APW Happy Hour


For when APW Happy Hour needs to be a literal experience

by Stephanie Kaloi, Content Manager

1930

Hey APW,

GIRL, whatta week. I mean, let me just give you this Olympics-related video treat and you can head on in to your Happy Hour, because I know I’m about to be looking for a happy hour experience of my own. Until next Friday, fam.

XO,

Stephanie

Link Roundup

Why don’t we just make gender-swapped versions of every single movie ever made? I’m down.

4 Reasons You’re Not Helping Racism by Refusing to Talk About It

When women were told they couldn’t be part of the Olympics, they held the Women’s World Games. Slay.

What TV Is Getting Right and Wrong About Asexuality

NASA is sending the first ever bipedal robot to space. No, really.

Stephanie Kaloi

Stephanie is a photographer, writer, and Ravenclaw living in California with her husband, their seven year old metalhead son, and a crew of beasts. She is super into reading, road trips, and adopting animals on a whim. Forewarning: all correspondence will probably include a lot of punctuation and smiley faces.

Staff Picks

[Read comment policy before commenting]

  • savannnah

    My Ex got engaged and I’m feeling a lot of feels about it. 1 scoop nostalgia and 2 large scoops of ‘he was such a dick to me” and sprinkles of ‘its bizarre we are both planning weddings at the same time’ sundae of feels.

    • Emily

      Dude, my best friend’s ex from college got married in the same BUILDING as her. Like total coincidence (they both had receptions in the alumni hall of the school we graduated from) but still SO WEIRD. Especially when a few mutual friends commented how convenient it was to just have to go from one ballroom to the other.

      • savannnah

        wait- at the same time?

        • Emily

          Same day, 2 hours apart. Didn’t realize it (on either side) til invitations went out and a few people who were invited to both commented.

          • touchdownton abbey

            OH MAN

          • emmers

            Yea, that’s a mind F!

          • savannnah

            WOOF.

      • Anon

        My husband’s ex, who is also my ex-friend, got married (at the same place we were having our wedding 3 weeks later) on the same night as his bachelor party. His friends walked into the bar where she had her after-party, saw her in a white dress, and back the fuck outta there before my husband showed up. I think he was none the wiser, but man if *I* didn’t have some emotions about it. Gotta love small towns.

      • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

        Friends of ours were getting married the same night the bride’s ex was attending a wedding with the same friend group. They were in the ballrooms next door to each other, and a bunch of us crashed the other wedding we weren’t at!

    • sofar

      My ex closed on a house with his current girlfriend on my wedding day. As happy as you are, it’s always weird to see them hitting those major milestones with someone else.

      • Lisa

        Our wedding date is the same day as my ex-best friend’s (just one year later). I felt so strange about the parallel lives we were living without being in touch anymore.

        • flashphase

          my ex best friend got engaged a couple weeks before us… we were always competitive and it brought all that up (plus a does of anger/jealousy because I really wanted to be engaged at that point)

    • Michela

      I haven’t had an ex get married yet, but I am already anticipating how weird it will be. The sundae analogy had me laughing though!

      • Anna

        I’m now sort of on the opposite side of this – one of my exes, who I dated when I was in high school and he was in college, has said he finds it SUPER weird that I am now engaged. But we’re still good friends (hence why I know his opinion on this) and I think his reaction is more because we’re friends and roughly the same age and he’s not remotely thinking about marriage (thus finds it weird that his peers are getting married, in general) than because we dated years ago.

    • emilyg25

      My ex’s anniversary is the same day as my birthday and he posted a public Facebook thing for his girlfriend this year. I don’t even know why it bothers me.

    • Lisa

      One of the guys I dated/my college classmates was engaged within 6 months of ghosting on me. His fiancée ended up breaking things off before the wedding, but he was married within two years. His two-year-old son passed away from a freak accident earlier this year, and I had all kinds of weird feelings about that.

    • Eh

      oh feelings! My ex got married the year before us (two years after we broke up). Bought a house just before us. And had a baby just after us. Every life event has been more feelings. Another ex got married a couple years after we broke up. When both of them got married it was really hard on me because both of them told me that they did not want to get married (a major decision in why we broke up). I know neither of them were right for me but it’s hard to not think about things like that.

      • savannnah

        Exactly. My friends and I call it the ghosts of Christmas future- the idea that in an alt universe, that would be you getting married or having kids with that person and going to their family for holidays and now its someone else. It not that I want to be with that person- its just at some point I did and now its weird- even if they weren’t in the least right for me at any time.

        • Eh

          Yep, at one point you wanted to be with that person and you were planning a future with that person (in both of these cases I lived with them, we were common law, we were talking about marriage). That said, I look at how cute my daughter is, and how much my ex’s son looks like him – it was good we didn’t have kids.

          • raccooncity

            I laughed at that last sentence.

    • Kat

      Solid metaphor though.

    • flashphase

      my ex is getting married this weekend and one of my bridesmaids will be there (her husband is long-time friends with my ex). I definitely have feelings of the “how is he crossing this finish line first??” variety, which I know is not the best way to think about it…

      also, I’m getting married in the same venue as another ex – but a less big deal because we stayed friends and I emailed him to ask about the venue!

    • idkmybffjill

      EX FEELS. My ex had some ISSUES when I got engaged, liked called me in the middle of the night/texted nostalgically OFTEN for about a month, and then promptly met a girl, got engaged and got married in 6 months total (I’m not married yet). I went from brainstorming with my MOH how we would handle it if he showed up on my wedding day (he’s that sort of grand gestures sort of guy), to like oh. I guess he’s married? Okay. It was so weird. V complicated in the feelings department.

      • toomanybooks

        At least you can rest assured he has a VERY stable marriage and totally isn’t obsessed with you anymore. ;)

    • Not Sarah

      The first time an ex got engaged and then married, I was freaked out. Now? I think many of my exes are married. There’s some though that it’s still weird and will likely be for a while that they married someone else. That alternate life and all.

    • Meg

      Two of my exes got married a few years before me and I didn’t care because I was just glad I wasn’t marrying them D: D: D:

  • touchdownton abbey

    Wedding is officially less than two months away!
    AND I think that everything is settled for us. Or at least under control (for now.)
    I’ve had my dress fitted, getting my hair trial done soon, all the centerpieces are made- slowly getting rsvps trickling in…

    But the most exciting thing is that on MONDAY we are picking up our puppy we get to finally bring home! I am a mix of nerves and excitement… So much transition in such a short window of time!

    But, I’m delighted for all the change.

    Say hello to my new girl: Mitzi.

    • NotMarried!

      oh goodness! so adorable!

    • Ashlah

      Oh my god she’s so CUTE I WANT ONE

      • touchdownton abbey

        Thanks! She is a Great Dane, English Mastiff mix- so she is going to be enormous. :) But we are so excited!

    • Michela

      She looks like cookies and cream ice cream and I looooove itttt! Congrats!!

    • Lisa

      Se is adorable!!

    • JC

      PUPPY!!!

    • KPM

      Ahhhh, so cute!

    • Cellistec

      HI MITZI!

    • Totch

      Congrats on both!!! Excited to see giant Mitzi 3 months from now!

    • Jessica

      Omg she’s the cutest!

    • Gaby

      I wonder if we’re wedding day twins, mine is also less than two months away now (Oct 15th) AND I have a pup named Mitzy :) She’s a lil Chihuahua/potato though. Mitzi is adorable!

      • touchdownton abbey

        October 15th!!! Wedding twins and dog twins!!!!! Wow!!!

        • Gaby

          Amazing!! This makes me feel like our dogs are now sisters or cousins somehow haha

          • touchdownton abbey

            I know! Internet cousins. Definitely.

  • NotMarried!

    Happy Happy Hour Everyone! I am one week and one day out from my wedding! My professional life is CRAZY, and we are busy planning two intl’ trips in the 6 weeks after the wedding so although *wedding* stuff is mostly done … the busyness and stress is not!

    TY to everyone who sent me Paris/Germany suggestions –
    Anyone know anything about Iwakuni, Japan? We’ll be heading there 5.5 days after getting back from Germany.

    Wedding note: I’m struggling a bit with fiance’s family not seeming to care much about our wedding. We ARE having a small event … the goal was about 40 guests. But no-one outside his immediate family of parents & siblings is coming. Further, my family has planned everything including the rehearsal dinner. I know that “traditional” who-does-what doesn’t really matter, but it still makes me sad!

    • sofar

      OMG good luck!

      I got a kick out of how many people thought my life would be relaxed and easy after the wedding, and I was like, “Um… no. Just all the regularly-scheduled life stress!” If only the world would just stop for a full week after everyone’s wedding.

      And have an AMAZING time traveling. Germany is one of our favorite destinations, and we get so many strange looks when we’ve told people we’re going there on vacation. It’s not all Sauerkraut and Lederhosen, people!

      • Anna

        Where in Germany is your favorite? I spent some time living in Karlsruhe (close to Frankfurt; also close to Baden Baden) as a kid, so I have a huge soft spot for that area, but I also absolutely love Berlin.

        • sofar

          I’m right with you on Berlin, because it’s such a world-class city with a little something for everyone, and I can always find a good meal (street food, fine dining, various ethnic foods, whatever I want).

          Favorite for history: Trier. Best relaxing day trip, Lubbenau. Best for partying, Munich. Best fairy-tale scenery: Freiburg. Best college town: Goettingen.

    • Michela

      That’s really hard.. Hopefully they step up to the plate next week!

    • Eenie

      My in laws don’t show “caring” in the same way as mine. They hate weddings and pictures and getting dressed up and thought we were wasting money. But they came, dressed up for photos (some changed into more casual clothing for the actual wedding) and left early. My husband was happy with it, so I let it go.

      • NotMarried!

        yep … I need to remember this. cultural differences don’t mean someone’s wrong :)

        • savannnah

          My new mantra with dealing with in-laws is that ‘ it’s not good or bad, just different’

    • Alex K

      My husband’s family seemed very “meh” about our wedding (which was weird because his sister got married the year prior and it was ALL THEY TALKED ABOUT). However, come our wedding weekend they were all happy and excited to be there.

      Hopefully they will surprise you the day of!

      • Jess

        Hey! That sounds exactly like me!

    • Lisa

      Maybe they felt like they shouldn’t have been contributing ideas during planning and are having a hard time getting excited for something they don’t know much about? Once they’re at the site and in the moment, I’m pretty sure they’ll get into it!

    • At the beginning of planning, we were thinking we’d have around 60-65 guests. We wound up at 48 because none of my husband’s extended family came, no aunts or uncles, no cousins, nada. There was travel involved, from Illinois to California, but before we had even started planning, at Christmas, we took the temperature of the whole family, saying it’s important to us to have you there, are you comfortable coming out to California? Everyone said of course they’d make the trip, they’d turn in into a vacation, yay! Fast forward to the wedding and none of those people came. We could have easily planned the wedding to happen in Chicago, where we used to live, a city we still love, but we went with California, where we live now, since everyone said they were on board. My husband was really hurt by all of them not coming, and I am hurt for him, and annoyed that had we known none of them were coming, we might have been able to book a smaller venue and saved some money or invite a lot more of our friends. But we loved our wedding, and the people that were there were that much more special to us.

      • NotMarried!

        Yes. We chose the halfway point between our families (maybe 3 hours from each).

      • LJ

        That sounds hard. I’m sorry. :(

    • Brynna

      I feel you there – our guest list is approx 90% my family, 10% his (excluding friends) and I’m sure it makes him sad, too. Rehearsal dinner, etc. will also be on us to provide.. it’s frustrating.

      But congrats and enjoy your day!!

    • Nell

      Only my immediate family came to my wedding – and it was totally great. My family members actually interacted with some of my friends! It might not be “traditional” – but I’m sure it’ll be great.

      • LJ

        I am intentionally not inviting any extended family at my wedding and I am so optimistic. It’s good to hear stories like these! Both of our parents are fine with our choice and our extended family are more of the “think we owe the family an opportunity for a reunion” than “we want to celebrate your happiness” mentality…. plus my family is literally quadruple the size of fiancé’s family so it would be “The LJ Show” at the wedding and that’s not fair……..so it’s good to know this, like most wedding choices, is not The Worst Thing Ever. :)

    • A2

      I struggled with the fiance’s family thing too. In my case ours was his second wedding and I felt like most of his family kind of shrugged and said, “Eh, we’ve already seen him get married.” It stung but I tried to think of it as it was helping us maintain the small wedding we wanted; maybe that thought will be helpful to you too. Good luck and as Ashleyn notes, the people who do attend will mean a lot :-)

      • flashphase

        YES SAME. His mom planned his whole first wedding so now she’s like, “I don’t want anything to do with the wedding cause flashphase should get to do that.” Um okay, but your son should also get to do that, we’re partners, and it really hurts his feelings that you’re treating our wedding like you’re just a guest who will show up early.

        And @NotMarried:disqus – she also refuses to do a rehearsal dinner, and it bums me out! My parents are a bit traditional about it and think it is the groom’s family’s responsibility so they’re not doing one either. I’m sure they would if we really wanted one (we don’t), but it is so disappointing that his mom won’t even entertain the idea.

        • Amy March

          Why can’t he do it? He’s the groom, and thus a member of the groom’s family. Something about expecting his mom to host a second rehearsal dinner just rubs me the wrong way a bit.

          • flashphase

            I think it would be appropriate for his mom to throw us an engagement party or a rehearsal dinner. It would be a really nice way to welcome me and my family, particularly so I can feel like a celebrated part of the family and not just “the second wife.”

            My fiance and I agreed for that we are financially prioritizing our wedding and not a rehearsal dinner. That said, the two of us will probably organize SOMETHING the night before because we have a ton of out-of-town friends coming in and we want to see them for more than 5 hours at our wedding!

          • We’ve got a rehearsal dinner (if you have a rehearsal, you kinda need to pay for people’s dinner even if it’s just Subway sandwiches). Then following it with “informal social hour/drinking” at a bar/restaurant we didn’t make any reservation at and aren’t planning to pay for our guests.

            …but if you’re not having a rehearsal, you can skip paying for the rehearsal dinner and just do an informal event somewhere.

        • AP

          We went through this too, except for us it was more like our expectations were turned upside down. He thought his family would be excited to be part of our wedding, but the reality was that his family had already helped plan weddings over the years for his brother and sister and were just kind of over it. They were definitely guests who showed up early. His parents even agreed to host a rehearsal dinner cookout, then three days before called us and asked us to do all the grocery shopping and cooking because they were just too busy. Three days before my wedding I was at Sam’s buying food for a party that I hadn’t planned to throw.

          And on the flip side, I was the one getting married for a second time, so I thought my family would be the ones acting ‘meh’ about everything But they got super excited and involved and traveled for hours to come. WAY more excited than the first time around.

          Family and expectations. I don’t know that I’ll ever quite understand it all.

    • Don’t know much about Iwakuni, Japan but Japan in general…yeah. Travel by high speed train places! I lived there for 3 months and traveled [by myself] nearly every weekend. It looks like you won’t be far from Hiroshima and Miyajima? They’re beautiful.

      • NotMarried!

        yep! We are about 45 minutes from Hiroshima & it’s on the to-do list.

        • That museum, though, oh man. It’s rough. I was really thankful it was hanami (i.e., everyone outside drunk picnicking under the flowering sakura trees) when I went. It’s a little bit…devastating…

  • Ashlah

    Yes to more gender swapped movies! Yeah, yeah, enough with the remakes, I know, but come on! I love me some gender swapping. Especially the way it makes people act like angry babies.

    I’m running a 5K race in 100 degree weather tomorrow and I might not make it out alive. Stay cool for me. (Running in hot weather tips accepted and appreciated. Already planning on major hydrating and expecting a slow time.)

    • Eenie

      Don’t over hydrate! I think you should be ok for a 5k though. Good luck!

      • Ashlah

        I figured the same, that I should be okay with the relatively short distance. I usually fail at staying hydrated at all on the weekends, so I guess by major hydrating, I mean making an effort to stay adequately, not hyper-,hydrated!

        • Cleo

          It’s much harder to hyperhydrate than to be dehydrated, for what it’s worth.

        • Essssss

          I think in the heat is all about the electrolytes. If you’re just drinking water you can get things wacky but if you eat some salt or drink an electrolyte mix instead of straight water it’s big help. Have fun, good luck!

      • emmers

        Yes, don’t over hydrate! Maybe read up online about what happens when you do- I had a friend who had a really hard time with the race (maybe an ER visit?) after over hydrating. I would just take it slow. I ran a marathon in the heat one time, and I remember going slow helped.

    • Michela

      Goodness… Good luck with that!! Maybe celebrate with some ice cream after to cool off?? Just an idea ; )

      • Ashlah

        Not a bad idea at all :D It’s at a winery, and I was excited to celebrate with a glass of wine, but we’ll have to see how that sounds at the finish line.

        • Michela

          Better yet- A WINE SLUSHIE.

          • Ashlah

            Brilliant!

    • Cleo

      I ran in the Chicago Marathon in 2007 – the one that got cancelled in the middle due to heat and lack of water – I made it to mile 16 when policemen and fire trucks forced us to stop running and walk to the finish line (thankfully only a mile away due to the way the looped course worked) and I was so delirious from heat I don’t remember anything from the cancellation to being on the subway afterwards.

      Obviously YMMV, but here’s how I approach any hot weather runs or races after that experience:

      Hydrate beforehand, but don’t make myself full
      Halve my usual warmup and make time to stretch (muscle cramps are more likely)
      Make it a goal to finish – walking is not the enemy if I need it.
      Grab two cups of water at a water stop – one to pour on my head and one to drink
      Eat a banana immediately after it’s over – the potassium is an immediate pick-me-up
      Take time to cool down a little bit more than usual

      Good luck and enjoy!!

      • Ashlah

        Oh wow, what a crazy experience! Those are great tips, thank you!!

      • emmers

        I ran that one too! That’s the one my friend was in the ER because she I think overhydrated! While we were there we saw another friend who had run the marathon also in the ER.

        • Cleo

          Holy crap! I hope she came out okay!

          Did you finish before it was cancelled?

          My initial reaction to the cancellation was “$%#@#$$@^%! I worked so hard for nothing!” But in hindsight, so glad. I probably would have kept going until I collapsed. And I ran it the next year and finished with a PB, so the victory was that much sweeter.

          • emmers

            She was fine. She had chest pain, but now, thinking back, I think she was dehydrated (not overhydrated like I said up thread), so they gave her lots of IVs. I did finish (with a supppper slow time)- we both felt like shit for a long time afterwards, like I remember not being able to walk normally for awhile (like a few days!), I think it was just because of how awful the heat was!
            I ran another marathon a few years later that wasn’t so hot, and it was amazing how quick my recovery after that one was!

          • Cleo

            Good. Glad everything turned out okay.

            And I’m with you on the recovery. Even not finishing, it took me a while to be able to walk normally or sit down without grunting like a weightlifter. Hah!

    • Sara

      They announced recently that there’s going to be a remake of my favorite movies – Clue – and I can’t figure out if I want to see it or not. I just fear it’ll ruin my love of the old one.

    • Jess

      Hot Weather!

      The only additions I’ve got are:
      – wear light colored clothing
      – cooling off your wrists, inner thighs, and armpits will make you feel coolest the quickest. I used to do this during end-of-summer two a days, and it helped a lot. I think it has something to do with proximity of blood to the skin, but have no real explanation except that it helps for me.

      • Anna

        Those are definitely the places where the most heat is released from your body (which is why they feel warmer, and why you stick your hands in your armpits to warm them up in the winter haha), so it makes sense that applying cold air/water/surfaces to those spots would cool you down more efficiently. (Not sure the underlying cause of heat being released there, but I could definitely believe proximity of blood to the skin is a contributing factor.)

    • Grace

      If you haven’t already, make sure you get something for chaffing! I have some stuff meant for cyclists that works great, but I’ve heard deodorant works too. I’ve noticed sometimes chaffing can be a heat related thing, for example, thighs are fine at 80, but not 100!

  • NotMarried!

    “All the superhero movies will now have four female superheroes and one male superhero. The female superheroes will represent a variety of archetypes, while the male superhero will be young and sexy and wear a costume ill-suited for combat.”

    YES!

    • Michela

      This reminds me of men complaining about Chris Hemsworth being only eye candy in the new Ghostbusters. I wanted to hit my head against a wall like, “Don’t. You. Get. The. Point!?” Unsurprisingly, I’m a huge fan of gender-swapped roles ; )

      • Sara

        I was a huge fan of Chris Hemsworth in Ghostbusters. I cried laughing at his job interview.

        • AP

          Same!!

        • Sosuli

          Two words: Mike Hat

          • ART

            *spits* I might have to see it again, I forgot that part!

      • Ashlah

        And somehow he was still more of an actual character than the typical “hot female secretary” role!

      • Alanna Cartier

        But even then, Hemsworth got to be funny. Not just a pretty air head.

        • Sara

          To be fair – pretty air heads (regardless of gender) tend to have a lot of my favorite lines. I would laugh just as hard at a female saying “You know, an aquarium is like a submarine for fish”.

    • ART

      That article was so great! and I totally agreed about Revenge of the Nerds, what was that.

  • Michela

    Happy Friday y’all. I had my first design consultation yesterday for my brand-new side hustle, and it went super well! After being very drained from my dry day-job and thinking about how to transition into a more creative field next summer (despite lacking official credentials) I decided to start an interior design consultation gig on the side. I’ve been doing this informally for friends and family for years, but made it official just recently. I met with the couple, who has a baby on the way, and talked paint colors, flooring, master bedroom reconfiguration, and more. It feels both invigorating and terrifying to step out of my comfort zone in this way, but nevertheless I’m super proud of myself for taking the leap.

    Thanks, too, to everyone’s comments on the career advice article this week. I really took to heart the idea that you negotiate compensation at the largest scale in the beginning, and when my design clients asked for an estimated flat fee as opposed to the hourly rate I advertised, I pushed past the discomfort and threw out a much bigger number that I would’ve considered prior to reading y’alls advice, and they seemed satisfied with it- so thank you!!

    I’ll keep you posted on whether or not I get the job (this was just a free consultation), but either way I’m really happy with the self-imposed growth.

    Have a fantastic weekend!
    xoM

    • Ashlah

      Congratulations! How exciting!!

      • Michela

        Thank you!! It’s exciting and scary all at once but that’s just kind of life, right?

    • This is so cool! I love interior design, but am often constrained by my own budget. It would be so fun to do for other people! Congrats on making it official and I hope they hire you!

    • LJ

      The career advice post was one of my favourite parts of the internet this week. Some great opinions and respectfully shared perspectives.

  • A2

    Missed the open thread on career advice earlier, so here’s the career advice I would give to myself at 20.
    1. Shake off that impostor syndrome. You got this.
    2. Your job is not your career. Make time to learn skills and meet people outside your current position for the sake of future ones.
    3. Keep an eye on compensation statistics, as well as public sector postings for positions comparable to yours where the salary is included in the listing. Know what you are worth and ask for it.
    4. Pregnancy discrimination doesn’t always look like losing your job because you’re pregnant. The law says you have a right to reasonable accommodation, but people will imply that you are the one who chose to get pregnant, so you are expected to handle the professional consequences. And the deadline for filing a pregnancy discrimination complaint is 180 days. Don’t miss it.
    5. Do not believe “Best Place to Work” Rankings and surveys. Companies who win those can still treat their employees with disrespect.
    6. Repeat #1.

  • Mary Jo TC

    I know there are a lot of YNAB people here, so maybe this is a good place to ask. We’ve been doing YNAB since the beginning of the year and we’ve fallen majorly behind on entering transactions. Like 2-3 months behind. More specifically, my husband fell way behind. I’ve been bugging him about it for weeks and it’s just not happening. I’m thinking we might have to switch to a new kind of system if he’s not willing to do this work because no way I’m going to enter all his transactions in addition to my own. There are also a few things confusing me about it–one transaction that shows up in one account and not the other, not being able to see the information the way I want to–that are probably just me not knowing how to use the tools. I haven’t looked at YNAB message boards or Reddit or anything. I wish I had some YNAB expert friend to look over my shoulder at my budget and help me fix it. A psychological aspect of it: we both noticed that when we felt broke or guilty about spending, we were less likely to enter the transaction data, which of course only made the problem worse. So, any suggestions on getting a spouse to do his job budgeting, how to catch up when you’re so far behind, how to figure out YNAB when it’s confusing, other budget systems that might work better for us,

    • Amy March

      If he doesn’t want to enter transactions (and speaking as someone who refuses to do it as well), what about categories? I find that most of my spending is basically fixed and I don’t need to track it- I’m spending roughly the same on groceries, rent etc. The only two categories I find problematic are clothes and eating out, so when I want to cut back in those areas, I set a limit just for them, and when I reach it I’m done.

      Basically, a very loosely modified envelope budget.

    • Michela

      If it’s any consolation, I find I’m less likely to enter transactions when I know something is going to stick us over budget. I’m the same with high-caloric meals- why bother tracking it on MyFitnessPal when I know it’s going to blow my daily allotment?

      We also fell off the wagon with tracking purchases when my husband’s family arrived for our wedding. We cut ourselves some slack till after the honeymoon, at which point we sat down together to discuss our goals for the rest of the year and determine if our spending allowances in each category were still fair. Then we essentially started from scratch in every category, and we’ve been back on the wagon ever since.

      Could you do something similar? Have a financial summit with your dude and see if you can suss out why he’s unmotivated to track? Maybe he thinks it’s too restrictive so he isn’t tracking (like my tendency). Or maybe it’s something entirely different. Depending on his answers, you can decide whether your categories need to be reworked or if you need to scrap YNAB all together and find something else. Regardless, I don’t think you can (successfully) implement another method without getting to the bottom of those questions first.

      Good luck, and please keep us posted!!xo

      • Lisa

        I was just comparing this to how I treat MFP, too!

        • Michela

          Soul sisters!

    • Eenie

      Try Mint! It’s less proactive and more reactive, but that might work for you.

      YNAB specific:
      1. what version? YNAB4 or nYNAB? (web based or computer based)
      2. I had some issues with the drop box sync. I reinstalled drop box and the missing transactions appeared.
      3. Start over! Start fresh, don’t catchup. But for real, have your husband commit to using it for a certain amount of time. If the every transaction doesn’t work (which I don’t know why it’s so hard…), can he save receipts and enter them each night? I reconcile all of our accounts on a weekly basis, and have guilted my husband into entering them into the app.

      • Mary Jo TC

        I don’t think it’s the new version that I’ve heard is buggy. It’s online and has the app. I don’t think there’s a dropbox sync going on.
        I think a more reactive tool might work. I used Mint a long time ago, I liked how it automatically downloaded transactions. It seems like entering the transactions is the problem. Maybe the new YNAB would be good for that too, but doesn’t it have a monthly fee?

        • Eenie

          They new one is online through your browser. The old one is a program on your computer. The new one makes importing transactions 100000x easier (when it works, you click a button and the transactions are pulled into your account from your bank).

          If you like Mint and aren’t seeing the benefit of using YNAB, I feel like it makes sense to take a break and see if you can reach your goals using Mint.

          Also this: https://www.youneedabudget.com/blog/post/for-those-of-you-that-are-feeling-overwhelmed

          • raccooncity

            I’ve used both and recently switched back to Mint because of laziness. YNAB worked because we did a cash only budget for a brief time and Mint sucks when you’re spending cash as a majority of your transactions, but now we’re back on the credit card (gotta get those travel points) and Mint is just so simple, relatively speaking.

            Just as buggy though, in my experience.

          • Yeah, Mint will still miss stuff, so you’ll need to go in once a month or so and re-categorize some things. Maybe set up some custom rules. And yeah, it’s totally useless if you’re doing lots of cash spending…not the greatest at categorizing if you live via Amazon, either.

    • emmers

      I’m not sure if YNAB has this feature, but I use goodbudget (the free version), which has an app. It’s not perfect, but it gives you 10 envelopes. Since it’s not many envelopes, I basically lump some recurring things together, and have an envelope for Bills (student loan, phone, etc).

      The one thing that helps me with it is it has an app. I literally stop and enter the info right then when I make a purchase, because otherwise I’m worried I won’t! It also lets you transfer $$ between categories as needed.

    • Lisa

      Are you using nYNAB? Would it be easier to switch to this model and do the direct import/sorting of transactions in the program instead of through the app? That way you could still keep track of the individual transactions and change up the budget as necessary, which might make you both feel less like you’re failing.

      I understand about being behind though. In YNAB4, you’re supposed to go through and double-check/clear all transactions from the app, and I can safely say we haven’t used that feature since January.

    • Booknerd

      I am the worst for entering my transactions, my husband does it after every single purchase. I tend to let them stockpile and then catch up when I have access to a desktop (work) to sync. I use the nYNAB and the syncing has been a game changer for me. I am getting better, because I realize how much it sucks to not remember what I spent and when I go to walmart and spend hundreds of dollars they aren’t out of all the same category so I’m hindering us by getting behind.
      I know for me when I feel overwhelmed or down on our financial state I tend to just go off the rails, spend more than I should, and then feel bad about it, and have a hard time entering those transactions. I am also a major procrastinator so even when I have good intentions I’m usually behind. But I know in the long run it will be worth it, YNAB has revolutionized how we save money and I don’t think we would have gotten to where we are without it.

      Edited to add: Just go for a clean slate. Start over with the money in your account, ask him if he won’t enter the transactions can he at least save his recipts and you do it at the end of each day? (I had to do this and it got easier to just do it myself)

    • Elizabeth

      I’m not a YNAB person, but my parents had basically that approach but it was categories with boxes on the refrigerator so for instance my mom made groceries a section with say 10 boxes and each box represent $20 and so it’s a faster way to keep track of how much has been spent in a category for that month, with new boxes every month.

      Another thing I hugely recommend for that sort of method is having a ‘belt loosening’ category. So when I go over in clothing I dip into that category, which is a sign I should probably not spend more on clothing but it is there if I need to or there’s some other reason.

    • I think YNAB still has “mentors” or whatever – basically people to give you 1-on-1 help with your budget, maybe you can check into that and see if that will help you with some of the issues you’re having?

    • DMM

      This recently happened to us, except we fell ~7 months behind. The longer it went without entering anything, the worse it felt and then led to even more procrastinating. So, we decided to do a fresh start and not bother going back and entering transactions for all those months that we never got around to doing. What I really loved about doing the fresh start was that we got to take a step back and really figure out what categories made sense for us.

      A big factor in falling behind in the first place was that some of our categories were way too granular in our first try at budgeting. For example, I didn’t particularly care how much we spent on parking vs gas vs public transit when it came down to it. which meant that I wasn’t super motivated to log my transactions. Switching to one mega category for all transportation expenses (including setting aside $ for car maintenance, registration, etc.) is totally fine for us and takes way less time.

      I totally recommend the fresh start approach for anyone who has fallen behind but still wants to use YNAB. We did lose our historical data from the first budget, but we never really looked at it anyway. We can also always go back and pull bank/credit card statements for the time when we didn’t use the tool.

  • Anonymous Employee

    I got a really bad performance review at work this week. Like blindsidingly negative, to the point where I thought they were going to fire me because some of the first questions my boss asked were, “Why did you want to work here?” and “What do you like about (our industry)?” and “We want to make sure you find a good fit.”

    This was shocking to me because my last performance review was quite positive and I have heard mostly (though not exclusively) good feedback since then. I was floored and tried to remain calm and listen to their point of view, while still expressing my opinion that I have learned, grown, done well, etc. Inside I was shaking and inside I’m *still* shaken.

    My boss has been difficult to work with since I started here, uncommunicative and dismissive. She is also a Mean Girl who seems to enjoy speaking badly about others. I really got that sense from her in the review, that she was enjoying my takedown a little too much. I think she may have recently found out how much I earn (because I asked for a raise) and was shocked, because I negotiated pretty hard when I started and earn significantly higher than most people hired into my position. I think she was threatened by that, because we’re a relatively small family-owned company and she is kind of an Alpha Female who likes to be in charge of things and maintain the upper hand at all times.

    I was late to the APW work post this week, but my 2 cents here: don’t trust that everyone in the workplace wants you to succeed. Some people may view you as competition, be threatened by you, or actively try to undermine you. It sucks but is an unfortunate truth about the working world. (Seriously. Watch “Working Girl”.)

    I will be looking for another job now. Hopefully this challenge will be a turning point that leads me to a better place.

    • Another Anon Employee

      Feeling your pain. Yesterday, my CEO unexpectedly flew in from New York and there were a LOT of closed door meetings, with the CEO, and with my department head. All day I was off my game and unable to concentrate because I have no clue what they were about and I was waiting for my turn to be brought in, but I never was…

      I also have a boss who explicitly doesn’t want me to move up because I’m “so good at x lower position.” It’s infuriating, but luckily, I have found a mentor in my department who is giving me assignments on the sly that, at the very least, will allow me to look for a position outside my company commensurate with my experience.

      And YES on Working Girl.

      Good luck with everything!!

      • Ashlah

        I also have a boss who explicitly doesn’t want me to move up because I’m “so good at x lower position.”

        RAGE

        • Another Anon Employee

          Yeah. RAGE is right.

          It takes all my strength to not say – “well if I’m so good at x lower position, wouldn’t you think I’d be a great fit for y higher/related position?” (I’ve had multiple conversations about getting promoted that have all ended in the same way, so I’d rather just bite my tongue and work on getting out of there.

          • emmers

            Yes! Good luck on getting out.

      • Anonymous Employee

        Ugh, I’m sorry to hear that :/ It sounds like a really stressful situation.

        Glad you have a mentor; I would lean hard on that relationship right now. And any allies you have within the organization as well.

        It’s funny (wrong word) how work can be like a battlefield sometimes.

        Solidarity <3

    • Kelly

      Hi AE- that sounds super rough but sounds like you handled the situation as well as anyone could. Sounds like you have the right perspective on what to do moving forward- best of luck! Toxic environments like that are the worst, been there. Hang in there!

    • Michela

      Wow. That is shocking.. No wonder you’re so thrown off! It’s hard to imagine things would change so drastically from one performance review to the next… When I first started reading, I was thinking “maybe when things calm down, she can ask her supervisor why the supervisor perceives such a big shift, since OP didn’t perceive it in the same way” but then I read about Alpha Supervisor and thought “shoot that might not be constructive.”

      If it’s any consolation, I’m a former tech writer with years of experience in resume editing. Let me know if you want my help! Rah rah go team!!

      • Kalë

        In the spirit of workplace success, how did you get into tech writing/editing? It’s something I’m interested in but haven’t yet seen any real “in’s”, at least in my area/for someone with my not-extensive experience.

        • Michela

          I got into tech writing sort of by accident? (That isn’t helpful, but stick with me haha) I have a BSBA with a minor in English Lit and during undergrad we had to compete in a speed interviewing competition, which required an elevator speech. I wrote mine about the intersection between marketing and English- essentially how good communication makes or breaks your business. One of the CEOs I “interviewed” with got my contact info after the competition (which, humble brag, I won) and asked if I’d be interested in writing SEO content for his website since I had both marketing and writing experience. Hence I stumbled into it and started doing other tech writing work freelance. When I had experience with several firms as a freelancer, I started applying for full-time work and landed a gig with the Air Force as a tech writer, where I worked for 3 years.

          If you are interested in the field, see if you can start writing and editing freelance for friends who own their own businesses so you can get your feet wet and have some experience to put on a resume. You’d be shocked how many firms are desperate for tech writers! I edit manuals for my brother’s engineering firm frequently and it’s great part-time work. Post an ad on Craigslist, put flyers in local business centers, post a wanted ad on e-Lance, even advertise at a nearby university- you never know!

          Good luck!! Let me know if there’s anything else I can help with : )

          • Kalë

            Thank you so much for the detailed response! This is actually super helpful – our paths aren’t so different after all!

      • Anonymous Employee

        Thank you Michela!! How kind :) Thankfully I have some wonderful friends who gave me feedback recently on my resume and I’m feeling pretty good about it now <3

        Regarding follow-up with my boss… she said I need to undergo a performance improvement plan, which is actually something I suggested at my last review, but from a more proactive perspective. At the time she said she'd rather I not set a plan in order to "embrace ambiguity" more (a big theme in our field, at least to her). She took great glee in saying that now I will have to do this from a remedial place.

        I really wonder how these improvement lessons will go. Because TBH I think I understand a lot more than she gives me credit for.

        • JC

          Ugh I’m so sorry. I just visibly cringed at “embrace ambiguity.” There are some similar things that are great to embrace in the workplace. Flexibility? Spontaneity? Sure. But ambiguity? Just ugh.

          • Anonymous Employee

            Ambiguity *is* kinda important in my field (I’ve seen several relevant job descriptions with “comfort with ambiguity” as a requirement), because we have to be comfortable making decisions without having all the information. It’s not my strong suit, but I acknowledge that and have tried to be more flexible in the past several months, since my last review.

            The problem is my boss uses it as a weapon, to suggest this isn’t the right field/company for me.

          • JC

            Yeah see, the phrase “comfort making decisions without having all the information” is really valuable as a skillset. But no one should believe that not having all the relevant information is *ideal*– just that one cannot always expect to have it, and therefore those who make better judgments on limited information are best at the job. Actively denying an employee a plan or some certainty in order to enforce ambiguity is vindictive at best and unethical at worst. (You know all this, I’m just trying to parse out the ickiness of that word. Your boss is using the word with a positive connotation when it, at best, means “this is a less than ideal situation.”)

    • StevenPortland

      Sorry to hear about this. Keep this in mind — if anything in a performance review is a surprise, then that is a failing of your manager. IMHO, you should never be surprised in a review. It shows that your management team didn’t give you timely and proper feedback. That’s a negative of the management, not of you. Good luck!

      • AP

        YES. Ask a Manager says the same thing.

      • BSM

        Preach.

    • Sara

      This happened with a guy I know, his boss didn’t know he was dating the VP’s daughter until they got married and people started congratulating him in front of this guy. Suddenly his reviews were terrible and he was close to the chopping block. Protect yourself. Document everything. Good luck!

    • Eh

      I have done performance reviews, even given negative ones but that seems really odd. No one should be blind-sided by a negative review. At my work we have processes that have to be followed if you are giving a negative review. Also, at my work you see the written performance review before you meet with the supervisor/manager. One of the negative reviews I gave was not taken well. The review wasn’t even that negative. She got an average rating (e.g., did not effect her annual raise) but she did not mesh with the team so their was feedback about that (people on the team were uncomfortable with her and she was very competitive). She said she was blind-sided by the comments. I met with her a few days later (after the dust had settled) and reminded her that I talked to her about those comments a couple months earlier (and so had another supervisor).

      • Jess

        ” No one should be blind-sided by a negative review” THIS!!!!

    • Not Sarah

      I feel your pain and I’m sorry – this sucks so much. My partner told me that they likely won’t fire me because the meeting is in the afternoon and just with my manager. I’m still freaking the h* out.

  • Kalë

    So excited! Finally down to the one month countdown for my 3-month backpacking trip around South America! Leaving on September 20th, which now seems so very soon. And, like five minutes ago I booked tickets for my boyfriend and I to head to Italy for a friend’s wedding over New Year’s. AND, we decided to fly into and out of Amsterdam, and spend a few days there at the tail-end of our trip. Amsterdam is one of my most favorite cities – maybe THE most favorite – and full of fond memories of my first international trip together with said boyfriend. So, happy day!

    • Laura C

      That sounds like so much fun — I love Amsterdam and Italy is the next Europe trip on our mental list.

      • Kalë

        Same! I feel like Amsterdam is my “soul city”. It’ll also be fun to explore a part of Italy I haven’t been to (Milan/Bologna/Tuscany). I’ll make sure to report back with all the good stuff – aka food recommendations.

    • Cellistec

      All the travel! Yay!

    • ScoutAbout

      We are going to be in Amsterdam for the first few days of our honeymoon, and I would love to hear your suggestions for things to do, places to see, places to eat!

      • Kalë

        Absolutely! I usually stay on the West side of Vondelpark – a bit more quiet with beautiful residential neighborhoods, while still being easily accessible to downtown action by bike (Conscious Hotel Vondelpark is great and fairly inexpensive for AMS).

        My most favorite thing in Amsterdam is just to bike around and eat. There is such great food and everywhere seems like a *place to see* with the cute canals, bikes everywhere, houseboats… That being said, I HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend taking a food tour with Hungry Birds, especially in the first day or two of your trip! The young ladies who run it are incredible – warm, thoughtful and welcoming. They give you a great overview of not only the Dutch “food scene” but also a unique look at the city – and super great places to come back to for the rest of your time there! I’ve done their tours twice and enjoyed both thoroughly. Definitely rent a bike and/or do a bike tour – the only way to get around Amsterdam. I thoroughly enjoy the parks (Vondelpark especially – the houses bordering the park are absolutely insane!), especially in the summertime. Anne Frank House is a must – you can buy tickets online ahead of time and that will limit the amount of time you spend in line (otherwise, it can be hours). Love the van Gogh museum; the Riejksmuseum is similarly fabulous, as is the Stedilijk. RAI is always fun, and good views too. The Albert Cuyp market is fabulous and bizarre, great if you are a thrifter/vintage lover (although lots of junk too). Depending on the time of year and weather, taking the ferry to Amsterdam Noord is amazing – some of my favorite memories are biking around the countryside, admiring cows and windmills and taking “cheese breaks” every so often. Utrecht is a really nice, much more lowkey city for a day trip – quick train ride away!

        In terms of food, here are my favorites:
        -Kantjil & de Tijger – delicious Indonesian food (restaurant on one side, take-out on the other). Usually a wait but worth it (or, call and order take-out).
        -Addis Ababa – great little Ethiopian restaurant. Mango beer is excellent!
        -Yogurt Barn – locally made yogurt!
        -Ron Gastrobar – Ron has a Michelin Star (maybe two?) but is really pretty affordable. Tasty, seasonal tapas with a great outdoor area, weather dependent.
        -Sefa – best doner in Amsterdam!
        -Brouwerij’t IJ – not food but beer! Windmill brewery with the best local beer beer in Amsterdam. Don’t remember if they have any food or not…
        -Ten Kate Market – cute and interesting street market. I recommend ALL THE CHEESES (most are happy to let you try until you find the ultimate cheese) and stroopwaffels. Perfect for stopping by to get picnic supplies
        -FEBO – fast-food quality but kind of fun… hot food vending machines (wut?)
        -Hungry Birds Tour – ok, I know I already said this, but these ladies are the greatest. They also have excellent recommendations and always know the newest, most happening stuff on the food scene.

        And if you “partake”, avoid the Bulldog at all costs. Expensive tourist trap. Instead, get thee to Abraxas, Dolphin (no comment on quality but the decor is jaw-dropping), 1e Hulp, or Dampkring (Haarlemmerstraat). There are many other great coffeeshops as well but these are a few that I can vouch for.

        Phew! Sorry for the crazy-long post. Let me know if you have more questions. As you can see, I adore Amsterdam and travel there every chance I get :)

        • ScoutAbout

          This is an awesome list, thank you! We’ve got 3-4 days there, so I’ve got my work cut out for me narrowing down!

    • emmers

      This makes me smile – so many happy things!

  • Elizabeth

    Ugh. That is mostly what I feel today, just ugh. I’ve also decided that the thing I hate most right now is people telling me I have no reason to worry (about things going on at work). Because I know it’s meant to be reassuring but it feels like it’s just invalidating my assessment of the situation, even if I know that’s not the intent. Because yes, I know what I’m looking at, and I’m allowed to be worried about it and some of it is healthy worrying and some of it may not be but it’s all part of dealing with the situation which is in fact a big deal.

    Also struggling with the fact that I’m trying to keep my self-esteem about my ability to do my job high in the face of a lot of obstacles and stress (today a manager of a different department sent an email to my program team that because I wasn’t answering their questions they were going to put my work on hold, when in fact I’d answered the questions the same point I was asked them, two hours previously and it’s just lots of little things). But it means my self-esteem about my appearance is suffering, so yay!

    Just need to get through next week though.

    • Anna

      So much agreement on the invalidating-worry thing. When I’m getting upset about something (large or small) that my fiance does not also find upsetting, he’ll sometimes get (meta?) upset about my “unreasonable” reaction and start INSISTING that I “shouldn’t” be upset. And I’m like, maybe, but I AM upset, so can we maybe deal with that rather than just asserting that I shouldn’t be? Because you telling me my reactions are unreasonable is never going to make me LESS upset.

      • Michela

        Same! I was always telling my husband “it isn’t constructive to tell me I shouldn’t be worried when I already AM. Just tell me it sucks and you’re sorry” And now that’s exactly what he does. Because sometimes we just want to vent and fret without pressure to quit or find a solution.

        • the cupboard under the stairs

          Still working on this with my husband. I get SO many feelings about men telling women to “just relax”…argh.

      • Kat

        I struggle with this soooo much with my mom. I call her upset about something and she wants to offer solutions, but I’ve already thought through all those solutions and mostly I just want to cry, then SHE gets mad that I’m not open to her solutions? Idk, it’s a mess. Then she hands the phone to my dad and he calms me down. I think it’s related to her being a school teacher, she’s used to being a Problem Solver to kids that she has authority over. Womp. Emotions are hard.
        All this to say that I’m sorry you’re struggling and that sucks and I hope it all turns around very soon!

        • Anna

          Oh god, yeah, when he gives me (unsolicited) solutions to problems I’m having and then gets mad that I don’t “listen” to his solutions: extra infuriating.

          Real example: we were driving somewhere we’d never gone before. I looked at maps beforehand, figured out a general route, but asked him to keep maps open on his phone during the drive and give me an idea of specifics as we went. At a couple points, I was having trouble figuring out which exit to take and started getting slightly worried because I needed to make a decision rather quickly; signs were telling me to do one thing, and he was telling me to do something else based on what maps was saying, and I decided to follow the signs rather than maps (because c’mon, everyone’s had the moment when a map service takes you on a bizarre detour for no particular reason), and he took it INCREDIBLY PERSONALLY and started yelling about how he wasn’t going to tell me the directions if I was just going to ignore what he had to say.

          • Ashlah

            Oh my god, something very similar happened to me recently. Driving in an area of town I knew better than him, I told him which direction to turn, but he was so certain it was the opposite. He went his way and had to turn around because he was wrong, and he sulked so goddamn much afterwards, it was ridiculous. Thankfully he eventually realized what an ass he was being, and then he was upset that he was being such a stereotype, but ugh.

          • Anna

            Yeah, driving directions have been something of a sticking point in both directions. We prefer to receive directions while driving in very different ways, and so any time one of us is giving the other directions for more than a ~15 min drive, it tends to lead to an argument. We don’t drive together a lot (he commutes by car, but that’s nearly all the driving we collectively do) so we haven’t really put much work into this, but it’s pretty consistently infuriating for both of us :-P

          • Amy March

            Idk I’m on team him here. You ask me to give you directions, then ignore me when I do? Not cool. I don’t think this is really an example- you solicited a solution here.

          • Anna

            I was asking him for information, and he was insisting that I should take what he said as a mandate. Also, I am a firm believer that driving is stressful and dangerous enough on its own, so yelling at the driver is an inherently bad response.

        • Not Sarah

          Yup, I’ve stopped calling my mom when I’m upset because she does this.

          • Cellistec

            Same- I’ve started saying “I’m not looking for solutions; I just need to vent” to my mom, and it stops her problem-solving but then she just gets quiet and doesn’t know what to say. So, half success, I guess.

          • Jess

            Yup – I have stopped broaching the topic of problems all together. Even if I’ve already solved it, we’d still talk about how I should have solved it or why it wasn’t a Real Problem ™ in the first place.

        • I never called my mom for support, and had a particularly bad anxiety week (during dissertation writing time) while on family vacation. And her response to that only proved further why I never discuss any of this with her. Now, if I could only stop expecting/hoping for her to be supportive…

          Wedding example: 95% of the decent photographers in our area were already booked for our day. I had found 2 that I was okay with (not my top choices), and sent them both to my mother asking for input/preferences. Instead, she sent me a link to a different photographer, who I happened to know was already booked…sending me down some weird spiral about how the 2 I had to choose from weren’t good enough. All I needed was for her to say they were both great options, instead I got the “Here’s a different one” with the assumption I hadn’t done my homework. Oh, mothers…

          • saywhatnow

            Oh, when I was struggling through the diss / advior & committee issues and would naively vent to my mother, her answer was inevitably “well just drop out then!”

            Thanks, not helpful at all. Also, I feel worse now. I’m sorry you’re experiencing something similar with your mom!

          • Yeah. I think…it’s just now she thinks I’m totally out-of-the-norm, meaning that I should have been able to regulate all that. The more people she knows who have loved ones in PhD programs, I think the more she’s realizing that my response is pretty average. But it’s taking a loooooooong time.

    • Jess

      Ergh – my department is full of people who are concerned about real problems, but nobody believes us until there’s a crisis and we all go, “YEAH. WE KNOW.”

  • Anna

    In the last three weeks, fiance and I moved into a new apartment (in a new state, no less), with all the assorted related tasks, and then both just started new jobs on Monday. We were just getting started on serious wedding planning (for June/July 2017 smallish restaurant wedding) before this, and now have completely stalled out.

    I’m starting to get slightly anxious about us finding a venue – our dream venue doesn’t have any Saturdays available in the time range that’s possible for us, second choice venue (which had Saturday availability last we checked) is under renovation until Labor Day and we want to actually see it first, and we haven’t looked into any options further down our list in enough detail to know what’s going on there. But if we wait until we can go see second-choice venue, our first-choice venue may not have the Friday/Sunday options available anymore. From our pretty limited experience so far, it seems like some venues booked up for June 2017 Saturdays months ago, while others are like “You’ve got plenty of time!” It’s a little nerve-wracking, and neither of us really have the capacity to focus on this enough to alleviate said anxiety right now.

    • emmers

      Can you try moving the date to a different month? We originally were going to get married in September, but it seemed like things booked up. When we moved it to November, it was easier, and we planned things in about 6 months. So maybe May or August or something?

      • Anna

        We’ve thought about it – we actually started looking at some dates in July for this reason (originally we were thinking just June). Can’t do May because fiance teaches high school and AP exams, end of school year, etc is then; can’t do end of July into August because my mother is hosting a conference, and we’re planning a larger casual reception for my enormous extended family after small wedding, which we’d like to happen before school starts up again.

        Mostly we just should’ve been on top of this months ago, but turns out planning a move is super complicated and requires a lot of effort :-P

        • emmers

          Ugh, I’m sorry. Scheduling stuff is not fun. Hang in there!

    • Ashlah

      Any chance dream venue would let you tentatively hold a date?

      • Anna

        The docs they’ve given us have all indicated deposit required to have any kind of hold over a date, but we should probably ask… just haven’t gotten around to it…

        (Plus there’s a whole other back-and-forth – totally civil/pleasant but complicated and detailed – with both of our parents about whether a Friday evening or a Sunday brunch wedding is preferable if we can’t do a Saturday… so it’s not entirely clear which date we’d ask them to hold.)

        • Eenie

          You might not be able to hard hold it, but ask them to let you know if any other couples ask about that date, and then you can quick put down a deposit? Maybe? IDK. Everyone wants to get married in the summer :/

          • Kalë

            I think that’s a really good idea! If you could charm them into sharing that info with you, you might be able to have a buffer while you figure the other logistics out.

    • Amy March

      Do you really need to see it post-renovation?

      • Anna

        It’s not possible to see the inside during renovation, is the issue. And especially since they told us we might need a weird configuration of furniture to make the space work for ceremony + reception (which we are at maybe 50-60% chance of wanting?), we want to see if that would work out in a way that makes sense for us.

    • sofar

      Oh yes, finding the venue was the hardest part (which sucks because it’s probably the most important part).

      I don’t know if this helps, but our venue was under renovation when I toured it (and in the dead of winter, so it basically looked like a construction site covered in snow). I didn’t get to see the ceremony space OR the reception space until the day of. We also had some weird configuration requests — because most of our guest list was out of town, we had no IDEA how many would actually come, and what we’d need as far as lay-out.

      But what helped was that we knew this venue had been doing weddings for a very long time. And they instilled a lot of confidence in me that they would work with us to MAKE our wedding work in their space. I don’t live in town either, so they sent lots of potential floor plans to us, customized for various guest-list sizes. I felt that, even though I couldn’t see the venue, they were going to work it out. And they did!

      It was really hard to just commit to that venue and sign on the dotted line, but once I did, I got such immense relief from simply making the decision.

      • Anna

        Yeah, I’m looking forward to the moment of having made the decision. We’re looking at restaurants, basically, so we’re also dealing with places that aren’t particularly wedding venues, which makes it a little harder to know that they’ll be on top of anything that might come up.

  • Lawyer_Chef

    Longtime reader, first time happy hour poster. My wedding is in a month! Question for you all: has anyone had to go through a wedding when a close family member couldn’t be there because of illness? My mom has cancer and though she’s getting great treatments and is progressing toward remission quickly (fingers crossed), she still won’t be able to attend my wedding. I’ve had about a month to get used to this, but I’m still afraid I’ll feel awful on the actual day. We’ve hired a live-streaming service to film parts of the wedding so she can watch from home, which she’s excited about. Anyone have any tips?

    • Eenie

      I don’t have personal experience, but my suggestion would be to set aside a specific portion of the day that you can focus on your mom – getting into your dress, doing your makeup, eating breakfast. Whether it’s in person or through skype, set aside some time that you know you’ll speak with your mom. It sounds awesome that she will be able to see the live stream, can you get her some props and stuff to make her feel like she’s there? You may still feel awful on the actual day though. That’s ok too. Fingers crossed for remission!

      • Eh

        This is a great idea! My mom passed away when I was a teenager. She had cancer and was in the hospital during my prom. My sister helped me get ready and took pictures to share with my mom. I did not enjoy my prom at all. I actually made my date take me home early because I felt horrible that I was having fun while my mom was in the hospital. In contrast, on my wedding day I took time to remember my mom and that really helped me get through the day.

    • Mae

      My grandparents were too old to travel to my wedding. So my brother-in-law Skyped them in and his parents helped set up the t.v. for them. Getting to talk to them before the ceremony was really wonderful (and made me cry!). I’d recommend setting aside time in the schedule to plan on video-chatting with her; it really meant a lot to me to see them ready to watch me getting married.

    • emilyg25

      My grandmother was too ill to come. We had a Quaker wedding where people are welcome to stand up and share their thoughts. My mom read a message from my grandmother.

    • sofar

      I’m so sorry. I can’t even imagine.

      I don’t have experience with this exact experience, but my cousin (with whom I was close) passed away suddenly before my wedding. The big thing that helped was that a lot of my friends spread the word to other guests what was going on and why my family was a lot sadder and less celebratory than usual. So all of our friends were extra extra extra nice to me and my family. In your shoes, I’d feel better knowing that all my guests understood why I might have mixed feelings about the wedding day,l looking sad sometimes, and why I was constantly Skyping. And it might keep people from saying awkward things like, “Hey, is your mom here?”

    • Lisa

      A high school friend’s mother had an emergency lung transplant shortly before her wedding. She and her mom ended up hiring her wedding photographer to do a portrait session of the two of them a few months later with them in their wedding garb. That way they still had family portraits together, and her mom got to see her in her wedding dress. Maybe something like that could be fun to celebrate your mom’s remission?

      • Olive

        Love this! I was going to suggest photoshop, but this is so much better.

  • Laura

    My little girl is 1 year old today. We raised a helpless little newborn into a toddler without screwing her up for life. And she’s happy and healthy and gosh darn cute to boot.

    • Anna

      Great job! And happy birthday to your little girl :-)

    • Kalë

      The girls I babysit for just had their 1st birthday yesterday! Love cute babies, happy birthday to your sweet girl.

    • emilyg25

      Yay! Congrats on getting through the first year!

    • rg223

      Aww congrats! My son’s first birthday is in a couple weeks, and I remember reading some of your posts that were about a month ahead of me!

  • raccooncity

    This past couple weeks I’ve been settling into the idea of having a real live baby around the house a little bit more. I’ve been buying a lot of my nursery furniture used, so I picked up pieces I wanted as they became available. Anyway, Mr. RC is Albertan, and I’m one of three girls so we thought it’d be nice to represent both in the nursery. So I painted the Three Sisters mountain range from Canmore on one of the walls. It makes me happy to look at.

    We call the little fetus ‘kit’ (seriously, that’s it’s official nickname) because a kit is a baby raccoon. Kit the baby is also nocturnal. Anyway, I hope kit likes the mountain view.

    • Ashlah

      How cool!

    • NotMarried!

      I am so impressed that you painted that!!!

    • Kalë

      Love this, such a great idea! Keep posting pictures, please. Nurseries are some of my FAVORITE interiors.

    • Carolyn S

      Three sisters!

    • Lisa

      Love this. I’m one of three sisters, too. :)

      • raccooncity

        I love it. The three of us are pretty close, and Mr. RC and I drive through Canmore at least once per Alberta trip so I actually have seen this mountain range so many times and I’m just completely obsessed with it because I love my 3-sisters family so much.

        • Lisa

          Same here! My sisters were my only bridesmaids/MOHs. I would definitely describe them as my best friends.

        • Her Lindsayship

          This is a tangent but I want to just gush for a sec – I’m also one of three very tight sisters. Right after fiancé and I got engaged in May, we went to visit my older sister in Colorado. She took us to the Three Sisters there, where there is also a smaller peak called the Little Brother. When we got to the top of that one, she pulled out of her backpack three sneaky nips of Fireball to toast our engagement and her new Little Brother. :’) Sisters are the best!!

          Also best: your painting skills!! Looks amazing, wonderful job!

          • raccooncity

            Thanks! When i googled images to have a reference i realized there are many three sisters ranges around the world and I got way too excited about it.

    • ART

      Awesome job!

    • AGCourtney

      That’s amazing!

    • Meg

      As one of three sisters married to a Canada (Atlantic Canada though), I love this!! Also the Hudson Bay Company blanket is clutch.

      • raccooncity

        LOVE atlantic canada. We live in Toronto, and as mentioned Mr. RC is from Alberta, but we actually met at university in Nova Scotia. We have two atlantic canada weddings this year and I’m pretty thrilled about it. This could just as easily have ended up being an ocean scene.

    • TeaforTwo

      Beautiful! Also, this is the most Canadian thing I have ever seen – Rocky Mountains + Hudson’s Bay Blanket? I love it.

      • raccooncity

        Hudson’s bay blanket: not officially part of the decor, but was keeping cat fur off the chair. The love it’s getting is making me consider leaving it in though….

        • Eenie

          I applaud your attempt to keep cat fur off the chair. I have just given in to cat fur everywhere. It builds character.

          • Olive

            Haha! I love this.

    • Leah

      Awesome! We are expecting any day now (actually 5 days past due and counting) and finally had time to finish the nursery decorating fun. We are mountain people, and figured of course we wanted a mountain theme, but we are both totally useless when it comes to the artistic end of things. What you have is pretty much EXACTLY what we wanted. Can you come paint ours? But maybe with like the Tetons or something? Pretty please? In the meantime, we found some fun decals on Etsy, which required minimal artistic ability to apply :)

    • VKD_Vee

      Aw! That’s awesome!!

  • accidental_diva

    My brother’s wedding is in 2 weeks (and a day) and my rehearsal dinner dress gets here on Monday! Its a bit louder than what I have been wearing in the last 2 years and I’m really excited about it.

    that is all :)

    • Jess

      Hooray for loud dresses! I am doing loud lipstick on weekends, and it’s been fun!

      • emmers

        Ooh, this inspires me! Maybe I’ll do loud lipstick tomorrow.

        • accidental_diva

          Go for it! This is my “F-yea I’ve lost 50 pounds and look freaking awesome” dress (hot pink with gold accents) I’m so excited – I’ve been Veruca Salting since I got the shipped notice (“I WANT IT NOW!”)

          • Totch

            I love you and your Veruca Salt mindset. Now I’m gonna have Volcano Girls stuck in my head all day, though…

        • Jess

          I wore an almost-fushia to a baby shower! I felt so happy.

          • Cellistec

            I wore a fuchsia bridesmaid dress to a subsequent wedding (at which I wasn’t a bridesmaid…belated thx to APW commenters for sanctioning that wardrobe choice!) and was all SO PINK DON’T CARE MORE DANCING.

    • toomanybooks

      Nice! I just ordered a new dress from Modcloth to wear to my future-cousin-in-law’s wedding and it’s making me extra excited.

  • JC

    Week in review:
    Pros: I got a small bonus in the form of a gift card at work, and I used it immediately to buy a standing desk.
    I had an amazing talk with my dad, as he’s trying to help our church (where he attends and where I am still a member even though I don’t live there) move toward even greater LGBTQ inclusion. It’s not every day you get to discuss with your parents the best way to ask someone their preferred pronouns and the difference between gender identity and gender expression.
    My dad is amazing. Boyfriend’s brother and brother’s girlfriend have started looking at rings! That means we have a family wedding coming soon! I am thrilled.

    Cons: When I told my mom about forthcoming potential wedding, she immediately was disappointed that we’re not getting married yet. Sigh. This is going to be a long road. In the past, the pressure to get married has always been positive– people were excited that we were so happy and they want this happiness to continue. This is really the first negative pressure– that we’re somehow letting her down because other people are getting married before us.
    I feel all kinds of sick and broken, from stomach aches to back pain. The stomach aches are chronic, but I haven’t had them in a while, so it’s a bummer.
    We’re going camping this weekend. To say I hate camping is an understatement. If I come back with fewer than 30 mosquito bites, it will be a miracle.
    /rant

    • Cellistec

      Yay for your standing desk! I’ve been drooling over them for years but the powers that be at my desk job said they’re Explicitly Not Allowed for whatever reason I can’t fathom. Even if I buy one with my own money, I can’t use it unless I show proof of an ongoing medical condition that requires standing. So I’m glad to hear other workplaces are more accommodating!

      • JC

        Oh my gosh, that seems crazy to me! They are so much better for you! We have a few throughout the office that are available for anyone to use, usually old standing desks that were left by former employees. I try to use them often, but it’s hard to be away from my work phone. Now I can just pop up whenever I want!

      • Eenie

        Go see a doctor and get that proof (it seriously shouldn’t be that hard)! They are so good for you. I can recommend one that doesn’t damage the desk and only costs $450.

        • Eenie

          Some reasons may be if you stand your face is over the cubes and it’s disruptive, they don’t want to drop $$$ on desks for everyone, or your company just doesn’t care about ergonomics.

          • JC

            Yeah the disruptive aspect is possible, although not really a problem for us. Standing desks aren’t provided by the company, and by “desk” they’re really just a platform for your monitor so you can stand up. I would LOVE a real desk that is at standing height. We hired a new program director my second year of grad school, and he was trying to get the Sports Medicine department to run an experiment on our cohort of teachers so that we could all get free standing desks.

          • Cellistec

            Yeah, all of the above, and/or they’re afraid of breaking the computer monitor if it’s mounted on the desk arm. I mean, I get it, and I legitimately don’t have a medical condition that requires me to stand. But I work at a health-related nonprofit, so…shouldn’t we be all over standing desks? *facepalm*

      • Lisa

        I soooo want a standing desk but am not willing to make the investment on my own since I’ll only be here another 10ish months. My office is a building that also has hospital offices in it so we have to comply to their ergonomic standards. This means I have a super fancy chair at work, but since they purchased it before I was hired, it doesn’t work for me! #tallgirlproblems

        • Eenie

          This is a model that you can take with you. Comes pre-assembled and doesn’t attach to the desk. But I get the money investment.

          https://www.amazon.com/Height-Adjustable-Standing-Desk-VARIDESK-Black/dp/B00JI6NCCK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1471632540&sr=8-1&keywords=standing+desk+veridesk

          • AmandaBee

            My employer purchased these for us and they are awesome. And they slide out of the box ready to go, so super easy to repack and move I imagine :)

          • Lisa

            I’ve seen those in some other people’s offices! We know we’re planning to leave within the next year (when husband’s doctorate is done), and I’m avoiding spending large amounts of money on pretty much anything because we just don’t know where we’re going to end up yet. It means a lot of my life feels like it’s on hold, but I’d hate to spend $400 and then end up in an office that would pay for me to get a desk of choice.

          • Eenie

            Valid! And really they should be paying for it.

        • raccooncity

          My ergonomist MIL would not be pleased to hear that your workplace thought a chair would be equally applicable to all people in one workplace, including the tallz, just because it was expensive. It’s all about adjustability.

          I’m also a tall girl and she’s come in to my various workplaces over the years and helped me with my life. She also says that healthcare has the worst track record for being ACTUALLY ergonomically friendly to its employees, although here in Canada she attributes that to tight budgets and government oversight of said budgets.

          • Lisa

            Oh, man, I would love to have someone like your mom come in and tell me what to do with my life. I keep fiddling around with the chair, but I’m not sure where I should have it for ultimate efficiency. And maybe my desk is too short? I just don’t know, but I continuously catch myself slumped over in weird positions, which I’m assuming are a compensation for not having the proper-sized equipment.

            At my last job, I had my husband cut me 4″ tall blocks and come in with me after hours to lift my desk onto it. Otherwise, that stupid thing was practically sitting in my lap.

          • raccooncity

            I don’t know you or your desk, but it is definitely too short.

            That has been my issue at 100% of my workplaces, and unfortunately since I work at not for profits where my budget was $0, that was something that was not usually fixable. (eg. at one of them the desk was this long shape thing that we all had computers at.)

            The rest of her fixes were always completely free – stack of phone books or rolled up towels. She’s totally magic. Anyway, 100% the most important thing she says is to just make sure you’re not seated for more than 20 mins at a time. Even just standing up and walking to get a glass of water or stretching makes a huge difference.

          • Eenie

            Yes this. Adjusting your monitor height with boxes/phone books, getting a foot rest, moving where your mouse and keyboard are, etc. I did this for a while as part of my job and I was always amazed at how much it improved people’s aches and pains.

          • Lisa

            THANK YOU FOR VALIDATING. People at my awful non-profit/last job thought I was crazy with the blocks. My new desk is a giant L-shape so I’m not sure how well the blocks trick would work with it.

          • Eenie

            Do you know what brand it is?

          • Lisa

            My chair or my desk?

          • Eenie

            Chair! There’s some actual science to how to adjust them. I wondered if it was the Aeron chair and I could send you a guide :)

          • Lisa

            I just got on my hands and knees to look at the tag, lol. It’s a Steelcase. Every piece is adjustable, but the lumbar support at its highest setting only barely hits the top of my butt. Perhaps I have #bigbuttproblems in addition to #tallgirlproblems?

          • Eenie

            Steelcase is a good brand! Are there other types of chairs that you could trade out for (I’m sure someone else may be super happy to have a super new fancy chair!)?

            Without seeing you some things you can try: remove the arm rests, use a bungee/towel for lumbar support, try moving your monitors up (top should be at or 1″-2″ above eye level), move the monitors closer/further away from you (ideally 25″ish inches). And I will second Racooncity’s suggestion to take frequent breaks. I always recommended people schedule them in their work calendar to pop up every hour or so.

          • Lisa

            Well, I guess I’m going to be trying some things out on Monday! (Heading out in a minute for a work event.) The tops of my monitors are currently 1-2″ below my eye level and don’t go any higher.

            I’m not sure about the chairs… they were custom ordered with special colors and everything. I’d have to talk to my boss about that.

          • Eenie

            Gotcha. Amazon boxes/phone books/textbooks are my suggestion then :) If someone comments on the “look” you can just say you’re testing some stuff out before buying anything that looks better.

          • Lisa

            Well, I feel like I should let you know that I’ve raised my chair as high as it will go, lowered the arm rests completely (because I can’t take them off), and I’ve got my monitors stacked on several reams of paper. Finally they’re at eye level! I’m sure my office will want their paper back at some point, but this should help a bit for now. :)

    • Not Sarah

      Yay for the standing desk! I have a sit-stand one at work and at home and it is AMAZING.

      I’m sorry about your mom :/ We have similar reactions from my boyfriend’s mom when we mention we went to a wedding “Oh does that make you two want to get married soon?”, but she’s thankfully really pleasant when we say no.

      • JC

        My mom was pleasant the first (few) time(s) too, and my younger sister just got married, so she’s had her wedding fix for a bit. It’s odd to me that at the beginning, it seemed like she was genuinely asking to try to gauge my interest level/ask how the relationship was going. When I would respond that things are wonderful and yes we want to get married eventually but not now, I was actually answering her question. Now “Oh does that make you want to get married?” isn’t actually a question so much as a little consistent jab in the side saying, “Hurry up!”
        But I will have a standing desk! So you know, priorities :)

  • Kate

    Anyone have experience managing anxiety with medication or supplements or schmancy tea? My anxiety is mostly of the intense-fear-of-loved-ones-dying variety, if that’s important.

    • LJ

      therapy if you can afford it, and then their referral to medication if needed. That’s the long term solution. Acute/short term “bandaids” are things I’m grateful to have but I know that they’re things I am gradually phasing out….those supplements and teas you mention. Peppermint tea helps me chill but it doesn’t change my thought patterns, you know? Supplements are 99% snake oil, caveat emptor.
      Cognitive behavioural therapy via a therapist has a great success rate. Alternately, I’ve had awesome success with mindfulness meditations – there are lots of apps you can download to your phone then listen to guided meditations on your headphones :)

      • Kalë

        Seconded mindfulness meditations! The ones on youtube are good, too.

      • cityfolks

        If you don’t mind sharing, could you share a little bit about the difference with CBT in your experience? I’ve worked with one in the past to little success, and have liked my talk therapist better, but now I’m wondering if going back would be better in terms of long-term success …

        • LJ

          This poem is a perfect example of how CBT worked for me.

          http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/95085-i-walk-down-the-street-there-is-a-deep-hole
          I still walk down that street and fall in the hole sometimes, but now I know what makes me turn down a different street. It’s when I spend long periods of time not being vigilant that I start to fall into the hole again.

          @Kate you may find this useful as well.

          • cityfolks

            Thanks, that makes sense in my context, too. I appreciate the thoughts!

          • LJ

            No problem :) I feel that a lot of things being suggested are bandaids (acupuncture, meditation, tea, et al)… I’ve tried most things listed here and more (homeopathy is BS and don’t waste your money on rescue remedy. A shot of rum does the same as the product)….. many of them have merits for dealing with anxiety as it occurs, but unless you want to be “bandaiding” forever you need to start dealing with the root cause.

            CBT worked for me to address the root cause, and there are lots of things that can also work for others like medication if the root cause is chemical (totally a thing! Medication doesn’t mean you’re weak and shouldn’t be avoided if it’s the best option). Exercise also helps me HUGELY in conjunction with CBT… if I go to the gym or play sports then it’s way easier to stay on top of my vigilance and stay away from that street with the hole.

          • cityfolks

            No worries, lady*, you are speaking my language. Half the battle seems to be identifying root causes to be addressed rather than symptoms to be amileorated. (*insert honorific of choice.)

          • LJ

            Lady works ;) although it made me think of Janitor’s girlfriend on Scrubs. This is not a bad thing. hahahh…

    • Marie

      In order of personal effectiveness: sleep, therapy, moderate aerobic exercise, meditation.

      • LJ

        Exercise is such an amazing mood booster and anxiety killer. Find something you like and do it regularly. If you don’t like jogging, don’t jog – try a bicycle or swimming or a beer league sport even. I play rec league basketball. it’s amazing the effect it can have on mental health.

    • MC

      My anxiety is lessened a little with monthly acupuncture, and a LOT with regular exercise. Breathing exercises and mantras that I learned in therapy, even though they sound corny, do help quite a bit.

    • Natalie

      I tend to be fairly anxious. I’ve never personally used medication or supplements for it (immediate female relatives have had negative reactions to anti-anxiety meds and to anti-depressants, and I personally do not want to risk the potential side effects; obviously they work well for many people and YMMV). I find fancy teas with lavender flowers to be calming. Also, as already suggested, exercise. For me, it’s a cure-all for any emotional distress I’m feeling. Sometimes I need an intense workout, other times a calm walk along the river. But it always makes me feel at least a little better.

    • Jess

      Necessary Disclaimer: this is not a long term solution, but a coping strategy to get thru crisis moments.

      I have a specific type of tea (Lady Grey) that I make at work when I am in some panic. I hold it against my chest and breathe until it cools off. I don’t even necessarily drink that much of it, but the smell and feeling of warmth is very calming for me.

    • JC

      Acupuncture and exercise have been amazing for me. Some regions (it’s popular on the west coast, but I can’t speak to others) have community acupuncture settings. The theory is that when you pay the big bucks for an acupuncture treatment, you’re mostly paying for the privacy of your own room so you can strip down. However, a lot of the effect can be achieved using acupuncture points that are on the hands, feet, and face/head– places that can easily be uncovered without the need to be nude. Community acupuncture has a practitioner treating you in a large room where you sit (usually in a big arm chair) alongside other people. This lets the practitioner treat lots more people, and you save a ton of money. (Prices usually range from $15 to $40 a session.) Most people, including me, fall asleep due to the acupuncture treatment, so you tend to not notice others’ presence and they don’t notice yours. I would highly recommend looking it up in your area and trying it out!

    • Headspace (app) is for mindfulness mediation. The first sequence of 10 sessions are free (can repeat forever), but ~9 sessions in, they’ll give you an offer of 12 months for the price of 9. Doing mindfulness mediation daily is really handy for this. Headspace has the goofy motivation “X day streak” gizmos built in, too, if you need that.

      Maybe meditate when you feel the anxiety rising, too?

      • toomanybooks

        Ooh, there’s also the app called Talkspace for therapy.

    • toomanybooks

      I’ve “managed” anxiety with… I used to drink a Tazo rose sleepy tea… The smell of lavender is pretty relaxing… And I’d pick a fluffy comedic show to watch to get my mind off things, which is how I’ve seen every episode of How I Met Your Mother. I haven’t needed it in the same way for a while, but I bet Crazy Ex Girlfriend or Gilmore Girls would also work.

      I’ve also been given the advice of thinking of a pop song and concentrating on like, remembering all the lyrics and kind of singing it in your head.

    • LJ

      Something that just occurred to me that may interest you….. there are two basic categories of anxiety. The “why won’t the g–d– voices in my head STFU” anxiety (cortex anxiety I think it might be called officially?) and the “pit of my stomach plummeted” anxiety (amygdala based anxiety, your “reptile brain” fight or flight)…. there are different tools you can use to address each, so it may be helpful to figure out if your brain in forever what-iffing and won’t shut up or if your brain is just steeping in fear. it’s not unusual to have both happen over time, but it can help to ID it as it occurs and target it.

  • Olive

    Thanks to everyone who chimed in last week when I was down in the PhD dumps. I’m going to continue seeing my therapist to tackle the work/life anxiety, and have filled a good portion of my weekend with friend time away from home, because I need some time away from my wonderful, supportive, loving husband.

    I tried a yoga video from Do Yoga with Me, as @disqus_ShkBoOhlEN:disqus suggested (it was lovely). I also wrote down a bunch of tasks/goals both big and small for work, and I’m awarding myself a sticker for every 3 things I cross off. After x number of stickers, I’m going to treat myself to something. And yes, this was inspired both by @Sosuli and my niece who pooped on the potty all week and got that Chuckle Ball she wanted.

    Most of this week was still a struggle, but I had the first positive result in the lab for quite awhile, and I’m feeling a lot better, especially after my advisor left for a conference. The entire atmosphere of the lab shifts when he’s not here.

    Again, thanks to everyone for the support. I’ve been grateful for this community all week :)

    • raccooncity

      Stickers never go out of style as motivation. I’m glad you had a good week!

    • Lisa

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the videos and that you’re feeling better this week! I love the idea of a grown-up sticker chart.

      • Olive

        :) I also learned about sticker subscription services!

        • cityfolks

          !? Tell me more!

          • Olive

            The one I’ve investigated is called pipsticks, my neighbor has a subscription. I was going to send them to my niece but thought they were too expensive for a subscription of stickers, so I may just use the inspiration and send her the occasional sticker sheet from amazon in the mail. I’m sure there are others as well!

      • Olive

        Also, huge shout out to my husband for being patient with me this week. I’m glad I’m feeling better so home life can be a bit more pleasant for him.

        • Anna

          It’s so good to have that support, and then to be able to acknowledge it once the struggle has subsided. I find that knowing my fiance is actively trying to be patient/supportive is more helpful than any individual action on its own, because it validates that I’m going through something difficult (internal or external) and makes it clear that he cares about my experience. (Sort of the inverse of the just-telling-me-to-stop-being-upset behavior I mentioned elsewhere in this HH.)

          • Olive

            Indeed. He does that sometimes and did say “Tell me how to make you happy” or something like that a few times recently. I kindly remind him that my he contributes to my happiness but isn’t the sole contributor. :)

    • Rose

      Most of my friends in my cohort have used variation of sticker charts at some point during their PhD’s. I haven’t, but maybe I should. I could use some extrinsic motivation other than my advisor right now.

      • Olive

        It started Sunday when I came to work for 40 minutes and then spend $20 at Michael’s on craft supplies as a reward…stickers are my way of keeping those little “rewards” under control (and prevent me from going broke). My therapist also sent me this: http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/motivation_articles.asp?id=1990

        • Rose

          Oooh, some of those are really good. Probably helpful on two levels, too, since first it would force me to make a list of those concrete goals (rather than just “write dissertation by March”), and then give me more motivation to do them.

          • Olive

            also, stickers are fun. :)

    • Sosuli

      Glad to hear it’s going better and that you’ve got plans in place for keeping work moving in a productive direction. :) You got this!
      ETA: thanks for the update!

    • Massages are a great non-food reward to build up to, too…with additional mental benefits ;)

      • Olive

        I’ve been meaning to schedule one :)

  • Here’s a bit of joy in a shitty week – if you missed the trailer for Hidden Figures, here it is – http://themuse.jezebel.com/watch-taraji-p-henson-in-the-hidden-figures-trailer-ab-1785292571

    I am BEYOND EXCITED for this movie. Telling the story of 3 Black women mathematicians who were instrumental in the Space Program? Long overdue! And as a Black woman scientist, I’m so excited for little Black girls to see this movie and think “I can do this! I can be good at math!”. January 2017 can’t get here soon enough.

    • Amy March

      Also? It looks like a really fun movie. I’m excited that it doesn’t have an after-school special vibe.

    • Cellistec

      WHAT. That looks amazeballs. Fingers crossed it comes to theaters in my area.

    • Lisa

      I saw the preview for that at Florence Foster Jenkins earlier this week and thought that movie looked amazing!

      • JC

        Oh my gosh, how was Florence Foster Jenkins?

        • Lisa

          It was sooooooo good. As an opera singer, I’ve been dying to see this since it was in the conception stages. It did such a wonderful job of humanizing a person who is routinely used as the butt of jokes. Amazing job by the whole cast.

    • raccooncity

      1) Love a good math-based story. I love anything that gets people excited about math.
      2) It’s going to get little girls of colour excited about math? BAM. I can’t wait to hear kids talking about their glasses giving them math superpowers.
      3) Janelle Monae

    • Kara

      I’m so excited!! I live in Houston, so the Space Program is still an important part of the city. I love science/math/etc. movies! The 3 main characters are amazing in their own right, and together, they are unstoppable AND fierce!

    • Alanna Cartier

      After my fiancee somehow convinced me to see Sausage Movie this week (and I spent the rest of the week in a blind rage), this is exactly what I needed to see! Frick, I’m going to watch this so many times.

      • Olive

        the fact that it’s called sausage movie makes me never want to see it.

        • Cellistec

          Isn’t it called Sausage Party? Which is either better or worse, depending on one’s sense of humor.

          • Alanna Cartier

            Oh yeah, whoops!

          • raccooncity

            Nah, keep calling it Sausage Movie. It undermines the bad joke.

        • Alanna Cartier

          Yup. I have no interest, but apparently rotten tomatoes says it was “surprizingly thoughtful.” I call bullshit. Also, every female character is just a metaphor for a vagina and an object for the male gaze. I wanted to walk out of the theatre. I don’t think I’ve ever hated a movie that much.

    • ART

      Oooh looks great! Yay!

    • EllowEllow

      I’m very excited about this! In addition to the numerous obvious reasons to be pumped for this movie, Katharine Johnson was from West Virginia, which is my home state. She’s a bit more impressive to me, personally, than Don Knotts.

    • Rebecca

      Can’t wait to see Hidden Figures! Glad to have see people telling these stories. ALSO just LOVE Janelle Monae. Interested to see how she’ll be as an actress.

    • EF

      saw this earlier this week and am so, so psyched!

      • Just preordered! Thanks for the link!

    • Meg

      This looks like a movie that girls will be watching for years after it comes out, like A League of Their Own. So exciting for this movie.

    • lady brett

      yes! as a parent with a little black girl whose professed favorite subject is math, (and a science nerd myself), I am *so excited* about it!

  • KimBee

    Is anyone else from Louisiana? This week has been just awful watching my family and friends lose everything. It sucks being far away and feeling like I can’t do anything to help. It’s also so frustrating to feel like no one around me knows what’s happening or how devastating it is for so many people. So, I want to (selfishly) hold some space for for LA residents and ex-pats.

    • Kara

      I’m not from Louisiana, but I’ve been following the floods and they are heartbreaking :(.

      I’ve been donating to the Red Cross and many other organizations to help.
      To say the scale of destruction and toll on humans and animals alike is unprecedented, is an understatement.

      For people not aware–image 1/3 of your **state** underwater. Not a neighborhood, not a small town, not even a city. We’re talking about the state!

      More than 40,000 homes damaged, more than 30,000 people rescued.

      http://www.cnn.com/2016/08/14/us/iyw-louisiana-flooding-victims-help/index.html

      For animal lovers, consider the impact this event has on misplaced companion animals, strays, and shelters. Everyone needs help! http://www.nola.com/weather/index.ssf/2016/08/louisiana_flood_how_to_help_an.html

    • eating words

      I’m not from Louisiana but have been following, and it’s heartbreaking to see the devastation. It’s not selfish to hold some space for this. I’m so sorry for the people you know who have lost everything.

      • KimBee

        That’s really kind. Thank you! It’s been hard, but they’ve received a lot of support from other folks within the community. Even strangers have stopped by to bring food or help with gutting houses. So, at least there is some beauty in the way people are showing up for each other.

    • AP

      Thanks for this. The totally absent media coverage is devastating to the people down here. It’s the worst natural disaster since Hurricane Sandy, and no one seems to be aware or care. It’s bewildering.

      My inlaws all live in Baton Rouge and Denham Springs. My husband’s grandmother and aunt had to be rescued from their houses by boat last weekend. They had 4 feet of water in their houses, and my aunt’s husband almost drowned in his wheelchair. The water just came so fast out of nowhere.

      The Hurricane Katrina flashbacks are real. We lived through that, too. The people here on the MS coast where I live are rallying supplies, money, and volunteers to help with cleanup and gutting houses. It’s uplifting to see.

      • KimBee

        I’m glad your family was rescued! I know what you mean about it coming out of nowhere. My brother’s youngest kiddos were separated from his family for a couple of days because they were at my mom’s place when the flooding started. By the time anyone knew how bad it’d be, there was no way to get to them. They’re so young, and they couldn’t understand why they couldn’t just go home to their parents. Everyone in my family is safe, though. We’re grateful for that.

        • AP

          Oh, that is terrible! Are they all reunited now?

          • KimBee

            Yes, thankfully. Their house isn’t habitable, but at least they’re together. They’re staying with family for the time being.

  • Cellistec

    I made it through the two major hurdles of the summer: 1) attending four weddings, which were overall delightful and joyful, and 2) my 50-mile charity bike ride, for which I beat my fundraising goal, though the ride itself was very hard and very humbling. I think I may just deserve a celebratory bottle of cheap wine this weekend.

    • MC

      Congrats!!! 50 miles is no small feat, you definitely deserve some wine! I’m about to attend my 3rd and last wedding of the summer, so I feel you on the first part :)

      • Cellistec

        Ah, thanks! Here’s to a break from weddings for a while. I mean, they’re the best, but too much of a good thing, and all.

    • Kalë

      ayoooo! nice work. seconding the celebratory wine (and possibly cake).

  • Sosuli

    I got back from two and a half weeks apart from my husband and he had cleaned the flat and bought me flowers, cheesecake and wine! Makes the sadness at leaving my family and home country a bit easier.

  • LJ

    My work blocked the gender swap movie link because of “adult content and nudity” – it may be too sensitive. Anyone able to send me a link that won’t violate this or copy/paste the writing? :(

  • Anon for this

    hey APW, my marriage feels like it’s in the dumps after we had a baby. we’ve been together for 10 years. we were always awesome at conversation but shitty at getting shit done, and turns out having a baby is all about getting shit done. so i dunno if it’s just postpartum depression but even though we love the baby, we’re not loving co-parenting. (in fact, i don’t like parenting with DH at all.) but there’s no turning back, right?

    • LMN

      Co-parenting can be so hard! Sometimes my husband and I work really well together, and sometimes if I’m doing things alone, it is nice to just be able to do it my way without any discussion. We are still figuring it out with our almost 15 m.o. and it’s hard to do that and have time to focus on our own relationship. Not sure how old your baby is, but I think it takes a while to find your footing and set up routines that work for you, so it’s important not to be too hard on yourself. But I think worrying about your relationship with this new little person around is not unusual.

    • Amy

      I’m less than a month into this, but I thought I’d chime in since my husband and I are in a similar boat (together 10 years, parenting a newborn). I actually do like parenting with my husband, but it’s not always easy. I take on the majority of baby care right now since he’s working full-time and I’m not working at all, and I’ve definitely had some resentful feelings about being the one handling all the night feedings, coupled with a steaming hot side dish of guilt that by the time he gets home the baby’s having her evening crankies and just screams when he tries to cuddle her. I don’t always agree with his decisions, like making her do tummy time even though she hates it. And it really got on my nerves when he tried to tell me I wasn’t latching her right while breastfeeding (dude, seriously?).

      But we made an agreement that unless we feel the other parent is doing something actively harmful, we aren’t going to criticize the way he/she is parenting. We’re also working really hard to be open in our communication. Example: last night I asked him what I can do to be helpful when he’s holding the baby and she’s crying hysterically. It’s hard for me not to hover (because every fiber of my being is telling me FIX IT FIX IT STOP THE CRYING) but I hate it when other people hover over me when I’m trying to calm her. And he told me it’s fine for me to hover, but to let him try to calm her instead of jumping in right away. So that’s what we’ll do. I want him to feel included and competent, even though it’s hard for me to see her upset and not snatch her up.

      Hopefully this is making sense – I’m running on very little sleep – but since you say you’re generally good at communicating I think you actually have a big leg up in handling this. Open, honest communication and the desire to take care of each other during a stressful time have been the two big things that have saved our sanity this month. I would recommend frequent check-ins about how you’re both feeling, how you can help each other, and what you’re both loving about the baby. Good luck. <3

    • Lily

      Oh Anon, I feel for you! We have an 8 month old, and having a baby can just be so, so hard. I think it’s very normal to not love co-parenting, as it can be a huge transition. I’m not sure how old your baby is, but for a while, maybe cut yourselves some slack on the getting sh*t done? I know that we have really tried to cool it with the cleaning/house projects/anything not necessary for most of this year! Especially those first several months, it was all about survival. Food? Showers? Relatively clean clothes for everyone? That’s it.

      Since you mentioned postpartum depression — YES that could 100% be contributing to what you are feeling. Please call your midwife/physician and ask for an appointment!

      Becoming parents can really turn your world on it’s head, and it takes time to adjust to new roles, new skills, new schedules. Everything becomes different all at once. It does change your marriage. You mentioned that you two have always been awesome at conversation, so hang on to that – keep talking to one another, being supportive as much as you can, and try to be clear about what YOU need. Whether that’s a few hours away for some friend time or a massage, or a few hours of sleep! This is a really hard time. You are not alone. And I promise, it *does* get better. Take care.

    • TeaforTwo

      I don’t have any helpful suggestions, but I will just chime in to say GIRL this is 100% normal.

      A week after my baby was born I thought “how could anyone say having a baby is hard on a marriage – there is so much love in this house right now!”

      Four weeks after my baby was born I thought “I see how this could be challenging, but we are really working on holding it together, and being kind to one another and I’m so proud of us.”

      Eight weeks after my baby was born, my husband went back to work (we had both been off work up until that point) and I thought “what an asshole.”

      So I don’t have an answer, but it has been comforting to me to know that parenting together – and particularly adjusting to parenting together – is hard for lots of other couples. And that it’s mostly about, as you say, getting shit done, as opposed to fundamental compatibility (I am, for example, greatly comforted to see that the big challenge was when we added a more-than-full-time job to the mix, rather than just being about having the baby change things).

      • raccooncity

        I am very concerned about how I’ll feel when Mr. RC goes back to work after 2 weeks vacation straight into year end. He’s an accountant at a place where year end often involves a few weeks of 12-16 hour workdays.

        Any sage advice on how to keep from hating him too much for that?

        ETA: i mean after our baby is born…he banked 2 weeks and those will likely lead into year end unless we have a very premature baby since year end goes for at least a month.

        • TeaforTwo

          Lower your standards!

          When my husband was on leave, he took care of all the laundry, cooking, dishes and diapers and I fed the baby about 27 hours a day. I expected when he went back to work, I would do most of that, but the baby still needs to eat 27 hours a day. The problem is that he comes home from 12 hours at the office too tired to do much laundry/cooking/cleaning so…lower standards. Accept that the house will be a disaster and that you will be eating lots of takeout and just remember that one day the baby will become an adult and move out and then your house can look nice again.

          And…lower your standards for your relationship, too. Like I said above, I don’t have an actual answer to the relationship stress of having a baby, but I have appreciated some real talk from other friends who are happily married but also honest about how having a baby was hard on their marriage, at least for awhile. As with many other aspects of infant care, it’s just been a relief to know it’s normal, and that it won’t be forever.

          • raccooncity

            Good point. I’ve been hoping that baby won’t ‘ruin our relationship’ but it’s a good idea to consider that it might suck a little for a while and that’s normal.

          • TeaforTwo

            I mean, it’s not bad every minute of the day.

            It’s wonderful to see someone love my baby as much as I do, and to see the baby light up with him. It’s wonderful to see this other side of my husband open up when he is worrying very sweetly about our kid, or making up silly songs or whatever.

            But there’s also just so much to do, and even on the good nights no one is getting enough sleep, and neither one of us is getting to recharge in the ways we usually do. And the grass is always greener, because he feels tired from being at work all day and misses the baby, and I feel stir crazy from spending so much time at home doing the very mundane and repetitive work of childcare.

            So anyway, at least parts of it will suck for a little while and that’s normal. For sure.

          • Eenie

            These comments are so helpful. Thank you for sharing. Bookmarking for some point way in the future.

        • Amy March

          Remind yourself that both of you are working as hard as you possibly can for your family?

        • Jenny

          WE got some advice that was from 8p to 8a nothing you say counts. Generally I think we semi stuck to the idea that we wouldn’t hold each other to things we said. I think we also eventually agreed not to say things like I need to sleep (but rather to ask each other to take a turn on baby watch, just a different way to frame it, but it worked better for us). Also try and find some help/hire some help for those weeks of 12-16 hours home alone. We were lucky and my mom could come hold the baby from 6-9a while my husband was at school so I could get some sleep (we usually fed 1 bottle a day so I could try and get at least 1 stretch of 3+ hour sleep). 12-16 hours a day alone is going to be HARD depending on your new born (our baby wouldn’t nap unless he was being held- for 5 months- so there was no napping while the baby napped). Getting some sleep, and leaving the house were big on not being too resentful.

        • EllaByNight

          Don’t forget to take care of yourself. I’m only seven weeks in to being a new parent but when my husband went back to work after two weeks, I was so busy caring for everyone else in our house that I didn’t have time to take care of myself. After about two weeks of him working, there was a point where I was soothing the crying baby while the cats were meowing at me to be fed and my husband was on the couch recharging from his eleven hour work day when I just kind of lost it. I realized my entire day was so consumed with making sure other people were taken care of that I didn’t have time to care for myself to the point where I hadn’t showered in three days. I had a bit of a meltdown at hat point and asked my husband to make some changes–including taking the baby right after he got home so I could have half an hour alone and making me take time to shower if he came home and I hadn’t showered yet.

          If your husband is stuck at work, try to get outside support to make sure you’re taken care of. That might come in the form of a friend coming over with food and holding the baby while you hang out or hiring a baby sitter so you can leave the house alone or nap. Don’t think of these things as luxuries either. Self care is a necessity and something you should prioritize. Obviously you won’t be able to spend as much time on self care post baby as you did prebaby but even taking a half hour to take care of yourself will help you stay calm. It’s like putting on your oxygen mask before you help others–a happy, relatively calm, and sane mama makes for a happier baby and a happier household.

    • I have a six week old and just read a post about how the author hates her husband a little bit right now and it rung so true! Which felt kind of awful because I know he’s tired too – he’s in residency and works long hours and stays up late to take the last feeding for me so I can get a few hours of sleep together. But still, when he gets six straight hours of sleep and has to ask me how many times the baby woke up because he slept through it, I do hate him a little. It helps me to remind myself how much he’s doing, not only at work, but also at home. The late feeding for one, plus basically all of the cooking that’s gotten done. Basically everything in general that’s gotten done that isn’t breast milk related.

  • Her Lindsayship

    This might just be super bratty of me, but does anyone have any good techniques for getting over wedding planning fatigue? We’ve been venue hunting for months, and still have no viable options. Our ideas for our wedding keep getting reevaluated, which was a breeze at first but is now wearing me down. Sticker shock was expected, but I didn’t realize that it would happen in several stages. It’s starting to feel like it’s more work than it’s worth, which I don’t think is how I actually feel, so I’d love any tips for re-centering!

    • Anna

      Doesn’t sound bratty at all to me! Unfortunately, my strategy has mostly been “get really busy and focus on non-wedding-related things while letting wedding planning languish”, so I’m not sure I have useful advice for you :-/

    • Ashlah

      Take a break! Give yourself some time to not think about the wedding at all, and do something you enjoy doing just for the sake of it.

    • Eenie

      Have a wedding free day/week/month! Absolutely no wedding talk at all for the time. Life will move on. There will be a venue.

    • Take a break! A weekend, or a month. Whatever it takes.

  • Nikki

    Feeling kind of blah this week. I’ve been struggling for a few months with my depression, and a major part of the problem (I think) is that I just HATE where we currently live. It’s a not-so-nice part of a huge city that I never really had a desire to live in, but my husband moved here 5 years ago (when we were just dating, not yet married) for school, so I moved to join him eventually after finishing school myself. I’ve been here almost 4 years now and it is THE WORST. Every day when I drive home from work, I just look at my surroundings and feel so much worse. I tried to talk to my husband about this earlier this week, and was pretty upset, crying and everything and he just sat silently the whole time. When I finally (not so nicely, I admit) asked him why he wasn’t saying anything, he kind of dismissed all my feelings, saying I’d “be unhappy anywhere,” and he didn’t agree with my viewpoint so he didn’t know what to say. We later talked about it (after I was done being mad – ha), and he understood that I just needed some sympathy, but … still. meh.

    We’ve been kind of tentatively planning on moving out of state sometime around early next year. I REALLY want to – we don’t have kids yet, and it feels like a perfect time to kind of try something new and see what happens. I’m very gung-ho about it, looking up apartments and jobs in the new city, but he seems very… not excited. Which is kind of bumming me out. Not to mention, I’m starting to get discouraged about the whole moving/finding a new job thing. I’ve applied to a few freelance positions in the new city with no answer, and previously, before landing the job I have now, applied to over 100 places (yes, 100) before I got this one. So I guess I’m just nervous about moving but also like, I HAVE TO MOVE NOW.

    Sorry this is so long and rambly, but… meh meh meh. SO ready for a weekend!

    • cityfolks

      I don’t love where we live, either, but at least there’s some even-ness to how grumpy my husband and I are about it, and we’re doing what we can to make it work. Sometimes I feel a move would make me and us happier, since I do struggle with depressive episodes, but I try and remind myself of my therapist’s refrain “There is no geographic cure”. I don’t know if that’s true for everybody but I’m hoping it’s true for me. Good luck!!

      • Nikki

        A little late, but thank you, that’s a good thing to keep in mind, “no geographic cure.” I feel like I know that RATIONALLY, but it’s hard to remember sometimes haha

        • cityfolks

          And it may be true that geography itself makes little difference, but geographic elements might – moving to a warmer/cooler climate, or a lower cost-of-living area, for example. It won’t fix everything, but it *might* improve something.

    • I also do not like the city I live in. This is where my husband needs to be for work though, so for the foreseeable future, this is where we live. We’ve talked about maybe looking for a house to buy (we’re sick of paying rent) and it just gives me this sinking feeling that we’ll be stuck here forever. It helps that I really like my job and the people I work with, but I still have days even after living here for four years, when I just look around and want to cry. There are a lot of good things about this city, and I try to focus on those, but I definitely don’t want to live here for the rest of my life. It’s hard. I feel you!

      • I’ve had friends [in other cities] that hated where they lived…but it was mostly because their coworkers were not kindred spirits and they had difficulty making friends. Sometimes, it really is just community that will make a place feel so much better.

        • Eenie

          I hate where I live, but I like my friends in the area so I’m managing. Part of my hate is that there are no jobs here for me and we bought our house so we’re stuck for the near future… :(

          • cityfolks

            I’m in a similar situation, I’ve found a few good people and we’re managing. We’ve just bought a house, but we both have jobs here and that’s nothing to sneeze at with two adults in the same field.

    • Lisa

      I completely feel you. We moved to Badtown (not the real name) from Chicago two years ago, and I have absolutely hated it here. I don’t hate it as much as I used to, but I feel like we’re in limbo a lot waiting for his doctorate to finish up.

      I don’t have a great solution to the issue because I know my husband is on board to move pretty much anywhere else once he’s done with school, but I wanted to let you know that you are absolutely not alone in your feelings.

      • cityfolks

        Oh, man, Chicago was *so hard* to leave … every time I’m on a plane flying out of an airport there, guaranteed tears.

      • Olive

        Almost done with doctorate-limbo is not fun. We’re there too, and while our city isn’t bad, I can’t wait for something new.

        Also, Chicago is my hometown and will forever have my heart.

        • Lisa

          I only lived there for three years, but it really captured my heart. I would move back in a heartbeat, but my Californian was scared off by the polar vortex.

      • rg223

        Butting in for a sec – I have wondered for a very long time if the place you live is actually called “Badtown.” At first I thought it was a name you made up, but then after a while I was like “Well, wait, maybe it’s the real name,” so good to know my original thought was correct!

        • Lisa

          Hahaha, I love this! When I first was moving here, another commenter used Badtown as short hand for “this place that I absolutely hate but am stuck living in for 3 years.” I liked it, and it stuck! This way I’m not giving away the small-ish university city where I live on-line.

    • Natalie

      As someone who was miserable after moving for my husband’s career, I feel you. In the interest of helping your husband understand what you need and why, can you articulate what it is you hate about where you live? Doing so might also help you identify ways you can improve things in the short term if it takes a while to find jobs that let you move. Are there things that just cannot be fixed where you are? Like, do you absolutely hate heat and humidity and currently live in Miami? Or are there things that might be hard to change but you could work on, like you hating your commute or not having a good community of friends where you live?

      • Nikki

        Late to reply! But it’s nice to know I’m not alone :) Unfortunately, most of my dislike of where we live comes from outside, physically factors: the heat, only being able to afford rent in less nice/safe neighborhoods, etc. Full disclosure, I live in LA, so it is VERY expensive, but there’s also a lot of variation between neighborhoods. This weekend we had friends over and made pizza for everyone, and then went to the beach on Sunday, and I feel a bit better now. Still hoping to move away soon, but trying to focus on the positives helps for sure!

    • Amy March

      Do you need to live in a not-so-nice part of town? Is there one you’d be more excited for?

      But I’d second what cityfolks said- I think there’s a lot of truth to the idea that you don’t solve depression by changing geography, or job.

    • Olive

      If it is something you can change (like not having a community/family/friends), maybe you can seek out volunteer opportunities (if you have spare time) that will bring you into a community of like-minded individuals? Or Meet-ups?

    • toomanybooks

      I feel you. We lived in a particularly depressing area before moving, in kind of a garbage apartment. I took the lead on moving because I was pickier. My commute is still not great, but at least now I can go to bed and fall asleep instead of lying awake frozen in anxiety that someone will break in. And now my kitchen is nice enough that I can actually use it.
      For now, if being in your area means saving on rent, maybe just focus on that, lol.

      • Nikki

        Yep, super similar sounding situation haha but you’re right, saving on rent is always a bonus :P

    • emilyg25

      I am very, very picky about where I live because it definitely has a big impact on my emotional well-being. I would try to be more specific about what about your current location makes you miserable, so he can see how moving would help. But I also think this might be something to take to a marriage counselor. It sounds like you both have strong feelings and a third party could help you work through them.

    • Kelly

      Same boat- I’ve lived in a city for 8 years that I actively can’t stand for about 4 of them now. My husband and I had a few frank conversations about our timeline for leaving, which has helped. The main thing keeping me going is just knowing that there is a light at end of the tunnel.

      Not sure if this is an option for you, but is there a room in your place that you could convert into a “lady cave”? Excuse the bad pun- not sure what the equivalent of a man cave would be. But something you could make entirely your own and be your happy place?

      Hang in there!

  • ebtree1151

    Some of you may remember my post a while ago about my parents disapproval at my engagement, due to my fiancé not having a job lined up right after grad school. Well, he got a job! It is even in our city! And in his field! And now all my mom talks about is the wedding. (not necessarily a great thing, but definitely an improvement from the rejection earlier)

    Thanks everyone for the kind words earlier, it really helped get through the engagement drama!

    • Totch

      Congrats to your fiance!

  • Totch

    I’m in need of creative wedding job suggestions, including for an 8 year old would-be-flower-girl. I’d love to give her a special job, but 1) we’re getting married in a botanical garden so outside flowers are verboten, and 2) we’re not doing any kind of procession where she could wander down the aisle and have her moment.

    My guest list is basically just immediate family, and it’s gonna be small and simple. But, of course, everyone is lovely and interested and wants their own job. I’d love any creative suggestions for roles: in addition to no procession, we’re not having any readings or a wedding party and we’ve got our toasts lined up.

    Other than the flower girl, the most important person is my sister. We’ve got a strained relationship and I don’t feel comfortable having her speak, but we’re working on it and I want to make a gesture.

    • Cellistec

      Could she hand out something to guests as they arrive? Programs, fans, favors, etc.? Or act as an usher?

    • ART

      Botanical garden wedding sounds awesome. Are you incorporating anything that acknowledges the setting? Maybe there’s some other way to interpret “flower girl” that would speak to that – like Cellistec suggested handing things out, maybe something about symbolic flowers and their meanings that the guests might be able to see while they are there? A flower “scavenger hunt” for guests that she could be in charge of (obvs no picking…)?

    • Eenie

      Can she hold your wedding rings? Can she carry your bag? Can you ask her if she’s looking forward to anything specific?

      • Megan

        She could be your ring bearer! I always hated that girls weren’t allowed to do that job at my family’s weddings…

        • Eenie

          If we had a procession, bridal party, or flowers, my nephew would have thrown some flower petals for us. That really seems like the more fun of the two jobs…

        • Totch

          Ha! When we thought we had to do a procession, the plan was for her to be ring bearer and a younger girl to be flower girl. I thought it was bad ass! My family was like “Can you just still call her a flower girl though? No little girl wants to be ring bearer.”

          When we got my parents on side about just not doing a procession at all, we hadn’t asked the girls yet so we thought it was fine just to drop it. Turns out, the 8 year old is a little wedding crazy and really wants to be a flower girl. I’m just glad I found out in time to figure out a role for her (which may be making her ring bearer even though we really don’t need one).

    • Amy March

      For sister, a corsage?

      • AP

        Great idea.

      • Totch

        Unfortunately, no flowers allowed and we don’t plan on doing a non flower option. But I have gotten her a bracelet!

        • Lulu

          Are you having a program? We had no bridal party, and our brothers had no official role, but we did list them as “Best Brothers” on our program.

    • JC

      Could she be in charge of the present table? She can greet everyone as they come in and take their gifts/cards and put them in a pile or put the cards in a basket.

      • Totch

        This is a good idea! Thanks

        • JC

          You’re welcome! It’s “responsible” without requiring that you overhaul your ceremony. Also, if she bails to go look at flowers? Meh.

          • Totch

            Absolutely. Also, it’s a Chinese wedding which should mean lots of little red envelopes, and pretty much nothing is better when you’re a kid than being like “omg I am holding infinite money.”

    • emmers

      Can flower girl hold a “here comes the bride” sign or something and walk down the aisle? Or blow bubbles, coming down the aisle?

      ETA, I suck at reading, just saw no procession. Um, will think!

      Maybe if there’s something she can pass out to guests, or have guests do. Like maybe passing out water bottles, or little flags, or if there’s something she can take around to have people sign or something?

      • Natalie

        Or, if there’s no aisle to walk down at all, at the end of the ceremony when they take their first kiss, she could blow bubbles or toss paper confetti or bird seed or something venue-appropriate.

        • Totch

          Unfortunately, no aisle and no tossing anything (it’s also an aviary so there are quite a few bird-related restrictions).

          Thanks, though, I’ll try to think of something she can do at that “now presenting Mr. and Mrs.” moment.

          • emmers

            Maybe leading a cheer of some sort? The officiant could say, “and now cute little flower girl will lead a celebratory ‘hip hip hooray’ cheer. Please join her in saying hooray.” and then she could do the hip hip part, or something. Just what popped in my head!

          • Totch

            This is really cute!

          • Lulu

            I sewed my would-be flower girl a “yay!” flag– maybe she could raise something up to start the cheering? (Bonus: “yay!” flag was cute in pictures and gets re-used by my husband when I run races.)

          • Totch

            …. sudden urge to have her stand behind us with an Applause sign.

          • emmers

            Lol!

    • Sosuli

      My nieces and nephew are a bit younger (2-5) but we had a special dance with them, where we put their three favourite songs on as a surprise to them to kick off the dance floor and had ten minutes of bride and groom getting down with the little ones.

      • JC

        Brilliant.

      • Sosuli

        Will delete this tomorrow, but just had to share some pictoral evidence…. my nephew’s moves to ‘Chandelier’ are unbeatable.

        • Totch

          Amazing!

          This is a really good idea, and I feel like a total bummer for not doing it, but we’re just doing a nice dinner after. No dancing ?

          • Sosuli

            You’ll think of something that works for you guys! Maybe something to do with dinner? Handing out chocolates with dessert? I liked the suggestions others had about handing out programs etc. too.

  • driftless

    So, I’ve been on crutches for a month due to a complicated stress fracture, and thought that at my appointment today the doc was either going to say (a) you’re healed hooray! or (b) you need surgery because it isn’t healing. I was super stressed so had my husband come with. And, the answer was… neither. It doesn’t look like it is healing, but we aren’t ready to try surgery (because maybe my body will produce lots of fibrous tissue around the break and make it manageable while the bone very slowly re-grows? or something like that?)…. so I need 4 more weeks of crutches. I know I should be grateful that my surgeon doctor isn’t jumping immediately to surgery, but I’m getting tired of being so dependent on my husband and having to go up and down the 20 stairs into our apartment on my butt. I don’t like that I can’t go for runs or walks for stress relief or that it is going to make our time at the Wilco concert tonight more complicated.
    Combined with a few really rough days at work where I’ve been dealing with some complicated issues in a family we serve, and I’m feeling really low. Ugh. Fingers crossed it doesn’t rain tonight so the Wilco concert is still fun! And, we decided to pay for a hotel so we don’t have to drive the 1.5 hours home after, so that should be nice.
    Needed to vent. Stupid foot.

    • StevenPortland

      Ugg. Crutches are annoying! But you’ll have great delts by the end of this. Seriously. I broke my ankle and had to commute by bus to work in the middle of winter while on crutches. I remember hating all of it. Good luck!!

    • Eenie

      Ugh crutches suck.

    • Olive

      That sounds terrible. Hopefully the hotel has an elevator & it’s somewhat relaxing!

  • Carolyn S

    For those who are interested and provided backpack advice a couple weeks ago, I ended up buying this one, and I love it
    http://shop.lululemon.com/p/bags/Urbanite-Backpack/_/prod8240002?oref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.ca%2F&rd=true

    • Shawna

      Very smart! I didn’t know they made so many bags…

    • Not Sarah

      That looks super cute! Which colour did you pick?

      • Carolyn S

        I had to go back to the link because I didn’t even know there were colour options. I got black, it’s all they had in store. I stand by it!

    • Olive

      I just got a new backpack too! Only $25!!! http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E16834965137

      • Carolyn S

        Cute! I really like the polkadots inside!

        • Olive

          Me too!

  • eating words

    We’re buying a house! A beautiful, almost-perfect little house! Somehow over the past several months I went from “no thanks, I’d rather just call the landlord and make HIM fix this thing” to “I want our very own house where no one can tell us to stop singing late at night, even if I have to mow the lawn and learn how to fix things.” if all goes well, we’ll close next week and will be all moved in by our first wedding anniversary. Thanks to everyone here who has made owning a house seem like a thing I can do — because it IS something I can do, and I am so excited.

    • Kalë

      Wow, amazing! So many congratulations to you.

    • cityfolks

      Congrats! It’s a crazy and exciting time!!

  • Alanna Cartier

    Going for my first dress fitting tomorrow. I’m terrified, but my sister is coming into town to be my support system.

    • Yay!
      Mine’s in a few weeks, and if someone doesn’t fix the chest on that thing I’m gonna go insane!

  • Natalie

    My cousin was killed by a drunk driver this week. She was only 34. I don’t really know what I’m feeling anymore. Sad, and angry, and frustrated. Numb. Our whole family is just …. lost. I was packing and picking out a dress for the funeral and thought “I wonder what C will think of this,” until I remembered that even though I am flying home for her, I couldn’t get her opinion on anything because she’s gone. The world is so cruel and unfair and I don’t know how to keep moving forward when someone as bright and loving and kind as my cousin can be killed in an instant by such a senseless act.

    • Eenie

      I’m so sorry.

    • AP

      I’m so sorry for your loss. That’s devastating.

    • eating words

      I’m so sorry.

    • NotMarried!

      I am so sorry! Hugs coming your way.

    • Sosuli

      I’m so sorry. My cousin’s half-brother was killed by a drunk driver a few years ago. It’s so awful.

      • Natalie

        It’s a weird sort of loss. I’ve lost loved ones to illness, and it’s awful, too, but I had a little time to prepare for it. And it’s not anyone’s fault, and often there’s nothing anyone could have done to prevent it. But drunk driving… it’s 100% preventable. On so many levels. The guy who killed her could have chosen not to drive drunk. The judge who oversaw his previous drunk driving conviction could have given him a harsher sentence, so he would have been in jail instead of driving drunk that night. Lawmakers could have passed laws requiring ignition interlock devices to be install in the cars of anyone convicted of drunk driving, so he wouldn’t have been able to start his car. Hell, we could mandate interlock devices be installed in ALL new cars. There were so many ways her death could have been prevented.

        • Eenie

          This make it so hard. My mom lost her cousin due to a drunk driver. It is such a selfish act.

        • Sosuli

          It’s so frustrating how little changes despite drunk driving so regularly leading to death.

    • Cellistec

      How sad and terrible. I’m so sorry for your loss.

    • Olive

      I’m so so sorry.

    • I’m so sorry for your loss. My cousin was killed four years ago by a truck driver that was high on meth. There was (and still is) a lot of anger. It’s really tough to come to a sort of peace in a situation like this. Take comfort in knowing that she was very loved and take time for yourself to grieve and give yourself what you need. Again, so sorry this happened.

    • AGCourtney

      I’m so sorry. Death is so hard. All the hugs. <3

    • Ashlah

      Oh I’m so sorry. That is not fair, and it’s not okay.

    • emmers

      That is shitty. I am so sorry about your cousin. If counseling is something you’re comfortable with, I recommend it.

    • Totch

      I’m so sorry. I had a sudden and too-young death in my family last week, and have been having a lot of those “what would J do/think/say” moments.

      • E.

        I’m so sorry for your loss! Sending a big hug

        • Totch

          Thanks

    • E.

      I am so sorry. Sending you a big hug, keep your people around you while you process.

    • saywhatnow

      Oh, Natalie – so sorry. That’s heartbreaking, and such a devastating shock. Please remember to look after yourself even a little; as you say (and I’ve experienced), a sudden death makes it that much harder to come to terms with.

      Much healing to you.

  • flashphase

    We are contracting a venue! On the date we wanted! And since we showed up for the open house, we’re getting a 10% discount!!!! I feel awesome about it, my parents came with us and liked it, it feels so real that we’re getting married!!

    So now we are officially 5 months out. Everyone keeps saying “that’s so quick” but I think it’s doable!!???!!! I would LOVE to hear advice from other brides who planned in 6 months or less.

    • Natalie

      Congrats!!! We got engaged March 21, married Oct 5. Didn’t start planning (including venue-searching) until early April. It was fine. Just fine. Everyone told us how little time we had, but at no point did I feel overly rushed to make any decisions or get things done. I prioritized – once we had a venue and date and time and a photographer booked, we immediately made a wedding website and sent email save-the-dates. Then we worried about food, drinks, invitations, dress, etc.

      • Natalie

        We even did a LOT of DIT and did not have a wedding planner. We did, however, have a wonderful group of friends who pitched in to help us. We grew potted flowers from seed to use as centerpieces and favors. We made 100 candle holders from up-cycled glass jars and fancy parchment paper. Rented a sound system and planned the entire music playlist for 6+ hours ourselves. Baked cakes and cookies to serve for dessert. Ordered bulk flowers and made our own bouquets. Six months was more than enough time for all of that planning.

    • NotMarried!

      I’m 3 weeks into a 4 week planning period! IT IS DOABLE.

      • NotMarried!

        I say too … a quick timeline helps because you don’t overthink everything. make a decision and move on. My biggest lesson on vendors is to trust my gut and that responsiveness matters. So on several issues I’ve scoured the web, chosen 4-5 folks I like and sent out inquiries. From there I’ve mostly hired the first people to respond. (not always, but mostly). On my timeline, a sense of urgency and responsiveness is critical and if you show me that, I’m more likely to trust you.

    • Carolyn S

      We had a little less than 7 months, but about 6 from when we booked our venue. It was totally fine. Once you have a budget and a guest list AND a venue everything is pretty smooth from there out. I think the only thing is you really have to be decisive. Having a short timeline keeps things a lot easier really. I could only choose from a couple racks at the dress store (fortunately one of those racks had the one I wanted), I picked the flower shop someone recommended, I picked the hair and makeup place someone recommended, didn’t do a trial. I also did zero crafts.

    • idkmybffjill

      We’ve been engaged for 16 months and get married in two and it has been WAY TOO MUCH TIME for me. You can totally do it! I’m not sure where you’re located but we had to do the time period we did due to availability. You may have to make some compromises on vendors that may be booked, but you will make it work! Congratulations!

      • Ashlah

        This is what I came to say! We had something like a 20 month engagement, and good lord was it too long. Way too much time to overthink all decisions and do too many silly crafts. You go, short engagement couples!

    • emmers

      I did 6 months. It was stressful, but I think I’m a generally anxious person. It would have helped if I had decided not to stress about things that are in hindsight, not worth it, like etsy caketoppers. I think if it had been longer, I’d just have stressed for longer. I’ll second Carolyn S- be decisive. Most crap you do not need. Looking back, my DIY bottle centerpieces were pretty, but honestly, what guest cares about centerpieces? Same for flowers– I would have scaled that back, if I were to redo. As long as you have the big stuff covered (and a venue is a huge start!), try not to get bogged down by the details and picture-worthy touches. I would avoid pinterest, if you can.

    • Eenie

      I think it’s fine if you’re doing an off season wedding. It’d make life a lot harder if you weren’t getting married in January because you could feel like you get last pick of everything. We booked our venue in August and our wedding was in April. There were a lot of months where we had nothing to do for the wedding except stress needlessly.

      TLDR: It’s doable because you’re doing it, you’ll be married, and we want to see some pictures in HH :)

    • PrettyUglyCrier

      I don’t have much advice but we’re halfway through a 5 month engagement ourselves. The wedding is in October and so far I don’t have the feeling that we’re missing out on anything anyone else with more planning time is able to do and we’re not. Also, as an experienced procrastinator, i can only join PPs in that having less time to make decisions works wonders – you can’t just postpone booking a vendor or doing something so stuff gets done pretty quickly. Congratulations on your engagement and have fun planning!

    • emilyg25

      I love quick engagements! Ours was 7 months, and we really could have done it in 4. Lock down the big stuff right away (venue, caterer, photographer, florist) and let the little stuff go.

    • Kat

      The only thing I would caution you about is dress order times. I work in a bridal salon and I have lots of brides who are shocked to learn that wedding gowns can take 6+ months to order, and then you need time for alterations on top of that (I recommend about 6-8 weeks before the wedding). It’s understandable because duh, most people have never shopped for a wedding gown before and so you’re not up to speed on all the logistics. You can absolutely get a dress ordered quickly, or off the rack, but just be prepared for some shop girls to look at you like you’ve sprouted an extra head when you say your wedding date. A general rule of thumb: whenever you attach “bride” or “wedding” to something, it will cost more and take longer to get. Same goes for bridesmaids. Be flexible and stay calm, you’ll be totally fine.

      • Hannah B

        woot woot! short lead times! I work in bridal too. I’d rec. JCrew or BHLDN, who stock gowns, though of course it depends on your budget!

        Also, something I always tell my brides who are doing things relatively quickly, that I read here a long time ago, it takes as much time to plan a wedding as you’ve got! So don’t stress about it :)

    • Luisa

      We planned our wedding in five days and it was AWESOME. It wasn’t fancy but it was beautiful and had everything we wanted. It was just the best day ever. I think when you’re planning quickly, you have to prioritize the things that matter and tune out all the noise. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help. The most amazing part of the whole thing for us was that our people were SO willing to pitch in. So excited for you!!

  • Leah

    Oh, boy – having come to love folks like Lindy West thanks to APW, I had to point out that I have a new hero: Sara Benincasa explaining Why am I so fat? I love that I have multiple tabs open with women writers asserting that they can, indeed, take up some space – and don’t deserve internet abuse for it.

    • Mary Jo TC

      I loved that so much! She is such a bad ass!

      • Leah

        And a really funny badass, at that – and about a subject that tends to be hatery or solemn. So good!

    • Bsquillo

      LOOOOOOVED that piece. Basically just wanted to clap and give a standing ovation after reading it.

  • Alyssa Andrews

    After watching Emma Coburn run the steeplechase this week, I’ve re-discovered a passion for running. I used to run XC and track in high school WAAAY back when, and it was more social for me than anything (heck, my team was my family in HS), but there was something in how easily she ran that got me wanting to start running again. I have knee problems so road running’s out as far as I’m concerned, but I’m excited to look up trails in my area to run. AND, now that I finally have a post-masters grown-up job, I will actually be home in the evenings so I can workout regularly. Yay!

    I am also making bouquets and flower/table arrangements for my friends’ wedding this weekend, which is a first for me, but I’m really excited to use some of that creative energy to support two people I adore :)

    • emilyg25

      If you like rowdy fun and drinking, look up Hash House Harriers and see if there’s a kennel (group) in your area. It’s a running and drinking club and it’s great fun. (That’s how I met my husband!)

  • janie

    Longtime lurker now posting for the first time now that I’m officially engaged! I think I overwhelmed my FH with my wedding planning knowledge in the first few days so I’m trying to take it easy and just enjoy being engaged, even though my instinct is to express excitement via planning all the things RIGHT NOW!

    • eating words

      congrats!

    • Yay! Congrats!

    • NotMarried!

      Congrats and welcome!

    • Congratulations! I was the same way :-)

    • Jessica

      Congrats! So exciting ?

  • AGCourtney

    Oh my word, seconding the “whatta week”. I just slipped down to the lobby computer of the hotel my grandmother is staying at. This is probably going to be a novel and I doubt I’ll try to parse it down.

    My mother now has less than two weeks to pack up and leave the house she was renting. She has no job, 4 kids, and no clue where to go next. While she finally got a divorce from my terrible stepfather this summer, this means no rent money, and various community agencies have been helping cover the amount that child support and cashed in savings bonds cannot. A terrible mix of poor decisions and mental illness have led her to discover new depths of “rock bottom” over the past few years, and she has largely exhausted the goodwill and resources of the nonprofits and people around her. (Her church is sticking by her but can only do so much.) It looks like she’s finally hit a point where she’s realizing that she’ll have to get a job, but hey, we thought that two years ago when the rent panic started while I was in college. Housing is notoriously difficult and expensive to come by in our two-college town, particularly 3-bedrooms*, and she is a cat lady that happens to have children, which adds in another challenge to finding a place to live. Right now, she’s honestly facing getting a storage locker and taking my teenage sisters and herself to the women’s shelter in the next town over. (*state law – no more than 2 people per bedroom.)

    My husband and I had previously discussed getting one of my sisters out, the rising senior whom I’ve been helping with college stuff. I want to get her out of that terrible environment (my mother is not well, a full description would require another post) and if they have to move to another town, it would be disastrous for her to finish her senior year elsewhere when she’s high-achieving – e.g., she got into the Spanish class at a liberal arts college here. I’ve mentioned it to her as an offer before, but now it’s quite serious – a 2-bedroom would be much easier for my mother to find. I checked Craigslist and there are at least two affordable 2-bedrooms that take cats. On top of all this,my grandmother, Mom’s mom, is here on a planned-far-in-advance visit, and she, my husband, and I had a fascinating candid chat about all of this, about the possibility of taking in more of my sisters (!!) and so on. I’ve been having a low-level panic attack for a few days now.

    Before all of this, my husband and I have been having serious chats about whether having my dad in our basement is working. The rent is nice, but he’s a hoarder, routinely disrespects us and the way we’re trying to run the house and raise our daughter, and it’s just a constant battle with him lately. So that’s also been stressful – do we kick him out? We fantasized last week about making the playroom instead…and then this whole situation kicked in, above.

    Last night my husband and I had a really wonderful discussion and I think we have everything figured out. I felt at peace for the first time in days. Move my sister in and my dad out so my mom can get a 2-bedroom. We talked about all the aspects of the situations and action steps to take and so on. Something about the conversation really struck me: we’re a team. I felt so comforted by this aspect of being married.

    Anyway, I apologize for the long, oversharing post, but I needed this, and people can scroll past, right? We’re getting the vibe that this is the right course of action, but if you all could send your prayers, or thoughts, or anything….I’d really appreciate it. This is going to be tough. And the discussions start any time now.

    • Olive

      Good luck! That sounds really stressful, but it sounds like you and your husband have a good, stable plan. I hope you’re able to see the other sisters regularly still!

    • Amy March

      Validating that disrespectful hoarders do not need to live in your home.

      • AGCourtney

        Haha, thank you. He’s my dad, and I love him, and it’s not like he’s straight-up rude to us or anything, but he’s just been driving us crazy and though I’ve been plagued by guilt about it, after talking to some people outside the situation and thoroughly discussing it with my husband last night, I realized that this is a perfectly reasonable course of action. (I’m sorry, I’m just rambling all over the place today. >_>; )

        • Kara E

          Oh, wow. Love and light and good thoughts for a clear path forward for all of you.

    • Anna

      It sounds like you are dealing with a very difficult situation (really, a collection of interrelated difficult situations) in an incredibly level-headed and reasonable way, and making decisions that are taking into consideration your needs and the needs of those you care about. Your ability to address options and make real, useful plans in the face of a ton of stress is so impressive, and I really hope everything works out the best for you and your family.

    • ART

      That’s so hard, I’m so sorry. From your description, that sounds like an approach that is a good mix of trying to do the least enabling and the most good for your siblings.

    • Jess

      1) Sending you some serious strength-of-will thoughts.
      2) Congratulations on conversing as a team at this moment of chaos with your husband. That’s an amazing thing to feel as you go through so many other things.
      3) Any time I have to make a choice, and talking about one option makes me feel calm, that is the right decision. So, it sounds like you have gotten your course figured out and now just need the conviction to make it happen.

      I’m so sorry this is all in your life.

    • Sending you and your family my best wishes for a positive outcome for all, this sounds like a very difficult and stressful situation.

    • Kalë

      You sound like the kind of sister I would like to have (and do have, luckily!).

    • lady brett

      all the love. and good luck. also, being a team is really a sort of magic, and it seems to show most when you damn well need magic.

    • rg223

      Good luck to you! It’s such a great feeling to be “on a team” with your spouse :)

  • Angelur

    Hey! I posted a few weeks ago about having a biopsy and waiting to get the results back. Thank you for all the encouragement and positive vibes. As it turns out, just a couple of hours after posting I got a call telling me that I do have breast cancer. The past couple of weeks have been an absolute whirlwind but I have some thoughts/perspective to share with you all:

    -On a practical level, if you feel a lump, mass, tightness, or otherwise weird “whoa, that was not there before” area in your breast, get it checked out! Many younger women present with more advanced cancers because we are not screened regularly. It can’t hurt to have it looked at. It’s rare in younger women but not SO rare–at the large cancer center I’m going to they see about one case like mine per month.

    -Oh my god you guys. Your “people”–that community that saw you wed and pledged their support for you and your partner–they REALLY come out in these times. I would never wish this on anyone, but I have been deeply moved by the compassion and love that so many family and friends have shown us. To know that you are cherished and that so many people think you are strong and resilient–it’s really a feeling that everyone should get to experience. Just not in these circumstances…

    -If you’re on the other side of this thing, as a friend or family member of someone going through Tough Stuff, I would really encourage you to reach out. Don’t spend a lot of time obsessing over what to say or in what format (I know I’ve done this in the past). A quick text, card, Facebook message, call, email, whatever–they’re all so encouraging. And I’ve appreciated all of the quick “thinking of you” or “here’s a funny Youtube video” messages, they don’t all have to be heavy, long, or emotional.

    Overall I’m doing okay. Still waiting for more test results and then we’ll move forward, likely with surgery and then chemotherapy. Thankfully I don’t have a very aggressive cancer, and it’s a type that’s treatable with hormone therapies that tend to be successful and fend off recurrence. Thanks for your thoughts and I’ll try to keep you all updated.

    • Olive

      I’m so sorry to hear this. Good to hear it’s not too aggressive and it’s treatable. Hang in there, fierce lady!

      In lieu of a card…a shoddy screen shot of an Emily McDowell card.
      http://emilymcdowell.com/collections/greeting-cards/products/gods-plan-empathy-card

    • emmers

      I’m sorry you are going through this. I’m so glad your people are being wonderful.

    • Ashlah

      So sorry to hear the results, but I’m so impressed with your attitude, and I’m so glad it’s treatable and that you’re surrounded by a loving, supportive community. That’s huge. Please do keep us updated, as you can. Sending healing vibes!

    • Cellistec

      Well crap. I’m so sorry to hear it turned out to be cancer after all. Thinking of you, and here’s a Youtube video of a porcupine eating a rose with great gusto, in case that helps for like 30 seconds. https://www.thestranger.com/slog/2016/08/11/24455100/eod-this-is-a-porcupine-eating-a-rose

    • Totch

      <3

    • Rebekah

      Please ask your Dr. if you are eligible for the OncotypeDx Test from Genomic Health. My aunt got one and it recommended that her tumor wouldn’t respond to chemo, so she got to just do radiation.
      Sending you tons of support and good wishes in this time, and thanks for the update!

    • BSM

      I’m so sorry you’re going through this, but you’re clearly beyond awesome. Please let us know how things go.

      Thinking of you, internet stranger <3

    • rg223

      Well shit. Good luck to you. As others have said, your attitude is awesome and I’m glad your community has come out to support you.

  • Lindsey

    Hi all! Long time lurker, (very) occasional poster here. I’m feeling pretty bummed about the entire wedding process, even more so when I think about how badly I wanted all of this. I’m getting ready the morning of alone with the potential of one of my bridesmaids being there – everyone else just wants to meet at the venue. I’m planning my own bachelorette because none of them want to plan or go, and another bridesmaid was tiffed when I broke it to them we were DIYing our hair because I couldn’t afford a glam squad.
    Does anyone have advice on how to feel happy or excited when no one else is?

    • JC

      It sounds to me like you need a few plans for the day that are just yours and don’t depend on anyone else. Do you have a special coffee order? My friend had a special coffee order, and after she passed away ten years ago, I treat myself to her coffee when I need a bit of TLC. For the morning after the bachelorette party, commit to going out to your favorite brunch place, just you or just you and your fiance. Maybe while you’re DIYing your hair, you can watch your favorite movie. Make sure there are some rituals to the events that don’t depend on other people’s attitudes, and you’ll enjoy them even more!

      • Lindsey

        I’m so sorry to hear about your friend, but that’s an incredibly sweet and sentimental tradition! I do need to suck it up and make my own fun. I get so excited about everyone else’s life events, I expect the same and that’s not fair.

        • JC

          That’s very sweet of you to say! I picked up the tradition a few years ago on my first day working for someone she introduced me to :) I also get really excited about other people’s events, so I can definitely understand! I wouldn’t say it’s “not fair;” it does sound like some of your people really aren’t being supportive, and I think it’s ok to acknowledge that. But you only have so much energy to give, so if you can dedicate a little bit of that energy to things that are just for you, you’ll be happier for it!

          • Lindsey

            I love that! I truly do, I think that’s an incredible way of memorializing your friend.
            And thank you for the advice and love. You guys have no idea how much this means!

        • Totch

          I get what you’re saying, and you’re being very generous to your bridesmaids by acknowledging how busy they are. But I do think it’s fair to expect more excitement from them than you’re getting. I agree with the other commenters that it might be good to push them on the getting ready part.

    • Olive

      Do you have any friends/family that you can rely on to be excited? Even if it’s just one person, if you can recruit them to spend time with you that morning it could make a big difference. My mom and sister were not excited for my wedding, which really got me down, but I relied on my two best friends at work to listen to me rant and keep me excited during wedding planning, and luckily I had friends and a sister-in-law who were part of the group that morning.

      One of my bridesmaids wanted to do her own hair and make up and then meet us at the venue, but it kind of hurt my feelings. I ended up telling her to meet us at the salon by a certain time because I wanted to spend time with her before the day got too crazy and hectic. You’re allowed to put your foot down in my opinion. Maybe you can do that? Make it an event of getting ready together, even if there’s no glam squad.

      Hair/Make up: Do you have friends or family that might be able to help with hair? Depending on where you’re getting ready, you may be able to decorate it to feel more glam and special to you.

      When it comes to the bachelorette party…I kind of wish I had planned my own. My sister and I don’t have a great relationship and she ended up planning it and…it could’ve been better.

      • Lindsey

        I’m glad I’m not crazy and that someone else got hurt about the prospect of a bridesmaid not doing the “get ready” tradition! My friends are all scattered and we have very different careers, so getting together or having fun wedding moments are few and far between. I recognize they have lives and a lot like having a kid, no one will care about your wedding more than you.. Right?
        I am sorry about your bachelorette party, but it is giving me solace considering my sister and I are very different too.
        Thank you guys for the sanity check!

        • Olive

          I ended up having a night out at my favorite bar in the city I live in with some friends from work. It was a lot of fun! ? I understand having a kid, but hopefully their partner can take care of the kid for a couple hours so your friend can spend time with you.

          I’m sorry they’re not prioritizing it as much as you’d like.

          • Lindsey

            I love that, that sounds like so much fun! Tell me the secrets of your positivity?

          • Olive

            Hah! The secret is: it’s a year later (since the good & bad bachelorette parties), I’ve busted my butt trying to repair my relationship with my sister, and I still feel upset about it sometimes. A friend of mine had a frustrating bachelorette party planned by her younger sister a couple months ago, so tonight we’re having a girl’s night to make up for it ;)

            I think it all stems from poor communication, but if you plan your own you get to decide what you want to do and just need to tell others :)

        • emmers

          If you have any non bridesmaid buddies who are excited you’re getting married, could you ask them to hang with you when you’re getting ready? I’d be honored to do that for a friend!

          • Lindsey

            Would that be inappropriate? I didn’t want to be rude and ask anyone who isn’t part of the bridal party to do bridal party-esque things. If that’s okay and wouldn’t hurt people’s feelings, I would really, really love to do that!!

          • Eenie

            Not inappropriate! Not at all. I’d approach it in a casual way so they don’t feel pressured to, but especially if you have a small bridal party, I’d be super happy to hang out with a friend before she gets married! I actually ordered room service with my best friend the morning of and walked to starbucks for coffee. It was perfect.

          • emmers

            It probably depends on the person, but from my view it’s extra attention from you, being like hey, you’re still a special person in my life! They can always say no. But some will probably be excited!

          • emmers

            I actually had a friend kind of do this. She had an “open house” while she got ready at the hotel. I didn’t end up going cuz I was busy hanging with our other friends, but a personal invitation? I’d have been there!

    • Cellistec

      Do you have someone taking getting-ready photos of you? That could help make the time feel more special, especially if the photographer is skilled at getting elegant, contemplative shots. It’s also a good chance for the photographer to get shots of your dress, rings, etc. before they’re actually in motion. I know it’s not the same as having your people around you that morning, but I hope you find some peacefulness and meaning in the process.

    • LJ

      I would get honest with the bridesmaids and tell them that part of their role is to support you, and you will need support when you’re getting ready. Unless there are extenuating travel complications preventing this (? are there?) this is SO REASONABLE. It makes me so sad that you’re being left alone that morning. Not cool. :(

      • Lindsey

        Two of them live 45 min away, which is normal for this area. Two are driving in that Thursday and Friday before the Sunday wedding, one of which I know will be getting ready with me. I don’t think I’ve made it as clear as I’d like to that this is really important and emotional for me, which is my own fault. I guess everyone has their opinions/priorities about weddings and the morning of isn’t important to all :/
        Thank you for the understanding and love!! I love this community!

    • Eenie

      Someone is happy and excited for you. Find them and spend time with THEM.

  • emilyofnewmoon

    My boyfriend and I opened a joint savings account! There’s not much in it (we are both artists…yikes), but it feels good to have started it and have at least a little something growing…

  • Rebekah

    Sneaking in a little late to ask for help.
    Many ladies have offered up their recommended reading for newly expecting women, but my husband has expressed interest in reading up on being a dad (we haven’t pulled the goalie yet). Any parenting books? Books for dads? Any and all advice welcome.

    • ML

      Be Prepared is a great easy read with useful advice. But it’s for once the baby arrives, so may be too nitty gritty for not being pregnant yet.

      • rg223

        Seconding Be Prepared. It was my favorite baby book we read. All my books “for mom” were terrifying, and Be Prepared was just breezy and cheerful and funny.

    • Eenie

      Can he not read the same stuff you read? Knowing what to expect during pregnancy/birth/post birth is important as a supporting role. And for parenting…reading the same parenting books as you would seem to make sense so you can discuss stuff that would/would not work for you.

      • Rebekah

        He absolutely can/should/will read what I read, but I’m not reading anything yet. I didn’t mention that he’s a doctor, so he’s already got a decent fund of knowledge about the biology of things. So yes, I plan for us to read and discuss the same parenting books, and thanks for the support in that. Excellent advice :) I guess I meant to phrase my question to focus on books that are good for both partners to read, not knowing if the previous recommendations were just for the gestating one.

        • Hannah B

          Haha according to lots of the books I read, doctors aren’t necessarily trained extensively in normal birth processes, more so in what can go wrong/how to fix problems during child birth (which is why we want them around!). Especially OBs, whose specialization is surgical so sometimes a doc’s view can be, well, medical! Depends on what you decide is right for you, so many discussions to have and think about what you would ideally wish for in a birth.

          That said, my husband read part of the Expectant Father but didn’t like it because it was focused mostly on trying to help the guy process his emotions about becoming a father, when what he wanted was a plan of action of how he could help/be useful (and he really likes The Birth Partner for that). If your guy is trying to figure out how he may feel or what to expect that you may be like while pregnant, Expectant Father might be useful to you guys.

          I also liked Expecting Better, in which a health economist goes through traditional advice to pregnant women (like don’t drink, don’t eat sushi, etc) and analyzes the available medical literature to see what it actually says/evaluate the quality of the research. She doesn’t really make recommendations, she just presents her evaluation of the evidence and says for you to decide what you’re comfortable with. Would be good for both people to read.

          I’ve also read Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, which I initially had no interest in because I thought it was too hippy dippy, which it can feel like, but it actually was interesting, in large part because the first half is all mostly positive natural birth stories, which help you feel like you can do it if that is a goal of yours.

          Finally, I recommend Let’s Panic About Babies, because it’s freaking hilarious and will help you chill out if you start to freak out. :) Good luck!

        • Eenie

          Gotcha. I’ve heard great things and enjoyed The Longest Shortest Time podcast as non parent. It’s easy to listen to older ones on specific topics too.

    • Lmba

      Not everyone’s cup of tea, but if you lean toward the Attachment Parenting philosophy, we going The Baby Book by Dr. Sears quite useful. It addresses the first two years of life, and has a section specifically about fathering strategies (ideas for soothing baby when nursing is not an option, etc.). This book generally worked for us, though I know some people have strong negative feelings about the whole AP thing – your mileage may vary. It does address a whole ton of useful stuff such as infant milestones and common childhood illnesses, so it’s great as a reference book to turn to when your kid gets a weird rash, fever, cough, sting, whatever.

      If he’s more interested in parenting from a big picture perspective rather than the baby stuff exclusively, Connected Parenting by Jennifer Kolari was the only parenting book my partner was interested in before we became parents!

      Once you are in the pregnancy stage, I can’t recommend The Birth Partner highly enough. Anybody who will be present for labour/delivery should read it.

    • emilyg25

      I love The Birth Partner for labor. For parenting, Zero to Five is a really quick, easy read that fits my parenting style.

    • Kara E

      Mine and my husband’s VERY favorite book: https://www.amazon.com/Be-Prepared-Gary-Greenberg/dp/0743251547 Pretty sure I made my husband skim the first chapter of Ina May Gaskin’s book too.

  • Bsquillo

    So a kind of scary thing happened on the campus where I work today: we had an almost active shooter situation? Not sure of all the details yet, but all the sudden I was seeing mentions of an active shooter on campus from coworkers via Facebook, and then minutes later we all got an email saying the police were investigating a death in one of our parking lots, but there was no imminent threat to campus. All of my friends and colleagues I know on campus are ok.

    After JUST going through active shooter training on Wednesday, this stuff is super spooky. I just can’t believe that besides all the other monumental things university faculty and staff are supposed to accomplish as part of their jobs, we now have to also have a “survival mindset” in case of a terrible situation. I refuse to accept that this is the best we can do as a society.

    • emilyg25

      I work at a university and I hate this aspect of it. Columbine defined my high school experience. Virginia Tech happened while I was in campus. And now I have to worry about an active shooter in my workplace. It’s just too much.

  • Amy March

    90% of the time I hate being single, but there is nothing like waiting in a TSA line with a bundle of bickering couples to make you appreciate the pure pleasure that is arriving at the airport at your time of preference, buying a book, drinking a margarita, and people watching alone.

    • Kalë

      OMG, this. I would much rather travel alone than with ANYONE. The bliss of people watching, reading trashy magazines, and eating wherever YOU want to, even if it’s in another terminal… ahhhh. Hope you have a nice trip, wherever it is taking you!

      • Eenie

        I weigh this against having someone to watch my luggage while I pee…

        • ML

          TRUE. I hate those too-small stalls that force your luggage to touch the toilet while you try to squeeze yourself in.

    • Eenie

      We were stuck behind 30 middle schoolers going to space camp last weekend. Nothing made me more thankful to not have kids at the moment lol. Have a fantastic trip!

    • Lisa

      I LOVE flying alone. I have my whole routine worked out, and while having my husband is nice so I know who I’m going to sit next to on the plane, I miss my own travel traditions when he comes with me.

  • Ella

    I’m in a different timezone to most of you, so I guess I missed happy hour, but I have a question based on something I’ve seen come up here a fair bit. Rehearsal dinners. Are they a thing? Is it literally a rehearsal of the wedding? I’ve never heard of them in real life, only on the internet/in American media. So I’m trying to work out if it’s a cultural event associated with the marriage (like an engagement party), if it’s all about the WIC, or if there’s some actual practical reason people have them.

    • rg223

      Hi! Still here!

      So in my experience, it can be a little of all of the things you mentioned. First off, some people don’t have one at all. They aren’t a requirement, so if you don’t do one, it’s fine! Or some people have the dinner to welcome close family/people who had to travel far for the wedding/whoever, but skip the actual rehearsal. Then, there are some people who actually do a rehearsal of the ceremony and then have a dinner after.

      In my experience, the more personalized the ceremony, the more likely there would be a real rehearsal. My wedding was officiated by a friend, and had other friends singing and doing readings, and our moms lit a unity candle, and there was a tea ceremony and half the people had never participated in one before… so rehearsing was actually pretty important. On the flip side, my friend is Jewish and said no one in her circle rehearses because “every wedding is the same and you just do what the rabbi says.”

      Whether to have the rehearsal or not is up to you. I do think it’s pretty standard to host dinner after the rehearsal to “thank” the people who rehearsed. But I know some people just do a quick talk-through before the ceremony, and that would work too. Hope that helps!

      • Ella

        Thanks! It all makes sense now!
        I’m not even planning a wedding haha – I just come here for the awesome community, and it’s something I’ve wondered about every time I’ve read about it. Cheers :)

    • Rebekah

      My understanding is that you have a dinner with the family and wedding party, sometimes including the officiant, after you all practice running through the ceremony. It’s “traditionally” paid for by the groom’s parents (in the way that the wedding was traditionally paid for by the bride’s parents in White Anglo-Saxon Protestant American culture).
      We had one, but for us a lot of our family came in from out of state and we used it as an excuse to have a large family dinner and spend more time together outside of the wedding and reception.

    • Sosuli

      Depends where you’re from – in the UK (where I live) these are not a thing.

    • emilyg25

      1. Some officiants like to rehearse the wedding, and it’s a good idea if your ceremony is complicated. If you request that people like your wedding party and parents come out to do that rehearsal, you should feed them. It can just be pizza.

      2. A lot of times, lots of family and friends are coming in from out of town and it’s nice to have more opportunities to see them. So most of the time, that’s what a rehearsal dinner is. We just did a low-key family gathering with my relatives and my husband’s family did a potluck with their side.

    • Kelly

      Hi Ella! Not sure if it’s solely American but as others mentioned it’s an run through of ceremony, usually followed with a dinner. Ours was immediate family and wedding party/dates. The rehearsal helped calm my nerves a bit since wedding was following day. It was great to spend quality time with people before the craziness of wedding day

    • Lisa

      Chiming in to say that I’m not sure if it’s only an American thing, but we definitely have them here. Having a rehearsal of the wedding was helpful for participants who are not intimately familiar with the Catholic mass (read: almost everyone), but it can be helpful for other types of wedding ceremonies as well. It’s the opportunity to tell people what music will happen when, what the timing is for walking down the aisle (if it exists), where they should sit/stand during the ceremony, and how we should be exiting.

      The rehearsal dinner is just a nice way of hosting and thanking the people who will be devoting most of their time to you and your partner the next day. Our rehearsal ended at 6:30 PM so we all headed to a restaurant near the church and had a great dinner. It was a smaller group (20ish) compared to our wedding (85). Some people have expanded rehearsal dinners to include all out of town guests, but we decided to keep it to the wedding party and partners and other ceremony participants.

  • Rebecca

    We’re serving pizza at our wedding, right out of the box, and I’m so happy about it! I think without APW I never would have been able to defend this decision coherently to myself, let alone others, so thank you all!!!

    • emilyg25

      As a guest, I would love this!

      • Jess

        Same. Sounds awesome to me!

  • anon today

    Ugh. On our anniversary last week (bad planning), we had an ultrasound and found out that my 9.5 week old pregnancy was extremely complicated and would likely not end well. After a few more consultations and appointments, it was confirmed that the pregnancy was unviable, and I had a D&C Wednesday. It was sad for me, but I feel like it was even harder for my husband. Or maybe I’m still in denial and he’s just actually processing all of this? I am disappointed, and eager to move on… but am I a monster for not being more sad about this? The procedure itself was quite complicated and extremely painful leading up to it (this is not typical, do not be afraid if you someday have to go through this procedure — normally, its pretty easy, I just was an unhappy exception), so I am mostly just feeling grateful that its over and that I have access to excellent medical care. I am also trying to figure out something to do to reclaim our anniversary. And I don’t know how to help my husband feel better/move on… ugh…

    • Rebekah

      huge hugs for you both. Remember that all your emotions are valid, and so are his. You aren’t supposed to feel a certain way at a certain time. Please be gracious with yourself and with him, and best wishes.

    • emmers

      I’m so sorry! With this kind of stuff, it’s natural that different people react differently. I had a miscarriage a new weeks ago, and I’m having a harder time than my husband. It’s also I think normal if feelings change, and you later feel sad, or … don’t. There’s no standard reaction.

      And I’m sorry your medical process was complicated. Mine has been mostly straightforward (I was able to take pills to move things along), but I’ve been surprised how much even a “normal” miscarriage sucks physically.

      I hope you can find a way to reclaim/redo your anniversary. I’m thinking of you guys!

    • another anon

      Sorry to hear about the complications, but I’m really glad you had good medical care. I think maybe just give him space for a bit? Emotions are valid either way. And no, I don’t think you’re a monster, in some ways, it’s really a relief when something you /know/ isn’t going to go well ends.

      I will say, I’m probably more sad now about my last miscarriage than I was a week or two after — probably because 5 months later, we’re no closer to another baby — and I should be at a stage where I’m feeling hiccups and kicks and be close to a time where I can spend more time with my toddler as well. My hubby does a lot of listening these days.

  • Jessa

    We got hitched on Aug 6 and are starting our cross country road trip home tomorrow! This whole month has been a blast, having a big long extended honeymoon with family and friends. Can’t wait to meet up with people on our way home too.

    Worst part of the wedding (#rant) – having our wedding coordinator charge us delivery fees for items she volunteered to buy on our behalf (destination wedding) without telling us about the fees, then when I mentioned that I was surprised by those fees and would have liked to have known ahead of time, she complained that I hurt her feelings and that she had done a lot for us that she hadn’t charged us for. I was proud of myself for being professional and civil in our exchanges but it was weird for her to be so unprofessional and I felt that I was teaching her the basics of communication with clients… Ultimately we spent the day with one of her employees, who was AMAZING.

    Best part of the wedding – so many things! Mostly just spending time with all the friends and family who traveled to be with us, and my flowers! One of my dearest friends did my flowers, and they were pretty much the only decorations we had (plus tealights). They brightened up a drab conference room and I couldn’t stop looking at my bouquet! Food was great, the hotel representative who helps us was just the best, music was awesome, etc. I loved every minute!

    (here is a preview photo of my beautiful bouquet!)

    • Ashlah

      You (and your flowers!) look beautiful! Your wedding sounds wonderful, despite the unprofessional coordinator. Congrats! Have a blast on your road trip honeymoon!

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