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APW Happy Hour


It's Oscar Weekend! Best holiday of the year.

by Meg Keene, Editor-In-Chief

APW Happy Hour | A Practical WeddingAPW Happy Hour | A Practical Wedding

HEY, APW!

IT’S OSCAR WEEKEND. Oh, I’m sorry, is that not the holiday of the year in every household? In our house it’s serious business. Even with a one year old, we’ve still seen six of the nine nominees (and we’ll see at least one more before the red carpet starts). While we wait on the bubbly here is every best actress winner’s dress. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go place my bets.

In non-Oscar related news, this week was awesome in both work and mothering (though perhaps not so good in sleep). It can be hard to convince yourself that you’ll be the kind of parent you want to be when there are so few models out there that make sense to you. But then you drag your eight month old to an art opening, and that helps. Or, like this week, you have your one year old “help” on a photo shoot. Our tiny art director ruled with a tiny fist (and footie pajamas) before daycare. After school, he rolls around in the middle of the set, kicking his feet in the air in pure joy. We’re going to keep him.

In the meantime, it’s your open thread. Make it rain (comments).

XO
MEG

Highlights of APW This Week

Weddings are not about regret. Do you hear us wedding industry?

So you’re a friend officiating a wedding. Congrats! We’re here to help.

A cancer patient’s guide to wedding planning. It’s really for everyone (but you knew that).

A gorgeous Episcopalian wedding, with a potluck reception. This made me cry, so be warned.

How to pick your wedding playlist. Especially helpful if one of you just wants to play Ke$ha on a loop, MADDIE.

Our first What The Staff Said. They said, “Tell your partner to get lost.”

Evaluating your relationship from the lens of a camera, once a month.

Oh, your ring is so… unique. Perfect for your… small hands.

Stillbirth. “I will be here to carry some of the weight like I carried your train on your wedding day.”

Link Roundup

The piece that worked my brain hardest this week: is getting rich worth it? (Spoiler: it changes your relationships forever.)

But whatever. THIS is the most important thing you’ll see on the Internet this week. (I am in no way joking.)

Speaking of fashion, our girl with the purple hair will be asking questions on the red carpet. Two out of two of your lead APW editors love Kelly Osbourne—survivor, risk taker, hilarious lady, unfailingly polite.

Just in time for the Oscars, Oscar nominee Actors received 150% more screen time than Oscar nominee Actresses.

Olivia Wilde’s supersmart commentary on women in Hollywood and supply and demand.

Once the Oscars are over, you’ll have time to watch Twenty Feet From Stardom, on (diva) backup singers. This is just the trailer, but you can find it on iTunes, and Rachel highly recommends it.

Abortions in TV and film, and how the statistics differ from reality. In case anyone was curious, TV in the seventies was pretty much a thousand times more boundary pushing than TV today.

Elizabeth Gilbert on Facebook, killing it. No, you don’t need to marry a rich man to have a successful creative career, ladies.

Speaking of, women entrepreneurs on sexism (God the sexism) when you’re doin’ it on your own.

Beauty bloggers are using their social media platforms to break into new entrepreneurship ventures.

Amtrak is now starting to offer writer residencies aboard their trains. (Sound familiar? Wedding writers apparently don’t count, even if they did it first.)

Selfies: the uglier, the better.

Martha Stewart paint color, or Macklemore song title?

The pseudoscience of Whole Foods.

Longest ever APW reader Sera dove into APW Selfie month by doing 28 days of selfies on Instagram, as a way to work on self appreciation. The project itself is beautiful, the essay she wrote about it, maybe more so.

MUPPET SELFIES. Selfie month is now complete.

Image by Eyes and Hart for APW

APW’s 2014 Happy Hour’s are sponsored by Monogamy Wine. Thank you Monogamy for helping make the APW mission possible! if you want to learn more about monogamy (and possibly win birthday treats), head over here and sign up for their newsletter.

Meg Keene

Meg is the Founder and EIC of APW. Her first book, A Practical Wedding: Creative Solutions for Planning a Beautiful, Affordable, and Meaningful Celebration, was published in January 2012, and has been a top three bestseller on the wedding bookshelf ever since. Meg has her BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and son. For more than you ever wanted to know about Meg, you can visit MegKeene.com.

More in Happy Hour Recent Posts Staff Picks

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  • Ali

    I am so obsessed with Mayhem and her paper dresses. At 4 years old, she’s already unbelievably creative, not to mention way more fashionable than I will ever be.

  • Sabrina

    So I’m about to lose my mind. This week we decided to run off and
    get SECRET MARRIED at the courthouse! In less that a week we made the
    appointment, I ordered and received a new dress for the SECRET WEDDING,
    and we got our wedding bands. I am so stoked! March 17th here we come!

    • http://breckwinokur.com/ Breck

      And on St. Patty’s Day! So fun! Congrats!!

      • Sabrina

        Thanks! The best part is at least five times a day we looks at eachother and one of us whispers “secret married” and we high five and giggle about it, because apparently we are 12.

        • http://karenmadrone.wordpress.com/ Karen

          It’s okay to let yourself be excited! Excitement doesn’t stop when we grow up (whenever that is). Yeah for you and your soon to be spouse!

    • Emily

      Congrats! Being secret married sounds fun.

  • Laura C

    The regular bouts of depression in my household can end now: My fiance got a clerkship, and in the city we’ll already be living in. So glad. On the other hand, this week I have been freaking the f out about wedding stuff. Had a makeup trial last weekend, decided I’d like to go in a different direction but still have to lock that other direction down. In discussions with a DJ, which A is thankfully handling, but I’m still shuddering about the whole thing; I don’t even know how you choose a DJ, like how do you assess them without sitting through hours of listening to them DJ, which we can’t really do? Meanwhile, I’m working on booking honeymoon flights, which is involving a lot of going back and forth between my parents and A’s mother, since they are all donating frequent flyer miles, which is incredibly generous and I think we can make it work, but they speak very different languages on money and giving, so it’s got my nerves extremely frayed as I call one then the other and try to make everyone’s priorities intelligible to everyone else as one is arguing for just spending actual money while the other is like “miles are for using, what’s the problem?”

    In short, last night I had a dream that it was the day of the rehearsal dinner and we hadn’t finalized the menu for the wedding and there was no one to help me put on my sari.

    • Katelyn

      Ha! I had a wedding dream this week that we were hanging out at the reception with our friends, in all our wedding finery, having a grand old time, and then my immediate family finally arrive late, at which point we realize it’s 7 pm and we forgot to have a ceremony and my photographer never showed up.

      That transition from joy to panic was excrutiating! And definitely very indicative of how I feel about our preparedness so far ;-)

    • Jenni Kissinger

      Yay! Congrats on the clerkship! What a relieving feeling :-)

      Picking a DJ stressed me out so much. Should we call them? What would we ask? How do these 2-minute videos show me anything useful? I was freaking out too much about it and so had to give it to my fiance to handle. He chose one amongst the recommendations from our planner, but we haven’t corresponded with the DJ at all (no email, no phone call, nothing). It freaks me out in a vague way, but because I gave up control and gave it to him to make the decision, I won’t stress about it anymore.

      • Laura C

        RIGHT??? The two-minute video can either show that the DJ can play a song my iPod can play, or it can show the DJ talking, which we want an absolute minimum of. We’re like “please play music that will keep people dancing, but do not break in to harass people to dance if they don’t feel like it, and please do not try to be introducing the special dances we are not doing, do not introduce us, do not talk about us, because it’s a safe bet that I will have long since overdosed on the words ‘bride’ and ‘groom’ and will be getting ready to punch someone. Just play the music.” Only you have to find a way to say that that does not downplay the person’s professionalism.

        We had some recommendations from my fiance’s mother, whose work occasionally hires DJs for events, and we basically chose to contact the guy without a website because it turns out that the typical DJ website makes me want to just make playlists ourselves.

        • Jenni Kissinger

          I think the 2-minute videos were only useful for learning what I DIDN’T want. Like, when announcing the wedding party, please do not use the “LET’S GET READY TO RUMBLEEEEEEEEEE” voice.

          “Introducing the new Ms Piggy and Mr. KEEEERMIIIIT DE FROOOOOOG!!”

    • Liz

      I still don’t understand how to pick DJs at all either! I’ve talked to 3 and it’s all the same. How are we supposed to know!?

    • http://readingandthensome.blogspot.com/ Martha Smith

      I think a DJ is one of the hardest vendors to pick! My sister’s was terrible . . . we chose the DJ a cousin used because we saw him about a year before our wedding (at said cousins wedding) and quite liked him. Didn’t look at other options at all because of all the unknowns. Good luck!!

    • Kayjayoh

      Glad to hear about the clerkship.

  • Kirstin

    Hi All! I’ve been counting down the hours until happy hour with y’all. We are 85 days out from our wedding, and the To Do list is definitely picking up. I needed a space to be the slightly overwhelmed bride-to-be for a minute…

    Our invitations are almost ready to go minus the pesky addresses. I had purchased some of the clear labels with the intention of printing in a nice font on them, slapping them on the envelopes, and getting them out in the mail and turning my attention to other things. We are a bit ahead of “suggested” schedule, but 90 percent of our guests are from out of town and I want them to have plenty of time to make plans. As I was prepping my mail-merged labels, I happened upon all of the etiquette rules that I hadn’t really seen and had a whole bunch of others’ opinions coming back at me. That labels are tacky. That I don’t care enough about my guests if I don’t hand write my addresses or hire a calligrapher. Since everything is already stuffed, stamped and ready to go, too late, I guess? Can someone tell me it’s okay to do the clear labels and be over with it? And that I’m not a bad and/or tacky person? The invites are totally pretty!

    Also, my other worry is that I already put stamps on the envelopes. Now I am realizing I probably should have weighed them first. Is there any chance a regular stamp will be enough? I don’t want to run the risk of them all getting returned to me. Any ideas for what to do if the stamp isn’t enough? I didn’t get the fancy wedding-specific stamps, because I already had some and just didn’t think it was necessary.

    Also, those paper dresses seriously blow my mind. I want her creativity and inspiration bottled up and shared!

    • Laura C

      Labels better be good enough, because I’m sure not hiring a calligrapher, and anyone who thinks a label is less attractive than my crappy handwriting is … wrong.

      • http://karenmadrone.wordpress.com/ Karen

        I hear you. My partner has much better handwriting then me or they would have gone through the printer. If people had issues with it I’d have to remind them that the envelope gets thrown out. Quickly. It also turned out that my partner had very different ideas about what went on the envelope, how things were centered, etc that we had to talk about. So I had to remind myself of the same thing: envelope meet trash.

        • YOQ

          I love this: “envelope meet trash.” We are also doing labels, because I do NOT want to write out 175 addresses by hand, nor do I want anyone else to do that. They will be in a fancy but very legible font. I secretly wanted clear labels (because they seem like the epitome of sophistication to me, and I’m only exaggerating that a little), but our envelopes are dark red, so we got silver labels instead–which I am also super excited about, because: SILVER.

    • http://twitter.com/mollyepollard Molly P

      I’m the same distance away from my wedding and writing my addresses in by hand. I would have done the label thing but my envelopes have lines on them where the address should go. Thanks a lot, Indian invitation printer! It’ll be fine though… I’m sure my hand will cramp, but it will be fine.

    • ART

      The envelopes are the first thing people throw away in connection with your wedding. It’ll be fine. I ran mine directly through the printer – tacky as f*ck to some, I thought they looked great. Mail merge FTW!

      For stamps, I’d for sure weigh them, you don’t want the hassle of having them returned. If you used forever stamps, you’ll need another 21c per envelope if they need the 70c rate. USPS has conveniently packaged George Washington’s mug with a lamp for you, here: https://store.usps.com/store/browse/productDetailSingleSku.jsp?categoryNavIds=catBuyStamps%3asubcatS_S_PriceChange&categoryNav=false&navAction=push&navCount=0&productId=S_101634&categoryId=subcatS_S_PriceChange

      Or any other combo of at least 21c will get you there :) (I used the old 66c butterfly and the 4c chippendale chair…)

    • Teresa

      My husband and I purchased a font that matched the font on our invites, spent $20 on clear labels on amazon and slapped those bad boys right on our invitation envelopes. Not one person commented, and if they thought it behind my back, I continue to live in blissful ingnorance!
      Also, we shocked our postal lady when our invitations were exactly 1oz or whatever the weight of a piece of mail that only needs a regular stamp. It was definitely a score for us! We had the invitation and the response card, and the card with the directions to the venue printed on it, so it is absolutely possible!

    • Katelyn

      Do the labels. My advice? Just download a pretty calligraphy font for the names if it gives you the extra peace of mind. I used a fancy font for the addresses on our save the dates and got several returned. If anything, you’re doing yourself a favor and ensuring those suckers get to their destination. I’ll be swapping to a more plain font for my invitations.

      Run one to the post office and have it weighed – slap on an extra stamp of appropriate denomination if necessary and give 0 more f*cks.

    • enfp

      Labels are totally fine. I have received several wedding invitations with labels, and have never thought anything other than yay! wedding invitation!

    • KC

      1. Clear labels are great! They used to be handwritten because *we didn’t have labels*. And then somehow it became this Thing. (like the little sheet of tissue paper used to be necessary to protect the invitation, and now it isn’t, and yet it’s so often still in there. These things are vestigal, folks. Aesthetically nice, maybe. Authentic to the way they used to be done, sort of. But not necessary!) If you have anyone in particular where you think they would specifically appreciate that detail, you can use an extra envelope and hand-write their particular address.

      2. Take one in to the post office and get it weighed if you’re worried (or use a kitchen scale if you’ve got one – if your scale is not super-precise and if the invitations are all the same, you can weigh 10 of them and if that’s over 10 oz, then you need extra postage). One additional issue is that sometimes wedding invitations are exactly square (instead of being a rectangle with the address parallel with the long side) and that costs extra.

      Good luck!

      • JDrives

        “you can weigh 10 of them and if that’s over 10 oz, then you need extra postage”
        Genius. You just saved me a trip to the post office to weigh my invites!

        • KC

          Hooray! I’m glad that was useful to you! (Ah, practical math, how we love you.) :-)

          It works at larger numbers as well, obviously, so if someone’s got, say, 160 invitations, they could probably use a bathroom scale to get a “definitely over” “definitely under” “ehhh… should probably take to post office” general idea.

          • JDrives

            Love those little life hacks, especially where math is involved (as it is not my strong suit) :)

    • HannahESmith

      I did labels and it was just fine. :)

    • Grace

      I would struggle to be polite to anybody who I invited to my wedding who bitched to me about the ENVELOPE. Who are these people?!

    • Kayjayoh

      Labels, baby. Label all the damn way. :)

    • jbryant6

      I hand addressed every single one of my 115 invitations we sent out, and people still bitched about things!! The post office refused to hand cancel them, so they were run through a machine and about half were already open by the time they made it to their intended destination. People complained I didn’t seal them well enough. Even my grandma complained that I addressed it to her formal name and not just “Nana”! I spent hours on these invitations, did everything I could to make them exactly how they were “supposed” to look, and people still find fault with it.
      Haters gonna hate. So screw ‘em. The fiance and I loved them, so who cares what they think?

    • Kirstin

      Thanks all for the awesome feedback! I appreciate it. I’ll take some to the post office this weekend to check the weight, but otherwise, labels and done!

    • lolauren

      I would get them weighed! I brought one (before it was addressed and everything- you can do this right away) to the Post Office and they recently raised the price of stamps but don’t have any $.70 stamps, not even on USPS.com. So, I googled stamps and found Zazzle and was able to order “custom” stamps for the specific postage I needed. I just used simple design they already had and it worked out great but ordering the stamps took a few more days, so plan ahead and have the exact postage you’ll need.

  • Nina

    You guys, E and I made each other’s wedding rings this week!!! We met with local artist Ann Cahoon and she walked us through the whole process starting with a little lump of metal and ending up with beautiful rings! When we say our vows, we’re going to say, “with these rings that we made…”

    Oh, and there are artists all over the country who do this. Check out http://www.AWeddingRingExperience.com

    • lady brett

      so dreamy. as in, the wedding rings i dreamed about.

    • Mezza

      Awesome! We also made our own rings with an artist named Stephanie Selle in Seattle (and they even kind of look like yours – one smooth rose gold, one textured white gold). It was such a cool experience and I love hearing that other people have done it too.

      • Nina

        We got the idea from “Stephanie & Brandt’s Washington Cabin Wedding” post and they did it near Seattle also.

        • Mezza

          That’s Stephanie, the artist we worked with! We had actually already made an appointment with her when that post went up. :)

          • Nina

            Cool!!!
            I had forwarded their wedding post to E because I grew up near Seattle and love the mountains, fog, and pretty much everything about their wedding. E became obsessed with the idea of making our own rings. But we couldn’t make it out to Seattle just to make the rings (we now live in Boston) so we looked for a place around here and found Ann Cahoon. I figured I would try to give her and AWeddingRingExperience.com as much free publicity as possible, ha.

    • Kelly

      what a special thing! They are beautiful.

    • Lisa

      I LOVE this idea. We have been trying to figure out what to do about my fiancé’s band, and I want a plain band that I can wear day-to-day or for times when I don’t want to wear my heirloom wedding set. (The band can’t be worn on its own. Well… it could, but the t-connector would look silly without the engagement ring.)

      We live near one of those cities so now I just have to convince my fiancé that this is the way to go!!

    • Felicity

      Beautiful! I’d love to do this too and this reminded me why!

  • Karlee

    Check this out! Who wants to start #NMM (no makeup Monday) with me?!?!??!
    http://www.today.com/health/today-anchors-dare-bare-no-makeup-monday-2D12156709

    • joanna b.n.

      Wow, the anchors all look like real people I’d like to hang out with without their makeup on!!!!!!!!!

    • TeaforTwo

      Sure, but can it be a “No makeup any day you don’t have a big meeting, which is most days?” because then I’m already on top of it. (Not wearing any makeup today!)

      • emilyg25

        I do #NMUIFLI: No Makeup Unless I Feel Like It. (This is not to belittle your post Karlee! I love seeing more ladies getting in the no makeup game.)

    • Kayjayoh

      For some of those anchors photos is was no make-up + no professional lighting + no Photoshop.

  • Anon

    So, a few months ago my bf of 5.5 years ended our relationship. I am now in the process of moving back to the west coast from the east coast. My ex asked me not to contact him and I haven’t spoken , emailed or texted him in 30 days. So do I leave without saying goodbye? I don’t want or need to ask him to stay, but it feels strange to leave town without him knowing. Feedback would help! Thanks!

    • http://karenmadrone.wordpress.com/ Karen

      If he said don’t contact him, you don’t contact him. Honoring his request is a good thing.

    • ART

      “My ex asked me not to contact him” – I think that means yes, you can totally do whatever you want from now on without having to tell him about it. It may feel very good when you do it. also YAY west coast!

    • TeaforTwo

      Oh, I’m so sorry – breakups are terrible.

      I have a personal track record of never having handled a breakup with any modicum of grace, but I have lots of advice on what NOT to do.

      I think the thing is to be really honest with yourself about your motivations for saying goodbye. If he’s asked for no contact, that goodbye may already have happened when you broke up.

      Closure is a tricky thing, because we all seem to want it, but I’m not sure it always exists…what would it change to see or talk to him again to tell him you’re leaving?

    • Anon

      It is so, so hard not to get the closure you want. But he’s drawn the line and it’s best for both of you if you respect that. I’m sorry this is happening. I’ve been there (also 5.5 years), and now 5 years later, we have only exchanged a few terse emailed that I initiated. It still stings that he doesn’t want any contact, but it will get better. Hugs to you.

    • Jess

      Huge sympathetic hug. Tell a friend to say that you’re leaving and that you wish him the best. Then go out and do wonderful things.

      • Cleo

        I was in the middle of typing something similar, but this is much more eloquently expressed. Have someone pass on a message (if you’d like, but if not, you’re on your own now…for better), and “go out and do wonderful things”

        – from someone who was in a 6 year relationship that ended and who subsequently moved to the west coast.

  • Guest

    Still waiting to hear back from a job

    • joanna b.n.

      Fingers crossed for you!

      • Anonymous

        Thanks! That posted before I was finished typing (hence the
        brevity)..they gave me a date but it’s passed already, so I’m going
        nuts! Thanks for the good wishes :)

  • Grace

    Happy Friday APW! March marks the final 12 weeks of my 6 year medicine degree. I am practically bouncing off the walls I’m so excited! And terrified. Being “pre-engaged” has been so lonely at times. Friends don’t really know what to do with my talk of rings and venues (“*eye roll*, he hasn’t even proposed yet” – um, no, but we COMMUNICATE. Ugh!), my family are traditional and view engagement as a very black and white subject. We’re making fairly firm, serious plans about our future and yet we basically can’t share them. Arghh! I don’t think either of us could take waiting much longer, but we know that for us and our families if we can just refrain from an official announcement until my course ends our people will be much more on board. So the second that first junior doctor salary lands in our account we’re ordering a custom ring from Etsy and telling everyone. Woohoo! Or I will explode. I’m just received I found APW last year, you’ve really helped me to feel same when everybody else wants to call me crazy.

  • anon for this

    One of my New Year’s Resolutions this year was two-fold: to give up dieting and the dieting mentality, and to instead focus my physical-improvement energy on pushing myself really hard in my workouts (I exercise consistently, but I’ve always been afraid to lift more, run faster or longer, try the push-up with my knees off the ground etc.). I’ve been doing awesome so far and have even noticed muscles popping out I’ve never seen before in my life!!

    Anyway, all of this is to say that 2014 has been full of me feeling awesome about my body and appearance in a way I never have before. So I feel slammin’… until yesterday…

    There’s a potential client who has been calling our offices a lot lately. He’s pretty annoying (never getting anyone’s name right, asking us the same question multiple times, etc.) and the couple of us who have spoken with him don’t want to work with him, but as he’s part of a team on another project, we have to deal with him for a few more weeks.

    So he called again during lunch yesterday and as I was the only one in the office at the time, I pretended to be our receptionist when I heard his voice so I wouldn’t have to chat with him. He was leaving a message for me, but he couldn’t remember my name, so I supplied it. He said, “I think so. She’s the chubby one, right?”

    I didn’t know what to say, so I laughed nervously and said I’d have “her” return, then hung up. He’s an asshole, a total asshole (there are many ways to describe me to differentiate me from the other women in the office – blonde, short, or, you know my TITLE), but still, my inner voice is telling me he’s right. I am chubby, new muscles be damned, my thighs still rub together. And since then, it feels like all the self-esteem I’ve built up since January 1 has gotten sucked away and I have to work on building it back up.

    It shouldn’t matter what one asshole guy thinks, but I’ve been going back to focusing on what I hate when I look in the mirror instead of what I like. Why is this getting to me so much?!

    (thanks ladies for letting me vent here!)

    • http://www.emilyaltphotography.com/ emily alt

      Uggg. I loathe him.
      And I feel for you. What a crappy way thing. I wish I had some rock solid advice of how to really stick it to him and let him know just how hurtful and ridiculous his statement was…yet, I don’t. But I will say that I totally understand why this is getting to you–it would get to me too. Again, no good advice (though I’m sure there are APWers out there with great advice who will chime in soon), but still sending you a giant virtual fist bump and hug on Friday. Xoxoxo.

      • anon for this

        Thank you! Fist bump and hug returned :)

    • jashshea

      Dick.

      Keep doing what you’re doing. You’re going about a life-style change in a super positive way and should rock that. Don’t let some turd get you down.

      That said, I’m sorry he said that and understand why you’re hurt. But he sucks, not you.

      • anon for this

        “Dick.” lifted my spirits 10 fold. Thanks lady :)

      • MC

        Just want to echo this – Having been through hell and back with my body image I can assure you that, it is HARD WORK to unlearn everything that us ladies are told our whole lives about our body. I didn’t go near a gym for eight years because I was so traumatized by the calorie-counting weight-loss mentality. But once I finally got through all that, learned to exercise because I love it, eat what I want and what makes me feel good – it is amazing. I don’t have any miracle advice – it sounds like you’re doing everything you need to do – but just wanted to reassure you that you are undertaking something challenging and so rewarding.

      • scw

        I tried to comment that he was a dick too and I think it didn’t go through… But I am saying this here in case I somehow posted on the wrong thread and called someone else a dick in which case I’m really sorry!

    • ART

      wow. just WOW. what an ass.

      (ps – my thighs rub together. i am a runner, so i have to use body glide on them when i run, and it smells bad. other than that, IDGAF and neither does anyone else that matters. the whole thighs rubbing together-or-not thing that’s popped up so much recently? i declare it to be baloney.)

      • http://www.missgiggles.com/blog Giggles

        Same here on my thighs. Body glide before a run and Gold Bond after. They’ve never not touched.

        • ART

          why, oh why, does body glide smell so bad?! they make every other goddamn thing in raspberry pomegranate scent, why not that? i just threw out a pair of shorts that it won’t wash out of! wahh.

        • http://www.emilyaltphotography.com/ emily alt

          I remember when I first learned about Body Glide like 10 years ago…it literally CHANGED my life. I could be a marathoner! Seriously, the thigh rub was keeping me out of the high mileage. NO MORE! Body Glide is as valuable to me as good running shoes. I’ve been working out like a beast too these days (not a whole lot else to do for a wedding photographer during the off-season in an empty beach town of 100 people in the dead of winter than go to the YMCA for 3 hours a day), and no matter what, I know my thighs will always rub together. Unless I stop eating. Which will never be an option because pizza is just too damn good.

          • anon for this

            “no matter what, I know my thighs will always rub together. Unless I stop eating. Which will never be an option because pizza is just too damn good.”

            Amen. And cheesecake.

          • Emily

            Yes! This is anecdotal on my part, but I think thighs rubbing together or no is more a genetic/body-makup thing than a comment on size.

            My thighs will always rub together and my body does wonderful awesome work for me!

        • anon for this

          mine have always touched as well. Gold bond — what does that do/how does it help? Anything to keep my thighs as chafe-free as possible :)

          • http://www.missgiggles.com/blog Giggles

            It dries any chaffing that did happen so it heals a lot quicker and doesn’t burn. If you get the medicated Gold Bond you get a lovely tingling sensation to go with it that’s a nice cooling effect.

          • Jess

            I run and lift with compression shorts.

      • anon for this

        Body Glide is amazing, but amen on the smell. I wear it on days I wear skirts or dresses to the office and there’s always a moment of oh-lord-i-hope-no-one-else-smells-that

        And yes. The thigh gap shit is whack.

      • Jess

        My thighs rub together too. Even when I was scary-underweight, they rubbed together. So this new obsession about the “gap” or whatever is some bull-shit, and I reject it.

    • joanna b.n.

      When someone else doesn’t know how to be appropriate, that reflects badly on them, not you.

      • anon for this

        I need to print this out and smack it on my desk in a place where I can see it on the daily. thanks :)

    • http://breckwinokur.com/ Breck

      That was an incredibly hurtful thing for him to say, and it’s totally reasonable for his comment to be bothering you. But, he is absolutely an asshole. Those shitty comments always stick around for a little, but it will definitely fade with time. Hugs to you; fuck him.

      • anon for this

        Thanks Breck :)

    • Grace

      I really have to believe that people who feel the need to put others down are doing so to comfort their own insecurity. That’s his problem, not yours.

    • http://readingandthensome.blogspot.com/ Martha Smith

      Ugh, that’s awful. Reminds me of that snooty woman from Love Actually who refers to Natalie as chubby. (I love Prime Minister Hugh Grant’s response “ooooo, would we call her chubby?”

    • Kayjayoh

      ” He’s an asshole, a total asshole”

      Yes, and what comes from assholes? Farts. Pay no mind to the noise that come from him.

      ((anon))

    • http://alifeworthwritingdown.blogspot.ca/ Jules

      Look, I am wasting away from illness and my thighs still touch. Just another ridiculous thing cultivated by ridiculous people.

      Go look at yourself in the mirror, flex those amazing muscles and tell yourself how good you look. Because you do.

    • vegankitchendiaries

      I’m sure he’s got a rock-hard body and a face like Ryan Gosling himself, but that guy is a BUTT. Honestly, people that say comments like that do it to big themselves up because they have crappy souls.

      Well done on trying to give up dieting!! I had so many failed attempts at giving it up myself over the last few years but I’ve *finally* got the hang of not looking at calories, eating intuitively and focusing on wholefoods and it’s STICKING. Before that I did ALL the things including, but not limited to, Atkins, Soup Diet, No carbs after 11, 4 Hour Body and WEIGHT WATCHERS THREE TIMES. It’s ALL a total racket.

    • KH_Tas

      Can he be sued for that? Because I think he deserves it

  • http://www.missgiggles.com/blog Giggles

    This week we are celebrating that my husband still has a job (if you’re counting, that’s two rounds of lay offs he’s survived in just under 9 months, plus a furlough). And tomorrow we’re taking the little one for her very first race. She gets to ride along while I push her in the stroller for a 5K (at the airplane Boneyard!) and I’m super excited! She’ll probably sleep through it though.

    • http://alifeworthwritingdown.blogspot.ca/ Jules

      Yay for having a job! That’s great news and I hope it stays that way. Pre-congrats on the first race with the wee one.

  • Anon

    I’m quietly sad my #selfie submission wasn’t selected this month because it took a lot of me to write it. I prepared myself that it might not be chosen and I did want to do it for my own personal growth, but now on the last day of February, I feel more disappointed than I expected.

    • KC

      Not an APW editor at all, but they note in the submissions page that they might run things in a different month. (and also, I don’t know what proportion of submissions vs. slots-they-have-available exists, since they generally only post 3 things per day)

      In any event: awesome that you wrote it and sent it in. Good work! Good courage! :-)

      • Anon

        Thanks ART. To be clear, I am definitely not looking for a response from APW editors. I know they have reasons for what they do. I do hope someday I’ll see it, but for now, thank you for the comment about courage. I tell myself that, but it’s nice to hear it from someone else :)

        • http://www.thehousealwayswinsblog.com/ Rachel Wilkerson

          While I have no idea what your piece was or if it will run eventually, I just wanted to say that I felt the same way after my first submission to APW. In fact, the post that was eventually my first post? I re-wrote it and re-submitted it three times before they ran it…and even then a few months went by after the last time I submitted.

        • Meg Keene

          Rachel does have the hustle down there ;) But seriously, I think the fact that you feel sad is actually awesome…. because that means you care about writing and you have to keep going. If you didn’t have an emotional reaction, then it wouldn’t matter, right? And always write stuff for yourself first (I write stuff and don’t run it all the time, actually. I am regularly cut from the editorial line up ;)

          I wish we could respond to everyone, and it’s on our list to figure out. But take heart. We run between 0 and 4 reader submitted essays a week (I’d say the average is 2-3), so maybe 15 a month? And I’d guess we get… maybe 50+ submissions a month? Also we do a lot of sorting and moving into “maybe April” or “I love this, but I’m not sure we can fit it.” LOTS.

          And we really are trying to figure out submission response, we’re just so totally tapped out at the moment.

    • Anon.

      I feel the same way about my submission! I also spent some time worrying that maybe it didn’t make it in (I submitted right around the time Meg and Maddie were at the Alt Summit). Perhaps, APW, just an auto-reply to submissions? Just a thought!

      But yes, focusing on the self-growth over here, and that’s what matters most!

      • Anon

        Yes! I had those thoughts too, that maybe it just didn’t go through! Auto-reply would be MUCH appreciated. Good for you for submitting too!

    • emilyg25

      Just want to repeat: Good for you for taking the time to write it and being brave enough to submit it. I know how hard that is, and how hard it is to not get posted.

    • Emily

      I’m in a cycle of submitting writing to places and then being crushed (so much that I stop writing) by its rejection. (I love APW, but they haven’t posted my submissions either). My personal challenge is to keep writing and write for me and to un-hook from whether or not my pieces are chosen.

  • Anon

    Oh god, ladies I hate to kick off with a downer, but I need help. I’ve lived with depression and anxiety for years, but lately it has spiralled out of my control and it’s badly impacting my marriage. My husband has never seen me in such a state – it’s the worst it’s ever been, and neither of us know how to handle this escalation. I keep lashing out at him over nothing, even though I know that I’m acting unreasonably. When I’m not furious, I’m sobbing or laying on the sofa in a lifeless stupor. I’m sensing that my husband is starting to walk on eggshells around me, doing everything he can to avoid triggering any kind of episode, and I feel just awful about it. I know that I need therapy, but it’s truly not possible right now due to my work and hours (also, we need my income). I do everything else that you’re supposed to do (exercise, diet) but it doesn’t seem to help. I just feel so trapped and frustrated and lost. I love my husband so much and it kills me to be putting him through this. Has anyone else been in this situation? Please, tell me how you got through it?

    • Nina

      I’ve been struggling with depression off and on for a few years. Seriously, GO SEE A DOCTOR! I always think I can correct this thing on my own, but I can’t. After 2 weeks on medication, I feel like myself again. I can breathe easily, shower, and go to work. Antidepressants are the best.

      • Nina

        Depression affects everyone differently and the way to deal with it (therapy, medication, diet, etc) will be different for each individual, but you won’t know how to deal with it yourself until you see a doctor. So, just do it. And if they tell you that the next appointment is in 2 weeks, you tell them that you cannot wait that long and you want to see the on-call specialist today!

        In the meantime, enjoy this comic about depression: http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2013/05/depression-part-two.html

        • Jess

          I sent R a link to Hyperbole and a Half’s depression comics when I realized I was in a major downswing!

          I said basically, “I know you have been trying to figure out what is wrong. It is not something you have done. There is something inside of me called depression and right now, it’s doing bad things. I don’t have the right words to describe what it’s doing to me, but this person does. Read through this and we will talk about it tonight.”

    • malkavian

      I second seeing a doctor. It’s pretty clear (to me at least) that trying to do this on your own isn’t going to be sufficient.

    • Sarah

      I’ve been there. I had a really bad anxiety episode last year when I was studying for and taking the LSAT. Here are a couple of things that I did in lieu of therapy (but you should try to go as soon as you can!). I switched to a diet that is good for your adrenal glands (this has to do with hormone production and coritsol production which is the hormone that is triggered during stress/anxiety); I ate balanced foods that don’t effect your blood sugar too much (think foods low on the glycemic index). I quit drinking coffee and all caffeine, because that can stimulate anxiety. I also started meditating. Deepak Chopra has some great meditation videos. I do try to do breathing exercises when I break down and cry, as in: in through your nose and out through your mouth, along with some grounding visualization. There are some exercises with some rapid breathing and counting, try googling them.

      As an alternative to therapy, you can go see your GP and tell them about your symptoms, and they may be able to prescribe you something. Hang in there!

    • Nicole

      I hear you when you say that getting therapy is not possible because of work, hours, and income. But like everyone else points out, therapy is so beneficial. Some ways to reframe your thoughts on this: 1) work and hours may be less stressful and, depending on your job, you may function more efficiently at them if you get the treatment you need (less anxiety likely means more productive work, 2) Many clinics, especially if you live near a university, offer free counseling. Many times this is for students to get clinical experience or they have a sliding scale to help people pay (I’m one of those students so I know what I’m talking about), 3) Many places have free support groups, which are typically scheduled around people’s work needs. I urge you to google “depression anxiety support group” in your area.

      Remember, you don’t have to suffer. There are so many effective treatments, particularly cognitive behavioral treatments that can help you and your marriage!

      • Meg Keene

        I just want to offer (in case it’s needed) that sometimes it’s not possible. I couldn’t when I was supporting our family, just couldn’t. Work wasn’t going to let me off to see a doctor unless I was dying, and I couldn’t exactly get a new job. So if you can, do it. But if you can’t, don’t let the depression tell you that makes you an extra bad person. BUT DO SEE A DOCTOR.

    • Anon

      Good for you for recognizing that this is a problem and that it impacts more than just you. I know it’s easier said than done, but your health needs to be your first priority. If your depression gets more severe, it could impact your job performance, and you could find yourself in a much worse situation income-wise. Perhaps you find a telephone counselor that you could speak with, or one with alternative hours? I know for me, it’s hard to even put energy into that research. Have your husband or a good friend help you look and force you to make an appointment. It’s really, really important. Take care!

      • Anon

        A telephone counselor, I hadn’t even thought of that. Thanks for the suggestion. Is it possible to conduct CBT over the phone? I’ve resisted taking antidepressants until now, but I can’t imagine the situation getting much worse, so it can only go up from here right?? Thank you so much for the support and suggestions everyone.

        • malkavian

          There’s a lot of unwarranted negativity associated with medications (for both physical and mental ailments). But the truth is, they are very helpful for a lot of people. I personally have ADHD and anxiety that I wasn’t diagnosed with til I was an adult, and as much bad press as Adderall gets, the difference it makes in my day to day life is pretty amazing.

          If you have a reliable physician/psychiatrist to prescribe you meds and monitor you appropriately, I think you have nothing to lose by trying them. Nowhere but up, right?

        • http://alifeworthwritingdown.blogspot.ca/ Jules

          Don’t resist the anti-depressants! Try them, see if they work. If they don’t, cool – you tried. If they do, awesome!

    • emilyg25

      Have you read the book “Feeling Good,” by David Burns? Obviously, a therapist would be very helpful, but you mentioned that’s not an option right now. I’ve found “Feeling Good” to be extraordinarily helpful in recognizing and addressing my negative thought patterns.

      ETA: You’ve told your husband what you told us, right? “I just feel so trapped and frustrated and lost. I love my husband so much and it kills me to be putting him through this.”

      • Anon

        “You’ve told your husband what you told us, right” – uhhh actually no I haven’t, and I didn’t even realise until you pointed it out. To be honest, I’ve been shutting him out a bit, it’s been hard to find the words to describe what I feel like I’m going through.

        • emilyg25

          I understand. I’ve been where you are now, with a side of guilt for “letting down” my husband. I’ve found it really helps if I can just say something like: “I’m sorry for the way I’ve been behaving, but I’m really struggling with my depression right now. I don’t really want to discuss it, but please know I still love you and I’ll be back soon.” Or more realistically, “I love you but I feel like shit so please leave me alone right now.”

          You might be surprised by how understanding he is.

          Also, how I specifically get through these episodes varies every time. But one thing that doesn’t vary is that I always do come out on the other side. Give yourself time, be kind to yourself, and hang in there.

        • Jess

          On the other side of telling him, and I’ll share with you my story, because the words didn’t come to me, in the same way that it sounds like they aren’t coming to you.

          I basically just sent a link to Hyperbole and a Half’s depression comics (posted in another reply below) and said, “Read this. We’ll talk when I get home”. I struggle with words really badly. I am not a writer or a talker, so doing that helped, and she’s kind of funny about it, so it seemed less intense than sitting him down and saying, “I have a terrible mental illness and it’s really upsetting me all the time.”

          I walked in the door and he hugged me. Didn’t say anything, just hugged me.

          I cried a lot, and told him over and over again that nothing he was doing had caused this, that I wasn’t mad at him, and I kept saying that I was sorry I was so broken and that he didn’t have to deal with it if he wasn’t prepared to, and that I loved him so much but that I know how much it hurt to see me like this.

          And he just kept hugging me. He told me that I wasn’t broken (I kind of am, chemical imbalance and all, but that in his eyes I was still me, still ok) and that he loved me, and that he wanted to be here for me.

          Something that I’ll recommend, that has been helping us, though I definitely hear you on the time/money side of things, is that BOTH of you get some counselling for a while (separately even) so that he can get some tools to deal with it. It’s very hard for a partner to watch the one they love struggle, and having stock responses or a support group to remind him that you will come out the other side can make a world of difference for both of you.

          • Crayfish Kate

            This made me cry.

          • Jess

            I cried writing it, and obviously I cried a lot when it happened.

            People are pretty amazing. I was expecting a shrug and a “What do you want me to do about it? This seems pretty hopeless.” I hadn’t ever had somebody just say, “It’ll be ok, and we’ll deal with this together every time it happens.”

    • Price of Tea

      I understand having a really busy schedule at work, but treat yourself to a vacation day and go see a doctor. Or, if you work somewhere truly nuts that won’t let you take a vacation day right now (I’ve been there too!), just schedule a doctor’s appointment and call in sick the morning of. Say you have horrible food poisoning or whatever. It won’t even be a total lie, since you ARE sick! Go to a reputable therapist on your sick day, and plan something else fun/special to do for yourself afterwards as a reward for taking the first step to get better. It can be really hard and seem totally overwhelming while you’re in the throes of depression, but you will feel so much better once you’re on a good medication or therapy program. I look back at my own depression now that I’m on an SSRI and can’t believe how much time I spent feeling crappy before getting help.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      My husband does his CBT over the phone all the time.

      A non-mental-health-specialist may be able to prescribe something to get you over the hump. My primary care doctor prescribe antidepressants, and my gynecologist prescribed me an anti-anxiety med. It’s not a long-term solution, but it might get you feeling better after only 1 appointment.

      The National Alliance on Mental Illness has free classes and support groups that meet outside of regular office hours and on weekends. They can also refer you to providers for special cases – like therapy over the phone or outside normal hours. nami.org to find your local affiliate. They also have classes and support groups for family members, which may help your husband understand.

    • Anon

      Guys, thank you so much for taking the time to reply. I’m crying my eyes out (again) because I’ve never been able to talk about this with anyone who can understand what’s happening. It’s such a relief. I feel much calmer now. Thank you so much.

    • Anon

      I got my partner a book, called “When A Loved One is Depressed” or something cheesy like that. But it helped! He used to get really frustrated with me when I was in this eggshell mode, then I would get more depressed, and it was awful. Giving him more background knowledge and tools made him way more able to support me (and you know, not say THE MOST WRONG THING AT THE WRONG TIME!). This is not a substitute for getting your own care, but please understand that your husband will need support too to get through this. You’re a team! :)

      • Jess

        Seconding the fact that knowledge can help your partner help you through this!

    • Meg Keene

      Are you on meds lady? Long time veteran at this rodeo, and anyone who tells you that you can fix it with food and exercise is a NUTTER. I mean, YES, on appropriate medication, food and exercise can help, but without meds, PLEAZ.

      Therapy is great to deal with root issues, when you’re ready for it and have time for it (but that could be years away). In the mean time PLEASE SEE A DOCTOR GET ON MEDS FIND THE RIGHT ONES AND GET YOURSELF BACK.

    • Claire

      Oh yeah, that sounds vaguely familiar. I also didn’t feel like we had the extra time or resources to spend on therapy. My partner ended up insisting (demanding, really) that I had to go see someone because taking care of my health was part of taking care of him and our family. He and my 2 little nieces were depending on me and my income and I wouldn’t be much help to them if I didn’t focus on getting my health back. I found a good therapist who put me on prescription meds and light box therapy and vitamins. I think it saved my life. No exaggeration.

      Find a doctor and get yourself on meds. Sometimes it takes a while to figure out the right ones for your body, but it is worth it. Best of luck!

    • http://brokensaucer.blogspot.com/ sera

      Food and exercise is good, but therapy AND meds are clearly in order. Therapy is not so financially taxing as being in pain all the time. Really, your heath is more important.

  • http://karenmadrone.wordpress.com/ Karen

    Update on the videography question from last week: on Monday we met with two very differently priced videographers. At the end of the day I pulled up the APW post with the title “Weddings are not about regret.” That helped frame the question: Which would we regret more 1) not having a wedding video or 2) not having the money we used to purchase the wedding video? The answer was pretty easy. We would regret more not having the money for an emergency or just for fun. So ixnay on the wedding video. But I’m absolutely sure we will have fabulous pictures because we hired Amanda Summerlin last June. Yeah!

    • Jenny

      Amanda is so awesome! I want to be married again, just so I can book her again! She is the type of person that makes me wish I had more people I knew getting married, just so I could recommend her!

      • http://karenmadrone.wordpress.com/ Karen

        Thank you for this. We haven’t met Amanda in person yet (only via Skype) but I have full confidence that our pictures will be amazing. My insecurity kicks in sometimes because our venue isn’t exactly stunning but I’m sure she will get great pics of all our wonderful people. I really appreciate this response.

  • joanna b.n.

    This week has been such a roller coaster, mostly due to the fact that my husband is working through academia job transition and figuring out what his options are (and our options for living in the same city at least part of each week) has been challenging to say the least. Here’s hoping for a break in the obstacles soon and good future prospects for both our marriage and his career!

  • Anon

    I am getting some grief at work about my wedding date because it falls pretty close to an event that I am in charge of planning and executing. A higher up told me that while I’m allowed to choose whatever date I want for my wedding, she is surprised I would choose that date. She went on to say that she is not at all worried about the success of the event; rather she is convinced that when my wedding nears I will be unable to focus on anything but my wedding. She also seems to think it’s unfair that my fellow staff members should have to pick up the slack for me.
    You guys- IS THIS EVEN A THING?! I’m so flabbergasted that this is even an issue. It feels extremely personal. I have addressed this issue with aforementioned higher up and I don’t think there is much else I can do. Has anyone experienced something like this? How did you get through it?

    • jashshea

      Not okay. If it comes up again, firmly state that it won’t be an issue and you consider the question closed.

    • Kayjayoh

      [boggles]

    • KC

      To be fair, some people do get “wedding brain” shortly before their wedding (length of time and degree of befuddlement/distraction varies). It is legitimately hard to keep a whole lot of things in your head all at once, so I could see someone being concerned, potentially, if you *were* keeping the whole wedding and the whole work event solely in your head, especially since they’re a lot of the same kind of details/decisions in some cases. But that’s what spreadsheets are for?

      Bah.

      Continue demonstrating competence, and keep your wedding somewhat out of the workplace, and it should be fine. But that’s really weird for her to say.

    • http://readingandthensome.blogspot.com/ Martha Smith

      I vote reschedule the wedding for the date of the event!

    • Meg Keene

      If you’re at a company with HR, that sounds like an HR issue to me.

  • http://breckwinokur.com/ Breck

    Ahhhhh I was going to post about the Muppet selfies! Super cute and a really clever campaign for their new movie (which looks awesome, BTW).

    Something I’ve been thinking/reading/hearing a lot about this week: Outside the Lines (ESPN’s version of 60 Minutes) aired a special on Sunday titled, “The N-Word,” discussing the word’s current place in American culture, specifically American sports. The episode included commentary from black scholars, athletes, sports writers, and other media figures (Common, for one) explaining their stances on the word (what it means to them, who can/can’t use it and why, etc.). The special aired right as the Fritz Pollard Alliance (an organization that helps promote diversity and equality in employment in the NFL) proposed a new penalty (15 yards) for use of the word on the field. I’ve talked with some of my black friends about the OTL episode and the proposed rule, and people seem to have really varied opinions about both. Anyways, I’m not sure how I feel about any of it, or if I even really should have an opinion (it’s absolutely not my word to reclaim or use). Also, I really hope I’m not being insensitive or rude, I’m just wondering what the smart ladies here think about any of this…

    • http://www.thehousealwayswinsblog.com/ Rachel Wilkerson

      I didn’t see the OTL episode but I’d like to, I’ll have to see if it’s going to re-air! As for the NFL thing…I guess I need to know who in the NFL is proposing this (read: are they black or are they white?) and why, and how it’s going to actually work in practice. (I heard some discussion of it saying basically how on earth are you going to know who said it with so many players on the field and so much shit going on at the same time.)

      • http://breckwinokur.com/ Breck

        The group proposing the rule is the Fritz Pollard Alliance (kind of like the NAACP for the NFL), which is made up of all black members. They’re also the group that implemented and monitors the Rooney Rule (which states that each team must interview at least one person of color for any head coaching job opening) some years ago. I’ve heard a lot of the same rumblings as you, along with the idea that the people who would be enforcing the penalties would be the (mostly white) referees against a (mostly black) group of players, which seems… not right, to say the least.

        • http://www.thehousealwayswinsblog.com/ Rachel Wilkerson

          Yeah, I mean…I think a lot of the discussion on the use of the n word within the black community is generational…they older generation is more into respectability politics, I feel? So that that’s the group behind it doesn’t surprise me.

          I guess what feels weird to me is that it’s a rule that will only effect black players. (Unless white players in the NFL are saying it as a slur, at which point, penalize away — but I doubt that’s the case.) But like…if a word that only a black person would ever is going to be policed and no other type of slur or hate speech or whatever is, that seems kind of fucked up to me.

          • http://breckwinokur.com/ Breck

            You’re right, that is pretty fucked up. Thanks for talking to me about it, Rachel.

  • Kayjayoh

    I’ve been saving this link for today: http://the-toast.net/2014/02/24/lean-in-stock-photos/

    Some follow-up on the Lean In stock photos thing.

  • Ashley

    Today has been full of good news. I hope that it is for you all too.

  • moonlitfractal

    Well, I’m out of the infertility frying pan and into the hyperemisis gravidarum fire (my week has involved a lot of failed IVs). I’d appreciate some positive thoughts and prayers right about now.

    • emilyg25

      Positive thoughts coming your way!

      • http://breckwinokur.com/ Breck

        More good things.

    • MerlyBird

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6K-8rIofYo These baby otter giggles might help… (and also, of course, all other positive vibes your way.) <3

    • Granola

      *hugs* and thoughts and prayers. Hope you feel better!

  • celinad6

    I hate academia so much that I’m applying for a faculty position…right now…like it’s due today and I’m still writing my research statement (and using APW as a procrastination tool).

    And I’m turning 29 tomorrow! Yay, me! Manfriend is sending me to a spa for some much needed relaxation. I’m so excited.

    • Kayjayoh

      As someone who has been doing administrative support for *two* tenure-track searches, your post made me giggle. Good luck! :)

      (Seriously, small departments should not attempt more than one search per semester.)

      • celinad6

        LOL! Thanks

  • scw

    good things from the week:
    1. mercury went direct today
    2. scandal is back (no spoilers, watching it tonight)
    3. my prospectus for my phd program was approved
    4. I won a travel award for a conference I’m attending in april
    5. we have a wedding date, venue, and caterer! none of this was true last happy hour.
    eeee! it’s been a long and cold february and it’s great to get so much good news

    • Meg Keene

      #1 is all we need. Try doing a photo shoot where EVERY SINGLE MACHINE ON SET IS BROKEN.

      • scw

        yikes! but if it was that gold glitter and polka dot photo shoot I saw a picture of, I’m sure it turned out fabulous anyway!

  • Katelyn

    Today marks 4 months until the wedding – and I’m kinda freaking out. I realize how much stuff we haven’t done, and it’s been a struggle to similarly rouse the fiance to action. I’m trying to back away slowly from the madness but it’s a bit of a sinkhole.

    To add madness to the madness, my sister and I had our first Skype date in awhile and she was finally able to tell me how disappointed my mom is in the wedding planning process so far. I was a bit dumbfounded – I tell her about everything, and constantly am asking for her opinions! I don’t always *use* those ideas, but I certainly seriously consider them.

    In the end, I think it all boils down to one thing my sister quoted her as saying – “I don’t know how to help plan this untraditional wedding” – which means we’re back at square one for her disappointment that we (atheists, and she knows this) are not having a church wedding. Despite its Las Vegas location, *everything* about this wedding is traditional – the ceremony structure, a dinner reception with cake and dancing, first dance, father/daughter dance, bridal showers, the whole thing.

    My parents are up tomorrow and I have a lot of items to discuss – reception floorplan, ceremony readings, proofing the invitation suite, and help picking centerpieces. I’m hoping as these “little things” come up on the radar, she feels more involved. And even though I very much doubt that she will ever be truly satisfied, there’s still a part of me that is desperately trying to make that happen.

    Parents. Causing the neuroticism in all of us. Thanks for reading, APW – you’re the best.

    • NrgGrl

      No real advice to offer other than to say I feel you!

      My mom also feels inadequately involved in wedding-related things and doesn’t “get” my nontraditional wedding and “for the first time” is feeling a “generation gap” with me. There are some slightly (?) unconventional things we’re doing, like having a “welcome dinner” instead of a rehearsal dinner, and initiating a lot of DIT projects (a concept that is totally lost on her — she thinks it is rude to ask family members to help with things). But, in general, I’m equally dumbfounded by her disappointment.

      Religion is not an issue here; instead I think the fact that I live out of state (I’m the only one in my family to move away) and am having the wedding where I live is the problem. The only weddings she has attended have been at the VFW hall (or similar) near my hometown, so I can see how this is different for her. I try to involve her by going out of my way to call and send her emails about tasks or questions I have (although honestly, most of the time I don’t really even need her help, I just want her to feel involved). So far it hasn’t really helped, but I plan to keep trying.

      I just had an exchange with my mom this week where she said she “feels like the mother of the groom” because her duties in the wedding so far are “just showing up”. *headdesk*

      • jashshea

        Yeah, my dad did NOT get the welcome dinner thing at ALL. Referred to it as breaking tradition and I was finally like: Pops, I love you, but 60% of the guests at this wedding are coming from many states away and I never see them. And I want to see them. And talk to them.

        Note: My dad played the stereotypical role of MOB in my wedding planning – harping on details, asking for timelines, fretting about everything. My mom is normally pretty chill anyway, but was SO easy going during the wedding planning.

      • Katelyn

        It could be about the location – I think she has this visual in her head of a quaint country Catholic wedding amongst fields of wildflowers, which is quite the striking opposite of the never-dark Las Vegas Strip. But this wedding has required a lot of compromise from me, too, and I don’t think she necessarily appreciates that. It’s not just me making these decisions, it’s my fiance and I talking through and finding middle ground.

        And maybe that’s a lot of it too – I’m so grateful my fiance has been so involved in at least the big decisions, but maybe adding a third wheel to the traditional bride + mother combination is leaving her confused.

        • NrgGrl

          I think you’re totally onto something with the third wheel comment! You reminded me of something else my mom recently said, which was (verbatim, from an email), “I am feeling like I should be doing something, but I am totally clueless. The groom seems to now do all the traditional ‘mom’ stuff with the bride. So, for now, I’m assuming I just show up.” I’d been annoyed by her comments previously, but in thinking about this now, I feel really badly that she feels so left-out.

          Part of this seems like (inevitable?) growing pains. Not only are moms increasingly prone to feeling like third-wheels because our weddings are co-planned with our partners, but they also don’t “get” our wedding plans because we get all of our ideas from the internet. (I’m sort of exaggerating, but you get the idea.) This sort of tension didn’t exist back-in-the-day.

          I also feel like this could be great fodder for a social commentary piece in like The Atlantic or something about changing gender roles, Millennial diaspora, modern weddings and moms.

    • april

      I have no real advice, just know that ‘this too shall pass.’ My aunt (who raised me – so basically my mom) was impossible during the wedding planning process. She fought me and/or pouted about every little decision. Seriously, at one point she point-blank called me selfish because I wasn’t planning on offering soda (only beer, wine, iced tea, and lemonade) at the reception …
      I think a lot of this has to do less with whatever choices you are or are not making about your wedding, and more to do with her wrestling with the realization that you’re growing up and don’t need her as much anymore. And if it’s any comfort, at least in my case things got a million times better after the wedding – and even my aunt remembers the wedding itself as being lovely.

      • Katelyn

        Yes, thank you! I do worry about this tarnishing our relationship. My mother and the teenage version of myself did not get along at all and our relationship has dramatically improved in my 20’s. Her displeasure feels like such a setback and definitely throws me into that “can never please her” angst from my younger years.

    • ART

      no advice, but fist bump because we are wedding date twins (tau day, woot!) and yes, parents, wtf. ours are mostly being awesome, but in some ways being difficult in ways that i don’t know how to deal with gently.

      • Katelyn

        Oh my, I was a math major and didn’t know there was a thing called Tau Day. I shall hang my head in shame but secretly celebrate our fortuitous timing!

        My parents’ visit went really swimmingly so hopefully my mom’s hurt feelings are soon a thing of the past….

  • anon

    Such a crappy week in TTC-land. I’m starting my 1st IVF cycle, which means taking birth control pills for about 3 weeks while they suppress your system in preparation for stimulating it later on (I know, bizarre). I accidentally took the full pack of pills (on the Rx pack it said “take all active pills”, but in my handout from the dr. it said “last pill on 2/23.” It didn’t say STOP taking the pills on 2/23. It didn’t say anywhere “Take ONLY the first 19 active pills.” No one ever told me: “we’re prescribing a full pack, but you’re not going to take all of them.”) Even though I (like any TTC person) am obsessive about this stuff, I just misunderstood (as did my very highly educated scientist husband). When I discovered this, I called the nurses, waited THREE HOURS on pins and needles for a return call, and then a not-so-compassionate nurse warned me that this could throw off the whole cycle. Ten minutes later she relayed that the dr. confirmed that everything should be fine, but that we do now have to push everything back by 3 days since I took 3 extra days of pills. In normal world this is no big deal. In TTC-land, it feels like every day has (at least) an extra 9 hours in it – it feels so discouraging. Here’s hoping this is just a tiny blip and the rest will go smoothly, and maybe end well …?

    • ElisabethJoanne

      hugs to you

    • StevenPortland

      Wow, your post hit home for me. We went through 2+ BAD, BAD, BAD years dealing with IVF issues. The stress is unbelievable and hard to explain to someone who hasn’t been through it. I can’t even count how many times we needed an answer RIGHT NOW from the nurse, only to have to wait hours for a call back. My thoughts are really with you. IVF is tough. It is kind of like high school though. No matter how bad it gets, once it is successful and you are through that phase you will lose touch with how stressful it really was. Fingers crossed that the IVF works and in just a few weeks we’ll see a posting here that you’ve had a positive pregnancy test! Keep tough and keep with it!

  • http://twitter.com/mollyepollard Molly P

    This has been a pretty week wedding-wise. Since we changed
    the format to have wedding/reception on one day (originally we were going to
    the courthouse with a reception the next day (THE IDEA I LOVED)), I emailed the Episcopal priest from my youth and asked if she
    would be available to officiate, that we’d love to have her. She of course is
    very excited to do it, and is available to do it. Concurrently, my fiance’s family asked a local
    judge they know if she was available to come do a civil ceremony, and she is
    available too.

    My family says I must go with the priest since I have strong
    connections to her. And I want to. But my fiancé’s family is Hindu, and I’m not
    religious, so he’s pretty upset we have to go that route. On top of that, we
    will probably have to pay her travel expenses and the wedding is already
    bleeding us dry. We’ll also have to pay for pre-marital counseling which unbeknownst
    to me is EXPENSIVE. I see the benefit, I’m excited to go to the sessions, but
    that’s more money we don’t really have in the budget and even though my mother
    has agreed to help pay a portion of the counseling, she’s notoriously flaky and really bad with
    money.

    I just want my fiancé to be happy. He’s clearly not happy
    about the new plans and says that he will go along with everything for me but not because he’s
    happy we’re doing the Episcopal ceremony. We have a phone meeting with the priest tomorrow to discuss the ceremony and I’m nervous. I just wish I hadn’t backed myself into this corner. :(

    • emilyg25

      If you decide that it’s won’t work for the two of you to have the Episcopal ceremony, I’m sure the officiant will understand!

    • TeaforTwo

      Yikkkkkes.

      If nothing is signed or paid yet, you’re not in a corner! I understand wanting to make your family happy, but this might be a good time to think about how you want to stick up for the family you’re creating by getting married. If my husband’s family had insisted on an aspect of our wedding ceremony that I felt strongly about, I would have expected him to back me up, because I think the ceremony is important. It’s THE important part of the wedding, and I needed it to reflect who we are and feel authentic.

      It may be that you decide to compromise on this one, but I just think it’s important that you feel free to change your mind and defend that to your family-of-origin if that’s the best thing for your marriage.

      • http://twitter.com/mollyepollard Molly P

        I don’t feel free to change my mind, and I think that’s part of the problem. My grandmother was adamant that I’m no longer in a place to tell the priest I can’t use her. It’s most definitely to save face since my grandfather was on the vestry (parish governing body) while this priest was there, and both my grandparents were highly involved in church activities (still are). She feels like since I asked and the priest said yes, that I must move forward.

        Also, I would feel bad for telling the priest we can’t use her, since she was a big part of my youth and I definitely was excited to have her marry us. So confusing…

        • MisterEHolmes

          I think that is the sticky wicket, but you now have a handy-dandy fiance family you can throw under the bus for free, and get out clean. Something like “Mrs. Officiant, I am SO sorry. There was a misunderstanding and my lovely Fiance had booked another officiant without speaking to me first. We would love for you to come, and I apologize for the inconvenience.”

          • http://twitter.com/mollyepollard Molly P

            Yeah, I would never do that. Thanks though!

        • Annie

          FWIW, I agree with emilyg25. A priest with good judgement and a healthy pastoral identity would probably completely understand, especially given the circumstances you described (interfaith wedding, fiance uncomfortable with an Episcopal service). Also, “saving face” for your extended family seems like a much lower priority than your partner being comfortable at his own wedding…

          • http://twitter.com/mollyepollard Molly P

            I know. I know. The only right thing is to let her know we can’t move forward.

          • Jess

            Good luck – It sounds like that option will set both you and your fiance at ease. Sending you strength to do it!

          • http://twitter.com/mollyepollard Molly P

            I brought up telling her we were going to go with someone else and he said changing plans now would make things “a thousand times worse.” So here we are. :(

          • Jessica Nelson

            Who said changing plans would make things worse? Your fiancé?

          • http://twitter.com/mollyepollard Molly P

            Yes. Sorry I wasn’t clear.

          • http://twitter.com/mollyepollard Molly P

            Yes, my fiance. Sorry I wasn’t clear there.

    • Jessica Nelson

      I would tell the pastor everything you said here, including that part of your difficulties is the cost of the pre-marital counseling. She has heard every perspective you’ve said here, and MUCH crazier things before, I promise.
      You could ask her if she would be comfortable performing a civil ceremony (probably not, but at least you offered a compromise, and then it would be easier to say “no” to her after she’s said no to you once). If there’s no way to work it out, it sounds like you can genuinely tell her, “You are an important part of my growing-up years and you’re still an important part of my family, but for my new family, both of us need to be comfortable with the officiant. I got carried away by my enthusiasm and excitement that I didn’t discuss this fully with my fiancé before I talked to you, and I’m sorry about that.”

      What to tell your family on the other hand…not so sure about that! They probably don’t have years of counseling experience to help them process. ;)

    • ElisabethJoanne

      I’m an Anglican, too, and get squeeky putting clergy in tough spots. But I’m also in an interfaith marriage, and I’ve had to do it regularly since getting married. And if Anglican clergy hold grandchildren’s actions against vestry members, they’re gonna lose their vestries.

      I think this is a good opportunity for you to learn to how to choose your FH over a clergy person’s convenience or expectations, but I also know it’s a hard lesson.

      • http://twitter.com/mollyepollard Molly P

        Oh yeah, I would have no qualms with telling her hey, we can’t move forward, but my fiancé doesn’t want to change it up again now. We are already under 3 months out and searching for an officiant suddenly after deciding to have the ceremony on Saturday and he says telling her we can’t use her will just make the situation worse. It just sucks.

  • Pileofstix

    So this is a pretty serious one and I’ve been waiting all week to post it because I haven’t felt able to talk to anyone else about it. I have never wanted kids. I turn 28 in April and I just wish I could get my tubes all tied up right this second (or even 10 years ago?). I love kids but I’ve never wanted any of my own. I’ve been with my boyfriend-we’ll call him J-for about 4.5 years. I made my “no kids” requirement known from the get go. He initally wanted kids, but a lot of that was due to family expectations (he’s the last child in a large Mexican/Italian family sooooo). However, as I’ve watched him over the years, I’ve begun to suspect he does want kids. Just little things here and there. We’ve been making pretty serious engagement/wedding plans. The other night I (admittedly out of the blue) told him that I would be open to adoption. He’s a pretty sensitive guy, but I had him bawling for a good 30 minutes.
    We haven’t spoken about it much since, but I can tell he’s processing it. As a matter of fact, he mentioned it to my parents the other night when we hanging out with them. I can tell he’s (guardedly?) excited. I can also tell he’s not totally sure what to think or feel. Which is totally fine.
    As for me? Well, these are plans that are probably about 7-10 years away from frutition but I’m TERRIFIED. This is not what I had planned for my life at all. But I feel like I’m doing the right thing, that if I were to totally deprive him of the option, it would sort of make me a monster? I don’t know. Has anyone ever been here before? I guess I could just use some guidance or support. Thanks and happy Friday!

    • lady brett

      um, yes. been there. that is, in fact, a really good summary of my thought process when i decided i could abide having kids:

      “TERRIFIED. This is not what I had planned for my life at all. But I feel like I’m doing the right thing, that if I were to totally deprive him of the option, it would sort of make me a monster?”

      not sure i have any guidance, though, unless you have particular questions.

      • Pileofstix

        Thanks for the reply. Did you end up having kids? How do you feel about it now? EDIT: Also, it makes me feel better knowing I’m not alone in this!

        • lady brett

          we did – we’re foster parents, so it *is* a bit different.

          (for the long, personal backstory: http://apracticalwedding.com/2014/01/choosing-to-foster-children/ )

          • Pileofstix

            I never read the stuff about kids, but this made me teary eyed. Thank you thank you thank you. :-) I doing the exact same thing-Just be normal and want children FFS-but this seems much more doable.

          • lady brett

            glad it helps a bit =)

        • Jess

          I commented on Lady Brett’s essay (linked below) but wanted to let you know directly, you’re not alone. Reading her story changed my outlook on how it might be ok to one day decide that I would parent for the sake of my partner.

          APW is the best sometimes. (read: all the time)

    • Kina

      I face(d) a similar situation with my now-husband. Ultimately, after about 2 years of talking about it and seeing how things felt (and we started talking about it VERY early on), he decided that he would rather be with me than have kids. It wasn’t an easy decision by any means, but he feels like he made the right one. There’s no quick answers with this for sure, but let me just chime in and say you are not a monster for not wanting kids/”depriving” him of kids. No one is a bad person for wanting what they want, and I think you have to put your cards on the table and trust and love your partner to make the right decision for him based on what you both want and need.

  • MisterEHolmes

    Anyone still interested in the Great Bridesmaid Dress Drama, it’s ongoing. The two complainers got their Little Borrowed Dress dresses yesterday (cannot say enough nice things about LBD, they have excellent customer service!). I had hoped they would get them and love them. Instead, they sent me stiff awkward photos of them wearing them whilst also wearing black leggings and no shoes. Clearly put a lot of effort into it.
    Then the commenced, TWICE, to ask me to change colors. Not steel grey, can we have slate grey (black) instead? No. Ok, can we have poppy instead, even though that isn’t one of your wedding colors at all? I said no.
    Has that been good enough? Just pick a grey dress and order, I don’t care which one?

    Not good enough. Girl spent the morning “just sayin” asking me for poppy instead, populating my pinterest board with “great ideas!” featuring poppy when I didn’t immediately answer, then moving to gchat so she could try to convince me. Grey made them “uncomfortable,” apparently. Which sounds like bullshit to me.

    I still said no, but I’m just so sick and tired of this. I don’t understand why they can’t just say “OK” and wear the damned ( cute! and affordable!) dresses that have been picked!

    And it’s still not over. I conceded they could wear yellow if they’d prefer. So she is going to make a “judgement call” on Tuesday when I bring her the swatch I have. I can’t imagine they’ll prefer pale yellow over light grey, but damnit, this is stupid.

    • Jessica

      Oy. Bridesmaids dress complaining is supposed to be between the bridesmaids, and the bride is only supposed to hear “love it!” or at the very least when using LBD, “such a cool company!”

      I was a whiny bridesmaid when my friend picked a color I wasn’t thrilled with, but only to friends who had no involvement with the wedding. The bride did not need to hear me complain about stuff she really liked.

      I’d talk to them about this, and how it makes you feel.

      • MisterEHolmes

        After they went dress shopping without me and without telling me, I did tell them I felt like the unpopular kid who didn’t get invited to the party. (That’s the only reason they even agreed to go along with LBD at all! And *I* paid for the try-on dresses!) It did not go well. MOH threatened to quit and called me a bridezilla and I ended up apologizing just to smooth things over, even though I don’t think I did anything.
        Now I’m afraid to be honest with them, for fear of just making it worse again. :(

        • KC

          That is, frankly, nutty. I could see them going off on their own to try on dresses if they thought you were super-busy and you’d expressed that you really didn’t care what they wore (some people don’t!), *or* if you were, say, in a different state or on a different continent from the whole group of them, but… not otherwise. Really, really not otherwise. (and if you had to be absent, then, like, phone in photos? We did this for my sister’s wedding. Some “serious contender” dress options and some… er… less serious options were modeled in high style at DB, and then the photos were sent to her so she could see what things looked like on us (and for her general entertainment as well), and then she sorted things out with her local bridesmaid and picked out the dress and fabric and whatnot.)(she had a slightly rough time because Young Local Relative-of-Groom Bridesmaid reaaally wanted strapless and Oldest Friend was on the “most strapless dresses result in wardrobe malfunctions on me, so… maybe not a good idea?” side, but they worked it out eventually. Yours will hopefully work out well, too!)

          • MisterEHolmes

            I think they didn’t tell me because “local boutique” was literally the only kind of shop I said no to (because I have another ‘maid who lives way out of town, so I wanted her to be able to buy from a national chain/online). So I think they thought they could just sneak behind my back. They sent pictures the next day…after I had already decided to go with LBD. There was a meltdown.

          • KC

            Auuuuugh. It’s one thing if they just aren’t a fan of the single specific option you present, but being opposed to the one thing you ruled out and then going behind your back is tacky. And now it’s just getting uglier and uglier. :-( Hopefully these relationships can get put back together in good order before the wedding.

        • Jessica

          They went bridesmaid dress shopping without the bride? RUDE! I’m sorry hun, that must make you feel terrible and it really sucks. It doesn’t feel like they have your back.

          • MisterEHolmes

            Thank you, yes, I completely feel unsupported…about everything. They asked what they could do to help and I sent back a list of like 20 things…they haven’t done any of them and were completely opposed to helping me make paper flowers (my most immediate need). I just don’t know what to do. :( (But I am SO grateful for this community!)

          • http://readingandthensome.blogspot.com/ Martha Smith

            Seriously, I just checked back in to see if others had chimed in and I want to smack some ‘maids around. Where do you live? I LOVE PAPER FLOWERS!

          • MisterEHolmes

            Texas, and sadly, Rachel aside, there just don’t seem to be many APWers Deep in the Heart of Texas. Amazingly, another kindhearted APW lady has stepped up and she is seriously churning out flowers. I’m incredulous!

          • http://innercupcake.blogspot.com innercupcake

            I’m APW-er in Texas (although I don’t think Houston counts as Deep in the Heart, and TX is crazy huge, so we might not actually be close). If it is close, I can help with things/paper flowers in a month or so? I’m not allowing myself to take anything else on before March 21st, because that’s when I defend my Ph.D. thesis, but if you’d like crafting help/a complaining about weddings buddy, let me know!

          • MisterEHolmes

            You are too kind! I’m in DFW, so not close (darned huge state!) But I wish you were; you’re really sweet to even offer! Focus on that Ph.D. (and throw yourself a damned PhD party, that’s awesome!)) and I’ll be grateful I have this community here at APW. :)

          • KC

            While, perhaps regrettably, you can’t… er… talk sense into… bridesmaids via USPS, you *can* do paper flowers that way. :-)

            (also known as: so fun! do itttt!)

      • KC

        Yeah, I have a friend who was assigned a grey dress (and hated the color because of what it did with her complexion and was also not thrilled with what the cut did with her body shape), but she complained to me (who did not know the bride), not to the bride.

        (that said, if I’d been the bride, I’d have wanted to know if/why, etc., up to a certain point)

        • Jessica

          Yeah, as a bride I didn’t want unhappy bridesmaids, but I think trying to bargain with a bride on color is out of bounds when she and her partner have already decided. Bringing up colors that don’t fit in the scheme of everything else seems rude.

          My thoughts are that this is one day of their lives, if they don’t like how they look in the photos they don’t have to print get any, and because of the smart move on the bride to use LBD, they don’t have to see the dress hang in their closet for a couple years before finally donating it.

          • KC

            I totally agree that this has gone waaay past bounds (for where I would consider bounds to be at least!). I wore a salmon floor-length dress to a friend’s wedding once. She wanted us to wear them, I bought it, I wore it that day, it is now in a box with other bridesmaid dresses. (if she had asked about the color beforehand I would have definitely had some, er, gentle input, but… yeah. When the bride has decided on her “dream” colors or whatever, then you let it go. And also, you become very glad that she can’t see you when you first see the dress in what she considers to be the perfect color in the store.) It looked less terrible on me than expected, which is great. But yes. Some light notification of reasonable preferences (i.e. “Please let me have bust support; no backless” or “light green makes me look like I’m deathly ill, which might not look good at your wedding, but I’ll wear it anyway if you want”) would be fine, but once Things Are Settled, then Things Are Settled.

          • MisterEHolmes

            And I thought LBD made most of those issues moot: pick your own style! You don’t have to keep it! It’s affordable! But they’re very unhappy anyway.

    • http://readingandthensome.blogspot.com/ Martha Smith

      WOW. Just wow. When you see her Tuesday, tell her to wear yellow since she won’t be in the wedding. I say that, but admittedly wouldn’t have the balls to do it were I in your situation. Can your MOH help get them in line?

      • MisterEHolmes

        Ha! She IS the MOH. She’s already threatened to quit once over the dress, and I was like “where did that come from?!” She also called me a bridezilla. :( It’s been pretty hurtful.

        • http://readingandthensome.blogspot.com/ Martha Smith

          Oh you’re kidding!?!?!? This is super stupid . . . when’s the wedding, I’ll fill in! My only dress requirement is that is fit a pregnant lady :-)

          • MisterEHolmes

            New plan: replace all friends with APW-ers. Things would go better! (LBD even includes an 8-mos-pregnant model, so that works! ;) )

          • http://breckwinokur.com/ Breck

            Seriously. I’ve been following your posts, and I do not understand the issue. Give me any dress, I will stand and smile and drink champagne with you.

          • Jessica

            Ditto! This whole situation is a steaming pile of BS and needless not-at-all-fun drama.

          • Jess

            Yup. Wanting to change colors? Trying to get everybody else in on it? Refusing to accept reasonable options given only to appease her? Erg. I feel the frustration from here.

            If I am not naked (or at least… not naked when it’s not acceptable to be naked?) and have the option of drinking and dancing and having a good time, I’m all in. This drama is beyond me.

          • Laura C

            Maybe LBD could expand to have a LBBridesmaid wing of the company.

          • MisterEHolmes

            Ha! I giggled. :) Thanks.

        • http://www.thehousealwayswinsblog.com/ Rachel Wilkerson

          Eeek! I’m sorry, but threatening to quit?! That’s bananas! I feel like there are very few situations when a bridesmaid would even bow out (and those that do need to take that decision pretty seriously), let alone threaten to quit over an aesthetic detail. I don’t understand it…and I also don’t know that I’d want someone who put me in that position to be standing by my side on the big day. :-/

          • MisterEHolmes

            I know– I feel the same way in my logic-brain. But my heart is very very sad; this is a friend! What I considered a close friend! And I don’t want to be the “reason” things went bad, for whatever reason. I’ve had so many sob-sessions over this, it’s miserable.

          • Lisa

            I was reading through the saga, and I feel so awful that you have to deal with this! I’m sorry that a person you considered to be a close friend is treating you so poorly. :(

          • KC

            If this friend is:
            a) single and unhappy about it and/or competitive-ish (and hence kind of conflicted about you getting married) or
            b) insecure about her body or how she presents
            this may be how that’s showing up? Hopefully it’ll all shake out.

          • Laura

            Yes, this is so totally hurtful. This was supposed to be a fun a special time for you and your friends and now it’s a nightmare. :( So sorry!

          • http://www.smittenchickens.com/ Sarah Hoppes

            I debating quitting over a bridesmaid’s dress once. Because the dress was insanely expensive, and I was on a really tight budget. And I felt hurt that we’d all been specifically asked to give our opinions on what we do and don’t like in dresses, and then she picked one that was exactly what the curvier, shorter, bustier ladies (myself included) had said made them very uncomfortable to wear in public.

            But honestly, my feelings were really not about the dress. They were about realizing that a person who was once a close friend was actually not a good friend at all. She was a toxic relationship who didn’t support my husband, my choices, or my feelings. In that case, I feel guilty in retrospect for not quitting, because I don’t think anyone should stand beside a couple on their wedding day if they have those kind of feelings. I just didn’t realize most of this until I’d already agreed and didn’t know how to bow out gracefully.

            All that aside, I think if I were asked to be a bridesmaid again, for a person with whom I didn’t have so many unvoiced resentments, I would have happily worn that dress, paid that amount of money, and obliged to any number of standard bridesmaid requests. That’s how friends act! The bridesmaid role isn’t about the dress or the aesthetic details. It’s about supporting your friend while she commits her life to someone who makes her happy!

        • vegankitchendiaries

          That is HIDEOUS! I haven’t been following this… is she a relation of yours that you can’t “fire”? This is the exact opposite of what someone you’ve chosen to honour at your wedding should be behaving like! I mean “threatening to quit”??? YIKES!

          • MisterEHolmes

            Just a friend. A close friend, but just a friend (at least, she was. And, it should be noted, she isn’t acting alone. She’s just the only threatening-to-quit-er).

            And even the threat wasn’t like “give me this dress or I’m out!” It was phrased very much in a “I’m just trying to help and you’re being so mean and if my presence is so upsetting to you maybe I should just quit.” Which just made me feel shitty.

          • vegankitchendiaries

            “I’m just trying to help and you’re being so mean and if my presence is so upsetting to you maybe I should just quit.”

            I’ll take Emotional Manipulation for 500, Alex!

          • Kayjayoh

            Good lord. Make them wear bubblegum pink taffeta, just to punish them. [i keed!]

          • MisterEHolmes

            The thought has occurred to me, I won’t lie.

          • Sarah

            Oh this all sounds so terrible, I’m so sorry! I had some bridesmaid issues of my own, but nothing like this. Hang in there. I really hope everything works out. And if you’re in the Chicago area, I would totally fill in!

          • MisterEHolmes

            Upvoted for kindness, but sadly I don’t live there. I do have a friend on standby as a bridesman. He’s requested a cape for his outfit. Thanks to this, that seems completely reasonable.

          • Sarah

            That does sound completely reasonable! I just know from my experience of having an emotionally (and practically) absent MOH that I was at first surprised that there were other people who loved me and were more than willing to step in when I needed them to. I tried to focus on that, get through the wedding, and then stuff with my MOH just fell into place. Again, hang in there. I feel for you.

          • Laura

            Can anyone say passive-aggressive?

        • Laura

          That’s totally hurtful. You might be waaaaaay nicer than me, but I feel that I would tell her to be supportive or “she can’t quit, I’ll fire her.” Admittedly, that is rarely the way that relationship issues are resolved. Except, hello? Why is this even an issue?

    • http://breckwinokur.com/ Breck

      Jeeeeeeeez. I would be banging my head against my keyboard if I were you. Here’s hoping they pick something soon, and you can move on to more fun things. For now, I suggest a large drink of your choice.

    • Jenni Kissinger

      The Team Practical rules of being a bridesmaid are showing up to the wedding and wearing what the bride asks. That’s it. If she can’t do either, perhaps she can be honored in some other way.

      From your comments over the last few weeks, you’ve been very accommodating and considerate. It also sounds like the plan has changed a couple times (?) so they may think they can get you to change again. It may be hard to say but practice it in the mirror a few times: “These are the dress guidelines fiance and I have decided on. I will not discuss this again with you.”

      If it resorts to name calling again, leave the conversation. Throwing the B-Z word around to get one’s way is inappropriate behavior.

      • MC

        Ooh yes, I love the suggestion to bring the fiance(e?) into it, reminding them that it’s actually about the relationship of the two people getting married, NOT about them. Might give them a (much-needed) reality check.

    • Claire

      Wildly unacceptable behavior and attitude.
      Look, a friend of mine got married a few years back and it was really important to her that her mother (a seamstress) make the bridesmaids dresses. Her mom had made all my friend’s prom dresses growing up and just really wanted to do that for her daughter’s wedding. Cool.
      Then my friend excitedly showed us the fabric they had picked for the dresses and it was this awful yellow satin-y stuff. None of us were thrilled with the color or the material, but we didn’t complain about it either. Then the dresses her mom designed were strapless, which worked great for her sister (the MOH), but offered zero support and did no favors for the very very busty bridesmaids (almost everyone else). Oh well, we all complimented her mom’s design and got over the fact that we wouldn’t be looking our very best in those dresses. So what? Her wedding wasn’t about us.
      The worst part, however, was when we received our dresses and the back zipper was sewn in such a way that it stuck out at the bottom. We looked like little ducklings with perky tails.
      But, nobody bitched to the bride about it and nobody hurt her momma’s feelings over it. We wore our ugly dresses without complaint and stood proudly by our friend as she got married. Then we went to the reception and joyfully shook our tail feathers in celebration. Because we loved our friend and her momma and knew better than to cause drama for her wedding. That is how bridesmaids are supposed to roll.

      • MisterEHolmes

        “Shook our tail feathers”! Hilarious! I’m sorry about the ugly (duckling) dresses, but your story is fantastic. Thank you for sharing; cheered me up some and I feel less sinister.

    • Laura

      GOOD GRIEF. I am pissed off for you right now. I say level with them: “look, I’d really just like for you to wear this dress. is there a reason why this is such a big deal for you when usually, the bridesmaid just wears whatever the bride asks her to?”

  • Kayjayoh

    I have a logistical question for you ladies. Amidst all the wedding planning, we are also planning a move from Madison to Boston. The when of the move is pretty much set. What has me super nervous is getting a job there. (He already has one…he kept his old job when he moved to Madison in the first place.)

    I work as administrative support for faculty in a small liberal arts college. I know there are tons of colleges in the Boston area, so I’m not worried about finding this same type of job. What worries me is the actual logistics for the job search. If I know we are moving in mid-August, when should I start applying for things? I don’t want to start too early and have people wanting me to start well before I move. But I don’t want to be moving and leaving my job without a new one to go to. (I plan to stay with my mom and keep working here for a bit after the move date if I haven’t gotten one at that point.) And I’ve never done a job search in a city I wasn’t living in, and especially not one that was a plane ride away. Eek!

    Suggestions and advice? I know that others of you have done this sort of thing.

    • MisterEHolmes

      Probably too early to start now but at least a month out? Maybe six weeks? I used to work in a college; make sure you comb through the newspapers–Inside Higher Ed, I think? Lots of useful connections in there! Also sign up for Monster, even if you do it pretty passively. Ask around (delicately) to see where else people in your arena look.

      • MisterEHolmes

        Oh, and if you can, use someone else’s (local) address. Sometimes not-in-town candidates are rejected by automated processes before a human ever sees them.

    • Shauna

      I work in higher ed in Boston and have found that hiring processes can take a REALLY long time. So I would suggest applying around June and being clear in your CL that you already have plans to relocate. Interviewing can be tough in summer because so many people take time off – it can be slow getting hiring committees together, and many schools have 4-day weeks during the summer – so try not to freak out too much if you don’t hear back for longer than “normal.”

    • InTheBurbs

      I’ll echo Shauna in that making it clear you have a planned relocation to the area. I’d also check and see if there’s an recruitment consortium that pulls listings from the colleges in the area – the Twin Cities has one and it works great.

    • emilyg25

      Definitely apply early. I work in higher ed and each time I get a job, it takes about three months from when I send in my application to when I get a job offer. You can probably start looking in May. Make it clear that you’re relocating, but don’t say it’s in August. Sometimes, we don’t like to admit how slow we are. :)

      And check out individual college HR sites in addition to HigherEdJobs.com. Not all colleges post on there, or they don’t post all jobs. It’s a very handy resource though!

    • http://breckwinokur.com/ Breck

      We’re moving back to the Bay Area at the end of March, and I just started applying to jobs this week, so… a month? I figure it takes 2 weeks or so for people to get back to you and set up initial/phone interviews and then another week or two for follow ups. No idea if that’s right, but it’s what I’ve been going off of.

    • Lisa

      I’m in the same situation so I’m interested to see what kind of responses you get! My fiancé is applying for doctorates right now so there is this knowledge that we will probably be somewhere else in August/September, but we have no idea where that is yet!

      • Kayjayoh

        Eek! Good luck.

        • Lisa

          Thank you! It’s an emotional/scary time because of all of the uncertainty. I’m definitely a planner so I don’t like not knowing where we’re going next! Our wedding is also going to be in our current city in October so we’ll be going through a major move during the last couple of months of planning.

    • NrgGrl

      I don’t work in higher ed, but I recently moved from Boston to the Bay Area. I just checked through my calendar, and it was about two months from the date I submitted my application to the time I was hired into my current position. In total, I started the job about three months after I initially applied.

      The whole process itself, from finding an open position to actually being hired, took a lot longer, though — probably at least five months. The difficult and time-consuming part was figuring out WHERE to apply (and who was actually hiring, and whether I might know someone at a given organization, etc.) The best advice I can offer (again, with the caveat that I don’t work in higher ed) is that it might make sense for you to start shopping around now to give yourself the best chance for success. Start making lists, stalk organizations’ websites for open positions, check LinkedIn to see where you might have some friends-of-friends who can get your resume in front of a real person, etc.

      Also, it sounds like you have a place to stay, but if you have any questions about the Boston rental market (it’s kind of weird because of all the students), I can help!

    • april

      Really, I’d say that you can start apply as soon as you’d like. Just be honest about when you would available to start in your cover letter (where you should address the move anyhow, because otherwise potential employers are going to be wondering why someone in Madison is applying for jobs in Boston).

    • Kayjayoh

      One thing I have been doing is bookmarking the job pages for the colleges I would most like to work at, and regularly (for over a year now) doing searches for my type of job, to read the duties and qualifications.

      Now, I am building a document with the various qualifications, to condense it down to a trend…which will help for the places that are “put your resume on file in our bank, and then use it to apply for specific positions.” And to brush up the general language in my resume.

      Obviously, I will tailor the resume and CL when possible, but some places seem to want you to have one on file.

  • http://breckwinokur.com/ Breck

    Also, I really, really want a bunch of these: http://www.buyolympia.com/q/Item=card-carrying-feminist-card

  • Mary

    I’m having breast reduction surgery next week!

    • SusieDoozie

      Hey Mary,

      I had that surgery when I was 22 years old. It was the best thing I’ve ever done for myself and my only regret was not doing it sooner. There was actually a BuzzFeed post about it a few weeks ago that might be helpful (http://www.buzzfeed.com/suzienphilips/a-breast-reduction-helped-me-love-my-body). My advice post surgery: buy comfortable front button or zip up tops that you won’t mind getting fluids on, you won’t be able to raise your arms to put on a regular shirt for a while. Stock up on movies, and make sure to have someone make your food and help you with showers and changing dressings/drains. It hurts a bit the first week, but then I bounced back. You’ll want to wear soft not too tight sports bras (your old ones may even work) until the swelling goes down and you get to your actual new size, then bra shopping is amazingly fun for the first time ever! Even though I don’t miss my old breasts for even a second, I do wish I had taken a few cute topless pictures before I had the surgery (that was before digital cameras and I didn’t want to get them from a photo place). You might like to look back later, with relief and happiness, at how your body has changed. Good luck!

      • Mary

        Thanks so much for the advice! I’ll have to stock up on some zip up and button up tops – I’ve never worn them because they don’t fit well. That BuzzFeed post is great. I’m so excited…I’ve been wanting to do this for about 10 years, and I’m so looking forward to cute bras, dresses, tops, etc. I’ve heard nothing but positive things about the procedure.

        • Aine

          I did it when I was eighteen, adn my resounding memory is my mom’s worried question to the doctor: “But what are the side effects?”

          “Joy.”

          I have never looked back.

      • vegankitchendiaries

        That link was dead for me but this one seems to work: http://www.buzzfeed.com/suzienphilips/a-breast-reduction-helped-me-love-my-body

      • Guest

        Can I ask all of you ladies who’ve had this, if you’ve had kids and went the breastfeeding route, were there any side effects? I’m considering this surgery as well, but I’m not interested in waiting 7+ years to get my babymaking done with first…

    • http://breckwinokur.com/ Breck

      Wishing you a speedy recovery! And take the drugs!

    • http://www.thehousealwayswinsblog.com/ Rachel Wilkerson

      I had it done too, when I was 18, and to echo what Susie said — it was the best thing I’ve ever done! Best wishes!!

      Also agree on the sports bra front…I wore sports bras for several months afterward, as it took a while for the swelling to go down completely. (I didn’t believe my doc when he said it would take that long, but it totally did.)

    • NStyle

      I had it done when I was 16 – like the others, best decision I ever made. Good luck!

  • Sonora Webster

    Has anyone else been putting things off because of Mercury being in stupid retrograde? I heard you aren’t supposed to sign contracts while that is the case, so I have been waiting for today to sign contracts for our caterer, DJ, and florist! In the meantime I have been sending them all these random questions to make it seem like that was why I wasn’t sending in the contracts. This wedding is turning me into a person I hardly recognize. What do I care what Mercury is doing?!

    I finally told my fiancé all of this last night, and he’s Indian, and I guess Indians consult the charts before a lot of things in life. So he was just like, “I don’t understand any of this, but you’re going to fit in great with my family!”

    • Sarah

      In light of Mercury retrograde…I really should have put off a road trip last weekend. We got a flat tire not 50 miles into the trip, but all tire places were closed at the time (8pm), and we had to get a hotel, get the tire fixed in the morning, and completely scrap the trip. It was a serious bummer. Better safe than sorry? Hahaha :)

      • Kirstin

        I got a flat tire too! Stupid Mercury. Or maybe the frigid weather and pot holes. But I’ll blame Mercury.

    • http://www.emilyaltphotography.com/ emily alt

      I just bought a new camera (huge investment for me), sold a paddle board and booked 5 airline tickets in the past 2 weeks. So…while I probably SHOULD have put all that off, I didn’t…Mercury retrograde ain’t stopping this train! :)

      • Meg Keene

        Maddie also bought expensive camera equipment and it was ALL BROKEN.

        • http://www.emilyaltphotography.com/ emily alt

          Meg/Maddie. That is my worst nightmare. Dear god in heaven I can’t tell you how many dreams I have PER week that we are shooting and the cameras just stop working. All of them. They ALL stop working and then we have to resort to a point and shoot digital Elph and a Holga (which probably could like….still maybe work….I’d make it work).
          Going upstairs to triple check that the cameras work before we leave tomorrow morning. Ahhhhh. :)

    • Emily

      Omg, maybe this explains why NONE of my vendors are getting back to me! I sent out a bunch of emails two weeks ago tomorrow, and everyone has been super-slow to respond.

    • Meg Keene

      Wise. Both of you.

    • http://alifeworthwritingdown.blogspot.ca/ Jules

      Oh wow. Am I the only person that thought “Mercury in retrograde” just meant it was really cold outside?

  • http://karenmadrone.wordpress.com/ Karen

    Logistics question:
    If my partner and I get ready at our church as opposed to our home, what do we do with our clothes? A friend gifted us a night at a swanky hotel in town that I’d like to drive to immediately upon leaving the church. We have friends staying at our place who will bring things back. Do they bring our clothes home? I’m trying to wrap my mind the idea of getting dressed at a place that I go to several times a week as the norm. To do the “get ready” thing at home or at church, that is the question.

    • KC

      You can do either. The three things I would suggest if you get ready on-site are 1. have empty bags available, potentially labeled “pre-wedding clothes – take back to our place” (stuff magically expands in wedding dressing rooms. I do not know how this works.), 2. tuck anything you don’t want people having to pick up inside of something else or bag them up (hi, various friends’ underpants! I don’t really care, but some people might?), and 3. make sure that the person-who-is-bringing-your-clothes-back knows that this is their job, and that several other relevant people know who this is.

      If you get ready at-home, pre-walk the route with an eye to “can I wear my dress in this car without flashing the populace? can I walk across this piece of pavement if it’s raining without the edge of the dress getting super-gross before the ceremony?” and that sort of thing, and figure out contingency plans (pin up your dress; wear temporary shoes if it’s raining; whatever).

      • Annie

        One tip I’ve picked up being a bridesmaid: give everyone a brown paper bag with their name on it (or something prettier, but with a flat bottom). You can line them up along one wall in the getting ready place, and it makes it really easy for things to have a “home” before the ceremony starts. Give a cousin or friend the job of getting all the bags between the ceremony and reception, storing them in the back of an SUV and getting them back to the wedding party when the couple leaves the par-tay. I’ve seen a lot of systems, and this one has worked the best for some reason.

        • MisterEHolmes

          Great tip! Stealing this. May even include totes as part of the gifts for ‘maids.

    • Jenni Kissinger

      Sure they can bring them home. Put them in a plastic bag and you’re good to go.

      But remember to pack a separate bag with clothes for the night after swanky hotel! Unless you want to wear your wedding clothes to check out. Which would be awesome.

    • Annie

      Similar question! We’re trying to figure out whether to get ready at our (tiny) home, at the church or a room at the hotel near the church where we’ll be staying after the reception. And by “get ready” I mean “have our friend do our hair/make-up” because once we do that, all we’ll need to do is get dressed. I don’t see why your friends can’t take your clothes home – just show them the bag with everything in it and ask them to grab it before the reception.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      You can totally ask your friends to take your clothes back for you, or…

      I know my church would have been fine storing a bag in the office between the ceremony and our return from our honeymoon almost 3 weeks later, as long as it wasn’t too big/smelly whatever. I would have used a “nice” bag – either a backpack or some sort of luggage, or at least a heavy department store bag, so it wasn’t confused with the trash/recycling/outreach donations, and I might have labeled it “Elisabeth Joanne’s / Will be picked up on [date].”

      Our church is just 40 families, so no worry anyone in the office wouldn’t know what was up, and only about 5 people have access to the office.

    • Winny the Elephant

      I’m getting dressed at our venue. To me the risk of damaging or dirtying the dress getting in and out of the car is scary

    • Laura

      Yes, your friends can take your clothes home! I have been the keeper of the clothes many many times.

  • Mary Jo TC

    I have a love languages question.
    My husband says he expresses love through acts of service: cooking, housework, his job, taking care of us. My love languages are words and gifts. (We both like physical touch.) I think I have a hard time appreciating these expressions of love from him because I have a tendency to take them for granted. I think these are just things he should be doing anyway, regardless of his love language, simply to be an equal partner and contribute to the household. If he had a different love language he’d do the same things because they need to get done, and I’d get some other expression of his affection on top of that (words, gifts, touch, etc). When he does his acts of service, he doesn’t do them with any special flair or anything that makes them rise above the normal everyday bustle and make me take notice of them as acts of love. Sometimes it feels like a cop-out to me, like if he says he expresses his love through doing these things he would be doing anyway, then he won’t have to do the work of using my love language. But I also think I probably just need to rethink the way I’m seeing his acts of service. APW is the place I go when I need smart advice to help me change my thinking in a positive way. What do you ladies think?

    • Sarah

      I haven’t read the book (though I did just order it!), but my understanding of it is that when you discover what your love languages are and share that knowledge with each other, you are meant to incorporate that understanding into your interactions, and also learn to incorporate your partner’s love language into how you show your love for them.

      Saying that, I totally understand your point of view on this. I think I would react similarly. But now that you both know what’s going on with this, he should be trying to incorporate more gifts/words into his “showing Mary Jo TC that I love her” stuff, and you should be trying to do more acts of service for him, because that’s how you both feel most loved. So it’s not only that you should accept his acts of service as acts of love, but you should both be striving to do for each other what they would most receive as love. Hope that helps!

    • Jenni Kissinger

      Agreed with Sarah. The love languages are how you perceive love. So if you did the dishes, he would think “whoa she really loves me”, and clearly you are wishing for more in the words of affirmation and gifts department. He can express his love in Chinese, but if you don’t understand that language, you’re not going to hear that love.

    • Laura C

      So, I’ve been thinking a lot about the love languages lately, and actually when I read the online questionnaires, all the questions that basically asked if I’d feel loved if my partner washed the dishes had me thinking “he damn well better do that as part of being my partner in life.” So yeah, I’m with you. I guess my question is if you feel like he goes above and beyond the norm of partnership as far as acts of service. My dad is kind of at the nutso extreme end of acts of service, so I’m afraid my standards may be skewed, but with him it’s like … well, for example, when my fiance and I first moved in together, we needed a bigger dresser and one more cheap run, and I was having trouble figuring how to get them from Ikea when we didn’t have a car, and my dad made the 3.5 hour drive to us, stopping along the way at Ikea to buy what we needed. Or he will spend hours helping my mom if she’s having trouble with her computer. So I guess I’d look for things like that, things beyond the basics of being solid on all fronts? I dunno, does he make a point of cooking things you like, even if he doesn’t say “I made the thing you like”?

      But I too would have a lot of trouble taking good partnership as the sum total expression of love, and I don’t have great ideas for how to work on it. If we could set up a trade, I would totally give you some of my fiance’s words of affirmation, because I get about 200% more of those than I really need.

    • Cathi

      Well, first of all, the entire point of the Love Language exercise is not just to better understand each other, but to also show love for each other better. It means you appreciate the small things he does for you (that you were perhaps taking for granted) and it means you do service-y things for him in return, even if it’s not natural. It means he appreciates it when you write him cute notes, and he’ll write you cute notes too, sometimes, since it’s what you need.

      I’d say my husband’s love language is “acts of service” too, but it presents itself way more obviously than “doing chores and having a job”. It means he notices I’ve gone from “sitting” on the couch to “curled up in a ball” and he brings me a blanket. It means he notices my coffee mug is empty and refills it for me. It means taking my car to get the emissions checked when I’ve put it off forever and am having a lazy, sleep in morning. It means seeing his best friend mention on Facebook that she’s daunted by needing a zillion blue wine bottles for DIY wedding stuff and him insisting we only buy wine in blue bottles for the next couple months to help her out.

      tl:dr I understand what you’re saying and I don’t really have anything helpful to add, other than I just have a nagging suspicion “chores and working” are kind of a cop-out

    • MerlyBird

      It’s been awhile since I’ve read the book, but one of my “take aways” was that if you love someone – you do your best to ‘speak’ to them in *their* love language, even (especially?) if it takes some effort on your part. You can use yours too, but it’s going to be more powerful for the person receiving it, if it comes in their own language. I also remember that in the book there was a whole section about getting someone to use your language (slowly) even if they weren’t receptive to the idea. The example was quite dramatic and I didn’t love that the couple stayed together, but I think it could work in less drastic situations. Would totally recommend spending the ten-ish bucks on Amazon to get a copy for yourself that you can mark up with notes. :)

    • lady brett

      i think it goes both ways. so, not putting in the effort to branch out to your “languages” is pretty much a cop-out. but also, that means part of *your* job is to branch out to his, which may not even mean you need to do “acts of service” for him, but it does mean you need to do the work of appreciating the fact that he’s expressing love when that’s not super obvious to you.

      (i’m pretty much in your husband’s shoes here, and it’s taken me a lot of work to learn to give gifts, but also to learn to appreciate getting them (and it’s a work in progress =))

      another question – would him doing them *with* flair help you feel better about it? for us, we’ve found that there’s a huge difference between even “hey, i did the dishes” and “hey, i did the dishes *for you*.” the second makes it into a sort of gift and makes the intent of it really clear. or, maybe he cleans the dining room – would it be different if he added fresh flowers to the table (again, a small gift, and a statement of intention). anyhow, the point is, if so, tell him that (we non-romantical sorts can be really dense)!

    • Anon

      It’s hard to really know that he would do all the same things if he had a different love language. My husband’s LL is not acts of service, so all the housework is a constant negotiation. He does do a ton of stuff, and he doesn’t expect me to do more, but let’s just say neither of us are eager to do these things “for” one another.

      I understood how acts of service could equal love most clearly when I looked at my mom’s partner through this lens. His LL is definitely acts of service. He does so much around the house and yard, without discussion, complaint, or hesitation, because he wants my mom to be comfortable and cared for all the time. They met later in life, and I know this is just what my overworked mom has needed in a partner. I don’t think my mom sees it that way though, and she may feel similarly to you. I don’t know, but just food for thought. Sometimes when we are used to our used to our partner being a certain way, we don’t see that trait as a gift, when it really is.

    • BB

      I think you guys have this a bit backward. You are supposed to learn your love language and that of your partner so that you can show him/her love in the way that THEY perceive it. I.e. If his love language is acts of service, YOU should be doing acts of service to make him feel loved. Just identifying that his love language is “acts of service” doesn’t mean that you just have to learn to like it. I mean, it does help to know that when he cooks for you it’s because he loves you, but since that’s not your primary love language, it’s not the same thing. Everyone feels most loved and cared for when their partner/family/friends communicates to them in their OWN love language (not that of the love-giver per se). Besides which, there are many other ways besides chores to show “acts of service” that wouldn’t be just normal partner-sharing duties. Food for thought.

      • Crayfish Kate

        Reading the love languages book now, and yes, this. :-)

  • Emily

    This week, I’ve departed from the lovely la-la land that was: “My family is so great, we’ve had no weird wedding dramaz so far!”
    During a phone chat with my brother, I was informed that my wedding will be a huge inconvenience for him and his family to attend. But don’t worry, they’re still coming. Also, he doesn’t see why anybody would be having emotions surrounding the event, since our getting married is “pretty much a formality,” considering we already live together and have a child. Seriously, WTF!??

    Like a 12-year-old, I told my mom all about this nonsense, and she heard from him that he’s disappointed I didn’t ask my nephew to be our ring-bearer?! I did consider it, and didn’t ask since I didn’t think my brother would be into it. So now, I guess I’ll ask.

    My mind is boggled by this nonsense. Especially the formality part.

    • Jessica

      My mom played messenger with my brother and I during my wedding planning too. Or rather, my mom and my brother’s girlfriend were the ones to deliver any not-good news between my brother and I. It was weird because my mom has a way of unintentionally spinning things to be THE MOST DRAMATIC THING EVER!!! And brother’s gf has a way of spinning things to be the chillest thing ever even when some drama might be in order.

      Anyway, weddings are complicated and people who love each other don’t always know the best way to communicate all the things. When asking nephew to be the ring bearer maybe just say to your brother to ask things straight up? Taking the guesswork out of wedding planning can lead to a better experience for all.

    • StevenPortland

      The line “Like a 12-year old” made me laugh here at my desk. Your brother’s drama is probably just him being mad about the ring-bearer. Why don’t you tell him that you didn’t ask your nephew because you want him ( your brother) to have that role. ha, just joking.

    • Emily

      My Mom said that my wedding was basically a formality (because we’ve lived together for several years and recently bought a house together) and she wasn’t sure if she was going to come, which really hurt. Now that we are into wedding planning (which I haven’t really included her in, since she seemed to not want to be involved) she is giving me all kinds of strange signals, from saying “good grief” when I tell her about the ceremony that we’ve planned (which is intended to be short and sweet and meaningful to us) to making a big deal out of reserving hotel rooms for her and my sister (apparently they are coming). I was feeling very confused and rather hurt; now I’m working on realizing that is *her* and not necessarily a reflection on *me* or the ceremony.

  • SusieDoozie

    I got a job! Woo hoo! It’ll start right after I finish my second master’s degree in May and we go on our two week honeymoon (married last month!) Happy weekend to you all!

    • Jenni Kissinger

      Congratulations!!

    • ItsyBit

      YAY congrats!!

  • MC

    Has anyone had an “unplugged” wedding ceremony? We want to have one (no phones, cameras, etc. during the ceremony) because we want people to be fully present and not preoccupied with taking photos (and there is very little cell service at the venue anyway). At the reception, of course, people can do whatever they want. The question is, how do we best communicate this with our guests? Something on our website seems like a good start, but at the ceremony? Polite/cute ways to say “don’t use your devices!” would be greatly appreciated :)

    • http://www.thehousealwayswinsblog.com/ Rachel Wilkerson

      We had one! Our officiant made an announcement at the beginning and we put a note in the program. It was a total non-issue. We didn’t even give a reason why, just had the program say, “The bride and groom request that you refrain from taking any sort of photos or videos during the entire ceremony.” It was totally a non-issue and everyone respected our wishes!

    • May

      We had an unplugged ceremony. It was a last minute decision – literally as I was standing in the vestibule having my veil adjusted, our pastor asked me “anything you want to tell me before I head inside?” and I asked him to get everyone to put their phones down. So before he started the service, he asked everyone to respect the church and the ceremony by turning their phones off. It worked (hey, you can’t disobey the pastor!), and I was so happy to see faces as I walked down the aisle, where I might otherwise have seen phones and cameras.

    • emilyg25

      We had one. We just had someone make an announcement at the beginning and put a note in the programs. “Please turn off your cell phone and refrain from taking photos during the ceremony.” That’s it! I’m a fan of straightforward communications wherever possible. :) Like with Rachel, it was a non-issue.

    • http://www.emilyaltphotography.com/ emily alt

      Dooooo it! As a photographer I can tell you that this is amazing. The worst thing in the world is trying to shoot around 100 iphones capturing the kiss. PLUS, if it’s unplugged your guests can actually enjoy the moment and the day and you! I’ve even seen couples ask that NO pictures at all from their wedding are posted on social media afterwards….You could make a sign as people walk into your ceremony, or you could have your officiant say something. I’ve seen both and they work pretty well! Good luck!

    • Winny the Elephant

      We’re doing it because I personally think it is appallingly rude to try and play photographer during a wedding ceremony but knowing my fiancé’s family….deep breath….

      We put this on our wedding website on the RSVP page and I’m planning on having the officiant remind everyone:

      We kindly request that all guests refrain from using cameras, phones with cameras or video cameras during the ceremony and key parts of the reception (first dance, cake cutting). Sit back, relax and let our photographer do the hard work! We will be sharing wedding photos on facebook after the big day and would be happy to send a CD with wedding images to any guests who would like some pictures from the day.

      • MisterEHolmes

        Just stole your words to possibly use them on my site, too!

        • Winny the Elephant

          Go for it! I totally stole them from someone else. Here’s what we’re having the officiant say:

          “Welcome, friends and family! Good afternoon, everyone. Please be seated. J and R invite you to be truly present at this special time. Please, turn off your cell phones and put down your cameras. The photographer will capture how this moment looks — I
          encourage you all to capture how it feels with your hearts, without the
          distraction of technology. If J can do it, then so can you.”

          • MC

            I think we are going to use both of these, love it! – thank youuu!

    • http://fancystephanie.wordpress.com/ fancystephanie

      Is this really an issue? Do people really use their phones instead of paying attention? I’ve never really noticed it being a problem, and I’ve been to a good 20+ weddings in the past 5 years or so.

      Because honestly, when I see brides wanting an unplugged wedding so people are “present,” it feels a little whiny. Like you are saying, “Pay attention to me!” Because the people you invite to your wedding SHOULD be paying attention to your wedding ceremony, and if you think they won’t, then maybe you should reconsider your relationship with them.

      However, I think it’s completely reasonable to say, “No flash photography” or “please don’t crowd the photographer.” And I know that most of the brides I know wanted the pics from friends and family right away, because the pro pics don’t come in for months later, and they want to see pics. Anyway, just my two cents!

      • Violet

        Speaking from my experience, yes, it can be an issue. We just had a small note in our program asking people to leave cameras and phones in their pockets, and it was fine. I got to see smiling faces rather than phone-face! As a comparison, at my cousin’s wedding a few month’s later, they didn’t have a note. All her wedding photos of the ceremony show people holding devices in front of their faces. I feel sad that it’s come to this, but yes, *some* people do need be reminded to pay attention.
        ETA: We had a very similar group of people at both weddings (because, related), and it’s not like we can reconsider being related to people. *Shrug.*

        • MC

          Yes, that is what I want, to see people’s faces during the ceremony and in the pictures.

      • ElisabethJoanne

        Slate had a debate on it a couple years back. The advice/etiquette columnist was all “can’t people respect the special moment and (often) sacred space” and tech columnist was all “people participate in events today by taking pictures and posting them to social media; asking them not to is asking them not to be involved.”

        Our ceremony was very formal, in a church. We were lucky that our guests “got” what that meant in terms of phones and cameras without any announcements or notes. I know a couple people took a couple photos during less-important parts of the ceremony, but they were also reverent.

        The people who stuck around for formal portraits after the ceremony, distracting us from the professional photographer, were another story. I tried to tell them there was food and wine waiting at the reception venue…

      • Meg Keene

        Yeah. It’s a huge issue. Here is a photographer perspecitve on it: http://coreyann.com/blog/corey-talks/corey-talks-why-you-should-have-an-unplugged-wedding

        That said, when we fall into the trap of thinking that brides asking for things that they emotionally need during a really important, deeply personal moment in their lives, that they’ve invited you to share… I think we’re falling into the trap of women not being allowed to express their needs. Short answer: who cares if you like it. If someone asked for it because it was emotionally important to them on their wedding day, respect it.

        • lady brett

          i love the photographer perspective (i do event/meeting photos for work, and the rise of smart phones, and especially tablets, had made it *impossible* to get pictures of people who look even remotely engaged in what’s going on…even when they *are*. not exactly wedding-related, but…)

      • http://www.smittenchickens.com/ Sarah Hoppes

        I won’t weight in either way on the whether it’s appropriate to ask people not to use devices. I think often that depends on the couple and their people. However, I have SO many photos of wedding ceremonies where so many guests have their phones in front of their faces it’s distracting. Sometimes we have to really dig for footage of guests where no one is on their phone to use in the couple’s video. I once had a gorgeous photo of the couple reading their vows, and I couldn’t use it because a guest was taking a selfie on an ipad in the 2nd row, blocking part of the bride’s body. Most people want photos of their loved ones on their wedding day, and when so many guests are shooting the wedding on their phones, etc., it makes it hard to get candid, emotional photos of them.

    • Meg Keene
    • TeaforTwo

      Yep! We just put a notice at the front of our program in bold that said “Please be present with us and respect how sacred and intimate this ceremony is by not taking any photographs or recordings.”

      I wasn’t sure if people would go along, but they did. Everyone except our wedding photographer. (I had asked for photos of the processional, recessional and musicians, but asked that she not take any photos of our vows or exchange of rings. She didn’t but her second shooter did. Fortunately it was just her, so they’re not on FB or anything, but I still just didn’t want them.

  • mous, anon y.

    One of the weirder side effects of moving into “real” wedding planning has been noticing a change in my future sister-in-law. She and I have always been very friendly, if not particularly close. She (and the rest of my fiance’s family) have always sort of been of the mind that until there are rings on the fingers, it’s not worth investing in a significant other. While my family culture is very different, I could still understand that and it was nice to feel a sudden embrace from his family after the engagement. But I actually feel like her opinion has cooled or even gotten slightly hostile.

    However, I’ve noticed lately that her attitude towards the wedding has been less “gaining a sister” and more “someone is snatching away my brother.” First, she became suddenly and inexplicably annoyed that she was asked to ‘only’ be a bridesmaid instead of my fiance’s ‘best woman’ (which was never something that was on the table at all – my fiance was very specific about who he wanted to be his best man and groomsmen). She’s also made a few snide remarks about his “new family” when he mentioned coming to my parents’ place for dinner and one time said, “What, you think you know MY BROTHER better than ME?” when I one time mentioned that he didn’t like chickpeas (she was asking if hummus or baba ganoush would be better to bring over). I hope I handled that gracefully; I was pretty taken aback. There are a few other examples, but I’m mostly trying to paint a picture and also note that all of this is fairly out of character – she’s always been a bit intense and family-oriented, but not in a hostile-to-outsiders kind of way.

    I guess for me, I don’t really understand where this is coming from. I’m an only child, so I have no sibling point of reference. The cliche is always that the mother-in-law is the one who has a hard time letting her ‘baby boy’ go, but so far my MIL has been totally wonderful and supportive, not to mention overjoyed. So I’m a bit flummoxed that this reaction is coming from a sibling. Is this really unusual or are there general family dynamic things that I’m not quite getting because I’m a lonely only? My fiance is pretty confused too.

    So maybe this is mostly a vent, but if anyone has any perspective or ways that I can help mitigate her…fears? I guess? Or help her realize that I don’t want to stand in the way of her relationship with her brother (though I really don’t feel like I ever have).

    • Jessica

      I feel like that’s a conversation between your fiance and his sister that needs to happen. If she’s feeling left out or ignored, or just has feelings about her brother getting married, she should talk to him about them and not be rude to you. I can see just sticking up for yourself or trying harder to get to know her to backfire if she’s feeling something perplexing that may not have anything to do with you as a person.

      • mous, anon y.

        Oh, I’m certain that it’s about her brother getting married and not about me as a person. I’m fairly confident she actually LIKES me as a person (despite the above) even if we’d never be best friends because we’re a little too different. But I also feel like she liked the idea of him having a longterm girlfriend more than him having a wife. If that makes any sense at all.

        She’s also single and unhappy about it which may be a factor. She’s older than us and more traditional in a lot of ways (i.e., she might not like that her younger brother is getting married before her). But I really get the sense that it’s mostly a family dynamic thing that I’m not quite grasping. I didn’t tell my fiance about the really rude comments because I didn’t want to rock the boat, but if it continues I might mention it. On a general level, though, it’s still an odd reaction to me, but maybe it’s an individual thing.

        • ART

          As a sister myself, I think it sounds like bad sister behavior rather than something you just don’t “get” because you don’t have a sibling, but it is probably coming from a place of insecurity about her relationship with him (and other things, as you mention). If my brother was doing this to my fiance, I think I’d want to know about it and it would be my responsibility to say hey come on, knock it off bro, you’ll never be any less important to me because I got married.

    • LM

      I had a really hard time when my older sister got engaged. We’re very close and had always been each other’s ‘favorite people’. It was an adjustment when instead of the two of us hanging out at family gatherings, there was the new b/f (then fiance). I felt like I’d been the most important person to her and then I was getting bumped down to number 2. Even though I liked my BIL as a person, it took a while to adjust to the new situation. It’s a reality that the family dynamic will change and that your SIL’s relationship with her brother will change somewhat too. It will take time to find a new normal. Not to say you need to be a pushover if she’s being a jerk, but that might be something for your fiance to talk with her about. I don’t think I would have handled it well if my BIL tried to talk to me about it, since in a way, it wasn’t about him.

    • http://readingandthensome.blogspot.com/ Martha Smith

      I’m guessing it’s just the two of them, right? Your fiance and his sister, no other siblings? I think, especially because your MIL really likes you and is very excited about the wedding, it can be hard for the sister because it can also feel like she’s being replaced. I think my sister in law may have felt this way a little bit. She wasn’t in a serious relationship at the time and you know, she’s supposed to be the wedding her mom gets excited about.

      • mous, anon y.

        That’s possible – at least as part of the story, if not the whole thing. She is very sensitive to the fact that she’s the older sibling and not getting married. She was so supportive about the engagement that this shift really came out of left field. I think the amount her mom is interested in the wedding surprised everyone (she’s not normally a ‘wedding’ type of person) and it’s become a big topic of conversation throughout the whole family. So there may be some kind of irrational, “Wait, this is MY mom… And MY family… GO AWAY, NO FIANCEES ALLOWED” kind of reaction going on.

    • Kayjayoh

      “What, you think you know MY BROTHER better than ME?”

      Me answer would be, “Yes, yes I do.” Well, at least in my head.

      • mous, anon y.

        Haha, it sort of was for me too. But I have to remember that she’s ultra sensitive about that, in particular. They weren’t close as children or teenagers, and didn’t begin to connect in any real way until he was out of college and had already been dating me for over a year. So I think it’s an actual sore spot for her.

        I just don’t get the (apparent) difference between live-in longterm girlfriend and wife, but some of these answers have helped. Mostly looks like I need to keep an eye on it and loop fiance in more if need be.

    • Janice

      A friend of mine had a similar situation, but her husband’s sister was always like that, even when they were dating. In that case, the sister has always been very unhappy in her own life and takes it out on everyone else. She’s always been jealous that her brother has an outgoing personality and makes friends easily while she is more quiet and has a harder time putting herself out there.

      I’d say that this is probably not your fault and nothing you can take personally. If anything, her brother or someone else in the family needs to call her out on it and try to get her to realize that being rude to you is not going to win her points with her brother in the long run.

    • Violet

      Hey mous, anony y! I don’t have any concrete advice. BUT. During our engagement, my MIL got really protective and odd. We had always had a really solid relationship (my partner and I were together for a long time before getting engaged, and during formative years as well) so it was really jarring when during the engagement she started acting differently towards me. Like you’re doing with your SIL, I chalked it up to her being nervous about “losing” her son. I’m usually a fairly confrontational person (ie, if there’s an issue, I address it, with the person), but in this case, I let it go. I could tell it was the fear making her act that way- there was nothing I had specifically done and therefore there was no real “issue” to address. Sure enough, after we got married and she saw nothing changed, everything went back to normal. Anywho, that was my experience- the engaged state brings out the WEIRD in people!

    • Sarah Brown

      This is exactly my situation. My future SIL has called my FH and told him I’m breaking up the family because we had a family thing going on the same day she wanted to do one and she couldn’t switch it to another day because she had a concert or something. You just have to be REALLY careful. I mean, walk on eggshells careful. I try to include her in wedding planning stuff but I am really selective about it because she will even get offended by that. It’s bad but you can get through it and honestly if she’s mad, oh well, her loss on being happy for her brother and getting to know a good person!

  • Fiona

    I have some good news to bring with me to happy hour! Tony and I heard back from the US Office of immigration that our visa application is going through to processing! operation “get the groom’s butt in the country before the wedding may just be a success…

    • http://www.lateralmovements.com/ Lauren Fitzpatrick

      CONGRATS. I just received my permanent residency partner visa for Australia, 10 months after we applied. Our wedding doesn’t hinge on it, but it feels so good to have it done and dusted. Good luck to you both and I hope you have news soon.

    • EF

      I’m gearing up to start the partner visa process in the UK, so feel the pain here. Congrats to making progress!

  • Nina

    Is it just me or are there a million Nina’s on here today?!

    • Nina

      Hi five! The only Nina I knew growing up was Nina Totenberg on NPR. Now it seems like we’re everwhere!

      • Ali

        I feel like it might be a Disqus glitch? Every Friday I feel like I see the same name over and over and over again (including responding to posts under the same name, but the content is clearly a reply from a different person). This week, for me, it’s Kirstin – I don’t see any Ninas at all on my page! But maybe it’s just me? Technology is confusing.

        • MerlyBird

          ditto.

          • Kathleen

            Right now I have “anon for this” posting about all sorts of thing that probably don’t require anonymity.

          • scw

            this comment made me laugh really hard for some reason!

        • Cathi

          For me SusieDoozie is writing ALL THE COMMENTS today. Makes it harder to pretend it’s just a lot of women named Nina or Kirstin.

  • http://www.thehousealwayswinsblog.com/ Rachel Wilkerson

    I read Redefining Realness this week by Janet Mock…if you’re looking for some reading material, I definitely recommend it!

    • Kayjayoh

      It’s on my holds list at the library. I’m looking forward to it.

    • vegankitchendiaries

      She was AWESOME on Colbert!

    • Kayjayoh

      If you like it, you may want to also read “Whipping Girl” by Juila Serano.

    • Sarah

      Since Meg just reminded me of the awesomeness of Elizabeth Gilbert (that fb post is the best. Imagine telling young male writer that he should marry rich!), I highly recommend her latest novel The Signature of All Things. Fantastic original story and beautifully written.

  • Jenni Kissinger

    Finally sent the save-the-date emails this weekend, and everyone got to see the wedsite I (and my sisters) worked so hard on. Yay! Oh and I mailed the DJ contract.

    Still waiting to hear about the job. ._.

  • YOQ

    Mixed wedding feelings this week. On the one hand, the church where we want to get married (in July) has (finally) given us the go-ahead. We’ve been pencilled into their calendar for months, but they had to specially approve the blessing ceremony since we’re both women. We were pretty sure that they would agree, but: relief and happiness that this piece is finally settled.

    On the other hand, last week I called hotels to try to reserve blocks of rooms for our guests. (We’re expecting about 125 to come from out of town to Portland [Oregon] for our wedding.) Most of them had me leave messages for their sales managers, who never called me back. Not even to tell me that they’re sold out, or they’re not reserving room blocks that weekend because of stuff going on in town, or they don’t reserve room blocks for weddings not using other facilities at the hotel, or whatever. They just didn’t call me back. So now I have to come up with an alternate plan, fast, or just be okay with the fact that we’re not reserving room blocks for our guests and they’re adults and they’ll be able to figure it out. It’s going to be okay, right?

    • Sarah

      It will definitely be ok if you don’t have a block of rooms! We had our wedding in Chicago last year and with so many options I was overwhelmed just picking one (because who knows who has what points program and wants to be near which highway etc.). My fiance thought I was crazy and told me to just not worry about it, so I didn’t. Not a SINGLE person made a comment about not having a block set up. Everybody just figured it out where they wanted to be and it was FINE. Not to say this is how you should do it, but if that’s what happens I’m sure it’ll be just fine.

    • jashshea

      I used hotelplanner.com – You enter criteria for your search and they send you an email with quotes from area hotels. You have to weed through some of it, but it was so much easier than calling each place individually.

    • april

      I remember it took hotels a while to get back to us too – so don’t loose heart yet! You might also try Priceline’s group booking website, which returns bids automatically.

      • YOQ

        Except I don’t want to pay for the hotels–I just want a courtesy room block, which guests can then call by such-and-such date and use such-and-such code to get a moderately better rate than they might otherwise. Which I don’t think Priceline will do, right?

        • april

          The group booking thing works differently. Most of the quotes you will get will just be for the rates paid by your guests. Just make sure to read the fine print – a few may want a deposit, but more likely you’ll see clauses that say your guests must actually book at least 50% (for example) of the reserved block, or you’ll be on the hook for a certain amount.

      • Winny the Elephant

        Same here! Took the friggen hotels forever to get back to me

    • StevenPortland

      YOQ, I just sent my one group of friends ideas of a few hotels with the pros and cons for each. For our family traveling from out of town, I sent them a list of houses for rent on vrbo.com that seem to be the right size and price. You have enough to worry about with the wedding. Portland’s a pretty easy place to get a hotel room and so my advice is to don’t sweat it.

    • http://readingandthensome.blogspot.com/ Martha Smith

      We reserved a block and also included a blurb about “Other area hotels.” So I think if you just listed “area hotels” and don’t strictly say there is a block, poeple can figure it out.

    • YOQ

      Thanks, everyone, for the suggestions and reassurance!

    • KimBee

      I hear you. We’ve got a block reserved and the hotel continues to be our only vendor who isn’t a dream to work with. Everyone else has been wonderful, but whenever we have to get in touch with the hotel, they’re non-responsive, act like they have no idea what we’re discussing, and generally don’t seem the least bit concerned about providing high quality customer service. I try to focus on all of the other lovely people we’re working with, but it’s hard not to get super frustrated.

  • Kathleen

    Pregnancy heartburn. Any suggestions? I’ve never been a heartburn sufferer before, so I have no experience with this. Anything to do about it besides just run out to get antacids? I’m a little averse to taking medicine (including when I’m not pregnant), so it’s not usually my first line of defense. Are there foods I could be eating that would make it better?

    • KC

      I’d note that Tums are fairly non-medication-y, as medication goes (plus they’re calcium! calcium is good for pregnancy!).

      Different people have different heartburn triggers (so check out when you get heartburn and whether that correlates in any way to what you’ve been eating/doing), but some common remedies include avoiding spicy foods, limiting fat, waiting to lie down until a while after eating, a small amount of baking soda in water (tastes horrid), and eating some sort of “basic starch” (saltines, pretzels, oatmeal, whatever inert substance) to settle things.

    • http://readingandthensome.blogspot.com/ Martha Smith

      I’ve got pregnancy heartburn as well and well . . . nothing helps but meds. I tried avoiding certain foods (apparently tomatoes can be a big trigger) but I had spaghetti last night an no heartburn. Today I haven’t had anything tomato and I have it. Total crap shoot. I started popping a pepcid before meals.

    • Meg Keene

      You just have to take antiacids, in bulk.

      Also, I just want to be really clear, as I always am, that many women have to take meds during pregnancy, and for all the shame and stigma, it’s usually very safe. Every time I hear the no-meds thing reiterated, I worry about a depressed pregnant woman reading it, and not getting the help she needs (because her internal monologue goes: If TUMS are bad, then I’m a horrible person.)

      In short, tums are just fine. They’re like chalk, I think, basically.

      • Kathleen

        That’s why I made a point of saying that my aversion to taking medication is not related to pregnancy – it’s really just how I work. I could go into the details of when I do or do not, as a rule, take medicine, but really, I just wanted to ask if there were any other tips for treating heartburn. (Among other things: I treat problems, not symptoms (e.g. yes to antibiotics, no to cold medicine); I am disinclined to take medicine to relieve minor discomfort (headaches usually fall into this category and heartburn probably does too); etc.)

        For what it’s worth, I *have* taken medicine during this pregnancy – much more substantial medicine than Tums, too, and I will again, if I have to. But I don’t “have to” take antacids – heartburn won’t kill me or the baby – and I’m disinclined to do so, pregnant or not.

        • YOQ

          I almost never read the People’s Pharmacy in our local paper, but I glanced at it a couple days ago and I think I remember something about almonds helping with heartburn. It might be worth checking out.

        • KC

          Totally unrelated to antacids and pregnancy, but: I used to totally be with you on the taking medication to treat problems, not symptoms, and then I realized that, sometimes, by taking cold medication, I could get sleep, which meant that my body could kick the cold faster. Your mileage may vary, etc., but it was a very odd moment for me when I realized that in some cases (albeit not all) treating the symptoms gives your body’s systems more room to work on the problem. (other cases, treating the symptoms is really fighting your body’s way of working on the problem. So, it’s a mixed bag. It was just a surprise to me, the concept that it *was* a mixed bag rather than a “if you can survive without medication, do that”)

          (not pregnant, never been pregnant, have also generally lived on the only-necessary-medication boat – but that boat has gotten somewhat wider with the realization that medications that treat symptoms might also be indirectly treating problems)

    • malkavian

      Tums and other acid neutralizers are fine. If you keep having problems, I would talk to your ob/gyn about proton pump blockers.

    • K_

      Baby’s gonna have a full head of hair!

      Seriously – there is a strong correlation between heartburn severity and baby’s hair.
      http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/20/health/20really.html?ref=health

      • Kathleen

        Interesting. I had a ton of hair at birth; I’ll have to ask my mom if she had a lot of heartburn. Maybe it’s genetic?

    • ElisabethJoanne

      Never been pregnant, used to have heartburn frequently. I cut out suspicious foods and made sure I ate others earlier in the day. When I still have trouble I sip milk, which chemically is a milder form of the baking soda solution. It’s basic high school chemistry. Heartburn is caused by stomach acid, alkalines like milk and baking soda neutralize it.

      I also sit up straight and swallow a bunch. The swallowing forces air into the stomach, and then I burp, which releases the excess gas, which is also part of heartburn. [sorry for the TMI]

    • Katherine

      Sorry for the late response, but hopefully this is helpful. I have horrible non-pregnancy related heartburn (as in, I take medication 5 times a day, have a very restricted diet, and make other lifestyle adjustments), so here’s some of what works for me: Eat multiple small meals, and generally try to avoid having an entirely full or entirely empty stomach. Avoid trigger foods, primarily fatty, acidic, and spicy. (And acidic is a much broader range of food than you might think. For example, apples are a huge trigger for me.) Another not commonly known trigger is peppermint, since it relaxes the sphincter between your stomach & esophagus. Ginger ale & saltines are your friend. :) It can also help to sleep with the head of your bed elevated; mine is on cinder blocks. Clothing that’s tight around your waist can also exacerbate symptoms. Any of the advice for dealing with nausea during pregnancy is also good advice for dealing with heartburn.

      Also, as an aside, severe heartburn can actually have long term effects, so treating the symptoms can be important. I don’t know about heartburn for the duration of a pregnancy, but over time the stomach acid in your esophagus can change the lining of the esophagus, which then puts you at much higher risk for esophageal cancer.

  • Kayjayoh

    Fiance looked at a great apartment on Sunday…and then we (I) decided not to take it. Apparently the landlord isn’t even going to look at the application until May. But we would need to write checks for first and last month, plus a full month’s broker fee, plus $20 each for credit checks… Nope. Considering that we would also be living upstairs from the landlord, “I will list and show my apartment now, but won’t consider your application for months” from him put me off. Who does that?

    So I’m taking a deep breath and we will resume our search in April when fiance is out there again. (This time, no-fee places only, considering we only want to rent for a year.) On the up side, I have started doing imaginary house hunting for when we buy in the next year or so and putting markers on a Google map for things that I like that fit within our parameters. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I place I like and we can afford in an area I want to live might not be impossible. (Something to consider when looking for a rental…it’s just until we settle in and buy a place.)

  • Kendra D

    I just picked up the keys to our new apartment! After 2+ weeks on the road and over 3 weeks living in hotels, we’re almost ready to move for the last time this year! We still have a good 2+ weeks to wait for our belongings that we’ve been living without since 5 January, but I’m counting it as a major win to get into our apartment, finally.

    Also, I finally bought my wedding dress last week! I used I Do the Dress I Do in San Antonio and had the most amazing experience. If you’re in Texas and looking for a dress, I highly recommend them.

  • http://alifeworthwritingdown.blogspot.ca/ Jules

    Today is just not my day. On top of showing up to work at the regular time, only to find out that I never got the memo that we didn’t have to come in for 3 more hours, I also found out I’m getting moved to a different section at work. Add to that extreme tiredness and general feelings of being unloved (even though I know that I am), it just hasn’t been a great Friday.
    I’m posting this before reading the comments so I know I’ll feel better after reading and going through all the links but I am still so ready for this week to be over! *raises glass*

  • Granola

    Here’s some happy news, in a kind of “stick it to the WIC way”. A gay couple in Dallas who have been together for 53 years is getting married tomorrow and they’ve said that anyone who wants to can come.

    http://mashable.com/2014/02/28/gay-dallas-married-minister/

  • AnnieP

    YES to 20 Feet from Stardom. It’s amazing to hear the voices (singing and figurative) of the beautiful, badass women featured. I’m hoping the film helps give some credit where credit has been long overdue.

    • Laura C

      Agreed. And such a fun movie to watch.

  • Magical Unicorn Lady

    GUYS. GUYS. I didn’t update last week because so much work, but we had our first ultrasound. THERE WAS A HEARTBEAT. IN THE RIGHT PLACE. IT’S NOT FAKE.

    Holy shit.

    In related news, I am thinking of semi-anon blogging being knocked up (b/c work won’t be told for several months). Would anyone care / read?

    • Ariel

      I love reading things like that.

  • Annie

    We’re thinking through day-of timeline stuff, and I’d love some APW advice. What is the deal with the “getting ready” time slot? What do people actually…do? I’m assuming once my hair and makeup are (professionally) finished, I’ll put on my dress and, well, be ready.

    I have no idea what I’ll be feeling or wanting – a quick game of jenga with my whole bridal brigade and family? To be left alone so I can meditate? Wedding grads, what did your “getting ready” time look like? What did you wish you’d thought about / taken into account? Undergrads, what are you taking into account with the getting ready time?

    • Winny the Elephant

      For me its basically a contingency time. If stuff runs over, if other people are late (hair, makeup etc) then I have lots of time set aside. If everything goes smoothly it will be a chance to get some peace and quiet before the hullabaloo.

    • emilyg25

      Yep, contingency time. Just in case anything took too long or there was an accident on the way to the venue or something. It was nice to have extra time to chill with my bestie and try to relax (hahahahaha). We did first look photos and because everything was done early, we were able to start on those early and take our time and be silly.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      For my 1pm wedding, I think my hair appointment was like 8am. My bridesmaids’ appointments for hair and makeup were next. Between finishing my hair at 9:30am and leaving for the church around 12:30pm, I (not in this order):
      *did my own makeup
      *ate lunch
      *watched a friend do my mom’s makeup
      *emailed the officiant about something not-wedding-related ’cause I had extra time and everyone was still at the salon
      *watched my sisters/bridesmaids freak out about their shoes not fitting, and Dad fix it
      *tried on a few necklaces to see what went with my dress
      *put on my dress

      It was what I wanted – a pretty relaxed holiday morning with my family getting ready for a big event, with lots of extra time built in. Even the freak-out about the shoes was mostly funny.

      • MisterEHolmes

        I’ve wondered about this, too, so this helps a lot! I giggled at “dad fix it.” Good job, dad!

        • ElisabethJoanne

          Smiles.

          It’s a good example of what other people are saying about “extra time.” With any group and a big event, something is bound to go wrong. So, this was part of our “go wrong” time. (Other times that day: extra time for photos after the ceremony, and extra time for toasts and eating dinner.) That’s why it was funny when my sister started freaking out about her shoes: “If this is the worst that goes wrong today, it’ll be a great day.”

          [For those who like to consider every contingency: The shoes were too big. She'd had them for weeks, but hadn't bothered seriously trying them on. Dad used foam insoles, mole cloth, and some really thick foam from something else, to fix them. The mole cloth you get at the drugstore; it was on the longer "what to put in your bridesmaids' day-of bags" lists on wedding-planning sites."]

    • jashshea

      I had no bridesmaids, but had my closest friends in the room. We did mad libs and drank champagne. It was awesome and I’ll cherish that time forever.

      I woke up at about 5:45, I guess and snuck out for coffee with my oldest friend & her husband. Kicked my husband out of the room around 9/930. Realized I’d forgotten my toothbrush, so went out to get that and a bagel. From 930 – 12, I was entirely alone in our hotel room. At the time, I didn’t want to be alone, but once everyone showed up and time started flying by, I realized that it was good I had that time.

      **One thing to consider is who will be helping you into the dress (if needed). My mom was getting her hair did while my two responsible friends had their hands and heads up my skirt tying me in. If you want your mom or a specific person helping you (and your dress is time-consuming), make sure they aren’t all done up when you need to be strapped in.**

      Guestimating our timeline from wedding selfies:

      Hair & Makeup (just me & the moms): Started at 12 or so, done by 1/115
      Photographer showed up at some point around 12
      First Look: Around 2
      Car pickup (me & dad): 2:25
      Cere: 3:15

    • http://readingandthensome.blogspot.com/ Martha Smith

      We did some decorating first thing, at 8:30 a.m., having already showered and being ready in our button-downs to hit the salon.

      Our hair was at 10 and we were at the church by noon for our 2 p.m. wedding, with a stop at the grocery store for some extra water. Between then and walking down the aisle we:
      *ate lunch
      *did our makeup
      *fixed the flowergirl dress straps
      *took some pictures (not a ton, like 20 min of them)
      *put deodorant on my thighs, because despite the nice weather I was sweatingggggggg
      *adjusted my lipstick
      *volleyed with the best man to give my husband the card/check for the priest and the wedding bands
      *hung out/relaxed

      I was overjoyed at the extra time we had to calmly do all of the above.

    • Lindsay Rae

      No matter how much time we allot, getting my entire family ready and out the door is chaos! My mom has said for years, “what are we going to do on the morning of your wedding?!” So I’m planning plenty of extra time and the day before to lay out everything I’ll need. We’re getting hair done at the salon, probably make up done at the house… with myself, my mom and my 7 girls! I’m thinking preparation is key here, at least for me! Cheers of envy to you laid-back girlies, I’m too Type-A for that, I think :)

    • Laura

      I think it depends on what time of day your wedding is, who you are and who your family/bridal brigade is and also on how much will be completed before the day itself (decorations, etc.). Getting ready time is often a really nice time to say take a minute and drink it all in. Also, it’s good to leave extra time for slight emergencies like… one of the bridesmaids lost a shoe and has to run to payless to buy a replacement pair (and yes, I am that bridesmaid).

    • Hope

      I decided to hand embroider a handkerchief for my husband during this time!

  • Winny the Elephant

    YES to the pseudoscience of whole foods being just as unsubstantiated as creationism

    • Meg Keene

      David told me to put that in the roundup, and bet me it would piss people off. THANK YOU I WIN THE BET. xoxo MWAH

      • Sara P

        It’s a good article. I think the trouble with this, as with so many other things, is the “picking sides” part of the human brain. It has become really hard to have an intelligent conversation about GMOs, especially.

        • Winny the Elephant

          Yes I find that people are VERY against GMOs and blacklist them entirely without considering that some GMOs are being constructed to create more nutritive food from cheap crops.

          I just don’t even engage those people in a conversation

          • Hope

            I did find that article upsetting, because I feel like it is in the same voice that is often used to poke fun at people who look for answers outside the mainstream or conventional parameters. It’s like secular fundamentalism–no questions allowed. What is elevated as “science” is sometimes just worship of particular industries that wield a lot of power and have a lot of lobbying power to crush anyone who asks questions about whether what they are doing is actually good for people and society or not. There is plenty of evidence-based stuff that gets poo-poo’d and plenty of pseudo or “skewed-o” science that gets to wear the Science crown. And homeopathy? Please, that has been around for MILLENIA and continues to work for some people with some problems. JUST LIKE WESTERN MEDICINE. To each their own.

          • Winny the Elephant

            Questions are totally allowed, good scientists ask lots of questions, doubt findings, determine more study is needed. What they don’t do is take anecdotal observations as fact. The problem with homeopathy and alternative medicine is that it advertises itself as safe when it’s almost an entirely unregulated industry. If you want to subscribe to it, go ahead but I don’t take anything that hasn’t been thoroughly tested or anything that has been tested but I can’t read the findings/side effects etc

          • http://brokensaucer.blogspot.com/ sera

            I do believe in “alternative medicine” and I work in a nutrition department of a smaller grocery. I think the article was very intereting and pointed out some definite issues with the whole foods natural pseudoscience industry. There are a lot of conflicting opinions and books by people touting all kinds of things that may work for some but are definitely not under the same scrutiny as general medical science. That said, when western medicine failed me and I turned to treatment through vitamins and while foods, I felt not just better but healed. As consumers we should be a lot more thoughtful and critical about what we decide to take to “cure” us. That’s true about the pharmaceutical industry filled with bottomless pockets and big advertising ad well as anything touted as a natural or “harmless” alternative.
            On a side note, the Canadian government regulates the supplements produced there so there’s that and also, I’m not sure I trust the FDA to regulate anything.

          • Hope

            Replying to this comment as it’s showing up under my username but I didn’t write it :(

        • Guest

          As

        • Megan Shelby

          As a scientist with parents that proscribe to alternative medicine, I think people should first and foremost do whatever works for them and there must be respect for that choice either way, but I have real trouble when folks behave as though science is some vast conspiracy that is keeping information from you, or something that blindly accepts things as true. If a scientist were to collect data that suggested that a generally accepted theory is untrue, they would be the first to splash it all over the big journals to prove all their colleagues are wrong.

    • Grace

      There’s a real anti-science movement at the moment, isn’t there. People have become so obsessed with what’s natural that they seem to forget that 100 years ago what’s natural would probably have killed them before they reached 40 (smallpox, bleeding to death in labour, anyone?). As an almost doctor I find it infuriating. So my new favourite come-back for anybody who wants to talk to me about how amazing alternative medicine is or how terrible modern medicine is to quote the comedian Tim Minchin:”what do you call alternative medicine that’s been proven to work? MEDICINE. Alternative medicine has, by definition, either not been proven to work or been proven not to work”.

      • Winny the Elephant

        Exactly. To say that natural remedies/ “alternative medicine” aren’t used in standard medicine is totally false. The medical community adopts as practice what has been proven to work. I really don’t have patience for people who think that the medical community is so swayed by drug companies that they don’t give solid advice. Last time I checked healthcare professionals recommend non pharmaceutical treatments for lots of things- heathy eating, weight loss, therapy animals, sunshine, brushing your teeth- all proven to treat illness and all recommended by mainstream healthcare. If you want to talk about people being swayed by marketing, check out the people in the vitamin aisle at whole foods buying expensive pee

      • Kathleen

        What’s frustrating to those of us who trust science but have an affinity for more natural cures is that first part – “not been proven to work.” As a layman, when things seem logical but there’s no clinical evidence – not because studies show they DON’T work, but because studies haven’t been done – what do you do?

        Example: my birth class was really great about citing evidence for many things about pregnancy, labor, and delivery, but the teacher also provided a personal recommendation for eating the placenta after delivery. I’m not particularly grossed out by it – I’d be open to it if it worked – but am also not convinced there’s any benefit, so I asked if there were any studies in support of the practice. She wasn’t aware of any. I’ve since looked on my own, and haven’t come up with anything in support of it OR against it – it really doesn’t seem to have been studied at all. Do I write it off as useless because it’s not proven to be useful? Do I try it anyway on the grounds that there seem to be few concerns about risk, and the potential for benefit, even though there’s no evidence? (For what it’s worth, I’m not planning on it, because I haven’t been convinced of its benefits.)

        I follow a couple of natural foods/natural living bloggers, and see them occasionally trying to present all of the evidence for or against a particular practice. They sometimes rely on anecdotal evidence and don’t often come up with clinical trials or peer-reviewed studies, but it’s not because they’re not looking, or because they’re discounting “science.” It’s because they’re looking but not finding, and doing the best they can to make decisions in the absence of the high-quality information they wish were available.

        I don’t (generally) think that the medical community is so swayed by drug companies that they don’t give good advice, but I do have a tendency to think that institutional policies don’t always keep up with the latest research, and that doctors are human and are subject to the same inertia/”this is the way I’ve always done it” as the rest of us. This has become particularly apparent in researching pregnancy and birth, where standard practice and scientific studies are sometimes at odds with one another.

  • Natalie

    So really awesome news and not so awesome news this week. We got engaged! (insert a smile about as wide as the grand canyon :D ). My family, and hundreds of our friends are over the moon excited for us, and it’s wonderful!
    But not so wonderful? His family’s reaction to the news. They’ve never really liked me for some really complicated reasons, and a few very petty ones. But since we got engaged it appears they’ve gone from not much caring for me, to totally cutting both of us off – including not inviting him or I to his mom’s birthday dinner tonight. It’s really pretty awful.

    (on a completely unrelated note – my fiance’s roommate said that he’s going to make bourbon marshmallows for our engagement party!)

    • MisterEHolmes

      Congratulations! Also, I’m sorry you didn’t get the reaction you wanted. My family was pretty chilly about it, too. Persevere.

      (I have a feeling that bourbon marshmallows will help–that sounds amazing!)

      • Natalie

        Thanks! Their response was not totally unexpected, but it is still difficult.

    • http://readingandthensome.blogspot.com/ Martha Smith

      Bourbon marshmallows? That’s a thing?

      Sounds like maybe you could use one . . . HUGS.

    • Jen

      My partners family was kinda chilly too. I assume because we started dating/got engaged pretty soon. I was shocked but they are slowly chilling out. I hope for some comfort for you too!

  • Lauren from NH

    I am in pre engaged purgatory today… We had a timeline and then between this and that bump in the road realized he wasn’t ready and wanted to get his finances more in order. And it all makes sense, and I was okay with it but right now it feels like crap because I am ready. The tough part is not having friends with similar serious relationship experience. It makes me feel like they maybe don’t get that after 5 years fights still happen. They dont’ know the feeling of wanting to be engaged and they don’t know the feeling of having to wait and being okay with it and not okay with all in one. Any words of wisdom?

    • Sara P

      No words of wisdom, but our timeline is a moving target, too, and I am SO ready. Solidarity fist bumps are all I’ve got :)

    • Jess

      “after 5 years fights still happen.” I’m no expert, but I’m pretty sure fights happen the rest of your life. That might be something they need to realize one day.

    • p.

      At my cousin’s wedding, the priest talked about how during a marriage, there will be times when one person will be ahead of the other and that person will have to wait for the other to catch up. And I’ve found that to be true in my own marriage (my husband was ready to move before I was; I was ready to buy a house before he was). So in a way, you are currently learning a skill that will likely serve you well when you are married.

    • Laura

      I waited what I felt was forever too. It started to get to the point where I felt like NO ONE understood me (pre APW) and where the people closest to me were questioning whether I should end it (me too) because maybe we wanted different things and were too scared to admit it. I think what helped me most was to cry it out alone, and then not think about it until I was my best self (i.e., I am my best self on a Saturday morning when I don’t have to go anywhere after my first cup of coffee; I am not my best self on a Monday evening after coming home from a long day of being a hospice social worker). When I was my best self I remembered all the reasons we were (are) together and that felt better. But you know, there was a time where I said something along the lines of “You know, I am just SO TIRED of being your girlfriend. I want to be your wife and I know you want to be my husband. I want to have a day where you and I formally and publicly promise to be together for a long long time because we have already promised it over and over to each other. I know you want XYZ to be in order but srsly. life is never going to be 100% in order. I’d like to help and support you in getting those things in order. As. Your. Wife.”

  • Lacy

    While y’all are celebrating Oscar Weekend, it’s officially Mardi Gras here in NOLA (which is the real best holiday of the year). Last night, with the help of a witty homemade sign and some sequin leggings, I managed to catch my first shoe from the Muses parade- which as anyone who lives/loves New Orleans will tell you is a highly covetable treat.

    Thoughts on an APW themed costume or sign for the rest of parade season? I’ve got a bottle of bourbon and a shit-ton of glitter, so something good must come from this.

    • Meg Keene

      OH. I mean, Mardi Gras is my favorite ever, I’m just sadly not on NOLA. We’ve been debating when to bring the baby. He has a very Mardi Gras personality. Maybe next year.

  • Kayjayoh

    Is anyone else having trouble with Disqus presenting comments in odd order today? Even when I have them sorted chronologically, I see people replying to a message that does not show up above theirs. I then have to jump halfway up the page to find the thread it is attached to. Odd.

    • Kirstin

      Yes – it’s showing every single post as being written by the same profile. Which is really weird. Because it looks like someone is replying to their own message four separate times. It also then looks like one person is pre-engaged, engaged, married, pregnant, trying to get pregnant, etc….SO CONFUSED!

  • Felicity

    Ahh the money is stressing me out today. I started contacting photographers and I’m still feeling sticker shock. I have more than enough money in the bank to pay what they are asking, yet I still feel guilt. Is it irresponsible to book an photographer before I know how much catering will cost?

    • Kirstin

      We didn’t wait to figure out all of the costs. We booked the photographer once we discovered that most of the folks we were looking at were around the same price, and just shifted some other areas in our budget that we knew were more flexible and that we cared less about (like flowers and decorations). But we also sat down and each individually prioritized the things that were the most important to us, and photography was #1 for both. So that made the decision making easier.

      • Felicity

        Thank you, that’s helpful! Right now I’m talking with my fiance about the value of photography. It is really important to me, but not so much to him.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      Can you get comparables for catering? That is, figure out about how much it will cost without choosing a particular caterer? We set our budget this way. We got comparables by finding a few vendors in each category who had prices online (yay APW sponsors! even when you weren’t right for us), and sometimes from wedding magazines and published averages of costs.

  • Lindsay Rae

    Happy Friday!!

    My most recent wedding project is our registry! I know there are a lot of feelings about registries…. that said, I initially wanted to register at more than one place so that guests have an option of where they can shop if they wanted to purchase something from the registry. However I managed to find pretty much everything we need at one convenient, economical, centrally located store, which brings me to my ultimate question…

    Honeymoon Registries …. Tasteful or Tacky??

    I value the opinion of the APW community. A Honeymoon registry just seems practical for us. I know that there is both a tasteful and tacky way to do one… but overall what do you guys think?

    • jashshea

      I’ll go one step further. I think they’re awesome! We did one for a few reasons: We were taking a big time trip; we registered for very nice/$$$ home/kitchen things so the h’moon registry was the easiest way for us to add lower dollar amount items.

      I love them as a guest as well – We’re big travelers and I get to feel involved in my friends’ h’moon plans when I buy from the registry.

      All that being said, I’m in my 30s & my friends are in their 30s. Not many older folks (parents generation and up) used the honeymoon registry (but were so so generous and wonderful to us).

    • ElisabethJoanne

      Are there honeymoon registries that don’t take big percentages, and don’t give cash payouts or generic travel credit? If it’s asking for cash, but with a commission, why bother?

      But assuming there are good honeymoon registries (I think there’s a APW sponsor who provides gifted experiences, not usually part of the honeymoon.), it’s really a know-your-audience thing. Since registries became a thing decades ago, the cost of travel has more-or-less kept pace with inflation, while the cost of home goods hasn’t. I’m pretty sure our 2 weeks in Rome cost more than all our registry gifts put together, and our registry gifts covered a lot. So I think we’ll see more honeymoon registries in the future, because they more realistically correspond to what couples need help with.

      That said, I’ve met wedding-going people who thought honeymoon registries were great, and others who thought they were tacky. People can be strange/irrational in what it’s OK to ask for as a gift. In my family, we can ask for really strange things (medications, underwear), but more “normal” gifts like gift cards or jewelry will get side-eyes.

    • Violet

      We did one (gosh, I had totally forgotten about it until I read your comment), and it was great! I used a blogger thing to write a blog post and set up a PayPal account (it was easy). This was to avoid the sites that take a percentage. I put the PayPal button right in the blog post. We wrote little descriptions of what we were planning on doing on the honeymoon, and then people could use PayPal and leave a note what they were giving us. Then when we did thank you notes we could say, “Thanks for the deliciious bottle of wine! We enjoyed it while looking at the Trevi Fountain,” that kinda thing. It was great for our relatives who wanted to do something more meaningful/fun than cash but didn’t want to lug a gift.

    • Kirstin

      We are doing one too! We have some smaller registries for home items, but all of our guests have been super excited about the honeymoon registry and don’t see it as tacky at all! Most of the comments I’ve gotten is about how much more personal it is, and that folks are excited to make this big trip come true for us. I think in contributing your guests might feel even more part of your experience as newlyweds.

    • Kat

      I’m fine with honeymoon registries. For one wedding we went to the couple had put in heaps of effort to set up an online registry with lots of things they planned to do/eat/see on their trip (tapas in Barcelona, visiting the Lourve, beer in Brussels etc) with a cost for each one. You could select what you wanted to buy for them (mark it as purchased) and then transfer that amount of money into an account they had set up. Then our thank you card had a picture of them enjoying our gift. Lots of work, but I liked it much more than another couple who simply asked for donations towards their honeymoon (and sent generic ‘thanks for your gift’ thank you cards).

  • NicoleT

    Yay, I don’t have to miss Happy Hour this week!
    I’m thinking about having all of my bridesmaids’ makeup (along with my FMIL’s, mom’s, and possibly mine) done at Sephora. I’m looking it at as a combination of makeup and gift in one package; hopefully I’ll be able to get some sort of deal. For those who have been through the whole makeup/getting ready process, is this feasible? There is Sephora a few blocks from the venue/hotel, so travel wouldn’t be an issue.

    • Laura

      Sephora is awesome. I would call ahead but, on my local Sephora’s website there is a list of prices!

    • Kirstin

      We are doing something similar, but at Ulta since there isn’t a Sephora nearby. I had a few bridesmaids who said they’d still prefer to do their own makeup, which I said was totally fine. They have skin issues and are very hesitant to let others touch their face. You might just consider some flexibility if not everyone is into the makeup thing.

      • NicoleT

        Good to know, thank you! I’ll definitely make sure to let them know and get those girls an alternate present.

  • ItsyBit

    Just putting this out there: Universe, I’m sorry that I pulled myself out of the running for that job in December. Although I really and truly wasn’t a good fit, I see now the error of my ways. Please, please, please let me get this job… or ANY job. SOON. Otherwise I just might start singing “I Hope I Get It” to potential employers as I walk into my next job interview. Srsly.

    • http://brokensaucer.blogspot.com/ sera

      No, I hope you get the right job, the one that makes you happy, the one that fulfills you. And I hope this one is it, and that you get it. <3

      • ItsyBit

        Thank you!

      • ItsyBit

        Thank you! Crossing my fingers…

  • notquitecece

    I’m new here — we got engaged in January, and this weekend we’re going to visit FH’s parents. A little nervous, since I think they’ll have lots of questions about planning, and we don’t have many answers yet. Any advice for demurring and/or saying “hold yer horses” more politely?

    • KC

      If you have a general approximate idea of when you’ll be starting planning, that might be helpful. Otherwise “oh, we’re just really enjoying being engaged/adjusting to having made this major decision right now, and we’ll let you know when we start working out the details!” can sometimes work. (sometimes. Sorry. Other times people will just keep asking “what are your colors? what are your colors?” like a flock of inebriated parrots. You will get through it anyway. :-) )

      • notquitecece

        Now I want to see a flock of inebriated parrots!

    • emilyg25

      I’m a really big fan of letting your partner handle their family. So let him take the lead. He knows them better and knows if a polite approach or a blunt approach or something in between works better. But yeah, just say you’re enjoying being engaged for a bit and you’ll let them know as soon as you’re ready to get into planning. And then change the subject!

  • Caroline

    You guys, we finally got a catering bid in budget! We’ve been trying to find a caterer in budget, but that hasn’t happened until now. ( For family politics reasons, we are going with a traditional caterer, so using a food truck or restaurant take-out, although fine with me, wasn’t happening.) We really like this caterer too. They were a little less excited about some of our offbeat ideas than other caterers, but they are in-budget and tasty and that is good enough for me!

    Admittedly, they are in-budget with the reconfigured, reshuffled budget after we realized we couldn’t find a caterer for the old budgeted amount, and technically, the tip will probably put us 200-500 over, but I’m ignoring that. It’s close enough for me. previously, quotes were 2000 dollars over before tips. We do have a slush fund, and at least the actual catering amount is in-budget!!’ (PS, how much DO you tip? Is it 18% of the food? A flat rate ($25? $50? Per server and bartender or per server and bartender and cook?)

    • Violet

      Caroline, that is so exciting! You can ask the caterer about tipping if you’re unsure. We were at a restaurant, and they had a gratuity policy for a party our size, plus a certain amount to “pay” for the bartender. If they leave it up to you, consider 18-20% of food and drink, pre-tax. Don’t forget tax, AUGH!!!

    • Laura

      Food/drinks is by far the biggest expense for us. Ouch.

    • scw

      there was a great apw post about tipping!

  • http://innercupcake.blogspot.com innercupcake

    Gender in science! I know there are a lot of scientists and PhD students who read APW- here’s my link for the day about being a woman in science : http://modelviewculture.com/pieces/i-didn-t-want-to-lean-out

    Also, this: https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/ where you can take an implicit association test about gender and science (among others)

    Fortunately, my personal experiences up till this point (defending my thesis in 3 weeks!) have been fairly positive and I’ve rarely experienced outright sexism. However, looking towards a future in science can be pretty scary when you look at the faculty (and there’s only about 20% of professors in my field/department that are women) and only one woman has been hired in my department since I’ve joined (5.5 yrs) compared to multiple male faculty members (5 primary, at least another 3 that are secondary).

    • Crayfish Kate

      Great links! Yes, I am very fortunate in that I didn’t really experience any outright sexism either. My school is fairly new as far as universities go, and the department is made up of mostly young faculty (30’s, early 40’s), which I think helps. My FH’s school, however, is full of sexism and nearly all of the faculty in his department are retirement age or beyond. Food for thought.

  • http://cafeaubride.blogspot.com/ Catherine

    so I got in a wreck today. thankfully no one was hurt, but a guy ran a red light and hit me in the middle of an intersection. cut to four hours later after finally getting a rental car, i come home to find that our dog has ripped a hole in our sheet, and worst of all, our new (expensive) mattress. and we are having a really hard money-month. so ready for february to be over. sorry for the vent, but we don’t need this stress on top of wedding/money stress! ughhh – but thankfully, dateline is back tonight and the oscars are this weekend.

    • http://brokensaucer.blogspot.com/ sera

      Oh no!! I’m so sorry.

      • http://cafeaubride.blogspot.com/ Catherine

        thanks sera! yep, it sucked!

    • Laura

      My friend do not be sorry. That’s what happy (or not so happy) hour is for. Open thread support group time.

      • http://cafeaubride.blogspot.com/ Catherine

        thank you Laura :)

  • http://brokensaucer.blogspot.com/ sera

    Um, hi. I am again so honored to be mentioned (read, literally moved to tears and blushing). And feel super bummed that I didn’t get to seeing it until just now! Thank you so much for the mention in instagram and here. Because I started on February 3rd, I still have a couple more days to make the 28, but as I mentioned in the comments of Lucy’s beautiful post, I may have to keep this thing going. As much as I may be bored of my face (at least I was when I took last night’s photo), I realized I haven’t even really scratched the surface of what selfies can be in an aesthetic sense, nor have I fulfilled this bit of self discovery and self-appreciation. My #28 days of selfies may stretch on to higher numbers, at least until I find what I need, find my voice, wrap my head around the joining of body and self, body and soul. I’m still working on a post to mark the passage of the 28 days, because, I think all milestones deserve, well, milestones.
    Again, thank you so much, Meg! <3

  • K.

    $600 for a bridal bouquet? Really, florist proposal? REALLY?! I must have forgotten that I requested my bouquet to be dipped in gold because that’s the only way I could imagine you thinking my budget (which I specifically told you) allowed for a SIX HUNDRED DOLLAR bouquet.

    In seriousness, when I got that proposal back I felt like that little kid who went viral after he went to the dentist. I think I even said, “Is this real life??”

    • MLCinPRC

      This scares me. I have yet to do anything floral related for my wedding. Hopefully you find an alternative!

      • K.

        To be fair, I think this is pretty unusual. I’m hiring a partial planner right now and I reached out to this florist prior, and when I mentioned that I was getting a proposal from this particular place (during the initial consultation) she kind of paused and said, “Ah, okay. Just know that they tend to go…overboard with some things and assume everyone can afford it. If you hire me, I can bring it down.” She was definitely right in some ways, but the thing is literally everything else in the proposal is pretty reasonable-ish (emphasis on the ish) and what I expected…except for the bouquet which put it way over my budget.

        So I guess they’re just really, REALLY into bouquets? I mean, when I looked up “$600 bouquet” the only thing that came up was a news story (!) about a guy who spent $600 on his girlfriend’s valentine’s day flowers, so I’m thinking it’s pretty over the top even for the WIC.

    • Violet

      Oh my goodness, K. $600 is just… no. Sometimes things are so ridiculous, it makes it easier. I mean, come on…

    • Laura

      You and I must have the same life. (I mean, we’re here, so we sort of do but.) HOLY SHISTA. When this happened to me, I am certain my eyes got huge, and then I said, “well, fortunately I learned on my favorite wedding blog how to make a grocery store bouquet so. I’ll let you know.”

    • Winny the Elephant

      Holy shit where do you live?

    • Aubry

      And this is why I’m doing my own bouquet. Thanks APW! $600 is a little steep, but $200-400 is pretty usual for my area. Basically, if it was going to cost me $50 I’d get someone else to do it, but it’s not and flowers really aren’t important to me.

  • MLCinPRC

    Facebook just made me question my sanity and I need to vent…A guy I went to high school with always posts crazy sexist things, which I usually ignore because he also posts crazy things about semi-automatic weapons and other appropriately backwards shit (bet you’re wondering where I’m from, yeah it’s a real place). Today a line was crossed though and I got really really ANGRY. So angry that there were tears in my eyes. His original post was harmless (if ignorant, immature and horrible) enough…He just wants to find a girl who is looking for a “marriage material” man who will take control instead of women who like to go out with guys who are weak, blah blah blah…(I know, I can’t believe I just said that was harmless, also don’t hate me for not unfriending him 7 years ago). But the comment section is really what did it for me, and almost provoked a pre-mature heart attack, and twenty-five is far too young to die.

    This was a comment posted on the thread (by another guy who is MARRIED with a child). “Men typically have more common sense and more knowledge on a wider range of things than women, therefor no equality in that aspect.”

    This came after a string of posts by the same fellow professing his love for his wife who knew how to “let him be the man” and make the decisions in their family because women don’t use logic the way men do, they only operate on intuition. I just can’t. I unfriended the high school classmate immediately. He even sent me a message asking why and I told him. The thing is, the guy is a product of certain life circumstances that exist in my hometown, he’s not really a bad person, he literally does not know better. It is truly a magnificent tragedy.

    You would think it’s over since I deleted him, but it isn’t, and my heart is broken because that mentality still exists. Even more so because I have been desperately missing my hometown lately and really wanting to return (I’ve lived in China for a few years). I’m struggling here, struggling with how to rectify my love for my home with my disdain for the “values” of the people who live there.

    Sad times. :(

    • Cathi

      I have no idea if this will be helpful for you or not, but I tend to subscribe to the belief that generally, people are all kind of decent and that the Internet brings out weird things in decent people. And especially this: not everyone feels that their Internet Life is the same as their Real Life. That is–the hateful, upsetting stuff they say on Facebook isn’t like, really a reflection of their true feelings, they’re just playing Devil’s Advocate, or arguing for fun. “Lol.”

      I say this because I have an extremely, um, diverse family, in terms of values. One cousin who runs a Creationist ministry in Texas all the way to a militant Humanist/Atheist/astrophysics hobbyist cousin, and a rainbow of viewpoints in between. They get in horrible, mean-spirited Facebook spats that get me really upset, and yet–when we get together every year we’re all genuinely happy to see each other. Politics don’t come up. We love each other, we love our families and friends and we all just want people in the world to be happy and healthy. Everyone is a good and decent person, and their viewpoints and values on things bear very little resemblance to the vitriol posted to social media.

      So you can love your hometown, and reflect nostalgically back on your old schoolmates, and be proud of where you come from even though you now have knowledge that some of those people say horrible things on the Internet. Maybe that guy, deep down, buys into the whole gender role submission BS, but I’m willing to bet the way he acts in his everyday life, and the way he *actually* treats the women in his life, doesn’t reflect that.

      Ignorance is bliss, I say, which is why I try to tightly control my social media. After the 10th big Facebook blowup amongst cousins, I opted to not see any of their updates, and I have felt a lot better about my family ever since.

      • MLCinPRC

        What a great response! Controlling my social media is what I’m working on. I really do believe he is a decent guy and I told him so. I just hate that the attitude of those guys seems so prevalent among people who I grew up with, and when girls/women comment on their posts, they are extremely rude and dismissive. It was reeaaallly bad. I get the family stuff too, same with mine and I also find a difference in peoples’ online persona and who they really are in person. *stepping away from computer*

        • scw

          I hear you. sometimes I’m shocked by what my close male friends say. nothing at the level of what you wrote up there, but when little sexist things slip out of their mouths I always feel so weird and wonder if that is really what they think of women/me. it’s hardest when coming from someone you think is a good person, way harder than when it’s some jerk you know is a jerk. I called out one of my good friends for how he talks differently about how female friends than his male friends… and he listened. I don’t know how much it changed how he acts, but last time we visited he brought it up a bunch so I can tell it got under his skin (in a good way). this stuff (I’m vague here because I think this conversation doesn’t just apply to gender/sex but also race and a host of other things) is so ingrained that it can come out of the mouths of even the most socially aware. it’s hard to deal with it, but important to call it out. good for you for telling him why it bothered you.

      • http://www.smittenchickens.com/ Sarah Hoppes

        I grew up in a very rural, conservative place, and none of these examples shock me whatsoever. I found the “hide posts” feature on facebook to be great for saving my sanity.

        • Laura

          Me too x2.

    • Emily

      I grew up in a place where men hold similar beliefs. It makes me feel sad and non-rooted that I can’t live there, but I am much happier living where I live. I think comments like that say more about the commenter than they actually say as a comment*. I like that you can identify this

      “The thing is, the guy is a product of certain life circumstances that exist in my hometown, he’s not really a bad person, he literally does not know better. It is truly a magnificent tragedy.”

      I see that too; I think you are compassionate in recognizing that those circumstances exist.

      I wish I had an answer or solution (because then I might live in my beautiful hometown) but I don’t. Time and education and compassion, I hope.

      (*I realize this comment says things about me!)

  • Blind Irish Pirate

    OK, how do yo wrap up #selfie month without talking about #Muttbombing? I ASK YOU.

    http://muttbombing.com/

  • Lindsey d.

    I’m a couple of days late to happy hour, but wanted to drop in to share my productivity… We are less than TWO WEEKS out from wedding day and got so much done this weekend. We ordered boutonnieres and corsages AND two dozen roses to make my bouquet and my bridesmaid’s bouquet (I’ve already spray painted fake ferns gold for the bouquets). I finished painting the flower girl baskets (cheapies from Michael’s with gold paint to liven them up), painted the ugly glass bowl we’ll use to hold favors, painted 28 directional signs with our awesome custom stencil (my wedding has a logo – not practical, but FUN!), printed what I thought was the last family photo we needed until I remembered I need one of my brother and SIL. Worked more on the ceremony (slowly, slowly) and did a ton of laundry. Waiting on my birth certificate to arrive from my parents so we can our marriage license next week! I have the day off Tuesday (Mardi Gras FTW!) and plan to organize all the stuff. Can’t wait to break out my APW spreadsheet for that!

  • Stacey Fraser

    I don’t know if anyone’s posted this yet, but here’s an interesting take on writing-on-a-train that relates to the Amtrak writer residency thing: http://www.theparisreview.org/blog/2014/02/19/writing-the-lake-shore-limited/