Every few days, they would come home with hundreds of dollars worth of brand-name groceries and struggle to fit them into their bursting cabinets. They had two freezers and two refrigerators to hold food for three adults and one child. The food would spoil in the fridge or go stale on the shelf and just stay there for weeks. They ate out almost every night, spending $60 at a time at KFC, wrapping up the leftovers, and then never eating them.
On Christmas, the child would get fifty presents, and not tiny presents but whole playsets, Lego sets, motorized cars, animals. Birthdays were the same, and Easter, the Fourth of July, Halloween, and Thanksgiving were all treated as further opportunities to give the child presents. If the kid wanted something, they’d hound the parents for weeks, throwing tantrums, guilting, pleading for hours at a time, until the parents’ patience would wear thin and they’d buy it, even between the holiday milestones. Keep reading »
When I got married in 2011, we spent a cumulative $12,000 and called it a bargain. And it was a bargain – the average American wedding costs $25,200 these days. We cut corners, but we did the whole shebang: Big gown, big venue, big meal, big dessert table, photography, videography, DJ, centerpieces, customized everything, tuxes, event coordinator, rehearsal dinner, jewelry, makeup, hair, theme, colors, officiant, and of course, in the first place, a very expensive diamond engagement ring. After all that, though, there’s only a short list of things that I wound up really loving about my wedding — my dad going out of his way to make a slideshow and take dance lessons so our first dance could be awesome (it was), dancing with my friends for two straight hours, and the fact that my family came from all over the country to witness my vows. Keep reading »
I’ve already done quite a bit of serious reflecting on the life lessons I learned this year. Now it’s time to reflect on a much shallower topic: the cool stuff I bought. After selling most of my belongings in the spring, I tried to be a bit more careful with my purchases this year, although I’ll admit to more than a few impulse buys and giddy-if-not-entirely-logical purchases made for the sole purpose of decorating/filling up our new place (antique “hot pretzel” sign, I’m looking at you). Here are the 10 products I’m most excited about, in no particular order… Keep reading »
When we think of slavery, most Americans likely consider the slave history of our own country. We relegate slavery to the past, believing that such a barbaric concept couldn’t ever exist in our current world.
We were wrong.
Slavery is alive and well, and happening in more places than you think. There are 27 million slaves in the world today, involved in a variety of industries and in a multitude of countries. There’s the forced prostitution and trafficking of women around the world; the men forced to work in the copper, diamond and coltan mines in the Congo; and the trafficked migrant workers of India, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
But that’s just a fraction of the slave and indentured labor that happens all over the world, employed to create products and services we use every day. Keep reading »
Black Friday seems to get crazier and crazier every year, and while I’ve gotta give props to my friends who are willing to brave the angry mobs in the hopes of scoring a sweet deal, I think that gloriously bloated day after Thanksgiving has the potential to be a lot more than the frightening consumerist orgy it’s become. With that in mind, I compiled 7 other colorful Friday traditions. Find out what they are and how to celebrate them, after the jump! Keep reading »
“When women are in positions of power, and they’re featured in a women’s magazine like Vogue … they tend to be incredibly unfairly criticized. It’s an incredibly old-fashioned approach. Just because you’re in a position of power, and you look good and you enjoy fashion — does that mean you’re an idiot, or that it’s not seemly to be in a woman’s magazine? If a man is in GQ, they don’t get the same kind of criticism.”
– Vogue HBIC Anna Wintour on how women are unfairly judged for enjoying fashion. I wasn’t really aware that women were terribly criticized for being into fashion. Do you feel that women are judged harshly for loving clothes? Perhaps what Anna’s actually alluding to is the way that women’s fashion magazines aren’t taken seriously — because of their emphasis on materialism and consumerism? [Wall Street Journal]
Know how you kind of want to shop all the time, but there isn’t enough money in the world to support that habit? Well, we kind of thought it might be just us with those issues until we heard about Retail Therapy, an online game centered around virtual consumerism. Retail Therapy launched quietly as a Facebook app last week, grabbing about 4,000 users in just a few days and making us feel a little better about our shopping obsession. If you, too, want to get in on the game, here’s how it works: after choosing your avatar (they’re all ladies, so get comfortable with your feminine side, boys), you get $2,500 with which to stock your boutique, design clothes or keep your own closet looking classy. Stock will update frequently to reflect what’s actually going on in the fashion world, too, which is quite cool. Better still, however, are the partnerships that Retail Therapy has forged with brands like The Gap and Diane von Furstenberg. Through the game, it’s possible to browse e-DVF dresses and click through to the real thing. We’d write more about it, but our avatars are jonesing for some espadrilles. [Tech Crunch
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