find a job to move anywhere, in NC or out, and as I don’t really want to stay, I don’t want to look around here.

    • Ugh, I am sorry to hear that. It still surprises me how one state can be a bastion for trans people, while another is awful to it’s citizens. The only delusion we trans people have is that we live in a free country where our rights are recognized and respected. So, NC officials fuck off!

      On the plus side lesbian romance novels sound great. Anything interesting?

      • I’ve really enjoyed Dahlia Adler’s Out on Good Behavior and Under the Lights. They’re not deep, but they’re fun and happy, which is what I’ve needed lately. Earlier this summer, I read Ex-Wives of Dracula by Georgette Kaplan and Beautiful Game by Kate Christie. I recommend both, but they’re heavier. I enjoyed the Princess and the Prix by Nell Stark and The Better to Kiss You With by Michelle Osgood, but I wouldn’t say they’re as good as the others.

  29. Hi! I fell into an okcupid hole, forgetting that in years past this has led to nothing but increased loneliness and suffering! I’m very sad about it!!

    I applied to two jobs, but I forgot to update my resume beforehand, so I had to send pathetic emails afterward saying, essentially, “I live in Virginia, not Oregon”

    I cried about this!

    I started wellbutrin and I don’t know if it’s working and all food is gross to me now!

    I think I have to go to three parties tomorrow but I really don’t want to!!

    SEND HELP

    • Sending help in the form of much encouragement and empathy!

      I had a resume Womp Womp moment, too, when I forgot to update my email and had an awkward moment of “sooo wrong email address… I use this one… Like the one I’m sending this email from… Uhm, do I need to type it out? Can you just say you’re not hiring me now?”

      Oh noes to Wellbutrin. I’ve heard down the grapevine that it is a tricky medication. Based on the experience of close friends, if you have a gut feeling it isn’t feeling right with your system, abort ASAP!

      And so many parties @___@ I often have social engagement dread. Any way to split the difference and only go to one of only a little bit of each?

    • Oh, Michou, I have had OCD since I was 14. I have taken Elavil, Desyrel, Prozac, Nortriptyline, and finally Luvox, searching for a way to solve the neurotransmitter chemical puzzle in my brain!
      So I know how taking new meds for a chemical disorder in the brain nerve synapses goes, but hang in there!! It is NOT a fault of yours. It is a chemical imbalance.
      The brain is a complicated mess. But you have lots of friends here who will keep our fingers crossed for you, and be there for you if you want to talk about it.?

  30. I love reading everyone else’s comments that once I get to the bottom I think: “oh yeah, my turn! Errrrmmm… Writing… Something…”

    Anyway! These last few weeks have been long and daunting, which explains my absence from the Straddleverse. The transition period in my office was finally among us and I’ve been hauling ass to get casefiles done and keep my judges happy. We finally have more bodies so hopefully I won’t be doing this balancing act for too long. My brain is tired.

    Normally shopping isn’t a problem for me. I don’t like it very much but certain things I will buy ridiculous quantities of (I.e, books, colored pens, journals, music). I have twice a year big shopping periods and then I tap out. Lately though I’ve been putting down a lot of money because (a) I needed new glasses and contacts and (b) So. Much. Wedding. Stuff. My eyes are so expensive!! I love my new hardware and seeing is important, but my bank account is wicked sad. And as we get closer to the wedding, we spend more and it’s rather daunting. Worth it, but stressful in the moment. I keep reminding myself that I can’t wait to be married <3

    After much stress over the last few weeks, I am looking forward to a REALLY CHILL weekend and possibly finishing Child of Light :)

  31. Even though I’m Australian I’ve been super tempted to buy some Hillary merch since she announced her campaign last May (April?). I’ll probably order a t-shirt or pin for my birthday in November to celebrate her (hopefully) becoming president.
    I’ve had an okay week. I’ve been frantically working on art because my final pieces are due in nine days. One of my final pieces is about sexuality and stereotypes and I’ve been really lucky because four of my friends have volunteered to be photographed.
    We got our senior hoodies on Wednesday which was super exciting and I’ve been wearing mine non stop since it arrived :)
    I’ve only got three weeks left of high school pretty much so that’s pretty exciting. I’m a bit sad for it all to be over though.

  32. I’m totally gonna go shopping tomorrow. I’ll go to Goodwill so even if I buy like 50 things hopefully it won’t cost my whole paycheck.

    I had a somewhat shitty day today, as I was going into the women’s restroom in the lobby at work, this lady yells at me, “That’s the ladies room!”…I didn’t know what to say and I was kind of frozen in place. I just turned around and she was all like, “My apologies, so sorry ma’am”. I was so flustered that *I* said sorry and then just went into the restroom. Nothing like that’s ever happened to me before. Sending so much love to all those who have to fear public restrooms everyday.

    On a brighter note, I ate the most delicious watermelon earlier after going for a run! I actually jogged all the way to the grocery store, and when I got there, they had pre-sliced watermelon for less than a dollar and it was perfect.

  33. Y’all. My life seems to be going up. The weird hard lump on my left foot isn’t anything alarming unless it gets bigger or interferes with my shoe-wearing (lol wearing shoes who does that) and is probably the result of old ankle injuries because I’ve got several. But it’s a welcome change to have some weird shit happening to my body not be alarming and need fixing.

    Also I’m seeing someone????? On one hand I’m pretty excited and that mix of excited/nervous/butterflies that you get when you start seeing someone you really like. On the other hand, I’ve got some pretty serious reservations. The person I’m seeing is not what I would say is “unsupportive” of me being trans but would definitely vastly prefer if I were not trans. And this person identifies as straight and is really really hung up on being straight which like cool bro, but ur attracted to me, a nonbinary person, so ur not Straight/as straight as u thought u were. And this is kind of a major deal breaker, so sorting out whether this person is actually cool with me being trans needs to happen fairly soon because the longer this goes on the more heartbroken I’m gonna be if I’ve got to end it and I don’t want to do that to myself. So I’m just trying to not get too caught up in this new relationship energy and actual listen to my misgivings but it’s hard y’all. It’s hard. Also like I work with this person so no matter how things go down they have to stay professional.

  34. Hey everyone!!
    I came home from work hot and periody, and then when I sat out on the porch, there were four baby raccoons playing in our neighbors garden. They were just rolling over each other and sitting holding their toes, and it was the cutest, most cheering up thing ever!

  35. If you’ll need the laptop for architecture or complex 3D rendering, you’ll need more powerful CPU.
    Maybe Santa will put an HP laptop underneath the tree
    for you this year. Best laptop for students 2016 A wide array of laptops can be
    acquired for a consumer to decide on from based on one’s taste,
    requirement and pocket.

    The Toshiba can be a black box type generic laptop that includes decent specifications with all
    of matte black interior and exterior molded in patterned grid texture.

    Now a days when tablets and smartphones are becoming
    common and used for basic computing needs, introduction of the new laptop isn’t a big thing.

  36. The Internet is full of different kinds of forums whether it is on games, shopping, finance, sports, travel
    and many more. While this was created to be based on the board game, there’s no currently available online multiplayer.
    Boutique computer builders Second step The next step would be to get the PSP games you want copied and insert it with your CD or
    DVD drive.

    Definitely, it will likely be easy in your case to
    try any social game web given how the rules are exactly
    similar. This type of page may be overwhelming
    to someone just starting the gaming laptop shopping process, but it is
    very manageable should you take it one component in a time.

Contribute to the conversation...

Yay! You've decided to leave a comment. That's fantastic. Please keep in mind that comments are moderated by the guidelines laid out in our comment policy. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation and thanks for stopping by!