The Edition: No. 39

Jun 1, 2018

“The level of outrage is so high. It feels like talking to anyone, anywhere in 2018 is just landmine hopscotch.” — Tina Fey

Relationships. Why office friendships can feel so awkward.

Feminine. This $75 Street Level bag in red or in pink has a bright, but vintage look.

Reimbursed. One man has $1-million in student loans; How it happened.

Favorite new retailer: Genuine People. Lots of minimalist goodness.

Ring Ring. Why doesn’t anyone answer their phone anymore?

Fixable. I don’t think I’ve been as excited for a skincare product as I am to try SK-II’s Overnight Miracle Masks.  Their treatment essence is perfect for face, neck, hands, décolletage because it’s light.

Rosy Prospects. How social media became a pink collar job.

Fuzzy. Need to remove unwanted facial hair? No Mo’s mess-free wax strips are the way to go.

Reduce, Reuse. Six things you’re recycling wrong.

Florals. Loving this yellow Dorothy Perkins top and their pale blue maxi dress, both under-$60.  Plus-size? Try this pretty chiffon wrap dress.

Represent. Why are my fellow whites so awful at picking baby names?

Need a little comfort food in your life?  Nora Ephron always knew the best recipes to feed your soul.  Her mashed potatoes recipe modified to serve one is wonderful and dangerous all at the same time.

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  1. Cait says:

    Belle – I’m curious as to your thoughts on the guy with $1m+ loan debt.

    On one hand, the system is obviously broken and education is crazy expensive. Not to mention school finance offices don’t seem to help students truly understand what they are signing up for.

    But other the hand, I feel we are all responsible for our choices and he chose to go on to orthodontist school knowing how much in debt he was in already and now he’s getting relief on the backs of taxpayers (nothing is free!).

    • Belle says:

      On the one hand, if they guy took out $600k+ in loans and he’ll payback $1.6 million over the required repayment period, even if it’s not the $4.5million he owes, he’s not getting any relief and we’re not really picking up the tab. He’ll be paying $1million over what he took out.

      Yes, the system is horribly broken. The interest rates should be competitive, these income based repayment plans are a joke for both relief and repayment purposes, and I have no idea why his school raised costs almost 20% while he was there. I also didn’t know that Orthodontists pay to do their residencies, which seems totally weird and like a good way to soak more money out of people.

      All that being said, I see both sides. Myself, I took out money, I don’t feel it’s anyone’s job to pay it back but mine. Do I think my graduate school (not law school) sold a shockingly, almost fraudulently rosy picture of the salary and job options my MA would give me? Yes. Do I think the competing information was out there, albeit buried in reams of gov’t data? Yes. I owed $27k after undergrad, which was fine. And I only took out $12k for law school. I think that was a perfectly serviceable level of debt. But the almost $100k I too out for graduate school was a complete waste, and I really get a pit in my stomach when I hear about people making the same mistakes I did.

  2. Shannon says:

    The baby names post cracked me up. I’m pregnant, and currently thinking about names. So far my rules are: 1. easy to pronounce and spell, 2. won’t look stupid at the top of a resume, 3. we have to actually know and understand what the name means (I had a coworker who got “creative,” and unknowingly named his daughter a word that roughly translates to “Pigfoot.”)

  3. Allison says:

    My two year MBA program (state school, top 25 program) increased the tuition 20% between our first and second year. It was absolutely criminal. They should have grandfathered us in. Many of the international students were there on grants from their governments, and aren’t able to take out student loans. Many students had to drop out between years one and two!! To make it worse, our dean at the time had been an international grad student himself, and was intimately aware of the problems he was causing. I’m US born, and it was definitely not right to do that to me either, I had no choice but to just take more loans, or abandon my MBA mid-way through and have nothing to show for it.

  4. anna says:

    I feel for the guy with the million dollar loan debt, but he’s also made some questionable choices. On the one hand, he did take out these loans to pursue what should be a profitable career, especially given his alma mater, so it isn’t like he’s in crazy debt for something he could have studied at community college. On the other hand, he seems to live in a very nice house (albeit in a less expensive housing market), bought a Mercedes, moved out when he could have continued living with his parents, and started a family while still in school. It seems he also took out loans to cover living expenses, not just the tuition and fees. Plus, he’s paying the bare minimum which doesn’t even cover any principal, and I have trouble believing that with his salary he isn’t able to at least make payments large enough to eat away at the balance. At least from the sounds of his loan terms, the debt will be forgiven before his retirement, so as long as he can keep his job and making some payments, the amount of debt won’t otherwise impact his lifestyle regardless of how large it grows.

  5. Trish says:

    The name article was so funny and so true. I’m pregnant and we’re *probably* naming her “Kate”, just Kate! I know some people may think it’s a little boring, but these “creative” names are getting crazy!

    • Belle says:

      It’s the spellings that get me. I have an unusual name, but it’s an actual name spelled the common way. Doing custody agreements, dear God. Laykkin, Braidyn, and my personal favorite, Taumoz. That’s Thomas, by the way. If you want to pick an unusual name, do it, but stop adding letters right and left.

  6. Jennifer says:

    The baby name article made me laugh out loud. I can’t imagine what teachers have to go through these days . . .

  7. Jules says:

    my husband is a teacher, and his fave so far has been “Sirdante” (like Sir Dante) and “Euragenius” (not sure of spelling, but basically, You’re a genius” as one word).
    I’m very happy my parents named me a very no-unique first name. My maiden name, however, was one letter away from being a VERY offensive word. So…. that was fun! (and made taking my husband’s name a no-brainer)

  8. Jo says:

    Thanks for sharing the link about the recycling! I’ve been trying to reduce my environmental footprint this past year, including NOT “recycling” items that can’t be recycled. Note, though, that those rules can vary by jurisdiction. DC has a pretty good website for readers who live in the District: They just launched a tool where you can search specific items, too, which I intend to use:

    And that’s pretty nuts about the student loan guy. I see why the loan forgiveness was set up and have friends who are very grateful for it, but the combined set of incentives leads to some screwy outcomes.

  9. Nicole says:

    Reply function isn’t working for me? Nothing happens when I click, just FYI (I’m in Firefox).

    But to the name article and custody agreements. So much yes. I am currently working on a Marital Settlement Agreement. Four kids. All four have these sorts of names. So many unnecessary “y”s. Spell check looks legitimately angry at me. I’m so over it.

  10. SunnyIA says:

    Re: 1 million dollars in debt…”he took out loans to cover living expenses” how else was he supposed to pay for living expenses? dental school (and some other health professions) explicitly restrict students from working outside jobs. your education takes up 20 hours of your day. in dental school, you attend classes and treat patients all day, then study and do your lab work at night. if you don’t think students should take out loans for an orthodontic residency, who do you think should pay for orthodontists to get trained? the federal government (medicare) pays for most medical residencies but doesn’t cover dentistry. i’m a dentist (who did a residency), 15 years out of school, and i still have a healthy 6-figures worth of debt. that’s after a full scholarship for undergrad and state schools all the way. i didn’t have parents to pay for my education and i didn’t have a trust fund or a spouse to pay for my living expenses. i also did “due diligence” when i was applying to grad school; the party line was “you’ll have this debt paid off in 5 years!” this guy isn’t alone – i work at a dental school now and most of our students (at one of the least expensive state schools in the US) graduate with over a quarter million in debt. schools keep raising tuition because politicians get elected by promising tax cuts, which means state-supported institutions have to accommodate shrinking budgets. the only way to do that is to recover costs from students.
    **rant over. thanks for humoring me.**
    (p.s. a mercedes is ridiculous as a student, but people make questionable choices 😉

    • Belle says:

      My question was more, why do dentists pay for residencies and doctors get paid for them? That’s what doesn’t make sense to me.

  11. Anna says:

    @Sunniya (reply not working), my point on the taking out living expenses part was that that portion of the loan can’t be blamed on rising tuition, and he did make some questionable lifestyle choices. .Sorry that wasn’t clear.

    I think it’s pretty ridiculous that dental residency isn’t paid, at least partially. I don’t know the best way to do that. I know even GME has its issues, but if a PhD student can get paid for teaching or through fellowships while they continue their studies, dental residents should be able to. I mean, I don’t know much about what residency entails, but I take it you’re working, providing services, as well as building your skills? There should at least be some sort of stipend considering it’s required in order to practice and it’s basically your job.

  12. Leigh says:

    While the names article was quite amusing, I had to laugh that it called out “fellow whites”. I work at an all black school and my students have the craziest names. Need examples? A few from this year: Tyricka, Zyliyah, Sadrak, Ni’Jull.

    Let’s bring back Jack and Jill. But not Richard. Because the kids would have too much fun with the nick name for that one.

  13. ES says:

    This needs to be a part of the conversation happening in the comments here:

    • Belle says:

      I’m not sure why the author of the original piece felt the need to say “my fellow whites,” obviously, races aren’t monoliths. I just think a lot of parents, of all races, are giving their children different/odd/unique names and not thinking about the consequences for the child. I have had to repronounce and respell my name thousands of times over my life, and every time it’s misspelled or mispronounced, it’s annoying. I’ve learned to live with it after 36 years, but I don’t think people are doing their children any favors.

  14. lexi says:

    It’s not letting me reply to Jules, so am posting here. Just had to say that “Euragenius” is hilarious!!! Thanks for sharing that one!

  15. Lp says:

    @ES quote function not working for me either but thank you for posting the Daily Beast article. The comments on this post were making me super uncomfortable and that article articulated exactly why.

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