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Posted at 08:22 AM ET, 06/13/2011

Tell us about your diverse neighborhood

Most Washington area residents live in more integrated neighborhoods than they did even 10 years ago, with people of different races, ethnicities, and cultures side by side.

Does that describe where you live?

We’d like to hear how your neighborhood is diverse. How do you and your neighbors socialize across racial and ethnic lines? How do your children get along? Is it different for kids than it is for adults?

Fill out the form below with your thoughts and comments.

By Lynda Robinson  |  08:22 AM ET, 06/13/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:18 PM ET, 06/08/2011

Are you living together without tying the knot?

More than ever, couples are choosing to live together without tying the knot. But of course that doesn’t guarantee happily-ever-after cohabitation. A recent survey of divorce lawyers found an increase in litigation between unmarried couples.

They also reported a rise in cohabitation agreements -- legal documents that spell how assets would be divided in the event of a breakup.

For a story about these shifting trends, we’re looking to talk to people who’ve gone through breakups after moving in with a significant other. Perhaps you bought property together, intermingled your finances or even had a child -- and then had to figure out how to unravel everything when the relationship ended.

We’re also interested in talking to couples who chose to sign cohabitation agreements about the thought process that went into crafting that document.

To share your story, please contact reporter Ellen McCarthy: mccarthye@washpost.com, 202-334-7272.

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By  |  06:18 PM ET, 06/08/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:49 AM ET, 06/03/2011

Working-mother readers share stories of opting in and out of the workforce

Not long ago, I wrote a piece about recruiting firms who negotiate for flexible work schedules to help mothers who feel they’ve reached a breaking point juggling home and work, as well as mothers who have opted out and would like to get back in the game. I asked readers to share their stories of opting out or opting in.

The response was overwhelming. Some of the stories were inspiring. Some depressing. Some wrote of entire businesses that have embraced flexible work for everyone, or new programs, like those at Georgetown University and Harvard Business School, addressing this very issue: how to keep moms and their brains and skills in the workforce in a meaningful way that doesn’t mean sacrificing family life.

Still others, like Tracy Reilly, wrote that flexibility is not always the answer. “Today was my last day at my job. After 17 years in the advertising industry I’m taking some time off to spend the summer with my kids and consider alternative career options. I had been working a four-day week, but that arrangement created as many problems as it solved.”

The universal theme from readers was pretty consistent: it ain’t working now, and something’s gotta give. Here are some excerpts:

Inspiring:

Elisa Subin wrote: “I work for a local, award-winning company in which nearly 100% of employees work flexible schedules from home offices. We’ve found that such arrangements benefit men and woman, marrieds, singles etc. as well as providing untold benefit to the company itself … the movement away from 9 - 5 has changed work for the better -- for everyone -- not just working moms.”

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By  |  05:49 AM ET, 06/03/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:35 AM ET, 05/18/2011

What was your first Apple?

Ten years ago tomorrow, Apple opened its first retail store — in the Tysons Corner Mall. It was bright. It was spacious. It was interactive. The furniture was made from wood and it was beautiful.

It was, as Apple historians put it, the turning point for a company now worth $313 billion. More than 300 stores have followed, nearly a billion people have walked through, and lines outside stretch for blocks for seemingly every new product the company offers.

Almost everyone knows someone who has stood in line, and almost everyone in line has at some point asked themselves, “Why am I standing in this line?” And yet the lines still form.

Apple being Apple — that is, famously tight-lipped — it’s not clear whether bands will pay bugles outside the Tysons Corner store tomorrow, but rumors are swirling that the company is planning a major new product or service this weekend, in honor of the anniversary.

It got us thinking: What was your first Apple product? What is your favorite thing to do in an Apple store? Or have you never jumped on the Apple bandwagon, sticking with Windows even through all the Vista drama?

Let us know in the comments below.

By  |  11:35 AM ET, 05/18/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 09:27 PM ET, 05/07/2011

Build a Story: Tell us whether you opted out of the workforce or opted back in

There are a couple crazy-making statistics about American women in the workforce: The United States has among the most highly educated women of any country in the world. Among developed countries, it has one of the highest birth rates. And the highest percentage of mothers who work full-time. It also has one of the highest rates of educated mothers who drop out of the labor force. (And the “wage gap” for working mothers and the dearth of them in leadership roles in business and academia, let’s not get started ... )

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By  |  09:27 PM ET, 05/07/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

 

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