APW Happy Hour


by Meg Keene, CEO & Editor-In-Chief

Processed with VSCOcam with a9 preset

HEY APW,

If you haven’t seen me writing a mile a minute on APW in the last few weeks it’s because I’ve been… moving. Buying a house and then moving. The whole thing has been intense and wonderful and intense and sad and intense and OH MY GOD MY HOUSE IS A MESS. I’ve always sort of liked moving. It’s a chance to reorganize, get rid of half my stuff, and turn over a new leaf. But this time I was moving away from the house we brought both of our babies home from the hospital to, and apparently there are not enough tears in the world to shed when you’re walking away from your children’s babyhood.

On the plus side, after all these years of waiting, it turns out I’m really cutout for home ownership. We’ve already repainted the entire interior of our house (two thousand square feet is an unprecedented blessing in the Bay Area, right up till you’re painting all of it). And now our near endless task list includes installing new banisters (ones that children can’t actually fall through), replacing light switches, puttying floorboards, painting trim, installing a built-in bookcase, refurbishing a mid-century dresser, building a bathroom vanity, and the list goes on and on. I’ve moved into home decorating sites. Special nods to my friend Jordan at Oh Happy Day (whose brain I can blessedly pick in person), my friend Jenny at Little Green Notebook (who I particularly love for her ability to find things on the cheap and make them fabulous), Emily Henderson (girlfriend as an eye for the expensive—I mean as do I, without the budget for it—but she’s also got a knack for explaining how stylists think), and you know Craigslist and Ebay. The former for good deals on furniture, the latter for good deals on rugs.

Guys, this is fun. It’s like the puzzle of wedding planning (how do I make it look cool, for less?), but without the family pressures or the timeline, or anything. With our home? We do what we want. For realz. What are your favorite sources for home improvement?

Now it’s your open thread, jump on it.

xo
Meg

P.S. That shirt in the photo is my favorite (get it here). It’s clearly made for teenagers, which makes it so much funnier.

link round-up

Frostine Shake is a ballerina and burlesque performer based in Austin, Texas, who is proving that when it comes to ballet, size doesn’t matter.

Two women are using rainwater harvesting technology to bring clean water to villages in Kenya.

This twelve-year-old legally blind boy used eSight glasses to see his mom for the first time ever and it was the sweetest thing ever.

Speaking of sweetest ever, did you see the dog that remembered his owner’s scent after seven months apart?

Can You Not is a PAC that’s dedicated to creating more space for women and people of color in politics—by pushing out under-qualified straight white guys.

Average wedding costs now exceed student loan debt averages.

Meg Keene

Meg is the Founder and EIC of APW. She has written two best selling wedding books: A Practical Wedding and A Practical Wedding Planner. Meg has her BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in Oakland, CA with her husband and two children. For more than you ever wanted to know about Meg, you can visit MegKeene.com. #NASTY

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  • ktmarie

    Yay Friday! And congrats Meg – so glad you’re having fun!! Looking for some general input… D and I are both 30-somethings with careers in engineering. D has been unhappy at his job for a while and since we do not have a lot of current expenses (DINC life!) he has quit his position and is now looking around for new options. He definitely has a bit of a guilt complex about not financially contributing in the near future, even though we have plenty of joint savings (that has been equally contributed to by both of us) and I make a good salary to hold us over in the meantime. Any good ideas for me to assuage that feeling? We’ve talked about it and so he knows that I am totally on board with the situation, and I understand the feeling (I was a student for a couple years while he worked), but he’s still having a tough time with it

    • Danielle

      Can he contribute to the household in other ways? Like grocery shopping, cleaning, cooking, laundry? Have to say, as the primary income earner in my household, it makes me so happy to come home to a clean house with dinner cooking on the stove :)

      All those things make your life easier, help you go to work every day and enjoy your free time together; which is really like the best team work ever!

      • ktmarie

        Yes he has definitely already been building his own to-do list and is planning to do the majority of the household chores (cleaning, cooking etc) which I remind him is such an awesome thing that I don’t have to worry about any of it

    • Eenie

      Did you ever get over the feeling? He understands, but you can’t change how he feels about it. What happens if he is still unemployed in a year. Does anything about the situation change for either of you? I would be helped with a timeline of sorts. After x months I branch out to y jobs. Salary expectations decrease, etc. Can you find any positive things about the situation right now? No longer complaining about work, more free time on weekends, projects youve taken on?

      • ktmarie

        That’s a good point – I suppose I shouldn’t think about trying to ‘fix’ his feeling about it but maybe just be understanding. I think it just didn’t bother me as much as him? Like I thought about it, but I didn’t feel un-useful or guilty because I knew the situation was temporary. Overall we are positive about the situation, aside from that aspect, so maybe i’ll keep reiterating that

        • Eenie

          I’m in that situation now, and there’s no part of me that won’t feel guilty about it at least a little. But it’s also part of the reason my husband loves me: I work hard and want to contribute to our life together financially.

  • NotMarried!

    This post is signed by meg, but it says written by Najva. :)

  • Danielle

    Self-care corner!

    What did you do to take care of yourself this week? What will you do next week?

    For me:
    – Yesterday I jumped on a trampoline with my two little cousins for about a half hour. It was basically the equivalent of 1-2 good therapy sessions. I laughed so much!
    – After reading a recommendation here, I ordered some clothes from ThredUp, an online used clothing store. I got some really good stuff! Most of it I had to return (hard to figure your size online) but today I’m wearing a gorgeous silky shirt from BCBG that cost like $20. So, thanks for that recommendation!
    – Planning a much-needed weekend getaway with my husband for the near future. We might just stay in a nice hotel in our city. A friend who travels to France recently introduced me to the term “Rosé Piscine,” which basically means rosé wine that is so easy to drink, you can drink it by the pool all day. That’s my new spring/summer goal, and hopefully we can find a place with a pool, where I can do just that.

    Happy weekend, everyone <3

    • KimBee

      This week I finally got back to meditating for 15 minutes everyday. Yesterday, my husband sat down to meditate with me, and our dog started going nuts, which gave us both the giggles.

      • Danielle

        Congratulations!

        Can i ask you, what sources do you use for meditation? It helps me to have a guide (podcast, instructions, etc) when trying it on my own.

        • KimBee

          I use the Headspace app. It’s certainly not the cheapest app I’ve ever used, but it has a bunch of different meditations to choose from, and I find the way it tracks my streaks motivating. It also sends you motivational emails from time to time and has some great videos. I’ve also used the Stop, Breath & Think app, which is more limited but is FREE! Also, a few years ago, my therapist turned me on to Belleruth Naparstek, who has meditations for…anything you might want. She is more on the spiritual, soft-voice side of things, but I like her.

          • Danielle

            Thanks for the recs! I tried Stop Breathe and Think and liked it for awhile, then got annoyed at some of their meditations. I also didn’t like how it judged you when you didn’t log in for awhile! Maybe I’ll check out Headspace.

    • Ashlah

      I went to PostSecret Live an hour away from home all by myself! Typically when no one can go with me to something, I just don’t do it. But that’s silly! So I had a nice, scenic drive after work, then attended an emotional, cathartic event, and it just felt really nice to do something 100% for myself, by myself.

      • Juanita

        I know, it’s funny how easily we talk ourselves out of doing something we love just because we don’t have company. Before my husband I used to do solo things all the time, nowadays about the only place I go by myself is work. I’m so glad you for to do that, I love Post Secret

        • Ashlah

          Yeah, I’ve noticed that my husband and I don’t do much separately these days. Even at home, it’s like we subconsciously feel like we have to spend all our time together, which just results in a lot of TV time. I’ve been making a more concerted effort to do my own thing (which leads him to do the same).

      • Lisa

        I went to one of those a few years ago with my baby sister. It was a really nice evening, and then in the car afterwards I jokingly asked her if she had any secrets to share. She started crying and told me that she wanted to switch her major, but she was scared of what everyone’s reactions would be. (She was originally majoring in the same field my other sister and I studied.) The event was a great catalyst for us to be more open with each other and share some of the secrets we’d been carrying.

    • Cellistec

      I just ordered something from ThredUp for the first time too! Glad to hear your order fit; we’ll see about the dress I bought once it arrives.

      Also, Rose Piscine makes me think of a swimming pool full of pink wine. #lifegoals

      • Danielle

        YES on both counts!

        (Also, I hope your dress fits. If it doesn’t, their return and shipping policies are pretty good. I returned a bunch of my stuff but still feel excited to order more stuff that might fit better.)

    • Eenie

      Exceeded my goal of lifting three days this week and even went for a run on my rest day. The work is paying off because I managed a dead hang pull up today! Felt amazing.

      • Totch

        Congrats! I decided to stop taking my dog on runs, and I am so proud of how good I feel having the time/pacing all to myself.

    • Juanita

      My husband got a new job working for the government, which is exciting, but there’s going to be 4 busy weeks of training. Yesterday was his last day at his old job. So tonight we’re going on a proper date (dinner and the book store). For myself, I’ve been making time to read and write and spend time with friends. Carving out time to write everyday (and have a good attitude about going to the gym) has been very good for my soul.

    • Sara

      I’ve been so run down the last few weeks – I tend to jam as much as possible into my weeks, as if I’ll never get to do anything ever again – that I made an executive decision and cancelled all my plans for the week. It was fantastic. I feel recharged. And John Mulaney is right – “In terms of instant relief, cancelling plans is like heroin”. I just have to learn to pace myself in the future!

      • Alanna Cartier

        Man do I love John Mulaney. His words have become my fiancee and I’s go to description for rainy days (One feels like a duck, splashing around in all this wet…)

        • Sara

          To old to be a duckling! Quack quack

        • E.

          When one feels like a duck, one is happy!

    • MC

      May I introduce you to the rose slushie, AKA my plans for every summer weekend?
      http://www.stylemepretty.com/living/2015/09/01/rose-slushy-recipe/

      • Danielle

        omg. NEED to have this immediately!

    • lildutchgrrl

      The trampoline sounds awesome. I came in late to work this morning, on purpose, because it was better for me to sit with my cats in the living room, read a middle grade novel, and wake up slowly. (Friday mornings are for meetings, and I didn’t have one this week.)

    • Mary Jo TC

      To deal with difficulty breastfeeding/exclusive pumping I’ve been binge-watching Scandal and Grace and Frankie and having almost daily fast food lunches with milkshakes. So maybe not very healthy self-care but for now it takes the edge off.

      The good news is we might have turned a corner. After 5 weeks dealing with a tongue tie and thrush, this morning I nursed this baby without pain for the first time without a lactation consultant by my side.

      • Jess

        1) Now I want a milkshake.
        2) Congratulations on the successful nursing experience this morning!

      • Danielle

        Ooh, forgot that Grace and Frankie’s new season is on! Commence binge-watching.

        Also, I fully support milkshakes. One of the best things about summer.

        Hope you really did turn that corner <3

        • Not Sarah

          Yessss I just realized this on Monday and now I am so excited for it…except that I just started going to the gym again, which is eating into my binge watching time! (But probably for the best.)

          • Mary Jo TC

            My trick for that: Netflix on ipad while I elliptical. Not that I’m super worried about quality of workout or variety of exercise etc.

          • Eenie

            I do this and prop it up while I lift weights.

          • Not Sarah

            I tend to do classes, so no Netflix while doing that. But that is a great idea! I know people who use their Kindles to read on the elliptical too.

      • Laura C

        I’ve had my share of milkshakes, too, lately.

        This baby is starting to slay me with his facial expressions. Excitement, even joy, at seeing me has twice been tough. First time when, after he’d been with his grandmother for a few hours, I got down on the floor to say hi to him and he looked really excited … and then immediately pursed his lips in a nursing motion. Yes, that’s all I’m here for, kid. Then last night, he had one of his nights where he just fights the swaddle all night long — he’ll have like 40 minutes of REM sleep, never seem to go into deep sleep, and wake up just struggling with the swaddle, grunting and straining against it. So he’s having one of those nights and at one point I took the swaddle off to change his diaper, and he just looked so, so happy to have it off, and I knew I was about to put it back on as soon as he had a clean diaper. That expression of joy just killed me. I still can’t get it out of my head.

        • Ashlah

          :(

          Ignorant non-parent question: Is there a reason he has to stay swaddled at night? If it’s causing you both distress (yours in response to his), is it something you can forego?

          • Eenie

            I believe studies have shown that swaddling reduces the occurrence of SIDS. With caveats being: you can’t swaddle and put them on their stomach, once they can roll over in the swaddle you have to stop (since they could roll onto their stomach and maybe not roll back). There’s some other reasons too that kind of depend more on what the kid thinks they like vs what actually works for helping them sleep.

          • Laura C

            Swaddling helps muffle a startle reflex that can wake them up. And some nights he sleeps great in it, but every now and then…

          • Ashlah

            I gotcha. Well, then it sounds like you’re doing what’s best for him, even if he might not understand/appreciate it. My sympathies about the tough emotional aspects of it!

          • Kara E

            If he’s getting older, the startle reflex is much lower. My daughter hated it after about 5 weeks. Like HATED it. She’d fight until she worked her fists out, tuck them in near her face and fall asleep. We also noticed that while she’d startle awake, she’d go back pretty quickly with them. You can also swaddle with arms out – which is what our ped recommended (and we were already doing). She liked tummy warm, feet able to kick and arms able to swing.

        • Jenny

          Not sure how old your little one is, but ours starting fighting the swaddle around 3 months and we switched to the magic merlin sleep suit (his startle reflex is still going strong). Zippadee zip sleep sacks have also been recommended, but we haven’t tried yet. Good luck!

          • Laura C

            Thanks for the recommendation — I’ll check it out. He’s not quite six weeks but he’s crazy strong for his age, so he’s able to bust out of the swaddle sometimes even as he needs it for the startle reflex.

          • rg223

            Just to share my experience. My son started fighting the swaddle, and I kept him in it for a while, but then realized one night when all the swaddlers were in the wash that he slept fine without it. I stopped putting him in it and we never had to transition him out of it, which was amazing. He was definitely older than 6 weeks though and was closer to losing the startle reflex, so you are doing the best thing for him by keeping him in it, but just wanted to give you hope that his frustration with it now might make for an easier transition later!

      • doublegus

        Oh my god, the breastfeeding pain! Had my little one four weeks ago and we had trouble latching which wasn’t caught until a few days after birth. Add to that needing to pump extra to get her weight back up and my nipples are shot. She’s small, so it still takes both my hands to nurse her still and she likes to fall asleep so it takes forever. I did not anticipate this! I think I need a milkshake.

    • ItsyBit

      I’m in grad school at a school that has a swing-set outside of one of the main admin buildings (for staff & students! not children!), which I look at literally every time I walk by but am always too rushed to use. Yesterday, my last day on campus, I took the time to go on the swings! It made me so happy that I actually giggled out loud to myself. So needed. And after learning a lot about sensory processing stuff this year, it also made me laugh to be able to name why I like swings so much (vestibular stimulation! developmental psych knowledge ftw!).

      Side note, I really LOVE the idea of a self-care corner.

      • JLily

        I’ve been dancing it out when I have a rough work day. It helps SO much! “Bachelorette Party” mix on pandora has been amazeeee. I’m not sure if it has anything to do with vestibular stimulation…but maybe when a there’s a song that’s particularly good for booty-shakin comes on!

        • Sarah McClelland

          SUCH A GOOD IDEA!
          I will now be dancing around the house on a regular basis to shake off icky moments/days.

      • Danielle

        That just sounds wonderful :)

    • Not Sarah

      I started a first month of unlimited Pure Barre classes and plan to go every other day for this month! I’m excited to have found a way to exercise and actually motivate myself to do it again at last.

      • Alanna Cartier

        I took adult ballet a few years back and I loved it. Now my knees are too bad and I can’t do the jumping. It’s the barre class similarly high impact?

        • Not Sarah

          Pure Barre is actually really low impact. (I actually thought it was not much of a workout at the beginning of the first class because the similar classes I’ve done before were high intensity lol! I could definitely feel the workout within an hour, my abs and legs were sore.) Their Platform class has more cardio, but there is no jumping around at all in Pure Barre. The warm-up involves a bit of raising your knees. This article has a reasonable description of how the classes go: http://www.atthebarreandbeyond.com/barre-workout-breakdown/ I have wrist issues and it is low impact enough that I can modify the exercises to still work out the desired areas without hurting my wrists. Also, most studios have a free first class or something that you could give it a try or go in and ask questions!

    • joanna b.n.

      Ahhhh, good question! I am here counting the minutes until wine time with girlfriends tonight because this week a mess at work. And wine is sort of self-care, right? But! But, this was also the first week in months that the hubs hasn’t been working nights and weekends on schoolwork because he finished a big milestone in his PhD last week. So that has meant making dinner TOGETHER each night, going for a run together yesterday, seeing friends for several meals and fun times, sleeping in and cuddling, and all that good stuff. Which has been a mix of self-care and relationship care. And it has been a super antidote to dumb, boring, annoying work stuff happening all week. :) Also, I started taking my allergy meds again as of Tuesday and am enjoying returning to the world.

    • Keeks

      My husband just asked me where we are dining outside tonight. Now I am picturing us sitting outside sipping on some rose in the sunshine & feeling *almost* as good as being there. Self care, here I come!

    • Anya

      I have stopped viewing my time at the gym as an optional thing. It is not. I struggle with depression, and the gym is what it takes to keep me sane and happy. So it is a non-negotiable commitment. I went to the gym and felt amazing.

      My other thing: I’ve been really overworked at a startup (which happens). And this Tuesday I just felt like if I stayed at home and worked, I’d feel better than in the office. So I did. I got SO MUCH DONE that day and felt so much better about it.

      This weekend: there are no social plans and there are no work plans. And I am going to pick out the next knitting project. And bake my bread. y’all, my crust is so much better!!

      • Danielle

        It’s interesting how many people here are talking about exercise as necessary for mental health. I feel the same way. It’s good to realize it!

    • Sarah McClelland

      I can’t say how happy I am to know that there’s a self-care corner to check in with y’all, and with myself… Seriously, what a gift.

      This week I gave myself some space… I made an “accomplish this week” list that had about the same number of things I would usually attempt to finish in a day, maybe 2 days… AND I am happy to report it’s mostly done!
      I played in the dirt, a lot… All of our houseplants were moved into the appropriate, upsized pot and I also planted cucumbers and peppers, started a big round of flower seeds, and made a planter out of a pallet for salad greens to grow in over the summer.
      The laundry pile of clean stuff ACTUALLY GOT PUT AWAY!
      We also finished a house-wide game of furniture tetris, which resulted in 2 rooms getting a facelift for better space usage long-term, and an intentional relaxing corner in our bedroom instead of a desk that collected crap. Getting rid of the things that collect crap and regaining space has really been great- makes me feel like I might not suck at taking care of our house.

      The things I really should do more of for self care(that maybe y’all can hold me to) are workouts and sewing time… Sewing is my creative outlet and, when combined with a workout, serves as a really great anti-depressant.

      • Danielle

        All of your self care sounds really satisfying! Enjoy your clean and organized space :)

    • JC

      Oh this is the perfect thing to think about on this Friday afternoon!
      – I went to the gym all five weekdays, did my leg exercises in the mornings, and added extra abs and arms. The exercise is essential for managing my arthritis, depression, and digestion issues.
      – However! The new/harder exercises of this week made my (poor arthritic) knees hurt like a son of a gun. My legs ache from toes to butt. I’ve been trying to avoid pain killers, since I’ll have arthritis for my whole life and don’t want to rely on them too much. When I realized that I really needed them last night, I took some ibuprofen before bed and woke up pain free! Miracles.
      – I’m staying home alone this weekend. I’ve already decided to graciously decline any offers for social activities because I need to bake, draw, and veg on the couch. My brain and body will thank me later.

    • Totch

      I’ve been keeping up my running, which has me feeling good. Last night I let myself start a new knitting project where I got to learn a totally new technique (even though I have more pressing projects).

      Next week is really exciting: having a sleepover with my bestie and watching all the xmen films. She was introduced to them in a board game we play (Legendary), and then mainlined every xcomic I had… but she’s never seen the movies! It’s going to involve a lot of takeout.

    • Alanna Cartier

      Self-care wins: This week I’ve been doing more walking because I love it. The fiancee has started his full-time job, so I took some time in the middle of my day to dance around my apartment like no one was watching (even though my cat totally was). Also, I got myself yummy poutine and listened to my audiobook today at lunch.

      • Mmm, poutines! That’s on my list of things to do this weekend. :)

      • Danielle

        Yay walking! Are you listening to anything good?

        • Alanna Cartier

          I normally listen to audio books. This week it’s been a mix of Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and the Malala book. But when I need to pep it up a bit or walk real fast, I like to mix in some of Miike Snow’s newest album, especially Ghengias Khan. Or Hamilton. Always Hamilton.

          • Danielle

            Ooh, Big Magic is really good ?

    • BDubs

      Yessss to ThredUp and wine you can drink like Kool-Aid!

  • Eh

    I didn’t have a chance to post on the “What I Didn’t Post on Facebook for Mother’s Day” post earlier in the week. Mother’s Day is complicated for me. My mother passed away 14 years ago, and I have not celebrated it since (well, until this year I guess). I was pretty happy ignoring Mother’s Day and then I got married and we live close to my ILs so it became harder to ignore. The last few years I have been on the sidelines while my in-laws celebrated it. And now I have my own daughter but I still have reservations about “celebrating”. I was pretty happy with the low-key celebration we had this year – my daughter is 9 months old so my husband bought me a card that he gave to me at breakfast before we headed to the ILs for brunch. Another complicating factor is that Mother’s Day is always close to my MIL’s birthday so she expects that since both are celebrated together that her sons and husband go all out. So I am happy to take a back seat to that (btw, if I had my way for Mother’s Day I would spend the day just with my daughter and husband and maybe we would go for a hike or something like that). My birthday (which is also a complicated day for me since it was the last day my mom was home before she passed away) is on/around the long weekend in May and I have veto rights that whole long weekend (which generally means we don’t see my MIL/FIL) so having the focus of Mother’s Day be on my MIL is perfectly fine with me.

  • anon

    I’ve had really good luck with rugsusa.com – free shipping and it always seems to come in 2-3 days and great customer service experience. They are also always running a sale it seems.

  • Keri

    I sent out my invitations this week and I think a bunch of people are going to get them today! I was so excited to finally send them out – it seems like it’s really real now! One hiccup – we did paper RSVP cards, so of course each invitation had a stamped return envelope in them. Except when we got done SEALING all the invitations (because of course we did it that way), we had THREE leftover and were missing one invitation. But I had started out with exactly 100 stamps and had four left, so we played the wedding invitation version of that scene in Clue (three plus two plus one plus three? NO, three plus one plus ONE plus three…) and even steamed open a few invitations but couldn’t figure out who was missing a stamp on their tiny envelope… Anyway, I just hope it’s not an old lady. Here’s hoping!

    • chrissyc

      Hurray for sending out your invitations! I did the exact same thing, except I ended up with an extra RSVP card. So frustrating. Next time, I know: don’t seal them until the very end!!

      But it all worked out for me, and I’m sure it will for you, too!

      • Keri

        I think I’ll know who they are when they come back with a different stamp – and then I said I’d just tell that person they were the lucky winner and they get a prize at the wedding!

      • JLily

        This seems to be a theme this week. I will be sure to remember not to start sealing envelopes until the end when we put ours together in a couple weeks!

    • sofar

      We just sent ours out last week, and the first responses are trickling in! I think my favorite part of wedding-planning so far has been opening up our mailbox and seeing those little response envelopes. My fiance and I have been looking at the postmark and then placing bets on whose response we think is inside.

      As for hiccups, we forgot to put stamps on the outer envelopes of three invitations. So those just got returned. Oi.

  • Sara

    Congrats on the home! I loved decorating my condo until I ran into a wall (metaphorically) with the cost. I turned into a Pinterest and Wayfair junkie. But now I have two blank bedrooms since I want to replace all the furniture before I commit to a paint color. Though my ‘entertaining’ spaces – living room, kitchen, dining and common bathroom are all done and I love them. Its amazing what a little bit of paint and some shelves being hung can do to a room. Painting the cabinets in the bathroom a deep blue and making the walls lightlightlight tan really transformed the whole thing.

  • Rachel

    Welcome to home ownership Meg!! :) We moved into our home six months ago and we’re still doing stuff. Upgrading, decorating, tweaking…it’s fun! I don’t really have any sources for home improvement, other than talking to my mom/friends who are homeowners. I know my husband is always searching the internet for his next big idea – right now it’s gardening :D

    Lately, it’s been the little things keeping me going. I miss Dad every single day. I’ve been noticing red Ford Fusions – that’s the car he drove and loved to drive. I got my nails done in purple flowers – he loved flowers and his favorite color is purple. It’s hard, it really is. One day at a time though. It helps that I have supportive family and friends – and an extra special THANK YOU to the sweet comments and hugs I got from this community. :)

    With the wedding (we’ve been calling it “the big wedding”), we’re mailing out invitations this weekend! I got my alterations done last week, and the dress should come back in about a month. Not quite sure what’s next on my to-do list…maybe finalize florals? I’ll have to look, but I’m not sweating it too much :) Happy Friday y’all!

    • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

      Sending you internet hugs for your dad. Good luck with all the big wedding stuff!!

  • Caitlin

    One month to go with wedding planning and a question for the community: did you give an exact headcount of yes rsvps to the caterer, even if you had a couple non-responders? We’ve tried every method of communication to get firm numbers, but have hit our deadline, so should we assume non-responders are nos, round up just in case, etc? Thanks for the help!

    • Eenie

      Do you pay per head? We had 10 no responses and assumed yes for head count but we didnt pay per head. 5 showed up.

      • Caitlin

        We do pay per head, but it’s a buffet and we had a lower response rate than expected. Basically, we can afford to round up, but I still don’t want to spend unnecessary money and have tons of extra food. Our current thinking is to assume that some of the non responders will attend, but not all.

        • Eenie

          I would also run the numbers by your food vendor. They may give you better guidance.

        • Lisa

          In my experience, people never eat as much as you expect them to. I order catering pretty frequently for different programs, and there is always a ton leftover even now that I’m rounding down. You should probably be ok if you’re doing buffet style.

    • KimBee

      I’d say it depends on the style of the catering – if it’s buffet, don’t include them, but if it’s plated, go ahead and count them. Our caterer was super flexible about cutting a couple last-minute cancellations from our costs. It’s more of a challenge for them to add later because they’ll have already bought supplies, ingredients, etc.

    • Eh

      We paid per-head and we were able to follow up with everyone who did not respond. We padded the number by 2 or 3 which totally backfired for us because we had 10 no-shows (only two were legit – an elderly couple who were in the hospital).

      • KimBee

        Pre-wedding, I would have thought of no-shows as NBD. Now, I’m like – WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?! DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH PEOPLE SPENDING ON YOUR EMPTY SPACE?

        • Eh

          I can totally understand the elderly couple that ended up in the hospital the day I needed to submit our numbers. The student who had an exam the day of our wedding or the two people who asked to be invited to our wedding (not kidding – one was upset to not be invited to my BIL’s wedding and another person would not come unless another relative was invited) I was pretty frustrated by (not to mention the family of five that didn’t show up).

          • KimBee

            Exactly. I had one friend who broke his leg, which was clearly a legitimate reason to not make it. Whereas another guest who’d RSVP’ed yes called three days before the wedding saying he hadn’t arranged transportation to the wedding and probably wouldn’t make it. I am still bitter about that one.

          • Totch

            I had a friend RSVP but not book a plane ticket for a mutual friend’s wedding. We all screamed bloody murder until he bought one the week before, and made sure the happy couple never knew there was a problem.

          • KimBee

            You sound like good friends!

          • Totch

            We are, but we drew the line at “Can I sleep on your hotel room floor?”

          • Keeks

            One of my very first friends to RSVP ended up being a no show-no call. I ran into her the week after the wedding and she congratulated me, but didn’t say anything about not being there. I’m still mystified by it, but since I don’t talk to her anymore I guess I’ll never know why she flaked!

          • Lisa

            I had a similar issue with a woman from my master’s program. She was super excited to talk about all of the wedding details with me, and then once I sent her the invitation, she abruptly stopped texting me. She never RSVPed (which I found particularly odd for this traditional Southern girl), and then out of the blue she texted me after the wedding to say congratulations. It was absolutely bizarre.

            We ended up being bridesmaids together in another grad school friend’s wedding, and we never discussed the communication error. She was super gushy about how we hadn’t talked in soooo long and needed to make sure not to fall out of touch again. I still can’t figure her out!

          • Ashlah

            Not to make you paranoid, but is there any chance she didn’t receive her invitation? And the drop in texting was because she knew others who had received them and she felt snubbed? Who knows what really happened, but that does seem like unusual behavior!

          • Lisa

            No, she had asked me to send her some car decals from our university’s bookstore (I was working there after graduation), and I slipped the invitation in with the decals with a little note. She sent me a check for the decals and a text with them on her car, but she never said anything about the invitation. The only thing I could think was that I don’t think we’d given her a plus one to the wedding because we didn’t know her boyfriend of two months at that point and maybe she was offended by that?

            Honestly with the benefit of hindsight, I’m not too upset to have lost her as a friend. She was a bit of an odd duck who could rub people the wrong way, and our friend group found out after she left town that she’d been secretly carrying on an affair with a married man twice her age (the now-boyfriend in question) and lied to us about it the whole time. Funnily, when we met the boyfriend at the other friend’s wedding, my husband and I ended up liking him a lot more than we ever liked the original friend.

          • Eh

            I have never met two of the people that didn’t show up so I guess that’s not really a big deal. A few weeks before our wedding my MIL mentioned that both requested to be seated with specific people so they seemed like they were coming.

            The elderly couple was so cute. I met them for the first time a year after our wedding at another wedding and they mentioned missing our wedding because they were in the hospital.

        • Natalie

          That’s pretty much my reaction to every obnoxious wedding guest behavior – not RSVPing, not showing up, bringing uninvited plus-ones, etc. The couple is spending SO MUCH money on each seat. Show a tiny bit of respect and rsvp, and show up if you say you’ll show up.

    • Lisa

      We had a couple of people who were question marks up until the day of the wedding. (Farmers during the harvest in October.) There were passed h’or d’oeuvres and family style dinner. I think the week before the wedding I finally just decided to count the maybes as yeses and let it work out. I think we had 5 heads we paid for that went unused.

    • Natalie

      Assume that a couple of “yes” respondents will be no-shows due to illness, flight cancellations, family emergencies, etc., especially if many of your guests are coming from out of town. Those potential no-shows can cover non-responders who end up coming. But in my experience people who don’t respond to rsvp’s typically don’t attend, so I wouldn’t worry too much about it.

  • Eenie

    We now have to stop using the excuse “Let’s do that after the wedding is over.” It is post wedding and we have put so much off. Mostly house stuff like painting and organizing. My question is: anyone want to come paint my whole house? The previous owners loved red and painting light switches and the edge of trim. None of our ceilings are white.

    • Keri

      Oh I still have nightmares about painting over red walls and gorgeous old wooden trim. This may be my current energy level talking, but sounds like a great type of problem to throw some money and professionals/semi-professionals at, if you’ve got some leftover wedding cash. :)

      • Kalë

        Yes! Throw all the money at it! Or, not much of the money – I painted several neighbors’ living rooms/exteriors/decks in high school. It doesn’t take much more than a responsible teenage or college age neighbor looking to make some extra cash. It’s always way, way easier to fix small painting mistakes that a non-pro makes than it is to, y’know, actually tackle the whole thing yourself (or pay the big bucks for a pro-pro to do it).

    • Kara

      Buy the 5 gallon buckets of Kilz…it will work. It will just take time :(.
      Good luck!

    • Lawyerette510

      I second Kilz as a great primer over color, also well worth it to change out the light switches.

      • Eenie

        Will look into that. I believe the previous owners’ painting method was just paint everything instead of taking it down/off. Our shower curtain rod (removable) is painted. We have a plan to finish repainting. The current paint job just makes me so irritable every time I look at it. Which is why master bedroom/bath is top priority.

        • Ashlah

          We had/have some stuff like that too. Not all of the outlet covers, but some of them. Some old, unusable security system equipment. Our solution was to just paint over the same items they had painted over in the new color! But it sounds like yours might be a little more eye-sore-y than ours.

          Oh, and we also had to paint our ceiling white. Our vaulted ceiling. Wear goggles.

          • Eenie

            Yes! So looking forward to the vaulted ceiling in our bedroom with a ceiling fan…

          • Ashlah

            Blech.

        • Lawyerette510

          Oh I’ve been in houses like that. I actually just shivered thinking about it.

          • Eenie

            Thank you for the solidarity. Everyone else says it’s not that bad.

          • Jess

            No, this would drive me up a wall. Everyone else is very wrong.

          • Totch

            100% agree. It’s that bad.

        • Lisa

          Maybe they just got one of those blasters and didn’t bother to cover anything like light switches or shower curtains?

          I also lived in a place like that in Chicago. Some of the doorknobs were painted white, and some were still the original metal. It was very odd!

          • Eenie

            I wish. You can see the brush strokes when they tried to paint the metal conduit in the basement red (it’s red streaked…). We have vowed to do our painting properly and know that it will make the house easier to sell.

          • CP2011

            I’m trying to harness the will to do things right when it comes to painting and updating in our house. I’m a half-asser by nature; all our wall hangings are secured by thumbtacks and decently crooked, for example.

          • Eenie

            Have you tried the 3M line of stuff? Their picture hangers and poster hangers are top notch for no fuss hanging. I even hung a mirror one time with their product line. I can now put holes in our walls, but I’m pretty sure after painting the walls I won’t have the heart to put a hole in the fresh paint.

          • CP2011

            i’ve used some of them before, but had a string of bad experiences with the velcro sticks with things falling down. well, and being stuck on the wall crooked to begin with.

          • Eenie

            Bummer. I swear by them. I only had issues in my one apartment where they panted over dirty greasy walls (multiple times) and the paint peeled off.

          • Sarah McClelland

            We felt the same way when we finished painting.

        • Sarah McClelland

          We didn’t have to deal with ceilings or with red, but our whole house was bright colors(painter’s tape blue! pea pod green! That awful tan from the 90s!) and the 5 gallons we used of kilz were SOOOO worth it. We bought new switch plates and light switch covers- the contractor’s packs were so worth our sanity, and for our 4bedroom house I think it was like… $40? If that.

  • Cellistec

    Speaking of homebuying, I’m getting sucked into a pit of half panic/half despair over ever being able to afford to buy real estate. I live in a very tight market (Seattle metro area) where there are zero homes in our budget and desired neighborhood. We live in an affluent area despite being solidly middle-class (#punchingaboveourweight) and just found out our rent is going up more than expected this year; pretty soon it’ll be cheaper to buy than to rent. IF we could find something to buy. The sticky part is that we’re very specific about geography: my husband walks to work, and that’s important for our quality of life, so we’re very limited in where we can live. Not to mention he just got a 3-year contract so we’re not going to change cities anytime soon. And now I’m trying not to slip into a spiral of “We’ll never be able to buy a house/condo AND we can’t afford to rent in this expensive neighborhood much longer AND we can’t adopt kids while living in our studio apartment AND my entire life plan is going to hell.”

    • Totch

      I don’t really have anything constructive to say, but solidarity from Vancouver.

      • Cellistec

        Ah, thanks…I imagine you feel the pain there too. Those of us chafing under the tight housing market in Seattle tend to say, “It could be worse…we could live in Vancouver.”

    • Abe

      Solidarity from NYC! We are looking at buying an apartment if our rent goes way up/we get kicked out when our landlord sells the building. It’s a wise move financially, but apparently we’re at the low end of the real estate market, so there’s not a lot out there. And every apartment we like seems to have some kind of craziness/deal breaker, or it’s a tiny shoebox where we won’t be able to have kids and work (already gave up on the commute). Really can’t imagine finding a place and moving before the wedding… so hopefully we can hang on to our current apt a little longer!

      • Lisa

        I’m sure you’ve researched your market much more than I have, but have you looked at housing co-ops? My friend and her now-husband were able to get a place in Harlem for a steal apparently. It was a fixer-upper, but now they have a really great place that they can stay in for several years.

        • Abe

          Yeah, we are in the market for a co-op (I think condos tend to be more expensive? But I didn’t know about any of this stuff until a few months ago). And at least we don’t have to deal with building maintenance and all that jazz. I think a fixer-upper is probably the way to go, especially if space is a priority… just on the lookout for that magic steal!

          • rg223

            Oooooooh hold up. In NYC, you pay maintenance with a co-op, and real estate taxes with a condo (and maybe a maintenance fee on top of that? Not sure, we were priced out of condos), and a lot of the time, those end up being around the same cost. I’m not sure from your post if you mean you’re not paying maintenance RENTING, so sorry if you did. But you will absolutely pay maintenance on a co-op. We just signed a contract on a co-op in Queens. Today. I’m so freaking terrified of the co-op board situation, so I haven’t let myself get excited. BUT, I can answer your questions, haha!

          • Abe

            Oh yes, you are totally right (my comment just wasn’t clear)! For a coop, you for sure have to pay maintenance fees, but at least you don’t have to deal with the actual day-to-day maintenance on your own (or say, if the roof falls in). Whereas a house (or condo?), it’s all yours. Still getting the hang of this whole real estate thing… I can’t believe we’re even at this point.

            That’s amazing that you navigated the NYC housing market and bought a place… Huge congrats!!! And good luck with the coop board… I hear they are not always as bad as they seem, but it sounds terrifying anyway!

          • rg223

            Ahh, yes, I see what you mean. You are right, that’s totally a perk of a co-op! And thanks for the support! The whole process has been really stressful (I have a real estate company that I would NOT recommend haha), so it’s really really nice to hear someone outside of the situation say it’s an accomplishment :) good luck to you too!!

    • Keeks

      I live in the Midwest, where the cost of living is so low that everyone buys a house at like 24, and I’m SO envious of renters right now. We own (well, my husband owns) our house and I would give anything to not have to deal with it anymore – HVAC, fences, termites, historic district rules all sucking my soul dry. But renting anything comparable here would be at least 3x our mortgage! I feel totally trapped by it all.

      • Lisa

        This is what I have to keep telling myself. I did a the rent/buy calculator recently and realized we’re paying probably $250+/month more than we would have been if we’d bought a similar property outright. It makes me kind of angry to admit that to myself, but I’m trying to remind myself that we’re paying a premium to be able to leave when we want without dealing with realtors.

        • SLG

          My husband and I are homeowners, and we recently ran the numbers on what it will take to have money in the bank for all expected maintenance for the next ~15 years. We totaled up new carpet, new windows, all new appliances, etc, calculated the expected lifespans of the stuff we have, and figured out how much we should be setting aside each month for all that stuff. We’re fairly handy, so we can do things like install a new water heater or repaint all the walls ourselves, which lowers the cost.

          Even with that lowered cost, the exercise was … sobering.

          All that to say, that $250/month might be less than you’d need to set aside for longterm stuff if you did own a house. We’re OK with the cost because we’re the sort of people who love tinkering and would go crazy in a rental, but it did make us wish people talked more about the true costs of owning a house.

      • Cellistec

        That does occur to me…my husband and I are NOT handy, DIY-type people, and having to deal with maintenance would be stressful. But since only condos are affordable in our area, the HOA would take care of a lot of things, so maybe not such a big deal?

        • Lisa

          It really depends on the HOA though. We rent a condo right now, and our HOA’s handyman is pretty useless. The only times we’ve seen him were when our dishwasher broke and leaked into the downstairs neighbor’s place and when we started having issues with our AC. (To which the HOA’s response essentially was: “Heat rises. It’s not our problem.” Um, not when this is a completely new issue after over a year of living in the place. Maybe your antiquated chillers need to be replaced?) Other than that, our landlords usually call in a professional to look at things if we have an issue because it’s so difficult to get the handyman to stop by and help out (aka do his job).

          • Cellistec

            Wooooow. That’s sobering.

          • Lisa

            Yeah. He’s been there forever apparently, and all of the older people love him. (Our condo complex has a lot of older, retired people and college students from Badtown U.) He tends to cater to their needs first, and since he’s in with the more involved community, they’ve never re-considered his employment.

        • Keeks

          Yeah, around here HOAs only cover the outside stuff & you’re responsible for the interior. My mom’s HOA will trim bushes & lay mulch, but she’s responsible for her patio, deck, and the rest of the landscaping. It varies so much!

          • Cellistec

            Wow, that’s good to know! I wonder if looking at HOA fees is a good indicator of how much they take care of, maintenance-wise…I’ve seen fees in our area ranging from $25 to $400+.

    • Anya

      Definitely solidarity. We live in Silicon Valley. My only suggestion is if it’s walking that’s important to him or total commute time (e.g. biking). We basically compromised on where we bought the house that we could afford, and then saved up for a nice bike for him, and a bike for me so I bike/train to work. Our commute times are about the same as before, but now we don’t sit in traffic. But there were definitely compromises with finding a place.

      But mostly, solidarity and I’m sorry that the housing markets are whacked.

  • Megan

    As a math nerd, I get so mad when people talk about the average cost of a wedding! The only “study” that is ever used to determine this number is TheKnot.com and they are using the mean! not the median!

    I’ll just leave this here: http://www.slate.com/articles/life/weddings/2013/06/average_wedding_cost_published_numbers_on_the_price_of_a_wedding_are_totally.html

    • Keri

      That is an excellent example of the difference between the mean and the median, which I think is a murky concept for a lot of people because in a lot of data sets (normal curve, for example), they are pretty similar. I feel like I’m going to tuck that away in case I’m ever in the position of explaining the difference again.

    • ktmarie

      Math nerds unite. I think we need a histogram of wedding costs instead. It would give a much better overall picture

    • Saxyrunner

      Thank you! Someone had to say it.

      I like this site for its breakdown and zip code search option: http://www.costofwedding.com

    • Saxyrunner

      Thank you! I came down to the comments to say the same thing.

      Also, I like this analysis because of the breakdown and the ability to search by zip code: http://www.costofwedding.com

  • Elizabeth

    I very much want to have engagement ring in my hand so I can announce things to the world. (Since we decided we would wait for that.) As it is, it turns out we’re not doing tremendously well in keeping it a secret. Parents and siblings have been told, but my partner decided to let her grandmother know, which involved coming out to her grandmother…which went better than pretty much everyone in her family predicted it would, so yay! But in that stress she deliberately let a couple of other friends know, so they could be there to support her. And we told some friends casually when they asked ‘so what’s new’ which was great fun and how I’ve wanted to answer that question for a while.

    Part of me wants to get going and look at venues and go go go, although also I’m having long text conversations with my rabbi about what he is/isn’t comfortable with…which is fun because I probably have the most traditional rabbi I could find, who’s still willing to do an interfaith wedding between two women. (For instance my partner she wants an evening wedding in the summer without burdening guests, so we’re looking at Friday night, but because the celebration could run into Shabbat I wanted to talk it through with my rabbi to find out his comfort level etc with that.)

    • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

      Congratulations!!! I’m so happy things have been going well so far with announcing your engagement! Enjoy the feeling- I had ALL THE FUN telling people.

  • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

    Congrats on the house, Meg! That’s so exciting!

    We’re currently house hunting, and I’m trying to get my feelings under control. The market is (relatively) intense around our area, so if you see something you like, you’ve got to move on it quickly. We looked at one yesterday, and I fell in love with it. It has everything we want (except a fireplace, and I’m totally cool with buying a decent looking fake one), and the yard is amazing, but my fiance isn’t as on board as I am. So, I’m trying to reconcile that though this is an amazing house, it might not get to be MY house, and that’s a little bit hard. I know it’s definitely a first world problem, but I think the magnitude of owning a home is overwhelming me a little bit.

    • AGCourtney

      Oh, that stage is SO hard. You see all these wonderful places and can perfectly picture yourself in them and then something like that happens. We bought our place in July, but reading your post made me remember and realize that I can still picture three of my favorite houses from the search. There’s something about being so clearly able to imagine life possibilities while buying a home that really messes with your emotions. We ended up in a great place for us, though – I’m sure you will, too! Hang in there.

  • Brittany

    Hi guys! I’m almost exactly a month out and going a little crazy. So many tiny details to take care of! We don’t have a day of coordinator and I’m starting to worry about logistics… Who’s going to hit play on the ceremony music, who’s going to meet with the caterers to set up, who’s going to make sure the transition from dinner to dancing is going smoothly, etc. I know I should have figured this all out sooner and planned better but is it worth trying to find a day of person at this point?

    Should just task already there people with this stuff? Ah! Budget is not huge so I’m not sure I could afford to throw more than a few hundred dollars at someone.

    Btw, in Portland, OR if any of you guys are here and know someone.

    • emilyg25

      Do you have a really organized mom or BFF? We asked my mom to be in charge of day-of logistics. I had a couple spreadsheets and handed them off to her.

      • Brittany

        My mom would be great at it but I’m worried she’ll be upset that she’s not around me all day. (I’m going to be getting ready quite far away from the venue which is where most of the logistics will need to be taken care of.) My BFF/MOH is also amazing but she’s baking the cakes for us and will also be getting ready with my so I don’t want to pile too much into her plate. Sigh. I should probably talk to my mom about it, I just don’t want to hurt her feelings. (Even though honestly I will be at least 60% more sane if she’s not around me all day.)

        • emilyg25

          My mom volunteered when she found out I was thinking of dropping $1000 on a day of coordinator.

          • Brittany

            Good point, haha.

        • Kalë

          Ask a friend’s mom! I think everyone has that friend who’s mom throws awesome Christmas parties, never once forgot your college major, and is a great people-herder. You can offer to pay or return services, but if she’s anything like the women I’m thinking of, she’ll probably refuse and just be happy to be included (and be thrilled at the nice bottle of wine you get her as a thank you!). YMMV, of course, but just wanted to throw another potentially-free option out there.

        • emmers

          Try thinking outside your immediate friend group. The friend I asked was an organized coworker who is a buddy, but not a BFF. It’s like a light went off when I realized I didn’t have to ask a friend from childhood, just an organized friend/acquaintance!

          • Another Meg

            Yes to this! For my sister’s wedding, the entire wedding party had a (heavy) hand in putting everything together, and it was really hard to be part of the day while also clearing the plates and making sure the cake had arrived.

            We had to pass everything off to a neighbor who had offered to help so we could get ready with my sister anyway. She probably should have been running things from the beginning.

      • Keri

        My mom’s best friend is going to do this for us. I think it’s literally the perfect relationship for the role. She’s super invested and excited and hears all the details (and was invited anyway), but she’s got enough distance that she isn’t going to miss out on things if she has to step away and do something/take a call for a minute during the day.

      • AGCourtney

        This. My husband’s aunt is the go-to wedding person in the family, and she handled things like that on the day of the wedding.

    • emmers

      If you have an organized friend who you can task this with, that’s what we did (think: someone who would be willing to herd people around with a clipboard). We got her a cute etsy gift as a thank you. But we literally didn’t work out who would press play on our music until the night before we got married (!!).

      • emmers

        Also, I really stressed about whether or not I should ask this friend. When I finally did, she was really happy to help, and really sweet about it. I tried to make it as low pressure as possible for saying yes/no. So sometimes you just have to go for it!

      • Brittany

        That makes me feel better! Seriously!

        • emmers

          A recent bride who was at our rehearsal dinner actually saved me. They had gotten married the month before, and she was a groomsman’s wife. I didn’t even know her that well, but she told us at the dinner that if there was anything undone that we needed help with, she’d be happy to help. I was like SOLD, you are pressing play on our dancing music! So hang in there! This kinda crap can be sooooo stressful, but you will get there!!!

          • Eenie

            Ha! This was me. I also helped with the seating chart, finished the rest of the favors, and pinned on every boutineer. Dates of the wedding party are wonderful task people, especially since some of them may not know anyone besides their date so it gives a sense of purpose.

        • JLily

          I am having two of my aunts be the DOCs. They are both people that love to plan parties, and they are also people that enjoy the logistical aspects more than…I guess socializing? So maybe try to come up with someone with a similar personality or ask your mom if she knows of someone. Both of my aunts are coming over for a debrief/spray painting/wedding wine tasting party, and I am just generally including them in the process more that I would have normally. Also important–making sure they know well in advance exactly what you need help with. Obviously this is a know your people thing, but I know my aunts are both really excited to have this role.

    • Lisa

      Depending on the length of ceremony/day and how much you want covered, you might be able to find someone for fairly cheap. I think our DOC only cost $600 for full day coordination (12 PM – 11 PM) in Chicago.

      Otherwise, I’d pick your loudest and most organized friend to help with herding the cats. Talk to her about all of the details you’ve already considered beforehand because it’s likely as a non-professional there are things she might not think to watch out for.

    • Eh

      Ask friends! I had a friend who did all of the day of stuff.

    • Abe

      Do you know a super-responsible acquaintance (a coworker, friend’s sibling, etc.) that wouldn’t be invited (or expect to be invited) to the wedding, but you could hire to be your point person for a few hundred bucks? As other commenters mentioned, you could pass them the clipboard with a clear timeline and list of tasks.

      We ended up hiring a day-of coordinator, but my Plan B (just in case), I know of a couple rockstar college student leaders who would love to run around and handle misc. tasks for a little cash. Just make sure to get it in writing. Might be a happy medium between using a wedding guest/family/friend, and spending a lot more money for a professional.

    • StevenPortland

      Portland here as well. Personally, at this point I’d draw up a list of “jobs” and then sweetly ask one sibling or friend to be the person in charge of those things. We had our high-school age nephew be in charge of 2 items and it was nice to hand it off (with his mom as a backup) and let him handle it. PLUS, people in Portland are pretty casual anyway and it will all work out somehow.

    • Another Meg

      The spouse of someone in your wedding party would be a good choice as they need to be there but might not have anyone to talk to or something to do. Or a very organized friend.
      We broke up these kinds of tasks. The husband of a bridesmaid play the music, husband of another bridesmaid lit the candles on the tables at the beginning of the reception, close friend with a clipboard ran the procession (told everyone when to walk, wrangled flower children, etc).
      There are a lot of ways to go about getting those smaller (but very helpful) tasks done. As long as you have someone who doesn’t mind taking the reigns, it doesn’t matter if you’re paying them.

    • Melody Christine

      I am in Portland, and the DOC quotes I’ve gotten have ranged from $350-600, so if that’s in your budget, I would definitely suggest it. The trouble with friends/family is that 1. They aren’t being paid so they don’t have a professional interest in making sure shit happens on time. 2. They are probably emotionally compromised from loving you and being so happy for you, and you never know how forgetful that can make a usually totally organized and responsible person!
      So proceed with caution if you choose to pick a friend or family member! Otherwise, maybe ask your venue or caterer if they have a coordinator they have worked with/can suggest. Our caterer had a few that they really like that we put feelers out with!

    • CP2011

      If you are leaning toward paying someone to stage-manage (which is essentially what it sounds like you are looking for), I would love to chat. I’ve been wanting to try my hand at DOC work for a long time but haven’t seriously pursued it. Reply back if you would want to talk via text or email. No pressure though! I’m sure it will work out either way.

    • EF

      heh. totally forgot about the ‘who’s gonna hit play on the music!?’ until literally we were lining up to walk in. i grabbed a close friend’s girlfriend and was like, ‘you! i need THIS THING done!’ and she thought it was hilarious we simply forgot until that point. but it went fine.

  • emilyg25

    For decorating, I really love Apartment Therapy. It was especially helpful when we were living small (400 sf apartment, 1000 sf house). Homeownership is awesome and weird. You suddenly care about weird things, like the fact that your neighbor’s house just sold high. I actually screamed out loud the other day because the chandelier we want at West Elm (the only one of 100s we both agreed on) is back in stock.

    • Second for Apartment Therapy!

    • MC

      OMG my husband and I do NOT agree on chandeliers at all, so I feel you on that. If we could find one we both liked we would be obsessed.

    • Decor Nerd

      For paint colors that work with permanent fixtures: http://www.mariakillam.com/blog/

    • Sara

      Ooh I am very invested in my neighbor selling her place because she’s slashed the price so much its ruining my property value. Online she has no pictures available which makes me think something is seriously wrong with it and I’m dying to know what.

      • emilyg25

        Hopefully she’ll have an open house so you can go snoop!

        • Sara

          Oh I’m keeping an eye out! But its been on the market since July and none yet.

    • AP

      You totally just inspired me to look for chandeliers on West Elm…I’m loving this one: http://www.westelm.com/products/small-round-capiz-pendant-w674/?pkey=cchandeliers

      We’ve been refurbishing an old clawfoot tub for our master bath, and I realized last night there’s a light fixture centered over the space the tub will go. I am going to feel like a damn queen in that bath tub with a chandelier over my head.

      • Alanna Cartier

        I love all the west elm ones but alas, I am Canadian and nice things cost one million dollars to ship :(

      • emilyg25

        You. You are living your best life.

    • CP2011

      Apartment therapy is good and I’ve had lots of success finding DIY blogs from Pinterest. We are pairing our kitchen cabinets this weekend! Fingers crossed!

    • Sarah McClelland

      LOOOOOOVE Apartment Therapy. The Weekend Projects are a good kick-in-the-pants and I might actually finish my January Cure sometime in June.

    • SLG

      Welcome to home ownership, Meg! And welcome to the world of obsessive home-design blog reading. You’re already reading some of my favs, but here are a few more:

      Manhattan Nest (Daniel is the funniest design blogger alive, and has great design taste too): http://www.manhattan-nest.com
      Door Sixteen (search the archives for her upstate NY house): http://www.doorsixteen.com
      House Tweaking: http://www.housetweaking.com
      Yellow Brick Home: http://www.yellowbrickhome.com
      Chris Loves Julia: http://www.chrislovesjulia.com

      • Shelly Shore

        Daniel at Manhattan Nest is my cousin! He’s the sweetest guy and is just as funny and great in real life as he is online. :)

  • savannnah

    Want to talk a little bit about wedding culture, I am in the middle of planning my own wedding and we are going to one of my fiance’s high school friends wedding in three weeks and I find myself a little…snarky about some of the aspects of this wedding. I don’t know this mid-west couple and they are invited to our east-coast wedding. My fiance doesn’t do a good job of letting me know who who and whats what about his friends back home so what I do know is that we are flying for it, there is a cash bar, its from 6-10pm but no dinner, rather appetizers and cupcakes, and we are not invited to the ceremony but will be able to watch it projected from the reception area as the ceremony only holds 75 and they invited 140. They also have a pretty aggressive registry (nothing under $100) I’m obviously never going to say anything to anyone but I feel way guilty for feelings about the wedding and wondering if its just a cultural thing or have I bought into the WIC too much.

    • emilyg25

      Those all sound like snarkable things.

    • KimBee

      The good news about a cash bar is that at least there will be the option to drink…nothing is sadder to me in all the world than a dry wedding.

      • emilyg25

        And you know in advance so you can bring cash! I would be bereft if I was staring at booze and cashless.

        • Eenie

          Even when our cash bar went to cash…you could open up a tab :)

          • Jess

            We’re doing an after party at a bar at our venue. Thank you for reminding me to ask if they can do tabs or cash only!

    • Keri

      Ugh that’s rough. You don’t want to judge people, and at the same time it’s a weird situation with things you wouldn’t choose and people you don’t know or care much about. Enjoy what you can and try to stay cheerful with your fiance! We just went to a wedding and it was nice but there was a lot of, “Hey, this is almost our thing now! That’s exciting!” so the experience may be a little different once you get there.

    • Lisa

      I think a lot of those things they’re doing are pretty awful just from a hosting perspective. It sounds like the only things they’re providing for half their guests are a space to hang out in and a couple of snacks. At least they’ve given you a clear expectation of the event, but asking people to show up for an evening reception where you’re only going to feed them an appetizer and a cupcake is pretty bad manners, I think.

    • Amy March

      Well if it helps with your guilt I’d hate everything about it and pitch a fit about having to go at all. You aren’t even invited to the wedding!!!!

      So if you’re instead going with “yes of course they are your friends I will be there with a smile” well done you.

      • savannnah

        We RSVP’d and purchased tickets before any of this info came to light..so yes I’m practicing my smile.

        • Sarah McClelland

          Dude. Make your travel your gift to them if you have yet to buy one. Not cool.

    • Lawyerette510

      That sounds like the kind of wedding that is fun/ fine when you are in the wedding party or you live local to it, but when you are traveling and dropping a fair amount of money and likely using some vacation time to attend it doesn’t feel very hospitable as a guest. Maybe this is an opportunity to talk to your fiance about communicating ahead of time so that you can make more informed decisions about how you spend your time/ money. This is the kind of thing that the person who is close to the people getting married would find worth it to attend but the other partner would just be better staying home.

    • Jess

      Ok, so…I say this as a resident of the Mid-West. Please don’t look down on this entire section of the country because of this one person?

      I would not characterize this as typically mid-western. I consider it very weird to have a wedding in which half of your guests did not attend your ceremony. I also consider it weird to have no dinner at a 6-10pm reception with the exception of super heavy appetizers in large quantities (sounds like not?). And not registering for a variety of price point gifts is generally uncool.

      In fact, the only thing on this list that I have seen is Cash Bar, which is totally fair so long as I know ahead of time to bring cash.

      Weddings are a product of culture and people have expectations, WIC inspired or not. At least you know ahead of time that the expectations aren’t going to be met?

      • Lisa

        I’m a midwestern gal here, too, and the only thing I’ve heard of on this list before was a cash bar. None of the weddings I’ve been to have been remotely like this!

      • savannnah

        Thanks Jess for your perspective- In some ways its better to know this isn’t the normal way for mid-west weddings because it makes me feel less crazy for thinking its bizarre.

        • Jess

          It’s SUPER weird.

    • Eh

      Having planned a wedding, been in weddings (been a partner to someone in a wedding), attended weddings I frequently have to take a deep breath (and remind myself “not my wedding”) when I see what other people do.

    • sofar

      I grew up in the Midwest and am having my wedding there. The cash bar is DEFINITELY common in the Midwest. Nearly everyone I know who has gotten married in the Midwest has had a cash bar. We are doing open bar, and every midwesterner I know is like, “You’re doing OPEN bar??? Did you win the lottery and not tell me? That’s so expensive!” Our CATERER even assumed we were doing cash bar. When we told her open bar, she was like, “Um are you sure???” Lady, I want to pay you a crap-ton of money for open bar, what is wrong with you??

      Whatever, I’m the host, so I am paying for the booze. Not the nicest top shelf booze, mind you, but we’ll have an OK selection for those who want to imbibe.

      The ceremony thing is weird and rude, IMO. We found some lovely ceremony locations that we had to turn down because not everyone would fit. So that aspect is NOT regional — that’s just bad planning.

      And if you’re gonna have a reception during dinner, you gotta serve a meal. Otherwise everyone will leave and go to McDonald’s. If you want to do the apps and cake thing, just have a late-afternoon reception or late morning one.

      • Totch

        The thing about the ceremony that grates on me is that there will be a video feed. I can respect the choice to have an intimate ceremony but still want to invite everyone to a big party. The fact that they arranged a video feed and alternate space would make me feel like an afterthought rather than just a less-close/party-only friend.

      • Eenie

        Our venue was insistent that there would be no late night runs to get fast food after our wedding. The owner insisted on a late night snack to accomplish this.

    • KPM

      I find the watching a projected ceremony strange and I hope for your sake that the (cash) bar is available at that time.

      No dinner thing to me always just depends how all-in they are for apps. I was recently at a wedding where I was told in advance that the 4-8 reception was no dinner but there were so many apps (not just passed, tables with good sized plates you could fill up) that I did feel I had dinner, it just didn’t have an official seated dinner time.

      The combo of wanting the big wedding but not having space the ceremony, expensive registry, and cash bar add up to me as being very inconsiderate of guests and I hope for your husband’s sake as the friend of the couple that it’s a (very common) case of his friends being lovely and a little clueless, and possible relatives having a lot of control of the planning.

  • emilyg25

    The Toast is closing and I’m really sad about it. The Hairpin is long gone and Jezebel is ugh. I just want a space where kind of strange ladies can talk about books and politics and makeup.

    • Cellistec

      Maybe…start one?? (Pls?)

    • Ashlah

      WHAT! The Toast! I haven’t been by yet today, and apparently I need to go do that and ruin my day :(

      • Lawyerette510

        I got a little teary reading the post. I’m going to miss it so!

    • Lawyerette510

      I’m with you. I love the odd-ball but thoughtful and clever thing the Toast has.

    • Ashlah

      Man, I remember someone joking in the Toast comments recently that Mallory could never leave them, and she responded in a “Yeah, but someday I will, you know?” sort of way, and this was definitely already in the works then.

      • emilyg25

        I figured when she became Dear Prudence, it was only a matter of time. I definitely get it. But it’s still sad.

    • MC

      Ugh I just read about that, such a bummer. I am consoling myself by reading one of my favorite things they’ve published, Roxane Gay’s Magic Mike XXL recap: http://the-toast.net/2015/07/01/magic-mike-xxl-recap/

      • AP

        THANK YOU for this. Made my day.

    • Kayjayoh

      I know! I have been sad about this all day. At least I have APW, but man! I know there are all sorts of lifeboat groups forming, like a Slack channel. I also know that it made sense for them to end the site. But so much bummer!

    • Dess

      Noooooooooooo where will I read about women in western art history and how to tell if I’m in a novel?! Sigh.

  • Lawyerette510

    Just a quick shout out for the fun of buying accessories for the wedding that you want to and will wear again. We just celebrated our second anniversary last night, and for our date he wore his shoes and I wore the jacket and the scarf that we had bought for the wedding. We both wear those things semi-regularly (I actually wear the scarf pretty regularly because it’s from Block Shop and is the best), but it was fun to put on little pieces of our wedding day outfits for our anniversary particularly.

    • Keri

      I love that idea! I would have never thought of it as an anniversary outfit option. Thank you!

    • Ashlah

      I didn’t have many accessories for my wedding, but I wore my dress on our first anniversary and it was super fun!

      • Lawyerette510

        I keep wanting to wear mine, but I can’t find anything in my closet to layer with it in a way I like, and it was too chilly last year and this year for me to wear it without layers. I’m hopeful next year we’ll be somewhere warm and I can wear it!

    • KimBee

      Yes! We did this too. For our first anniversary, we took our mini-cake back to our wedding venue. He put on his crocheted boutonniere and I put on a floral pin that had been on my wedding dress, and then we frolicked in the meadow.

      • Lawyerette510

        That sounds delightful!

    • Poppy

      I love this. I had this in my head when I bought a two-piece wedding outfit.

      • Lawyerette510

        Oh all the possibilities that will bring!

    • Eh

      I wear my wedding shoes all the time!!!! (they are orange) People comment on them and then I get to bring up my wedding. It’s awesome.

    • Mary Jo TC

      I wear my wedding jewelry all the time. Dangly pearl earrings and delicate Tin Cup style pearl necklace are very versatile!

      • Eenie

        I used my wedding as an excuse to buy a pair of $250 pearl earrings. I wear them almost every day.

      • Cellistec

        That was top of mind when I picked my wedding jewelry, which was a gift from my mom and grandma. Unable to choose between simple gemstone studs and dangly earrings, I found out there’s such a thing as “earring jackets,” which turn studs INTO dangly earrings. BOOM. Perfect. Now I wear them to work AND special events.

        • Lisa

          I’ve never heard of earring jackets before. Those are amazing!

    • Dess

      I am so excited to get to do this! I was so much pickier about picking out my wedding shoes than I thought I would be because I was determined to buy shoes I could wear and re-wear for occasions like anniversaries.

    • Alanna Cartier

      This is exactly why I splurged on a nice pair of gold earrings instead of getting a veil. That way I can wear them all the time!

      • Totch

        I’ve been offered family jewelry, so my big goal is SHOES.

        • Alanna Cartier

          Shoes are always a good idea!

          I have a friend who is all about the shoes. She’s planning to forgo a dress budget and get some Louboutin’s.

          • Totch

            Yes! The only bad part is that I kind of would like an excuse to buy myself pearls? But borrowing my mom’s will be sweet.

    • KPM

      Block Shop *is* the best! Bet the scarf is gorgeous!

      • Lawyerette510

        Oh I love their stuff so much. I now have a few of their scarves, but my first (and the one I got for the wedding) was the herringbone in papaya.

    • Sosuli

      This sounds awesome – happy 2nd wedding anniversary!

  • Leah

    Yay! More time to talk about house hunting/homeownership! I posted a few weeks ago about the freakouts/quandries we were having in our house hunting endeavor, and got some really great advice from a lot of you. Thanks!!!
    …And as of Tuesday of this week we are under contract! Inspection next week, etc – so anything could still happen, but it’s a beautiful cool funky old (1900!) house that’s in a pretty good location (in our second tier of neighborhoods, but still totally good), and totally threads the needle between the kinda-too-small and kinda-too-expensive houses I was stressing about last time, and I’m super excited and my prego/nesting self is getting jazzed for all the stuff that Meg is talking about up there.
    Fingers crossed!

    • emilyg25

      Yay! Since you’re pregnant, you might consider getting a lead inspection. We bought a house built in 1940 and now have to replace all the windows and doors (ouch).
      ETA: I totally would have still bought the house knowing this, but it would have been nice to negotiate some money from the seller.

      • Leah

        Yep, definitely a thing we’re thinking about. Previous owners had young kids, and lived there for 10 years, and replaced all windows & most plumbing, and all is freshly painted, so I’m feeling good about that to some extent, but definitely planning to talk with our home inspector about whether it’s worth looking more deeply for places where it could be hiding.

      • StevenPortland

        Depending on what part of the country you live in, consider a radon test as well once you move in. You set up a sensor thingy in the basement and after 2 or 3 months you send it in for analysis.

        • Leah

          Thanks! Radon is definitely a thing around here, but 1) there isn’t really a basement (crawlspace/storage only) and 2) the sellers had it tested when they moved in and all levels were good (we just got all their disclosure forms about that stuff) so we’re not too worried about it.

      • Kara E

        @emilyg25:disqus? Replace them all? Really?? Lead mitigation is typically a LOT more simple than that – if the paint is encapsulated (i.e. painted over), it’s not a problem. You can just remove the paint (though someone needs to follow certain processes to remove the lead safely.

        If you have leaded windows, that’s not something that a kid will be able to ingest.

        • emilyg25

          Yep. Windows and doors are a big danger because the friction involved with opening/closing them releases lead dust. Replacement is the most effective solution, but it has to be done by a certified contractor to mitigate lead contamination. Plus it’ll just be nice to have modern windows that open easily and tilt in for cleaning.

    • I am also pregnant and under contract! We had our inspection today and found only some minor stuff. The sellers did ask about moving the closing date back more than two weeks though, which would be only three weeks before I’m due, which caused momentary panic for me. But it sounds like we may be able to compromise on something in between. I can’t wait to get started nesting and all the stuff Meg is talking about too. Good luck!

      • Leah

        Good luck and congrats to you too!!

  • Totch

    Our save the dates were just mailed, meaning I have a week to tell a bunch of aunts and uncles that they’re not invited. (We’re only inviting nuclear family and grandparents).

    Mind you, I made it pretty clear from the start that them not being invited was likely… but I think the messaging aunts and uncles got from my parents was a bit more hopeful?

    I’m working on a group email right now. We’ll see if plans change and I go with phone calls or something, I just know I want to be the one telling people so it doesn’t spread around like gossip or some family scandal.

    • Eenie

      Are we talking international? Cause mail travels faster than a week. I agree with letting people know earlier and from you! Takes a bit of the sting out.

      • Totch

        Yep, my fiance live in Canada, his family in Y, my family in Z. Let me tell you: Canada post does not have cute wedding stamps that work for international postage.

        • Keri

          If it helps, I had beautiful stamps for our invitations and my friend insisted I get them hand-cancelled, so I did. The hand-cancel postmark? “Happy Mother’s Day!”

          • Totch

            Ugh. That’s just too good.

    • emilyg25

      I wouldn’t preemptively tell people they’re not invited. If they ask, you can just say you’re planning a small wedding.

      • Totch

        I appreciate the advice, but I think this is a “know your people” thing. It’s definitely better to tell, just deciding how personal the news should be.

  • LP

    I’m going to kill my FMIL. Both FH and I come from relatively small families, so we decided to combine our bridal shower into one. Nobody on FH’s side of the family is co-hosting because I’m just really not close to any of the women, so FMIL was going to ask everyone to pitch in a little. Today is the day before my shower. I text FMIL asking about this, and she says that I told her that my side of the family was paying for the whole thing. Nope. Totally never said that. Now she’s pissed because “she didn’t have a hand in planning the shower” when she specifically said she didn’t want to! Ugh. Okay that’s my rant.

    • StevenPortland

      The “good” news is that at least it will all be over in another day, right? Better than having to stress about it long term. Keeping my fingers crossed that it goes well, which I’m sure it will!

    • Jess

      I asked you to be involved, you declined. You no longer get to complain about not having been involved. *sigh*

      • LP

        I hate to say this but I loved my FMIL before planning this wedding. Now, not so much. Cannot wait for tomorrow to be over, especially considering I didn’t even want a shower in the first place! At least I have APW to complain to (:

        • anon

          my in laws and I had a great relationship before the wedding planning process and then BAM they turned into like adult children and acted out through the entire process. if it helps, it got much better after the wedding.

    • Sosuli

      UGH to FMILs who pretend to listen but just hear what they want to hear.

  • Fiona

    I’m running for political office (ish) for the first time tomorrow to be a state delegate at the Democratic National Convention in July. I just moved to this state, and the process is very confusing, but I made super-cool Tshirts and foam cowboy hats for me, my friend, and her mini-me to wear to lobby the state commiteemembers to vote for me. Wish me luck!

    • Totch

      That’s awesome! Good luck!

    • Lisa

      Good luck!! That’s such an amazing accomplishment!

    • Lawyerette510

      Good luck!!!

    • Poppy

      This is very cool! I’m inspired by this!

  • Announcing Pregnancy

    Regular poster going Anon for this question….

    Thoughts or ideas on how to announce a pregnancy to extended family that you don’t live near and don’t talk to often? I’ve got a large extended family and I don’t want to call all of my aunts/uncles/cousins individually to share the good news. Is a FB message tacky? Do I need to just suck it up and have a quick 10 minute conversation with everyone? We don’t live near this family and won’t be visiting them any time soon, so a big announcement at a family gathering isn’t an option.

    • Ashlah

      Personally, I would only call if you already call them regularly. If you don’t, I think a Facebook message or email would be fine. Others might have strong opinions about that though, so I think it’s a know your audience sort of thing.

      • Lawyerette510

        I concur.

      • Sarah McClelland

        I concur too… Lawyerette, Great word choice!

    • Eh

      We called specific people that we felt we should call (a couple of my aunts/uncles) but for the most part we just sent a message on FB to people. As my family on my mom’s side does not get along we did send separate messages to people instead of one group message. We did not announce our pregnancy publicly on FB.

    • Leah

      Yay! Congrats!
      At the request of my parents, I called all my aunts & uncles, even the ones I don’t talk to regularly. Didn’t take long, and actually the convos were pretty fun, as everyone got to mirror my excitement back to me. I then gave those people permission/requests to share the news to other family members in their branch (cousins, etc). That seemed to work pretty well. I didn’t share anything on FB until more than a month later, so I figured the news would have time to get to all the family members who might care or be interested before the general FB stuff set in.

    • Amy March

      Can you call one loud mouth relative and tell them they have your permission to spread the news?

      • AP

        Definitely how my family works.

      • rg223

        Yeah, my parents told everyone in the extended family when I was pregnant. Worked out fine, but I would add the caveat that no one should post about it on facebook. I had one cousin vaguely refer to it in a post, which I didn’t think would tip anyone off, but at least one person was (a coworker).

        • Amy March

          See I think when you’re at the point of telling your extended family you have to let go of secrecy all togetherness. Expecting people to keep this off FB is just inviting disappointment.

    • Totch

      I called all my extended family when we got engaged, despite not talking to them very often. Some were great, some kind of sucked, but I’m not big on social media so it worked better for me.

      After, I realized a key thing: it’s better to communicate with the level of intimacy you plan on using for other things about the wedding/baby. It sets precedent. Because I called with my news, I learned from my mom that my extended family expected to be more involved in the engagement/wedding than they did my brother’s new baby (he didn’t contact them at all, just assumed the news would spread).

      If, once the baby is born, you’re planning on just posting pictures to Facebook or sending out group emails then it might be good for your announcement to mirror that.

    • Jess

      For “announcing” my engagement, I just told my parents and said that they could tell their family. A few days later we did a Facebook thing because it was our signal to R’s social-media-happy family that it was ok to do the same. I’d imagine doing the same thing for a pregnancy is fine.

      I don’t see the need to specifically and individually tell people you don’t often speak to unless you really want to.

    • emilyg25

      I told my parents and told them to spread it. I did call my grandmother to tell her (first great grandbaby!) but that’s it.

      • Eh

        I wish I had gone this route for announcing our daughter was born. We called our parents and our siblings and then after that I was too exhausted to tell more people. If we have another baby we will just call our parents (and maybe text our siblings).

    • OliveMC

      When we got engaged we made a cute “postcard,” and sent it to our extended families via e-mail. My cousin made slide shows and emailed them when she announced her two pregnancies, so I guess that’s the way our family works!

  • InTheBurbs

    Thanks for all your suggestions a few weeks ago about visiting North Carolina. Your wisdom was in the back of my head the whole time. We had a great trip, did our best to visit independently owned businesses and kind of did Asheville touristy stuff: the Biltmore, the Arboretum and the Nature Center along with plenty of beer and hard cider.

  • Melinda

    Looking at the Happy Hour links, I have to say it. Straight white guys really get bashed a lot around here. I think it’s really counterproductive and negative. There has to be a better way to advocate for women and minorities that doesn’t involve bashing.

    • The B.

      Why is your instinct that referring to ‘straight white guys’ (which are all neutral descriptors) and noting that some of them are under-qualified (which is the case more often than is recognized) = “bashing”?

      • Cellistec

        Exactly…the Slate piece specifically said “overconfident, UNDERQUALIFIED straight white guys” (emphasis mine). I think the first two adjectives are more important than the next two, which get all the attention.

    • Fiona

      Hmmm I’m really sorry you saw it that way and are put off by it. I saw that (and the community) as being supportive of legitimate criticism of the accepted order, and creating a space to recognize accomplishments and perspectives of women and people of color as most spaces don’t do that, and some spaces even make it dangerous to recognize or celebrate those perspectives (a whole lot of the internet has incredibly aggressive and threatening comment sections towards women and people of color…)

    • Lawyerette510

      Where is there a link basing straight white guys? Given our societal structures that place straight white guys (especially those with money or from money) at a metaphorical starting line far ahead of anyone else, how is highlighting a group that is trying to compensate for that bashing them? Pointing out the advantages and privileges someone has and how they are benefiting from that disproportionately based on their qualifications isn’t bashing, it’s observing.

    • Jess

      Slate (who wrote the article you’re referring to) tend to have really click-baity headlines and an informal writing style.

      The editorial comment with the link seems to be pulled from part of the piece, which reads as follows:
      “Teter and Huelsman, two Denver-based white men, are the founders of a new PAC dedicated to dissuading overconfident, underqualified straight white guys from clogging up the Democratic primaries and crowding out the women and people of color who’d be better for the job.”

      I’m not a big fan of snark in the news, but the PAC is quoted using a lot the same off-the-cuff snarkiness. It seems fair for APW linking to the article to convey some of the same style. Whether that’s productive for the movement or not is a fair discussion to have.

      Click-baity style? Yes.

      Productive approach? Maybe, maybe not.

      Interesting idea that should be discussed, because the people “representing us” in politics don’t reflect the population while those that could are being pushed out? Also Yes.

      • Mary Jo TC

        An example of this in action. Our school district hired a new superintendent today. The 6 finalists were 3 white men, 2 black men, 1 Hispanic man. One of the white men’s highest degree was a BA. For another of the white men, it was an MA. Both black men had PhDs. No women were in the slate and when one of the school board members tried to add one, she was written up in an editorial in the local paper accusing her of “derailing the process.” Thankfully, the board chose our first black superintendent, the one candidate that I found acceptable at all, thanks to his lack of a direct connection with testing companies, charter schools, TFA or Broad Foundation.

        • Laura C

          I love the last sentence of that comment…

          • Mary Jo TC

            It was really ridiculous that these people were even considered. There was zero ideological diversity in the slate, they were all reformsters. This was actually the second time in 2 years we’ve looked for a superintendent, and last year one of the finalists had some super shady stuff happening in his previous district in Wisconsin or Michigan. He was being investigated for embezzling or misuse of state funds or something. And the search firm didn’t even call his references, as our union leader found out when he called that district’s union leader.

        • Jess

          So glad that worked out! I can easily see it going another way in a different case.

    • emilyg25

      I won’t get into what happens “a lot around here,” but I’ll agree to being a bit put off by that PAC. While I’m all for encouraging and supporting underrepresented people to run for office, I don’t think anyone else should be discouraged.

      • MC

        Oh I think it’s great and super necessary. I don’t think it mentions it in the Slate article, but the two white dudes who started it did so after working in CO politics and seeing all these super qualified LGBT folks, POC, and women lose to straight white dudes who were more supported. Especially since SO much unconscious bias exists in the political sphere, diversity is just not going to progress very much without some white dudes “leaning out,” like they say. So many people will still subconsciously think a white man is more qualified than whoever they’re running against and find ways to justify it. Plus lots of LGBT, POC, and women will opt-out due to intimidation, high barrier of entry, etc. And considering that white straight men had a free run at politics for the first 150ish years of our country’s history, I think trying to get less of them to run is totally fine and important. Do I think it will be received well by white hetero men? Probably not… but a girl can dream!

      • The B.

        I think there are some people who should absolutely be discouraged from running for office! Look at Donald Trump.

        I’m being flip in a way, but it’s also a serious point. Sure, public participation is great, but even in the progressive movement, there are major issues with systematic discrimination (outlined on their site) that need to be taken very seriously.

        What the PAC is primarily saying, as far as I understand, is that straight white men running for office should be looked at with more scrutiny and really questioned on what they can bring to the table that’s differentiated, and especially in relation to women, people of color, and LGBTQ candidates. If they are uniquely qualified, great! If not, the PAC thinks making room for underrepresentation doesn’t just involve bolstering up, it also needs some pushing aside. Their language might be more casual/radical than would make some people comfortable, but the mission resonates with me a lot.

  • AGCourtney

    What goes up must come down; I had the WORST week. Nothing particularly catastrophic happened, but just consistent stress. Ready for a fresh start next week.

    Glad you’re having fun with the house, Meg! Hopefully we’ll paint the kitchen soon.

    • Poppy

      Ugh. Same. Self-care pact this weekend?

      • AGCourtney

        Haha, I *just* fetched myself a mint chip ice cream cone from the freezer and returned to see this. Yes, there’s a journal and a book with my name on it, I’m thinking. Hope you have a restful weekend!

  • ItsyBit

    For home improvement fun, I really like younghouselove.com. They’re no longer posting (I don’t think?) but they archived all of their DIY (and budget-aware/friendly) projects which are super helpful, even if not you’re into their decor aesthetic.

    YAY for making this home your own! It’s been almost two years in our current apartment, which I just realized is the longest we’ve lived in one space in SIX YEARS. Five apartments in six years. I’m exhausted just thinking about it. But now we’re finally feeling really settled in and making this space ours and it makes me so happy… even if sometimes I get annoyed at how tiny Manhattan spaces are.

    • Cellistec

      LOVE YHL. Their books are as good as their website.

      • AP

        I got so many great ideas from their first book!

    • CP2011

      Good suggestion! I got a great idea from that site for covering a hideous light fixture in our old apartment.

  • Grace

    Two questions:
    Has anyone had their officiant ordained via the Universal Life Church? And has anyone done it specifically in Pennsylvania? I want to ask my aunt (who is actually a former Catholic sister), but I’m worried that (1) ULC isn’t as legit and wonderful as it seems and (2) that PA won’t recognize the ordination, and therefore the marriage, as legit. I Googled it all, and it sounds like it will work, but I’m still worried. Anyone with perspective?

    • Lawyerette510

      Our officiant used American Marriage Ministries, but I know others who have used ULC and it has worked fine in California and Texas.

    • emilyg25

      PA doesn’t recognize ULC. But! We have self-uniting marriages. So you can marry yourselves but have your aunt “MC” or whatever.

    • Alex K

      My officiant (a friend) is ordained with ULC. When I asked the people at Boston City Hall they told me I needed to register her as an out of state person doing the ceremony for the day (they did not care that she was ordained). I would just call city hall. They told me step by step what needed to be done, but of course it will depend on how helpful they want to be!

    • jazzy

      Haven’t done it, but my understanding as someone about to get married in PA is that internet ordinations are not recognized by the state….

    • Eenie

      Check your county because some allow self officiated like @emilyg25:disqus says below. We did that in Georgia and it “worked”, but there haven’t really been any cases challenging it in court.

  • I’ve been having sharp pains around my upper abdomen area (front and back, most painful on the right hand side) occasionally for the last three weeks and it’s so frustrating. I had a doc appt Tuesday and she just wanted to up/change my heartburn meds, but I’d gotten a sneak peak of my gallbladder and told her we had seen something, but weren’t sure what, so she ordered a full ultrasound for Monday.

    This week I’ve been trying to be super gentle with my stomach and surround organs and put lots of quinoa and probiotics in it, but it seems like I might have overdone it today or something because the tightness is back. It’s not a pain yet, but I think it’s there. Or maybe it’s not. There was point on Tuesday when I was afraid to eat and bring back the pain. I did eat, and it didn’t hurt. But now…. ugh. Hopefully Monday brings answers and the end of the workday and being up and about brings relief.

    • Ashlah

      I’m sorry, I hope you get some relief and a (easily treatable) diagnosis soon.

    • Carolyn S

      Quinoa can actually be pretty rough on some people’s stomaches – you probably know yourself but it’s worth looking into.

  • Kalë

    I was incredibly appreciative of, and humbled by, all of the support, advice and (sometimes tough) love I got after posting last week about my frustrations with the current state of my relationship. It took some poorly timed work-tears and a lot of honest examination of my needs when it comes to marriage and engagement, but I thought some things through, made a list, put on my big-girl glitter panties, and talked to my partner. Huge shoutout to Lawyerette for her detailed list of questions and needs she had for her partner in their pre-engaged time – I used a lot of them. And, guys!!! He said that the last time we’d discussed it, he hadn’t really thought much about marriage. It sounded kind of scary and too adult-y, and he threw out two to five years because he hadn’t given it any thought, it didn’t seem like that long, and he was happy with where we were. But since then, he’s been thinking a lot about engagement and marriage and what they mean to him, and he is, in his own words, pretty darn close to ready to get engaged. Timeline is pending but no longer than a year, and I think (hope?) it will be much less.

    I think I’d made up a lot of stuff in my head (mostly based off of cultural narrative and societal expectations and not the realities of my own life) about his thoughts and expectations about engagement and marriage that were really freaking me out. It took a little APW reality check, but no, it does not make me naggy or overeager or pushy or desperate to want to know about and be included in future plans for, y’know, my own life. We’ve decided that any and all future-life talk is on the table in the no-judgment zone. I’ve been impatiently waiting all week to update yall, and feeling so much better about the whole thing. So, all happy dances and sunshine over here on this Fri-yay.

    • emmers

      That is soooo exciting! What an incredible update!!!! that’s such a wonderful wonderful thing to hear. I’m so glad you could talk about it in a sane way, and also (!!!) that you’re both more on the same page than you thought. So wonderful!

    • AGCourtney

      Yay! Glad to hear that.

    • joanna b.n.

      OH MY GOD exactly this makes so much sense, what a relief, happy for you, etc. – and yet here we all were marking down HE SAID TWO TO FIVE YEARS in our calendars… lol.. and this is why the answer to basically any marriage issue is TALK TO EACH OTHER, repeatedly, forever.

      (sorry for the CAPS; it’s been a week over here!)

      • Kalë

        right?? like two to five years WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?!?!? I’m happy to report that talking to each other actually works. Who knew.

        • Mary Gilliland

          “my room mate Lori Is getting paid on the internet 98$/hr”…..!nt95etwo days ago grey MacLaren P1 I bought after earning 18,512 Dollars..it was my previous month’s payout..just a little over.17k Dollars Last month..3-5 hours job a day…with weekly payouts..it’s realy the simplest. job I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months. ago. and now making over. hourly 87 Dollars…Learn. More right Here !nt95e:➽:➽:➽➽➽➽ http://GlobalSuperJobsReportsEmploymentsSupportGetPay-Hour$98…. .✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸::::::!nt95e….,….

        • Lelaescott

          “my room mate Lori Is getting paid on the internet 98$/hr”…..!nt461etwo days ago grey MacLaren P1 I bought after earning 18,512 Dollars..it was my previous month’s payout..just a little over.17k Dollars Last month..3-5 hours job a day…with weekly payouts..it’s realy the simplest. job I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months. ago. and now making over. hourly 87 Dollars…Learn. More right Here !nt461e:➽:➽:➽➽➽➽ http://GlobalSuperJobsReportsEmploymentsFixGetPay-Hour$98…. .✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸::::::!nt461e….,..

        • Amykstriplin1

          “my room mate Lori Is getting paid on the internet 98$/hr”…..!tn82etwo days ago grey MacLaren P1 I bought after earning 18,512 Dollars..it was my previous month’s payout..just a little over.17k Dollars Last month..3-5 hours job a day…with weekly payouts..it’s realy the simplest. job I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months. ago. and now making over. hourly 87 Dollars…Learn. More right Here !tn82e:➽:➽:➽➽➽➽ http://GlobalSuperJobsReportsEmploymentsVaultGetPay-Hour$98…. .✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸::::::!tn82e….,..

    • Not Sarah

      Yay!!! I’m glad a discussion sorted everything out :) I was so stressed out for you last week even though I have no words of wisdom. We’re in an awkward place in that I’ve decided I want to marry my boyfriend, if I wanted to get married to someone, but I don’t know if I want to get married in general, he doesn’t want to get married in the near future, I don’t want kids, and he doesn’t want kids in the near future. BUT we possibly want some more housing space than what we have now and I want a bit more life commitment before selling my piece of real estate… Yay life lol.

    • Jess

      YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY

      I’m so glad that you were able to reach a better place and both you and your partner-person were able to understand each other more!

    • Cellistec

      High five, lady!

    • Ashlah

      I’m so happy to see this update!

    • Anya

      Best update.

    • Alanna Cartier

      I know 100% how you feel and I am so happy for you. Isn’t it magnificent when we stop telling ourselves what we should (or more often shouldn’t) be doing and just behave in such a way that we are in control of you know, our own lives? :D :D :D

      It’s so easy to get trapped in those societal narratives, and forget all those important things that we do actually know, but forget when they apply to our own lives.

      • Kalë

        Yes, exactly! Sometimes it’s really difficult to escape the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves, and actually like, live our real lives. It is just hard, man. But magnificent is the right word for when we do!

    • Lawyerette510

      Major Fri-yay!

  • Bsquillo

    Congrats on home ownership, Meg! We recently moved from our basement rental to the upstairs of the same house, and we suddenly have beautiful hardwood floors. However, hardwood kind of requires some rugs, and I realized I know NOTHING about rugs. Like, what material is best, where can you get them for a non-insane cost, and how do you find ones that aren’t ugly? Because, about 90% of rugs seem to not match my style…but I don’t really know what my style is? Help, oh wise ones of the home decorating world.

    • emilyg25

      I like Target! I also got a crazy good deal on Overstock. Rugs are sooo expensive for something that you walk on all the time.

      • Lisa

        I have a rug that my mom bought from the clearance bin at Target for $20 for my first apartment. We still have it five years later!

        I fell in love with a lot of the rugs at Crate and Barrel when we registered there. Unfortunately those don’t fall under the “non-insane cost” heading.

        • ML

          For those in the Bay Area, the Crate and Barrel Outlet in Berkeley often has great rugs for cheap! Not sure if there are other outlets around the country.

      • emmers

        There’s a kimmy Schmidt episode about this!

    • Emily

      Ikea!

    • StevenPortland

      It is pretty cheap, actually, to buy a piece of carpet from Lowes and then have a “Carpet Fabricator” company bind the carpet piece (which is where they sew an edging around the carpet), turning it into a rug. We bought 4 colors of carpet and had strips sewn together. Got exactly what we wanted that way.

      • Eenie

        Please start a house blog of some sort. I’m sitting over here taking notes from all your comments!

        • Jess

          I feel like every time house things are mentioned, I look for StevenPortlands comments and try my best to memorize.

        • toomanybooks

          Yesssss

    • Poppy

      I admired the rugs in a friend’s apartment recently and she let me in on her secret – Urban Outfitters. Not sure about the durability, but they are not at all expensive and there are some nice designs (depending on your taste of course).

      • VKD_Vee

        UO has the nicest rugs! I was oggling one at someone else’s place the other day!

    • Cellistec

      I love World Market. Cheap and fun designs in lots of sizes.

    • CP2011

      I found a really large rug with a great pattern last Labor Day for 85% off at Fred Meyer. Rugs are hard because so many of them are really ugly. Marshalls and Ross are good for that type of things but can be hit or miss. I’d say wait for a while and browse around.

  • StevenPortland

    Meg: Congrats on the house!! My favorite piece of advice about a first house is: Install real curtain rods and use drapery hooks to hang the curtains onto the rod’s rings. Of course, if you have the money pick out amazing fabric and have curtains made for you. But otherwise, even canvas drop cloths or Target curtains look 10x better when drapery hooks are used. It is an easy way to “adult” a window.

    • Cellistec

      Amen to curtains, and good call with the drapery hooks. As soon as I can wrangle permission from the building manager and a ladder, I’m going to “adult” the hell out of our windows.

    • Lisa

      Curtains were one of the first things we bought for our place. It was pretty expensive (the entire back wall of the condo is windows. Something like 20′.), but they look so nice! I’m really happy we invested the time and money upfront on them. It really ties the room together.

      • Sarah McClelland

        Same! And we bought nice rods that moved with us and light-blocking panels for the guest rooms, which face the sunrise… Best use of all those Target gift cards we got as wedding gifts, with our vacuum being a close second.

    • VKD_Vee

      Yes! Can this be an open thread in the future? How to be a classy new homeowner and not just decorate your place with Chat Noir posters and Billy bookcases from IKEA?

      • nutbrownrose

        My mom is currently re-doing her whole house ( it started with the kitchen, and just sort of became a house-wide monster), and for her, Billy bookcases from IKEA ARE the upgrade. Because the previous bookcases are all from Target. It’s not even like she’s poor, but she’s never lived a life where $100 here and $100 there was a thing she didn’t worry about. Teacher salaries for the win! ( I was just home visiting, and I asked if she ever got to a point where spending $100 was no big deal, because for me, $15 brand-name shoe inserts feel like an investment. She said $50 yes, but $100 no.)

        I want this life where IKEA furniture is cheap. And to know how to decorate my apartments as I meet them with things in frames. Because things with frames are almost within my grasp now.

        • Sarah McClelland

          RIGHT??
          There’s something to be said for how some of the IKEA stuff is cheap(all over the picture frames and organization tools and kitchen stuff), but IKEA furniture purchases still require some budgeting. Hoping for the “eh, $50” mark soon in our house. Having a line in our budget for this stuff has helped.

          And VKD, I would be all over that open thread too!

          • nutbrownrose

            I have been converted to the cult of YNAB by APW, and by god, it’s a dream come true. I never knew I dreamed of a budget, but I did, and when I did, it was of YNAB.

  • Bsquillo

    Another question for the masses (apparently this is where I go to get smart advice, y’all): Recently I’ve been reading up on how awful the clothing/fashion industry is, and I’m wanting to move towards buying more fair trade/sustainable/eco-friendly clothing items. What’s the best way to find brands that match these values? It seems especially difficult to find business casual clothes that meet these criteria; flowy hippie clothes and yoga pants are great for some things, but I need well-tailored black pants for work…

    • Totch

      I don’t know if they have well tailored pants, but the Reformation tries to be really clear about the production of their clothes, uses a lot of remainder fabric to be eco friendly, and has pretty sleek stuff.

    • Ashlah

      Would thrift store shopping meet your ethical needs? Or are you specifically hoping to support sustainable clothing companies? (If the latter, I have no suggestions, but will definitely be following this thread!)

      • Bsquillo

        I think both- don’t mind thrifting, although I much prefer the idea of something like ThredUp to sifting through thousands of racks at Goodwill (hello, lazy shopper). But I’d also love to support some new brands who are consciously trying to pursue sustainability.

    • Lisa

      This is something I’ve been trying to figure out as well. However, I ran into issues because I need special sizing (talls), and none of my initial googling produced any results.

    • Here are some links. Haven’t bought from ethical companies yet, but ive been reading a lot about it lately as well. http://www.thegoodtrade.com/features/fair-trade-clothing

    • CP2011

      I don’t have any brand suggestions, but I’m a lifelong thrift/consignment shopper. If you buy it used, none of the money makes it back to the original brand and you keep things out of landfills.

      • toomanybooks

        True. It’s like recycling! (And then as a bonus I usually get nicer stuff secondhand because it’s cheaper.)

      • Cellistec

        Also, see the ThredUp mention below (in the self-care thread): secondhand clothing online.

    • Sarah McClelland

      Look into Everlane.

    • Carolyn S

      It’s depressing how hard it is to find any information on this.

  • Hello all! Happy Friday and Yay Happy Hour!
    Random wedding question…Did you put a different start time on the invitation and then actually plan for the wedding to start on your actual timeline? So, for example, putting 4:30 on your invite and planning the whole time to actually start at 5:00 to account for late arrivals? I get the logistics of doing it this way, but I also would hate to have people arrive at 4:15 because they are decent people that get to important things early and then sit there for forty-five minutes because the whole time we are really starting at 5:00. My day-of coordinator suggested this to me and I just am not sure about it. Also, 4:30 seems like a really weird time to put on an invite, but that’s kind of beside the point.

    Thoughts? Love crowd-sourcing opinions from all of you!

    • emilyg25

      Yes. Invite said 5, actual ceremony started at 5:15. 10-15 min. is a good buffer. 30+ minutes is too long!

    • We put the actual start time…and actually managed to start on time! All but 2 of our guests were on time for our wedding – it helped that 90% of our guests were from out of town and staying at the hotel next door to the wedding venue.

    • AGCourtney

      We expected the ceremony to start about fifteen minutes after the set time. Half an hour seems excessive to me.

    • Eenie

      10-15 minutes ahead of the ceremony start time is always good. Two stories:

      I drove six hours to a wedding one time and just barely beat the bride down the aisle (not my proudest moment, we got lost). Their start time was the one on the invite! Ten other people were behind us.

      We had people show up a good 45 minutes before the invitation time. So make sure whatever time you put down, there will be somewhere for them to wait an hour before hand (especially anyone doing a reading).

      • emilyg25

        Yes! We had a friend show up while we were still doing family photos, which was fine because we had a really informal wedding. But definitely be ready for some folks to be very early or a little late.

    • Leah

      We put 5pm on our invitations, planning on a 5:30 start, and assuming that people would get there between 15 minutes before and 30 mins after the invite time. We put out some drinks and popsicles (it was hot) and had ipod music playing, and figured people would be into mingling and catching up with one another before the ceremony actually started. It seemed to work great – though it was an outdoor wedding at a casual venue, and this might not work as well at a church or something like that. And I see nothing weird about putting 4:30 on an invitation.

    • emmers

      We put the actual start time. I think things got going maybe 10 minutes late. One of my fave memories is how I waited upstairs, by myself, at the start time, and look outside the window of our venue. I saw 3 or 4 late folks, rushing in, so I gave them a minute or two to get in, and then I went down. It was a really awesome, serene moment.

    • Amy March

      Seems like putting 5 on the invites, planning to walk down the aisle at 5, and actually making it down at 5:10 is common and works just fine.

    • CP2011

      We did, but it wasn’t 30 min. Probably more like 10. I’m a pretty punctual person, so if I was a guest who arrived on time (read: early enough to be settled by posted start time), I might be frustrated at having to wait an extra 30 minutes longer than anticipated.

      • I am also very punctual, this is why doing this had never occurred to me! If my invitation says five, barring any special circumstances, I’m planning on arriving at 4:40. I would be kinda pissed at having a bunch of extra time to just hang out simply because I am prompt!

    • LP

      We put 5 for a 5:30 start time. Reason being that I have a family that is late to EVERYTHING. Most family events we say start ~2 hours before they do so that people show up on time, and at least one person is usually still late. My advice is know your guests. If the majority are the type that will be late, give yourself a buffer. If you’re lucky like me and have a small wedding, you can tell the odd man out the real start time, which I did.

      • Totch

        Ha! This is a know your guests thing. For both the ceremony and dinner, we’re having to set the start time at least a half hour after our rental time starts because we know our folks will get there crazy early. The other day my fiance vetoed me calling the restaurant to extend the reservation to an hour before: “if someone arrives more that 30 minutes early, it’s not polite and it’s not the restaurant’s responsibility.”

    • EF

      yup, put on 2:00, started at 2:20. Knew the crowd, they were never all gonna be on time.

    • KPM

      I once went to a wedding that said 10:30 and in fact the ceremony was at 12. GRRRR. So I may be biased, but my advice is don’t plan more than a 10 minute buffer, people largely know that weddings start when it’s listed. So if you list 4:30, people *will* get there at 4:15.

      You can always hold off a few minutes if it’s clear that a decent number are still missing if say, traffic was far worse than normal in the area. Since you have a day-of-coordinator, she should know the head count and be able to plan for this delay, letting you/the wedding party know what’s going on and also talking to the catering/reception people.

    • Cellistec

      We said 5 and started around 5:20 at the advice of our officiant. There was a gnarly hailstorm right before people arrived so buffer time was key. I’ve been to weddings where the delay was way longer, in brutal heat or fierce windstorms, and everyone understood. Especially when we got cocktails during the wait. Probably better to state the intended start time and have to wait for stragglers than to give a fake start time and further punish the prompt.

    • SLG

      I’ve been a “friendor” day-of coordinator 10-20 times, and I always start ~5 mins after the invite time. The only exceptions are if the bridal party isn’t ready or a VIP guest hasn’t arrived yet (i.e. mother of the groom got lost on the way to the wedding, which did happen once). Know your crowd, but I think after around 10 minutes, tension starts to rise, guests start wondering if everything is OK, etc.

      If you plan on starting way later than your invite time and you have someone playing live prelude music, definitely tell that person what to expect.

      • SLG

        Edit: I meant to include that this is totally a know your crowd thing as well!

    • Lisa

      I think this is definitely know-your-crowd territory. If your or your partner’s family as a whole is chronically late/early, then that’s something to take into account. We put the actual ceremony time on our invitations and started right on time. I didn’t see any late guests walk in after the ceremony was under way.

  • macrain

    My son is here! I unexpectedly went into labor a few weeks before my due date, on Mother’s Day appropriately enough. My labor was fast and intense. I barely made it to the hospital in time, having entered the pushing phase of labor before we had even left the house. (I know how insane this sounds and I can just say that IT WAS INSANE.)
    My little peanut is the sweetest ever. We are totally clueless but loving every minute with him. I have asked for a ton of help and our friends and family have stepped up. Even little things, like the chocolate covered strawberries one friend sent us have served to bolster my spirits when I’m having a low moment. The whole “it takes a village” thing, I keep thinking that when someone offers help.
    I’m only on day 5 of this gig so I’m sure I’ll be checking in frequently!

    • Lisa

      So many congratulations on your little one! Glad that he arrived safely. :)

    • Leah

      congrats!!!!!

    • Ashlah

      Congratulations!!! Sounds like he made quite the entrance into the world! I’m glad things are going well, and I hope it continues to be sweet and full of love and support.

    • JSK

      Part one: YAH CONGRATS THAT’S WONDERFUL! And high five on making it through the first few days.

      Part two: I think we had the same due date and I’m insanely fat and jealous.

    • Lawyerette510

      Yay!!!!!!!!!!!! Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • AGCourtney

      Congratulations!!! Oh my goodness, that does sound insane. Ah, birth stories, haha.

      Enjoy your time with your little one! It’s a special, surreal phase, and I’m so glad your people are stepping up to help you. <3

    • Anya

      Congrats!!!! Keep asking for help and I’m glad the village is there. :)

    • MC

      Putting the idea of chocolate-covered strawberries in my back pocket for when my BFF and my SIL have their babies later this year. Also CONGRATS!! And way to ask for help!

    • E.

      Congratulations!!

    • Unhip in Brooklyn

      Congrats! That’s spectacular….and intense!

    • VKD_Vee

      Yay for a Lil’ macrain! That’s lovely news! Hooray!

    • emilyg25

      Wait. I made a baby and no one got *me* chocolate covered strawberries. Clearly you have excellent taste in friends and thus will also be an excellent parent. Congrats! And welcome to the Moms of Feminist Boys Club. It’s a pretty cool place to be.

    • rg223

      Congrats to you! Glad to hear your little one is doing well too!

  • Kayjayoh

    Thing that just rolled by on my newsfeed:

    Men Who Don’t Wear Wedding Bands — and Why

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/08/fashion/weddings/trump-men-wedding-rings.html

    The article has an interesting premise, but the writing feels lazy.

    • Jess

      Reading the line from the psychotherapist (“I think they’re making a statement by not wearing one”) made me think back to all the times I have not worn my engagement ring at all in the last week:
      – Saturday Night, when after making lots of food and washing dishes all day I didn’t put it on getting ready to go out because I forgot to accessorize at all?
      – Tuesday, when I was working out and didn’t want to have to put it somewhere in a locker and maybe forget it.
      – Wednesday, when I was rushed in the morning and didn’t put it on
      – Thursday, when I had to go into work at a location I cannot wear a ring for safety reasons

      4/7 days! Yup. I totally made statements about how prepared for non-monogamy I am, and also how afraid of commitment I am.

      I agree – it’s an interesting premise but I would have liked analysis more than a list of celebrities and soundbites.

      • Kayjayoh

        Exactly. I take my rings off when I go to bed at night, because otherwise it feels uncomfortable in the morning. I take my rings off when I am swimming. I take my rings off when I am lifting weights, rock climbing, or doing aerial dance. Sometimes I take my rings off if I’m painting…

        I have a chain that I got to wear them around my neck, though I mostly use that for climbing. I have a little zippered satin bag to keep them safe in my purse.

        Sometimes you just can’t wear a ring.

        I imagine actors have to take them off so often to play roles that it just makes sense not to wear one most of the time.

        • Natalie

          I wear mine on a chain while I’m rock climbing, too.

          My work currently involves handling very fine netting that gets tangled on everything, especially buttons/zippers on clothing and on stones on rings. I got sick of getting my hands tangled, taking my rings off, putting them in my pocket, worrying about losing them, then putting them back on again at the end of the work day, so I haven’t been wearing them lately. I imagine it’s easy to get out of the habit of wearing them for anyone who can’t wear rings while working, including actors, who may be working long hours on set. If my rings are off for the majority of my waking hours, what’s the point of putting them on in the morning and risking losing them?

      • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

        Yup!! The day I went back to work after we got engaged, I didn’t wear it so I could tell people on my own time, and I cried because it was in my purse and not on my finger…. fast forward to the following week and every week after so far, where I forget at least once a week to put it on, and don’t care.

    • Eenie

      My husband and I have a rule: We never use our rings in passive aggressive way. We can both choose to wear or not wear them on any given day and it’s not a THING. I don’t like wearing mine while doing dishes or working out. He can’t wear his at work if he’s called to the floor for support. He doesn’t wear his to work.

      I did insist that we both get rings, because it is really nice when we’re doing something together and both wear them. I wanted us to both have the option, even if the option is: No, I really don’t want to wear the ring today.

      • Violet

        We have the same rule about sleeping on the couch. If my partner is being annoying in his sleep, I can head out there. If he’s planning on going to bed late and doesn’t want to disturb me, he can sleep out there. But no sleeping on the couch because of a fight. That sort of thing. (I don’t think it would occur to me to non-wear my ring passive aggressively because frankly, if I’m mad at him, seeing the freakin GORGEOUS ring on my finger makes me feel less mad, haha!)

        • Eenie

          I like that, but we both struggle to sleep by ourselves, so it wouldn’t work for us. In a world where so many things have MEANING, it’s good to specifically carve out a few no bigger meaning spots in life.

    • Cellistec

      I found the “why” part to be pretty speculative…it should be titled “men who don’t wear wedding bands, and why it’s not any of your business.” But I guess that doesn’t make for a compelling read.

    • lady brett

      what a weird take on it. there are a ton of situations in which rings are impractical or unsafe, not to mention personal preference and the fact that men *wearing* rings is a relatively new tradition ( which has some awful women as property issues, but isn’t particularly scandalous in a propriety sort of way).

    • emilyg25

      Oh, NY Times Style section, don’t ever change. From the folks who brought you the article about monocles coming back in style.

  • nocutenickname

    Struggling right now with body positivity in a different way. I am in my mid-20s and have been struggling with back pain for 6+ years now, and I was just diagnosed with a new back issue that is degenerative and usually found in seniors. There’s nothing to do for it but continue physical therapy, which I’ve been doing for an entire year already. Last week it hurt to walk and I could barely do my job. I am so depressed about how disabled I feel and how much I hate my body (despite having a thin, young body looks-wise). I’m tired of people saying, “You’re too young for this.” I’m also struggling to find any way of feeling less alone in this, while also realizing that other people have it much worse than I do. I just fear for the future if this is how it is now; that I won’t be able to physically withstand pregnancy, that I’ll need to find a new career because mine requires some physicality, that I won’t be able to camp or travel or bike or do all these normal things. It’s been a hard week.

    • Anya

      I am so sorry. My therapist used to talk about how events in life is like a big black dog running towards you. She would basically remind me not to fear the dog, as you never know what happens. The dog might start out aggressive but then mellow out, etc etc. It helped me with some of my fears. Sharing in case it helps you.

      Again, so sorry that you are going through this.

      • nocutenickname

        That does help. I know it’s true that we can’t know now how things will turn out. I definitely tend to worry about the worst case scenario outcome but it might not, probably won’t, be that bad. In fact, yesterday was awful but today is a little better already. Thank you.

    • Morgan D

      Hey, lady. Just sending you lots of hugs and solidarity. I’ve been out on disability for 10 weeks now for a brain injury which – while nowhere near your 6+ years – has definitely been a crash course in dealing with some of the things you mentioned. The body positivity journey is definitely a roller coaster when you’re dealing with that sort of chronic pain, feelings of isolation, and the frustration/grief at the loss of the ability to do normal/beloved things. Thank you for the honesty of sharing that it’s been a hard week. It’s hard (especially when you have an invisible disability or pain) to remember sometimes that you have a right to feel ALL the feels, including the hard ones.

      • nocutenickname

        Your response made me tear up a little. Thank you so much for the solidarity. It’s really affirming just to hear you describe what I’m feeling. I’m sorry you can relate and I wish you the best in recovering from your injury.

    • EF

      Just some solidarity here. there are hard weeks and weeks where it’s better and it’s so difficult to see over that hill sometimes. have you looked into online communities for illness? if you search #spoonies on twitter, you’ll see a lot. also: http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com/articles/written-by-christine/the-spoon-theory/

      it’s ok to run out of spoons.

      • nocutenickname

        Wow, that is an amazing way of summing it up! I haven’t looked into those communities, partially because I don’t have a chronic illness per se, I “just” have sporadic back pain – sometimes so bad I can barely walk and it’s caused by me just doing the basic tasks of life and it results in all this mental anguish, so obviously it’s not “just” anything but that’s how my brain has been processing it. I obviously have enough in common with them to identify with the spoons example so much. Thanks for pointing me in that direction!

  • Laura

    I posted months and months ago about a friend who experienced an emotionally abusive episode in her relationship. She decided to stay with him, in part because he was abused as a child and she thought she could “cure” him with her love. Many commenters said that there’s really nothing you can do but wait and watch and be a good friend. So I waited and watched and tried to be encouraging of her (while gently pointing out his bad behavior) as she moved in with him, became increasingly isolated from her friends, and stopped talking about him because she could sense we disapproved.

    Last Saturday, he blew up at her, screamed that she was a fat dumbass bitch (among other things), and kicked at the kitten they had gotten the week before. She said she had a sudden moment of clarity: “I cannot believe I was going to have kids with this guy.” So she kicked him out and we came along with her to ensure she was safe as he moved his stuff out. He screamed some more, flipped a table, we left and called the cops — who, incidentally, called back an hour later to “see if we still needed them” — and proceeded to weather the 96 unanswered texts and 30-odd emails she received. Some of which included death threats, at which point we went in person to the cops. The situation has diffused somewhat and she seems safe for now.

    I am so, so thankful that this guy is out of her life for good. And also so thankful that I kept persisting with the friendship even when it got hard to listen to her rationalizations for his behavior. I did try to directly talk to her about him once, but it went absolutely nowhere. Sometimes people really do need to hit their own rock bottom before they’re ready to make a change.

    • Jess

      I am SO glad that you were able to be there for your friend and relieved that she is in a safer place now.

    • Not Sarah

      I am so thankful the guy is out of her life for good too! I’m also proud of her for finally having this moment of clarity and you for standing by her through this insanity.

    • Eenie

      It sounds like she’s very fortunate to have a friend like you. Wishing her good luck!

    • KC

      She’s gotten a restraining order, yes? (it gives legal weight to requests not to show up or call, and police are more likely to come for restraining order violation; usually includes an absolute ban on him going near her home and workplace and a ban on remaining in general proximity of her person [aka, if he sees her at a concert, he’s still gotta stay however many feet away even if he has tickets])

      The other thing is that people often need extra support after they’ve gotten out of an abusive relationship – extra call-ins, extra people to call if they have good news or bad news (because while they were isolated, they used to call their abuser, and now there’s a blank/gap), extra hugs and general “people support” – most abusers train their victims to some degree to be reliant on them and a lot of people get sucked back in. I mean, even non-abusive relationships sometimes have a bit of a on-again, off-again breakup thing, but it’s exacerbated by typical abuse patterns, and the stakes are a lot higher. So if there’s someone who can go live with her for a while (both for security and companionship) or if you can get more friends and family covering her back, that would probably be helpful.

      But hooray for her getting out!!! And if she does “relapse” and get back together with him, just keep going on with her and being her friend and supporting her. It’s hard to be a friend in that situation, but it’s also hard to get away from this sort of situation, and far, far harder without external support.

      And thank you for being there for her. That is awesome of you. :-)

      • Laura

        The police actually recommended that she not get a restraining order for now, which surprised me. Because he has no known address, they would have to serve him the papers at his job (a school, you guys — he works with children). The police said that might actually send him into a bigger rage, because his job is the only thing he has left (no $$, no place to live, no friends).

        I’m not well-versed enough in domestic violence literature to know whether or not this is sensible advice. I certainly thought she should get a restraining order, but she decided to go with what the cops advised. He ceased all contact after he was told that the cops have been notified, so she’s just monitoring the situation for now.

        And thanks to everyone for the advice and encouragement. It’s been a loooooong 1.5 years (and an especially long week), but I’m feeling very hopeful for her.

        • Emily

          My understanding is that the restraining order thing can be very individual. I think the book *The Gift of Fear* talks about this. Here’s an article I found in a quick search: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/09/07/domestic-violence-deaths-raise-questions-about-gaps/15260841/

        • KC

          Yeah, that’s fair; generally you don’t want people-against-you to be in “nothing to lose” situations. And in the interim, she has the complaints lodged, which is something at least, and if he’s stopped contacting her now that he’s been told she went to the police, then that’s encouraging.

          If a non-work address for him becomes available, though, then having a restraining order served while she takes a bit of a hiatus from living at her known place (or having a backup friend living with her) might be a good option. I mean, it’s always dicey because a restraining order might result in an unpleasant response even if not served at work, *but* if it did, at least it would be more likely to prompt him to flip out in an approximately known timeframe and she’d then have a lot more legal protection if he becomes unstable over something else later (because he might lose his job anyway at any random point over something else but blame it on her, or get dumped by someone else, or have a bad day, or get drunk, or whatever) – but legal protection only means something like “the police will actually arrest him even if he’s ‘only’ outside your apartment, and the police are likely to take things more seriously, possibly including responding sooner”, not “you’ll be safe.”

          There is also the factor that in some jurisdictions, having a certain number of restraining orders against you can be counted as a crime of harassment itself, under some circumstances; if he already has a “collection”, and I don’t know if there’s any safe way of finding that out, it might have some bearing on this. (obviously, none of this should be taken as legal advice)

          Anyway, it is definitely a tension, because while having the law more pointedly on one’s side is good, having no cause to have him arrested is better than having him do something to her which warrants arrest. If not getting a restraining order at this time is what the police recommended (and esp. if she got the cards of the people she talked to, who she can then refer to by phone if there are further complications), they’ve got more experience than I do, and it’s definitely a reasonable position to take. It is not “fair” that none of the options are a guaranteed “live happily ever after without any bother or concern about this ever again” – but you do what you can with what you have.

          (and again, if a vigorous support network can be cobbled together to help bridge her while she gets back on her feet from this, that would be very good, to help her recover, help her not rebound to this particular guy, and help her not rebound to a similar guy.) (and, of course, she should have locks changed and take whatever additional security measures make sense, including changing all her online account passwords and security questions, banking passcodes, etc. – anything she wants to make sure he does not have access to – and probably tightening up social media privacy settings, especially location-disclosing ones)

          Thank you so much for walking through this with her. It’s good to see people being family/community/home for other people.

    • E.

      I have a friend who is at the earlier stage and it is SO hard to not push her to leave. I’m so glad you were able to be there for your friend and it all worked out!

    • Alanna Cartier

      As someone who has been in a relationship like that, you can never see it until you see it. And then you can’t figure out why you stayed.

      The most remarkable thing is reconnecting with all the magnificent people in your life that were there all along, silently supporting you, and ready for the moment when you would leave.

  • cpostrophe

    so, we got our invitations for our August wedding last week (HOORAY!). We got them from Minted, and while we expect most people to RSVP via the website, we included an RSVP card as a nod to convention. My fiancee and I started stuffing them over the course of two nights (YAY TEAMWORK!) and my fiancee even showed me a trick of just using a wet dish towel to moisten the glue rather than licking it (CLEVER!). Then as we began stacking the invites to put in my bag to go to the post office, she observed,

    “hey, you know, for those RSVP’s it would probably be useful for us to include our home address so they know where to mail them.”

    “Oh, I ordered these with return addressing.”

    “Oh, where are the return addresses?”

    “Good question. It’s not on the mailing envelope … it’s …”

    Oh, in the box, were all of the return envelopes for the RSVP’s, unstuffed and not in our sealed invitations.

    (WTF KIND OF AMATEURS ARE WE?)

    Cue tense minutes of couple negotiations:

    “Maybe we can order new invitation envelopes from Minted and then just tear these open and re-stuff them.”

    “Are you crazy? It’ll delay us by another bunch of days, and we’re already a week behind schedule of telling folks to book their flights and hotels. Plus it’s a waste of money and we’re getting really close to the ceiling on our budget.”

    “Don’t we have the 5% buffer for emergencies like this?”

    “I don’t know if this is an emergency.”

    “How can you say that?”

    “How about we just buy some blank envelopes at Staples and print some address labels?”

    “I -care- about how our wedding invites look! I’m not sending my aunts an invite that looks like a fundraising request from the local gardening club.”

    “We can buy nice blank envelopes. Ok … ok … ok … how about I just steam the envelopes open and we can just insert the RSVP envelopes there?”

    “Do you know how?”

    “I had to do it once … many years ago … in college. I might have to look it up on the Internet to know how to do it properly.”

    “That seems like a lot of effort. Won’t it just be a better use of our time to order them?”

    “Let me try on for one of my friends’ envelopes and if it works I’ll do all of them if I have to. I just think that we’re probably going to run into a lot of expenses on the wedding day itself that we might wrestle to control, but this is one thing that we absolutely have control over.”

    “Well, if you want to try one go ahead. But if it looks terrible, can we talk about it?”

    “Sure.”

    So, there’s me heating up a steam kettle while reading through Instructables on my phone. And then I’m slowly moving an envelope back and forth across the steam, waiting for the seal to open. It takes time to loosen one, and then I use a fancy cocktail sword from my future sister-in-law to carefully slice the envelope open. I tear bit of the envelope, but it’s below the seal, and I put the RSVP in and glue stick it back together. Press it down under a cookbook and then show it to my fiancee, and she just nods.

    “So how long did that take?”

    “Looks like ten minutes. I can probably be faster now that I know what the steps are.”

    “Still, we got to do 80 envelopes. If we divide the work, maybe we can do it in less time.”

    “Are you sure? I feel bad making you do this. I should’ve realized.”

    “Oh, we both made the mistake, and this is teamwork. This is the sort of thing where we’ll look back on it in our five year anniversary and just laugh.”

    So, that’s what we did for the rest of Wednesday night and part of Thursday morning. I held the envelopes over the steam to melt the glue (which was the longest part) and she took care of the opening, restuffing and resealing. And I think she’s right about the part where we’re just going to laugh at this in the future.

    Dear internet: Don’t tell our friends.

    • Jess

      This is the best and real-est story about wedding planning I have ever read.

    • Kalë

      This makes me laugh (and also want to cry). Kudos for HANDLING IT and not melting into puddles of envelope glue yourselves.

    • Eenie

      My husband will never understand the hell he escaped by doing evites.

    • Alanna Cartier

      I love this story. So much teamwork! #winning #lifegoals

    • KPM

      I’m pretty sure I’ve blacked out the whole experience of stuffing envelopes. Maybe my husband did it? I remember getting responses so must have happened…

    • Keri

      Mentioned down thread, similar experience this week. To all future wedded people: SEAL THE ENVELOPES LAST. It did not occur to us to look up how to steam envelopes properly because my friend was too excited to finally fulfill her dream of steaming open an envelope to solve a mystery. We narrowed it down to a few that were potentially missing something, so some we tore open like animals and rewrote, but we steamed open a few – including my future mother in law (who did all of the calligraphy!) and her 92 year old mother’s (because we figured she would recognize not-her-daughter’s calligraphy if we re-wrote it). Good times.

    • SuzyNP

      Hahaha amazing story, something similar happened to us when we got a friend to design the invites, and a local printer to print them. They were beautiful, we had named and signed each one by hand, and hand written the addresses … and then we found out that the invites were about half a centimetre too long for the envelopes. It did feel like a “major emergency” at the time.

    • Kara E

      Hah. If it makes you feel any better, our (gorgeous, expensive, letterpressed) invites got printed with the right date, but wrong day. We didn’t notice it. Our printer didn’t notice it. My mom (who addressed all the envelopes by hand) didn’t notice it. My grandmother did – 8 weeks before the wedding. Cue mad scramble.

      • cpostrophe

        We had a grammatical error on the front of the invite, that neither I nor my English Professor fiancee caught in our design edits or our final proof. It was totally one of those things where we both got caught up with tweaking a word here or a phrase there, and then forgot to read the whole thing straight through while we were in the process of wordsmithing little chunks.

        She just opened up the box. Looked at the printed copies. Face-palmed. And said, “oh well. Hopefully it’s pretty enough that nobody’s actually going to read it that closely.”

      • cpostrophe

        hah! actually, we also had a grammatical error on the front of our invites. It was totally one of those results of tweaking the copy like:

        “You are cordially invited to the wedding of cpos-fiancee to cpostrophe”

        “I don’t like how our name just appears at the bottom like that. Can we add some text to the end?”

        “You are cordially invited to the wedding of cpos-fiancee to cpostrophe as an esteemed guest?”

        “Maybe change the beginning and end to, ‘With great pleasure … blah blah blah … our names … invite you to celebrate our wedding?”

        “I want to acknowledge our folks, so maybe change the beginning to ‘Together with our families …’?”

        “Sure.”

        We kind of skipped the whole reading through it part. It was a last tweak at checkout on the order. It was late. We may have had cocktails after dinner and were just feeling happy about finally ordering the invitations.

        and so that’s how we got: ” Together with our families, cpos-fiancee to cpostrophe invite you to celebrate our wedding.”

        And as soon as my English professor fiancee opened the invitations box and saw them in her hand she just facepalmed and said, “well, hopefully they’re pretty enough that nobody’s going to actually pay attention to the text.”

  • Jenny

    My homeowner tip is to get a list of handymen/women, plumbers, electritions, painters, plasterers, etc from your real estate agents (seller and buyers agents). It took until I was getting my house ready to sell until I realized that they were a wealth of information on good repair folks. I could have saved my self a lot of trouble and bad repair jobs if I’d asked my agents for that when I bought the place.

    • Lawyerette510

      A good handyperson is key. While I don’t a home now, when I did, having a handyman who was knowledgeable, took the time to explain things to me, and didn’t talk down to me was a huge sanity, money and time saver.

  • Morgan D

    That shirt literally made me laugh out loud!

    Also, I missed saying it before, but congrats on the new home! As a fellow Oakland resident, I don’t know how you did it! Partner and I have been oggling houses for a year or so and we can afford a mortgage, but just can’t seem to save up quickly enough for a downpayment in this competitive, largely cash-offer environment. We’re terrified that the market is just going to keep growing at the same pace as our savings. If you have any tips or recommendations (we already saved that “impassioned letter” idea!) please send them our way! All that said, I’m super excited to hear it’s working out for you! I’ve always actively loved moving and – as someone who was never allowed to decorate walls, etc. growing up (lest we children damage the resale value of the house) – I’ve been itching to cut my teeth on homemaking projects. Enter Pinterest and Houzz, where I’ve basically already designed our dream house. Another favorite of mine – which I first heard about through some contractor friends – is IKEA Hacks, or anything similar.

  • MC

    Thought this article on multilevel marketing companies (Jamberry, Mary Kay, etc.) was super interesting:
    http://www.vox.com/2016/5/12/11577466/multilevel-marketing

    Last month I went to a ladies night party where a friend had invited her friend to do an essential oils demonstration and it was definitely pretty uncomfortable. The seller cited a lot of the same reasons the article did for being involved with the company – flexible schedule, opportunity to stay home more with her young kid, etc. But there was this weird pressure to buy things since she had confessed to us that she wanted to make as much money as she had in her last full time job, and the stuff was pretty pricey… the whole dynamic was weird. Especially shitty that they don’t get compensated for most of the time they’re “working.”

    • Cellistec

      Super interesting, especially the part about MLM roles being acceptable “jobs” for women in conservative Christian denominations. Several of my family members got sucked into a protein powder MLM network a few years ago, and every time I saw one of their social media posts about a protein powder party, I just thought…this can’t be for real. Yet it was.

    • Jess

      I’m always really interested in the way MLM’s work. Because on one hand, I’m for empowering women to money in a way that works for their life. And on the other hand, I find being sold to by people I know really icky?

      I had a few friends in college get into the lifestyle products things and I slowly just kind of… faded away from them after every interaction became a moment to either sell or tell me about how great this opportunity could be. That social cost is so real.

      • AP

        A few years ago, I had a Facebook message from an old friend who I hadn’t talked to in a while. I was so excited to hear from her and catch up, I called her right away. After a few minutes on the phone with her I realized the only reason she’d messaged me was to try to convince me to start selling this MLM skin care line. I was SO HURT. You’re right about the social cost. I probably won’t take a call from her again.

    • Eenie

      The current MLM filling up my newsfeed is shakeo (by beach body). I’ve actually done a couple of the beach body workouts a while back and liked them. But this one friend is just obsessed with the protein powder and posting CONSTANTLY! I unfriended her (not even unfollowed). Several other friends do it but focus more on the accountability and healthy eating portion which is cool. And the one actually does teach yoga for money. I just can’t get past all these very smart women doing it when the statistics say it’s not going to make you any money. I binged on a whole bunch of the MLM articles this week when my really good friend became a “coach”. UGH.

      Anyone have first hand experience instead of second hand?

      • CommaChick

        My former roommate got involved in Amway. She was financially unstable at the time and thought she could use it to pay for school. They had people come to our dorm doing random checks to make sure she had stocked our fridge, dorm room and bathroom with their products. Another friend went to one of their recruiting sessions and was asked to leave for asking too many questions. They only want “teachable” distributors with “unquestioning loyalty and optimism.” They also believe in “edification,” or constant support of the organization and those above you, even if you disagree with what’s being said. My roommate cut off all contact with me because I wasn’t supportive [read: didn’t buy her products]. It was an awkward rest of the semester.

    • emilyg25

      I have a hard line personal policy to decline any and all MLM schemes. I believe they prey on women and commoditize friendship.

      • Lisa

        This is how I feel about them, too. If the product is good enough to be sold, it doesn’t need to be distributed through these parties. They might have made sense at one point when women were more housebound or had fewer shopping options near their homes, but at this point everything is available off the internet. There’s no reason for this sales model to continue.

        For some reason though, I still hold a soft-spot for Mary Kay. I think it’s because my mom’s MK lady (also our babysitter’s mother and a close neighbor) was the person who taught me how to put on make-up. I bought from her until the past year when I wasn’t reliably going home anymore. I tried to buy through the on-line site, and when it asked me for my MK representative, I put in her name so she would get credit for the sale. Apparently, they then shipped her the product, which she had to pay out of pocket to send to me. I felt really guilty about that (it was a single eye shadow) and haven’t purchased anything since then.

  • Ha ha

    Time for Meg to get “The Cut”!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zh75XWRaugg

  • lady brett

    god, y’all. feelings are hard. my honey *graduated fucking college* today! and i motherfucking missed them walking because my 4 year old lied about needing to pee cause he was bored.

    not to mention the stalled attempts before i knew them, we have been working towards this degree for *seven years*. and we’ve been so busy and stressed recently i didn’t even process how happy and proud and goddamned impressed i am until I fucking missed the walking part. (the other kids have not been gems today, graduations are boring, and the lying is a longstanding struggle, so.)

    so, fuck today, and congrats to my honey (and me)!

    (and meg! that shirt is epic on you.)

    • Eenie

      Wooo! Go @lady brett:disqus’s honey!

    • Ashlah

      Ugh, I’m so sorry for the frustrations involved, but yay for your honey!! All the congrats to them! And to you for all the support you provided while they worked towards graduating!

      And hey, now you’ve got something you can jokingly hold over your child’s head when they’re older, so that’ll be fun some day! ;)

    • Greta

      I’m sorry this happened to you! My dad missed my high school graduation because of something really stupid and silly too – he felt sooooo bad about it, and I was a little upset about it at the time, but looking back I know that that was just one moment out of many – he was there for all the hard work of getting to graduation and that’s where it really counts. I don’t think your honey will hold it against you, but it totally does suck in the moment!

    • EF

      heh, my brother in law missed my sister getting hooded for her master’s because their kid puked all over him and he had to rush out.

      these things happen. sucks now, but maybe you’ll laugh about it in a couple of years? in the meantime, SUPER CONGRATS TO THEM!

    • BDubs

      CONGRAAAATS LadyBrett’s partner!

    • Cellistec

      I think this calls for a graduation walk reenactment at home, with all kids in attendance. Bonus points if someone mouth-trumpets “Pomp and Circumstance.”

      • lady brett

        well, on the bright side, there’s actually a second ceremony tomorrow. i’m fuzzy on why, but it turns out to be a nice option.

    • lady brett

      y’all really are the best. y’all and my baby. this is actually their first graduation because they dropped out of high school. for someone so competent it’s been hard to be there for how difficult school is for them (especially as i am the opposite). and it’s just such a big deal! and I kind of forgot to remember that. so now i’m a bit heart-explodey.

  • 博文值得拜读。受益了!

  • Set a date. Saturday, May 28th. Have an outfit (white faux leather jacket, peach silk blouse, grey tulle midi skirt, peach flats with pyramid studs). My dad is officiating.

  • 研究研究,学习学习。

  • Mary Gilliland

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  • Lelaescott

    “my room mate Lori Is getting paid on the internet 98$/hr”…..!nt461etwo days ago grey MacLaren P1 I bought after earning 18,512 Dollars..it was my previous month’s payout..just a little over.17k Dollars Last month..3-5 hours job a day…with weekly payouts..it’s realy the simplest. job I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months. ago. and now making over. hourly 87 Dollars…Learn. More right Here !nt461e:➽:➽:➽➽➽➽ http://GlobalSuperJobsReportsEmploymentsFixGetPay-Hour$98…. .✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸::::::!nt461e….,.

  • Amykstriplin1

    “my room mate Lori Is getting paid on the internet 98$/hr”…..!tn82etwo days ago grey MacLaren P1 I bought after earning 18,512 Dollars..it was my previous month’s payout..just a little over.17k Dollars Last month..3-5 hours job a day…with weekly payouts..it’s realy the simplest. job I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months. ago. and now making over. hourly 87 Dollars…Learn. More right Here !tn82e:➽:➽:➽➽➽➽ http://GlobalSuperJobsReportsEmploymentsVaultGetPay-Hour$98…. .✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸::::::!tn82e….,.

  • Susannatescobar4

    “my room mate Lori Is getting paid on the internet 98$/hr”…..!tn90rtwo days ago grey MacLaren P1 I bought after earning 18,512 Dollars..it was my previous month’s payout..just a little over.17k Dollars Last month..3-5 hours job a day…with weekly payouts..it’s realy the simplest. job I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months. ago. and now making over. hourly 87 Dollars…Learn. More right Here !tn90r:➽:➽:➽➽➽➽ http://GlobalSuperJobsReportsEmploymentsPrivateGetPay-Hour$98…. .✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸::::::!tn90r….,.