no free lunch, alas.
@Flies in my eyes aaaaaahhh she was adopted!! yay
The children here are entirely beside the point. It's the adults who have failed to communicate in your situation. These people aren't your friends, and you are their friend, either; if you were, you'd be able to say: Look, it's NOT acceptable to me for your kid to dirty my furniture. Keep her/him in line. ANY sane adult guest whose fault it is that there is damage to your house or property, whether that damage is occasioned directly by them or by their kids (for whom they are responsible) should offer to repair or have cleaned anything that is soiled or damaged. It's their fault! Grownup friends can and do work clear, obvious problems like these out without any kind of hand-wringing or weirdness whatsoever.
Until children are trained to behave appropriately in other people's houses, they shouldn't be taken anywhere. However, most people who were not raised by wolves begin training children before they can walk to understand that certain behaviors are expected, or else. Most parents I have known do not care to live in a noisy or disorderly environment! If children are not careful with fragile things or if they scream or act out then you have to punish them, which is not fun, but doesn't require spanking either. Time out at first, and when they get to be too old for that you take away things they're attached to or looking forward to like sleepovers and toys. But if you are doing your danged job what they will really fear most is your disapproval, because they love you just like you love them and with practice you get to where one steely gaze from you will bring home the bacon.
(p.s. I have one of my own and two stepkids.)
Vintage handbag, generally of cut velvet or other fabric; right now a floral chenille one in autumn brown/black, late 50s/early 60s. Or a vintage designer bag; I am very very patient about shopping for them like an 18th-c. angler and POUNCE. I love the 60s/70s Ferragamo or Gucci leather ones. I had a butter-soft quilted black Chanel with the chain strap that I wore until it was in shreds, pretty much. A brown nylon quilted Prada one, how I loved that bag. Sometimes a box bag from the early 60s, but always either fabric or leather, never the plexiglas or wood ones.
@behrle you are a dreamer and a wag. How is any of these cowardly sluts to know that you really mean it? You don't even provide the address of the pumpkin patch, thereby giving the inescapable impression that you don't care whether or not anyone finds you? Anyhoodle, I think you ought to go ahead and ask one of these flirts out on a date.
We liked the Wooden Hat one, but not as much. Haven't read any others, though.
p.s. doesn't everybody think about this all the time, men and women, like, what would it be like to be with this person? You wouldn't act on it but you think about it. So I thought the article sounded weird because it didn't take into account how men and women might just imagine things differently.
@noReally same here, except I am already married!! And blissfully, too, so forget about any Pine Barrens shenanigans. @behrle it would have to be in the next life, maybe.
Pale Fire comes to mind for no. 1. Also Arcadia (though that is a play!)
For the second, my old book club very much enjoyed David Foster Wallace's A Supposedly Fun Thing, which is lively enough to suit anyone (guaranteed to promote table-thumping arguments) and will also satisfy the non-fiction lovers. Also we enjoyed A Woman in Berlin very much. For a novel, how about Old Filth? Or Fifth Business? Not long, but so absorbing, funny, sad and beautiful.
p.s. we read Gilead in that group and just loved it. Reminded me of Angle of Repose, a bit, style-wise. A SUPER NOVEL, but it's long.