APW Happy Hour


Staff bonding and Silicon Valley

by Maddie Eisenhart, Chief Revenue Officer

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Hey APW,

I remember when I first started working here, I told Meg that I never wanted it to become a full-time job. I just couldn’t envision a world in which I could possibly like my boss and the people I work with enough that I’d want to spend every day with them. So this past week was a reminder of just how lovely the APW team really is. Najva had plans to be in the Bay Area visiting family, so we asked if she’d be willing to extend her stay, and then flew out our Advertising Manager Keriann and did some serious staff bonding. (Despite being Internet friends since 2008/2009ish, Keriann and I have apparently only ever been in a room together once. Whoops!) Notably missing: Staff Writer Stephanie, who had other plans this week. Boo. Next time.

We did a lot of meetings, talked big picture goals, and then at the very end of things, Meg treated us all to a spa day in Napa where baby got her first mud bath (side note: OMG). And since our meetings inevitably involve some sort of discussion about Silicon Valley and the current startup environment in which APW resides, I’ve been thinking a lot about how the “high-stakes entrepreneurship” model (as one article I read today described it) is missing the best part of startup culture: getting to reward yourself. Because here’s the thing. Anyone’s chances of becoming the next billion-dollar startup are pretty slim, and there’s a tradeoff to that kind of success. But if you can’t take your team to a spa day every once in a while, what’s the point of all the entrepreneurial hustle to begin with? Somewhat related, I also just found out that my favorite coffee shop (aka my office away from the office) is wholly women owned, and that my favorite employees there have been around for over a decade. I mean, if that isn’t a measure of success, I don’t know what is.

But enough of my workplace musings. It’s your happy hour, so get to it!

Cheers,

Maddie

Link Roundup

If you judge poor people for wasting money on things like designer purses and clothes, you’re missing the point.

RuPaul is never not brilliant, as this interview demonstrates.

Why it’s not enough to only care when white people are the victims of terrorism.

Is Ross Geller really a signal of the beginning of the end for civilization?

North Carolina’s newest policy is an awful piece of legislation that makes LGBTQ discrimination legal.

Fuck you, I am not a millennial.

Maddie Eisenhart

Maddie is APW’s Chief Revenue Officer. She’s been writing stories about boys, crushes, and relationships since she was old enough to form shapes into words, but received her formal training (and a BS) from NYU in Entertainment and Mass Media in 2008. She now spends a significant amount of time thinking about trends on the internet and whether flower crowns will be out next year. A Maine native, Maddie currently lives on a pony farm in the Bay Area with her husband, Michael and their mastiff puppy. Current hair color: Purple(ish).

Staff Picks

[Read comment policy before commenting]

  • anon for this

    Hey guys. I’ve been looking forward to HH to ask this question – my wedding is a few weeks away, and I’m having a really hard time with the appearance aspect of the wedding. I feel totally irrationally consumed and obsessed with what I’m going to look like, and incredible pressure that this needs to be the most beautiful I’ve ever looked in my life. My friend asked me, would you rather be happy, or look perfect? And I said “look perfect,” and I still mean it (I mean in life I would pick “be happy” over “look perfect” every time, but I’m already happy in my relationship, I don’t feel like I need my wedding to be the happiest day of my life). How fucked up is that??

    Anyway, is anyone else going through this? I just want to feel less alone. The worst part is that this is so superficial and stupid and NOTHING compared to the stress other people go through for their weddings. Also, it’s all coming from me, there’s no one to get mad at, except myself.

    • Eenie

      I’m not sure getting mad at yourself will help at all. I’m a month out, and I’m really worried with how my skin will look. Nobody else is asking me if I’m worried about my skin, but it’s still there in the front of my mind. We’re paying a lot for photos, and I want to look good in the photos. It’s superficial, but it’s the truth. I’ve accepted that fact, and have some plans to ease my worries (varying degrees of makeup depending on how much coverage I need). Are there any specific issues that you’re worried about? Can you give yourself some targets or goals to focus on (I plan to press my dress so it is wrinkle free. I’m wearing sunscreen so I don’t get burnt. The person doing my hair did a dry run and I liked it.)?

      • Another situation where a hair/makeup + photography trial run might help ease your doubts! Doesn’t have to cost much (makeup *trials* are usually discounted), and might be worth it for the peace of mind.

        • Eenie

          Doing my own makeup! I have the most experience with my skin and wouldn’t trust it to anyone else :)

    • Keri

      I hear you! That stress is starting to creep up on me too, as I’m realizing that I’m not where I want to be with my body right now (thanks, grad school 15), and the wedding seems like such a target. I don’t have any advice other than taking care of yourself, taking some time outs/deep breaths/relaxation time, but I do sympathize.

    • Ugh, I know this feel. I’m generally not too particular about looking picture perfect everyday, but these photos WILL be for posterity. I don’t think you should beat yourself up about it. Just remember that, as your friend brought up, looking happy often translates to looking beautiful. I struggle with acne on my chin (get OUT OF HERE) and stress and sugar make it flare up. And it’s not like weddings are stressful or sugar-laden, what?!

      When considering makeup and hairstyles, I am going for practical on some levels. I’m expecting to get hot and sweat, therefore I want my hair up and my makeup light. I also went with a dress with straps so I’m not pulling my dress up every minute. Comfort=relaxed=happy=beautiful. Or so my logic goes.

      Best of luck!

    • Green

      You could beat yourself up about this, or you could go with it. It sounds like you are expecting to feel happy on your wedding day (and accepting of the idea that there is a possibility that it may not be “the happiest day of your life”). So why not let yourself off the hook? “I want to look beautiful, stunning, gorgeous! I will do everything I can to make myself feel that way by getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, nourishing myself with food that makes me feel my best and moving my body in ways that make me feel vibrant.” You can fight yourself or you can try and give yourself what you need. Are you in danger of hurting yourself (or others?)? Are you doing things that are unhealthy, i.e not eating, exercising to the point of exhaustion, neglecting people you love in the quest of physical perfection etc? If so, then it might be a good idea to check in with a counselor and get some help re-orienting. Otherwise, give yourself some permission to acknowledge that this is where you are, even as you are able to acknowledge that your current state may not be your preferred state.

    • ack

      Yes, I definitely feel you on this. It’s especially frustrating because I’ve historically been so good about body stuff — never particularly hot or thin (which, let’s face it, are the same thing to a lot of the western world), but always pretty shame-free and happy to just let my body be what it is.

      So it’s been a big surprise when I’m suddenly feeling a lot of (self-imposed!) pressure to lose weight and get slim so I’ll look good in my dress. AND it’s doubly frustrating because I feel like I still have to pretend to be the Cool Bride who doesn’t care about looking thin and who isn’t fazed by the idea of everyone judging whether I’m appropriately beautiful and have chosen an appropriately ~*~flattering~*~ dress that my future grandchildren will love.

      So no advice but I hear you.

      • I Don’t Knowww, Margo!

        Ack, you took the words right out of my mouth. I’ve always been pretty happy with myself, but now am feeling like I need to lose some weight/tone my arms/ do SOMETHING so I look better in my dress, but at the same time knowing that I look fine in it already and then getting mad at myself for doubting that.

    • AGCourtney

      Hey, it’s perfectly normal to want to look great for your wedding. I’m about as low-maintenance as they come, and I still anxiously checked my complexion the week of the wedding, haha. Don’t beat yourself up for having these thoughts, it’ll only compound the stress, okay? Green’s reply is right on point, I think.

    • Jess

      Hi.

      I am here with you. I am farther out (6 months) but I am already struggling with thoughts about whether or not I bought the right dress, what I’m going to do with my hair, with my make-up, whether or not I need to lose weight (answer: no), how I can get rid of acne and under-eye bags, and whether my chin is too small (?)

      I’m having the same fear I have had for always, which is that People Will Judge Me for being all wrong. For not being pretty enough, for not being blushing-bride-y, for…. whatever.

      It sucks, and I can offer nothing but hope that we can lay some of this aside.

      • I don’t have the beauty hang-up, but I’m with you on the dress. Bought one and am now having serious second thoughts about it. Of course, there is no return policy…so do I just throw that $600 down the tube? I think I’m mostly afraid that people will judge my dress for not being unique enough. And I feel super stupid about that.

        …but no one else will actually care…will they? WILL THEY?
        ;)

        • April

          I was having dress regret several months ago because I thought maybe my dress was TOO unique and not quite “bridal” enough. You just can’t win with the wedding nerves lol

        • Jess

          They can’t. I refuse to believe they can.

    • chrissyc

      I feel ya, and I agree with the comments below–it’s totally normal to care about how you look at your wedding, so don’t let yourself stress out about it too much.

      What really helped me was doing “practice runs” for the wedding–things like a hair and make-up trial or taking engagement photos with our photographer. These helped me realize that professionals really do know what they doing, and it also helped me visualize how things would look on the actual wedding day.

    • JLily

      Ugh me too. Thanks for writing this and I’m glad there are some helpful replies. I feel a little cray for being about 5 months out and kind of obsessively worrying about whether my hair is going to stay un-frizzy all night, whether my nose will get shiny, etc. And its like, I KNOW that people wont really be noticing that stuff (although the WIC sure doesn’t make that clear!), and the photographer can edit your photos to make you look more “perfect”, and the person you are marrying sees you every day anyway so he/she won’t really care. My plan is to prepare as much as possible (hopefully the “practice runs” will help), and then on the day just try to let it go. I mean, I wish I didn’t care so much, but I do. You’re not alone–good to know I’m not either!

      • Yeah, just go dancing after your practice run to see how long it holds up ;)

    • JSK

      Not sure this will help, but I obsessed about this as well. Hardcore dieting/gym time. Spray tan (because I’m naturally the shade of white that doesn’t look good in white or ivory). Expensive hair and make up (and facials and waxing). I look picture perfect in the shots before and right after the ceremony and cherish those shots.

      But my very very fave shots are from the end of the night where I’m 1.5 bottles of wine deep, my hair is falling out of the updo, and the way I’m leaning over to make out with my new husband makes me look a wee bit pregnant. Those ones are pure magic.

    • Cellistec

      Been there. You know who can work straight-up miracles? Photographers. Especially wedding photographers. That’s their job, and they can take what feels like am okay scene and make it look magical. Even if it doesn’t feel that way at the time, or you don’t feel like you look perfect in the moment, the photos can make you feel that way in hindsight, and that’ll become your memory of your wedding.

    • raccooncity

      I felt this too – I was someone who NEVER thought about my looks before. Weddings are weird, and I did care about a couple little things that went wrong with my hair day-of,and maybe they still make me a bit nuts in the pictures,but I mostly felt amazing and feel super happy when I think about the day.

      Also, know that your obsession with how you look is temporary – I was relieved to find that I went back to being me after the wedding.

    • toomanybooks

      Probably obvious, but are you having your hair and makeup professionally done? I never do that but I’m planning on doing it for my wedding, because it seems like a good time to treat myself so I don’t have to worry about messing it up by doing it myself. (I’ve never really learned how to do my hair!)

      • Also…engagement shoots are *perfect* for this nonsense. Try out your hair/makeup stylist. Try out your photographer. Make sure you look how you want to look. They’re more like “practice shoots”, and it’s pretty sweet if you can get one included in your photography package.

    • dearabbyp

      I completely understand. I got all worked up about minor things that literally no one would every care or say anything about, like this weird tan line I can’t get rid of, or the backs of my arms. They day of, I did. not. notice. I don’t even see those things in the pictures. On the day of, I went back to being DGAF me, and thank goodness for that. But I wish I’d saved myself the anxiety leading up to it about how I would look and whether my (lovely) friends and family would judge me for any aesthetic choices.

      • the cupboard under the stairs

        THANK YOU for saying this. I’m four months out and cannot for the life of me stop thinking about the way my arms will look from the back. As if that’s the first thing I’ll think about when I look back on my WEDDING DAY. Geez, the anxieties we put ourselves through.

    • Kayjayoh

      I am A: super klutzy and B: involved in a lot of physical activities. Shortly before my wedding (3-4 weeks, I think) I got a massive bruise on my right elbow by being stupid during archery practice. (Lock your elbow, you get twanged.) And then I did the same thing a week later, putting a bruise on top of the bruise. I was starting to resign myself to having a big bruised arm in all my photos.

      Fortunately, it cleared up in time. However, the week before I ended up being super paranoid about anything else that might leave bruises, like doing cool new trapeze moves that wrapped the rope around my legs. (I had a knee-length dress.)

      I ended up being as happy with my appearance on my wedding day as I have any other nicely dressed day. Which is to say, I wasn’t 100% happy with my dress, and I was a bit self-conscious about the weight I’d put on since turning 35, but I look fine in my pictures, and I really was happy with myself when I looked in the mirror. I didn’t think I’d look perfect, but I’ve never looked perfect, so I’d probably scare myself.

      So I hear you. I was certainly thinking about it. I certainly thought about it on the day. And ultimately, I was fine. You’ll be fine. Even if you look in the mirror and don’t see perfection, it’s amazing how much feeling good and being excited can (I was going to say “will” but YMMV) put a soft filter on your perception of things.

    • Mary Jo TC

      I felt this way leading up to my wedding 5 years ago. And now I feel like it was important for me to focus on my looks to the (very time- and energy-intensive, but still healthy) extent that I did because it kind of…got it out of my system. I looked damn good, and there are lots of pictures to prove it. With the event over and done with in such a satisfying way, I was able to accept that I’ll never look quite that perfect again, and move on with my life, focusing a more reasonable and comfortable amount of time and attention and focus on my looks. I hope it works this way for you!

    • Her Lindsayship

      Hey anon, I’m glad you posted this (and obvs a lot of other commenters are too!), because I feel you and I’m not even engaged yet. I find that when I think about the wedding, we’re talking a year and a half out probably, I already feel anxious about this – and like you, it’s not something I’m normally self-conscious about.

      You’re so not alone. You say “it’s all coming from me,” but real talk, society/WIC has given all of us plenty of reasons to feel this way, most likely starting from a very young age. It does suck, but you needn’t shoulder all the blame for it. It’s just like with all the family drama discussed on a post earlier last week – the societal expectations and pressures to be the perfect family (or to be the most beautiful) are insidious, and they become giant in the context of a wedding. Give yourself some credit, this is a significant time in your life that comes with unusual feelings. And if what you want is to be your most beautiful that day, do what you can to make it happen. Give yourself some love.

  • Green

    Hey, can I just say how furiously angry I am with what constitutes “leadership” in this country? Really? Banning anti-discrimination laws in N. Carolina?! Really Indianna? Banning parents from ending pregnancies due to terminal genetic conditions?! I sometimes feel like we’ve lost our minds. And I’m really so disheartened by the continual war on women and other vulnerable persons. Right now I’m not sure where to take this, so I’m posting some frustrations to a community of smart internet strangers.

    • Ashlah

      It is infuriating. I would be terrified to get pregnant if I lived in Indiana. And North Carolina, wtf. If anyone actually believes republicans care about “small government” anymore, I just…

      • Jess

        Yeah. I cannot get behind this “Small Government” cry because people yelling it are making laws all over the damn place interfering with the way people live and manage their health.

        Small government my ass.

        • Cellistec

          Yeah, “small government” apparently means “not in my bank account, but for sure in my body and bedroom.”

      • Green

        Can’t. I. Just. Can’t. I agree with you and am feeling really sad for the women with complications in their pregnancies in North Dakota and Indiana. What about women?! We’re really important too – for reasons beyond our uteruses!! The whole situation makes my skin crawl.

      • CommaChick

        In Kansas, if a doctor knows of any complications that the doctor thinks could lead to an abortion, the doctor has the right to withhold that information or lie to the mother.

    • Eenie

      You missed Georgia!

      • Green

        Ugh!!!! I wish these terrible policies would miss us all, and then nobody would have to feel excluded from these stupid lists of stupid laws!!! What happened in Georgia that I missed?

        • Georgia passed a “religious freedom” bill this week. However, Gov. Deal has until May 3rd to veto it. At this point it’s likely that he will veto, citing his pro-business defense of not allowing any bill to pass that is discriminatory in the name of religious protection. Considering almost every film company that’s done recent work in Georgia has threatened to pull their business this week (and that doesn’t even begin to cover statements from Coca-Cola and other giants), it would be a huge blow to our economy for it to pass, very similar to what Indiana’s going through.

          • AP

            Mississippi’s religious freedom bill just passed out of senate committee this week. I’m sure the governor will sign it. Ughhhhhh. One representative even tried to insert language that says people can refuse on religious grounds service to people who are remarrying after divorce or who are sexually active outside of marriage. It can still be interpreted this way, but his language would have made it explicit.

          • Cleo

            For anyone interested — link to the article about the public letter multiple production companies (including Netflix and Disney) wrote to Gov. Deal (with multiple updates as more and more companies joined): http://deadline.com/2016/03/time-warner-georgia-anti-gay-bill-veto-hbo-viacom-disney-amc-gov-nathan-deal-1201725681/

          • Eenie

            This bill has highlighted just how much filming is done in Georiga. Which apparently is a lot. I just knew Walking Dead is filmed right by where I work! He better veto it.

          • Rebekah Jane

            Guardians of the Galaxy is filming here right now! I keep hoping Chris Pratt will magically appear in line next to me at Kroger or something…

          • YOU AND ME BOTH. I sometimes look at the casting calls for extras because why the hell not, and I was *this close* to going to the GotG one. But….I’m too short.

          • Green

            Thanks Lucy, Eenie, Cleo, AP and anybody else who commented here. The links are helpful and informative. American politics continue to astound.

          • Eenie

            Living in the south makes me so sad sometimes.

          • Rebekah Jane

            Gov. Deal also was quoted as saying that he didn’t think the law was “very Christian” to begin with. He said he felt exclusion wasn’t exactly what Christianity was based on.

            Made me feel a little bit better about living here, even if the bill passed to begin with.

    • Kalë

      Yuck. This is so upsetting. Right now in my state, legislators are working on a bill banning Planned Parenthood from educating in schools. Yall, we are not a rich state (anymore). Yuge financial crisis going on right now. Many and more programs are being cut ruthlessly from our schools. And you mean to tell me that now Planned Parenthood shouldn’t be able to volunteer (VOLUNTEER AS IN FOR FREE) their community outreach person to help fill the gap? Some of our schools don’t even have health class, let alone a sex ed program. I just can’t.

      • AP

        Our legislators submitted a bill to deny Medicaid funding for abortions at Planned Parenthood. Except PP doesn’t perform abortions in our state. So then they just amended the bill to deny Medicaid funding for all services at PP. Which would pretty much shut down PP in our state. It was still in committee yesterday, not sure what happened yet. But this is just insanity.

        • Kalë

          Oh my wow. I don’t even have words for some of these things and their why’s and how’s. Solidarity, my chica.

      • Kayjayoh

        Woah. WOAH. I used to actually be one of those people. The teachers and the kids where generally *so* glad to have us there.

    • Ay-fucking-men. It feels like one step forward, two steps back.

    • Danielle

      Tangentially related: There was a great article about Berniebros (and bro-dom in general) in the NYT last week: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/20/magazine/bro-liferation.html Basically, bros need to STFU.

    • Kirsten

      Ultimately, none of these laws will stand the test of time. You know they will end up as legal cases, and I don’t understand how these legislators don’t know this. Or they do know it, but are just pandering to certain voters. And let’s take a minute to say “Go Charlotte!” for trying to stop this nonsense. Love Charlotte.

  • Finally someone has articulated why I, born in 1982, hate being called a Millennial. I’ll be pointing everyone to that piece.

    • Ashlah

      I was born in 1990, so that piece was really confusing for me! According to the author, I’m right on the cusp of Gen Y and Millennial. I related completely to both of his descriptions of what those generations lived through. So who knows what I am.

      • A.

        I’m an ’88 baby and I’ve always considered myself a millennial! I could see how someone born in ’82 would balk at the label, but I always thought that 86-92 were actually the prime millennial years, since we were young, yet still old enough to remember Y2K. Generational delineations are inconsistent, I guess?

        • Ashlah

          Yeah, I usually do consider myself a millennial! But more often than that, I consider those generational delineations pretty useless, given both the inconsistencies and how often they’re just used as a way for the older generation to call the younger one lazy and apathetic. It’s all silly.

          • Eenie

            If I attend one more professional development seminar that talks about how to work with different generations in the workplace…

          • Alex

            heh HQ at my company has concluded that millennials need different furniture than the non-millennials (i.e., managers and above) because the “millennials” are leaving en masse so CLEARLY the way to our hearts is to buy all the younger staff stand-up adjustable desks and then the “old” managers can have the older furniture. there have been no PD seminars about how to work with different generations ;)

          • Eenie

            If I get up on my ergonomics soapbox, sit/stand desks are fantastic for people who are tied to their desk. The changing of position (not standing the whole time) is really beneficial for your health. I’ve actually found older people to like them more, because they are feeling many more years of living throughout their bodies.

          • Alex

            Oh, I ONE HUNDRED PERCENT agree. Which is why it’s even more obnoxious since my company requires a doctor’s note from an MD (and a chiropractor doesn’t count because why would a person who has studied the spine exclusively for several years not be suited to make that call?) that NO ONE except the new hires can get a sit/stand desk without a doctor’s note, but now a small subset of people are allowed them with no hassle. Don’t get me wrong, I love my sit/stand desk, but the fact that the guy who started one year before I did doesn’t get one (and would LOVE one) just because he got promoted to one level higher than me last week is pretty shitty (especially when probably 50% of the people who have the new sit/stand desks leave them permanently in sit position…)

          • Eenie

            That’s horrible. Ergonomics is hard because there’s probably not enough money to buy everyone a new one right now, but there should be a way to phase them in and prioritize or distribute among departments gradually. I hate the people who just leave them in the sitting position. Our plant controller got them for his whole team, refused to use it, thought they were a waste of money, and then got mad when other employees were pissed we weren’t replacing 30 year old chairs.

          • Alex

            Ugh that’s awful :( $$ isn’t an issue since we’re not a huuuge company (<1000) and the 150ish people at the top are getting $0.5M+ bonuses, corporate "decision makers" are just totally out of touch with everything/only care about the bottom line. I was in grad school before this job and it's amazing how worse of shape my lower back/hips are in from sitting all day, so the month I've had my new desk has already been an obvious help

          • Anon

            And… I am now switching to standing mode. I’m working from home, so just make my kitchen counter work, but I only stood for an hour this morning.

          • Not Sarah

            I’m 27 and I swear by a sit/stand desk!

          • another lady

            got one of those in a few weeks – it’s gonna be …. great……

        • Lisa

          Ooo, I’m 87, and I’ve always felt much more like Gen Y than a Millennial. I have two little sisters who are 3 and 6 years younger than me, and their childhoods–particularly the youngest–were so significantly different from mine as to make me feel like we don’t belong to the same generation.

          • dearabbyp

            Despite having the context for this conversation, I saw “I’m 87” and thought, *Damn, she looks good for 87 (years old)!* Go home me, you’re drunk.

          • Lisa

            Hahaha, I love this. Hopefully I’ll still look this great in another sixty years! ;)

      • I think all the edges are fuzzy, and depend a lot on where you lived and what your parents let you do and had (for instance, we didn’t watch tv growing up ever so I miss most of the pop culture stuff, but my family was also early computer adopters–my mom who was born in 1963 typed up all her college essays at the computer in my grandpa’s law firm, for instance).

    • another lady

      Agreed! 1983 baby here with a 1982 husband. We rail against the Millennial Generation classification all the time. I have been known to say: there used to be a generation between gen x and millennials – what happened to it?!? They used to call us gen y all the time, now we are just older useless millennials… NOPE! I am gen y all the way! I also liked the ‘Oregon trail generation’ name. If you remember playing that game on an old white computer with a tiny screen, you are gen y! (Bonus points if it was considered ‘educational’ at your school!) And, F U Millennials – I am not one of you!

      • Eenie

        Lol. 1989 here and I remember blowing through our typing lessons so we could play that game :)

        • Alex

          hehe ditto :) (though 88) I don’t feel like I’m remotely in the same generation as my cousins (96-99), so can’t imagine what people in 1982 feel like being compared to the kids who are still in high school/undergrad, who can barely (if at all) remember when the iPhone was introduced, who never played Snake on their parents phone because technology had progressed since then, and who fall under the “if I don’t have 100+ likes on my Insta pic then it’s not popular” category ;)

          • Vilmos Kovacs

            I was also born in ’88 and honestly feel peak millennial.

        • Kalë

          Then again, born in 1993 and always identified as a millennial… and remember all my settlers dying of dysentary/drowning/smallpox too :(

          • Amy March

            1983 and never a millennial.

      • A.

        What if I *barely* remember playing the original Oregon Trail but mostly remember the tricked out 2.0 versions? I think that’s a classic millennial categorizaton! ;)

    • Cellistec

      Born in 83, and I DO identify as a Millennial. I just think all the haters are specifically hating on twenty-somethings, which is what happens to, you know, EVERY generation. So that makes me feel better. Once current twenty-somethings are in their 30s, everyone will whine about Generation Z.

    • Mary Jo TC

      I was born in 1984 and don’t mind being called a Millenial, but I definitely feel like I’m on the older edge of that generational label, and have a much different experience than even my own sister who’s 11 years younger. For example, I remember what life was like before the internet, and before 9/11 and she doesn’t. I was also lucky enough to be out of college before the 2008 crash. I also agree the way you feel about these generational labels can depend on whether your parents were young or old when they had you, and whether you had older or younger siblings. I have a friend with siblings 6+ years older than us, firmly in Gen X, and she connects more with that generation and their media.

      Y’all mention Oregon Trail and typing class–am I the youngest one here who learned to type on an electric typewriter and not a computer? We did exercises from books that were probably used to train Mad-Men-era secretaries! Thank you broke inner-city Catholic school and Sister Samuel!

  • AGCourtney

    This week, I talked to my dentist about next steps for my crowns – the top front frow of teeth, 6 at once to ensure there’s room for all of them and that the color matches. I’ll call when I have $5,000. In the past, I would have found that number demoralizing, but now it’s motivating – when I got home that afternoon, I played around with Excel projecting how long it will take with different amounts of tutoring income. I think I’m going to try to get it done by August. There’s an ACT exam on the 9th, so the next couple of weeks should bring a lot of short-term clients. I have my first in-person client this afternoon (versus online) and I’m a little nervous, but I think it will go well.

    Also, an update on our conversation about fitness last week – I worked out at the Y twice this week and it feels fantastic.

  • Ashlah

    We are free of student loans!!! Wahoo!! I can hardly believe it!

    And earlier this week I had my annual exam that doubled as a pre-conception consultation, and that appointment (and especially getting my blood drawn to test for rubella immunity) made this future pregnancy thing feel really real. It’s actually happening (soon-ish [hopefully])! Eep! A very exciting week in our house!

    • Eenie

      Congratulations!!!!!!

    • AGCourtney

      Yay! Congrats.

    • MC

      CONGRATS! That is an awesome and surreal feeling. Pop the champagne and celebrate!

      • Sandrashunsaker3


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    • Molly K.

      Congratulations!

  • Eh

    The other day I had a coworker approach me because he wants my job. This wasn’t in a threatening way nor was it in a flattering way – it was just self-serving. He more or less told me he wants me to get another job (he thinks I should be getting a promotion – so at least that is flattering) so he can have mine. He’s been on contract for three years (I was on contract for 3.5 years before getting a permanent job with the company – I know it sucks). He benefited from me going on secondment for almost two years and then me going on mat leave for six months. He suspects that he will be extended two more years because I am probably going on secondment for another two years to work on a big project. He asked me why I didn’t apply for a promotion that came up while I was on mat leave and asked me if I’m going to apply for a promotion that’s coming up soon in our department (hmmmm none of your business). I was previously on a hiring committee (when I was in a different department) that decided not to interview him because he does not have some skills we expect of people at his level, especially being self-motivated and being open to different ideas. There was a permanent job in our department and he did not get it (it went to someone who has worked for us for a year less because that guy knows more than this guy).

    Obviously I’m not going to stay in my position to just spite the guy but I like my job. I agree I could work at the next level (and I have, and I enjoyed it) but I also only want to apply for jobs I will enjoy and not every promotion that comes up. Working on the project for the next two years is a great opportunity for me (even if it’s not a promotion).

    • laddibugg

      (had to look up the definition of ‘secondment’)
      How do your fellow coworkers feel about him? and about you? I don’t trust him at all…

      • Sara

        I did too!

        • Eh

          I guess it’s a term my work uses that is not commonly used else where.

          • Sara

            According to google, its commonly used in the military. But I also don’t have a company where we get loaned to other departments or locations.

      • Eh

        My coworkers like me and respect me and always come to me to ask questions. When I was on contract my manager always made sure I knew they wanted to keep me and she was looking for a way to extend my contact.

        During the brief time I worked with him before my mat leave I noticed that he was rubbing our coworkers the wrong way because at every team meeting he would say ‘I would do that but [the timeline] is after my contract ends’. Before that my only experience with him was that everytime I would explain something to him he would shutdown. The other day he told another coworker he wanted my job (he knows we are friends – she thought it was weird for him to say that) and then asked her a question. This was the first time they had had a conversation and she also said he shutdown while they were talking. If he doesn’t understand a concept he gets stuck and it doesn’t matter if you try to explain it in different ways he can’t get past it.

        • Sara

          He sounds super aggressive. That’s not a great sign, nor does it bode well for his future at the company. He’s going to freak out managment with that behavior.

          • Eh

            He is being super aggressive about getting a permanent job but his other behaviour is not showing that he wants the job. He has worked for us for three years and still does not know basic things he should know by now (the other day I had to explain how a process work that he does all the time – he only knows the little part he does, not what anyone else does). I am surprised his supervisor has not talked to him about his behaviour or the reason he did not get the permanent job a few months ago.

          • Danielle

            Sounds like he wants to noodle you out of your position rather than work his way into it.

            Do you need to do anything? It sounds like you like your job and the company likes you. If he brings it up again, you could say, “Thanks, Bob, but I like my position and am happy where I am.”

          • Eh

            The funny thing is I am not sure why he would assume he would get my job (if I got a different permanent job) if he did not get the last permanent job in our department. Because the job is a permanent position it needs to be posted externally (company policy) and it can’t just be given to him.

          • Danielle

            Who knows why? Thankfully, that’s not your problem!

          • Anon

            Yeah, it’s not really up to you if he gets your job if you move to a different one. It’s not up to him that you move to a different job. It also sounds like if you did vacate your position for whatever reason, he likely wouldn’t get it. Chalk it up to awkward work interactions.

    • emilyg25

      That seems kinda weird and very forward.

      • laddibugg

        and maybe a little sexist?

        • Eh

          My first feeling was that it could be taken that way. I work in a traditionally male dominated area (eg statistics) but my department has more women than men. He is probably used to working more with men (his background is computer science).

      • Eh

        It was very weird! I suspected he wanted my job since he is on contract. But I never would have thought he would have said he wanted my job to my face.

    • ItsyBit

      Uuuuuuhhh? I wish I had something helpful to say, but my basic reaction to that guy is just

  • Keri

    So I mentioned this on another post this week but bringing it on over here. We got an email from our venue (where we were doing kind of a wedding weekend thing) this week that they had been reported to the county for not having their guest houses/lodging up to code/zoning for “hotels” (sprinklers, lighting, septic tanks, etc etc), and since they were advertising them on their website as lodging, that makes them a hotel, and they have to get the up to code and are not sure if they will be able to hold events *at all* (even in their event space, which is not lodging) until it’s fixed, which is a huge project. Wedding in four months, y’all, and he says they may have to move us to a new venue or release us from our contract. He sent a list of some possible options, and out of that list I think there were 2 venues that had our date, but one seemed hella expensive, and I think they’re a few hours away from where we were going to be.

    Things I’ve grateful for:

    -4 months away is better than a few weeks away, and I’m glad I’m not one of the poor brides who booked here for spring or early summer.
    -We were going to send out our invitations next week, so it’s not like we have to retract anything (except a save the date, maybe)
    -We don’t actually have that much planned/tied to the venue other than the photographer. The caterer came with, and we haven’t planned with them yet. We have some rooms booked, but whatever.
    -MAYBE IT WILL ALL BE FINE?

    I haven’t told my mom yet, and my fiance and I agreed to wait to start looking for new places until we have a bit more of a definite answer. I’m trying but my google fingers are getting itchy. GAH.

    • You can totally do this. And you might even get a cheaper deal for snagging a date at a venue so close to your wedding date (hopefully!). Just be open to letting the universe choose your new venue in this case. Call a LOT of places and eventually something’s going to work out. Who knows, it might even be a better fit than your original choice!

    • Lulu

      That you are calm and poised enough to come at it from a gratitude point of view is a very strong indicator that it will in fact all be fine! That is intense, though, and I would be googling like whoa. Good luck!

      • Keri

        Thanks! I keep thinking about how it could be so much worse, and the fact that one way or another. somewhere, I’m definitely getting married in a pretty ass dress this summer.. between those two things, I’m feeling hopeful!

        • Kalë

          I’ve been thinking about you since that post earlier this week. Vibes that it will all work out, and props to you for handling it so gracefully thus far.

  • joanna b.n.

    Mmm, the first link resonated with me because I have been all up in the Fight for $15 here in New York State, where I HOPE we are soon to be a leader in the nation. http://www.nystateofpolitics.com/2016/03/citizen-action-dont-exclude-upstate/

    But the battle is uphill, and long, and won’t even be won when/if we raise the wage to $15. So thanks for recognizing the dignity of all people, APW. You rock, as always.

    • laddibugg

      I don’t know if I believe that there should be a minimum wage of $15. I do believe we should make basic things accessible to everyone–food, shelter, medical care–regardless of their income, and there should be things a basic living wage should cover.

      • Eenie

        I like the reasons behind the increase the minimum wage movement, but I’m worried that it isn’t enough without ensuring that there’s affordable housing available. Along with food and basic medical care.

        • laddibugg

          Exactly. The minimum wage can be raised to whatever, but that doesn’t mean things will remain accessible.

        • joanna b.n.

          Couldn’t agree more. Not a panacea, just a first step, really. Though it will give millions of people (in NY) increased buying power, which will stimulate the economy significantly.

          • Eenie

            Yup. Hard to argue a raise to $15 wouldn’t help. I just wish we were doing more.

      • joanna b.n.

        Hiya! So $15 is what is recommended in the state of New York to (almost) cover basic living expenses in upstate for a single adult. As you said it, a living wage. In fact, it was also the number that fast food workers came up with when asked – what amount would make a difference in your lives? So maybe we agree on the outcome – and the number just sounds high without the background reasoning?

  • Next week I’m heading to AZ for a girls’ weekend! Three of my college girlfriends and I are having a reunion/celebrating two of our marriages happening this summer! We’re all bridesmaids for each other so it will be a nice way to reconnect and relax before mayhem sets in. I really DON’T want to talk about weddings the whole time though haha.

  • macrain

    I’ve been preparing for the arrival of my son in roughly two months, and for some reason lately I’ve been hit with this wave of mom guilt, like I’m doing everything wrong. I start spiraling over something like- we haven’t chosen a pediatrician yet! And then proceed to frantically do research on pediatricians as if my life depends on it until I’m basically in tears.
    I gather this doesn’t get easier once the kid gets here. I logically know that everything will be fine, and that I’m not doing everything wrong, but new mommy anxiety really kicks in sometimes. It can overshadow all of the excitement I feel about welcoming this new person to our lives.
    How to deal with this?

    • emilyg25

      Same way you deal with any anxiety! Lots of self talk challenging your preconceptions. So like on the pediatrician thing, remind yourself that he’s still -2 months old, that’s plenty of time, most pediatricians are perfectly fine, and if you don’t like them, it’s very easy to switch! Focus on the facts. With so many parenting decisions, whatever you decide will be just fine. Also, when we went to the Open House, one couple said, “Tomorrow!” when asked for the due date. :)

      • another lady

        “Also, when we went to the Open House, one couple said, “Tomorrow!” when asked for the due date.” – this happened at my breast feeding class – when were they due? the following week – guess who wasn’t at the 2nd week of class!

    • StevenPortland

      At least for me, I had a ton of anxiety leading up to the birth of our second child. It “magically” went away once the birth happened. Even if that doesn’t happen, with a newborn for the first few months I was always live-in-the-moment just trying to keep things going that I didn’t have a chance to ruminate and get anxious. As long as you feed, diaper and let him sleep he’ll be fine. Roll the dice and pick a pediatrician for some good reason — close to your house or work, late office hours, etc. Go a few times. If you don’t like the doctor, find a new one. When we moved, we went through 3 doctors in a row before finding one we clicked with. No amount of planning would have uncovered reasons why we didn’t click with the first two doctors. In the end, it will all be OK!!

      • Jenny

        Agree, and may I just throw a vote towards the closest one to your house? We came up with a set of basic criteria. Nurse call line, after hours and weekend emergency hours, pro-vaccines. The three closest to us met all of the criteria and we just asked each if they were accepting new infants. We went with the closest one to us and it made the 2 day, 1 week, 2 week, 1 month and 2 month visits so much easier when travel time is 5 minutes, especially since our kiddo developed a deep hatred for the car seat around week 5.

    • Lulu

      Mention it to your doctor! Antenatal anxiety is real, and s/he should be in the loop.

    • Green

      I read a recent blog post about a new mother who decided during her pregnancy that she would not be using the phrase “I’m a bad mom.” She wrote that his concept never occurred to her husband, who said that he assumed he would make mistakes but that those mistakes would not make him a bad father. And yet, this same reasoning does not seem to apply to women. Apply it anyway. You, macrain, are a good mom, who is doing your best to prepare for the arrival of your beloved child. You are doing the best you can. There will be mistakes, but that does not make you a bad mom. Banish this lingo from your vocabulary. You can do this. You are going to be awesome

    • Jessica

      I’m currently 3 weeks away from my due date and don’t have a pediatrician yet, so don’t feel bad about that particular part of preparation. Growing up my family always saw a family practice doctor, so this whole “pick a pediatrician” thing is kind of foreign to me. (The family practice/pediatrician mental debate is part of why I haven’t nailed something down yet.)

      Anyway, I definitely have felt less in control of my emotions during the third trimester (especially as compared to the second) and remember having a similar freak-out around 7 months. (Mine was about the fact that I hadn’t written anything in his baby book yet.) I think it’s hard time period because you’re still a few weeks away from the most concrete levels of preparation (setting up carseat/crib, packing a hospital bag) but you’re pregnant enough to be very very aware that there’s a baby inside you.

      Babies have been arriving on this planet for a long long time. You will be the best mom to your baby because, well, you’re the mom to your baby. Half of your best efforts will probably be totally wrong (I mean, I know my mom loves me but she sure goes about it the wrong way sometimes!) and half of your worst efforts will probably be the thing your kid loves about you the most (your I’m-too-tired-for-anything-but-ordering-pizza night will probably become your kid’s beloved pizza-and-movie-night tradition). Just take some deep breaths and remind yourself it’ll all be okay.

      On a practical note, I just bought a coming-home outfit for the baby and it made me super excited. The thought of a teeny tiny newborn filling up that striped little onsie with the frog footies just makes my heart melt. So maybe there’s one specific thing you can do to feel more prepared? Or a specific action? If you have a nursery space set up (I don’t yet — baby will be in our room for the first 3ish months anyway!) maybe you could sit in there for a couple minutes every night and just spend some time thinking about how much you love your baby. Then even if you’re not “prepared” by filling out every checklist before birth, you’ll at least have set aside some space for those feelings of excitement and desire.

      • macrain

        I love your ideas! I hadn’t thought about a coming home outfit and now I want one! Even just browsing baby clothes in the store just turns me to mush.

    • Laura C

      Oh my gosh, I didn’t choose a pediatrician until my midwife was like “at the next appointment, tell me who your pediatrician will be,” and then I did some research and called the place I chose and they were like “yeah, just call when the baby is born, we can’t sign you up without an actual patient.” I know the pediatrician thing is just an example, but…

      My feeling, as someone who’s due TOMORROW (not that I expect my due date to necessarily be The Day), is that there’s just always going to be the next thing to be scared about, and what you definitely shouldn’t do is blame yourself for your worst imaginings of how the scary thing might turn out, and what you should try to do is learn to keep the fear from controlling you because it’s going to be with you as long as you have a kid (my father, recently: “everyone keeps asking if I’m excited to be a grandfather but I’m mostly concerned about the effect on your life”), but also recognize that the fear will always be there and sometimes it’s just going to rise up and grab you. At 26 weeks I thought “just let me get to 28 weeks, the outcomes are so much better” and then I got to 28 and thought “oh, but the outcomes at 32 weeks” and now of course I’m talking to my midwife about how if the baby isn’t born by my appointment next week we’ll be scheduling an induction for the following week.

      • Mary Jo TC

        Sup due date twin. As someone due YESTERDAY, I agree. There’s always something to worry about.
        We didn’t pick a pediatrician until after our first baby was like 4 weeks old. The hospital where we delivered had a affiliated children’s clinic, and those pediatricians are the ‘default’ for people without pediatricians. Lots of hospitals probably have a similar policy. We went to our first few appointments at that clinic until we found a pediatrician in our neighborhood. Now we’ll probably be going back to that clinic at the hospital because the pediatrician closed their office in our neighborhood and I don’t feel like driving out to the suburb where their other location is. I don’t think picking the exact right pediatrician is a very high-stakes decision. Doctors are all certified and knowledgeable. You can always switch if you don’t like them, or if your kid develops some condition that needs a specialist of some kind. I tend to pick based on things like convenient location and office hours.

    • Jenny

      Do mention it to your doctor. But also know that it’s common, at least for me once he was outside of me things were less anxiety producing (he lets me know if he’s not ok, very loudly). My anxieties about becoming a mom manifested in the I must have all the *right* stuff and I need it now (hence why we have a convertible car seat in our bedroom that probably won’t get used for another 6-9 months…).

      The mom guilt for me actually did go away (in large part) once we was born, in part because other people can take care of him once he’s outside, it’s not literally every thing you do or don’t do effecting him. But you aren’t doing everything wrong. Sounds like he’s lucky to have someone who is so invested in his well being before he’s even in the world.

    • Chris

      As some other folks have said, it’s worth remembering that your feelings right now are 1) TOTALLY VALID and 2) maybe not how you would be feeling if you didn’t also have a whole ‘nother person inside you. SO, they are real, and can be intense, and are more a symptom of how your body reacts to pregnancy and all the physical weirdness that is going on with that, than anything about you, your ability to be a parent, or your life.

      I’m due in ~3 months with my second, and feeling the same sort of emotional roller coaster due to things that normally would make me sit up and take notice, but not make me start bawling like they do now. It helps me to remind myself that my feelings are what they are and nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed by, but they are also more intense now than my usual baseline. And that they’ll eventually go back to normal when I have my body back to myself.

      And i just let myself have a good cry when I need to. Even if it means hiding in the bathroom at work (this happened this morning, when somebody included me on an email directly asking our mutual supervisor for something that I also really want).

      • macrain

        Oh man, the crying! It feels really good to get it out sometimes.
        I don’t know about you, but I’m also a total rage monster. The other day I was infuriated by a trumpet player on the subway platform. No. Idea.

        • Chris

          For me its all stress-crying, and mostly manifests about work things or medical stuff. i’m medically complicated, and the regular OB’s are pretty good about being more reassuring than anxiety inducing, but the high risk dudes (and why are they all dudes!) just seem to give me a speech every visit about all the awful things that could happen if I do ____ or don’t do _____. I hate that they’re so unhelpful, and also that they’re doing it thinking they _are_ being helpful. In my normal self, I’d be better able to talk myself out of the fear that they cause by telling me all the terrible things they’re looking for since I had slightly above normal levels of whatever in whatever test, but it gets really hard after a while.

          • macrain

            Ugh, I am so sorry, that is just the worst. I feel like all of those studies that you see coming out are just a bunch of dudes telling pregnant women how to behave, and it really pisses me off. I would lose it if I had to deal with my doctor doing that.

          • another lady

            maybe tell them not to tell you what they are testing for or why, and just to test you and give you the results later. would that help you feel better if you didn’t actually know the 4000 things that could go wrong, just whether or not one of those was actually an issue?

          • Chris

            macrain, yes. The loss of bodily autonomy in pregnancy makes me really angry. another lady, I haven’t actually tried bitching at the high risk doctors themselves about how their standard treatments stress me out, make me angry, and I’m pretty sure also contribute to worse medical outcomes (and certainly the high cost of healthcare) but maybe I’ll try that face on at the next visit and see what they say.

    • rg223

      Not to bum you out, but I had a bit more anxiety after my son was born, because hormones. I had an anxious pregnancy due to several health scares, and then actually felt REALLY awesome and excited and competent in the hospital with him. Then I went home, my milk came in and woah! Crazy crying, nightmares, etc. But it was really helpful for me to think “I’m feeling this way because of the hormones and I was fine until my milk came in” – that put all my feelings into perspective. So if you find yourself very anxious even after the birth, know that’s normal and okay too.

      • rg223

        Also, it got better once my body adjusted!

    • Sara

      My baby was born at 9:33 PM. A bunch of hospital staff members asked me for the pediatrician and I kept saying “I haven’t decided yet” – I was still trying to pick the perfect one. I finally got transferred to the regular floor around I don’t even know what time. 1 AM? I’m exhausted, I’ve just given birth, I have a slightly premature baby who won’t breastfeed, etc. The intercom comes through from the nurse’s desk to my bed asking me for the pediatrician. In desperation I say the name of a group in town whose website looked good but whose policy is no pre-natal visits. It ended up being a great practice and we got a great pediatrician. And, scene.

    • annabellekathryn

      As far as practical matters, like other posters said, choose a pediatrician close to you. Being able to get there quickly in the early days is key. It’s not set in stone and you can always switch. As far as the anxiety, I agree that mentioning it to your practitioner is good; seeing a professional for a few sessions could help you ID your concerns and give you some tools to communicate after the baby is born. My daughter is nearly a year old and honestly I found the first few months a lot easier than I anticipated. One suggestion: try a prenatal yoga class or prenatal support group. I made some great friends in my prenatal class and having them to text during the last weeks of pregnancy and first weeks of motherhood was everything

  • InTheBurbs

    So I signed up for Pinterest today. I’ve managed to stay away up until now because I don’t need another distraction. However, my sister is getting married this summer and I want to “fancy-up” my pixie so I can look my best as MOH – and since it won’t be my go-to hair guy working his magic I’m going to need photos…I couldn’t figure out a better place to stash them. I played around for what I thought was a bit…and 30 minutes had passed.

    • emilyg25

      Pinterest is my favorite thing ever. (I’m highly visual.) If I could only choose one social media service, it’d be Pinterest hands down!

      • InTheBurbs

        Intriguing – I am incredibly auditory – to the point where I’m not a huge headphone fan because I don’t like that noise gets blocked out. Anyway – I’m curious to see how this new to me media option expands my knowledge.

    • I’m just going to leave this here for you… :) https://www.pinterest.com/emilywenzel/pixie-love-personal/

      • KPM

        Ummm, following!

      • Sparkles

        Those are all so good. I got my first pixie three months ago and now that I’m going to the hairdresser way more often than when I needed a trim every six months, I’m excited to play around with my cut and styling. Excellent inspiration.

        • Yes! I tend to grow mine a bit longer for the winter (PNW) and then I go really short (think: Emma Watson post Harry Potter) in the summer sometimes.

      • OliveMC

        all the pixie feels. I always wanted one and finally got it about 2 years ago…quickly grew it out. I’m not great at committing to styling my hair, which was probably my pixie’s biggest downfall. But when I did put the effort in, it was great!

        Now I’m going to go back to daydreaming about pixi…oops. work. I’m going back to work.

        • Hahaha, I swear, I spend about 5 minutes a day on my hair. I think you have the find the right cut, in order for it to be low maintenance, but once you do, it’s amazing!

          • OliveMC

            Now I’m thinking about it…maybe I just need to find a better stylist? I go to an Aveda institute, so it’s someone new every time. hmmmmmm

          • Finding a good stylist is key. You need to have someone who has experience with short hair, and and the b@lls to cut it. I’ve learned that a lot of stylists are scared of cutting it too short. I’d recommend asking women with short hair where they go. And be ready to pay $$$. I’m not a big shopper, so I wouldn’t be surprised if I spend more on haircuts than on clothes in a year. :/

      • Shawna

        Totally following your board! Leaving mine here too in case it’s helpful. https://www.pinterest.com/shawnaseth/growing-out-pixie-cut/ Some true pixies and some slightly longer since I can’t decide if I’m growing it out (not to long hair again, but maybe another short style) or not. Lately I’ve been adding colored hair to it since I’m looking forward to dyeing my hair again after the wedding!

        • Following as well! I love having more pixie inspiration! :)

        • InTheBurbs

          Following – thank you!

      • April

        Ooooo maybe I want a pixie now? lol

      • InTheBurbs

        Rock on – thank you!

    • Yes! I’m in the same boat. I’m getting married over Memorial Day weekend and have only had a pixie cut for the last 8 months (chopped it before we got engaged). I never pictured myself getting married with short hair and I feel like I should do SOMETHING with it, or pay someone to do it for me, but…well…there really isn’t much to do with it. Obviously, I want it to look good, but I don’t normally do a lot of styling with it so I’m feeling stumped. I currently have a headband to wear but I’m feeling like it makes me look cute instead of beautiful.

      • Shawna

        There are some fun options (fellow pixie and fellow Memorial Day weekend bride)! I love these:
        https://www.pinterest.com/pin/138837600991411579/
        gold leaf: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/138837600989569471/
        https://www.pinterest.com/pin/138837600988857289/
        This board of mine has hair and makeup and shoes and a mess of other things, but includes hair accessories and styles: https://www.pinterest.com/shawnaseth/wedding-accessories-and-makeup/

        I’m with you on not anticipating being a short-haired bride, but I’ve had this cut (or similar) for more than 3 years now so I’ve had more time to just come to terms with it. I love this cut and I’m comfortable with it so this is the me he’s marrying (he didn’t meet me until soon after I’d chopped off my hair anyway). It’s just that there’s no way I can wear the shawl that goes with my “sari” since I don’t have a giant bun to pin the heavy fabric into….oh well! Doing a birdcage veil instead. I had thought about getting finger waves, but hairstyling is just not in the budget and I can’t be bothered to do that myself.

        Excited to see what you decide to do!

        • Thanks so much, Shawna! I love your board – we seem to have some very similar style interests! :) I love finger waves too but I’m not sure that I want to put the work into doing the for my wedding day. Plus, I’d need to practice a lot before then.

      • I grew my hair out from a pixie to a (short) bob, and I have to say that I feel strange when I look at my wedding photos. For most of my adult life, I’ve had a pixie, but in my wedding photos, I don’t. I don’t feel like ME. In retrospect, I wish I’d kept it short and found some kind of awesome headband or just rocked a birdcage veil. #hindsight

        • This is refreshing to hear! I’m really loving my pixie and wouldn’t have really had time to grow it out anyway, so that worked out nicely. The birdcage veil is a good option and I feel like I should try some others on. My fiance said he doesn’t love the look of them, but maybe he’d change his mind if he saw me in one. :)

  • ack

    Hi APW! I’m a long(long!)-time reader but I’m finally coming out of lurk-dom for some advice about ring-warming rituals. We’re in the process of putting our ceremony script together, and I’m starting to worry that even if we start the rings at the beginning of the ceremony there won’t be enough time for them to make it all the way around the guests before we need them back for the ring exchange part, and then there will be a big awkward silence while we wait. For reference, we’re inviting about 130 people, and ideally we’d have a ~30 min ceremony with the ring warming starting 5-10 minutes in after we make some introductory remarks and do a reading.

    Does anybody have experience with this and maybe want to tell me about the timing and logistics of their own ring warming? It would be greatly appreciated!

    • Ashlah

      I’ve heard of people having the rings displayed near where the guests come in, so rather than passing them around during the ceremony, all the ring warming gets done prior to the ceremony. Just an alternate idea.

    • Eenie

      We scrapped our ring warming for this reason. Are you having a guest book at the ceremony? Could you place the rings there with a note explaining, and have a designated ring watcher that brings them/gives them to the correct person?

    • macrain

      I was so worried about this exact thing and it ended up being just fine. Basically we attached a note to to our rings to explain what was going on (I have a picture, let me find it!) so we wouldn’t have to wait for the officiant to explain before kicking things off. As soon as the ceremony began, the rings, which had been at my MIL’s chair, were off and running.
      We had 80 guests and the rings circulated with no problem and made their way back to us. I had a day of coordinator who was set to step in and pluck them from the crowd if necessary so there wouldn’t be any awkward lag time.

      • ack

        That’s great to know, thanks! A not is a great idea I hadn’t thought of. I don’t suppose you know about how long it took for them to make it through all the guests?

    • macrain

      Here’s the pic!

    • BDubs

      If your officiant(s) are flexible, try doing the ring exchange at the very end of the ceremony to give your guests the full 30-ish minutes to pass the rings.

      • ack

        Oh! I actually didn’t realize there was another time to do rings, though of course it makes sense now that I think about other ceremonies. But on the plus side, our officiants are us so we are as flexible as we need to be!

    • Jenny

      I had a little wood box that I mod podged a long ribbon into and tied our rings to it. At the entrance to our ceremony I had a little note in a picture frame explaining the ring warming and ask people to grasp the rings and think their well wishes for us. I can’t remember the exact language, but people really liked it.

    • Kelly

      We did a ring warming as a little pre-ceremony ceremony, and it was great! My sister was in charge of it, and when everyone was generally seated/in the ceremony area she came up and gave a little speech and explained what would happen, then the rings were passed around as music played (sister kept an eye on them/kept them moving). The last song to play was our entrance song. It took about 20 minutes for 100 people, and it was so lovely! People chatted, laughed, enjoyed themselves for 20 minutes and it created really great energy to walk into for the ceremony. Our photographers got fabulous pictures of all our shiny happy people blessing the rings, and they are some of our faves. I’ll also add that the ceremony was outside and there were drinks available, so there was nice scenery and something to sip on while people waited, too. I can send you our script/timeline if you want.

      • ack

        Oh, thank you! it’s great to know some approximate times. I would actually love to look at a ceremony script, especially since I see in another comment that you MC’d your own ceremony, which is what we want to do also!

    • Kirstin K

      Sorry that I’m late to the party but I wanted to add our experience. We had a standing ceremony with about 75 guests that ended up lasting about 30 minutes. We tied the rings together on a piece of ribbon and started the ring warming pretty early on in the ceremony. I think that not everyone ended up holding them since we didn’t have aisles to pass along but they were quickly brought forward when our officiant asked for them towards the end of the ceremony. A few people that didn’t get a chance to hold them during the ceremony came up to us during the reception so still found a way to be included. We had so many people comment about this aspect of our ceremony that I am very glad we included it even though we were a bit nervous about how it would work.

  • Abe

    Based on the big post and discussion on cultural appropriation a few weeks ago, thought some of you might find this interesting: http://www.sporkful.com/other-peoples-food-part-1/

    WNYC’s Sporkful podcast is doing a series called “Other People’s Food” – interviews about food and cultural inspiration/appropriation. Really good “food” for thought (sorry, couldn’t resist the pun)!

    • Teresa

      I just listened to the first episode last night–I never really thought of food that way, but found the conversations fascinating!

  • Sophie

    Hi everyone! We just decided to have a wedding website. Any suggestions/ideas/recommendations that you can offer will be greatly appreciated!

    • Eenie

      Ours is a google site. Very customizable, but it was quite a bit of work and doesn’t necessarily look “pretty”. It accomplished what I wanted.

      ETA we used google forms for our RSVP and that impacted our decision.

    • We used Appy Couple for our wedding website and a lot of our guests loved it, and we loved putting it together. Lots of cute designs, easy to update, and the features were great, in terms of RSVPs. Even if you don’t use that, I’d suggest making sure you include travel info, even if it’s just how to get to the ceremony/reception, and info on your expectations around kids, dress code, etc.

      • Lisa

        Seconding AppyCouple! We really liked it, too.

    • OliveMC

      We used the Knot which was super easy to use (and delete after the wedding!). Adding photos and registries, in addition to wedding info, was super simple. Guests can RSVP on there, too. I didn’t like that they didn’t have a guestbook/comments feature, apparently it’s in the works. But it’s Free!

      Mid-wedding planning, we bought a QNAP NAS (little back up drive/web server) and made ourselves a website that I wish we had used instead of the Knot. We’re both kinda nerdy and enjoy working on it. We use wordpress which is so easy to use, but if you go this way you have to buy a domain name. We plan on using this site forever (and ever. I love it.), so buying our domain name wasn’t an issue.

    • AGCourtney

      We used WeddingWire and I was really happy with that. We started with the Knot, but quickly switched from that. It was really easy to use, had the usual RSVP/registry sections, and, of course, it was free.

      ETA: If you’d like to see our website as an example, I can give you the link.

    • Ashlah

      We used mywedding.com. Super duper simple and basic.

    • Keri

      Ours is not live yet, but we used minted, which was free and pretty (and you don’t have to order their invites), but not super customizable. It really bugged my fiance that we couldn’t change the headings on the tabs (so it says “travel” when we want it to say “accommodations”) but other than that it was fine, I guess? I think you get a simple custom url for free (so no bunch of digits to type in at the end of nameandnamewedding10730217094).

    • Abe

      From a design perspective, I dig Squarespace — just used it for our wedding website. It’s a good call if you want to tinker to get a pretty, custom look without coding. You can easily set up the RSVP/contact form so it automatically adds RSVPs to a Google doc spreadsheet.

      Also – my fiancé and I had a blast coming up with the silliest custom URLs (even splurged on a .love domain!). So far it’s been a hit! No need to mynameandyourname.com if you don’t want… something fun to consider.

    • afew

      My advise: don’t spend too much time and energy on it. We made one 3 years ago for our wedding, and almost no one looked at it! It drove me nuts when people would ask about things that were on the website and act all confused (Where are you registered? What hotels do you suggest? How do I get to your venue? – CHECK THE F***ING WEBSITE!) We did all the ‘right’ things and put it on the save the dates and invites with a note – ‘for info about xyz – got to weddingwebsite.com. And, they had to go on the website to RSVP, then still didn’t click around to look at the other info/pages. So, don’t spend a large amount of time on it and try not to be offended when people don’t even look at it.

      • chrissyc

        YES, same here for my wedding about a year ago. I internally screamed “CHECK THE F***ING WEBSITE!” so many times. You are not alone! :)

    • A.

      The most popular section of our website was our About The Couple section. I felt like a total douche while writing it and putting up the pictures, but I did it because APW said that it helps people who don’t know one-half of the couple very well feel more connected to their relationship. That ended up being totally true…so many people came up to us and were so happy to know more about our life together. I was shocked how many people read the whole thing and used it as a conversation starter with us. Complete success, really. Some of our friends definitely gave us well-meaning crap about how cheesy it was, but as we told them–it wasn’t for them!

      Basically all the practical information was systematically ignored though, even after I lovingly outlined everything anyone needed to know in an easy-to-browse manner. So get ready for that.

      • Jess

        Crap, I didn’t do any of that on because it made me uncomfortable telling people things about me.

        Looks like me and R are sitting down with a glass of wine and doing that.

        • Eenie

          You also don’t have to write an about us section. We have no bridal party, and only invited people who knew us both (save for maybe a handful that I have yet to meet, but have heard about me extensively via phone). So we have no about us section.

      • KPM

        This just reminded me to go on our website and save what my husband wrote for the About Us section because it was *the cutest* and summed up a very long relationship with ups and downs so well.

        My sister’s finance also just wrote the best About Us and being a writer managed to do in like 5 sentences.

  • Sara

    This is a silly silly question, but how do you leave a long term stylist? I’ve been going to the same guy for like 6 years and its next to impossible to change an appointment with him. If I book the next appointment when I’m getting my hair done, its fine. But he’s super popular and he get’s booked fast. Plus he’s one of the priciest stylists at the salon (he’s great, so I guess its good that he’s rewarded) but I started going to him when he was in training (for the free haircuts). I adore him but I kinda want to try another place, hopefully cheaper. The problem is, my good friend works at his salon (and less importantly, we’re facebook friends) so I’m not sure how to sever the relationship. Any thoughts? I know I’m likely overthinking this.

    • Eenie

      “Hi Steve. I’ve been a loyal customer for six years and have loved your service, but I’ve found it difficult to change appointment times at the last minute. I wanted to let you know upfront that I don’t have any issue with my haircuts/styling, but with my need for flexibility I’m going to try out a different stylist.” – Be upfront about it. Or just cancel your appointment and ghost.

      ETA – I would have this conversation at the end of the appointment. Cause he may try to guilt you. There’s a possibility he’d be willing to give you a reduced rate or be more flexible with a long standing customer too, but I wouldn’t guarantee that.

      • OliveMC

        Eenie, can you write all my break up letters?

        • Eenie

          Gladly :) Requests taken through HH of course!

      • Sara

        Ha, I love it! But my problem is that I can’t get an appointment for another two months! Maybe I’ll copy and paste this into a facebook message to him.

        • Eenie

          Then edit as such “…difficult to schedule an appointment within two months.” I think most professionals would understand that having flexibility with getting an appointment is important for some clients.

        • KPM

          Honestly, I’d try out some other place. Then if you like it, you can a) ghost or b) tell him “I had trouble getting an appointment and needed one so went elsewhere.” If you hate it, you can go back to him for the following appointment and say, “had a moment of desperation. please fix my hair again!”

        • Jenny

          When this has happened to me my stylist is usually really good about trying to fit me in on a lunch break or put me on a list where I get called when she has an appt cancelation. If you are a regular I think it’s not crazy for them to try and accommodate you. When that hasn’t been able to happen I’ve said, uggg Alicia, I really wish I could see you, but you’re booked up and I need a haircut for xx event on y day, is there someone else at the salon you would recommend who will be free in that time frame? If you really like his work and would prefer to see him when you can that can be a good approach. If on the other hand you’d like to start a new relationship with a stylist I think Eenie’s letter is a good one.

    • Ashlah

      I totally understand the anxiety. I dealt with it by shaving all my hair off! (Mostly kidding. But not having to break up with my stylist was a nice side effect of that decision).

      Honestly, I would probably just ghost :/ I don’t know how you feel about your relationship with the guy, but he’s a professional and you’re a client, and he’s providing service in exchange for money. You don’t owe him an explanation.

      • Sara

        Well we declare our love for each other constantly because I tend to go in and say “I don’t care what you do” and it looks fabulous. But you’re right, he’s a pro. It’s probably happened before.

    • emilyg25

      I’ve always just ghosted… I feel like most stylists (and doctors, etc.) understand that it’s a hazard of the trade.

    • A.

      I’ve ghosted on several long-time stylists in my life; these were people who sent me cards for big events, they were my Facebook friends, we knew each others’ families names, allllll that. With the exception of one stylist who I stopped going to due to a cross-country move, I just quietly shifted away from their services. But I’ve also run into them throughout the years or even used them again once or twice since, and I’ve never *once* experienced hard feelings on their end. They’ve always been very friendly and happy to see me again, personally or professionally (and if they felt slighted, they kept it to themselves as frankly they should.)

      Good stylists are professionals who expect a certain amount of shifting customer bases. I think it would be magnanimous to send him a nice note if you felt inspired to do so, but that’s definitely not required!

    • afew

      Unfriend on facebook and stop going to see him at that salon. Also, stop going to that salon all together. Ask around for recommendations from friends or random local strangers with great haircuts. Then, start going somewhere else. I tend to change stylist every few years or they leave and go somewhere I don’t wanna go or can no longer afford (I tend to get haircuts for $35-50). The hardest one was when I went to a different stylist at the same salon… and got dirty looks from the previous stylist. It’s way easier if you just go to a new salon with different people all together.

  • Danielle

    It’s been a rough few weeks here! My husband went to the ER twice in the last two weeks because of a wierd headache that was not getting better, and his general practice doctor was on vacation. They did a CT scan and everything looked fine, then suggested he see a neurologist or get an MRI.

    Problem is that they didn’t note he needed an MRI in his record (just wrote “headache”) so the hospital won’t schedule one for him. And apparently our area has a shortage of neurologists so he can’t schedule an appointment until late May!

    I was so frustrated and scared by the lack of accountability, and the mistakes that were made, within this system, and by having no control or way to help my loved one who is in pain. I was also disturbed by the extreme difference between the two ERs we visited: at one, a busy trauma center, the staff was harried and burned out, and we waited a long time; the visit took about 6 hours. At the other, located in a nice suburban area, we had a short waiting time in a lovely spacious room, followed by a sit-down visit with a calm, older physician who really listened to our concerns. The difference was like night and day — healthcare inequality is real.

    Meanwhile, husband is still in pain (despite the meds they gave him) and I am dreading the bills we will receive.

    Don’t need advice, just needed to vent. The US healthcare system is so broken!

    • Chris

      so so broken.

      I am umm… medically complicated …. nowadays, and with every bill and hospital interaction, I get more frustrated at the waste, inefficiency, and inequity in this system (even as I’m on the receiving side of the inequity).

      • Danielle

        Ugh, I’m sorry to hear that :/

        An additional frustration is that my husband works in a hospital and understands a lot of the issues. So it’s like we KNOW about it, but we can’t DO much to circumvent it.

        It is so incredibly frustrating. Really, can’t we do ANY better, America?!

  • K

    As my partner and I contemplate a cross country move together, and talk more and more about eventual marriage and kids, I look back and think about how I didn’t know when we first started dating that it might be my last first date and last first kiss. I thought I would meet a lot more people and go on a lot more first dates and enjoy a lot more first makeout sessions than I did. I’ve been thinking about this particularly in regards to a good male friend that was really the last person I had the mega hots for before my current partner. Friend has since expressed regret for being too chicken to act on the mutual attraction but if I had known I was going to be building something serious so soon I would’ve definitely made a much greater effort to kiss him during those many long goodbyes brimming with stupid amounts of sexual tension.
    I think what I miss most is actually the opportunity to charm the pants off people (metaphorically) and the sparkle of getting to know someone one-on-one and making them laugh. I feel there is less room for this in platonic relationships as people are less interested in that level of engagement when there is not a romantic pay off. Is it possible to have that intense one-on-one dynamic with new friends (particularly male friends) and keep it platonic? How do I do it?

    • Vilmos Kovacs

      I don’t know the answer to your questions, but your initial description has made me chuckle. My first kiss with my husband was not my last first kiss. We hooked up on and off for years before we finally got our shit together. That looks so much worse in writing than it was in real life. I don’t remember who my last first kiss was with. I actually kissed a lot of dudes the week before my husband and I decided to jump in together with both feet. (Part of the struggle with my husband and I was that we were such good friends, best friends really, that we knew if we started dating we would marry each other and it took a while for us to be ready to start the relationship that would be the relationship). I feel the best kind of slutty for not remembering who my last first kiss was with.

    • Ashlah

      That’s an interesting question. My husband happened to be my first everything. So I’ve had zero other experience with anyone else. Sometimes I wonder what I missed out on, but I obviously also feel lucky that I found my forever person. Curious to see what people think of your question. I’m not really sure how one would do that.

      • Molly K.

        My husband was my first everything as well. No regrets. :)

    • A.

      So there are three different needs that need to be met here: Yours, your partner’s, and your potential friends’. I think if you and your partner have had a lot of open communication about flirting (which it sounds like you’re talking about, distilled), that is a good starting point. The next part is making sure that any of your friends don’t get the wrong impression (whatever that might be).

      Full disclosure, I get where you’re coming from here as I’m notoriously flirty as soon as I get even two drinks in me…with men, women, everyone. My tipsy state is one of feeling like the most charismatic person on the planet and trying to, like you said, charm the metaphorical pants off people. Most of my friends–and certainly my husband–know(s) this about me and it’s all in good fun; my husband trusts me to joke/tease/flirt as long as it never turns physical or, worse to him, into an ongoing relationship that is deeper emotionally/chemistry-wise than he and I have (neither has ever been an actual concern, but we’ve talked about it enough to know that would be his firewall).

      However, I’ve also had a few dicey situations over the years where people took my smiles and jokes as an indication of actual interest (not entirely unfair) and it turned sour, fast. What I’ve done to correct this is to always be upfront about my relationship/now-marital status with new people, make sure I actually *gush* about my husband (not hard for me to do because he’s the most amazing man on the planet), and never engage in even innocent physical contact like arm touches (the hardest for me because I’m a very physical person, but it’s not worth it). If someone of any gender keeps engaging with me after these three foundations are set, then I generally feel in the clear that they also just enjoy flirtier/jokier interactions and keeps it in the fun realm, instead of the weird realm.

    • Lawyerette510

      I don’t have answers, but I do appreciate your perspective and questions. I will say this, as someone who for the first 20+ years of my life mainly had friends who were men, as I moved into my mid-twenties I started developing more woman-friends. A big part of this was once I started dating my husband, I fell hard and (like you describe so well) the charming-pants-off-of-men thing stopped. But in the 7.5 years that Mr. Lawyerette and I have been together, I’ve really seen my woman-friendships blossom. That energy that I was putting out and getting back in a flirty way with men, instead was redirected to seeking out and charming women I wanted to be friends with. While it’s different from a sexual-undertone flirtation, I’ve certainly had multiple times where there’s been that spark of recognition/ chemistry in a friendship way where it just clicks and it’s like “I see you! you see me! we’re each other’s people!” that I think I missed the opportunity to experience earlier in my life because i was so focused on sexual chemistry with men.

    • Amy March

      Honestly it sound likes you just want permission to cheat. No. Sorry. You are married. You don’t get to have that level of connection with people. Especially single male heterosexual people. Go fuck your husband and move on.

    • EF

      So, does it *have* to be your last-first-kiss? Or is there any wiggle room there?

      Especially as you’re moving across the country, so this person wouldn’t be around. You know you: would a kiss end these feelings, make you *more* attracted to your partner, or would it confuse things?

      I too miss the new makeouts and things that come with, well, random hook-ups (that was my pre-partner life, heh). but my partner knew that going in — and when we did long distance, I did sometimes make out with other people, but not people there are lots of feelings for, just ones that make me feel more confident in myself (and my partnership!). i also go out and flirt a ton when I’m on work trips or whatever, and then come home and tell him about it, and it’s super hot. But this was all talked out and agreed upon ahead of time. And nothing ever goes far– these days it’s just flirting, but unlikely that’s the way it will be forever. And it’s *not* cheating.

      So communicate to your partner these feelings. See what talking things out does for you!

      2) Platonic (male, hetero) friends are totally still possible. Just treat them as you would a new female friend, without (presumably, based on your post) any sexual expectations or tension. Intense friendships are not for everyone, but if you’re one of those that has them (and again, I am too) definitely it suuuucks when you’re missing that intimacy. I think it takes more time to build once you’re partnered off, but build on things you have in common: if you and person are both into rock climbing, go climbing, build trust that comes with that, and go from there. both super into post-war American lit? book club buddies! just like with any other person.

  • Cleo

    Maddie – can you share that link to the article about the high-stakes entrepreneurship model you referenced?

    Thanks!

    • Maddie Eisenhart

      Sure thing! It was this: http://www.wired.com/2014/04/no-exit/ I accidentally stumbled on it and mostly read out of curiosity. It’s fascinating to me what we reward in this economy right now.

      • Cleo

        Awesome! Thank you!

        I’m doing some loose exploring of striking out on my own in business, so I’m reading everything on entrepreneurship in the current economy I can get my hands on.

        • Maddie Eisenhart

          Oh I’m curious what kind of information and advice you’re looking for! We’ve got more career and entrepreneurship stuff coming down the pipeline later this year, and I’d love to know what you feel is missing from the conversation.

      • Lawyerette510

        The dynamics and culture associated with tech and tech-adjacent entrepreneurship is fascinating to me. I work with small to medium businesses across the country and in all kinds of fields, but a lot of them are here in NorCal and some how connected to tech. The culture they create in their workplaces both intentionally and inadvertently is fascinating.

  • Teresa

    After the emotion labor article posted a few weeks ago, I sent the article to my husband and asked him to read it, specifically the comments, and talk about it with me. He forgot to read it. Once he did, he felt extra awful for forgetting, and we had a long talk about how this impacts our lives and our relationship. I asked him to make a list of all the things he does and all the things he thinks I do and I would do the same. He was astounded at the amount of things he wrote down for me (over 20) compared to the amount of things he wrote down for himself (7). He has made a conscious effort to take on more of his share of the remembering/planning/organizing. This week, on Real Simple’s Labor of Love podcast, they talked about exactly this issue and about the Chore Challenge.

    Listen here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/labor-love-chore-challenge/id969518029?i=365227509&mt=2

    I loved that this was a discussion backed up by hard facts and discussed in a way that really emphasized the seriousness of the issue. Thought you guys might want to listen!

    • Ashlah

      I’m so glad you and your husband had a productive discussion about it! I’ve been debating whether I would be overstepping boundaries to send that article to my co-worker who is doing ALL of the emotional labor in their household and is obviously super frustrated by it. I think it would be helpful for her to hear about other people’s experiences, but we’re not super close, so I’m not sure it’s my place to offer advice on (or appear to criticize) her marriage.

      • Teresa

        If you’re not super close, I think it probably could be overstepping, unless you brought it up in reference to your own experiences? You know your co-worker, you know if you think it would be uncomfortable for her. You could just say you read this article and had never heard it talked about, never knew there was a word for it (I sure didn’t) and just kind of leave it there as food for thought??

      • CW

        If she’s expressed frustration, could you send it to her with a note, “you mentioned X last week, I saw this and thought of you.”

      • Amy March

        100% overstepping! You are co-workers not BFFs.

        • Ashlah

          I know. It just bums me out to watch. I’ve seen it progress since they had kids, and I wish there was something I could do, even though it’s not my place.

    • oh those lists! SO BRILLIANT.

    • toomanybooks

      That’s so cool! If it’s not too personal, what sort of things were on each list? My fiancee and I are both (femme) women and while I don’t think this alone totally rules us out of the EL discussion, what I hear about the EL imbalance in couples between women and men is really surprising to me/outside of my experience.

      • Teresa

        My list consisted of things like keeping track of food and house-hold good that we are running out of, remembering birthdays and other special events, holiday cards, remembering when the car needs an inspection and registration, paying nearly all of the bills, making appointments, planning weekend things, planning and booking vacations, planning big purchases and decisions, checking the mail, reminding my husband to do this tasks (the most annoying of all!!!!). His list was get info from his family about events and stuff, input the receipts and purchases into our budget, kill bugs in the house.

        I am really interested to hear how these things are split in a non-hetero household where the gender stereotypes may be less obvious. My hypothesis is that so much of this is socialization–my husband’s sisters know how to do that stuff, but he just doesn’t think of it!

        • toomanybooks

          Ooh totally!
          Groceries: We go shopping together and split the cost when we check out. Occasionally for fun we’ll (on our own) stop by Trader Joe’s on the way home from work. Most of the stuff we get is pretty easy to prepare.
          Weekend things: We mostly just hang out with each other at home or figure out something to do together, but otherwise tend to make plans for both of us with friends (generally whoever knew the friend pre-relationship does the planning). Of the two of us, I’m the one who’s constantly on social media (she gets phone notifications, I don’t even need them), so I tend to be a little more aware of things that have Facebook events, but we’ll talk about them IRL too. It’s not a burden for me because like I said, always on Facebook anyway.
          Vacations: the person who’s chosen the vacation (are we visiting her family? are we visiting my old college friends?) will probably do a little more of the planning but we don’t really do anything without the other’s input.
          Chores: We are both equally lazy slobs, so we don’t feel guilty about letting our place get messy, and then when we Have To Clean we do it together (usually deciding on different areas to each cover) or split the cleaning (like if I get home from work first and clean until she gets home later, she’ll take over). When we moved in together, I made a promise to take out the trash most/all of the time, and she made a promise to deal with the utility bills. Whoever is closest to bug will kill it unless one of us is feeling particularly skittish, or the other particularly bloodthirsty, at the moment.

          idk we like hanging out with each other a lot and don’t like making decisions that’ll affect the other without consulting her first and I feel like things are pretty equal? But if you have any questions about anything in particular, ask away, because I’m sure there’s stuff I’m missing?

  • AGCourtney

    Ooh, just remembered something I wanted to ask about today – gardening. We’re new homeowners, and our townhome has a plot in front (so that has to look nice), along with a garden in back and a couple other areas along the deck and near the park path that runs behind our place. I’ve never had a yard in my life, so this is all brand new territory. Does anyone have any suggestions for resources – books, websites, etc. – to learn the basics for this? It’s not exactly urgent – we just had another snowstorm this week, haha – but I wanted to ask while it was on my mind.

    • Ashlah

      I am also here for tips! We’ve had raised beds since we moved in three years ago, and we tend to plant some veggies each year, but I find gardening really difficult for some reason. (Laziness is probably the reason. And ignorance.)

    • Alex

      What state/gardening zone do you live in?

      awaytogarden is a pretty solid website/facebook page :) i think she’s zone 5b (upstate NY iirc…) I love gardening and can’t wait until I have another patio/plot of dirt. You definitely need good dirt with the right amount of nutrients and then I’d probably start with baby plants from a local farmer’s market.

      • Eenie

        I’m apparently in 8A! Didn’t know this was a thing….
        http://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/#

        • Alex

          haha it’s a gamechanger. There’s no sense in me giving you ANY tips about gardening since I’m 5B and it’s a wildly different climate (I presume you are somewhere in GA/SC..?)

          • Eenie

            Georgia :) Just moved here and the weather is throwing me! We are currently in “pollen season” in which everything is just coated in yellow pollen. EVERYTHING. I’m excited to get the yard/house prepped to start the garden right next year. Goal for this year is a nice porch herb garden.

          • JSK

            I’m in NC and our herb garden rocks! We do basil, oregano, parsley, rosemary, and a few other things. You can plant now or later (we did April one year and May the next) if you aren’t going from seed. Typically starts looking a little weak during the hottest part of the summer, but comes back in the fall with a vengeance!

            We have two large 1/2 whiskey barrels that we got from Lowe’s that we use for herbs right outside our back door. They’re in the sun most of the AM and get plenty of rain. Good luck!

          • Eenie

            Your list is basically my plan! Plus cilantro and lavender. I’m hoping we get some of the supplies as wedding gifts in April so I’ve been holding off on starting.

          • Alex

            I feel like lavender should grow great! …and, you know, smell AMAZING. It was always rock solid at the botanical gardens in Michigan at the height of summer when we’d have TONS of direct sunlight and it’d be in the high 80’s-low 90’s. So it might need some love in the GA heat but should be resilient :)

          • Eenie

            I just hope this “Georgia heat” stays away all summer…totally realistic plan! With the herbs I planned on using small pots so I can move them around if they look like they need more shade or sunlight. It’ll also help with certain ones overtaking the whole place!

          • JSK

            I usually end up using basil in everything all summer long, then panic harvesting in September/October for winter. PESTO for everyone!

          • Alex

            haha same here! I REALLY like thai basil – i throw it in every stir fry I make. I had 8 basil plants two summers ago…

          • JSK

            We’ve also had good luck with squash/zucchini and cucumbers, if that’s a direction you want to go! I have a feeling lettuces would do well in certain parts of the season, but not during the hottest months.

          • Alex

            Marjoram will probably die in GA unless you’re in awesome shade. My first apartment in Michigan grew marjoram like a champ in super shade (I basically lived in a bunker with minimal light that came through), and when we transplanted our baby patio garden to our glorious new garden the marjoram became dried marjoram in about a week with all the sun it was getting. Cilantro/basil/dill/mint will all grow great. Keep mint in a pot because it spreads like a weed, I’d also keep cilantro in a pot just because it is kinda droopy and grows somewhat awkwardly (from my experience) so will be easier to cut if it’s in a pot. You might be too hot for lettuce (they’re tiny plants so could fit with an herb garden!), but maybe laate fall or early spring would work :)

      • AGCourtney

        Whoa, cool. MN, 4b. Thanks!

        • Alex

          check out the farmer’s markets starting in very late april through memorial day – in Michigan, a LOT of the farms that would be selling their produce in june/july would sell seed starts (of various sizes) through memorial day (possibly even later in MN..?), so you can buy plants that DEFINITELY grow in your area and ask for tips from the farmers you are buying them from! The only reason I ever grew lettuce (which I highly recommend for you as you’re someplace with cooler starts to summers which lettuce needs) was because a farm was selling 4 baby lettuce plants (~3″ tall) for $2.00. FIFTY CENTS for a baby lettuce plant. Best impulse purchase ever. Since this is your first growing season, you might want to start with larger plants (like tomatoes that are already a foot tall) to get more confidence – they’ll be more expensive though. or just go for it and buy your baby plants and nurture them :) coffee grounds are great for tomatoes – they like the nitrogen in them

    • Kalë

      My partner is the gardener in our baby family, but I just wanted to commend you for getting started early. So many would-be gardeners (self included) get discouraged when they plant too late and then nothing grows or everything dies. My only tip is compost! It’s both better for the earth than throwing away food waste and makes your garden beautiful! Plus, it wayyy reduces the amount of trash you throw out on trash day. Yay! Good luck and bounty to your future garden.

    • Lawyerette510

      A couple good resources that are available most places are your local Master Gardeners (http://www.ahs.org/gardening-resources/master-gardeners) and Ag Extension (http://nifa.usda.gov/extension). While you might think Ag Extension is only for rural areas, it’s definitely not. For both resources the people are generally really friendly, really knowledgeable, and super enthusiastic about helping people garden and grow things.

    • Lulu

      My husband and I signed up for a class via Dabble where we could bring in photos of the light in our yard at different times of day and the master gardener recommended a layout for our beds. We of course are yet to follow through, but the class was super cool. And it’s not too early to start sprouting seeds inside– that much I remember!

    • Kate

      I think one great way to get started is to look at what other people are growing successfully in your area and to be very aware of what amount of sunlight you’re working with.

    • another lady

      go to a local gardening center (not home depot or lowes, but the local old school place) and ask the employees tons of questions – those people have so much info to share and love to give advice! also, if you are in a new home you have not lived in before, wait until late spring / early summer to see what comes up from the previous owners and what you like / don’t like / need more of, etc. that was one of the best pieces of advise to garden center employees told us! turns out, we have awesome flowering bushes in an area we thought we hated and were going to rip up!

    • Rebekah

      I grew up with my mom’s copy of Carrots love Tomatoes, so I’d recommend starting there for books.

    • InTheBurbs

      The MN Extension website is really good – and connecting with a Master Gardener when you have issues – like a bug you can’t manage to identify. We had a community plot last year for the first time and will be doing it again this year and I was pleasantly surprised with what we managed to harvest

  • OliveMC

    I’m about 1.5 or 2 years out from finishing my PhD, and still figuring out what kind of career I want and how to configure everything if I want a family…I want it all, having it all is stressful, etc. etc.

    One of the Women in Science organizations I’m a part of shared this: http://theprofessorisin.com/2015/10/23/go-ahead-lose-your-balance/ and I love it. I hate how much pressure women put on themselves and each other, and how judgmental we can be towards other women who are doing things their way, not ours. I’m always anxious that I care too much about family/happiness/life to be a scientist, but this was a gentle reminder that it’s ok to lose balance. Can we all agree that life is the process of seeking equilibrium, but even at equilibrium, things are constantly changing. (It’s really a matter of rates…#chemistryisawesome)

    I haven’t read the article this one quotes, so there’s still a lot to process, but I wanted to share.

    • Poppy

      Thanks for this. I’m in a similar boat to you, slightly shorter timeline on finishing the PhD. Preparing for the job market, I ask myself all the time whether I’m really cut out for this because I want a family and value leisure time/friendships.

      • OliveMC

        Yea…I’m spending Friday afternoon feeling guilty about not wanting to come to work this weekend…mental health or research progress? hmm…

        I know a lot of my struggle is the amount of pressure I put on myself, which leads to crazy amounts of stress and anxiety. I love how that post emphasized working towards accepting/embracing the imbalance.

      • Different universities/departments have different work/life balance. The trick is to find the right fit…just like with any other job :)

    • Sosuli

      Yep, I am about to finish my PhD (history – defending on Friday) and have been applying for aaaaalll the academic jobs and every time I write a cover letter I oscillate between thinking “yes, I can do this!” and “OMG I am promising so much do I really want to do this for the rest of my life”… but just know you’ve got options! And you don’t have to make all those decisions now. It’s OK to start down a career path and then decide it’s not for you. To get through the PhD I sometimes had to say to myself, it doesnt matter what I do after, just get this dissertation done first…

      • OliveMC

        Congrats!!!! I hope your defense goes well!

  • Molly K.

    We finally decided to start trying for kids in August. I am nervous but so excited!

    • Ashlah

      Oh, how exciting! We’ll be right behind you in September :) Hopefully we can be a good source of support for each other here!

      • Molly K.

        Yay!
        We’ll be paying off my student loans before then, too, once we sell my husband’s house. I cannot wait for no extra mortgage and no student loans! Hooray for putting ourselves in a good place. :)

      • BSM

        We’re September as well! Pulling the plug (aka IUD) before we head to Oktoberfest in Germany! Should be fun ;-)

  • fishy

    Dear internet strangers,

    I have been lurking on APW for a few years, but have never commented, even after my partner and I transitioned from pre-engaged to Engaged in January. But I decided to post today because right now it feels like my relationship is imploding and I don’t know where else to turn. I’m not sure I can write too much because I’m at work and writing out details is just going to turn me into a (more obvious) sobbing mess, but basically, even though I thought my partner and I were on the same page when we got engaged, it turns out he’d been hiding doubts about our relationship from me, and they’ve come to surface now in the past few months. At the same time, he’s developed strong feelings for a woman at his work, someone who happens to be an ex-girlfriend from middle/high school. He told me he feels like he’s in a romantic relationship with her, and though they haven’t done anything physical, he said he’s tried to kiss her and she is the one who stopped it. When I asked him to cut off this relationship, he tried for a week, but then came back to me and said he just felt sad and resentful towards me, and that he decided to continue his relationship with her. He’s told me that he can’t picture our future together, and it feels like something is missing.

    But I can’t picture my future without him. Writing all of this out, I feel like anyone reading it must be thinking “this girl is crazy, she needs to cut and run ASAP.” But we’ve been togethers for years, lived together for 3 years, our lives are totally intertwined and I’ve thought of our futures as intertwined for a long time now. He is a complicated person, but a wonderful person and my absolute best friend, and I just can’t imagine how to navigate life without him. After so many years of certainty, I’m now feeling super uncertain about our future and I don’t know what to do. He doesn’t want to end our relationship, but neither does he want to end his relationship with this other woman. It doesn’t feel like he’s committed to me in the same way it has for the past 3 years when we’ve referred to each other as Life Partner Forever and lived our lives together and made all our decisions together. Complicating all of this is the fact that because we announced our engagement less than 3 months ago (which was a mutual decision, not a surprise proposal or anything), I haven’t felt like I’m able to talk to anyone about this. Most of our friends are couple friends. I’m super close with my family, but I haven’t told them about any of this because I’ve been hoping we would work through this and he would still be a part of my life, and I didn’t want his relationship with my family to be tainted. Literally the only person I’ve talked to besides my partner is a Lyft driver who, bless him, told me I looked sad and asked what was going on in my life. I have an appointment with my old therapist next Tuesday, but I’m just feeling like I don’t know how to hold myself together until Tuesday, so I decided to post anonymously to a bunch of random internet strangers and hope that maybe someone has some helpful words.

    • macrain

      This all just sounds like a lot and I’m so sorry. I think it’s fantastic that you are seeing a therapist to talk it thought, because there is a LOT to unpack here. Whatever you decide, just be gentle and kind with yourself, and reach out for whatever support you need because this stuff is so hard.
      Hugs. <3 <3 <3

    • Danielle

      Oh god, I’m sorry to hear this, girl. I can speak to the part about having problems with a fiance after getting engaged — do you have even one friend or trusted family member soul-sister type you can talk to? It just sucks to have to keep it all inside.

      It’s great you made an appointment with your therapist! Try to do something nice for yourself this weekend. Manicure, bath, lunch with awesome friends.

      You can get through this <3

    • Rebekah Abeja

      Nothing helpful, but my heart goes out to you. Wishing you strength and wisdom as you sort out your thoughts.

    • Lawyerette510

      Lots of internet-stranger hugs for you (if hugs are your thing). Like @danielle_1:disqus and @macrain:disqus have said, be kind and caring to yourself as you move through this. There isn’t a right or wrong decision here, it’s what’s right for you, which may or may not be what someone else in your situation would do. As for the difficulty of untangling your life, if that’s what you decide is right for you, it won’t get any easier as time progresses. You may decide that you are not ok continuing the commitment you have or deepening it with someone who wants to have an emotionally (and potentially physically) relationship with you and someone else, and as hard as that decision will be, it will only be harder if you further deepen that relationship. You have the knowledge of yourself to know what is a deal-breaker and what isn’t, you also have the strength to survive if something is a deal-breaker.

    • Kalë

      Just wanted to send you the emoji-prayer-hands. This is one, one, hard place to be in, and I extra-empathize with not wanting to tell your real life people about it in hopes it all works out. I think connecting with a therapist is a hugely great idea, though.

    • raccooncity

      hugs to you, and bless lyft drivers. I hope things get better.

    • Jessica

      Would he be willing to consider therapy too? It is not unusual for feelings for another person to emerge shortly after making a stronger commitment to someone. If he’s been calling you his “Life Partner Forever” for at least three years, but after getting engaged has started to feel doubts and experience attraction to other people…maybe he wants to talk through the timing of that, and figure out his underlying motivations, before making any big decisions.
      {hugs}

    • Internet hugs, this is such a difficult situation. I agree with the suggestion on couples therapy, and I really hope he’s willing to go with you. Sending you light and positive thoughts….

    • Emily

      This sounds really, really hard. I’m glad you can talk with your old therapist. I generally have to take situations like this day by day… things will slowly work themselves out. I know it is cliche, but when I was in a rough relationship situations someone said “this too shall pass” to me… and it did, in time. Hang in there and give yourself as much self-care (baths, walks, writing/reading time, whatever) as you can.

    • Kay

      This won’t necessarily change anything for you, but if you don’t already listen to them, can I suggest the Dear Sugar podcasts for some perspective / feeling less alone in the lead-up to seeing your therapist? I was listening to one yesterday about crushes (I think the episode was from Valentine’s Day) and the things that stood out for me were a few sections on:
      – how committing to someone brings up those fears / recognition that “this is the rest of my life” and you (or in this case your partner) may be tempted to “deal with” that by seeking out the things he feels he will be missing out on elsewhere
      – no relationship can give the other party everything they want/need in life, and that’s not a fair expectation. It’s OK to get the things you need (eg career encouragement / support, friendship, someone to see romantic comedies with) outside of your relationship and not expect them all from your partner. It’s usually the expectation that “this is it – if I commit to this person that’s all I’m ever going to get” that leads us to look elsewhere, or for different partners, especially after making a big commitment.
      – When we have a crush or seek out a relationship with someone else, it’s usually because that person has traits that we recognise as needs in our own life (spontaneity from time to time, stability, whatever it is) – so it’s then a question of looking hard at ourselves and making the decision “Can I get these things elsewhere while still committing to my partner, or do I need to call off this relationship?”

      A lot of this will probably come down to your partner trying to unpack his own feelings and needs, and you can’t control that.

      But I think it will be helpful for you to look at your own needs (with the help of your therapist) so you can be prepared for the different potential outcomes.

      Lots of Internet stranger hugs your way.

      • Greta

        Second this – I love the dear sugar podcast! They’ve done a couple episodes on infidelity too, and those might be helpful as well. Either way, I’d say postpone/put a hold on the engagement or wedding planning until you figure this out.

      • EF

        oh so totally this. third-ing it.

    • This is rough. ‘Just know that all couples go through relationship issues. Maybe not the same exact ones, but issues nonetheless. A close friend (who’s not a super mutual friend of your partner, and can keep her mouth shut) might work here, even if coupled. But couples therapy might be one avenue.

      Tuesday’s not too far off. You’ll get there.

    • Amy March

      He isn’t a wonderful person!!! I may be 6 wines into my night be he is cheating on you and likes it and doesn’t want to stop. Dump his ass and move on!

  • Becky

    So my fiance and I found a venue we really love! Problem is…it’s really pricey. Like, taking-up-most-of-our-budget pricey. We thought it was affordable at first, but after the manager gave us a proposal with the service charges and taxes included, it was more than we anticipated. We can afford it, and we can afford to bump up our budget, but both our savings would take a pretty big hit. And just because we can doesn’t necessarily mean we should. So now I’m second-guessing everything, and I feel like we HAVE to find a cheaper alternative, even though venues in our area are pricey in general and other places would cost about the same. Maybe we were unrealistic about our budget to begin with? I don’t know. But it’s been a pretty stressful week.

    • Eenie

      We eventually bumped up our budget by 50% because our venue expectations were unrealistic. We are dipping into savings, but we feel comfortable with the savings we have left once all the bills are paid. That’s the important part. Weddings are stressful. Don’t add in an additional money worry if you don’t need to. Can you wait on it for a couple weeks? Find some other options? Don’t sign paperwork or put down a deposit until you’re comfortable with the decision. Maybe not super happy with spending $XYZ, but at least comfortable.

    • Sosuli

      We also ended up with a venue we love that’s twice our original budget. But food and drinks there are half the price that they would be at the cheaper and less nice venues, so it actually works out not too bad. Does your venue include food? By going with this place what other areas in your budget could you cut down on (eg. decorations, catering, crockery etc.)? It’s worth thinking through what the rest of your budget would look like if you go with this place you love before deciding it’s too expensive.

    • Greta

      Sometimes venue prices that we set are unrealistic, I know mine were when I first started looking. But like other comments say, do a total price analysis with food/drinks/decor, etc. Sometimes you need to see the full picture. Some very good friends of mine were torn between two venues. Venue A was way cheaper than venue B, but didn’t include anything, so they would have to rent tables, chairs, bring in food everything. Venue B was definitely pricier, but had everything included. When they went through the whole budget, with price quotes from possible vendors/caterers as well, the venues actually worked out to be the same price. And since Venue B included so much more and would be easier to work with, that’s what they chose! As much as you can get a sense of what your total budget will be, that’s helpful in making this decision.

  • Rebekah Abeja

    Whoa, am I finally on *during* happy hour instead of hours later after it’s dead? Yay!
    My husband and I are currently struggling with finding a place to move. Our current place is less than ideal and the people who manage it aren’t very attentive, to put it gently. Our lease is up in 6 days and we’ve been searching for a place for a while. We finally found an awesome little townhouse. Two bedrooms, two and a half bath, nice tile and carpet, a yard (!!) a GARAGE (!!!), multiple big closets, and generally nice spacious areas.
    The problem is it’s in a less than ideal area. Or, we think so. We aren’t familiar enough with the city to know which areas are good and which aren’t. If a friend who lived in that city is to be believed, this area was pretty bad several years ago. Bummer. It’s almost at the top of our budget, and it still doesn’t seem to be quite good enough. I’m having a hard time balancing expectations with realities. We don’t want to naively sign a lease on a great house in a terrible area, but it’s hard to know how terrible it really is. We know it’s not a sparkling neighborhood, but where is our balance between nice house and nice neighborhood? Ugh. Adulthood is harder than my parents made it look.

    • Lawyerette510

      “Adulthood is harder than my parents made it look.” so very true! First off, what city are you in? There’s a good chance other people here in happy hour have insight (if you’re interested in that). Next, are there any local businesses like shops or cafes you can go hang out in this weekend to get the vibe? Try chatting up the people working there or if it’s a cafe also hanging out there for their insight on the neighborhood. Also, look at local crime statistics and compare them to the area you’re currently in or other areas you’re considering. (Or don’t it really depends on your tolerance for that, because probably wherever you are there is more crime than you realize if you’re in an urban neighborhood). You can also look on Facebook for any neighborhood groups and see what is happening on that page. Lots of cities are changing pretty rapidly, so information from a couple years ago may have some accuracy but likely has changed. Additionally, think about what you do in your neighborhood. For me, it’s important we live somewhere it’s relatively safe to take the dog for a walk a night or that we have a yard the dog can go out in, because of this we used to live in a neighborhood that wasn’t great for walking alone at night because of the type of crime there (muggings, drive by shootings, etc) but we had a secured yard, then we moved somewhere without a yard but that had more of different kinds of crime (burglaries when no one was home, car break-ins, etc) so we are ok walking the dog at night.

      • Rebekah Abeja

        When I say “city” it’s pretty relative, haha. We live in Central California, and we’re moving from one tiny town (pop 10k) to another small city (60k), so I doubt anyone could really help us there ? I didn’t even know how to pronounce the name of it until a couple months ago when I moved to the valley. Anyway, I’ve been looking at crime reports and it doesn’t seem as bad as we heard. I reached out to a couple more friends from the area, hopefully they know about the neighborhood we’re looking at. And honestly, we don’t do a lot in our neighborhood beyond our own home and our yard. We plan on gardening soon but that’ll be done in the safety of the afternoon and our own backyard. I think my husband’s main concern is the fact that I’m home alone for a few hours a day, and he worries about someone breaking in when he isn’t there.

        • Ashlah

          Is there something you could do to make him more comfortable? A security system, stronger locks? A way for you to protect/defend yourself? Calls to check in? Reassurances that you can take care of yourself? :)

          • Eenie

            Or if not set up with an active alarm service (those can be expensive), it’ll beep when doors/windows are opened and could potentially hook up to an app so husband can see if a door is opened and what not.

    • Ashlah

      I obviously can’t speak to the specific city or area you’re looking at, but my husband and I bought a house in a not-great part of our city (population 160k). It’s not dangerous, really, but there is a greater amount of property theft and general crime in this area than others. But it’s how we were able to afford the type of home we want, and we feel generally safe. At the time, knowing it was a starter home, we were willing to prioritize the house (and general homeownership) over the location. Next time, we will prioritize living in the location we want, but this works for us for now.

      If we didn’t feel safe, it would be different. But living in a non-ideal location (near busy roads, no sidewalks, no street lights, above average property crime) has been fine for the time being. (We may feel differently if we had actually been a victim of any of that property crime–three years in and nothing yet, knock on wood!) I think sometimes people can exaggerate the badness of a bad location, especially if they are fortunate enough to live in a really desirable area. Just my two cents! Ultimately, it’s up to your and your husband’s comfort level with the area. I second Lawyerette’s suggestion to spend some time in the area before signing the lease if you can.

      • Rebekah Abeja

        This is pretty encouraging. That’s kind of how part of me feels about it. But at the same time, I was raised by wealthy parents in lovely and low crime areas, so I’m intimidated. The way I was raised also makes me wonder if I, having never been exposed to bad neighborhoods, am underestimating the dangers of living in an area like this. I don’t know. We’re (especially me!) pretty conflicted.

        • NotMarried!

          You should be able to look up the crime statistics. What sort of activity are you dealing with. If there is a lot of theft etc, would you be able to install a security monitoring system on the home and make yourself feel more comfortable?

    • Greta

      Isn’t finding that balance always the trick? I think it’s totally based on your comfort level, which can be hard to ascertain. If it’s a townhouse, have you tried knocking on the doors of the other units in the complex and chatting with the neighbors about how they like living there? You want to frame it in a not-rude way, but I see no problem asking, “what it’s like to live here? whats your favorite part of the neighborhood? least favorite part? Any recommendations/pieces of advice for us?” I think these might help give you some reasonable expectations.

      Also, “good” vs “bad” neighborhood can be so objective. One persons bad neighborhood is totally fine/lovely by another persons standards. Maybe think about what makes a neighborhood good or bad by your standards. I second another persons advice to hang out there for awhile, go to some local shops, go for a walk, see what you think!

  • raccooncity

    WELL, me and Mr. RC just found out we’ll be parents in late nov this year. It’s pretty early so I will just share that here because I’m dying not telling all my friends at this point. Exciting, and it happened shockingly fast. I don’t have my mind around it yet even a little.

    • emilyg25

      Yay!!

    • Ashlah

      Congratulations!!!

    • Green

      Whaaa?! So exciting

    • another lady

      congrats – this happened to us, too! we were technically trying but it happened on the literal 2nd ‘try’. I wanted it, but was super shocked and I think I teared up a little when I saw the test from sheer shock! My husband’s eyes didn’t stop bugging out of his head for about an hour after I told him (at 5am). But, we are 34 weeks in and getting ready for everything. we got used to the idea by the time we started telling people, then got excited once I got bigger and baby was/is moving. you’ll get there, too! hope your 1st trimester goes well!

      • raccooncity

        Yeah I have some other stuff that makes me nauseated sometimes, so other than having magnificent boobs I can’t believe how weirdly normal I feel. It’s pretty disconcerting. But great, I guess!

    • Congratulations! :-)

    • MC

      Congrats!!! My best friend and my sister-in-law are also both due late November so we have all the fingers and toes crossed for lots of happy babies that time of year!

    • Rebekah Abeja

      Congrats! That’s so exciting!

    • E.

      Congratulations!!!! That’s wonderful!

    • Lisa

      Yayayayayay!!!! So many congratulations to you two!!!

    • Molly K.

      Congratulations!!

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    • AGCourtney

      Yayyy! I’m so excited for you.

    • rg223

      Congrats to you and Mr. RC!

  • Sosuli

    Our overseas non-English invitations have been sent and a potential wedding cake baker is delivering six cupcakes for us to taste tomorrow, i’m having a dress fitting on Tuesday, and we’re three months out next Saturday!! It’s all happening! Not to mention my viva (UK version of a PhD defence) is on Friday… aaaaahhhh!

    • Oh gawd, I can’t even imagine defending while planning a wedding…but you’re almost there!!

  • Dolly

    Hello, Internet strangers – I’ve been lurking here for a while now. Newly eloped last month with a small occasion for others coming up later this year. I’m writing because I figured some of you might have some advice on how to manage feelings about your partners’ quite mentally unstable exes. I mean a properly aggressive and hate-filled ex-partner that my spouse has, with whom he has a child. They have joint custody. I have learned over time that they were essentially in an abusive relationship – when I asked him, based on his accounts of what it was like to live with her, if he felt like it was emotional abuse, he said yes. The more I get glimpses of her behaviour, the more appalled I am. Completely irrational hate-filled invectives coming from nowhere. Today he showed me a text exchange in which he asked very nicely if it would be possible to have his daughter for dinner tomorrow night, and she said no and spewed hate, including about his mother and sister (he hadn’t mentioned them). Know that I have talked to him about whether their daughter is safe with her mother, and he says that yes, she is. This kind of thing isn’t directed at the daughter. But she does have incredibly difficult relationships with her family, has very few friends, has alienated most people. Background: she asked him to move out, and not because of anything he did; she’s not holding on to some resentment about a transgression of his or something.

    I actually respect his way of coping with this, which is to not engage; he says that she’s looking for a fight so that she can justify her rage and abuse to herself. And he doesn’t want to be dragged into a morass of negativity. (His reply was “OK. Have a nice weekend.” He has asked her over the years to get counselling, which she refuses to do, saying “I’ll look like the crazy one!”)

    My problem is this: how do I deal with the feelings this brings up for me? In looking at this completely irrational and hateful text exchange, I was so upset. It brought up a lot of anger in me. This is not my issue – I know this. What I’m looking for is a way to manage the feelings that I am finding myself dealing with – it is really hard to watch someone you love be treated so unjustly. And my partner doesn’t need to have the additional burden of me freaking out to him all the time. (He hasn’t said this himself, but I think it’s so.) On the other hand, we both think it’s important that he doesn’t keep this stuff with her from me. So I am wondering if any of you have had anything similar, and how you managed to deal with your feelings.

    • OliveMC

      I can relate in terms of not wanting to burden my partner with my worries/feelings about something I know he doesn’t need, especially if it’s something I’m just mulling over and nothing anyone says will necessarily help. It sounds pretty simple, but journaling helps me a lot.

      Good luck! This sounds like a terrible situation and I hope it gets better (in any way) soon.

      • Dolly

        Thank you! Yes, journaling is probably the way to go. I’m naturally a big discloser to friends, a lot of the time, but I want to be very careful about how much of all this I reveal to how many people, because it implicates him so much and he’s a very private person.

        • OliveMC

          YES. When I’m upset and wanting to talk, everyone is my best friend and I share share share. My therapist and choosing one close friend who’s completely disconnected from the situation and keeps their mouth shut (advantages of long distance friends) help a lot when I’m the one who needs to keep their mouth shut.

    • Kate

      I think your partner needs to carefully document all communication between him and ex. Even if she is not emotionally abusing their child now, the day may come. In that case I think your partner should have a lot of evidence he can show the court to support a change in the custody arrangement.

      • Dolly

        Yes! Funny that you should say this, because just today for the first time I said something to him about how risky she was being – the way she goes after him could totally be used against her in court. And I started thinking about the need for documentation of all this. You’re right that things with their daughter could change in future; thank you for the perspective.

    • Emily

      cc

    • qnon

      My husband’s spouse is schizophrenic. We have full-custody of the children, and she has visitation. It is very difficult (In fact I wish courts wouldn’t put parents in this position). We have to decide if she has taken her medication and if we trust her with the kids. Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

      My husband is also good at setting strong boundaries and this is really important… I suggest you and your husband talk about openly about the boundaries that might be needed, both for you, and for his interactions with the her and the child. (For instance, we’ve had periods where we’ve made our bedroom a no-talking-about-the-ex place). We also had to tell her she wasn’t allowed to come to our house without calling and asking first, and we ultimately had to tell her she could only call on these days at x time. (The kids are allowed to call her whenever they want).

      How have I managed to deal with the feelings: there are a lot of feelings. We spent a lot of time with the kids and when they come back from her house having been exposed to values that I strongly disagree with (acting helpless or as a victim) I get really frustrated. I also get frustrated when she texts/calls him over and over (he often simply turns his phone off) and sometimes I get really frustrated with how much energy and time we have to give to her. Also, like you said, I get really mad with the things she says to him and the (untrue) things she tells the children about him.

      There came a point where I was very clear with myself that I don’t have much power in this situation. We talk about situations with the kids when they come up and my opinion is welcome. When the children tell me something she has said about their father that isn’t true, I tell them what is true but I don’t say anything about her. In general I don’t talk about her with the children, or only with neutral language. I do try not to share all my frustration with my husband; We have a family counselor who I sometimes see alone and I talk about this situation with.

      Finally, I focus on my stuff; my hobbies and work; my relationship with him and the kids; our life together. She is only as much a part of it as we let her be and by giving her more energy (through talking about her unnecessarily) we give her more.

      Yeesh, sorry so long!

      TL/DR: Set strong boundaries. Focus on you and your relationship. Consider counseling.

      • Dolly

        Thank you so much for taking the time to write this; I can’t tell you how helpful it is to hear this perspective. Your reminder about not letting her take over mental space is so necessary. And — kudos to you for navigating this incredibly difficult situation so gracefully. It’s really inspiring (though I know it’s hard).

  • clarkesara

    Put in an application on an apartment so that Fiance and I can finally get out from under the thumb of our disaster roommate. It’s adorable, in one of my favorite Los Angeles neighborhoods, and best of all, it’ll be JUST OURS.

    Now to cross fingers about the credit check and start figuring out how we’re going to get all our stuff into a wee little MidCentury Hollywood one-bedroom…

    • dearabbyp

      Moving to Los Feliz next month. Woot! We’re getting out from under the thumb of some disaster commutes, which sounds much less crazy-making than a disaster roommate. Fingers crossed for you!

      • clarkesara

        I’m headed just south of there, to Thai Town! And, yes, commute is another big factor in the move. Originally we were going to convince the terrible roommate to leave and stay in the Valley forever. But I got a job Downtown and proximity to big box stores is not compensation enough for an hour commute.

        • dearabbyp

          I work in DTLA too! You know what we have downtown? TARGET. How much more big box do you need? :) :) :)

          • clarkesara

            My thoughts exactly. I’ve been mostly OK with living in the Valley and don’t have the hate for it that some Angelenos do, but if it’s not convenient, why bother? I do like NoHo, though.

    • toomanybooks

      Disaster roommate! Ooh, is there a story there?

      • clarkesara

        There is. Basically, my then-boyfriend/now-fiance moved in with a friend of his who proceeded to only pay rent about half the time, steal from him, never contribute to household supplies (like toilet paper, paper towels, cleaning items, cat litter, etc), use our toiletries, eat our food, and just generally act like we are her parents and not her roommates.

        Late last year, I moved in, with the aim being that by contributing a third of the rent and bills, it would help the evil roommate save money to pay all the back rent and stolen money (yes, she stole MONEY, not like a book or phone charger or something), as well as somewhat encourage the roommate to start coughing up for cat food and coffee every now and then. None of that ever happened, and we need some kind of exit strategy to eventually have our own place together, so we asked the roommate to leave.

        AND. SHE. WON’T. Like, she actually said NO! Despite the fact that she owes my fiance thousands of dollars and at this point knows that she has worn out her welcome. So basically we need to either have her evicted (difficult to do) or move out. It looks like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, but uggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

        • toomanybooks

          Ugh. That really IS a disaster. My fiancee’s previous living situation was one she had to leave abruptly, because everyone was evicted, because the guy they were giving all the rent money to (the landlord wanted it all in one check) was stealing it. I wish I had some helpful advice, but the only thing I remember them doing about it was having the bad guy sign something that said it was all his fault, I think, just to cover their bases.

        • Kara E

          Ummmm, is your fiance on the lease? Please tell me he isn’t, or at least that it’s up now so you aren’t tied to the place that nutso lives in. Best of luck in your new place. I’m sorry for the loss of all that $$.

  • Ha ha

    APW, how did you miss this ?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2wBpYT6Zlo

    • NotonDisqusSoCan’tUpVote

      Love it!

  • NatalieN

    This year is officially turning into our Year of All the Travel before (hopefully) pregnancy. Highlights include Ireland (next week!) and in November a Euro (swiss/italy) trip. Any recommendations of places to see/things to do are appreciated – even just travel tips. We’re pretty avid travelers, but we are always open to suggestions and tips :)

    • Cellistec

      My favorite stop in Ireland was the Aran Islands (namely Inishmoor). It means a train ride to Galway and then a boat ride to the islands, but they’re so beautiful and charming that the extra travel was well worth it. Also check out the Long Stone Pub in Dublin–it has a giant wooden face that’s unforgettable.

    • BSM

      Same here! We are taking a few smaller trips this spring/summer, hopefully heading to the Philippines in June, and Oktoberfest + some other bits of Europe in the fall (before which we are planning to pull the plug/IUD :)). I’d love to hear what you have planned for the Swiss/Italy portion, since we are thinking of spending a few days in that area after Munich.

  • Poppy

    A big thank you to everyone who contributed great ideas to our officiant conundrum in Happy Hour last week! We’ve been talking it over and like the idea of having our bridal party people each take on part of the ceremony. Can anyone share any experiences with ceremonies like this? What worked or didn’t work, strategies for planning it, other tips? I’d also love to see any recaps of real weddings where this happened, if anyone has any close at hand.

    • Greta

      I’ve never been to a wedding that has done this, but what a cool idea! Having run a few rehearsals as a DOC though, I think the biggest piece of advice I can give you to make this successful and smooth is to practice, practice, practice! Make sure you have at least a couple hours in the ceremony space with everyone involved so that everyone is clear on what their role is, what the flow is, etc. I also think, the more moving parts/people have, the better it is to have a clear (outside) person in charge who is not involved in the ceremony. This could be a DOC, or a friend, but someone who you can explain the vision to, and then have them run the rehearsal and tell everyone where to sit/stand/speak/walk/etc. It is so so helpful to have someone do this who is not the bride/groom, in my experience.

  • Lisa

    I was hoping Caitlin would be here so I could tag her, but I wanted to thank everyone who encouraged me to go climbing last HH! I discovered Badtown U has a climbing wall so I went to check it out this week. I decided to add a membership to the student gym so I could use the wall, and it turns out I was already enrolled because I’m using my employee education credit! I’ve been climbing twice this week and am having the best time. (I’ve got a giant bruise on my knee to show for it, too, ha.) Thanks again, ladies!

    • KPM

      Congrats!

    • Caitlin

      Ah, this made my day!! I was in meetings all afternoon on Friday, but now your news had the added benefit of brightening a gray Monday. Congrats on your climbing adventure!!

  • Vilmos Kovacs

    Super sensitive topic, but I’m wondering if there are any APW’ers struggling with similar feelings. Weight, acceptance and celebration of size. I am heavy – have been my entire life. I have been smaller, but am now bigger. And I have come to really appreciate my body, adore the way it looks because of an not in spite of its size. It is super isolating! People love to talk about diets and losing weight! I always feel like people expect me to respond with a “oh, yeah me too.” And then it would just be nice to have similar sized friends (who were similarly loving of their bodies) to shop with and generally commiserate about being a fat woman in a thin obsessed society. I guess I’m just looking for kindred spirits. Is that the weirdest thing in the world? I figured I would try APW, since the community here is so supportive, feminist and open minded.

    • Kay

      You reminded me of this page – not sure if they have a community outside of Facebook though?:
      https://www.facebook.com/bodyimagemovement/

      • Vilmos Kovacs

        So good! Followed.

    • OliveMC

      Sorry I’m posting this so late, I read it yesterday and have been wanting to respond, as this is something I feel really strongly about.

      I HATE the body shaming, “I’m not good enough” trend, which I think the diet industry is built around. I grew up thinking that I was too plump, didn’t look good enough in a bikini, and had too many pimples. It hit me how severe the problem is in our culture though, when my 14 year old cousin captioned a photo of herself with her friends on instagram with “…ew, I look so gross…” when all I saw was a happy girl. I’m trying my hardest to openly be friends with my tummy and thighs, and the pimples that come and go from my face (ugh, hormonal acne) in hopes that a young person will look at me at the grocery store, smiling with my sweet husband, and realize that people come in all shapes and sizes and it doesn’t mean you can’t be happy, awesome, or a man won’t love you.

      I read something long ago about how we should exercise to feel good, to notice how strong we are and what we’re capable of, instead of to lose weight or tone ourselves. Body-positive instead of body-negative. After seeing my best friend struggle with eating disorders in adolescence, I gave up on hating my body and have been trying my best to love it.

      Congratulations on loving your body! I find it to be a daily struggle. Buying clothes that make me feel good/beautiful/sexy help, and if something starts feeling a little tight, I give it a break and come back to it later. I don’t have any advice on how to find similarly sized/minded friends, but I’ve recently started opening up and trying to make new friends in adulthood (it’s kind of hard). Maybe trying something like meetup.com would be good? I don’t know if there are events directed at this, but it’s a way to make a new friend, who might be less diet-oriented than others you know. I tend to follow a lot of curvy models (i.e. Ashley Graham) and curvy yoga instructors on instagram, I find them so empowering.

      I also love this: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/192106740332170288/

      • Vilmos Kovacs

        1. That pinterest post is perfect. 2. Making friends as an adult is HARD. I honestly should just be happy with the friends I have and just try to organically make others. And I feel so superficial when I meet fat women that I hope to make friends with. It is literally superficial. And sort of awkward, right? “Hey – I notice we are both fat – want to be friends based on this shared experience?” Since so many people have such complicated feelings about their bodies (both thin and fat), I feel like this is a non-starter. 3. I also follow a lot of curvy models/fashion people on instagram. I just want to make them my real life friends.

  • toomanybooks

    I’m finally moving out of my gross apartment next week into a much nicer apartment and I’m so excited!
    Our current place boasts spontaneously-viscous-garbage-spewing sink drains, brazen mice, smokers who sit on our ground-level windows, an actual murderer, and random gunshots early in the morning… Soooooooo I’ve been ready to get out for quite a while! I did some exhausting apartment searching and found a place that met all our requirements! The new place is basically a luxury apartment (though a small one) and the thing I’m most excited about (besides being able to open my windows)? It has its own washer/dryer, so I can do laundry whenever I want! After living in such a depressing place for so long I really just wanted something as far away from my current experience as possible and I’m so glad I found it. I’m worried about money, now, of course, because I found the right apartment and the right wedding venue on consecutive days and have to pay the venue deposit and all the money associated with moving to a new place in the same month! But I think it will be worth it.

    • There are many things I would trade for safety and location…apartment size is the easiest one to do. Down-sizing can be a nice feeling :)

      • toomanybooks

        According to square feet, it’s bigger, but I think that’s because the kitchen and bathroom are bigger (and the bedroom and living room don’t look that big). But hey, it was important to me for those things to be bigger when moving.

    • washer/dryer! So exciting!

  • LindseyM

    We picked a wedding location (after 6 months of hand wringing) and l have been making save the dates all week!! They’ll hopefully be all done by Monday and we can send them out. It feels so good to have narrowed the wedding-universe down to one city. We also have a planner that we are going to sign a contract with next week, so I’m looking forward to handing a lot of the leg-work regarding venues off to her. Tip – getting married in a foreign country is great because sometimes then you can actually afford a wedding planner. Unfortunately ours doesn’t speak English, but I’m viewing it as a good excuse to actually use my Spanish for the next year! Also, I’ve surprisingly been having lots of fun with the STDs (hehe). We found a cool map online and are using it as an envelope liner & are gluing on a lot of cool vintage stamps. Stamps are so incredibly fun, who knew? As long as you don’t have to make 70 in one day its a fun project.

  • DetectiveMunch

    I followed my gut, which I’ve been ignoring for too long, and withdrew with honor from my PhD program last week! This is the first time I’ve not been a student since pre-K (holy moly)! I doubled down at the teaching job I love at the same university by asking my boss for a promotion to a full-time position with more responsibilities, and she responded with an enthusiastic yes! After so many years of feeling overwhelmingly inadequate, I finally feel like myself again–confident, smart, and ready to kick some ass at life! My wonderful partner helped me make this decision by listening attentively, supporting me, and being a shoulder to cry all of my insecurities out on. Love him. He’s the real deal :)

    • AGCourtney

      Good for you! That’s awesome.

      • DetectiveMunch

        Thank you!!

    • Rose

      Good for you! I hate it when people treat withdrawing from a PhD program as a “failure”. Sometimes it’s better! Better than suffering through a program for a degree when it’s not actually for you, for sure. And I’m really glad that your teaching job is working out! And yay for escaping the PhD inadequacy feelings! Man, they can be pervasive.

      • DetectiveMunch

        Thanks! And yes, absolutely! The state of higher education is abysmal, too, such that it’s more financially beneficial and stable for me to *not* have a PhD. This education bubble is gonna pop soon, sadly. But it needs to…

    • OliveMC

      Go you!!! Sometimes I wish I had withdrawn after my comprehensives in year 2…I’m in year 4 and things are A LOT better than they were and I’m so proud to have made it this far, but I know how you feel. I’m still between loving and hating it. Go get those dreams! :)

    • Good for you! I left my chemistry PhD program after I passed my candidacy exams and it was the best decision for me. Walking away with my Master’s made me feel like a quitter and a failure, but looking back, I’m so glad I didn’t continue in my program solely to keep up appearances.

  • Sandrashunsaker3


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  • April

    Okay: Serious question about menu options.

    Some of you may remember that we were having some issues with the venue locking down a caterer. They have finally done that – we have a caterer, but we are still working on menu options/costs (largely because I emailed two weeks ago and keep forgetting to follow up because somehow in the wake of moving out of the city, chasing vendors just isn’t at the top of my to-do list right now).

    Is it super necessary to provide meal options on the RSVP? We are going to be doing buffet style (probably a beef and yorkshire pudding with a selection of sides TBD) and have to send out the invites next next week.

    So like, can I just put the meal info on our website when we have it? Is that fine?

    • Greta

      If you are doing a buffet, then you definitely don’t need to put anything about the food on the invitation or the website. Putting food options on an invitation for people to select is usually for a plated meal where everyone will be served at the same time. If you are doing a buffet, then everyone just goes through the line and takes a little bit of whatever they want. In my experience with buffets, people usually take a little bit of everything too.

      The only thing that you will want to know about your guests food preferences is if there are specific food restrictions – do you have a sense of how many vegetarians? vegans? gluten-free people? lactose-intolerant? Depending on how many guests you have and how well you know their food preferences you may have a good idea of this. Your caterer might do something like have special dietary meals set aside, or they might have just incorporated those options in to the buffet. It’s just important that everyone gets food they can eat, so make sure there’s enough.

      In my wedding of 165 people we had roughly:
      10 vegetarians
      5 vegans
      12 gluten-free people

      Our caterer made all vegetarian dishes vegan and gluten-free, so there was one option that all the special dietary-concern people could eat for sure, and we didn’t have to have all these different options.

      Hope that helps!

      • Eenie

        As a gluten free person, I’m always a little sad when the menu ends up like that. I like meat! And dairy! But it’s a much better alternative than having nothing at all for me to eat :)
        We alternatively have all but one of our dishes either gluten free or vegetarian (some are both). But our numbers are more like out of 80 people: 20 gluten free and 10 vegetarian.

    • OliveMC

      We also did a buffet, no need to mention anything on the invites IMO. I think I just told people we were doing a buffet if they asked. My mother in law can’t eat gluten, and that was the only sensitivity out of all our guests. We had a conversation with our catering manager about what foods were prepared without gluten (luckily for us, most of them) and passed that info on to her.

    • EF

      We did family-style and didn’t have menu options, but did an online RSVP where people could choose if they were carnivore, herbivore, or other (fill in option). That worked out really, really well.

  • Samie

    I guess to jump right in, had our first conversation about what kind of timeline we’re thinking about for getting married! I think it was the first time we’ve talked about marriage where I didn’t cry, and feel like we both got to express our goals for pre-marriage, and why we would want to get married to each other. Felt really good… but also a little stressful.

  • John Federico

    wow that is really cool and i am loving that hairstyle.